Monday, September 24, 2012

Great Bands that played Boston - part 2

To resume (well work occasionally intercedes)

On Saturday Patrick Wolf came to Boston to play the Royale as part of his 10 year Acoustic Tour.Patrick is extremely talented and since leaving home at 16 has been extremely prolific writing many albums all of which refuse to dumb down his emotions or use instruments most people would not correlate with pop music (harp, ukelele viola). The beauty and honesty of these albums may put off some peopel but not his 'Wolf pack'. To be honest I love so many bands I am not fanatical about PW BUT when he comes to play Live and I listen to his music it always astounds me to remember just how good and out there it is.
Taking the tie to revisit his songs and strip them down uncovered beauty and honesty.
The setlist can be seen here and I am not sure what I loved more the beautiful performances or the wonderfully intimate monologues he introduced the songs with.
The lighting was not kind to my camera's ability to catch video but I think the sound quality survived.

after the show we rushed off and saw Dry The River at Brighton Music Hall. The Audience loved the show but maybe I had been spoilt as I felt the band was pushing too hard and the efforts were cliche and overblown, it was fun but it was a poor second to the start of the night.

Sunday was the return of Blood Red Shoes to Boston after way too long.
It is hard to believe that this duo can produce so much power and volume. The Third album In Time to Voices is another example of being brim full of punchy well composed inie perfection well if you love power drums and guitars as I do.

The set was full of old favorites interspersed with great songs from the new album. The vocal was a little low which talking to Steven he did agree that their sound engineer had a heck of a struggle with the acoustics of TT's which seem to sometimes causing issues. Despite that Stephen and Laura put on a strong show. The good news is the duo have a visa for the next year and seem pretty keen on visiting again during that time which would make me very happy.

Great Bands that played Boston- part 1

Wow, I feel so lucky to have seen some of the shows I have in the past four weeks. As noted before Maximo park and Jesus and Mary Chain lived up to my hopes.

Alt-J on the 17th at Great Scott proved no exception. The album has proven to be so different that people are stabbing in the dark for comparisons. Myself I thought of Wild Beasts and Forward Russia! and during their show added These New Puritans. Why? because they dare to go places that others do not, ignore nastiness about the vocal style standing out and use layering and silence to create a building complexity that rewards.
The alt-J show was just a great day from the starting point of non existent traffic going to the show, to the sunny break allowing sitting outside drinking an excellent beer pre-show right through to the final discussions with the band late that night it was perfect.
We managed to sit through the soundcheck which let us know that the sound on the record was reproducable live which allows us to have heard at leats a couple of songs live twice - priceless.
The show was pretty crowded, I guess buzz brings out people including fools who refuse to shut up especially during the support band who were pretty good. Alt-J played through the album and a suprising amount of people knew lyrics and sang along. It is hard to choose favorite moments though of course Tesselate was transcendal and Matilda was beautiful.
The sound was great and it really hit home just how many great songs are on the album.
Side note the band are very down to earth guys who have no arrogance or airs and who love to talk to fans such a great thing to see.

Handmade is the hidden track from the album

Sunday, September 16, 2012

September Excess

It was a feast of excess musically this week.
Maximo Park played The middle East Downstairs on Monday night, at the start of the night it seemed horribly quiet but by the time we had suffered through the two abysmal support bands thankfully the place had filled out.
Maximo Park have never been a band that were the most popular but have steady stream of support and have continued to create really great music which if you look at the lyrics can really suprise you as Paul Smith uses terms that are pretty erudite and are way beyond the normal garbage espoused by pop bands such as The Vaccines.Then there is also the fact that Smith is pretty acrobatic out there doing scissor kicks and jumps and generally keeps the audience in the palm of his hand.
On Monday they gave us a 21 song set, listed here .
Full of brilliant pop songs with hooks that kept people going crazy and having a really good time the band showed why they are so important.
Girls who Play guitars, Limassol, Apply some Pressure, books from boxes adn the kids re sick again show that they consistently create strong powerful songs which have the power to make you smile, want to move and raise your spirits. Lets hope its not another five years before they come back.
Talking about long time since a band has played, the Jesus And Mary Chain played The Paradise Tuesday and Wednesday, again pretty low attendance, what the heck is with Boston not knowing when a good thing is happening?
When the show started the band looked so old unassuming and I did wonder if this was going to be less than brilliant. It is probably the brilliance of the original songs but hearing songs like Sidewalking, Some Candy Talking , Just like honey and Reverence. However when they played 'Never Understand' it was transcendental and made e remember exactly why I hold these grumpy temperamental freaks to my heart with awe and wonder. and yes it felt just as wonderful the second night and of course Jim Reid had to throw the odd hissy just to prove he existed.
Such Wonder!
On a different note , Alt-J, a band from Leeds play Boston Monday the 17th.
Alt-J play music that really has quite a different structure to most current songs and the vocals have a almost falsetto note. As always Leeds provides music that goes where others do not helping the landscape keep fresh I am looking forward to this concert very much.