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Concert Reviews

Billy Idol…need we say more? 8/29/10

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This was my first Billy Idol concert. I have been a huge fan since the Generation X days, but timing was never on my side to see him live. I had built up this moment to something that surely could not and would not disappoint! And HE didn’t! After the intermission, the stage went dark. Neon green aglow… out struts Billy, looking ever so youthful and it’s, “Ready, Steady, GO!” The crowd goes nuts! There’s so much excitement and the anticipation of Billy Idol and Steve Stevens side by side, well…. Let’s just say, “Dancin’ with Myself” was most definitely a good choice for the next song! Hit after hit, “Love is Strange”, “Flesh for a Fantasy”, “Eyes Without a Face…” I mean, “Good Gravy” I was in heaven.

As I am thoroughly enjoying this trip back to my teenage fantasyland, I am snapping photo after photo in a “NO CAMERAS ALLOWED” venue. Mr. Policeman, taps ME on the shoulder and grabs my camera. “Are you freaking kidding me?” Long story short, I get my camera back, no pictures deleted and went back to taking MORE PICTURES! HA! There was NO CHANCE this girl was going to leave without photos of BILLY IDOL! Once that ridiculous momentary episode was over, it’s back to being rocked out of my seat by Steve Stevens. His skills are beyond epic you know, but seeing and hearing him LIVE and in person… just unexplainable, you have to see it for yourself. Chastain was PACKED, the ambiance was “chill” but “rockin.’” (As my notes say after a few glasses of wine) …like a smooth ever glowin’ lava lamp, groovin’ and rockin’ and swayin’… HAHAHA! This I am assuming as they play, “Kings and Queens of The Underground.”

I have to say, Stephen McGrath, Derek Sherinian, Jeremy Colson and Billy Morrison, perfectly compliment the duo of Billy and Steve Stevens!

I’m waiting for “Rebel Yell” and “White Wedding” the songs that catapulted Billy Idol into super rock stardom! He may be 55, but you surely wouldn’t know it. He has definitely done some upkeep on the physique and his voice was better than ever! “LA WOMAN” leads us out as they fake a finale. While Billy makes a wardrobe change, Steve Stevens blows us away with Led Zeppelin’s “Over the Hills and Far Away.” Breathtaking…

Billy returns looking refreshed and ready to rock on the “Blue Highway.” At 10:35, “REBEL YELL!” If the crowd wasn’t already in full frenzy, it got even crazier at this point. Billy takes off his shirt to expose his chiseled abs. Steve Stevens starts an acoustic White Wedding intro. The band soon follows and it’s INSANE! Billy Morrison steps in and takes his solo. My notes are hazy here, well actually invisible, my pen ran out of ink and I have no idea what I wrote. HAHA Doesn’t matter anyway… it’s a night of PURE ADRENALINE. The band closes with “MONY MONY” and I realize that this night is soon to end, but my memory, shared with my husband, my good friends and several thousand strangers is one that I will never forget. Oh yeah, and I HAVE PICTURES!!!!

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Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.

Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”

Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.

The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.

What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.

Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.

Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.”  The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.

Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.

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