I was introduced to 311 by my brother in 1995. My sister and brother were privileged enough to see 311 at a small venue in Macon, GA and even got to hang out with the group. I still hear the stories and I am still envious to this day! So when 311 announced their Halloween show at the Fox during their Summer tour in Atlanta, my Halloween plans were made instantly. Here’s how it all went down:
I am in a hurry as the show starts in less than an hour. Per band request, I am in full costume as The Queen of Hearts. I feel my heart racing and mind spinning as 311 has rocked my ears since High School. I cannot be late. I rush to The Fox. Walking in I see so many people dressed up and looking great; the venue is completely sold out. I go to Will Call and they hand me my photo pass and I walk through the doors. I am escorted to the stage and I see my boys, 311, all in costume. Nick, SA, P-Nut, Tim, and Chad have the crowd going wild. As the band plays on I feel the ground below me moving, literally moving, as everyone in attendance is jumping up and down. I look up to the balcony and see the huge crowd dancing. I feel this incredible energy within my soul and I am so thankful to be apart of the spectacular night. 311 plays from 8:00 PM until a little before 11:00.
They absolutely blow my mind with their stage performance. I hear songs My Stoney Baby, Feel So Good, and oh my goodness F$ck The Bull$**t has the place hopping. In total there are two sets in which they play the entire album “Music!” At the intermission, I walk around and take pictures of the 311 fans. Everyone is smiling and happy. How could you not be? I talk to a lot of people who say they have waited all year for this show. I head to the balcony and stand waiting for 311 to come back to the stage. Chad pounds the drums with an awesome drum solo. P-nut brings the boom with his bass solo. The guys all get together in their famous drum circle and the fans yell in delight. Jackpot comes on and I freak out! 311, I thank-you for allowing me to celebrate with you on Halloween. Nick closes the show with, “Be positive.” That is what I feel you have done for my life, you have given me music that is uplifting with a sound that can only be described as simply, 311. P-nut lingers on the stage as the others leave and has the crowd chanting 3-11-3-3-11. He bows in humble awe. P-nut, The Queen of Hearts bows to you and I cannot wait to see 311 again!
Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad
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.
Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair
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.
Years & Years at Royale Boston
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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