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Concert Reviews

Against Me! for you!

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It was one of those opportunities that made me race to Facebook for a status update: I was going to see Against Me! for a second time in my concert-going career. After seeing the band for the first time in 2002, it was nice to see some familiar faces at their latest show. Against Me! has the unique ability to bring together fans of all ages. This time I was sandwiched between the sweaty fans and the equally perspired band. I realized that the younger version of myself would have truly enjoyed the show amidst the fans in the pit, but last night’s show proved to me that, as I get older, my place is front and center for such an electrifying performance.

I couldn’t have been more excited for the band’s first song “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong” as it pumped up the crowd and set the tone for the concert. Part of my role for Sunday night’s show was to take pictures to capture the performance. While trying to get THE shot, I found it difficult to set up my camera; I felt as though I was experiencing an earthquake with all of the excitement.  Songs like “Turn Those Clapping Hands into Angry Balled Fists” and “I Was A Teenage Anarchist” further perpetrated the enthusiasm felt by everyone in attendance.

A poignant moment during the show came at the end when the band left the stage after about an hour of performing. In the band’s absence, the crowd broke out in a rendition of “We Laugh At Danger and Break All The Rules”. This was doubly moving because not only did it reinforce the fact that the crowd consisted of die-hard fans, but after hearing their fans’ tribute, Against Me!’s Andrew Seward, James Bowman, Tom Gabel and Jay Weinberg returned to the stage in awe of the coolness of the moment.

**To the chick in front of me (the only person in the entire room who didn’t move at all), I have a message for you: if you’re not there to have fun, go home!

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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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