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Concert Reviews

I Heart Flogging Molly

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Valentine’s Day can mean different things to different people.  For those who find themselves alone on Valentine’s Day, February 14th can be marred with cynicism and overdoses on chocolate .  For this single gal, I cannot imagine a better way to spend “cupid’s night of love” than with the talented members of Flogging Molly. If you found yourself cuddling with a special someone this past Monday, your magical night could not possibly compare to the show Flogging Molly put on.

In pure Flogging Molly fashion, Dave King, Dennis Casey, Matthew Hensley, Nathen Maxwell, Bridget Regan, Robert Schmidt and George Schwindt rocked The Tabernacle! It was a show that gave this faithful fan a reason to be excited about the show since December, when I first found out I would be attending. Sticking to mostly “oldies but goodies”, it seemed almost impossible that this show was exponentially better than the show I saw 2 years ago. Back in 2009, I remember thinking how there was no way anybody could top that show. And believe me, the stupid grin that has been on my face for days, proves they blew my mind. Starting with “Requiem For A Dying Song” and including such hits as “Swagger”, “Likes of You Again”, “Factory Girls” and “Drunken Lullabies”, long time fans of Flogging Molly were able to sing along in the same way we would  in our cars: at the tops of our lungs with no care in the world. We were also privy to new songs like “Don’t Shut ‘Em Down” and “Speed of Darkness “. My hopes for a solid ending were confirmed when the first beat of “Seven Deadly Sins” began. I had hoped in my Valentine’s heart of hearts that they would play that song and for it to be saved for the end made my evening complete. I didn’t want it to end.

In the true spirit of Valentine’s Day, it was obvious to everyone in attendance that the band really felt appreciative to their fans. Dave King spent the evening sharing personal, poignant stories of those closest to him, even stating that his wife would seek revenge for divulging such information. After the show, many of the members came into the audience to greet the fans with memorabilia from the show while “talking music”. Dennis Casey even followed me to the merchandise booth where he continued to interact with fans.  If you want to get a sneak peek at the new album to drop in May, log on to their website for a free download. You’ll be glad you did.

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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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