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Concert Reviews

Magic filled the Air with Robert Plant and the Band of Joy

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From the opening riffs of the Led Zeppelin cover “Black Dog”, to those lyrics from days of old “… Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time” in “Rock n Roll”, the Band of Joy brought out the joy in the standing room only crowd last night at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Though once the voice of heavy metal, Robert Plant, now with a wisp of silver in his hair, continues to expand his repertoire of Amercana roots music, with this …  the third incarnation of Band of Joy. Really more a Hall of Fame Band of Joy: Led by famed country music producer and  songwriter Buddy Miller on lead guitar; folk music impresario Patty Griffin on vocals; Darrell Scott on pedal steel, guitar and banjo; and, backed Marco Giovina on drums and Byron House on the upright bass. This Band of Joy has allowed Mr. Plant to surround himself with a band, that is not only joyful, but also extremely talented.

Though the middle-aged crowd was there to see the former front man of Led Zeppelin, he took a step back, to offer backing vocal support for his supporting cast with Patty Griffin featured on the gospel tinged “Move Up”, Darrell Scott on the Porter Wagoner classic “A Satisfied Mind’ and Plant playing harmonica on “Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go” with Buddy Miller, performing a song written by his wife Julie Miller.

But it was the Zeppelin covers that kept the crowd on its feet and reminiscing of those days of old. From the laid back folksy versions of “Black Dog”, “Houses of the Holy” and “Tangerine” … to those sweet opening riffs of “Ramble On” to the set closing “Gallows Pole”. These were the songs of our youth … these were the songs we waited for … and in the encore when Mr. Plant sang … “It’s been a long time since I rocked and rolled” … we knew right then that we had been transported back to those “years ago in days of old, when magic filled the air”!

Robert Plant & the Band of Joy – Fox Theatre Atlanta – 2/5/2011 Setlist
Black Dog
Down to the Sea
Angel Dance
Houses of the Holy
Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
Move Up – Patty Griffin
Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday
Life’s Little Ups & Downs
12 Gates
A Satisfied Mind – Darrell Scott
Tangerine
House of Cards
Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go – Buddy Miller
Monkey
You Can’t Buy My Love
Ramble On
Tall Cool One
Gallows Pole

Encore:
In The Mood
Rock n Roll
Goodnight

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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