To be completely honest, which is really all we want from people in life, this is my very first concert review. That being said, I am not a writer by nature, it doesn’t come easily to me as it does to some. But there is something about music…good music, that makes all things possible. It opens people’s eyes and frees their minds to go wherever they may. I spent a Thursday in Heaven with four up and coming bands that each had their own finger print and creative sound, but all seemed to share that fresh thread of possibility.
The night got started right with the confident energy of A: The Color, a band who got their start here in Atlanta in 2009, led by Zach Beachum and Ethan Gabriel Jack. Their new age sound mixed with a touch of headbangers ball was right on to set the mood for the evening. Dynamic and bright as the light on the mic, they have what it takes to liven up even the smallest of week day crowds!
Next up was the gentle jam sounds of The Woodgrains. This band who hails out of Athens, is made up of the talented trio known as Nick Carroll, Dylan Crosby, and Evan Amburn. Their sound takes you back to the roots of rock and soulfulness at its best. Their voices combine to make a deep south melody of smooth twang, its easy to lose yourself in their rhythm.
The crowd seemed to flow into a mix of retro-hippie urban pipeline punk, with a touch of 80”s as The Orkids took the stage. Formed in late 2008, this band consists of Sandra Gallardo, Adam Monica, Joshua Schwarber, Brad Lee Zimmerman and Sheldon Wolfe. They create some fantastic sounds, amazing vocals and energy that fill the space with a true alternative indie feel that takes you to another place.
The night went out with a bang as Stokeswood took the stage! Their presence is undeniable, their energy unable to be extinguished. Homegrown here in the ATL, the Carassians are Adam Patterson, Mark Godwin, Reed Irvine, Jon Joiner and Justin Mullinix and are making quite a stir with their riveting debut album Carassia. With a style all their own, fusing electro funk with new age sharpness and thrill, they quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Hard not to be swept off your feet by the power of their live performance, quite a way to end an evening….in Heaven!
It was a pleasure to meet Shawn Williams, who put the show on. It was her second show at The Masquerade and I know she will have much more success.
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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