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Concert Reviews

The Ravonettes

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Friday night was stormy.  I don’t just mean rain or thunder and lightening.  I mean a true storm that dumped water from the sky and shook the very foundations of the rickety building that is the Masquerade.

Despite the awful weather, the fans turned out in full force to see the Ravonettes, a band that has been releasing consistently good albums since 2003.  After opening sets by bands The Mood Rings and girl-lead Tamaryn, the Ravonettes took the stage to the rumbling of thunder outside.

Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo took the stage alone to start the set with two new songs off of the band’s recent release Raven in the Grave.  After these two songs, the rest of the band joined the two, including two drummers with battling drum kits.

The band played about 12 more songs, each with its own mix of retro, 60’s style rock and current pop influences.  The crowd was ecstatic,  and even I had a hard time keeping my toes from tapping and my head from bobbing.

Pictures by TBB photographer Emily Kelsey

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After leaving the stage to thunderous applause, the band returned for a two-song encore.  Rather than simply packing up and leaving after the encore, Wagner and Foo stuck around once the lights came up to take pictures with rain-soaked fans.

The best part about seeing the Ravonettes live was the band’s total enthusiasm for their music and fans.  It was obvious from the first song that they were grateful just to be there and that they wanted to put on a great show.  They succeeded in this last attempt and the excited fans, who had braved torrents of rain, thunder and lightening to get the show, could not have possibly felt disappointed.

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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