Last week, Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance rolled into Atlanta on the Honda Civic Tour. Both bands have been known for garnering national and international attention over the years due to their easily relatable messages with the young adult crowd and energetic live performances. The new tour and their stop in Atlanta would definitely prove to back their reputations.
First off, this crowd in Aarons Amphitheatre was comparable to recent festivals that have come into town. The show’s openers, duo Matt & Kim share a similar sensibility to Blink and MCR. The duo’s shows were once the territory of mostly crusty DIY types who seemed to want permission to drop the Amebix records and dance to pop music, albeit in a warehouse. But since the group has continued to tour, enjoyed spots in commercials, and even significantly cleaned up its look, it’s now too entered the pop world at large.
My Chemical Romance began their set with an unforgettable production, even incorporating lighting into their microphone stands. Every little detail seemed to be meticulously worked out, from their lighting to their interaction with the crowd. Each member constantly controlled different parts of the stage and provided entertainment by themselves as well as interacting with each other, providing photo-ops galore.
As Blink 182 took the stage in the darkness, the crowd began to roar with anticipation of their return. As the lights went up, the boys in Blink took the stage with energy and an insane light show dominated by strobes and a changing back round of city scenes. Acting like they were teenagers again, Tom and Mark joked around with the crowd and Travis, at one point Mark even toyed around with Travis by giving him the fist. For only having three members, Blink 182 had the stage presence of a band with five members, each of them skipping and running around in between singing their vocal parts like they were a young band fresh on tour and ready to conquer the world.
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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