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Concert Reviews

Duran Duran

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“All You Need Is Now Tour 2011”

The almost original crew of Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Dom Brown and Roger Taylor descended up Chastain Park Amphitheater, in support of their All You Need Is Now tour, last Friday night to the delight of a few thousand primarily thirty and forty-somethings. I had seen the guys here a few years back on their Red Carpet Massacre tour and suspected I was in store for a treat.

I arrived in my usual fashionably late manner thinking I was just going to miss whatever opening band I had never heard of. Unfortunately as I walked through the gates I was quite disappointed hear none other than the Neon Trees closing out their opening set with their hit “1983”!  Needless to say if I had known they were the opening act I would have been there right on time. I have no idea why they didn’t advertise them as the opening act. Anyway, it was clear that the crowd had been primed and was ready to dance.

The new wave Brit poppers took the stage to rousing applause, and an array of lights and special effects. The night air was pleasantly cool and a three-quarter moon shined down brightly. It was a perfect environment for the show and the crowd immediately around me seemed to concur. Other than missing Neon Trees the only other thing was realizing that Simon was sporting a full beard, which was new for him….but I recovered quickly and resumed dancing with my fellow fans throughout the following set list:

BEFORE THE RAIN/PLANET EARTH/A VIEW TO A KILL/ALL YOU NEED IS NOW/BLAME THE MACHINES/COME UNDONE/SAFE/REFLEX/LEOPARD/GIRL PANIC/SECRET OKTOBER/ORDINARY WORLD/CARELESS MEMORIES/OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES/LEAVE A LIGHT ON/NOTORIOUS/HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF/SUNRISE (encore)WILD BOYS/RIO

Despite the fact that the guys were at the top of their game back in the mid 80’s they still possess all of the vigor, vitality and sexuality they always did. I think that is a huge part of what makes their shows so much fun. Duran Duran never get old for me, they are always consistent, and the energy they exude from their music means a big amphitheater sized dance party will definitely ensue!

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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