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Concert Reviews

Thrice at The Masquerade

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The energy was high when Thrice took the stage at The Masquerade on October 9th in support of the band’s eighth album Major/Minor. This was my first time seeing them, but I had high hopes considering what I’d heard about their live performances. The band did not disappoint me in the least. Playing to a near sold out crowd, they launched into ‘Yellow Belly’, a song from the new album that had the fans singing along and jumping up and down so hard the floor shook. The band never lost their energy throughout the lengthy set, which included fan favorites like ‘Firebreather’ and ‘Silhouette’ along with songs from the new album like ‘Call It in the Air’ and ‘Promises’.

Singer Dustin Kensrue’s vocals shined throughout the performance and guitarist/singer Teppei Teranishi was amazing on the guitar and keys. The band had a high sense of fellowship with one another as they played, as if playing on stage together was just as natural as breathing.

The band encored with ‘Phoenix Ignition’, which had the fans going wild, and ‘To Awake and Avenge the Dead’.

After the show, Dustin Kensrue treated the remaining crowd to an intimate and unexpected three song acoustic set, which included one of my favorite songs,  ‘Come All You Weary’. The set also included ‘Blood and Wine’, one of Dustin’s solo songs that had a different sound from Thrice’s usual hardcore.

When I left the show I found myself a bigger fan of the band than I had been, which is exactly what I want from a live show. I definitely look forward to seeing them again.

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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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