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Concert Reviews

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Live!

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Center Stage could not have booked a more influential and moving performance that meant so much too so many.  The sounds of Led Zeppelin motivated the lives of so many even jump started many into music.  Not only could you see the love Jason Bonham has for his dad and music, but also the passion to spread the music his dad played that influenced so many, and himself, to his fans.  Jason Bonham’s show was a celebration of his father’s life.  He had home videos and old pictures on the big screen playing behind him when they performed and Bonham told many heartwarming stories of his father and his childhood.

Not only did Jason Bonham do his father proud on the drums, and play an incredible duet with his father on the drums behind him (“Moby Dick”), but he also surrounded himself with talent that would impress any Led Zeppelin fanatic.  Steven LeBlanc showed his multiple talents on keyboard, lap steel, and second guitar (acoustic and electric).  On bass was a very talented man by the name of  Dorian Heartsong, and on lead guitar was a man by the name of Tony Catania.  What most impressed me on the night were not Tony Catania’s incredible guitar skills or Steven LeBlanc’s multiple talents, but was James Dylan’s vocals.  He finished off the group with his ability to channel his inner Robert Plant and perform so well on stage.  There was a point in the show however where I felt one half of the sage got lost, but they were great in bringing it all back together and getting everyone back in the spotlight.  It was just as the fans around me said “It’s incredible how much they sound like Led Zeppelin! This is incredible!”  Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin experience is a show must see.

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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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