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Concert Reviews

Four Year Strong

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The night, personally, started off on a fairly bad note, from car issues causing me to arrive late to feeling dreadfully sick upon arrival, the former causing me to miss majority of the bands. To my luck, I got to see the two war horses of the tour, Gallows and Four Year Strong, which absolutely brightened up what was turning out to be Milli Vanilli kind of night.

The venue was fairly packed from what I could tell, with the space for moving room growing into a bare minimum and the combined body heat turning it into a steam box, all in all giving a sense of comfort for it’s a place I love to be. As I was basking in the environment Gallows took stage before I knew it and the crowd exploded. I think the crowd was on edge, wondering as to how Wade MacNeil would fill Frank Carter’s shoes, but to the joy of all he tore it up just as good if not better than Frank ever did. Shredding through classics like Orchestra of Wolves and In the Belly of a Shark and showcasing new songs like True Colors and Mondo Chaos, they providing the same crowd interaction and great show they are known for, so for those out there who are still skeptical fear not for the beast that is Gallows is back and in full force.

Following Gallows, but with no less amazement than the former was Four Year Strong, a heavy Pop-Punk group of guys that have taken the world over. Once they ripped into their set the entire venue went into a state of overload and just completely went insane, really putting it in your face as to why they are so big if you didn’t know. The high-energy performance took a form that was more than just the band, but a single unit of power combining the band and the crowd that sucked everyone into a whirlwind of angst.

They had a set list consisting of classics like Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die and Maniac (R.O.D) along with newer material like What The Hell Is A Gigawatt and Fairweather Fan that all blended together into an infectious mix that carried the entire crowd through the end. They’ve always been a band that truly respects their fans and cares for nothing more than to have these kids come out to the shows and physically support through sweat and tears at a show and as usual they proved this once again with crowd interaction and just the pleasure they display doing this, they do it from the heart just as if they were the same kids playing shows in basements years back, they made it to the top of the world and still hold true to their roots.

Even though Murphy’s Law was in play for me that night, it doesn’t matter cause it will be looked back upon as a great night for me thanks to Gallows and Four Year Strong and nothing will change that, so thanks for the experience to be remembered just like every time I’ve seen you guys. These bands never let down.

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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