‘Twas the night before Sunday
And all through the show
Not a creature was stirring
We were ready to go!
Big Mike was dressed in a suit of all white
The crowd was electric – it was going to be a fun night!
He took to the stage with a wink and a smile
The man knew how to work it – he had incredible style!
His band was on fire, as they always are
I’d be hard pressed to pick just one star!
There were Santas, an elf, showgirls galore
An abominable snowman, children, and more!
He sang all the classics, both old and new
Songs about reindeer, chestnuts, and a Christmas that was blue.
Whiskey Gentry came on stage to sing and play with Big Mike
I’d never heard them before, but their sound I did like!
Another young woman joined him for the Pogues Christmas song
It was definitely naughty and deliciously wrong!
Santa came out with a sweater that Big Mike did don.
He gathered the kids close and sang The Charlie Brown Christmas song.
The showgirls continued to dance, kick, and twirl.
They were definitely a treat for every good boy and girl!
The Grinch showed up in a furry green coat
(Psst…if you ask me, that’s one of the best that Dr. Seuss ever wrote!)
The night continued on, full of Christmas cheer
None of us even minded paying 6 bucks for a stinkin’ beer!
There was laughter, joy, and goodwill all around.
The Kingsized Christmas Jubilee was the best show in town!
We all had a blast, of that you can be certain
We didn’t want them to close that big velvet curtain.
I adore Big Mike and his group. I’m still absolutely smitten.
The night was perfect – better than anything Dickens could’ve written!
Photos by Karla Hill
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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