Ringing in the New Year is typically filled with letting oneself go completely out there with drinks and bad decisions at either a bar or a friend’s party, but every now and then a great show will be lined up for New Year’s Eve and that’s exactly what occurred on this one. Against Me! decided that for the turn over into 2012 they were going to play a special show in Atlanta at The Masquerade, and I can say I am very glad they did because there couldn’t have been a better way to start the New Year.
No matter what, you can always be sure to not be let down at an Against Me! show, their performance and presence is always amazing and when I found out they were not only playing New Year’s Eve, but were going to be playing until 1 in the morning you could say I was ecstatic.
Unfortunately due to a miscommunication on start time of the show, I missed the first two bands, but luckily I was able to make it just in time to see the whole set for Fake Problems, the direct support to Against Me!. To say the least Fake Problems is a band you need to see, their blend of New Wave, Punk, Indie and Americana works beautifully and they have a great energy that flows straight from them into the crowd.
The stage was vacant for about 45 minutes after Fake Problems left the stage and then, right at 11:30, the lights dimmed and Against Me! strolled out onto the stage. They tore into their set with a non-stop ferocity from ‘White Crosses’ to ‘Don’t Lose Touch’, practically covering majority of their discography and even managing to throw in a cover of The Clash’s ‘Janie Jones’ that was pretty spot on. 2012 was welcomed into existence with champagne and a new song from mastermind of Against Me! Tom Gabel that showed nothing is changing in the year to come, which I would find to be welcomed by their fans. They played on for another hour after the stroke of midnight, with what might have been a 5 minute stop at most, but each moment spent on stage was harsher than the last and gave the crowd enough momentum to make the floor in Heaven bow and shake more than I ever thought it could, but even if it did collapse beneath us, I doubt anyone would have cared due to all focus being in another realm of amazement.
End all be all of it, best New Year’s celebration ever. Plain and simple.
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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