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Concert Reviews

Yacht Rock Led Zeppelin and Dark Side of the Moon

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What band has the guts to take on the task of recreating two of the greatest records of an entire generation, Led Zeppelin IV, which was originally released 1971, and Pink Floyds The Dark Side of the Moon that was released in 1973?  The answer is Yacht Rock Revue …..and they do it amazingly well!  These guys know how to have fun as they make fun of the 70’s with an incredible amount of musical talent to back up the silliness.  They not only sound like the 70’s, they look and act like the 70’s.   Man, what a cool feeling to go back to that time for a night and listen to some great music.  YRR  “opened” for themselves and played a set from the Dazed and Confused soundtrack that included ‘Never Been Any Reason’ and ‘Rock-N-Roll Hootchie Coo’ to name just a couple. Most impressive during this first set was their rendition of Frampton’s ‘Do You Feel Like We Do’.  In the true spirit of those times long gone, the band brought out bean bag chairs, bags of Cheetos & Doritos and the hookah pipe, lounging comfortably downstage as the lead guitarist, Mark Dannells  flawlessly jammed out the notoriously long solo, complete with Frampton’s signature talking guitar effects.

Their second set went straight into Zed Zeppelin IV – these guys don’t just play a few songs, they play the whole album, song by song.  It’s like you’ve got the album on your turntable, but your getting to see and hear it live! Emulating Plant, one of the greatest rock voices of all time, is a tough challenge that Singer, Nick Niespodziani, met head on, hitting all the highs and bringing all the energy and vibe each of these classic tunes called for.  They ended Side One with Stairway to Heaven and flipped right onto Side Two with Misty Mountain Hop…… THIRD set they rocked Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon.  Who could forget On the Run, Brain Damage, Eclipse and of course, Money.   It was impressive to watch them all switch to different instruments to make the synthesized sounds of the 70’s come to life like the harmonica, keyboard, mandolin, sax, bongo,  an array of guitars , and even a recorder!  I was surprised to see so many Twenty’ and Thirty something’s there –this music was playing on stages before they were even thought of .  What really surprised me, they knew all the words!  Proof that rock- n-roll never dies!  YRR, of course, had to come out for an encore – It ended with some more fun with The Who’s,  ‘Don’t Get Fooled Again’.

I left the show feeling like I should go home and watch Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi on Saturday Night Live…….live.   Pure fun and great entertainment – anyone that loves the music from the 70’s needs to check them out for great night!  Yacht Rock Revue also cover The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Atlanta Rhythm section and lots more.

Ahhhhhh the 70’s…. I forgot how good it sounded!

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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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