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Concert Reviews

Jimmy Buffett – Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

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Jimmy Buffett did it again! He put on a show that kept the packed audience on their feet begging for more, just one more song. Even the people in costly seats stayed on their feet. Parrot Heads packed Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood to maximum capacity. There were more Parakeets (offspring of Parrot Heads) this year than ever before. We saw a few old friends and made some new ones, too!

Jimmy did some of his popular oldies like “Margaritaville,” “Cheeseburger In Paradise,” and” Come Monday,” while the crowd sang along. The crowd went wild when Zac Brown joined Jimmy on stage to perform “Knee Deep”. Then Jimmy and the band performed songs in a way only they can for all the Parrot Heads including:  ” One Particular Harbor,” “Pencil Thin Mustache,” and “A Pirate Looks At Forty” (with Zac).

Jimmy told a great story about the song “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw,” which is a story in and of itself. He told the crowd about following The Commodores in a club one night, and how as he watched them perform, he was thinking “Oh sh*t…how do we follow that?” Then Jimmy laughingly told the audience how he had praised The Commodores for about 12 ½ minutes of his own set and then they played  “Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw.” As it turns out, he got just as many bookings as The Commodores did. Next he broke into a rendition of “All Night Long,” while pictures of he and Lionel Ritchie appeared as the backdrop behind the stage.

Jimmy also made reference to his tumble off the stage during his Sydney, Australia performance in 2011, changing the lyrics to “Margaritaville” while performing; he called it the 2012 version.

Jimmy apologized to the parents for singing these “questionable” lyrics for the kids to hear, and then promised the next song would be more “child appropriate”…Jolly Mon Sing. Speaking of children, there were two adorable parakeets sitting in front of us. They sang, danced, and hit every beach ball that came their way, with the help of all of the adult Parrot Heads in the section, who rounded up the balls and handed them over for the little ones to hit. Even with all the festivities (and a little bit of drunken revelry), there was plenty of love in the audience between fellow Parrot Heads enjoying Margaritaville. Where is Margaritaville? Anywhere you want it to be…and on Saturday evening, with just a few thousand friends, it was in Atlanta with Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band.

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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