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Concert Reviews

Kimbra, The Kooks, and Foster the People

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Fans filed in to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA last Thursday night in hopes of attending a show that they wouldn’t soon forget. Foster the People were in town along with soul singer, Kimbra, and British Based Indie Rock band, The Kooks looking to put together an unbelievable show for fans of all ages.

Kimbra opened up the show that night, and right out of the gate, she hit the stage with a smooth groove that captivated the ears and minds of the audience. Her sound was definitely something that would expected to be heard at a jazz festival with a much older demographic. Her sound was full bodied, mature, and sexy. If concert goers weren’t carefully listening and paying attention to her at first, they definitely looked up to find her holding their  souls in the palm of her hand, refusing to return it until she was done with it. Showing absolute command of her band, she continued her set with songs from her debut album, Vows.
UK based band, The Kooks, stormed the stage next with their upbeat, feel good tunes that really had the crowd rocking and singing along. Lead singer, Luke Pritchard lullabied the female concerts goers with his voice, leaving them screaming at the top of their lungs, while hopelessly reaching for him.

For those fans that came to see Foster the People, it was guaranteed that they left happy. The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre  was definitely the place for fans to be last Thursday night. Los Angeles Based Indie Pop band, Foster the People tore Verizon Amphitheater down with their high energy performance. From the extravagant stage design to the dazzling lights, and of course, the band’s hypnotizing sounds, it was definitely a night for fans to remember. The entire band was completely engulfed in the music – banging on drums, symbols, and tambourines that covered every inch of the stage. Any part of the stage that did not have some instrument was graced with an amazing set design, which included a virtual sun that interacted with the band, the music, and the audience, with different characters emerging from within the set piece. Foster the People left the stage abruptly after their set leaving the crowd begging for more. After the brief break, the band came back on stage and finished strong with their hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” and ended with a rainstorm of confetti erupting from the stage onto the audience.

 

all photos ©2012 Terence Rushin for The Backstage Beat

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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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