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Concert Reviews

Rockin’ It at Def Leppard, Poison & Lita Ford

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The high 100+ degree temperature didn’t detract concert goers from coming out on Friday, June 29 to see the “Rock of Ages” tour with Def Leppard, Poison, and Lita Ford. The venue was packed and the lawn had a decent turn out for the heat wave we’ve been experiencing in Atlanta. (Unfortunately, the traffic made it impossible for me to see Lita Ford’s opening set and that was totally tragic on my part because I was looking forward to singing, “Kiss Me Deadly” in my seat with her.)

Poison put on a good set and Bret Michaels was continuously showing gratitude for the Atlanta fans that made it out. Parts of the set were filled with C.C. DeVille wailing on his guitar. (And of course, the bass player Bobby Dall and drummer Rikki Rockett got a little bit of love too.) Towards the end of their set, Michaels announced that they were going play their best hits and ended with “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Talk Dirty To Me,” and “Nothin’ But A Good Time.” One of the most interesting parts of the show was watching the two young (probably 18 or 19 year old) girls in front of me sing all the words to Poison’s songs and dance around in their neon green shredded-back Poison tees. I can only attribute this to possibly the band members appearances on TV shows – Deville was on VH1’s The Surreal Life and also appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy!; and Michael’s had his own show, VH1 show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels and also won NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2010 – OR maybe their parents brought them up right? – You decide! Haha!!

British heavy metal headliner Def Leppard got everyone up and rockin’ out for their entire set. Wearing a little bit more glam attire than Poison, lead singer Joe Elliott wielded a sparkly mic and sang loud, proud, and rock ‘n’ rolled it all over the place. The infamous one-armed drummer Rick Allen was keeping the beat next to a big yellow sunflower. Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell played guitars and Rick Savage played bass. They had interesting visuals and videos on all screens and some fun pyrotechnics to enhance the show. Def Leppard closed out the set with “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and then an encore song – “Rock of Ages.”

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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