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Concert Reviews

Coca-Cola Holiday Concert Series Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

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Nothing gets you in the holiday spirit quicker than classic seasonal tunes. An Atlanta tradition that dates back to the conductor Robert Shaw era, the Coca-Cola Holiday Concert Series Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a fantastic event.

Broken into four parts: Prophecy and Advent, the Stable, Around the Christmas Tree, and Adoration. Each are sung by the Morehouse College Glee Club under the director David Morrow and the Gwinnett Young Singers with the beautiful sounds of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus on the stage, bringing these seminal classics to life. The over two-hundred-member sound machine rests under the watchful eye of the conductor Norman Mackenzie, who was all smiles that mystical afternoon that I attended.

The high points for me were being able to sing along with several numbers and, having just attended the Nutcracker, to be able to relive those Tchaikovsky favorites.  I was ready with the first Noel. I really enjoyed being able to mix in some old school Latin verses in the “Adeste, Fideles” was fantastic.  Saying “Venite adoremus, Dominum!” is the same as “Oh Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

The Morehouse College Glee Club brought out some fancy moves as they clapped their hands in unison. A strong beat uplifted an old world sound.

It is a busy season for the ASO, they have a host of programs to enjoy and is the perfect way to rally family and friends around the great tree and sing along as we anticipate the big day. I plan to catch a few more before the grand finale of the season, the New Year’s Eve program with crooner and pianist extraordinaire Tony DeSare and his trio. Ring in the New Year with the funniest straight man Michael Krajewski and the ASO with classic American Standards.

For tickets and programs information visit: www.ASO.org

If you missed this performance, this performance was recorded to be broadcast on WABE 90.1 and the Georgia Broadcasting’s statewide network.

 

 

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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