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Category: Review

Review | Boston Calling 2017

// Review by Martin Smith The Boston Calling music festival took a big step forward this year. They started by moving the location from the Boston’s City Hall Plaza to the much larger Harvard Athletic Complex. Festival goers navigated between three music stages, a comedy club, and in their down time, entertained themselves with craft beer tents, local food vendors, wine tasting, a giant connect-four, jenga, bag-toss, and even a ferris-wheel. While years past have included some big name national acts, the Boston Calling crowd remained mostly local. That all changed with the expansion of the 2017 festival, which really…

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Photos + Review | Matthew Logan Vasquez @ The Middle East

There’s nothing better than a great Friday night rock n’ roll show. The work week is behind you and you’re ready to cut loose with some terrific live music and good friends. On this particular Friday the Boston area was treated to a rowdy night of fun with Texas musician Matthew Logan Vasquez who is touring in support of his great new album, Does What He Wants, released April 21st on Dine Alone Records. With a handful of solo records, as well as his work with Delta Spirit and Middle Brother, Vasquez created a setlist from the vast array of tunes in his…

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Photos + Review | Chicano Batman + 79.5 + Sad Girl @ The Sinclair

Tuesdays don’t usually have much going for them. It’s just a boring, mostly ignored day of the week you pretty much just try to get through. I don’t care for Tuesdays, unless of course there is an amazing show to attend that makes you want to dance like it is Friday night. On March 28th the Music Savage gang, and a few hundred of our friends, had a particularly fantastic Tuesday because we had all day to anticipate an evening of soulful, Latino grooves with Los Angeles band Chicano Batman. The band is currently on tour in support of their fantastic new album, Freedom is Free, which…

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New Music + Interview | Andrew Combs – Canyons of My Mind

In the past 365 days, Andrew Combs has been anything but bored. He signed on with a killer label (New West Records,) got hitched to his longtime girlfriend, began prepping himself to be a father, and not long after this post goes live he’ll be officially dropping Canyons of My Mind, the follow up to his watershed album All These Dreams. Where Dreams wowed fans and critics with is combination of sonic wizardry and timeless lyricism, it feels to me like Canyons is more of a personal testament or a mark in time, addressing such themes as environmentalism (“Dirty Rain,”)…

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Photos | Portugal. The Man @ Union Transfer

With his jacket zippered high and Ebbets Field hat slung low, John Gourley smiled as Portugal. The Man sauntered onto the Union Transfer stage. He smiled, a rye grin that hinted at an increased stage presence for this often introverted frontman, and noted, “this feels a little déjà vu, right?” It was the second of back-to-back Philadelphia sold-out shows. Billed as “One night only, twice!” the idea was sound, proved by the thrusting limbs and curled lips with every song off Evil Friends. Folks been waiting for Portugal. The Man for 4 years, a worthy wait as the band is previewing songs…

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Photos & Review | Nikki Lane w/ Brent Cobb, Jonathan Tyler @ The Sinclair

On a chilly March night in Cambridge, Massachusetts a storm of good ol’ southern rock n’ roll, aptly named the “Stagecoach Spotlight Nikki Lane Highway Queen Tour,” blew into The Sinclair directly from the south bringing with it some of the most talented musicians that side of the Mason-Dixon line. The crowd was treated to three stellar acts, each bringing enough charm and style to light up the stage for a few hours and make us forget we were still in winter’s grasp. First up was Dallas, TX musician Jonathan Tyler. Armed with only a guitar he quickly got to work setting…

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Photos + Review | Joan Shelley + Ian Fitzgerald @ Columbus Theatre

Heading to the Columbus Theatre on January 25th, at the end of a really long day, I was looking forward to some relaxing, soul-warming music. I didn’t realize just how enchanting it would be. Appropriately introduced as the Pride of Providence by the Columbus sound engineer (Bryan Minto), Ian Fitzgerald opened with a set of mostly new tunes, off his recent album You Won’t Even Know I’m Gone. I had the pleasure of attending his record release show at this same venue in November, but experiencing Ian perform is sincerely, always a pleasure; one of which I have indulged many times in…

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2016 | Sarah’s Favorite Live Acts

Before we bid a final adieu to 2016, and go headstrong and hopeful into 2017, it’s my turn to look back and acknowledge some of the positives to come of the year – like so much great live music! Rather than deep-diving on my impression of the year’s best new music, I’d like to take you on a cliff notes journey of some of the most memorable live events I experienced last year. Here we go, in chronological order: Jason Isbell / Shovels & Rope February 27, 2016 – House of Blues, Boston, MA Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent nailed…

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2016 | Ryan D’s Favorite Albums & Singles of the Year

It’s been a hell of a year! I mean that in the best and worst of ways for 2016. When everything around us fell apart we had some fantastic music to help see us through it all. There were so many amazing albums and singles released in 2016, which made the year more tolerable than it otherwise should have been. When all else fails at least we have music! You’ve read the rest now it’s time for the BEST! These albums listed below are simply highlights in a standout crowd of bands and musicians that made ’16 a great year for…

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