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Tag: concert review

Review | Sloan @ Great Scott

Sloan came to Great Scott last night! They are a Canadian band harking back to the days of my youth (this is their 23rd year as a band), which means this isn’t my first time seeing them… only my first time since 2000. “Bells On” has been one of my go-to dish washing songs for years (oh, like you don’t sing while you wash the dishes). Don Cherry might describe them as “ya know they’re just a buncha good Nova Scotia boys! Let’s go!” I mean technically only one of them is actually FROM Nova Scotia, and I guess they’re based out of…


MusicFestNW (PDX)

Photos by inger klekacz [T]here are fantastic reasons for not going to concerts. The standing, the waiting, the crowds, the noise, the heat, the late-night hours, the cost, the fact that your friends might not go and…who goes to concerts alone??? Concerts, to most people, are a pain, or at best, something they’ll only do if the band risks breaking up or dying. And those of us who are addicted to live music are alright with the extra room at the venue. But with the music industry at the mercy of free Internet streams and downloads, live shows are are often the…


Review | Deafheaven @ Bunk Bar (PDX)

Photo by Colin McLaughlin [D]eafheaven’s first post-Sunbather release show in Portland must have been booked a while in advance. There was no other logical explanation for squeezing the five-piece black metal band and their massive sound into the 250-capacity Bunk Bar. Especially considering the dizzying amount of buzz surrounding the group. True, there’s something to be said for catching a band on the rise in such a cozy space, but for the gaggle of people lingering on the sidewalk, missing what was a triumphal performance had to sting a little harder than usual. The folks that did make it in the…


Review + Photos | Flying Lotus @ Roseland Theater (PDX)

Photo by Colin McLaughlin [I] admit it. Even after many years of music writing, I still have no sense of whether or not an album, or single, or artist’s commercial products are good or bad. Take producer/artist Flying Lotus. Those fish-slap beats, clunky bits of proto-industrial noise, and psych-jazz electronic intrusions…surely those are too much for the general populace? Right? Yet, there Until The Quiet Comes is, squeezing into the top 50 of the Billboard charts; there he is collaborating with Thom Yorke and Hodgy Beats, and there he was on Friday night packing Portland’s Roseland Theater with able bodies thrilled to…


Review + Photos | The Black Angels @ Wonder Ballroom (PDX)

Photos by Carrie Johnston The Black Angels’ spin on 60’s psych-rock is nothing short of monumental. Jim Morrisson died too soon, but thank goodness people like Alex Maas are alive now to channel his voice and break through the haunting spectrum of sound that The Doors (Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, et al) established. Their newest album, Indigo Meadows at once guides and disorients. Stephanie Baliey’s drumming leads a stampede of soldiers onward through a dizzying maze of fuzz, wobbles, and foreboding lyrics while the crushing power of it opens the mind and forces meditation. This is to say that it…

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Live Review + Photos | Wallpaper. at Wonder Ballroom (PDX)

Photos by Bobby Lilly Think back to your first concert. Odds are it was a grand production; you waited in line to buy tickets, and spent hours choosing the perfect outfit. Maybe you caught a ride with an older friend, maybe you got dropped off by your mom, maybe you had the cool parent who bought a ticket and hung out on the other side of the venue until the show was over. Regardless of logistics, it was exhilarating. That’s the atmosphere clouding the air at Wonder Ballroom tonight. As soon as the doors open, dozens of teenagers race inside. Most are wearing head-to-toe neon, though…


Live Review | Mrs. Magician + Charts at Bunk Bar (PDX)

Photo by Carrie Johnston [W]ell-behaved punk-rockers are a sort of oxymoron, but maybe a punk fan over the age of thirty would appreciate the balance. Mrs. Magician’s thoroughly catchy debut album, “Strange Heaven,” leaves the impression of some misbehaved punk kids stretching out the legacy of their pop-punk predecessors. So much for first impressions. They now lie in that well-behaved camp attended by the other sage, post-punk, post-hardcore grown-ups like Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, and Rocket From The Crypt. In fact, John Reis (who held a prominent hand in all aforementioned bands) produced and recorded “Strange Heaven.” and if you’re familiar…

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Show Review – Dawes at the Royale – Boston, MA

How Far We’ve Come
When My Time Comes

If you haven’t heard of Dawes, now would be the time.  A fusion of country and rock, Dawes (not a last name but a middle name) pays homage to musical influences from CSN to  Dylan.  They’ve got a dusty, timeless feel to them; but anyone that has experienced their live shows knows they put on a show that is nothing but electric.  Listening to their recorded album, North Hills, you can get a sense of what these guys are all about.  An americana feel with excellent writing, written mostly by frontman Taylor Goldsmith.

After seeing what could have been the best set at Newport Folk Festival this past summer, I was expectedly excited for an evening with Dawes at the Royale here in Boston.

The energy in the room was great, and apparently Dawes cashed in on their success at Newport, there were plenty of people in the crowd eagerly awaiting them to take stage.   Crowd pleasers like, “My Girl to Me,” and when drummer Griffin sang “How Far We’ve Come” took the crowd by the metaphorical horns.  Griffin was surprisingly fantastic from behind the kit echoing his inner Levon, bringing the crowd into a 500 person harmony.   New track “Fire Away,” which one can assume will be on the forthcoming album was warmly received by the excited fans, but as the night came to an near end, the band dropped “When My Time Comes” their most popular song, a boisterous yet ruminative track about life and death.  The crowd all standing on their toes singing along at the top of their lungs, it was exactly what they had been looking for.

On the encore, the sing-along “I’ve Got a Feeling,” which left us all in bliss back in Newport, was epilogue to a fantastic night that won’t soon be forgotten, in the end, “it’s gonna be alright.”

You can truly see these guys have something special, and are hands down one of the best young bands out there today.


Junip at the Royale with Sharon Van Etten

Playing to an ecstatic crowd, Junip hit the Royale last night for their first stop on a cross-country tour. An intimate evening of music was the perfect way to spend this cold Boston night.

First up was the relatively unassuming Sharon Van Etten. To date, I had only heard a small sample of her music, specifically her track Don’t Do It. For fans of acoustic guitar singer-songwriters, Van Etten has a great expressive voice and plays a traditional folk style. But on this night, she was backed by a band, plugged in and, as her mom puts it, “rocking out.” Carefully tuning between songs, she seemed a bit nervous with the silence of the room. Song after song, gaining rapport with the crowd, she became more at ease. The crowd loosened, and soon everyone was sold on her talent.

When Junip’s members arrived on stage, the crowd sure did multiply. It got a lot more packed in, and people were chomping at the bit to hear Jose Gonzalez’ smooth vocals and the ambient sounds of his band. Backed by Tobias Winterkorn (keyboards), and Elias Araya (drums), Gonzalez began the set with a single strum of his guitar, opening with Rope & Summit from their new album Fields. Instantly recognizable, the crowd hung on every one of Gonzalez’ gossamer words. The band filled in the sound with atmospheric keyboards and light bongos, and the room came to life. Minutes into their set, Junip’s ability to simply and elegantly layer together latin jazz guitar, electronic keyboards and percussion shone.

The crowd totally ate it up, even with the band’s calm, chill demeanor. Everyone was fully with Junip. The entire crowd swayed and bopped through an hour-long sonic journey capped off by a three-song encore including breakout single, “Chickens.”

Although their success is slightly hinged on Gonzalez’ popularity, these guys put together a sound that is unlike anything out there. Last night was the first stop on their North American tour; they will cross the continent twice, deploying their special brand of electronic and latin-infused folk, and are certainly worth the price of admission.

Listen to Junip’s Always, or buy the album here

Check out Junip in your neck of the woods: