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Live Gig Video: Misterwives share performance of ‘Never Give Up on Me’ in Boston

 
By on Thursday, 8th February 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

American band Misterwives have announced a new ‘Let the Light In’ tour for this spring, beginning in April for the UK and then continuing on through mid-May in the contiguous United States. They’ll be bringing their sophomore album ‘Connect the Dots’, released last spring, out on the road again. (Read our review of that long player back here.) This will be the second big tour by the group following the album’s release; they went out on tour last autumn, and they’ve got a live video recorded for posterity from back then. The House of Blues in Boston, just steps from the famed baseball field Fenway Park, hosted the band on that tour. Here’s a special live video of ‘Never Give Up on Me’ recorded from their show there on the 20th of October. Watch it below. For all of Misterwives’ upcoming live dates, check out their tour date listing on their official Facebook.

 

Live Review: The Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands at the House of Blues, Boston – 29th September 2010

 
By on Monday, 4th October 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

You’re probably wondering why I’d bother writing a gig review for the second night on a month-long tour featuring the Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands as support when I’ve already written up the first night, as the experience at each American venue on this tour is pretty much the same, right? Wrong. I was once asked by a London friend if there was really a difference in accents and personalities in people from Boston compared to those from New York or those from Washington. Without a doubt.

Similarly, you’re going to get a different gig experience depending where you see a band. And venues themselves are different by nature of different clientele, different layouts, different lighting and even different beverage options (though I do not detail the last item on that list in this review, because I was too busy covering the show to drink).

So in this review, I’m going to compare and contrast Sunday’s show in physical and gig attributes at Philadelphia Trocadero with the Wednesday night one in at Boston’s House of Blues.

Physical attributes
1. Size – Trocadero: 1200. House of Blues: 2400. Winner: Trocadero. Definitely the more intimate experience. Would have been better if the stage wasn’t that high though.

2. Layout – Trocadero: floor plus one shallow balcony, bar is upstairs way in the back. House of Blues: floor plus 2 expansive balconies, bars on both sides of the floor. Winner: House of Blues. I don’t want to have to leave my good spot at the front to go on a completely different floor to get my alcohol and stay there, because who knows if I’ll ever be able to get back to my spot. However, if it were my favourite band, I’d just forgo alcohol to stake my spot in the front.

3. History – Trocadero: historic building, used to be a famous burlesque theatre. House of Blues: was built on the smoldering razed remains of two smaller clubs. Winner: Trocadero. Because people’s favourite small venues weren’t destroyed to build it.

4. Sound – Trocadero: muddled in places, which caused problems for the Hundred in the Hands and Delphic, not as noticeable with the Temper Trap. House of Blues: bigger speakers, so overall sound was louder and booming. Winner: House of Blues. You can’t compare a world-class venue with a tiny theatre, except for intimacy.

5. Beauty / ambience – Trocadero: pretty bare bones with some nice old-fashioned moulding. Hot as hell. House of Blues: neon lights and well-lit bars. Nicely air-conditioned. Winner: House of Blues. I could breathe and enjoy a beautiful venue.

Gig attributes
6. Audience – Trocadero: front row standing was stock still for the entire show, disappointing. Second row and beyond behind them, absolutely amazing energy, even for the two opening acts they’d never heard of. House of Blues: a little stiff until close to the end with the Temper Trap. Maybe they were just being respectful and acting like normal Bostonians at a HOB show? Dunno. I heard the previous night with Jason Derulo was mental though. Winner: Trocadero. Mostly for the people who really gave the Hundred in the Hands and Delphic a chance and found out they were great!

7. Sets – Trocadero: a little birdy told me the opening acts did not soundcheck here, so with that information, the Temper Trap deserve a handicap. House of Blues: sets were identical except that Delphic added my favourite song, ‘Submission’, to the mix. Chalk up rustiness from not playing it since Bestival a couple weeks prior but the vocal key for the song seemed off and overall it seemed a wee tentative. But all three bands were definitely more confident in Boston compared to Philadelphia. Winner: House of Blues, by a hair. Because I think the bands had more energy here.

Overall band winner
I have to give it up to the Temper Trap. They look the part and sound great. I talked to guitarist Lorenzo Sillitto after the show and told him I thought they really should be playing arenas with their amazing show and he said that the trick was for them to write and record their second album and use that to tour the arenas. All I can say is, we will be waiting. Impatiently!

Set lists and additional photos are under the cut.

Continue reading Live Review: The Temper Trap with Delphic and the Hundred in the Hands at the House of Blues, Boston – 29th September 2010

 

Live Review: Friendly Fires with the xx at Paradise Rock Club, Boston – 04 December 2009

 
By on Thursday, 10th December 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

a-paradiseHabits are hard to break. This particular habit of mine isn’t especially dangerous (I’m not including getting stepped on by drunks in Brooklyn) or detrimental (unless you count lack of sleep). This year, my worst habit of all has been looking longingly and futilely at Friendly Fires‘s tour dates and scheming ways to get to their gigs. Most of the time, an event is ridiculously expensive to get to that it’s worthless to even consider trying to go. (Two examples: Splendour in the Grass in Australia and Calvi on the Rocks, anyone?) Why all the scheming? The band has not returned to D.C. since they played here in March with White Lies on the NME Presents Tour, so if I’ve wanted to see them, I’ve had to travel. This time I went for the Nylon Magazine Winter Music Tour stop in Boston, Massachusetts – over 300 miles northeast of Washington. The Fires played a sold-out show there at the Paradise Rock Club with fellow Beggars Group act the xx.

I was lucky that night for a couple different reasons. One, I actually had a ticket in hand, unlike one of my good friends and many other people we met who arrived at the club early trying to find someone who had an extra or two to sell. I’m not sure how many people actually got in this way. Two, Boston was experiencing unseasonably mild weather (although the corduroy jacket I’d chosen to wear that night was still ill-advised, as when I stood outside of the club for a short time before the bar to the club opened, I thought my arms might freeze off). Three, I had seen the xx earlier at their in-store at Newbury Comics, and it sounded like some people at the gig were unaware that there had even been an in-store. Once inside, most people I talked to were most excited to bop along to Friendly Fires but they were interested in seeing the xx because the xx had never played in Boston before. I filled some people in on them, so I think I helped garner some additional excitement for the xx’s set.

e-xx4The xx Romy Madley-Croft on vocals and guitar, Oliver Sim on vocals and bass, and Jamie Smith on percussion and programming – came out from under the cover of darkness. A minimal show of coloured lights brightened the stage slightly during their set but kept things dramatic for the xx’s brand of dream pop. I’ve seen this band four times now (if you count the earlier in-store), and I have yet to be disappointed in their performance. The beauty of the vocals and guitar work of Madley-Croft and Sim have to be heard live to be believed. With its steamy lyrics and melodramatic percussion, ‘Infinity’ is my current favourite. If you don’t feel the desire within the song and it doesn’t start oozing out of your pores, you must not have a pulse. Since this was an opening slot, they only played eight songs. But they already have another North American jaunt scheduled for next year.

l-ffires5And then there were Friendly Fires. It seemed incomprehensible to me that I had seen them perform less than 4 months ago in New York; surely more time had passed than that? When Nylon Magazine announced back in July that Friendly Fires had been chosen to headline their first-ever Winter Music Tour to set the winter on fire, they weren’t kidding. For sure, this style of music is great year round but even more so in winter, when everyone’s suffering from seasonal affective disorder and wondering when the sun will shine again. That night at the Paradise, multicoloured lights shimmered brightly from the stage as Friendly Fires played hosts to a lively dance party.

A personal favourite, ‘Lovesick’, with its wicked bass lines from touring bassist Rob Lee and Jack Savidge‘s pounding backbeats, got the party started. Singer Ed Macfarlane shimmied like a man possessed on ‘In the Hospital’, the audience cheering him on with gusto. Edd Gibson ran around the stage with his guitar, eager to give every section of the venue some of his precious attention. I admired the way the band powered through the high-octane ‘On Board’. (Incidentally, the song will be available on an extremely limited edition 12″ at specialist record shops and at their dance party at London’s Coronet on Friday.) The band’s energetic routine lasted all the way through ‘Paris’ and ‘Ex Lover’, the band’s last two songs and the ones that received the most applause. But then it was over. Now we wait – rather impatiently I might add – for album #2!


After the jump: set lists and photos.

r-ffires11

Continue reading Live Review: Friendly Fires with the xx at Paradise Rock Club, Boston – 04 December 2009

 

Video of the Moment #188: the xx

 
By on Wednesday, 9th December 2009 at 6:00 pm
 

So I confess…yes, I travelled to Boston, Massachusetts (a good 300+ miles northeast of Washington) last week to see the xx and Friendly Fires (gig review coming soon). What made this trip even better: an in-store performance by the xx at Newbury Comics, part of a New England chain of stores that sell yup, you guessed it, comics, but also CDs, DVDs, and other alternative pop culture merchandise.

You don’t understand. D.C. never has in-stores. Unless you count book signings like the time Dan Brown showed up at some chichi bookstore in Georgetown to sign copies of the Da Vinci Code, these things just don’t happen in my neck of the woods. So when one of my good friends forwarded me information for the in-store starring the xx, I knew I had to be there. For one, I was positive it would be an intimate performance. (I just never would have guessed just how ‘intimate’ it would turn out to be.) And two, it was a performance just a couple hours before the band played as the opener at the Paradise Rock Club near Boston University.

Thanks to an equipment arrival delay, we were forced to wait outside for what seemed like forever in the cold Boston night. It took almost an hour after the original starting time for us to be let into the store. (Rather stupidly, I’d dressed in a thin corduroy jacket, thinking fashion over function. Never again!) Rather appropriately, the friends I had made while standing in the queue and I ended up standing right next to the Doctor Who and Harry Potter dolls and we spent the intervening time before the band came out to discuss the relative merits of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors. It was somewhat uncomfortable being crammed into this tiny store, but I had a feeling all the discomfort in the world would be all worth it.

Unfortunately, my view for most of the in-store was obstructed for most of the performance because of several tall blokes in front of me, as well as a rather annoying girl who stood up on a staff ladder without any regard for the people behind her. I thought all hope was lost in trying to describe the magic that was created in that store last Friday night until I happened upon this video. Someone in the front managed to film ‘Nighttime’ and most of ‘Infinity’, the last two songs of the set. Humourously, ‘Taylor Lautner’ appears to be part of the band, hanging out behind Romy Madley-Croft. (If you were wondering, ‘Robert Pattinson’ was to the right of Oliver Sim.) Check it out and enjoy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpLNqA-4FpI[/youtube]

The xx – Nighttime -and- Infinity (live)

Set list
Intro
VCR
Basic Space
Islands
Crystalised
Nighttime
Infinity

 

Bands to Watch #129: Appomattox

 
By on Friday, 28th August 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Is your soundsystem in need of more immediate, punked-out rock? I think I have the answer. I prescribe Appomattox, 3 guys originally from the Boston area who now find themselves in arguably New York City’s hotbed of musical talent, Brooklyn.

f-appomattox2I had the pleasure of seeing them live in June at Washington D.C.’s Black Cat, one of the opening acts for the current incarnation of the Lemonheads (of ‘Big Gay Heart’ and ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’ ’90s fame). Obviously the punters at the Cat that night were there for Evan Dando et al., but for sheer winsomeness and the excitement they generated, Appomattox got my vote for the performance of the night.

I hear fellow Brooklyn transplants and UK favourites We Are Scientists in ‘Money for 10 to 4’ and ‘Again and Again’. Interestingly, when I talked to the band after the gig and asked if they agreed with this assessment, they said they weren’t sure who they were. Maybe I was right about there being too many bands to keep track of in Brooklyn!

The talents of singer/guitarist Nick Gaynier, bassist Dave Nurmi, and drummer James Mello come together so well that what you get is fun but excitingly raw rock ‘n’ roll. The way nature intended.

Appomattox’s debut album ‘A O’ was released by Triple Down Records in April 2008 and is available physically and digitally on Triple Down’s Web site.

 
 
 

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