“His vocal chords are made of gold. He just looks a little too old.”
The unconverted might interpret this line (a lyric from “Late Greats”) as Jeff Tweedy’s tongue-in-cheek stab at his audience, as his music is sometimes labeled “dad-rock.” The more cynical may attribute this line to Tweedy himself; Wilco’s frontman is 44 and despite his fantastic pipes, does sometimes give off the impression of a dad dressed in a bad suit.
But for anyone who has seriously listened to Wilco, it’s clear that this isn’t the case. And if you’ve seen the band in concert, you know well that this is not “dad-rock,” Tweedy is not too old, and Wilco is one of the greatest live bands out there. Continue reading
He emerged onstage with his band-members, quietly and stoically, and silently picked up his guitar and began to play. No fanfare. No introduction. Because none was needed. Just the music, the harmonies, and the performance. Continue reading
[Editor’s note: This guest post was written by my little brother Ezra, who attended the U2 show in Baltimore on Wednesday night. This is his second or third guest post here.]
As I was walking out of M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore Wednesday night after seeing U2, one of the most mind-blowing performances I had ever witnessed, I was at a loss for words. Just one word kept on playing through my mind: incredible. Everything about the night was simply incredible. The fantastic light show, the complex stage, the pure energy of the 75,000+ crowd. Everything was incredible. Continue reading
For a band to command an audience is a challenging task. For one man to do that alone is even tougher. And to do that in Boston, the night after the Bruins win the Stanley Cup, using only a ukulele seems like an impossibility. Yet Eddie Vedder was able to not just command, but captivate this crowd of rowdy Bostonians using a tiny four-string instrument. Continue reading
[Editor’s Note: This guest post is written by a longtime friend Yishai. When he mentioned to me that he was heading to the Explosions’ show, I asked him to do a review, and that’s what you’re about to read. Enjoy]
To give you a sense of Explosions live show, the last time I saw them back in 2008 at Terminal 5, after they finished an incredibly intense set, the audience stayed and cheered, hoping for an encore. After a few minutes, guitarist Munaf Rayani came out and said something along the lines of “Thank you so much for cheering, but we really leave everything we have on the stage, so we have nothing left to offer but we hope to see you again soon.” And honestly, it made complete sense. Nobody grumbled or cursed him out. Because everyone in the room had just been transported to another place watching this band literally throw themselves in their music, playing every note of their intricate compositions perfectly while thrashing in place on stage. And though we all wanted to go back there one last time, we really did get the feeling that the band just gave us everything they had, leaving the stage dripping with sweat as our ears still rung with feedback. Continue reading
“We apologize for ruining indie rock,” Colin Meloy announced as the band took the stage last night at House of Blues Boston. They were referring, of course, to a recent article in The Phoenix, which blamed The Decemberists as the destroyers of all that was good and perfect in the land of indie-ness. The crowd hooted and hollered their approval, not of Luke O’Neil’s rant against this quietly brilliant band of Portlanders, but of Mr. Meloy’s playful indifference to the negativity of the critic. And why should he care? Meloy and Co. have the #1 album on the Billboard 200 and were playing the second of two sold out shows at Boston’s House of Blues. So, while Mr. Meloy’s stomach flu may have cut the concert short and removed a bit of the intensity of his performance, it in no way challenged these guys’ status as the kings of indie rock. Continue reading
Last night’s show began for me as an excuse to check out Club Passim, and do something with my younger brother Ezra, who was in visiting from Baltimore. So I emailed Seth Glier and Liz Longley, asking if I could get on the guest list and write a review of the show. I figured that at least I’d have something to do with my brother, and I’d give these guys some free publicity on the blog.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for live music. Maybe it’s because I’ve been on something of a folk-rock music bender lately; only listening to Iron & Wine and The Decemberists for the past few days. Maybe it’s because it was the first time Ezra and I have really hung out one on one since Gilad died. Whatever the reason, last night’s show really spoke to me. Packed into Club Passim’s tiny room with about 100 other people, I watched two musicians perform their beautiful music with unbridled emotion and a clear passion for what they were doing. Continue reading