Tag Archives: concert

Gee, Let’s Get Naked And Famous

1 Apr

Not literally. But I do encourage you to get into the music of “the Naked and Famous” – an indie rock band from New Zealand. Their songs have been featured in popular shows such as the Vampire Diaries. But this band produces songs that amount to much more than a good soundtrack. Their 2010 album Passive Me, Aggressive You showcases a mesmerizing variety of songs for every mood. You can cry and reflect while listening to “No Way,” and dance like a maniac to “Punching in a Dream.”

Last night, I ventured to Athens, GA with two of my friends to see the band play live at the 40 Watt. It was therapeutic to take in the melodies and just sway to the rhythm of their electro pop tunes. From the slow and haunting sounds of “Jilted Lovers” to the adrenaline-boosting beats of “Young Blood,” they delivered a spectacular performance from start to finish. The music came alive with the flashing neon lights. The show was nothing short of an invigorating experience.

You know you’ve seen an amazing concert when you can sincerely refer to it as an experience.

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Gee, First Aid Kit Cures Opening Band Blues

15 Feb

Most of us have suffered through opening band blues at some point. You head out to see your favorite band perform. Anticipation is high, and you arrive an hour early, general admission ticket clutched in hand, just so you can get as close as physically possible to your musical inspiration. But then…the opening band comes on. You are less than impressed, and the set drags on for what seems like hours. You suck it up and figure it’s the price you pay to get to the epic climax of the night, but you feel slightly bummed and anxious.

Every once in a while, however, you make a harmonious connection with a wonderful gem of an opening act…

The one thing that I love more than seeing one of my favorite artists in concert is falling for the opening band at said concert. When I went to see the magnificent Lykke Li perform at the Buckhead Theatre back in November, I told myself to prepare for the blues and not get my expectations too high for this opening act. I’ve been disappointed a time too many, after all.

The unassuming duo known as “First Aid Kit” waltzed onto the stage with their long locks and hippy spirit to strum out some dreamy and folksy tunes. The melodies were mesmerizingly sweet, but one song in particular struck a chord with me. “Emmylou” hits all the sweet spots of classic American folk music with the lyrics, “I’ll be your Emmylou and I’ll be your June, if you’ll be my Gram and my Johnny, too” (a tribute to the classic couples Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, and June Carter and Johnny Cash).

After being exposed to this gem of an opening band, I’m not surprised that their new album “The Lion’s Roar” hit number one in their Swedish homeland. Thanks, First Aid Kit, for restoring my faith in opening band potential.

Gee, It’s Better Than Alright With Me

1 Oct

So I’m going to be completely honest in my review of the Eric Hutchinson show.  It was a solid performance, but not the best concert that I’ve ever been to.  Not awful, not stellar, just cool.

Eric can sing, there’s no doubt.  He’s got a melodic voice that is real and rich that can hit a broad range of notes.  And as I already knew, boy can play the piano really well.  But I would have appreciated his pure talent much more in a different setting.

At the last minute, the concert was moved from the outdoor ampitheatre on campus to the stuffy auditorium due to threats of rain.  Two very different atmospheres there.  The auditorium was far too large – the first 20 rows were filled, but the other 50 empty ones made it feel pretty dead.  It also did not help that we were in rows in the first place.  When a guy with a guitar is performing, he’s destined to play in a cozy bar where people can move around (unless you are John Mayer status, playing to arenas of millions).  That’s not an insult – those intimate shows are my favorite kind!  But the energy in this drab setting was far too bleak as we were confined to our little seats.

Good old Eric also played a few too many new songs.  While I love hearing new material from bands, it was just not good for keeping people jazzed in the awkward space.  I think that he should have stuck with the old familiar stuff more to keep people singing along and distracted from the ominous rows of dark, desolate seats.  Let’s just say my friends and I weren’t pumped enough to stick around for the encore…

But Eric still managed to work the crowd pretty well.  I enjoyed hearing “Food Chain” and “OK It’s Alright With Me” as I knew that I would.  His voice was infused with passion as he played with the melodies. He even did a fun little freestyle song during which he pulled the crowd into the moment by asking them to take his picture and follow him on Twitter.  I like a little witticism in live show (a la Jason Mraz).  Eric was having fun and playing with his heart which is always critical to a good performance.

Bottom line: I’m glad I went.  I bopped.  I clapped.  And I’m grateful that I only paid $5.00 for the ticket because I don’t know that the experience would have been worth much more (not totally your fault, Eric…Mother Nature can be cruel).