The Paradise – Boston, MA
February 22, 2009
Reviewed by: Sally Feller
Barcelona hails from Seattle and plays luscious piano rock. Despite heinous acoustics at The Paradise, these guys rocked on Sunday, far outdoing the headliners “Thriving Ivory,” in my humble opinion. Barcelona had a crowd of loyal fans at the concert, singing along (loudly, a few horribly off key) and seemed to nab themselves some new devotees from the show. I talked to (ready for a shout out?) Steve Foster of the Boston-based band “Luxury” who enthusiastically stated that Barcelona is on his ‘top five bands’ list.
Slightly reminiscent of Keane, Barcelona grabs listeners’ attention with Brian Fennell’s crisp, clear vocals and melodic piano playing and some catchy guitar and drum beats from Chris Bristol and Rhett Stonelake, respectively. As is pretty typical for a live show, the ballads lagged a bit, the crowd’s energy ebbing, but Barcelona’s strong harmonies would likely sound great in another atmosphere. Ballads aside, the set list was strong and had people captivated as the throngs of women waited for the lead singer of “Thriving Ivory” to step on stage and woo them for an hour—that’s how I know that Barcelona was good, the legion of women waited patiently, seemingly satisfied with Barcelona in the interim (after all, these guys are undeniably cute in their own right).
I expect loads of radio play in the near future from these guys, so keep your ears open. When you hear a strong, solid voice and dance-worthy piano and guitars through your speakers, you can say to all your friends, “Oh yeah, I read about them on this Sally chick’s review online” and then you’ll sound like the super-trendy shit and your friends will be jealous of your incredible coolness. So up your cool by checking them out now at http://www.myspace.com/barcelona. For whatever reason, their 2007 album release “Absolutes” is not available on iTunes at the moment, but you can download it from Amazon or wait for the re-release of it that drops on April 14th.