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Concert Review: Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MA

June 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

thao Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MAThao and Mirah with The Most of All
The Middle East Downstairs
Cambridge, MA
June 23, 2010

Rating: star Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MAhalf star Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MAblank star Concert Review:  Thao and Mirah with The Most of All / Cambridge, MA 


Reviewed by: Dorise Gruber

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Concert Review: MASS / Arlington, MA

massphoto 228x300 Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAMASS
Regent Theater
Arlington, MA
June 4, 2010

Rating: star Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAstar Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAstar Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAstar Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAstar Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MA 

Reviewed by:  Roger Scales

trans Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MAtrans Concert Review:  MASS / Arlington, MA
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Concert Review: Wilco / Boston, MA

April 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

wilco 300x228 Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MAWilco
The Orpheum Theatre
Boston, MA
April 6, 2010

Rating: star Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  Wilco / Boston, MA 


Reviewed by: Dorise Gruber

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Concert Review: Dokken / Lincoln, RI

dokken Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RIDokken
Twin River Casino
Lincoln RI
April 9, 2010

Rating: star Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RIstar Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RIblank star Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RIblank star Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RIblank star Concert Review:  Dokken / Lincoln, RI 

Reviewed by:  Roger Scales
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Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CT

acecover Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CTAce Frehley
Wolf’s Den – Uncasville CT 
March 19, 2010

Rating: star Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CTstar Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CTstar Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CTstar Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CTstar Concert Review: Ace Frehley at the Wolf’s Den in Uncasville, CT 

Reviewed by:  Roger Scales
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Concert Review: Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MA

December 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

CrashKings Thumb Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MACrash Kings
The Middleast
Cambridge, MA
December 13, 2009

Rating: star Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MAstar Concert Review:  Crash Kings at The Middleast in Cambridge, MA 


Reviewed by: Sally Feller

 
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Concert Review: Nico Vega in Washington, DC

December 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

nicovega Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DCNico Vega
The Red and Black
Washington, DC
December 7, 2009

Rating: star Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DCstar Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DCstar Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DCstar Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DCstar Concert Review:  Nico Vega in Washington, DC 


Reviewed by: Jake Schauer

On a quiet Monday night on H Street, Nico Vega played as part of a triple-bill at DC bar The Black and The Red. In a venue the size of a studio apartment, members of the three bands helped set up and take down gear for each other in an atmosphere that seemed straight out of a hard-luck rock band diary. If I had known nothing about the band, I would have seen them for the immensely talented group that they are, and walked away hoping that they rise above the realm of tiny venues and setting up their own equipment. Knowing a little bit of their history, I was left impressed with what they had just done.

Nico Vega is a west coast band, and if you were to ask music fans in, say, LA, they’d be something of a big deal. Their fan base, however, has not extended eastward beyond Ohio, and that showed in the sparse crowd of about twenty. I arrived in time for the doors to open at 8:30, but I could have easily turned up seconds before their set and still gotten a spot in front of the stage. It felt a lot like going to see your friend’s band play at open mic night, except with talent. They are an easy comparison to the White Stripes as they feature a guitarist more than capable of carrying the instrumental burden of a song. Add to that a drummer who is absolutely ferocious and a vocalist with an unforgettable voice, and you’ve got a pretty heavy set.

Opening with what vocalist Aja Volkman dedicated as “a gift to you”, the band played “This Too Shall Pass” off of their No Child Left Behind EP, something they hadn’t played live in quite some time. And while all-out dancing was limited to one diehard fan in front of the drum set, it seemed as if everyone responded to what they were doing. It wasn’t exactly difficult. Volkman made use of the fact that the “stage” was six inches tall, and took her performance into the crowd, walking among us and dancing as she sang.

They hit a few crowd favorites in their short set, including “Gravity”, which might have been the highlight of the night. I’m still humming the tune. Yet their final song was something pretty noteworthy.

They closed with something that was new to me, and seemingly to the rest of the crowd. Over ominous cymbals and eerie guitar, Volkman recited a poem that elicited images of Jim Morrison and, to a certain extent, Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge”. As guitarist Rich Koehler took over, Aja dropped to her knees in some mystical dance, and was soon joined by the guitarist. If he weren’t busy beating the hell out of his kit, drummer Dan Epand likely would have joined them. That’s the image that stuck with me. Given the circumstances, it would have been so easy to phone it in. Was the set a little short? Yes. But what band would lay on the theatrics like that in a tiny venue, to a crowd of twenty, on a Monday night?

The next few shows are the lean portion of Nico Vega’s tour as they play Cambridge and New York before working their way back west. And while the shows may get larger, and the set lists a little more encyclopedic the further they get from the Atlantic, they’ll still bring everything they have to the stage, even if there really isn’t one.

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For more info on Nico Vega visit: www.myspace.com/nicovega

Remaining Tour Dates:
12/10 Cambridge, MA TT The Bears
12/11 New York, NY The Studio at Webster Hall
12/13 Cleveland, OH Pirate’s Cove
12/18 Denver, CO Bender’s Tavern

Headline dates:
12/20 Las Vegas Wasted Space

Concert Review: MuteMath in Boston, MA

November 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

mutemaatharmistice Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MAMuteMath
House of Blues – Boston, MA
November 12, 2009

Rating: star Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MAstar Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MAblank star Concert Review:  MuteMath in Boston, MA 


Reviewed by:  Sally Feller

Playing to a respectably crowded House of Blues on a Thursday night, MuteMath kept the energy pulsing through the crowd. Setting the stage with an unexpected dose of incense, the band played all of the crowd favorites and a few select songs from their new album “Armistice.” After reading about some difficulties and professional differences between the members of MuteMath, I wasn’t sure what kind of show to expect—would their performance seem stilted and disjointed, or would they pull together for the love of their music and the fans. I can happily announce that the guys came together to put on a spectacular show and I wouldn’t have known about any of their problems had I not read about them in the local music magazine pre-show.

If you’ve never heard MuteMath before, picture the lovechild of Keane, Muse, and The Bravery. They have a typical indie-pop sound, amped up with piano-heavy tunes and powerful vocals. Filled with catchy beats and fun lyrics, MuteMath creates albums for those listeners seeking something just slightly different from what they hear on the radio and those who are, perhaps, not quite ready for a jump into the more disjointed, edgy indie bands.

The crowd really got into “Typical,” shouting lyrics and trying not to slosh their drinks while jumping around. Once “Spotlight” pumped through the speakers, it seemed that people were trying to pretend that they didn’t know the words, for fear of making it public knowledge that they listened to the “Twilight Soundtrack,” but they couldn’t stop themselves—MuteMath plays catchy tunes and I dare you to not sing along at their live show; I DARE YOU.

Even the mellow ballads like “You Are Mine” came off with energy and feeling, thanks to the stellar performance by MuteMath. Often in a mid-sized venue these songs can sound a little flat and dull, given the amount of people and the open space, but MuteMath were blessed with a great sized audience and Paul Meany’s heartfelt vocals. There was even some xylophone rocking out going on, in a non-ironic way, which should sell you on checking them out in your own town during the remainder of their tour.

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F0r more on MuteMath visit their official website

Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MN

October 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Concert Reviews, Daily Music News

afi crash love 300x3001 Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MNAFI
Epic – Minneapolis, MN
October 2, 2009

Rating: star Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MNstar Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MNstar Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MNstar Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MNblank star Concert Review: AFI in Minneapolis, MN 


Reviewed by: Justin

AFI is one of my favorite bands to see live. I got to the venue (Epic) around 30 minutes before the doors opened. It was a cloudy/rainy night, but the line still extended around the block, and nobody seemed to mind it that much. I was excited to not only see AFI again, but to see the new Epic since I hadn’t been there since it was the Quest Club. There were a lot of good shows and good memories there, so I was hoping to start new ones here.

It’s kind of fitting that the venue they played at was called Epic, because that’s what a lot of fans waiting in line were hoping that the show would be. Many of the fans were seeing AFI for their first time, and many of them traveled across the country to make it to the first show on the tour. Now THAT’s passionate! Traveling across the country and standing the rain hours before the doors open. Well, it’s either passionate or insanity – or both – especially when it’s general admission, so it’s not like there are better “seats” for the early birds.

The opening band was Gallows, from the United Kingdom. I’d never heard their music before, but I came away impressed. They were a great opener for a band like AFI. Maybe I’m still immature (probably), but I’m still thoroughly entertained by British accents… not pronouncing the R’s at the end of words, keeping the T’s silent, etc. I couldn’t make out some of Frank Carter’s stage banter, but he certainly had the crowd with his charisma. He’d sing the last two songs IN THE CROWD, a la Butch Walker. A couple nice little circle pits and some catchy music would be the perfect precursor for AFI.

I’ve had “Crash Love” for awhile, and I was lukewarm towards the album at first, much to my dismay. It certainly wasn’t as good as DECEMBERUNDERGROUND to me after the first few spins, at least before seeing them live. There are a handful of bands where, once I see them performing the new material in a live setting, it enhances it for me, and once I give it more listens, I get really into it. AFI’s not that type of band, but this album certainly was.

The set list was as follows:

Torch Song
Girl’s Not Grey
The Leaving Song Pt. II
End Transmission
Kill Caustic
Silver and Cold
Nyquil
Beautiful Thieves
Dancing Through Sunday
The Leaving Song
On the Arrow
Death of Seasons
Veronica Sawyer Smokes
Love Like Winter
Medicate

The encore would be 6 to 8 and, of course, Miss Murder.

For all of those long-time fans seeing the band for the first time, they really put on an excellent show for them. Davey Havok has a style and charisma all his own where he’s able to connect with the crowd so easily. Botched stage dive attempt aside, the band was “on” tonight. From the new material, “Torch Song”, “Beautiful Thieves”, “Medicate”, and “Veronica Sawyer Smokes” were the best songs live, with the latter being my personal favorite.

AFI has constantly grown and evolved with every subsequent album, but they still have a rabid, passionate fan base. While I don’t know the precise capacity of Epic, the club was packed upstairs and downstairs on this rainy Minneapolis night. If you’re on the fence, for whatever reason, about going to the show, make up your mind fast before it sells out – if it’s not already. And if you’re like me where the album didn’t grab you after the first few listens, you’ll feel otherwise once you see them live.

Excellent show!
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Check out our recent interview with AFI guitarist Jade Puget here

Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MA

September 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Daily Music News

thekin 300x197 Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MAThe Kin
House of Blues – Boston, MA
September 17, 2009

Rating: star Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MAstar Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MAstar Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MAstar Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MAstar Concert Review: The Kin at the House of Blues in Boston, MA 


Reviewed by:  Sally Feller

Australian brothers Isaac and Thorry Koren dazzled a small crowd at the House of Blues, opening for hippie jam band favorites Rusted Root. They were unfortunate enough to have a show the night of a Sox game at Fenway, just across the street, but after a relatively small early crowd, The Kin was able to welcome in a larger and more energetic crowd halfway through their set. Those of us lucky enough to catch this band’s opening performance were appropriately wowed. Thorry’s vocals captured the attention of even the most reluctant of the hippie crowd’s ears.

With a couple of guys that look like Guess models as an opening band, I expected a lot of drooling girls and women, but found instead a mix of guys and girls tapping their feet—perhaps a testament to the genuine appeal of The Kin’s musical offerings. The brothers harmonize remarkably well, with Thorry picking up most of the powerful soul-grabbing notes and Isaac pounding out complementary notes on the keyboards.

We were also treated with a short interlude of didgeridoo beat-boxing. During this moment, I heard someone behind me say, “dude, you’re not an elephant, stop,” so I guess something so unfamiliar is an acquired taste for some non-Aussies. The mixing of tribal instruments from their hometown with modern rock was impressive, but I’m not sure the crowd had a chance to adjust to what was going on as this interlude was only a minute or two long. Doing an entire song with the inclusion of the didgeridoo might help…unless dude-you’re-not-an-elephant-girl were in the crowd, in which case, violence might ensue.

Other show highlights included a gorgeous seafaring tune called “Abraham” that the brothers wrote for their father’s wedding. “Together” was a familiar favorite for me and several other members in the crowd. The song has been featured on several TV shows in the past year or so, including CBS’s “Moonlight” (yep, I was still the only person who watched that show), MTV’s “The Hills” and “Real World,” and Lifetime’s “Army Wives.”

There are subtle hints of some of the more talented boy band ballads in several of The Kin’s songs, but don’t let it deter you from listening to their full album, as they shatter that same genre only moments after, drawing from the more classical jazz and folk genres. However, they do seem to be one of those bands with broad appeal that you could throw in the CD player (or…whatever…your iPod speaker hub…you damn kids with your high-fallutin’ technology) on a road trip with your friends, your parents, and even your grandparents—they have a pretty universal musical appeal. Listening to them probably won’t make you an uber-hipster, but you won’t lose your street cred, either. (You might, however, if you’re a music reviewer and you buy The Kin’s latest album from their merch table like a commoner, ahem).

If you’re on the East Coast, definitely catch these guys live and prepare to be caught up in some catchy pop glory. And Bostonians, I almost hate to write this in case it sells out and I can’t get a ticket, but The Kin will be back in town in October, so keep your eyes open.

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For more info on The Kin visit their official website

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