Archive for the ‘live shows’ Category

utrechtlrcernieMusic is an instrumental part of my life and it has been for many, many years. I often connect to bands and musicians that the masses haven’t (yet) heard of. This is more of a subconscious thing because my philosophy is that whether a song is famous or not has nothing to do with it being a good or a bad song. In fact, I don’t really believe in the monikers good and bad when it comes to songs. I know, I know, when you get down to techniques or progressions or blatant copying of others you could apply those tags to music, but to me, that’s not really the important part of it. Music is emotion, music is connecting with others and if a song strikes a chord with you, to you that will be a really good song. And that’s how it’s supposed to work. Everyone will have a different opinion about music because it is extremely personal.


And when it comes to live music, it doesn’t get much more personal than a livingroom concert (or a similar intimate setting) because it most often literally means singer versus a couple dozen people in the audience. The songs are really going to be going straight from the musician’s mouth to the listener’s ear. It may sound very confrontational but in reality, it really doesn’t feel like that. Because it’s in a homely and informal setting with interested people who are trying to connect, it almost always provides a comfortable feeling.


Tonight I attended a livingroom show at Utrecht LRCs, which is run by two wonderful people (Emile & Antonia). They have a cozy, homely space they specifically use to hold small, intimate shows with artists that aren’t quite the big ticket names yet but have a solid following. They hosted shows with the likes of Bushwalla, Jason Mraz, Jay Nash and Ryan Dilmore, among others. I hadn’t really heard of Utrecht LRCs before, even though there seems to be a solid overlap between the musicians they host and the ones I cover here at Inner Ear Media. So this meeting was certainly overdue.


Tonight it was the chance for Ernie Halter, an artist Inner Ear Media has covered for quite some years, to show what he is made of. I was very excited to finally meet him and hear his tunes played live. I walked in a little early and was immediately welcomed by Emile and Antonia and Ernie was already setting up his ‘stage’. Before I knew it, he approached me to say hi and chat for a while. This immediately set the tone for what would charaterize the whole evening: a really good time!


Ernie Halter played for about 90 minutes, taking requests, mashing up a couple of his own songs with covers and if he didn’t remember how a song went, he’d just look it up and before you knew it, he was playing the song anyway. He played songs from most of his records and much more than at a normal show, a livingroom show allows the artist to tell the stories behind the songs and it gives you a little insight in how songs come to fruition, what the life of an independent musician looks like and how songs and music in general have that special superpower of connecting with others. As Ernie said it himself:”each song is like a little adventure and you never know where it’s going to take you.”


After a short break, he played for another hour or so and played many more requests on both guitar and keyboard and spared no effort to make the night a special experience for all that were there. He didn’t just play songs, he entertained. He listened to the people around and really interacted. Those of you who know Ernie or have been lucky enough to attend his shows will most likely confirm this, but the dude is just a really great guy and on top of that he writes and sings excellent songs that you can really connect to.


So if you ever have the chance to see Ernie Halter live, I would urge you not to hesitate and just go. It really is worth your time and money. And if you are ever in or near Utrecht in the Netherlands and Utrecht LRCs is hosting a show, you should also take my advice and go visit them. First of all, you are going to have a splendid time because their setup is perfect for these kind of small shows and the hosts are incredibly nice, second, they have an excellent taste in music. Third, and I hope this won’t keep you away, I might get to say hi to you, because while this was my first Utrecht LRC experience I have a feeling it will not be my last.

Emile and Antonia also made photos, videos and recordings, so check their website to see when it becomes available!

Read Full Post »

Jon Foreman performing at Radio 92.9 Earthfest this past Saturday in Boston. (photo credit: Cayte Devastation)

Switchfoot played to a crowd of over 100,000 eco-friendly fans on Saturday at Radio 92.9 Earthfest. The weather was perfect and the crowd was rockin’ while the band was on stage.

Wicked awesome moment: Jon pays his respects to MCA, and then the band kicks ass playing the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”.

Check out the photos. Videos coming soon!

Read Full Post »

Civil Twilight with Anberlin @ Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA

Civil Twilight came into Boston last Thursday opening for Anberlin (whose album we reviewed earlier this month). Also on the bill were States and Keep Me Conscious.

Civil Twilight hails from South Africa, but now live in the US. Their sound is a unique mix of influences from bands like U2, Muse, and Radiohead. Their set at the Paradise showed promise for this up-and-coming band. Their music has even been featured on shows like “One Tree Hill”.

Check out Civil Twilight’s cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” as well as songs off their self-titled debut album on MySpace.

Read Full Post »

Matt Hires @ The Middle East – Cambridge, MA

Matt Hires

Matt Hires came back to Boston last Friday on his headlining tour, State Lines Tour Part 2. With his band, Matt played many songs off his debut CD, as well as his new EP, “A to B”. They also did a fun cover of The Beatles’ song “You’v Got to Hide Your Love Away”.

Opening for Matt was the Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors. The husband-wife duo from Nashville put on an engaging set that was somewhat similar to The Swell Season. Holcomb’s voice reminded me somewhat of a mix between Damien Rice and Howie Day. They’ve even had one of their songs featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and “Oprah”. Look out for these up and comers.

More photos from the event can be seen here.

Read Full Post »

Life is Good Festival – Canton, MA

This past weekend, life was good for people at Blue Hills outside Boston. That’s because they were at the Life is Good Festival, a two-day concert event in Canton, MA. Headliners Jason Mraz and Ben Harper and Relentless 7 each closed out a night, and other feel-good acts like Ziggy Marley, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Ok Go got the crowd moving. Kids got their own section as well with games and bands. Food, drinks, games, shopping, and more could be found all around the grounds. And the best part? All proceeds from the festival went to The Life is Good Kids Foundation.

Chase Freedom cardholders got access to a special lounge and outdoor area with gadgets, food, and comfy couches to sit on and enjoy the music. They also held a few intimate acoustic performances with Guster and Brett Dennen.

If you weren’t able to attend, but would like to see how you can help, visit the foundation page.

More photos from the event can be seen here.

Read Full Post »

Warped Tour 2010 – Boston, MA

The Rocket Summer

The Rocket Summer gets the crowd going.

The Warped Tour rolled into Boston on a hot summer day last week, and with it came over 80 bands ranging from hard rock to punk to southern. The bigger names this year included The All American Rejects, Motion City Soundtrack, Sum 41, and Andrew WK.

Smaller bands such as Fake Problems played on the AP/Advent stage, which was side by side with the Glamour Kills stage. While one band was playing, the other was right there setting up to start their set as soon as the others’ ended.

Up and comers like A Rocket to the Moon could be found playing acoustic sets in one of the many tents set up. Other well-known bands played on the other five stages including The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Bouncing Souls.

Far From Finished

Far From Finished

Local band Far From Finished put on an engaging set. Frontman Steve Neary came down into the crowd for a song, starting a fun dance pit.

AM Taxi, whose latest album we recently reviewed, drew a good sized crowd for their set.

The most unique band of the day would probably be Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band. Once they walk on the stage, it’s apparent why they have this name – the three-piece are not skinny, shall we say. They played some unique southern rock that got a lot of the young teenage crowd doing the ho-down. Washboard Breezy Peyton was in true rock ‘n’ roll form when she smashed her washboard at the end of their set. Definitely an entertaining band to watch.

The Rocket Summer

The Rocket Summer

The Rocket Summer, aka Bryce Avery, played a full-band set filled with catchy emo-rock songs. There was even some confetti at the climax of one song.

If you wanted a break from the music that was continuously playing, there were plenty of other things to do. Tents were set up everywhere selling sunglasses, hats, and all sorts of other accessories. Each band had their own tent selling merchandise, and if you were lucky, you could catch your favorite band doing a signing. There was also skateboarding, karaoke, games, and more.

Check out more photos from the day.

Read Full Post »

Parkpop 2010

Zonnig zomerplezier in Den Haag

Het Zuiderpark in Den Haag stroomt vol met mensen terwijl de zon in volle glorie aan de hemel staat. Op de twee hoofdpodia staan Alphabeat en The Bazzookas het publiek al vanaf de eerste minuut te vermaken.

Dat Alphabeat muziek kan maken die door de radio wordt opgegeten is al lang geen geheim meer. Met “Fascination” scoorden ze wereldwijd een megahit. En na enkele succesvolle tours kwamen van allerlei kanten lovende woorden over de show van deze Scandinaviërs. Ze misstaan dan ook niet als opener op de main stage op Parkpop. De vrolijke en energieke show brengt de stemming er al meteen in.

The Bazzookas, met de frontman van VanKatoen is een ideale festivalband. Scherpe teksten en een heerlijke kopersectie toeteren lekker in je oren terwijl je op het gras een drankje wegwerkt. Ze zijn deze zomer zo’n beetje overal te bewonderen en maken er, ongeacht waar ze spelen, een leuk feestje van. En waar kun je dat nu beter doen dan in de zon op Parkpop?

Het festival gaat daarna vrolijk verder. Veel mensen hebben zich met kleedjes en tassen geïnstalleerd op het gras in het Zuiderpark en genieten van de muziek, het weer en er hangt een vriendelijke, gemoedelijke sfeer, waarbij vrijwel iedereen zich uitstekend lijkt te vermaken.

Op de Jupiler Stage speelt nu een relatief onbekend bandje uit Frankrijk. The Popopopops zijn een alternatieve rock outfit uit Rennes en maken muziek die ergens in het midden ligt van Phoenix, The Killers en Arctic Monkeys.De dansbare indiepop komt op Parkpop erg goed uit de verf en deze band zou wel eens de verrassing kunnen zijn van het festival. Dat ze goed bezig zijn, is ook te merken aan het publiek dat langzaam van het ook swingend spelende Mama’s Gun overloopt naar The Popopopops.

Als ik het dan toch over Mama’s Gun heb, ze spelen lekker swingend en met zwoele, zomerse nummers. Van die typische zomerhitjes die lekker in je hoofd rond blijven tollen. Hun single “You Are The Music” was wel een hoogtepuntje, evenals de interessante cover van “Sex Machine”. Dat was dan misschien ook wel weer de kritiek, dat buiten de nummers die iedereen al kende het niet altijd iedereens aandacht vast kon houden. Maar lekker swingend en lekker zomers was het zeker.

Intussen blijven de urban artiesten op de X-Stage ook een prima feestje bouwen. Met Urban Roots is het daar in elk geval prima toeven. Hoewel het er niet bijzonder druk is en het optreden ook niet op alle momenten even strak is, zet deze muzikale act er toch een hele leuke show neer. De mix van stijlen is lekker en plezierig en laat een veelzijdigheid aan muzikaliteit horen.

Dan snel terug naar de Jupiler Stage waar de Belgische rockgrootheid Admiral Freebee klaar staat om een partij te rocken. Met o.a. Flip Kowlier op de bas heeft Tom van Laere een sterke formatie meegebracht. In België is hij al jaren een icoon, maar in Nederland begint hij nu pas langzaamaan de aandacht te trekken. Een veelzijdigheid aan rockgeluiden komt voorbij. Freebee wisselt moeiteloos af tussen garage rock, jersey beat, rootsrock, post-grunge en zo’n beetje elke variant daartussen die je kunt verzinnen. Er waren een paar technische strubbelingen in het begin en zowel het publiek als band hadden even een paar minuten nodig om warm te draaien, maar toen was het ook wel een beresterk optreden. Tom gooide nog wat olie op het vuur door te beweren dat hij net zo min “open en vriendelijk” was Snoop Dogg en Beenie Man, met een enigszins vuige en voor de gevoelige lezers zelfs shockerende argumentatie. Deze man staat, buiten zijn heerlijke muziek, dan ook niet voor niets bekend om zijn scherpe, sarcastische humor.

Op het hoofdpodium speelt in de tussentijd Ska Cubano, die de zomer even accentueren met hun zweverige, dansbare feestmuziek. Lekker languit in het gras liggen en genieten. Maar wel oppassen dat je er niet als een kreeftje uitziet als je weer opstaat.

En dan toch weer snel even spieken bij de X-Stage. Dret & Krulle, die de Grote Prijs al wonnen, zijn er nu een feestje van aan het maken in Den Haag. Het ziet er beregezellig uit. Lekker!

Nu even een tussenstop bij het New Horizons podium, waar de Haagse rockformatie Noblesse een kleine showcase geeft van hun conceptalbum/show ‘We Are Not Humanity’. De combinatie van artrock en moderne dans heeft een verrassend mooie uitwerking. Ik zag eerder al hun complete show, die meer dan de moeite waard is (3 en 4 juli in Paradiso, Amsterdam!). Maar ook in deze verkleinde uitvoering was het weer een genot.

Op de X-Stage zijn de Zuid-Amerikanen van Choc Quib Town bezig. Ze proberen iets te hard iets te creëren. Het ziet er allemaal leuk uit, maar het komt helaas niet helemaal uit de verf.

Dan weer terug naar de hoofdpodia. Op de Jupiler Stage laat de Japanse Canadees Justin Nozuka menig meisjeshart sneller kloppen. Met lieflijke popliedjes staat hij het publiek best aardig te vermaken. Hij wordt veel vergeleken met artiesten als Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Keaton Simons en Ernie Halter, maar de jonge muzikant kan dit niveau toch echt nog niet halen. Hoewel hij een mooie stem heeft en de liedjes met gevoel vertolkt, smelt het allemaal toch wel erg samen. Een beetje meer afwisseling en creativiteit zouden deze jongeman echter nog ver kunnen brengen.

Het is intussen tijd voor een speciale gelegenheid. Op de drie podia van Parkpop wordt tegelijkertijd een ode aan Den Haag opgevoerd. Onder leiding van Robert-Jan Stips (The Nits) brengt een groep van Haagse muzikanten op spectaculaire wijze het aangepaste lied “Achter de Duinen” ten gehoren. De interactie van het publiek wordt gevraagd en dit verzoek wordt met alle liefde ingewilligd. Gedurende een minuut of 10 is het overduidelijk dat Parkpop jarig is. Gefeliciteerd met het 30-jarig jubileum!

George Kooymans blijft nog even op het podium staan. Samen met Frank Carillo vormt hij Kooymans/Carillo & The Barking Dogs. Deze combinatie is een overvloed aan muzikaal talent en ervaring. Muzikaal klinkt het als een mix van de Golden Earring, de Eagles, met een sausje CCR en Buffalo Springfield er doorheen. Muzikaal is dit briljant van het eerste moment tot het laatste en deze ervaren kerels hoef je echt niet meer te vertellen hoe ze een show moeten neerzetten. Prachtig.

(klik hier voor een soundbite van Kooymans & Carillo)

Dan toch ook maar eventjes spieken bij Juliette Lewis & The Licks. Je hebt het idee dat Lewis al eeuwen meedraait en al die tijd wordt ze door de helft bejubeld en door de andere helft uitgejouwd. Muzikaal is het niet altijd even strak op Parkpop, vocaal zit ze er nu en dan eventjes naast, maar dat mag eigenlijk de pret niet drukken. Met energie en plezier gebruikt ze het hele podium en ze zet toch wel een knallende show neer.

Maar sorry Juliette, ik ren toch snel weer terug naar de Staedion Stage, want een van mijn persoonlijke helden maakt daar zijn opwachting. Nick Lowe, de man die misschien wel bekender is door nummers die andere artiesten hebben uitgevoerd dan door zijn eigen hitjes, laat hier zien dat hij een van ‘s-werelds allerbeste songwriters is. Veel (vooral jongere) bezoekers zullen zeggen dat het allemaal iets te tam en vriendelijk was, maar Lowe is nu eenmaal een typische gedistingeerde gentleman. Zo’n echte traditionele zelfs. Maar met zijn liedjes is helemaal niets mis! Ook een nieuw nummer als “I Read A Lot” klinkt weer uitermate goed.

(klik hier voor een opname van ‘Raging Eyes’ van Nick Lowe)

Dan barst langzaam het echte feestje los als enfant terrible Danko Jones het podium bestijgt. Met scherpe en grappige uitspraken krijgt hij het Parkpop-publiek al snel op z’n hand. “Nederland is ons tweede thuis” en “Jullie hebben ballen om Snoop Dogg van het festival te schoppen” worden met luid applaus ontvangen. Ook wilde hij graag op de foto met Nena (“because I think she’s hot”), maar dat mocht blijkbaar niet. Dus schakelt hij schaamteloos het publiek in. Maar dat is niet het enige wat deze band voor elkaar krijgt. Met scherpe, soms vuige rock songs die uitstekend uitgevoerd worden, brengt Danko dit festival tot ontploffing. De energie en het enthousiasme die de band op het podium laat zien is aanstekelijk en Danko Jones is misschien wel de beste act op dit festival.

Helaas moet ik Alpha Blondy missen, maar ik wil uiteraard de duitse rock chic Nena niet missen. Ze mag misschien een beetje belegen zijn, maar naar ik heb gehoord is ze het trucje nog absoluut niet verleerd. Dat wil ik natuurlijk zelf ook aanschouwen. Ik zie al veel mensen met ballonnen staan. Het publiek is massaal naar het hoofdpodium gestroomd om de Duitse te zien optreden. Als een echte diva betaamt, komt ze te laat het podium op. Maar dan is het ook meteen raak. Als een jong lammetje huppelt, springt en dans Nena het podium over en haar aanstekelijke en vrolijke attitude komt goed over bij het publiek. (Iets minder bij de pers, die graag meer foto’s had willen maken). Vocaal en muzikaal misschien niet de beste act op het festival, al is Nena in het Duits 10.000x beter dan Nena in het Engels, maar de show is absoluut een spektakel. De aankleding van het podium, de activiteit van de bandleden en de opzwepende, uptempo Duitse popsongs zorgen voor een spetterende afsluiting van deze nieuwste editie van Parkpop.

voor alle foto’s en video’s, bezoek onze Facebook pagina!

Fun in the Sun

The ‘Zuiderpark’ in The Hague is filling up with people as the sun shines in all its glory. The two main stages present Alphabeat and The Bazzookas to entertain the crowd right from minute one.

We already knew that Alphabeat makes music that is eaten up by the radio. With “Fascination” they scored a big hit all around the world. After successful tours there were also many people in many places that were very positive about their live show. And they prove that on Parkpop. With a cheerful and energetic show they get everyone in the mood for a fun day in the park.

The Bazzookas, with the former VanKatoen frontman, is an ideal band for a festival. Spunky lyrics and a very fine brass component resonate in your ears while you enjoy your drink on the gras of the Zuiderpark. They are on pretty much every festival this summer and regardless where they are, they know how to make it festive. Just like they are doing now on Parkpop.

The festival continues. Many people are on plaids and brought backpacks and are enjoying themselves with something to eat and drink while relaxing on the lawn. There is a friendly atmosphere and all the people seem to be enjoying themselves immensely.

At the Jupiler Stage, a more or less unknown act out of France is playing. The Popopopops are an alternative rock outfit from Rennes and make a blend of music that lies somewhere in the Middle of Phoenix, The Killers & Arctic Monkeys. The danceable indie pop works perfectly on the Parkpop festival and this band might just be the surprise of the day. More proof that they are doing well, is that they are drawing more and more people away from Mama’s Gun who are playing a good set themselves.

Speaking of Mama’s Gun, they are putting on a show with swinging, summery songs. Typical summer hits that will stick in your head for the rest of the day. Their single “You Are The Music” and the interesting cover of “Sex Machine” are instant highlights. That was also the downside of the performance. The more popular songs did great, but the lesser known songs couldn’t captivate everyone at all times.

In the meantime there is also a party going on at the X-Stage, where the urban acts are in charge. Urban Roots is giving away a nice show. Not super tight all the time, but the mix of styles is very pleasant and provides for an excellent show.

But then I quickly make my way back to the Jupiler Stage to see Belgian rock god Admiral Freebee. He brought Flip Kowlier on the bass and some other high profile musicians to make up his band. In the beginning both the Admiral and the crowd need a little warming up, but once things get going, Freebee delivers. Without effort he mixes Jersey Beat with grunge and rootsrock with pointy garage rock. And apart from the excellent music, Tom de Laere is also known for his sarcastic humor. He displayed this by graphically describing why he is in no way more friendly or open than Snoop Dogg and Beenie Man (who were both denied for the festival by the local government).

On the main stage, Ska Cubano accentuates the summer with danceable Carribean-style party music. This really makes it feel like summer, especially when you lay yourself down in the grass and enjoy it. Just make sure the sun doesn’t fry you!

After that I take a quick peek at the X-Stage again. Dret & Krulle, who are former winners of the Grand Prix of the Netherlands are making something happen there. It looks like a whole lot of fun!

Then I make a quick pitstop at the New Horizons stage, where the alternative rock outfit Noblesse is giving a small showcase of their concept album/show “We Are Hot Humanity”. The combination of artrock and modern dance is remarkably astonishing, and even in this shortened version it is still impressive.

On the X-Stage, Choc Quib Town is trying to entertain the crowd. While it is pleasing they are trying a little bit too hard. It all looks like a lot of fun, but in the end they can’t dot the Is and cross the Ts.

Back to the main stages. Justin Nozuka is melting young girls’ hearts on the Jupiler Stage. His sweet, bubbly pop songs are good entertainment for the primarily young crowd. He is often compared to Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Keaton Simons, Ernie Halter and the likes, but in no way does the young Canadian reach that level. He has a very good voice and knows how to perform his songs with feeling, but he misses the creativity and originality of these artists. He’s still a young kid though, so there is still time for him to grow and if he learns along the way he might have a very bright future.

Then it is time to celebrate Parkpop’s 30yr anniversary. On the three biggest stages, a combination of musicians from The Hague will perform an adapted version of ‘Achter de Duinen’ similtaneously. This is quite spectacular and with the interaction of the audience this is an instant highlight of the day. Happy birthday, Parkpop!

George Kooymans sticks around after that. Together with Frank Carillo he makes up Kooymans, Carillo & The Barking Dogs. This is a musical act filled with talent and experience. Think Golden Earring meets the Eagles & CCR with some Buffalo Springfield on top. Musically it’s sheer brilliance from start to finish and no one has to explain to these music veterans how to put on a show.

Time to see what Juliette Lewis is up to on the Jupiler Stage. Dressed in red, the rock diva, who’s always been cheered by half of the people and dismissed by the other half, is having a lot of fun on stage. It’s not always perfect, but she puts on a smashing show that entertains the crowd.

But sorry, Juliette, I’m going to leave you again. My hero, Nick Lowe is performing on the main stage. He is probably better known through hits he wrote for others than for his own songs. On Parkpop he shows he is one of the best songwriters in the business. Some people may say his performance was meek and not energetic, but Lowe is the ultimate British gentleman. And it fits him. Besides, his songs speak for themselves. Even a new song like “I Read A Lot” is just sheer genius.

Then the party really gets going as enfant terrible Danko Jones climbs on stage. With funny and sharp remarks he immediately gets the crowd on his hands. “The Netherlands is our second home” and “You guys have f*cking balls to kick Snoop Dogg off the festival” are received with cheers and applause. And when he mentions how he was trying to get a photo with Nena (“because I think she’s hot“) and her security people prevented that, he got the audience to cheer him on even more. But that’s not the only thing this band did well. With pointy, ballsy rock songs they energize the crowd and put on a hell of a show. Energetic, enthusiastic and very, very good.

Then, unfortunately I missed Alpha Blondy, but I was getting ready for German rock chick Nena. She may be a little bit over the top, but they tell me she still knows how to entertain a crowd. So lets find out. Many people are already holding balloons in their hands, so that promises something. Of course she’s a little late, but then she and her band are right on it. With a spectacular show and amazing energy, the German rocker wraps the crowd around her finger. Musically it’s not always the best, but the performance is absolutely enjoyable. Nena is 1.000x better than she is in English and the infectious German rock songs don’t miss their mark. Fun fun fun.

For all the photos, check our Facebook page (click the link above the English review)

Read Full Post »

Flyleaf @ the Palladium
May 20, 2010 – Worcester, MA


Flyleaf put on an energetic show last night at the Palladium in Worcester. Also on the bill were alternative metal band 10 Years and progressive metal rock band Fair to Midland.

Check out more photos from Flyleaf’s set here.

Read Full Post »

Allie Moss/Josh Ritter show
Bitterzoet, Amsterdam
May 3, 2010

It was a rainy monday evening and outside of BitterZoet in Amsterdam a long line of people was making its way into the venue. After some time everyone found a spot inside the packed venue and then, suddenly, Allie Moss was on stage. With relatable and personal songs as well as a friendly and spontaneous attitude she was able to connect to the audience who in their turn listened in silence respectfully and gave her a well deserved applause. The strength of Allie Moss’ music lies in the accessibility and relatability of the songs. With clear and empathic vocals she brings the song straight to the listener and live it sounds even better than it does on CD. I think Passerby was the song that stood out to me most during her short live set, maybe also because of the little story she told us before she played it. I’d seen her with Ingrid Michaelson before and I was very curious to see what kind of show she’d be able to put on solo. Suffice it to say that it was a most wonderful performance.

After her short set the venue filled up even more (it was sold out) and after everyone got their refreshments Josh Ritter entered the stage. He was smiling and seemed in a joyous mood. He went through a good part of his discography by playing many new songs but also many songs from his previous releases. Ritter showed to be a true artist and born performer. With ease he goes from an upbeat, funny folk & roll song to a very small and intimate little storytelling folk song. At one moment he’s showing the power of simplicity, how something so small can be so incredibly powerful and move you, and then the next moment you find yourself tapping or hopping along to an upbeat song that just sticks in your head.

Ritter exchanged stories and jokes with the audience in between his songs and from the first note he played the audience was captivated. On the more serious and intimate songs you could hear a needle drop and during the sing along songs you could hear clapping and singing from the audience. There was a great balance and great atmosphere in which both artist and audience were able to shine. There aren’t really any songs in particular that stuck with me as standing out, but that’s only because the performance as a whole was one big highlight. Though the Springsteen cover The River was definitely a version to remember.

After Josh Ritter finished his regular set he got a standing ovation and it was more than deserved. Of the current generation of singer/songwriters he is most definitely one of the top talents. And this show in Bitterzoet confirms that 100%.

Read Full Post »

Jason Reeves, Graham Colton, and Lady Danville @ Cafe 939
April 23, 2010 – Boston, MA

Friday night at the Cafe, part of Berklee College of Music, was a great night for music. The sound in this small room is great – very quiet, and most musicians play acoustic so the sound isn’t too overwhelming. The intimate setting also allows for more interaction between the artist and the fans. Both Jason Reeves and Graham Colton played some requests.

The opener for the night was Lady Danville, an unsigned 3 piece band. They were probably the most entertaining of the night. The songs were fun to listen to, and their acoustic vibe was unique. The drummer played just with his hands (no sticks). They even did a cover of the MGMT song “Kids”:

Next up was Graham Colton, a musician I have liked for almost 10 years now. He played solo on the guitar, and did both old and new songs.

Ending the night was Jason Reeves. He was accompanied by his bass/keyboardist and drummer. The crowd really loved them, singing along to some songs. Jason’s little anecdotes in between songs showed his quirky, down-to-earth personality. He also played both old and new songs that really showcased his songwriting ability.

Check out more photos from the show here.

Watch more videos from the show here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »