Last night I saw Josh Ritter live at the Orpheum in Boston. I feel that I need a day or so to process his INCREDIBLE performance… so for now, the openers:
The Punch Brothers are a five-piece string band. BUT, there’s a lot more than bluegrass going on up on that stage. When Chris Thile (Nickel Creek) got this band together back in 2006, he knew he wanted it to essentially be a bluegrass band, but with “a lot of range”. A lot of range is right!
These guys are all extremely impressive on their instruments and tend to play them in a frenzy. The unexpected stops and slowdowns thrown into each tune kept me on the edge of my seat. Thile is a joy to watch as his fingers fly across the mandolin, and his body moves in an almost spastic manner.
They played a great mix of songs… some from Thile’s 2006 release, How To Grow a Woman From The Ground, a few from the group’s 2008 album, Punch, and a good number of brand new tunes which will be on their forthcoming record, Antifogmatic, in stores June 15th. They also covered “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” by the White Stripes and did an amazing rendition of “Reptilia” by The Strokes (as an avid fan of The Strokes, that might have been the highlight of their set for me).
This entertaining act is playing the Iron Horse in Northampton on Monday (the 24th) and they’ll be at several festivals this summer, including Bonnaroo and Newport Folk. Check them out live… I can guarantee you’ve not heard anything quite like it!