photo by Rich Gastwirt ((www.stageshooter.com))
Friday night at the Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Ryan Montbleau got his band back together for an incredibly memorable night of music. Montbleau was joined by the group’s original core members (James & Jason Cohen, Laurence Scudder and Matt Giannaros) as well as Lyle Brewer on guitar and Yahuba on percussion.
These 7 guys spent countless hours together over the years…touring the country in a Sprinter van and recording Montbleau’s songs while an ever-growing fan base followed their every move. It was clear that a flood of memories were hitting Montbleau up on that stage, but he decided to skip the story telling and let the music speak for itself.
For one nearly 3-hour long set, RMB favorites came one after another, much to the sold out crowd’s delight. Stand out moments included “Stretch”, “Draw the Line”, “Honeymoon Eyes”, “Grain Of Sand”, “You Crazy You” > “I Can’t Wait” and an epic “Here Et. All” encore. Songs from the new album Growing Light were sprinkled in along with a few covers…the Talking Heads’ “Naive Melody” was clearly a crowd favorite.
The room was filled with a palpable energy as fans danced alongside many familiar faces, celebrating this tight unit of a band. As the crowd roared and the guys got together for one final bow, it sank in that this is truly the closing of a chapter in Montbleau’s career…and for the RMB family too.
It was a bittersweet evening, and a fitting farewell for a great group of musicians and fans.
Ryan Montbleau Band
“Stronger Than That”
The new album from Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) is dynamite. I’ve been listening to it again and again in my car and I just secured tickets for the show in Boston on Saturday at Great Scott. I saw Bahamas live once before at an outdoor festival so I’m excited to experience the sound in an intimate bar-like venue.
Top to bottom, the album’s tracks are solid but I’m especially impressed by the single. “Stronger Than That” feels fun and catchy with it’s horns, electric guitar and backing vocals. Can’t wait to hear it live!
“A Tattered Line Of String”
If you’re familiar with The Postal Service, you might like to pick up the 10th anniversary deluxe re-issue of Give Up, out April 9th. Some previously unreleased songs will be on the re-issue, including this track:
The Postal Service will be touring this summer too, including a date in Boston at The Bank Of America Pavilion on June 12th!
The Postal Service
Cool off this weekend by jumping aboard a Rock and Blues Concert Cruise in Boston. Enjoying a cold beverage on a boat with friends, gazing at the city off in the distance is something special…add in some incredible live music, and you’ve got a perfect way to kick off the summer!
FRIDAY June 22nd
Jason Spooner Trio
SATURDAY June 23rd
Ryan Montbleau Band
These cruises board at 7pm, depart at 8pm and return at 11pm.
GRAB TICKETS before they’re gone!
The Wang Center in Boston is such a beautiful building. To sit and see a show in that room is pretty much a guaranteed good time. Heading there with my family last week to finally see The Shins live, I knew I was in for a treat.
James Mercer has such a special voice and an incredibly unique approach to songwriting, and I’ve been a fan for a very long time. For me, hearing a tune from The Shins always brings up vivid memories and emotions. Whether it be a summer on the Cape with the Chutes Too Narrow vinyl spinning at all hours of the night or standing at a certain T stop in Boston waiting for the train with Wincing The Night Away on repeat in my earbuds…the music is very special to me.
I was delighted to hear a bunch of “older” material – “Kissing the Lipless”, “So Says I”, “Young Pilgrims”, “Saint Simon”, and the biggest crowd pleasers – “Caring Is Creepy” and “New Slang”. I expected to hear a lot from Wincing The Night Away, and they did play “Pam Berry” > “Phantom Limb” and “Australia” among others. In my opinion, that album’s opener “Sleeping Lessons” as the set closer was one of the highlights of the show.
I will say the encore was a little underwhelming. I did really enjoy a beautiful solo acoustic rendition of the new tune “September”, which started it off…but the rest of the tunes weren’t very memorable. I do applaud the idea that encores seem to be back in the hands of the band lately. As an audience member, I like the idea of not knowing when (or IF) the band will come back on and what they’ll play. So more power to James Mercer and his band for jamming out to end a lovely evening in Boston.
I saw this New Jersey-bred band open up for The Shins on Friday night at the Citi Performing Arts (Wang) Center in Boston and I was delighted by their sound. If you are (or were) a fan of Minus the Bear or Modest Mouse, you may dig Real Estate.
It’s easy to identify their pleasant ambient pop sound in the tracks below, but what these guys bring to a live show is hard to describe. There’s a cohesiveness there that I think may simply come from a few people getting together with a shared vision and passion for a certain sound. At the show, I felt like I was wandering into their basement as they jammed. There’s a real genuine, easy feel to the music…it’s not forced and it’s by no means aggressive. Definitely a good opener for The Shins.
“How Come You Never Go There” [LIVE]
Tonight. Tonight I see Feist live for the first time and I can barely contain my excitement! Her latest album, Metals, has been a large part of my musical world since it came out and I cannot wait to see how she performs these new tunes in a live setting. There are so many layers, intricate sounds, and delicate moments of silence in many of the tracks…and when I watch live videos like the one below, I have a feeling Feist has made it a priority to really nail the live arrangements. I’ll let you know how it is, and also fill you in on Timber Timbre, her opener. Posts about my experience seeing The Shins and Real Estate coming soon too!
TONIGHT at the House Of Blues, Boston
The Brew – “When Darkness Comes”
I cannot get enough of this tune. The Brew are a jam band (of sorts) from the Boston area and they’ve been out there working hard for years. I’ve seen them live a few times and have always been impressed, but I didn’t envision that their music would become “mainstream”. Then a few months ago I heard “When Darkness Comes”. It’s by no means pop, but it’s got everything a radio single should have. It sounds so damn good on mvy. Turns out these guys just put out THREE albums…if the single is any indication of their other new material, The Brew are definitely on the brink of getting a bigger and broader audience. A tune like this cannot be ignored.
Assembly Of Dust feat. Richie Havens – “All That I Am Now”
Tonight I’ll be seeing AOD live at the Paradise…I’ve only seen them once before and it was 4 years ago, so I’m excited to experience them again, and in a more intimate setting. I am not familiar with too much of their music, but I do love this tune from the album Some Assembly Required.
Assembly Of Dust
*photo by Jess Phaneuf
A few nights ago, I saw The Weepies live in Boston, at the Wilbur Theatre. I’ve been a big fan of this husband/wife duo for a while now, but had never seen either Deb Talan or Steve Tannen live ever before. It was billed as an “acoustic evening” and the two were joined by Johnny Flower on bass. The trio delighted us with stripped down arrangements of songs from all four of The Weepies’ studio albums, plus a song or two from both Talan and Tannen’s solo releases.
I had a feeling I’d be moved throughout the evening…and I was right. In fact, I was moved to tears twice by the lyrics and harmonies. The Weepies have some of the most beautiful and heartfelt words in their songs – words that everyone can really connect with and relate to. Hearing some of their songs in a really small theater, with just three instruments and two voices really made them even more effective. I felt pulled in from start to finish, and I’m still thinking about that night and some of those lyrics that really struck a chord with me…I’ll be sharing some of them on here within the next few days.