musings from boston

screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: House Of Blues Boston MA

The Airborne Toxic Event in Boston & Burlington: All Good Things Great and Small

Boston House of Blues

Boston House of Blues

This is to be a tale about an epic performance in a big hall, and those little things that most people will never notice. The massive preparation and myriad of minute details of a touring rock ‘n’ roll band, and the inexplicable magic of people reaching a place of connection in a piece of music.

A Grand Production

It’s obvious that a lot of forethought goes into The Airborne Toxic Event’s live shows. There’s the planning of the set list, which on this current tour to support their new release, Such Hot Blood, seems to mutate not only to keep things fresh for the band and for the “frequent flyers” in the audience, but also to reflect particular local favorites and tweeted requests as they come along. Additionally, set lists are adjusted “on the fly” to accommodate mood shifts and atmospheric changes in the venue. Seriously. You rarely if ever see that level of attentiveness on the part of a touring musician. For a full stage performance like the House of Blues in Boston, there’s the stage set, which for the last few tours has been minimalist but incorporating the emotionally-charged, instantly recognizable symbols from their debut album. Those leafless winter trees and the injured bird who flies bravely on despite being pierced through by one of life’s arrows are a metaphor for the band’s central theme of enduring hardship and dancing through disaster. There’s even synchronized lighting, which helps turn a cool rock show into musical theater, complementing the orchestral arrangements and poetic lyrics and visuals. All of it comes together to bring the audience along on an emotional journey. Each song is a mini soundtrack unto itself for a loosely choreographed act of a play where band members move between instruments, interacting with the fans and with each other. Nothing less would be fitting to introduce such a dramatic and emotional album.

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Bob Dylan and his band @ the House of Blues Sunday Night

Bob Dylan and his band
House of Blues, Boston
Sunday, August 21, 2011

Doors: 07:00 PM; Show: 08:00 PM
$56.25 – GA Standing Room | $76.25 – Reserved Seating
Ages: all | buy tickets

There’s this promising ‘up-and-coming’ singer-songwriter from Duluth, Minnesota, going by the name of Bob Dylan, who has been composing some pretty good songs and performing around locally for a few years. He accompanies himself primarily on guitar and harmonica, and dabbles in a variety of styles, from folk to blues, gospel, country, alt-country and rock, with a curiously grating vocal style that I actually find quite endearing. His songs have a special poignancy (and some of them are quite long), but it’s unknown if he can appeal to a larger audience. Nevertheless, it’s a gamble he’s willing to take, as he’ll be playing with his band at the 2400 capacity House of Blues on Sunday night.

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Lawrence Arabia and Crowded House at the House of Blues – July 17, 201

as published on melophobe

Lawrence Arabia, Neil Finn and Nick Seymour of Crowded House

Lawrence Arabia, Neil Finn and Nick Seymour of Crowded House

Crowded House. Seasoned like a fine wine, older and wiser and brimming with genuine warmth and self-effacing humor; they’re one of a small handful of bands that can turn the austere House of Blues into a loving embrace. Despite today’s corporate business of rock shows, it was an evening spent with old friends.

Supporting their new release Intriguer, they brought with them ideal touring companions, fellow New Zealanders Lawrence Arabia, who share their quirky Kiwi charm, insightful songwriting, and a love of the Beatles. As it happens, they’re also “family” – Neil Finn’s son Liam performs on their most recent album, Chant Darling.

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Elegance and decadance: The Evelyn Evelyn Afterparty at The House of Blues ~ June 19, 2010

Mali Sastri of Jaggery; Walter Sickert and (a soldier of) the Army of Broken Toys

Mali Sastri of Jaggery; Walter Sickert and (a soldier of) the Army of Broken Toys

It was a wondrous and hilarious clashing of cultures in the House of Blues restaurant on Lansdowne Street after Evelyn Evelyn’s tour finale in the big room. Jaggery brought a huge helping of class to this section of town best known for baseball, burgers and beer. And Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys, with a wicked gleam in their eyes, tried to see just how far they could go before having the plug pulled. Pretty damn far, I’m happy to report. Jaggery harpist extraordinaire Petaluma Vale commented after their classical and gothic-inspired ethereal set, “I think I’m overdressed for this place,” as she glanced down at her elegant long skirt, appearing for all the world like a fairy princess lost in Walmart. I argued that the Lansdowne Street eatery was lucky to have such a classy event grace their establishment.

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Boston Bands This Week(end) – Evelyn Evelyn’s Triumphant Return & For The Sake Of The Song @ O’Brien’s Pub

Evelyn Evelyn (photo by Scott Irvine); Sxip Shirey, Jason Webley, and Amanda Palmer; For the Sake of the Song founder Patrick Coman; and Flightless Buttress (photo by Conor Doherty - www.conordoherty.com).

Evelyn Evelyn (photo by Scott Irvine); Sxip Shirey, Jason Webley, and Amanda Palmer; For the Sake of the Song founder Patrick Coman; and Flightless Buttress (photo by Conor Doherty - www.conordoherty.com).

I present to you two evenings of stark contrast: a theatrical spectacular of epic proportions – the closing night of Evelyn Evelyn‘s whirlwind worldwide tour, with special guests Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, and Sxip Shirey), followed by an ultra-special afterparty featuring Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys and Jaggery at the House of Blues Saturday night; and For the Sake of the Song, a stripped-down, unplugged acoustic showcase founded by Boston musician Patrick Coman, also featuring local singer-songwriters Dan Emino and Levi Schmidt, and indie folk duo Flightless Buttress, which touches down on Sunday at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston.

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Gogol Bordello with DeVotchKa, Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social @ the House of Blues ~ April 28, 2010

DeVotchKa @ the House of Blues

DeVotchKa @ the House of Blues

It’s surely a testament to fine musicians and a memorable performance when one can still recall details of a show even when it takes two weeks to review it. Such is the case of ‘punk/rap Ecuador-by-way-of-the-Ukraine exploding gypsy caravan’ Gogol Bordello and that delicious musical smorgasbord, ‘Eastern European wedding band of your wildest dreams’, DeVotchKa. Oh yeah, and The St. Marks Social was pretty good too.

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Show Preview: Gogol Bordello, DeVotchKa, Jesse Malin & The St. Marks Social ~ the House of Blues ~ Wednesday, April 28, 2010

DeVotchKa (photo by Gary Issac) and Gogol Bordello.

DeVotchKa (photo by Gary Issac) and Gogol Bordello.

Gogol Bordello, DeVotchKa, Jesse Malin & The St. Mark’s Social at the House Of Blues, Boston, MA
Wednesday, April 28 | doors at 7pm; all ages

This promises to be a magical evening of deeply satisfying Eastern European music with an Old World flavor and modern spices tossed in, plus some crazy gypsy punk revelry.

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Show Preview: Jamie Cullum with Imelda May ~ The House of Blues ~ Saturday, March 6

Jamie Cullum with Imelda May at the House Of Blues, Boston, MA
Saturday, March 6
(6pm doors; show at 7pm; All Ages)

London jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum.

London jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum.

If you like smooth jazz singing and/or bluesy, funky rockabilly, consider heading over to the House of Blues next Saturday.

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It’s Good To Be Back Home: The Airborne Toxic Event in Boston

The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, and Red Cortez at the House of Blues, Boston, MA, October 13, 2009

Airborne_Boston_1586

On a chilly autumn night in the rather impersonal caverns of the new Landsdown Street House of Blues, this show had the feeling of a family barbecue on a lazy, warm summer afternoon. Anna’s hometown and the rest of the band’s adopted one, it’s clearly a special place for them, and while it’s not like being back home in L.A. with family and friends, I like to think it a reasonable facsimile. A comforting respite from the long and weary road.

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