Archive for the Concert Reviews Category

World/Inferno Friendship Society Concert Review

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , on April 26, 2009 by dillonator
world/inferno friendship society

photo: polstarphotography.com

I didn’t really know what to expect from the World/Inferno Friendship Society.  I went there on a recommendation from a friend, and a fairly ambivalent recommendation at that.  But I watched some videos online, read some background info, and felt like they could be interesting.

How could I not have been into these guys?  They call themselves “circus punk!”  Could it be any more up my alley?

Frontman Jack Terricloth’s Sinatra-as-vampiric-protopunk mesmerized the audience with lyrics alternatively growled and howled (Nick Cave was 13 when Terricloth was born; is it possible for a 13-year-old to father a child?), while behind him, his tight sixpiece-tonight band rollicked from klezmer to waltz with the fury of the Stooges and the horn section of Dexy’s Midnight Runner.

Like I said, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, so it was by sheer luck that I happened to be near the back of the Ottobar last night when Terricloth hit the stage.  Had I been just a few feet closer to the stage, I would have been trampled by the sudden rush of punks in a shovy mood.  Never have I seen such a sudden, synchronized moshpit.

That should have been my first warning: these were the Infernites.

What was particularly cool about the show was the audience participation.  World Inferno has a following that could easily be described as cult-like:  one kid I met at the show claimed it was his 50th time seeing them live, and a quick glance at their forum shows how much of a community they are, with rides and sleeping arrangements being organized online.  With all this in mind, it’s little wonder that the crowd acted like they did.

I felt like I was at a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Without any cues from the band, audience members would all perform certain dances during certain songs, form a circle during others, and thrash their damn brains out during others.  The unexpected highlight for me was when the crowd suddenly paired up and started waltzing, couples crashing into each other in a whirling frenzy, like a drunken Muppets sketch.

And, at one point, I’m pretty sure I saw someone throw some money into the circle of death.  Was he trying to play craps?  Pretty awesome.

Check out the live video of “Me vs. Angry Mob,” taking special note of Terricloth’s sweet moves at 2:40.  You’ll be running for Hallowmas in no time.

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Celebration Concert Review

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , on February 21, 2009 by dillonator

I really need to remember to bring my camera to concerts.

I like to take pictures of concerts; they usually turn out poorly, but I like to look through old concert photos just to remember the shows in general.  And that’s all well and good…

But there are times, like last night’s show at the Wind Up Space, where I feel like posting a photo would make a huge difference to the overall post.  The silhouette of Celebration singer Katrina Ford, tambourine held aloft, crackling fireplace projected onto the wall behind her, was more memorable than any of her lyrics.  I suppose I’ll browse Flickr

I first discovered Celebration last year by mistake.  I went to see Dragons of Zynth, who I suspected would be cool live (I suspected wrong), and wound up drinking beers in a parked car for half the set.  For some reason, despite not enjoying either the Dragons or opening act Lexie Mountain Boys, I decided to check out the headliner, just in case.

I fully expected another band who put more effort into costumes than melody, but was pleasantly surprised by the catchy, atmospheric sounds coming from the Baltimore three-piece; hearing they were playing again last night, I felt like I had to see how they’ve progressed.

Their first two albums were produced by TV on the Radio‘s Dave Sitek, and their new material has the same sorts of sounds: vaguely tribal rhythms (they’ve collaborated with latin-afrobeat giants Antibalas) backing Ford’s wail.  She is often compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Karen O, which may be well-earned, and may be how they lured in collaborator Nick Zinner.

That being said, Celebration continues to defy classification, with an hour-long set of songs that evoke the soundtrack of Hell, or maybe an escape from Hell…or maybe that’s just the fireplace talking.

Lee “Scratch” Perry Concert Review

Posted in Concert Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by dillonator

leescratchperry2

I had the pleasure of seeing Lee “Scratch” Perry perform at Sonar last night, and the legend did not disappoint.

For those of you in need of a history lesson, Perry was an influential and prolific figure in early ska and reggae, first working as a producer for Coxsone Dodd, then going out on his own with The Black Ark.  During his years as a producer, he was responsible for signing and producing tracks for such artists as Max Romeo, The Heptones, and even three Bob Marley records.  His production innovations became much of the basis for ‘dub’ reggae, and he is rightfully considered the Godfather of the genre.

Opening for Perry was H.R., frontman for Bad Brains.  H.R. is apparently currently living in Baltimore, which is likely why his Human Rights Band doesn’t have any other dates scheduled.

H.R. is infamous for onstage antics, and while I’d expected him to have mellowed out some over the years, I expected a little bit more energy.  The band played music very similar to Bad Brains, mostly hard punk with the occasional reggae bridge, and two or three straight reggae songs.  The music was good, but I was not blown away.

Finally, around 11pm, Perry’s band started playing.  They played for about six minutes before septuagenarian Scratch ambled onstage, covered in shiny buttons and rings, and wearing a hat with lit incense sticks poking out of it.

I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, not being extremely familiar with his solo work; I went to the show based on his production work.  However, this turned out to be a non-issue, as most of the songs pretty much sounded the same, with his (extremely tight) backing band keeping up a thick rhythm, while Perry dropped unintelligible lyrics into the mic.  That’s not to say that his lyrics didn’t make sense (although they did not), but rather, it was a mash of reverb-soaked patois and non-words.

The essence of the show was the production, unsurprisingly, and it excelled.  The swirling rhythms kept the crowd moving, and his echoing vocals united the vibe.  Though I didn’t know any of the songs, the simple melodies made it easy to keep up.

He played for almost two hours, including his three-song encore, and unfortunately, he kept his trademark gibberish to a minimum.  I was hoping for some irrelevant babble, but all he gave me was a brief diatribe about vegetarianism.  I guess senility works backwards with crazies?