The night didn’t start well. Five hours before the event the rain came through. Ordinarily a little rain wouldn’t have hurt anything. But this was an outdoor show. The stage sat near the water, and while it was covered, there would be no shelter for those watching the performance. The only alternate location, the Stewart House, had been ravaged and destroyed by the flood waters of Hurricane Irene and was currently closed.
Two hours before the event one of the keyboard players Daniel A. Weiss called. He had thrown out his back the night before and would not be able to make it.
One hour before the gig the concert promoter called and said that there had been a mix-up with the dates. There was no sound man available. This was a problem, since most of the band members were already at the venue or on their way from out of town or out of state. Concert-goers were already showing up. The promoter insisted they cancel the concert immediately.
From Broadway hits to rock n’ roll licks, Saturday night’s Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp show at The Egg Performing Arts Center had something for everyone. The twosome most recognized from their days in the musical theater smash hit turned blockbuster movie “Rent,” each brought their own respective bands and styles to the stage.
With his relaxed, storytelling approach, Michael Poulopoulos’ solo debut “Greenhorn” feels like an intimate conversation with the singer, sitting on his front porch as he gently strums his acoustic guitar.
A separate journey from his path as one-half the acoustic duo of Palatypus, this new singular effort is a pleasing mix of blues, folk and rock, and connects many of Poulopoulos’ influences: Dylan, Prine, Young, but updates the sound with his own uncomplicated, minimalistic style.
On the opening track “Drunk,” Ryan Dunham’s occasional harmonica wafts over Poulopoulos’ bare chords and soothing Jack Johnson-esque voice. “No Diamonds To Toss” is a lovesick lullaby all about trying to forget the one you loved, with Courtney Blackwell harmonizing in the background.
The Acoustic Woodstock Allstars (photo by Ed Conway)
Billed as “The Reviewers at The Egg,” the tenth anniversary celebration of the American Roots and Branches concert series featured several of the Capital Region’s music and entertainment journalists and their bands. Now they get to see what it feels like to have all their hard work analyzed and boiled down to three or four paragraphs. This would have been the perfect opportunity to get even for any of the things they may have written about other artists, but unfortunately (fortunately?), the evening was quite enjoyable.
Every once in a while, we feel the need to venture beyond the Nippertown borders for a musical adventure, so here’s the first in our From the Fringe series of concert reviews:
A giant balloon caterpillar covered the ceiling at the Higher Ground Ballroom in Burlington, Vermont for Monday night’s concert by the Cold War Kids. Ribbed with purple and green stripes, it dangled its orange tentacles over the curious crowd as many stopped to point or snap pictures of the strange scene.
The Cold War Kids kick-started their set with rumbling bongos and a deep blue stage background befitting for their first song “Royal Blue.” The popular “Hang Me Up to Dry” was up next, with the crowd singing along with the chorus: “Now hang me up to dry, you’ve rung me out too, too, too many times…” Lead singer Nathan Willett’s often whimsical voice translated well on stage, sounding strong and clear, and not at all as capricious as it sometimes does on record. And “Skip the Charades” had an enjoyable, waltzy feel to it.
“O Fortuna” pumped through the speakers onto the empty Northern Lights stage, as eager audience members clutched their smart phones, ready to record the first glimpses of 30 Seconds to Mars last Friday night.
Segueing into the opening song “A Beautiful Lie,” front man Jordan Catalano, er, Jared Leto hid his usually black-lined eyes behind dark sunglasses and raised his hands up to the wailing crowd in a manner that seemed to both calm and excite them simultaneously.
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