Concert Mini-Reviews: Tiger Lillies (7/15/2013), Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys (7/19/2013), Hot Club of Somerville (7/20/2013)

I had to work too much overtime this week to keep up with my concert reviews, so I’m giving you a quick three-fer of theatrical musical performances from the past week.

Last Monday I went to the always-lovely Oberon in Harvard Square to see the Tiger Lillies. I think of them as a real “love it or hate it” kind of band, although I may be the exception that proves the rule – I’m more in the “like” camp. They’re a lot of fun, and they know how to put on a good concert, but I can’t say their music really reaches me on any deeper level. That said, there’s definitely a place in my life for bands that are just fun!

They are a unique three-piece band featuring mostly-falsetto lead vocals and a variety of instruments including accordion, drums, upright bass, piano, and theremin. Their music recalls theatrical styles like cabaret and vaudeville, while their lyrics tend to be both filthy and macabre. Monday night’s show was a lot of fun, they received a very enthusiastic response from a fairly diverse audience. (I’ll be honest, the people sitting next to me were scaring me a little. But that’s a story for another day.) The band took some requests for the encore, which made a lot of their fans very happy.

This video will give you a good idea of their sound and style:

The other two concerts of the week were part of the Outside the Box Festival on Boston Common, at the Spiegeltent, which turned out to be a pretty nice (temporary) venue. Some of the sound/sightlines from the booths in the rear/sides could be a bit iffy, but in the center part of the venue it was excellent. They also did a great job with programming local theater and music performances.

I recently did a more thorough review of of the band we saw on Friday, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, which you can read here (click to read). Their performance this weekend was really excellent, lots of fun, and they really seemed to impress the audience, which seemed to include a lot of people who hadn’t heard them before. Partway through their set I felt obligated to get up out of my seat and join the dancing crowds down on the floor, and I was very glad I did as the set only got better and better, culminating in an absolutely glorious over-the-top Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover. You should’ve been there, let me tell you! But if you weren’t, you can catch them at their next show in August at the Nines festival, which has a pretty nice lineup including Dr. Dog and Explosions in the Sky.

The week’s final event was the Boston Circus Guild’s “Speakeasy Circus” show (also in the Spiegeltent), with the Hot Club of Somerville playing a couple of short live sets between all of the circus acts (jugglers, dancers, comedy, acrobats, etc. – they put together a really fun night). We really enjoyed their music a lot and it added a lot of energy to the evening. You can check out some of their music here:

I can’t find any listings for an upcoming Hot Club of Somerville concert, but hopefully we’ll be seeing more of them soon!

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