Concert Review: AFPSalon – Amanda Palmer, Cormac Bride, Sarah Borrello (6/4/2013)

As mentioned in my previous post, I was hoping to be lucky enough to win a ticket to the June 4th “Salon” that Amanda Palmer held at Red Star Union here in Cambridge. Well – I was! I found out the morning of the show that I would have a ticket waiting for me at Will Call. It was an exciting show to go to for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was in a teeny tiny venue (capacity ~50); and secondly, it was being broadcast worldwide via webstream. We were essentially the “live studio audience” to make it feel like a real concert. I was impressed with the quality of the crowd – they were both enthusiastic and extremely well behaved. During a four-hour concert with an open bar, having a crowd that is absolutely can-hear-a-pin-drop quiet and respectful for twenty minutes at a time is pretty amazing. I am sure nobody wanted to be “that guy” when we were being watched by thousands of people around the world. đŸ˜‰

I had never been to Red Star Union before, and it was in quite a strange location. The venue is located in a fancy office building in what is essentially a biotech park, and there’s no obvious signage outside. Very difficult to find if you don’t get really good directions in advance, so be forewarned if you’re going to a show there. Once we actually got in to the venue, you’d never know where you were – it was a cozy little space, with excellent sound and sightlines. They had brought in some full-of-character furniture from home to make it into more of a homey atmosphere.

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(That’s Anthony Martignetti and Amanda Palmer during one of the discussion segments.)

Amanda explained to us that (more…)

Concert review: The Residents (2/12/2013)

This week I went to see The Residents at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art. The ICA is an absolutely beautiful place to see a concert, with perfect sightlines and great sound, which makes up for it being so inconvenient to get to from where I live. They put on quite a few interesting “new music” concerts there, and I’ve seen some truly remarkable performances thanks to them. It is, however, a slightly strange place for a band like the Residents to play. Not really the sort of band you expect to find in a museum.

Me reviewing the Residents is a little bit like NPR’s “You’ve Never Heard?” series, where they make an intern listen to something that was supposed to be really important when their parents were kids. The Residents were recording and performing for years before I was even born! I decided to go see them based on reputation alone (as a live music buff, I generally will go see a band live rather than buying a couple of CDs or spending an hour on Youtube checking them out). So I didn’t know what to expect aside from some vague impressions I’d gotten over the years.

I certainly wasn’t expecting a Christmas theme – but this is what we got! The set for the show was a giant inflatable Christmas decoration of the type that crazy people put on their lawns around the holidays. And here I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with any more giant Santas until September or October… oh well. When the band came out, I was impressed by the weird and extremely cool masks that Bob and Chuck were wearing, and a bit put off by (more…)