Posts Tagged With: live

The Polyphonic Spree Live @ The Electric Ballroom (03/09/15)

polywoly

To mark their 15th anniversary, Texan-based symphonic rock band The Polyphonic Spree embark on their tour, offering a live rendition of their first studio album ‘The Beginning Stages…’ played in its entirety. The Polyphonic Spree’s concert at The Electric Ballroom offered an incredible concert experience, one that fans of the band will find to be completely unforgettable. From the playing of ‘The Beginning Stages…’ non-stop in full, to the cosmic second-half of the show, Polyphonic Spree put on one of their best performances, one that connected with every fan of the band on such a personal level that it reminds us why people set out to make music in the first place.

Polyphonic Spree’s performance at The Electric Ballroom saw the band offering up something truly magical. The first half of the concert saw a non-stop playing of the bands’ debut album, which (explained by Tim DeLaughter between songs) was recorded in 48 hours and intended as a demo album). During this half, the audience knew what to expect after each and every song, and slowly anticipation of the album’s favourite tracks built up until the energy in the room was at an incredible level. The performance itself was flawless, with each track sounding as fun, beautiful or even as peculiar as it does on the original recording. Even the album’s more arguably weaker moments added an incredible layer in the live setting. Beautiful moments included the rarely played ‘Days Like This Keep Me Warm’, where the instrumental elements beautiful soared through the air, whilst exciting and energetic moments included the roaring and raucous ‘Light & Day’.

Then came the concert’s second half, which saw Polyphonic Spree not only playing popular songs from their repertoire, but also indulging in some incredible instrumental performances, where each and every performer on stage had their moment to flourish. It was impossible to tell what was going to happen, or what was even going on from time to time, but the sheer showmanship and energy from everyone made it one of the most exciting performances to witness. The concert itself seemed to have around 10 different endings, with each suggested ending giving such a sense of excitement to the audience, before building it all up again with another cosmic musical blowout. It was incredibly easy to see just how much each member of the band enjoys music for the music itself, giving the concert such a genuine and warm sensibility that lacks in so many other bands these days.

The Electric Ballroom performance is easily one of the most unforgettable musical experiences witness, one that still leaves this reviewer stunned in amazement at the sheer energy, magic and wonder given off by the band. In what sometimes feels like such a cynical and dark world, it’s truly wonderful to witness a really passionate and human performance, where music is being played to simply celebrate its own self. Something really connected between the band and the audience that night, as hinted by Tim DeLaughter after the show itself as he reminisced with another audience member about previous performances. As a fan, I will definitely never forget this performance, and we certainly hope The Polphonic Spree won’t either.

Set-List:

1: Have A Day /Celebratory

2: It’s The Sun

3: Days Like This Keep Me Warm

4: La La

5: Middle of the Day

6: Hanging Around the Day Part.1

7: Hanging Around the Day Part.2

8: Soldier Girl

9: Light & Day/Reach for the Sun

10: A Long Day

11: Hold Me Now

12: Younger Yesterday

13: Popular by Design

14: Porpoise Song (Theme from ‘Head’)

15: Everything Starts at the Seam

16: When the Fool Becomes a King

17: Two Thousand Place

18: A Long Day Continues/We Sound Amazed

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Death Cab for Cutie Live @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire (10/06/15)

American rockers from Seattle Death Cab for Cutie’s tour in support of their latest studio album ‘Kintsugi’ brings them to Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a venue filled earlier this year by Canadian band Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Joined by Death Cab for Cutie in a supporting role are the wonderful indie-rockers We Were Promised Jetpacks, whose roaring and raucous rock style created a wonderful experience for all those there. Death Cab for Cutie themselves proceeded to put on a highly enjoyable show, one that failed to not connect with those who’ve grown up with the band over the years.

Death Cab for Cutie’s concert saw the band playing a nice range of tracks, a few spanning back to their very earliest years on Barsuk Records. Whilst the concert and tour was in support of ‘Kintsugi’, Death Cab for Cutie offered a wonderful selection of their old songs, intertwining them nicely with their newest material to create an enjoyable set-list. The energy flowed comfortably from the band, giving excitement and joy during the upbeat and fast-paced tracks, and bitter-sweetness during the more somber moments. Even with all the fame and fortune lead-singer Benjamin Gibbard has garnered over the years, everything still felt genuine and comfortable.

As known by fans of the band, the recording of ‘Kintsugi’ marked the last time founding member Chris Walla will work with the band. The concert itself featured some of Death Cab for Cutie’s best tracks, which were all played wonderfully, but it has to be said that the lack of Chris Walla does give the music a slightly disappointing element, as we know that little extra bit he brought to everything is sadly missing. In fairness to the rest of the band, they certainly pushed themselves to compensate for the lack of Walla, making it look almost easy. It is disappointing to not see Walla with the band, but most of Death Cab for Cutie is certainly better than no Death Cab for Cutie.

The bands’ performance at Shepherd’s Bush Empire was largely successful. Many of the tracks worked wonderfully, connecting to most of the audience members on some personal level, whether through good memories or even bad ones. It just feels as though Gibbard understands largely what makes everyone human, and knows how to present this through a musical format in a way that connects with everyone. Highlights include some very old songs from Death Cab for Cutie’s back catalogue, from ‘Company Calls’ to ‘Your Bruise’ from the bands’ first album, as well as some absolutely beautiful moments through the performance of ‘What Sarah Said’, ‘Passenger Seat’ and ‘Transatlanticism’ (of which closed the set). Arguably this might not be the absolute best concert from Death Cab for Cutie ever, but it is certainly one that is memorable for all its own reasons.

Set-List:

1: No Room In Frame

2: Crooked Teeth

3: Photobooth

4: Black Sun

5: Doors Unlocked And Open

6: The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

7: Title & Registration

8: Codes & Keys

9: Little Wanderer

10: No Sunlight

11: Company Calls

12: You’ve Haunted Me All My Life

13: What Sarah Said

14: I Will Follow You Into The Dark

15: El Dorado

16: You Are A Tourist

17: The New Year

18: Cath…

19: Soul Meets Body

20: I Will Possess Your Heart

-Encore-

21: Passenger Seat

22: Your Bruise

23: Marching Band of Manhattan

24: Transatlanticism

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor Live @ Shepherd’s Bush Empire (20/04/15)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s return to both music and live performances since the release of 2012’s ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend’ has brought joy to fans of the band all across the world. In support of their recent studio album of ‘Asunder! Sweet And Other Distress’, instrumental rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor set off again, with a few dates in London for the English fans of the band. Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s performance was one of mystery and intrigue, certainly a little baffling to those who are completely unaware of what their live performances are like, but also completely engrossing as well.

The concert started with the band coming on stage individually to a darkened room to simply check their instruments, before leaving the entire audience bracing the brooding sounds of a drone for roughly ten minutes. Audiences were then treated to customary tracks from Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s live gigs, as well as a few surprises here and there, mostly in the form of two new tracks which displayed the ingenuity and craftsmanship we’ve come to know from the band. There was a quiet sense in the air during the new songs as the audience understood they were hearing the new material which has been discussed previously on the internet, but not yet committed to tape (as far as we know). These hauntingly beautiful and intense tracks will forever stick out in my head, making this an unforgettable experience.

There were a lot of elements of confusion from time to time at the concert. Mostly in the incredibly unorthodox way Godspeed You! Black Emperor presented themselves. The band simply arrived on stage, played their tracks, and then wandered back off stage, without a word to the audience. This puzzling behavior seems incredibly rude when compared to the behavior of every other band in their own live concerts, but it seems excusable for a band like this. When it comes to the music the band are offering, both on recording and in a live setting, what more do we really need? The band played each and every song with such expertise and precision, creating an incredible emotional connection with each track, whether it was the intensely charged ‘Mladic’, the hauntingly beautiful untitled second track, or the sinister brooding ‘East Hastings’.

One could not have asked for more from Godspeed You! Black Emperor. A truly unforgettable experience was presented by the band, without so much as a word being uttered by any band member. To create such a connection with the audience shows the true power of the band’s music, and how sometimes you don’t need words, or need to have something explained in order to feel something so strongly and with such power. Sometimes all you really need is just the music, which easily flow over you, inspiring a whole myriad of emotions and feeling. A strong shout-out should also be given to the excellent support band Xylorious White, whose two man team filled up the concert with a wonderful sound of drums and guitars, intriguing those who didn’t know of them before, but certainly pleasing them.

Set-List:

1: Hope Drone

2: Untitled Song #1

3: Mladic

4: Untitled Song #2

5: Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’

6: Lamb’s Breath

7: Asunder, Sweet

8: Piss Crowns are Trebled

9: The Sad Mafioso

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Mika Like @ Adelphi (18/10/15)

mika live

After a long stint spent abroad, hosting French variations of The X Factor and The Voice, Lebanese-born British singer and performer Mika returns to the UK for a few dates. His concert at the Adelphi saw many of his British fans flock to the theater, as well as a few from overseas. The tour saw Mika and his new backing band supporting the release of his fourth studio album ‘No Place In Heaven’, with the tour offering live renditions of the albums tracks, with the customary hit singles from his previous works thrown in for good measure. Whilst a mostly fun and upbeat affair, it seems the entire gig pales in comparison to Mika’s earlier tours and concerts.

Something about Mika’s concert at the Adelphi just didn’t seem to work. The crowd definitely enjoyed everything, except the starter band who seemed to bore people to the extent where they felt they needed to talk loudly about the most inane of topics. Even starter bands deserve respect for coming out and playing, even if they were arguably not that good. It’s a simple common courtesy to both the band and everyone else in the audience who payed the same price as you. Anyway, getting back on topic, Mika himself certainly did his best to put on an enjoyable show. It’s hard not to get pulled into the lovely and charming world Mika presents with his songs. It’s when something didn’t work did this vision get pulled away.

There were many elements to this concert which didn’t seem to work well. For starters, the backing band seemed a little thin, failing to add enough to the songs and leaving them mostly dry and empty-sounding. The venue itself, a theater known mostly for its current production of Kinky Boots, was simply a poor choice of venue for the type of crowd Mika draws in. When being presented with pop songs, one simply wants to dance around. The Adelphi’s tight sardine-like seating arrangement on every floor meant everyone was simply sat, facing Mika as he performed. On the occasions where everyone got up to dance, there was simply no room to move around. Then there was Mika himself, whose voice seems to be failing him. It seems he’s simply unable to sing the way he once did, and must instead resort to slightly more lackluster renditions of a few of his more well known track.

It’s wrong to say Mika failed at his concert though, as the entire crowd applauded and cheered at any given moment, as well as joining in with a few of Mika’s little gimmicks here and there. It just doesn’t feel like Mika is at the same position as he once was. Any time a track from his recent album ‘No Place In Heaven’ was performed, it reminded a few of us that his new material simply doesn’t work on the same level as his earlier material. There were highlights, but so much of the concert just came across as disappointing, with Mika himself coming across as a sad almost faded version of his former self. Maybe he doesn’t have it in himself anymore, maybe he does. We’ll see in time I guess.

Highlights:

  • Relax (Take It Easy)
  • Talk About You
  • Underwater
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Live at 9:30 – Animal Collective

First posted on echoesanddust.com.

Baltimore’s psychedelic experimental band Animal Collective offer their latest release since their 2012 studio album ‘Centipede Hz’, with the release of a vinyl-only live album ‘Live at 9:30′. The live album comprises a selection of tracks from their live show, most comprising of tracks from the bands’ last album, though also including a few numbers from the popular 2009 album ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, and the 2005 album effort of ‘Feels’. ‘Live at 9:30’ is somewhat of a typical Animal Collective record, with it being a mostly chaotic and confusing bombardment of sounds and noises, all of which comes together in the most oddest form of coherency.

‘Live at 9:30’ may be another quintessential Animal Collective experience, though it is one that manages to capture the wonderfully bizarre yet engrossing world of their live shows. The live album mostly sees the band exploring tracks from their previous album ‘Centipede Hz’, somehow managing to draw out even more absurd and crazy notions that weren’t present on the album version. Throughout all the chaos is Animal Collective showing off what makes their music so utterly engrossing and wonderful. It’s difficult not to get pulled into the charming ‘Did You See The Words’ or be amazed by how ‘Pulleys’ gets turned into a 15-minute freak-out.

Like most Animal Collective releases, there is a strong element of in-accessibility, making much of the album a rather difficult listen. Whilst ‘Centipede Hz’ challenged fans who came through on the hype of the somewhat accessible ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’, we see Animal Collective further challenging those notions, through their morphing of ‘Centipede Hz’ tracks into more difficult, more in-accessible and more bizarre musical odysseys. At times, ‘Live at 9:30′ gets almost overbearingly difficult to listen too, though it does showcase the bands’ phenomenal live style which is certainly pleasing to those who like a challenge from time to time.

Animal Collective’s latest release ‘Live at 9:30’ might not be the most easiest and comfortable listening experience, though it is one that should certainly please fans of the band since their earliest years, and perhaps please those who are willing and accepting of the more unpredictable and more-or-less insane musical style of the band. There’s some phenomenal moments being presented by the band on this live album, giving the whole album experience a somewhat charming feel, as it is wonderful to see the band capturing their live essence in such a strong and wonderful light.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★☆ 4/5

Selected Songs:

  • Did You See The Words
  • Pulleys
  • What Would I Want? Sky
  • The Purple Bottle

Animal Collective’s  live album ‘Live at 9:30’ is out now on Domino. 

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Plays Guitar and Fiddle. Sings A Bit – Phil Beer

phil_beer_morwelham_quay

Musician and performer Phil Beer offers up his latest solo endeavor, the live album ‘Plays Guitar And Fiddle. Sings A Bit’. The new album features a selection of tracks from three years worth of live shows, featuring Beer performing a wonderful selection of both traditional and somewhat nontraditional folk tracks, all combined together seamlessly into one coherent live album experience. Beer’s presence on his latest records provides a warming invitation into his own musical world, where both the performer and the listeners both feel a part of something special. Musically, there’s very few elements within each of the songs, though arguably this adds to the album experience, making it an intimate and low-key performance, and an enjoyable album experience.

Phil Beer’s live CD is arguably leans towards a sort of minimalist sensibility, opting for sheer presence rather than an over-abundance of instruments. At the core of each track is Beer himself, using his own talents as a vocalist and musician to present a gentle and inviting side to the various songs. Beer provides variety on the album experience through a shifting of the core instruments, whether it be the guitar, the fiddle or his own voice. Everything equates in a gentle musical performance, where Beer makes you feel a part of his own performance through his presentation of his music.

Whilst there’s much to enjoy from Beer’s latest solo endeavor, the album experience itself seems to be one that is perhaps a little too limited to really be appreciated by many. The main appeal of the album seems to be Beer’s presence, though it only seems to work if one knows and is familiar with the person himself. ‘Plays Guitar and Fiddle. Sings A Bit’ benefits from its gentle and warming sound, though it seems to come across as a record that is only really for true fans of the singer, and one that won’t find its way into the hands of those who aren’t at all familiar with any of the performer’s work.

 There’s much to enjoy from Phil Beer’s latest solo album, though it falls into its own little niche that prevents it from coming across as an essential listening experience. Although this comes across quite strongly on the album, there’s also a sense that this is simply an enjoyable experience for those who already enjoy Beer’s music. ‘Plays Guitar and Fiddle. Sings A Bit’ doesn’t ever seem to insist upon itself, and is simply a somewhat quaint but rather sweet album experience for those who enjoy that kind of thing. It might not demonstrate the absolute best of Beer’s talents, though it does display his remarkable and warming presence in a live setting.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★☆☆ 3/5

Selected Songs:

  • Weathercock
  • Harvest Song
  • Tunes – The Marriage Vow/ Gwennap/Old Riley
  • Pleasant And Delightful

Phil Beer’s latest album ‘Plays Guitar And Fiddle. Sings A Bit’ is out now on Talking Elephant Records.

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Lissie Live @ KOKO (28/08/13)

American folk-rock artist Elisabeth Corrin Maurus, known better as Lissie, has been making a storm with her wonderful and energetic live concerts. Lissie’s concert at KOKO saw the singer diving headfirst into a wonderfully pumped up show, where there was tons of attitude everywhere you looked. The live concert in support of Lissie’s most recent album ‘Back To Forever’ featured the singer performing many of her new tracks, as well as some old favourites from her debut album. The whole concert came across as a rather intimate performance, with Lissie clearly enjoying the work she does, and making sure her audience enjoys it just the same.

Even with a somewhat small venue, Lissie clearly packs in the same amount of care and attention than she would for any audience of any size. The whole concert packs an incredible punch, as Lissie churns out rocker after rocker after rocker, only ever pausing to either switch over to a differently tuned guitar, or drink the occasional gulp of vodka. There doesn’t seem to be any stopping for the singer, who manages to pelt out track after track, filling the room with a buzzing energy in every song. The set-list for the show contains a wonderful selection of tracks, featuring the best songs from both albums. What’s of key interest here though is how Lissie manages to present the songs from the first album with the same energy and passion as her new songs. Everything feels much more older, mature and full of attitude. And it’s hard not to like.

Lissie’s concert is essentially everyone one would want from a performer such as her. A lovely intimate gig where the audience has love and respect for the performer, who in turn has a lot of admiration for the people who have come to see her perform. It was easy to see in Lissie’s performance how much she was enjoying the show, as she managed to pack in such a tremendous amount of energy, all the time smiling with each and every song. One couldn’t ask any more of Lissie, who managed to put on one hell of a show, especially in such a small venue.

It’s plain to see the appeal of a singer like Lissie, who manages to throw her own slant into the whole singer/songwriter genre. The tracks themselves are full of fun, and sound brilliant within the live setting. The whole set-list in particular showed a great selection of tracks, where each and every song flowed into each other comfortably, sustaining the energy that Lissie built up with her performance. Particular highlights included the energetic performance of ‘When I’m Alone’, and the full-of-attitude ‘Shameless’, as well as an interesting cover of ‘Pursuit Of Happiness’ by Kid Cudi, which saw Lissie reworking the song into her own rock style. It was certainly a great way for Lissie to end her show.

Set-List

  1. Bully
  2. Record Collector
  3. Sleepwalking
  4. Love in the City
  5. The Habit
  6. When I’m Alone
  7. They All Want You
  8. I Don’t Wanna Go To Work
  9. Little Lovin’
  10. Everywhere I Go
  11. Shameless
  12. Shroud
  13. Further Away(Romance Police)
  14. In Sleep
  15. Oh Mississippi
  16. Pursuit of Happiness (Kid Cudi cover)
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Radiohead Live @ 02 Arena (08/08/12)

 

Whilst Radiohead’s ‘The King of Limbs’ might have been a rather polarizing album when first released, featuring unusual musical techniques and motifs even for Radiohead, it seems the tracks featured on the album find themselves at their best in the live context by the band. Radiohead’s performance at the 02 Arena certainly featured a very unusual selection of Radiohead tracks, with there being very few fan favourites, though the performance still sticks out as a wonderful representation of what Radiohead are capable of. The concert itself showed new majesty and life in some tracks we might not pay much attention to.

Much of Radiohead’s performance was a rather dark and almost macabre affair, with many tracks contributing towards this rather unsettling atmosphere. Although somewhat unsettling at times, there was an incredibly refined performance from the band, who managed to get everything they pushed out sounding as perfect as it could possibly be. The set-list was certainly an odd selection of tracks, featuring mostly new compositions from the band, and very little that could be deemed as ‘popular’. Not to say that it wasn’t enjoyable though. Radiohead’s technical performance was near perfect, with tracks such as ‘Bloom’, ‘Myxomatosis’ and ‘The Gloaming’, (which are somewhat uninspiring tracks on their albums), actually became some of the highlights of the concert. A few surprises included were the performance of the non-album track ‘These Are My Twisted Words’, which sounded even better than its original recording. On top of that was one of the most beautiful renditions of ‘Pyramid Song’, which tugged at the heart-strings in its absolutely harrowing beauty, and a phenomenally electric performance of ‘There There’, which managed to get the whole audience going.

Whilst Radiohead managed to get a lot of their ‘King of Limbs’ tracks sounding at arguably their best, their whole concert seemed a little lackluster to a small extent. There was a somewhat polarizing element to the gig due to the set-list Radiohead had opted for, which included many unusual tracks, and few well known tracks. Whilst it was incredibly enjoyable hearing these more unknown tracks from Radiohead, it seemed the rest of the audience didn’t really get it, with their only electric moments being when the band played ‘Karma Police’ and ‘Everything In Its Right Place’. The whole polarizing and dividing aspect of ‘The King of Limbs’ became much more apparent during Radioheads performance as one just had to look around to see how almost uninterested many of the audience members were. Considering the gig was first released as a concert for fans, it seems unusual how the audience didn’t feel like getting themselves involved.

Radiohead’s concert might perhaps have been as polarizing as the album it accompanied, but it provided some brilliant insight into some the inner workings of the bands more unusual songs. The band themselves certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves as they launched into phenomenal versions of particular odd tracks. The gigs highlights seem to be the performance of these odd little tracks, which made up a very significant portion of the set-list itself. Perhaps to outsiders this isn’t a clear indication of what Radiohead is capable of, but to those who know and love their music, they should have been able to see the brilliance of the band through their performance.

Set-List

  1. Lotus Flower
  2. 15 Step
  3. Bloom
  4. Kid A
  5. The Daily Mail
  6. Myxomatosis
  7. Climbing Up The Walls
  8. The Gloaming
  9. Separator
  10. These Are My Twisted Words
  11. Like Spinning Plates
  12. Nude
  13. Identikit
  14. Karma Police
  15. Feral
  16. Idioteque
  17. Pyramid Song
  18. Staircase
  19. Morning Mr. Magpie
  20. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  21. Reckoner
  22. Give Up The Ghost
  23. There There
  24. Everything In Its Right Place
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Muse Live @ Emirates Stadium, London (25/05/13)

 

Muse’s performance at Emirates Stadium will always stick out as one of the most majestic, outlandish and incredible live concerts of 2013. Featuring incredible showmanship from the band, who incorporate great pillars of fire, pre-recorded and live-recorded films and a giant robot named ‘Charles’, we’re reminded of the incredible power of Muse’s live concerts. Muse’ energy seems unmatched as they launch into a wonderful set-list, featuring (better) versions of the songs from their latest album, and wonderful resurrections of tracks spanning their entire career.

A few surprises are littered along the way as we’re bombarded with noise and rock by the band. Many of the performances come across as incredible and electric, and Muse display a remarkable energy that never seems to wane at any point. Certain performances stick out due to the incredible visual display being offered by the band. The performance of ‘Animals’ from the bands latest album features wonderful imagery of stock market values, whilst also displaying a film of stock brokers in meeting. As the track descends into the madness of its third section, we see a particular stock broker wandering through a large crowd, and it takes a second or two to realize that it’s in fact not pre-recorded footage, but actually live footage of the stock broker wandering through the actual crowd at the concert. Muse finish their performance of ‘Animals’ by launching into their magnum opus, first having bassist Christopher Wolstenholme play a rendition of Ennio Morricone’s ‘The Man With The Harmonica’ over the now dead stock broker, before the whole band dive headfirst into a pure electric performance of ‘Knights With Cydonia’.

Whilst the band certainly manage to show a great range of tracks in their set-list, playing songs that span the bands whole career, a few certain tracks sadly feel a little bit misplaced. The bands’ own cover of Lightning Bolt’s ‘Dracula Mountain’ certainly adds an incredible amount of energy to the whole stage, but there’s a somewhat polarizing element to the performance. The energy is present in the audience, but it feels a little bit more cautious, as though they’re not entirely sure of what they’re meant to be doing, or what the band is even doing themselves. This continues on when the band launch up the old non-album track of ‘Dead Star’, whose aggressive riffs and sound certainly attempt to get the audience going, but it doesn’t seem as universally loved as some of the bands’ other songs.

The whole concert feels full of energy, even when the band launch into a more gentle section near the closing end of the gig. The band resurrect ‘Showbiz’s beautiful track ‘Unintended’, which stops the whole audience right in their track, before they go off into a beautiful rendition of ‘Blackout’, featuring acrobatics circling the stage. It’s incredibly beautiful for the most part, but it doesn’t stop the band from launching right back into their pumped up tracks as they come out for an encore. Fan favourites ‘Plug In Baby’ and ‘Starlight’ help to close the whole show, leaving everything with a slightly out-of-breath quality. One can only look back and think of how amazing and full of energy the whole show was, full of theatrics, showmanship and over-the-top performances that certainly showcase Muse as being one of the most important bands in the rock genre today.

Set-List:

  1. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
  2. Supermassive Black Hole
  3. Panic Station
  4. Bliss
  5. Resistance
  6. Animals
  7. Knights of Cydonia (Feat. The Man With The Harmonica)
  8. Dracula Mountain (Lightning Bolt cover)
  9. United States of Eurasia
  10. Dead Star
  11. Monty Jam
  12. Feeling Good (Bricusse & Newley cover)
  13. Follow Me
  14. Liquid State
  15. Madness
  16. Time Is Running Out
  17. New Born
  18. Unintended
  19. Blackout
  20. Guiding Light
  21. Undisclosed Desires
  22. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
  23. Plug In Baby
  24. Survival
  25. The 2nd Law: Isolated System
  26. Uprising
  27. Starlight
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Chante Georges Brassens – Mountain Men

The phenomenal blues duo made up of Mathieu ‘Mr. Mat’ Guillou & Ian ‘Barefoot iano’ Giddey, also known as Mountain Men, return with their double-disc live album ‘Chante Georges Brassens’. The new live album captures the electric performance from the bands’ concert in Saint Malo. Across two discs of music, clocking in at roughly an hour and forty minutes of music, we’re treated to a wonderful selection of tracks from Georges Brassens repertoire, performed by Mountain Men with such amazing confidence and energy. Although this release is much more accessible to french audiences, there is still something universally understandable and accessible about the music Mountain Men present, which easily allows any fan to dive straight into the energy of the live performance presented on the two discs.

To those familiar with Mountain Men’s brilliant blues style, which makes prominent use of acoustic guitars and harmonicas, there’ll be a lot that is familiar and enjoyable on ‘Chante Georges Brassens’. Although the songs are not Mountain Men’s, the presentation is ultimately their own, which works phenomenally well for the music of Georges Brassens. Mountain Men go from song to song, never once losing the energy that they present from the moment the first track begins. The live album itself presents a wonderful insight into the energy and performance of Mountain Men in their live setting, who seem to grab the audience and pull them into their world of blues music. To hear the audience indulging in the more well known moments of Georges Brassens’ songs and accompany Mountain Men in their own performance just brings a smile to the face, and certainly showcases Mountain Men’s strong and commanding performance.

Even though live music albums always come with an element of longing to be at the venue itself, which normally negates any effect from a live album release, it seems though that Mountain Men have pushed so much into ‘Chante Georges Brassens’, making it such a positive and enjoyable album release. So much of the album comes across as strong, with the only weakness perhaps being how the album itself might sound a little bit inaccessible to non-French audiences, who the music ultimately isn’t really aimed for. Mountain Men though present such a wonderful performance on ‘Chante Georges Brassens’ that it ultimately seems to transcend the national barriers, with the enjoyment of the music easily sucking anyone from any nationality in.

‘Chante Georges Brassens’ might be different to some of Mountain Men’s previous releases (mostly in that it contains none of their own songs), but once the album has been listened to in its entirety, it all begins to make sense. This is ultimately a Mountain Men release true and true, who take the music of Georges Brassens and present it in such a strong and enjoyable way that it ultimately becomes their own. It’s a perfect tribute to such a strong song-writer, who with no doubt would have most likely enjoyed the style Mountain Men present almost as much as the audience do on the album itself. ‘Chante Georges Brassens’ is a wonderful addition to Mountain Men’s repertoire, and certainly a joy to listen to.

Album Rating:

  • ★★★★★ 5/5

Selected Songs:

  • Don Juan
  • La Complainte Des Filles De Joie
  • Le Gorille
  • Supplique Pour Etre Enterre A La Plage De Sete

Mountain Men’s latest live album ‘Chante Georges Brassens’ is set for release on 5th May 2014.

Categories: Live Albums, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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