I always love hearing folks' reviews of shows that they go to and have personally kept a brief review of every live show I've been to, so I thought I'd start a thread where we can report on shows that we see. If no one else wants to join in, no biggie, but I know I'd enjoy hearing about what you all are seeing!
Anyway, last night the wife and I went to the Red Stag Supper Club Block Party and saw some Twin Cities acts (all of which are on eMusic and/or Amie).
The first band we saw was Black Blondie a female R&B/Pop act. They are a four piece with vocals, keyboards, bass, and drums (only the drummer is male). It's not necessary my favorite style, but they were quite enjoyable, and the lead singer has some serious pipes. Plus they used a stand up electric bass for most of the show, and anyone who uses a stand up bass is cool in my book. My favorite song of theirs is Dressed to Kill a Mockingbird
, which they started the show with. They only have one track on eMusic, but their most recent album is still quite cheap on Amie: Link
. I'd give their performance a B-. (I strictly apply the A=Great, B=Good, C=Average, D=Poor, F=Fail scale, so a B- isn't bad.)
Next up was Romantica, a Folk/Americana type band that has long been a favorite of mine. The lead singer/songwriter is originally from Ireland, but has been in the Twin Cities for about 15-20 years. Another four piece with the standard guitar, rhythm/slide guitar, bass, and drums lineup. They played one of my personal favorites The National Side
, but not the other Ixcatan
. About half the show was new stuff off an album that is hopefully due out in October (according to their merch sales guy), and if the album is as good as the live performances it should be a good one. They aren't on Amie, but their 2007 album (which I highly recommend) is on eMusic: Link
. Last night's show gets a B, the music is higher, but the stage presence just isn't where it needs to be for a higher grade.
The last band we saw (there were others on the bill) was hip hop group Heiruspecs. I've seen them before, and they never fail to bring it. They play with a full band (sometimes even with horns), and last night it was 2 MCs, keyboard, guitar, bass, and drums. Original member and bassist "Twinky Jiggles" wasn't at the show last night because his father was getting married, but the fill in did an admirable job. MC "Felix" is an excellent hip hop front man, and MC Muad'dib is a phenomenal beatboxer. They played a number of my favorites including Guns and Knives
and Not You
then closed the show with probably my overall two favorites 5ves
and Get Up
. All I can say about this group is if you get a chance to see them, do it. That goes even if you aren't really a hip hop fan, because they are simply a fantastic live act. Their best LP is on eMusic: A Tiger Dancing
, but I also strongly recommend the compilation Ten Years Strong
that is still cheap on Amie: Link
. They get a solid A for last night's show.
We also caught a couple songs of ELO cover band ELnO, but not enough for me to review.