Reviews

Concert Review: Matthew Good, March 24, 2010, Double Door, Chicago

Posted on by Tom in Concerts, Everything, Music, Reviews | Leave a comment

(photo from: http://www.queensjournal.ca/media/stories/v135/i18/matthew-good.jpg)

This was a show I wanted to see out of pure nostalgia, and is the first real concert I have seen since moving to Chicago last fall.

The nostalgia has its source from a show that the Matthew Good Band played at Red’s in Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall…somewhere around 10 years ago (now I feel old).  The band entered to the Imperial March, and then stayed after the show to sign posters/t-shirts/cds etc.  I think I still have a signed poster (of the Underdogs album) somewhere in my storage closet.  Anyway, Matthew Good and his band were considered Canadian rock royalty back in the day (during the 90’s).

We arrived in time to catch the last 2 songs of the opening set by The Ragtones (the opener on the ticket was a band called Automatic Loveletter…not sure why they didn’t play).  I don’t have much to say about these guys…the music sounded alright, but the vocals were drowned out by the guitars.  Blame the sound guy for that one.  They all did wear really cool hats though, so there may be hope for them.

Enter now a 38-year old, slightly chubby, hipster-glasses wearing Matt Good.  I was a bit worried at first, since I had such fond memories of his music; however, despite his less-than-rocker appearance, once he stepped up to the mic and started singing, my worries were assuaged.

He played a spirited set featuring songs mainly from his new album “Vancouver”, with old favourites like “Apparitions” and “Load Me Up” from earlier albums mixed in.  Crowd involvement peaked for “Weapon”, a popular song from the “Avalanche” album, with many people singing along to the lyrics.  While I can’t say that he was as energetic as before, he still can belt out the vocals.

What amazed me most from the set, however, was not the music.  It was the late 20’s/early 30’s groupie who stood at the front of the stage, trying to get Matt Good’s attention.  At first it was funny…she had a couple of patches that were sold at old Matt Good concerts and had sewn them on a jacket.  He played along for a bit, but it was clear he was mostly amused by this woman.  Apparently, she has been following him along on his US tour, and was going to see the next show in Detroit.  I thought that this groupie was at once both amusing and pathetic, but at least it shows that Matthew Good still has some of the attributes of star performer.  I think once you lose your groupies, it is an inevitable sign of your decline as an artist.

So, for a solid set and for the nostalgia, this show gets a Panic Manual rating of:

P.S. The Double Door is a venue in Wicker Park, and is famous for being the music club that was featured in the movie “High Fidelity”…pretty cool place! (although the drinks are expensive – $6.50 for a beer).

BRMC Album and Tour Update

Posted on by Vik in Concerts, Everything, Theatre | 3 Comments

brmc black rebel motorcycle club Beat The Devil's Tattoo

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard any news on a new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club album. Something we have been anticipating especially after the heated debate on whether their last release ‘The Effects of 333′ was considered a proper follow up to Baby 81 (or even a proper album for that matter).

According to a recent update the is set to release ‘Beat The Devil’s Tattoo’, on March 9th and is embarking on an extensive tour through North America and Europe beginning February 26th, 2010.

I for one am looking forward to hearing some new stuff. Here are the dates:

February 26 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s
February 27 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
February 28 Las Vegas, NV Wasted Space @ Hard Rock Hotel
March 2 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre
March 4 Boise, ID Knitting Factory
March 5 Seattle, WA Showbox Market
March 6 Vancouver, B.C. Commodore
March 7 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom
March 9 San Francisco, CA Slim’s
March 13 San Diego, CA House of Blues
March 14 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
March 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
March 20 Houston, TX House of Blues
March 21 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom
March 23 St. Louis, MO Pageant
March 24 Madison, WA High Noon
March 25 Chicago, IL Metro
March 26 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall Ballroom
March 27 Minneapolis, MN First Ave.
March 30 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall
March 31 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
April 1 Toronto, ONT Phoenix
April 2 Montreal, QC La Tulipe
April 3 Boston, MA House of Blues
April 5 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
April 7 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts
April 8 New York, NY Webster Hall

Check out their website for the rest of ‘em.

SummerWorks Review: Greenland [The Greenland Collective]

Posted on by Brian in Everything, Reviews, Summerworks, Theatre | Leave a comment

GNLD 43

It’s been a few days now, and aside from finding new and creative ways to put off writing my last couple of SummerWorks reviews, I’ve been thinking about Greenland, and trying to come up with reasons why it’s such an amazingly spectacular show. Certainly, along with Melancholy Play, it’s the best show of the festival, at least out of the ones I saw.

Really, it’s all about the characters.

Jonathan (Andrew Musselman) is one of the world’s leading glaciologists (yeah it’s a real thing, look it up). He’s discovered an island off the coast of Greenland, previously unknown because it was covered by a glacier. He relates his story of being interviewed about his discovery. He talks about his father, about getting his Dad ice for his belts of rye when he was small. He talks a little about his own family, particularly his wife Judith. It’s all quite interesting and funny and just a bit sad.

Judith (Clair Calnan) is Jonathan’s wife. She’s an actor, and desperately wants a kid by Jonathan. She talks about feeling like her ovaries are drying up. How she and her husband are not really a good match, that they don’t really understand each other’s occupations. And she talks about her sister an brother-in-law, and how they were killed in an accident, when a piece broke off a bridge and crushed their car while they were in it, orphaning their two teenage kids. About her and Jonathan taking them both in. And she smokes like a chimney while doing it. It’s really sad, rather sexy, and compelling as hell.

Tanya (Jajube Mandiela) is their niece and adopted daughter. She’s doing a school report on Greenland. She talks about her twin brother, about dealing with death, about living with Jonathan and Judith, and makes up a fable on the spot for Jonathan’s newly-discovered island. It’s REALLY sad, but also inspiring and stunning.

And that’s all there is to it, really. The three of them come up, one at a time, with a spotlight on each, and they tell their stories. They don’t interact with each other on stage, they don’t speak to each other. The story comes out through their respective soliloquies, and it paints a complex, sad family picture.

It’s just a terrific piece of work, and all three actors in it are wonderful. The details of their stories is fantastic and the performances so nuanced that’s it was impossible not to be completely drawn in.

The show was an hour long, but flew by.

If you see that there’s a production of this show upcoming, see it, especially if this cast is reprising their roles. Hopefully it’ll be in a bigger space, since the 55-seat Passe Muraille Backspace couldn’t accommodate everyone who wanted to see it (I felt bad, some people waited in line for an hour and still didn’t get in, while I had advance tickets).

SummerWorks: Capsule Reviews (Piano Tuner, Gilgamesh, Parrot/Tennessee, Apricots)

Posted on by Brian in Everything, Summerworks, Theatre | 1 Comment

Gilgamesh4

I’m pretty behind in my reviews and SummerWorks is nearing completion. I’m also getting burned out on plays after seeing four plays yesterday (I was scheduled to see Doppleganger and Underneath today but am passing on both from theatre over-exertion, so I apologize to those shows and to SummerWorks for cancelling on them) and 15 in just 7 days.

I’m also getting a little tired of writing full-length reviews of shows I didn’t love. Contrary to what some might think, I really do wish I could write rave reviews of every show. It sucks to write poor reviews, it’s way more fun to write good ones. As such, I’ll have full-length reviews of Greenland and the Sunparlour Players show shortly, and here’s some quick thoughts and capsule reviews of four shows I’ve seen since Friday: The Piano Tuner, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Under the Parrot/Over Tennessee, and Apricots.

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