Concert Review: Nazareth, August 4, Danforth Music Hall

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Nazareth’s most recent release, 2014’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Telephone, marked the last time that the band’s original lead vocalist Dan McCafferty would work with the band and left bassist Pete Agnew as the only remaining original member. Despite having only one founding member left, the band still puts on a credible, hard rocking show and current singer Carl Sentance definitely knows how to work a crowd. And while Sentance doesn’t quite capture McCafferty’s signature rasp, he comes pretty close while also adding a hint of Bruce Dickinson in his delivery.

Though the band is technically touring in support of that 2014 release, they didn’t play anything off of it, sticking instead to the older songs from their back catalogue, which is a pretty realistic move – nobody really wants to hear the new stuff from a classic rock band anyways. At best, they politely tolerate it.

Towards the end of the show, Agnew made an announcement from onstage about a couple who were celebrating their 32nd anniversary that night and who met at a Nazareth show all those years ago (or at least danced to a Nazareth song when they met … I’m not 100% clear on this). The band then played probably their best known song, “Love Hurts,” though I’m not sure that a song with lyrics such as “Love is just a lie made to make you blue” is really the best song to dedicate to a couple on their anniversary. But hey they’ve stuck with it this long so maybe it’s their mutual love of Nazareth that’s kept them together through the years.

While “Love Hurts” was the big highlight of the set, curiously it came in as the second last song before the encore. Most bands save at least one big song for the encore, so I’m not sure what the deal was here. Perhaps they are giving some of the fans a chance to leave early and get home at a reasonable hour. If so, that’s pretty considerate of them, because not only does love hurt, but so do your feet or your back if you’ve been standing awhile.

Song Of The Day: Girl Ray – Stupid Things

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It seems fitting that Girl Ray singer Poppy Hankin’s first name is Poppy because together with her bandmates, she makes sweet sweet pop music. The band’s just released debut album, the cleverly named Earl Grey, offers up a selection of catchy, twee indie pop tunes.

“Stupid Things” is an ode to the, well, stupid things that people will do “just to feel close” to someone. The video for the song also doubles as a mini movie of sorts – “Nettles Of The Parish,” which bills itself as “Part I of the most romantic story ever told.” Check it out:

Song Of The Day: The Weather Station – Thirty

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In making the upcoming Weather Station album, Tamara Lindemann had a desire to make a rock and roll record, albeit one that, according to her, “… sounded how I wanted it to sound, which of course is nothing like rock and roll.”

That’s true to an extent, but I’d argue that lead single “Thirty” sounds at least something like rock and roll, especially in the second half of the song as the pace picks up slightly and the electric guitars take over for a bit. It still sounds essentially like The Weather Station though, with Lindemann’s storytelling at the forefront in this “song about joy at the precipice of despair.”

The Weather Station’s self titled album is out October 6th via Outside Music.

Song of the Day: Rose Elinor Dougall – Closer

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Rose Elinor Dougall

Man remember how good the Pipettes were? I do. Since their demise over a decade ago, the members of the trio have gone on to moderate (and I’m being generous) success as solo artists.

Rose Elinor Dougall has probably done the most since leaving the group, and this year delivered a quirky fun pop album named Stellular.

While the album’s title track has garnered lots of attention, it is another song that has captured my ear. Closer is a great example of the care free sound that she has crafted. It’s got interesting lyrics, a bouncy bassline and just a fun sound to it. Check it out.