Thursday, December 12, 2013
After Further Review....The Play IS Good .....
Back in the "old days," I looked forward to reading concert reviews in what is now considered ancient tablet....a newspaper. It was very interesting to read a show review & form my own opinions.
I'm going to post a review for a show I saw Tuesday night (12/10/13) with my daughter Abby and my "niece" Annie. These girls usually have the latest music pegged & it's rather exciting to check out the new talent. So....read on if you are interested in the music, if not, get back to work... ;)
For the second time in 14 months, we enjoyed the alternative/indie music of Alt-J & Grouplove at a sold-out St. Louis Pageant theatre. As I observed a room full of wide-eyed youngsters, I wondered if they shared the excitement felt by their forefathers who heard The Doors for the first time. Morrison & the boys left many audiences wondering "what the heck did we just hear??"
Annie, Christian Zucconi lead vocals/guitar (Grouplove), Thom Green, drummer (Alt-J), Abby, Bassist for Grouplove (name unknown), Hannah Hooper, lead vocals (Grouplove)
Interestingly, the table has turned in this game of music. Last year's show had the virtually unknown Alt-J opening for Grouplove, but Tuesday night's session featured Alt-J as the headliner. It's intriguing how fickle the business of music & fans can rapidly change the picture.
Looking more mature than 14 months ago, it was apparent that time is agreeing with both bands.
The 21st Century California Hippies, also known as Grouplove, performed with a much cleaner & less distracting stage production, allowing their music to shine without the props. I appreciate less production and more product... I'm too old to be entertained by much more than the music.
Lead singer, Christian Zucconi, was flawless in his "Cope" t-shirt, belting out one of my favorite lines from their song "Shark Attack" - "I am what I am...a natural disaster." The band is very artistic & talented with a great sense of humor, which is always very welcome.
Check out the video for "Shark Attack" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXHrfIZe484
Hanging sharply at the other end of the spectrum is the gripping music of Alt-J, a band hailing from Leeds, UK. On a chemistry level the two bands interact, project & share with very kind-spirited personalities. But that is the only comparison.
Alt-J's precise, tribal output of music is most impressive once you get past the haunting sensations created by the voice of lead singer, Joe Newman. His unique voice prompts the listener to take time to acquire the Alt-J taste, however, he did whistle as clean as a bird Tuesday night as well. I was astounded by drummer, Thom Green, who replaced one of the cymbals on his drum kit with a tambourine, incorporating it into his extraordinary, syncopated rhythms. Newman's guitar, bassist Gwil Swainsbury & keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton blend their instruments into a unique ground-breaking sound which is quite consuming & it'll leave you wondering "what the heck did I just hear??"
Enjoy them before all the wanna-be bands start ripping off the sound for themselves.
Alt-J's song "Breezeblocks" is not for the faint of heart (a breezeblock is a cinder block). I find the music is absolutely fascinating - listen for the sound of the Fisher-Price toddler piano:
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Posted by Lanea Stagg at 7:50 AM