Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Caspian - Old South Church, Boston MA October 22, 2010

Old South Church, Boston MA
Friday, October 22, 2010

Support - Aaron Thomas and Marika Whitaker

Being a big fan of the Beverly, MA based band Caspian it is very hard to do a review. Honestly, the band could stand there, go through the motions and I'd still leave the venue a happy fan. Friday night they rose the bar for a very special occasion.

Donating their time and energy to a benefit the Amirah, A Safe House the band tore through an energetic set at the historic Old South Church in the heart of Boston. Those familiar with Caspians "post rock" music knew it would be a special evening. The band teased fans a day before the show with you tube clips of sound checks with no mics, showcasing the unconventional rooms booming sound. Behind the band was blue and red lights. Having seen then band more than just a few times lights are not something they focus on, which is fine, so I knew this would be different even more.

As we sat in our pews (yes..for real) the evening opened with two short acoustic sets of music. Aaron Thomas was first and Marika Whitaker was second. Both did well in front of the quiet and respectful audience.

Before Caspian there was a little more discussion of why we were all there. Please check out the links here and here

Then, the lights were shut down and Caspian arrived on stage. There was no clapping, no fanfare because we all felt the band was going to "tune up" then come back on. Well, this "tune up" would slowly grow and before you knew it, the few folks that had gotten up were scurrying back to their seats.

Over the next 75 minutes the band would take us on an emotional roller coaster. Playing songs that were a little more quiet at the outset and allowing them to fill the room. The punch of drummer Joe Vickers drums could have cut glass. They were tight and had such a "thwap" sound to them the soaring guitars could pull your right back. Phil Jamieson sat at the outset of the show, but would stand and lead the band forward showing, and working with the others to fully engage the music.

The band would not hold back unleashing "ASA" early in the set, but then calming things down for "Sea Lawn" and "Concrescence". The audience was polite, but very reserved. Even when songs ended people were hesitant to clap, but once it felt "okay" it was thunderous.

One of the neat touches to this show was the addition of a cello player. Tucked over behind guitarist Calvin Joss and bassist Chris Friedrich you'd hear the long swooping bow strokes that really filled out the sound. The band made little fan fair of this addition (I am not even sure of his name) but it was a great touch and the sound was so full when he did play it was noticed.

The band worked quickly to cover as many songs as they could due to a strict curfew. Even after the completion of the often set ending "Sycamore" in which all the members slowly converge on Vickers drum kit to beat the ever loving crap out of it, the band still had it in them to give us one more. The venue had this neat light that simulated stars and constellations on the ceiling of the church which was a wonderful touch.

Waving and clapping right back to us the band shouted their thanks and we the audience knew, we had just been "taken to church".

Caspian hits the road for a European run (their third Euro tour of 2010).

You can see all their dates on their myspace page.

The picture of the church came from the bands blog, which you can read/follow right here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In the News..

It has been a while..but here are a few.

A British study found that 20% of racy texts are sent to the wrong person.

The state of Massachusetts had a list of the top 1,000 tourist attractions, but listed only 996 places, some of which don't exist any longer, are closed to the public, or are listed in the wrong towns.

June was the worst month on record for suicides among US Army soldiers, with 32 self inflicted deaths. 22 of them were from veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan - Foxnews.com

In 1960, just 12% of homes had air conditioning. As it became more common place the population of the south has grown by 96% and the west by 143%. -The LA Times.

Looks like e-books are here..at least for now. Amazon.com has reported that they sell more electronic books than hardcovers. The site has been selling hardcovers for 15 years, and electronic versions for only 33 months. bloomberg.com

American passenger airlines collected $1.86 billion in extra fees in the first quarter of 2010. USAToday

20 homes on Nantucket Island were sold out of foreclosure in the first six months of 2010. CNNmoney.com

A school teacher in New York has hit the 3 Million mile mark on his 1966 Volvo. His secret for the longevity? "Read the manual and do what it says".

The number of illegal immigrants entering the US has fallen from 850,000 a year to about 300,000 due to the weak job market. - Wall St.Journal