Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lucy Wainwright Roche and Suzzy Roche

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Johnson Hall, Gardiner, Maine

I had such a blast last night in the newly renovated space at Johnson Hall in Gardiner! My dear friend Andrea and I went out to dinner and the show to celebrate our one-year friendship anniversary! (Yes, I am a total sap). What a treat it was to see a show two minutes from my house! Johnson Hall is about to release a 24-show lineup for the upcoming year, and I am so excited about the caliber of music that’s on its way to teeny (and adorable) Gardiner, Maine.

Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Maine

Johnson Hall in Gardiner, Maine

Gardiner community organizer extraordinaire and friend Meaghan Carlson saw online that Lucy Wainwright Roche was looking to play some house concerts to create buzz for her upcoming solo album to be released in October. Meaghan approached Johnson Hall to see if we could have a house concert in their newly renovated space and Director Mike Miclon readily agreed. It was a full house last night and the first time the stage has been used for a performance. I’d say it was a huge success.

Lucy kindly answered some questions I had for her via email the week before the show. I’d seen Lucy play three other times, and each time was fantastic. She is part comedian and part singer-songwriter. You can be sure you’ll have a good time at a Lucy Wainwright Roche show—she is charming and hilarious.

I was really excited to see Lucy play with her talented and quite well known mom, Suzzy Roche. They recently released an album together called Fairytale and Myth that they recorded with their friend Ron Morsberger who had been diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Suzzy spoke about how bittersweet it was to work with their talented friend during his last days. They played his song that appears on the album, “Everyone Wants To Be Loved.”

Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche

Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright Roche

IMG_2531 IMG_2535 IMG_2555

These are blurry, but I still love them.

These are blurry, but I still love them.

IMG_2608

Lucy kept the audience engaged by asking us questions and asking if we had any questions or concerns. People in the audience obliged and we had a comfortable, entertaining exchange all night long. She and Suzzy asked us how the sound was, and Suzzy adorably worried that maybe her microphone was louder than Lucy’s. It was sweet to see the mother/daughter duo on stage. They told us about their journeys around Maine on their mini tour and how they slowly saw Maine while driving up Route 1. They got stuck in Wiscasset for a long time around Red’s Eats. After their show at The Strand in Rockland, they drove back by Red’s and got in line. Someone popped back in line in front of them to add an order of onion rings, and it turns out it was the last order. Bummer. Lucy might also have figured out for sure that she actually really doesn’t like lobster, but I won’t out her. Not all Mainers like lobster, either. More for me!

I was happy to hear “Chicago,” and it was nice to have Suzzy play on Lucy’s song. I appreciated their jokes about how they take rockin’ songs and turn them into sad snoozers. One example is Lucy’s cover of Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” that’s on her new album. The two versions are incredibly different. My friends joke that I only like depressing music, so I’m on board with the sad snoozers!

IMG_2612 IMG_2615 IMG_2616

Lucy asked us if we have songs that we hear so often that we learn to hate them. We said  (of course) yes, and she replied, “Well, we’re going to play one of them now.” Suzzy and Lucy covered “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train. I so preferred their version! Lucy asked if we’d be okay with her bringing her dog on stage. We emphatically supported the move, and Lucy brought her sweet black pup, Maeby, on stage. She totally stole the show. Maeby (of Arrested Development fame) climbed up on the couch and napped for most of the rest of their set. She’s clearly used to the sound of her mom playing music.

Welcome, Maeby!!

Welcome, Maeby!!

IMG_2621 IMG_2642 IMG_2641 IMG_2639 IMG_2635 IMG_2633 IMG_2631

Never shy with an audience, Lucy told us about her dying car and asked if everyone in Maine had the same car for a reason. I said, “Subaru?” and she joked that she assumed it was the official car of the state of Maine. The majority of the crowd agreed a Subaru would be a reliable choice for her next car. She asked if any of us was selling one. I was a little surprised that no one was, actually!

Suzzy Roche

Suzzy Roche

IMG_2630 IMG_2655 IMG_2666

Set list

Set list

Suzzy and Lucy started to wrap up the show with “America” and then Suzzy joked that if they sold enough CDs than she wouldn’t have to sleep in the car because Lucy likes to have her own hotel room and they can’t always afford two—but “NO PRESSSURE.” I can see where Lucy gets her sense of humor. It was very endearing. Lucy told us that they wouldn’t be playing an encore because “it’s too much pressure,” so we should just imagine that they’d left the stage and this song was their encore. They finished with “When a Heart Breaks Down.” We offered a standing ovation and Lucy and Suzzy stayed to talk to everyone who wanted to say hello after the show. I chatted a little less because I was smitten with Maeby and spent my time doting on her. She’s such a cutie.

The Marron sisters with Lucy and Suzzy

The Marron sisters with Lucy and Suzzy

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with his great JH volunteers, Suzzy, Lucy, and Maeby

Johnson Hall Director Mike Miclon with his great JH volunteers, Suzzy, Lucy, and Maeby

With Meaghan, who had the idea to throw this special house concert!

With Meaghan, who had the idea to throw this special house concert!

Thanks for coming, Lucy and Suzzy! What a lovely night!

xo,

bree

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Imagine Dragons with The Neighbourhood and X Ambassadors

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bank of America Pavilion, Boston

I always have a tough time seeing shows at Bank of America Pavilion. The venue is just too big for my liking. Even when I’ve had second or third row seats there, I’ve felt too far away from the stage. It’s important for me to see artists’ facial expressions while they perform. Otherwise, I’d rather just save the very long drive and listen to their album at home or in the car. I know that’s abnormal, but there it is.

I am teaching some this summer at Upward Bound at Bowdoin College, so it was a school night for me. I was visiting someone in Portsmouth for a couple of nights, and it was nice not to have to drive all the way back to Maine until the morning after the show. I explored pretty Portsmouth a bit before heading down to the show. I was able to score a single eighth row seat in the presale, so decided to go solo.

Portsmouth, NH is really pretty!

Portsmouth, NH is really pretty!

I grabbed a parking spot in the usual $15 lot near the venue (does anyone have any free parking tips for the waterfront area?!) and grabbed a caprese sandwich from J. Pace & Son before I heard the first strains of Brooklyn’s X Ambassadors as they took the stage promptly at 7:30. The lead singer played percussion and sax and was super excited to be on stage. He said, “We want to meet every last one of you after the show. I mean it!” Their music grew on me pretty quickly. I enjoyed the power and energy of the lead vocalist and their driving, percussive sound. I really liked their last song “I’ll Never Let You Go.” I’d definitely check them out in a smaller venue. They’re coming to Brighton Music Hall on August 9th.

X Ambassadors

X Ambassadors

I’d listened to California’s alt rockers The Neighbourhood online, but didn’t enjoy them very much live. They mentioned that it was the first night of their tour, so maybe they were just working out the kinks. I felt like the songs were all really similar and the banter was awkward and riddled with profanity even though there were obviously a lot of young kids in the crowd. I was amused by the lead singer’s outfit—it was straight out of the 90s. He had on a baggy white t shirt, leather jacket, black ripped jeans, high tops, a backwards baseball cap, and a flannel shirt tied around his waist. It was Eddie Vedder means Joey Tribbiani from Friends. There were three guys on guitar and their sound was power ballad-y in places. I tended to like those songs fine. They also looked very young. I’d be shocked if any of them were 21 years old. There were a lot of young teenagers in the crowd singing every word to every one of their songs, so maybe I’m just too old to “get” The Neighbourhood? They also got a hearty round of applause at the end of their set, so check them out for yourself and see what you think. I knew I was ready for Imagine Dragons quite early on in their set.

The Neighbourhood

The Neighbourhood

IMG_3525

I chatted with the two 12-year-old boys sitting next to me during the break between sets. One of them had been to two other concerts before, but the other one was at his first show! How exciting! As per usual, basically the tallest guy of all time got to his seat in front of us when Utah’s Imagine Dragons took the stage, so I moved so the boys could see because their view was completely blocked by him.

I am a fan of this idea!

I am a fan of this idea!

Imagine Dragons made a very theatrical entrance that involved some serious percussion. They had great stage presence and worked the crowd enthusiastically. Frontman Dan Reynolds told us that the other three guys in the band had all gone to Berklee College of Music in Boston, so it was a real treat for them to play in town. Dan was rocking an impressive mullet, too, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Dan spoke a fair amount (which I’m a fan of), and told us, “As cheesy as it sounds, I hope this music frees you tonight. We’re just regular guys so it’s the music that connects us. It’s everything to us. I hope it gets you out of your head. With that, I close with Boston Strong!”  The sold out crowd roared.

Imagine Dragons

Imagine Dragons

IMG_3540 IMG_3542

I was so glad I didn’t have to wait until the encore to hear “It’s Time.” It’s been my jam for well over a year now and I was pumped to hear it live. They played a song for Tyler Robinson, a fan that they were close with who passed away from cancer at 17, but smiled the whole time he was in treatment. It was a touching tribute and Dan’s falsetto was lovely. They played “Stand By Me” to kill some time while waiting for something to show up or get fixed. We sang along. I noticed that the event staff kept taking young kids from the crowd up to the front row to take a picture in front of the stage, which I thought was really cool.

IMG_3559 IMG_3560 IMG_3563

The view from the back of the amphitheater

The view from the back of the amphitheater

I really wanted to get back to Portsmouth before it was too late, so I did the unthinkable—I left a show early. It doesn’t happen often and I have mixed feelings about it, but I heard “Bleeding Out” and “Demons,” so felt I’d heard all of the songs live I really needed to. Imagine Dragons had a lot of energy on stage and I’d love to see them someday in a general admission venue where I could get a lot closer to the stage. Eight rows away was too far for me!

xo,

bree

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Come see Lucy Wainwright Roche and her mom, Suzzy, at Johnson Hall July 28!

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Lucy Wainwright Roche three times live. The first time was in 2009 at One Longfellow Square in Portland, Maine opening for Lucy Kaplansky. She is a fantastic storyteller—both in story and in song. I remember vividly how much I laughed during that first show. Lucy’s stories were personal and often embarrassing, but she didn’t hesitate to share her life and the origins of her songs with us. I was an instant fan. A young girl in the crowd must have said hello to her at some point that night, because Lucy invited her up to sing a song with her on stage. It made that little girl light up, and it was a lovely display of Lucy’s kindness. I got to see Lucy twice more in 2009–once opening for Neko Case and another time solo. I so look forward to my fourth Lucy show next weekend!

Fans of good storytelling—Lucy is coming to Gardiner’s Johnson Hall on Sunday, July 28! She’ll be joined by her incredibly talented mom, Suzzy Roche of The Roches. I should probably mention that Lucy comes from a very gifted family. Her dad is Loudon Wainwright III, and her half siblings are Rufus and Martha Wainwright.

Lucy Wainwright Roche

Lucy Wainwright Roche (both photos from Lucy’s website)

LWRpics

I’ll be front row center at the show. Come join me. You can get your tickets here. I’ve exchanged some emails with Lucy recently, and wanted to share with you some of the things we chatted about to get you excited for the show, too.

B: Your family is incredibly musically gifted and well known. How did that affect your path towards becoming a working musician?

LWR: Well, initially it probably made me really NOT want to be a musician and so I rebelled by going to college and grad school and becoming an elementary school teacher. Eventually though, I gave in and returned to the family business!

B: I’m a high school social studies teacher and just finished my 12th year at the same school (yikes—I’m aging!). You were an elementary school teacher for a while and a nanny for a bit, too? Any funny stories or insight about why you left that type of career behind?

LWR: I loved teaching – and I miss it still sometimes. It was great to be a part of people’s every day lives – nowadays in my job I really change location most days and so I’m living a much more transient life. At the same time, teaching and performing are somewhat similar – they are both really just about communicating to groups of people! The only difference is the age of the people! Oh, and you usually can’t SING math lessons – although – that might be a good idea.

B: You got arrested on Christmas in 2011 in your grandmother’s driveway?! Is it too soon to ask you what happened?

LWR: Oh yes. Very exciting Christmas! Unfortunately the underlying story isn’t as exciting as it might sound. It turned out to be because of a clerical error in the DMV database which was cleared up very quickly…BUT it makes for a great one- liner – “Lucy got arrested on Christmas!” Most people are very surprised to hear that!

B: I LOVED your piece on Rookie Magazine online “Literally the Best Thing Ever: Hoarders.” That’s not a question, I realize.

LWR: Thanks!!! I LOVE hoarders!

B: I don’t have cable, but the interwebs told me that you played a part on The Science Channel’s “Stuff You Should Know.” Can you describe the show and tell us how you got involved? Do you have a favorite episode?

LWR: I loved doing the show. Unfortunately we aren’t going to get to do another season – but I’d guess my favorite episode was called “Bacteriopolis.” It had Ric Flair playing a doctor. It was so fun!

B: It looks like you just toured with your dad in England, Scotland, and Ireland in May. Any highlights?

LWR: Touring with my dad is great. It’s a perfect way to take a family vacation because everyone has a common goal and it’s all very organized! Plus you get to see lots of the world. My dad and I had a great time in May overseas. We especially loved Glasgow.

B: You have your second full-length album—There’s a Last Time for Everythingcoming out soon and just released Fairytale and Myth with your mom Suzzy. You’ve been busy! What can your fans expect from these new projects? What was it like to write and record music with your mom?

LWR: Yes! My mom and I made an album in the winter with our friend Rob Morsberger who was suffering from brain cancer at the time. He passed away in June and so this project is really special to us. My new solo album, “There’s a Last Time For Everything” is coming out in October and I’m very excited for that. This album has a slightly different sound than my previous ones and I made it in Nashville with my friend Jordan Hamlin. There are 10 original songs and one cover song – “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn.

B: Do you prefer songwriting, recording, or touring?

LWR: Hmmm… I like all three but in moderation – all of them can drive you nuts!

B: Who are some artists that you’d love to work with?

LWR: I’ve been really, really lucky because I’ve gotten to work with lots of musicians I really admire like the Indigo Girls, Over The Rhine and many others. On this last album I got to have Mary Chapin Carpenter and Colin Meloy as guest singers! I’d love to work with both of the more going forward.

B: My blog focuses on the concert experience from a concert goers experience. From my perspective, I know what I think makes a good show, but from a performer’s perspective, what makes for a great show (or what makes for a terrible show)?

LWR: Well, the audience is really what makes or breaks a show. You can have all kinds of problems with the venue or your travel that day or whatever other logistical issues that are surrounding you – but if the audience is great, it saves the day!

B: We’re really excited you’re coming to Gardiner, Maine to play for us! Your mom will be joining you. What will be the show format? Do you play out together much?

LWR: My mom and I have been doing a bunch of shows together this summer. It’s fun for us to have each other to travel with and to get to sing harmonies. It’s a nice change of pace to traveling alone!

Thanks, Lucy! So excited to see you again in my hometown. Friends—Gardiner is a short 45 minutes from Portland and only 30 minutes from Brunswick. Get yourselves up here that night. It will be a great show. Check out this short set from Lucy and Suzzy on NPR’s Mountain Stage. Again, grab your tickets here!

xo,

bree

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Soul Rebels Brass Band

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Tipitina’s Uptown, New Orleans, LA

I had an INCREDIBLE first time in New Orleans. My dear friend Chelsea was a fabulous host, and her awesome friends were so welcoming and took great care of me. Chelsea knew I’d want to see some live music, so she got us tickets to see Soul Rebels on Saturday night. We saw a lot of street performers in the French Quarter and over at The Spotted Cat on Frenchmen Street, too. I bought Yes Ma’am’s album in the Quarter, and we ran into them again at The Spotted Cat a couple of days later. NOLA is a small world.

IMG_2561

Yes Ma'am in the French Quarter

Yes Ma’am in the French Quarter

IMG_2595

The Spotted Cat

The Spotted Cat

Performers in front of Jackson Square

Performers in front of Jackson Square

I had a blast on the Saturday of the show. I am sure we went to Hansen’s on Tchoupitoulas for a snoball (one of many visits there) and had a delicious dinner at Alex’s made by his lovely housemates. Our TFA and Australian friends arrived, and the whole gang of us made it over to Tipitina’s for the show.

IMG_2742

With Chelsea on Frenchmen Street

My favorite thing about NOLA

My favorite thing about NOLA

Happy with a Hansen's Sno Cone

Happy with a Hansen’s Sno Cone

The NOLA gang

The NOLA gang

With Chelsea at NOLA Brewery Happy Hour

With Chelsea at NOLA Brewery Happy Hour

DJ Captain Charles kicked things off and by the time our gaggle of friends had taken over front row center, The Soul Rebels hit the stage. They were great—upbeat and fun—with a funk/hip hop/jazz vibe, and a killer horn section that stole the show. We danced all night long and stayed until the show was over and the room had cleared out.

Tipitina's

Tipitina’s

Soul Rebels

Soul Rebels

tip 4 TIP 1 tip 3 tip 2

I could mention the Super Moon and all of the chaos that happened that night, but instead I’ll just say that it was a ridiculous night that we all survived.

Thanks, NOLA and NOLA friends! I loved (almost) every minute (see above)! More pretty NOLA pics below.

xo,
bree

On Frenchmen Street

On Frenchmen Street

IMG_2729

A Bloody Mary a day has got to be good for you?!

A Bloody Mary a day has got to be good for you?!

The French Quarter

The French Quarter

Oysters at Felix's

Oysters at Felix’s

IMG_2483

Such pretty, bright houses in NOLA

Such pretty, bright houses in NOLA

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Comanchero

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Big Easy, Portland, Maine

I had such a busy Saturday! I saw ZZ Ward’s Studio Z performance in the afternoon, went to her full show later that night with Swear and Shake, and then caught my college friend Sam’s late night set with his band Comanchero at The Big Easy. I totally slept in on Sunday.

I’d gotten home at 3 AM the night before after an AMAZING Lone Bellow/Swear and Shake/Ballroom Thieves show in Boston, so I thought I’d stay for a few Comanchero songs and then call it a night, but they are so much fun to see live that I stayed for their whole set and got home at 2 AM instead. Comanchero is “Boston’s Americana Jam Band.” If you’re in Boston or if they are headed your way, check them out! Some pictures from their set are below.

xo,

bree

IMG_2043 IMG_2044 IMG_2048 IMG_2051 IMG_2055 IMG_2063 IMG_2070 IMG_2077 IMG_2078 IMG_2082 IMG_2089 IMG_2094 IMG_2097 IMG_2099 IMG_2102 IMG_2103 IMG_2104 IMG_2106 IMG_2109 IMG_2115 IMG_2117 IMG_2120 IMG_2121

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized