September 27, 2005


Boston MA US

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am_bam, bmfe314, EmyA, foldback, madmack, maggie, Mars_etc, plaidprincess, QueenB78, slaa, SonOfErin, SourMash, stelvis

EmyA says0 Votes UP / DOWN
Okay, so a week before this show I was a BRMC virgin. Well, I'm all grown up now. ;)
The show was sold out and you could tell there were many long time dedicated fans there. Tall ones at that (note I couldn't get a good pic of the boys to share with you all) but I had a nice view of the crowd and the ladies loo. (I thought I'd share with you my intimate encounter with Brittany) But, it didn't matter that I couldn't see them all that well, I could FEEL them. They had a rockin full sound and a line-up that wouldn't quit...luckily for us! It's been a good while since I've been to a show where the performers seemed to give the crowd 100% of themselves.
I've been to Paradise...and lived to tell about it. Yipee-ie-yay!
Thanks to BRMC for the surreal experience.
~Your newest biggest fan (EmyA)
Posted Thursday, September 29, 2005 pm30 at 7:09pm
foldback says+2 Votes UP / DOWN
BRMC blows away all preconceptions


Music is an interesting thing for me. I often describe myself as restless, always looking for the next high that a concert can provide or the buzz I can start swirling over a new vinyl disc that I happen to lay my greedy hands on. I’m always looking for more, from record stores to flea markets, and I really try to make it to every show I can that’s of any interest to
me, bank account be damned.

But that’s not the whole truth. In reality, I can be a lazy bastard.

Take Wilco, for example. One of the most creative bands of the last 10 years, at least. But just a few years ago, I resisted listening to them. All it took was one ess-than-enthusiastic recommendation of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot for me to try to avoid the hype. Of course, a thousand hyper bits of advice later, I tried it. They became one of my favorite bands instantly.

Fast forward to September 27, 2005. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has just released its third record, HOWL, and I have tickets to see them in Boston at the Paradise Rock Club. However, I only have the tickets because of my interest in their opening act, Mark Gardner, who was once a vital cog in Ride.

I’ve heard, well, things about BRMC. Some good, some bad, nothing definitive, but of course, despite my better judgement, there had been absolutely no effort to take in any of their stuff. I think I can date the hesitation back to the review of their first album in Rolling Stone, which was less than enthusiastic. I’ve since learned that nothing Rolling Stone prints is worth a dime anymore, but dammit, it was still enough for me to disregard them.

That era has ended.

Mark Gardner set the stage for BRMC with a 12-string guitar and backed by another guitarist and a female vocalist/keyboardist, who herself took lead on one song in the middle of the set. With the knowledge of Ride’s giant guitars and feedback-driven epics, the effectiveness of stripping down the songs was really surprising. The songs themselves stand out, with “In A Different Place,� from the band’s full-length debut Nowhere (circa 1990), being one of the many highlights.

The club was barely half-filled for the man who led one of the less-appreciated but quite influential bands of recent memory. Roughly half an hour later, though, the Paradise was packed for BRMC. They knew something I didn’t.

The band’s primary guitarist Peter Hayes came out solo for the first couple of songs with just an acoustic guitar and harmonica, which was the first surprise of many for me. He did songs from HOWL that really seemed to call back to the railroad era, like an updated Woody Guthrie. It didn’t feel like nostalgia or some ill-advised folk revival, though. It was honest and real. It was also the tip of a very large, broad iceberg.

Their more recent work, as I’ve since learned, has gone in a new direction, a stripped-down take on American music in general and their careers specifically. It all works, though, in context with their noisier, feedback-driven songs that dominated the rest of the night. Their influences were all present; within the driving bass and drums were hints of the Stooges, Leadbelly, Dylan, the Stones, Radiohead and even Ride, who’s former leader had set the stage for them (literally and historically).

As the set went on, the band became more and more intense. I was particularly drawn to the way Robert Turner played the bass. He attacks the instrument the way a guitarist handles his axe but manages to keep a low, rolling flow. All the while, Nick Jago is keeping perfect, thundering time amidst what could be taken as chaos in the wrong context. This was precise, free, unlimited, insane music. These guys could do anything. They had no ceiling. And this was before the encore. They ripped through “Stop,� a thundering song, after a short break,
complete with Turner nearly tipping over his bass rig in ringing out every last note. After about two hours, I was beyond help. I had just seen a band channel everything from Woody to Sonic Youth in one sitting without so much as blinking. I bought their second record immediately after the show, and as I write this, there it sits on my turntable.

There’s a reason I’m a music fan. Once in a while, when I get the better of my lazy demons, I stumble upon another band that blows me away, another band to worship, another song to include on a mix tape or CD, another way to let myself go through a great, great album.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have mix tapes to make and friends to annoy.

This story originally appeared at
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2005 pm31 at 3:15pm
Mars_etc says0 Votes UP / DOWN
These boys are indescribable live. It's all about the music, which is very exciting. Best show of BRMC I've seen.
Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2007 pm31 at 9:53pm

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