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The Pen, The Page, The Paper
|Good Luck Hanna!
|I sent this link to my very good singer friend a few weeks ago, and she was just picked by Thomas to go out on tour with Forgive Durden. She's incredibly talented, and all of us Baltimore kids are so so proud of her. I only wish the tour was coming through my area so I could see her kill it on stage, but alas. Go see her for me?!|
Good luck Hanna!
EDIT: Anyone going to this tour, PLEASE take video!! I'll owe you one for sure.
EDIT#2: The first time I saw Hanna perform was right before she left for college (she's in the music business program at Drexel) a couple years ago, and it was so pretty, I actually started to cry. I'm just so pumped for her right now, I can't seem to deliver that message enthusiastically enough via the Internet.
|Tags: hanna banana, forgive durden
|Show Review: Steel Train w/ DATH and Forgive Durden
|SHOW REVIEW: Steel Train, Dear and the Headlights and Forgive Durden|
October 19th, 2008 at The Ottobar - Baltimore, MD
Like nearly all my favorite shows in Baltimore, The Ottobar played host to the Maryland date of Steel Train's headlining tour on Sunday. I, of course, attended and for three reasons: 1) I think Steel Train is a remarkable live band, 2) I've never seen Dear and the Headlights and they became one of my favorite new-ish bands after the release of Small Steps, Heavy Hooves and 3) Razia's Shadow had me interested to see how Forgive Durden was going to take their musical to the stage.
While the idea of a rock musical is lofty, its actual completion is everything above and beyond impressive. Mad props to the kind of work, arrangement and dedication one must summon to output such creativity. The essence of a rock musical, on the other hand, is a slippery slope, just like any other concept album. My first impressions of Razia's Shadow before the show was simple and surprisingly less shocked than you'd figure: cool, I guess. Thomas Dutton created an epic storyline, made of mystical characters and mythical events - it appears Razia's Shadow was destined for major wowing, right? But, I suppose I'm jaded, because I'd be lying if I didn't already think the The Dear Hunter was doing what Razia's Shadow is doing and a little bit better, minus the name drops. I couldn't help but prepare myself for an underwhelming. I also never boned up to Wonderland, so I had no previous dedication to invoke.
But perhaps I am being too pessimistic, I think to myself. Which is exactly why I was interested to see Forgive Durden at Ottobar on Sunday night. Instrumentally, the band sounded tight and well-practiced. They seemed excited to play. The crowd's cheer re-energized their esteem. Yet, like a sore thumb, the girl (I don't even know her name, hired hand?) that sang back-up, stood behind a keyboard, and plucked cautiously at a guitar during one song was 1) one of the most awkward people I've ever seen perform in a band and 2) either not a good enough vocalist or totally off her game tracks. I'm thinking the latter, only because it was day two of the tour and with the combination of new material, touring members learning said material and adjusting to the road, no one expects the bunch to have this down perfect quite yet. But sweet lord was she awkward.
I'd also like to note that I haven't heard the album. Nor I am dying to just yet. But I have heard the samples, just like normal folks, and the guest vocals are exciting snippets. It's the album's biggest selling point, and the versatility is reminiscent of Say Anything's buzz for In Defense of the Genre. The disconnect between what you're most excited for and the actual musicianship of Thomas Dutton is what lost me during Forgive Durden's set. Not that he isn't talented, but a full half-hour of a musical on a Sunday night in which I don't know the full story? I like to connect with music, and the connection was far from there. Without the guest vocals - which he obviously can't do on the road - the music felt rather bland.
Also, as a side note, I'd like to point out that Anton and Dutton could be twins or brothers. Anyone else see this?
There isn't much to say about a band that released an album like Small Steps, Heavy Hooves, because well, they released an album like Small Steps, Heavy Hooves. I expected a solid set in which I could sing along and seep in some passion, but I didn't expect singer Ian to have a set of tubes that matched the album perfectly - a nice surprise. I didn't expect to enjoy the songs off the new album as much as I did, expecially because I considered it a dissapointment as a whole. And I certainly didn't expect so many people to explode with appreciation when the band grooved fervently to tracks like "Sweet Talk", where the entire room was just a-waitin' for the beginning chords. Note of disappointment: the set was too short. But I do believe I've gained a higher respect for both the band's lyricism and Drunk Like Bible Times, which I was forcing down like stale cough syrup. All in all, I was pumped to see a band that I had to come love very much in a live settings, and I my expectations were very much exceeded.
This band is always great live. Jack Antonoff is a quirky, immediately likeable frontman, and the whole band smooths along with the nerdy hippie allure of the Steel Train essence. In other words, it's hard not to like these dudes. Their acoustic gang vocals numbers (there were two!), their audience sing-alongs and refreshing banter - it's always something new when you see a Steel Train set. They also played two new songs, both sounding superb.
Conclusion: This is a must-see tour. Talent spills out the amps. The crowd is older and nearly all the attendees (except the sluts trying to get Dutton drunk and vulnerable) are music fans, appreciative and respectful.
|Tags: show review, steel train, dear and the headlights, forgive durden