March 24, 2008

Concert Report: Ferras, Chris Stills and A Fine Frenzy

On Saturday night, I drove down to Northhampton Mass for a three band concert, part of A Fine Frenzy's first headlining tour. I missed most of Ferras's set, and from the sounds of what I heard from him, I didn't really miss too much. I thought that I had a ticket waiting for me there, but that wasn't the case, so I paid my way in and found a spot. The venue was the Iron Horse, a place I'd heard a lot about, and found that it was certainly popular - there was standing room only towards the back, which was interesting, and why none of my pictures came out.
From what I heard of Ferras, I wasn't terribly impressed. Seemed like a typical indie singer. His recorded works don't sound bad, but he struck me as whiny, and I suspect that he's just starting out, and there'll be improvement as time goes on.

Ferras Set (Missed the first part)
Hollywood's Not America
Somebody Left Me Alone

I was very impressed with Chris Stills. He had a short set of some really good songs, and for an artist that I haven't listened to as much, I was convinced to give him a better listen soon - I'll probably pick up his album soon. He started off strong, and his group had a good, solid beat and a really good sound. The one song of his that I do have, When The Pain Dies Down, is one of my current favorites, and I was happy to hear that one live. He also moved around with tone and speed. Several songs were much faster, with a lot of energy, which is nice to hear - some artists just stick to one speed. He's also the first artist that I've seen to sing in two languages - one of his songs, Kitty-Catty, was in French, and I felt it added a bit of depth to his musical skills. The girl next to me said that he reminded her of Jeff Buckey, which I can hear, but I think he reminds me the most of Cary Brothers.
When he was done with his set, he walked past me and we talked for a couple minutes (if you're reading, thank you! I enjoyed the night!) which is always fun to do. I hope he comes to Vermont or back to New England sometime.

Chris Stills Set
- Story of a Dying Man
- Landslide
- When The Pain Dies Down
- Kitty-Catty
- Fool For Love
- Last Goodbye

The last act of the night, and the one that I'd been waiting for, was A Fine Frenzy. I'd seen her before, when she toured with Brandi Carlile (and what a fantastic show it was), and I was looking forwards to seeing her again. She picked out a wonderful set list, with some of her strongest songs on her first record, One Cell in the Sea, and a couple that I hadn't listened to as closely as before. Like the first concert, she had a wonderful and strong sound. A couple songs, such as Hope for the Hopeless, seemed a bit re-worked, which sounded fantastic.
Also, because she was doing a longer set, a couple of covers were thrown in - Across the Universe, by the Beatles and I Will Follow You Into the Dark, both of which were absolutely amazing - I was thrilled to hear both of them, and applaud Allison for not going the usual route of covering the Postal Service's Such Great Heights, which is what I thought that she was going to do when she said Ben Gibbard. Her last song of the evening was a new song, What I Wouldn't Do, which also sounded absolutely wonderful - according to some of her band mates, they're starting work on another album, so hopefully we'll get some more new music down the road. The songs have already made it onto Youtube, so I'll link those through at some point.
I got to speak with her drummer and bassist after the show, along with two girls who knew them - great to meet you all - Katelyn, feel free to e-mail me if you want any further recommendations. And the other person I was talking to vanished quickly - Jodi, nice to meet you as well, drop me an e-mail sometime. I missed out meeting Allison herself, but hopefully next time. The two hour drive home wasn't terribly fun - I don't do well at 2 am. Oh well.

A Fine Frenzy Set
- Come On, Come Out
- You Picked Me
- Last of Days
- Think of You
- Ashes & Wine
- Borrowed Time
- I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)
- Instrumental Piece
- Liar Liar
- Minnow and the Trout
- Hope for the Hopeless
- Almost Lover
- Rangers
- Across The Universe (The Beatles)
- Whisper
- Near to You
- What I Wouldn't Do (New)

Unfortunately, none of my pictures came out - I was too far away from the stage and there were really too many people in the way - they all came out pretty blurry.

Near to You - A Fine Frenzy
When the Pain Dies Down - Chris Stills