Live Reviews

Worldwide concert reviews

Anais Mitchell at the Black Box (Belfast, Ireland - Nov 5, 2014)

It was a packed house at the Black Box. Anais Mitchell was in Belfast supported by Rachel Ries, and tickets were scarce. Ries was the first on stage. Her album Ghost of a Gardener was released early this year. On the album, the track "Standing Still" features Gregory Alan Isakov’s rich harmonies as a special gift. Tonight, she was solo, and the feel of course was altered, pared back, even the message felt different. It was from her alone, not from that harmonized couple. As her voice held the room in content quiet, it seemed she could actually still be waiting for him in that house in Iowa...

Lucinda Williams Still Too Cool to Be Forgotten

Lucinda Williams with Doug Paisley live at Massey Hall - Toronto, ON - Nov. 21, 2014 Right as the clock struck 9 p.m., the grand dame of alt-country strolled to the centre of the stage and picked up her acoustic guitar. Hollers and whistles rained down from Massey's rafters, while Lucinda Williams started singing "Blessed," the title cut from her 10th studio album. A few lines in, one by one, her three band members (longtime Wallflowers guitarist Stuart Mathis, bassist David Sutton and drummer Butch Norton), who were the stars of this show as much as Williams, joined the Grammy Award-...

Robert Plant and the Space Shifters at 02 Academy (Newcastle, UK - Nov. 18, 2014)

Although I’d really liked the latest Robert Plant album, tonight was initially something of a box ticking exercise, as I’d never seen the one time rock god play live. There was a mix-up over our seats (we had to stand right at the back of the hall) and confusion over who was going to look after my camera bag, which I was only allowed access to when photographing the band from the upstairs balcony. So, I totally missed the support band. Sorry. But, when the lights went down for the main act, there was a palpable intake of breath from the sold-out crowd. When Plant finally took to the stage...

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express at The Hamilton (Washington, DC - Nov. 16, 2014)

Sizing up the room, Chuck Prophet described how he uses smell and broken glass to find most of the bars he plays in. Surveying the Hamilton, he described it as something between "The White House and a PTA meeting." Could he get the crowd involved and energized at this seated show? You bet he could. The man is a professional showman and his band, a well oiled machine. The rhythm section of bassist Kevin T. White and drummer Vicente Rodriguez are rock solid, as is the blend of guitars, keyboards and harmonies. The songlist featured many songs from his new Night Surfer album, with a mix...