This is a review of Tommy Stinson’s solo show in Boston on February 20th, 2011.
Boston’s not my town, the guy who opened up, Mike Gent, also played second guitar and backup vocals for Tommy’s set. Mike’s kind of a local and a lot of the crowd knew his stuff and called out requests. He was funny, played some goofy little rockers and also some really beautiful songs. He was impressed with the audience because we were actually listening to his set. We knew he was playing with Tommy and although I’d never heard him or his band before his set was impressive – guy can really
Mike’s accompaniment and some guitar solos fleshed out Tommy’s songs very nicely. Tommy opened with a song called maybe Match Made in Hell, uploaded on YouTube from some of the other shows. The sound was GREAT – I could hear everything after I moved away from the folks who insist on having shouting conversations during the performance and clap wildly between songs(Why???
). I found a sweet spot about 10 feet in front of Mike and Tommy. I was very happy with the number of songs they did from Village Gorilla Head
because I am in love with that album. I realized at the show that I never really listen to that album as separate songs and always play it in its entirety – it’s just a very nice package and never gets shelved at my house. Those of us in the audience singing along didn’t seem to mess it up too bad.
Tommy introduced some of the new songs off of his forthcoming album, which he implied is well under way. They were fun, gritty and one of them he promised will have some acoustic slide guitar on it that he is especially pleased with. I am partial to acoustic slide guitar and am really looking forward to hearing that. The show was two guys on acoustic guitar it but wasn’t folk - sounding. It was beautifully brazen as one would expect from Tommy Stinson – hearing One Man Mutiny live was a treat. I don’t know if it will be on the forthcoming release but it was delivered with class in Boston. It’s actually a pretty tart song with a vibe like protest music of the early 70s – that was my impression at the show – and live was much less tentative than the demo I downloaded from Tommy ‘s website. I hope he continues to play that song live even if it doesn’t end up on the new album.
I’ve scoured YouTube looking for uploads from the Boston show – there was a clutter of people across the front of the stage fiddling with their personal recording devices and I’d hoped to include a link here as the show seemed different from the other three shows represented by fans on YouTube.
I just wanted to listen to the show – it was a once in a lifetime experience and so I only took this one picture of Tommy and Mike after they banged out a sing-along walking through the audience and finished having jumped up on top of the bar in the back of the room.
I had to sober up a bit before I could face the 4 hour drive home from Boston which is a clusterfuck to drive into and out of if you’re not a local but I’d do it all again to see Tommy. It was very very cool of him to do this little group of shows.