Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ryan Star w/Hope & Days Difference - Middle East Upstairs, Cambridge 11.8.2010

Last Monday night I headed into Boston to see Ryan Star play a headlining show at the Middle East, which for me started off a busy week. When I saw a show in NJ appear the following night, I was hoping there'd be a Boston show, and was hoping that it'd be before I left for Atlanta that Wednesday night. Sure enough, a few days later, the Boston show was announced and I was psyched to see that it would be indeed that Monday, and not that Wednesday.  Doors opened at 8, and once I got into the venue I was surprised at how tiny it was, but it's a great space. The acoustics were great all night, and I'm really not sure how Ryan and his whole band fit onto the tiny stage!

Hope opened the show around 8:45 with her guitarist Mike and percussionist Manny and was absolutely adorable. It was her first tour, and had Ryan not said something about it later in the show, I never would have known. She was poised, had a great amount of stage presence and her songs were great. She only sang 5 songs, but I found myself jamming along at times and really getting into it. Everyone in the room was very polite and responsive to her as well, which is always nice to see. I hate it when I go to a show and the crowd is rude to the opener because they don't care. Hope played for about a half hour and I think I'm going to have to investigate some of her music further. She wrapped up around 9:15 and the stage started to get turned over for Days Difference to play at 9:30.

When I first saw Days Difference, I immediately thought 'boy band' but as I have learned in the past, looks can be deceiving. Days Difference is 2 sets of brothers from Virginia Beach, and they're not just good musicians, they're nice guys too.  Once they finished setting up and doing a quick sound check, they started their set. They sang about 8 songs over the course of about 30-45 minutes, and they were great! I was standing right up against the stage and Micah (the bassist) kept coming up to the front of the stage and I thought that I was going to get hit more than once and kept stepping back! But as it turned out, I didn't and I really enjoyed their set. I did recognize some of their songs because I had listened on facebook prior to the show to become familiar (as I enjoy bands much more when I know what to expect, even when I've never heard of them before) and as it turned out, I had heard their current single Speakers before! The only criticism that I had about their set was that the keyboard that Jeremy played through most of the set was too high so all I saw was a floating head above it. He did come out from behind it for a few songs, but the keyboard absolutely blocked not only him, but Jeremiah and also half the stage. It might have been the fact the room was small, or we were standing so close to the stage, but even if the keyboard had been lowered just a tad, it would have been better.

Ryan and the band finally took the stage a little late, around 10:30, and rocked out for a solid hour and change, playing favorites off the new album - Brand New Day, Right Now, 11:59, Last Train Home (with the new arrangement Dallin and Ryan came up with, which is gorgeous), Breathe and Start a Fire, as well as some older favorites off of the Elephant album - Psycho Suicidal Girl, Waiting for Love and The One You Know. The set ended with Back of Your Car, which is one of my favorites. Its such a dirty song but I love it so much and the perfect way to end a show. The song has such sexual energy to it - I love it. I videoed some of the set, catching The One You Know (which I had never heard before live), 11:59 and Start a Fire. During Start a Fire, Ryan grabbed my camera and filmed the crowd and him singing before tossing it back to me. The only thing I could think of during the time he had it, was "please keep recording" - as the battery was dying and I wanted to make sure the video kept recording! It had indeed, and the video is pretty awesome.

After the show, I hung around for awhile talking to people who I knew and I eventually made my way over to talk to Ryan. I couldn't remember if I had told him before what his music means to me, but I was able to that night. I could see that he was really appreciative and touched that a lot of it has become a mantra for me. And it has. Its so important to me for the musicians that I love to know the effect their music has on me. We chatted for a little while longer before he had to go say hello to some other people and I chatted with Serena and Michelle, before finally leaving around 1am. It was absolutely worth being tired for at work the next morning.

All photos are here. Please credit if used.

Start A Fire


The One You Know

1 comment:

  1. Nice that you got a chance to tell him! I'm hoping to one day let the incredibly talented and inspirational Shakira know how much her hips mean to me.