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recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Monday, August 09, 2010

Live MP3s: ARCADE FIRE in Boston 2010

So, did you have a good Arcade Fire week? The multimedia onslaught either has you still swooning or totally burned out, or perhaps found you apathetic from the get-go. Me, I'm somewhere in the middle - I love "The Suburbs", and think it's a perfectly-placed step forward for the band, and really the only step they could have made. They can't top the precise balance of bombastic, joyful, out-of-nowhere angst that "Funeral" found in 2004, and had they gone further inwards than their sophomore "Neon Bible", they might have brought a big-time bummer (and would have left their live shows lacking). Somehow, they found the middle ground, and it works wonders for me.

But as someone who spends probably a little too much time online, I'm over-fed on album reviews, live reviews, reviews of those reviews, and other meta-commentary (and commentary on that commentary). Better to step back, queue up the album again, and focus on what matters. So I find myself not wanting to write much more about the new record than what I said above, or sharing thoughts from the transcendent live show they gave us here in Boston last week, words that have already been said and read elsewhere. Instead, I'll direct you to other places before I share up my recording of the set...
  • Ryan Stewart of the Boston Phoenix reviews the summer Sunday evening show.

  • Ian Doreian at Melophobe has a photo feature with a few words as well.

  • Adam Conner-Simons writes up his live show thoughts for the Globe.

  • Jim Sullivan offers his review over at the Herald.

  • Boston-based blogger C. Van Slyke's Boston Through My Eyes has a slew of excellent photos and a few videos from the show.

  • Here's an album review at Paste that, while slanting slightly negative, is extraordinarily well-thought out and well-put. I agree with much of what writer Rachael Maddux has to say, but love the record regardless.

  • For the full-on fan perspective of the Boston show, visit the Us Kids Know forum thread.
  • With those words out of the way, here's my recording of the band's set at the Bank of America Pavilion on the Boston waterfront on Sunday night, August 1st, 2010. A couple of things to keep in mind as I share this: 1) It was recorded from the front row, so it's not going to sound ideal. Hell, in many cases that's the worst possible place to record a show, and 2) The band's current policy on taping their shows is a bit up in the air. In the past, they've been supportive, allowing me to record their revelatory 2004 set at TT the Bears in Cambridge (which I've just re-upped for your listening pleasure), as well as their 2007 Orpheum performance (also now re-shared). They've become a little too big to communicate with directly, though, and I hesitated to share this set for that reason. As always, in the event I'm contacted by the band, their management, or the label, the recording may disappear.

    Oh, and this won't matter to most, but for the first time, thanks to additional server space, I'm offering up this recording as 256kbps MP3s, rather than as 192kbps. That server space is also the reason I'm able to re-host the band's 2004 and 2007 sets. I'll be re-upping many other sets over the coming months as well, so randomly check this list if you're looking for older Almanac audio, and feel free to put in a request to move something to the top of the upload queue.

    Arcade Fire live in Boston

    I will offer one live show comment: My favorite moment from the set was when Jeremy Gara was unleashed from his drum throne for a single song, picking up a guitar to play his part on "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)". The guy proceeded to let loose with absolute abandon, and as one of the many drummers who is in reality a frustrated guitarist, I loved watching him. He rocked out so hard that he fell into the guitar amp, knocking it over and causing a mad scramble of AF roadies. He, and they, could only smile. A great moment.

    Enjoy, and have a look at my photos as you listen...

    The band continues touring with a show on Wednesday in Atlanta, followed by a Saturday set in Toronto before heading overseas. Check out their full itinerary here.

    Purchase "The Suburbs" direct from Merge Records right here. has also extended their ridiculously low $3.99 digital deal here. Here's hoping the album makes it to #1 on the charts this week... not because I put much stake in such things, but because it would give me quite a personal thrill to see Eminem unseated by a Merge band. Go team!

    Arcade Fire live in Boston

    the fine print... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 256kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.

    featured mp3 download
    neil halstead
    live in cambridge, ma
    on november 14th, 2008
    previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

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