Nov 7, 2011
The Civil Wars and Milo Greene at the VIc Theatre on 11/6/11
My friend Amy and I had the grandiose idea that we would eat at DMK Burger Bar before the show. It is on Sheffield and Wellington (Wellington being a good place to park if you have a 383 parking permit). I have eaten at DMK several times for lunch and never had to wait for a table. Sunday night at 6:30 = 45 minute wait time. My bad. Anyway, the problem was resolved by heading a couple of doors down to the Kirkwood Bar and Grill(previously Pops for Champagne). We recommend the fish tacos (your choice of three) and the greek salad. The steak flat bread was well, flat. A little seasoning and/or marinade might have helped. Nonetheless, either place is a good call before hitting the Vic for a show.
I rarely open by blog review by discussing the opening act first but Milo Greene is soon to be headlining their own sold out shows. Their rich harmonies, energy, and catchy hooks are extremely polished and command our attention. The Los Angeles band has only three songs available on a disc which can be purchased at their shows. They plan to have their first release in April. After their opening set, the line to purchase merchandise was waste deep and a mile long.
The CIvil Wars
Joy WIlliams was a California native gone Nashwille and John Paul White is pure Alabama. They began collaborating in 2008 after meeting on a "professional blind date" at a writing camp for more than 20 song writers. They realized during that meeting that they had a spark and would soon form the folk-retro-country pop blend, The Civil Wars. Spoiler alert: although many believe them to be, they are not married and are not even romantically involved. Hard to believe given their amazing chemistry on stage and perfect harmonies.
The name The CIvil Wars stems from writing about conflicts that arise as part of being a couple. The pair think that this topical writing would be difficult to accomplish successfully if they were actually married (not to mention keeping the relationship intact).
I was too far back to get a great video of the Civil Wars reinvention of "I Want You Back" so check this version out from a show at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia - it really shows the extreme talent of this dynamic duo:
My video (far from the stage) of "Billie Jean":
The set consisted of several cover songs including: "Disarm" by The Smashing Pumpkins, "Billie Jean", "Dance Me to the End of Love" by Leonard Cohen, and "I Want You Back", Jackson 5 of course. Their next album could just consist of covers which they truly render as their own. On another note, John Paul looks like a montage of Johnny Depp and Jack White according to my friend Amy. Having compared and contrasted online, I have to agree (I wonder who John Paul's mother is?). There are essentially no criticisms of the show except, if we have to reeeeeachhhh for one, Joy's "bangra-esque" hand dancing. I have said it before and unfortunately will likely say it again, when a singer does not have a guitar around the neck or is not at the piano, it is difficult to know what to do with the body and hands. To be honest, this bothered Amy more than me. What bothered me the most at this show was the none stop loud talking by everyone near us. Can someone please explain why people come to a concert to talk? Shouldn't folks be going to concerts to listen? And if it is necessary to speak during a performance use "inside voices" that are barely audible? Puleese people, I am begging you spare me the need to "shush" and the need to blog about this pervasive rude behavior. Take responsibility (if this is you) and do not blame me for calling you out. Enough said.
The show get's a 5 out of 5 guitar rating. Great sound, perfect harmonies, and a fantastic opening act. I just regret that I missed The Civil Wars at Schubas.