Checking Out Boston Gigs: Eclipse (Boston College)

April 19, 2009 at 5:22 AM (Happenings, Musings) (, , , , )

Unfortunately I can’t say too much about Eclipse‘s Boston College show tonight: I arrived so late that I only caught the last four songs (one of which was “Free Bird” –  really guys?  – slightly hysterical, and well played), and I was bummed to see that it was scarcely attended.  I partially blame BC for having low-quality music fans – Nez told me that the group had made announcements earlier in the evening in some of BC’s dining halls to promote free Pink Floyd music – but at the same time, it’s marathon weekend in Beantown, and we had a Sox game, and a Celtics game.  People were busy tonight.

The music was great, as usual, but the sound was off at points.  Evidently booking a room at BC doesn’t include a tech guy.  One thing I do want to note is that the group is incredibly grateful for its supporters.  After the show, not only did the group members I already knew graciously thank me (and everyone else, individually) for attending, but also a couple members I didn’t know so well.  The music never fails, and my attendance is valued (or so I’m convinced, at least): assuming I’m in Boston at the time, my next RSVP is a no-brainer.

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Checking Out Boston Gigs: Eclipse (The Music And Stuff, Or Part III)

April 14, 2009 at 8:54 PM (Friends, Happenings) (, , , , , )

Copied from 1.02 P.M., April 13, 2009

(I’m lost!  What are you talking about?)
(Now how did you get here?)

Once inside and branded on our hands with Xs signifying that we could consume adult beverages, Tim and I made a beeline for the bar . . . only to find ourselves standing in line behind  the one guy I knew in high school from Mike’s town (who also happened to be a BU student) . . . who had also been in a funk/ jazz ensemble with Tim in said high school.  It’s a wonder my head didn’t just burst right there.  We bought our drinks and joined Deeg to drink, chat – “sporadically yell at one another” may have been more appropriate, actually – and people-watch before Eclipse took the stage.

Never having been to Cask ‘N Flagon before, I was studying the scenery as much as I was studying the patrons.  This venue was easily the largest of the four I’d most recently visited, and the busiest by far.  The latter may have been attributed to the fact that it was a Friday (the other gigs I’ve attended have been on a Thursday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday), perhaps coupled with the fact that Eclipse is stocked with phenomenal musicians, wild energy, enviable cohesiveness, and a fail-proof set list.  Not wanting to find myself lost behind a sea of audience members taller than I (After all, one of the points of experiencing live music is to witness the artists in their element first-hand, isn’t it?), I dragged Tim toward the front of the stage shortly after the preceding band finished its set.

A few feet away from the stage’s perimeter, I looked around to discover that Cask ‘N Flagon also offered the most varied clientele.  Not only were 20-something Floyd fans such as Deeg, Tim and I in attendance, but also former 20-somethings.  In some cases, very former.  This didn’t surprise me, though: my dad was the one who turned me onto Pink Floyd in the first place.  The demographic that did manage to suprise me somewhat didn’t make an appearance until about halfway through the gig: a gaggle of female early 20-somethings, loudly and possibly drunkenly clambering for the front of the stage to take pictures of themselves – as opposed to, say, the people actually on the stage.  They disappeared quickly enough, but not without baffling both Tim and me, first (I’m not condemning their attendance, mind you – they merely stand out in my mind as I recount the evening).

The Berklee band itself was substantial: two on guitars, two on keys/ samples, one on drums, one on bass, one lead vocalist, two back-up vocalists, and two on sax.  Talk about thorough.  The wardrobe varied across the stage, featuring tuxedo shirts, tye-dyed shirts, Dark Side shirts, no shirts, parkas and more (although by the end of the night some shirts were missing).

Eclipse didn’t start.  Eclipse exploded.  The 50 or so people packed around the stage were hypnotised within the first eight measures of music.  Not a single lyric of “Money,” “Time,” “Eclipse,” “Shine On,” or other classics went unsung by the masses in front of the stage, and Eclipse thrived off of the mob’s vigor.  The cheers and applause at the end of each song was thunderous, and as the crowds pushed closer and closer to the stage, I was glad that I didn’t suffer from claustrophobia.  Granted, if I did, I think I wouldn’t have noticed at the time.  Every performer on the stage was spot-on (at least from my perspective – I didn’t notice anything “spot-off”) – who wouldn’t want to cozy up to the stage in hopes of some of that groove rubbing off?

I’ve always been a fan of live music, but I’ve noticed that when I know some or all of the people under the lights, it makes for a much more fulfilling experience for me.  There’s something to be said for having a personal context to complement a show, be it musical, theatrical, physical, visual.  Knowing even just the personalities behind the final product further completes the entire experience, providing new levels of interest, knowledge and appreciation.  I’ve met five of the eleven artists of Eclipse at least once.   Just imagine how cool this shindig was for me.

This group has definitely merited a five-star rating in my book, having blown me away twice.  Their next show is this Saturday, April 18, at Boston College in the Cabaret Room at 8.00 P.M.  Admission is free, and the music is good, so stop by.

Today’s Tunes
“Hey You,” Pink Floyd
“The Great Gig In the Sky,” Pink Floyd
“Set the Controls For the Heart Of the Sun,” Pink Floyd
“Money,” Pink Floyd
“Keep Talking,” Pink Floyd
“Sheep,” Pink Floyd
“Sorrow,” Pink Floyd
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V),” Pink Floyd
“Time,” Pink Floyd
“The Fletcher Memorial Home,” Pink Floyd
“Comfortably Numb,” Pink Floyd

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