Donning his vintage Mighty Mighty Bosstones t-shirt (in black, of course), Sam Black Church vocalist Jet Crandall burst onto the House of Blues stage with the reckless abandon you’d expect from a band 30 years his junior. To be honest, I’d never heard of SBC before they were to play this opening gig for Mighty Mighty Bosstones – but I’d sure heard rumblings. “Sam Black Church is going to be there – you’re seeing a piece of history!” “SBC?? They’re classic! Don’t miss them!” And then there was the sea of SBC logo-laden shirts and hoodies flooding the general admission pit, pressing towards the front of the stage.
They are so loved locally, in fact, that superartist Duncan Wilder Johnson began a Kickstarter to complete their documentary “Leave Behind a Groove in the Earth” and was there filming. Serving as the band’s 25th anniversary, this was their first live show in six years and they most certainly did not fall flat. Sam Black Church were unflinchingly hard-rocking, thundering, turned up to ten, and mesmerizing for every lasting moment of their booming 8-song set (including an ingenious version of “Disco Inferno”).
Jet was perpetually in motion – in the crowd, on the crowd, back on stage, from one side to the other, ad nauseam; he was so fast half of my pictures were blurry just trying to keep up. Without a doubt, this is one of the best shows I have ever seen – these hardcore heavyweight vets kept the room so engrossed and wrapped up in the SBC whirlwind that the minor typhoon occurring outside was nary a blip on the radar.
If you luck out with the chance to see Sam Black Church perform live, you, too, will have the honor of knowing that it is more than worth the two days of ringing in your ears – and 25 years later is never too late to make impeccable mind-blistering music.
“Are we winning?” Michael Fitzpatrick – the “Fitz” in Fitz and the Tantrums, asks from the stage early on in their set at the House of Blues (October 28, 2013), referencing the Red Sox pursuit of a third win towards the 2013 World Series title.
Los Angeles-based Fitz and the Tantrums played a highly energetic set of their neo-soul best, including hits “Out of My League,” “Moneygrabber,” “Break the Walls,” along with an outstanding cover of The Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams.” They touched on a good mix of tracks from both their debut album, Picking Up the Pieces, and their latest, More Than Just a Dream.
This was my second time seeing FATT and once again the highlight of the show is seeing vocalist Noelle Scaggs not stop moving – EVER. Singing, dancing, tambourine-ing, interacting with the audience – she was in constant, contagious motion from the second she stepped on stage. Fitz himself is outstanding, but Scaggs just makes the show. In the end, the Sox won their game and Fitz and the Tantrums won over a full house. A word to the wise: a chance to see this band should never be passed up.