“Michael, I want you to take this crowd – this hardened crowd of entertainment junkies – on a percussion journey…” Kevin Griffin of singer and guitarist for Better Than Ezra, along with co-founding member Tom Drummond on bass, setting the stage for the most blazing cow bell drum solo ever, by their drummer, Michael Jerome. This was my first time seeing Better Than Ezra live in concert, and I came away with my expectations far exceeded… and maybe a bit sad that they didn’t become bigger back in the day; big enough to carry them forward in a way that was, for lack of a better explanation, more successful. They are talented songwriters, and it all manifests itself on stage in a unique way. Everything is framed in a bit of irreverence… not quite on the scale of, say, They Might Be Giants, but let’s just say that Griffin doesn’t take himself too seriously and makes the show fun for him, and in turn, the band’s mix of audience. An audience that I couldn’t really begin to stereotype, as it seemed to be made of people of all ages, genders, and walks of life. They certainly captivated and entertained the crowd, and there is a real sense of expecting the unexpected throughout their set. I really recommend checking out their live show if you have a chance, and either way, I think the new album released this month, All Together Now, is certainly worth a listen.
In a perfect world, Metric would represent the future of music. But we don’t live in a perfect world, of course, but all the same, we have Metric and their music, and with my first experience seeing them live, it reaffirms my belief that there is tremendous talent in the music industry among some relatively newer bands (though Metric is five studio albums in, they still feel relatively fresh and new). Metric’s latest album, Synthetica, is one of my favorite new albums of the year, and most of it was played at the House of Blues Las Vegas last night. They make brilliant music that wants to be free – that wants to be played live – and they delivered with the fans in attendance last night, though talking with them, they came from not only all over the U.S. but outside of it as well. People who have discovered this band a really dedicated to experiencing their live shows, and having been to one now myself, I can understand why.