Friday, November 13, 2015

Concert Review: Joshua Radin at the Infinity Music Hall

Joshua Radin

Opening Acts: Anya Marina
Venue: Infinity Music Hall
Location: Hartford, CT
Date: November 5th, 2015

It's few and far between to find someone I know, let alone really like, that plays the Infinity Music Hall in Hartford.  It seems like all the usually book is tribute bands and people who previously placed in American Idol a couple of years ago.  You can't tell me that there aren't interesting and good current acts that they couldn't attract to this venue.  I'd try and get the bands that play the free shows at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun and try to poach a couple of them.  At least they might be able to play a show at Infinity Hall the night before or after going to the casino.  It's worth a shot anyway.  Hartford should be able to get some bands so I don't have to head to Boston or New York to see mid-level bands and musicians.  

OK, rant over, because I finally got to check out some acts that I really like.

Opening up was Anya Marina.  I already knew her from the Twilight Soundtrack (yes, I'm a 31 year old guy who is familiar with such songs) and the haunting tune called "Satellite Heart."  I have had her cover of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like" on my iPod for years now but I just recently came across her Huey Lewis and the News cover of Power of Love when I was catching up on stuff to become familiar with before the show...

I love Huey Lewis and the News.
I love Back to the Future.
I love Power of Love.
And now I love Anya Marina.
It's a pretty simple recipe if you ask me.  Plus, she mentioned my request before she played the song, so we're pretty much best friends now.

She reminded me a little bit of Violent Mae, a Connecticut duo that I saw open up at a private concert for Bronze Radio Return, with  a dash of Daughter. I have to give you a little taste of her live performance here.

"Whatever You Like"

"The Power of Love"

I've been a big fan of Joshua Radin for a while now and he didn't disappoint.  His voice is suited to an intimate setting like Infinity Musical Hall and an acoustic, low-key atmosphere.  I wanted to catch him when he was on The Rock Boat cruise recently but I couldn't finagle the time at the beginning of February to book it.

He's been compared to Paul Simon and I definitely think that their style of music and delivery are very similar, so describing him as a new Paul Simon is both pretty accurate and incredible complimentary.  I mean, who doesn't like Paul Simon? You can hear little hints of Bookends and The Boxer trickled in throughout Radin's catalog.

I first got really into Joshua Radin after watching the 2009 movie Adam with Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne.  In the movie, Dancy plays Adam, a man with Asperger's Syndrome, and it follows his relationship with Beth, played by Rose Byrne.  Anyway, there's a couple of Radin's songs in that movie that were really moving and helped create the perfect tone for the film.  Ever since then, I've been a big fan of his.  His voice in person is crazy good.  It legitimately sounds like a recording.  On top of that, he seems like a genuine guy, so it's easy to be a fan of guys like that.


"I'd Rather Be With You"

I would definitely recommend seeing both Anya and Joshua if you got the chance, preferably in an intimate setting as it better suits their type of music.

Set List:
  1. Brand New Day
  2. Only You (Yaz Cover)
  3. You Got Growin' Up To Do
  4. Today
  5. Paperweight
  6. Waiting
  7. We'll Keep Running Forever
  8. Beautiful Day
  9. My My Love
  10. Vegetable Car
  11. Belong
  12. No Envy, No Fear
  13. I'd Rather Be With You
  14. Winter
  1. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (Bob Dylan Cover)
Favorite Song: Both "I'd Rather Be With You" and "Winter" were amazing, six of one, half a dozen of another.
Song I Wish I Heard: "Someone Else's Life" is my favorite Joshua Radin song, so I definitely wish he played that one.  It's weird because I was calling for it after most of the songs...usually that totally works at a concert.
Random Moment: Much to my surprise, the venue was only about half full so during his encore performance of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," Radin stepped away from the mic and played the song using just the natural sound of his guitar and voice.  It really went to show how poignant and affecting his voice is because it worked perfectly.  Affecting is the absolute best word to use here.

Live Show Grade: B+

You get an automatic deduction if you don't play my favorite song of yours.  These are my grades, so they're my rules.

Here's a couple of pics from the show.

A beautiful blurry pic of Anya.
Joshua's came out clearer for no reason whatsoever.