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Love is a Battlefield: Getting it on with concert reviews

December 1st, 2010 No Comments

— By Lindsey, Indie Rocker

MR:  I can’t say I’ve read many concert reviews, although I wish I did before forking over some serious cash to see the Eagles live a few years ago.  The whole thing was like Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese – great to enjoy at home but not so much out in the real world.

Lindsey’s perspective sounds like what my reaction would be.  I love her tone in this piece.  Although I’ve never met her personally, I can trust her because everything she writes is so real and brutally honest!

I love concert reviews.  I read them before a show to decide whether I should attend, and I read more afterwards to find out which reviewers agree or disagree with me.  Although reviews can be snotty and overwrought, I love the euphemisms, the snarky undertones, and the meaning that writers hide between the lines.

But I think I particularly enjoy them because of my deeply contrarian nature – I love to argue, even if it’s with words on a page.  If a reviewer suggests that a song is too overplayed, I’m all “I don’t even care, I love that song!”  If they declare a performance “weird and offensive,” I shout at the page, “uh, yeah, by which you mean FUN.”

Let me give you an example: In my pre-concert research for the Avett Brothers’ show at the Charlottesville Pavilion in (you guessed it) Charlottesville, VA, I found myself puzzled and annoyed by the repeated use of the word “frenetic” in many of the reviews I came across.


“Frenetic?” I asked one reviewer after the other. “What the hell kind of tactful crap is that?  How can I argue with a totally objective and fair criticism?”

Well, fear not, because I can.  Google tells me that “frenetic” means “fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way,” and while this Sunday’s Avett Brothers performance was certainly full of energy, I’d argue that the act was marked instead by expert pacing and moments of quiet intensity which is quite the opposite of frenetic.

In my review on MTM, I’ll offer you mostly my take on bands and concerts as well as others I respect in the biz.  But I think you’ll soon see, I tell it like it is :)

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