Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Johnny Flynn @ T.T. The Bear's [Concert Review]

Where/When: November 15th, T.T. The Bear's Place, Cambridge, MA

Expectations: I expect a sweet faced english boy to sing me some songs, that is all. 

Concert: A sold out crowd came to see Johnny Flynn, a solo man with his guitar, stand on stage and sing some songs during his very last show on this particular tour. An absurdly simple set up, it provided a nice contrast from his recorded sound, and gave us something entirely different to listen to, which felt like a special treat. It was wonderful at first, he was completely endearing, and the crowd was swooning. By swooning I mean no less than five "I love you"s were shouted out from the crowd at various times--not to mention many giggles, oohs and collective awwws. But as he went from one song to the next, his eagerness to be done with the tour was palpable, and though he told the audience he was sad for the tour to end, there was no reveling in the moment, no one song that felt like he was really giving it his all. 

I can hardly blame him for wanting to get on a plane and be finished (he did have a late night bus to New York to catch after all), but you know when you are at a bar and someone buys you a drink and they chat you up, and they are charming and they give you a sweet smile, but then you catch them looking around at the crowd and you realize that "charming" is just a thing they do? Well, the "charming" act is what musicians have to put on every night and it has to be believable, but I feel like I caught Johnny Flynn in that looking for an escape moment. 

I am probably one of the few that feels that way because for the most part the show was fantastic. Flynn made it a pleasure to watch him play effortlessly, especially when the entire sold out room was focused directly on him. It was impressive to think that everything we were hearing was coming from the man and his steel guitar. The crowd sang along in a restrained and respectful manner that had an almost angelic effect. At times the choir of the crowd was unbelievably gorgeous and the absolute perfect accompaniment to the singular man on stage, the kind of sound that you can never quite capture on a record. The closing song, "Tickle Me Pink" was a great upbeat moment to finish the tour with as the crowd clapped and sang along. 

Concert Afterglow: Like Johnny, I was rather looking forward to heading home myself. Despite the fact that some of the concert felt routine, slightly rushed, and tired, there were plenty of uplifting moments that balanced it all out. But there was none of that after concert elation for me. 

Recommendation: Catch him if you can, he is on the rise, and next time he comes back stateside he might even bring a full band. He is more than capable of drawing the crowds. 

Song: Kentucky Pill
This is his big promo song and the teaser song for his new album, he did not play it last night. He may not have enjoyed playing it by the end of the tour, but I still enjoy listening to it. 

(Photo by me)


  1. great review!
    totally know what you mean, you can tell he was exhausted, but he played an amazing set.
    sidenote, he's english, not irish.

  2. arggg thank you for catching that! I feel like an idiot. I wrote it late last night and forgot to proof read. thank you thank you. Thanks for reading.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...