Live Review: Midnight Oil @ MGM National Harbor — 6/25/22

Midnight Oil turns in a blistering performance at MGM National Harbor on June 25, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

“This means a great deal to us, and there’s quite a lot of emotion in the room for us, so we’ll let the music do it for us,” Peter Garrett, frontperson for “The Oils,” as their fans call them, said before the last encore of the last performance Midnight Oil would give in the States.

“The first time we jumped in one of those big planes with the kangaroo on the tail with a stop in Honolulu on the way we got up to San Fransisco — I think we played a sketchy club to about 400 people; 300 people didn’t know what we were singing about, didn’t have any idea,” Peter added. But at the MGM National Harbor theater Saturday night, in front of a sold-out audience, everyone knew what this band — who started out nearly 50 years ago — was singing about. Singing with an urgency that remains as vital now as it did back then.

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Live Review: Air Supply @ MGM National Harbor — 6/3/22


Graham Russell performs in Air Supply at MGM National Harbor on June 3, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

I must start this review with a special appreciation for guitarist Graham Russell of Air Supply.

During Air Supply concerts, such as a recent sold-out appearance at MGM National Harbor, Graham holds centerstage while the rest of the band takes a break in the middle of the show, and he recites a poem. This time, he recited “Am I” in a clear but hushed stage whisper. It was a wonderfully theatric moment, and the audience held its collective breath as he dramatically passed through the poem of his own composition.

Graham then presented a tongue-in-cheek ode to “The Perfect Lover,” which is in fact his guitar, and sang a song of that name. The covid-era composition, recorded by Graham and some bandmates as G and the Cool Cucumbers, flowed smoothly throughout the auditorium.

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Live Review: The Church @ Cruel World 2022 — 5/14/22

Steve Kilbey fronts The Church at Cruel World 2022 on May 14, 2022. (Photo by Nacho DelaGarza)

The inaugural Cruel World Festival was undoubtedly a smash. Fifty thousand people filed into Brookside at the Rose Bowl earlier this month to see the most impressive gathering of new wave and post-punk bands in decades thanks to a festival produced by Goldenvoice.

There are certain songs you wanted to hear and certain bands you wanted to see represented at such a thing of course. You would want to hear “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus, “Whip It” by Devo, and for my money surely “Under the Milky Way” by The Church.

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Live Review: Courtney Barnett @ 9:30 Club — 2/2/22

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Courtney Barnett rocks the 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

It’s been way too long since I’ve seen Courtney Barnett, and at the 9:30 Club Wednesday night I was reminded of what I’d been missing since she performed in DC back in the summer of 2018. Since that time, she’s released a new album, Things Take Time, Take Time last year to critical praise. And rightly so. It’s full of gems like the earworm, “Rae Street” that leads off the record to “Write a List of Things to Look Forward To” which makes for the perfect vehicle for long drives with no particular place in mind.

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Live Review: Air Supply @ The Birchmere — 8/6/21

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Russell Hitchcock fronts Air Supply at The Birchmere on Aug. 6, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Multi-platinum romantic rockers Air Supply delighted a sold-out crowd at The Birchmere recently, enchanting an audience at a much smaller venue than the core duo of Russell Hitchcock and Graham Russell have become accustomed to playing.

The gentlemen swashbucklers responded well to the intimate setting, dialing up the charm and churning out the hits as men and women alike sang along, laughing and crying, all the while transfixed by the veteran performers.

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Song of the Day: “Sometimes I Forget” by Tex Crick

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Tex Crick (Photo courtesy the artist)

Australian artist Tex Crick announces his debut album, Live In… New York City. Out March 26, it’s the first album released via Mac’s Record Label besides Mac DeMarco’s own work.

Taking a leaf from piano-driven pop records of a bygone era, the album is an homage to sentimentality, merging classic songcraft with a naturally delicate approach to instrumentation. This is immediate in the lead single/video, “Sometimes I Forget.”

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