Live Review: Bettye LaVette @ Sixth & I — 10/26/19

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Bettye Lavette (Photo courtesy APA)

Five-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette got off to a rocky start when she opened for David Bromberg recently at the Historic Sixth & I Synagogue. After her first number, she pleaded for the tech to turn down the echo and reverb. With it its high ceilings — Bettye called the room a cavern — Sixth & I’s sanctuary provides its own echo. As Bettye remarked, with echo on her mic, it sounded a bit too much like “heaven,” and not in a good way.

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Live Review: Dentist @ DC9 — 9/29/19

Dentist23 Dentist performs at DC9 on Sept. 29, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

When a band is named “Dentist,” you may well be tempted to make remarks about the members’ teeth as a way to ease into a review. Well, we are going to chat a little about their eyes instead.

New Jersey surf rockers Dentist dropped by DC9 recently to open Brick + Mortar, and these folks have some damn expressive eyes to accompany their truly catchy tunes.

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Live Review: Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes @ The Birchmere — 6/15/19

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Southside Johnny sings (Photo by John Cavanaugh)

One of The Birchmere’s charms is that you can really see the relationships artists have with their fans. Most artists interact with the audience; some have relationships with their fans. When Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes played The Birchmere recently, the rhythm was plenty blue, and the rock had lots of roll, but it was the relationship between the band’s charismatic frontman and the audience that made night special.

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Live Review: The Smithereens @ State Theatre — 1/18/19

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The Smithereens perform at State Theatre on Jan. 18, 2019. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

Much has been written about the redemptive power of rock and roll; its ability to transport us to another place and time or to a cherished memory — as well as its power of community and the way a widely disparate audience can revel in a shared moment of unparalleled spontaneous joy. Those moments repeated themselves over and over at the State Theatre recently when The Smithereens featuring Robin Wilson dropped into town for their 19th performance at the historic Falls Church music venue.

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