Simple Minds-Live at the Wilbur Theatre-Boston, MA 10/20/13

by Sean Koepenick on October 26, 2013

in MUSIC, REVIEWS

simple minds

Wrapping up a short US tour (only 7 dates), the Scottish band came to Boston for a sold out show. This tour was positioned as a “testing the waters” run, since they had not played in the US since 2002. If the response was up to par, they would be back for more. If not, well, book your ticket to see them in Europe then. Luckily the US fans came out and when all is said and done, it should be considered a success.

If you are in the US, you may have thought the band fell off the grid. However, they are still a massive band overseas, regularly filling large arenas across all of Europe. They also continue to release solid new records. To prove the point, the band was firing on all cylinders this night. With pretty much the same line-up when I saw them in 2002 on the Cry tour (minus new bassist Ged Grimes) but also with the addition of backing singer Sarah Brown, the band came out strong. Although the new songs fit in well to set 1, it was the back catalog that got the crowd revved up. “Waterfront,” “All The Things She Said,” and “New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84),” sounded incredible. A cover of The Call’s “Let the Day Begin” rang true, with singer Jim Kerr speaking fondly of his friend Michael Been (RIP). Most of the covers the played tonight can be found on Graffiti Soul, a 2 disc set. Set 1 came to a close, but the band was back shortly.

All the Things She Said

Set 2 began with Kerr looking refreshed in a new outfit. Charlie Burchill’s guitar seemed to have issues here and there. Maybe it had something to do with not having his guitar amps anywhere on stage? Mel Gaynor’s white drum set was huge-and he knows how to use it. Keyboardist Andy Gillespie was solid and also added backing vocals. But the backing vocals of singer Sarah Brown were literally awe-inspiring. Especially to start set 2 with “Neon Lights” (a Kraftwerk cover). “Somewhere Someone (In Summertime),” See the Lights,” and “Don’t You Forget about Me” were high points of this part of the show. The encore included “Sanctify Yourself” and “Alive and Kicking.” Burchill’s guitar finally cut thru the mix a bit on “Ghostdancing.” I could have done without the chorus only version of “Gloria” (sorry-play it all or drop it.) But other than that is was a stellar show. The crowd was amped up by the end and I think that the band was a bit shocked about how much this US crowd was getting in to it. Amazing show and if you missed this run-don’t make the same mistake twice!

Don’t You Forget About Me

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Sean Koepenick

Sean Koepenick aka Earthdog grew up in the Washington, DC area. He lives, breathes and eats music, with a sweet tooth for punk rock. He loves his wife and 2 kids, Popeye’s chicken and playing the bass guitar. In his spare time he likes to read books that no one would even think of reading for pleasure like Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s August 1914 and William Shatner’s Teklab. Other favorite authors include Charles Bukowksi, John Fante and George Pelecanos. Fun fact: once drove Joey Ramone to the train station after a radio interview in a crappy Chevy Cavalier affectionately referred to as “the Grannymobile.” Now living in the Boston area, he is also a contributor to Razorcake magazine and currently plays bass guitar in Silver Screams: http://www.silverscreams.us/.

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