Saturday, October 5, 2013

Half Moon Run in San Francisco – A Concert Review

     Half Moon Run paid a visit to Rickshaw Stop. And it was appreciated! Since the blog entry about the band on August 19th (accessible by CLICKING HERE), we had been looking forward to the performance. Still, we admit that we did not recognize just how good the band is. If you haven’t seen them perform yet, look at the tour schedule on the bottom of this blog entry to see if the opportunity is heading your way.
     We could state without hesitation that the boxes for Half Moon Run putting on a strong show were all checked. The flaw in the statement is that it doesn’t properly reflect our attitude toward the show, because it doesn’t have enough information. Checking or not checking boxes is a pass/fail scoring system. Considering a letter-grading system, if a band desires a grade of “B” for a particular factor (such as “Team Chemistry”), the appropriate box is checked. In fact, a “C+” or maybe even a “C” should lead to a checkmark in the corresponding box. At least last night, the Half Moon Run deserved high marks for so many of the factors, and a pass/fail system doesn’t convey just how good the show was.

      Some of the factors that deserved a high mark:
1) The chemistry among the band members was undeniably strong;
2) The chemistry between the band and those in attendance was similarly good; 
3) There are four band members, all of whom sing well and play multiple instruments; 
4) The songs were very “tightly” performed, so that the vocals and instruments entered and exited with the timing that would give the impression of hearing the best out of multiple “takes” of each song; and 
5) There were the usual Indie Rock instruments, but there was also a mandolin. Oh, and the best harmonica playing we have heard in years.

      Good concert bands can perform a song as if the commercially available digital version of the song were being played. But a great concert band builds a performance around one or two of its best songs and makes the performance of the song a show in itself. For example, Imagine Dragons has done so with “Radioactive.” Half Moon Run has done so with “She Wants to Know,” which was the final song before the band exited and then returned for a three-song encore.
     For the last song of the encore, the four members went unplugged. The instruments were an acoustic guitar (Devon Portielje), a mandolin (Isaac Symonds), a harmonica (Conner Molander) and the floor (as drums, led by Dylan Phillips). The picture at the top of this blog entry was taken during the uplugged song. The song was “Vampire,” a cover of The Pink Mountiantops, which is another band from Canada.

     "Call Me in the Afternoon" 

     "She Wants to Know" 

     "Full Circle" 


The Remaining 2013 Tour Dates
Oct 05 - Dante's in Portland, Or
Oct 06 – The Crocodile in Seattle, Wa
Oct 09 - 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis, Mn
Oct 10 – Subterranean in Chicago, Il
Oct 13 - A & R Music Bar in Columbus, Oh
Oct 14 - Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia, Pa
Oct 15 - Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA
Oct 18 - U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC
Oct 22 – Lille VEGA in Copenhagen, Denmark
Oct 23 – Debaser Strand in Stockholm, Sweden
Oct 24 – Parkteatret in Oslo, Norway
Oct 26 – Molotow in Hamburg, Germany
Oct 27 - Melkweg Oude Zaal in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Oct 28 - Gebäude 9 in Cologne, Germany
Oct 29 – Lido in Berlin, Germany
Oct 31 - Le Botanique in Brussels, Belgium
Nov 02 - Papiersaal Sihlcity in Zürich, Switzerland
Nov 03 - Pont Rouge in Monthey, Switzerland
Nov 05 - Locomotiv Club in Bologna, Italy
Nov 06 - B 72 in Vienna, Austria
Nov 07 – Ampere in Munich, Germany
Nov 09 – Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain
Nov 10 – Copérnico Nova Club in Madrid, Spain
Nov 12 – Le Bikini in Toulouse. France
Nov 13 – Rockstore in Montpellier, France
Nov 14 - Ninkasi Kaoin Lyon, France
Nov 15 - Le Trianon in Paris, France
Nov 16 - L' Ubu in Rennes, France
Nov 18 - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire in London, UK
Nov 20 - King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow, UK
Nov 21 - HMV Institute in Birmingham, UK
Nov 22 - Albert Hall in Manchester, UK
Nov 23 - The Workman's Club in Dublin, Ireland
Nov 24 - The Anson Rooms, University of Bristol in Bristol, UK
Dec 04 - Cabaret, Hotel de la Saguenéenne in Chicoutimi, QC
Dec 05 - Salle Albert-Rousseau in Québec, QC
Dec 06 – Metropolis in Montreal, QC
Dec 07 – Metropolis in Montreal, QC

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