Recent Concerts You've Enjoyed

Thought this might be a fun thread and a way to find out about acts on tour.

My wife and I saw the Smoke Fairies at the Tractor Tavern last evening as the opening act for Rasputina. The Smoke Fairies are a 'folk blues' duo from Wales and have been described as "Bob Dylan's dream." I thought that their debut release "Through Low Light and Trees" was one of last year's best. It was just the two principles singing and playing guitar. Really terrific concert with excellent acoustics and thankfully not too loud.

If you are ever in Seattle, the Tractor Tavern is a great venue in the Ballard neighborhood. Very fun people watching...I think my wife and I were the only ones without tattoos! I got to chat with them after their set and had my LP signed. I love the lilting Welsh accents!

Here's a video of "Hotel Room" from their debut LP:


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Glyndebourne yesterday, to watch Semele (Handel). Beautiful place, owned by the organiser of the opera festival, and husband of the soprano Danielle de Niese.



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Possibly the best concert I had seen was a few years ago when I watched Bach's St. Matthews Passion at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall. It goes on for 3 hours, and if not performed well, can be tremendously boring. Unfortunately it plays only during Easter, so you don't get a chance to see it often as it clashes with Easter holidays. However, I got a chance this time at my favorite hall, the Sheldonian (made in the 1600s) in Oxford, and it was remarkable. St. Matthews Passion is grand... like a much larger scale and longer Bach cantata, with everything from choir to solo vocals to solo instruments, intricate melodies.

I watched Lisa Batiashvili perform Beethoven's concerto at Barbican, and I have been recently trying to compare many of Beethoven performances on the various aspects of each movement including the cadenza. My favorite is Lola Bobesco's on EMI - it is a live performance, hence when I was listening to this Barbican performance it reminded me most of the Lola Bobesco one. I also love Schneiderhan's second and third movement on DGG, and this one is not expensive. Heifetz is 6 minutes faster than Lola Bobesco and 10 minutes faster than Oistrakh...however for me not as emotional. And a poor vinyl recording, so I prefer to listen to it on digital. I don't like Kogan's testament reissue at all. All the best buying the 5k+ original, or Oistrakh's 1k+

This is Bobesco

Yesterday I heard Shostakovich 9th (with a Tchaikovsky violin concerto that was not so good, one in June was brilliant), and day before a brilliant chamber concert led by Sheku Kenneh Mason. They performed the nicest sextets I have heard. He is on residency with the Philharmonia this year at the Southbank, and I will watch him and Nicola Bendetti perform Beethoven's triple concerto later this June.

Last week was in San Sebastien on my honeymoon (yes, slipped that in) and we watched a concert there. The local hall has brilliant acoustics! San Sebastien (in Spain) is normally a food capital, and if someone wanted to plan a food holiday there feel free to PM can help plan out.

Between the above update and the Glyndebourne, watched the Oxford Philharmonic do Beethoven 7th at Cadogan Hall. Had seen them do it before at Sheldonian, my favorite acoustics, and Cadogan acoustics I do not like, so I was surprised at how good they were at Cadogan. They also performed Mozart's 20th concerto there, as their conductor is also a pianist.

Saw Francois-Xavier Roth do Beethoven 9th with the LSO at Barbican, it was all over the place. Poor control.

Beethoven triple concerto with Sheku Kaneh Mason and Nicola Benedetti - he was resident at Royal \festival Hall last year and now hands the baton to Nicola, so will get to see her perform more here this year.

And Bruckner 7 at the Sheldonian. I posted a video on Ron's system thread a few weeks ago and Al said the video of the live concert had rolled off highs.
Mystic Festival in Gdansk, Poland was a pleasant surprise. Probably the cleanest and nicest music festival I've ever seen. Lineup was great too and Gojira was spectacular.
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Dave Koz and Friends at the outstanding Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts


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After a long work week I didn’t think I was in the mood for a concert but Ranky Tanky with Lisa Fischer at Jazz Alley was good for the soul.


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Das Rheingold at Seattle Opera last evening. Performers and orchestra were magnificent. Set design was interesting. Libretto seemed a little dumbed down and playing Wagner for laughs was….unexpected

Last weekend was in Paris with wife, after Eurostar we had a great African meal close to the Gare du Nord. I had been here last year they have the best tasting alcohol I have had, shot with Ginger and Chili. Inexpensive

From there, we went to the Cita de la musique where Maria Joao Pires was playing Schubertiades and Arpeggione. Pierre Boulez wanted the hall both rectangular and modular, the designer wanted it in elliptical form. This hall is a meeting of these two paths. Its’ rectangular floor area is open to many possible configurations; the seats are retractable and movable, the stage is also mobile, and several stages can be installed.


From there we went to dinner to the L'avant comptoir de la mer, which my friend the Kondo Bionor Schroder LT owner had introduced me to last trip. This is a restaurant that is like a pintxo bar of San Sebastien but crossed with the fine dining french seafood experience.


The next day went to Petrelle, another nice restaurant, then back to London.

This Thursday we watched Rachel Podger play Bach and some other Baroque at King's Place in London.
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Those ticket prices are crazy. 2 tickets plus transport plus dinner pushing £1K

Give me a kebab and a beer and a cheap night at the Moth club please.

Yeah I watched the ring cycle at ROH. Thing is unlike Barbican and south bank their costly seats don’t have good sonics but for these 4 of the ring cycle there is no choice as it gets sold out too fast.

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