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  THE FRAMES w/ Ash, the guy from Coldplay, Waxwings, Nad Natillus, and Joseph Plunkett and the Weight  
  The Echo Lounge  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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This was the first show of PostLibyan's official Fall Concert Marathon. And quite honestly, it started rather poorly.

The first act was Joseph Plunkett and The Weight. Mr. Plunkett plays guitar and sings in a not quite totally off-key sort of way. The Weight consist of a violinist, another guitarist/bassist, and a drummer. I think. In all honesty the first song was so twangy and, well, irritating, that i fled to The Side Lounge for a beer. So i did not really watch this set, although the little i did see was enough to lead me to believe that this was not the band for me.

I crept back into the main concert are for Nad Natillus. This band was a normal sort of indie rock band, but they seemed fun. The set was not that remarkable, but it was enjoyable. So thumbs up to them.

Then came Waxwings. This band just refused to rock. They were trying, oh how they were trying, but the performance seemed cold and sterile to me. They offered nothing of merit, and i found myself standing there and seriously thinking about just leaving and getting a full night's sleep.

But i am so glad that i did not.

It seemed as if i had waited forever, but The Frames finally took the stage. And they were brilliant. The Frames are a four piece -- guitar/voice, drums, bass, and violin. Your standard Irish band, i suppose. But there is more to it than that.

The vocalist is one Glen Hansard (who you might remember from such movies as: The Commitments), and he has a certain rogueish charm as he stands on stage, strumming at his guitar, smacking gum like his life depended on it, and singing away.

The IT Mega-corp my father works for did some research into the affect accents have on people's moods. Their researchers determined that the sweet sound of the Irish Brogue was pleasing and calming to most people. For that reason, they built their big support center outside of Dublin. For me and the other bored-up-till-then people in the crowd, it meant that within one song sung in Hansard's thick brogue we were happy and content.

The Frames played mostly off of For The Birds and Dance The Devil, their two latest albums, and the only ones that i have ever actually seen copies of. The songs are catchy and fun, and the broad smiles on the musicians faces just made it all seem happier.

It felt like they played a very long set, but it may have seemed that way because i was dancing around like a fool and wearing myself out.

Just before they left for their encore, an influx of new people came and invaded our personal space. Not like The Echo was packed this night, but they still seemed in the way.

The Frames left the stage, and these people talked to themselves for a while, then some of them went and took the stage! What the heck? They were a four piece with Irish accents, and they played a song that seemed to get some recognition from the crowd. Echo Booking Guy Alex informed me that this was Ash, another Irish pop band whose tour stranded them in Atlanta for the weekend. I am not familiar with this band, but the song they did was pleasant enough.

Then Glen Hansard came out and another of the newcomers took the stage. This, Alex informed me, was the vocalist of Coldplay. I have heard of this band, and i have only two comments on their singer. Firstly, he is rather tall, and secondly, does he not shave on tour? (He was looking a little scruffy.)

At any rate, this Frames/Coldplay/Ash supergroup proceeded to play an old Will Oldham tune. It sounded very good, and the crowd was dancing around and having a great time. An odd choice mind you (Brit and Irish popsters covering one of Americana's greatest songsmiths), but well done.

After that, everyone left the stage, and we Minions headed home. On the whole it was not a great night for music, but The Frames more than made up for the failings of the openers.

Plus i got to see Ash. Who knew?

Related Links:

The Frames in concert earlier on St. Valentine's Day 2002.
For The Birds, the latest LP from The Frames.


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