Live Review: Tommy Keene/Magnapop @ The EARL, April 27

[ 1 ] April 29, 2009 |

By Scott Roberts; photo by Sue Volkert

An especially sparse (even for a
Monday night) crowd at The EARL did not deter hometown darlings Magnapop or
veteran headliner Tommy Keene from delivering entertaining sets of energetic, rock-tinged
pop. The humble, yet appreciative, crowd was first treated to a loosely
confident performance by Magnapop, who opened with the relatively new “Monkey
Grip” (from their new CD due out this summer) and closed with an
adrenaline-fueled “Merry” from their 1992 self-titled debut CD. The mixture of
older and newer material in-between mingled seamlessly together showcasing the
timelessness of Magnapop’s loud-leaning version of power-pop.

Magnapop were not nearly as loud, however, as headliner Tommy Keene, who
chose to cloak his generally jangly brand of power-pop in copious volume
sometimes bordering on ear-splitting. Despite the uneven sound, the band was
top-notch (especially bassist, harmony singer, and former Atlantan Brad Quinn)
as they played songs from nearly every phase of Keene’s impressive 25-plus
years worth of material with highlights including “When Our Vows Break”
(co-written with fellow pop-enthusiast Jules Shear), “My Mother Looked Like
Marilyn Monroe,” and a new, melancholy arrangement of “Underworld.”

Keene (at certain angles bearing an
uncanny resemblance to actor Mel Gibson) clearly loves being on stage and his
loyal fans clearly love seeing him there, so hopefully he will be back this way
again before too long—hopefully next time, though, on a better night and with
the volume turned down a bit.

Category: Live Reviews

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  1. The reviewer, Scott Roberts, has asked me to apologise for a mistake he made in this review. He incorrectly identified Magnapop’s opening number as “Monkey Grip” from their forthcoming CD when, in fact, they opened with “We’re Faded” from their last CD “Mouthfeel.” He humbly regrets this error and is sorry for any confusion or distress his faux pas may have caused any readers, fans, or members of the band. He claims this example of shoddy journalism will never happen again on his dime, but knowing Scott as I do, I have a feeling my services may be enlisted again at some point. He is, after all, only human.

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