Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Nields at The Iron Horse Music Hall, 6-17-16 Concert Review

The Nields performing "Black Boys On Mopeds"
The Nields celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary with a couple of full-band shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, Massachusetts. The first show, on Friday the 17th, focused on music from the band's first decade or so - from 1991 to 2001. Before the show, Nerissa and Katryna came out to play for those waiting in line, which was a wonderful surprise. They did one song, "Cool In The Backseat," and moments after they finished, the doors opened (this was at 5:30 p.m.). At 7:05 p.m., Ben Demerath opened the show with a half hour set. (Later he'd join The Nields for a couple of tunes.)

The Nields took the stage at 7:53 p.m., telling the crowd, "Thank you for coming to our birthday party." And there was something of a party feel to the show. They kicked off the set with "James," from Bob On The Ceiling, which (if memory serves) was the first Nields album I ever got. They followed that with "Jeremy Newborn Street," from If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now. "That's on the vinyl," they said afterward, referring to a limited edition double album titled Haven't I Paid My Dues By Now, which was released as part of their twenty-fifth anniversary celebration. As I understand it, only two hundred copies were made.

One of the highlights of the set was another song included on that new double vinyl release, "Snowman," a song originally from their 1998 release Play. They did an excellent, powerful and groovy version of it at this show. It's one of my favorites anyway, but this was a particular stellar rendition. They also did a great version of "Alfred Hitchcock," another they included on Haven't I Paid My Dues By Now. After that song, they talked about touring, and about their first tour van, which they called Moby Juan Van Kenobi, and about raising money for their second van, Nessie The Loch Ness Vanster. They also told a funny anecdote about a gig at a mall where they'd been asked to play "Gotta Get Over Greta," but then were told to play "Taxi Girl" instead.

Another highlight of the show was "In The Hush Before The Heartbreak," which really featured their beautiful vocals. Ben Demerath joined The Nields on oboe for "One Hundred Names," a song from If You Lived Here You'd Be Home Now (while Nerissa moved to the keyboard). He then switched to mandolin for "Keys To The Kingdom," also providing some backing vocals on that song. The set then ended with a fun version of "Tomorrowland."

For the encore, the full band played "Gotta Get Over Greta." In introducing it, Nerissa talked about how they really tried to make it with that album. "We could not have done any less," she said. "You mean any more," Katryna corrected her. "Oh yeah," Nerissa laughed. That song also featured Amelia Chalfant on guitar, while Dave switched to bass. Then to close out the show, Nerissa and Katryna moved to the staircase at the back of the room to perform "Easy People" unmiked. (That's the song that gives the double album its title, by the way.) The show ended at 9:35 p.m.

Set List
  1. James
  2. Jeremy Newborn Street
  3. Be Nice To Me
  4. Black Boys On Mopeds
  5. Snowman
  6. Georgia O
  7. Que Sera Sera >
  8. Alfred Hitchcock
  9. Taxi Girl
  10. Barbie Poem
  11. Jennifer Falling Down
  12. In The Hush Before The Heartbreak
  13. Just Like Christopher Columbus
  14. Best Black Dress
  15. Living It Up In The Garden
  16. One Hundred Names
  17. Keys To The Kingdom
  18. Tomorrowland
  1. Gotta Get Over Greta
  2. Easy People
Here are some photos from the show:

"Cool In The Backseat"
"Cool In The Backseat"
"Cool In The Backseat"
"Barbie Poem"
"Living It Up In The Garden"
"One Hundred Names"
"One Hundred Names"

"One Hundred Names"
"Keys To The Kingdom"
"Gotta Get Over Greta"
The Iron Horse is located at 20 Center St. in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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