Sunday, August 26, 2018

Bird Streets at The Federal Bar, 8-26-18 Concert Review

Bird Streets performing "Bullets"
Earlier this month, Bird Streets released their self-titled debut album, a fantastic set of rock and pop tunes featuring some damn good lyrics. This is the project of John Brodeur and Jason Falkner, and today they brought Bird Streets to North Hollywood, performing at The Federal Bar as part of the Mimosa Music Series. The crowd was a bit slow in arriving this morning, perhaps because the band played last night in Hollywood, just over the hill. I heard word the show last night was excellent, with a lot of energy. I expected the same for this show, even if it was early in the day. I’ve never been led astray by any of these Mimosa Music Series concerts. What better way is there to start a day than with some good music and alcohol in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere?

The show got off to a good start with an opening set by Stoll Vaughan, who performed solo on acoustic guitar. He focused on material from his new album, The Conversation (I need to pick up a copy of it), playing “Roll On,” “Forgiveness,” “Meet You In The Middle” and “Own The World.” I enjoyed his entire set, but especially “Own The World,” a beautiful and sweet song in which he sings, “If I got you, I own the world.” His set ended at 12:20 p.m., and within a few minutes, Bird Streets took the stage. No waiting around this time. These guys were eager to play, and by 12:30 they were ready. In fact, Mimosa Music Series host Gary Calamar didn’t even have time to get on stage to do a proper introduction. As they began, he gave the briefest of introductions from near the front of the audience, and then the set was underway. They kicked it off with “Carry Me,” the lead-off track from the album, a perfect way to get things going, what with phrases like “to new beginnings” and “the beautiful unknown.” Here we go!

The album has eleven tracks, and the band played all eleven at this show, though not in order. They followed the lead-off track with the album’s closing track, “Until The Crown,” with just a brief thank-you in between. There was not a whole lot of stage banter at this show, just some great pop music to make you feel good. And actually, it felt a bit strange being seated for this music. It seems like great music for dancing, and, yes, the energy was there, even though it was an early Sunday show. “Until The Crown” was followed by “Thanks For Calling,” one of my favorite tracks from the album, and then by “Heal” and “Same Dream” and “Bullets.” In introducing “Pretty Bones,” John Brodeur said, “Okay, we’re going to do the spooky one now.” “Pretty Bones” was followed by “Spaceship” and then “Betting On The Sun.” By the end of “Betting On The Sun,” some crazy sounds were coming out of Jason Falkner’s amp, leading him to ask, “Is there an amp doctor in the house?” John Brodeur than said, “We’ve got just two more, but they’re the last two, and we can’t just cut those.” He joked that they had a carefully sculpted set list. While some quick repairs were being done, John asked, “Should we go around the room, talk about what we had for breakfast?” It was really the one moment of some extended stage banter. And I’m glad they worked it out rather than just ending the set there, because the next song was one of my favorites from the album: “Direction.” Something about this song always makes me happy. They then wrapped up the set with “Stop To Breathe.” The show ended at 1:22 p.m. There was no encore.

Set List
  1. Carry Me
  2. Until The Crown
  3. Thanks For Calling
  4. Heal
  5. Same Dream
  6. Bullets
  7. Pretty Bones
  8. Spaceship
  9. Betting On The Sun
  10. Direction
  11. Stop To Breathe 
Here are a few photos from the show:

"Carry On"
"Thanks For Calling"
"Same Dream"
"Same Dream"
"Betting On The Sun"

Here is a shot of Stoll Vaughan:

"Roll On"

The Federal Bar is located at 5303 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, California.

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