Sunday, February 10, 2019

Permanent Green Light at The Federal Bar, 2-10-19 Concert Review

Permanent Green Light performing "Ballad Of Paul K."
I’ve seen some seriously good shows at The Federal Bar in the last few years. Gary Calamar hosts a concert series there, Mimosa Music Series, and he’s managed to get some fantastic artists to perform. Today the bill consisted of Chris Price and Permanent Green Light. If you are familiar with Permanent Green Light, you know their show today was a true rarity. As Gary mentioned in his introduction, “This band only plays once every twenty-five years.” I’m not sure if that is even an exaggeration. The band broke up in the mid-1990s after only one LP, an EP and some singles. But in October of 2018, a compilation of their music was released. Titled Hallucinations, it features music from their earlier releases as well as some previously unreleased tracks. It’s a wonderful collection of music. The band, by the way, for those who don’t know, is made up of Michael Quercio on bass and vocals, Matt Devine on guitar and vocals, and Chris Bruckner on drums. And today they delivered a totally fun set of power pop.

Gary Calamar introduced them at 12:17 p.m., and helped establish the afternoon’s playful tone by holding up a single shoe that had been found and asking if anyone would claim it. I’m not sure if that shoe was reunited with its owner or not, but soon the band’s set was underway and everyone was having a good time. Permanent Green Light focused on material that was included on Hallucinations. In introducing “We Could Just Die,” Michael Quercio said, “All right, rock and roll.” And indeed, that song rocked. Apparently, the band rehearsed for this gig, and they sounded great. Sure, it might have been just a tad loud for the room, but was so much fun. “We Could Just Die” was followed by “The Goddess Bunny.” Then Michael took off his jacket, mentioning “I bought this jacket at Target.” He joked that he goes to that store because it’s convenient and he’s lazy.

Before “Street Love,” Michael introduced Matt: “On guitar, the wonder that is Matt Devine.” Matt sang lead on that song. That was followed by “Ballad Of Paul K.,” which Michael introduced as “a song about one of our old friends.” He then asked, “Is he here?” After “Lovely To Love Me,” Michael mentioned that the next song kind of boogies. “It doesn’t go on long enough to be a proper one,” he said. The song was “Wintertime’s A-Comin’, Martha Raye.” Michael then told the crowd, “We’d like to leave you with a message.” And the band went into “(You & I Are The) Summertime,” which totally delighted the audience. This song featured some great stuff on drums, and turned into a good jam. It was certainly a highlight of the set. They came out for an encore, and as Michael tuned, Matt told the crowd: “I tuned backstage. I’ve got a system worked out.” The encore was “All For You.” The show ended at 1 p.m. And it was clear that everyone present knew they had witnessed something special.

Set List
  1. (I forgot to write down the first song – sorry, folks)
  2. We Could Just Die
  3. The Goddess Bunny
  4. Honestly
  5. Street Love
  6. Ballad Of Paul K.
  7. Lovely To Love Me
  8. Wintertime’s A-Comin’, Martha Raye
  9. (You & I Are The) Summertime 
  1. All For You
 Here are a few photos from their set:

"We Could Just Die"
"We Could Just Die"
"Wintertime's A-Comin', Martha Raye"
"(You & I Are The) Summertime"
"(You & I Are The) Summertime"
"(You & I Are The) Summertime"

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