Josh Ritter at The Vic 11/9/2017

I got very spoiled the first couple of times I saw Josh Ritter play. He’s still a fairly under the radar artist as far as the mainstream goes, but in 2008 and 2009 he was even more so unknown. He played at Vaudeville Mews, which is a great small room in Des Moines, to about 200 people (including the balcony). Those shows were amazing, with … Continue reading Josh Ritter at The Vic 11/9/2017

Arkells at Lincoln Hall 11/3/2017

Arkells play with the same heart and energy in a sold-out venue that holds 1,000 or a poorly attended show in a tiny bar. I’ve never seen the latter happen, but I have seen them at three different-sized places and the vibe was exactly the same each time. They’re entertainers there to put on a show, and they do not disappoint. ​ ​ A band … Continue reading Arkells at Lincoln Hall 11/3/2017

The National at House Of Vans 10/30/2017

Despite pretty steady touring over the past decade, I had only seen The National once before last night. I caught them in 2009 at First Ave in Minneapolis. Since then I’ve been kind of down on the band, with High Violet and Trouble Will Find Me failing to live up to my expectations. Sleep Well Beast, which I’ve only had the chance to hear once … Continue reading The National at House Of Vans 10/30/2017

The Strumbellas at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

I first heard about The Strumbellas at a music festival in Toronto back in 2014. Unfortunately, they were playing the same time as another group I wanted to see. So finally, over three years later, on Thursday night I got to see the Canadian Americana band take the stage at Thalia Hall. The band did not disappoint, playing a set filled with the hits from … Continue reading The Strumbellas at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

Noah Kahan at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

If you’re unfamiliar with Noah Kahan right now, I’m not surprised. I was not aware of him myself until I saw he’d be opening shows for The Strumbellas on their current tour. After listening to the few songs he has out on Spotify, it was not surprising that the band would choose the Vermont-born singer/songwriter to warm up their crowds. He plays a similar kind … Continue reading Noah Kahan at Thalia Hall 10/19/2017

Dan Rico at Cafe Mustache 10/14/2017

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the new 7″ “Flesh & Bone” from Chicago musician Dan Rico. Saturday night I got to see him live and it was great. The vibe on stage completely matches the fuzzed out honky-tonk you hear on the record. I referred to it to a friend as “dirty Elvis,” and I think that fits pretty well. I hadn’t been … Continue reading Dan Rico at Cafe Mustache 10/14/2017