Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bringing Down the Farm--The Wallflowers Perform at the Charleston Music Farm

by Corinne Boyer
           Grammy award winning rock band, The Wallflowers, played a superb show at Charleston’s Music Farm.  The Wallflowers are currently on tour promoting their new album, “Glad All Over.”  With the release of their sixth studio album, The Wallflowers continue to reinvent themselves with distinct vocals from lead singer Jakob Dylan.  With a solo performance by Mason Reed and a second opening act, Crowfield, both bands jolted the crowd with their energetic performances.  All three bands made the three and a half hour show worth every minute. 

           Solo performer, Mason Reed’s deep husky vocals and vintage country sound kicked the show off to a great start.  Reed’s song, “I’m Only Gonna Break Your Heart,” exhibited his sharp, raspy voice and country western influence.  With both upbeat and slower acoustic ballads, Reed extended his set per request of the crowd. Reed’s piercing sound sent the crowd into applause.
           As the second opening act, Crowfield, came on stage, the crowd grew larger.  Crowfield, a Charleston band, has opened for Hootie and the Blowfish, and Will Hoge. Lead singer, Tyler Mecham’s vocal energy and guitar solos made it tough to stand still.  Crowfield's local fan base was evident as much of the crowd sang along to their opening song, “Bigfoot.”  Halfway through Crowfield's set, Mecham thanked Jakob Dylan and The Wallflowers for allowing them to open.  Crowfield also played "Jesus in My Pocket," the band’s first song played on the radio.
           The Wallflowers walked out on stage and opened with their 1996 hit "6th Avenue Heartache,” from their “Bringing Down the Horse” album. Dylan introduced band members Rami Jaffee on keyboards and the organ, Jack Irons on drums, Greg Richling on bass, and Stuart Mathis on guitar.  With no visible set list, Dylan asked the crowd for requests. A man shouted, “Heroes.” "No, I like the original better." Dylan said, referring to the song by David Bowie. Dueling organs, keyboards, and even an accordion were played by Jaffee, who has also played with The Foo Fighters, Pet Yorn, Pearl Jam, and Coheed and Cambria. Irons played a two minute drum solo that had the band and crowd cheering.
           Dylan engaged the crowd with stories behind the songwriting and work that went into the new album.  Dylan said, "We like the old stuff, but we've got some new stuff as well,” and told the crowd that the band was excited to release their new material.  When Dylan played the hits "One Headlight" and "Sixth Avenue Heartache," he spoke the lyrics.  While his new twist on his old stuff proved harder to sing along to, his love of performing the songs that earned The Wallflowers two Grammys was evident as he peered out into the large singing crowd.  Behind his worn Fender Telecaster, Dylan and The Wallflowers delivered an astonishing show at an intimate venue.
         “Reboot the Mission,” the first single from The Wallflowers new album mixes funk and electronic beats with the band’s classic organ and keyboard sounds.  In “Reboot the Mission” Dylan sings, “Welcome Jack, the new drummer. He jammed with the mighty Joe Strummer.”  Dylan sites Strummer as one of his greatest musical influences.  The Wallflowers energy, talent, and love of performing made their show one of the most memorable the Music Farm has had this year.  After the show, Dylan stood outside of the Music Farm, took photos, signed autographs, and thanked his fans for their support.


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