House of Blues Concert Reviews

Brace yourself, I have two concert reviews for ya’ on this beautiful Friday. Actually, it’s only 65 degrees in Houston today. Chilly!

On Tuesday night I saw The Ting Tings at the new House of Blues in Houston. First of all, I got in for free! I was waiting in line around 8pm to purchase my ticket as the opening band was playing. The girl in front of me turned and said, “I have an extra ticket would you like it?” I later read in the Houston Press that they were offering free first-come-first-serve tickets at the HOB box office until 6pm and I didn’t feel special or lucky anymore. Anyway, the opening band was a local Houston band called The Watermarks. The only song I caught was called “Shut Down.” Then they ended with a little Janis—“Peace Of My Heart.”

And so began the LONG equipment set-up for The Ting Tings. The last thing they brought out was the huge bass drum that I knew would be used for “Shut Up and Let Me Go.” They had spelled out The Ting Tings on the drum with what looked like black electrical tape. Katie White took the stage wearing a huge wide-neck sleeveless top falling off her shoulders and belted at the waist. She had black shine leggings and black patent leather mid-calf wrinkled boots with huge silver studs along the rim. I loved the outfit. I will now probably try to copy it.

They started with “We Walk” and she played her compact keyboard. I guess that’s what it was. Although, it very well could have been something fabulous that I know nothing about as I lack instrumental knowledge. Both she and drummer Jules De Martino are great musicians. They play several instruments and their stuff includes a lot of percussion. When they did “Traffic Light” Katie said, ‘…and this is what it’s like when The Ting Tings do a slow song.” When it came time for the encore Jules came back onstage with his camera recording the crowd saying he had a lot of friends back in the UK that he wanted us to say hello to.

To put my British vocabulary to use, all in all I thought the performance was brilliant! It was very high-energy and the drum beats and repeated lyrics make the songs very catchy.

1. We Walk
2. Great DJ
3. Fruit Machine
4. Keep Your Head
5. Traffic Light
6. Be The One
7. We Started Nothing
8. Shut Up And Let Me Go

1. Impacilla Carpisung
2. That’s Not My Name

Have a listen to “Traffic Light”

Last night I went back to the HOB to see Sara Bareilles and Marc Broussard. I have seen Sara before at the Parrish in Austin, TX but I had never seen Mr. Broussard. I showed up when the opening band was performing as I always do. I did not get a free ticket this time and it was a little pricy for my taste. Usually my shows cost $12 to $18. This one was $25. Anyway, it was worth it.

Raining Jane was the name of the opening act. I walked in on what they later described as the Jam Session they like to call “Brown Town” which is a celebration of their ethnicity. One of the girls in the group was Persian. Then they sang ‘a little ditty about first love’ called “Papercut.” The lyrics were cute and the harmonizing was cute. It was altogether a cute song. They made me want to show up on time to every concert I go to because, while I hate waiting, I also hate to miss being introduced to something great. They co-wrote “A Beautiful Mess” with Jason Mraz and a version of it is available on iTunes. Their EP is called Paper Nest. They ended with a song called “Pinball.” All these songs can be found on their MySpace page if you follow the link above.

Marc Broussard followed Raining Jane and started with “Rocksteady” from the album Carencro. His first album on Atlantic Records, third full-length altogether, is called Keep Coming Back and was released on September 16, 2008. When he played “Another Night Alone” he told us that this was his favorite song off the new album. I bought his new LP and listened again when I got home last night. I love his pop-funk-blues mix of sound.

1. Rocksteady
2. The Wanderer
3. Real Good Thing
4. Another Night Alone
5. Home
6. Gavin’s Song
7. Going Home

Have a listen to “Home”

Sara B. came on-stage wearing a black pencil shirt and a white blouse looking like a business woman. Her lead guitar player wore a D.A.R.E tee-shirt. She started with my favorite song, “Vegas.” The whole night I knew what was coming next because I stood right near the sound equipment where the crew had a copy of the setlist. They included a little funk guitar when they performed “Morningside.” Then she did a song called “Love On The Rocks” and had a band member playing organ to her piano.

She then asked for a moment of our time to explain the ‘Vote for Eve’ buttons she had displayed on her merch table. Apparently she supports a non-profit whose sales proceeds go to the National Eating Disorders Association and by voting you may help Eve win $10,000 for her cause.

“Between The Lines,” she explained, is about always missing love. For instance, not being ready to love when someone loves you, or being in love with someone when they have just found someone else. Her song “August Moon” is about being cheated on by her high school boyfriend.

When she sang “Little Voices” she ended with ‘I used to rule the world, seas would rise when I gave the word’—yeah, she threw in a little two-line Coldplay teaser. Strobe lights flashed during “Come Round Soon” and I thought to myself, ‘as if I’m not already immersed by the music alone.’ She ended the song with, ‘I kissed a girl and I liked it.’ Okay, now she was just having fun. I could have done without the Katy Perry cameo. She sang “Love Song” exactly the way it is on the album which I thought was nice. Why change something everyone already loves as it is? She ended the set with “Many The Miles” and Marc Broussard joined her on-stage and they made it the little we-sing-you-repeat crowd interactive number of the night.

The encore came and she brought Raining Jane on-stage with her and they did “Sullivan Street.” She had been on tour with Counting Crows and that is her favorite Counting Crows song so she chose to include it in the encore. Then she finished with a solo of “Gravity.” It was a neat way to end the show. She just belted out this beautiful ballad while everyone stood still and silent listening, including all other band members and opening acts that I could see were standing just inside the stage curtain.

Have a listen to “Fairytale”

1. Vegas
2. Bottle It Up
3. Morningside
4. Love On The Rocks
5. Between The Lines
6. Fairytale
7. Feel It All
8. August Moon
9. Little Voice
10. City
11. Come Round Soon
12. Love Song
13. Many The Miles

1. Sullivan Street (Counting Crows cover)
2. Gravity