Piebald/The Warren Commission - live in Boston (Cover Artwork)

Piebald / The Warren Commission

live in Boston (2002)

live show

Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart.... Piebald. What the hell do all these people have in common? Well nothing really. But as I look around the Hatch Shell on a cloudy, rainy night in Boston Massachusetts waiting for Piebald to come on those are the names, among many others, I see written across the stairs that lead up to the huge dome shaped stage.

104.1 WBCN Boston was hosting a free show featuring Piebald and the western Massachusetts band, The Warren Commission as a part of their Back to School Jam or some sort of silly promotion, I never listen to the radio so I have no idea. I will spare you the unimportant details of my day and night leading up to the event and get on to reviewing the show.

I had never heard of The Warren Commission before, but being named after the commission that was in charge of investigating the JFK assasination (theres a little bit of history for ya!), and I being the history buff that I am (no i did NOT fail it last semester), I was looking forward to what they had to show. Now lets talk a bit about stage presence. Having music that pleases people is just one part of putting on a good show. Involving the crowd, moving around and being energetic on stage, those are just 2 points to concentrate on when trying to give yourself and your band some sort of presence on the stage. These things were needed even more tonight as the Hatch Shell is an extremely large stage, which is made to hold an entire orchestra (The Boston Pops) and can dwarf a young 4 piece indie rock band. Now Im not going to say that this band was bad, and I am sure that if I saw them in a small club that they would impress me a lot more but they needed a lot of work on their stage show. The drummer was very impressive, and the guitar and bass players, while rather stagnant on stage, were not so bad themselves. The lead singer, could have been a lot better had she not seemed so shy. But despite the reasons stated above I did actually enjoy hearing this band play. It was a short set so they didnt run out their welcome and made sure they said "piebald" as many times as possible to get some sort of rise out of the awaiting crowd. The band played a nice mix of pop-rock and emo, and had an indie rock feel to them. Comparing them to The Get Up Kids and definitley Piebald would be somewhat correct. But the female vocals give them a pretty original feel. If this band ever does make it they could be quite a popular band with a little work on their energy level.

I have seen piebald once before and was pretty impressed with their live show. While the crowd didnt warm up to them at the previous show because they were all waiting for the Dropkick Murphys to play this show had a different feel to it as most of the people were there to see Piebald and there was no chants of "Emo Sucks" and other disrespectful acts. Opening with "Karate Chops for everyone but us" the show was off to a very fun start as that is one of my favorites from the new album. Playing a good mix of older songs ("We believe in Karma", and the ever popular and my favorite "Grace Kelly With Wings") and newer songs ("American Hearts" and the previously mentioned "Karate Chops") Piebald was definitley on that night. Despite the rain there was a pretty good sized crowd for a not so well known band from Andover Massachusetts just waiting to hit it big. I estimated at about 300 people on the cloudy, rainy night. Fears of the show being shut down surrounded the even the entire night but just as the Red Sox game went on just a few blocks away so did the show. Closing their set with a "Long Nights" from their new album (surprisingly not ending it with "Grace Kelly" like I would have assumed they would) they said their thank yous and ran off the stage. We still wanted more though. We clapped and cheered until Travis, Aaron, Andy, and Luke came back on stage to play what would be their finals song of the night, "King Of the Road", quite possibly my favorite song off the new album with the exception of "American Hearts".

Seeing Piebald live is something you have to experience to appreciate and really understand how amazing Piebald really is. Seeing them for free however when they are not trying to promote a certain album, and not trying to impress all of the fans that were just there to hear the radio hit "America Hearts" and the video that has appeared on MTV2 (twice now... good lord!) "Just a Simple Plan", is a whole lot better. They were able to play a lot of songs that they werent able to play the last time I saw them, and failed to play the first single off the new album "Just a Simple Plan".

With the Red Sox getting a big win last night, as well as the Worcester Little League team making it to the National finals with an exciting win with a walk off home run, and the free Piebald concert, tonight was a pretty good night in the life of this Bostonian.