Sunday, January 1, 2012
Concert review: Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights, Ishi, and Kirby Brown at the Granada Theater (December 31)
To say that the Granada Theater’s NYE show was good is an understatement.
Our New Year's resolution is to see more Ishi.
New Year's Eve always refuses to go quietly at the Granada Theater in Dallas, and this year's annual shindig was no exception. Local artists are a staple at the venue, and Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights brought the house down with the band’s special brand of southern infused rock. Along for the ride, Kirby Brown and Ishi warmed up the nearly sold-out show and got partygoers moving to the rhythm of the music that would set the tone for a wild night.
Looking eerily similar to Tom Petty, Kirby Brown got the party started as he played some sweet rock 'n' roll sounds from his most recent musical effort, Child Of Calamity. Dressed in retro rock 'n' roll style while he performed tunes that sounded as if it were the late ‘70s instead of 2012, it was apparent that those who came before him were heavy influences. He even performed a slowed down version of Petty’s “Listen To Her Heart” – proof that classic rock is here to stay. With driving beats and heavy bass lines, Brown got the party started right.
Picking up where Brown left off and then turning it up to 11, Ishi proved that they are the band in Dallas to get bodies moving on the dance floor. The band’s electronic beats were just the thing to kick the party up a notch, and with lead singer John Mudd’s eccentric dance style and stage presence, it was hard to deny the desire to dance the year away, especially when Mudd put away his cane and donned his signature Indian chief headdress. Continuing a night of retro covers, Ishi’s female vocalist Becky Middleton performed an updated version of The Bangles “Walk Like An Egyptian” which was quite the crowd pleaser. Although she may not have the stage presence that her predecessor Taylor Rea had, Middleton has the vocal chops to distinguish herself, and she earned the right to be onstage.
As the clock ticked closer to midnight, Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights took the stage to rock 2011 away. The band has been a successful part of the Granada’s annual New Year's Eve bash for several years. These guys have southern rock – and whiskey – in their blood, and their set was undeniably electric. Looking every bit the rock stars they are, JTNL proved once more why they should return as the clock strikes 12 next year.
For the first half of the set, Tyler demonstrated his talents with the harmonica with tracks like “Devil’s Basement.” Once everybody said goodbye to 2011, the band went into overdrive. For the first song of the New Year, Tyler invited Brown and Ishi’s Mudd to the stage for a rendition of The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” a fitting song since the band takes its cues from several classic rock bands, including The Stones. From there on, JTNL rocked the night away and welcomed the New Year with open arms.
To say that the Granada Theater’s NYE show was good is an understatement. Each year, the venue and bands deliver an excellent show worth coming back to time and time again. Hopefully, seeing more live music will be on everybody’s resolution list.
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