Local Concert Preview for Chicago / Milwaukee
November 25-30, 2009
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2009, Volume 16, #11
Written by John Metzger
Wed November 25, 2009, 06:30 AM CST
11/25 - The Cranberries - Riviera Theatre - Chicago - 7:30 p
11/27 - The Cranberries - Riverside Theater - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
Seven years ago, the members of The Cranberries hung up their collective hats when front gal Dolores O’Riordan made an attempt to step out on her own. She enjoyed a modicum of success, but her solo career never quite panned out in the way that she had hoped. This past January, O’Riordan recruited her old pals to perform a low-key set in Dublin. After testing the waters, The Cranberries decided to regroup in order to mount a massive, international tour that began two weeks ago in Baltimore. O’Riordan issued her sophomore solo set No Baggage in August, and throughout its sojourn — which includes stops at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre on November 25 and Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater on November 27 — The Cranberries will be commingling material from the endeavor with a careful selection of songs from its back catalogue, including Zombie and Linger. By the time that it concludes the European leg of its trek in late March, The Cranberries is hoping to have enough new material to begin crafting its sixth studio album.
11/27 - Freddy Jones Band - Park West - Chicago - 8:30 p
Despite a series of reunion shows that were scattered here and there around the country, the Freddy Jones Band has been taking things slowly since Marty Lloyd and Wayne Healy rekindled their working relationship with the Bonaccorsi brothers a few years ago. Although the ensemble has yet to produce a full-length album of new material, it did augment its recent concert collection Time Well Wasted with a trio of studio recordings. Perhaps, this is an indication of things to come. Regardless, the sparks are flying with increasing regularity in concert. As a result, by feeding off the energy of the assembled hometown crowd, the Freddy Jones Band surely will unleash another highly engaging set of blistering, blues-inflected roots-rock when it continues its annual, Thanksgiving-weekend ritual with a performance at Chicago’s Park West on November 27.
11/28 - Brett Dennen / Grace Potter - House of Blues - Chicago - 7:30 p
11/30 - Brett Dennen / Grace Potter - Turner Hall Ballroom - Milwaukee - 8:00 p
For the most part, Brett Dennen spices his early ’70s singer/songwriter fare with the sorts of world music grooves that Paul Simon explored so effectively in the 1980s. In other words, his approach hardly could be considered unique. Nevertheless, although Dennen still is searching for his own voice, there is no denying the fact that he has a distinctive flair for producing engaging material. His latest set Hope for the Hopeless hasn’t become quite the commercial juggernaut that many had anticipated, but it did extend his streak of pairing smartly crafted lyrics with infectious melodies. Recently, he created a new version of his single Heaven by turning it into a duet with Natalie Merchant. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals will support Dennen at Chicago’s House of Blues on November 28 and at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall Ballroom on November 30. Earlier this year, the group began working on its third studio endeavor with producer T Bone Burnett, though apparently the sessions were abandoned. Grace Potter & the Nocturnals subsequently turned to Marc Batson for assistance, and the ensemble’s latest set is now slated for release next spring.
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