Live Review: Stereophonics @ 9:30 Club, 9/22/13

I recently realized something about the length of time I've been a fan of certain bands. And holy hell, y'all, it's been quite a while that yours truly has been listening to Stereophonics. One of those bands I discovered while in high school, these Welsh songsmiths have been with me rather a long time. Naturally, getting to see the lads live is definitely a treat, and getting to see them at the 9:30 Club is even sweeter. A relatively packed Sunday night house gathered, eagerly awaiting what would prove to be one heck  of a show. Led by Kelly Jones (he of the powerhouse voice and impossible handsomeness), Stereophonics managed to completely win me over...again. 

From the word go they were impeccable, unleashing their hearty, earnest sound on the assembled crowd. The mix of songs was well chosen, covering the entire run of their career to date. As likeable as you could ask for, the band somehow kept their laddishness intact while displaying their technical proficiency. Banter was a key factor, and Jones frequently addressed his followers with amusing comments and anecdotes (such as the story of how the band's bus broke down on the way from New York, leading to the classic comment "It's a very glamorous lifestyle, ladies and gentlemen."). 

Song after song was spot on, from old favorites like the rambunctious tomfoolery of "Local Boy in The Photograph," the sleazy smoke of "Mr. Writer," the anthemic "Just Looking," and the warily chirpy "Have A Nice Day" (and anecdotal tale about the inspiration for the song, a San Francisco taxi driver) to songs I hadn't yet fallen for, such as "Graffiti on The Train" and "Indian Summer." The highest of all high points came at the very end of the encore, when the band launched into "Dakota." It's been longer than I care to admit since I last listened to that song, but hearing it live, infused with such energy and excitement, brought it all back home again just how much I love that song, not to mention how much I love this band. 

To me, it's quite special to see a band that I musically came of age with still out there on the road spreading their good word, and being great at it to boot. Stereophonics have, if possible, improved with age. If you can get out there to see them, I strongly recommend you do so.

[photo by Megan Petty]        


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