Lack of energy afflicts 'til tuesday Spring Weekend concert
'til tuesday (the band's name is in lowercase letters--debby)
May 5 at the Johnson
By ALFRED ARMENDARIZ
and PETER PARNASSA
IN A SHOW THAT PROVED TO BE A mixture of two different styles, 'til tuesday performed at the Johnson Athletic Center for MIT's annual Spring Weekend concert.
The band played the first half of the show on acoustic instruments, weakening the electricity that the songs have on the band's records. Aimee Mann's excellent voice prevented the first half from becoming dull or predictable, but she seemed to be the only one on stage trying to connect with the crowd. The band, though talented and humorous to watch, perhaps should have concentrated less on jokes and more on music. As the show progressed, the band loosened up, turned up the volume on their instruments, and chose more appealing songs. The second half showed that the band can really rock when it wants to -- I only wish that they had done so sooner.
Mann opened the show with two new songs which she performed on an acoustic guitar. She was accompanied by a member of the opening act on piano and pan flute. The rest of 'til tuesday joined her on stage for a gentle, acoustic rendition of "(Believed You Were) Lucky" from their most recent album Everything's Different Now. "Will She Just Fall Down" lost some of the energy that it had on Welcome Home as the band tried a little too hard not to get in the way of Mann's voice. They then played a mixture of new and old with "J for Jules" and their latest single "Rip In Heaven" (both from the current album) and "Coming Up Close" and "Have Mercy" from Welcome Home.
"The Other End (of the Telescope)," a song written by Mann and Elvis Costello, lacked fire when performed live even though it is perhaps the best and most moving song off of their new album. Despite this mis-step, 'til tuesday gave the crowd a taste of what was to come with an intense version of their hit "Voices Carry" to close the first half.
The show changed dramatically with the first of their four encores. The crowd came alive and really began to cheer when the band turned up both volume and tempo for "What About Love" and "Everything's Different Now." They used their new-found energy in playing some great cover versions, including the Hoodoo Gurus' "Death Defying". Audience reaction peaked with the terrific "Love in A Vaccuum" from their debut album.
With the energy 'til tuesday displayed during the second half of the show, one can only wonder why they played so timidly at the beginning. The band should have chosen a better selection of songs to open the show instead of relying solely on Aimee Mann's voice to pull them through. Had the band opened the show with the intensity they displayed in the second half, MIT would have heard a truly excellent show, not just half of one.