January 29, 2010

Live Review: Love in Stockholm // The Phix // Re-Up // Joy Daniels

The Middle East Downstairs // Cambridge, MA // Jan. 21, 2010

Love in Stockholm - Music Video Premiere at the Middle East from Love in Stockholm on Vimeo.

Jazz and soul was alive and well this past Saturday as several bands took the stage to celebrate the release of Boston's own Love in Stockholm's brand new video “Ordinary Man.” Close friends (and media alike) joined the band right before the scheduled concert to get a peek at the vid for their latest single, which was shot over only a couple days. The video, which features the band pouring their hearts out in a performance under a stream of Christmas lights, was followed by a live acoustic performance of the same song – which was one of the most intimate moments of the evening (if not the only one).

Love in Stockholm

Opening up was the powerful Joy Daniels. Equipped with tight instrumentation and a stage presence comparable to quite frankly nothing else, Joy shook the audience with songs that were not only upbeat and melodic, but packed with a powerful message as well. Songs like “Crazy” and “Do You Know What It's Like” packed an off-the-wall (and considerably brief) set right before Re-Up hit the stage. Combining soul with their own eclectic view of hip-hop, the audience was completely consumed with their relaxed-but-passionate demeanor as they crooned songs like the bittersweet love ballad “Still” and the ultra-slick “Bad Motherfucker.”

Following them were the Phix and the energy completely shifted from that of a laid-back concert-goer to a wild dance party. The Phix are masters of taking genres and flipping them on their heads. Fusing hip-hop together with pop, a little bit of rock and adding a dash of auto-tune sounds like too many ingredients in the pot to actually produce something you can successfully consume, but somehow they pull it off flawlessly. Cruising through tunes like “Boomerang” and “Fell in Love (In the Club)” with endless amounts of energy, they provided an interesting contrast to the final act of the night, Love In Stockholm. 

The Phix

The last band of the evening was greeted to a packed room of true fans or intrigued  listeners, and rose to the occasion practically without breaking a sweat. Fusing soul and beats that can't help but make you move, the boys put their acoustic side away and kept up the high-paced energy anointed to them previously by the Phix. Playing songs like “Don't Be Fooled” and “The Collector” from last year's Too Much Love EP, LIS gave it their all and the audience were quite appreciative. Trumpets mixed with harmonicas mixed with guitars and soulful vocals perfectly channeled their core sound of R&B/jazz. Overall, the boys put on a show they could be proud of.

-Review and photos by Candace McDuffie

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