Our Editor's favorite show of 2016 – Live video and review!
Gaz Coombes @ David Friend Recital Hall / Berklee College of Music – March 26, 2016
A night with Gaz Coombes leaves one a bit speechless.
How to sum up the power delivered by the former Supergrass frontman, tonight playing to a 200-ish seat room at Berklee College of Music usually reserved for such hot tickets as Berklee students’ senior recitals?
“Wow” seems like a good place to start.
Soaring through a dozen or so breathtaking tracks from his sophomore solo work, 2015’s “Matador,” the fluffy-sideburned 40 year old (who could easily pass for 28) enfolded the audience in a hypnotic hurricane of sound despite being self-accompanied simply by grand piano, guitar, and a whole lot of tape loops. Solo versions of “Detroit,” “Buffalo,” and “The Girl Who Fell to Earth,” were notable for their emotional pitch and new songs weren’t the only thing on the menu; for those hungering for the past, a soulful version of Supergrass’ “Moving” and a brattily energetic “Caught By The Fuzz” were saved for an encore. Though the venue itself is lesser known to Boston audiences, the sound system was all you’d expect from Berklee. If only there was a bar!
After the knockout set, Coombes signed autographs at the merch table for fans, before perching in the venue doorway to have a smoke. Shortly thereafter he was approached by a pair of spandex-clad, Cape-Cod-bred millennial girls, demanding to know who he was and why he was standing there. Coombes explained he had just been playing a gig inside, but after much back and forth, about “love your accent” and “who’s playing inside?” it became apparent the ladies were not buying the Mercury Prize “Best Album 2015” winner was telling the truth. When an associate volunteered “He’s a rock star” the girls erupted in hearty bales of laughter. Tottering away on their trendy heels it was a stark reminder that though Coombes is hardly a household name in the USA yet, if he keeps on delivering shows like this one, it can’t be long.