Swale and Gang Of Thieves at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts December 31, 2017   Leave a comment


Swale pic by Tim Lewis


I had a great time seeing music New Year’s Eve at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. It’s always a hit or miss night for me since ,downtown is crowded and maybe there is a show I want to see and maybe not but this one was as wonderful as could possibly be imagined.

I got moving around 7 and took the lovely walk downtown. I was surprised at how few people there were on Church st. The temperature was 0,so not too bad but it seemed like most people had already left. I stopped in at the Flynn and got my button and ticket then headed over to have some glug with Peg Tassey and her family and friends. I hung out for a bit and let the tasty beverage warm my body and soul. After a bit James Lockridge and his wife Victoria showed up at the tail end of the party. We had a nice chat and as it got closer to 9 we headed out. They went home and I went on to the Flynn and got in and settled in a second row aisle seat.

At 9pm SWALE, with a 4-piece horn section, hit the stage. They opened with one of the musical sections from the new album, perhaps I’ll Start By Opening, then revved us up with All Down Tonight. The sound was nice and smooth and the large stage seemed perfect for their music. The horn section left then they lit up the room with Safe To Say. They followed with the irresistible pop sound and frightening lyric that makes Elevator so brilliant. The amped everything to maximum for Drug Laws and had me bouncing in my seat from start to finish. At the end of the song Amanda Gustafson looked at the crowd and said “stay in school.” That got a chuckle but her best line of the night was about how Swale never play new years eve shows and apparently it was because they were just waiting for the Flynn to ask. They followed with Felon which is another fantastic pop song then brought out one of the trumpet players. Waiting For You is so bright and cheery and the horn fit in perfectly. The rest of the horn section came out and filled in Beaten Down. They kept rocking on release your records, then left again. Swale rocked Everyone Likes to nice and hard. They followed with a fun and bouncy version of Loser then brought back the horns for a slow and searing Wooden Heart. Amanda mostly played her regular keyboard set but there was a grand piano on the stage. She played one of the earlier songs on it, but I did not note it so I’m not sure which one. Swale closed the show with Amanda on the piano for a version of If You Get Lost that was achingly beautiful. What a great show.



Amanda from Swale pic by Tim Lewis

There was about a 20 minute set break then Gang of Thieves hit the stage. They have a funky rock sound and opened with a little Hendrix to set the mood. They let it go into the anthemic Raise Your Head and we were off. They rocked hard on a mix of their own songs and some tasty covers. They played original songs about loving people and working together to make the new year wonderful. They played the Beatles I Want You into I Want You Back by the Jackson 5. They encouraged everyone to get up and dance on a song about being for the nation and we did, and never sat down for the rest of the night. They played a song about taking my hand and telling me it’s alright from the new EP Totem. They played a song about Rising and Shining then brought out Nate on trumpet for a song about working together. Something about the interplay between the guitar and violin made me think of The Allman Brothers while the rhythm section was all funk. They played the Joe Cocker version of The Letter, then played a song about the beautiful people of Burlington. They closed with a song about the cold seeping in but we made it, then called it a night. It was a super high energy show and complete fun from first note to last. You’ve got to love any band that gets a Flynn crowd on it’s feet and rocking for most of the show.

It was about 11:30 as I walked out. Downtown had filled a bit with several long lines at the bars. I was feeling pretty sated and took a leisurely stroll home. The fireworks were starting just before I made it inside so I stood in the lovely cold and watched and chatted with my friends Rich Haskell and Mary Wolcott as 2017 made way for the promise of a new year.



Gang Of Thieves pic by Tim Lewis


Posted January 13, 2018 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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