04 April 2007

Pops on the Edge 07

The new and 3rd edition of Boston Pops' Pops on the Edge was announced yesterday. The Cowboy Junkies will join the Pops on June 23 and 24, and M. Ward (and friends) will join them on the 26th and 27th. A quick check of the calendar reveals that it won't be on 2 consecutive weekends this year and M. Ward will be playing two midweek shows. I like M. Ward a whole lot and may try to attend one of those shows, but neither of these shows intrigue me quite as much as last years sets, with My Morning Jacket and Aimee Mann, both of which I was lucky enough to see. Time for a recap? Letsdoit.

My Morning Jacket with the symphony was simply sublime. My cheeks hurt after the show from smiling so much. Normally my neck would be hurting from getting my rock on with MMJ, but being that this was at Symphony Hall, my ass and legs could only squirm to hold in the inner rock that wanted to escape. The Globe review complained that they didn't experiment or change the music enough. I would agree somewhat that the symphony was underused in some cases, especially the horns!, but with only a week to prepare and rehearse, I'm not sure the results could have been any better than they were and playing it safe and knocking the ball out of the park beats experimenting and striking out anytime. One thing I thought would have been cool is if they didn't try to work the ENTIRE symphony in to every song, and similar to what they did in their little preview performance on Letterman, just pluck a few pieces from the whole so each instrument could be heard clearly. The power of the symphony was great, but on occasion it might have been nice to tone it down a little.

Aimee Mann was more easily suited to be playing with the Pops and contrast was not so stark as with MMJ. It was quite enjoyable and sounded fantastic, but the power of the previous week's show was not there, as would be inherent in the music anyway. The Pops filled in pieces of her music that was in the album but would never translate the same in her live show because she obviously lacked the instrumentation. So it was nice to hear her music played live and fully realized. She also had moments when she really utilized the horn section beautifully, which is when I immediately realized, why didn't MMJ single out the horns at all? Again the Globe was disappointed, but again, what were they expecting?

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