Category Archives: Review

Steve Earle & the Dukes at the Birchmere

It’s a brash move to close out a show on one of the hottest days in the D.C. metro with a song called “Christmas in Washington,” but Steve Earle’s career has been one of brash moves. He started his generous show at the Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday with a handful of songs from an [...]

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The Zombies Come Alive at Birchmere

Half a century ago this summer, the Zombies were in Abbey Road studio, working on an album that would both break up the band and bring them back together decades later. Fifty years later, they were winding up another U.S. tour whose center point was a group of songs from that album that only grew [...]

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Rock Review: NRBQ Sustains at Amp

It was a shock six years ago when the newest incarnation of NRBQ was actually something that had been touring as the Terry Adams Rock & Roll Quartet. Adams had been been the mainstay of the Q since the start, more than 50 years ago now, but still. NRBQ had been on a hiatus for [...]

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Buckingham and McVie at Wolf Trap

Of the many incarnations of Fleetwood Mac since 1967, the most popular by far is the California version ushered in by the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Probably because they sold 40 million copies of their self-titled album in 1975, and because people loved Stevie. It was Buckingham, though, who brought a new [...]

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Alejandro Escovedo at the Birchmere

Alejandro Escovedo brings a lot of talented approaches into one rock figure. His show at the Birchmere in Alexandria Saturday had aspects of both his hard rocking postpunk career and also his quieter acoustic material. In both he was backed by a talented three piece, who wailed when the electricity was full and sat with [...]

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Review: Elvis Costello at Wolf Trap

At a time when heritage artists have been distinguishing their tours with reverent presentations of their classic albums, playing them in strict order, one side and then the other, Elvis Costello has found a more flexible vehicle in a tour to celebrate his 1982 ”Imperial Bedroom.” A landmark album in his rich period of complex pop, [...]

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Rock Review: U2 Does ‘The Joshua Tree’

Playing whole albums from past catalogs is the variation that has kept arenas full for classic rock acts. It’s a way to both break from the greatest hits format and the struggle to push a new product fans may not prefer while providing a one time celebration of the past. U2 may be one of [...]

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Stage: ‘The Sound of Music’ vs. ‘Hedwig’

It’s amusing to me that on the 100th anniversary of the birth of the namesake of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there are two popular, quite different musicals on either end of the Grand Foyer. What if ticket holders to the traveling national tour of “The Sound of Music” made it [...]

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(Sandy) Alex G at the Rock & Roll Hotel

I wanted to see the show by (Sandy) Alex G in part because my daughter called him “the Elliott Smith of my generation.” This comparison took me aback, partly because I thought of, say, Nick Drake as the Elliott Smith of my generation. Which means I’m about two generations removed from what’s selling out the [...]

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Richard Lloyd at the Black Cat

When Tom Verlaine brought his latest version of Television on tour last year, fans savored hearing so much of “Marquee Moon,” their 1977 debut that has only grown in guitar stature over the years. Good as it was, there clearly was a missing link – the guitarist Richard Lloyd, whose intricate guitar interplay (and co-writing [...]

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