Artist: Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
City Attended: Boston, MA
Venue: City Winery
Concert Date: 10-22-19
The Reason We Went: If songwriting were easy, everyone would do it, and while there’s plenty of artists tackling the Americana genre these day, few do it as consistently as Drew Holcomb. While we’d argue the Memphis native has never written a bad song, we’ve only ever experienced he and his Neighbors in a studio setting, so questions remained if Holcomb could entertain a crowd as well as he can craft an album worthy of a front-to-back listen.
What We Thought: And now those questions are answered.
Taking the stage in the intimate setting of City Winery – an elongated, shared-table room that feels like a Viking hall built for gluttonous feasts – Holcomb and his bandmates came on strong right out of the gates with “End of the World,” a captivating track from their latest album Dragons, released this past August. In fact, while there were occasional visits to previous albums, including “The Morning Song” from 2017’s Souvenir and “American Beauty” from 2015’s Medicine, it was a night to celebrate the new material as Dragons, much like Holcomb himself, took center stage.
While Holcomb spent the evening belting out powerful vocals that reverberated throughout the venue, he was soft-spoken and engaging when addressing the crowd, sharing anecdotes about life, love and angry fans upset with past set lists. The highlight of the night was a rousing all-hands-deck accompaniment that featured the Neighbors – as well as opening act Birdtalker – gathered around a microphone singing the title track from Dragons, which filled the room and souls of those in attendance more than any Viking meal ever could.
Yes, Holcomb is consistent in his songwriting abilities, turning tracks into musical memories for his listeners, but he proved to the Boston crowd that he is also just as consistent of an entertainer, leaving everyone in attendance with a memory they will soon not forget.
Bonus Takeaway: Said to be “warming the stage” for the upcoming Holcomb, husband and wife duo Birdtalker helped to build the momentum of the night, delivering two-part harmonies backed by a drummer who, while standing the entire set, was a one man platoon of precise percussion.
And that’s why we’re giving this show…