Concert Review: Paul Weller at Paradise Rock Club on June 13th, 2015

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Paul Weller
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA

This was my first time seeing Paul Weller. I just happened to be in Boston that Saturday, and picked up a ticket on Stubhub – Paradise Rock Club is a tiny venue, and the show sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale. So I felt lucky to get in. And excited to see my first Paul Weller show.

The place was packed to the gills. Which was good, because the acoustics there are not good. It’s all cement walls (and ceiling), so the sound just bounces bounces off the walls (and the ceiling). There were lots of human bodies to diffuse the sound bouncing around, though, so the impact wasn’t overwhelming.

I met two Wellerheads at the show – a couple – and we had a grand old time hanging out, rocking out, and talking a bit about music. Which, for me, is always a sign of a good show – connecting with other music obsessed fans who  were strangers at the beginning, but old friends by the end of the show.

As he has for most of this US tour, he kicked off that night with “White Sky”, a punk-ish rocker from his new record, Saturn’s Pattern. Next was “Come On/Let’s Go”, another punk-ish rocker, this one from As Is Now. The tone had been set. Then he dipped back into Saturn’s Pattern for I’m Where I Should Be”, and followed with a great track from Sonik Kicks, “When Your Garden’s Overgrown”. The night continued like that – a cherry picked set that cut across Weller’s entire solo career, from his first solo record in 1992 to 2015’s Saturn’s Pattern. I’ve included the setlist – which I got from setlist.fm.

One of the things I learned from this show is that there’s a whole world of great Paul Weller music I’m just not familiar with. Yet (I’ve been busy on Amazon since I got back from my trip). Songs like “Porcelain Gods” and albums like Stanley Road are now high on my collecting list (ordered!).

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Paul Weller and his band played 24 songs that night. These were mostly 3 minute-ish songs, so he was able to fit a lot into the evening. Weller alternated between guitar and piano (“Going My Way”, “Brand New Toy”, others). His band – drums, percussion, keys, guitar, and bass – was tight, and Weller looked like he was having a great time.

One thing that struck me as weird is that he played three encores. That was a unique experience for me. In fact, I missed the third encore because I thought the show was over after the second. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band do three encores. At least that I can remember. So I missed “Town Called Malice”, which was my first introduction to Paul Weller back in 1982, at the rip old age of 11. That is a bit of a bummer, but it was my own doing – I was in a hurry to grab a cab before the place emptied out. I thought he was done after the second encore!

Anyway… a great show from Paul Weller and his band. Full of energy and joy and fury. If you get the chance, and you like rock and roll, go see them.

Coda

This is “These City Streets” from a show in Paris at Le Bataclan in April. So very similar to the version I saw at the Paradise Rock Club as part of the first encore. It’s a great track, one of my favorites on the new record.

Setlist for the show:

  1. White Sky
  2. Come On/Let’s Go
  3. I’m Where I Should Be
  4. When Your Garden’s Overgrown
  5. The Olde Original
  6. Into Tomorrow
  7. Saturn’s Pattern
  8. Going My Way
  9. Above the Clouds
  10. Long Time
  11. From the Floorboards Up
  12. The Attic
  13. Friday Street
  14. Porcelain Gods
  15. Brand New Toy
  16. Empty Ring
  17. Peacock Suit
  18. Whirlpool’s End

Encore 1:

  1. These City Streets
  2. Broken Stones

Encore 2:

  1. Picking Up Sticks
  2. The Changingman

Encore 3:

  1. My Ever Changing Moods
    (The Style Council song)
  2. Town Called Malice
    (The Jam song)
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