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 Post subject: Maura in Concert in Northern New Jersey
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007, 09:47 

Joined: 08 Jan 2003, 16:27
Posts: 401
Location: Northern New Jersey
Maura OConnell in NYC Environs Again

Montclair, New Jersey, February 16, 2007, (20 degrees F)- - - On this bitterly cold wintry night Montclair, New Jerseys Outpost in the Burbs warmed up with some fine musicianship headlined by Maura OConnells first return to the New York City environs since her near St. Patricks Day gig at Sohos Knitting Factory two years ago.

Opening the evening was Patrick Fitzsimmons a musician from nearby Sussex County, NJ who for the last eight years has made his home in Vermont. Patrick was in the folk rock band of some renown in the 90s, "From Good Homes", and now is solo, doing some fine work. His set included finely crafted tunes ranging over the acoustic rock spectrum (think Guster or Jars of Clay). His melodies and lyrics were preceded by intros that gave the songs context and insight. Without backing musicians Patricks guitar playing stood out especially during one tune that had him using the body of his guitar like a drum. Patricks performance was well received.

The main act, Maura OConnell, who was at the beginning of a three-night weekend stand in the New York/New Jersey/Philadelphia region, hit the boards running with an opening sequence of three hard-driving songs, and she never looked back.

Maura's set drew heavily from her latest Album (two year's old now) "Dont I Know" with "Trip Around the Sun", "To Be the One", "Didnt I", "Love You in the Middle", "Phoenix Falling" (anyone with a loved one with a mental illness can relate to this song), and the showstopper, "Time to Learn". Tim OBrien captures the ache of losing someone in that superb song. Maura lightened the mood by recounting a famous authors funny quote Losing one parent is one thing, but losing both parents, now THATS just careless. The crowd hooted.

Maura's next to last release, "Walls and Windows", was well represented too with, aptly enough "Walls", "I Wonder", "A Far Cry", "Blessing", "It Dont Bring You".

Mid-shows performance of the not-yet-recorded (by Maura) Declan ORourke gem, "Galileo", brought the house down.

Mauras classics such as "Blue Train", "Summerfly" and "Western Highway" are always crowd favorites and tonight was no exception. This night Maura even dusted off a few songs that she hasnt performed at concerts in a while and John Gorkas," Blue Chalk", was sung with flair and was a nice surprise for the appreciative audience.

John Mock, on guitar, and Don Johnson, on bass (and contributing vocals) provided their usual excellent accompaniment.

Speaking of the audience, the crowd was in obvious good spirits and warm inside the church/venue, but a bit more polite than typical because of the setting and the lack of spirits of a less religious kind. That did not stop them from stomping and giving Maura a standing ovation at the end of a very long set which brought an encore of an acapella Irish language song, "My Langan Love" which showcased her fantastic voice. That, the girl can sing, is an obvious understatement. The evening ended with Mauras version of Van Morrisons classic, "Crazy Love", which Maura has adapted and put her signature on, taking nothing away from the original. The crowd milled around after the show, to meet the performers and probably not wanting to exit into the cold evening air. Nonetheless they were warmed by the excellent show.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007, 21:38 
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Joined: 08 May 2005, 21:23
Posts: 116
Location: America
Oh, this sounds like a wonderful concert. Wish I could have been there! "Time to Learn" almost always makes me tear up, for it reminds me so strongly of a friend.

I'll have to look up "Phoenix Falling,"...I don't know that one. why are the codes not properly working??

ImageMy heart is not so small that it does not have room for you.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: 19 Feb 2007, 22:06 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: 11 Dec 2002, 08:58
Posts: 345
Location: Nashville
Quote: why are the codes not properly working??

Sorry about that. We had a few episodes of spammers posting some rather graphic pictures over the past few weeks. I've turned the BBCode back on for now.

By the way, thanks for the great review, Bob. There was a very good review in the Newark Star Ledger of the same show you saw. Here's a link to it:

 Post subject:
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2007, 15:02 

Joined: 08 Jan 2003, 16:27
Posts: 401
Location: Northern New Jersey
Having read the review (thanks Mac) from the Newark Star Ledger, I am going to retire from reviewing these concerts and hand in my press credentials (ha ha).

The Newark Star ledger review should be required reading.

Jay Lustig of the Newark Star Ledger (NJ's most respected and widely read paper) wrote a fantastic review of that concert, and my hat is off to him for the way that fine article was written.

I wrote more from a personal point of view and the professional put more nuance and context into it. A very fine piece indeed. Maura should enjoy his many kind words, he sure knows his music.

Laura told me to just enjoy the show and not try to dissect it, and from now on- - -maybe- - - I will.

Jeanne on the other hand thought the posting was "cool".

They both were way impressed (truly) when Maura stopped by after the show and said hi, shook our hands like old friends: Jeanne said "Dad, we just met a celebrity" or something to the effect.


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