Photo by Tonje Thilesen
Wednesday night I saw Paul McCartney play Fenway Park in front of almost forty thousand people, playing some of the most well known and beloved songs of all time. Despite being almost eighty years old, he played for almost three hours and wowed the crowd with fantastic songs, light shows, videos, fireworks, etc. Anything I went to see immediately after should have been a massive disappointment, but when the person you're seeing next is Ezra Furman, being disappointed is impossible.
Playing in front of a sold out crowd of five hundred, the show was just Ezra Furman solo with a borrowed guitar. As much love as the crowd showed McCartney the night before, Furman was shown just as much on a smaller scale. The crowd hung on every single word she sang and spoke, completely erasing my fears as they had been quite chatty at times during the openers. Words like enigmatic or captivating or mesmerizing don't do Furman's live show justice. She reminded me of artists like Elliott Smith, Kristin Hersh, and Tori Amos that have their own kind of stage presence that transfixes their fans. At one point Furman joked about an argument she was having in her head with an imaginary audience that was demanding hits, and her arguing back that she didn't have any hits. When she played "Love You So Bad" it was obvious she has one massive hit with her fans based on the audience reaction. I was a fairly casual Ezra Furman fan before Thursday night, but now I'm more of a diehard one.
Evan Greer played the last show I saw before lockdown, and hers was the last I was able to fully enjoy since the world seemed to fall apart just after her set. I really appreciated seeing her with things a bit more stable (maybe?). Focusing more on songs from 2021's Spotify is Surveillance, Greer played a short thirty minute set of her politically charged anti-capitalist folk punk, and led the crowd in a chant of "Fuck big tech!" at one point. "Back Row" is one of those songs that devastated me during the pandemic because I related to its theme of missing live music so desperately. Greer said that at one point she would have paid $500 to see the worst punk show ever, and I think we all related to that desire.
I discovered Tory Silver around when this show was first scheduled back in February. According to her electronic press kit, her big influences are The Beatles, Nirvana, and Feist. That truly summed up her set on Thursday night. It was a solo alt-rock set with electric guitar. Her songs were wonderfully moody and mushy, with the hard edge of Nirvana and the catchy beauty of The Beatles. Plus, they would meander around seemingly of their own free will. It's rare that a solo set can come across as unexpectedly fun as Silver's did, and I'm hoping to see a full band set sometime sooner than later.