Friday, June 07, 2013

Anders & Kendall - Boston Living Room Show

Anders Parker has been doing the living room show circuit for a few years now. The first couple of tours, Centro-Matic's Will Johnson was his co-headliner. This time around, it was in collaboration with Kendall Meade, formerly of Mascott.

The living room tour is an interesting concept. Undertow Music, Anders & Kendall's management company, establishes a schedule of shows in various metropolitan areas and asks for volunteers to open up their homes as hosts. In return, the hosts get several free admissions for their friends and, of course, a pretty unique experience. 

There are also some serious rules in place to prevent these shows from turning chaotic. For one, the exact location is not revealed until you purchase tickets, and tickets have the purchaser's name on them and can't be transferred without advance permission from Undertow.

Typically, shows are scheduled to start at 8pm and end at 9:30, with all guests expected to leave by 10. For last Friday's Boston performance, we were asked to arrive between 7 and 7:30, but admittedly got there closer to 8. The rules on our tickets also stated attendees were allowed to bring a few beers, but there was definitely an emphasis on the fact this was not a party. 

I asked Anders if there had ever been an event that got out of control, to which he said one time the circumstances were less than ideal. Otherwise, hosts and show-goers have generally been friendly, polite and considerate, as was the case this time. 

The show was in Allston and the hosts were extremely welcoming, to the point they made us feel like we were guests at a party. 

As you can imagine, this was perhaps the most intimate performance I've ever attended. We sat on a living room couch while Anders and Kendall played only a few feet away. 

The hour-long set consisted of most, if not all, of the songs from Wild Chorus, their recently released duet album. Highlights included a stirring rendition of "Sleepwalking," confirming to me that it's the best song on the album. We were also treated to an "oldie," which, in fact, was the first song these two ever recorded together: "Keep Me Hangin' On" from Anders' first solo album, Tell it to the Dust; a track from Mascott's Dreamer's Book (which I'm unable to identify); and an excellent cover of The Rolling Stones' "Sway."

After the show, I shared a somewhat nostalgic story with Kendall about a Mascott show at the Middle East in the late '90s. Lee Mazzola was playing drums with Mascott on that tour and inexplicably told her I was a huge fan of her previous band, Juicy. In Lee's defense, I think he just had me mixed up with someone else, but still, I was instructed to go along with the charade should she ask.

Thankfully, she didn't. But, I think she was happy to learn that someone in attendance at last Friday's show had also seen her previous band in concert something like 15 years ago.

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