Good Old War
The Black Cat
I first heard Good Old War earlier this year when I accidentally clicked a link to one of the group’s videos. It was one of the best mistakes I have ever made. The Philadelphia-based indie folk trio has been criss-crossing the country, touring to promote its newest full-length album, “Come Back As Rain.” The album is a collection of stories woven over a combination of traditional folk elements – booming acoustic guitars, threefold harmonies and simple, yet pulsing drumbeats. The music is energetic and honest, and the band gives off an overall feel-good vibe. These guys are trying to figure out their place in the world, and the openness of their lyrics only strengthens the band’s connection with its listeners. The group performed on “Conan” April 5 and will tour with Dispatch in October, so clearly Good Old War is quickly rising in the music world.
Score: Honest folk rockers who make feel-good music that won’t get too preachy.
Bore: After an hour or so, a lot of the songs sound similar.
The 9:30 Club
Ingrid Michaelson is one of the few artists people seem to universally respect from the moment they first hear her music. There’s no personal drama or gimmicks, and plenty of openness and humor. Her new single, “Ghost,” is living proof of her talent to vocalize how many young women feel. With a beautiful, somber tone timed to a driving drumbeat, the song is almost uncomfortably powerful. You genuinely feel for Michaelson. Her ability to connect with the heartbroken has earned her a place in the permanent catalog of many and her live show will not disappoint.
Score: Touching and emotional lyrics from an incredibly talented musician. The acoustic set will be fantastic.
Bore: This is a tough show if you’ve experienced any emotional trauma in the past – Michaelson has a way of drawing out old emotions that is healing for most, but tough for some.
Own the Night 2012 World Tour ft. Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker and Thompson Square
Merriweather Post Pavilion
This is a huge show for fans of country-pop. Lady Antebellum is a big country act right now, selling out stadiums in hundreds of cities, all while maintaining a down-home appeal that is hard to come by. The talented trio rocks melodies and stories about growing up and falling in love – the perfect music for a summer night. The addition of Darius Rucker, formerly of Hootie & the Blowfish, and Thompson Square, a husband-and-wife duo known for their hit “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not,” means this is going to be a night of love, energy and reminiscing about beautiful memories of summers past.
Score: Three of country’s biggest summer acts on one stage, and it’s outdoors.
Bore: The set list is all country music, which could be a deal-breaker for some.