Monday, December 7, 2009

The Cranberries Gothic Theatre 12.1.2009

The Cranberries
Gothic Theatre

For the first time in 7 years, the original members of the Cranberries have reunited, and stopped by the Gothic to play an amazing set this last Tuesday.

When the night started out, I honestly didn't know what to expect. The crowd that showed up was a mix of contrasting archetypes. For the most part, it was a bunch of people who don't get out very often, and were obviously used to assigned seating at the Pepsi Center. Once we found a place to stand and enjoy the show, a lady behind us (who looked like a miniature Enya with bright red lipstick), who was leaning on the rail when we got there, got up and passively nudged us with her purse. After several ignored nudges, she finally asked us if we'd planned on staying there all night, because now she couldn't see. We offered to switch her places, as we were taller, but she acted as if she were afraid of us and declined our offer. This is, for the most part, the kind of people that were in the crowd. The same people that made flashes of cameras and iPhones light the house up like wildfire! It was as if no one understood their devices well enough to turn off the flash for a performance. It was ridiculous enough to get some people histerically laughing, including myself. However, there were some livelier, happier people sprinkled among us, and most everyone warmed up towards the end of the night anyway. Even the group of 40-something year-old wallflowers that decided to stand around unmoving the whole night, blocking the crowd with their huge hair seemed to lighten up by the time the Cranberries were in the middle of their set.

Griffin House was the opener. I honestly have nothing slightly positive to say about this guy. I wish I had shown up later and missed this guys performance, which was a cheesey, obvious and overstated attempt at a niche market to make the white man's burden fade away by lyrically stating that no one is really white. He seems a lot like a marketer with a guitar, singing something that is more similar to contrived Hollywood Country, then something that should be before a Cranberries performance. I'm admittedly no music expert, and I realize he respectably has fans, but it's my personal opinion that Griffin House seems less of an artist and more of a trust-funder with a marketing degree and a guitar.

Now on to the good part of the show; the whole reason we were all there; the Cranberries. What an amazing performance! Their sound was full of energy and the same old dark melodic pop with a Celtic twist. Dolores O'Riordan's vocals were just as good, if not better live than recorded. The 38 year-old mother of two bounced and danced on stage with energy that, at times, put the crowd to shame. While she kept most of her talking to a minimum, she modestly still announced the title to every song before performing it, as if she needed to. Her stage presence was so positive and on key that it seemed to make the whole place change for the better. Noel & Mike Hogan (Guitar & Bass) and Fergal Lawler (Drums) were, as to be expected, just as awesome. Fergal, Noel and Mike drew out great ending renditions to “Dreaming my Dreams” and “I Still Do.” They catered to the crowd well and performed a ton of their classics like “Free to Decide,” “Linger,” and, of course, “Zombie.” Seeing these guys perform all of their hits live for the first time is comparable to having fresh Cranberry juice for the first time, instead of from concentrate. While they have been around for almost 19 years, the Cranberries have not gone bad. They remain fresh, full of energy, and maintain their amazing, inspiring sound. They are set to release an album of live recordings in 2010, and I can't wait to get more of what I got from them at the Gothic that night!

-Chris Berstler

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