#SupportPGHMusic // Exclusively on HughShows Radio streaming at the bottom of the page, enjoy the entire December 13, 2014 concert of HughShows Live at Eide’s Finale featuring mini sets from acoustic and solo versions of my favorite Pittsburgh bands during the marathon 6 hour concert. //

“The second collaboration between singer/songwriter Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra, Bad Books II finds these two extraordinary tunesmiths untethered from their respective brands, joining forces to reach new stylistic and emotional terrain. Accompanied by members of Manchester Orchestra – with guitarist Robert McDowell also producing and keyboardist/percussionist Chris Freeman once again supplying distinctive album art – Hull and Devine offer up a series of magnificently etched songs which light upon everything from anthemic stadium rock (“The After Party”) and reflective balladry (“42”) to energetic bubblegum (“No Sides”), gloriously baroque psychedelia (“Petite Mort”), and whistling big beat pop (“Forest Whitaker”). The real-time sound of a group of talented friends synthesizing into something altogether more cohesive and accessible, Bad Books II reveals a remarkable new band in the truest sense, emboldened and at ease enough to set out together for places unknown.”

You can find Bad Books on Facebook and Twitter and stream the appropriately titled second album “II”. This early warning show announcement came just today and it so happens I never heard of this collaboration/album until readying this post. I have been a huge Kevin Devine fan for a few years now and methinks this will be a killer show. My thanks to him for taking a few minutes to participate in this edition of First/Last.

Thanks, Kevin. Loving the first time through the album and for me that’s ALWAYS a good sign!

Kevin Devine might be THE most underrated musician I can think of. This was the first night of his tour supporting his fantastic new album, ‘Between The Concrete & The Clouds’. How good is he? I was standing next to a kid who walked two hours from Oakland to see the show!

I have a personal list of songs I HAVE to hear live before I die. Many have been scratched off over the years thanks to seeing The Mendoza Line, Camper Van Beethoven, World Party, Neko Case, and Cat Power, among others, in concert. I had no idea who Kevin Devine was before I heard his tune ‘Brother’s Blood’ and man did it instantly knock me out. I wasn’t planning on hitting this show but on the strength of this song alone I HAD to see him play it live…before I die. I was not disappointed with the version or the entire show for that matter.

Let me talk a tad about the Altar Bar. It’s a converted church with excellent sight lines through out even on the sides of the stages . It has an upper balcony snaking around the perimeter of the big room and for a fan the sound cannot be beat thanks to Sticks who works most shows. My biggest complaint as a photographer is obviously the lighting. They have these flood lights coming from behind the stage to totally wash out the bands back while there seems to be a couple tiny spots that
barely illuminate the front. Tricky is an understatement when shooting there but other than that (oh yeah, the crummy location-yuk) I guess I shouldn’t complain.