Bad Brains

In the early 1980s, no band played faster, tighter or with more controlled fury than hard-core pioneers Bad Brains. Their blend of punk and reggae created a template for alt-rock giants such as the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, and their hyperactive live shows became the stuff of legend. With the band’s original foursome intact and all members in their 50s, Bad Brains took the stage at House of Blues on April 21 with enough potency to ignite a mosh pit. The early portion of the show focused on the band’s ’80s catalog, with cuts such as “Attitude” and “Sailin’ On” providing highlights. The band paced itself midway through with a few reggae tracks off their 2007 comeback release, Build a Nation, before sprinting to the finish line with blistering classics “Pay to Cum” and “I Against I.” While the performance didn’t measure up against Bad Brains’ storied past, expecting it to would have been unreasonable.

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Arcade Fire

Concert Review

Arcade Fire

By Cindi Reed

In a single concert, Arcade Fire gave the question and answer to all my buried adolescent longing. Yes, I grew up in the suburbs. And yes, on their April 14 sold-out performance at the Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel, the eight-piece band played many songs from The Suburbs, their most recent album. Every song—including the ones from Funeral and Neon Bible—was epic in a wistful, generous and celebratory way.