The Killers, Verizon Wireless Theater, February 2: "The general knock on the Killers is that they've achieved their relatively lofty position by standing on the shoulders of giants, which may well be true. But Monday night they showed that in reaching for the stars, they have yet to exceed their grasp." Chris Gray Broken Social Scene, Numbers, February 2: "There is not a band in the world that can do what Broken Social Scene can do. There just isn't. The perfect fusion of voice, strings, keys, horns, and drums are planted so firmly inside the soul of the audience as to flower dandelions that smell like hope." Brandon K. Hernsberger
Mike Barfield and Danny Gardner, Under the Volcano, February 5: "But the magic moments far outweighed the slightly awkward as these two Houston roots-rock stalwarts ripped through everything from the old LeRoi Brothers' standard "Never Write Your Name on a Jail House Wall" to a head-warping rendition of "Little Bitty Tears I Cried" and a version of the traditional blues song "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" that sounded like a lost Doors track." William Michael Smith Dr. John, House of Blues, February 5: "Resplendent in a purple suit any self-respecting pimp would kill for, Mac Rebennack and friends followed their opener's directive to "Keep That Music Simple." Like their leader traded off between B-3 and piano, the band alternated all night between seriously steamy (and deeeeeeeeep) Sly Stone funk-rock and vintage N'awlins rockin' pneumonia/boogie-woogie flu." Chris Gray
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DeVotchKa, Warehouse Live, February 9: "DeVotchKa has done its homework - for most of the set, they came off as the Gipsy Kings for Arcade Fire fans. With an opening foghorn, train-track drums and sun-baked guitar, the opener suggested what might have happened if Ennio Morricone had recruited the Decemberists to record the score for one of his Sergio Leone spaghetti-western soundtracks." Chris Gray Annuals, Walter's on Washington, February 12: "The set was a good mix of Annuals' catalog. They opened with "Hot Night Hounds," the second track from their newest (and amazing) record, Such Fun, which was a good drum laden lead in to "Always Do," a countrified almost Fleetwod Mac-ian folk ballad. The eclectic nature of the set list had some people in the audience a bit mystified, it seems, because people kept leaving. And stayed gone." Brandon K. Hernsberger Hank III & Assjack, Meridian, February 17: "To quote Kevin Fowler, I pulled a Hank last night. Hard not to, when every song mentioned drink, drugs or Texas - or all three - and III's between-song patter was along the lines of "Let me see some horns, Texas!" Even Aggies were throwing them up without reservations. They're probably still throwing up." Chris Gray Greg Ginn & the Taylor Texas Corrugators, Jambang, Last Concert Cafe, February 17: "The Texas Corrugators played an hour-long set of improvised jams, with Bancalari's mandolin out front, plinking away and going off on wild tangents. Ginn played bass with a near-acrobatic abandon, weaving in and out of drummer Steve DeLollis' latticework. It was distorted Texas swing, owing more to Ornette Coleman than anything else. " Craig Hlavaty
Loretta Lynn, Arena Theater, February 21: "Lynn has slowed down at her age, and she performed three-quarters of her set on a golden chair, complete with cushion and tassels. Currently backed by a nine-piece band with her son on guitar, her voice still packs a wallop, even as she was perched on that tiny throne. Still, she tripped up on some of her own songs, mostly the lesser-known gospel cuts." Craig Hlavaty Son Volt, Continental Club, February 24: "Farrar learned back in his Uncle Tupelo days that sometimes the best way to deal with all the unpleasantries of reality, whether economic hardships or just not getting along with people, is to throw up your hands and let the hammer down... The darker things look, the louder Son Volt turns up." Chris Gray Slipknot, Coheed and Cambria, Verizon Wireless Theater, February 25: "Slipknot has always been 'pre-apocalyptic' for us. While most bands want to wallow in the aftermath of a cataclysm, Slipknot wanted to be there from the beginning for every flame and blast, be it internal or external." Craig Hlavaty Gene Loves Jezebel, Meridian, February 26: "Any band can push it to the hilt when there's a packed audience urging them on, but it takes real commitment to do that when the entire crowd could fit on their tour bus. And yet, the four-piece played a powerful set of dark, Goth-y glam-rock with driving bass; druggy, Velvet Underground-like guitars; and frontman Jay Aston's voice none the worse for wear even after all this time, even if the same couldn't quite be said the same about his face." Chris Gray