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Kevin Devine Kicks Off CMJ

October 20th, 2010

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band – Music Hall – October 19, 2010

Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band - Music Hall of Williamsburg - October 19, 2010
For the first time in more than a year, Kevin Devine headlined a show with his Goddamn Band, and he celebrated the occasion by letting them choose the set list for last night’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The night served as the beginning of this year’s CMJ Music Marathon, which Devine mentioned onstage, saying how hard it was for him to believe he got to do that.

The set began with a few songs that normally make it into one of Devine’s shows, but then started taking turns thanks to the Goddamn Band. A deeper cut off his 2006 album, Put Your Ghost to Rest, “You’ll Only End Up Joining Them,” made it to the stage for the first time in a while, followed by an even rarer song in “The Shift Change Splits the Streets.” The band did a lot less midset lineup changing than they have in the past, but brought out an extra man for the trumpet parts on “Fever Moon” and “Murphy’s Song.”

The second half of the show became a wild shout-along, featuring the best and most thrilling of Devine’s songs. Hearing “Noose Dressed Like a Necklace” was a treat as it brewed through its first few verses before ending in torrid screaming and slashing guitars (guitarist Mike Strandberg alone is worth the price of admission to any of Devine’s shows). Fan favorites like the blissful “I Could Be with Anyone,” “Cotton Crush” and “Ballgame” finished the hour-plus set, leaving just enough time for a two-song encore and one final split between old and new. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com