Ted Leo & The Pharmacists @ McCarrenn Pool

Ted Leo & The Pharmacists played a great set this past Sunday as part of McCarrenn Pool’s Free Concert Series. The band was tight and spirited, the vibe was cool, the sound was loud (my ears are ringing as I type this), and the Brooklyn Beer was flowing. Great crowd, great music, a really fun day.

Ted and the band played a set that drew heavily from this year’s stellar Living With The Living, as well as from his past few studio efforts - The Tyranny of Distance, Hearts Of Oak, and Shake The Sheets. Among others, he played the Who-ish “The Sons Of Cain”, the punk-pop gem “Me And Mia”, a rousing “Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?”, and a bunch of tunes from the new album (“Colleen”, “A Bottle Of Buckie”, “Who Do You Love?”, and “Bomb. Repeat. Bomb.”) that upped the intensity of their studio versions.

The highlight for me though was the encore. After finishing up the main set with a tense and melodic “Timorous Me” and sending off long time bassist David Lerner (it was his last show with the band after 6 years) with a champagne toast, the band was coaxed back to the stage by the enthusiastic crowd. With 5 albums under their belt, Ted & Co. have a ton of great music to draw from and played 2 more songs for those who stuck around, the first of which was “Biomusicology” - a song I’m not exaggerating when I say is one of my 4 or 5 favorite songs of the decade. Needless to say it was a fitting end to a sweat-drenched afternoon of great music.

MP3 :: The Sons Of Cain
Video :: Bomb. Repeat. Bomb
(from Living With The Living. Buy here)

MP3 :: Me And Mia
(from Shake The Sheets)
MP3 :: Where Have All The Rude Boys Gone?
(from Hearts Of Oak)
MP3 :: Biomusicology
(from The Tyranny Of Distance)
Buy Ted Leo & The Pharmacists music HERE

Openers The Thermals also thrilled the crowd with their unique brand of socially conscious power-punk. Lead sing-speaker Hutch Harris led the party, and the band (with Kathy Foster on bass and backing vocals and Lorin Coleman on drums) were air-tight. I didn’t catch first band Birds Of Avalon, but by all accounts they were terrific as well.

MP3 :: The Thermals - Pillar Of Salt
MP3 :: The Thermals - Here’s Your Future
(from The Body, The Blood, The Machine)

Thanks again to Johnny Fabulous for the great pics!


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