By HARRIET KAPLAN
The Posies performed an exciting and unforgettable show at The Bootleg to celebrate their 30-year anniversary as a band.
They have a lot going on with a world tour and three expanded reissues of their classics in 2018 (Dear 23, Frosting On The Beater, and Amazing Disgrace), so it’s no surprise their excellent show went two and a half hours, covering 18 songs and four encores.
The power pop band The Posies played songs that spanned their influential and diverse career including “Dream All Day,” which they performed early into the show, and many, many more.
The dynamic quartet hit every critical mark with great, tight and explosively rocking and compelling musicianship and memorably clever, witty and poignant melodic strong songwriting. Another interesting aspect of the show was the momentum just continued to build and got stronger as the night wore on and never peaked early and or lost steam.
The pacing was well done and the sound was very clear and crisp. They have an informal, “just regular guys” stage presence and on-the-fly conversation that seems ad-libbed. Audience members are so in-touch intuitively they finish almost every sentence and communicate back in a series of shouted song requests, jokes and non-sequiturs in their own code.
Because of this and more, The Posies’ L.A. tour stop at The Bootleg Theater a few days ago can easily be described as one of the best performances of 2018 so far.
The band features the founding duo of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow along with the 1992-1994 lineup that made Frosting on The Beater, including drummer Mike Musburger and bassist Dave Fox. It’s been almost a quarter century since this quartet has been on the road and they didn’t miss a beat live and were in total synch with one another. The connection, chemistry and sparks never waned and was strong throughout the night and it seemed like each musician picked up where they left off so many years before as if time never passed.
Besides the lighthearted and funny moments during the show, there were more serious and reflective moments in the show too. Stringfellow, who was adopted, shared with the audience that he had found his birth parents and it was a good experience for all concerned as he now had a bigger extended family.
He also talked about the ups and downs and struggles the band had to endure with their record label which was Geffen Records at the time. He’s now so happy and grateful for the unwavering support they’re receiving from their management team. He gave a pointed shout-out to publicist Cary Baker and Omnivore Records. Stringfellow also talked at length about their fundraiser through PledgeMusic.
The band needs to raise a significant advance fee to license the three albums: Dear 23, Frosting On The Beater, and Amazing Disgrace, from Universal Music Group. The band is offering many personal items, experiences and exclusive merchandise via a fundraiser on PledgeMusic. Offerings range from clothes they’ve worn on stage or in videos, to spending quality time with Jon and/or Ken in their adopted city of Paris, or a coffee date in Seattle.
In a happier recollection, Stringfellow also shared a much earlier experience when the band was starting out with praise from a musical hero of his – Andy Partridge from XTC. Stringfellow was also humbled by the capacity crowd turnout at The Bootleg Theater and seemed surprised by it looking out into the audience. Clearly, the love and adulation for The Posies is as strong as ever. They played like a still hungry and motivated band energized by the catalogue of songs they have created and enthusiastically and passionately performed all numbers live, with every ounce of their sweat-soaked beings giving it their total and mighty all.