Sunday, February 16, 2003

Concert review: Paul Weller, Saturday Feb. 15, The Vic

I gotta stop spending so much time reading British music magazines. In England, Paul Weller is a deity, and I was infected by the worship. I'd always liked the Jam and Style Council, but certainly never loved them. I got a promo copy of his 1995 solo album Stanley Road, and while I've enjoyed, it never took up semi-permanent residence in the CD player. But his new album Illumination and its first single "It's Written in the Stars" have been getting good press. So I went into the show hoping to be converted from someone who respected him to an actual fan. He certainly did his best, with an energized, enthusiastic performance. Despite his forgetting to remove his backstage pass, the guy still radiates coolness. But I was never transformed.

Still, I'm glad I gave it shot rather than going to see the Pretenders coast on their past glories yet again. And his cover of "What's Going On?" was especially timely and poignant, especially with the line, "War is not the answer."

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