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Pat Green: all about having a good time

Avalon, Boston, August 29, 2007

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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Going to a Pat Green concert is not for those looking for big statements and deep thoughts about the world or considering the war in Iraq. The Texan is all about having a good time and enjoying life.

For the most part, Green succeeded in following his own advice before an enthusiastic, but less than full house, many of whom had seen him multiple times.

Green may be known as a frat rock kind of guy, who plays a brand of Texas country adhered to by others including Robert Earl Keen. In other words, pointing towards a country direction with a lot of fiddle throughout, but also a good dose of rock thrown in.

To his credit, Green went in a different direction with the softer opening of "Don't Break My Heart Again." Here, like elsewhere, he does not own the prettiest, smoothest voice. It's one that's on the throaty, guttural side.

He comes off, though, as a bit too much of a stage director, with all too knowing hand gestures and comments. Green sometimes comes awfully close to registering too high on the ego meter, but, in reality, it all may be for the opportunity to bring a sense of harmless fun to the evening.

Green fortunately dished out a bunch of good, generally catchy songs (the current single "Way Back Texas" and "Baby Doll"), though he wasn't afraid to toss in a few slower songs to mix it up ("Three Days" dedicated to his family back in Texas about life on the road and "Dixie Lullaby").

Green knew where he was, making mention several times of the Red Sox and playing in the shadow of Fenway Park (the club was directly across the street from Fenway), understanding that such comments would doubtlessly draw an automatic, easy cheer.

That only underscores that Green is about having a good time and leaving behind life's problems. Green offered his isolationist perspective that we should not worry about problems overseas and be self-concerned, though he later backtracked somewhat.

Green made clear in his patter that his main thrust was being happy, especially during the close of his anthemic hit "Wave on Wave" where he told his fans to "worry about one thing - more smiles than frowns."

At least Green knows exactly where he is coming from, and that isn't such a bad place.

Boston-based singer Sarah Borges opened with a good set that veered more country than her usual rootsy rock/bluesy sound. One got the sense that Borges tried a bit too hard in gearing comments towards Pat Green fans and getting the crowd to sing along during her closing song, "Open Up Your Back Door."

Borges should have trusted her own musical talents more.