Hypernkinetic Courtney proves electric
Paradise Rock Club, Boston, September 10, 2019
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Barns Courtney came out for the obligatory encore after a highly charged set for both performer and hyper enthusiastic crowd. Or was it obligatory?
Apparently, not for Courtney. In fact, the British singer made that clear before he started singing an unrecorded song, "Hard to Be Alone." "I never do encores," said Courtney, decked out in a red leather jacket and no shirt. "I don't. I think they're boring."
Boring would not be a word that one ought to use to describe Courtney, who was making his eighth performance in Boston in about three years. In fact, he came out firing right out of the gate with "Fun Never Ends." Not only was that the table setter musically, but it might as well have described what was to ensure for the next 75 minutes as well.
Courtney, who just released his second album, "404," offered a hyperkinetic performance that underscored the best of what a rock show was all about. Not only were there a bevy of ear friendly songs that rocked, delivered with unbridled force.
Courtney may have had a few band members helping out vocally, but he could also just as well relied on the fully engaged audience, many of whom were singing along to song after song.
That would include everything such highlight songs as "Glitter & Gold" and the closing punch of "Golden Dandelions," "Kicks" and "Fire."
Courtney deserves credit for sticking to his guns and not giving in to encores just because. Yet, he also had to deal with fans who refused to leave and didn't give in to recorded music when the band left the stage and lights turned on, meaning "concert over." Courtney may have sang "Hard to Be Alone," but he sure wasn't on this evening - not with fans having his back.
The Hunna may not have the best name out there (it's a slang term for "hundred") but the British quartet have built their own following in Boston, and it was easy to see why. Lead singer Ryan Potter has a lot of personality, and like the headliner, but in a different way, his vocal abilities (Freddie Mercury came to mind) powered the anthemic-based songs with the crowd even taking over for him at one point with no prompting.
Ranting on their former record label in England, but looking ahead to a new album next year, The Hunna were, otherwise, an upbeat, hook-filled rock band.