American Aquarium is on tour on Europe till February 23th. Today in Leeds, in England, they had gigs in France, Belgium, the UK and they’ll go on in the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Norway.
On February 7th, at 7pm, I was part of a group of people waiting on the sidewalk, by Boulevard Rochechouart, near Montmartre. It was a cold winter night in this part of northern Paris, but the weather didn’t discourage all those who wanted to see the first Parisian gig of the North Carolina band.
La Boule Noire, a little concert venue, was a good place to welcome American Aquarium and let the audience appreciate the band’s performance, as closely as possible to the musicians.
The concert started with Kirby Brown, a native Texas artist who will open the shows for American Aquarium on all their European dates. Brown’s most recent album, “Break Into Blossom“, released in 2021, is particularly brilliant. His performance was great, as demonstrated by the way he sang the beautiful “Sweet Shame“, a song from his 2018 album “Uncommon Prayer“.
I knew all the quality of American Aquarium’s music before this Parisian night, and I reviewed on this blog their 2020 album “Lamentations” (you can read it there). I also knew the talent of their front man BJ Barham, one of the best actual songwriters in the US. I wrote here a review of “Me + Mine (Lamentations)“, a powerful song that is the evidence of the impressive talent of the band’s leader.
What I didn’t know was American Aquarium’s performance on the scene, as I had never the opportunity to see them live before this week. I was really impressed by the high quality of their show. BJ Barham is not only a brilliant songwriter but also a fantastic and charismatic performer. The way he sings, with fervor and emotion is very powerful. Listening to American Aquarium in your house or with your headphones is always great, but see their performance live is undoubtedly an unforgettable moment.
At this point, I need to name American Aquarium musicians. Shane Boeker (Lead guitar), Ryan Van Fleet (Drums), Alden Hedges (Bass), Neil Jones (Pedal steel) and Rhett Huffman (Keyboards) are very talented, and all of them strongly contribute to the quality of the music and of the band’s performances.
So, European friends, if you have the opportunity to see American Aquarium on one of their dates on our continent, just do it. You’ll not be disappointed by this independent band. They’re the real deal, and their performance on scene is mind-blowing