TVD Live: Brad
at Cafe DuNord, 5/4

After a triumphant return the evening before at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Seattle supergroup Brad should have dazzled for a second night in a row. Instead, they disappointed. A sold out crowd watched as one of the most underrated and truly distinctive singer/songwriters of the last twenty years, Shawn Smith, took the stage in what seemed to be a drunken stupor.

Stone Gossard and the rest of the band did their best to cover for their very animated frontman that evening, but it all came crashing down quickly during an impromptu version of Purple Rain that lead into a dissastorous version of the Mother Love Bone classic “Crown Of Thorns.”  Fans were walking out mid-show completely disillusioned.

It’s truly a shame that the show was so bad. The band’s new record, United We Stand is one of the best albums I have heard this year. It’s a modern day classic, showcasing Smith’s soulful vocals with Gossard’s incendiary guitar playing and the band’s incredibly tightly wound grooves.

Highlights from the new album included “Bound in Time,”which feels like a throwback to the sound of the first record, “Last Bastion,” which follows the more polished sound of Interiors, and the best song on the record, an organic sounding hybrid of the first two albums where the band truly finds their sweet spot,”Needle and Thread.”

The set had a really good shot of being solid. Several songs from the new record along with classics from Shame and Interiors were peppered throughout. It was the sheer incoherency of Smith forgetting lyrics and singing off key that killed it.

Even worse, the band has been silent on their social media channels. Fans are disappointed and concerned but their comments and questions are simply met with silence, which is the worst way possible to handle this situation in the world of social media. How about an apology, or at the very least an explanation?

Were you at the show? What did you think? Please join the conversation and share your comments below.

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  • blakestern

    Your article was dead on. That was the show I saw, as well.


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