Concert Scrapbook: Paul Weller with Matthew Ryan Opening

99-elgI’ve been a fan of Paul Weller since a friend introduced me to The Jam back in high school. His musical styles have evolved and changed with the times, but the fundamentals have remained. Clever, socially aware lyrics set to catchy, innovative pop tunes, even if the specific genre changes from the punkish, “mod-revival” sounds of The Jam, through the Jazzy, soulful sounds of the Style Council, to the eclectic styles that marked his solo career since 1995. He’s never been afraid to take risks, even if some paid off better than others.

When I found out he was playing July 28th in Boston, I knew I had to see the show, even if it meant coming home early from the Newport Folk Festival. When I came in Matthew Ryan had already started his set, a man alone on stage with an acoustic guitar, and it had kind of a folk/country feel to it at first as I was coming up the stairs and walking in.  I wondered how it would go over with Weller’s audience…

But he was holding most people’s attention firmly, and he soon caught mine.  You will read more about Matthew Ryan in a future post, as I was impressed.

When he was done, Paul Weller and his band came out and launched straight into a set that included songs form his most recent full length album Sonik Kicks, as well as tunes that spanned the length of his career. Those songs needed no introduction for most people there and he gave them none, stopping only to say a couple of sentences to introduce songs from his new album. His band was right on queue at every moment, sharp musically and sharply dressed. Paul Weller is a man who knows something about showmanship. See for yourself in the photo gallery below. The order is random.

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