Concert review: Mazzy Star redeem themselves at the Paradise

Mazzy Star played to a sold-out club on Nov. 19. Credit: Provided
Upon entering the Nov. 19 show, patrons were told that if they took pictures, they would be ejected immediately.
Credit: Nolan Gawron/Metro

It’s been 11 years since Hope Sandoval last played Boston. It was August of 2002, and the sultry chanteuse and lead singer of Mazzy Star was in town premiering her self-titled solo project at the Paradise — and it couldn’t have gone worse. Complaining about the sound, she left the stage more than once, coming back to increasingly unruly, heckling fans and feedback problems that were never solved.

Returning to the scene of the disaster last night with her band Mazzy Star, Sandoval and company wowed the sold out crowd and redeemed with flawless form and surprisingly stoic composure. Touring in support of their recent release Seasons of Your Day, their first recording in 17 years, both the record and their performance prove that Mazzy Star has sustained the sound of the psychedelic dream pop that has kept them fresh in the hearts of fans for decades.

Gone were the sound troubles from a decade ago. Every note echoed in perfect clarity. While the band’s sound was sparse at times, Sandoval’s voice can fill up the room.

With six musicians playing musical chairs throughout the night, the band’s 90-minute set generously picked songs from their four-album discography and each track came off as perfectly as the records. Each smack of the tambourine, every slur of the pedal steel and every heavy hit of the kit seemed on time and necessary.

Taking stage to a backing track of an ethereal murmur, the mood was set. With just a couple of candles and projected visuals lighting the stage, the band remained barely visible creating an air of mystery and forcing the focus to the music itself.

Starting quietly with “Looking Down from the Bridge,” the final track from 1996’s Among My Swan, a church-like organ billowed in the background while the delicate quietude showcased Sandoval’s sultry croon, which sounded as strong and seductive as ever.

Drifting into “Cry, Cry,” a pedal steel and Sandoval’s reverbed harmonica warmed the room into a blissful reverie that transported many of us back almost 20 years.

While the focus always seems to be on Sandoval and her voice, David Roback’s varied guitar styles always loomed beautifully in the background. From the intimate acoustic duet with Sandoval on “Into Dust,” the intense pluck-and-slide on “She Hangs Brightly” to the unforgettable slide on “Fade into You,” Roback’s sound escorted Sandoval’s vocal stylings through their moody blues.

Ending the first set with the loud and distorted “Blue Flower,” the band reclaimed the stage for two encores. Highlighting their range, the band began with the quiet new track “California” and ended with the lengthy “So Tonight That I Might See” with Sandoval’s poetic spoken-word delivery riding along Roback’s searing guitars.

While she remained in place most of the night, she moved the room with her vocals. Besides some quiet “Thank yous” the only thing she said between songs was “Where’s that goddamn whiskey I ordered.” I don’t think it ever arrived.


'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.


New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…


NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.


Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…


Championship of Collegiate a Cappella: Students who are…

Tickets to this Saturday’s International Championship of Collegiate a Cappella reportedly sold out within 11 hours of going on sale.


M.I.A. talks 'Matangi,' divinity, spontaneity and holograms

"There’s pressure for me to become a theatrical production like 'Glee,' or something" says M.I.A., "It’s like, 'the pressure’s on, bitches.'"


Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.


Rangers unlikely to change lineup, Steve Mason in…

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault wouldn't say much, but don't expect any lineup changes.


Jason Collins named to Time's 100 Most Influential…

Jason Collins was named to the list after coming out as the first openly gay player to appear in an NBA game.


Nets excited for Brooklyn fans to bring the…

Kevin Garnett has definitely used profanity while trash talking or in practices, but never to describe an entire borough.


Rangers turn up shot blocking in Game 3…

Game 3 of the Rangers-Flyers opneing round series was not a return to John Tortorella hockey.


New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.


From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.


Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.


MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.