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Black 47 Infinity Hall Hartford, CT Sunday October 19th, 2014

Black 47

Black 47

On the road to see Black 47, Hartford Connecticut is just a  sad landscape on a Sunday night.  Offices closed and the thugs in their hoods- pretty much flashing yellow traffic lights and no reason to roll over.

The leaders of the capitol city have been working for years on how to change this and the ‘Front Street Project’ have us a Marriott, a Science Center and a Convention Center empty 40% of the time. But it has given us a killer movie theater and a couple of death on a plate joints where a valet will park you and you can chomp down on the carcass of a throat slitted cow and drop a couple hundred bucks.
The crown is the new Infinity Hall.  The second location of the Norfolk CT establishment has to come through and make Hartford a destination.  Their first location tucked so deep in no mans land that you have to ask a moose passing by where to park- its too far out but it draws the names- so its arrival in Hartford should make it even easier to see bands in the town that never wakes.
But Norfolk is still boss- they get more press, they get more action on social media and as The Tubes tweet from the sticks, tonight Black47 gig was getting no love.  Why that’s no way to get a club jumping, is it?
Well truth is Black47 doesnt need Infinity’s help.  The second stop of their last tour ever brought out the fans and despite the local press- the band owned Hartford tonight– and then left it just as  it was found.  silent.

After 25 years of fist raising political rabble rousing the Black47 have embarked on their farewell stomp.  What’s going to become of the band that brought us the ‘Funky Celli’?  Well you haven’t head the end of any of these guys with side projects that will turn in to full focus (and a new GI Blythe offering in the works!) we can’t cry and wave good bye but we can make some noise and see them off.
The band were absolutely on point playing a proper mix of their tunes that had the audience engaged but sadly not on their feet.  Welcome to Hartford, where it takes a crowbar to get us off our asses.  Not me of course I was on my feet the entire time singing along (in a pathetic Irish lilt) as this would be my true first (other than this biker disaster) and last Black47 gig.  The question is how did I miss this entire span of time?

Front man Larry Kerwin had lots to say- lots.  In between talk of Irish factory workers and the infamous 5 Points he sang straight from the gut and his band of merry men- well honestly, they stole the show.  There are very few instances where the front man becomes an accessory but the lack of energy given by Kerwin was notable- luckily bassist Joe Burcaw and saxman Geoff Blythe picked up the slack and brought what could have been a ‘Storytellers edition on VH1 into a rock and roll show complete with face melts and funky chicken dance moves- they brought the fun- Larry brought the pipes……..vocal pipes.

You cannot in good measure critique a band on a farewell journey.  They’re emotionally charged, tired and seemingly on auto pilot as they work their way tying up the loose strings of their time together.  A band of brothers and an army of 6,  Black47 have done what they wanted to do- raise awareness, raise a fist and raise a pint, with the convictions of superheroes.

I am very much looking forward to their futures.  Again, they cannot nor will not retire and after a nice holiday break and a month in England (shout out to ” Mousehole”) we can expect tons more from these true punk legends.  Although, Black47 may not have reached ‘superstar’ status they did one better- they’re true Legends.


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