JOSH CATERER, GARLAND, The Echo, December 6, 2012
Garland opened up for Josh Caterer this evening in Echo Park at The Echo club on Sunset just below Alvarado. Garland played as a four piece but I would have rather seen them as a six member piece unit that was used on their debut CD. They played several songs from their first release including the songs Bye + Bye, Reverie and the great version of Sunshine Days that really rocked the crowd. They had lots of sound problems which included high searing pitches from the guitars that ruined a lot if the bands softer songs. This in return gave the lead singer hard to hear himself problems through the monitors to watching him hold his own ear just to hear himself sing his falsetto voice. There was one other really great new song called I Need You which would make for a great single if they can get a new album recorded.
Josh Caterer was in town to show off his newest solo EP The Heart Of Christmas. I would have thought this was going to be a Christmas show. But to my surprise, Josh did about 45 minutes of The Smoking Popes songs acoustic. He took several requests from the attended audience and played them for us. He charmed us in the middle of some of the songs to tell us what the songs were about as well. He also played a couple of compositions about his wife who was also in attendance at this show. Some of the songs of The Smoking Popes he did were Gotta Know Right Now, You Spoke To Me, Paul, First Time, Rubella, Need You Around, Pretty Pathetic, They Say We’re Too Young and a few others as well.
During one song he broke into doing What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding, a cover of an Elvis Costello song. At the very end of the intimate evening, Caterer played two songs from his new solo EP. To set the Christmas spirit a float he did Conroy The Gingerbread Boy and the lead track The Heart Of Christmas. You can buy this EP while Josh is on tour or you can order it from him at www.joshcaterer.com.
I hope he has been recording these intimate shows while on tour. They would make for a great DVD. He should consider for the next Smoking Popes record to be an acoustic one. The Smoking Popes are currently signed right now to Asain Man Records.
What an early Christmas treat it was to see Josh Caterer live in such an intimate setting. Here’s hoping this becomes an annual holiday tradition!
(Review by Jonathan Wright – Photo by Kenneth Morton)