Live Review: Hiss Golden Messenger – Music Hall Of Williamsburg, NY

Hiss Golden Messenger recently passed through Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY to showcase their fresh, modernized classic rock energy. A highlight of this Winter tour for fans is that the band is previewing material from the upcoming 2019 record. The band also plays songs from earlier records to mix up the vibes of the more recent material, another plus for true fans.

The band blasted off into Biloxi to open the night. With powerful acoustic strumming, Mike Taylor builds the momentum of his indie folk rock sounds. Next they played a powerful rendition of Red Rose Nantahala. The sped up chorus is a highlight of the live version of this song as it makes the experience for the audience more intriguing.

To continue the upbeat, positive rock energy the band played Jenny Of The Roses and Lost Out In The Darkness from 2017’s Hallelujah Anyhow. Next the fans got a special treat of a new song called Happy Birthday, written for Mike’s daughter. The song was truly something meaningful and inspiring and hearing this will make the new record even more exciting.

Like A Mirror Loves A Hammer followed, one of the highlights of 2016’s Heart Like A Levee. The band whipped out another new song called Goddamn, I Need A Teacher which featured energetic harmonies from Phil Cook. Both of these new songs truly increased the hype for the next album, which hopefully will be coming in the Spring.

After a boisterous version of Mahogany Dread, the band toned down the vibe with an astonishingly intimate version of Gulfport You’ve Been On My Mind. The mood picked up with Lucia and an extra special segue in the Grateful Dead’s Franklin’s Tower. This was one of the big surprises of the night and definitely a major highlight.

Next, the band played O Little Light and Blue Country Mystic – both from 2011’s Poor Moon. That era of HGM music displayed his rawest and breakout songwriting and to hear these songs polished years later proves why they are a must see live act in current music. Next, Mike performed a solo acoustic version of Balthazar’s Song which captivated the audience and generated an immediate silence throughout the venue.

After another low energy song Cracked Windshield, the rhythm and pulse flared up for an electrifying version of I Am The Song featuring raging lead guitar from Josh Kaufman. Next the band played Heart Like A Levee followed by I’m a Raven (Shake Children Shake). To end the night, the band played Domino, Southern Grammar, and finally left us with Caledonia, My Love. This Winter HGM tour was a very special and exciting journey and I’m lucky to have heard some of the upcoming songs from the new album.

Scott J. Herman


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