Hartford Archives

August 2, 2008

Viva La Vida!


Colplay came to Connecticut tonight, promoting its Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends album. I saw the English quartet twice on its 2005–2006 North American tour. Once again the band put on an energetic show. Early on, in spite of the excellent sequence of opening songs-- "Life in Technicolor," "Violet Hill," "Clocks," "In My Place," and "Viva La Vida"--the lighting and staging made the band seem awfully remote. As frontman Chris Martin interacted with the crowd and the backdrop changed from a huge rendition of the album cover artwork to giant video images of the band members, there was a much more palpable connection. And for me, sitting in the back corner of the arena in the 200 section, the highlight had to be when the band scurried through the audience and up the stairs to deliver two acoustic numbers--"The Scientist" and "Death Will Never Conquer"-- from a perch just three rows in front of me (as seen in the pictures below, captured by the less-than-stellar camera in my iPhone):


The set list:

Life in Technicolor
Violet Hill
In My Place
Viva La Vida
Fix You
Strawberry Swing
Chinese Sleep Chant
God Put A Smile Upon Your Face
Square One
Hardest Part
The Scientist
Death Will Never Conquer

Lovers In Japan
Death And All His Friends
The Escapist

I was surprised not to hear "Speed Of Sound," which had appeared on the set list earlier in the tour, but hard to complain about the band's choices this night.

July 14, 2009

Gasping For Air


Well, "gasping" sounds a little too melodramatic, but as someone who routinely travels all over with a laptop in tow, I've been contemplating the MacBook Air for a while now. The fact that my employer facilitates the purchase of technology by enabling me to pay it off interest-free over twelve months made it a lot easier for me to finally buy the computer this evening. Not only did I get the educational discount on the machine, but I got a free iPod Touch (which I hardly need; maybe I'll sell it?) and Canon printer thrown into the deal!

July 17, 2009

An Enticing Magazine Cover


I'm an Entertainment Weekly subscriber, but the magazine usually arrives on Friday afternoons and it hadn't appeared when I left campus for the airport. Seeing this cover on the newsstand, I had to buy another copy to read on the plane. Some good previews of next weekend's Comic-Con within.

July 27, 2009

The Hurt Locker


Stopped in Hartford to see The Hurt Locker on the way home from my parents' house. This has gotten good reviews and my expectations were probably a bit too high, but it's a suspenseful flick that feels truly grounded in the reality of the war in Iraq around five years ago.

August 19, 2009

Magic In The Night


Made it to Hartford after a brief stop on campus to print out my ticket--didn't even go home, just swung by the office. After some pleasant tailgating with friends, I enjoyed a terrific Bruce Springsteen concert. Once again Hartford was the first stop on this leg of the E Street Band tour and the Boss was in excellent form, connecting with the crowd as well as I've seen him and in unusually high spirits and energy. The final 45 minutes or so of the show was especially awesome.

The set list:

Sherry Darling
Out In The Street
Outlaw Pete
Spirit In The Night
Working On A Dream
Johnny 99
Murder Incorporated
Something In The Night
Raise Your Hand
Mountain Of Love
Sha La La
I'm on Fire
Be True
My Love Will Not Let You Down
Waitin' On A Sunny Day
The Promised Land
American Skin (41 Shots)
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born To Run
Thunder Road

Hard Times
American Land
Dancing In The Dark
Twist And Shout

August 21, 2010

High In Hartford


As if I haven't seen enough theater the past couple of weeks, I just caught a TheaterWorks Hartford matinee production of a new play, High, starring Kathleen Turner. This work was favorably reviewed in The New York Times and while it was flawed, was provocative and entertaining.

October 21, 2010

Rome And Egypt


The Hartford Stage Company has mounted a very strong production of Antony And Cleopatra--a tricky masterpiece to stage effectively. The theater has undergone a recent renovation and made good use of the improvements with terrific set and lighting designs to capture the action in Rome, in Egypt, and at sea. But this play succeeds and fails based on the performances of its two leads; John Douglas Thompson and Kate Mulgrew were more than up to the task in presenting powerful but nuanced characters. A satisfying evening at the theater!

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