Live Show Review: The Jealous Girlfriends Live In Little Rock, AK 11/25/08

photo by Maryanne VentriceThe Jealous Girlfriends showed on their debut release as a foursome in 2008, that they are adept at changing gears quite successfully. They did this throughout the album again and again; in the process creating one of the best new releases of the year. At their concert in Little Rock, AK on 11/25/08, they had to change gears again. This time due to sickness. Josh Abbott, co-lead singer for the band, was wrestling with a nasty sinus/upper respiratory infection, rendering his voice incapable of sharing his portion of the vocals for many of the bands songs. Although this presumably threw a glitch in the bands plans to do their normal set, they showed that they have a depth of musical material, highlighted by Holly Miranda’s stellar voice, to still put on an excellent show.

The sickness that Josh was dealing with, did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm and good natured bantering with the crowd. Early in their set, someone in the audience apparently said to Josh, “I’ve had lots of jealous girlfriends.” Josh laughingly joked with the guy, “Well, you’re about to have four more!” Josh’s guitar playing was focused, and he did an excellent job playing off of Holly’s vocals and guitar work, as well as Alex Madsen’s keyboards and synthesizer riffs, to create the atmospheric, experimental, rocking sound, that is quickly becoming a trademark of the band.

Holly’s voice was strong, yet smooth, and even angry, when the songs called for it. The crowd seemed mesmerized by her voice and the bands sound. This was particularly impressive, because the band did play some deeper cuts of their music, that might not have been on the playlist had Josh not been sick. Mike Fadem’s consistent drumming, and excellent time keeping, contributed greatly to the band sounding so cohesive, and the crowd being so drawn in to the music being played. In addition, the show’s sound quality was excellent, and the concert went off without any technical glitches.

As anyone who has read my previous review of The Jealous Girlfriend’s self titled release knows, I think that this band is one of the best to come out in quite some time. If their live performance in Little Rock was any indication, especially considering the circumstances, they will be around for quite awhile, setting incredibly high standards for other bands to try to reach.

Eric Lamb