A. A. Bondy at The Southern [Charlottesville, VA]

In 2009 I went to my first concert in Charlottesville, and boy was I nervous. I researched the two artists, listened to as much of their music as I could, and brushed up on my music theory. I got to The Southern Music Hall ready to wow the world with my musical knowledge. You see, that concert was not only my first C’Ville music experience, it was also one of my very first dates with a certain someone who I might be marrying next summer. Within minutes, I was lost in conversation, and soon after, lost in the music – and all of my nerves disappeared. The opener that night, A. A. Bondy, and the headliner, Elvis Perkins, are to this day two of my favorite artists.

It’s now over two years later, and last night Bondy returned to The Southern – this time as the headliner. He shared the stage with Seattle-based Gold Leaves, who kicked off the show with some tracks off of their newest record, “The Ornament.” The entire show got started quite late, with Bondy not appearing until after 10:30, but his set was well worth the wait.

Bondy’s out promoting his newest album, “Believers,” a review of which you can find on NPR, who has been following him since his SXSW premiere in 2008. “Believers” is, in my opinion, a stark [yet welcome] departure from 2008’s “American Hearts” and 2009’s “When the Devil’s Loose.” The bulk of the record is much slower, darker, and introspective than his earlier work, and demonstrates how Bondy has added increased depth to his many musical characteristics – an arsenal that already includes a flawless voice, smart lyrics, and a classic and calming demeanor.

The set lasted until after midnight and consisted primarily of his new record [I’m actually 99.9% sure he played the record in its entirety], strategically interspersed with some of his great older songs. As he sang, I closed my eyes and got lost, just like I did in 2009. It was such a soothing show, I’m sad to see him leave. I can only hope he’ll be playing in Philadelphia in the future so we can keep up with his progress.

Here are some of the notable tracks from last night. I’ve included a mix of live and studio recordings – just listen to how great he sounds in both.

The only thing I wish I could have heard? This one. It’s so special to me. Ok, maybe this one, too. He’s just. So. Good.

A.A. Bondy’s NPR Artists Page.


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Categories: Music


Courtney grew up in Reading, PA, and has lived in New York City (where she earned a bachelor's degree at NYU), Prague, Philadelphia, and Charlottesville (where she received a J.D. from UVa Law). Courtney and her new husband will settle in Philadelphia following a six-week Euro-trip extravaganza in September of 2012. Courtney's interests include music, writing, criticism, fitness, travel, cooking, and sports. Please enjoy the blog. LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/courtney-marello/1a/375/b30 Tumblr: http://abarrelofoddsandends.tumblr.com/


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2 Comments on “A. A. Bondy at The Southern [Charlottesville, VA]”

  1. Steven Huffine
    November 20, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

    Thanks for the review. That show was close to a religious experience. The sound was very cleand and you could here each layer.

    • November 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

      The Southern really is a great venue! The sound carries well. Not to mention, Bondy just has an awesome voice.

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