It was only the third time I was able to witness the magic of From Good Homes live. I had seen them once way back in 1998, once in 2010, and on the first chilly night of 2015 I was going to see them again.
From Good Homes performed their annual December shows in New Jersey, using the Newton Theatre for the third year in a row. The Newton Theatre is an interesting venue. It is a small, quaint, converted movie theater that holds approximately 600 fans. On that evening, every seat was sold and filled. Prior to the start of the show, an advertisement was shown portraying the history of the theater and asking for donations that were necessary to complete a planned bathroom renovation. The theater is clearly in need of some work, including upgrading their bathrooms, and hopefully they will get the necessary money. The venue is a nice one overall, and I am very open to seeing other shows there in the near future.
Since I had seen From Good Homes twice before, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from their show, and I just knew they would be amazing in concert. My buddy Adam who was attending his first From Good Homes show had the benefit of never seeing the band live. I knew that he was going to be blown away and want to see them again.
Since it was a Friday night in Newton, I believe there was a curfew in place. From Good Homes is known to play lengthy concerts and that night was no exception. The concert time listed on the ticket was 8pm and at 8:03 the band was walking to the stage. Without much more than a “good evening,” they tore into their first song, “The Ballad of Todd and Tracy.” It was a magnificent choice for an opener and started the night off right.
The first set was a great mix of songs from their 3 official albums as well as fan favorites and a terrific cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower.” I never expected the band to cover that song, and I was glad to witness it live. They did a wonderful rendition. The set ended with one of my favorite From Good Homes songs, “There She Goes.” By this time, the entire audience was on their feet, dancing and singing along. As usual, From Good Homes poured everything they had into their performance and ended the first set on a high note. Their performance was spectacular and left us wondering what they were going to bring out for set two.
The second set was just as spectacular as the first. Halfway through set two an amazing run of songs were played: “I’m Your Man,” “Broken Road,” “Wide Open Wide,” and “I’m A Mess” were performed in succession and made for the best run of the evening. Four of the best songs in the From Good Homes catalog performed back to back---what more could a fan ask for?
And the band kept cooking from there. After “I’m A Mess” Adam turned me and asked “What more can this band have in them?” I just smiled and replied “You’re about to find out.” And the band played on. A brilliant version of “Raindance” came out just before the set closing “Second Red Barn On The Right.” And with that, the second set was over and it was hard to believe that nearly three hours had passed us by.
The encore was a three song beauty of the earliest From Good Homes songs. “Grandma’s Apple Dumplings,” “Charlie Hogan,” and “Comin’ On Home.” During “Comin’ On Home” there were a couple of false starts, as Todd sang the wrong verse due to following the crowd’s lead. This prompted him to ask if anyone knew the words to this song. The audience responded by singing the appropriate first verse and the last song of the night was played out from there.
Once again, From Good Homes was terrific in concert, and I found myself wondering why it had been five years since I had seen them last. If they come around for the December shows again in 2016, I will have to make more of an effort to attend. They are definitely worth the price of the ticket.
The Ballad of Todd and Tracey
Drivin’ n Cryin’
Bang That Drum
Cool Me Down
House On A Hill
Butterfly & The Tree
All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan Cover)
There She Goes
Dance A Hole
(Nothing But) Flowers (Talking Heads Cover)
Where Songs Begin
I’m Your Man
Wide Open Wide
I’m A Mess
Second Red Barn On The Right
Grandma’s Apple Dumplings
Charlie HoganComin’ On Home