Boston, MA

August 23, 2002 ... Paradise Rock Club


  • Eric Navarro: I was so happy to learn that Hope would be coming to Boston, I waited anxiously for over a month to attend. Unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy the show as much as I wanted to. The show was plagued by a pretty bad sound system and a downright horrible crowd. For the first time ever, I was embarrassed to be from Boston...yes, that's how bad the crowd was. Why anyone would pay $17 to go to a show to be rude and ruin the evening for the rest of the crowd is a complete mystery to me.

    She hardly made it into the second song before the crowd took over, shouting obscenities and other silly comments. I can't begin to explain the level at which I was appalled, not just with the crowd but with the venue staff as well, who did absolutely nothing to quell the few spoilers in the crowd. The staff was also responsible for the shoddy sound system which kicked the crowd with unwanted feedback and unsteady sound outputs.

    Even with the sound problems, Hope's vocals still managed to sound amazing, a real credit to her talent. She equaled the sound of her studio recordings and now I wish I could hear her live on a "quality" sound stage.

    The Soledad Brothers were excellent as well, even with said sound problems. Considering the show's snags, I can't say I was disappointed in the performance, if I was only able to hear one song, I would have went home happy. I had also dragged a friend to the show who wasn't familiar with Hope and he went there with a pessimistic attitude. We had planned to leave a little before the show was to end, in order to catch our train. And after the first song, my friend said to me "screw the train, we're gonna stay and take a cab home."

    Due to the crowd and sound difficulties, it wasn't really a complete show...but I didn't care, I got to see one of my favorite artists and in my eyes, her talents didn't disappoint, I only wish the rest of the patrons could've appreciated the great music that was being performed for them. I prey that Hope will someday return to Boston again, and hopefully perform at a better place than The Paradise Rock Club. Please Hope, don't hold it against Boston because of a few thickheaded imbeciles. And thanks Colin for taking our comments and having this web page.

  • C. Sean Horton: I just returned from the Hope Sandoval show in Boston - what a doozie! First, there was about an hour wait after the Soledad Brothers. Then half way into the second song, she started waving off the cameras and turning her head. After that song, she pointed at the guy and said no more cameras - "That flash is just not happening." The crowd started getting a little restless at this point, a bit of minor heckling.

    Then they started the next song, they had all switched places and the guitarist came up front to sit down and play. The song was clearly off - Hope's vocals were way off, the rhythm was off - the song wasn't working. So Hope stopped the song, said that she couldn't play with "all of the fucking feedback and all of the people in the crowd talking." I've been to a lot of shows, the crowd noise was low here, and the sound was good I thought. There had been some minor feedback, but not much - most bands will just play through it.

    So people really started yelling at this point and things got really weird. Some people were hollering fuck yous to the band, Hope was cussing back, calling people assholes. Someone told her to go home, and she threatened to quit the show. They went ahead and started the next song and she left the stage again. While she was gone, a sound guy came out to adjust one of the mics.

    So she came back, the band was scurrying to figure out which song she wanted to play next, then she said that she didn't have a mic. She kept telling the crowd to just shut the fuck up for a minute. Then she made some comment about "Boston is really scaring us." She then said that she was giving the place about five minutes to fix everything or we were all getting our money back. They all left the stage.

    About twenty minutes later, they came back and finished the set out with about five more poorly executed songs. Between songs she would shake her head and put her hands in the air. The heckling pretty much stopped, but she would kind of try and get it going again by asking people to just shut the fuck up. She kept going on and off of the stage and finally she left and the band finished the song, and that was it - the show was over. The other band members were laughing about the heckling but Hope kept getting upset and really acted like a spoiled little rock princess. I wanted to buy some merchandise but I just didn't want to give them money after that poor performance.

    Oh yea, I almost forgot the best exchange of the night. When someone tried to offer a little support during one of the heckling/cussing arguments by hollering "We love you Hope" she hollered back, "We don't need you to love us, we need you to shut the fuck up." Because of one or two easily ignorable people who'd had too much to drink, she offended the entire crowd.

  • mk: The show in boston was overall amazing even with boston embarrassing themselves with how lame they are. We came from Providence to see them and the crowd was weird; an older couple was standing in front of us screaming out bizarre things and people kept flash shooting Hope even though she asked them to stop. It was kind of a white hat (frat) nation showing up which was strange. Her stage presence has changed a lot; I saw her in Minneapolis close to 10 years ago and she was a lot more contained, the fact that she confronted the audience and was totally aggressive and comfortable with the harmonica/xylo made her seem really in control of her performance. The wall of sound and volume was really unbelievable; the last stones cover made me think of a bloody valentine fused with slower psychodelic/blues feeling and there was a fluttering sound effect that was really bloody valentineish. The fusion of harder sound effects and her dream voice is an amazing combination. Before a JAMC set a while ago, they mixed a song of hers with theirs and it sounded so right. The extended band and complicated sound really worked especially the encore/ after only core fans were left. It was really nice.

  • Jwl2674: I am quite sure you will not post this review but I really wish you would consider it because it is a "very" accurate one and I am taking much time to type this up. After waiting more than 9 years to see Hope live I finally had my chance last night. I must say that it was the absolute worst show I have ever been to. I worked in the music industry for 10 years and have never in my life seen such unprofessionalism as Hope showed last night.

    After an 80 minute wait between bands, Hope came out and the band clearly seemed to be out of it. Especially Hope. The lights were so dark you could only see a bit of her hair. No lie! She instantly snapped at someone for taking a picture. By the second song, people were beginning to leave. I went and asked about a refund and I was told that Hope requested no lights because she did not want to see the audience.

    After attempting to sing her 4th song, she stopped and told the crowd to shut the %$#@#$ up and began yelling at us. She had no reason to say this because the crowd was on their best behavior....until this incident. People began filing out of the venue at this point and I thought a riot was going to happen. Everyone was demanding their money back to which we were told that there was nothing they could do and Hopes manager was hiding.

    The shitty Soledad Brothers (Jon Spencer clones) began yelling at us and sticking up for Hope saying that we were cheap and just wanted our money back and Hope was sick and just playing her show. They were actually insulting us about our looks as well. I have news boys, you suck and your style is not all happening. Well, if you are sick, cancel the show. Also, there was no show being played.

    Hope stopped and said that if things do not settle down, everyone will ge their money back and she will leave. She left the stage for about 15 minutes. Unfortunately she came back and sounded so horrible that we just left.

    If Hope and Soledad Brothers read this I would like to say (and I speak on the behalf of many last night) grow up! You give music artists a bad name and you should just give it up. I still do not know if there is any way to get a refund but I will try my best. I was told to contact Clear Channel. I was also told by the venue and Soledad Brothers that Hope is a diva and can do what she likes. I won't even comment on the stupidity of that comment. To Hope I say, thanks for losing many fans in Boston and showing what a true ass you really are! I will be selling my entire Mazzy Star/Hope Sandoval collection today thanks to you.

  • Nick Oslander: I was at the show at the Paradise last night, and it was the most phenominal show I've ever seen!! First, just as they started the first number, some moron in front of Hope starts snapping pix with a FLASH camera, which ultimately pissed her off, and set her mood for the rest of the show! The sound was terrible, Hope and Colm not being heard very well, and Hope's main vocal mike feeding back. About one-third of the way into the show during a quiet number, some drunk heckler kept running his mouth, and with this and the mike problems, she LOST her temper!!! It was fantastick!! 99% of the audience supported what she did, and after telling the audience they could get their money back, and after a 10 minute break for the sound techs to get their asses in order, they came back on and salvaged the night with a great set!!

    I wish that I could have given Hope a big hug for what she did and said last night, as she is not the first to deal with a shitty room like the Paradise. If I was standing on stage playing with her, I would have said a lot more to add to what she stated!! I play bass in my own band here, though not playing out right now, but I've been with bands that have played there, and the Paradise SUX!!!! It is not the proper place for Hope to present her music. I also saw Mazzy Star there about three years ago. The stupid little spoiled brat bastard that owns that dump, (Seth Greenberg) should have his balls cut off for running such a shitty room!! I speak for many unhappy musicians that have had to deal with such bullshit from the Paradise.

  • Emma Lucia: The Soledad Brothers were fantastic. I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was really impressed by them. They've made a new fan on this tour. Let me preface this by saying that I love Hope's voice. I understand that she is particular about crowd noise and things like that. That being do not put 500 people in a club that serves alcohol, and then make them wait OVER AN HOUR before you take the stage, and THEN expect everyone to be quiet and attentive. It just doesn't happen like that. They came out, as I said, over an hour late, and the crowd was already restless and annoyed. Before any music even started, someone in the crowd yelled "Where WERE you??". They played through two songs (I'm sorry, I'm no good with song titles, hopefully someone else will send a set list). Someone right up front started taking flash pictures (which I think is rude as hell, no matter WHO is performing), and she asked them to stop...said "that flash isn't happening". She started the third song, and got a tiny bit of feedback. She then stopped the song, and said something to the effect of "You know, we can't play this song with all that fucking feedback, and this horrible sound, and all these people fucking talking". Bad move. The heckling started, and for about 5 straight minutes, Hope was arguing with various audience members. She told one person to "come right up here and say that to me", she told someone else to "show their fucking face", someone yelled "if you hate it here, just leave" and she said "We WILL leave, we will leave". A girl in the crowd yelled "We love you Hope" and she said "I don't need you to love me, I just need you to shut the fuck up" (the line of the night, in my opinion) etc., etc. They all left the stage for a few minutes, and a stagehand came out and took the mike from her glockenspiel. They came back out, she said "fuck it, let's just play something loud", but then had another tantrum because there was now no mike for the glock. So she told the crowd that they were going to give these guys 5 minutes, and that if they didn't have their shit together, everyone got their money back. Now, I've seen a thousand shows at The Paradise. I'm sure there *may* have been some blame to place on the sound guys or stage hands or whatever, but I think Hope and the band should take some of the blame on themselves. $10 says she didn't even show up to soundcheck.

    At any rate, 10 minutes later, they come back out, play 4 songs, and leave the stage again. Since she doesn't address the crowd AT ALL (except to tell them to shut the fuck up, apparently) no one knows if they're done, or if she's having another tantrum, or what. The house music comes on, but the lights don't. Most people file out, and about 5 minutes later, the band comes back out and they play an absolutely stunning version of the Stones "Play With Fire". Regardless of all the problems, when this band plays, and she sings, it is like nothing in this world. Too bad you have to deal with temper tantrums to get through it.

    For me, as much as I love to hear her sing, the bottom line is this. If you don't like playing live, DON'T DO IT. It makes me wonder whether or not this is her method of "payback" to a label that is making her tour. If you hate being in front of an audience so much, why bother? It doesn't make for an enjoyable show. Sure, it sounds fabulous, but when the entire audience is on eggshells because the guy next to them is talking, and they're afraid that Hope will split again, no one enjoys themselves. When you don't respond to the crowd at all, it's hard to get any response from them (the applause at this show was minimal and half-hearted, except for the end). And shitting on a popular club isn't going to win you any fans, either, especially when there really wasn't anything wrong with the sound at all.

    At any rate, for 7 or 8 songs, I *would* normally say don't bother, but for the short time that she does actually sing, listening to her voice is surreal. So, if you have tickets, go--but don't be surprised if you end up sitting around a lot wondering what the hell just happened.

  • amiskitty: All I can say is that I'm sad. Sad that the crowd, the venue, the sound crew and Hope herself ruined what was supposed to be a beautiful couple of hours that, for me, was eight years in the making. I have loved Hope ever since I first heard her and now, I don't know if I'll ever be able to truly enjoy her music again.

    To the Paradise: Where the fuck was security to escort those drunk unruly assholes out when they were ruining the show for every one of us, that by the way PAID YOU MONEY TO BE THERE!

    To Hope: I've read accounts from your previous shows and you must be pretty fed up with the harassment of the crowds and the poor sound. Hopefully your booking agents will find more appropriate venues for you in the future. But you are also supposed to be a professional and you ought to show your fans more respect. Instead of arguing with the drunk assholes yourself, you should've asked security to take care of it. And did it ever occur to you that your crowds might not be so edgey and irritable if you didn't take an hour and twenty minutes to get on the stage? I was even upset by the time you got out there to play.

    To the sound crew: You guys had an hour and twenty minutes to have that stage set up. Have you never touched musical equipment before or are you just generally unfamiliar with how it's all supposed to work? I know kids in high school that have set up better concerts than this one and probably charge less money for their services.

    And to the assholes in the crowd: Jesus Christ, I could write four pages of things I'd like to say to you. I guess they all sum up to this: learn some respect. For yourself, for the people whose night you ruined and for the band. No one forced you to be there. If you didn't like it, you should've left.

    Leaving is exactly what we eventually did. I couldn't possibly enjoy what little bit of a set they would go on to play after Hope's outburst that resulted in an additional twenty minutes for the sound people to get their shit together. As Hope suggested earlier in the show, we all ought to get our money back.

  • Sakis: This was the crowd from hell. I have been to many many shows in Boston and I have to say this has to be one of the worst crowds I have seen. There were problems from the beginning of the show. While the opening Detroit band "The Soledad Brothers" rocked, you could still hardly hear their vocals on the microphone...

    Hope came on to perform in about an hour and 20 minutes later than the opening act, which had made ALOT of people in the audience very edgy and mad and whinny etc etc. She came on and did not even address the crowd or say hi or anything. The lights didn't help on the background either, barely lighting up her face. Now I have never seen Hope Sandoval perform, so I wasn't very aware of how she really really hates having bright lights in her face etc etc. I took a few pictures with a flash in the beginning of the first song (I wasn't the only one taking pictures), because who knows when will I get to see her again and PLUS i have taken many pictures in shows before and no performer was pissed off at me for doing so, SINCE after the first song I don't take more pictures usually. She wasn't very happy and she told me to not use the flash. Since my camera is automatic set, I can't take pics without the flash, so I just stopped taking pictures after she told me not to. I didn't mind and she didn't mind. I respected her request.

    The crowd wasn't happy, the sound was really really poor since the first song. We could hardly hear her beautiful vocals and there was feedback a few times. The crowd also wasn't very nice to her. Constant talking, yelling and requesting of "Mazzy Star" songs didn't help at all. By the 3rd song ("Around My Smile"), which required some silence things weren't happening, as other people said here she stopped and complained about the poor sound and the people constantly talking, which of course gave all the opportunity that the agitated people in the crowd needed, to yell back at her and of course there was lots of cursing from certain people which made things alot worse. She told the guy to show his face and of course she said "shut up" etc etc, CLEARLY annoyed since she was there to actually SING and PERFORM her songs. So after some people saw how she was being verbally attacked by the crowd lots of us actually yelled back "we love you Hope" and "don't listen to him" etc etc, which of course seeing how upset she was she said "I don't need you guys to love me I just want you to shut the f*&k up" which was QUITE funny and of course people clapped at that comment. I really thought there would be a fight in the crowd. What surprised me even more was how there was NO security to take those few disorderly people OUT of there so the rest of us could enjoy the show. None of that happened. Of course people reviewed the rest of the details about the show, so I won't add TOO much.

    The set list changed alot , but it was SUCH PURE joy when she sang the rest of her songs, a couple that was next to me was kissing to "Suzanne", you could tell who were the fans and who were just there to just drink and probably "check out this Mazzy Star singer". It was quite a mess, i remember someone people yelling for Mazzy Star songs and some guy yelling back "THIS IS A HOPE SANDOVAL CONCERT" , again, laughs from the crowd....

    Most of the time we were all looking at eachother in disbelief that this was really "NOT happening"... We couldn't believe at how bad this crowd was. Anyway, near the end of the show, the band left for quite a while and of course people started leaving etc. Well some of the big fans still stayed back and we started clapping rhythmically and with energy and of course, Hope came back and performed some AMAZING songs for the rest of the remainder of the show, to all our delight. The mood really was messed up after the third song, but when she started performing again it was really great!

    I was one of the lucky people to meet her after the show. We thought "wow I wonder even if she'd bother talking to us after such a horrible show" but guess what? SHE is such a sweetheart. She talked to the fans who waited for a LONG time. She told us about how she wasn't happy with the sound at all, he he, she told me "hey I know you" he he, and she said that she really doesn't like to have flash in her face etc etc, but she wasn't mad.

    She told us about her new video that is gonna air on MTV2, at which part I told her that we would really like it if she had an MPG video or a Quicktime video of it online, so that fans that don't have MTV2 (like me) or that won't get to see the video they would have the chance to do so through the web site or online. She thought about putting a small sample of it, but I said it would be really nice if she put the whole video online, after all many bands such as Hooverphonic, Bjork, Goldfrapp, Lori Carson etc etc have full videos of theirs for downloads on their web site. So lets hope she will put the video online. By the way, Nicole her niece who plays the keyboards was also so very nice to us and gave us all small Snickers candy bars (how nice).

    Hope also told us about her collaboration with Dirty Vegas, she also said that she thinks it would be nice to have a back yard concert, for select few fans and people at which point she asked me how big my back yard is , of course my back yard is not huge at all, but hey I would easily find a friend's back yard where she is welcome to play ANY time. I also told her I am from Greece at which point she said she had toured there when she was with the band OPAL and she liked it very much (so I told her to definitely tour sometime in Greece as well). She along with Nicole also asked me for a Spanakopita recipe (Spinach pie), of course I am SO bad with cooking I will have to get the recipe from my mom who of course at the time being she is in Greece for a vacation.

    Hope signed autographs for everybody and EVEN had her picture taken with some of us fans!! I hope the pics will come out well so I can send them here on the site and you can post them along with the few pics I took of the show. Overall she was really a sweet heart, she wasn't happy with how the shows have been going, but we also told her that the crowd wasn't happy with the long wait between songs and of course the poor sound quality (that she thought didn't improve much at all through the rest of the show). I told her that she didn't deserve the response she got at that show and we told her that not all Boston fans are like that. She said she had a great show in Boston when she had toured with Mazzy Star , so lets hope she will come back when and if she tours with Mazzy Star in the future.

    She also introduced us to her partner Colm O Ciosoig. One thing I gathered upon meeting her was that she wants to perform and just have people to actually LISTEN to her songs and music , enjoy it, respect it. Simple as that. She is not in it for the fame, but rather for putting her art out there and have people appreciate it and not because she is popular as the popularity rose with Mazzy Star for example.

    I would also like to say though that she should also not be so shy on stage. She spoke to us fans after the show so nicely, she made contact and she was wonderful and I am sure if she did that during her shows people wouldn't mind or wouldn't get distracted from her art. I hope her future shows will have more success and I hope that the crowd in the future will be better and her shows will be more sucessful.

  • J. Lee Crumrine: "Stone Cold Cali-Cowgirl Brands Some Bristling Brahmin Buttocks...But Good"

    Hope S was truly and frighteningly cosmic. Possibly the best show I have seen since my coming to Beantown - except that it became a very very very heated evening what w/ collegiate blueblood shitheads not shutting the F up for a slow tune combined w/ a dead mike on the glockenspiel and some shockingly loud momentary feedback. Hope should not have let a few assholes spoil it for the rest of the crowd. But Bostonians can be pricks. And Hope called them on it to her credit. It may have been a short and tense show, but the music was better for it in my mind.

    Without question it was a show I will not soon (and quite likely never) forget. The mouth harp was absolutely phenomenal... entirely Hope Sandoval's doing. Same for the glockenspiel. Hope's vocals sometimes are thin. Not so re the harmonica. Never in my life have I imagined the mouth harp could sound so otherworldly...terrifyingly intense. I was on the verge of tears any number of times...cut to the very quick.

    After the 1st tune Hope set the tone for the evening by complaining about some down-front camera bug/Paparazzi type hassling her saying "Hey people the flash thing here's's not happening." I immediately found myself saying loud enough for her to hear..."Yeah, but the harmonica thing sure is!" In my mind her performance already justified some serious kudos. And her desire to be free from the distractions of rock star iconographics was not merely understandable but commendable.

    But to be sure, Hope early on evinced a need for a bit of nudging toward a more positive and relaxed wavelength. The crowd had waited a long time for her to come out. And she offered not a word of regret when she finally made her appearance. And the flash photography was not entirely without reason.

    Hope never did let the light shine on her front side while she was up there on stage. She allowed for backlight and backlight only. Couldn't see her face standing 10-15 feet in front of her. But dark moody, mysterious bewitching princess that she is, the shadows only added to Hope's mystique. I wouldn't thought of giving her anything less than my complete and undivided attention. Hope's absolute right to insist that the throng respect her art was never in doubt in my mind. And I am certain that many - if not most - folks in the crowd shared my sentiments.

    But at the same time, I do think Hope's music surely went right over the heads of at least a few Boston Brahmin party people. A seemingly very sober gal right next to me fainted after the 1st couple of tunes and hit the floor like a bloody boulder. I don't think it was too much of the wrong thing or lack of oxygen. The show exhibited some qualities of a rather heavy hitting LSD trip - right out of the ol' chute dude. No pussyfooting around. No mincing steps. At the same time, the feeling was generally a very 8 Miles High woozy kinda CA mellow vs the East Coast/Friday night/just back to campus for the Fall term/beer drinkin' "Hey let's party!" frat rat bleating blockhead kinda thing some were apparently looking for. But the intensity was surely not lacking no matter how you slice it.

    Eventually Hope managed to shoo away the assholes and/or win the entire crowd's respect as there was a rather heavy duty - if not pin drop - hush the last 1/2 of the show. Perhaps it came of her announcing early on very earnestly her intent to depart from the stage and conclude the proceedings if things didn't mellow out and the sound men didn't get it right in the next 5 minutes. More than once Hope suggested to the crowd (and staff/management?) that she thought it might be for the best if the audience just got their $ back and called it a night. I genuinely thought Hope might well be finished w/ Boston when she sauntered off the stage. But she eventually returned and launched into an equally intense 2nd set of melancholy airs.

    All in all Hope probably didn't play much more than an hour. But I would gladly pay to see the same show again. I have listened to Mazzy Star since 1990 and always felt the band to be a singularly wonderful group. I have Hope's new cd and rather like it. But I went to see her w/ few - or at least marginal - expectations. There were, indeed, some very weird vibes/issues bandied about...some pretty serious emotional shots fired over the bow...some undercurrents of spiritual conflict...some psychic blood-letting...a weird kind of rock & roller stigmata...possible suicide in the works right on the stage. But all in all, it only made the moment that much more profound...the art that much more painfully real.

    Hope is sure as Hell no mere hippie chick. She is clearly no simple guy band prop or accessory. Hope is no slinky Barbie doll on Quaaludes. Hope's rock solid...nobody's fool...though superficially she may seem to be a bit of a prima donna...or at least a bit weary of the BS from a long time away from home on the lonely not so silky road. But then a blessed even saintly kind of weariness & dreariness is perhaps ultimately Hope's signal virtue...her singular genre...her veritable stock in trade.

    The encore was unexpected to say the least. But it was as appropriate and powerful as any encore I've ever heard. The Stones "Play With Fire"... It fit the mood of the evening like a custom made suit. Yes, Hope made it clear... Don't play with her..."cause yer playin' w/ FIRE!"

    Hope ultimately blew the smoke from the barrel of her six-shooter, twirled and slapped her piece in it's holster, leapt up on her steed and w/ a kick of her spurs and a hearty shout of "HeeYA"! galloped off into the bleeding fleeting it sank in a swirling cloud of desert (demon vs pixie) dust. Hope hit and some ghostly High Plains Drifter...some Zorro-like femme fatale..some kind of Immortal Masked Madonna. ("Who was that masked woman?!?!")

    In the end, the music spoke infinitely louder than any mere mortal words. Hope is a very warm blooded human being...a full-fledged artist in her own right...not some stupid flavor of the month "entertainer". You come to Hope on her own terms. No condescension. No freakin' monkey business. Hope gets right down to business and doesn't let up - until she's ready to bolt. She's as serious as a Momma bear whose cubs are threatened.

    (I seem to have enjoyed the show as much as anyone. But my experience was somehow apparently not quite what any of the other reviewers have reported. The comparison/contrast may be of some interest. I was perhaps a bit older than the average person in the crowd at 43. That may account for a fair amount of my own particular bent here. But like the others, I could not possibly hope to avoid mention of the tension. In the end though it was all part of the vivid memories I'm sure to retain. In the end it was what it needed to be...what it oughta be. It was what it was.)