Josh Ritter-Webster Hall

It's always scary when the venue is located on the second floor of an old theater, and that venue is sold out. When the sounds of Josh Ritter and crew sprung forth from the gigantic side speakers that are usually reserved for Booty Dancing on Tuesday Night, the joint was literaly jumping. The sold out crowd bounded up and down, and the floor reacted with a trampoline effect. Even if you were standing still, you would have still been bouncing. This reaction is partly due to the upbeat tempo of the new album, The Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter .

When you listen to the album at home (if you can get past the ego of the album's title) you notice straight away that Josh has found how to use the eighth note. About 2/3 of the album is full of pounding eighth notes on both the piano and percussion. At times during the album, this can be a little much, and gets to be rather noisey. HOWEVER, after seening this show on friday, it was clear that these songs were orchestrated with the intension of playing them infront of a crowd. The pounding rythmns drive into your feet, and keep you taping along with the well written lyrics coming from the microphone.

The other factor that plays part in the incredible bousterous crowd, was the fact that the band was so together that night. From their enthusiastic entrance, to their esoteric apperances (he bassman had a waxed mustache! no joke!), these boys were ready to play. Aparrently all ego has been pushed aside as Josh lovingly shared the stage with all of his mates. At the end, the quintet shared a bow together, where it's frontman seemed to be meerly a vessel for which the music emerges from.

There's a line from one of his songs, " I'm singing for the love of it—have mercy on the man who sings to be adored" and this was no more true than on Friday. The show was fun from the boping honky tonk songs, to the focused ballads. And aside from the fear that the floor caving in, for almost two hours there were no worries.