St. Louis, Mo. – Ready Room
December 11 2018
by Shelby Foley
“So let’s raise a toast, my friends – to new beginnings,” sings the Brooklyn-based crooner, John Brodeur. The words could not come at a better time, as Brodeur, a.k.a. Bird Streets, hits the road with fellow musicians Lisa Bianco on guitar, Mark Connor on bass, and Tim Kuhl on drums.
The group has been touring for a couple of days now, having made their first stop in Albany, N.Y., and playing here in St. Louis on Tuesday evening. Bird Streets, the alias of singer songwriter Brodeur, is also the album’s name. Brodeur chuckles as he explains this to the crowd at The Ready Room, a small local venue in the heart of the city. With a smile and a strum of his guitar, Bird Streets begins their set on a cold evening in St. Louis.
Brodeur opens with “Until the Crown,” an upbeat tune that almost requires the tapping and bobbing of the head. The music swells and transitions into the wistful and melancholy “Thanks for Calling,” with Brodeur lamenting, “Thanks for calling, I would of been better off never knowing.” He finishes the first three songs with “Bullets,” a grungy blend of guitar and synth with an irresistible groove.
The new album focuses on themes of self exploration, surrender, and conflict. Broduer transitions into the simple yet contemplative “Heal,” which plays heavily on these themes as he questions how he is supposed to heal, his question hanging in the air of the hazy and dimly lit venue. He leaves it suspended as he plays the opening chords to his most popular song on Spotify, “Betting on the Sun.” The song is a dreamy sun-drenched tune that has a lyric video to match, as scenes of summer activities filmed on an old camera play.
Bird Streets begins their last third of their set with the catchy yet somewhat dark “Carry Me.” The lyrics are nearly hidden by the cheerful melody, with Brodeur crooning, “I’m in a crashing car, I’m turning over” and “I hear the soldiers marching slowly down the road, coming for to carry me home.” The audience doesn’t seem to mind though, as they sway back and forth. With a pause for commentary, Brodeur leads the band into the captivating pop-punk tune, “Direction.” The song has a sense of familiarity, even for first time listeners, with an accompanying music video, garnering over 5,000 views with its beautiful black and white imagery. Bird Streets ends their set with “Stop to Breathe,” a slow and beautiful serenade. Witnessing the song in action, one gets a full sense of Brodeur’s deep introspection when making the album, as he sings, “Well I’m not gonna fall for the same old tricks you try to play on me.” His voice expresses this warning, matched perfectly by the accompanying musicians playing alongside him.
The set is filled with moments of contemplation and jubilation; contemplation, both by Brodeur as he sings, and by the audience as they listen to his words in songs like “Carry Me,” “Stop to Breathe,” and “Thanks for Calling” and jubilation with the upbeat and catchy melodies of songs like “Until the Crown,” and “Betting on the Sun.”
On a cold Tuesday evening at the Ready Room, Bird Streets showed St. Louis the perfect blend of personal reflection, cheerful expression, and most importantly, great music.
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