Concert Review: The Hard Lessons

This was published by Spartanedge on Feburary 21, 2011.

Concert Review: The Hard Lessons

By Nicole LaChance

Just after midnight at Macs Bar in Lansing, anticipation was brimming. In the middle of February, the packed venue felt like the beginning of July, which was not helped by people moving closer and closer together to get near the stage. After sitting through three opening bands, the crowd was ready for the main event: The Hard Lessons. And boy did they deliver.

The band is known for their heavy rock performances and innovative sound. Their song “Wedding Ring” was featured on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

The Hard Lessons literally needed no introduction for their Feb. 19 show at the venue. People started cheering during the first notes of “Love Gone Cold,” the night’s opener. They continued uninterrupted through five more songs before taking a break to introduce the band.

The variety of music The Hard Lessons played was impressive. With songs ranging from old (“Milk and Sugar”, which was the first Hard Lessons song ever written) to new (singles from their 2009 album “Arms Forest”), there was something at the show for every fan. They even pulled out a fan favorite cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My”, which singer/guitarist Augie Visocchi said, “Felt like their own.”  They closed the night by going into the audience and playing “I Can’t Sleep” while surrounded by fans.

The night was a bittersweet one for The Hard Lessons. It was a part of a set of four last electric shows before the band goes on a hiatus to prepare for, as Visocchi said, “baby V.” In light of this, there was a lot of reminiscing about Visocchi and singer/keyboardist Koko Louise (Visocchi)’s days at MSU and their residence as house band at Macs from 2004-2006. An especially enjoyable moment was when Korin joked about Augie using his Sparty Cash while writing a song in the MSU library.

All in all, it was a great show from a band that rarely disappoints live. If you missed the Macs show, it is not too late to catch the band before it goes on hiatus. The Hard Lessons will be playing The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on Feb. 26 and Gates of Columbus Hall in Hamtramck on March 4, part of the Metro Times Blowout.

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