Lucid Culture


Ian Hunter Wails in Hoboken

Ian Hunter is an inspiration: at 72, he’s at the peak of his career, as his careening show at the Hoboken Arts & Music Festival last night reaffirmed. With an excellent band including Mark Bosch on lead guitar, James Mastro on rhythm guitar, a second keyboardist supplying rippling organ and incisive piano, and a rhythm section, Hunter stomped with a nonchalant intensity through songs from the glam era up to the present. The old stuff was represented by Angeline, which has aged well; the woozy All the Way to Memphis, which hasn’t; and of course the requisite All the Young Dudes which at this point is on autopilot and needs to be retired. The more recent material, unsurprisingly, was the best. Mastro grinned and played purist, straight-up rhythm throughout the show, switching to mandolin on a couple of songs, Bosch firing off noisy, shattered blues when it came time for solos. Hunter began on piano: a singalong of Cleveland Rocks appeared early on, along with a noisy version of Life After Death that alternated anguished guitar screams with stillness.

Hunter switched to acoustic guitar early on; they hit a pretty indifferent riff-rock vibe mid-set but regrouped with the best song of the night, a rough, rampaging version of the towering gutter anthem Man Overboard, title track to his excellent 2009 album. They followed that with a slightly less pessimistic, incisively roaring 23A Swan Hill, another cynical, regret-tinged disollution anthem. Maybe it was because they did everything generously and expansively, with plenty of room for intros, outros and solos, but when they closed down the set with a pounding cover of Sweet Jane at close to half past five, it seemed like a short set. Or maybe that’s because Hunter’s catalog is so deep that there’s no way he’d be able to get to all the gems in a single concert. He’s got several dates lined up at City Winery in September for those who need to see more – and by the crowd’s reaction, those shows will probably sell out.


May 2, 2011 - Posted by | concert, Live Events, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. one of the greatest singer songwriters ever should be in the rock and roll hall of fame,i have seen him hundreds of times and he gets better,saw him last year at the stables in england he had his band plus a four piece mini orchestra he was awesome

    Comment by paul stirk | May 3, 2011 | Reply

  2. I was at the show right up front on the right hand side. Although I enjoyed the show Ian is nowhere as good as when he was younger which is to be expected. I’ve been going to see him since the 70’s and to say he is at the peak of his career is way over the top. Even his band which played well are nowhere as good as his 80’s band with Mick Ronson. That being said it was good to see him and I will probably check him out at City Winery.

    Comment by jjazznj | May 4, 2011 | Reply

  3. Always wanted to see Hunter with Ronson. Never did. Much as Ronson is irreplaceable, I think Hunter’s songwriting is better now than it was back in the 80s. Also wished I’d seen the Baseball Project, who played right before IH – everyone I know who was there said they were amazing.

    Comment by the boss here | May 4, 2011 | Reply


    IAN HUNTER 1 DVD HOBOKEN ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL 5/1/11 70 minutes, pro fan shot, crystal, tripod shot, GREAT GREAT CLOSE UPS …DOESNT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS..DAYTIME / OUTDOOR SHOW / SMALL STAGE…. TRACK INFO all the way to memphis, is there life after death?, cleveland rocks, dancing on the moon, somewhere (west side story), arms & legs, flowers, wash us away, FULL SONG MEDLEY man overboard > swan hill > angeline>sweet jane.. ENCORES once bitten, twice shy, saturday gigs, all the young dudes

    Comment by BRUCE REMY | May 21, 2011 | Reply


      Comment by waywardbh | December 27, 2011 | Reply

  5. Damn, I should have stayed for the encores. It’s a big file – maybe you can dropbox it? or just put it up on youtube so everyone can see this killer show…

    Comment by the boss here | May 22, 2011 | Reply

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