March 1, 2018
The Loving Touch – Ferndale, MI
Reviewed by: Wade Panizzoli
After surviving a full day of school and driving through a snowstorm, a group of friends and I finally made it to the doors of the Loving Touch in Ferndale. Due to the responsibilities that we had: handing out flyers at the end of the show and reviewing the show, we thought were going to be the only ones in there as Michigan decided to drop a surprise 10 inches of snow in the metro-Detroit area. Shortly after the door time of 8 p.m., we were proven wrong, as handfuls of people started to file their way into the cozy venue. This 350-capacity room was full of conversation and interactions. Many people seemed to have gravitated toward Anna Burch before her 9 p.m. set time, as this would be her hometown show on tour with Ezra Furman.
Just two weeks after her record release show at the El Club, it appeared like many friends and family braved the storm for the songwriter. An hour later, the hometown hero took the stage to start the music for the evening.
Opening the set with a track that is near the end of her debut album, “Yeah You Know” brought lots of smiles on stage and in the crowd. Following the song, Burch was very apologetic to mention some sound & lighting difficulties to Alex, a new sound guy in the Michigan scene. Dimmed lights and equalized monitors lead into the darker and rocking track “Asking 4 A Friend.” Burch revealed that this song was her mother’s least favorite on the record due to its lyrical content. Song by song Burch serenaded the audience and surely converted any person watching and listening to a fan if the person wasn’t already. Burch’s 30-minute set was coming to an end, as she announced that she had only two songs left. Any fan could assume which two songs were left, and my friends and I were very excited to hear the chords of “What I Want” being played. As soon as the chorus hit, all my buddies turned to each other and started singing near the top of our lungs “I won’t play the victim, just because I can’t get what I want.” It was a sad moment when this three-minute song came to an end. Although it is a bummer that Anna Burch was about to play her last song, the smiles were brought back with the rocking “Tea-Soaked Letter.”
By this time, the crowd at the Loving Touch finally started to nod their heads to the beat of the music and get into it. Her set was composed of eight out of nine tracks that were on her debut record, Quit the Curse, which released in February of 2018.
The crowd was attracted to the front of the stage at the conclusion of Anna Burch’s set, as Ezra Furman was to take the stage in a short 30-minutes. Standing in the back and not knowing much about Ezra Furman’s group or music, I could tell that I was one of the only few who had the same stance. Ezra and the group, who marched from the back of the venue to the stage in their white tuxedos, confidently filled any open space on the stage and started to perform songs that were favorites of the audience. Anna Burch got the audience loose, and as soon as Ezra and his group started to perform they were quick to dance. Many sounds were produced from the group that included instruments from guitars to bass to xylophones to saxophones. It was simple to notice that the crowd was having the best of time on this snowy Thursday evening. Ezra Furman made their 75-minute set fly by while performing catchy tune after catchy tune.
The Loving Touch provided the amount of comfort needed on a snowy Thursday night. Being so comfortable and almost at home, the crowd was very resistant to leaving the venue so soon. A few street teamers for the Crofoot were motivators to the concert-goers as they were handing out flyers to upcoming events such as The Dears and Japanese Breakfast. Many folks were excited to look at the upcoming shows, giving them something to look forward to as the night all about Ezra Furman has come to an end.