Josh Ritter - “Harrisburg” - from the Live at The Iveagh Gardens DVD (by dougrice)

Great performance of one of my favorite Josh Ritter songs, with a little surprise in the middle.


Last month SoulPancake teamed up with Josh Ritter to create an amazing and heartfelt art installation. About 2,000 airplanes later and weeks of planning, this is the end result —- we all have our beasts, and we all want to release them. 

I have to keep my feelings for the Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band show last night short and sweet before I dissolve into an inarticulate mess, so here we go.

Firstly, what an incredible set. I never thought I’d get to hear ‘Bone of Song’ played live and it was a truly beautiful experience.

Secondly, from the instant Josh hit the stage you couldn’t help but return the huge smile that spread across his face. Him and the whole band love what they do so much, and it’s impossible not to get swept up in their enjoyment too.

Third, the red, roofless van from Luton. Nothing further.

Fourth, I hope he continues to make music for a really long time and still astounds people with his words and melodies and his general love for playing live music.

I hope everyone that saw/is going to see them on this tour had/has as amazing a time as I did.


Josh Ritter and The Royal City Band at Plush, 4.20.2013

Plush is no theater — and seeing the other venues Ritter has been playing on this tour, it’s a curious venue choice.

A glance at merch man Brian Stowell’s blog shows the band’s recent adventures in extravagant, lavish venues, more in line with the fit and finish of The Peabody Opera House or The Fox Theater. A gorgeous, foreboding “evil eye” backdrop hangs behind Ritter and his Royal City Band while they perform in these venues.

Stowell’s blog makes it clear that these places, and performances, have been beautiful.

Plush is not beautiful. It’s industrial and eclectic, occupying the first two floors of a rehabbed building in Midtown, St. Louis. Musicians perform in a space boxed in on three sides, under metallic light structures and drenched in LED colors. The view from the second floor is restrictive, with hanging speaker monitors obscuring performers. The interior is brick and concrete, with support pillars in the general admission floor space.

Still… Ritter’s never-ending smile seems to brighten any room, and as he took the stage on Saturday evening, the surroundings — the venue — ceased to matter. It was Ritter and the audience, sharing guitar strums and wolf howls.

Ritter and the Royal City Band didn’t look like they were trying to play a theater-worthy show, though they certainly did. They didn’t look like they were trying to be more rough-and-tumble, either. No, they looked like they were having the time of their lives creating music for an appreciative audience — which is always a beautiful thing.


Oh my god, this is how you do a song live. This is fucking fantastic.


On Saturday night, Terminal 5 was packed from the merch booth to the balconies for Josh Ritter’s second Manhattan performance of 2013, with late arrivals shit out of luck on vantage points and elbow room. With an awkward, humble introduction, Ritter dove into a solo acoustic rendition of “Idaho” before The Royal City Band slowly emerged on “Southern Pacifica.” Evocative drums and guitars coupled with Ritter’s pristine vocals and stellar songwriting roused the crowd from their relative slumber.

As iPhone cameras flashed and overpriced domestic beer spilled from careless grips, Ritter’s post-divorce guarded optimism came “out of the dark clouds” on “Hopeful,” the evening’s first selection from The Beast In Its Tracks. “New Lover,” perhaps the strongest song on the new album, captured the romantic’s heart of darkness with a closing stanza that supersedes well wishes and hopes that the old flame is lonely and full of regret.

“I hope you got a lover now, hope you got somebody who / Can give you what you need like I couldn’t seem to do / But if you’re sad and you are lonesome and you got nobody true / I’d be lying if I said that didn’t make me happy too,” he crooned through a bittersweet grin.

Continued at


We couldn’t be more excited about having Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band perform at the Theatre tomorrow night!  It’s going to be more fun than watching him play his songs in the back of Rainn Wilson’s van, with Rainn on drums!  Get your tickets now!


A lovely video by Liam Hurley to Josh Ritter’s The Curse. 


Josh Ritter - Pale Blue Eyes (velvet underground cover)


The Royal Flash - Revolution

Great band from my city. The Royal Flash gave us a great concert last Thursday. Have a look to all the pictures here

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