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  • Rich Kassirer

Concert Review: Anais Mitchell's epic 'Hadestown' at Passim

Anais Mitchell's Hadestown at Club Passim.
Anais Mitchell's Hadestown at Club Passim. Photo by Matt Smith

Just waking up after a great night of music at Club Passim in Cambridge. Anais Mitchell recently released the concept album “Hadestown,” a modern, folk opera take on the Greek myth Orpheus. Last night she brought it to life on the small and very crowded stage at Passim. To try to describe the full background of her folk opera Hadestown would take way too long here, and it has already been told in great detail in Joan Anderman’s recent Globe feature, which you can read HERE.

On the album, the various characters of the story are performed by the likes of Greg Brown and Ani DiFranco, among others, which is wonderful. But for the live show at Passim, Anais brought together some of the finest Boston-area musicians, and as usual these guys not only performed beautifully, they obviously enjoyed the challenge and reveled in each other’s voices. When they weren’t singing, they were swaying, eyes closed and applauding each other.

The roster included (and I’m praying I don’t leave anyone out) Tim Gearan, Peter Mulvey, Kris Delmhorst, Dinty Child, Rose Polenzani, Anne Heaton and Melissa Myers. Five of them sat around a table in front of the stage, each taking on a character, while Anais led the group through the album, start to finish. The group was backed by the Michael Chorney sextet, a jazzy group that supplied both beautiful soundscapes and kickin’ tempos when needed. I’m hoping someone will post a video soon because words just don’t do justice to the amazing community feel and soaring harmonies coming from the stage.

Because of the configuration of extended stage, I ended up first row, front and center. While this was a great spot to see the performers’ expressions, it made it impossible to break out my camera. So I have attached a photo that Passim sound guy Matt Smith took. Hopefully, someone else will post more pics soon.

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