Music Reviews — 03 July 2013
Taproot at The Studio at Webster Hall: A Concert Review

Taproot Performs “Gift”
The Studio at Webster Hall, New York, NY
July 2, 2013

Concert Review: Taproot at The Studio at Webster Hall

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Performing an album in its entirety from start to finish has become a bit of a pattern for musicians in recent years, as acts like Metallica, Coheed & Cambria, and even Bruce Springsteen have embraced the novelty of the concept. Turn of the century rockers Taproot have historically been road dogs, traversing the country as a part of various festivals, runs as a support act, and even as headliners. On their current tour, the Ann Arbor Michigan band is taking top billing to slay their die-hard fans by performing their debut album “Gift” in its entirety. And on Tuesday night, New York City’s Studio at Webster Hall would be on the band’s hit list for a fan friendly rock show.

Like any true rock concert, things kicked off later on in the evening with lead singer Stephen Richards and the Taproot crew hitting the stage at 9:45pm. Unlike other concerts at this very intimate venue, the band actually walked on the stage from the audience, immediately immersing the crowd into the performance with them. And with little banter, Richards launched into “Smile,” the album’s opening track. The frontman’s passion could be felt from the first note played, evidenced by his initial over the top arm gyrations that appear planned but clearly weren’t as he was reacting to the sounds emanating from his bandmates. From this point on, it was an all out rock n’ roll party. The moshpit opened wide as the band ripped into “Again & Again,” one of the group’s first major hits. As fans threw each other around in the pit, they missed nary a word as they sang alongside Richards. “Emotional Times,” “Now” and “1 Nite Stand” were quick to follow, showing off the band’s plethora of dynamic and catchy tracks.

While there was a bevy of intensity at the show coming from both the stage and the fans on the standing room only floor, that didn’t prevent a few funny audience interactions with the Taproot lead singer, who at one point spotted a young fan shooting video of the show with her iPhone. In a humorous turn, Richards took her phone and started shooting the show himself giving her a killer souvenir. Soon after, he grabbed a New York Rangers hat straight from another fan’s head and placed it on his own, garnering a gigantic cheer from the faithful.

As the hours rolled on at a rapid pace, Taproot covered every nuance of their debut album with laser precision. “Dragged Down” and “Comeback” were absolute face-melters. Once the final cut from “Gift” had been played to its last chord, it was time to for the band to give the fans one final present (okay, gift). As a perfect closer, the band launched into a head-throttling version of “Poem,” the hit single from their second album “Welcome” and perhaps Taproot’s best known rock anthem. The crowd and yours truly welcomed this with open arms, already anticipating the band’s return to the Big Apple.

- Jay Rubin

Taproot Performs, “Gift” – The Studio at Webster Hall, Manhattan
July 2nd, 2013

1. Smile
2. Again & Again
3. Emotional Times
4. Now
5. 1 Nite Stand
6. Believed
7. Mentobe

8. I
9. Mirror’s Reflection
10. Dragged Down
11. Comeback
12. Impact
13. Day By Day
14. Poem

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