Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’
Posted by xneverwherex on November 4, 2011
20 years ago, Matthew Sweet came out with one of the best albums ever Girlfriend. Its quite hard to believe that it was so long ago. But, it was surely worth the wait to see the album played in its entirety. Matthew Sweet, albeit a bit bigger, sounded as great as he did all those years ago. I had only seen him once previously, for the 100% Fun tour, and wasn’t sure what I’d get this many years later. One thing I can say with certainty – I’m so glad I decided to check out this show.
Due to a 2nd show later that night, the opener was (thankfully) cut short and soon enough Matthew Sweet was appearing. He seemed more than comfortable on the stage at City Winery now going on his 3rd night. He was chatty and said how energetic the crowd was. For a seated show, it was great to see people getting up and and cheering and a lot of fist pumping. The fans were just beyond excited to be there.
Ive always been a huge fan of power pop bands and the guitars were sounding great. From the opening chords of ‘Divine Intervention’ the band gave it everything they got. Some of the songs were filled with so much guitar and it seemed like they really went off on the guitar solos. It was brilliantly awesome.
Matthew walked us through the album – Side 1 (on vinyl/cassette whatever you had) clearly had the punch of the album. All the singles were in the beginning. Its insane when the album goes from ‘Divine Intervention’ to ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ and then ‘Girlfriend’. I mean, what more can anyone want. As side 1 seemed to disappear quickly, soon he was telling us about the deep cuts of side 2. And there are some gems on that side. ‘I Wanted To Tell You’ is pretty amazing! The great thing about this was the album is 15 songs. For that time anything about 12 or so was considered too much. So the last 3 songs were meant to be the hidden tracks – so if you kept your record (or cd) running long enough they just kind of appeared. Or on cassette they were just there. Most of us didnt even know they were hidden, so now theyre just considered part of the album. Great VH1 pop up info.
As the show was coming to an end, he told us he’d be playing a song off of 100% Fun. Its hard to imagine a show without ‘Sick of Myself’. The guitars were so loud and full on that song. Easily one of my favorite songs and everyone sang along. It was so great to have a full album of ‘Girlfriend’ and then ‘Sick of Myself’. I couldnt have asked for a better show (maybe longer). He did manage to even put in an encore and included a song from ‘Altered Beast’, the more popular ‘Time Capsule’. I wished he had time for more, but another show had to go on!
The openers from Atlanta. Oy! The Shadowboxers were one of the most
boring cliche/light FM album rock bands I had ever seen live. It was verging on being painful and the only thing that made it relatively ok was that it was short. They were just so forgettable that its about all I can even say.
If youre old enough to remember this album, and loved it then, do yourself a favor and be sure to see him if he’s not already come to your town. He is so worth the money and the album is so amazing to hear performed live. Will easily be one of the best shows that I saw of 2011. And for those wondering, no Richard Lloyd (Television) is not currently playing with him.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 11/2/11, 1991, 20th anniversary, alternative, City Winery, concert, Girlfriend, guitars, indie, live, Live Music, Matthew Sweet, NYC, powerpop | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 7, 2011
Weekend apparently is one of the new buzz-worthy/blog-worthy bands. It was hard to figure out if everyone there was seeing them because they loved the band – or if it was just the new band to check out. It was packed by the time they hit the stage. A friend commented – they had a review on their new album in Sports Illustrated. With their album titled – Sports – it indeed got a review – and a good one at that.
I commented to my friends – I know they should be loud – but really its only 3 guys. Well those 3 guys from San Francisco proved that they could be beyond loud. The lead singer/bassist had really great vocals that worked well with the loudness of the bass. At times the vocals seemed almost muted but it was very apparent that the vocals had their own place. The guitarist never seemed to be able to stay still and was moving non-stop – getting more and more into each song. He’d be kneeling on the stage and playing his heart out – in between sips of water. The drummer is equally loud and keeps the band moving at a great pace.
Their post-punk influences are easy to be seen. At times feeling like they could be Joy Division – dark but not nearly as gloomy. And the heavy guitars are oh so reminiscent of Jesus & Mary Chain. While their album material is great – the crowd seemed very into their newer songs that they had just written. As they introduced their song ‘Little Girls’ they cheekily noted – no its not for the band its the name of the song. It was a great solid set and their 40 minutes seemed to fly by.
Openers Little Girls from Toronto were interesting. They mentioned casually about them having to use Weekend’s gear and something to do with visas. That they probably would rather not have mentioned. We’ll leave it at that. While some of their songs were really great and had a dance-edge/pop sound – musically it was like they hadnt yet figured out what direction they were heading. So you never knew quite what you were going to get. The guitarist seemed to be having consistent problems with the sound/feedback and just couldnt seem to get on with it. After nearly every song it seemed there was a new problem.
Perhaps theres a bit of potential in them, but at this point, Im not sure I can totally see it.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 4/7/11, concert, indie, Little Girls, Live Music, Mercury Lounge, NYC, post-punk, rock, San Francisco, Sports, Toronto, Weekend | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on April 4, 2011
Madison Square Garden
The night had finally arrived and it was finally time to say goodbye to LCD Soundsystem. It was a bittersweet farewell and the band couldnt have gone out any better.
With hopes of Daft Punk coming out, we would be surprised with another band. LCD greeted us with some other Northerners instead for “North American Scum”. How fitting that it was The Arcade Fire. Win, Will, Regine and Jeremy came out and helped LCD sing the song. It was truely awesome watching the band excitedly sing along and jump with enthusiasm.
The band treated us to a 3.5 hour set that was reminiscent of the shows at Terminal 5. It was broken out into 3 sets with the first and second set being almost identical to the others. It was great to begin the show with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ which brought the floor to a frenzy. Watching from above, as the first note came on the crowd went into overdrive. Everyone was there to have a great time and presumably dance themselves clean.
James is an awesome frontman and took the crowd through an awesome first set. There wasnt much banter as he went from ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ right into ‘Drunk Girls’. The set continued at a frenzied pace and included ‘Daft Punk Is Playing At My House’, ‘Time To Get Away’, ‘Too Much Love’ and of course, the natural show closer (which it is not) ‘All my Friends’. What was more surprising is that ‘All My Friends’ wasnt even the last song of the first set. It makes for a beautiful closing song.
All of a sudden an hour was gone, and it was that much closer to the end. 45:33 brought out Reggie Watts and a great brass section that sounded amazing. ‘Freak Out/Starry Eyes’ sounded really great and everyone was dancing up a storm during that song. It seemed that for parts of the other it was a little more subdued, but it was definitely needed before the third part came in.
The set would soon be closing – but LCD packed in as much as they could. They played one song (I believe it was Bye Bye Bayou) for the first time. My friend was beyond excited, but I could have sworn he said it was something else. Arcade Fire (as previously mentioned) showed up on ‘North American Scum’ and we got a very loud ‘Us vs Them’. Crowd favorite ‘Yeah’ had everyone singing and dancing.
It was great to see LCD bring out their first guitarist who played on a few a songs. The drummer looked oh so comfortable in his shorts and considering how hot and sweaty it was, he was very prepared. James Murphy started a countdown of the last few songs. Much like New Years Eve, it was never meant to be sad, it was just meant to be a huge dance party. And soon it was only fitting that they would play ‘New York, I Love You But Youre Bringing Me Down’ for one last time.
Who knows if we’ll get a reunion in 3-4 years, but this couldnt have ended better. My only gripe was the ticket fiasco – it was great people got tix at the door for face and on the floor. For those of us who managed to get any early, the angles were quite bad and it was hard to see at points with the rig for the lights. It seemed we were barely acknowledged till the end. Regardless, I had one hell of a time. It was great to see that most the crowd abided with James’ request for the black/white dress code. Boo to those of you in the front floor with a RED shirt on. It just screamed for attention.
“Dance Yrself Clean”
“I Can Change
“Time to Get Away”
“Daft Punk Is Playing At My House”
“Too Much Love”
“All My Friends”
45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two (ft. Reggie Watts)
“Sound of Silver”
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five (ft. Shit Robot)
45:33 Part Six
“Freak Out/Starry Eyes”
“Us V. Them”
“North American Scum” (w/ Régine Chassagne, Win Butler, Will Butler & Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire)
“Bye Bye Bayou” (Alan Vega cover)
“You Wanted A Hit”
“Losing My Edge”
“All I Want”
“Jump Into The Fire” (Harry Nilsson cover)
“New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 4/2/11, Arcade Fire, Brooklyn, concert, electro-dance, electronic, indie, James Murphy, last show, LCD Soundsystem, LCDSS, Liquid Liquid, Live Music, Madison Square Garden, MSG | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on March 30, 2011
After that last post – it made me want to remember some of the greatest moments Ive had with LCD Soundsystem. Its hard to pick a greatest show (of any band), and the greatest memories can be harder. But without a doubt here are some of the best.
Chicago – Lollapalooza – August 2007
Indeed – Daft Punk was playing at my house. If my house is Grant Park and Im living in Chicago. For those couple of hours life was unreal. LCD Soundsystem played one hell of a set with staples like ‘All My Friends’ but at the moment that they played ‘Daft Punk…’ it was nearly surreal. My friend and I were jumping around like no tomorrow. Moments later Daft Punk was playing on the stage next to them and that was a dance party like I had never seen before. Will anything ever be that great in my concert-going history. As far as a duo – unless Daft Punk shows up on Saturday night – Im not sure anything will surpass that moment. Even still – a festival in Chicago – a gorgeous night – two awesome bands playing back-to-back. Unforgettable.
Baltimore – Virgin Freefest – Sept 2010
Going to a festival that is free is awesome regardless. LCD Soundsystem headlining that same festival is even more awesome. It was a packed house that night, but somehow friends and I made it to the front of the stage. It was a dance party up there and ‘Yeah’ was a highlight. Everyone was friends for an hour or so dancing along and singing along. It was great! The band had seemed so happy to be playing that night. It was hard to imagine not long after theyd announce that they were calling it quits.
Webster Hall w/Yacht – May 2007
If I recall dates correctly, this was my first time finally having the chance to see them. I remember showing up with a group of friends and being close enough to the stage. While I dont remember most of the set itself, I do remember it being a dance party. Everyone was dancing up a storm and it was prior to Webster Hall renovating. The floor moved and it felt like it would crash at any moment. It was so enjoyable and the band was so fun. It really didnt matter what they played.
It turns out it was also the guitarists last night playing with the band. Interestingly enough – I can say I saw that twice. One with the band before he left – and the last time the band ever will play together (until the reunion shows start out).
This setlist was quite good as well:
US v Them, Draft Punk, Time To Get Away, NA Scum, All My Friends, Get Innocuous, Tribulations, What The Tapes, Movement, Yeah…Someone Great, NY I Love You
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 'Columbia, 2007, 2010, concert, electro-dance, indie, James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem, LCD SS, Live Music, live shows, Lollapalooza, Maryland, MD', Virgin Freefest, Webster Hall | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on February 8, 2011
The Hundred in the Hands
Friendly Fires has once again crossed the pond to bring the dance party to New York. Their shows are always a good time and its one of the new shows that can get nearly an entire place to move. A lot of the audience in the front tried out their new best dance moves. Im not sure it works in a sold-out venue, but its hard not to move.
Their setlist was still largely based on their first album with a spattering of new songs in between. One of the changes with their new material is it doesnt have that same catchiness upon first hearing as something like ‘Paris’ or ‘Jump In The Pool’. At times a song or two reminded me of ‘Odessa’ from Caribou with the same beats and other instruments brought into the music. It still has a dance-y feel, but it almost feels like youre transported into a jungle. Perhaps it happened when they played with a Brasilian samba school as you now get the samba and calypso vibe.
Needless to say, it seems the new tunes might take some getting used to and lots of play. Ed perfected his dance moves which is now even more undulations, gyrations and is starting to look more stripper-esque. There is no denying he can work those hips, and those slow moves had the girls in front swooning. But he still is amazing to watch – esp when he gets really into it and he just starts working the stage. Ending with an extended version of ‘Kiss of Life’ that just kept Ed going and going was a great way to end the set.
I do miss some of the songs that hopefully have not yet been retired. Sad to no longer hear ‘Strobe’ and ‘In The Hospital’, but hopefully the new songs catch on.
The Hundred in the Hands were a nice surprise. Their music is really great live. With a catchy retro 80′s feel (think Pat Benatar/Belinda Carlisle), this Brooklyn duo has made the 80′s seem relevant. Electro-dance-pop at its finest, by the time you add some guitars and keyboards it will be hard to not be tapping your foot, shaking your head. They were the perfect opener for Friendly Fires getting the crowd warmed up (too bad most the crowd didnt seem to appreciate them)
Friendly Fires Set List:
Jump in the Pool
Pull Me Back To Earth
Show Me Lights
Kiss of Life
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 2/7/11, 80's, Bowery Ballroom, Brooklyn, concert, dance, Ed McFarlane, electro-dance, electronic, Friendly Fires, indie, Live Music, NYC, The Hundred in the Hands, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on January 31, 2011
January 21, 2010
DC’s beloved band, the Dismemberment Plan (commonly called “The Plan”) played to an overly enthusiastic crowd on a Friday night. I had only seem them once before – at one of their last shows at the Black Cat in 2003. Now maybe age has gotten to me, or Im totally cynical or the crowd sucked – but my friend and I ended up leaving early.
Firstly – I dont understand when it became cool to grope chicks you dont know at a show. Drunk or not – it was obnoxious.
Second – while the Black Cat was crowded there was plenty of room that you didnt really have to get behind me and literally push your groin into my ass. Again – youre not my boyfriend so get the f*** off of me.
Now honestly – all these drunks guys on me prob didnt help. I shoved one guy – who asked me why I hipchecked him. Ummmm — yeah you keep pushing into me over and over and theres plenty of room all around us – so not cool. I dont know how much dancing space one needs at a D-Plan show, but seriously – bumping into me over and over. so not cool.
Other than that – I didnt remember their music being _sooooooooooooooooo_ happy. I felt like I was at a NKOTB show with all the dances that felt like they were choreographed. The hands in the hair, the pseudo-rap stuff. Oh man. A friend (who didnt know who they were) said he thought he was at a Barenaked Ladies show. I thought they had some sorta edge to them, but if there was any it wasnt at the Black Cat.
To be fair – maybe it got better later on – I left at 12:30 after realizing I was tired of the grope sessions.
Im tempted to sell my ticket at Webster Hall (which I didnt end up doing), but I seriously cant imagine a NYC crowd doing all these dance moves and it being the same. Maybe I thought it was fun years ago, and Im prob a jaded cynical hipster or something – but I just didnt get it.
The opener, Tereu Tereu, was really great – I liked them a lot. and the 2nd band, Bluebrain, was pretty cool – until it turned into a DJ set. I did love all the horns in the beginning tho.
Posted in DC, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 1/21/10, Black Cat, Bluebrain, concert, D-Plan, DC, Dismemberment Plan, indie, Live Music, Tereu Tereu, The Plan, Washington DC | 3 Comments »
Posted by xneverwherex on September 25, 2009
So by now, you’d think Id have seen it all. I go to enough concerts to make up for most of us, and I love my set lists. Perhaps next job is to scan them all or take pics of them all. One thing at a time.
So anyway, last night I ventured on down to the Mercury Lounge to catch the Rifles. I have to say that the crowd was pretty cool and I ended up knowing more than a few people there. And for those I didnt know, I somehow met most the people in the front area.
Met this cool couple from Brussels (the place to go, btw, not Amsterdam) who told me about seeing bands in Brussels and how I must visit. They also told me they had seen The Rifles a ton of times, and this would be awesome. Then met some other huge Rifles fans and other people I knew showed up. It was like a small little party.
The Rifles put on a great show. They have a lot of energy and the crowd definitely feeds off of it. Everyone was jumping around, pumping their fists in the air and singing along. The lead singer just loved it, and I think half the crowd either came from England or were from there to see them. And I really appreciated the football chants too. We dont get enough of that here in the states.
The only main problem seemed their vocals were set too low so the lead singer was hard to hear. Then again with the loud powering guitars Im not sure it mattered that much. I just love “The Great Escape’ and it sounded amazing live. Its still hard to listen to them and not have your foot tapping along or your head bobbing along. It really is music that you just wanna scream out and sing along.
So — rules for setlists? I know youve been waiting to hear my newest gripe So I was talking to their roadie and asked for the drummer setlist and this woman next to me starts going off on me. I was so perplexed thinking wtf did I do. Rule #1 – if you come from England to see a band you ARE ENTITLED TO THE F’ING SETLIST! I mean what about the folks from Brussels. Hell they traveled farther than her. I had never heard of such lunacy. But oh it gets better. So I asked to take a picture of the setlist – a pretty mundane request. Instead of a simple yes, she says she would scan the setlist and email it to me. Seriously! all this for a setlist I asked for!
Well there is no way I was going to let this get to me, and so I met up with friends at the bar. Good times, but all these people wanted to hang onto the guys in The Rifles. That is so not my scene. So I ended up meeting up with a friend at Arlene’s Grocery.
So, I didnt know anything about the next band save for a few facts. First, the band Apefight has members from other bands - Radio 4 and Elefant. Secondly, he told me remember this is kind of a joke band and its total ‘cock-rock’. Honestly, I wasnt sure what to think, but thought this should be either a train wreck (that I HAD to see), or it would be the awesomest thing Id ever seen.
Lets just say FIGHT THE FIGHT! Im so on board with Apefight its not even funny. So the music is hysterical. Its so sexual in a way a 13-year old would write it, and their songs are ridiculous. I think one song is about bongs and beer, another one about drink enough beer youll get laid, or something to that effect.
The cool part is its clear the guys are loving it. They have too much fun and its hard not to laugh at it (even when youre one of 3 women in the place). They come out in white robes (ala The Polyphonic Spree) and masks. The lead singer yells at the crowd about clapping (or rather not clapping), saying stuff like “Are we not cool enough to be Art Brut?” – hahaha – and he just yells about everything. When the video screen went down, he yelled at the guys for not helping the chick manning the projector to put it back up.
And then to top it off, a friend described it as reverse karaoke. Basically we’re seeing the lyrics to the songs and the pictures that go with it, as the band sings it. Trust me DONT sing along. This is their show and its all for them. We’re just observing it, being idiots?? Im not entirely sure. Regardless it was awesome!
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music | Tagged: Apefight, Arlene's Grocery, britpop, concert, Elefant, indie, Live Music, Mercury Lounge, NYC, Radio 4, The Rifles | 1 Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on May 9, 2009
Seriously – the two have nothing to do with each other. But I read a blog this morning – about a guy whose mother died when he was 18 from cancer – and how hes running for a cure. And I thought to myself – I should really run (for myself, not for any cure just yet). Actually, must go back a step – I will start out with walking leading up to a run.
For anyone who knows my bout with running last year – it ended up with me seeing a doctor who specializes in problems that arise from running and other sports. It also turned out he was one of the team doctors for the New York Islanders. I couldnt even make up stuff like this. And there were pics of all these Isles players on his wall – and also Nets (he was the current team doctor for the NJ Nets).
5/8/09 @ Webster Hall w/Drop the Lime and No Bra
So now – lets jump to real good stuff. Last night was the show of shows. It ended with Spooner saying something to the fact of “You will never witness a live show like this. It is the show upon shows”. Words cannot do justice to what I witnessed. So until the pictures are posted, imagination is a necessity.
It starts out with a bunch of silvery walls placed on the stage. You could easily tell mirrors were on the flip-side. And there were silvery costumes everywhere – tutus, etc. And the DJ set is on the left hand side of the stage – with 2 guys (one being Fischer) getting the music going – and its pumping, the beats throbbing through your body, that its impossible to not start moving to the music. And then Spooner comes out – with this glorious pseudo space time warped hat on that seems to have its own halo. Who knows who created it, but its out there – its spacey, its bizarre. And thus begins this show.
And then the dancers come out – in costumes that have so much silver and black and what happens is just bizarre. The dancing is something else – the way their bodies move and undulate on the stage, their legs moving around in all sorts of shapes – its unreal.
Amidst the dancing, the use of mirrors and Spooner singing and talking to us about fireside chats, there is a concert in there. And the concert is fabulous – its an art lovers orgasm as it combines something for all the senses. Great fashion, the minimalist sets, aural beats and the crowd moving together dancing as one. Its a mind-fuck to say the least.
Maybe Erasure and the Pet Shop Boys started it in the 80s, but electro-clash/art-rock certainly is not the same with Fischerspooner on the scene. Its worth checking them out, if only because I guarantee you will _never_ see anything like this in your life. As Spooner said ‘Guess who is here tonight?? … Tom Cruise’. Amongst all the gay boys in the crowd, that would have been something else.
Oh – and “Cloud” performed live – with no use of dancers and just Spooner singing it – simply f’ing gorgeous. He looked like this amazing shimmery goldish thing from an outer-world place.
Now this is one concert worth talking about. If you missed it, be sure it never happens again. Words cannot do justice.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music | Tagged: 5/8/09, art, art-rock, concert, electro-clash, fashion, Fischerspooner, indie, Live Music, music, NYC, Webster Hall | 1 Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on October 17, 2007
I don’t think its possible to see a Hot Hot Heat show without dancing. And this show was no different than any other show. Steve and company put on a great show that had everyone bouncing and jumping and dancing. He even made the comment that he could feel the stage shaking. And that is exactly how it felt on the dance floor – a stage that might eventually collapse to the other floor. Its kinda like an earthquake – and definitely not a feeling that you can get comfortable with.
Their set comprised of a good mix of songs off of all their albums. The unique thing about their set was above the stage were lightbulbs hanging all over the stage area. As the band would play the different lights would flicker on and off and throughout different songs Steve would lightly tap them and send them flying through the air. Steve also has amazing stage presence, as he’d work the room, bending down in front of people as if he were singing to them. He used the stage to his advantage – and it worked!
Crowd pleasers definitely included the likes of ‘Bandages’ (so messed that up when I wrote Damages – not sure where my brain was) and ‘Goodnight, Goodnight’. As always the band did not disappoint.
The openers for the set included Nashville’s De Novo Dahl. I had heard such great things about them, but wasnt blown away by them. The lead singer had a unique voice and they had a little bit of a country-ish twang to them. Not necessarily a bad thing, but their music wasnt quite as dancy as I had been told.
The other band was another band from Canada – Bedouin Soundclash. They had a unique sound and it was a mix of indie rock mixed with reggae beats to it. It seemed to work well – and their music was good – but nothing memorable, unfortunately.
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music | Tagged: , Bedouin Soundclash, concerts, De Novo Dahl, Hot Hot Heat, Live Music, Vancouver, Webster Hall | 1 Comment »