Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Archive for May, 2011

White Lies – Part 2 DC

Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011

White Lies
Asobi Seksu
Sun Airway
May 20, 2011
9:30 Club

Oh DC. How sometimes I love you so much, and other times I dont. The 9:30 Club tends to be a great venue, but after Friday nights show I was left feeling a bit disappointed. Ive gone there enough times, and to be asked to take out almost everything your purse, including keys was a bit odd. Then I was asked to unzip random things on my bag that were clearly decorational. C’mon its a woman’s purse – what do you expect. The woman was just left baffled. I dont know what she was looking for – drugs, alcohol, my camera, iphone … hell Im guessing it was the camera as she pretty much did the same to my friend who had a much smaller bag (read: only holds pretty much id and lipstick). I was going to ask if she wanted to strip search me too, but I figured Id rather not get ejected from the club.

Sun Airway opened up the night and it was already not looking good. Plagued with sound problems they could barely get through the first song. Way too much feedback, everything sounded off and it sounds like the keyboards were causing lots of problems. Sadly, on a 30 minute set this did not help them much. But, by the time they were finishing up their set the sound was perfect and their last song – lots of loud guitars and a big soaring feel – was awesome! I wanted more. Sadly, not going to happen.

Instead of another night of School of Seven Bells – we got Asobi Seksu instead. Now I cant tell if she was having sound problems as well as her vocals were pretty much indeciperhable. It sounded ok enough, but something was lacking. It didnt seem there was much enjoyment and maybe at 25 minutes they were onto the last song. I dont know if that was the club’s doing – but it seems that their sets have become quite short. At least ‘Thursday’ was played and sounded good.

White Lies came on with their same big sound from the previous night. They started again with ‘A Place To Hide’. It sounded as great as the night before. Harry was talkative again, but not nearly as talkative as he was in New York City. He did make the comment about how they just got to DC from the UK and were so happy to be there. It was a bit odd hearing that, as Im sure a lot of people knew they were actually just in NYC. So that huge long trip over – heh – not so much.

The band seemed a little less energetic than the night before, but unless you could compare the two, it definitely wasnt too noticeable. They played the same setlist which is a nice balance of the new and the old. The newer stuff is growing on me more and more and seems to have a more electronic feel to it. Some of the songs “Bigger Than Love” feel like they should have been on the prior album. It fits right in. Live it sounds awesome and its a perfect encore.

The crowd was interesting. Most people stood there with their hands to their side, feigning interest, while a few were really into it – making up for the others. For a non-crowded- show (ie not sold out), the crowd was typical with pushing directly into you when there was no need. People felt entitled to push into you – even tho they had plenty of space to dance in. Ill never fully understand a DC crowd. It really didnt matter tho. I had an awesome time, singing along, dancing and enjoying it. They definitely know how to put on a great show and their music is not to be missed live. The whole chatty, happy thing might not totally work for their music, but the music does speak for itself.

Set List:
1.A Place To Hide
2.Holy Ghost
3.To Lose My Life
4.E.S.T.
5.Is Love
6.The Price Of Love
7.Streetlights
8.Farewell To The Fairground
9.Peace & Quiet
10.Bad Love
11.Death
Encore:
12.Unfinished Business
13.Power & Glory
14.Bigger Than Us

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White Lies Has Unfinished Business

Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011

White Lies
School of Seven Bells
Sun Airway
May 19, 2011
Terminal 5

White Lies, hailing from London, finally made it back to this side of the pond and couldnt have been more excited. I hadnt seen the band in a couple years and I wasnt sure how it would be in a big club. But the times are a-changing and more importantly so is lead singer Harry. Trading in his dark clothes and gold nikes – hes now donning a suit. I might have thought for an instant they were going down the Interpol lane, but that is definitely not the case. Harry was more talkative than I had ever seen him before. I think he spoke more in 5 minutes than he had in any other prior show. He was happy to back in New York, one of his favorite cities ever. He was glad that more people showed up than he had anticipated – he wanted us to sing along, clap along, make more noise. It didnt stop. And the smile was HUGE! I guess success has hit him big time.

The band has now added yet another band member to tour with. They were always noted as a 3-piece band, yet from the moment I saw them on their first trip to the States, there was always 4. At this point, they have added another guitarist/keyboardist/singer. The guy is quite talented and seems to be doing it all. Jack seemed farther back and I really missed all the interactions that used to go on between the band and him. But Jack was still as awesome as ever and still looking ever-so-cool. Charlie’s bass lines still sound as great as ever – and loving him singing backup on what felt like more songs.

The band opened up with ‘A Place To Hide’ and its a great opener. The bass lines are instantly recognizable and it had the crowd singing along in no time. The crowd was loving every minute of every song. Guys were going crazy – and I would have thought it was the second coming of Jesus err The Beatles. Everyone wanted to be up close and was pushing – which is expected of the girls – but was more surprising with the guys. They followed it up with ‘Holy Ghost’ off of the new album. And then they went back into the older songs with ‘To Lose My Life’ which everyone knew and had Harry happy that we were all singing along. Was pleasantly surprised that right after that ‘EST’ would still be played. One of my favorite songs.

This was an excellent show. The band sounded awesome but its hard to get used to this new happy version of White Lies. Their music and lyrics definitely feels like a much darker band – but apparently they might be going to a happier version of themselves.

New York’s own School of Seven Bells were nice to have around. It was interesting to see them as a 2-piece. I definitely missed having the other sister there who left the band in October due to personal reasons. It seems their music isnt quite as interesting as it was, but regardless they still sounded great. They still had the same dark sound and vocals that arent that easy to understand, but that doesnt matter. Its this beautiful sound and it makes you just want to close your eyes and enjoy it and feel it. There wasnt much interaction – but a band who zipped through a 30 minute set trying to play as much as they could.

Sun Airway – one of my favorite new bands – from Philadephia benefited from playing such a huge venue. The soaring vocals were perfect in Terminal 5. Their songs sounded even bigger and darker and the guitars were sounding even fuzzier. A perfect shoegaze band complete with images shown on a white curtain behind them. It felt like they could have just kept playing and playing, but soon their 30 minutes were up too.

Definitely a show not to have missed – I was just happy that I managed to win tix to it and was able to appreciate it, not just once, but twice!

White Lies Setlist:
A Place To Hide
Holy Ghost
To Lose My Life
E.S.T.
Is Love
Price of Love
Streetlights
Farewell to the Fairground
Peace & Quiet
Bad Love
Death

Encore:
Unfinished Business
Power & Glory
Bigger Than Us

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The Writings on the Wall – Plan B

Posted by xneverwherex on May 6, 2011

Plan B
Faith SFX (beatboxer)
DJs
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/5/11

I went into this show knowing two things – a) Plan B is/was a rapper and b) end credits (w/Chase & Status). So I wasn’t sure much about his new concept album – The Defamation of Strickland Banks. I knew it was a departure from the rap side of things but didnt realize it was a whole story on some artist getting thrown into jail for a rape he didnt commit. The story is insane and as he gets thrown into jail and writes about hell and whats going on- the music really stands out.

The evening began with bass pouring out of the doors and it turns out a DJ was spinning to an empty crowd. Finally a crowd exists but 90 minutes later no one cared. We were all ready for the evening to _really_ begin. First came the beatboxer who was sick! Based on videos Id take a guess that it was Faith SFX who can pretty much imitate any sound and was great at getting the crowd revved up.

Finally Ben Drew (Plan B) comes out with a 7 piece band backing him. Everyone looks incredibly stylish with the men in 3 piece suits and shiny shoes. Women in all black standing on the side giving the music a gospel feel. The band is excited. Its one of their few solo shows, as theyre currently on tour opening for Adele. Plan B jumps right in with the album. They open up with ‘The Writings on the Wall’ and the crowd starts dancing. A couple behind me starts doing their own dance to the music. Plan B’s soulful voice takes you away as he sounds as great as any other 70s soul artist.

The band gets really into the music. A guitarist on stage right comes to the edge of the stage and is dancing as hes playing. The other guitarist on the other side of Plan B – with dark shades – starts dancing as much and they both bring out the great rhythms in the songs. ‘Welcome 2 Hell’ and ‘The Recluse’ are much more energetic and people all around are singing along to all the songs. He breaks out into raps during the songs and it works seamlessly.

About an hour later theyre saying how its the end of the show. Its hard to believe they flew through just one album. They come back out for an encore that is pure medleys. Full of dubstep beats and mixing up a bunch of oldies. The arrangements are awesome and theyve turned ‘My Girl’ into a brand new song. How ‘A Kiss From a Rose’ ever ended up that popular always boggles my mind. But that was another remix complete with a crowd sing-along. As Faith SFX comes back out to infuse beatbox into the songs it gets rowdy on stage. Somehow it turns into punk on stage and the band is creating their own circle pushing into each other which of course leads the crowd to follow suit. By the end of the show – the band is on the floor of the stage, instruments thrown everywhere and people on top of each other.

If youre seeing Adele – you owe it to yourself to check out Plan B. Im not sure any other artist could blend the rap into soul songs that seamlessly. The band is awesome and is thoroughly having a great time. Hopefully theyll be back here sometime soon as Ill definitely be seeing them again.

Setlist:
Writings on the Wall
Free
Welcome 2 Hell
The Recluse
Love Goes Down
Coming Up Easy
Hard Times/Runaway
Praying
What You Gonna Do
She Said

Encore:
Who’s Loving You. Tracks of My Tears/Lean on Me/ My Girl/Stand By Me (an awesome video from another show)
Dubstep Medly: Kiss From a Rose/Forgot about Dre (B)
Pieces
Stay Too Long

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