Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘80’s’

Hooky, JD, New Order = Paradise

Posted by xneverwherex on November 24, 2014

Peter Hook & The Light
Performing ‘Brotherhood’ and ‘Low-Life’
Mezzanine
11/21/14

After hitting up the Castro theater on Friday night to see Pulp’s new documentary – and clearly get me in the mood for a night of dancing – I made it down to Mezzanine. I somehow got there about 5 minutes before Peter Hook would grace the stage. Thank god for Muni and quickness – because no joke – the best part of the set hands down was the Joy Division material.

Minus Ian Curtis’ haunting vocals, the band was on fire. The guitars (Hooky and son mainly) were sounding amazing. Their full sound filling up the room. Starting with the opening chords of ‘Dead Souls’ it would only get better. The bass lines hauntingly beautiful – a recognizable sound most anywhere. The crowd was really into it, with people moving around slowly, feeling the music. It just seeped into you and would only get better. They worked their way far too quickly the songs but ‘Transmission’ into ‘Isolation’ and finally into ‘She’s Lost Control’…. wow!! It just could not get better.

Hooky

Hooky

Sure Peter Hook might not be the best vocalist, but for whatever reason I felt like his band really kept the essence of Joy Division more than Bernard Sumner’s New Order. Ive heard people tend to like either one or the other, but the intimacy of the show, the fans all moving/dancing together, was incredible. Granted, New Order is playing at the Fox which does tend to not have the greatest acoustics.

Regardless. the night was awesome. The guitar tracks were sounding great and Peter Hook was every bit the show man. He worked the stage playing his guitar close to the fans in front. He then climbed on top of some speakers reaching the far left of the stage. People were just loving it. His son, Jack Bates, seemed a bit more subdued but was a fully competent and excellent player. He isnt showy like his dad in any way, but would look out and smile on occasion and you could tell he was enjoying it. The keyboardist, Andy Poole, was incredible and that really kept the music going. If you cant have the vocals, surely you can get all the music itself done perfectly, and thats just what the band did.

My only real complaint is when Hooky stopped singing on a few songs and gave the duties over to David Potts, formerly of Monaco. His voice just seemed so out of place that at first I was wondering who on earth was possibly singing. And sadly, no Monaco songs.

Although, after a fully awesome Joy Division set, the band went into a really great New Order set. It started with 2 songs not off either the albums before going right into Low-Life. It was never one of my favorite NO albums, but it did sound quite good. And it does have one of my favorite NO songs “Perfect Kiss”. In no time at all the crowd was dancing tons and really into the set. After completing the album and a short break, it was time to dive into Brotherhood. ‘Paradise’, ‘Weirdo’ and ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ – I felt like I was back in high school, but this was so much better. I mean Bizarre Love Triangle really had the crowd dancing.

Peter Hook & The Light After 2 amazing albums, it was hard to ask for even more, but of course there was an encore. And the encore topped the whole show off. ‘Confusion’ into ‘True Faith’ (never sounding better!) and finally my favorite song ‘Temptation’. A crowd singing along, dancing, Hooky working it through the set and finally ripping off a wet “Jackass” shirt and throwing it into the crowd — yeah it was that good. And of course, it had to end with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. What show would not be complete without that as a finisher. Nearly 3 hours later – and I was left a hot, sweaty mess, departing into a cold rainy night. Somehow, it couldnt have been more fitting.

Set List:
Dead Souls (Joy Division)
Komakino (Joy Division)
Something Must Break (Joy Division)
Transmission (Joy Division)
Isolation (Joy Division)
She’s Lost Control (Joy Division)
Shadowplay (Joy Division)

Murder (New Order)
Lonesome tonight (New Order)
Thieves Like Us (New Order)

Low-Life (New Order)
Love Vigilantes
The Perfect Kiss
This Time of NIght
Sunrise
Elegia
Sooner Than You Think
Subculture
Face Up

Brotherhood (New Order)
Paradise
Weirdo
As It Is When It Was
Broken Promise
Way of Life
Bizarre Love Triangle
All Day Long
Angel Dust
Every Little Counts

Encore:
State of the Nation (New Order)
Confusion (New Order)
True Faith (New Order)
Temptation (New Order)
Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division)

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How Are Things On the West Coast? – Interpol

Posted by xneverwherex on September 22, 2014

Interpol
Rey Pila
Fox Theater
9/20/14

Interpol

Interpol

4 years later and Interpol was finally back in town and Im so glad that I ended up with a friend’s ticket. The band had finally released a new album, El Pintor. The album is brilliant and is a nice reminder of where they came from having a very similar sound to Turn On The Bright Lights. Sure, theres no Carlos D(engler) and the sound had to change some but its distinctly Interpol.

While I usually seem to loathe the sound at The Fox, for whatever reason it worked with Interpol and they sounded great. The guitars sounded a bit muddled at times, but it worked and added texture to their songs. Paul’s vocals were haunting over the lush guitars swirling in the background as the band started playing ‘My Blue Supreme’. It was a great way to start the set and then without disappointing they went straight to their first album to play the catchy-fast paced ‘Say Hello To the Angels’. The crowd quickly got into it with lots of hand clapping and fist pumping. And then straight into the even more catchy ‘Evil’ which had everyone singing along and dancing. Their music is just perfect and so easy to get lost in with the guitars and the drums thumping along keeping the timing.

Interpol NYC

Interpol NYC

Interpol also had their live debut of one of my favorite new tracks ‘Everything is Wrong’. Paul Banks: “That was ‘Everything Is Wrong’… that was the *debut* of ‘Everything Is Wrong’…as a matter of fact.” Enveloped in red lights and different imagery on the screen, the band played the hell out of the song. The band never sounded more gorgeous than during ‘NYC’ with the images of the skyline swirling in fast motion behind them. Paul’s vocals were hauntingly beautiful with the pulse of the guitars filling the air. Plus, Narc, Not Even Jail and Slow Hands right before they went into an encore. Yowzers! It does NOT get better than that.

The band did an awesome mix of songs and really catered to older fans of the band focusing on the brilliant album ‘Antics’. The breakdown consisted of 6 songs off of El Pintor (the painter in Spanish) but also an anagram of Interpol; 5 songs from ‘Antics’ and 3 songs from ‘Turn on the Bright Lights’. Then one each from the other album. Of course, theres always bound to be a disappointment and it would have been great just to hear ‘How are things on the west coast?’ (the opening line to Heinrich Maneuver). Ah well. I seriously could not complain about the set. It was short as I had expected it to be, they were never a band that played for a very long time. But they packed the set with a punch.

Interpol has had a few changed with members over the years, but has added to the mix Brandon Curtis (mostly known for Secret Machines) on keyboards and vocals as well a new touring bassist, Brad Truax. The additions were great. And yes, its hard not to miss Carlos D. (he was insanely great on bass), Brad held up his own. He sounded excellent with his hair flying all over the place as he tore through the songs. Brandon Curtis is also a great addition and sounded like he’d been playing with the band all along (granted Secret Machines toured with them a bit, so it was already a great fit). Daniel as always worked the stage going back and forth and doing quite a bit of dancing. Clearly always enjoying himself. And Sam Fogarino sounded great on drums, always keeping the band connected.

If youre on the fence about seeing them and enjoy their new album, its quite worth it. With such a great mix of songs, its hard to leave disappointed.

Rey Pila

Rey Pila

Rey Pila, from Mexico City, opened the set. The poor lead singer forgot where he was off the bat and said something to the effect of being so glad to be in Sacramento! Doh! These things do happen, and he tried to play it off and ask about the Raiders. The crowd was not having it. I was a huge fan of them at SXSW and their music still sounds great. Clearly a throw-back to the new wave 80s, they had totally reminded me of a new version of The Cars. One with much more guitars but still plenty of keyboards. Not quite as funky as I had remembered them, I still enjoyed their set immensely. The lead singer was dancing up a storm and worked the stage. He even hopped down below more than a few times to be closer to the fans. Clearly enjoying himself, and getting over his faux-pas. Definitely not one of the more typical Interpol openers, but really great.

Set List:
My Blue Supreme
Say Hello to the Angels
Evil
My Desire
Length of Love
Breaker 1
The Lighthouse
Anywhere
Everything is Wrong (live debut)
Lights
Narc
Not Even Jail
Slow Hands

All the Rage Back Home
NYC
Obstacle 1

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Blogroll, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wild Cub Closes Out 2013 Concerts

Posted by xneverwherex on December 20, 2013

Wild Cub
Rickshaw Stop
12/19/13

Its hard to believe that 2013 is nearly over. But Wild Cub made it clear that they would end out the year with a bang! It was their final concert of the tour and year and the band was beyond excited to be back in San Francisco. They had only played one other time in SF (back in July – when I missed their show but ended up in Austin) and had an awesome time. I had heard others on the street outside talking about how awesome that first show was. So, of course, my expectations were now set a bit higher.

It was a late show night with doors at 10pm. I was told it would definitely not be a late night, but it turned out that the band didnt hit the stage until around 11:15pm. Indeed another late night at Popscene. Thankfully, Aaron Axelsen was spinning some great tunes and the new War on Drugs song is f’ing brilliant. I cannot wait to hear the new album.

Wild Cub

March also brings the release of Wild Cub’s debut album, Youth, which is INCREDIBLE. Ive been listening to it on repeat the day-after and am seriously not disappointed at all. The band formed after Keegan left Brooklyn (the rents too damn high!) for the greener pastures of Nashville. He is an endearing front-man who just exudes energy and still looks like he probably did in the 90s. Pegged pants, nice shoes, a slightly shaved head with long hair in front.

The band has a Prince vibe on some of their songs. Check out ‘Wild Light’. Their music is fun, catchy, indie-pop thats quite dance-y and will have you clapping in no time. Add some great melodies and infectious keys and some great hooks on their bass and voila! The band wasted no time getting the crowd moving with the ever-catchy ‘Jonti’ early in their set.

‘Wishing Well’ with its hook of a bassline and a sound that will take you back to the 80s, is one awesome song. Seeing it live is even better as Keegan tears up the stage. He dances all over the stage while playing guitar exuding fun and pleasure. The band then slowed it down with ‘Drive’ which is probably one of my favorite songs. With gorgeous guitars and Keegan’s smooth vocals the song feels like blissed out summer joy.

Wild Cub

The band definitely ended their tour on a high note. They talked about the great Chinese food they consumed (for about 7 people) and just their love of the city. They changed their set list a bit from their usual set. Keegan wanted to play his favorite song of 2013 and did a great rendition of Lykke Li’s ‘I Follow Rivers’. It was really awesome. They added a couple new songs and just did not want the night to end. So they pushed it out as long as possible. Instead of vanishing for an encore, they just remained on stage – announced their last song and broke out ‘When Doves Cry’ from Prince. While its hard for anyone to hit Prince’s notes – this was a pretty awesome cover.

One hell of a way to end 2013. Wild Cub delivered and made it an awesome last show of the year!

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rhythm Is A Dancer – Bastille

Posted by xneverwherex on September 21, 2013

Bastille
Little Daylight
Nightmare & The Cat
Great American Music Hall
9/19/2013

Dan Smith, lead singer of Bastille, might not be the greatest dancer (as he said so himself), but does he know how to get a crowd moving and dancing and jumping. Their cover of Snap!’s ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ and Corona’s ‘Rhythm of the Night’ was pretty impressive and definitely changed it up just a bit. But it was fun and the crowd loved it.

The band, hailing from London, was excited to be back in San Francisco yet again. They made their first US appearance over the sumer at Rickshaw Stop (Popscene); sold out instantaneously. Their music has some fun catchy pop tunes, but also a number of songs which is mostly Dan on the keyboards singing alone. He has a powerful voice and exudes emotion. The band (or at least Dan) is also a huge film lover. With the song title ‘Laura Palmer’ – he definitely likes David Lynch. And their music sounds like it could be in one of his movies.

One thing is for sure – Dan’s energy is infectious. He jumps around all over the stage and makes use of every space. He climbed everywhere he could and did a walk through the crowd. The ever catchy and oh so popular ‘Pompeii’ ended the set and the chanting was just as powerful live. The entire band seems to have a lot of fun and everyone is quite versatile with the instruments.

Definitely a band not to miss – theyre pretty much sold out everywhere on their tour, but if you can snag a ticket its worth it.

Now — not to make the other bands seem inconsequential — but they are also SO worth seeing. I was told that I needed to check out Little Daylight, from Brooklyn, as my friend Jordan’s wife Nikki is in the band. I had her prior band Xylos and thought they were quite good, but never had a chance to see them. The only real complaint is their set was impossibly short at maybe 20 minutes long. She told me later they only had 5 songs. They must be the most catchy fun songs ever. In a way their music reminded me of The Go-Go’s (and Im a huge fan!) but really I think it was Nikki’s voice that reminded me of Belinda Carlisle. She has strong vocals amidst the keyboard playing that are definitely reminiscent of the 80s. They were lots of fun and she has energy. Lots of dancing on the stage and lots of songs with hand claps and of course a catchy sing-songy chorus. If John Hughes were still alive, their music would definitely appear in one of his movies. I have to say — I had more fun during their set than Bastille. It was just so my type of music – that I cant wait for more.

LA–based Nightmare & The Cat, consisting of 2 British ex-pat brothers, must be one of the most stylish bands. Django, the lead singer, is captivating and just draws you in. The way he moves his hands and expressions reminds me of Tom Smith (from the Editors). The music has a soulful sound with a hint of a folkiness to it. They have some beautiful harmonies, and I constantly felt like I was drawn into the art world – part of a gorgeous painting that is just expanding with lush sounds (as if that makes any sense).

Definitely dont miss any of these bands if youre going to be seeing them. Its an awesome lineup.

Bastille Set List:
Bad Blood
Things We Lost In The Fire
Overjoyed
The Silence
What Would You Do
Oblivion
Weight of the Living Pt II
These Streets
Laura Palmer
Haunt
Icarus
Flaws

Get Home
Rhythm is a Dancer/Rhythm of the Night (cover)
Pompeii

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Heart + Jason Bonham = Magical Led Zep Experience

Posted by xneverwherex on September 2, 2013

Heart
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience
America’s Cup Pavilion
8/28/13

Ann & Nancy Wilson, the sisters of Heart, will always take me back to the 80s. I first remember listening to them on tape after hearing one of their songs on the radio. I must have played the hell out of it, as the tape was a bit crunchy, and the tape would get stuck all the time and you’d have to manually rewind it. Sure I’m dating myself, but that was the time.

It was hard to believe that it would take this many years later for me to finally see them live. And the wait was so worth it! The powerhouse vocals that Ann has are simply amazing after all these years. You hear their songs performed on TV all the time, but none could ever get the angst and power to their vocals to come even close to hers. Her voice comes across as gritty, strong, filled with angst and so much emotion.

The band opened the set with ‘Barracuda’. What a great song to open with and the crowd was up and dancing and singing and clapping. The acoustics were amazing and from where ever I was standing (including outside the venue during the opener) it was crystal clear. America’s Cup Pavilion – on Piers 23 and 27 – is an amazing place to see a show. Youre right there on the waterfront – with a cool breeze coming in and the Bay Bridge behind you with their nice new light work. Its definitely worth the price to check out a show there.

Ann said she’d be playing songs that she said called to her to be played. It was a really great set with a good mix of songs from the 70s and 80s (and perhaps even later than that). ‘These Dreams’ and ‘Alone’ sounded amazing. Nancy’s guitar work was superb and she killed it on the songs. ‘Crazy On You’ which closed out the set was perfect. At first the show seemed a bit short – clocking in at 70mins or so just for the set – but the encore itself was balls out one of the best shows Ive ever seen.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience opened the show. I missed most of their set – but heard a good chunk of it from either outside the venue or waiting in line. ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was so impressive it was hard to believe it wasn’t the original band. The guitar work from Tony Catania, is pretty amazing. It’d be hard to compete with Jimmy Page, but honestly – this is on par with it. Jason Bonham is impressive, carrying on in his father’s footsteps.

The show’s encore was the real highlight of the night. Ann called for Jason and his band to perform with them and it was SICK!! Two amazing bands on stage together performing some of the greatest songs ever. The guitar work from Nancy was incredible and showed how talented she is. Ann’s vocals were amazing on these tracks and of course the guys from Jason Bonham’s band were insane!’Misty Mountain Hop’ and then ‘Immigrant Song’ … honestly I think my mind was blown. And of course, Kashmir – what an amazing song to hear live. The band closed out with ‘Stairway to Heaven’ which was so beautiful that you really did not want the night to end.

Easily – one of my favorite shows quite possibly ever. The bands were so talented and the combination of them was pretty unreal. I cant imagine ever seeing something like this again – unless Led Zeppelin somehow reunites with the remaining band members.

This show reminded me of quite possibly my favorite quote ever uttered on tv courtesy of Freaks and Geeks: “I believe in God, man. I’ve seen him, I’ve felt his power. He plays drums for Led Zeppelin and his name is John Bonham, baby!”


Heart set list:
Barracuda
Heartless
What About Love
Magic Man
Kick It Out
Mistral Wind
Even it Up
Dog & Butterfly
I Need You To Turn To (Elton John cover)
These Dreams
Alone
Dear Old America
Crazy On You

Encore: w/Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience performing Led Zeppelin songs
Battle of Evermore
Misty Mountain Hop
Immigrant Song
The Rain Song
Kashmir
Stairway to Heaven

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience Set List:
Black Dog
Over the Hills and Far Away
House of the Holy
Nobody’s Fault But Mine
The Ocean
When the Levee Breaks
Whole Lotta Love

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michael Been of The Call is Celebrated

Posted by xneverwherex on April 22, 2013

The Call (featuring Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)
Jeffertitti’s Nile
DJ Dan Mancini
Slims
April 11, 2013

Its not often that a show touches your heart and is so endearing. But this show was just that. It took a year and a half for the show to be put together. It appeared that The Call’s music was not the easiest to learn, but Robert did one hell of a job to follow in his father’s foot steps.

Robert Been, bassist and singer of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, came together with his father’s band The Call to perform their music. It was one of two shows that the band will be playing. His father, Michael Been, died a few years back on tour with his son’s band. It was sudden and way too soon. So this was a perfect tribute to his father, bassist and singer, of The Call.

The Call

The band seemed very excited to be playing. Their music still sounded incredible and they definitely still knew how to rock. Their 80s alternative U2-esque sound was amazing as they opened up the set with ‘Everywhere I Go’. The crowd was enthusiastic with lots of cheers. Tom (Dickie), the guitarist, was right in front of me clad in a BRMC shirt. It was fitting and he was full of smiles. He smiled at me a few times, easily one of the younger people in the audience. The guys next to me were pumped up as they yelled out songs and talked about their first time seeing the band. Scott, the drummer, was on top of it, pushing the band through the music. Jim was great on keyboards, having a really fun time.

The band seemed to be racing through songs and they all sounded incredible. While I only recognized a handful of songs, it was easy for me to want to be there to support this special night. Their songs are easy to get into and their music still has a current sound to it. The gents next to me gave Robert a hard time about messing up a few of the songs. Robert was cute and nervous and some of the songs were clearly more difficult than others.

One of my favorite bits of the night was the crowd heckling him for not quite getting the songs right. He commented on how hard they were to learn and why it took so long for them to have this night. He told a heart warming story about his dad’s bass being stolen. Then one day he gets a call from a pawnshop in Santa Cruz with the owner being a huge fan of the Call and realizing that it was Michael’s bass. It landed back in Robert’s hand and he’s been playing it. He comments about it being very hard to stay tuned, but that it was special.

I was beyond excited to hear ‘Let The Day Begin’. I had recently heard it when BRMC had played it, but it was just incredible to hear the band play it. The crowd sang along and clearly was having a great time. The lyrics still seem so relevant. The set ended with ‘Walls Came Down’ and it sounded even better live. With everything that had been going on, the song just seemed so fitting. They ended the set with Uncovered which was just Robert singing and it was just hauntingly beautiful. It was great that they kept playing and didnt leave the stage right at 11. They pushed on and said to hell with last calls/closing times. Its a joke anyway – I sure dont remember this when I last lived here. (Apparently its a new thing – with some place moving in and wanting to change it up – thank you gentrification).

Jeffertitti’s Nile

Robert definitely tried his hardest and wanted to please the band and his fans. A guy commented next to me, ‘well he’s definitely not his father, but he’s holding his own’. Robert sounded great and albeit a bit nervous, he was clearly having fun. The guys were all good natured and poking fun at him. His father definitely had to be smiling down at him. The band clearly missed Michael but this was the best tribute anyone could have asked for. It was just heartwarming and endearing and Im glad that I got to be there to be a part of it.

Jeffertitti’s Nile, the opener, is a 4 piece band from LA and a friend of Roberts. The lead singer came out clad in skin tight jeans, that looked like they were painted onto him. He had a mop of blonde hair hanging in his face reminding me of a surfer. But a surfer band they were not. The other guys came out in long shirt/dresses and pants and longish hair stepping out of the 60s. It was fitting that they played psychedelic-garage-bluesy-glam rock. They kind of flowed all over the stage. The real awesomeness was the drummer and his hair which exceeded Brent (fathead of The Dandy Warhols). This guy had the most awesome head of hair, only sadded by the fact that the drums hid it. People seemed to really enjoy them. They were pretty quiet with not much to say, and when they did say something it was all distorted through the mics. This is one band that I cannot wait to see again.

Setlist (from LA – and prob the same in SF)
Everywhere I go
I Still believe
I dont wanna
Floating Back
Into the woods
Turn a blind eye
oklahoma
you were there
tore the old place down
red moon
swim in the ocean
let the day begin
reconciled
modern romans
whats happened to you
…same old story
you run (acoustic)
walls came down
uncovered

I feel alone lyrics

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jones, Jobs

Posted by xneverwherex on October 20, 2011

Howard Jones
Classic Albums Tour
Irving Plaza
10/19/11

Howard Jones somehow made it to NYC and played an incredible set. He fought pneumonia the previous night and had to cancel the prior nights show in CT. I was worried that he might not actually be able to pull it off, but boy was I ever wrong. He came out in sunglasses, a black

Howard Jones

leather jacket and black glittery pants. No more long hair, but he still looked as cool as ever.

It was definitely interesting being here, coming from CMJ bands. It was so apparent how many bands copy a near identical sound. With only a drum machine, keyboards, a mixer, 3 laptops, +1 Ipad (that was apparently really needed), the show couldnt have been better. Howard was all mic-ed up and worked the stage. He started off with the album ‘Human’s Lib’ with videos in the background. There were sing alongs and ‘What Is Love’ was mostly the crowd singing. Everyone sang and danced during the more popular songs. Howard just loved seeing the crowd so into it. The first album with an occasional other hit was a very quick hour.

He then took a 30 minute break before he came back for the 2nd set. I was always a huge huge fan of ‘Dream Into Action’ and knew more of the songs off that album. With a nice costume change – hello red leather jacket and disco sunglasses – he was ready to tear through the next set. After realizing the show could not go on without his Ipad, he mentioned how this was dedicated to Steve Jobs. It was great to see someone acknowledge how the world has changed with Apple, especially in the music industry.

Howard Jones

Many of the songs have now been remixed and its great to hear how they’ve been updated. The keyboards will always be so distinct with a sound all of his own. He encouraged us all to learn the piano and come back and we’d all do a song together. His voice has still held up and sounds as great now as he did then.

Some of the highlights off this album were “Like to Get to Know You Well” which kind of went on and on with everyone singing the chorus. “Look Mama” was dedicated to all the moms in the crowd along with Howard’s mum who is slowly forgetting everything. “No One is To Blame” sounded as gorgeous now as it did then and instead of playing the album version he played the more popular version that the audience always loves.

He did an encore of sorts with the hugely popular ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. It was by far the best song of the night. He mentioned how a teacher told him her 4th grade class sings it every morning. And its something that we should all still live by. It was mostly sung with the audience with Howard doing different parts. It couldnt have been a more perfect way to end the set.

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Friendly Fires Finally Playing New Material

Posted by xneverwherex on February 8, 2011

Friendly Fires
The Hundred in the Hands
Bowery Ballroom
2/7/11

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:
Blue Cassette
True Love
On Board
Running Away
Chimes
Skeleton Boy
Hurting
Jump in the Pool
Pull Me Back To Earth
Show Me Lights
Paris
*********
Love Sick
Kiss of Life

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »