Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Bowery Ballroom’

Smallpools Will Make Your Summer Better

Posted by xneverwherex on July 12, 2013

Im sure by this time everyone has already heard LA-based Smallpools single ‘Dreaming’. Its catchy, dance-y, fun and perfect music for a warm summer day. And while that song is really great – you should really check out ‘Mason Jar’. It might be even more catchy than their single. It reminds me of Local Natives crossed with pop-punk Thermals kind of sound. Its fun and it will make you definitely not want to be at work.

Theyre on tour currentlyand are opening for San Cisco at Slims in early August. Plus I recall their own date at Rickshaw Stop (Popscene). Personally, Id rather go to Slims – so guess it means another trip to the box office. Plus you can also find them at the Bowery Ballroom.

This is great music for your weekend! So enjoy!

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Its A Radiation Vibe Im Groovin’ On

Posted by xneverwherex on August 4, 2011

Fountains of Wayne
Nicole Atkins
8/3/11
Bowery Ballroom

Fountains of Wayne just might be the greatest power-pop band ever. Adam, Chris, Jody and Brian come (back) home bearing gifts of some of the most fun pop songs ever written. Theyre catchy, clever and Jody’s guitar drives those songs. The guitars on ‘Denise’ simply brilliant. Besides, these days its not too often that a guitarist has enough swaggart to pull out a cigarette and start smoking on stage while still playing and drinking. That is, until Adam comes by and then bam, no more cigarette.

While their lyrics may be beyond cheesy and simple, they no doubt stay with you and you find yourself singing them long after the show is finished. Its hard not to be smiling the entire show. The band undoubtedly is having as great a time as the crowd. Chris tells stories about Japan, a 36 hour trip (or maybe that was rest) and drunken nights in Japan. Whatever the story is, it always sounds like a good time.

FoW played a great mix of their music and included a handful of songs off their new album which definitely has a more country flair to it. But they never seem to lose their pop melodies that they succeed in. Most of their songs are accompanied by crowd sing-alongs or crowd members hand selected to join the band on percussions on ‘Hey Julie’. Its no doubt that the crowd (which skews to an older-ish crowd) is still yearning for their early music. Random people are heard to be yelling ‘Red Dragon Tattoo’, which sadly they did not play. But with their abundance of awesome songs, its hard to get everything you wanted played.

Of course, no Fountains of Wayne show would be complete without the hugely popular ‘Stacy’s Mom’ . Not appearing on the setlist, it showed up as an encore and had everyone dancing and singing along. And each time I hear ‘Radiation Vibe’ Im convinced it will never sound better. And last night might have been the coolest mix – as at the end they went into a Peter Frampton song, followed by Tears For Fears ‘Mad World’ and then one last 70s song. Of course the last song, was horribly botched with Adam forgetting the words and them kinda making them up. Regardless whatever they do, always seems to be fun and awesome. The medley was awesome especially as it segued back into ‘Radiation Vibe’. Few bands can pull it off, but when they do, it can work wonders.

Perhaps, following in the steps of Matthew Sweet, they will do a tour for Utopia Parkway. That would be quite awesome!

Supporting act: Nicole Atkins sounded as great as ever. She has amazing vocals and kept it simple with her and her friend Serena? who was accompanying her on bass. It was even just as nice when it was just Nicole and her acoustic guitar. I always forget how much I like her, shes chill and laid back and just goes with it. Ill make sure next time shes around, I check her out. Thankfully shes from around her, so that should not be a problem.

If youve yet to see FoW, you really should. It can make any day that much better. Besides, they might just have some of the coolest fans ever.

Setlist:
Little Red Light
Valley of Malls
Summer Place
Someone to Love
Barbara H
Richie and Ruben
A Road Song
Valley Winter Song
Fire in the Canyon
Hey Julie
A Dip in the Ocean
Denise
Mexican Wine
Radiation Vibe (medley: Peter Frampton ‘Do You Feel Like We Do’, Tears for Fears ‘Mad World’, Blue Oyster Cult ‘Burnin’ For You’ )

Encore:
Stacy’s Mom
I-95
Cemetery Guns
Joe Rey
Sink

(encore might be off)

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Do You Wanna??

Posted by xneverwherex on June 29, 2011

The Kooks
Smoke Signals
Bowery Ballroom
June 27, 2011

The Kooks finally made it back to this side of the pond after what seemed like a long hiatus. They have a new album coming out in September – Junk of the Heart. From what they played live of their newer stuff, it sounds like it has a lot of promise. Its easily similar to their earlier works and equally poppy.

Luke Pritchard is always quite the front-man. A bit quiet, with guitar in hand, a red tight vneck with tight jeans; he looks every part the rock star. He never has too much to say but it really doesnt matter. The crowd loves him regardless. Anytime he approaches the edge of the stage, people want to pull him to them. Its alike for men and women.

By the time I got there, a bit after the said doortimes, the floor was already half packed. I was quite surprised, but managed to work my way to the front and side. Aside from some pushy guy, who asked way too many questions, the show was good.

I was a bit surprised that the set length is still just a bit over an hour. It hasnt increased much in time even with more songs. Luke did promise to play the favorites and he delivered. A lot of the crowd up front, were singing along to every single song, as Luke pointed out. ‘Do you wanna make love to me?’ was great and had the crowd dancing. He joked about the crowd knowing some of the songs as he broke out into ‘Naive’ and it was a sing-along.

The encore was quite great as Luke came out on his own and did a stripped down version of ‘Seaside’. Im pretty sure this is standard now, as I could have sworn I had seen it before. Either way, still sounds great. The Kooks early stuff still sounds great and its hard to want to hear new stuff when its just as satisfying to hear all of their early music.

Opener Smoke Signals was pretty bad. I was surprised that so many people were so into them. Had a country-ish vibe to them with a pop sensibility. They played for nearly 45 minutes and it was (seemed to be) the longest 45 minutes ever. Wish they had rapped it up sooner and given the Kooks more time. No clue if they might have played longer, but one can hope.

Set List:
Always Where I Need To Be
Eddie’s Gun
See The World
Carried Away
Ooh La
She Moves In Her Own Way
Junk Of The Heart
Is It Me
Do You Wanna
Naive
Saboteur
Eskimo Kiss
Shine On
Stormy Weather

Encore:
Seaside
How D’Ya Like That
Sofa Song

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Wild Nothing Takes Fan Down

Posted by xneverwherex on February 14, 2011

2/13/11
Wild Nothing
Abe Vigoda
Minks
Bowery Ballroom

Bowery Ballroom was a crowded hot mess last night. Once Abe Vigoda finished (how did people decide not to check them out?), a huge crowd of model-types storm the front of the stage. They push and shove like they’ve been there all night, angling to get to the front middle of the stage. Its rough and the room gets hot instantaneously. About this time, I decide I have to get some water so I dont pass out. Being short in a room full of tall people, as they suck the air out is a nightmare.

As I angle my way back to my spot in the front, I get people yelling at me about its not fair that Im there. Yes, they just showed up and would have known I had been there for every band that night. But I digress, lets talk about Wild Nothing.

For one thing, I try and never miss Wild Nothing when they play. Its always a great time for shoe-gazey dance pop. Jack Tatum doesn’t have much to say but does comment on the crowd being so silent that its creepy for him. He works through his songs with his hazy vocals on most songs with the beautiful guitars accompanying him. The crowd seems to love the music and everyone dances along in unison. Favorites like “Chinatown” and “Live in Dreams” gets lots of cheers. The crowd truly adores them. The show is all going smoothly until the guy next to me starts to rock back and forth with his eyes closed. Two seconds later and he’s fallen backwards and is passed out. A huge crowd forms, security is nowhere to be found and the band is shocked. No one quite knows what to do – Jack tenatively continues the song only to comment after he finishes ‘I hope he’s ok’ and then adds a quip of how he hopes his music didnt make him pass out.

It was a great set. Their Primal Scream cover was pretty awesome even thought it was one of the shortest songs of the night. Its a shame Cloudbusting hasnt made an appearance in quite some time. Kate Bush would be proud. Then again, so would Primal Scream.

Abe Vigoda (not to be confused with the actor) played a great set before them. Hailing from LA, these boys have surfer/skater hair cuts and sound like California guys. “You people are soooooo nice”. They were humbled and geniunely happy to be playing with Wild Nothing. They mentioned it was one of their favorite bands and it was great to see bands who genuinely liked each other.

Abe Vigoda from what I learned totally changed their sound from their first album to the second. This show was focused on mostly songs from their new album Crush. With some synth beats and influences from the gothic/cold post-punk rock leanings of Joy Division, they make it work. Some songs are quite catchy and more dance-y but most are guitar heavy with some beats thrown in. It works and is really likeable and grows on you quickly. The guys seem to be so happy and friendly and enjoying themselves so much, its hard not to like them.

Brooklyn’s Minks started out the night. Unfortunately for the band, the 2 female members have no stage presence. One girl didnt look up once from her keyboards the whole set while the other seemed to not even realize there was a crowd in front of her. Thankfully for the band, they had added a guitarist and bassist who at least seemed to want to be there. With an 80’s sound, not far behind Wild Nothing and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, they could be a really awesome shoegaze band. And I did find when I was staring at my shoes, dancing along, not paying attention to the fact there was a live band, their music surprisingly worked.

All in all – 3 great bands that came together very well. It was a great fit musically with everyone complementing each other.

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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

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