Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011
May 20, 2011
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.
1.A Place To Hide
3.To Lose My Life
6.The Price Of Love
8.Farewell To The Fairground
9.Peace & Quiet
13.Power & Glory
14.Bigger Than Us
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, DC, Random Ramblings | Tagged: "9:30 Club", "White Lies", 2011, Asobi Seksu, britrock, concert, DC, indie, live, London, May 20, NYC, Philadelphia, shoegaze, Sun Airway, UK, Washington DC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on May 24, 2011
School of Seven Bells
May 19, 2011
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
To Lose My Life
Price of Love
Farewell to the Fairground
Peace & Quiet
Power & Glory
Bigger Than Us
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: "School of Seven Bells", "White Lies", britpop, concert, Hells Kitchen, indie, live, London, music, NYC, Philadephia, psychedelic, shoegaze, Sun Airway, Terminal 5, UK | Leave a Comment »
Posted by xneverwherex on January 30, 2011
Close your eyes. You can hear it around you – stars sparkling, a night that makes noise. It envelopes you – takes you somewhere. The only clue you have that youre not dreaming is your standing in front of a stage at Bowery Ballroom. The soft haunting vocals evoke a dream-like state. Everytime I hear Sun Airway – that is the feeling that overcomes me. Im not quite here, I’m floating off somewhere.
And then their music becomes a bit more pop-sounding – at times evoking Chris Martin (Coldplay) vocals and a big sound. Its only fitting that the wall behind them shows images of lights swirling, different colors, adding to the space-y feeling.
By now Ive seen Sun Airway quite a few times. Im barely able to count the times on one hand as they seem to be popping up everywhere in New York. Its not a complaint – I cant get enough of them and theyre the draw for a bunch of other bands – that I might not check out.
When they opened for Mister Heavenly – one of those new “super bands” – I saw their name on the bill and of course it was a much easier yes. Mister Heavenly surprisingly works quite well with Honus Honus of Man Man, Nick Thorburn of Montreal’s Islands and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse. Theyve also recently added Michael Cera on bass. Yeah – one and the same – the actor who plays bass in Nick and Nora’s Infinite Wedding and the even more likeable Scott Pilgrim vs The World.
The band sounded excellent. Nick was quite talkative telling stories about being at airports, some anecdote about Chili’s and it being chilly, something about street corners in NYC (or maybe Brooklyn), etc. He seemed at ease and having a great time. He had amazing chemistry with Honus Honus who the crowd was going nuts for. I cant figure out if it was his birthday or not – but there was a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the stage and he was drinking it up and sharing with the band members. The 2 guys alternated on vocals and each sounded great. Having not been familiar with their music, aside for one or two songs, it was all a surprise for me.
I did know that Michael Cera might be making an appearance, but that wasnt even a certainty. He plays with a certain aloofness, never quite interacting with the audience and for the most part playing with his back to us. Nick tried to bring him out, leaning against him, playing their guitars facing each other. Either way – its Michael Cera and hes pretty damn cool.
Their music is very catchy and very pop-friendly. They’ve described their music as ‘doom wop’ which is oh so fitting. With lots of doo-wops of the 60’s sounds but lyrics about doomed love songs – theyre creating their own niche. Ill be expecting for them to blow up sometime very soon (regardless of if Mr Cera plays with the band).
Pics coming soon.
I am Hologram
Hold My Hand
Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Live Music, Random Ramblings | Tagged: 1/16/10, Bowery Ballrooom, concert, indie, Islands, LES, live, Man Man, Michael Cera, Mister Heavenly, music, NYC, PA, Sun Airway, supergroup | Leave a Comment »