Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Terminal 5’

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

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

NY, I Love You But Youre Bringing Me Down

Posted by xneverwherex on March 30, 2011

LCD Soundsystem
w/Liquid Liquid
Terminal 5
3/29/11

If youre calling it a day its best to go out at a) the top of your game and b) on your own terms. LCD Soundsystem is doing just that.

At first I was skeptical when I learned that there were new shows added prior to the farewell show this coming Saturday night (April 2). But of course, like so many others, I had to see what LCD Soundsystem would do at Terminal 5. And I have to say, if I didnt have a ticket on Saturday night, I would be ok (better than ok – just great). Their show at Terminal 5 was AWESOME!

I didnt read much about the prior nights show as I wanted some surprises, but I did know they opened with ‘Dance Yrself Clean’. And what a way to open. The following night they kept to somewhat of a similar setlist, but the changes they made were to my benefit.

‘Dance Yrself Clean’ is a brilliant way to start a set. I could almost see Kermit sitting on a rooftop singing and envisioned the rest of the Muppets on stage. Unfortunately, James Murphy doesnt quite resemble a green frog – but his vocals – oh yes! At the start of the set we get a lone James Murphy dressed in white & black, a spotlight just on him, and him singing. Then the band comes on stage along with a choir and other instruments. It was awesome! And it should be noted that everyone on the stage was in white (maybe some black)?

From the balcony I had a great view of the entire stage and the crowd. The audience was starting to dance and jump around and really getting into it. By the time the song picks up, everyone was dancing and moving. From there it was straight into ‘Drunk Girls’ and the dancing continued.

The setlist was mostly a blur and just lots of fun all around. It seemed the first set of the night just flew. Clocking in at 3 hours with 24 songs, plus a 2 song encore was unreal. The light show was amazing with laser lights for parts of it and a wall of LEDs. The disco ball was good fun as well. The second half, which was heavy on 45:33 and included Reggie Watts for a song, was the biggest drag. It just felt like an extended remix that just kept going and going. But it was also a good time to get a bit of a breather and people watch.

Thankfully part 3 was even more awesome than the beginning. After reading the setlist Im not sure thats possible. I mean seriously – at that point we even had ‘Daft Punk is Playing At My House’. I wasnt sure much could top it, but by the end I was wishing I was in shorts and a tanktop. It was a sweaty, fun, dancing mess of a time. Us vs Them was a great way to start it out and North American Scum! Also included ‘Tribulations’, ‘Yeah’ and ‘Losing My Edge’.

My only regret was ‘All My Friends’ was the last song of the first set. The lyrics alone would have been perfect to end the night with. And with friends like the drummer from TV on the Radio and Aziz Ansari (of Parks & Recreation) dancing and having a great time, I think you cant ask for much more.

James Murphy is truly a great frontman. It was great to see band members coming and going during the different songs. He made a point to announce some of them – their original guitarist. He thanked everyone profusely (us and the performers). Sang Happy Birthday to his sis during the encore and was just genuinely happy. Its hard to ask for more than that. Plus, he gave us 3 hours and a setlist that left me incredibly happy. And anyone who acknowledges the world we live in – the one where everyone wants to record every minute of a set – he told us ‘maybe just be here’.

So really, what can Saturday bring?

Liquid Liquid played a pretty short 30 minute opening set. They were pretty good and seemed to be playing some classic songs (Im not even sure if I knew they were their songs). They were fun and dance-y and you could definitely see the influences that they had on LCD SS.

Setlist

Set 1
Dance Yrself Clean (with male choir)
Drunk Girls
I Can Change
Time to Get Away
Get Innocuous (with male choir)
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Too Much Love
All My Friends

Set 2
45:33 Part One
45:33 Part Two (with Reggie Watts)
Sound of Silver
45:33 Part Four
45:33 Part Five
45:33 Part Six

Set 3
Us Vs Them (with male choir)
Freak Out/Starry Eyes
North American Scum
You Wanted A Hit
Tribulations
Movement
Yeah
Someone Great
Losing My Edge
Home (with male choir)

Encore:
All I Want
New York I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

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

A Night Left to the Fates

Posted by xneverwherex on September 20, 2009

That sounds like a good title for a Decemberists song, right? Well dont worry – this is about the Decemberists 🙂

Ive decided that Im going to get back on the game (or is that the horse) and start to update this on a regular basis. Theres so many great concerts out there – and so many Ive seen.

According to The Decemberists website this is what we would get – Decemberists will perform a set that will be entirely left to the hands of fate — we will draw songs from a lottery and dutifully play them, regardless of their quality or presence in our memory. Decemberists songs, naturally, but you do never know what bizarre cover songs or strange commands may end up in the pile.

And yes – this was a set left entirely in the hands of fate – along with also the hands of John Wesley Harding. As emcee of the show, he did quite a good job. He was a little too talkative for my taste, as Id have preferred to have heard more songs. And I definitely was not a fan of him throwing out songs at the end. What no “Engine Driver”, which happens to be one of my favorite songs. But he was entertaining and had to throw about some other ridiculous requests. Not sure how many other crowd surfing requests there actually were.

Decemberists did their best to keep things in order. The only thing actually not in order was they did play Crane Wife 3 and then went straight into The Island. And that worked out quite well. It was great to see Laura Veirs on Yankee Bayonet as the last time this was supposed to happen their show was cancelled. The songs were pretty all over the place and Id have loved to have heard even more of their popular songs, but – as left to the hands of fate you never know what youll get.

The Tain was definitely interesting and lasting 20 mins. Im quite sure this will be the first and last time I ever get to hear it played. Colin did write a song about The Hudson River, NYC and Sully and considering it was on the fly, it was pretty damn awesome. Marcel did some crowd surfing which was pretty funny and yes, even Nate and John made out, although Im almost sure there was no tongue. I was right in front of Jenny and she was looking like she was having a great time as always.

The final song was just awesome. Im a big fan of ELO, hahaha, and this was an awesome cover. I got some great video of it and Colin hopping around.

The good: hearing songs Id never have heard otherwise and in general an awesome idea. it was the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect, the perfect crime!

The bad: not enough music. 15 songs in 2 hours really. Not much of Colin Meloy talking 😦 and way too much John Wesley Harding talking.

Laura Veirs was a good opener. She plays a folky-indie style of music and has a great voice. Her backing band is also quite good. Plus, without her we’d not have her wonderful addition on “Yankee Bayonet”.

Setlist:

  1. Yankee Bayonet (w/Laura Veirs)
  2. July July
  3. The Raincoat Song
  4. Bridges and Balloons
  5. From My Own True Love
  6. Bachelor & The Bride
  7. Rake Song
  8. Culling of the Fold
  9. Marcel crowd surfs to a waltz
  10. I Was Meant For The Stage
  11. The Island
  12. Crane Wife 3
  13. Annan Water

Encore 1

  1. Nate & John Make Out
  2. Colin Writes a Song
  3. The Tain
  4. The Perfect Crime 2

Encore 2

  1. Mr. Blue Sky (ELO cover)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

CMJ 2007 Recap (in a nutshell)

Posted by xneverwherex on October 23, 2007

10/16 – 10/20 – CMJ 2007

CMJ as always seems to be a clusterphuck and it always seems that you are missing someone. It never fails; but then you catch that one band that sticks out that wasn’t even on your list, and you realize that this is why it is so worth it. CMJ is 5 days of shows throughout NYC showcasing some of the newest, hottest bands out there that you have never heard of. It also manages to get some top names that you can also catch in tiny venues.

This year CMJ was a bit of everything for me. I caught some hyped up names and some bigger names and then the names that are unheard of. I rely heavily on word of mouth (thanks Hannah) at shows to know who are so worth seeing. We all have our favorites, but my friends picks are usually so right on – that once I hear I *have* to see a show, inevitablly I see the band.

So lets waste no more time and begin. Tuesday night the festival began and knowing I had an insane week of shows I ended up foregoing who I had wanted to see. Surprisingly it was ok as most the bands I had just seen. The highlight of that night was to be Hot Iqs which I ended up catching on Wednesday. All hope was not lost.

Wednesday was Day 1 for me. I started out by catching a free show over at Club Midway Hot IQs. What a way to begin the festival. Catchy songs that are so danceable. A lead singer with a quite low voice in the realm of The National. A female drummer who is kick-ass who plays barefoot and looks like Lana of Smallville (Kristin Kreuk). I was so glad that I got to catch this band as they’re from Denver and only had a few shows. After the set the band invited me to Brooklyn with them and I had wished I could go. They were also handing out free CDs, so I plan to give them a listen or two. As you can’t go wrong with catchy pop melodies.

After that it was off to The Delancey. I was hoping to be catching Five O’Clock Heroes, but at some point it got switched up (is all I’m guessing). Instead I got to hear BM Linx not once, but somehow twice. They sound quite OK on myspace, but live I just wasnt so into them. They definitely had the New York vibe going on looks wise with a guitarist who looks like he just stepped out of a new wave video. Cant comment much more on them, as they were easily forgettable, which in my book is never a good thing. After that was The Wildbirds from Wisconsin. The lead singer has a sexy, sultry voice and the band has the classic rock/bluesy sound. I basically would describe them as sexed up rock, which was all I could think of during their set. 4 guys with longish hair that have the typical rocker look, with tight jeans that are oh so hipster. But their music is far from that which is indeed a nice change. Finally was the band that had a lot of hype that I had been waiting for. Cut Off Your Hands is from New Zealand, which apparently is the ‘it’ place to be from right now as far as bands go. They had about 8 showcases (if not more) that they were playing. Nick Johnson, lead singer of the band, has for one the best haircut in the bands playing these days. But regardless of his indie hipster look with tighter than tight jeans, has this amazing voice – reminiscent of Morrissey’s from The Smiths days. He’s beyond spastic when he sings and dances, and goes from standing to falling to the floor to hanging off beams in clubs and climbing on things. He’s got so much energy that their 25 minute set is the most intense set that could be seen at CMJ. Its fast, bouncy, post-punk rock at its finest. If you liked The Smiths, I dont think there is any way you can not like them. Likeable guys in the band who were so excited to be there, proved that this is what CMJ is about. And if thats not enough, any lead singer who can go through 3 bottles of water – pouring them down his back and over his head – should give you an indication of just how much heart he puts into each set. Besides, anyone who shoves a cameraperson away gets extra points with me.

After that it was off to The Canal Room. I caught Air Traffic from the UK which put on a good, tight set. Its a little too Coldplay-lite for me and too much like all those other bands from the UK. This is not a bad thing as I love Coldplay, Travis, etc. but I find that I wont remember them from anyone else, especially at a festival. I would add that if you can see them on their own, it’d be worth it. After Air Traffic was the band I was super excited to see. I caught Division Day from LA. The last time I had seen them was at CMJ a year ago with Birdmonster. I’m a huge fan of Division Day so this time I knew nearly all of the songs. Great catchy hooks, sing-along-choruses, and keyboards that will get you on the dance floor. Each song is seemingly different from the prior one, yet each has its own hook that will get you dancing. Rohner has an amazing voice and their new album, Bear Trap Island, is as catchy and as great as their prior one. So definitely go out and buy it.

And finally the continuation….

Thursday was a bit of craziness with friends coming to town, and trying to coordinate everything. I started the day off by catching Division Day at the former Mo Pitkins (sadly it closed that Saturday for good). Division Day now has a reputation for playing places that somehow end up closing soon after (it was sin-e for them last year). Again, another great show.

After some wandering around the Lower East Side I ended up catching some stuff at Pianos. There was a DJ set with San Serac that was quite entertaining. After that set, I think I caught some of someone else but cant remember. I met up with Hannah and it was off to the Fader party and get some food! The Fader party was good but but it was only open for those who rsvped. They had DJs between sets and free drinks. Always a good thing. I caught Cut Off Your Hands again and it was as good and as out of control. So loved this band! After they finished up – I rushed over to Club Midway to catch The Warlocks. Really no need for rushing as they were behind schedules. The lights went down (near pitch black), with the only glow from the neon lit floor. The guitars kicked in, the noise filled the room, swirling, lush sounds. It was hard to stay awake (surprising with how loud it was), but I was dead tired, and in the near pitch black with just guitars it was pretty peaceful. I should say that The Warlocks were on my bands to see list. Being a fan of the Dandy Warhols, nearly everyone who likes them, are huge fans of The Warlocks as well. And they did not disappoint!

After all this I headed uptown to Town Hall to see Stars. This was not a part of CMJ. Stars, from Montreal, put on an incredible set. Amy Millan’s vocals were right on and she sounded amazing. Torq sounded great also and had such a bubbly personality. They played a set consisting of songs from all the different albums. People were in front of their seats dancing and it made for a great time to get away from CMJ for just a bit. Their set was nearly 2 hours or so and it made for a great time. One of the highlights was when Amy messed up the lyrics to the song, and they went into a big production over having to restart the song. It was even better the second time.

After their set, I rushed back to the LES, and caught the end of Wintersleep‘s set. It was so loud is all I can really remember, and the vocals were near impossible to hear. Fat Baby was having a Canadian night with all bands from Canada. I was there to check out the Toronto band Uncut who I keep on managing to miss. It was a good thing I got there, because Im not sure Derek would have been happy with me anymore 🙂 Uncut put on a really great set. Their new-ish stuff is sounding really great. Ian’s vocals were right on. Their new guitarist Chris fits right into the band. If you like your music with heavy guitars, very loud, great songs this is the band to check out. “Kiss Me” sounds like something that Jesus & Mary Chain would have put out sometime ago.  And that rounds out my Thursday night.  

Its hard to imagine that those were only 2 days. Next day it was onto work (barely functionable), and then after work it was time to rush back down to the LES and catch more bands. I made it down to the Fader Party to catch yet another band from New Zealand. The Checks who were so full of energy and had some very catchy blues rock. They were definitely a band not to miss. And it was quite dancy as well, which made for an even better time. After that, it was over to Fat Baby for probably the biggest let-down of the festival. I honestly think though something happened when I listened to the bands, because I really thought they were supposed to be good. First was The Alarmists from Minneapolis. Now they were fine – but a little boring. Didnt do much on stage, but the music held its own. Catchy indie pop, but nothing out of the ordinary. The next set went even more down hill which was Spouse from Northampton, MA. Way boring indie pop that the band barely seemed all that into. It seemed they were bored on stage, which definitely didnt help. Next was Minneapolis’ The Melismatics. Now I really like the way they sound online, but live I was mostly appalled with the scene. I felt like they were trying so hard to be just another indie hipster band. Which is unfortunate, because they did seem to have some talent. Their music wasnt bad, but just seemed like any other band you could see in Williamsburg (and no – this isnt a slam on Williamsburg – but when youre seeing a ton of bands, youre hoping for something at least memorable). On their own outside of a festival, I think theyd be damn good.

About this time I got really worried about who I was seeing. My only consolation was – I had RSVP’ed to Crash Mansion and was on the guest list and could get in for free. Now their show would not disappoint. First – Crash Mansion is an amazing venue. It is huge and it is _very_ swanky. Its basically a place to go to be seen. Hardwood floors, stone walls, minimal lighting, tables scattered throughout the place and a DJ spinning in the corner of the main room. Plenty of bars with great drink specials, and acoustics that are amazing.

The first band we caught was Zambri. Mostly women in the band playing rocked out dance type music. Its quite likeable music until the woman singing goes off-key and is hitting notes she should have never tried to hit. Its ear pitching screams would make me never want to hear them again. Thats fine – I had no clue who they were and werent there to see them. Next up was House & Parish that I was looking forward to. And they were nice guys to look at, with a really good guitarist, and some good crowd interplay, but overall a wee bit boring. Just didnt seem so into the show. I was worried tonight was a big bust. UNTIL…  WILD LIGHT. 4 guys make up the band and the great thing about them is the 3 guys (minus the drummer) rotate instruments throughout the set. They all take turns singing lead vocals, but mostly there is a lot of harmonies that shows off their truly impressive vocals. Very catchy indie pop songs that even without knowing the words – will have you singing along in no time. They were easily one of the most likeable bands that were playing. It was great when at the end of the set – they said that they had some very good news. They were just asked by the Arcade Fire to come on tour with them in Europe. I recommend checking out Red House which shows off their amazing harmonies.

My night had been saved by these great guys from New Hampshire. And after that I had the great fortune of finally catching Foreign Islands. I have been a big fan of this Brooklyn band for quite awhile, it was just more amazing that I had never seen them live. Foreign Islands tore it up – had the crowd dancing within seconds and a band that was as wild on stage. They played a pretty revved up 25 minute set that ended with the singer throwing his mic straight at a lamp that went shattering everywhere. Needless to say, whether the show was meant to end at that moment or not, the show was over for them. Damn intense!

And finally, we reach Saturday. Im just tired remembering all this and typing it up – I dont know how I did it all. Saturday started out with some day shows. I caught a bit of The Pierces who were way behind schedule at Club Midway. I dont understand how you can be behind schedule after only one band. I guess nothing started on time. A pity as I was going to catch Foreign Born. Instead I ended up heading to Pianos to catch Turbo Fruits. I had heard that they were friends with The Checks and it makes sense (musically wise). They both play similar music with bluesy rock music. A great set with some catchy stuff, although I found The Checks just a tad more appealing. Im now getting strange looks from people that I work with over the music.  Next up was Foals – from the UK. They put on an amazing dancy set that just kept going and going. They really worked the crowd up – with the guys jumping into the crowd with their guitars. Lots of keyboards and lots of fun. I really cant wait to catch a full set from them, as 25 minutes was not nearly long enough. After that was The Maccabees who I had been longing to see after I saw them several months back. They seemed a bit tired, and it was only fitting with all the shows they had been playing. Their music was good, but not as good as they were previously. Catchy, British-post punk rock in the same genre as The Rakes. Still love the band – will just have to wait till they can play a full set.

After that it was back to The Fader party. Im not even sure who I was trying to see there, but I know I had missed them with the problems that Foals were having. I did end up seeing Yeasayer (and another band that I dont even know who it was). Yeasayer played a good set but I really wasnt so into the music and was getting tired.

From there I had to head back uptown to check out the new Terminal 5. The name doesnt lie – and it has the coldness of a terminal feel to it. The club isnt yet finished and the walls are just stark white and smell of paint. Sightlines are atrocious, so it helps to go up to one of the other floors to have a perfect view. Midnight Juggernauts opened the set and unfortunately with the sound problems they didnt sound that great. Some of the songs sounded really good, while others were horribly muddled. 70’s prog rock sounds, spaced out sounds, with amazing vocals (when properly heard) and you get a really great band. Electronic rock is here to stay. Cant wait to see them at a smaller venue (which Im hoping will one day soon happen). Unfortunately this great band is from Australia, so who knows when that will happen.

They opened for Justice – who claim that Midnight Juggernauts is one of the best albums. Justice put on a DJ set for over an hour that was pure dance party crazy. I was upstairs and watching the crowd flying back and forth – everyone moving with each other I was pretty surprised. I expected it to be wild, but I wasnt expecting what I saw. It was an amazing view, and it was a great set. A real pity that they didnt come out for a 2nd encore after the crowd was chanting “We are your friends, Youll never be alone again, Well c’mon”. Its hard to imagine with a whole club singing along, that there wasnt another encore. The band did come out upstairs to acknowledge the crowd. Overall it was a great set – but unlike their fellow countrymen Daft Punk – they just didnt blow me away in the same light.

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »