Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘UK’

How Does It Feel?? New Order

Posted by xneverwherex on October 10, 2012

New Order
Run Run Run
Fox Theatre
10/5/12

I was pretty lucky that I had ended up with a New Order ticket. It had sold out so quick and so many of us were unlucky. Thanks to Val’s boyfriend having to travel, it made me one lucky girl.

Friday night in Oakland was insanely busy. I can only assume that there was some sorta festival going on. There were bands on the street, djs spinning and people everywhere. Plus some sort of protest march going on. And the Fox Theatre was right in the middle of it all.

New Order

It seemed to take forever but New Order finally came out. The stage was quite dark as they started into their first song. And then BAM! The lights started going, strobes coming on and off and the beginning to what would be an insane light show the entire night. I was convinced my friend Will was their lighting designer.

Their second song, ‘Age of Consent’, really got the crowd revved up. They introduced the band via video screen. The band didnt do a whole lot of moving around, and Gillian barely left her keyboards. Bernard Sumner did some moving around and jumping around while Stephen Morris for the most part remained behind the drums. On occasion, he’d walk to the sides to play what looked to be a drum machine. There were a few other members rounding out the touring band, but couldnt remember who. It was definitely a loss to not have Peter Hook on bass.

The first half of their set was mostly songs I hadnt remembered and probably a few newer ones. It seemed I was recognizing one for every few. I was a bit disappointed. At least the seongs all had a catchy synthy beat and they were easy to get into. But then it was like all of a sudden all their most popular hits. True Faith was followed by Bizarre Love Triange, complete with the original video on the screen. The crowd went nuts with people dancing in the aisles, next to their chairs, wherever they could make room. And then they threw in ‘Perfect Kiss’ and ‘Blue Monday’. Lastly, there was ‘Temptation’. They were so great and the crowd was singing along. But then Barney was saying last song and everyone looked confused as it was barely over an hour at that point. It seemed a bit unreal. But then it happened, and the band was off the stage. It was hard to believe that after an hour and 15 minutes the show was nearly over.

New Order

New Order

Of course there was an encore. It was a short, but sweet, 2 song encore of Joy Division songs. The first was ‘Atmosphere’ and the set was closed out with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The songs arent quite as dark and moody as Joy Division, but still had that feel to them. Its hard to hear the songs and not imagine Ian Curtis’ voice, but its cool to be able to hear them played at all.

While I guess I had higher expectations, it didn’t totally disappoint. I heard some great songs live and they were performed with great execution. But just a few more songs would have been nice. I definitely would have loved to hear a song or two off of ‘Technique’. More of anything would have been great from a band that has countless albums and songs. C’est La Vie.

Set List:
Elegia
Crystal
Ceremony
Close Range
Age of Consent
Isolation (Joy Division Cover)
Here to Stay
Your Silent Face
Bizarre Love Triangle
586
True Faith
The Perfect Kiss
Blue Monday
Temptation

Encore:
Atmosphere
Love Will Tear Us Apart

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Take Me Home, Maximo Park

Posted by xneverwherex on September 28, 2012

Maximo Park
The Neighbourhood
Zambri
9/20/12
Slims

It seemed forever that I had last seen Maximo Park. Their last tour somehow didnt end up coming to NYC, so it was about time they finally came back. And the band seemed to really enjoy being in San Francisco and playing Slims. Paul had so much energy that you could feel it bouncing off the walls. He posed lots and had lots of great movements and his dancing has definitely improved and increased. I definitely miss the scissor kicks, but theres still lots of jumping. Lukas is still as insane as ever on the keyboards. He kept pulling them towards him as he’d jump around and even jump on them. Very awesome.

Paul

The songs off their new album, ‘The National Health’ are quite catchy. ‘Take Me Home’ should be a total hit. They started their show off with the always fun and energetic ‘Graffiti’ and then jumped into the title track which was also really catchy. But it was really their older songs that got the crowd super excited and jumping and singing along. While their other albums have been quite good, nothing has compared to ‘A Certain Trigger’. Although, the guitar riff from ‘Girls who Play Guitars’ has never sounded better.

It was awesome when Paul said he had a song to sing about where we were. People screamed out songs, but I knew it had to be ‘The Coast is Always Changing’. What an awesome song and what a perfect San Francisco song. ‘Graffiti’, ‘Limassol’ and ‘Kiss You Better’ still sound amazing live. It was great to hear Paul sing part of ‘The Acrobat’ which he had to stop singing due to the lack of anyone remembering it 🙂

Paul & The Park

The band played nonstop for about 90 minutes before announcing it was down to their last songs. He mentioned how Americans love encores (really?), but that on this tour there wouldnt be any. They put their heart into the set and left it all on the floor. Naturally, some people (who I guess didnt believe the band), yelled for an encore. A 20 song set was hard to be disappointed with and for the most part they played nearly everything I would have wanted to hear.

Paul talked about how he had a few days off from the tour and how they went to Coit Tower and visited other sites. Paul was pretty talkative and wanted to tell stories, but for some reason many people in the audience just yelled out songs and wanted them to play. A pity as he’s a great storyteller.

The Neighbourhood

LA’s The Neighbourhood were surprisingly quite awesome. The guys looked quite young and were very excitable. There are definitely some hardcore influences along with hip hop. Its a great combo and makes for a great show. The lead singer, who is covered with tattoos, is hard to take your eyes from. Even if the music is not your scene, just stare at his arms/neck for awhile and youll be entranced.

NYC’s Zambri played a quite short set. They tried to do something unique with a lot of microphones that didn’t quite work. It definitely had an electronic feel and reminds me of School of Seven Bells. I still find them a bit forgettable but they’re fine to watch. Im not quite sure how they ended on this lineup but it made for a quirky interesting night.

Set List:
Graffiti
The National Health
Girls Who Play Guitars
Hips and Lips
Questing, Not Coasting
The Coast Is Always Changing
Write This Down
Going Missing
Reluctant Love
Books From Boxes
The Undercurrents
Limassol
The Kids Are Sick Again
Take Me Home
Now I’m All Over the Shop
This Is What Becomes of the Broken Hearted
Parisian Skies
I Want You to Stay
Our Velocity
By the Monument
Waves of Fear
Apply Some Pressure

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Everybody’s Under Your Spell – The Duke Spirit

Posted by xneverwherex on June 5, 2012

The Duke Spirit
Hacienda
Slim’s
6/4/12

What a great night of bands. I hadn’t been to Slim’s since the late 90s and oddly enough it was exactly as I had remembered it. Had that nice welcome home feeling. Even better than that, the bands did not disappoint.

The Duke Spirit

Liela – The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit hadn’t played San Francisco in quite a long time and Liela and the gang were happy to be there. Throughout the entire set, she had a really big smile and played to the crowd. The crowd just adored her making it all the better. As usual, she had on black tights with heavy black boots and a sort of mock shirt dress/cape. Always one to look cool, it looks like she’d have been a fashion designer.

The band sounded really loud and crisp. The guitars were tight and gave off a nice shoegaze-y sound almost as loud as a Jesus & Mary Chain show. The sound reverberated throughout the club as everyone danced and got really into their music. Liela’s vocals never disappoint – a sexy growl as she takes over the stage.

Liela tends to fly around the stage. Her hands expressive as she runs back and forth – her body wrapping around poles on the stage. She plays to the audience and with songs like ‘Everybody’s Under Your Spell’ she really engages the crowd.

The set consisted of a good chunk of songs off the newest album ‘Bruiser’. I was familiar with a lot of the songs from their set at the Bowery Hotel last October but it was great to hear even more of the album played.

The only real disappointment was the set was so short. After 40 minutes they had already left the stage for an encore. It was rather unreal. They came back for a 3 song encore – sad to see that Lassoo was cut from the set. The encore was so kick-ass tho, Im not sure it mattered. ‘Red Weather’ was a real highlight. The guitars just kept going and going, it seemed like they could just play on forever. It was a total perfect frenzy between the vocals and guitars. Was beyond sad when it ended.

The Duke Spirit

Was pleasantly surprised about how awesome Hacienda was. I had only heard one song and thought they were so pop-sounding. It was great to hear that this band from Texas were playing some real Southern Texas with a bluesy rock sound. Im not usually a fan of it, but the guys were having a great time. The music was infectious and had some really great hooks. Would easily see them again and recommend people to check them out.

Set List:
Procession
Everybody’s Under Your Spell
Bodies
Hello To the Floor
Neptune’s Call
Glorious
De Lux/Don’t Wait
You Were Born
Surrender
The Step and the Walk
Love Is An Unfamiliar Name

This Ship
Red Weather
Cuts Across the Land

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Dead on the Dancefloor

Posted by xneverwherex on January 18, 2012

The Good Natured
Nicos Gun

Mercury Lounge
1/16/12

Sarah McIntosh makes up 1/3 of The Good Natured. She is pretty much the face of the band and can’t be more adorable. With a soft spoken British accent, she is just pleasant to listen to. Tonight shes come out in skin tight purple satiny pants with heels that are to die for. She moves around the stage looking like she came out of an 80s goth video. This time around, her hair is more akin to looking like she’s a new Robert Smith (The Cure) and she cant look better. With thick black eyes, she just might be the new Siouxsie Sioux.

Vocally the band brings out the dark emotions of the 80s goth bands (Siouxsie, The Cure) but then puts an electro spin on it, and they become a mix of them and the likes of Ladytron. She describes her music as pop music with heart which it can definitely be, if you like your pop music a bit on the darker side.

Tonights show started out with their new single ‘Video Voyeur’ which is quite catchy and then went into the even more catchy pop song ‘Be My Animal’. Sarah wasted no time getting off the stage and dancing in the crowd. She definitely plays off the energy and just loves to get the crowd to dance. She managed to get into the crowd 2x during the set; the second time was during the oh so sexy song ‘Dead on the Dancefloor’.

The set was a good mix of newer and old songs. The only real disappointment was the set itself was beyond short at just 8 songs. It might have been 20 or 30 minutes but there was still a crowd left wanting a lot more. And who wouldnt, when it comes to watching Sarah on stage and being captivated and mesmerized.

Nicos Gun

Nicos Gunopened up the set. Philly surely knows how to make good dirty electro funk. And this band always delivers when it comes to that. It was nearly a year since I last saw them, and while some of my favorite songs were not played, its hard not to love everything that they do. They know how to make their songs sound just a bit dirty and add a lot of the funk to it. The band seemed to be having an awesome time really getting into the songs. It seemed the band was having more fun than most of the crowd, which was a pity. While they are a completely different band than The Good Natured they were definitely on par with them in a different style.

The lead singer exuded sex and his 70s inspired vest couldnt have looked better on him. He has the swagger of the other lead singers from the 70s and knows how to work it. The other guys in the band feed off his constant energy. Their set was pretty awesome nearing about 40 minutes. Its always a bit interesting when the opener has a longer set the headliner. I guess when its 2 bands who are both starting out, you just never know what youll get.

This was really an awesome show and theyre definitely worth checking out. For anyone in the SF/LA area theyll be west in a couple days!

The Good Natured Set List:
Video Voyeur
Be My Animal
Wolves
Your Body is a Machine
Lovers
Sting
Dead on the Dancefloor
Skeleton

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Best of the Rest @ CMJ

Posted by xneverwherex on October 25, 2011

10/21/11 & 10/22/11

Friday and Saturday moved so quickly and so late that I barely had a chance to recover. Even tho the nights werent insanely late, the subways always made it that much more fun.

The best set of the festival – hands down – nothing came even remotely close – was Casiokidsfrom Norway (I actually thought Swedes, but alas theyre Norwegian). Casiokids were fun and creative and did I say fun. Their synth-pop/electronic sound was fresh sounding and it always felt like they were creating music on the fly.

Casiokids

Who knows if they were – but it all seemed so original. I loved the fluidity of the band members as they all rotated on instruments from guitars to keyboards to drums. Well the drummer was usually one guy, but lots of percussion was always added – often times in the way of fruits. Shaking pineapples and red peppers. I think there was a cucumber too. The band had everyone clapping and dancing and just having a great time. It was a pity the set had to end as it should have gone on for at least another hour.

Thanks to Spike Hill for having one of the best showcases and free too! Its hard to go wrong with that. The UK had some great bands around too. Its pretty hard to go wrong with bands from across the pond (as a generalization – not a rule). Jonquil, from the hometown of Radiohead, err Oxford, were a catchy 4 piece. They have a great indie pop sound with infectious hooks and catchy melodies. Their music has a sound that is quite reminiscent of Vampire Weekend. For great britpop, this band is definitely the way to go. The guys were cute and talkative and I could see them getting quite big.

Jonquil

The BMI/MCT showcase over at Bowery Electric also had some great bands. The day started off early with Tall Shipsfrom Brighton. These 3 guys certainly can make a lot of sound. Comprising of heavy guitars and drums with minimal

Tall Ships

vocals they were a surprise that I couldnt get enough of. I really liked the set with the drummer grabbing part of the drum set and sitting in the middle of the floor. He was then joined by the bassist who went towards the back and the singer who joined in. It was so impromptu and spur of the moment. They all then had one hell of a session with drums culminating in a spastic fun set.

And with all things UK – it would be hard to omit the lovely boredish lads of Viva Brother. They ended up being a surprise guest and they never seem to disappont live. Their music is energetic and has the feel of the 90s britpop bands. Unfortunately, the band just didnt seem as into it. The drummer seemed pissed, the guitars were somehow not on the stage but in the front of the stage in the audience. Their poor tech had to go back and forth giving people instruments. Im not sure if their set didnt play out as well due to a lack of sound checks. Their music is still damn great tho, so no matter how they looked on stage it was hard not to enjoy it. A bit sad that it was so short, but hell it was free and one awesome surprise.

Washington (state) had a great band in Beat Connection. Continuing in a similar sound to Best Coast the band comes off as tropical and fun. With never ending sound problems plaguing their set, they laughed about it and continued as best as they could. Their music is catchy and has a lo-fi electronic sound to it. I loved the use of their colored neon lights surrounding the keyboards that would alternate in colors. Most of their songs were sampled with lots of keyboards and drums but the vocals that were used (Id imagine their own) sound really great. ‘In The Water’ makes you feel like youre

Beat Connection

sitting out on a beach and just in your own place grooving out. Its gotta be the catchiest song out there right now. I could listen to them over and over.

Billy McCarthy has since moved on from Pela (very sad!) to form We Are Augustines. I had wondered why this band kept emailing me new things, but that explained it all. I really didnt pay that much attention and had liked their stuff but seeing them live solidified it all. Rock music at its finest and a band that loves to play for fans. What more could anyone want. When told they had one last song, Billy went with a 10 minute jam that was purely awesome. Lots of guitars and rocking out they were easily a favorite of the night.

Bands that left a lot to be desired: Fallulah from Denmark. Im not sure which was worse the Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover in which she stated they were her favorite band. Or the fact that maybe she wanted to be Karen O. Im not entirely sure, but I found them pretty unbearable. The band itself was interesting but her as a front woman made me cringe. Chrome Sparks, from Michigan and California, just seemed a bit young and odd. Their music sounded ok, but the woman singing just seemed bored and not really into the show. And their music was a tad bit boring. Enough to stand around for 20 minutes, but thankfully it wasnt longer than that. Ambassadors, who I appreciated a bit more knowing their keyboard player was blind, had some great songs. Overall, I find their music hit and miss. Some stuff is incredibly catchy while others just dont seem to go with the sound.

Savoir Adore is already a pretty big name here and they never disappoint. One of the last bands of the day they were a fun set with catchy songs and toe tapping and just leave you feeling in great spirits. Its hard to ever go wrong with them. The guy/girl vocals always work so well and a few mess-ups and laughter ensued.

All in all, maybe Im getting more selective with what I go see, but for the most part there were some great bands that really stood out. CMJ was yet another success!

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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.

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CMJ Begins…The Good And Not So Good…

Posted by xneverwherex on October 19, 2011

CMJ – 10/18/11

So many bands, so little time! It seems its the same thing year after year with CMJ. Ive got a complete schedule that ends up useless in the first 5 minutes. Bands either fail to deliver or theyre so great – I end up seeing other bands on the showcase I might have passed up. Unfortunately, there are also times when you’d rather just shoot yourself and call it a night when disappointments continue.

The Good:

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit – technically, they shouldnt even be included in this. Theyre established and damn good! Of course, they were the highlight of the night – and I fear if I continue to see them not much else will compare. Liela looking smokin’ hot as usual is always great fun to watch. She has so much energy when she performs and she commands the stage. Its hard to take your eyes off of her when she moves as she glances around the room. Her voice is perfection as she growls through the songs.

Surprisingly, they played their older songs instead of playing newer songs. Perhaps it was due to a really tight schedule in which they were needing to be in Brooklyn. They played a way too short set of about 8 songs but it couldnt have sounded better. The dirty, muddy sounding guitars were a great complement to Liela’s voice. The garage rock psychedelic sounded great in the posh Bowery Hotel. It couldnt have been a greater set.

Hands, from LA, took the stage prior to The Duke Spirit. They had a pretty big turn out with what seemed to be lots of friends (or maybe girlfriends) from Cali.

Hands

They sounded incredible and much better than I could have expected. The backing of the psychedlic, lush sounding keyboards and guitars filled the air, with a similar sound to Sun Airway. The vocals are strong and it seemed like if Division Day (another LA band) had continued and made their songs a bit more dancey this is what youd get.

The drummer, playing barefoot naturally, keeps the beats going. The keyboards nearly swallowing the lead singers voice on some songs works out beautifully. The music, the vocals and the guitars all blend so perfectly well together it gives such a complete sound.  If youre not sure of who to see during CMJ, this band is definitely not to be missed. They have a show on Thurs afternoon at Pianos which should be great.

Alamo Race Track – who I actually saw on Monday (pre-CMJ) are also a band that you dont want to miss. Hailing from The Netherlands, it seemed the Dutch contingency came out in full support for them. I had never seen so many insanely tall people in my life. The band started off a bit shaky, and its hard to say whether or not it was the band

Alamo Race Track

or the actual songs they chose, but as their set continued the music definitely got better. They have some great melodies and their voices play off each other’s quite well.

“The Northern Territory” which they ended with was easily one of their best songs and definitely more popular. A lot of people were singing along and its catchy and fun. It sounds so much better live, that its worth seeing them just to hear that song. Its a punchy, fun toe-tapping awesome song. “Black Cat John Brown” was also another highlight. The other band members broke out with other instruments during the song. It seems they’re all quite talented players going back and forth on instruments.

They’ve got a free showcase on Thurs over at The Delancey with some other Dutch bands. If youre not doing much – its worth checking out.

And the well — not so good and you might walk out on bands.

Marcellus Hall – now if youre quite into country music, youd probably find the band quite good. They had a good sound and the lead singer was pretty amusing – so this alone made it better. As Im not a fan of country music – this was pretty painful and it seemed each song kept getting longer. Thankfully when soon there were only 3 songs, it became 2. And naturally, they’re all about love and relationships. The woman on violin did sound pretty awesome and it was her birthday – so cheers to that!

The Silent Comedy – which has such an awesome band name – so disappointed. I couldnt wait to get out of the show and it couldnt happen fast enough. Sounded like some sorta folky-bluegrass jangly type thing with banjos and all. Maybe they should have played after Marcellus Hall insteaad of spacing it out so oddly. Perhaps that was the original set- but with The Duke Spirit having to be in Brooklyn lots of things were changed. Either way – meant an early night.

And oh New Zealand – I had such high hopes for you. Andrew Keoghan, who was oh so nice to look at, was a little underwhelming. The guitar and drum thing had so much potential, but it was more of just a singer-songwriter act. Not bad sounding all, just a bit boring.

Princess Chelsea was interesting. The women had good voices and the way the band mixed it up on instruments was pretty cool. Their first song, which I knew from online, was very catchy, but then it just sounded like more of the same. It really seemed like 2 girls on their computers, mixing it up with sounds and beats and 2 guitars who added a bit more, with a drummer occasionally filling it in. Not a bad thing, just a bit slow and was near sleep inducing. Prob a great band to end a night with.

Heres to Day/Night 2. Hoping for some great things!

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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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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

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

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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