Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Posts Tagged ‘Williamsburg’

The Writings on the Wall – Plan B

Posted by xneverwherex on May 6, 2011

Plan B
Faith SFX (beatboxer)
@ Music Hall of Williamsburg

I went into this show knowing two things – a) Plan B is/was a rapper and b) end credits (w/Chase & Status). So I wasn’t sure much about his new concept album – The Defamation of Strickland Banks. I knew it was a departure from the rap side of things but didnt realize it was a whole story on some artist getting thrown into jail for a rape he didnt commit. The story is insane and as he gets thrown into jail and writes about hell and whats going on- the music really stands out.

The evening began with bass pouring out of the doors and it turns out a DJ was spinning to an empty crowd. Finally a crowd exists but 90 minutes later no one cared. We were all ready for the evening to _really_ begin. First came the beatboxer who was sick! Based on videos Id take a guess that it was Faith SFX who can pretty much imitate any sound and was great at getting the crowd revved up.

Finally Ben Drew (Plan B) comes out with a 7 piece band backing him. Everyone looks incredibly stylish with the men in 3 piece suits and shiny shoes. Women in all black standing on the side giving the music a gospel feel. The band is excited. Its one of their few solo shows, as theyre currently on tour opening for Adele. Plan B jumps right in with the album. They open up with ‘The Writings on the Wall’ and the crowd starts dancing. A couple behind me starts doing their own dance to the music. Plan B’s soulful voice takes you away as he sounds as great as any other 70s soul artist.

The band gets really into the music. A guitarist on stage right comes to the edge of the stage and is dancing as hes playing. The other guitarist on the other side of Plan B – with dark shades – starts dancing as much and they both bring out the great rhythms in the songs. ‘Welcome 2 Hell’ and ‘The Recluse’ are much more energetic and people all around are singing along to all the songs. He breaks out into raps during the songs and it works seamlessly.

About an hour later theyre saying how its the end of the show. Its hard to believe they flew through just one album. They come back out for an encore that is pure medleys. Full of dubstep beats and mixing up a bunch of oldies. The arrangements are awesome and theyve turned ‘My Girl’ into a brand new song. How ‘A Kiss From a Rose’ ever ended up that popular always boggles my mind. But that was another remix complete with a crowd sing-along. As Faith SFX comes back out to infuse beatbox into the songs it gets rowdy on stage. Somehow it turns into punk on stage and the band is creating their own circle pushing into each other which of course leads the crowd to follow suit. By the end of the show – the band is on the floor of the stage, instruments thrown everywhere and people on top of each other.

If youre seeing Adele – you owe it to yourself to check out Plan B. Im not sure any other artist could blend the rap into soul songs that seamlessly. The band is awesome and is thoroughly having a great time. Hopefully theyll be back here sometime soon as Ill definitely be seeing them again.

Writings on the Wall
Welcome 2 Hell
The Recluse
Love Goes Down
Coming Up Easy
Hard Times/Runaway
What You Gonna Do
She Said

Who’s Loving You. Tracks of My Tears/Lean on Me/ My Girl/Stand By Me (an awesome video from another show)
Dubstep Medly: Kiss From a Rose/Forgot about Dre (B)
Stay Too Long


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Does It Offend You… We Are Rockstars

Posted by xneverwherex on February 4, 2011

Does It Offend You, Yeah
Infernal Devices
The Bell House

Nu-metal… wtf? Nu-rave… oh hell no. The conversation went something like that when discussing DIOYY. DIOYY made a pit stop in Brooklyn while being on tour with Linkin Park. Yes, seriously youre not misreading that last sentence. I said the same thing when they announced they were playing MSG. I wondered what kind of sick joke it was, but surprisingly with their new material Im not all that surprised. They would make a great opener. (and this is not a bad thing)

Their set was raucous and absolute insanity at its finest. From the moment James walked on stage – he wanted the crowd jumping and moving. At one moment he wanted us all hanging from the chandelier. The crowd mostly obliged and during some songs all you could feel was everyone jumping. Their new music sounds mostly the same with the same-ish beats. And then James started throwing/dropping his keyboards – keys flying all over the place. The rest of the band took over duties with James jumping around, moving, singing his heart out.

By the time someone lit up – and the haze of the smoke covered the stage – the guitarist seemed to be asking everyone around him for some pot. It was quite amusing – and no clue if he ever scored. I dont think so – as he looked so disappointed.

Their encore began with “Dawn of the Dead” which was completely stripped down turning into a much slower version with the crowd singing most the vocals. By the time they were playing their final song “We Are Rockstars”, it was just a mess of a keyboard all over the place. Being slammed against the floor, against the drums, a bass flying, no clue what happened with the guitar – but it was pure insanity. The band members were all jumping and crashing into one another. They definitely worked up the crowd to the point that when the set ended people were clamoring for any memory from the show. Friends fighting over drumsticks in the bathroom – where a conversation went something like – “Im going to steal that from you when you sleep at night”. Wow! I didnt know their fans were so obsessive and I couldnt figure out if it was endearing or just damn right creepy.

Deluka was one of the openers. I could have sworn I had seen them with Viva City, but it turns out they didnt even make that show. I was surprised when 4 people showed up and clearly had an English accent. This great band from Birmingham were really great. The lead singer was very charismatic with a great voice. With her super tight skirt and her really tight shiny leggings and boots, she reminded me of Liela Moss of The Duke Spirit complete with the same attitude.

They have this really great electronic sound with great catchy lyrics. Their music is quite dance-y with really great beats. Their bassist is really great, aside from the fact that by about the 2nd song he broke a string on his bass. So naturally he borrowed Chloe’s bass (of DIOYY) and naturally – he breaks a string. With a great spirit, explaining he was completely jet lagged, he fixed the string on his bass and carried on. They seemed so appreciative to be playing in New York and the crowd seemed to really like them. And it seems they’re now listing Brooklyn as one of their homes – so its about time you got out there and saw them.

Lastly, the show could not have been complete without Williamsburg’s own Infernal Devices consisting of Mark and Andy. I met them after the first time I saw Viva City and theyre just great guys. But I was sad to see they retired their ‘time machine/tesla coil’ as my friend and I called it. But their new equipment is pretty f’ing cool with all these awesome lights and wires.

Their music is beyond catchy electronic beats that will have your toe tapping and body moving from the opening beats. The almost breathless vocals of Mark fill the room. He fills the stage moving from side to side working like no tomorrow to get the crowd moving. Each song has a unique slightly dark sound, so they dont all sound the same. Seriously – its a tough sell – as unfortunately DIOYY’s fans are not quite the same.

Highly recommend the beyond catchy “Fast Enough”. Once youre addicted to it as much as I am make sure to come see them. They do not disappoint. Im highly hoping that theyre put on as an opener for someone like White Lies which might be a great pairing.

All in all – an interesting night of music. The bands were all super nice and friendly and chatty.

For a great interview with James and Matty of DIOYY- check out the boys talking about their line of underwear – complete with skidmarks. Hell I cant even make this stuff up. The intervierw with ID is also great – talking about their own line of jackets! Count me in whenever they start designing them!

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