|Concert Review: Royal Canoe @ Hammerstein Ballroom (9/14)|
Royal Canoe opened up for Alt-J at Hammerstein Ballroom last Saturday and while they performed, I was struck with equal amounts of awe and total confusion. Moments of complete musical grandeur was met with the strange usage of (I’m guessing) vocoders used to morph vocalist Matt Peter’s voice, which would randomly occur throughout the performance. When this six-piece aren’t producing weird vocal reverb sounds, Royal Canoe straight-up jam out on stage. Six people on stage is a hell of a lot and yet somehow, they’re incredibly cohesive and tight when they perform. “Birthday” was opened with of course, asking the crowd if it was anyone’s birthdays. Which then lead to about 13 people claiming it was their day of birth but more importantly, a beautiful myriad of sounds and textures reverberating from the stage. The track was played beautifully, with Royal Canoe looking so genuinely happy onstage. Crowd favorite “Just Enough” had the venue swaying to the sweet sounds of Royal Canoe while their eerie stage lighting had their shadows projected onto the walls of Hammerstein Ballroom. All in all, this band’s sweet instrumentals were the perfect opener for Alt-J.
Royal Canoe is Matt Peters, Bucky Driedger, Matt Schellenberg, Brendan Berg, Derek Allard, Michael Jordan.
|Photos: Washed Out, Haerts @ Terminal 5 (9/18)|
A few days ago, Washed Out blew my fucking mind at Terminal 5 when they performed to a nearly sold-out venue. I cannot remember the last time I left a concert feeling so riled up, and Washed Out was the perfect way to break that funk. Actually, now that I think of it, Alt-J were pretty damn cool at Hammerstein Ballroom but Washed Out are on a totally different level of cool. Check out photos from the show below along with photos of their opener, HAERTS! If you’re feeling extra energetic, read my live concert review over at CMJ: http://www.cmj.com/live/live-review-washed-out-haerts-terminal-5-september-18-2013/
|Photos: AlunaGeorge @ Bowery Ballroom (9/5)|
London’s AlunaGeorge have been gaining massive traction since they’ve hit the music scene in June and with the momentum they’ve got going so far, there seems to be no end in sight. And you know what? Good, because this duo consisting of producer George Reid and singer Aluna Francis can do no wrong. They brought their synthesized R&B sensibilities and slick airy vocals to New York City’s Bowery Ballroom on the 5th and Emily Korn was there to capture the action. Check out her photos below!
|Video: Cub Sport: “Paradise”|
Alas! A music video for Cub
Now that we’ve gotten that fun tidbit of news out of the way, above is Cub Sport’s fun in the sun video for “Paradise”! How appropriate. Mixed in with footage of the band on holiday, smiling and splashing about, is also some very Queen-like edits. You’ll get what I mean once you watch the video.
Cub Scouts is Tim Nelson, Zoe Davis, Sam Netterfield, Daniel Puusaari, Andrew Williams.
|Video: Two Door Cinema Club: “Changing of the Seasons”|
FINALLY! It feels like we’ve been forced to wait an eternity for the music video for Two Door’s newest single to be released and it’s finally here! Shot in black and white, paired with impeccable acting, the video is rather avant-garde. I feel fancier after watching it. I kid, I kid. It’s very much in Two Door Cinema Club’s realm of music videos and it’s as enjoyable as the song itself. Watch it above!
Two Door Cinema Club is Alex Trimble, Kevin Baird, Sam Halliday.
|Photos: Tegan and Sara, Fun. @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre (8/22)|
As Fun.’s “Most Nights” tour comes to a close, the band played two back to back sold-out shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado. Support came by the way of powerhouse duo Tegan and Sara who brought the house down. Emily Korn was there to catch the mind numbing action and snazzy outfit changes, check out her photos below!
|Concert Review: Wildcat! Wildcat!, New Politics, The Neighbourhood @ Webster Hall (8/24)|
Fuck Taco Bell and fuck whosever job it was to throw tacos into the crowd last night at MTV’s VMA concert at Webster Hall. Now after reading that, you may be thinking, “Why the hostility?” Well it’s hard to stay objective when what you think is chunky vomit landing on you turns out to be hot meaty cheese being thrown around like it’s funny. Now I can check off watching stage hands wipe taco “meat” off the stage from my bucket list. Despite the terrible marketing idea of raining tacos, MTV put on quite the VMA pre-show. Webster Hall was dressed to the nines. LED screens, projectors, circus performers with glowing hula hoops donned the New York City venue. More impressively however was Wildcat Wildcat, who were able to keep the crowd’s attention focused towards the stage and away from Instagramming the giant multicolored light fixture hanging from the ceiling.
Wildcat Wildcat immediately caused cheers the second they walked on stage. And with their impeccably pristine four part harmonies topped with folk subtleties in the midst of their melodic electronic sound, there was nothing but awe to experience when watching this band perform. It’s common to catch Wildcat Wildcat bassist Jesse Taylor and keyboardist Michael Wilson making eye contact when they perform because when they do, there’s nothing but warm smiles stretching across each of their faces. “You don’t have to be alone” Jesse Taylor crooned repeatedly, trying his best to make the message clear. And as he sang those words over and over, the vacuous Webster Hall seemed to become even more intimate, despite the distracting decor whose intent seemed like the opposite. But as intimate as that track was, “The Chief,” did quite the opposite when the band brought onstage their sax player, really riling up the crowd.
Wildcat Wildcat’s sanguine performance set the mood for the rest of the night. With such a strong opener, the crowd was buzzing with electricity for New Politics. And when the Denmark band walked on stage, their synergy felt palpable throughout the venue and continued throughout their killer set. When you watch New Politics perform, it’s impossible not to feel positivity. And the reason why that is is simple: New Politics know how to illicit a response from their audience and they do it without fail. Each member of the band simply exudes a jubilance that’s undeniably addictive.
Whether it’s Søren Hansen’s suspenseful guitar throwing or David Boyd recording himself with a fan’s iPhone, you’re never bored when New Politics perform. And while their stage presence is something many bands fail to achieve, their musical ability in a live setting is an even rarer talent. With their set list consisting mostly of this year’s A Bad Girl in Harlem, songs like “Harlem” and “Tonight You’re Perfect” were performed flawlessly. New Politics ended their set with a powerful rendition of “Yeah Yeah Yeah” that had the floor literally shaking. And what happened after New Politics left the stage? People immediately began to Google the Copenhagen band to look up their WikiPedia page. (Scout’s honor) And that my friends is how you know if a band can leave an impact that’s more than just momentary euphoria.
The growth of California’s The Neighbourhood has been exponential since their ubiquitous “Sweater Weather” took music lover’s ears by storm. And the crowd’s love for this band was apparent when they walked onstage in the middle of New Politics’ set, causing instant screams. Their amazingly catchy tracks off of I Love You. were played to perfection. No gimmick or flashy decoration could peel the audience’s eyes away from the stage. And maybe that’s The Neighbourhood’s gimmick: holding the attention of a room in their hands with their music alone.
|Photos: Motion City Soundtrack @ Warped Tour, NY (7/13)|
I’m not really sure why I made the decision to photograph Motion City Soundtrack twice within a few days of each other during Warped Tour. I definitely should’ve checked out a band I didn’t know instead. Oh well! Below are some delayed photos from MCS’s set at Warped Tour Uniondale.
Motion City Soundtrack is Josh Cain, Jesse Johnson, Justin Pierre, Matt Taylor, Claudio Rivera.
|mp3: Kid Wave: “Shelley”|
Where this track aims to revive summer’s vibrant energy, Kid Wave’s “Shelley” prepares us for Fall with its meandering breathy vocals and layered soundscapes. A fleeting listen at Kid Wave is surely enough to pull fans in, but a longer look at what this band is producing will definitely make permanent listeners of anyone. They’re creating intricately produced tracks good enough to be the soundtrack to the next indie blockbuster. Listen to “Shelley” above and see what I mean.
Kid Wave is Lea Emmery, Mattias Bhatt.
|Throwback: Magnets and Ghosts: “Like a Sunday”|
Magnets and Ghosts are just finishing up their first tour in support of their debut album, Mass, with a show this Saturday in their hometown of Atlanta at The Earl. And since I’m sad about not being able to make it to their New York City show a few weeks back, here’s a music video from the band to cheer things up a bit. “Like a Sunday” is every alternative indie-rock lover’s wet dream. It easily brings me back to the tunes of the early 2000′s, except Magnets and Ghosts keeps their sound fresh with their own take on the genre. Watch “Like a Sunday” above and let the good times roll.
Magnets and Ghosts is Dean Roland, Ryan Potesta.