Recent Posts in pictures

July 6, 2015

photos by Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead

After a show focused on the '70s and a performance that leaned on the Dead's later years, the Fare Thee Well septet pulled from nearly every era of the Grateful Dead's touring career on Sunday.

The energy at the sold-out football stadium was through the roof as the band took the stage and assembled for a deep bow. They then huddled at the middle of the stage for a group hug. Each member took their spots and "China Cat Sunflower" began. Bruce Hornsby and Trey Anastasio shared lead vocals on "China Cat," which the Grateful Dead played over 500 times between 1968 and 1995. A few of Robert Hunter's lyrics tripped up Anastasio, but he had no problems instrumentally as the guitarist added his own signature flourishes to the iconic transition that leads into "I Know You Rider." All four main vocalists shared the "I wish I was a headlight" verse which Garcia always sang so powerfully at Grateful Dead performances. Hornsby provided a perky, upbeat piano solo in "Rider" as a crowd including celebrities Bill Murray, Perry Farrell, George R.R. Martin and Bill Walton roared its approval.

...Show organizers had one more setbreak surprise in store on Sunday as a full fireworks display was fired above Soldier Field.

The band returned to the stage towards the end of the fireworks show to open the second set with "Truckin," the first song they performed eight days earlier at their Santa Clara debut. A repeat of "Truckin" gave the audience of Deadheads a final chance to scream and shout the "what a long strange trip it's been" lyric. [Jambase]

After the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary 'Fare Thee Well' shows in Santa Clara, they played their three final shows at Chicago's Soldier Field this past weekend. Like in California, surviving members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio, former Dead collaborator Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti of Bob Weir's band RatDog. As the above review points out, each night had a different theme setlist-wise, and you can browse all three setlists below. Pictures from the first night are also in this post.

The second night, July 4th included projected footage of the Empire State Building on the screen at Soldier Field as the Dead played "U.S. Blues." The building's light show, mostly in red, white and blue, was synced to the song. Video of that is below too.

Grateful Dead

NYC Taper was in attendance, and he's got audio to stream/download of the first two shows at his site (July 3 and July 4). You can stream "Passenger" from the first night and "The Golden Road" from the second, below. has you covered if you're looking to buy the official CDs and DVDs.

Did you make it to any of the shows? If so, did you get one of the 100,000 roses FTD gave out? Was it tie-dyed? What about a balloon? Did you visit any other historical Dead sites while you were out there? How did you get your ticket?

Levi's Stadium photos HERE and HERE.

More pictures from Chicago night one, along with the three Chicago setlists, song streams and video, below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead said 'Fare Thee Well' with three Chicago shows (all 3 Solider Field setlists, night 1 pics & the audio tapes too)"

July 2, 2015

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Sondre Lerche @ MHOW 6/30/2015
Sondre Lerche

Sondre Lerche wrapped up his short East Coast tour at hometown venue Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (6/30). Delicate Steve's Steve Marion, whose opening solo set had him down in the crowd, joined Sondre on stage for "At A Loss For Words" and "Despite The Night." Former tourmates TEEN also came out to provide backing vocals on a couple songs. Jonas Alaska played first (we missed him) but pictures of Steve Marion's and Sondre's sets are in this post.

More below...

Continue reading "Sondre Lerche wrapped up his tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg with help from Delicate Steve and TEEN (pics)"

July 1, 2015

photos by James Richards IV

Death Grips
^^I know dude, we couldn't believe it either

To quickly recap, there was a minute there when industrial rap group Death Grips released records and toured like most bands. Then cancelling shows became an act they participated in more than actually playing shows. Then they said they broke up, but that their album would still come out and that actually happened. Then they said they would tour this year, and surprisingly, show promoters had enough faith to actually book them. Well, as we briefly mentioned when they were added to Riot Fest Denver, the shows on this tour have been actually happening, and now we have photographic proof:

Their tour hit Metro in Chicago last night (6/30). BV Chicago photographer James Richards IV was on the scene and his pictures are in this post. Here's one:

Death Grips

The tour hits NYC on 7/7 at Webster Hall and 7/8 at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. Both are sold out. Chicago pics continue below...

Continue reading "Death Grips are actually, for real, not pretend, playing shows (we have photographic proof)"

photos by Carly Hoskins

Torres @ Mercury Lounge - 6/26/15

Writing this, I still get the chills thinking of how TORRES did start her show on Friday, letting everybody indulge in a really long intro to Son, You Are No Island, while burning an inscent, to wave away any bed spirits and set the mood.

Like on her two albums, her live show balances between the quieter, more introspect and the heavier rock numbers: New Skin comes after the softer opener and is being followed by Sprinter and then A Proper Polish Welcome. Fortunately, TORRES is not one of those artists who have a beef with fans snapping photos, asking at any moment icily for "paying attention please and putting the stuff away". In contrary! She's not only okay with the attention she gets, but she even encourages it at times and puts on an extra charming smile or a special rocker guitar "pose". [Glam Glare]

Torres played her second of two headlining NYC shows on her tour in support of this year's great Sprinter at Mercury Lounge on Friday night (6/26). (The first was at Baby's All Right back in May.) It's the last time you'll see her somewhere that small in the NYC-area for a while, as her next shows here are with Courtney Barnett and Speedy Ortiz at Terminal 5 on July 22 (sold out) and with Garbage (who are playing their debut in full) at The Space at Westbury on October 23 and Kings Theater on October 24 (tickets).

The Mercury Lounge show was opened by local ambient musician Ancient Ocean, aka John Bohannon who used to be a member of Torres' live band. Pictures from that show continue below...

Continue reading "Torres played Mercury Lounge with Ancient Ocean (pics)"

photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Desaparecidos at Rough Trade - 6/26/15

Conor Oberst's punk band Desaparecidos brought their tour to NYC to celebrate their great new Payola LP with two release shows: Shea Stadium on 6/25 and Rough Trade on 6/26. We already posted pictures and a review of the Shea show, and now we've got a set of pictures of Rough Trade in this post. This one was opened by the Bandroidz.

Desaparecidos' tour comes back to NYC for a larger show on August 6 at Webster Hall with both the Bandroidz and The So So Glos. Tickets for that show are still available.

More Rough Trade pictures below...

Continue reading "Desaparecidos & Bandroidz @ Rough Trade (pics)"

photos by Greg Cristman

Brian Wilson / Al Jardine / Rodriguez
Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson

Beach Boy Brian Wilson brought his tour to Jones Beach last night (6/30) for his first of two NYC-area shows this week. The tour's in support of his new solo record, No Pier Pressure, and he did play a few off that, but mostly he filled the set with Beach Boys faves. For this tour, his band includes former Beach Boys Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, and Brian gives them a chance to take lead on some songs too. They opened with "Our Prayer" into "Heroes and Villains," played a bunch of earlier highlights like "In My Room" and "Surfer Girl," '70s fave "Sail On, Sailor," a couple more off Smile and of course a few from Pet Sounds too. Brian's full setlist is below.

Storied folk singer Rodriguez opened with a solo set that included a handful of his songs, and covers of Jefferson Airplane, The Flamingos, Vic Damone and Little Willie John. The venue never really filled up for either set, but neither Brian nor Rodriguez seemed to let that bother them and both sounded great. They do it again near NYC at PNC Bank Arts Center tonight (7/1) (tickets). Pictures of Jones Beach are in this post.

In other news, in celebration of the new Brian Wilson biopic, Love & Mercy, Brian re-recorded the film's title track "with local public school students who benefit from Little Kids Rock's free Modern Band music program." You may remember two years ago, he played the LIttle Kids Rock benefit in NYC.

Video of the "Love & Mercy" performance, with more pictures and setlists from Jones Beach, below...

Continue reading "Brian Wilson played Jones Beach w/ Rodriguez (pics, setlists), re-recorded "Love & Mercy" with Little Kids Rock students"

June 30, 2015

photos by P Squared Photography

Rush @ MSG 6/29/2015

Toronto invaded Brooklyn last night (6/29) when Sloan played Rough Trade and the slightly more popular Rush played the slightly larger Madison Square Garden. The MSG show was the NYC stop on their 40th anniversary tour, which they also say is "likely their last major tour of this magnitude." The set spanned their entire career, opening with "The Anarchist" and "Headlong Flight" off their most recent album, 2012's Clockwork Angels, and ending with two off their self-titled 1974 debut, "What You're Doing" and "Working Man." In between we got favorites like "Tom Sawyer," "The Spirit of Radio," and a run of parts I, II, IV and VII of "2112."

During the intermission, they played a comedy film they made that stars I Love You, Man's big Rush fans Jason Segel and Paul Rudd. Jason, Paul, and others (like Tom Morello) also appeared on screen behind Rush to rap along to "Roll the Bones." (Video of that happening in Austin, below.) They played another comedy bit on screen before the encore, which starred fellow Canadian Eugene Levy as his old "Mel's Rock Pile" bit from SCTV.

More pictures from the MSG show, and the setlist, below...

Continue reading "Rush brought their 40th anniversary tour to MSG (pics, setlist)"

photos by Sachyn Mital

2015 NYC Pride Parade
2015 NYC Pride Parade
2015 NYC Pride Parade

Pride Weekend 2015 was certainly one for the books. Coming concurrently with the historic SCOTUS decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the city had a lot to celebrate last weekend - and celebrate we did. We already brought you a ton of pictures from the most colorful time of the year, and here are a lot more. They continue below...

Continue reading "more pictures of the 2015 NYC Pride Parade"

photos by Qbertplaya; words by Bill Pearis

Sloan @ Rough Trade 6/29/2015

"OK, here's one from out 'Roll the Bones'..." Chris Murphy started with the Rush jokes pretty early into Sloan's set last night at Rough Trade. Geddy Lee and company were rocking Madison Square Garden while this not-as-famous but also long-running Canadian band were playing the decidedly smaller venue. "I saw Rush not too long ago," Murphy admitted "and it was a lot of 'here's one from our 2011 album' that I'd never heard. Speaking of, here's one from 2011," launching into "Follow the Leader" from The Double Cross.

Sloan have been an amazingly consistent band over the last quarter century, and the crowd were singing along with songs new and old -- "Fading Into Obscurity," from 2006's Never Hear the End of It, probably got the most applause of any song of the night. The tour was technically an extension of last year's Commonwealth tour, and like at Bowery Ballroom in November, this show was divided into two sets. The first opened with drummer Andrew Scott's 17-minute opus "48 Portraits" and focused on the new album, and the second set pulled from the rest of their albums. Jay Ferguson's songs from Commonwealth are especially good and were the highlight of the first set, but whether the crowd had gotten liquored up or the band had relaxed, the second set was more fun. Nothing from One Chord to Another (which is getting a 20th anniversary box set next year), but there were a number of nuggets from Twice Removed (which just got a single-disc vinyl reissue), and a couple tracks I haven't seen them do in a long time ("Rest of My Life" and, I think, "On the Horizon"). The set ended with Smeared's "500 Up."

Setlist, plus more pics from Sloan at Rough Trade, below...

Continue reading "Sloan played Rough Trade (pics / setlist / review)"

photos by Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead

Night two of the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well run-up got off to a funky and ferocious start. The cobwebs were shaken loose, the groove found its pocket in opener "Feel Like a Stranger," and all was well in Deadhead land as the truly faithful showed for the second night in a row and a slew of new nostalgia seekers and first timers got their twirl on. [Billboard]
The reunited members of the Grateful Dead (along with Phish's Trey Anastasio in Jerry Garcia's spot) played their 2nd of two reunion shows in Santa Clara on Sunday night. The next three happen in Chicago this July 4th weekend (Can't be there? There's always YouTube,, SiriusXM, Brooklyn Bowl, etc)

You saw the setlist and pictures from the first night. More photos and the setlist from the second, below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead @ Levi's Stadium (night 2 pics & setlist) "