Recent Posts in pictures
September 22, 2014
photos by Gretchen Robinette
The Weeknd / Schoolboy Q @ Barclays Center - 9/19/14
"In my city, I'm a young god," The Weeknd boasts briefly in his distinct, smooth as silk voice on "Often." One of the few clean lines from his steamy summer release, it's a bold statement that rings true in his home of Toronto, and evidently in New York as well. At Brooklyn' Barclays Center on Friday, the once rather enigmatic artist proved that he's no longer an underground gem but a mainstream favorite.Sexed up R&B crooner The Weeknd began his tour with Black Hippy rapper Schoolboy Q and weed-loving songstress Jhene Aiko at Brooklyn's huge Barclays Center this past Friday (which he sold out at his own pace). He went through the material from his mixtape trilogy, his official debut Kiss Land, and threw a few covers in too as the crowd went unsurprisingly wild for him. We've got a set of pictures from the night.
After delivering a rapturous and at times chill-inducing performance, Abel Tesfaye left the thousands who attended the first show of his "King of the Fall" tour eager for more. However, fans can rest assured that Friday night was just the start of this king's reign.
..."I gotta say, me and my team--we've been coming to Brooklyn every year, and the venues, they just kept getting bigger and bigger. And in three years, we are playing at the Barclays Center," the usually stony-faced singer said near the end of the night, unable to keep from breaking into a smile. Much to the delight of the crowd, The Weeknd encored with Ty Dolla $ign's "Or Nah" and "Often." It was a weed and pheromone-filled concert that felt satisfying and managed to leave fans longing for more (in perhaps more ways than one). [Swagger New York]
Check out more below...
by P Squared
King Crimson @ Best Buy Theater - 9/18/14
The sleeping giant became the roaring beast this past week as King Crimson rolled into town for four shows at NYC's Best Buy Theater Thursday (9/18) through Sunday (9/21). Specifically titled The Elements of King Crimson, this lineup has also been referred to as KC Mark VIII. Before going any further, let it be known that yes, I am a Crim geek. I am one of those who has sat in a room with headphones on for hours obsessing over their albums and songs as well as having seen the band live previous times. So after a long exhausting week I headed into the theater for night 1, tired as hell and not sure if I would be able to stay afloat for the entire evening. Unfortunately it did not start out well. Apparently everyone decided to arrive at the same time so the lines to get into into the theater were crazy long and moving slowly. Suddenly as I got to the front, some genius (apparently from the band's management) decided to shut the doors as the band came on stage giving out the edict that no one else could come in until the second song was done. Hmm, yeah, with a much older crowd, already imbibing and having paid a lot for tickets... well you do the math on how that went over. I'm standing outside the doors listening to one of my favorite bands kick into "Larks Tongues in Aspic pt 1." Argh. Luckily they rescinded the order after the first song and swung open the doors to let everyone else in.
Once we were in, King Crimson was already at a major high point, playing "Pictures of a City" from their second album In The Wake of Poseidon. The mellotron, so prominently used on that record is replaced by 3 drummers heavily blasting away: Pat Mastelotto, whose been with Crimson for a number of years now and 2 semi newbies, Bill Rieflin, who toured with R.E.M the last few years of their existence, and Gavin Harrison from the band Porcupine Tree previously. (And as an aside if you love prog, Steven Wilson the leader of PT has been remastering/remixing some classic albums and they sound great.) The setup has the drummers in front spread out and behind them a level up are the sublime Tony Levin on bass, singer-guitarist Jakko Jakszyk, and the return of the phenomenal Mel Collins on flute and array of saxes. Finally all the way in the corner lies Der Leader, Robert Fripp.
Not going to bore you with too much of the tech talk and geek info because you don't want to know that. You want to know if it rocked. Yeah it did. It kind of blew me away. This was not your father's King Crimson. It was heavier and less, for lack of a better word, proggier. While the keyboard and mellotron flourishes were still there at times, it was to minor effect. This lineup was driven by three major elements: the heretofore mentioned triple attack drumming, Professor Fripp's astonishing guitar work which was on full display -- the stabbing staccato punctuations, the long extended notes, the beautiful melodies and yes the "Frippertronic" effects -- and the third element and really what defined the show for me was Mel Collins. He was on fire. Driving some of the songs with his gentle flute playing only to give way to some serious skronking tenor sax shrieks. Was great to have him back in the fold.
The setlists for the tour have pretty much stayed the same. We got classic songs like "Red" and "One More Red Nightmare" from 1974's Red, which is the latest album to get the massive KC box set treatment (The Road to Red and it kills). "One More Red Nightmare" in particular was gigantic in this configuration with a drumming onslaught that would give the Melvins a run for their money (Dale Crover loves Crimson). "The Letters" from 1971's Islands and a few from the great Larks Tongues in Aspic. There was even a pretty funny running gag, a looped audio transmission of an inept journalist trying to ask Fripp some probing questions about the band. It was the last song before the encore and the final song of the evening though that drove everyone into the stratosphere. From Red, the rarely performed "Starless" and to end the evening, a song Fripp refused to play for years, "21st Century Schizoid Man" from the first LP In The Court of the Crimson King.
It was a show to remember. So many different styles of music on display. Ornate folk, 1970s style hard rock, prog, free jazz and the Crim even got funky at times. Were there disappointments? Of course, how could there not be. For one, I've never been completely sold on Jakko as a vocalist. He certainly is no John Wetton and not even Greg Lake. As well, this configuration of the band is less free form and experimental than previous lineups. There were not many extended workouts here. Finally, while I can't complain about the setlists, I would have loved to see what this setup could do with songs like "Easy Money" or the as yet unreleased/only heard live "Doctor Diamond." Hell I would have killed for anything off the studio/live Starless and Bible Black album which is so underrated and such a beast.
Who knows where King Crimson goes from here? Fripp has hinted this might be it and the few new tracks they played were basic instrumental type things. Cross your fingers for more because after shows like this, it's clear the awoken giant still has a lot of life left in him.
A few more pictures of night 1 and the setlists from all four nights, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Trust @ Irving Plaza - 9/19/14
Toronto goth pop project Trust brought their tour in support of this year's Joyland back to NYC this past Friday (9/19) for their largest headlining show here yet at Irving Plaza. Robert Alfons & co. were definitely ready for the bigger space too. The place was full and they had so much of the crowd dancing to their dark synth pop tunes. We've got a set of pictures of the show, including shots of openers Crater and Glass Gang.
photos by Greg Cristman
Kayo Dot @ Trans-Pecos - 9/20/14
Kayo Dot are a few weeks away from releasing their new album Coffins on Io, due 10/16 via The Flenser, and this past Saturday (9/20) the NYC band squeezed in a hometown show at Trans-Pecos previewing some of its material, including lead single "Library Subterranean." Toby Driver & co. were in guitar/bass/keys/drums mode (no horns or strings) and sounded super focused. The new material sounded great, and their shows are always on point but this was one of the best we've seen so far. Opening the show was the spacey/dancey Islaja and Brandon Seabrook and Judith Berkson's Ill Convoy project (not to be confused with the hip hop group of the same name).
More pictures, with Kayo Dot's setlist, below...
photos by P Squared Photography
The Replacements at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium - 9/19/14
The Replacements did like to mess around, but they've also written some of the best songs of this kind that have ever been recorded, and the Forest Hills show had them playing hit after hit, sounding tight as hell. ("They've never sounded this tight!" exclaimed an older fan sitting next to me who seemed like he had seen them plenty of times back when.) They played just about everything you wanted to hear too. Their three most classic albums, Let It Be, Tim and Pleased to Meet Me, were well represented. But if you're a fan of their earlier punk years, you got "Takin a Ride," "Take Me Down to the Hospital," "White and Lazy," "I'm In Trouble" and a handful of others. And if you're into the more polished latter albums, you got "I'll Be You," "Merry Go Round," "All Shook Down" and "Achin' To Be."Alternative rock legends The Replacements finally brought their reunion tour to NYC this past Friday (9/19) for a show at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens with well-matched openers The Hold Steady and Deer Tick. Above is an excerpt from our review, which you can read in full along with the setlist and videos, here. Now we've got a set of pictures of all three bands from the show.
September 21, 2014
by Andrew Sacher
The Replacements @ Forest Hills Tennis Stadium - 9/19/14 (via BV Instagram)
The Replacements have been playing shows again for the first time since 1991 for over a year now, but it wasn't until this Friday (9/19) at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens that their reunion tour finally hit NYC. The band -- original members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson, plus guitarist Dave Minehan (The Neighborhoods) and drummer Josh Freese (The Vandals, Devo, Weezer) -- were supported by Deer Tick and The Hold Steady, both of whom are old pals, tourmates and huge Replacements fans. I missed Deer Tick's early set (6:30 PM), but there was a definite admiration for the headliners during The Hold Steady's set. Craig Finn told a story of being at a tennis court as a teenager and telling someone his favorite band were the Ramones (who are from Forest Hills), and the person responded, "If you like the Ramones, you should check out The Replacements." He then said how The Replacements went on to become his other favorite band, so now opening for them at a tennis stadium located where the Ramones are from felt full circle. Before he left the stage, he said, "I can't believe I'm saying this... THE REPLACEMENTS ARE UP NEXT!"
I never saw The Replacements during their initial run, and I really had no idea what to expect. So many of the stories I've heard are that they were equally or more likely to get drunk and play a bunch of sloppy covers than put on a tight set. Not to mention, not all of these reunion shows have gotten the best reviews. But I'm being totally honest when I say this was up there with the best rock shows I have ever seen. The Replacements did like to mess around, but they've also written some of the best songs of this kind that have ever been recorded, and the Forest Hills show had them playing hit after hit, sounding tight as hell. ("They've never sounded this tight!" exclaimed an older fan sitting next to me who seemed like he had seen them plenty of times back when.) They played just about everything you wanted to hear too. Their three most classic albums, Let It Be, Tim and Pleased to Meet Me, were well represented. But if you're a fan of their earlier punk years, you got "Takin a Ride," "Take Me Down to the Hospital," "White and Lazy," "I'm In Trouble" and a handful of others. And if you're into the more polished latter albums, you got "I'll Be You," "Merry Go Round," "All Shook Down" and "Achin' To Be."
They did get a few covers in, including about half of The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" for which Paul commented on being proud of themselves for learning that riff. And they definitely weren't taking themselves too seriously or anything. Tommy joked between songs, and even if the setlist was actually planned, he and Paul at least made some of the songs seem like they were picked on the spot. Everything got a great reaction from the crowd (and the huge venue was packed), but they went out with a bang, packing all the biggest anthems -- "Can't Hardly Wait," "Bastards of Young," "Alex Chilton," "Unsatisfied," college radio ode "Left of The Dial" -- in at the end of the set. If I had to pick a personal favorite moment, it would be hearing "Androgynous" which Paul sang with the same heartbreaking, voice-cracking sincerity he recorded it with thirty years ago. But hearing that huge crowd belt out "We are the sons of nooooooo one!" and "I'm in love! With that song!" even from my seats in the upper bowl were some of the most purely satisfying moments you could ask for at any rock show. Let alone one from a band who had been away for 22 years.
We'll have pictures from the whole night soon. UPDATE: Pictures are up. Meanwhile check out the full setlist and videos from the Forest Hills show below...
September 20, 2014
photos by Mimi Hong
Sam Smith @ Hammerstein Ballroom - 9/19/14
Opening with the sultry "Nirvana," Smith was welcomed with bellowing screams from the theatre. It was thankful in that moment that he didn't begin with one of his softer hits. The setlist overall reads like a depressing, torn up love letter, especially when the trifecta of "Leave Your Lover," "I'm Not the Only One," and "I've Told You Now" arrive one after the other in the most emotionally charged block of songs throughout the night. Beyond his originals, Smith has become lauded for his vocally astounding, though sappy, covers. He included several, with Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know" and Ry X's "Berlin" sandwiching his own "Good Thing." The former was triumphant, to say the least, with the famous Houston dance single stripped down while remaining faithful to her legendarily booming vocals. [Village Voice]it's no secret that Sam Smith has gotten very big on his own aside from his Disclosure collaboration. His current tour with Broods hit NYC for two big shows this week, United Palace on Thursday (9/18) and Hammerstein Ballroom last night (9/19). We don't have the exact setlist for Hammerstein but we've got the United Palace one (below) and they've looked pretty similar all tour. He's been playing a handful of his debut album, his version of "Latch," and (as the review above points out) a handful of covers.
Pictures of Hammerstein are in this post. They continue, with a video of "Latch" from that show and the UP setlist, below...
September 19, 2014
Dave Hill, Eugene Mirman, Amy Schumer, Bridget Everett,
The 7th Annual Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival began last night at the Bell House with a singing competition for comedians dubbed Gowanus Idol judged by festival founder Eugene Mirman along with Amy Schumer, NPR's This American Life host Ira Glass, and comedian Jon Glaser as Derrick Brown's dad. He took over as judge when Amy had to leave.
Tickets are still available to see 5 Comics to Watch Get on Variety's 10 Comics to Watch List featuring Mehran Khaghani, Michelle Wolf, Phoebe Robinson, Janelle James, Joe Zimmerman, host Josh Gondelman at Union Hall tonight, and for the Bell House's A Night of Cutie-Pies with Nick Thune, Jon Glaser, Karen Kilgariff, and SNL's new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che.
Spoiler: Bridget Everett won the competition. Catch her show at Joe's Pub called ROCK BOTTOM, which we saw last week. It's been extended until October 16th.
Pictures from the Bell House continue below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Half Waif at Glasslands - 9/18/14
Brooklyn art pop musician Half Waif is a regular on the local live scene. She played two hometown shows this week, including one at Rooftop Films this past Monday and another at Glasslands last night (9/18). At last night's show she was joined by Pinegrove, Una Lux and Poor Remy. Pictures of all four are in this post and continue below...
photos by Erik Erikson
Bear in Heaven @ MHOW 9/17/2014
Was it less of a challenge to create things intuitively without agonizing over them?Bear in Heaven wrapped up their North American tour for their new album with two shows in NYC: Tuesday (9/16) at Bowery Ballroom and then Wednesday (9/17) on their home turf of Music Hall of Williamsburg. Opening both shows were the well-matched, vibe-wise, fellow Brooklynites Young Magic and WIFE (the electronic solo project from Altar of Plagues frontman James Kelly). Pictures from the night are in this post.
JP: Oddly not. It's like when you do things like that, other things become challenging. Most of our songs are, at first inception, generally layered--lots and lots of stuff going on, lots of parts. And then as we went on making it, we just kept pulling parts out, pulling sounds out. I think by the time we were done, we really got to the point where we were like, "We're sort of at the core of this music." That's what we were looking for--trying to find the center.
It's tricky, you know, because we historically are this band who sort of, like, have big sound, you know, lots of things going on. So to do something going in the opposite direction, it's a little frightening. The last song on our record starts a cappella. Playing it live, it's crazy. - [Columbia Spectator]
WIFE snuck in a third show while here, playing very late at Baby's All Right last night / this morning. Anybody check that out? More pics from Wednesday's MHOW show below...