Recent Posts in pictures
August 2, 2015
photos by James Richards IV
Metallica / Brand New / Tame Impala / Mick Jenkins
The only thing missing from Tame Impala's trippy light and video presentation is the cover of darkness. Somehow, this band's time-bending, shape-shifting music makes more sense at night, rather than under the blazing early evening Sun. But these Australians are tough as nails when it comes to weathering heat and sunshine -- they play their entire set without sunglasses. Though Kevin Parker is a master guitarist, his music is well beyond what most new millennial rock bands are offering. He turns his rock songs into what could be epic club tracks. "Let it Happen" manages to be both cerebral and danceable at once. Parker's deeper exploration of keyboards and club music has broadened his musical scope, so that Tame Impala now moves fluidly among what were once deemed distinct categories: progressive rock, soul, psychedelia, electronic dance music. He's just as liable to conjure the majesty of King Crimson as he is the post-house flourishes of Kaskade. - [Chicago Tribune]Day two of Lollapalooza 2015 featured sets from Metallica, Sam Smith, Tame Impala, Brand New, Django Django, Tyler the Creator, The Tallest Man on Earth, Death from Above 1979 and lots more. A little trouble too: The Tribune reports that there were at least five arrests reported, most of them drug related. Texas rapper Travi$ Scott was charged with disorderly conduct for inviting the crowd to jump the security barricades to get closer to the stage.
Sunday (8/2) is the final day of Lollapalooza in Chicago's Grant Park, featuring Florence + the Machine, TV on the Radio, FKA Twigs, A$AP Rocky, Bully and more. Albert Hammond Jr, who also plays today, will be be interviewed in the Toyota Tent by BrooklynVegan Lolla correspondent Billy Jones. And if you can't be there, Lollapalooza is streaming live starting at 2 PM Central (3 PM Eastern) and you can watch below.
Photos from day 1 of Lollapalooza are HERE and more from day 2 are below...
August 1, 2015
photos by James Richards IV
The Weeknd / The War on Drugs / First Aid Kit @ Lollapalooza 7/31/2015
Nobody saw this coming. Backed by a drummer and a multi-instrumentalist, First Aid Kit pulls off a true surprise and lays into Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" with the heaviness in tact. Well before it's over, any illusion of the charming duo using the cover as a novelty-minded attention grab fades away. Indeed, while First Aid Kit could easily rely on the adorability factor, the Swedish sisters don't need it. They're a rare example of an artist that played the opening time slot at a prior Lollapalooza, seized the moment with a breakout set and graduated to a bigger platform. And compared to their 2012 performance here, Johanna and Klara Soderberg display more poise, confidence and maturity. Not to mention a more diversified palette. Each sister possesses a snow-pure voice capable of whipporwill deliveries. But when they connect on harmonies, they hit gorgeous emotional peaks. - [Chicago Tribune]The 2015 edition of Lollapalooza got underway Friday (7/31) in Chicago's Grant Park with sets from Paul McCartney (who brought out Alabama Shakes' Brittany Howard to sing and play guitar on "Get Back"), The Weeknd, The War on Drugs, First Aid Kit, Hot Chip, alt-J, Father John Misty, SZA, Sylvan Esso and more. Pictures from Lollapalooza Day 1 are in this post.
Saturday's Lollapalooza lineup includes Metallica, Death from Above, and Django Django -- all of which you can watch live via Lollapalooza's streaming player which is in this post. Live streaming begins at 2 PM Central (3 PM Eastern), but they're rebroadcasting Friday's sets as well. Watch below.
If you're going to Lollapalooza, be sure to stop by the Toyota Tent today (8/1) where BrooklynVegan will be hosting performances by Chicago's own Twin Peaks (5 PM Central) and Pell (5:30). We'll have pics from the rest of the weekend too. Meanwhile, check out lots more pics from Lollapalooza Day 1 below.
July 31, 2015
photos by Gretchen Robinette
Primus / Dinosaur Jr. / The GOASTT @ Pier 97
How did touring with Dinosaur Jr. come about?The Primus/Dinosaur Jr/The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger tour hit NYC on Thursday (7/31) at Hudson River Park's JBL Live @ Pier 97. While Primus still still has some of their Chocolate Factory stage set with them, their actual setlist was more of a greatest hits as you might expect for a tour like this. Dinosaur Jr was heavy on the distortion and the favorites, delivering "Out There," "Feel the Pain," "Start Choppin'" and their cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" amongst others. J Mascis has been coming out during Primus' set on this tour too. Sean Lennon's The GOASTT opened the night with their very Beatlesque sound.
I think for the past couple years we have always been on the lookout for better bands and to see if they wanted to put on some sort of evening of music together. We've done little short runs here and there, but I think this was the time that we found another band that wanted to go on and put on an evening together, so it just kind of came up that way, probably about a year ago. We had also played together years ago at a festival.
When the band is getting ready to go on tour, how do you prepare?
You know, that depends. We have been playing so much that we've only been home for a couple of days, so we'll just slide back into it like normal pretty much. Usually over the course of the tour we'll experiment with different things and we'll try to re-learn different songs and try to see if there's anything new we can fit into the mix. - [Aquarian Weekly]
Pictures from the whole night, plus setlists for Primus and Dinosaur Jr, below...
July 30, 2015
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
the 'Pumpkins w/ uninvited guest / Marilyn Manson @ PNC Bank Arts Center 7/29/2015
"I don't know how those people are getting on stage but the next person that does is getting a guitar upside the head!" Twice, fans made it on stage during Smashing Pumpkins' set at PNC Bank Arts Center on Wednesday night (7/29), first during "Disarm" and then during "1979." Thankfully, roller coaster enthusiast Billy Corgan did not have to resort to guitar violence after that. Video of both stage invasions are below.
This was the first of three NYC-area shows for Smashing Pumpkins' tour with Marilyn Manson. The latter's set was even more highly theatrical than when he played Terminal 5 back in January. It takes guts to sing in stilts at age 46! Pictures and setlists for both Smashing Pumpkins and Manson are in this post.
Their co-headlining tour hits Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Friday (7/31) and Susquehanna Bank Center on Sunday (8/2). Tickets for those are still available.
More pictures below...
July 29, 2015
photos by David Andrako
Jason Isbell @ Prospect Park 7/25/2015
It was a pretty good weekend for Jason Isbell. His new album, Something More Than Free, debuted at #5 on Billboard's album chart (#1 on Rock and Folk) and he played one of his biggest NYC shows ever on Friday night (7/24) in Prospect Park with opener Dawn Landes. His set included songs from the new record, older solo material as well as a few from his days in Drive By Truckers.
On Saturday (7/25), Jason played Newport Folk Festival and you can stream a recording of that performance via NPR, below.
Sunday he opened for My Morning Jacket (at least one reviewer says he played the better set!)
Pictures from the packed show in Prospect Park continue below. Isbell's setlist is down there too....
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The Appleseed Cast @ The Studio at Webster Hall - 7/28/15
The Appleseed Cast are currently on tour playing their 2000 sophomore album, Mare Vitalis, in full for its 15th anniversary, and that tour hits NYC's Studio at Webster Hall last night (7/28). Appleseed Cast are one of those bands where it's hard to pick a favorite album -- each one has its merits and they are all different but never too drastically. Still, there was something extra great and cohesive about seeing this excellent album played front to back. Of course there's the nostalgic value of an entire set of songs you've known for years, and the given fact that these songs were *meant* to be played in this order, but it also felt like the band was more locked in than the last couple times I saw them.
The Appleseed Cast are the kind of band that mesmerizes, more than inspires dancing and singalongs, and mesmerize they did. The Mare Vitalis songs have their individual intricacies (like the tricky lead riff of "Fishing The Sky"), but mostly they build the kind of walls of sound that make you forget where you are. When they announced they had one song left last night I thought "it's over already?" They did of course give us an encore, which began with a cover of The Stone Roses' "I Wanna Be Adored" (you can watch a video of that cover from the Seattle stop of the tour, below).
Opening was Ohio's Annabel, who recently released their new album Having It All on Tiny Engines. They make the kind of '90s-style emo that The Appleseed Cast briefly dabbled in on their 1998 debut, and though Mare Vitalis isn't really up that same alley, it was still a good fit. Before them was Adjy, who make similar quirky multi-instrumental pop to Anathallo, Freelance Whales, and other oft-forgotten bands that came in the wake of Arcade Fire and Sufjan.
More pictures from The Studio At Webster Hall below...
July 27, 2015
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Mr. Twin Sister / Moon King @ Bowery Ballroom 7/24/2015
Mr. Twin Sister wrapped up their tour with Toronto's Moon King on Friday (7/25) with a homecoming show at NYC's Bowery Ballroom. It was a full house and songs like "In the House of Yes," "Rude Boy," and "Out of the Dark" had the crowd dancing. Pictures, including one of Mr. Twin Sister's setlist, are in this post.
Mr. Twin Sister have just been added to the 2015 Out in the Streets Festival which happens this weekend (August 1 & 2) at the Onderdonk House in Ridgewood, Queens. Also playing the two-day fest are Total Slacker, Stranger Cat, Wild Yaks, Heliotropes, Air Waves and more. tickets are on sale and poster and daily lineups for Out in Streets fest are below.
Moon King, meanwhile, played a great opening set (they've really been at the top of their game lately) and will soon be back on the road with Youth Lagoon this fall, hitting Webster Hall on October 29. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/31) at 10 AM.
More pictures from Bowery below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Porches played what was probably their biggest show to date in Prospect Park on Saturday night. Lines for the show, which was headlined by North Carolina electropop duo Sylvan Esso, were wrapped around Prospect Park in multiple directions before doors, and that meant a capacity crowd for an opening band. Thousands of Sylvan Esso fans were waiting for their headliner to come on, inside and outside the "Celebrate Brooklyn" gates. That could be a disaster for an opening band, but it definitely worked in the NY band's favor, which was clear by the loud applause during and after their set. They did in fact sound great. Sylvan Esso, who covered Porches last year, also expressed their fandom and apprecation later in the show.
Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos was on bass and some vocals for the show, but sadly that will never be true again. Greta confirms she is leaving Porches to focus more on Frankie Cosmos.
Like we guessed they might be, Porches were added to one of the Brooklyn dates of the Exploding In Sound extended weekend. Porches play 8/20 at Baby's All Right with their former EIS labelmates Pile, Grass Is Green, Two Inch Astronaut and Washer. Tickets are still available.
Pics of Sylvan Esso at Prospect Park coming soon. More pics of Porches below...
words and photos by Klaus Kinski
Roger Waters @ Newport Folk Festival 7/24/2015
The 2015 Newport Folk Festival was definitely one for the history books. For example, this year's festival marked the 50th anniversary of when some man named Bob Dylan (in)famously decided to go electric. This move totally flipped the wigs of many of his deadbeat hippie/beat fans and created a deep chasm among his many devotees. As a matter of fact, on Saturday July 25, exactly 50 years to the day that Bob went electric at the Festival, the very Fender Stratocaster that Dylan used back 1965 to go electric made an appearance at the festival. The guitar, which Dylan left on an airplane like a doofus back in 1965, ended up in the hands of the plane's pilot until 2012. In 2013 the pilot's daughter put it up for auction where it fetched almost a million US dollars and ended up in the hands of Indianapolis Colts football team owner Jim Irsay.
Cool story bro. However, for me, the festival was all about the highly anticipated and very surprising headlining set by former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters. The Newport Folk Festival is notorious for selling out before the line-up is even announced. So when the Fest announced that Waters would be headlining opening day of the festival (Friday July 24), a lot of people in possession of Friday tickets were extremely stoked, while millions of Roger Waters/Pink Floyd fans without tickets were extremely bummed out. I was one of the bummed out legion until fate intervened on my behalf and I miraculously found myself in attendance.
When Roger announced on facebook on May 21, 2015 that he would be participating in the 2015 Newport Folk Festival and promised "an intimate appearance specifically crafted for Newport Folk," the ambiguity of his declaration had Floyd-heads reeling at the possibilities. Would he be doing a full scale performance of "Dark Side" or "The Wall"? Or even stripped-down versions? Would he be performing his seminal 1992 album Amused to Death in full? After all, Friday July 24 also happened to be the day "Amused to Death" would see a large-scale, multi-format re-release.
What the Festival audience ended up getting from Waters was better than any of the above, in my opinion. For rather than use his headlining slot as an opportunity to remind us of his immense back catalog, both as a solo artist and as Pink Floyd's primary creative force, Waters took the opportunity to deliver a diverse setlist that not only gave a hearty nod to his work with Pink Floyd and as a solo artist, but he used the opportunity to pay homage to the festival's history, the legacy of folk music, and to hit us with the ultimate double-whammy; performing a brand new, never-before-heard song while playing piano in front of a crowd, according to Waters, "for the first time ever."
Waters was preceded by a scorching eight-song set by My Morning Jacket. As the dust settled from their 8th song, MMJ remained on stage as Roger Waters sauntered out with Amy Helm (daughter of the late Levon Helm), G.E. Smith as well as Lucius and Sara Watkins. These folks, combined with My Morning Jacket, banded together and served as Roger's explosive and unbelievable back-up band.
Roger kicked things off by performing that new, powerful, and no doubt provocative, song called "Crystal Clear Brooks," which has its origins as a poem penned by Waters that he brought to light back in 2014. He followed that with the Pink Floyd classic "Mother" which segued into one of my personal favorites from Amused to Death, "The Bravery of Being Out of Range." At this point in the set, he switched gears and performed a really great cover of John Prine's "Hello in There" which is a sad reflection on aging and the fact that life is basically one long casting off. Sort of a cross between "Death of a Salesman" and Hanson Towne's "Around The Corner." Ugh, get me a pistol. Anyhow, from there they moved into Floyd territory and unleashed another song about loss and longing; the classic "Wish You Were Here."
At this point, the rain was REALLY coming down and besides being soaked to the bone and shivering like an orphaned dog, I was also officially coming to terms with how well-crafted and totally unpredictable this set was. He followed "Wish You Were Here" with Buddy Miller's "Wide River to Cross," a song completely foreign to me but played beautifully by the assembled musicians and expressed superbly through Waters' vocals. The next three songs were completely Waters territory; the band tore into the title track from "Amused to Death" with staggering results and then headed into "Dark Side" territory with flawless renditions of "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." They company closed out the set appropriately and paid tribute to The Newport Folk Festival in general and Bob Dylan in particular with a version of Planet Waves' "Forever Young."
At some point towards the tail end of this magnificent set, the rain tapered off, the clouds began to part, and the sun finally began to reappear again. Roger Waters had assembled an amazing crew of musicians and pulled off a truly amazing, unpredictable, and fulfilling performance that lacked ego and pretension.
Unfortunately, Roger doesn't have many live dates coming up in the near future. However, he will be performing at Dar, Constitution Hall, in Washington DC on Friday October 16, 2015. Billed as "Music Heals" the concert will feature Roger Waters, the musicians of MusiCorps, and will feature special guests Bill Corgan, Sheryl Crow and Tom Morello. More info:
Music Heals: an exceptional one night only concert where some of the world's biggest recording artists will join forces to raise money for MusiCorps - a charity supporting injured service men and women and their families. The MusiCorps Band is made up of injured service members who have learned, and in some cases relearned, how to play instruments through the charity. MusiCorps is a non-profit charitable organization which helps wounded veterans play music and recover their lives. Praised by the Wall Street Journal as "revolutionary," the conservatory-level program enables the wounded to learn, relearn, and perform music as a core part of their rehabilitation.Tickets for this show are on sale now.
In honor of the re-release of Roger Waters' 1992 solo album Amused to Death, we are giving away a limited edition 2xLP picture disc to one lucky person. Details on how to win are below.
Pics, videos, and setlist below.
photos by Greg Cristman
The legendary Dr. John saw his 40+ year reinvigorated this current decade with the release of 2012's Dan Auerbach-produced Locked Down. (He since followed it with a Louie Armstrong tribute album last year.) He's on tour now, having just hit the NYC-area for two Long Island shows over the weekend: The Space at Westbury on Saturday (7/25) and Westhampton Beach PAC on Sunday (7/26). We caught the latter, which gave us some of Locked Down, some Louis Armstrong, and also classics like "Walk On Guilded Splinters" and "Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya." Pictures of that one are in this post.
Dr. John's tour continues, hitting Connecticut on Tuesday (7/28), and comes to NYC proper for a free Central Park SummerStage show on Saturday (8/1). That's a daytime show (3 PM) and Amy Helm (who backed Roger Waters at Newport Folk Fest over the weekend) is opening. All of Dr. John's dates are listed, with more pictures, below.