Recent Posts in pictures - Page 4

September 17, 2014

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Andrew Sacher

Whirr / Sannhet / Cloakroom @ The Studio at Webster Hall - 9/16/14
Whirr
Sannhet
Cloakroom

Whirr and Cloakroom's ongoing tour hit NYC last night (9/16) at The Studio at Webster Hall with Sannhet and Sad Actor for a quadruple onslaught of distortion, reverb and lots of volume. Philly's Sad Actor kicked things off with their grungy jams, and their songs are good but they aren't quite there as a live band yet. Still, it was promising stuff and a good start to the night.

Cloakroom followed with a set of a lot of new songs (they've got a double LP coming next year on Run for Cover) and a bit from their 2013 debut, and they were thunderous. When I wrote about their debut last year, I said it sounded like if Mineral were more into sludge metal, but last night was my first time seeing them live and I never realized just how sludge metal Cloakroom can get. Their riffs are huge, covered in thick distortion, and the whole band crushes. They didn't say much on stage, and had samples going between most of their songs, so the whole thing was just a force.

For the second band on a four band bill, Cloakroom's a tough act to follow but Sannhet, the local representation for the night, got up and kept the sensory overload going. Like they usually do, they played mostly in the dark with flashes of a white light show, and their instrumental post rock/post metal was as equally pretty and heavy as ever. Unfortunately, the night didn't end well for them when their bass was stolen after their set.

Finally, Whirr wrapped up the show. I'd seen Whirr guitarist Nick Bassett play a few times in Nothing but last night was actually my first time getting to see Whirr. Like Nothing, Whirr are shoegaze in sound but punk in approach, thrashing around on stage and sounding heavy as hell. They played with the lights even dimmer than Sannhet, but if you're looking for a light show, Whirr's not the band to see. All of their energy goes into creating a huge wall of sound. The vocals are barely audible, and individual guitar riffs only shine rarely, instead coming together to create a full-on attack that few modern shoegaze bands achieve. Oh yeah, and lots of long hair flying around.

More pictures of all four bands below...

Continue reading "Whirr, Sannhet, Cloakroom & Sad Actor took over The Studio at Webster Hall (pics)"

photos by Jay Thornton

Accept / Raven @ Gramercy Theatre - 9/15/14
Accept
Raven

After a very effective opening set from legendary nwobhm act RAVEN, ACCEPT stormed the stage blasting out the opening number from their latest CD "Blind Rage". This wasn't no oldies show metal brothers and sisters. Since regrouping after the exit of iconic frontman Udo Dirkschneider a few years ago with new vocalist NYC boy/ex-TT QUICK singer Mark Tornillo, guitarist and steward of the ACCEPT legacy Wolf Hoffman and his crew have released three stellar albums and raised hell all over the world. The classic ACCEPT sound was on brutally glorious display last night. The awesome mix of metallic operatic pomp and a vicious guitar assault is what makes ACCEPT the quintessential German metal band.

Almost half the set was from those more recent albums and the material - especially the brutal "Teutonic Terror" and WWII epic "Stalingrad" are every inch up to the quality of the classics like 'Losers And Winners". The band were in fantastic form and the sold out show's enthusiastic audience were very receptive to the newer songs. [Rock Shock Pop]

German speed/power/thrash metal pioneers Accept brought their current tour in support of this year's Blind Rage LP (their 3rd since reforming and 14th overall) with NWOBHM legends Raven (who also have a new album on the way) to NYC for a show at Gramercy Theatre this past Monday (9/15). They played a good chunk of the new LP plus plenty of old favorites like "Balls to the Wall," "Fast as a Shark," "Princess of the Dawn" and more. For Raven's shorter opening set, they didn't unveil the new material yet, instead sticking entirely to their early-mid '80s period. We've got a set of pictures of both bands in this post.

Raven will be back in NYC for a smaller show when their tour with Night Demon hits Saint Vitus on November 21. Still no ticket link for that show.

More pictures, and the setlists for both bands, below...

Continue reading "Accept & Raven played Gramercy Theatre (pics & setlists)"

September 16, 2014

"Chromeo turning Central Park into a dance party rn" - @chelawhita

"Saw @chromeo last night in Central Park. One of the most fun nights I've had in so long! Danced my bum off" - @jaglever

Chromeo / Big Freedia @ Central Park Summerstage 9/12/2014
Chromeo
Big Freedia

It was a long wait for Chromeo, but after an agonizing 30 minutes, white lights poured out from the stage in every direction, and with seemingly no transitional moment at all, Dave 1's guitar wailed from between the LEDs. Without warning, the concert was in full swing.

Dave 1 and P-Thugg are, if you'll excuse the phrase, groove-machines. DJ set or fully live, the two produce a sound that bounces across the stage, through the crowd, and right back to them again, forever fueling a cycle of funky, self-sustaining energy. [Village Voice]

Canadian dance-duo Chromeo brought their groove party tour to Central Park Summerstage with some help from New Orleans bounce music pioneer and twerkaholic Big Freedia on Friday (9/12), part of the tour. Playing tracks from this year's White Women and favorites like "Needy Girl," "Bonafide Lovin'" and "Sexy Socialite," plus a stunning light show, the duo certainly got the crowd moving. Pics from the show are in this post.

Chromeo recently earned a spot as a short-list nominee for this year's Polaris Prize competition alongside stiff competition from the likes of Arcade Fire, Drake, Mac Demarco and more. The set on Saturday was one of their last of the summer, only hitting Austin City Limits in October before getting off the road for a bit.

Opener Big Freedia, whose Fuse reality series just got picked up for two more seasons, gave a shout out from the Central Park stage to fellow bounce artist Nicky Da B who died earlier this month. NYC will more of Big Freedia on October 4 at Glasslands with Friendly Ghost and a DJ set from Le Chev. Tickets are on sale. In other news, look for Big Freedia's memoirs to be published in 2015.

All Big Freedia tour dates, plus more pics from the Summerstage show, below...

Continue reading "Chromeo played Summerstage with Big Freedia who's touring this fall, playing Glasslands (pics, dates)"

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack & Milos Markicevic

Mineral / Patti Smith / Superchunk
Riot Fest 2014 - Day 3
Riot Fest 2014 - Day 3
Riot Fest 2014 - Day 3

Riot Fest Chicago wrapped up this past Sunday (9/14) with sets from The Cure, Weezer (playing Blue Album), Primus, Social Distortion, Cheap Trick (playing Heaven Tonight), Patti Smith, Mudhoney, Hot Snakes, Mineral, Lucero, Naked Raygun (playing Throb Throb), La Dispute, Superchunk, The Hold Steady, Kurt Vile, Bouncing Souls, The Front Bottoms, The Menzingers and many more.

I arrived at the final day of the festival to find New Jersey punk heroes The Bouncing Souls already on the Roots Stage, and NJ folk punks The Front Bottoms getting set to perform on the Rebel Stage. Having seen the former a few times, I went for the latter band and heard "Flashlight" as I approached the stage. Their early afternoon-yet-rabid crowd screamed the lyrics along to the song's stop-start chorus. The tongue-in-cheek Talon of the Hawk opener "Au Revoir (Adios)" came next, followed by mix of songs from that album and their 2011 self-titled LP. --ZP

Kurt Vile & The Violators were the next band I caught, over at the Riot Stage. Given that Sunday beared even better weather than Saturday had, opening with "Wakin on a Pretty Day" was an apt choice in full sun. The Violators proceeded to deliver a low-key and enjoyable set that touched on Wakin on a Pretty Daze, Smoke Ring for My Halo, and Childish Prodigy. After a bit of KV and co., I headed over to the Rebel Stage to catch The Hold Steady. The NYC crew kicked things off with "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" from this year's Teeth Dreams, followed by the Boys and Girls in America favorite "Stuck Between Stations." The band flew by their usual M.O. -- flexing some muscle without coming off as too cheesy -- while pulling out tunes from their back catalog. --ZP

Next I went to catch Superchunk, and I arrived at the Riot Stage a bit prior to their set. In the meantime, I caught the last few songs of Billy Bragg's performance on the nearby Roots Stage. Before playing "The Milkman of Human Kindness," Bragg shared that he's out to become "the Pete Seegar of punk" and hopes to be performing into his 90s. He turned "There Is Power in a Union" into a sing-along and finished off with "A New England." Superchunk began with the No Pocky for Kitty tune "Cast Iron," followed by the one-two punch of "Digging For Something" and "FOH." It was back to No Pocky... for "Punch Me Harder," and then Mac asked the crowd to sing along during "Learned To Surf." "I'm gonna need you to repeat after me, in the age-old tradition of repeating after people on stage, he quipped. Their 11-song set came to a close with "Slack Motherfucker" into "Precision Auto." --ZP

Michigan post-hardcore crew La Dispute were up next at the far-from-everything Rock Stage. The four-piece were heavy on this year's great Rooms of the House, and began their 10-song set with "HUDSONVILLE, MI 1956," "Stay Happy There," and "First Reactions After Falling Through the Ice" from the LP falling within the first five they played. Their meditative grooves quickly won over the large crowd they had gathered at the stage. My next target after La Dispute was the Rise Stage, where whiskey-soaked Memphis crew Lucero would soon begin their late afternoon set. I only stuck around for a few songs, but I got to hear some of my favorites from the start, including "On My Way Downtown" into "Nights Like These." --ZP

La Dispute's crowd
Riot Fest 2014 - Day 3

After Lucero, it was back over to the Rock Stage for reunited Austin emo band Mineral. The band quietly took the stage and delivered an excellent set that was split evenly between their 1997 debut The Power of Failing and 1998's EndSerenading. Highlights included their heavier moments found within the brief "Five, Eight, & Ten," "For Ivadell," and "Gloria," and also the more subdued offerings like "Love Letter Typewriter." Mineral were one of the best emo bands out there, and it's great to see them return sounding great. --ZP

One of my most anticipated sets of the three-day fest was Patti Smith's 6PM performance on the Riot Stage. Patti was born in Chicago not all that far from the stage she occupied, and spoke about coming to the park with her mother as a very young child. She and her band opened with "Dancing Barefoot" into the Horses tune "Redondo Beach." A cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)" came next, followed by "Pissing in a River." Along with a select few others, Patti Smith fully embodies the spirit of Riot Fest. --ZP

While Zach was over at Patti Smith on the Riot Stage, I was at the Rise Stage for Mudhoney. The grunge grandfathers ripped through their set and barely stopped to catch their breath. Drummer Dan Peters was a beast on drums throughout the set, and at one point the band even made way for a brief drum solo, bringing in the fuzz at the climax. You would think Mark Arm's vocal style would have wrecked his pipes after all these years but the guy sounded just as good as he did on the band's debut album. The definite highlight of set was the band's classic "Touch Me I'm Sick" which left everyone floored. --MM

If Patti Smith carries the ethos of Riot Fest, then Primus serve to represent the festival's large carnival presence. Les Claypool was transfixed on the ferris wheel he faced from the stage and spoke at length about how beautiful it was and how lucky they were to be performing near it. He later prompted guitarist Larry LaLonde to do a solo inspired by the wheel. Unlike when I saw them in 2013, Primus shed their jammy approach of late for the tighter feel of their early material. This shift was aided by stand-in timekeeper Danny Carey, who delivered a fast-handed, rigid performance. The trio opened with the Sailing the Seas of Cheese cut "Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers," followed by the driving LP number "Here Come the Bastards." The tweaky Brown Album song "Over the Falls" was also played, as well as more favorites like "My Name Is Mud," and set endcap "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver." --ZP

Weezer were one of the albums billed to play a classic album (The Blue Album), but first they warmed up with some of their more recent singles, steadily going back in time with each song. The band played "Pork and Beans," "Beverly Hills," "Island In The Sun," "Hash Pipe," "El Scorcho" and others before getting to 1994, the year of The Blue Album. Everything prior to The Blue Album's performance felt like filler as everyone, including myself, sang along to every Blue Album song, most loudly to "Buddy Holly" which some fans begged to be played again. Weezer performed flawlessly while their stage lights bathed everyone in blue light, keeping in theme of the album's color. It was amazing seeing the band perform The Blue Album-- one of my favorite 90s albums-- in its entirety. I only wish they could've squeezed in Pinkerton right after. --MM

Pics and review of day 1 are HERE and day 2 are HERE. More day 3 pictures below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago day 3 in pics (Weezer, Primus, Patti Smith, Mineral, Superchunk, Bouncing Souls, Hold Steady, more)"

September 15, 2014

photos by P Squared Photography

"Darkside, final show, at Brooklyn Masonic Temple. One of the best shows I've seen in a long while." - Alex Schaaf

Darkside
Darkside

Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington's collaborative Darkside project has come to an end ("for now"), but before the break they played their "last show" at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on Friday (9/12) with their pal Valentin Stip opening. For a band who's headlined Terminal 5, the Masonic Temple was a more intimate location for them (and sold out), and a nice space for their sound. Plus, lots and lots of smoke.

More pictures and a couple videos from the show, below...

Continue reading "Darkside played their last show "for now" at Brooklyn Masonic Temple with Valentin Stip (pics, videos)"

photos by Ryan Muir & Amanda Hatfield, videos by unARTig, words by Andrew Sacher

White Lung / Power Trip / Sick Feeling
White Lung
Power Trip
Sick Feeling

Vancouver's White Lung wrapped up their tour at Hudson, NY's Basilica Sound Scape on Saturday (9/13), but not before playing a last-minute late set at the BrooklynVegan-curated Red Bull Sound Select show at Palisades on Friday (well really Saturday morning) with co-headliners Power Trip and openers Sick Feeling.

After the earlier Shannon & the Clams show emptied out of the venue, doors opened for the late show around 12:30 AM and Sick Feeling went on some time after 1. The new-ish Brooklyn band features current and former members of Ink & Dagger, Trail of Dead, Trash Talk and others, and they were a great primer for the two bands to come. All they've got out at the moment are a few tracks on Soundcloud, but they've got a full length coming this fall on Geoff Rickly's Collect Records and Ethan Silverman & Chris Taylor's Terrible Records, and assuming they played a lot of that, it's a record to look forward to. It was frenetic hardcore with a fittingly wild frontman, but they stayed melodic too.

Power Trip followed with their killer take on crossover and early thrash, and while their sounds are rooted in two or three-decade old bands, they're no nostalgia trip. Their crowds go apeshit crazy pretty much every time, and the Palisades show was no exception. The whole front half of the room was a circle pit the entire set and at one point a fan jumped off the 10-ish foot high PA speaker. It was a mess (in the best way). Power Trip did it again late the next night at an even more last minute show at Acheron. Anyone catch that?

this is the dude speaker jumping
Power Trip

Finally White Lung came on around 2:50 AM to a crowd that seemed a bit smaller than Power Trip's, but still packed in pretty well considering the sun would be up in about three hours. They were on fire as always, with Mish Way failing to be anything less than a powerhouse, Kenny William's dizzying fretwork and their relentless rhythm section. Earlier that day, bassist Hether Fortune (who fronts Wax Idols) had tweeted it'd be her "last NYC appearance with White Lung for who knows how long". We hope it won't be too long, but they've left us for now on a high note.

Though their set was great, it unfortunately wasn't all high notes. There was a guy in the audience who Mish said was flipping her the bird and calling her a cunt. She responded by pulling him over and they ended up grabbing at each other while she was still on stage. She eventually pushed him off and yelled "Get the fuck out!" during the song and a few seconds later she went in the crowd, singled him out, and started throwing punches. When the song ended, Hether and another crowd member rushed him toward the back of the room where he quickly exited the venue as Mish yelled into the mic, "Get the fuck out of here! Don't you dare lay a finger on me, motherfucker! Get out of here, motherfucker! Oh man, you know what? As a woman, I have fucked enough shitty dudes, I have put my way, FUCK OFF! FUCK YOU!"

You can watch the whole upsetting thing go down in the full set video below. Full set videos of Power Trip and Sick Feeling and more pictures of all three bands are below as well.

Thanks to all the bands, Red Bull, Palisades, Alice, Ric, poster designer Jay Morris, and everyone who came out.

White Lung also just premiered a new live video filmed in LA for Urban Outfitters' 'UO Live' series today. The black and white footage is of them playing "I Believe You" off the new album. You can check that out below as well.

Continue reading "White Lung, Power Trip & Sick Feeling played the BV-RBSS show at Palisades (pics & full set videos)"

photos by Amanda Hatfield

Karen O @ LPR - 9/12/14
Karen O
Karen O

Karen O wrapped up the 4-night NYC run of her series of intimate shows in support of her debut solo album Crush Songs at Le Poisson Rouge on Friday (9/12), which followed three shows at McKittrick Hotel's Manderley Bar (one of which Ezra Koenig joined her at). Like at the other three, Karen's backing band included Moses Sumney (who also opened the show) and Holly Miranda, and her Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmate Nick Zinner joined her for a few songs. This time, the third YYY, Brian Chase, joined as well and Jason Grisell joined her for "Duet," their collaboration from Karen's "psycho-opera" Stop the Virgens. She played her LPR show in the round, and though she maybe didn't move around as much as we'd have liked for the setting, she was mesmerizing as always.

Karen's intimate shows continue in LA, starting this Wednesday (9/17). Pictures from night 1 HERE. More pictures and the setlist from LPR below...

Continue reading "Karen O wrapped up her NYC run at Le Poisson Rouge with YYYs bandmates, Jason Grisell & more (pics, setlist)"

photos by Greg Cristman

Shonen Knife @ The Wick 9/12/2014
Shonen Knife
Shonen Knife
Shonen Knife

Japanese cult band Shonen Knife -- rocking from Osaka since 1981 -- are currently in the US supporting their new album, Overdrive, that finds them putting a bit of '70s glam sparkling on their signature punky pop. Their tour hit NYC over the weekend with a show at The Wick on Friday (9/12) that was well matched with Habibi and fellow Japanese band (living in NYC), The Suzan. Pictures from the night as well as video of Shonen Knife performing Economic Crisis" and "Antonio Baka Guy" are in this post.

From here, Shonen Knife's tour heads west, before returning to NYC for CMJ next month. Stay tuned for more details about CMJ shows. More pics, plus video from their show at The Wick, below...

Continue reading "Shonen Knife played The Wick with Habibi & The Suzan (pics, video), will be back for CMJ"

photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher

DOWNLOAD: Creepers - Stuck (MP3)

Deafheaven @ Music Hall of Williamsburg - 9/14/14
Deafheaven
Deafheaven

After playing Hudson, NY's Basilica Sound Scape on Saturday (9/13), Deafheaven kicked off their tour with No Joy and Indian Handcrafts at NYC's Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (9/14). We caught the MHOW show and pictures are in this post.

Unfortunately, I showed up a little late and only caught the last minute or so of Indian Handcrafts, but they sounded good and loud so I imagine their set fit the bill well. No Joy followed and were also loud (though maybe not quite as much as their Brooklyn Night Bazaar show last month) and delivered a wall of sound perfect for zoning out to. With a driving bassist and a drummer always locked into a groove, things could be kept grounded a bit as both guitar players went off into other worlds of distortion and reverb. Good set.

Then Deafheaven finally came on, playing a lot of Sunbather and their new song "From the Kettle Onto the Coil." Vocalist George Clarke didn't go out of character once, with his usual menacing faces, extending his arms out to the crowd, miming a conductor during the slow parts, and of course unleashing his piercing scream. George is a sight to see, but he's matched by the power of the rest of the band. Their blend of black metal, post rock and shoegaze is a real force. It's towering, epic stuff that can go from brutal to beautiful in seconds and is often both at the same time. And while George's performance is dark and full of mystique, the rest of the band are more down to earth, just coming off like a great rock band. They're super tight, powerful, and their attack and George's theatricality balance each other out well.

The tour picks back up in Connecticut on Tuesday (9/16), but before that No Joy wil squeeze in a headlining NYC show at Mercury Lounge tonight (9/15) with Tonstartssbandht. Tickets are still available.

In related news, Creepers, the band including Deafheaven members Shiv Mehra and Daniel Tracy, are releasing their debut LP, Lush, on October 28 via George Clark's All Black Recording Company. It follows last year's self titled EP. The album was recorded and mixed by Andrew Oswald (Ash Borer, Weatherbox), and Jack Shirley (who produced Sunbather) mastered it. You can download the first single, "Stuck", above (via Pitchfork).

LP artwork, tracklist, and more pictures from MHOW, below...

Continue reading "Deafheaven, No Joy, Indian Handcrafts played MHOW (pics); Creepers announce debut album (hear a song)"

September 14, 2014

photos by James Richards IV, words by Zach Pollack & Milos Markicevic

The Flaming Lips / Afghan Whigs / mohawks
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014
Riot Fest 2014

Riot Fest Chicago kicked off this past Friday (9/12) in Humboldt Park and continued the following day with Samhain (playing Initium), The National, The Flaming Lips, Descendents (playing Milo Goes to College), The Get Up Kids (playing Something to Write Home About), The Afghan Whigs, Television, Buzzcocks, Samiam, Wavves and many more. Pictures of the second day, and Milos and Zach's reviews, are in this post.

I skipped the rainy first day of Riot Fest and waded through the muddy aftermath to The Dandy Warhols perform at the Riot Stage. Getting there early I used the extra time attempting (and failing) to clean my sneakers, which had accumulated enough mud under the soles to make them look like brown platform shoes. The Dandys hit the stage on time and managed to squeeze in a good variety of their hits in the short 45 minute set time, including "I Love You," "We Used To Be Friends," "Bohemian Like You," and "Boys Better." The sound was a bit off the first couple of songs, possibly having something to do with Courtney Taylor's dual mic setup. But overall the set was excellent and managed to distract me from the sinking feeling under my shoes. The band seemed to enjoy themselves, especially keyboardist Zia McCabe who danced like a hippy while playing her Korg synth and tambourine. I spotted her again later in the day rocking out among the audience during the Die Antwoord set. Overall my only complaint was that Dandy's set felt criminally short and left me craving more. --MM

I started off day 2 of the festival by catching NYC punk legends Television's late afternoon set on the Rise Stage. They delivered almost all of their classic Marquee Moon (3/4 of their current lineup recorded the LP), complete with its signature paranoid feel and fantastic interlocking guitar work. Though they don't play all that many shows these days, the band were way on at the fest and came off sounding just as powerful as their recordings. After watching a large part of their set, I headed over to the Riot Stage for something very different: Die Antwoord.

The South African rave rappers began their performance by piping a highly-effected "DJ Hi-Tek Rulez" over the sound system, which includes the hook "DJ Hi-Tek will fuck you in the ass." Their subsequent set followed suit, with more ridiculous and highly danceable songs. During what I stuck around for, rapper Ninja mooned the crowd multiple times and did some serious stage hopping with Yo-Landi Vi$$er. We then broke for food prior to The Afghan Whigs' set on the nearby Roots Stage. --ZP

The crowd waiting for the Whigs couldn't have been more different than the one we had left. Older and somber, they occasionally took furrowed glances at Die Antwoord's stage in manner similar to a disgruntled parent. The Afghan Whigs finally hit the stage at 4:15 sharp and the crowd erupted with a mix of excitement and relief. Greg Dulli and the band were dressed in the debonair style that they're known for and reached deep into their back log, pulling out favorites like "Debonair" from their classic Gentleman album (which they're reissuing this year). The band flat out rocked and Duli even slammed his own drum near the end of the set. It was a real pleasure seeing these guys fully back in action. --MM

After Afghan Whigs, we headed to the smaller Revolt Stage to catch Buffalo, NY punk pop trio Lemuria. The three-piece delivered a mix of tunes from last year's The Distance Is So Big and its predecessors with a ton of energy. The humble crowd they gathered seemed to eat it up too. Highlights included the driving "Clay Baby" and grungy "Brilliant Dancer." After a handful of songs from Lemuria, we headed over to the already-packed Roots Stage where Wu-Tang Clan would soon be playing.

The Wu entered with their classic party-starter "Bring Da Ruckus," followed by the majority of 36 Chambers. Standout moments from their overall fun set included the RZA-led "The Mystery Of Chessboxin'," "Protect Ya Neck," and the classic "C.R.E.A.M." RZA also gave Syl Johnson a big shout out while talking about influential Chicago artists. --ZP

The Flaming Lips were our next mark, who were to take the Roots Stage after Wu-Tang. Wayne Coyne and co. began their sprawling trip-out with "The Abandoned Hospital Ship" followed by "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1." The band had an elaborate, hanging fiber-optic setup and a stage-spanning screen with visuals behind them. When combined (most often with a tunnel-looking rainbow video), the backgrounds and fiber-optics worked extremely well together. There were also various blowup mascots on stage throughout their set, like a sun, mushrooms, a creepy butterfly, etc. with people inside animating them. While attempting a confetti cannon shot during "The Abandoned Hospital Ship," The Flaming Lips blew the power on the Roots Stage. The confetti still shot off, and it was a bit sad for a few minutes while they assessed the situation. They did manage to come back strong, yet Coyne still seemed understandably deflated. This didn't stop him from putting on a great show though, and he channeled some of that weirdness into an excellent performance of The Terror standout "Look...The Sun Is Rising." The uplifting "Do You Realize??" came next, followed by their incredibly warped cover of The Beatles classic "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." The verses remain fairly intact, but the chorus is shopped with doom-ridden explosions throughout. It's a really interesting take on the song, and I'm curious to see what the recording will be like. --ZP

The National were a bit delayed due to a border crossing mishap in Ottawa, so The Flaming Lips were given a bit more time. When they did arrive, Matt Berninger first joked that he was busy checking his email before actually explaining what happened. The National proceeded to give us a mostly late-period headlining set that featured songs from Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet. That's not to say their older material was completely ignored. " They capped off their characteristically great show with "Fake Empire" into "Mr. November," and finished with "Terrible Love." --ZP

Day 1 pics and review HERE. Day 3 HERE. More pictures of most of the above-reviewed artists and a handful of others from day 2, below...

Continue reading "Riot Fest Chicago day 2 in pics (The National, Flaming Lips, Afghan Whigs, Television, Buzzcocks, Samiam, more)"