Entries tagged with: Apollo Theater
Bob Marley was the center of attention at the Apollo on Saturday night, but Lauryn Hill stole the show, as this Apollo-written recap of the event explains:
This past Saturday, the Apollo Theater celebrated the 35th anniversary of reggae icon Bob Marley's Apollo debut with two big blowout concerts.Check out video below...
The unforgettable evening featured some of reggae music's biggest titans performing Marley's signature numbers including: international reggae star Maxi Priest whose effortless blend of reggae, R&B and dancehall led him to become the first reggae artist to have a number one hit worldwide; Marley's son Ky-Mani Marley who, a star in his own right, is an accomplished musician, singer-songwriter and actor; reggae ambassadors Third World, one of the most legendary reggae bands of all time, most known for their hits "Now That We Found Love" and "Try Jah Love"; The Wailers who together with Bob Marley have sold over 250 million albums worldwide and are considered one of the most successful bands in reggae music history. Additionally, the Apollo audience was treated to a very special surprise guest performance by music superstar Lauryn Hill. The Grammy Award-winning songstress sent the Apollo audience into a frenzy when she joined The Wailers on stage, performing rousing renditions of Marley's "Could This Be Love," "Zimbabwe," "Is This Love," as well as one of her own big hits "Doo Wop." All of the artists came together at the end of each show to perform Marley's seminal classic "One Love."
In late October 1979, Bob Marley and the Wailers made their Apollo debut with a sold-out seven show run. These performances were very special to the band for several reasons. Harlem was where Marcus Garvey first reached out to the African American community hearkening them to "look to East Africa, for the crowning of the Black King" - an idea which helped kindled the early flames of the Rastafari Movement. Additionally, Marley's concert run at the Apollo was his attempt to connect with the black community in North America and spread the message of Pan-Africanism and global black unity.As quoted above, reggae legend Bob Marley made his Apollo Theatre debut back in 1979 and now that concert will be commemorated with a tribute happening November 29 at the same venue. There's two shows (8 PM and 11 PM) happening that night and they will feature his backing band The Wailers, fellow reggae vets Third World and Maxi Priest, and Bob's son Ky-Mani Marley. Tickets for the show are on sale now.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
TV on the Radio already said they're releasing a new album, Seeds (their first since the passing of Gerard Smith), this year on new label home Harvest Records, and now more details have been revealed. We now know it's coming out November 18, and they've unveiled the album artwork (above) and the lyric video for the single "Happy Idiot" (below).
TVOTR have also announced a tour, which culminates with three shows in their hometown of NYC. They play the historic Apollo Theater on November 18 and two nights at Music Hall of Williamsburg (11/21 & 11/22). Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (9/5) at noon, but first there will be a BrooklynVegan presale starting Thursday (9/4) at 10 AM for all three dates. Check back here for more updates and the password.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
All dates are listed, with the new lyric video, and a recent (funny) interview with Vanessa Bayer, below...
Pharrell at Coachella 2014 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Pharrell, who maybe has a song or two or three that you've heard lately if you don't live miles away from society without internet, phone, TV or radio access, has a number of upcoming tour dates opening for Bruno Mars including two at MSG in July, but ahead of that he'll headline a smaller NYC show on June 3 at The Apollo. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (5/23) at 10 AM.
Pharrell was also just announced for Philly's Made In America festival. All dates are listed below.
In other news, one Soundcloud user noticed Pharrell apparently doesn't like to change up the intros to his songs, and made a mix to prove it. Are all his intros in fact the same? Listen below and see what you think...
Sam Smith w/ Disclosure at Terminal 5 in January (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Rising UK pop singer and Disclosure collaborator Sam Smith will return to the US this June for Bonnaroo and while he's here, he'll squeeze in a headlining show at NYC's historic Apollo Theater on June 17. Tickets for that show go on sale Wednesday (5/21) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.
Meanwhile, we're only a few weeks away from Sam's debut album, In the Lonely Hour (due out 6/17 via Capitol) and the young singer has been having some nerves about it. He told Vodaphone (via Digital Spy):
"If I'm honest, I'm completely cacking myself," he laughed. "It's scary! I've just been in London for the past few days and seen some of the posters up on the Tube and stuff.His fame is kinda happening all at once. His single "Stay With Me" is the third most-Shazamed song in the US this year (only behind Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande) and it's also rocketing up the Top 40 airplay chart.
"It's all real now. I've been envisaging this moment for a long time, so it's scary but it's also very exciting."
Sam just performed the song on The Graham Norton Show this past Friday (5/16). You can watch a video of that, with the list of tour dates, below...
Lykke Li at Summerstage in 2011 (more by Vincent Cornelli)
Lykke Li recently announced that her new album, I Never Learn, will be out on May 6. In support of that, she'll return to North America where she'll grace NYC with a show at the Apollo Theatre on May 15. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (3/7) at 10 AM, and there will be a BrooklynVegan presale starting Thursday (3/6) at 10 AM.
Check back here Thursday morning for the password. All dates are listed below.
UPDATE: Password = "LYKKEBV".
She also revealed the album's tracklist and made a video for one of its tracks, "Love Me Like I'm Not Made of Stone." Watch that, with the list of dates, below...
This album celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the making of our first album Living Like a Refugee. Since that first album we've lived a life that once seemed unimaginable; we have toured the world, released more albums, and shared our music with thousands upon thousands of friends and fans. But while we keep rolling we never forget our roots. So this is our musical libation - an offering - to celebrate the blessings that our music has brought to us, to pay respect to the spirits of the musical brothers we have lost along the way, and to pay tribute to Mama Salone - the country whose culture, traditions, and rhythms infuse our music and fill our souls with pride.Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars (literally a band of refugees from Sierra Lone) will release their fourth album, Libation, on March 18 via Cumbancha. It was produced by Chris Velan who also did the band's debut, and mixed by Iestyn Polson, who's worked with David Bowie, Patti Smith and others. You can listen to two of its tracks, "Gbaenyama" and "Rich But Poor," along with a sampler of the whole album, below.
The band will also be going on a tour in April and May which brings them to NYC on April 5 at Apollo Theater. That show is part of the second edition of AFRICA NOW!, "the weekend festival spotlighting today's African music scene." Also playing is Mali's Fatoumata Diawara and Senegal's Les Frères Guissé. Tickets are on sale now. More details on the weekend's events here.
All dates are listed, along with those streams, below...
by Andrew Sacher
DOWNLOAD: Ava Luna - Daydream (MP3)
NYC funk punks Ava Luna are set to release the followup to 2012's Ice Level, Electric Balloon, on March 4 via Western Vinyl. From the sounds of the first single, "Daydream," Ava Luna are embracing the same influences as usual (Talking Heads, ESG), but still putting their own spin on it. You can download that song above or stream it below, and also below you can preview more of the album in the new teaser video, which makes its premiere in this post.
Ava Luna have a ton of dates coming up, and as usual, a good amount of hometown shows. First they play the Apollo on February 8 as part of the 'Apollo Music Cafe' series with Rachel Brown and DJ Hard Hittin' Harry. Tickets for that show are on sale now. After that, they'll go on a tour with Krill which includes another hometown show at Silent Barn on March 24.
Krill also play a free show at Brooklyn Night Bazaar on 2/7 with Speedy Ortiz, Odonis Odonis, Heeney and Infinity Girl.
All dates are listed, along with the song stream and teaser video, below...
photos by Adam Nelson | WORKHOUSE
The late Lou Reed was honored with a last-minute memorial in Harlem at the legendary Apollo Theatre last night (12/17), which was organized by his wife Laurie Anderson. The memorial saw some of Lou's notable friends/collaborators singing the songs of the Velvet Underground and his solo career plus reading or performing tributes to him, including Patti Smith and her bandmate Lenny Kaye, Antony Hegarty, Debbie Harry (of Blondie), Paul Simon, John Zorn, Philip Glass, former VU bandmate Moe Tucker, and others. An excerpt from the NY Times review of the show reads:
Ms. Anderson said that Mr. Reed wrote songs in single bursts. "He would wake up in the middle of the night and just write the song down and it was complete," she said. "He never changed a word. He thought, 'First thought, best thought.' "That review also points out that Laurie Anderson said Lou's last words were "Take me out into the light!"
Mr. Simon sang the Velvets' "Pale Blue Eyes," marveling at its beauty and admitting there were lines he never understood. Emily Haines, from the Canadian band Metric, sang "All Tomorrow's Parties," and Jenni Muldaur sang the pensive "Jesus." Deborah Harry rocked through "White Light/White Heat."
Ms. Smith chose "Perfect Day" for what she called "Lou's most poignant lyric": "You made me forget myself/I thought I was someone else, someone good." The a cappella doo-wop group the Persuasions reworked Mr. Reed's "Turning Time Around." Antony Hegarty, who appeared in the stage production of Mr. Reed's album "Berlin," performed a slow, poignant, tremulous "Candy Says." Julian Schnabel, who filmed "Berlin," calmly recited the patricidal, carnage-filled "Rock Minuet."
The saxophonist John Zorn represented Mr. Reed's improvisational side with a squealing, scurrying, exultantly perpetual-motion yawp of a solo. And Philip Glass, on piano, accompanied a recitation of the Kaddish prayer.
Pictures of the memorial are in this post. They continue below...
photos by Luis Ruiz
"Well, Janelle Monae at the Apollo was one of the best concerts I've ever seen." - Isaac Butler
"Janelle Monáe tore it up Apollo Theater - What a fantastic Concert! She is definitely the #1 #ElectricLady" - Tracy Iglesias
"Words can't express everything that truly happened in Harlem @ The Apollo Theatre last night. Thank you from the heart." - Janelle Monae
While many of us were caught up in the craziness that is CMJ this past week, there were some other big NYC shows going on too, like Janelle Monae's tour stop at legendary Harlem theatre The Apollo on Friday (10/18). The forward-thinking funk/R&B singer is out supporting her new album, The Electric Lady, the worthy followup to her imaginative debut, The ArchAndroid. Pictures from the Apollo show, including opener Roman Gianarthur, are in this post.
This weekend (10/26), Janelle will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live with host Edward Norton. The week after that (11/2), Eminem will appear with Scandal star Kerry Washington. Eminem recently released a new song, "Rap God," from his upcoming MMLP2, and also announced he'd be touring Australia with Kendrick Lamar (who tours North America with Kanye West).
More pics from Janelle's Apollo performance below...
PHJB @ Voodoo 2010 (more by Alysse Gafkjen)
The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band are on the road, hitting the Bing Concert Hall in Stamford, CT on 9/29 before returning to the Voodoo Festival in their hometown of New Orleans on 11/1, and then coming back to NYC to headline the legendary Apollo Theater on 11/16 (tickets to the Harlem show are still available). All tour dates are listed below.
Back in March, the Jazz Band played a couple of NYC shows in Williamsburg at Brooklyn Bowl. The March 6th show was captured on video and we have a premiere of the footage of them playing the title track off their first album of original compositions in FIFTY YEARS. Check out the live version of "That's It!" and the song's official fan-made video with the dates, below...
photos by P Squared, words by Wyatt Marshall
I hope someone's figured out time travel at this point, because I need to hightail it back to the mid-nineties and high five ten-year-old me--space-time continuum be damned. Seeing Metallica would have been cool as hell then, but seeing them in a venue like the 1,500 cap Apollo would have had me more amped than clearing out a pantry-full of Squeezits.
Metallica played the Apollo Theater Saturday night (9/21) for a Sirius XM sponsored show, a celebration of the new limited-run Sirius XM (9/13-10/6) Mandatory Metallica channel and part of the continuing drumroll for the forthcoming action/concert IMAX 3D movie Metallica Through the Never. That film and Metallica's trajectory over the past twenty years leaves many fans of classic Metallica shaking their heads, and for good reason. But one thing that was made abundantly clear at the Apollo was that Metallica still delivers one hell of a performance, and they know to lean on the early portion of their discography.
The crowd at the Apollo was mostly older, and there were a number of dads with their teenaged or younger sons. Those kids were lucky--they're unlikely to have the chance to see Metallica in a venue smaller than a stadium again. People were aware of that, and some Craigslisters were offering up to $600 for a ticket. Given that the tickets were given away to Sirius XM subscribers, it was a hell of a return for whoever decided to let theirs go.
Metallica opened the show, which aired live on Mandatory Metallica, the same way they opened Kill 'em All. "Hit the Lights" gave way to a classic back-to-back of "Master of Puppets" and "Ride the Lightning," and it was then, with Kirk Hammett masterfully soloing while Hetfield riffed-out and Lars pummeled the kit like, well, Lars, that it sunk in that Metallica was playing the same venue where James Brown and Etta James used to bring the house down--which, to be honest, is kind of weird. Hetfield even joked about it early on, after "Ride the Lightning," when he said, "I can't believe they're letting us play this place." Jokes aside, Metallica seemed genuinely proud to play the Apollo. Hetfield was beaming throughout, and the band looked like they were soaking it all in.
Metallica, if you haven't seen them live, sound great on stage. The songs from the band's early years are bigger and richer than the tinny production on the original albums--there's a whole lot of charm in those relatively lo-fi recordings, but the classics take on a different nature live. Though inevitably someone has gripes with some of the choices on the setlist at the Apollo it was, on the whole, pretty damn good. Sure, I may have gone for a beer when "The Day That Never Comes" off of Death Magnetic came on (and ran into a friend from another music website seizing the same opportunity), but hey, it gave me the opportunity to get a beer without missing something I really wanted to see.
The show was long--over two hours--and throughout the entire performance, Metallica didn't skip a beat. That's what almost 35 years of touring will get you. Inevitably, at the end of the set we got "Nothing Else Matters" and "Enter Sandman." The nearly half-hour encore, though, was back to basics--"Creeping Death," "Battery" and "Seek and Destroy." Full, fast and pummeling, Metallica sounded awesome in Harlem.
The next day (9/22), Metallica played "Enter Sandman," Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera's entrance music, at Sunday's Yankees game to honor Rivera's retirement (not the first time they played Yankee Stadium). Video of that below.
Continuing their media blitz, Metallica played "One" and "Enter Sandman" on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM this morning (9/23). Howard was in attendance at the Apollo, and caused a minor sensation when he had to walk through a beer line to get to his seat.
More Apollo pictures, along with video and setlist from the show, the Yankee Stadium video, and a clip of "Master of Puppets" from Metallica's "Through the Never" movie, below...
Janelle Monae was doing the forward-thinking R&B thing a couple years before it blew up, and now her new album The Electric Lady is set to drop in the midst of all the rage. (September 10 via Wondaland Arts Society/Bad Boy Records, to be specific). It includes tracks with Erykah Badu, Miguel, Prince, Solange, Big Boi, Cee-Lo Green, and Esperanza Spalding.
Janelle recently announced an extensive tour in support of the album which previously didn't include a NYC date, but now one's been added: October 18 at The Apollo. Tickets for her show at the legendary venue go on Live Nation/Ticketmaster/Apollo A-List presales today (8/29) at 10 AM (password for Live Nation presale is "summer," for Ticketmaster presale is "electriclady," and for Apollo A-List presale is "apollo") and the general on-sale begins Thursday, September 5 at noon.
All dates are listed, along with streams of two tracks from her new album and the tracklist, below...
Like Paul McCartney before them, Metallica is playing the Apollo! More details on the 9/21 SiriusXM show and the film they're realeasing around the same time, below....
Preservation Hall Jazz Band at GoogaMooga 2012 (more by Chris La Putt)
Surrounding the release of their new album, That's It (stream it), My Morning Jacket collaborators Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be doing a week-long residency with "surprise special guests" at McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More. The residency kicks off tonight (7/7), and continues every night through Saturday (7/13). Tickets, which include a copy of the new album, for each night are available.
The band were also initially supposed to play the legendary Apollo Theatre (7/11) this week too, but that show has been rescheduled for November 16. Tickets for that show are available, and all tickets purchased for 7/11 will be honored.
They're also going to be on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this week, performing as the musical guest on July 8. And, members of the band will appear with house band The Roots on the July 9 episode, for which Mudhoney will be the musical guest.
All PHJB dates are listed below...
As mentioned, The Muffs are coming to NYC for a show on July 26 at The Bell House (tickets). Since we last wrote, they also announced that they'll play another NYC-area date a day earlier (7/25) at Maxwell's. Tickets for the Maxwell's show are on sale now.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Phoenix @ The Apollo, 5/13/2013
While Phoenix prepare for a much bigger tour that will include a stop at Brooklyn's Barclays Center in October (tickets), the French band wrapped up their post-Coachella tour of smaller North American venues at Harlem's historic Apollo Theatre last night (5/13). The band played a slightly longer set than their Sirius-sponsored show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last month, adding "Too Young" from their first album and "Fences" from Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix to the mix. And like at MHOW, frontman Thomas Mars got into the crowd to sing as well.
Opening was Blood Orange, an increasingly rare sight from Dev Hynes who is spending more and more time in the producer's chair these days. Photos from the Apollo are in this post.
In other news, Phoenix's next single from Bankrupt! is "Trying to Be Cool" and the band have released the individual "stems" from the track so that anyone can have a go at remixing it. You can download them here and check out a Silver Swans remix below.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
How to destroy angels_ at The Apollo - 4/29/13
Trent Reznor's band How to destroy angels_ brought their tour with DIIV in NYC last night (4/29) at The Apollo after hitting Coachella, Chicago, Montclair, NJ, and other cities. Like on their other dates, the band was complemented by elaborate on-stage visuals, and you can see pictures of the spectacle in this post.
How to destroy angels_ wrap up their tour tonight (4/30) at The Fillmore in Silver Springs, MD. It won't be too long until they return to the stage though, because How to destroy angels_, along with Trent's other band Nine Inch Nails, were both just announced for Asheville's Mountain Oasis Festival. More pictures and the setlist from the Apollo below...
As mentioned, Trent Reznor's project, How to destroy angels_ will be going on a tour this April around the time they play Coachella. The tour comes to the NYC-area for shows on April 28 at Wellmont Theatre in Montclair, NJ and April 29 at Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and ticket info for the shows has been posted. Tickets for both the Apollo show and the Wellmont show go on sale Friday (3/1) at 10 AM. Presales begin Wednesday (2/27) at the band's tour page. More info on the presales is still forthcoming, but that tour page will be updated with new info as it comes and you may want to keep tabs on their Facebook as well..
The new How to destroy angels_ album, Welcome oblivion_, will be out on March 5. The band have also added a pre-Coachella show to their tour schedule, and updated dates are listed below.
In related news, Trent Reznor's other band, Nine Inch Nails plan to tour in 2013 and 2014 with a lineup that includes Eric Avery (Jane's Addition), Adrien Belew (King Crimson, Talking Heads, David Bowie, etc), Josh Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv), and Reznor's NIN bandmates Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin. No dates for that tour are announced yet, but Lollapalooza might be one of them.
Updated Htda dates are listed below...
Charles Bradley at Firefly 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
As mentioned, soul singer Charles Bradley will release his new album, Victim of Love, on April 2 via Daptone Records, and is set to support it with a tour that hits NYC on May 16 at the Apollo Theater. When we first mentioned that show back in January, there was no ticket info, and now there finally is: Tickets go on Ticketmaster/Fan Club presale today (2/21) at 10 AM (password: "CBRAD") and general sale begins Saturday (2/23) at noon. We're also giving away a pair of tickets to the Apollo Theater show, and details on how you can enter to win are below.
Charles' tour has been expanded a bit since we last spoke, and it now also includes a trip to Austin for SXSW, where he will play the first ever DapTone Records Super Soul Revue SXSW showcase on March 14 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, The Budos Band, Menahan Street Band, The Sugarman 3, and The Como Mamas.
The flyer for the SXSW show, an updated list of dates, contest details, and a stream of "Strictly Reserved For You" from Charles' new album, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Passion Pit at Governors Ball in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Some good news and some bad news. The bad first: Passion Pit recently expanded their tour to include a NYC show scheduled to happen on July 23 at Apollo Theater (which sold out immediately) three days after they were scheduled to play Firefly Music Fest in Delaware. Unfortunately, both of those dates, and many others have been cancelled. Frontman Michael Angelakos posted this message to the band's website:
Hello all,Everything in July is affected, but the August and September dates, which include Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and Made in America in Philly, are still on. No word yet on ticket refunds for the Apollo show but check ticketmaster for updates. Bummer, but feel better soon Michael.
On behalf of the band and myself, I would like to greatly apologize for the show cancelations. In order for me to ensure that there will be no further disruptions, I am going to take the time to work on improving my mental health. For now, I'd like to thank all of our fans for their understanding. I hope to see all of you very soon in a much different light.
The tour page on our website currently reflects all upcoming tour dates.
On the bright side, the band are streaming their sophomore LP, Gossamer, on NPR. If you've had any doubts about this album, whether it be a distaste for their mainstream attention (and thus, tween fanbase) a feeling of "people still listen to Passion Pit?" or "who cares? Passion Pit sucks! (but I secretly have 50+ plays for Manners on my iTunes)," then let it be known that Passion Pit have more than succeeded in following up their debut and Gossamer is definitely worth a listen. Check it out for yourself.
Updated dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Passion Pit at Governors Ball in June (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Modest Mouse aren't the only band who recently played Governors Ball, will play Firefly Music Fest in Delaware, and just announced a NYC area gig around that fest. Passion Pit have followed suit, and will play Apollo Theater on July 23, after Firefly Fest wraps up. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (7/13) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (7/11) at noon.
Passion Pit's sophomore LP, Gossamer, is due out on July 24 via Columbia. They've already revealed two great and very different tracks from the album -- "Take a Walk" and "I'll Be Alright" -- and now they've got a third cut out, "Constant Conversations," which as just as solid and just as different. In case you haven't been keeping up, "Take a Walk" has got big vocals and Beach Boys-y drums, "I'll Be Alright" is a spastic, glitchy pop song with pitch-shifted vocal clips that aren't too different from Purity Ring (whose new album comes out the same day as Passion Pit's), and now on "Constant Conversations," the band are crossing into chilled out R&B territory with clap snares and a toned down, smooth vocal delivery from Michael Angelakos. In an interview with Pitchfork, Michael himself compared the song to James Blake, saying, "he does this really soft, serious stuff; I make a mockery out of it, because I make a mockery out of myself."
Stream that song below, along with a list of updated dates.
Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) is playing the Apollo Theater on June 14 as part of the month-long Blue Note Jazz Festival (which originally announced the Mos Def show as happening on June 29). Tickets are on sale.
Today, 5/21, would have been Biggie Smalls' 40th birthday. In tribute to Biggie and Malcolm X, Yasiin Bey released a new song called "Bey", part of his continuing "Top 40 Underdog series". Hypetrack points out that the song is Bey rapping over the instrumental of Lil Tunechi's single "John (If I Die Tonight)". Listen to that, along with some just-uncovered footage of Christopher Wallace performing with Jay-Z, below...
The Jacksons (Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito Jackson) are touring together this summer for the first time since 1984, when they toured their Victory LP. According to a press release, they'll be playing all the band's classics, and Jackie Jackson is quoted saying, "I know at each concert, MJ's spirit will be in the house with us."
The tour takes place in June and July and hits NYC on June 28 at The Apollo before the band plays two NJ shows in Atlantic City (7/29) and Englewood (7/30). Tickets for the Apollo show are on Live Nation presale now and go on sale to the general public on Saturday (tomorrow, 4/14) at 10 AM.
All dates and some videos of the Jackson 5 below...
by Andrew Frisicano
Bruce Sprinsteen @ the Apollo (Springsteen.net)
For those who were lucky enough to get tickets (a mix of celebrities, press and SiriusXM staff and subscribers), the show was a chance to see the E Street band play a two-plus-hour set in a venue a fraction the size of its upcoming stadium shows. Their show on Friday, March 9th included a couple of firsts for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The gig a private show hosted by SiriusXM Radio and streamed on their E Street Radio channel (which BrooklynVegan Blog Radio host Nick Masi also hosts a show on), was their first at the Apollo Theatre. It was also the first full show with new sax player Jake Clemons, Clarence's nephew. The presence of the recently-departed Clarence and that of the stage's past stars were felt throughout the night. Those touches added some weight to the event, which otherwise focused on prepping the band for their tour behind the new, somewhat uneven Wrecking Ball.
The show started with a nod to James Brown's Live at the Apollo, with a version of its opening fanfare delivered by Springsteen (who called himself "the hardest working white man in show business"). Before the end of the night the band further paid tribute to the Apollo's legends by playing the Smokey Robinson-penned Temptations song "The Way You Do the Things You Do," Wilson Pickett single "634-5789" and Sam and Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin.'" For the latter, the last song of the night, Bruce kneeled down while Steven Van Zandt draped a black towel over his shoulder and began to lead him off stage a la Brown's legendary cape routine. Bruce rushed back to the center to sing a few more rousing bars.
During "The Way You Do the Things You Do," which began as an a cappella number that brought the group's numerous backup singers to the front of the stage, Bruce flubbed a cue, which he joked about, clearly embarrassed, remarking "Aw I fucked it up." That segued into "634-5789," during which the boss ventured into the theater's boxes and balcony (video below).
Bruce Sprinsteen @ the Apollo (ChuckGarfien)
Being a warmup show for the Wrecking Ball tour, and promotional show for the album, the set was naturally heavy on songs from that record. Some, like the title track "We Take Care of Our Own," and the Irish-inflected "Death to My Hometown," sounded quite good, with a shimmery Stax-like horn sound. Others--"Jack of All Trades," "Shackled and Drawn"--were patiently weathered by the crowd. But the vintage Bruce morsels were worth the wait: Darkness on the Edge of Town highlights "Badlands" and "Promised Land" and Born to Run classics "Thunder Road" and "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" (sadly, the fever pitch highs of some of those songs were also accompanied by crippling feedback).
Personally, the highlight for me was "Mansion on the Hill," a quiet song off Nebraska, which Bruce fingerpicked, harmonizing with wife Patti Scialfa (Soozie Tyrell added some violin color, too).
Bruce stopped several times to shout out Clarence, beckoning the crowd to cheer the missing member during a roll call. Again at the end, he called for cheers after stopping "Tenth Avenue Freeze Out" after the line "When the change was made uptown/And the Big Man joined the band."
He also joked about his recent Fallon performance, remarking "This is our first non-televised gig. Wiggle wiggle wiggle."
The band has another tour warm-up show in Austin next week at SXSW, where Bruce will give the keynote speech which you'll be able to stream online. They're back in the NYC area for shows at the Izod Center and MSG starting on April 3rd (and another at Newark's Prudential Center on May 2nd).
Videos from the show, including Bruce venturing into the theater's balcony, and the set list are below...