Entries tagged with: Bowery Ballroom
photos by Kevin Tachman
Pop/rock band the SCISSOR SISTERS surprised fans in New York on Wednesday night (17Mar10) when they introduced comedian SANDRA BERNHARD to the stage for a special collaboration.The band played two nights in a row at Bowery Ballroom last week before heading to Texas for a SXSW show at Stubb's. More pictures and some video from the NYC shows and from Texas, below...
The I Don't Feel Like Dancin' hitmakers played their first show of the year at the city's Bowery Ballroom, with rocker Lou Reed and actor Alan Cumming among the fans in the packed audience, reports Spinner.com.
The quintet entertained the crowd with songs new and old and even performed a cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.
But the highlight of the night came when frontman Jake Shears and singer Ana Matronic brought out Bernhard to share the vocals for their song T**s on the Radio from their self-titled debut album. [Daily Star]
DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - A More Perfect Union (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - Four Score And Seven (part one) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Titus Andronicus - Four Score And Seven (part two) (MP3)
by Andrew Frisicano
Titus Andronicus celebrated the release of their new record, The Monitor, with a headlining show at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, March 6th. The album's raucus, conceptual layers peeled back on stage to reveal the taut five-piece underneath. For two members of the band, keyboardist David Robbins and violinist/guitarist Amy Klein, it was only their third show with the group. The warm reception to the new-album tunes - with sing-alongs from the amazing, stand-out album opener (above) to its amazingly-depressing closer - no doubt set the bar high for the band's upcoming slew of album-supporting shows (including BrooklynVegan Emo's day party on Wednesday, March 17th in Austin).
On stage, frontman Patrick Stickles brought along an American Flag, but left out the LP's guests and Lincoln quoting transitions. He did a bit to humanize the record's kitch, sending a song out to his brother in the Navy, who he credited for getting the band on their whole nautical kick (a bit more personal than the Ken Burns doc and other sources often mentioned). He also did his part to play den mother to the young crowd - it was the first time I've ever heard anyone in a band tell an audience, "It's time to start to thinking about winding down."
In a lot of ways the 1.5+ hour show seemed like the opening of a new book for the band. The melding of History and personal history is something that The Monitor does without shame, and with both those arcs closed, the Bowery show felt like a new beginning. As part of the encore, Patrick treated us to a solo cover of the Replacements' "Treatment Bound" (which you can get from NYCTaper).
The openers were all great: Cloud Nothings played rough-around-the-edges power pop; Vivian Girls/Woods side-project The Babies are quickly becoming one of my favorites with popppy mid-set combos like "All Things Come to Pass" and "Meet Me in the City;" and Parts & Labor's effects/synth-laden sound added some eclecticism to the show. Cloud Nothings and Parts & Labor both have shows in NYC and elsewhere coming up, which are laid out below along with more pictures from the show...
DOWNLOAD: Local Natives - Sun Hands (MP3)
Local Natives (photo by: Gareth Jackson)
L.A.'s Local Natives, whose new album "Gorilla Manor" is out in the US now (via Frenchkiss), have sold out to their May 6th headlining show at Bowery Ballroom so they added a second NYC show for the next night, May 7th, at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets go on sale Tuesday at noon.
Those dates are part of a larger tour across North America for the band. To schedule that extra show though, they had to cancel their previously planned Philly show, BUT they'll still play a free afternoon show in Philly on the same day (5/7) (and just as many people can fit).
Even sooner, Local Natives will be at this year's SXSW in Austin. Two of their shows will be with Suckers at Galaxy Room: the showcase for their label Frenchkiss/Mom+Pop Records on March 19th (with Les Savy Fav, Antlers, Freelance Whales & more), and the free BrooklynVegan/M For Montreal Saturday day show on March 20th (where they'll also play with Roky Erickson backed by Okkervil River, Andrew WK & more TBA).
All tour dates and some videos are below...
photos by Tim Griffin
a coming out party of sorts on Friday night (2/19) at the Bowery Ballroom, [Dawes] radiated pure joy and genuine appreciation about getting to where they are today, so much so that it became almost impossible not to root for them. Not only did frontman Taylor Goldsmith repeatedly reflect on previous trips to the city, playing to less attentive crowds and minimal accolades while supporting other bands and in much less glamorous rooms, but they made it clear that it wasn't just about them. It was about a collective "us." Goldsmith literally thanked the fans at every opportunity, making it clear that it wasn't just Dawes that's been getting bigger, it was about everybody in the room getting bigger together. These guys understand that they aren't doing this alone. [Hidden Track]The Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons, Dawes and Jason Boesel tour came to Bowery Ballroom on Friday, February 19th. Dawes headlined and played as Jason Boesel's backing band. The tour ends March 11th in LA.
Dawes will then make their way to Austin where they'll be one of the bands that we're proud to host at the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase on Wednesday, March 17th at Club DeVille. They share the bill with Bowerbirds, Here We Go Magic, The Middle East, Califone and Serena-Maneesh (who I saw in Norway the same night Dawes played Bowery Ballroom).
We can't wait. You can also catch Dawes on March 20th, at the Ground Control Showcase @ Auditorium Shores, with She & Him, Justin Townes Earle, Deer Tick (who just announced a new album) & more.
More pictures, and a video from the NYC show are below...
words & photos by Sarahana
Mumford & Sons is further proof that when it comes to popular taste, being good enough will get you far. Despite a rating system that makes little sense whichever way you look at it, Pitchfork was correct in stating, "Mumford & Sons are in the costume business. They're playing dress-up in threadbare clothes."
But guess what? Tons of people love the costume business, and there is "good" in "good enough". Lending to that "good-enough-ness" is, primarily, singer Marcus Mumford's distraught voice, which, on a purely aesthetic level, can remind you of Michael Stipe's inherent agony. Except, Marcus sounds like he was specifically engineered for songs that take after Biblical parables, teeming with betrayal, disasters and lessons. The songs aren't half-bad (though vaguely unsatisfying), and the band members are all proficient musicians (Marcus' voice didn't flinch when he was pounding on drums), but ultimately the frustration comes to this: in every work of art you hope to detect the artist's moment of inspiration, and in Mumford & Sons, there is no such revelation.
However, when it comes to pop music, the fitting principle is: to hell with art. Whatever makes people feel like the music is speaking to their lives and emotions is good enough! And given that their songs are a series of allusions to strong emotions, it's no surprise that Mumford & Sons is listed in several major festival line-ups and has already sold out most of its upcoming shows.
Freelance Whales opened the sold out show at Bowery Ballroom in NYC last night (2/18). Note that the above review was from Sarahana who shot the show. We have a 2nd viewpoint coming soon. More pictures from that show below...
photos by Bao Nguyen
'Stories in High Fidelity' held an event at Bowery Ballroom on February 3rd featuring stories from David Byrne Alan Light, Dan Kennedy and Jason Gordon, and music from Nicole Atkins. The big question of the night was whether Byrne, who features Nicole Atkins on a track on his new album, would get up and sing with her during the musical part of the evening. The answer is 'yes'. David sang harmonies on Nicole's song "Neptune City". Less than a week earlier (he gets around!), David joined St. Vincent on stage at another NYC show. St Vincent also appears on David's new album. Nicole reports on Bowery Ballroom:
It was an absolute blast. Lots of really funny storytellers including NY Times writer Alan Light (whos touching story about his 6 year olds Beatlemania actually made me excited about my hopeful futuristic children), novelist Dan Kennedy (who did a hilarious interpretation of what a group prayer by Bon Jovi might sounds like before they go onstage!), Jason Gordon (who read a book report he did in 5th grade about the Doors "No One Here Gets Out Alive") and David Bryne who did an amazing lecture about how musicians make music for specific venues, ie, rap is made for car speakers, midtempo U2 music is for stadiums, etc. Actually made me have more of an understanding for East coast vs West Coast hip hop. If you ever get a chance to listen to David Byrne lecture, do it! Its eye and ear opening and extremely funny in his way. After the speakers, I played a small acoustic set solo and was accompanied by cartoonist Michael Arthur who drew cartoons of my songs while i sang them. He has a great band called Balthrop Alabama that ya'll should check out. Actually they are playing one of the nights I host at Bowery Electric on March 5th. Come see them!David Byrne is talking again at TED on February 11th ("Register for the TED2010 Associates feed to watch TED2010 at home").
For my last song I played "Neptune City," and was joined by David Byrne on vocals and guitar. It was like a dream as he's always been one of my favorite artists and now here he was up onstage singing and playing my song with me. yip! I loved the way his guitar playing made a somber song such as that sound, i dunno, tropical! Byrne brought the warmth.
Balthrop Alabama can be seen even sooner than March. They play Joe's Pub on Valentine's Day. They'll be joined that time by The Bandana Splits (with Dawn Landes). Video promo made by Michael Arthur below.
More pictures from the seated Bowery Ballroom event, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
"Friday night's double bill at Bowery Ballroom was hard to beat. Toronto's Basia Bulat played a rootsy solo set, accompanying her powerful, penetrating vibrato with fierce autoharp and guitar. A real talent; here's hoping she brings her full band the next time she comes to town.The good news is that Bowery Ballroom did sell out on Friday night, though it wasn't as packed as your usual sold out show (so still a bit of a crime). She's recognized by everyone from Sufjan Stevens to David Byrne, and she consistently blows away audiences every time she shows up (for instance at Dark Was The Night). She even has the ability to sell out Bowery Ballroom, but I think Shara Worden still may be one of the most underrated voices in NYC.
My Brightest Diamond, playing their first NYC show in over a year, took a more high-concept approach, filling the stage with white ladders and balloons; a young girl passed out balloon animals during intermission. Lead singer Shara Worden, who's been spending more and more time following pseudo-classical pursuits, was a commanding stage presence with her flamboyant attire and voice of operatic proportions. (Worden studied voice at the University of North Texas before being seduced by the rock siren.) Oh, and she played lead guitar, joined by Nathan Lithgow on bass and Brian Wolfe on drums.
Why this show (at $15 a ticket) had tickets available at the door while that talentless harpie managed to sell out four nights at Radio City says a lot about the state of our brainless culture."
[Feast of Music]
I ran to see My Brightest Diamond after the Dawn Landes show, and before I went back to Mercury Lounge to see an after midnight set by Serena Maneesh. Before running back to Mercury we asked Shara if she wanted to play at Music Hall on Saturday. The rest is history.
For Basia Bulat, Bowery Ballroom was her 2nd NYC show in two days. Her schedule also included a record release show at Professor Thom's on Thursday.
More pictures from Bowery Ballroom below...
photos by Vincent Cornelli
Toronto Star: Nobody really thought this reunion would happen, but here we are nearly five years later and the Dino reunion is still a going concern. Did you think it was going to last this long or did you think you were signing up for one tour and that would be it?Kurt Vile & the Violators were the perfect opener for the full-on guitar assault that was Dinosaur Jr. at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night (1/16). The two bands went on to shred at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Sunday, and then Dinosaur Jr. (this time with Jeffrey Lewis opening) hit Brooklyn Bowl tonight (1/18) for their third NYC show in three days. More pictures and the setlist from Bowery, below...
Lou Barlow: I just really didn't know. I guess I'd sort of assumed we'd do a lot of reunion shows and play old songs and that we wouldn't necessarily do new records. It's just been moving along the whole time. There's just been a real momentum to it, and I haven't spent a whole lot of time questioning it.
photos by Tim Griffin
Shot over 11 years by renowned fashion photographer Steven Sebring, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is an intimate portrait of the legendary rocker, poet and artist. Following Smith's personal reflections over a decade, the film explores her many art forms and the friends and poets who inspired her -- William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Robert Mapplethorpe and Michael Stipe. She emerges as a crucial, contemporary link between the Beats, punks and today's music. Shot in lush, dark tones, featuring rare performance clips and narrated by the artist herself, Patti Smith: Dream of Life is an impressionistic journal of a multi-faceted artist that underscores her unique place in American culture. Winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Excellence in Cinematography Award: Documentary. A production of Clean Socks and THIRTEEN. Produced by Steven Sebring, Margaret Smilow and Scott Vogel. [PBS]Patti Smith turns 63 today (December 30th, 2009). Happy Birthday Patti! Today is also the date of her 2nd of three Bowery Ballroom shows this week. Everyone going should set their DVR (if they have it) because tonight is also when Patti Smith: Dream of Life premieres on PBS. Patti talked about it today on NPR.
More pictures from her first of three Bowery shows (12/29 aka last night), below...
photos by Lori Baily
Happy Holidays! I take on more than I can handle. That results in a lot of unposted content. In the name of catching up, while also taking it easy during this final week of the year, here's some of that lost material
A set of pictures from Melt Banana and Liturgy at Bowery Ballroom on November 23rd, continued below...
photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
"In an enthralling concert at the Bowery Ballroom on Tuesday night, playing the songs from "Hospice" to a rapt audience, the Antlers (from Brooklyn) made clear that the music was not just a vehicle for the story. It was its own molten element, moving at its own pace. Songs emerged from, and sometimes dissolved back into, stretches of abstract sound: Mr. Silberman's guitar feedback darkening like storm clouds, Darby Cicci's hissing or whooshing keyboard sounds, Michael Lerner's atmospheric cymbals, the band's loops and layers of static and effects that only gradually led into chords and rhythms. Eventually they were topped by the words." [NY Times]Check out our 'end of 2009' interview with Peter Silberman of the Antlers, and the one with Annie of Uninhabitable Mansions, and more pictures from their December 15th show at Bowery Ballroom, below...
Dirty Projectors completed their tour and four-night NYC run in style on Sunday (11/22). The evening started with a beautiful set of music by Julianna Barwick who was followed by the mind-blowing Tune-Yards. It's been said before, I'll say it again. Merrill Garbus is an extremely talented girl and the crowd went nuts for her as she looped and strummed and drummed and sang. Backed by a bassist, her performance was even more special because her parents were in the crowd. She mentioned them a few times and even thanked them at the end for having her.
I'd been hearing rumors about special guests possibly joining the Dirty Projectors at some point this week, but nothing happened at the first three shows (1 at Bowery and 2 at Music Hall of Williamsburg). Then Sunday the rumors started getting louder, especially the one about The Roots showing up.
The Roots and Dirty Projectors first met when DP were the musical guests at Fallon. Questlove was in love. Some thought that DP were going to join the Roots at a show in Brooklyn a few days after that TV appearance, but it never happened. It did this time though. Three members of the Roots, Questlove included, joined the band on stage for two songs ("Stillness" and "No Intention" I think?). The show was already great before that, but everyone went so wild and was dancing like crazy when the Roots came out. The energy in the room was off the charts, and stayed in the air even after the guests left the stage. The band was supercharged too as they finished their pre-encore set in one of the strongest ways I've ever seen them play.
During the short encore break another microphone was brought to the stage. At that point I knew there was no question that David Byrne would be joining Dirty Projectors once again (it previously happened at least two times - at the Dark Was the Night charity concert and then again at Bonnaroo). Sure enough, Mr. Byrne helped them end the two song encore with a slightly-unrehearsed version of Knotty Pine (the song he and the band wrote together for the Dark Was the Night album).
Amazing night. More pictures of the headliner and guests and the setlist below..
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Dirty Projectors kicked off the first of four sold-out New York shows at the Bowery Ballroom Wednesday night (11/18). Those arriving early were treated to a nice, but slightly underwhelming set, by Glass Ghost. The real treat was the second opener (or as one audience member shouted out, 'The best opening act ever"), tUne-YaRds, the project of one Merrill Garbus. The Dirty Projectors followed and leaned heavily on their critically-hailed release, Bitte Orca. Their set was tight and intense ("Temecula Sunrise" being a notable highlight among many) with Angel Deradoorian nailing the quietest moment of the night singing "Two Doves" with frontman David Longstreth accompanying on acoustic guitar.
The run continues tonight (11/19) at Music Hall of Williamsburg (where it stays for two nights before returning to Bowery Ballroom for one more show). Dirty Projectors also have a show coming up at Lincoln Center's Allen Room. More pictures, including one of the setlist, from last night, below...
The Cribs @ Bowery Ballroom
The Cribs played two sold out nights at Bowery Ballroom last Thursday (11/12) and Friday (11/13) -- their first NYC shows with new band-member Johnny Marr. The Von Bondies opened both nights. Thursday the Cribs also played The Late Show with David Letterman, performing "We are the Same Skies" from their new album, Ignore the Ignorant. Video of that, along with the brand new official video for the same song with more pictures from the first night at Bowery Ballroom, below.
I was at the first of the two shows, and the Jarman brothers were in fine form. Maybe not as rowdy but there's been no signs of change with their increased popularity. I think Ryan Jarman was wearing the same clothes as the last time I saw them a year and a half ago. They are a down-to-Earth, no bullshit kind of group.
As for for their new addition, the Jarmans and Marr acted like it was no big deal that one of the greatest guitarists of the last 25 years was now in the group, but there was extra oomph on older tracks like "Hey Scenesters" and "Mirror Kissers," and you could definitely feel Marr's influence on the Smith-y current single "We Share the Same Skies" and Ignore the Ignorant's title track. Likewise, the crowd didn't seem to pay Marr's presence any mind -- maybe some of them didn't know who he was? -- as they were too busy going mental, at least near the stage. I'm a Cribs fan, but I do think this was the best I've seen them since they made the leap from smaller-sized clubs.
Meanwhile, The Cribs just announced dates for a North American tour in early 2010, including a January 16 stop at Irving Plaza. Adam Green & The Dead Trees open that show and most of the dates on the tour. Jemima Pearl then replaces him as opener for the last six dates. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale Wednesdday at noon. All announced tour dates, plus those videos and pictures, below...
When I got to the xx show at Bowery Ballroom last night (11/11), I was told by someone reliable that Gil Scott-Heron was planning on joining the headlining UK band on stage for some songs - both with them and on his own for a few. At first I thought that was completely random. Then I realized that the xx's label XL Recordings recently announced that they signed Gil. They'll be releasing "I'm New Here", his first album since 1994's "Spirits", on Jan. 11, 2010. And according to jamespenycate, "The XX are remixing the entire Gil Scott Heron album". You can listen to four song clips, and watch video of Gil in the studio, at imnewhere.net.
Ends up Gil didn't join The xx on stage, though I saw him there after the show and apparently he did sound check with them (it's unclear why the change of plan). Ends up Baria Quresh didn't join The xx on stage either. The band performed as a trio and XL confirms that Baria's hiatus is permanent.
Fellow UK musician Jon Hopkins opened the show with a set of solo electro that had him pushing all kinds of buttons on stage to the delight of those that bothered to check him out. "Hopkins's third album, Insides, was released by Just Music in conjunction with Domino Records on May 5, 2009."
I'm in love the xx album, so seeing them live can't be that bad, which it wasn't, but it's nowhere near as good as the album. The young band will hopefully improve their show over time. The annoying crowd (people were talking through the performance on every side of me... and there was at least one person who answered her cell phone) generally appreciated it though - there was lots of clapping especially for favorites like "Basic Space". The band said it was good to be back in NYC which they said was like their second home. It's true. They played a bunch of shows here before CMJ and then a bunch more during CMJ, and they'll be back again in December with Friendly Fires. Tickets are still on sale for that Webster Hall show.
The video for "Basic Space" and some Gil Scott-Heron clips, below...
photos by Vincent Cornelli, words by Andrew Frisicano
"Smith westerns just pissed all over our backstage floor." - Girls
The second NYC-area stop on the Girls/Real Estate tour, after the Nov. 2nd kick off at Maxwell's, happened Friday, November 6th at Bowery Ballroom. Girls frontman Christopher Owens and bassist/album producer JR White took to the Bowery Ballroom stage with their new guitarist and drummer (after their former axeman quit during their recent European tour) for Girls' biggest NYC show so far. The show was sold out.
And so what began as a coronation became an exercise in the lowering of expectations, in a performance that was, for the most part, frustratingly inert. Mr. Owens, his hair matted with sweat or some other adhesive, meandered through most of "Album," along with some new songs and a blissful cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End." He sings in a mottled, nasal quaver that demands a sort of reverence to ingest fully, but the quiet in the room wasn't of the good kind. Regardless, Mr. Owens, Mr. White and the two members of the touring band, Ryan Lynch on guitar and Garrett Godard on drums, plowed on with the ease of a campfire singalong. (Mr. Godard sang harmony on many songs, a welcome jolt of energy.) [NY Times]The Smith Westerns were reportedly in the house. The Girls/RE tour continues to wind back to California. More pictures and a video of Girls single "Lust for Life" from the gig, below...
words & photos by Jake Forney
Monday's show was a display of the full spectrum of showmanship, from milking the crowd to ignoring it. Openers These Are Powers found all three members nearly equal in enthusiasm, vocalist/noise-maker Anna Barie only barely distinguishing herself as the front-person of the group. Bassist Pat Noecker (formerly of Liars) marched along to his riffing on his modified bass, often in the upper register, leaving much of the low-end to drummer/sampler Bill Salas. Of the three bands, they were the most pop-oriented, playing the only set that was not non-stop from start to finish, but had distinct beginnings and ends of songs. Their forward-driving beats have an undeniable dance-ability, getting even a half-full room to move a bit. Their next NYC show is this Friday with three bands from China.
Growing, also of New York, presented a complete about-face. The trio took the stage, each behind a table with their respective pedals. Aside from guitarists Joe Denardo and Kevin Doria rocking back and forth to their delay-drenched loops, the band remained relatively stagnant. The crowd however, did not. The beats blasting out of the Ampeg onstage rivaled the PA for anyone within the first ten rows. In response to the music, the crowd sometimes limply nodded heads or draped limbs, though other times the Ballroom could have been mistaken for a nightclub, hands in the air, and yes, even some grinding was witnessed. As the last loop faded and the lights went up, newest member Sadie Laska simply looked at the crowd and raised one eyebrow with a small grin and then exited the stage.
Headliners Fuck Buttons presented a high-energy mixture of the two openers in demeanor. The set, primarily their new album Tarot Sport, didn't take long to get the now packed room moving again with the heavy club beat of album-opener "Surf Solar." Each track was surprisingly spot-on to the recording, the only variations were nuanced changes - sometimes sooner, but more often later in a song than on the album. Standing at opposite ends of a folding picnic table, the British duo, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power, kept an eye towards the crowd. They read the room for the right time to push the scale of things from grand to epic, or to take it away, fading the beat into a static of chords, produced from a collection of small keyboards and pedals housed in suitcases. Their teamwork was evident too, simple nods led to the next transition, most evident during the encore of "Sweet Love for Planet Earth" off last year's Street Horrrsing.
It's hard to deny the grandeur of Tarot Sport. And even harder when you can feel the floor shake when they unleash the gnarliest synth drones from small, modified kids' toys. The effect is akin to the visual of the movie 300, except Fuck Buttons has nuance and adrenaline-laced buildups where the movie has cheese and abdominals.
Patti Smith @ The Met (more by Daniel Solomon)
Patti Smith has announced her annual end-of-year run of shows at Bowery Ballroom. Tickets for the three shows, December 29-31, will go on sale Friday at noon. All dates below...
photos by Paul Birman
Holly Miranda & Matthew Caws / Florence & the Machine
"Dressed in flowing white, Florence spilled to the stage with her black-clad band, The Machine. Opening with "Two Lungs," Welch exploded into to chorus. She didn't need all of the considerable orchestra, including the harp, to vibrate the floor of a completely packed Bowery Ballroom. With the Island Records crew stuffed into the balcony, Welch flitted around the stage, pushing her elbows back and popping her chest out like some mechanical and delicate bird. She repeatedly pointed at us, directly, to emphasize elements of her story, only to cover a smile with her hand. She is emphatic and wilting, if these two things are possible at once." [32Ft/Second]Florence & the Machine headlined Bowery Ballroom and appeared on Letterman last night (10/27). Video from the latter below. It was all part of a short trip for the band who also played the Fader party at Ace Hotel on Saturday and a private show at Soho House on Monday.
Opening the show, coming off a couple of more public CMJ appearances and a recent XL Records signing announcement, was Holly Miranda who was backed by none other than Nada Surf. Nada Surf plays
an acoustic show at Music Hall of Williamsburg tonight (10/28).
More pictures, including a show of Florcence's setlist, and the above-mentioned video, below...
words and photos by Jake Forney
The line-up was Dave Godowsky, Say Hi, followed by David Bazan.
The bassist of Say Hi played keys and guitar in Bazan's band. Say Hi's lead vocalist and guitarist played guitar with Bazan. Bazan played bass. When asked why he was playing bass this tour, he said he just felt like playing bass. They had a practice where he only played tambourine and sang, which he said was fun, but he ultimately decided to play bass on the tour.
The set was heavy with songs from the new album, Curse Your Branches. However, he played old favorites like "Magazine", "I Do", and a Headphones song "I Never Wanted You". He played an encore, which he said is something he normally doesn't do, but he "felt like playing some more fucking music." The encore consisted of him on guitar, alone except for Say Hi's bassist, who was onstage just to harmonize. He played "Priests and Paramedics", a cover of Dylan's "The Man In Me", and closed with "Harmless Sparks". The rest of the band returned to the stage at the end of this song to provide harmonies.
David Bazan & Say Hi are still on tour. The NYC show was last Sunday (10/18). Opener Dave Godowsky has since played a set at the BrooklynVegan / Bowery Prsents show upstairs at Pianos on Saturday (10/24). More pictures from Bowery below...
Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions kicked off their second NYC show in three days much like they did the first, with the song "Blanchard" and with not enough vocals in the speakers. By song three, an early highlight ("Courtin Blues"), the sound was better. Hope's vocals were coming through loud and clear. I wasn't as close to the stage as I was at Music Hall, so maybe my perspective was different, but the Manhattan crowd seemed way happier to be there than the Brooklyn crowd. The cheers seemed louder and more in line with the return of someone who we haven't seen in seven years. Song four was "Willow" and all signs pointed towards a great show. The projections, though exactly the same at Music Hall, were maybe even better because Bowery Ballroom seemed to have a bigger screen.
Then, 3.5 songs in, all of a sudden the music stopped. Hope couldn't hear herself in the monitors. Some audience members, possibly misunderstanding the problem, started screaming that it sounded great. They weren't lying and it didn't help. Hope continued to stand there. She was growing increasingly frustrated as she expected someone to make it work again. She said she was sorry for embarrassing everyone, and mentioned that they had spent three hours soundchecking earlier in the day.
"It's OK Hope, we love you," someone screamed. "I'm on the verge of throwing a tantrum," Hope replied. Killing time, someone asked if she loved NY. Unexpectedly, Hope answered, "I absolutely fucking hate NY... but I love everyone who is here. I'm a country girl". She may have lost a few people there, and then she spoke again. It was definitely the most I've ever heard her talk on stage. "There's gonna be some heads chopped off... Sorry about this you guys," she said. Someone else yelled, "We love you Hope". Then next thing you know, faster than you can say Fiona Apple, Hope made one final frustrated gesture forward, and then stormed off the stage. Her confused band followed soon after.
photos by Oren Loloi
"Last, but in no way least, was Rural Alberta Advantage, who played their last NYC show of 2009. If you can believe it, the trio's percussive elements are highlighted even more live than on their smash album, Hometowns. In addition to the strong beats, Nils Edenloff's warbly croon wowed the audience throughout the mostly-originals set. A highlight was RAA's cover of Abba's "SOS" (of course, it's only fitting that a band that was formed at an open mic night would nail a re-interpreted Abba song!) Should, for some odd reason, you not care for RAA's music, it's worth going to a concert just for the history lesson. At the show, for instance, we learned that petrified wood is the provincial stone of Alberta, which is why it makes its way into "Drain The Blood" and that the best thing to do if you ever find yourself in Edmonton is to go to the Legislative Grounds and look directly at the lights. [CMJ]The Rural Alberta Advantage headlined Bowery Ballroom on Wednesday night (10/7). The Openers were Kittens Ablaze and The Lovely Feathers. The latter, also from Canada, are now on tour and will be back in NYC for CMJ.
Tickets are on sale (@ noon) for the show Rural Alberta are playing with Passion Pit at Terminal 5 on January 8th. More pictures from Bowery Ballroom, and all Lovely Feathers dates, below...
words & photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Tuesday night's Twilight Sad show was just like Friday night, there was just more if it. There was more space for the sound to fill, more shaved heads, more singing along. All three bands had put the bar relatively high coming off their show at Southpaw, and all three cleared it and then some.
Prior to the tour The Twilight Sad's James Graham and Andy MacFarlane had shaved their heads. Somewhere between Brooklyn and the Bowery Jetpacks lead singer Adam Thompson and bassist Sean Smith shaved their heads, Twilight Sad bassist Craig Orzel was sporting a mohawk and even their roadie, Esteban, got into the act.
With more room to maneuver and no band going on after them, the three bands seemed more inspired with only Brakesbrakesbrakes toughing out a rough set with a broken string and busted high hat.
The Twilight Sad made only two changes from their setlist Friday night adding "The Room" off Forget The Night Ahead and swapping the new record's one breakneck track, "The Neighbour's Can't Breathe", for its other ("That Birthday Present").
The moment of the night arrived when Graham hopped down into the crowd for "Cold Days From The Birdhouse". Where the audience at Southpaw gave him plenty of space a few nights earlier, the crowd at the Bowery crowded in close, enveloping Graham. And the crowd singing along as he belted the lyrics, "And your red sky at night won't follow me" and "So you make it your own/but this is where your arm can't go" was chill bump-inducing. It lead to Graham remarking, after he returned to the stage, "I don't think we'll ever forget this."
The Twilight Sad was incredibly loud and pretty much the definition of epic. The floor was shaking! The way those guitars swirl and those crescendos... it was a mesmerizing showcase of powerful, and noisy as heck, music that very few bands can even pull off. Great mix of new and old songs in the set list. When they played Cold Days From The Birdhouse, with the singer in the middle of the crowd, it felt special. The only thing missing from them is more stage presence from someone other than the lead singer.Pictures from Friday HERE. Tour dates HERE. More pictures from Tuesday, with The Twilight Sad's setlist, below...
photos by Chris La Putt
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