Entries tagged with: Celebrate Brooklyn
photos by David Andrako
Big K.R.I.T. in Prospect Park - 7/31/15
The insanely-prolific Big K.R.I.T. so far hasn't released an album/mixtape this year, which is rare for him, but he did just announce a lengthy international tour for this fall. It's dubbed the "Kritically Acclaimed" tour, and includes dates in Australia and North America.
The tour hits NYC on October 28 at Highline Ballroom. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Earlier this summer, Big K.R.I.T. played a Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park with Angel Haze. Check out a couple more pictures (like the one above) from that, via the Celebrate Brooklyn Facebook, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
tUnE-yArDs / Shabazz Palaces @ Prospect Park 8/8/2015
Grooving through "Wait for a Minute," "Powa," "Es-so," "Sink-O," "Real Thing," "Look Around," and "Stop That Man," tUnE-yArDs never ended up quite where they started. Some ideas trailed away to crazy places - like in "Sink-O," where Garbus breezes through the words, "Peace, peace and love, love is waiting for the feeling of discomfort to pass before killing." Wait, what?It was the final free show of Celebrate Brooklyn's 2015 season in Prospect Park on Saturday (8/8), with tUnE-yArDs packing the bandshell. Shabazz Palaces, who opened the night and played a headlining Brooklyn show earlier in the week, joined Merrill Garbus and company for "Sink-O" and "Bizness." (tUnE-yArDs also played the Montauk Surf Club on Sunday.) Pictures from Saturday's night's show, and tUnE-yArDs' setlist, are in this post.
No emotion was off limits, and there was no way of guessing what came next. All you could do was give in. So 10,000 people gave in together, arms in the air, bodies swaying in the darkness. tUnE-yArDs closed in total brilliance with "Water Fountain," "Bizness," and "Left Behind," and the whole park moved like an insatiable beast. - [Pancakes and Whiskey]
Celebrate Brooklyn! has one last show to go in 2015 -- the sold-out Willie Nelson & Family show on Wednesday (8/12) with Old Crow Medicine Show. More pics of tUnE-yArDs and Shabazz Palaces, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: tUnE-yArDs at 2015 Pemberton Fest (more by Chris & Rae Graham)
tUnE-yArDs made what she's saying is the final video off last year's great Nikki Nack. It's for the song "Rocking Chair," which features fiddle by Sam Amidon. The video was made by Sarah Pupo, and you can check it out below.
tUnE-yArDs is on tour now and playing two free New York shows this weekend. The first is an amazing double bill with rap eccentrics Shabazz Palaces (who played NYC with Eaters earlier this week) happening Saturday night (8/8) in Prospect Park. That's part of this summer's Celebrate Brooklyn season. Then on Sunday (8/9), she plays one of the concerts at The Surf Lodge in Montauk. Delta Spirit play there the day before her, so this is a pretty great weekend for music fans to spend in the Hamptons.
All tUnE-yArDs dates are listed, with the new video, below...
photos by David Andrako
Jason Isbell @ Prospect Park 7/25/2015
It was a pretty good weekend for Jason Isbell. His new album, Something More Than Free, debuted at #5 on Billboard's album chart (#1 on Rock and Folk) and he played one of his biggest NYC shows ever on Friday night (7/24) in Prospect Park with opener Dawn Landes. His set included songs from the new record, older solo material as well as a few from his days in Drive By Truckers.
On Saturday (7/25), Jason played Newport Folk Festival and you can stream a recording of that performance via NPR, below.
Sunday he opened for My Morning Jacket (at least one reviewer says he played the better set!)
Pictures from the packed show in Prospect Park continue below. Isbell's setlist is down there too....
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Porches played what was probably their biggest show to date in Prospect Park on Saturday night. Lines for the show, which was headlined by North Carolina electropop duo Sylvan Esso, were wrapped around Prospect Park in multiple directions before doors, and that meant a capacity crowd for an opening band. Thousands of Sylvan Esso fans were waiting for their headliner to come on, inside and outside the "Celebrate Brooklyn" gates. That could be a disaster for an opening band, but it definitely worked in the NY band's favor, which was clear by the loud applause during and after their set. They did in fact sound great. Sylvan Esso, who covered Porches last year, also expressed their fandom and apprecation later in the show.
Greta Kline aka Frankie Cosmos was on bass and some vocals for the show, but sadly that will never be true again. Greta confirms she is leaving Porches to focus more on Frankie Cosmos.
Like we guessed they might be, Porches were added to one of the Brooklyn dates of the Exploding In Sound extended weekend. Porches play 8/20 at Baby's All Right with their former EIS labelmates Pile, Grass Is Green, Two Inch Astronaut and Washer. Tickets are still available.
Pics of Sylvan Esso at Prospect Park coming soon. More pics of Porches below...
photos by David Andrako
After opening their sold-out show at Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
last night with the rallying call of "Fire It Up," Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock announced that he had some minor concerns about playing the show. As it turns out, he
had just sprained his index finger. "How'd I do that?" he mused aloud. "Carelessness." Brock's candor was fitting, considering the tone of sarcasm and detachment that permeates many of the group's lyrics, from their first album in 1996 to their latest release, Strangers to Ourselves. Modest Mouse's performance of songs like "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes," "Bury Me with It," "Out of Gas" and "King Rat" nicely conveyed this attitude.
Of course, it's not all aloofness and irony with Modest Mouse--their catalog includes many moments that skew toward sincere. Last night's rendition of "Dramamine," from the band's first official release, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, was clearly an emotional touchstone for the crowd, as was the sweet and simple new song "Coyotes," and "3rd Planet," from 2000's The Moon & Antarctica. But Modest Mouse didn't shy away from playing one of their most upbeat songs, "Float On," the sonic equivalent of a pep talk. [The House List]
It's a big week for Celebrate Brooklyn. Interpol played their big ticketed show in Prospect Park one night earlier, and this weekend are two great free shows: Jason Isbell/Dawn Landes is Friday, and Sylvan Esso/Porches happens Saturday.
Last night (7/22) was Modest Mouse, who were playing their third NYC show in support of this year's Strangers to Ourselves. It was a good double bill too, with another eccentric indie rock veteran, Gene Ween. Pictures are in this post.
While Modest Mouse were in town, they also appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to play "Pups to Dust" off their new album. Video of that, with more pictures from Prospect Park and MM's setlist, below...
photos by David Andrako
Interpol brought their tour to their hometown of NYC last night (7/21) for a Celebrate Brooklyn! show in Prospect Park. They split the set pretty well between their albums, with their beloved debut Turn On the Bright Lights getting represented the most but only one song from their self-titled ("Lights").
Opening the show was Cosmicide, the band of Brandon Curtis who played in Secret Machines and is also a live member of Interpol. He formed the band around the time Secret Machines ended in 2008, but took a break when his brother/bandmate Benjamin sadly passed away. More recently, Brandon stated Cosmicide back up and they've got a few songs released at the moment -- you can listen and check out a video below.
More pictures from Prospect Park and Interpol's setlist, also below...
photos by David Andrako
The free Celebrate Brooklyn! shows in Prospect Park continued last night (6/25) with alt-country veteran Lucinda Williams. Lucinda's got records dating back over thirty years, and she gave us some classics, but she's also still putting out worthy music. Last year's Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone was well represented and one reviewer said the best song of the night was off that album. They closed with a cover of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World" (attn: Donald Trump). Video of that and more pictures from the show -- including opener Jason Walker -- below...
One of the events in this summer's Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park series is a free screening of Paris Is Burning on June 26, which initially also included a live set from Le Tigre's JD Samson. JD already dropped off the show after comments on the Facebook event page criticized the promoters for not including any queer trans people of color (QTPOC) on the lineup. (If you aren't familiar with Paris Is Burning, to quote Wikipedia, "it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African-American, Latino, gay, and transgender communities involved in it.")
A Change.org petition was also launched around that time to get the event cancelled. A few of their concerns included:
- Although NYC's LGBTQ communities are majority TQPOC and NYC's Ballroom community mostly black and latinix gay men, transsexual women, trans-feminine folks, trans men, trans-masculine folks, and queer women, the event was initially slated to feature a line-up that included NOT ONE PERSON from the documentary or the present THRIVING ballroom community and NO PERFORMERS OF COLOR. This is an erasure of our communities which this documentary purports to be representing.You can read more here. The petition also asks Celebrate Brooklyn/BRIC to apologize to the affected parties, cancel the event, and "fund an event that is curated and staffed by the communities harmed by this event." It also asks Paris Is Burning director Jennie Livingston to apologize, "use the platform that you've gained through our stories to speak out against the atrocities that are killing us daily," and "pay retribution to the survivors and communities of the people you exploited in Paris is Burning with all future proceeds."
- We are also concerned that this is a pro-gentrification event since the music/acts chosen to accompany the screening were geared towards the tastes of new white middle-class residents of Brooklyn and did not culturally reflect the indigenous existing TQPOC communities of Brooklyn or within the film.
- While Jennie Livingston and Mirimax profited immensely off of this anthropological foray into the lives of low-income TQPOC ballroom members, through years of lies and dishonesty, Livingston was able to use people for the sake of her own fame and has been living off of their stories ever since. In the meantime, most of the original cast has been murdered or has died in poverty. This is exploitation of a vulnerable population who trusted Jennie to do right by them.
The petition notes JD's decision to remove herself from the event, but asks her to "remember that accountability is a gift and that you should continue to seek ways to be accountable to the trans-feminine communities you've hurt historically if you seek to call yourself an 'activist' and 'ally'."
Celebrate Brooklyn responded on Facebook, writing:
BRIC has been listening to and learning from the online discussion about our planned June 26 screening of Paris is Burning and the surrounding line-up. We understand now that the original line-up should have included members of the ballroom and QTPOC communities, who are the subject of Jennie Livingston's path-breaking documentary.You can read the rest of their statement here, but meanwhile that revised lineup was just announced and looks like this:
Having recognized that we made a mistake in the planning of this program, we have been working to figure out how best to right our course. We have now done what we should have done when we initially planned the event: reached out to QTPOC organizations and individuals, and members of the ballroom community, to gain their insights and hear their ideas for the program. We apologize for not having done so earlier.
After this consultation, the revised line-up, which we hope to finalize in the next few days, will include artists and programming from the QTPOC and ballroom communities.
BRIC's screening of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Paris Is Burning will feature an introduction by director Jennie Livingston and by Junior LaBeija and Dr. Sol Williams Pendavis, both of whom are featured in the film. Before the screening, fellow Paris Is Burning cast members Grandfather Hector Xtravaganza and Jose Disla Xtravaganza present The Houses United Ball: Celebrating Brooklyn, which will feature members of the Houses of LaBeija, Ninja, Mizrahi, Khan, Infinity, Milan, Princess and Xtravaganza. Vjuan Allure will DJ before and during the ball.It's unclear at the moment if the petition will be taken down now that the lineup has changed.
photos: Celebrate Brooklyn last year (more by David Andrako)
We've known about Celebrate Brooklyn!'s summer slate of 2015 ticketed benefit shows at Prospect Park -- including Modest Mouse, Interpol and Willie Nelson -- for a while and now they've announced their free show schedule. In addition to the already-announced New Pornographers show on 7/11 (which now also includes Thao & the Get Down Stay Down) and the Chaka Khan season kickoff show on 6/3, this summer's free highlights include:
Lucius | Luke Temple | Pavo Pavo on Saturday, June 13Full Celebrate Brooklyn! schedule below...
Eighth Blackbird With Special Guest Will Oldham | Bill Frisell & Sam Amidon on Thursday, June 18
Lucinda Williams | Jason Walker on Thursday, June 25
Punch Brothers | Sarah Jarosz on Thursday, July 9
Vieux Farka Touré | Tamikrest | Dj Dakar on Thursday, July 16
Jason Isbell | Dawn Landes on Friday, July 24.
Sylvan Esso | Porches on Saturday, July 25
Big K.R.I.T. | Angel Haze | The D.R.E.A.M. Ring: Flexn on Friday, July 31
Tune-Yards | Shabazz Palaces on Saturday, August 8
photo: The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building, 2014 (more by Chris La Putt)
Canadian power pop royalty The New Pornographers will be touring this summer in July, a trek that wraps up in Chicago for the Pitchfork Festival. A week earlier, they'll be in NYC to make a return visit to Prospect Park on July 11, part of Celebrate Brooklyn! -- which is almost 10 years to the day since their 'Canada Day' show there in 2005. No word yet as to whether that is a free show or a ticketed benefit show, or who the openers are.
Celebrate Brooklyn has yet to announce their full 2015 schedule, but it includes ticketed benefit shows with Modest Mouse, Willie Nelson, Interpol and more, and the free Chaka Khan kickoff show.. All dates are listed, along with an Rdio stream of last year's great Brill Bruisers LP, below...
The band have also announced a tour which includes three NYC shows: Webster Hall on March 18 and 19 (tickets on sale 3/6 at 9 AM) and a larger show, Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park on July 22. Tickets for Prospect Park go on sale Friday (3/6) at noon with AmEx, Ticketmaster, and Celebrate Brooklyn presales starting Wednesday (3/4) at noon.
Night 1 of the Webster Hall shows is with Mimicking Birds, but no openers announced for the other two yet.
All dates are listed, with the new song, below...
photo: Chaka Khan at Pier 3 in 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
The kickoff show for the 2015 Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park series has been announced. The legendary Chaka Khan will play the Prospect Park Bandshell on June 3, and as always, opening night is free (with a suggested donation of $3). Doors at 6:30 PM, show at 8.
Stay tuned for the rest of the schedule. Check out the video for Chaka's classic "Tell Me Something Good" below...
photo: Interpol at Terminal 5 in 2014 (more by Adela Loconte)
Interpol wrapped up their 2014 tour in support of El Pintor not long ago, which included no lack of shows in their hometown of NYC. Now they've already announced a lengthy 2015 tour for the spring/summer, which includes another NYC appearance on July 21 at Prospect Park. Tickets for all shows go on presale at noon local time on Wednesday (1/21), and the general on-sale begins 10 AM local time Friday (1/23) for all shows except Prospect Park, which goes on sale at noon.
update: BrooklynVegan will also host an exclusive pre-sale for the NYC show starting Wednesday at noon. Check back Wednesday for the password.
UPDATE: PRESALE PASSWORD HERE.
That's the first Prospect Park Celebrate Brooklyn! show announced for the 2015 season. All Interpol dates are listed below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
St. Vincent, who we also recently caught at Pitchfork Fest, closed out the Celebrate Brooklyn season in the best way possible on Saturday night (8/9). Apparently people were on line as early as noon for the free, 7:30 pm Prospect Park show. I got there during San Fermin's opening set. The Brooklyn venue was already packed, but there were still long lines at both doors wrapping in different directions around the park, and around all the people who decided to just sit outside the gates and listen.
Annie Clark is a rock star who never misses a beat, as she shreds, sings and dances her way around the stage. Banter is kept to a minimum. The robot-like, conveyor belt moves she pulls off in heels with perfect posture while continuing to play notes are almost as impressive as her songs. There was never a dull moment in the show which, unlike Neutral Milk Hotel on the same stage recently, went right to the 10:30 outdoor show curfew. The weather was perfect, and so was Annie's band which includes her dance-mate, bassist and keyboardist Toko Yasuda (you might also recognize her from The Lapse, The Van Pelt, Blonde Redhead, and Enon), Daniel Mintseris (keyboards), and Matt Johnson (drums).
The concert, which maybe you heard on WFUV (if not, LISTEN NOW BELOW), included almost every song from the new self-titled album. Her 17 song set also included 5 from Strange Mercy, 2 from Actor, 1 from Marry Me. Highlights included the post-encore version of "Strange Mercy" she did along on top of a riser with the sound of crickets in the background, and a stint on someone's shoulders to get closer to the crowd towards the end of the show.
Look for Annie on Late Night With Seth Meyers tonight (8/11) and tomorrow.
More pictures from the show, the setlist, the full audio stream of it and more, below...
photos by P Squared Photography, words by Andrew Marinaccio
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds @ Prospect Park - 7/26/14
As self-aware as the Bad Seeds' Vegas-styled image has become, Nick Cave is still running on the primal engines that hatched The Boys Next Door. Last year's leg of the Push the Sky Away tour canonized many of that album's fragile ballads, which were all bolstered through the Bad Seeds' live rigor. Consider their 2014 tour a victory lap, yielding the potent fruits of that labor. Their show Saturday night (7/26) at the Prospect Park Bandshell was another round of hits, without the locally-sourced children's choir or string section of last year. The band sounded fuller and more dramatic, burning through their set with suave command and evangelical conviction.
After the Bad Seeds processed on stage to the bass loop of "We Real Cool," old readings from the Book of Cave began, the band ripping through late set show-stoppers like "Tupelo" and "From Her to Eternity" from the get-go. Cave embodied his signature preacher mode with hysterical grace, shifting the audience as he waved them toward wherever he stood with his ring-bedecked fingers, him reaching for their hands as the audience reached for about anything they could. He made liquid hand movements with a crowd-surfing attendee as they beckoned each other closer. While reciting "Can you feel my heart beat?" during the comedown of "Higgs Boson Blues," a flock of hands reached past his glittering champagne-colored shirt to do so.
Most of the other members of the Bad Seeds only need to stand and brood to look the part, but Warren Ellis gave Cave's swagger a run for its money. With the mountainous uplift of "Jubilee Street" he tossed the bow of his violin up to the stage's canopy, keeping frayed spares tucked in his collar as he gyrated out shots of noise and mangled the clean acoustics of "Mermaids" with an electric tenor guitar solo.
Standards like "The Mercy Seat" and "Stagger Lee" were gleefully unhinged that one might believe the band wouldn't know how to play these songs with less vigor. Deeper cuts like "West Country Girl" and "Do You Love Me?" were orated as if Cave's muses never let him hear the end of his storied affairs. Cave has mentioned in interviews that the Bad Seeds have found a new creative center since recording Push the Sky Away. Fancy suits and gold rings be damned, it's a claim to take at face-value.
Opening at Prospect Park was tourmate Nicole Atkins as well as freak folk OG Devendra Banhart. Pictures of all three artists are in this post.
More Prospect Park pictures, and the setlist from that one, below...
photos by David Andrako
It was a perfect summer night in New York City. No humidity, not too hot, a slight breeze, and brilliant moonlit sky. It was the perfect conditions for a night in the park. As part of Celebrate Brooklyn's annual free concerts in Prospect Park, alternative hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030 performed a rare live concert with a full orchestra to help close out their current North American tour. The group, which released their latest record, The Event II, last fall, have been on-and-off the road for the last few months and Deltron fans know that if they are touring now, who knows when they could tour or play again. So, it was no surprise that the Prospect Park Bandshell was jam packed with fans from all over the boroughs, as well as curious ears who wanted to see what was happening in their park that night.Alternative hip hop greats Deltron 3030 kept their reunion alive with a summer tour that just wrapped up this past weekend with a free Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park on Saturday (7/19) and an Asbury Park show the following day. Prospect Park was opened by Montreal hip hop collective Nomadic Massive and a solo set from Deltron's Kid Koala before he was joined by Del The Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator and a full orchestra for Deltron 3030's set. Pictures of the show are in this post.
... With the orchestra, Del rapping his head off, Dan conducting, and Koala simply destroying the turntables, all being done in front of trippy images projected on a screen behind the artists, it was full on sensory overload. With a healthy mix of songs from their classic 2000 debut and Event II, the 90-minute set was just too good to end. [Officially A Yuppie]
They continue below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Warpaint @ Prospect Park - 6/26/14
Warpaint put out their second album at the beginning of this year, and after having supported it in NYC with an intimate Union Pool show and a much larger Webster Hall show, the LA band returned last night for an even larger (and free) Celebrate Brooklyn show in Prospect Park. The venue filled out pretty well, though it wasn't hard to get into or anything, unlike the Janelle Monae show earlier this month.
The band were in great form, going through their many sounds that included haunting folk, psychedelia, dream pop, and shinier/dancier pop, all while being an adept and big-sounding band that had no problem projecting to the back of the big outdoor venue. Vocal harmonies were spot on too. They were doing some complex stuff that came across more last night than on record, and I don't think they hit a wrong note.
Yellowbirds opened the show. More pictures of both bands below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Dum Dum Girls / Hospitality / TEEN @ Prospect Park 6/21/2014
Dum Dum Girls headlined a lovely night of free music on the first day of summer (6/21), part of Celebrate Brooklyn! at Prospect Park Bandshell. Dressing a little more conservatively than she has lately, Dee Dee and the rest the band stuck mainly to DDG's most recent album, Too True, but played a few older songs as well, plus their cover of The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" (from the He Gets Me High EP). The band will be spending the rest of 2014 at select festivals, including Pitchfork and Outside Lands. Tour dates are listed, along with Celebrate Brooklyn! setlist and pics from the show are in this post.
It was a nice bill all around. Hospitality are touring off their terrific second album, Trouble, which expanded their sound quite a bit. The added keyboards have extended to the songs off their debut as well, with older numbers getting radically new arrangements. The band will be on a short East Coast tour in July, so catch them if you can. Dates are listed below.
Speaking of expanded sound, TEEN have transformed from an arty, at times Krauty/proggy outfit, to a much more R&B bent on their new album, The Way and Color. If you missed them in Prospect Park, they're on tour most of the summer, including a September run opening for Islands, including Brooklyn's Baby's All Right on September 17 (tickets). They'll also DJ the annual White Party at New Museum on Wednesday (6/25) with Heavenly Beat. That is open to New Museum members only. All tour dates are listed below.
More pics from the Prospect Park show, plus tour dates, below...
photos by Misha Vladimirskiy
Dum Dum Girls in San Francisco last night - 6/19/2014
It may feel pasty outside now, and it's going to be be even more "pastie" this Saturday in Brooklyn thanks to the annual Coney Island, pastie-filled Mermaid Parade! Look out for the de Blasios at the beach-side, burlesque extravaganza.
From there, hop on the F to Park Slope because the pastie-loving Dum Dum Girls play what is probably their biggest NYC show yet, a headlining appearance in Prospect Park as part of the free Celebrate Brooklyn summer concert series. Hospitality and TEEN round out the all-female-fronted, indie rock bill on the stage where the National just played three nights in a row. This is a great bill of music AND FREE.
That said, Celebrate Brooklyn is a family friendly environment, so we bet that the Dum Dums will go with a more conservative version of their outfits (we love them no matter what they wear). That was not the case at a Goose Island sponsored FADER party last night at Folsom Street Foundry in San Francisco though. There, Dee Dee did just the opposite and wore a top that is definitely Not Safe For Instagram. We applaud her bravery. NSFW/NSFI pictures from the show are in this post along with their 14 song setlist (Smiths cover included). More below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
The National @ Prospect Park - 6/19/14
The National have taken quite a beating this weekend. On the first night of their sold out three-night run in Prospect Park in their hometown of Brooklyn, Matt Berninger cut his head and on the second night he began losing his voice (he said a moth flew into his mouth). You could tell Matt was weary by night 3, and his voice was still a little shot on the screaming parts, but the band still put on an excellent show.
The set jumped right into the hits, with "Start A War," "Don't Swallow the Cap," "Secret Meeting," "Anyone's Ghost," and more favorites coming before the sun had even fully set. It was almost jarring to realize how many heavy hitters we were getting right away. It was early in the night, too bright out for the light show to have any real power yet, and outdoors so you couldn't be taken over by volume, but here were The National casually playing some of the most beloved indie rock songs of the last ten years. The set really kicked in for me by "Sea of Love" off their newest album, Trouble Will Find Me. The song's driving triple guitars had The National sounding at their most massive, and the song's bridge saw Matt bringing his screams onto one of their most somber albums.
Another highlight of the show came from Trouble Will Find Me, "This Is the Last Time," when the song's big chorus abruptly cut out leaving only piano and clean guitar, and the more crazed light show shifted to a dark purple. In a show that included layered distorted guitars and Matt screaming multiple times, one of its heaviest moments came as he softly sung "Jenny I am in trouble, can't get these thoughts out of me." And when the Dessners and the band's backing vocalist added the "It takes a lot of pain to pick me up" refrain, it was a true show stopper.
That song was followed by some of the deeper cuts of the show, as The National offered "Lean" from last year's Hunger Games soundtrack (which they said was a new version of a song they'd previously cut from an album), into a medley of "Available" and "Cardinal Song" from 2003's Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, the first time they'd included anything from that album all week. The rocking "Available" was the heaviest they'd sounded all night since "Sea of Love."
Then came the encore which, save for its first song (we got "All Dolled-Up in Straps" from the Cherry Tree EP), was the same it had been the two previous nights. Matt ran through the crowd for the rowdy fan favorite "Mr. November," followed by an upbeat rendition of "Terrible Love." And to close the show, the whole band (including the backing musicians) gathered on stage in front of the drums for a fully acoustic version of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," much like their pal Bon Iver (who sings on the studio version of that song) does at his shows with "Skinny Love."
Pictures of night 3, which MS MR opened, are in this post. Pictures of night 1 (with Phosphorescent) are HERE, and review of night 2 (with Lord Huron) is HERE. More night 3 pictures, with the setlist and a video of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks," below...
The National Celebrating Brooklyn (more by David Andrako)
The National played Prospect Park last night (June 18th) for the 2nd show out of 3 at their home-borough venue. Having seen the band perform in so many less fitting places (from Barclays to Big Cypress), it was refreshing to finally catch them again on their home turf. "A lot of our marriages were consummated in this very park," joked singer Matt Berninger, "right where you're standing!"
For a long time fan of the band, the show's setlist felt like a bit of a field day, with "Daughters of the Soho Riots," "Ada," "Baby, We'll Be Fine," "Lit Up," "All The Wine" - and even "Exile Vilify" from the Portal 2 soundtrack all performed. We even got a visit by Sufjan Stevens for vocal assistance on "Afraid of Everyone."
"Daughters of the Soho Riots" was a particular highlight for me. It was performed with incredibly delicate attention and brought the audience to a notable hush. As the song concluded, Matt explained that a moth had flown into his mouth "during the most depressing part of the song," and as the show went on, the singer seemed to be losing more and more of his voice. "I can feel the moth down there, thinking," Matt explained a few songs later. "He's obviously depressed. He's just walking in circles."
The National have grown into their signature sound by juxtaposing gorgeous classically-inspired music with a fractured, imperfect singer stuck right in the middle of it all - and I was struck by the fact that the band actually sounded more beautiful when Matt's voice was completely exhausted. I wasn't sure if he was going to make it all the way through some songs, especially the relatively high "Pink Rabbits," but he powered through the 20+ song set with remarkable dedication.
And, despite cutting his head on the previous night, the singer still jumped offstage and wandered through the crowd for both "Mr. November" and "Terrible Love," stealing a fan's iPhone and videotaping himself sing the song's final chorus before chucking the device back onto the stage. In one especially endearing moment, the singer punted a glass of wine into the front row, only to quickly break through his badass bravado to immediately apologize to the people he had wet.
The National has always been so appealing to me because they operate as a band of humans - humans singing about human concerns - imperfectly sometimes, beautifully at others - but honestly always - and on this night, especially during "Fake Empire" when Matt's wound re-opened and blood started running down the side of his face, they felt even more human than ever before.
Lord Huron opened the show.
Check out pictures from the first night (Phosphorescent opened). Head to Prospect Park now if you've got tickets for the third (with opener MS MR).
Night 2 setlist below...
photos by David Andrako
The National / Phosphorescent @ Prospect Park - 6/17/14
The National kicked off their three-night run in Prospect Park last night (6/17) with a lengthy set that included favorites from their last four albums (plus a cut from the Cherry Tree EP). As anyone who's seen The National knows, the band go harder than their records would have you believe, but Matt Berninger went extra hard last night, hitting his head on one of the video screens causing him to bleed (as you can see above). Hope you're okay, Matt! There's a different opener every night, and last night's was Phosphorescent whose Matthew Houck joined The National during their encore for "Terrible Love." Pictures of both bands are in this post.
The run continues tonight (6/18) with Lord Huron (a few tickets are still available) and Thursday (6/19) with MS MR (no available tix at the moment, but you can win them). All three shows are "benefit" shows for Celebrate Brooklyn's ongoing season at the venue.
More pictures, and The National's setlist, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Ornette Coleman / Laurie Anderson / Flea
The 2014 Celebrate Brooklyn! season continued with another free show in Prospect Park this past Thursday (6/12), a tribute to pioneering free jazz great Ornette Coleman (also part of Blue Note Jazz Fest). A large handful of musicians from many genres appeared on stage to pay tribute to Ornette, including Red Hot Chili Peppers/Atoms for Peace/Antemasque bassist Flea, joined separately by two jazz veterans Henry Threadgill and David Murray. Punk legend Patti Smith appeared with her daughter Jesse and bandmate Tony Shanahan. Laurie Anderson was joined by past collaborators/NYC avant-garde lifers Bill Laswell and John Zorn for a performance that was also partly in honor of her late husband Lou Reed. Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore performed a duo set with guitar great Nels Cline (Wilco, Lee Ranaldo's band, etc), and still so many other guests performed including Geri Allen, Joe Lovano, Savion Glover, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, James Blood and more.
Thurston Moore & Nels Cline
One very special guest of the night was Ornette Coleman himself, who wasn't billed as a performer but but spent a good deal of the show on stage, often chiming in. The New York Times writes:
Again, Mr. Coleman played: a significant fact and an increasingly rare occasion in the last several years. This was billed as a concert for him, not by him; it was not clear whether he would play a note until showtime. But he sat in a chair onstage for most of the concert's first half, either with an alto saxophone in his lap, or taking part as if he were playing along with nature, joining when he wanted to and how he wanted to.Pictures of the show are in this post. They continue, with the setlist a video from Patti Smith's performance, below...
The concert was organized by Mr. Coleman's son, Denardo, who was also the bandleader, as a program of Coleman compositions, except for a couple of free improvisations. But Mr. Coleman wasn't there to play Ornette Coleman compositions. He was just there to play, and he started from soft and lovely unaccompanied lines, like some precursor to blues language.
photos by David Andrako
Celebrate Brooklyn kicked off their 2014 season in Prospect Park last night with a free show by Janelle Monae (6/4). I stopped by and couldn't believe the size of the lines that were wrapped around in every direction before the show, and as early as 5pm. There were tons of people inside and outside the gate watching and listening to the show. The bandshell entrances are around 9th Street and 11th Street along Prospect Park West which ends at 15th Street. Lines were wrapped around that corner and far down Prospect Park Southwest. Did you get in? If so, how was the show? Did you say hello to a DeBlasio?
Celebrate Brooklyn continues Saturday (6/7) with the sounds of Louisiana. The next one we're really excited about is "CELEBRATE ORNETTE: THE MUSIC OF ORNETTE COLEMAN" on June 12 with Laurie Anderson, David Murray, Flea, Patti Smith, Bill Laswell and many more
Pictures from Janelle Monae in this post. They continue below...