Entries tagged with: Music Hall of Williamsburg
Frightened Rabbit at Terminal 5 in November (more by Lionel Bergeron)
As mentioned, Frightened Rabbit are touring with Death Cab For Cutie. That tour brings them to Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn on August 2, one night before Frightened Rabbit will headliner their own show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (8/3) with Right On Dynamite! Tickets are on sale now for the more intimate show, and are still on sale for the Waterfront show too. FR continue their tour with Death Cab on August 5 in Philly. It runs through August 25.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Art Brut @ Music Hall of Williamsgburg
"...So here was Art Brut, on a Friday night [in Toronto for NXNE], playing to a two-thirds full Mod Club. And from the outset, it was rough. "Formed a Band" sounded like "Formed a Band," but something was off. It was a bit of a rush job and the energy felt fake. Rolling straight into "My Little Brother," it seemed as though there was an acknowledgment that Art Brut's "hits" were all anyone wanted to see, and this would be a middling trip down nostalgia lane. And that is when things took an unbelievably meta turn and Art Brut saved the day.A week after that Toronto show, and after they hit Maxwell's in Hoboken, Art Brut brought their tour to Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Thursday (6/23). Reptar and MiniBoone opened the show which is pictured in this post. More pics, including Art Brut's setlist, below...
Midway through that second track, Argos admitted that his "little brother" was now 29, and a school teacher. And when he got to the line about how all songs have the same message -- "why don't our parents care about us" -- he went on a longer tangent, basically explaining the brief success and slow decline of Art Brut. It was stunningly honest, endearing and hilarious. And at the end of it, the entire room was in Art Brut's corner.
A little later, a long comedic digression in "Modern Art" finished with the bulk of the crowd sitting on the floor with Argos at the middle, telling a (mostly?) fictional story about a trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. I can't do any of it justice, but I can tell you it ended with the entire audience jumping full bore around the singer at the song's climax." [National Post]
words by Andrew Sacher, most photos by Jessica Amaya
After watching Deervana at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday (6/19), I ran over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch whatever I could of YACHT's set, which had already begun. I ended up being able to see the last 45 minutes or so of the Northside Festival show. They played a ton of material off the new album which vocalist Claire Evans mentioned was not out yet (it came out today, June 21) but admitted that many of us had probably heard it already. Being that she was very right in her assumption, the new material made for some of the most exciting moments of the night.
It was my first time seeing YACHT, and given that I hadn't heard too much about their live show, I wasn't expecting anything like the performance they gave. Not only was the music spot on, but the band's image really added to the entire show. Claire provocatively pranced around stage in all white with a white microphone/mic cable, while the rest of the band, Bobby Birdman included, stayed a bit stiller at their instruments in Devo-esque matching suits. On the few songs that Jona Bechtolt sang lead vocals, he was actually as animated as Claire, but in a manner that was more goofy than sexy. Jona jumped into the crowd where he sang the majority of one number. Both frontpeople had choreographed complementary dance moves, including one which crossed between the macarena and hear no evil/see no evil/speak no evil.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Mirah & Thao
"Thao is a raw and bombastic performer, while Mirah has a strong, guileless voice befitting her emotional and introspective tunes. Their performance Thursday night was a delicate blend of both performers' sensibilities: more sedate than a typical Thao and the Get Down Stay Down concert, but more upbeat and vivacious than a Mirah show. Along with three backing musicians (one of whom opened the bill as Led to Sea, performing live-looping solo viola tunes), Thao and Mirah went through nearly the entire album, throwing in some of their solo work for good measure and frequently singing each other's material." [Philadelphia Inquirer]That review refers to the Philly show which was one day after the NYC show on the ongoing Thao & Mirah tour. BOBBY is also on the tour and played both shows. The BOBBY pictures are HERE. The rest of the Brooklyn show, with a video too, is below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Femi @ MHOW
Chicago Sun-Times: You're always discussed in relation to your father's musical legacy. What does that mean to you? What was his musical legacy?Nigerian royalty blessed Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (4/27), as Femi Kuti headlined his second of two NYC dates in NYC (Highline Ballroom occupied his Tuesday night). Lord Huron supported last night at MHoW and will play a headlining show TONIGHT (4/28) at Mercury Lounge with North Highlands, The Wilderness of Manitoba, and Spanish Prisoners. Tickets are still available.
Femi Kuti: It's one that started within our family, creating a music that was unique. Folks in Lagos and Africa can identify. It's very homely for us. It's like funk is to America, or rock. It's a distillation of the native sounds made into something a wider audience can appreciate...
Chicago Sun-Times Is it a burden to carry your father's legacy?
Femi Kuti: No, because I understand what I am doing. I enjoy doing the music myself. People want to know about him and I'm obliged to answer. I love my father. Some people are not close to their parents, they grow up and don't want to be identified with them. It's not a problem for me.
Femi is out on tour supporting his new album 'Africa for Africa.'
More pictures from Music Hall of Williamsburg and some recent video of both bands in action, including video from Highline Ballroom, below.
Floor @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
A shade more than a year after their return which has included a Brooklyn show at Europa, Floor made their way back to Brooklyn to play Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (4/14) (the same venue that TV On the Radio, who were headlining Radio City at the time, played one night earlier). The Floor show was part of a tour with Hawks that hits Philly tonight.
Floor's genetic makeup last night was the same as their recent touring lineup (Steve, Anthony, Henry), and the band played a similarly crushing setlist comprised of faves like "Scimitar", "Trangle Song", "Tales of Lolita", and "Iron Girl" among countless others. The reunited Floor-ida band was supported by Atlanta's Hawks (not the basketball team), who churned out Am-Rep-faithful noise rock that featured a David Yow-sound-alike in front who took cues from Eugene Robinson in the wardrobe department... slowly, but surely stripping down to his underwear.
Magrudergrind opened the show to a meager crowd, and dependably delivered their grind-y hardcore with vigor. Small crowd or no, you can't keep some kids from going apeshit during songs like "Heaviest Bombing".
Floor's Steve Brooks will be back in NYC and at Music Hall of Williamsburg on July 20th with Torche, who will be on the road as part of a string of dates with Big Business and Helms Alee. Tickets are currently on AmEx presale and go on regular sale Friday (4/15).
And, heavy music invaded the whole block on N6th lastt night, as right next door The Ocean was teaming up with East Of The Wall and Flourishing at Public Assembly. Those pictures are on the way. Check out more pictures from Music Hall of Williamsburg below.
On around February 2nd James Blake's "James Blake" went from having a February 7th UK release date with no U.S. release in sight to getting Universal as its U.S. label and a February 8th U.S. digital release date just like that. February 8th is today, so that means the album is out there and here, though iTunes only mentions the UK label but it looks like you can in fact buy it.
And now, hopefully all the haters who didn't see the "purpose" of the last James Blake post (album review included) will be ok with this one because this post points out that James Blake (not the tennis player) will in fact play a NYC show, his first U.S. show, at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 14th, right before he heads off to Austin for SXSW for at least four more performances. Tickets for the Brooklyn gig go on sale Saturday at noon (and there will be a presale announced - stay tuned). The full list of SXSW shows is below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
"In the music industry, buzz can feel like an unseasonably warm stretch in the dead of winter. It's nice while it lasts, but it never does. The buzz dispensers quickly tire of this week/day/moment's object of adoration and soon move on, and the aftermath can be unpleasant.The ex-buzzy Tapes 'n Tapes were joined by the currently-buzzy Oberhofer (their tour-mates) and the ladies (and men) of Xylos (who play Cameo on 2/11) at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night. More pictures from the sold out show (including some backstage shots and one of T'nT's setlist), with an MPLS.TV video and the rest of their tour dates, below...
Consider Tapes 'n Tapes, who first gained notice when 2006's self-released album "The Loon" turned the Minneapolis quartet into blogosphere darlings. But that quickly faded, and each subsequent Tapes 'n Tapes album has picked up worse reviews than the one before. You can trace the devolution of their critical reputation in hipster circles through the influential website pitchfork.com, which awarded "The Loon" an 8.3 (out of 10) rave. But 2008's "Walk It Off" dropped them all the way to a 5.9 rating, and their current album "Outside" (Ibid Records) just picked up a wince-inducing 5.5.
Alas, slings and arrows are part of the gig.
"I don't think there's much value you can put into reviews because they're just somebody's opinion, and we realize that," says Tapes 'n Tapes frontman Josh Grier over the phone from Minneapolis. "I mean, we all love our music and everybody is entitled to their own opinion. Reading too much into that would be a recipe for disaster - make you into a head case trying to cater to someone else. We make the music we want to make. if somebody else doesn't like it, well, we can't let that affect the music we make in the future."
Undeserved opprobrium aside, "Outside" is an immensely likable record that wears well, setting Grier's nervous yelp to elastic, skittery grooves with hooks sharp enough to stick. It's a less-self-conscious take on Vampire Weekend's worldly underground rock, with a vibe recalling prime Talking Heads." [Newobserver.com]
"Remarkable set. One of my favorites, no doubt. Great crowd energy, band seemed to be having a great time. Keys or no keys, they still rule.If you missed both shows, tickets are still on sale for their April 8th Terminal 5 gig.
Craig noted that they played their first show there eight years ago to the day when it was North Six on January 31, 2003. Interesting that they're now closer to that lineup than they were for most of their existence. Full circle."
Videos from the MHOW shows, including proof of Craig's comment about 8 years, and both setlists below...
photos by Natalia Moena
Prince and Janelle Monae (both playing MSG tonight), were among those in attendance at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (12/28), though it's not clear what time those notable attendees got there. If they got there at 9pm, they would have waited just over three hours for Lauryn Hill to take the stage while a DJ played to a restless crowd who braved the snow and paid $75 a ticket to be there. Realizing he was the enemy by that point, the keyboard player put a sign on his keyboard that said "I was on time." Lauryn later took it down after telling the audience she was sorry. She apparently knows what people say about her because she also explained that she reworks her songs to keep them fresh.
That all aside, Lauryn played a 14-song set. One friend in attendance said she sounded great, though another brought up the previously-mentioned issue of the band overpowering her. Lauryn continues her tour at Bowery Ballroom and then the Blue Note in January. She later returns to NYC and NJ for shows in Atlantic City (1/29), Highline Ballroom (2/1 due to being postponed), and Wellmont Theatre (2/4). Updated dates, and videos, more pictures and the setlist from last night's show, below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
Aimee Mann has never bought into any happy-go-lucky notions of human nature.That review comes from the CT show of Aimee Mann's tour that hit Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. More pictures from the latter, below...
Rather, the singer and songwriter works in less optimistic territory in her music, which centers around smart, well-constructed pop songs illuminating hard-luck characters who are essentially victims of their own heightened expectations.
It was a theme of her performance Saturday night at Infinity Music Hall in Norfolk, where Mann and a pair of backing musicians played a 19-song show that focused mostly on her more recent material, including three tunes from a still-developing musical that takes as its starting point her 2005 release "The Forgotten Arm."
It's a loose concept album about a boxer named John, who struggles with addiction; and Caroline, the woman who loves him. The concept became more concrete on the new songs, chronicling an upbeat flirtation over Tin Pan Alley-style piano, bleak commiseration over slower accompaniment from piano and guitar, and the strain and heartache that come with loving an addict.
Uplifting? Not so much, which Mann herself noted in introducing the second of the three songs: "In case you were worried this musical won't be depressing ..." [Courant Sound Check]
It's a little bit later this year, but the third annual The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival will take place across two venues in Williamsburg on December 18th: Music Hall of Williamsburg and Public Assembly (if you didn't know, they are right next door to each other). The "fest" will feature acts from across the digital spectrum ("emerging and established bands, DJ's and producers from the Boroughs and beyond") including Sinden, Kid Sister, Javelin, Tittsworth, Class Actress, Brahms, Lemonade, and many others, with more to be announced.
Tickets are currently on "Super Limited Reduced Price Advance" sale.
Initial BEMF lineup and two videos from last year below...
photos by Chris Gersbeck
Last night's Deer Tick show marks the 2nd time that a couple got engaged on stage at a Deer Tick show in Brooklyn. The first time it happened, it was frontman John McCauley who proposed to Nikki Darlin on stage in Prospect Park. This time, at Music Hall of Williamsburg, it was a fan. And she said yes! Pictures of the happy couple below.
Last night's show was also not the first time Titus Andronicus frontman Patrick Stickles joined Deer Tick, whose guitar player is ex-Titus member Ian O'Neil, on stage. This time it was for a cover of the Replacements' "Can't Hardly Wait".
Jason Anderson of K Records fame opened the show, which I thought was weird until I found out the connection. John McCauley has played drums for Jason, and they were both Tiger Saw collaborators! J Roddy Walston and the Business played 2nd, and all bands joined Deer Tick on the stage at the end of the show. Beer was spraying everywhere.
Things will probably be slightly less rowdy when John McCauley goes on a solo tour in 2011. Dates are TBA, but tickets are already on sale for a January 19th show at City Winery (not sure if he'll be playing any drums at this one).
More pictures from Music Hall of Williamsburg, below...
photos by Andrew St. Clair
the Blow's Khaela Maricich
"Sometimes I feel like when I do the moves," the Blow's Khaela Maricich says toward the end of the night, dancing in front of a rapt audience at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, "certain members of the audience look at me like they could have me." She pauses a beat. "Could they have me? No." It's the most subtly bold audience confrontation I've ever seen someone attempt at CMJ, and it comes directly after the Screaming Females's Marissa Paternoster has just pretty much lit the stage on fire at the same venue, and there were probably people wondering about having her too. Now, hopefully, they're not. These are the acts that CMJ needs far more than they need CMJ, that we need far more than they need us. It restores your faith in this process, watching people do it right.Thanks to all the ticket and badge holders who stopped by the sold out BrooklynVegan CMJ showcase on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, and to the bands: Young Man, Suuns, Screaming Females (who should be headlining Webster Hall, not playing third on a bill at MHOW though I am very happy they did), The Blow, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
Both Young Man and Suuns were a treat for those that got there early. I felt bad for the Blow a little, playing her one-woman show after the assault that was the Screaming Females, but naturally Khaela was not phased and did her thing on stage to the lovers, the haters and the confused alike. The Pains ended the night right with their sweet and shoegazey indie pop, two new songs included.
More pictures from the night, below...
Going into last night's show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (9/15), I admit I had little idea of what to expect not only from CocoRosie, but from the extravagantly worded opener as well. (To borrow the phrasing of the Bowery Presents event listing, the opening act was a "Gay Mormon Kissing Club DJ Set with special guests Nomi Ruiz, Kembra Pfahler, Laundrymatters and Rebecca Wright.") This was clearly more than a straight-forward DJ set.
As if attempting to live up to the frenetic nature of the description, the "DJ Set" was a wild mixture of music manipulation and performance art. I arrived about midway through the set - not long enough to witness all of the 'special guests,' but with plenty of time to get a sense of the strange scene. Immediately upon entering the room I was so distracted by the spectacle on stage of the two DJs - their faces obscured by multiple scarves and handkerchiefs - that the music blaring through the speakers became only ancillary. After quite a performance, which involved an angry monologue set in part to Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" (and a host of other attention grabbers), the stage cleared and the crowd pushed forward.
In between the sets, the stage was adorned by a number of Mylar helium balloons that depicted mixed messages. (Was it someone's birthday? No wait. That one said "Get Well Soon" and another - "It's a Girl!") Though the meaning of the balloons was never made clear, the stage was set for a theatrical and highly spirited performance.
Sisters Bianca (Mom called her 'Coco') and Sierra (you guessed it, 'Rosie') Casady create an intriguing combination of hip hop and "freak folk", and their live show is certainly a spectacle worth witnessing. Set to a background of swirling, carnivalesque projections, their first song began with a lovely little piano intro. Then, enter Tez, the skinny, hipster-glasses-framed beatboxer, and Sierra on vox. Like a woodland nymph, Sierra danced around the stage, singing sweetly.
Sure, the dancing, sound effects (cue haunted house noise), outfits (Bianca had a severed ponytail hanging from the front of her dress), and beatboxing were a bit over-the-top at times, but the sisters seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves on stage. These were not cool, aloof, self-appointed divas. One look at Sierra's huge smile between songs made this abundantly clear. As if performing for the first time, the girl could not contain her glee, and the effect was charming.
Midway through their set, Sierra and Bianca left the stage to Tez, whose impressively powerful beatboxing quickly caused technical problems. No more than a few minutes into his performance, his mic gave out. He began again, after a quick apology and some assistance from the tech guy, but his new mic gave out even more quickly than before, and he bashfully welcomed the others back on stage.
Apparently, the short break had been enough time for a costume change - at least for Bianca who now wore a satin bustier. For the second half of their set, the number of performers nearly doubled thanks to the welcome addition of a 4-piece horns section. Invigorated by the additional force of the brass, CocoRosie delivered an impassioned performance, that began with the song "Hopscotch" and concluded with "Lemonade."
Though their stage personalities seem to greatly vary, the dynamic and highly collaborative nature of their music makes for a compelling scene. Throughout the show, they switched off vocal duties regularly, Sierra's operatic vibrato interestingly pitted against Bianca's spoken word raps.
The crowd's fanaticism following the conclusion of CocoRosie's set was impressive. The floor was shaking due to all the clapping, cheering, and stomping... but of course, the room was filled with admirers who had willingly (and even lovingly) paid the steep $30 entry fee. It's no secret that the merits of CocoRosie are stringently debated in the blogosphere. Between Bianca's baby-talk voice, and the duo's bizarre theatrical personas, the Casady sisters make music people love to hate. But then again - how many fans would stick around long enough and cheer enthusiastically enough to invoke a second encore... and how many artists would be gracious enough to respond to the call?
Cocorosie are now on tour. More pictures from the Brooklyn show below...
photos by David Andrako
"show was amazing.got to hear try it on and stella.paul was smiling and actually speaking a little to the crowd about being spaced out about the setlist.Interpol played a last-minute show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on Friday night. More pictures, a video, and the setlist from the show, below...
i was so happy to go to the show i was in interpol withdrawl thinking i would have to wait for november.
the setlist was awesome.the crowd was beyond into the show.it was nice to be with fans who really are into the band and to be in NYC made it all the more special for me.
very happy this morning.daniel and sam were on point as usual.i was dead center about 5 feet from the stage and i felt like the king.thanks guys." [julianerikson]
Interpol @ the Creators Project (more by Benjamin Lozovsky)
Interpol have added a Brooklyn show, taking place at Music Hall of Williamsburg THIS FRIDAY, September 10th, and tickets are on sale now.
Interpol were supposed to play Wellmont Theatre in Montclair in August, but it was cancelled so the venue could do some emergency renovations. Their last NYC show was part of the "Creators Project", Their next one after this new Brooklyn show is not until November.
The band, in the midst or promoting their new album, played Kimmel last night.
Spoon @ Lollapalooza 2010 (more by Josh Darr)
Spoon's last two NYC shows took place at Madison Square Garden where they opened for their Merge labelmate Arcade Fire. And there's been a rumor floating around that the band might also be playing their own show at Williamsburg Waterfront this summer or fall, but it has been announced that Spoon will play the much smaller Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 13th (one day after they play a free show in NJ).
All tour dates below...
DOWNLOAD: Wooden Shjips - Shrinking Moon for You (edit) (MP3)
Wooden Shjips @ ATP NY 2008 (more by Abbey Braden)
San Francisco psych-rock quartet Wooden Shjips are big fans of All Tomorrow's Parties. They played the ATP NY fest in '08, and they'll be back again this year for another set. They'll also be playing at ATP's Inbetween Days Fest in the UK in December.
The day after their ATP NY performance on September 5th, Wooden Shjips will be in Brooklyn for a Labor Day (9/6) set at Music Hall of Williamsburg. That show will also serve as the venue's three year anniversary party (with $3 tickets and drinks, to boot). Tickets are on sale Wednesday at noon.
The band also hits up Philly while in the area. All tour dates and live videos from their European tour this summer are below...
words by Kim Kelly, photos by Markus Shaffer
Kim Kelly, no longer a Philadelphian, made the jump to the concrete jungle known as NYC in between her stints on tour with Zoroaster (check out her tour diary part 1 and part 2) and upcoming van-adventures. Welcome her to town, and check out this report she filed from the 7/27 High On Fire melee. -BBG
The Music Hall of Williamsburg is super close to Public Assembly, which is the only way I managed to find the damn place - you can't play the "black t-shirt game" (i.e., follow someone with a band shirt or long hair to find a show) in Brooklyn, 'cause too many hipsters have embraced the longhair lifestyle. Regardless, it's a cool (if labyrinthine) venue, and big enough to hold a packed crowd of High On Fire fans. Presented by Osiris & Bowery, tonight's show kicked off with some old-school thrash, courtesy of brand-new but Fenriz-approved Brooklynites Natur. I honestly wasn't expecting to like these guys at all, but was pleasantly surprised by their high energy vintage thrash attack (replete with epic NWOBHM-style vocals!). Dudes were having a killer time up there, and their enthusiasm was infectious judging by the madly thrashing hashers down the front.
Unearthly Trance brought things down several notches with their murderously heavy, bastardized doom ("God Is A Beast" was simply MASSIVE). They ran into some technical trouble midway through their set when a bass head went kaput (after intrepid photographer Markus Shaffer pointed out that the stage monitors were, uh, smoking), but luckily managed to borrow one from Natur. UT then plowed through the rest of their dark, angular, and menacing black/grind/death/doom compositions and unleashed some new material off of upcoming opus "V"(due out on Relapse on September 28th). Sounds like it's gonna be a beast. Check out a new song at their myspace.
High On Fire came out with guns blazing, tearing into their crowd-tested, stoner-approved brand of Motorhead-meets-Melvins metallurgy. Indomitable frontman Matt Pike and the lads hauled out a fair share of chestnuts from earlier albums like "Devilution", "Blood from Zion", and "Hung Drawn & Quartered", ending (pre-encore) with the title track from their new jam, Snakes For the Divine (full setlist below, though no "Blessed Black Wings." What the fuck, dude?). Pike roamed the stage like a boozy, shirtless gypsy, flashing his trademark gap-toothed perma-grin and swinging his axe like the pro he is as the crowd hung on his every grizzled invocation. After ambling offstage for a couple minutes, the trio returned for a thunderous encore of "Bastard Samurai." Even if you don't listen to their albums, it's impossible to deny the sheer power and sonic excess of a High On Fire show. They're one hell of a fun live band, and nowadays that counts more than any number of record sales.
More pics from the show, with two of the setlists, are below...
"saw Die Antwoord & MIA @ HARD NYC last night. FRESH! Gummo + Vanilla Ice + Mortal Combat = Die antwoord." - Katy Perry
people copping a feel @ Die Antwoord @ MHOW Sunday night (by Brook Bobbins)
After making their US debut at at Coachella and their NYC debut at at the Creators Project event in June, South African internet-rap group Die Antwoord dug in with a pair of weekend NYC shows on July 24th and 25th. On Saturday, they were part of the M.I.A.-headlined HARD NYC Fest on Governors Island (where they 'stole the show' ), and on Sunday, the group headlined their own show at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Love them them or hate them, there's no denying they cause people to react. To quote Lori Baily who was also at the sold out show at MHOW Sunday night, it was "one of the most rapturous receptions for any band I've ever seen live. Amazing". Saturday's show at Governors Island was just as off the hook, and vulgar, and fun. Regardless of what you think, the signed-to-Interscope, YouTube sucesss story are here to stay, for now at least.
The Answer (aka Antwoord's name translated) have more shows coming up this year (including Virgin Mobile FreeFest at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD, on Saturday, September 25th.
More pictures from both NYC shows, and a few videos, continue below...
Walking into the Music Hall of Williamsburg last night (7/5), I realized that I knew nothing about WOOM, the opening act, but I was pleasantly surprised by their set (erratic sound quality aside). The Oakland duo cultivates a refreshingly distinct sound that refuses to blend into the background. With a thumping bass line, unconventional beats, and irresistible male-female vocals, WOOM's music manages to be both confrontational and unassuming.
WOOM spiced up their live act by supplementing the programmed tracks with help from a guitar, tambourine, wooden blocks, and vocals. Sara Magenheimer was particularly magnetic with her cute boy haircut and street-punk aesthetic. She was both fierce and simultaneously adorable (think a poppier tUnE-yArDs), and she shared an undeniable chemistry with her band-mate, Eben Portnoy. I'm definitely eager to hear more from this dynamic duo. Check out their first full-length album, out on Ba Da Bing today.
At the crowd's enthusiastic reception, Beirut's French horn tattooed frontman Zach Condon leaned into the mic, saying "We're really excited to be here, too. It's been a while. The last time we were here it was still North 6th," which sent ripples of both confusion and smug recognition through the audience. It's also been a while since Condon released a proper full-length album, favoring an experimental double-EP release last year instead.
Condon spent no time getting to business. Beirut's opening song was hit song "Elephant Gun". Condon stuck mostly to older material, but he did slip a few newer songs into the mix, like "East Harlem" and "The Shrew" (see the complete set list below). Toward the end of the show, Condon also elusively disclosed that he had been working on a new album, but he refrained from providing any specific details on his current project.
Of course, no Beirut show would be complete without a little help from a wide array of instruments, and for Monday night's show, Condon was accompanied by a brigade of musicians. Though a 19-piece Mexican funeral band (like the one used on last year's March of the Zapotec) was not in attendance, Condon and his band juggled instruments like: the tuba, trombone, organ, drums, French horn, ukulele, upright bass, accordion, and a couple of boisterous trumpets. Due to Condon's eclectic influences, the evening was punctuated with music reminiscent of everything from a dimly lit French bar, to a Balkan celebration and a traditional Spanish bullfight. "We're not in Mexico anymore, folks... though it would be pretty awesome if we were," Condon quipped after a few songs.
Throughout the show, the crowd reacted enthusiastically to Beirut's songs. "It's really awesome to hear you guys sing along," said Condon. Of course, it's worth noting that there were several obstacles that made attending last night's show somewhat difficult. There was no option to buy the discounted tickets online. Instead, fans waited in line outside the box office to secure a hard ticket when they went on sale on a Saturday at noon. Then, of course there was the (absent) L train to contend with yesterday, which definitely made the venue less accessible to those coming from outside the neighborhood. Suffice it to say that the people who managed to make it out to the show must have been fairly determined to take it in. "WE WALKED ALL THE WAY OVER THE BRIDGE!" yelled one concert-goer.
Beirut concluded the show with a three-song encore that featured first a lovely, stripped down version of "The Penalty" before the rest of the band re-emerged on stage for the final two songs.
The setlist with the rest of the pictures below...
by Erez Avissar
UK's Gold Panda kicked things off with his synthetic glitch-house, fitting in with a certain forward-thinking new breed of dance music (Pictureplane, Crystal Castles) that HEALTH so openly loves (this was their "DISCO2" comp record release after all). Just a shame that from the audience's vantage point you couldn't see him construct drum beats and launch samples from his MPC.
Indian Jewelry was the surprise face-melting of the night, summoning spirits at Music Hall with an awesomely loud and heavy set that mixed the occult with the industrial. Better experienced live than on record.
HEALTH were as tight as I've ever seen them, playing pretty much their whole discography as fans eagerly sent their bodies aflail and shifted like a drunken sea. They capped off their set with the new "USA Boys" before returning to do an encore which consisted of "Courtship", a song that runs for less than a minute. I looked at my friend and we both laughed a little, knowing we couldn't really ask for more.
More dates HERE. More pictures from Sunday's show at Music Hall below...
words by BBG & Klaus Kinski, photos by Meghan McInnis
Isis played their last show in Brooklyn last night. Holy hell, amazing. They will certainly be missed. -isjimthere
One night after bidding Manhattan adieu at Webster Hall, Isis played Music Hall of Williamsburg with the Melvins and Totimoshi as part of the final leg of their ongoing tour together (which concludes tonight in Isis's old home base of Boston). After tonight (6/21), Isis will trek to the great white north with Cave In for a pair of dates leading to their final gig in Montreal - the site of the first Isis show in 1997.
Au revoir Isis, you will be missed. Klaus was at the show. His review with more pictures and video from MHOW, and Isis's setlist, below...
by Andrew Frisicano
As the night's only opener, the Middle East (a band on their first US tour who just played their first North American shows period around SXSW in March) had a bit of pressure on them to hold the attention of an audience primed for Mumford's more uptempo fare. Smartly, their set pivoted around two songs "The Darkest Part" and "Blood" - the heartrending twin singles off their debut Recordings of... EP. Around those were dynamic ballads and an onstage shuffle of instruments that included a trumpet, glockenspiel, flute and a bottle-cap-adorned rain stick.
They opened one song with a warning ("It's not a very good song - it's all about the words so you have to listen"), but that proved unnecessary as the talking blues trot grew into a pleasantly engrossing roar. Another, their second-to-last tune, stayed a bit too long in its hushed melody, under growing crowd conversation. It's not unusual for the Middle East to hover around a whisper before breaking free - as they did, led by their suddenly unchained drummer, in the climax of "Blood."
As for Mumford & Sons, the band inspired a Bowery-full sing-along at their packed show in February. Fans at MHOW also tried to match the band in volume and vigor. For both, Mumford & Co. set the bar high, with spot-on harmonies and songs that are arranged with a pop-tuned ear. Though they only have a 12-song debut, their songs are impressively consistent, and come together as a well-structured set (that was structured much the same as the February Bowery show).
The band did some shuffling of their own, with frontman Marcus Mumford taking up drums for a few songs, including newer song (and clear single) "Lover of the Light." With tunes like that and other gems, you can't really begrudge Mumford & Sons' clean-cut radio-readiness. Though they have a certain "old-timey style," it seems unforced.
The band came back for and encore and called back The Middle East to join them. Both bands play again tonight at Webster Hall. Tomorrow (5/19) the Middle East play a show at Mecury Lounge with Mountain Man.
More pictures from MHOW (and a video from the past Bowery show) are below....