Entries tagged with: RocketNumberNine
Photos by Greg Cristman; words by Bill Pearis
Neneh Cherry @ Highline Ballroom, 1/9/2015
"New York's just like I imagined it. It's got skyscrapers and everything." Neneh Cherry teased the Highline Ballroom crowd on Friday (1/9). She'd been to NYC before, she'd just never played a show here as a solo performer. While much of the audience (which included David Byrne and Hollie Cook, who had played the same room the night before) were old enough to remember her 1989 hit "Buffalo Stance" firsthand, this was not a nostalgia night. Backed by sibling duo RocketNumberNine, Neneh's set was mostly from her recent Four Tet-produced album Blank Project. Even more than on the album, the chilled out vibe of the new songs sounded, live, a bit like the heyday of trip hop which suits Cherry's still-powerful pipes. Of course she did do "Buffalo Stance" for the encore, albiet with a new arrangement suiting her current sound. It was a fun show, Cherry was in great spirits, and let's hope she doesn't wait so long for her next show here.
Opening the night was Sinkane (pics here) and Kaki King, who was doing one of the first performances of her new multi-media show, "The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body" which featured synchronized projections behind her and onto her white guitar. Pictures from her set, and more from Neneh Cherry, below...
Beck / Sun Kil Moon / disgruntled Death Grips fan
The 2014 Pitchfork Music Festival began on Friday afternoon (7/18) in Chicago's Union Park with a variety of acts packed into the compressed schedule. Friday headliner Beck was led up to by sets from Giorgio Moroder, Avey Tare's Slasher Flicks, Sun Kil Moon, Sharon Van Etten, Factory Floor, and others...
LA via Florida experimentalists Hundred Waters kicked off the festival with a 3:30PM set on the Red stage. The quartet's delicate arrangements translated surprisingly well to the festival setting -- standout tunes "Cavity," "Out Alee," and "Down From the Rafters" were awarded additional layers of gauze-y production and live percussion. The crowd grew steadily throughout their set, and were extremely attentive on quiet numbers like the a cappella The Moon Rang Like a Bell opener "Show Me Love." -ZP
Post industrialists Factory Floor performed on the Blue stage and effectively disrupted everyone's nap in the shade with their looped heart-thumping beats and nightmarish soundscapes. The band's show was as much an experimental art performance as it was a musical one, combining everything from arpeggiated synths to random strikes on a wooden block. In addition, the band's singer created some brooding soundscapes by clanging what looked like a drum stick against her guitar's strings, occasionally making a few heavily processed vocals in a nearby mic. Overall the band performed a challenging set that rewarded anyone tough enough to stay for the whole thing. If Swans and Kraftwerk had a baby it would most likely sound like Factory Floor. -MM
Neneh Cherry's appearance at Pitchfork Fest was only her second-ever in North America despite a twenty-some-odd year career. Frequent collaborators RocketNumberNine backed the singer, and the trio delivered a fun performance. Blank Project cuts "Spit Three Times" and "Everything" saw Cherry's energy at its highest point, while Ben and Tom Page churned out their great industrial clamor. And yes, she finished her set with the classic "Buffalo Stance." -ZP
British musician and producer Bobby Krlic, otherwise known as atmospheric drone artist The Haxan Cloak, brought a live drummer to add intensity to his dark afternoon set. Familiar songs from his 2013 record Excavation morphed into grooves that were nearly danceable. (If you're wondering why this is so surprising, listen to his dropless song, "The Drop.") While fans enjoyed the tension and release of the forty-five minute set, one couldn't help but imagine it might be more appropriately suited for a small, dark room, rather than a bright, mid-afternoon festival stage. -AG
Sharon Van Etten
As I continue to see Sharon Van Etten live, her performances only get better and better. This time around, she was joined by new-ish live members Brad Cook (Megafaun) on bass and Darren Jessee (Ben Folds Five) on drums, in addition to usual suspects Doug Keith and Heather Woods Broderick. Sharon and her four-piece band were heavy on this year's great Are We There, but older tunes like "Save Yourself," "Don't Do It," and "Serpents" were also played. SVE provided a welcome, laid-back, early evening set, and it served as a great precursor for Sun Kil Moon. -ZP
Legendary Italian producer and composer Giorgio Moroder closed off the Red stage last night with an eclectic and seamless DJ set that drew from his long list of hit collaborations. Morodor, now 74, no doubt looked a little out of place on stage alongside the psychedelic visuals, perplexing some of the younger fest goers, but he was as lively as DJs a quarter his age, enthusiastically pointing his fingers in time with the mix, and starting a few waves and clap-alongs with the crowd, appearing to have as good of a time as his audience. The mix, a career retrospective of sorts, followed a chronological timeline, playing his disco hits including Donna Summers' "I Feel Love" (which Beck later covered in his set on the Green stage), before transitioning to the '80s anthem "Take My Breath Away" which was accompanied by visual snippets from Top Gun, featuring the
vampire ageless Tom Cruise. Not content with just playing old hits, Morodor also threw in some of his more recent work into the mix, including last year's collaboration with Daft Punk, as well as his excellent new track "Giorgio's Theme". For a guy in his 70s, Moroder showed he still has the chops to get crowds moving, cueing enough buildups and drops to satisfy any Monster guzzling EDM fan in attendance. -MM
Alt-rock legend Beck played a career-spanning set with heavy emphasis on his most recent records. He didn't shy away from the hits, pleasing both longtime fans and casual listeners. Opening with the classic Odelay cut "Devil's Haircut", Beck and his band were possibly the tightest act of the entire day. Particularly exciting was his tribute to fellow performer Giorgio Morodor, a cover of Donna Summer's Morodor-produced hit, "I Feel Love." Beck kept the crowd excited for his entire ninety-minute headlining set with a palpable energy during "Loser" and a particularly rousing rendition of "Where It's At." Peep his full setlist below. -AG
Pitchfork Festival continues today (7/19) with sets from Neutral Milk Hotel, St. Vincent, Danny Brown, tUnE-yArDs, Cloud Nothings and more. If you're not there, you can stream it online.
photos by Dana (Distortion) Yavin, videos by Andrew Sullivan
If you were there, how long did you wait to get inside to see Radiohead play their first of two shows at Roseland Ballroom in NYC last night? I arrived at 8:00 and made it in around 9:00. The line for will call check in (all tickets were will call) wrapped around the entire square block. The end of the line was all the way back at the venue, and had apparently been that way since doors opened. If you didn't have a ticket in advance, did you manage to get in? Lots of people were walking up and down the line with signs explaining why they deserved to get your extra if you had one.
Four Tet was on when I finally got through the doors, but without a good spot, and with all the loud crowd noise, it was hard to focus on the opener. Roseland was packed. Radiohead, complete with 2nd bald drummer, took the stage a bit after 10 and played till after midnight. The concert itself was as special as (any Radiohead fan) expected, but my highlight was definitely the second of two encores which did not seem planned. Nobody in the giant venue (relatively speaking) was ready for the band to leave after they finished with "Morning Mr. Magpie" from the new "King of Limbs" album. The club toyed with turning the house lights back on, house music came on, and the crew even seemed to be breaking down. It could have been an act to make an encore seem real for once. Regardless, it worked and the boys returned to the stage, now all dressed down and in black, to the loudest cheers yet. And this time they closed the night off right, with the one-two punch that was "Street Spirit" and "Nude."
Earlier in the set they played a bit of "The One I Love" which was a nice little tribute to the recently-departed R.E.M. The full setlist is below.
Though I can hardly understand Thom when he speaks, he seemed in a good mood. He asked if we saw the movie "Inside Job" and then I think he said something about nothing being different. He mentioned it was nice to not be sitting around a TV studio, a reference to the fact that their NYC vacation so far has included appearances on both SNL and the Colbert Report. The merch included special t-shirts made just for the shows (pics below).
Radiohead do it again at Roseland tonight (9/29). More pictures, some great videos, and the setlist from last night, below...