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photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis

Superchunk
Duff McKagan's Loaded

While it may not have actually hit triple digits on Saturday (7/7), in the easy-bake oven of asphalt, concrete and steel that is Times Square, it felt like 110 -- especially at 1PM when I arrived there for CBGB Festival's all-day free show. The heat kept attendance on the low side (I should add there was also no line at Shake Shack either on Saturday) but everybody seemed to be having a good time, bands included, for what is the very rare occasion to see live bands in such an iconic NYC setting.

The festival had two stages set up on Saturday with one on 51st, and then one on 47th St right below the TKTS booth and bleachers -- which is where Duff McKagan's Loaded were already playing as I got out of the subway. I was never much of a Guns N' Roses fan and had never listened to Loaded band before but always thought of him as the "punk" member of GN'R. Definitely Loaded swing that way and their set was a mix of Foo Fighters-ish originals and choice covers, including The Damned's "New Rose" and The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog," the latter of which featured special guest Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols (who played his own CBGB Fest show at the Living Room with CBGB Fest keynote speaker Krist Novoselic in attendance).They also did GN'R's debut single "It's So Easy" which got some fists pumping.

With no downtime between bands, I hightailed it up Broadway which was closed to traffic and served as a merch area and food truck court. I got there right as Superchunk launched into their first song and new single "This Summer" which continues their hit streak since relaunching the band two years ago. (Not that they ever went away, really.) It was too hot for the crowd to do much beyond nod enthusiastically and sing along to the band's favorites-packed set, but it didn't stop Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance from pogoing through most of the set, and Mac got off a couple of his signature jumps which could be seen from a block away. (Even when a failed launch had him tumble off the drum riser, Mac kept playing. That's how it's done.) As I said, Superchunk loaded their set with classics, including "Hyper Enough," "Driveway to Driveway," and "Slack Motherfucker," the latter of which was a treat to hear loud in Disneyfied Times Square.

I didn't stick around for the later bands which included The Hold Steady and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah (who also played a secret show later that night at Cake Shop), nor did our photographer who headed up to Summerstage for Guided by Voices, but there are pictures of openers Upper West and Zulu Wave below along with more pictures of Superchunk (including setlist) and Duff McKagan's Loaded.

Continue reading "Superchunk and Duff McKagan's Loaded played Times Square as part of CBGB Fest (pics, review)"

flyer

The CBGB Festival starts today (7/5) and runs through Sunday (7/8) at over 30 venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We've known that they were staging a big outdoor Times Square concert on Saturday (7/7) for a little while and guessed that Superchunk, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Hold Steady were going play it. The whole lineup has since been confirmed. Superchunk, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and The Hold Steady are in fact playing, and they'll be joined by Duff McKagan's Loaded, Upper West, Zulu Wave and GLINT. The stages will be on Broadway at 46th Street & 51st Street and the free show runs from noon to 6 PM this Saturday (7/7). In addition to the music there will be food, drinks, music shop booths, and music themed activities for people of all ages.

As mentioned, the festival kicks off today and Krist Novoselic will give the keynote speech at Landmark Sunshine Cinema at noon. Update: That happened. here's a picture:

Krist Novoselic giving keynote speech (photo via A.M. Saddler)
Krist

There's tons of other shows at CBGB Festival too, like the big lineup of punk veterans playing Bowery Electric tonight (7/5), which Richard Lloyd unfortunately had to drop off. Fidlar plays The Studio at Webster Hall tonight (7/5) with The Pinz, The Suicide Bitches, and The Wicked Tomorrow (tickets). Plus, there's many more too.

Most of the other shows during CBGB Fest do cost money, and you can either buy tickets for individual shows (if not already sold out) or buy a music pass ($89). The full schedule with set times is online. There's also a film festival going on (schedule), panel discussions, and a "spirits festival."

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in Philly in 2011 (more by Colin Kerigan)
CYHSY

The Times Sqaure show also marks the last for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with guitarist Robbie Guertin who wrote to fans in an email:

Being a member of Clap has been an incredible experience, but I have decided to move on and see what's next. I will continue to make music with my other band, Radical Dads, pursue miscellaneous artistic endeavors, and also grow some vegetables. I am excited to see what else might come my way. Maybe some tomatoes?
Hopefully he's got those tomatoes already planted or he may have to wait till next season. Radical Dads next NYC show is July 15 at Big Snow Buffalo Lodge with Ovlov, Disco Doom, Dead Stars, and Green Is Green.

Meanwhile, after CBGB Fest, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will take a bit of a break and are then heading out on a tour with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes this September. That tour will see the band hitting up cities in the US and Canada, but unfortunately none in the Northeast. A list of all dates on that tour is below.

Continue reading "CBGB Fest starts today: Hold Steady, CYHSY, Superchunk & more confirmed for Times Square Show; Robbie leaves CYHSY"