Entries tagged with: rain
Like Passion Pit said, bands sometimes cancel shows due to weather. Austin City Limits reports:
Due to current weather conditions with flash flood warnings, The Austin City Limits Music Festival organizers have canceled the festival for Sunday, October 13.This would have been the sixth day of Austin City Limits which is now two weekends. Check out our pictures from Friday, and the ones from last Sunday which would have been the same lineup as today.
"Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists," said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Austin City Limits Music Festival. "We regret having to cancel the show today, but safety always comes first."
Refunds will be issued automatically by check from Front Gate Tickets within three weeks. One-third of ticket price will be refunded to all ticket buyers based on original ticket price paid, and will be mailed to the billing address on the original order. For questions, please visit http://support.frontgatetickets.com.
UPDATE: Check out a picture of the flooding that happened already.
Holly Herndon at rehearsal yesterday
Mother Nature is making it hard on outdoor NYC concerts this year. But they're making do. This weekend is River to River Festival's two-day Ecstatic Summer 2013 held at Brookfield Place Plaza. However R2R just announced: "Due the high possibility of inclement weather, the Ecstatic Summer event has been moved inside to Brookfield Place Winter Garden." It's still free and open to the public. 5 PM start.
Today's event features Greg Saunier (Deerhoof), Seth Olinsky (Akron/Family), Reggie Pace (Bon Iver), Holly Herndon and more will be premiering new compositions performed by members of The National, yMusic, Plastic Ono Band and more. Part of the performance also features people playing ping pong as percussion. Could be very cool.
Meanwhile, today's 4Knots Fest at South Street Seaport is rain or shine.
note: these pictures were posted for about a minute yesterday, but due to a website malfunction, they disappeared. so here they are...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Polica / Beach House / more muddy people
note: these pictures were posted for about a minute yesterday, but due to a website malfunction, they disappeared. so here they are...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin, words by Andrew Sacher
Dinosaur Jr. / Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs / muddy people
Thanks to the storm that hit us on Friday (6/7), day 1 of Governors Ball got off to a pretty messy start. It wasn't so bad at first, and early sets from Polica and Dinosaur Jr. (who had a bunch of fans there in J.Mascis-style grey wigs) were still enjoyable despite the weather, but later in the day, the rain severely picked up and Feist's set was shut down after one song. Other artists, like Beach House, were cut off early too, and some, like Pretty Lights and Kings of Leon (who ended up playing Saturday instead), had to cancel completely. Still, before then there was much to enjoy, and the Skyy Vodka Tent made for a great place to take shelter and dry off. Plus huge afternoon dance parties from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Crystal Castles didn't hurt either.
Stay tuned for our continued coverage of Governors Ball, and follow BrooklynVegan on twitter and instagram for live updates (as much as cell phone service permits at least, it gets pretty rough around mid-day). More pictures of day 1 below...
Authorities have issued tornado watches for the New York City metropolitan area as intense winds and rain and possible severe thunderstorms bear down on the region.The Avett Brothers were scheduled to play outside at Rumsey Playfield aka Central Park Summerstage this evening (9/18), but Bowery Presents reports that the sold out show "has been rescheduled for 9/24 at 7:30. All tickets purchased will be honored at the gate on Monday night."
The tornado watch for the city, Sullivan, Rockland and Orange counties and all of New Jersey is in effect until 7 p.m. The watch was expanded Tuesday afternoon to include Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Ulster, Dutchess and Putnam counties in New York and Fairfield County in Connecticut. Those later tornado watches expire at 11 p.m.
Half-inch-sized hail, dangerous lightning and wind gusts of up to 70 mph are possible with this storm, meteorologists say. [NBC]
Descendents at Saint Vitus - 9/8/12 (via Jesse Mack Johnson)
Screaming Females at Riot Fest Brooklyn - 9/8/12 (via BrooklynVegan Instagram)
Riot Fest Brooklyn went down in Williamsburg Park yesterday (9/8) with sets from Screaming Females, The Bronx, The Menzingers, and Larry And HIs Flask. Unfortunately, due to the storm that NYC got hit with yesterday, was shut down before Hot Water Music's set, which meant that Descendents and Gogol Bordello didn't get to play either. Refunds on tickets are available at point of purchase and Riot Fest Brooklyn tickets will also be honored at no extra cost for Chicago's Riot Fest, which goes down this coming weekend. Some pictures from the Brooklyn show are up on BV Chicago with more coming soon for regular BV.
After the show was cancelled, similarly to Refused and OFF!, who got shut down due to weather at the same venue earlier this summer, Descendents and Hot Water Music took the show over to a smaller Brooklyn venue. At 8 PM, the two bands took over Saint Vitus for a free show and needless to say it was a packed, sweaty show, with the crowd moshing, crowd surfing, and going nuts. Videos of the Descendents ripping through "Everything Sucks," "Coffee Mug," "I'm Not A Loser," "Thank You," "I'm the One" and others, plus videos of Hot Water Music doing "Trusty Chords," "State of Grace," and a cover of the Bouncing Souls' "True Believers" at the show are below.
Diplo jumping off MHOW's balcony - 8/5/12 (via Diplo)
The Mad Decent Block Party returned to NYC this past Sunday (8/5), happening for the first time in the newly-christened Williamsburg Park instead of South Street Seaport, where it's been in previous years. Unfortunately, due to the storm that hit NYC on Sunday which picked up during Erol Alkan's set, the party was shut down early before headliners Major Lazer (the project of Mad Decent label boss Diplo). Before the party did get shut down, we got sets by Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Bonde Do Role, Lunice, Riff Raff, Baauer, and more. You can check out some videos of the performances and the rain below.
After MDBP's cancellation, Diplo tweeted that Major Lazer would do an extra long set at the afterparty at Music Hall of Williamsburg, which also had sets by Erol Alkan, Lunice, and Jim-E-Stack. The party got pretty crazy, as you can see in the picture above of Diplo jumping off MHOW's balcony, but it didn't appease everyone. One angry MDBP attendee took to his blog to say, "Diplo (Major Lazer) invited the attendees from the free all ages event to a $10/21+ after show......Thanks a ton MAD DECENT." Granted, MHOW is also significantly smaller than Williamsburg Park and the party was announced way before the weather shut down the block party so it would've been hard to get in regardless, but he has a point that it doesn't totally "make up" for the cancellation. Major Lazer will be back in NYC for a much larger (paid) show on October 27 at Terminal 5 too (tickets).
1000s evacuating Lollapalooza (via BVChicago Instagram)
evacuation from above (photo by knnyfrsh)
Due to an approaching storm and warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS), Lollapalooza organizers have suspended the festival until further notice. Festival-goers are being evacuated from Grant Park and are being directed by staff and the Chicago Police Department to pre-established underground evacuation and shelter sites along Michigan Avenue.This announcement definitely came as a surprise to the tens of thousands of people in Grant Park, who are evacuating as we speak. Meanwhile, C3 are "working w/ our team & city officials to survey the park after the storm to determine if it is safe for festival goers to return today." Stay tuned.
The three emergency evacuation shelters are the Grant Park North, Grant Park South and East Monroe Street Garages. All can be entered through vehicle entrances on Michigan Avenue.
Lollapalooza officials are continuing to coordinate with the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to monitor weather conditions and determine when the park is safe for festival-goers to return.
"Our first priority is always the safety of our fans, staff and artists," said Shelby Meade, communications director for C3 Presents, the promoter behind Lollapalooza. "We regret having to suspend any show, but safety always comes first."
UPDATE: At 5:43 (Chicago time), Chicago journalist Greg Kot says "Possible reopen at 6 ish is latest word but still raining. A remote entrance gate open, apparently was never closed #lolla"
UPDATE: Lollapalooza reopens gates at 6pm (Chicago time)
Check out our pictures from yesterday, the first day of Lolla, HERE.
Check out video people took from above, below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Beach House, Central Park Summerstage 7/23/2012
If there's any band to see while a storm begins to brew overhead, it may just be Beach House. Some of those lightning flashes last night at their Summerstage performance in Central Park seemed almost synchronized to what they were playing. While a noticeable stream of people left as the weather worsened midway through the show, the band played on and their set didn't seem to be cut short by the rain. (Setlist is at the bottom of this post.) And while some Summerstage shows can be on the quiet side, Beach House were thunderous.
Fellow Baltimorians Lower Dens, a late-announced addition (after their Bowery performance), opened the show. More pictures from last night's show are below and if you haven't been keeping up, we've also posted pics of both bands from Pitchfork Fest.
photos by Dominick Mastrangelo
Wilco at Prospect Park - 7/23/12
Wilco brought their tour, three NYC shows included, to Prospect Park last night (7/23). It was their first of two at the outdoor Celebrate Brooklyn venue and with their first of two Lees (Lee Fields and the Expressions opened last night, Lee Ranaldo Band opens tonight).
It was pouring rain and there were a few moments of big lightning above and behind the stage, but the show went on and Wilco played for over two hours. They opened their show with "Dawned on Me," one of the standouts on their 2011 (comeback?) record, The Whole Love. The band then continued with a solid mix of new ones and old favorites (and a good deal of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). The set also included, "California Stars," one of the songs from the 1998 Mermaid Avenue album with Billy Bragg, which saw Wilco and Bragg putting unheard Woody Guthrie lyrics to original music. They play that one a lot but nonetheless, it was an appropriate time to honor the folk legend who would have turned 100 earlier this month.
During the show, Jeff Tweedy made a comment that we (Brooklyn) smelled like bacon, calling us the most bacon smelling show that he'd ever experienced. A commenter on a Wilco message board also noted that "at one point between songs he started singing a song called 'Bacon Rain.' He also made sure the rain wasn't causing anybody to chafe, and asked if anybody needed gold bond in the crowd." We're pretty sure he was smelling the fries being cooked stage right at The Farm on Adderley concession stand.
The tour continues in Prospect Park tonight (7/24). Last night, Jeff mentioned that for the people who are coming back for a second night, they'll be mixing up the setlist a bit, only playing repeats of certain songs (though it's hard to know exactly how serious he was being). After that, they'll play Terminal 5 on Wednesday (7/25) with Cibo Matto.
More pictures and the setlist from last night's show are below...
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
Jack White / Bassnectar fans
Mallory Bolyard, 25, of Townsend, was planning to go to Firefly Music Festival whether her friends were going or not. And although she has some friends here, a lot of them are only interested in concerts with big names that they like. They're not as interested in discovering new music. Her mom is, though, so the two hit the three-day festival together. Mallory was excited to see the festival come to her home state. "It's the first major concert in Delaware besides the State Fair, which is basically country," she said. [DelawareOnline.com]The Firefly Music Festival is going on this weekend in Dover, DE, a city and state not used to such musical excitement. Day one, Friday, 7/20, gave us sets from Jack White, Silversun Pickups, The Wallflowers, John Legend, Bassnectar, OK Go, Blind Pilot, and more. The rain was on and off all day and by Jack White's headlining set, it turned into a downpour.
Here are some pictures from that day (with Saturday and Sunday on the way soon). More below..
Not surprisingly, Refused / OFF tonight at Williamsburg Park is, um, off. No word on a reschedule, but prepare for the inevitable "secret show" rumors on Twitter in 3.... 2.... 1... UPDATE: and here it is. Show is now at Europa!
At least you can catch Refused in their television debut tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and refunds for the Brooklyn show are being offered.
Refused and OFF! also had their Philly Riot Fest show pulled out from under them. That was supposed to happen tomorrow.
Hopefully the Thursday show at Williamsburg Park, and the Riot Fest coming up there, fare better.
The outdoor show on the Intrepid is also cancelled.
Hot Chip at Pitchfork Festival Chicago (more by Fred Pessaro)
today in NYC
* Nate Radley @ Barbes
* Railbird @ Pete's Candy Store
* Bakurocho Band @ XPO 929
* Refused, OFF! @ Europa
* Forro in the Dark @ Nublu
* Electric Six, Romans @ Maxwell's
* Refused, OFF! @ Williamsburg Park CANCELLED
* The Mandingo Ambassadors @ Barbes
* Beach Arabs, Abby Rock @ Cameo Gallery
* Yonder Mountain String Band @ Brooklyn Bowl
* The Dunwells, Sahara Smith @ Mercury Lounge
* MNDR, Javelin, Delicate Steve, Red Baraat @ Intrepid CANCELLED
* Big Daddy Kane, Marley Marl @ Queensbridge Park CANCELLED
* Leela James and the Family Stone @ Highline Ballroom
* Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber @ The Stone
* Hot Chip, Gang Gang Dance @ Prospect Park Bandshell
* JEFF The Brotherhood, Fuck Ton @ Santos Party House
* Lotus Plaza, Ape School, Hollow Stars @ Mercury Lounge
* Clare & the Reasons, Michael Hearst @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Sontag Shogun, Maica Mia, Liam Singer, Buris @ Zebulon
* Telepathe, Feathers, Eraas, Faith (DJ set) @ Glasslands
* Woodpecker, Osei Essed, Food Will Win the War @ Union Hall
* Blonds, Fly Golden Eagle, Busy Busy Busy @ Knitting Factory
* Pale Lights, Orca Team, Woolen Men, Lame Drivers @ Cake Shop
* Pyrrhon, Sons of Tonatiuh, Cousin Sleaze, Forced @ Saint Vitus
* Big Daddy Kane, EPMD, Chubb Rock, Marley Marl & DJ Scratch @ BB Kings
* Girl in a Coma, The Black Box Revelation, Deadbeat Darling @ Bowery Ballroom
* Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, Marcy Playground @ Roseland Ballroom
* The Tony Castles, The Disappointments, Bottom Dollars, Early Ape @ Bowery Electric
* NinjaSonik, Unstoppable Death Machines, Team Spirit, Secret Music @ Public Assembly
JEFF the Brotherhood played The Late Show with David Letterman last night and you can watch video of that below. Don't miss them at Santos tonight! Free show! No RSVP, all ages, and inside.
Tonight's Summerscreen show with Talk Normal, Tim Harrington, Dustin Wong and a screening of the Coen Brothers classic Raising Arizona at McCarren Park has been called off due to rain.
The Intrepid show is also postponed.
The Spy Music Festival is still ongoing.
Stream a new track from Sabbath Assembly's new album, Ye Are Gods, set for release on September 21 through The Ajna Offensive (for North America) and Svart Records (for Europe and the UK).
Shut Up and Play the Hits, the LCD Soundsystem documentary, begins screenings today! (And basically only today.) Theaters are dry!
Here's an interesting article that cites Chris Corry's (Mind Eraser/Magic Circle/etc) 100 favorite NYHC bands.
Follow Brooklynvegan on Instagram.
We're throwing a photo show at 92YTribeca in August.
Tonight is the first of two NYC shows for Lotus Plaza.
photos by Chris La Putt
Danny Brown / Schoolboy Q show their best sides at Summerstage 6/25/2012
Despite the rain, Danny Brown (who ended up playing first) and Schoolboy Q opened for Childish Gambino at their first of two NYC shows together last night (6/25) at Central Park Summerstage. Both rappers played their own sets and then also joined Childish Gambino on stage for part of his, which you can watch a video of below.
Danny, Q, and Childish will do it again tonight (6/26) at Prospect Park. Tickets for tonight's show are still available and we're also giving away a pair. Details on how to enter, along with more pictures and a video from last night's show are below...
photos by Jessica Amaya
"Wilco gets everything backwards.Like they did on Thursday, Wilco headlined a show at Rumsey Playfield aka Central Park Summerstage on Friday night, but Friday's show was much wetter. Pictures and setlist from that one, and a video that gives you a "behind the scenes look at the pressing of Wilco's new record" (which is $5.99 for the MP3s at Amazon) are in this post. Check it all out below...
Rock bands are supposed to start small, releasing music on obscure, independent labels, and working their way up to a major record company contract. Wilco, though, began their career on a major label subsidiary in 1994, divorced it to release 2001's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, signed to another subsidiary, and, four studio albums and one Grammy later, decided to start their own indie imprint, dBpm Records. Their first release on that label, The Whole Love, is out today." [The Atlantic]
UPDATE: This is all now cancelled/postponed (no new date yet)
"Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson" returns to Prospect Park for a third year in a row on Saturday, but not for long...
The Michael Jackson event will take place until 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Due to predicted hazardous weather, ALL Park facilities will close Saturday, August 27 at 2 p.m. and REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH SUNDAY AUGUST 28.
Saturday, August 27, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Spike Lee, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks*, Spike DDB & The Republic of Brooklyn invite you to celebrate the birthday of Michael Jackson with a special celebration in Prospect Park.
*40 Acres And A Mule is documenting Michael Jackson's Birthday Celebration in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York on August 27th, 2011. By your presence in the Prospect Park - Nethermead Field area, you acknowledge that you have been informed that you may be photographed, recorded and videotaped. Further, by your presence there, you grant your permission for your likeness and voice to be included without compensation, credit or other consideration
Check out pictures from last year's Prospect Park party HERE.
update: Out in the Streets CANCELLED.
The Rib Rock Festivals scheduled for this Saturday, August 27th at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and this Sunday, August 28th at the PNC Bank Arts Center have been cancelled due to safety reasons concerning Hurricane Irene.Catch Peter Wolf instead at two NYC shows in October.
Refunds are available at the point of purchase.
Wavves & GZA
"MTV has just announced that fuzz-rock band Wavves will serve as the guest composer for the first season of the network's new scripted comedy series, "I Just Want My Pants Back." In addition, music legend Nic Harcourt will serve as music supervisor for the series. The pilot episode, which is airing as a sneak peek following the "2011 MTV Video Music Awards," on August 28, at 11 p.m. ET/PT, will feature the exclusive world premiere of their new song "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl." The series will officially debut on MTV in January 2012. .Despite the nasty weather, as of 4:000pm, the Dee Dee/Wavves show in Manhattan's East River Park tonight (8/25) is still on. Dee Dee goes on at 7. The show is rain or shine.
Wavves' new EP, "Life Sux" will be released by Wavves' label Ghost Ramp on Tuesday, September 20th and features "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl," as well as collaborations with Best Coast and members of the band F*cked Up.
As guest composer throughout the MTV series, Wavves will have 20 original compositions as well as songs from their unreleased EP. Following the sneak peek on Sunday night, viewers can visit www.soundtrack.mtv.com for a free download of "I Wanna Meet Dave Grohl" and a list of all Wavves songs featured in the show.
From acclaimed director and executive producer Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith, "Swingers," "Go," "Bourne Identity") and based upon David J. Rosen's critically acclaimed novel of the same name, "I Just Want My Pants Back" follows a group of friends as they navigate the minefield of their post-collegiate years. The series will feature 12 half-hour episodes.
Struggling with sex, love, career and friendship as a young twenty-something living in Brooklyn, the series follows Jason Strider, played by Peter Vack. Jason puts hanging with his friends, going to bars and hooking up above his entry level job where he's the lowest rung at a casting agency, and dreams of being in music journalism...but has no idea how to get there. It's not until a one night stand steals his heart and his pants, that he begins a quest to get his beloved jeans back, and hopefully the girl, while also growing up along the way.
The series also stars Kim Shaw as Jason's best friend 'Tina;' Jordan Carlos as 'Eric' and Elisabeth Hower as 'Stacey,' college sweethearts making it go of it as couple as they forge into their adult years; Sunkrish Bala as 'Bobby' the owner of the local bodega and will guest star Chris Parnell as 'J.B.,' Jason's no-nonsense boss at the casting agency.
"I Just Want My Pants Back" is based on the book by David J. Rosen. The series a co-production with Universal Cable Productions. The pilot was written by Rosen and directed by Doug Liman. Justin Levy, Clay Spencer and Polly Auritt are the executives in charge of production for MTV. Executive producers include Liman, David Bartis and Rosen. Gene Klein is co-executive producer.
Also, be sure to catch Wavves backing up GZA, the legendary founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan, on Fuel TV's "The Daily Habit" tonight at 8pm PST / 11pm EST. They will be performing GZA's classic tune "Liquid Swords"."
Feel like staying dry? You can head to Long Island on September 9th instead, or wait until Wavves returns to NYC as part of a tour with Fucked Up that has the two bands at Webster Hall on Saturday, September 24th.
More dates TBA soon. All dates and new EP tracklist and cover art below...
words by Zach Pollack, photos by Grant MacAllister
Sorry for the delay of our third and final installmet of Lollapalooza 2011 coverage, but here it is! Due to the major downpour on the Sunday of the fest, Grant's pictures were almost lost forever in a wet camera, but are now recovered. If you're just joining us, check out parts one and two first. Here is part three...
My third and final day of Lollapalooza (8/7) kicked off at Music Unlimited Stage with an opening set from Titus Andronicus. The Garden State punks began things by playing the opening track "A More Perfect Union" from their incredible 2010 LP The Monitor. Titus generally would make for a fantastic start to the day, but their sound was a bit off, and by the look on frontman Patrick Stickles's face, I think he agreed.
After Titus, I decided to calm things down and went to catch Lia Ices. This was my second time seeing the Brooklyn, NY-based songstress this year, but that did not make her less interesting. Lia's well trained voice fluttered effortlessly over the avant pop she produces. I must admit I was skeptical that she and her band would translate well to an outdoor setting. The four-piece shattered any and all of my doubts.
The next set I caught was Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.'s at the quite favored Google+ stage. The kitschy group are infectious and totally unavoidable. I stuck around for most of their set which included their handmade "Jr. Jr." light boxes on stage and, more importantly, bubble machines.
I then made my way over to watch The Cars, who again consist of their original lineup, except for Benjamin Orr who passed away in 2000. The Cars ran though many of their hits like "Just What I Needed," "My Best Friend's Girl," "Good Times Roll," and a few new ones too. I didn't initially plan on catching their set, am glad that I did.
I then headed to the Sony stage where Portugal. The Man were setting up. I had caught their aftershow with Wye Oak at the Double Door on the first night of Lolla, and they blew me away. I was psyched to hear so many cuts off of their 2009 LP The Satanic Satanist. I was NOT psyched to hear that their van and trailer (gear and all) had been stolen later on that night. The van and trailer have since been recovered... and so has most of the gear!
I left Portugal's set a bit early in order to make it to Best Coast at Google+. Frontwoman Bethany Cosentino entered the stage and jokingly stated, "Fuck you, we're Best Coast." Unfortunately halfway through their set storm clouds that were hanging over Chicago all day finally burst. It poured for a good hour, letting up just before Explosions In The Sky's set.
The Austin, TX-based post rock band entered the stage stating, "I think you just saw 'us,' but now we're going to play some music." I was glad to hear some of my favorite songs like "The Birth and Death of the Day," "Six Days At the Bottom of the Ocean," and "Your Hand In Mine." Their awesome set was more than enough to keep the muddy, sopping festival-goers around.
Everyone legitimately thought the rain had let up, so I headed across to Music Unlimited for Foo Fighters' headlining set. Their set included a handful of songs from the recently released Wasting Light LP and a bunch of older cuts too. A few songs in it started pouring again and I decided to leave the festival along with Grant whose camera had officially stopped working. Unfortunately that meant that I missed Perry Farrell (of Jane's Addiction and founder of Lollapalooza) joining the band on stage for a second during "Everlong," which included the Foos playing a piece of Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song."
today in NYC
* ASSSSCAT 3000 @ UCB
* Emily Wells @ Ace Hotel
* Beyonce @ Roseland Ballroom
* Hannibal Buress @ Knitting Factory
* Chixdiggit @ Rocks Off Concert Cruise
* C. Spencer Yeh, Meg Clixby @ The Stone
* Maya Miller, Mike Bernstein @ The Stone
* IDentity Festival @ PNC Banks Arts Center
* Donald Lawrence @ Central Park Summerstage
* Bob Dylan, Leon Redbone @ Convention Hall (NJ)
* Gore Orphanage, Matthew Mullane, ODO @ Bruar Falls
* Abraham King, Winter Family, The Pendulum Swings @ Zebulon
* Eraas, Voyageurs, ATM (Ted Mcgrath of Antimagic), Alan Watts @ Death By Audio
* 28th Annual Roots of American Music Festival w/ Bettye Lavette & more @ Lincoln Center Out of Doors
* A Troop of Echoes, Fiasco, Zvoov, PAK, Hadoken, Zevious, Cellular Chaos, Time Columns, Hero(n) of Alexandria, Mother Night, A Fucking Elephant, Carved Up, Hannibal Montana (The Night Wears A Sombrero Festival) @ Cake Shop
It's raining which is especially unfortunate for Lincoln Center Out Of Doors and the IDentity Festival which hits PNC Banks Arts Center with DJ Shadow, Modeselektor, Hercules and Love Affair, Holy Ghost!, and more. The festival will return to the NYC area on August 21 at Jones Beach.
There's no question. The Age of Adz, Sufjan Stevens' bombastic game-changer-of-an-album is hugely divisive among fans and critics alike. Many balked at its sheer absurdity and accompanying oddball aesthetic. When I first heard the new album, I admit I was one of the skeptics. It was the gentle beauty of Michigan and quirky magnificence of Seven Swans that initially drew me in, but after seeing his performance at Beacon Theatre last fall, I was a convert. I drank the neon-colored, glow-in-the-dark Kool-aid, and I do not regret it.
Before Sufjan and his 14+ band mates claimed the Prospect Park Bandshell stage last night (8/3), the one-man glam artist Diamond Rings (John O'Regan) took his turn. Like Sufjan, O'Regan's show is just as much about his attitude and aesthetic as it is about his music. Dressed in a glittering silver crown and eye make-up reminiscent of Ziggy Stardust, O'Reagan helped pump up the crowd with his upbeat synthesis of samples, drum machine beats, and live guitar/keys.
Though the rain ceased a bit during Diamond Ring's set, by the time Sufjan and his band began to play, it had begun to steadily fall once again. But in a movement of crowd solidarity, umbrellas disappeared one by one as people traded in comfort for better sightlines.
As if in an effort to ease old fans into the post-apocalyptic landscape of glow-in-the-dark electrical tape, Sufjan Stevens kicked off his second Celebrate Brooklyn show not with a new song, but with "Seven Swans" (as he did the night before). Of course, it wasn't long before the nine-minute song began to get raucous.
And in what was just the first of many times throughout the evening, Sufjan slipped into the role of spiritual guide, sage, and motivational speaker. "Oh you are fierce warriors," he said, surveying the sopping magnitude before him, "You have the patience and fortitude and strength."
Sufjan followed the more mellow opening number with a string of songs from The Age of Adz, breaking up the new material only slightly with "Enchanting Ghosts" from last year's over-shadowed but excellent All Delighted People EP. Like last fall's show at Beacon Theatre, the scene was ridiculous. Psychedelic projections, wild costumes (including massive white wings for "Seven Swans"), and the carefully choreographed moves of Jessica Dessner (the sister of Bryce and Aaron of The National) provided abundant visual stimulation.
"I'd like to apologize for being so melodramatic, but I knew you had the heart and strength and soul to take it," Sufjan said as if anticipating a backlash. "So if you're feeling a little bit wet and disenchanted, I encourage you to move your butt."
At times Stevens comes across as a parody of himself and a bit of a megalomaniac, teetering on the edge of sanity... and maybe he is, or maybe he's just channeling the eccentricities of others.
Toward the middle of his set, Stevens explained that the inspiration behind both the fantastical scene on stage and much of the music was an "amazing outsider artist" from Louisiana that he had started studying a few years ago named Royal Robertson. "I decided to use him as my muse [...] and I just really wanted to capture in the frenetic sense the sound of the universe. I wanted to sound my barbaric yawp above the rooftops. And so I threw away the acoustic guitar, and I threw away the banjo, and I decided to surround myself with noise. And then through Royal Robertson I was able to contextualize all this mess into a sort of beautiful pop pageant."
Sure, The Age of Adz is an indulgent, schizophrenic mess, but it's a marvelous mess--especially in a live setting. The neon colors, the flashing lights, the trilling flutes, and dancing girls--it all just works... if you open yourself up to it, that is. Luckily, with the steady rain and steep ticket price (which benefits the Celebrate Brooklyn series), this was no place for haters.
"Tonight we celebrate Brooklyn. We celebrate rain. We celebrate ourselves. We sing the body electric. Am I quoting too much Whitman? I celebrate myself. I sing myself [...] every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you. These are your songs this is your show. Thanks for being here." And with that, he launched into "Impossible Soul."
By turns life affirming and heartbreaking, his sprawling opus was clearly the grand finale of the set. Stevens and friends pulled out all the stops--especially DM Stith (on backing vox and keys) and Cat Martino. Though she provided backing vocals for much of the show, Martino (who also sings with Sharon Van Etten) left her post at the back of the stage for a spirited, soulful duet with Stevens, proving that she is more than capable of being the leading lady. (Look for Martino's second solo album, Yr Not Alone this fall.)
After donning an elaborate golden headdress for the auto-tune portion of the song, Stevens re-emerged wearing a crazy balloon costume that would even be a bit much for George Clinton. Then out of nowhere, inflatable dancing men--the kind typically found in side-of-the-road displays--popped up, sending cheers throughout the soaked but ecstatic crowd. As if the scene on stage were not enough, large, clear beach balls began to circulate the crowd.
Stevens concluded the show with a three-song encore of older songs, including the simple, quiet love song "The Dress Looks Nice On You" and of course, "Chicago."
One thing's for sure. As Stevens sings himself in "I Want To Be Well," he's "not fucking around."
More pictures and setlist from the Wednesday show below...
The Wake and Weekend were scheduled to play the free outdoor show at South Street Seaport this evening, July 8, 2011, but due to rain, the show has been moved to Littlefield in Brooklyn. Doors are now at 9pm, but the show is still free. Bands at 10 & 11.
Poor Chris La Putt braved the weather and went to the Seaport to capture the action. His picture of the non-event is above.
In related news, tonight's Yankees game is postponed for the same reasons and that means Derek Jeter will have to wait a little bit longer before attempting his 3000th hit.
P.S. Want to see Animal Collective for free at Merriweather Post Pavillion (the MD venue) on Saturday night? We're running a last minute contest for two tickets now at our Facebook.