Being The Tall Guy At Concerts

By Will Oliver, September 9th 2016 — with 2 comments Editorial


Hey guys, it’s me. The tall guy in front of you at shows (it’s even in my twitter bio). If you’ve seen a show in the city anytime in the past ten years, there’s a decent chance I am somewhere in the bottom frame of your instagram post. Sorry about that. Lots of people express their frustration to me at shows and I can understand why one would be annoyed when they paid good money to see their favorite artist, and then a tree shows up and destroys the entire evening for you. But trust me when I say that I take no pleasure in this, and often wish I could shrink just so I could enjoy a show without waiting to receive that all too familiar shoulder tap.

As I’m sure you’re aware if you read this blog, I go to a lot of shows, and usually have to stand somewhere near the front in order to take photos as a part of my coverage. And there are some people who understand this once they see the camera, and even without it many people are fine with it, as long as I arrived early, am polite and aware of my surroundings. I do feel bad about it, trust me. Half of my time waiting before the act is spent trying not to look anywhere behind me, as I’m sure there is a thousand eyes trying to stare a hole straight through my head. I’ve been told plenty of times about me being too tall to stand there, been asked passive aggressively what I’m doing standing near the front, all that good stuff. Hell, just last year I was shoved by a woman as I was leaving a venue after the show ended. I was quite shocked and confused at what I did to possible piss someone else to warrant it, until I realized that they were the couple who won the lucky lotto of standing behind me. And what could I possibly do about it? In what universe would anyone believe that a 6’6 man was actually the innocent person in this unwarranted physical encounter with a grown woman?

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(Photo by Rachael Cassells)

Cass McCombs continue to prove he’s simply one of the best songwriters that we got around right now with every release. Even so, even I was taken aback by how good and varied that his new album Mangy Love is (which was his first release on Anti-

His live show is not to be missed, and this show will be all about the gems off of Mangy Love. As he proved at his Bowery Ballroom show back in January, McCombs live show is as seasoned and effective as you’d expect. He’s back at it this Friday when he plays Music Hall of Williamsburg, and it’s no surprise that the show is completely sold out.

There may be some at the door, so if you’re dying to go, swing by the venue ahead of doors. His shows are not to be missed, especially when McCombs us touring such a strong album.

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With the release of the very Tame Impala-ish new single “Certainty,” psych-rockers Temples are gearing up for a new album. They’ll return to us in New York tomorrow for a show at Bowery Ballroom, the place that they played their very first “official” New York show in November 2013 (you can find our coverage of that show here).

There are still some tickets available, but something tells me that they won’t last until the show tomorrow night. Support comes from Los Angeles’ Vinyl Williams. It should be a good one. If you haven’t already heard “Certainty,” I’ve embedded it below:

Kamron Bahani's - Serpenti Accordo EP

Rockland County’s very own Kamron Bahani has shed the old moniker Kuhlamity and has emerged re-birthed as a new man, furiously ready to release his brand new EP Serpenti Accordo.

He previously shared with us “La Leggenda” off the EP, and has since returned with the first proper single from the EP, “Furia di Dio.” It takes only a few seconds for your ears to take notice of the production flourishes on the track, a chill and gentling welcome before Kamron’s furious verses burst through at lightning speed and work in tandem with the rest of the track, which is another showcase for his burgeoning talents. It may just be one of the best tracks that he’s ever released.

We’ve been patiently awaiting the rest of this EP, which he’s been hard at work applying all the finishing touches. If the EP is packed with tracks of the same quality as this and “La Leggenda,” it’s going to be something pretty special.

Kamron was cool enough to offer this as the official premiere of the track, which you can enjoy below.

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AMC’s The Walking Dead has continued to draw superfans from across the world to New York Comic Con. Undoubtedly the most anticipated panel of the convention, it anchored Saturday’s lineup at Madison Square Garden. People had begun to line up in the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the first sneak peak of the seventh season, and to see their favorite stars up close and in person. The venue, new to the con, does not clear the room in between panels…so any late-sleepers hoping to sidle in later on were out of luck. Thankfully, unlike the Main Stage at the Javits, there was actually a photo pit–much to our pleasure.

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Hands down the MVP of the 2016 Northside Festival was McCarren Park. The festival always has shows throughout Brooklyn but where the fest truly shined this year was with its headlining acts at the park. Not only did the weather cooperate, but there wasn’t a bad show there at all with an amazing lineup every single night.

The last few days of the festival were downright lethal with Conor Oberst + Kacy Musgraves on Saturday, and the 1-2-3 punch of Hinds, Rostam and Brian Wilson to close it out on Sunday.  Where else can you kick off a festival with Wolf Parade the first day and end it with Brian Wilson? Only at Northside. Take a look at some of the happenings at Northside along with some photos from The Felice Brothers, Conner Oberst, Kacy Musgraves and Brain Wilson below.

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Day 1 of the 2016 Northside Festival was full of amazing performances, and right after Wolf Parade finished their blistering set at McCarren Park, New York’s own Steve Gunn took to the stage down the street at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in support of his fantastic new album, Eyes On The Lines (via Matador) which came out just one week earlier.  It’s been one of my favorite albums of the year and I was particularly excited to see Gunn again as I had seen him earlier in the year when he had opened for Wilco at the beautiful Kings Theater.


I can safely say that the wait was worth it as he put on one hell of a show.  The songs off the new album sound absolutely lethal live, with an energy that just can’t be matched on the recordings.  What’s also so mesmerizing about watching Gunn play is also just how effortless he makes it all seem.  He is not a flashy guitarist, but he doesn’t need to be – he lets his playing do all the talking.

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Hot off the heels of their 5 night comeback run at The Bowery Ballroom, Wolf Parade returned back to New York City for the official kickoff and first night of the 2016 Northside Festival in Brooklyn. We were there for the first night of their Bowery show (which was everything you could have wanted, and more), so getting to see Wolf Parade twice in the span of a few weeks was an absolute treat.


The band kicked things off with “You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son,” the stellar opening track off their debut Apologies To The Queen Mary which then segued immediately into “Fancy Claps.”  If there ever was a way to kick a show off, that was it – the 1, 2 punch of those two songs really set the tone for the rest of the night.  The 15-song set was chock full of the hits and even the new songs from their self titled EP which came out earlier this year.  One might have been worried that the new material might not fit seamlessly into their set, but it fit perfectly.


The night was absolutely beautiful by the way, quite the picturesque way for Wolf Parade to return back to New York (yet again), and the band certainly was thankful for the turnout.  Guitarist Dan Boeckner even acknowledged how busy it was by proclaiming, “I think this is the biggest crowd we’ve played for in New York in a long time.” which got a massive roar from the crowd. “Thank you” he kept repeating throughout the night when really, we should be thanking them for being back because boy did we miss them.

For the setlist and more photos, see below:

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There’s shows that you go to, and then there’s shows that you engulf you in the experience. Icelandic wonders Sigur Ros fall in the latter category. For nearly two decades now (yeah, it’s nearly been that long), the Reykjavík-based band have been making music that’s equally spiritual, emotive, uplifting and larger than life. Quite simply, there is no one else quite like them.

It’s been three years now since Kveikur, their last studio album. They’re currently at work on a new record, using this current tour to test out some new song, and present old favorites with reimagined arrangements. The tour came to New York on October 5, for a sold out performance at Radio City (with two shows at Kings Theatre to follow). It was hard to imagine a more perfect venue for the band, especially considering it was much more intimate than their last show here, at Madison Square Garden.

The group broke things off with two sets lists, with a 15-minute intermission in between. They showed off an impressive stage display and light show that only brought their songs to a more visceral level, truly leaving you lost within their music in more ways than one. It was hard not to be overcome by multiple emotions while watching them deliver all of the sprawling epic that is “Festival,” or other heartbreakers like “Starálfur” and the hammering epic set closer, “Popplagið.”

It’s one thing to listen to Sigur Ros at home, and another to hear those angelic vocals of Jónsi guiding the beautiful arrangements that he and Georg Hólm and Orri Páll Dýrason deliver with such levity and grace. One second your in a trance-like state, lost in awe at the colorful movements of their light show, and then you catch yourself with your eyes closed, soaking every ounce of beauty as if its a fleeting moment you’ll never find again. That’s what live music is all about, and Sigur Ros present that to their audience about as good as anyone out there.

We’re fortunate to live in a time where we can see a band like them tour even without an album out. I can only imagine what they have in store with us once their next classic is unearthed and they come back to us for what may be their biggest shows yet.

Find the setlist posted below, along with photos from their performance.

Sigur Ros Setlist:

Set 1:

2. Ekki Múkk
3. Samskeyti
4. E-Bow
5. Dauðalagið
6. Glósóli
7. Smáskifa

Set 2:

8. Óveður
9. Starálfur
10. Sæglópur
11. Ný Batterí
12. Vaka
13. Festival
14. Kveikur
15. Fljótavík
16. Popplagið














Seattle folk-rockers The Head and the Heart return to New York on Thursday and Friday for a pair of headlining shows at Terminal 5. Both come in support of their newly released album Signs Of Light, released via Warner Bros. Records

The group were in New York last month for some smaller warm-up shows, but these much larger shows should give the band even more room to showcase their sound.

Tickets for Thursday night are all sold out, but there are still some tickets available at the moment for Friday’s show, but move quick as they will move quick.

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Regina Spektor at Town Hall (October 17, 2016)

By Will Oliver, October 18th 2016 — with 2 comments Concert Photos Concert Reviews Listen Stream


It’s hard to believe that I haven’t been to Town Hall since I saw Grizzly Bear there in May 2009. I returned there for the first time since last night, for a sold out performance from Regina Spektor, in support of her newly released album Remember Us to Life

For whatever reason, I remember Town Hall seemingly larger to me back in ’09. I was surprised by how fairly intimate it was for a seated venue, with not a bad seat to be found in the house. Although seeing Regina at her even more intimate show at Rough Trade NYC tonight would be even more ideal, there was something so appropriate about catching her in a place like Town Hall where the talented singer and pianist’s music can truly shine.

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