Concert Reviews

2_Tobias Jesso Jr_Baby's All Right

You don’t see the sort of instant success that Canadian artist Tobias Jesso Jr. is currently experiencing all that often. What makes his quick rise among the ranks so amazing is how naturally it unfolded. He released a few songs last year, which got heavy praise from publications and blogs alike. He played Pitchfork Paris, and soon was playing late night TV with The Roots. For those knew to Jesso Jr. it probably seems like he came out of no where and is suddenly everywhere all at once.

Jesso Jr.’s songs are instantly contagious, memorable, and likable. The thing is, 6’7 tall Jesso Jr. is an extremely pleasant and likable presence, quick to tell a joke and always sporting a contagious smile. You can’t help but take a liking to Jesso Jr., it also helps that he’s releasing some great tunes along the way.

He just released his debut album Goon on True Panther Sounds, and it’s been one of the best reviewed albums of the year so far (rightfully so). This week he made his return to New York City for his first set of official New York City performances (we saw him play a show at a loft last November). On Thursday night he played Mercury Lounge, and last night he played Baby’s All Right, selling out both shows with relative ease.
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Villagers at Union Pool (March 25, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 27th 2015

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After only a few listens to Villagers’ new album Darling Arithmetic, I’m positive it’s going to end up as one of my favorite albums of the year. It’s not a surprise, as Irish native Conor O’Brien has given us nothing but great folk-records in his short, but impressive career. Darling Arithmetic will be released next month (April 13 via Domino Records), so O’Brien is in town to start the promotion of the new record, which included two shows in New York. The first came on Monday where he opened for Laura Marling at Warsaw. The second came on Wednesday night where he headlined the intimate Union Pool.

Union Pool was the perfect venue for a intimate performance from O’Brien, who was accompanied by only a harpist, who also played keys and added backing vocals. His new album is his most sparse and bare yet, which he wrote, recorded and produced at home. It resulted in some of his most personal and affecting recordings to date, which you can feel pouring out him with every lyric shared. New songs such as “Courage” and “Everything I Am” fit snugly alongside cuts from previous albums like show-opener “Nothing Arrived” and “Ship Of Promises.”

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The 2-song encore of “27 Strangers” and Darling Arithmetic was a gut-wrenching finale, with a good bit of humor involved for the former, when O’Brien realized that he unintentionally wrote in a sexual innuendo (“So I walked home / Just feeling nothing on my own / noticing that tree of yours / I’ve been watching it grow”). He paused in the middle of the “tree” line, laughed and explained: “Every time I sing it now, I realize it’s an euphemism for a penis. There goes that song…bye bye.” After both the crowd and he recovered from a shared laugh, he kicked back into gear and somehow managed to finish the song, with some help from the crowd during the sing-along bit of “oooohs.”

It was great to be able to see Villagers play in what felt like a one-on-one experience rather than a show. He’ll be back soon for a proper tour for the new record, and while I’m sure the shows will be great, I doubt they will be able to reciprocate the personal nature of his Union Pool performance from Wednesday night. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Brooklyn folk-artist Zachary Cale opened the show. I just saw him a few weeks ago when he opened for Kevin Morby at Baby’s All Right.

Find photos of the show posted below, along with Villagers setlist. Be sure to pre-order Darling Arithmetic, it’s fantastic.

Villagers – “Hot Scary Summer”:

Villagers – “Courage”:

Villagers Setlist:

1. Nothing Arrived
2. Everything I Am
3. Dawning On Me
4. So Naive
5. My Lighthouse
6. Hot Scary Summer
7. The Soul Serene
8. Ship Of Promises
9. Memoir
10. Darling Arithmetic
11. Courage
12. The Waves
13. That Day

Encore:

14. 27 Strangers
15. No One To Blame

Zachary Cale:

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Villagers:

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Kate Tempest at Rough Trade NYC (March 25, 2015)

By Rachel Barrish, March 27th 2015

1_Kate Tempest_Rough Trade

All photos by Rachel Barrish

UK spoken word/rapper/poet extraordinaire, Kate Tempest joined us in Brooklyn Wednesday night at Rough Trade NYC. She walked on to stage looking completely nonchalant, like any other person you would see walking down the street and not take a second glance at. In fact, I saw her standing in the audience prior to her performance and didn’t realize at first that was her. Later she mhe made that fact known as she spoke out numbers from her 2014 debut album Everybody Down.
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Brandon Flowers at Webster Hall (March 24, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 26th 2015

1_Brandon Flowers_Webster Hall

Earlier in the week The Killers’ frontman Brandon Flowers returned in a big way with new solo single “Can’t Deny My Love.” It marked a step into a world of big glossy 80s synth-pop, more aligned with The Killers’ Hot Fuss than his debut solo offering Flamingo. “Can’t Deny My Love” is on his new album The Desired Effect, which Island Records will release on May 18. On Tuesday night Flowers played an intimate show at Webster Hall to share some songs, both new and old.
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Laura Marling and Villagers at Warsaw (March 23, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 25th 2015 — with 1 comment

1_Laura Marling_Warsaw

Laura Marling has established herself as one of the best folk-rock artists that Britain has to offer. Her latest album, Short Movie (released yesterday via Ribbon Music) is a testament to that. It’s very much a Laura Marling record, but it takes a new, more rock and roll infused approach to bring its ideas of self-discovery to life. On Monday night she played to a sold out crowd at the always wonderful Brooklyn venue Warsaw, leading the way for a totally enchanting night of music.
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1_Kindness_Rough Trade

All photos by Ian Perlman

On March 15 Kindness took over Rough Trade NYC for a sold out show in support of his 2014 album Otherness (out via Mom + Pop Music). Kindness is the project of British singer Adam Bainbridge, who was backed by members of Blood Orange’s band. The show also featured support from rising rapper Pell as well as producer Obey City.

Ian Perlman was at the show and was able to take some great snaps of Kindness’ set. Find all the action posted below:
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San Cisco at Baby’s All Right (March 22, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 24th 2015

1_San Cisco_Baby's All Right

On Sunday night Australian pop-rock group San Cisco brought the fun to Baby’s All Right in support of their new album Gracetown, out now via Fat Possum Records/Island City Records. The show was the first of a three night New York City, which included a show at Mercury Lounge yesterday, and a free all ages show at Rough Trade NYC tonight at 7. Support at the Baby’s show came from fellow Australian Cam Avery and NYC’s very own, The Prettiots.

1_Cam Avery_Baby's All Right

Even if you don’t know Cam Avery, you may recognize him. He’s a member of Tame Impala (he replaced Nick Allbrook), Pond, and has his own group, The Growl. His solo set was a mesmerizing performance of personal songs were folk-rock at heart, but performed with a rock and roll swagger. He captivated the already packed Baby’s All Right with a bold and confident set that made it clear that he has the talent to make it on his own as a solo artist, when he’s not rocking out with his many other projects. The crowd ate up his performance and bonded with him from start to finish. It’s a rare thing to see an opener do, but then again, Mr. Avery nearly stole the whole damn show.

1_The Prettiots_Baby's All Right

Female trio The Prettiots made their return from New York City but still powered through a fun set that fit more along-side San Cisco’s vibe that Avery’s did. The girls leaned towards an indie-rock sound with plenty of witty, tongue-in cheek lyricism from singer Kay Kasparhauser. Such an example is the group’s most memorable offering, the undeniable catchy “Boys I Dated in High School,” a song about all the boys Kasparhauser has been romantically involved with. Bassist Lulu Prat and drummer Rachel Trachtenburg keep the rhythm section intact, while Kasparhauser holds down the ukulele, an unusual sight which adds to their playful approach.

2_San Cisco_Baby's All Right

San Cisco’s set at Baby’s on Sunday marked my first time seeing a proper show from the Aussie’s, although I caught them briefly at Lollapalooza in 2013. That was a bit less intimate then their showing at Baby’s, which was nearly half-full only 20 minutes after doors, packed with young fans of all ages, as the show was 16+. They too just returned from SXSW, and were noticeably without their normal bassist, Nick Gardner. Unfortunately, Gardner shot himself in the foot (literally) and was unable to join them on their current run of U.S. dates. A more than capable replacement bassist by the name of Jen Aslett filled in for him, and actually fit in quite well to the group. If you hadn’t known otherwise, I would have thought that she was an original member of the band.

San Cisco’s best moments are where they’re able to find a pop-hook and combine it with an youthful, energetic rock riff and just run rampant with it. That’s what the best songs from their 2012 debut album did (those being “Awkard” and “Fred Astaire”). The formula is still at work with the album’s catchy first single “Too Much Time Together,” which was as delightful live as I would have hoped. Frontman and lead singer Jordi Davieson’s vocals have a clearness to them that really does call to mind Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, if not a bit more shiny around the edges.

The group’s brisk 45-minute set closed with a solo performance of “Skool” by Davieson, and a playful finish of “Fred Astaire” that sent the crowd home happy, screaming for more. The group seem to have a dedicated young fanbase, always a sign that lots of success is on the way.

San Cisco Setlist:

1. Nepal
2. Golden Revolver
3. About You
4. Bitter Winter
5. Awkward
6. Too Much time Together
7. No Friends
8. Beach
9. Snow
10. Run

Encore:

11. Skool
12. Fred Astaire

Cam Avery:

2_Cam Avery_Baby's All Right

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The Prettiots:

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San Cisco:

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1_Cashmere Cat_Webster Hall

All photos by Dana Pacifico

On Saturday night Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat took over Webster Hall after a show (the second of two) with collaborator Ariana Grande at Madison Square Garden. Our photographer Dana Pacifico was there to capture the action and told us he of course worked in some Grande into his performance as well as Ryn Weaver and Spice Girls.

Find some more of Dana’s photos of his performance posted below.
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2_Cold War Kids_Terminal 5

One of the reasons We All Want Someone exists is because of bands like Cold War Kids. Looking back at the California band’s now impressive ten year history, they got a big boost from music blogs that helped jump start their young career. Watching the effect that blogs had on bands like Cold War Kids made me want to be a part of this culture. Ironically enough, one of the first posts that I did was about the release of “Something Is Not Right With Me.” It was the first post to garner even the slightest bit of attention, and gave me a well needed push to believe that I could actually do something with the blog, and here we are today.

Somehow seven years have passed since that moment, and Cold War Kids are still very much alive and kicking. Last night they sold out Terminal 5 along with tourmate Elliot Moss and showed that there’s plenty of gas left in the tank.
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Modest Mouse at Webster Hall (March 19, 2015)

By Will Oliver, March 20th 2015

1_Modest Mouse_Webster Hall

It takes a band like Modest Mouse to make a venue like Webster Hall feel tiny. It’s no small venue by any means, but when a group like Isaac Brock’s indie-rock mainstay come to play, it makes the venue seem way too small for a band of their size, because it really is.

Last night’s sold out show (the second of two consecutive nights) came in celebration of the release of Strangers To Ourselves, their first album in eight years. Even during such the long period of time in between records, the band would tour semi-regularly, mostly odd dates and select festival performances. Which were the only way I’ve seen Modest Mouse live prior to last night’s showing. Those dates were Governors Ball 2012 and last summer’s inaugural Hudson Project. They delivered memorable performances at those festivals, but seeing them at their own club show was a different beast entirely.
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