Concert Reviews

Muse at The Prudential Center (January 29, 2016)

By Will Oliver, May 24th 2016

1_Muse_The Prudential Center

On January 29, larger than life rockers Muse returned to the tri-state area with a performance at New Jersey’s Prudential Center, just two days after selling out Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The show came in support of their latest record Drones, featuring the biggest live show of Muse’s career, which is saying something for a band always known to deliver a bombastic live special.
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1_Oh Wonder_MHOW

London indie-pop duo Oh Wonder have had quite the young career. Staring in Setpember 2014, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West (a couple in real life) wrote and released a new song every month on the bands soundcloud page. These songs caught the attention of music listeners and publications alike, growing their fanbase tremendously with every new release. In 2015, these songs became the foundation of their self-titled debut album, released via Caroline International.

On January 28 they stopped through Music Hall of Williamsburg for the first of a completely sold out two-night run in New York City (Bowery Ballroom came the next night). It was one of those shows where I, a 25-year-old, felt like one of the oldest members of the audience. There’s a youthful appeal to Oh Wonder, thanks to their modern approach of directly connecting with their fans, and an easy to please songwriting style that captures the best of the pop and r&b genres.
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1_Neon Indian_Music Hall of Williamsburg

On January 27, Neon Indian delighted a packed Music Hall of Williamsburg for a free intimate performance put on thanks to Converse Rubber Tracks live series.

Neon Indian frontman Alan Palomo and his band sounded as tight as ever ripping through the dance/funk tunes from his slightly underrated new album VEGA INTL. Night School, which Mom + Pop Music released last year. It’s amazing how far he has evolved from his chill wave days, becoming a master of his own craft.

Find the setlist posted below along with some more photos.
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1_The Weather Station_Baby's All Right

All photos by Emily Lembo

On January 27, Canadian folk group The Weather Station delighted an intimate crowd at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn.

The group, fronted by Tamara Lindeman, delivered tracks from their lovely album Loyalty, which was released in 2015 via Paradise Of Bachelors.

Our photographer Emily Lembo was on hand to capture some photos from their performance. Find some more posted below.
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Lucius at Gramercy Park Hotel (January 26, 2016)

By Will Oliver, May 23rd 2016

1_Lucius_Gramercy Park Hotel

On January 26 the mesmerizing folk-rock duo Lucius took up shop at the intimate Gramercy Park Hotel, a secret show set to showcase material from their new album Good Grief (out via Mom + Pop Music).

I’ve caught Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig’s group before, but only as openers or brief festival slots. So this performance served as my first proper show from them, and what a performance it was. Mere feet away from the crowd, the ladies and their tight band performed tracks both new and old, delighting the crowd with their timeless sounds of retro-folk rock and soul. Wolfe and Laessig, in matching yellow outfits, command your attention with their powerful voices that are in complete sync, of beauty, power, and grace.

Find a gallery from the performance posted below.
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1_Julien Baker_Rough Trade NYC

On January 25 Rough Trade NYC saw two of indie rocks most promising folk-songwriters Julien Baker and Eskimeaux take their stage and break the heart of the sold out audience.

Julien Baker captured my heart last November when she opened for El Vy at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Her haunting debut album Sprained Ankle was as good as it gets, ending up as one of my favorite albums of 2015.
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1_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

On a snowy night on January 22, Australian electo-rock group Miami Horror played to packed Bowery Ballroom, just one night after playing Music Hall of Williamsubrg. Their tour came in support of their 2015 sophomore effort All Possible Futures, released via Dine Alone Records.

Led by Josh Moriarty and Aaron Shanahan, the group powered through disco-rock jams that certainly warmed up the crowd through the power of dance. I shouldn’t have been surprised by how well that their sound translated live, but there was a power and tightness to their performance that you don’t necessarily always expect when dance/electronic elements are at play.

The show also featured an opening performance from local act MOTHXR, fronted by actor Penn Badgley, who you may know from his role on Gossip Girl or films like Easy A.

Find photos of both Miami Horror and MOTHXR posted below, along with Miami Horror’s setlist.

Miami Horror Setlist:

1. American Dream
2. I Look To You
3. Real Slow
4. Moon Theory
5. Cellophane (So Cruel)
6. Love Like Mine
7. Strandbar (Todd Terje Cover)
8. Out Of Sight
9. Wild Motion (Set It Free)
10. Echoplex
11. Summersun
12. Who Is Gonna Save Us?
13. Sometimes
14. Holidays
15. Forever Ever?

MOTHXR:

1_MOTHXR_Bowery Ballroom

2_MOTHXR_Bowery Ballroom

3_MOTHXR_Bowery Ballroom

Miami Horror:

2_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

3_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

4_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

5_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

6_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

7_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

8_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

9_Miami Horror_Bowery Ballroom

1_Fat White Family_Baby's All Right

Last week English rock group Fat White Family brought their always intense live show of controlled chaos back to New York for a pair of shows at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn (May 2), and at Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan (May 3, where Lady GaGa showed up). Somehow Baby’s All Right is the only place that I’ve ever seen the band (this was my fourth time seeing them) and this show on May 2 was a rowdy good time as always.
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1_Pearl Jam_MSG

It can’t be said for everyone, but some bands are just built for the biggest stage possible. Legendary rock group Pearl Jam are one of those bands.

While most bands struggle just to fill out Madison Square Garden, Pearl Jam are the rare act that seem larger than the worlds most famous arena. They brought their highly sought 2016 tour to New York for two very sold out nights at The Garden, especially considering they most certainly could have sold out an additional couple of nights with ease. But with only two nights available, it made the shows that much more special for all those lucky enough to get their hands on tickets.

3_Pearl Jam_MSG

This was dubbed an evening with Pearl Jam, meaning no openers, just 3 hours of one of the most prolific bands in modern day rock and roll. For such a large show, it was refreshing to see that Pearl Jam didn’t resort to fancy stage set ups or tricks to beef up a live show that speaks for itself. After 25 years of consistently reliable music and legendary live performances, all we need to see is the band on stage doing their thing. That’s the magic of groups like Pearl Jam or Bruce Springsteen and his E Street Band. They turn the arena and their dedicated patrons into the stage itself, using them as extra singers and an additional boost of energy. It’s hard not to be moved when you hear 18,000 + singing along to every single word alongside the ever-so familiar vocals of Eddie Vedder on their deep list of fan favorites, such as on “Corduroy,” “Even Flow” “Jeremy” or “Rearviewmirror.”
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