Concert Reviews

Neutral Milk Hotel - Prospect Park

When a band such as Neutral Milk Hotel plays in your city, you go. Especially when that band is more likely to disappear forever than to return to play again in a few years. I was fortunate enough to catch Neutral Milk Hotel last night at Prospect Park, only a few months after seeing them play at Webster Hall in January. It’s still a “pinch me” sort of feeling, as there was a once a teenage version of myself that had given up all hope of ever seeing Jeff Mangum and company play.
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goodbyemotel at The Rock Shop (July 19, 2014)

By Will Oliver, July 20th 2014

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All photos via Anthony Bauer

Many concertgoers don’t have the patience to arrive early for openers, or stick around after they saw the band that they came to see. Sure, we are all busy and sometimes it’s out of our control. But every once and while, you should go out and catch an opener, or stick around a little later to see a new band. Sure, its a risk, but that’s all a part of the fun of discovery. All of the bands that you now know and love had to start somewhere.

Part of my job here is to take those risks on a daily basis, and find those hidden gems that deserve a little extra exposure. Last night, I had one of these rare experiences with an Australian-based band known as goodbyemotel.
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The Tins at The Rock Shop (July 19, 2014)

By Will Oliver, July 20th 2014 — with 1 comment

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All photos by Anthony Bauer

I first saw The Tins at a concert during my college days at Binghamton. They (Binghamton grads as well) were the opening band that night, but ended up stealing the show from the band who I thought I was there to see at the time. As I found out, it was really The Tins who I was meant to discover that night. I was immediately hooked upon hearing their polished take on rock and roll. There was just something refreshing about seeing three friends playing and singing so well, especially in the days where so much music is made by other means.

Since then, the band relocated to Buffalo, and released their debut EP and album. This year they returned with a brand new EP called Young Blame that will be released on July 29 (pre-order it here). The band has been steady with their releases, and even more consistent with the quality. I don’t question if the new material will be quality, it’s just expected at this point. Young Blame is no different. Each one of its four songs is as steady as next, hooking you in, begging for more.

Last night they brought their first ever national tour to Brooklyn for a show at The Rock Shop. It was my first time catching The Tins live outside of Binghamton, and it just happened to be the best performance that I’ve seen from the trio yet. They effortlessly blended all their material, both new and old, to create an air tight set that took over the room. They are able to create a full rock sound that is even more impressive when you take in the fact that they are just a trio.

The Tins are overdue for a big break, one that they certainly have earned and deserve. This national tour will take them to new places, and hopefully bring out fans both old and new. If they’re stopping in a city near you, I urge you to go check them out.

Below find photos from the show, all taken by Anthony Bauer. I’ve also shared the band’s tour dates.
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With …Like Clockwork, Queens Of The Stone Age released one of the best albums of 2013. They are still touring hard in support of the album, bringing their tour to Port Chester this Wednesday to play a sold out show at the historic Capitol Theatre. It is always a beautiful place to see a show, and a rather intimate place to catch an act like Queens Of The Stone Age, one of the biggest bands in rock and roll. Australian artist Brody Dalle opened the show, and is known better for her work with The Distillers and Spinnerette.

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the years, you don’t mess with Josh Homme. That means doing right by him if you choose to partake as an audience member in his crowd. Not like the fan in the front row who was holding up an iPad right in front of Homme, who couldn’t help but take notice, and comment. “You’ve got to be kidding with that thing man.” he told the audience member, urging him to put it away and just be present in the show. Honestly, about damn time someone called an iPad holder out on that. There’s simply no need for that at a show. This brutal honestly is what I love about Homme. During the show he spilled some honest truths by telling the crowd “Fuck the set list. I just wanna have a good time. This isn’t work. This is getting drunk and having fun.” With an attitude like that, it makes sense that the guy is one of the brightest minds to grace rock and roll in the last decade or so.

As expected, the setlist was heavy on …Like Clockwork material. But they still gave plenty of room to their many greatest hits of sorts, such as “No One Knows”, “Go With The Flow”, and “Little Sister.” They also kept it interesting with choice cuts such as “Turnin’ on the Screw”, “Better Living Through Chemistry” and “The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died”, which Josh dedicated to the late Tommy Ramone.

Over the past year I have seen the band three times. Prior to that first performance of the three, I had never seen the band live. Each performance has been as solid as the last, if not an improvement. There’s no question that they’re one of my favorite rock bands, but also one of the best that we have going at the moment.

Setlist:

1. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, but I Feel Like a Millionaire
2. No One Knows
3. Avon
4. My God Is the Sun
5. Smooth Sailing
6. I’m Designer
7. I Sat by the Ocean
8. The Vampyre of Time and Memory
9. If I Had a Tail
10. Turnin’ on the Screw
11. Little Sister
12. The Fun Machine Took a Shit and Died
13. In My Head
14. Fairweather Friends
15. Sick, Sick, Sick
16. The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret
17. Better Living Through Chemistry
18. Go With the Flow

Encore:
19. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
20. Feel Good Hit of the Summer
21. A Song for the Dead

Queens Of The Stone Age:

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Brody Dalle:

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I’ve been trying to see Camera Obscura live as far back as I can remember. Tuesday night’s sold out performance at Le Poisson Rouge finally ended the seemingly everlasting draught, as I finally got to see the Glasgow band live in the flesh.

Speaking to fans in the crowd, it seemed like a lot of other people were there after years of trying to see the band. One girl I spoke to asked me if I too was there in order to fill the duty of my high school self. While that wasn’t quite it, a case could be made that a lot of people went into the show with a heavy sense of nostalgia. The band were playing to support their very solid (if not somewhat underrated) new album Desire Lines, which came out just last year and only saw them play in support of She and Him. So this was technically their first proper headlining show for Desire Lines, with its tracks dominating the set.

Camera Obscura are veterans to the game at this point in the career, and it shows live. The band are very capable players, laying down tight performance of theirs tracks, sounding polished and seasoned along the way. Although Desire Lines related material was the main focus, they played plenty of older tracks. A highlight of the night being the 1-2 punch of “If Looks Could Kill” and “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken”, which had everyone in the crowd singing along. Man it felt good to finally get to hear those tracks live.

After waiting all these years to finally see these guys, I can say it was totally worth the wait.

Setlist:

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Little Daylight at Mercury Lounge (July 15, 2014)

By Will Oliver, July 17th 2014

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This week Brooklyn-based electronic group Little Daylight released their debut album Hello Memory. On Tuesday they celebrated its release with a record release show at Mercury Lounge. The album’s summer release is pitch perfect, as its as enjoyable of a pop record as you’ll find. The band smartly pack on the hooks in a no frills, no shame sort of way. There are a lot of other bands doing the whole electronic pop thing, but not all of them play live instruments, and play with as much of a joyful confidence as I saw from Little Daylight.
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Alexis Taylor at Rough Trade NYC (July 14, 2014)

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2014

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Back in May I caught an intimate performance from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor at The Manhattan Inn, a preview of his now recently released new album Await Barbarians. The album see’s a different version of Taylor at play, giving his own take on country inspired songs. At root, the electronic work that Taylor does with Hot Chip is the basis for the songs, giving him a fresh take on the genre, not quite your father’s country music.

On Monday night Taylor returned to New York to play a show at Rough Trade NYC. Last time he had Hot Chip drummer Sarah Jones and pedal steel guitarist Jonny Lam with him as his band. This time around there was no Jones to be found, but fellow Hot Chip member (and LCD Soundsystem member) Al Doyle helped Taylor out (Lam returned as well).

Just like last time the show featured a gentle and subdued version of Taylor, who performed many tracks off his album, as well as a few choice Hot Chip songs that included “Made In The Dark”, “Now There Is Nothing” and “Look At Where We Are” that got re-worked to fit the country vibe at hand. He also included some country covers, such as Dan Bodan’s “Under A Cancer Sky.” Although it was mostly a mellow evening, we saw a flash of Hot Chip when Taylor performed his track “Hot Squash” which came off his Nayim From The Halfway Line EP.

It was great to catch Taylor in such a different setting performing these songs, which are clearly personal to him. When an artist puts himself out there in such a way, the audience can’t help but be swept away in the process.
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Dinosaur Jr. at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2014

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Dinosaur Jr.
were the headliner at the 4Knots Music Festival this year and filled the role with all the levels of prestige that you would come to expect. By the time they took the stage, the crowd had reached its peak, completely filling up the South Street Seaport of every space that it had to offer.

The band offered a sharp set of all their classic songs, which included their always welcome cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” Their performance was a reminder of why rock and roll will always live on. Seeing three older guys put their all on the stage for us, rocking just as hard as they did in their glory days, is always something to treasure.

They don’t make them quite like Dinosaur Jr. anymore, but hey, we are lucky enough to still have them around.
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Bonobo at Central Park Summerstage (July 13, 2014)

By Anthony Bauer, July 16th 2014

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Editors Note: All photos by Anthony Bauer

One of the many great things about New York City is the summertime. For concertgoers especially, summer is an amazing time due to in part of the great events the city continuously puts on through the Summerstage concert series. Whether its Central Park or Brooklyn (or anywhere in between), all of the events are a can’t miss event as many of them are free!

On Sunday July 13th, it was no exception. Before Bonobo & his live band came out and took the stage, we were treated to the opening acts of Odesza as well as Cibo Matto. It was my first time seeing Odesza live and I can definitely see why Simon had brought them along. They were a perfect fit as an opener and I can only see them getting bigger in popularity within the next few years.

Next up, Cibo Matto came out and took no time into getting into the groove of things. This was my second time seeing them live and they were just as good, if not better, from when I saw them a few years back when they opened for Wilco at Terminal 5. They breezed through their set with ease and got the crowd grooving along from start to finish. Almost immediately after their set was up, one of the Summerstage PA’s came out to say they were monitoring the weather due to severe storms being in the area. There was a slight chance that a strong storm could roll through, and if it did, it would mean a short set for Bonobo.

Luckily, the weather held up and we were treated with a perfect night (albeit a little muggy) with no rain whatsoever. As it was being described and noted all over social media, this was Bonobo’s last US stop on the tour backing The North Borders, so expectations were high to say the least. I’m glad to report that the show most certainly lived up to the hype.
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Mac DeMarco at 4Knots Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

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Whenever young girls start showing up to your shows screaming for you, you’ve made it. This was the case at Mac DeMarco’s 4Knots performance this Saturday. Even as he was just setting up his gear, chilling with a smoke in hand, girls started screaming his name. DeMarco must be starting to see this sort of thing more now, but you can tell it’s still something he’s getting used to.

There’s no doubt that DeMarco is becoming a star, and how can you be made, the guy deserves it. Not only does he make songs that both rock out and please the romantics, but he puts on a fun show. Him and his band deliver a youthful energy that connects with fans, and it always helps when you can rely on Mac for a trip into the crowd by the end of the show. Salad Days remains one of the year’s best, and getting to hear its tracks played live amongst the highlights of 2 always makes for an enchanting evening.

With a newly announced show at Terminal 5 this November, it looks as though the intimate shows are now a thing of the past. Hey, that’s the price of being a rock star.
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