Concert Reviews

1_Jose Gonzalez_MHOW

On April 8 Jose Gonzalez made his solo return to New York City for a sold out performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It wasn’t so much a show, but rather a spiritual journey that took his fans to a much more special place in both their heads and hearts. The stop was the first of a two night New York run (Webster Hall came two nights later) in support of his new album Vestiges & Claws, out now via Mute Records.
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Photos: Chet Faker at Terminal 5 (April 7, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015

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All photos by Dana Pacifico

Soulful Australian electronic musician Chet Faker has seen a fast and steady rise in no time. It was just this time last year that he released his debut album Built on Glass, but he’s already hit the big time. He returned to New York City for a set of three sold out shows at Terminal 5, an impressive feat no matter who you are.

Our very own Dana Pacifico was at hand for their show on April 7, capturing photos of both Faker and Orlando producer XXYYXX, who opened the show. Find shots of both artists posted below.

XXYYXX:

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Chet Faker:

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Diarrhea Planet at Bowery Ballroom (April 4, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015

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If Diarrhea Planet are playing live, there’s no reason not go. The rowdy six-piece garage rockers from Nashville have earned every bit of their reputation as one of the wildest live shows you can find. I’ve seen them nearly a half a dozen times live now, and each time is just as fun and memorable as the last. On April 4 the group played their largest New York show to date (not counting last year’s Governors Ball performance of course) with a sold out performance at Bowery Ballroom.
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Alvvays at Bowery Ballroom (April 2, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015

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Not many bands had a better 2014 than Toronto’s Alvvays. Last year they released their debut album to tremendous praise (it was my #2 album of the year + featured my #1 song of the year) and toured non-stop globally to bigger and bigger audiences. The band’s career is only really beginning, making their future as bright and exciting of a prospect as they come. Anyone whose spoken to be about music in the past few months know how much of a fan I’ve become of these guys. So when I heard they were headlining one of my favorite venues, Bowery Ballroom, I knew it was going to be an unforgettable night.

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Opening the show was fellow Toronto outfit Kiwi, who seem to be close friends with Alvvays. The trio played very endearing and sugary indie-pop with a keen fixture on upbeat and highly enjoyable melodies. They’re newcomers to the scene, but I hope to hear more about them in the future.

Prior to this show, my only other time catching Alvvays perform live was when they did a free show at Rough Trade NYC last July. It was a good performance, but a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom with eager fans was a whole different level. The band came out to a flurry of applause and set of colorful projections that covered them and the entirety of the Bowery stage.

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Alvvays have been doing nothing but playing shows for the past year, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise at how much they have already improved as a live band. Sonically they completely filled out the the ballroom with confidence and ease. Molly Rankin’s vocals jumped out at you, sounding even richer than she does on record. They started with b-side” Your Type” which worked itself snugly into the high-energy jangle-rock of “Next Of Kin.” It was the more melancholy moments found with “The Agency Group,” “Ones Who Love You,” and “Party Police” that found a new life in the live setting, tapping into something even more grand and heartbreaking.

They surprised everyone by casually dropping their biggest (and best) song “Archie, Marry Me” just five songs into the set, getting it out of the way quickly. It hit hard, and went right into another b-side “Underneath Us,” as well as a cover of Deerhunter’s “Nosebleed.” The two-song encore featured a cover of The Primatives’ “Out Of Reach,” as well as a new song called “New Haircut.”

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Although the performance just breached the 45-minute mark, I’m not complaining. You see, it’s rare that you get to take in the early era of a band, where you go into a show getting to hear all the songs you know and love. Alvvays played everything I wanted to hear, and then some. What else can you possibly ask for?

Before the final song of the encore Rankin recalled their first show in New York when someone in the crowd heckled them as they were playing saying that they “sucked.” Who knows where that guy is now, but Alvvays won’t find anything like that in their audiences no more. Only the ones who love you.

Find their setlist and some photos from both Alvvays and Kiwi posted below.

Alvvays Setlist:

1. Your Type
2. Next Of Kin
3. The Agency Group
4. Ones Who Love You
5. Archie, Marry Me
6. Underneath Us
7. Nosebleed (Deerhunter CoveR)
8. Dives
9. Atop A Cake
10. Party Police
11. Adult Diversion

Encore:

12. The Primitives – Out Of Reach (The Primatives Cover)
13. New Haircut (New Song)

Kiwi:

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Hinds at Baby’s All Right (April 1, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 15th 2015

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Last year a group named Deers caught the attention of many music fans and bloggers (including us) with a set of wonderful singles. But earlier this year they were forced to change their name because Montreal rock band Dears thought the name was too similar and threatened them with legal action. Deers soon became Hinds, and now the rest is history. Last month played a ton of shows at SXSW and garnered a great deal of buzz along the way. Now it seems like the old name is all but forgotten, allowing the era of Hinds to become in full effect.
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Houndmouth at Bowery Ballroom (April 1, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 14th 2015

1_Houndmouth_Bowery Ballroom

With new album Little Neon Limelight, Houndmouth have continued their winning streak of releasing some rocking tunes that sound good and feel even better. Their sound is a hybrid of rock and roll, along with aspects of alt-country, americana, and bar rock. They’re recordings are all fantastic, but it’s in the live arena where Houndmouth are meant to be seen and heard.

The first time I saw Houndmouth perform live was at Bowery Ballroom in fall 2012, opening up for Dry The River. That night I was one of those fans who comes from the opener, because I genuinely was a fan of what Houndmouth were doing, and very excited for their future. Here we are nearly three years later and the lovable group from Indiana returned with two sold out shows in a row, at Rough Trade NYC and Bowery Ballroom, respectfully.

I caught their performance at Bowery Ballroom on April 1, and it was packed all the way to the back of the bar and stairs. People weren’t just there to check out the show, they were there to party with Houndmouth. Houndmouth had the crowd won over before they even stepped on stage, and they delighted them with a delightful performance that captivated the entire crowd. Fans were vocal when shouting back “A Saturday night kind of pink” during “Sedona” (the first crowd to do it like that the band said) or taking over the chorus of “Hey Rose.” This was a crowd that knew their Houndmouth and was proud enough to takeover a song when need be. You just don’t see that sort of dedication at most shows.

The hearty 18-song set saw most of the tracks from their two albums played, as well as a wonderful cover of Dion’s “Runaround Sue” which saw them joined by Parker Millsap and his band. It was a wonderful performance from the band who have really come a long way in such a short time. I feel lucky to have seen their growth as a band firsthand, and am even more excited to see what else the future brings for them. All their success is well deserved, and certainly well earned.

Find the setlist and photos posted below.
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Jessie Ware at Terminal 5 (April 1, 2015)

By Will Oliver, April 14th 2015

1_Jessie Ware_Terminal 5

It was late in December 2012 where English pop-singer Jessie Ware made her live debut in New York City, playing the more than intimate The Box NYC. It was no secret that she was bound for much bigger things, which made the intimate showing that much more special. It certainly had me spoiled, as that was the only time I saw her live prior to her headlining show at Terminal 5 on April 1.

Last year Ware returned with her sophomore effort Tough Love, and has seen her stock rise even more than it did with her beloved debut album Devotion. Her fanbase has grown significantly in the two years plus since I last saw her perform, so much so that she packed out Terminal 5 with relative ease. She played a 17-song set full of the best cuts from both albums, with a full rich sound propelled by her live backing band.

What’s not to like about Ware? She writes great songs, has a beautiful voice, and is a very cheerful spirit that makes you feel welcome to join along. So much so that at her sold out Terminal 5 saw a marriage proposal go down on stage that Ware helped a fan orchestrate prior to the show. Find the video of that below along with a photo set of Ware’s performance.

Jessie Ware Setlist:

1. Running
2. Champagne Kisses
3. Cruel
4. If You’re Never Gonna Move
5. Tough Love
6. Keep On Lying
7. You & I (Forever)
8. Sweet Talk
9. Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe
10. The Way We Are
11. Pieces
12. No to Love
13. Sweetest Song
14. Taking in Water
15. Want Your Feeling
16. Wildest Moments
17. Say You Love Me

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1_Good Old War_Rough Trade

All photos by Rachel Barrish

On monday night Philadelphia folk-rock trio Good Old War stopped by Rough Trade NYC to play old favorites as well as show off some new songs from a new album which should be released this summer. They were supported by the always entertaining Massachusetts duo You Won’t.

Rachel Barrish was at the show and captured some shots of both performances. Find her shots posted below.
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