Concert Reviews

I first saw Canadian indie rockers Born Ruffians play a decade ago when they opened up for Vampire Weekend at a free Central Park Summerstage that seems more ridiculous the more years we are removed from it. Since then , Born Ruffians have released four new album, growing their stock along the way, even with a few changes in their lineup (we last caught them in 2013 at Bowery Ballroom).
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Jack White at Warsaw (March 23, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 23rd 2018

No one likes being told what to do. Especially when you’re a paying customer. To tell a paying customer what to do with their cell phone, you’ve signed a death warrant. Well, that is unless you’re Jack White.

Unless you’re totally detached from the live music scene, you’re most likely aware that Jack White has banned cell phones from his shows on his tour for new album Boarding House Reach, opting to have fans put his fans in a Yondr pouch that allows them to enjoy his performance, distraction-free. White is a notoriously tough man to please and even when he didn’t ban phones, he made it quite clear how much their use at shows bothered him during his performances. Now while I do feel that is you’re paying upwards of $75 to see an artist you probably should have the right to take a photo or two to remember the night, I also totally understand where he’s coming from.

My understanding became totally clear on the night on March 23, when White played a very intimate performance in Brooklyn at Warsaw, a much tinier place than you’d normally see him shred. The show was announced only a week before the scheduled date and tickets were about as impossible to land unless you had some really good internet (and luck) or access to a presale code.
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All photos by Dave Scholten

This past January saw Aaron Maine and Porches returned with new album The House, released via Domino Records. In late March he returned home to New York for a trio of headlining shows in support of the new album, including a sold out performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 23.

Our photographer Dave Scholten was there to capture photos from Porches performance, as well as the second opener Girl Ray (Palberta also opened as well). Find shots from Porches and Girl Ray posted in the gallery below.
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Lucius at Town Hall (March 22, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 22nd 2018

Lucius continue to be one of the hardest working groups in music today, seemingly always on the road one way or another, whether they have new music or not. On March 22, they stopped back in New York for a big-time performance at the prestigious Town Hall. The show came in support of their new acoustic album Nudes, which was released earlier that month via Mom and Pop Music.

The album consists of many stripped-down arrangements of their own material as well as a flurry of great covers. They brought them all to life in magical fashion at Town Hall in only the way that the one-two punch of the amazing vocalist team of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig could ever do. Their voices echoed thunderously in Town Hall and nearly every word was sung along harmoniously with the attentive audience. While at some points I did miss the full effect of their livthrive if there’s any band that really can find a new way to thrieve in an acoustic format, it’s Lucius.

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Men I Trust at Mercury Lounge (March 22, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 22nd 2018

Men I Trust are an indie-dance band out of Quebec City who has been making some danceable dream-pop for a couple of years now. They had a good 2017 with their breakout single “Tailwhip” doing quite well on the blogs online and expanding their fanbase further.

They stopped into New York on March 22 for the first of two sold out area shows at Mercury Lounge (they also played Baby’s All Right the next night). Following a nice set from Australian dream poppers Hatchie, Men I Trust took the stage and got the crowd swaying to their every move the entire way through. The dance grooves were infectious and re-created to perfection by the band who were clearly taken aback by the passionate reception from the packed crowd of Mercury Lounge.
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All photos by Omar Kasrawi

On the Mount Rushmore of great American songwriters, some names are given, like Dylan, Waits, Springsteen, and the likes. You know the ones, the musicians that craft Americana into a sound wave of struggle, earth, and deconstructed ideals. No one can argue that the lens they shine on the history and lore of this nation bring out all its beauty and flaws, its rust and shine, its triumphs and tragedies, but it’s all done along the sonic highway of America’s past, present, and future. And one name that deserves to be right there alongside them, is Grant-Lee Phillips, whose music evokes a fever dream melding of Rockwell and Wyth set to steely strings. And he brought his latest and timely tunes to a filled out Rough Trade on March 13 (in support of Kristen Hersh’s solo tour).
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Mount Eerie at Knockdown Center (March 22, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 18th 2018

All photos by Eric Han

Phil Elverum is just one year removed from his heartbreaking new Mount Eerie album A Crow Looked At Me, but he has already returned with new album Now Only, released on March 16 via P.W. Elverum & Sun.

On March 22 he brought his tour in support of Now Only to Queens for a performance at Knockdown Center. Our photographer Eric Han was there to capture some shots from his performance, which you can find posted in the gallery below.
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Local singer-songwriter Holly Miranda released her latest album Mutual Horse on Dangerbird Records on the 23rd of February and celebrated its release with a special show at Greenpoint’s Park Church Co-Op last month courtesy of LPR Presents. The last time we caught Holly was at the much smaller Union Pool. Opening the night was Tim Mislock, who has toured as part of Holly’s band and contributed to Holly’s previous self-titled album, and Garrett Eaton, who contributed to Mutual Horse.

With a backing band of Maria Eisen on baritone saxophone, Nick Oddy on keyboards and guitar, Jonathan Ulman on drums, Jackie Coleman on trumpet, and Ambrosia Parsley on vocals, Holly performed the entirety of Mutual Horse front-to-back. Hearing the second-to-last track of the album “Gina”—a cassette recording of her mother and sisters singing during a car trip—play over the speakers in the church was especially poignant, as Holly’s mother passed before the album’s release. For the encore, Holly sat down at a piano to perform a cover of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” before returning to the stage with her band and covering Morphine’s “Thursday.”

Continue below to see Holly Miranda’s setlist along with photos of the performances by Holly, Tim Mislock, and Garrett Eaton.
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Flyte at Mercury Lounge (March 21, 2018)

By Will Oliver, April 18th 2018

Over the past few years, we’ve watched British indie rockers Flyte from afar, admiring their wonderful tunes and dreaming of the day that they would finally grace us with their presence here in New York City. It took many years but after the release of their terrific debut album The Loved Ones last year they finally announced their first U.S. tour around an appearance at SXSW in Austin, Texas and ended up following those dates with their debut New York performance on March 21 at Mercury Lounge.

As if the wait wasn’t bad enough, the day was almost ruined with an unwelcome snowstorm that caused havoc for many out-of-towners to make it into the show. But weather be damned, I would not be stopped and made the journey in to the city to finally catch the boys of Flyte.

I’ve seen countless live performances and was always left impressed but even so, nothing came close to the real thing. The way that the quartet of Will Taylor, Sam Berridge, Nicolas Hill and Jon Supran bring their gorgeous harmonies to life is a thing of beauty. Taylor pointed out that the band wanted to record an album where they were able to recreate everything on it live. This is something of a rare treat these days but definitely ad admirable quality which gives their music a direct warmth and richness that no backing track could recreate.

If there was any complaint it was that the show was way too short. They gave us almost all of The Loved Ones, beginning in epic fashion with “Victoria Falls” before running for a good chunk of it before welcoming new single “Moon Unit,” and their heroic cover of Alvvays “Archie, Marry Me.” As someone who found them through their early singles, I was worried they wouldn’t give us any of them as it’s clear they have moved away from that era with the new sound found on the record. But I was beyond delighted when they went into the crowd to perform an acoustic performance of “Light Me Up,” the very first song of theirs I found one late night many years ago. They doubted that anyone in the New York audience would know it but based on the fierce sing-along that ensued during its epic build up, they were gladly proven wrong.

Taylor remarked how the show felt like a real special moment for them, the sort of moment you’d say as a young lad to your teacher that one day you’re going to play New York. Well boys, you made in. Now get back here as soon as possible and maybe bring back “Over and Out” to your setlists, I bet the audience will know it.

Find some the setlist posted below, along with photos of both Flyte and openers Joy Again.

Joy Again:

Flyte:

Flyte Setlist:

1. Victoria Falls
2. Sliding Doors
3. Little White Lies
4. Orphans of the Storm
5. Moon Unit
6. Archie, Marry Me (Alvvays Cover)
7. Spiral
8. Cathy Come Home
9. Faithless

Encore:

10. Light Me Up


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