Concert Reviews

Tanlines at Bowery Ballroom (May 14, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 16th 2015

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On Thursday night New York duo Tanlines played a sold out Bowery Ballroom, their second New York show in two days (they played Rough Trade NYC the night before). The shows came one week ahead of the release of their brand new album Highlights (out via True Panther Sounds), their first new album in three years. The show featured a great opening set from the one-man show Mas Ysa who had a firm hold over those early enough to catch him.
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Kaiser Chiefs at Irving Plaza (May 14, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 14th 2015

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Last night Kaiser Chiefs returned to New York to play a packed Irving Plaza as a part of the final leg of their U.S. tour for 2014’s Education Education Education & War. I last caught them last summer at the Firefly Music Festival, along with an intimate performance at Music Hall of Williamsburg early last year. Both shows were fun energetic showings that left me craving the next performance, and last night the boys from Leeds delivered in every way imaginable.

The crowd was surprisingly filled with fans of all ages, with many of the British transplants finding their way into the building. There aren’t many fanbases quite as devoted as English fans are, and this played perfectly true last night, right from the start of the show opening performance of “The Angry Mob.” Kaiser Chiefs know a thing or two about song selection and giving their fans what they want. They took the best cuts from Education Education Education & War (“Ruffians on Parade,” Misery Company,” “Coming Home,”) and fit them snugly aside the crowd-busting best of cuts from throughout their career.
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Jessica Pratt at Union Pool (May 12, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 13th 2015

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It didn’t take much for San Francisco singer Jessica Pratt to take hold of the tiny, but packed space at Union Pool, which serves up the perfect setting for fragile folk performers such as Pratt. Her sophomore album On Your Own Love Again was released just this January by Drag City, a stunning record from start to finish. She brought the album to life with the same sincerity, captivating the room entirely, leaving us in breathless awe.
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Passion Pit at Kings Theatre (May 11, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 12th 2015

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The newly restored Kings Theatre wouldn’t have been my first guess for the New York live return of Passion Pit, who last played New York in September 2013 (and who I last saw at Governors Ball 2012). But then again, this is a band that has constantly rose above their given expectations, they did play Madison Square Garden after all.

The night was also a series of fresh starts, both for the beautiful revamped Kings Theatre, and Passion Pit. Gone completely are all the fresh-faced members of the band’s original lineup. Only founder and brainchild Michael Angelakos remains. Joining him for the Kindred-era of Passion Pit are Giuliano Pizzulo (of Incan Abraham), Pete Carafella (of Supersystem and Shy Child), and Ray Suen and Chris Hartz (who both play in Childish Gambino’s band). This was a jarring discovery, as I had become so accustomed to the previous installment of Passion Pit whose members I also associated with the band, even if the group has always been Angelakos at the end of the day.

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Muse at Webster Hall (May 8, 2015)

By Will Oliver, May 9th 2015

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The last time I saw Muse was in August 2007, their first time playing Madison Square Garden, and ultimately the start of their jaunt as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. I was able to score general admission tickets for it, and spent a good chunk of that hot day waiting in line in order to get as close to the stage as possible. It was well worth it, as that performace still remains one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. It would end up being the last time I saw them play, a result of me being away at college whenever they played New York, as well as the fact that a lot of their newer material didn’t quite do it for me.

When I saw that they announced a show at Webster Hall as a warmup tour for their new album Drones, I just had to be there. Getting to see Muse in a 1,500 capacity room, and the probability that they’d play a lot of what the die-hard fans really want to hear, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

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1_Noel Gallagher_Webster Hall

Last night Noel Gallagher returned to New York along with his High Flying Birds for a special (very) sold out performance at Webster Hall, ahead of their performance at Governors Ball next month. The show came in support of Chasing Yesterday, Gallgher’s sophomore record with the High Flying Birds. It was released earlier this year via his own Sour Mash Records, but it’s Gallgher’s first New York stop as a part of his Keep It Dangerous tour. The show was billed as “An Evening w/ Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds,” and that’s exactly what we got. There was no opener to be found, just a rock solid night of music from Noel Gallagher and company.
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1_Florence and the Machine_MHOW

With new album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful set for release later this month (May 29 via Island Records), Florence and the Machine is scheduled to appear as the musical guest for the season finale episode of Saturday Night Live this week. So while in town she announced that she would be playing a surprise show at Music Hall of Williamsburg, in a show co-sponsored by Governors Ball (which she’ll be playing next month) and Bowery Presents. Fans were understandably very excited by this announcement, as it’s not everyday you get a chance to see a major star like Florence and The Machine in a 550-person venue such as MHOW. Tickets were hard to come by, but for those lucky enough to get in, they were treated to a once in a lifetime show from the British pop-star.
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