Music Festival

Charli XCX at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 30th 2015

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The sun came out and pushed the cloudy skies away just in time for the set of English pop star Charli XCX, who used the sunshine to her advantage in a devastatingly fun set that got the midday crowd into party mode.

She ran through tracks off last year’s Sucker (out via Atlantic Records), such as the all too familiar “Boom Clap,” and “Famous.” Charli also integrated “I Love It,” her massive collaboration with Icona Pop that took over the radio in 2013.

Her set was a constant ball of energy, delivering a colorful performance brought to life vividly with props such as a giant inflatable guitar. Even though pop music isn’t traditionally my thing, her set was infectious and hard not to enjoy. I only was able to catch the first half, but it was a lot of fun.

Find more photos from her set posted below.
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Benjamin Booker at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 30th 2015

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There’s a revival of old school rock and roll at the moment, helped by up and coming artists such as New Orleans’ Benjamin Booker.

Booker’s smokey garage rock comes dipped in the roots of bluesy rock of an older time, given a fresh-faced revival that feels alive and well. He first caught my attention opening for Mac DeMarco at House Of Vans last summer, and he took his game that much further with an impressive showing at Governors Ball in June. His 2014 self-titled debut album (released via ATO Records) got deserved acclaim last year, and he’s already an accomplished live performer with all the confidence in the world.

The future of rock and roll is looking that much brighter with artists like Booker climbing the ranks.

Find some more photos from his Governors Ball performance posted below.
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DIIV at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 29th 2015

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Zachary Cole Smith’s DIIV will return with their anticipated new album Is the Is Are later this year via Captured Tracks. Back in May they stopped by Baby’s All Right to play most, if not all, of the new album. They followed that performance a month later which a much bigger showing at Governors Ball.

This time they integrated a few tracks off their debut album Oshin in between the new songs as a bit of a cushion for the festival audience. The new songs did well the spacious festival setting, sounding almost fitting for the ominous weather that just didn’t want to give up.

There’s still no official release date for Is the Is Are, but we can hopefully expect to hear it soon.

Find photos from DIIV’s set at Governors Ball posted below.
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Black Pistol Fire at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 29th 2015

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Austin duo Black Pistol Fire came storming out of the gate with a punchy set of blues-inspired garage rock that didn’t take long to win over the crowd. Guitarist Kevin McKeown inspired the fans with his rock star moves, all while drummer Eric Owen pounded away at his kit. They may just be two guys, but they’re able to summon quite a bit of noise with ease paying their respect to blues-rock while also delivering some brash garage rock along the way.

Be on the lookout for Black Pistol Fire, they’re a name you’ll be seeing again in no time.

Find photos from their performance posted below:
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The Districts at Governors Ball 2015

By Will Oliver, July 29th 2015

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Day 1 of Governors Ball 2015 began on a gloomy note, with ominous skies and eventually a cold downpour of rain. But my day, and the festival, began with a set from Philadelphia’s The Districts, who had a storm of rock and roll ready to conquer the dreary skies.

The group have made a few stops in New York throughout the year, in support of their promising debut album A Flourish and a Spoil (released via Fat Possum). Considering their set took place a mere 15 minutes after gates opened, and with the eventual downpour, the group attracted a modest but appreciative crowd. Those who were there were treated to a memorable set of The Districts power rock, just more proof that they are most certainly one of the most exciting prospects in rock and roll.

Catch them this fall when they return for a pair of shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Lady Lamb on November 4 (tix) & 5 (tix).

Find photos from their Governors Ball set posted below.

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Preview: Newport Folk Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, July 23rd 2015

Newport Folk Fest 2015

This weekend I’ll be making my first ever journey to Rhode Island for the Newport Folk Festival.

I’ve heard nothing but great things from friends who have gone, who have called the festival one of the best out there, and a very relaxing festival experience. That’s not to mention an impressive lineup that includes Roger Waters, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Tallest Man On Earth, Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell, Courtney Barnett, Leon Bridges, Angel Olsen, Blake Mills, J Mascis, Hozier, Jason Isbell, First Aid Kit, Jose Gonzalez, Laura Marling, Lord Huron, The Lone Bellow, Calexico, Shakey Graves, Heartless Bastards, Hiss Golden Messenger, and many more.
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Preview: Full Moon Fest 2015

By Will Oliver, July 21st 2015

Full Moon Festival 2015
On August 1 Full Moon Fest will celebrate their five year anniversary, taking place at a brand new location: The Brooklyn Mirage. The Mirage will be surrounded by 20 foot high walls that are adorned with tropical flora, euphoric misters, as well as beach sand, taking inspiration from Thailand’s full moon parties set beneath the August full moon.

This year the electronic-heavy festival will sport a lineup that features Yelle, Tensnake, Wolf + Lamb, Soul Clap, Rufus du Sol, Oliver Nelson, Mothxr, Pillow Talk, JDH + Dave P, Nick Monaco and more.

Tickets are still available for the festival, but you have until the day of the festival to pick up the tickets for the second release price of $70. The next tier will move up to $80.

Below you can find the “Waxing Moon Mix” that PillowTalk made for the festival and find Leah’s coverage of last year’s edition of the festival here. I’ve also included some streams of songs from the artists playing at the fest.

Preview: 4Knots Music Festival 2015

By Will Oliver, July 7th 2015

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4Knots Music Festival has always been a highlight of any NYC summer since as long as I can remember. No matter the change in name (formerly Siren Music Festival) or venue (from Coney Island to South Street Seaport), the festival always finds a way to stick out in the always crowded live music center that is New York City.

This year marks the festivals first On this Saturday, July 11, 4Knots returns for its fifth year, but it will be its first year at Hudson River Park. This year, the lineup dives heavily into thrashing garage rock (Twin Peaks, Screaming Females, Meatbodies), chill rockers (Mikal Cronin, Happyness), rising rockers (Heaters, Heaven, Surfbort) and legendary rockers making their return to New York (Super Furry Animals, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks).

If anything, the super rare live appearance of Super Furry Animals should be worth the price of admission ($25 for the whole day), as if sets from Stephen Malkmus, Twin Peaks, Mikal Cronin, and Screaming Females weren’t enough motivation. Get there early to catch sets from some up-and-coming bands that you’ll be seeing more of in the immediate future.

Tickets for the festival are still on sale. Find the festival settimes posted below.

Super Furry Animals – 8:30pm
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – 6:45pm
Twin Peaks – 5:45pm
Mikal Cronin – 4:45pm
Screaming Females – 3:45pm
Happyness – 2:45pm
Meatbodies – 2:05pm
Heaters – 1:25pm
Heaven – 12:40pm
Surfbort – 12:00pm

Recap: Boston Calling Spring 2015

By Will Oliver, July 2nd 2015

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This May marked my second time at Boston Calling, solidifying it along with New York’s Governors Ball and Delaware’s Firefly as one of the premier music festivals in the East Coast. Every spring and fall fans come together in City Hall Plaza for an unforgettable weekend of music. and this May was no different.

Although Friday only featured three acts, Boston Calling proved the old saying quality over quantity still rings true, with Sharon Van Etten, Beck, and Tame Impala teaming up to provide my favorite day of the entire weekend. That’s not to say that Saturday and Sunday didn’t pack quite the punch, as sets from My Morning Jacket, Pixies, St. Vincent, Tenacious D, Run The Jewels were some of the most memorable ones that you’d find all summer.

We had a grand old time at Boston Calling this spring, and hope to return very soon in the immediate future.

Below you can find links to each individual performance recap post, along with highlights of our favorite photos of each of the artist.
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Pixies at Boston Calling 2015

By Will Oliver, June 30th 2015

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Who better to close out the Boston Calling Music Festival, than local Boston heroes, Pixies?

I last caught the Pixies at The Capitol Theatre last May, and since then, the group has been touring steadily for the past year. Newly acquired bassist Paz Lenchantin has really grown to be a nice fit for the group live, doing the best that anyone could possibly do to replace the irreplaceable Kim Deal.

The band used their headlining spot to deliver a packed 32-song set full of all the hits as well as some more obscure cuts in between. It was a larger than life reminder of what makes the Pixies one of rock’s all time greats, and to see them still going strong against all the odds, well, that’s what it’s all about.

It was a perfect sendoff to a wonderful weekend of music.
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