Music Festival

Placebo at Escape Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 21st 2014

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It seemed like every girl I knew in high school had a obsession with Placebo. I never got into them quite as obsessively as they did, but I eventually found myself growing into a casual fan of the British group.

During their set at the Escape Music Festival last weekend, frontman Brian Molko mentioned the beginnings of the band, which go all the way back to 1994. I realized then and there that it was a special treat to finally see these guys live, especially as close as I was at The Governors Beach Club. They had the crowd fired up and dancing away to their set, which delighted with tracks both old and new, including fan favorites such as “Song to Say Goodbye,” “Infra-Red,” and of course, their cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”

Placebo Setlist:

1. B3
2. For What It’s Worth
3. Loud Like Love
4. Every You Every Me
5. Scene of the Crime
6. A Million Little Pieces
7. Too Many Friends
8. Rob the Bank
9. One of a Kind
10. Exit Wounds
11. Meds
12. Song to Say Goodbye
13. Special K
14. The Bitter End

Encore:

15. Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush Cover)
16, Post Blue
17. Infra-red

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Yeasayer at Escape Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 20th 2014

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Yeasayer made their live return last week at the Escape Music Festival, taking a break from the recording of their new album (#4) which we can only hope is coming out sooner than later in 2015.

It’s hard for me to admit that this was my first time seeing Yeasayer perform live, due to conflicts at school and many unfortunate circumstances. But I finally got to see the Brooklyn band, and they were every bit as magical as I expected, and then some.
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Cat Power at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 16th 2014

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It was Cat Power who was lined up to close out the first ever Modern Sky Festival, but it ended up being the festival that closed her out. After only four songs, Chan Marshall and her band were told by the stage crew that they had to end the show, a shocking move that sent all the fans who spent their hard earned money (and time waiting) home utterly disappointed, confused and ultimately angry.

Thankfully she opened with “The Greatest,” which I at least got to hear. It was a very short teaser, but Marshall and her band sounded awesome from what I heard. With Marshall’s history, there’s always that worry that she may cut a show short, but it ended up being the festival who put an untimely end to the show of their headliner.

Cut short the main headliner of your new fest. That makes sense. Alrighty then…

Here’s a photo gallery of her short set.
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Stars at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 15th 2014

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Yesterday Montreal’s longstanding group Stars returned with their new album No One Is Lost which was released via ATO Records.

They stopped by Central Park for the Modern Sky Festival twp weekends ago to perform some new cuts from the album (such as the delightful “From The Night”) as well as old favorites (such as “Elevator Love Letter”). It was my first time seeing them live, and I gotta say, they had me impressed.

Duel vocalists Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell have a great chemistry together, feeding off each other and sharing their enthusiasm to the receptive crowd that was on hand. The rest of the band delivered a tight set behind them, taking us from the sunset to the cool night in style.

Find the setlist posted below, along with a photo gallery of their set.
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The Both at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 15th 2014

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Combine the talents of Aimee Mann and Ted Leo and you have the wonderful duo known as The Both. They were a perfect transition from the Chinese bands that played during the first half of day, into the somewhat low-key 2nd half that also featured sets from Stars and Cat Power.

Ted Leo bravely introduced the band in Chinese (which he wrote down) which humored the large Chinese audience that stuck around. This was an encouraging start to what was a totally delightful set that was mellow enough to nurse my hangover until I finally recovered. The highlight came during “Hummingbird” a wonderful track of their self-titled album which they released earlier in the year. If it wasn’t on your radar, here’s an endorsement to go out and find it.

Find a photo gallery from their performance posted below.
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Second Hand Rose at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 15th 2014

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Chinese rock act Second Hand Rose were the surprise of the Modern Sky Festival, and easily my favorite Chinese act to grace the festival’s stage by far. They were totally bombastic and theatrical, with bright vibrant outfits that translated well with their enthusiastic performance.

Their sound mixed Chinese music with modern rock, a bridge that was showcased with their fun cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” done completely in Chinese. These guys were having a shit ton of fun on stage, and this energy was shared within the crowd.

I wouldn’t hesitate to see these guys live again, they were fantastic.

Find a gallery of photos from their performance posted below.
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Shuh Tou at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 15th 2014

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Rock group Shuh Tou are a quintet out of China who brought the rock to their midday set at Modern Sky two weekends ago. They added a few metal-influenced punches that were a nice surprise, considering the lighter tone that the rest of the day’s lineup would bring.

Find some photos from their performance below.
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The Blood Brothers at Modern Sky Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, October 10th 2014

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When The Blood Brothers broke up in 2007, I never thought I would get a chance to see them live. It just didn’t seem plausible. So to be sitting here and writing about a 2014 Blood Brothers reunion tour is something else completely.

Last Saturday night the Seattle-based group returned to play New York City for the first time in seven years, as a part of the inaugural Modern Sky Festival. This show was the third of their reunion tour, with the first show coming at Seattle (makes sense) and then at the FYF Fest.

Their sound was a sharp contrast to the group of Chinese bands that played before them. While many Chinese fans departed after the last set (some stayed), many of The Blood Brothers understandably excited fans had pushed their way to the front to show their affection and sing (or scream) along. The group played enthusiastic and fired up version of fan favorites such as “Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck,” “Trash Flavored Trash,” and “Set Fire to the Face on Fire.” The duel vocalist team of Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie worked off each other well, maintaining a sense of chemistry, as if they never had left us.

I don’t know if this reunion tour will lead to anything else, but based on how great they sounded, we can only hope that there’s much more to come, because there’s clearly plenty of spark left.

Find a photo gallery of the performance posted below.
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