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It may be hard to believe, but beloved shoe brand Vans turned 50 this year and celebrated in the best way possible – by throwing parities all over the world at their House Of Vans locations. These parties celebrated everything vans represents: skateboarding, art and of course, music. The event Vans threw on March 16th was a special one as not only was it their first on the celebration tour, but it was also the exact date Vans started as a company which truly made this the 50th anniversary party for the brand. To celebrate at the Brooklyn HOV event, Vans brought along Brooklyn’s own Yeasayer and ended the night with a set from the one and only NAS.

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We’ve been to plenty of events at HOV before, but this one was something truly special. Walking up to the venue you already knew that this night was going to be something special. The facade was decked out with the 50th anniversary logo as well as projections of videos from Vans team riders. Walking into the entrance was like walking into a time capsule – on display were shoes and memorabilia of the brand throughout the years really truly showcasing how far they’ve come from.

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1_Bloc Party_Irving Plaza

Ten years ago, it was impossible to imagine getting to see Bloc Party play a smaller place like Irving Plaza. But a lot has changed since the release of their classic debut Silent Alarm, including half of the original lineups departure (Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are the only original members remaining, with Justin Harris and Louise Bartle replacing Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong), and a rather disappointing new album this year with Hymns (released via Vagrant Records).

Although I’m not a fan of their new output, there’s still plenty of reason to see Bloc Party live, when you still get to hear great performances of tracks like “Banquet,” “Positive Tension,” and “Helicopter” that sound just as urgent and passionate as ever before. While the set sadly missed “Like Eating Glass,” we did get to hear a well received cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” which opened the encore well.

Find the setlist posted below, along with some photos from their performance.

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1_Beach House_Webster Hall

On March 14 Beach House kicked off their sold out three-night run at Webster Hall, in support of Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars, the two albums they released in 2015 (both via Sub Pop).

The set featured a good mix of songs form both albums, plus a fair share of fan favorites, both old and new. Find the setlist posted below, along with photos of Beach House’s set and Moss Of Aura, the electronic solo project of Future Islands’ bassist Gerrit Welmers oepned the show.

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1_Shearwater_The Bell House

With their rather under-appreciated new album Jet Plane and Oxbow released via Sub Pop earlier this year, Shearwater returned to New York for a sold out performance at Brooklyn venue The Bell House.

The performance included some of their covers from David Bowie’s Lodger, which they’d cover in its entirety a few days later for free at Rough Trade NYC.

Find a few shots from their stop at The Bell House posted below.

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1_New Order_Radio City Music Hall

On March 10 British new-wave legends New Order descended upon New York for a sold out performance at Radio City Music Hall. The show kicked off their small run of dates in March and their first stop back here since the release of their solid new album Music Complete (which was released via Mute Records last year).

The set featured half of the new album as well as all the expected New Order favorites such as “Bizarre Love Triange,” The Perfect Kiss,” and “Ceremony.” They else gave us a few Joy Division tracks in the encore (“Atmosphere” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”), but unfortunately it was between “Love” and “Blue Monday,” as their set was inexplicedly cut short (one of the pitfalls of playing at these theaters).

All in all, Bernard Sumner and the rest of New Order still have plenty of gas left in the tank, and proved it at this more than memorable Radio City show.

Find some photos from their performance posted below.
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1_Hinds_Bowery Ballroom

All photos by Daniel Topete

Not too many new bands have had the instant success that Spanish natives Hinds have had since last year. It only intensified this year with the release of their easy-breezy debut album Leave Me Alone, which was released in January via Mom + Pop Music.

They continued their non-stop touring with a sold out headlining performance at Bowery Ballroom on March 9. Our pal Daniel Topete was there to hang out and capture some great behind the scenes footage both before and after the show, as well as some pics of them stage-side as they were performing. Find all his great shots posted below.

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1_Local Natives_Rough Trade NYC

It’s been amazing to watch the rise of Silver Lake, California band Local Natives throughout the year. It’s hard to remember a time where they were pitching songs themselves to blogs like this one right here, but that hard work has paid off, and their popularity has grown tenfold since the release of their debut album Gorilla Manor.

It’s been three years since we last heard from Local Natives with 2013’s Hummingbird, but they’ve thankfully returned to us in full force. They have been slowly sharing new songs from their new album Sunlit Youth (out on September 9 via Loma Vista Recordings), and playing last minute pop up shows in various cities, starting in Los Angeles, and spreading to the East Coast. It was New York’s turn on Wednesday, when the group returned to us for a very sold out intimate show at Rough Trade NYC in Brooklyn.

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1_The Snails_Baby's All Right

Even if you know Baltimore, Maryland group The Snails, there’s a chance you know a few of the members. Led by Sam Herring and William Cashion of Future Islands, the Snails acts as a fun side-project for them that Future Islands fans will have no problem adoring in similar fashion. They released their debut album Songs From the Shoebox earlier this year via Ideas For Housecrafts, and came to New York on March 9 for a headlining performance at Baby’s All Night (they’d play Mercury Lounge the following evening).

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1_LNZNDRF_The Greene Space at WNYC

LNZNDRF is the collaboration between Scott and Bryan Devendorf of The National, as well as Ben Lanz of Beirut, who also plays live with both The National and Sufjan Stevens (the live lineup also includes Aaron Arntz of Beirut). Earlier in the year the group released their self-titled debut album on 4AD, full of improvised Kraut-inspired psych-rock with elements of new wave as well.

On March 7 the group stopped in to The Greene Space for a free show for WNYC’s Soundcheck live series, delivering a powerful set that featured even more fully realized versions of their songs. The night featured a intermission which featured a short but fascinating interview with the band giving some insight into their formation, and the recording of the album.

The entire show was recorded with the live video posted on The Greene Space’s site here. I’ve also embedded the stream below, where you can also find a photo gallery of some of my pictures taken from the show.

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