1_Twin Peaks_4Knots Music Festival 2015

One of the sets I was most looking forward to at 4Knots this year was from the exciting as all hell Chicago rockers Twin Peaks. It’s scary to think that these guys are really only getting started, as they’re one of my favorite up and coming rockers in the game at the moment.

Not only did Twin Peaks, who extended their lineup to a 5-piece, live up to my lofty expectations, but they somehow went beyond it. The group ripped through a set, sending all the youngsters in the front rows into a blissful shitshow. Twin Peaks made it look so easy, and so fun. The set was my favorite performance of the entire day, which is saying something considering that Stephen Malkmus and Super Furry Animals were still on deck. But when a show ends with the group going into the photo pit as they finish their last riff, it’s a pretty difficult thing to top.

Twin Peaks are currently recording their new album, which will be released soon enough via Fat Possum. They’ll return to New York soon enough for a supporting slot

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1_Mikal Cronin_4Knots Music Festival 2015

I missed Mikal Cronin’s previous performance at Bowery Ballroom this spring, making his stop in at 4Knots this summer as convenient as they come. He an his band ran through the offerings from his most recent album MCIII, released via Merge Records.

After seeing Cronin play alongside Ty Segall countless number of times, it’s always a treat to see him leading the pack. The California singer’s anthem’s sounded brisk and full of the west coast air, fitting for the California-esque heat that cast down on Pier 84 that day.

Cronin will return to New York soon for a performance at Brooklyn Bowl on September 19. Tickets are still on sale.

Find more photos from his 4Knots performance below.

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1_Screaming Females_4Knots Music Festival 2015

It’s hard to believe the last time that I saw Screaming Females was when they opened for Arctic Monkeys in 2009, during the Humbug tour, back when Arctic Monkeys could still play a place like Terminal 5 (for two night, but still). I don’t know how I went six years without seeing Screaming Females shred, but it’s a mistake I won’t make again.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey trio of Marissa Paternoster, Jarrett Dougherty, and King Mike have been relentlessly touring in support of new album Rose Mountain, which was released earlier this year via Don Giovanni Records. The group ripped into track after track of thunderous garage rock goodness, the sort of face melting stuff that just doesn’t come around anymore.

My apologies, Screaming Females. Next time you’re in New York, you’ll see me there.

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1_Happyness_4Knots Music Festival 2015

English rock trio Happyness made their live return to New York for the 4Knots Music Festival, marking my first time seeing them since their stop at Pianos during CMJ last fall. The stop came in support of their rather lovely debut album Weird Little Birthday, which got released in the U.S. this year via Bar/None Records, even though it was originally released last year in the UK.

The group were a perfect fit for a bill at 4Knots, with their dreamy, somewhat leisurely chill brand of English rock, fitting in all too well. The group seemed to get even better and more confident since CMJ, which only has me more excited for album number two. Don’t sleep on these guys, their up to plenty good.

Find some more photo from their 4Knots performance posted below.

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1_Meatbodies_4Knots Music Festival 2015

Last time I saw Meatbodies was during the final month of shows at Death By Audio last November. So seeing them play 4Knots alongisde a giant boat under the sun was a bit of a different atmoshpere, but the band still rocked just as hard, if not more so.

The group, which used to be known as Chad and The Meatbodies, has really became a full band effort, ripping through the tracks of their 2014 s/t debut album (released via In the Red) with purpose, getting the faithful crowd the rowdiest it had been up to that moment. Their set was most memorable, and one of the first great sets of the young afternoon.

Find some more photos from their 4Knots performance posted below.

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1_Heaters_4Knots Music Festival 2015

Michigan psych-trio Heaters delivered a simmering set at 4Knots Festival this year, a perfect partner in crime for the blistering summer heat that greeted us that date. The group are no strangers to the scene, but I believe that they’re about to make a real break out very soon.

They’ll release their new album Holy Water Pool on September 25 via Beyond Beyond Is Beyond. Based on dreamy as all hell single “Gum Drop,” it’s going to be a good one.

Find some more photos from their 4Knots performance below, and check out a stream of “Gum Drop.”
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1_Heaven_4Knots Music Festival 2015

Local rockers Heaven were second on the 4Knots bill this year and they delivered a dreamy set of guitar rock goodness that may be better suited for a late night set in the dark, but it still found a way to hit home. This was my first time seeing them play, but I hope to see them again sometime soon.

Find some more photos of their performance at 4Knots posted below.

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1_Surfbort_4Knots

4Knots Music Festival was kicked off with an early afternoon performance from Brooklyn rock band Surfbort. Although the crowd was just beginning to file in, the group didn’t let that hold them back in any way. Although their craziest antics came after their set, when their guitarist Matty jumped off the VIP boat into the Hudson river. Now that’s wild.

Find some more photos from their performance posted below.

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DispatchMSG_7-10-15_12

There seems to have been countless times I’ve had the opportunity to see Dispatch live but for some reason or another, I’ve missed them every time they’re in the NYC area. I’ve heard nothing but great things about their live show, and then they announced that they would be returning to Madison Square Garden, I knew I couldn’t miss it. I apprently wasn’t the only one who couldn’t, as the demand was so high they sold out the first show with opener John Butler Trio and added a second show, bringing Dr. Dog along as the opener.

As a longtime fan of Dr. Dog, I was excited that they were opening for Dispatch as its the biggest venue they’ve played to date (minus some festivals), especially since we saw them earlier this year was at the much smaller and more intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg. MSG is prestigious regardless if your headlining or opening, and playing there has got to be an amazing feeling. With that, I had absolutely no doubt that their sound will fill out the arena, but I didn’t realize how well it did. They seemed as comfortable as anybody who’s played MSG before, ripping through their 11 song set with total ease. I’m not sure drummer Eric Slick even took a break – as soon as one song ended, he began jamming out the beat to the next song creating no real break from song to song. It was impressive, and if people in the crowd didn’t know who they were before, I’m sure they know who they are now.

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Before Dispatch took the stage, the house lights dimmed and a video montage played up on the screens on the side of the stage. The video was showcasing and shining a light on the issue of hunger in the US – after all, the show was aptly titled, “Dispatch: Hunger.” One of the goals for the 2 night run is to raise more awareness about hunger in the US in that it is an important issue people might not think about. As part of the show’s info, it stated that ‘1 in 6 Americans (roughly 46.2 million) struggle to put food on their tables and 1 in 5 American children don’t have enough to eat.’ It’s a shocking stat and one that people might not think about. Part of the awareness wasn’t just the 2 night run at MSG, Dispatch also set up several other events across the US to get people involved and aware.

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1_Speedy Ortiz_Pier 84

On July 9, Pier 84’s Hudson River Rocks series presented a rock solid free show featuring Waxahatchee, Speedy Ortiz, and Weyes Blood. Only cloudy skies and the threat of rain put the evening of music at risk.

Skies held out when I got there for Speedy Ortiz, who delivered a tight set as expected, playing a 12-song set mixed between their new album Foil Deer (out via Carpark Records), as well as their 2013 debut Major Arcana. While it was a very different atmosphere from theri sold out Bowery Ballroom show from earlier in the year, Sadie Dupuis and the rest of the band had no problem captivating the crowd, not always an easy thing to do at a free show.

Unfortunately during the wait for Waxahatchee the weather took a turn for the worst, and they had to cancel the show. I have still yet to see Katie Crutchfield’s band perform live. No big deal as they’ll be back in New York soon enough, but it was still disappointing nevertheless.

Find the setlist below, along with some photos from Speedy Ortiz’s performance.

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