Wednesday, November 23, 2011

m83 played Webster Hall



After dropping by Jimmy Fallon to unload an exhilarating performance of "Midnight City", m83 stormed Webster Hall for the first of two NYC area shows. Comprised mostly of gems from the recent Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, Anthony Gonzalez and company launched through a palpitating set complete with dizzying lights and waves of sound that drenched the crowd. Morgan Kibby provided stunning vocals that matched Anthony's intensity and sent the crowd into pure bliss as layers of sonic textures pummeled over washed out dreamy harmonies. A spectacular rendition of "Teen Angst" came shortly after the expected "Intro" to kick start the evening, and other favorites such as "Kim & Jessie" and "We Own the Sky" sent tingles down spines. Just as the band seemed to be firing on all cylinders, an out of this world saxophone solo rocked through song of the year contender "Midnight City", which sent the audience into an absolute euphoric state. Aural landscapes are part of what makes m83's music so mind blowing, however seeing these monstrous tunes performed live it truly out of this world. Shortly following the fantastic "A Guitar and a Heart", the band returned for a brief encore that rocketed the crowd into the outer cosmos shattering any expectations and solidifying a triumphant moment in the band's career.

Setlist:

01 Intro
02 Teen Angst
03 Kim & Jessie
04 Reunion
05 Year One, One UFO
06 We Own the Sky
07 Steve McQueen
08 Wait
09 This Bright Flash
10 Claudia Lewis
11 Midnight City
12 A Guitar and a Heart
--
13 Skin of the Night
14 Couleurs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fucked Up and Titus Andronicus played Warsaw


Less than twenty-four hours after the eviction of Zuccotti Park, rising punk acts Fucked Up and Titus Andronicus stormed Warsaw in Greenpoint, bringing their triple guitar fury to the people of Brooklyn. Before launching into the opening of their excellent debut, Patrick Stickles had a few words for last nights events and set a theme for the evening full of angst, power, and hope. The (almost) beardless leader of the New Jersey powerhouse preached his thoughts to an audience full of eager listeners who seemed to share similar sentiment regarding the recent incidents in Manhattan, as songs from the band's third album were explained before exploding live onstage. While the new tunes certainly were intriguing and leave much promise for what the band does next, cuts from The Monitor really struck with the heart of the crowd as the passion overpowered Sickles and at times even replaced his vocals. While the band's politically charged anthems seemed more than appropriate for the evening, the night truly belonged to Fucked Up. Despite recent rumors of the band's end, Pink Eye took to the stage with his child on his shoulders before ripping through the recent opus David Comes to Life in its entirety. The energy comprised by this band is nearly unmatched by most other acts today. Aggressive vocals, lightning drumming, and shredding guitar blasts make up the concept masterpiece that unfolded live before the crowd tonight and just like sitting down to listen to this record (although I doubt many people remain sitting while this thing plays), the idea can be daunting. However, Fucked Up play with such precision and comradory that the monumental album seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Aside from telling the audience to "give a thumbs up to anyone partaking in the protests", the onstage banter was kept to a minimal, allowing the brilliance of the band to shine through and through.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Jay-Z + Kanye West played the Izod Center


The reigning titans of Hip Hop are in the midst of their first joint tour in support of their recent classic Watch the Throne and dropped by the Meadowlands Saturday night for the first of four NYC-area shows. With no opening act, the lights went down at 9:00 before the two stars rose on two towering platforms on opposite ends of the arena and launched into "H.A.M.", the first taste from the Watch the Throne project. For this effort, the duo are keeping things minimal. The backing band is shrouded in darkness, Mr. West and Jay stick to their all black everything attire, and simple spotlights shown over minimal beams of light keeping all the attention on the hosts of the evening. For over two hours the two traded classics after classics in a non-stop attack of the biggest hip hop songs from the past decade. Such a presence and command over an audience was delivered in a way in which only these fellas are capable. Towards the middle of the evening, the champs broke things down and took a rest in the middle of the stage and swapped stories from the past while Hova weaved in a stellar "Hard Knock Life" into "Izzo". The two stuck to the classics, delivering what will soon be known as a legendary show as the audience seemed to only be more enthralled after each song. While Kanye kept thing fresh with recent favorites "Power", "Monster", and an ever impressive "Runaway", Jigga went old school with "Big Pimpin", "Nigga What, Nigga Who" and the epic stadium shaking "99 Problems". It was an evening of two friends trading tricks and showing off their skill with nothing but ease; this is them in the most simple of settings and natural talent running wild. The ultimate example of "less is more", these men are kings of the game, but on stage they keep it to best friends.

Setlist:
01 H.A.M.
02 Who Gon Stop Me
03 Otis
04 Welcome To The Jungle
05 Gotta Have It
06 Where I'm From
07 Nigga What, Nigga Who
08 Can't Tell Me Nothing
09 Jesus Walks
10 Diamonds From Sierra Leone
11 Public Service Announcement
12 U Don't Know
13 Run This Town
14 Monster
15 Power
16 Murder To Excellence
17 New Day
18 Hard Knock Life
19 Izzo
20 Good Life
21 Empire State of Mind
22 Runaway
23 Heartless
24 Stronger
25 On To The Next One
26 Dirt off Your Shoulder
27 Touch The Sky
28 All of the Lights
29 Big Pimpin'
30 Gold Digger
31 99 Problems
32 No Church in The Wild
33 Lift Off
34 Niggas In Paris
--
35 Encore
36 Made In America
37 Why I Love You

[photo via The New York Times]

Friday, November 04, 2011

Real Estate - "It's Real"



Real Estate's new album, Days, is officially out and much like recent releases from Crystal Castles and Titus Andronicus, makes their first album almost obsolete. The warm and breezy guitars outshines their debut record in almost every way and fully captures their effortlessly cool mindset. Check out the video for "It's Real" above [via Pitchfork].