Sunday, October 19, 2008

Antony & the Johnsons @ Apollo Theater - Thu Oct 16, 2008

For Today I Am A Boy

It finally came the time for one of my most anticipated shows of this year. Antony & the Johnsons have been another of my favorite bands for the past few years, but during that time living here in the NYC area I hadn't been able to experience live the both fragile and powerful Antony Hegarty's voice. Of course it was amazing.

The lights went off and they pretty much stayed like that for the whole hour and fifteen minutes of the show. It was so good it felt shorter. Antony began singing a cover of Mysteries of Love, which you might remember if you watched David Lynch's Blue Velvet, and during which I had my first (of many) goose bumps of the night. Antony looked like an angel and he certainly sang like one, or probably even better.

Just in time for the release of his great new EP, Another World EP, which raises a lot my expectations for his upcoming new album, The Crying Light, Antony decided to preview his new material live. I was expecting renditions of these new beautiful songs, but they gave us only one of them, the moving EP title track. I wished he would have played more, particularly the spectacular Shake That Devil, but instead played four very new songs to appear on The Crying Light plus his now classics Cripple and the Starfish, River of Sorrow, I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy, my highlight of the night For Today I am A Boy, and a gracious cover of Beyonce's Crazy in Love.

For Today I Am A Boy was ridiculously good and hit me hard, as I am gay and came out only a year ago. One day I won't be a beautiful woman neither I want it to be, but I share the lament he had to go through, before fully empathizing with whom he wanted to be, to live peacefully with himself. I am sure Antony's voice filled the Apollo Theater like a Nina Simone must at least once have done it back in the days too, and made our eyes to water when reaching those high notes we love to hear from him. I had a cold, so I am half excused, but apparently I wasn't the only one with all the sniffing I heard around.

Although Antony's short tour only hit a couple of cities in USA and will be in London pretty soon, I hope he will be back later when his new album comes out for a for a more complete and longer set. See ya in 2009 then. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Of Montreal @ Roseland Ballroom - Oct 13, 2008

An Eluardian Instance

I went to see the best Broadway musical happening last night in the city. Of Montreal was in charge of the music, and Kevin Barnes, his brother David, his wife Nina, ninjas, and buddhas, were in charge of the theatricality. There's not much of 2008 left, so I might as well say it now: Of Montreal @ Roseland Ballroom might have been be the best spectacle I've seen this busy 2008 (and I just got home after seeing Madonna at MSG!).

So yeah, that's a real horse. And that's Kevin Barnes wearing super short shorts on a real horse. That was one of the many extravagances that happened last night and that everybody is talking about today, or at least all the teenagers (I am not one) who were in attendance, because I doubt people would forget a show like last night's just like that.

I have been excited all day listening on repeat their entire catalog (that's a lot!), particularly their new good album Skeletal Lamping, having flashes of half-human-half-animal creatures and a creamy Kevin asking for a hug. I am sure I am not the only one. Kevin Barnes and his gang played in its entirety his new baby, Skeletal Lamping, plus some great (now) oldies and an impressive cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Very appropiate... it did really smell like it.

Of Montreal's new music is very adventurous, not conventional pop, twisted in its own and these days very melodic changing even within one same song. Only after way too many times listening to their new stuff I could start identifying where really the songs end and when they don't. With that in mind, I am very fucking proud of putting together the set list in the middle of all the dancing and fisting I did. Here it is:
Id Engager
So Begins Our Alabee
Triphallus, to Punctuate!
She's A Rejector
For Our Elegant Caste
Touched Something's Hollow
An Eluardian Instance
Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
Gallery Piece
Wraith Pinned To The Mist & Other Games
Women's Studies Victims
St.Exquisite's Confessions
Ero's Entropic Tundra
Nonpareil of Favor
October Is Eternal
Wicked Wisdom
Disconnect The Dots
Our Spring Is Sweet Not Fleeting Knight Rider (Thanks P4K!)
And I've Seen a Bloody Shadow
Plastis Wafers
Death Is Not a Parallel Move
Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger
Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit
Gronlandic Edit
Wow, that was long. Last time I saw Of Montreal they played most of Hissing Fauna, and this time they did the same but with Skeletal. When you hear the album, after several spins, you realized there is no other possible ordering for its tracks, and Kevin agrees. He is playing (like he did for the Hissing Fauna tour) most of the new songs in several groups keeping the same order as they come on the album without interrupting the flow.

He has several tricks to keep our eyes on the stage and don't, let's say, start doing some texting. He sometimes uses Sunlandic Twins' instrumentals, sometimes let his two drummers (yeah, now he has two!) get creative while he dresses up as a centaur, or wears some bath clothes just to be murdered, or sometimes he just gives us one of those classic Satanic Panic in the Attic tracks we all old school fans love.

Even though I loved Id Engager (and his scream) as a set opener, making clear from the beginning a party was about to start, the show really kicked off for me after hearing one of my favorite songs off Hissing Fauna, She's A Rejector, when I couldn't stand still with my (old) friends and had to go to join the youth. Stickiness and sweatiness came right after, with Skeletal's highlight Four Elegant Caste and its infectuous chorus about doing it softcore and going both ways that everybody loves singing to, and it pretty much lasted until what I think is the real closer track on Skeletal, Mingusings. I am glad I bought a t-shirt at the beginning of the show... I really needed it afterwards.

This time, I will never forget how much I enjoyed live my current favorite Of Montreal song, An Elurdian Instance, how touching Kevin sounded solo in a piano, and of course, Kevin on a horse in a venue in Manhattan. So thanks yet one more time... I couldn't feel luckier of being an Of Montreal fan. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Dodos @ Spiegeltent - Mon Sep 29, 2008


Early in July I saw saw some of the most intense live shows I've had this year. There were too many good ones in such a short time, that I wasn't able to blog them properly. The Dodos were the act that impressed me the most. I waited for my first chance to see them after that hot Saturday afternoon at P4K Music Festival, where they blew my mind and convinced me they were not an Animal Collective ripoff, but an authentic folk/rock band rocking out one of the best albums of this year, their sophomore album called Visiter, and that day finally came a week ago. Unfortunately it wasn't as hot as before.

Not only the weather was not hot as before, but the set itself was not. It had more of their older songs which I don't think are as great as their new ones. Somehow it was good for me anyway, because I got to pay attention to something else different than Meric Long hands and his long nails, and his excellent guitar playing. The drummer, Logan Kroeber, is quite good too. To keep it short, he can pat his head and rub his belly at the same time. And he is cute.

It's amazing how much sound they can achieve basically with just an acoustic guitar (amplified, of course) and a drum set (plus a garbage aluminium can). That Animal Collective comparison that surrounds them is not for free. We've heard stuff like this before and very well done by that collective, but was it done with such great lyrics and sweetness? I don't think so. Right there, with Visiter, The Dodos made space for themselves to be noticed and they are playing it quite well. See you in December, even though it will be colder... I hope you guys warm me up again. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

The Dodos links: Stream Visiter, Official Website, MySpace, Wikipedia

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Deerhunter @ Le Poisson Rouge - Tue Sep 09, 2008


I don't have much time these days to blog the shows I attend, but I can't ignore one of my favorite bands of the past two years to come to a small venue in the city, play their most accessible songs from their breakthrough album Cryptograms and Fluorescent Grey EP, and show us why their upcoming releases, Microcastle and Weird Era Cont., are to be some of the best albums this year will see out there. Here is Deerhunter yet one more time:

Le Poisson Rouge, the new venue on Bleecker St almost arruined it for me. Even though it is a cool space and it has nice lights, last night also had too many sound problems, at least from upfront, where I was standing. Bradford's vocals were too low at the beginning of the show and the setup for the speakers and returns on stage (I guess) was not the best because I kept hearing the vibration of the drum set sometimes even more than the guitars. If I forget that... what a great show. The music selection couldn't have been better:
Calvary Scars
Never Stops
Spring Hall Convert
Dr. Glass
Hazel St.
Saved By Old Times
Fluorescent Grey
Nothing Ever Happened
Some death metal
Intro (as in Microcastle)
Strange Lights
After the first two (new and very convincing) songs, which are both on Microcastle, they played three of their most accesible songs from Cryptograms and Fluorescent Grey, with no talking in between. It was smooth. Spring Hall Convert and Dr. Glass were great, but Hazel St. was just ridiculous. All these songs are all very good and I could write an essay (not necessarily good) about each of them and what little details on each of them helped to make my night, but I need to go to sleep, so I'll just mention the new ones and  say that you need to hear live Operation and its cool changes in rhythm, Nothing Ever Happened and its great Bradford's fingertapping, the grandiosity of Microcastle's Intro, and the delicate Bradford's vocals on Agoraphobia, to feel as excited as I was for having the pleasure of being there.

Everytime I am about to buy a ticket to go to see Deerhunter I always think that I might have seen them enough times already. This time, as before, once I heard their three guitars making such an enjoyable noise in the new extended Strange Lights, Bradford's vocals and its effects in everything that's on Cryptograms, and Moses's potent drum hits, to which Microcastle owes a lot of its (future) success, I was proved wrong yet one more time. That being said, see you at Bowery on November 10th. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Deerhunter Links: MySpace, Blog, Wikipedia, YouTube, Kranky, 4AD

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Radiohead @ All Points West - Sat Aug 09, 2008


It was my first time seeing one of my very favorite bands ever. I have almost all of their albums, I've listened to them uncountably many times, got depressed and sometimes cried with some of their lyrics, and yes, been high with them too many times. Almost six months ago when it was announced that Radiohead was going to play the NYC area (finally), I didn't hesitate withdrawing more than a hundred bucks for them. The best hundred bucks I have spent this year (so far). Was it good? I can't really say. Was it the best show I have had this year? Yes it was. Of course.

I got to Liberty State Park sometime around 2pm. Radiohead was gonna play around 8:30 pm, but I needed to make sure I was close enough for my first experience with them. After more than six hours of watching one entertaingin band (Chromeo), a couple of awful bands (Metric and Kings of Leon), and another of my very favorite bands ever (Animal Collective), without eating or drinking much, everything was just perfect and gratifying when Thom Yorke and his band came on stage and hit the first notes of Reckoner, one of my friends' Radiohead favorite song.

Radiohead is special for way too many people. I was with a enthusiastic group of friends and I think every other song one of us was turning to the rest, smiling and making everybody know how much he/she loved that song, and turning back quickly to the band to miss no minute. We are concert goers tho, and we never do that all that worshiping!

I heard twenty five songs. Twenty five tunes from almost all of their albums (heavy on In Rainbows and I believe they did not play songs from Pablo Honey) with Thom Yorke alternating between standing only with his mic, with one of his many guitars, playing piano, or playing drums (!!!). Jonny Greenwood did the same but going from a box with dozens of buttons and knobs, to keyboards or guitars. This is what they played:
01. Reckoner
02. 15 Step
03. The National Anthem
04. Kid A
05. All I Need
06. Nude
07. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
08. Where I End And You Begin
09. The Gloaming
10. Faust Arp
11. No Surprises
12. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
13. The Bends
14. Bangers and Mash
15. Everything In Its Right Place
16. Exit Music (For A Film)
17. Bodysnatchers

Encore 1
18. Pyramid Song
19. Videotape
20. Airbag
21. Fake Plastic Trees
22. There There

Encore 2
23. House of Cards
24. Planet Telex
25. Idioteque
I know. Too good to be true. Actually they played a couple of my favorite songs on Friday but not on Saturday: How to Dissapear Completely and Paranoid Android. To me, Paranoid Android is the most elaborate song they have ever accomplished and I was really looking forward to see them performing it live, but it didn't happen. Rather I fall in love live with the tremendous There There and its starting drums, and my now favorite Radiohead song in concert, Idioteque.

Man, that song. What a performance of that song. Radiohead really loves Idioteque. Thom really loves it. He loses himself dancing to the crazy beats that Jonny generates, while the lights synchronize, and there's nothing more to do than to surrender. Radiohead did indeed melt my brains on a Saturday night, and I gotta thank them for that. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Radiohead Links: Official Website, Wikipedia, MySpace, Green Plastic, In Rainbows

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hercules & Love Affair @ Irving Plaza - Fri Aug 08, 2008


A couple of days before seeing Hercules & Love Affair in their come back to their city, after an extensive (and needed) European tour, I met Antony Hegarty for less than a minute at a random park in NYC, close to NYU. I didn't have time to ask, but I wondered during those two days whether he was finally going to show up at a H&LA show or not. Nomi has a powerful voice too, and quite engaging moves, but we all missed Antony way too much the first time the band played in town. Those times passed really fast... merely three months after, I don't care if Antony shows up one day or not... H&LA with Nomi and Kim are more than enough.

The night didn't start right. First, we decided we were not going to have drinks just because we don't pay nine dollars for a beer and Holy Ghost Dj set was not being very special at all. And besides, to make us suffer, the band got on stage around midnight, way later than I expected. And yeah, not even a beer on us! But man, love was in the air. You could breath it and that was what got us all drunk. Nomi, Kim, Andy and their band came out and the excitement took us over. Since the first song it was an insane party. It reminded right away of the best LCD Soundsystem show I have ever had, and this felt close. Really close. I couldn't stop dancing, fisting, sweating, with my friends and with my enemies, song after song.

What a difference with the first time I saw them. Kim is dancing more, smiling more, and not trying to sing Antony's impossible parts on Raise Me Up. Nomi is looking even hotter than always, and changing her clothes not twice but thrice during the whole set! And Andy, well, he is finally realizing that his DJ experience could be exercised with the wonderful modern disco he made on his debut album. He was in charge of pretty much blending the songs together, live, one after the other one, and it couldn't have worked better. He is good.

I have no idea what they played, but probably the set list was pretty similar to what they played at the defunct Studio B. And I don't even care. It felt like just one song... like a very exciting and addicting long song, one that shouldn't have ended, like never. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Curtains On does P4K Music Festival 2008, Day 3 - Sun Jul 20, 2008


Day 2 was fun, but it was Sunday the day that had me excited the most every time I looked at the list of bands that were going to perform. With a good live show I decide whether a band deserves my time and money or some kind of ignorance, and yesterday, for at least three of them, I became a new full fan.

The day started with some guys I have been pretty reluctant to get into, Dirty Projectors:

I didn't plan on seeing them again, and precisely not this time that they were going to play at the same time as one my new finds this year, the bubbly High Places, but fortunately, by the time I got to Union Park, High Places was delayed at stage B, and the Projectors were sounding interesting enough one more time, so I listened to some four songs. Wicked guitars, two girls singing in a particular unique (high) way, and a really good new song post Rise Above set a decent start for the day. The first band I wanted to see the most was next, High Places:

Expectations are not always good. I had been rocking High Places's single compilation 03/07 - 09/07 so much home, and especially on my headphones, that it got my hopes way too high for a mind blowing live show. Fuck, they were just good. Why weren't you amazing? High Places sometimes were amazing, with old and new songs, but sometimes just alright. Something was missing. Boris was playing one of the main stages at the same time and their loud sound was not helping at all. Maybe was it just experience? I want to think that's what it is, so see you next time. I really want to have a better show from you... like the one I got from HEALTH:

The second band I wanted to check out their live show the most was HEALTH, and they did deliver. Their self-titled debut album is so energetic that it was easy to guess their live show was going to be one of the best ones of the day. HEALTH are four guys making a lot of noise in a very simple way: Two guys on guitars and distortion, one very shaky Asian guy on the microphone and several percussion instruments, and one drummer. That's all it took for the best show of the day by 4:00 pm.

It was time for a lunch break and Apples in Stereo were next, the perfect band to pay no attention at all. After eating, I went back to stage B, were King Khan and the Shrines were rushing to start hoping to catch up with the schedule. Everything was good, except King Khan:

This was my second time seeing this hilarious man. He was hilarious again, but the problem was that I could have sang better than he did. I knew the night before he was going to play at a local bar around the corner were the festival was going on, but I didn't know he was going to lose his voice there. I bet it was rad and I'm half jealous, because that's the King Khan I would have loved to hear, not only to see.

El Guincho is one of my new favorite artists this year, and it is all thanks to his great debut album Alegranza!. Unfortunately he canceled not only his appearance at Pitchfork but all of his American tour opening for Atlas Sound. But not all it consequences were bad. Thanks to this there was an slight change in the festival's schedule and now I had no conflict to see a band I liked their debut album, but wasn't completely sold for them: The Dodos. They were good. In fact, they made me forget for a while how great HEALTH had been and became my favorite act of the day:

So, what was it? the sun? the time of the day they were playing? the killer and simple combination of their guitars and drums? or was it the trash can and the trumpet that made it so special? Of course it was all of it. Their blending of songs was very effective too. I am listening to Visiter, their debut album right now, and I am not getting the same level of energy they gave me at 6pm in the afternoon of a very hot day, which in this case is good. I am going to see them again next time they come around the city, because I want to feel that excited again.

Time to relax, and what better than M. Ward's country/folk? I have been a fan since Post-War and have no plans of changing that, particularly after this show...

What made this M. Ward special for me was that it was the first time I was seeing him with a full band. I had seen him solo before, and it was beautiful, but this show was not only beautiful... it didn't have the intimacy you feel when listening to nothing but M. Ward's rough voice and his acoustic guitar, but it had that ingredient one usually miss from that kind of shows, the rocking. Fortunately M. Ward played only solo material and didn't invite the girl he has been hanging out with... that wouldn't have been cool for me, because I made all my friends to miss Ghostface Killah and Raekwon for some serious goodness.

The heat and sun caught me up. I had to lie down before going to see Bon Iver and sort of fall sleep on the grass in the back of the park. Beautiful spacial music woke me up after a short while. The band I had decided to miss in favor of Bon Iver has already started on the main stage and it was making me feel I had made a wrong decision earlier. Spiritualized rocked my way to the stage B and even kept rocking it out while I was there. They were loud, and unbelievably so, they were even louder than Boris. Don't get me wrong, I like Bon Iver's music, but half the way into his show I knew I wanted to be half a mile from there.

The last show I saw was Spoon. Man, what is wrong with that band? I keep enjoying their albums, but I just cannot get into any of their shows. I made it through a whole one once and had to go another show right after to be sure nothing was wrong with me. This time I didn't even hear half of it. Maybe I missed the good half? I heard Bradford Cox came out to play with them after I left. That would have been interesting, at least for me, but such a combination it makes me only wonder whether Cox was joking with them or not.

P4K Music Festival 2008 was a success. Great music for three days, great city to hang out around, and cool people to meet, all for $65 plus cheap hostel (and great friends who let me stay at their place) plus airplane tickets? See you next year! [more photos]

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Curtains On does P4K Music Festival 2008, Day 2 - Sat Jul 19, 2008

The Usual Suspects

Day 1 was ok, but the real fun for me started on Day 2. My initial idea for this festival was to check out as many bands I hadn't seen live before, but soon I realize that I have seen most of the bands that are playing this festival, so I ended up seeing the usual (good) suspects. I am not complaining at all... some of these bands are some of my favorite bands these days and I don't mind seeing them over and over again. But the day started with a newbie to my ears: Jay Reatard,

The hype is deserved. Jay Reatard is great punk/rock. Not my thing tho, but the guy rocks hard. He barely stopped to tune his guitar in between songs, and all his interaction with us, besides giving us a middle finger when he was done, was to tell us really fast and shouting the name of the next song he was about to play. No time for breathing.

Caribou, aka the best drums around, were next,

Seriously. You want to see the best drums live? Go to see these guys right now. This was my third time with them and I don't mind getting together with them again. After some ten minutes of technical problems with a keyboard, Dan Snaith took us into his very alive pop/rock showing off his talents: on drums, guitar, flute and keyboard (plus being a Mathematician!)... what else do you want?

Have you heard of this very hyped new band Fleet Foxes? If you read Pitchfork, of course you have. This is what they look like:

A very positive (and overrated I think) review on Pitchfork of their debut album must have been the reason for a big crowd to be checking out a band at an early 3pm. Unfortunately that time slot was not the right one for them. Fleet Foxes have pretty nice tunes, and really pretty, but that was not the kind of music I wanted to hear outdoors, sweating and under the sun. I thought FF sounded like somewhere between My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses, but after yesterday I am gonna have to add one more band to the mix: Grizzly Bear. As of now, I love all those three bands, and instead of being a good thing to hear them so much in Fleet Foxes music, it actually annoys me. Maybe we can have a good time another day, foxes.

Well, time for lunch and then back to the party... I was blown away by Dizzee Rascal:

I have the good Boy in da Corner, but I need to get his new album in one of the many tents the festival has selling CDs and vinyls asap. Yesterday's awesomeness taught me the new material has a lot of fun in it and that I should not miss him next time he comes to play a small venue around NYC. I had missed Dizzee Rascal's live shows in the city way too many times that it was fair I finally gave him a chance. It actually worked the other way around... He finally gave me the chance of seeing him live and I still can't thank him enough. I know what to play in my next party in my apartment.

Next, I overheard Vampire Weekend's set from very very far, and then heard the goodness of !!! off Myth Takes plus some new boring songs they were trying on us:

After deciding that !!! not only recently lost one key member but the soulness he brought along to the band, I went to see one of my favorite artists, Bradford Cox with his solo project: Atlas Sound,

Last time I saw Atlas Sound, Bradford was on stage with four more people, giving a full body to the music on his debut album as a solo project, Let the Blind Lead (...), and making its songs sound way less ambient. I told the friends I was with that what they were going to hear was good but nothing like what they had heard on record already, and I ended up being wrong. Bradford got on stage solo, and only with his mic and some electronic stuff sounded very much like his album does. As Atlas Sound, Bradford played several songs I hadn't heard before that he might have posted on his blog recently, plus some three key tracks from Let the Blid Lead (...). He made us wish we must had been on something...

... and if we had, it would have been perfect because Animal Collective's subliminal live experience was next:

I don't think I need to say anything else about this band... having called them one of my very favorite and very representative bands of this decade should be more than enough to give you an idea. Ok, maybe I should say that they are still playing Panda Bear's Comfty in Nautica and insist one more time that their new songs are seriously out of this planet. [more photos]

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Curtains On does P4K Music Festival 2008, Day 1 - Fri Jul 18, 2008

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

I started listening to music in an intense way only some four years ago and what I have been doing since is to try to keep up with new music. Even only that gets very hard sometimes, especially when you are not in the music business, so you can easily guess I am not fully aware of all influential albums that that old bands have offered along their careers in music history. Day 1 at Pitchfork Music Festival 2008 consisted of three bands playing three influential albums, three albums that after time has passed they have supposedly proved to be an influence for new music these days and deserve to be remembered. Vs., by Mission of Burma, is one of those albums and the one in charge of opening the first of three days for the festival:

I love Yo La Tengo, and as a good fan, I had to get to know a little bit of Mission of Burma. I am not a big fan of MoB tho, but I can definitely appreciate their stuff. I am not surprised at how old time fans, and curious people like me or with a better taste in music, are coming out again to their shows. It's not only hype... the band is indeed sounding very tight. They reunited last year and put out a great album, The Obliteratti, and since then they have continued kicking ass. I heard for the third time in my life their (supposedly) influential album Vs. and even though I don't feel the amazingness of it yet, I can definitely say that it's growing on me. Sebadoh was next:

I even know less about this band and their album Bubble and Scrape. They told us they grew up listening to Mission of Burma and rightly so their music was very much in that vein, but unfortunately they were clearly less warmed up. At the beginning that was a let down, but it turned out to be cool at the end because they were very relaxed (perhaps way too much) and telling us jokes or having interludes singing cheesy songs. Like with Mission of Burma, guitars were really good here too, but I am not gonna lie to you... last night was all about Public Enemy:

Last week I was at a club in the city dancing to hip-hop and suddenly the DJ played a funny song that I hadn't heard before with so many lines and beats that I knew that I got confused. Everybody danced and sang the song. I was even more confused. I went to his booth and asked what that track was and he looked at me even more confused because I was supposed to know. That was the first full Public Enemy track I ever heard. I realized how many people in hip-hop to anything alike, from Jay-Z and Kanye to M.I.A., today recycle, sample and or transform Public Enemy's lines and beats. Dudes are seriously influential man, and with their set playing fully It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, that was absolutely proved.

Did I have a good time? Hell yes, and I had no hopes at all of having it from the first day. Now, day 2 and day 3 are gonna be seriously amazing (to me). [more photos]

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Evangelicals @ Cakeshop - Tue Jun 18, 2008

Straaaange things keeep haaapenning...

In fact I was blown away twice last night. After seeing Sigur Rós at MoMA, I went to Cakeshop to see Evangelicals headlining a show. The place was half empty, but Josh Jones and his band rocked it hard nonetheless. Man, what a show! what a sound! what a new album! Evangelicals became since last night my favorite new band (for me) this year.

Josh took his scarf off, put it around his microphone, and asked us if we ever have had thoughts about committing suicide. No one replied. He then smiled for a second, and ferociously started the show with Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out). I bought the first Evangelicals album last night, So Gone, and that song is on it. I hadn't heard it before, but as I listen right now, I can tell you these guys were on another level last night. Another Day sounded gigantic, much more alive than on record where it sounds maybe under too many dreamy layers. Here it embraced us all with two men driving the song with their guitars and pedals, one guy on bass, and a fourth guy hidden in the back of the stage taking good care of the drums. I hadn't started listening to the stuff I know and love from The Evening Descends, their new sophomore album, but I was finding myself with my mouth half opened several timess during the first song already.

Seriously, I am loving The Evening Descends by a lot. Out of the seven songs they played in total, five were from the new record, which made me pretty happy. One after the other one, I couldn't keep my smile at how fucking fresh these guys were sounding. They were sounding differently from the album too, but keeping the essence of their phantasmagoric songs. Yeah, phantasmagoric... listen to Bellawood and tell me you don't feel like in Castlevania. Midnight Vignette sounds like coming out from the same video game. It is probably my favorite song on the new album right next to Skeleton Man. They both sounded particularly different yet amazing. It was like listening to new songs you feel from the first notes they were going to amaze you because they somehow already did. Here it is the set list just because I am running out of words to keep describing how ridiculously good each of the songs I heard last night were:

Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)
Midnight Vignette
Party Crashin'
Paperback Suicide
Skeleton Man
What An Actress Does Best

No encore, but no lack of samples, keyboards, good guitars, smokey green atmosphere, and yeah, I almost forgot, the presence of a perfect front man.

His name is Josh Jones and he will one day be a big star. I think I fall in love. Anyone would have tho. He plays the guitar exceptionally well (I mean listen to Paperback Suicide), he smiles and has charisma without being a comedian, and when I congratulated him for the show, because they rocked, he asked for my name. That makes him the coolest. But no, seriously, the man has an unhinged voice he knows how to use with enough reverb, that couldn't be more appropiate for the sound they are pulling off. If you were there you would have felt like in a scary storytelling movie, if that makes sense. Probably not.

You better go to see them this Thursday (June 19) at Music Hall of Williamsburg before they blow up, because I heard they are gonna open for Connor Oberst (I know, that's pretty weird) soon. [photos of the show]


Were you at the show? How did you like it?

Evangelicals Links: MySpace, Wikipedia, at Dead Oceans, at Festival City Radio