Tag: show review
Despite being a college student, I’m pretty much an old man. I watch my Jeopardy every night and I’m usually nodding off during The Daily Show, but every now and then I’m compelled to drag my lazy ass out of the house on the weekdays. Thursday was one of those fated days, with a handful of incredible acts playing in downtown Raleigh including a stellar lineup for GZA’s Liquid Swords tour, I chose the local route with DiggUp Tapes standouts The Lollipops and Jenny Besetzt. While the initial showing was a bit lackluster, as the night went on the crowd got gradually larger and more raucous. While Jenny Besetzt had a handful of swaying head-nodders, by the end of the night The Lollipops were leading Kings in a full on PBR-fueled dance party.
The night began with one of the most heavily lauded local bands of the year, Jenny Besetzt. The band just made their way back to North Carolina for their tour after playing a bit further up north and what a homecoming it was. The band recently added Justin Flythe (formerly of Lonnie Walker) as their new keyboard player, and while their regular drummer wasn’t playing on Thursday the band still proved to be incredibly tight and harmonious. Blasting through favorites from their debut full length, Only, these songs shine in a new light during live performances. The band packs a bit heavier of a punch with live performances, guitar lines feel less ethereal and more jaunting, but the vocals still perfectly counteract that added grit with raw intensity while maintaining it’s dreamlike aspects. Jenny Besetzt continues to impress me with each show I see, they’ve made the leap that many can’t by transitioning their shoegaze-y sound into a driving and powerful live act that not only grasps your attention but leaves you speechless, thirsting for more.
After Jenny Besetzt was Companion, a stellar Brooklyn band that played with Jenny Besetzt in New York and made their way down the coast for their first official tour. The band is relatively new but displayed a fantastic sense of self with entrancing three part vocal harmonies that counteracted their driving rhythms perfectly. Fueled by a tasteful mixture of electronic beats and physical drums, the addition of an electronic percussion sound added an entirely new layer to this already dense and lush arrangement. I must say I was thoroughly surprised by this band, and I think they were equally surprised by the Thursday night outing, as the band’s lead vocalist Pepi Ginsberg brought out a camera of her own to take a big family picture of the crowd. This was the perfect band to transition from the depth and wonder of Jenny Besetzt to the simplistic yet equally invigorating bedroom pop sounds of The Lollipops.
As the band was taking the stage, brainchild Iggy Cosky was frantically writing out a setlist, an image that perfectly encapsulates the essence of The Lollipops. Everything flows together wonderfully yet still feels spastic and urgent. Painfully infectious pop melodies perfectly counteract the gritty lo-fi bedroom recordings and transition into one hell of a live show, Cosky leads the band with a commanding presence, Iggy seems genuinely excited to be on stage and that excitement permeated throughout the once spread out crowd of Kings. The crowd condensed into one tightly packed dance party that was bursting with energy, bouncing along to favorites like “I Love You” and “Wolves”. During the show Iggy announced a soon to be released album, making for their “third release in 8 months”. To put it simple these guys go hard in the paint. This lineup was excellent from top to bottom, and ending with the brilliant pop sounds of The Lollipops was the best way to go out. An incredible way to spend a Thursday night!
This was my first time seeing El Ten Eleven. The LA-based post rock (even though they hate being categorized) duo recently released its fifth full-length album Transitions, a fast-paced hypnotically layered ten-track.
Kristian Dunn plays a Wal fretless bass and a guitar/bass doubleneck, using multiple loop and effects pedals to create full sounds. Tim Fogarty has his drum kit fed into some of the pedals, giving Kristian the ability to control loops on that as well. By the way — this is all done live. No samples, no pre-recorded loops. They made it a point to make sure the audience knew this. Without dropping names, they were able to subtly bash artist who essentially just hit the play button on their Mac.
As a matter of fact, when a mic went out on stage they decided to do an improv song. Kristian asked the audience for a key to play in, and major or minor. This led into an album-worthy rendition he dubbed “Raleigh in F minor.” This equated to the best stage banter I’ve heard, and compensated for when he tried to say something generic like “so how about that local sports team?” to the audience. Usually this wouldn’t have stricken a nerve, but he got booed for that comment. Apparently only NC State fans were at the show. (Our football team unfortunately lost to UNC for the first time in six years, and it was also their first in-state win of the season.) I forgive you, Kristian.
I couldn’t stop smiling or dancing the entire show. Seeing how the songs came together was incredible and added a lot to the experience of listening to them, live or at home. The projection panels behind them intensified the beats. Plus, being surrounded by zombies, mimes and a Bob Ross was great.
A little after 1:00AM, Kristian announced that they would be playing their final song — they’re “real” final song. He called other artists out for “faking” the encore, the say goodbye but let’s still leave our instruments on stage and walk back out after we let the audience tell us how much they love us for approximately 75 seconds. From the opener “Thanks Bill” (my favorite) to the last note of the last song, the band was on point and engaging. I’m looking forward to catching them again sometime.
It is a common belief that the more people you have on stage, the better the performance will be. Dash’s performance at Kings on Friday was probably a testament to that statement, in that upwards of a dozen performers were playing at Kings, complete with instruments of all varieties– but all in the sake of solid tunes. The Wilmington-based group, fueled by support from friends, had a packed show with wholesome fun. Hey Roccio and Rio Brave were great openers to the show, as they provided enough zeal to keep listeners wanting more.
The electronic pop, jumpy rock band had at least five violinists on stage. I was slowly reminiscent of Ra Ra Riot’s temperance to include classical strings to indie favors. Dash’s performance was rife with catchy melodies that had everyone in the audience dancing along, in a crowd where the typical representative only gets “jiggy wit it” at weddings and maybe private indoor functions. “Into the Sounds” the group’s most popular hit (and incidentally one that receives quite some airplay on WKNC) flickered with a slow start, and ignited the whole venue.
In between songs, DASH peppered their set with covers of Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” and Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. It is always refreshing to see bands, especially ones that are locally based, to diversify their playlist from things that aren’t exclusively on their set. With only a minor hiccups due to audio capabilities (forgivable for a band that large on stage), DASH were able to recapture the attention and fervor left by their other songs with a classical quartet performance in-waiting. Lead singer David Garcia smirked his way through his set, engaging and captivating as all performers are wont to be. A few head-nods and raised fist-pumps later, concertgo-ers were able to acclaim, that they too, were “into the sounds”.
by sarahnade on Aug.26, 2012, under Local
Raleigh’s Annuals started off the night. With three different kinds of percussion going on all at once, it was immediately an interesting show. They played some new songs and old, each loved just as much by their fans. The coolest part was when the lights would dim almost to blackness and the main drum kit, clear under normal lights, would glow with a green laser pointer. It would go in unison with the beat and created a really awesome effect. The left wall of the Cradle lit up with spirals and the band was illuminated by the main source of sound at this point. Kudos.
I’d only ever seen Holy Ghost Tent Revival at Shakori. Each time they’d been incredible, inviting people up on stage to dance and just looking like they were having in the world. I wondered if playing indoors – away from the mud, grass, ..”grass”.., and hula hoopers – would affect the performance any. Of course, it didn’t.
A guitar string broke during the first song. Instead of having to endure an awkward lull until the guitarist fixed this, the band started to jam and told the crowd to dance until they had it under control. This little jam session was funky – all I could think was how fun their band practices must be. Once the string was replaced, the guitarist just joined back in and started singing “There ain’t no party like a Holy Ghost Tent Revival party cause aHoly Ghost Tent Revival party don’t stop!” That themed continued through the entire show. The band was excited and happy to be there, and that was mirrored by the crowd.
This show was in support of their upcoming release “Sweat Like The Old Days,” out Sept. 4th. The new tracks that they played definitely won’t disappoint. I’m looking forward to hearing the album as a whole. If you did miss this show, the band will play Grey Eagle in Asheville on Aug. 31 and The Whiskey in Wilmington on Sept. 20.