Tag Archives: Barclays Center
Mumford & Sons – Barclays Center – February 12, 2013
Mumford & Sons began to break in the United States with a run of shows during the 2009 CMJ Music Marathon, including a memorably half-full show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. How little we all knew then. A few months later they appeared on our TVs at the Grammy Awards. Last night, in their second grand return to the borough in as many weeks, this time on the heels of their Grammy win for Album of the Year, the four-piece Mumford & Sons, the band that launched a thousand banjos, took the stage at a sold-out Barclays Center. As the curtain whipped away, the band launched into “Babel,” a song that bears at least nominal reference to the moment in Biblical history when man was unified and spoke a common language.
And it was in this temple of unity, the Barclays Center, the big tent of eminent domain and gentrification, microbrewed beers, suspenders and beards, that Mumford opened with a string of songs off their recent Grammy-winning album, Babel. After the band soared through the album’s title track, they moved on to “I Will Wait,” “Winter Winds,” a first-album favorite, and “Below My Feet.” It was equal parts elegy and ebullience as the general-admission floor alternated between silence and carbonated bouncing, and the sections near the rafters produced reverence and reverie. This, of course, marked the brilliance and mainstream appeal of Mumford: to package the unremembered kitsch and nostalgia of folk melodies with explosive, life-affirming moments of musical elevation. The quartet then switched between the collective, quiet appeal of “Timshel” and the unstoppable, “Little Lion Man,” which first launched this band into the hearts and minds of many of these assembled thousands.
The middle of the set was highlighted by “Lover of the Light,” which sounds a great deal like a sustainably raised, NPR-listening Dave Matthews Band song in its latter half, and comprised both elements of the somber and the celebratory—its final banjo line and lyrics transformed into the screaming marching orders. The main set closed with “Whispers in the Dark” and “Dust Bowl Dance,” the former a song with which the band closed their 2009 Music Hall performance. It was then unrecorded: “Something from the next album,” they said that night. But last night, things were in sharper focus, the benefit of time and perspective. “Whispers” was the second track off a hit album, its edict of “live while we’re young” repeated and screamed back from a basketball arena of adoring fans. It was about unity to be sure, a moment of mass collective experience before the band receded into the darkness of stage left and the empire built on a tower of four-part harmonies and emotive evocation. It wasn’t a night about prayer, a common complaint about the band, but it was about rebuilding the temple and speaking in one voice. —Geoff Nelson
Photo courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com
Tags: Babel, Barclays Center, Ben Lovett, CMJ Music Marathon, Dave Matthews Band, Marcus Mumford, Mumford & Sons, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Review, Sigh No More, Ted Dwane, Winston Marshall
Posted in House List, Reviews No Comments »
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Billy Corgan founded the Smashing Pumpkins in the late ’80s. The Chicago-based band began to achieve mainstream success following the release of Gish, in 1991, and Siamese Dream, in 1993, before becoming one of the biggest bands in the world with 1995’s smash double LP Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Since those heady days, the group has gone through several metamorphoses, settling into the current lineup—Corgan, drummer Mike Byrne, bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder—which released Oceania earlier this year. But make no mistake, the Smashing Pumpkins (above, playing “Cherub Rock” for iheart.com) still deliver a layered, guitar-heavy dose of Goth, metal and dreamy psychedelic rock. And you can see them do it in person on Monday at Barclays Center. (This show has been rescheduled from 10/31, and all tickets for that show will be honored.)
Tags: Barclays Center, Billy Corgan, Gish, Jeff Schroedeer, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Mike Byrne, Nicole Fiorentino, Oceania, Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins
Posted in House List, Preview, Video No Comments »
Lianne La Havas – The Bowery Ballroom – September 11, 2012
Crossing over the pond isn’t the easiest for UK artists, so when they do, it’s best to take notice. We all know about Adele’s meteoric rise up the Billboard charts last year with her sophomore album, 21, so queue the female British invasion 2.0 with Lianne La Havas. The 23-year-old brought songs from her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? to Bowery Ballroom last night. She opened with “Don’t Wake Me Up,” and the sold-out crowd happily sang along. La Havas exclaimed, “Cheers, New York City,” raising her gin and tonic to the audience. She was in “a moment of disbelief” at the overwhelming welcome and repeatedly thanked everyone for coming.
The band exited the stage as the spotlight shown only on La Havas while she performed “Tease Me,” “Everything Everything” and “Age.” Stripping herself of her guitar, the singer crooned “Empty.” Performing while New York Fashion Week was in full swing, La Havas donned her trademark collar shirt with sparkly knit top. Being singled out for her signature looks, she was spotted at the DKNY show. Much like the aforementioned fellow UK artist, La Havas’s album draws from heartache, and quite a few songs catalog her relationship with her ex. “Forget” was a breakup anthem that fans exalted along with, and “Gone” was a perfect bookend to the set as a goodbye lullaby to her former love.
Before going into her encore, La Havas took time to note the significance of the date, 9/11, and how much the city has rebuilt and healed. Eluded to earlier in the set, she covered Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me” for superfan Casey, who was front and center for the whole show. Appropriately ending with her album’s title track, which was written in New York City, La Havas cheekily sang, “Dance until you aren’t drunk anymore.” But she had one question left: “Is Your Love Big Enough?” For the fans at The Bowery Ballroom, it sure was. —Sharlene Chiu
(Lianne La Havas plays the Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center on 10/29 with John Legend.)