Tag Archives: Bowery Ballroom


Hamilton Leithauser Kicks Off the Weekend at The Bowery Ballroom

January 28th, 2015

For more than a decade, Hamilton Leithauser has been known as the frontman of turn-of-the-century NYC rockers the Walkmen. But that band went on an “extreme hiatus” in late 2013 following a tour in support of their seventh studio album, Heaven. Not one to sit idly by, Leithauser (above, performing “5 AM” live in studio for WFUV FM) put out his first solo full-length, the Frank Sinatra–inspired Black Hours (stream it below), late last spring. It’s safe to say that critics were impressed. “In the hands of a less capable fontman and songwriter, Black Hours could have turned out as a cheesy attempt at ’50s pastiche. Instead, it’s a lively, confident and charming first effort,” said the A.V. Club. And Leithauser kicks off the weekend by entertaining his hometown fans on Friday night at
The Bowery Ballroom
. But arrive early because the big-voiced Elle King opens the show.


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Dr. Dog on 1/17

January 13th, 2015


Dr. Dog finish up a sold-out eight-night run in New York City at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night, and The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Dr. Dog, 1/17) and a brief message explaining which tune from the band’s brand new live album, Live at Flamingo Hotel, is your favorite. Eddie Bruiser, who just might listen to the LP all day, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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A Fun Night at Music Hall of Williamsbrug with Dr. Dog

January 12th, 2015

Dr. Dog – Music Hall of Williamsburg – January 10, 2015

Dr. Dog – Music Hall of Williamsburg - January 10, 2015
Christmas arrived about two weeks later for local Dr. Dog fans. With the city now covered in sad, discarded Christmas trees and dirty days-old snow, Dr. Dog began their long stretch of New York City shows, eight to be exact, with four at Music Hall of Williamsburg and then four at The Bowery Ballroom. According to the band, there’s a pool of 700 songs to choose from, giving those fans attending each show with something new every night. Dr. Dog’s set on Saturday at Music Hall covered the fan favorites and dug deeper into their catalog, leaving everyone with a handful of new ones to adore. In my case, “Be the Void,” off the Wild Race EP. (How could I have missed this song?)

Dr. Dog adapt their live show to their recordings, not the other way around, which is impressive when you consider the complexity of their harmonies. Take “The Breeze,” with its harmonic breakdowns reminiscent of the Beach Boys’. Most would hear that recording and assume Dr. Dog wouldn’t even attempt it live, never mind the fact that they could make it sound even better onstage—and they do. It certainly helps that Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken, who share lead-vocal responsibilities, have complementary singing voices. The two have been writing music together since early adolescence, which probably helps with their harmonizing. If you had to distill Dr. Dog and their live experience down to one word, it’d be: fun. And or the sake of not having to look up synonyms, I’ll just keep repeating the word. “That Old Black Hole” makes for a fun band’s most fun song. Their cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart It Races” takes someone else’s fun song and makes it even more fun.

After finishing “Lonesome,” Leaman ended up crowd surfing alongside seemingly everyone else in the building. Not in the punk-rock, jump-off-the-stage-in-a-spur-of-the-moment way, but more in a gradual collapse into the audience, as if the crowd had swallowed him whole, a funny gesture considering he’d just sung about being lonely. Delicate Steve’s Steve Marion came out for a guest appearance to rip a massive guitar solo, leaving just him and the drummer while the rest of the band sneaked off, returning in full force for a blazing rendition of “These Days.” If you missed this show, there’s still a chance to catch Dr. Dog on Monday. And if you miss that … well you had eight other chances, so get your shit together. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

(A few tickets remain for tonight’s Dr. Dog show at Music Hall of Williamsburg. All four nights at The Bowery Ballroom are sold out.)


Don’t Get Shut Out of Dr. Dog Next Week

January 8th, 2015

Deftly mixing melodic pop and psychedelic rock, Dr. Dog have been winning over fans for more than a decade. And even after releasing seven terrific studio albums, the Philly rockers are still most known for their energetic live performances. And to that end, a live album, the 19-song Live at a Flamingo Hotel (stream it here), comes out next Tuesday. And tomorrow night, Dr. Dog (above, performing “Shadow People” for the live album) kick off a new tour with eight(!) shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Bowery Ballroom. Six of those dates are already sold out, but some tickets still remain for 1/12 at Music Hall and 1/14 at The Bowery Ballroom. But they’re going fast—so don’t get shut out.


A Top Five Look Back at 2014

December 31st, 2014

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers

Top Five Albums
1. The War on Drugs, Lost in the Dream
2. Total Control, Typical System
3. Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 2
4. Coldplay, Ghost Stories
5. Parquet Courts, Sunbathing Animal —Charles Steinberg

Top Five Memorable Shows
1. Feist, Tarrytown Music Hall, 4/10
When I heard Feist was doing a tiny solo acoustic tour, I forked over ducats for this one. There were bits of stand-up-like banter with the audience as she stripped down the material. But what really made the night was a mini-reunion with former bandmate (and ex) Kevin Drew as they dueted on the Broken Social Scene classic “Lover’s Spit.”
2. (tie) Rhye, Webster Hall, 2/21
This performance was a bit misleading because although singer Milosh and producer Robin Hannibal are the members in Rhye, the latter member doesn’t tour. But Milosh’s ethereal voice really is the heart and soul of the pair, and it shone greatest for the hit “Open.” His deceptively androgynous voice sounds at times like Sade or even Antony Hegarty.
(tie) Max Richter, The Bowery Ballroom, 12/7
When I saw that the German-British composer was playing Bowery, I had to hop to it. As Richter usually plays symphony concert halls, it was an interesting choice to play such a smaller venue. The Ballroom felt like a recital hall with the audience entranced. What can I say: I’m a sucker for artists playing unorthodox venues.
3. Glass Animals, The Bowery Ballroom, 7/7
I was recently reminded of this concert when my yoga instructor played “Gooey” in class. Pretty fitting, right? In addition to infectious dance melodies, frontman Dave Bayley’s gangly limbs flayed erratically that evening, bringing to mind another dude named Thom Yorke. The two lads have great music and dance moves to boot. Coincidence? I think not.
4. Phox, Knitting Factory, 7/22
The buzz swirling around this Wisconsin band post-SXSW had me tuned into their album all spring and into the summer. Frontwoman Monica Martin was definitely a bit tipsy, but that didn’t detract from her lush vocals or onstage camaraderie. (Check out Schuyler Rooth’s review of their Mercury Lounge gig.)
5. (tie) Mr. Little Jeans, Rough Trade NYC, 5/10
Opening for Sohn, Norwegian singer Monica Birkenes, aka Mr. Little Jeans, overshadowed the headliner for me. It’s rare when that happens, but this lady has a knack for übercatchy dance-pop songs that streamed through my head all summer. She mentioned how she often came here as a child and was really craving a good slice of pizza. What’s not to love?
(tie) Alvvays, Rough Trade NYC, 7/28
New York City summers are packed with free outdoor gigs throughout the boroughs, but this in-store performance with Alvvays stood out amongst the rest. Their infectiously happy songs illuminated the dark back room of Rough Trade but had folks departing into the night with an extra bounce in their step. —Sharlene Chiu

Top Five Just a Man and His Guitar Solo Sets (chronological order)
Dustin Wong (opening set), The Bowery Ballroom, 4/21
2. Plankton Wat, Trans Pecos, 5/8
3. Steve Gunn, Mercury Lounge, 5/18
4. Willie Watson, Mercury Lounge, 5/21
5. Leif Vollebekk (opening set) The Bowery Ballroom, 11/21 —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Top Five Memorable Shows
1. Sylvan Esso, Rough Trade NYC, 9/11
Both my favorite album and my most memorable live show of 2014 came from Sylvan Esso. Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn possess unwavering emotive energy, and every single lyric and beat has sunk into my psyche . I saw the duo perform live twice this year, most recently at their headlining show at Rough Trade NYC. The duo’s erudite electronica boosted the audience as they performed the entirety of their self-titled debut album plus and few clever covers.
2. Broods, Mercury Lounge, 3/3
Comprised of New Zealander siblings Caleb and Georgia Nott, Broods blend melodic melancholia with sparkling synths and glitchy beats. After getting wrapped up in their self-titled debut EP, I simply had to see them live. Broods played their first NYC show to an incredibly enthusiastic sold-out crowd at Mercury Lounge.
3. Hozier, The Bowery Ballroom, 5/13
Hozier’s rich voice and ardent lyrics sit front and center in his compositions. When he headlined The Bowery Ballroom back in May, he was flanked by equally talented musicians who created dazzling harmonies with choral echoes and rock hooks. Hozier and his bandmates mesmerized the audience, including me.
4. Dan Croll, The Bowery Ballroom, 4/17
Dan Croll’s brand of pop is highly addictive, and his live show is equally intoxicating. He fuses lilting pop, wonky electronica and tribal beats and tops it all off with clever lyrics and airy vocals.
5. Kishi Bashi, The Bowery Ballroom, 6/4
Kishi Bashi has what so many musicians seek, and that is an astounding live presence. It’s as if this guy belongs onstage. Kishi Bashi played back-to-back sold-out New York City shows this past June and stunned audiences with his whimsical finesse and astute lyrics. This picture and my review prove that Kishi Bashi’s live performance is one big euphoric dream sequence. —Schuyler Rooth | @Schuylerspeak

Top Five Albums
1. Under the Pressure, the War on Drugs
Channeling Dylan and Springsteen beneath Adam Granduciel’s vocals and personal struggles to stunning effect, this Philly six-piece put out, for me, far and away the top album of the year.
2. Benjamin Booker, Benjamin Booker
From the very first listen, Benjamin Booker’s self-titled debut sounds familiar, not like you’d previously heard its influences, but rather you’d actually already heard this album. The music is lived in and alive and a joy to listen to again and again.
3. 77, Nude Beach
Eighteen songs that sound like the love children of late-’70s Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. You’ll smile the whole time you listen to it.
4. Dancin’ with Wolves, Natural Child
Recording for the first time as a five-piece, and moving away from gritty garage rock to
a more full-band bluesy country sound (with a side of boogie), these Nashville boys took a huge step forward.
5. Morning Phase, Beck
Six years removed from his previous offering, Beck’s slow-building emotional relative of Sea Change captures you from the very first note. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

Top Five Memorable Shows
1. Pearl Jam, I Wireless Center (Moline, Ill.), 10/17
Playing a small (for them) venue (for the first time) on a Friday night in the middle of nowhere, Pearl Jam put on the best show by any band I’ve seen in the past four years. They performed No Code in its entirety and covered Pink Floyd, John Lennon, Van Halen and Neil Young. Frontman Eddie Vedder put it best, comparing the appearance to a blind date: “You get there and she opens the door, and it’s like, she’s hot!”
2. My Morning Jacket, One Big Holiday (Riviera Maya, Mexico), 1/29
I could’ve chosen any of MMJ’s performances from this run, but the last night was the longest show and it particularly stood out thanks to the perfect weather, the we’re-on-vacation-in-the-middle-of-winter party vibe and carefully chosen covers (including Jim James singing, “Something, something, something” in “Rock the Casbah.”)
3. the War on Drugs, The Bowery Ballroom, 3/20
I absolutely loved, loved, loved Under the Pressure and was extremely excited to hear it live. The War on Drugs did not disappoint, plus they even threw in a stellar rendition of “Mind Games” to boot. (As an added bonus, the night began with Drive-By Truckers at Terminal 5 and closed with green sauce and salt-baked goodness at New York Noodletown.
4. Jonathan Wilson, Music Hall of Williamsburg, 2/14
It was a Friday night and Valentine’s Day. But if you were expecting something quiet and romantic, you’d have been way off. Jonathan Wilson and Co. delivered 16 jammed-out (but not self-indulgently) songs over the course of two-and-a-half hours.
5. Deer Tick, Allen Room, 3/6
As part of the American Songbook series, Deer Tick played an incredibly intimate, seated show in front of a wall of windows revealing Columbus Circle below. It was one of those moments that makes you grateful to live in New York City. —R.Z.





We’ve Got You Covered on New Year’s Eve

December 30th, 2014

The thing about New Year’s Eve is that it’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s expectations of what the night should be. When on the last night of the year you should think about yourself for once and do what you want to do. And if that’s going to see some terrific bands play live music, then good news, we’ve got you covered. PhilRAD (featuring Phil Lesh and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) at the Capitol Theatre and the Hold Steady at Music Hall of Williamsburg are already sold out—although we’re giving away two tickets to the Hold Steady.

But don’t despair because: Mercury Lounge has local rockers Black Taxi, along with Little Racer and Brothertiger, at the early show, and Mr. Brownstone doing terrific covers of Guns N’ Roses at the late show. Deer Tick close out their six-night 10th-anniversary residency at Brooklyn Bowl doing a fan-selected set with special guest T. Hardy Morris (of Dead Confederate and Diamond Rugs fame). Playing on the big stage at Terminal 5, Erasure—joined by Book of Love and Alex English—finish their two-night run. Reunited after an eight-year hiatus, emo trio Rainer Maria headline The Bowery Ballroom, with Moss Icon and Petal opening. And following opening sets by Mail the Horse and Twain, Spirit Family Reunion will have everyone at Rough Trade NYC clapping and stomping along as we welcome in 2015.


Kick Off the Last Weekend of the Year with I Am the Avalanche

December 24th, 2014

Following the breakup of a band, the Movielife, and a relationship, Vinnie Caruana (vocals and guitar) formed the post-hardcore outfit I Am the Avalanche a decade ago. Their self-titled debut (stream it below) arrived in 2005. Absolute Punk declared, “If you’re a fan of passionate vocals mixed with rocking guitars, this is also for you. I Am the Avalanche have the potential to be better than the Movielife and go places that Vinnie’s former band never went. Vinnie Caruana is back, and I couldn’t be any more excited.” The Brooklyn outfit—rounded out by Brandon “Aggro” Swanson (guitar), Brett “the Ratt” Romnes (drums) and John Oliva (bass)—put out their third full-length, Wolverines (stream it below), back in March. Billboard labeled it “an album with claws.” And Absolute Punk called the LP the band’s “most tight-knit and explosive set of songs yet…. Just like the three-eyed beast that graces the cover, Wolverines is a mean and lean punk rock record that sets the bar once again.” While I Am the Avalanche (above, performing “177” live for an official video) work on new songs throughout the winter, they won’t be playing live very much. But you’ve still got one more chance to see them, on Friday at The Bowery Ballroom for Swanson’s last performance with the band.


The Bogmen Celebrate Christmas at The Bowery Ballroom

December 22nd, 2014

The Bogmen – The Bowery Ballroom – December 19, 2014

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

(Photo: Dan Rickershauser)

If you’ve already heard of the Bogmen, then you probably love them. They had a short but sweet run through the mid-90’s, which included getting signed to the major label Arista for the release of their two albums. But in the pre-Internet days, when music discovery was left to happenstance, the Long Island group never broke huge. So instead of being liked by all, they remain loved by the select few in the know. The Bogmen dissolved with the ’90s but have reunited occasionally for charity shows, like their appearances at The Bowery Ballroon on Friday and Saturday. Their fans are still rabid, and anyone who saw them on Friday night has the beer-shower stains to prove it. (For those wondering if The Bowery Ballroom has the structural integrity to sustain a sold-out crowd of rather large men jumping in unison, the answer is yes.)

Their stage had all the glitz and glamour of a true Christmas spectacular, complete with a silver-streamer background and Christmas lights–lit microphone stands. The band wore all white outfits with wonderful accents of Christmas tree garland, and lead singer Billy Campion sported a tie made entirely of Christmas ornaments. With your eyes closed once the music started, you’d have thought this was a band playing shows on a regular basis. Dance friendly polyrhythmic grooves reminiscent of Talking Heads carried “Big Burn.” “Dr. Jerome (Love Tub, Doctor),” with its chorus of “Dr. Jerome, love tub doctor!” sung in unison by all, as loud as possible. Campion, who’s had vocal-cord issues in the past, powered through the vocal-straining “It’s a Fast Horizon,” noting that it was the first time he was able to sing it live, declaring his voice, at 43, the best it’s ever been. “Suddenly” came complete with a live rendition of the back-and-forth breakup phone call, with the original line declaring that the ’90s would be all about love replaced with “the ’90s, they’ve come and gone/ And now I don’t know what’s going on/ But I’m loving it!”

With a point, a nod or a smile, over the course of the night, band members acknowledged a number of faces in the crowd—a healthy mix of friends, fans and family. Opener Julia Haltigan joined the Bogmen for their encore of a stirring rendition of the Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York,” complete with dancing around a stage crowded with band members. Someone dressed as Santa eventually made his way onstage. Or, if you believe in miracles, maybe it was Kris Kringle himself, taking off time from his busy schedule. After all, the Bogmen don’t perform very often, but when the opportunity arises, you take it.
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks




Sing Along with Johnnyswim at The Bowery Ballroom Tonight

December 17th, 2014

Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano are more than just harmonizing singer-songwriters and multi-instrumentalists mining blues, country, folk, pop and soul as the duo Johnnyswim. They’re also husband and wife—plus Sudano happens to be the daughter of Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano. The two met at church in Nashville and shortly afterward began writing songs together. Since then, they’ve released several EPs, gotten married and left Music City for the City of Angels. “The more songs we wrote together,
the more time we spent alone together, which is really all I was interested in. The more songs were good, the more chance of making out we had,” Ramirez told NPR. And earlier this year, Johnnyswim (above, performing “Home” on Late Show with David Letterman) put out their debut full-length, the anthemic Diamonds (stream it below). PopMatters mentioned, “catchy songs sung with deep hooks, intense emotions and passionate beating hearts,” before adding, “The words and music may be simple, but they also have an electrifying effect. This is true for all of the songs on the record. Johnnyswim kicks serious butt.” So come sing along when they play The Bowery Ballroom tonight, especially because tomorrow’s show is already sold out.


Two Chances to Catch Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue

December 12th, 2014

Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Nick Lowe has been a big part of British music—specifically rock, power pop and New Wave—since the ’70s, steadily releasing music and delighting fans across the globe. And despite the fact that his Christmas album, last year’s terrific Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family (stream it below), received terrific reviews—per Relix, “While Lowe’s recent critically acclaimed CDs have mined a mellow, melancholic mood, Quality Street sparkles with holiday cheer”—Lowe (above, performing “Christmas at the Airport” live in studio for WFUV FM) never toured in support of it … until now. In fact, Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue (which includes Los Straitjackets and the Cactus Blossoms) hit the road last week, and they’re headed our way not once but twice, on Sunday at The Bowery Ballroom and on 12/20 at Music Hall of Williamsburg.


Angel Olsen – The Bowery Ballroom – December 9, 2014

December 10th, 2014

Angel Olsen - The Bowery Ballroom - December 9, 2014

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com


The Bowery Ballroom as a Recital Hall for a Night

December 8th, 2014

Max Richter – The Bowery Ballroom – December 7, 2104

Max Richter – The Bowery Ballroom – December 7, 2104
Renowned composer-producer Max Richter graced New York City for a rare performance of his soundtrack for HBO’s The Leftovers, paired with his classic album, The Blue Notebooks, last night at The Bowery Ballroom. Richter’s music should resonate with cinephiles as his compositions have accompanied such films as Waltz with Bashir, Stranger Than Fiction, Prometheus and Shutter Island. It’s no wonder that HBO tapped the German-born British composer to score The Leftovers. The show’s producer Damon Lindelof (Lost) and director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) sought out Richter after hearing his score for a Broadway production of Macbeth.

Last night the esteemed Lower East Side venue was filled with melodious harmonies seeping into the crevasses that are normally reserved for rock and pop outfits. Clad in a black turtleneck, Richter took his place behind the piano as the American Contemporary Music Ensemble filed onstage. Opening the evening with “The Leftovers Piano Theme,” the band played the entire soundtrack. All in all the audience was rapt on the sumptuous notes. Through the set, uncertain applause was offered, as folks were not completely sure when pieces concluded. There was no doubt when the crescendo of strings came to a halting stop on “Afterimage 3” for an uproar of claps to follow. Richter confessed he never thought he’d perform the soundtrack live, but he was happy he had.

The performance of The Blue Notebooks was in honor of the album’s 10th anniversary. Tilda Swinton read the excerpts from Franz Kafka’s and Czeslaw Milosz’s works on the original recording. But at The Bowery Ballroom, Sarah Sutcliffe did the honors as Richter dabbled with sound effects on his iMac. Despite bows from the composer and ensemble upon the album’s conclusion, they returned to encore with “Autumn Music 2.” This unorthodox evening turned the venue into a concert recital hall, leaving fans with an indelible music memory. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg 


Strand of Oaks – The Bowery Ballroom – December 4, 2014

December 5th, 2014

Strand of Oaks - The Bowery Ballroom - December 4, 2014

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

(See Strand of Oaks in the lobby of the Ace Hotel today at 5 p.m. for free.)


Har Mar Superstar and the Pizza Underground Tonight on the LES

December 3rd, 2014

For more than 10 years, Har Mar Superstar (above, performing “Lady You Shot Me” on French television) has been known for his onstage antics—whether it’s slowly stripping or break dancing or even doing both at the same time—at his sex-charged energetic live shows. But what’s most noticeable about him is that he’s a supremely talented singer and songwriter, aptly evident on his fifth album, last year’s Bye Bye 17 (stream it below). According to Filter, Har Mar’s “silken, Otis Redding–reminiscent vocals anchor funky, horn-driven R&B beats that match the swagger of Motown.” Emerging from the anti-folk scene, comedy-rock outfit the Pizza UndergroundMacaulay Culkin (kazoo, percussion and vocals), Austin Kilham (tambourine and vocals), Deenah Vollmer (percussion and vocals), Matt Colbourn (guitar and vocals) and Phoebe Kreutz (glockenspiel and vocals)—do parody versions of Velvet Underground material with pizza-themed song names and lyrics. The New York City five-piece has been out on the road with Har Mar Superstar, and they all return home, alongside singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Toby Goodshank, to play The Bowery Ballroom tonight.


Blonde Redhead – The Bowery Ballroom – November 28, 2014

December 1st, 2014

Blonde Redhead - The Bowery Ballroom - November 28, 2014

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com