Tag Archives: Devotion


Catch Webster Hall’s Double Rock Bill with Anberlin and the Maine

October 29th, 2013

Positive alternative-rock group Anberlin (above, performing “City Electric” for AXS TV) formed in Central Florida more than a decade ago. They began making a name for themselves by putting out three albums in five years. But things really began to take off with their first major-label release, New Surrender, in 2008, and its follow-up, produced by Brendan O’Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam), Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place two years later, both out on Universal Republic. The five-piece—Stephen Christian (vocals and keys), Joseph Milligan (guitar and vocals), Deon Rexroat (bass), Nathan Young (drums) and Christian McAlhaney (guitar and vocals)—continue with their prolific ways, releasing their seventh full-length, Devotion (stream it below), just a few weeks ago.

Influenced by ’90s radio rock, the Maine formed in Tempe, Ariz., in early 2007 and released their first full-length, the catchy, pop-punk Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, the following year. And like Anberlin, they’re also a five-piece: John O’Callaghan (vocals, guitar and piano), Kennedy Brock (guitar, vocals), Jared Monaco (guitar), Patrick Kirch (drums) and Garrett Nickelsen. And also like their tour mates, the Maine (above, doing “Whoever She Is” for Daytrotter) are quite prolific. Forever Halloween (stream it below), their fourth LP in just six years, was released earlier this year to a fair bit of acclaim. And you can see Anberlin and the Maine—plus Lydia and From Indian Lakestonight at Webster Hall.


A Good Night at The Bowery Ballroom

January 18th, 2013

Jessie Ware – The Bowery Ballroom – January 17, 2013

Having gotten herself on a few end-of-year lists, British songstress Jessie Ware definitely had a good 2012, and this year is already shaping up to be great. Some may already be familiar with her vocals, which have graced several SBTRKT tracks. Her debut album, Devotion, has been described by BBC Music’s Mike Driver as “the sort of sophisticated, soulful pop record that comes along all too rarely, a collection that never hides the heart on its sleeve. Down-tempo it may be, but no listener will come away downcast.” And there was certainly exuberance in the air last night at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom.

Out of darkness and clad in all black, Ware stepped onto the stage purring the lyrics to “Devotion.” Upon the song’s conclusion, the Brit doled out high fives to the front row and exclaimed, “It’s going to be a good night.” Indeed it was as she had the crowd grooving to “Night Light” and “110%.” Covering most of the material from her album, Ware peppered her set with quite a few memorable covers, including “Say It,” a collaboration with the Japanese duo BenZel on a Brownstone hit, plus Bobby Caldwell’s 1978 R&B single “What You Won’t Do for Love.” She even threw in a little of Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” as an interlude on her song “No to Love.”

Halfway through the set, Ware cheekily dedicated “Sweet Talk” to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s unborn child. Her infectious banter with the rabid fans in the front row garnered her flowers from one admirer. After taking off her jacket for “Swan Song,” she became reflective about “Taking in Water,” which almost didn’t make the album, but Ware was glad it did as it was written for her brother. The singer-songwriter described what a pleasure it was to be accompanied by the Roots at a taping of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Her mom, she revealed, was quite impressed by the drummer. Yeah, Questlove is pretty legit. Needless to say, Ware saved her hit single, “Wildest Moments,” for the end of the set. She was adamant about not playing an encore, leaving the audience with “Running.” There was no race to the exit as the house lights flipped on, but rather a lingering of folks soaking up every last bit of the evening. —Sharlene Chiu