Tag Archives: Elton John

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Wakey!Wakey! Return Home to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 25th, 2014

Before forming the chamber-pop group Wakey!Wakey! in Brooklyn more than a half decade ago, Michael Grubbs—influenced by the likes of Billy Joel and Elton John—was active in bar bands, musical theater and the anti-folk scene on the Lower East Side. Wakey!Wakey! (above, performing “Phoebe Cates”) first broke into the mainstream when the single “War Sweater” landed on an episode of One Tree Hill in 2009. Their most recent full-length, Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said the Last Time I Saw You… (stream it below), came out in 2010, featuring piano-driven rock backed by a variety of instruments, including violins, cello and bass. AbsolutePunk said it “may arguably be one of the year’s best releases. As the piano-pop genre continues to deflate, Grubbs and company just might be the ones to save it.” But Wakey!Wakey! have a brand new studio album, the upbeat Salvation, due out next month, and ahead of its release, they come home to play Music Hall of Williamsburg tomorrow night. Roots-rockers Chris Cubeta and the Liars Club and singer-songwriter Casey Shea open the show.

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Ellie Goulding Lights Up Terminal 5

January 22nd, 2013

Ellie Goulding – Terminal 5 – January 21, 2013


With her hit single “Lights” last year, Ellie Goulding made her mark in the States and staked more claim by filming the video for her first single off her sophomore effort Halcyon,  “Anything Could Happen,” in Los Angeles. The lass from the small village of Lyonshall has crossed over in every sense of the word, selling out not one, but two shows at Terminal 5. She had previously sold out the same venue back in the summer of 2011. So it was fitting that she returned last night to delight fans once again with her soprano-like voice, which filled the three-story space with an ethereal ambiance.

Showered in spotlights, Goulding came dressed with fringe that dripped from her arms and leather shorts as she began her set with “Don’t Say a Word.” Her voice bounced from near-piercing vibrato to a breathy, almost-hoarse timbre. Once when describing her instrument to Carson Daly, Goulding admitted, “I think sometimes it sounds like my voice is like, out of control…. I have to really control it because it just kind of goes everywhere. Like, sometimes stuff comes out that I don’t expect.” Her vocals were almost overlayered with Auto-Tune on the Tinie Tempah collaboration “Hanging On,” but they were beautifully stripped down to her upper register for the ballad “Joy.”

Shedding her fringe for an acoustic guitar, the blonde Brit played an old favorite “Guns and Horses” as fans sang along on a chorus of “I would.” After revealing “I Know You Care” was about her dad, Goulding treated the impassioned onlookers to her cover of Elton John’s “Your Song.” The sonic-changing pitch of her voice reverberated against the venue’s metal frames, turning it into New York City’s version of Moulin Rouge. To add to the spectacle, the gent in charge of the lights would have made Jenny Holtzer proud with the amount of voltage on “Only You” and audience favorite “Anything Could Happen.” Ending the set with “Starry Eyed,” Goulding came back to encore with the Calvin Harris track “I Need Your Love” and “Lights.” But Ms. Goulding’s luminosity was never in question and all the aforementioned lights weren’t necessary because she did it all with that unique voice. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Brian C. Reilly | www.briancreilly.com

(Tonight’s Ellie Goulding show at Terminal 5 is sold out.)

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Scissors Sisters Not Once but Twice

July 5th, 2012


Singer Jack Shears (Jason Sellards) and keyboardist-bassist Babydaddy (Scott Hoffman) met in the late ’90s and went on to form Scissor Sisters—a band that combines glam rock, pop, dance, burlesque, multiple singers, performance art and outrageous live shows—in 2001. But like so many before them, they struggled before finding success. Although in this case it was overseas: On the strength of their disco take on Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and “Take Your Mama” (with its shades of Elton John), their self-titled debut disc was the best-selling album in the UK in 2004. And if that weren’t enough, Bono labeled them “the best pop band in the world at the moment.” Since then, the group has steadily hit the road and released three more albums, including this year’s Magic Hour. And now Scissor Sisters (above, doing “Only the Horses” for The Voice UK) return home to play Terminal 5 tomorrow and Saturday.