Tag Archives: Graceland

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The Life-Affirming Power of Lord Huron

February 25th, 2013

Lord Huron – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 23, 2013


The expansive, hazy mountain range painted on the backdrop that decked the stage for Los Angeles band Lord Huron’s sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night perfectly set the tone for the band’s performance. The types of big thoughts that can pass through one’s mind when looking at such a perfect panorama—life, death, love, the wonders of nature—are all themes that pervade the five-piece’s sentimental debut album, last year’s Lonesome Dreams.

Full of jaunty, layered guitars and vocal harmonies, Lord Huron at times evoked the uplifting alt-country of My Morning Jacket or the Afrobeat fusion of Paul Simon’s Graceland, along with slow-building cinematic swells and joyful moments begging to be clapped along to. Although Lord Huron’s recorded music doesn’t shy away from the understated and mellow, the live version of numbers like “She Lit a Fire” and “The Problem with Your Daughter” had a much sharper bite than their album counterparts, while meditative number “The Ghost on the Shore” was wisely left in its minimal state.

The group’s lone cover of the night, “Strangers” by the Kinks, fit in well with the reflective, exploratory theme of the show, and its lyrics “If I feel tomorrow like I feel today/ We’ll take what we want and give the rest away/ Strangers on this road we are on/ We are not two we are one” seem indirectly referenced in the sentiment of Lord Huron’s lyric: “Out there’s a world that calls for me, girl, heading out into the unknown/ Well if there are strangers and all kinds of danger, please don’t say I’m going alone,” which singer Ben Schneider contemplates on “Ends of the Earth.” Lord Huron’s combination of contagious melodies with the lyrical voice of a philosophical and wonder-filled world traveler clearly resonates with crowds, and as everyone sang and danced along, the vibe inside Music Hall of Williamsburg was as positive and life-affirming as it might be around a campfire, if those misty mountain ranges in the background were real. —Alena Kastin

Photos courtesy of Mike Benigno | mikebenigno.wordpress.com

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The Rain Can’t Put a Damper on TV on the Radio’s Central Park Show

June 8th, 2009

TV on the Radio/Dirty Projectors – SummerStage – June 5, 2009

TV on the Radio

TV on the Radio

Friday night, despite the inclement weather, Dirty Projectors and TV on the Radio played to a faithful crowd of rain-soaked onlookers at SummerStage. Although their two monikers suggest technical difficulty, the show went off almost without a hitch. Led by Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors, the constantly fluctuating outfit, has hit its stride in its current formation, churning out tunes that shuttle from a cappella to free jazz to afrobeat without missing a step. The group’s X-factor lies in the vocal contributions from Angel Deradoorian, Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle. Their tight, otherworldly harmonies had no trouble rising above Longstreth’s Graceland riffs and Brian McOmber’s erratic drum beats. The set included several cuts from the upcoming Bitte Orca, out tomorrow. Highlights included the new and stellar “Cannibal Resource” and “Stillness Is the Move.”

TV on the Radio began its set just as the last sun rays filtered through the Western skyline. The band launched into an hour-long set, opening with “Love Dog,” while front man Tunde Adebimpe split his time between dancing a samba-like rhythm and manning the loop pedals. As the technologically synesthetic name suggests, TVOTR does not constrain itself to conventional instrumentation. For much of the set, guitarist Dave Sitek played with chimes hung from the tuning peg of his high-E string, occasionally colliding them with Jaleel Bunton’s cymbals. The band played cuts from its three studio albums, evenly dividing the material among each. The show ended with a spectacular rendition of Return to Cookie Mountain’s “A Method.” Adebimpe banged on a cymbal plucked from Bunton’s drum set while Sitek thumped on a drum with two shakers, sending rainwater flying. As the last electronic bursts fizzled, Adebimpe voiced a thank you to New York City with a shout-out to Brooklyn in particular. —Theo Spielberg