Tag Archives: Pip Cowley

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Young Thug – Terminal 5 – December 18, 2016

December 19th, 2016

Young Thug - Terminal 5 - December 18, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Portugal. The Man Are Well Worth the Wait at The Bowery Ballroom

November 8th, 2016

Portugal. The Man – The Bowery Ballroom – November 7, 2016

Portugal. The Man – The Bowery Ballroom – November 7, 2016
It’s been a while since New York City has gotten a proper headlining show from Portugal. The Man. While there have been some coheadlining bills to keep their fans (slightly) satisfied over the past couple of years, the packed house at The Bowery Ballroom last night was justifiably antsy awaiting the Portland, Ore., band. That wait was filled with a psychedelic variety show of openers from stand-up comedy to German rappers. PTM have filled their tour with an upside-down assortment of friends, giving the entire affair a family feel that extended to the sold-out audience. Indeed, to be a fan of the group has a part-of-the-club feel and the room felt filled with diehards hoping their heroes would deliver.

Not to worry: Portugal. The Man’s set was well worth the wait. They opened with the title track to their 2007 album, Church Mouth, which hasn’t been in their repertoire for many years but still sizzled with up-to-date energy. The even older “Chicago”—its frenetic blasts of punk-prog, frontman John Gourley singing, “Burn this motherfucker down”—followed, and it was clear that this was a PTM that NYC hadn’t seen for quite some time. The rest of the set list was an expertly designed back and forth through the Portugal. The Man songbook, old and new, alternating from beautiful to cathartic to pure evil accompanied by unique bulbous lights, spheres of colors giving the effect of a sci-fi rock show. The crowd reveled in the invigorated set, the band artfully stringing together multiple songs, finding new places to insert extra guitar excursions and strobe-light climaxes.

“All Your Light” has long been a set centerpiece, but last night it seemed to realize its full potential as a triumphant suite with multiple bass-drum-guitar-keys rock-outs, eventually peaking with the outro to the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” feeling very much like it could have been a PTM original. Along the way, they still managed to hit all the beloved sing-alongs and pretty much all of their most recent Evil Friends album, although with plenty of impressive reinvention throughout, stretching the set well past the 100-minute mark. They finally finished with an expert pairing of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” with their own “Purple Yellow Red and Blue,” everyone in the crowd triumphantly singing, dancing and waving their hands in the air, hoping it won’t be too long before the next one. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Foals Hold Court Uptown at United Palace on Friday Night

November 7th, 2016

Foals – United Palace – November 4, 2016

Foals - United Palace - November 4, 2016<

Amongst a wave of British alternative bands that have made it in the States, Foals have broken out of a traditional narrative. PopMatters described the group’s transformation best: “Ten years ago, Foals could have likely been classified as an indie-rock group, but now they’re an archetypal case of indies going mainstream. The hip haircuts and clean guitar leads belie the fundamental radio-rock aesthetic in which Foals purvey.” Touring in support of their recent release, What Went Down, the lads headed way uptown to the United Palace to unleash on a packed house on Friday night.

In the ornate venue, strobe lights marked the band’s entrance as they jammed through an opening prelude. Frontman Yannis Philippakis provided a hearty greeting before delivering the guttural “Snake Oil,” which was accompanied by drummer Jack Bevan’s heavy beats. The first wave of collective handclaps began with “Olympic Airways,” but the cadence of striking hands continued throughout the evening, with very few attendees remaining in their seats. The anthemic call of crowd favorite “My Number” had the audience chanting, “You don’t have my number,” while the hypnotic “Give It All” reset the room.

An array of pink, blue and streaming bright white lights bathed the United Palace’s carved walls full of exotic places and creatures. Rhythm guitarist Jimmy Smith quickly slayed the opening chords of “Mountain at My Gates,” bringing everyone back to some heavy rock. The performance ebbed and flowed as the melodic opening of a crashing wave gave way to the lull of “Spanish Sahara.” Philippakis, in true form, hurled into the first few rows for the encore, “What Went Down,” his faithful fans holding him up as if he were walking over them. He and Foals truly ruled over the palace on Friday night. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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James Blake – Radio City Music Hall – October 3, 2016

October 4th, 2016

James Blake - Radio City Music Hall - October 3, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Miike Snow – Radio City Music Hall – September 29, 2016

September 29th, 2016

Miike Snow - Radio City Music Hall - September 29, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Gallant – Music Hall of Williamsburg – August 30, 2016

August 31st, 2016

Gallant - Music Hall of Williamsburg - August 30, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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The Lumineers/Langhorne Slim – Celebrate Brooklyn – August 3, 2016

August 4th, 2016

The Lumineers/Langhorne Slim - Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell - August 3, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Nice as Fuck Connect with Sold-Out Crowd at The Bowery Ballroom

August 2nd, 2016

Nice as Fuck – The Bowery Ballroom – August 1, 2016

Nice as Fuck - The Bowery Ballroom - August 1, 2016
The band is called NAF—Nice as Fuck—a name that feels buried in layers of Twitter-ready hipster irony, but, maybe, quite possibly they really are that nice. The crowd at the sold-out early show at The Bowery Ballroom last night was certainly fond of the trio, a “supergroup” consisting of Jenny Lewis (vocals and keyboards), Erika Forster (bass) and Tennessee Thomas (drums). With the mid-summer sunlight still peeking in through the back windows, you might have said the show was “early as fuck,” but no matter, when the three took their places, not onstage but in the middle of the floor, all wearing the NAF uniform of Nice as Fuck T-shirts, army-fatigue jackets and black berets, the normally staid Ballroom security somehow became hype men, helping getting the crowd riled, the room was ready as fuck to party.

The performance was a run through of their self-titled album, nothing more, nothing less. “Runaway” opened the set, Forster’s bass filling the room from the center like some chocolate-bar nougat, Lewis’s vocals echoing from above and behind—and from where I was standing, as good a voice of God as you could ask for. She circled around throughout, making eye contact and sometimes physical contact with the crowd, like an indie-rock Oprah connecting with the masses. The audience, majority female, responded in kind: bouncing and singing and dancing along with Lewis and company.

“Cookie Lips” was introduced with the announcement that Forster was six-months pregnant, which made me appreciate what effect that rubber-band bass playing might have. The sound remained steady and simple throughout, bass and drums getting funky as fuck with Lewis imparting wisdom like “Get high, get low, get weird,” approaching a self-help mantra. Still, in this complicated world, the simplicity and fun of NAF was welcome. The set’s highlight came toward the end with “Guns,” Lewis and the rest of the crowd singing, “I don’t want to be afraid, put your guns away,” peace signs aloft, a message that was clear as fuck, in as nice a way as possible, of course. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Royal Headache – Music Hall of Williamsburg – July 20, 2016

July 21st, 2016

Royal Headache - Music Hall of Williamsburg - July 20, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Safia – Mercury Lounge – July 18, 2016

July 19th, 2016

Safia - Mercury Lounge - July 18, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Courtney Barnett Makes the Best of a Rainy Night

June 6th, 2016

Courtney Barnett – Rough Trade NYC – June 5, 2016

Courtney Barnett Gov Ball NYC Rough Trade 2016 by Pip Cowley Day 2-6285
I’m not sure if the proper expression to capture the mood inside the club on Sunday night involved clouds and silver linings or making lemonade out of lemons, but for the lucky (and the wet) who got in, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was a free Courtney Barnett show at Rough Trade NYC. After a severe rainstorm shut down Governors Ball, the show was one of several hastily arranged performances around town—no one inside had woken up that morning planning to be there. Still, unsurprisingly, the room was packed elbow to elbow and the steamy warmth of the crowd fueled chants of “Courtney!” as the lights finally went down.

The performance unintentionally served as a nice spot-check on a career that has exploded exponentially. Absent the massive stage of a larger club or the expansive audience of a festival set, Barnett’s charm and talent were right there for the grabbing. Opening with “Dead Fox,” accompanied by an animated video in full Technicolor flickering behind the trio, the band found a glorious sludge of guitar, bass and drums while the audience started to percolate. “An Illustration of Loneliness (Sleepless in New York)” began with an appropriately drowsy mood with a rock-out that somewhat unsuspectingly crept up on the crowd. It was a good template for many of her songs, like “Out of the Woodwork”—and the show overall, which balanced expert, phrase-twisting poetry with audience-bouncing rock and roll, each piece building on the previous. The set bounced between songs from her Sometimes I Sit and Think album and the older double EP, plus a few from neither, providing a nice capsule of the Courtney Barnett sound to date. “Depreston” elicited a full-volume sing-along, a sweaty mass of voices nearly drowning out the band’s, but the song somehow never lost its emotional oomph. Less familiar but equally powerful was their cover of the Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie,” featured on the recent Day of the Dead. As visions of highway-driving tunnel vision filled the screen, the trio filtered the old hippie screed through the Barnett sound: an excellent too-cool stoner blues.

Like the songs contained within, the show built to a fist-pumping rage, the closing section highlighted by “the hits,” like “Avant Gardner” and “Pedestrian at Best.” The room somehow felt even more packed as the band and audience unleashed their full, pent-up, rain-delayed power. Barnett and Co. closed with “Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party,” which somehow perfectly, inversely captured the spirit of this special Sunday night show. She claimed it was one of their “favorite shows ever,” which kind of felt like a pickup line, but coming from Barnett, I think most in the room believed her. The encore started with a bit of off-the-cuff goofing, Barnett starting and stopping almost a dozen different classic-rock riffs (think: “Stairway to Heaven,” “Wish You Were Here,” Nirvana), the band hopping in almost perfectly each time, and most in the crowd smiling and laughing imagining how great it would be if they really played any of them. Maybe next rainout they will, but instead the audience made do with the fun finish of “Pickles from the Jar,” getting their last bit of dancing in, the proper expression here involving hay and sunshine. —A. Stein |@Neddyo   

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Crystal Fighters – The Bowery Ballroom – May 10, 2016

May 11th, 2016

Crystal Fighters - The Bowery Ballroom - May 10, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Peter Bjorn and John – Rough Trade NYC – May 2, 2016

May 3rd, 2016

Peter Bjorn and John - Rough Trade NYC - May 2, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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Chairlift – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 10, 2016

April 11th, 2016

Chairlift - Music Hall of Williamsburg - April 10, 2016

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

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The Naked and Famous – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 4, 2016

April 5th, 2016

The Naked And Famous Music Hall Williamsburg by Pip Cowley 2

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com