Tag Archives: Queen

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Run the Jewels Kick Off Four-Night Run at Terminal 5 with Fiery Set

February 27th, 2017

Run the Jewels – Terminal 5 – February 25, 2017

Run the Jewels – Terminal 5 – February 25, 2017
While New York City was sweating out some of the hottest days on record for a February, on Saturday night, Run the Jewels kicked off their takeover of the city at Terminal 5, the first of four shows in the city El-P calls home. By now you should be well familiar with the group, the greatest buddy rap duo spitting rhymes poised to save the world from the guy with a “bad toupee and a spray tan.” Everyone in the crowd was ready for the takeover, losing their minds to the opening bars of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as Killer Mike and El-P came to the stage. When the bass dropped in opener “Talk to Me,” it was powerful enough to bounce the crowd up off the vibrating floorboards. “Legend Has It” welcomed thousands of “RTJ” chants, raised finger pistols and fists.

An extra bass-y rendition of “Call Ticketron” had Mike and El-P running around, crisscrossing each other center stage and passing off their verses like a baton. “I’ve been imagining being here with family and friends all tour,” said El-P, nearly choked up. His mother was there for the night, no doubt proud of her son as he pantomimed lines like “You can run backward through a field of dicks” off “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry.” But it was Gangsta Boo who had both Mike and El blushing, coming out to absolutely murder her potty-mouthed verses on “Love Again (Akinyele Back).” She had the crowd chanting “pussy power” before returning the stage to Run the Jewels. “She makes me uncomfortable every night,” said El-P, adding, “I’m so ready to elect Gangsta Boo for President of the United States of America. At least she’s truthful!” Some thoughts were then shared on the current president as El-P introduced the charged “Lie, Cheat, Steal.”

The set ended with the song that began it all, “Run the Jewels.” Killer Mike retold the group’s story, meeting in El-P’s Brooklyn to record his own album, R.A.P. Music, and becoming inseparable ever since. “You done good, Ma,” exclaimed Mike, his arm around El-P. They returned to perform an encore of “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” and “Down,” a song about challenges conquered and overcome. The night must have felt like a victory lap for the duo, a return to where it all started just a few years ago, having since taken over the world. Don’t expect them to slow down anytime soon because rappers who speak truth to power are needed now more than ever. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

(Some tickets remain to see Run the Jewels tonight and on Wednesday.)

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Catch Marc Martel Tomorrow Night at Mercury Lounge

May 5th, 2015

Marc Martel grew up in Montreal with a love of music. After college, he and some fiends relocated to Nashville with their band, Downhere. And a few years later, the singer-songwriter entered a contest to be a part of a tribute tour celebrating Queen’s iconic catalog, when he blew away the band’s drummer, Roger Taylor, with his rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “It was as if Freddie [Mercury] was in the room. It was uncanny,” said Taylor. Joining the Queen Extravaganza did wonders for Martel (above, in the video for “Believe”), who said, “I entered the competition on a whim, never expecting things to take off the way they did.” And take off, they have. He’s since gone solo with his debut full-length, Impersonator (stream it below). Out last year, the album is filled with a winning mix of rock, pop and jazz, showcasing Martel’s range and versatility. Of course, you can see that for yourself when he plays the early show at Mercury Lounge tomorrow.

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A Great Performer’s Great Performance

July 2nd, 2013

John Grant – The Bowery Ballroom – July 1, 2013


A great performance often surpasses expectations—not just predictions of how good a particular musician’s live show might be, but what types of things you expect to see from the artist. And with John Grant, there’s a degree of expected quirkiness. For a guy who writes heavily emotional material with nonsensical verses, plus songs from the perspective of a narrator claiming he’s “the greatest motherfucker that you’re ever gonna meet,” and several tunes that are introduced as inspired by Woody Allen movies, it is assumed his concerts will carry a certain degree of tongue-in-cheekiness.

But then you see him perform live, like last night at The Bowery Ballroom, and in his final refrains of “Vietnam,” he jumped up an octave and you hear yourself saying, “Fuck, this guy can really sing.” Then he introduced his Icelandic backing band (they’re all from Iceland except the pianist) that put some serious emotional punch behind the confessional nonchalance of his lyrics, turning how you hear his music on its head. And then he introduced “Ernest Borgnine,” inspired in part from discovering he was HIV-positive and in part by meeting Ernest Borgnine while working at Gramercy Tavern, which somehow sounds less emotional and serious than the song that follows it, “Where Dreams Go to Die,” introduced as a soliloquy about the G train.

“I Hate This Town” morphed into an eccentric sing-along. And Grant dedicated “Glacier” to gays living in Putin’s Russia, which recently enacted sweeping antigay laws—and it felt like the most perfectly poignant fuck you to bigotry. “Queen of Denmark” was filled with so many grandiose twists and turns that it felt like an actual Queen song. It’s rare for a show to make you realize you’ve only scratched the surface of all there is to an artist, that how you would have explained him before seeing him live wasn’t even the half of it. It’s too soon to say this with any degree of certitude, but John Grant just might be the greatest motherfucker that you’re ever gonna meet. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Andie Diemer | issuu.com/andiediemer/docs/portfolio