Tag Archives: Questlove


Lake Street Dive Prove to Be Worthy of the Buzz at Bowery Ballroom

April 2nd, 2014

Lake Street Dive – The Bowery Ballroom – April 1, 2014

I had never heard—or even heard ofLake Street Dive prior to their appearance at last September’s Another Day, Another Time: Celebrating the Music of Inside Llewyn Davis at Town Hall, when their rousing performance of “You Go Down Smooth” had polite concertgoers stirring in their seats, excitedly whispering to one another. Rachael Price (vocals), Mike Calabrese (drums and vocals), Bridget Kearney (upright bass and vocals) and Mike Olson (guitar and vocals) met while studying jazz at music school in Boston. And while the band, which has since moved to Brooklyn, is certainly jazz-centered, their rock, pop and R&B influences are plainly noticeable. Something else obvious about Lake Street Dive is the considerable buzz behind them since the start of the year (a write-up in Rolling Stone, appearances on the The Colbert Report and Letterman, a Questlove shout-out, Price performing “The Star Spangled Banner” on House of Cards). And then suddenly this band that had been at it for nearly a decade was an overnight success.

Taking the stage last night at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom to the dulcet tones of “What’s New Pussycat,” the quartet launched into “Got Me Fooled,” off their 2010 self-titled album, and then “Stop Your Crying,” from the recently released Bad Self Portraits. “We can’t tell you how happy we are to be at home,” said Price to applause. And while she and her breathtaking vocals and commanding presence (she’d be at home on a Broadway stage) were front and center, each bandmate was given the chance to shine: Kearney’s upright-bass solos gave “Henriette” and “Bobby Tanqueray” a bit of a funky kick, Olson’s impressive trumpet work bolstered a lively, extended “Hello? Goodbye!” and “Neighbor Song,” and Calabrese’s feisty drumming and added vocals on “Seventeen” elicited cheers from most of the women in the room.

While their set, filled with plenty of four-part harmonies, mainly consisted of material from their two full-lengths, Lake Street Dive also played three new songs. About halfway through, Bad Self Portraits producer Sam Kassirer joined in on their breakthrough album’s title track and then stuck around for a few more tunes. They closed the show with the crowd-pleasing “You Go Down Smooth” before returning for a one-song encore, Hall & Oates’s “Rich Girl,” with the audience enthusiastically singing along. For now, Lake Street Dive should continue to soak up the valuable experience of playing night after night on the road because bigger rooms, bigger crowds and bigger things await. —R. Zizmor




The Soul Rebels Bring a Taste of NOLA to Brooklyn

February 18th, 2014

Soul Rebels – Brooklyn Bowl – February 14, 2014

While the NBA took over New Orleans this past weekend for its All-Star game, a few NOLA bands sought musical refuge in New York City, beginning with the Soul Rebels, playing the first of two shows at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday night. If you’ve never seen a Soul Rebels show before, there’s a long list of things that you’re missing out on. But in short, their energetic time-traveling mix of cover songs woven around their own music creates one hell of a two-hour dance party.

Blink and you might have missed any number of those excellent covers, which ranged
from Bobby Blue Band’s (and a touch of Jay-Z’s version) “Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City” and Hova’s own “Hard Knock Life” to Heavy D’s “Now That We Found Love” and “Nuttin’ but Love.” Later on, the encore skewed much newer, with Pharrell’s “Happy” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” getting the New Orleans brass treatment. The energy behind the multihorn take on these songs ran so high throughout the set that it made the idea of a DJ seem boring (although Questlove assumed his post after the show and made a musical counter-argument of his own).

The Soul Rebels’ breathless, nonstop mix of original, traditional and cover songs was backed by a collective energy that each band member helped sustain. With eight of them onstage on Friday, there was never a moment when the crowd wasn’t being prompted by
at least one Rebel, whether it was shouting Valentine’s Day–themed plaudits at them or goading them into letting loose. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Mayer Hawthorne – The Bowery Ballroom – July 15, 2013

July 16th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

(See Mayer Hawthorne, with OneRepublic, play Hudson River Park Pier 26 on 8/10.)


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