Tag Archives: Silvia Saponaro

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Patti Smith Celebrates and Pays Tribute at SummerStage on Thursday

September 15th, 2017

Patti Smith and Her Band – SummerStage – September 14, 2017

“Most of these songs I wrote for Fred, with Fred or about Fred,” said Patti Smith last night on Central Park’s SummerStage. It would have been the 69th birthday of Fred “Sonic” Smith, Patti’s late husband and the father of her two children, Jackson Smith and Jesse Paris Smith. Patti Smith has been part of New York City royalty for decades now, her role in the art world, contributions to music and writing, her ability to find herself by chance in the midst of history’s cool and famous since she first stepped foot here in the late ’60s. But the intimate knowledge of her personal life is relatively recent news for her fans. Smith’s memoirs, Just Kids and M Train, share stories about the love and loss of her best friend, Robert Mapplethorpe, and her husband. They also let in the world on the person behind the art, her uncanny ability to find the sacred in everything and even just a good cup of coffee in a local diner. Knowing this is how she experiences the world made a noteworthy performance to honor and remember her late husband all the more special and intimate.

With her son on guitar and daughter on keyboards, Smith played through a catalog inspired by or written with her husband, gone since 1994 but an inspiration ever since. “Fred, this is the product of many day dreams,” she said as an introduction to “Because the Night” (written with Bruce Springsteen). Smith shared how “Looking For You (I Was)” was penned for their anniversary, a love song written for the city of Detroit, her home in the early years of her married life, written while she was in NYC. The show was full of memorials for others, too. Smith dedicated “Ghost Dance” to the activists who took a stand at Standing Rock; “Dancing Barefoot” to Amy Winehouse, who would have turned 34 on Thursday; “Peaceable Kingdom,” to Hüsker Dü’s Grant Hart, who passed away earlier in the day; “Pissing in a River” dedicated to legendary writer Sam Shepard, a close friend who passed away earlier this year. Despite all of these memorials, the performance never stopped feeling like a celebration. Messages sprinkled throughout were delivered with a sense of urgency: “We are free!” and “The people have the power!” Later, triumphantly holding aloft her guitar, Smith yelled, “This is the only fucking weapon we need!”

These are the messages Patti Smith was born to spread. Joined by her now adult children, she  took some moments to try to embarrass them a little, noting her daughter’s willingness to always give her mom her bobby pins. She’s also still wickedly funny, ending some stage banter with: “What am I talking about? I just turned 70. You know when you turn 70 your mind works … in mysterious ways.” But she remains the no-bullshit punk rocker she always was, bringing out the rock and roll animal inside her to dominate the stage for the set-closing “Land.” Even when performing other people’s songs, like Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the message felt as much hers as theirs. R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, a longtime fan and friend, joined Smith to sing happy birthday to Fred and also to close the show with “People Have the Power.” It was a perfect way to end a night that remembered a powerful artist and reminded everyone there of the most powerful message of all—delivered by the woman he loved. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Thurston Moore Group – The Bowery Ballroom – July 21, 2017

July 24th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Moonlandingz – Rough Trade NYC – May 11, 2017

May 12th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Cult – Brooklyn Steel – May 10, 2017

May 11th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Low Cut Connie – Mercury Lounge – May 9, 2017

May 10th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Of Montreal Make Weird Normal at Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 28th, 2017

Of Montreal – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 27, 2017

You’re weird! When you were a kid, that would’ve been a put-down, but nowadays, in some circles, the greater sin is being normal. No worries for Kevin Barnes, the lead genius behind Of Montreal, who showered a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg with their Day-Glo, bizarro resplendence last night. With a later start time, the set was the kind of happening that transpires when the normal folk are sleeping, a giant dreamlike hairy beast, a yeti in Brooklyn, marching across the stage as the band wound up “Gratuitous Abysses,” before Barnes had even taken the stage. The cosmic doo-wop sounded like eight genres mashed together, or maybe more like flipping among them so fast that it felt that way, a good primer for the sight-and-sound feast of a show that followed.

At times watching Of Montreal go through their set, many songs accompanied by a traveling troupe of performers acting out a hallucinogenic scene, each difficult to describe in words, was like watching a Saturday morning cartoon, the band maybe splitting time between their deeply psychedelic grooving and, at any moment, hopping off in a multihued van to go fight crime somewhere. The opening stretch was heavy on the synth and disco whorls, but a few songs in, Barnes picked up his guitar and the sound worked more toward a funked-up glam. The audience continuing to push closer to the stage to get into his orbit, whooping at each wardrobe change, Barnes working a new look at each third of the night.

The set list folded selections from Of Montreal’s vast and varying catalog, “Different for Girls” fueling a front-to-back dance party, “Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider” getting everyone to sing along in collective glee, “Gronlandic Edit”—with Barnes singing about “all the party people dancing”—was explosive fun of room-rattling bass. The last third of the performance was a nonstop blast of crowd-pleasers, with enough “Is that what I think it is, WTF?” moments mixed in to get most people in the room shaking their heads almost as much as they were shaking their bodies. The set closed, appropriately, with “The Party’s Crashing on Us,” off 2005’s The Sunlandic Twins album, which goes to show how long Barnes has been infectiously bounding around a stage with Chinese dragons and the like, in a hot-pink number, or with little clothing on at all, for that matter, as normal as can be. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Record Store Day – Rough Trade NYC – April 22, 2017

April 24th, 2017

Steve Earle - Rough Trade NYC - April 22, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Hurray for the Riff Raff – The Bowery Ballroom – April 20, 2017

April 21st, 2017

Hurray for the Riff Raff - The Bowery Ballroom - April 20, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Sundara Karma – Rough Trade NYC – April 13, 2017

April 13th, 2017

Sundara Karma - Rough Trade NYC - April 13, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Regrettes – Rough Trade NYC – March 27, 2017

March 28th, 2017

The Regrettes - Rough Trade NYC - March 27, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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All Them Witches – The Bowery Ballroom – March 10, 2017

March 13th, 2017

All Them Witches - The Bowery Ballroom - March 10, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Dead Coast – Mercury Lounge – March 2, 2017

March 3rd, 2017

Dead Coast - Mercury Lounge - March 2, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Lemon Twigs – The Bowery Ballroom – February 21, 2017

February 22nd, 2017

The Lemon Twigs – The Bowery Ballroom – February 21, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Black Tiger Sex Machine – The Bowery Ballroom – January 27, 2017

January 30th, 2017

Black Tiger Sex Machine - The Bowery Ballroom - January 27, 2017

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Red Fang – Mercury Lounge – December 5, 2016

December 6th, 2016

Red Fang - Mercury Lounge - December 5, 2016

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com