Tag Archives: Coldplay


Grandaddy Prove to Be Worth the Wait at Rough Trade NYC

March 3rd, 2017

Grandaddy – Rough Trade NYC – March 2, 2017

Grandaddy – Rough Trade NYC – March 2, 2017
There are albums that define an individual at a certain time of life, and for me it was Grandaddy’s The Sophtware Slump. I was a recent college graduate figuring out adulthood and working a “dream job” at my local radio station. Something about Jason Lytle’s specific lyrics laid across a series of bleeps and electronic haze struck a chord in me. I was first introduced to them when they opened for a then rising British band, Coldplay. That evening was highlighted by the special guest appearance by a barely recognizable Elliott Smith, whom Grandaddy had toured with prior. When the group disbanded back in 2006, there were morsels released in the form of a solo album by Lytle and side projects in Admiral Radley, but Grandaddy would not resurface until 2012 with a few local California gigs and select festivals in the UK. On the eve of their long-awaited fourth album, Last Place, the Golden State band played a sold-out Rough Trade NYC last night.

Opening their set with an abstract film filled with landscape juxtaposed with pixels, the quintet surfaced to the stage as if no time had passed. The crowd quickly got into it as Grandaddy opened with back-catalog gems “Hewlett’s Daughter” and “El Caminos in the West.” The evening would satisfy longtime fans, while introducing newer material like their first single from their latest, “Way We Won’t,” and follow-up single “Evermore.” The frontman was barraged with several requests midway through their set, but none of them were on the list. One fan graciously offered, “Your choice, Jason,” in which Lytle took the opportunity to segue into the spacey favorite “The Crystal Lake.”

The room erupted when the whimsical intro to “A.M. 180” signaled the audience to bop along to the melody, but it was near the end of the set that Lytle wrapped the night with an extra special bow. Going from new track “I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore” to the slow-burner “Jed’s Other Poem (Beautiful Ground),” he initiated the climax with a revved-up “Now It’s On.” Although the set concluded with harp-like keys on “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot,” the enduring bandmates would return to encore with a pair, the new song “The Boat Is in the Barn” and oldie-but-goodie “Summer Here Kids.” Needless to say Grandaddy’s return was so worth the wait. Let’s hope there won’t be another decade-long hiatus. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


A Double Dose of A Silent Film in New York City This Week

August 2nd, 2016

Robert Stevenson (vocals, keys and guitar) and Spencer Walker (drums) formed A Silent Film in Oxford, England, eight years ago. They quickly earned comparisons to bands like Coldplay, Keane and the Killers with their 2008 debut release, The City That Sleeps (stream it below), filled with arena-ready anthems. Sand & Snow (stream it below) followed in 2012, and A Silent Film (above, performing “Something to Believe In” for Jam in the Van) released their third studio full-length, a self-titled LP (stream it below), last year. “It’s hard to pinpoint the strongest aspect of A Silent Film, because there are many elements at work that make this album as strong as it is,” raved the Prelude Press. Now touring the U.S. the English duo plays Rough Trade NYC on Wednesday and then hits Mercury Lounge on Friday night. Gibbz opens both shows.


A Silent Film Play The Bowery Ballroom and Rough Trade NYC

October 30th, 2015

Robert Stevenson (vocals, piano and guitar) and Spencer Walker (drums) formed the alternative English band A Silent Film (above, doing “Something to Believe In” for Jam in the Van) 10 years ago in Oxford with three other musicians who have since moved on to other projects. But their arena-ready sound—which has earned them comparisons to the likes of Coldplay and Travis—remains. Stevenson and Walker have been busy this year, first putting out the EP New Year (stream it below) in April and returning with their third full-length, a self-titled affair (stream it below), two weeks ago, which AXS calls “a bright glimmer of power, a brilliantly crafted, edgy, in-your-face gold mine of pop.” Out on the road in support of their new music, A Silent Film play The Bowery Ballroom on Sunday and Rough Trade NYC next Friday. Charlotte, N.C., duo Flagship open both shows.


Mac DeMarco Kicks Off New Tour at The Bowery Ballroom

August 18th, 2015

Mac DeMarco – The Bowery Ballroom – August 17, 2015

Mac DeMarco – The Bowery Ballroom – August 17, 2015
The Mac DeMarco phenomenon is peaking. Perhaps a strong indication of his far-reaching mass appeal is his three consecutive sold-out New York City dates this week to begin his new tour, kicking off last night at The Bowery Ballroom. DeMarco’s continuously widening appeal is thanks to the combination of the accessible substance of his music along with the quirky affability of the personality behind it. In harmonious proportion, there is his feel-good songwriting—which recalls and revitalizes the groovy sound and soulful balladry of ’70s bands like Steely Dan and the Modern Lovers—and the oddly beguiling character whose earnest eccentricity makes him curiously relatable. Add to this the gentle, playful voice you love to sing along with and what seems to be an innately effortless musicianship, and you have an artist currently setting his own trend, inviting happy followers to join.

Although DeMarco was a little subdued by an unfortunately timed cold last night, his disarming charm was on display, and it was overwhelmingly clear that everyone in the room was very happy to be there. A little vocal and guitar warm-up to engage the crowd led to the opening song on his just released album, Another One, “The Way You’d Love Her.” DeMarco has a knack for touching on what makes you listen to music in the first place: to feel giddy and open. His verses hook you with steady, easy rhythm and delightful instrumentation and then give way to choruses that are like sunbaths, walking outside for the first time on a glorious day. Eliciting sing-alongs throughout, DeMarco warmed the room with irresistibly catchy hits, like “Salad Days” and “Ode to Viceroy,” before deftly shifting into breezier gems, like “Another One.”

Distinctly good vibes permeated the room, and the set list, drawing from all of his albums, included surprising and exhilarating covers, which included an interlude of Coldplay’s “Yellow” and a raucous encore of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” setting off the room into a moshing frenzy. It was like one big musical hangout session. Perhaps some of DeMarco’s appeal is due to the reassuring vibe he puts out to the average dude, who sees that someone is living a life of his own and making simple, good music without pretension or artifice. DeMarco is identifiable to all sorts, and that’s why people adore him. —Charles Steinberg

Photos courtesy of Pip Cowley | pipcowleyshoots.com

(Mac DeMarco plays the Capitol Theatre on 10/10 and the Bearsville Theater on 10/11.)


Alt-J Kick Off New Tour Monday at Madison Square Garden

March 27th, 2015

Joe Newman (vocals and guitar), Thom Green (drums), Gwil Sainsbury (guitar and bass) and Gus Unger-Hamilton (keys and vocals) met in 2007 while attending Leeds University and began making music together. Upon graduation, the foursome settled into Cambridge as Alt-J in 2011. Their debut full-length, An Awesome Wave (stream it below), filled with soaring folk-influenced dub music, came out in 2012. And not only did it rocket the band to stardom, earning comparisons to Radiohead and Coldplay along the way, but it also won them the prestigious Mercury Prize. After playing big festivals like Bonnaroo, Glastonbury and Lollapalooza in 2013, the quartet became a trio when Sainsbury departed the following year. (Cameron Knight has since replaced him for live shows, on guitar, bass and sampler.) But the beat goes on for Alt-J (above, doing “Every Other Freckle” for Jimmy Kimmel Live!): Their second full-length, This Is All Yours (stream it below), arrived last September. And it’s safe to say there’s no sophomore slump here. According to Rolling Stone, “It’s an ambling, entrancing listen—full of songs that blur weird folk and electronic zonkiness, classical filigree and straight-up rock, scrambling in all directions…. These guys know that alienation works best when it’s a little bit of fun.” Fresh off playing Lollapalooza in Brazil, Alt-J kick off their American tour on Monday night at Madison Square Garden. And as an added bonus, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., electronic-rock duo Phantogram open the show.


Top Gun, Halloween Leftovers and Rock’s Goofiest Rocker

November 5th, 2014

Mac DeMarco – Terminal 5 – November 4, 2014

Mac DeMarco - Terminal 5 - November 4, 2014
Mac DeMarco is one charismatic, goofy fella. Give it a year or so and the gap-toothed rocker from Bed-Stuy by way of Canada will probably have his own show on Vice or something, and lots of people will say, “I definitely saw that coming.” The cheers began at Terminal 5 last night as soon as he came out to set up the stage, getting his equipment together alongside some skeletons and Egyptian sarcophagi. There was either an after-holiday deal at a Halloween pop-up store or DeMarco just can’t bring himself to let go of the holiday. First he tried to walk around the stage unnoticed and shush the crowd, but the already packed venue was going nuts, shifting as one giant blob from left to right.

As inconspicuously as they could, the band climbed onto the Egyptian-themed stage, dimmed the lights, accompanied by the anthem from Top Gun, and popped back out of the sarcophagi, to the surprise of no one. DeMarco yelled, “Hey, guys, that cost us hundreds of dollars!” as the band jumped into “Salad Days.” Don’t let the second-rate theatrics mislead, the main event was definitely the music. In a relatively short amount of time, DeMarco’s put out three great albums of seemingly effortless catchy and jangly rock, each better than the one before. The songs check off just about everything that makes rock music fun in a live setting: relatively lighthearted, easy to sing along to, even easier to mindlessly groove along to with tasteful smatterings of perfectly catchy rock riffs.

“Cooking Up Something Good,” “Let Her Go,” “Ode to Viceroy,” “My Kind of Woman” all carried with them easy rockin’ vibes, with just a taste of some unexpected little jams, adding flavor to the songs like a dash of curry. As DeMarco tuned his guitar between songs, his bassist, Pierce McGarry, jumped into impromptu covers of Coldplay’s “Yellow” and Sisqó’s “Thong Song.” Their set ended with DeMarco jumping into the crowd, surfing all the way to the back of the venue, climbing up one of the columns to the second floor, dropping back down into the audience and getting carried back to the stage. Rock and roll! The band didn’t seem set on doing an encore, but when the sold-out crowd asked for it, they kicked off one in the best way possible, with DeMarco telling the crowd, “You guys are going to hate this” before launching into an extended (more than 10 minutes) rock out on the Top Gun theme. —Dan Rickershauser

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com


Sir Sly and Wolf Gang Play Stage 48 Tomorrow Night

September 9th, 2014

Singer-guitarist Landon Jacobs, drummer Hayden Coplen and keyboardist Jason Suwito began making moody, ambient electronic rock together about two years ago without revealing much about themselves beyond their band’s name: Sir Sly. But things amped up for them considerably in 2013 when a pair of singles, “Ghost” and “Gold,” were featured in video games, commercials and the influential blog Hype Machine. Last year the Guardian, in naming them the new band of the week, proclaimed, “Hugeness awaits this L.A. trio.” Next week, Sir Sly (above, performing “Easy Now” for 97X FM in San Diego) put out their self-produced debut full-length, the highly anticipated You Haunt Me. And the band is already out on the road, touring with Wolf Gang.

Going on five years now, the lads in London’s Wolf Gang—singer and multi-instrumentalist Max McElligot, drummer Lasse Petersen, guitarist-keyboardist Gavin Slater and bassist James Wood—have been mashing together the swirling sounds of symphonic rock with subtler electro pop. Their first LP, really a McElligot solo album, Suego Faults (stream it below), came out in 2011. Since then, Wolf Gang (above, doing an acoustic version of “Ghost in My Life” for Radio BDC) have toured with the likes of Coldplay and the Killers, plus, like Sir Sly, they’ve also been named new band of the day by the Guardian and have had tunes featured in commercials and on TV. Earlier this year, the quartet put out new music, releasing an EP, Black River (stream it below). See Wolf Gang and Sir Sly tomorrow night at Stage 48. (This show has been changed to 16 and over.)


Brooklyn’s Milagres Celebrate New Album at The Bowery Ballroom

April 9th, 2014

Kyle Wilson (vocals and guitar), Fraser McCulloch (bass, keys and vocals) and Eric Schwortz (guitar, percussion and vocals) met at NYU and later teamed up with Steven Leventhal (drums) and Chris Brazee (keys) to form Milagres. Following a mountain-climbing accident, a bed-ridden Wilson penned many of the tunes that would comprise 2011’s Glowing Mouth (stream it below), labeled “a polished, well-arranged album that could find a happy home in countless actions” and “a fully formed, wholly enjoyable collection that sounds more like a matured fourth effort than an initial attempt at a long-player” by BBC Music. Since then, Schwortz has departed and Leventhal was replaced b Paul Payabyab. Milagres (above, performing “Letterbomb” in studio for WFUV FM) have now returned with their follow-up, Violent Light (stream it below), out earlier this year, about which AllMusic says, “They have a big sound and reach for the same stars as stadium-filling veterans like Coldplay and U2, while still retaining their independent sense of artistry. If greater success follows them, treading that line between creativity and audience demand will become harder to do, but for now, Milagres have succeeded in making a unique and ultimately appealing record.” The Brooklyn band returns home from the road to celebrate their new album’s release tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom. Conveyor and Leisure Cruise open the show.

Exclusive Video: A Second Track + Field Session with Alt-J

December 3rd, 2012

Joe Newman (vocals and guitar), Thom Green (drums), Gwil Sainsbury (guitar and bass) and Gus Unger-Hamilton (keys) met just five years ago while attending Leeds University. But in the short time since, their band, Alt-J, has earned heady comparisons to the likes of Coldplay and Hot Chip. But since their debut LP, An Awesome Wave, and its soaring folk-influenced dub music recently won the prestigious Mercury Prize as the year’s best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland, other bands will now be compared to Alt-J. And in a New York City button shop they perform “Matilda,” one of the album’s lead singles, exclusively for The Bowery Presents Live channel on YouTube.

While riding around in a van, the quartet discuss listening to Spice Girls, Eurythmics and Paul Simon as kids, who got them into music and how their band’s formative moments happened in a college laundry room. Watch the interview: http://tbp.im/QuNe7J. Check out their performance of “Ripe & Ruin”: http://tbp.im/SzRvr7. And subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live for more performances and interviews like these, and the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows.

(Alt-J announced a North American tour, which will bring them to Webster Hall on 3/22.)