Tag Archives: Jack Antonoff
Fun./Tegan and Sara – Hudson River Park Pier 26 – July 23, 2013
After winning a pair of Grammys earlier this year for Best New Artist and Song of the Year, fun. returned to their hometown, selling out two shows on Pier 26 at Hudson River Park. Although there were threats of thunderstorms last night, the band would have been fully prepared after their Grammy performance. In fact, the Quin sisters (aka Tegan and Sara) remarked how the crowd had danced through the rain the night before. But instead, the sun shone, set against the Hudson River as Nate Ruess, Jack Antonoff and Andrew Dost took the stage in tuxes as they sweetly lulled onlookers with “Some Nights (Intro),” then quickly stripped off their fancy duds for “One Foot” as a horn blared.
Getting down to business, Ruess ordered, “Clap your fucking hands. Let’s make the most of this weather.” The trio weaved seamlessly between their debut album, Aim and Ignite, and the chart-topping Some Nights. Keyboardist Emily Moore provided a sweet, childlike refrain on “At Least I’m Not as Sad (As I Used to Be)” as balloons slowly bounced across the audience. The first few chords of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” incited the crowd to join in before the band played through to “Barlights.” Saving the bests for last, “Carry On” had its anthemic chorus ringing all the way to New Jersey. Antonoff, a Garden State native, had cheers from his fellow Jerseyans on “The Gambler,” which Ruess had dedicated to the Antonoffs, who served as his family when he moved to New York City.
Of course (as if it needed mentioning), “We Are Young” was the fan favorite of the night, however, for me, the live rendition without Janelle Monáe’s lovely vocals was lacking that extra pop from the recorded version. After closing the set with “Some Nights,” the band returned to encore with a “new one” or rather a new cover of the native son, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” And as if that weren’t enough, Ruess offered a heartfelt thank you to New York, New Jersey and Brooklyn during the final song, “Stars.” Some Nights was written in all three, and the next album will be as well. These places have been good to them, and fun. certainly reciprocated on this homecoming. —Sharlene Chiu
Tags: Aim and Ignite, Andrew Dost, Bruce Springsteen, Emily Moore, fun., Gary Glitter, Hudson River Park Pier 26, Jack Antonoff, Janelle Monáe, Nate Ruess, Photos, Review, Sara Quin, Some Nights, Tegan and Sara, Tegan Quin
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Steel Train – The Bowery Ballroom – January 5, 2013
It had been well over a year since Steel Train had played a show, so the buzz of anticipation was high heading into their show at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. Add the fact that lead singer Jack Antonoff labeled these two weekend shows (they played the night before in New Jersey) as their last ones for good, and that buzz grew even higher. Some fans flew in from distant places, while others waited more than 10 hours in the cold to make sure they were the last ones pressed against the stage.
Farewell shows often border on an unbearable amount of self-congratulations and overwhelming nostalgia, without a lot of actual music. But Antonoff and his crew kept things focused. Right off the bat, Steel Train played one of their most successful songs, “Bullet,” followed by a few other fan favorites, like “Turnpike Ghost” and “Kill Monsters in the Rain,” before the first of the night’s two guests—Jack’s sister, designer Rachel Antonoff—came onstage to sing on “Dakota.” (Their father joined in on guitar at the end of the set on “Firecracker.”)
Since the farewell fanfare was at a minimum, the show’s more emotional moments stood taller and punctuated the beautiful night. The first of these instances occurred when the band huddled around Antonoff’s microphone for the nearly a cappella version of “Road Song,” written when they were still inching across the country on poorly booked tours. And another came as the encore began, when Steel Train simply let loose during “Black Eye” and “S.O.G. Burning in Hell,” jamming for their fans one last time. —Sean O’Kane
Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com