Tag Archives: Music Hall of Williamsburg

cat_preview

Perfume Genius – Music Hall of Williamsburg – December 13, 2017

December 14th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Kevin Devine on 12/16

December 12th, 2017

grow_03_sm

On Saturday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Kevin Devine performs his newest LP, We Are Who We’ve Always Been—a stripped-down photo-negative reimagining of last year’s Instigator—followed by a full-band take on 2004’s Put Your Ghost to Rest. The show is already sold out, but if you’d still like to go, you can try to Grow a Pair of tickets from The House List. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, email address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Kevin Devine, 12/16) and a brief message explaining what you love so much about his music. Eddie Bruiser, a fan of rocking locally, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

cat_reviews

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Close Out Tour Sunday in Williamsburg

December 11th, 2017

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – Music Hall of Williamsburg – December 10, 2017

(Photo: Mindy Tucker)

Ted Leo has always fought the good fight. After grinding away in hardcore bands for years and then fronting the underrated Mod-revival band Chisel, his politically charged brand of folk meets punk (or the other way around) with his band, the Pharmacists, has always had a little more tenderness and grace than the rest of his peers. His records cover a lot of ground as his style owes as much to the brash angular sound of Revolution Summer–era Dischord Records as much as they do to both the Jam and Thin Lizzy. As a songwriter, Leo takes the same “the only road is the high road” approach as Billy Bragg, with lyrics that shed light on global injustice and as a plea for understanding in uncertain times. With the release of The Hanged Man, after a seven-year absence, Leo has covered new ground by turning his lyrics inward to wrestle with some of his own personal demons. The LP is his first proper solo album and finds him entering new musical territory that he may have never tried with a backing band written next to his name down the spine of the record.

He and the Pharmacists rolled into town for two packed nights at Music Hall of Williamsburg to treat fans to both new songs and classics from his long career. Hometown garage-rock heroes Big Huge opened the second show last night, electrifying frontman Dan Regelski making it his sole mission to shake the sleepy crowd out of their Sunday comas. The band released their debut album, Cruel World, on Don Giovanni Records over the summer and sounded as great as ever. Next time you see their name listed on a marquee, make sure to check them out.

For longtime fans of the Pharmacists, this current lineup is a little more special than previous iterations of the band. With the addition of keys, saxophone and a third guitar player, the band was able to pull off The Hanged Man’s rich layers as well as add more firepower to some of Leo’s older material. On the last night of their tour, Leo was as hilarious and charismatic as ever, taking sips from a Dixie cup of whiskey and telling stories in between songs. With one of the strongest catalogs in indie rock, Leo and Co. treated the crowd to a review of such old favorites as “Where Have all the Rude Boys Gone,” “Parallel or Together,” and “The Angels’ Share.” It was a marathon set that highlighted the best of what makes Leo such a hero in this tiny corner of the indie-rock world. For the encore, the Pharmacists left the stage for the beginning of the Tyranny of Dissonance classic “Timorous Me,” only to return to finish it with full-band force. The show closed with “Little Dawn,” from Shake the Sheets, which had fans still singing along following the band’s nearly two-and-a-half-hour set. It was a welcome return for Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and one that made you never want to take them for granted again. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

cat_preview

A Positive Spin Tomorrow Night at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 6th, 2017

All too often in life you’ve got to choose between a good time and a good cause, but that’s not the case on Thursday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, thanks to A Positive Spin, a benefit concert for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, an organization that helps develop the city’s young women through arts, literacy, science, health and leadership skills. A Positive Spin began in 2014 as a DJ workshop for at-risk youth in Los Angeles. It has since evolved into an annual benefit concert held in L.A. and now in Brooklyn. In addition to ticket sales, a raffle will be held, as well as a food drive to benefit Food Bank for New York City, with a request for two nonperishable food items to enter the drawing. And as an added bonus, there will be performances by Craze (performing, above), the Blue Stones, EZI, Flor De Toloache, Michael Blume, Nick Catchdubs and Wrabel, with DJ sets from the Knocks and the Juan Maclean—plus special guests.

cat_reviews

A Raucous 40th-Anniversary Party at Music Hall of Williamsburg

December 1st, 2017

L.A.M.F. 4oth Anniversary – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 30, 2017


There’s a lot of talk about how the Lower East Side is not same as it used to be. Hell, the name of The Bowery Presents hearkens back to the glory days of the late ’70s when a few bands set the town—and the world—ablaze with a new kind of fury that hadn’t been witnessed before. Bands like Ramones, Television and the Patti Smith Group all turned rock and roll in on itself, showing how bloated it had become. This new class would behead bands with 100-piece drum kits and 15-minute flute-driven epics about mystical creatures to bring the genre back to its sneering basics. Punk made the Bowery famous worldwide, and one of its hometown heroes was Johnny Thunders and his band the Heartbreakers. With their seminal trash-rock opus, L.A.M.F., Thunders and his band were probably the most rock and roll out of any of the ’77 class. They stuck to the same basics that had been taught to millions by Chuck Berry while adding some of the era’s reckless abandon. (The band also took advantage of their junk-saturated environment more than their peers, and Thunders passed away in 1991.)

Last year, keeper of the NYC rock flame, Jesse Malin, assembled an all-star tribute to play the L.A.M.F. record in full. Needless to say it was a boozed-up blast. This year marks the album’s 40th anniversary and they pulled out all the stops to do it again at a sold-out Music Hall of Williamsburg last night. With a lineup of original Heartbreaker guitarist Walter Lure, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and Social Distortion singer-guitarist Mike Ness, the band ripped through the full LP, trading off vocal duties throughout. Malin (who also opened the show) joined them for a few numbers but seemed to know his place and cleared the stage so these punk legends could hold court.

The band was loose and some numbers ended in charmingly sloppy ways. You could tell this was getting Burke a little agitated, but in defense of the Heartbreakers’ reckless spirit, Ness said that no one cared if the songs came out perfect. The band left the stage once they completed the album and came back to do an encore of Heartbreakers rarities and even a couple of Thunders solo tunes. Malin returned to sing “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” from So Alone, and Ness took on that album’s slow-brooding title track immediately afterward. The show ended with Lure singing the Heartbreakers song “Too Much Junky Business.” It was a great night that transported everyone to a more dangerous and unpredictable era of rock and roll. —Pat King | @MrPatKing

cat_preview

Lukas Nelson Goes Real and Raw at Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 21st, 2017

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 20, 2017

Lukas Nelson, yep, Willie’s son, mmm hmm, sounds remarkably similar in voice, yada yada yada. We get that out of the way because it’s a little cliché by now, although Nelson certainly had to know what he was signing up for in the wake of his dad’s more-than-60 year career as a legend of country and popular music—and sounding a little, or a lot, like dear old dad ain’t exactly something to sweat. But the even better news is that Lukas is doing a damn fine job carving his own path while staying true to his pedigree: His music goes deep, sounds great loud or soft, tugs at downright Willie-like strands of universal truth and heartache, and is a rollicking good time, through and through.

Nelson and his stalwart band, Promise of the Real, closed a slam-bang tour last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg, showing he and they have learned a lot from two musical fathers, Willie, of course, and also Neil Young, whose been backed by Promise of the Real off and on for the last two years. But the takeaway is that Lukas isn’t the second coming of either Willie or Young so much as the first coming of Lukas Nelson. His was a gutsy, emotional, genre-hopping set, heavy with material from Promise of the Real’s outstanding eponymous 2017 album, and full feeling at just over an hour and a half. Behind the throttle of a six-piece band that incorporated soulful keys as often as it did gnarly pedal steel, it was possible to call this good-time rock and roll without further pinning it down, although the show had everything from country and soul to ragged blues and bar-band boogie.

“Set Me Down on a Cloud” soared like a gospel tune, while “Four Letter Word” and “Die Alone” were roughed-up rock, sometimes in an early ’70s Stones vein. “Fool Me Once” was a Lukas tune that seemed to straddle honky-tonk and R&B, shot through with gorgeous organ. “Just Outside of Austin” sounded like Willie, but perhaps even more like Glen Campbell, unpretentious and introspective. Throughout, Nelson and team showed a knack for set-list composition, including a mid-show acoustic set and also throwing in some Tom Petty (an acoustic, slow-swinging “Breakdown” with superb crowd accompaniment and a thrilling “American Girl”), and, in perhaps an early Thanksgiving nod to The Last Waltz, the Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek” and Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” with opener Nikki Lane and members of her band. If there was a standout, it might have been the stand-back-or-get-bowled-over “Forget About Georgia,” which sounded like what old Willie might if he were in a howling mood and fronting Crazy Horse. It began as a bleary-eyed honky-tonk croon and, over 10-plus minutes, mutated into a wailing guitar squall. It was raw and real, no promises needed. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson

Photos courtesy of Marc Millman Photography | www.marcmillmanphotos.com/music

cat_reviews

Bully Ratchet Up the Energy at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Monday

November 14th, 2017

Bully – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 13, 2017

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

In an era when we’re all coming to realize that women have a million reasons to angrily shout, Bully frontwoman Alicia Bognanno might just rock one of the best screams in all of rock music. Her vocal chords come with a built-in distortion pedal. It’s a slight miracle she can tour playing night after night with her gravely scream on full blast. At other times her voice is filled with tenderness—it takes a certain chorus or bridge to flick a switch then suddenly the same voice isn’t just cutting like a knife, it’s cutting you open. “I am trying to stay focused,” screamed Bognanno on repeat at a fever pitch for the final lines of “Focused,” each refrain ratcheting up the energy levels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, far higher than you’d think possible on a Monday night.

Not all of their songs hit so heavy: “I Feel the Same” came with a bouncy feel to it, with Bognanno flanked on both sides by pogoing guitarist Clayton Parker and bassist Reece Lazarus. The latter dedicated the set to two friends in the audience celebrating their two-year anniversary. “I don’t want to sing the saddest song we have after that. I’ll jinx this,” said Bognanno leading into “Blame.” But it was easily one of their best songs of the night, oscillating between soft contemplation and fury-filled choruses. “Milkman” one of their first-ever recorded tracks, had the whole band packing serious punch, with Lazarus’ thudding bassline doing the walloping. The show ended with “I Remember,” a tight number already trimmed of any fat whatsoever, played in warp speed. No better way to end the night than with a knockout blow. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

 

 

 

cat_preview

Alex Clare Brings New Material to Music Hall of Williamsburg

November 13th, 2017

English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Clare’s Tail of Lions (stream it below) just came out recently in the U.S., striking “an enjoyable balance on his third full-length,” according to AllMusic, “with a further evolution of a sound that shines the spotlight on his voice.” The title, Clare (above, performing “Basic”)—who moved with his family from London to Jerusalem two years ago—tells the Independent, refers to an ancient Jewish Proverb: “‘It is better to be a tail to a lion than a head to a fox’ means that it is better to follow someone who is truly great, than to lead something negative and crooked.” Per the Line of Best Fit, “Deeply rooted in religious literature, [the album’s] other influences range from mental illness to the current political climate, making it an engaging listen from one of Britain’s most distinctive male vocalists.” Clare’s current North American tour touches down in Brooklyn on Tuesday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Singer-songwriter Bobby Bazini and Brooklyn five-piece Elijah open the show.

cat_preview

All Them Witches – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 8, 2017

November 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

cat_preview

Two Nights of the Shadowboxers in New York City This Weekend

November 9th, 2017

Layering pitch-perfect three-part harmonies over soulful pop, funky folk and stadium rock channeled through an R&B lens, the Shadowboxers—original members Adam Hoffman (vocals and guitar), Matt Lipkins (vocals and keys) and Scott Tyler (vocals and guitar) with Cole McSween (drums) and Carlos Enamorado (bass)—have been winning over fans with their fun-loving, captivating live performances since forming in college seven years ago in Atlanta. But first they won over Indigo GirlsEmily Saliers, who’d caught one of their shows at Emory University, which led to the Shadowboxers (above, playing “Build the Beat” for WRLT FM) touring and performing with Indigo Girls. Now based in Nashville, Tenn., the group’s Kickstarter-funded Red Room arrived in 2013. To thank donors, the band recorded several cover songs and posted them to their YouTube channel. Their version of “Pusher Love Girl” so impressed Justin Timberlake that he’s since taken them under his wing and signed them to Villa 40, his artist-development company. Following the release of several singles, including “Hot Damn,” and with a new album on the horizon, the Shadowboxers, who have been compared to the Temptations and Maroon 5, have hit the road. Their November tour brings them to Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday (with Blonde Maze opening) and The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday (with the Rooks opening).

cat_preview

Blitzen Trapper Return to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

November 8th, 2017

And so we find ourselves in November, halfway between the cold canned beers of summer and the sweater-and-overcoat chill of winter, a perfect time to listen to Blitzen Trapper. The Portland, Ore., band’s music fits right into this seasonal space with thoughtful storytelling and a progressive country-folk-funk sound. Right on cue, they have just released their ninth studio album, Wild and Reckless (stream it below), and will be headlining Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday night (with Nashville, Tenn., singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt opening). After some dabbles with a more experimental sound, Blitzen Trapper (above, performing “No Man’s Land” for KINK FM) are in a mature and confident space on the new record, concentrating on the songs themselves. The material will only bolster their already formidable live repertoire that, along with its subtleties and idiosyncrasies, totally rocks in concert, in November or any other time of year. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

cat_preview

Torres – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 27, 2017

October 30th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

cat_preview

Protomartyr Finish American Tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg

October 27th, 2017

Joe Casey (vocals), Alex Leonard (drums), Greg Ahee (guitar) and Scott Davidson (bass) have been making top-quality post-punk as Protomartyr (above, performing “The Devil in His Youth” for Pitchfork) since forming the band seven years ago in Detroit, trafficking in energetic yet melancholic songs—with frontman Casey earning comparisons to Nick Cave and Ian Curtis along the way. The quartet’s fourth long-player, Relatives in Descent (stream it below), came out about a month ago to raves: “Alex Leonard pounds the skins and shifts through impressively complex percussive work, while Scott Davidson provides chugging grounded bass below Greg Ahee’s dissonant and virtuosic post-punk wailings. It’s Joe Casey’s driven melismatic, charismatic and poetic crooning however that adorns and brings each fragmented arrangement to life,” gushes the Line of Best Fit. “It really is about time we all sat up and started to take Protomartyr seriously. Their quality of music and precision is outstanding.” And not to be outdone, the Guardian calls it “sensational, bloodied but unbowed post-punk.” Find out how it all comes together live (spoiler alert: pretty great) when they close our their American tour at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night. D.C. trio Flasher and Brooklyn quartet Weeping Icon open the show.

cat_preview

Two Chances to Catch Up-and-Comer Whethan This Week in NYC

October 24th, 2017

It was just a couple of years ago that Chicago DJ and producer Ethan Snoreck began using GarageBand on his iPad to create music as Whethan, and now at the ripe old age of 18, AllMusic already calls him an “electronic wunderkind.” Influenced by the likes of Skrillex, Whethan (above, his newest release, “Enemy”) has gained admirers of his recorded material with the release of several singles and remixes on Soundcloud, and he’s gotten fans enamored with his live performances thanks to an opening slot on the road with the Chainsmokers. Currently headlining his own Good Nights tour, the rising star comes to New York City this week to play The Bowery Ballroom tomorrow and Music Hall of Williamsburg on Thursday. Saint Wknd and Ashe open both shows.

cat_preview

Black Lips – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 5, 2017

October 6th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com