Tag Archives: Prudential Center
Tags: Barclays Center, Chris Wolstenholme, Dominic Howard, Drones, Joe Papeo, Live Music, Matt Bellamy, Muse, Music, Photos, Prudential Center, X Ambassadors
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Matt Bellamy (vocals, guitar and keys), Dominic Howard (drums and synths) and Chris Wolstenholme (bass and vocals) formed Muse (above, performing “Dead Inside”) more than two decades ago while attending college in South West England. Over the years, they’ve become known for their deft mix of rock and electronic sounds and a willingness to take experimental chances—winning them comparisons to Radiohead in the process—not to mention an incredible light show at their energetic performances. Plus, NME, Billboard and Rolling Stone have hailed them as one of the most exciting live bands today. Their seventh studio album, Drones (stream it below), came out last June. And according to Rolling Stone, “Muse get back to the fiery rock that they do best, laced with new passion and principle.” The North American leg of the virtuosic arena-rockers’ Drones world tour brings them to town this week for a pair of appearances, on Wednesday at Barclays Center and on Friday at Prudential Center. Brooklyn quartet X Ambassadors open both shows.
The Killers – Prudential Center – August 8, 2013
Until their show at the Prudential Center last night, I had never seen the Killers live and in person, but boy the past decade has treated them well. The show kicked off with the short piano song “Enterlude,” lead singer Brandon Flowers welcoming everyone in the arena: “We hope you enjoyed your stay/ It’s good to have you with us/ Even if it’s just for the day.” The band then launched right into the flashiest moment of the set, megahit “When We Were Young,” just as they do on the album Sam’s Town, only this time to thousands of people under a shower of golden pyrotechnics. Sure, there was one more pop of pyro later, as well as the usual arena-band touches like lasers and a spotlight drum solo, but the quartet still tries to work a room like it’s a small club.
If the Killers proved anything in the following two hours, it was that they’ve evolved into less of a cookie-cutter arena act and are more of a group still somehow on the rise. During brasher songs, like “Bling (Confession of a King),” you could see rough edges around the performance that many big bands wouldn’t allow—like an out-of-breath Flowers (thanks to his constant wandering and hopping around the stage) or spotting a fan they knew and calling him out by name to thank him for coming.
Speaking of the fans, it was noticeable that different parts of the arena were filled with people who had come into the band during different album cycles, as cheering allegiances were split during some songs. Still, older tunes like “Somebody Told Me” or newer ones like “Human” united them all, while anthems like “Spaceman” showed how they’d also fit right at home in an 80,000-person stadium. It all clicked during “Moon River,” which Flowers jokingly prefaced: “You know the motto of our hometown, right? What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? We are proving that sumbitch wrong every night.” The Killers are on a mission to bring some of who they are and where they’re from to a different town each night, and they do it extremely well. —Sean O’Kane
Brandon Flowers (vocals and keys), Dave Keuning (guitar and vocals), Mark Stoermer (bass and vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (drums and vocals) made an almost instant splash with the release of the first Killers album, the ’80s-influenced, New Wave-ish Hot Fuss, in 2004. With plenty of tunes to sing along with or dance along to, the music was called “big, bold and confident” by BBC Music. And Rolling Stone ranked it as the 43rd best album of the entire decade. The ensuing tour in support of the Hot Fuss put the Killers (above, performing “Mr. Brightside” this year at Lollapalooza Brazil) on the map as a band not to miss when they come to your town. And it’s a playbook the Las Vegas quartet has stuck with ever since: put out an album every few years and then steadily tour behind it for a few more years. In 2012, the Killers released their fourth album, Battle Born (stream it below)—the phrase appears on Nevada’s state flag—which instantly seemed perfectly suited for an arena. This works out great because, still out on the road, the Killers play the Prudential Center tomorrow night.
Let’s face it: Most bands don’t make it. And even the majority of the ones that do often fall apart somewhere down the road. For every U2 or Rolling Stones there are bands whose names you’ve never known. But even many of the ones you do recognize don’t last either. The Beatles’ first and last albums came out just seven years apart, and they’d already stopped touring four years before the release of Let It Be (George was still just 23!). So it should come as no surprise that despite years of touring, worldwide acclaim and smash hits like “Black Hole Sun” and “Spoonman” that grunge pioneers Soundgarden came crashing to a halt in 1997.
But as has often been proved before, time can heal wounds, and on October 6, 2009, all four members of Soundgarden attended a Pearl Jam show—for whom Matt Cameron had become the drummer—and frontman Chris Cornell joined Pearl Jam onstage (reuniting Temple of the Dog in the process) and performed “Hunger Strike.” Rumors began to spread about an impending reunion, and they later turned out to be true. It’s been a long time coming, but Soundgarden (with the excellent Coheed and Cambria opening) plays the Prudential Center next Friday, 7/8. For the love of all that is holy and good, don’t miss this. The Prudential Center is located in downtown Newark, just two blocks from Newark Penn Station. The arena is accessible via New Jersey Transit, PATH and Amtrak.
(Soundgarden above, plays “Hunted Down” on Conan.)