Tag Archives: Robert Plant


Two Nights of Metz and Their New Album This Week in New York City

October 3rd, 2017

Alex Edkins (vocals and guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) formed the fuzz-laden noise-rock punk trio Metz almost 10 years ago in Toronto. Their self-titled debut album (stream it below) arrived on Sub Pop in 2012. Sure, it was loud, but the A.V. Club proclaimed, “For all it’s abrasion and denatured noise, Metz isn’t a statement of nihilism or finality; it’s a bright, exploratory scalpel making the first of hopefully many incisions.” Fortunately, Metz (above, their video for “Acetate”) have indeed made more incisions. Their sophomore LP, the aptly named II (stream it below), came out in 2015 and has a clearer sound. Per Drowned in Sound, “There’s more space, and a better sense of dynamics as well. It’s a subtle change (if anything about Metz can be said to be subtle) but there’s a greater feel of depth here, the songs have more interesting journeys….” And furthermore: “Beautifully brutal weirdo punk.”

Their third full-length, Stranger Peace (stream it below), recorded with acclaimed producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Pixies), came out just two weeks ago to some rave reviews. “The Toronto-based trio Metz have incorporated harmony into their heavy sound on their third full-length. They shift away from all-out abrasion, adding color to their eruptions,” according to Pitchfork. “To be clear, Metz haven’t turned into a pop band. They’ve actually done the opposite, incorporating harmony without going soft. The fact that so few heavy bands have been able to pull that off attests to how difficult it is. With Strange Peace, Metz make it sound easy.” Out on the road, they play Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday and The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday. Two Brooklyn acts—a duo, Uniform, and a trio, Bambara—open both shows.


Friday Nights Rock with J. Roddy Walston & the Business

November 10th, 2014

J. Roddy Walston & the Business – Stage 48 – November 7, 2014

The energy in the room at Studio 48 on Friday night was of the school’s-out-for-summer, Friday-before-a-three-day-weekend, they-don’t-rock-’em-like-they-used-to variety. Thankfully, the soundtrack matched the mood with Fly Golden Eagle opening the night and J. Roddy Walston & the Business bringing it home. There was something universal about Fly Golden Eagles’ set, the kind of rock and roll that made the bar back on his way to get more ice stop and play air guitar and those lucky to be there early to revel in the band’s slinky grooves. The short-but-sweet set bounced around straight funky blues riffs, prog-y instrumental interludes and blasts of dry heat rock that were reminiscent of the night’s headliners—no doubt a band to keep your eye on.

After a short intermission, which saw pretty much every empty space fill up with people eager to rock, J. Roddy Walston & the Business took the stage and pounced on an opening “Don’t Break the Needle,” off their 2010 self-titled LP. To say the room exploded at the opening riffs would somehow be an understatement. The audience’s reaction was like that of a bunch of people who had never experienced rock and roll before, which is the way Walston plays it. By the time the set’s third song, “Take It as It Comes,” reached its first chorus, everyone in the crowd wasn’t so much singing along as screaming as if their lives depended on it, not so much dancing along, but flailing as if possessed. And really, things stayed at that level the rest of the set: the audience dry kindling soaked in gasoline, the Business shooting off sparks of guitar, piano, bass and drums and watching the combustibles before them burn, burn, burn.

Between songs, Walston would banter with a wink: “Here’s another rock and roll song” and “You guys want to keep on rocking?” Almost a tease, except that they kept delivering, Walston bouncing and boogieing and gesticulating all the while, right through the closing “Midnight Cry.” A fireworks display like that required a big finale, and the band delivered with an encore of “Sweat Shock”—Walston sounding every bit like the second coming of Robert Plant as the Business brought arena riff rock into the 21st century—and then “Heavy Bells,” which was somehow impossibly bigger, louder and badder than everything that had preceded it. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | gregggreenwood.com


Catch Reignwolf Tonight Before They Hit the Big Time

August 1st, 2014

Jordan Cook grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and, thanks to a musician father, he began playing guitar at just two years old. He later decamped for Seattle and began buying cheap guitars and booking shows wherever he could, performing as if the guitar were one of his limbs. Cook eventually began playing as Reignwolf with bassist David “Stitch” Rapaport and drummer Joseph Braley. And they started gaining attention for their wild, incredibly high-energy shows on the festival circuit. Rolling Stone calls Cook “an unhinged, lovelorn, electric Canadian blues wild man who can’t decide if he wants to be Robert Plant or Jimmy Page.” And before hardly anyone even knew who he was, Cook and Co. (above, performing “Are You Satisfied?” and below, doing a solo cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” for KEXP FM) were out on the road with both the Pixies and Black Sabbath. And now they’re coming our way. Go see Reignwolf tonight at The Bowery Ballroom. NYC’s own three-piece rock outfit Strngrs open the show.


Robert Plant Closes Tour at Celebrate Brooklyn

July 29th, 2013

Robert Plant/Phosphorescent – Prospect Park Bandshell – July 27, 2013

The Prospect Park Bandshell was crawling with concertgoers of all ages on Saturday night. The anticipation for the double bill of Phosphorescent and Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters was palpable. Phosphorescent, with their melancholic storytelling and rich instrumental arrangements, played first. Their music is wonderfully suited for the outdoors, and the band’s set unfolded with songs spanning frontman Matthew Houck’s catalog, which includes five full-length albums and an EP since his solo debut in 2003. The crowd idled, mesmerized by poignant lyrics, Houck’s country-twanged crooning and the sense of peaceful passion the set conveyed. Crowd favorites included “Los Angeles” and Houck’s most recent hit, “Song for Zula.”

As the fireflies began to hover in the trees and night fell, we readied ourselves for Plant and his band to take the stage. I noticed a few people already had their lighters out and ready to wave. As soon as the stage was set with a trove of instruments and the lights dimmed, the crowd began to clap and cheer, swaying in awestruck bliss as Plant played an acoustic opening number. The spectacle and sound once his band joined him was sensational.

Justin Adams, John Baggott, Juldeh Camara, Billy Fuller, Liam “Skin” Tyson and Dave Smith, all stars in their own right, accompanied Plant. The deep talent onstage contributed a variety of instruments and sounds to the mix while covering old blues tunes like “Spoonful” and “Fixin’ to Die” and reinterpreting such Zeppelin classics as “Black Dog” and “Going to California.” Plant entertained with his signature mercurial disposition and amusing banter between songs, assuring the audience he’d “be back real soon.” But witnessing the last show of the band’s extensive worldwide tour was a special experience. And while Robert Plant has had a remarkably successful career, his work with the Sensational Space Shifters is some of his very best. —Schuyler Rooth




Don’t Miss the Legendary Robert Plant Tomorrow in Prospect Park

July 26th, 2013

Ever since Led Zeppelin (perhaps you’ve heard of them) broke up following the tragic death of drummer John Bonham in 1980, frontman Robert Plant has remained busy with a variety of projects and pairings, focusing on blues, country, folk, Americana and rock. Never one to go too long without doing something new, the music legend is currently fronting his latest band, the Sensational Space Shifters—Justin Adams, John Baggot, Juldeh Camara, Billy Fuller, Dave Smith and Liam “Skin” Tyson—reinterpreting world music and Zeppelin classics through roots music, while still managing to make the tunes rock. “We take primeval desert instruments and bring them into contemporary soundscapes,” Plant tells the Boston Herald. “Where Massive Attack and Led Zeppelin left off, we keep going.” Of course, the best part is that Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters (above, doing “Black Dog,” and, below, covering “Spoonful”), along with Matthew Houck’s fantastic Phosphorescent, play Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell tomorrow night.