Tag Archives: Silvia Saponaro

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Cigarettes After Sex – Brooklyn Steel – April 7, 2018

April 9th, 2018


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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The Strypes Do Their Part to Keep Rock Alive at Rough Trade NYC

March 28th, 2018

The Strypes – Rough Trade NYC – March 27, 2018

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

During the initial explosion of British rock bands in the early ’60s, it was pretty common for young groups to begin as carbon copies of the influences they were desperately trying to emulate. The first few Stones records, after all, leaned heavily on Chicago-blues covers, and the majority of the Who’s first album was a love letter to Motown. Each of these bands had templates they referenced before they mastered their crafts and created something completely different. The Strypes, out of Cavan, Ireland, started similarly. They experienced early success thanks to their throwback style that owed a huge debt to the early British pub-rock scene that predated the punk explosion of ’77. Bands like Dr. Feelgood, Nick Lowe and Dave EdmundsRockpile, and Graham Parker and the Rumour were all the template for them—and what made it most impressive was that these kids were all in their early teens. And man could they play.

Their newest album, last year’s Spitting Image, finds the Strypes expanding their sound a little bit more with a focus on lyric-heavy pop-conscious songcraft—not unlike their heroes Lowe, Parker and Elvis Costello. And it brought them to Rough Trade NYC last night in Williamsburg. To put it lightly: I was not prepared for what I was about to witness. The band tore into their set by absolutely pulverizing the classic blues standard “Rollin’ and Tumblin’.” They’re such a tightly wound force with drummer Evan Walsh thunderously dismantling his kit with each hit, bassist Peter O’Hanlon constantly pacing and jumping all over the stage, lead guitarist Josh McClorely stoically unleashing one perfect solo after another and lead singer Ross Farrelly—clad in a workman’s jumpsuit and big black sunglasses—commanding the crowd with a calm and cool I’ve-seen-it-all demeanor. The Strypes had it down, an image they could present and the skills and tunes to back it up.

The set flew by as they played material from across their catalog. You could tell each era of the young band’s career was specifically defined, as the pop hooks of new songs like “Behind Closed Doors” jumped out in the middle of their older bluesy rave-ups. The Strypes played for about an hour and a half before coming out for a brief encore that began with an incendiary version of Nick Lowe’s “Heart of the City.” If you are familiar with the Rockpile’s live versions of this song, then you know that I am not saying it lightly that the Strypes did it justice. The final number of the night was their early hit “Blue Collar Jane” before the band bid Brooklyn goodnight and turned off their blazing hot amplifiers. Maybe rock isn’t dead after all? —Pat King | @MrPatKing

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Alex Cameron – Music Hall of Williamsburg – March 10, 2018

March 12th, 2018


(Alex Cameron plays Music Hall of Williamsburg again tonight.)

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Frightened Rabbit Celebrate a Milestone Anniversary in Williamsburg

February 26th, 2018

Frightened Rabbit – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2018

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

After their first LP, Sing the Greys, didn’t make a lot of noise, Frightened Rabbit’s breakthrough release, The Midnight Organ Fight, arrived a decade ago as a low-key masterpiece of a breakup album. Without any marketing push, its tales of love lost, failure and self-loathing slowly spread by word-of-mouth. Each song a lonely, emotional gut punch that doubles as a catchy, danceable earworm. The raw, vulnerable words sound so intimate through headphones in a solitary listen but when heard live bloom into a big communal catharsis amidst a flurry of guitars and onlookers belting out dark lyrics—like “I think I’ll save suicide for another day” or “It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep warm”—like they’re the only ones in the room.

Celebrating The Midnight Organ Fight’s 10th anniversary, the Scottish five-piece—Scott Hutchison (vocals and guitar), Grant Hutchison (drums and vocals), Billy Kennedy (bass, keys and vocals), Andy Monaghan (guitar and keys) and Simon Liddell (guitar and keys)—rolled into Brooklyn on Saturday to perform it in order. But first they did four songs from other albums, including The Winter of Mixed Drinks“Swim Until You Can’t See Land,” which earned the night’s first hoots and hollers. The loud crowd eagerly sang along to Organ Fight’s opener, “Modern Leper,” drinks held aloft at “You must be a masochist.” The affable frontman’s Glaswegian-accented banter had everyone listening with rapt attention between songs, and at times he conducted the crowd with his hand and guitar. “You guys are fucking great. Thank you for this. It’s amazing how happy a sad album can make you,” he said, laughingly adding, “but to each their own.”

After spirited takes on “My Backwards Walk” and “Keep Yourself Warm,” plus the album’s second short instrumental, “Extrasupervery,” done in darkness onstage, the singer did a solo take on the evocative “Poke” with everyone in the room singing at full volume. The full band returned for “Floating in the Forth” and “Who’d You Kill Now?”—“In a normal live show we wouldn’t be so stupid as to put these songs together,” said Scott—to finish The Midnight Organ Fight. After a short break, they returned for a three-song encore, capped off by The Winter of Mixed Drinks“The Loneliness and the Scream” and its stomping, clapping, sing-along finale. It was the kind of shared personal experience you hope for every time you leave the house to see a band. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog

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Dirty Fences – Rough Trade NYC – February 15, 2018

February 16th, 2018


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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

December 14th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Angel Olsen – Brooklyn Steel – December 1, 2017

December 4th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Ron Gallo and Naked Giants Blur Lines at Rough Trade NYC

November 20th, 2017

Ron Gallo – Rough Trade NYC – November 19, 2017


Sometimes it’s best to start with the end and work your way back to the beginning. Such is the case with the show at Rough Trade NYC last night, which closed in burn-the-house-down fashion, Ron Gallo and his band joined by opening band Naked Giants, two power trios banging around onstage, at least half of the six musicians having removed their shirts, the sweat a couple of hours of no-garage-can-contain-this rock and rolling. The Naked Giants guys had already been onstage for three songs to close out the set, at one point joined by Dr. Dog’s Eric Slick as well, playing both sides of their split 7″ single and culminating in a frenzied cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” Apparently they’ve been performing it together all along their tour, but when they played it in Brooklyn last night, it not only was an appropriate show closer, but also unwittingly, and perhaps unintentionally ironically, marked the passing of Charles Manson.

The packed house had been bouncing and percolating to both bands all night, but by this point, the energy from front to back was combustible, bodies slamming into one another and carelessly bounding up and down. Whatever the opposite of “quiet Sunday evening at home” is, this was it. The preceding set from Gallo and his trio had been an exercise in blurred boundaries, playing songs from their appropriately titled Heavy Meta record. The demarcation between headliner and opener seemed fluid, at one point midway through, after singing a song apparently about two headlining bands, the Naked Giants guys came on and swapped instruments, allowing Gallo and his group to hop into the audience to rock out with the crowd. Indeed the fourth wall between the performers and audience was as equally dynamic throughout, Gallo not only coming down off the stage on multiple occasions, but also chatting and bantering with folks in the audience, and the musicians mimicking the propulsive dancing of the crowd. At one point Gallo was able to merge all of the audience requests into one surreal medley, blowing into his trumpet and then threading together a few seconds of an unintelligible “Free Bird” with “Fight for Your Right to Party” and, of all things, “One of Us.”

The boundary between rock and roll show and performance art also disappeared, stretching back to the opening moments of Gallo’s set, when he played a little trumpet and then read a prepared introduction statement from a piece of paper seemingly channeling Christopher Walken. At other points, Gallo played his guitar with and on a skateboard. But for all the shenanigans, his set was a rage of rock and roll, channeling the great trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream along the way. With Joe Bisirri on bass and Dylan Sevey on drums, the three-piece was greater than the sum of their parts, breathing fire into the material from the beginning. And as we continue to work our way backward through the night, we once again find Seattle’s Naked Giants. Seen from the end, their set was a bit of foreshadowing—their intense and thoughtful guitar-bass-drum rock a perfect tee up for the night. Their songs seemed to have a mind of their own, losing themselves in the middle to stray here or there in is-this-another-song fashion before hitting the head and drawing to a close. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Slowdive Look Toward Their Past and the Future at Union Transfer

November 16th, 2017

Slowdive – Union Transfer – November 15, 2017

(Photos: Silvia Saponaro)


Perhaps there’s no better description of Slowdive than the one on their Twitter page: “Formed in 1989 in the Depths of Reading, UK. We like noisy guitars and cool pedals.” In two sentences, the band captures their long history and general musical aesthetic. The latter, while evident on their earlier records, is revived on their most recent release, Slowdive. The album is their first in 22 years, and it gives new material to their devoted fan base while making a pitch for another generation of listeners in 2017. Both crowds came out on Tuesday night at Union Transfer for a packed, sold-out performance.

Being there, the most immediate sensory impression was total visual immersion in a carefully planned light show. Lamps, strobes or a background video—and in some cases, all three—accompanied each song. Sometimes it was overtly synched with the music, like the loop of a white pill rotating in space for “Sugar for the Pill.” Other times, it was an all-out assault of brightness and backlighting. This, paired with the band’s all black clothing, made the experience of seeing Slowdive a deeper exploration of their sound and mood.

Looking around at the audience, both young and old stared at the stage, smiling, or taking a break from the visuals, closed their eyes and moved their heads with the music. Plainly, they sounded great. The vocal interplay between Rachel Goswel and Neil Halstead came through clearly and beautifully, the two voices sounding as good as their earlier work. It was a night to both bask in the nostalgia of an earlier sound and celebrate the return of the noisy band from the depths of Reading. —Jared Levy | @Playtonic

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Slowdive – Terminal 5 – November 12, 2017

November 13th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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

November 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Torres – Music Hall of Williamsburg – October 27, 2017

October 30th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Alex Cameron – Rough Trade NYC – October 7, 2017

October 9th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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

October 6th, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com

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Thundercat – Brooklyn Steel – October 1, 2017

October 2nd, 2017


Photos courtesy of Silvia Saponaro | www.saponarophotography.com