tUnE-yArDs - Crescent Ballroom - 6/3/2014

Categories: Last Night

tune-yards-toller-1.jpg
Jeremiah Toller
tUnE-yArDs played the Crescent Ballroom last night. Full slideshow here.

I've been to maybe 100 shows at Crescent Ballroom, yet I've never seen the place so packed for an opener. Someone screamed, "We're here for you," so apparently Sylvan Esso has some fans in town. Their glockenspiel samples and soft, pitter-patter vocals made Esso feel like a modern version of Portishead, except Beth Gibbons uses real fucking drums. Take some notes, Esso.

More »

OneRepublic - Ak-Chin Pavilion - 6/1/2014

Categories: Last Night

onerepublic-1.jpg
Maria Vassett
OneRepublic played at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Sunday, June 1. Full slideshow here.

OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder knows fans aren't going to mouth every lyric to every song at their show, and he's OK with that. The days of fans listening to entire albums are slowly dissipating, he says backstage before the group's show in Phoenix on Sunday. Music is appreciated one single at a time. Since OneRepublic is the kind of band that often sidesteps its cardinal genre several times per album, it works. When the band formed in 2002, Tedder says, this fluid approach to their identity was a curse. Now, he calls it a blessing.

As you may recall, OneRepublic was one of the first MySpace wunderkinds, landing a second chance at fame with Timbaland's Mosley Music Group after being dropped by Columbia. The band's third studio album, Native, was released in March 2013. It came after a three-and-a-half-year hiatus and was the Colorado group's first top 10 album in the United States, even though the album sold a little less in its first week than its debut Dreaming Out Loud (2007).


More »

Billy Joel - US Airways Center - 6/1/2014

Categories: Last Night

BillyJoel-3.jpg
Jim Louvau
Billy Joel played the US Airways Center on Sunday, June 1.

Billy Joel turned 65 years old on May 9. When you're as old as he is, you retire, have a party, collect your pension, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But when you're the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time, you just keep on working. The audience at the sold out US Airways Center knew when the first note was played on Joel's Steinway, the singer-songwriter really likes working. His dexterity on the ivories was apparent when he opened with "Miami 2017 (I've Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)," but when his band went into the keyboard heavy "Pressure," Joel remained seated while keyboardist Dave Rosenthal tickled the Kurzweil.

The Piano Man made it clear when the song ended that he wasn't the performer he was over 20 years ago when River of Dreams, his last album of original pop music, was released.

See also: On Billy Joel and the Days When You Had to Earn Music


More »

First Aid Kit - Crescent Ballroom - 5/29/2014

Categories: Last Night

first-aid-kit-review-keil-1.JPG
Jason Keil
First Aid Kit charmed the Crescent Ballroom last night.

The sold-out audience talked back to sisters Johanna and Klara Soderberg in Swedish accents, which caused the siblings, better known collectively as First Aid Kit, to blush and laugh. The duo, who are in their early 20s, stepped onto the stage of the Crescent Ballroom to a crowd that knew them better than they knew themselves.

This created such an ease between performer and listener that no calls for audience participation were necessary when the band began with "Shattered and Hollow," a song from their upcoming album Stay Gold. The Soderberg sisters were almost thrown off from their two-part harmony to accommodate the singing from the members of the audience. The crowd even kept rhythm with their hand claps during "King of the World" from their previous album The Lion's Roar.


More »

William Fitzsimmons - Crescent Ballroom - 5/28/2014

Categories: Last Night

will-fitz-review-1.jpg
Jason Keil
William Fitzsimmons performs at Crescent Ballroom.

If you had never laid eyes on singer-songwriter William Fitzsimmons, you'd never think that his wispy delicate voice came from the body that walked on stage.

When he entered. his large tattooed arms carried his guitar while his worn-looking boots stomped across the Crescent Ballroom. He glanced at the audience through round wire-framed glasses that barely covered his eyes. A build like a sailor was underneath his blue, short-sleeve Dickies shirt, and his shaved head glistened under the purple lights. He could've been mistaken for a member of the crew because he didn't even approach the microphone.

He ran his hand through his long beard and walked right past the microphones and amps, towered on the edge of the stage, and launched into his set. No amp was turned on. No sound came out of the speakers. No one in the audience spoke for those first five minutes. Those who were sitting in the rafters made their way to the stage so they could at least hear Fitzsimmons sing.

More »

Portraits of Lindsey Stirling Fans

Categories: Last Night

lindsey-stirling-review-top-savage.JPG
Amanda Savage
Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling leaped and danced across the stage at The Marquee last night in Tempe. Stirling is known for her unique blend of classical and modern electronic music styles. She plays violin over original dubstep tracks and other remixes. Her live shows are a complete production, equipped with many costume changes, backup dancers and choreography. Her hometown show (she's from Gilbert) housed a diverse group of fans -- families, grandparents, kids, gutter punks and a woman reading a book on the patio. We wanted to talk to some of them and figure out just what is the allure a Lindsey Stirling show holds.

More »

Against Me! - Nile Theater - 5/21/2014

Categories: Last Night

againstme_melissafossum.jpg
Melissa Fossum
Against Me! played the Nile Theater last night. Full slideshow here.

Against Me! has a somewhat embattled history. The group started its career as an anarcho-punk band, releasing Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose in 2002 and gaining the respect of punk rock kids in the band's hometown of Gainesville, Florida, and beyond. But then the band signed to Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords, and later to Warner Brothers' Sire Records, and released a series of albums that slowly shrugged off the fiery ideology of the band's beginnings. The process is best demonstrated by "I Was a Teenage Anarchist," a soaring, anthemic piece of pop-punk with the lyrics "I was a teenage anarchist / the revolution was a lie" with a video in which the establishment, in the form of police officers, literally beats the shit out of the band's fleeing lead singer. Subtle imagery, this was not.

More »

Black Flag - Pub Rock Live - 5/17/2014

Categories: Last Night

blackflag_melissafossum-27.jpg
Melissa Fossum
Black Flag's show at Pub Rock Live had some ups and downs. Full slideshow here.

There are reviews you wish would just write themselves. Peek behind the curtain, if you will, and see my struggle.

I really wanted to write an ├╝ber-positive review of the Black Flag show at Pub Rock on Saturday, May 17. I wanted to write that the punk rock fury I was enamored with when I first heard the band back in the early '80s was back and as good as ever. I wanted to write all of that, but I can't.

See Also: Black Flag's Mike Vallely on Former Singer: "He Doomed the Reformation From Day One"

More »

Eels - Crescent Ballroom - 5/14/2014

Categories: Last Night

eels_melissafossum-21.jpg
Melissa Fossum
The Eels played Crescent Ballroom on Wednesday, May 14.

Once upon a time, it was a motherfucker.

The crowd sat in utter silence, except when prompted to clap or laugh, depending on what the magic man did. And, for all intents and purposes, he was magical. E., the man, the myth, the legend. Mark Oliver Everett ("E" to his friends and fans), son of a famous physicist, was like the pied piper of hip (not hipster) Phoenix Wednesday night at Crescent Ballroom.

More »

Christina Perri - Marquee Theatre - 5/13/2014

Categories: Last Night

ChristinaPerri-17.jpg
Jim Louvau
Christina Perri

It felt like ladies night meets a Disney concert at the Marquee Theatre last night, as a fairly packed house full of female fans and parents came out to see songstress Christina Perri.


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...