Category: Festivals (page 1 of 2)

Blackest of the Black: Oak Canyon Park – Silverado, Ca 5/26/17-5/27/17

The 2017 edition of the Blackest of the Black Festival was held in the mountain area of Oak Canyon Park in Silverado, California. The festival is the brain child of Misfits’ legendary frontman Danzig and always proves to have a variety of metal bands to suit everyone’s needs.  This festival was two days of pure madness from every corner and was a great way to start Memorial Day weekend.

Day one featured some of the more popular metal bands today and was started by industrial metal band 3Teeth that got the audience started on this Friday night. Los Angeles natives Butcher Babies were the second band to perform and by now, the venue had started to fill up to a nice amount to where it didn’t feel so empty. With female vocalist’s Carla Harvey and Heidi Shepherd taking control of the show, it was nice to see the festival getting started with a bang and more was still to come. Deathcore giants Suicide Silence have recently released their newest self-titled album so it was no surprise to see them as part of the lineup. Vocalist Eddie Hermida would alternate between clean vocals and the band’s signature high-pitch screams depending on the song. Hermida would also come out to the audience to sing to them so the fans got a more personal experience. Austrian blackened death metal band Belphegor were set to play this festival as well, but were forced to cancel their appearance due to flight issues coming to the USA. Instead, post-rock/black metal band Deafheaven took their place. Deafheaven has a very atmospheric feel to their music as if even without vocals, the music alone would be music to anyone’s ears. Frontman George Clarke had a very energetic stage presence as he would head bang and move his hands around almost in a dance-like motion. Discharge is perhaps one of the first bands to play hardcore punk since their formation in 1977. With fast and thrashy guitars and shouting vocals, it was hard to just stand around and so of course the crowd was moshing throughout the show to keep the energy of the show going. Corrosion of Conformity is a hardocre punk/sludge metal/heavy metal band that have been around since the 1980’s. Their music offers a wide variety of sound from slow-paced bluesy music, to a more faster and aggressive heavy metal and hardcore punk sound. Fans enjoyed their set and were happily headbanging the night away and moshing when it came to it.

 

Headlining day 1 of the festival was the legendary hardcore punk/crossover thrash metal band, Suicidal Tendencies. Plenty of fans were seen wearing merch so they were obviously one of the main attractions of the night. Suicidal Tendencies came out and started the show with their usual opener, You Can’t Bring Me Down. Legendary frontman Mike Muir was very energetic throughout the night as he ran around and in between songs he would give quick motivational speeches saying that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down in life as long as you get back up and to believe in your dreams. Suicidal Tendencies played many classics in their setlist which included: I Shot Reagan, War Inside My Head, Subliminal, and Trip at the Brain. The band’s performance was only made better with the addition of legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo formerly of thrash metal legends, Slayer. During Possessed to Skate, Suicidal Tendencies invited female fans on stage and quickly turned into and all-female mosh pit and even a young boy joined in on all the fun. Suicidal Tendencies finished their set with Pledge Your Allegiance and so day of the Blackest of the Black festival came to and end. The music was over, but the night was still young. Those not ready to leave yet were treated to Danzig‘s new Black Laden Crown being premiered for the first time. Other fans were hanging around the movie screen and were watching classic movie monster movies. Many fans left the venue simply to rest up for the next day.

For fans not interested in certain bands, other entertainment at the festival included Castle Danzig which was filled with freakshow performers. Fire-breathers, fire dancers, half-naked women bathing in fake blood, sword-eaters, a man putting hooks in his eyes and wires into his nose and out of his mouth, a large man putting mouse traps on his nipples, and jugglers. A variety of carnival rides were also available for some fun. Plenty of clothing vendors and food trucks were also available.

Day two of the festival featured more more metal bands that fans were more familiar with and had the superior lineup. It was set to be a long day of festivities. The first band that played was the black metal band, Ritual. Most fans still hadn’t arrived or were being let in so if they choose to, they had to listen to the band while in line. Still, a small amount of people showed up in time to enjoy the band.

The next band up was the metal macabre band only known to mankind as Ghoul. They brought disgusting and putrid thrash metal with them and plenty of fans showed up early for them and were prepared to be bathed in the blood and juices that Ghoul squirts out. A man in a costume came out to insult the fans, but his speech was cut short when another man came out and cut off his arm and started spraying fake blood onto the audience. Ghoul started their show with Ghoulunatics from their newest Dungeon Bastards album. Nothing but pure thrash metal with deep growls to get the festival and mosh pit going. Ghoul had a variety of cast members come out which included a witch doctor biting the head off a fake chicken and dumping blood on fans, a future soldier with a water gun shooting water at fans, and even two mecha robots battling it out on stage. They are truly a spectacle to witness. Other songs played included: Shred the Dead, Off With their Heads , and Wall of Death. Combichrist was next and was another industrial metal band. They started with What the Fuck Is Wrong with You? and showed their industrial metal fans how it’s done. Fans loved hearing songs such as Throat Full of Glass and the ever-satisfying Shut Up and Swallow. American groove metal band DevilDriver also had plenty of fans in attendance and were very energetic on stage as fans headbanged and moshed the whole time. Swedish black metal legion Marduk made this festival a special appearance for the band. They were one of the main attractions of the night as they played black metal goodness like The Blond Beast, Of Hells Fire, and Panzer Division Marduk. The band was often cloaked with fog machines which gave the band a proper black metal appearance. Venom Inc also made a special appearance for this festival and had a surprise in store for fans. Venom Inc is a reincarnation of legendary British thrash metal legends, Venom. It involves original Venom members Jeffrey “Mantas” Dunn and Anthony “Abaddon” Bray. On vocals was Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan who replaced original Venom singer Conrad “Cronos” Lant when he left the band at one point. Venom Inc brought old school thrash metal and played lots of Venom classics like: Live Like an Angel (Die Like a Devil), Don’t Burn the Witch, and Leave Me in Hell. Venom Inc made a special announcement about signing to the Nuclear Blast record label and were working on their first album Avé due out on August 11, 2017. As a special treat, the band played a new song from the album titled, Avé Satanas. Mantas made a small speech on his on how thirty years ago, he wrote a song that apparently started its own genre of music. Fans of the band knew what song it was and so Venom Inc started playing one of the most popular songs in the metal scene, Black Metal.

 

Atreyu is an American metalcore band and were most definitely the oddball of the lineup. Regardless, the band put lots of energy into their performance. To no surprise, vocalist Alex Varkatzas had to often tell the audience to jump, get crazy, etc because they seemed uninterested in a band like this. Oddly enough, the band seemed to get the biggest response when they played a cover of Bon Jovi‘s You Give Love a Bad Name. Vamps are a rock band from Tokyo, Japan that have reached stardom in Japan and were looking to gain stardom in the USA as well. Their most noticeable fans were the female Japanese fans up front who were going wild for the fans and even made flags and banners for the band to see. To no surprise, a lot of the band’s song titles and themes involve blood. One of the final bands of the night were the industrial metal pioneers and legends, Ministry. The band was led by Al Jourgensen and is one of metal’s most recognized faces. Ministry came out and started with one of their most popular songs, Psalm 69. The band was often covered with fog from fog machines and along with the flashing lights gave the band a proper industrial metal feeling. Jourgensen had a mic stand with skulls and a pentagram and would often jerk it around while he sang. Jourgensen made note that the band was getting ready to release a new album titled AmeriKKKant out in the fall of 2017 and treated the audience to the live debut of a new song titled, Antifa. Nighttime was approaching and all the fog and lights during Ministry‘s performing gave the band a great look. The energy was off the hook with fast-paced industrial metal being played.

Other songs performed were: LiesLiesLies, N.W.O, and Just One Fix. Jourgensen thanked the audience for coming out and to end the show, played one of the band’s most popular songs, Thieves. The main highlight of the night was obviously the man himself, Danzig. Everyone had gathered around to see the legendary Misfits frontman. Danzig came out and started the show with SkinCarver. Danzig had the best stage setup with lots of lights, fog, gargoyles, and different backdrops. Danzig fans were seen moshing and singing along to the music. It was the 25th anniversary of Danzig‘s third solo album titled Danzig III: How the Gods Kill so Danzig made sure to play several tracks from the album including How the Gods Kill, Godless, Left Hand Black, and Dirty Black Summer. The fans went wild for Danzig. Since Danzig had released his new album Black Laden Crown, it was mandatory for him to play new songs. the only two new songs performed were Devil on Hwy 9 and Last Ride. The show seemed to come to an end when he played his most famous song, Mother. Danzig left the stage and fans started to exit the venue. Danzig came out after a few minutes to perform two encores for those that chose to stay. Those encores were She Rides and Am I Demon. Danzig once again left the stage. Fans were clearly tired after hours of being at the festival, but wore nothing but smiles and walked out with new friends memories that would surely last a lifetime.

 

Day 1:

 

 

Suicide Silence

    

 

Deafheaven

 

 

Discharge

 

 

Corrosion of Conformity

 

 

Suicidal Tendencies

 

 

Day 2:

 

 

Ghoul

 

 

 

Combichrist

 

 

 

DevilDriver

 

 

Marduk

 

 

Venom Inc

 

 

Atreyu

 

 

Vamps

 

 

Ministry

 

 

Festival Grounds

 

2015 Phases of the Moon Festival in Arkansas is Cancelled

As of 12:15PM, it has been announced that Phases of the Moon is officially CANCELLED.  The festival is citing a number of unforeseen obstacles including road closures.  See below for more info. 

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Here are some of our favorite replies on the official Phases of the Moon Facebook page:

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BELOW IS OUR ORIGINAL POST PRIOR TO OFFICIAL WORD COMING OUT FROM THE PEOPLE AT PHASES OF THE MOON. 

All it took was one post.  One post to stop productivity in workplaces across the Midwest for hungry music fans who were looking forward to a weekend filled with their favorite bands at one of the most beautiful festival sites in the country, Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas.  As many folks flipped their calendar over to September… the countdown was on!  October 15 was just over six weeks away!

This was set to be the debut of Phases of the Moon at their new site, Mulberry Mountain, which hosts the ever popular Wakarusa Festival each June and the former home to the Harvest Music Festival (R.I.P.) which was cancelled earlier this year, and coincidentally enough replaced by Phases of the Moon.

On Tuesday September 1, 2015 at around 10AM CST… Andy Frasco, the energetic fro’ed front man for the California funk-rock outfit Andy Frasco and the U.N. posted this…

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THE SHIT STORM BEGAN!

Within minutes the Phases of the Moon Facebook page had exploded with people asking them for more information:

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The festival was set to feature a lineup that included more than 60 bands ranging from STS9 and The Disco Biscuits, to Moe. and Warren Haynes.  Also set to perform were grassy favorites Leftover Salmon and the Yonder Mountain String Band, who previously hosted the Harvest Music Festival at the same site prior to it being canned earlier this year.  It is definitely a bummer for fans of the headliners, but the middle and under-card to this lineup is where it was at. Those regionally popular bands who were looking forward to the opportunity to play to bigger crowds than they draw on a normal Thursday night at Tom’s Tavern.  Bands like Concert Confessions favorite Dirtfoot or Yo Mamas Big Fat Booty Band.  The Hillbenders were going to play The Who’s “Tommy” while Larry Keel was set to lead a Jerry Garcia Tribute.

This isn’t the first festival at Mulberry Mountain ran by Pipeline Productions to run into problems.  Just this past June, less than two weeks before they were set to throw the Thunder on the Mountain Country Music Festival, word came out that the festival was being cancelled due to a “funding disagreement” with The Madison Companies and Horsepower Entertainment.  That case has since ended up in federal court as a class-action lawsuit brought forth by Pipeline Productions.

If it shapes up to be true, Phases of the Moon may need to seek a new moniker if they intend to return in 2016.  The 2014 Inaugural edition of the festival  ran into many issues at their previous site in Danville, Illinois including many festival patrons who had purchased tickets and camping passes not being let in to the venue due to excessive rain that impacted the site in the days leading up to the festival.  Reports of people waiting in line for as much as 20 hours or more were not uncommon.  Once you were inside the gates however, the stories were different.  Many say it was one of the best festivals they have ever experienced.

 

Sixth Annual LouFest Music Festival Lineup Released / Sept 12 – 13 / St. Louis, MO

 

For the sixth year in a row, beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis, MO will be turned into a small town of its own when more than 35,000 people descend on the Central Fields for the LouFest Music Festival.  This year the festival is set to take place on Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13.

Previous LouFest lineups have brought the best of both major headlining acts like The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Outkast and The Killers to smaller up and coming acts such as Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dawes, Little Barrie and Cherub.  The lineup always features an eclectic mix of everything from indie rock to R&B to bluegrass.

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In previous years the folks at LouFest have used social media to provide clues about some of the bands on the lineup, but after last year’s lineup was leaked a few days prior to the scheduled release… only a few names have come out from folks endlessly scouring the internet.  What we do know is that Hozier will be gracing the LouFest stage and taking you to his proverbial church.  Also, Albert Hammond Jr. from The Strokes has announced his late Summer / Fall solo tour dates with a stop at LouFest on the agenda.

Check out our previous LouFest coverage right here and a few of our favorite photos from LouFest’s past just below the lineup.

I set my alarm to get up for this drop at 6AM… so excuse any typos that may follow.

Here is the full lineup for the 2015 LouFest Music Festival!

The Avett Brothers • Hozier • Ludacris • Young the Giant • Brandon Flowers • Billy Idol • Nate Ruess • Umphrey’s McGee • Lord Huron • JJ Grey & Mofro • Pokey LaFarge • Blue October • Misterwives • Albert Hammond Jr. • Nico & Vinz • Robert Delong • Milo Greene • Knox Hamilton • Delta Rae • Strand of Oaks • Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas • Colony House • The Suffers • Walking Shapes • All Them Witches • Brave Baby • The Black Cadillacs • The Bros. Landreth • Hembree • Coin • Clockwork • American Wrestlers • KOA • Earl Burrows

A full schedule will be released at a later time.

You can purchase a two day pass for $95 right now at www.loufest.com.

 

EDIT:

One has to wonder what caused LouFest organizers to take such a huge step back from previous years with this lineup.  The rumors circulating around the interwebz for the past few weeks were pipedreams compared to what was actually booked.  After following what promoters called the most successful LouFest to date in 2014 with a stacked lineup including OutKast, Arctic Monkeys, and Cake and even the 2013 lineup that included Wilco, Jim James, The Killers, Edward Sharpe, The National and Alabama Shakes… this seems like a far reach to exceed expectations or make this event a sell out.  People are revolting over on the LouFest Facebook page and hoping there is an additional headliner they are holding back. Seeing a show Hozier was just in St. Louis earlier this year and played to a room of about 2500 people, its tough to see him as a festival headliner.  

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All Photos By: DarbySTL

KUBE 93 Summer Jam 2014 – June 6-7, 2014, The Gorge Amphitheatre. Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, and more….

KUBE 93 Summer Jam 2014

Review, photos and videos by thenaturalstoner

I appreciate what Seattle’s KUBE 93 radio tried to do at the Gorge Amphitheatre this past weekend, however I am not quite sure this years Summer Jam worked out to its full potential. Moving the annual event to a two day format seemed to make some initial sense, you could book some old school rappers to fill out a classic Friday night and then bring out young guns for day two and (in theory) sell a bunch of weekend passes. What actually happened was another story. Most fans fell into two camps: Those who were there for Friday nights old school throw down, or the college kids coming Saturday to see Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and others (Rick Ross, B.o.B and Chris Brown too, although they weren’t able to make it for various reasons). Not very many people actually stayed for both nights, which resulted in two days of half full crowds at the Gorge. While this was convenient when wanting to use a clean port-a-potty or get a $13 beer, as there were no lines and minimal waste to contend with, this was easily the emptiest I have ever seen the Gorge or its campground(s) and energy was lacking at times. The wide-open heat was something to contend with as well.

Gorge Entrance

What went down on stage WAS mostly good, so I am very happy to have gone and would definitely go back. But this event was not the “jam packed raging” Gorge Amphitheatre we all know and love. That said, there were certainly many highlights from the two days. Here is my ranking of what I saw, from best to worst.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – The clear winners of the weekend for those of us there for Summer Jam ‘Classic’. Right from the start the fellas from Cleveland owned the stage with massive energy and blazing rhymes. I honestly did not expect to like this set nearly as much as I did, but it was super. I would rank this in the top three hip hop shows that I have seen, and would go see them again any time. From all their hits, including catching my favorite of theirs on video (Thuggish Ruggish Bone), to an awesome tribute to Eazy-E, Biggie Smalls and Tupac, to some extremely energetic a cappella rap, this set was everything I want hip hop shows to be. Bravo Bone Thugs, you win!

Ice Cube – Another great set from Friday, was Mr. Cube. I was hoping to get angry Ice Cube instead of soft Ice Cube, so when Natural Born Killaz opened the show I felt much better about how things would go down. Ice Cube threw it down for around an hour playing mostly the old hits, including the N.W.A. I wanted to hear most. Ice Cube specifically called out those who think he has gone too commercial with a furious Check Yo’ Self, gave me Straight Outta Compton into Gangsta Gangsta, and rapped other jams like You Can Do It and Gangsta Nation. Of course he also snuck in It Was a Good Day before saying goodnight and sending us back to camp.

Kid Ink – Probably my biggest surprise of the weekend was how good Kid Inks set was. I only know a couple songs of his, but Kid Ink brought serious energy and had the crowd pumped. His set was my favorite from day two, it’s just too bad it was so early in the show (he was the second act on the main stage). Maybe next time he can move up the billing a slot or two, because it was that good. Show Me and Main Chick were two that specifically stood out. Oh and the ladies in the crowd really liked it when he took his shirt off.

Kendrick Lamar – A late addition to Summer Jam, as Chris Brown had to cancel due to legal problems, Kendrick had the younger Saturday crowd super pumped and myself entertained. Headlining night two, Lamar came out and dominated the audience for just short of an hour. I know a few of his songs, and he sang them all, so I cannot complain! Poetic Justice, Money Trees and Swimming Pools were solid. The highlight of the set for me his solo take on the A$AP Rocky collaboration Fuckin Problems. Lots of sing-alongs happened between Kendrick and the audience, who were able to hold their own with one of raps biggest stars.

Gorge Sunset

E-40 – I wasn’t expecting too much out of this set from the Bay Area legend, as I was never a fan, but it was actually really good! Probably the nicest surprise on day one in my eyes. U and Dat and Tell Me When to Go stand out. Also of note was the only collaboration (really Summer Jam, only one?!?!) of the weekend when E-40 brought out Too $hort to close his set.

Too $hort – I saw a pretty disappointing Too $hort set a couple years back (Thanks Todd!), so I didn’t have too high of expectations for this one. But it was actually pretty good too! Better than the show I saw in Pullman, Washington for sure. Once this set came and went I knew the weekend had started and I could relax and enjoy the surroundings. I was all over the place during this set, up top on the grass and down low amongst the die hards, and left pleasantly surprised with this 45 minutes of music. Life is…

Too Short Summer Jam From the Pit

DJ Quik – DJ Quik opened up the weekend as the first artist on the main stage and did a good job getting the crowd into things. Considering I don’t know much of his material, I was pleased with this as the first music I heard. Sitting up on that big Gorge lawn, looking out past the river, I found DJ Quik entertaining and pretty interactive with those up front. However, he did also lie to us and tell us his nephew, Chris Brown, was going to show up the second night, which was weak sauce. This was a good set but he pissed my girlfriend off with the Breezy comment, so I got to mark him down a peg or two.

Big K.R.I.T. – I don’t know any of his stuff at all, but this set was decent. Probably the last of the good sets, in my opinion. Opening the main stage on night two, this set was pure southern rap and a good way to get things started. I would see him again if he came close.

Sir Mix-a-Lot – B.o.B was originally on the Summer Jam lineup for Saturday, but had to be replaced due to a funeral. To save the day came Sir Mix A Lot, however KUBE 93 should have done the right thing and put him on the day one Classic lineup. Instead they left Mix on day two and the younger crowd just really wasn’t into it. Most of them had barely even heard of Baby Got Back for Christ’s sakes, so this was just wrong set placement. I saw him once before and it was way better than this. I wanted Testarossa but didn’t get it, so a little bitter about that too. Posse on Broadway, My Hooptie and of course Baby Got Back were the highlights.

Day Two Summer Jam

Big Sean – After Rick Ross had to cancel due to illness Big Sean got bumped up to the subheadliner slot for night two. This move probably worked for the young kids up front who knew all the words, but honestly didn’t do very much for me and I found the set rather unremarkable. I probably should have went to look and see if there were any rappers still going on the side stages up by the Gorge entrance during this time.

 

Too Short from up top

All in all a pretty good time out at the Gorge this weekend. We got treated to a few really good sets, one great set and a couple under par.  It was also really cool on night two when the hosts brought out several Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks to the stage, including Pro Bowl Safety Kam Chancellor who got the crowd going with multiple SEA-HAWKS chants! I will take that combination pretty much every time, crowd size and heat be damned!

Riot Fest 2014’s Mega Lineup Unleashed

RIOT FEST 2014

The plan here was to post the pic of all the bands and just name a handful of ones that us here at Concert Confessions are fans of and stuff like that. Then, as I kept reading into the poster containing the lineup for the 2014 Riot Fest in Chicago, this thing just has so much one would want to check out. Your top billing is The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against and Weezer while The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer, The Offspring and Staten Island’s very own Wu-Tang Clan rounding out your ten highest billed performers. Dig deeper into the lineup and you’ll find Pussy Riot, Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile. You’ll also run into Failure and The Dandy Warhols. The Afghan Whigs are back, and you guessed it, they’re here too. My new favorite heroes(i.e. Dave Grohl/Safe Music) Mastodon is at this party as well. Feel free to have some fun too, throw a little Cheap Trick in your day. Things you don’t see here: Outkast, Lorde, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex and all those other garbage festival junkies you see on every card. Lots of music with guitars here.

Highlighted acts below, check out RiotFest.ORG for ticketing details and all that jazz.

Weezer

Jane’s Addiction

The National

Pussy Riot

The Flaming Lips

Slayer

Rise Against

The Cure

Descendents

Wu-Tang Clan

The Afghan Whigs

The Offspring

Failure

Thurston Moore

Kurt Vile & The Violators

The Dandy Warhols

Dropkick Murphys

Mastodon

Buzzcocks

Social Distortion

GWAR

Mudhoney

Tegan And Sara

Patti Smith

Jessica Hernandez and The Deltas

Of Mice & Men

Cheap Trick

Metric

Anti-Flag

PREVIEW LouFest 2014 – Sept 6 & 7 – Feat. Outkast, Arctic Monkeys, Cake, Grouplove and More!

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On September 6 & 7 the LouFest Music Festival will return to the beautiful Forest Park in St. Louis for a fifth straight year. LouFest is growing yet again, with a rumored FOURTH stage now being added after a third being brought into the mix last year. It was estimated that the 2013 version brought in more than 15,000 people each day, more than double the previous year. The last five years have provided concert goers with a very eclectic mix of artists from all genres and stages of their careers. Another great aspect of LouFest is that they be sure to throw a few local talents such as Sleepy Kitty, Troubadour Dali and Tef Poe on the bill as well.

Previous artists to grace the LouFest stage have included The Flaming Lips, Wilco, Girl Talk (above), The Killers, She & Him,  Jim James, TV on the Radio, The National, Trampled by Turtles, Alabama Shakes, Dawes, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr. and even a Jeff Tweedy solo set. The Roots were scheduled in 2011 but sadly had to cancel at the last minute. LouFest has certainly grown to become something very special for the city of Saint Louis.

Unfortunately for LouFest, their game to slowly reveal the first nine bands by slowly releasing clues had a slight flaw that led to a leak of those nine bands in just a few hours after announcing the game. So what we already found out last week is that alt-rockers Cake will be one of the top bands on the bill… which excites the hell out of me! The other eight leaked bands are Grouplove, Portugal the Man, Blackberry Smoke, San Fermin, Pretty Little Empire, Moon Taxi, Washed Out and funksters Lettuce, who I am also incredibly excited to see.

The rest of the lineup was just released… check it out below. Be sure to check back soon for a full preview of the entire lineup!

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FULL LINEUP:

Outkast

Arctic Monkeys

Cake

Grouplove

Matt & Kim

The 1975

Portugal. The Man

Future Islands

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Kelis

Washed Out

Cherub

Vintage Trouble

Rac

Blackberry Smoke

Lettuce

Delta Spirit

Moon Taxi

San Fermin

Those Darlins

Empires

Young and Sick

The Districs

Falls

Skaters

Kopecky Family Band

Roadkill Ghost Choir

Glass Animals

Black Pistol Fire

AJR

Holy Child

Alanna Royale

Kins

The Jan Shermans

Old Salt Union

 Marc Scibilia

Dylan McDonald and the Avians

Colin Lake

Pretty Little Empire

Big Brother Thunder and the Masterblasters

 

GO HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND GET DETAILS LouFest Official Website

Check out our 2013 LouFest coverage here

Check out our 2012 LouFest Photo Gallery here

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THE FLAMING LIPS (2012)

 

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DAWES (2012)

 

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JIM JAMES (2013)

 

 

Summerland Returns For 2014 With Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6, and Spacehog

Art Alexakis is still looking to cash in on you missing the 1990’s. Summerland will return for the third consecutive year. This time out, Soul Asylum, Eve 6, and Spacehog will round out the lineup, with Everclear taking the top slot. Here is where you can catch the nostalgia in 2014.

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It is worth noting that the only Canadian date takes place in a city called Medicine Hat. Way to go Canada

Summerland 2014 Tour Dates:

6/13 Pompano Beach, FL – Pompano Beach Amphitheatre

6/14 St. Petersburg, FL – Vinoy Park

6/17 New York, NY – Irving Plaza

6/18 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom

6/19 Boston, MA – House of Blues

6/20 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE

6/21 Atlantic City, NJ – House of Blues at Showboat

6/22 Huntington, NY – The Paramount

6/24 Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre

6/25 Glen Allen, VA – Innsbrook After Hours

6/27 Biloxi, MS – Golden Nugget Hotel Casino

7/9 Austin, TX – ACL Live at Moody Theater

7/10 Pharr, TX – Pharr Events Center

7/11 Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom

7/15 Tempe, AZ – The Marquee Theater

7/17 West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues

7/18 Las Vegas, NV – Fremont Street Experience

7/19 Valley Center, CA – The Event Center at Harrah’s Rincon

7/22 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom

7/23 Eugene, OR – Lane County Fair

7/26 Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat Stampede

7/29 Garden City, ID – Revolution Concert House and Event Center

7/31 Denver, CO – Ogden Theater

8/1 Bonner Springs, KS – TBA

8/3 Sturgis, SD – TBA

8/5 Cedar Rapids, IA – Mcgrath Amphitheatre

8/7 Milwaukee, WI – TBA

8/8 Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar

8/9 Toledo, OH – Hollywood Casino

 

To read our review of a 2012 Summerland performance, head here.

 

TOUR DATES: Yonder Mountain String Band Spring Dates / Lineup Summer Festival Schedule

Yonder Mountain String Band Set To Hit Road for Spring Trek / Announce Festival Plans. 

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As the calendar turned to 2014 and the members of the Yonder Mountain String Band set out for their Winter tour… they forgot to pick up one quarter of the band on their way to the first stop. Actually Jeff Austin decided to sit this one out and instead spend a few months of quality time with his wife and recently born baby girl.  The other three members of the jam-grass powerhouse, Dave Johnston (banjo), Adam Aijala (guitar), and Ben Kaufman (bass) hit the road with a little help from their friends in the Travelin’ McCoury’s, especially Ronnie McCoury on the mandolin, to conquer 17 cities. That trek made way for some memorable Yonder shows, but as the weather begins to slowly heat and the snow finally begins to melt, the mandolin man has returned and will head back out with the boys for their Spring tour. Check out the full list of dates below as well as what they have lined up for the festival season.

Fresh off of their mostly sold out tour supporting The Devil Makes Three… San Francisco’s The Brothers Comatose are set to support Yonder for a majority of the tour. Check them out here, I am really excited to see them, they seem to fit in really well with the Yonder fan base and are known for their on stage antics. Listen to their song “Church Street Blues” here 

CHECK OUT YONDER MOUNTAINS OFFICIAL WEBSITE HERE TO BUY TICKETS AND TO GET UP TO DATE SHOW INFORMATION

 

CHECK OUT OUR PREVIOUS YONDER MOUNTAIN COVERAGE HERE:

INTERVIEW 9/2013 – Jeff Austin & The Here and Now

INTERVIEW 3/2012 – Jeff Austin and Dave Johnston

PHOTOS/REVIEW  – MARCH 30-31 THE PAGEANT – St. Louis, MO

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TOUR DATES(Most Dates with The Brothers Comatose)

MARCH 19 – George’s Majestic Lounge / Fayetteville, AR

MARCH 20 – Bluesville / Tunica, MS

MARCH 21 – Cain’s Ballroom / Tulsa, OK

MARCH 22 – The Pageant / St. Louis, MO

MARCH 23 – Gilloz Theatre / Springfield, MO

MARCH 26 – Varsity THeatre / Baton Rouge, LA

MARCH 27 – House of Blues / New Orleans, LA

MARCH 28 – Stubb’s BBQ / Austin, TX

MARCH 29 – Granada Theater / Dallas, TX

APRIL 1 – Orpheum Theatre / Flagstaff, AZ

APRIL 2 – The Depot / Salt Lake City, UT

APRIL 3 – Montbleu Resort Casino / Stateline, NV

APRIL 4 – Ace of Spades / Sacramento, CA

APRIL 5 – Fox Theater / Oakland, CA

APRIL 8 – Crystal Ballroom / Portland, OR

APRIL 9 – McDonald Theatre / Eugene, OR

APRIL 10 – Showbox At the Market / Seattle, WA

APRIL 11 & 12 – Wilma Theatre / Missoula, MT

FESTIVAL DATES (Please see festival site for specific Yonder set date/time)

MAY 22 – 25 / DELFEST / Cumberland, MD

MAY 23 – 25 / DARK STAR JUBILEE / Thornville, OH

JUNE 12 – 15 / BONNAROO / Manchester, TN

JUNE 19 – 22 / TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL / Telluride, CO

JULY 17 – 20 / NORTHWEST STRING SUMMIT / North Plains, OR

SEPT 19 – 20 / YMSB KINFOLK CELEBRATION at PLANET BLUEGRASS / Lyons, CO

OCT 16 – 18 / YMSB’s MULBERRY MOUNTAIN HARVEST FESTIVAL / Ozark, AR

Guns N’ Roses Top 2014 Rock On The Range Lineup

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For the 8th year in a row, a massive football stadium in Columbus Ohio will host the Rock on the Range Festival. Artists set to bring the HARD AND THE HEAVY to THE Ohio State University include Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Mastodon and many more.

For more information, check out the Rock on the Range website.

Modest Mouse, The National, & More Set For Shaky Knees Festival 2014

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Atlanta will suck a little less during the weekend of May 9th through 11th as the Shaky Knees Music Festival will hit the cities Atlantic Center. The National, Modest Mouse, and a third headliner to be announced will be making appearances in the ATL. Highlights from lower down on the card include Blitzen Trapper, Cold War Kids and Jason Isbell.

For all information on Shaky Knees 2014, head to the official website.

 

PREVIEW: YMSB Harvest Music Festival: 13 Bands Not To Miss Next Weekend!

Thirteen Bands Not To Miss at YMSB’s Harvest Festival 2013

Words by Bradley Darby 

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Its that magical time of year… when you turn the calendar over to October just as the leaves begin to turn beautiful shades of brown, orange and yellow. You replace your jorts with overalls and your pogo balls for rakes. Autumn is upon us… as you turn your calendar you may notice October 17-19 highlighted or circled with the word HARVEST scrawled across those dates. If that is you, this post is for you. If you aren’t going to the Yonder Mountain String Bands Harvest Music Festival, you should reconsider your choices.

Here are 13 bands that you don’t want to miss at the 2013 installment of the Harvest Festival at the breathtaking Mulberry Mountain resort in Ozark, Arkansas. These are in alphabetical order as narrowing it down to only thirteen was hard enough. You may notice a few sets overlap or conflict with each other… That is because you have to be an adult at some point and make your own damn decisions… just like your mother had to make that decision to pack and leave us to “stay with Uncle Ted for awhile while she figures some things out”. You know he’s not really your Uncle right? Sorry, I got off track… back to the festival.

GET TICKETS HERE FOR ONLY $160 FOR THREE DAYS OF MUSIC!

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Andy Frasco and the U.N. (Friday 4:15pm – 5:30pm or Saturday 2:15am – 3:00am Harvest Tent)

Meet Andy Frasco. Based out of Los Angeles, Frasco describes his sound as “Party Blues.” And it has to be true, the man has played over 1000 shows in the last four years. An industry insider that formerly booked pop punk bands for Drive Thru Records and worked as a promoter for VH1’s Save the Music Campaign, the 24 yr old Frasco now plays the keys and writes up beat songs that keep the dance floor active throughout the entire set. His Saturday night late night set is going to be epic… look for me near the soundboard. Check out “Its Been A Struggle”

 

California Honeydrops (Thursday (4:30pm – 5:45pm Backwoods Stage)

The California Honeydrops play R&B/Blues music using your typical guitar, bass and drums accented by a trumpet, saxophone, jug and washboard. They got their start playing together in a subway tunnel in Oakland but sound straight out of New Orleans. The vocal harmonies and clever lyrics stand out as well as the strong keys and offbeat jazzy drums. Check out their song “Up Above My Head”or “Cry Baby Blues”

 

ClusterPluck (Thursday 3:30pm – 4:30pm Roost Stage)

St. Louis’ own homegrown bluegrass group that strives on their five-part harmonies. They play traditional bluegrass instruments, but do so with a lot of various influences in a very nontraditional way.  These guys (and gal) are starting to make a name for themselves around the Midwest… Check out “Storms After Tomorrow”

 

Delhi 2 Dublin (Thursday 4:00pm-5:00pm or Friday 1:00pm – 2:00pm Harvest Tent)

Want a break from all the great bluegrass/folk/Americana music happening everywhere else? Ever heard of a genre called Celtic Punjabi Electronica? No? Thats because Delhi 2 Dublin claim to have created it. I first heard this band at Wakarusa from about 100 yards away and after two songs found it necessary to leave camp and voyage to the stage for a bit. You get fiddles, turntables, percussionists, and a hint of Bollywood with this Vancouver quintet.  Check out “Our House” below

 

Dirtfoot (Thursday 12:30am – 2:00am Backwoods Stage / Friday 2:00pm – 3:15pm Main Stage / Saturday 9am-10am Chompdown)

Dirtfoot hail from Shreveport, LA and describe their sound as Gypsy, Punk, Country, Grumble, Boogie. They are also kinda sorta one of the Mulberry Mountain house bands, performing at every Wakarusa and Harvest Festival that has taken place on the Mountain. If you have never seen Dirtfoot, make it a point to do so at this years Harvest Festival. The boys are absolutely on fire right now and are weeks away from releasing their new album that is redefining the Dirtfoot sound. I would highly suggest their Thursday late night set, there ain’t no party like a Dirtfoot late night Backwoods party. Also, be sure to check out the Chompdown, a giant communal breakfast put on by campers for campers. Bring some bacon, bring some bread, or just bring yourself and an appetite! You get to watch Dirtfoot play an intimate campground set and to meet a bunch of new friends in the name of community! Watch Dirtfoot play “Bathroom Sink” or “Pulling Up the Stakes” below

 

Everyone Orchestra (Saturday 12:30am – 1:45am Harvest Tent)

Everyone Orchestra is one of the best idea’s for an improvisational supergroup ever. Everyone Orchestra is Seattle’s Matt Butler who conducts an ensemble of musicians and communicates with them using hand signs, whiteboards and assorted mime suggestions. The lineup varies from night to night. The lineup that has been announced for Harvest consists of: Al Schnier of moe., Jeff Austin of the YMSB, Tim Carbone and Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth, Dango Rose, Bonnie Payne and Bridget Law of Elephant Revival, Mike Dillon and Carley Myers of the Mike Dillon Band, and others. The beautiful thing about Everyone Orchestra is that ANYONE could show up at any time. Its insanity! See ya there! Watch this little clip of Butler conducting

 

Hot Buttered Rum w/ Allie Kral (Thursday 7:15pm – 8:30pm Harvest Tent)

Not only are Hot Buttered Rum a fantastic band by themselves, but the addition of the beautiful and incredibly talented Allie Kral (formerly of Cornmeal) on the fiddle kicks them up to elite status. A five piece bluegrassy jammy type group from California similar to String Cheese Incident or Leftover Salmon, these guys are a do not miss! Check out Hot Buttered Rum performing “Busted in Utah”

 

Hot Club of Cowtown (Saturday 12:00pm – 1:00pm Backwoods Stage)

This set may be unlike any other at Harvest Festival and will be perfect to accompany your afternoon Bloody Mary or other beverage. Straight out of Austin, TX by way of San Diego comes this trio of Western swing revivalists, Hot Club of Cowtown. Quick story: I first heard of this band via some random old man at a QuickTrip gas station. I was pumping gas and listening to Yonder Mountain String Band when this old man called out and asked if I liked bluegrass. After a short conversation, he gave me a copy of a Hot Club of Cowtown live show and I love it. I have been waiting to see this guys (and gal) since then! Check out this video from New Years Eve 2003 and you will see why

 

Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang (Thursday 10:30pm – 12:30am Main Stage)

Every festival needs a resident weirdo, and Claypool fills the quota for Harvest Festival. One of the many projects that Mr. Claypool is responsible for, the Duo de Twang features Bryan Kehoe on guitar and Les plays acoustic bass in typical Les Claypool fashion…awesome! You can expect to hear covers, Primus tunes, Claypool solo tunes… anything really. Check out the Duo de Twang reworking a classic Primus tune below or a Johnny Cash tune here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS6by-XreBg

 

Mike Dillon Band (Saturday 6:30pm – 7:30pm Roost Stage)

If you aren’t familiar with Mike Dillon, you should feel sorry for yourself. Mike Dillon is  a percussionist that is really good at banging on shit. He is also a terrific vibraphonist. He has been a part of many projects that have included many people including Les Claypools Fancy Band, Garage A Trois, Galactic, Ani DiFranco and Marco Benevento. His current project, The Mike Dillon Band, is New Orleans Punk Rock and features Carly Myers on the trombone, Patrick McDevitt on bass, and Adam Gertner on drums. Gerner is a student of Galactic’s Stanton Moore. Watch “Carly Hates the Dubstep” below

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band (Friday 10:00pm – 12:30am Main Stage)

Derrick Trucks is a guitar god, ranked #16 in the world by Rolling Stone, that previously played with the Allman Brothers Band. Susan Tedeschi has the voice of an angel. Together these two share a home and their lives as a married couple, but more importantly for this article, together these two lead the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Their debut album won a Grammy for Best Blues Album and their newest release is a live show that showcases what the band really specializes in. If you like dirty, swampy blues music and good old-fashioned rock and roll, Tedeschi Trucks Band is for you. Watch a ridiculous live video of “Midnight in Harlem”just below or click here to watch a full length HD show from Red Rocks, but more importantly, watch this band at Harvest. This band should be on every ones musical bucket list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ubH7dLJJiE

Tyrannosaurus Chicken (Saturday 11:00pm – 12:00am Roost Stage)

Tyrannosaurus Chicken is without a doubt the best fucking band name on the lineup. T-Chicken, as they are sometimes called, are also a great fucking band. A duo from Arkansas that plays delta blues trance music with a guitar, fiddle and bass will weird you the fuck out. Check out the weirdness that is T-Chicken and their song “Hammer” below

 

Yonder Mountain String Band (Thursday 12:30am – 2:00am / Friday 7:30pm – 9:30pm / Saturday 9:45pm – 12:30am)

Big shocker here right? Top bill on the festival, a band that I have watched more than a dozen times live, and a band that I still refuse to miss. I love the Yonder Mountain String Band, it’s no shocker. The hosts of the festival get three full sets to jamgrass the hell out of that mountain… but the Thursday night late night set is going to be in the Harvest Tent and is the one you should circle on the lineup. Its going to be packed, so plan accordingly. Then also warm up the crowd on Friday night for Tedeschi Trucks Band and tuck you in nicely after Les Claypool makes shit weird on Thursday night. Another bonus: everyone wants to sit in with the Festival hosts, so you could get guest appearances at any time. Check out this video that shows you just who could show up during any given Yonder show.

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GET THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE AS WELL AS TICKETING INFO AND MUCH MORE AT THE OFFICIAL HARVEST PAGE

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YMSB Harvest Festival 10/17-19 (feat. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Les Claypool, Railroad Earth) Stage Schedule Released

YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND’s Harvest Music Festival

When: October 17-19, 2013

Where: Mulberry Mountain, Ozark AR

How Much: 3 Day Pass $145. Day Passes Also Available Here

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We are just weeks away from the 8th Annual Yonder Mountain String Band Harvest Music Festival taking place at the most beautiful festival site I have ever stepped foot on, Mulberry Mountain. While Mulberry Mountain has now become the home to three total major music festivals, Harvest Festival still stands out as “THE” festival for many folks. Harvest keeps the crowd size limited and far more intimate than the larger Wakarusa Music Festival and the newly formed Thunder on the Mountain country music festivals. Attendance at the Harvest Music Festival usually caps out around 8000. Plus instead of covering up the beautiful main stage with a rented stage, you actually get to watch your headliners play on this stage!

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Another great aspect of the Harvest Festival is that the Yonder Mountain String Band are the official hosts each year, and the lineup stays a little tighter than the eclectic mix at Wakarusa with pretty much all bluegrass, Americana and folk music taking the reigns. There are a few fantastic exceptions such as Beats Antique and the Mike Dillon Band (DO NOT MISS THE MIKE DILLON BAND!) This year also features the return of Les Claypool to Mulberry Mountain… his third trip to the Mountain with his third different project. Previously he has appeared at Wakarusa with Primus and also just as Les Claypool. This time he is bringing along Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang, a project that I am incredibly excited to see first hand. Check out the video below for a taste of twangy Claypool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS6by-XreBg

Be sure not to miss the Everyone Orchestra, conducted by Matt Butler and featuring Al Schnier of moe., Jeff Austin of Yonder Mountain String Band, Tim Carbone and Andy Goessling of Railroad Earth, Dango Rose, Bridget Law and Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival, Isayah Warford and Mike Dillon and Carly Meyers of Mike Dillon Band.

Other acts rounding out the 2013 lineup include: JJ Grey and MoFro, Kasey Musgraves, Justin Townes Earle, Greensky Bluegrass, Dirtfoot, Steep Canyon Rangers, Gangstagrass, Hot Buttered Rum, Dehli 2 Dublin, Darrel Scott and Tim O’Brien, Hot Club of Cowtown, Ha Ha Tonka, Andy Frasco and the U.N. and many many others!

SEE THE FULL STAGE SCHEDULE AND LINEUP HERE

Be sure to check out some of the other great events taking place at the Harvest Music Festival such as the Fiddlin’ and Pickin’ Contest… where you can take home a basket full of SWAG and a cash prize. At 9AM on Saturday morning, be sure to check out the Chompdown… a communal breakfast ran completely by the festival patrons that has become tradition for all Harvest Music Festivals and Wakarusa Festivals where you can munch on some good eats while watching Dirtfoot and Friends perform a stripped down set in the campground.

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Dirtfoot - Chompdown

4th Annual LouFest Music Festival Comes To A Close – Day 1 Review

4th Annual LouFest Music Festival Comes To A Close – Day 1 Recap

Words and Pictures By Bradley Darby

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LouFest 2013 - Main Stage TBT

The Fourth Annual LouFest Music Festival has come to an end. This year’s installment featured the addition of a third stage and expanded festival grounds in the beautiful and seemingly never ending Forest Park in St. Louis. The stacked lineup mixed some of the hottest up and comers with some grizzled veterans that have many large shows already under their belts. This was my third experience at a LouFest Music Festival… and I could tell it was certainly larger in scale and attendance than previous years. Early reports were that the organizers were expecting as many as 15K people each day. Previous LouFest’s averaged around 8K over the two day span! The first thing I noticed upon arriving was that the parking situation was starting to get out of hand. Luckily we arrived a bit earlier on Saturday than we did on Sunday, so we lucked out and found a spot. More on that later…

 LouFest 2013 - Gate

Upon arriving we exchanged our paper tickets for wristbands and we were in the gates within minutes! Security was very friendly and rather quick with their searches, which I certainly appreciated. Right as we entered, Jukebox the Ghost and Kentucky Knife Fight both began playing at opposite ends of the festival. We decided to make a lap and see where everything was… we ended up at the Schlafly Beer booth. From there we could hear Kentucky Knife Fight on the smallest of the stages, the BMI Stage. After indulging in a few beverages we went to set up shop for the first band on our list, J Roddy Walston & the Business.

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Originally from Tennessee, J Roddy Walston & the Business play straight forward rock and roll music. Their live show was incredibly energetic and transferred well from the few songs I had listened to pre festival. Their new album, Essential Tremors, is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, but they were selling advance copies at the festival which I found to be pretty cool.

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 LouFest 2013 - Trampled by Turtles

After aimlessly wandering around a bit more and meeting up with some friends, we headed back to the Bud Light Mainstage for our second featured show of the afternoon, Trampled by Turtles. Straight outta Minnesota, Trampled by Turtles is a band that I really should enjoy, they are about as in my music wheelhouse as it gets… but for some reason I have now watched them three times and I just can’t seem to get into them. I’m not saying the show wasn’t good, they sounded great and the majority of the crowd seemed to really be digging their modernized bluegrass sound. The rapid fire banjo and fiddle both played at machine gun speed were definitely  standouts… but I can’t pinpoint what it is about TBT that doesn’t allow me to get sucked in. Don’t let that stop you from checking them out. The crowd went absolutely bonkers when they broke out “Wait So Long” from 2010’s Palomino.

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 LouFest 2013 - Space Capone

It was now time for us to check out the band who wins my award for Best Band Name of LouFest… Nashville’s soulful funky 8 piece Space Capone. Invading the smallest of the three stages and playing against the very popular Ra Ra Riot, we chose to check this new group out and see what the Chipotle VIP lounge was all about at the same time. What it was about was some FREE tacos and bottled water! We sat in the shade while enjoying the music of Space Capone while catching a few minutes of the Mizzou game and eating free lunch before venturing stage front for a handful of songs. Space Capone is apparently the stage name of the lead singer, who can get down while working the crowd. Behind him you find seven other band members playing drums, horns, tambourines, keys, guitar and bass. Capone had a unique voice, one that took me a few songs to really accept. But by the end of his set I was feeling the soul/R&B/funkiness. They definitely had an Earth, Wind & Fire / George Clinton thing going on. Be sure to check out Space Capone, my pick for hidden gem of Day 1. Watch this video, it has a Michael Jackson vibe to it.

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 LouFest 2013 - Fitz and the Tantrums

After the 70’s dance party ended, we kept the funkiness going with Fitz & the Tantrums back on the main stage.  Another band that I had previously watched and found myself less than impressed with, Fitz & the Tantrums call the City of Angels home and play a modern brand of pop-soul music. A few years back they headlined one night of the Taste of St. Louis and I was not a fan. I still tease my girlfriend about making me watch them. Going into this one I was less than thrilled, but in all honestly they sounded a lot better this time around. The two part harmonies provided by Fitz and the strong winded Noelle Scaggs worked really well and everyone in the field was dancing or swaying around to the grooves.

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Next on our lineup card was Jim James, but with a bit of time to kill we decided to spend some time venturing around. LouFest featured a great selection of food vendors from a cast of mostly local establishments including Atomic Cowboy, Local Harvest and Mission Taco Joint. There was a rather small grouping of vendors set up and drinks were incredibly easy to find from any stage. The only downfall was that Schalfy Beer was only available at one stand, the Schlafly Brewtopia, and was on the far side of the grounds from the Forest Park Stage. Euclid Records had a tent set up to sell the artists CDs and vinyl while there was a separate merch booth for your LouFest branded merchandise as well as posters and t-shirts. You could also wait in line to meet certain artists and get your albums signed at the Euclid Tent.

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 LouFest 2013 - The National

We wandered over to check out some of The National, a band that no one in our group was excited to see, but we were all at least a little intrigued to see what we were missing. At this point you couldn’t get anywhere near the stages, so we just hung out towards the back of the crowd. The National featured what I would call the best stage design thus far with a large LED screen in the background that had been teasing us all day finally being utilized. I am not at all familiar with The National, and I won’t even pretend to know any of their songs… but I will say they sounded a lot better than I would have imagined. It was now time to go claim our spot for Jim James.

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 LouFest 2013 - Jim James 2

Best known as the front man of My Morning Jacket, Jim James is on his own for this tour promoting his first full length solo album Regions of Light and Sound of God. Prior to James taking the stage his signature flying V guitar was mounted center stage… right at 7:30 the lights dimmed and out came Jim James in a suit with his long curly hair bouncing around as he prowled around the front of the stage to the opening notes of “State of the Art.” Finally the lonely guitar was played, while still on its stand. The set featured most of James’ newest album and also a peek at Jim James playing the saxophone during one song. This one wins the award for Best Show of LouFest in my opinion. The only downfall was that the set was limited to only an hour, but this was consistent with most of the lineup as only headliners received more than an hour and a few bands early each day received 45 minute sets.

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Day One ended in style as 2010 LouFest headliner, and Belleville born and raised, Jeff Tweedy came back to Forest Park and brought along his buddies that make up Wilco. If you have yet to see Wilco, I truly am sorry. A lot of people give Tweedy a lot of flack, but the man can straight up write songs and watching the live execution is a thing of beauty. The set opened with a pair of songs from 1996’s Being There, “Misunderstood” and “Forget the Flowers.” Other highlights of the set included an Uncle Tupelo song, “Give Back the Key to My Heart”, “I Might”, “Handshake Drugs”, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Heavy Metal Drummer.” In typical Wilco fashion, “Casino Queen” was featured near the end of the night before closing down LouFest Day One with “Hoodoo Voodoo.” Wilco proved yet again why they are one of the best live bands out there today. Make it a point to catch them at a more intimate venue next time you are given the chance. (Note: I didn’t get a decent picture of Wilco as we just posted up in the field… so instead of Wilco please enjoy this picture of some random dude that was in the zone rocking out on his keyboard while bands played on the stages in front of him. Rock on brother!)

This was yet another great LouFest and I look forward to the 2014 edition! They have found a truly beautiful place to hold the festival, but to come back to the parking dilemma I briefly discussed earlier, that is something that needs to be addressed. The Muny parking lot was being used and people were making their own spots wherever they damn well pleased. This led to an incredibly tight parking lot that was impossible to navigate with cars going every which direction and fighting over spots. Outside of that lot, there were numerous cars being ticketed all over the park for various reasons including creating their own spots, having 2” of their car over the yellow line, parking in wide open streets that were marked no parking for no apparent reason. If you want to draw 15,000 people a day there needs to be parking to accommodate those people. It took us an hour to find a legal parking spot on Sunday.  There were shuttle signs randomly around the park but I couldn’t find any other info on the shuttle service in the program that was passed out or near the signs stating it was a shuttle zone. I also never once saw a shuttle running.

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 LouFest 2013 - Jim James

JIM JAMES

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LouFest 2013 - Alabama Shakes

ALABAMA SHAKES (Played Sunday)

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Fitz and the Tantrums - LoUFest 2013 2

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

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LouFest 2013 - Space Capone 2

SPACE CAPONE

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LouFest 2013 - Forest Park Stage Lit Up

FOREST PARK STAGE ILLUMINATED FOR JIM JAMES

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LouFest 2013 - The Killers

THE KILLERS (Played Sunday)

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CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO A FULL PHOTO GALLERY ON INSIDESTL.COM

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An Evening with CAKE – Sandpoint, Idaho – 8/2/13

Cake at the Festival in Sandpoint 2013

On an overcast August evening, on the bank of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: pond-o-ray) in Idaho, I came face-to-face with what I had considered to be my white whale. I was about to see a band that, for years, would play a few shows in the Pacific Northwest but, for some reason, those shows would fall on days that made it difficult for me to attend. This night, however, was my night. It was my night to check that band off my list, to realize the dream that had eluded me for so many years, and to spend a glorious evening in Sandpoint, Idaho…an Evening with CAKE.

But enough with the hyperbole. CAKE really is a band that I have wanted to see for the past 15 years, and something had always stood in the way of that, a family obligation, work, or what have you. So when I heard they were playing the Festival at Sandpoint on August 2, I knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t go.

After an unsuccessful attempt at recruiting friends to accompany me on my journey, I made the solo trek to the northern Idaho Panhandle. No ticket in hand and no hotel room booked. I showed up to the venue (Memorial Field) right when the doors opened, bought a ticket from someone off the street, and made my way through the gates.  One thing that is great about this venue is their extremely relaxed policy on coolers. Basically, you can bring whatever food and drink you want inside, including alcohol. As you might imagine, this ends up saving you a ton of money during the show. At first, I thought this could turn out to be a complete shit show in terms of people drinking too much and acting like idiots. However, the crowd was extremely laid back and there were enough security and uniformed police officers to handle any drunken buffoonery.

CAKE took the stage a little after 7:30 p.m. and delivered two sets filled with all the songs I love. Songs such as, “The Distance,” “Sick of You,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle,” “Italian Leather Sofa,” their awesome cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and many more. I was firmly planted at the railing near the front of the stage and soaked in every trumpet note blasted, while lead singer John McCrea’s Vibra-slap echoed in the northern Idaho night like the scream of a red-tail hawk.

I truly had a great time in Sandpoint that night and was bummed when it came to an end. There is no doubt in my mind that I will catch CAKE again someday, I just hope it doesn’t take me another 15 years.

Watch CAKE perform Long Skirt/Short Jacket at the Festival at Sandpoint:

CAKE performing Love You Madly at the festival. Shot with a GoPro worn by drummer Paulo Baldi:

Lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 Revealed

FFFfest

Fun Fun Fun Fest comes back strong this year. Bands like Television (!), MGMT, and Both Black Flag and FLAG are just the tip of the iceberg hitting Auditorium Shores this November 8-10th in Austin, TX. Other notables include Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore’s Chelsea Light Moving, The Dismemberment Plan, Death Grips , Kathleen Hanna’s the Julie Ruin,Johnny Marr, Snoop Dogg, Slayer, Lupe Fiasco, and many many more.

 

This year’s festival plans on featuring expanded comedy and action sports sections, which they’ll tell us about on August 3 at the FFF Aqua Olympics in Austin. Tickets on sale Wednesday Morning, there’s some festival video things you could check out below, and please head over to the Fun Fun Fun Fest Official Website by clicking here for the full lineup, tickets and all that jazz. Now excuse me as I go listen to Marquee Moon and cry that this festival isn’t in my hometown.

 

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 Lineup Leak from funfunfunfestival on Vimeo.

Music Midtown 2013 Announces Lineup

music-midtown 2013

Enjoy as many festivals as you can this year, because ticket sales tell us that next year we’ll have a lot less of these things here in America.  This September 20th and 21st, Peidmont Park in Atlanta brings you a pretty solid lineup for Music Midtown 2013.

 Acts you care about include : Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoenix, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Weezer, Jane’s Addiction, Tegan & Sara, Cake, 2 Chainz, Imagine Dragons, Black Lips, Reignwolf, Capital Cities, North Mississippi Allstars, and Mona… and if you have bad taste in music, there’s always Journey.

Saturday June 22nd is when Tickets go on sale, and you can check out the full line up and stuff over at the festivals official website by clicking here. There’s a presale for Citi members  beginning Wednesday, that information is also at the website.

Lineups Announced for Riot Fest 2013 (all three of them!)

2013-header-11

Chicago’s Riot Fest is expanding yet again this year, heading to Toronto and Denver and those lineups have been announced, but that’s not even the big news here. Everyone hates surprise headliners including this guy, but  when your festival announced that The Replacements are that surprise then it most certainly lives up to the hype.  So in order, let’s go over how this is all going down in a few months.

Riot-Fest-Toronto-Lineup

As you can see in the above poster, Riot Fest Toronto is the first of the trio of festivals, going down August 24th-25th at Fort York in Ontario. The Replacements will headline and other cool acts we endorse here at Concert Confessions: Iggy and the Stooges and  Dinosaur Jr. And let’s consider the possibility of Iggy coming out to jam with Dinosaur Jr. or J Mascis coming out to jam with the Stooges. Now clean yourself up and let’s talk about Chicago.

chicago-lineup-june

At Humboldt Park in Chicago September 13th through 15th Riot Fest will feature the likes of The Replacements, Violent Femmes, Motorhead, Blondie (oddly enough), Bad Religion, Dinosaur Jr.,  FLAG, Bad Brains, AFI, Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Bob Mould, GWAR, and everyone’s favorite band to hate- Sublime w/ Rome among other bands noted above in the poster. Moving along

RF_Denver_Admat_WEB

On to Denver, ahhh Denver. Legal pot plus they have tons of awesome bands coming to town September 21st-22nd getting together at May Farms. What bands you ask? Well, there’s The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges, Rancid, FLAG,  AWOLNATION, Bad ReligionThe Dismemberment Plan, Blink-182, AFI,  and Against Me! just to name a few.

If you’d rather here the news straight from the horses mouth, that’s understandable Just head over to the Official Riot Fest Website by clicking here. That’s where you can get tickets  and stuff.

Tenacious D Announces Festival Supreme Coming To Santa Monica This Fall

Tenacious D

Festival Supreme. It’s the new comedy and music festival that Jack Black and Kyle Gass, are throwing Oct. 19 on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Ca.  The day will feature appearances from Adam Sandler, Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, Fred Arminsen and Triumph the Insult Dog are just some of the names you’ll be getting to see if you’re lucky enough to be in CA this October. Pre-sale starts Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET (password is SUPREME on Ticketmaster.com) and tickets will be released to the public on Friday (1 p.m. ET), starting at $99. For the full lineup, scroll down below.

Festival Supreme Full Lineup

Tim and Eric

The Mr. Show Experience

The Mighty Boosh

Sarah Silverman

Zach Galifianakis

Adam Sandler

The Gregory Brothers

Tig Notaro

Hannibal Buress

Eric Idle

Fred Armisen

Princess (Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum)

Will Forte

Demetri Martin

Dynasty Handbag

Reggie Watts

Beardyman

Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious

Garfunkel and Oates

Triumph the Insult Dog

Neil Hamburger Band

The Abe Lincoln Story

Nancy and Beth (Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt)

Tenacious D

Primavera Sound Festival 2013: Day 3

Primavera Sound Festival, Day 3, May 25, 2013

Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross

PRIMA STAGE

Back to Spain we go for the final day of the Primavera Sound Festival. Today we will conclude with me recapping the five acts I saw for that day, and then we’ll open up the floor for a Q&A session.

The sea breeze turned into some pretty harsh winds that blew garbage and hats throughout the festival grounds, but that didn’t stop the festival goers, including myself, from having a good time. Five bands to talk about, let’s get this show on the road.

Bands seen so far: 16

Hours of sleep since festival started: 12

Mount Eerie

MOUNT EERIE

Phil Elverum has had a fairly long career in the world of indie rock, all starting when he started to release music under the name The Microphones when he was 18. The Microphones hit its peak in 2001 with the release of “The Glow Pt. 2,” and only continued for a few years after that before Phil changed the name of his project from the Microphones to Mount Eerie, which is also the name of the final album The Microphones released. Mount Eerie has released several lo-fi indie folk recordings that have garnered Phil similar critical praise that some of the Microphones’ best albums have given him, and the music he makes under this moniker is haunting, beautiful, and even loud at times, as evidenced by their loud-but-not-quite-loud-enough set at Primavera’s ATP Stage.

The strangest thing about Mount Eerie is their current live setup, which consisted of Phil Elverum on lead vocals and 12-string electric guitar, a young-looking lady on vocals and a drum pad machine, and two female bass players that also sang. The band played beautifully, although I imagine there was quite a bit of frustration with the adjacent stage.

The ATP Stage is located about 100 yards away from the Heineken Stage, so when two bands play these stages at the same time, there can be a sound clash. At the same time that Mount Eerie were playing, former Moldy Peaches singer Adam Green was playing the main stage with Binki Shapiro, and they were playing a lot louder than Mount Eerie was playing, most of the time. The drummer was having trouble starting the songs because she couldn’t concentrate on the beat, but they were able to persevere. It was obvious that the band members were at least a bit frustrated. At one point in between songs, Phil tried to sneak a peek at the noisy stage, pointed at it with his thumb, and said “Well that kinda sucks.”

Fortunately, the band handled their misfortune with grace, much like Savages did during their own difficulty. This made the audience love and respect the band even more, and the music Mount Eerie made sounded even more beautiful as they tried to create enough noise to drown out the sound of Adam Green and Binki Shapiro.

Mac DeMarco

MAC DEMARCO

There was a long break in between the end of Mount Eerie’s set and the beginning of Mac Demarco’s set at Pitchfork’s stage, so I’ll tell you a little about Mac DeMarco first. Just to fill the gap. I mean I could tell you abou the disappointing kebab and messy crepe I ate, but Mac DeMarco is a little more interesting.

Mac DeMarco (not sure if that’s his real name) is a 23-year old Canadian musician and singer/songwriter who’s second album “2” garnered a decent amount of critical praise. His music has been described as “slacker rock,” and that title certainly reflects his style well, but only in the most positive way. Mac uses an extremely cheap guitar and he uses a string as a guitar strap, but that doesn’t make the music any less incredible. A little bit punk, a little bit pop, a little bit lo-fi, a little bit garage rock. All these styles combine for a very fun sounding blend that makes me think of bands like Pavement or Pinkerton-era Weezer. On his album, Mac sings about romance, nostalgia, and relaxation, and he’s able to actually capture the emotions associated with these topics very well. “2” is the perfect summer album, and Mac DeMarco is the perfect musician to hear at the end of May in Barcelona while standing right on the Mediterranean Sea as the sun sets.

Although the songs have a more relaxed and sometimes acoustic feel on the album, Mac really brings them to life with a full band on stage. The entire band play with 100% energy that gives these songs a new life.

Mac DeMarco and the band played a ton of songs from “2,” including the strangely dark “Cooking Up Something Good,” the cigarette ballad “Ode to Viceroy,” and the set-closing love song (which he dedicated to his girlfriend who was in the crowd) “Still Together.” But not only did they play their own incredible songs, they also did some strange covers (which Mac is known for doing). At one point the band went from Bachmann-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” right into The Beatles “Blackbird.” I’m not a huge fan of either song, but the band had a ton of fun playing them. They ended the set with the aforementioned “Still Together,” during which Mac DeMarco sang the chorus in falsetto pitch and then crowd-surfed. Overall, a very fun set that made me wish summer was closer than it really was. If you’re looking for a good summer album that was released in the fall, I highly recommend Mac’s “2,” and then go see him live.

Wu-Tang Clan

WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG WU TANG

It’s rare for any musical act to be able to maintain a certain amount of fame for 20 years, but, believe it or not, New York’s Wu-Tang Clan have done just that. It’s been 20 years since Wu-Tang released their influential debut album “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers,” and that album has aged very well. It is now, along with “Illmatic” and “Ready to Die,” considered one of the best New York hip hop albums of all time, and often cited as one of the reasons the west coast didn’t completely take over the rap game in the 90s.

Although Wu-Tang currently have 8 members (RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa), Method Man and Raekwon were unable to attend the festival for reasons unbeknownst to the audience, and even RZA, who, according to several websites, admitted that he wasn’t sure why Meth and Rae weren’t there.

Nevertheless, Wu-Tang Clan put on an insanely energetic and almost completely audience driven show. Members of the group directed us to “hold our W’s in the air,” wave our hands from left to right, sing the “DOLLA DOLLA BILL, Y’ALL” part of “C.R.E.A.M.,” and repeat whatever strange thing RZA wanted us to repeat. “Hi-de-hi-de-hiiiii,” “Ho-de-oh-de-ohhhhh,” etc. And every time RZA said “Barcelonia,” it just got more and more funny. That doesn’t really fit here, but that’s just something you have to know. The RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan said “Barcelonia.” That sounds like a planet in Star Wars.

Before we left the Primavera Stage to go to the Heineken stage, we were able to hear some of Wu-Tang’s classic songs, including the set-opening “Bring da Ruckus,” “C.R.E.A.M.,” “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta F’ Wit,” and a delightfully strange and somewhat out-of-place semi-cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Maybe the members of the Wu-Tang Clan are insane, but I do know that after 20 years of classic albums and not-so-classic albums, deaths, legal battles, and feuds, they’re still able to put on a wild show, even if the majority of the people they’re playing for don’t speak English.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

One of indie rock’s most disturbingly heartfelt and poetic frontmen is Australia’s own Nick Cave, who’s been writing angry post-punk and soft ballads for 35 years. In 1978, Cave formed the band The Birthday Party, whose combination of post-punk and gothic rock turned them into legends, before forming The Bad Seeds with multi-instrumentalist and The Birthday Party co-member Mick Harvey. The Bad Seeds have gone through tons of phases that have produced some brilliant albums, some even more brilliant songs, and a raucously fun side project called Grinderman.

A few years ago, Mick Harvey left the band, resulting in a far more minimal and dark album, “Push The Sky Away,” which came out in February. The album was well received, and for good reason. Some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard come out of Nick Cave’s mouth seem to come from this album, and hearing a lot of these intense works live really made me enjoy the man a lot more.

The band came on, Cave wearing all black, playing “We No Who U R,” a fairly soft yet slightly creepy song from the new album, followed by “Jubilee Street,” another new song. The band then jumped back nearly 30 years to the eponymous song from the band’s 1984 debut album “From Her to Eternity.” This loud rock song in 5/4 was played with the explosive energy of a punk band, and Cave danced all across the stage. If there’s any rock frontman who could challenge Mick Jagger to a “dance around onstage the most” contest, it’d certainly be Cave.

They then played the sorta-ballad “Red Right Hand,” from 1994’s “Let Love In” album. “The Weeping Song,” “Jack the Ripper,” and “Tupelo” (the latter of which was dedicated to Elvis Presley) all followed. The Seeds played another song from the new album called “We Real Cool” before jumping back to 1988 with “The Mercy Seat.” It’s amazing that they can play such a career-spanning set and still sound so consistent.

The Bad Seeds then played “Stagger Lee,” which is a huge fan favorite. The intense and swear-filled story involves a man named Stagger Lee who pretty much kills anyone who crosses his path, be it a grouchy bartender or the Devil himself. This song reflects Nick Cave’s own demeanor pretty well, considering it’s rare that I ever see a frontman look so terrifying onstage (apart from Michael Gira during the Swans set), and Cave’s dance moves pretty much certified his position as “World’s Sexiest Ugly Man.”

They ended the show with the album-closing “Push The Sky Away,” before thanking us and stating that they can’t wait to come back to Spain.

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine would play the same stage as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, except they were to go on about an hour and a half after The Bad Seeds’ show ended. So my dad and I had some waiting to do. So we did what it is people do when they’re waiting. Sit down, eat some snacks, try our best to stay awake, watch a guy who was quite obviously tripping on some sort of hallucinogen dance around to whatever music was playing from the speakers.

It was pretty fun to watch the road crew set up for MBV though. They rolled out amps after amps after amps for guitar player Kevin Shields, as well as quite a few for lead singer and guitar player Bilinda Butcher. We also got a sneak preview of some of the crazy projections that would be showed while they played.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of trying to stay awake, MBV came on stage and played “I Only Said,” the midpoint song on their 1991 classic album “Loveless,” followed by the dreamy “When You Sleep.” They then played the first of only two new songs that night, “New You.” You’d think a band that are just coming off the release of a new album (especially when it’s the first one in 22 years) would play a little more new music, but the music itself still sounded great.

Another slight complaint: MBV were the victims of some pretty bad mixing on the festival’s part. I know that the vocals are not the most important part of the show, but I’d at least KINDA like to hear them a bit.

MBV moved through a ton of songs from their classic album “Loveless,” as well as a couple from their debut “Isn’t Anything” and some tracks from some of their early EPs. The loud (and I mean LOUD) guitars combined with the hypnotic drums and woozy projections made this feel kind of like a late 80s/early 90s acid rock/rave show in Manchester. For some reason I was reminded of bands like Primal Scream and Happy Mondays.

At around half past 3, Kevin Shields took the mic and said “We’d like to play a new song, but we only have 5 minutes left.” So with that, they burst into their infamous show-closer “You Made Me Realise,” which is not only one of their faster songs, but it is also the loudest. This song is known for featuring a very long wall of noise and feedback that is sometimes referred to as “the Holocaust section.” They stretched a 3 and a half minute song into a 10-plus minute show stopper that left every ear ringing. This Holocaust section is often seen as something of a concert “rite of passage,” kinda like hearing “Ignition (Remix)” live or getting covered in GWAR blood.

MBV left the stage with the feedback still ringing through the amplifiers. We left, completely satisfied with the festival and life itself, and headed back to the hotel to try and get as much sleep as possible. By the time we woke up in the morning, I’d seen 21 bands and gotten 15 hours of sleep, which leaves my total ratio of bands seen to hours of sleep gotten at 7:5. Not bad for Spain.

Sure, the festival had its faults. The lineup was a little bit too good to be true, in the literal sense. Confirmed acts such as elusive singer/songwriter Fiona Apple, indie folk act Band of Horses, skate punks FIDLAR, psych rockers Foxygen, and shoegaze/dream pop band DIIV had to cancel their appearances for one reason or another. Some of the sound was kinda muddled and not mixed entirely well. Such is the way of the music festival. But overall, I had an amazing time, and it was worth every hour of sleep I didn’t get.

Author’s note: My dad saw both the Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine in the late 80s (different shows), making this the first time in nearly 25 years that he’s seen either band. 

Primavera Sound Festival 2013: Day 2

Primavera Sound Festival, Day 2, May 24, 2013

Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross

PRIMAVERA WHEEL

I woke up at noon. I ate breakfast. I showered. I brushed my teeth. I was dressed. My morning routine was not necessarily in that order, but who cares? You just want to hear about all the cool bands I saw on Day 2 of Spain’s preeminent music festival.

Bands I’d seen so far: 8

Hours of sleep since festival started: 6

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get this show on the road.

Kurt Vile and the Violators

KURT VILE

At this point in his career, Kurt Vile is pretty much a festival staple. He’s been playing Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc. for the past few years, so it’s natural that he’d play Primavera, especially since it’s been a month since the release of his critically adored new album “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze.”

I first fell in love with the music of the long-haired singer/songwriter when he released “Smoke Ring For My Halo” in 2011, and although I didn’t LOVE love his brand new album, I knew that he’d play a relaxing, hazy set that was perfect for a sunny Friday afternoon.

Kurt Vile’s dreamy set would be the first one I catch at Primavera’s main stage, the Heineken Stage, and he opened up his show with the 9-minute psychedelic behemoth “Wakin’ on a Pretty Day.” He played some brand new songs like “KV Crimes,” “Was All Talk,” and “Shame Chamber.” He also played some tracks from the aforementioned “Smoke Ring For My Halo” like “Jesus Fever,” “Peeping Tomboy,” and “Ghost Town.” He ended the set with two deeper cuts “Hunchback” and “Freak Train.”

Kurt Vile’s care free attitude and singing style reminded me of a really really cool mix of Lou Reed, J Mascis, and Bob Dylan. In fact, if Kurt dyed his hair grey and put on some glasses he could easily pass for J Mascis. Although he wasn’t my favorite show and he’s not my favorite singer of all time, his set was fun to watch, and unexpectedly loud at times. I mean, when you rub violently on the strings with your own distortion pedal, the resulting sound is bound to be loud.

Daniel Johnston

If you’ve never listened to or heard of Daniel Johnston, then I highly recommend you watch the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston” before forming your opinion. It really gives some insight into the mind of one of independent music’s most fascinating and skilled outsiders. But, for those who don’t care to watch, here’s the tl;dr version:

Daniel Johnston is a singer/songwriter from West Virginia. He suffers from bipolar disorder which has transformed into demonic self-obsession and perhaps even schizophrenia. Throughout the 80s he recorded lo-fi cassettes and passed them around, hoping to one day become as famous as The Beatles. His cassettes received very high praise from the few journalists who bothered to listen to them, and soon enough Daniel was building quite the following in the mid-to-late 80s, despite having not much actual skill when it comes to singing or playing the guitar. What attracted people to Dan was his childlike voice, honest and sometimes very dark lyrics, and life story. He spent the 90s in and out of mental hospitals, in between hanging out with Sonic Youth and Half Japanese, as well as being famously co-signed by Kurt Cobain. He still writes music and performs to this day, and he’s known for his odd demeanor and brilliant live shows.

Daniel would be performing at the one inside venue in the entire festival, which requires a ticket to get into (the tickets each cost 2 euro). And although the extremely long line would prevent me from catching the first half of his set, I did see what I wanted to see and hear what I wanted to hear of indie rock’s most polarizing singer.

I was able to hear some of Daniel Johnston’s most well known songs, which he performed with a backing band that seemed less than half his age. With his lyrics in front of him on a music stand and complete control over his band, Daniel performed songs like “Speeding Motorcycle,” “Casper the Friendly Ghost,” “Devil Town,” and the show closing fan favorite “True Love Will Find You In The End.” One of the coolest things about his show was not only the massive audience gathered to watch him, but also the complete silence of the audience while he was singing. If there’s one thing people at the festival liked to do, it was talk, especially when there’s a musician on stage. But for Daniel Johnston, all eyes and ears were on him. There wasn’t a peep until the explosive rounds of applause that followed each song. It’s easy to see why his live shows are so highly regarded; he performs with the same childlike innocence and emotion that he’s performed with for the past 30 years. Soon enough, his set was over and Daniel walked off the stage with his lyric notebook in hand. We were thanked and we left the crowded auditorium to make our way back to the ATP Stage.

Om

Al Cisneros has a long history in the genre of heavy metal, specifically the doom metal genre, specifically the stoner doom metal genre. In the 90s he was in a band called Sleep with guitar player Matt Pike and drummer Chris Hakius, and they helped to pioneer this specific subgenre of heavy metal with the release of “Sleep’s Holy Mountain” in 1992, and the hour long song “Dopesmoker” a few years later. Well Sleep broke up, as bands usually do. Al and Chris took the “stoner doom” out of stoner doom metal to play spiritually inspired slow songs that usually stretch past the 10-minute mark under the name Om, while Matt took the “metal” out of stoner doom metal to play loudly and quickly in the band High on Fire. Om has become a festival favorite in recent years, and just last year they turned from powerful duo (Al Cisneros on bass and vocals with current drummer Emil Amos) into a power trio, adding singer/guitarist/synthesizer player Robert Lowe to the mix. And Robert’s cathartic vocals fit perfectly with Om’s sound.

I didn’t get to see all of Om’s set, but I did get to witness Al’s powerful and repetitive bass playing that I bet was perfect for meditation. Om took their name from the Hindu concept that the sound “Ommmmmmm” represents the natural vibration of the universe, as well as the true name of God. It sounds weird and certainly is, but there’s no one out there like Om. They’re the slow-burning Tibetan monks of heavy metal music. The bass notes rise like smoke from an incense stick, and the drums groove on the ride cymbal like the rhythmic bare feet of monks on cut lotus flowers. I didn’t notice any particular universal vibration, and God didn’t come down from heaven to praise Al’s bass playing, but I imagine that seeing Om in a more intimate venue allows for the full experience. Especially when you see the entire show, which I didn’t.

Shellac

Yet another legend. For those of you who have no idea who Steve Albini is: first of all stop lying. He produced Nirvana’s best album. Second of all, go listen to Big Black. Let me remind you that this music was written and performed in the late 80s.

All good? Okay. Well, after the breakup of Big Black as well as the short-lived Rapeman, Steve Albini formed Shellac, a post-hardcore/math rock group that he performed with when he wasn’t busy producing some incredible albums by the likes of Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, Slint, The Breeders, Superchunk, Helmet, PJ Harvey, Don Caballero, Jawbreaker, Man or Astro-man?, Bush, Nirvana, Dirty Three, Neurosis, Flogging Molly, Owls, Mogwai, mclusky; the list goes on. Basically, Steve has had a huge impact on post-rock, heavy metal, punk, noise rock, post-hardcore, emo, math rock, alternative rock, grunge, you name it. But his longest running musical venture has been with his musical trio Shellac, which includes Steve on vocals and guitar, Bob Weston on bass, and Todd Trainer on drums. Together they play mean spirited and very cynical post-hardcore in unorthodox tunings and time signatures.

Although Shellac haven’t released an album in 6 years (they supposedly have one on the way), they’re a festival staple as well, and the fact that they’re playing the ATP Stage makes a ton of sense considering they’ve helped curate numerous All Tomorrow’s Parties lineups in the past.

Shellac sped through a fun and at times humorous set of complex riffs and the loud screams of Steve Albini. But one of the best things about any Shellac show is Steve’s banter and little bits of comedy. At one point he decided that the most offensive hand gesture is pulling your middle finger out of your mouth, producing a popping sound, and showing it off to whoever would look. He also complimented Spain on having the most attractive population of human beings. Shellac ended their show with their usual gag of taking apart Todd Trainer’s drum set piece by piece as he attempts to solo on whatever drums remain in front of him. Another bucket list act finally crossed off the list, and who knows, maybe Steve will reunite Big Black for a full on tour and then I can cross them off my list.

The Jesus and Mary Chain

If you happen to trace noise pop and shoegaze back to their roots, you’ll likely find them at Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain’s debut album “Psychocandy.” The Jesus and Mary Chain were one of the first bands to combine noisy feedback with pop songs, and they’d go on to inspire a legion of musicians to turn up the volume and use as many effects as possible.

Although they’d turn down the volume considerably with the release of their second album “Darklands,” J&MC would still always be the pop band with the really loud guitars. And although not all their albums featured this loud guitar, they certainly made sure it was heard on stage. The Scots hit the stage at around 10:45 with a giant illuminated cross on the stage, and launched right into “Snakedriver” from one of their lesser known 90s releases before playing “Head On,” off their 3rd LP “Automatic.” Pixies are also known for performing an incredible cover of this song.

The Jesus and Mary Chain played for a little over an hour (although it felt longer considering the fact that they played 17 songs), filling their setlist with mostly songs from their first four albums. But the most talked about moment of the night was when they invited Bilinda Butcher of My Bloody Valentine to sing the female part of “Just Like Honey.” They played for a little longer afterward, eventually ending their setlist with “Never Understand,” another song from their excellent debut album.

The Jesus and Mary Chain certainly are not my favorite band of the 80s, or of all time, but they put on a fairly fun show and I got to hear some of my favorite songs by them.

James Blake

JAMES BLAKE

British singer/songwriter/post-dubstep producing wunderkind is as talented as it gets. He’s got one of the best singing voices I’ve ever heard in my life, he’s very knowledgeable when it comes to electronic equipment, and he knows how to take his complicated songs and successfully turn them into live songs with a full band. Although his new album “Overgrown” hasn’t been reviewed as highly as his self titled debut was in 2011, I think that both albums are incredibly well written and well performed.

I made my way through the massive crowd (James said it was probably the biggest group of people he’d ever played for) just as he and his two bandmates started right into the track “Air & Lack Thereof.” I was unfamiliar with the song so I assumed it was on one of his earlier EPs. They then played “I Never Learnt to Share,” a track off his debut album that goes from multi-layered vocal loops and 5 part harmonies to what is as close to a bass drop as you’ll find in a James Blake song. Suddenly the entire crowd was a dance party. I did not at all expect James Blake’s show to be so full of dance worthy moments, but I couldn’t help myself. They then went into the sample-heavy track “CMYK,” and then a few songs from “Overgrown,” including “I Am Sold,” “Our Love Comes Back,” and the Brian Eno-produced “Digital Lion.” James then led his group into the confusingly off-beat “Unluck,” which went into his famous Feist cover “Limit To Your Love.”

James would later end his set with the triple threat of recent material that was “Overgrown,” “Voyeur,” and “Retrograde,” but by the time James was humming the opening to “Retrograde,” my dad had left to go catch Blur, and I’d left to go catch Swans. James Blake’s live show is one that should not be missed, whether you like Skrillex or Fiona Apple or anything in between.

Blur

I didn’t see Blur, but my dad did. He said they were alright. He didn’t stick around for the full show.

Swans

There are two types of people in this world: those who have seen Swans live, and those who haven’t. And after hearing their magnificent 2012 album “The Seer” and hearing all the amazing things people have to say about their live shows, I decided to join the minority.

Swans formed in the early 80s as a musical project that defied specific genre terms. They were part of the “No Wave” scene in New York, but they incorporated post-punk, industrial metal, and noise music into their sound, creating an ugly blend slow burning powerful anger that was only uglier and angrier when performed live. According to firsthand accounts, numerous early Swans shows resulted in bleeding ears, vomiting concertgoers, and police shutting down multiple concerts. Soon, bandleader Michael Gira added Louisiana artist Jarboe to the mix, which softened their sound significantly. Swans headed almost into alternative country and neo-folk territory, before amping up the creepiness for their mid-90s magnum opus “Soundtracks for the Blind.” They broke up after releasing that album, but reunited in 2010 (sans Jarboe) to release “My Father Will Guide Up A Rope To The Sky,” which generated widespread acclaim among critics, but it wasn’t until last year’s release of “The Seer” and reviews of Swans’ new live shows started pouring in that I truly fell in love with this band. And as soon as I saw them on this year’s Primavera lineup, I knew I’d have to see them live. I was only a little bit scared.

Although Swans were originally supposed to go on at around 8:00 PM, their set was moved to 1:30 AM. The goth looking crowd started to pile in at around that time, and the 6-piece band (including Michael Gira on vocals and guitar, a guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, a percussionist named Thor, and a lapsteel player) made their way on stage and let their instruments produce drone and feedback before heading into the loud, heavy territory of their catalogue.

For a band who’ve just come off the release of a new album less than a year ago, they did not play much material from that album. See, Swans have always been about the brand new. I imagine that most of the stuff that they’re playing on tour now is stuff that they’re thinking of putting on whatever album they put out next. They’re trying to craft long, ugly pieces of noisy slowcore and doing a very good job at it.

Out of the 7 songs they played, only two of them are actually on known albums by Swans. “Coward” is from one of their first albums “Holy Money,” and “The Seer” is the eponymous track from their most recent album. Otherwise, everything on the setlist was either a rarity or a work in progress.

Swans played loudly, let me get that out of the way. Very loudly. Like, if I saw them in an inside venue I’d want to wear earplugs. And Michael Gira only wanted it to get louder. As they slowly moved from song to song, Michael Gira directed pretty much everyone. He was the composer as well as the lyricist, lead singer, and guitar player. He even told camera men where to go. He would decide how long a note would go on for, how loud it would get, and when the next note would happen. It’s the best example of cult-like behavior that I’ve ever seen at a concert in my life. And I loved every second of it.

As the show got louder and more and more insane, I felt my jaw drop as my brain tried to comprehend everything. Explaining a Swans show is a difficult task, and there’s no way I could use words to explain what was so great about it, why I was so moved, or what exactly happened during it. I left right before they played the final song of the night “Toussant Louverture Song” so I could join my dad in the already sizable crowd that was gathered at the Primavera Stage to see The Knife.

The Knife

THE KNIFE

You might not like The Knife. Whatever, it’s cool. We’re all entitled to our own opinion. But seriously though, The Knife are incredible.

After pretty much dropping off the face of the earth for a few years (they briefly came back in 2010 for a collaborative album with some similar artists), they’ve resurfaced for their first album in seven years, “Shaking the Habitual.” And with this 96-minute monster of a record (which is also the best album of the year so far) comes The Knife’s second ever tour, and for this tour they promised to do a show unlike any other live event in the history of concerts, and I can safely say that what I saw The Knife do has not yet been attempted by any other act, and probably couldn’t be pulled off by any other act either. The Knife are currently touring with at least 8 people on stage, with a good portion of them stepping up to the mic to sing. So if you have no idea what the members of The Knife (Karin Dreijer Andersson and her brother Olof Dreijer) look like, then you’re probably out of luck here.

One main criticism of The Knife’s 2006 tour in support of the album “Silent Shout” is that they didn’t really actually play the music live. Well I feel like all those critics would lose their minds with anger if they found out what The Knife were doing for this tour. The show would consist of some very well done lip syncing by members of the group that were not the actual lead singer, as well as the use of fake instruments that look like they were designed by Dr. Seuss during an acid trip. So, no, The Knife didn’t ACTUALLY perform any of the music live. And that may have angered a few in the crowd, but the majority were impressed by the insane difficulty of some of these dance moves, and one can only imagine how tough it was to choreograph.

The Knife “played” mostly songs from their new album, but did do songs such as “One Hit” and “Silent Shout” from their 3rd album “Silent Shout.” The music was a ton of fun to dance to, and the dances that the members were doing on stage were disturbing at times, and The Knife were able to pull off one of the most ambitious live shows ever attempted, without ever actually playing a real instrument or singing into a microphone.

Despite the slight backlash from a few crowd members, the reaction was almost unanimously positive, and The Knife received a standing ovation that lasted at least 5 minutes. The man who I believe was Olof took the mic and thanked us. Smiles adorned all 8 faces on the stage, and we left, feeling very satisfied with the day. Again the subway didn’t open till 5 in the morning, so we had to wait a bit. But overall, Day 2 was a success and a ton of fun for everyone.

Primavera Sound Festival 2013: Day 1

Primavera Sound Festival, Day 1, May 23, 2013

Words by Jakob Ross, Pictures/Videos by Scott Ross

PRIMAVERA SOUND ENTRANCE

“The day has finally come,” I thought upon waking up in my hotel room on Thursday, May 23. Washed up, grabbed breakfast, got dressed, etc., etc. You know how it is.

Next thing I knew, my father and I were riding a very dirty feeling subway train from our hotel to Parc del Fòrum—that’s Forum Park for those non-Portuguese speakers out there—where I’d take part in three straight days of late nights, loud bands, and the painfully bitter smell of Heineken and urine pervading my nasal cavity.

Before I get started on recapping my first day at Barcelona’s best independent music festival, let me start by saying: Hi. I’m Jakob Ross. I’m 16 years old, and last year I moved to Germany. You’ve already heard about the time I saw Sigur Rós in Munich, and you’ve probably read about all of my exploits in Atlanta and Seattle and Bonnaroo. But you’re about to read about my experience at Spain’s most well-known and most notoriously well stacked festival, Primavera Sound. Lineups for this festival over the past 10 years of its existence have included the likes of Aphex Twin, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, LCD Soundsystem, Mogwai, Television, Sonic Youth, Jay Reatard, El-P, Black Lips, Jesu, Sunn O))), Yo La Tengo, Low, Japandroids, Pavement, Sunny Day Real Estate, Pixies, The xx, Wire, Battles, Das Racist, Grinderman, Yuck, Sufjan Stevens, Suicide, Public Image Ltd., PJ Harvey, Mercury Rev; the list goes on and on and on into eternity. And this year’s lineup was as impressive (if not more impressive) than every major American festival combined, and comes with a guaranteed “Those ‘Big in Europe’ Bands Will Draw Big Crowds” that Coachella couldn’t deliver.

So, of course, upon seeing 2013’s expansive and “spend money to fly to Spain”-worthy lineup, I felt like I had to go. And with a wave of a magic wand, it seemed, I was there. I had my wristband after visiting the venue the day before and was preparing myself for an exciting weekend.

Author’s Note: As much fun as attending Bonnaroo last year was, it was really nice to have an air conditioned hotel room with a bed to come back to after a long day’s rocking.

L’Hereu Escampa

L'Hereu Escampa

The first band I expected to see at the festival was British post-punkers Savages, although I decided to watch the band before them just out of curiosity. My dad and I were among the first people to make it to the Pitchfork Stage (curated by the infamous website), and we got there about a half hour before Portuguese garage rock duo L’Hereu Escampa took the stage to deliver a short set of raucous, energetic songs that reminded me somewhat of mid-to-late 90s post-hardcore and emo. Think The Dismemberment Plan meets La Dispute meets Japandroids meets the Portuguese language. Obviously I knew literally nothing about the band and couldn’t tell you what songs they played or what lyrics they sang, but I can tell you they impressed me. Being in a largely Portuguese-speaking part of Spain, there were many people in the audience who knew most of the words and had prior knowledge of this band’s existence. But by the time their set ended I’d noticed a significant increase in crowd size. Perhaps a lot of people wanted to get their early for Savages, but it’s good to see bands like this get attention from an audience who’d otherwise never know they exist.

Also, quick shout out to the guy wearing the Snowing t-shirt underneath the Have A Nice Life zip-up hoodie.

Savages

SAVAGES

So, you might not know about a band called Savages. You should probably change that. Savages are a British all-female post-punk group who just put out their debut album “Silence Yourself” earlier this month, and it’s one of the best releases of the year. They’re currently coming off some hype that’s built around them ever since the release of their debut EP, as well as some very well received performances at SXSW.

Considering the fact that their album was very well reviewed on Pitchfork’s website, it should be no surprise that they’d be playing this particular stage. The crowd slowly increased in size in anticipation for Savages’ first performance at the festival. They sound-checked and prepared their equipment, and soon enough they came on stage and opened up their very intense and fun set with “Shut Up,” which is even more “punk” live than it is on record.

Savages, in my opinion, sound like what would happen if Joy Division replaced Ian Curtis’ dead body with Patti Smith. Thankfully that never happened, otherwise Savages would sound like a cheap knockoff, and not the fresh take on dark punk that they currently are.

The band is fronted by insanely charismatic frontwoman Jehnny Beth, who is apparently from France and not England like her colleagues. She sang with the same ferocity and passion that she sings with on the album, and plus she does these really cool downward fist-pumps that look like she’s about to roll dice, but she never actually does roll any dice.

If there was anything especially wrong with the set, it’s that guitarist Gemma Thompson’s guitar stopped working about halfway through the set. The rhythm section repeated the same phrase for a good 10 minutes or so while Gemma and the sound crew tried to figure out the problem. Although the band members were obviously a little frustrated with the situation (thankfully they did finally solve it and continue with the now abridged setlist), their ability to soldier through the technical difficulty and leave no band member behind was truly admirable, and probably won them many fans that night.

Their set eventually finished with the almost dance-worthy track “Husbands” as the friendly looking mosh pit near me grew in size. They thanked us and were treated to a long standing ovation, which was probably half praise for their incredible music and half praise for their ability to work through a technical difficulty with grace.

Metz

METZ

I don’t know what it is about Metz’s set that compelled me actually join a mosh pit, but something about the Canadian noise punk trio’s 2-minute bursts of feedback-driven sugar rush essence made me decide that moshing would be a good idea. And you know what? It really was. It also helped that the mosh pits in Europe were exceptionally friendly and not nearly as rough as they are in the States.

So Metz took the stage at 8:45 PM on the Pitchfork stage (which also makes sense considering the fact that Pitchfork reviewed their debut album very highly last year) and the crowd immediately went insane. Metz were playing loudly and energetically, and for a moment it felt almost as if I was in a punk club in downtown Whateversville, and not right next to the Mediterranean Sea.

Oh, did I mention that Parc del Fòrum is located right on the Mediterranean Sea? Because it is.

Metz sped through the rest of their 40-minute set with great ease, maneuvering in and out of different time signatures and even taking the time for some two-part vocal harmonies.

To be completely honest, not much more can be said about the set that I haven’t already said. Loud, check; noisy, check; mosh, check; trio, check; Canadian, check. All that I can say is that if you enjoy acts like Big Black, The Jesus Lizard, or even Nirvana, then I highly recommend you listen to their music.

Dinosaur Jr.

Come on. Don’t pretend like you’re reading this website and you don’t know who Dinosaur Jr. are. Okay, well, Dinosaur Jr. are a North American alternative rock trio most famously consisting of lead singer and guitar god J Mascis, bass player Lou Barlow, and drummer Murph. Dinosaur Jr. would spend their career merging noise rock, punk, alternative rock, grunge, and even a touch of shoegaze into an impressive discography of well-received releases that would certify the band’s place in rock and roll history. The slowly-falling-apart band broke up in 1997 (with J being the only remaining original member) but reunited in 2005 with the three original members. I would finally get the opportunity to see one of my favorite touring acts live, although they’d have to play the show without Murph, since he couldn’t make it that day.

Dinosaur Jr. gloomily (are they capable of expressing any other mood?) played their career-spanning set that included classics (“Budge,” “Freak Scene,” “Sludgefeast,” “Feel the Pain”), covers (The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” J and Lou’s first band Deep Wound’s “Training Ground,” a song by Last Rights performed with Fucked Up’s Damian Abraham), and songs from their excellent new-ish album “I Bet On Sky.”

J and Lou stood on opposite sides of the stage and rarely interacted, which I guess is usual, but aroused a bit of suspicion from me. Either way, Dinosaur Jr. delivered an amazing set that would both impress the longtime fans and give newcomers something to talk about.

Killer Mike

KILLER MIKE

And back to the Pitchfork Stage I went to catch Atlanta rapper Killer Mike promote his excellent 2012 album “R.A.P. Music” and build up hype for his upcoming El-P collaboration “Run the Jewels,” which will be released for free. Mike and El-P have worked a lot together over the past year, and although El-P wasn’t able to actually appear at the festival with Killer Mike, he was there in spirit, as Killer Mike dedicated song after song to his newfound brother in arms.

At 11:20, 5 minutes before Killer Mike was to take the stage, the crowd was looking rather thin, and I was somewhat worried that the few of us in the crowd would need to be as loud and energetic as humanly possible to keep Mike’s spirits up. Fortunately though, the crowd had thickened and grown considerably by the time he took the stage. Killer Mike smiled and launched into “Big Beast,” proving that he had an incredible amount of energy and live capabilities despite being a somewhat overweight gentleman.

Killer Mike continued into a nonstop flow of energy that I did not at all expect from him, whether it was his bombastic song “Untitled” or his political masterpiece “Reagan,” the latter of which had the entire crowd, including yours truly, chanting “I’M GLAD REAGAN’S DEAD.”

The set continued through what were mostly songs from “R.A.P. Music” and Killer Mike never lost an iota of energy. He sweat like crazy but continued to deliver his lyrics with perfection and clarity, even coming down to the crowd to preach an uplifting pseudo-Christian sermon. He also had his wife sit on the side (she was even mouthing some of the words), and Mike introduced us and has us all say hello. He was easily one of the most surprisingly great shows of the entire three days, and I left his show feeling incredibly happy.

Hot Snakes

Rick Froberg and John Reis have had one of the most important partnerships in punk rock history. Froberg and Reis first collaborated in 1986, when they formed the band Pitchfork, one of the first post-hardcore bands in existence. Pitchfork broke up in 1990 just after the release of their debut album, and right around the time that John Reis formed his long-lasting garage rock/punk group Rocket From the Crypt, and John and Rick joined forces for yet another band, Drive Like Jehu. Drive Like Jehu stuck around for about 5 years, releasing two incredible albums that blended math rock and post-hardcore, being one of the first bands to do so. John and Rick took a bit of a break from each other while Rocket From the Crypt continued to release music, but during a period of inactivity in the late 90s, Reis and Froberg decided to form yet another band, Hot Snakes. Hot Snakes would incorporate all the musical styles that John Reis and Rick Froberg had worked with in all their previous bands, including post-hardcore, garage rock, and math rock. Hot Snakes and Rocket From the Crypt both broke up at around the same time, the mid-2000s, but Hot Snakes eventually reunited in 2011 and continue to perform festivals and small tours to this day. And that brings us all up to speed on John Reis and Rick Froberg.

Now due to a scheduling conflict with Killer Mike and Hot Snakes, I had to decide who I’d want to see more of. A few songs into Killer Mike’s energetic set, my dad and I both decided to watch Mike’s entire setlist and catch the last few songs of Hot Snakes’ set. So after Killer Mike was done, we headed all the way over to the other side of the festival ground to the All Tomorrow’s Parties Stage (which I assume was curated or at least sponsored by the famous festival) to watch punk legends perform some intricately strange tunes in the form of Hot Snakes.

To be honest, I’m not completely well versed on the music of Hot Snakes, so I’m not entirely sure what songs they played and didn’t play. But I do know that they played loudly and proudly, and John Reis and Rick Froberg both looked excited to be performing together again. Their partnership has been going strong, then nonexistent, then strong, then nonexistent, then strong again for over 25 years, and it really shows in seeing how in sync these guys are. The few songs of their show that I caught were a lot of fun to watch, and I’m glad I got the chance to see some legendary punks in a live setting.

Death Grips

DEATH GRIPS

So… Do you guys like Death Grips? Chances are that, if you’ve heard them, you either love them with a dedicated fan’s passion, or you have a strong dislike for their loud blend of punk, hip-hop, electronica, and noise. Whatever your opinion of Death Grips is, if you’ve actually listened to them, they’re an elusive group with a very dedicated fanbase and one of the most intense and cathartic live shows in the world of music.

Death Grips consists of mysterious lyricist and vocalist Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett, producer Andy “Flatlander ” Morin, and drummer Zach Hill, but Zach Hill would be sitting out of this current tour to focus on writing the screenplay for a film as well as working on some new Death Grips music.

At around 1:15 AM, on the same stage as Hot Snakes, MC Ride and Flatlander graced the stage with their rather disturbing presence. Ride looked as if he was possessed by some sort of demon (which he could be for all I know) and Flatlander prepared to unleash electronically produced hell on the gathering of people who came to watch. They opened up their set with “Lost Boys,” before diving right into fan-favorite “Guillotine.” One thing I noticed was that Flatlander was actually playing the beats using samples he’d collected and imported onto the keys of a keyboard. He was actually composing and playing the beats, not just letting them play on a laptop.

The crowd was extremely energetic, as I anticipated, and I shouted the lyrics until I had no voice left. My head thumped with a dull headache but I ignored it, because I was seeing Death Grips, one of my favorite bands. MC Ride danced on stage and shouted the lyrics at near perfection. It’s crazy that this guy gets on stage almost every night and shouts for an hour and can still have enough energy to do the same thing the next night.

MC Ride looks something like an anorexic Rick Ross, and he sounds like one too, but in a really good way. I just wanted to point that out but didn’t really have anywhere to put it.

Death Grips went from song to song with great ease, not taking the time to speak to or thank the audience (as if anyone actually expected that). Although I’m not sure of the order, they played songs like “Takyon (Death Yon)”, “Get Got,” “The Fever (Aye Aye),” “I’ve Seen Footage,” “System Blower,” “Hacker,” “Come Up And Get Me,” “Lil Boy,” “No Love,” and the set-closing “Lock Your Doors.” Death Grips were very loud, very intense, and at times somewhat frightening to watch. MC Ride has the looks of a homeless man and the skillful grace of a ballerina on DMT; and while Zach Hill’s presence was missed, it was still awesome to see one of my favorite bands live. And that’s all there is to it. Stay noided.

Animal Collective

ANCO

The last band I saw that night was Animal Collective, a.k.a. Exactly The Kind of Hipster BS That People Under The Age of 25 Pretend To Enjoy Ironically. I’m kidding, Animal Collective rules.

I got to the Primavera Stage an hour early and saw all four members sound checking their rather complex equipment, as well as setting up the stage, which would include a ton of balloons that formed the shape of a mouth. An hour later, at a little bit past 3 in the morning (yeah, these shows ran very late), Panda Bear, Geologist, Avey Tare, and Deakin all took their respective spots on the stage to perform their psychedelic brand of synthesizer based indie rock and folk.

AnCo opened up the set with “I Think I Can” which comes off their “Fall Be Kind EP,” before going into “Today’s Supernatural,” “Wide Eyed,” and “Applesauce,” three songs from their most recent effort “Centipede Hz.” Although “Centipede” didn’t exactly get the same amount of critical or commercial praise that 2009’s “Merriweather Post Pavilion” got, I still think that a lot of the better songs from this album translate extremely well in a live format, especially the song “Monkey Riches” which would be the second-to-last song.

Some might complain that this set leaned a little too heavy on the fan favorites—including “What Would I Want? Sky” and “My Girls”—but I feel like Animal Collective jammed from one song into another with great skill and ease, and what specific songs they play doesn’t matter. Their live setup is so intricate and huge (excluding Panda Bear’s minimalistic drumset) that watching them actually navigate this complex equipment is a sight to see, whether you’re a mild fan, a fanatic, or you’ve never heard them before.

They ended the set with “The Purple Bottle,” a song from 2005’s excellent “Feels” album, which was pretty much their last guitar-driven indie folk record, and left the stage at a bit past 4 in the morning, making this an hour long set that would give us just enough time to sit outside in the cold for a half hour waiting for the subways to open (which it does at 5 am).

Overall, the first day was a success that left me with ringing ears, stinging eyes, and a pounding head. The subway ride that night would be extremely crowded and definitely suck, but the resulting sleep would bring me absolute tranquility. I slept from 6 am until noon and prepared myself for Day 2.

Lineup For MusicFestNW 2013 Unveiled

Lineup_11x17-WEB

In case you haven’t notice, Portland is the new capital of “Cool” here in good ol’ America. They’re organic and they have Portlandia. So when the lineup to MusicFestNW 2013 was announced earlier today and contained Fred Armisen, nobody was surprised.  During September 3rd through 8th of this year Portland will get to see acts like GodSpeed You! Black Emperor, The Joy Formidable, Bob Mould, Titus Andronicus , Young The Giant, P.O.S., Diplo, Superchunk, Animal Collective and way more. For information about the entire list of acts, tickets and all that jazz, head over to the Official Festival Website Here. We’ve listed a ton of the acts below in no specific order.

Screen-Shot-2013-05-29-at-11.10.17-AM

Animal Collective

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Neko Case

Young the Giant

The Head and the Heart

Diplo

Superchunk

Deerhunter

Fred Armisen

Bob Mould

Shuggie Otis

The Joy Formidable

CHVRCHES

Chromatics

Joey Bada$$

Dan Deacon

Baroness

!!!

Youth Lagoon

Washed Out

Titus Andronicus

Ty Segall

The Thermals

FIDLAR

The Men

Mount Eeries

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires

Icona Pop

Flume

Prefuse-73

Tobacco

Justin Townes Earle

The Bronx

Dodos

Surfer Blood

Austra

P.O.S.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Shlohmo

The Helio Sequence

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

Angel Olsen

John Vanderslice

Ra Ra Riot

Shad

Earth

Bleached

White Lung

Poolside

Bleeding Rainbow

On An On

Sonny and the Sunsets

Naomi Punk

And More…

Lamb of God: 5-26-13 – Ventura Theater – Ventura, Ca

With vocalist Randy Blythe acquitted of all charges against him from being charged with manslaughter in March, Lamb of God set out to continue their tour promoting their newest album,  “Resolution”. One of their stops was surprisingly in my area in Ventura so I knew that was a must go show for me.

Lamb of God

 

The crowd was set and ready the whole night as they roared in excitement as Lamb of God prepared to take the stage and opened with the first track from their new album, “Desolation” then continued with the single from the album “Ghost Walking”. All the songs they played were greatest hits which included: “Walk With Me in Hell”, “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For”, “Redneck”, and “Laid to Rest”.

Lamb of God singer, Randy Blythe

Randy Blythe and the rest of the band were on top of their game and kept the crowd going as Randy let out his signature growling singing style which was more or less easy to understand. Chris Adler being one of my favorite drummers is always awesome to see live and seeing him using his drumming techniques and go crazy while drumming is one of the many reason why I look up to him, in fact it was his drumming that got me into Lamb of God in the first place. Since I wasn’t too familiar with my metal scene, it was interesting seeing the different types of metal heads that lived in my area. Some of them you could tell they were into metal while others you could look at and wonder if they even know who Lamb of God is and didn’t come just to take up space or because someone forced them to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YCTVIfMfvo

I could say that the actual Lamb of God fans were all up front doing mosh pit after mosh pit to all their songs and jumping up and down  when Randy directed them to. After the show I managed to catch up with some of the band members and I personally congratulated Randy on his trial and being proven innocent and that it was very brave of him to face the trial instead of running from it. This was definitely an energetic show and it was nice to see one of the many bands I listen to come to my area instead of having to drive to Los Angeles and farther all the time. Lamb of God is a must-see live band for any metal fanatic.

Lamb of God live – Desolation 5-26-13(opening)

Lamb of God live – Now You’ve Got Something to Die For 5-26-13

Lamb of God live – Laid to Rest 5-26-13

Lamb of God live – Redneck 5-26-13

 

Lamb of God singer, Randy Blythe.

Lamb of God singer, Randy Blythe

 

Lamb of God drummer, Chris Adler

Lamb of God drummer, Chris Adler

 

Lamb of God guitarist, Willie Adler Lamb of God drummer, Chris Adler

LOUFEST 2013 Lineup Unveiled! Feat. The Killers, Wilco, Alabama Shakes, The National, Jim James, MORE! / Sept 7-8 / St. Louis

GirlTalk -Loufest012-StLouis

LouFest returns for its 4th annual Summer festival taking place in Central Fields of Forest Park in St. Louis, MO. This year they have pushed the date back a few weeks from late August to early September, meaning we may luck out with highs near 95 instead of 106. But it is St. Louis, so there is also a chance of snow and somehow even a hurricane. This year we can also welcome the idea of expanding the festival to take up more of the beautiful (and under-utilized for this event) space in Forest Park, including for the first time a THIRD STAGE!!!

Last year’s festival was a great success despite less than stellar weather (it rained A LOT on Sunday afternoon/evening) and the Flaming Lips still managed to leave everyone happy (and wet/confetti covered) after a stellar two days of music. In addition to The Flaming Lips, last year’s installment featured Girl Talk, Dawes, Son Volt, Dinosaur Jr., Dr. Dog, and Little Barrie who have quickly become one of my favorite new-to-me bands in quite sometime. Aside from last years stellar lineup, previous festivals have featured She & Him, TV on the Radio, Broken Social Scene, Built to Spill and Jeff Tweedy of Wilco doing a solo set.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR 2012 PHOTO GALLERY

LouFest 2013 LOGO

THE 2013 LINEUP WILL FEATURE:

THE KILLERS

WILCO

THE NATIONAL

ALABAMA SHAKES

EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROS

JIM JAMES

LOCAL NATIVES

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS

TORO Y MOI

TWIN SHADOW

TRAMPLED BY TURTLES

WALK THE MOON

RA RA RIOT

COURT YARD HOUNDS

ICONA POP

YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE

ROBERT DeLONG

JUKEBOX THE GHOST

WILD BELLE

THE MOWGLI’S

BRICK + MORTAR

DESERT NOISES

SPACE CAPONE

WILD CUB

J. RODDY WALSTON & THE BUSINESS

ANDREA DAVIDSON

MODOC

THE LONELY BISCUITS

KENTUCKY KNIFE FIGHT

TEF POE

Visit the LouFest Official Website for all details and ticketing information

Be sure to ‘LIKE’ my DARBYSTL Facebook Page to stay in the know!

Dawes-LouFest2012-StLouis FLips

          DAWES – 2012 LouFest                                                         FLAMING LIPS – 2012 LouFest

 

Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival Announces 2013 Lineup

uproar

Rockstar Energy Drink has announced the lineup and dates to the 2013 Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. Headlining spots go to Alice In Chains, Jane’s Addiction and Coheed and Cambria. Middle Class Rut and Walking Papers also make appearances along with others. Check out all the cool venues this tour will be hitting below, and also do not forget to hit the festivals official website for more information. Oh yeah, and customary with festivals these days, there’s a little lineup announcement video that goes along with it.

Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival 2013 Tour Dates:

August 09 Toyota Pavilion at Montage // Mountain Scranton, PA
August 10 The Comcast Theatre // Hartford, CT
August 11 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center // Darien Center, NY
August 13 Saratoga Performing Arts Center // Saratoga, NY
August 14 Comcast Center // Mansfield, MA
August 16 Jiffy Lube Live // Bristow, VA
August 17 PNC Bank Arts Center // Holmdel, NJ
August 18 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater // Wantagh, NY
August 20 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre // Toronto, ON
August 22 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre // Tinley Park, IL
August 23 Klipsch Music Center // Noblesville, IN
August 24 DTE Energy Music Theater // Clarkston, MI
August 27 Zoo Amphitheater // Oklahoma City, OK
August 28 Gexa Energy Pavilion // Dallas, TX
August 29 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion // The Woodlands, TX
August 31 Isleta Amphitheatre // Albuquerque, NM
September 01 Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre // Englewood, CO
September 02 USANA Amphitheatre // Salt Lake City, UT
September 08 Sleep Country Amphitheater // Ridgefield, WA
September 11 Shoreline Amphitheatre // Mountain View, CA
September 13 Desert Sky Pavilion // Phoenix, AZ
September 14 Sleep Train Amphitheatre Chula // Vista, CA
September 15 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater // Irvine, CA

Outside Lands 2013 w/ Sir Paul, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers And More

Outside-Lands-2013-Lineup

San Francisco decided to jump into the festival mix early Tuesday, when the lineup for the sixth annual Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival was announced.  Sir Paul McCartney will headline along side Nine Inch Nails and the Red Hot Chili Peppers the weekend of August 9th through the 11th at Golden Gate Park. Other notable acts include Phoenix, Willie Nelson, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Gary Clark Jr (shocker), Young The Giant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Band Of Horses, Fishbone and Grizzly Bear.  

No word on if Grohl, Novoselic and Smear make an appearance during McCartney’s set for some “Cut Me Some Slack” action. Three-day passes start at $235 but go up based on availability to $249.50. VIP is also available for $545. You can buy tickets at the festival’s Official Website here beginning Thursday April 18th at Noon PST.

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