At The Drive In to tour and release new music in 2016!

What a way to start 2016! One of my favorite bands, At The Drive In, will release new music and go out on a world tour this year. I had the chance to see them at Lollapalooza in 2012 and they played one the best sets of the weekend, despite a few technical problems. The tour kicks off in Los Angeles on March 23rd and I’m planning to be at the House of Blues Boston show on June 18th (if I’m still living here at that time).

2016 tour dates:

03/23 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda
03/26 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
03/27 London, United Kingdom – Roundhouse
03/29 Paris, France – Trianon
03/30 Cologne, Germany – Palladium
03/31 Amsterdam, Germany – Melkweg
04/01 Brussels, Belgium – Ancienne Belgique
04/02 Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Den Atelier
04/04 Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
04/05 Vienna, Austria – Arena Vienna
04/07 Milan, Italy – Fabrique
04/08 Lausanne, Switzerland – Impetus Festival (Les Docks)
04/10 Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
05/15 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
05/17 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
05/19 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
05/22 Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range Festival
06/03 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
06/06 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
06/07 Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
06/08 Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
06/13 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
06/14 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
06/17 New York, NY – Terminal 5
06/18 Boston, MA – House of Blues
06/21 Detroit, MI – St. Andrews
06/23 Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Hall

Review: Typical Girls, Zettajoule, Esposa at Empire Control Room in Austin 12-13-2015

Sign

Since I was visiting Austin to do some apartment hunting for a possible move, but feeling kind of burnt out on it, I decided to go out to a random show and see some bands while I was there. After finding a parking spot and walking about 3 blocks, I ended up at Empire Control Room in the Red River district for a free local show. I had been here before, but never for a show. The layout is pretty cool, with a bar in one room, the stage in another smallish room, and an outdoor area with picnic tables to hang out and get some air. I got there too late to see Concrete Shoes and Typical Girls were already well into their set.

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Typical Girls

I only caught the last three songs Typical Girls set but I really liked them. This 5 piece band is from San Marcos, Texas had a really nice dream pop sound and reminded me a bit of I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness. I really wished I had gotten there earlier to see their whole set because the two EP’s they have up on Bandcamp are really good!

I went over to the bar and ordered a Live Oak Hefeweizen, which I really enjoyed, and took a seat at a picnic table in the outside area for a while as Zettajoule was getting set up.

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Zettajoule

Zettajoule are a quartet from Austin. With singer Meggan Carney up front and center on the keyboards, the band sounded great! It’s a little hard to pinpoint their sound exactly, with some songs having shrieks, the music was a little poppy, a little indie rock, but they were definitely fun and very appreciative of the crowd that ventured out on a Sunday night to see a show. At one point, there were lasers that seemed to hug everyone in the crowd, with more than a few people reaching out to try to touch them. It was very trippy and really cool! They also have a couple of tracks on Bandcamp that are definitely worth checking out.

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Esposa

With a table full of drum machines and other equipment set up on the stage, Esposa were the final band of the night. I’m not really sure how to describe this duo’s sound other than they had a mellow electronic R&B kind of sound and reminded me a little bit of Grimes. It was a pretty chilled out way to end the night.

It’s always fun to go out to a random show in a different city. There were some really good local bands playing this show and I had a good time. If I end up moving to Austin, I will definitely try to see any of these bands again.

Review: The Silver Mirrors, S.S. Cretins, Dead Leaf Echo, Magic Shoppe at Out of the Blue Too 11-07-2015

After an unusually long wait for the red line at Alewife, the train finally arrived and I was on my way to Central Square. This was my first show at Out of the Blue Too Gallery, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.

Sign

Upon arriving at Out of the Blue Too, the first thing you notice is that this is one funky place for a show. All kinds of artwork was featured along the walls and the “stage” was an area set up in the middle of the gallery surrounded by rope lights, with the bands playing on the floor, which makes for a pretty intimate show. If you’re a fan of beer and other alcohols, one thing to take note of is that there is no alcohol served here, but there is a liquor store a couple of doors down. Use that information as you will. The Silver Mirrors were already playing as I got there.

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The Silver Mirrors

The Silver Mirrors are a garage psych band from Boston. This was the first time I had heard of them but they were a great way to start the night. I’m now a fan and can’t wait to see these guys again!

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S.S. Cretins

Next were S.S. Cretins, who came here from Portland, Maine. I’m not sure how to describe their music other than as raw psychedelic dirty stomp. These guys and girl were really good. After their set, I stepped outside to get some fresh air before Dead Leaf Echo took the stage for the last show of their current tour before heading back home to Brooklyn.

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Dead Leaf Echo

I think this was Dead Leaf Echo’s first show in the Boston area in over a year. The last time I saw them was at the now closed venue Church of Boston (R.I.P.) last year and had a great time at that show. With lots of dreamy gaze and distortion, the band played a set of great music, which was awesome to see in such an intimate setting. They even played some new songs which sounded pretty good. At one point, they dedicated a song to birthday boy Kris Thompson of Magic Shoppe, who I’ve gotten to know over the last year and is a pretty cool dude.

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Magic Shoppe

This was Magic Shoppe’s last show of the year. The stage area seemed really cramped with all 5 members of the band trying to work around a stage crasher playing tambourine. Either way, they killed it as always with their psychedelic sounds, even if the equally psychedelic checkerboard cupcake pring hanging from the ceiling above them seemed to be distracting them (in the best and funniest way possible!). They still remain my favorite local band and it’s going to be a long wait until February to see them play again.

Overall, despite a few minor annoyances, I had a pretty good time seeing and hearing some great bands! I’d recommend seeing any of them live if you get the chance. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Review: Ride, The Besnard Lakes at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston 10-03-2015

Ride at the Paradise sign

This was a show I needed to go to for many reasons, one being a rough week at work, but it was also a good excuse to catch up with some friends from Providence and have some drinks. We met up at Limoo, which is located across the street from the Paradise. We chose this place based on the Yelp reviews were really good, but our experience there was pretty bad. This is one of the few times Yelp has failed me. Once we finished our food, we made our away across the street to the Paradise, where we were some of the first people inside. I started with a Goose Island Autumn Ale, which was really good and waited for The Besnard Lakes to go on.

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The Besnard Lakes

The Besnard Lakes, who I have previously seen at Austin Psych Fest, totally killed it with a mix of shoegaze and psych music. It looked a little cramped on the stage between 5 members of the band, their instruments, and Ride’s equipment already set up behind them.

Ride Drums

I went to the bar and ordered a Goose Island 312, which I’m pretty sure was from an old batch because it tasted terrible and nothing like the one I had at Lollapalooza a couple of months ago. I trashed it and went back to the Autumn Ale. There seemed to be a lot of time to kill in between the sets and the club was totally packed by the time Ride came out.

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Ride

Ride are my favorite band of the early 90’s shoegaze era. Of the 3 major players (My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Ride), they were the ones I was hoping would reunite. There was a cool musical build up as Ride took to the stage and the crowd cheered very loudly. The band started by playing “Leave Them All Behind” and classics such as “Seagull” and “Vapour Trail”. They ended the main set with some long, crazy noise feedback during “Drive Blind”. The band came back for a two song encore where they finished up with “Today” and “Chelsea Girl”. The set was awesome and Marc Gardener and Andy Bell sounded great! I was kind of bummed that they didn’t play my favorite song which is “Nowhere”. Perhaps another time. Also, I expected the show to be a lot louder than it actually was, maybe that’s because the My Bloody Valentine show last year was just so incredibly loud.

While waiting near the stage after the show, one of the people breaking down the stage asked if I wanted the drumsticks, so yeah, of course I took them! These will go awesome in a frame with Ride’s vinyl re-release of the “Nowhere” album that I have already pre-ordered.

On our way out, the doorman for the Paradise Lounge part of the club asked if we wanted stay for the after party and that the bands would be there hanging out. How could you say no to that? We hung out there for a while, then the bands started to filter in and people got excited. I ended up getting my one of the drumsticks signed by Mark Gardener and it was the highlight of my year to actually meet him. I was unsuccessful in meeting the rest of the band and getting them all to sign them though.

We finally parted ways, and it was a long wait for the T, but I ended up chatting with a couple of people that were at the show as well. This was an amazing night of friends, music, and just a great time seeing one of my favorite bands ever. I hope Ride stay together and will definitely catch them again at some point in the future.

Lollapalooza 2015 Day 3 – 8-02-2015

After a 3rd straight night of after-parties, it was starting to catch up with me. I wandered around the city for a while to find a coffee shop with wifi that doesn’t have the words “star” and “bucks” in them, but came up pretty empty. I did stumble across Firecakes and got myself a delicious donut though. I had planned to get to Grant Park early since I wanted to make sure to see Skylar Spence, but as I arrived, there were thousands of people filing out, which previous in experiences at Lollapalooza, means a storm is coming.

Evacuation from the park

Crowds leaving the park

Storm buildings

Dark clouds starting to come in

Waiting out the rain at the Hard Rock

Waiting out the rain in my room at the Hard Rock Hotel

Line to get back in to Lollapalooza

The line to get back in to Lollapalooza

It turns out they did evacuate the park due to a storm rolling in, so I went back to the Hard Rock to wait it out. Once the all clear came through on Twitter, I went back down to the park, where there was a massive crowd of people at the gates, but I got in faster than expected. The downside to all of this is that it’s kind of hard to keep track of the revised schedule.

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Moon Taxi

The first band I saw was Moon Taxi, who were playing on the large Bud Light stage. Although I wasn’t familiar with their music, I actually enjoyed their set. At one point, they brought out Nick from Walk the Moon to do a cover of Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” which was pretty cool.

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Skyler Spence

I was using the Lolla app to keep up to date on the schedule changes, but that didn’t seem to work out too well when I tried to see Skyler Spence’s set. After waiting 20 minutes at the Pepsi stage, for what turned out to be Albert Hammond Jr. setting up, I found out that Skyler Spence was playing on the BMI stage across the way. I was bummed to miss a good portion of his set, especially since that was my number one artist to see. He seemed to really be having fun up on stage, almost seeming like he couldn’t believe he was playing Lolla. Afterwards, he chatted with people along the railing, but didn’t quite make it to where I was standing…boo.

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Gogol Bordello

I took a walk over to the Palladia stage to see Gogol Bordello, who despite playing Lollapalooza a million times, I never actually saw. Jumping around the stage and playing their gypsy punk, the band sounded great. They were actually pretty fun to see, with people around me singing along to every song.

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Chainsmokers

The Chainsmokers were another of my must see bands for the day, so I cut through a very large crowd to get to Perry’s stage for their set. With lots of fire and high energy, tge Chainsmokers totally killed at Perry’s.

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Halsey

Back to the BMI stage where Halsey was playing to a decent sized and very attentive crowd. I mean, these seemed to be hard core fans, knowing the words to every song.

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Wild Belle

I went over to the Pepsi Stage to check out Wild Belle, where it was hard to get close, but that was some intense dark and spooky music.

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NGHTMRE 2

NGHTMRE

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Bassnectar

NGHTMRE was on the Palladia stage spinning some robotic sounding EDM, which also served as a good warmup for Bassnectar, who was playing the Bud Light stage next. Bassnectar is another act that seems to be on the Lollapalooza lineup every single year or maybe it just seems like it. Either way, he was awesome and the field was filled with people dancing for the last big act of the weekend.

So, that was it for Lollapalooza 2015 and I had great time. It was good to be back after taking a break last year, and I really did miss being there, especially since festivals are my favorite places to be. I probably won’t stay at the Hard Rock Hotel again, as my stay was not as good as in previous years and I can’t recommend it anymore. Seriously, what happened to that place? It used to be fun, but now it’s just overpriced and boring. I’ll give the new Virgin Hotels around the corner a shot for sure. And don’t get me started on the hassle with Southwest at the airport when I left Chicago. In the end though, it was all worth it and it was still an amazing experience as always. I’ll be back next year for sure!

Culture Collide After Party – Night 2 – Yawn, Bleachers 8-01-2015

After the second day of Lollapalooza, I once again, showered and changed into some clean clothes for night 2 of the Culture Collide after parties. After standing in a line that was longer than last night’s, it only took about a half hour to get in. Once inside, I made my way to one of the several bars for a cold drink. The drink menu was different than the previous night, but they tasted just as good.

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Yawn

With a drink in my hand, I made my way close to the stage to see indie rockers Yawn, who are also from Chicago. They played a set that seemed to have more of a dance sound as opposed to only being straight up indie. I really enjoyed their set.

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Busy Beaver Buttons

I did a little wandering around in between bands as DJ Lani Love was spinning some tunes. I went over the Busy Beaver Button table where the people working it ended up talking me into having a custom button made with my caricature on it. The people working this table were awesome people, fun and really nice.

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Bleachers

Bleachers is a side project of the band Fun’s Jack Antonoff. I’m by no means a fan of Fun, in fact, I find them really annoying, but Bleachers on the other hand sounded great! They did a pretty cool high energy cover of The Cranberries “Dreams” and they ended the night with “I Wanna Get Better”, which pretty much became an audience sing along. You could tell the band was enjoying themselves on stage and it’s always cool when it’s so obvious. It felt like they played a really long set, but I never kept track of the time.

Once the show ended, I hung around for a bit, then wandered around downtown Chicago on a search for some 2AM food. I found a place that was still open and serving personal sized Chicago deep dish pizzas, which was delicious! Back to the Hard Rock to get sleep and take on the final day of Lollapalooza.

Lollapalooza 2015 – Day 2 – 8-01-2015

After a really fun night at the first of the Culture Collide after parties, I woke up early and surprisingly not hung over, despite having several of the free drinks offered. I managed to sneak in a workout at the gym in the Hard Rock Hotel, find some coffee, do some sightseeing, and then get ready for day 2 of Lollapalooza.

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Toro y Moi

I got to Grant Park just in time to see one of my favorite bands, Toro y Moi. Despite the bright sun and high temperatures, there was a huge crowd gathered at the stage to see Chaz Bundick and company breeze through their not-really-chillwave-anymore-but-still-awesome mix of old and new songs.

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Hermitude

On a coworker’s recommendation, I went over to the Pepsi Stage to catch the Australian electronic duo Hermitude. Despite being electronic, their set was a pretty mellow (in comparison to the nearby Perry’s stage) way to spend the afternoon in the shade of the trees.

I’ll say this first, I don’t really care for the very overplayed Walk the Moon, but was curious to check them out live for a bit. There was such a massive crowd for these guys, that it was impossible to get down to the field and see anything. This is exactly what happened with Imagine Dragons on the same stage 2 years ago. So, I went over to the nearby BMI Stage to watch Elle King’s set for a while.

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Elle King

If you listen to XMU on Sirius/XM, then you’re probably familiar with Elle King’sEx’s & Oh’s”. Most of her set was nothing like that song, in fact it was kind of twangy and almost country. That being said, I actually enjoyed it and her banter with the audience about the songs, Ohio, and that she probably slept with most of the guys there, was hilarious! King also thanked the crowd for choosing to see her instead of Tyler the Creator who was playing on another stage the same time, which she was kind of bummed to have to miss.

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Tyler the Creator

I had to see some of Tyler the Creator’s set, because it’s kind of a guilty pleasure. Man, there was a huge crowd. With a stage setup that looked like a child’s bedroom, Tyler was standing a giant bed, which also had a giant rocking chair next to it. The bass was deep and Tyler led the crowd in chants of “fuck that”. I didn’t stay for the whole set, but was a little bit disappointed. Guess I expected a little more.

I hit up the Chow Town area for some food before going over to see Chet Faker, who I was really looking forward to. It turned out to be a bust due to the huge crowd at the Pepsi Stage. I couldn’t get anywhere near there. I went back to the main stage to see some of Kid Cudi’s set, who was much better than I expected. From there, I found a good spot on the little hill near BMI Stage for Mt. Eden’s set. It was a good place to sit, recharge my phone, and watch the guy sitting in front of me puke several times, then proceed to drink some more from his wine filled sport bottle.

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Banks

Banks was up next and man, that was some dark and hazy stuff. I really enjoyed her set and she seemed to have the crowd’s attention the whole time.

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Metallica

Although I haven’t been a fan of Metallica since the 80’s and early 90’s, I wanted to see some of their set out of curiosity. I took a walk over, but the field was so full of people, I ended up watching a few songs from the stairs in the back starting with “Fuel” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. At this point, I decided to head back to the hotel, shower and change, then stand in line for the second night of the Culture Collide parties.


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