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First Aid Kit (Olympia Theatre 18/09/2014)

19 Sep

It’s crazy to think how far First Aid Kit have come over the last few years, from the teenagers we all originally saw in their cover of “Tiger Mountain Peasant Song” to one of the most confident and successful folk duos in modern music. In many ways the Olympia Theatre feels like the perfect place for the band to play, big enough to accommodate their massive popularity but small enough to allow them to have some intimate moments with the audience.

20140918_200813-1Opening up for them was Jo Rose, honestly can’t say I’ve ever heard of him before tonight but his performance was pleasant enough (when it could be heard over the people talking in the crowd). Starting the gig off with a slightly awkward shout-out to Belfast he quickly recovered and got into the swing of things. His style made it a bit hard to judge how great the actual songs were but his love for playing certainly showed; definitely plan to listen to his album at some point to get a better feel for his music.

20140918_211615Coming on promptly at 9pm (feel like they deserve bonus points for this) the band dressed in suitably gold and shining outfits hit the ground running with the fantastic “Stay Gold” from their latest album. An early highlight for the crowd came in “King of the World” obviously lacking Conor Oberst vocals the song still sound great carried by Johanna and Kiara’s fantastic vocals. Honestly the whole concert could be summed up by that, what makes First Aid Kit such a great band are their vocals and harmonies and both sisters were in fine form last night. Their harmonies were beautiful, haunting and hypnotic depending on what the song required, at times it can be easy to get so caught up in the vocals that you fail to notice just how great the songs themselves actually are.
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Ashley’s Longer-than-necessary-review of Lollapalooza 2013 (Sunday at any rate):

5 Aug

To preface all of this, I did not sleep the night before Lolla this year. Not by choice, but by a series of unfortunate events that led to my inability to fall asleep until ten minutes before my alarm went off Sunday morning. The day had begun brilliantly.

Being the ultra-goth that I am, I decided to try highlighting my hair before I left. I have no idea what possessed me to do that, but it was an interesting clash with the all-black ensemble I decided to wear. There’s nothing like 70 degree weather in August to encourage one to play their part. I, of course, rocked the Threadless “Friday I’m in Love” Tee:

Anyways, enough about me. On to more about…well…me, and my impressions of Lolla:

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Thoughts on Beyonce’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

4 Feb

Well, it’s that time of year again.  The time where I immediately share my thoughts on the halftime show without anytime to digest them, or second-guess.

This year, it was Beyonce, and what we were promised was to be the reunion of Destiny’s Child.  For the most part that’s what we got.  Let’s look closer:

The Good:

Everything looked nice.  The pyrotechnics were amazing, the two-faced Beyonce light stage was fun to look at, the visuals gave us the view of 25 Beyonce’s at once, what more could you ask for?

For once, the sound quality was great, for the most part.  There was a wonderful backing band of rocking women, one of which had a guitar that shot out streams of sparks (I’m not sure why Prince hasn’t swallowed her up into his posse yet, really).

The Bad:

The set list didn’t blow my mind.  No “Irreplaceable”, one song I didn’t even know and then of course, there was the piped in vocals for “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy” (for Jay-Z and Sean Paul, respectively) which were NOT mic’d very well.

The Ugly:

Destiny’s Child.

When Kelly and Michelle came rising out of the stage, I was ready for what was surely going to be one of the greatest experiences of my life.

This was not it.

First was “Bootylicious”, really the best song they could have picked for their first song together in quite some time. Then, “Independent Women”, complete with cheesy Charlie’s Angels quotes and poses.

And…that was it.  After that, Destiny’s Child turned into glorified backing vocalists for “Single Ladies” and then left.

The set closed with an empty (for me) version of “Halo” and then Beyonce was gone as well.

I’m still not sure how to feel.  I’m raging with anger, first and foremost.  I was promised a medley of Destiny’s Child’s greatest hits and received two.  Not even “Say My Name”.  I don’t know what to think.  What started as a favorite halftime show turned into a most hated, so I’m left a bit numb really.

I suppose it could have been worse.  There will always be….The Black Eyed Peas…

The Killers – UIC Pavillion (Chicago) – 12/21/12

22 Dec

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but there’s this band, you see, and quite often I refer to them as my 4th favorite band…of all time.

Then I start to think, gosh, do I really like them that much?  Or do I just want to like them that much?

What changes everything is that battery recharge, the live show.  The Killers do this to me every time.  A person gets a little insecure when they rate an album #1 every year and no one else does, ya’know?

Anyways, after about 1 hour and 50 minutes of pure musical bliss, I’m back.  The Killers absolutely floored me tonight and it was worth the real-world stress involved in getting to the show.

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12.12.12. The Concert for Sandy Relief

13 Dec

IThe WHo figured it was only right that I give a review of this sprawling epic, considering I had the opportunity to see it in a movie theater (more on that later).  The devastation of Hurricane Sandy needed a relieving evening like tonight, and while there were a lot of awkward moments and some downright bad moments, overall, I think the evening was a riveting success, and I just want to share some of my thoughts.  Continue reading

Concert Review – Roger Waters – United Center 9/24/10

25 Sep

Even calling this a concert review sounds wrong.  I mostly just want to share with you all in the experience I had tonight.  I’m not going to take up a lot of your time, I don’t want to ramble.  I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I love The Wall with all of my heart (well, the part of my heart that’s not busy loving eleventy billion other albums), and as I mentioned not too long ago, I was speechless when I heard Waters was going to tour it again.  Months later, a scare that I wasn’t going to be able to go, and here I am, alive to talk about it.  Continue reading

Concert review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, 18 February 2010, Melbourne

9 Mar

After performing a sell-out show at the East Brunswick Club on the 17th of February, The Pains played a second gig at the same venue on the 18th. In addition, they made an in-store appearance at Polyester Records the afternoon before the second show; although I did not go, there is a bootleg of the five song set you can download from here.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a bootleg of the 18/02 gig itself (why haven’t I bought recording gear yet?), so you’re going to have to take my word for how good this show was.

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Concert review: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, 17 February 2010, Melbourne

5 Mar

Last month, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart (should that be The Pains Of Having A Shit Band Name, or perhaps just The Pains?) made their first visit to Australian shores. Opening their jaunt around the country were two concerts at the East Brunswick Club, funnily enough located in Melbourne’s inner northern suburb of East Brunswick. The first show, the subject of this review, took place on the 17th of February, with the second – to be a review subject in the near future – on the next night.

The Pains’ eponymous debut album had grown on me during 2009 and I have become pretty fond of it. Stay Alive is one of my favourite tracks from the year, and the Higher Than The Stars EP capped off a good year for the Pains. How would they go on stage?

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Concert review: The Shadows and some other guy, 13 February 2010, Melbourne

5 Mar

Last time I posted, I reviewed a gig by noise rockers A Place To Bury Strangers at Melbourne club The Corner. So, what do you think I saw the very next night?

Well?

Whatever you’re thinking, you’re wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. I saw Cliff Richard and The Shadows at Rod Laver Arena. That’s right, Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Why on earth would I subject myself to Cliff?

Two words: The Shadows. Two more specific words: Hank Marvin.

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Concert Review: A Place To Bury Strangers live in Melbourne, 12 February 2010

20 Feb

Since I won’t have much time to write in the coming week, today I have been trying to get through my backlog of concerts to review. After my Porcupine Tree jaunt, the next band on my calendar was quite a change of pace: American noise rockers A Place To Bury Strangers on their first visit to Australia. Their Aussie visit was even shorter than Porcupine Tree’s, featuring gigs solely in Sydney and Melbourne. I was in attendance at the Melbourne concert, held at the Corner Hotel in the inner suburb of Richmond.

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