Arctic Monkeys Live at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium

Words and photos by Jenna Ethridge

On Oct. 20, Arctic Monkeys performed their first of two sold-out shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Following the release of their latest album since 2013, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, the English rock band embarked on a world-wide tour that spanned over the course of four months.
Mini Mansions supported them on tour – a band from Los Angeles comprised of Zach Dawes (bassist for The Last Shadow Puppets), Tyler Parkford and Michael Shuman (bassist of Queens of the Stone Age). Arctic Monkeys and Mini Mansions have an extensive musical history together, as The Last Shadow Puppets is the alternate band of Arctic Monkeys’ frontman, Alex Turner. Mini Mansions also have a song in collaboration with Turner, “Vertigo,” which was performed, though Turner did not join them on stage to contribute vocals.

 


Their most recent EP, Works Every Time, was released on Sept. 28 of this year, from which they performed “Midnight in Tokyo” and the EP’s title track, “Works Every Time.” The band had an infectious energy that was reciprocated by the audience, as the auditorium erupted into applause following each song and fans screamed the names of their favorite songs, in hopes of hearing them live.

After an incredible 40 minute set, Mini Mansions left the stage and the anticipation for Arctic Monkeys grew rapidly.
Arctic Monkeys took the stage shortly after, Turner sporting a recent haircut drastically different from his usual image of slicked back, long locks. The stage was elaborately decorated with large, bright light fixtures and smoke that illuminated the band’s silhouettes. The band opened with “Four Out Of Five,” a song from their most recent album that has gained tremendous media coverage, such as on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Other new songs performed from Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino included the album’s title track, “One Point Perspective,” “American Sports” and “Star Treatment.”
The rest of their discography was also respectably represented, featuring songs from 2006’s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare, 2009’s Humbug and 2013’s AM. Popular songs such as “505,” “Do I Wanna Know?” and “R U Mine?” proved their timelessness, as they evoked the most intense reactions from the audience. Arctic Monkeys’ fans are notorious for their dedication to the band, evident by the large crowd that had already gathered outside of the venue as early as six in the morning on the day of the show.
After a much anticipated encore that was accompanied by a cubular disco ball, the band left the stage and audience wanting more. As mentioned, they returned the following night for yet another sold-out show, before concluding their tour in the Pacific Northwest. The success of this year’s album and tour prove that the Arctic Monkeys haven’t lost their touch, even despite their five-year hiatus and slight change of sound.
Though Turner sings about playing “to quiet rooms like this before,” San Francisco was anything but quiet.

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Father John Misty Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Words by Jenna Ethridge 

Following the release of his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer, Father John Misty officially commenced his current tour at the Hollywood Bowl this past Sunday. Father John Misty, also known as Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, Josh Tillman, was accompanied by Big Thief and Gillian Welch: an artist that Tillman has personally wished to share a marquee with since his alias was “a lot less stupid.”
As the audience was subjected to an apocalyptic visual of the Hollywood Hills engulfed in flames, provided by the Pure Comedy short film released earlier last year, Tillman entered the stage adorned in all white and debuting his newest look- consisting of short hair and a trimmed beard- in stark comparison to his typical image. “Funtimes in Babylon” served as an appropriate opener to his set, as Tillman warned the audience of his arrival and presence in the venue’s location of Hollywood, which was extremely fitting considering his recent cameo in Hotel Artemis for which he also released the song “Gilded Cage”, independent from his album released the same week. Songs such as “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” and “Only Son of the Ladiesman” also paid homage to his residency in Los Angeles, as Tillman sang about the Sunset Strip and of being a Dodgers fan, likely helping him win over those in the audience priorly unfamiliar with his material. Though promoting God’s Favorite Customer, the setlist included a variety of songs from all four studio albums that seemed to flow together effortlessly, providing the audience with a fair representation of Tillman and his musical thematics.
Though the majority of the show lacked his usual on-stage banter and improvised commentary, Tillman still managed to make the audience laugh after shocking them with lyrics as presented in “Pure Comedy”, acknowledging its probable impression and reassuring that “it gets worse.” Evident by his performances of “Mr. Tillman” and “Date Night”, songs from God’s Favorite Customer translated extremely well live, as Tillman sauvely paraded around the stage with a sense of confidence and enjoyment similar to “The Ideal Husband”. With help from his orchestrative ensemble, Tillman was also successful in transforming his slower songs into even more brooding ballads, as he took to the piano for an intimate performance of “Just Dumb Enough to Try”. While the deprecating motif of God’s Favorite Customer is already perceptible through the studio recordings, Tillman’s vulnerability manifested even greater live, as animated images of flowers bloomed behind him during “Please Don’t Die”- symbols of fertility and revival that were reminiscent of those portrayed in the music video released earlier this month through Sub Pop and Bella Union. The stage’s dramatic lighting also contributed to the intensity of songs such as “Things It Would’ve Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution”, as bright beams danced sporadically around the stage and the song progressed into its chorus.
For an artist with such a theatrical stage presence, the Hollywood Bowl was an ideal homecoming for Tillman’s extravagant demeanor and awe-inspiring music. Look out Hollywood, here Father John Misty comes.

The Sherlocks’ Last Night in America November 9, 2017

Review and photos by Lilli Banks

November 9, 2017
DC9 Nightclub, Washington, D.C.

From Sheffield, England, The Sherlocks took a trip to North America to promote their new album. Their indie alternative music has thousands of people shouting the lyrics to their songs and selling out venues throughout United Kingdom. Building their fanbase, they opened for bands such as Kings of Leon and The Libertines and soon to open for Liam Gallagher on his European tour in 2018.

After seven years of being a band, the two sets of brothers released their debut album, “Live for the Moment” in mid-August of this year. The album featured singles from years prior and new tracks that hit #6 in the UK charts.

With the success of their album, they set off on a UK, European, and North American tour. They performed in the US back in March of 2016 for SWSX in Texas, but their first headline tour was this November, starting in Toronto.

The band kicked off the set with their song, “Last Night” and the crowd was immediately enticed. Although it was the last night of tour, they never let their energy falter. Their tunes “Blue” and “Will You Be There?” roared through DC9 Nightclub bringing those from the downstairs bar and staff.

“Turn the Clock,” arrived on the setlist and the acoustic guitar was brought out. The crowd was thrilled to hear a slower song that showed another side of the band.

Kiaran, the lead singer and guitarist, took a moment to say, “We’re ending our first tour in Washington, D.C. just how we wanted it,” which made the crowd yell with happiness and cheering.

As the upbeat songs came back, pairs of friends danced in the crowd with the beer in their hands. An older adult was front and center, mesmerized by the band. Andy, the bassist, had a huge smile on his face seeing how the crowd was reacting to them.

The band knocked the night and tour out with Chasing Shadows. Soon enough, this band will be filling venues of the USA and we’re excited to see them progress!

The band will be returning to the USA in January 2018 to the West Coast. The first date on January 16th in Los Angeles at The Echo.

You can find tickets and dates for their return here.
Their debut album streams on Spotify and iTunes/Apple Music.

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Tropicalia 2017 Recap

Words by Corynne Fernandez and photos by Kayla Fernandez

Separating itself from other California festivals, Tropicalia was a true testament to unity through diversity. From their unequivocal lineup that was composed of acts like Los Tigres Del Norte and King Krule, to their seamless-execution of the So-Cal tropic theme, and the highly sought for free-tacos, the festival was a success on all parts with minimal hiccups along the way. We had the chance to cover some of the most anticipated new acts and document their performances below. Thank you to the media team at Tropicalia for being the sweetest group of people as well!

Current Joys:
Ringing in the day’s festivities, was Current Joys. While festival goers made their way in, the crowd for their set was in full force, igniting mosh pits and echoing the group’s lyrics throughout.

Surf Curse:
The band comprised of Nick Rattigan, lead singer from Current Joys, and Jacob Rubeck, carried the same energy through their set. With co-singer, Rattigan, never missing a beat and Rubeck equally interacting with the frenzied crowd, the duo played hits like Doom Generation, Freaks, and Goth Babe.

Jorja Smith:

Perhaps one of the most anticipated new artists was England native, Jorja Smith; most of the crowd at the Dia De Los Puercos stage had been waiting from the start of the festival for her set. Even with little movement, Smith and her accompanying band captured not only her audience but onlookers from other stages and the infamous taco lines, playing brand new songs from her latest EP, as well as fan favorite, Blue Lights.

Inner Wave:
We had the chance to catch Inner Wave—a favorite of Lucid Dreams (check out our interview here)—while they played at the Mota Stage to their largest crowd. For many, it was the first time hearing the band, while others had flown from out of state solely to see the group. Needless to say, Inner Wave did not disappoint, and elicited a retrogressive synergy with songs like Bower, Discipline, and American Spirits.

The Buttertones:

Amongst all the acts, the best dressed had to be the collective Buttertones, in which they set the tone for their signature surfer-soul discography, and paid homage to the tailored looked that characterized the 50’s and 60’s. Throughout the entirety of the set, not one sun-kissed head was still, and the 5-piece thrived off what the crowd gave so enthusiastically. What set the Buttertones apart was their use of sax in combo with their unique rock, doo-wop additions, creating an ambience unlike any other.


Cuco:
Our first introduction to the main stage also happened to be our first introduction to rising Latino-heartthrob, Cuco. His fanbase was larger than life and vocalized their appreciation during every song which varied from melodic tunes in both English and Spanish. Still coming into his own onstage, the somewhat sheepish energy added to the overall dream-filled performance with the occasional tempo shifts.


Yellow Days:
As the sun was setting, there was no better time for emerging UK artist, Yellow Days to come on and soundtrack the hazy sunset with his fuzzy jazz-inspired riffs and languorous gritty vocals. Being his first show in the US, he amassed a vast crowd of devoted listeners and new-comers alike, all enthralled by every raw bellow.


King Krule:
Amid the stellar lineup, long-awaited act, King Krule, made his way to the center of the blue-lit main stage and delivered his characteristically violent yet tender harmonies that set the crowd aflame, which seemingly went on for miles. Despite a set delay, Archie (performing under the name King Krule) left little for the audience to yearn for, performing a variety of songs from his debut LP, 6 Feet Beneath the Moon, and his new album, The OOZ, for which he is currently touring.


Kali Uchis:
One of our favorites from Tropicalia, was Columbian female-artist, Kali Uchis; gracing the stage in her Selena-esque ensemble, Uchis, brought an experience unique to her performance. Looking around, there was not one person that wasn’t belting the lyrics to songs like Melting, Speed, and Loner among the diverse sea of people. Kali delivered not only with her own work, but also covered Al Green’s RnB classic, Let’s Stay Together, and sang her feature in Tyler The Creator’s, See You Again.


Bane’s World:
Closing out the night as one of last sets, was the subdued and dream-ensuing Bane’s World. Like many of the other acts at the fest, this was the group’s first run at a festival and while their set neared midnight, that did not stop festival-goers from swarming their stage, swooning for every note. Different from their defining hazy tunes, the band also jokingly covered Radiohead’s, Creep, and fellow Long Beach natives, Sublime’s, Santeria. With playful interjections and shy lulls, Bane’s World left the crowd—certainly all the ladies—in a trance and grasping for more songs as their set was cut short. Read our interview with Shane of Bane’s World here.

Phoenix: Ti Amo Tour – Show Review 

By Sara Valenzuela

The Anthem opened it’s doors this year; bringing in the most legendary bands such as The Foo Fighters, LCD Soundsystem, and Phoenix as their first couple of acts in October. I had the amazing opportunity to witness French indie rockers: Phoenix take the stage. It was a show I’ve been recommending everyone I possibly can to watch since the date a couple weeks ago. The Versaille-based band always leaves me buzzing for days after their performances; they’re simply unforgettable. 


As soon as Phoenix emerged onto the stage, the crowd was roaring. DC had missed the four-piece band composed by lead Thomas Mars, bassist Deck D’arcy, and guitarist Christian Mazzalai and Laurent Brancowitz, since their last bout in the city a few months ago. Introducing the night with the first beats to J-Boy, it was impossible for the audience and the band not to burst into an Italian-disco frenzy! From the light show to Mars jumping into the crowd, it was a celebration from beginning to end. They performed tracks from ‘romantic, glossy, soft-pop ode to sweet escapes and dance floors’ new album Ti Amo as well as illustrious past hits. 


DC thundered through every song, and the atmospheric crowd did not disappoint. I looked back from GA during their prominent track 1901, to admire the moment. I remember seeing the crowd, in the multiple-level venue, spring up and down rich with joy. Never missing a beat or an opportunity to show their appreciation, Phoenix was the hero of DC that night.
Keep up with Phoenix! 

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Listen to them on Spotify!

King Shelter at The Metro Gallery

By Sara Valenzuela

King Shelter and friends rocked the Metro Gallery, bringing Baltimore some fun on a hot friday night. King Shelter is an independent indie/alternative rock band based out of Southern California. They’re currently touring with The Frights and On Drugs on their Wet Hot Summer Tour, up to September 9th (get your tickets here). The band has been pretty busy this year with the release of their new singles ‘Gimmie Knowledge’ and ‘Gholy Host’, also touring the west coast with their friends The Frights and Hunny. Hope to see more of King Shelter in the DMV in the near future, they’ll keep us waiting till then.

 

Follow King Shelter on Twitter!

 

Listen to King Shelter on Spotify!

 

Buy King Shelter’s Merch!

Neon Indian Live at The Teragram Ballroom 

Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez

Hailing from Denton, Texas, Neon Indian (Alan Palomo) made his way to starry-lit downtown LA to perform a sold out gig at the Teregram Ballroom. Palomo’s endless energetic dance moves kept the crowd alive. From performing older hits like “Mind Drips” to covering Prince’s “Pop Life”, Neon Indian kept the audience on their toes. Palomo never missed a beat and carried that charisma throughout the entire set, inspiring the crowd to try and mimic his hip swaying dance moves. Having seen Neon Indian before, I can say this is the best I’ve seen him yet; he illuminated the room with laughter, cheers, and the audience’s echoes of his songs.