Photos by Kayla Fernandez
Illuminati Hotties warming up the crowd before Vundabar takes the stage.
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.
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.
Words and photos by Isabelle Jonsson
Halloween came early for Los Angeles. The Growlers transformed the historic Hollywood Palladium into a night of horror as they sold out the last show of their Beach Goth tour in the U.S. After the alluring Kirin J Callinan opened up the evening, as well as a thrilling performance by Michael Jackson, the band was welcomed onstage by Madame Elvira where they played a two hour set in wicked costumes and makeup.
Words and photos by Isabelle Jonsson
Hailing from London, Shame’s post-punk spirit and frenetic performance left me and my concert buddy in a daze, as it was nothing like our expectations from having heard just one of their songs. Their authentic London flair, pure enthusiasm and the charming demeanor of lead singer Charlie Steen as he talks with the crowd can persuade any audience into really embracing their music.
Shame will always be adored in the local music scene and welcomed in Los Angeles. Their shows are a wild ride and you won’t want to miss them the next time they’re in the U.S.!
Listen to Shame here!
Words and photos by Isabelle Jonsson
Opening up for Shame at the Teragram Ballroom last Monday, the duo (Melissa Scaduto and Brady Keehn) struck the audience with their raw energy and enthusiasm for their art. Brady’s lively movements along with a perfect mixture of 80s synthwave and 70s punk, or “primitive post punk from outer space” as they call it on their facebook page, make you want to dance around to their unique sound.
Following the release of their new EP entitled “3” last month they went on a European tour, but are now back in the U.S. I encourage everyone to see this band, not only because they are one of my absolute favorites, but because they really are one of a kind that you do not want to miss!
Listen to Sextile!
November 16th – The Pico Union Project – Los Angeles
December 7th – Whistle Stop – San Diego
Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez.
I always thought of The National as some brooding, depressing, hipster dad band. I was very familiar with their hit song ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’ off their 7th album “Trouble Will Find Me” and their 5th album, “The Boxer” (I highly recommend you give that album a listen). My sister is a massive fan of theirs so I was tagging along for support, I had no idea what to expect.
As soon as The National took the stage I got this sense of excitement because their fans on barricade was giving off so much eager energy. There was quite a few songs that I did not know at all, so I did that classic head bob and swaying hips move. The National are known to be a laid back older hipster band but I was blown away with how interactive and spirited group they were live. Mind was blown and my perspective had changed. The National are an incredible live act that cater to their audience but also show that they are having a great time on stage.
Photos by Kayla Fernandez
Los Angeles based folk-rock artist, Phoebe Bridgers had a whimsical set opening up for The National. Bridgers wowed the crowd with her flawless falsettos and dreamy presence. Her relatable lyrics and her light funny banter between songs will swoon you. As she is wrapping up a tour with The National, the talented songstress will be hitting the road again within the next few months. Check out her tour dates here, she is an musician you do not want to miss.
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Photos by Kayla Fernandez
Critically acclaimed band, Phoenix closed out a five night residency at The Fonda Theater. The French foursome are experts at creating a memorable show. But even more than the music, Phoenix’s visual presentation left a mark. To put it into one sentence, it was like a European summer daydream. Frontman Thomas Mars, swooned the audience by singing ‘Rome’ on top of the barrier looking down upon lucky fans. It was an energetic show all throughout the night. Don’t skip out on Phoenix, you will definitely regret it.
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.
By Corynne and Kayla Fernandez
Cover photo by Graham Images and Photography
Contrary to their name, Night Moves is far from a Bob Seger tribute band, and are producing cosmic folk-rock, reminiscent of influences like Neil Young and The Flaming Lips with their own added distinct style. Read below as John Pelant, lead singer and guitarist, chatted with us about their high school beginnings, dream festival line-ups, and the progress on album #3.
First off, how are you?
Doing well! Just got back from playing a festival in Appleton, WI. We had a blast, in what is apparently, “The Drunkest City In America” ???!?? Yeah, I didn’t believe it either…
The relationship between the band appears to be pretty close-knit. How did you all meet and form what is now, Night Moves?
Micky and I met in high school and kinda bonded over skateboarding. We eventually played in bands that would perform together from time to time and whatnot, so we grew closer that way. We also had a similar taste in music- Flaming Lips, The Band, George Harrison, Elliott Smith, Neil Young, which kind of turned us into even better friends. Our current live show band members are all dudes we met years later here in Minneapolis from playing out and about. I think growing up in such a formidable time as high school will inevitably bring you together as Micky and I.
You guys have been together since 2009, and put out your debut album in 2012. How would you say you’ve evolved from Colored Emotions to Pennied Days?
I think the writing has gotten stronger. I’m better at self recording these days, which is important because a lot of self recorded/demo stuff makes it into the albums. We’ve matured a bit in terms of the bands sound and presentation, although I still have a tough time taking the social media thing seriously. The multitude of tours we’ve gone on has given a fair amount of knowledge about how the live thing works for us as well as against us. There are business aspects to this band thing I would have never imagined when I started out that I think we are much more adept at these days, but who am I kidding, I’m still learning and figuring it all out.
You’ve been characterized by your 70’s-esque guitar riffs and melodic folky vocal pairing. Musically and lyrically, where do you find inspiration?
I think the band name falsely informs people of this idea that we’re a homage to Seger/70’s rock band music. That was never the intention, and it still isn’t. We just take stuff from anything we like and that moves us. The name kinda just fit the vibe at the time when we put out the 1st record. Inspiration is constantly changing. Lyrics always seem to come from a strange place. They’re inspired from a variety of experiences and they are usually the last thing to come in the song writing process. All in all, inspiration is always coming to me in ways I’d never expect. I’m still trying to figure that all out as well.
Fans interpret music in a rainbow of ways, is there anything you’d like your listeners to take away from your material?
No, I let them continue to interpret it in a myriad of ways. It’s best if you can get lost and find some element of yourself in the music.
What is a day in the life of Night Moves?
Make coffee/tea. Breakfast, which is usually these days a bagel with egg and turkey and greens. Go through the damn internet stops, shower, go to work, come home listen to music and work on new songs, crack some wine and continue to tinker with the tunes. Still trying to finish album #3!
If we’re on tour: Just trying to not die, drink water, hit various gas stations and grocery stores, sound check, show, after party, sleep.
What records have shaped you most as artists?
“All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison is a big one, Micky borrowed me a copy in Driver’s Ed in high school and it has been a beacon ever since. “Highway 61 Revisited” and “The Freewheelin Bob Dylan” are both very important records that I listened to a lot growing up while learning to play guitar.
Ideal environment for a gig?
Somewhere by a body of water, but also indoors because we’ve had a lot of live sound issues outdoors. Let’s say with lots of lights and strobes/lasers/fog, that whole thing, I’m talkin a NASA level production of fog and lasers, the big stuff that will make you blackout. So maybe a mansion that has an indoor pool, but that is also oceanside with a giant veranda full of snacks and tequila? That’s got to exist somewhere, right? Honestly, as long as there’s good atmosphere you could be in some jack den in the sticks and it’d be fine.
You guys have had played to a variety of audiences, what would be your most memorable gig and why?
It so hard to choose, so I will just mention one. We played in Ohio back in 2013, right after our first album came out, and only 1 girl showed up along with her dad and brother. She was wasted and kept calling out for the song “Colored Emotions,” even after we played it 2nd in the set. It was as if she didn’t know we even played it. The promoter revealed to us later in the night he lost a lot of money on the show and seemed pretty unhappy about it. He let us stay at his house, but insisted several times we “make beds” before we hit the night life, which felt very odd. Every place he took us to he seemed to be in poor standing with the folks there and that further gave us a weird feeling about everything, as in this guy is not well regarded around these parts, fuck, what do we do? I guess it didn’t matter because no one showed up to the gig. We ended up staying out all night and morning in this Ohio town and left at 9am. As we headed out the promoter gave us 5 big pussy willows he stole from his neighbor’s porch, stuffed them in the van. Must have been quite the assemblage to be witnessing rolling down the interstate at 9am looking like a busted, bloated, and broken Pottery Barn prop.
At the moment you’ve been touring the mid-west. Are there any plans to venture out to the West coast or the East coast in the near future?
Unfortunately, not at the moment. Hopefully, soon though!
If you were given the chance to re-score a soundtrack what film would it be?
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles- it already has some cool tracks, but I love the vibe of what they got going on and I’d love to embellish it a little.
With festival season in full swing, who would make up your dream festival line-up?
ACDC, D’Angelo, Flaming Lips, The James Gang, Mick Taylor era Stones, Mamas and Papas Hologram set
There have been many great albums released this year. What would be your favorite record of 2017?
Maybe 1 of these 4: Thundercat-Drunk, MacDemarco- This Old Dog, or Father John Misty-Pure Comedy, War On Drugs-A Deeper Understanding
Lastly, what can fans and those new to your music, expect from Night Moves this year and perhaps into next year?
Album #3, we’re hoping to start recording it in the fall so we can to put it out next summer~
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