Concert Review: Peter Matthew Bauer, Delta Spirit, October 11, The Vic

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1x1.trans Concert Review: Peter Matthew Bauer, Delta Spirit, October 11, The Vic

Peter Matthew Bauer and his wife Marisa Brown are my new favorite musical power couple (Jay what and Queen who?). Bauer (previously of the Walkmen) and his backing crew (which included his wife on vocals as well as a drummer and a bassist) warmed up the crowd at the Vic on Saturday for headliners Delta Spirit and they came out in style – Bauer leading the group in a suit and Brown rocking a sparkly silver party dress. The group played a mix of songs from Bauer’s debut album Liberation! and the eclecticism of the debut album came across in the live show – Bauer led the group seamlessly from indie to anthemic rock to salsa infused beats and while the crowd was sparse at the start of the show, people were packed in and loving it by the end. My favorite part was that Bauer and his wife were so intensely wrapped up in the music that they each had their eyes shut tight for the entire show, dancing on their own, completely ignoring the other – who’s got time for PDA when you’re making music?

Delta Spirit wasn’t messing around either – the group puts on an amazing live performance chock full of energy. Matthew Vasquez led the group through essentially the entire new album, Into the Wide, as well as crowd favorites from previous albums “Bushwick Blues” “California” and “People C’mon” sometimes playing his guitar, sometimes balancing it on his head, sometimes picking it with his teeth and sometimes standing on his hands. The moment I realized I was completely sold though was when the band was wrapping up and instead of playing coy, Vasquez told the crowd “we’ve got one more. But if you clap we’ll come back on and play some more for you.” Great music, hold the games – the way it should be.

Concert Review: The Augustines, October 10, Double Door

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1x1.trans Concert Review: The Augustines, October 10, Double Door

Friday was a tough night for Billy McCarthy. A lot of different elements came together just so to create a perfectly unfortunate show for the Augustines lead singer:

1) Equipment in the back of the Double Door apparently caught on fire (Chicago is well known for its fires after all) bringing down the monitors the band was using onstage

2) The band had just come from a 9.5 hour drive from their previous city

3) Apparently one of the last times they came through Chicago, McCarthy twisted his ankle and ended up in the hospital with stitches and a rather bad taste for the city in his mouth

The poor man was just not having it on Friday. After a shortened 45 minute set which included “Juarez” and “Book of James” the band made their way back onstage for what was going to be an acoustic encore, but McCarthy was finally done in by an overenthusiastic fan exclaiming that he “loved this one!”. As he tried to explain to the crowd that he was having a tough night a drunk fan exclaimed “Take your top off!” That was it for the poor guy – instead of playing an encore he instead made some choice comments about Chicago and stalked offstage. I’ve only ever heard amazing things about the Augustines’ live shows – I had a friend once text me at 1am to tell me that he’d just been to “the most amazing concert of his life” (which of course turned out to be the Augustines), and there were some nice moments, including a sing-a-long between the crowd and the band for “Cruel City”, but it just wasn’t in the stars for this show.

Concert Review: In The Valley Below, The Airborne Toxic Event, October 8, 9:30 Club

Posted on by halley in Concerts | 1 Comment

1x1.trans Concert Review: In The Valley Below, The Airborne Toxic Event, October 8, 9:30 Club

Experimental instrumentals, catchy beats, and strong vocals made up the theme for last night’s show at my DC-institution: the 9:30 Club. In The Valley Below opened the show with a subtly energetic* set that got the multi-generational audience pumped for a night of great music ahead. The LA group pairs upbeat tempos with rather dreamy trance-like lyrics that make for several strong tracks, including “Neverminders” and (my favorite) “Hymnal.”

The Airborne Toxic Event took the stage next. The band got the crowd singing along even before taking the stage by playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody to warm up the concert-goers. Then, to dramatic lighting and a giant white dove (or eagle? definitely a bird) on the backdrop, the band (also hailing from LA) stormed the stage. The group showed up all wearing white shirts, with long-haired bass-player Adrian Rodriguez looking mad chic in all-white from head to toe (which he got a razzing about from his bandmates). The band was extremely enjoyable and charismatic, thanking DC profusely and reminiscing about their early days playing to neighbors’ cats and suffering from the hazing of unhappy neighbors. TATE played several of my favorites, including “Changing” and “Sometime Around Midnight,” as well as some new tracks. Their new song “Wrong” was one I particularly liked.

The LA-duo’s tour continues throughout Canada and the US through early November. Definitely look them up.

*Subtly energetic. I just want to acknowledge that if I was reading that turn of phrase my gut reaction would be: “That makes no sense. These hipster writers will say anything they think sounds artsy. Not OK.” Just for the record.

Concert Review: Erasure, September 30, Danforth Music Hall

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1x1.trans Concert Review: Erasure, September 30, Danforth Music Hall

If you ever need a night to witness the greatness that is living in Toronto, just look at the concerts on the ticket for September 30

Robert Plant @ Massey Hall
Erasure @ Danforth Music Hall
Kasabian @ Mod Club
Ema @ Drake
Lykke Li @ Kool Haus

And those were only the big acts. There were a ton of not too big names playing too. With so many options on the plate, the question is .. what show to go to? After a long internal debate in which many factors were calculated, including:

- ticket price
- distance from home
- venue
- bands touring frequency (btf)
- band breakup risk rate (bbrr%)
- approximate show length
- quality eating and drinking establishment nearby
- commute difficulty from work
- how much I like the band

I decided to go to Erasure. How can you go wrong with Erasure? Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have been making records for nearly three decades now and the last time I saw them was a revelation for me, as I went from casual Erasure fan to an actual Erasure fan. Anyone who reads this blog will know that I love my synth pop and there are very few bands with such standards of excellence as Erasure.

The ninety minute show did not disappoint any of the fans at the sold out Danforth Music Hall for sure. While less theatrical then the Sound Academy, Andy Bell, Vince Clarke and two accompanying singers turned the venue into one large disco party filled with glitter, top hats and dance routines that should somehow make it’s way to Pride week sometime. Have they played Pride before? They should headline that every year.

Playing the typical BIG HIT some new songs HERE COMES THE HITS show that I’m now completely accustomed to, Erasure managed to turn the crowd into a dancing frenzy. You know it’s a good show when the people in the balcony start dancing. How could you not? Starting with Drama! and Victim of Love, the set was relentless in hits, with Vince Clarke providing a steady dose of beats between tracks that had you a) questioning what song it is and b) remember it was his remix of Happy Monday’s Wrote for Luck that made that song so damn awesome. Andy Bell was his typical flamboyant self, minus the extravagant costumes he had last time, but still managed to dance his tail off. Chains of Love closed off the main set, but no one was leaving without an encore. Their 90′s hit Always and Sometimes ended off the show at a lovely time of 10:30pm, allowing people like me to go home at a respectable time. Much like everyone in the crowd tonight – respectable adults.

You couldn’t really go wrong with any of the shows happening in our amazing city last Tuesday night. Frankly, you can never go wrong when you decide to go to an Erasure show.