Hot new band alert! The UK’s The 1975 played their first of two sold out shows at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom on October 9, 2013. The pop/rock quartet from England have been around for 10 years and 2013 is their break out year. They hit the stage around 10 pm and for a little over an hour, they thrilled the crowd with songs such as “Chocolate,” “Sex” and “The City.” The crowd sung along to most every track and in addition to having stylish haircuts, flashing strobe lights made the show extra fun to watch.
Rather than leave the stage before the encore, lead singer Matt Healy asked the crowd if they could just play straight through and the crowd replied with thunderous applause. All of The 1975′s songs were very catchy, almost made to be placed in films and commercials, so if that appeals to you, check out their music! I spotted the one and only Lindsay Lohan at the show and if you read this blog somewhat regularly (aka, you are one of my heroes), I’m sure you know how that ended. Catch The 1975 again tonight at Bowery Ballroom. No word on if you’ll catch Miss Lindsey there too, but either way, you will have a great time! See the setlist below (featuring drummer George Daniel’s blood – he cut himself during the show, but was a real trooper and played on!)
On October 3, 2013, British post-punk band White Lies played their first of 2 sold out shows at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. I was largely unfamiliar with their music even though they’ve been around since 2007, but White Lies did their job as rock-stars and turned me into a fan. Their music has elements of Joy Division, Editors and The Killers, which to me is winning all around! They took the stage around 10 pm and played for around an hour and a half, playing songs off their 3 albums. Their latest album “Big TV” was released earlier this year and the video you are about to see is the first single from the record. If you like this song, and I know you will, you will enjoy all of their records. So get ready to become a fan of White Lies as soon as you press play.
Irish singer Damien Dempsey made his first trip to New York in quite a while on September 7, 2013. He performed a show at the very packed Bowery Ballroom and it was great! It was my first exposure to his music, but I loved what I heard. Mixing reggae, folk and traditional Irish music, Damien Dempsey has a powerful voice that had the crowd eating out of the palms of his hands. Many of his songs were politically charged and a lot of songs doubled as self-empowerment anthems. As Damien and his band departed the stage prior to their encore, the crowd sang the refrain from “It’s All Good,” which went “love yourself today, ok, ok” for a solid 5 minutes, making it sound like we were at the Glastonbury Festival. It was super awesome! I met Damien after the show and he was lovely! We talked about LA and New York and I asked Damien if he plans to come back to New York and he promised to come back sooner than it took him to come out here to promote his latest album. Good! Thanks again Damien and I hope to see you soon!
Damien Dempsey and Geoffrey Dicker. (Photo by a complete stranger).
On September 5, British electronic duo Alunageorge performed a sold out show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. Lead singer Aluna Francis has a hell of a voice and her sexy on stage swagger is sure to help make the group big stars. One of the highlights of the evening was a track I never thought I’d see performed live, Montell Jordan’s 1990s classic, “This is How We Do It.” The studio version is available as a bonus track on their record “Body Music,” which is out now!
Hot new band(s) alert! On June 29, 2013, a very hot and steamy NYC night, Bowery Ballroom was home to a sold out show featuring rock and rollers JMSN and The Neighbourhood. The show kicked off at 9 pm with Detroit’s JMSN (pronounced ‘Jameson’).
Christian Berishaj of JMSN
JMSN, who cites influences from Phil Collins to Prince to Radiohead, plays a nice blend of rock and R&B. It’s worth noting that Wikipedia calls this genre “PBR&B” (yes, PBR for Pabst Blue Ribbon)! Love that! Lead singer Christian Berishaj engaged the crowd almost immediately with catchy sing-a-long songs, and his voice was quite strong too. JMSN’s debut album “Priscilla” was released in 2012 and they played the singles “Hotel,” “Alone” and “Something” in their 45 minute set. The audience did not want JMSN to leave the stage, but inevitably, they cleared room for the main attraction – The Neighbourhood.
The Neighbourhood at Bowery Ballroom
California’s The Neighbourhood hit the stage around 10:20 PM and rocked the crowd for nearly an hour and a half. Playing largely in the dark with flashing lights during choruses, the atmospheric mood of the show made it easier (and less embarrassing) for the crowd to rock out! The alt-rock quintet has a ton of catchy songs in their arsenal and the crowd was singing along throughout the entire show. One of the highlights was the track “W.D.Y.W.F.M?” (What Do You Want From Me?) which featured a back and forth singalong between the crowd and The Neighbourhood’s lead singer Jesse Rutherford trading off shouting “What.” The Neighbourhood didn’t just sound great but they also looked great. Tattoos, torn clothes and the moves that any good rock band should have are all qualities The Neighbourhood possess and if the reactions that Bowery Ballroom had during their set are a predictor of future success, The Neighbourhood is going to be huge!
Jesse Rutherford of The Neighbourhood
See the setlist as well as photos of my encounters with the band after the jump.