Photos by G.
The last night of February 2013 was a night of great music at New York’s Bowery Ballroom as we were treated to the sounds of Foxygen and Unknown Mortal Orchestra at a sold out show at the legendary New York venue. There must be something about having the word Foxy in the name of your band (see Foxy Shazam) that has a requirement of the lead singer acting completely nuts on stage. The 5 piece indie rock band from Agoura Hills (shout out to my Cali peeps) played for just about an hour and their music has elements of folk, alternative and lots of psychedelia! Lead singer Sam France walked out on stage with a pimp jacket and Indiana Jones type stetson hat (which you can see a clearer picture of after the jump) and danced/freaked out all over the stage as distorted vocals came pouring out through his mic. After their set at Bowery Ballroom, the band headed down the road to Piano’s and played another set! Hardcore!
It was hard not to be entertained by Foxygen and I was so curious to meet lead singer Sam France to see if his off stage behavior was the same as his on stage theatrics. I’ll let you know after the jump.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Around 11:20 (on a school night!) PM, New Zealand/American lo-fi garage rock band (gotta love these internet descriptions) Unknown Mortal Orchestra hit the stage. It appeared that the crowd was there to see Foxygen based on the reaction to their music, but everyone stayed and loved UMO equally as much. They performed largely in the dark, though back lit by those candles that have little battery operated flames in them. After hearing them live, I don’t know why they would be classified as “lo-fi,” because their sound was much fuller than a 3 piece band and during the jamming sections of their songs, they fucking rocked!
Ruban Nielson of Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Seeing both Foxygen and Unknown Mortal Orchestra live reconfirms that you should not believe everything you read on the net and experience their music in person as you will likely have as great of an experience as I did. I never saw setlists from the bands, so if you know what was played, please leave us a comment!
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Photos by G.
Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth
Van Halen! The rockers performed a sold out show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on February 28, 2012. The show began at 7:30 with one of the oddest pairings for an opening act that I’ve ever seen – Kool and the Gang. While they sounded great, it was definitely the wrong vibe to establish before watching a rock and roll concert. For those wondering, Kool and the Gang performed Jungle Boogie, Ladies Night, Fresh, Emergency and Celebration during their 45 minute set. Van Halen took the stage around 8:50 (instead of the posted time of 9 PM) and had the crowd on their feet for the entire show, which is an accomplishment not all bands playing the same venue can make happen.
David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth is back as lead singer after a long absence and it was great to see him strutting his stuff on stage. He sparingly did his signature high kick in the air, but he can still do it and Van Halen can still rock. We’ve all gotten used to their songs as part of our lives, but when you hear these songs performed by the band that wrote them as 20,000 people sing along is a pretty cool thing. The show brought out the inner rock-star geek in all of us and you could see people playing air guitar throughout the arena. Drummer Alex Van Halen and guitar god Eddie Van Halen each did 5 minute solos and they are both still so incredible! They made their intricate playing look effortless and the crowd loved every second of it.
Alex Van Halen
The band played a lot of new material off 2012’s “A Different Kind of Truth,” including the first single “Tattoo.” Though the songs sounded pretty good in an arena setting, the material breaks no new ground and probably does not work as well in the iPod generation. But aside from the new songs, Van Halen played pretty much every hit (from the David Lee Roth era) that you could hope to hear including their famous cover of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” “Ain’t ‘Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” “Hot For Teacher,” “Panama,” “I’ll Wait,” “Jump,” and “Running With The Devil.”
Wolfgang Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen
David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen appeared to be having a great time on stage and DLR’s on-stage banter to the crowd seemed unscripted and at times rambling causing Eddie Van Halen to fall out laughing several times. If there are still tensions in the band, they disguised them pretty well and they showed no signs of slowing down. Instead of leaving the stage and coming back for an encore, the band never left the stage and concluded their nearly 2 hour set with the 1984 classic “Jump.” As of press time, we don’t know what the future of Van Halen will be, so if you enjoy their music, you’d better check them out on this tour. It’ll be worth it!
See the setlist after the jump.
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