Hot band alert! Please put the 4 piece Icelandic band Kaleo on your radar if they are not already. Fusing the worlds of rock, pop and folk seamlessly, Kaleo are poised to become huge. They played their first ever show in New York on July 15, 2015 and both the audience and myself loved what we heard. Even if you didn’t like their music, there is visual eye candy for days. Lead singer Jökull Júlíusson has that perfect strand of hair that falls in his face, amazing biceps and a voice that makes him sound like he’s been performing for decades. Just check out the video below if you don’t believe me. He also is an expert whistler, though you won’t hear it in the video below.
The video you are about to see is Kaleo’s soon to be hit, “I Walk On Water.” The song starts off really slow and mellow, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t get instant gratification. After a minute or two, the song picks up steam and you will see exactly why you need this band in your life.
I spoke with the band after the show (see below) and I told them about my trip to Iceland from a few years ago, and we discussed how beautiful their country is. If you have not been, I highly recommend it. They told me that they recently filmed a video inside a volcano (which will be out in the coming months) in Iceland, but for the time being, they have relocated to Austin, Texas. Look for their debut album to come out in late 2015 or early 2016. Thanks again for a great show Kaleo! Looking forward to hearing and seeing more great things to come!
Kaleo and Geoffrey Dicker (photo by a Kaleo crew member)
It has been 27 years since Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins has performed his classic songs, and as a huge fan of Thompson Twins, I am still in disbelief (and gratitude) that I can finally say that I’ve seen Tom Bailey perform! Headlining the Retro Futura Tour, which included sets from 1980s music titans Katrina and the Waves, China Crisis, Midge Ure and Howard Jones, Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins paid that long awaited visit to the New York stage at Best Buy Theater on August 21, 2014. Looking and sounding great, Tom played for about an hour and we were treated to the first live performances of nine classic Thompson Twins songs in almost three decades! It was worth the wait as Tom played “Lies,” “Hold Me Now,” “You Take Me Up,” “Doctor! Doctor” “”King For A Day” (in a new, slower arrangement), “Love on Your Side,” “Sister of Mercy,” “If You Were Here” and the hit that started it all, “In The Name Of Love,” which you are about to see a video of. The intro, if you will, was an instrumental snatch from another classic, “We Are Detective,” and the show certainly whet our appetites for more live appearances from Tom Bailey as there was not time to hear classic songs such as “The Gap,” “Nothing In Common,” “Don’t Mess With Doctor Dream,” “Get That Love,” “Watching,” “Lay Your Hands on Me,” or anything from the two under-rated 1990s Thompson Twins albums “Big Trash” and “Queer.” I met Tom and I asked if he was going to be coming back and he said he was uncertain, so please make sure you support this tour so we don’t have to wait another 27 years to see Tom Bailey perform!
And now…. “In The Name Of Love”…. YEAH!
Enjoy! I sure did!!!
Tom Bailey and Geoffrey Dicker
Great to meet you Tom! I really hope I get to see you again!
On May 10, 2014, British electronic music gods VNV Nation played their first of 2 sold out shows at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. It was my first time seeing VNV Nation and before I go any further, I must give VNV Nation’s lead singer Ronan Harris my utmost respect for ensuring that the crowd had maximum fun at the concert. By quickly requesting that the audience turn off their camera flashes during the first song (and he rightly pointed out that people will get better pictures anyway with flashes off), it will not distract the band and it will also ensure that people don’t spend the majority of the concert in an iPhone coma. Then he simply instructed the audience to let go, dance our asses off and have fun. I am not kidding you when I tell you that I saw 100% audience participation at the show and as you know, I’ve seen my share of concerts! If only Ronan’s words could be posted at every venue, the overall concert going experience would be improved by leaps and bounds.
And once the concert got going, it was a 2 hour non-stop dance party! VNV Nation have a new album out called “Transnational” and the video you are about to see, “Primary” is a track from their excellent new record. If “try before you buy” is your thing, you can grab a free EP of remixes called “Crossing the Divide” for a limited time at this link (which will open in a new window). The video below captures a tiny glimpse of why you should always go see VNV Nation when they come to your city – first off Ronan Harris really gets the crowd engaged. He moves all over the stage, gives the front row opportunities to sing into the mic and he has funny anecdotes throughout the show. There’s also the amazing light show and visuals that will take you to another realm, and last and certainly not least, all of their songs are anthemic and designed to make you have a great time at their show, whether you are a VNV Nation die-hard or a newbie like me. Thanks to Ronan and company for an awesome night!
And now put all these words you’ve just read to the test by watching “Primary.” You won’t be disappointed!
Just press play.
See the set list and a photo of my brief chat with Ronan after the jump.
On April 10, 2014, Sweden’s The Sounds made their return to the Manhattan stage at Webster Hall. The group’s music is part rock, part punk and part electronic and when you cook up those components coupled with lead singer Maja Ivarsson’s great rock and roll stage presence, that makes for one hell of a show. They are on tour to promote their 2013 album “Weekend.” But since this post was written on ‘Flashback Friday,’ let’s rewind and go back a few years for the video clip you are about to see. After diving into the audience for a crowd sing-a-long (see photo below), The Sounds performed their 2006 single “Tony The Beat” which you are about to watch.
On March 2, 2014, New Yorkers braved the threat of a massive snowstorm and skipped watching the Oscars to attend a sold out show from Bad Things at Mercury Lounge. The California based synth-rock band performed songs from their self titled debut which came out in January of 2014. Typically when you go to a show, the lead singer gets all the love and attention, but Bad Things has a quite famous bass player and all eyes were on him. Once the show got going, the crowd rocked out and one of the show highlights was the song “Caught Inside.” Find out who the famous bass player is after the jump (or just click “play”). Also, if you missed this show, Bad Things will be on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon later on in the week, so check your local listings!