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.
HD Video, photo and autographs obtained in person by G.
Thursday by Pet Shop Boys featuring Example
It’s Thursday! There’s no better way to celebrate this glorious day than by watching this glorious live video of Pet Shop Boys’ recent single “Thursday,” which they performed at Terminal 5 in New York on April 26, 2014. Released in 2013, the track is one of PSB’s best singles in years and unlike most of their contemporaries who continue to release extremely lackluster new music, Pet Shop Boys most recent album “Electric” is up there with their best work.
I think it’s a crime this song did not get more attention, but by sharing this video and seeking out the original, there is still time to make this track a hit. The song features an unlikely appearance by the rapper Example and as you are going to see/hear, this song is classic Pet Shop Boys.
I cannot wait for the Pet Shop Boys’ Electric Tour to come out on DVD (at press time no date is planned, I am just assuming one will surface eventually as the Boys are good about releasing their tours on DVD) so I can relive the memories of this awesome show over and over again. At New York’s Terminal 5 on April 26, 2014, Pet Shop Boys closed out the second leg of their US tour and when you watch the below video for “It’s A Sin,” you will see exactly why you should never miss a PSB concert.
Warning: if flashing strobe lights make you go crazy, you might want to sit this one out. If they don’t, click play and throw yourself a dance party.
As a die-hard Pet Shop Boys fan, it’s a sin (pun intended) to post a video of the song the world knows and loves the most from them – “West End Girls.” Over the next few days, I hope you will join me in checking out 4 Pet Shop Boys videos from their recent show at Terminal 5 in New York at the final show of their 2014 US Electric Tour. These videos will show you that if “West End Girls” is the only song you know from this duo, you are missing out on nearly 30 years of consistently great music. The first video is from their 2009 album “Yes,” and the track is “Love Etc.” The song is catchy as hell; the lyrics are cheeky and clever and the performance will definitely bring a smile to your face.
The Boys are huge in other parts of the world and in America, a country with famously bad taste in music, Pet Shop Boys have a cult following, but should be playing stadiums! Artistically, their stage show has only gotten better with each tour (and you will see in a moment how they take a song like “West End Girls” which they’ve likely performed at every full length concert they’ve performed since 1985 and breathed new life into it by adding a laser light spectacular that would make Pink Floyd fans proud!). Some of their living contemporaries – Prince and Madonna, for example, continue to make music, but it hasn’t been solid in years. Conversely, Pet Shop Boys’ 2013 album “Electric” is up their with their best work. It’s extremely impressive. They’ve also continued to make great (and tons of) B-sides and their side projects include remixes (for other artists such as The Killers, MGMT and Madonna which are better than the original versions), composing and staging a musical, a ballet and they have also performed live with a symphony orchestra while STILL making banging dance tracks!!!! There are few, if any, artists that have been around for 30 years that have this set of accomplishments and again, in the United States, most people think of Pet Shop Boys as a one-hit-wonder. It’s a tragedy! So it’s up to you to spread the word. I’ve done my part. It’s your turn!
Sometimes you CAN judge a book by its cover. If the book in question is Matthew Hemerlein aka Lo-Fang, the ‘cover’ will be a musician that is so gorgeous that even if you end up hating his music (which I did not by the way, in fact, quite the opposite), you will have better visual candy than you would see from going to many art galleries. Needless to say, Lo-Fang’s show at Bowery Ballroom on April 27, 2014 was great! Before the night was over, Matthew played violin, cello, bass and guitar and I read on line that he also plays piano! His music is moody and mellow (think Bon Iver meets Gotye) and he is not afraid to rework a beloved classic song or two and make them his own. His take on Ginuwine’s “Pony” was really unexpected and great as was the song you are about to see – “You’re The One That I Want” from the movie Grease. He turned the Olivia Newton-John/John Travolta duet into a gorgeous ballad that is sure to go viral. Pop sensation Lorde enlisted Lo-Fang to open on her recent tour of the US and he performed on Good Morning America today. The future is bright for Lo-Fang and I am looking forward to hearing more great things! Thanks for a great show Matthew!
And now, here’s “You’re The One That I Want.” Please share this with your friends and help make Lo-Fang a star!