On March 23, 2015, Sweden’s Erik Hassle played a sold-out show at Pianos in New York. The show was announced at the last minute, making it even more impressive that fans packed the house for the criminally underrated pop/soul singer. Erik Hassle is currently supporting New Zealand’s Broods (see video I shot at one of their first ever US shows here) and decided to book a solo gig where he showcased several new songs in front of an adoring crowd, which also included his parents and many of his friends from Sweden. Erik Hassle has a hell of a voice, very soulful and his dance moves on stage will make you fall in love with him.
I would normally be posting a video I took at the show, but sadly the Youtube police are after me at the moment for copyright infringement – despite the fact that I don’t make a penny from my Youtube account AND I post concert videos with the intention of turning my readers onto music they probably would not be exposed to without my site. Thanks for sticking up for me (and all the others that are in a similar position) bands, managers, etc – NOT! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?!
Erik Hassle – Pianos
So in the absence of a live version of “Innocence Lost,” which I would have loved to have posted, you should definitely check out that song. It’s amazing! If you want to see the video, you can come over to my place. Ha! As an alternate plan, for my international readers, you can see a little clip of “Fuck The Pain Away” on my Instagram account. In addition, you can hear samples of many Erik Hassle tracks on his official website (link will open in a new window). Before his final song of the night “No Words,” Erik mentioned that the song will be available as a single in the next few weeks, so be on the look out for that song. It was great! Follow him on his Soundcloud page for updates.
Erik Hassle is supporting Broods on the following dates, so make sure you don’t miss his set (because it will likely be as good if not better than the main act).
03/25 – Irving Plaza – New York, NY
03/26 – Trocadero Theater – Philadelphia, PA
03/27 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
03/28 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
03/29 – Masquerade (Hell Stage) – Atlanta, GA
03/31 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX
04/01 – Trees – Dallas, TX
04/02 – Emo’s – Austin, TX
Erik Hassle Pianos Setlist
Thanks for a great show Erik. Can’t wait to see you again!
Great news music fans! Penguin Prison is back! After touring the world as a DJ and producing remixes for the likes of Lana Del Rey and Imagine Dragons (just to name a few), Chris Glover and his band Penguin Prison have announced their second album “Lost In New York,” which drops on May 5, 2015. Penguin Prison debuted a handful of new tracks at a sold out show, their first full band show in 2 years, at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on March 12, 2015. If you liked the funky and extremely catchy dance/ pop songs on their debut, you will not be disappointed with the material on “Lost in New York.” Pre-order the new album at this link (which will open in a new window).
You can stream the new track “Try To Lose” below.
After the show, Chris revealed that Penguin Prison will be playing Music Hall of Williamsburg some time during the release week for “Lost In New York,” so be sure you don’t miss it. Welcome back Penguin Prison! We’ve missed you!!!
Penguin Prison – Rough Trade Setlist
The setlist was:
Calling Out (new song) / Golden Train / The Worse It Gets / Try To Lose (new song) / Multi-Millionaire / Caught In A Daze (new song) / Never Gets Old (new song) / Don’t Tell Me (new song) / Show Me The Way (new song) / Don’t Fuck With My Money.
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!
I am so proud of Sam Smith! In August of 2013, he was playing to 250 people at Mercury Lounge and less than one year later, he headlined the legendary Apollo Theater! The very sold out show took place in Harlem on June 17, 2014. The blue-eyed soul singer is 21 years old and in this important year of his life, he’s traveled around the world and back, had a few club hits by lending his voice to songs by dance duo Disclosure, was outed by the media after he matter-of-factly mentioned that the songs on his album were about a guy that didn’t love him back (how come the media doesn’t make straight people do this?), and of course on June 17, 2014 his debut album “In The Lonely Hour,” was released officially in the USA and will be battling with Lana Del Rey for the #1 spot this week.
During the show, Sam Smith thanked the crowd multiple times and mentioned how mind blowing it was to share the same stage that so many of his heroes (including Luther Vandross and Michael Jackson) have performed on. He told the stories of the songs before they were played with his tight band (that featured 3 backing singers and a string section), and he played nearly every track from “In The Lonely Hour” whilst also throwing in “La La La,” a stripped down version of “Latch,” “Nirvana” from the EP with the same name (and below, you can see a video of it) and for the final song of the night “Stay With Me,” Sam Smith brought out Mary J. Blige to perform the song as a duet, which of course was the perfect cherry on top to a fantastic evening. Apparently the show was being recorded, so let’s hope for a DVD or live album because the show was EXCELLENT!
Mary J Blige and Sam Smith
I wish Sam Smith tremendous success and I have no doubt that he will be a name you won’t be forgetting. And now… let Sam Smith take you to Nirvana!
The setlist was:
Intro / Nirvana / Together / Leave Your Lover / I’m Not the Only One / I Told You Now / Like I Can / Restart / Good Thing – Berlin / La La La / Lay Me Down / Money On My Mind
Latch / Make it To Me / Stay With Me (with Mary J. Blige).
Gaga ooh la la! On May 13, 2014 Lady Gaga made her return to New York’s Madison Square Garden with a sold out “ArtRAVE” as part of her ArtPop Ball Tour. For nearly 2 hours (and for those wondering, she went on around 9:45 pm – doors were at 8), Lady Gaga and her dancers hosted the biggest party Manhattan had to offer for the night.
Lady Gaga featuring Jeff Koons’ Gazing Ball
The stage had ‘legs’ where Gaga and her dancers were able to run around the whole of the floor of Madison Square Garden and they didn’t stop moving for the duration of the show, save for when Gaga sat down at the piano. The bad part about the stage set up was that there were large portions of the show where depending on your seat, you only got to see the backs of everyone. My only complaint was that I really didn’t get to see a lot of the visuals that were shown on the screens behind the dancers. As you can see below, this was my view of Gaga for a large portion of the show.
My view for the majority of the Gaga show.
The best part of the show for me was Gaga’s love for her fans. She is truly grateful for the position she is in and she expressed her gratitude to the audience throughout the show. And unlike other superstars who say those things and then when you catch them with the cameras off, their actions are quite the opposite, Gaga puts her money where her mouth is, so to speak, and treats her fans with respect and love. At one point in the show, fans threw gifts and letters to her on stage and she read a few letters to the crowd. She invited those people to come party with her backstage after the show! What other superstar does that? Crickets chirping…
Before a piano rendition of “Born This Way” (not unlike this version that I saw earlier in the year), she mentioned that many of her friends and early supporters were at the show and she tearfully thanked them all for believing in her. She inspired the audience to keep being her inspiration and she told the crowd so many times to be who you truly are without apologies. Clearly, you can’t and shouldn’t compare Gaga’s show to Miley Cyrus’ concert, but for someone with such young fans who don’t know tons about the world, the message Gaga puts out is inspiring and empowering and Miley’s message is basically “please degrade yourself for attention.”
Gaga had a ton of costume changes, including an octopus-like outfit which you can see above, but to be completely honest, after seeing Gaga a bunch of times in concert, I don’t think this was the best Gaga show I’ve been to. Perhaps she’s done so many outrageous things that she is having a hard time topping herself and perhaps because her newer material is not that strong, that made for some lulls in the show.
Lady Gaga balancing chairs on her head.
There were many highs though. She performed all (or bits of) most of her great songs including “Poker Face,” “Just Dance,” “Telephone,” “Alejandro” (of which a video will be coming soon, so stay tuned!), “Paparazzi,” “Bad Romance” and a large portion of “ArtPop” was performed including the title track, “Aura,” “Mary Jane Holland,” “MANiCURE,” “Swine,” “Sexx Dreams,” “Applause” “Do What You Want,” and rapper T.I. came out for a guest appearance on “Jewels N’ Drugs.”
Did you go to the ArtRAVE? What did you think? Tell us about your experience in the comments section.
Lady Gaga – The Merch
The setlist was:
Artpop / G.U.Y. / Donatella / Fashion! / Venus / MANiCURE / Cake Like Lady Gaga / Just Dance / Poker Face / Telephone / Partynauseous / Paparazzi / Do What U Want / Born This Way (Piano Version) / Jewels N’ Drugs (with T.I.) / Aura / Sexx Dreams / Mary Jane Holland / Alejandro / Ratchet / Bad Romance / Applause / Swine