Archives for November 2017

Cut Copy at 9:30 Club

Coming from an ill-informed music enthusiast and “blind” ear, Cut Copy put on a concert experience that truly amazed.


By: Jackie Reed

Australian electropop band Cut Copy stopped by 9:30 Club on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Their show was beautifully constructed; it featured a mixed bag of old and new synth tracks, an elaborate light setup, and a fan base that has clearly developed over the years.

Coming from an ill-informed music enthusiast and “blind” ear, Cut Copy put on a concert experience that truly amazed – their set was hyped up with methodical transitions, well-cued lighting, and offbeat symbolism that celebrated their most recent album, Haiku From Zero (2017).

Though their performance mainly highlighted tracks from Haiku From Zero (2017), nostalgia still beamed with classics like “Pharaohs & Pyramids” from Zonoscope (2011) and “Future” from Bright Like Neon Love (2004). Some songs were more recognizable than others, but transitions kept things interesting throughout. At points, it was even difficult to discern when a song ended and when another one began – it was like one, elongated story that Cut Copy successfully told.

Photo By (Jackie Reed/WGMU).

Photo By (Jackie Reed/WGMU).

In addition to the energetic setlist, visual elements kept gazing eyes peeled to the stage. Seeing “Free Your Mind”, the second song off of Free Your Mind (2013), was a trip to watch. It was epic beyond capacity. Strobe lights circulated the crowd and the verse “free your mind” morphed across the backdrop, dancing with intentional dysfunction. This is a prime example of how their visuals went down in correspondence with the night – contrasting black-and-white blocks, chromatic patterns, and geometric visuals palpitated the human psyche.

Overall, Cut Copy’s musical compass is a distortion of imbalanced sounds and earthly undertones. With unwavering swagger and an animated charisma, their upbeat nature and off-key style set them apart from other EDM shows.

Feature Photo By (9:30 Club/Official Website).

 

Bleachers at 9:30 Club

Photo By (Jackie Reed/WGMU).

Photo By (Jackie Reed/WGMU).

With lights dim low, the underlying bass purring, and the red moon cascading on the blank stage curtains, the atmosphere was a mixture of angst and excitement.


By: Jackie Reed

On Saturday, Nov. 18, Bleachers led a sold-out show at 9:30 Club – one of the last stops of the raved Gone Now tour. Bleachers, fronted by New-Jersey based singer-songwriter Jack Antonoff, did little to disappoint. His cheerful tracklist and awkwardly infectious song breaks made for an honest and appealing concert.

The Fun. guitarist and Steel Train vocalist opened with “Dream of Mickey Mantle”, the introductory song to his most recent album, Gone Now (2017). With lights dim low, the underlying bass purring, and the red moon cascading on the blank stage curtains, the atmosphere was a mixture of angst and excitement. When the reverbed drumbeat hit, it matched the queue of the lights – and there he was. In an instant, Jack Antonoff was front and center, flaunting his bejeweled military-esque outfit – timely and the right way to set the mood.

It was completely surreal. Jack Antonoff, the songwriter behind singles of Taylor Swift’s Reputation (2017) and 1989 (2014), along with Lorde’s Melodrama (2017), made a huge impression on the audience. Acknowledging his discography and being in the presence of a mastermind was an experience within itself. His lyricism and musical arrangements were known anecdotes that made the concert unlike any other.

Of course, Antonoff used passed hits to get everyone feeling universally nostalgic. He played a cover of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “American Girl“, followed with a slower rendition of Fun.’s “Carry On“.

At one point, he spoke harshly yet comically about Chris Christie’s beach antics – alluding to Christie’s actions as risqué and a rather low representation of New Jersey’s populous.

With a mix of Bleachers’ songs both old and new – it continued to keep the energy lingering. Though there was no encore, the send-off was memorable – Bleachers ended the show with “I Wanna Get Better” and “Don’t Take The Money”.

Also, let’s mention that Antonoff took time to introduce the other bandmates – the two drum soloists, the bassist, and saxophonist. Their solos were insane! With Antonoff on the guitar, him and the saxophonist had a battle in a sense, where he would follow Antonoff’s lead. The fact that he could match those guitar chords, and go an extra step, left fangoers amazed.

Overall, the concert was a grand hit. Jack Antonoff took matters into his own hands and created a show that was built around the root of the cause, the music itself.

Read an album review on Bleachers’ Gone Now (2017) here.

The Megaphone Podcast: Igor Stojanov

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Photo By (David Carroll/Office of Student Media).

On this week’s episode of The Megaphone Podcast, WGMU’s Jackie Reed interviews Igor Stojanov, host of The Megaphone Podcast and visiting journalist from Macedonia, reflecting on his experience as a media fellow with the Office of Student Media. Listen here:

Hippo Campus at 9:30 Club

Known for their quick wit indie-pop and youthful sound, Hippo Campus delivered a high energy and electric performance at the 9:30 Club.


By: Nick Wodzinski

Minnesota based indie-rock quartet, Hippo Campus, made their way through D.C. on Nov. 13 during their 2017 fall tour. Known for their quick wit indie-pop and youthful sound, Hippo Campus delivered a high energy and electric performance at the 9:30 Club.

The sonics were not far from the studio version and their on stage performance was fun and thrilling. The setlist was diverse, containing tracks from their latest full-length album Landmark (2017), along with highlights from their other EPs, especially their debut, Bashful Creatures (2015). From the opening song “Way It Goes” to their encore performance of 2015’s “Violet”, Hippo Campus had the club dancing, head-banging, and screaming their lyrics. Their boyish charm combined with their indie appeal and rockin’ energy to create a highly enjoyable experience.

Remo Drive. Photo By (Connor Siedow/The Show Last Night).

Remo Drive. Photo By (Connor Siedow/The Show Last Night).

Prior to their set, another Minnesota based group, Remo Drive, took the stage. Fresh off of their debut release, Greatest Hits (2017), Remo Drive delivered some the best emo/punk-pop I’ve heard in a while. Combining elements of indie-rock with straightforward punk, this trio came through with a half an hour of solid tunes.

Although they probably won’t be back to D.C. until 2018, I would highly recommend checking out this group live if you get a chance. For now, you can enjoy Hippo Campus’ latest work, Landmark (2017), along with Remo Drive’s debut, Greatest Hits (2017), on all streaming platforms.

Feature Photo By (theconcurrent.org/Official Website).

 

Mom Jeans. at Songbyrd Record Café and Music House

Photo By (Mom Jeans./Bandcamp).

Photo By (Mom Jeans./Bandcamp).

The night was jam-packed with some of the hottest emo bands in the scene right now.


By: Christian Hernandez

The indie/emo band that promotes themselves as “meme rockers” came to Washington DC on Nov. 2 to play a very stacked set at Songbyrd Record Café and Music House. The trio consists of Eric Butler on guitar/vocals; Austin Carango on drums; and Gabriel Paganin on bass. They are sometimes accompanied by their fourth unofficial member, Bart Starr, whom is also the sole mastermind behind the band Graduating Life. After releasing their first studio album, Best Buds (2016), in the summer of 2016, they quickly gained a massive following within the emo community. The band’s bandcamp page was shared amongst the community gaining the attention of many people across the country. One of them being a record label based out of Los Angeles named SideOneDummy Records. They signed the band on Oct. 4, 2017 – fifteen days before they would embark on their biggest U.S. tours yet.

The night was jam-packed with some of the hottest emo bands in the scene right now. Philadelphia bedroom pop artist, kississippi, started the night with a lovely set. She stood alone in front of a crowd of nearly 300 people and sang acoustic songs of hope, a nice start to the night. Graduating Life continued the night with another fun yet chill set where they played songs such as “Shred Cruz” and “Cold Raviolis”. Things then got kicked into fifth-gear once the next band, Prince Daddy & the Hyena took stage. They opened their set with the song “Clever Girl”, and all I remember is the crowd going into a full panic as the mosh pit began to open-up. It was during the song “I Thought You Didn’t Even Like Leaving”, when someone jumped on me whilst stagediving, breaking my glasses and leaving me blind for the rest of the night! It was one of the sickest pits I had ever been in and we still had two killer bands left!

Just Friends, an emo ska band from Dublin, California, went on next and, man-oh-man, they really blew me away. Lead singer and hype man, Sam Kless is one of the greatest live performers I have ever seen. The energy he and the other 7 people in his band had was purely insane live. At the end of the song “Welcome Mats”, the front of the pit, myself included, rushed the stage to sing the last verse alongside the band as we all wrapped our hands around one another – a moment I will remember for a very long time.

Finally, Mom Jeans. ended the night off by playing nearly every song in their discography. They opened with “Death Cup”, which had everyone in the crowd jumping and ready for the set of the night. At one point during the song “Edward 40hands,” I was pushed onto the stage and just stayed there for the remainder of the song singing alongside Bart, really milking the moment. They capped the night off with a song off their very first EP entitled “Birks In Stock”, a song that they announced on their Twitter that they would never play live. It was a nice gesture for the crowd, seeing that this was their first time ever playing in Washington. Overall, this was the best concert I have ever been to – a very memorable night.

Fall Out Boy at EagleBank Arena

FOB

Photo By (Laurel Griffin/WGMU).

Having listened to them for years, seeing them live legitimized my unfathomable adoration for their music.


By: Laurel Griffin

On Thursday Nov. 2, Fall Out Boy proved their place in the music world with their Mania tour. At Eaglebank Arena, Fall Out Boy stopped by to promote their upcoming album, Mania (2018), which is set to release in January.

The concert was beyond exciting; they rocked the house as fans screamed the whole way through. Jaden Smith, celebrity child and musical prodigy, opened up the concert, which came to be much of a surprise. He opened to get more buzz on his upcoming album, SYRE: A Beautiful Confusion (2017), which is expected to come out Nov. 17. His performance was unique and something that I had never witnessed before. His music videos projected behind him during the performance, and the deejay cueing the music was rather hidden in the corner. Jaden Smith’s performance was interesting – not the best, but did a nice transition outside of his acting work.

Matthew Tyler Musto, namely blackbear, was the second opener for Fall Out Boy, and wow! The L.A. based hip-hop artist did a phenomenal job, and left the crowd in awe and closed off the set his hit single “do re mi“, featuring Gucci Mane.

Then, Fall Out Boy took the stage. They opened with their hit song  “The Pheonix“, the opening track off Save Rock And Roll (2013) – an introduction that caused true mania. It was absolute fire… no really, actual fire! There literally was fire spewing from the stage, which came to be a timely element that connected with the high energy generated between fans and the band.

Following several songs from Save Rock And Roll (2013), they switched up the setlist a bit with new songs, presumably off of Mania (2018). The encore was wild – they riled up the crowd with hits like “Uma Thurman” and “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up)“.

The concert was beyond my belief – it was an unforgettable night. Having listened to them for years, seeing them live legitimized my unfathomable adoration for their music. Overall, Fall Out Boy’s Mania concert left me satisfied and hungry for more music, not just from the band themselves, but blackbear and Jaden Smith too.

Death From Above at The Filmore

Photo By (Death From Above/Official Website).

Photo By (Death From Above/Official Website).

The band has perfected their craft after years of touring, and they gave one of the most exciting and energetic shows that I’ve ever experienced.


By: George Minning

On Oct. 28, The Filmore Silver Spring welcomed the eclectic rock-duo Death From Above! The Canadian group consists of only a drummer/vocalist and a bassists/keyboardist, but the band delivers so much energy and power through their music, that it feels like nothing is missing. The group is on tour supporting their most recent album, Outrage! Is Now (2017), and as such opened with the first track on the album “Nomad” – a hard-hitting track perfectly queued to start the excitement.

Next up, they followed with some tracks from their older albums, like The Physical World (2014). They continued bouncing about through their discography, leaving very little out and hitting every song I was dying to hear. The wild intense energy they started with kept growing as the set went on, and the crowd’s energy grew right along with it.

Death From Above clearly had a no-frills approach to the set, with only simple but effective lighting to go along with the music. There were no crazy effects, extras, or distractions. And while at first this may seem boring, my excitement never dipped; it allowed you to give your focus purely on the music and truly appreciate the talent and showmanship these guys both have.

When the set came to it’s apparent end, the crowd stuck around and chanted for an encore. Like the rest of the show, the band delivered. They came back out for two more songs, one called “Right On, Frankenstein!”, for Halloween. The other was “Blood On Our Hands”, my favorite track from them. This single was dipped out of the live setlist for years, but they brought it back once for this show.

Looking back at old videos of the band live, you can’t help but see amazing improvement over the years. The band has perfected their craft after years of touring, and they gave one of the most exciting and energetic shows that I’ve ever experienced. Next time they are around, I will definitely be seeing them again.

To stream WGMU’s phone interview with Death From Above’s Jesse Keeler, click here.

 

The Megaphone Podcast: Manfred Veizaga

20171019_151553-1On this week’s episode of the Megaphone Podcast, Igor interviews Manfred Veizaga, of MCN and the Society of Professional Journalists, about what it’s like to be a student journalist, as well as how to balance journalism with student life. Listen here:

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