Hippo Campus at 9:30 Club

By: Nick Wodzinski

Minnesota based indie-rock quartet, Hippo Campus, made their way through D.C. on November 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 Music and Record Cafe

Photo By (Mom Jeans./Bandcamp).

Photo By (Mom Jeans./Bandcamp).

By: Christian Hernandez

The indie/emo band that promotes themselves as “meme rockers” came to Washington D.C. on November 2 to play a very stacked set at Songbyrd Music and Record Café. 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 October 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.

F A L L O U T B O Y: Mania Tour ft. Blackbear and Jaden Smith

FOB

Photo By (Laurel Griffin/WGMU).

By: Laurel Griffin

On Thursday, November 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 November 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).

By: George Minning

On October 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.

 

Oh Wonder at 9:30 Club

OW OW1

By: Laurel Griffin

What a wonder Oh Wonder was at the 9:30 Club in D.C. on Monday, October 2. Who is Oh Wonder? The band originated in London, England, back in 2014 and consists of two band members – Josephin Vader Gucht and Anthony West. The band bases their genres around Indie Pop and Electropop. They became internationally known through their DIY debut album and have been having several singles hitting top charts here in America and in a few other countries.

At the concert they had a fantastic set up going on – they had different color lights hitting/strobing the crowd to the different songs they played. They played a mixture of songs from their previous album and their new one. Two songs that stood in general that were very good was their singles “Drive” and “Lifetimes“. Watching the concert and being a fan of the band itself they rocked the house. The crowd was very pleased by their performance as was I and personally think they are better in concert than on Spotify or Apple Music. After reviewing the concert and their performance, I highly recommend going to see them the next time they come to a town near you. Their energy and excitement is thrilling, which truly shows their love for music and makes for a good time.

Solid 5, hands down. Will definitely be attending another one of their concerts.

Lit&Local With Death From Above

 

 

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Death From Above’s Jesse F. Keeler joined WGMU’s George Minning for an upbeat conversation revolving around their newest album, Outrage! Is Now (2017) and recent fall tour.

 

 

 

Full interview:

 

Death From Above with The Beaches will be stopping by The Filmore Silver Spring on Saturday, October 28th.

Follow Death From Above on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, and their official website.

 

Crystal Fighters @ Black Cat 04/14

crystal fighers

Sasha Toophanie, Music Director

On April 7th, 2017, Washington D.C.’s Black Cat was humming with anticipation for Crystal Fighters! The electronic/folk band hails from London and their third studio album, “Everything is My Family” released October 21st, 2016. Crystal Fighters have gained a loyal following since their first album release in 2010, and much of their DMV fan base supported the UK band.

Machineheart opened the show with a phenomenal set, including tracks like, “Stonecold”, “Best Thing”, and “Speak”. Electric energy poured from the artists into the crowed and the pit could not get enough of Machineheart! They used the smaller stage to make the set more intimate between themselves and the audience. Despite one minor technical difficulty, Machineheart created an incredible atmosphere for Crystal Fighters.

After intermission, six men and women dressed in Native American garb began chanting as they took the stage. Sebastian, the lead male vocalist, waved a bundle of leaves at the crowd and began their set with, “Follow”. The interesting approach to their set stirred an outburst of adrenaline among the audience, and a surge towards the stage encouraged Crystal Fighters of their support. That opener was followed by 15 additional songs like, “LA Calling”, “I Love London” and “Everything is My Family”, and an encore. The unmistakable energy the audience produced for Crystal Fighters will be one for the books!

Lit&Local: Electric Heart

Electric Heart

Based in Sterling, VA, Electric Heart pulls at the strings of music lovers everywhere. The duo consists of Padi Goudarzi and Sean Ghosh, two childhood friends who mix soul, folk, alternative, and indie into their own distinct genre. They reach out to the D.C. and Virginia area by playing at open mic nights and local gigs. Almost a capella, Ghosh adds to the soulful vocals by switching it up with some raspy guitar, wispy and acoustic at its finest. Much of their music is rooted in optimism, very much alike the works of local artists Cinema Hearts and Nemes. Sometimes a guitar and a voice or two is all you need, and they show listeners the endless possibilities of music, simplified and amplified. Electric Heart duets with passionate melodies, wagging instrumentals, and a la-dee-da energy that goes beyond the typical Kumbaya vibes.

Interview with DJ Jackie Reed

Surrender – unreleased track

“Wanderer” – from their Be Alive EP (2017)

 

For a full setlist of their Be Alive EP (2017), check it out on Spotify, iTunes, and Bandcamp.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0REQkGerEKHhaDQl30ObBo

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/electric-heart/id1122232737

Bandcamp: https://electricheart.bandcamp.com/releases

Check out Electric Heart’s Facebook for news and updates.

Electric Heart will also be playing at Epicure Café, Friday, April 28. Free copies of their Be Alive EP (2017) and merch will be handed out. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/235404703595716/.

Warped Tour 2017

Rachel Handschuh

WGMU Blogger

warped tourWarped Tour 2017 is about to be upon us, and the internet is raging about it. Warped tour is the longest running touring music festival in North America, beginning in 1995. It is also the largest touring festival in the United States, with this year having forty-one stops, not including the Rewind at Sea event. For this year’s tour, huge companies including Journeys, Monster Energy, and Music Save Lives are sponsors. Major bands such as Neck Deep, Counterparts, and Bowling for Soup are in the recently announced lineup as well as eighty-seven other bands playing. The lineup was announced via webcast on March 22nd, 2017, and ever since then, ticket prices are going up as well as the tickets being sold out themselves. Ticket prices range greatly depending on the venue, which is a concern if you live in an expensive ticket state such as California and you want to see your favorite bands. This shows that fans of the festival largely approve of this year’s lineup, which is a change from last year’s slightly negative reviews. If you want to check out the full lineup, tour dates, and links to the venues with ticket pricing, go to the Warped Tour website: http://vanswarpedtour.com/

Grande?! No Way!!

Kyle Kuhn

WGMU Blogger

Ariana Grande performs onstage during her "Dangerous Woman" tour at Madison Square Garden on February 23, 2017 in New York City.

Twenty-three years old, $10 million net worth, and a fan amount equivalent to Beyoncé’s, is what we all wish for, right? Well, in 2009, this wish soon became a reality for hit pop star, Ariana Grande. Ariana, now debuting her “Dangerous Woman” tour, has gone from Broadway shows to concerts holding over 20,000 people. From Madison Square Garden to our very own Verizon Center, Grande has always left an unforgettable mark after her concerts. Not only has Grande performed at the Verizon Center previously, but will be returning this year.

On February 27 at 7 p.m., Ariana Grande will bring her “Dangerous Woman” tour to our nation’s capital to make her mark and leave her story. Not only will this newly performed tour include hit songs like “Dangerous Woman.” “Side to Side,” and “Into You” but will feature special guests and much, much more. Following her early 2016 album, “Dangerous Woman,” Ariana has themed this tour exactly like the album in hopes the crowd will “play along.” She plans to include every song on the album and perform many more hits as well. Ariana says that she likes to incorporate all her new stuff into her set list but also like to play songs that she knows the crowd will remember and like to hear. Not only will she be playing songs from her past couple of albums, but rumor has it that Grande will be debuting songs from her not yet released 2017 album. After posting a video on Twitter back in late November 2016 stating she had a new release coming soon, fans and critics are saying to expect something big this year from the hot star.

Now it may seem that this is just an ordinary tour for any other ordinary professional performer, but this tour has something a little different to it. Ariana Grande and her mother, took on the concert work themselves. After losing her manager in February 2016, Ariana knew she would be out of luck in terms of management for her tour that had already released dates. Grande then decided that she would take on the task herself and make it her own. With the help of her mother, the two could not only produce a concert series, but manage the staff, band and themselves in the process.

Ariana Grande has not only made a wish come true, but has managed to keep herself together, produce tours, and perform like it is a new concert every night. Her “Dangerous Woman” tour kicks off February 14 in Tennessee and then will soon make its way to the District where she will headline and have the famous “Little Mix” as her opener. For more information on this tour and tickets you can go to www.arianagrande.com/tour!

If you are an Ariana fan, WGMU recommends you become a “Dangerous Woman” and move “Side to Side” at a concert you will never forget!