CHVRCHES >> Tether in Tempe [Marquee Theatre]

CHVRCHES >> rolled through another desert the other night, this time headlining a post-Coachella show at Marquee Theatre. It was their first ever appearance in Tempe and they certainly set it off proper in their sold-out inauguration.

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CHVRCHES >> Marquee Theatre

Just after 9pm Ms. Lauren and her bandmates got on stage and opened with ‘We Sink’. The sea of peeps waiting around for 30 minutes prior all antsy got into the groove a bit at the start then erupted at the first ‘SAY! SAY! SAY!’ belted by the Scottish trio.

A few songs later was ‘Lungs’ which I think is one of their rookie album’s best songs. I named The Bones Of What You Believe one of the best releases of 2013 because of hot shit like this. The section after the hook is even more incredible live. It’s so much more crunchy with bass yet still on that 64-bit tip even the cripples have to get down on it.

[related: zLISTED >> Best Albums of 2013]

‘Tether’ blew my shit away too. I’m such a sucker for when leading ladies slow it down for a sec for down-tempo display of their vocal prowess. Maja from The Sounds singing ‘Night After Night’ or Emily from Metric singing ‘Gimme Sympathy’ [both also at Marquee Theatre btw] smitten me to the max but the illness about ‘Tether’ was the super electric jam that ensued after everyone sang the breakdown with her.

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After the ‘Night Sky’ dropped, the band took a moment to greet us. Lauren mentioned although it was her first time in the valley, she’s known all about it since she was 14 years old because of Jimmy Eat World. I wasn’t expecting to hear a JEW shout-out from a young band with roots 10,000 miles away. Bonus alert. Later on in the show before the last song she said she wished they prepared a cover of ‘The Middle’ for us. Maybe next time and hopefully that’s not too far away.

[related: zLISTED >> Top Artists From AZ]

During ‘Recover’ it sounded like some really crisp drum machines going off after the bridge but to my surprise it was the heavy handclaps of the crowd, abundantly and eerily in unison with the synths, like when you have star power in Guitar Hero and you’re melting animated faces off and you haven’t left your house in 3 days because you haven’t gotten 100% on ‘Free Bird’ and you haven’t showered and your mom keeps calling worried if you’re still alive and you’re malnourished so you’ve ordered your second pizza of the day – oh wait, not exactly like that, mainly the hand claps seemingly rehearsed with Marquee attendees.

CHVRCHES appear to be on the festival circuit this season so no doubt I’m going to check them out at either Outside Lands or ACL or Bonnaroo or Lolla or fuck my life I need to get my hands on some wristbands. See you there?

Setlist:

We Sink
Lies
Lungs
Gun
Night Sky
Science/Visions
Recover
Tether
Under The Tide
The Mother We Share

You Caught The Light
By The Throat

>> marc
marc

 

 

zB

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Coachella Addiction >> How Festival Junkies Are Born

Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 >> It happened. It finally happened. I made it to the Coachella music festival for the first time after years of feeble attempts!

Coachella 2014 >> Weekend 1

I expected the crowds, the heat, the festival ‘attire’, but what I didn’t expect was that I was about to go from a music-lover to a festival junkie overnight. I’m now committed to attend as many festivals as my bank account and vacation days will allow.

Why, you ask? For starters, the opportunity to see as many bands as you can in a single venue is an experience like no other. Coachella has 6 stages with overlapping set times, which begs questions like: ‘Do I catch Lorde, Foster the People or Fatboy Slim and then Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age or Empire of the Sun?’

Decision: 10 minutes of Lorde from the back row [‘cuz I hear her set is gothic and boring], sacrifice Fatboy [#sadface], run up front for all of Foster [since I missed them 2 years ago andit’snotgoingtohappenagain], mad dash to Pixies to catch the entirety of ‘Where Is My Mind?’ and take the long way to Empire so I can hear half a song from QOTSA on the way.

BOOM! Adrenaline rush! Planning like a champ. BUT… Empire’s set is so unbelievably entertaining I had to miss the beginning of Pharrell and catch the star-studded performance from a distance while drinking and dancing in the beer garden, where I finally found my friends and put on some psychedelic glasses they handed me which they later admitted they found god knows where [not like there’s anything sanitary after five minutes at the festival anyway!].

Somehow, there is an oddly inviting bonding experience you share with thousands of random people over mutually sweaty, dust-encrusted, dehydrated bodies because you’re all in it together for this blessed celebration of music. But I digress.

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What I truly loved about the festival is when I was smiling and wandering around by myself, feeling safe and tranquil on a warm sunny day in my bikini top and short shorts, enjoying the gusty wind and a cold bottle of water, watching some of my favorite bands perform songs I have been waiting years to hear live.

I loved having a circled-off dance party with my group of 10+, yelling ‘YEAAAAH!’ the second Outkast started playing another hit single [and communally wondering why they played all the duds in the middle].

I loved meeting up with my friends in the beer garden talking about nothing in particular while listening to Carnage playing it up in the not-too-distant Sahara tent.

I loved being introduced to a young man whom I’d later make out with under the stars while Lana Del Rey serenaded us to her new track ‘West Coast’.

I loved getting my makeup touched up after the peak heat at the Sephora tent and feeling glamorous [or at least less nasty] the rest of the evening.

I loved getting only a few seconds of video for Aloe Blacc because my co-worker friend danced too much in front of the camera.

I loved making swaying peace signs while lying on the grass rocking out to Haim.

I loved seeing my friend’s face light up when she finally got to see Bombay Bicycle Club up close.

I loved my own face lighting up after working my way to the front of the stage to watch Muse perform, after trying for over a DECADE to convince someone to see a show of theirs with me.

And I loved standing there among thousands of people singing a cappella with Arcade Fire when their set went past midnight and the microphone got shut off, holding on to that moment as long as I could knowing it would never happen again.

That, my new friends, is why I have turned into a festival junkie. It’s all about the moments that make it matter.

Next stop: Outside Lands 2014.

Stay tuned..

>> Danielle
Danielle

 

 

zB

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Chromeo >> Fancy Footwork in Tempe [Marquee Theatre]

Chromeo >> two-stepped through Tempe again this weekend to show off their ‘Fancy Footwork’ at Marquee Theatre. The Canadian duo and special guest Tokimonsta set off Saturday night live masterfully and incredibly electric from the get go.

Chromeo >> Marquee Theatre

I had been wanting to see Tokimonsta put it down for some years now and it was a great surprise to see that she was on the bill for an already highly anticipated show. The now-blonde electro vixen from LA transformed the standing room into a dancing room for 2 hours with an eclectic set featuring an array of illness that even ventured into a trippy hip-hop trap groove from time to time.

Her impressive mixology accompanied by lots of animated movement behind the decks were a treat and an honor to share the momentum with. There’s nothing more awesome or sexy than such hotness cutting like that.

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Chromeo hit the stage just after 10pm with a strobe-lit entrance backed by heavy bass kicks and the familiar rally chant produced by their crowd. CHRO-ME-O….OH OH. After getting the attention of all the fellow Chromantics in attendance, they got down to Business Casual-ly opening up with ‘Night By Night’.

Everything about the show was brilliant as the Dave1 and P-Thugg even outdid their own performance at this same venue back in 2011 on their cleverly aforementioned last album’s tour, which was the duo’s only other time performing in the AZ desert. This headlining show was just a night after playing on Day 1 of Coachella Weekend 2 yet still had an unyielding amount of energy harnessed just for us.

Nearly all the best Chromeo favorites made it into the set list and/or encore. ‘Bonafide Lovin’ and ‘Fancy Footwork’ seemingly got the most audience activity until they closed with ‘Needy Girl’. With their new album White Women due to drop next month, I’m guessing the 2 or 3 unfamiliar tracks were from said LP including ‘Come Alive’ which features Toro Y Moi.

[related: Video >> Toro Y Moi at Crescent Ballroom]

I still have ye to experience ’100%’ performed live and I don’t recall them playing that fun little ditty in French but at least they were poo politicians this time and any dialogue this time around was just about getting hyped with party down intentions. Boom.

The evening was a ton of fun and bonus points for the Coachella-W1 fiends or perhaps a supreme consolation for the Coachella-W2 absentees. Plus there was Tokimonsta who again was fucking dynamite on the decks.

Tokimonsta >> Marquee Theatre

>> marc
marc

 

 

zB

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Mad Caddies >> Keep It Going in Tempe [Club Red]

Mad Caddies >> This past Sunday I was blessed to see the Mad Caddies play live after a 5-year hiatus from AZ. With a new album due in a month and Tempe wrapping up the first half of their Spring tour, I couldn’t begin to explain my levels of excitement. After all, this is the band that got me into ska music so many moons ago. If you haven’t listened to, checked out or even heard of Mad Caddies, get to it because you won’t regret it.

Mad Caddies >> Club Red

photo c/o Tiny Kim

Club Red hosted the event, providing a small stage with loud sound and, to my surprise, enough room for a pit.  Fortunately, I showed up at the perfect time.  Just 5 minutes in, the Caddies dawned the stage and warmed up with a new song and some from their previous album Keep It Going including ‘Backyard’ and ‘State of Mind’.

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From sea-shanties to polka to straight up punk, Mad Caddies deliver and with the addition of their keyboardist Dustin Lanker [joined in 2007, so new to me] the Caddies added new flair to old hits.

Mad Caddies >> Club Red

photo c/o Tiny Kim

Finishing off with a solid encore performance of ‘All American Badass’ and the band members literally playing into the audience, they concluded the night with a ‘thank you very much, see y’all next time’. Let’s just say they made up for all those years they were dearly missed.

Mad Caddies >> Club Red

photo c/o Tiny Kim

>> James
James

 

 

zB

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Bastille >> Of The Night in Vancouver [Commodore Ballroom ]

Bastille >> and To Kill A King played a sold-out show at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver last night for their last Canadian stop.

Bastille >> Commodore Ballroom

My friend and I had been big fans of their music for a while now and we were so excited to see them perform live. I always worry when bands are hyped up too much because an unfortunate number of them fall short of expectations when I actually see them live. Man, I was stupid for worrying about Bastille. Excuse my language, but they were fucking great last night.

First off, I think The Commodore Ballroom has to be one of my favourite venues in Vancouver. It’s right in the hub of downtown Vancouver, it’s easily accessible as it’s blocks from the train station, and there were loads of pizza shops around for after-show munchies.

Inside the Commodore, there was a huge dance floor in front of the stage and there were tables and chairs scattered on the outskirts of the dance floor and a small balcony with what I’m assuming was more seating. We didn’t bother getting a drink or trying to find a spot to sit once we got inside; we rushed straight onto the dance floor to get as close to the stage as possible.

To Kill A King >> Commodore Ballroom

I had never heard of To Kill A King before last night but I immediately searched up their music once I got home after the show. They were so good live that I was scared Bastille wouldn’t be as good. They were invited by Bastille to sing the last song of the night and it was great to see them again. To Kill a King had great chemistry with one another and they were so captivating that I even forgot I was there to see Bastille.

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After a short intermission, Bastille came on and the crowd went insane. The smell of weed suffocated us as they started to sing and it seemed like I was either getting second-hand high or getting high purely from the joy of seeing them live. I could feel the beats travel through the floorboards, up into my body, and pulse through my veins.

Lead singer, Dan Smith, was a fucking babe and he really knew how to work the crowd. He even came down into the crowd and walked around the entire venue to sing the last song before the encore and everyone had the look of pure ecstasy on their faces. In fact, the entire band really committed to their entire show and I felt so respected as a fan to see them pour themselves entirely into their performance.

Bastille >> Commodore Ballroom

Their show felt really trancelike and even cathartic. I forgot about all the worries I had this week and I just got so lost in their music. I tend to get overwhelmed and eventually dissociate from the shitty things in life and, as horribly cliché as this sounds, the show reminded me of how important it is sometimes to just feel everything that courses through your veins and fuck everything else.

I paid $57 for a ticket on Stubhub for the show, but I felt like even that was a steal for such an incredible show. I would have gladly paid so much more to see them live again. Hell, just take all my money. They encapsulated the entire venue with a bubble of pure hedonism that it’s impossible to not have a great time. If you’re contemplating whether to see Bastille live, I say fucking go for it. If you don’t, you’ll definitely be missing out on one of the best bands to ever perform live.

Setlist:

Bad Blood
Weight Of Living, Pt. II
Blame
Laura Palmer
Poet
Overjoyed
Laughter Lines
These Streets
The Silence
Icarus
Oblivion
The Draw
Things We Lost In The Fire
Flaws

Daniel In The Den
Of The Night
Pompeii

 

>> Josephine
Josephine

 

 

zB

 

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hella coachella 2014 >> glorious Spotify playlist for pre-Coachella ants in the pants

Coachella 2014 >> is nearly here and you probably have a million ants in your pants too. Rest assured that the gloriousness in magical music festivals shall arrive in no time. But in case you can’t contain yourself, follow this freshly created 74-track Spotify playlist aptly named hella coachella 2014 and get your fix on until the fest arrives. See you at The Do LaB!

[related: Coachella >> 2014 Lineup]

hella coachella 2014

>> marc
marc

 

 

zB

 

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Dum Dum Girls >> Coming Down in Vancouver [Biltmore Cabaret]

Dum Dum Girls >> headlined a fantastic show at the Biltmore Cabaret on Friday night to a welcoming, Pabst-sipping hipster crowd.

Dum Dum Girls >> Biltmore Cabaret

A couple of people I talked to were not particularly familiar with Dum Dum Girls’ music and some had not even heard of their opening act, Blouse. Nonetheless, people were unwinding from a long week and were excited to discover some awesome new music. What better place to do so than at the Biltmore?

For those of you who have never been inside, the Biltmore Cabaret is a fantastic venue in Vancouver to discover up-and-coming alternative bands and artists. There is a nice combination of lush, red velvet booths [for people who don’t want to smell 50 brands of shampoo in people’s hair] and a small but sufficient mosh area [for those who want to high-five the band].

However, the Biltmore is a comparatively small venue, which means sound can become a tad muffled at times. There was static feedback often but, after a couple of songs it either stopped or I was so into the music I stopped hearing it. Let’s go with the first one.

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Blouse, an ethereal pop trio from Portland, started the night off with music that really helped to set the vibe for the night. Members Charlie, Patrick, and Jacob were really absorbed in their songs and I could tell they were playing to showcase and spread their love for music. They created such a dreamlike atmosphere that I soon found myself daydreaming along with their music.

The Dum Dum Girls came on stage after a long break. I had never heard them live before and unf they were great! They played mostly from their newest album [Too True] with a couple of songs from their second album [Only in Dreams] their debut album [I Will Be] and their fourth EP [End of Daze]. I found that most of their songs sounded better when performed live compared to the studio versions. In particular, ‘I Got Nothing’ and ‘Coming Down’ were incredible. The guitars overpowered the vocals at times, but that was quickly fixed after the first couple of songs.

[related: pics + vids >> Dum Dum Girls at Marquee Theatre]

They create such a hazy, relaxing vibe that it was near impossible to avoid swaying to their music. That immersion into the Dum Dum Girls’ world was so absolute that I found myself engrossed in their music for the entire set. That’s when you know you’re listening to some really good music.

Setlist:

Bedroom Eyes
Wake Of You
I Will Be
He Gets Me High
I Got Nothing
Too True
Are You Okay?
Best Of Our Lives
It Only Takes
Under These Hands
Rimbaud Eyes
Lord Knows
Pale Saints

>> Josephine
Josephine

 

 

zB

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