Lana Del Rey >> a Brooklyn Baby in Phoenix [Ak-Chin Pavilion]

Lana Del Rey >> graced Phoenix with her long awaited return Thursday night and serenaded the desert with somber yet beautiful vintage lullabies, song after song. Lana hypnotized us all as an angel with witchcraft vocals performing an hour of her greatest tunes in front of a black & white, Twilight Zone-esque choppy live feed of her on center stage,  sad and seemingly about to die. It was so refreshingly different, especially following an awesomely raunchy 90's set from Courtney Love who opened the bill that night.

Lana Del Rey >> Phoenix

Lana doesn't dance and she didn't bust out her guitar at all under the desert sky so how the hell did such a 'Sad Girl' just fucking standing there for an hour entrance us all so much? Her voice and lyrics are so memorizing and I among all just didn't want it all to ever end. I never thought a solo mission to listen to such sadness on a school night 30 fucking miles yonder on I-10 toward the 'West Coast' would have been so enjoyable but it was. It just was and I can't wait to experience it all over again.

If you get a chance to get hypnotized by this mega-talented and sexy 'Brooklyn Baby' for an evening just do yourself a favor and get after it at whatever cost. It was the best $90 I have ever spent this year.

Setlist: Cruel World * Cola * Blue Jeans * West Coast * Us Against The World * Born To Die * Ultraviolence * Summertime Sadness * Chelsea Hotel No. 2 * Brooklyn Baby * Shades Of Cool * Serial Killer * Video Games * Off To The Races



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In This Moment >> Black Widow in Atlanta [Masquerade]

In This Moment >> rocked the crowd of fans in a hot humid night at Center Stage in Atlanta on Tuesday. In support of their newest album Black Widow, In This Moment is out on the road performing for fans everywhere. Their performance was filled with a theatrical stage set with a side show feel to visualize their music about projecting your true self no matter in what form that might be.

In This Moment >> Atlanta

In This Moment >> Atlanta

In This Moment >> Atlanta

In This Moment >> Atlanta

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In This Moment >> Atlanta

In This Moment >> Atlanta

Setlist: Sick Like Me * Black Widow Adrenalize * Sex Metal Barbie * Burn * Into The Light * Fallen Heroes * Big Bad Wolf * Whore * Closer * ENCORE: Blood



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Dev >> Like A G6 in Los Angeles [Troubadour]

Dev >> When I found out Dev would be playing at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, I can’t help but say I got a bit nostalgic.

Dev >> Troubadour

For one, ‘Like a G6’ was my jam back in 2010. Going to Vegas? Like a G6. Going to the club? Like a G6. Going to work? Like a G6. You know it was your jam too. The infamous line belonged to the one and only Dev on the Far East Movement’s well-known single with The Cataracs. Didn’t realize it was her? Neither did I until recently, and ‘if you don’t know, now you know’ as Biggie would say.

Second, when I first moved to LA Dev was all over the radio, in every club, and blasting in every convertible stuck in the free parking lot otherwise known as the 405. Moving to LA was a dream for me, so like muscle memory her songs will always bring me back to those happy times.

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You can say I had moderately high expectations going to her show. Not because I anticipated a wild performance with lots of dancing and maybe a guest performer, but because I was ready to go back to that happy place that fades away after some years in LA.

Was I disappointed? Maybe a little.

Dev’s opening band, Five Knives, rocked the house. Or should I say, ‘Rocktronica’d the house, which is the term I’m coining for their brand of music that blends alternative/punk rock with electronica beats. They had high energy, never stopped smiling and truly seemed to be enjoying themselves despite the limited Cinco de Mayo crowd on a Tuesday night.

‘I know what them boys want/They just wanna taste my sugar!’ screamed the lead singer as she danced across the stage. The drummer pounded away while the keyboardists/guitarists rocked out with each other during some face-offs. In typical LA fashion, the crowd couldn't be pumped up physically but the expressions on their faces suggested otherwise.

I’m going to keep Five Knives on my short list of bands to watch. Once they drop their full album [only an EP for now] you will be hearing about them. With the EDM and electro-pop movement dominating the scene right now, I don’t see why ‘Rocktronica’ can’t be the next wave to unfold. You heard it here first: Rocktronica is coming.

After a short break, Dev came on the stage wearing what I can only describe as a neon version of the jacket worn by The Man in the Yellow Hat character à la Curious George with booty shorts instead of pants. Unlike her album cover with long black hair, Dev had a bleached blonde pixie cut that framed her features though hid her Hispanic heritage [which she reminded us when she spoke of Cinco de Mayo problems].

She dropped some Indie beats, some old and new tracks, and of course ‘Like a G6’ and ‘Dancing in the Dark’. She was on point sing-talking her way through each song, though I guess I was disappointed that she left the chorus to the pre-recorded version via the DJ instead of belting them out herself. It seemed like she only sang about 30 seconds at a time between chorus and beat, so I don’t feel like I really got to hear her sing the way I wanted her to. This was further added by the fact that the show lasted a mere 40 minutes before she finished and joined the crowd for a drink at the bar.

Needless to say, I was left wanting more. I was happy with the sound and her enthusiasm, but overall it was lackluster and needed more energy. I got the impression that she loves to perform but didn’t really want to be there last night, which I’m sure was in part to the smaller crowd and the holiday. I hate that I was disappointed, because I had high hopes. I had a good time in general—just wish there was more of it.



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Calvin Harris >> Outside in Las Vegas [Wet Republic]

Calvin Harris >> puts on a pretty epic performance every time I see him and this weekend in Las Vegas was certainly no different. Wet Republic at MGM went the fuck off on Saturday afternoon because Calvin brought it hard. That mixed with a grip of pool partiers, Vegas visitors and house heads alike made for a dope event.

Calvin Harris >> Wet Republic

Over the last few years, Calvin Harris has just been adding sickness to his repertoire of bangers galore like 'Outside' and 'Sweet Nothing' so every time he dropped such tracks during his 2-hour set, everyone poolside went fucking nuts! The weather was unusually like London instead of Las Vegas but 1,600 peeps gave zero fucks about the climate and we raged to the max.

[related: Calvin Harris >> Soundwave 2012]

Vegas pool parties are very different than from when I was a fresh out college grad with young money and in most ways it's better because I see that the music I had to bring to Vegas on my 1st generation iPod Nano is now the standard at every place worth spending your time and money.

Sure, there's some amateur garbage artists and many a clown in the industry who get residency here and probably make as much money as Tom Brady. But net net the truly talented dudes that deserve the big stage and bad bitches are getting theirs now. Big ups to Calvin for checking the box on both these accolades and thanks for blessing the earways at a dope dope pool party.



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The Trials and Tribulations of a Festival Junkie at Coachella 2015

Coachella 2015 >> Another year, another Coachella down. I have no words, though for the first time I can’t say that’s a good thing.

Coachella 2015

Last year Coachella just happened to be my first music festival ever. It was entirely last minute, the lineup was incredible, and I was never not excited. This year was, well, eh.

Let me take you back to the beginning.

I lucked out by snagging my weekend 1 tickets during pre-sale despite not knowing who I’d be going with or who would be performing. I learned another co-worker was planning to go, as we both had blocked out the same time on our work calendars so no one could try to book a meeting during the coveted purchase time. Fortunately she was well-prepared and had booked all of her accommodations immediately after snagging tickets. It occurred to me she could be an option to go with, which it turned out to be when the time came.

Aside from not being thrilled with the lineup, things were off to a good start the Thursday of Coachella weekend. I carpoolchella’d with my coworker, her wife [yes, you read that correctly], and wife’s younger cousin. We got off work early, though still hit some intense traffic on the drive up as could be expected leaving LA during rush hour. It was a pain, but it only increased the excitement and added to our fun [‘Is that restaurant really called ‘Yung Dong’?].

My friend—who is apparently game for anything—purchased a camping pass for the first night. Yes, we had both hotel and camping accommodations—don’t worry about it. Everything still going good, we arrived at the campground with only two cars in front of us [per search line], which apparently never happens. We also lucked out with the easiest and funniest security searching team.

‘Who brought this?’ yelled the expressive security detail as she grabbed my friend’s stuffed light-up elephant from the backseat. ‘Ya’ll too old for this shit! Hold up—is that a dick on your window?,’ she continued as she pointed to my unfortunate car drawing of our starting point from LA to our end point at the festival. Yes, it largely resembled a dick to our amusement. We had a good laugh, decided to leave the drawing there the whole weekend and continued on to our 30’x10’ space.

[related: Coachella Addiction >> How Festival Junkies Are Born]

To keep the good-vibe momentum going, we ended up being neighbors to a cool truck of kids who had cheered our car art on the way in to the search line. We were stoked! The foursome had driven in from San Diego and couldn’t have been better. We drank together; we shared stories; we exchanged Instagram accounts. We got our tent, canopy and sleeping arrangements squared away quickly enough so we could begin the night of pre-festival partying. Normally I’m not a camping person [I like hot showers and being pretty—it is what it is], but I figured one night would be fine and it was worth the experience.

Day 1 of the festival, and all went downhill from there.

We learned we could check in early to the hotel, so we got our shit together and found a pedicab to take us to the Uber queue. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we went to a minimum of 3 different exits and every single time we were told to go elsewhere. No one would let us leave! After about an hour [at least] of sitting in the hot sun with our luggage on the back of the slowly breaking pedicab, we gave up and returned to the campsite. We had circled the parameter of the polo fields and couldn’t leave. (more…)

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Wild Child >> The Escape in Atlanta [Vinyl]

Wild Child >> played at the Vinyl at Center Stage in Atlanta on Monday.

Wild Child >> Atlanta

Wild Child play many instruments including violin, bass, drums, guitar, banjo and cello as well as an occasional ukulele. Their music is a blend of pop, bluegrass, folk and alternative all beautifully rolled into one. The rhythms and melodies are all brought by the sharing of vocals. This makes for a lovely blend of pure bliss for the ears. The combination of the vocals adds to the energy of Wild Child and their music. This spark of energy leaves an audience almost mesmerized and wanting more. A graceful stage presence is enchanting to see when Wild Child performs live. The talent in this band just on instruments alone is truly astounding.

Wild Child >> Atlanta

Setlist: The Escape * Victim To Charm Silly Things * BULLETS * Darling Divine / Bridges Burning * The Cracks / Stones / Medows / Saving Face * Cocaine Hurricane * Someone Else * Pillow Talk * Crazy Bird * Stitches * Stones / Take It * Runaround * GOOMBAS * Left Behind * BREAK BONES * The Tale of You & Me



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Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock 2015 >> Hard Rock in Atlanta [Masquerade]

Hottest Chicks >> Revolver’s Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock 2015 tour rolled into Atlanta and gave a powerful show! The line-up included: Falling for Scarlet, Diamante, Fit for Rivals, and Flyleaf. All bands gave an electrifying performance.

Falling For Scarlet >> Atlanta

Opening act Falling for Scarlet is one of the bands that will be definitely ones to watch as time goes by. On a side note, lead singer Lee Tomaschefski played the lobotomy nurse in the movie Sucker Punch.

Diamante >> Atlanta

Diamante is an all-female band with loads of talent.

Diamante >> Atlanta

A good hard rocking performance was given by Fit for Rivals. Fit For Rivals >> Atlanta Flyleaf gave a performance that no one in The Masquerade will forget. Flyleaf >> Atlanta  

[related: Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock >> Atlanta 2014]

Flyleaf >> Atlanta


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