PHOTOS+VIDEO: PHOX | The Roxy | 4/15/15

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

I don’t fall in love with voices that often, but when I do, it’s pretty much for life. I’ve fallen in love with a voice and it belongs to Monica Martin, the lead singer of the Baraboo, Wisconsin band PHOX…. This post has been moved to www.BlurredCulture.com and you can get there by CLICKING THIS LINK!

PHOX | Troubadour | 4/15/15

 

Future Islands | The Wiltern | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/20/14 [Photos & Video]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

THE ACT: Future Islands |  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: (Excerpted from the Full Length Concert Review that you can read by CLICKING HERE)

“[…] When Future Islands walked out on stage, you could tell that the crowd that was unmistakably on a mission to move and be moved. Singer Samuel Herring began with speaking a heartfelt introduction that bonded us both and served as preparation for a ceremony of unabashed intimacy.

[…]

[…] Between primal outbursts of energy, blessing the crowd, eating his own sweat, and a Hulk-like tear through his shirt, the shamanistic vocalist prodded out our repressions as he shared with us his confessions. Balloons released from above as the night came to a close and Future Islands made sure there wasn’t a single thing you hadn’t danced out by playing three encores. By the end of the performance, the air was thick with the sweat of released emotional baggage […].

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

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To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Rose Quartz | The Wiltern | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/20/14 [Photos & Video]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

THE ACT: Rose Quartz |  Facebook | Twitter

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: (Excerpted from the Full Length Concert Review that you can read by CLICKING HERE)

“[…] The band’s musicianship gave gravity to the group’s spacey nature and I appreciated the strength of their live show; they gave their all and played an enthusiastic set. I would however like to hear them develop the journey of their songs instead of relying on technological filters as a vehicle to drive the music home. […] Their stamina to float into the ether and keep the dance vibes rolling made for a truly dancy, trancy, synthy indie time at the Wiltern.”

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

#rosequartz

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To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

SPEAK | The Wiltern | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/20/14 [Photos & Video]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

THE ACT: SPEAK |  Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: (Excerpted from the Full Length Concert Review that you can read by CLICKING HERE)

“[…] Joey, Troupe, and Nick (bass, vocals, guitar) heralded three part harmonies that maintained the attention of an audience caught off guard by the band’s naïve appearance and subdued interactions. […]. Troupe’s ambitious vocal range sailed smoothly through the heart of every song, and as a singing trio they were just as solid and as much of a centerpiece. Their quick paced songs were brought down to hip swaying tempos at times, adding an aura of unexpected intensity and edge to the band’s otherwise sonically friendly climate. But despite their seemingly shy demeanors reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie, but edgier, the four guys from Austin performed a confident set of hook-heavy pop rock.”

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

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To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Future Islands, Rose Quartz & SPEAK | The Wiltern | Red Bull Sound Select’s “30 Days In LA” | 11/20/14 [Photos & Concert Review]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Written by G.Bonilla and D. Lee

There was a line almost 2 blocks long waiting to to get into the venue before doors had opened. Future Islands, who were playing club gigs last year, are now selling out storied venues like the Wiltern.

It’s not easy for bands to break through. Sometimes it can take years. Sometimes it never happens. It took 8 years, but Future Islands finally got the exposure they deserved when they made their network television debut on March 3, 2014, on The Late Show with David Letterman, performing the lead single “Seasons (Waiting On You)”. That’s how I discovered them. That’s why I’ve seen them three times this year.

We entered the storied venue and as the others spent time visiting Red Bull affiliated booths and activities in the lobby, we stepped into the performance room to set up shop to find a good view. As we made our way up front, walking towards the relatively empty orchestra pit, a security guard stopped us to give us wristbands to enter the space up front. Typically at the Wiltern, orchestra pit passes are given to those waiting in line for the doors to open. Thankful, for whatever reason, that they gave them out, first come-first served, to whose who ventured to the front of the stage before the show started.

The first band to take the stage was Red Bull Sound Select artist, SPEAK; an art rock band from Austen, Texas.

The muted look of black attire and prescription glasses camouflaged the three guys and drummer out on stage. They quietly took the stage and meekly addressed the audience.  They didn’t have to say a word. They introduced themselves to the audience by digging into their instruments. With a different palate to offer, SPEAK took a detour from the synth-pop lineup of the evening. Elaborations on four-on-the-floor beats and pop progressions were accompanied by synth lines but not driven by them. That’s not to say that the band was unfamiliar with how to hook a bait; the oscillating melodies that stamped each of their songs are proof of their knack for knowing what sticks.

Joey, Troupe, and Nick (bass, vocals, guitar) heralded three part harmonies that maintained the attention of an audience caught off guard by the band’s naïve appearance and subdued interactions. That’s not to say that there was a timidity in their sound. Troupe’s ambitious vocal range sailed smoothly through the heart of every song, and as a singing trio they were just as solid and as much of a centerpiece. Their quick paced songs were brought down to hip swaying tempos at times, adding an aura of unexpected intensity and edge to the band’s otherwise sonically friendly climate. But despite their seemingly shy demeanors reminiscent of Death Cab for Cutie, but edgier, the four guys from Austin performed a confident set of hook-heavy pop rock.

CLICK HERE to see more photos and video clips from SPEAK’s performance.

The second band, another Red Bull Sound Select Artist, Rose Quartz, is a synth band Denver, Colorado.

As the veil of darkness on stage lifted to reveal stacked bulks of vintage looking synth gear, the duo known as Rose Quartz (who perform as a foursome live with the addition of guitar and drums) went into what I would describe as dancy trancy synthy indie.

Their cyclical progressions and repetitive vocal lines gave the performance a chanty element and plenty of landscape to dance to, making their set sound like one long song. Build-ups usually plateaud onto lyrical incantations while vocal effects trailed through musical changes that hopped back and forth between two or three chords. Again, dancy trancy synthy indie. The band’s musicianship gave gravity to the group’s spacey nature and I appreciated the strength of their live show; they gave their all and played an enthusiastic set. I would however like to hear them develop the journey of their songs instead of relying on technological filters as a vehicle to drive the music home. We couldn’t ignore that the progression of their songs lacked a story, leaving listeners pretty much where it all began. Nonetheless, their stamina to float into the ether and keep the dance vibes rolling made for a truly dancy, trancy, synthy indie time at the Wiltern.

CLICK HERE to see more photos and video clips from Rose Quartz’s performance.

Rose Quartz was a decent appetizer … but we were ready and anxious for Future Islands to take the stage..

When Future Islands walked out on stage, you could tell that the crowd that was unmistakably on a mission to move and be moved. Singer Samuel Herring began with speaking a heartfelt introduction that bonded us both and served as preparation for a ceremony of unabashed intimacy.

There seemed to be shaky start as within a few seconds of their opening song, Sam gestured abruptly to kill sound and apologized of for the synth malfunction. It was as is he was teasing and taunting the brewing hurricane that the music was stirring. The audience was more than willing to forgive the incident even before Herring made a comment on the beauty of second chances. If anything, the technical difficulty proved to show the humanity in the circumstance and fit right in with the prevalent theme of their music.

They picked up just as powerfully as the first attempt, and it soared from there. Between primal outbursts of energy, blessing the crowd, eating his own sweat, and a Hulk-like tear through his shirt, the shamanistic vocalist prodded out our repressions as he shared with us his confessions. Balloons released from above as the night came to a close and Future Islands made sure there wasn’t a single thing you hadn’t danced out by playing three encores. By the end of the performance, the air was thick with the sweat of released emotional baggage. Walking back out into the city was the perfect cool down for the collective dance party we’d all just had.

CLICK HERE to see more photos and video clips from Future Islands performance.

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught During Red Bull Sound Selects “30 Days In LA” CLICK HERE

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Culture Collide | World Stage | 10/18/14 [Review, Vids & Photos]

Concerts, Pictorials | Videos, Reviews

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

THE ACT: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS  [Written by Kate M.]:

I love these guys!  I have partied with them in the past, partied to their Indie Rock sound throughout my life.  Their sound is good listening with beer on a beach or an indoor venue when it’s snowing outside with friends.  Point in case, they’ve even played Lollapalooza in the past, that must have been a good time.  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a great Indie Rock band – one of the best bar rock band and college tour band I’ve seen – they have that sound.   The band is tight, complete with guitar riffs and lyrics to sing along to.  This band already has a huge following and it was clear from the crowd dancing and singing lyrics to their songs.  “Satan Said Dance” was the song I remember singing on Saturday.  The one problem with is band is that they are really good at the Indie music, but, to me, and that’s that.  For a minute the lead singer made chewing gum onstage look cool, collected and kind of sexy.  Check ‘em out if you are an Indie music fan.  Their latest album was, Only Run, released June 3, 2014.  This US band hails from the East Coast and they’re playing the Brooklyn Bowl November 12th.  

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

Beat Connection | Culture Collide | TAIX Main Stage | 10/17/14 [Review, Vid & Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

THE ACT:  Beat Connection | Facebook | Twitter

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: [Excerpted from M. Sloves full-day review that you can read HERE.]

“[…] They had a Jamiroquai-esque sound but didn’t feel super-derivative. Melodic lyrics floated over a heavy drum beat. Good dance vibe for a crowd that was starting to hit critical mass for getting dancey. What can I reduce these guys to…Citizen Cope meets Tears for Fears…? The drums and keyboard resurrected memories of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” […] The lead singer was getting his sexy on and the ladies liked it. Actually, we all liked it. Dude looked like a Gap model but he could belt out some serious notes. Adam Levine would have turned his chair and had an immediate man-crush.”

PHOTOS:

VIDEO:

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

MØ | Culture Collide | Echoplex | 10/16/14 [Photos]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

THE ACT:  MØ | Facebook | Twitter Instagram

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS:  I’d thought that I’d be over female fronted, beat-driven, electro pop, but wow … MØ was something else. Her live show was something fierce. She may have been criticized for her “off” performance with Iggy Azalea on Saturday Night Live, but I’ve witnessed MØ performing live, and she is a powerhouse performer. Stage diving, and stage walking, throughout her set, engaging the audience with her piercing eyes and impressing me with her unexpected stage presence and voice, I was blown away. I’m willing to make this prediction … she’ll be making the festival rounds next year, and she’ll be performing on the main stages. Guaranteed.

PHOTOS:

VIDEO CLIPS:

To Check Out Other Bands We Caught At Culture Collide CLICK HERE

Future Islands | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Future Islands | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: To think that I almost missed out on seeing Future Islands perform at Coachella 2014. If it wasn’t for their lead singer, Sam Herring, convincing me to check them out, I would have missed out on music that I have perched high on my “best of the year” lists. When I found out they were performing at First City Festival, I urged all of my friends who were also attending to check them out. They, like me, were amazed by what they saw and heard. I think part of what makes Future Islands’ live performance so powerful to witness is the emotive stage presence of Mr. Herring. Every movement … every gesture … it all speaks to something, and it’s truly a revelation to witness. I suppose that why most of my shots of the band were of Sam. It really couldn’t be helped. I suppose that I should have bust out a wider angled lens to capture the entire band … hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do that in the future when they get back to Los Angeles for another gig.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.