The concert industry’s movers and shakers gathered at The Novo in Los Angeles for the 28th annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. Hosted by Justin Willman, the night’s honorees represented everything from major tours, venues and clubs to booking agents, artist managers, staging, video and promotion. Oh, and networking. Lots and lots of networking. Who knows? Perhaps some of the largest tours of 2018 began with a chance conversation during this year’s awards presentation.
Nightclub Of The Year – Webster Hall New York, N.Y.
Cloud Nothings play the sort of scruffy fuzz-pop you’ve heard a million times, but thanks to the vocal pathos and songwriting smarts of frontman Dylan Baldi and the wiry muscle of bassist TJ Duke and drummer Jayson Gerycz, this Cleveland crew achieves a rare resonance. The band follows up its debut and a Wavves collaboration album with a wearier, more introspective collection of tunes, Life Without Sound.
Cloud Nothings play the Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall 2/1 – Tickets here
Let the warm layers of fuzz engulf you while the melodies wiggle out from beneath a blanket of noise. That’s the dependable specialty of LVL UP and Cloud Nothings, two young, guitar-led bands that are children of ’90s alternative rock (Neutral Milk Hotel, Built to Spill, Nirvana), but not strict revivalists, borrowing also from later waves of pithy, loud, often self-loathing emo and pop-punk.
Born of house shows and D.I.Y. spaces, both groups have graduated to larger clubs — they play Webster Hall together on Wednesday, Feb. 1 — and cleaner recordings of late. LVL UP’s third album, “Return to Love,” was its debut last year for the eminent indie label Sub Pop, while the fourth LP from Cloud Nothings, “Life Without Sound,” has a more professional sheen without sacrificing scrappiness. Lo-fi, after all, can be a state of mind.
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties (aka the solo project of Wonder Years singer Dan Campbell) has announced some full-band dates in continued support of last year’s Bittersweet EP. Openers are Empty Houses (a soul band with ex-Fireworks members) and Dryjacket (who just released the very good For Posterity last week).
The dates kick off in NYC on March 1 at The Studio at Webster Hall. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
Aaron West / Empty Houses / Dryjacket — 2017 Tour Dates
March 1st @ The Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY
March 3rd @ Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
March 4th @ Palladium – Worcester, MA
March 5th @ Lost Herizon – Syracuse, NY
Belgium’s Oathbreaker returned last year with Rheia, a boundary-pushing piece of screamo-ish black metal that cracked our year-end list. They did some US touring in support of it and now they’re set to return here this March/April. All dates are with Jaye Jayle (aka Young Widows singer Evan Patterson), and other openers vary by date including King Woman, Khemmis (who just played NYC), and Sannhet.
The run with Jaye Jayle and Sannhet includes a NYC show on April 8 at The Studio at Webster hall. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with a stream of Rheia, below.
Oathbreaker — 2017 Tour Dates
March 15 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts *
March 16 Washington, DC @ DC9 *
March 17 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight *
March 18 Nashville, TN @ The End *
March 19 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth *
March 20 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl *
March 22 Dallas, TX @ Three Links *
March 23 Houston, TX @ Walter’s *
March 24 Austin, TX @ Sidewinder *
March 26 Mesa, AZ @ Underground ^
March 27 San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar ^
March 28 W. Hollywood, CA @ Roxy ^
March 29 San Francisco, CA @ Thee Parkside ^
March 30 Portland, OR @ Ash Street Saloon ^
March 31 Seattle, WA @ The Highline ^
April 1 Boise, ID @ The Shredder ^
April 2 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge ^
April 3 Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater ^
April 4 Kansas City, MO @ Riot Room ^
April 5 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean ^
April 6 Detroit, MI @ El Club ^
April 8 New York, NY @ Studio at Webster Hall %
April 9 Allston, MA @ Great Scott %
The 2016 Year End Worldwide Top 200 Clubs by Ticket Sales was recently released by Pollstar and, at a glance, there appear to be quite a few familiar venues within the dance music world that have made it onto the list.
No. 2 in the world 🌎 We couldn't have done it without you.
Right off the bat, one of North America’s most iconic dance clubs Webster Hall is sitting pretty at #2 with 279,090 tickets sold during the tracking period. Its New York neighbor, the iconic Terminal 5,sits not too far behind coming in at #4 with close to 260,000 tickets sold on the year. While not necessarily a dance-first venue like Webster Hall is, it has nevertheless played host to plenty of dance music acts on the year. The same goes for Denver’s Ogden Theatre which has hosted a fair share of dance music shows; due to Denver’s large dance music fanbase, they came in #8 with just over 184,000 tickets sold.
LA’s Hollywood Palladium and The Fonda Theater came in back to back in 15th and 16th selling 146,205, and 141,769 tickets respectively while another popular venue familiar to dance fans on the northwest, Roseland Theatre of Portland, trumped them both with just over 152,000 tickets and 13th place on the list.
If you’re wondering what the top-selling venue was, it’s Boston’s House of Blues with a staggering 323,165 tickets sold. The only venue anywhere near, not to speak of above, the 300,000 ticket mark.
The lone international representatives in the top 20 are Metropolis in Montreal which came in at #11, and Belgium’s Ancienne Belgique which was the 5th most popular venue to meet the criteria globally. Check out the full top 200 list below.
2. Green Day, Webster Hall (October 8) Seeing Green Day at the Webster Hall (capacity: 1500) isn’t just a show; it’s like seeing Green Day perform at your high school prom. Stadium-level bands playing small, inexpensive venues just doesn’t happen. (Green Day generally only do when they’re performing as their side band Foxboro Hot Tubs, or for a damn good cause.) But before embarking on a stadium tour next year, the band played a handful of low-key shows to promote their new album. It’ll almost certainly go down as the closest many will ever get to them in person; it’s the best I’ve come to catching the remnants of Mike Dirnt’s sweat flung from all his bass-slapping. You have to remember: Green Day were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year. They haven’t had to pay their dues in a venue like this for some time.
Yet, here they were — face-to-face with lifelong fans, on a victory lap. They played just three songs from that new album, instead focusing on their history. The band dusted off songs from as far back as 1991’s 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours and Kerplunk, pulled out deep cuts old and newer (“Stuart and the Ave”! “Letterbomb”!), revisited classic crowd-pleaser covers (“Shout,” “Hey Jude,” “Satisfaction”), and never even played “Wake Me Up When September Ends.” Billie Joe Armstrong described the night as an “underground show” and nothing could tarnish that familial feeling Green Day are still fighting hard to preserve.
Producer/electronic musician Machinedrum released his latest album Human Energy this year, which features guest spots from Jesse Boyskins III, Dawn Richard, and others, and he also produced much of Dawn Richard’s new album. He’s got some tour dates at the end of this month, and he’s begun announcing 2017 shows too.
He’ll do a Human Energy live A/V performance in NYC on January 27 at Webster Hall. That’s a Girls & Boys party that also includes Strangeloop & Timeboy, Taso, DJ Spin, DJ Earl, plus residents Alex English, DJ Dali, and Hiyawatha. Tickets are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with a stream of Human Energy, below.
Machinedrum — 2016/2017 Tour Dates
Dec 27 Neumos Seattle, WA
Dec 28 45 East Portland, OR
Dec 29 Fortune Sound Club Vancouver, Canada
Dec 30 Sugar Victoria, CA
Jan 27 Webster Hall New York, NY
Jun 22 ELECTRIC FOREST 2017 Rothbury, MI