BY WILL OLIVER, MAY 9TH 2015
The last time I saw Muse was in August 2007, their first time playing Madison Square Garden, and ultimately the start of their jaunt as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. I was able to score general admission tickets for it, and spent a good chunk of that hot day waiting in line in order to get as close to the stage as possible. It was well worth it, as that performace still remains one of the best live shows that I have ever seen. It would end up being the last time I saw them play, a result of me being away at college whenever they played New York, as well as the fact that a lot of their newer material didn’t quite do it for me.
When I saw that they announced a show at Webster Hall as a warmup tour for their new album Drones, I just had to be there. Getting to see Muse in a 1,500 capacity room, and the probability that they’d play a lot of what the die-hard fans really want to hear, was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
The night started with an opening set from Brooklyn band Bear Hands. Opening for a band like Muse is a tough task. There was a feeling of indifference during the set from the crowd, with most of the crowd clearly just waiting for Muse to take the stage. I thought it was a really weird choice of an opener, but apparently they share the same management (and they’re local).
Muse came out triumphantly with new Drones single “Psycho,” which works a hell of a lot better live. The crowd instantly gave their all, jumping up and down to it and adding chants of their own to it. They followed it up with another Drones, “Dead Inside.” It was a bit of a come down after the hard-hitting nature of “Psycho,” but they smartly followed it up by “Supermassive Black Hole” and Absolution-era b-side “The Groove,” which was their first time playing it in American since 2004, which is also the last time that they played at Webster Hall. To put that into perspective, I was only 13 at the time.
The trio of Matthew Bellamy, Christopher Wolstenholme, and Dominic Howard looked to be having a lot of fun on stage, taking in the personal nature of this rare intimate showing. Seeing a piano on stage is always a good sign at a Muse show, but even that didn’t prepare me for a now rare performance of “Apocalypse Please,” which got a feverish reception and singalong from the crowd. It was for good reason, as it was the first time that they played it since 2008. New York really got a treat there. Not only that, but they followed that up with the one-two combo of “Hysteria” and “Stockholm Syndrome.” It was fully out pandemonium.
If there was one song that I was hoping and praying for, it was “New Born” and the minute that it’s signature breakdown came is when I made my decent into the heart of the crowd and joined all the masses shoving and jumping into one another. These days it’s become a bit rarer for me to dive into the crazier parts of a crowd, but you’re losing something at a Muse show if you’re not letting loose and letting their bombastic nature take over. “Time Is Running Out” was arguably the craziest moment crowd-wise, as nearly everyone was jumping up and down in unison, causing the floor to shake almost like a trampoline (a mix of cool and scary). The minute I stepped into this section of the crowd, the show went from good to great for me. I was mad at myself for not doing it sooner.
They started the encore on an extreme high note, turning back the clocks once again for one of the many Origin Of Symmetry standouts, “Bliss.” This, along with “New Born” were two tracks I wanted but didn’t realistically expect them to play, but they seemed to realize that if any show, this was one were people would truly appreciate it. They rounded the show off with “Starlight,” which let us catch a breather before the always epic “Knights Of Cydonia” sent the crowd into mass hysteria, as glorious of a live song as you’ll ever see.
Muse will surely announce a full U.S. tour closer to the June 5 release date of Drones, with their eyes set on either The Garden or Barclays Center. It will be a great show I’m sure, but it won’t compare to seeing them here. Getting to jump up and down together with 1,500 diehard Muse fans who knew and breathed through every single lyric and note, was pretty damn special.
2. Dead Inside
3. Supermassive Black Hole
4. The Groove (first time played in the U.S. since 2004)
6. Apocalypse Please (First time since 2008)
9. Stockholm Syndrome
11. New Born
13. Time Is Running Out
17. Knights of Cydonia
It’s funny to think, after all these years, that Noel Gallagher is at the moment changing more profoundly than at any other time in his career.
While on second solo album ‘Chasing Yesterday‘ the change was hardly seismic, it was change nonetheless. In approach its recording was as far removed from Oasis in its introverted, minimalist nature as could be imagined, while the make-up of the album itself at least had hints at a more broad musical range ready to be explored further in time.
Live too, things have been taken up a notch since world tour dates started with a bang and a trip around UK arenas back in March.
Where the nature of the 2011-12 production reflected the pleasing, but safe nature of debut solo album ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds‘, this tour instead is developing a life all of its own.
At the Webster Hall in New York last night (May 7th), it was up on the stage where the changes were most apparent.
‘Do The Damage‘ set the tone for a more racy affair. Flying in the face of previous opener ‘(It’s Good) To Be Free‘ – the Oasis fan favourite melted down into a mid-paced acoustic dirge three or four years ago – the ‘Chasing Yesterday’ bonus track puts things in a different gear from the off, a gear maintained on other highly charged highlights such as ‘In The Heat Of The Moment‘, ‘Lock All The Doors‘ and ‘You Know We Can’t Go Back‘.
Even ‘The Mexican‘, such an unfathomable plod in album form, is bright and infectious live, carried along by a seemingly reluctant frontman having the time of his life every time it’s performed.
Of course, Gallagher knows what puts the meat on the bones of his live show, yet the improvement here is marked too. For perhaps the first time, in ‘Champagne Supernova‘ a reworking of an Oasis classic really makes sense in the nest of the High Flying Birds.
Stripped back acoustically from the ever-present stadium rock monster it once was, the track has been reborn; in this naked, vulnerable form bringing a tear to the eye of all those across the globe whose highs, lows and heartaches it has for two decades triumphantly soundtracked.
New York’s been good to Noel over the years, and a sold-out Webster Hall with iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen in attendance paid homage to this long, fruitful association with the huge closing sing-a-long of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger‘.
It’s the one unchangeable aspect of the evening – an anthem for the ages which truly will live forever.
Check out Live4ever’s exclusive photo gallery from the New York show at this link.
Lenny Kravitz (Tuesday) The rocker flashes comedic chops as both a lacquered game show host and a preening bandleader in the video for his single “Stand,” off his ninth album “Black and White America.” In the recent film adaptation of “The Hunger Games” novels, Mr. Kravitz put his smoldering charisma to good use onscreen, though his amiable riffs could benefit from a similar shot of theatrics. He released the album “Strut” last year on his own label, Roxie Records. At 9 p.m., Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, East Village, 212-353-1600, websterhall.com/events; sold out. (Anderson)
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Thursday) The former guitarist-songwriter of Oasis veers only slightly from the Britpop grandiosity of that band — though he drops the constant percussion of his fists connecting with his brother Liam’s face, and vice versa — in this post-Oasis sonic-pop collective. Their self-titled debut, released in 2011, boasted a female choir, woodwinds and strings and harmlessly broad choruses that beg for stadiums. The group’s relatively pared-down second album, “Chasing Yesterday,” landed in February. At 9 p.m., Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street, East Village, 212-353-1600, websterhall.com/events; sold out. (Anderson)
By Silas Valentino Tue., Apr. 14 2015 at 11:23 AM
|Courtesy of Nate “Igor” Smith|
For a little over a decade, the Trash Party thrived as one of New York nightlife’s most beloved institutions. Originally located in the East Village’s Rififi and later moved west to Webster Hall, the Trash Party was an outlet and home for any New Yorker who may have felt like an outcast or been sidelined at other clubs in town but was still drawn to the dance floor. Commanding the music was DJ Jess Marquis, who co-founded Trash in 2003 and continued to serve as its head DJ until the party stopped a year ago, in April 2014.
DJ Jess (born Jess Imler) believed in what he and Trash were accomplishing. Speaking to Cityzen.tv in a 2004 interview, he said, “Trash is a very DIY party. The kids put a lot of effort into it, and are very passionate about the music they hear. This isn’t one of your typical hipster parties, where everyone dresses in black and turns their back on the dance floor. They love and embrace the songs they hear and as a result can get slightly ‘disorderly,’ as the NYPD has so delicately phrased it. Still, the Bloomberg administration is intent on ending nightlife as we know it, and unless the city gets genuinely heated and excited about this debate, the city that never sleeps will become the city that mildly naps.”
Trash attracted scores of people from every corner of the city. And so when word began to circulate on social media last Thursday morning that DJ Jess had passed, the outcry was massive.
“He was a force of positive energy,” says Gerard McNamee, the general manger of Webster Hall. “He supported and directed and was a shoulder for countless kids over his fifteen-year tour in New York City. This is so fucking terrible. The whole town, if you will, is upside-down over this. It’s ineffable.”
Though the time and cause of death remain unreleased to the public, DJ Jess’s friend and partner in Trash, Alex Malfunction, said Sunday was the last his friends heard from him. An avid user of social media to promote his events and music, DJ Jess’s final non-automated tweet was published on April 5 at 9:30 p.m. and read, “What’s this from? ‘Death is our business. Business is good.’ ”
DJ Jess migrated to New York from Los Angeles sometime in the early 2000s to study at New York University. Exact details of his early life are hazy — including his age — but this is exactly how DJ Jess preferred to present himself. While still new to New York, DJ Jess (who went by Jesse at this time) met Andy Shaw while both played in local bands — a Morrissey cover band, in Jesse’s case — and the two bonded over a mutual appreciation for music. In 2003, when a newly re-branded DJ Jess decided to begin hosting Trash Parties, he called upon Shaw and his company, Shaw Promotion, for assistance.
“He pretty much helped me launch my career. I had never done promotion in New York City and had no connections and I was high and dry. That’s when he called me up and said he just started a new party called Trash at Rififi and he needed help with promotion,” recalls Shaw. “The first thing I did was go to the Trash party. This was just when Trash first started, and when I was there I noticed the attendance was pretty low, but I recognized the potential right away — mostly because of Jess. There were a lot of parties in New York City regardless, but Jess was the star and I could tell right away. He was very charming, like a magnet. People gravitated towards Jess.”
Shaw worked with DJ Jess to attract the fresh younger crowds coming in off the streets from NYU, Columbia, and Parsons.
“I grew up in New York City, and every year in September, I walk around and see the new students in NYC for the first time. They’re overexcited and looking for something to do. I told Jess, ‘These are the kids we need to get. We need to give them a home,’ ” he says. “And that’s exactly what we did. Trash became exactly that. Everybody gives credit to Jess and Trash for being where they met their boyfriend, their fiancé, where they met their best friends, best memories, because it’s not just a party. It’s their first experience in NYC for a lot of people, and they associate Trash with New York City.”
|Courtesy of Nate “Igor” Smith|
Included in this mix of nightlifers was Nate “Igor” Smith, who attended his first Trash Party on New Year’s Eve 2006. By that spring he was a regular.
“Jess just believed in the legacy of NYC nightlife and would really go out of his way to make everything as crazy and as fun as it could possibly be,” says Smith. “From the very first party I ever went to for Jess to the last, his attitude towards it was exactly the same. I feel like he just instilled this responsibility of ‘This is NYC nightlife and this is something more important than just getting drunk and fucking people.’ You really felt like you were part of something when you went to one of his parties.”
Smith had an interest in photography prior to meeting DJ Jess and credits him for launching his career, which is represented by his own photography blog, Driven by Boredom, and photos published by the Village Voice.
“I wouldn’t be a professional photographer if it wasn’t for Jess,” Smith says. “I remember when I first started doing nightlife, trying to get paid for party photography, which, you know, seems impossible, but Jess would hire people to host. And you’d get $100 and a bottle of vodka.”
Around three or four years ago, Anna Cecilia met DJ Jess and was soon inspired to DJ herself with Jess as her mentor.
“He took me under his wing and taught me how to DJ, eventually giving me a shot to DJ at the Trash Party,” she says. “He was always teaching me how to be better and giving me tips. He meant the world to me. He never just thought about himself; he would always think about everyone and wanted everyone to be happy. He would always say the show must go on. Nothing bad would stop him from doing what he loved to do.”
The Trash Parties came to an end on March 28, 2014, so that DJ Jess could turn his focus to producing his own music and remixes — but he never quit performing. In March, he returned to Webster Hall with his new event, Kill City Party. He released a handful of songs. The week of his passing, he debuted a remix of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.”
“I would go into the studio with him, in his apartment — he would always work on music in his apartment — and we would sit there and he’d ask, ‘Does this sound good?’ He’d produce different songs and sounds. At first his music started off as OK, but then it kept getting better and better. He was just starting to make his own music,” says Cecilia.
DJ Jess’s character prevails through the countless comments expressed on social media and in the testimony of friends and colleagues. He was an avid fan of raspberry vodka and it didn’t matter how bad the music was, he would still dance. He lived a few streets over from St. Marks in the East Village near the Taj Indian restaurant and loved his neighborhood. “To get Jess out of Manhattan and that [Village] area was like pulling teeth,” says Cecilia.
Smith refers to him “as much as a drama kid as you could possibly imagine. He’s like a Glee cast member but with a fucked-up New York City dark side.”
Webster Hall’s McNamee says DJ Jess “always welcomed the colorful kids, the misfits, the freaks, the clubs kids, the LGBT community.”
“I mean, he covered so much ground, Jess Marquis. When I first met him, you could tell by looking at him that he was an artist and he was also an entertainer. He could dance, sing, DJ, was fashionable, his energy was contagious — I don’t know what we’re going to do without him. He was irreplaceable.”
In the 2004 Cityzen.tv article (where DJ Jess was interviewed by Andy Shaw), it’s revealed that his initial start in NYC music and nightlife began with a personal ad in the Voice. It read, “Emotionally troubled, adorably absurd audiophile seeks someone to shoplift from H&M with, and to share massive music collection.”
Soon a quote follows, a statement that would certainly earn him a nod from his hero Morrissey.
“I don’t believe in love,” said DJ Jess. “There is only the memory of love, and the desire for.”
A memorial service for DJ Jess will be held at Webster Hall April 16 at 7 p.m.
By JON CARAMANICAMARCH 29, 2015
Title Fight Shane Moran, left, and Ned Russin played songs from their new album, “Hyperview,” which is a shift from their previous album, during a sold-out show at Webster Hall on Friday night. Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times
Toward the end of Title Fight’s Friday night set at Webster Hall, Ned Russin, one of the band’s two singers, introduced “Rose of Sharon,” a song from the band’s new album, with a bit of hushed reverence.
“This song is about permanence,” he said. “This song is about everything.”
In a sense, it’s also about how to smooth out the rough edges of your past in hopes of making something more lasting. “Rose of Sharon” is one of the more elegiac songs on the impressive “Hyperview” (Anti-). That album is a marked shift from its predecessor, the excellently pummeling “Floral Green” (SideOneDummy), from 2012.
Once a forthright basher of a band, Title Fight has become deeper, more reliant on its emotions. As it has done so, it’s begun to play more loosely with its posthardcore and emo roots, making music that trades urgency for complexity.
The swaggering center of the new album, and of this show, was “Your Pain Is Mine Now,” oozing with shoegaze cool. During moments like this, Title Fight got knotty. But even at its most immersive, the band — Mr. Russin on bass; his twin brother, Ben, on drums; and on guitar, Jamie Rhoden (who also sings) and Shane Moran — manages a clarity of purpose.
The band Title Fight at Webster Hall on Friday night. Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times
During its “Hyperview” material, the band was contemplative and settled. But it didn’t abandon its old tensions, mixing in several songs from its last album, quick jabs sprinkled in amid the body work. From time to time, Mr. Russin would spring into the air, legs akimbo — posi jumps, they’re called — as a reminder of the rowdy energy on which the band first built its reputation.
Title Fight was playing middle in a three-band bill. The headliner was La Dispute, a straightforward band with a wider range of influences — at one point during its set, there were distinct, and unwelcome, shadows of Sublime. The more compelling and apt partner to Title Fight was the opener, the Hotelier. Preoccupied with raw-nerve feeling and storytelling, it’s a much more literal inheritor of emo tradition.
As punk, in its Warped Tour variant at least, has painted itself into metalcore and synthesizer-driven corners, emo is constantly being born and dying and being born again more or less in the shadows.
The Hotelier is thriving in these underfed spaces. Its 2014 album, “Home, Like Noplace Is There” (Tiny Engines), was exceptionally sharp, a tuneful blast of agony. Here, the singer Christian Holden was plaintive and empathetic while the band gave him ample room to breathe.
“We write songs about caring deeply for the people you love,” he said.
And then he got back to aching.
The Killers frontman struts through cuts off ‘The Desired Effect’ and “covers” his old band at intimate solo gig
By Paula Mejia March 25, 2015
In what seems like a past life, four androgynous glam enthusiasts forged a synth-edelic gem of a debut, Hot Fuss, that swooned onto the charts and swept the group into arenas across the world. The Las Vegas band sang anthems of jealousy and Jenny, called themselves the Killers and ushered in a refreshing New Wave revival. At the center of it all was white coat-sporting frontman Brandon Flowers, who became famous for his onstage theatrics, lovelorn desert roars and fresh-shaved face. This was 2004, after all: Back then, the eyeliner ran thicker than the bass lines.
Eleven years and a handful of albums later, Flowers remains just as beguiling – even if there’s a little less gender-bending. Last night at New York’s Webster Hall, he admitted outright that “we’ve been coming here for 11 years, and I still get intimidated by this city,” but he commanded the crowd regardless, mixing a few old hits with new tracks from his forthcoming solo LP, The Desired Effect.
Red, mauve and peach lights – Sunset Strip shades – illuminated the venue as Flowers and his band opened with the new album’s punchy first track, “Dreams Come True.” From his first minute onstage, the singer played the part of a full-on entertainer, addressing the crowd with the politeness of a game show host and shimmying with the coy charisma of a Magic Mike stripper. The front row screamed as he unbuttoned his jacket during new single “Can’t Deny My Love,” as when he gripped his chest and dipped during early solo tracks “Crossfire” and “Magdalena.”
Flowers wears his influences (Echo and the Bunnymen, Depeche Mode) proudly on his lamé sleeves, and though the new songs are neither referential nor reverential, he couldn’t help but shout out one of his Eighties heroes halfway through the show. “Do you guys like Robert Palmer?” he asked before launching into a hell-raising cover of “Simply Irresistable.” “I’m not afraid to admit it.”
Accordingly, the set aim aimed for pop but remained grounded in the sturdy rock of a band led by drummer Darren Beckett. Two new backing vocalists, Erica Canales and Daniel Whiters, offered honeyed, Fleetwood Mac harmonies that nearly upstaged Flowers on new songs like “Dreams Come True,” and the album as whole seems to show the touch of Haim and Sky Ferreira producer Ariel Rechtsaid. Flowers described their collaboration as “in the spirit of conversation, contention and at long last, sweet contrition.” Whatever it is, it’s working.
Flowers can be a victim of his own passions, with his lyrics sometimes lingering toward the cliché. (How many more songs do we need about heads staying above water?) But his boyish charm, humility and unexpected bridges are tough to resist. “We’re going to play a few covers,” he at one point announced in his dusty voice. Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” seemed like an obvious choice. As did Stevie Nick’s “Edge of Seventeen,” which lingered over the earlier performance of “Can’t Deny My Love.” Instead, he played a couple of Killers tracks: at first a breathy, alt-country redux of “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,” then later, to close the show, a take on “Mr. Brightside” that piled extra synths into the breakthrough hit. Visibly beaming, Flowers finished the song, walked offstage and waved, smiling like he meant it.
“Dreams Come True”
“Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts”
“Jenny Was a Friend of Mine”
“Read My Mind”
“Digging Up the Heart”
“Can’t Deny My Love”
“Right Behind You”
“Only the Young”
MARCH 21, 2015, 8:37 AM|Modest Mouse is one of the most inventive and vibrant bands. Their new album took 8 years to make, but it has resulted in the top rock record in the country. Anthony Mason spoke to front man Isaac Brock at New York’s Webster Hall.