The Best NYC Shows This Week – VILLAGE VOICE

Two legends of psych rock from very different backgrounds play the city this week: Os Mutantes, the Brazilian band who helped kickstart the political Tropicália arts movement in the ‘60s, play with original and new members at Webster Hall, while the highly regarded songwriter and musician Robyn Hitchcock, whose band The Soft Boys pioneered psychedelic pop in the UK in the ‘70s, plays his iconic 1981 album Black Snake Diamond Role in full with the help of Jersey indie pop gods Yo La Tengo. If psych isn’t your vibe, you can check out the mind-expanding compositions of genius Kendrick Lamar collaborator Thundercat, an immigrant punk festival at Silent Barn, or rising queer Bronx rapper Quay Dash.

Brazilian psych rock group Os Mutantes were some of the leaders of ‘60s Tropicália, an arts movement with a political bent that flummoxed the repressive military dictatorship who ruled the country at the time. Their effusive records took inspiration from psych and prog rock of the period, including Pink Floyd, bent by the local flavors of traditional Brazilian folk. Their albums and sound went on to inspire artists like Talking Heads and Beck. Os Mutantes today is headed by founding member Sérgio Dias, who began the band with his brother, and a new singer, Esmeria Bulgari.


Adam Ant made his triumphant return to New York City on Wednesday night (2/22 )for the final date on his current North American tour. An anniversary celebration of the iconic album Kings of the Wild Frontier, Adam and his band played the album in its entirety along with a well-stocked setlist of other Ant classics. It must be noted that the songs from Kings of the Wild Frontier were first given mass exposure when MTV was in its infancy. The infectious grooves and trademark Adam Ant flair for fashion were ingrained into the psyche of the MTV generation. Ant’s charm and good looks never did anything but increase his affability and add to the popularity of his music. But the music. The iconic cover artwork. The album, Kings of the Wild Frontier, is one of the all-time classics. Hence, an anniversary tour celebrating the UK’s #1 selling album of 1981.

Originally scheduled for Jan. 27, the Webster Hall date had been postponed due to the untimely death of Tom Edwards, the band’s guitarist and musical director. The loss of Edwards was a shock that forced the band and crew to cancel shows in both Philadelphia and NYC, a mere two dates into the tour. Tom Edwards had been a relevant fixture on the UK music scene and had a working relationship with Adam Ant for many years. Since the “show must go on”, the band secured a replacement guitarist in Will Crewdson, a fixture of the London rock scene and regular collaborator with Adam Ant. Crewdson was an easy fit with the band and already familiar with the material, thus the tour resumed on schedule and the cancelled gigs were quickly rescheduled at the end of the tour. A well-polished machine, the Adam Ant band closed out their tour in high fashion to a sold out, hungry NYC crowd.

The evening’s festivities kicked off promptly at 8pm with Los Angeles based, all female rockers Glam Skanks. Like the improbable love child of Marc Bolan and Divine, the Skanks lived up to their moniker with pomp and flair, lipstick and sequins. Songs like “Tube Tops” and “Bad Bitch” established the band’s enthusiasm for fashion and establishment of new era grrl power. Flashy and trashy, the Glam Skanks delivered their edgy power pop songs in a tight, 30-minute set. An excellent choice for support, the gals from LA set the party tone for the evening and successfully whetted the appetites of the NYC audience.

The house lights finally went out shortly after 9pm and the Ant faithful, the self-proclaimed “Ant warriors”, let out a resounding roar. Finally. Having the originally scheduled show canceled, there were a countless number of ticket holders who were unable to attend the new date, while the rest of us were left to anxiously await the show weeks later. FINALLY. The musicians swiftly took their positions on the stage and with no time left to draw a breath, that familiar Burundi beat began its slow, driving build, with momentum ever increasing until the lights came on and Adam Ant was center stage in full dandy regalia. The sound and vision collided and the Kings of the Wild Frontier album sequence began with “Dog Eat Dog.” Adam commanded the stage with authority and belted out the lyrics with the audience singing along in unison, “You may not like the things we say, what’s the difference anyway?” The applause following the opening number was so overwhelming that it almost drowned out the synchronized drumsticks intro to the next song, “Antmusic.” The band took small pauses between songs, presenting the KOTWF album in its original U.K. sequence.

The title song, which is the first song of the album’s second side, was perhaps the catalyst of the evening. The floor of the venue, already vibrating from another show in the space below, began to shake with fervor from the audience’s tribal stomping. The song “Kings of the Wild Frontier” is undoubtedly the battle cry of the Ant Nation. The song that unites a fan base. “A new royal family, a wild nobility, WE ARE THE FAMILY!” The music was reaching new peaks and the lyrics continued to encourage the solidarity of its listeners, “Antpeople are the warriors… Yeah! Antmusic is the banner!” Fists pumping in unison with the battle cries of the song’s message had Webster Hall shaking like a teepee housing a heated Pow Wow.

Twelve perfect songs concluded the album performance and were duly given an enormous ovation. The audience seemed grateful just to have witnessed a live presentation of such a magnificent work of art, like a special visit from an old friend. Adam acknowledged the completion of KOTWF and thanked the NYC crowd. The audience was then treated to a set list of Ant classics, starting with the fever-paced “Beat My Guest.” There were several other standout moments of the show including performances of such songs as “Stand and Deliver”, “Goody Two Shoes” and “Prince Charming.” Adam took a moment a few songs before the end of the main set to introduce the band. Andy Woodard and an eclectic beauty that simply goes by the name of Jola were the two responsible for holding down the drumming duties. The pair has been a part of the Ant posse for many years and countless tours and provide the powerful rhythm that is easily attributed to Antmusic. Joe Holweger, also an Ant posse mainstay, executed his bass duties with the usual flair expected of an Ant warrior. Will Crewdson, lead guitarist, more than amply handled his responsibilities with added nuance and his own aggressive style.

The encore slot of the show featured a trio of songs which wonderfully capped a magical musical adventure. “Red Scab” was the first, an epic early Ants B-side, driven by the grinding guitar distortion of both Crewdson and Adam himself. The second encore was “Get It On (Bang A Gong)”, the T. Rex hit, and the only cover song in the entire set. The final song, as always, was the deeply sexual “Physical (You’re So). One of the highlights of the entire Ant repertoire, the song was featured on the U.S. version of the Kings of the Wild Frontier album. Musically, the song ebbs and flows, opening sonic windows through which Will Crewdson was able to crawl through with distorted abandon.

The NYC crowd was left used and abused and drenched with the sweat and love that almost 40 years worth of Antmusic provides. Adam Ant, at 62 years of age, provided a sexually charged performance that was so overly and physically demanding it would exhaust a man half his age. Proof in the pudding that the faithful that were in attendance were rewarded with a performance they’d not soon forget. The Kings of the Wild Frontier tour was not originally scheduled to end its run in New York City but it just happened that way. Fate decided that England’s greatest pop star should complete the celebration of his greatest album in the greatest city on Earth.

What’s going on Wednesday? – BROOKLYN VEGAN

Code Orange, Youth Code, Nicole Dollanganger, Lifeless, Jukai @ The Marlin Room at Webster Hall
Code Orange’s nu-metal-ish major label debut Forever is out now, and we hear the crowds at the shows on this tour have been crazy. NYC finally gets to see for itself tonight. Good openers too, including EBM duo Youth Code, dark singer/songwriter Nicole Dollanganger, and more.

Pollstar Concert Industry Award Winners – POLLSTAR.COM

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.

Webster Hall Proud winners of Nightclub of the Year
Webster Hall
Proud winners of Nightclub of the Year

Cloud Nothings – TIME OUT NEW YORK

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

LVL Up and Cloud Nothings, Together at Webster Hall – NEW YORK TIMES


From left, Greg Rutkin, Nick Corbo, Mike Caridi and Dave Benton of LVL UP.
From left, Greg Rutkin, Nick Corbo, Mike Caridi and Dave Benton of LVL UP.

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 announces tour with Empty Houses and Dryjacket – BROOKLYN VEGAN

Aaron West

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.

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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

Oathbreaker announce tour with Khemmis, Sannhet, Jaye Jayle, more – BROOKLYN VEGAN

photo by Jeroen Mylle

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 %

* w/ King Woman, Jaye Jayle
^ w/ Khemmis, Jaye Jayle
% w/ Sannhet, Jaye Jayle


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.

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.


H/T: Pollstar Pro | Featured Image Source: Clubs In NYC

The 13 Best Concerts of 2016 – VULTURE

By Dee Lockett

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. 

View the full list here:

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