Monday, June 21, 2010

weekend music wrap

So Kurt Vile, Union Pool, very cool to see him in such a small venue. I thought the dude was bigger than that, that he would get a big crowd at something like the Bowery Ballroom, but maybe I'm wrong. He played with his band, the Violaters, no bassist, but a harpist sitting in (I couldn't hear the harp once during the set, so that was kind of useless). The show was fun but it was mostly his more rocking stuff, like "Freak Train", and I dig that stuff but the material I really love is his weird, low-fi solo stuff. "God is saying this to you" is my favorite album, tracks like "My Sympathy" and "My Best Friends" are where it's at for me. He did a few solo songs, but not enough. His drummer rocked pretty hard.
I bailed on the Morning Benders and didn't make it out to that weird Glenn Branca harmonics guitar thing.
Yesterday's outdoor show in Williamsburg at the East River Park was great, awesome way to end the weekend. Got there around 6:30ish when the heat of the day was starting to subside and Karen Elson was on stage. I didn't know what to expect from her (model, Jack White's wife), but she played a really strong set of country music and closed with a great version of "Season of the Witch". I was impressed and pleasantly surprised. Grizzly Bear were great, the crowd was way into them being a local act, and I had heard some people say that Band of Horses should be opening for Grizzly Bear. Must have been an awesome experience for the bands to play looking out at the East River and then all of Manhattan behind that. Band of Horses took the stage as the sun set over the city and the lights in the skyscrapers came on, awesome site to turn around and see as they were playing. BofH were much better this time than when I saw them at Terminal 5 2 years ago. I think I posted about that show here, they fucked up a few times and actually stopped during one of the encore songs, and just weren't that tight. Last night's show was their final stop on a 3 month tour and they were really tight and had a great vibe, celebratory even, and very cool bantering with the crowd. Ben Bridwell, the lead singer, was rapping with this enthusiastic dude in the crowd named Andrew and it become this theme for the 2nd half of the set. Some people in the building behind the stage (the one in this pic) put out a banner that said ANDREW and they started putting his name into songs. It actually sounds kind of dumb as I'm writing this, but it had the effect of everyone in the crowd feeling like they were a part of an inside joke, just a really fun cool vibe. It's summer time, ya'll, have a good week.

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