Vampire Weekend @ Roseland Ballroom NYC

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Vampire Weekend Get Cinematic at NYC Roseland Ballroom

Vampire Weekend returned to New York on Sunday, April 28th for a sold-out show directed by Steve Buscemi for the Tribeca Film Festival’s #amexUNSTAGED series, where they played 19 songs, including new ones from their highly anticipated album “Modern Vampires Of The City.”

Vampire Weekend is an American indie rock band from New York City formed in 2006. They are currently signed to XL Recordings. The band consists of four members: lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig, guitarist/keyboardist and backing vocalist Rostam Batmanglij, drummer and percussionist Chris Tomson, and bassist and backing vocalist Chris Baio. The band released its first album Vampire Weekend in 2008, which produced the singles “Mansard Roof”, “A-Punk”, “Oxford Comma”, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”, and “The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance”. The band’s second album, Contra, was released in 2010. Their third studio album, Modern Vampires of the City, will be released on May 14, 2013.

Formation and rise to fame (2006–2007)

Members of the band met while matriculating at Columbia University in New York City, beginning with a rap collaboration between Koenig and Tomson. They bonded over a shared love of punk rock and African music, and Koenig toured with The Dirty Projectors during a period of experimentation with African music, inspiring the band to incorporate world sounds into their earliest work. The band chose the name “Vampire Weekend” from the title of a short film project Koenig worked on during the summer between freshman and sophomore years in college. While home for the summer, Koenig watched a 1980s vampire film and was inspired to make a Northeastern version of the film in which a man named Walcot travels to Cape Cod to warn the mayor that vampires are attacking the United States. Koenig abandoned the project after two days. The band began playing shows around Columbia University, starting with a battle of the bands at Lerner Hall. After graduating from college, the band self-produced their debut album while simultaneously working full-time jobs, Tomson as a music archivist and Koenig as a middle school English teacher.

In 2007, Vampire Weekend’s song “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” was ranked 4th on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Best Songs of the Year.” In November 2007, they toured the UK with The Shins. Success came to the band in the now common form of blog hype and internet buzz, built during the year that their album was on the internet before its official release. The internet attention led to a large prerelease following, which in fact enabled them to go on three full tours before their debut album dropped. They were declared “The Year’s Best New Band” by Spin magazine in the March 2008 issue, and were the first band to be shot for the cover of the magazine before releasing their debut album. Four songs from the band’s first album also made the Triple J Hottest 100, 2008. The internet hype had its backlash, however, as critics reacted against a perceived image of Vampire Weekend as privileged, upper-class Ivy League graduates stealing from foreign musicians. One critic went so far as to call Vampire Weekend the “whitest band in the world,” to which they took exception, given their Ukrainian, Persian, Italian, and Hungarian heritages. Koenig responded in a November 2009 interview by saying, “Nobody in our band is a WASP.” Furthermore, the backlash involving their social backgrounds was largely unfounded, as Koenig explained in the interview that the band members got into Columbia on scholarship and used student loans; he himself was still paying off student loans in 2009. Such reactions were not repeated for later world music-inspired musicians, suggesting Vampire Weekend may have cleared the way for their style of fusion.

All concert photos by Ashley Mungo.

Sources: Youtube, Wikipedia, Google, Ashley Mungo, Coachella 2013

The Gaslight Anthem – World Tour Dates 2013

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World Tour Dates 2013
Date Venue Location Tickets
  May 12 Enmore Theatre

Sydney, Australia Tickets RSVP
  May 14 Palace Theatre Melbourne Vic, Australia Tickets RSVP
  May 15 The Palace

Melbourne, Australia Sold Out RSVP
  May 17 HQ

Adelaide, Australia Tickets RSVP
  May 19 Metro City

Perth, Australia Tickets RSVP
  May 25 Stone Pony – Summer Stage

Asbury Park, NJ Tickets RSVP
  May 26 Stone Pony – Summer Stage

Asbury Park, NJ Tickets RSVP
  Jun 15 Pinkpop Festival Landgraaf, Netherlands Tickets RSVP
  Jun 16 Download Festival Derby, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
  Jun 17 Olympia Theatre

Dublin, Ireland Tickets RSVP
  Jun 18 Olympia Theatre

Dublin, Ireland Tickets RSVP
  Jun 20 L’ATELIER Luxembourg Ville, Luxembourg Tickets RSVP
  Jun 21 Southside Festival Neuhausen Ob Eck, Germany Tickets RSVP
  Jun 22 Wembley Stadium

London, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
  Jun 23 Hurricane Festival Scheessel, Germany Tickets RSVP
  Jun 26 Rock The Beach Helsinki, Finland RSVP
  Jun 27 Bravalla Festival Norrköping, Sweden Tickets RSVP
  Jul 02 Alter Schlachthof Dresden, Germany RSVP
  Jul 04 Rock For People Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic Tickets RSVP
  Jul 05 Reload festival Sulingen, Germany Tickets RSVP
  Jul 06 Ringlokschuppen Bielefeld, Germany RSVP
  Jul 07 Rock Werchter Werchter, Belgium Tickets RSVP
  Jul 26 Hudson River Park – Pier 26

New York, NY Tickets RSVP
  Jul 28 Hudson River Park

New York, NY Tickets RSVP
  Jul 31 Upstate Concert Hall Clifton Park, NY Tickets RSVP
  Aug 01 Higher Ground South Burlington, VT Tickets RSVP
  Aug 02 Osheaga Festival Montreal, Canada Tickets RSVP
  Aug 03 The Grove Music Festival Toronto, Canada Tickets RSVP
  Aug 11 Sziget Festival Budapest, Hungary Tickets RSVP
  Aug 15 Open Air Gampel Gampel, Switzerland Tickets RSVP
  Aug 17 FM4Frequency Festival Sankt Pölten, Austria Tickets RSVP
  Aug 18 Highfield Festival Leipzig, Germany Tickets RSVP
  Aug 20 Zeltfestival Ruhr Bochum, Germany Tickets RSVP
  Aug 30 Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration Milwaukee, WI Tickets RSVP
  Sep 06 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI Tickets RSVP
  Sep 08 The Paramount Huntington, NY Tickets RSVP
  Sep 09 The Norva Norfolk, VA Tickets RSVP
  Sep 11 Bogart’s Cincinnati, OH Tickets RSVP
  Sep 12 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale, PA Tickets RSVP
  Sep 13 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale, PA Tickets

Phoenix LIVE @ David Letterman Show – NYC

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French rockers turn in 44-minute performance – April 30, 2013


About The Performance

Before Phoenix took the stage for their Live on Letterman webcast, no one knew exactly what to expect. It was just a week out from release day for Bankrupt! The album received rave reviews and charted at or near the top worldwide. The quality of their latest work (and the work that had preceded it) was never in question. However, in a pre-show interview, the band had told us that following the success of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and their live shows that it had become “hard to impress” themselves. They told us their main goal was to surprise and inspire each other, and when we pushed to find out what was in store for their coming tour, they only commented “it’s a surprise, even for us.”

What followed when the Frenchmen graced the stage would surely impress even the most jaded musician. No gimmicks, no tricks, simply a twelve song set of unrivaled musical artistry. From the moment the opening notes of “Entertainment” rang out, the crowd was on their feet and Twitter was set ablaze. The stage, flooded in red lights glowed with the pulsating energy that only Phoenix can bring.

Thomas counted out, “Un, Deux, Trois!” and Phoenix launched into “Lasso” with a punch-heavy two drummer set up pounding every beat home and across the globe. From there, they stayed with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to shake and swing the theater with “Lisztomania.” Though the track may be over four years old, and it has been played millions of times, it was as fresh as the first time you heard it. Phoenix didn’t hold back on the new material either. Following “Lisztomania,” the played several songs off Bankrupt!, all of which held their own next to the Parisian powerhouse’s biggest hits. “The Real Thing” sounded massive live, filling the entire theater with a fuzzed out sonic soundscape, while also remaining clear and focused.

“Trying to Be Cool” proved to be extremely powerful live, despite its overall laidback vibe. “Chloroform” literally shook the house with a hypnotic and driving low end hitting hard and smooth. “Don’t” swung out a pounding yet contemplative sound that just isn’t being done by anyone else.

Phoenix mixed the hits into the new material as well, sounding like the biggest rock and roll band to come out of Europe in decades as they hit “Armistice” and “1901” hard, and the audience screamed for more.

All in all, Phoenix proved to be one of the most unique and unparalleled shows in the series. No one else could have pulled off that performance. Phoenix stood alone in their rock and roll grandeur, both timeless and extremely in the here and now, creating the soundtrack that defines and pushed this very moment.

Source: CBS: The David Letterman Show. Pictures copyright: CBS