Pearl Jam Play Entire ‘No Code,’ Debut New Song at Moline Concert

 

 

 

Pearl Jam had a pair of major surprises in store for fans at their Friday night concert at Moline, Illinois’ iWireless Center. Not only did Eddie Vedder debut a new song dedicated to the Quad Cities town, Pearl Jam performed their 1996 album No Code straight through in its entirety, from “Sometimes” to closer “Around the Bend,” Jambase reports. “No Code. Front to back. #PJMoline #PJFall2014,” the band tweeted before sharing a photo of the Moline setlist, which confirmed that the new song Vedder debuted onstage was also called “Moline.”

According to WQAD, Vedder told the crowd that the new song was written especially for Moline and the Quad Cities area. “Moline, it seems, this is for me. You can call me Nancy and I live in Moline,” Vedder sings on the track that’s about a woman who leaves Detroit for the Illinois city. Vedder also revealed that he’d written the song just minutes before the band took the stage, and that the cut was related to Vitalogy‘s “Better Man.”

It’s unclear why Pearl Jam opted to make Moline, Illinois the setting for the No Code performance other than the fact that the 1996 album was partially recorded nearly two decades ago at the not-so-nearby Chicago Recording Company studio. Vedder joked following the performance of No Code‘s “Off He Goes,” “Alright, end of side one.” The singer told the crowd that the No Code performance marked only the second time the band had performed a studio album of theirs in its entirety; as the band’s official message board points out, Pearl Jam played their whole 2006 self-titled record, out of sequence, at a Torino, Italy concert in September of that year.

In a wild coincidence, on the same night that the Foo Fighters were rocking out with Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen at Chicago’s the Cubby Bear and on a previously recorded Late Show With David Letterman performance, Mike McCready also paid tribute to the guitarist by busting out a checkerboard guitar Nielsen had given him while Jeff Ament brought out a bass with a similar pattern.

Guns N’ Roses first show with Duff McKagan in 17 years: Setlist + Tour Dates

guns-n-roses-duff

Last night, Guns N’ Roses headlined a show in Buenos Aires, Argentina and for the first time in 17 years, Duff McKagan served as the band’s bass player. As previously reported, McKagan has temporarily rejoined the band filling in for Tommy Stinson, who’s playing with The Replacements at Coachella. Axl Rose made quick use of his new (?) bassist, having him sing lead on a cover of Misfits’ “Attitude”, the band’s first such performance of the song since 1993.

GNR also covered The Stooges’ “Raw Power” for the first time ever and smashed their way through renditions of Led Zeppelin’s “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”, The Who’s “Seeker”, and Wings’ “Live and Let Die”. They also played a whole bunch of originals, including material from Chinese Democracy, again with Duff on bass. Let that sink in for a few seconds.

Below, footage of their Misfits cover and see the full 35-song setlist. GNR next plays Paraguay on Wednesday night.

“Attitude”:

 

 

“Live and Let Die”

 

 

 

Setlist:
Chinese Democracy
Welcome to the Jungle
It’s So Easy
Mr. Brownstone
Estranged
Rocket Queen
Nice Boys (Rose Tattoo cover)
Attitude (Misfits cover) (Duff McKagan on lead vocals, first time played live since 1993)
Raw Power (The Stooges cover) (Live debut)
My Michelle
Better
Guitar Solo (Richard Fortus)
Live and Let Die (Wings cover)
This I Love
Piano Solo (Dizzy Reed)
Catcher in the Rye
You Could Be Mine
DJ Ashba Guitar Solo (La Bella Vita)
Sweet Child O’ Mine
Jam (“Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” by Led Zeppelin)
November Rain
Abnormal (Bumblefoot cover)
Don’t Cry for Me Argentina (Julie Covington cover)
Don’t Cry
Used to Love Her
Civil War
Shackler’s Revenge
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
Jam
Nightrain

Encore:
Jam
Patience
The Seeker (The Who cover)
Jam
Paradise City

Guns N’ Roses 2014 Tour Dates:
04/09 – Asuncion, PY @ Jockey Club ^
04/12 – La Paz, BO @ Estadio Hernando Siles ^
04/15 – Recife, BR @ Chevrolet Hall ^
04/17 – Fortaleza, BR @ Centro de Eventos de Fortaleza ^
04/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia (Golden Gods)
05/13 – Bethlehem, PA @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center
05/16 – Columbus, OH @ Columbus Crew Stadium (Rock on the Range)
05/21 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/24 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/25 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/30 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
05/31 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
06/04 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
06/06 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
06/07 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

^ = w/ Duff McKagan

Complaints made about Red Hot Chili Peppers’ exposed nipples during Super Bowl performance

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

53 complaints were made about Red Hot Chili Peppers’ exposed nipples during their Super Bowl performance last month. Oh well…

The complaints were made to the Federal Communications Commission, the body which regulates television and radio broadcasts in the United States. One of the complaints referenced Janet Jackson’s controversial Super Bowl performance of 2004, during which one of her nipples was exposed. The complaint, via Deadspin, read: “The halftime show had a gratuitous display of nudity and the nipples of more than one adult were were displayed on Broadcast TV. If Janet Jackson can’t show a nipple, then neither should they.”

Following their performance with Bruno Mars at the American Football event, Red Hot Chili Peppers had to confirm that their instruments were not plugged in during the half-time show at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. The performance attracted the largest audience in the history of the sporting event, pulling in 115.3 million viewers.

During the show, many social media users commented that the band’s instruments did not appear to be plugged in. Blues guitarist blues artist Joe Bonamassa tweeted: “Flea… I mean we all know, but for god’s sake at least try to humor the children.”

In a long message on the Red Hot Chili Peppers website, bassist Flea explained that the bass, drums and guitar were not amplified or plugged in, but the vocals were. He wrote that the band were offered no other option by Super Bowl organisers NFL, and following careful consideration decided to go ahead and appear at the event in spite of having to mime.

“So, when this Super Bowl gig concept came up, there was a lot of confusion amongst us as whether or not we should do it, but we eventually decided, it was a surreal, like, once in a life time crazy thing to do and we would just have fun and do it… We decided that, with Anthony singing live, that we could still bring the spirit and freedom of what we do into the performance, and of course we played every note in the recording specially for the gig.”

Live Review: St. Vincent at New York’s Terminal 5 (2/26)

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Annie Clark celebrates her new Top Rated album with a sold out hometown gig.

Photos: Wei Shi

A St. Vincent concert is a great leveler—it reduces all of us, even Annie Clark—to mere specks in the universe that the music of St. Vincent has created. Giants like David Byrne appear alongside unemployed Brooklyners and haughty Manhattan socialites, all eager to bask in her enormous glow. The packed VIP section in New York’s shoddiest large crowd venue Terminal 5 can attest to this: We are all moths flitting toward the great white light of Annie Clark.

When the spotlight hit Clark, she belt out opener “Rattlesnake” with a sly grin, her spiny shadow looming nearby in the corner. She arrived in all reds and blacks, an almost cabaret outfit that flirted with the conservative side of sexy with stark lines. The crowd roared and hissed as they recognized her latest single, their vocals filling the cavernous warehouse of the venue with uncanny volume. Miraculously, most everyone honored the robotic plea issued just prior to the music: “Please refrain from digitally capturing your experience.” This made her message on follow-up song “Digital Witness” hang even heavier in the room: “I want all of your mind.”

St. Vincent is the perfect pop star candidate for our new millennial tastes, and the live show for her fourth and latest, self-titled record reveals this with crystalline clarity. More Bowie than Britney, she cherry picks from the drama and glitz of the ’80s with none of its tawdry, channeling the frisson of nostalgia with a cool elegance that’s decidedly of the moment. “I can’t see the future but I know it’s got big plans for me,” goes a line on “Laughing With a Mouth of Blood” a mid-set deep cut from her 2009 breakout Actor. Assured even in prescient incantations, she seems to speak her cultural import into being, predicting and creating her impact. Because she is a pop star maximalist, donning her guitar from a stagehand like a crown, prancing from center stage to some art deco, stark white boxes like a creature. She even adopts the pose of doe-eyed lounge singer for a sensual performance of another new one, the blasphemous defiance of “I Prefer Your Love.”

But she’s a pop star of her own design, existing within her own distinct confines. Clark bucks beauty standards with casual ease, willfully embracing the female dread of “grey hair” and assembles her locks with the ferocity of a lion’s mane. None of it is accidental, surely, but none of it feels put upon either. Clark is never contrived even when she is deliberate—she feels like Clark even when she’s channeling the star power of St. Vincent. Amid a generation desperately seeking to identify with aesthetic signifiers defined by their relationship to others, she seems strangely unconnected from her contemporaries.

It feels reassuring to see that Clark’s style is all her own. Even when her aesthetic nods to others, at the center of St. Vincent’s visual and aural identity we find the girl Clark and goddess St. Vincent casually interpolated across guitar solos, structured stage banter, and sporadic smiles. The staged, pre-composed banter she prepared to address the audience with has the warm feel of a mother reading a book she knows well to her children—there’s no rigidity in her preparation. Instead, the intermittent speeches reflecting on childhood joys and hopes that is seeking to connect Clark with her fans, comes across as a warm, hospitable foresight.

It’s the moments of animal abandon that really make the live show a spectacle though. Her guitar solos recall why we used the word “shredding” at all to talk about sounds that guitars make. They’re Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, or Poison in nature and fervor, but mashed up against intricate, balanced organs and harmonies and strewn with her compelling yet child-like lyrics. Her freedom onstage seems tied to the reality of her social restraint. Dancing like she’s giving birth or heaving in sickness on “Every Tear Disappears”, or doing a corpselike ballet during the languid, high-register breathiness of “Surgeon”, she seems unlocked, revealed. For “Cheerleader”, she clambered to the highest shellacked white box of the tower to unleash a guitar solo that sounds like a VCR eating the old magnetic tape of a beat-up VHS. As if the reified role of female as sexually suggestive sidelines spectator would itself jam in the machinery of our society and cease to ever be played out again.

These images conflict with the kind but closed-off portraits we get of her in overly-lengthy and wide-eyed profiles, or even photographs of her. The hype wearies us even as we seek to know her more, but this dichotomy also speaks to our continued fascination. Hence her popularity and the all-around-din of her celebrated genius: She knows herself, and she’s assured enough in that knowledge to keep it under the lock and key of her watchful, careful dialogue with the public.

Her prepared monologues make one thing clear, though, which is that Annie Clark is a great lover of the unceasing awe of childhood hopes and dreams. For an encore, a solitary, stripped down version of “Strange Mercy” from 2011’s record of the same name soothes like a lullaby, encouraging impossible dreams with a peculiar insistence. “I’ll be with you lost boys/ sneaking out where the shivers won’t find you” goes the Peter Pan-invoking refrain. Clark invites us to re-stoke the embers of our imagination, before we learned it wasn’t cool to dream big, whopping guitar-solo energy into the tiny, extraordinary hopes we had for ourselves. Before we learned that mercy is indeed strange, and rare in our encounters with the injustices of reality, law, and hierarchy. So she sings us the lullabies and livid, seething rock songs to soothe our embattled hearts. We can never be children again, but in the flicker of her looming shadow, we find a blind belief in recapturing innocence. Whether it’s a losing battle or not, Annie Clark stands as a witness that this battle is not futile.

Dawes Brings Laurel Canyon Vibe to the Wiltern with Laid-Back Homecoming Gig: Concert Review

Dawes

Dawes

The Bottom Line
L.A.’s favored sons deliver a show that straddles the line between indie acoustics and amphitheater-ready anthems.

“I think that love is so much easier than you realize,” sings Taylor Goldsmith in the climactic moment of “A Little Bit of Everything,” a signature song for the band Dawes, ’“If you can give yourself to someone, then you should.” Maybe that boldly romantic advice goes for love of music, too, and if there’s any band worth giving yourself to at the moment, it’s Dawes, whose homecoming show at the Wiltern Friday night gave Angelenos a chance to renew vows with the city’s most crush-worthy current export.

The tag “Americana-folk” still sticks to Dawes like a Minnie Pearl price tag, and they certainly did enough to deserve it on their first two albums, which mesmerized unwitting indie-rock fans with classic virtues that were invariably described as “CSNY-like” because, well, that’s the only band that ever had vocal harmonies, right? Dawes’ acoustic leanings made for a halfway novel calling card on the L.A. scene — presaging a “back to Laurel Canyon” movement that may have been reality or hype — but those initial recordings wore their demo-ey gentleness like a badge that was meant to deflect against any charges of commercial ambition. But with their third album, this year’s Stories Don’t End, they’ve grown into their skin as an unabashedly electric, ready-for-the majors band, ready to trade Laurel Canyon for Red Rocks, if there’s even still a market for superior mainstream rock anymore.

Is there? Hard to tell from the evidence, as Dawes struggles to fill small clubs in some markets, while being hailed as conquering heroes in others, like Nashville, where they recently sold out the Ryman Auditorium well in advance. The Wiltern was a few rows shy of a sellout but still marked the largest hometown show to date for a group that, even locally, doesn’t have an obvious niche to fit into. (Tellingly, the show was sponsored not by too-cool-for-school KCRW but the upstart KCSN, a station that sort of sells neo-mainstream as the new indie.) If you squinted really hard, they were actually playing the Fabulous Forum. And forget the ‘70s, the era Dawes is most frequently — and maybe fairly — tied to. If this were a time when, say, Gin Blossoms still walked the earth, songs like “From the Right Angle,” “Most People,” and the studio version of “Hey Lover” would be huge.

But frontman Goldsmith’s singer/songwriter sensibilities are less Gin Blossoms than Jimmy Webb, with alternating currents of poetic opacity and pure, unbridled emotion that have been the twin hallmark of many a classicist rocker before him. On Dawes’ early records, Goldsmith sounded so smoothed out and unruffled that he bordered on coming off twee, but the latest album’s production lets him sound less bridled. And in person, any milquetoast qualities that you might have taken from the old albums’ meekness disappear. “If I Wanted Something,” which sounded like a folky trifle on 2011’s Nothing is Wrong, comes off as a hard-edged rock classic in the flesh now, with Goldsmith singing “If I wanted someone to clean me up, I’d find myself a maid” like somebody who’s listened to Blood on the Tracks and delivering stinging guitar solos like someone who’s spent a lot of recent time in the company of Crazy Horse.

There is a Bonnaroo-friendly aspect to Dawes, as they stretch out the albums’ fairly compact gems and let Goldsmith prove a capability for soloing you could only guess at from the recordings, even bounding around a bit — though he hardly otherwise looks the guitar hero, with his Everyman look and sleeves-rolled-up-for-work dress shirt.

Any jam-band tendencies may have been accentuated a bit Friday by the set-long presence of a guest second guitarist, Blake Mills, who was a co-founding member when the band was formerly known as Simon Dawes back in the mid-2000s. Mills has gone on to stints like being Fiona Apple’s very featured guest on her most recent tour (and has a solo project due in the spring), and he’s just notorious enough that his return to the Dawes fold was a little like Jay Farrar sitting in for an entire Wilco show. If you’ve seen any of Dawes’ other recent shows, you’d have to say that Mills’ presence slowed the set’s momentum, as the handful of contributions the band had him sing tended to be of a slower, rootsier, and less immediately compelling bent. But it did offer a fascinating look at what Dawes might be today if they’d carried on with two frontmen instead of one. Although the sharing led to some dilution of energy, there were surely benefits to having two capable but stylistically distinct lead guitarists trading riifs, as the encore’s lovely closing interplay indicated.

In the end, you don’t really want Goldsmith trading his way out of the spotlight for long. He’s gotten better at bringing out his acerbic side in once-sweet post-breakup ballads like “Coming Back to a Man,” but the singer also has a greater idealism that makes the audience sing-along section of the anthem “When My Time Comes” feel honestly earned. Smart enough to be a cynic but soulful enough to reach for something higher and more elusive — that’s tough to find these days, so no wonder the band is a favorite of Jackson Browne (who was in the house) and gets called out to open for Dylan. The on-point musicianship of the rest of the crew, including drummer/harmony vocalist/MVP/brother Griffin Goldsmith, seals the deal.

When Goldsmith sings “I think there are a few of us that still belong out on the road,” it’s not meant to be as much of a meta boast as it sounds, coming in the context of a song (“From the Right Angle”) that’s about valuing touring as an escape from relationships. But to the extent that the audience does cheer like it’s intended that way, it’s a deserved brag. When Dawes are out on the road, they’re about the best musical advertisement their hometown currently has for “Time Spent in Los Angeles.”

Set List:

Most People
If I Wanted Someone
Someone Will
Unworthy (Blake Mills song)
Fire Away
Just Beneath the Surface
Something in Common
Hey Lover (Mills)
Don’t Tell Your Friends About Me (Mills)
When My Time Comes
Coming Back to a Man
Curable Disease (Mills)
3 Weeks in Havana (Mills)
From a Window Seat
Bear Witness
It’ll All Work Out (Mills)
A Little Bit of Everything
From the Right Angle

Encore:

Time Spent in Los Angeles
Peace in the Valley

Primal Scream play hit-packed set at Brixton Academy show

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Following an eclectic DJ set from Andrew Weatherall, Primal Scream kicked off their set with ‘More Light’ track ‘2013’ – complete with brass section – followed by ‘Hit Void’.

The band then continued with ‘Jailbird’ and an aggressive ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’. They followed this with fellow-‘XTRMNTR’ favourite ‘Accelerator’, before tearing through a series of cuts from their recent record including ‘Culturecide’, ‘River Of Pain’ and a somber and intense ‘Goodbye Johnny’.

The end of the set was a greatest hits selection, including ‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’, a rave-fuelled ‘Swastika Eyes’, ‘Riot City Blues’ favourite ‘Country Girl’ and a stomping finale of ‘Rocks’. With the crowd cheering for their return, Gillespie and co then re-took to the stage for a ‘Screamadelica’-packed encore of ‘Loaded’, an extended ‘Come Together’ complete with audience singalong and ‘Movin’ On Up’.

Following the gig, the crowd were in positive spirits, with David, 28, from south London saying that Gillespie was, “a complete icon. Even the stuff they played earlier in the night that I didn’t really know sounded amazing”. Anna, 31, from Westminster, meanwhile, said, “The encore was amazing. ‘Screamadelica’ is my favourite album so that was incredible.”

Primal Scream continue their tour on Saturday (December 14) at Glasgow’s SECC, before finishing on Sunday (15) at Manchester Academy.

Primal Scream played:

‘2013’
‘Hit Void’
‘Jailbird’
‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’
‘Accelerator’
‘Culturecide’
‘River Of Pain’
‘Goodbye Johnny’
‘Walking With The Beast’
‘It’s Alright, It’s OK’
‘Swastika Eyes’
‘Country Girl’
‘Rocks’
‘Loaded’
‘Come Together’
‘Movin’ On Up’

During their current UK tour  Primal Scream will be followed on the road, to document it all on a Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone, allowing fans the opportunity to see the band like they never have before

Pussy Riot duo in NYC to promote Amnesty International concert @ Barclays Center

At Barclays Center, the sentiment was more bittersweet and tangible than anyone might have realized.

“Live Aid co-organizer Bob Geldof also added his input by addressing the dwindling crowd:  “This is supposed to be a concert to ensnare the youth of America but I don’t see anyone under the age of 60,” he complained, before dedicating his short set to the memory of Pete Seeger.”

With more Marxists in New York than in Moscow, Pussy Riot should expect a chilly reception from New Yorkers.

Two members of the Russian  feminist punk collective who were jailed by their home country for ‘hooliganism,’ held a press conference at Amnesty International’s headquarters to promote yesterday’s event ‘Bringing Human Rights Home’ concert in Brooklyn.  The two members of the punk collective were joined by Madonna, The Flaming Lips, Lauryn Hill, and Cold War Kids, among others.

Members of the Pussy Riot collective and Madonna

Members of the Pussy Riot collective and Madonna

The two women were convicted of “hooliganism” in 2012 after staging a protest against President Vladimir Putin at a Moscow church.

The duo came to New York City with a political agenda: A brighter future for Russia which includes the overthrow of Vladimir Putin because “We don’t want a shirtless man on a horse leading us.” They also want to visit prisons in the United States.

They did better with satirist Stephen Colbert, but the interview was so bizarre that the answers given by the duo might have left viewers wondering about whether Russia will be better if led by the Pussy Riots.

Welcome to the United States. Have you been to an Olive Garden yet?” That’s how Stephen Colbert opened his interview with Pussy Riot on Tuesday night’s episode of The Colbert Report. Despite speaking through a translator, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina  were laughing along as Colbert made jokes about being a personal friend of Vladimir Putin and rolling their eyes when he threatened to search them following the taping of the episode. ”We’ve had two years of practice hiding things from searches,” Nadya replied.

When Colbert asked the women why they were against Putin, someone “who’s just trying to preserve the peace and bring Russia to a brighter future,” Masha responded, ”We have different ideas about a brighter future. We don’t want a shirtless man on a horse leading us.” They also intend “to look at prisons in the United States, talk to human rights activists, and learn from their experience.” Following their release, the women have called for reform of the prison Russian system.

Nadya and Masha said they were released early from prison because “[Putin and other government officials] were fed up with us.” Asked if they believed it was a publicity stunt ahead of the Olympic Games, they replied, “We don’t think it was a successful stunt; we don’t think it improved the image of Russian. Maybe Putin made a mistake and should throw us back in jail.

As for why they came to America, Nadya and Masha said they intend “to look at prisons, talk to human rights activists, and learn from their experience.” Following their release, the women have called for reform of the prison Russian system. The duo did not say if they intend to visit the Guantanamo Base prison.

Lastly, Colbert asked about the origins of Pussy Riot and how one (such as himself) could become a member. “Even you” could be in Pussy Riot, they told him. “We could even come up with an honorary Pussy Riot tradition for youbut we’ll only talk to you about this after you call Putin.” Well, ask and you shall receive and by episode’s end, Colbert was sporting some bright new head wear: Colbert Pussy Riot

And if you’re wondering why they call themselves Pussy Riot and why they use the English translation, it’s because “we wanted to let English-speaking people enjoy themselves,” explained Nadya. (???)

Amnesty International Concert @ Barclays Center

Brooklyn’s Barclays Center has hosted everything from boxing matches to pop concerts, but until last night, the venue’s premises hadn’t been used as a recruitment station for the Revolutionary Communist Party. The unique occasion was Amnesty International’s Bring Human Rights Home Concert, the Jingle Ball of charitable giving, a show hyped in the States for its very special guest stars: two of the formerly jailed members of Pussy Riot.

The concert itself, however, didn’t launch with a ton of revolutionary energy. The first hour’s highlights only included Colbie Caillat’s performance of “Brighter Than the Sun” and the Fray’s extended take on — but of course — “How to Save a Life.”

After an introduction from once-jailed Iranian blogger Kianoosh Sanjari, Blondie finally made the concert feel like one, keeping the crowd on its feet even through their 2013 track “A Rose By Any Name.” Before “Call Me” ended the set, Debbie Harry announced the determined message of “One Way or Another” was “especially appropriate for this event.”

If Blondie managed to unite all the disparate fans in the arena, Cake could barely bring together the Cake fans in the building. Fortunately, their set was followed by the most anticipated portion of the night, when Madonna (black coat, Grammys cane, Comme des Fuckdown beanie) introduced recently freed Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, recalling how the Russian leg of her latest tour was threatened for encouraging of “gay behavior” before Nadya and Maria themselves addressed the crowd.

Speaking through a translator, the duo opened with the sort of truisms we had been hearing all night – “We have to remember that freedom is not a given,” for instance – before offering the sort of specific, goal-oriented call-to-action that had heretofore been missing, reading closing statements of trials for political prisoners currently awaiting sentencing. “This is our last chance to say something to them before they are locked up for five or six years,” they explained. And though many had hoped for a performance of some sort, what we received instead was undoubtedly more appropriate, a nod to Amnesty, a “thank you for the support” and an account of ongoing struggles back home. As another member of the collective had told Vice nearly two years ago, “We’ll never give a gig in a club or in any special musical space.”  Yeah…

The crowd’s chants of “Russia will be free” seemed like a perfect cap for the night, but instead marked only the halfway point of the show, and Imagine Dragons began to make their way toward the stage. If the Pussy Riot collective envision rock & roll as a way to disrupt and even change society, Imagine Dragons use it to slowly chip away at the world’s surplus of drum sticks. Lead singer Dan Reynolds snapped the first one midway through their opening song, and by the time they got to the end of “Radioactive,” four of the five band members — everyone but the bassist — was hitting some sort of percussion.

Next up, Lauryn Hill used her time onstage to play a single song suite, one that began with “Ready or Not” and concluded with some liberationist reggae, providing the only performance that seemed truly revolutionary.

Bob Geldof nearly spoke for longer than Cold War Kids had played, then continued to play three songs that left the arena emptier than it had been since that band’s opening set.

Tegan and Sara were short and sweet, giving those remaining the first refreshing dance songs that had been heard in hours, and the Flaming Lips closed with Wayne Coyne dressed in a tinsel cape, standing on a small tower of amps and asking if we realize that everyone we know someday will die. With Pussy Riot — who’ve bravely suffered at the mercy of the Russian legal system — in the building, the sentiment was more bittersweet and tangible than anyone might have realized.