Tag: Amanda Krew

Portugal. The Man/ Grouplove Concert Review

Words: Amanda Krew

On September 12th, a packed Merriweather Post Pavilion was buzzing with excited fans anticipating Honda Civic’s 13th annual tour. This years headliners included indie-pop crowd pleasers, Grouplove and psychedelic rock group, Portugal. The Man. The two bands gripped the audience throughout the night with powerhouse vocals, infectious dance beats, and mind-blowing visuals; what else could anyone ask for from a live show? Although just about every seat was filled, not one was being sat on.

Portland based, Portugal. The Man spanned their three most popular albums, catering to the mostly new fan base, but by no means did they cut any corners. As John Gourley’s psychedelic artwork poured onto the screen, the iconic lines of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall flooded the venue, concluding in the familiar war cry of “Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!” Just as the crowd thought they were in for a traditional cover, Gourley’s falsetto buzz took over, blending the classic rock tune into Purple Yellow Red and Blue, a song off their 2014 release, Evil Friends. Without breaking the palpable energy after the opener, P.TM flowed seamlessly from song-to-song covering hits such as All Your Light, So American, and The Sun. What really set this performance apart from the band’s other tours was the light show, projecting virtual clouds over the audience and Technicolor lasers into the lawn. Through the freight train of hits, P.TM folded covers such as Day Man from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Don’t Look Back in Anger by Oasis, and Ghostface Killah’s A Kilo into staples off of their studio albums.

The members of LA based band, Grouplove, walked out onto the dimly lit stage. Singer Christian Zucconi was sitting center stage playing a piano ballad, when the beat finally started to pulse and the lights came up, unveiling the punchy pop I’m With You, from their newest album Spreading Rumours. The set then quickly transitioned to the chart topping songs Itchin’ on a Photograph and Lovely Cup while singer Hannah Hooper danced around the stage in a money-printed spandex body suit occasionally dipping her hand into the sea of jumping fans. As the set dove into the group’s new album, it was apparent, not only by the band’s energy soaked performance, but also by the reaction of the crowd, that the record was a hit. The crowd seemed to know the whole album word for word. Ten songs into the set, Grouplove surprised the crowd with a cover of Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love, complete with a hip-gyrating rap masterfully executed by Hannah Hooper.

The concert concluded in a performance of The Who’s Baba O’Riley with Kyle O’Quinn and Zach Carothers of Portugal. The Man accompanying Grouplove; an appropriate way to end a spitfire performance. Every so often one can witness a live show that makes the ringing ears, sore feet, and the crush of tightly packed crowds worth it. Live shows that deliver musically and aesthetically are far from a rarity these days, but attending this concert raises the bar high for Merriweather acts yet to come.

Music to Keep on Your Radar

Words: Amanda Krew

Lazaretto by Jack White

Genre: Rock

The release of White’s sophomore solo LP, Lazaretto, has been accompanied by an overall new sound from the former White Stripes frontman. Apparently influenced by a recent move to Nashville, Jack White mixes a country twang with his signature garage rock rumble. This album’s eclectic track list includes ingeniously mismatched back-to-back tracks like Temporary Ground, a harmony heavy fiddle ballad, next to the rhythmic hard rock wail found in Would You Fight For My Love.

 

 

They Want My Soul by Spoon

Genre: Pop

Four years after the release of Spoon’s last album, Transference, in 2010, the band is finally back with a new album. The Texas-based quintet has wowed music critics with what is undoubtedly their most adventurous album to date. Tracks such as Knock Knock Knock have become the band’s new signature with its infectious beats and power pop lyrics that seem to waft throughout the whole album. Despite the paradigm change, Spoon has not yet left its roots in the track Let Me Be Mine, which sounds almost straight off their 2005 release, Gimme Fiction.

 

 

 

Half the City by St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Genre: Soul/Blues

Alabama-based soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones have stirred up quite a buzz following the release of their first album, and for good reason! Lead singer Paul Janeway claims to have learned more from being a preacher than he has from singing on a stage. This speaks loads of his revivalesque, pleading verses. Janeway delivers strong, compelling vocals over booming brass lines in tracks such as Sugar Dyed, and shows his versatility in the melancholy coo of tracks such as Broken Bones and Pocket Change. Obviously inspired by 60s era James Brown and the Muscle Shoals movement, St. Paul is proving to be an innovator of the classics.

 

 

 

Trouble in Paradise by La Roux

Genre: Synth Pop

Following a far too long five-year hiatus since releasing her chart topping hit, Bulletproof, La Roux is back with a more mature sound. Lead singer Elly Jackson has been faced with her fair share of “trouble in paradise” preceding the release of this record, including vocal health issues and being left by producer Ben Langmaid. Despite her trials, Jackson has released a fantastically punchy electro-pop album. Tracks such as Silent Partner hold a sense of urgency embedded in a tight, modern, throbbing dance beat. This album follows a relationship stuck in rough waters, all the while riding on Jackson’s pixi-punk voice.

 

 

 

Singles by Future Islands

Genre: New Wave/Post-Punk

Future Islands has quickly become one of the hottest new names in alternative music after their performance of Seasons (Waiting on You) reached second most viewed on David Letterman’s YouTube channel. The Baltimore-based trio’s intensity seems to juxtapose the appearance of khaki-clad lead vocalist, Samuel T Herring, as he weaves back and forth on the stage. Herring’s guttural, quasi-death metal growl found in tracks such as Spirit counteract the more lyrically heavy, gentle track, Back in the Tall Grass. The hulking rumbles deep in the bowels of Herring’s voice balance the tender moments of this record.

 

 

 

Salad Days by Mac DeMarco

Genre: Pop/Rock

In his sophomore LP, Mac DeMarco has single-handedly created one of the most relatable albums of 2014. The notorious indie-rock jokester’s album is riddled with intimate tracks and catchy hooks covering subjects such as independence, wasted youth, and broken relationships; all without crossing the thin yet oh so evident line of a cliché pop album. Simple guitar riffs and minimalistic percussive lines flow throughout tracks such as Treat Her Better and Blue Boy stirring up chill California vibes.