English rock band Glass Animals came to the 9:30 Club on Aug. 8 to tour their debut album ZABA. The indie-chill band played their sold out show with an opening performance from New York-based indie musician Gabriel Garzon-Montano. The audience cheered throughout the whole set, which included hit singles “Gooey” and “Black Mambo.” Frontman Dave Bayley’s vibrant personality illuminated the evening, and each song was met with applause. Fans of good vibes and relaxing ambiance should give Glass Animals a listen.
Summary: The band brought a fast pace to their style of country to a perfect fitting venue on Thursday evening.
At Pier Six Pavilion, the open water and positioning of the stage covering the hectic Inner Harbor encapsulates the venue from the rest of the city. The cool summer breeze made the venue feel perfect for a country concert as fans packed Pier Six Pavilion on Thursday night.
When the stage lights came on, The Band Perry came out with speed and excitement. The group that released the lilting and steady “Pioneer,” was surprisingly rapid and energetic on stage. While unexpected, that energy paid off.
The tempo of the songs was only possible due to the showmanship of The Band Perry. The three siblings, Kimberly, Reid and Neil Perry, did an amazing job of engaging the crowd whenever the energy in the venue dropped, even if it was just an ounce. Neil Perry at one point grabbed the camera, pointing it at audience members so they could see themselves on the big screen. Dancing all over the stage and getting the crowd shaking with them kept the pace of the concert moving.
Pyrotechnics like fireworks and smoke cannons complimented the show, but tapered off by the end. It would have enhanced the performance to have fireworks towards the end to help skyrocket the crowd’s energy even more. Still, the intense lighting and unique visual effects for each song blew the crowd away.
The show consisted of The Band Perry playing songs from their albums “The Band Perry” and “Pioneer,” such as “Better Dig Two,” “Chainsaw,” and “Don’t Let me Be Lonely,” all with a fast upbeat tempo, even during “If I Die Young.”
The low point of the show was the band’s cover of “Uptown Funk.” The crowd may have been going wild and singing along with the pop hit, but Kimberly Perry’s country style did not fit the song well. The cover was early enough in the set to be made up by the rest of the show.
The Band Perry’s other attempt at a cover, “Fat Bottomed Girls,” by Queen, went over better. The band skillfully mixed their fast paced country style in with this classic song and the entire venue was rocking and rolling along.
Overall, the show was spectacular. The Band Perry excels at their showmanship, continually engaging the crowd. Any country fan should put The Band Perry on their watch list the next time they are in town.
Tame Impala rock Echostage
The band’s 2015 U.S. tour ends on a high note in D.C.
Summary: The Australian group bring their unique psychedelic-rock sound and their artistic light show to D.C. on Saturday night.
In the humid concert venue, the crowd eagerly cheers on the men dressed in white lab coats who rush across the stage to set up various keyboards and tune different guitars. Fans of Tame Impala know that the process of setting up the instruments is as crucial as the performance itself. Every microphone, drum, and pedal has to be in the right place so the group can recreate the chilled psychedelic-rock tunes that they are known for.
When the lights finally dim, a green laser beam is projected onto the background of the stage, moving around faster and faster until the one beam turns into many and Tame Impala walk onto the stage shyly. The screaming escalates for a few seconds, but as the five musicians get situated and start playing their instrumental “Intro,” the fans quiet down to take in the sight before them.
Tame Impala is the name that frontman Kevin Parker records and performs under. He writes, sings, and produces almost all of his tracks, calling them a product of “sudden brain spasm[s] of musical emotion” on his Ask Me Anything session with fans on Reddit in April 2015. It was on this AMA that Tame Impala released the third single from the upcoming album Currents, titled “Disciples.”
The first single off of Currents, which is set to be released on July 17th, is “Let It Happen,” which “Intro” smoothly transitions into, emphasizing the song’s idea of letting go. With the background screen filled with a medley of bright colors that, according to Parker’s AMA, he “sees” when he imagines the music, along with the singer’s soothing voice crooning into the microphone, the boys on stage get lost in their instruments with looks of concentration on their faces while they dance along to the beats they create.
The pace slows down for the classic “Mind Mischief” from Tame Impala’s sophomore album Lonerism. The colors change from warm pinks to cool greens and blues, almost signifying the character’s relief that “she remembers my name,” which the crowd passionately sings along to. After this lyrical realization in the song, the pink color oozes back into the mix, bringing along with it excitement and happiness.
The next song is another throwback from the band’s debut album Innerspeaker, called “Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?” The song is a mix of confused emotions, matched by the flurry of colors and shapes moving quickly along the screen. The anxiety is clear in Parker’s voice as he kicks one of his bare feet out in frustration, fans singing back the question to him.
During a break from the music, the singer comments on the crowd, noting that “most other crowds aren’t as cool” what with all the crowd surfing. He reminds fans to take care of each other before proceeding to play the final single from Currents, “Eventually.” Thus far, this song is the most different from Tame Impala’s old tunes, with an instrumental that is accentuated by Parker’s voice, whereas it on previous albums it was almost always the other way around.
Parker mentions in his AMA that “Eventually” is a song that is “still very moving for [him] to listen to even after 951520974 listens and mixes.” With his eyes shut and his grip on the microphone firm, that heavy emotion is easily felt by the crowd who gently sing along with the frontman as he sings, “and I know that I’ll be happier, and I know you will too.”
Tame Impala bring the night to an end with their jam “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards.” Parker puts down his guitar for this Lonerism favorite, and instead walks around to the different sides of the stage to get close to the fans who are eagerly waiting to catch his attention. Then, during the closing song “Nothing That Has Happened So Far Has Been Anything We Could Control,” Tame Impala slow things down to really highlight their psychedelic roots.
On the screen behind them are blobs of funky colors joined by the contrasting black and white live, zoomed-in images of individual band members. The crowd is silent, wanting to take in every second of the last song of the night, and the boys are dancing around slowly, making sure they end the show perfectly.
When the song is over, the five seem reluctant to leave the stage, but look content with their performance. They walk away slowly, returning smiles and waves to their fans. Various shouts of “I love you” and “see you soon” travel off the stage with them.
Before starting his set, A-Trak addressed the audience with a few words stating his love for traditional DJing and how he wants to bring that out in his concert. Playing at the 9:30 Club, the Canadian artist brought along fellow musicians AraabMuzik and Ape Drums. With a hyped crowd of EDM (Electronic Dance Music) lovers and 80’s based neon RGB visuals, A-Trak was unstoppable throughout his set. Along with the premiere of a new track ‘Aquafina’ featuring D.C. Rapper GoldLink, the evening was filled with remixes, confetti, and non-stop bass. If you’re a fan of trap music and pump up tracks, check him out!
Bass aficionado Thundercat performed at the Hecht Warehouse as a feature act for this year’s DC Jazz Festival. Opening up for the artist was the fantastic Sam Prather’s Groove Orchestra. Along with songs from his previous albums, Apocalypse and The Golden Age of Apocalypse, Thundercat also did a brief performance of Complexion (Zulu Love) by Kendrick Lamar. The evening was filled with non-stop riffs and solos that blew away the audience. If you’re a fan of bass solos, Flying Lotus, and Jazz, check him out!
Canadian Danish music duo RHYE returns to the Sixth and I synagogue with a sold out crowd and a dedicated audience. The group performed songs from their heartfelt debut album Woman along with new tracks. Each song from Woman was also played differently from the album version, either performed at a different pace or including new solos. Synth pop band Haerts were beautiful openers as well. Frontman Mike Milosh was very sincere towards the audience, constantly appreciating their presence and respect. In the end, it was a beautiful evening for live music at the religious venue. If you’re a fan of intimate songs and enamoring lyrics, check them out!