Central Park’s SummerStage officially kicked off the their summer season this past week with a multitude of artists coming forth to sing from the songbook of Frank Sinatra. Curated by impresario Michael Dorf, the sold out event helped to raise money for a variety of arts, sports and educational programs throughout New York City. With the weather breaking perfectly and such guests in attendance as NBA coach Jason Kidd, G.E. Smith and Roger Waters, the night was a huge success.
[Marc Cohn and Joan Osborne dance the night away]
Highlights of the evening included:
Loudon Wainwright III with his amusing antics of drinking, dancing, smoking and antagonizing Mayor Bloomberg
John Legend sharing his admiration for Frank Sinatra’s phrasing and then putting it to great use on It Was a Very Good Year
Marc Cohn and Joan Osborne duetting and dancing on stage.
Aimee Mann & Ted Leo & Andrew Bird combining their talents on Just One of Those Things
And last but not least, Judy Collins’ classic performance of Send in the Clowns. (John Pizzarelli who was seated behind her was visibly moved)
Marc Cohn – Fly Me to the Moon/Moon River
Suzanne Vega – How Insensitive / Mack the Knife
Joan Osborne – I’ve Got You Under My Skin / Something Stupid
John Pizzarelli – Ring A Ding Ding / You Make Me Feel
Allen Toussaint – Lonesome Road / All the Way
Mary Chapin Carpenter – Nice and Easy/ The Wee Small Hours
Aimee Mann & Ted Leo – Just One of Those Things
Loudon Wainwright III – The Lady is a Tramp / For one my Baby
Andrew Bird – Fall in Love too Easily / Nature Boy
Judy Collins – Send in the Clowns
Bettye Lavette – Come Rain or Come Shine / My Way
John Legend – My Funny Valentine / It Was a Very Good Year / The Way You Look Tonight
Group Encore – New York, New York
Check out a full gallery of photos from the evening by Jeremy Gordon…
This past Wednesday night, UK exports The Heavy headlined a packed Webster Hall in New York City. Lead singer Kelvin Swaby spent the entire night, dancing, jumping and physically connecting with the audience. The band focused mostly mainly on tracks off their latest album, The Glorious Dead, while also sneaking in their hit song Sixteen and encoring with How You Like Me Now.
The Ninth Annual Mountain Jam festival took place June 6th – 9th with one the best lineups to date including host Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule, Primus, Phil & Friends, The Avett Brothers and Widespread Panic to name a few. Set on the base of beautiful Hunter Mountain in the Catskills, you couldn’t ask for a better festival space. With some less than spectacular weather in the forecast it looked like a washout, however, the music must go on.
[All Photos By Paul Citone]
The pre-party to the festival officially kicked off Thursday afternoon with bands on the outside stages (one main stage and a small second stage) and the inside Healey Brothers Hall, a small venue inside the main lodge. The rain was pouring down but the festivarians came prepared with rain gear (including the tapers). I arrived in time to catch the set by Rubblebucket. They brought their “A Game” despite the rain. This band knows how to cross between the lines of psychedelic rock, dance and new wave jazz. Their dynamics and dancing on stage reminded me of being at a more modern George Clinton experience. Inside Healey Brothers Hall was Minnesota-based band The 4onthefloor. This smaller venue was packed. I was told to check these guys out and they are down home rockers with a touch of jam. They are also on the road this summer all across the U.S.A. playing medium-sized venues, so be sure to give them a shot.
The first thing I saw when walking into the Stage 2 room of New York’s cozy Rockwood Music Hall was Robert Randolph’s pedal steel, set up center-stage as always but given the confines of the room, crammed in tightly on a tiny platform with assorted amps, mics, guitars, keyboards and a big ol’ drum set encroaching.
I’d seen that close-cropped setup before, but it was ages ago. I flashed back 13 years to a now-defunct room in Boston called Axis, not much bigger than Rockwood and sparsely attended – maybe 30 people – on what I remember was a nondescript midweek night when no one (in the broad sense) had any real idea yet who this Randolph cat was or what he could do. I was dazzled that night, and on many nights with the Family Band since then. Has it really been nearly a decade and half since the auspicious rise of Robert Randolph began?
As my car hydroplaned down the West Side Highway during a torrential downpour this past Friday night towards Pier 40, where a yacht hosting a performance from Grateful Dead / Furthur bassist Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band would depart from, it wasn’t a stretch to think the massive amounts of rain might deter some folks from attending. Despite the weather, the boat seemed full as Hornblower Infinity Yacht crew members helped make sure everyone got onboard safely.
A near-capacity crowd saw the fourth and final night of the intimate June New York City run for Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band. The atmosphere on the vessel was celebratory as most seemed happy to be a part of this unique event. While NYC concert boat cruises are nothing new, Friday night’s voyage seemed to be in a different category. Fans gathered drinks, ordered food and found a spot on the luxurious boat before this ship of fans left port.
On the first day of June; New York City was experiencing a break from the unusual late May heat. Supported by The Spring Standards, Tea Leaf Green captivated New York City at Bowery Ballroom on the first Manhattan stop after their most recent album release.
In The Wake just might be the band’s strongest LP as a five-piece. Trevor Garrod (keys, vocals), Josh Clark (guitar, vocals), Scott Rager (drums), Reed Mathis (bass, vocals) and Cochrane McMillan (percussion) worked an entire year on this project without testing any of the new material on the road…until this tour. The Bowery Ballroom filled with eager fans buzzing about this newly created art. But before TLG was to hit the stage, The Spring Standards impressed with passionate lyrics and catchy folk tunes. James Cleare, Heather Robb and James Smith share the vocal and instrumental duties while they poured energy and soul into the hour-long opening slot. As Tea Leaf Green made their way down the backstage steps of the Bowery, many excited concert attendees took the opportunity to get a closer view of the action. The band would follow their previous night’s pattern by playing In The Wake from front to back without skipping a track to start the show.
This past Saturday moe. finished off a five-show, post-Summer Camp Festival run at Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut. Located on the campus of Western Connecticut State University, the unique and inviting venue is within reasonable driving distance for a huge chunk of the moe. fan-base. The stage is a pavilion located in front of a large pond and behind a moat (moat: a deep and wide trench around the rampart of a fortified place (as a castle) that is usually filled with water), with a very large lawn behind the reserved section – quite beautiful. It was the first show of the year for the venue, which offers a nice selection of food and full, well-priced bottles of wine – something that was clearly being enjoyed by most.
[All Photos by Nick Irving]
During the middle of the first set, The Wood Brothers emerged for a bluegrass heavy cover of The Band’s The Weight which was followed by a well suited and placed version of Water from moe. A highlight of the show was a blistering Farmer Ben into a full version of Rush’s Tom Sawyer. What first seemed like it was going to be a tease to many fans, some laughing, became a full on rocking tribute to recent Rock & Roll Hall of fame inductees.
The annual Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest took place this past weekend at Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey. Aaron Neville, The Voice of Wetlands All-Stars, The Royal Southern Brotherhood and Anders Osborne were just a few of the bands performing at the legendary event.
The annual Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Fest is taking place this weekend at Sussex County Fairgrounds in Augusta, New Jersey. Aaron Neville, The Voice of Wetlands All-Stars, The Royal Southern Brotherhood and Anders Osborne are just a few of the bands performing at the legendary event.
Photographer Dino Perrucci has been on hand at the fest all weekend and has filed this exceptional shots of The Voice of Wetlands All-Stars, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Soul Rebels, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, Tab Benoit and Johnny Vidacovich and more from Saturday at the Crawfish Fest…
Words: Andrew Bruss (Day One) and Benjamin Tan (Day Two) Photos: Andrew Bruss
Day One – May 25 – by Andrew Bruss
Everything about the first day of the Boston Calling Music Festival was Boston Strong. Not a lot of audiences will stand in front of an outdoor stage for 10 hours straight in rainy 40-degree weather but this crowd did. Mayor Thomas Menino took the stage to give the event his blessing and while there is nothing unusual about a mayor this, doing so on crutches with a broken leg at the ripe young age of 70 was both a symbol of strength and a flooding endorsement of the event. And while the show was all about the music, by the time Fun. took the stage, the Boston Bruins had effectively eliminated the New York Rangers from the Stanley Cup Playoffs just a stones throw up the road at the TD Garden and this helped hype up a 19,000 strong crowd that didn’t need a lot of nudging in that regard.
[All Photos by Andrew Bruss]
With two stages set up in City Hall Plaza, the event hosted a single performer at a time while the other stage allowed the next artist to set up and sound check. The first act of the day to really blow people away were the Brooklyn based drum/keys duo, Matt & Kim. Before they even took the stage, the crowd dove head first into an epic sing-along of Weezer’s Beverly Hills courtesy of a well-programmed PA broadcast. Matt & Kim greeted a cold and amped up audience that had to have been the first to go crowd surfing in City Hall Plaza. While the duo’s minimalistic, hard hitting drums and multilayered digital accompaniments are the trademark that found them on the bill, what everyone will remember from this performance was the energy directed towards the stage from the crowd and vice versa. The Brooklynites commented that the two of them are actually native New Englanders and in their many travels, had concluded that only in New England will a band find a crowd so happy to be in front of a stage in the near-freezing rain.
From May 17 – 20, event founder Shaul Zislin and his team brought a wide range of rock acts to the sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama for the fourth annual Hangout Music Fest. With a lineup featuring Umphrey’s McGee, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, Bassnectar, the Trey Anastasio Band and Kings of Leon, the 2013 installment of the Hangout Music Fest sold out.
Photographer Dave Vann was on hand for all four days of Hangout ’13 and has shared over 100 stunning photos from the event with us. Take a look at this gallery which features all of the aforementioned bands as well as Future Rock, Conspirator, Railroad Earth, Galactic, The Black Crowes, Galactic, The Roots and Gov’t Mule and many other acts. Plus, there’s plenty of shots showing off the scene at what’s become one of the country’s top music festivals.
Here’s the full gallery of Dave Vann’s shots from the Hangout Music Fest…
This past Thursday night saw the debut of The M&Ms, a new supergroup featuring guitarist Papa Mali (7 Walkers), bassist Rob Mercurio (Galactic), drummer Stanton Moore (Galactic) and keyboardist John Medeski (MMW) at (le) poisson rouge in New York City. The concert was put together by Equifunk organizers, who will bring The M&Ms to Equifunk 2013 this August.
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers @ Beacon Theatre – May 22
Words: Scott Bernstein Photos: Chad Anderson
Like a fine wine, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers seem to get better with age. The legendary rockers are in the midst of a 21-show tour that includes arena dates, visits to sheds, festival appearances and most notably a pair of residencies at intimate venues. The first of these residencies is currently taking place at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, where the band played their second of five shows at the Manhattan venue last night and kept the crowd hanging on every note thanks to a full-bodied mix of potent rockers, gorgeous originals and even a few fun covers.
[All Photos by Chad Anderson]
Tuesday night’s show kicked off the way all four shows on the tour have started – with a deliciously jangle-fueled cover of So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star by The Byrds. While Petty deserves all the accolades he’s gotten over the years as the group’s front man and songwriter, from the first note it was clear just how much The Heartbreakers mean to his music. Lead guitarist Mike Campbell is one of the best in the biz and delivered one jaw-dropping lick after another all night. Keyboardist Benmont Tench is an extremely versatile player who adds impressive layers to each tune, while never stepping on his band mates’ toes. Drummer Steve Ferrone pounded the skins so hard that he nearly collapsed at the end of the group’s 19-song main set. Ron Blair steadies the band as an incredibly capable bassist, while Scott Thurston is the Heartbreakers’ Jose Oquendo – a multi-instrumental “utility player” who fills in wherever needed depending on the song.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Friend Of The Devil
After finishing the Full Moon Fever track Love Is A Long Road, Tom Petty stepped to the mic and was met by a roar from the crowd. The roar only gained in strength when the Gainesville, Florida native announced, “Was anyone here last night? Well, we’re playing a completely different show filled with deeper tracks.” It seems most fans were clued in on the mission behind the residency, which was to show the depth of Petty’s repertoire that goes so far beyond the hits that continue to be classic rock radio staples. If there were attendees upset that songs like Free Fallin’, I Won’t Back Down and Breakdown weren’t performed, they kept quiet about it. These residencies are for the hard-cores and for fans who could appreciate the band’s stellar catalog. However, after making the “deeper tracks” announcement, Petty said they’d play one everyone knew before “embarking on tonight’s adventure” and lit into Here Comes My Girl.
This past Friday night God Street Wine guitarist Aaron Maxwell and bassist Dan Pifer were Reid Genauer’s guests as part of the AOD front man’s venue-opening run at Garcia’s in Port Chester, New York. The bar, which is part of the Capitol Theatre, is named after Jerry Garcia and features Captain Trips memorabilia. Reid was performing with members of Assembly of Dust as well as special guests, which on Friday were Maxwell, Pifer and Yahuba Garcia of the Ryan Montbleau Band.
At one point during the second set, AOD (and GSW) multi-instrumentalist Jason Crosby teamed up with Aaron, Dan, Garcia and a drummer for fun takes on God Street Wine’s Waiting For The Tide and Mile By Mile. Video of Waiting For The Tide has surfaced thanks to Joe Madonna…
As the lime-infused canopy of spring morphs into the in bloom fullness of summer the Dark Star Orchestra finished a two-night run at Brooklyn Bowl with a bang. Selling out both mid-week shows, DSO showcased their new bass player Skip Vangelasa the Williamsburg venue.
For Tuesday’s second night of the Brooklyn Bowl run, Dark Star Orchestra chose to play a Grateful Dead show from June 15th, 1976 that was originally performed about seven miles away at Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre. DSO weaved in and out of Dead classics like Let It Grow, St. Stephen, Stella Blue and a powerful Sugar Magnolia > Scarlet Begonias > Sunshine Daydream sequence.
This latest incarnation of DSO captures the Grateful Dead in the prime of their long career. By focusing on the details and closing your eyes, audience members are able to take a trip back in time and experience a little piece of rock and roll history.