Monday, September 22, 2014

Gorilla vs Bear Fest IV @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX

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2:30 PM
The partnership between the Granada Theater and local (but obviously international) blog, Gorilla vs. Bear, has been nothing short of excellent.  Gorilla vs. Bear has showcased numerous bands such as The War on Drugs, Glass Candy, Chromatics, Shabazz Palaces, and Purity Ring at the Dallas venue but the annual Gorilla vs. Bear Festival started it all.  Of the five bands I just listed, three of them are GvB Fest alum (Glass Candy, Chromatics, an Shabazz Palaces).  So it doesn't surprise anyone when GvB decided to go with another showcased artist in Panda Bear to headline the fourth installment of the fest.  Noah Lennox (Panda Bear) performed mostly new material from his upcoming release, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, perched in front of numerous projected images and flanked by two strobes.  Always a sensory trip, Panda Bear is a sight to behold and fun to listen to.  Other highlights of the fest were openers Ejecta and Sophie.  Sophie's brilliance was felt around, making the Granada one huge dancefloor.  Former Neon Indian member Leanne Macomber danced around herself as she and Joel Ford, otherwise known as Ejecta, performed a nice set of chill tunes.


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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Washed Out / Small Black @ Granada Theater, Dallas, TX

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12:00 PM
I was a bit surprised when I heard that Washed Out would be returning to the Granada Theater in 2014, as Ernest Greene and Co. performed at the historic Dallas venue less than a year ago.  But trust me, I was not complaining as last year's show was a blast.  Alongside Washed Out was Brooklyn's Small Black, who also performed in Dallas as recently as November as part of a Red Bull Sound Select show at the Prophet Bar.  Together, the two bands provided a great one-two punch of danceable, chillwave goodness.  I had missed Small Black the last few times they had come through Dallas and was very impressed with their live show.  When Ernest and Co. took the Granada stage, they were without the tropical stage setup they had last November.  This time, they employed a nice array of stage lighting that complimented the jovial mood of the evening.  You cannot not enjoy a Washed Out show, sans the constant Portlandia references.
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Monday, September 1, 2014

KXT Summer Cut 2014 @ Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
Just when you think festival season is over in North Texas, KXT brings it back with its annual Summer Cut at the Gexa Energy Pavilion.  Spanning across two stages, Summer Cut always brings in an eclectic mix of genres to the Dallas amphitheater including the likes of past headliners the Avett Brothers and the Flaming Lips.  This year was no different with KXT bringing in the Hold Steady, Iron & Wine, and headliners Death Cab for Cutie.  Despite the sweltering heat of this August day, thousands descended upon Fair Park to take in a wonderful evening of music.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Under the Influence of Music Tour @ Gexa Energy Pavilion, Dallas, TX

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12:30 PM
Words and pictures by Antonio Chantaca

Wiz Khalifa brought the Under The Influence of Music Tour to Dallas at Gexa with Ty$ and Young Jeezy.  This guy has recently started building back up his buzz in light of his new release Black Hollywood.  Knowing Wiz was performing new material and having seen previous setlists throughout his tour, I had a pretty good idea what he had in store for Dallas, which made my job a bit easier and made the performance a bit more enjoyable.  The tour almost has a music festival feel to it with the many openers that came along including Rich Homie Quan, Sage the Gemini, Iamsu and host, DJ Drama, all of which I heard on stage but did not shoot due to my terrible choice in parking and a little confusion at the venue.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Antlers @ Trees, Dallas, TX

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12:30 PM
When I think of the Antlers' music, I think of pure emotion.   Their music evokes an honest yet strong reaction, usually of the melancholy sort.  With that being said, the emotions were in full swing when the Antlers made a stop to Trees in Deep Ellum.  The trio from Brooklyn, along with a touring fourth member, is touring in support of their fifth studio release, Familiars.  It's been a few years since I've seen the Antlers (6/8/11 at the Loft) and definitely took note when their tour dates were released.  Even though I would have preferred to see the Antlers play in a smaller venue, the size didn't take away from the intimacy of the music and how it touched the audience.
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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Black Label Society @ Pop’s, Sauget, IL

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1:30 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
Someone call the police!  There has been an assault.  An assault on my auditory senses, that is!  But in the case of seeing Black Label Society live, the assault was not malicious in nature.  In fact, it was self-initiated.  Being a fan of this band and their leader, Zakk Wylde, for the past 15 or so years, I would have gladly driven much farther than the sixty miles (round trip) to Pop’s to cover this show!  For those of you that don’t know, Zakk Wylde is better known for being Ozzy Osbourne’s on again, off again, go to guitarist for the past 25 years.  Over the past few years, Zakk has taken a break from Osbourne’s band and focused entirely on Black Label Society.  Black Label Society has been a revolving door of fantastic musicians since its inception and its founder has always claimed members are free to come and go as they please. The 2014 version of Black Label consists of Zakk Wylde (guitar/vocals/piano), John DeServio (bass/vocals), Jeff Fabb (drums), and Dario Lorina (guitar).
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Photos: Peter Matthew Bauer @ the Loft, Dallas, TX

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1:00 PM
As a fan of the Walkmen, I was pretty intrigued to here one of its own, bassist and organ player Peter Matthew Bauer, would be performing a free show exactly a month after his debut album, Liberation!, was released via Mexican Summer.  A blend of classic rock with a singer-songwriter twist, Bauer's songs are easy to ingest and a joy to listen to.  Performing for years with the Walkmen, Bauer is no stranger to the stage but this is the first time in his career to front and lead his own band.  With less than a dozen live performances under his solo name, Bauer had an composed yet highly energetic feel to him.  His performance was pretty straight forward but he provided a lot of energy when needed, almost screaming his vocals or furiously playing his guitar.  Although the crowd was very modest, he did nothing short of 110% on this night.  I would definitely recommend catching him as I thought it was a great show.  
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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gary Clark Jr. / Nick Moss Band @ the Pageant, St. Louis, MO

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2:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson

How fitting is it that I’m sitting in my living room watching a Jimi Hendrix documentary and typing up this review?  Fitting!  Very fitting!  Stellar guitar playing was the main course of this show and St. Louis guitar fans were more than starved to see this show.  The Nick Moss Band had a tough job, warming up these staunch supporters of Gary Clark Jr.  I’m happy to report Nick Moss had what it takes to get the job done!  Nick Moss is a big man but he and his band produce a sound that is even bigger.  Moss's Band has a sound that is part jam band and part Chicago blues band.  No slouch on guitar himself, Moss is a veteran musician that has been endorsed and invited to play at Buddy Guy’s Legends by Mr. Guy himself.  The Band is touring in support of their new album, Time Ain’t Free.  If the Nick Moss Band is playing a club near you, stop on by.  You’ll thank me later!
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Journey / Steve Miller / Tower of Power @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, MO

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12:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson
It’s hard to fathom that the bands listed above have been making music for combined total of 135 years! If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will! These musicians are considered to be the equivalent of rock and roll royalty.  So without further ado, let’s dive into this big pot of rock and roll stew!  Formed in 1968, in Oakland, California, Tower of Power was at first a collaboration between Emilio Castillo and Stephen Kupka, known back in those days as The Motowns.  In 1970, a name change was in order and more musicians were added to the lineup.  Throughout their career, Tower’s horn section has been featured with artists ranging from Aerosmith to Rod Stewart.  Tower let St. Louis know they came to play as they stared off their set with the funky, “We Came to Play”, from the 1978 album of the same title. Tower’s lead singer, Ray Greene, provided the vocals that are more than powerful enough to compete with this monster horn section.  Not long into Tower’s set, Mr. Greene had worked up a sweat as he patrolled the stage, stopping only to let the horns emphasize a poignant point in some moving pieces of music.  In their all too short set, Tower of Power managed to work in a couple of their classics such as “Soul Vaccination” and “What Is Hip”.  So far, a great start to the night!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Maryland Heights, MO

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3:00 PM
Words and pictures by Duane Clawson

After taking a break for a year, Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Fest 2014 returned to give the St. Louis festival scene a much needed kick in the ass!  If headbanging and hair whipping for ten hours is your thing, then this festival was the spot to be on a Wednesday afternoon.  The 70-degree July weather also made attending this festival a bearable option.  This was my first visit to the Mayhem Festival and it was an experience I highly recommend.  As with any festival, Mayhem was not without its share of hits and misses; but the solid performers far exceeded the bad.  The afternoon consisted of bands playing on three stage:  Coldcock Herbal Whiskey, Headband for the Highway/Sumerian, Victory Records all provided the sponsorship needed to make these stages possible. The only snag I could find with the three-stage setup was the occasional overlapping of bands.  But Mayhem did a great job in scheduling so that most in attendance could see part of one band’s set before the next act began.
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