Saturday, May 16, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The last time, and my first time, seeing Walk the Moon perform was at last year's 102.1 KDGE How the Edge Stole Christmas at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie. At that time, they really weren't receiving much radio play, so I had no real knowledge of the band. To make my first impression a little more skewed, they decided to play an acoustic set with two acoustic guitars and and a pizza box. You read that right, drummer Sean Waugaman played all percussion on an empty pizza box. To be totally honest, I left the photo pit of that performance unamused and payed little attention to the rest of their set. Fast forward six months and my visit to the South Side Ballroom painted a different picture of the band and left me with a very different impression than my first experience.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
“A newspaperman said it couldn’t be done, but I lived it, I wrote it in a song I sung.”
Pokey LaFarge – "Knockin’ The Dust Off The Rustbelt Tonight"
To say I was happy to land this show would be an understatement. Ecstatic would be closer to the truth! After three years of mismatched schedules, I would finally be able to photograph the man, the myth, the on his way to being a legend, Pokey LaFarge! And it just so happens, I would covering Pokey and his band on the weekend of their album release party! Off Broadway was the venue that provided the stage for three nights of all things Pokey. Something in the Water is the title of this fine album, it's best paired with a glass of whiskey on ice and an old turntable! A quick glance at Mr. Lafarge’s biography reveals he is a fan of American literature, a street performer, and a fan of all things Americana. If you’re not in the know, Pokey and his band mix blues, Appalachian mountain music, swing, jazz, and just a touch of vaudeville into something that is truly unique to this day and age.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Words by Scott Rowe. Photos by Scott Rowe and Antonio Chantaca
It's April in North Texas and that can only mean one thing: it's festival season. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, winter is gone, spring has sprung and it's pretty much summer time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. For starters, it means the start of everything outdoors, including concerts and festivals. And year in and year out, 102.1 KDGE has provided one of the most exciting and anticipated one-day festivals in all of North Texas, Edgefest. In its 25th year, Edgefest has brought the likes of the Black Keys, Muse, the Killers, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Collective Soul. Yes, Collective Soul headlined my first Edgefest way back in 1999, when Blink-182 was a relative unknown and the Toadies already had a decade under their belts. So 2015's edition proved the legacy proud with a great lineup and some excellent performances.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Josh Tillman is a performer. He's a spectacular performer. He's so good, you don't know if he's actually putting on a performance or simply acting on his own beliefs and world views. Which is the conundrum here. Tillman, aka Father John Misty, is either one hell of a performer or an asshole disguised in sheep's clothing. I would like to think he's having a good laugh at our expense, in the best way possible. He's unnerved by speaking his mind, unfazed at making snide comments to his audience, and simply doesn't give a fuck. Trust me, it makes for one entertaining show.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Walking up to the House of Blues, it was hard to gauge the fans lining up for the show. Sure, on paper, it's a Stone Temple Pilots show. But, until now, the band had been led by longtime vocalist, Scott Weiland. And as much as I would have loved to see Weiland front the band, I could see why those attending the show were excited to see Linkin Park frontman, Chester Bennington, lead the way. And why not? He's been an integral part of one of the more successful alternative rock bands of the past decade. But would he be able to fill the shoes as the voice of STP? Only time would tell. And time told.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
To say my knowledge of Sleater-Kinney was minimal would have been a huge understatement if you would have asked me a few years ago. I knew of Carrie Brownstein for endeavors outside of music, see Portlandia. I also saw Carrie and Janet Weiss perform under Wild Flag at Parade of Flesh's 2011 installment of Bro Fest (now Spillover Music Festival). But Sleater-Kinney? I had no idea, that is, until I met my wife. A riot grrrl fan, she shared the ins and outs of the movement and her favorite bands of the time. Most of which, Sleater-Kinney. So over the years, I have heard album upon album, even more so in the coming weeks to the show. So it was a no-brainer that I was going to cover the show, and more importantly, bring her along for the ride.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
In the music world, as in the real world, there are high points and low points. I truly feel that currently there is a resurgence in the long lost art of soul and feeling being injected into the music. Tonight at Off Broadway in St. Louis, two of the artists leading this resurgence gave soulful, heartfelt performances, even if there weren’t many ears in attendance. I went to this show anticipating one thing but got much more in return. Fueling my anticipation was the chance to see Anderson East for a second time this year. I was lucky enough to catch Anderson as he opened for Sturgill Simpson, performing a brief acoustic set earlier in 2015. My expectation of Anderson’s performance was more of the same but I was pleasantly surprised as he had a full band in tow for his return to STL. With the band, Anderson’s set was much more varied and upbeat. The Alabama songwriter took notice that St. Louis audiences, no matter how big, are timid when it comes to approaching a stage. East said, “this feels like a middle school dance”. 2015 will see the release of East’s first formal album, Delilah. After hearing both sides of this artist, it’s hard to choose which one I like the best but East covers all the bases in one fell swoop.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Standing on the corner near the entrance of the Mad Magician, I can’t help but notice how the surrounding, industrial area is the perfect backdrop for tonight’s show. A line has formed, a scan of this line reveals a group about as diverse as they come. Goth chicks, youngsters in their favorite brand of guitar t-shirts, and old guys like me are waiting to catch a glimpse of guitar mastery in the form of John 5. Mr. 5, aka John Lowery, took a liking to the guitar after watching episodes of the 70’s TV series, Hee Haw. At 43, John 5 has packed a little bit of everything into his stage career, playing with everyone from the likes of K.D. Lang to Marilyn Manson. John is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie when he is not promoting his latest solo album, which is entitled, Careful With That Axe. This self-promotional tour will last a mere 21 days before John resumes his duties with Zombie.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Concerts can be quite the experience. The crowd. The venue. The auditory and visual sensations. The buzzing and rumble from the bass. The sweat and glee from dancing to your favorite songs being played right in front of you. It can all be complicated and overwhelming sometimes. I knew going into the first of two nights for TV on the Radio at the Granada Theater, that I was in for a treat. Having seen the band twice before and immensely enjoying both experiences, I had high expectations going into the show. From my point of view, they were right on point, performing a spectacular show to the Dallas audience. So, it boggled my mind reading the next day when one reviewer said they "played a mediocre show". There was no "through the motions" at this show. I don't think TV on the Radio understands the phrase.