Thursday, August 18, 2011

I've moved!

So here’s the dealy readers; the vast majority of my writeups are going to move to the site above, the guys I’ve worked with and partied with quite frequently in these past few months. I’m not going to completely shut down the blog; I’m going to still write about certain shows that I attend and I will put it here. But most of my free shows are going to be found in the Blog section of the newly launched and renovated site. Check it out, read my stuff, and maybe I will see you out in the wild!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Billboard Summer Blowout @ Pier 36, August 11, 2011

The guys from Billboard (yea, THAT Billboard) threw their Summer Blowout event/concert last night in the NYC’s worst kept “secret location,” Pier 36 downtown. This of course was the location for last year’s epic Heineken concert with Nas and Cee-Lo Green, so you knew that last night’s show was going to be just as big. First let’s do a little event coverage:

Pier 36 is a huge pier, the size of an airplane hanger or so, so you can fit all kinds of stuff on the space. There were tons of sponsors with all their stuff set up, like 7-11 (giving away slurpees!) and Pop Chips (of course), even HP was there, raffling off their overpriced Beats by Dr Dre headphones and even laptops. It was a nice little set up. The only problem I had with the set up was the bar situation. There were clearly a LOT of people at this show, but they only had two bars, with what seemed like 2 bartenders each, who weren’t the most competent bartenders. On top of that, they only gave people one drink ticket, unless they were VIPs or press with wristbands. Let’s just say it was kind of difficult to get a drink from the bar, which was fully stocked for what it’s worth.

I went to the bar to try and get my first drink, and almost missed the entire opening act, who happen to be Gentlemen Hall.  They are the Billboard Music Awards Battle of the Bands winners, and they won a chance to perform at the award show. Pretty cool huh? They clearly are loving it because they also were granted a chance to open last night’s show. So while I stood behind a mob of people trying to squirm up to the bar to get something to drink, the Boston based band took the stage and went through their set. Their sound is great, they have a sort of new age 80s rock feel to them, but don’t think 80s ballad, far more electronic than that, even complete with an autotune microphone, awarded to their lead singer. Luckily I got a drink in time to hear them do a few songs up close, and they’re excellent performers, with tons of stage presence and energy. They even have a flute player in the band, Seth, who I had the pleasure of having a quick chat with when the event was over. He was very nice and absolutely gracious of everyone showing up to the show; I felt like his vibe was kind of what the entire bands’ would be, really happy about their current situation! They’re in a good position and you can tell that these guys are about on the brink of stardom for sure, especially judging from their performance prowess.  Take a listen to their stuff at

Next on the list was Swizz Beatz, who I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing before, and not more than a month ago as well. His set yesterday was just as energy filled, as he went through his usual fare of awesome beats that he’s produced. This time was a bit different though, calling out England’s own Estelle to come out and bless the stage with a couple of her tracks, including “DJ Play The Beat.” It was her trying to bring some positive vibes (as she said) to old London town, which as you probably know could use some positive vibes right about now.  After she exited the stage he went back into his catalog of hits, leading up to his now big finish, his new dance track called “Dance Like a White Girl.” It’s a pretty hype song (kind of like LMFAO style stuff) with a fun breakdown, causing the crowd to go into a frenzy and causing Swizzy to jump off the stage! Twice! It was awesome! The first stage dive led him to tell his DJ to start the song over, while he just went crazy in the crowd with everyone! Swizz Beatz is an awesome performer, who I’ve been blessed to see twice in a month for free, but if you hear he’s performing somewhere, it would probably be in your best interest to check it out.

Having said that though, we move onto the closers of the show, the headliners, LMFAO. Now I knew that I was on for a very insane performance, and very energy filled, and most likely fun. I knew this, despite the fact that I’ve never seen LMFAO perform before.  My guess was wrong…their performance is WAY MORE CRAZY that anything I could have imagined! They opened the show with their new single “Sorry for Party Rockin,” apologizing for everything that happens during or after their exploits at a party. From there they (and the crowd) were off to the races. Before they even came on stage their Party Rock Crew of dancers came out and started throwing glow necklaces out in the crowd. That would not be the last thing that the crowd would get from the guys on stage.

The energy level of Pier 36 was off the charts from the beginning of their performance, which comes complete with Quest Crew (now famous from their stint on America’s Best Dance Crew) breaking and drinking alcohol out of a beer bong, which is then thrown into the crowd! They threw beach balls, and even a GIANT inflated zebra, that people just bumped around during the show.  All of the hits were on display last night, with a whole bunch of stuff off their new album, “Sorry for Party Rocking.” “Rock the Beat II” got some play, as well as “Sexy and I Know it,” and “Put That Ass To Work.” All the while the guys found time to spray the crowd with Coronas, which was a bit different from the water Swizz Beatz through on the crowd earlier.

Their hit song (and the #1 song on the Billboard charts for 5 weeks in a row) “Party Rock Anthem,” was surprisingly not their last song, but it was quite possibly their best performed song (if I had to choose one). It started with a break circle from the Quest Crew boys, then they came out and rocked the house. They even made a dance circle and had people ‘shufflin’ in the middle, including the ShuffleBot from the music video (if you’ve never seen this music video, please Youtube it, it is the best music video that has been made in years).  They did another song of their new album called “Champagne Showers,” which of course all culminated in the entire stage of people (which was about 13 or so) grabbing a bottle of champagne and spraying the crowd with it! This is the first time I’ve had champagne sprayed on me by an artist (or at least during a performance) and you know what, pretty cool! At this point you’re thinking, how could this show get anymore ridiculous? Well they hadn’t performed “Shots” yet, which of course was the song they finished with. Everyone on the stage was drinking at this point, mixing vodka and beer in a beer bong and just pounding it. Utter pandemonium really, and everyone was loving it, me included. My friend that I went with said it was probably the best performance he’s ever seen; honestly, it was pretty damn good really!

LMFAO are not for the boring; they probably wouldn’t do well in a place with seats, but I don’t like concerts with seats anyway, so I guess we’re alike in that regard. They are amazing performers, just bring your drinking pants, and possibly a shirt you don’t mind getting covered in alcohol. Everyone was so wired by the end of it that DJ Homicide (the DJ for the night) came on after the show and played some tracks and everyone was just dancing like crazy. It was the most fun everyone was having during his DJ set all night. To the point that security was having a hard time throwing people out at the end, everyone wanted to party more, and I can't blame them really. This was a great free show from the guys at Billboard, and I think other companies should learn that sometimes, it is all about the fans. #SorryForPartyRocking.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday Night Live w/ Julia Haltigan @ John Varvatos, August 4, 2011

John Varvatos does it again! Thursday Night Live was last night and honestly, if you haven’t been to John Varvatos Bowery for their monthly Thursday events you really need to fix that…

Last night had another great act (that I’ve never heard of prior to the performance) perform, by the name of Julia Haltigan, backed by her band The Hooligans. It was for her, her EP release party, having released “My Green Heart” to the world of music lovers this week. Now as I mentioned before, this was the first time I’d ever heard of Julia Haltigan, so it was clearly the first time I’d ever heard her sing. The great thing about John Varvatos’ monthly parties is that for the most part, a lot of the acts aren’t very well known, so it lets these performers get a chance to shine in the #1 market in the world. The other great thing about Thursday Night Live, is the fact that every act they have billed is good, and happen to be legit musicians. Ms. Haltigan was no different.

She has a very powerful voice, as you learned from the first few notes she sang when the show was underway. She opened with her song “I Smell A Rat,” and right off the bat you knew that you were in for a world of blues. She has a sound kind of like Grace Potter, that sultry Stevie Nix-like folk blues voice, and she also plays the guitar. They did a splendid 10 song set, and even found time to throw in a few tracks from their new EP, including one of my favorites, the title track “My Green Heart.” My favorite song for the night is also on their new EP, by the name of “The Flame,” a slower ballad about a chance encounter with a particular guy.

Her songs don’t tug at the heart strings as much as they hit on your eardrums. The sounds coming out of the speakers last night were captivating, and her voice rode the music so wonderfully you couldn’t help but listen. I say check out their new EP “My Green Heart,” and for more information on Julia Haltigan take a gander at her website:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mad Decent Block Party @ South Street Seaport, July 30, 2011

So, this ridiculous rager started at Noon on Saturday, but me and my friend didn’t arrive until about 3:30pm or so. Having said that, I’m not really sure who we missed (or who we actually saw for that matter) and I will explain why. It was a completely outdoor event with no check-in at all. They were selling beer there but really, what would be the point of buying a beer when you could just go to the closest liquor store and get stuff and bring it back. Not to say that I did this (or didn’t), but I’m just saying, it was a possibility! On to the show…

Because of how awesome of a place it was, and how crazy it got, I will attempt to talk about the people I know who performed. Bosco Delrey was the first act I remember seeing in it’s entirety, because I remember mentioning how I wasn’t a very big fan of his sound. It was a very strange attempt at rock fusion, the fusion being techno and dance music, and I don’t really think it was very good. The sound for me wasn’t very good (it wasn’t a speaker problem, because everyone else sounded great) but it was so hot and everyone was so far from sober that they were pretty happy to hear just about anything even in the realm of music coming out of the speakers.

The Hood Internet were the next DJ set up I believe. They’re the Chicago based production duo who are probably best known for their mashups of hip-hop and rap. They play really popular rap songs over completely different beats and instrumentals, that are also usually really popular, and fun to dance to. It’s all over the place, from house to techno to reggae to rock, but their performances consist of them mixing their remixes. Their set was quite fun, I remember an increase in the dancing of the patrons in attendance, myself included.

Maluca is the next act I definitely remember hitting the stage, mostly because I remember a buddy of mine asking me whether that was her standing in front of the stores at the Seaport, with a huge entourage. I’ve never seen or heard of her before, but the woman in question was wearing what looked like a bikini with a see-through plastic skirt. I thought, if that’s not her, she definitely looks like she should be performing at this event! She did eventually take the stage, and the Bronx native went straight into her style of song, which she describes sometimes as “tropical punk.” It sounded at times like Reggaeton, also sometimes like electro Cumbia, but no matter what she performed the crowd went into a frenzy. I clearly have been missing out, because she walked with her fans, and also with her crew. There were probably 12 guys on stage with her, none of which had a microphone. She had a rapper sized entourage to say the least. It didn’t matter though, she must have performed 5 energy filled songs before she had to beg the crowd to leave. She didn’t, and did one more song for the screaming fans before making her exit.

At this point it was like a million degrees outside, but it didn’t really matter by then; you were having so much fun that it was really irrelevant at this point how sweaty you were. I’m glad too, because the next act on stage after Maluca were the boys I came to see, Zeds Dead. The Dub-Step duo hailing from Canada hit the stage running and blessed the crowd with a barrage of their Dub-Step remixes, a mixture of old stuff and brand new stuff, all good. I was kind of annoyed because my favorite of their songs, “Knights in White Satin,” went unplayed. It was OK though because when their set was done, the DJ who would play in between the sets played it, literally as soon as they got off the stage. So I still go to hear my favorite track. If you’re into Dub-Step these guys are amongst the most creative with their stuff, check them out for sure.

It gets a little fuzzy for me at this point, because I was running around trying to find people and meet up with other people, with that said, I believe Gang Gang Dance were next, playing the background music for my “where are my friends” escapades. Claude VonStroke was the closer of the show, rocking his usual techno and house jams way past sundown. The funny thing is, this was probably the part I remember the most people having the most fun. Literally everyone on the Seaport was dancing, and at that point, there were quite a lot of folks at the Seaport. Unfortunately though, time flies when you’re having fun, and the show was supposed to go until 9pm. By 9pm, the music faded right out! Everyone looked towards the stage and Claude just shrugged his shoulders, looking around at his sound people. They all looked just as confused as he was! I mean, everyone on the stage was dancing too, including Claude, and then the music stopped. He grabbed the music and said, I guess we’re done here, of course, to a bunch of boos. The people who were booing though could not have been there all day! I wasn’t even there the entire time and I was tired as hell, danced myself right out of my wits on Saturday. The Mad Decent Block Party was definitely closer to Mad CRAZY, and if you missed it it’s hard to explain how insane it was. Hard to imagine you had more fun at an event that day…