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All photos by Jeremy Quattlebaum | www.theangrymountain.com
Last week’s Austin City Limits Festival featured a variety of sounds and styles, ranging from the soulful harmonies of the Blind Boys of Alabama to the introspective and moody hits from The Cure. Held in Austin’s Zilker Park, the six-stage, two-tent festival was a non-stop show of up-and-coming acts like the electro-rock group Cherub to the soulful sounds of Luella and the Sun to the stadium filling acts like Muse and Kings of Leon.
The ever-present heat did not stop Local Natives from giving there all in a high-energy set that was a departure from their more mellow albums. A raucous set by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion was the highlight of the first night, with the front man acting as part bluesman, part revival minister, and part rock god. The Queens of the Stone Age’s set featured a bevy of fan-favorites like “Go With the Flow” and the high speed closer “Song for the Dead.” Depeche Mode wowed the audience with their mix of dominant stage presence and the over-the-top graphics that accompanied their set.
The second day’s performances were typified by the alt-rock shuffles of the Silversun Pickups and a bluesy set by The Shouting Matches, who peppered their set with blues standards that got the audience moving. Passion Pit proved to be the favorite for the dance crowd as the audience chorused their electro-pop hits when they were not in a dancing fury.
In fact the only thing that could stop the top caliber performances was a true Texas gully-washer that flooded the festival and caused the festival to cancel its final day.
The Firefly Music Festival wrapped up its second year in a giant field off of the Dover International Speedway with some rain, considerably more mud, an army of inflatables and a lot of fun.
Haim‘s poppy, percussion heavy set greeted us as we entered the grounds, followed by LA singer LP early on – she had a bright blue suit, a ukelele, a voice reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, a stylish 90s alt-pop sound and a great command of the crowd; when the skies opened up for the first time in the afternoon in the middle of her set, folks kept dancing. The second rainstorm happened a little later during Matt and Kim‘s set, but their insanely catchy songs and practically mandatory crowd participation won out over the storm clouds just as handily (check out a video of a balloon / beach ball release here). That said, holy cow those are two ridiculously perky people, and not necessarily in the best way.
Thankfully Kishi Bashi was a nice comedown – the versatile indie violinist (Of Montreal, etc) and sound loop artist created a portable chamber orchestra show on the festival’s backyard stage. He worked through his 151a album and shouted out the fan in the crowd waving a Ron Swanson flag apropos of nothing. Next, California band Trails and Ways played an impressive set of wandering, worldly pop-rock on the festival’s (unfortunately) under-promoted Coffeehouse Stage. Through the woods and across a field, Toro y Moi delighted their crowd with a set of synth-groove disco as the clouds broke and the sun beamed in.
Passion Pit frontman Michael Angelakos bounded on the mainstage with tremendous energy, determined to atone for the band’s cancellation at Firefly 2012 (when, he explained, “I was in the hospital, it was fucked up, I didn’t think I’d ever play a show again”). He grumbled a bit about allergies, then went on to tear across the set, sounding great but maybe overdoing it a bit since his voice blew out near the end. He explained this, and said “I’m really going to need you to sing along on these last few.” Though it initially seemed like gimmick to drum up singalongs, by the ending notes of “Little Secrets,” you could hear his falsetto straining and wheezing. But Angelakos kept pushing it further – poor dude.
Providing the perfect wrap-up before we hit the road, Vampire Weekend played a 90-minute set on the festival’s Lawn Stage, hitting the old favorites (“A-Punk,” “Cousins”), the vibey deep cuts (“Diplomat’s Son,” “Ladies of Cambridge”) and a good portion of the excellent new Modern Vampires of the City (“Everlasting Arms” sounded incredible, “Hannah Hunt” was sweet too). We’re pretty excited for their return to Philly in September. More photos from the festival after the jump, and earlybird preorders for Firefly 2014 (June 20 through June 22) go on sale Wednesday. Continue reading →
Here’s one for you to crank the headphones to as you navigate your pre-holiday hump day. Philly DJ / production crew Les Professionnels put their own spin on “Carried Away,” a standout track from Passion Pit’s 2012 release Gossamer. In their hands, it tuns into a late 80s / early 90s rollerskating rink jam, a slap-happy beat mixed with some tasteful echo and driving, bubbling synthesizer textures that just don’t relent. Dig in and download the track below, and catch Les Prof on Thursday, December 27 when they’re at The Trestle Inn for their Afreaka! party.
How do you react when strife befalls you? “I took a walk!” belts Passion Pit singer Michael Angelakos Thursday night at the Electric Factory, during his band’s opening number. The crowd jumps up and down chanting the refrain, while Angelakos stumbles across the stage like a drunk marionette, clutching his microphone tightly. 2012 has certainly been a strife-ridden year for the 25-year-old singer, whose much-publicized mental health issues forced the band to cancel a string of tour dates earlier this year. Tonight though, Angelakos seems to be taking his own advice, walking in frenzied circles as if to deal with the pain.
That’s not to say the occasion is a somber one — far from it. The venue is nearly sold-out and the crowd is pumped. And between passion-drenched numbers like “Take a Walk” are moments of pure pop brilliance — Continue reading →
It is a problem that has plagued modern society. It has jolted you out of your sleep in worry and cold sweats. It has left you crippled with regret. It can literally ruin your night. It is the dreaded double booking. Two potentially dope concerts, one potentially dope night. Here on Double Booked, we’ll help make your decision between Neil Young’s appearance at Wells Fargo Center and Passion Pit’s appearance at The Electric Factory easier by breaking down the two shows by category, and deciding which reigns supreme. Let’s do this. Continue reading →
XPN welcomes Artist to Watch The David Wax Museum to Johnny Brenda’s tonight. The Americana/Mexican roots duo of David Wax and Sue Slezak released Knock Knock Get Up in August and have since been receiving lots of love from blogs and music publications. Tickets and more information for tonight’s show with Radio Jarocho can be found here. Below, watch the video for “Will You Be Sleeping.”
Passion Pit released their highly-anticipated sophomore album Gossamer this year and the Boston band is coming to Philadelphia for a show at The Electric Factory on November 29th. It’s hard not to like the electro-pop band’s dancey sound, and we’ve got a pair of tickets to experience it in person (plus get an autographed CD). To enter the contest, let us know which song off of their latest record gets your feet moving in a comment below. The winner will be notified by email so make sure to include your full name and an active e-mail address (your e-mail will not be public). Tickets to the all-ages show are $29.50, and more information can be found here. Check out the video for “Take a Walk” below.
This just in – Passion Pit‘s appearance next Thursday, November 29, originally scheduled for The Liacouras Center, has been moved to the Electric Factory. All original tickets will be honored, but the show is now standing-room only. Promoters AEG live apologize for the inconvenience and say that refunds, if requested, will be available at the point of purchase through 10 p.m. on Wednesday, November 28. Tickets and more information are available here.
Michael Angelakos, the lead singer of Passion Pit, was recently on Sound Opinions, a weekly music show hosted by Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis (broadcast on WXPN, Sundays at 5PM). Angelakos performed solo piano versions of “Constant Conversations” and “Sleepyhead” that you can watch below. Passion Pit perform on Thursday, November 29th at the Liacouras Center on Temple University’s campus. Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Tonight, the band is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. You can download the Sound Opinions podcast here.