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Classic Rock Magazine

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    Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band brought their Wrecking Ball Tour to Australia this evening for the group’s first performance of 2013. When the band took the stage at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane they did so without guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who is in Norway filming his Lilyhammer TV show. It was the E Street Band’s first performance without Little Steven since 1988.

    [Photo by @patricklion]

    Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello filled Van Zandt’s role and will do so for the entire ten-show Australian leg of the Wrecking Ball Tour. After opening with We Take Care Of Our Own, the first single off Wrecking Ball, the band honored their Australian hosts by debuting a cover of Australian alternative act The Saints’ late ’80s hit Just Like Fire Would. The Saints hail from Brisbane.

    We’ve come across a video of the Just Like Fire Would debut…

    Here’s the setlist from the first Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band show of ’13…

    Set: We Take Care of Our Own, Just Like Fire Would, Wrecking Ball, Badlands, Death to My Hometown, Hungry Heart, My City of Ruins, Spirit in the Night, The E Street Shuffle, Jack of All Trades, Murder Incorporated, Johnny 99, Because the Night, She’s the One, Shackled and Drawn, Waitin’ on a Sunny Day, Apollo Medley, The Rising, The Ghost of Tom Joad, Thunder Road

    Encore: We Are Alive, Born to Run, Glory Days, Dancing in the Dark, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out

    [Setlist via Backstreets]

    The Boss and his band stuck to a similar script as most Wrecking Ball shows, loading the set with six songs from his most recent album as well as many of his greatest hits including Thunder Road, Dancing In The Dark, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out and Born To Run and a handful of deeper cuts such as The E Street Shuffle, Johnny 99 and The Ghost of Tom Joad. According to Backstreets, the 25-song performance surpassed the three-hour mark. Bruce and the E Street Band return to Brisbane Entertainment Centre on Saturday.

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    In years past, Wednesday’s unofficial day parties would, for most, officially start their SXSW. Six years ago, Jeff Davidson and I contributed to the festivities with Earvolution’s inaugural (and only) afternoon event. (Two artists from that showcase will be playing SXSW 2013: Joshua James and Ace Reporter’s Chris Snyder formerly of The States). With Tuesday becoming the new Wednesday, there is tempered excitement while heading into downtown Austin.

    [The Lone Bellow Photo by @pastemagazine]

    As it their custom, Paste Magazine has taken over The Stage At 6th for the week, this year pairing with HGTV, running two stages making it The Stages At 6th. As is also their custom, they’ve booked eclectic showcases featuring a wide variety of genres as well as a nice mix of buzzbands and soon to be buzzed about bands.

    After a quick run down Sixth Street due to a change in bus routes, it’s a Lone star with The Lone Bellow. Well, it would be but for Red Hook Brewery’s sponsorship and free IPAs and ESBs. The bartender responds to my query about what makes the ESB extra special with a tired “I don’t know.” I suspect I’m not the first person to ask this. The Lone Bellow may owe a debt of gratitude to Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers but with gorgeous harmonies and lovely acoustic folk melodies, they can definitely stand their own ground. Their debut record may not do justice in showing how solid they are.

    On the outside stage, CR Smith, who hails from Montana – a “state and everything” he explains – makes the most of his opportunity for winning an HGTV/Paste contest to find their new theme song. Using one of the laptops that Rev. Peyton preached against, they offer up some standard but solid indie rock that leans toward the pop side of things. He may have revealed too much with a soft piano-accompanied cover of Bon Jovi’s Livin On A Prayer. If this is the HGTV band, why didn’t freecreditscore.com, which is an SXSW sponsor, bring down the freecreditscore.com band? I suspect I would have gone to see them.

    Guards, who bill themselves from New York City as opposed to the supposedly hipper southern borough, rev up the main stage with a slew of hard-charging garage rockers. They finish with a notably lengthy garage-industrial-psych rock jam that may have drifted in The Doors for a bit. (Whether that turns out to be a compliment or not is in the eye of the reader). Guards provides a nice appetizer to Foxygen, the L.A. based group that might possibly be the hottest band in Austin this week. For a 2 p.m. set, the main stage at Stage at 6th is packed. Even for a midnight set, Stage at 6th is packed. In dress and stage presence, Foxygen sells the psychedelic-hippie image with perfection and Sam France took On The Mountain to the streets, barking the chorus while hanging out the window overlooking 6th Street. Their set featured much of their latest album and much of what I thought of their set would echo what I wrote in the last Hitting The Trunk Road. So rather than cut and paste, why not just check it out on your own.

    [The Lone Bellow Photo by @pastemagazine]

    In between the two, Easter Island, from Athens, Georgia, offer up pleasing walls of guitar scree on the patio stage. They contrast with Mac DeMarco, who I suspect I will see more of because I have legs and he is playing everywhere this week. (I dub this the SXSW Rocco DeLuca man of the week for reasons I think only I would understand). To distract you from this non-sequitur, perhaps we link to Kiefer Sutherland tackling a Christmas tree as a form of explanation. That clip might also correlate with DeMarco. Mid-afternoon may be the wrong time to see him as he seems to be awesomely insane. After finishing the set belting out a song like he’s Al Green. I’m convinced of DeMarco’s awesomeness.

    On the main stage Dawes does Dawes like things before an even-more-packed then-for-Foxygen crowd. Sadly, this means they provided backing music for a CW show, albeit quality backing music.

    [Dawes Photo by @stevehargrave]

    It turns out Red Hook was running a heroin promotion. The first taste was free but if you want more, they jack the price up to $4. Unconscionable, I tell you! Unconscionable! Back to Lone Star – which are also $4 so this rant is of questionable merit. Perhaps I should lay off the lunch beers?

    The Allah-Las played a great set that touched on surf guitars and the coolness of Link Wray. Matthew E. White came the closest to the dreaded jamband motif while turning the mellowness of the material from Big Inner into compelling workouts. White, especially with that rhythm section, may have a lot to say going forward.

    Marnie Stern let everyone know how cool it would be if Cameron Diaz could shred on guitar. She’s blonde now for those that care about such things. She also came to closest to rocking out with her cock out by unbuckling her shorts and unbuttoning her shorts near the end of the set in a reverse gender version of the availability dance. Someone missed their chance to mate with Marnie Stern this afternoon.

    The Shout Out Louds closed out the showcase with a fine set, yet it paled in comparison to those that came before.

    Over at the Fader Fort, well separated from downtown Austin, there’s a world separate to itself. Slightly reminiscent of Bartertown after Mel Gibson esposes Tina Turner, there’s booths, couches and lots of exposed dirt. There’s also Sky Ferreira, who seems to be the latest Mouseketeer trying to make it in the adult world.

    After confirming that the freecreditscore.com band would not be playing their showcase at the IFC Crossroads House, which was an incredible dump with great swag, its back to Stage at 6th for The Field Report. However, out on the patio, a rapper by the name of Lush Life makes an early entry into the “is it crap or is it genius” sweepstakes. It’s just too tough to tell.

    The Field Report proves too intense/too boring. Back over at the Hype Hotel, a heated argument over whether Twin Peaks or The Orwells are on stage is resolved by learning it’s Calvin Love. He’s electronic-y. With the stages running late, a dash back over to Viceland finds that they’ve moved the entire stage space indoors from last night. Merchandise, from Tampa, Florida put on a fabulous half hour of straightforward, indie/modern rock heavy on guitars and drums. However, introducing a saxophone for the last fifteen minutes of their set switched the tone towards avant-garde-ish rock. Compelling enough, it made the set feel interminable by its end.

    [Calvin Love Photo by @seagate]

    Making sure that there was no chance of getting into the NPR showcase, its over to the Parish Underground where Pujol is holding court. Revving up old-school Rolling Stone licks until they’re nearly unrecognizable, Pujol serve up kick-ass punk rock in short punchy doses. The force and volume are nearly too much for the modestly sized venue. Upstairs, at The Parish, Ex-Cops amble through an easygoing, dreamy set that borrowed as much from Maxine Nightingale as it did from the synths of the Eighties.

    Beauty Bar is now called Holy Mountain and has literally become a darker venue. On the outdoor stage, The Coathangers, an all-female punk quartet, bash out high speed chords while shouting, oftentimes in-comprehensively over the din. It’s raucous and noisy but not without its charms. It’s somewhat quieter inside where Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield’s project, has mustered a significant crowd. On her latest, Crutchfield joins the ranks of female singer-songwriters that captivate the listener by bearing their soul with unflinching frankness and honesty. Like the Morrissettes and Phairs before her, Crutchfield offers proclamations that she has no desire to be your girlfriend and will not do what you want to her because, well, she doesn’t need a reason. In covering Paul Simon’s The Boy In The Bubble, Crutchfield sings about every generation throwing a hero up the pop charts. It seems that every generation also has a Liz Phair sitting in their bedroom cranking out extremely emotional songs over simply constructed guitar riffs. Let’s be grateful that that is so.

    The night concludes at the IFC Crossroads House which despite its comforts (couches!!) is quite an ill-conceived concert space. With a stage even with or possibly slightly below the audience, there were very few that got to see The Divine Fits. Hearing them was no problem whatsoever and they sounded terrific. When musicians that understand rock and roll try to make great dance music, tremendous things happen.

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    This past Sunday CBS Sunday Morning aired a profile on Phish front man Trey Anastasio that focused on his participation in Hands On A Hard Body. The program just posted a web extra that features Anastasio talking to correspondent Anthony Mason about Phish and Phish fans.

    Anastasio discusses the “S Show,” his “persnickety fans” and how much fun he’s having…

    CBS also posted another interesting “web extra” where Anastasio discusses Phish’s 2004 breakup…

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    There’s a supergroup named Yukon Kornelius that includes Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, Stefan Lessard of Dave Matthews Band, Guster’s Adam Gardner and drummer Eric Fawcett. This Saturday, March 16th, the band will perform with O.A.R. at the Ice House Arena at Okemo Mountain in Vermont. Skid Row vocalist Sebastian Bach and moe. guitarist Al Schnier will both perform with Yukon Kornelius on Saturday. The evening’s festivities will be broadcast live on AXS TV.

    Friday, March 15 [All Times ET]

    • Dropkick Murphys on David Letterman [CBS 11:35PM]
    • Harper Simon on Jay Leno [NBC 11:35PM]
    • Rival Sons on Jimmy Kimmel Live [ABC 11:35PM]
    • Justin Timberlake on Jimmy Fallon [NBC 12:35AM]

    Saturday, March 16

    • Band of Horses / The National on Austin City Limits [PBS]
    • Marley – The Documentary [Palladia 1:30PM]
    • U2 / Paul Simon – Glastonbury 2011 [Palladia 4PM]
    • Yukon Kornelis / O.A.R. – Live From Okemo [AXS TV 4:30PM]

    Sunday, March 17

    • Stephen Stills / Tom Jones on Later…with Jools Holland [Palladia 10AM]
    • Slightly Stoopid and Friends – Live at TRI [Palladia Noon]
    • Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains The Same [VH1 Classic 12:30PM]
    • Billy Currington and Nickel Creek – Live [AXS TV 3:40PM]
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    Back in 2010 we profiled up-and-coming jamtronica act Newton Crosby for our Blips column and since that time they’ve gone on to score impressive festival slots and have shared the stage with acts like moe., Umphrey’s, Conspirator and The Heavy Pets. They’ve also developed their sound in intriguing ways, especially recently with the addition of saxophonist Seth Eisenstein (Hamburger Hunt) at the last few gigs.  Newton Crosby played Albany’s Red Square last weekend and we wanted to shine a light on their untz’d-out cover of Oingo Boingo’s Weird Science – the theme song of the 1985 John Hughes teen flick starring Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, and Kelly LeBrock – from that show.

    Due to its synthy elements, the Weird Science theme song was a good choice for Newton Crosby and they used it as a launching pad for an electronica-tinged jam propelled by drummer Alzie Sisco with brassy accents provided by Eisenstein. We do warn that just as the improv gets particularly good, a really annoying chatter starts shooting the shit in front of the mics used for this recording. STFU!!!

    [Audio via Live Music Archive]

    Newton Crosby and Seth Eisenstein will open for Kung Fu at The Stone Pony tomorrow night.

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    Justin Timberlake has spent the week as a daily guest on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. In addition to his riveting musical performances, JT appeared in a hilarious skit with Fallon in which the pair are cast as their younger selves attending summer camp Camp Winnipesaukee in 1983.

    Fallon and Timberlake want to sing after “lights out” and offer up the Toto classic Africa…

    Toto guitarist Steve Lukather really enjoyed the homage to his band’s big hit:

    @ @ @ @ We all LOVED this guys!! Honored and f-ing hilarious!
    @stevelukather
    Steve Lukather
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    Yonder Mountain String Band @ The Pageant – March 8 and 9

    Words and Photos: Rex Thomson

    Looking out on a capacity crowd at St.Louis’s venerable music hall The Pageant, the members of Yonder Mountain String Band had to be gratified to see their hard work so well rewarded. It’s said that it’s better to work smart than to work hard, but Yonder took the road less traveled and did both, and it’s gotten them where they are today, playing sold out shows to diehard fans.

    [All Photos by Rex Thomson]

    While the grind of constant touring has broken the dreams of many acts it seems to have just made Jeff Austin, Adam Aijala, Dave Johnston and Ben Kaufmann that much stronger as people and a unit. More than a decade of methodically criss-crossing the nation, building more than a fan base, but an actual family has paid off in so many more ways than just financially. It isn’t tough to imagine how hard the separation from family and the rigors of travel are on a band, and having such a stellar support network of smiling faces goes a long way into making the journey that much more than simply earning a living. There isn’t a city they have visited where there aren’t members of their vast network of supporters, known collectively as “Kinfolk,” waiting to spend time with their leaders. And the love of the Kinfolk is returned a hundred times over by the band, like a fire being stoked by love instead of wood.

    This sense of community extends in every direction, and includes the crew that makes sure the Yonder Machine stays running strong and smooth. Everyone has their part to play, and does it with a joy that is both visible and a wonder to behold. From Scott the “Merch Guy” to Ted on lights, everyone not only has a job to do but a true love for the chance to do it. And while they end up missing out on time with their families at home, their family on the road helps keep their spirits high.

    The aforementioned Ted saw his birthday fall on the night of Friday’s show, and the band and fans had shirts printed up to honor his special day and commitment to the cause. They even let Ted pick the preshow and set break music, which led to some interesting and one unforgivable choice. (Mr.Mister? Seriously? Sigh…) That aside, seeing people gather to take pictures together, to warmly embrace each other, regardless of whether they were band, crew or fan told the story without saying a word.

    Thanks to some interesting local ordinances the music had to be over by midnight, so the opening act for both nights, The Deadly Gentlemen, had to kick the show off a bit earlier than they were used to. They responded ably enough, playing a rocking, aggressive version of bluegrass that fit well with the style of the band they were supporting. Heartfelt vocals seemed to be the band’s stock in trade, with all members sharing in the duties at one point or another during both of their sets at the Pageant.

    While the crowd may have come for the headliner, the cheers and enthusiastic responses to the instrumental breakdown drew smiles from the Gentlemen’s faces, well earned on both sides. Each night saw a Grateful Dead cover, with the Saturday set’s Touch Of Grey transforming in their hands from an ode to longevity and the wisdom of age to a more rousing, “We Shall Overcome” spirit of youth and hope that had they crowd in full voice. The Deadly Gentlemen exited the stage each night to rousing cheers from appreciative followers and new fans alike. The stage set, and the crowd properly primed, ’50s styled hold music and a friendly, authoritative voice boomed over the hall’s speakers, playfully thanking us for holding and assuring us that Yonder would be right with us.

    Walking out on the stage Friday night, the band smiled and winced at the sheer volume of the response their arrival was receiving, picking up and plugging in their instruments with waves and cat calls to each other. After a rabid response to the question of whether they were ready to get it on, the band did just that launching into Dawn’s Early Light, effortlessly tearing into the many instrumental passages with a speed that bordered on reckless but never truly out of control. The tune is a perfect example of how their style has refined itself over the years, blending lyrics of emotional vulnerability offset by amazing competence on their instruments, painting a complicated picture that says something beyond the surface.

    Flowing directly into bluegrass staple territory, the band rollicked through a set of silliness such as Polka On A Banjo and Damned If The Right One Didn’t Go Wrong, the sing-along chorus of Dreams, before closing out the first set of music with a blistering take on Ruby featuring some excellent high speed plucking from Johnston.

    The setbreak was a short one, and the band quickly recaptured the energy they had started with, coming back with a terse Too Late Now, which led straight away into a barn burning collection of tunes, with stand outs including Only A Northern song featuring tradeoffs between energetic front man mandolinist Jeff Austin and Johnston’s banjo fireworks. Austin used the tune One More to state his case for “Most Energetic Person in The Building” out raging even the most die-hard dancers in the crowd, while Adam Aijala blissfully strummed his guitar and sang Pass This Way with a calm that belied his place in front of thousands of cheering, dancing bodies. Ben Kauffmann held down the bottom end on the four-string bass, providing a unshakable foundation to every moment, a pulsing beast that punctuated every song with a heart skipping power and toe tapping rhythm.

    By the time the band had launched into their signature take on the Danny Barnes-penned Death Trip the crowd had been so would up that the longer, darker jam provided not only a respite from the mad tempos they had been subjected to but a chance to get some serious head banging in. Closing out the evening the band could do no wrong with a wistful reading of They’re Gonna Tear Down The Grand Ole Opry before sending the Kinfolk out into the cold evening on a up note, finishing the night with a scorching Going to The Races. After inviting anyone interested to join them on a 10AM fun run (which frankly I was too exhausted to cover) the band left the stage to a chorus of cheers that kept up long after the house lights were raised.

    For the Saturday night show YMSB again warned the crowd of the two set madness about to follow before kicking off with the twisting and melodic What The Night Brings – oddly appropriate as what the night brings was something all in attendance had spent their day contemplating. Ben Kauffmann called an audible and switched tunes to dedicate Must’ve Had Your Reasons to his friend Kitty who had just arrived, throwing in a crowd pleasing Darkness And Light before performing the second Barnes tune of the weekend – a menacing and creepy iteration of Rag Doll. As the first notes of the set closer rang out, the Beatles classic Dear Prudence drew an epic response and its eight-plus minute length left everyone out of breath and ready for the break, exhausted and enraptured all at once. Bringing the bluegrass to the fore, Kauffmann picked and grinned his way through Good Hearted Woman a song about a woman’s frustration with her love’s behavior and led straight into Johnston’s dead pan delivery of Don’t Worry Happy Birthday, which almost seemed to serve as an apology and a testament to love itself. Yonder took their listeners on an extended jam letting Peace Of Mind flow into Snow on the Pines, diverting to Follow Me On Down To The Riverside before finishing ‘Peace.

    As is the call of all good things, the end was drawing near, but not before a pair of encore numbers – a decidedly funky Hey Bulldog and a run on Boatman which showed that after two straight nights of full onstage rage, the band easily had the energy to go right on to dawn, if only they had the chance. It seemed there were many in the audience who would’ve stayed ’til the first light of day, dancing their cares away. It’s an amazingly difficult thing to do, being a successful touring band. It takes years of dedication, sacrifice and compromise between the musicians themselves, their families and more than a little luck. Somewhere in the past these four friends plotted a course, and obviously vowed to get where they wanted to go by taking the time to get it right and the love and respect they’ve gained along the way was earned through years of blood, sweat and tears.

    Setlists…

    3/8

    Set 1Cuckoo’s Nest> Dawn’s Early Light> Over The Waterfall, Polka On A Banjo, Damned If The Right One Didn’t Go Wrong, Lonesome Letter, 1/2 Moon Rising, Boots, Dreams, Ripcord Blues, Ruby

    Set 2: Too Late Now, Pan American, Jack A Roe, At The End Of The Day, Head Of That Woman, Only A Northern Song, One More, Pass This Way, If I Lose, Whitehouse Blues, Hi Cross Junction> On The Run> Death Trip> On The Run

    3/9

    Set 1: What The Night Brings, Left Me In A Hole, Must’ve Had Your Reasons, Maid Of The Canyon, Darkness & Light, Troubled Mind, Just The Same, Rambler’s Anthem, A Father’s Arms, Rag Doll> Dear Prudence

    Set 2: Good Hearted Woman, Don’t Worry Happy Birthday, Yes She Do (No She Don’t), WInds Of Wyoming, Sand> Little Rabbit, Criminal, Pride Of Alabama, Sharecropper’s Son, Peace Of Mind> Snow On The Pines> Follow Me Down To The Riverside> Snow On The Pines> Peace Of Mind

    Encore: Hey Bulldog, Boatman

    [Setlists via Setlist.com]

    Photos…

    IMG_5375 IMG_5380 IMG_5386 IMG_5393 IMG_5442 IMG_5523 IMG_5663 IMG_5686 IMG_5694 IMG_5709 IMG_5740 IMG_5788 IMG_5820 IMG_5829 IMG_5834 IMG_5863 IMG_5903 IMG_5963 IMG_5975 IMG_5983 IMG_6031 IMG_6037 IMG_6071 IMG_6160 IMG_6164 IMG_6274 Leave A Comment

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    Last month Furthur announced an eight-show residency that will take place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York next month. The band quickly sold out all eight shows and have just added a ninth performance at the venue as well as a three-night stand in L.A.

    The show will take place on April 15th, one day before the residency was originally scheduled to start. Tickets are available NOW via Ticketfly. Furthur has also revealed that they will play three shows at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on October 4 – 6. Ticketing info is “coming soon.”

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    It seems somewhat strange that getting to downtown Austin shortly before 2 feels like running late and that opportunities are being missed. Will there only be 12 hours of music instead of 14? How terrible. How slothful. While there may be no rest for the weary, sometimes the weary get to rest. On the way downtown, there is solace in the comment from Foxygen’s Sam France, who in feeling that they weren’t at their best explained that they generally aren’t awake and playing music this early.

    [Foxygen Photo by @glidemag]

    En route to Emo’s, there’s a quick pit stop that involves The James Douglas Show, doing a tremendous impression of Living Colour from the late ’80s. High octane vocals from the blond coiffed, heavily muscled Douglas (presumably) and hi-hop metal ease into deep and smooth funk nicely augmented with organ and keys. Their allure fades quick as the move to more standard fare.

    On the Jr. stage at Emo’s, the home for the Brooklyn Vegan festivities, PAWS from Glasgow, Scotland beckon the crowd closer to the stage before unleashing a burst of Vaselines inspired rock. The rest of their set is a high-paced Nirvana-influenced set with deep bass, powerful drums and vocals at a near scream. We are finally at an age where the younger bands of today are growing up with Nirvana and grunge rock as a deep influence. PAWS is definitely in a happier place than much of the grunge rock godfathers.

    Outside, METZ (apparently all caps is the new thing with band names) unleashes a 25 minute barrage of furious, bone-thumping hardcore. The Canadian trio pounds out short bursts of adrenaline pounding rock with lead singer Alex Edkins howling with a gut-roiling vamp about the joys of getting wasted and hanging out with your friends. For someone that screams the vast majority of his vocals, Edkins actually had a nice voice, seemingly yowling on key rather then just as loud as he can. Slam dance worthy, the only person to risk injury was some kid that stage dove twice into a wooden beam before tumbling from the roof in an attempt to shinny across the light rack.

    Back indoors, the mood could not be more different with Widowspeak. Blending three electric guitars into a pleasing hum, lead singer Molly Hamilton warbles ethereally into a heavily reverbed mic through a pair of leisurely songs. They sound as much like Mazzy Star as they do Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Herefter. A quick check into the main stage area leads to a practical bar in returning to the side stage. Despite ample room, they have restricted access to a sadly uninformed line of people.

    [Widowspeak Photo by @hearnebraska]

    The Trunk Road will always have an off ramp for Dylan Baldi and Cloud Nothings. The kid from Cleveland just gets good music. On Attack On Memory, the fresh-faced teenager reinvented himself as a grunge rock descendant.  A new album is rumored for later this year and Baldi’s growth has been evident over the last two SXSWs. This year Baldi emerged with shoulder-length hair and a scraggly beard. A far cry from the 19-year-old Elvis Costello-ish kid that once bemoaned being marked with underage X’s on each hand. Opening the set with a 10-minute-plus run through Wasted Days, Cloud Nothings played tremendously polished and powerful versions of most of the tracks from Attack On Memory. Lyrically and musically, the two new songs inserted into the mix do not differ much from Attack On Memory so there will be no gigantic leap in direction as between Baldi’s first two albums.

    At Rusty’s, a reunited Vietnam ambles through a short set that’s informed by blues and soul as much as surf rock and sprinkled with psychedelic touches. Looking slightly hippieish, they play a brand of rock that might get them more attention were they younger. They split a couple years back but recently regrouped to record a new album. This band knows how to play a song and its definitely good to have them back.

    My Old Kentucky Blog’s always excellent Vaya Con Tacos party always extends through the dead hours between the official and unofficial parties. To close out Day One, Houndmouth from Indiana channel the rootsiest of rock with a communal style reminiscent of The Band. Harder than the twangy folk-acts that are all the rage, Houndmouth should soon be coming on the radar of Hidden Track’s readers.

    [Houndmouth Photo by @hasilva]

    The official events commence with Vintage Trouble at The Six Lounge, a venue that doesn’t seem thrilled to have SXSW in their building, as part of the Sony showcase. Between The Trunk Road and other HT columnists, you should be quite familiar by now with Ty Taylor and the Vintage Trouble outfit. The stage is on a rooftop balcony and I am somewhat fortunate to get in. The cozy confines make for a remarkably intimate show and there is the surrealness of seeing the performance being broadcast on the side of the building across the street. James Brown is surely smiling down from heaven on Taylor as he embodies the soul of the hardest working man in show biz like no other. There was even a legitimate encore as the loud incessant chants of “One More Song” prompted a Sony exec to respond to the band’s quizzical look with “sure, get back out there.” (Your humble narrator inadvertently stumbled like Forrest Gump into prime real estate for the show and the encore “discussion”).

    The lines for Richard Thompson at Antone’s for a showcase featuring Buddy Miller/Jim Lauderdale and Emmylou Harris and at The Belmont for a loaded one featuring The Flaming Lips, The Joy Formidable and Frightened Rabbit are at ludicrous proportions. Migrating down Sixth Street, Capsula, a wild trio from Argentina, are making lots of noise at The Whiskey Room. Guitarist Martin Guevara finishes the set by generating feedback from everything he can: the mikes, the wiring, the audience and anything he can find while walking through the crowd. David Fricke was enamored with these guys a couple years back and that man rarely steers anyone wrong.

    The rest of the evening included Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, Rayland Baxter, with an introduction from Tony Clifton, Phosphorescent, Akron/Family and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. However, Jeff Greenblatt, Hidden Track’s other worthy correspondent, was also present for these events. Read what Jeff has to say about them. I am led to believe that in lieu of an unrestricted expense account, he has been tweeting and writing longhand about what he’s seen. Feel free to bombard him with as many questions and demands as you like, he will answer and act on all of them. I guarantee.

    [Phosphorescent Photo by @professorkeanbean]

    In short: Sallie Ford – daft yet immensely fun; Baxter – beset by the inequities of the upstairs Caitlin Ford set; Phosphorescent – wonderfully transcendent; Akron/Family – shocking in its illogicality and UMO – always fascinating to watch Ruban Nielson.

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    For their New Year’s Run in 1996, Phish started off with a pair of shows at The Spectrum in Philadelphia on December 28th and 29th before celebrating the 30th and 31st at the Fleet Center in Boston. Shortly after the shows fairly high-quality fan-shot video from the Philly performances started to circulated among fans. Most of the copies were VHS and the quality degraded each time you’d make a copy. Back then, before the digital age gave us YouTube and torrents, if you’d buy a bootleg VHS Phish tape, there were good odds it was far removed from the quality of the original recording.

    Yesterday, clips containing the highest quality video of the Philly ’96 shows I’ve ever seen surfaced on YouTube. Now, unfortunately the clips aren’t synced with taper audio, but they are still well worth checking out in their hi-def (720p) glory for the video upgrade. All that’s missing from both shows is the start of the first set on the 28th. The highlights are many and include outstanding versions of Mike’s and Weekapaug on the 28th and a ridiculous second set on the 29th that saw a “rotation jam,” Tom Marshall emerge during Harpua for a cover of Champagne Supernova by Oasis and a killer David Bowie.

    So we’ve compiled the Philly ’96 videos for your viewing pleasure. We highly recommend clicking on the symbol that resembles a gear at the bottom of each embed to increase the quality to “720pHD.”

    December 28th:

    Set 1Runaway JimNICUWolfman’s BrotherIt’s IceBilly BreathesGinseng SullivanSplit Open and Melt, The Mango SongFrankenstein

    Set 2Makisupa Policeman[1] -> MazeBouncing Around the RoomDigital Delay Loop Jam -> The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > Mike’s Song ->Strange Design > Weekapaug Groove[2]The Star Spangled Banner

    EncoreJohnny B. Goode

    [1] Key words: “Stink, Stank, Stunk”
    [2] Ended with long Page solo.

    Notes: Makisupa Policeman included the cryptic lyrics “Stink, Stank, Stunk,” which may have been a reference to the theme song in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Weekapaug Groove ended with a long Page solo. The Star Spangled Banner was dedicated to Kate Smith, who used to sing God Bless America at Flyers’ home hockey games.

    December 29th:

    Set 1

    Set 2

    Set 1Poor Heart > Caravan > Cavern > TasteGuelah PapyrusTrain SongRift >FreeThe Squirming Coil[1]La Grange

    Set 2David BowieA Day in the LifeBathtub Gin -> The LizardsYou Enjoy Myself -> Rotation Jam > Sixteen Candles[2] > You Enjoy Myself[3]Harpua[4] -> Champagne Supernova[5] -> Harpua

    EncoreRocky Top

    [1] Sesame Street theme tease from Page.
    [2] Phish debut; performed solo by Mike on piano.
    [3] Vocal jam.
    [4] Harpua, Poster, and Jimmy were cconfronted by the “Über Demon” and the “evil sound of hell.”
    [5] Phish debut; Tom Marshall on vocals.

    Notes: Squirming Coil contained a Sesame Street theme tease from Page. Mike performed the Phish debut of Sixteen Candles solo on piano. Tom Marshall contributed the vocals to the Phish debut of Champagne Supernova as Harpua, Poster, and Jimmy were confronted by the “Über Demon” and the “evil sound of hell.” This show featured the breakout of Caravan, which had been shelved since December 2, 1994 (160 shows).

    [Setlists Courtesy of Phish.net]

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    Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon saved the best for last as JT’s week as a performer and guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon came to a close last night. Fallon and Timberlake had previously offered three installments of their “History of Rap” series where they’d perform a medley of rap hits through the years. On Friday night they debuted History of Rap Part IV.

    Justin and Jimmy mixed hits from the likes of Kurtis Blow, the Beastie Boys, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z over the course of six bombastic minutes. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered…

    History of Rap Pt. IV: Sugarhill Gang’s Apache (Jump On It) > Grandmaster Melle Mel’s White Lines (Don’t Do It) > Kurtis Blow’s Basketball > Fat Boys’ The Fat Boys > Run DMC’s It’s Tricky > Beastie Boys’ No Sleep Till Brooklyn > LL Cool J’s Going Back to Cali > Slick Rick’s Children’s Story > 2 Live Crew’s Me So Horny > Public Enemy’s Fight the Power > A Tribe Called Quest’s Scenario > Cypress Hill’s Hand on the Pump > Wreckx-N-Effect’s Rumpshaker > Salt N Pepa’s Shoop > Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice > Busta Rhymes’s Woo-Ha! Got You All in Check > The Notorious B.I.G.’s Hypnotize > Missy Elliot’s Get Ya Freak On > Jay-Z’s Izzo (H.O.V.A.) > Nelly’s Ride Wit Me > 50 Cent’s P.I.M.P. > Chamillionaire’ Ridin’ Dirty > Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow > Trinidad James’ All Gold Everything > Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s Thrift Shop > Eminem’s Lose Yourself

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    Jeff Tweedy @ The Vic Theatre – March 14

    Words and Photos: Jimmy Coulas

    On Thursday night, Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy played his second and final benefit show of the month at the Vic Theatre in Chicago. These now annual shows are notable for the fact that the first 30 people in line get to pick the setlist for that night.

    As the house lights dimmed shortly after 7:30, Tweedy emerged from behind the large black curtain to a rousing ovation. Sporting thick-rimmed glasses, jeans and a denim jacket, some may think he was channeling his inner hipster, but I suspect age has something to do with his fashionable specs.

    The prior night, Tweedy referred to his array of guitars as “The B Team” noting that his main gear was already on its way to Australia for Wilco’s upcoming Pacific Rim tour, which begins later this month. Nevertheless, the six guitars – including one 12-string – ranged in color from a light wood shade to a dark amber hue. Despite having six guitars, Tweedy only indulged in using two of them.

    As the applause faded, Tweedy began strumming the chords to Via Chicago. The song, which is known for its chaotic build up, took on a lullaby-like feel as Tweedy gently strummed through the song. The Wilco front man also used a harmonica to fill in the keyboard parts. Fan favorites Hummingbird (minus the Tweedy dance) and Poor Places rounded out the first three songs of the set.

    Historically speaking, Jeff Tweedy is well know for delivering some rather hysterical stage banter and these solo shows provide the perfect platform for his humor. It didn’t take him long to get the crowd laughing. He mentioned early on in the set that “charity is painful.” He was referring to the price of the tickets. Tickets for the first five rows were $300.

    Fans who submitted song requests while in line also wrote down questions for Tweedy to answer throughout the show. One fan asked Jeff who his favorite hip-hop artist was. Tweedy thought about it and responded with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five as well as Tyler the Creator. He followed that up saying his cousin was making suits for Tyler.

    Tweedy had to dig deep into his repertoire for the show as Wilco songs weren’t the only thing fans wanted to hear. The set featured many covers including I Wanna Be Your Dog (The Stooges), Henry & the H-Bomb (Mott the Hoople), Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down (Traditional) dedicated to the Pope, Listening to the Wind That Blows (Woody Guthrie) and tunes by Uncle Tupelo and Golden Smog.

    The guitarist was a bit rusty on a few of the songs including She’s a Jar and Someday Soon. After Tweedy forgot a few of the words to Someday Soon, the crowd picked up the slack and helped him out. Tweedy must’ve watched Dave Grohl’s keynote speech at SXSW earlier in the day because during Monday he mimicked one of the guitar solo’s as Grohl did with Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein in his speech.

    The Belleville, Illinois native closed the show with a two song encore. Up first was the “Lou Fest” version of Casino Queen. I would really love to see Wilco play this arrangement live as it sounded more like Carolina Chocolate Drops than Wilco. And that’s not a bad thing.

    For the final song, the singer unplugged his guitar and came to the edge of the stage for an unamplified version of Acuff Rose. Tweedy didn’t need a microphone as his voice reached the rafters with ease. In fact, it was so quiet that you could hear car horns honking and the L train rumble by the venue as he performed, a Chicago moment to close out a very Chicago experience.

    Jeff Tweedy
    Thursday, March 14, 2013
    The Vic Theatre
    Chicago, IL

    Set: Via Chicago, Hummingbird, Poor Places, Please Tell My Brother, I Wanna Be Your Dog, She’s a Jar, Henry and the H-Bombs, Art of Almost, One by One, Sky Blue Sky, Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down, Nothing Up My Sleeve, Listening To The Wind That Blows, When The Roses Bloom Again, Blasting Fonda, Hotel Arizona, Country Disappeared, Can’t Stand It, Someday Soon, We’ve Been Had, Passenger Side, Monday, Gun, The Late Greats, Airline To Heaven, I’m The Man Who Loves You

    Encore: The Community Song x4, Casino Queen, Acuff-Rose

    [Setlist courtesy of Via Chicago]

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    The Allman Brothers Band’s Beacon Run continued last night in New York City, where the band delivered their ninth of 11 shows that makes up this year’s residency. A number of guests joined in the action on Friday including Bill Evans, Scott Sharrard, Berry Oakley Jr., Jeff Golub and Susan Tedeschi who lent a hand on percussion during the One Way Out encore. In the second set, the Allmans dusted off their Gregg-sung cover of Neil Young’s 1972 classic The Needle and the Damage Done.

    The Allmans first performed Neil Young’s ode to the issues that heroin causes during last year’s March Madness run and played it again at last April’s Wanee Festival. A stripped-down version of the band featuring Gregg Allman and guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes on acoustics performed the cover as they did in last year’s takes. A video has surfaced of the Allman Brothers Band tackling The Needle and the Damage Done last night thanks to YouTuber Diablagato

    Allman Brothers Band – The Needle and the Damage Done

    The Allman Brothers Band conclude this year’s Beacon run with shows tonight and tomorrow.

    Here’s a look at last night’s setlist…

    Set One: Don’t Want You No More, Not My Cross To Bear, Statesboro Blues, Come and Go Blues, Blue Sky, Every Hungry Woman, Gambler’s Roll, Dusk Till Dawn (w/ Bill Evans), Revival

    Set Two: Who’s Been Talking (w/ Scott Sharrard), Trouble No More (w/ Berry Oakley Jr.), Ain’t Wasting Time, Feel Like Breaking Up Someone’s Home (w/ Jeff Golub), The Needle and the Damage Done (just Gregg, Derek and Warren), Dreams (w/ Bill Evans), 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) > Mountain Jam > 1983 (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) > Mountain Jam

    Encore: One Way Out (w/ Susan Tedeschi)

    [Unconfirmed Setlist via AllmanBrothersBand.com]

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    With many of the artists that make SXSW so appealing fleeing before the weekend, Friday usually provides one last chance to catch bands that you’ve missed so far on the theory that you’ll catch them later. On a separate note, the two things I think I’ve enjoyed most when they occur: a lead singer talking to the audience while forgetting that their reverb level is still set to maximal distortion and a set simply ending without fanfare as the band simply puts down their instruments and everyone disperses. The latter is such a corporate way to end a set. There’s also the tall person that parks themselves in front of me and then immediately ignores the band to tweet, text or facey-spacey. But I get that in New York too. Apparently, it’s a universal social skill possessed by crowds in all states.

    [Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears Photo by Joan Bowlen for Glide]

    The Sam Chase Band entertains the early risers at Red Eyed Fly as part of the After The Gold Rush party which treats the guests to Bloody Marys (and tasty ones at that). With fiddles, banjo and sax, they are reminiscent of a rowdy band that plays the saloon where the villains hang out in a western flick.

    Wild Belle bisects their set on the airier outside stage. The siblings from Chicago offer up high quality reggae-inflected, indie pop and with added confidence, the attractive Natalie Bergman has the makings of a fine front woman.

    One of the inanities at SXSW is the pre-festival pressure to RSVP for certain day parties. For the most part, it’s a non-sensical endeavor. With a couple exceptions, no one is getting turned away from a free party because they didn’t click on a virtual button two weeks prior. Unsurprisingly, the party host simply wants your e-mail address and demographic information. The Fader Fort holds to the mandatory RSVP policy but allows plus ones and gives deference to badge holders. Another, a bit pretentiously, is SPIN magazine, who unnecessarily complicates the process of coming to their showcase by adhering to the RSVP policy. Quite frankly, if this works to keep you out, it’s a moronic mess; if you get in, it’s a minor inconvenience and a reward to forethought. Either way, SPIN shouldn’t be doing anything that paints them in a bad light. How many times have they gone bankrupt?

    Given that I am discussing The Weekend (this would be the good Weekend, with all of its e’s), you can guess where I fall on the previous debate. I am the 1% – well, maybe more like the 19%. As an aside, SPIN is handing out Crispin Natural Hard Apple Cider, which out of a can, has the distinct flavor of Donaghy Estates sparkling wine. With a style best described as upbeat shoegaze, The Weekend’s half-hour set is loud yet extremely captivating. Solid bass, percussive beats, waves of guitar; one of my favorite sets of SXSW 2013.

    The Easy Tiger stage is surrounded by walls and high fencing on two sides and a rock wall on the third. Like a low-rent Red Rocks, it captures the sound well. The So So Glos give off a fun, rowdy Beastie Boys vibe – 3 1/2 Jews, almost a Minyan – tearing off one fun neo-punk song after another and possessed with a witty, irreverent attitude. In simpatico with the crowd, they discuss the cool bands they’ve seen over the past couple days. Putting on rally caps, the New York-based band finished their set with an endearingly thrashy ode to the underdog. Great is the band that makes you root for their success.

    Wavves benefits the most from the sun moving behind the adjacent building. The patio goes from bake to cool in moments and the change is gloriously palpable. By the way, people who wear loaded backpacks to crowded musical venues are awesome. They should come to New York and ride the 4-5-6 all day long. Oh, the music, Wavves is no longer chillwave, they are now loud and noisy and not as interesting as they used to be. They won’t need to worry though, the Wavves rep alone is going to carry them as far as they can take it.

    At HGTV/Paste’s Stages at Sixth, On An On start their set on the patio with a dose of synthy-electronics before bringing it back to something more distinctly European. They have a broad, arena rock sound and the synths carry very well.

    Inside, The Zombies have aged enough that they now resemble their moniker. I will leave all Walking Dead jokes at home as it’s just too easy. Nonetheless, The Zombies are a relevant band from the classic rock era and time hasn’t dulled their musical allure. There are at least 500 bands here that would kill for their career. As you would expect, their set consisted of their Brit-pop hits from a previous generation. She’s Not There and Time Of The Season were no brainers but a lengthy rendition of Argent’s Hold Your Head Up served as a nostalgic blast.

    [The Zombies photo by @jim_will_gamble]

    Scooting over to Red 7, Palma Violets are in high demand. For good reason, a garage band ethic, their show touches on The Clash with a light smattering of The Stooges. There’s much of what they do that’s easily replicable by dozens of other bands but more than those that churn out three chord rock with shouty vocals, Palma Violets have moments of brilliance where the guitar hook or vocals rise above. More than just volume and attitude, Palma Violets have good songs, which will carry a band farther than we like to imagine.

    Chvrches, with a V, closes out the Red 7 afternoon with an electronic-synthy dance set that I suspect none of Hidden Track’s readership would enjoy. Although their girlfriends and wives might.

    For the nightime session, Ace Reporter, featuring Chris Snyder nee of The States, opens the evening’s showcase. Six years ago, Snyder & The States played the inaugural and sole Earvolution SXSW day party. Snyder is back in Austin with a new project, a new album and a new record label. In 2010, Snyder embarked on a project where he recorded a song every day for a year. The resulting project yielded fruit and Snyder’s insightful and literate mind continues to be an intriguing source of indie rock. We at Earvolution knew what we were doing when we featured Snyder in 2007.

    At The Stage at 6th, The Lost Brothers throwback acoustic folk provides a nice counterpoint to the rap group in the main room. Touching on Andy Williams, the two not-really brothers are a compelling duo and work well within the folk motif.

    [Lost Brothers photo by Jeffrey Greenblatt]

    One of the best parts of SXSW involves checking in on old friends and some of these just happen to be local Austin bands. For your humble narrator, this means seeing what White Denim, Okkervil River and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears are up to. With White Denim and Will Sheff taking this year off, Lewis’ set at Antone’s will have to suffice. Playing with a stripped down and casually dressed version of the Honeybears, Lewis blew through an incendiary set of primarily new material. Where Lewis has played the rascally trickster, lyrically and musically, on his past efforts, his new material derives from the back-door blues and he plays them with menace and fury. Tearing through guitar solos like a Jr. Hendrix, Lewis electrified Antone’s with a flat of rock show. As a reminder of his past glory, Lewis finished with Sugarfoot and had a typically stoic SXSW crowd shaking their money-makers.

    At The Parish, it’s adult night and John Hiatt needs nothing more than an acoustic guitar to grasp an audience in his thrall. In a change of pace to the reverb-laden or shouted vocals of many of the younger bands, you could actually make out everything Hiatt sang. The Parish’s acoustics are perfect for a solo performer and Hiatt’s voice sounded strong and gritty. His set primarily consisted of new songs that meditate on a life well led and look back over the years. An immensely talented songwriter, Hiatt made sure to include chestnuts like Master Of Disaster and Memphis In The Meantime. One of SXSW’s charms is the ability to see Hiatt in a room this intimate.

    [John Hiatt photo by @whitesirenpresents]

    The same can be said for Richard Thompson, one of the world’s most underrated guitarists and songwriters. With proper British wit and charm, Thompson began his set by noting, “I love to watch old people standing for acoustic music.” At last night’s set at Antone’s, Thompson played an electric set with a full band. For tonight, he just brought an acoustic guitar and it is truly a treat to watch and hear him play before an audience united in awe. Unlike the folk that has dominated the American musical landscape, the British folk tradition practiced by Thompson focuses on Celtic melodies and relates romantic though oftentimes fatalistic stories. There is none better than Vincent Black Lightning 1952, the song with which he closed the set. With its story of the doomed love between James Adie and Red Molly and the bequest of the titular motorcycle, Thompson tells an emotional tale over the course of what might be the perfect song.

    At Mohawk, Parquet Courts play the indoor stage as part of Grand Control Touring’s showcase. The logistics of the inside stage requires everyone to funnel in through one modest entrance at the rear of the concert space. With too many people trying to see the band, the entire passageway became a congested mess with little room to move forward or back. Complicating matters were fans that didn’t grasp the situation and kept pushing forward. At least for me, this clouded the fact that Parquet Court’s set was pretty damn good. A more thorough recitation of the band’s skill will have to wait for a less hectic listening situation.

    On the outdoor stage, Chelsea Light Moving, Thurston Moore’s new project, played to a more evenly spaced crowd. Surprisingly, Moore takes his band towards twee sounding chamber pop. Oh wait, that would be silly. As you would expect, CLM takes angular journeys of guitar experimentation with liberal doses of feedback. While I’m not extremely well versed in Sonic Youth, Chelsea Light Moving doesn’t sound like a drastic departure or change in direction for Moore.

    [Chelsea Light Moving photo by dr_chit032]

    Some exploring leads to Brancho, a zippy little punk trio, at Valhalla and The Specials at Stubbs. The Specials’ heyday was in the late Seventies/early Eighties where they were ahead of the curve with their ska-influenced style. Music has caught up with them and they had a large majority of the modest crowd frenetically dancing.

    Zipping back in to Mohawk to catch the last ten minutes of the showcase, I am greeted by an apocalyptic scene. Call me Rinjo, I’ve stumbled into a hardcore show. Trash Talk, from Sacramento, California, has turned the Mohawk Patio into a venue sized demolition derby of moshers. Trash Talk manages to harness naked aggression and unleash it in 30 to 45 second bursts of “song” while the audience rages in a rabid frenzy. (I think its highly doubtful that the mosh pit contained a single badge holder). With an affiliate of the band spitting beer on the crowd, there was spitting, wild stage diving, ferocious slam dancing and an incident that led to security brusquely ushering someone out the door. It made the relatively calm surge before Parquet Courts seem extraordinarily tame in comparison. After a spectacular swan dive into the crowd, lead singer Lee Spielman climbed atop the speakers, perching himself there while the band raged. He then climbed up on the porch balcony and looked like he was steeling himself for something big. To Spielman’s credit, I don’t think there was a single person at Mohawk that thought the set wasn’t going to end with a Superfly From The Top Of The Cage stage dive as well as his immediate hospitalization. After a dramatic pause, he simply stepped over the railing. Set over.

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    UPDATE: We’ve Added Photos by Dino Perrucci

    We’ve reached the end of the Allman Brothers Band’s 2013 Beacon Theatre run which concludes later today. For the penultimate show of the residency, the Allmans welcomed a  number of guests to their stage including Wilco’s guitarist, a member of Gov’t Mule and ABB guitarist Derek Trucks’s wife.

    [All Photos by Dino Perrucci]

    The Allmans have been keeping their rotation fairly tight over the course of the run’s first ten shows, but each performance has had a run debut or two and Saturday night was no exception. Mixed in among ABB classics Midnight Rider, No One To Run With (which featured photos of late band members such as Dangerous Dan Toler flashing on the screen) and Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ in the first set was Egypt. This instrumental was first debuted by the Allmans during the 2005 Beacon Run and saw its first action during this year’s run last night. Susan Tedeschi, ABB guitarist Derek Trucks’ wife, was the star of the show on Saturday with multiple sit-ins. She first emerged to lend guitar work and vocals to the band’s cover of The Sky Is Crying by Elmore James towards the end of the opening stanza.

    Earlier this run, the Allmans debuted their version of Long Black Veil and it opened the second set on Saturday. Tedeschi reemerged shortly thereafter along with Gov’t Mule keyboardist Danny Louis and bassist Lincoln Schleifer (Midnight Ramble Band, Donald Fagen) for That’s What Love Will Make You Do. After that, the group delivered another take on The Beatles’ Rain which they debuted at the first show of the run. The center piece of the closing stanza was the run’s first Smokestack Lightning. Longtime ABB associate Col. Bruce Hampton sang the blues standard which also saw contributions from Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Vedo Louise. Just before In Memory of Elizabeth Reed brought the set to a close, bassist Berry Oakley Jr. lent a hand on You Don’t Love Me. While Whipping Post was listed as the encore on the band’s pre-planned setlist, they audibled for One Way Out instead.

    Here’s a look at last night’s setlist…

    Set One: Done Somebody Wrong, Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’, Midnight Rider, Woman Across The River, Egypt, The Sky Is Crying (w. Susan Tedeschi, guitar & vocals), Spots Of Time, No One To Run With

    Set Two: Long Black Veil, That’s What Love Will Make You Do (w. Susan Tedeschi, guitar & vocals ; Danny Louis, piano, Lincoln Schleifer, bass) Rain, Smokestack Lightnin’ (w. Col. Bruce Hampton, vocal; Danny Louis, piano; Nels Cline, guitar; Vedo Louise, drums), Rocking Horse, You Don’t Love Me (w. Berry Oakley Jr., bass), In Memory of Elizabeth Reed

    Encore: One Way Out

    [Setlist via AllmanBrothersBand.com]

    The Allman Brothers Band’s 2013 Beacon residency comes to a close this evening.

    Watch The Colonel, Nels, Danny Louis and the Allmans tackle Smokestack Lightning…

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    Soulive @ Brooklyn Bowl – March 16th

    Words: Scott Bernstein
    Photos: Andrew Blackstein

    Soulive closed out their fourth annual Bowlive residency at NYC’s Brooklyn Bowl last night with what was the band’s 40th show at the Williamsburg venue. The trio welcomed a number of guests for the Bowlive finale, all of which have been regulars over the past week, and each guest received a t-shirt commemorating the event with the “Bowlive” logo on the front and “40″ on the back.

    [All Photos by Andrew Blackstein]

    Considering the impressive list of guests, both expected and unexpected, who performed with Soulive over the course of the eight-show run, there were high hopes for a surprise artist or two to share the stage with the trio besides announced guests The Shady Horns and funk legend George Porter Jr. Though the surprises were limited to saxophonist Cochemea Gastelum and The London Souls, the true highlight of the night was the otherworldly interplay displayed by Neal and Alan Evans and Eric Krasno as they stretched everything out in the first set and expertly backed Porter during the rest of the show.

    Back in 2010, which was also the year Bowlive started, Soulive released an album of Beatles covers cleverly titled Rubber Soulive. All three prior Bowlive runs were heavy on Beatles material and that trend continued in 2013. In fact last Wednesday’s second show of the residency was the only performance of the eight that didn’t feature at least one Beatles cover. On Saturday Come Together got the call and contained a psychedelic and jazz-tinged solo by Krasno that added a whole new element to the song. Soulive’s take on Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughan showed off a different side of Krasno’s skills as he laced each soul-laden lick with the emotion that was written all over his face. Though the best part of the first set wasn’t a cover of a song by a legendary artist or a Soulive original – it was when the members of The London Souls emerged to lead the trio and the horns through their own Steady Are You Ready. The Souls, a trio whose new album was produced by Kraz, got the crowd moving and banging their heads thanks to Steady’s hard rock feel.

    Kraz and The Evans seemed to focus on styles that weren’t funk in the first set as with Porter aboard, there was no doubt the second set would have plenty of funk. The bassist emerged fairly quickly after the start of the closing stanza and he stayed on stage throughout the  final frame. Among the many Meters classics GPJ led were People Say and Hey Pocky A-Way from The Meters’ 1974 gem Rejuvenation. The Handclapping Song, off 1970′s Struttin’, saw many in the audience clap along. Gastelum lent a hand on People Say, giving the ensemble a four-man horn section. When Porter performed with Soulive last year at Bowlive III, there was plenty of onstage hand signals and discussion but this year GPJ and Soulive seemed more prepared and only exchanged knowing glances as they worked their way through an array of the bassist’s best songs. And these best songs weren’t only limited to Meters’ tunes, Porter’s underrated solo selection Out In The Country was the second set’s Lenny inasmuch as it was a slower number that let the band’s soul glow. There was also the surprising selection of Take A Chance from George’s time with Porter Baptiste Stoltz aka PBS. For the second set finale, Porter, Soulive and the horns lit into a relentlessly funky take on Donny Hathaway’s Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything).

    Brooklyn Bowl owner Pete Shapiro came onstage with the band as they returned for the encore and thanked them for the wonderful two weeks of shows. He also mentioned it was the band’s 40th total performance at the Bowl. In celebration, the venue had t-shirts made up for everyone in the room. Shapiro himself gave out many of the shirts as the Brooklyn Bowl staff made sure each and every attendee got a shirt which had a Bowlive logo on the front and “40″ on the back. With that Porter, Soulive and the horns laid down the funkiest number on a night full of ‘em – the GPJ solo favorite He Bite Me (The Dragon). As the clock passed 1:30AM, the band still had one left in them and treated the crowd to a version of The Meters’ Ain’t No Use that just wouldn’t end. No one of that stage was ready for Bowlive IV to be over and kept on extending the finale’s finale. After the music finally ended, Kraz thanked the staff, his crew and his band mates for another memorable Bowlive run. The countdown has already begun for Bowlive V though it’ll be awful hard for Soulive to top this year’s run.

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    After 11 shows the Allman Brothers Band’s 2013 March Madness run at NYC’s Beacon Theatre came to a close on Sunday evening. This special St. Patrick’s Day show was added after the first 10 shows of the residency were announced and started an hour earlier than the other performances. The 2013 Beacon finale had plenty of guest spots, a surprise cover and plenty of jamming, though the set times were shorter than past ABB shows at the venue.

    Over the course of the run, the Allmans treated fans to 77 different songs and dozens of special guests. In the first set, the band dusted off High Cost of Low Living off of 2003′s Hittin’ The Note for its initial 2013 performance. The Brothers mixed material from throughout their career dating all the way back to Black Hearted Woman from their 1969 debut all the way up to one of their newest originals – Haynes’ Dusk Till Dawn. Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli emerged for the One Way Out first set closer which also featured percussionist Bobby Allende and a guest drummer spelling Jaimoe.

    Gregg Allman came out for the second set sporting an acoustic as a stripped down version of the band performed Melissa. Warren Haynes Band vocalist Alecia Chakour and guitarist Oz Noy lent a hand on Haynes’ Rivers Gonna Rise which led into the biggest setlist surprise of the night. Four years prior to the day, at the Allmans’ St. Patrick’s Day show in 2009, the group debuted their version of Can’t Find My Way Home by Blind Faith which featured special guests Sheryl Crow and Brian Mitchell. The Allmans dusted off the Blind Faith cover again last night, this time with Conan Band/Levon Helm collaborator Jimmy Vivino singing and playing guitar on the classic tune.

    Following Statesboro Blues, the ABB brought out the run’s final guest – trumpeter Maurice Brown – for Dreams which featured a scorching guitar solo from Derek Trucks. A well-jammed Jessica that saw impressive interplay between Trucks and Haynes brought the final set of the 2013 Beacon Run to a close. The Whipping Post encore gave the band one last chance to jam and the fans one more chance to enjoy the group’s improvisational prowess.

    Set One: Stand Back, Leave My Blues at Home, High Cost of Low Living, Worried Down With The Blues, Black Hearted Woman, Dusk Till Dawn, One Way Out (w/ Leo Nocentelli, Bobby Allende and guest drummer)

    Set Two: Melissa (Gregg on acoustic w/ Oteil, Butch and Warren), Rivers Gonna Rise (w/ Alecia Chakour and Oz Noy), Can’t Find My Way Home (w/ Jimmy Vivino), Statesboro Blues, Dreams (w/ Maurice Brown), Jessica

    Encore: Whipping Post

    Considering how last year’s run ended, with Gregg Allman missing the final show due to health issues, expectations were tempered this year. However, Gregg was in fine form throughout the 11-show residency and the Allmans did a fantastic job of mixing up their setlists and bringing in guests who added to the experience. The group did the Beacon run’s reputation justice in 2013.

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    HT faves Umphrey’s McGee continued a tour of the West Coast this weekend and as part of the run visited Oakland’s Fox Theater on Saturday night. UM guitarists Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss strapped on acoustics for a segment of Saturday’s first set for a segment that saw them sneak a second-ever performance of Hey Hey What Can I Do by Led Zeppelin in the middle of Nemo.

    Umphrey’s first performed the Immigrant Song b-side in Atlanta on December 30, 2012. Jake and Brendan played acoustics on that version as well. YouTuber nowiknowyouryder has uploaded a clip of In The Kitchen from the Fox as well as Hey Hey What Can I Do. Let’s take a look…

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    Historically, Saturday, the last day of SXSW, tends to be the thinnest day of the week. Most of the bands and quite a large number of industry folk flee town before the weekend, smartly avoiding the mass exodus on Sunday and the overwhelming crowds that descend upon Sixth Street in hordes that seem greater than normal. Unlike the Olympics, there are no “official” closing ceremonies but unofficially John Fogerty, Vampire Weekend and Justin Timberlake will play “closing” sets. Oh yes, there’s also Prince, but that seems to be Samsung-sponsored boondoggle and it’s unclear whether badge holders are even encouraged to go. Timberlake’s gig appears to be a guerrilla-style affair with the location being tweeted by MySpace like a siren call during the day. Yes, I too am surprised that MySpace has money to afford this.

    [Vampire Weekend Photo by @kiasuchick]

    Despite the fact that there is no MOG showcase this year, the line for Mohawk extends well down Red River and the day showcases are filling up much earlier with locals making SXSW their Saturday activity.

    At the All Things Go Music/Indieshuffle day party, Haerts, from Germany are entertaining a crowd that would be deemed healthy under normal circumstances but for shortly after noon, it’s quite impressive. From Germany, you would have to think that the odd spelling of their name owes less to a Gaelic homage to the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and more to solid advice from their intellectual property attorneys. Their set consists of pleasing pop that flows nicely from one song to the next.

    Afterwards, The 1975 offer a complementary set of either pop-inflected rock or rock-inflected pop. The Manchester band’s name didn’t quite convey anything about the band as the lads were clearly born after that year and their style bears little relation to the music of the Seventies. The bassist was rocking a vintage Darius Miles Clippers jersey which had entertainment value in its own right.

    Perhaps Friday’s snarkiness towards SPIN magazine and their RSVP policy needs to be toned down a little, if not retracted in its entirety. With people descending on downtown Austin like the bugs on the soldiers in Starship Troopers, the non-discriminatory restricted access (you RSVP’d, you got a pass) resulted in a sunny, sometimes brutally so, oasis just off of Sixth Street.

    Bleached, one of the buzziest bands from SXSW 2012 have returned with less fanfare this year. Fronted by three women, they are harder edged, less homey garage rock version of Those Darlins. With their nice harmonies and aggressive guitars, Bleached gives you an idea of what Best Coast might sound like if Bethany Cosentino didn’t sit around smoking dope all day with her cat.

    [Bleached Photo by @e_schmeed]

    The all-female Savages from the U.K. were simply a revelation and are everything you might want from a young rock band. Full of attitude bordering on pathological disdain, Savages aural assault and angry patois are like placing Patti Smith with Black Sabbath’s rhythm section. Just before the end of their 25-minute set, lead singer Jehnny Beth, full of righteous anger not seen since Sinead O’Connor at her most assured and confident, proclaimed that this was their last set of the week and declared SXSW a “fucking horrible festival.” If for no other reason than everyone in the attendance seemed to be a writer that immediately scribbled praise for what they had just seen, you will hear much more about Savages in the ensuing months.

    Cloud Nothings closed SPIN’s Easy Tiger stage with a shorter and slightly different set from their Brooklyn Vegan Emo’s set. Wasted Days remains the tour de force and Baldi sang it with an unparalleled intensity, screaming the final refrain of “I thought I would be more than” until he turned red in the face. Only 21, Dylan Baldi is a rock legend in the making.

    After catching a brief portion of Surfer Blood’s set at the Cedar Street Courtyard, it’s over to The Ginger Man for Robyn Hitchcock’s 60th birthday celebration. Before the guest of honor took the stage, Chris Stamey from the dbs, and Ken Stringfellow (with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills on bass) sandwiched a set by The Relatives.

    [The Relatives Photo by @mikexican]

    Formed in 1970, The Relatives hold true to the soul power performing ethic that began in the Sixties with The Temptations and The Four Tops and continued through the Seventies with The Spinners and The Whispers. Lined across the stage in matching silver vests and pants, The Relatives danced in unison while sharing the vocals and a variety of traditionally structured soul songs. Much to the delight of their leader, The Relatives nearly stole Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears’ SXSW set at ACL Live a couple years back with their embodiment of vintage soul. Five decades in music will also produce a fine head for the business as a couple members of the band strolled through the crowd to hawk CDs to fans that were never going to say no their face.

    The Ginger Man’s seemingly makeshift stage was located in a lovely backyard patio complete with sturdy picnic tables. It made for an extraordinarily intimate locale to see Hitchcock. Alone with an acoustic guitar, Hitchcock opened with a cover of Spirit’s Nature’s Way before bringing on backing musicians and guests that included Stringfellow and Kelly Hogan. Over his 90 minute set, you could hear the influence of The Beatles on Hitchcock and Hitchcock’s influence on bands like The Decemberists. With great wit and Liverpudlian voice, Hitchcock sang about rocketships, tarantulas and frogs, discoursed extensively on the plot of Clint Eastwood’s Magnum Force and covered Dylan’s Tangled Up In Blue. After the presentation of cake, Hitchcock and his band plugged in for electric versions of The Beatles’ I’ve Got A Feeling, Don’t Bring Me Down and One After 909.

    At Jeff Greenblatt’s suggestion, we are meeting up at The Parish for The Ripe. Given the soft melodies, ambient bridges and half-hearted guitar noodling, I’m questioning Greenblatt’s musical acumen. Before things are said that can’t be unsaid, I realize I’m at the wrong Parish and The Ripe are downstairs at the Parish Underground. Rushing to the Underground, The Ripe are just commencing a cover of Love’s A House Is Not A Motel. Much better and my faith in Greenblatt is restored. The rest of The Ripe’s set consisted of a fun batch of rockers in the Tom Petty mold.

    [The Ripe Photo by Jeff Greenblatt]

    Over at Red 7, Parquet Courts play to a crowd experiencing infinitely less oppressive conditions than their previous night’s set at Mohawk. Can’t say that the conditions and circumstances in which one listens to music doesn’t affect how it’s received. With room to breathe, both literally and figuratively, the Courts set is infinitely more enjoyable and it’s clear why they, along with Savages, are earning raves from everyone who sees them. Not afraid to stretch a song out and see where it goes, Parquet Courts are like their New York grandfathers, Television. (Reference accredited to Jeff Greenblatt). However, where Tom Verlaine would remain detached and cool, the Courts’ Andrew Savage shouts and chants the lyrics, giving them a wilder and edgier feel.

    At Buffalo Billiards, Moon Taxi follows The Ocean Blue in a room as notable for its size as for the fact that it sits above a gigantic pool hall. Given the somewhat collegial and familial vibe, it’s slightly comical to think the psych-rock disciples The Black Angels played here earlier in the week. One of the many bands here this week from Nashville, Moon Taxi come the closest to jamming (known at SXSW as the verboten J-word) and offer up an enjoyable 40 minutes of simpatico rock and roll. A double bill with Howlin Rain would be a fine pairing.

    [Moon Taxi Photo by @michaelrox]

    At Stubb’s, Vampire Weekend played one of the de facto closing sets. In some years, a band with two critically well-received albums and Vampire Weekend’s level of widespread notoriety might be considered the most mainstream post-midnight option. With Justin Timberlake (45 minute set) and Prince (3 hours with 6 to 8 encores) playing competing sets, VW fell right back into the role of the indie-band that could. With the outdoor ampitheater filled to capacity, Vampire Weekend played an hour-plus long set that touched on the best parts of their self-titled debut and Contra, its follow up.

    For a band that has a new album on the horizon, it was surprising that they didn’t gear their set towards a significant preview of their new material – a staple of many SXSW performances and the reason that many bands even make the trek. The two new songs in the set, one a funky little urban number, make it seem like the band is trying to broaden their scope beyond calypso-ey indie rock without forgoing the style that’s worked so well for them in the past. Those that continue to persist in the mistaken belief that the Ivy Leaguers are still poseurs in the big bad world of rock will surely have more grist for their mill if the sampling of new material is indicative of the rest of the album.

    With time to catch one more band before the clock strikes twelve (or in reality 2:00 a.m.) on SXSW 2013, a sprint to Holy Mountain for The Warlocks is gloriously interrupted by the sound of funk coming from Empire Automotive. Far from your typical run-of-the-mill funk, this is P-FUNK. On a makeshift stage in an auto garage, George Clinton is leading the current iteration of Parliament-Funkadelic and because there aint no party like a P-Funk party, the P-Funk party won’t stop. Playing unrelentless funk well past curfew, the Clinton/ P-Funk set exemplifies what makes SXSW so great: walk one block in any direction and you are likely to stumble onto something great.

    [P-Funk Photo by @rockpeacenlove]

    At the airport on Sunday morning, a TSA agent examines my driver’s license and gives me the OK to pass. When I comment that he’s the first person in a week to look at my ID without stamping my hand, he laughs and tells me I wouldn’t like their version of that very much.

    Doing a little statistical analysis, over the course of five full days, I managed to catch 76 sets by 74 different artists. There are many worse ways to spend a week.

    On the agenda for SXSW 2014, the inaugural Hidden Track showcase. Let’s make this dream a reality!

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    Thom Yorke is taking his Atoms For Peace project on the road here in the states this fall. The group, which features Nigel Godrich, Flea, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco backing the Radiohead front man, has just announced a six-show run that begins at the Liacuouras Center in Philadelphia on September 24th and runs through a planned October 17th performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl in California.

    Atoms For Peace will also visit Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the Patriot Center in Fairfax, the UIC Pavilion in Chicago and the Hollywood Bowl during the tour. The band’s new album, AMOK, entered the U.S. charts at #2 and last played the U.S. in 2010. Tickets will go on sale to the public Saturday, March 23.

    Here’s the full list of dates…

    Sept. 24           Philadelphia PA                    Liacouras Center
    Sept. 27           Brooklyn NY                         Barclays Center
    Sept. 30           Fairfax, VA                           Patriot Center
    Oct. 2              Chicago IL                             UIC Pavilion
    Oct. 16            Los Angeles CA                     Hollywood Bowl
    Oct. 17            Santa Barbara CA                Santa Barbara Bowl

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