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Anticipation for Vampire Weekend’s sold-out San Francisco concert was sky-high after the band’s six-year absence.
Closing day at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 19 at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Where else could you see Judy Collins, The Meat Puppets and Michael Nesmith in one afternoon?
Day 2 of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 19 in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, and the crowds are treated to country rock courtesy of Margo Price, folk mastery from Joan Shelley and psychedelicized Led Zeppelin tunes from Robert Plant.
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass 2019 kicks off in style with rousing sets from The Waterboys, Bettye Lavette and St. Paul & The Broken Bones at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
Avant-rock trailblazer Adrian Belew brought his quartet to the Arcada Theatre with material from 2019’s Pop-Sided album. Songs representing stints with psychedelic pop heroes the Bears, prog-rock titans King Crimson, and uncategorizable legend Frank Zappa rubbed shoulders with Belew’s solo favorites.
Premier punk rock festival Riot Fest returned to Chicago for its 15th anniversary. Coverage of Day 3 includes Guided By Voices, the B-52s, Patti Smith, Nick Lowe, the Raconteurs, unlikely mosh pit instigators the Village People, and more.
British New Wave icon Adam Ant took fans at the Vic Theatre on a time warp 37 years backward to 1982, performing his top-selling solo album Friend or Foe. [Updated 9/9/2019 with approved photos.]
The Cure delivered a celebratory performance at the Pasadena Daydream Festival last weekend, along with stand-out sets from Pixies, Deftones, Mogwai, Throwing Muses and The Joy Formidable.
Mark Knopfler has consistently defied the conventional definitions of guitar hero and rock star – while earning his reputation at the top of the heap. Knopfler brought worthy new songs from Down the Road Wherever to Chicago.
The Squeeze Songbook Tour date celebrated the band’s 45th anniversary and a rich back catalog that long ago earned appellations naming the songwriting engine of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook as the Lennon and McCartney of their generation. It’s a heavy crown for any songwriters to bear, but Difford and Tilbrook have done their best to keep it gleaming.
With minimal purple and pink hues lighting the stage, the camp fire-esque performance was all about the music (well, and Beam’s award-worthy beard) and the gentle sparks that crackle and pop between mutually admiring musicians.
One of the world’s premiere heavy metal bands of the 20th century, British powerhouse Iron Maiden continue to be a force in the new millennium. The sextet returned to the Chicago area on Thursday, bringing its “Legacy of the Beast” tour with dazzling spectacle, virtuoso playing, and relentless energy.
Mike Peters has written anthems to match the best of them, and the Alarm’s recent output and performances suggest more rousing sessions to come.
The Stray Cats revived rockabilly for generations of music fans in the ’80s, and the trio’s own songs continue to resonate. The band has returned with worthy new material from its 40th anniversary album.
George Clinton’s farewell One Nation Under A Groove tour featured Parliament-Funkadelic, Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk, and Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf. For all of current society’s decisiveness, there was nothing but unity and diversity in the house as everyone was “getting down for the funk of it.”
It was a shame Earle wasn’t able to sell out the Egyptian, especially after Garth Brooks drew a record-breaking 86,000 attendees a month prior at the nearby Albertsons Stadium. But for those in attendance, who value authentic country music, Earle’s performance will be as memorable as his career — and his mentor Guy Clark’s.
Starr’s good-spirited message of peace and love remains well worth sharing, and the evening proved to be a great escape from the news cycle as well as a joyous musical celebration for generations of Beatles and Beach Boys fans.
Music fans up the road at Lollapalooza may have had their pick of more than 40 bands, but the Night Running tour packed adventurous musical variety onto one stage. Fans left Northerly Island confident that they had just seen the most spectacular rock show in Chicago.
The Mekons stormed into Los Angeles and rocked a packed house at Lodge Room last Monday, mixing songs from their new album Deserted with classics dating back to the mid-1980s.
Peter Frampton performed his final Chicago concert on Sunday, July 28, 2019. The set included hits like “Show Me the Way,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” and “Do You Feel Like We Do” alongside Humble Pie favorites and new songs from #1 Billboard Blues album All Blues.
Andrew Bird played a hometown show that made a strong case for the accurate naming of his new album My Finest Work Yet.
The show encapsulated Alvin’s breakthrough as a songwriter and solo voice, and served as a calling card to draw people back for the new songs and stories he continues to tell.
Thirty miles from downtown Chicago in Naperville, Ribfest continues to be a summertime destination event for music fans in Illinois. This year, the crowd of thousands enjoyed Living Colour, Billy Idol, ZZ Ward, Grand Funk, Bad Company and more.
Loudly singing along to the opener “Bad Guy” nearly drowned out Billie Eilish‘s amplified vocals in the cavernous Minneapolis Armory. After years of bubbly pop stars, the outcasts and weird kids finally have their own major pop star to look up to.
A multi-generational crowd assembled at Moline, Illinois’ TaxSlayer Center to hear the most celebrated catalog in popular music, delivered by the living legend responsible for it.
A band with such an ambitious, sprawling sound may have seemed an unlikely fit for the minuscule venue, but the intensity of their performance inspired the tightly packed crowd to mosh, marvel and mentally connect with the band’s affecting themes.
Fontaines D.C’s homecoming performance, and Kevin Burke was there to bear witness
With fire in their sails and fury in their throats, the Boulder quartet barnstormed the Shredder in Boise on Wednesday night, pulverizing the well-attended club with 45 minutes of sludgy punk-metal.
In a sweet-and-sour set, the self-deprecating Tom Green revealed a soft exterior behind the crusty-looking iconic comedian of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Maximum riffage from Portland, Oregon, tore apart the Shredder in Boise on Saturday night courtesy of Lord Dying, a four-piece progressive-sludge unit.
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and his sharp three-piece band returned to Chicago’s Vic Theatre to play material from 2018’s Call the Comet, other solo gems, breakout side project Electronica, and heavyweight hits from the Smiths. The seamless blend of old and new songs was a potent reminder of Marr’s role as the principal architect of the Smiths’ sound.
Far from a spent force, at 70, Parker is still an artist well worth your time, particularly in a live setting.
Treefort Music Fest is intended both to draw rising national talent to Boise and showcase what the city’s own music scene has to offer. And, as it occurs just as brisk breezes replace patches of ice in the downtown area, the spring-timing couldn’t be better.
It was a rare opportunity to see Ian Hunter flanked by pianist Morgan Fisher and guitarist Ariel Bender, the players who stood together during the heyday of Mott the Hoople leading to 1974 albums The Hoople and Live.
These legends are making vital new music every bit the equal of anything in their catalog.
Still, Swervedriver got a good crowd reaction and managed to play the best set I’ve ever seen them play
In March 2019 (and less than a month after the death of Peter Tork), The Monkees presented “The Mike & Mickey Show” in the Minneapolis area, showcasing longtime reunion holdhout Michael Nesmith and the most constant member and main voice of The Monkees, Mickey Dolenz.
Murray A. Lightburn from The Dears performed an intimate acoustic show at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles to promote his latest solo album Hear Me Out.
Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn strip music to the barest of bones – a skeletal rhythm track and a forceful vocal attack.
Mere days after the Boise outpost of Michael Dorf’s dwindling Knitting Factory franchises reopened after a fire tore down most of the structure last fall, what heavy-metal band took the stage to help rechristen the venue? In Flames, of course.
Tokyo psychedelic ensemble Kikagaku Moyo played to a capacity crowd at the Regent last Wednesday with support from The Mattson 2.
Featuring heavily dissonant riffs laden with death-metal vocals, Necrot gave a blitzkrieg of a performance that alternately dizzied and tizzied the club crowd.
Post-punk legends Gang of Four brought their influential blend of funk, disco and noise-rock to the Roxy last week. Founding guitarist Andy Gill led the band through a propulsive set that mixed newer material with classics from the band’s early years.
The musical legacy of 1970s glam rock was celebrated last Thursday at the Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles, as guest singers performed classics from the era accompanied by a solid house band.