There’s a reason that we leave the comfort of our homes, especially in the cold winter, to attend a concert. We could sit inside and listen to an album or two, but it’s an entirely different experience hearing those same songs performed live. We discussed the topic in last week’s edition of Live Wired, but sometimes it takes a spectacular performance to remind us. That’s what happened this past weekend, as City & Colour played to a sold out crowd at the House of Blues. Frontman Dallas Green gets it; he knows how to put on a show that’s all about the music. He’s personable and interacts with the crowd, but can step back and let his talents shine.
After stepping out into the spotlight in front of a packed crowd, and to many applause, frontman Dallas Green went right into playing “We Found Each Other In The Dark”, a track from City and Colour’s most recent album Little Hell. He followed this up with a wonderful rendition of “Sleeping Sickness” and kept up the string of great performances throughout the rest of the night.
Every week at Live Wired, we talk about different live performances, from national acts to OurStage artists, and attempt to explore what made each show unique and memorable. Despite what changes in the world of music, artists keep touring the country and the world, and we keep buying tickets to go see them. We can sit and review numbers and earnings from concerts or discuss how important touring is to an artist’s career, but that would be no fun. Instead, we want to get to the heart of the matter; why do we love live music so much? Why do we spend the money, take road-trips, wait in line for hours and sing until we lose our voices? These are the questions we asked all different kinds of people in the past few weeks; young and old, music lovers and casual listeners, all with very different tastes. Here’s what we came up with as we take a stab at figuring out the wonder that is live music.
Sense of Community & Good Atmosphere
When asking people about their best concert memories, the majority of the answers we received centered around the crowd itself and the overall feel of the show. Whether it’s a giant annual festival like Lollapalooza, or a band like Steel Train playing a small show, the people surrounding you are important. A combination of genuine respect for the artist and also for your fellow concert-goers can really make an event that much better; when you’re all focused on the music, it’s the only thing that matters. We heard lots of people tell us that going to a concert makes them feel like a part of a giant family. It’s an incredible thing, being surrounded by strangers who can turn into friends for one night just because you all are passionate about the same thing.
Acoustic performances typically have a sense of quiet and calm about them. These shows tend to be in front of a smaller audience without the force of a full band behind them. Sunday night, at the Paradise Rock Club, was completely different; It was a simple acoustic performance that turned into one of the most intense shows. A sold out crowd filled the venue in anticipation of seeing Chris Carrabba, who came out armed with just an acoustic guitar and the microphone in front of him (which he hardly had to use). Carrabba, who has been releasing music for over twelve years with Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, is clearly meant to be on stage. He has such a unique and powerful control over the crowd with just his voice and his words.
We’re exploring the world of Pro Performance Videos here on OurStage once more for this week’s Live Wired, and have come up with some wonderfully unique live footage from a couple of different female vocalists. Both artists have beautiful voices that are captivating, even when watching their videos through the computer screen. While both performances are on the simpler side, this approach only enhances their talents and helps to shine a light on both their songwriting skills and connection with the audience. We were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to these artists about their respective performances as well as their experiences with live music, and gain some insight into their backgrounds as musicians.
First up, we have Tina Lundelius from Maryland, who is new to the world of live performance, but certainly is fitting in quite well. Having already won many awards for her songwriting, she’s gotten the chance to play in huge music cities including Nashville and Los Angeles. In the video below, she’s performing her song “Live Life Wide” with just an acoustic guitar. It’s nice and refreshing to see a quiet performance, but one that’s filled with emotion shown through both her face and voice. While Tina told us that she puts a lot of effort and preparation into each performance, especially this one, she likes “for each performance to be unique and slightly different from the last so I like to feed off the audience’s reaction”. She is focused on really connecting with her audience through her music and tries to “make them feel like I’m not just standing in front of them and playing some songs”. We were especially intrigued to hear about the differences between American and European audiences, as Tina is currently in England performing her music. She explained that “Europeans are just interested in fresh and talented music” and that while in America, audiences can sometimes come across as rude, she told us that “entire pubs will go silent when I begin to play”.
You may know Donald Glover from NBC’s comedy Community, where the Georgia native plays college student Troy Barnes. Last week Live Wired got to experience this actor’s musical side. Glover is currently on tour with his rap side project Childish Gambino in anticipation of his full-length album Camp, which comes out on November 15th. The writer, actor, comedian and rapper has been all over the place in the past year: from hosting the MTVU Woodie Awards to playing at Bonnaroo. This time around, he’s touring the country and selling out venues like House of Blues.
The crowd went wild from the second Donald Glover came on the stage and everyone was at full energy for the rest of the show even though the performance was simple. There was a live band and a small movie screen for graphics, but there was nothing extravagant. Honestly, not much else was needed because his stage presence is so big that he brings enough intensity to his performances. Having seen Glover do stand-up comedy in the past, it was fascinating to see the difference in he acts on stage when it comes music. There’s no doubt that, as hilarious as he is, he’s in the process of getting huge with his music.
He chose to perform one of his most popular songs towards the beginning of the set: “Freaks and Geeks”. The track, from an EP he released earlier this year, has a memorable beat and witty lyrics that gave the audience the chance to rap along with him. The crowd also got a kick out of Childish Gambino sampling John Legend’s cover of Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”, as it turned into a giant sing-along followed by Glover rapping his own verse. We were also treated to some new Childish Gambino material which was exciting for fans who have been anticipating the new album. “You See Me” is incredibly catchy”the always-clever lyrics were displayed on the screen on stage so everyone could join in by the end. On the other hand, most of the crowd already knew “Bonfire”, the first single from the album and the best performance of the night.
Wanna see what you missed? Check out Glover’s free-styling talents over Meek Mill’s ‘Ima Boss” after the jump!
When a band takes a break from their musical career for a number of years, it’s often hard to gain back momentum and success should they decide to come back. But, there are some artists who never really go away; we’re always waiting for them to stage a comeback. This year we’ve seen the return of huge acts like Blink-182 and New Kids On The Block, but this concept doesn’t always have to apply to mainstream artists. Here at Live Wired, we caught Yellowcard on their first US headlining tour in three years as they played to a sold out crowd at Paradise Rock Club on the night before Halloween.
Yellowcard broke out with the release of their 2003 single (and album), “Ocean Avenue”, and released two more albums before announcing that they were going on a hiatus in 2008. Earlier this year, they released When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes, started playing shows again, and embarked on their first headlining tour after regrouping. Not only was it amazing to see the crowd’s excitement and explosive roar as the band took the stage, but it was both heart-warming and refreshing to see how humbled and taken aback the band was by this reaction. Frontman Ryan Key started off by telling the audience that the main goal for the night was for us to lose our voices from singing so loud; he definitely succeeded. While their music has grown from the sometimes angst-filled pop-punk to more of a straight rock sound, all of their songs are perfect when it comes to crowd participation. “Way Away” was the perfect example of this, as fans rocked out to the fast-paced guitar and violin sounds but had the opportunity to sing their hearts out during the bridge of the song.