this was my first time seeing St. Lucia! I hadn’t even planned on attending this show, but a friend had free tickets and knew I was having a rough week. I have awesome friends, I know.
the osmosis of living in the world and hanging around people who love and play music constantly made me realize that I knew way more about St. Lucia than I initially realized. I feel like this band has fallen out of the sky in the last year and I’ve never gone out of my way to listen to them, but I knew at least a third of the songs they played that night at Terminal 5. Isn’t that sort of amazing?
St. Lucia’s lighting designer needs a SIGNIFICANT raise, like holy crap. I’m struggling to remember the last time I went to a show and constantly found myself thinking, “Damn, these lights are great. They just look so cool. God, these lights.”
there are no words to talk about the role that Africa’s “Toto” has played in the lives of my friends and I, but God, we were laughing so hard at that cover. In the best way possible. Amazing cover choice and such a fun track.
the crowd shockingly and overwhelming consisted of people in their mid-to-late twenties – it was awesome to be at a show with an age-appropriate crowd for once. No nonsense, no bullshit, everyone was into it throughout and no one was annoying. What a gift.
I have a personal vendetta against modern rock songs that include saxophones and excessive brass. St. Lucia had maybe two of those. That’s two too many, St. Lucia.
(d) overall thoughts
I don’t always like going to shows for bands I’ve only casually listened to in the past, but for this St. Lucia show, I was looking for something new. I had heard from friends and read in multiple places that these guys and gal were fun and dance-y, and who doesn’t want a fan and dance-y weeknight? I, of course, had heard their catchy as hell track “Dancing On Glass” throughout 2016, as well as the memorable “Love Somebody” and “Closer Than This,” but remained pretty ignorant to the rest of their discography. Which I quickly realized was sort of crazy. By the end of the night, it occurred to me around 10 of the tracks they played could’ve been singles. What the hell other band right now can say that??
I think the best thing about St. Lucia – aside from the obvious weight of having actual songs that are genuinely great – is that they come across as fully formed and actualized. Their stage set-up alone is so automatically representative of their aesthetic that it’s damn-near refreshing. Although it seems obvious, I find that most bands these days don’t have a connective thread between their sound, stage design, lighting design, clothes, etc. and…that’s what bands should be. I mean…right? This is exactly why few things make me more suicidal than another denim-and-leather-clad Brooklyn band with a dumb name trying so hard to be The Strokes. Because, what the hell are those bands even trying to say? What is their purpose? Even after watching an entire set from 90% of those bands, I never know who they are. We were barely three songs into St. Lucia’s set and I felt like I completely understood Jean-Philip Grobler and everyone else onstage.
Tribal patterns, tropical infusion, neon and pastel colors, bubble-gum indie pop with memorable as hell hooks. That’s what St. Lucia said to me all night. Phenomenal lighting, dynamic vocals, and catchy tracks – definitely a band that must play well in any festival setting. I look forward to seeing and hearing more of these guys, and only hope other people recognize why St. Lucia is special.
Bottom line: St. Lucia was fun as hell – with catchy songs, incredible stage and lighting design, and one of the most fully actualized musical identities I’ve seen in awhile – they’re definitely a band you don’t want to miss.
this was probably the first time I’ve seen Alex Turner perform live in some capacity in which he was only 10% insufferable, good job Alex!
the performance overall felt adequately paced and enjoyable – much better than the band’s last performance at Webster Hall in NYC a few months ago
there was less hair gel, less stupid outfits, less general nonsense from Alex and Miles Kane than normal; their antics were turned down and a lot of it felt real
“The Age of the Understatement” and “My Mistakes are Made For You” are freaking classic tracks that can’t be touched
shockingly, the sound in the venue was pretty good (a unique case for Terminal 5) and the lighting and production really set the tone and scene for TLSP’s aesthetic
for the beginning of the encore, Alex sang like a lounge act singer from the second floor balcony and it was kinda so stupidly ridiculous that it ended up being great
I’ve seen mannnnny David Bowie covers this year and they’re not always good – this one by the Last Shadow Puppets was great
I freaking hate Terminal 5 – this show wasn’t even supposed to be at that event but we rescheduled and we all had to suffer, ugh
I don’t really like the Arctic Monkeys fanbase and they come out in droves when Alex Turner is around
(d) overall thoughts
As I’ve mentioned in the past, my history with Alex Turner and his bands goes back quite a bit. I’ve been finding him particularly insufferable and annoying these last few years and his showmanship and antics with Miles Kane only amplify that. When I saw The Last Shadow Puppets a few months ago at Webster Hall, I enjoyed the music, yes, but found myself distracted by their laughable stage personas and embodiment of performance in every sense of the word.
But this show felt a bit different. Sure, Alex and Miles were still Alex and Miles. Alex crooned like a lounge act singer from the second floor balcony and smooth-talked between songs like Richard Dawson on Family Feud, and Miles strutted around in what I believe was a $3,000 silk bathrobe that I guess was supposed to be sexy (?), but it was all very toned-down in comparison. The songs were a solid mix of emotional string ballads and gritty guitar ditties, and tracks from Everything You’ve Come To Expect flawlessly intermingled with those from The Age of the Understatement; although, I must admit that – in the moment – I found myself more excited to hear the latter.
The arrangement of songs was a bit strange, though. I remember thinking after “Bad Habits” was performed: wait, what else do they have left? What even are they going to play? Despite the hits-heavy first-half, you can’t not love a great David Bowie cover. “Moonage Daydream” is a personal favorite of mine for sentimental reasons and I didn’t even mind that they ended with it nor that it felt a bit over-indulgent at one point. Their Beatles cover at Webster Hall was exceptionally self-indulgent, so this – much like the rest of the show – felt notably understated. Which isn’t what I expected at all. Oh, the double, sweet irony.
Bottom line: The Last Shadow Puppets are capable of real musical artistry and performance once they remove their heads from their asses; they have two solid albums’ worth of pristine material and I hate when that’s shattered by a silk robe.
was a fan of AHJ for years before catching this show – was quite pleasantly surprised how incredible he sounded live – exactly like the album
the lighting and stage set-up was really cool, especially considering AHJ was opening for Jake Bugg at this show
Yours To Keep was one of my favorite albums in high school, so I was thrilled with how many songs he played from it, especially “Scared”
I’m still sort of annoyed years later that AHJ opened for Jake Bugg?? that should’ve been reversed, obviously
the crowd was overwhelmingly there for Jake Bugg – a fact that still confuses me
(d) overall thoughts
As I mentioned, this was my first time seeing Albert Hammond Jr. live and he exceeded every expectation possible. The stage set-up was cool with a handful of free-standing red lights surrounding Albert and his phenomenal back-up band. For some reason, someone thought it would make sense for AHJ to open for Jake Bugg, who – at the time – had one album out that apparently became huge thanks to the young, Tumblr crowd. The audience that night was very young and clearly there for Jake Bugg, but I had a good time regardless.
I first heard Albert’s song “Scared” when it was included on a free disc from Q magazine or Uncut sometime in 2007 or 2008, and I’ve been a fan ever since. That fact made it that much cooler when he actually played that song and it sounded pristine, clear, and exactly as I always wanted to hear it. Even though the crowd and setting weren’t ideal, it made me love AHJ more and want to thoroughly explore his later works Como Te Llama? and AHJ, which had recently come out at this time. Like, how amazing is “St. Justice”? And how cinematic and beautiful is that video? Instant classic.
Bottom line: Albert Hammond Jr. is an incredible songwriter and lively performer; everything about his performance feels effortless – and that’s the most triumphant part.
it was my first time seeing Foals, and they didn’t disappoint!
I went in knowing little of their discography, but felt like “My Number,” “What Went Down” and “Two Steps, Twice” were total standouts
really good crowd, everyone was into it – especially the 15-year-old moshing boys #eyeroll
as a Greek girl, I have to tip my hat to a fellow Greek lead singer bringing the strong eyebrows and ethnic name to rock ‘n’ roll, thanks Yannis Philippakis!
nothing outright was bad (except maybe the stupid, unnecessary high school mosh pit), but do I think Foals deserved NME’s Live Band of the Year award? definitely not.
oh wait, there was also a guy in front of me who quite literally filmed the ENTIRE SHOW
(d) overall thoughts
I had heard about Foals for quite awhile before this show. For some reason, nothing about the band really struck me as immediately needing to investigate their music right away. I read many album reviews and interviews with the lead Yannis Philippakis that somehow turned me off or never really pulled me to the band. I’d heard a couple of songs in passing and thought they were just alright. A few of my friends are really into Foals, however, so I thought I’d tag along.
Everyone’s favorite NME Magazine awarded Foals the Best Live Act in the world for 2015, so my expectations were high. I had heard stories of crowd surfing and general audience interaction, so I was ready for all of it. And most of that happened. Sort of. The band certainly had a presence and Yannis definitely crowd surfed at appropriate moments. He even climbed to Terminal 5’s second floor balcony and jumped into the crowd, which was mostly pretty funny. The crowd was into it and I thought it was all alright. But just alright. It mostly felt like the band was “going through the motions” with those crowd surfing moments, which is the most un-rock ‘n’ roll sentence anyone could ever type. I feel like there’s a strange fad of “crazy crowdsurfing” happening in music right now, and I can’t believe I have to say this, but just because you surf into the crowd, does not mean that your live performance is inherently more interesting.
Ultimately, I really did have a good time and enjoy myself. Like I said, I didn’t know much about the band’s specific songs, but I do remember “My Number,” “What Went Down,” and “Two Steps, Twice” as being complete standouts. They were catchy, fun, and memorable tunes in an otherwise pretty good night. No one in the band in particular stuck out to me, but I appreciate the stories that Foals seems to tell. They have their audience and their songs and I totally get it, even if it’s not 100% my cup of tea.
Bottom line: Foals definitely have some good songs and like to have fun, but they’re not exactly the greatest things since sliced bread. Solid 7.8/10 all-around. I might even round up to 8/10 just for Yannis’ eyebrows.
CWK shows always feel stupid intimate, but this one in particular felt so incredibly special
the lighting was freaking cool – give the lighting guy a raise
seeing the band at their peak in popularity for an album that randomly gave them so much mainstream traction (Hold My Home) was awesome – you could tell they were having such a good time
something about this setlist in particular – perhaps the way they mixed in the classic hits with deeper cuts – felt wildly refreshing
they brought out a whole brass section for the encore – the horns took “Saint John” to a whole new level, I swear to God
Matt Maust – bassist extraordinaire and one of my favorite musicians all around – gave me the setlist at the end of the show; how freaking cool is that?! I still have that hanging in my bedroom
nothing, this band totally kills live; even Terminal 5 couldn’t bring me down
(d) overall thoughts
History has shown that I’ve seen Cold War Kids quite a few times – 3 or 4 times in 2015 alone, but this one had to be my favorite. Terminal 5 felt like their time to shine that night and the crowd was very much ready to be at their mercy. Hold My Home was doing so well with a younger and newer audience and it made me so proud of them. They’ve only gotten better as a live band and it’s made seeing them a complete joy.
Nathan Willett was in top-form and everyone was gelling together in that special Cold War Kids way; their jam band nature feels infectious. You can’t help but want to dance and move around with them. Everything from the production to the sound added to the intimacy of the evening and really kept everyone in the crowd present and alert. I remember “Hot Coals” in particular really hitting home – sometimes songs you’ve heard a million times gain new night when the band plays it just right.
I’ve always said that the band’s debut Robbers & Cowards is a truly perfect album, so of course I adore “Hospital Beds.” When the band brought out an awesome brass section to accompany them for the encore, I felt like I was experiencing the song for the first time. It’s such an amazing thing when a band you love so much and have seen so many times can still surprise you.
Bottom line: Any night seeing Cold War Kids is a beautiful night – their jam-band intimacy makes the audience feel like they’re part of the performance and their massive songs make that intimacy explode into stadiums jams. See them live. Please.
Mr. Brightside (The Killers cover) (Jacques Lu Cont remix)
Heart of Gold (Buster Poindexter cover)
I Can Change
Still Want You
Only The Young
“Lonely Town” was the jaaaaaam
“Diggin’ Up The Heart” is the epitome of a song I hated so much after hearing it on the album, but somehow accidentally ended up loving and stupid-dancing to live, so that was cool
the most disco-y ball disco ball moment ever during “Only The Young”; super into it
watching the show from the balcony and away from everyone in the crowd
that one time that Brandon mentioned in between songs how he and Dave Keuning would put on makeup in someone’s car or whatever; 10/10 want to hear more stories like that
the one time Brandon mentioned talking to Ronnie Vannucci on the phone and I started screaming in the silent venue
why will you never play “Playing With Fire,” Brandon Flowers. why. why.
“Between Me & You” was my favorite song on Brandon’s new album, so he was sure to skip that at this show, but play it at every other show around this time
my name is Brandon Flowers and I will never play my best song ever live or even acknowledge its existence and it’s called “The Desired Effect”
90% of Brandon’s backing band doesn’t know how to play their instruments
Terminal 5’s Terminal 5ness (not letting me bring in my camera, not offering bottled water, having crapy sound and security)
(d) overall thoughts
Like the last time I saw Brandon Flowers during his solo tour, I decided to remove myself from the pit and watch from the balcony, which I really, really liked. I was eager to catch BFlow on another go-around for his second solo album, The Desired Effect in hopes of hearing more deep cuts and a few of the songs I missed previously. That sort of happened and basically didn’t, but regardless, I had a great time.
Brandon brought out his usual star power and stage presence, which is interesting to watch when the rest of The Killers aren’t with him. I’m not the biggest fan of his back-up band and it’s mostly because I feel like they can’t keep up with him/the usual Killers’ fire, but – in a way – they make Brandon look better. He seemed very comfortable singing his new material and mixing it with his older songs and even the re-calibrated Killers’ songs. I sort of loved that Brandon introduced “Jenny” by having a quick audience poll over whether or not the narrator of the song was “guilty or innocent.” Like, how perfectly dorky and sweet and silly is that. Into it.
I feel like if anyone had wandered into the venue for the encore knowing nothing about Brandon or The Killers at all, even they couldn’t deny that those songs have power and strength and mean something to that crowd. I found myself strangely emotional during “Only The Young” (and not only because of the sweet ass disco ball action), almost realizing for the first time how poignant and beautiful that song is. It induced the feeling of watching a true late-night serenade in the moonlight, and that was such a unique experience. The crowd was so into the show, Brandon was engaging and only gave me secondhand embarrassment twice (a new low!), and it was impossible to not dance along with those hits
Bottom line: Whether singing about an idiot named Tony, a murder victim named Jenny, or climate change and debt, Brandon Flowers unabashedly cares and this solo performance reeked of fun, passion, and heart.
those dudes actually played “Destruction” twice, hahahaha
going to a show only for the opening band has its perks – you leave when they’re done!
seeing Joywave totally command a room of people who weren’t even there to see them
no, really, they played “Destruction” twice
having to be in such close proximity to Bleachers’ fans, who turned out to be the worst
(d) overall thoughts
I don’t often go to shows only to see the opening band, but I do that when the opening band is Joywave. They opened for Bleachers at Terminal 5, and even though I had absolutely no interest in seeing Bleachers, I knew I couldn’t miss Joywave. I first discovered them when they opened for The Killers in August 2014 and it’s been really cool to watch them rise since then. They hadn’t even put out a full album at this point, but did have one of the best damn EP’s I’ve ever heard: How Do You Feel? Most of the songs they played were featured on that EP, and eventually comprised half the album they released later that year, How Do You Feel Now?
The most important thing to know about Joywave is that they really don’t give a fuck. It’s less than a little known secret that the band is obsessed with themselves and their song “Destruction,” in particular. The whole thing is sort of obnoxious and ridiculous and stupid, but 100% hysterical. Singer Daniel Armbruster not only demands that the audience jump, touch the floor, and scream for this song, but agree with him that is so-called “the greatest song ever written.” So the band opened with “Destruction.” But because not every member of the audience (who did not pay to see Joywave – with the exception of me, my friend, and maybe 3 other people) danced and moved and followed directions during the song, they played it again. God, I was laughing so hard. What a band.
Most importantly, Joywave is hysterical, yeah, but their songs kick ass. Every song sounds different, but every song sounds like them – a quality I find so, so uncommon in modern rock and indie music these days. These guys got heart and they’re still rising. Can’t wait to keep watching that.
Bottom line: Joywave have great freaking songs, but they will bully you into dancing along to them, which I am 100% okay with.
phenomenal setlist – singles, deep cuts, whatever – these dudes get song placement
just the show’s atmosphere, such intimacy and a garage-band jam feel about it
really dig the stage production – the lighting guy needs a raise or gold star
watching bassist Matt Maust pluck those bass strings is an other-worldly experience
“Harold Bloom” is hauntingly good, that John Lennon cover, basically everything
the crowd was shockingly young; seeing so many under 21’s at a show like this is always off-putting to me
Terminal 5’s Terminal 5-ness
(d) overall thoughts
Cold War Kids are one of the few bands that I instantly loved the moment I heard them. Their debut Robbers & Cowards is one of the best albums out there and I’ll always stand by that. I was supposed to first see them open for the White Stripes (!!) back in 2007, but that tour was cancelled because of Meg White-related troubles. That resulted in me having to wait eight years to see these guys, and this show is a long, on-going case in rectifying that.
I always say that seeing Cold War Kids live is like walking in a private garage-band jam session. It feels so stupidly intimate and personal and wonderful. The guys are crawling all over the stage, never standing still and idle, frequently hitting and bumping into one another in a way that makes every performance feel so special and unique. I’ve seen them quite a few times at this point and every show has felt different. This experience in particular was one of warm camaraderie – a brotherly love connection between band and audience.
This was one of the first shows in NYC for their fifth album Hold My Home, which has since given the band well-deserved mainstream praise in the most unexpected way. Their single “First” was actually the first time they had a number one hit, which, as a fan since 2005, makes me incredibly proud and totally baffled. How had it taken everyone so long to realize their greatness? I’ll always remember how wonderful Nathan sounded, how cool Matt looked, and how chillingly special each and every song made us all feel. When you see Cold War Kids, you feel them more than anything. And that’s the best part.
Bottom line: Every Cold War Kids show is an emotional experience more than a performance, and being in the audience feels more like a privilege than anything.