Albert Hammond Jr. w/ Gary Clark Jr. 5/21/16

(i) lineup

(1a) Albert Hammond Jr.
(2b) Gary Clark Jr.

(1a) (Albert’s) setlist

  1. Rude Customer
  2. 101
  3. Touche
  4. Carnal Cruise
  5. GfC
  6. Everyone Gets a Star
  7. Born Slippy
  8. Spooky Couch
  9. Losing Touch
  10. In Transit
  11. St. Justice
  12. Side Boob
  13. Coming to Getcha
  14. Holiday

(1b) highlights

  • Albert!!!! just seeing him makes me so happy, man
  • the setlist! (despite showing up a few songs late, ugh); walking to the venue, I said, “all I really want to hear are ‘Born Slippy,’ ‘Losing Touch,’ and ‘Side Boob’ – it’d be cool if he played those” AND THEN HE DID
  • the arrangement of the songs alone was on fire
  • this feels so stupid to say, but Albert actually sounds EXACTLY like he does on his albums; for the other Strokes’ members who have solo works…..they don’t.
  • everyone in his backing band is cool and doesn’t look bored; insane that this isn’t a typical thing but whatever

(1c) lowlights

  • doors opened way earlier than usual, I was running late because of work, and missed the first couple of songs, SO devastating

(1d) overall thoughts

I’ve been looking forward to seeing AHJ perform his third solo album Momentary Masters since it came out nearly a year ago! I missed the last time he came to NYC, so I was psyched to hear he’d be playing a double headlining set with Gary Clark Jr. at Webster Hall. I saw him perform once before opening for Jake Bugg and promoting his EP AHJ, and he killed it. I’ve loved all his work (honestly more than half the discography of The Strokes) since his practically perfect first solo album, Yours to Keep.

My favorite things about Albert’s work really comes down to how his songs are catchy as hell, all sounding very much like him but distinct from each other, have that shimmer-factor guitar rhythms and solos, sweet vocals, and lyrics with a lot of heart. This Webster Hall show really hammered down the fact that nearly every one of Albert’s tracks could be a single – you can’t help but sing along with all of them. His knack for writing melodies is just so top notch, almost unparalleled. The performance of his newer songs along with the older ones (some of those are 10 years old now, wtf???!) melded perfectly, and his stage presence really brought those tracks even more to life for me.

Bottom Line: Albert Hammond Jr. is the best member of the Strokes, and a quarter of his solo discography is better than 80% of the Strokes’ discography, and I’ll pretty much fight with anyone who disagrees. Also Julian Casablancas and his his Voidz side project is so embarrassing compared to this, like wow.

(2a) (Gary’s) setlist

    1. Bright Lights
    2. Travis County
    3. Next Door Neighbor Blues
    4. Our Love
    5. Cold Blooded
    6. BYOB
    7. Ain’t Messin ‘Round
    8. When My Train Pulls In
    9. Don’t Owe You a Thang
    10. Please Come Home
    11. You Saved Me
    12. Shake


  1. Things Are Changin’
  2. Church
  3. Down to Ride
  4. Grinder

(2b) highlights

  • Gary is one hell of a guitarist, like FOR REAL
  • never really encountered GCJ or most of his discography, so it was cool going in blind and being impressed by him
  • really good stage presence

(2c) lowlights

  • some guitar solos can be too long…sacrilege, I know, but it’s true

(2d) overall thoughts

Didn’t know much about Gary Clark Jr. before seeing him, other than knowing he was a cool Southern black dude who plays bluesy-ass guitar super well. And that was pretty much it! In a good way. The crowd was super into him and his songs, which created a fun, positive environment.

He reminded me a little bit of a much-less-boring Ben Harper with elements of Jack White. When his songs were most focused on melody, the chorus, and his vocals, I was so on-board. Nearly every song, however, fell into that free-form jazzy-type that led to solos lasting minutes. It wasn’t too meandering most of the time – I quite enjoyed the bluesy aspect of it all, even if it isn’t quite my usual jam.

Bottom Line: Gary Clark Jr. is naturally super cool and can play the hell out of the guitar; he strikes me as a totally less awful and douchey version of John Mayer, but what do I know.

Muse 5/8/16

(a) setlist

    1. Psycho
    2. Dead Inside
    3. Supermassive Black Hole
    4. The Groove
    5. Madness
    6. Apocalypse Please
    7. Interlude
    8. Hysteria
    9. Stockholm Syndrome
    10. Animals
    11. New Born
    12. Uprising
    13. Time Is Running Out
    14. Reapers


  1. Bliss
  2. Starlight
  3. Knights of Cydonia

(b) highlights

  • seeing Muse in the smallest venue I’ve EVER seen them in = amazingggg
  • straight up being at that show; it had sold out in about 0.0343 seconds and s o m e h o w I got tickets – to this day, I never know how that happened
  • “Apocalypse Please”!!! “Bliss”!!! “Stockholm Syndrome”!! “The Groove”!! “New Born”!!! “HYSTERIA” whaaaaaat
  • Starting out in the 10th row at the beginning of the show and ending up in the 2nd row by the 3rd song just by pure crowd energy and movement = magic
  • knowing that a band that uses production so, so heavily can still shine in a tiny, stripped-down venue without any production whatsoever, my god
  • got Matt Bellamy’s guitar pick…from the literal sky out of nowhere

(c) lowlights

  • I have never sweat so much in my entire life, I swear to God – Webster Hall had never been so damn hot and there were so many people, I looked like I had jumped into a pool

(d) overall thoughts

This show was magic. I couldn’t even believe I was there. It was one of those shows that felt like everyone on Earth was trying to going to, and Webster Hall is so small and it was just crazy. Tickets were will call only, so all our names were on a list and it was honestly unbelievable to see my name on that piece of paper. God, what a feeling.

As I mentioned previously, Muse is one of my all-time favorite bands and I’ve seem them many times over the years. But I’d never seen them like this. A band so strongly associated with huge lights, sounds, screens, smoke, cameras, and all that jazz totally taken away just to have three dudes on stage playing massive songs – the only thing that remained massive in that small venue. The new songs were amazing to me, the older songs were such a treat  – each moment felt like a string of gifts connecting to the next melody. What a time.

To put a total cap on the whole event, as I’m standing there after the show has ended, still trying to process everything that happened, a flash of yellow falls from the sky in Webster hall and lands a foot away from me. I divebomb on it in my prototypical ungraceful way, and my God – it’s Matt Bellamy’s used guitar pick. Where did it come from? How did it end up 20 feet from the stage in an open arena where I’m looking like a mess? Don’t know, don’t care. That’s magic.


Bottom Line: There’s something so strangely emotional about the impact this show had on me, and there’s so much more I could say about it, but all that really matters is that it was incredible to me.

Brandon Flowers 3/24/15

(a) setlist

    1. The Way It’s Always Been (acoustic)
    2. Dreams Come True
    3. Crossfire
    4. Magdalena
    5. Hard Enough
    6. Jilted Lovers & Broken Hearts
    7. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine (The Killers cover)
    8. Read My Mind (The Killers cover)
    9. Human (The Killers cover)
    10. Simply Irresistible (Robert Palmer cover)
    11. Swallow It
    12. Diggin’ Up The Heart
    13. Can’t Deny My Love


  1. Right Behind You
  2. Only The Young
  3. Mr. Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont Remix)

(b) highlights

  • Brandon coming out before the “actual” start of the show to play “The Way It’s Always Been” for the fans that spent the whole day in the cold 🙂
  • getting to watch the whole crowd from the balcony – I rarely see shows from anywhere but the pit, so it was nice to look down on everyone and see the energy throughout
  • taking nice pictures for once; I took my old Canon Rebel XS to snatch good shots for friends
  • seeing Brandon’s solo material for the first time right alongside classic Killers’ material
  • “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine” really changes when Brandon sings it alone – it nearly transforms into an acoustic love ballad…which is crazy considering the song’s content

(c) lowlights

  • goofy ass “Swallow It”
  • never getting to hear my favorite track off Flamingo, “Playing With Fire”
  • 90% of the backup band

(d) overall thoughts

Due to God, fate, and the worst food poisoning of all time, I managed to miss every live Brandon Flowers show during the tour for his 2010 debut album Flamingo, so I was elated that he was coming back around my town for his 2015 album The Desired Effect. At the time of this show, we still hadn’t heard most of the album and didn’t know what to expect, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear a mix of his older material, a few new ones, and several Killers’ gems that had mostly been reworked for the new context.

I chose to watch the show from the Webster Hall balcony to avoid the crowd and have my own little concert upstairs. My friends stayed down in the pit and it was a cool way to watch Brandon literally in a new light. It felt a bit like watching the concert from the outside looking in – a unique experience for someone who’s definitely a die-hard fan when it comes to that music. The most memorable moment for me happened before the show even began; Brandon walked onstage with just one backing band member and performed an acoustic rendition of “The Way It’s Always Been” as a thank-you to fans for waiting outside all day in the frigid New York March weather. I’ve never seen him make such a gesture like this towards fans, and it felt very special. The rest of the night, Brandon was quite comfortable onstage and the crowd was so high energy, especially during The Killers’ songs, that I couldn’t help but feel a warm glow inside.

Bottom line: If seeing The Killers is a bit like eating a bombass sundae with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, and nuts on top, then seeing Brandon Flowers without The Killers is like eating a single scoop of vanilla ice cream: not as great as a sundae, but still something I’ll never turn down.

The Last Shadow Puppets 4/11/16

(a) setlist

    1. Aviation
    2. The Age of the Understatement
    3. Used to Be My Girl
    4. Calm Like You
    5. The Element of Surprise
    6. Dracula Teeth
    7. She Does the Woods
    8. Miracle Aligner
    9. My Mistakes Were Made For You
    10. Only the Truth
    11. Bad Habits
    12. Pattern
    13. Everything You’ve Come to Expect
    14. Meeting Place
    15. Sweet Dreams, TN
    16. In My Room


  1. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (The Beatles cover)
  2. The Dream Synopsis
  3. Standing Next to Me

(b) highlights

  • Hearing my favorite song from Age of the Understatement, “My Mistakes Were Made for You” (!!!)
  • Accepting the true romantic-comedy act that is Alex Turner and Miles Kane
  • the string section
  • that Beatles cover!!!
  • Turner’s semi-embarassing tambourine swing and hip sway

(c) lowlights

  • “Aviation” didn’t quite hit home live like it does on the album
  • Miles Kane has essentially become Alex Turner’s “hype man” instead of true musical partner
  • Kane’s gold chains, Turner’s pinkie ring and absurd art smock outfit

(d) overall thoughts

This was my first time seeing TLSP and I loved their first album Age of the Understatement, but never got to catch them for that. I’m a long-time Arctic Monkeys fan, despite being slowly turned off by the “persona” Alex Turner has taken on since roughly 2009 circa the release of Suck It and See. Their newest album Everything You’ve Come to Expect feels quintessential to Turner and Kane, but its deep cuts don’t feel as strong as their previous work, and they fail to recreate the cinematic aura so prevalent on their debut.

Bottom line: Enjoyable show, loved hearing some of those fantastic songs, but everyone could’ve used less hair gel and gold chains.