As I was in the train heading towards the Kendrick Lamar concert tonight, I questioned if the $72 I paid for the ticket was worth it. Kendrick had a performance at Lettermen before his first Roseland Ballroom show. The TDE rapper had a busy night planned on February 26th, but he did not disappoint. He stormed the stage with a ton of energy.
The Compton native began the concert after a 30 minute delay with his Jeezy collaboration, “Westside, Right On Time,” and then transitioned into his Section .80 classic, “Hol Up.” K. Dot started off with mostly mixtape tracks and then performed some album tracks towards the end of the night. Top Dawg Entertainment took over Roseland Ballroom. Ab-Soul came out to perform “Terrorist Threats,” Jay Rock was around to spit his verse in “Money Trees”, and lastly Schoolboy Q performed his hit single “Hands On The Wheel.” Q even went on to say that he is tired of performing that track and is ready to show off his new music. Kendrick held his own on stage. He flowed naturally from one song to the next giving the crowd the ultimate concert experience. It also didn’t hurt that he added a light show that included lasers and a great stage production. Overall Kendrick’s performance surpassed my expectations. His delivery, stage presence and discography is unrivaled by any other freshman in the game right now. As Peter Rosenberg said before Kendrick’s set, “He is the greatest young artist doing this hip hop thing right now.” No doubt about that. Watch footage from the early Roseland Ballroom show and Kendrick’s performance on Letterman after the jump. Also check out his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, if you have been sleeping.
Stop what your doing. Go buy this album now. This album by Zedd is absolutely incredible. From the songs to the price, everything is amazing. Zedd’s first song “Hourglass” Ft. Liz starts with a ticking clock and melodic synth play which tingles the senses. Liz’s sweet and tender voice lulls you into this track until Zedd turns up the intensity turning this into a full-blown house sensation. Next we have “Shave Up” which is a staccato, Baltimore club inspired track with in your face beats. My favorite part of the song had to be when you heard the melody from strings in the end. Quite a change from the lullaby “Hourglass”. Should I even talk about “Spectrum”? You’ve obviously heard this song on the radio and if you haven’t your missing out. “Lost at Sea” features Ryan Tedder, the voice behind One Republic. His falsetto vocals are a nice touch to the “synthy” tone of sound. Zedd even includes a free download within the album, “Clarity” featuring female vocals from Fox. The song has great highs and lows and is a must download. It just makes you want to get up and dance. “Codec” has a completely different sound than the rest of the album. It has deep and gritty synths on the downbeat and the side-chaining is a great effect. Overall, its a great electro-house track that you should look out for at the clubs. “Stache” follows the same trend as a electro-house track and is very catchy. Easily the most popular track of the album, “Fall into the Sky” features the vocal sensation, Ellie Goulding. Needless to say Ellie Goulding’s voice is amazing and is great for the intense house track. “Follow You Down” is a much more melodic and lighter track than the previous few. Bright Lights does the vocals on the track and does a fantastic job. Lastly, we have “Epos”. In greek, a Epos is an epic poem. For example, The Illiad. This song ended the album in a breathtaking way, showcasing the journey that Zedd has taken you through. It’s relatively simple, but layered creating an amazing track to end the album.
Zedd’s first album shows how the young German producer has stepped up from the remix game to creating simply beautiful original music. The album is a 5/5, a must buy. Preview and purchase the album below.
Remember the two types of concerts mentioned in my review of Fitz & The Tantrums’ show? Well I knew going into Bon Iver’s Radio City Music Hall show that it was going to be fantastic, and I was not disappointed. Last night was one of the most memorable musical experiences of my life. Every sound was magical. Justin Vernon was the people’s awkward hero. “Uh… I’d like to, uh, thank you guys for coming. It really… means a lot.” And the music they made was beautiful (just to get a sense of how amazing Bon Iver as a band is, my good friends went to see them the night before YGM went and sent me their setlist; YGM saw a different setlist… That’s the mark of true musicianship). At one point, the band began an explosive on-stage jam, putting any Phish bootleg I’ve ever heard to shame. It’s a huge testament to Justin’s musical prowess that he followed that jam up with a solo performance of “Re: Stacks,” and managed to make his own voice, an electric guitar, and a single spotlight just as explosive. I have to say, though, that the highlight of the night was the encore. Justin asked the audience to sing the phrase “What might have been lost” at the end of the song he was about to play. He told us to make sure we “start softly, then gradually get louder until we’re all f***ing shouting it” before launching into a blissful rendition of “The Wolves (Act I & II).” When it came time for the audience to join in, they were happy to. The song garnered a standing ovation before it had even ended, and when I heard the people on all sides of me yelling Justin’s words with the band, I realized what it meant to truly lose yourself in the music.
Going into this show I expected exactly what Bon Iver at Radio City Music Hall sounded like; a night of amazing music coming from a lone Justin Vernon and his guitar. What I received, however, was the best rock n’ roll show of my life. Justin Vernon turned his beautiful, calming, melodic music into a loud, powerful, and extravagant live performance.You know a band is amazing when the live versions of their songs are completely different, and a thousand times better, than the album versions; Justin Vernon gave us exactly that last night. The ten-piece live group stood in front of Radio City Music Hall on a stage set that looked like mountains. With ten-minute long dual-drum solos and epic guitar solos that brought me back to seeing classic rock shows with my parents as a kid, Bon Iver presented to me what was probably the greatest concert I’ve seen. I have to agree with Jason that the highlight of the night was “The Wolves (Act I & II)”. Seeing Bon Iver get all of Radio City standing and singing in unison was a perfect way to end the night. I would do anything to re-live this night; it was the best musical experience of my life. I remember turning to a speechless Jason in the middle of the performance and saying “This is magical”; that was the only word in my vocabulary at the time that could adequately describe it.
Check out some footage from the performance below (taken from YouTube).
Blood Bank (w/ Extended Jam)
*The Wolves (Act I & II)*
Saturday night, I was lucky enough to finally see Kendrick Lamar live in the big city. Kendrick has had multiple shows in the NY/tri-state area for the last few years, but I always happened to be busy when the concerts came around, so I was really looking forward to his Terminal 5 stop on the B.E.T. Music Matters tour.
Kendrick Lamar along with TDE heavyweights Jay Rock & Ab-Soul came out in full force and proved that they are currently running the rap game. K. Dot opened the night by having the crowd put three fingers in the air and dropping “HiiiPower.” He then went on to say how “it feels good to be home” and continued by playing a couple more popular tracks off of Section 80. You can watch Kendrick Lamar performance of ”ADHD” below and see the crowds energy.ADHD-
Before Kendrick even hit the stage, New York City was already witnessing an amazing hip hop night with Ab-Soul bringing out Joey Bada$$ & Pro-Era and Jay Rock bringing his energy to the stage beforehand. You can watch Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era rockin’ out on the stage below.
Kendrick blessed the hyped up NYC crowd with Cartoons & Cereal towards the end of the night during his encore. Kendrick exceeded my expectations with his stage presence and flawless performance. You can watch more videos from the night recorded by David. Kendrick Lamar’s debut album, good kid, mA.A.d city, is due out October 22nd.Cartoons & Cereal-
[C&C via DealWithNoDeal]Swimming Pools (Drank)-
I Am (Interlude) Acapella-
Sorry that I’m getting to this really late. To kick off the school year, YGM went to see Odd Future perform at the Paramount in Huntington, NY. It was my second time going to the Paramount, and what I love is that it’s a really small, intimate venue where the artist and fans can really connect.
One of my favorite aspects of this show was how genuine it was. So many big artists put together very intricate spectacles with backup dancers, etc., and it was really nice to see a bunch of young adults clowning around on stage and enjoying the music. The show was so unscripted that at one point Taco dropped a beat as a surprise and Tyler fist pumped and mouthed “Yes! I love this song!” Another interesting surprise was that Mike G performed quite a bit of the setlist for the night. Most of my fellow Golf Wang supporters don’t have the same affinity for Mike G’s music that I do, so maybe I was the only person happy about that, but he dropped several of his own tracks, including “Forest Green” and my personal favorite of his “Everything That’s Yours.” In addition, MellowHype dropped their new track “La Bonita,” which isn’t my favorite of their songs (I love CopKiller), but it was still cool to see live so soon after it hit the net. The performance definitely differed from their showing at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Both shows were great, but a little less effort was put into the stage production at Paramount. Then again, at the intimate venue in Huntington, the crowd was really able to see another side of Odd Future that may be viewed as more fun. The rap group interacted with the crowd by actively having a football catch with fans throughout the concert… The hip hop collective did a great job on delivering an energetic show as they always do. They closed out the night with a wild rendition of “Sandwitches.” You can check out some live footage below.
Everything That’s Yours
Thanks to @ticknerzo for the footage
On August 5th, I attended one of the best concerts I have ever been to. System of a Down performed at Nikon Jones Beach in Long Island, New York. Everything was perfect that night except for the weather. A storm hit the amphitheater, but that didn’t seem the phase the hardcore System fans. I couldn’t find any flaws in the bands performance. Serj’s voice was on point throughout the night and so was Daron’s (who happens to also be the lead guitarist). It amazes me how four guys can make so much noise.
The Armenian rock band started off their set with”Prison Song” and I was amazed to see how many people in the crowd knew the words to this hard rock track. From Serj’s whispering in the beginning to his fast paced sung verse, the crowd was singing almost every word. The performance sounded almost as good if not better then the bands studio recording. After “Prison Song”, the band went into “Soldier Side” then “B.Y.O.B.” Even during the slower paced single “Soldier Side”, the crowd still seemed alive. The band then performed “Radio/Video” as the crowd sung along to even the melody. I was very impressed by how quick the band was able to switch up the tempo from track to track. Even on tracks like “Radio/Video” where the tempo and melody slow down mid way, the band was able to make the changes look effortless. After “Radio/Video”, SOAD went into “Hypnotize” then one of my personal favorites, “Question!” Serj went from playing the keyboard to the guitar to belting out his vocals throughout the night. All members of the band are equally talented in their own ways. It was beyond great to see them together on stage, but it would have been nice if the venue had sold out. When performing “Forest” Daron played a nice guitar solo as did Shavo. The band went through more tracks off of Toxicity, even the title track and had the crowd intrigued the whole night.
If you ever have the chance to see the band live, I highly recommend it and if you don’t know who they are watch the video of the band live performing at Nikon Jones beach below thanks to NextMosh (not the best quality, but it will suffice).
Every once in a while I attend a concert that takes me away from the real world for a couple of hours and causes me to have no cares on my mind. A show that takes me out of my shell, gives me the chills throughout and brings a smile to each and every person in the audience. Friday, August 3rd Coldplay delivered just that show.
Coldplay returned to the Izod Center in NJ on Friday, August 3rd. It was the fifth time I’ve seen the British rock band live and it might have just been the best. I was running late to the concert since I got off at the wrong stop on the NJ transit, but once I made it inside the venue and heard the music playing in the background, I had a feeling that I was in for a treat. I walked in as the band was playing “Yellow” and was amazed by the crowds energy during this slow paced song. The whole audience was singing along and on their feet. The band then transitioned into “Violet Hill” then into “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face.” The beginning of “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” was performed acoustically and then around a minute in, the track picked up backed by Will Champion’s drumming and by the bright light show. Chris Martin slowed it down by going into “Princess Of China.” Martin’s pitch seemed to be a little off at the beginning of the track, but that didn’t take away from the overall performance. Martin smiled, but kept it going. Nobody is perfect. Chris then played the piano while singing “Up In Flames” then “Warning Sign.”
Watch part of Coldplay’s performance of “Princess of China” below.
After Chris played the piano through a few slower songs, the energy picked back up with the new lasers appearing and confetti falling from the ceiling. ”What a fantastic audience you have been so far, you make us feel like a billion dollars,” Chris said. The band then went through “Viva La Vida”, “Charlie Brown”, and one of my favorites, “Paradise.” Coldplay was really able to make this arena sized show feel more intimate with their inclusion of bracelets that lit up on their call during certain tracks. Coldplay’s stage production during this Mylo Xyloto tour was most likely influenced by recent Electronic Dance Music concerts. I could almost compare the light show to the light show I had seen at Swedish House Mafia at Madison Square Garden. Coldplay puts everything into their performance. It is great to see a band that genuinely loves what they do. From just sitting down and playing the piano to jumping around while singing; Chris Martin knows how to put on a good show.
Watch Coldplay perform “Viva La Vida” and “Charlie Brown” below.
Coldplay ended off the night by going into one of the upper sections to perform “Us Against the World” and “Speed of Sound.” I love how the band was able to interact with all corners of the crowd through their lights, music and energy. Coldplay finished their encore up on stage after performing “Clocks”, “Fix You”, and the energetic single “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall.” If you have a chance to see Coldplay on any of their upcoming tour stops, I would highly recommend it.
Under The Influence Tour at Nikon Jones Beach Review & Footage (Chiddy Bang, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller & Wiz Khalifa)
Last night the Under The Influence tour stopped at Nikon Jones Beach theater in New York. The lineup consisted of Chevy Woods, Schoolboy Q, Chiddy Bang, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa. Getting to the show, there was a ton of traffic so I didn’t make it to see Chevy Woods & Schoolboy Q. Right as I got to my seats, Chiddy Bang started up their set. The Philly duo came out with a lot of energy and interacted with the large crowd as much as possible. Xaphoon Jones was on the drums and Chidera was rapping as usual. Chiddy even freestyled after getting suggestions about what to rap about from the crowd. It’s not a surprise that Chiddy holds the world record for the longest freestyle. The crowd became more lively as Chiddy Bang performed their remix to Flux Pavilion’s dubstep track “I Can’t Stop.” The duo closed up what I would call a very solid set with “Opposite of Adults.” Watch Chiddy Bang performing “I Can’t Stop” below.
Next up was Compton native, Kendrick Lamar. K. Dot was one of the main attractions that got me to attend this show. Kendrick opened up with “F*ck your ethnicity” and then went into “Hol up.” I have to say that the crowd was real quiet during a majority of Kendrick’s performance, but then again most of the kids wanted to see Mac and Wiz and they were “under the influence” (pun intended). I might have been the only one rapping every word to all of his tracks, but I am definitely glad I was able to catch Kendrick. He rapped his last verse to “Hol up” with no instrumental and then went into his 2010 classic “P & P.” In attempt to liven the crowd, Kendrick Lamar said in between tracks “Y’all sitting down like you at church or something, this is under the influence.” More and more people got up while his set went on and by the end I heard a good amount of the crowd singing along to Kendrick’s new single “Swimming Pools (Drank).” The rapper even brought out Jay Rock to perform “Hood Gone Love It.” Not many people recognized Jay, but the crowd got hyped up at the beginning of the track. Overall, Kendrick’s performance was very impressive. Like Chiddy Bang, he attempted to interact with the crowd also, but his music definitely differs from other performers that were going up that night. Kendrick Lamar most likely left the venue with more fans than he arrived with, which shows that he delivered. Watch “ADHD”, “Hood Gone Love It” featuring Jay Rock, and “Swimming Pools (Drank)” below.
The second Kendrick Lamar closed up his set, a picture of Mac Miller went up on the video screen. That single picture caused the crowd to erupt. At that moment I realized how a majority of the crowd attended this show to see the young white rapper. Mac Miller’s stage production was something to remember. Since his set took place later in the night, the light show was in full use. I almost felt like I was at an EDM show with all of the lasers and smoke machines on the stage. Mac went through a lot of tracks off of his most recent mixtape Macadelic. Before dropping “Lucky Ass Bitch”, Mac mentioned how his Mom would say “That Lucky Ass Bitch is a banger Malcolm.” And a banger it is. The crowd reacted with a lot of energy to even his mixtape tracks. Mac Miller also went through songs off of Blue Slide Park like ”Of The Soul” and “Missed Calls.” He even dropped his most recent single produced by Pharrell “Onaroll”. Although that track seemed to get a mixed response on the interwebs, the crowd seemed to love it. Mac Miller definitely stepped up his stage presence and production from the last time I saw him at Best Buy Theater. It is amazing seeing how Mac progressed from performing in front of his first sold out NYC crowd at the Highline Ballroom a little more than a year ago to now performing to a sold out crowd at Nikon Jones Beach amphitheater. Watch my footage of Mac Miller performing “The Mourning After”, “Diamonds And Gold”, “Onaroll”, “Frick Park Market”, and lastly “Missed Calls.”
Last up was Wiz Khalifa. Wiz showed the crowd why he deserved that headlining spot and he did way better than I expected. I saw Wiz last summer since Big Sean was opening for him and I was pretty bored during that show. Khalifa seemed to do better with a larger crowd and navigated around the stage comfortably going through more slowed paced
smoking joints. I had to leave early since I had practice at 6am the next morning, but Wiz Khalifa kept the crowd alive during his set. J. Cole even showed up on stage and Wiz even revealed the album artwork to his upcoming project. Although I am not Wiz Khalifa’s biggest fan, I can say that he didn’t bore me as much this year. You can check out the footage I got to “Homicide” below.
Thank you Christian (follow him on twitter) for allowing me to use your iPhone to get all of the concert videos..They didn’t let me bring my camcorder in, but the iPhone videos turned out to be pretty clear.
Two nights ago I was lucky enough be in attendance at the Identity Festival in NY. First and foremost I apologize for not bringing my camcorder, next time I am not letting rain stop me from recording. I wasn’t able to catch all of the DJs, but I saw most of if not part of the most prominent DJ’s sets. Just like last year, the organization wasn’t the best. But I definitely saw improvements from last years set up. My VIP passes allowed me to wander the amphitheater, so I can’t complain much. If you came early to the show you were in luck since you were able to snag a spot in the front, but if you happened to leave your spot you were not let back in. The front sections seemed to be full to capacity towards the end of the night, but I did not understand why the middle sections were closed off and GA ticket holders were left to only the nose bleed seats. Back to the show though.
I can’t comment much on the opening DJs that played since I saw very few parts of there sets, but what I can say is that they seemed to be nothing other than top 10 playlists. Maybe I missed a good DJ or two, but from the ones I saw (specifically “The Eye”), I felt like I was going to Beatport and scrolling down the top mixes.
The first big act that I was excited to see was Eva Simons (known most recently for her radio hit “Take Over Control” and “This Is Love”). Eva hit the main stage on time, but played a short set. I didn’t expect her to lip sync, but maybe I was the only one to notice. She still kept the energy high though and was a good opener for Arty.
Arty opened his set with a clean bootleg of RHCP’s classic “Otherside” and his original production “Trio”. Later in the set he kept the energy high, by dropping one of the most anticipated tracks of the summer “Years“. Alesso’s massive new tune exhilarated the crowd. ”Years” will be released on Beatport August 3rd, so make sure to check it out then. Arty delivered a solid set overral, but I felt that while the set went on it got weaker. His mixing and transitions weren’t perfect, but they were acceptable giving the huge crowd he was playing in front of and the nerves that must have kicked in. It wasn’t Arty’s best set, but I still enjoyed it.
Next up was the Dutch duo, Showtek. I didn’t catch all of Showtek’s set, but for what I did see, they delivered. Their diverse range of music allowed everyone in the crowd to at least enjoy some of the Dance acts performance. From trance to hardstyle Showtek delivered an interesting set. Showtek’s drops were definitely the heaviest of the night and the duo was by far the most energetic performers. From the second I received Showtek’s new collaboration with Hardwell in my email, I knew “How We Do” would be a crowd favorite. When Showtek dropped their latest offering at the festival the crowd erupted. It’s good to hear the originally techno based DJs from 2001 experimenting with new sounds. Watch a video from Showteks set here (not the best sound quality, but the video is clear). After Showteks set was over, I had to make a decision between watching the upcoming DJ sensation, Madeon or seeing the legendary Pryda.
I came to terms with myself that although I love Madeon’s music and believe he is highly talented, I may never get the chance to see Prydz live again considering his fear of flying. Fellow blogger, Jason caught Madeon’s set and he thought Madeon was brilliant. I will say that during Prydz set, I made a quick stop to check out the crowd showing over at Madeon’s stage and hear a couple of tracks and I was very impressed. The 18 year old French producer, fused rock, dubstep, electro house, and even electro pop into his set while still keeping the crowds attention. The speaker system may not have been the best at the Rockstar stage, but Madeon made the most out of it and had the crowd singing along and dancing at the same time. I’m sure I’ll be able to see Madeon in the near future as he becomes more prominent in the music world. Now back to Prydz set at the main stage.
Although I went off on a rant raving about Madeon, I still believe I made the right choice to watch Eric Prydz. Prydz’s set may not have been as energetic or hard hitting as the past performers, but Prydz’s set took me on a journey. His well constructed mixes/transitions throughout and impressive light show led to a memorable concert. If you ever have the chance of catching Pryda, I highly recommend checking him out. I probably knew 50% of the tracks that he played if that, but I still was captivated by his performance, stage presence and mixing. The night overral turned out to be better than I expected and with $25 GA tickets or $100 VIP tickets, one can not go wrong. The after party was a great plus too.
Hoodie Allen released his sophomore EP last week entitled All American. He dropped Bagels and Beats (his debut EP), back in 2009 through iTunes, but All American was really Hoodie Allen’s breakthrough project. With 8 tracks featuring original production, catchy choruses, and solid verses by the LI native, Hoodie Allen delivered his best work thus far. Hoodie Allen really shocked the people when he hit that number 1 spot on iTunes and managed to stay their for more than just one day. How’d he do this? Read on to find out and stream/buy the EP after the jump.