Greta Van Fleet delivered an exceptional performance at Detroit’s Fox Theatre on Saturday December 29th. The concert was the second of three sold out shows for the band’s Michigan homecoming. In the holiday spirit, the band also joined forced with Gleaners Community Food Bank, setting up canned food donation stations at each of the concerts.
The Frankenmuth natives have had an unbelievable year releasing an acclaimed debut album, and just being nominated for four Grammy awards.
Opening the show was the talented husband and wife duo, Ida Mae from the UK. With a wave, guitarist Chris Turpin greeted the crowd.
“Good evening, Detroit. There’s a lot of you out there” …and with that, the pair was off on their incredible set. The musicians’ talent was evident from the very first note.
The audience, who was ready for great music, welcomed Ida Mae warmly. The band presented sharp rhymes and impressive playing. Stephanie Jean delivered lovely vocals and kept rhythm. The band had more than enough original material to round out a great set.
Guitarist and singer Chris played with a slide, while his wife kept rhythm. Her beautiful voice complimented her husband’s soulful sound flawlessly.
The band commented on being grateful to be at the theatre with their friends, Greta Van Fleet. They kept an open dialogue with the audience, talking about moving to Nashville, writing music, and even shouting out the gorgeous theatre itself.
Overall, Ida Mae was a wonderful opener to set the stage for the night’s main act.
Greta Van Fleet’s Peaceful Army of fans were out in droves to support their musical heroes. The audience was filled with all types of folks, young and old. Some were dressed in full on 60’s and 70’s attire, an appropriate homage to the band’s undeniable throwback sound. One fact was absolutely unmistakable; the turnout was rock n’ roll fans through and through.
The lights dimmed, and GVF took to the stage right around 9:30 PM. The beautiful Fox Theatre was alive with energy right off the bat as the audience ignited with applause that rarely dimmed throughout the night.
Keeping up a lovely tradition and class act move, lead singer Josh Kiszka handed out roses to fans. Greta Van Fleet wasted no time getting to the music as they started off their night strong with an intro into “Cold Wind”, the second track off their debut LP, “Anthem Of The Peaceful Army”.
The band was dressed every bit the rockstar part. Josh in a golden vest, adorned with a headband lined with draping feathers. Guitarist Jake Kiszka sported a black military-style jacket, whilst shirtless underneath. Bassist Sam Kiszka and drummer Danny Wagner kept a classic, minimalistic feel as well. The attire suited the band and night perfectly.
Second in the set, the crowd went wild for the band’s hit, “Safari Song”. To conclude the song, Danny Wagner drummed and exceptional solo. He was also celebrating his birthday!
Throughout the night, Greta Van Fleet performed tracks from their debut LP, as well as jams from their EPs that grabbed attention from around the world.
Next up, the band presented one of their Grammy nominated tracks, the epic “Black Smoke Rising”.
During “Flower Power”, bassist Sam Kiszka switched instruments to get down on an organ. A vase of white roses was perched upon it.
Josh exclaimed, “Watch me now!” as the band started appropriately into “Watch Me”, a Labi Siffre cover. During “Watch Me”, Josh Kiszka took to his mike stand, feeling every bit of the music. At times, standing next to his brother Jake, who absolutely shredded on guitar.
When the song concluded, Josh flashed a peace sign and thanked the audience.
“Now this next song if you know the words, sing along.” The band started into “The Music Is You”, a beautiful John Denver cover. Throughout the night, Greta Van Fleet put their musical knowledge and appreciation on full display.
During “You’re The One”, singer and guitarist were back to back singing the heartfelt chorus together. Jake traded his electric guitar for an acoustic for the softer, more intimate jam. Josh threw a few “Here comes the sun” lines in for a thoughtful touch. His effortlessly powerful vocals soared throughout the theatre the entire night through.
Next under a yellow-hued light, Greta Van Fleet presented the lead single for their new album, a track called “When The Curtain Falls”. The celebratory crowd danced and sang along accordingly.
After, the lights dimmed and in a blue smoke haze, the band started into “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)”, a cover of the 1970 Melanie track. Jake Kiszka took to center stage for an unmatched guitar solo, which was a common theme of the evening. Josh Kiszka added a passionate touch with tambourine.
During “Edge Of Darkness”, Josh Kiszka accepted a red rose from a fan and added it to the collection atop the organ. The crowd positively erupted when guitarist Jake started playing his guitar behind his back and over his shoulders. He didn’t miss a beat. Josh continued on tambourine and ended the song with a powerful note. The band thanked the crowd, and exited stage left.
The Fox Theatre roared with cheers and applause from the second Greta Van Fleet disappeared from view. There was even a loud “GRE-TA” chant going. Cell phone flashlights and lighters danced in the air, illuminating the anxious crowd. The audience hit a crescendo as Josh Kiszka reappeared with a wave, band in tow, and said, “Detroit, we love you!”
To start off the encore, the band performed another awesome track also from their latest release, “Brave New World.” Next, Greta Van Fleet rocked out with “Lover, Leaver” as the crowd danced along. During the first chorus, the crowd went mental for Josh’s dazzling vocals and creative microphone effects.
The encore was far from over as the band continued onto their massive track, “Highway Tune”, then a terrific cover of Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ And Tumblin'”.
The band kept the music jiving, riffing into Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil”, and the Black Keys “I Got Mine”. Greta Van Fleet closed out their night jamming together, their musical talent shining bright.
Greta Van Fleet will be wrapping up their string of Fox Theatre shows tomorrow night, then will continue to tour extensively into 2019.
Review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
Taylor Swift is certainly a gal with a big reputation, but she let nothing but her talent shine at Ford Field in Detroit on Tuesday.
Fans were greeted at the door with light up bracelets to hold high and add their own ray of shining light to the sea of Swifties in the crowd. Fans of all ages dotted the stadium. Several dressed up as characters from different Swift music videos and performances (I even saw a lady with plush kittens sewn to a robe…!) The costumes were no less than creative to honor their musical hero, covering the entire musical spectrum of Taylor’s incredible career. Taylor’s lucky number “13” was everywhere as well (including my own hand).
Joining Taylor on the gigantic tour are stellar artists Camilla Cabello and Charlie XCX, each arriving with exceptional musical reputations of their own.
First to the stage was the beautifully talented Charlie XCX. Charlie burst onto radio waves, into headphones, iPhones, and any possible musical presentation imaginable with the inescapable “Boom Clap” in 2014. Dressed in white denim, she started the evening with the smash hit. She got the crowd cheering when she welcomed everyone to the reputation Stadium Tour. “Are you guys excited to see Camila Cabello? Are you excited to see Taylor Swift?”
Next up was the fiery Camilla Cabello. Having rose to the musical scene spotlight with Fifth Harmony, Cabello has branched out and into her own with tremendous songs like “Havanna” and “Never Be The Same”. Camilla waved, smiled, and blew kisses to several fans when her set began. Dressed in a football jersey that sported her last name along the back, she addressed the crowd, “I’m from Miami, can we make it a little hotter in here?” With great dance moves, and a fun vibe, she encouraged the audience to sing along with her.
It was obvious several fans had also come early to see Charli and Camila as they sang and danced throughout each set.
Ford Field’s energy was electric as the time for Taylor’s set drew near.
Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” played across the stadium, starting Taylor’s night solidly before she even emerged.
The lights dimmed, and a brief video showcasing certain career moments and whispers began. The massive screens parted ways for Taylor to appear, covered in a glittering hood. Smoke rose from the stage to the beat as “Ready For It” began. Ford Field was most assuredly ready for Taylor’s set to begin! Fans throughout the packed stadium sang along from the very first note.
A dancer removed Taylor’s sparkling hood, and she moved into “I Did Something Bad”, another terrific track from “reputation”. Her strong attitude and ample expressions emphasized the song’s feel. Toward the end of the song, Taylor and her backup singer chorus echoed, “Light me up, light me up” as dancers raised her high above the stage.
When the song ended, Taylor greeted the crowd with, “Well good evening Detroit, and welcome to the reputation Stadium Tour!” The audience erupted with cheer. She continued, “I’ve been touring since I was about 15 years old and since that point in time I’ve played twenty shows in the great state of Michigan, which is like touring way of saying I really love you guys and we keep coming back to see you.”
She continued, “It’s not like you just know the words to the songs, you guys are screaming the words to the songs and I really appreciate you doing that. It’s just a beautiful thing that you would be that passionate. You know, it’s actually more than beautiful. Do you know the word for something that’s more than beautiful? What’s the word for that, Detroit?” Immediately, “Gorgeous” began. Before the final verse, she took a minute to introduce the gorgeous gals on her tour.
Next during “Style”, she encouraged the crowd to make some noise for her band, and transitioned into “Love Story”.
“Detroit, let me see you jump!”, she exclaimed.
A video montage soon began in which Taylor climbed onto a tall throne of snakes. With a wink, “Look What You Made Me Do” started. Taylor was set on a tilted stage of her own. A giant snake rose tall above the stage.
Toward the final chorus, Taylor’s SNL counterpart, Tiffany Haddish appeared on screen to inform an unknown caller, “The old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh! Cause she’s dead!”
The set continued into two more tracks from “reputation”, “End Game” and “King Of My Heart”.
Upon concluding, Taylor began speaking on one of the most powerful local heroes… Aretha Franklin. In a touching moment, Taylor reflected that Aretha did so much for music, for women’s rights, and for civil rights.
“She was one of those people where no matter what we said, no matter what glowing positive thing you said about her, it would be an understatement. Words could never ever describe how many things she did in her lifetime that made our world a better place, and this is her home. I would like it if we could have a moment of silence so that every single one of us could reflect on our love and respect for her and everything she did in her life, so could we please cut the lights and have a moment of silence for Aretha?”
Everything went dark for the moment of reflection.
After a minute, Swift stated, “We love you, Aretha.”
With a beautiful, sparkling rainbow dress, she began into “Delicate”. Swift entered a golden enclosure, perfect for the new album’s golden theme. She soared above the audience, serenading the crowd, as she made her way to one of the venue’s two smaller stages on the other side of the stadium.
The crowd was ready to dance as soon as “Shake It Off” began. After the song’s first chorus, she welcomed the incredible openers back to the stage. Charlie XCX and Camila Cabello joined the shining superstar to dance and shake any blues away. Rainbow confetti popped, and showered the stadium with colorful fun, adding a perfect celebratory touch.
Dressed in a glimmering green reputation jacket, Taylor continued her open dialogue with the audience.
“You may notice something about your outfit… you may notice a light up bracelet on your wrist”.
She told the crowd that this is her first full on stadium tour, and though they are really massive, vast places to play, she wanted the bracelets to illuminate each fan.
“I really wanted to be able to see every single one of you in this place. The last section, the last row, I can see you, and that makes me really happy. I can see when you’re jumping around. I can see when you’ve got your hands in the air. I can see you dancing”. She started into “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” with just her acoustic guitar. Her skill as a musician was on full display.
Next she happily told the crowd, “This tour is the most fun I’ve ever had in my whole life. One of the things that’s been so fun about it is every night I’m getting to have a moment with you guys. Just me and a guitar. I hope that’s ok with you…”
The audience cheered and applauded, answering a resounding “Yes!” without having to speak now a single word.
“I’ve been doing different songs than I usually do, songs I haven’t played in a really long time, or maybe songs I’ve never even played acoustic. I’m pretty sure I’ve never played this song acoustic live.” She smiled and noted, “If I’m wrong about that, I’m sure the internet will remind me later”. She began into a stunning version of “Jump Then Fall”.
When the song wrapped, Taylor made her way along a barricade that connected both smaller stages. She grabbed fan’s hands while beaming a glowing smile to everyone along the path. Taylor absolutely radiated confidence and endless love for each fan in attendance the whole night through. Despite the show’s larger than life size, Taylor still managed to give the evening a personal feel, making every single fan feel so welcome and so special.
Once she made her way to the second smaller stage, she started into “Blank Space”. It was truly spectacular to see an artist taking the time to play to each part of the stage, no matter how small.
“In this crowd, I’ve seen some ensembles. The effort you’ve put in is top notch! I’ve seen a lot of people wearing things that correlate to a lyric of a song. I feel like I need to get on your level, and so I’m going to wear a dress while singing a song about a dress…”
She slipped on an airy black dress to emote the honest and beautifully written “Dress” from her latest album. Once arriving at the song’s last line, “Only bought this dress so you could take it off”, she slipped off the dress as the lights dimmed. The attention to detail she paid to each song was second to none.
During “Bad Blood”, Taylor made her way back to the main stage via a soaring skeleton cage transport. She also included a mix of “Should’ve Said No”.
Swift then started into the vocal masterpiece, “Don’t Blame Me”. Screens that showcased the stage were shaped like arches, emphasizing the song’s religious feel. Backing vocalists joined in, adding as much power to the live show as the song has on “reputation”.
After a wave of applause, she took a seat at a beautiful piano. Taylor touched on her gratitude for all of the folks making the tour possible, those that leave their families to drive the trucks and build the stage. She even thanked all of the people in Detroit who helped put the show on from the security teams to workers doing parking, selling t-shirts, selling food and water…
“I want to thank everyone here in Detroit who helped us do this because this stage did not put itself up and I’m so lucky to get to be on it.”
She then reflected on how unreal it is when people remind her of the passage of time.
“When somebody comes up to me and says, ‘I’ve been listening to your music since I was 8’, and I’m looking at an adult saying that to me… No matter how many times somebody says that, it’s still really surreal. When somebody tells me that I’ve been more than a year long phase in their life, I really appreciate that. I want to sing a song that I wrote a while ago, but for me, it’s always going to be about you”.
With just her lovely voice and piano, she started into “Long Live” from 2010’s album, “Speak Now”. Concert-goers waved their wristlets in the air, and many embraced.
With an adjoining “confetti falls to the ground”, she started into “New Years Day”.
After, the stadium was silent as another video began. Taylor was standing in the desert, different moments flashing by, as she read a sharp, poignant, honest, and vulnerable poem.
“Getaway Car” commenced. A backdrop continued landscape expanses, emoting words from the song spotted in neon.
Next up she sang, “Call It What You Want”. A lovely fountain was set up center stage, as white confetti shot up over the stadium. Adding a personal touch at the end of the song, Swift flashed a peace sign, or two right in line with, “Call it what you want to”.
In a purple sequined dress, Taylor began into a medley of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”. All of the performers closed out the night with an absolutely epic party! Bracelets sparkled bright in the stadium, fireworks shot up from the top of the stage, and even the water in the fountain danced along.
“Thank you Detroit! We love you so much!”
Clearly ever-grateful for each person with her onstage, Taylor encouraged the crowd, “Please make some noise for the dancers. Make some noise for the singers!” She formed a line with everyone and they all bowed together. After asking the audience to “Give it up for the band”, she ran to both sides of the stage, bowing again.
Once Taylor had disappeared from view and the music stopped, “And in the death of her reputation, she felt truly alive” graced the screens.
The old Taylor might be dead and unable to come to the phone, but the snake-clad goddess who has taken her place sure puts on one exceptional show.
Taylor has continued to evolve right before our very eyes stylistically and musically as an artist, as a person, and as a beautifully powerful force to be reckoned with.
With any amount of negativity thrown her way, or any jab at her reputation, Taylor has remained an entertainer who truly epitomizes class, talent, generosity, and above all, magnificent songwriting.
The Ford Field stop of her tour left no doubt as to why she’s one of the world’s most successful artists, and one unafraid to take risks.
The reputation Stadium Tour will continue with nine more shows in the United States, before heading overseas through November.
Review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
AWOLNATION put on a magnificent show at the Fillmore in Detroit on Tuesday February 13th.
The band is touring to spotlight their brand new album, “Here Come The Runts”, which was released on February 2nd.
Beginning the night was the tremendous band, IRONTOM. Comprised of some AWOLNATION members, IRONTOM brought high energy, rock, and catchy songs that made a memorable impression.
Lead singer Harry Hayes was an exceptional showman, ever dancing and gesturing, while smiling a warm smile.
The LA gents are touring in support of their latest album, “Partners”, which made its debut last summer. They made sure to include tracks from the new release, and encouraged the crowd to sing along, especially during “No matter what”.
The title track, “Partners”, was certainly an indelible highlight.
The band exclaimed, “Detroit! We’ll be at the merch booth, we’d love to meet you!”
True to their word, the band stuck around to meet and greet fans abound. They even had a few free pins to give out.
They closed out their night with “Be Bold Like Elijah”, inspiring the crowd to put their hands up.
They made a tremendous pairing to both bands that were yet to come.
Next up, Nothing But Thieves charged through their set.
“We are Nothing But Thieves from London, England!”
Early on, lead singer and guitarist Conor Mason apologized to the audience, making it known he had the “worst cold ever”, but with the absolute power of his voice, it was impossible to tell.
The band filled up the stage with both prescence and sound – sonically in the same vein as greats like Royal Blood and Queens Of The Stone Age, yet with a rocking, unapologetic vibe all their own.
Nothing But Thieves also invited fans to come say hi at the merch booth, “If you loved our shit”. The crowd was full of loyal fans, dancing and singing along throughout the set.
The band also encouraged fans to make some noise for their predecessors, IRONTOM.
Though their set was short, their impact was most assuredly strong.
AWOLNATION’s set started just before 10 PM. Under dim lights, the mood was set with a south of the border intro. The stage was furnished with all the makings of an AWOL living room, complete with area rugs, snake plants, cacti, and a wooden backdrop.
Casting a sharp shadow, lead singer Aaron Bruno stepped to the mic with a wide-brimmed hat and a serape that read simply, “The Runts” across the back. Soon into the set, Aaron shed the serape, and hung his hat on a nearby cactus.
The band hit hard with high energy from the start with the lead track off of their incredible new album, “Here Come The Runts”. Guitarist Zach Irons shredded and jumped about, each member of the band an absolute rockstar.
Next up, AWOL jammed out “Hollow Moon”, a track from their last record, “Run”. The audience was sufficiently amped, dancing and singing along to every word.
Back to back, the band kicked out more jams from their latest album with singles “Seven Sticks Of Dynamite”, and radio giant, “Passion”. They made sure to include a seamless transition into short track, “Sound Witness System”, sans its introductory rap.
Next, the band began a somewhat stripped down version of a magnificent song off of their first record, “Kill Your Heroes”. Before the song they exclaimed, “Detroit, we love you more than you could possibly know!”
During “Guilty Filthy Soul”, AWOL got everyone clapping along, and encouraged the audience to put their cell phones high in the air.
Before “Table For One” from their latest album, Aaron Bruno expressed a heartfelt introduction.
“This song is about falling so deeply in love with one of your friends that it just breaks your heart… just like it is going to break my heart to leave you guys tonight. This song is called ‘Table For One'”.
Aaron picked up a bouquet of flowers in one hand, and placed a rose between his teeth. He handed the bouquet to a fan in the front row, and tossed the rose into the crowd. A lovely gesture, on the eve of Valentine’s Day.
During “Miracle Man”, Aaron jumped into the pit and reached out his hands into the crowd, being warmly embraced by anyone within arm’s reach.
He expressed, “I feel like this dance floor is about to fucking lose it! That Detroit Rock Energy! We’re so excited!” The crowd went wild to end the song, jumping and dancing throughout the theater. After the song concluded, he asked, “Is everyone ok?” A resounding cheer answered without an actual word.
“This song is off our first album, ‘Megalithic Symphony’. I wanna turn this into a dance party right before my eyes!” AWOLNATION started into “Not Your Fault”, and the dance party wish was granted.
Next, with just Aaron’s voice and a strumming guitar, the band started into “A Little Luck And A Couple Of Dogs”. The guitar quickly transitioned to the intro from Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Under The Bridge”, and the crowd went nuts.
To close out their set, AWOLNATION ended with the last track off their latest record, an upbeat jam entitled “Stop That Train”. Bruno yelled, “Let’s freak out, let’s freak out!” – ever encouraging the crowd to have a great time.
After the song concluded, the band thanked the audience, and exited the stage.
Cheering, clapping, and stomping in the balcony continued until AWOLNATION graced the stage once again.
They started again with 2015’s kickass track, “Run”. With his hands on his hips, Aaron sang, “I am a human being capable of doing beautiful things”. Before the musical breakdown, he yelled, “HANDS UP! Run!” and the energy throughout the Fillmore was palpable.
“I want more sweat! I want more sweat,” Aaron yelled.
It was obvious throughout the show that each band was excited to be in this city. Before closing out the show, Aaron expressed, “When I first started writing songs many many years ago, I always wanted to say this… Everyone knows all of the punk rock and hip hop history here. I never thought I’d have the opportunity to say – THANK YOU DETROIT!”
AWOL ended their night with their absolutely massive hit, “Sail”. Before its completion, Aaron introduced the band. “Zach Irons on guitar, Danny on keys and wizards, Mike on slap bass, and of course your favorite, Isaac Carpenter on drums”.
He also continued with some wise advice… “Always remember, music is a place to turn to. When you don’t know what to do, you can turn to a song. Thank you so much! God bless!”
AWOLNATION will be continuing their “Here Come The Runts” tour throughout the US into March before heading across to Europe and the UK in April.
AWOLNATION left no doubt that the rest of their tour will be a resounding success, and made a clear statement that they are definitely one of the best bands making music presently.
1. Here Come The Runts
2. Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)
3. Seven Sticks Of Dynamite
5. Kill Your Heroes
6. Guilty Filthy Soul
7. Table For One
8. Miracle Man
9. Not Your Fault
10. The Buffoon
11. A Little Luck And A Couple Of Dogs (with the intro to “Under The Bridge”)
13. Stop That Train
15. Burn It Down
Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
The Killers brought a fun-filled night to the Masonic Temple in Detroit on Monday January 15th.
To the packed venue’s delight, the band made sure to spotlight tracks from their whole discography.
Musically opening the night was tremendous act, Alex Cameron.
As soon as the first saxophone note sounded from Roy Molloy, the instrument was greeted with resonant cheers from the crowd. With a delightful presence, complete with guitar (both acoustic and electric), drums, keys, saxophone, and vocals, the band started off the night with spirit and attitude.
Alex Cameron showed off some impressive fluid dance moves, whilst dressed in a sleek dark button up shirt and dark jeans. Paired with a get down sound, the ensemble presented some beautiful harmonies.
In between songs, Alex Cameron addressed the crowd with, “It’s nice to be here for you all with the fantastic band, The Killers! They more or less plucked us from obscurity and gifted us with an audience.”
The band filled their set with jams that were slower love songs, as well as more upbeat danceable tunes. Their vibe made a great pairing to The Killers’ current feel.
Always a welcome occurance, it was lovely to see a band so grateful for their well-deserved opening spot.
Right after 9 PM, the venue was just about filled to capacity with standing room only.
With a loud wave of applause, the entire temple rose to its feet to welcome The Killers to the stage.
The band started off the night with “Run For Cover”, one of the tremendous singles from their latest album. “Wonderful Wonderful”.
Lead singer, Brandon Flowers was dressed in a black and gold embellished jacket, standing on amps and feeding off the crowd’s energy right off the bat.
Next, The Killers started into “Enterlude”, an in between track from their second album, “Sam’s Town”. For 40-something seconds, Flowers was illuminated with a single spotlight and the keys of piano, as his voice shined equally as bright. As is true on the album, the “Enterlude” track effortlessly made its way into “When You Were Young”. The crowd sang along, a theme that was more than prevalent throughout the entire evening.
On this tour, the band’s original guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer are absent, but Ted Sablay displayed his skills beautifully during the track’s guitar shredding solo. After which, Flowers exclaimed “SING IT”, and the audience did not disappoint.
After the song ended, he greeted the crowd with, “WE ARE THE KILLERS!”
The gents continued with smash hit, “Somebody Told Me”. Brandon Flowers keyboard was illuminated behind a big male symbol, as backup gal singers were lit up behind the symbol for female.
Next up, danceable “Spaceman” began under purple lights. At one musical break point, Brandon Flowers dropped to his knees clapping, and got the crowd to put their hands together as well.
Afterwards, the band started into “The Way It Was” from 2012’s album, “Battle Born”
“If I go on with you by my side, can it be the way it was?”
The crowd echoed back each line. Flowers even changed a line to “…and I’m coming out from Detroit Rock City tonight”.
A couple of songs on during “Reasons Unknown”, the lead gentleman picked up a black bass guitar. He even gave a shout out to drummer, Ronnie Vannucci Jr. as he pounded out a terrific drum spotlight.
After the song ended, Flowers asked the crowd, “Who’s got gas in the tank? Who’s got money in the bank? Who’s got skin in the game?”
“The Man” started, as pink confetti exploded into the air. Neon cowboys were projected onto the back screen, as a dance party ensued. Around mid-song, Flowers slicked back his hair, and the crowd went wild.
Up next was another track from the band’s latest album, a song entitled “Rut”. The backing vocalists started off the vulnerable jam beautifully.
The audience kept on cheering after the song’s conclusion.
Flowers expressed, “It’s good to be here in Detroit!”
He went on to tell a story of longing for more in Utah in 1996.
“I’m still yearning, I’m still touring. Anyway, this song is called ‘The River Is Wild'”.
Next up he asked, “You know this one? It’s called ‘Runaway’!”
A desert theme projected on the backdrop, as had been the case for most of the concert in both red and black hues.
“Put your hands up!” Flowers yelled to the crowd, and carried them through the final chorus.
“Read My Mind” followed, another excellent song from “Sam’s Town”.
Flowers gave a shout out to their touring guitarist, “Ladies and gentleman, on guitar tonight, Ted Sablay!”
He absolutely shined during the song’s guitar solo.
To close out, the band played, “All These Things That I’ve Done”. The audience sang along, and echoed back, “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier” to Brandon Flowers’ outstretched hands. Everyone cheered as red, white and blue confetti popped into the air. With a wave and a bow, the band exited stage left.
Without a moment of silence, many in the crowd illuminted their phone’s flashlights, beckoning The Killers back to the stage while chanting, “ONE MORE SONG!” and “EN-CORE, EN-CORE!”
The band reemerged to a deafening cheer to play “Bling”. A disco ball projected on the screen all the while.
The lights dimmed, and all that could be heard was the lead vocalist’s distorted voice singing of traveling through space. “Are we human?”, and with that, the crowd cheered as they recognized the forthcoming track.
Last but certainly not least, The Killers closed out the night with monster song, “Mr. Brightside”.
Flowers blew a two-handed kiss into the crowd as the audience independently sang the first chorus all the way through.
The lights came on entirely as everyone danced their hearts out and sang along for “Mr. Brightside”‘s duration.
The band made sure to wave and bow again, as Ronnie Vannucci Jr. kept drumming. He walked up to a microphone and yelled, “DETROIT!” throwing drumsticks into the excited crowd.
The Killers recently announced headlining spots at Bonnaroo, Boston Calling, and Bottlerock festivals, and will be continuing this wonderful tour worldwide throughout the year.
1. Run For Cover
3. When You Were Young
4. Somebody Told Me
6. The Way It Was
7. Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine
8. Smile Like You Mean It
9. Reasons Unknown
10. The Man
12. The River Is Wild
14. Read My Mind
15. All These Things That I’ve Done
18. Mr. Brightside
Concert review by Tiffany Cuthrell, terrific photos by Rob Loud
Death From Above 1979 put on a terrific show at St. Andrews Hall on Friday November 3rd, 2017.
Opening the show was fellow Toronto band, The Beaches. The band gets their name from a lovely area of their city in which they live.
Made up of four kickass and talented ladies, the band definitely took to the stage ready to rock. The Beaches showcased not only memorable riffs, but powerful vocals, with a lasting impact to boot.
Their confidence on stage, and pure in-sync talent was absolutely refreshing. The Beaches played in incredible harmony, but also at often times, moved in unison as well. Their set was completely enjoyable, both visually and sonically.
They are joining Death From Above in support of their debut LP, “Late Show”.
Death From Above 1979 put forth a rather unique dynamic by today’s structural standards with Sebastian Grainger on lead vocals and drums, Jesse Keeler on bass, backing vocals and synth. Epic band, Royal Blood comes to mind as a similarly made up duo.
St. Andrews, which is no larger in interior structure than your quintessential American high school gymnasium, seemed the perfect venue to showcase DFA’s latest album.
“Outrage! Is Now” is an album that spotlights the band’s growth and musical expansion: tracks that are undeniably catchy, yet still unmistakably rock and roll.
The band aimed to make an album full of complex bass and intricate riffs that didn’t distract too much from the music, and it was clear that even in the LP’s young life, Jesse has become great at shredding it out.
Dressed in alternating black and white, Death From Above graced the stage without a word, and got straight to the music. They started off their night with the opening track from their new album, “Nomad”.
Next up in the night’s musical journey was “Virgins” from their 2014 album, “The Physical World”. Much to the crowd’s delight, the duo included jams across their LP and EP discography.
An extra loud cheer eminated when “Turn It Out” began, from powerhouse album, “You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine”.
DFA kept “Outrage! Is Now” coming with “Moonlight” (whose vocal vibe reminds me seriously of David Bowie, title pun intended), an album that has certainly allowed the band’s musical and singing skills to especially shine.
At this point in the set, drummer Sebastian Grainger waved from the smoke-filled stage and said, “We’re from Death From Above Toronto, thanks for coming out tonight”.
During “Always On”, somewhat of a moshpit developed center stage in the audience. With hands in the air, fans were more than ready to dance and thrash to their favorite Death From Above song. Strobing, probing lights were set up around the perimeter of the stage, giving extra emphasis on the music’s kickass feel.
During “Little Girl”, a couple of crowd surfers emerged to be then picked up by bouncers at the end of their journey, and sent back into the crowd.
After the song’s conclusion, Sebastian kept his playful storytelling alive by explaining, “That was a song that was written about an unborn child, a fetus. Then it turned into a song about a baby by the time we recorded it. Anyway…” He then greeted the crowd in French, and all of the audience members who understood echoed back a resounding cheer. The audience was filled with some Canadian visitors who were there to welcome their country heroes.
For their latest album’s title track, Sebastian emerged from behind the drums to perform lead vocals center stage. During the closing chorus, he returned to add some extra heavy beats.
After the song “Holy Books” (also off of their latest record), Sebastian chimed, “Goddamn, we are haunted tonight! Is anyone an ordained priest or minister? We need to perform an exorcism”. Before the night was up, the band would tell the crowd, “This is my favorite show of the tour. Easily. I haven’t said that to anyone ever”.
The love and passion was all around mutual, band and crowd having an equally amazing time.
After the superb track, “Never Swim Alone”, Sebastian started asking the crowd if they ever get Canadian channels or commercials here in the US. “A cultural exchange”.
He told a tale about an old Toronto commercial that depicted a lady in a leotard with voluminous hair.
The brief song the commercial put forth, he portayed, was a sort of heavy breathing whisper.
“Ho-aha-ho-aha-super fitness. We recorded me doing that during Trainwreck 1979”.
The genius sample was played, and to the crowd’s delight, DFA started into the track from “The Physical World”.
To close out the setlist, DFA presented the title track from “The Physical World”. Sebastian emerged from the drum kit again, as The Beaches’ drummer Eliza Enman McDaniel took to the stage to pound out some incredible rhythms.
Upon the song’s conclusion, Sebastian thanked Eliza and then, “Thank you Beaches for kicking our ass every night.” He addressed the crowd. “Thank you. We’re Death From Above from Toronto. Not far from here. Basically just go out the door and keep walking and you’ll be at my house.”
Once the band left the stage, a loud and in unison “D-F-A!” chant began.
The two gentleman reemerged to do the best kind of encore.
“What do you want us to play?”
Many shouts began, and “Dead Womb” was the loudest.
“Yeah, we’ll do it! Pick one more though…”
Once “Dead Womb” had concluded, Sebastian told the crowd, “That was the first song we ever wrote. Next is probably… the fifth song I wrote. ‘Pull Out’. A song that we play as a sign of strength and skill, that’s way too fast. An opportunity for the crowd to pull out of the mental fuckery of staring at their phones”.
After the quick and heavy track had concluded, Jesse took to a mic.
“Thank you Detroit. We love you!” Sebastian held up a peace sign, and the band disappeared, as cheers continued.
The rocking duo will be continuing their tour throughout the US and into Canada, before heading to Europe next year.
3. Caught Up
4. Turn It Out
6. Always On
7. Little Girl
8. White Is Red
9. Outrage! Is Now
10. Holy Books
11. Freeze Me
12. Going Steady
13. Black History Month
14. Never Swim Alone
15. Trainwreck 1979
16. Romantic Rights
17. The Physical World
18. Dead Womb
19. Pull Out
Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
The Killers discography has taken us on a journey from the outside-in narratives of “Mr. Brightside” and “Somebody Told Me”, to their Vegas nod western vibes of “Sam’s Town” (an album whose darkness and mystery carried me through high school!), and even into outer space with “Day & Age”.
My first thought upon starting to play “Wonderful Wonderful” was, “Wait, is this someone blowing through THAT shell?” The mystery was quickly quelled as the title track progressed into a catchy synth, fantastical bassline, and brash rhythm.
Released on Friday September 22nd, the band’s fifth studio album is most assuredly a departure from any of their previous records’ sound, although one that is still Killers to its core. It is fresh, welcome, experimental, and bold.
“Wonderful Wonderful” brings, at times, a self-awareness and cockiness that us listeners haven’t quite heard before from these Vegas gents…. but since they’ve been making us dance, think, and rock since 2001, this type of reflective is forgiven. Besides, such prowess feels more as if the band is in on the joke they are telling, than genuinely full of themselves.
Their lead single, “I’m The Man” has been getting massive radio airplay since its June release.
The song ironically has the unique capability to be empowering and reductive at the same time, lending commentary to a gentleman who’s got it all (a cash register ka-chings in the background). The song carries a Bee Gees-esque stroll throughout, while touching on some Scissor Sisters-jived grooves in a short breakdown.
One of the most touching songs on the album is the slower tempo, “Rut”. Lead singer Brandon Flowers sings, “Don’t give up on me, cause I’m just in a rut. I’m climbing but the walls keep stacking up”. Next on the album is equally motivational “Life To Come”. “I didn’t see this coming, I admit it, but if you think I’ll buckle, forget it.” “Run For Cover” and the track to follow, “Tyson Vs. Douglas” are catchy, danceable, and have the energy of a Springsteen anthem, perfect for driving down the highway.
The album closes out its brand new songs with the grounding jam, “Money On Straight”. The track carries through with an acoustic guitar flow reminiscent of Portugal. The Man, and the occasional Keane-feeling synth (cue Perfect Symmetry’s “Better Than This”).
The entire album seems as though it could have been a massive smash in the 70’s or 80’s, while still housing a modern feel. Despite some Arcade Fire depth, Doors type of vocal echo, and undeniable glam, it is true Killers, through and through.
The Killers have announced a gigantic tour to correspond with the album’s release, taking them from across the United States, into Europe, New Zealand, Australia,
The tour will only have half of the original Killers, sans guitarist Dave Keuning and bassist Mark Stoermer, which is only a change for the live shows.
The band has expressed their sincerest wishes that fans will not be let down with the tour lineup that is to come, as this album was made straight from the heart.
The Killers will make a stop at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on January 15th of next year.
1. “Wonderful Wonderful”
2. “The Man”
4. “Life to Come”
5. “Run for Cover”
6. “Tyson vs Douglas”
7. “Some Kind of Love”
8. “Out of My Mind”
9. “The Calling”
10. “Have All the Songs Been Written?”
Review by Tiffany Cuthrell, header photo by Erik Weiss
Icelandic outfit, Sigur Rós made a phenomenal stop at Detroit’s Masonic Temple on Friday night.
Being the only band on the ticket, Sigur Rós devoted an evening of music entirely to their powerful songs.
The band started off the night with a new track entitled “Á”.
Lead singer and guitarist Jónsi played his electric instrument with a violin bow throughout. He presented a unique and gorgeous tone, perfectly complimenting the band’s ambiance and his angelic voice.
The stage was set with colorful lights that sometimes strobed along to the beat. A backdrop played images of both abstract and landscape, complimenting the band’s sound in color and monochrome.
Despite some apparent technical woes, and one stop and restart, the band played on… Jónsi masked his frustrations and fronted an enchanting set regardless.
Sigur Rós included an intermission between sets, surely as a courtesy to both them, and the audience, who were more than willing to sit through an entire show without interruption.
After a 20 minute break, the band took to the stage to continue delivering a remarkable experience with the track “Óveður”, a piece of their first musical release since 2013’s “Kveikur”.
Crowd members mostly sat in silence, enjoying the mesmerizing vibe. Some nodding their heads along, others cheering appropriately at the start of their favorite songs.
After completing with “Popplagið” (aka “Untitled #8), the crowd erupted to its feet, cheering and clapping until Sigur Rós reappeared to wave and bow, ending out the transcendent night.
Projected on the backdrop screen was “takk”, the Icelandic word for “thanks”.
Sigur Rós will be touring the US through June 17th in Queens, NY, before heading overseas to several countries throughout the fall.
Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
Legendary duo Hall & Oates made a nostalgic stop at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena this past Wednesday night.
Powerhouse act, Tears For Fears brought a double punch of excellent music as a co-headliner.
Soulful singer/songwriter Allen Stone started off the night perfectly with his guitar and incredible voice. With a mic stand adorned in flowers, Stone presented both his own catchy songs, as well as covers, encouraging the crowd to sing along if they knew the words.
After exiting, the stage was set for Tears for fears. The lights dimmed to a shifting color ambiance. Lorde’s epic cover of “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” began playing, welcoming the rockstars’ emergence as they continued on to start their set with the monstrous hit.
Tears For Fears included a vast array of songs spanning their catalog, an amazing cover of Radiohead’s “Creep”, and closed out the night with 1985’s “Shout”.
At just after 9 PM, the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees took to the stage. Hall & Oates ushered in a full band sound complete with a drummer, percussionist, keyboard player, bassist, saxophone, and additional guitarist.
The soulful legends presented an expansive setlist that allowed for expanded arrangements, encouraging their fellow musicians to shine just as bright.
The band started the night with “Family Man”, and secondly into “Maneater”. A sharp-dressed Charles DeChant soon emerged to blow that unmistakable saxophone sound.
The arena was packed with fans young and old, but the greatest volume were very clearly fans that knew almost every word, and had grown up with Hall & Oates as their musical companion.
Co-frontman, Daryl Hall reflected on the closing of Joe Louis Arena… “This is the end of an era… but probably on to a better one”. Hall also made it very clear that the duo was pleased and grateful to be in Detroit, remarking that this is one of the greatest music cities in America.
While on a wistful whim, Hall welcomed a cover of “one of the best rock and roll songs ever”, their interpretation of The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”. As far as the (private) eye could see, fans were singing, swaying, and slow dancing along.
Around mid-set, Daryl Hall introduced “She’s Gone” with, “This is the song that took us out of Philadelphia way back in the day, to places like this room right now. I don’t know if you can thank a song, but I thank this song”.
After which, Hall took a seat behind a beautiful piano, stage left. “I have a new piano here, so I’m gonna play it for y’all!” To the great delight of the audience, piano soon became the full-fledged “Sara Smile”. When the song had concluded, the Detroit crowd continued to cheer. Hall waved and said, “That’s feeling real! Thank you so much”. His vocals especially shone throughout the night, revealing talent still as true as their very first albums.
The duo was certainly appreciative of the endless love the audience had to offer, as well as sure to address the crowd upon several occasions.
After 1981’s hit, “I Can’t Go For That”, the band thanked the audience, waved, and exited the stage… but were far from finished.
Fans grabbed lighters and phone flashlights to cheer, stomp, and clap their heroes back out under the spotlight.
Hall exclaimed brightly, “I know where I am. No mistaking this time, Soulville, USA! Thank you so much, it’s great to play for people that get it” – to which the Joe erupted into applause.
The much more vocal Hall promptly introduced the entire band on stage, and then proceeded into a four song encore that started with “Rich Girl”, and finished with the monumentally uplifting “You Make My Dreams Come True”.
Hall & Oates have been making sweet music together for over four decades, and left absolutely no doubt about their staying power. The duo are sure to spread joy and as much musical love to every other stop on the tour that will take them through several stops in the United States, as well as into Canada. Hall & Oates tour will wrap up on September 1st in Aspen, Colorado.
Words and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell
Los Angeles-based group, Dum Dum Girls made a stop at Ferndale’s Loving Touch on Sunday March 30th.
The talented group is touring in support of their newest and third album, “Too True”, which was released in January.
Opening the night was exceptional band, Blouse, hailing from Portland. The band brought a subtle, yet impactful presence whilst playing a number of songs from their latest LP, “Imperium”, as well as earlier works from their self-titled debut. Blouse presented a dream pop vibe that seemed perfectly fitting to set the stage for Dum Dum.
(check out their unique video for “Ghost Dream” below)
Dum Dum Girls emerged under dim lights ready to put on a terrific show. The powerful ladies presented music from their latest LP, as well as tracks from earlier discography. Some faithful fans in the audience sang along to every word.
Equally matching presence with beauty, mic stands were adored with colorful flowers. Lead singer Dee Dee Welchez sparkled in a glittery black ensemble.
The band closed out their set with “Sight of You”, a great cover from Pale Saints’s 1990 album, “The Comforts of Madness”.
After exiting the stage, Dum Dum Girls returned for a two song encore.
Dum Dum Girls will be heading to the western part of the United States, before taking their tour overseas in May.
1. Bedroom Eyes
2. In the Wake of You
3. I Will Be
4. He Gets Me High
5. I Got Nothing
6. Too True to Be Good
7. Are You Okay?
8. Rest of Our Lives
9. It Only Takes One Night
10. Under These Hands
11. Lord Knows
12. Sight of You (Pale Saints cover)
13. Lost Boys & Girls Club
14. Coming Down
Review and photos by: Tiffany Cuthrell