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December 30, 2007 Slideshows » Music

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The Police, Daft Punk, and DethKlok Among The Top National Concerts of '07 

Village Voice Media presents the Top Concerts of 2007 featuring: Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Interpol, Mavado, Rage Against the Machine, Queens of the Stone Age, Jah Cure, Arcade Fire, the Good, the Bad and the Queen, and other not as famous bands! (Compiled from national Village Voice Media staff | By Web Music Editor David Downs)
Paul McCartney; Amoeba Records, Hollywood, CA.; June 27: Ok, I got in to see Paul at the free Amoeba in-store show. The crowd was a buzz wondering if he would play any Beatles songs or mostly stuff off the new album. Which we hear is good, but good enough to sleep on a sidewalk for three-days (which is what many people in the crowd did)? I wasn't sure. When he opened with a Beatles numberDrive My Car the crowd flipped. He didn't disappoint, he gave them what they wanted, and so the crowd Na-na-na'ed to Hey Jude, pounded their fists in the air to Back in the USSR, bopped their heads to Get Back, and Blackbird and stood solemnly still holding lighters above their heads to Let It Be. At one point someone in the crowd yelled a request for Helter Skelter. "No, now, that's John's," said Sir Paul. "But, let's do one for John. One for John and Linda." He played one of his own, Here Today. (Linda Immediato)
Photos by Janine Kahn
The Police; June 21; Honda Center, Anaheim, CA.: Sting and Stewart Copeland have aged as well as most of the Polices back catalog; Andy Summers, not so much (he looked like a marathoner in his 25th mile by the third song). To my mild surprise, the trio, who have owned a sizable chunk of the radioscape since 1978, yet again have become a well-oiled hit machine a mere 21 years after their last concert together. The sold-out Honda Center crowd was, to paraphrase one especially touching Police ballad, wrapped around their finger. (Dave Segal) Read the rest of the review here. Link to slideshow.
Morrissey, Hollywood Bowl, CA.; June 8: Wearing a white suit as if he were a killer shark sniffing meat-infested blood, Morrissey opened his third local date with a bang, ripping into The Queen is Dead while a backdrop of black-and-white James Dean (the king of all cool iconography) pictures watched over him. All the Smiths' pickin's were ripe, including the yodel-licious The Boy With The Thorn In His Side, where he sounds like he's climbing a mountain with the von Trapp family, and Johnny Marr's psychedelic opus How Soon Is Now?, which current skinsman Matthew Walker turned into a thunderous powwow. In fact, all the songs were given an extra razzle-dazzle 'em effect: sleazy horns here, more wah wah guitar there. (Siran Babayan)
Daft Punk; Greek Theater, UC Berkeley, CA.; July 27: This show was more than just a Best Of set list by two of the most quoted dance and electronica producers in the history of music. It managed to be a re-affirmation of kindness, understanding and mutual humanity, and if that doesn't sound like some hippy shit, I am not a jaded fucker. The 20-year old duo successfully focused the show on the crowd by: masking themselves; kicking out the hits that everyone wanted to dance to; and cunningly deploying audio-video effects to hammer home the human element. At the end of the night, the two French robots thanked us,like we did all the work. Soaking wet, out of breath, and starting to come down off the E, Franco-US relations hit an all-time high in 2007. (David Downs)
DethKlok; University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA.; November 2: Who is the joke on here? The hundreds of Metalocalypse fans who waited hours for a shot at a free ticket? The aesthetic of heavy metal and its obsession with brutality? College students in general, who are mocked in Brendan Smalls' graduation song Go Forth And Die? I don't know, but I witnessed the universe's most successful cartoon metal band came to life this year, and at least in Berkeley, the fans ate up every ironic yet heavy moment of it. Brutal is the word of the year. (David Downs)
Escort; Stuyvesant Town Oval, New York City, NY; July 25 I hate nightclubs. Cramped, dingy, sweaty, vodka-soaked dungeons so poorly lit I cant read between sets. Just total bullshit. So the ideal concert environment is outdoors, spacious, a hint of breezeplus a wide age range and easy access to lemonade and/or chocolate-chip cookies. Escorts Wednesday-night gig in the luscious common ground of a Manhattan apartment complex satisfied all these requirements, an exhilarating burst of live big-band disco (theyre behind the All Through the Night video, the one with all the Muppets) enthusiastically received by a bunch of dancing little kids with balloons. Not to mention the odd septagenarian. If they can bring this out in mea 78-year-old lady! hooted a nearby dancing queen. I havent felt this good in ages! It was a real Billy Madison sort of moment. Pass the lemonade, dear. (Rob Harvilla)
Photo by David Downs
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings; Emos Annex, Austin, TX; March 17: Even rarer is to encounter that childlike/septagenarianlike glee in jaded, arms-folded rock-industry doofuses. If youre reading this youve most likely been exposed to toxic overdoses of South by Southwest recaps, loaded with boldfaced names but entirely joylessby the time this overcrowded Texas fest is over youre ready to swear off both live music and BBQ forever. Rare is the act that can penetrate this malaise. And yet, and yet, and yet Ive never seen such unabashed grins in my life as Ms. Jones did inspire, schlepping all the way from Brooklyn to pulverize a small crowd at a be-tented makeshift venue with infectious, propulsive retro-soul, pulling ecstatic dudes out of the crowd and essentially allowing them to hump her onstage for 30 seconds or so. It was career-affirming, life-affirming. If they can bring that out in me, a 29-year-old douchebag! Hadnt felt that good in ages. (Rob Harvilla)
Interpol; Bill Graham Civic Center, San Francisco, CA.; October 20: What if a huge auditorium filled with 5,000 rabid, post-punk fans shut up? What if they just listened to every note of a 90-minute show, then thundered in applause, only to hush once again for the next song? San Francisco fans showed the poe-faced Interpol such an appreciate, ebullient time in October, Paul Banks actually broke character, smiled and thanked us. Vice versa, Interpol showed San Francisco such a stellar time that we actually thanked them for thanking us. Remember kids: the only problem with being better than everybody, is that they 're going to think you're arrogant. If you got it, flaunt it. (David Downs)
The Fader Cover
Mavado and Munga Honourable; Gold Coast Roller Rink, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.; September 15: Ive always liked shows where people start shooting. It reminds me of the Wild Wild West (AKA Detroit) or what it must have been like around the Acme Laboratories trying please Yosemite Sam. Either way, a good show where bullets start flying doesnt bother me, as its some sort of primal confirmation that the musicians on stage are all gangsters (and if you escape with your life, how badass is that!) This is exactly the situation that I walked in on when Mavado and Mr. Bad From Mi Born himself, Munga Honourable, sent the dancehall crowd into a frenzy several months ago. Despite heavy police presence and K-9 units scattered throughout the crowd, by the time Bounty Killer snuck onstage as an unannounced special guest, the crowd of mostly Caribbean nationals went apeshit and in less than two songs gunshots from the side of the stage rang out, assumingly out of excitement rather than anger. Although it ultimately ended the show, what a hell of way to go out! The fact that all of this happened inside of a roller skating rink made it that much better. (Jonathan Cunningham)
NY Mag
Rage Against the Machine Rock the Bells; AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA.; August 18: So, it's RATM, every fratboy's dream, every critic's nightmare. On one hand, this money-making reunion affirmed their hypocritical politics and sounded like a cloned copy of all of their albums. On the other, legions of people who genuinely love their music waited months for this show and loved seeing every moment of it. The reclaimed land under McCovey Cove literally shook when Sleep Now in the Fire erupted. As much as I loathe the bastards for so many of their fans, 2007's Best Shows wouldn't be complete without these guys' consummate showmanship; a key element in any consumeRevolution. (David Downs)
Queens of the Stone Age; Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, CA.; July 22: Queens of the Stone Age headlined a perfect show at the fair-adjacent amphitheatre, one of those concerts you go to when youre a kid. It was strongly reminiscent of that time your mom dropped you and your friends off in the parking lot, and your friend Nick pulled the two bottles of wine out of his backpack, and then you totally kissed that pretty girl, but lost track of her and never saw her again. The Queens finally arrived on stage with a fantastically creepy stage setup of lightshow chandeliers in haunted mansion style, and by this time, the crowd was sufficiently amped. Homme, still suffering from a serious knee injury hobbled across the stage, cane and guitar in hands. He made the most of it, however, by showcasing his very own, one-legged spin move. He exclaimed that despite his doctors recommendations, he couldnt miss out on his Orange Crush. Aww shucks. (Conor Izzett) Read the entire review here. Link to slideshow.
Jah Cure; Queen Elizabeth Sports Center, Nassau, Bahamas; November 10: So reggae star Jah Cure is finally out of prison and performing shows in a country near you. Since the talented crooner (and convicted rapist) is out on parole and unable to travel to the United States, what do you do? It could be years until hes allowed in the U.S., and frankly, the dude is shit hot right now. Do you (A) hope that money talks and assume that a sizeable bribe from a promoter will help secure him a visa soon, (B) put morals first and say screw the bastard or (C) hop a 45-minute flight to the Bahamas and see what all the fuss is about live in concert? Well, I was on the first plane I could book and from a music critics standpoint, it was well worth it. The lead up to the concert was way over-hyped (you would have thought Jesus was on the bill) yet Cure put on one hell of a show! He ran through his long list of jailhouse rockers and it was an emotional experience as he was finally able to perform them live. Throughout his hour-long set, women screamed his name at the top of their lungs, some cried, a few even passed out. Irony has no boundaries. (Jonathan Cunningham)
Sasquatch! Music Festival; The Gorge, George, WA.; Memorial Day Weekend: Tennessee's got Bonnaroo, Chicago's got Lollapalooza, and that desert outside L.A. boasts Coachella. Us in the Seattle drive across the Cascades every Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the opening of The Gorge with Sasquatch!, a two-day, thee-stage affair that blends indie rock (Arcade Fire), hip-hop (Beastie Boys), and all flavors in between (Bjork, Neko Case), with a distinctly Northwest flare (The Long Winters, Neko Case). (Chris Kornelis)
Photo by d2
The Good, the Bad, the Queen; Fader Fort, Austin, TX.; March 26: Blur plus Fela Kuti plus The Clash plush Dangermouse plus The Verve equals one of 2007's most unlikely to be repeated moments. Add in the tents and the heat and the days of not sleeping, and this South By Southwest Show emotionally crippled me for two hours. Sure, Damon Albarn's kind of a dick, and Paul Simonon's basslines aren't that crazy. They looked great, they sounded great, and when they break up in two weeks, you'll wish you were there back when it at all came together for that transcendent moment in supergroup history. (David Downs)
Y-100 Jingle Ball; BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL.; December 15: Arena shows are always a breathtaking experience no matter how long youve been writing about rock n roll. Although these days, arena rock has essentially been replaced by arena pop, youre still transported back to a child-like feeling whenever the lights go down and a musical production bigger than Cirque de Soleil begins right in front of your eyes. As much as I hate to admit it, the Y-100 Jingle Ball at BankAtlantic had this effect on me as Good Charlotte, Natasha Bedingfield, Plain White Ts, Timbaland, and a few other folks that are popular on MTV rocked out to an audience full of kids, some of which are probably dreaming of being musicians right now. But since thats just way too much Viacom for one left-wing cynic to support, the best parts of the show came when Florida homeboys Sean Kingston, Flo Rida, Rick Ross and Brisco got to do their thing and were greeted in proper, deafening, fashion by the crowd. (Jonathan Cunningham)
Lyrics Born, the Coup, and Gabriel Teodros; Neumo's, Seattle, WA.; March 3: I don't know what shows you may have seen in the years 2003-2006 but I guarantee that none of them were as spectacular as the Coup's hour-long set at Neumo's. The fact that the politically minded Oakland, California hip-hop/funk/soul outfit led by Boots Riley was there at all is something of a miracle: The band suffered a horrible tour bus accident near San Diego three months ago (the bus flew down a ravine, flipped over, and exploded); miraculously, everyone survived, though nearly all of them sustained serious injuries. Though it's hard to say with certainty that they now subscribe to the "live each day as if it's your last" philosophy, the quintet ripped through their nearly hour-long set like their existences depended on it. (Michael Alan Goldberg)
Bumbershoot 2007 Featuring The Shins, Wu-Tang Clan, Fergie, and the Kings of Leon; Labor Day Weekend; Seattle Center, Seattle, WA.: Bumbershoot 2007 was exactly what Seattleites have come to expect from the 30-something-year-old annual arts festival: everything. Pasty-clad women beside a man breathing fire; hyped up-and-coming local bands with no album to their name (Grand Arhives); and marquee headliners that rarely satisfy the hipsters, but bring in the tweens (Fergie). (Chris Kornelis)
Treasure Island Music Festival; Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA.; September 15 & 16: Earlimart, Modest Mouse, and M.I.A., and lots of other big name indie acts took to two stages on the very underused Treasure Island Sept. 15 and 16. Getting there and back was a breeze, the view of the city was stunning, and watching Spoon perform while coasting in a Ferris wheel (as the sun was setting!) was priceless. (Jennifer Maerz)
White Stripes; Tower Records, Hollywood, CA.; June 20: Christmas has come early. Peppermint-striped cigarette girls hawking dildo-sized candy canes and other White Stripes mementos circled the crowd. The other Jack, Jack Black, introduced the duo. Then Jack and Meg unleashed a performance ferocious enough to crumble the building to its foundation a good few months before its slated demolition (as was the gossip throughout the night). Jack's falsetto and slicing guitar chops threatened to deteriorate the crowds' eardrums by ten years in ten minutes. By the end of the second song, everyone, band included, was drenched in sweat, as ventilation in the room was non-existent. They drilled favorites like "Hotel Yorba" and "Seven Nation Army" into the diehard fans, as well as a few new instant classics from Icky Thump. The crowd was thrilled. The band was excited and grateful. "It's great to have a chance to play at such an important place in this city's musical history... thank you all for making it happen," Jack nodded. (Ryan Ward)
Pic by J Maerz
Jay Reatard; 12 Galaxies, San Francisco, CA.; November 16: Reatard performed twice in San Francisco this year first at the Hemlock in January and then again at 12 Galaxies in November. He whipped through his sets like he was being paid for his impatience making the songs stronger and snottier and leaving the crowd hungry for his next stint in 2008. (Jennifer Maerz)
Pharoah Sanders; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA.; October 17: SF Jazz had a strong calendar in 2007, and saxophonist Pharoah Sanders was definitely a standout. In a dimly lit Grace Cathedral his shock of white hair stood our as much as his spiritually-moving melodies. A special artist in a very special space. (Jennifer Maerz)
The Aquabats and DJ Lance Rock; The Glass House, Pomona, CA.; Nov. 30 : Probably the most bizarre yet natural hybrid show of the year: ska-pop superheroes The Aquabats and DJ Lance Rock of psychedelic "what-are-they-on?" kiddie show Yo Gabba Gabba onstage together in Pomona. The link between the acts is Christian Jacobsa.k.a. MC Bat Commander (pictured)a.k.a. one of YGG's founding fathers. Between the bats' rabid, caped fans and YGG's giant dancing monsters, this show was one of 2007's funkiest, at least in the OC. (Janine Kahn)
Detour Festival: Bloc Party, Justice, Turbonegro; Downtown LA , CA.; Oct 6: Justice captured the biggest, most raucous crowd, harnessed the moment and delivered a massive dirty-techno throwdown. People pogoed and threw their hands in the air, screamed for all the world to hear the chorus to their biggest anthem, Never Be Alone We. Are. Your friends. Youll. Never. Be alone again, cmon! By the time the Frenchmen dropped the 3-6 Mafias Stay Fly, the crowd was heaving, and inflated condoms floated above the morass. The bands fans moshed, crowd surfers rode the mass like this was a Pearl Jam grunge fest rather than a Parisian techno fest. It was a primal show of force, and no match for Bloc Party, who failed to inspire their own big crowd. Where Justice drew a mass of sweaty fans, Bloc Party, while much more lively and interactive onstage, were unable to transfer that energy into the crowd. A different festival at a different moment, and the tables could have been turned. But in the here and now, in that remarkable feat of aural magic that carries a song from a beat box through a cord into an amplifier thats hooked into a monster sound system that delivers music across the whole of downtown Los Angeles and into thousands of headz it was Justice for all. (Randall Roberts)
Rock the Bells tour; A T&T Bayfront Park Ampitheatre, Miami, FL.; August 4 Sure, the Miamis version was a one-stage (well, plus a locals platform on the side) affair, way stripped down from the tours stops in New York and California. But in a place where hip-pop, booty bass, and snap music dominate the airwaves, getting a visit at all and a packed one, at that was a serious victory for the citys hip-hop heads. Jedi Mind Tricks, Immortal Technique, Pharoahe Monch, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, and Nas all straight-up killed it, despite the soul-destroying summer Florida heat. And then came Wu-Tang, instantly turning the crowd into a sea of rhythmically waving T-shirts, covered by an L.A.-horizon-style layer of smoke. -Arielle Castillo
Cat Power; Studio A, Miami, FL.; October 22 Chan Marshall loves her adopted hometown of Miami, and Miami loves her right back. The comfortable, friends-and-family vibe contributed to her best area show yet. Marshall was slinky and sultry, sliding through a revue of material past and present, backed by the bright, Southern soul tones of her new backing band, the Dirty Delta Blues. Originals and covers alike were crackling with warmth, and transporting and a rapt audience responded in kind by not budging an inch until the end. -Arielle Castillo
Iggy Pop; The beach (literally) at Collins Ave. and 21st Street, Miami Beach, FL.; December 7 The annual winter, Miami Beach edition of the hoity-toity international Art Basel art fair is, in a word, a clusterfuck of celebrity, money, and, oh, art. And a little music. The highlight of each year is the fairs opening-night Art Loves Music event, with a free concert on the sand by someone suitably provocative. (Past years have featured performances by Peaches, the New York Dolls, and Scissor Sisters). This year, though, was possibly the best yet a set by adopted hometown guy Iggy Pop, and all of the remaining Stooges. The crowd was an amazing mashup of aging rockers, little punk kids, rich collectors trying to be down, and straight-up drunks peeing in the nearby dunes. Iggy was properly shirtless, writhing, and berserk, and an adoring mob rushed the stage, making it look as though No Fun were performed by a gigantic sweaty, pink centipede. Arielle Castillo
Love, Mordhaus Staff
Special thanks to all the musicians, fans, club owners, promoters, roadies, and white hot sluts (both make and female) that made this year in live music so tremendous. Thank you for doing not a bad jobba, but always a good.
Paul McCartney; Amoeba Records, Hollywood, CA.; June 27: Ok, I got in to see Paul at the free Amoeba in-store show. The crowd was a buzz wondering if he would play any Beatles songs or mostly stuff off the new album. Which we hear is good, but good enough to sleep on a sidewalk for three-days (which is what many people in the crowd did)? I wasn't sure. When he opened with a Beatles numberDrive My Car the crowd flipped. He didn't disappoint, he gave them what they wanted, and so the crowd Na-na-na'ed to Hey Jude, pounded their fists in the air to Back in the USSR, bopped their heads to Get Back, and Blackbird and stood solemnly still holding lighters above their heads to Let It Be. At one point someone in the crowd yelled a request for Helter Skelter. "No, now, that's John's," said Sir Paul. "But, let's do one for John. One for John and Linda." He played one of his own, Here Today. (Linda Immediato)
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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