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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rock the Garden 2010

I have so much to say about this event, too much in fact. So I will highlight the bests and worsts of each performer of this wonderful day.

Retribution Gospel Choir

Summary: Hard, boring, repetitive Rock and Roll.

Best Moments: When they walked on stage, because it meant that Rock the Garden had started. Alan Sparhawk's emotions while going through his dozens of guitar solos were also mildly entertaining.

Worst Moments: Everything else. Not a memorable sound, everything blended together and sounded the same. "Hide It Away," was a lone standout.

Ok Go

Summary: Energetic, Creative, Fun, Prince-infused Pop. A definite crowd pleaser.

Best Moments: Pretty much everything, my personal highlight of the day. Confetti was constantly shot out, and every member of the band was engaged. "This Too Shall Pass" and a version of "What To Do" played only on handbells were both amazing.

Worst Moments: The only lagging parts were the couple of slow numbers, but even those were hugely entertaining.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Summary: Practiced, synchronized, beautiful soul music.

Best Moments: A funky Woody Guthrie cover of "This Land Is Your Land," and new album track "I Learned the Hard Way." Sharon Jones was a dancing bundle of energy. Watching members of MGMT and Ok Go enjoy the set from the side of the stage, dancing and singing along.

Worst Moments: The middle of the set lagged, and the group struggled to give any sense of variety in their one and a quarter hour set.

Summary: Sloppy Yet Fun Electro Rock, No Stage Presence

Best Moments: Oracular Spectacular Hits "Electric Feel" and "Time To Pretend," and Congratulations tracks "Brian Eno" and "Congratulations."

Worst Moments: Lesser known tracks from the new album seemed to drag on forever. A fun band to hear live, not a fun band to see live, all Andrew VanWyngarden could manage to say after every song was "Thanks So Much." Overall an extremely enjoyable experience though.

MGMT Setlist:

Pieces Of What
Flash Delirium
Electric Feel
The Youth
Song For Dan Tracy
Weekend Wars
I Found A Whistle
Siberian Brakes
Time To Pretend
Of Moons, Birds, & Monsters
Brian Eno
It's Working

Someone's Missing

Monday, June 7, 2010

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at First Avenue - June 6, 2010

Wow. What a great night. Two of my favorite groups at the moment, Dawes and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, were playing at First Avenue on Sunday night. One exceeded my expectations greatly, and one fell a little short, yet was still one of the more fun bands I've seen.
Dawes came on at around 8:45, and everyone was a little bit restless. Once the four men were on the stage however, everything changed. Their country-tinged sound on record wasn't evident at all Sunday night, and you could tell these guys were going somewhere. Two new songs were especially good, but the highlight by far was "When My Time Comes." Kudos to 89.3 The Current for playing this song so much, as it created a truly spectacular moment. During the last chorus, Taylor Goldsmith turned his microphone towards the crowd and 1200 people sang the chorus. I had goosebumps running up and down my arms, and you could tell the band did also. It was truthfully one of the most spectacular moments I have ever experienced at a concert.
Next, after a short wait that included a massive influx of people near the front of the floor, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros trudged on. Edward was dressed like a modern day Jesus, and often his lyrics sounded like one too. Opening with "40 Day Dream," the party was started right away, with everyone dancing and singing along.
Unfortunately, the 10-piece then rattled off three of the strongest songs from their only album, "Carries On," "Up From Below," and "Janglin." After those highlights, the middle of the show dragged on a lot, with Jade (who is clearly the star of the show) even leaving the stage for minutes at a time. Finally, things picked up again near the end with "Come In Please's" amazing guitars and every one's favorite song of 2009, "Home."
After ending with "Om Nashi Me," which built up beautifully and ended with a bang, the band walked off stage. What happened next was rare, a second magical moment. Five of the men from the band, including Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe), came out and played the beautiful song "Brother." What made it particularly special was that Alex came into the crowd and sat down, urging all of us to sit also. He was only three feet away from me, and it was truly an amazing experience and a great way to end a fantastic night.

Set List:
40 Day Dream
Up From Below
Carries On
Desert Song
River Of Love (Jade Solo Song)
Come In Please
Black Water
Om Nashi Me


I wasn't able to take any videos for the show, but I'll post a couple that other people took.