20 Watts

Concert Coverage: The Chariot at The Westcott

Photography by Rhéma Hill

Where were you Sunday evening? About 40 students and Syracuse natives would say they attended the Tours and Rumors of Tours show at the Westcott Theater to see Georgia natives, The Chariot, backed by Greeley Estates, Inhale Exhale, Memphis May Fire, The Color Morale and local band Murder She Wrote.

The night began slowly as people trickled down the slant of the theater floor to claim their positions at the stage. Without warning, Murder She Wrote stepped up, plugged in and began wailing through their twenty minute set. Their sound was for the most part controlled and concise, but what set them apart from most local metal bands was the way they incorporated the keyboard sound. It wasn’t overpowering, but lightly mixed into the overall melody. While their performance was decent, Murder She Wrote lacked the interaction needed to get the crowd focused on what was happening before them. Continue reading


An Evening with Ari Hest at Funk
February 21, 2010, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Concert Stories | Tags: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: Emelia Natalicchio

PREVIEW: VISIT Ari Hest’s Myspace

We all know and love the small-time, intimate environment at Funk ‘n Waffles. Coupled with the unmistakable scent of cooking oil that permeates your clothes and makes the air thick, the close stage, close quarters and full concert schedule make for a delightful evening.

Soothing indie acoustic tunes drifted amongst the small audience at Funk ‘n Waffles yesterday, as New York City’s Ari Hest visited Syracuse. Zack duPont and Sarah Aument opened. DuPont’s skilled playing was a fitting compliment to his more simple lyrics, and Aument provided her usual eclectic blend of mellow, goofy, groovy and haunting tunes to prime the audience. Continue reading

Comments Off on An Evening with Ari Hest at Funk

Emerging Artists-Tonight Alive
December 10, 2009, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Emerging Artists | Tags: , , , , , ,

Tonight Alive is an aussie band on the rise

PREVIEW: VISIT Tonight Alive’s Myspace

For this week’s Emerging Artists, I bring you a band from down-under called Tonight Alive. That’s right folks, we’re going to Australia for some tunes.

Formed earlier this year, these guys are the Aussie version of Paramore, complete with lead singer Jenna Mcdougall, whose vocals rival those of Paramore’s Hayley Williams, pop-punk guitar riffs and beats. The rest of the band is composed of dudes–who have some kickass accents, if you’re into that– whose synchronized head banging is sure to bring them some attention in the States. They’ve already had a few dates over here, supporting acts such as 3Oh!3 and Mest.

Keep your eye out for their EP, due out this coming January, and hopefully a tour to follow.

Want to hear some of their tunes? Check out their Purevolume

–Lorna Oppedisano, Assistant Features Editor

Comments Off on Emerging Artists-Tonight Alive

Scene Around Town: Straight Edge Rampant at the Westcott: Black Sheep Squadron, Mindset, Not Sorry, Reason and Ghost Ship

Black Sheep Squadron

Black shirts, edge X’s and spin kicks separated the believers from the bystanders at Syracuse straight edge Sunday night at the Westcott Community Center. Clad in their best scene shirts, about fifty young people from as far as Toronto and Vermont came in support. Featuring Black Sheep Squadron (Black SS), Mindset, Not Sorry, Reason and Ghost Ship, these hardcore bands spouted lyrics promoting taking a stance and living a life of independence.

Prying themselves from the new Call of Duty video game, Syracuse locals Ghost Ship took to the front, with Curtis Lepore at the helm. Red-faced, Lepore shook his fist and squinted his eyes as he spat out, “We won’t be bought, we won’t be sold, we’ve had enough,” in their anthem “Enough”. Despite being sick, he bounced and growled in the faces of the head nodding bunch, delivering dissonant but driving vocals. Only a band for the past few months, the hair-tossing bassist, jumping guitarist, and forceful drummer banged their heads in perfect unison to their double-kick peddle beat.

As a result of a family plagued by alcohol and drugs, Lepore choose a life of straight edge because he was turned off by the behavior. Continue reading

Scene Around Town: Little Dragon and Ladyboys at the Westcott 11/20 with PHOTOS

Ladyboys at the Westcott on Friady

PREVIEW: VISIT Little Dragon’s Website

Westcott Theater was cold and empty.  Little Dragon, a synthy Swedish quartet, attract blog hype, but didn’t rope in more than 60 Syracuse residents to the Friday night show, leading to a general impression of awkward sparseness.  Zach James, a member of supporting act Ladyboys (not to mention one half of The Smash Brothers), performed a long DJ set as if expecting a sudden rush of latecomers.  Reinforcements never arrived, but the small crowd thankfully grouped toward the front of the stage as proceedings began. Continue reading

Scene Around Town: Mike Doughty
November 21, 2009, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Scene Around Town | Tags: , , ,

Mike Doughty worked the crowd Thursday night at the Westcott with a great set

PREVIEW: VISIT Mike Doughty’s website

Just like his songs, Mike Doughty keeps his shows straightforward, but entertaining; witty, but not caustic; and short, but sweet. In less than an hour and a half, Doughty packed 20 songs into his Thursday night set at the Westcott Theater, including crowd favorites “27 Jennifers,” “Circles,” and “Madeline and Nine.”

The intimate crowd of about 60 featured a casual mix of fans: the moderate hipsters represented with their standard uniform of plaid, knit hats and skinny jeans, while a sprinkling of slightly older folks were present, and clearly reliving their Soul Coughing days. Continue reading

Comments Off on Scene Around Town: Mike Doughty

Scene Around Town: The Felice Brothers at Syracuse’s Westcott Theater
The Felice Brothers Westcott Theater

Ian Felice led a rowdy Felice Brothers set at the Westcott Theater on Friday

They didn’t know how to dance, but they did it anyway.

Upstate five-piece The Felice Brothers brought their rowdy, rugged brand of Americana rock to The Westcott Theater Friday night, delivering drawled anthems and raging jam sessions to a crowd of guys in flannel shirts and girls in dresses and hiking boots. If the lead singer felt like moving his microphone back to stand next to the keyboard player for a few moments, then he did. And if the fiddle player didn’t like kneeling over in his corner during a certain song, he would just walk over to the drum set, jump onto the bass drum and dance.

Everything they did onstage, they did it for the simple reason of enjoying themselves and putting on a show that everyone else could enjoy. And isn’t that the best kind of live music?

Rugged and yet somehow polished, The Felice Brothers have that “we don’t give a fuck if this is aesthetically pleasing” sound that gives them a certain edge not all bands of their style can pull off. During their more mellow songs they appeared to be in a trance, completely engaged in bringing their music to life. Then in a second they could transition to a song that felt like a raging jam session with a couple hundred people cheering them on.

And no matter what they did, it felt genuine. They would accept shouted requests from drunken members of the audience, run around stage singing into each others microphones, take turns singing lead on the different songs, and even hold out the microphone to allow the audience members to sing along to the particularly raucous chorus of “I put some whiskey, into my whiskey.” And the whole time, they were having a blast. This is a band that knows how to have fun, that has not yet reached the point where they are making music for any reason other than simply making music.

Getting ready to walk out of the show, I felt like I was going to find myself standing on a wooden porch in the middle of the Appalachian mountains.  That was the thing about this band: whatever they did felt sincere and totally authentic. Towards the beginning of one of the songs, frontman Ian Felice drawled “I’m not preaching, I’m just talking…this is how I talk.”

Well then Felice Brothers, it was good talking with you. Let’s do it again sometime.

– Emmery Brakke
– Photos by Isabel Alcantara [MORE UNDER THE JUMP!]

Continue reading