20 Watts

Summer 2010 Coverage: Yeasayer, Keepaway and Delicate Steve rock Governor’s Island 6/05 by 20watts


PREVIEW: VISIT Yeasayer’s website!

Summer spirits soar when the entertainment’s free and the entertainment strive to be indie rock legends. Such was the case this past weekend at Governor’s Island when Delicate Steve, Keepaway and headliner Yeasayer took the Converse stage as part of the Converse-sponsored, mostly free “Gone to Governors” series.

“This must be the most remixed song ever,” Yeasayer frontman Chris Keating said before the group launched into a charged rendition of their signature song “O.N.E.” The crowd responded by blowing up with pop-and-locks, cheers and continuing to toss around a beach ball that had previously hit Keating in the face.

“O.N.E.” and show-closer “Ambling Alp” highlighted Yeasayer’s set, one whose first half progressed too slowly for my tastes. Whether it was Keating’s mostly affectless Continue reading

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Concert Coverage: HARD NYC by tjwell01

20 Watts peaked inside the Major Lazer show in NYC last weekend.

HARD NYC was more than a concert. It was more than a rave. It was pure madness. The six-hour long show, comprised of performances from Destructo, Proxy, Buraka Som Sistema, Major Lazer, and Boys Noize, went at a voracious, non-stop force that engrossed the audience of 500-something people for its entire run.

Destructo (Gary Richards), creator of the HARD series, is known for inserting his performance into the DJ lineups. Hailing from Los Angeles, he generally aims to do nothing less than worm up a fervent crowd. He proudly emerged on the stage with an expectedly disappointing performance. His mildly synthesized beats seemed to appeal mainly to the eager crowd of New York City high school girls that surrounded me. Hey, they looked happy to get out of their house on a Saturday night by 8 o’clock. His music eventually grew to become much more tolerable and enjoyable. Richards pumped out his focused and consistently loud smashes, all while a Lego-inspired vehicle of a light show blasted on the massive screen behind him.

The Russian enigma, Proxy, performing live in the United States for the first time that night, jumped onstage quickly after Destructo’s finale. He was by far the best powerhouse to come from Russia since Ivan Drago’s fist in Rocky IV. He mixed his own original songs with contemporary bangers, like “Sweet Shop” by dub step legend Dr. P. As the concert was heating up, so were we. Terminal 5’s tight venue certainly did not keep our wallets tight. I myself must have dropped at least twelve dollars on water. Frequent trips to the patio area for some fresh air at first left us frustrated with our constant movements, but we grew to enjoy the intermittent blasts of oxygen that let loose our head-throbbing constraints.

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Concert Coverage: Henry Rollins at The Westcott Theater by 20watts
March 31, 2010, 2:52 pm
Filed under: Concert Stories, Scene Around Town, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

An evening with the genius Henry Rollins

PREVIEW: VISIT Henry Rollins website.

Henry Rollins walks on stage at 8:03 p.m and does not move from where he is standing for the next three hours.

“I am in fact desperate for your attention and your approval,” he says at the start of the show. This is the type of line that epitomizes Rollins—open, honest, direct.

Rollins—singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, spoken word artist, writer, publisher, actor, television host, radio DJ, and activist —stopped in Syracuse at the Westcott Theatre for the 32nd gig of his Frequent Flyer Tour on Saturday. During the three hour performance he discusses a blend of topics so high in concentration that one would exceed his comma quotient for this article if he tried to list them all, though they can be broken into these categories: writing, politics, war, gender equality, music, technology, history, English, acting, and travel.

Tonight the Westcott Theatre[1] smells like smoke and a barber shop, more specifically that disinfectant barbers use to sterilize their barber tools. The prevailing irony is that many of the fans present have long scraggly hair that looked like it hadn’t seen the inside of a barber shop, or hadn’t seen a barber shop at all. Continue reading

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Concert Coverage: The Chariot at The Westcott by laoppedi

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 by laoppedi
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

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News of Note: Early lineup announced for Truck America Festival in Big Indian, NY by tjwell01

The Joy Formidable, White Rabbits and Silent League will perform at this year's Truck America Festival in Big Indian, NY

PREVIEW: Truck America’s Website

TRUCK is an festival organization based in the U.K., and they’ve brought their festival to the U.S. in Big Indian, NY at the Full Moon Resort. The lineup is decent too, which includes a few unknowns and some high-risers including The Joy Formidable whom we interviewed and shot while they performed in New York. The festival will take place from April 30 to May 2nd, so just before finals for all Syracuse University students. The trip there would be roughly three hours, but seems like a good time to me. I can vouch that The Joy Formidable are insanely good live, and The White Rabbits are underrated. Tickets are on sale now.

Here’s the full lineup:

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20 Watts Video: Gang Gang Dance @ Music Hall of Williamsburg (1/15/10) by tjwell01

PREVIEW: Gang Gang Dance’s MySpace

It’s not everyday I totally misread a band, but then I have one of those brain fart moments, like when I saw Gang Gang Dance at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. For some reason, I thought I was walking into a techno-mashup DJ party, but it turned out to be more like a tribal rain dance festival. The crowd was swerving and jiving like it was the summer of 1969, and the whole time I felt like I was missing out on the psychedelics evidently being passed around. No matter, because even though the concert was a bit dull, it was fascinating to watch–especially their fidgety hipster mascot wearing the wool mask.

–Jett Wells

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