Simple Minds Still Play to Arenas, Even in the Saenger

What do you do on an election day when you’re too anxious to watch the returns and too anxious to watch something else instead? On Wednesday, Simple Minds at the Saenger Theatre were that third option for me, and at times it was hard to separate the show from its context. Singer Jim Kerr sang, “make love your armor” in the opening “The Signal and the Noise,” and I wondered if there were people in America who could no longer do that. Was the uplift in the band’s sound beyond some people at this point?

Mumford and Sons the Right Band for Voodoo's Opening Night

Friday marked a very sincere start to the 20th anniversary edition of the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience. Bands singing about their feelings while playing guitars, basses and drums with at most a soupçon of irony dominated the day, topped by headliners Mumford and Sons. Mumford’s sincerity is the band’s calling card, so much so that before the day started, I wondered if they’d sound anachronistic in 2018.

Belle and Sebastian Get a Hero's Welcome at First New Orleans Show

[Updated] When Stuart Murdoch sang, “We were on the outside looking in” Monday night at The Civic, he could have been articulating Belle and Sebastian’s central thought. The veteran Scottish indie rock band has got 20 years out of tweedy alienation, in part because no one went broke by making young people (and people who were young once) feel dramatic, but also because Belle and Sebastian made it seem beautiful.

Molotov Throws a Cocktail Party at the House of Blues

There was an overwhelming, communal connection when Molotov took the stage at House of Blues' Parish. The Mexican rap-rock/punk band engaged in playful banter with each other and the audience in a performance that was confrontational, vulgar, political, and humorous--all of which was exactly what the audience came to see. Playing visibly drunk under a sign reading Unity in Diversity, the band made it clear that although Latin American politics are a mess, people are stronger when they mosh, yelp, and rock out together.

St. Vincent Made a Show of Her Show at the Civic

From the start, St. Vincent made it clear that her show was a show Monday night. A stage hand pulled back the curtain on the Civic just enough to reveal St. Vincent—Annie Clark—standing alone stage left, where she stood still at a microphone and sang “Marry Me,” backed by a pre-recorded café accordion. Clark cut a severe figure in a pink vinyl dress and pink vinyl thigh-high boots with her black hair slicked back. The theatricality of that look and opening called into question what we see and hear at concert.

Sleigh Bells Powercharm Republic During Carnival

Last Friday night, Sleigh Bells played Republic, and according to photographer Steph Catsoulis, the years in service and size of the room haven’t quieted the band at all. Five albums into its exploration of the place where heavy metal guitar, hip-hop drums, and high school cheers meet, Sleigh Bells stays true to its core values in concert, which translated to a very loud show.

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