Sinkane Called for Revolution on the Dance Floor at Gasa Gasa

[Updated] When Sinkane wants revolution, it folds The Beatles’ “Revolution” into one of its own songs, “Ya Sudan.” Frontman Ahmed Gallab went there Wednesday night at Gasa Gasa after telling the story of revolution in his home country of Sudan—the only time Gallab stopped to explain anything. Otherwise, he let his songs speak in the broadest ways, which was more effective than that might sound.

Early in the set, yeyboard player Elenna Canlas sang:

Jenny Lewis Couldn't Shake Her Audience at the Civic

[Updated] Jenny Lewis gave the audience at Civic every reason not to invest in her. Her bouffant and gold sequined dress with pink-feathered cuffs begged people not to take her seriously, and that look has become so signature that a drag queen showed up in it and posed for pictures with Lewis’ fans in the lobby. And there was an ease to her performance that bordered on too easy.

Flying Lotus Stilled the Crowd at The Joy

Flying Lotus (Stephen Ellison) returned to the Joy Theatre on Thursday after a two year break from performances in New Orleans. His last appearance ended when Ellison spiked the microphone and threw a tantrum onstage. 

“I did what last time?” FlyLo said towards the end of his set. “I don’t even remember yesterday.” 

Lizzo Brought The Fillmore To Church

Lizzo wants her live shows to be church, and her sold out show at the Fillmore on September 8 was exactly that. At the center of the stage was an altar, with orange lighting washing the stage. As the smoke built and dissipated, out walked Lizzo, dressed in a shimmery gold robe like that of a gospel singer. While the crowd’s excitement built, she started her set with “Heaven Help Me” and began her work of bringing the audience to worship.

Backstreet Boys Defeat Irony at Smoothie King Center

Over the past few months, thousands of women in the New Orleans region have been exchanging emails, booking hotel rooms, and coordinating payments among themselves for tickets and matching screen-printed t-shirts with slogans like “Oh my god, we’re back again” in swirling, Pinterest-esque script. If they’re like me, maybe they giggled self-deprecatingly when telling people about their upcoming plan to attend a Backstreet Boys concert at the Smoothie King Center on August 30.

Daisy the Great Polished Millennial Frustration at Gasa Gasa

Daisy the Great performed at Gasa Gasa on August 28 to a crowd of familiar faces for one of two frontwomen, Mina Walker. Daisy the Great understands both millennial existentialism and skillful songwriting, but because this was a hometown show, the crowd was transfixed in an especially personal way. Everyone watched with pride and attention that only hometown glory can afford.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Specializes in the Wow Factor

The lighting rig that hung over the members of Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the Smoothie King Center Wednesday night could serve as the New World Order Olympic rings—seven, not five, close together but not interlocking, each with an LED square inside. Three songs into the set, the rings surprised the crowd when the LED squares inside the front three lowered to bring band members including violin player Asha Mevlana to the stage.

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.

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