Kero Kero Bonito Mixed Irony With Joy at Republic

British band Kero Kero Bonito took to Republic last Saturday, swaying between the ecstatic and the existential. In one moment, they evoked a children’s music concert; in the next, psychedelic rock, and in another, teen rage punk. KKB navigated unexpected turns between diverse musical styles, channeling Avril Lavigne, Bjork, and Animal Planet all at once. On paper, that sounds like a jumbled, even incoherent amalgam.

DJ Phoebe Rose's techno takes listeners to transcendental state

Phoebe Rose couldn’t tell you what the time was, only “God knows.” But it wasn’t sunrise yet.

It was Mardi Gras and the 23-year-old techno DJ was celebrating the season in her favorite way: at a rave. Perfect, rhythmic music blasted through 10-foot-tall speakers. Everyone was dancing and for only a split second, the young artist shut her eyes. But what she experienced was eye-opening.  

Jack White Vs. The 21st Century

To be fair, I’ve never loved Jack White. There have been times when I had to pay attention because he was part of the story of the moment, but that hasn’t been the case since the start of the decade when he seemed energized by his collaborations with Alison Mosshart in The Dead Weather and Brendan Benson in The Raconteurs, and they led to Blunderbuss, his first solo album.

Angel Olsen Mirrored Her Album's Landscape at the Civic

Angel Olsen is a master of ethereal subtlety. She is known for her minimalism, but All Mirrors is a more decadent album than her older albums, and her set design at the Civic on November 5 executed this vision with stunning accuracy. Her show was an art installation that brought to life the winding heartache and intensity of her latest album. 

The Audience Were the Stars at Widespread Panic's Halloween Show

Widespread Panic’s Halloween shows at the Lakefront Arena have long been events, but this year the band made it even more of one by performing in Andy Kaufman-inspired costumes that commemorated different phases of his career and parts of his performances. With special guest Mike Mills from R.E.M., the band went so far as to perform “Man in the Moon,” the song inspired by Kaufman.

Post Malone Works on His Own Terms at Voodoo

A couple from Clemson saw me taking notes and wanted me to know that they thought Voodoo was the best festival they had been to, and that Post Malone was the best mainstream artist out there. Malone closed Voodoo 2019 on Sunday night in New Orleans as he performed an hour and a half set onstage by himself, and while some on Facebook thought that playing to tracks as he did was bullshit, Malone was hardly the first to do so.

Beck's Voodoo Set Met with Tired Crowd

Beck’s set at Voodoo Saturday night was a love letter to New Orleans. He claimed that “Night Running” was inspired by some of his nights in the Big Easy and ended the set with a small, onstage second line. Instead of the same old How are we feeling tonight Topeka?, Beck’s love for New Orleans seemed less rote. He asked sincerely, “Why is this city such a good feeling, a good vibe?”

Guns N’ Roses Play Themselves at Voodoo

Guns N’ Roses still deliver on their original promise. Since their 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, the group has maintained its formulaically bad-boy persona. GNR was always a project of excess, of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll with a punk bent. More than 30 years later, they’re reassuring fans that they’ve still got it on their reunion tour, "Not In This Lifetime." 

DJ Nice Rack Connects the Future and the Past at Voodoo

Michelle Currier performs as DJ Nice Rack, and she is indebted to New Orleans’ musical lexicon. The Louisiana native considers bounce and southern hip-hop the backbone of her sets. Her sound straddles the musical universes to which she’s bound, looking both backwards and forwards as she merges old school hip-hop with forward-looking house beats.     

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