THE USED AND WE CAME AS ROMANS
The Take Action Tour 2013
2/10/13- The Fillmore, Detroit
Photos by: Ashley Allison/WXOU
Review: Josh Nagy/WXOU
The Fillmore Theater in Detroit was filled to the rafters on Sunday, February 10th for The Take Action Tour. The tour featured The Used and Detroit natives, We Came as Romans.
We Came as Romans left everything they had on the stage for their home audience. Opening with some old favorites including, “Roads That Don’t End and Views That Never Cease“ and “Broken Statues. “ I`ve seen WCAR six times live and this was honestly the best they`ve ever preformed. You could tell that performing on that stage meant something to them that night. They sounded fantastic, and their energy radiated into the audience. Lead singer, Kyle Pavone sounded way better than his recordings, and screamer Dave Stephens was on top of his game. Not only did Stephens scream his ass off, but he also hit some impressive high notes singing.
They even gave the audience a taste of their new album by playing, “`Let These Words Last Forever“ and “Hope. “ These new songs show how WCAR has matured as a band. Both songs sent a positive message to the audience and Stephens gave motivation speech on living with hope. The audience responded positively to the songs, crowding surfing their way to the stage and opening numerous circle pits. WCAR ended their set with fan favorites, “Understanding What We`ve Grown to be“ and “To Plant a Seed. “
Before leaving the stage, screamer Dave Stephens promised his hometown, “Detroit, We`ll see you this summer at Warped Tour. “
When The Used took the stage the crowd went crazy. It took me back to my days in middle school! I even noticed their fan base seemed a lot older than I thought they`d be. It kind of looked like the audience grew up to the Used`s music. Lead singer, Bert McCracken kept a promise to his fans throughout his entire set. This set was dedicated to the hardcore Used fans. They opened with some old hits including, “Listening“ and “The Bird and The Worm.“
McCracken stage presence was fantastic. He singled out faces in the crowd and talk to them as if he knew each of them individually. He even let one woman on stage to wish her daughter a happy birthday. Hell, he even kissed that lady and let her dance on stage with him for an entire song.
“Blood on My Hands,“ and “Pretty Handsome Awkward“ set up the audience for their encore. The encore was started with a tribute to Nirvana`s “Smells Like Teen Spirit“ and blended to the Used`s hit, “A Box Full of Sharp Objects. “ I would highly recommend any fan of the Used to go see them live. In my opinion they are way better live than they are on album.
Not to mention Used fans, McCracken says they will be back this summer.
JACK WHITE AT THE SCOTTISH RITE 5-24-12
By: Luke “Diamond” Phillips
The prodigal son of Detroit neo-garage returned to his old stomping grounds this Thursday for his first solo-billed hometown show. Supporting his new debut solo album Blunderbuss, Jack White — the former frontman for The White Stripes and Third Man Records label owner — headlined a 2 p.m. matinee set that blazed through various touchpoints in his discography, with plenty of surprises along the way.
And this was only the first of two sets performed that day.
The midday crowd was piqued with anticipation as hundreds of fans milled in and around the Masonic Temple, where Jack was to perform his blues-based, sometimes rootsy garage rock inside the 1,500-capacity Scottish Rite Theatre. The diverse audience was a mixed bag of White acolytes, the hip middle-aged, Detroit scenesters, and bros who probably really dig it when commercials use those awful fake Black Keys-soundalikes as background music.
With the original evening concert selling out within hours of tickets going onsale, this matinee show was added to appease ravenous fan demand. However, in the type of Wonka-ian twist Jack White has become renown for within the last decade, tickets were only available for purchase at U.H.F. Records in Royal Oak. Within a few days of the show, those tickets also sold out. Also of note, White’s own Third Man Records Rolling Record Store was precariously parked in the lot behind the Masonic Temple, hawking wares to whichever J.W. superfans were clever enough to spy it.
Detroit-based opening act Pop Goes Duane (formerly known as Duane the Teenaged Weirdo) warmed up the crowd with his special brand of Prince-reborn-as-garage-punk shenanigans, including a bizarre moment where he sat on the edge of the stage while the Pallet Town theme from Pokémon washed over the monitors. Duane ended his set by running through his Third Man Records single “Postcard From Hell,” which made for a nice precursor for what was to come.
Several dapper, White-affiliated stagehands strode onstage, dressed in snazzy suits and fedoras, and set up equipment (Jack’s own amps were stacked in a row of three, matching the tri-column backdrop at the rear of the stage – the man likes his thematic symmetry.) While they tended to this, the audience’s eager restlessness was palatable. As the house lights finally dimmed and the stagelights bathed everything in hues of blue (Jack’s new favorite color of choice for this album cycle/tour) White’s tour band took the stage. Another offbeat aspect of this maiden solo tour is that Jack has been rehearsing and performing with two different but similarly-outfitted bands (one all-female and one all-male) and arbitrarily trading off who plays when. The all-female iteration of Jack’s band, dubbed The Peacocks, would end up playing the evening show at the Scottish Rite, but for this matinee set, we were witness to “Los Buzzardos,” the all-male band.
Clad in all black and trailing ever-so slightly behind his bandmates, Jack White III kicked the set off in the first of countless many crowd-pleasing moments – by tearing into the opening chords of The Stripes’ “Black Math.” After a loopy, tempo-shifting, (but still muscular) version of that fan favorite track, Jack stepped into his singer-songwriter mode, donning an acoustic guitar to run through several faithful versions of Blunderbuss tracks that established their rightful place alongside White’s ever-expanding canon.
While a scroll — yes, a scroll — ostensibly containing a rough set outline was originally laid out in front of the band, Jack would often mouth extemporaneous song cues to the players just as another song was wrapping up. Amongst the set highlights was a rendition of “Two Against One,” the Jack-assisted track from Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi’s Rome project; lacerating, definitive versions of “I Cut Like a Buffalo” and “Blue Blood Blues” by The Dead Weather; a midset blues jam that mutated into a cover of “300 Pounds of Joy” by Howlin’ Wolf; and a further cover of Hank Williams’ “You Know That I Know.” Strangely, no Raconteurs tracks were covered (at least one has been played during previous shows,) which is especially odd considering that they are essentially a Detroit garage supergroup of sorts. Perhaps in light of this, Jack treated the audience to a generous portion of White Stripes songs, which were rapturously received by the crowd of devotees. These Stripes classics included a touching full-band version of “We’re Going to Be Friends” with a mild country lilt; a guitarless, piano-led “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground;” early Stripes deep cut “Hello Operator;” and even a tease of the “Union Forever” intro. Thankfully, the fuller, five-piece setup didn’t diminish the inherent greatness of these White Stripes originals. In fact, more than anything, Jack and Meg’s arrangements were emboldened by the bigger band, and proved that these songs could be given a more fleshed-out treatment without sacrificing the charm of their initial spareness.
No longer restricted to playing with just his supposed sibling/actual ex-wife Meg, (or more ensemble roles in aforementioned side projects The Raconteurs and Dead Weather,) Jack utilized his newfound freedom to not only highlight the strengths in his recent solo material, but also within his crack backing band. The five members of Los Buzzardos often pulled double duty throughout the show, giving each song arrangement an intricate but still heavy bed (combos of pedal steel/fiddle, upright bass/bass guitar, and mandolin/harmonica were frequently interchanged midsong.) Clearly, the Buzzardos with the best reception from the audience were drummer Daru Jones and Ikey Owens, former keyboardist for The Mars Volta, who goosed Jack along the entire set with their frenzied playing and showmanship. Jones often preened over his drums as he played, his kit placed directly next to Jack’s equipment. Serving as Jack’s foil (in much the same fashion Meg did during Stripes live shows) Jack would consistently turn to face Jones and give direction. In comparison to Meg’s primal pounding, however, Jones’ drum style lended itself to a busier but nonetheless solid technique. Jack himself switched between playing electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and piano at a whirlwind pace.
While Songwriting Jack was in full-force, he also spent plenty of time reconfirming his guitar hero status during the set. Jack seared into volcanic guitar leads like an electric knife through our collective souls. His tone, placed ear-crushingly high in the mix, was a white (pardon the pun) noise blast of pure, perfect, raunchy raw power that leaped out of the monitors. The audience was beside themselves every instance in which he worked his way up the neck of his (thematically!) baby blue Telecaster. The sounds Jack wrung from his instrument drove the crowd to instantaneous cheering, whooping, hollering, and unselfconscious dancing in place. This fervor reached a fever pitch during the climactic, house-busting extended solo runs during perennial Stripes favorite “Ball & Biscuit,” which was played just before encore.
And what an encore it was. Upon returning to his still-blue stage with Los Buzzardos in tow, a now short-sleeved Jack ripped into electric Blunderbuss single “Freedom at 21,” teased the intro to his James Bond theme “Another Way to Die,” served the crowd some more welcome White Stripes manna with “The Hardest Button to Button,” and wrapped everything up through a tumultuous take on Blunderbuss‘s coda, “Take Me With You As You Go.” For a rare afternoon set by one of rock’s most enigmatic talents, Jack White certainly did not disappoint the sea of candy cane children that stood before him. What’s more, he proved that his personal brand of luddite rock is perfectly comfortable on its own, under a single vision, and without the facade of collaboration. Meg who?
EDDIE MONEY AT DTE 5-25-12
By: Christina Venditti
Like ripping the cover off a pool, Eddie Money yanked the figurative poly-coated vinyl sheet right off of DTE’s summer concert series. Opening the venue for the 9th time, the Money Man rocked Detroit music-lovers of all ages.
“It’s not summer until Eddie plays here,” a crowd member said. And he was right. A large part of the crowd seemed to be there, not so much in appreciation of Eddie Money, but in celebration of summer.
Which explains his set list. Opening with Baby Hold On, Eddie took the stage looking something like a Goosebumps character. A skeleton in a suit coat, the 63-year old went on to play six or seven deeper cuts before bringing back the surface hits.
But the demeanor of the crowd never died down. Not even with his most recent flop, One More Soldier Coming Home. The Shock Top-induced fans kept rocking like it was 1979 – Eddie’s first stop in Detroit.
Making wisecracks much better than his dance moves, the rock star joked about the Detroit crowd.
“We’ve been together since 1979 – that was three rehabs ago!”
After hip-thrusting through his final song, Shakin’, Mr. Money explained that he wanted to dedicate the show to a ‘special friend,’ Frances. She was a cancer patient who was a long-time Eddie Money fan and he made arrangements to bring her out to the show. Although she was in rough shape, Eddie brought her onstage to thank her for coming.
And he thanked EVERYBODY for coming. And then talked about Nickelback. And then thanked us some more. And left us with one final comment that tied all Detroiters over 20-years old together-
“The best place in the world to play is DTE Energy Center,” he proclaimed. Waiting a beat to follow it up, he yelled, “PINE KNOB!”
LMFAO CONCERT REVIEW 5-23-12
By: Sean Varicalli
The Palace of Auburn Hills was in total Party Rock mode Wednesday night. LMFAO and their Party Rock crew rolled through the packed venue with their “Sorry For Party Rocking Tour.” I remember when I had first met group members, Sky Blue and Red Foo two springs ago, and in our interview they discussed writing the new album that is now famously known as, “Sorry For Party Rocking.” They could not wait to get these songs out to people not only via the record, but live on a tour of the United States.
With The Palace being their second stop on the current tour, I went in knowing that the energy brought to this show could be some of the highest I have ever seen in live music. I happened to be right. After sitting through the lackluster opening acts, it was finally time for Red Foo and Sky Blue to take the stage and deliver the music we had discussed hardly two short years ago. Opening up their set with a quick video of “Shuffle Bot” the duo emerged from a very expensive looking stage set up with ‘Sorry For Party Rocking.’
It doesn’t matter who you are or what your musical tastes may consist of, because LMFAO delivered on an entertainment value unlike I have ever seen before. I found myself staring in awe at the theatrical production that was taking place before my eyes. Quite honestly, not hearing the DJ, Red Foo, Sky Blue or even the band. Just watching everything from ribbons being shot out of a cannon to a dancing zebra. The group made their way through the set pleasing the audience at every chance they could with banter that personally, I could have done without. Red Foo would squeeze in a cheesy segue every chance he could, but the crowd of neon shirt, zebra panted wearing fans didn’t mind. He even cracked a testicle joke right before starting ‘I Am Not A Whore.’
For the ticket price, this show at every thing you could have hoped for when seeking more than just music at a concert. Red Foo strapped on a head set and flew through the air with other Party Rock crew members right before landing in time for a good old fashioned guitar/keytar riff battle. At this point, I was totally blown away by not only what was happening, but at the talent that both of these young band members had. To be honest, I hadn’t given much though to the guitar and keys guy, especially in a pop band like this. They battled back in forth, using riffs like Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’ and Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man.’ Before ending the segment with a cover of The White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army.’ Truly, for me, being a rock and roll enthusiast, the highlight of the show.
After playing an older LMFAO track, a “deep cut” if you will, the song ‘Yes’ was ended by the pair introducing Quest Crew, which was a team of dancers from the television show, America’s Best Dance Crew. After about 10 minutes of break dancing escapades, LMFAO returned with the fan favorite/club anthem, ‘Shots.’ While the band drank from beer bongs and Patron bottles, the Party Rock Crew set up a bar on stage and did the same, with Red Foo and Sky Blue passing out on to strecthers. To my surprise, the entire stage cleared at that point. Not expecting the encores to begin so early, they did, with the video intro of the song that I’m sure funded most of this tour, ‘Party Rock Anthem.’ Much shuffling was done before going on to their second encore, ‘Champagne Showers’ which, to me, was another small surprise. The duo, who called this show, “somewhat of a homecoming” (both group members fathers were born in Detroit, Red Foo’s being Motown founder, Berry Gordy) doused the first few rows with champagne and confetti.
With yet another costume change by the guys, they stripped down with the rest of their dancers for the final encore, ‘Sexy and I Know It.’ In LMFAO style both group members used tearaway pants to play the remaining moments of the song wearing nothing but a Speedo, Sky Blue’s included a giant elephant trunk which he threw in to the crowd a number of times. Much to the delight of the teenage girls who were sitting in the first few rows. With that, the show was over and again, from an entertainment stand point, I was pleased. LMFAO and the folks at Cherrytree Records did a great job of putting together a show that everyone their could enjoy without being a true fan of the music. This group went from co headlining with ‘Girl Talk’ opening for ‘Ke$ha’ and now selling out one of the largest arenas in the country. Trust me, with entertaining shows like this, no matter the music, they will be for a long time.
RIVAL SUMMERS CD RELEASE SHOW
Rival Summers at the Crofoot Ballroom in Pontiac
BY: ASHLEY ALLISON, News Director
The co-headliners were Shapes and Colors and Rival Summers, both releasing albums and both being very relevant local artists.
Shapes and Colors went first of the two. The set started off strong, getting the audience quickly into the mix. The strongest part of the band, in my opinion, was the singer. He has a strong voice, sounding similar to another local native, Danny Stevens of The Audition.
Another high point, was the interaction with the audience. The band, all members including, had a very noticeable stage presence that radiated to the crowd. As most pop-alternative bands, the guitar riffs were catchy and upbeat. The backing vocals were better than most bands I have seen before, and the slow tribute to the singers sister was a emotional touch.
The final band of the night was Rival Summers. Rival Summers is mostly known for being acoustic, so I was very anxious to see how the crowd reacted to the full band. Other than the electric guitar being slightly louder than I would have liked, it was great.
The crowds response was greater than I had ever seen at any other local show and Leo Bautista, the frontman and man behind everything, was beaming with energy the entire set. The new songs were as Rival Summers fan like them. The album takes you through a story where it comes full circle at the end, leaving you feeling as if you know the entire life of the songwriter. Halfway through the set they slowed it down with a tear jerker (it gets me every time) where Bautista played piano and the rest of the band took a break. The last song, Baby its Been a While, is a Rival Summers fan favorite and upbeat jam that was the perfect way to end the show leaving the crowd chanting for one more song.
If you haven’t seen the band yet, I highly suggest you do and do fast.