On December 15th, Darren Criss played a show at the Globe Theater in downtown Los Angeles in which he took the audience on a journey through his life of songwriting, acting, and performing. Spanning a little over a decade of work in the public eye, the concert showcased never-released favorites like “The Muse,” revitalized a few songs from the catalogue of his time on Glee, and even reached back for classics from his college theater company’s viral sensation A Very Potter Musical, in which Criss played Harry Potter himself.
The concert also doubled as a debut party for his latest release, the Homework EP. Homework is Criss’s first solo project since the self-released Human EP seven years ago, which he wrote at fifteen and published at 22.
Consequently, it was exactly seven years ago—almost down to the day—that I had last seen Criss play in L.A., at the Roxy in Hollywood on December 18th, 2010. Continue reading The Return of Darren Criss
Once known for their raucously anti-suburban anthems and untamed, feverish post-collegiate angst, The Wonder Years have proven time and time again to be a band that grows with its audience, maturing alongside fans while keeping alive the ember of heart-wrenching honesty and candidness that make their sound so deeply personal and raw.
This past September, the band released Burst and Decay, an acoustic reimagining of selections from their discography, from Suburbia I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing’s “Coffee Eyes” to No Closer to Heaven’s “Cardinals”. Alongside this release, they also announced a fifteen date tour, playing an entirely acoustic set at various intimate venues across the United States. On October 8th, 2017, they played not one but two shows at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, NY.
The show I attended was entirely new territory for me: a pop-punk matinee.
Continue reading Live Review: The Wonder Years at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, NY
Fireball’s Fuelling the Fire tour returned to the UK, this year bringing in tow Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag and Mad Caddies for a triple headline set. Ready to entertain the seas of attendees in patched black denim jackets, or trilby’s and ties.
Mad Caddies kicked off the headline sets, offering up their eclectic back catalogue of traditional ska-punk sound mixed with hardcore, reggae, jazz and swing. Not leaving any chance to let the night get stale, bouncing between more melodic numbers like Souls for Sale and Shoot out the Lights to their more hectic and faster tracks, such as Leavin’ and Monkeys. Taking advantage of the wide demographic in the room to not only bring out songs from most of their full-length releases, but also to best express the signature caddies sound and style. Continue reading Live Review: Reel Big Fish, Anti-Flag, and Mad Caddies at 02 Academy Leeds
Boston’s Brighton Music Hall was packed to the brim and buzzing with energy, even for a Friday night in the middle of summer. The venue is known for its notorious indie and punk shows hosted in an intimate space with no barrier between the crowd and the stage. But from the moment fans walked in, it was clear they were celebrating.
In fact, for weeks, fans across the country had been celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Rocket Summer’s album that started it all: Do You Feel. The master mind behind The Rocket Summer, Bryce Avary, took a full band on tour to play the album start to finish to celebrate the album’s legacy and how far the music has come since. This was definitely an older crowd than I’m used to seeing at Brighton. Despite overhearing some thirty-something punk bro warn his other thirty-something punk bro to “look out for the 12 year olds” as they made their way through the crowd, I’d say the average attendee was probably in their late twenties. It was a 10th anniversary show, after all. Parents, teens, and college-age twenty-somethings came together sporting apparel from bands from all over the emo/indie/pop-punk spectrum, from Kings of Lean to All Time Low to Blink 182. Because the crowd was so diverse, the show had an awesome dynamic from the get-go. Continue reading Show Review: The Rocket Summer – ‘Do You Feel’ 10th Anniversary Tour
Two thousand live shows is no easy feat by any means. And Thursday night, Frank Turner, one of Britain’s hardest working musicians had his turn to celebrate the milestone. Backed by his band, The Sleeping Souls and bringing along friends from the beginning of his solo career, Beans on Toast and The Tailors. For the latter’s first show in six years. Continue reading Live Review: Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls Show #2000 – Nottingham, Rock City