YG at House of Blues, 4/17/2014

Categories: Aftermath

YG_HOB_5-0418.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres
YG, Dorrough Music, Fat Pimp, DJ Mustard
House of Blues
April 17, 2014

As ominous as the House of Blues stage looked on Thursday night, Compton, Calif., rapper YG looked right at home. His face didn't muster up much in the way of a toothy grin, reflecting a psyche hardened by years of gang-banging, but he effortlessly bounced and vibed off a strong crowd of faithful supporters, about half of whom were decked out in red as if they were getting their Rockets playoff decorum in early.

This was not my first YG experience. Since mid-March, the rapper has been in full-blown promotion mode for his new My Krazy Life album, performing at an abnormally high number of showcases and other events. Then, he didn't seem like a fully actualized performer, but Thursday he pulled out all his tricks.


More »

Slick Rick at Warehouse Live, 4/11/2014

Slick_Rick_Marco_7.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres
Slick Rick
Warehouse Live
April 11, 2014

Legends don't need a fancy stage, dazzling lighting or flamboyant dance routines. And they definitely do not need a 20-piece entourage to stand with them onstage doing absolutely nothing. All a legend needs is a little bit of your time and a platform on which to showcase his or her talent.

A legend of that caliber coolly strolled into Warehouse Live on Friday night, bringing with him 30 years of experience in the hip-hop game, with a handful of the most iconic rhymes and rhythms ever to be pressed on wax in his back pocket.

Slick Rick. Ricky Dee. The Ruler. The man with the eye patch who carries his own weight in gold around his neck. He's a shining example of what a storyteller is supposed to be: descriptive, enticing, understandable and relatable. No wonder so many rappers point to this man as an inspiration -- he simply has "it."


More »

Helstar & Venomous Maximus at Fitzgerald's, 4/12/2014

HS0414-2.JPG
Photos by Groovehouse
Helstar
Helstar, Venomous Maximus, Sanctus Bellum, Termination Force
Fitzgerald's
April 12, 2014

The list of local bands that can still fill up Fitzgerald's more than 30 years after jamming out on their first power chord is a short one. On Saturday night, the metallic warriors in Helstar proved they can still pull that trick off with a little help from a few Johnny-come-lately friends.

The old club's crowded upstairs room was in fine spirit all evening, with supporting acts Termination Force, Sanctus Bellum and Venomous Maximus drawing plenty of claps and cheers. But the audience's most unconditional love was reserved for Helstar, the Houston metal institution celebrating the release next week of their tenth studio album, This Wicked Nest.


More »

Jeff Bridges & the Abiders at Warehouse Live, 4/12/2014

jeffbridges3-0414.jpg
Photos by Jim Bricker
Jeff Bridges & the Abiders
Warehouse Live
April 12, 2014

Sometime during Jeff Bridges' headlining set at Warehouse Live on Saturday night, things just seemed to click. It took a little bit for the band to warm up to the room, and more specifically the room to warm up to the band, but after that happened this show became a good one.

I'm not sure if it took the crowd getting over the fact that Jeff Bridges was standing in front of them, but when people finally did get over his celebrity and stopped shouting quotes from The Big Lebowski at the stage, things seemed to fall into place and it became a real show.

Not that Bridges and his aptly named band the Abiders were churning out bad tunes, it just seemed to bore the audience at first -- one that seemed quite excited about the performance heading into the start. Could be that most of the crowd paid the hefty ticket price just to get a glimpse of Bridges or yell inaudible movie quotes at him, but after they realized that it wasn't just him acting out his "Dude" persona, the unrest throughout the room was noticeable.


More »

Kings of Leon at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 4/10/2014

kol1.jpg
Photos by Jim Bricker
Kings of Leon, Local Natives
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
April 10, 2014

Welcome back, Kings of Leon. We had missed you since you skipped out on our last show. While you might've been touring pretty relentlessly since your return last year, it was nice to see you back at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, in seemingly good health, and with a re-established vigor.

We weren't sure if you had the ability to give us your all last night, but that was soon disproven in the first minutes of your performance. You showed us that, despite all your brotherly quarrels in the past, you really do like playing with each other the songs you've cleverly crafted in the past decade.

You have good songs, and you certainly know how to rock, but how long is that going to last? When are you going to fall into that same situation that caused a ruckus in Dallas a few years ago and made you cancel your Houston performance the next night? I mean, I guess you are (mostly) brothers, so those arguments are deep-seated in years of alcohol-fueled love and hate, but how long can it last?


More »

Mobb Deep & Nosaprise at Fitzgerald's, 4/9/2014

MobbCover.jpg
Photos by Marco Torres
Mobb Deep, Nosaprise
Fitzgerald's
April 9, 2014

A hip-hop show on a Wednesday night is as good as a rap show on any other night, except maybe better. Everyone who claims to be a hip-hop fan but is really just a whats-new-on-the-radio rap fan stays home to watch Basketball Wives or whatever nonsense is on cable these days. There is no twerking at a real hip-hop show, no shouts of "truuu" or hashtag rhyme structures. Just the real. Hip-Hop.

Wednesday, I arrived at Fitz already disappointed because I knew I'm too late to catch Walter Mallone's set, the new-ish project by my homies the Zamora brothers and an MC named Raymond Auzenne. But here's a quick listen to one of their tracks:


More »

Grouplove at House of Blues, 4/7/2014

grouplove5-0408.jpg
Photos by Jim Bricker
Grouplove, MS MR
House of Blues
April 7, 2014

Damn the iPod. Really. It's truly ruined the way we ingest music. Long gone are the days of sitting down to a full album, taking in all of its little intricacies from front to back, allowing a band to tell their story on two full sides.

We may never have another White Album or Dark Side of the Moon, and can only hope to see another Quadrophenia or Thriller, but the chances of that seem slim. And because of that, bands have now changed their approach to how they release music.

Now we are force-fed a band three and a half minutes at a time, which can't possibly give us a full picture of what they can really do. It's almost a step back to the days of the 45, where people would fall in love with a band based solely on an A-side and (if the band is lucky) a B-side. Today, given music listeners' love of the shuffle, it's rare for anyone to know what a band truly sounds like.


More »

Sleigh Bells at Warehouse Live, 4/6/2014

SleighBells10-0407.jpg
Photos by Jack Gorman
Sleigh Bells
Warehouse Live
April 6, 2014

One might be forgiven for being a little surprised that Sleigh Bells are still selling tickets in 2014. The duo reached maximum buzz years ago, riding the hype all the way to a slate of plum festival gigs and late-night TV appearances. Like so many indie darlings before them, though, Sleigh Bells never quite seemed built to last. Really, how many ways could they twist heavy-metal riffs around electronic hip-hop beats without growing a little stale? Aren't we on to the next thing, yet?

Well, they might not be the hottest thing out of Brooklyn anymore, but Sleigh Bells has grown an audience the right way over the past few years: on the strength of their live show. The crowd that showed up at Warehouse Live Sunday night arrived didn't come to hear the hottest new buzz band; they came to see Sleigh Bells. And they fully expected the band to deliver.

Deliver they did. After three albums, the Sleigh Bells formula remains relatively simple, but massively effective. After an ear-splitting drumline intro, it was all strobe lights and cymbal crashes from there, with a huge cheer erupting at first sight of leather-clad front woman Alexis Krauss.

More »

Chromeo at House of Blues, 4/6/2014

chromeo2-0407.jpg
Photos by Jim Bricker
Chromeo
House of Blues
April 6, 2014

For someone to dance means he or she feels something deep down in his or her bones that moves not only the muscles but the spirit. Not everyone was given the gift of rhythm, but everyone has the ability to dance. It might not be with skill, nor with care, but given the right sound or beat everyone will eventually find themselves moving their bodies to music.

Some factors heighten this ability, such as a performance from the Canadian duo Chromeo. If you've ever been enlightened by a performance from the group, you know what I'm talking about. If you happened to be at House of Blues Sunday night, then you most certainly know what I'm talking about.

Chromeo is the catalyst. They'll make even the most stubborn folk get past that traditional head-bob and do that fancy footwork.


More »

White Denim & Cass McCombs at Fitzgerald's, 4/5/2014

whitedenim2-0407.jpg
Photos by Jim Bricker
White Denim
White Denim, Cass McCombs
Fitzgerald's
April 5, 2014

Expectations are a tricky thing that can easily make or break any situation. In many years of showgoing I've learned that high expectations can easily spoil your day, but it's hard to have absolutely zero; especially if it's not your first time seeing a band.

So it's better to lower any expectations, and when White Denim came to Fitz Saturday night I did my best to try and forget about my previous experience with them. But this show was different. Walking up the stairs, you could feel a much different energy coursing through the room.

People were definitely in the building to have a good time. And while that might have hurt some of the show's quieter moments, when it picked up so did the moods of everyone inside.


More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...