Manchester Orchestra at House of Blues, 4/21/2014

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Photos by Jim Bricker
Manchester Orchestra
House of Blues
April 21, 2014

Sometimes a band just floors you. They leave you crawling away from the venue without the ability to walk, think, talk or use your major motor functions for a period of time. While such an aural assault doesn't happen that often, when it does you know the band did its job.

That happened last night, when a rather large Monday evening crowd gathered at House of Blues to witness seemingly everyone there's favorite band, Manchester Orchestra. Their set was as much raucous and loud as it was soft and endearing, but throughout the night there was never a dull moment.


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Juicy J at Warehouse Live, 4/19/2014

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Photos by Marco Torres
Juicy J
Warehouse Live
April 19, 2014

There is nothing subtle about Juicy J. He doesn't just party, he turns the fuck up. He doesn't just drink, he gets wasted. He doesn't just do drugs, he gets trippy, mayne! About the only thing he doesn't do is say no to ratchet pussy. But above all, this dude entertains at a level that is surpassed by very few, which is his most redemptive quality.

He felt the need to school (and hopefully remind) his fans in the audience of his roots with Three 6 Mafia; considering the crowd's average age, we can see why he felt this was necessary. "I'm not a new artist, Goddammit! I've been doin' this for over 20 years!", he preached. "Now who wanna turn up with me onstage?!"

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Curren$y at Warehouse Live, 4/20/2014

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Photos by Marco Torres
Curren$y, Young Roddy, Corner Boy P
Warehouse Live
April 20, 2014

There were no egg hunts going on at Sunday night's Curren$y show. Instead, fans were all about the Easter grass. Celebrating a double-stack of holy days (Easter and 4/20, stoners' very own Hallmark holiday), the young hip-hoppers who packed out Warehouse Live arrived with bales of the good stuff (and the bad stuff, and the in-between stuff) pre-rolled and ready to go, primed to enjoy some of New Orleans' kindest weed rap and not remember much of it.

Unsurprisingly, it was a late show. A huge line of people was still snaking its way through security at 10:15 p.m. as 5-Star worked hard to keep as much contraband as they could out of the club. If they confiscated anything, it was less than a drop in the bucket, of course. As Warehouse Live filled up to capacity, the room grew smoggier and smoggier until there was simply no escaping the smoke. Even the bathrooms were cloudy.

By the time the first rapper from Curren$y's Jet Life crew hit the stage, the crowd was a bit past loose. Corner Boy P soldiered impressively through an opening set that was received mostly by glassy-eyed stares and bored chatter as concertgoers either burned through blunt after blunt or lived vicariously through those who did. The Corner Boy never slowed down, keeping his chin up and his smile big as he rapped to the billowing fog.


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Devin the Dude at Warehouse Live, 4/18/2014

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Photos by Marco Torres
Devin Dude, Potluck
Warehouse Live
April 18, 2014

Plenty of artists can be classified as "weed rappers": Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg, Red & Meth, B-Real, and Curren$y, just to name a few. But the OG of the weed-rap game is a gentleman nick-named "The Dude." Devin Copeland has been high on the rap life since the early '90s, speaking the truth about life, love, smoking and women ever since.

He is also commonly referred to as, and has certainly earned, the moniker "Your Favorite Rapper's Favorite Rapper." In other words, the man is a damn legend.


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YG at House of Blues, 4/17/2014

Categories: Aftermath

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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.


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Slick Rick at Warehouse Live, 4/11/2014

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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."


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

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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.


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

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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.


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

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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?


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

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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:


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