Concerts Reviews


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69 Eyes: 26 March 2006

 Posted by Michelle Russo  United States  Edit (2774)
Jun 01 2006
Live Act(s): 69 Eyes
Event Date: 26 March 2006
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: House of Blues
Rated: *****
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On March 12th, 2006 6 6 xx at the House of Blues in Chicago, I saw the 69 Eyes for the first time, one time is all I needed cause I am hooked now! I had just got done doing a full scale interiew with the singer Jyrki 69 who blew me away talking about his inspirations, American Pop Culture and 50's horror movies. Jyrki 69 came out with the rest of his band looking like a Gothic Johnny Thunders. All that was missing on stage was the hog to go with his attire. Sporting all skeletal Leather, Jyrki and his counterparts all looked like they were dressed for hell and hell wasn't for children but was for fashion. Jyrki 69 did all his hits from his newer album "Devils" and caught the attention of everyone with his devil hand gestures, perfect eyeliner and stage presence. Singing, "Who told you about cause and effect" and " My little Gothic Girl", every girl was crooning over him and I can guarantee, all pants and panties weren't dry, yes even the menwere taken aback. Jyrki 69 proclaims that Helsini Vampyres they are,and they all proven that with their power and expertise on rockin the house! What was most memorable for me, Jyrki 69 came out after the third song and dedicated "Christina Death" to me! I was so floored by this, I realized that I would be an indebted fiend to them. This song was dedicated for the love of the band Christian Death and about a girl (me) who loves the band so much that an ode should go to her. I realized from that point on that on top of doing a interview with him that I made a lasting impression and that he really reaches out to his fans. The rest of the night, Jyrki did songs from his older albums Framed in Blood", "Paris Kills," "Blessed Be" and" Wasting the Dawn", and the crowd chanted the words right back to him. He even did an ode to Brandon Lee called "Brandon Lee", singing, "what would it be behind the eyes of Brandon Lee" and his classic "The Lost Boys", singing "You wanna Rock, everyone's knows your lost". It was like a true vampyre family! Sentiment was all over the place and true fans were made that night! Helsinki Finland they come from and they are making their mark wherever they go! Check out the http://www.69eyes.com and get bitten.

HIM: 17 May 2006

 Posted by Michelle Russo  United States  Edit (2765)
May 25 2006
Live Act(s): HIM
Event Date: 17 May 2006
Type of Event: Theatre Event
Venue: Congress Theatre
Rated: *****
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I saw HIM for the first time at Congress Theatre, this would be truly one of the most memorable times for me. You see I was one of the lucky photographers in Chicago for the HIM concert in Chicago. We open with lights grower dim and candle bras lowered to the ceiling and illuminating the whole stage A bobble head of Edgar Allan Poe rested on the stage and a white bunny had a cigarette in its mouth. Ville Valo comes out looking better than ever in a matching brocade black suit, with a red tie, the same style of brocade pattern of mine!
He smokes a cigarette and looks out into the vast crowded sea of people. Many people were decked out with all kinds of HIM fan faire. Ville opened the show with a slow melodic tune, lights arose. and lots of energy and power shined through from his apocalyptic Finnish counterparts, they sounded tighter than ever. The second song was the most memorable for me, "Vampire Heart", when that song came on, I handed a bloody pink razorblade romance inspired death bouquet of pink roses to Ville and he bowed and said. "Thank you" in front of everyone, it was truly the most memorable for me. He truly is a gentleman. I was right there in the photo pit snapping shots from many angles and having a blast. All night Ville did all his great hits such as "Rip out the Wings from a Butterfly" and "Join me in Death" and kept the audience alive. Later the house came down to Ville doing an ode to Black Sabbath and telling the audience to repeat the words Black Sabbath as lighters were held high and cell phone camera light illuminated the whole venue. Ville said Black Sabbath started it all for him and that we have to pay homage to them and asked the audience to wave there hands in sync with him repeating with the audience Black Sabbath, it was truly spiritual to say the least. No one went home without any sentiment running through their head. HIM delivered body and soul and something else!!! Truly a band not to miss... I am hooked now!
Enjoy my photos and come see what others are talking about...
Live Act(s): Larsen / Baby Dee (Current 93) / Dream Into Dust (@)
Event Date: 12 March 2006
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: Tonic (@)
Rated: *****
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An evening at NYC's Tonic is always a good evening, this evening was no different. To open for the Larsen (cmp interview on these pages), the Italian four-piece invited Dream Into Dust (dreamintodust.com) and Current 93 harp (and piano) player and performer Baby Dee (babydee.org).Dream Into Dust (limited to two members) opened the show at 8.30pm with a good set made of half a dozen of their distinctive noisy and somber introspective acoustic ballads. Albeit a few technical issues, Derek busted out an adapted set list including a lot of good material that really showcases his talent as a songwriter and, if his lyrics are not deep and melancholic enough for you, his fellow stage partner on guitar will take you dark places with his beat up and ultra-processed distorted guitar and his essential volume pedal: amongst the feedbacks and the rattling noises generated by the two or three super loose strings on his instrument, the small audience enjoyed watching him play the guitar with a sword and a nine volt battery.Baby Dee (from Current 93) took the stage like a storm over a tropical town. This exuberant and eccentric NYC transvestite artist with freakish crazy hair style who looks like Robert Smith meets Bruno Kramm meets John Lithgow (even sounds like him at times!) and rode in on a super tall three-wheel bike. S/he raptured and graced the audience with (huge full concert-size) harp playing and inspired singing that was reminiscent of a mix of operatic, middle-age/folk and cabaret-like music with a pretty defined outreach towards darker moods at times, but with distinctively comical approach at other times. The harp probably made people think of celtic influences such as Enya or medieval bands like Camerata Mediolanense, The Soil Bleeds Black, Death in June etc but Baby Dee has a great solar and fun attitude that goes beyond the mere research for recreation of historical ambiances or researching of the darkest corners of the human mind and soul. S/he also played the piano and had hilarious sing-along lyrics and a bee-dress among other things and later shared the stage with Larsen for two songs (Baby Dee spends large parts of the year in Italy and will be opening most of their show as well as record with Larsen in the future).Finally, Larsen took the stage by the horns and offerend their very own brand of introspective noise-elevated electro-acoustic dark-electronics. The four piece is comprised of two guitar players (if Dream Into Dust's sword didn't do it for the audience, Larsen's Fabrizio broke out a silver vibrator to stimulate his guitar to new sonic heights made of chanting buddhist-sounding meditation-like sounds and sheer distorted pick-up exciting walls of sound) one of whom also plays electric violin and occasionally hums into the mic with a deep droning voice; a drummer who also plays xylophone (even with a string instrument bow) and some other un-identified vintage air-operated accordion-looking instrument; and a fourth member who manages the electronics (keyboard, laptop loaded with Reason and what not, infrared-modulating controllers, Theremin, drum machine, accordion and triangle).The concert was powerful and intense and, as Fabrizio himself best describes it in his interview on Chain D.L.K. back in October, focused on "making the tension grow and not letting it explode"!I had personally never seen Larsen perform live (although they have toured the US in 2003) but I am glad I did this time and I should do my homework and catch up on their increasing discography. So should you!Recommended gig!
Live Act(s): Warper Party feat. Gregory Shiff, The Overclock Orchestra, Exaltron, DEI, Kamoni, Three Monkeys, icey Mike, Shakey, Moldover
Event Date: 21 March 2006
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: Botanica Bar
Promoter/Organizer: Warper Party
Rated: *****
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Just like Jojo Mayer's weekly Nerve/Prohibited Beatz live drum'n'bass shows were a staple in the underground electronic music scene of NYC about five years ago, the monthly Warper Party is quickly attempting to become the same point of reference for NYC's live electronic music today (and it's about time somebody thought of that again!)... Exploring the fine line between performer and Dj, the Warper Party at Botanica Bar (small, two room venue on Houston Street, in the ever popular Lower East Side) offers a roster of valid and exciting new artists (most of them part of the growing family of Abelton Live users). Most of these performers have the passion for live-remashing in common (cmp review of Moldover's latest CD on these pages, for a defition of that) but some do their own thing and give it their own spin, as it should be.I attended Warper Party for the first time back in February, when the highlights of the night were definitely the Nerve/Prohibited Beatz-fame keyboard-bass duet Takuya Nakamura & John Davis, SNL drummer Shawn Pelton's electronic-percussive project Black Canary, the king of live-remashing himself Moldover and Brian Cass' Overclock Orchestra. At this month's Warper Party unexpectingly took place in conjunction with some fine-art lovers meeting, most of whose dressed-up, artsy-fartsy and stylish attendees, when asked to sign up for the mailing list, made a snotty face like they didn't know why they were there and why there was all that noisy ugly music in the background: although I'll admit that the few that got it and were all for the interaction of visual art and electronic music made it worth the task! The back room's dances were opened by the Overclock Orchestra (briancass.net). Keep an eye open for this dude: he re-mashes tv shows themes with his guitar playing and does so by using his self-built Rock'n'Roll Machines (rocknrollmachines.com): a six string assisted computer (basically a guitar with a bunch of midi controllers and triggers) and another box made of switches and knowbs that allows him to trigger and control samples of his own guitar playing, just seconds after it has taken place. Exaltron (exaltron.com) stood out for his complex set up made of Abelton Live, a trumpet, a guitar and a bunch of pedals. Kamoni (mekmusic.com), who also played last month, takes it back to the beat with an octopad that triggers sounds in Native Instruments' Battery and pretty much doesn't rely on sequencing: pure un-adulturated live-performed electro beats. The two untiring show organizers Moldover (moldover.com) and Dj Shakey (djshakey.com), closed the night by offering their own spice of head-turning live re-mashing and record spinning, respectively. Other acts of the night included Flavio's Sucre, DEI, Gregory Shiff, Three Monkeys and Icey Mike.I had a great time. The energy and synergy between all the artists and the fact that they all know each other and, for the most part, have in common the use of a software, is really great and potentially it could represent the start of great things. I sincerely hope that Warper Party will become the new Prohibited Beatz and that it will turn into a great monthly event with better sound systems, larger crowds and even greater networking!
Live Act(s): Painkiller vs. Method of Defiance (featuring John Zorn, Mike Patton, Bill Laswell)
Event Date: 1 January 2006
Type of Event: Small Club Concert
Venue: Tonic
Rated: *****
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After the amazing new year's eve concert at Tonic, Zorn and Patton return to the same stage less than 24 hours later for a huge jam session with the historic and immense figure of Bill Laswell on bass, DJ Submerged on turntables, Guy Licata on drums and four additional unexpected guests including Cyro Baptista on percussions, Tatsuya Nakamura on drums (yes, two drummers that night as well!), Otomo Yoshihide on guitar and a second DJ/laptop musician whose name I don't know. The beats were pumping and the bass lines were deep and intense. Massive amounts of sub-harmonic material topped by high pitched saxophone improvisation and the screeching screams of Mike Patton's digitally-altered lungs, turntables and electronics, electric guitar noises and two incredible and amazing drummers (Nakamura's style seemed to lean towards the more free-form percussive style, while Licata's super fast unique drum'n'bass/breakbeat style is probably only second to Jojo Mayer's). Bill Laswell's playing and production has been featured on houndred's of records, so has Zorn's sax playing and writing/directing, and to see the two of them jam together plus Mike Patton of ex-Faith No More fame, has saturated Tonic's capacity to a level I've never before seen. People were left standing outside because the fair-priced show was sold out and unless you were in the first two rows or at least 6 feet tall (lucky me ;-)) you had no chance of seeing anything at all, since Tonic's stage is so low and there were people backed up all the way back to the entrance. Awesome show!
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