Highlights: Audrey Mika @ Mercury Lounge (16 Photos)

  • This is a portrait of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a portrait of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.
  • This is a photo of Youtuber and musician Audrey Mika on March 3rd in New York City at Mercury Lounge.

Photos by Jim Michaels (@jmichaels.jpeg) © 2020 Early Bird Music


On Friday night, Mercury Lounge’s walls were packed with teens ready to see rising star Audrey Mika perform her first-ever NYC show. Sold-out for weeks in advance, the YouTuber-turned-recording artist has been building her fanbase over the past few years covering popular hits from today’s biggest artists.

In October, she inked a recording deal with RCA Records, and her sound has fittingly evolved, demonstrating more emotional and lyrical depth than ever. Songs like “Fake Heartbreak” and “4712,” which she wrote on long drives from her native San Francisco down to recording studios in Los Angeles over the course of 2019 demonstrate her keen ability to describe how she’s feeling as her whole life has been changed in front of her eyes.

Now in the midst of her first headline tour, she’s finally getting to prove herself on the road and in front of her earliest fans across North America. Her New York stop at Mercury Lounge was an impressive debut in one of music’s most critical markets – she delivered far above everything you could expect from someone who is still so relatively new to the scene and only has a handful of live performances to her name.

Audrey’s energy was all the way up from the start as her New York fans chanted her name proudly, anxious for her to kick off the night. From the outset, Mika was comfortable on stage, taking the microphone with her as she engaged with fans and paraded around the stage with confidence. With such an important show, it would be understandable if nerves ever threw her voice off, but it rarely happened as she sang each note like a seasoned pro. She engages fans easily while singing

Along with performing her latest new music and a taste of her next single, Audrey surprised one lucky concert-goer in the crowd by singling her out, bringing her up on stage and announcing her as one of Audrey’s earliest fans that she could remember. That’s the type of move that endears true fans, and makes everyone realize that Audrey Mika is a true artist with a long career ahead as long as she keeps up this signature enthusiasm and fan interest along the way.

Audrey Mika is from the new breed of internet-native artists who come into the music industry with a developed brand identity along with hoards of fans who are already sold on the product, and because of that she’s in a far more advantageous place early on than most new acts who step onto the scene, trying to crack into the spotlight.

Highlights: Chelsea Cutler with Alexander 23 @ Terminal 5 (Photos)

  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.
  • Chelsea Cutler at Terminal 5 on her How to Be Human tour 2020.

Photos by Jim Michaels (@jmichaels.jpeg) © 2020 Early Bird Music


On Tuesday night, the internet’s most beloved Tomboy, Chelsea Cutler sold out her second night at the 3,000 cap Terminal 5 in NYC in support of her debut album “How to Be Human,” which came out in January.

Along with killer visual production, Chelsea brings a ton of energy to the stage when she performs, helping liven up her somber and mellow tunes in a way that makes them easy to sing along and enjoy.

It’s not an easy task to do, but Cutler’s rabid fanbase has bought in to Chelsea’s brand of honest and open songwriting, and are some of the most involved fans I’ve seen at live shows, dating back to when I first saw her live in 2018 opening for Quinn XCII. Even back then, if you didn’t know it, you would’ve thought the crowd packing Irving Plaza was there just for Chelsea. Of course, that’s amplified by about 10X now that she’s able to pack Terminal 5 to the gills and has the entire stage production geared toward her own music.

Extra Notes: You could tell Chelsea’s stage setup found inspiration from her good friend Lauv’s setup when he played at Terminal 5 back in October. Check out those photos here.

Fans of Cutler have crossed polinated as fans of Jeremy Zucker, Cutler’s close friend, label-mate and Brent EP co-collaborator. Zucker, also a New Jersey native like Cutler, has made appearances at her last few NYC shows and once again came out on Tuesday night to sing “you were good to me” alongside her. Chelsea was also quick to point out it was Zucker’s birthday, and got the entire 3,000 fan crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” back to him.

Alexander 23 played his heart out on stage in support of Cutler as the opener, and was a thrill in his own right. His relatable lyricism about love and heartbreak, combined with his jovial, at-ease attitude helped loosen the crowd up before Chelsea, and undoubtedly earned him a host of new fans at the same time.

Review: Trippie Redd Rocks Terminal 5 (17 Photos)

  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.
  • Trippie Redd performs at Terminal 5 in New York City on February 23, 2020. Shot by Jim Michaels for Early Bird Music.

Photos by Jim Michaels (@jmichaels.jpeg) © 2020 Early Bird Music

 

It’s pretty common knowledge that a show on a Sunday night is the least desirable slot of the week, and a hard sell. Such was not the case this past Sunday when Trippie Redd came to New York on his 2020 Love Me More Tour in support of his 2019 album A Love Letter To You 4.

Sold out weeks in advance, resale tickets were going for $112 up until show time on third party selling sites, and Terminal 5 was a reflection of that the second you arrived. Typically, a crowd files in right around time for the headliner, but Trippie Redd’s atypical crowd showed up two hours early for the full ticket that included Kodie Shane and Blocboy JB as openers.

Fans waited later than usual for Trippie to finally grace the stage at 9:45PM, but what they got was an immediate dose of Trippie’s signature energy. Even with a simple, acoustically driven song like “Leray,” his opening song, when you add Trippie’s sing-yelling style with the stimulating production setup and flashing strobe lighting, every song feels like it’s electric and stadium-ready.

The entire set was full of two things: energy and smoke. Throughout the show, a blazing Trippie Redd screamed and sang his way all over the stage as compressed air cannons erupted toward the crowd at the drops and choruses of each song. As far as performing, Trippie Redd can do it all, displaying the diverse talent that his fans have come to expect from him through his continued rise over the last three years.

Even if you’re unfamiliar with his individual songs, the Ohio native’s live performance is an experience worth seeing and feeling for yourself, as he lights up a stage and crowd with passion and energy that’s hard to find in someone who hasn’t even turned 21 years-old yet.

The sound and energy that Trippie Redd brings to the show is a paradox, combining the emotion and avant-garde attitudes of punk rock over street rap in one moment, only to turn around and deliver a soulful melody only moments later. Through the harder, rap-focused songs like “1400/999 Freestyle,” “Death,” “Grinch” and “Dark Knight Dummo,” fans screamed atop each others’ shoulders and moshed in the packed crowd, throwing everything from shirts and drinks to Air Force Ones. During his more melodic songs, fans sang each note and waved their arms left and right to the beat.

The near 20-song set also included performances by special guests including New York native Lil Tecca, who performed “How I Was Raised” alongside Trippie before rapping his breakout hit, “Ransom,” and special guest Lil Yachty, who rapped along to his collab “M’s.”

One of the most intriguing points of the night came after the midshow break that included a quick spin of “Welcome to the Party” by deceased Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, in his late honor. Trippie came back out and immediately roused the New York crowd by literally screaming at them and asking them to scream right back, after which he covered XXXTentacion’s “Fuck Love,” which they created together in 2017.

Originally breaking through the “Soundcloud Rap” scene, Trippie Redd’s unique and wide-ranging vocal talent, his contagious energy, and his keen grasp of internet meme culture have already netted him over 5 billion audio and video streams in the U.S. alone, nearly 15 million Spotify monthly listeners, and 10 million followers around the world on Instagram.

You can still see Trippie Redd live on tour in US through mid-March – dates below:

Gallery: J.I The Prince of N.Y @ SOB’s (15 Pictures)

© 2020 Early Bird Music / Jim Michaels (Photos 1-11) © 2020 Calvin Schneider (Photos 12-15)

On Monday night, S.O.B.’s announced that Brooklyn-born rapper J.I was the only artist to ever sell out three nights in a row at the venue. The rising rapper’s popularity is at an all-time high after his recent songs “Blame on Me” and “Need Me” have been making waves over the web.

J.I first came into the rap spotlight in 2016 at just 15-years-old, when he was selected as a contestant on the second season of Lifetime’s popular reality TV series ‘The Rap Game.”

 

Check out his latest EP Hood Life Krisis Vol. 2 below, and follow our Early Bird Radio playlist to stay up to date with new music from J.I and many other rising artists.

Highlights: Camp Superdope! with Matoma and Two Friends (24 Photos)

On Friday night, Matoma and Two Friends brought the house down at Terminal 5 with their shared Camp Superdope! 2020 Tour. Two Friends started the night off hot playing bits of their “Big Booty Mix” mixtapes alongside dance-remixes of rock and pop classics alike. Their infamous energy, jumping off the deck, firing confetti cannons and shooting water guns into the crowd warmed everyone up for the headliner, Matoma.

Matoma took the stage and immediately got things going by playing his own hits, intermixed with the most viral and popular tracks of 2019 and 2020 along the way. With a new light show and energy derived from an already excited crowd, Matoma played till nearly midnight at the newly-renovated triple-decker venue, which now includes more room than ever to dance with your friends and catch a good view of the show.

Highlights: Tate McRae @ Baby’s All Right (10 Photos)

  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.
  • Tate McRae performs at Babys All Right in Brooklyn on January 28, 2020.

On Tuesday, singer-songwriter Tate McRae packed Baby’s All Right to the brim with her rabid fanbase as she performed songs from her debut EP, all the things i never said along with songs she’d written and shared over the last three years on her YouTube channel prior to her signing with RCA Records. Her debut EP includes three previously released songs and two new tracks as well, “happy face” and “that way.”

 

The 16-year old Youtubing artist has been singing and writing her whole life, and that natural talent was on display Tuesday as she took the stage full of confidence. Despite being sixteen, McRae sings like a veteran, on pitch with every note and totally unphased by the screaming teens who came from all over the tri-state area to see the show. She led off with her newest fan-favorite, “stupid,” which already has over 23 million streams on Spotify alone.

McRae has been building fans all over the world for the better part of a decade on the back of her YouTube channel, where she continually entertains over two million subscribers with monthly new music and moments from her first-ever live tour. She’s a proper pop star and her rise has been fast – she’s got nearly nine million monthly listeners on Spotify and over a million followers on Instagram – and it’s only going to keep growing as more people become familiar with the relatability of her music.

Not only a singer, McRae is also an excellent dancer, having appeared on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation – however her released music to date has been much more bedroom-pop leaning, not as conducive to choreographed dancing. As she continues to write and her status as a real pop star continues to materialize, it should be interesting to see how McRae’s music evolves as well.

Highlights: SiR @ Brooklyn Steel (Photos)

 

SiR was chasing Summer in the Winter at Brooklyn Steel on Tuesday night, keeping the crowd engaged with his distinct style of alternative R&B. His energy was palpable and translated well to the crowd, who created an environment of peace and relaxation as they enjoyed his latest songs off of his third studio album Chasing Summer.

The 33 year-old crooner’s bright personality was on full display all night as he engaged his crowd, keeping everyone smiling and singing along with him. During the set, he even brought up one lucky fan to help sing “Ooh Nah Nah” as a duet with him, fulfilling her wildest dreams, and took the opportunity to borrow a few hits of a fan’s blunt directly from the crowd.

He also surprised fans with a few guests throughout the night, first beginning with his brother, rapper D Smoke, who recently was crowned winner of Netflix’s first annual hip-hop talent competition, Rhythm and Flow. If that wasn’t enough, fans exploded to see fellow TDE labelmate and 9-time Grammy nominated singer SZA come out, who danced along on stage during a few late songs before SiR eventually ended the night with crowd favorite jam “D’Evils.”

Check out highlights from the show in the slideshow below:

Highlights: Hozier @ Hammerstein Ballroom (20 Photos)

 

Focusing mainly on songs from his sophomore album, Hozier effortlessly belted his latest songs for the sold-out crowd at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Saturday night, including huge songs like “Nina Cried Power,” “Movement,” and “Almost (Sweet Music)” – not coincidentally the first three songs on his latest hit record.

It’s truly impressive to watch Hozier sing on stage, as it seems like he’s barely even trying, yet sounds as good if not better than his records. Hozier doesn’t just sing his songs – he gets creative with their arrangements as well. Unafraid of riffing and playing with the tempo of his songs in a live setting, Hozier’s live style adds both a degree of tension and invokes a sense of awe from the crowd, as he playfully dances away from tempos and perfectly syncopated lines that fans know in his recordings, adding some extra spice to the live show.

During the middle of the set, for instance, playing the popular “From Eden” off of his debut album, Hozier slowed the tempo down to nearly half time so that fans would feel the emotionality of the song, in what was likely the original tempo he wrote it in. While sometimes difficult for fans to keep singing at the slower tempo, it showcased the integrity in his voice and his clever lyricism on which he’s built his acclaim.

Not alone on stage, the show was full of energy propelled by Hozier’s incredible live band, which consisted of at least seven members that I could count, including: himself, drums, percussion, keys, piano, bass, and rhythm/strings. Each member was a talented musician in their own right, displaying their own personalities throughout each song, which made it even more enjoyable to watch Hozier as a band, and not just a solo artist.

On top of Hozier’s singularly recognizable voice and the prowess of his band, clever lyric videos added visual appeal and encouraged the crowd to sing along during songs like “Almost (Sweet Music),” while videos from real protests and social justice moments flashed throughout “Nina Cried Power,” and a recurring wall + window visual set a scene mimicking the bedroom in his Wasteland, Baby! album announcement video.

All of these visual elements combined with the live energy built a story alongside Hozier’s words and created an immersive, and truly connected experience for fans that furthered the depth at which they could experience Hozier’s music all night long.

 

NEW YORK / NOV 23 SETLIST:
Hozier's Wasteland, Baby! setlist from November 23, 2019 at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom.
Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby! setlist // 11-23-2019

Hozier’s Wasteland, Baby! U.S. tour wraps up on Tuesday night with a fifth and final show at Hammerstein Ballroom – resale tickets are still available in limited quantities.

Highlights: Winnetka Bowling League @ Webster Hall (14 Photos)

Matthew Koma – yes, the same Matthew Koma that collabed with Zedd for some of the 2010’s most iconic EDM hits – is now the lead singer of a band. That band is LA-based outfit Winnetka Bowling League, and includes his brother Kris Mazzarisi, singer/instrumentalist Maddie Jay, and keys player Sam Beresford.

The quarter combine to create indie-leaning rock that’s reminiscent of some of the more iconic bands of the past decade. Songs “Kombucha” and “Diane” channel the energy and lyrical versatility of garage-band era Cage the Elephant, and tunes like “On The 5” and “Slow Dances” evoke Contra-esque Vampire Weekend vibes. Not bad company at all.

Check out their latest EP Cloudy With A Chance Of Sun and photo highlights in the gallery below.

Gallery: Elderbrook @ Bowery Ballroom (10 Photos)

On Saturday night, multi-instrumentalisgt and producer Elderbrook brought his one-man show to Bowery Ballroom. Playing on a rig that included a keyboard and electronic drum kit, he rocked the crowd with songs like his grammy-nominated dance collab “Cola” and more recent songs like “Something About You” and “Capricorn.”

Check out photo highlights from Hillary Safadi (@hillasafadi):

Highlights: Conan Gray @ Terminal 5 (17 Photos)

On Tuesday night, fans braved sub-30 degree weather to trek out to Terminal 5 for Conan Gray’s energy-packed show. Gray, a Texas-native, didn’t seem to let the cold change his 110%-all-the-time demeanor, as he flew around the stage in a series of spins, leaps and animated poses.

One thing you notice at any Conan Gray performance is his attachment to the music – the words of these songs are his own. Whether telling stories before each song about close friendships, broken relationships, lust and love, you know that he’s the one who has lived each of these things.

Along with his storytelling both before and through his songs, and his high energy during the set, Gray doesn’t forget to engage his fans, either. He constantly runs up to the edge of the stage, and even sometimes jumping down up against the fan gate to hold his microphone out, urging fans to sing along.

The entire show felt like you were experiencing it alongside Conan and his band, rather than just watching him sing alone up on stage. Without his fans, you can feel that Conan wouldn’t be having fun – so he makes sure they’re in it with him from start to end.

Between all of Conan’s most popular jams, he also threw in a few surprises, including one of Conan’s oldest songs, “I Know A Place,” followed by a brand new yet-to-be-released song “The Story,” (off of his upcoming debut album) and also led into his latest single “Maniac” with a rendition of the Jonas Brothers’ early hit “Burnin’ Up.”

Setlist:
Conan Gray New York City Setlist 11/12/2019 NYC