Highlights: lovelytheband, Flora Cash & Jagwar Twin @ Irving Plaza

“It feels like a Friday even though it’s only Monday… You guys really packed this place!” said lovelytheband lead singer Mitchy Collins on May 6th at Irving Plaza. The Los-Angeles-based trio have been touring for the last two years nearly non-stop, across the US and Europe over that span, and begun their latest US leg in March.

For lead Mitchy Collins, a New Jersey native, the show signified a monumental moment. “I love you all so fucking much…I am so excited. I’m gonna cry. I remember freaking out standing in line when I was 15 to see Fall Out Boy and Midtown at this venue. I’ve seen a million shows here since, but this is the first time I’m getting to play one, and you guys sold it out. I love you New York! Tonight is going to be a MOVIE!”

This time around, the band came to NYC sporting music from their latest album, finding it hard to smile, to play for their fans. With songs like “these are my friends,” “maybe, i’m afraid,”, their hit single “broken,” and even a new single with Dillon Francis, “Change Your Mind,” the band played a completely fresh set in front of a sold-out crowd. They even snuck in their own cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” for good measure.

Prior to lovely‘s set, indie-alternative duo Flora Cash opened, along with new pop-rock outfit Jagwar Twin, headed by former solo pop singer Roy English.

Flora Cash, made up of married couple Cole Randall and Shpresa Lleshaj, played an intimate set that showcased their chemistry on stage, as they got up-close-and-personal with each other, not shy to make contact as they sang their unique brand of music in a set that included their most well-known single, “You’re Somebody Else.”

To open the night, Jagwar Twin surprised early fans with an energetic set that felt more like a headlining set than a half-hour-long opening one. Pop veteran Roy English leads the four-piece band, and his experience showed as he flailed all over the stage belting songs off of the project’s debut EP, Subject To Flooding. From their look, to the energy and the band’s natural chemistry, Jagwar Twin’s eye-opening half hour is one that’s worth showing up early and grabbing a beer to see live.

Check out photos from all three sets below:

lovelytheband:

Flora Cash:

Jagwar Twin:

You can catch lovelytheband on tour in your area this spring:
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Highlights: Bea Miller @ Bowery Ballroom

New Jersey native Bea Miller has been in the spotlight since 2012, after gaining celebrity-status as the unbelievable 13 year-old who placed 9th in the second ever season of Fox’s X-Factor. Fast-forward six years and two full-length albums later, Miller is finally headlining her first tour across North America, and she’s taking it by storm.

Making her sixth tour stop at Bowery Ballroom in NYC, Miller was greeted by fans, family and familiar faces alike, given that she was only a short train ride away from her hometown of Maplewood, NJ. It was immediately evident from second that Queen Bea got on stage that she was born to perform. Dancing and hair-flipping her way around the entire stage, wireless mic in hand, Miller had no hesitations throughout the entire night as she sang songs from her two albums aurora (2018) and Not An Apology (2015).

Miller also took plenty of time to talk with the crowd – to her point, sometimes even trying to get fans back on track so that she could actually perform – but fans would have stayed there until midnight, as long as Bea was around. At just 20 years old, Bea spoke about relatable topics like boys, independence, self-confidence and self-love, all of which her fans were totally connected to.

She even brought tears to her fans and her own eyes, as she slowed the set down for two songs and got close with the crowd. Miller has a tangible emotional connection to each of her songs, happy or sad, and wears them on her sleeve, making for a concert that felt more like it was in front of a group of close high-school friends, rather than a room full of strangers.

Miller wrapped up her set with a small surprise, bringing out producer Mike Sabath to play drums on her latest single “it’s not u it’s me.” She noted, “I feel like this song really perfectly and appropriately started the new era, and there’s only one person on this planet who could make this song as amazing as it is – his name is Mike Sabath and he produced this record.” Mike is also the brains behind the song’s viral break “I wanna lay under the stars and hear the ocean while I’m tal-kin-bull-shit.”

Following the finale, she returned to stage for her final inevitable encore song, her hit collaboration with NOTD, “I Wanna Know.” Spinning her way around stage, Miller encouraged fans to go “completely apeshit” with her, and they happily danced and screamed along.

Check out the video for “it’s not u it’s me” and a full gallery of photo highlights:

Catch Bea on Tour:

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Highlights: Missio @ Bowery Ballroom

Austin, Texas-based alternative rock outfit MISSIO made their way to NYC’s Bowery Ballroom this Tuesday to show off their high-powered hybrid rock/trap style. Their infectious energy translated to the crowd, who gave back everything that lead singer Matthew Brue and do-everything instrumentalist David Butler were shelling out, as the duo jumped and head-banged around the stage.

Accompanied by a clown-masked drummer, MISSIO played a mix of songs off of their two full-length albums, 2017’s Loner, and April’sThe Darker The Weather // The Better The Man, which came out just three weeks ago. Standout songs were the chilling “Bottom Of The Deep Blue Sea,” “I See You,” “Twisted,” and “Shimmy” – the latter of which they brought out fellow Austin-based rap duo Blackillac, their opener, to perform with.

With their unique blend of electronic elements in production, and alternative rock as the basis for their melodies, MISSIO made for a very energetic night filled with booming bass drops and fully-charged vocals that got their dedicated fan base moving and swaying with them throughout the set.

Check out highlights from the show below:

Highlights: Jack & Jack @ Irving Plaza

Jack Gilinsky and Jack Johnson, better known as pop duo Jack & Jack, are one of the hottest rising groups in pop. Combining sunny production with relatable lyrics that tell stories of young love, they’ve amassed a die-hard following around the world. “The Jacks,” as many fans refer to them, are so popular in New York that they booked two nights at Irving Plaza, and crowds packed in both nights to play fans a mixed set with new songs from their 2019 debut album, “A Good Friend Is Nice,” and classics from their 2017 EP “GONE.” 

The boys came out on stage and immediately showed off their lifelong chemistry as best friends, dating back to their days growing up in Nebraska together. The crowd of late teens and early 20-somes erupted all night with screams for the boys as they kept the energy up and danced around stage, serenading fans with top songs from their new album like “No One Compares to You,” “Lotta Love” and “Barcelona,” along with long time fan favorites including “Hurt People” and an acoustic arrangement of “Beg.”

They even took a break from their own music and surprised fans with a great cover of Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over,” of which Jack G was able to hit even the highest notes in his falsetto (to massive cheers from the crowd.) 

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The night climaxed with the song that made them a pop mainstay, their 2018 summer smash hit “Rise,” a collaboration with British producer Jonas Blue which hit the Billboard Top 40 and has amassed close to a billion streams + views worldwide. The crowd went understandably crazy, singing along with the song’s infectious pre-chorus “They think we’re just drop-outs / Living at our mom’s house / Parents must be so proud / They know it all /No, they don’t speak our language / They say we’re too savage, yeah / No, no, we don’t give a… anymore.”

The night was filled with smiles and dancing, and Jack & Jack delivered at every moment along the way. Keep an eye out for these two as they continue to rise among the pop ranks – if you’re not already familiar, get familiar with their music below, along with photo highlights:

Catch Jack & Jack on tour:

Highlights: Jax Jones Live @ Elsewhere


 

Despite tallying 900 Million streams on Spotify around the globe and headlining major festivals, Jax Jones has remained relatively under-the-radar in the U.S. Even if you might not recognize the name, there’s no doubt you’ve heard his music all over the radio in and your favorite DJ’s house set. The hitmaking producer/DJ’s uptempo, pop-leaning house style is universally accessible and never becomes too aggressive, making it a perfect point of entry for any music fans who haven’t yet dipped their toes into the house music or EDM waters – and a blast for everyone who has.

This past weekend, Jones embarked on his North America live-show tour, making a stop at Elsewhere in Brooklyn, and his stateside fans packed the house for the 1:30am set ready to party.

Jones picked a fantastic setlist that included all of his originals and remixes, along with some of today’s biggest house tracks like Fisher’s “Losing It,” Camelphat’s infamous remix of Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now,” and even his own remix of “This Is America” by Childish Gambino. Rather than trying to overdo it with outside songs, though, Jones focused on what his fans came for, and played a majority of his own tracks out live on a drum kit, synth and his bass guitar. That made for a familiar set that fans were extremely excited and engaged with.

Overall, Jones actively engaged the crowd throughout the set, encouraging to sing along and dance for song like “Breathe” and “Instruction,” to which they happily obliged. Between the live performance of his music, exciting new music, and an active and welcoming crowd, the 90 minute set was a blast from start to finish.

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Jones introduced fans to what may be his next single on his solo project, “Tequila” featuring RAYE:

 

Along with fan favorites, Jones wasn’t afraid to add a few new tracks into the mix. Some of the most exciting bits of the night came when Jax played out music from his new joint project, Europa with Martin Solveig. Fans were calling out for him to play their debut single “All Day and Night” featuring Madison Beer, which he promised “would come later in the set” and which he happily delivered to a screaming crowd.

He also played an unreleased remix of Florence + The Machine’s “You’ve Got the Love” that sounded like it came from the Europa project. The track stopped the entire crowd in it’s tracks with its chill-inducing intro, and delivered an energetic drop that made the crowd jump. Check it out here, exclusively:

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Check out photo highlights from the show in the gallery below:

Remaining North America tour dates to see Jax Jones:

Review: Tritonal @ Terminal 5

I went in to Thursday night’s Tritonal set with moderate expectations: the show began at 11:30pm on a Thursday, and I didn’t know how many fans would stick around late enough at Terminal 5, which, for a music venue in NYC, is pretty far off the beaten path. What I was greeted to upon arrival was a fully packed crowd, ready to rave with each other on one of Tritonial’s biggest nights, one that I wasn’t even aware of.

For those like myself who aren’t as in-tune with the podcast world, Tritonal runs a weekly music podcast, “Tritonia,” highlighting the best dance music out there, and they’ve been running the show for nearly five years straight. On Thursday, the Texas duo celebrated their 250th (!!) episode while in New York City, having the episode premiere live on Sirius XM in commemoration that day.

Later the same night, Tritonal topped off their cups in celebration with a blowout show at the 3000 capacity venue. I walked away feeling elated and like all of my expectations had been blown away. Tritonal knows how to party, how to keep the energy at a 12, and their song choice was impeccable. These two understood what EDM was all about, and it felt as pure as any demonstration of EDM-expertise as I’ve seen.

The ultra-high energy show resembled something closer to an ongoing Vegas DJ-set with downtempo break songs intersparsed, to allow fans to catch their breath. Songs like “Where’d You Go” by Fort Minor, for instance, took the 128+BPM tempo and throttled things down for quick water breaks every 20-30 minutes.

The light show was exquisite, too, with an endless variety of visuals and strobes to keep the audience wondering what was coming next, making each song and transition feel fresh and like a new moment was being created.

Check out photo highlights from the show below along with Tritonal’s top songs:

Highlights: James Bay & Noah Kahan @ Beacon Theatre

Prior to James Bay taking the stage on this past Wednesday, fans who showed up early were treated to Noah Kahan’s incredible voice, and unexpected humor, as he opened at The Beacon. Injecting jokes between every sing-along-ready song, Kahan took to the opening slot with a big smile and reminded fans that these were his minutes to shine, but not without plenty of self-deprecation.

Crediting his guitar and hair for keeping him from being nothing more than “Ed Sheeran’s long lost Jewish Cousin,” he also noted how honored he was to be opening for Bay, who he described as a long-time idol (and now label-mate) and joked that the only reason he was growing his hair out was to keep his girlfriend interested in him, and not Bay.

Kahan played all of his most recognized tracks, including “Hurt Somebody,” “False Confidence” and his newest single “Mess” on stage in front the biggest crowd he’s had the pleasure to perform for. At the rate at which things have been going for Kahan, it shouldn’t be too long before he’s headlining New York’s biggest venues, either. Scroll down for photos from Noah’s opening set and a link to our gallery from his October show at Bowery Ballroom.

I didn’t know James Bay’s entire catalogue of music before he came on for the second night of his two sold-out shows at the historic Beacon Theatre, but I walked away avid fan on Wednesday night. The Grammy-nominated solo artist from the UK blew the crowd away throughout his set, ripping off guitar solos while scanner lights lit up the 3000-cap venue in sync with overhead lights that kept all eyes on Bay the entire night. Fans sang along to every word as Bay interlaced deep cuts from his two albums, Chaos and the Calm and Electric Light with his biggest hits spread out of a very full 90 minutes.

To say the night was filled with great moments still feels like an understatement. Over the course of the night, I watched two best friends turn to each other, lock hands and jump up-and-down in excitement when Bay began playing “Move Together,” felt goosebumps cover my entire body when he belted his 2x platinum hit “Let It Go,” and even stood next to a 90 year-old-man when he began dancing & singing along to Bay’s own cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” (VIDEO) that included two minute-long guitar solos over the course of the six minute rendition.

Following “Come Together”, Bay topped fans off with the uptempo “Best Fake Smile” (VIDEO), then leaving the stage for a few minutes before returning by himself for a solo performance of a brand new tune, “Bad,” that has yet to be released. He addressed his fans before playing, telling them “I have two things on my side…the beauty is this: You don’t know the song, so if I fuck it up, you don’t know. And the other thing is, you’ve got my back, and I feel it, so thank you. So here it goes…”

He did not fuck it up:

After “Bad,” he didn’t waste much time re-introducing his band before jumping into the finale, inevitably gearing up for a blowout ending with “Hold Back The River” that led to a minute-long standing ovation as Bay thanked fans again for being a part of two special nights at The Beacon.

Check out our photo highlights below:
Photos: James Bay
Photos: Noah Kahan
Want more from Noah? Check out photos from his October show at Bowery Ballroom:

Watch: Noah Kahan is Back with Anthemic Single & Puppy-Filled Video for “Mess”

Noah Kahan is back with his first single of 2019, “Mess,” ready to build on his impressive 2018.

The new single immediately gives off anthem vibes for the Vermont-native, who sings about being mentally all-over-the-place now that his life has been uprooted as his art has taken him all over the world. It gives a perfectly clear picture of his nostalgia for the simple aspects of life left behind, like weekend trips to visit girlfriends, quiet nights in with friends, and as the lyrics note in the double-chorus, “feeding the dogs.”

The dogs theme carries over into the newly-released music video which features Noah in various locales and environments while on tour, where his only solace comes in the form of remembering his own pets at home vicariously through the dogs he sees while on the road. If you’re into puppies and good music, this video will really tip the scale for you:

Despite the various pit stops Kahan takes throughout the video that most of us will probably never experience, “Mess” is a completely relatable song for anyone who’s had to make a big change in their life that’s taken them away from what they’ve known.

Of the song, Noah explains, “My life has taken a 180° turn. I’m on a very different path than what I thought I would do. I get nostalgic for the locale where I grew up, because the scenery is so beautiful. Going from this to bigger cities and tours is crazy for me. The truth is—regardless of where I’ve gone—my parents still yell at me to pick up the dogs’ shit when I’m back home.”

He continues, “‘Mess’ is a song I wrote during a very overwhelming and generally sad time in my life. Being able to work on this song and bring these feelings to light was a lifeline for me, and I hope it provides you with similar comfort.”

Check out our photos from Noah’s October 2018 NYC show, our March 2018 interview, and listen to all of Noah’s songs on our curated playlist:

Review: Gavin James @ Bowery Ballroom

On Tuesday night, Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James was back in New York City, playing the Bowery Ballroom for his first show in the city in almost a year and a half. James made this a decidedly intimate show, playing solo on stage with just himself and an acoustic guitar for the majority of the 75 minute set. His setlist spanned his entire catalogue of work, with songs from his most recent album, Only Ticket Home, all the way back to the first single that pushed his part-time pub-playing gig into a real musical career, “Say Hello.”  

Throughout the night, James was candid and humorous with the crowd, detailing stories of his career and even cracking jokes at fans in the back of the room who were talking over the performance before he played one of our personal favorite singles, the ever-delicate “Hard To Do.”

What stuck out most about the performance itself was how true James’ voice was to his recordings – every note and bit of his tone was as true live as it was on his records, making you feel as though you were watching a recording session in the studio with him. As I was downstairs nearing the end of the show, James was playing his single “Cigarette Break,” and the sound over the venues speakers was so pure that it was indiscernable from the studio record itself.

With each of Gavin’s songs, you could tell they were written from a very real, very personal life experience and perspective. He noted that he plays each of his songs for his parents before ever deciding if he’ll go on to release the record, and that level of personal investment is evident in every word and melody he writes.

Check out photo highlights from the show below, and watch his entire performance of “Hard To Do”:

Review: COIN @ Irving Plaza

Since 2015, COIN has been one of the most exciting modern bands to break through in the new-wave pop rock movement. Building their fan base on a highly engaging live show and music that makes you want to dance and sing at the top of your lungs, they’ve steadily been gaining mainstream attention touring across the North America and Europe in support of their two full-length albums, their eponymous debut COIN and sophomore album How Will You Know If You Never Try.

With four new singles out since their last album and a third LP set to deliver this spring, COIN is back in the spotlight again on their latest tour, which kicked off at the beginning of February and made its latest NYC stop this past Saturday.

The last time COIN played in New York was exactly one year ago to date before this stop at Irving Plaza, where they brought an entirely new light show and reorganized a setlist that now includes their three latest singles, “I Want It All,” “Cemetery,” and “Simple Romance.”

Showing once again that he’s at his best in front of a crowd, lead singer Chase Lawrence brought his signature high-energy style to the stage and beyond, running up & down, engaging with fans, and even climbing on the rafters toward the end of the set as he soaked in the venue’s rock heritage for the second time in a year. The crowd had plenty of enthusiasm to match the Chase & Co, singing every word of the setlist as they bopped with their favorite Belmont boys.

Check out the highlight gallery from the show and find out if COIN’s coming to your area with the remaining tour schedule below.
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Review: Chloe Lilac @ Baby’s All Right

You’ve probably seen Chloe Lilac on a few “To Watch 2019” lists, including SoundCloud, and Refinery29, if you keep tabs on emerging music. The Brooklyn native has been making waves over the last year-and-change with her synthy bedroom pop that’s “real” to its core, much like Chloe herself. That ability to keep it “real” has resonated with listeners throughout the five boroughs and beyond, as fans showed up to support the young singer as she headlined the Neon Gold Popshop on Tuesday night at Baby’s All Right. 

If you’ve seen a Chloe Lilac show in the last few months, this one may have looked a bit different than you’re accustomed to, because she was finally able to bring along a live band, rather than playing alone on stage and queuing up her songs via an iPad attached to a mic stand. The addition of a drummer and guitarist gave Lilac’s music added warmth and vibrancy that elevated this set above all her others, showcasing the brilliance of Lilac’s songwriting and production capabilities while she serenaded the room without secondary distractions.

Alongside her well-known singles like “Summer” and “Stolen Liquor,” Lilac played all of her three-track Heartbreak Sessions release and her latest single, “Manic Pixie Dream,” which is also the title track of her upcoming debut EP (out everywhere March 8th) through her new record label, RCA.

Despite the relative newness of Heartbreak Sessions and “Manic Pixie Dream“, Lilac seemed completely comfortable on stage introducing them live, and her dedicated fanbase sang along, having already memorized the words. Lilac’s ability to translate her vulnerability in her songwriting shines through while performing on stage, creating a viewing space of where smiles and authenticity are abundant.

Check out our photos from the set:
 

Review: Lost Kings @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

From the second the LA-based duo of Nick Shanholtz and Robert Abisi ripped off the first song on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg, you could tell the night would be special. The Lost Kings had Brooklyn hooked with a set filled with all of their music mixed in with today’s biggest hits.

Lost Kings released their Paper Crowns EP this January, their third overall EP and first since signing with RCA Records. Paper Crowns includes hits like “When We Were Young,” “Stuck,” and their latest up-and-coming hit “Don’t Kill My High” featuring Wiz Khalifa and Social House. They played their entire discography throughout the 75 minute set, alongside hits like “Mile High” by James Blake to “Going Bad” by Meek Mill & Drake, “Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia and “Silence” by Khalid & Marshmello, to switch up the pace from the trap-heavy drops that permeated the show.

The thing that stuck out throughout the entire show aside from the music was the level of activity that the duo displayed from start to finish. There are plenty of prominent DJs who do nothing more than stand behind the booth and let the set run its course, but Lost Kings were not content to do the same. They were jumping on the table every chance they got, running out in front to sing along with the songs, and interacting with fans in the front rows as often as the set allowed.

Along with Lost Kings’ charismatic display, they also prepared a world-class production that’s sure to stick with anyone who sees the show. There wasn’t a single repeated visual the entire night, and each presented their own moment and spin that corresponded with different music and moments that made it truly memorable.

Overall, the entire show was one for the books and what should be considered a must-see for anyone who’s interested in EDM shows and looking for a great night. There are a few stops left on the Lost Kings “Drunk As Hell” US tour – make sure to mark your calendars if you’re anywhere near the final few stops. Check out the gallery of highlights and remaining tour dates below:

Tue, Jan 29 – Glow at Echostage, Washington, DC
Thu, Jan 31 – Necto, Ann Arbor, MI
Fri, Feb 1 – Chop Shop, Chicago, IL
Sat, Feb 2 – Newspeak, Montreal, QC
Fri, Feb 8- Stereo Live, Dallas, TX
Sat, Feb 9 – Stereo Live, Houston, TX