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Live Review: Kings of Leon at Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA – Saturday 7th August 2010

By on Wednesday, 11th August 2010 at 2:00 pm

As an incurable Anglophile, I find that most of the music I listen to is either British or most popular in the UK, but few bands make me as proud to be American as Southern rockers Kings of Leon. In fact, after Saturday’s amazing gig at the unfortunately named Jiffy Lube Live (formerly Nissan Pavillion), I actually don’t mind my habit of picking up Southern accents when I’m around them for more than five minutes (what can I say? I was born in Virginia!) and I want to put on the cowboy boots I don’t actually own and go line dancing. And while I’ll never be a fan of the kitschy nature of country music, the Followill boys’ Southern-ness is just right, and that’s because the Southern-ness of some of their music is effortless and natural — it just flows through them and out into the crowd.

Since I’d paid an ungodly amount for general admission pit tickets, I wasn’t about to be stuck in the back, even if it meant getting there early and standing against the barrier for a couple extra hours on my broken toe. Luckily for me, the first opener, Montreal-based band The Stills, were well worth the wait! Their sound easily filled the large, open space, especially with their echo-y vocals and rich guitar tone. They opened with the fantastic ‘Being Here,’ a single off of 2008’s ‘Oceans Will Rise,’ and also played ‘Snow in California’. (Listen to both tracks on their myspace page.) Another song was dedicated to Alex Ovechkin (“the greatest athlete who has ever lived”) and their final song, ‘Keep It Going,’ went out to the men of of the night, Kings of Leon.

I wasn’t quite as fortunate when it came to the other opener, Built to Spill, the band from Boise, Idaho who finished up their month-long stint with the Followill boys at this show. Though in their best moments the lead singer’s voice sounded a bit like Michael Stipe’s, it was often unintelligible and sometimes very harsh-sounding. Many of the songs had repetitive melodies or were otherwise incapable of holding the crowd’s attention, and they complained after every few songs about equipment problems and how “apparently they wanna fuck all our stuff up.” What DID hold my attention, though, was the copious amount of sweat pouring through the singer’s beard — gross.

And then it was time for the main event. Our favorite Nashvillians took the stage amidst billowing red smoke and epic classical music and launched straight into their 20-song set with ‘Crawl’ and ‘Be Somebody.’  Next up was ‘My Party,’ with lead singer Caleb’s already amazing voice distorted to new levels of sexiness. For me, between his swagger and his voice, Caleb is the ultimate rock star, so you’ll have to pardon my fangirling. When he confronted the mic, singing “You talkin’ bout my baby, I could flip you upside down and I could mop this place,’ I was almost surprised nobody threw their panties on stage. Another moment of intense fangirling came when they played two of my favorites, ‘Milk’ and ‘Fans’ back to back – incredible. The set was a good mix of the old, the new and crowd favorites, and though the crowd when mental for ‘Sex on Fire’ and ‘Use Somebody,’ I’ve gotta say I was disappointed that few people seemed to know ‘Trani.’

One of the definite highlights of the night was all of the new songs they played. Caleb said to NME [19 July 2010]: “If we were to go out there and play a concert and not play new music, it would feel like we had our hands tied. I think we would be bored with the show. We didn’t want to go back out there and give ’em the ‘Only by the Night’ tour, part two. It’s inspiring to be able to go out there and play new songs. Not only are you testing the songs out on the crowd, but we have that, ‘Oh, shit!’ moment when we’re looking at each other. Are they gonna like this? Are they gonna sit down because it’s not ‘Use Somebody’?” I’m happy to say that the four new songs they played, ‘Radioactive,’ ‘Pickup,’ ‘Mary’ and ‘Southbound,’ could more than hold their own against their back catalog. ‘Radioactive’ has a very full, powerful sound, with the hook “it’s in the water where you came from.” ‘Pickup,’ a mid-tempo track which they played live for the first time EVER and dedicated to the crowd, was incredibly sexy and almost sinfully good and Caleb’s voice sounded amazing. The third new song, ‘Mary,’ was a hell of a lot of fun, with its chorus of “a-Ha’s,” not to mention the fantastic guitar in the bridge, and had me grinning like an idiot. And while I can somewhat understand KoL’s description of the new music as being “chilled out” and “beach-y,” ‘Southbound’ is pure Southern rock pefection, with them singing “I’m going back down South now” in harmony with their Southern drawl in full force.

After the gig, drummer Nathan Followill tweeted “Hell yeah bristow. Thanks for the party. We will be back for sure. See yall sooner than you think.” And thats exactly what it was: a party. A party with one HELL of a good DJ!

Kings of Leon photos and setlist after the cut!

Continue reading Live Review: Kings of Leon at Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA – Saturday 7th August 2010


Film Preview: Taking Woodstock

By on Tuesday, 25th August 2009 at 4:00 pm

Woodstock (poster)Regardless of your music tastes, whatever you think is cool or wrong with music today, I think we can all safely say that Woodstock festival was one of those seminal events that changed culture and the music industry a lot more than people expected at the time. Now Ang Lee, the guy who directed Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has directed “Taking Woodstock“, a film that tells the story behind the festival, staring Demetri Martin and Emile Hirsch which is out in November.

The three day event in August 1969 featured so many acts that we have been huge influences on many of todays biggest acts: Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jimi Hendrix all played sets that for many defined a generation. Whilst some in the local communities weren’t huge fans of the 500,000 people descending on Bethel, New York, the event is seen as a roaring success by many in the music biz.

The film is set in 1969, and Elliot Tiber, a down-on-his-luck interior designer in Greenwich Village, New York, has to move back upstate to help his parents run their dilapidated Catskills motel, the El Monaco. The bank is about to foreclose; his father wants to burn the place down, but hasn’t paid the insurance; and Elliot is still figuring how to come out to his parents. When Elliot hears that a neighboring town has pulled the permit on a hippie music festival, he calls the producers, thinking he could drum up some much needed business for the motel. Three weeks later, half a million people are on their way to his neighbor’s farm in White Lake, NY, and Elliot finds himself swept up in a generation-defining experience that would change his life, and American culture, forever.

The film is out on November 13th in the UK, and next weekend in the USA – yes, it seems ages away, but to me it looks set to be one of my favourite films of the autumn. Watch the trailer below:



Live Review: Vetiver at Bell House, Brooklyn, USA 7th May 2009

By on Tuesday, 12th May 2009 at 11:45 pm

Vetiver (live side)Coming relatively hot on the heels of 2008’s covers collection “Thing of the Past”, Vetiver‘s new record “Tight Fit” doesn’t represent any significant stylistic changes, but rather continues to chug along pleasingly in the same direction. This aesthetic also translates to the band’s live show which is a relaxed yet competent affair that accentuates the JJ Cale shuffle of many of the songs, whilst avoiding the the temptation to jam out too much. There is an elongated passage here and there, where guitarist Kevin Barker gets to display his great touch and tone, but excess is usually curbed in favour of a disciplined tightness. Singer and mainstay Andy Cabic has a relaxed and engaging way with an audience, unsurprising given that the music has a similar charm. Vetiver are well suited to this venue, which feels like some kind of mid-western barn ready to hold a hoe-down rather than an old warehouse in a very industrial part of Brooklyn.

The sound is clear, with every instrument and voice occupying its own territory, though I’m sure this also has to do with the way the band play. No-one steps on anyone’s toes, everything is very considered, and nothing seems out of place. This does sometimes work against them though, especially on less memorable tunes, where it starts to get a little ploddy. There’s also not a huge amount of emotional impact which is a shame as the band obviously have the skills to pull off a great show, but I felt like this was a head-nodder rather than a heart-wrencher of an evening.

But maybe that’s the point, an easier emotional ride rather than layering on piles and piles of angst in the hope that the audience feel some deep connection. Sometimes its better to have a nice mellow ride of an evening and thinking about it, it’s actually fairly rare to see someone pull that off without resorting to any major histrionics.

After the jump: photos
Continue reading Live Review: Vetiver at Bell House, Brooklyn, USA 7th May 2009


MP3: Friendly Fires cover Lykke Li

By on Saturday, 1st November 2008 at 10:25 pm

Just a quick post today, as time’s rapidly running out.

I’ve grown to love Friendly Fires after catching them live twice recently, with their crazy energy andremarkably good tunes that can’t fail to make you move, no matter how much of a bad mood you’re in.

I’ve also increasingly been loving Lykke Li at the moment with her amazingly relaxing tunes with that “morning after the night before” vibe.

So imagine how great a tour with both of them is. A.m.a.z.i.n.g.

And yet that’s exactly what’s going on in the US of A at the moment – on Monday they’ll finish their 2 week stint around the states, and to celebrate their tour, Friendly Fires have covered Lykke’s “I’m Good I’m Gone”, which is below for your download.  It’s changed from chilled out insistent piano and handclaps to mid-90’s full on highlight-of-the-night club classic. Oh yes, it’s that good.

Download and you won’t stop dancing. Cheesy, but oh-so-true.

MP3: Friendly Fires – I’m Good I’m Gone (Lykke Li Cover)

(found on Sterogum)


Bands to Watch #36: Anomie Belle

By on Thursday, 23rd October 2008 at 8:05 pm

It’s been a while since I proclaimed my love of Trespassers William, the understated Seattle ambient gurus, and of Zero7,  the London downtempo kids. So imagine my excitement when I was sent an album by Anomie Belle which features TW’s Anna-Lynne Williams on guest vocals and sounds just like Zero7 gone American with the amience of TW. Yes, I almost had a baby I was that excited.

Anomie Belle is the project of composer, producer, audio programmer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, Toby Campbell. Originally a classical violinist and songwriter, she released multiple solo records before creating her own beats and making her way into electronic, experimental, trip-hop music. A Portland, Oregon native, Campbell has performed at top venues throughout the Pacific Northwest, and has worked as a musician and producer in Madrid, Glasgow, Amsterdam, New York, Buenos Aires, and London.

Dreamy like Zero 7, Anomie Belle has a smoother sound than Trespassers William, and whilst at times the subject matter is rather dark and deep (throughout the collection American political apathy, suburban alienation, passive media spectatorship, social injustice, and consumerism are all tackedled) the music just washes over you in such a gloriously smooth way you can’t help but almost fall asleep in bliss. This isn’t a insult – very few bands and artists can be as gentle and relaxing after just a few listens as Anomie Belle is to me.

Almost every track on the new album, Sleeping Patterns, features lush strings and multilayered effects, which gives you something different everytime you hear it – different instruments, different words, different meanings. My only complaint? Sometimes the vocals are a little too buried down in the mix for my liking, however that’s more of a personal preference, and I have a feeling that if they were higher up the mix they would be distracting and lose some of the dreamyness of the collection.

Although she’s based in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, make sure that if you’re over there anytime soon, or if she make it over to the UK, be sure to catch her live. Hell, if I have to, I’ll pay for your ticket!

MP3: Anomie Belle – Down

Anomie Belle’s new album, Sleeping Patterns is released on 2nd November.


Bands to Watch #31: Jubilee

By on Thursday, 11th September 2008 at 4:21 pm

Like your music loud, dirty and played by men with long hair? Then why not check out hot up-and-comers Jubilee.

Made up of Aaron North on vocals and guitar (from Nine Inch Nails, Buddyhead, The Icarus Line), Michael Shuman on vocals and bass (from Queens of the Stone Age, Wires On Fire), Jeff Lynn on guitar and organ (from Wires On Fire), and Troy Petrey on drums (from The Icarus Line), you can pretty much guarantee before listening that Jubilee were going to be good.

Then you actually listen to them, and just fall slowly in love with their britpop mixed with Jane’s Addiction style euphoric rock. Hailing from LA they’ve decided to come over the pond to test out their new material, and it’s already going down a storm with rave reviews from Kerrang,

I’m not normally one for this sort of stuff, but they really are quite good. Check them out on tour at the dates below, tickets available from the usual places.

MP3: Jubilee Fuzz Are Down

Tour dates after the jump.

Continue reading Bands to Watch #31: Jubilee


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

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