Tuesday, May 26, 2009
As a girl who only listens to The Eminem Show and Encore, it is obvious I was never an enthusiastic Eminem fan. I have not avidly followed the prominent white rapper throughout his music career but I have listened to enough of his music to confidently say that his latest album, Relapse, is the musical relapse and downfall of Marshall Mathers. I can't say I'm surprised and I can't say I'm disappointed, but the Eminem I enjoy can do much better than this.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Before The Shins took the stage, Delta Spirit entertained the crowd. The soulful indie rock quartet combined their alt-country style with the banging of a trashcan lid and lead singer Matthew Vasquez’s screams to create a distinctive sound. Usually, the opening band barely satisfies the audience, but Delta Spirit succeeded in capturing the crowd's attention. Twenty minutes later, after Delta Spirit ended their set with the wild beating of multiple drums and a bluesy, piano-laced song, The Shins walked onstage. Barely waiting for the crowd to cease their thunderous yells, lead singer James Mercer signaled the band to begin.
Nearly everyone was able to sing along to each song The Shins performed. The second song of the night, “Phantom Limb” was known as the single off of Wincing the Night Away and “Saint Simon” from the band’s mainly acoustic album Chutes Too Narrow was greeted by another explosion from the audience. After every couple of songs, Mercer and the band took the time to talk to the crowd, declaring, “It’s movie night!” after he warned them not to see the movie Anvil unless they wanted to sob uncontrollably. Later, he asked if anyone had seen any good movies recently, while he sipped what looked like champagne from a wine glass. The Shins made sure to chat and interact with their adoring fans, bringing smiles and laughs, and of course fantastic music.
Later, the mood of the venue mellowed, partially because of the flashing, color-changing lights behind the band that changed to calming blues and greens. It was then that Mercer flashed a grin and chuckled, “Let’s get melancholy,” before beginning the relaxing tune, “Those to Come,” which prompted the crowd to sway and sing along softly. The Shins then faded into “Sleeping Lessons,” a song that slowly builds to a crescendo that led to Mercer shouting and the crowd beginning to dance. The mass of people also cheered on The Shins’ guitarist, Dave Hernandez, during his solos and danced even more during “Australia.”
After The Shins left the stage that night, they returned to perform an encore for screaming fans. The Shins played their hit song, “New Slang” and a few new catchy and upbeat songs that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. During their last song, the guitarist beckoned two girls onstage and gave his guitar to one of the girls, who simply strummed along with Mercer’s voice. Afterward, The Shins thanked the crowd and walked off stage, signaling the end to an incredible night.
This summer, Arctic Monkeys are returning from their two year hiatus. While lead singer Alex Turner was promoting his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets this past year, he and the rest of the Monkeys were also writing songs and constructing Black Sabbath-influenced riffs for their third album. Supposedly there is going to also be some R&B influence and more psychedelic sounds present on the record, so the Monkeys' should sound interesting this time around. Check back for more updates on the album.