Off Beat Music Guide

Concert Review: OK Go May 26, 2010

Filed under: Concerting,Music,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 8:29 pm
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Where: Visulite Theatre- Charlotte, NC

When: May 12, 2010

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. If you like this band’s music videos then you will definitely like their live show. Cool effects, random bell playing and tons of confetti made this show one of the most entertaining shows I’ve seen in a while. Now if we could only keep lead singer Damian Kulash from spouting out ridiculousness in between songs…

Here are some of the videos I took during the show. Enjoy!

I Want You So Bad I Can’t Breathe

What To Do (Bell Version)

This Too Shall Pass


Concert Review: Alberta Cross May 13, 2010

Filed under: Concerting,Music,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 12:37 pm
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Where: Visulite Theatre

When: May 5, 2010

I don’t claim to know many things, but I feel pretty confident saying I know southern rock. I was raised in Alabama, where kids know the words to the entire Lynard Skynyrd catalog before they’re taught the Pledge of Allegiance…I know southern rock.

So what an odd and pleasant surprise to find a British/Los Angles based band trying to revive southern rock (sorry Southern friends, it may come as a shock that it ever died) and they are doing a darn good job at it!

Alberta Cross’ southern rock inspired album Broken Side of Time was one of my favorite albums of last year, and when I heard they were coming to Charlotte, I was beside myself.

This concert was my first at the Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, and upon walking in I was confused as to why this venue didn’t support the same acts as Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, NC…and then I saw the crowd (or lack thereof) that showed up. I’m not going to turn this into a rant about my city, but let’s just say you can’t gripe about the lack of bands touring in your city if you don’t show up to the ones that do. There, I’ve said my peace.

Back to the band.

I like this band’s style, both personal and musical. And though they played to less than a full house, they really put on a good show.

Lead singer, Petter Ericson, donned his trademark hat and unforgiving skinny jeans (which gave “skinny” a whole new meaning).  And as I watched him hide behind his long hair and large hat, I started to wonder if he just wasn’t self conscious. All I have to say to that, Mr. Ericson, is we all know you’re British and we expect you to have bad teeth, so pull that hair back and let us see whatcha workin’ with!

Regardless of what he’s hiding under there, the boy can sing. And when he belted out “Rise from the Shadows” there was no questioning that fact.

The show lasted about 75 minutes and they covered most of Broken Side and even squeezed in a cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Steel and Glass”.

I hope you enjoy these videos as much as I enjoyed seeing this band live. if you’d like to see all of my videos from this show, you can check out my YouTube page here.

Rise From the Shadows

The Thief and the Heartbreaker

Song 3Three Blues


Concert Review: Local Natives

Filed under: Concerting,Music,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 11:41 am
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Where: Local 506-Chapel Hill, NC

When: May 4, 2010

I love this band for so many reasons. Sometimes when I listen to them, I can hear echoes of the harmony driven band Fleet Foxes, and other times it feels like they have taken notes directly from indie rock darlings, Yeasayer.

And while I’m afraid this description may seem to imply that Local Natives lack originality, I assure you nothing could be farther from the truth.

Vocalist and mustache wearer extraordinaire, Taylor Rice’s distinctive voice has helped this band to carve out a niche in the decidedly oversaturated indie music genre. And his voice really adds extra flair to the lovely harmonies, which are supported by band mates Kelcey Ayer and Ryan Hahn on their debut album Gorilla Manor.

The use of percussion really drives this band’s sound, and the live show was a testament to that with Ayers often playing a second set of drums while still maintaining keyboarding duties.

But Ayers wasn’t the only one pulling double duty. With the exception of drummer, Matt Frazier, all of the band members took turns playing various instruments throughout the hour and a half set. As I’ve said before, I have a special place in my heart for bands that operate like this.

The band sounded great live:  strong voices and excellent music quality. And sadly, I don’t thing the videos really don’t do the band justice.

While all of the songs on Gorilla Manor are amazing, my favorite live performances were “Shape Shifter” and “Sun Hands”.  Opening band Suckers made a very loud appearance during “Sun Hands,” so make sure to check out that video, if nothing else!

Shape Shifter

Sun Hands


Florence and the Machine “Cosmic Love” May 12, 2010

Filed under: Music,Music Video,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 1:52 pm
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Here’s the recently released video for my favorite track from FATM’s album Lungs. Breathtaking!


Concert Review: Frightened Rabbit May 3, 2010

Filed under: Concerting,Music,Uncategorized — bethstephenson84 @ 12:44 pm

Where: The Masquerade (Hell)- Atlanta, GA

When: April 24, 2010

Bands can come up with some pretty creative names for themselves. (My personal favorite is the ambiguously named Girls who titled their debut album Album. It’s your worst Google search nightmare!)  Frightened Rabbit is probably up there on the list of ridiculously named bands. If I were to predict this band’s sound based on their name alone, I would probably imagine some Tiny Tim/Peter, Paul and Mary hybrid. This, of course, is not the case. There’s not much timidity or shyness to be found in this scrappy, loud-mouthed band of Scots. And while I was hoping to see some kilt action at this concert, I gladly settled for flannel shirts and unkempt facial hair.

The band opened with “Skip the Youth” which seems to be the standard for all of their shows on this tour. I think it’s a smart choice because while it’s a great song, it doesn’t give the crowd too much too soon. To me, opening with a song like this only helps build the anticipation for the crowd favorites; it keeps the energy and excitement going.

Skip the Youth

I wouldn’t presume to speak for the entire crowd, but my personal favorites from the band’s newest album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks,  and the ones I anticipated seeing most were: “The Loneliness,” “The Wrestle,” and of course “Swim Until You Can’t See Land.” The band’s energy was great, but as I mentioned in my last post about The Middle East, this venue just sucked.  The endless chatter of high schoolers set free from parental supervision for the night coupled with fairly bad acoustics made it difficult to hear anything too clearly.

One of the funnier moments of the night was when a young gentleman came onstage with his young lady for a surprise proposal. And the fact that the band was in on the surprise made them even more awesome in my book. Or maybe I am just getting gooey and sentimental over a good love story. Lead singer, Scott Hutchinson sweetly responded by saying “Yall give it up for Brent. What an f’ing brave guy. Jesus, what if she’d said ‘no’.” Of course, you’ll have to hear him say it live in that thick Scottish accent to fully appreciate it. Here’s the clip:

I enjoyed this concert. The band had a lot of energy and they interacted well with the crowd. That’s all I ever ask of a band really…

Here are a few videos from the show. Enjoy!

Swim Until You Can’t See Land

The Loneliness and the Scream

The Wrestle