Live Show Reviews

Review: BROODS @ The Fonda, Los Angeles, 03/05/15


Photos and review by Russ Ramos

I remember my first time seeing Broods play in Los Angeles at the El Rey Theater. I was wowed by their performance then, and I was certainly amazed again at their recent Fonda show. The New Zealand siblings (Georgia + Caleb Nott) showed LA why they’re graduating from the “Ones to Watch” chart. The band worked well to switch it up from their recordings with live remixes and instrumental for some song intros. Georgia’s voice ably echoes and commands your attention while Caleb’s multi-instrumental artistry brings it all together. If you were lucky enough to catch the show, you also were treated to Georgia’s dancing during L.A.F. (Which would’ve made Taylor Swift very proud). Although most of the tour is sold out, I’d highly suggest you try your best to catch them in your town soon.






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Review: BRNS @ Birthdays, London 02/19/15


Reviewed by Nathan Hetherington

Despite the fact Belgian 4-piece BRNS emerged two years ago, this small but perfectly formed East London venue played host to their second ever live show in the city, and the general feeling from the fairly excitable crowd reflected the fact that even though it’s only a relatively small body of water separating them from their homeland, this wasn’t the most common of occurrences.

Firstly, the support act Febueder couldn’t have been better suited to the task, featured here earlier in 2013 this band have yet to have a significant break but here they delivered excellent lo-fi sounds, much like a raggedy, bitter version of Glass Animals or Alt-J.

BRNS start the set with some of the heavy brooding atmospherics found on the new record “Patine” and build up to the danceable single “Mexico” from their debut effort. On the way they seam together a varied set that takes in the four part melodica intro of “My Head Is Into You” and machine gun drums of “Here Dead He lies”, a rare disparity in their performance which leave you in awe of the drummer/lead vocalist’s respective talents.

At times you notice the void left in the center of the stage where normally you’d find a front man, but it is the climactic points of their material where the group really come together, sounding like a united force and conjuring up vocals reminiscent of Foals’ early work with the percussive quirkiness of Cymbals or new comers Acid Jazz. Needless to say, BRNS are an act that testify when pushing the boundaries of genre can work to an unexpectedly glorious extent.

Vuurwerk belgium (Soundcloud)

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Review: Laneway Festival, Melbourne AU 02/07/15


Review by Bruce Rave

The Laneway Festival hits major cities in Australia, plus Singapore and Auckland. Unlike majors such as Coachella which have become all things to all people, Laneway remains on the edgy end of rock and accessible electronic. It takes place on four stages over the course of one day. With a few exceptions, the lineup remains the same throughout. I hit the February 7 Melbourne event, which sold out to about 15,000 fans. It was extremely well-run and mostly easy to navigate, with bands hitting their stages on time. In order of appearance, here were my highlights.

Benjamin Booker showed why he’s had a buzz from the beginning, with strong guitar, vocals, and presence. Perfect Pussy are intentionally in your face and no matter what you might think of them, I agree with the consensus that they’re better live than on record. Mac DeMarco was the day’s pleasant surprise with his perfectly timed late-afternoon set. He used to be sad and serious, but this show was uplifting with humor. The B3Sci dudes knew what they were doing when they got behind the then unknown band Jungle. Thousands hit up the powerful Jungle show, and not once did I see anyone in the crowd standing still. Following Jungle on that stage would be a real challenge, but Future Islands answered the call with what many felt was the strongest set of the day. The Aussies are well aware of Samuel T. Herring’s Letterman performance last year. Royal Blood destroy wherever they play, and this day was no exception with another strong crowd reaction. Pond are another band that can be counted on to bring the goods and you never know what leader Nick Allbrook will do next. FKA Twigs is low-key for me in terms of her songs, but there’s no denying her live chops. It’s impossible to take eyes off of her. Caribou also delivered supremely with a more club-oriented electro vibe, and the place went wild for their “Can’t Do Without You” hit. Courtney Barnett is from Melbourne, so this was a victorious return for her given her worldwide acclaim. Her band is stellar and she plays a sick guitar herself. I’d give my top prize to St. Vincent, who sports dark hair once again. Her last album made many year-end lists including my own, and now she’s got the Grammy for Best Alternative Album. The live show is a musical and visual firestorm. I’ve gained an enhanced respect for her guitar playing. Her choreography with Toko Yasuda (bass, guitars, synths) is beyond compelling.

There were strong reports on Jon Hopkins, and I didn’t get to see Flight Facilities or Banks as I’d hoped to. We arrived early to check out some of the younger bands. Most were good but none surprised to the point where it seems they’re ready to move to the next level.

I’d like to see this concept go worldwide because festivals need focus if they’re going to continue establishing artists. Laneway did hold a Detroit event in 2013 and are hoping to return.

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Photos: Zella Day @ El Rey Theater, L.A. 02/19/20


B3’s Russ Ramos caught last night’s Zella Day show opening for Milo Greene at L.A.’s El Rey Theater and took a set of rad photographs of the gig which are available for your perusal below.






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Review: Robert Delong @ Natural History Museum of L.A., 02/06/15

rober delong history museum

Robert Delong appears as a gamer gone insane, with musical and performance capabilities that make his show as fun and entertaining visually, as it is musically. The EDM-pop artist is no DJ behind turntables––as Delong fans grooved with the drummer-turned-singer at the Natural History Museum of L.A. as part of their First Friday Night event. With a Go-Go-Gadget arsenal of music manipulating video game controllers ranging from a steering wheel to a Wii controller, Delong brought his unique science of performing to the museum; playing songs like “Acid Rain” and his Billboard-ranked alternative song “Long Way Down”. Review by Geovani Donaires.

Robert DeLong (Facebook)

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Review: LANY @ Sayers Club, Los Angeles 02/03/15


Review by Brian Litwin

Tuesday nights are just done differently in Hollywood. Good looking people, drinks constantly flowing, smiles around and buzz around what the new hottest thing may be. This is the Hollywood norm and LANY at the Sayers Club brought all that buzz to life last night.

Riding a giant wave of Internet love, now LA trio LANY ripped into one of their first live shows. Playing catchy electro-pop tracks like “BRB” and the new single “Bad, Bad, Bad”, the group had the massive industry presence chomping at the bit. Friends and fans were singing along to the lyrics of “ILYSB” and the at capacity crowd vibed to the single “Made In Hollywood” to cap off the impressive showing.

Give these three amigos 2015 to find a home, develop more songs (they only have 7 songs to date and have been a band for 9 months) and hop on a tour (opening for the 1975 would do wonders for these dudes), and check back to see how big they can be.




LANY california (Facebook) (Soundcloud)

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Review: HONNE @ Electrowerkz, London 02/03/15


Review by Nathan Hetherington

London’s Electrowerkz is the setting for Honne’s second ever live show and at 5 minutes to 9 o’clock 150 or so eager bodies squeeze themselves into the venue from the curious bunting-laden warehouse feel of the bar. The band shortly follow in and politely push their way through to the stage, where once up you’re able to fully appreciate Andy and James’ black, and slightly darker black, turtleneck jumpers.

Instead of cautiously taking the often-underwhelming laptop, guitar and mic option, Honne have already surrounded themselves with a sublime group of musicians, who translate each meticulously crafted track from the studio to the stage in a wholly satisfying way. For an electronic duo with just a handful of tracks online it’s hard to know exactly what to expect but just from the first 2 tracks leading into “Warm On A Cold Night” they let you know that they completely have this down. They’ve put in the necessary time and thought and won’t be putting a foot wrong in front of an audience. From this point on the room can relax and fully immerse themselves in the sensual sounds.

Second single “The Night” receives the best response from the crowd and sits half way through a consistently smooth 10 song set of late night R&B vibes. Future-hits weren’t in short supply either and instantly agreeable tracks like “Top To Toe” give us a taste of what we’ve yet to hear. They close on a triumphant note with “All In The Value” where Andy & James both don guitars and let loose a flare of unexpectedly flawless skills, presumably honed during their previous indie project together. There’s no support act, no encore and not too much chat. Just a few words about turtleneck jumpers and a quick bit of crowd interaction from Andy, which could have only served as a rehearsal for when they’re playing to far larger audiences. It wont be long before they make that leap and this felt like a statement to let us know that they’re fully prepared for what’s to come.

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Photos: Brooke Fraser @ Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles 01/29/15


Photos by Russ Ramos<





Brooke Fraser newzealand (Facebook)

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Years and Years @ Rough Trade, New York 01/27/15


Review and photos by Cher Dunn.

Snowpocalypse in NYC last Monday ruined a lot of plans for music fans, causing cancelled shows including Years & Years highly-anticipated first show in the US at Le Poisson Rouge. Fans with tickets for their show Tuesday at Rough Trade held on for hope, but were also told their show would be cancelled. Until the day of, when things turned around for the better.

Noticing the media hype outshined the actual storm, Rough Trade decided the show must go on, and a very excited London-based electro pop trio Years & Years told their fans to indeed come to the show that night. With all busses and transportation to NYC cancelled, I drove with friends from Philly. After seeing Years & Years play Dot To Dot Festival last year in Nottingham and getting a taste of their new music over the past year, I knew this show was going to be memorable.

We arrived at the venue at 8pm, with no opener fans gathered and danced to the pristinely curated mix Rough Trade blasted from the speakers that made everyone want to buy every record in the store. In the store gathered many fans who purchased tickets for the Le Poisson Rouge show, or were to slow to get tickets, hoping to get if any ticket holders didn’t show up. By the time the band took the stage, the venue was packed upstairs and down. There was a buzz and excitement in the room you couldn’t bottle, it was explosive, and so was the show we were about to see.

The band took the stage to roars from the crowd. When the band started playing on of their first singles, “Take Shelter” singer Olly Alexander smiled and looked surprised that the Brooklyn crowd was singing back all the lyrics at the top of their lungs. This continued into their next track “Desire”. It didn’t stop there- throughout the set, the crowd new the worlds to all of their released tracks, and their much loved cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Breathe”. The crowd got a taste of new tracks from their upcoming debut album which made anticipation for the album release reach a new level.

Years & Years are a band you need to see live. The show is so visual, it’s hard to take your eyes off multi-instrumentalists Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen as they change instruments throughout each song creating sounds that make Years & Years shows an absolute dance workout. Not only does their sound deliver, the amount of passion and energy Olly Alexander illuminates from stage is contagious. He sings each song with soul and conviction while dancing around the stage, and sounding that good while dancing that well is no easy feat.

Listening to the crowds reaction after the show ended, it’s safe to say that everyone in attendance really felt like they were a part of something special and we were. Years & Years are bound to blow up this year, deservedly so, and I am proud to say I was at their first show of many in the US.

Years & Years will be coming back to the US to play SXSW in Austin, TX in March with more shows including NYC to follow.

Years and Years (Facebook)









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Review: Twin Shadow & Lolawolf @ Troubadour, Los Angeles 01/22/15


Reviewed by Brian Litwin

In a homecoming of sorts, George Lewis, Jr. and crew, aka Twin Shadow, played quite a set to an eager Troubadour crowd on Thursday the 22nd. The crowd, a healthy mix of fans and industry alike, seemed somewhat depraved of the ’80s tone that exudes out of the speakers as the band blasted through their set.

Opening the night was NYC trio, Lolawolf. Although possibly known more for the lead singer’s, Zoe Kravitz, father (Lenny Kravitz), do not sleep on these guys as they played one hell of a show; infusing a unique brand of R&B that is defiant and sexy. The band were a great pick to start the night.

Twin Shadow came out and meant business from the get go. George can really play the guitar and the band sounded super tight on tracks like 2012 single release “To The Top”. He also made it known that a new song will be released very shortly and an upcoming album to follow on Warner Bros. Records. Quite a transition from the UK tastemaker label 4AD, the first release via WBR “Turn Me Up” is gold. TS’s set did somewhat turn into a bit of a comedy routine, but truthfully it was nice to see him so comfortable and interacting so freely with the crowd. If you are on the fence about seeing Twin Shadow, hop off and catch the show, it is worth every penny.

Twin Shadow: newyork (Official)

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Review: Milo Greene @ Sonos Studio, Los Angeles 01/15/15

Milo at Sonos

Reviewed by Geovani Donaires

Milo Greene’s second record Control is due to drop on January 27th. Control is the follow up record to their s/t debut, which was released in 2012.

“The band is still figuring out who does what,” stated member Marlana Sheetz, as they were interviewed by Ann Litt from KCRW, at the Sonos Studio in Los Angeles. Members of the band agreed with Marlana’s comment, by adding that the band is democratic; and there is no lead in Milo Greene. From their debut to this second album, vocals from Andrew Heringer, Robbie Arneet, Graham Fink, and Marlana Sheetz are distributed among the tracks. In the interview, Ann Litt contrasted the first two albums as, “different but rooted in lyrics. It’s cinematic and it’s up tempo,” she continues with, “it’s energy with a dark side and there is a cohesion among the chaos.”

Milo Greene fans should be excited that the band are “still figuring things out” as Maralana mentioned early in the interview. Sheetz added that, “as the band grows new things pop up and, the bigger it becomes the less control you end up having.” The session ended with acoustic performances of new tracks from Control, including singles “White Lies” and “Lie to Me”.

Milo Greene california (Facebook)

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Photos: Tove Styrke @ The Echo, L.A. 01/15/15


Photos and Review by Russ Ramos

Last night was not only the Los Angeles debut for Tove Styrke, but her US debut as well. The Swedish native packed The Echo for Neon Gold’s PopShop. With nothing but a drummer and guitarist, the young singer took the stage and owned it. Playing her new songs and some unreleased, Tove Styrke’s live set was one I wish didn’t end so soon. If you live in San Francisco or NYC, she’s coming there next. Bring your squad, and enjoy some great vibes.





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