I had a feeling this would be a very special show, since 1) it’s the first time they played in upstate New York; 2) Northern Lights is a very low-key venue up past Albany; and 3) The Parson Red Heads happened to be playing some NYC shows and were added to the bill. I knew this was one not to be missed.
Month: October 2009 (Page 1 of 3)
by Andrew Koskie, guest blogger
It’s October 16. I wake up for work and notice it is snowing. Not knowing how to react, I can only think of one possible thing… I am going to see The Airborne Toxic Event for the second time in a week tonight! I go to work, which couldn’t have gone any slower. Noon finally hits and I leave work.
“Talking ’bout Monroe and walkin’ on snow white, New York’s a go-go and everything tastes right…” – The Jean Genie, David Bowie
There’s just something about New York City. Maybe it’s because I was born there; something genetic in the blood. I feel a calmness that seems out of place in this crazy, bustling city. A synching of biorhythms. Who the hell knows? There’s a coolness, a vibrancy, and a level of convenience – anything, anytime (such as this Japanese grocery store that happened to sell some awesome and cheap vegetable soba noodle soup on the opposite corner from a cold, windy and wet wait outside Webster Hall) – that soothes the soul. At the same time, it’s a high stakes city, the largest media market in the U.S., uber-important shows, loads of press and industry people. And, though they’re a friendlier lot than their reputation would suggest, I have to believe a pretty jaded audience. I mean, every band comes through here, right? I imagine that as a band, you just have to say “fuck it” and enjoy yourself, because thinking about it will screw you up.
It feels like I went to see this show years ago, though in reality, it’s only been two weeks. One hell of a two weeks, but two weeks all the same. So I approached the chore of writing this review with some trepidation. For one, while I really, really like this band and have great respect for their place in indie rock history, I can’t say I’m completely familiar with their entire catalog, even enough to reconstruct a set list of what they played. Secondly, my notes, while amusing, are pretty fucking useless. I labeled the night’s proceedings as “Hipster Heaven”, and indeed it was. But I still had only (probably incorrect) fragments of lyrics to try to identify to tell you what was performed, and with four other reviews breathing down my neck, little time.
I’ve recently returned from my ‘7 shows in 11 days’ East Coast Tour, and I have a new appreciation for what rock bands go through to travel around and play for people. As I sort through several hundred photos and 20+ videos, I wanted to say just a few words, for now, about this magnificent evening in Clifton Park, NY. The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, Red Cortez, and Parson Red Heads brought Silverlake to upstate New York in what I can only describe as “Spaceland at Northern Lights”. A beautiful evening that felt as intimate as hanging out in a rehearsal space or someone’s living room. Many thoughts, many emotions… about how far Airborne has come in the 3+ years they’ve been together. How maybe you gain a bigger audience but you lose something as well along the way, and how it’s really nice to just have fun and play with your friends again, in an ‘out of the way’ place where the stakes aren’t so high and you can relax and enjoy yourself. But I’ll save all that for later. For now, a sampling of ‘sound and vision’ from this special evening.
by Becky Simmers, guest blogger
The opening bands, Red Cortez and The Henry Clay People, were charismatic and amusing, as well as absurdly talented – soon to be headlining many of their own shows individually, I’m sure. The antics, the mishaps, the silly yet driving force behind both opening sets…what a way to start off a night. Those two bands alone would have made for a great concert-going experience, giving me two new bands I can’t get enough of. I should have expected excellent taste in music from The Airborne Toxic Event…
Better late than never; that’s what I always say. Especially this past week and a half.
Singer-songwriter Andrew Hoover will be opening for Sister Hazel at the Paradise Rock Club on October 21 (that’s tonight, in a few hours from now). Bluesy and soulful with pop influences; a nice sound that probably transfers very well live. Have a listen.
Yes, I’ve completely lost it. Hundreds of photos to review, and the Clifton Park show tomorrow. So for now, as Airborne is finishing their sold-out night #2 in NYC, I will give a little “teaser” with some photos from night #1 – which was, not surprisingly, astonishing.
Stay tuned… many photos and some video to follow.
The Airborne Toxic Event, The Henry Clay People, and Red Cortez at the House of Blues, Boston, MA, October 13, 2009
On a chilly autumn night in the rather impersonal caverns of the new Landsdown Street House of Blues, this show had the feeling of a family barbecue on a lazy, warm summer afternoon. Anna’s hometown and the rest of the band’s adopted one, it’s clearly a special place for them, and while it’s not like being back home in L.A. with family and friends, I like to think it a reasonable facsimile. A comforting respite from the long and weary road.