Thievery Corporation played a smashing set over the weekend at the 7th annual AURA Music Festival. The DC-based DJ/artists collective closed out the main stage on Friday night, mixing original songs with fun covers like The Grateful Dead‘s “Fire On The Mountain.”Thanks to our friends at CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS for providing some stellar video, as always:Setlist: Thievery Corporation at AURA Music Festival, Live Oak, FL – 3/4/16:Set: Sound the Alarm, Take My Soul, Blasting Through The City, Here Krishna, Radio Retaliation, COF, Liberation Front, Illumination, Depth of my Soul, 33 Degrees, La Femme, Amerimacka, Fire on the Mountain, Holographic U, Vampires, Unified Tribe, Warning Shots, Forgotten People, Sweet Tides, Lebanese Blonde, Richest Man in Babylon
Michael Stipe, the lead singer of the now-finished R.E.M., has made himself scarce in recent years. Performing in only a handful of situations, Stipe will return to the stage to perform as part of The Music Of David Bowie tribute at Carnegie Hall, scheduled for tomorrow and Friday (March 31-April 1). In preparation, Stipe hit the set of The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where he warmed up with a Bowie cover for late night TV fans everywhere.Stipe performed “The Man Who Sold The World,” accompanied only by pianist Paul Cantelon. It’s a powerful performance, and has us excited for the upcoming Bowie tribute. Watch below:For those who got shut out of tickets from the Bowie tribute, a live stream was recently announced for the April 1st performance. More information can be found here.
Dead & Company continues to roll confidently through their summer tour schedule, hitting the Klipsch Music Center (aka Deer Creek) for another Grateful installment of music. The band, which includes Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart, as well as Jeff Chimenti, Oteil Burbridge and John Mayer, had been quite vocal about debuting new material in the off-season. After treating fans to their first-ever “Box Of Rain” one night prior, Dead & Co had some more tricks up their sleeve last night.The group opened with “New Minglewood Blues,” kicking off a double-dose of bluesy number as “Cumberland Blues” followed. “Ramble On Rose and “Black Throated Wind” saw Weir in the spotlight, singing both songs emphatically. While Mayer had a chance to shine on “Althea,” it was Weir who would bring the set home with a potent “Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance.”The second set immediately got off to an exploratory start, as the band opened it up with “Dark Star.” They then segued into their first debut of the night, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.” Weir made the song his own, and the band kept their bouncing pace with “He’s Gone.” They segued from there into “New Speedway Boogie,” shuffling along until they rang out the opening notes of “St. Stephen.” The band then let loose for an all-out “Drums/Space,” before finding their way into “Looks Like Rain.” The set closed out with a rockin’ “Going Down The Road Feeling Bad.”The second debut of the night came in the encore, when Mayer led vocals on the Garcia classic “Black Muddy River.” The emotional performance had fans on their toes, bringing back fond memories with a strong nostalgic number.Thanks to taper Rob Krall, full audio of the show can be streamed here.You can check out the full setlist, below.Setlist: Dead & Company at Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN – 6/17/16Set I: New Minglewood Blues bw > Cumberland Blues jm, Ramble On Rose bw, Black Throated Wind bw, Althea jm, Lost Sailor bw > Saint Of Circumstance bw Set II: Dark Star bw > A Hard Rain’s A- Gonna Fall bw, He’s Gone bw jm > New Speedway Boogie bw > St. Stephen bw jm > Drums / Space > Looks Like Rain bw > Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad bw jm Encore: Black Muddy River jmWant to win tickets to see Dead & Company next Sunday, June 26th at Citi Field? Enter below![Photo via Klipsch Music Center Instagram]
Dance music is facing a renaissance. As the EDM movement has grown and grown, the artistic nature of music and dj-ing has slowly become a thing of the past. With epic productions that include huge LED screens, lasers, smoke, confetti, and more being launched from massive festival stages, what used to be the music of club culture has evolved into somewhat of an ugly beast. Fans go to shows and spend most of their time facing in one direction, elevating the DJ as an almost god-like figure, with everyone in the audience attracted to the stage in packed clusters.Well, fear not, as Despacio is here to save the day. The brainchild of James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, brothers David and Stephen Dewaele of 2ManyDJs, and famed audio engineer John Klett, the point of the project is to provide extremely high quality audio while basically placing the DJs behind a wall at the back of the room. The goal is to de-emphasize the DJ, and re-emphasize the music, the quality of the audio, and the experience itself. There is also an emphasis on slowing things down (despacio means slow in Spanish), to create a more funky and naturally danceable vibe. The DJs make sure to pick recognizable songs by Talking Heads, Queen, and Kraftwerk while mixing in deeper-cut dance tracks.James Murphy uses an interesting analogy to describe the intent behind this, explaining:“If you are in a restaurant, the chef isn’t at the front of the room throwing food at you. He’s in the kitchen and when the food comes out you are with the food and not with the chef.”Despacio itself is not your typical sound system. The speaker cabinets surround the dance floor, instead of being located at the front of the room. The huge speaker towers themselves are absolutely beautiful, having been designed using natural wood casings by McIntosh, the same company that built the Grateful Dead‘s famous “Wall of Sound” in the 1970s. Vinyl is the only medium that can be used with this system, giving the sound a throwback feel and a more natural vibe, as all of the crackles and pops of the vinyl shine through for an extremely clear presentation of the music.Despacio is certainly powerful. As the Dead’s “Wall of Sound” required 30,000-watts to run, this huge audio system requires 50,000-watts. David Dewaele touches on the ridiculous power of the system, saying that it “runs at 20 percent. If we ran the system at its full capacity, people would die. People’s ears would literally be bleeding.” How ridiculous!To be honest, the best way to experience Despacio would be in-person. Since the project’s debut in Manchester, England in 2013, fans have been dying to experience the unique dance party, but due to the large size of the sound system, the project’s appearances have been few and far between. After 2014 appearance at Barcelona’s tech-forward Sonár Festival in Barcelona and a two-week residency at this year’s Coachella, Despacio will be making its grand arrival on Murphy’s home turf here in New York City at the upcoming Panorama Festival. Murphy and the Dewaele brothers will perform a six hour, vinyl-only set on all three days of the festival, from 3pm-9pm each day.Learn all about Despacio from this interview with Murphy and 2ManyDJs below, and also check out videos of “Despacio” in action from Sonár and Coachella festivals.James Murphy and 2ManyDJs talk Despacio, courtesy of The Vinyl FactoryDespacio at Sonár 2014, courtesy of YouTube user wiky79Despacio at Coachella 2016, Weekend 2, courtesy of YouTube user kenton k.[quotes from Murphy and Dewaele taken from their 2013 interview with Wired]
For any performer, the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA is hallowed ground. The renowned venue is easily one of the most naturally beautiful locations for live music, with its expansive views and luscious landscapes. That Dead & Company would perform there on only their second-ever tour is truly a testament to both the legacy of the Grateful Dead, and the sheer bravado of this band. Dead & Company has been on a tear all summer long, with John Mayer and Bob Weir leading the charge. It was no exception last night.The show opened with “Touch of Grey,” seeing the two guitarists trade off lyrics with passion. The hits kept on coming with “Hell In A Bucket” and “Dire Wolf,” before the first Bob Dylan cover of the night appeared, “When I Paint My Masterpiece.” The meat of the first set came from “Cassidy,” “Brown-Eyed Women,” and “Ramble On Rose,” before a great version of “Next Time You See Me” kept things bluesy. It was the standard “One More Saturday Night” that would bring the set to a close.The second set allowed the band to stretch their legs more, and it was “Eyes Of The World” that got things going. They rocked through “New Speedway Boogie” and “Cumberland Blues,” before getting into a funky “Shakedown Street.” Next up afterwards was “Uncle John’s Band,” notable for Oteil Burbridge singing a verse alongside Weir and Mayer. Burbridge also joined Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart during the “Drums” segment, which got psychedelic as it wrapped into “Space.” They brought the jam into an “Uncle John’s Band” reprise before playing “Wharf Rat,” and closed the set with “Casey Jones.” The second Bob Dylan cover of the night, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” closed out the show in the encore spot, mimicking the true heaven of The Gorge.Update: Listen to full audio here!Check out some video highlights:Touch Of GreyEyes of the WorldUncle John’s BandDrums/SpaceCasey Jones Edit this setlist | More Dead & Company setlists[Photo by jamie_bourne/Instagram]
Gov’t Mule has been on an absolute tear. Just days after guitarist Warren Haynes collaborated with ZZ Top, followed by another performance where Haynes played with Tom Morello, Jon Batiste and Regina Spektor, the guitarist had another unique opportunity to play with a legend at The Fillmore Miami Beach.During tonight’s show – which at press time is still ongoing – Haynes & co. welcomed out famed drummer Jason Bonham. Jason is the son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and has participated in Led Zeppelin reunions and continues to be a force for upholding the Zeppelin legacy.Jason Bonham sit in with Gov’t Mule in place of founding drummer Matt Abts, and joined in for (fittingly) two Zeppelin songs: “Since I’ve Been Loving You” and “No Quarter,” according to the band’s Twitter. The timing was also particularly appropriate, as today marks the 36th anniversary of John Bonham’s death. Needless to say, Bonham’s presence at the Mule show must have been an incredible moment of live music.Watch the two song sit-in, courtesy of CHeeSeHeaDPRoDuCTioNS, below.
McDowell Mountain Music Festival never fails to put together an impressive lineup, and this year is no exception. Taking place from March 3-5, 2017 in Phoenix, AZ, the festival has released a fantastic initial billing for their event.Headlining the festival are Flume, The Shins, Chromeo, Grouplove and Gov’t Mule, offering a wide array of talents at the top of the bill. The full lineup includes Lettuce, DJ Mustard, Emancipator Ensemble, Bob Moses, Railroad Earth, The Record Company, SunSquabi, Turkuaz and more!You can see the full lineup announcement below, and head to the festival’s website for further details.
Last night, music fans everywhere were striken by the news of Sharon Jones’ death. Not only was Jones an incredibly moving soul singer, but a powerful collaborator that was beloved by countless musicians. Back in 2015, Lettuce performed at the Major Rager in Augusta, GA, and were joined by singers Alecia Chakour and Sharon Jones. Together they brought the house down with a rendition of Isaac Hayes’ “Do Your Thing”.In honor of Ms. Jones, Lettuce shared that video of the performance along with a note in her honor. See the band’s post below.RIP Ms. Jones.
Phish just wrapped up a New Year’s Eve performance at Madison Square Garden, elaborately choreographing dancers, robotic umbrellas and more to the music of “Petrichor,” “Auld Lang Syne” and “Suzy Greenberg.” Though the stunt has been unfortunately met with mixed reactions, anyone in attendance was fully amazed by the theatrics that accompanied the music.The display was orchestrated by David Gallo Design, a company that specializes in these types of immersive experiences. According to the company’s page, the plans took a total of nine months to put together! For a frame of reference, the album featuring “Petrichor” – Big Boat – was only released in October.Sufficed to say, this “Petrichor” performance has been in the works for a long time. That would explain why the band played the piece five times during a 13-date fall tour; practice makes perfect!Gallo also shared some fun behind the scenes sketches, models, storyboard arcs and more from the planning phases of the arrangement, paired with photos that we published by Jeremy Scott Photography. Check it out below!You can also watch the full video, below.
Queens of the Stone Age haven’t released an album since 2013’s …Like Clockwork, but that’s all going to change soon! The premier rock band is working on a new album to be released this year, if we’re to believe Mastodon’s Troy Sanders, who is part of a side project called Gone is Gone with QOTSA’s Troy Van Leeuwen.In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Sanders spoke about his affection for the new band Gone is Gone despite each members’ busy schedule elsewhere. “I like to think none of us needs this band, but we all really want this band. When that’s the mentality, this is special to the four of us, otherwise, we wouldn’t dedicate the first week of 2017 to working on this band.” He continues, “For example, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon and At the Drive-In have all been recording, and we all have new records coming out this year. We’ve all been extremely busy writing and recording, and we’re about to get super busy touring the world. So I believe we’re all fulfilled to a certain degree with all we have going on.”So there you have it… Queens of the Stone Age has a new record coming out this year. Though there aren’t any specific indications of a timeline for a new release, both Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen have said that making a new QOTSA album is a priority of their upcoming agendas, so hopefully we can look forward to new music soon![H/T CoS]