Kevin Devine - Megan Paolone, Staff Writer
Singer/songwriter Kevin Devine played a show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y. on June 7 that finished off his first headlining tour in support of his newest album, Brother's Blood, released in April.
The openers for the show were the Phoenix, Ariz. natives Miniature Tigers, as well as Devine's good friends Brian Bonz and the Dot Hongs. It was obvious that the crowd was there for Devine's "homecoming" show, but these two bands did not let this hinder their ability to perform well.
Miniature Tigers' quirky indie rock was showcased in a short set accentuated by a wide range of instruments, while Bonz and his band also gave a great performance that featured his refreshing acoustic ditties, as well as a number of jokes between songs.
When he finally took the stage, Devine, a Brooklyn native, played a long 23-song set, something that has become customary of his hometown shows. His "Goddamn Band," which included Bonz, several members of the Dot Hongs and a few other friends, accompanied him for about half of the show.
Opening with the wistful "Ballgame," Devine managed to play songs off of almost every one of his five studio albums, with the majority of songs originating from Brother's Blood. It seemed that the audience was happy with any and every hilarious thing that Devine and his band threw at them - including a short medley of '90s classics including Sugar Ray's "Fly."
Devine is a truly seasoned performer with the ability to appeal to a wide range of people. His personal genre of heartfelt, indie folk-rock and his friendly, approachable nature make him the type of artist that others should aspire to be.
The Arctic Monkeys - Amelia Stymacks, Staff Writer
The Arctic Monkeys made one of their brief visits to the U.S. this summer and played for an hour at the All Points West Festival in Liberty State Park.
The ground was disgusting after a night of rain and the park was packed, but it was the best concert I've ever been to. I'd have ignored every other band at the festival if the Monkeys had played all day.
The band sounded amazing and it's clear that their talent is genuine; they don't need any tricks when they're recording. They played a few old favorites from Whatever People Say I Am… and Favourite Worst Nightmare including "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," "Brianstorm," and "If You Were There, Beware" plus a few songs from their freshly released album Humbug. They won the crowd over with "Potion Approaching" and "Pretty Visitors." It was a great selection and even though there was hardly room to move, everyone sang along.
The band members themselves were easy to like, as Alex Turner knocked over what might have been a beer bottle a couple times. They wasted no time with introductions and fit in as much music as they could. It was a spectacular performance; for any fans who have yet to see them live, do it.
Straylight Run - Nora McGlynn, Staff Writer
Straylight Run, a satellite Long Island band, came back to a popular Amityville venue, Ollie's Point, May 17. The Band, composed of John Nolan, Shaun Cooper and Will Noon played without Michelle DaRosa, (formerly Michelle Nolan) John Nolan's Sister for the first time before their new EP About Time was released later that week.
The band played at an unusually small venue creating a close atmosphere consolidated with Nolan letting audience members request songs and hung around after the show to talk to the audience. Apt at piano and guitar Nolan made the live set comparable to the albums while still missing one band member. The band also agreed to play "Hands in the Sky," one of their most famous songs that they are reluctant to play.
Straylight Run toured with Lovedrug and Good Old War from Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively showing their universality in music rather than sticking with one scene.