Concert Reviews

Black Taxi, Lights Resolve, The Bright Light Social Hour Bring Energetic Sets to NYC

For over four hours last night, live music fans at Bowery Ballroom got just what they needed: three solid performances from three phenomenal acts. Impressive guitar licks, heart-pounding drum rhythms and surprising collaborations were infused throughout each band’s set.

Whether it was Southern rockers The Bright Light Social Hour enticing the crowd with foot-stomping and 70s-esque rock & roll, Long Island trio Lights Resolve captivating with soaring guitar landscapes and catchy choruses or New York’s Black Taxi invigorating all with their energetic stage antics during their CD release show, each showcased what live music is all about.

Shortly after 9 p.m., The Bright Light Social Hour took the stage and transported the room into a Southern honky tonk where guitar riffs were aplenty and minute long instrumental interludes were expected and enjoyed. The Austin, Texas, based act impressed with alternating vocalists, spot-on harmonies and soulful growls. The energy skyrocketed on tracks like “Detroit” and “Bare Hands Bare Feet” off their debut self-titled full-length, released last year. With the crowd jumping and singing along word for word, striking keytar accompaniment, and all the rock & roll elements strongly showcased, The Bright Light Social Hour is one band to watch in 2012.

No doubt a hard act to follow, Lights Resolve continued the high energy performing many tracks off their debut full-length, Feel You’re Different, as well as older fan favorites. The seductive “Sew It Up” kicked off the set with a dark bass part and frontman Matt Reich’s mesmerizing vocals while “Happens Every Day” continued the intrigue with killer guitar riffs peaking and falling at the most opportune moments. The aggressive “Misfire” demonstrated the trio’s eventual arena status while epic set closer “Another Five Days” continued to showcase Lights Resolve’s staying power with sing-along choruses, perfected musical buildup and sweeping guitar parts.

Headliners Black Taxi rocked Bowery Ballroom until well after 1 a.m. Their album release show, the band played many tracks off of We Don’t Know Any Better. Whether it was Ezra Huleatt, dressed in feathers and hand paint, running into the crowd and jumping off the venue’s balcony, an enticing horn section mid-set or alternating vocals between each band member, the Brooklyn-based act had the entire venue captivated, never knowing exactly what would happen next. Electronic beats mixed in with intriguing singing styles, handclapped rhythms and gritty guitar kept concertgoers screaming for more. Tracks like the sexy “Friend” and “Tightrope” had Bowery Ballroom dancing up until the last song was played.

Concert Reviews

Lights Resolve Host Van Listening Party After Maxwell’s Show

One of the hardest working indie bands I’ve come across, Lights Resolve has spent the past four years incessantly touring and building their fan base. Whether on the road or online, they continue to form relationships with fans and Sunday night was their way of thanking fans for that support.

For nearly 40 minutes, Lights Resolve diehards piled into their van and listened to their soon to be released debut full length. Parked outside of Maxwell’s, it was the first time they heard the record in its entirety.

“Whenever you guys want to leave, you can. We’re not holding you,” Reich joked.

By the tenth and final track most were still there, often singing along to the songs they heard earlier that night.

For the complete review, visit Hoboken Patch.

Related Links:
Q&A; with Lights Resolve
Rolling Stone Names Lights Resolve Band to Watch
Lights Resolve Win Opening Slot On Rock Band Live Tour
Lights Resolve Tear Up the East Coast

Come Out To Bowery Ballroom Tonight!

I have been anxiously awaiting this night for months! My two favorite New York-based bands, The Canon Logic (pictured above) and Lights Resolve will be playing Bowery Ballroom tonight, Thursday, August 13th. I’m sure you’ve read my previous coverage and interviews with both bands, but this is a show not to be missed. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are sure to sell out, so get there early.

Very rarely have I witnessed a show with multiple bands that really resonate with the crowd and Bowery will be the place tonight. Openers include The Rivalry and Jet Lag Gemini.

If my excitement doesn’t entice you enough, check out these live streams from The Canon Logic and some unreleased material by Lights Resolve. And, if you do decide to make it out be sure to leave a note in the comments and we can meet up!


You Sing, I Write Artist News

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Over the past 18 months or so, I’ve had the pleasure of covering and interviewing some extremely talented musicians. Many, of which I’ve seen live multiple times and keep in touch with, whether it be on Twitter, MySpace, etc. And, it’s always a thrill to see a band that I’ve featured take off, get a record deal, or be featured in a prominent music magazine.

There are a few bands previously featured on You Sing, I Write who have some exciting news as well as free downloads (legally of course) that I wanted to share with you. Whether it be catching a show, buying an album, or listening on MySpace every little bit helps and I think you’ll enjoy at least one (if not all) of the bands featured below. I’d love to hear what you think!

A Moment’s Worth
I featured AMW a few weeks back as an Artist of the Week and was psyched to learn that they have recently been signed to In-n-Out records in Japan (home to bands like New Found Glory, Finch, Allister, Home Grown, etc). Check out all the info on their blog.

The Jim Ivins Band
The Virgina-based band just released their brand new EP for free to anyone who signs up for their mailing list. Sign up and get your free download at the band’s MySpace.

Lights Resolve and Ace Merrill
I’ve featured both bands on the blog in the past and was impressed to see them featured on Alternative Press’ Battle of the Band contest to play Warped Tour along with a third band, Van Atta High. Listen to a song from each band and read their bios on Alternative Press and vote for your favorite here.

Luke Brindley
A fellow Jersey native, Brindley has a lot of exciting things going on and is in the process of recording his new album. He’s decided to go the self-released route and is enlisting the help of his fans through donations, providing them with some cool perks. For more information and to help him out, click here.

So glad to see these bands taking off! It’s been an exciting journey following them and I hope to only continue to learn of each artist’s increasing success. Any bands you think I should give a listen? I’m all ears.


Rolling Stone’s Six Breakout Bands to Watch

If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s Bamboozle festival Rolling Stone has it covered for you. I love featuring new bands on the blog, and wanted to share with you their selection of six up-and-coming bands to watch from this past weekend.

Must admit, I was super psyched to see one of my favorites, Lights Resolve (photo above) added to RS’s list as I’ve covered them a bunch this past year. From interviewing the guys to reviewing one of their show’s for MTV, they deserve all the press they’ve been getting!

To read the Rolling Stone article in it’s entirety click here. And be sure to check out their six picks below on MySpace!

All The Day Holiday

Danger Radio

Hey Monday

Honor Society

Lights Resolve



SXSW: Day Two Recap

By the end of Thursday the craziness that is South By Southwest was starting to take a toll on everyone. Exhaustion hit, but good exhaustion from catching so many talented bands.

I started my day off with the roomies checking out the American Apparel sale before brunch (not much of a shopper so didn’t wind up digging through the massive boxes that were there). Afterward, I met up with Tyrone Wells at his MySpace showcase for a quick Q&A.; A man of many metaphors, it was refreshing to talk to someone with such a great view on life and music (see photo of his performance above). Stay tuned for the full interview soon.

Traveling by myself and going to most of the showcases solo has been a learning experience for me. I’ve covered shows alone before, but usually in New York or New Jersey where I’m familiar with my surroundings, so it’s always a thrill to see a familiar face here in Austin.

After catching Tyrone’s amazingly impressive set at La Zona Rosa (literally a 30-minute walk from my hotel — ugh!) I ate at The Parish planning on catching Lisa Hannigan‘s performance at 9 p.m. But, turns out I was at the wrong venue — major bummer. By the time I finished my food and realized this the line to catch her set was enormous so I figured I’d head to Stubb’s and catch Gomez.

Change of plans. On my way to Stubb’s I ran into the Lights Resolve guys and spent the rest of the night catching shows with them. It was so great to see familiar faces finally and I was glad to spend time with people I actually knew. First show of the night with LR was Liam and Me (definitely recommend catching if you’re into energetic indie-rock pop) then As Tall As Lions then Paper Route. The drummer in Paper Route was phenomenal — I couldn’t keep my eyes off of him! We ran into Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the way (Angels in the Outfield, 10 Things I Hate About You anyone?) Overall, a great end to the day. More to come in the next few days. In the meantime, be sure to follow me on Twitter!

About to head out to 6th Street to catch a night of shows, I’ll have some brief show recaps for you tomorrow! Above is the view of 6th Street from my hotel window — the street is lined with tons of concert venues!

You can also read this post on


SXSW: Day One

South by Southwest is every music lover’s dream. On 6th Street alone the venues line up one after the other (and that’s only one street!). You can catch a pop band at one venue and right across the street there’s a hard rock band from South Africa playing.

You’ll be happy to know that this afternoon I successfully purchased a wristband thanks to my Twitter badge holder friend @CyndiHellen. In order to get a wristband you have to be with a badge holder and buy it off them. Weird, I know but that’s one thing accomplished and now I can get into any concert I want!

My roommates are great too! Two of them have been attending SXSW the past four years so they know all the secret spots first time festivalgoers aren’t aware of. For instance, there’s a 75 cent “airport flyer” bus from the airport to downtown Austin which saved me tons of $$$ on a cab. They also found a great taco place for lunch today, cleverly titled Taco Shack. Fellow Jersey girls (they actually live two towns next to me) I really lucked out on having some pretty awesome roommates to spend the week with.

I’m about to head out to catch Meiko’s performance at the Austin Convention Center and interview her afterwards, but here’s my tentative schedule from today. Be on the lookout for more interviews and live Twitter updates.

noon- lunch with the roomies @ Taco Shack

1 p.m. -caught The Gay Blades at Creekside Lounge

2 p.m. – waited in line and purchased my wristband

3 p.m. – interviewed Jason Reeves @ his hotel

5:30 – Meiko performance

7 p.m. – interviewing Meiko

8 p.m. – Billboard showcase

9 p.m. – The Elms showcase

10 p.m. – Lights Resolve performance

11 p.m. – Minature Tigers set

12:30 a.m. – Ten out of Tenn showcase

Still trying to figure out if I can make it past 1 a.m. stay tuned for my interview with Jason Reeves and his take on SXSW tomorrow!

You can also read this post on here.


Blast From the Past: I’m With the Band

Ever since I booked my flight for Texas to attend the South by Southwest (better known as SXSW) music festival later this month, I’ve been reminiscing about touring with Army of Me last year. Definitely one of the best times at the start of my music blogging career, I learned a lot about a typical day in the life of a band. The struggles, the triumphs, the music. Originally written for my internship, I thought I’d post my brief blog entry about my experience below. Love to know what you think!

Growing up during the height of the boy band era and attending all their concerts, I’ve always wondered what it’s like being on the other side. Not the fan waiting anxiously for the doors to open to get a spot closest to the stage, but to be backstage. I’ve always been curious to what goes on behind the scenes of a tour — what bands do before the show, the real deal on groupies, what the inside of a tour bus looks like — the whole lifestyle.

A few weeks ago I got a chance to find out what really goes on during a typical concert when I toured with Army of Me on the “Get A Life” tour. I witnessed the diversity between an up-and-coming band, traveling from show to show in a small, smelly, 15-passenger van converted to fit five guys, their equipment and whatever else they need for months on tour and a more well known band, punk rockers The Used, who travel in a bus with separate bunks, a big screen TV and a back room nicely furnished, almost reminiscent of a living room.

Most surprising was how down to earth and friendly each band was. You hear stories of bands that have ridiculous requests or who are jerks to their fans and groupies, but this wasn’t the case. Speaking of groupies, do they even exist these days? Apparently they do according to bass player Jeph Howard of The Used, and he’s not too keen on them. “Groupies are gross. Groupies are the girls that sleep with all the other band dudes. I’m not down with that.” Although, maybe groupies only exist for the bigger bands. Army of Me drummer Dennis Manuel doesn’t think they have any. “Even if we have any groupies, if they make it far enough backstage and then out to the back of the club, and they see what we’re in [the van] it kind of kills the mood.” Good point.

My newfound knowledge of bands and their dislike for groupies wasn’t the only thing I learned on tour. I never realized how grueling touring could be and how it’s a lot less glamorous than I had previously imagined — it’s not all sex, drugs and rock & roll. Often it’s five guys in a hotel room sharing beds or having to push a broken down van to a nearby repair shop. While at points life on tour is rough, the good outweighs the bad and when I asked each member what they’d be doing if it wasn’t for music, they didn’t have an answer. In the end, it’s all about the music. Army of Me frontman Vince Scheuerman explained it as being all he wants to do right now. “This is my life, this is what I do. I play music and I believe in my music. As long as I feel that way I’m going to keep doing it. The day I wake up and I’m like, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore,’ I’ll figure something out.”

To read more of my interviews on tour with Army of Me and The Used click on the links for both bands on the right under Exclusive Interviews or read You Sing, I Write’s May archives.

Concert Reviews

Lights Resolve Tear Up Sold-Out Highline Ballroom

Not every band can engage a room full of concertgoers successfully, but Lights Resolve has learned to do so, and quite effectively. Rather than write another show review, I’ll let Wendy’s pictures do the talking. (But if you REALLY want to read a review of what the LR guys are like in concert, you can check out my MTV post from last summer here.)

I made it to the LR show just in time to see Liam and Me and TV/TV perform and they’re definitely fun bands to be on the lookout for. If you need some entertaining reading, peruse Liam and Me’s hilarious advice column on their blog here. And, if you’re in the mood for some energetic, foot-stomping (did I really just write that?) music, be sure to give TV/TV’s songs “Indie Rock Girl” and “Let It Go” a listen on MySpace.

Concert Reviews

Panic at the Disco, Dashboard Confessional Co-Headline Rock Band Live Tour in New Jersey

The Rock Band Live tour hit New Jersey Sunday with a versatile line-up and even more diverse crowd. From the tween girls screaming, “I love you Brendon!” at Panic at the Disco’s frontman Brendon Urie to the inebriated 21+ group jumping and dancing along during Dashboard Confessional’s set, the night offered something for everyone.

Panic at the Disco, the obvious crowd favorites, closed the night at the Prudential Center in Newark with an hour-long set energizing all in the audience. Taking the stage with their signature song, “We’re So Starving,” Urie crooned to the audience, “Oh, how it’s been so long/We’re so sorry we’ve been gone/We were busy writing songs for you.” The audience accepted his apology wholeheartedly — throwing their hands in the air and singing along word for word.

Panic’s 13-song set consisted of radio hits, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” “Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” and “Nine In the Afternoon.” Whether Urie was running from one side of the stage to the other singing to the crowd or alternating between playing guitar, piano and drums he kept the audience on their feet with the help of his bandmates. Closing the show with Little Richard’s “You Make Me Wanna Shout,” Panic at the Disco had the crowd feeding off their performance and energy until well after the lights came back on, signaling that the long-awaited Jersey stop was officially over.

Co-headliner Dashboard Confessional took the stage before Panic, frontman Chris Carrabba wooing the crowd with his onstage banter and heartfelt lyrics. Playing hits like “Vindicated,” “Thick as Thieves,” and “Screaming Infidelities,” which he prefaced with a question. “Should we do a love song? Like, an ‘I hate my ex’ kind of song?” to which screams erupted throughout the venue. “Mike hates her too. She’s both our exes.” Then Carrabba began the song alone on piano before the rest of the band joined in.

Possible favorites of Dashboard’s set seemed to be a tie between infamous hit, “Hands Down” and a surprising cover of Pink’s current radio hit, “So What.” Previous performers the Cab re-entered the stage and helped out on their rendition of Pink’s song. The energy in the room skyrocketed and it’s quite impressive the way Carrabba hit the high notes.

What differentiates the Rock Band Live tour from your typical concert is that in between each performer’s set change the crowd gets involved playing “Rock Band” instead of just sitting or standing awaiting the next band to take the stage. Between the Plain White T’s and Dashboard’s set Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Give It Away” were played, amping the audience for the next band taking the stage.

Plain White T’s played an eight-song set of their fan favorites including their Grammy-nominated hit “Hey There Delilah” as well as “Our Time Now” and newest singles “Natural Disaster” and “1, 2, 3, 4” off of their latest release, Big Bad World. Their set was the most laid-back of the night and they had the audience waving their cell phones and lighters in the air for “1, 2, 3, 4.” As their set closed, frontman Tom Higgenson jumped into the crowd hugging fans and shaking hands throughout the venue while the rest of the band members exited the stage. Not your typical gesture, fans positioned in the front of the arena got a very personal concert experience and walked away from a night they will most likely never forget.

Las Vegas-based band The Cab and New York natives Lights Resolve began the night with a half-hour set each. Definitely a lively set from both bands, whether jumping around the stage and having the crowd bounce to their song — aptly titled “Bounce” (in the Cab’s case) or wowing the audience with their signature “wuh-uh-uh-oh-uh-oh-oh” and catc
hy choruses (Lights Resolve) both bands show much promise. And, who knows, in a few years they might be co-headlining the tour together.

Check out more of Wendy Hu’s amazing photos from Sunday night here.