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Tuesday, Feb 18, 2014
At Sam Roberts Band sold out show, on the same day their new album Lo-Fantasy saw its release, people already knew the words to the new songs.

Heaven’s Jail (a band name I’m not too fond of) sounded pretty good as they opened for Sam Roberts Band but unfortunately the trio didn’t have much of an audience to witness them. As the fact the show was sold out might indicate, the crowd really was at the Mercury Lounge to see Canadian singer-songwriter Sam Roberts and his eponymous band perform. It was a special evening given the band’s latest album, the critically well-received Lo-Fantasy, was released that day. As Roberts announced, the band would celebrate by performing the entire 11-track album straight through, and return for an encore of a few earlier hits. Lo-Fantasy is a melodic, rock album that redefines Roberts sound with the addition of sinewy and gauzy club vibes that gives listeners more reasons to dance than to head-bang.

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Friday, Feb 14, 2014
Having beaten cancer, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings returned to the stage in NYC for a performance that was as invigorating as it was electrifying.

Sharon Jones proved she is a tour de force with her performance at the Beacon Theatre on February 6th 2014. Her rampant energy was conveyed on stage with dance moves most rock stars half her age don’t possess. All this despite the health issues she faced in the past year or so—just this past December she was still receiving chemo treatments for pancreatic cancer and it only two weeks prior to the show did Jones declare she was cancer-free. So what better way to celebrate than to tour on the heels of her latest album with the Dap-Kings, Give the People What They Want?

Jones was radiating with positivity. Perhaps the only sad moment was when she announced her trumpeter would be leaving the band to join Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on The Tonight Show as it gave him the opportunity to remain at home with his family. But she graciously thanked him and many other of her friends who happened to be in the audience including people with cancer whom she spent time with at Sharon Springs (a town in NY State) and her medical provider, Dr. Leonardo. No longer in the possession of her braided locks, Jones, shaking her head as she danced, added emphatically, “Since I don’t have hair, I’m gonna shake my head!”

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Thursday, Feb 6, 2014
As the moving masses in Medellin, Colombia made clear last Saturday night, Parisien DJs Breakbot and Irfane are at the top of their game.

I imagine that dancing at an electronic music show feels something like how going to church must feel for the religious. I’m not religious, but I love dancing and dance music, and there is something deeply moving and ritualistic about going to a show with a good DJ; dancing with the other revelers to a common beat, all of us united by a common goal: to have one hell of a good time, and appreciate the music for the miracle it is. Of course, there are some who simply want to stand around and get drunk, but I think that people who go to shows to dance feel differently. There is something beyond words, beyond the intellect going on here; something both primal and holy that compels us to move.

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Monday, Feb 3, 2014
The second Citi Presents Evenings with Legends show saw Band of Horses perform acoustic in the intimate McKittrick Hotel. You were basically standing next to the band as they performed.

When Band of Horses didn’t start at 9:30 as people expected, a buzz of discontent in the crowd started to build. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before Ben Bridwell, Tyler Ramsey and Ryan Monroe took to the stage behind the piano to perform “Neighbor”, with Bridwell and Monroe gazing into each others eyes and Ramsey hovering above. The guys joked they’d end the song with a “camera solo” as there were a number of photographers in the front and to the sides (me included) snapping away. I admit it must have been annoying for the band (and probably attendees) given the performance was entirely acoustic but the few minutes of trouble was worth it to catch the intimate performance. The low, small stage meant the band was basically two feet away from the audience as they performed.

Tagged as: band of horses
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Friday, Jan 31, 2014
Part of the Citi Presents Evenings with Legends shows in the run up to the Super Bowl, the solo piano performance from John Legend for no more than a couple hundred people was a superb event.

The front row was seated less than six feet away from John Legend, for a Citi sponsored event dubbed “Evenings with Legends an exclusive lineup of music and sports experiences for Citi cardmembers leading up to football’s biggest game of the year”. Legend cracked a joked that the series was named after him and though his multitude of awards might make him a legend in his own right, the sports portion of the events (which I did not attend) was where the legends were at. For three nights, Citi is hosting conversations with famed coaches and athletes—Wed night it was MVP quarterback Eli Manning and Football Commentator Bob Papa also in the McKittrick Hotel, an intimate venue with a retro-feel (a great place to have seen the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose music was playing prior to Legend’s performance). But I was there for the music after that chat.

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