A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.
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December 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Eddie Vedder didn’t speak to the crowd until Pearl Jam was a few songs into its end-of-tour show at KeyArena Friday, but once he started, he kept up a conversation all night.
“We don’t have to travel anywhere, so we can give it all we got,” he said.
Seattle has seen plenty of memorable Pearl Jam shows over the decades, but Friday’s was epic: a 37-song, three-hour-plus set. Near the end of the encores Vedder even brought out Mark Arm and Steve Turner of opener Mudhoney, plus Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil, and the Seattle supergroup ripped through “Search and Destroy.”
December 6, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Exactly who does this Macklemore think he is? The Emperor of Seattle? The King of Rap? Shall we buy him a crown and a throne and build him a palace overlooking the city? Or is he just another overhyped music star who could be down-and-out in a couple of years and riding a boxcar out of town? (more…)
December 6, 2013 at 1:51 PM
Seattle-based Pearl Jam — one of the most influential rock bands of the 1990s — has been outdoing itself on a two-leg, 24-date fall tour in support of its current album, “Lightning Bolt.” The marathon show includes more than 30 songs, among them “Pendulum,” “Leaving Here,” “Do the Evolution,” “Black,” “Alive” and “Rearviewmirror.” The concert features two lengthy encores and such showstoppers as The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” and guitarist Mike McCready’s incendiary, Jimi Hendrix-inspired version of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
More than a half dozen songs from “Lightning Bolt” are included, among them “Sleeping by Myself,” originally recorded for Eddie Vedder’s 2011 solo album, “Ukulele Songs.” The five-member band featuring McCready, Vedder (pictured), Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard and Matt Cameron (who divides his time between Pearl Jam and Soundgarden) is finishing up the tour in Seattle, which could mean that fans are in for an especially long and vigorous performance.
7:30 p.m. Friday at KeyArena, Seattle Center; $65.50 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
Gent Stout, Special to The Seattle Times
December 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM
It was cold, crisp and clear Tuesday afternoon as concertgoers lined up outside KeyArena for Deck the Hall Ball. But indoors it was snowing.
The snow was fake, or course, and confined to a giant video screen. But the flurries were just enough to lend a holiday vibe to 107.7 The End’s annual year-end concert, which featured such hot alternative-rock acts as Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Alt-J and Seattle’s new-folk darlings, The Head and the Heart.
Seattle station KNDD has been staging its Deck the Hall Ball for more than 20 years as a well-stocked concert marathon for faithful listeners. This year’s holiday-themed concert also provided bands with a chance to thank the station, as well as fans, for their support.
The thank-yous came in the form of tight, spirited sets showcasing the bands’ best music. There were no shoe-gazers in this energetic lineup.
November 23, 2013 at 10:51 AM
There were precious few moments of release in Nine Inch Nails’ sprawling barrage of flashing light and urgent rhythms Friday night at KeyArena. But when catharsis came, it confirmed that frontman Trent Reznor’s four-year hiatus from NIN left little rust.
If anything, Reznor seemed energized by time away from his seminal band, which he spent composing movie scores. The band has been playing to packed houses on its “Tension 2013” tour, with openers Explosions in the Sky, and Reznor treated Friday’s sold-out crowd to a two-hour set that impressed with its scope and thoughtful construction. (more…)
November 15, 2013 at 11:18 AM
Michael Bublé — who, like Michael J. Fox, originally hails from our cross-border neighbor, Burnaby, B.C. — burst on the scene as an amiable, glossy Sinatra disciple, but there was always some contemporary breeze blowing through his music. In April, that breeze became a storm on the album “To Be Loved” (Reprise). It has struck a chord, topping the Billboard jazz chart now for 26 weeks — that’s half the year, and counting.
Mixing finger-popping Sinatra gems like “You Make Me Feel So Young” with 12-to-the-bar slow-dance classics like the Jackie Wilson title song, Bublé tracks the emotional continuity between swing and rock, once considered a “generation gap” apart.
Bublé performs at 8 p.m. Friday at KeyArena, 305 Harrison St., Seattle Center; $54.50-$110 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com)
November 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Tween queen Selena Gomez kicked off her concert Tuesday at KeyArena with a bang — literally — with “Bang Bang Bang,” her 2011 single.
A near-capacity crowd of mostly girls and their parents responded with a deafening roar, holding up signs and waving lighted cellphones as the Texas-born singer-dancer opened her high-energy, tightly choreographed concert blending pop, reggae, dubstep and electronic dance music.
Backed by a six-member band and an entourage of dancers, Gomez performed on an S-shaped stage (for Selena) with a circular platform emblazoned with a “G” for Gomez. Her outfit — a white skirt and white top showing her bare midriff — included white boots decorated with her initials.
Before singing “Who Says,” an anthem encouraging fans to believe in themselves, Gomez reminded the audience that she always tries to be a good role model, saying “Kids trust me … parents trust me.” It wasn’t a stretch, despite her sexy new video with actor Shiloh Fernandez for the magazine Flaunt.
The set included songs from her new album, “Stars Dance,” and previous CD, “When the Sun Goes Down.” Among them were the romantic “Write Your Name,” the celebratory “Birthday” and a boisterous version of Katy Perry’s “Roar.”
The best song of the show was “I Love You Like a Love Song,” which simply soared. Unfortunately, Gomez often enhanced her vocals with backing tapes, typical of young stars on arena tours.
A video mimicking tabloid coverage of her failed romance with Justin Bieber preceded the reflective ballad, “Love Will Remember.” A cover of Priscilla Ahn’s wistful “Dream” featured Gomez briefly on harmonica.
The singer finished the main set with the high-energy songs “Whiplash” and “Naturally” before returning (amid piercing screams from the audience) for the huge hits “Come and Get It” and “Slow Down,” the latter accompanied by a sexy, stylish video.
With her long, brown hair, the attractive, still-girlish-looking Disney Channel star looked more like 15 than 21. Her show struck a comfortable balance between sassy and classy.
Opening acts were Emblem3 and Christina Grimmie, a spunky YouTube phenomenon who led the audience in a singalong of her feisty “Absolutely Final Goodbye.”
Emblem3, a boy band blending rock, hip-hop and reggae-flavored pop, performed songs from its current album, “Nothing to Lose.” The trio featured siblings Wesley and Keaton Stromberg and friend Drew Chadwick, who grew up in Sequim. Well-received by Gomez fans, the energetic, engaging trio appears to have a bright future.
As for Gomez’s future, it includes a Dec. 8 performance at the Comcast Arena at Everett on the 106.1 KISS-FM Jingle Ball.
October 20, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Last night Kanye West kicked off his Yeezus tour with a two-hour rap-opera of a performance that was grandiose yet minimal, unsettling yet inspirational — and often tiptoed the line between theatrical corniness and artistic genius. (more…)
October 17, 2013 at 3:52 PM
Polarizing producer/rapper/fashion icon and self-described “Number-One rock star on the planet” Kanye West has had a hell of a year both musically and in the public eye — from releasing “Yeezus,” the most ambitious album of his career, to having a baby with professional celebrity Kim Kardashian. This Saturday he kicks off his Yeezus Tour at KeyArena — the same venue where he started his last solo “Glow in the Dark” Tour in 2008 (though he did make a stop at the Tacoma Dome in 2011 with Jay-Z on their Watch the Throne tour). (more…)
October 16, 2013 at 2:48 AM
To play arenas, bands know they have to become bigger versions of themselves: more flashing lights, more thumping bass, more rock, more roll. The formula was on display Tuesday night as Paramore got their “Self-titled” tour kicked off at KeyArena.
The former home to the Sonics was about half full when opener Hellogoodbye tried out some new songs and more fans trickled in as Metric (led by frontwoman Emily Haines, clad in a gold-fringed leather jacket and black leather pants) raced through a strikingly short set.
By the time Paramore rumbled onto the stage with a muddled version of “Grow Up,” the arena felt full even if it was far from a sellout. (more…)
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