Speedy Ortiz frontwoman Sadie Dupuis effused flower power on center stage Tuesday night. She wore a floral print top, a skirt and a flower pin in her hair, distancing her look from the dreary Madison weather. Her bright blue, bejeweled guitar stood out as it was fretted by Dupuis’s highlighter-orange and yellow nails. To her left, the black-and-blue-haired bassist wore black clothes and strummed with black nails, providing a stark contrast to the lead vocalist. A second guitarist and a drummer who provided backing vocals rounded out the indie quartet.
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The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die took the flannel-clad audience at High Noon Saloon for a nonlinear journey through sounds from the last 20 years. Sometimes using fusions of genres and other times distributing a more focused tone, the band’s set was never short on dynamics.
Rezz brought her unique bass and trance production to a packed Majestic Theatre this past Thursday. The Canadian born producer, on tour after releasing her first album, Mass Manipulation, in August, proves that electronic shows are taking stage production to new levels.
A sea of heads fell forward and back rhythmically, worshipping the beat of the unrelenting crash cymbal. The display was extremely loud. Reverberations could be felt from the ground all the way up to the waists of concertgoers. When my phone vibrated, I didn’t notice. This was the scene at High Noon Saloon for much of Bongripper’s hour-long set on Wednesday night. The Chicago-based doom quartet released a heavy dose of ceaseless noise upon their admirers. Formed in 2006, Bongripper regularly feature wordplay and references to marijuana in their titles — "Reefer Sutherland" is the first track on their Spotify profile.
The layout of Memorial Union’s Shannon Hall, the venue of Tanya Tagaq’s Madison concert, necessitated audience members to sit down, and so did her performance.
COIN put on an electrifying show last Sunday at the Majestic to an enthusiastic crowd comprised of both college students and community members. The Nashville indie pop quartet, who put out their sophomore effort How Will You Know If You Never Try? this past April, took the stage with the confidence and energy of a band ascending the ladder to stardom.
When I think of Frankie Cosmos, I think of simplistic happiness and honesty, which is exactly what the Sunday night show at High Noon Saloon embodied. The raw yet sweet lyrics that characterize Frankie Cosmos created a sense of togetherness, love and community, and the kindness that reverberated throughout the building was something I think only Frankie could create.
A palpable nostalgia floated like mist outside the ticket gates of Breese Stevens Field before the Modest Mouse concert that took place this past Saturday. The long, sunny shadows and slight autumnal breeze set the perfect mood for the last concert of Breese Stevens’ summer season.
As a horde of people crowded into the High Noon Saloon on Thursday night, it became quite clear that the night would be filled with sincere appreciation for the music. I soon found myself completely surrounded by denim-shirt-wearing, Pabst-Blue-Ribbon-holding music fanatics.
To say Magic City Hippies’ indie funk music is infectious to dance to is an understatement. Every member in the audience was up and dancing in Union South, from college kids to a 50-year old lady in the back.
The only person who could possibly feel themselves while wearing a sweater in the balmy heat of this confused Wisconsin weather is none other than empowering Midwest-raised rapper, Lizzo. Entering the stage wearing a fuzzy red heart on her chest, she went full-force from the beginning to end of her set, belting near-flawless anthems of feminism and body positivity.
A sustained air of anticipation filled Overture Hall on Saturday night where, mere feet from the stage, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (JLCO) tuned and tested an array of iconic orchestral elements. Roughly 2,000 attendees erupted into applause as the lights dimmed to greet the opening act: the Badger High School Jazz Ensemble, based out of Lake Geneva. The group performed two brief renditions of the big band jazz style, featuring solos from the bells of trumpets, saxophones and gentle touches of the piano. The group holds a boastful record of three trips to New York City, where the Essentially Ellington jazz competition selects 15 bands from a national pool to perform. Matching the tenacity of the ensemble, the crowd followed in traditional jazz concert fashion, tossing a flurry of hollers, whoops and cheers to the end of each solo. The brief, 20-minute opening act demanded the adoration of jazz patrons in the hall that night, and they earned it.
To put it simply, Los Angeles bassist Thundercat is a bizarre human being. From his lyrics to his clothes, he is the embodiment of embracing the unconventional. His Tuesday night show at the Majestic Theater proved his wonky antics would translate to a truly unusual show.
While preparing for a jog, one stretches their muscles and warms up. During Spoon’s concert on Thursday, it felt as though both the audience and the band were in a constant state of anticipation, slowly tying their sneaker laces before finding that endorphin-releasing energy experienced at concerts.
I was 17 years old and had just discovered the worlds around me. At the time, my grandmother’s home felt a little uneven; it was El Salvador, after all. Before the sun rose and reminded its people why the bonds—the blood boiling ones—are never bulletproof. It was around this time I began to read John Vietnam’s “One Life: One Love,” and wrestled with the idea of knowing that the greater wisdom of any decision can feel undeniably close. It was the only book I was interested in pursuing while 300 miles into the silent Salvadoran mountains.
As the first major concert of the semester, Foster the People’s sold-out show at the Orpheum was a triumphant success. Breaking into the mainstream with their hit single, “Pumped Up Kicks,” Foster the People have been a mainstay in alt-rock since 2011. However, Saturday marked the band’s very first appearance in Madison.
It was a typical end-of-summer night at the Terrace, a slight chill in the air as stars rose above Lake Mendota, beer flowed from pitchers and a crowd of people bounced to the sounds of a groovy flute and song lyrics about amusement park rides. New Orleans-based band Tank and the Bangas poured their infectious energy over the crowd and kept them moving along with the rhythms of their jazz-gospel-funk-soul-infused jams.
Madison has finally returned to its lively state as the 2017 fall semester begins for thousands of UW-Madison students. Along with the start of the semester comes the start of an even more exciting time: fall concerts. Pulling from upcoming events held across the city at classic Madison venues, here is a semi-comprehensive list of some of the must-see shows for the first half of the semester:
Since 2006, Freakfest has been a staple of Halloween celebrations in Madison. 2017 marks the 10-year anniversary of the festival’s musical showcase. While this year’s lineup isn’t as impressive as in years past, there are still a handful of performances you’d be a fool to miss.
Folk artists Gregory Alan Isakov and Blind Pilot teamed up Tuesday to serenade a small but packed Capitol Theater. Although both artists showed what they were capable of with soft yet powerful acoustic sound, I was most impressed by the incredible talent that Gregory Alan Isakov brought to the stage.