Live: The Elected (100Bands #61)

What’s Left: 73 Days. 39 Bands.

Band #61: The Elected

When/Where: June 22nd, Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC

Expectations:Who are these guys again? I literally had no prior knowledge of them except that Lydia recommended them. I was in the area, so I showed up, very little to no expectations.

Concert: I like finding new bands after I fall in love with them at random concerts, and since I’d never been to Local 506 before I was excited to check out The Elected in Chapel Hill.

The surly front man, Blake Sennett, former guitarist/co-songwriter for Rilo Kiley, has a hilariously dark sense of humor, which was a nice interaction to have between songs. He all at once reminded me of Jason Schwartzman of Coconut Records and a very sad Jason Mraz. Each track seemed to mirror both the darkness and the humor, conveying pain and life’s disappointments while maintaining an upbeat and earthy west coast vibe.

I was a bit worried I would be bored during the first two songs, which were good, but very slow and pensive. As the show got going, the band definitely hit it’s stride and surprised me with more driving tempos and intricate layers of violin over Sennett’s powerful lead guitar.

The personality of the band, heavily influenced by their use of violin, ukulele and steel drums on some songs is unique in the same way Vampire Weekend and Spoon are different from other pop-rock and indie bands, it’s almost unexplainable, but totally pleasing.

Concert Afterglow: Pleasantly surprised, 506 is an awesome venue, and the band was funny, personable and unique. I can’t wait to check out more of The Elected’s music.

Recommendation: I don’t know if I’d go see The Elected a second time, unless I become a bigger fan of their music, mostly because I suspect their shows to be very much the same in every city, however I’m glad I was introduced to them this time around.

Written by Ambrielle (Blog | Twitter).

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Live: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (100Bands #60)

View more Buzz Tour photos on Flickr.

What’s Left: 82 Days. 40 Bands.

Band #60: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

When/Where: May 29th, Lincoln Theatre, Raleigh, NC

Expectations: I attended this show with some serious Grace Potter fans in the group, so this show could not have been more hyped up in my mind, I had no doubts that I was going to have a fabulous night out.

Concert: I don’t know much about Grace Potter, but wish I was her. Zeus himself could never dream of a more soulful goddess. She has the most beautiful hair and effortlessly cool bangs with talent to spare. The same can be said for the Nocturnals who sport 70’s reminiscent outfits; the guys rocked funky mustaches, and girl bassist Catherine Popper, who as Grace mentioned hails from Charlotte, NC, had equally cool, Potter-like bangs.

Though mustaches and bangs seem to be a requirement for Nocturnals membership, extreme talent obviously factors in as well. The Nocturnals are a serious band equipped with instruments and able hands and no sound effects, laptops, or auto-tune in sight. Each element of the band reminds me of the quality of music I listened to in the car with my parents as a kid while still maintaining a totally cool and relevant vibe.

After stalking Grace’s TwitPics of previous set lists from the Bonnaroo Buzz tour, and her nightly outfits before each show, my crew of boys and I were excited to see what she would pull out for her Raleigh show. When we first spotted Grace when she and the rest of the Buzz tour family sang “Happy Birthday” to opener and comedian Julian McCullough we were a little disappointed to see her in shorts and a cardigan. Not a good sign. But she quickly found herself back in our good graces (no pun intended) as she reappeared on stage in a sparkly outfit and mile-high stilettos. The set list included a few favorite Grace Potter songs, but lacked others I was excited to hear, “Mastermind” and “Apologies” were surprisingly absent in the line up. However, my hands-down favorite Potter song, “Tiny Light,” followed by an electrifying cover of “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones is what my boys and I agree to be the best musical moment of our young lives. Grace also broke up the set list at one point with a cute North Carolina version of Tupac’s “California Love.”

There were so many surprises in one night: laughing along to Julian McCullough’s jokes about a Duke psych professor standing behind me, hearing the Nocturnals cover the Stones, getting free “Bonnaroo Buzz Tour” ice cream, and getting some awesome souvenirs. This show is up there as one of my favorite concerts ever. It makes me hate that I had to miss out on Bonnaroo, graduating from high school is pretty overrated anyway.

Concert Afterglow: A drumstick, successfully obtained after flirting with a stage crew guy (totally unashamed), is all the proof I need to remind myself that this night actually happened. I vaguely remember kissing it and stroking it with my face after the show.

Recommendation: Why wouldn’t you go see Grace Potter? She is a must-see act, and she is a goddess. If you get the chance, go to a show, even if you’re not a huge groupie or anything, this woman does not disappoint.

Written by Ambrielle (Blog | Twitter).

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Live: Bowerbirds (100Bands #57)

What’s Left: 89 Days. 43 Bands.

Band: Bowerbirds

When/Where: Sunday, June 5, 2011, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC

Expectations: I came out to see Mt. Moriah, the opener, more so than Bowerbirds, but I’m excited to see what kind of show they put on.

Concert: I knew I was in for a treat when I saw how many instruments Bowerbirds brought out with them. Included in their set was an acoustic guitar, keys, drums, some sort of floating marimba, an accordion, two sets of drums, a violin, and some small shaker instruments that I don’t even know the name of. It might be fair to say they had me at hello.

They opened their set with a song that features main singer Phil Moore singing and plucking his acoustic guitar, with light music in the background. It was a great way to start the show off by isolating the beauty of his voice before integrating their wide range of instruments and musical talents. The thing that impressed me most about both this show and the band in general was the diverse musical knowledge among all of the band members. Four of the five artists were singing on microphones over the course of the night, and nearly everybody got up and switched instruments at some point in the set. It was an incredibly impressive display of talent.

Being a local band, they kept the show very personal and intimate, despite the amount of people in the room. Something about their friendly demeanor tells me that they would continue to do this even if they were performing on a stage as large as one at Coachella, which is a major plus. They played one song where Phil Moore continuously sang the words “There is no one more beautiful than you,” and it felt as though he could have been speaking to me directly. I’m sure every girl in the room felt the same way, but the ability to make the music not only heard but felt is a feat that not many bands accomplish with me at first try. Rumor has it, though, lead singer Phil Moore and wingwoman Beth Tacular are in a relationship. Whatever type of relationship it may be, some sort of passion was obvious when Beth got a chance to take the lead mic and Phil stepped back, watched Beth sing, and smiled. It nearly gave me the chills, which again says a lot about how personal their performance was.

Bowerbirds seem to be reminiscent of both Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Balmorhea, if the two bands made tender love and produced offspring in the form of a 5-person band. As the set went on, their music became faster and louder, to the point where all the sudden a large chunk of the room was singing and dancing along.

Concert Afterglow: Perhaps the one thing that struck me most about Bowerbirds is their ability to marry the instrumentals the vocals/lyrics perfectly. At times they had me wondering if their music was about one more than the other, because of its strength in nature, but my wavering opinion made me believe that they truly have mastered the art of both.

SongMP3: “House of Diamonds” – Bowerbirds

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Live: Mount Moriah (100Bands #56)

What’s Left: 91 Days. 44 Bands.

Band #56: Mount Moriah

When/Where: June 5, 2011, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC

Expectations: I went into the night expecting more from the opener, Mount Moriah, than from The Bowerbirds. After a recent album release with raging success, even on The Hype Machine, my hopes were high.

Concert: This is the scene: it’s a Sunday night in the summertime. It’s hot, it’s been a beautiful weekend likely spent in the sun, and the only thing you want to do is lay on the couch. That would be my forecast of the night, but it wasn’t the case when a large room filled with North Carolinians who made the trip out to see Mount Moriah and the Bowerbirds at Motorco last night. The room was relatively full, even for the opener, and all listeners seemed eager and excited to hear music from two local bands who have seen incredible success lately.

Mount Moriah brought out a 5-piece band, including a new drummer, who also plays for The Bowerbirds. They won my heart early with the mastery of harmonization and instrumentals. Their music is soft and sweet – from the get-go, it’s nothing to get the crowd jumping around or dancing, but it did have people’s eyes peeled and swaying from side to side. When one of the players, Will Hackney, pulled out a mandolin, ears perked up and the entire sonic experience was taken to a new level.

The show was highlighted by the performance of lead singer Heather McEntire. It’s hard to imagine that such a powerful voice, that could even reach the back of the room when she stood a foot away from the microphone, is packaged into a petite frame that cannot be much taller than 5 feet. Not only was I stunned by her memorable performance, I was impressed with her songwriting abilities, as the lyrics captured my attention throughout all of the songs. This was an incredibly successful performance, and I walked away stunned that what was in front of my eyes was a local band.

Concert Afterglow: The harmonies echoed throughout my mind all night. Mount Moriah is more than capable of being a headlining act themselves.

Recommendation: If Mount Moriah is anywhere near you, go see them. It’s a memorable experience and a calming show.


MP3: “Lament” – Mount Moriah


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Live: LiLa (100Bands #55)

What’s Left: 92 Days. 45 Bands.

Band #55: LiLa

When/Where: June 2, 2011, Motorco Music Hall, Durham, NC

Expectations: I hadn’t heard much music from LiLa before the show, so my expectations were minimal. What I did know is that they’re quickly gaining steam in Durham as a somewhat DIY indie hip hop group. I was told before the show, though, that this was a rather candid performance. Not much of a formal showing from LiLa…so my expectations were low.

Concert: This show was put on in honor of a bartender’s birthday, so it was almost like a private showing that took place after several drinks at the bar. It was intimate and entertaining, though clearly somewhat unrehearsed and impromptu. LiLa, composed of frontmen Jon LeSueur and Eli McDuffie, brought out a somewhat full band that resembled a mix of hipsters in skinny jeans and striped shirts and bros wearing lax pinnies. The eclecticism struck me as just as appealing as the presence of electric guitar, acoustic guitar, drums, trombone, bass guitar, and vocals.

The music, I came to realize, is almost closer to punk-hop than straight up hip hop. The full band was reminiscent of The Roots, but the sound itself was closer to Beastie Boys than anything else. Nearly everything about vocalist Eli McDuffie’s performance embodied a sense of punk rock – from the rigid dance moves to the old school flow – the only difference seemed to be a lack of anger in his persona. I was perfectly okay with this. The only part I struggled with at first was the semi-awkwardness of Eli’s dance moves, but it was masked by his pure excitement to be on the stage performing. The moves make it seem as though Eli is dancing to every 16th note, almost like a bunny on steroids. It made me a bit uncomfortable at first, until I realized how much fun he was having and let myself allow him to revel in the moment. As time went on, I realized it married his personality perfectly. He’s a comedian who you may have to warm up to at first, but his jokes light up the stage and bring the whole band together. Probably the best one of the night, after tripping on the stage a little bit while reaching for his beer: “I accidentally tried to drink the microphone. …Whats up!”

LiLa played a wide range of songs, some of which started out and sounded like folk songs, only until they paused for a brief moment, the beat dropped, and Eli started spitting. Their sound is as eclectic as their appearance. Jon, aka J-La, is the lead singer and has an incredible voice. Together with the old-school rap flow and full band, their sound is large and memorable. I wouldn’t be surprised if this band made a significant mark on the North Carolina scene before too long.

Concert Afterglow: If a show with that much energy was a candid appearance, what does a real show look like?!?

Recommendation: Give LiLa some time to fully round out their sound, and they’ll become a known name in this state. Check them out – it’s entertaining.

Song: “Out With A Bang” – LiLa (Beautiful footage of Durham, NC!)

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Live: Mac Miller (100Bands #54)

What’s Left: 93 Days. 46 Bands.

Band #54: Mac Miller

When/Where: May 20th, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC

Expectations: The Mac Miller bandwagon made its way around Durham pretty quickly and picked up a lot of speed in the wake of recent Wiz Khalifa shows. And though I have my reservations about Mac Miller himself, I was pretty optimistic after a friend reassured me that Mac was even more enjoyable to her than Wiz’s live performance.

Concert: I like being front row, and though I’m not a huge fan of Mac Miller it is for this reason that my concert buddy and I arrived two hours early to Cat’s Cradle before Mac Miller’s sold out show. After sitting around outside and marveling at the number of young high school boys wearing snap backs, we were among the first to enter the venue when doors finally opened. Success. I situated myself at my usual spot, slightly to the right of center stage, and settled in to wait for the first openers.

After an incredibly engaging performance from local talent Rapsody and crew, Mac Miller finally took to the stage with his entire entourage. After playing a few crowd-pleasers, Mac asked the crowd if he could “get serious for a second” and dedicated his next song, “I’ll Be There” to his grandfather who passed away before his big break. He later broke the somewhat somber mood by joking a bit about his mom and asked, “your moms don’t smoke weed too?” It was definitely cool to hear him sing such a serious song live. It was also really representative of the nice variety of songs he played during the show, everything from his most recent tracks off of Best Day Ever to old classics from K.I.D.S. like “Senior Skip Day” and the Owl City-themed “Don’t Mind If I Do.”

Other highlights of the show included “Knock Knock” and “Oy Vey,” two guilty pleasure Mac Miller songs for me. Both are a bit more pop-like in sound, but they turned out to be great live choices, and were easy for the entire crowd to get into and sing along, the crowd got pretty hyped for both. In the end, Mac teased the crowd a bit by stalling before closing with “Donald Trump.” This song was hands-down his most exciting part of the show, even the people I could see backstage were jamming along. The entire room was jumping up and down spitting out lyrics along with Mac. After the whole Mac Miller team vacated the stage, a few girls decided to jump up and start dancing, prompting half the room to rush the stage before security, and Mac himself, asked them to bounce.

The show surprised me. I’m not any bigger of a fan than I was prior to the show, but I definitely respect Mac Miller a bit more, it’s easy to tell he’s a solid guy. Though the crowd was heavy with annoying underage kids, and it’s still kind of strange to me that Mac has his whole “Most Dope Team” on stage with him during the show, I had a good time. From someone in the crowd daringly lighting some celebratory “medicinal,” to everyone dancing with their thumbs up and elbows out, to best bud Jimmy’s seriously flamboyant outfit and bodyguard Big Dave’s sheer size, it all made the night pretty memorable.

Concert Afterglow: Did I really frisk Mac Miller’s leg? Did I really waste my opportunity to rep my school by screaming randomly instead when one of the guys from Rapsody’s set handed me the mike? Was I really one of those lame high schoolers on the stage after the show ended? Yes, yes, and yes. Really hyped show, I could barely sleep that night.

Recommendation: Mac Miller knows how to engage a crowd, and if you like his music at all you will undoubtedly love his concerts. Anyone not really a fan of his music, don’t expect anything new or groundbreaking about the show or his songs, but for a mere $17 I think it was more than worth it.

Written by Ambrielle (Blog | Twitter).

*Sorry for the poor photo quality, forgot the camera at home, had to use my cell phone. I’ll do better next time!

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Live: Robert Sarazin Blake (100Bands #53)

What’s Left: 128 Days. 47 Bands

Band #53: Robert Sarazin Blake

When/Where: April 20th, Lizard Lounge, Cambridge, MA

Expectations: I’ve seen Robert Sarazin Blake once before when he opened for The Powder Kegs (who also play as his East Coast backing band) a few months back. He was one of those openers that caught the crowd’s attention with his sound that could be described as some strange hybrid of Jonathan Richman, Lou Reed, and Bill Callahan. But of course he has his own stories to tell. Sounds good, right? I even walked away the last time with his album, The Air Your Lungs Forced Out. So needless to say the expectations were high.

Concert: Blake played largely from his two new albums both released this year, Put it All Down in a Letter and The Belfast Sessions. Opening with “Hanging On”, as he told the crowd it’s a song about that time after a break-up when you think you should get back together, illiciting laughs before he even played a note.

The Lizard Lounge is not the easiest of places to get full attention from the audience and the stage is more a carpeted rectangle of space awkwardly flanked by tables and chairs on three sides than it is a stage. However, Blake being a master of stage presence and completely at ease, was capable of bringing the crowd to a complete silence more than a few times. During many of his songs there is a lull as he breaks from singing to more of a spoken word stream of conciousness and the crowd dutifully listened to every word. Especially as he adlibed and threw in Cambridge references, spoke of dancing with an Emerson student, and the upcoming performance from Lake Street Drive during his song “I Didn’t Call You from Philadelphia”. That adlibing is something I remembered from the last performance I saw and Blake’s ability to make a story out of a moment, a moment every audience member is a part of no less, is the one of the best forms of concert entertainment I’ve ever experienced.


The interludes of fiddle and piano solos as well as guitar solos from the talented Jefferson Hamer upped the entertainment factor as well. A large reason I decided to go was because two songs have been rattling around my brain from the last time I saw him and I had to hear them again. I did get to hear the beautiful song “Farm in New Hampshire” and the song that I was most looking forward to “We Can Roll Down Tonite/Dublin to Belfast”. The latter is actually a combination of two songs, one being his friend’s song and the rest being some accumulation of thoughts and words he had jotted down. I still don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like that.


Concert Afterglow: I love the emotions and responses that Robert Sarazin Blake can draw out of his audience whether he is ad-libbing or reciting a monologue, or singing. He puts on a “show” in every sense of the word. He also happens to be a mighty fine dancer.


Recommendation: I happen to be seeing him again tonight because I enjoy his music and his performance so much. I can’t imagine many reasons why I would ever miss one of his shows. He travels constantly so chances are you might just be able to catch one of his many concerts, I highly suggest you do.

MP3: We Can Roll Down Tonite/ Dublin To Belfast by Robert Sarazin Blake

Stream/Buy his music on his bandcamp site. He has released 2 LPs in 2011.
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Live: The Apache Relay (100Bands #52)

What’s Left: 148 Days. 48 Bands.
Band #52: The Apache Relay

When/Where: April 7th, Great Scott, Allston, MA
Expectations:I wasn’t at SXSW, but this band kept popping up in tweets, blogs, and articles. I had never heard of them before March and now I want to see what it’s all about.

Concert: The Apache Relay opened for Tristen and Ezra Furman & The Harpoons and it felt like the headlining act was going first. They had so much energy, enthusiasm, and amazing dance moves (which I am totally stealing) that their stage presence trumped the following acts. The five of them crammed on stage looked like they were about to knock each other out with every twist and leg kick. Sometimes the fiddle looks ridiculously small and delicate in the midst of a rock band, but the way Kellen Wenrich played it, it fit right in like it was incredibly natural to be jumping around and foot stomping with a traditional instrument in hand.

Halfway through their set they broke out the song “Home is Not Places,” a song about that homesickness a band can experience during the long weeks on the road. This song kicked their performance up another notch as they played with a fervor usually not seen until the closing song for most bands. They started visibly sweating and their faces turned bright red while genuinely belting out the song. From there on out it was action packed songs and the crowd continually crept closer and danced more and more.

The Apache Relay’s songs showcase a tremendous amount of talent from the well-crafted lyrics, to the perfect blending of fiddle, guitars, and keyboard. Their sound can go from delicate, quiet verses, to crashing drums and seriously shredding their guitars in an instant. It really gets your blood pumping. They closed with even more energy, playing “Can’t Wake Up,” a song off their new record, American Nomad, out next week.

Concert Afterglow: Most of the time I leave shows thinking one of two things; either “that was good” or “I can’t wait to see them again”, and this was very much the latter. I want to see them again so badly that I am seriously considering a road trip to Philly on Saturday to catch their show.

Recommendation:They really are that fantastic and I highly recommend going to see them. (New York, Philly, Pittsburgh are their next stops.)


Written by Jessica  ||  BlogTwitter


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Live: The Dean’s List (100Bands #51)

What’s Left: 150 Days. 49 Bands.

Band #50: The Dean’s List

When/Where: April 5th, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: I didn’t particularly love the latest release from The Dean’s List (The Drive In). Funny thing was, all of my friends seemed to be going to the show to specifically see these guys (over Brenton Duvall and XV). Clearly they must put on a good show.

Concert: So that whole ‘clearly they put on a good show’ thing? Total understatement. I riddle you not: Sonny Shotz is a ridiculously entertaining performer. When I got to the venue, I met up with Brenton Duvall and went backstage to meet the performers. Brenton was his usual self: fun, youthful, energetic, hyper. XV was incredibly sweet and remembered me from an interview we had done about 8 months ago. The guys from The Dean’s List, on the other hand, were a lot more standoffish and quiet. Sonny, DJ Mendoza, and drummer Tyler Thompson were all on one couch, choosing to keep to themselves a bit.

As it turned out, the majority of the crowd showed up to see The Dean’s List. They waited anxiously through two local openers and Brenton’s act for The Dean’s List to take the stage, after which most left before watching XV perform. While this was disappointing to me, I must say, they got their money’s worth with The Dean’s List. The show was incredibly upbeat, there was a full band (they recruited Berklee student Ellis Tucker to be their guitarist on the road – he is an INCREDIBLE guitar player) with a bass guitarist, drummer, and a DJ, and Sonny dominated the entire front section of the stage.

Within seconds of being on stage, Sonny took his shirt off and got really into his performance. While it’s hard to put my finger on what exactly had me so incredibly sold on his act, here are a few things. The dude puts all of his might into rapping. His dance moves are entertaining. He raps a’capella at times, which furthers the intensity. He corrals around stage, hyping up his fellow band members, pushing them around playfully. And last but not least, he appears to have an incredible time on stage. It’s fun to watch, the music is upbeat and lively, and the crowd was loving it. And let me tell you, the second “Dear Professor” came on, the crowd went absolutely wild.

Concert Afterglow: Um, wow. I could wash my clothes using Sonny Shotz’s abs. Just sayin.

Recommendation: Like I said, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Drive In, but the culture and the attitude of the music is completely different when it’s performed live. It’s convincing, it’s fun, and I’m a total fan.


“Dear Professor” – The Dean’s List

Written by Lydia

*Photography Disclaimer: my camera wasn’t working. Sorry for the poor quality; I had to use my cell phone.

Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.

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Live: Brenton Duvall (100Bands #50)

What’s Left: 150 Days. 50 Bands.

Band #50: Brenton Duvall

When/Where: April 5th, Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC
Expectations: Every song I’ve heard from Brenton Duvall in the past year has been golden. He’s also one of my favorite people I had never met in person, thanks to his permanent charisma and love of youth. Cannot wait for this show. Should be an incredible time.

Concert: Brenton Duvall was the first performer for the Animal House Tour. His set consists of a table with his laptop and his boards, and some fun little dance moves. His performance followed two local acts, so the crowd had moved toward the stage, but they still seemed to be awaiting something more. Brenton was able to get people somewhat excited with his incredible mixes and blends of fun party music, but I must say I was disappointed that people weren’t more excited about it. Brenton gets really into his set, doing fun dance moves the whole time and ferociously controlling the boards, playing with the sounds and levels in the venue. I think what will help his set a bit is if he can have enough time to bring on a rapper for a song or two, and maybe even have a full (or small) band playing at his side. I don’t think people quite understand what he does at the table, so to them it’s similar to hearing a DJ, even though, in my opinion, it’s much more than that.

Toward the end of his set, the crowd started to liven up a bit. He played “Mean Planes and Taylor Gangs,” and the Southern audience’s ears perked up when they heard the coveted Taylor Swift. Same thing happened when he played some Ellie Goulding and Skrillex mixes. People seemed to wake up and get excited. My personal hope is that Brenton can get a few more assets on his set, and people will soon realize that they’re watching a master in the making.

Concert Afterglow: Those dance moves…they’re irresistable. I wish I could bottle them up and put them in my pocket.

Recommendation: As I say time and again here on Sunset, don’t sleep on Brenton Duvall. It’s hard to, since his name is all over the blogs today. Go to a concert, and please, for the love of life, let loose. Dance a bit. Mimic Brenton’s moves, if you dare.


“Time For What You Want” (Biggie x Semisonic) – Brenton Duvall

Written by Lydia

*Photography Disclaimer: my camera wasn’t working. Sorry for the poor quality; I had to use my cell phone.

Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.

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Live: Lupe Fiasco (100Bands Review #49)

What’s Left: 151 Days. 51 Bands.
Band #49: Lupe Fiasco

When/Where: March 31st, Central Campus (Duke University), Durham, NC
Expectations: Lupe Fiasco is one of my favorite rappers of all time. His latest album wasn’t my favorite, so I really hope he plays some of his older music.

Concert: Despite the concert being held in an open (and muddy) field on a rainy night, students trekked out to see rapper Lupe Fiasco take the stage; something Dukies have been waiting for for almost 3 years, after Lupe cancelled last minute on a scheduled Last Day of Classes performance. Students flocked the stage, so there was quite a bit of breathing room in the back, where I chose to stand so that I could actually see the performance, as I know that Lupe is known to be a great performer on stage.

Lupe came out with a full band on stage, which at a hip hop performance is always more entertaining than seeing a DJ stand behind a computer, playing pre-made beats. Knowing that Lupe has dreams to a be a punk-rocker, this wasn’t too surprising, but certainly made the show more fun.

Lupe performed songs old and new, which was the highlight of the night for me. Earlier in the day, I had sent Lupe a tweet asking him to make my life complete by performing “The Instrumental,” my personal favorite of all of his songs. I’m not sure if it was my doing or not (I’d like to think so, but it’s highly unlikely), but when the beat for “The Instrumental” came on, I damn near lost my mind. I can proudly say that I know every word to that song, and I’m pretty sure everybody around me heard my performance.

Other songs that Lupe performed included a repertoire of tunes from his latest release, Lasers, but also a handful of other earlier songs, including another favorite of mine, “Hip Hop You Saved Me.” He gave a shout out to every single one of his full releases, which was interesting given that he has admitted to not be in love with his newest album. His balance of songs from Lasers and older releases made it seem as though Lupe was still able to enjoy himself while doing what many in the crowd would expect: performing his newest songs.

Lupe also performed a song that he said didn’t make the final cut for Lasers, called “Scream.” He told the crowd to scream every time they heard the hook, and the crowd got pretty riled up and excited about this feature. For an audience of Duke students, who are typically pretty stingy at concerts, this was a rather rowdy experience for a rainy night. Needless to say, I was more than impressed with Lupe’s job on stage.

Concert Afterglow: Hearing “Instrumental” still has me smiling.

Recommendation: Even if you don’t like Lasers, go see Lupe if he comes to town. He’ll play a mix of old and new songs, which is way worth your money.


“The Instrumental” – Lupe Fiasco

Written by Lydia

*Photography Credit: Duke Chronicle

Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.

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100Bands: Concert Poll

Last time we did a concert poll it was a really close race and a lot of fun to be a part of. April 12th brings three excellent headlining acts to Boston, all of which I’d be happy to see, so please help me decide. Below are links to all of the bands’ websites and samples of their music, as much as I’d like to tell you about these bands, I don’t want to influence your decision. Don’t forget to take into account the opening acts as well. Thanks in advance for your participation and I’m looking forward to the results. Polls will close on midnight Friday April 8th, vote as much as you want (you get one vote per day) until then. Bands are simply listed in alphabetical order, headlining band appears first.

The Boxer Rebellion with We Are Augustines
Song: “No Harm” – The Boxer Rebellion

Ha Ha Tonka with The Spring Standards previously reviewed
Song: Walking on the Devil’s Backbone – Ha Ha Tonka

Wye Oak with Callers
Song: “Civilian” – Wye Oak

Written by Jessica ||  BlogTwitter

Did you know that two Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.

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