Every generation seems to have a white rapper that it simply adores. It all arguably started with Vanilla Ice who then gave way to House of Pain and Eminem. Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore) is the latest white guy to win over teens and twentysomethings. An excellent lyricist who has surrounded himself with a talented producer and a slew of solid singers and dancers, the guy proved he’s no flash in the pan during an engaging 90-minute show last night at a sold out House of Blues.
Macklemore quickly endeared himself to the capacity crowd right from the start. “I hate the Steelers,” he confessed, adding that he and his crew saw the Browns game that afternoon and were thrilled by the big win. After another diatribe about hair cuts, of all things, he launched in “Crew Cuts,” a nostalgic song about growing up on the streets; a breezy horn riff and a lazy melody made the tune really swing. Macklemore then stripped down to a Sonics jersey and got everyone to jump in unison for the high-energy “Life is Cinema,” a track that creatively samples a Killers’ songs. After goofing around with a fan’s fur jacket that he said “smells like a wet grizzly bear,” Macklemore launched into “Thrift Shop,” a song that found him churning out phrases as fast as any dancehall rapper. Macklemore then dedicated “My Oh My” to the late baseball broadcaster Dave Niehaus; the tribute was truly heartfelt and showed how Macklemore can make the most out of simple subject matter. And before playing the concert’s centerpiece, “Same Love,” Macklemore talked a bit about the re-election of President Obama and bragged about the Seattle gay marriage referendum that just passed. The song, which comes out in favor of homosexuality and chastises rappers for being homophobic went over particularly well because Macklemore had singer Mary Lambert, who guests on the studio track, come out and sing the soulful backing vocals.
After playing a tune about drug addiction, Macklemore returned to having fun with “Can’t Hold Us,” “White Walls” and the set closing “Victory Lap,” which segued into “Gold.” He finished the two-song encore off in fitting fashion, waving an Irish flag as he triumphantly strode across the stage and sang about his heritage.
Lestat has everything a serious band needs: Real instruments; tight, well-rehearsed songs; and a frontman not afraid to take the spotlight. One of the most unique bands that has ever come out of Cleveland, Lestat has a sound like none other, forged on the unlikely streets of Parma in the late '80s and tested in the early '90s Goth playground that was the Phantasy in Lakewood. They earned attention, but never acclaim, and a lack of will or the incursion of real life put a stake through the band’s heart. But like the vampire they named themselves after, Lestat came back to life, resurrected in April of this year with their fourth studio album, Arisen. On Saturday at Peabody's the band capped off a busy year that included headlining at the Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club Coven’s Ball over Halloween in New Orleans and completing a tour down the west coast before that.
There was no disagreement from the audience, which packed the hall nearly full. And even this critic, not a fan of the Romantic repertoire, found plenty to chew on in the way Dutch conductor Jaap van Zweden and Canadian pianist Louis Lortie handled the pieces.
This Saturday night, December 1, Scene is partnering with seven bars on West Sixth to celebrate the seven deadly sins. It's a night of indulgence, which we figure you're pretty good at anyway, but it doesn't hurt to have a guide, like a party Sherpa. That's why we're here.
No cover, kick-off at 8:00 p.m., and specialty cocktails at every destination (Liquid, Tequila Ranch, Barley House, Blind Pig, Dive Bar, Rumour, and Velvet Dog.)
Join us, why don't ya.
Despite a catalog full of smart punk/garage nuggets and a girl-group-meets-B-52’s vibe, Scottish O.G., new wavers the Rezillos never gained more than a cult following in America. That’s downright criminal: The band’s all-too-brief show last night at the Beachland Ballroom—the final show of its two-week North American tour and, vocalist Fay Fife noted, its first-ever appearance in Cleveland—was shambolic, sloppy and entertaining.
The Rezillos opened its 15-song set with a new song, “Out Of This World,” which segued neatly into the snotty, fast “Flying Saucer Attack.” The rest of the 50-minute show alternated mainly between new songs (the surf-garage shriek “You’re So Deep,” ferocious “Sorry About Tomorrow”) and cuts drawn mainly from 1978’s Can't Stand The Rezillos. It’s a testament to the band’s talents that these recent-vintage songs fit perfectly among chestnuts such as “Cold Wars,” the b-side “Mystery Action” and a barreling “Destination Venus.”
The night before Thanksgiving is notorious for being a huge party night. Just about everyone has the day off the next day, so why not get wild the night before? Zeds Dead’s “Bassgiving” show at House of Blues that same night made for a perfect storm of college-aged people who were looking for a place to get wasted and jump around to the kind of music that their parents “don’t understand.” It was midnight when Zeds Dead (the production duo DC and Hooks) took the stage, and some fans were a bit worn out from the previous 3 hours of dancing. But once DC grabbed the mic and told everyone to get ready, it was as if his words breathed a second wind into everyone. The set they played explored multiple genres, ranging from dubstep, breaks, moombahton, house, and even drum ’n’ bass. Amongst their well-known productions like “Oh No,” “Adrenaline,” “White Satin,” “Rude Boy,” “Rumble in the Jungle,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “Coffee Break,” and their popular new remix of the Prodigy’s “Breathe,” Zeds Dead threw some curveballs; they played a remix of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” and even played the original version of Blur’s “Song 2,” which stunned the crowd just as much as it excited it. If there was one thing that was lacking, it was the visual production of the show. Usually, DJ performances have a screen where visuals are portrayed, and as of lately, many acts have been doing very innovative and crazy stuff with visual production. But the visuals weren’t that imaginative, and a number of the sequences looked like computer screensavers from the ’90s.
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