We stood ridiculously close to Thurston Moore at his High Noon Saloon show (his band included former Sonic Youth bandmate and drummer Steve Shelley, My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe, and guitarist James Sedwards). No Sonic Youth material. Played a large portion of his recent album The Best Day and tunes from an upcoming album titled Rock ’n’ Roll Consciousness. For a 57-year-old punk/noise band innovator from the distant 80s, he nearly convinced me when he declared at one point, “I’ve been waiting forever to grow old” and “old is the new young.” Music ran the gamut from classic-sounding Neil Young rockers to trippy Fripp/Eno guitar instrumentals to blistering noise, sometimes all within the same song.
Posts Tagged 'High Noon Saloon'
Tags: Brian Eno, Debbie Googe, High Noon Saloon, James Sedwards, My Bloody Valentine, Neil Young, Robert Fripp, Rock 'n' Roll Consciousness, Sonic Youth, Steve Shelley, The Best Day, Thurston Moore
Tags: Big Bill Broonzy, Common Ground, Dave & Phil Alvin, High Noon Saloon, James Brown, Lisa Pankratz, Madison, The Blasters, What's Up With Your Brother?
A capacity crowd at Madison’s High Noon Saloon last night greeted brothers Dave and Phil Alvin performing with their three-piece backup band, The Guilty Ones. In a word (or two) we were blown away. They played for two and a half hours without a break, including four encore numbers. The Big Bill Broonzy tunes from their new album, Common Ground, were only a portion of the ambitious set list, which ranged through 80s Blasters songs, material from Dave’s solo albums, and a cover of James Brown’s “Please, Please, Please.” Phil’s voice was spellbinding and powerful, confirming a miraculous recovery from 2012 health concerns.
Couple of highlights: a monstrous drum solo from Lisa Pankratz on Dave’s song “Dry River”; and Dave telling the story of composing “What’s Up With Your Brother?” after a Madison solo gig a few years ago at High Noon Saloon: he kept getting interrupted on his way to use the bar’s bathroom by audience members asking about his brother. The story, of course, was followed by Dave and Phil’s bang-up rendition of the song.
Tags: Future Islands, Gerrit Welmers, High Noon Saloon, Late Show with David Letterman, Madison Wisconsin, Michael Lowry, Samuel Herring, SXSW, Tim Jonze, UK Guardian, William Cashion
Last Thursday night’s sold-out Future Islands concert at Madison, Wisconsin’s High Noon Saloon was an opportunity to see something that I’m sure happens from time to time but rarely when you’re privileged to attend the show. The scenario is this: A long-touring band with several indie-label releases is given an unexpected and explosive career boost—in this instance, a March 4th appearance on Late Show with David Letterman and a subsequent viral YouTube video of the performance—and suddenly the smaller venues they’ve been booked into are bursting at the seams. (High Noon Saloon’s capacity is 400.) Tim Jonze, music editor for the UK Guardian, titled a March 6th blog post, “My mind has been blown by Future Islands on David Letterman.”
As mesmerizing as Future Islands singer Samuel Herring is in the Letterman video, it was surpassed a hundredfold on the Madison concert stage. (You can get a pretty good sense of this from another YouTube video of the band performing at SXSW in Austin the week before they hit Madison.) Herring was backed by expert bandmates (Gerrit Welmers on keyboards/programming, William Cashion on bass, and drummer Michael Lowry) who kept the synth-pop groove anchored while Herring ferociously sang, shimmied, thumped his chest, whacked the side of his head, growling one moment, crooning the next, writhing on the stage floor, his voice switching from primal punk to Motown soulfulness on a dime.
At one point in the show, mid-song, Herring’s microphone broke apart, torn wires dangling in his hand. He kept going and led the energized crowd in a singalong by mouthing the words and never missing a beat. “First time that’s happened in eleven years of performing,” he said, laughing, once he was again wired for sound. A young girl in front of us hugged him as he came off stage at the end of the night. She was both gleeful and drenched, as Herring was trailing an ocean of sweat.
Tags: Andrew Rieger, Derek Almstead, Elf Power, Eric Harris, Goldmine in the Sun, High Noon Saloon, Icarus Himself, Jimmy Hughes, Junkie Nurse, Laura Carter, Like a Cannonball, Nick Whetro, Royal Trux, Stranger in the Window, The Taking Under
Athens, Georgia-based indie music stalwarts Elf Power have released a strong new CD—their tenth studio album—and are touring. The band’s ethereal psych pop and mystical lyricism remain strikingly original as ever, like some sylvan hybrid of William Butler Yeats and early R.E.M. filtered through The Notorious Byrd Brothers. That’s the good news. The bad, sad news is how sparsely attended their High Noon Saloon show was last Monday night in Madison. A generous estimate would place the “crowd” at around 30 people. But let’s face it: woe unto any Wisconsin public event scheduled the same night as a televised Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears football game.
Given the desultory circumstances, Elf Power’s current five-member lineup (lead singer/songwriter Andrew Rieger, bassist Derek Almstead, guitarist Jimmy Hughes, keyboardist Laura Carter, and drummer Eric Harris) gave an engaging, and, at times, inspired performance. Bassist Almstead’s harmonizing vocals didn’t find their sweet spot until a couple of numbers in, but audience sympathy was on his side as he was hobbling to and from stage on crutches from an apparent injury or sprain.
Highlights included four standout songs from the new album: “The Taking Under,” “Stranger in the Window,” “Like a Cannonball,” and “Goldmine in the Sun.” And a seemingly out of character but very fun cover of “Junkie Nurse” by Royal Trux. Opening for Elf Power were reverb-drenched Madisonians Icarus Himself, whose Fine Young Cannibals falsetto flourishes from lead Nick Whetro were a rousing rebuke to a shamefully underpopulated night at the High Noon Saloon.