Live Review: River Whyless @ Union Stage — 4/11/22

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River Whyless perform at Union Stage on April 11, 2022. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)

For those of us who’ve seen our favorite bands multiple times (followers of the Grateful Dead and Phish come to mind), we’ve learned how to spot patterns and/or variations in the live performances of the songs, onstage banter, and the unspoken conversation between artist and audience. Although I have yet to follow River Whyless on tour, I have diligently observed their career for close to a decade and have seen the band perform nearly twenty times. This past Monday, River Whyless appeared at Union Stage showcasing songs from their new album, Monoflora, and I was just as captivated as the first time I saw them perform in 2013.

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Live Review: Andy Shauf @ Black Cat — 3/30/22

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Andy Shauf leads his band in a performance at Black Cat on March 30, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When a musician is so particular enough about their sound as to be exact, it can be heard in their recordings. Translating that approach to a live performance should be appreciated and admired for the impressive feat that is.

After two previous attempts were simply not to be due to the pandemic and travel challenges, Andy Shauf finally returned the nation’s capital to appear at Black Cat recently for a tasteful and rewarding display of the unique and flawless brand of music that has made him a sensational figure out of Western Canada.

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Live Review: Perfume Genius @ 9:30 Club — 3/25/22

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Michael Alden Hadreas leads Perfume Genius in a performance at 9:30 Club on March 25, 2022. (Photo by Casey Vock)

Though they’re unfortunate in the first place, calamitous life experiences can in rare cases provide the motivation for what become some of the most remarkable forms of artistic expression.

Michael Alden Hadreas is one of the many gay people in America who, as an adolescent and then even more so as a teenager, suffered deplorable treatment from cruel peers who were part of a nation struggling, and still to this day, with its own homophobia.

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Preview: Perfume Genius @ 9:30 Club, 3/25/22

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Perfume Genius (Photo courtesy Grandstand Media)

Perfume Genius aka Mike Hadreas has announced a spring tour that will bring him to DC to perform at 9:30 Club on Friday, March 25.

The dates mark some of his first live shows in these cities since the release of his critically acclaimed Set My Heart on Fire Immediately.

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Live Review: Rufus Wainwright @ The Anthem — 9/28/21

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Rufus Wainwright captivates at The Anthem on Sept. 28, 2021 (Photos by David LaMason)

Rufus Wainwright is back with new pop-oriented material with Unfollow the Rules and also a new tour, leading him to DC and The Anthem on a recently cooling early Autumn night.

This pop reinvention follows Wainwright’s work on an opera, Prima Donna (his second; the first being Hadrian) and an LP of songs based on the work of William Shakespeare. (Shakespeare and the opera play heavily throughout his body of work as far back as his debut and “Damned Ladies” — one to definitely check out!)

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Live Review: Bleachers @ The Anthem — 9/24/21

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Bleachers performs at The Anthem on Sept. 24, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“There is no cynicism in live music,” declared Jack Antonoff, adding, “We fucking missed you.”

And a sold-out audience at The Anthem clearly missed Jack, embracing the sincere narratives of new songs by Bleachers from album Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night in a recent life-affirming performance.

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Preview: Rufus Wainwright and Jose Gonzalez @ The Anthem, 9/28/21

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Rufus Wainwright (Photo by Tony Hauser)

GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has announced plans for a U.S. co-headline tour alongside visionary singer-songwriter-guitarist José González. The tour named, “Unfollow The Rules in the Local Valley” arrives at The Anthem in DC on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

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Live Review: Modest Mouse @ The Anthem — 8/17/21

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Modest Mouse brings the house down at The Anthem on Aug. 17, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

I have a foggy recollection of the last time I saw Modest Mouse before they took the stage Wednesday night at The Anthem. The time before the last time was back in 1996 at the now defunct Fletchers in Baltimore. Back then the band had released their debut LP, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About — a three-piece performing on a small stage — and to see where the band started to now has been incredible!

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