Live Review: Franz Ferdinand @ 9:30 Club — 8/10/22

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Alex Kapranos fronts Franz Ferdinand at 9:30 Club on Aug. 10, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In a show otherwise as smooth as silk at 9:30 Club, Scots new wavers Franz Ferdinand’s recent concert saw a lone tumultuous moment during the fourth song of the set, “Evil Eye” (which hails from their 2013 album, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action).

One troublemaker several rows back from the stage apparently started throwing punches, and Franz frontman Alex Kapranos stopped the show dead to check out the perpetrator’s *wrong* thoughts and wrong action! The house lights came up slightly, and Alex scoffed at the guilty party.

“Really? A fight!” Alex exclaimed. “We’re here for a good time. This is no place to fight.” With the assistance of the lights, 9:30 Club bouncers identified the troublemaker and escorted him out of the venue.

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Snapshots: The Weeknd @ FedEx Field — 7/30/22

The Weeknd performs at FedEx Field on July 30, 2022. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)

Few artists have the star power to pack out an 82,000 stadium seat venue like Canadian-born masked singer-songwriter The Weeknd. With all of his feels and theatrics in tow, he’s made a super successful career on a bigger than life persona. 

Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (The Weeknd) burst onto the music scene with a slew of popular mixtapes that helped him quickly gain a loyal, unwavering fan base. His enigmatic records can best be described as romantic and dark often inspired by his own personal experiences. A journey that has led him to numerous accolades, including four Grammy Awards and 20 Billboard Music Awards,… and now to FedEx field for a concert spectacular!

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Preview: Peter Hook & The Light @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8/25/22

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The Light perform live At 02 Academy Leeds on July 1, 2022. (Photo by Neil Chapman / Unholy Racket)

As a stop on a massive cross cross-continental journey, taking them across the United States and Canada in August and September 2022 for their biggest and most extensive trek to date, Peter Hook & The Light’s “Joy Division: A Celebration” visits The Fillmore Silver Spring on Thursday, Aug. 25.

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Preview: Duran Duran @ Merriweather Post Pavilion, 8/23/22

Duran Duran
Duran Duran (Photo courtesy High Rise PR)

New wave heroes Duran Duran finally return to North American for a long-anticipated tour in support of their excellent new album Future Past.

Catch Duran Duran in the DC-area at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Tuesday, Aug. 23, with with their very good friend and disco legend Nile Rodgers opening!

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Preview: Blondie w/ The Damned @ The Anthem, 8/21/22

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Blondie (Photo by Guy Furrow)

On Aug. 26, punk innovators Blondie release Blondie: Against the Odds, an archival box set of remastered music encapsulating the band’s career from 1974-1982.

In the dates leading up to the release, Blondie have hit the run for a North American Tour, which includes a date at The Anthem on Sunday, Aug. 21, with special guests The Damned!

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Live Review: Howard Jones w/ Midge Ure @ 9:30 Club — 7/19/22

Howard JonesHoward Jones delivered a superb performance at 9:30 Club on July 19, 2022. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“I’m going to write the most positive song I’ve ever written in my entire life!” Howard Jones declared to himself when crafting the pandemic-era album, Dialogue, which has released this year. He was inspired to write as “things were getting better,” and the result was worthy!

Now, the British new wave singer-songwriter is known for his share of positive messages, so this was a tall order in deed. The new song, however, “Celebrate It Together,” one of three new tunes performed by Howard in his recent appearance at 9:30 Club, was embraced with enthusiasm by the very full house.

In fact, the entire night was something of a lovefest with the talented Mr. Jones in top shape, commanding a full array of synthesizers, accompanied by his long-time friend Midge Ure as opener.

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Live Review: The Psychedelic Furs w/ X @ The Fillmore Silver Spring — 7/17/22

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The Psychedelic Furs perform at The Fillmore Silver Spring on July 17, 2022. (Photos by Jason Nicholson; Words by Mickey McCarter)

The music of The Psychedelic Furs is the haze of a muggy summer day. It hangs in the air, and you can see wafting up it as you move through it. Their music is the gentle breeze that breaks through that haze, and it’s the downpour that happens when the humidity becomes too much to bear. The cool air that follows is also the music of The Psychedelic Furs — crisp and refreshing.

The sweet relief does not come without a bit of unpleasantness, and that is a key ingredient of The Psychedelic Furs’ compositions. We were reminded of such on a particular muggy day recently when The Psychedelic Furs showered The Fillmore Silver Spring with fuzzy earworms, wrought in extraordinary confidence and competence.

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Preview: The Psychedelic Furs w/ X @ The Fillmore Silver Spring, 7/17/22

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The Psychedelic Furs (Photo courtesy Sonic PR)

The Psychedelic Furs, English neo-psychedelic legends, released Made in Rain, their first album of original material in nearly 30 years in 2020. Since then, the band have hit the road as the touring force of nature they remain in support of their Maid in Rain 2022 Tour.

With special guests X, The Psychedelic Furs headline The Fillmore Silver Spring on Sunday, July 17!

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Live Interview: Midge Ure (@ 9:30 Club, 7/19/22)

Midge UreMidge Ure (Photo courtesy Chuff Media)

The 9:30 Club encapsulated its upcoming night of highly intellectual dance music perfectly:

“Ah, sophisti-pop: the most elegant genre from music’s most elegant decade, the ’80s. Fusing together all the best parts — both musically and aesthetically — of new wave, soul, and jazz, Howard Jones and Midge Ure (both with Ultravox and as a solo performer) came to define the sound alongside Rough Trade royalty like The Style Council, The Human League, and Scritti Politti.

“Be warned, you may experience the following side effects at a Howard Jones & Midge Ure show: 1) feeling good, 2) dancing great, and 3) looking even better!”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. But I do get to add some dimension to the adroit concert preview by interviewing the one and only Midge Ure himself. Parklife’s Mickey McCarter chatted about his old friend Howard Jones, the resurgent and powerful Kate Bush, and his own experiences in going viral prior to his appearance at 9:30 Club on Tuesday, July 19.

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