Live Review: Preoccupations @ Union Stage — 12/13/21

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Preoccupations perform at Union Stage on Dec. 13, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

In my chosen listening experiences, synths usually deliver bright treble to a pleasing harmony. Canadian post-punks Preoccupations sought to expand my horizons a bit in a recent concert at Union Stage, where the quartet wielded their synths in a tight rumble that augmented the urgency of their music.

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Live Review: Tokyo Police Club @ Union Stage — 11/20/21

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A full house greets Tokyo Police Club at Union Stage on Nov. 20, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Happy and relaxed, vocalist Dave Monks beamed at the capacity audience at Union Stage in DC recently, wrapping a tour that celebrated 10 years of his band Tokyo Police Club’s sophomore album, Champ.

Dave had a lot to be happy about and the jangly, singalong songs of Champ set the perfect mood for celebration on the last night of a North American tour.

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Snapshots: Surfer Blood @ DC9 — 11/13/21

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Surfer Blood performs at DC9 on Nov. 13, 2021. (Photo by Ben Eisendrath; Words adapted from press materials.)

Over a year ago, Surfer Blood released Carefree Theatre, their fifth studio album, and returned to their first label, Kanine Records. Surfer Blood finally toured behind the record and also returned to DC in a sold-out show at DC9 on Saturday. Ben Eisendrath was there to shoot the show.

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Snapshots: The Psychedelic Furs @ Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center — 11/6/21

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Richard Butler fronts The Psychedelic Furs at Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on Nov. 6, 2021. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)

In 2020, The Psychedelic Furs released Made of Rain, the band’s first album of new material in nearly 30 years! To the delight of the DMV, frontman Richard Butler and company have dedicated much of their setlist to the new record on their current tour, and they played new songs at Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on Saturday.

Jason Nicholson was there to photograph the Furs’ extraordinary return.

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Live Review: Nation of Language w/ The Wants @ Songbyrd Music House — 10/31/21

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Nation of Language perform at Songbyrd Music House on Oct. 31, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Perhaps Halloween shows should be spooky but the audience at a sold-out show at Songbyrd Music House was nothing but smiles for synthpoppers Nation of Language and their openers The Wants Sunday. While the performance may have dealt in its share of angst as musical inspiration, the 200+ folks gathered could only dance in delight as the young New York City bands also took a page from classic new wave and post-punk acts that would have made MTV’s 120 Minutes proud.

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Live Review: black midi @ Union Craft Brewing — 10/21/21

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Morgan Simpson of black midi during a performance at Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore on Oct. 21, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

When’s the last time you absorbed live music that legitimately blew you away? What would it sound like or look like?

These are questions you might not ask yourself each time you head to a local venue, but you could have nevertheless been faced with answers to them if you happened to find yourself at Union Craft Brewing recently, when black midi, a rock group from London, was making an important appearance on their current stateside tour.

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Live Review: IDLES @ 9:30 Club –10/17/21

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IDLES perform at 9:30 Club on Oct. 17, 2021. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)

You’d be hard pressed to name a better or more electrifying live band right now than Bristol, England’s IDLES. Hard and fast enough for the punk fans, heavy enough for the metal fans and progressive enough for the indie fans, IDLES hit a sweet spot that no other band can touch right now at 9:30 Club in the first of two-sold out nights on Sunday. Their songs address a wide range of topics such as politics, depression, and toxic masculinity and more importantly give listeners the release that great live music demands.

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