Heather Baron-Gracie swayed onto stage from the opening notes of “Television Romance” by her band Pale Waves, presenting a vision of a modern pop songstress lightly flavored in a vaguely goth trapping.
Tancred has been on tour for the past four weeks with The Joy Formidable, and they stopped by the Black Cat on Saturday, surprising those who came early with a performance that could have stood alone as the main act!
Johnny Marr blasted into The Fillmore Silver Spring recently, and Jason Nicholson shot the show! Johnny was in great form, and the former guitarist of The Smiths wasn’t shy about playing tunes from that band, including the likes of “Bigmouth Strikes Again,” “The Headmaster Ritual,” and “How Soon Is Now?,” among others.
“If it weren’t for the Black Cat, I wouldn’t be a working musician,” said singer-songwriter Ted Leo at the indie rock club’s 25th anniversary celebrations over the weekend.
Ted’s statement reflected the sentiment of musicians and attendees alike over the two-day 25th anniversary party, which hosted 15 bands and several DJs over Friday and Saturday: Thank you, Black Cat, for being awesome. The mood among concert-goers was particularly festive in recognition that Black Cat likely will be around for a long time still despite its plans to shrink in coming months.
The Retro Futura Tour regularly brings together popular artists from the ‘80s for a circuit through the United States, although it has skipped the DC area in recent years. Nevertheless, the tour got off to a great start last week and then visited Englewood, New Jersey, for a performance at the Bergen Performing Arts Center on Saturday with a terrific roster of talented folks — Limahl, Tony Lewis of The Outfield, Modern English, Belinda Carlisle, and ABC starring Martin Fry.
Parklife DC was there for the concert, and below we share our reflections on Limahl, Tony Lewis, and Modern English. Check back tomorrow for our review of Belinda Carlisle and ABC.
Beach Slang — the loud, driving, heart-on-your sleeve band led by James Alex — has been making their brand of Replacements-tinged powerpunk for a few years now. Beyond the rough and noisy exterior, Beach Slang songs are about connecting with the feeling of being different or an outsider or being yourself despite what others think.
But there’s a soft center to that hard exterior. So when James Alex announced the new quiet focus on Beach Slang songs with a project called Quiet Slang, it seemed like a natural extension. The resulting album, Everything Matters But No One Is Listening, is a beautiful retelling that sounds natural instead of forced, particularly when presented at Rock and Roll Hotel on Thursday.
In 1969, The Who released a masterwork — the impressive rock opera Tommy. It’s a musical revue that has withstood the test of time — and now nearly 50 years after its initial release, singer Roger Daltrey has come to Wolf Trap to perform the show in its entirety.
Sir Roger stormed through 27 songs, including 24 highlights from Tommy alongside a few other tunes, on Sunday, June 10, and he’s set to do it again tonight, Tuesday, July 12. Grab a last-minute ticket and go if you’re not already heading there! As our pictures attest, you won’t regret it.