Johnny Marr performs at The Fillmore Silver Spring on Oct. 17, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
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.
Ex Hex performs at Black Cat on Sept. 15, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
“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.
Modern English performs during the Retro Futura Tour on July 14, 2018. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
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.
James Alex of Quiet Slang pours out his heart at the Rock and Roll Hotel on July 12, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
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.
Roger Daltrey performs at Wolf Trap on June 10, 2018. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
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.
Roger Daltrey (Photo courtesy Wolf Trap)
Roger Daltrey, the legendary lead singer and founding member of The Who, performs the band’s famous rock opera Tommy in full on two dates at Wolf Trap — Sunday, June 10, and Tuesday, June 12! A handful of seats remain for each performance.
Sloan plays a packed Rock & Roll Hotel on May 11, 2018. (Photo by David LaMason)
For nearly 30 years, the Toronto-based band Sloan has shown how a band can be consistently great while being completely democratic. Each member — Jay Ferguson (guitar/vocals/bass), Chris Murphy (bass/vocals/drums), Patrick Pentland (guitar/vocals/bass), and Andrew Scott (drums/vocals/guitar) — takes on songwriting duties and each song is perfectly crafted and laden with hooks that keep fans coming back from the band’s debut Smeared to the recently released 12th album (appropriately titled) 12. Fans came back again for their latest show at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday.
Jukebox the Ghost (Photo courtesy Ticketfly)
Power pop trio Jukebox the Ghost released Off to the Races, their fifth studio album, in January. The band performs at 9:30 Club on Thursday, May 17, and you can win tickets to go with Parklife DC!
Sloan (Photo by Corbin Smith)
Power pop quartet Sloan released Sloan 12, the band’s 12th studio album, on April 6 via Murderecords/Yep Roc Records. Following its release with a tour, the Toronto rockers will perform at Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday, May 11.
Ex Hex performs at Black Cat on Dec. 30, 2017.
For the past year, I personally wondered if Ex Hex, one of the strongest bands to emerge from DC in quite some time, were going to be a one-album project. After all, their debut album Rips dropped in 2014, and the last 12 months were relatively quiet for the female power pop trio.
Ex Hex crushed my fears in a sold-out show at Black Cat on Saturday, remarkable not only for the wall-to-wall crowd but also the wall-to-wall sound in an upbeat performance that included several new songs! Every show I’ve caught by the band has been good, but this was simply the best.