Savages at 9:30 Club on March 27, 2016 (See the full blog)
As we wrap up 2016 here at Parklife DC, we looked back on our best concert photos of the year, where reviewed our 10 (actually 11) favorite photos on our blog.
But while Paivi and Kristie considerably brightened up our blog with their pictures, Theresa C. Sanchez and myself also have been out there photographing some concerts. So now we are rounding up the best of the rest to present some cool photos that Theresa and I captured over the year as well.
Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches sings at Echostage on Oct. 17, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
I’ll confess that I’m a man whose taste in music is readily apparent. If you have new wave tunes to play, particularly from 1976-86, I’m going to show up and listen to them. That said, a number of incredible legacy new wave bands happened to travel through the DC metro area over the past year, and I took the opportunity to review them for our humble blog.
That said, a number of younger bands definitely broke through and seized my attention, most notably Canada’s Operators, who were the most exciting new band I’ve seen in some time. As with Operators, many of the best performances I witnessed in 2016 came from bands whose leaders are among the Masters of Synthpop, and so I have dedicated a postscript of really great synthpop shows that may have “missed” the top 10 but otherwise deserve a lot of applause.
Check out my top 10 list of concerts I saw for Parklife DC. (Click on the concert slugline to revisit the full review.)
Jehnny Beth and Ayse Hassan blow the lid off the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
During the high point of a concert full of high points, Jehnny Beth rose up on the hands and shoulders of the audience at the 9:30 Club after walking out onto the crowd to belt out “Hit Me” from the Savages’ debut album, Silence Yourself.
After having kicked off her famously high heeled shoes, the lead singer of the post-punk quartet was born aloft by dozens of sturdy hands by admirers who readily followed her direction. Taking the opportunity to turn a combative track on its head, Jehnny asks the audience if they will catch her if she falls. The answer from the nearly sold-out house on Sunday night was an overwhelming “yes!” When she is done singing her verse, Jehnny crowd surfs back to the front of the club to return to the stage.
Angus Tarnawsky performs at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)
Angus Tarnawsky is a drummer, but in performance he’s not a traditional percussionist.
The Australian-born New Yorker takes to the stage with an electronic dashboard, bursting with knobs and wires, as well as a deconstructed drum set — cymbals to his left and a drumhead to his right. As he moves his way from song to song, Angus creates deliberate, focused sound on his drum set, samples it, and then loops it into an electronic selection that can dissolve into ambience or hopscotch into tribal rhythms.
Performing as the opener for UK quartet Savages at the 9:30 Club on Sunday night, Angus held the attention of a very full room. The gathering crowd waited politely when the lights dimmed to signal the beginning of his set, not fully knowing what to expect. But soon, concert-goers were pleased to travel along Angus’ experimental sonic landscapes. Angus was a perfect opener for Savages, who handpicked him as the first act for the first three weeks of their US tour, which began Sunday night. (He’ll jump off the bill during the time the band perform at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in mid-April.)
Angus Tarnawsky (Photo by Gina Garcia)
Tasmanian musician Angus Tarnawsky is a jack of all trades. Dividing his time between Vancouver and Brooklyn, the electronic artist and drummer runs a record label, In Context Music, which explores the intersection of electronic and acoustic music. And he released his first solo EP Pitched via Inner Surface Music in 2014.
Angus is coming to DC to perform some of his music as the opener for Savages at the 9:30 Club on Sunday, March 27. Resident Advisor said of Pitched, “Throughout, Tarnawsky deploys the kind of sound palette you might associate with Raster-Noton—bursts of sculpted static, clear synthetic tones, bass that sounds like amplified ground hum.”
Listen to “Expand Contract” by Angus while watching some hypnotic visuals for the techno track on YouTube:
Angus enjoys improvising, employing heavy bass as well as crystalline ambience, to create a unique performance. He’s sure to deliver an absorbing performance when he’s in town.
Tickets are available online.
Opening for Savages
Sunday, March 27