Live Review: Rodrigo y Gabriela @ The Anthem — 10/6/21

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Rodrigo y Gabriela perform at The Anthem on Oct. 6, 2021. (Photo by Rashad Polk)

Some of the best art is created at the intersection of different cultures and traditions. Rodrigo y Gabriela, the Grammy-winning guitar duo who played The Anthem recently, represent just such an intersection. Natives of Mexico City, Mexico, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quinto grew up under the dual influence of heavy metal (especially Metallica, but also Slayer, Overkill, Testament and Megadeth) and Latin music (including flamenco, as well as the traditions of their home country). 

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Live Review: Jungle @ The Anthem — 10/4/21

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Jungle perform at The Anthem on Oct. 4, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

The most remarkable thing about Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland is that they seem like two very approachable and laidback — if more hip than most — guys who would be really cool to chat with over a few pints.

Their breezy demeanor, however, hides the fact that the two Brits are fine tunesmiths who have a keen ear for hooks and beats in their work as electronic duo Jungle. As evidence, Jungle pulled a host of those tunes from their three studio albums at The Anthem recently, spinning the crowded venue into dancefloor mania with their upbeat and funky music.

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Live Review: Trey Anastasio Band @ The Anthem — 10/1/21

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Trey Anastasio leads his band during a performance at The Anthem on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)

The pandemic and the impacts of COVID have been seen across the music industry since it began and especially hard hit has been the live music segment, with it being a challenge for both touring acts and venues to get all this right in an uncertain environment.

Maybe nowhere has that been more obvious lately than the Trey Anastasio Band tour, an outfit that, just a few weeks ago, would have looked entirely different. Then came a couple positive tests, and trumpet player Jen Hartswick and drummer Russ Lawton were sidelined, putting the back half of the tour in jeopardy.

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Live Review: Rufus Wainwright @ The Anthem — 9/28/21

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Rufus Wainwright captivates at The Anthem on Sept. 28, 2021 (Photos by David LaMason)

Rufus Wainwright is back with new pop-oriented material with Unfollow the Rules and also a new tour, leading him to DC and The Anthem on a recently cooling early Autumn night.

This pop reinvention follows Wainwright’s work on an opera, Prima Donna (his second; the first being Hadrian) and an LP of songs based on the work of William Shakespeare. (Shakespeare and the opera play heavily throughout his body of work as far back as his debut and “Damned Ladies” — one to definitely check out!)

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Live Review: Bleachers @ The Anthem — 9/24/21

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Bleachers performs at The Anthem on Sept. 24, 2021. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

“There is no cynicism in live music,” declared Jack Antonoff, adding, “We fucking missed you.”

And a sold-out audience at The Anthem clearly missed Jack, embracing the sincere narratives of new songs by Bleachers from album Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night in a recent life-affirming performance.

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Preview: Rufus Wainwright and Jose Gonzalez @ The Anthem, 9/28/21

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Rufus Wainwright (Photo by Tony Hauser)

GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has announced plans for a U.S. co-headline tour alongside visionary singer-songwriter-guitarist José González. The tour named, “Unfollow The Rules in the Local Valley” arrives at The Anthem in DC on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

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Live Review: Modest Mouse @ The Anthem — 8/17/21

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Modest Mouse brings the house down at The Anthem on Aug. 17, 2021. (Photo by David LaMason)

I have a foggy recollection of the last time I saw Modest Mouse before they took the stage Wednesday night at The Anthem. The time before the last time was back in 1996 at the now defunct Fletchers in Baltimore. Back then the band had released their debut LP, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About — a three-piece performing on a small stage — and to see where the band started to now has been incredible!

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