Grammy-nominated metal giants Mastodon thrilled a packed house at the Earl on Thurs., March 11, headlining a fundraiser for local musician Steve "Stiff Penalty" McPeek's medical bills. It was a rare opportunity for fans to see a major label act in a 300 person capacity club. Since the band was not on tour, their set list was a mix of old and new tracks, culminating with a raucous jam of "Blood and Thunder," from 2004's breakthrough album Leviathan. Opening support was provided by Athens noise rockers Motherfucker, McPeeks and Brent Hinds' longtime metal-charged surf and rockabilly project Fiend Without a Face, and cosplaying punks Lust.
British singer-songwriter Sam Smith opened his first major tour to a sold-out crowd at the Fox Theatre on January 9. Smith released his debut album In the Lonely Hour in May 2014.
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On Dec. 19, Rising Appalachia played the Fox Theatre's Egyptian Ballroom with special guest Theresa Davis.
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On Dec. 20, Justin Timberlake brought his 20/20 Experience Tour back to Georgia for a second time performing to a sold-out crowd at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The tour has been on the road for two years and this was his last show of 2014. Timberlake and his band the Tennessee Kids played for nearly three hours.
More photos after the break.
On Tuesday, Dec. 16, a packed room at Smith's Olde Bar got to take a nostalgia trip back to the '90s. Thanks to Radio 105.7, famed British post-grunge rockers Bush put on a live acoustic show in the upstairs music venue.
I stopped by 529 last night to catch Faun and a Pan Flute, and, behold Lonnie Holley sat front and center for the first part of the set, playing keys and raging about “technology computer management.” I heard something about air conditioners, iPhone, gPhones, face-phones, and tablets, too. The band was performing at full-stride — “Faunie Holley.” This configuration of players needs to record something stat.
On Dec. 6, a traveling caravan of staple and underground electronic-industrial acts featuring Youth Code, Haujobb, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy roared through Atlanta for a night of harsh musical antagonism. It was a victory lap for Skinny Puppy, following the group’s February show at Center Stage supporting its latest album, 2013’s The Weapon. Saturday night’s Buckhead Theatre show wasn’t so different from what Skinny Puppy brought in February, albeit a slightly different, better set list. Tearing into “Convulsion” from Too Dark Park right off the bat set the tone for just how much frightfully dark and visceral power this group can summon with its presence alone. Skinny Puppy sets a high standard with its blend of psychedelic lights and twisted sounds it uses to deliver real-time emotional experiences: Fear, derangement, and empowerment fly at the brain and the ears in equal measure when Skinny Puppy performs. On Saturday night, the group tore through a comprehensive set that included newer numbers such as “IllisiT” and “Solvent” to older classics “VX Gas Attack,” “Testure,” "Worlock," "God's Gift Maggot," and “Assimilate.”
Youth Code set the night in motion around 7:30 p.m. During the week leading up to the show the L.A.-based duo of Sara Taylor and Ryan William George became the people’s choice for MVPs of the night. The crowd was there early enough to catch their bare-bones stage show that draws from the warehouse hardcore show aesthetic more than anything else — high energy, what you see is what you get.
Youth Code’s stage presence was a minimal bookend to Skinny Puppy’s sensory jamming spectacle of psychedelic lights and grotesque theatrics. Haujobb and Front Line Assembly kept the momentum going for what’s sure to be the industrial music gathering of the year.
And if you missed it, check out Crib Notes' list of “10 essential albums from the outer reaches of Skinny Puppy's universe."
FKA twigs, the abstract R&B project of singer, dancer, and producer Tahliah Barnett played to a sold-out Terminal West on Dec. 2. Barnett put on a dazzling show of varied dance performance to a massive light show that kept the crowd lingering on her every move, and on every note she sang. Throughout the show most of the audience watched through the view of their phones, which brought an ironic quality to the show considering her song "Video Girl," which comments on her personal grievances with being pigeonholed as the "girl in that video." Otherwise the show was relatively barebones: Three backing musicians operated controllers with minimal touches of guitars and percussion, all of which underscored Tahliah's engaging presence at the front of the stage.
Beck and Alabama Shakes...that's about it. I'm sure there's an unknown or two I would…
Well, this years Music Midtown sucks!
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
3 people apparently love handing over an extra 40% in fees for nothing in return…
Dang. I thought they would name some actual headliners.
Forgot to mention that Iggy did a stellar show @ the Agora in the spring…