30 artists play catalog with full string and horn sections, plus bagpipes
By Patrick Doyle
Beatles tribute shows have been happening since the band stopped playing, but many veer on parody, with moptop costumes and failure to execute the band's complex studio arrangements live. Every Thanksgiving weekend in the Northeast, there's an exception: More than two dozen of New England's top artists gather for Beatles Night, an arena-size set leaning heavily on late-period songs the Beatles never attempted in concert, with stacked harmonies and full horn and string sections.
Timbaland joins the rapper onstage in St. Paul
By Dan Hyman
In the nearly two decades since Jay Z first appeared on the hip-hop scene, an ex-crack-dealing Brooklynitewith a sweet cadence and tragic wit, the man born Shawn Carter has worn many hats: record label head, clothier, restaurateur and most recently, sports agent. Still, as the rap icon made clear to the St. Paul crowd on the opening night of his Magna Carter World Tour –standing front-and-center, smiling as he adjusted his black leather Brooklyn Nets hat and sparkling gold chains after a nearly two-hour, tirelessly energetic performance – performing live still gives him the biggest thrill. "I’ll never get used to this shit," he told the Xcel Energy Center crowd, after ripping through a synth-drenched rendition of "Encore" at the start of a triumphant five-song farewell to a momentous career-spanning set.
Jack Black, Anne Hathaway, Donald Glover and more stars show up to perform Beck's sheet-music album
By Gavin Edwards
Because we live in an age where even many professional musicians can't read sheet music, it seemed like a quixotic gesture last year when Beck released "Song Reader: 20 New Songs," not recorded in the studio, but rendered as sheet music in a book published by McSweeney's. While you can't rip a paper book to your iPod, Beck's printed collection has had some cool side effects: people adapting the songs and uploading the results to YouTube, and all-star concerts featuring the songs in San Francisco and London. Last night marked the third show in that series, in Beck's hometown of Los Angeles, at the gorgeous Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Mountains! Masks! White Jesus! What more do you want, people?
By Jonathan Ringen
Reading some of the reviews of Kanye West's Yeezus tour, you start to sense that the monster wave of critical acclaim the superstar producer-MC has been riding since his Polo-and-backpack days is finally breaking. It turns out (shocker!) that near-constant, Tourettes-like declarations that you're a "creative genius" might turn people off. But judging from his shows at Brooklyn's Barclays Center arena this week, we don't quite get the hate. The show is crazily entertaining, hugely ambitious, emotionally affecting (really!) and, most importantly, totally bonkers. As for Ye being at least some kind of genius? To paraphrase The Big Lebowski, he might be an [expletive], but he's not wrong. Here are 11 things about the tour that prove it:
Guitarist also plans release of six-CD live collection of shows with the Jerry Garcia Band from 1989
By Eric R Danton
Bob Weir will hit the road with Ratdog early next year for a month-long tour that could coincide with the release of a six-disc live recording of shows he and Rob Wasserman performed with the Jerry Garcia Band in 1989.
The North American shows will keep them busy through August 2014
By John Blistein
Arcade Fire have announced a massive North American arena tour behind their new album Reflektor set to kick off next March and run through August. The trek starts March 6th at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky and wraps up August 30th with a homecoming show at Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Montreal stars play new tunes from 'Reflektor' at secretive costume party
By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Arcade Fire's show at a Brooklyn warehouse began with a prank. Around 9:30 p.m., LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy – who co-produced Arcade Fire's excellent new album, "Reflektor" – climbed onto a small stage in the back of the space. "There's been a little snafu," Murphy apologetically told the fans who had been pressed up against this stage for 90 minutes, watching crew members tune instruments and put down set lists. "We can only get three members right now. But it's going to be OK. In the interim, I'd like to introduce . . . the Reflektors!"
Three people in huge papier-mâché head-masks shuffled onstage and jammed vaguely on guitar, bass and drums for a few minutes before shuffling back off. A pause of several moments followed. Just when everyone in the crowd was thoroughly befuddled, there was a loud noise from the opposite side of the warehouse – where a curtain had just been pulled away to reveal a much larger stage, covered with mirrors and glitter, on which the real Arcade Fire were now launching into "Reflektor," the dark-tinted disco groove that opens the new LP. The audience was almost too busy wildly stampeding toward the new stage to cheer properly.
The Piano Man played plenty of rarites and hinted he might tour the U.S. soon
Billy Joel treated fans to a rarities show in Long Island, New York on Oct. 16, telling the crowd at the tiny Paramount Theatre in Huntington he's "tired" of playing his hits.
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