Author Archive for Brandon Wu

Photos: Richard Pinhas Plays Familiar Soundscapes at Pyramid Atlantic

"How many of you are here because of the Post or the City Paper articles?" opener TL0741 asked of a packed-house crowd at Pyramid Atlantic last night, which prompted fully a third to a half of the audience to raise their hands. This may have been one of the more thoroughly previewed shows ever put [...]

Photos: Sweetlife Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

This year's version of Sweetgreen's Sweetlife Festival was a bit of a one-note affair, with a lineup dominated by danceable pop-rock bands whose music largely blended into one another.
Two of the outliers got by far the most delirious crowd responses. Rapper 2 Chainz was relegated to the secondary stage but put on an energetic set [...]

Photos: Haim @ 9:30 Club

The brand of pop-rock on Haim's debut record, Days Are Gone, is polished and catchy, so it's not particularly surprising that the band is the latest to sell out two consecutive nights at the 9:30 Club. Also not surprising—but pleasing nonetheless—was that the band's live set emphasized the rock in pop-rock, with heavy percussion, herky-jerky [...]

Photos: The Sounds @ 9:30 Club

Though the crowd was unsurprisingly sparse when doors opened at 5 p.m. for the Sounds' early show at the 9:30 Club last Saturday, by the time the Swedish pop-rockers hit the stage, the venue appeared to be filled to capacity. Over the course of its 16-year, five-album history, the band has built quite a following [...]

Photos: The Dillinger Escape Plan @ Baltimore Soundstage

I've never quite been able to grasp the Dillinger Escape Plan live. How the band manages to play some of the most complex, intricately composed music while hanging from rafters, crowdsurfing, or just generally freaking out like almost no other band in existence will always be a mystery to me. It's been a few years [...]

Photos: ShamrockFest 2014

For the past several years, the annual ShamrockFest at RFK Stadium has been characterized by rainy, cold weather as much as its trademark drunken idiocy. This year, the festival bucked the former trend at least, and the public inebriation took place under bright sun and warm temperatures.
It does seem the festival is suffering in some [...]

Photos: Washington Women in Jazz Festival Gala Show

Last night's "gala show" of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival was worthy of its elevated status on the festival agenda. Festival organizer Amy K. Bormet—interviewed by Mike West last week—put together an all-star sextet featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson (pictured above), drummer Allison Miller, saxophonist Sarah Hughes, trumpeter Jaimie Branch, bassist Karine Chapdelaine, and Bormet [...]

Photos: Ellie Goulding at Echostage

"I'm a little shy," Ellie Goulding said somewhere in the middle of her performance last night at Echostage, but the audience could be pardoned for not believing her. Backed by a large ensemble of instrumentalists and backup singers, Goulding seemed fluent in everything she did—singing, playing guitar and electronics, pounding on floor toms, and working [...]

Photos: Lorde at Echostage

What happens when you throw Lorde and her meditative songs into a cavernous warehouse of a venue originally built for EDM acts and raves? Not surprisingly, something a bit weird.
As an artist and performer, Lorde certainly didn't disappoint last Friday at her sold-out show at Echostage; her vocals were spot-on and impressively faithful to the [...]

Photos: Amon Amarth @ Fillmore Silver Spring

Fans of Swedish death metal stalwarts Amon Amarth would probably describe the band as "consistent" and "reliable"; detractors might say "predictable" instead. You know what you're going to get from an Amon Amarth album or live show: solid, ridiculously catchy, accessible death metal. In that respect the band's show last Friday came with no surprises—but [...]

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