Ask anyone about Palm's live show and unanimously the response will be that there's nothing like it. Whether you've seen them two times or twenty times, after their set is done you're left trying to catch your breath and scrambling to figure out when you'll see them next.
Palm is as prolific as they are inventive; at any given show you're likely to hear cuts from their full length debut "Trading Basics" alongside brand new tracks they wrote two weeks ago. The most predictable thing about Palm is the top notch quality of every song - you can always count on that, but it's impossible to predict much else about them. Musically they're incredibly erratic, jumping from time signature to time signature and from idea to idea with mechanical precision. Lead guitarists + vocalists Eve and Kasra trade off sharp atonal guitar spasms, crafting complex dirges fit for a futuristic chrome landscape. Drummer Hugo and bassist Gerry are the steadfast glue to the music, locking down some tightly controlled and mesmerizing grooves but occasionally pulling the rug out from under things and devolving into a quick noise jam.
Seconds later the controls are tightened again and things return to a relative normalcy, although few people would describe Palm's music as "normal". At times watching them feels almost supernatural - the intense connection between each member is what allows the music to be so tight. Everyone's totally in sync with each other - Eve and Kasra spend more time communicating via glances and nods than they spend even looking at the audience. Palm is a well oiled machine running at peak efficiency, and you'd do well to catch them at a show as soon as possible to witness the magic they're creating.
- Connor Rush
Steve Hartlett is no stranger to Shea Stadium; chances are you’ve seen Ovlov play, or seen Steve play with Baked if you’ve been going to shows in Brooklyn over the past few years. Steve is back now with a new project, Stove.
Stove is a new and expansive beginning for Hartlett, creating some of the fuzziest and most emotionally impactful songs that are full of thought and masterfully executed. With only 22 seconds Stove debuts “Is Stupider” with a lead riff and proclaiming: “Don’t know who I am, so I act like who I’m with.”
Flawlessly setting the tone for the rest of the album, blending raw energy, shoegaze-esque noise with heavy melodies. It’s almost impossible not to be fully immersed by the delicate balance of fuzzy noise and melody accompanied by Hartlett’s clever and poetic lyricism as he encapsulates the human adventure all wrapped in a witty and charming sense of humor.
Stove’s set from Shea back in July exemplifies what Stove does best live, bringing in a great blend of raw rock’n’roll with no holding back. Be sure to check out the archives while you wait for Stove’s next show at Shea on 2/25.
Boston’s Vundabar delivers sardonic wit through sophisticatedly crafted jangle-pop songs - the result of which is pure rock gold. With song titles such as “Oulala,” “Holy Toledo,” and “Smile Boyo,” Vundabar does a good job at not taking themselves too seriously, but despite what some whimsical titles may suggest, their songs are more profound than they may appear.
There's somewhat of a paradox inherent in Vundabar's songwriting - a conflicting sense of nostalgia contrasted with the realization that they couldn't sound more current. The music they make feels like something that should have been heard a long time ago, while simultaneously continuing to forge ahead sonically.
Vundabar's high energy live show is the stand out quality of this band and is an art they’ve undoubtedly perfected by touring non-stop around the country. Vundabar’s shows never fail to be captivating, complete with infectious jams, guitar moves galore, intricate drum work, and humorous stage banter to top it all off, the band has become known for putting on an entertaining show.
Vundabar plays Shea on January 7th but before then, give this classic set a listen for a preview of what the band has in store!
Providence's Math the Band has performed at Shea a handful of times over the past six years, and with the release of their first full band record “The Album” earlier this month we revisited their live sets from 2010 and 2014.
Having long ago established their own brand of high energy dance punk, Math the Band has an impressive ability to get any crowd stoked. Their sound merges electronics (a mix of vintage synthesizers, drum machines and repurposed video game noises) with rock & roll guitar riffs and fast-paced dual vocals of members Kevin Steinhauser and Justine Mainville.
A Math The Band show is no place to stand in the back with your arms crossed. It’s easy to imagine the energy in the room listening to both their recordings here at Shea. You can practically hear Kevin and Justine jumping around excitedly as they played their instruments - a common occurrence at any Math The Band gig. The audience too seems just as lively, laughing at the band’s occasional stage banter.
“The Album”, which includes a fuller lineup and a slight tweak to the band name, features more of that fast and loud spirit you can hear in the older recordings. The record is available now via their Bandcamp- Jane Wiseheart