Thursday, January 11, 2018

Live Highlights of 2017

>> 2017 was a wild year all around. I started working at a major label that I had wanted to work at for years, my writing was published in print for the first time, and I had my first taste of touring. While there wasn't time to keep this site updated, there was plenty to share.

Kasador @ The KEE to Bala - September 2 & 3 
I had the pleasure of seeing Kasador in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Buffalo, Muskoka, Montreal, and Toronto this year in addition to spending time with them in Kingston and Waterloo, too. They’ve come to New York so often this year and it’s been amazing to see the difference from last January to now, to watch the set list change and see them play in so many different settings. Every Kasador show is a special one, but the back to back days at The KEE to Bala were some of my favorite days of 2017 by far. Spending a week in Canada with these guys was incredible and I’m excited for the next time I get to hit the road with them. (Video)
BONUS - Ballroom Bowl in Toronto on NYE. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to start 2018.

Raleigh Ritchie @ The Bowery Ballroom - May 1
I first heard Raleigh Ritchie about two years ago, and I have been listening daily ever since. He has a song for every mood - softer thoughtful tunes, heavier hip hop tracks, and the smoothest R&B jams. All perfect. This show at Bowery Ballroom was his first show in the US and I was so excited to be there to witness the moment. I got to attend with two of my favorite people, and the show was incredible. His energy was unreal and it was so wonderful getting to see him as excited as the audience. Truly unforgettable, and I can’t wait for him to return to NY.

Patent Pending @ Playstation Theater - March 10
I’ve known the guys in Patent Pending for nearly a decade, and they’re some of the greatest people I know. They made a song and video a few years back to try convincing Simple Plan take them on tour. It finally happened this year (!!) and it all started with the Pendings opening for SP in New York City two days before my birthday. It’s by far the biggest show I’ve seen them play over the years and I’ve never been more proud. Side note: Shout out to this band for including my lil face in the album artwork for Other People's Greatest Hits and for covering "Spice Up Your Life" at my request. 
BONUS - Save Each Other anniversary show on 12/22 at Revolution. The room was packed with so many friends, and being surrounded by so many amazing people with such positive energy was unreal. It made me remember why I loved growing up in the Long Island music scene which is a reminder I definitely needed.

Nick Jonas @ Archway Under the Manhattan Bridge - August 15
Working at Island Records has been the greatest, and one of the beautiful perks was seeing Nick Jonas perform a super special set underneath the Manhattan Bridge. He performed “Find You” for the first time in addition to the ultimate jams like “Jealous.” It was really special getting to see an artist I love perform an intimate set with coworkers and teammates (and Pete Wentz) by my side. 

With The Punches, Keep Flying @ Foreclosure Fest - April 30
I’ve lost touch with pop punk to a certain degree. I don’t go to as many local shows on Long Island now that my schedule is always so slammed, and I’m working in the land of pop. Going to this house show in New Jersey and seeing so many great friends and people equally passionate about one of my favorite pop punk bands was the exact reunion I needed with the scene. With The Punches will forever hold a special place in my heart, and getting to sing along to their songs from the front row one more time was the absolute best. The ultimate bonus was getting to support the amazing guys in Keep Flying at this event. So many people drove out to show love for these guys and for good reason. The energy was wild and so full of love that day and I would have been devastated if I had missed it.

The Glorious Sons @ Mercury Lounge - November 15
The guys in Kasador recommended I listen to The Glorious Sons who are also from Kingston, and I am so glad they did. This band RIPS. They released their album ‘Young Beauties And Fools’ this year which I still can’t stop listening to. Mercury is definitely a more intimate setting compared to the venues they play in Canada - for reference, they sold out the K-Rock Centre in Kingston which is sure to be an amazing show in February - so seeing them live for the first time in a small room like that was a treat. 

Heavy English, Rare Futures @ The Studio @ Webster - June 10
Admittedly, I never thought I’d get to see Heavy English live. Their album Pop Wasteland is an incredible piece of art that I had the opportunity to help support, and I’m still thrilled I got to hear those songs performed live at one of my favorite venues. That combined with a set from my favs in Rare Futures? Can’t beat it!

Fall Out Boy @ Elvis Duran’s Summer Bash on 34th St - July 27
Another incredible Island perk is working with one of my favorite bands. Fall Out Boy performed on a stage on the street in front of Madison Square Garden for a Z100 event. Not only did I get to see the show, but I actually got to pop into the photo pit for some social content. The Empire State Building was directly behind the stage, and it lit up purple in honor of the band's forthcoming album MANIA. It was such a unique moment that combined two things I love so, so much - NYC and FOB.

Joywave @ The Bowery Ballroom - November 14
Joywave released one of my favorite albums this year. It was introspective and catchy and overall everything I wanted in an album, so naturally I had it on repeat for days at a time. Seeing those songs live in addition to the jams from their last album was the best, especially since it had been about two years since the last time I saw them. I attended their 2015 show at Bowery Ballroom with my cousin Mark who actually passed a few months later, so seeing them in 2017 at the same venue without him was strange yet beautiful. I'm very glad I got to keep the tradition alive in some way. Go make me happy and listen to the album Content, okay? It's flawless.

Texas King @ Maxwells - September 7
I first met Texas King in April of 2016 at Launch Music Conference. This show in September was the first time I’d seen them since then, and it was the best! I have Texas King to thank for telling me about Kasador, and in a full circle moment, I got to see TK play a sweet show with Kasador’s frontman Will on my last night of my first trip to Canada. It was really stellar seeing them play songs I’d listened to and loved for over a year, and I’m genuinely thrilled to have these guys as friends. They've finally released their album Circles and I'd highly recommend giving that a spin.

Honorable Mentions
Envy On The Coast (ft Matt Fazzi!) @ Brooklyn Bazaar (March 17) & Mulcahy’s (Dec 23)
The Killers @ Brooklyn Steel (September 19) & Global Citizen Fest (September 23)
Enter Shikari @ Rough Trade - September 30
Bishop Briggs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg - December 11
The Beaches @ Brooklyn Steel - October 25
Steel Panther @ Irving Plaza - April 6
Makeshift @ Millennium Music Conference - February 27
Tove Lo @ Irving (June 2) & @ Elsewhere (Nov 17)
Dean Lewis, BANNERS @ Mercury Lounge - November 7
Ocean Park Standoff, Silversun Pickups @ Jones Beach - June 24

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