Tag Archives: Merriweather Post Pavilion

The Beach Boys at Merriweather

Three out of five original Beach Boys are still kicking.

My review of Friday’s night’s Beach Boys concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion is in today’s Washington Post. I thought it was odd that the 14-piece band played along to the recorded vocal track of Dennis Wilson (d. 1983) singing “Forever” and then to a recording of Carl Wilson (d. 1998) singing “God Only Knows,” but the fact that “Heroes and Villains” made the setlist inclines me to forgive them anything. Continue reading

We Happy Few: Drive-By Truckers and Lucinda Williams at a mostly empty Merriweather Post Pavilion, reviewed

Lucinda Williams, badass

I am experienced. I’ve reviewed the great Louisiana songwriter Lucinda Williams for the Washington Post before, in 2007 and 2009.

I’ve also reviewed Drive-By Truckers, one of my favorite bands, for the Post in 2009, and I’ve interviewed Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley, the band’s two frontmen, separately for DCist, The Examiner, the Washington City Paper and Washingtonian. I was at DBT’s year-ending shows at the 9:30 Club last December, which were amazing.

Saturday night I covered the bill Williams and DBT shared at Merriweather Post Pavilion for the Post. It was a beautiful night and a good show. Too bad almost nobody saw it.

Escape Verbosity: The Decemberists at Merriweather Post Pavilion, reviewed

My review of that Decemberists concert the other night was my first DCist piece in nine months!

The most devout among you might conceivably care that I reviewed two prior Decemberists concerts, from March 2007 and June 2009, both for the Washington Post.

The other white Parliament-Funkadelic: Arcade Fire at Merriweather, reviewed.

When you fling a bra into the abyss, the abyss flings it back at you.

…where, ah, “the abyss” is the possibly-biggest-selling, certainly-biggest-sounding band in indie rock. Specifically, Arcade Fire. More specifically, Régine Chassagne, singer and co-songwriter and spouse of frontman Win Butler, who, late in Arcade Fire’s ecstatic 95-minute concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion last night, briefly abandoned her post behind the piano to toss that ladies’ garmet (which might actually have been a halter top; it was hard to see) back to its owner. This isn’t 1987 and we’re not Poison, her revolted glare seemed to scold.

Of course, it could very well have been circa-1987 U2, what with the urgent vastness of the music; the related sense of a big, important band grown huge and courting self-importance; and also the lack of any detectable awareness of sex– which is kind of weird, given how driving and propulsive Arcade Fire’s most arresting music is. On a tune like “Rebellion (Lies)”, the dizzying set-closer that invited the bra-throw, all eight musicians on stage were basically playing percussion, and almost all of them were shouting the lyrics whether they had microphones or not. Continue reading

Fab Four: Virgin Free Fest, recount’d

Believe the Hype: Chuck D and Flavor Flav at Virgin Free Fest's West Stage.  Photo by Francis Chung.

Believe the Hype: Chuck D and Flavor Flav at Virgin Free Fest's West Stage. Photo by Francis Chung.

My arbitrary and semi-complete (owing to some collaborative difficulties) recap of yesterday’s Virgin Free Fest is up at DCist now, accompanied by more photos like the Public Enemy shot above by Francis Chang.

Live Friday Night: The Flaming Lips at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Wayne-Coyne-in-the-bubble

Oklahoma’s Flaming Lips have subverted expectation of how a “rock” band should sound and behave for so long that the most radical performance they could give at this stage of their singular career would be merely to perform an hour-and-a-half of songs absent psychedelic videos, Yeti-costumed cheerleaders, or Mini Cooper-sized balloons full of confetti.

Still, no one was complaining at Merriweather Friday night when the Lips turned up with all their circus wagons full of Yippie ephemera in tow. Frontman Wayne Coyne was onstage 20 minutes before their performance began, helping to set up gear in full view of the tri-generational crowd. (He got a big cheer when he unpacked the plastic bubble he would soon inflate and enclose himself in for his customary walk-and-roll above the most pit.) Continue reading

Live Last Night: Leonard Cohen at Merriweather

Leonard-Cohen-hat-in-hand

Ladies and Gentlemen, opening for the serene and poetical Mr. Leonard Cohen this evening: the brilliant and genteel Mr. Leonard Cohen.

At Merriweather Monday night, under skies that might be called “Coheneque” — cold, rainy, despairing, but not without a solitary beauty — the spry 74-year-old* songwriter’s songwriter glided on-stage at 7:35, and sang for 65 minutes. Yes, sang. Save your jokes. He’s heard them all, and written some of the better ones himself.** Continue reading