By: Julia Luciw
As the title of the Beach Boys 1965 Party! album suggests; that is just the atmosphere the band brought with them to DTE Saturday, June 30th, for their 50th anniversary tour. The Beach Boys started off the show with “Do It Again,” showcasing their harmonies and surf-rock sound. It was incredible to see the original lineup of Brian Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine who were founding members. They did acknowledge Bruce Johnston as an original member, having been with the band since 1965. Guitarist David Marks actually lived in the same neighborhood as the Wilson’s.
After playing a few songs, Mike Love joked that they already needed to take a nap! He also recognized that DTE didn’t exist and it was ‘Pine Knob’ to them. The crowd cheered with mighty applause. To me, it was special and even nostalgic to see them up there at 70 years old singing and playing just as good as they used to. I do have to recognize the great touring band that made sure that they sounded at their finest. Most notable were members Jeff Foskett on vocals with Paul Mertens playing the sax, flute, and harmonica.
What I really enjoyed were the deeper cuts including “Hawaii,” “Wendy,” and the thought-provoking “All This is That.” It was nice to see each member get their time in the spotlight showcasing their respective hits, with the bulk going to Mike Love and Brian Wilson. Still, I loved hearing Bruce Johnston sing “Disney Girls” while David Marks took over on “Getcha Back.” Al Jardine rounded out the group sounding eerily the same as he did in the sixties with his vocals on “Help me Rhonda.”
By: David McDonald
Album Review: Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal
Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal is the highly anticipated follow up to the band’s self titled debut from 2010. The Washington D.C. based progressive metal outfit hit the scene in 2008 after spending three years carefully crafting their sound and assembling a cast of characters capable of performing at the group’s demanding level of musical endeavor. If nothing else, the band’s numerous lineup changes show an utter lack of complacency when it comes to their work. In fact, one would be remiss to not point out the fact that their debut album was written before current lead singer Spencer Sotelo joined the band; making Periphery II the first release where cornerstone players like Sotelo, Misha Mansoor, Jake Bowen and Matt Halpern found themselves in a position to make an album that could best demonstrate their collective promise.
To say that I’ve been looking forward to this release would be selling it short. After the hard hitting energy and exemplary level of craftsmanship that Periphery brought to bare on the first go around, I came into this album with huge expectations for what could be after they had spent another two years touring, writing, and collectively improving in every aspect of what they do. And that my friends leads us to Periphery II. If you only walk away with one piece of insight from this entire review, let this be it: This album is an epic. Each track is a testament to exceptional strides that the band has made in turning their sound into one of the most unique and enthralling ones in the metal scene.
Periphery II shows depth and ambition early on. Tracks like Muramasa, Have A Blast and Facepalm Mute excel in not only realizing just how heavy this band can bring it, but also display a sincere commitment that they have made to rooting themselves in progressive elements that go far beyond the call of comparable metalcore acts. One element of this album that shouldn’t go undervalued is just how elaborately diverse the record as a whole is. Despite the use of tried and trusted lyrical themes throughout, every element of each track feels incredibly fresh and unpredictable. Make no mistake, no one will accuse Periphery of ripping off their previous work.
By: Christina Venditti, Program Director
After a warm-up band ambient enough to put a Red Bull addict to sleep, the Counting Crows began their show by teasing the crowd with an iTunes sample-length play of Bill Withers “Lean on Me.” Abruptly stopping the bro-fest breaking out in the audience, Adam Duritz and each of his perfectly manicured dread locks took the stage with the rest of his leathery-skinned band mates.
Opening their set with an eight-minute version of “Round Here,” the Crows got their fans’ hopes up just to throw them right back down. Performing a slew of covers (yes, covers) off of their new COVER (did I say cover?) album, Underwater Sunshine, Duritz lost the crowd’s attention somewhere between the third and fifth no-name band remake.
Finally redeeming themselves, the Crows finally played back-to-back-to back Films About Ghosts songs, “A Long December,” “Friend of the Devil,” and “Rain King.”
Offering advice like, “the future we dream of is never really the future we end up with,” Duritz may as well have put his psychic hat on, because he told my future. I, like much of the rest of the audience, dreamt of a future that included me seeing the Crows perform Mr. Jones. SPOILER ALERT: it didn’t happen.
Overall, Duritz sounded like the same dread-locked guy as he did nearly two decades ago with the release of August and Everything After. He was equally as impressive as he was unnecessarily politically-charged during the encore. Preaching about the Greybird Foundation and upcoming presidential election, Duritz essentially turned into a human youtube ad-style PSA; annoying. In the time he could have spent playing hits like Colorblind, or Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby or, shall I even suggest, MR. FLIPPING JONES, he stood onstage with his terrible opening bands and denied us of what we came for.