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Tag: About Last Night (11-20 of 210)

SXSW: Damon Albarn brings out Snoop and De La Soul, puts on mini Gorillaz reunion

How big is Damon Albarn in America? It’s a question that comes up unusually often at the EW offices, partly because we suspect that the answer will disappoint us.

Obviously people know of the man’s work, but mostly in a backwards sort of way. In terms of Stateside popularity, his multiplatinum animated rap group Gorillaz far eclipses Blur, the legendary Britpop act he fronted for more than a decade — though even they have a mainstream foothold thanks to their alt-radio hit “Girls and Boys” and the woo-hoo anthem “Song 2.”

But Albarn himself never really became a household name in the U.S. It doesn’t help that his strongest work — those early Blur records, considered classics across the pond — was very deeply and decidedly British, literally by design. But now that he’s got his debut solo album (out in April) to promote, it’s natural to wonder whether his name alone can lure a large American audience.

According to his SXSW set at the Fader Fort on Friday, he can — with a little help from his friends. The annual event’s east-of-center venue was packed for Albarn’s performance, but since the bill promised he’d have “special guests” with him, fans were able to deduce that they’d get to see either Blur or Gorillaz play live. They got the latter: Del the Funkee Homosapien, De La Soul, Dan the Automator, and Snoop Dogg each had a chance to hop on stage and bring the cartoon group’s trippy songs to life.

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Jay Z and Kanye West bring the throne to SXSW

Back in 2011 and 2012, super friends Jay Z and Kanye West took their epic Watch the Throne tour everywhere from Paris to Vancouver. Even New Jersey got a two-night stand. One place they skipped, though? Austin, Texas.

That changed last night, when Jay and ‘Ye took over the Austin Music Hall for Samsung’s big SXSW party. Needless to say, people were excited; even Tyler, the Creator, who had a showcase of his own to play later that night, could be seen wilding out in the middle of the young crowd and, inevitably, inspiring a flood of Samsung-sponsored selfies from the fans around him. (Sadly, Tyler’s scheduled 1 a.m. showcase at Mohawk would end up being marred by tragedy.)

So did the Throne live up to the hype? Without a doubt. Sure, the concept and set-list was more or less a facsimile of the official tour — the rappers dueled from atop opposing glowing cubes amid a spastic laser show, before eventually taking the actual stage together and tag-teaming in and out for solo mini-sets — but that didn’t stop everyone from losing themselves during the two-hour blowout. And both Jay and Kanye have put out a bunch of new music since they last convened onstage: Hova had his (also Samsung-aided) Magna Carta Holy Grail, while West had his Yeezus masterpiece, plus the Cruel Summer comp he released under the G.O.O.D. Music banner.

But since the notes on my phone are roughly 85% exclamation points, it might be best to break it down by the numbers: READ FULL STORY

Coldplay unveils new songs at SXSW: See clip here

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Coldplay parachuted into the South by Southwest music festival Tuesday night with a 50-minute performance that mixed familiar hits with new songs from their upcoming sixth album, Ghost Stories.

The hot-ticket show at the intimate 2,700-seat Moody Theater at ACL Live kicked off the inaugural U.S. iTunes Festival, which runs over five nights during the fest. After sets by openers London Grammar and Imagine Dragons, frontman Chris Martin and co. took the stage looking trim and fit in a nondescript knit shirts.

“We’ve been away a long time, and I can’t think of a better place to come back into the world,” Martin told the crowd before launching into band standards including “Paradise,” “Viva La Vida,”Fix You,” “Clocks” and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (that last adding a confetti cannon that left Martin wrapped up like a mummy). The new slower-paced new songs “Another’s Arms,” “Always In My Head” and “Magic” suggested Ghost Stories might be a more subdued entry into the band’s discography. Martin also took a moment to send “good vibes” to “everyone involved in the Malaysian [missing plane] situation.”

Performance wise, the group seemed pretty much note-perfect (and when Martin messed up the intro to one song, he called himself out on it) and the high-tech presentation left one fan screaming: “This needs more lasers!” It was snark, but happy snark.

Here’s a clip of Coldplay playing new Ghost track “Magic” last night: READ FULL STORY

On the Scene at the Howard Stern Birthday Bash

The Hammerstein Ballroom was originally constructed as an opera house and, in the eyes of founder Oscar Hammerstein, was meant to return a stuffy art form back to the people. On Friday night, a reversal occurred when Howard Stern, the definitive American radio personality for two generations, found his populist form elevated by a staggering stream of boldfaced names who paid tribute to him on the occasion of his 60th birthday.

Hosted and broadcast live via SiriusXM, Stern’s home for the last eight years, the Howard Stern Birthday Bash filled the Ballroom with famous faces and crowded its stage with comedians, musicians, and fellow broadcasters to celebrate Stern’s life and career, which has evolved from the juvenile rabble-rousing of his early terrestrial life to the statelier (but still brutally honest) conversations of the satellite era. Sure, the Wack Pack was in the building, but so was Robert Downey, Jr., Larry King, Barbara Walters, Harvey Weinstein, and Hilary Swank — and that was mostly at one table.  READ FULL STORY

Grammys Winner Snubs and Surprises: Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath steal, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar get robbed

Last night, there was a tweet floating around the Internet that noted that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis had already amassed four Grammys and legendary artists like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, and the Who have a grand total of zero among them.

The suggestion, of course, is that possessing an  an armload of Academy-issued gold sippy cups doesn’t necessarily have any real correlation to artistic greatness.

Still, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some head-scratching decisions and maddening snubs during last night’s telecast, most of which happened off-camera. As surprised as Taylor Swift was that Daft Punk won the Grammy for Album of the Year last night, the French duo’s victory can’t entirely be called an upset; though there were some mild surprises among the awards handed out live at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, there wasn’t a single on-camera score that could be considered a true surprise of snub.

Luckily, there were dozens more awards given out before the televised show even started, and there lives a parade of outrage.  READ FULL STORY

On the scene: Britney Spears in Las Vegas -- let the 'Piece of Me' residency begin

You can say a lot of things about Britney Spears — but you can’t say she doesn’t work, bitch.

Pulling off a 90-minute, 23-song tour de force is no easy task. And Spears, with the help of a bevy of fantastic backup dancers, fulfilled her promise to her fans at the opening of her Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood Friday night to “bring the cheese” — in a good way. To those hoping for some sort of schadenfreude disaster, you won’t find it here; Spears speeds through her hits and some new songs off her latest album, Britney Jean, with great energy, slick choreography, and about four different hairstyles, not to mention the seven costume changes.

The show owes more to Cirque du Soleil and her own ’90s-era videos than it does to Celine Dion, but will it be enough to draw a younger audience to Las Vegas for the next two years? The show opens as Britney descends to the stage from a huge sphere — the first of several high-flying stunts in the 90-minute performance — and launches into ‘Work B**ch,” with Spears clad in a sparkly nude bodysuit, reminiscent of her outfit in 2004’s “Toxic” music video. You can almost make out her six pack from the audience; that is to say, she looks amazing. It takes her a few songs to look completely comfortable on stage, but by the middle of “3” she’s given a brief shoutout to the crowd and gotten in sync, just in time to launch into “… Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again,” clad in black and donning a short brown wig, letting us know this was new Britney revisiting old Britney — we weren’t going to get a red leather body suit or the heart thump dance move tonight.

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On the scene: Prince electrifies the Mohegan Sun Arena

Over the course of his long, storied, and downright weird career, Prince has proven he can make just about any room his home—from the teeny (dig his epic sets at New York’s tiny City Winery earlier this year) to the gargantuan (he played the greatest Super Bowl halftime show of the modern era in 2007—sorry, Beyoncé).

But the Purple One’s ideal stomping ground is an arena, which he proved yet again Friday night (December 27) when he stampeded through the first of three shows at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Those rooms are intimate enough for Prince to individually invite women onto the stage to dance with him, but also large enough to contain his royal histrionics.

Decked out in an all-yellow suit and situated behind a microphone stand bearing the glyph that once stood in place of his name, Prince treated the first night of his three-night stay like an old-school soul review. “We’re just gonna jam tonight,” he told the crowd while introducing the New Power Generation, and he lived up to his word. The early part of Prince’s two and a half hour set featured him teasing out extra-long versions of staples both classic (“Let’s Go Crazy”) and modern (“Musicology”), and vacillating between being a living avatar of James Brown and the greatest descendent of Jimi Hendrix.

The most remarkable thing about seeing Prince live is the fact that the guy is a ridiculously great guitar player (or, as one bearded dude said to another during the solo that highlighted “Something In the Water (Does Not Compute),” “That motherf—er can shred!”). His guitar heroics showed up early and often, especially on the slowed-down, Zeppelin-ized version of “Let’s Go Crazy.”

When he wasn’t melting his six-string, he was holding court as the ringmaster of a sprawling funk band whose numbers seemed to keep multiplying (there were at least 18 other musicians on stage). READ FULL STORY

Lady Gaga wears a hover dress, performs 'ARTPOP' songs at Brooklyn artRAVE

At long last, we have arrived at the official release of Lady Gaga’s brand new album ARTPOP. And to celebrate, Gaga threw herself a party at a giant warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on New York’s industrial waterfront.

Dubbed the artRAVE, Gaga’s fete featured performances of every track from the new album (she opened with “Aura,” that same way that ARTPOP does), the unveiling of new pieces by large-scale artist Jeff Koons ( including the massive sculpture that appears on ARTPOP‘s cover) and Marina Abromovic (previously seen staring down Jay Z and getting Gaga to traipse naked through the woods), and one of Gaga’s most spectacular entrances yet via a “flying dress” called “Volantis” that was essentially a wearable dirigible.

Check it out in action below.

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Miley Cyrus lights up onstage at MTV European Music Awards -- VIDEO

Remember when you were so emotionally disturbed by Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the VMAs you wanted to remove your eyeballs with a rusty spoon? Or the time you rushed your family down to your homemade bomb shelter after viewing her “Wrecking Ball” video? Nope, me neither. But, as previously reported, earlier today the pop star continued her year of Offending People Who Enjoy Being Offended By Things Miley Cyrus Does when she lit up what most definitely did not look like a cigarette at the MTV European Music Awards in Amsterdam, birthplace of the marijuana-dispensing coffee shop and Kirk Douglas (although only one of those facts seems relevant to this story).

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Justin Bieber walks off stage following a bottle throwing incident

As a steady parade of cage fighters and The Simpsons have taught us, crazy things happen in Brazil. When you’re Justin Bieber, things get even crazier—and play out in real time on social media.

The 19-year-old pop star, who traveled to Brazil to headline a concert at Arena Anhembi in Sao Paulo on Saturday night, was just wrapping up “Boyfriend” when he was struck by a bottle thrown from the crowd. He left the stage and did not return; the lights came up a half hour later signaled that the evening was officially over.

This was, alas, not his only Brazilian incident. Page Six reported that on Friday night, Bieber was spotted and photographed exiting Centaurus, a notorious brothel in Rio de Janeiro. Other reports noted that Bieber had been asked to leave the establishment for violating undisclosed house rules. This report came only a day after a Panamanian newspaper reported that Bieber picked up a prostitute in Panama City.

It’s not all bad news: the singer did get through Sunday night’s concert in Rio without incident, and capped off his weekend by releasing “Bad Day,” which you can listen to below or purchase on iTunes. It’s a spare, pretty ballad that is better than the Daniel Powter song but not quite as good as the R.E.M. one of the same name.  READ FULL STORY

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