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Metallica, the Kills, Sigur Ros and more at Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco -- Day Two on the scene

Alabama Shakes were solid, drawing a main-stage crowd to a second-stage show, and the Kills nailed it.  Explosions in the Sky were entertaining, and, by all accounts, Passion Pit and Sigur Ros were stunning.  But there was only one real story on Day 2 of the Outside Lands Festival, and the story was Metallica.

Golden Gate Park was their final San Francisco frontier  — Metallica have played virtually every Bay Area club, arena and stadium over the course of their 30-year history – and they were pumped:  of the 65,000 people in attendance, the four members of Metallica may have been the most excited of all.

“The whole vibe there is so f—ing next level that you know, all we’ve got to do is just show up and make sure we’re firing on all 24 cylinders,” drummer Lars Ulrich said last week, and, to invoke Nigel Tufnel,  last night Metallica were firing on all 25.  If there was ever a better concert in Golden Gate Park, it was only because there weren’t thousands of people hoisting their iPhones overhead in annoying attempts to document it.

The show was vintage Metallica; it started with “Hit the Lights” and ended with “Seek and Destroy,” both from their 1983 debut Kill Em All.  They played only one song during their two-hour set from their most recent release, 2008’s Death Magnetic, and (no huge surprise), nothing from Lulu, their 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed. Amongst the highlights:  “Master of Puppets,” “Fade To Black,” “Nothing Else Matters” and, of course, “Enter Sandman.”

There were fireworks and flame pots.  There were lasers and pyrotechnics, and 24 guitars were used over the course of an 18-song show. And while the bells and whistles may have taken the show over the top, it was Metallica’s music that provided the spectacle.

–by Julie Farman

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Neil Young, Foo Fighters rock S.F.'s Outside Lands festival: On the scene

The Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival is unlike any other festival in America, and that’s partially because it reflects its location: San Francisco.

The event, held in Golden Gate Park, is fully greened-up, and the city’s foodie culture is represented in the 65 on-site restaurants, 49 wineries, and 19 breweries.  This year, there was even fog.

But for all of that, what Outside Lands is mostly about is the music – more than 60 bands over the course of 3 days — and on Day 1, the music was all about Neil Young.

You could hear Neil’s influence in Two Gallants, a powerful two piece who played early on Friday (and even though there’s no Neil in L.A.’s Fitz and the Tantrums, it was hard not to think the latter were booked to provide angst-free modern-soul diversity).  Beck covered “After The Gold Rush” mid-way through a typically brilliant set, and Dave Grohl started talking about Neil three songs into the Foos show. “We’ve got a lot of songs to play, and the quicker we play them, the faster I get to see Neil fu*king Young,” he said.  The crowd cheered, which was slightly surprising – for a lot of people at the festival, Grohl & Co. were the big ticket, and an abbreviated set wasn’t what they were looking for. READ FULL STORY

On the scene at Lollapalooza Day 3: Florence and the Machine, J. Cole, Childish Gambino and more

Below, a few quick takes on some of the most memorable sets from the final day of the festival:

There’s no higher praise at Lollapalooza than the Mayor himself, Rahm Emanuel, coming to check out your set. Rightfully, Florence + the Machine seemed like the act to watch early Sunday evening, drawing an impressive crowd at the festival’s north end. Florence Welch emerged appropriately majestic in a flowing red dress, looking like a celestial Gryffindor princess and stretching her arms out like she was trying to control the weather (a gift we could have used during Saturday’s stormapalooza).

Running in front of the stage with surprising agility — festival security could barely keep up — the English siren put her soaring voice to good use on highlight “Shake It Out.” She switched up the fan favorite by adding a rave-y remixed finale, but the booming addition was actually her most commanding performance — so much so that the rest of her setlist, including “Cosmic Love,” “Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up),” “No Light No Light” and Machine signature “Dog Days Are Over,” almost paled in comparison.

Fiona Apple tells Jimmy Fallon about her famous meltdown, plays two songs: Watch it here

Fiona Apple had some ‘splaining to do last night.

During her appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the host brought up Apple’s now-infamous 2000 Roseland Ballroom meltdown — which, as it happens, was preceded by a ten-minute comedy act from Fallon himself.

“The whole thing was crazy,” Fallon said, recalling how he was having a drink with Apple’s then-boyfriend when it all went down. “I was worried about you, pal.”

Apple addressed the issue by asserting her humanity. “The short answer is that I’m a human being,” she said. “And that I was reacting to life.”

The singer says she was feeling “overwhelmed” at the time, citing her Saturday Night Live appearance that month.

“I started crying” she continued. “And I could not physically stop crying. I couldn’t.”

Watch her interview with Fallon in the video below:


Chris Brown's face cut; NYPD confirms altercation between Brown's and Drake's entourages -- UPDATE

If you ever see Chris Brown and Drake at the same club, close your tab immediately!

Both the NYPD and Brown’s Twitter have confirmed that Breezy and Drizzy were involved in a violent altercation at a Manhattan nightclub at around 4 a.m. last night/this morning, reports TMZ.

No arrests were made (both stars had fled the scene by the time the cops showed up), but five were taken to the hospital for minor injuries, and Brown himself apparently got cut in the face. The singer tweeted an image of his gash as evidence, but has since taken down the picture. He also took down the accompanying message, which read:


On the scene: U.K. breakout Ed Sheeran and Anna Krantz play Brooklyn

Last night Brit rocker Ed Sheeran took to the Music Hall of Williamsburg to celebrate the release of his album, +, and it’s No. 1 spot on the iTunes chart. (At the time of this post Usher’s Looking 4 Myself had bumped him to No. 2.) I was on there last night, and my ears are still ringing from the hundreds of screaming girls swooning over Sheeran’s stellar performance. (Okay, I was swooning too.)

Sheeran’s opening act, Anna Krantz, quickly won over the crowd—myself included—with her piano-driven ballads. The highlight was her performance of her latest single, “Rubble and the Dust.” (Coincidentally, Ed Sheeran pops up in the video for the song.) But the real high note for Krantz was concluding her set with a cover of fun.’s “We Are Young” — that’s one way to ensure every person in the Music Hall will sing along. The London-born Krantz doesn’t yet have her own album, but announced plans to release an EP by summer’s end. After the show, she garnered more fans and Twitter followers as she passed out free downloads of “Rubble and the Dust,” signed autographs, and took pictures with the crowd.


Nicki Minaj cancels Hot 97 Summer Jam headlining gig after radio DJ insults her song 'Starships'

Yesterday, Lil Wayne put everybody on notice: He is a very protective label boss, and he won’t hesitate to ruin your party if you cross one of his charges.

The 50,000 or so people who packed into MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey yesterday for New York City radio station Hot 97’s Summer Jam festival got a rude awakening when headliner Nicki Minaj had pulled out of the show — one of the biggest annual events on the hip-hop calendar.

It all started when Hot 97 DJ and Hip-Hop Squares host Peter Rosenberg threw down “Starships,” on the current single from Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, while introducing rapper Kendrick Lamar. “We’re all about that real hip-hop,” he told the crowd. “I know there are some chicks in here waiting to sing along with ‘Starships’ later. I’m not talking to y’all right now. F— that bulls—.”

Lil Wayne, who heads up Minaj’s Young Money label, jumped on Twitter to announce “Young Money ain’t doing summer jam.” READ FULL STORY

Afghan Whigs live in New York City -- still dark and dangerous at their first show in 13 years

When I first joined Entertainment Weekly a little over a year ago, the deputy managing editor asked me who my favorite songwriter was. I answered unequivocally: Greg Dulli, the seedy mastermind behind great 21st-century soul-scuzz combos Twilight Singers and the Gutter Twins. While Dulli has rarely put out anything I didn’t like, my adoration for him begins with the Afghan Whigs, the Cincinnati-bred combo who released a half dozen albums’ worth of cocksure R&B for the alt-rock era.

The band parted ways in 1999, but last night at New York’s Bowery Ballroom, they returned. (The Whigs were supposed to make their grand reunion at the Dulli-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in New Jersey this September, but considering the band’s last show was at the now-defunct New York club Hush, Dulli wanted to start the band right where they left off over a decade ago.) READ FULL STORY

Jack White makes joyful noise in New York: Live from the Roseland Ballroom

During the only extended pause during Jack White’s breathless, sweaty parade of garage-scuzz blues at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on Monday night, the rock formalist paused to tell a joke. He described a scene outside a local smoke shop, where two kids were lying on top of newspapers and furiously kissing. “See,” he told the crowd, “it’s not hard to make it on the cover of The New York Times.”

That’s an old gag, but it’s the sort of good-old-boy humor that runs consistent with White’s take on the old bits of Americana that have informed his entire musical career—especially his just-released solo album Blunderbuss. His current tour is full of those kinds of nods: White’s stage is backlit for extra ambiance, while members of his crew all wear three-piece suits for effect.

And while much of White’s aesthetic comes from pre-War ideologies, his musical delivery is pure ’70s. The thunderous hammer of Zeppelin pounded all over riffs from various stages of White’s career. READ FULL STORY

Odd Future show shut down by cops in Boston (again)

Sucks to be an Odd Future fan in Boston.

Nearly a year after the Los Angeles rap collective had their Newbury Comics show shut down by police, the Tyler, the Creator-led group has once again seen their show cut short by Boston’s finest.

According to a fan-made video, Odd Future were performing last night at the city’s House of Blues when the lights were turned on by the venue, apparently at the instruction of cops.

“Just so you guys don’t think we’re d—s, I was going to finish the song, because you guys paid money,” Tyler tells the booing crowd. “But the promoter cut us off.” Word has it, one of OFWGKTA’s crew members was arrested outside the venue.

“We wanted to finish,” he continues, “but the owner of the club made us turn it off and the police are right there.” He had more to say, but his mic was quickly cut off. See it go down in the video below:


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