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Tag: On the Scene (11-20 of 77)

On the scene at Inside Llewyn Davis tribute concert featuring Marcus Mumford, Jack White, Patti Smith and more

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Last night at Manhattan’s Town Hall, folk music’s greatest and latest joined forces to pay tribute to the music of  Inside Llewyn Davis, the forthcoming Coen Brothers film chronicling the city’s downtown music scene in the ’60s.

It was an evening of “weeping, wailing and sowing and reaping” (as master of ceremonies and Llewyn Davis costar John Goodman put it) featuring an all-star lineup — including Avett Brothers, Marcus Mumford, Patti Smith, Joan Baez, Jack White, Conor Oberst, and the Decemberists’ Colin Meloy — performing music from the soundtrack as well as the classic folk songs from the movie.

Below, some of the highlights of the evening:

+ The Punch Brothers as the house band

The five-man band took on classics like “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” and “Rye Whiskey,” and provided the backbone for multiple performers. 

+ Justin Timberlake’s “Understudy”: Elvis Costello

Although Davis costar Justin Timberlake was unavailable, he sent his “understudy,” Elvis Costello. The bespectacled rock icon walked into his set with a standing ovation, joining famed producer T Bone Burnett and actor Adam Driver, who backed on vocals for “Please, Mr. Kennedy,” the song performed by Timberlake in the film. READ FULL STORY

On the Scene at Justin Timberlake's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' concert: This is what JT's sick day looks like

No one likes to go to work sick, but not all of us have 10,000 people expecting them at the office.

“I’m gonna need your help tonight,” an under-the-weather Justin Timberlake pleaded with the hordes of fans lining Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard on Tuesday night for his Jimmy Kimmel Live! outdoor concert, especially leaning on them for “Mirrors.” “If I’mma do this, I need to hear everyone singing,” he instructed. “I don’t want to see you big-time me. I know this is Hollywood. F— all that.”

The crowd was all too happy to fill in the lyrics when Timberlake needed backup, but the six-song set mostly reiterated just what a pro JT is — in sickness and in health. While the TV audience caught a third of the performance, here are some highlights from our street view:
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On the Scene at Paul McCartney's 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' concert: Something old, something 'New'

When Paul McCartney and his Beatles bandmates performed an unannounced concert on a London rooftop in 1969 for their Let It Be film, the police eventually came in and shut it down. But McCartney and Jimmy Kimmel had the cops’ blessing Monday night in Los Angeles, as they took to the roof of the El Capitan Theatre, promising a free show from the one-and-only Sir Paul for the gathered masses.

Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! TV audience only caught two of those songs. After that, as McCartney told us when he hit the stage, “The rest is just for you.” Here’s what you missed if you weren’t one of the 10,000 people lining Hollywood Boulevard:
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On the scene: He rocks out to Lorde -- and more reasons why Elton John is awesome

I really loved the heyday of VH1 Storytellers in the late ’90s. Sure, it had its slow moments, but when it was on, it was on — hearing Adam Durtiz talk about who Mr. Jones really is or watching Lenny Kravitz talk about his hot chick drummer was always a treat.

So I was pleasantly surprised last night at a small event at USC where Sir Elton John himself turned what was billed as a small showcase of new songs and an introduction by mega-producer T-Bone Burnett into a full-on concert and storytelling extravaganza.

John opened the night with older tracks like “Philadelphia Freedom” and “Levon,” closing out the first part of the night with “Your Song,” which he said he knew when he first got the lyrics from collaborator Bernie Taupin that “I’d better not mess this one up.” The evening continued with a Q&A and a preview of songs from his new album, The Diving Board (produced by Burnett). While he joked that everyone gets up to pee when new songs are trotted out, no one in the packed auditorium moved a muscle. He closed out the evening with more classics performed with incredible energy and exuberance, wrapping with an aching, soulful rendition of “Rocket Man.”

I’ve always liked Elton John, but in a “my mom had the vinyl and I love Almost Famous and, sure, I know all the words to ‘Benny and the Jets’” kind of a way, not in a “he’s a musical genius” kind of way. But watching him jam on the piano in a signature sparkly black suit backed by the USC orchestra and witnessing the pure joy he had playing for a group of college students (who were on their feet and dancing by the middle of the show) made me a convert.

Below, a few highlights of the night and tidbits we learned during the Q&A with the Grammy Foundation’s Scott Goldman about why Sir Elton is still rockin’ it at 66.
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On the scene: NKOTB, 98 Degrees, and Boyz II Men show Brooklyn their package (tour)

Yesterday may have been Father’s Day, but EW’s social media all-star Nika Vagner and I were the ones who received the greatest gift of all — a triple bill of boy-band hotness, courtesy of New Kids on the Block’s cheekily named The Package Tour, featuring 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.

We posted to EW’s Instagram and Vine accounts last night from Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Now I’m here to deliver the in-depth report: READ FULL STORY

On the scene: Ed Sheeran plays private show in NYC

Fresh off his appearance at the Billboard Music Awards, Brit singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran took a break from touring with Taylor Swift to perform a private concert at Delta Airline’s T4X pop-up shop in Soho. The event — which came complete with screaming fans banging on the glass doors to be let inside — was broadcast live by Fuse and featured a four-song set by Sheeran. The artist spared a few minutes to answer some questions before taking the stage.  READ FULL STORY

On the scene at Vampire Weekend's AmEx 'Unstaged' concert in New York, directed by Steve Buscemi

Ivy League rockers Vampire Weekend have always been a unique musical math equation: One part house-party pop and two parts sonic safari, multiplied by Cape Cod plus keyboards, all squared by the new millennium.

The New York foursome took the stage at the Roseland Ballroom as part of American Express’ “Unstaged” series last night — its past alumni include Jack White, the Killers, and Coldplay, matched up with directors like Wernor Herzog and Gary Oldman; watch previous clips here — on the final night of the Tribeca Film Festival. And with the set’s turned-up bass drum and synchronized lights, the Roseland suddenly felt less like a rock venue than full-on dance hall. READ FULL STORY

Acoustic bliss: Glen Hansard and Iron & Wine's Sam Beam perform together in L.A.

South Carolina and Ireland are literally an ocean apart, but Sam Beam (better known under his performing name Iron & Wine) and Glen Hansard of Once fame are closer than ever in their musical stylings. Friday night, a few select Angelenos were treated to a rare acoustic performance, complete with the pair taking requests from the audience, at the Sayers Club in Hollywood.

Hosted by public radio station KCRW, the night featured solo sets by both artists and a couple of covers that they played together at the end of the show. The two moody songsters share a manager and clearly have become quite close through that relationship, as they were joking with each other and the audience throughout the night.

READ FULL STORY

Green Day live: 21 thoughts from the scene of their long-awaited return to the road

On Thursday night, Green Day made their long-awaited official return to the road at the Allstate Arena in suburban Chicago. I was there both as a professional (you can read my full critical take on the show in next week’s issue of EW), and as a longtime admirer of the group whose fandom has waxed and waned over the course of their career. Below is a series of musings about the scene that was.

1. Green Day performed a handful of club dates leading up to their South By Southwest showcase, but this was the first show of the proper arena tour (dubbed the 99 Revolutions Tour, after the track on ¡Tre!) the band was supposed to start a few months ago. Though frontman Billie Joe Armstrong has been in rehab for the last few months, there were no references made by the band that they had ever been away. It was business as usual, without any nods to the news.

2. Just because the band ignored it didn’t mean the crowd did as well. There were a handful of signs held up by fans on the GA floor expressing their support of Armstrong through his recovery. One read: “You are always here for us, now we’re here for you.” There was also a guy who brought a cardboard cutout of Justin Bieber, a reference to Armstrong’s infamous on-stage rant in Las Vegas last fall—the incident that led directly to his rehab stint. (Too soon, dude!)

3. Even if the show wasn’t strictly sold out, the band will most certainly make up the difference in merch: The lines for T-shirts (and hoodies and hats and copies of Kerplunk on vinyl) were huge, which meant that the bulk of the crowd missed opening act Best Coast in favor of snagging gear. READ FULL STORY

Bruce Springsteen, the Who, Billy Joel, and Beatlevana: On the scene at 12-12-12

Wednesday night’s 12-12-12 benefit concert for Sandy relief was an unqualified success: Before even a single note was played on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden, more than $30 million had already been raised for the Robin Hood Foundation through ticket sales, merchandise, and corporate pledges.

As a charity event, 12-12-12 was a slam dunk. As a musical entertainment endeavor, it was more of a mixed bag, full of plenty of glorious, triumphant moments for sure, but also bloated with curious choices and inexplicable performances.

Bruce Springsteen had the honor of kicking the show off, beginning his band’s brief set with “Land of Hope and Dreams.” As Jersey’s greatest ambassador for well over three decades, Springsteen sweated and howled through the opener’s anthemic refrain, only to raise the stakes on “Wrecking Ball,” a defiant anthem of hope from the album of the same name.

“Wrecking Ball” started a running theme of transformation through out the night: Familiar songs became re-packaged and recontextualized, and themes of renewal and rebirth crept up during the finest performances. READ FULL STORY

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