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Tag: On the Scene (11-20 of 75)

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.

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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

Dave Matthews Band showcases new album ‘Away From the World’ at Hollywood Bowl

Dave Matthews Band wrapped up their summer tour at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night with a show spotlighting tracks from their latest album, Away From the World.

It’s the band’s eighth studio album, and boy, how things have changed in the music world since they first hit the scene in the early ’90s. Matthews said to the crowd after the second song of the night, “We had a lot of fun making this record even though making a record is kind of a weird thing to do these days.”

But make a new record they did. The band clearly was eager to put a spotlight on their new music; nearly half of the concert’s set list drew from the Away From the World, but the new tunes weren’t met with significant enthusiasm from the crowd. There was an audible buzz of the chattering crowd during “Mercy” and “Sweet,” and it was during the first few chords of new songs that a stream of audience members filed down the aisles to grab another beer.

The first song that brought the whole audience to its feet and had everyone singing along was 2002 hit “Grey Street.” The band also brought down the house with an explosive rendition of “All Along The Watchtower” (prefaced by another nod to Jimi Hendrix as Stefan Lessard cranked out “The Star Spangled Banner” on the bass) and with “Jimi Thing,” which put on the night’s strongest display of the band’s beloved jam sessions. READ FULL STORY

On the Scene: What you didn't see on TV at the VMAs

With cameras strategically placed all around Staples Center at the Video Music Awards, MTV gives its viewers at home a pretty full view of the award show — from close-ups of the performers, to bird’s-eye views of the crowd, to cutaways to stars like Katy Perry and Olympic medalists in the VIP section. But there’s still more the camera didn’t pick up on. Lucky for you, EW was on the scene last night and has a few tidbits about what you didn’t see on TV.

Pink woos the crowd
Before Pink performed her show-stopping number, she ascended the platform in the middle of the audience at the beginning of the commercial break, giving her plenty of time to pump up the crowd with some beating on that electric snare drum. With the audience turned her way, many waving at her and snapping photos, she made sure to wave back with her drumstick and flash them all a big smile. What else did she have plenty of time to do? Test out that aerial rope. Wouldn’t you want to test it out a few more times, make sure you’ve got your form right, no matter how long you were in rehearsals the day before? But Pink only gave the rope one quick check, and then got back to charming the crowd. READ FULL STORY

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