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Tag: On the Scene (41-50 of 75)

NKOTBSB at IZOD center: Crotch grabbing, happy fans, and...Naughty by Nature?

“It took us 14 years but we did it,” a girl said to her friend, as waves of women filed out of the IZOD center in East Rutherford, NJ, last night after nearly three hours of musical time travel (two stops: 1989 and 1999) courtesy of NKOTBSB, a.k.a. New Kids on the Block + Backstreet Boys.

It hadn’t been long since I last indulged my inner teen; I attended my fourth Backstreet Boys concert at Hammerstein Ballroom last year. But last night’s supergroup affair was, frankly, super. And though the crowd was comprised of more New Kids fans than Backstreet, it didn’t damper the show.

I had heard of some tour stops turning sour because of fan wars, but there was no such pettiness last night—thanks mostly, I believe, to the concert’s structure. After a intro with both groups, New Kids came on stage with “Summertime,” and Backstreet followed with “The Call.” Then New Kids returned with “Dirty Dancing” and so on. The tag-team performances were jarring at first, but if in doing so their intention was to bridge the gap, then mission accomplished. This Backstreet fan left the show a little bit more of a New Kids fan than I was when I walked in. READ FULL STORY

'God Bless Ozzy Osbourne': New documentary presents the life, art, and addiction of the metal madman

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne, a documentary about the life and times of the Prince of Darkness, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this Sunday.

What could have been a glossy, fawning tribute to the most visible face in heavy metal music history—especially considering it was co-produced by his son, Jack—actually turned out to be a remarkably evenhanded look at Ozzy’s monumental musical influence as well as his less exemplary life as an addict and often-absent father.

The rock doc starts with Osbourne’s poor childhood in the cramped quarters of inner-city Birmingham, England, and goes up to his long-sought sobriety following the end of the water-cooler fodder reality series The Osbournes.

In Ozzy’s own words, “nothing really happened” in his life until he first heard the Beatles. “It was like someone had turned the world on to me,” said the Ozzman regarding his first exposure to “She Loves You.” “I knew I was going to be a rock star the rest of my life.” (Speaking of Beatles, Sir Paul is one of the numerous interviewees paying tribute to Ozzy’s impact). READ FULL STORY

Puff Daddy and his old family steal Diddy-Dirty Money's Coming Home New York City show

He may not be the best rapper in the game, but boy, Diddy can throw a party.

Last Friday (April 22) he and his Dirty Money crew‘s Coming Home Tour stopped at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom. It was literally a homecoming for Diddy, a Harlem native.

So instead of the refined and rehearsed offering several other cities likely received during the tour’s run, Diddy gave his hometown more, pulling several guests on stage and making it less of a Diddy-Dirty Money show and more of a nostalgic review of his Bad Boy Records heyday.

Diddy, along with DM singers Dawn Richard and Kalenna Harper, performed a few cuts from their Last Train to Paris early on. Diddy emerged dipped in white from head to toe and the trio performed “Ass on the Floor,” “Yeah, Yeah You Would,” “Yesterday,” and even an emotional medley of Sade’s classics, including “No Ordinary Love.”

Surprisingly, Diddy seemed a bit nervous up there at the start—as if uncertain of his Dirty Money material. To his credit, Train is an experimental hip-hop album we loved. Although as far as sales are concerned, it’s not a fan favorite (released last December, it hasn’t gone gold yet). And the audience’s halfhearted responses to their solid opening half hour proved as much.

But as he slid into the next portion of his set and the girls left, so did his nerves. After a roll call of the city’s boroughs, Diddy stopped to introduce Queens icon and A Tribe Called Quest rhymer Q-Tip, who brought the crowd to life with “Check the Rhime” and his solo banger “Vivrant Thing.”

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Elton John premieres Cameron Crowe-directed music doc starring himself and Leon Russell, plays the hits at Tribeca Film Festival

Surrounded by the after-hours glow of Lower Manhattan skyscrapers and buffeted by winds rolling in off of New York Harbor, Elton John wrapped up the opening night of the tenth annual Tribeca Film Festival with performances of such evergreen Elton classics as “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man” and “Your Song.”

His solo piano performance followed the world premiere of Cameron Crowe’s The Union, a music documentary that followed Sir John and legendary rock pianist Leon Russell as the two Rock Hall of Famers recorded an album together last year.

The Union turned out to be a pleasantly affecting surprise. What could have merely been a music doc about two aging rockers recording a late-career album was instead a heartfelt, decades-belated love letter from Elton John to his early career idol and one of his greatest influences, Leon Russell. Plus, it was fun to watch the flick sitting behind a group that included the uncommonly talented actors Anna Kendrick (Twilight, Up in the Air), Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), and Zoe Kazan (It’s Complicated). Kendrick’s eyes were glued to the screen while Dano and Kazan were smoochily glued to each other—that’s what the PortaPotties are there for, you crazy kids!) READ FULL STORY

Lauryn Hill's Moving Target tour lands in Los Angeles: Old-school songs with new-school flavor

Lauryn Hill’s latest tour, Moving Target, finally made its way to Los Angeles on Monday night, following a weekend appearance at the Coachella Festival in Palm Springs.

The singer hit up downtown’s Club Nokia for a healthy dose of songs pulled from several realms of her musical history, including her time with the Fugees, her Grammy-winning album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and even a little tribute to Bob Marley. [Note: The photo shown here isn't of Hill on Monday evening, because press photos were not made available.]

Hill opened her concert—which, despite reports of extreme tardiness in the past, started only about 20 minutes after the scheduled time—by declaring to the crowd: “If it’s okay with you, we’d like to do some classic music.” And classic music she certainly did, launching with her Miseducation hit “Everything Is Everything,” before rolling into Refugee Camp All-Stars’ “Sweetest Thing” and weaving back to Miseducation with “Lost Ones.”

But to be honest, her use of term “classic” should be interpreted loosely, especially when you consider how Hill, wearing an oversized dress and suit jacket, performed the songs. While she certainly sang the lyrics to the aforementioned tunes, they were only recognizable as the songs we’re familiar with at certain, fleeting points. Not that that’s a bad thing—Hill’s voice is still deep and luscious as it ever was but anyone hoping for a tour through the recorded versions of her songs will be sorely disappointed.

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Ke$ha's $leazy Tour: On the $cene in NYC -- are Carl Bernstein and Nora Ephron closet Ke$ha fans?

A line of showgoers—most of them teenagers, and collectively wearing approximately one metric ton of glitter—furled down three city blocks in Midtown Manhattan last night to see Ke$ha perform at the Roseland Ballroom.

The crowd was about what one would expect from a Ke$ha concert: Boys wearing mesh tank tops, girls sprinkling glitter on each other’s bare legs, some put-upon parents who’d rather be anywhere else, some Cool Moms who were all too happy to chaperone, and 20-somethings like myself who were pretending to be there for ironic purposes but were actually pretty stoked.

I was surprised, though, by how unexpectedly awesome the show was. Judging from some less-than-stellar TV performances, my expectations were low, but for what it’s worth, Ke$ha sounded at least as good live as she does on her recorded tracks. And as far as onstage antics go, she packed infinitely more entertainment value and energy into the show by way of pure, unabashed silliness than Britney Spears did in her much more expensive and lavish Circus tour.

I left the concert with an understanding and appreciation for Ke$ha that I hadn’t had before—and having to pick glitter out of my hair for the next three weeks is a small price to pay for enlightenment. READ FULL STORY

Eric Clapton and Wynton Marsalis play the blues in Manhattan, Taj Mahal steals show

On Saturday night, Eric Clapton finished his three-night celebration of the blues with Wynton Marsalis and Taj Mahal at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

EW was on the scene at the concert, a disappointingly academic, PBS-ready affair with only a few glimmers of the throbbing passion and anguish that have defined this great American musical tradition. READ FULL STORY

On the Scene: Nicki Minaj and the Roots play Times Square and geek out hard

Last night, Nicki Minaj painted Times Square pink.

Accompanied by the Roots, hip-hop’s most fluorescent femme fatale gave a concert at Manhattan’s Best Buy Theatre to launch Casio’s new Tryx camera.  It was a fun, unpretentious 11-song set, culled mostly from tracks off her debut album, Pink Friday.

The Roots kicked off the affair, blasting their comically schizophrenic, funkadelic sounds. After nearly 20 years, the Roots still remain one of the most immersive live acts to witness in person. The sheer number of bodies on stage can be overwhelming—I mean, where do you look? (Okay, to be fair, you’re probably looking at the Muppet antics of the ever mesmerizing ?uestlove on drums.) READ FULL STORY

The mtvU Woodie Awards: On the scene with Wiz Khalifa, scene stealers Odd Future, Matt & Kim and more

An awards show befitting the brief attention spans of its young viewers, the eighth annual mtvU Woodies packed a half-dozen prizes and performances apiece into one frantic, tightly choreographed hour in its first year at Austin’s South By Southwest music festival.

The show, which largely honors college rock and rising hip hop artists, gave its top wood block of the night to Wiz Khalifa, presented to him by the previous year’s winners and spontaneous street nudists Matt & Kim.

And while the “Black and Yellow” rapper received many of the loudest cheers of the night, both for his performance (of that hit and “Roll Up”) and award acceptance, the hour belonged to meteoric hip-hop crew Odd Future, whose pranks and general berserk-itude — their gonzo performance of “Yonkers” and “Sandwitches” included but was not limited to roaming midgets, high-arc crowd-diving, plushie costumes, and a hauled-away-by-bouncers stage exit — owned the evening.

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Lady Gaga talks early struggles, denies lip-synching, shouts-out Liza Minnelli and Marisa Tomei at Madison Square Garden

lady-gagaImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comNot only was she born this way, she was born right here. Lady Gaga flaunted her New York roots at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night, marking her final hometown concert before her Monster Ball tour wraps in May. And with heartfelt reflections on her early career struggles and shout-outs to the in-attendance Liza Minnelli and Marisa Tomei, she saved the best for last. For someone who says she doesn’t want to be thought of as human while on stage, Gaga seems to be one of the rare artists who can turn a stadium concert into a personal event, even when—or especially when—HBO’s cameras are rolling for a special to air May 7.

Like Gaga herself, the Monster Ball exists in flux, evolving and shape-shifting from city to city and month to month. Sure, the Day-Glo Pop-art-inspired sets have mostly stayed the same, roughly etching the bare outlines of the Monster Ball’s loopy, Wizard of Oz-style plot. There’s still the fluorescent-lit alley with hilariously pithy neon signs like “Drugs,” “BBQ,” and “Gold Teeth.” (Will Gaga next embrace dental fashion, a la Kanye?) The subway set for “LoveGame.” The twisted fairy tale forest—or Central Park, for the New York crowd. But there are a few tweaks here and there, mostly with the addition of pseudo-religious imagery, like the deranged nun’s habit she now sports during “LoveGame” (something Luis Buñuel would have loved), or the weeping angel statue that presides over “Alejandro.” She’s also upped the gay content, closing out “Alejandro” by having two of her male backup dancers share a long, lingering kiss. As far as the songs, former mainstays like “Brown Eyes” have had to make way for new additions “You and I” and “Born This Way.” READ FULL STORY

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