Cleveland had been waiting oh-so-patiently for Brooklyn power-duo Matt and Kim after canceling their last appearance in support of Passion Pit in 2013. The couple more than made up for this by providing Cleveland the means to dance and sweat through a 21-song set in support of their latest album, New Glow. “I’m giving you 200 percent because you motherfuckers deserve it!” whooped Kim Schifino after she explained in graphic detail the reasoning behind the last show’s cancellation (it involved a toilet.. and some Pepto…we’ll spare you the details).
And give it 200 percent, they did. Blasting through songs like “Cameras”, “Hoodie On” and “Get It”, Matt and Kim blew the roof off of the House of Blues with confetti cannons and balloons galore with a parachute dance party to throw in the mix. Having previously been injured from stage antics earlier in the week, Matt Johnson did not let that stop him from skillfully balancing himself on one foot and dipping forward into his keyboards while Kim twerked all the way across the stage.
The show closed out with crowd pleasers “Let’s Go” and “Daylight” before the one song encore of “It’s Alright” in which Kim crowd surfed and booty danced into the middle of the audience.
San Francisco-based Waters warmed up the audience with flowers and sunny tunes including “What’s Real” and “Stupid Games”. The 5-piece band also attempted a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”, but redeemed themselves with original song material “I Feel Everything”.
It may have been a good idea to bring a set of earplugs to the Beachland Ballroom Friday night as the aggressive chaos-inducing noise-rock of Lightning Bolt, METZ and Chomp emanated from the stage and penetrated concertgoers’ ears.
Cleveland’s own Chomp kicked off the night with Joe Boyer on vocals, Jeff Latimer on bass and Scott Reid on drums. Boyer’s voice ranged from melodic drifts to gravelly screams. Reid’s drumming reached a vomit-inducing high that did not deter him one bit except for a five second recovery period before delving into one of Chomp’s newest songs, “The Rational Anthem”. You can catch Chomp again at Mahall’s on April 30.
METZ hailing from Toronto took no time to create a sweat-filled haze over the crowd that literally fogged up lead singer Alex Edkin’s glasses. Edkin’s shredding matched bass player’s Chris Sloarch’s wild antics while drummer Hayden Menzies pounded away in a maniacal fashion. Edkin’s interactions was minimal but when prompted, the crowd responded back with mighty whooping before diving back into the mosh pit once a new song started.
Much anticipated headliner Lightning Bolt took to the stage – a rarity as their sets are usually performed on the ground surrounded by the crowd. Bassist Brian Gibson left the talking and crowd interaction up to drummer/vocalist Brian Chippendale as he stood off to the side quietly concentrating on his loops and tapping. Chippendale’s furious drumming threw concertgoers into a violent frenzy while he bellowed unintelligible lyrics into his masked microphone. Playing songs off their recently released album Fantasy Empire, it was not long before those in attendance mustered the courage to hop on stage and thrash along in usual Lightning Bolt fashion.
For April’s Sonic Sessions, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brought glam rock group Foxygen to their main stage. Founded by duo Sam France and Jonthan Rado in 2005, the group has been touring in support of their album …And Star Power released in 2014. France’s unhinged dancing sprung him to the very edge of the stage to the screaming crowd while he and the equally enthusiastic back-up dancers kept up with the beat splaying their limbs wildly into the air. Rado focused on keyboards while occasionally standing on a chair to play guitar.
The group tore through their set with songs like “Hot Summer”, “Cannibal Holocaust”, and “Shuggie”. After a mock induction ceremony in honor of the Rock Hall’s Induction Week, Foxygen ended the night with a 2-song encore including crowd favorite “No Destruction” and “Everyone Needs Love”.
The show began with the extraordinary talent from Down Under, Alex Cameron, and his right-hand sax man, Roy Molloy. The duo impressed with synth-induced songs like “Happy Ending” and “Real Bad Lookin”. Molloy’s sax complimented Cameron’s Nick Cave-esque silky tenor and get-low-and-dirty dance moves.
Despite a meager crowd attendance at Tuesday night’s Reptar show at the Grog Shop, the Georgia, Athens-based band was able to fill the room with incredible sound, light and energy for the lucky show goers.The night was met with jokes, high fives and high-energy dancing as Ulicny belted out tunes like “Ice Black Sand” off of the recent release of Lurid Glow. During“No One Will Ever Love You” to which both he and saxophonist Walter “Bad Dog” Fancourt hopped off the stage to get close with the crowd. Keyboardist William Kennedy’s hair reached extraordinary heights as he headbanged his way through “Sea of Fertility”.
The 7 members also played songs off of their debut Body Faucets with favorite “Houseboat Babies”. The 2 song encore included a Kate Bush cover of “Hounds of Love” to which Ulicny joked “We will probably burn in hell for playing this song… WORTH IT.” The night ended with “Water Runs” as Ulicny sang off the stage surrounded by a mob of fans with their arms around each other singing along into the mic.
Omaha’s Icky Blossoms, led by singer Sarah Bohling, Nik Fackler, with Tilly and the Wall’s Derek Pressnall on guitar, warmed up the audience with their 80s electro-pop and punk-infused dream beats. With songs off of their self-titled 2013 release, including “Sex to the Devil” and “Cycle”, Bohling offered up her sweet vocals while Pressnall might have lost of a few pounds of sweat pummeling away on his guitar. During the punk-thrash “I Am”, Fackler howled into the mic with drummer Ryan Menchaca keeping the pace.
Icky Blossoms also unveiled a few new songs for their upcoming album including “In Folds” and the CSS-reminiscent “Living in Fiction”.