Four Out of Five

A short update for this Wednesday afternoon. I was up at 7 this morning when the Lollapalooza lineup dropped, and I am ecstatic  to see that four out of five of the bands/artists on my wishlist yesterday-Lorde, Muse, Arcade Fire and Car Seat Headrest- are on it!

I won’t reveal too much about how I feel about the lineup yet because I’m planning a Top Ten post for this year’s Lolla (like I did last year, if you’ve been following since I started blogging over summer), but I am all the more eager to finish up this semester and finally get to summer because of it.

Did you see your dream festival performances on the lineup today? What are they? 

Have a great week, thanks for reading and God bless.

-A.L.D.

Lollapalooza 2017 Band Wishlist

For my fellow concert enthusiasts going to Lollapalooza, I hope the ticket purchasing process went smoothly for you today. I am happy to say it did for me, and I am officially going to Lollapalooza 2017!

In honor of the lineup dropping tomorrow morning at 7 (I live in Ohio, so I’m Eastern Time), I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 bands I’d love to see at Lolla 2017. This is based off of lists I’ve seen floating around the internet of rumored headliners, plus some of my own personal dream concerts. (We’ll see tomorrow morning if my dreams actually come true).

5.) Lorde

When “Royals” dropped in 2013, I was at first indifferent, then vehement I wouldn’t listen to it because the fanbase was so massive, and when I finally sat down and listened to “Pure Heroine” I realized that as usual when I’m an elitist about my music, I’m wrong. Lorde absolutely kills the pop game in my book, with her sparse production, synth waves and signature warbling alto. I’ve loved the two new singles-“Green Light” and “Liability”-and after seeing her SNL performance a few weeks back, I’m ready to see Lorde live.

4.) Muse

Another band I originally wrote off, and I still can’t believe I ever did. I got the chance to catch Muse live in 2013, and I was absolutely floored. Not only did the quality of musicianship completely impress me, but the stage presence and light show that goes with a Muse show is incredible. I’d love to see these guys in a festival setting, especially since I’m hearing that their performances are becoming more politically charged and vibrant than before.

3.) The Orwells

I’ve already praised these Chicago-based 20something garage rockers so many times on this blog, so I’ll keep this brief. The Orwells do a fantastic job of creating concise, banging rock songs with the occasional shockingly dark and sad lyric thrown in. Since I’ll be traveling for school when they’re in Pittsburgh, I figure a summer festival is the next best place to witness the punky, sneering swagger they bring to the stage.

2.) Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first indie rock band I dug into the back catalog of and explored from back to front at the tender age of 13. Also, I wanted to be Regine Chassagne for the longest time after “The Suburbs” dropped. Also, “Rebellion (Lies)”might be my favourite song ever. Also, “My Body is a Cage” is one of the best closing tracks I’ve ever heard. A festival would be the best place to fall in love all over again with these eclectic masterminds.

1.) Car Seat Headrest

Of course! Are you really surprised after all I’ve said about these guys recently? I basically have to see Will Toledo and Co this summer and the videos from Pitchfork 2016 just aren’t enough. If I’m in the first row, the second row or even the back of the crowd, when I hear the first notes of “Fill in the Blank” (if I’m lucky, “Times to Die” or “Cosmic Hero”), it’ll definitely transform my summer into the best one I’ve had thus far. Time shall tell.

Who are you hoping for on the Lolla lineup tomorrow?

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

A Very Belated Update

My apologies for not updating in a while. This semester is turning out to be much more than I originally bargained for, but as of yet nothing I can’t handle. Unfortunately, my posting count has suffered because of midterms, house obligations and chores, work and two large cumulative projects I’ve been working on throughout the semester.

But I am still here and as excited about 2017’s music scene as ever. Currently, I’m barely able to wait for Mac Demarco’s “This Old Dog” and Father John Misty’s “Pure Comedy” to drop (May 5 and April 7, respectively). I’m also loving the new music from Alt-J and Lorde, two artists I’ve been anxiously awaiting follow-ups and new directions from. Thanks to The Needle Drop, I’ve also been enjoying new music from PWR BTTM, especially their new single “Answer My Text” (which I highly recommend you listen to right now).

Since school is consuming every aspect of my social life, I also was unable to attend the Lucy Dacus/Hamilton Leithauser show I was planning on blogging about last month. Fortunately, I’ve been offered a chance to see Foxygen in a few weeks during a lull in my academic, social and work calendar, and I’ve also gotten tickets to see Spoon on May 11 after my finals are done, my projects turned in and I have a break from work for a few weeks.

And of course I’m counting down the days until 4-day passes for Lollapalooza go on sale. With the rumours of headliners I’ve heard (Lorde, Arcade Fire, Muse, Fleet Foxes…), I get more excited with each passing day. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I can’t wait to see Car Seat Headrest-I just feel like they HAVE to be on the lineup this year. They just have to.

So again, I apologize for the delay in updating over the last month. I was going to do a playlist post for Valentine’s Day (and still might, even though it’s quite belated), but this will have to do for now. I’ll try my best to keep updating here in the upcoming weeks after my Spring Break; I always enjoy the feedback I receive and writing about one of my most favourite things is quite relaxing.

Thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

Lolla in Brief: Day 4

What a great wrap up to a weekend of performances. Starting off the day was Oh Wonder, a chillwave outfit adorned with fuzzy bass and the usual breathy, distorted lyrical delivery of most keyboard-heavy bands. I feel like they’d sound amazing through a set of good headphones so I could catch each syncopation of the beat and production nuance. Their frontwoman was simply delightful.

(Above: Peeved Paul is prepared to enjoy an Oh Wonder show).

Next up was a an emerging three-person Brooklyn, NYC outfit called Dreamers. They made some great noisy garage rock that, while following a standard formula, did so without ripping off The Strokes or White Stripes or Cage the Elephant. It was both refreshing and fun to sing along to, and I look forward to their debut album dropping on August 26.


(Above: The gents of Dreamers and the frontman’s lovely “Pluto: Never Forget” shirt).

And then came Local Natives. On a previous post I put these guys on my Honorable Mentions list for bands I wanted to see at Lolla. What a mistake. They’re a must see. I think of them as a sort of indie-rock Beatles: Like the Beatles in their early years, the songs sound similar, but that’s not a bad thing. It just means the formula is working. They also switch around on who takes the lead vocal and a few appeared to be multi-instrumentalists. And while they did bring politics into the show for a bit (and I’m not really a fan of when artists start preaching politics, regardless of side and myself being political), I’m always in favour of free speech and it was still such a fantastic set.


(Above: Frontman of Local Natives jumps down into the crowd as the flag of Chicago flies overhead).

Next was some fun with the wonderful Haim sisters. These ladies did NOT disappoint. Besides getting the entire crowd involved in the show, they also debuted two new songs, got nostalgic about seeing Lolla in 2007 and paid tribute to Prince. And their stage presence was electric. All three sisters seemed to be having the time of their lives.

(Above: Este Haim drums along with her sisters Danielle and Alana).

But the main event was surely LCD Soundsystem. I could talk about every aspect of an LCD Soundsystem song that appeals to me and how it transfers to the main stage, but I kind of can’t use words to describe this show. I think it’s just best to picture a huge group of people who’ve never met joining together for a truly euphoric, magical synth rock dance party and having the time of their lives. It was a blessed experience, and I feel so happy to’ve been a part.


(Above: LCD Soundsystem mid-set).

I hope you all had a lovely Lollapalooza 2016. Let me know your thoughts/what your favourite artists were!

If you have to travel to get back home, travel safely and soundly. Thank you for reading, and God bless.

Till next post,

-A.L.D.

Lolla in Brief: Day 3


(Above: The Chicago skyline from the centre of Grant Park).

Today was a day full of sonic jams. Most of which was harder rocking, but to start was the folky Mumford and Sons-esque Strumbellas. 

(Above: Strumbellas performing their final song on the Lake Shore stage).

Strumbellas drew a decent crowd considering their “early” time slot (12 p.m.). They’re simple happy summer music, which gives them their wide appeal. What stuck out the most to me was their grim lyrics that feature a definite optimism and hope for the future, friendly stage presence and some good strings.

And then came the act I’ve been waiting four years for, The Joy Formidable. And I must say, it was worth the wait. I was in the second row from the gate separating the stage from the crowd. This show was incredibly loud and despite just being three people, the band created a powerful fusion of bass, guitar and drum. There was so much energy in every member’s performance. You could tell they were losing themselves in the music.


(Above: Only two rows back from the three-person Joy Formidable, performing on the Bud Light stage).

Next was Lollapalooza’s own Perry Farrell in Jane’s Addiction. First of all, seeing the perpetually smiling creator of such a great fest taking control of the stage was an experience in itself. And this show will be something I remember for a long time. It was basically like listening to your closest friends jam out on their guitars in their garage while acrobats performed and fireworks went off in the background. And that is met as an extremely high compliment.


(Above: Perry playing with a speaker during Jane’s Addiction on the Samsung stage).

Closing the night was the one and only Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their set was primarily their hits, which I thought was perfect. It was a solid festival set and watching so many RHCP fans singing along and dancing to the songs made the entire day worth it. Their light show and screen display (a semicircle screen surrounded by four smaller circles that showed the same image) was also entertaining to watch. And of course Flea’s onstage antics (like doing handstands) got the crowd fired up.


(Above: Red Hot Chili Pepper’s screen display from the middle of the audience).

Thanks for reading! Time to get excited for the final day of Lollapalooza, friends.

As always, God bless.

-A.L.D.

Lolla in Brief: Day 2

Today was a day full of music discovery, so this post will mostly be focused on the bands I wasn’t expecting to find today. I’ll touch on a few I’d planned on seeing, too.

To start is the band Con Brio, a seven-strong lineup of extremely talented musicianship. Brass solos, guitar solos and vocal improvisation created a show full of funk, soul, blues and rock influences. I’d love to see these guys get a later time slot eventually. Their friendly stage persona and high energy will take them places.

Following these guys were the spacy surf-rock outfit Daywave, known most for their single “Drag.” These guys follow in that West Coast vein of Best Coast and Real Estate with a subtle New Order influence as well. In fact, they ended up covering “Ceremony” (one of my favourite NO tunes) in the set. I’d say this makes them slightly more mature than your basic “surf rock” band and elevates the group to the level of other NO-inspired acts like Beach Fossils.

St. Motel proved to be a real suprise for me. I’m not a fan of their big single “My Type,” but I was wrong to write them off based on that sound. It’s fun, accessible alt rock with a solid brass section and a talented keyboardist. And I must say the ceramic tiger attached to the keyboard was a great touch.

And speaking of fun alt rock, I’d go see The Struts in their own show in a heartbeat. It’s less of a concert and more of a performance with these guys, complete with a mini costume change and interactive singing/dancing with the crowd. A 45-minute Lolla slot just didn’t seem enough for the antics of the frontman (who, I’m pretty sure, is Freddie Mercury reincarnated).

Foals did live up to expectations, but played a few too many mellow songs for my liking. Their studio sound transferred well to the stage, but I would’ve liked them in a smaller indoor venue so I could appreciate each nuance. However, their ending with “Inhaler” and “What Went Down” back to back was brilliant.

Following this was Frightened Rabbit, who played almost every song I was hoping for (“The Oil Slick” would’ve been great). Every guy in the band looks like a middle-aged dad, but they know how to switch from an acoustic folk song about being nostalgic for the good old days to a blistering rock jam about holy rollers. A solid mix of slower songs, new songs and singalongs.

And I have to give a shoutout to Wolf Alice, who completely destroyed the Pepsi stage. This band isn’t afraid to be loud and their frontwoman stagediving into the audience while screaming the lyrics to the closing song proves as such. Guitar solos reminiscent of Sonic Youth and a driving beat made for an excellent show. And to the gentleman who was dancing with his small son on his shoulders the whole time, you win Dad of the Year.

Stay tuned for more fun tomorrow. Enjoy your Lolla and God bless.

-A.L.D.

Lolla in Brief: Day 1

What an excellent start to the weekend. Lolla on a Thusday was great: crowded, but not too crowded and we were able to get fairly close to the stage for each act.

I was pleasantly surprised by almost all acts I saw yesterday. To start the day was Autolux, a band I’ve never listened to prior to the show yesterday but who made quite the impression on me. The distortion on each instrument was absolutely insane. I can imagine this is a type of band whose studio sound translates well to the main stage, despite so much production. It was like a mixture of Sonic Youth and a heavy dose of My Bloody Valentine, with a few touches of Smashing Pumpkins in there. Additionally, the band’s stage presence was crazy chill for how loud they were.

Another gem was Bob Moses. I’ll be honest, I hated this group’s breakout single “Tearing Me Up,” so my expectations were low. This show, however, was 45 minutes of my expectations being completely shattered. Bob Moses is like the baby version of Hot Chip, with a fantastic blend of “real” instrumentation and synths and drum machines. I think they’re one of those bands who’s just better live. It was impossible to not dance to what these guys were cranking out. I was even singing along to “Tearing Me Up” by the end of the show. I just wish it’d been longer.

Then came some good clean fun with The Arkells, a Canadian alt rock band who had great stage presence. I’d missed a bit of their show, but upon arrival was instantly caught up in the fun. Some highlights of audience interaction featured the frontman dedicating a song to his newly engaged friends and having them come on stage to dance, a few impromptu Elton John covers from the keyboard player and call-and-response singing between the frontman and audience.

The big disappointment, at least for me, was unfortunately Bastille. I don’t doubt that the band sounded good and I really do enjoy moments of their first record (as well as their new single “Good Grief”). But their  soundsystem  was majorly glitchy and all I could hear from where I was in the crowd was the bass. The singer’s voice was completely drowned out and the instruments were muffled.

But, thankfully, Kurt Vile and the Violators delivered an hour of great jams. It wasn’t nearly as mellow as I thought, and Vile’s voice had that perfect laid back slacker vibe I’ve come to love. The studio sound from “Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze” and “b’live im goin down…” carried so well to the main stage. I especially liked the layered guitars and touches of saxophone. And of course I was amazed at how relaxed and at home Kurt and his band seemed on the stage. I may’ve even liked it a bit more than The War on Drugs last year, but that’s debatable.

Probably the most surprising of the bands yesterday was The Arcs, the side project of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. I consider myself a casual Black Keys fan, and I enjoyed a bit of what’s come off “Brothers,” “El Camino” and “Turn Blue” (while also thinking it does have a very similar, formulaic sound). I went to see The Arcs because a.) I’m not a 1975 fan and they were playing around the same time and b.) I had to pass on seeing The Black Keys in 2013 because of school. I was expecting a watered down Black Keys show but instead was blown away by all the blues influence in each song. I especially loved how the brass instrumentation and backup singers (who all played different instruments, too) complimented Auerbach’s guitar solos and gravelly voice. The band’s stage presence was a combination of both untouchably cool and wonderfully friendly. They seemed genuinely happy to be performing and their audience was going nuts. 

Thanks for reading! Hope you’re enjoying Lolla as much as I am. Stay tuned for more updates and God bless.

-A.L.D.

Last Post ’till Lolla

The 25th anniversary of bringing quality tunes to life is almost upon us, my friends. And in the midst of watching South Park and doing things I was too irresponsible to do earlier this week, like laundry and grocery shopping, I figured I’d better publish a quick post before leaving for Lolla.

I’m leaving tomorrow afternoon for Chicago, so I’ll be right in the city when the festivities kick off Thursday afternoon.

I’ll be posting pictures of my Lolla experience on Instagram if you’d like to follow along; my username is aldaviez7 (there’s a link to my account under my About page).

I hope everyone has safe travels and a wonderful time celebrating four days of great independent and alternative rock music! Can’t wait to be blogging about all the swell times that are to come this weekend.

And now, my friends, I am quite worn out from a long day of work. May you have sweet dreams and be well rested for a weekend of righteous tuneage. Get ready!

As always, thanks for reading, and God bless.

-A.L.D.

The Top Ten Bands I’m Most Excited to See at Lollapalooza 2k16

Maybe it’s just because I’ve been watching promo videos for Lollas present and past, or maybe it’s just this 25th anniversary four-day festival, but I am absolutely PSYCHED for Lollapalooza this year.

Now, while I realize there are a great many bands/artists of extraordinary talent at this year’s festival, there are a few I am exceptionally excited to see.

So, in something of a particular order, here’s a brief rundown of my personal top ten must-sees.

#10.– Kurt Vile and the Violators

While there are moments on “b’lieve im goin down…” that are just a bit too mellow for my taste, I think the early dusk performance time (6 p.m. to 7 p.m.) will fit perfectly with the band’s ambient, lo-fi and all-around chill sound. I’m anxious to see how their relaxed swirling grooves and fingerpicked riffs translate to the big stage.

#9.- The Struts

OK, I have to put these guys on here. Not only are The Struts cranking out great alt-rock anthems that were basically made for a festival stage, but I also love screaming along with the words to “Kiss This” when it comes on the satellite radio. I just can’t help myself.

#8.- Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit has a way of creating acoustic-based songs that make me want to jump to my feet, throw my arms open and sing my heart out. Is it frontman Scott Hutchinson’s deep soulful voice and Scottish accent? The simple, yet wonderfully powerful lyrics? The steady drum beats that remind me of a heavy heart burdened with the world’s struggles? I guess I shall have to wait and see. Really hoping for “The Oil Slick” and “Old Old Fashioned.”

#7.- Foals

Before What Went Down,” my knowledge of Foals was limited to singles like “My Number” and “Inhaler.” I now see it’s time to change that. I love the production and the spacey effects on frontman Yannis Philippakis’s voice on this new record, and while I know studio sound doesn’t transfer exactly to the stage, I’m still eager to see what Foals can do. And, let’s be real, “Mountain at my Gate” is going to be CRAZY live.

#6.- HAIM

In a past life I used to be one of those people who got ticked off when something they found first became “popular,” but thankfully I’ve outgrown that. The Haim sisters must be doing something right, because their instant catchiness and appeal to the masses makes me like them even more. Plus, their lyrics are the perfect amount of both sarcasm and honest reflections on life. I’m pretty pumped for this early dusk show (6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.).

#5.- Two Door Cinema Club

I first learned about these guys in the summer of 2011  when my cousin recommended I listen to “Tourist History” and ever since I’ve found myself cruising along with my windows down blasting “I Can Talk” more and more. I’ve wanted to see Two Door live since 2013’s “Changing of the Seasons” EP (which featured some excellent production from Madeon which definitely influenced their more recent sound but that’s a story for another day), and I’m pumped I’m finally getting the chance.

#4.- The Joy Formidable

I actually screamed in excitement when I saw The Joy Formidable in the Lolla lineup. My roommate had to ask me what was up. I have been wanting to see this band for YEARS. Their ability to craft layered, controlled-chaos rock songs (the perfect accompaniment for frontwoman Ritzy Bryan’s deliberate, blunt yet beautifully poetic lyrics and vocals) is unbelievable. And come on, a frontwoman in indie rock is rad. Plus, their Instagram feed is adorable. I can get behind almost any band who reads. I just wish their set time (2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.) was later in the day. Oh well.

#3.- Red Hot Chili Peppers/Jane’s Addiction

Something tells me both these shows are going to be pure unadulterated fun. I missed out on my opportunity to see RHCP in 2012 (because of this thing we call work), but I’m actually quite thankful my first live experience with the Chili Peppers is going to be at a festival. And the same goes for Jane’s Addiction. To be honest, I love the work of both these bands, but the nostalgia factor is what’s really getting me excited to see them. It’s going to be like a throwback to the 90’s Lollapalooza where my dad and his friends had such a great time. And the fact I’m going to this year’s 25th anniversary Lolla with my dad and his friends is going to make the shows even greater. Music transcends time, my friends.

#2.- Radiohead 

Of course Radiohead are in my must-see list. They’re Radiohead. But aside from the plethora of general reasons I have (lyrics that make you sob with the injustice of modern life, “A Moon Shaped Pool” being a gorgeous modern masterpiece, the sheer tortured brilliance of Thom Yorke, etc.), I want to tell a bit of a personal story. The first time I ever heard “High and Dry” (July of 2012, in the passenger seat of a Honda Accord parked in a gas station in my hometown), I was completely floored. We’re talking, there were times the following day where I had to stop what I was doing and recall each line of the song, and my favourite parts, and favourite lyrics, and how beautiful and simple and SAD it all was. The song crept its way into my mind, weaving its way through my nerves, shaking into my soul and asking me, “What does it mean?” And I can’t help but feel like that’s exactly what Yorke wanted. So maybe this show will finally show me. Or give me more questions. Oh, and if they play “Optimistic,” my brain may explode.

#1.- LCD Soundsystem

The band is back together, and OH MY LORD am I excited. This show is going to be madness. LCD Soundsystem not only never shies away from another layer of synths, not only has some fantastically witty lyrics, not only has infectious danceable rhythm, but also creates some of my favourite pieces of electro-pop music. Just listen to lyrics on “All My Friends” and “Someone Great.” It’s like a heartfelt page from the journal of someone fed up with getting older and longing for times when they could just kick back with their favourite people and enjoy life. Please forgive the corniness of my next statement, but I know where all my friends (and family) will be on Sunday night from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. We’ll be having the time of our lives watching LCD Soundsystem on the Samsung stage with the Chicago skyline behind us.

Honorable Mentions: 

Local Natives, because I’ve always liked their percussion work and their new material has some simple but beautiful vocal harmony. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, because their music is complete upbeat fun and I want to turn it into an a capella arrangement. The Strumbellas, because I’m a sucker for some happy music wannabe “hipsters” put in their Spotify playlist titled “Summer Sunshine Jams <3.”  Bastille, because, in case you haven’t noticed, I sometimes enjoy modern alternative rock with wide appeal and I also like their percussion style.

Thanks for reading, friends! Let me know what your Lolla must-sees are. This ended up longer than I intended, but cut me some slack. I’m barely able to wait until July 28th.

Thanks again, and God bless.

-A.L.D