concert reviews

One college junior’s 6-month journey to see Phoenix, and what happened along the way

My story starts on a rainy April Sunday, sitting in a coffee shop, not studying for exams. My friend from the impact (and also live music aficionado) and I were having a deep chat that led to the subject of my future study abroad in Spain and anticipation of leaving for friends and family for the whole summer. Some extreme sappiness ensued but after shaking off our silly sentiments (exam stress induced, I’m sure) she suggested I attend Primavera Sound, a music festival in Barcelona that Phoenix was to be headlining

The problem: it was happening two days after I would arrive.  After some frantic Google mapping, I discovered the feat of traveling across a foreign country right after a 12-hour journey would be close to impossible. I felt sorry for myself for a good 10 minutes while I watched their line-up video and stalked their website, but eventually got over it and got back to trying to study—and for the most part, totally forgot about it.

Fast forward four months and I’m back in East Lansing sitting in the same coffee shop, coincidentally not doing my homework, when I get a message notifying me of the possibility of getting tickets to see Phoenix at Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, September 29.

This was golden, considering the ugly truth that just the week before I resorted to texting a local radio station to win tickets, only to receive a “better luck next time” response and the loss of my dignity. So when I finally did get tickets to go the show, my heart was bursting.

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Melt Banana Live at Mac’s Bar

Last night was my first time seeing Melt Banana live.  Although fellow Asian Invasion co-host Danny and I had interviewed front-woman Yako about their current American tour, and had been listening to their music we really didn’t know what to expect.  Melt Banana’s studio albums are certainly not for everyone, but with a record of sharing the bill with such artists as Slipknot, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Le Tigre, and Tool, I was really interested to see what the live show would be like.

When I arrived at Mac’s Bar, the parking lot was packed and cars were spilling out into lots of surrounding businesses, or any sort of pavement that resembled a parking lot.  We took our spots near the front to get a good view of the band, but were completely unprepared for what was about to happen.

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A Final Night With The Hard Lessons

A Final Night With The Hard Lessons

Saturday night was probably just a normal winter night for most on campus. Some probably went out to parties while others stayed inside to study or relax. A select few experienced something different on Saturday. Those select few experienced a homecoming and a farewell to some homegrown heroes.
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Margot & the Nuclear So and Soʼs at the Blind Pig



Having previously seen Margot in Grand Rapids, I was ready for an excellent concert. Iʼve been a fan since their first release, Dust of Retreat, and have praised every demo, single, session, and album theyʼve followed up with. Buzzard is no exception. Buzzard explores the rougher side of what the sextet can create. Margot has always been dark, but their latest effort combines Richard Edwardsʼ haunting lyrics with an energy that used to exist only in their live shows.

Sleigh Bells: July 15, 2010

At the very pinnacle of restless anticipation, strobe lights burst into the anxious eyes of the crowd. A giant swell of violent energy exploded from both the stage and the audience at the same time. Everyone began shoving everyone else as “Tell ‘Em,” the opening song off of Sleigh Bells’ freshman LP Treats, tore through the venue. Read More…

Minus The Bear: April 25th, 2010 at St. Andrew’s Hall


The Detroit area has been buzzing over the past few weeks in high anticipation of indie group Minus the Bear making a stop in town on their current tour. The Seattle based band is in the process of promoting their forth full-length album, Omni, and played at the infamous St. Andrew’s Hall on April 25th, to much enthusiasm from local fans. Read More…

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