Music, The Features, We Love Music

The Winning Ticket: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ DAR Constitution Hall, 7/23/14

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (Photo by Cat Stevens)

As a way to say thanks to our loyal readers, We Love DC will be giving away a pair of tickets to a 9:30 Club concert to one lucky reader periodically. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to find out what tickets we’re giving away, and leave a comment for your chance to be the lucky winner!

Today, the 9:30 Club has announced that it is presenting Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at DAR Constitution Hall on Wednesday, July 23, 2014–and we are giving away a pair of tickets before you can buy them!

Wow! Lots of my friends sure adore Nick Cave and his often bluesy take on Americana-flavored post-punk. He’s certainly blazed his own trail throughout his career, beginning in the 70s with The Birthday Party and for much longer with the Bad Seeds. For many, his iconoclastic, bad boy image is part of his appeal, but the man and the band certainly are prolific so there is no shortage of music to explore.

The latest album by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Push the Sky Away, is a mostly compact race through nine songs dealing with seemingly unconnected sources of inspiration that Cave and his writing partner Warren Ellis picked up through some spare reading. On the whole, it may be a good jumping on point for those new to the works of Nick Cave, as it’s not terribly fussy or complicated outside some ornate arrangements.

For your chance to win these tickets, simply leave a comment on this post using a valid email address between 10am and 5pm today. Feel free to leave any comment, but perhaps share your favorite song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds! (Grinderman doesn’t count…. although I’ll tally your entry either way.) One entry per email address, please. Tickets for this show are available to the public through Ticketmaster beginning Friday, Nov. 22, at 10am.

For the rules of this giveaway…

Comments will be closed at 5pm and a winner will be randomly selected. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must respond to our email within 24 hours or they will forfeit their tickets and we will pick another winner.

Tickets will be available to the winner at the box office of DAR Constitution Hall one hour before doors open on the night of the concert. The tickets must be claimed with a valid ID. The winner must be old enough to attend the specific concert or must have a parent’s permission to enter if he/she is under 18 years old.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
DAR Constitution Hall
Wednesday, July 23
show @8pm
All ages

Entertainment, We Love Music

We Love Music: A Perfect Circle @ DAR Constitution Hall, 7/17/11

A Perfect Circle 1
All photos courtesy of A Perfect Circle

When I heard that A Perfect Circle was coming to DAR Constitution Hall, I had a ton of questions. The band has been on hiatus for seven years; Maynard’s been working with Tool, Billy Howerdel formed Ashes Divide, and the other members ran off with Smashing Pumpkins, Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails. Why reform the band? Do they still have ‘it’? Are they going to ruin my positive memories of the group? I’m pretty much required to go to this, having seen them and Tool every chance I’ve ever gotten, right?

When the songs were right, the show was fantastic. These guys are actually capable of writing beautiful songs, with rich harmonies and epic crescendos that moved the entire audience. But their setlist was tragic. Out of their three studio albums, the setlist was weighted heavily towards 2004’s Emotive, a political album about the Iraq war that they rushed to release in time for the 2004 election. This isn’t just my opinion; it is objectively true that Emotive is no fan’s favorite album. It’s an album of cover songs! That means almost half of the show wasn’t even original A Perfect Circle material! That might be okay for a bar band, but not for a major group that’s selling out DAR. I can’t think of a show I’ve seen that defied fan’s hopes and expectations more than this one.

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The Daily Feed

A Message From Janet Jackson

As you may have heard by now, Washington DC has been voted by fans as one of thirty-five cities around the planet to play host to an intimate concert by Janet Jackson. On March 22nd at DAR Constitution Hall Janet will perform all of the songs from her singles collection, “Number Ones”. For Janet Jackson fans this will be the concert of a lifetime. Even my old school “Rhythm Nation”-loving self is getting pretty excited!

What you may not have heard about yet is Ms. Jackson’s invitation to nominate 20 young leaders from the DC area to receive the VIP treatment at the show as a reward for their contributions to the community. I think I’ll let Janet explain it herself:

“In each city I want to meet 20 young leaders who are changing their communities for the better. Please contact so that I will know who is making a major difference in your city. I’m asking my fans and their friends, Parents, relatives, neighbors and teachers to nominate five people to qualify as one of the 20 under 20 in each place I will perform. At each concert the 20 people chosen and the person who nominated them will be VIP guests at my show. I will invite the 20 sponsors and the 20 winners to the concert and backstage. There are many young people changing the world and I want them to be recognized during my tour. I want them to be my guest at my show and they will come backstage as I learn from them how young people are changing the world. You all know someone who is making a difference, so get in touch. I love you all and I can’t wait to be back on stage, I’ve missed you,” –Janet

Wait, the sponsor gets to go too? Does anyone have a spare over-achieving nephew, niece, son, or daughter that I can borrow on March 22nd?

Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: Silversun Pickups @ DAR Constitution Hall 6/23/10

Photo courtesy of
‘Silversin Pickups’
courtesy of ‘MudflapDC’

This was one of those concerts that make me love my job.

Silversun Pickups played at DAR Constitution Hall last Wednesday night. They delivered an exuberant display of musical joy that put a big ol’ smile on my face that lasted the entire show. Silversun Pickups are a band with a great sound and a growing fan-base, and yet every time I see them perform they seem completely amazed that people like their music. It’s this “they like us, they really, really like us!” attitude and their genuine appreciation for their fans, that keeps this huge-sounding band grounded and endears them to the listener. When watching Silversun Pickups perform you find yourself rooting for them to succeed while they proceed to melt your face off with their massive, alt-rock attack.

Wednesday’s concert was the best of the three times I have seen Silversun Pickups perform, mainly because it was the first time I have seen them as headliners. The headliner spot gave them time to stretch their legs musically which really added another level to their performance on just about every song they played. Add to this the fact that the longer set gave them the opportunity to throw some slower songs into the mix and Silversun Pickups were able to create an atmosphere that was all their own and not merely shared space with other, larger acts. Silversun Pickups were the main event on Wednesday night and they used their moment in the spotlight to truly shine.

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Entertainment, Music, People, Special Events, We Love Music

We Love Music & Comedy: Conan O’Brien – The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour

Conan O'Brien Legally Prohibited Tour

Tuesday night had me back at DAR Constitution Hall to witness the madcap hilarity of the Conan O’Brien Legally Prohibited From Being Funny On Television Tour. I don’t think I need to recap how Conan lost his Tonight Show gig to its former host, other than to mention how that extremely public NBC scheduling conflict resulted in one of the oddest forms of comedic revenge I have ever witnessed. The whole point of Conan O’Brien taking his variety show on the road is to keep America laughing while exacting sweet revenge on the ratings dead-weight that replaced him on air. For two months now, Conan O’Brien, his writers, and his band have been criss-crossing America delivering knock-out evenings of comedy and music. Tuesday night’s stop in DC was no different and provided the sold-out Team CoCo crowd with a non-stop night of comedic genius.

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Entertainment, Music, We Love Music

We Love Music: The National @ DAR Constitution Hall 6/6/10

The National @ DAR Hall #2 6/6/10
“The National at DAR” courtesy of Samer Farha.

The National are blowing up huge in 2010. Of that there is no question. Their latest album “High Violet” debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200 when it dropped last month. It has been nearly impossible to avoid their massive campaign of television and festival appearances, rave album reviews in print and online, and their inventive use of web-isodes and internet video exclusives. When a band gets pushed this hard it gives one pause. Do they have the chops to back it up or is this all a smoke screen to sell shoddy product? In the case of The National it is readily apparent to the listener of “High Violet” or the attendee at one of their concerts that this is a very talented band that has hit their stride.

“High Violet” is the fifth album by The National. Their style has evolved over the years from alt-country inflected pop albums to a darker and emotionally huge sound (that frankly suits the band better). “High Violet” rounds out a trilogy of excellently written and performed albums. It is preceded by “Boxer” and “Alligator“. Vocally all three albums have just the right balance of melancholy, introspection, and frustration to provide a wealth of emotion to the listener. Musically The National have become more and more interesting with each of these three albums. “Boxer” may represent a lush musical peak for the band, but it is on “High Violet” that they employ just the right measure of restraint to their large sound, lending real gravity to their lyrics.

The National performed to a sold out crowd at DAR Constitution Hall on Sunday night. Like their last three albums, their live show proved that The National are seriously talented and exciting performers. The show heavily mined “High Violet”, “Boxer”, and “Alligator”; perfectly blending great songs from all three to balance moments of emotional honesty, musical cacophony, and pop brilliance. For a band that features lyrics of such introspection and woe, The National provide a surprisingly powerful and energetic concert that more than once had me thinking of The Cure and U2. After experiencing The National live on Sunday night, I imagine, that much like those two long-running and massively successful bands, The National could have a long and successful future crafting ever-evolving emotional pop music.
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