Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cyndi Lauper Show Review and... Bring on Vampire Weekend!!

Last month I gave y'all a little heads-up about Cyndi Lauper's show at the Fox, this month I am here to tell you what a good time it was (and reveal the VIP guests in attendance).  I am also going to give you the lowdown on the new Vampire Weekend CD, Modern Vampires of the City.  AND, BONUS... Vampire Weekend is coming to the Rialto this Fall!  Tickets go on sale tomorrow (June 28), and while I do not have a great track record with such predictions, I think the show will sell out.  Cyndi Lauper's show sold out (must have been my blog promoting the show, you're welcome Cyndi!).  Read on to hear about the Cyndi Lauper show and the Vampire Weekend CD and show details...

As I wrote last month, Saturday was Cyndi Lauper's 60th birthday.  Members of the crowd at Sunday's Fox show may have read the blog because there were a lot of people extending birthday wishes her way when she finally made her way to the stage.  Following the competent opening set by Hunter Valentine, and the lengthy intermission (which included a standing ovation for VIP guests Gabby Giffords and Ron Barber) Cyndi came on stage and belted out "Money (Changes Everything)."  She took her dance moves straight into the crowd, going all the way to the back of the theater.  After "Money" came "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." I had wonderful seats, front row center in the balcony, but, as my sister pointed out, "people in the balcony are lame."  Everyone on the floor was dancing, but nobody in the balcony was dancing.  I very much enjoy standing/moving/dancing at shows (see my Fela! blog about getting in trouble for having too much fun), and I felt as though I could not stand, as I was in the front row of the balcony (it was still great).

Other set highlights included "Time After Time," "She Bop," and "All Through the Night."  It turns out, Cyndi is not afraid to chat up the audience.  She told many long and interesting stories about recording "She's So Unusual," and her "We Are The World" brushes with fame (It seems Bob Dylan found her a bit frightening).  She also told a story about a recent interaction with NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who started their conversation by saying "Cyn, you've gone red" in reference to her return to the long red hair.  After her set, the crowd erupted into sustained applause and she returned for the encore, dedicating "Shine" to Gabby Giffords (who was cutting some rug for much of the evening) and telling the audience that singing it was a special treat only for us.  She closed the show with the much-anticipated "True Colors," which she also dedicated to Gabby, and which she performed solo, playing the dulcimer.  Her voice has held up wonderfully, she is a firecracker of a little package, and the sold out crowd left the Fox in great cheer.

In other music news, the new Vampire Weekend album is awesome.  While it is not yet available at Pima County Public Library (nor at Freegal), I am assured that it is on the way to our collection.  In the meanwhile, feel free to check out one or both of their great two previous CDs, available here.

Perhaps a bit "poppier" than most music I enjoy, Vampire Weekend won't be denied.  Great lyrics, rhythm, energy, one can not help grooving to these numbers.

Here's the track by track breakdown of Modern Vampires of the City:

1) "Obvious Bicycle" - A lovely, mellow piano-driven entry into the album.  Some typically great VW lyrics, "You ought to spare your face the razor, because no one's gonna spare their time for you."

2) "Unbelievers" - A more typically up-paced number.  VW does a great job at building and releasing energy throughout the tunes.  Includes the line "We know the fire awaits unbelievers, All of the sinners the same, Girl you and I will die unbelievers, bound to the tracks of the train."

3) "Step" - Another slower-paced very musical piece, a nice one-two punch with the following number, 

4) "Diane Young" - Might be my favorite on the album.  A driving song about Diane Young, and/or dying young.  I love the line, "Irish and proud baby naturally, But you got the luck of a Kennedy."

5) "Don't Lie" - Not one of my favorites, all around unremarkable.

6) "Hannah Hunt" - Another slower number, which really highlights the beauty of lead singer Ezra Koenig's voice.

7) "Everlasting Arms" - A bouncy number (mostly, some heady string breaks in their too).  Starts with the sage lines "I took your council and came to ruin
Leave me to myself, leave me to myself
I took your council and came ruin
Leave me to myself, leave me to myself
Oh I was born to live without you,
But I’m never gonna understand, never understand."

8) "Finger Back" - A pop number which moves along at a speedy clip and acts as a bit of a warm up for

9) "Worship You" - A speed demon of a number, Koenig blasts through the verses at a breakneck pace.  The chorus stands out in its audibility "We worshipped you, Your red white hand, Won’t we see once again, In foreign soil, in foreign land, Who will guide us through the end?"

10) "Ya Hey" - A very enjoyable number until the inexplicable and horrendous sound effect which is used at increasing intervals throughout the song.  It gets to where I just have to skip to the next track.  Some great lyrics in the midst of the questionable and annoying effect though.

11) "Hudson"

12) "Young Lion" - These last two songs seem something of a wind down to the whole album.  This last number is short, piano-heavy, and contains only the lyrics "You take your time young lion."

The album is less of the ska/Paul Simoney/worldbeat/afropop/indie mix that made up their first two releases.  I am not sure if I like it as much as the first two, I like dancing, and there are several more tracks on this one which do not lend themselves as much to dancing compared with the previous albums.  Still, it is great stuff, listen for yourself when the library gets its copies!  Again, Vampire Weekend tickets go on sale tomorrow (June 28), there will undoubtedly be plenty of dancing at The Rialto the night of October 1, when Vampire Weekend brings their acclaimed live show to the Old Pueblo!

1 comment:

  1. Great review post Brian! It was cool seeing you and your sister at the show too...


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