Live Review: Radio.com Presents Alt 92.3 Not So Silent Night In Brooklyn
NØT SØ SILENT NIGHT Rocks The Big Apple
Tis the season for Christmas concerts, but a very special one that was a first in Brooklyn, NY took place this past Thursday night, December 6th, at the Barclay’s Center. Entercom, who is number 1 when it comes to live, original and local audio content in the U.S, announced back in October they would be bringing their Not So Silent Night to New York City. This year shows taking place in Brooklyn, San Francisco, and San Diego have grown from what started as a small acoustic show to taking over large arenas and bringing the best acts in the alternative music scene to larger-scale markets.
We traveled to the big apple to get in the Holiday spirit for the sold out Radio.com Presents Alt 92.3 Not So Silent Night featuring Muse, Florence + The Machine, Mike Shinoda, Death Cab For Cutie, Foster The People, Chvrches, Bastille, and AJR. Of course, the event wasn’t just about music. The American Cancer Society was the evenings beneficiary partner for the event. If you would like to make a difference this holiday season, fans can donate directly at cancer.org.
Fan’s began making their way into Brooklyn’s Barclay Center around 5:30 pm. The chilly winter weather didn’t stop concertgoers from lining up on all corners of the arena, many with the intention of getting up close and personal with some of the biggest acts in music. One fan in the line Stephanie Melbrook told me “I’m so excited for Mike Shinoda, I never got the opportunity to see Linkin Park so this is special for me”. Another fan outside Andrew told me “I’m beyond excited for Muse”. On the rail inside the venue, fans shared the same sentiment on the barricade many in one way or another saying they felt a connection to Mike Shinoda after the loss of Chester and seeing Mike live is was a way of honoring the lost vocalist. Other fans like Lisa who was front and center said: “I’m here for Florence, she’s literally a goddess”.
The show was well timed and began at 7pm sharp as promised, the time between sets were nearly nonexistent thanks to a good crew and rotating stage which allowed for 5 hours of uninterrupted music.
The brothers in AJR kicked things off, the guys have had quite the year with the release of their latest album The Click back in June and a deluxe edition of the album which came out in September. With the help of their song “Weak”, which has amassed nearly 362 million streams on Spotify these boys have a fan base, and boy did they show up to support in New York. The brothers took to the stage with their high energy pop dance sound and had the entire crowd dancing along. Even at one point giving the crowd a glimpse into how they create a song, putting it together right there on the spot in front of a packed house. These dudes got the party started the right way, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where these guys go.
Next up was the always entertaining Chvrches, who received screams as they walked out on stage. The band led by Lauren Mayberry released their new album Love Is Dead in May and then followed that up with a new EP, ‘Hansa Session’ because they wanted to give fans a little extra something. The EP is a collection of acoustic and string quartet arrangements of five of the album’s songs. As for their live show, Lauren Mayberry dances effortlessly across the stage letting out high pitch vocals all while twirling, whipping her hair and even letting the crowd sing along a bit. Songs featured during the set include the fan favorite “Get Out”, “Miracle” and the track “The Mother We Share” which is one of their most popular songs to date with 108 million Spotify streams.
As the night was off to a great start already, excitement grew – you could literally feel it in the air for one of the favorites of the night; a performer I myself always looks forward to seeing. Mike Shinoda took to the Barclay Center stage to screams reminiscent of those heard back in 2001 when his band Linkin Park would take the stage. Shinoda who released his solo album Post Traumatic (Warner Brother Records) this past June. The album a journey about strength, loss, and rebuilding has struck a chord with not only fans of Linkin Park and Fort Minor but plenty of new ones along the way. His set began high energy with a track by Fort Minor “Remember The Name” and also included a bunch of really cool mashups like “Waiting For The End/Where’d You Go”. Highlights of the set and probably one of the most powerful moments is when Shinoda delivers versions of Linkin Park songs allowing the crowd to sing and pay tribute to his longtime friend and bandmate Chester Bennington with a beautiful rendition of Linkin Park’s “In The End” where the fans sing their hearts out during Chester’s parts, a moment that will give you chills and goosebumps. In true Mike Shinoda fashion, he doesn’t end the set until he hops down into the crowd and gives hugs and high fives to anybody on the barricade who wants them.
Not many can follow up a set by Mike Shinoda but if anyone can it’s the British Pop outfit Bastille. The Brits have taken over the charts all over the globe and as of now their latest release Other People’s Heartache Pt. 4 (Universal Records/Virgin Records) is available to the world today. Rising up the charts currently is their song “Grip” which is also found on the newest release and Bastille celebrated the evening before at Alt 92.3’s Not So Silent Night with a performance of epic proportions. Bastille took to the stage strobe lights flashing and jumping and running anywhere he can get to, Singer Dan even took a long stroll throughout the arena crowd singing up close and personal with the NY crowd. The set featured songs like the Marshmellow collaboration track “Happier” as well as their massive hit “Pompeii”.
Can we take a moment? For what, you ask? To appreciate the fact that we are only halfway through the night, that’s how epic this show was. Talk about a Christmas gift and a ton of bang for your buck. Ok, ok, now back to the show.
Next up was Foster The People (Columbia Records/Sony Music). These guys are out still supporting their widely successful Sacred Hearts Club album but recently treated fans to a new single titled “Worst Nights, which has followers wondering if a new album is right around the corner. If you know this band you know they’re a blast to watch, dressed to the nines in leather jackets and ready to have a great time. Performance wise, these guys are great and they’re known for keeping their performance close to album quality but with a upgraded atmosphere lights, fog and a ton of vocal effects and Foster The People plaster on the screen as their backdrop. During the song “Lotus Eater” vocalist Mark Foster took to the piano showered in red lighting with the words Sacred Hearts Club written in Neon across the screen behind the band. The crowd followed along and as the band performed their most popular and biggest song to date “Pumped Up Kicks” which has over 523 million streams to date, the crowd went absolutely nuts singing along at the top of their lungs.
Seattle’s Death Cab For Cutie (Atlantic Records) was up next. They have been promoting this event online asking fans to join them in the fight against cancer. The band set a goal to raise $10,000 for the American Cancer Society, a non-profit organization whose mission is to free the world from cancer through research, awareness, and providing support. The set began and was a tribute to honor their friend, Scott Hutchison who sadly passed away; Benjamin Gibbard declared this set is dedicated to Scott. Death Cab opened with “I Will Possess Your Heart” which began dimly lit and covered in orange light. Entertaining jam like beginning before Benjamin took to the piano in the back of the stage to begin his vocal duties. The band crushed through an 8 song set that had some fans in a trance and most definitely slowed the tempo of the night down. That’s not meant as a bad thing, with songs like “Northern Lights” and “Soul Meets Body” it was a welcomed transition for where the night was about to go.
One of the biggest moments of the night was when Florence + The Machine (Island Records/Universal Records) took to the stage. The crowd clearly excited and ready to embrace Florence Welch and company. The band has been on the road touring in support of their latest album High As Hope which was released on June 29th of this year and has been met with praise from critics and fans alike. Let me start by saying seeing Florence Welch live is not your usual concert, it’s more of a spiritual experience, even a religious one for many in the crowd. As Welch ran back and forth across the stage and flawlessly hit note after note, you can see fans with a look of awe in their faces. Florence + The Machine’s performance was inspiring, beautiful, captivating and everything I had heard it would be. A show so powerful Welch convinced the NY crowd to put their phones away saying “New York, can I politely ask you to please put your phones away. Let’s experience each other.” The crowd obliged immediately. During the nearly hour-long set, Florence performed hit’s like “Hunger” and “Dog Days Are Over” and even got up close and personal with the crowd to sing “What Kind Of Man”. Florence’s performances took this night to a whole new level, she is a must-see live show!
The night’s co-headliner and the most bittersweet moment of the evening was when the alternative rock band Muse took to the Barclay Center stage. Muse who is out supporting their freshly released album Simulation Theory, which was released on November 9th brought their out of this world music to Not So Silent Night in a more stripped down stage show. The band recently announced their 2019 North American tour and what better way to warm up for it then with a sold-out Christmas show. Muse began the set with the new tune “Algorithm” which found frontman Matt Bellamy taking to the piano with neon led glasses and a microphone. Bellamy returned to the stage for the track “Psycho” from their 2015 album Drones this time with his guitar in hand. Muse was as vocally and musically perfect as usual and seems their time away hasn’t caused them to miss a beat. The nearly hour-long 12 song setlist featured a career spanning catalog that shows off Muse’s ability to be both diverse and relevant throughout their long-standing career making them as equally important to rock music today as they were 20 years ago. Fan favorites like “Uprising”, “Supermassive BlackHole”, “Starlight” and “Knights of Cydonia”. Even on a stripped down version of their usually over the top stage production, Muse
Remained energetic and perfect. Make sure you catch these guys on the road in 2019!
Mission accomplished! Radio.com Presents Alt 92.3’s Not So Silent Night was everything but silent, such a great show with a diverse top notch line up filled with superstars galore. We hope to see you next year!
Until next year, happy holidays!