Real Estate — Oct. 10
A few songs into their performance at the Majestic, the band’s lead singer Martin Courtney IV dropped a bombshell in his typically laconic fashion. He casually announced Real Estate had recorded a new album, and they were going to play a bunch of tracks off it.
What’s different on their new stuff is the band employs synth and keys like never before, adding a whole other dimension to their tunes. With it, the band adds different influences to their songs, airy psych on one and funky gospel keys on another, for example.
They finished their show in epic fashion as well. They simply kept adding measure after measure to the song’s ending, leaving audience members feeling like the song was always a beat away from ending for what felt like at least an hour.
— Henry Solotaroff-Webber
Zeds Dead — Oct. 14
The show was a testament to the growing popularity of electronic dance music. Just three years ago, Zeds Dead may have had a tough time garnering a spot at the prominent Orpheum Theater or would have likely been confused with the widely-popular Zedd.
When DC and Hooks stepped onto the stage, the crowd erupted in explosive cheers. From the beginning, it was clear the duo wasn’t there to mess around with any of their more light-hearted house songs. They unveiled volatile dubstep beats that melted faces and completely invigorated the Madison crowd into a dancing frenzy.
The Canadian duo perfectly blended classic favorites, such as “Rude Boy,” with their newly-created collaborations to conclude the night without leaving anyone disappointed.
— Matt Cejka
The Staves — Nov. 3
Seeing the three Staves sisters intertwine their voices together confirms just how much effort the group puts into their vocal arrangements. Each track is carefully proportioned to have just the right amount of solo and unison parts in order to leave a devastating impact on the audience.
They harmonize with the understanding that they are all equals. There is no actual lead vocalist or back up. There are only three sisters, equals in genius and talent, singing together as if they were destined to sing together.
Considering The Staves are actually siblings, perhaps destiny isn’t out of the question at all.
— Henry Solotaroff-Webber
Alex G — Nov. 10
The venue was perfect for the lo-fi noise Alex G encompassed. The black chipped paint on the walls, the sweat and beer-drenched wood floor, the red light that drowned the stage and most importantly the eager and attentive crowd made the show an authentic representation of lo-fi culture. The show was messy, loud and sweaty. But that’s what made it feel real and independent.
Centering his set around the highlights from his three studio albums, Alex G ended the night with quiet emotion, poignant lyricism and hypnotizing guitars. His vibrato strained as his voice floated over soaring guitar riffs and thundering percussion. Alex G’s live set was more inspiring and poised than his studio sound, which is no small feat.
— Hunter Reed
PARTYNEXTDOOR & Jeremih — Nov. 28
Security was tight at the Orpheum Theater, and the dresses were even tighter. Stylish men and Kylie Jenner look-alikes did their best to haggle with security, attempting to get VIP tickets and past the barricades for Jeremih and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Summer’s Over tour.
Jeremih, who opened with “Down On Me,” projected intense sexuality, heightened when two women in lingerie came out and slid down poles. Taking a more serious turn, he briefly moved to the piano to play a rendition of “Do You Mind?,” a song he is featured on from DJ Khaled’s latest album Major Key.
For PARTYNEXTDOOR the bass boomed almost louder than the music, thundering loud enough to take the audience’s breath away. The crowd became even louder when asked if there were any P1 — PARTY’s first album — fans in the house.