Outdated as this is, I thought I could still give a Reader’s Digest opinion of the shows I saw at the Union this Summer. A shoutout/ name drop to the awesome artists that have been coming to Madison and making it the burgeoning music scene it’s become is the least I can do. Seeing that I already reviewed the Orwells show that was at the Terrace, I’ll jump into the other concerts I attended.
PHOX – I kind of just chilled in the back for this one, and I’m really regretting it. Yeah I’ve met them already, but I still haven’t experienced their music up close and personal. It sounded great from the back, but it would have sounded even better in front.
Killer Mike & El-P w/Despot and Kool A.D. – While Kool A.D. (formerly of Das Racist) seemed bored as he swung from the stage awning and recited his song’s lyrics, Despot got the crowd (heavily young-middle aged white dudes/rap fans) interested. His music and delivery was definitely better than Kool A.D. , and his upcoming project with Ratatat has him on my radar for the future.
As for the recently-formed duo Run the Jewels (composed of Killer Mike & El-P), each of the MCs performed their own sets first, and then came together to perform songs off of their self-titled summer release. Run the Jewels was the gateway for me listening to these guys, but after seeing both of them perform individually, I thought Killer Mike’s set was the best by far. He killed it, for lack of a better word. And he got up close and personal with it, too.
Great rap show. The performance led me to purchase Killer Mike’s 2012 album R.A.P. Music (produced by El-P!).
Whiskey of the Damned and The Kissers – If there’s any one super-niche genre I like, it’s Celtic Punk. Although the fandom originates from Dropkick Murphys, Milwaukee-based Whiskey of the Damned never ceases to entertain me either. Madison Irish rock band The Kissers did a great job of setting the mood for the night, and Whiskey got the party started afterwards. The keg solo. The dancing old people. The post-midnight acoustic “set” involving Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”. The show honestly could not have gone any better for the first WUD show I booked and directed. ‘Twas a good night.
Lords of the Trident, Thunderunderus, and Beast Warrior – This night made me proud of the Terrace lovers who stayed (and enjoyed!) the comical heavy metal that these touring acts brought to the Terrace. All of the musicians are talented and craft great metal music, but what got/gets people to stay is the personas they take on stage. It was an enjoyable experience to be laughing one moment and headbanging the next.
Hope you enjoyed the synopses. What Madison concerts are you looking forward to the most? Let me know in the comments, or hit me up on Twitter @AndrewMackens. See you in the twittersphere.