Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Trio of Cults, The Naked and Famous, and Friendly Fires Keep Summerstage Rocking.

Another successful Central Park Summerstage concert went down this past Sunday at the park's mainstage area, off of East 72nd Street. As usual, the Summerstage show drew an eclectic, interactive, ready-to-get-down crowd. Rising temperatures, rancid humidity and threats of thunderstorms couldn't keep fans from packing into the park to see emerging indie rock bands, Cults, The Naked and Famous, and Friendly Fires. I have never seen the mainstage area so packed for opening acts, and by the time Friendly Fires were ready to go on, patrons were being turned away from the free concert, which was at capacity.

Cults at Summerstage 2011
While Cults and The Naked and Famous have both only recently released their debut albums, Friendly Fires' first debuted in 2008, and their second studio album, Pala, was just released.
Sunday's lineup, with Friendly Fires headlining, created a nice, fun flow of music that began with the dreamy, upbeat summer sounds of Cults, followed by the dancey, electropop stylings of The Naked and Famous, and culminating with the punchy, experimental rock beats of Friendly Fires.

The Naked and Famous at Summerstage 2011
The female vocalist from The Naked and Famous really makes that group shine.  She plays to her audience well, and sings full of emotion. She also gets creative on the synthesizer/keyboard, and when she harmonizes along with the lead male vocalist (who also plays lead guitar), the result is a smooth, fluid, music-trance inducing sound. The New Zealand-based band may also be known for the distinct percussive beat that accompanies many of their songs and gives them a unique edge.

Friendly Fires at Summerstage 2011
When it came time for Friendly Fires to take the stage, the energy in the park was incredible. Lead singer, Ed Macfarlane, impressed with his Hawaiian shirt and crowd-pleasing antics, including jumping into the audience mid-song. Fancy additions like a horn section and the occasional cowbell gave a twist to the edgy, 80s classic rock feel of this British-based band, who, for an undisclosed reason, dedicated their set to the Harlem Gospel Choir.

All of these bands are currently touring, and will be returning to the NYC area very soon:
The Naked and Famous play Music Hall of Williamsburg, this Friday, August 12 (tickets are sold out, but where there's a will, there's a way...)
Cults will be performing at the upcoming All Tomorrow's Parties US music festival, taking place in Asbury Park, September 30 through October 2.
And last, but certainly not least, Friendly Fires will be back to play Terminal 5 on Wednesday, October 26.

If you want to sample the bands before you buy tickets, check out these popular singles:
Cults "Go Outside"(2011)
The Naked and Famous "Young Blood" (2010)
Friendly Fires "Hawaiian Air" (2011)

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