Author Archives: Amy Willard

TVD Live:
Matt Nathanson at
Terminal 5, 10/30

When San Francisco singer song-writer Matt Nathanson comes to town, you know things are going to get sexually weird and humorously uncomfortable. When Matt Nathanson comes to town on the eve of Halloween, you know it’s going to get pretty f–cking ridiculous.

The hours leading up to the 7pm door call at New York City’s famed warehouse-like club Terminal 5 were filled with hints across social media that tonight would be different. An Instagrammed photo of a lava-like detailed guitar from Nathanson’s account lead me to believe Steel Panther or a possible Def Leppard super-group would be making some sort of appearance. I was close (kind of).


Shortly after 8pm, opener Joshua Radin took to the stage as the floor began to fill with Nathanson fanatics donned in Kinks shirts, work attire, and an endless array of Halloween costumes. The Ohio-based musician pushed through his soft set despite the chatter among the sea of New Yorkers.

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TVD Live Shots: Lifehouse at Gramercy Theatre, 12/11

On Tuesday, just after 9 PM, producer and collaborator Jude Cole took to the stage at the Gramercy Theatre in New York City, delivering kind words to the band he’s managed for many years.  

It’s rare to see a band manager’s on stage, but this show was unlike any other; here in the heart of the city that never sleeps, the soulful American-Rock band, Lifehouse, was celebrating their 6th studio album, Almeria, on the evening of its release.


On a personal note, I have seen Lifehouse in every type of venue—large arena, small arena, concert hall, amphitheater, and most recently center field of National’s Stadium, but this was my first time seeing them in a club, and I can confidently say they have never sounded better live than on this night.

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TVD Live: Green Day
at Irving Plaza, 9/15

Over the weekend, revolutionary pop-punk rockers Green Day hosted an intimate, sold-out show at NYC’s famed Irving Plaza—the venue they first headlined back in 1994. The nearly 5 hour event presented by Nokia and AT&T featured fans of veteran and new age status, alongside the industry’s elite.

Opening the night was up and coming punk band, Lipstick Homicide. This young–average age of 17– female fronted trio entertained the early entry VIPs with their highly saturated bass-punk riffs.

Just after 10 PM, Green Day took to the stage and were well received by a packed house. Opening their 30+ song set list with “Welcome To Paradise” off of their ’94 release, Dookie, fans across the generations showed their appreciation.

Those unable to attend this auspicious event were treated to an live broadcast of the first few songs–allowing the band to connect with fans far and away.

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TVD Live: D.R.U.G.S.
at the 9:30 Club, 1/24

On Tuesday, the Strength In Number (SIN) tour featuring Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.), Hit The Lights, Like Moths To Flames, Sparks The Rescue, and My Arcadia took over the 9:30 Club.  The night mixed pop punk with post-hardcore, and even threw in a little bit of electronic dub-step as D.R.U.G.S. made their headlining debut at the Club.

While the crowd may have been smaller than the last time lead singer, Craig Owens, and his band appeared here, the energy was not.  With an hour long set, the intensity was felt from every beat to breakdown.  The floor of the 9:30 Club was kept moving to a moshing dance as the tattooed lead singer, known for his theatrics, once again walked the barricade, and even at one point, walked the crowd.  The set included most of the songs off of the band’s self titled LP such as “Sex Life” and “If You Think This Song Is About You, It Probably Is.”

Owens closed the show with a pointed statement regarding music, “go to fucking shows. I don’t give a fuck if you download our music, or buy our music, as long as you are here and you feel it.”

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 2 Comments

TVD Ticket Giveaway: D.R.U.G.S. at the 9:30 Club, 1/24

In 2009, Craig Owens parted ways with long-time band, Chiodos. News of the departure had the Twitterverse and music zine world swirling in rumors and speculation.

The industry eagerly awaited Owens’s next move, and nearly a year later, he re-emerged on the scene with the announcement of his new band, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows… or D.R.U.G.S. for short. The line up features veteran musicians: guitarist Nick Martin (Underminded), drummer Aaron Stern (Matchbook Romance), guitarist Matt Good (From First to Last), and bassist Adam Russell (Story of the Year).

This post-hardcore supergroup taunted the industry for months with music samples and teaser videos, building a sense of hype and controversy that only Owens can carry, and carry he did.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 4 Comments

TVD’s 9:30 Club January Concert Preview

Now that the regrets of 2011 have been laid to rest and that terrible New Year’s hangover has worn off, it’s time to get back into what we love doing most here at The Vinyl District: previewing awesome shows around D.C.. And what better way to kick off 2012 than with tickets to five great events!

JB Smoove, Sat. 1/14

Actor-comedian, JB Smoove, best known for his role as Leon on HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm, will be bringing a barrel of laughs to the 9:30 Club stage this month. Having guest starred on shows such as The Chris Rock Show and Premium Blend, one can expect nothing short of pure entertainment with a side of comedic funk. Get ready laugh-til-you-cry Washingtonians during this night of stand up at the Club.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club December Concert Preview

Seriously readers, how is it already December?  Well, it’s time to celebrate two things, aside from the standard holidays this month.

The first thing to celebrate is the new partnership between our good friends at the 9:30 Club and U Street Music Hall, a venue created by DJs for DJs. This unholy alliance seems so wrong but feels so right! The venues will be cross-booking acts, with UHall booking acts in 9:30 Club’s Backbar, and 9:30 Club presenting shows at UHall.

The second thing to celebrate is, of course, another slew of awesome bands coming to the city, and tickets to be given away for each of these shows.

VNV Nation, Tues 12/6

Victory Not Vengeance is idea behind the British electronic duo known as VNV NationRonan Harris and Mark Jackson have released eight studio albums since their debut in 1995.  Their most recent release, Automatic, premiered #1 on iTunes Canada, and in the top 10 for the band’s new homeland, Germany.  Ronan’s relatable lyrics and Jackson’s sound-scape beats form dynamic energy that really capture a listener and take them on a journey through synthetic dance melodies.  Kick off December with the right attitude, like that of the band—“one should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret”—at the VNV Nation show on Tuesday. Fans should maybe hold tight today… Hint.

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TVD Live: Manchester Orchestra at 9:30 Club

Manchester Orchestra made their debut at the 9:30 Club on 11/14 as part of the Pac Tour with special guests The Dear Hunter and White Denim.  Led by Andy Hull, the 90-minute set showcased the band’s raw talent in a live atmosphere, playing songs off of their recent album Simple Math.

While many may believe such an emotionally dynamic band could only pull off their power sound in a studio production, Manchester Orchestra‘s drummer Tim Very translates the album’s strength with the additional percussion forces of Chris Freeman.  Furthermore, the feuding guitars of Hull and Robert McDowell generate a talented blend of tension and harmony on stage.

The Vinyl District caught up with McDowell before the show to discuss the dynamic of the band and their latest album release. Check out the video interview and some shots from the stage below.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club November Concert Preview, Part 2

Before we head into December and men everywhere can go back to shaving regularly, we have a few more shows to highlight at the 9:30 Club.  As with all previews, we’ll have tickets to giveaway to each of these concerts… maybe even later today?

Holy Ghost!, Wed 11/23

What began as the New York based music brain-child of Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel, has now developed into a six-piece ensemble called Holy Ghost! This dynamic pop-synth group is hitting stages across North America on their first national headlining tour with special guests Jessica 6, Midnight, and Eli Escobar in support of their debut self-titled release. Pitchfork remarks, “Frankel’s rounded, soulful vocals add depth to lyrics about love, loss, and the inevitability of growing old; despite the sometimes serious subject matter, though, the music always sounds playful and party-ready.”

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TVD Live: Foo Fighters at Verizon Center, 11/11

Donned in a black button down, black pants, tangled locks, and blue Gibson, lead singer and guitarist for the Foo Fighters Dave Grohl confessed, “[this is] the first time I’ve sold out the arena in my hometown,” to an at-capacity crowd last Friday at the Verizon Center—located just miles from the DC suburbs where he grew up (and where he notably recorded his Grammy-nominated album, The Colour and the Shape).

With a set longer than most major motion pictures (just under three hours… yes… three), and more energy than a Capitals vs. Penguins showdown, the Foo Fighters came to DC with every intention to put on a show everyone would be talking about. Sure enough they did—I think my ears are still ringing.

The night opened with “Bridge Burning,” the premier track off the band’s latest release, Wasting Light.  The arena-echoing rifts and extended guitar-solos vibrating from the fingertips of Grohl and guitarist Pat Smear kept Foo fans on their feet for every moment of the marathon set.

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TVD Ticket and Signed Artwork Giveaway: Manchester Orchestra at 9:30 Club, 11/14

While many songs will strike an emotional cord with a listener, it is rare to come across an entire album that does the same both lyrically and instrumentally.  Andy Hull and his band, Manchester Orchestra, have done just that, depicting a journey of emotional vulnerability via ten tracks on their latest release, Simple Math.

“It’s the reaction to my marital, physical, and mental failures. But for the first time, I’m not blaming anyone but myself,” Hull says.

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Posted in TVD Washington, DC | 15 Comments

TVD’s 9:30 Club November Concert Preview, Part I

Whether you’re growing out your facial hair (or forced to watch someone who is…) for No-Shave November or not, there’s something you shouldn’t miss out on this month, and it’s the shows coming to the 9:30 Club

You know the deal, TVD readers—each concert we preview here will have a pair of tickets to win! So quick checking those beards out in the mirror (or on Facebook, ladies) and get ready for another awesome line up of live music.

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TVD Live: Bush at
The Fillmore, 10/17

If you weren’t at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, Maryland on Monday night for the sold out Bush concert, then you probably missed one of the best concerts this year.  Led by Gavin Rossdale, the recently reunited ’90s grunge rockers took to the stage shortly past 10 PM, welcomed by the cheers of a packed venue.

With sweat dripping relentlessly, this multi-platinum group was out to prove that they had not skipped a distorted beat during their 10-year hiatus. The high energy, 90-minute set featured the prominent songs from the Bush catalogue, including “All My Life” off of their 2011 release, The Sea of Memories, “Chemicals” (The Science of Things), and “Swallowed” (Razorblade Suitcase).

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TVD’s 9:30 Club October Concert Preview, Part II

Rocktober is well underway here in the District, and it’s time for our second installment for our October preview. Thanks to the kind folks at the 9:30 Club we will be hooking up TVD fans with a pair of tickets to each of the following shows:

 The Wombats (early show), Fri 10/21

It is not often an indie band from across the pond goes platinum their first time around; The Wombats, however, did just that with their 2007 debut LP, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation. With “impressively supple vocal harmonies and a broad sense of humor,” according to, this Liverpool trio quickly won critics over.  The Wombats have upped the ante of ’80s-infused electro-funk-pop with their 2011 release, This Modern Glitch—a “polished, uplifting, chart-bound electro indie-pop,” as described by BBC Music. You can catch these enjoyable British and their retro synths Friday at the 9:30 Club along with NYC-based rock quartet, The Postelles, and New Jersey rockers, The Static Jacks.

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TVD’s 9:30 Club October Concert Preview, Part I

You know the deal. We preview the 9:30 Club shows you should be checking out. You can enter later this month for a chance to win tickets to each of them. 

Better upgrade that grande pumpkin spice latte to a venti; we’ve got another two-part show preview to satisfy Rocktober lovers across the District.

Ladytron, Tues 10/11

Electro-pop provocateurs, Ladytron, will hit the 9:30 Club with their fifth studio release, Gravity the Seducer. Notorious for continually reinventing their sound, vocalist Mira Aroya says, “there is a strong lyrical thread of playful illusionary imagery of dreamlike scenarios and surreal landscapes that runs through the new album.” Washingtonians will definitely want to treat themselves to a night of moody English synths fused with etheric pop.  Get your tea and scone ready, we may have a pair of tickets up for grabs later today…

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