Reviews: Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead & More
This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Taylor Swift in Columbus, Ohio; Harry Styles in San Jose, Calif.; Kendrick Lamar in Perth, Australia; Radio in New York; The Struts in Bethlehem, Penn.; and Weezer in Burgettstown, Penn.
Taylor Swift @ Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, July 7 – “Taken on its production alone, the concert was more thrilling than the best Red, White and Boom. It also set the bar high for Madonna, whom Taylor’s persona seems these days to resemble, if she attempts once again to rule the pop music roost.” – Curtis Schieber / The Columbus Dispatch
Harry Styles @ SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., July 11 – “While Styles came across as a bit timid, unsure and definitely lacking in stage presence and charisma on the first visit, he was confident, poised and bursting with energy in his return.
“The biggest surprise this time around? He was able to compensate for his still-rather-thin songbook, which draws mainly from his one solo set, last year’s eponymous 10-song debut. He definitely wasn’t able to do that in September and it basically sunk the show.” – Jim Harrington / Bay Area News Group
Kendrick Lamar @ Perth Arena in Perth, Australia, July 10 – “So if you came to the first Aussie show of his heavily hyped DAMN Tour on Tuesday night expecting the sort of production values top-billed artists usually bring to Perth Arena, you may have been disappointed. The band was confined to the stage wings and the set-up was simple, with a faux kung-fu flick and an occasional solitary dancer the only real visual fodder.
“Rather than making the sold-out show underwhelming, the light display put full focus on Lamar’s technical skill and poignant lyrics.” – Jessie Papain / The West Australian
Matt Sayles / Invision / AP – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar gives a powerful opening performance at the Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in NYC Jan. 28.
Radiohead @ Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, New York, July 11 – “The audience seemed to hang on every word he sang throughout the nearly 150-minute performance. Yorke wasn’t in a chatty mood on Wednesday, but he did take a few opportunities to thank the crowd and introduced the group by saying, ‘The name of this band is Radiohead. I hope you’ve come to the right show.’” – Bryan Lasky / JamBase
The Struts @
Musikfest Cafe at ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem, Penn., July 10 – “A real display of how audacious The Struts were was that, late in the show, the band did a 14-minute version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” during which Spiller even brought a girl up out of the audience to dance with him – just as Springsteen did with Courtney Cox in his 1984 video for the song.” – John J. Moser / The Morning Call
Weezer @ KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Penn., July 10 – “Subscribing, at least on this tour, to the Steve Miller strategy of playing a big bunch of hits right off the bat, Weezer got the crowd on its feet and kept them there, as the delightful romp through ‘Buddy Holly’ finished with confetti streamers raining on the crowd, followed by the heady stomp of ‘Beverly Hills,’ with Brian Bell doing some Frampton-esque guitar talk box. Weezer then served up ‘Pork and Beans,’ ‘Undone’ (aka ‘The Sweater Song’) and ‘Hash Pipe,’ all alternative-rock radio staples.” – Scott Tady / The Beaver County Times