Nicole Atkins: February 13, 2014 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

February 17, 2014
By

Nicole Bowery Will Oliver
[photo by Will Oliver – courtesy of We All Want Someone to Shout For]

Large swaths of my childhood were spent in the backseat of a late model Chrysler listening to WABC AM radio on long roadtrips. Top Forty music in the 1970s was a lot different than today’s popular music — that is to say that it was far more diverse and significantly less predictable. WABC played only the current hits, which in any given year in the 1970s could have included funk, disco, folk, laurel canyon, psychedelia, brit pop, soul, and countless other styles. You could hear Janis Ian “At Seventeen” followed by “Do The Hustle” followed by solo Paul Simon. You could hear KC and the Sunshine Band segue into Marvin Gaye and then directly into the Eagles. It was an era of sexual and racial liberation and the music reflected that reality. But in all that diversity were some consistent sounds. The advent and growth in the technology of synthesized and electric keyboards meant that every band played with the new toys often to excess. And if the 70s pop is known for any particular instrument other than the Fender Rhoades, its the pronounced bass guitar in many memorable tracks. Growing up listening to this music on the AM radio was an education that endures today — my musical interests are diverse and unpredictable.

While Nicole Atkins wasn’t actually born until the tail end of that decade, her music has always shown an influence from classic 70s pop. As she grew up near the Jersey coast, perhaps her influences were in part fashioned from hearing countless transistor radios blasting on the beach in Summer. And while the 70s sound has always bubbled under the surface of her contemporary pop, Nicole’s brilliant new album Slow Phaser isn’t as much influenced by, but is in fact an homage to the 70s AM radio represented so well by WABC on those long summer drives. There are moments in the album — whether its the prominent Donna Summer influence in the break in “Who Killed the Moonlight?”, or the disco-era bass line of “Girl You Look Amazing”, or the 70s-era harmonies in “Cool People” (streaming below), or the synthesizer rush in the middle of “What Do You Know?” or the “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” guitar strum in “Sin Song” or the reference to an “operator” in “The Worst Hangover” — where the homage is clear as day. But Slow Phaser is much more than the sum of its influences. It is the master work of an artist who has a clear understanding of who she is and how she arrived at the point where she can successfully crowd-source her album, choose her band, and dictate the production. Gone are the early career times of the major-label albatross. Slow Phaser is Nicole Atkins finally realizing her identity, in full control, and its truly glorious.

At Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night, the Slow Phaser Tour began with a show that combined all of these aspects. Nicole took the stage in a 70s-style kimono and played the role of the chanteuse. She’s ditched the guitar and left the music to a band of ringers and these guys can really play — check out the dual guitar solos in “The Tower”. The entire new album sans one track was played along with only three older numbers. But this show was all about Slow Phaser and the live versions were as kinetic as the studio album. The band nailed all of the special parts of the album so expertly and when I closed my eyes I swear I could hear WABC all over again.

I recorded this set in the usual manner — Sennheiser cards mounted in the balcony and combined with an expertly mixed board feed. There is some minor static in the left channel in first two songs from what sounds like a faulty guitar amp. But it was fixed. Otherwise, the sound quality is superb. Enjoy!

Stream “Cool People”:

This Recording is now available to Download in FLAC and MP3 and to Stream the Entire Show at Archive.org [HERE].

Note: All of the material on this site is offered with artist permission, free to fans, at our expense. The only thing we ask is that you download the material directly from this site, rather than re-posting the direct links or the files on other sites without our permission. Please respect our request.

Nicole Atkins
2014-02-13
Bowery Ballroom
New York, NY

Digital Master Recording
Soundboard + Audience Matrix

Soundboard + Sennheiser MKH-8040s > Edirol R-44 (Oade Mod) > 2 x 24bit 48kHz wav files > Soundforge (level adjustments, mixdown, set fades) > CDWave 1.95 (tracking) > TLH > flac (320 MP3 and tagging via Foobar)

Recorded and Produced
by nyctaper

Setlist:
[Total Time 1:08:22]
01 Vultures
02 Who Killed the Moonlight
03 Cool People
04 Girl You Look Amazing
05 We Wait Too long
06 What Do You Know
07 Gasoline Bride
08 Red Ropes
09 The Way It Is
10 [band intro]
11 Cool Enough
12 The Worst Hangover
13 Sin Song
14 [thanks]
15 Its Only Chemistry
16 [encore break]
17 The Tower

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Nicole Atkins, visit her website, and purchase Slow Phaser through her Pledge Music Campaign [HERE]

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2 Responses to Nicole Atkins: February 13, 2014 Bowery Ballroom – Flac/MP3/Streaming

  1. Joe Eskenazi
    February 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

    All i can say is WOW.. Nicole is a rare talent and needs to be heard by all.. Thanks for this..

    Joe

  2. Butplug Maximus
    February 18, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Yeh. Gotta agree with Joe – WOW!! Been a fan of Nichole’s for about a year now. Came across her performance on Jools Holland’s show, Later… Haven’t gotten enough yet! Such an amazing voice! Thank you for this!

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