X Ambassadors are returning to their hometown of Ithaca on September 23 to headline Cayuga Sound, an outdoor music festival at Stewart Park that they curated to “bring bands that people of all ages would want to see.”
In the two years since I first saw Real Estate play The Haunt, I have done a lot in the way of growing up. In 2014, I was a naïve sophomore with a head full of possibilities and uncertainties. Now I am a senior with one eye toward graduation and the “real-world” beyond; probably still naïve, but much more settled in my views and plans. Real Estate, in contrast to my development, has remained fairly static. The band hasn’t released so much as a Single since 2014’s Atlas: the record which they were supporting on that previous spin through town.
Note: The reviewer arrived too late to see the opening act, What Nerve. The Chanticleer’s top floor is the perfect setting for shows that bridge the divide between performer and audience. The room has no stage and is too small for there to be much distance between the two, making it feel more like a space of shared experience than a performance with separate performers and viewers. Both Sammus and Show Me the Body made excellent use of the room’s potential; both, although in remarkably different ways, managed to make the audience feel like part of the act. Sammus, a rapper and Ithaca native who is also a graduate student at Cornell, is without a doubt one of the most exciting acts that can be seen in Ithaca.
If you’ve ever lamented that you can never listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing live or go back a century and listen to original New Orleans jazz, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ) has you covered. The band takes everything from current pop songs to rock classics and transforms them into vintage styles. As emcee LaVance Colley said at the Ithaca State Theatre on Sunday, Oct. 8, PMJ’s goal is to “take you back to a time when texts were sent by telegraph and autotune meant actually singing on key.”
Some members of the audience took this promise of time travel quite literally, showing up in 1920s clothing and swing dancing in the aisles during the show. Since PMJ has a somewhat niche appeal, almost everyone in attendance for their concerts is either a die-hard fan of the group or of jazz music in general.