Today is: Thursday February 21, 2019 | Status: Under Re-development | Version 2.99.03
Michael and Spyder, Steel Panther

JJO Yellow Snowball 2018

by Al Brzostowski

As tradition goes, Steel Panther made their holiday stop in Madison for the JJO Yellow Snowball. Steel Panther heated up the Sylvee, as the temperature dropped in Madison.

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Manchester Orchester The Sylvee December 5th

Manchester Orchestra and The Front Bottoms with Brother Bird

by John Noyd

Indie-rockers Manchester Orchestra lets the music do the talking. Singer, guitarist Andy Hull did say hello halfway into their set, but soon apologized for not being very articulate or having much to say. That’s ok - the epic journey he and the band took Madison’s The Sylvee spoke volumes; brazen in its attacks and tender in its celebrations with lyrics placating demons and savoring dreamers, the exceptionally tight unit plummeted thundering depths and reached transcendental heights often within a single song. A seething seizure of light and sound greeted the eager audience as the band book-ended the show with the opening and closing tracks from their latest opus, “Black Mile to the Surface.” Although the new album dominated the set, choice cuts from every other album burned powerfully next to MO’s latest as their trademark catharsis came fully alive on stage. Bonding the audience in sweet savage sadness, the soul-baring session was bathed in red shadows and blue fog; stalking, white-hot high-beams swept the venue as brawny, longing songs faced blameless anguish, pitching blistering bliss against existential tempests and uniting the crowd in majestic consensus. Concluding with a three-song encore, which included a deep cut from The Black Mile Demos EP, the band finished the night reaffirming their music’s unique ability to draw gravitas and humanity from larger-than-life arrangements and down-to-earth concerns.

Chatty patter came naturally to The Front Bottom’s hard-strumming Brian Sella whose slacker narratives reveled in disheveled debauchery. Spinning winning folk-punk tales backed by a touring band playing two drum kits, guitars, multiple keyboards and violin,  alongside a functioning bar the crew and band-mates frequented during the side-splitting set, TFB’s smart-ass anarchy broke down all walls between them and their rabid fans. The snarky carnival had no problem getting the crowd to participate in every song including the uproarious, “Peace Sign,” where the mosh pit subsided long enough to flash a peace sign and middle finger in response to the song’s dogged insistence.

Brother Bird, whose thirty minute set started in a country-folk vein before turning dark and synthetic, wondered if they were being a downer, too emo. No worries, in a night of dire pariahs exuding groovy retribution, BB’s sultry despair fit right in with the rest of the evening’s misfit visions  

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James Milbrandt

Versus Me

by Al Brzostowski

Amidst the dark lighting, James Milbrandt and his VSME band mates took the stage after an eerie introduction, launching into “Not going back”. From there, VSME segued into their new track, “Left Here” — in which they recently released a music video to.

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Shaun Morgan


by Al Brzostowski

When the grunge trio featuring Paul Wandtke (Bedlem, ex Trivium), drummer Rob Lerner and bassist Sean McCole hit the stage, Paul held his guitar up high, squealing with feedback, like a prize catch. The energy from the crowd during this intro was palatable; you could feel the anticipation from them as the night started.

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Shirley Manson of Garbage

Garbage with Rituals of Mine - The Sylvee, Madison WI Oct 16th, 2018

by John Noyd

Starting out wonderfully sultry with the sparse, slinky, “Afterglow,” Garbage built up steam slowly, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their sophomore, “Version 2.0,” with an intimate examination of the band’s pivotal album. In many ways, “2.0,” is where Garbage began to become a real band, hunkering down to follow-up their smashing debut. They hunkered down in Madison, in Smart Studios and the subsequent work spawned several experiments that became standard band characteristics. In particular, their love of pop crept into their dense electro-rock configuration with songs like, “Special,” and, “Push It,” nodding to songs within a song. To that point, The Sylvee witnesses Fleetwood Mac’s, “Dreams,” Depeche Mode’s, “Personal Jesus,” and The Kinks’, “Tired of Waiting,” making sly appearances in the band’s nearly two dozen song set-list.

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