New Order, Johnny Marr: April 11, Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan
High point: Tie. Was it the three-song encore exclusively dedicated to the songs of the Manchester’s predecessor, Joy Division? Or was it the epic and positively euphoric version of “Temptation” preceding it?
Low point: Marr and New Order singer Bernard Sumner did not join for their Electronic anthem “Getting Away With It,” which Marr handled himself. MIKE PREVATT
Spiritualized: April 12, House of Blues
High point: Musicology. Jason Pierce — frontman, modern bluesman, shaman, conductor — channeled the 20th century musical experience into a two-hour space-gospel revue, delivered through soulful songs that were flawlessly played. A revelation in every sense of the word.
Low point: The pathetic crowd size. MIKE PREVATT
Vampire Weekend: April 12, Boulevard Pool
High point: Musicianship. The most earnest, comfortable, tight set of 2013. The way the band presents itself and commands a stage is something even veteran road dogs could learn from. I’d watch this show again before rewatching The Black Keys’ New Years Eve performance.
Low point: With singer Ezra Koenig’s brief crowd greetings, the show often felt like watching an extremely 3D video. MAX PLENKE
Yeah Yeah Yeahs: April 13, Boulevard Pool
High point: Karen O. Red, sequined matador-like get-up. Burly tattooed guys sang along with her to “Man,” veteran fans did the same for funk/punk “Art Star.” She spent choruses with the mic clenched between her teeth, then finished the set by stuffing the mic down the front of her pants while raising both arms victoriously to the night sky.
Low point: Muddled vocals from center-crowd vantage point. MAX PLENKE
Foals: April 13, House of Blues
High point: Rhythm. Not always a guitar band’s best friend or priority, but the British quintet are already masters of the groove, though never settling in the pocket for long. Their songs shift tempos like Bridgestone racing tires stop a car: on a dime. The melodies might be enough, but the beats are what drove the crowd into a sweaty frenzy.
Low point: Again, small crowd, though a little larger than Spiritualized’s. MIKE PREVATT
Lee Scratch Perry: April 14, Hard Rock Cafe
High point: History. Perry sang that intro line, “Lucifer son of the morning/I’m gonna chase you out of Earth” from “Chase The Devil,” played by The Upsetters, which was later sampled in Jay-Z’s Black Album track “Lucifer.” The crowd’s pupils just Shazam’d a music history lesson.
Low point: Most of the performance. MAX PLENKE
Beach House: April 15, House of Blues
High point: Victoria Legrand, who projected her celestial, breathy voice over her own shimmering synths and Alex Scally’s chiming guitar work. The gorgeous, set-concluding “Myth” juxtaposed some of Legrand’s lowest and highest notes, ending with her voice bursting through the rafters while her keys augmented the song’s wistful melody.
Low point: Very little dynamic and difference among the 15 performed songs. MIKE PREVATT