Our Concert Could Be Your Life: Indie's New Guard Pays Tribute To '80s Icons Hear indie's new guard pay tribute to its icons — and a book that chronicled the rise of the genre — in a 4-hour concert recorded live at NYC's Bowery Ballroom.

Live in Concert

Our Concert Could Be Your Life: Indie's New Guard Pays Tribute To '80s Icons

Our Concert Could Be Your Life: Indie's New Guard Pays Tribute To '80s Icons

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/136503845/136584600" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

In the decade since its publication, Michael Azerrad's book Our Band Could Be Your Life has taken on a sort of biblical quality among fans of independent music. So it's no surprise that this concert — 14 current bands performing the songs of 13 icons of indie rock at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan — occasionally felt like church. The lesson of the book — if nobody else is doing it, do it yourself — was repeated many times, and more than one musician credited Azerrad with clarifying the lessons of the earlier age at a moment when they seemed lost.

The audience bought into the story. At any given point you might have been standing between a fan of those icons Azerrad covered in the book and someone who came simply because they loved one of the bands on stage. (Given the number of musicians in the building, chances were good that one of them was just feet away in the crowd.) In the last decade, indie has entered the mainstream. Our Concert Could Be Your Life was a celebration of its fierce, humble roots.

Credits

The concert recording was engineered by Josh Rogosin. Photographs are by Wills Glasspiegel.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Coreyah plays a Tiny Desk (home) concert. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Coreyah (Home) Concert

The Seoul-based sextet performs music that blends Korean traditional music with modern sounds.

HAIM plays a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

HAIM (Home) Concert

Although sisters Este, Danielle and Alana are self-quarantining in separate residences, their Tiny Desk set from home is a reminder that California is a state of mind.

Clem Snide with Scott Avett play a Tiny Desk (Home) concert. NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR/NPR

Clem Snide With Scott Avett (Home) Concert

Clem Snide and Scott Avett play spiritually searching songs from Forever Just Beyond while maintaining social distancing for their Tiny Desk (home) concert.

Frances Quinlan plays a Tiny Desk concert. Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR/NPR

Frances Quinlan

The frontwoman of the indie-rock band Hop Along made her second appearance at the Tiny Desk, this time performing songs from her debut solo album.

Toth plays a Tiny Desk Concert. Max Posner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Max Posner/NPR

Tōth

Alex Toth, who played the Tiny Desk back in 2015 as a member of Rubblebucket returns front and center with his own band, Tōth.

The Lumineers play a Tiny Desk Concert. Bob Boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Bob Boilen/NPR

The Lumineers

Ho hey! Look who turned up at the Tiny Desk. Watch The Lumineers play a four-song set for the smallest crowd in ages.

Back To Top