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Archive for the ‘Cities’ Category

[ATTENDED: February 7, 2020] Garcia Peoples

I saw Garcia Peoples on New Year’s Eve eve at a Phish after party.  The show was great with them playing their new 30 minute song “One Step Behind” as well as a few others.  For that show, their original bassist Derek Spaldo was in town (after this Philly show I talked to Tom Malach and he told me that Spaldo lives in Chicago and tours with them when he can–sometimes they are a six-piece band).  That show was great.  It was the second time I’d seen them playing a short set and I really wanted to catch them as a headliner. So I was pretty excited to see that they’d be playing Boot & Saddle (even if I’d only seen them a month ago I wanted to check them out again).

When I arrived the place was pretty empty, but by the time Garcia Peoples went on, it had filled in nicely.  I was intrigued by the diversity of ages in the crowd–a lot of old Dead-heads and a few younger frat boy types as well as a lot of (drunk?) women.  I am also pretty certain that Chris Forsyth was in the audience.

The crowd was responsive and really appreciative whenever the guys played some impressive soloing (which was often).

I was intrigued to see that Spaldo was not with them this time but bassist Andy Cush was.  Cush played with them when I first saw them.  This means that there are two guys who know the bass parts to their songs. Pretty cool. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 7, 2020] Suffacox [Mach 2]

When I entered Boot & Saddle, I saw that the opening band was named Suffacox.   I had never heard of Suffacox and was rather puzzled by the name.

I was even more surprised when I saw the band setting up because I was standing a few feet from the stage and a guy kind of squeezed in front of me (which I thought was kind of rude as there was so much empty space).  He then proceeded to remove his coat and soon enough I realized he was the guitarist for Suffacox.  Whoops.

When the band started, the guitarist, John Terlesky, told us that they were Suffacox… Mach 2.  He said that they had been a band in the mid 90s and now they were back together again.

In their first incarnation they were led by Wayne Hamilton (whom they spoke of as if I’d know who he was, which I don’t).  Hamilton has passed on and now the rest of the original band is back with an extra guitarist and a manager/backing vocalist. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 4, 2020] Seratones

I first heard of Seratones on a Tiny Desk Concert back in 2016.  I was really impressed at how great they were.

When they announced a show at Johnny Brenda’s I knew I’d want to see them.  And they did not disappoint.

Their new album Power is a bit more soul and a little less rocking than their debut, but when they played it live, it totally rocked.

I watched the band set up their gear.  Singer A.J. Hayes was not wearing the big red skirt as she did so.  After they were all set up, they stepped away and then came back right at 9.

They opened with a wave of synths from Tyran Coker as Hayes showed off her amazing voice.  It was like the coolest warm up a vocalist could do as she sang “like a heart attack” slowly and in different pitches until she signaled to drummer Jesse Gabriel that the song was ready to start.  And with those clicks, “Heart Attack” rocked out.  I loved that they allowed for some serious jamming in this song.

On the record the song is 3 minutes, but this version included a little drum solo and a lengthy keyboard solo while Hayes yelped and rocked out up front.   It got everyone moving. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 4, 2020] The Dull Blue Lights

The Dull Blue Lights are yet another Philly band that I’d never heard of.

I’m always curious about the logistics of touring.  Like, when does a band wind up using local bands as opening acts instead of having someone tour around with them?  And how do they pick a local band in each town?

Well, whoever did their research did it very well because The Dull Blue Lights were an absolutely perfect opening act for Seratones and they were absolutely fantastic.

The Lights describe their music as “Basement Soul” which is a perfect summary of the kind of music they play.  It has a Soul feel (with a fantastic organ sound) but a nice gritty guitar and vocal component that makes it different from pure soul.

Generally, their songs had great riffs from singer/guitarist Todd Fausnacht.  But there were also multiple sections of the songs that made the more than one-dimensional.   Fausnacht also had a cool yelping falsetto that he could employ whenever he needed.

But what really sold me right away was the way the first song, “A Faint Whisper,” seemed like it was one thing (kind of an old-school rocker) and then the chorus turned into something much smoother before rocking out again. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2020] Nada Surf

I’ve been a fan of Nada Surf for a really long time.  I was so excited to see them live two years ago (on the 20th anniversary tour for Let Go).  That was two sets and a ton of music.

I was pretty excited that t hey were coming back to World Cafe Live to tour for their soon to be released album.

I arrived just in time for the opening act and was really surprised at how empty the venue was (last time it was packed to the rafters).  By the time Nada Surf came on, though, it was pretty crowded, so that’s good.  Nevertheless I was right up front.  So close that I could read Matthew’s water bottle.

I assumed that the last show was so comprehensive (all of Let Go, plus a full set of 20 songs) that there wouldn’t be a lot of difference in this show.  And I didn’t mind at all, because there’s hardly a dud in their entire musical output).

Amazingly they played NINE new songs at this show (including three brand new ones).  And as I was comparing the setlists, I couldn’t believe some of the songs they didn’t play last time–and that show was so good I didn’t even miss these terrific songs.  Well done, Nada Surf! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2020] Aaron Lee Tasjan

I knew Aaron Lee Tasjan from a Tiny Desk Concert that I really enjoyed.  He was playing songs from his then new album Karma for Cheap which had a great psychedelic kind of sound to it.  I thought that he and his band played really well together and I was looking forward to seeing them.

So I was a little bummed to find out that he was playing solo (and acoustic!).

But it turns out that Tasjan is a great songwriter and while I definitely preferred the sound he got on the album, I enjoyed listening to his lyrics as he played acoustic guitar. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 27, 2020] Camp Howard

This was S’s first time at Johnny Brenda’s and we had to decide between floor and balcony.  We chose floor and it was pretty cool being so close to the band.  Although in the middle of this set a big gaggle of bros came in and started hugging each other and talking.  It was nice that they were so friendly and happy to see each other, but I didn’t need that right in front of me.  So after a couple of songs we moved over a bit (to a location I rather prefer anyway).

I’m always torn about the balcony there because the balcony is amazing, but I so much prefer to be in the thick of it (even if I complain that I’m too short).

Camp Howard is a four-piece from Richmond, VA.

They seemed to have a pretty big following at this show (although I’d never heard of them before). (more…)

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