Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Jersey City, NJ’ Category

[ATTENDED: February 20, 2020] Sloan

This is my fourth time seeing Sloan (and S’s second time).  This is the second time I’ve seen them tour an album in its entirety.  (If only I’d gone to see the Twice Removed tour!).  These album tours are just fantastic.

The shows never feel like a nostalgia show.  The band was rocking and totally into it.  Plus, you get to hear songs that they never play live (“Chester the Molester”?).  What makes it even better is that set two (the non-album set) often has some deep cuts (because they’re not playing the songs from the album they just played).

So in total I heard 16 songs that I haven’t heard them play live before.  Sweet.

We arrived on time, but since it was sold out and there was no opening act, it meant we were pretty far back.  Fortunately, we managed to move past the mountain man in front of us.  The band came in and Chris Murphy literally had to squeeze past me to get to the stage (I love Boot & Saddle).  Less cool were the fans who followed the band to the stage and pushed their way in front of us,

Recent shows at B&S have had poor lighting, but I believe the band brings their own lighting crew (and a giant 4 like on the 4 Nights at the Palais Royale album), so the lighting was excellent all night.  As was the sound! (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: September 7, 2019] Boris

It was almost exactly two years ago that I first saw Boris.  They had come out with a new record and were actually thinking of calling it quits.  But they were inspired to do a tour, which I was sure was their last one, and it was spectacular.

Yet in the last two years they have signed to Third Man Records and have done a live session there.  They are just about to release a two album set called Love Evol (technically Lφve Evφl) and reissue Feedbacker and Akuma No Uta.  So when they announced that they were coming back–and coming to Jersey City–there was no way I could pass it up, even if it meant three concerts in three days.

Especially since the last time they played pretty much the whole new album, which was great, but I wanted to hear some older stuff too.

After the previous two nights of cutting it very close to the start of the show, I knew I wanted to get their early, in part because I had some merch to buy.  I’ve gotten very frugal about buying merch and I often don’t buy anything.  But Boris is a band that’s hard to find stuff here.  And even though Third Man was reissuing records which would mean they are much easier to get, I wasn’t taking any chances . So I arrived plenty early, bought some vinyl (and now greatly regret not buying the Tears EP, which I somehow didn’t know about and now see that it is impossible to get anywhere else). (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: September 8, 2019] Uniform

Uniform is a duo from New York.  But for this tour that had a live drummer Michael A. Engle (from Crawl).  The main two guys in the band are former Drunkdriver singer Michael Berdan and recording engineer Ben Greenberg (formerly of the Men) on guitar and other sounds.

I looked them up before the show to see who they were and the general impression I got was that they were loud.

So when the band walked on stage, I said to the guy next to me, “time for earplugs.”  And before I could put the second one in, Berdan pressed a button on a machine behind him and out blasted the single loudest sound I’ve ever heard.  Granted, I was standing literally right in front of the massive cabinet that the sound came from, but holy crap.  I assumed it was some kind of accidental feedback.  But indeed, no, that was the opening sound of the band.

And it never let up. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: August 24, 2019] Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

I recall being puzzled by the name of this band back ages ago when they were sometimes known as Ted Leo + Pharmacists.  It seemed like a cataloging nightmare.  But I can get over that and simply enjoy that Ted has fun with his band name (sometimes written as (TL/Rx)).  But this night they were billed as Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.  The Pharmacists have, as of late been a six piece:  Chris Wilson on drums, James Canty on guitar and keyboards, Marty Key on bass, Ralph Darden on guitar, and Adrienne Berry on saxophone and vocals and percussion.

After the bristling punk of Control Top, I wasn’t sure what Ted Leo would bring.  I know he has roots in punk, but surely not that much punk.  And, thankfully, he didn’t try to match Control Top, because that’s not his thing.  It is awesome that he brought them along, though.

Ted’s older songs were punky in the way that Billy Bragg’s early songs were punky–literate, angry and thoughtful–all to a catchy melody.  His newer songs are a bit more reflective (doom folk he called it).

He and the band came out and set things up and when he picked up his guitar people clapped and shouted.  He put a finger up–patience–and then they all left again for a couple of minutes. My only gripe about the show was that they made Control Top cut their set one song short because of time, and then Ted and Co. waited about ten minutes after their gear was set up to come out on stage–they could have played that one last song.  But that’s okay, Ted made up for it.   (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: August 24, 2019] Control Top

I have wanted to see Ted Leo for a while.  In fact I almost saw him July 1 at Boot & Saddle, but that was a hectic week for me.  The opening band for that show was Tact, a Philadelphia band.  I was sure that after missing that show I’d have to wait a while for him to come around again.

But then he announced a brief tour that stopped in his once home state of New Jersey.  And I got to go to White Eagle Hall.  I love the venue.  It has great sound and it’s pretty close.  But man the lighting is terrible for taking pictures.

The opening band for this little tour was Control Top, another Philadelphia band.  Philly has been producing some great bands of late and Control Top is definitely one of them.

I was surprised by this billing because they couldn’t be any different.  It’s true that Leo has roots in the punk scene but Control Top is pure screaming punk through and through. like on “Black Hole

I listened to their album before the show and was pleased by their roaring sound and the intense vocals of Ali Carter.

But I was totally unprepared for the guitar theatrics of Al Creedon.  He didn’t do anything fancy but the noises that he wrung from that guitar were just unbelievable.  Even moreso was that he could come out of squalling noises like in “Type A” and jump right into a pretty or unexpectedly light riff.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: June 27, 2019] Kikagaku Moyo

I ‘m not sure where I first heard about Kikagaku Moyo (which means “geometric patterns”), but I know it wasn’t very long before this show.

I have more or less gotten to the point where any Japanese psychedelic band that comes to town I’m going to want to check out.

I’ve loved Acid Mothers Temple, I’ve loved Boris (heavy psychedelic, but still) and now I’m adding Kikagaku Moyo to the list.

The band consists of Go Kurosawa (drums/vocals), Tomo Katsurada (lead guitar/vocals), Daoud Popal (guitar), Kotsu Guy (bass) and Go’s brother Ryu Kurosawa (sitar).  They’ve been around for about 6 years and have developed a dedicated following here in the States (everyone at the show appeared to be buying their vinyl).

One of the reasons that Monty Hall is such a fun venue is because while I was waiting online to get into the place, the five guys from the band walked in the same door carrying a pizza.  At first I thought a group of people was just pushing in the line, but their outfits pretty much gave away that they were the band. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: June 27, 2019] Sarah Louise

I had heard of Sarah Louise through NPR, although I didn’t know all that much about her.

The NPR page says, “Henson’s career so far has largely hinged on her unmatched prowess as a fingerpicking guitarist. Solo, she’s made a handful of excellent albums of 12-string acoustic guitar music.  But on Deeper Woods, she branches out into all kind of different sounds.”

Having read that she was a master of the 12 string, I was genuinely surprised that surprised that so much of the show was on electric guitar.  (I assume her 12-string prowess is on the acoustic, but I may be wrong).

It was also strange because she didn’t do a lot on the guitar.  The first couple of songs were sparse guitar playing coupled with complex and presumably improvised drumming from Thom Nguyen.

At times she fleshed out her sound with samples, including in this song which was as much about the birds as it was about her guitar playing. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »