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Archive for the ‘Montclair, NJ’ Category

[POSTPONED: March 26, 2020] Guster

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  S. and I were really really looking forward to this one and we’re especially bummed it’s postponed.

This would have been my ninth time seeing Guster, and this one was going to be so cool–an all acoustic show with strings!  The band has played many of these shows already and the vibe was great and the band raved about how much fun they were having.

What was especially exciting about this show was that I had great seats!  It’s pretty rare for Guster to play a seated venue.  And, since their shows are quite popular I don’t always get to stand where I want.  But these seats were so good!

I know they are going to reschedule, but still….

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!  Whatever the case, this one will get a priority over just about any other.

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.

 

 

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[ATTENDED: September 25, 2019] Pinegrove

This is the third time I have seen Pinegrove.  I saw them in 2017 and had plans to see them two more times by the end of the year.  But they cancelled their shows and took a hiatus.  They came back this year and I was lucky enough to catch one of their first shows back down in Asbury Park.

Despite having seen them just a few months earlier, I felt somewhat unsatisfied about that HoI show.  Not sure what it was–maybe because I was off to the side too far, or what.  I mean the band sounded great that night.  But I felt like I needed one more show from them, and tonight’s show scratched that itch.

Even though they played pretty much the same set, something about this show felt complete.

Maybe it was that they upgraded from a curtain with their logo of two boxes on it to neon lights in the shape of two boxes.

Or maybe it was that there six people on stage instead of five? (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 25, 2019] Boyscott

I hadn’t heard of Boyscott before this tour either.

It turns out that the Scott of Boyscott [Scott Hermo Jr] grew up on the same street in Montclair as Evan Stephens Hall (they’re about six years apart).  I don’t know if that’s why they were chosen to play these local dates, but whatever the reason, it was great to have them open for Pinegrove.

It’s surprisingly hard to find out who was on stage with them.  The live band was a five piece, although their album was recorded by a three-piece.  Names associated with the band include: Emma Willer of Slumbers on guitar, John Lewandowski of Super Low on drums, Ellen McGirk (keys and vocals who I am pretty sure was not there), and bassist Noah Miller.  There was also someone with one name on a second guitar and percussion.

They played same light indie-pop.  What I really liked about the band was that none of the songs were simple verse chorus verse. Each one had some interesting middle part or new section or even just an unexpected stop mid-song.

By the second or third song I was really enjoying their set. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Mac Sabbath

When I saw that Okilly Dokilly was opening for Mac Sabbath I had to check out who this band was.  They’ve been around for a few years and this was their “American Cheese Tour” (that’s a good one).

And so basically, they are a Black Sabbath cover band, but all of their lyrics are about McDonald’s and the fast food industry in general.  So that’s pretty funny.  But that’s not all.  They have taken this concept to an absurd length.   Each band member is costumed or wears makeup.  And the costumes are phenomenal–not cheap little handmade things, but remarkably detailed and well constructed heads and bodies.  The attention to detail is really impressive.

The band members are also completely anonymous, which is also pretty funny.   And that is why they have such great band names:

The lead singer is Ronald Osbourne.
The guitarist is Slayer MacCheeze
The bassist is Grimalice (the least impressive name, it’s Grimace with an Alice in Wonderland hat on, but his other name is brilliant: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butler.”)
On drums is Catburglar or Criss Cut Fries (he is dressed like the Hamburglar with Peter Criss Makeup).

I didn’t really think too much about the music before the show, I just wanted to see the stage show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Okilly Dokilly

When I heard about Okilly Dokilly from The Simpsons, I knew that I would like to see them live.  So, when it was announced that they would be playing with Mac Sabbath (who I’d never heard of), at a venue fairly close to me, I grabbed a ticket.  Hilariously (although not for me), this show apparently sold so poorly that by a week before the event, the venue was literally giving tickets away.  So I signed up for free tickets and then couldn’t get anyone to go with me.  Oh well.

When I saw their video for “White Wine Spritzer,” in the credits of The Simpsons (clip at bottom of page), I loved the idea of a heavy metal band comprised of many Ned Flanders (technically: Head Ned (vocals), Dread Ned (drums), Shred Ned (guitar), Bed Ned (bass) and Zed Ned (synth)).  But I was a little disappointed that the vocals they chose to use were so cookie monster/growly.  I mean, it makes huge comic sense to have Ned sing like that, but it’s disappointing to not be able to understand all of  the lyrics which are “75 per cent made up of Ned Flanders’ quotes.”

But this band is dedicated to their craft 100%. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Playboy Manbaby

When I heard about Okilly Dokilly from The Simpsons, I decided that I would like to see them live.  So, when it was announced that they would be playing with Mac Sabbath (who I’d never heard of), at a venue fairly close to me, I grabbed a ticket.  Hilariously (although not for me), this show apparently sold so poorly that by a week before the event, the venue was literally giving tickets away.  So I signed up for free tickets and then couldn’t get anyone to go with me.  Oh well.  [The band did sell out venues in Florida, so it’s not like no one goes to see them].

Of the three bands, Playboy Manbaby was the one I was least interested in.  But in the end, they were the band I enjoyed the most.

Playboy Manbaby is from Phoenix. Okilly Dokilly is also from Phoenix (and PM used most of Okilly Dokilly’s gear).

They usually have horns, but for this show (and tour?) they were a four piece:  Robbie Pfeffer on vocals, TJ Friga on guitar, Chris Hudson on bass, [with a Big Gay Ice Cream shirt on] and Chad Dennis on drums.  Unlike the other two bands, this band didn’t have a gimmick, they were just a kind of goofy, fun punk rock band. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2016] Indigo Girls

2016-01-30 22.57.42When I was a radio DJ in college, I received a promo disc by a band called the Indigo Girls, which I listened to because Michael Stipe sang on one of the songs.  I really enjoyed the sampler.  The Girls’ harmonies were outstanding and the lyrics were clever and funny and very very smart.

And I’ve enjoyed them intermittently for twenty some years.  I even saw them at Newport Folk Festival back in 1998 when they put on a fantastic show.

Sarah has been a fan of the band for a long time as well.  She saw them at an even more unusual venue–at the American Library Association Convention in 2002.

Neither one of us had seen them in a “proper” venue and thought it would be cool to see them in this small theater in Montclair.

And man, did they sound fantastic.  Their first album came on in 1989 and their voices sound exactly the same.  Emily can hit the high notes and Amy still has that great gravelly sound (despite claiming to be ill and on steroids to get her voice to actually work–I never would have guessed).  And their harmonies are still perfect together. (more…)

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