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Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 14, 2019] An Horse

I feel like I’d heard of An Horse, but didn’t really know all that much about them.  It turns out they are a duo from Australia: Kate Cooper on guitar/vocals and Damon Cox on drums/backing vocals.  They’ve been around for ten years but have only released their third album this year.

I listened to them a bit before the show and liked what I heard.  But I was in no way prepared for how great they would be live.

Kate Cooper is a fantastic front woman.  She is funny, vibrant and she totally rocks.  Damon Cox is a fantastic drummer–playing interesting patterns, using different kinds of mallets and also singing backup.

I have seen a lot of rock duos recently and I’m always impressed with how big they can sound with just two people.  An Horse doesn’t sound big exactly, but they sound totally full.  You never feel like something is missing.  Their songs aren’t especially complex, but the way they both play, it never feels like “only” guitar and drums. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Strand of Oaks

In 2016, Timothy Showalter played his second Strand of Oaks Winter Classic at Boot and Saddle.  I got a ticket for the third night, not really knowing what to expect.

It turned out to be a fantastic night of music and togetherness.

I missed the next year but went last year to Winter Classic IV.  Which was also great.

There was no way I was going miss Winter Classic V.  This year I went for the first night of the three.

The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

I didn’t think we’d get an extra long show (Tim doesn’t do extra long shows).  Instead we got a cool improv by his partner for the night, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 12, 2019] Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner

I was pretty excited to go to the fifth Strand of Oaks Winter Classic (this is my third).  I chose the first night of the series because I was going out on Saturday as well. The other two shows had opening acts announced, but there was none announced for my night.

When I arrived, my friend was there up front (of course) and I managed to get up next to her.  She told me that the opening act was going to be Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner.  It was apparently decided just before the show started.

Well, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner was accompanying Tim Showalter for these shows (it was just the two of them during the Strand of Oaks set).  So, I guess it was decided last minute to let Slo-Mo do a twenty minute improv before the main show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 4, 2019] A Very She & Him Christmas Party

S. and I have a large Christmas album collection.  It’s fun to add a CD a year or so, especially when they are new and interesting.

We’ve enjoyed the two Christmas CDs from She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward).  So when it was announced that they’d be coming to Philadelphia (actually starting their mini-tour here), I got tickets right away.

We went in with expectations of a sweet Christmas experience.  And that’s what we got.

They played about 30 songs and the biggest surprise for both of us was just how long the show was.  I assumed 75 minute, but it wound up being almost and hour and 45 minutes.  That’s the holiday spirit! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 4, 2019] Pete Lee

Exactly one year ago S. and I attended the Brian Wilson Christmas Special.  This year we were in Philly for the She and Him Christmas Party.  Clearly December 4 is the day for Christmas specials!

A few days before the show (we were the first stop on the tour) it was announced that comedian Pete Lee would be opening the East Coast dates while Patton Oswalt would be opening the West Coast dates.  (It’s not often that I wish I was on the West Coast, but this is one of those times).

I had never heard of Pete Lee. When I looked him up I saw this on his bio:

Pete Lee was the first stand-up comedian to get a standing ovation on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and it resulted in him appearing on the show three times in the last year.

Interesting.

That’s all I read before the show.  But looking at the bio after the show I see that it really does sum him up pretty well:

Pete’s joyful humor comes from his Midwestern roots. Raised in Janesville, WI by divorced parents and a 19-inch television, he was destined to pursue a career in entertainment.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 25, 2019] Ice Nine Kills

I was unfamiliar with Ice Nine Kills until my son started talking about them.  Then his friend invited him to see a show at the Starland Ballroom on May 3 (Ice Nine Kills was not headlining–the lineup was Falling In Reverse, Ice Nine Kills, From Ashes to New and New Years Day).  So I was a little bummed that he didn’t go to his first club show with me, but it’s much cooler that he went with his friend.  He loved the show.

So when they announced that they were playing at TLA and headlining the Octane Accelerator Tour (a Sirius XM thing), I made sure we got tickets (even though it was a Monday night).

The show was (I’m exhausted just thinking about it) FIVE bands and started at 6PM (!).

The lineup was Ice Nine Kills, Fit For A King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer, & Awake At Last.

Since it was a Monday night, I knew it would be really hard to get there for the first band, so we decided we would assume we’d miss Awake at Last.  Then on November 5th, Make Them Suffer (who are Australian) announced:

Unfortunately we have had some serious setbacks with immigration, and were unable to secure the visas we needed in time for these shows.

TLA said the show would go on at the same time which was great for us since it meant we would get home about 30 minutes earlier.  I also figured I’d take my son for some good ol’ Philly cheese steaks before the show since Jim’s is just a few doors down.

We enjoyed out cheese steaks quite a lot and as we walked past the theater I asked the guy at the door which band was on.  He said the second band was on and since we had plenty of time, we decided to go to Atomic City Comics (which is a wonderful store).

We headed back to TLA figuring we’d be in the middle of Fit for a King.  But as we walked in, they were between bands.  The woman at the merch table said that ice Nine Kills was up in ten minutes!  We’d missed all of the opening bands! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 18, 2019] Ringo Deathstarr

Ringo Deathstarr is the kind of bandname that makes people either smile or groan.  Obviously it makes me smile.  It does not really tell you what they’ll sound like though.  I first heard of them back in 2011 on NPR when they played the fantastic “Swirly.”  I was immediately hooked by the woozy guitars and the juxtaposition of heaviness.

I never forget the band name, but I never really thought too much more about them.  Until I saw that they were coming to Boot & Saddle.  I’m not sure if they have played Philly before (I assume so), but the crowd was really into it and excited from them.

Ringo Deathstarr is the project of Elliott Frazier (on guitar and vocals), Alex Gehring on bass and vocals and Daniel Coborn on drums.  For this show I was parked right in front of Frazier and got to watch him do all kinds of wonderful and weird things to create fantastic sounds from his guitar.

When the band walked up on stage, the lighting was decent and it was nice to get a good look at the band before the stage people turned the lights blue.  After a couple of songs, they begged for the lights to be changed and were told that there was no one there who could fix them.  What?  What kind of crappy way to treat a band!  I really like Boot & Saddle as a venue but lately their lights have been terrible.  So they were bathed in deep blue all night long with never a change.  (It’s better than magenta, but just barely). (more…)

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