Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

[CANCELLED: April 28, 2017] Pinegrove

I saw Pinegrove at the First Unitarian Church in Philly.  The venue was kind of fun, although I have basically decided that I will not ever go to another show there (despite THREE bands that I like playing there in coming months).  My takeaway from the venue is that if it’s at all crowded, it’s not worth going.

But I really enjoyed the Pinegrove show.  And I was super excited to see them twice more for the end of the year–tonight at Union Transfer and Starland Ballroom.  Kind of unreasonably excited, actually, especially the Starland show, because one of my new favorite up and coming Jersey bands Fire is Motion were going to open for them.

The openers were

Saintseneca, Adult Mom at Union Transfer

Forth Wanderers, Fire is Motion at Starland Ballroom

And then, out of the blue (at least to me), the band cancelled the tour.  This is now the third (and fourth) show this year that has been cancelled on me.  Oh well, I’m glad that problems like this come out and I hope that all involved get the help they need.  But because I’m selfish, I just wish that they would be revealed a few days after my show instead of before.

Official statement (more…)


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[POSTPONED: December 4, 2017] Morrissey

I have been a fan of The Smiths since my friend Garry introduced me to them back in the 80s.  I enjoyed much of Morrissey’s solo output (to varying degrees).  Obviously, I never saw The Smiths live.  I had never really considered seeing Morrissey live until my recent concert-going binge.

When he came around to Philly a couple of years ago I joked that he was probably going to cancel, so I didn’t bother getting a ticket.  But he didn’t cancel and my friends who went said he was great.

Over the past couple of months (alright, years) he’s been saying a bunch of really stupid-ass shit.  The kind of stupid-ass shit that should upset his fans, but probably no one else.  His fans are all a little to die-hard to care, though, so he’s sort of yelling into a vacuum.  Making headlines that people who hate him say “see he’s an ass,” and fans say, “oh never mind him.”

Well, I decided that this was the tour I’d go see him.  Fully cognizant of the fact that he might cancel the show.  And early on, he cancelled a show in L.A. because the temperature wasn’t right.

He played Madison Square Garden the night before this show and all was fine. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 28, 2017] St. Vincent

Two summers ago St. Vincent co-headlined XPNFest.  Our seats weren’t great but her show was spectacular.  I was bummed that it was a co-headline, because she played five fewer songs than for her other shows, but it was still incredible.  I knew I wanted to see her again.

And then she went into a kind of hiatus–she appeared doing a few things, but no tour.  And  then she came back with a whole new campaign–fear the future.  Gone was the curly white hair and in was a whole new look.  It was very day-glo and very sexy.  Right down to the album cover of a woman’s ass bent over with her front end shoved through a wall.

It was a stunning visual campaign, with Annie doing filmed “interviews” while the “crew” of women walked around with their breasts and asses cut out of their body suits.  There was clearly a message, although I’m not exactly sure what the message was.  Or is.

And then I learned that her new tour was going to be just her on her (newly designed) guitar with backing tracks.  While I didn’t doubt her ability to play to a backing track (I’ve seen her play amazingly with no backing at all), I was afraid it would lose some of the looseness that I’ve loved about her shows.   (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 3, 2017] Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile

I have been a fan of Courtney Barnett’s since I first saw her on a Tiny Desk Concert about 3 years ago.  Bob and Robin from All Songs Considered have raved about her and her live show.  I was really bummed to have found out about her last Philly show a little too late.

So she has been high on my list of artists to see.

I really like a bunch of Kurt Vile songs, although I don’t listen to him all that much (but “Pretty Pimpin'” is amazing).  When they got together for this album/tour, it kind of made sense.  Although I found that I was a little disappointed that Courtney played more like Kurt than Kurt played like Courtney.  The album is kind of slacker folkie and not indie rocking.  Although the good spirit and fun that they clearly had quickly won me over.

I knew the backing band was the Sea Lice, with a somewhat revolving cast.  I was hoping to get Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney on drums, but instead we had Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, who was terrific, Rob Laakso (from Kurt’s Violators) on bass and Katie Harkin (Sky Larkin) on keyboards (with wonderful backing vocals). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 3, 2017] Jen Cloher

Sarah and I were really excited to see Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile.  And we were really intrigued that Courtney’s wife, Jen Cloher was opening for them (it is not lost on me that Courtney has said she used to go to see Jen when Courtney was just starting out and that Jen is opening for her).

I have never been to the Tower Theater before.  I had been told it’s a great venue.  Well, Sarah and I had a pretty miserable experience in and around the venue (which had nothing to do with the music).  It took forever to get there.  Sure, it was a Friday night, but it took us almost two hours.  The Theater is in a fairly residential area, so the traffic around it was dreadful.  And then parking was a nightmare, and we had to pay $20 at a garage that was clearly just people co-opting a commuter parking lot and making money off of it.  The Theater entrance was packed, so it took about five minutes to get through the security and ticket checkers.  And then the front foyer was just a mass of wall to wall people.  When we finally got to the actual theater entrance, Cloher was already playing and there were no ushers to help us with our seats.

We got to our seats, finally, and managed to hear all of two songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 2, 2017] King Crimson

I saw King Crimson back in July.  And I had great seats.  It seems excessive to see them again just a few months later.  However, given that at any second, Robert Fripp could decide they were never going to tour again, it seemed like it behooved me to attend once more. Besides, the shows have been amazing.

This time I got very good seats on the left side of the audience.  This meant I could watch Fripp play guitar (he was blocked from my other seats).  I also had a  very clear view of bassist Tony Levin, which was awesome.  And I was close to drummer Pat Mastelotto who is so much fun to watch.

The lineup was pretty much the same as last time except that last time drummer Bill Rieflin was back on keyboards.  This time Rieflin was on sabbatical again, replaced on keys by Chris Gibson.

The lineup: Tony Levin (bass, Stick, more); Mel Collins (saxes, flutes); Jakko Jakszyk (guitar, vocals),  Chris Gibson (keyboards and effects): Three drummers: Gavin Harrison, Pat Mastelotto and Jeremy Stacey (also keyboards).  And of course, Robert Fripp (guitar). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Boris

I’ve been a fan of Japanese band Boris for about ten years since my friend Lar got me into them.  But I really got into them with the reissue of Pink last year.  I was bummed to have just missed their tour supporting the Pink reissue and immediately put them on the top of my bands to see live.

And how much do I love that touring poster.

There was a rumor that they were about to call it quits after 25 years, but they decided to do one last album (which has turned into something more entirely).  It also meant another tour of the States.

I could say that I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that they were only going to be playing the new album in its entirety, until that is I realized that Boris could play pretty much anything I and I’d be excited to see them (plus the new album is really good). (more…)

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