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Archive for the ‘Scranton, PA’ Category

[ATTENDED: September 26, 2019] Stereolab

I can still remember going into Ralph’s Record City (R.I.P.) in Scranton and buying a used copy of Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements based on a friend’s recommendation.  I remember thinking that the title made it sound a lot like a stereo test record.  I also remember not understanding the image on the cover as a phonograph needle for quite a while.

I also remember really liking it.

And that started my long time appreciation of Stereolab.   My friend Lar was always updating me about the latest release or re-release or re-issue (which even happened recently with the new reissues of the band’s back catalog).

I started to drift away from them a bit with their last couple of records, and then they more or less broke up.

Nevertheless, it was pretty exciting to hear that they were reuniting for a new tour (and returning to Philadelphia 11 years after their last show in the city.

I really had no idea what to expect, but I grabbed tickets immediately and they quickly sold out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2018] Slingshot Dakota

I was planning to see Slingshot Dakota back in the summer of 2016.  They were doing a show with VoirVoir a Bethlehem band that I really like.  But I wound up not being able to make that show.  So I was happy to see them this year, right back in SteelStacks.

It was after they went onstage that Carly Comando told us that they were really excited to organize this entire show with ArtsQuest’s blessing.  She picked the opening acts, Small Mess and Petal, personally, and she made sure that Lehigh Valley Girls Rock was a beneficiary.  She even insisted that there be a food drive as well.

Lehigh Valley Girls Rock is dedicated to empowering girls and women + trans and nonbinary folks through music and art
We build self-confidence and foster a sense of belonging.
We nurture an inclusive, supportive environment.
We connect people who then develop meaningful friendships.
We inspire community involvement.
We teach acceptance.

They even had a special Lehigh Valley Girls Rock-related surprise at the end of their show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2018] Petal

Petal is the creation of Kiley Lotz from Scranton, PA.  She has released a few albums and an EP (all on bandcamp).  Her recorded output has a somewhat heavier alternapop sound–there’s some great bass on her records.

She plays quite a lot and I have almost seen her a few times.  I believe that most of her concerts are with a band, although this one was solo.

It turns out that she is also good friends with Carly Comando and Tom Patterson from Slingshot Dakota–Kiley has a special connection to the Lehigh Valley, too.  And she was very happy to support Lehigh Valley Girl Rock.

Lehigh Valley Girls Rock is dedicated to empowering girls and women + trans and nonbinary folks through music and art
We build self-confidence and foster a sense of belonging.
We nurture an inclusive, supportive environment.
We connect people who then develop meaningful friendships.
We inspire community involvement.
We teach acceptance.

There was a raffle before the show and she donated a bunch of stuff to one of the baskets (I didn’t win any of the baskets). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 14, 2018] Small Mess

I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to this show.  I was a little burnt out and it was a Friday night.  But I do love going to shows in Bethlehem and I was supposed to have seen Slingshot Dakota back in 2016, so I decided to go.

And I am so glad I did!  I only wish I had brought my daughter with me because this night’s event was a benefit for Lehigh Valley Girl Rock.

Lehigh Valley Girls Rock is dedicated to empowering girls and women + trans and nonbinary folks through music and art
We build self-confidence and foster a sense of belonging.
We nurture an inclusive, supportive environment.
We connect people who then develop meaningful friendships.
We inspire community involvement.
We teach acceptance.

Becca the singer and guitarist for Small Mess is a major advocate of LVGR and is (if I remember correctly) a former student in the program. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 9, 2014] Kiss

2014-08-09 21.41.30As I said, two years ago, I saw Kiss at this same venue and I marveled that Gene and Paul could still do all this while both in their mid 60s. But Paul’s voice sounded a little weak, and I wasn’t really sure that I wanted to see them again after that.

But here it is two years later, and I was back with my friend Matt and his family, and I’m going to say that the show was superb this year. Paul’s voice was in great form, the band seemed revitalized, even Gene seemed to enjoy himself.

Some changes were made on this tour.  I saw that in earlier shows in the tour they played some songs that I would have loved to hear–“King of the Nighttime World” especially, so I was a little bummed that they played a setlist that was pretty close (but not exact) to the last time.  What was surprising was what they left out–no “Shock Me” no guitar solo (I didn’t miss it) and no smoking guitar. So, “Ace” got short shrift, but there’s so much other spectacle that it wasn’t such a big deal. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 9, 2014] Def Leppard

Two years ago, Kiss had Motley Crue open for them.  Crue was one of those bands that I liked when they first came out and then, as they made poppier/sleazier music, I liked them less.  This year, the opener was Def Leppard.  Def Leppard was even more egregious in terms of going from a heavy metal band to a massive pop band.  And, heck, it worked for them.  But as a young metal head, who enjoyed most of High and Dry and some of Pyromania, Hysteria was just too far.  And I actively disliked a lot of those songs (perhaps more than I needed to) at the time.

And what I learned is that even after all these years, while I could “forgive” some bands and actually enjoy their sets, I could not forgive Def Leppard for all of the songs that I really disliked.

But first…how ballsy is it to have your intro music be The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and then after the big scream near the end, have your banner drop and you finish the song.  I was pretty surprised.  But they sounded quite good, loud and brash.  And then they opened with “Let It Go,” a pretty heavy (for them) track from High and Dry which I had forgotten about but which rocked really well.  And I thought, hey, any chance they’re just going to play the heavy songs?

But no.  They moved into “Animal,” one of 6 songs from Hysteria.  Of course, it wasn’t all Hysteria.  They did play “Foolin'” which really didn’t do it for me as much as I thought it would-perhaps I was bitter about the Hysteria.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 9, 2014] Dead Daisies

daisiesTwo years ago, I went to see Kiss in Scranton.  I had seen them a few times by then, and since Paul’s voice sounded pretty bad, I didn’t think I’d go again.  But I love hanging out with my friend Matt and don’t get to see him enough, so when he invited me up for this year’s extravaganza, I decided what the hell.  And it turned out to be a very good show indeed.

The first opening act was a band called Dead Daisies.  Last time, they had an opening act that I didn’t investigate at all.  But this year, I had my phone out and figured that Dead Daisies was a local Scranton band, and I’d see if I could find anything about them.

Well, it turns out that Dead Daisies is from Australia and that the lead singer, Jon Stevens, was the guy who sang for INXS after Michael Hutchence killed himself (but before they did the reality show to find a new singer).  I never heard INXS in that version, but the way he was singing for this band, I can’t even begin to imagine him as a good fit.  Because he has a big old powerful voice and sings in a very un-Hutchence way.

When they first came out I was kind of unimpressed.  The first song sounded a ton like AC/DC.  And the second song sounded like Bad Company.  As it turns out the band is a kind of retro rock band, with connections to Guns N Roses (guitarist Richard Fortus has played with GnR and Dizzy Reed plays keyboards for GnR).  And it turns out that Slash co-wrote their song “Lock ‘n’ Load.”  The other guys in the band are Marco Mendoza on bass (he’s played with Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and many others) and David Lowy on guitar.  (more…)

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