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Archive for the ‘Control Top’ Category

[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…)

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[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…)

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