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Archive for the ‘Set in New Jersey!’ Category

[ATTENDED: March 11, 2019] Poppies

I was supposed to see Pinegrove twice at the end of 2017.  Then their scandal broke and they cancelled their shows.  They have come back out of hiding for a few shows around the neighborhood.  I couldn’t get tickets to their very first shows.  Then came this trio of shows in Asbury Park.  I had actually somehow scored a ticket to Saturday night’s show before realizing that we were going to Aurora that night.  I didn’t see that they’d added a show on Sunday until it was sold out.  But when they added a Monday show, I was there and managed to get a ticket.

Poppies opened all three nights.

They are a four piece with May on lead vocals (primarily) and guitar and Ian on lead guitar and some lead vocals.  The thing that stood out for me about them was their utterly deadpan demeanor onstage.  In between songs the banter was nonexistent or really really dry.  “Hi, we’re Poppies.”  “This is a new song.”

They play a fascinatingly diverse style(s) of music.  Some of their songs were quiet with gentle guitars and May’s quieter vocals.  But some of the songs totally rocked out with some of Ian’s wilder guitar noises.  Some songs did both.

The set opened with a slightly discordant guitar and May’s whispered vocals.  I liked that she had on a blazer for the opening (and wide weft cords!) and then revealed her bright yellow shirt a few songs in.

I was concerned that an opening set of this kind of music would be rather tedious.  But then they opened it up with some good rocking guitar and May’s louder vocals. I especially loved the noises that Ian made on his guitar in the beginning of this song.

My favorite song of their set came as either the last or second to last of the night.  May said that  these next few songs were so new they didn’t have names yet.  They were the most enjoyable of the bunch to me.

That bodes well for future releases from them.

 

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[ATTENDED: March 11, 2019] Trace Mountains

Pinegrove played three nights at House of Independents.  Each night featured Poppies opening and then a second band in the middle slot.  Saturday was Another Michael, Sunday was Brother Bird and Monday was Trace Mountains.  Interestingly, I was supposed to see Brother Bird open for Lily & Madeleine a few weeks earlier, so I have now missed Brother Bird twice.

I hadn’t heard any of them, so that didn’t have any impact on which night I wanted to go.  Originally it would have been Another Michael.  But since I switched dates to Monday, I got to see Trace Mountains.

I also had no idea that I had recently seen the lead singer and guitarist of Trace Mountains, for he is Dave Benton of LVL UP.  I was trying to remember whose songs I liked best when I saw LVL UP.  All three singers sang and I enjoyed Benton’s more deadpan style of singing.  It’s interesting that Trace Mountains was supposed to be a somewhat quieter side project and yet in my experience all of these songs were more rocking than his LVL UP songs.

Trace Mountains is (was?) his solo project.  For this show the band was a four piece with a great lead guitarist and a solid rhythm section.

I can’t find the names of any of the players, but I really enjoyed the guitarist in the ocher cardigan who stood in front of me.  He also plays keys.  At one point he and Benton shares soloing duties which sounded pretty great.

Indeed, all of the songs were enjoyable.  And there was a good variety in the songs.  I didn’t catch song title, but while there were some real Stomping cuts they also changed up their delivery style with slower rockers like this one. I was also intrigued by Benton’s voice, because it sounded quite different depending on the song.  And yet it never sounded quite as deadpan as he did with LVL UP.

Benton was an entertaining frontman as well.  He joked (or maybe not) that he was happy to be there except that he was missing The Bachelor.  There was also a funny moment in the middle of their set when someone started chanting “one more song” like they do for encores.  But mid-set it came across as very funny and Benton was certainly in on the joke, “Sorry to disappoint you….”

I enjoyed their set quite a bit.

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[ATTENDED: February 20, 2019] Lily & Madeleine

Lily & Madeleine are sisters from Indianapolis.  I saw Lily & Madeleine on a Tiny Desk Concert a few years ago.  The show was from 2014 when the pair of them were still teenagers (Lily was 16, Madeleine 18).  Their harmonies were just terrific and I made a note to see them when I got a chance.

I saw that they were going to be playing World Cafe Live upstairs in Philly.  I’ve never seen anyone upstairs there before (it’s a smaller space), so I was happy to grab a ticket.  It turns out that they are also doing a Free at Noon before the show.  Then I saw that they were going to be playing at The Saint in Asbury Park on a Wednesday night.  The Philly show was a Friday night (this Friday, 2/22, tickets are still available). It’s quite a hassle for me to drive to that part of Philly on a Friday night so I decided to go to the Asbury show instead.

Then it snowed.  A lot.  We were even given off early from work.   But by 6PM, the snow turned to rain and driving was totally fine.  There was no traffic on the Parkway and I made it to Asbury Park in ample time.  (See the post on The Well Wish for what I did between my arrival and the bands’ show).

Because of the terrible weather the were only about 8 people in the whole place.  In fact, Lily & Madeleine were in the floor dancing during the opening act–I thought it was them but wasn’t sure until they went on stage. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 20, 2019] The Well Wish

The Well Wish is a married duo (sometimes with a band).  They are from NJ and were picked to open for Lily & Madeleine at The Saint.

Because of a miscommunication with the woman at the door, I wound up missing almost their entire set (and I was a block away).

I saw two songs by them.   On the first one, singer Anya Schildge played keys while Patrick Angeloni played acoustic guitar.  For the second (and final) song, Schlidge switched to guitar.  They were accompanied by Lily & Madeleine’s cello played Shannon Hayden because their violinist couldn’t make it.

I really enjoyed their music and am quite bummed that I missed so much of their set.  There was a folk feel (complimented by the cello) but with pop sensibilities [their influences: Florence and the Machine, Radiohead, and Bonnie Raitt]. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 4, 2018] Brian Wilson

I have never been a huge beach Boys fan.  They’re just not my thing–especially the early stuff.  And yet, at the same time, I know all of their hits and will undoubtedly sing along to every one of them.  So the thought of seeing Brian Wilson (especially at the stage in his life) never really appealed.

And then he announced this short tour in which he and his band and special guests would be doing The Christmas Album, I was on board because I love his Christmas album What I Really Want for Christmas.  It’s probably my favorite Christmas album.  So as soon as I saw the show was in Englewood (the closest place to my house, but not exactly close) I bought S. and I tickets.  She is a bigger Beach Boys fan than I and has seen them live before.

Not being a huge Beach Boys fan, however, meant that I didn’t know that “The Christmas Album” was the name of the Beach Boys Christmas Album from 1964.  So it wasn’t the album that I wanted–boo!  But I guess I should have realized that a showed billed as Brian Wilson presents The Christmas Album Live with special guests Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin, would not be exactly what I thought it would be anyhow.  I mean I’m still not exactly sure who Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin are. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 4, 2018] Beat Root Revival

I had called BergenPAC to see if Brian Wilson would have an opening act and I was told it was Beat Root Revival.  I hadn’t heard of them and they sounded interesting, so I had hoped to get there in time to see them.

I didn’t quite know where BergenPAC was, so we arrived in Englewood a little later than I intended.  We also needed to grab a slice before the show–it’s awkward to have to drive through dinner.  So we walked in during the duo’s first or second song.

So just who is this band (which I misunderstood as Beet Root Revival at first).  They describes themselves:

Beat Root Revival are a multi-instrumentalist roots duo, combining elements of Folk, Blues, Country and Rock n Roll to create a foot stomping, melodic sound, made up of power house harmonic vocalists Andrea Magee and Ben Jones.  Originally from England and Ireland, Ben Jones and Andrea Magee came to the USA 3 years ago like their ancestors before them, looking for a new life and to share their music far and wide.

And that really sums them up nicely. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 6, 2018] Deep Purple

My friend Al told me he was going to this double bill of Deep Purple and Judas Priest.  He and I went to my first ever concert back in 1985–Deep Purple at the Meadowlands.  It seemed like a fun idea to see Deep Purple again 33 years later.

Turned out he had a work thing and couldn’t go.  So that sucked.  But I scored great seats for $28 so that’s cool.

I was surprised that Deep Purple was going on after Judas Priest–I was sure that Judas Priest would be a bigger draw.  I wasn’t all that excited to see Deep Purple, but I was certainly curious.

And that’s when I realized that Ian Paice is the only person who has been with Deep Purple in all of their hundreds of lineups.  But, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were from the first major lineup (the Mk II version of the band).  (more…)

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