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Archive for the ‘Levitt Pavilion’ Category

[ATTENDED: June 19, 2017] Barenaked Ladies

It was almost exactly a year ago that we saw Barenaked Ladies.  And it was almost exactly a year ago that I decided that even though their shows are a ton of fun, I didn’t really need to see them again (it’s been like 7 times now), because they have gotten kind of samey.

And then I saw that they were playing Steelstacks–the place where I have gotten unbelievably close to quite a few bands.  So this was the chance to go out with a blaze of glory and see them up close for the first time.

But then there was the threat of torrential thunderstorms.  So they moved the show inside to the Musikfest Cafe.  We were pleased about that as the thought of standing in the rain isn’t appealing.  The rain all ended by about 7 so it was moot, bit whatever.  This meant that we could see this band in a teeny tiny club where the sound was amazing.  A local paper says that the outside show approximates 3,000 tickets.  The Cafe holds about 1,000 people.  The paper said that 1,032 tickets were sold for the show.  That’s not much for a fairly large band like BNL, but I have to wonder (and hope) that a lot of people came as walk-ins and were turned away. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 19, 2017] Gary Jules

I wasn’t aware that there was an opening act for Barenaked Ladies until I received the email that the show would be moved inside and that Gary Jules would be going on at 7:30.  Normally I like to get there for an opening act (I mean we did pay for the act, right?).  So I looked up who he was.

If you search Google videos, 8 of the first ten hits are for “Mad World.”  This is a cover of the Tears for Fears song (which I really like).  Jules’ cover strips everything out of it and makes it really slow and really, really depressing.  The original is certainly dark but with the synths it’s more ironically dark.

I listened to one other piece by him and decided that, no I didn’t need to see Jules.  And I couldn’t think of a worse opener for the manic intensity of BNL. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 14, 2016] Ben Folds with yMusic

2016-07-14 22.42.16This was the third time that Sarah and I have seen Ben Folds and he never fails to put on a great show.

Both of the previous times had been as an opening act (and both times were with Guster, interestingly).  So it was great to see him headlining.  I didn’t know a lot about yMusic before the show, but I enjoyed his disc with them So There.  It promised to be a great show.

And since, as I mentioned with Gracie Folds, we were literally three people from the stage, we knew the show would be special. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 14, 2016] Gracie Folds

2016-07-14 19.36.50The Levitt Pavilion Steelstacks in Bethlehem is one of my favorite venues.  Last year I saw Modest Mouse there and this year it was Ben Folds.  I raved to Sarah about the venue last time but I don’t think she realized just how great it would be until we walked onto the grass and walked up to the stage where there were only two people in front of us.  And, if we were pushier, we could have easily gotten up to the fence.

So, yes, we were about three people from the stage.  And just to make it better, the forecast predicted massive thunderstorms all night long, but by the time of the show, the clouds had parted and a cool breeze came in through the field.

As the show started a young girl walked out and sat at her keyboard and told us her name was Gracie.  Anyone who is a fan of Ben Folds knows he has a daughter named Gracie.  But those of us who have no concept of time passing still assume she is like 6 years old.  Well, she is 17 and she opened for her dad.  And that’s pretty awesome. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 20, 2015] Modest Mouse

2015-07-20 21.06.16Just as I had seen Neil Young less than a year ago, so I had seen Modest Mouse less than a year ago.  The last show I saw with them was a sort of preview of the then unreleased new album.  Now the album is out and there’s a single from it and everything.  This show was announced very quickly and it was in the Levitt Pavillion at Steelstacks, a venue I didn’t know, but which I will certainly return to.

It was awesome being about seven or 8 people away from Isaac to really watch him go nuts.

Modest Mouse can be really catchy, but they are often dissonant and Brock is known for being prickly.  So, imagine starting off your show with the third from the last song from your new album.  And from there, Brock sang and raged and jumped around and was a total maniac.

He seemed to get shocked twice (from sweating a lot?–it was 85 degrees at night) and said “Did you see that?  That hurt so much!”  And man can he yell. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 20, 2015] Gene Ween

2015-07-20 19.31.35I knew and liked Ween back in college. I stopped following them once they released their country album, so I was surprised to see just how many records they had released and just how respected they had gotten (relatively of course).

Dean and Gene Ween are from New Hope and they released dozens of records as Ween. Gene Ween (real name Aaron Freeman) quit the band in 2012, which basically dissolved the band.

Freeman released a few records under the name Freeman and some under Aaron Freeman and one or two under Gene Ween (not to be confusing or anything).  It seemed like he wanted to dissociate himself from Ween a bit, although since hardly anyone knew his real name, it seemed like a hard thing to do, which explains why he is touring as Gene Ween now.  And given that much of this show was made up of Ween songs, he’s clearly not ashamed of it or anything. (more…)

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