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Archive for the ‘Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 23, 2019] Tame Impala

I’ve liked Tame Impala since they first came out back in 2010.  I more or less pit them in a category with Dungen because of the jamming psychedelic sound and high-pitched vocals. I really enjoyed Innerspace and thought Lonerism was really good too.

When Kevin Parker (he makes the records himself and then tours with a live band) put out Currents in 2015, I thought it had some great songs and that the cover was quite an iconic and unforgettable image.

Then about a year ago I discovered that Tame Impala are HUGE!   People love them!  They even headlined Coachella.

How did this happen?  Not impugning the band in any way, but they are not a typical pop band.  Nor are they super catchy like Foo Fighters (another improbably popular band).  They’re even from Australia, for crying out loud.  But their fan base in the States is massive.

So I’d had them on my list to see for a while, but in recent years I’ve heard their live show is spectacular.  When I saw they were playing the Mann Center I was sure to get a ticket as close to the stage as possible.   And a couple days before the show it turned out the show sold out–that’s 14,000 people.  Wow. (more…)

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[CANCELLED: June 12, 2018] M. Ward/The Decemberists

S. and I love The Decemberists.  They are probably one of our favorite bands.  Despite this, we haven’t seen them live all that much.  In part because they went on a huge long hiatus after releasing one of my favorite albums (why didn’t I see them on that tour?).

We have seen them twice (only!) and each show was great in its own way.

But when they announced a new tour with a date in Philly AND New Jersey, I was sure to get tickets for both shows.

They were scheduled to play at the Mann Center on June 7.  The Mann is an amazing venue but it is a super duper pain in the butt to get to.  So, we decided that since we had tickets to the show in Red Bank, we would blow off the Mann show.  Astonishingly I couldn’t sell the tickets, so I just ate the price.  Dang.

Turns out Colin’s voice was giving him trouble and that show wasn’t his best.  Although they did wind up playing a great set list.

Nevertheless we were very excited for our show and hoped his voice would be perfect five days later.

Then today at 3:30 this afternoon we received this email.

The Decemberists event scheduled for Tuesday, June 12 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ has been cancelled due to Colin Meloy’s ongoing voice issues.

We effectively missed two shows of one of our favorite bands in a week. (more…)

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[NOT ATTENDED: June 7, 2018] The Decemberists at The Mann Center

Boy were we excited that The Decemberists were coming back around to tour their new album.  Even though we have seen them a few times now, we can always make room for them.

I love the acoustics of The Mann enter–it’s a beautiful location.  But it is such a pain in the butt for us to get to.  If it’s the only place a band is playing I’ll get tickets, but otherwise, I’d just as soon not travel that far.

Well, they were playing The Mann Center and I bought tickets.  And then a few days later they announced another show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.  Well, that is 100 times easier to get to, so I said we’d give up on The Mann show for the Count Basie.

Easy peasy.

Except that I could not sell these Decemberists tickets.  The Mann Center has a strict no resale policy, so you can’t do that Ticketmaster resell business.  Then I tried CashorTrade and even StubHub and there were no takers.  I even went lowball by the end.  The one bad thing about print tickets is you can’t wait til the last minute.

We could have still gone to the show but we had another commitment that night by then and it was still a hassle to get there.  Plus we had the Basie show, so we accepted the loss bitterly.

I noticed an IM on Facebook a couple of days after the show that someone was interested, but obviously that was too late.

[NOT ATTENDED: June 12, 2018] The Decemberists at The Count Basie Theatre

The night of the Count Basie show, we received a notice that Colin Meloy’s voice was shot and the show would be cancelled.  This show and one other (not The Mann Center) shows were cancelled.  And there was no immediate plans to reschedule.  So at least this money was fully refunded.

The band seemed to promise that they’d come back.  But now they have made touring plans further afield.  They are touring the West (and then teasing us here in NJ by coming back in a few weeks to play a show in Brooklyn.  And they are coming East again in October to play Massachusetts.

Then in November they’re off to Europe.

I see a few blank days on the itinerary between the last show in October and the first show in November.  I sure hope they reschedule somewhere near here for us!

 

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[ATTENDED: December 28, 2017] The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

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Last September, we all went to see Symphonic Zelda–the Symphony of the Goddesses.  Out of the blue a few months back, C. said he’d really like to see it again.  I assumed it would be a long time before it came around.  But I checked the site (it’s very rare that C. wants to go and do something) and they were playing right after Christmas.  This time at the gorgeous Verizon Hall.

The website announced that the show would be different.

Brought to Life as never before, witness as 30 years of video game history unfolds, complete with a stirring cinematic video presentation, synced with the games’ sensational, thematic and action-packed soundtracks played live by a full orchestra and choir.  In addition to Breath of the Wild music, the new program also features an all new movement from Skyward Sword, and the return of a classic that just might make some wishes come true!

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 3, 2017] Belle and Sebastian

Sarah and I saw Belle and Sebastian back in 2015 at Radio City Music Hall.  The show was great and we had a really fun time.  I knew we’d enjoy seeing them again, so I was surprised and pleased to see that they were playing the Mann Center (even if I said we wouldn’t go back and this was now show number three).

The venue was perfect for the band, and Stuart at least seemed to really appreciate the sound and warmth of the shell.  Astonishingly, the show was nowhere near sold out.  One of the guards told me they’d barely sold 3,000 tickets.  What the hell?   That explains how I was able to get row R or whatever we had.

So the band had no new album to promote (although they did recently release a new song).  I wondered what they’d be playing and if it would be basically the same show as last time. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 3, 2017] Andrew Bird

My experience with Andrew Bird has been frustrating.  I often hear a song or story about him and I think, “I love this guy!”  Whether it’s a feature on his amazing whistling or his adventurous violin playing, I love the songs that they play.

But when I try to listen to more of his songs, I find them…okay.  Never bad, just okay.  Perhaps if I really devoted time to the songs I would learn to appreciate them more, but as it is I find them pleasant.

And this concert was much the same.  I really enjoyed a number of the songs he played (I don’t know the names of most of them), but by the end of the set, I was sort of drifting off a bit.

Before the show we met some friends who were also there.  One of them told me that he often plays solo, looping his violin and such.  He did loop the violin a number of times, but he played every song with his four piece.  And while I can’t compare something I haven’t seen, I feel like the band worked very well and made the show a bit more upbeat. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 3, 2017] Porches

I’ve complained several times already about the trip to the Mann and while this one moved a little more smoothly, we were still pretty late.  We caught all of two songs from Porches.

I had heard of Porches when I saw that they were the opening slot for Belle & Sebastian and Andrew Bird, but I didn’t know much about them (I think I had them confused with about four other bands with similar names).

They are described as a synthpop band on Wikipedia, but as you can see from the photo, there’s more than synths. Lead Porch Aaron Maine was an amusing and engaged front man.  I enjoyed that when he introduced the final song he said, “I suppose this will be our last song,” or something else noncommittal.

(more…)

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