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Archive for the ‘The Electric Factory’ Category

[ATTENDED: September 13, 2019] Babymetal

I first heard of BABYMETAL back in 2014 when they were a massive WTF in the music scene.

Here was a band that played heavy heavy music but the singers were teenage Japanese girls who were totally kawaii and who sang in a distinctly pop style.  The 17-year-old metal purist in me would have been infuriated by this abomination to metal.

But my adult self things this is an amazing amalgam of style and one that is designed to shake people out of their comfortable bubbles.   Even if you balk at the singing style (and the dancing), the music is really really heavy.  Like, impressively heavy.

But the juxtaposition doesn’t end there.  Between the heavy music comes occasional moments of synthy pop goodness.  It made my brain explode the first time I watched the video for “Gimme Chocolate.”  By the time I watched it a second time I was hooked and was determined to see them live.

Back in 2016, I somehow missed that they were playing the Electric Factory.  I was seeing Mastodon there two nights before their show but when I asked if there were any tickets left, they had sold out ages ago.  Boo!  [Looking at that setlist I see they played seven different songs last time!]

So, three and a half years later they finally came back into town and I bought a ticket right away.  Actually, I was supposed to be away for the weekend so I bought a ticket for Sunday in New York City.  This would have been so much work because I would have just come back from a camping trip, I would have had to drive into NYC to a place I’ve never been and it was a Sunday night.  So I was glad the trip was cancelled and I could go on Friday night after all!

I arrived and ran past the merch hoping to get a decent spot, but it was pretty packed.  I managed to get behind some short people and all was well for the opening band.  Then, when Avatar left, somehow 200 people pushed their way in front of all of us who felt like we were packed in pretty tight already.  I didn’t step back at all but somehow twice as many people were in front of me.  Woah. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] ORB

After the great stoner/groove vibe of Stonefield I still wasn’t If I had missed ORB or not.  We had heard a band playing while we were waiting on line, but it seemed too early for the opening act to end.

On the other hand, ORB went on first in Central Park the night before.

Well, we didn’t need to worry because after a very brief window, ORB came out and continued with the stoner/groove vibe.  They impressed me by adding a whole lot of prog elements to their songs–time changes, keyboard solos, extra long drum fills, nifty riffs and long songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] Stonefield

I was very excited to see King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard again.  I was a little less excited that they were playing at Franklin Music Hall (formerly The Electric Factory).  I’ve had some pretty bad show experiences there and the venue is fairly narrow and quite long.  (Although good for KGATLW for moving from the 1,200 capacity Union Transfer to the 2,500 capacity Franklin (not sure if they sold out)).

My worst experiences were with parking–huge lines, high fees.  Then I discovered you can park for free on the streets a couple blocks away, so that made things much better.  But those parking issues often meant that I got in the building later than I wanted to.  For Nick Cave I was so far back I was next to a very ill-placed bar in the middle of the floor.  Franklin has removed that bar, thankfully.

So, I made sure to arrive super early (for me).  Doors opened at 7:30, show at 8:30.   I arrived at 8 and the line to get in was around the building!  Usually people don’t arrive all that early for shows–they blow off the openers, which is fine by me.  But this crowd was nuts.  Turns out Franklin is REALLY slow about checking people in.  Not as bad as the abyssal Starland Ballroom, but pretty bad.  I did not get into the building until 8:25.  Which is unbelievable.  We also heard a live band playing while we were on line, which we all assumed was the opening band going on early (it wasn’t, I have no idea what it was). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 24, 2019] Slayer

I have been a fan of Slayer since their debut album, Show No Mercy.  I was a major metal head in high school, always searching for heavier and heavier music.  Metallica was great but then came Slayer.   I more or less stopped listening to them after college.  Although in 2001 (with the release of God Hates Us All on 9/11) I reintroduced myself to their newer stuff.  And since then I have been checking out each release.

Their final album, Repentless, came in 2015 and they have been touring it ever since.  This is–and I assume it’s true–their Farewell tour.

They’ve had a remarkably stable line-up over nearly 40 years.  Drummer Dave Lombardo left and then came back and then left again.  I would have loved to see Slayer with Lombardo, but I was able to see him (and actually see him) when he played with Dead Cross (I was five feet from the stage).  I would never have actually seen him with Slayer (so much stuff on stage.  I never saw Paul Bostaph behind the kit).

The only other line up change came when guitarist Jeff Hanneman died.  That was pretty major, since Hanneman co-wrote so many of the songs.  But Exodus guitarist Gary Holt filled in and has been in his place for six years (he recorded Repentless).  Holt has a different playing style (his solos are more structured), but he comes from the same heavy, dense guitar background and fits in just fine.

I had actually been intimated about going to a Slayer show, especially as an adult.  I have seen my fair share of metal shows, but I assumed the Slayer audience would be a step more intense.  Just waiting online was intimidating with every other person shouting “SLAYER!” at the top of his lungs.

I finally decided to see them in 2017 at The Electric Factory, but when I called on the night of the show to secure my ticket it had literally just sold out.  So I figured I’d never see them live.

Then they announced this farewell tour.  It was going to be at an arena (which would be less insane than a club, in terms of fan behavior) and I was able to get decent seats.  [This show was better than that one for setlist, and I have to assume pyro as well]. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 1, 2018] Mastodon

I saw Mastodon two years ago.  The band was great, but I left the show somewhat unsatisfied.  Was it the venue (Electric Factory, I think so); was it the crowd (a large and unceasing mosh pit, I think so).

I felt like I wanted to see them again.  But when they came back around a year later, I decided against it.  In part because it was the same venue and in part because it was an all day event with four bands (most of whom I liked, but that’s practically a festival).  A note on the setlist says that Brent Hinds was visibly upset with technical problems the whole show, so I’m glad I didn’t go.  Especially since this show’s setlist was very similar.

When this tour was announced co-headliners Primus and Mastodon, it seemed pretty ideal.  I have been wanting to see Primus and here was redemption for Mastodon–I’ve been pretty happy with the shows I’ve seen at Summer Stage.

Well, a thunderstorm was forecast for the entire day in Asbury Park, so they moved the show inside.  It wound up not raining at all, but you have to make a decision early when you have so much gear and they made the right choice–even if it may not have sounded as good.

But Mastodon sounded great.  The crowd wasn’t that large for them, I was surprised to see.  A largish pit started in the middle but it never really took off that much.  It was nicely contained and I was on the edge of it, where I like to be.

I like nearly everything Mastodon has released, although I don;t really know which album the songs come from.  So I didn’t even realize that so many songs came from their newest album Emperor of Sand (7 of 17).

The one good thing about it being inside is that it was still light out when they went on, but it was dark inside, which meant that their backgrounds and visuals worked well. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 28, 2017] St. Vincent

Two summers ago St. Vincent co-headlined XPNFest.  Our seats weren’t great but her show was spectacular.  I was bummed that it was a co-headline, because she played five fewer songs than for her other shows, but it was still incredible.  I knew I wanted to see her again.

And then she went into a kind of hiatus–she appeared doing a few things, but no tour.  And  then she came back with a whole new campaign–fear the future.  Gone was the curly white hair and in was a whole new look.  It was very day-glo and very sexy.  Right down to the album cover of a woman’s ass bent over with her front end shoved through a wall.

It was a stunning visual campaign, with Annie doing filmed “interviews” while the “crew” of women walked around with their breasts and asses cut out of their body suits.  There was clearly a message, although I’m not exactly sure what the message was.  Or is.

And then I learned that her new tour was going to be just her on her (newly designed) guitar with backing tracks.  While I didn’t doubt her ability to play to a backing track (I’ve seen her play amazingly with no backing at all), I was afraid it would lose some of the looseness that I’ve loved about her shows.   (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 5, 2017] Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

My Nick Cave story is that back in September 2001 I had tickets to see Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.  Then 9/11 happened.  Cave cancelled the American tour (he rescheduled it for the following year).  But I hadn’t heard that it was cancelled (who even thought to call a venue about that sort of thing).  So I drove all the way into Manhattan and then had to turn around and go home.  I was annoyed, obviously, and angry with Cave, although that’s not really fair.

But so this concert proved to be sixteen years in the making.

And it almost didn’t go as planned again.  I arrived at the Electric Factory early–I had heard the show was starting exactly at 8PM.  I was arriving by 7:30.  Perfect. But the lot was closed.  So they pushed us to the next one.  Where apparently idiots and bozos were running it.  It took 20 minutes, and cost a staggering $30 to park.  And to top it off they were trying so hard to squeeze in as many cars as they could they made us park so close I could barely get my head out of the door.  So I had to do some rearranging, and them hurt my arm while wrangling stuff out of the car.

The security line was fine and moved quickly until the guy in front of me had a bag.  That was a huge hold up as the two lines on either side of me flew by.  I walked into the place at 7:58 and it was packed.  There was literally nowhere to move, no way to get closer to the stage.  No breathing room.  I wound up standing in what was really a walkway surrounded by people pushing and a very tall German man who spoke very loudly into my ear while talking to someone else.

And it didn’t start on time anyhow.  I was pretty annoyed by the whole thing and even wondered if I should leave.  The view was terrible, the crowd was ugly and I was already cranky.  But I decided to stick it out–besides I couldn’t squeeze back in to my car anyhow. (more…)

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