Archive for the ‘Union Transfer’ Category

[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Boris

I’ve been a fan of Japanese band Boris for about ten years since my friend Lar got me into them.  But I really got into them with the reissue of Pink last year.  I was bummed to have just missed their tour supporting the Pink reissue and immediately put them on the top of my bands to see live.

And how much do I love that touring poster.

There was a rumor that they were about to call it quits after 25 years, but they decided to do one last album (which has turned into something more entirely).  It also meant another tour of the States.

I could say that I was slightly disappointed when I discovered that they were only going to be playing the new album in its entirety, until that is I realized that Boris could play pretty much anything I and I’d be excited to see them (plus the new album is really good). (more…)


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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Helms Alee

It was going to be hard to follow up Endon.  And thankfully, Helms Alee did not try to out-intense them.

Rather, they went for a different sound–one that was really fantastic.

Helms Alee is a trio from Seattle.  I was standing more or less in front of bassist Dana James and drummer Hozoji Matheson-Margullis.

Dana James had an incredible bass sound.  Low and fat and loud and rumbly.  It was great.  And Hozoji Matheson-Margullis was so intense on the drums.  Her kit was fairly small (I loved the design on the drum head even if I still can’t figure it out), but man, did she bring the power.

On the right was guitarist Ben Verellen.  He and James played similar rumbling riffs for much of the songs, but he would occasional punctuate the songs with some great solos.   (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 28, 2017] Endon

I had never heard of Endon before this show.  They are a Japanese metal band who seems to have coined the term “catastrophic noise metal.”

And they were easily the most intense band I have ever seen live.

The guys on the left walked out on stage.  They said nothing, just picked up their gear.  The guitarist played a chord and everyone around me immediately put in earplugs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 6, 2017] Alvvays

Sarah and I were really excited to see Alvvays.

But holy cow were we surprised that they sold out!  (And good for them).

I had no idea that people even knew that much about them.  But the sold out crowd were huge fans as people were singing along left and right.

I joked with Sarah that between their two albums, they had a total of 60 minutes of music, so their set couldn’t be all that long.   I had imagined that they would play all nineteen of their released songs, but that was not to be (they left out one slow song from the new album and three songs from their debut).

I was also pretty excited that Nap Eyes fans seemed to be quite short.  But by the time Alvvays came on, some of the taller fans pushed forward.  This didn’t hinder us too much, but it was still a little disappointing to have to weave around them. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 6, 2017] Nap Eyes

Sarah and I were excited to see Alvvays again.  We saw them open for The Decemberists and it is always great to see a band as a headliner–especially when you can get up nice and close.

We hadn’t heard of Nap Eyes but we wanted to make sure we arrived early to get a good spot.  And I’m so glad we did.  Nap Eyes is a four piece from Halifax, Nova Scotia consisting of vocalist Nigel Chapman, guitarist Brad Loughead, bassist Josh Salter and drummer Seamus Dalton.

Between the tone of the band and Chapman’s vocal delivery, there was a distinct Velvet Underground vibe.   But II joked it was like they had given up the heroin.  Because the songs had a faster tempo, a number of time changes, and some rocking guitar solos. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 5, 2017] Tash Sultana

WXPN starting playing Tash Sultana’s “Jungle” gosh… over a year ago.  I liked the song fine, but it was as I learned more about her–that she plays the entire song–every single sound–herself and she does it live using looping pedals that I became really interested in her.

I was totally blown away when I saw her Tiny Desk Concert and realized that she was an amazing guitarist and so much more.

I decided then that it would be very cool to see her live.  So when I ordered my ticket for her show back in June, I had no idea that anyone else had ever heard of her.  Much less that she would sell out the venue within a week.  Realize at this point she has only released one official EP (and has released dozens of YouTube videos–which is where her fanbase is).

Tash came out and started playing guitar.  She played two songs that she built step by step.  First playing some chords that she looped and then adding some solos which may or may not get looped in.  Then a riff or drums or various other percussive sounds (including beatboxing) and within a couple of minutes she had a complete backing track (usually very danceable) to sing over. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 5, 2017] Pierce Brothers

This new construction on the way to Philly is really cramping my style.

I got to Union Transfer about 15 minutes late (unavoidable this time).  And that delay meant I missed some of the best supporting act that I’d never heard of before.

Pierce Brothers are Australian twins Jack and Patrick Pierce (that’s Jack on the left).  I saw three or four songs–walking in during a rollicking “Genevieve” that had the crowd going utterly nuts.

I don’t know what the crowd (which was quite large when I arrived) was like when the guys first started, but we were eating out of their hands by the time of this song.

During “Genevieve,” Jack was on electric guitar while Patrick played acoustic and sang lead.  Jack was jumping around and inciting us all to sing along and have a great time. (more…)

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