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Archive for the ‘White Eagle Hall’ Category

[POSTPONED: April 4, 2020] Parquet Courts / Public Practice [moved to July 13, with a show at another venue on July 8]

indexI’ve seen Parquet Courts twice and enjoyed both shows more than I thought I would.  I wasn’t sure if I’d need to see them again, but when I saw that they were playing White Eagle Hall in Jersey City–a great venue that is pretty close to me, I immediately grabbed tickets.  It then sold out.  And then I found out that our Scout Troop had an even planned that night so I couldn’t go anyway.

So this postponement worked out pretty well.  Except that the rescheduled show is right during out Troop’s Summer Camp.  The Scouts don’t want me to see this band!

Public Practice has been described as post-punk with an overtly danceable element.  Sounds like a perfect pairing for Parquet Courts.

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[ATTENDED: February 29, 2020] We Were Promised Jetpacks

I saw We Were Promised Jetpacks two years ago at Boot & Saddle, a wonderfully intimate place to see a band.  Although I had read that when they played slightly bigger venues, they really maximized the stage space.  In particular, guitarist Michael Palmer was a wild man.

Last time, lead singer Adam Thompson had a shaved head and he looked kind of fierce.  For this show, his hair was grown back and he was giddy, smiling up and down at everyone and clearly enjoying himself.

What was also different was Michael Palmer.  When he came out, I thought–I don’t remember him looking like that at all. Did he grow his hair super long?  And why is he so mellow over there?  Well, it turned out that that was not Michael Palmer. Palmer retired after last year’s tour (which I was supposed to go to but then couldn’t).  This new guitarist was Andy Monaghan from Frightened Rabbit. His playing was excellent, but he was not a very dynamic performer.  That just meant that Thompson was the main focus as he strode around the stage and hammed it up for the people up front to take pictures. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 29, 2020] Slaughter Beach, Dog

I had heard, vaguely, of Slaughter Beach, Dog but I didn’t know anything about them.  So I was really surprised that a band with a name like that wound up playing quiet folky music.

The band was a three piece, but aside from singer guitarist Jake Ewald, I don’t know who else was on stage.

I found out after the show that Ewald was previously the singer/guitarist for Modern Baseball, a band I’d heard of but didn’t know.  I also read that Ian Farmer, bassist for Modern Baseball played on the latest Slaughter Beach, Dog album.  But I’m not sure if that was him on stage.

So they came out on stage, and Jake Ewald was soft spoken and funny.  Had I known he had been a front man for so long, I wouldn’t have assumed he seemed a little nervous or shy up there.  Perhaps that’s just the persona for Slaughter Beach, Dog (I have no idea what he was like for Modern Baseball).

They played about seven or eight or ten songs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 20, 2020] Sloan

This is my fourth time seeing Sloan (and S’s second time).  This is the second time I’ve seen them tour an album in its entirety.  (If only I’d gone to see the Twice Removed tour!).  These album tours are just fantastic.

The shows never feel like a nostalgia show.  The band was rocking and totally into it.  Plus, you get to hear songs that they never play live (“Chester the Molester”?).  What makes it even better is that set two (the non-album set) often has some deep cuts (because they’re not playing the songs from the album they just played).

So in total I heard 16 songs that I haven’t heard them play live before.  Sweet.

We arrived on time, but since it was sold out and there was no opening act, it meant we were pretty far back.  Fortunately, we managed to move past the mountain man in front of us.  The band came in and Chris Murphy literally had to squeeze past me to get to the stage (I love Boot & Saddle).  Less cool were the fans who followed the band to the stage and pushed their way in front of us,

Recent shows at B&S have had poor lighting, but I believe the band brings their own lighting crew (and a giant 4 like on the 4 Nights at the Palais Royale album), so the lighting was excellent all night.  As was the sound! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 7, 2019] Boris

It was almost exactly two years ago that I first saw Boris.  They had come out with a new record and were actually thinking of calling it quits.  But they were inspired to do a tour, which I was sure was their last one, and it was spectacular.

Yet in the last two years they have signed to Third Man Records and have done a live session there.  They are just about to release a two album set called Love Evol (technically Lφve Evφl) and reissue Feedbacker and Akuma No Uta.  So when they announced that they were coming back–and coming to Jersey City–there was no way I could pass it up, even if it meant three concerts in three days.

Especially since the last time they played pretty much the whole new album, which was great, but I wanted to hear some older stuff too.

After the previous two nights of cutting it very close to the start of the show, I knew I wanted to get their early, in part because I had some merch to buy.  I’ve gotten very frugal about buying merch and I often don’t buy anything.  But Boris is a band that’s hard to find stuff here.  And even though Third Man was reissuing records which would mean they are much easier to get, I wasn’t taking any chances . So I arrived plenty early, bought some vinyl (and now greatly regret not buying the Tears EP, which I somehow didn’t know about and now see that it is impossible to get anywhere else). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 8, 2019] Uniform

Uniform is a duo from New York.  But for this tour that had a live drummer Michael A. Engle (from Crawl).  The main two guys in the band are former Drunkdriver singer Michael Berdan and recording engineer Ben Greenberg (formerly of the Men) on guitar and other sounds.

I looked them up before the show to see who they were and the general impression I got was that they were loud.

So when the band walked on stage, I said to the guy next to me, “time for earplugs.”  And before I could put the second one in, Berdan pressed a button on a machine behind him and out blasted the single loudest sound I’ve ever heard.  Granted, I was standing literally right in front of the massive cabinet that the sound came from, but holy crap.  I assumed it was some kind of accidental feedback.  But indeed, no, that was the opening sound of the band.

And it never let up. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 24, 2019] Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

I recall being puzzled by the name of this band back ages ago when they were sometimes known as Ted Leo + Pharmacists.  It seemed like a cataloging nightmare.  But I can get over that and simply enjoy that Ted has fun with his band name (sometimes written as (TL/Rx)).  But this night they were billed as Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.  The Pharmacists have, as of late been a six piece:  Chris Wilson on drums, James Canty on guitar and keyboards, Marty Key on bass, Ralph Darden on guitar, and Adrienne Berry on saxophone and vocals and percussion.

After the bristling punk of Control Top, I wasn’t sure what Ted Leo would bring.  I know he has roots in punk, but surely not that much punk.  And, thankfully, he didn’t try to match Control Top, because that’s not his thing.  It is awesome that he brought them along, though.

Ted’s older songs were punky in the way that Billy Bragg’s early songs were punky–literate, angry and thoughtful–all to a catchy melody.  His newer songs are a bit more reflective (doom folk he called it).

He and the band came out and set things up and when he picked up his guitar people clapped and shouted.  He put a finger up–patience–and then they all left again for a couple of minutes. My only gripe about the show was that they made Control Top cut their set one song short because of time, and then Ted and Co. waited about ten minutes after their gear was set up to come out on stage–they could have played that one last song.  But that’s okay, Ted made up for it.   (more…)

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