[ATTENDED: April 22, 2022] Just Mustard

Just Mustard are a five piece band from Dundalk, Ireland.  They make a fantastic noisy mess of shoegaze combined with a wall of noise and singer Katie’s droney but at times piercing vocals.

The blew away Underground Arts when they opened for Fontaines D.C.

They have a new album coming out soon and they played a bunch of songs from it.  Lead singer Katie Ball was wearing a cheerleader-type outfit with her name in letters across he front.  This was about the only whimsical thing in their entire set.

The band exuded seriousness and they were exceptional musicians.  Drummer Shane Maguire played some amazing and unexpected fills and when he hit the snare hard (which wasn’t always) it cracked to attention.  I was in front of guitarist David Noonan who played a lot of rhythmic sounds (not so much rhythm guitar as rhythmic sounds–his playing was very percussive.

Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 16, 2022] Motionless in White

As soon as I heard that Motionless in White was from Scranton (and they called Philly home), I understood why they were the headliners.  Apparently they always sell out in Philly as well.

After Ice Nine Kills, there was a major shift in the audience.  Whether they were leaving or just getting drinks, it allowed me to get very close to the stage.  So when Motionless in White came out I really got to experience them pretty well.

I was a little puzzled by lead singer Chris Motionless who may have had white face paint on.  He was also wearing what looked like an army flak jacket (with no shirt underneath–ouch.

I also think there was no bassist for the band (I see that it was announced in Buffalo that he was expecting a new baby, so that’s sweet).  I’m not sue how they compensated or maybe they didn’t bother.  Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 16, 2022] Ice Nine Kills

Ice Nine Kills put on a wonderfully theatrical show.  There’s costume changes, props and murder victims.  Their songs are often very catchy and they are frequently about horror movies (hence the murder victims).

After seeing them back in 2019, I knew I’d want to see them again.  I’ve tried to see them with my son a few times, but he winds up getting invited by a friend and they go together (last time they scored VIP which I don’t even bother trying to do).  So I was pretty excited to go to this show.

And I was consequently a little bummed that their set was only going to  be about 50 minutes.  Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 16, 2022] Black Veil Brides

When I grabbed tickets for this tour, I wound up getting them via a Black Veil Brides Presale, because I never got the INK presale to work.

I had never heard of the Black Veil Brides, but that didn’t matter, because I could still get the tickets, right?  Even my son and his friend were a little surprised the three bands were together because they said that BVB and Motionless in White peaked like ten years ago.

I also had no idea that this was a triple headline bill.  I mean, yes I can see it was advertised as such, but since I hadn’t heard of the other two bands I assumed that the other bands were listed, but it was an INK show.

Then the day before, when I went to check what time INK went on, I saw that the three bands were rotating who went first and that we would not know who was playing first until we got there.  Woah, no wonder it was so packed so early. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 16, 2022] Lilith Czar

I was pretty excited to take my son and his friends to see Ice Nine Kills again.  This was his fourth or fifth time seeing them already.  It would be my second.

The tickets said 6:30, which usually means that the doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30.  I couldn’t find anything to the contrary so we arrived at 6:25, figuring we’d get there nice and early–get merch and get right up close.

We walked right in and I thought, huh, are we really that early?

Well, indeed, no.  As I stood on the merch line that wrapped all the way into the venue, I looked at the Fillmore Instagram site which said that the doors opened at 5 and the first band went on at 6:30.  WTF.

So I thought I indicated to the kids that I’d get on the merch line for them and they could come when I was close to the end of the line.  Clearly I didn’t say that as they thought I ditched them and was up near the front.  Meanwhile, I was standing on line, facing away from the stage and missing the opening band Lilith Czar pretty much entirely.

I was in the room, so I heard everything, I just couldn’t really focus on her at all.

I didn’t know her music (and didn’t know she was opening the show until last night).  But I do know that she did a rocking cover of Stevie Nick’s “Edge of Seventeen” (which I always thought was called  “One Wing Dove”).

Heh, looking her up now, I see that she was on The Voice and is now married to the singer from Black Veil Brides and formerly recorded as Juliet Simms.

I wish I could have given her more attention because I liked the sound of her set, and thought the rocking “Edge of Seventeen” was quite good.  She praised Philly as the best crowd of the tour.  I know that bands say this all the time, but it felt like she had a legit reason.  She said it was the first time anyone had crowd surfed to “whatever song.”

According to Setlist, she played this

  1. Intro Poem [taped]
  2. Feed My Chaos √
  3. 100 Little Deaths (Juliet Simms cover) √
  4. Edge of Seventeen (Stevie Nicks cover) √
  5. Lola √
  6. King √
  7. Anarchy √

√ Created by Filth and Dust.

[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Mogwai

Back in 1997, my friend Lar was living in Ireland and we would send each other CDs of songs we liked.  He even sent me a couple of UK (etc) only Mogwai singles.

I’m fairly certain he had seen them around this time.  Or at the very least he was aware of their live shows being raucous and loud with endless versions of songs like “Like Herod” where the feedback roared on for twenty minutes.

Well, here it is 25 years later and I still hadn’t seen them live, but they were still going strong.  Actually, I have a ticket stub for them in 2001, but I have no recollection of the show.  I was also supposed to see them in 2017, but a freak snowstorm kept me home.  It was probably the right decision, but I hadn’t forgotten it in five years.  [Either way according to setlist, at neither of those shows did they play “Like Herod”].

And the band did actually wait the 55 minutes to start at 10PM.  Good heavens.  It was so long that the guy next to me passed out (this is the fourth show that I’ve been to where someone has passed out).  He was fine and they walked over to the door to get him so air.

I was right up front (2nd from the fence) and had a perfect view of center stage.  Which was only a shame that Stuart Braithwaite, the defacto leader of the band set up shop on the side of the stage.  Between me and he was a very tall man with a lot of hair.   Bummer. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Nina Nastasia

I had not heard of Nina Nastasia before this show.  And, placed between Ye Gods and Mogwai, I never expected her to be a pleasant, if rather dark, folk singer.

She released her first album in 2000 and put out records pretty consistently for ten years.  Then she stopped and now has a new album due out in July.

Her bandcamp site is quite confessional Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 6, 2022] Ye Gods

Ye Gods has an amusing name.

It is the project of Antoni Maiovvi, apparently.

Also apparently, Antoni Maiovvi has released music under about a dozen names like: Ye Gods / Jason Priest / Pleasure Model
Half of: Homoagent / Acid Vatican.

According to his bandcamp page,

A project born in Bristol in 2006 and developed in the bohemian dystopia of Berlin from 2009. Antoni Maiovvi walks the line between retro-synth and horror soundtracks for both real and imagined films.

This was his first stop on the Mogwai tour.  When he came out, he had a table with a whole bunch of electronic gear on it.  From where I Was standing I could see his laptop, and although it’s was 100% clear, I was pretty sure I could see the progress bar streaming across the screen.  And indeed, when it reached the end of the last block, the music ended.  So that’s pretty interesting

Essentially, he created a 30 minute block of music and put it in his laptop.  Then he had all kinds of buttons and knobs and he modified the songs throughout–mostly adding wild effects and pitchshifting.

He also sang (and screamed) into his mic.

It was catchy and dancey and he seemed really really into it.

I wonder if it would have been more enjoyable from further back?  If the sound was better back there. Or maybe seeing how the sausage was made was a little weird?  Either way, it was fine and it was fun to see him as he made the sounds, but I felt like with a name like Ye Gods, it might have been a bit more fun.

[ATTENDED: April 2, 2022] DakhaBrakha

After the last few nights, I was in need of a break, but there was no way I was passing up a chance to see DakhaBrakha.

I heard about this Ukranian band from Tiny Desk Concerts, of course.  I fell in love with them immediately.  Their music was weird and wonderful with amazing harmonies and interesting instruments.  And their outfits were incredible.  Giant hats and beautiful dresses on the women–who totally kicked ass while they played, too.

I was thrilled when I saw they were coming to SOPAC–local, small and seated.  I snatched up tickets way back in November,

And then Russia invaded Ukraine.  And who even knew if they’d be alive, much less able to play in the States.  Evidently they left the country about a week before the show–so they had been there (their home base is in Kyiv) during the bombing.  It’s unreal.

So now, this show went from being a fun celebration of Ukraine to a pointed attempt to show support to a country that needed it.  Suddenly, the night was more significant.

Which, fortunately, didn’t change the music.  True, the visuals that the band showed were often far more somber and dark than they probably would have been otherwise, but you can’t change the music.  And it was wonderful. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: April 1, 2022] Car Seat Headrest

I saw Car Seat Headrest four years ago at Union Transfer and it was one of the least pleasant shows I’d been to.  The music was great, but the crowd was uniformly terrible–especially near me.  

I wasn’t sure if I’d want to see them again, but then my son got really turned on to them (I had nothing to do with it) and he really wanted to see them live.  I couldn’t pass that up, and I assumed the crowd would be a little different in this much bigger venue.

And, yes, the crowd was much better–although it felt really crowded in there!

The crazy thing is that the doors opens at 7:30.  We arrived at 7:25 to an enormous line.  And we didn’t get in the venue until after 8.  I asked my son if he wanted to get up front or get merch.  He chose merch–I think getting close will win out next time.  I would have loved to have been closer for sure.

The fascinating thing about Car Seat Headrest now is that lead singer and main Headrest Will Toledo wears a modified gasmask for the entire set.  It’s pretty neat as it has a microphone in it and the eyes light up to display emotions (cute eyes, angry eyes, heart and swirly lines).  The good thing is that Toledo sounds fine through this odd system. Continue Reading »