[CANCELLED: October 12, 2021] Dead Can Dance / Agnes Obel [rescheduled from April 17, 2020 and April 23, 2021]

On September 30, I received notice that show would be postponed once again.  Dead Can Dance cited reasonable concerns about COVID and travelling around the world.

Then on October 11, I received notice that the show was cancelled entirely.

There’s no word from the band on this except t o say that they are trying o reschedule shows for Fall of 2023.  Presumably the venue just didn’t want to wait that long.

So, while I was looking forward to this show, I can wait until 2023.

As April came closer and closer I was sure that Dead Can Dance was going to cancel this tour for good–so many other bands have done so.  But I’m happy they didn’t–even if I don’t have fantastic seats for this show.  This just feels like one of those shows that I’m going to be really happy to experience and I can wait a few more months.

I really enjoyed Dead Can Dance’s mix of cultural touchstones on their earlier albums. I have a bunch of their releases up until they broke up.

Somehow I missed their reunion entirely.  I also missed their subsequent reunion and new albums.

They haven’t played in this area for 8 years and I was pretty pleased to finally experience them live.  I bought a ticket for this show and then a few days later it was announced that they would be playing the State Theatre in New Brunswick.  Since that venue is about three times closer to me, I snatched up a great seat for that show and figured I could sell the Philly ticket.

Then a couple months ago the Theatre announced that the New Brunswick show was unexpectedly cancelled. No reason was given.  I don’t think it was sales as it looked like they sold well.  So that sucked, but I was glad I still had this ticket.

Agnes Obel is a Danish born singer who plays quirky atmospheric chamber pop.  I have heard great things about her for many years but never really investigated her music.  I was looking forward to learning about her in this setting.

She was actually scheduled to open for The The on their 2018 tour.  However, the three New York area shows had different openers, so I didn’t get to see her then.

I hope they all come back around together.

[POSTPONED: October 2, 2021] Bikini Kill / Alice Bag [rescheduled from November 22, 2020; moved to July 13, 2022]

indexON April 28, Bikini Kill announced that they’d be pushing back this tour date one more time.

“We have moved all of our tour dates to 2022 to ensure our fans, our crew, venues’ staff, and the band’s safety,” Bikini Kill said in a statement. “We know many of you have had your shows rescheduled more than once and appreciate your patience and flexibility.”

Then on April 30, I was told

This just in – Alice Bag will no longer be performing at your upcoming event.

So that’s kind of a bummer since Alice Bag is iconic and I’d like to see her.  Not sure who is opening now, but I’m sure they’ll be good.  Maybe the Linda Lindas?


I’m not sure if something specific caused this Fall show to be moved to next summer, but it’s just as well since my October was filling up pretty quickly.

I am bummed to see that Alice Bag won’t be opening anymore.  I wonder who they’ll get instead.

Boy, a band reunites and plans a national tour and then everything blows up on them.  I thought surely this show would go on as planned–a bigger venue, possible social distancing. But how do you enforce social distancing at a rock show?  I sure hope we can go to live music again.

When Bikini Kill did their short reunion tour a couple years ago, tickets sold out in like ten seconds.  When they announced this follow up tour I grabbed a ticket immediately.  As far as I can tell it still hadn’t sold out when it was postponed (which is a surprise, I think).

Bikini Kill are foundation for the Riot Grrl movement although I was not a huge fan of them per se.  I have their records appreciate them for what they did, but they weren’t my favorite,

Nevertheless, this opportunity to see them live sounded like a great time.

Alice Bag has been cropping up in my periphery for quite some time although I realized I didn’t know much about her.  Alicia Armendariz was a co-founder and singer of the 70s punk band The Bags.  After they broke up, she was in about a half dozen other bands, although none of them released more than some singles.  She finally put out a solo album in 2016.

Her album(s) since have gotten strong reviews and it would be excellent to see this feminist icon in action.

[DID NOT ATTEND: October 1, 2021] Dance Gavin Dance / Animals as Leaders / Veil of Maya / Eidola / Wolf & Bear [rescheduled from April 3 then August 27, 2020, Then April 2, 2021]

indexThe whole reason I as thinking about attending this show was to see Animals as Leaders again.  They announced on August 27, 2021

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be withdrawing ourselves from the Dance Gavin Dance Afterburner Tour. Apologies to any fans who were planning on seeing us on the tour, but we’ll be returning to all these cities on a scheduled headline tour with new music for next year.”

Obviously, I’d much rather see them as headliners, so I’ll blow this entire show off.  The final line up appears to be: Dance Gavin Dance, Polyphia, Veil of Maya, Eidola, Wolf & Bear/

This show has been rescheduled one more time–this is now the third date change.  Boy I hope October 1 is not too soon.

Over the changes, the lineup has had some minor tweaks.

Now, Issues is out and Eidola is in.

Eidola is a bit more math rock, with some pretty complex rhythms, and soaring high vocals.  They seem like they’d be a good change up in the middle of this set.


This show was rescheduled from April and I recall that when it was rescheduled, some people online joked that it was too soon.  I guess they were right.

I still wasn’t sure I was going to go to this show.  It depended on what else was going on that week.  But i would love to see Animals as leaders again for sure.

I saw Animals as Leaders at TLA last May and I was amazed at the show (including the opening bands), but the crowd was really rowdy and I wound up far back behind a lot of tall guys.  I wanted to see them again, so when I saw that they were playing at Franklin Music Hall, I was surprised that they had moved up to such a big venue.

I had no idea that Dance Gavin Dance was the headliner, not Animals as Leaders.  In fact, when I later saw a poster for the rescheduled show(s) I thought Dance Gavin Dance was the (admittedly strange) name of the Animals as Leaders tour.

I don’t think I would have gone knowing that Animals as Leaders were one of (the four!) opening acts, but who knows.

So Dance Gavin Dance has been around since 2005 and I’ve never heard of them?  Apparently there are eight guys who have already left the band over the years.  People are quite divided about them.  Maybe I’ll give a record a listen.

Issues is another band I’ve never heard of although they have been around for eight years. They are described as combining metalcore, nu metal, pop and contemporary R&B.  Woah.  I don’t love the whole clean/unclean vocal thing–small doses are fine, so this might not be the band for me.

Veil of Maya have been around for six years (clearly I don’t follow this genre at all).  They are another metalcore band and I think this show might have been exhausting if I stayed for the whole thing.

Royal Coda shares (past and current) members with Dance Gavin Dance and is described as post-hardcore, progressive and math.

For this rescheduled show they were dropped for Wolf & Bear.  They play some aggressive progressive metal with growly vocals–a mix of things I like with things I don’t.  They also have a clean vocalist who sings some rather poppy sections.  They;re pretty interesting.

It would definitely be an exhausting night.


[ATTENDED: September 19, 2021] Bob Mould Band

I saw Bob Mould play a solo show last year (just before the pandemic).  I had seen him 24 years earlier and thought it would be fun to see him again.  And it was.

When he announced this new tour, I didn’t feel like I needed to see him again.  However, since he was with a band, I thought it would be a different experience.  And it was.  Not radically different, but different enough to make it more fun.

Last time he played 22 songs in about 80 minutes.  And, in what I understand is true Mould fashion, a song would end and he would jump right into the next one.  He took a break every few songs to chat and then off he went.

It was much the same at Union Transfer, although this time he played 24 songs in 80 minutes.  Having the other two guys Jason Narducy on bass and Jon Wurster on drums added a much appreciated low end.

Plus there are some songs (especially Hüsker Dü songs) where the bass and or drums play something distinctive and it was nice to hear that part.

In 2020, Bob had not yet released Blue Hearts, although he did play four songs from it.  For this show he opened with four songs (two were different, like the appropriately angry “American Crisis“).  And then he was all over his lengthy discography (dating back to 1983). Continue Reading »

[POSTPONED: September 21, 2021] My Chemical Romance [rescheduled from September 22, 2020; moved to September 20, 2022]

indexOn April 16th, My Chemical Romance decided to postpone their tour once again.  And I’m glad they postponed and didn’t cancel because I have great seats.  But I realized that my son was a freshman when I ordered these tickets and he will be a senior when the show actually goes on!

My Chemical Romance is postponing our 2021 touring plans until 2022.  We are deeply sad, but those emotions are only a fraction of the depth of feeling we have all experienced watching the suffering and loss of the past year.  We just want to be as sure as we can be that everyone is safe.  Refunds will be offered to anyone who wants them.  We are sorry if this is disappointing, and we REALLY can’t wait to see you in 2022

I enjoyed My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade album quite a lot, although I haven’t listened to all that much beyond it.

I wasn’t really aware that they’d broken up because my son and his friends like them and listen to them on trips (sometimes).  When this tour was announced, I thought it would be so much fun to go to see this massive spectacle (which I assume it will be).

I bought a ticket for me, my son and his friend and the seats were great!  I was really excited about the show and was hoping that it wouldn’t get postponed–end of September seemed like maybe we’d be out of lockdown.

Then on June 16th, it was announced that the tour would be pushed back to next year.  I am getting rather concerned that rescheduled dates are going to be on the same night.  Turns out this sow is the day after the Pet Shop Boys show.  But since I had great seats, I’m glad we get to keep them.

One more year just builds up more anticipation.


[ATTENDED: September 19, 2021] Kestrels

I had not heard of Kestrels.  They are a trio from Halifax with several releases out.

According to the new release

Since 2008, Kestrels has been the primary project of singer/guitarist Chad Peck, who spends his time offstage as a high school English teacher.  [Do his students know that their English teacher rocks?]

They played an excellent mix of loud and soft, with ripping solos, an excellent bass sound and cracking drums,

When they first started playing I actually couldn’t hear Peck’s voice at all.  I was right up against the fence in front of the stage and assumed I was too close to hear the voices (that’s not a nice audio trick to play on people in the front).  I backed up a few steps and could hear him better (they may have turned up the vocals, too).

Peck’s guitar playing was really fun–big distorted chords and then pulling back for some quiet guitar picking.

One of the more amusing moments was when the bassist (whose name I didn’t catch) asked if they could change the lights (they had been on that terrible red for a couple of songs).  He said “I’m a ginger, anything but red.” Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: September 18, 2021] Soccer Mommy [moved from March 30, 2020]

I was supposed to see Soccer Mommy open for Phoebe Bridgers a few years back.  I felt sick on the way down to the show so I wound up coming home instead.

S. bought me her CD for some holiday in 2020 and I thought it would be fun to see her live.  I was supposed to see her back in March of 2020, but the show was pushed back until September 2021.   And in that time, something big must have happened to her because this show sold out! And the crowd was really intense about her.

As soon as Sophia Regina Allison (who is Soccer Mommy) came on stage, the crowd went bananas.  It was kind of funny because Sophie is so low key.

She had a pretty full band with her. I stood in front of her lead guitarist who really made some outstanding noises –a component that made her songs even more interesting to me).  Her new bassist (this was his first tour with them) had an amazing sound–buzzy and noisy but groovy at the same time.  Guitarist-keyboardist Rodrigo Avendano on the far side added some great textures and drummer Rollum Haas whom I could not see because I giant cymbal was in the way, played some amazing fills and really added a lot of intensity to these songs.

What I’m saying is that the album is good, but live, the songs were amazing.

Soccer Mommy only has two albums out.  Most of the songs came from the new(ish) album Color Theory.  I have to say that I was really surprised she played “Circle the Drain” second because I thought it was her big hit and would come at the end.  She must have a lot of hits that I don’t know about.

I had a hard time getting clips of Julian Powell because of the way he was hiding behind the carboard TVs, but I loved the way that he and Sophie harmonized the guitar licks on “Crawling in My Skin.” Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: September 18, 2021] Squirrel Flower

I had heard of Squirrel Flower from All Songs Considered and I was interested in seeing her live.  So I was pleased when she was announced as the opening act for Soccer Mommy.

Squirrel Flower is the stage name of Ella Williams who has been releasing music under this name for about six years.

The show started a little late, so when Ella and her band came out, we all cheered, until we realized they wee just setting up the gear and setlists.  A few minutes later Ella came out by herself and sang “I’ll Go Now.”  It was a remarkably slow song.  She payed stretched out chords and sang slowly over them.   A few minutes in, she bent down and did something at her feet and a looping melody began–I couldn’t tell if she played it live, but it did have a not that was a slightly off.  The song ended and everyone cheered.

She apologized for the “fake out” earlier and then started “Desert Wildflowers” in that same slow style. Continue Reading »

[POSTPONED: September 18, 2021] Sinéad O’Connor [rescheduled from April 5, 2020 moved to May 13, 2022]

indexI had heard a while back that Sinéad was postponing this whole tour for non-COVID reasons (or maybe they are, they were just listed as health reasons).  But there was no official word from the venue until April 14th.

City Winery must reschedule the Sinead O’Connor show originally scheduled for 4/4/2020 & 9/18/2021  The new date is 5/13/2022 (Next Year).

Which is fine.  I can wait.

I have seen Sinéad O’Connor four times. although the last time was in 1998.

I assumed I’d never see her again for a whole host of reasons.

I was pretty stunned to see that she announced a U.S. tour.  She was playing at City Winery in Philadelphia.  I have never been there.  Then I saw how much the tickets were!

I loved her voice back in the 90s, but since then she has gone all over the place (literally).  I wasn’t sure she even sounded any good anymore, so I balked at the price and opted not to get tickets.

I have since heard that her show was really good.  I’m not sure how upset I am about missing this, but maybe if she reschedules it will be at a larger (cheaper) venue.



[ATTENDED: September 14, 2021] The HU

The HU are from Mongolia. I saw them in this same venue two years ago.  They haven’t released much in those intervening years, but I enjoyed the first show so much I wanted to see them again (plus, I was pretty delighted that they were back touring the States). on the left side in front of Temuulen Naranbaatar a.k.a. “Temka” who plays the tovshuur (a two or three string lute-like instrument).

But I knew I wanted to be on the other side for this show.  And so I set out to stand in front of Enkhasaikhan Batjargal a.k.a. “Enkush” who played lead morin khuur.  This was pretty exciting as I really got to watch him play the solos.

The two guys in the middle are the main singers.  Galbadrakh Tsendbaatar a.k.a. “Gala” is credited with “lead throat singing,” which I love.  His voice was incredible.  He also played the morin khuur with a gorgeously carved horse head at the top.  This instrument is two-stringed and you play it with a bow.

And Nyamjantsan Galsanjamts a.k.a. “Jaya” who was sort of the lead singer, although Gala sang lead as often.  Jaya’s main instrument was, fascinatingly, the jaw harp which played a significant role in several songs.  He also played the tsuur (a Mongolian flute).

There are technically four guys in the band, but for the tour they had four extra guys supporting them.  The touring guys mostly hung at the back, although occasionally the guitarist Jambaldorj Ayush a.k.a “Jamba” would come up front.   In the back on the left was Batkhuu Batbayar on bass.  Then there were the two drummers.  Sitting at the full kit was Odbayar Gantumur a.k.a “Odko.”  The final player, and one I could see occasionally was Unumunkh Maralkhuu a.k.a “Ono.”  Ono played two large drums.  Mostly they were an accompaniment to the main drum, but occasionally they were the only percussion.  Those drums resonated loudly. Continue Reading »