Archive for the ‘Ardmore, PA’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: December 8, 2022] Autumn Defense / Nels Cline Duo / Eucademix

When this show was first announced, I grabbed a ticket immediately.

Two of my favorite members of Wilco are Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche.

So to be able to see them do their work solo was incredible.

Then all of a sudden, when I looked at the show poster it looked like this —>
instead of the one at the bottom of the post.

Where was Glenn?

There was no word or information.  A day or so before the show I discovered that Glenn had hurt his arm (or something) and wasn’t going to be there. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 14, 2022] The Dead Milkmen / MC Lars / Gibbous Moon

I wrote this opening for a concert in May.

I’ve been a fan of The Dead Milkmen’s bratty brand of punk for years–probably since 1988.  I’ve never seen them live.

They sort of, but not really, broke up and then reunited and so on.  I didn’t really think I’ve ever get to see them, but they announced this short run of local shows and I thought, YES!  I will finally get to see them.

They seem to be popping up here and there doing shows in the area.  This one at Ardmore Music Hall actually sold out before I could get a ticket (I wasn’t sure if I was free that night).  So good for them.

Having watched a few videos, I’m not sure I want to see them in Philly–I feel like the local crowd is a little too drunk and rambunctious for my liking.  Although the band probably eats that up.

I’d never heard of Those Troublemakers.  They are an old-school Philly punk band that plays short fast songs about silly subjects.

Here’s a review of this very show from That Music Mag with a description of the opening band

 To start, Those Troublemakers tore open the sky and thrashed so hard. The band, consisting of Ashley “Butters” Heitzman (Bass and vocals.), Evan Abramson (Guitar and vocals.) and William F. Orender (Drums) set a fast and fun pace for the rest of the night as they opened the show. With songs from their Beach BodRunnin High, and Your Problem LPs, if you weren’t a fan before you got to Ardmore, you were when you left.

And here’s what they said about the Milkmen

Whether you were a diehard lifelong fan or simply a casual listener, there was something for everyone to latch onto and make a memory from in their setlist. With Dean’s Dream to start the show, the band rolled along through a menagerie of their hits, one by one. From Bitchin’ Camaro and Welcome to Undertown to Punk Rock Girl, the audience slowly and organically began to be enchanted back to a place of reckless abandon. More and more, the audience would be wound up a bit more, move a bit more intently, and sing a bit louder until, like a powder keg erupting, the dank, humid walls of the Ardmore Music Hall would erupt with the energy of a full-blown mosh pit formed on the floor. People were jumping, screaming lyrics & bodies cackling with glee while being tossed about the room. Now, here in that moment, we were undeniably at a punk rock show. A real granular Philly punk rock show.

The band would go on to cover The Cramps’ “Human Fly,” and Rodney would even grace us with his editorial commentary on Nazi lives. (And how they do not, in fact, matter.) The Milkmen would finish with an encore of a few more notable hits like“Smokin’ Banana Peels,” “Big Time Operator,” and the reprise from the earlier-played “Life is Shit.”

Yea, I should probably go next time.

Here’s a couple of videos of The Dead Milkmen’s recent(ish) shows

PhilaMOCA September 1m 2019

Underground Arts, April 13, 2019


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[DID NOT ATTEND: October 26, 2022] We Were Promised Jetpacks / Breakup Shoes

I’ve seen We Were Promised Jetpacks a couple of times and they put on a ripping show.

But recently one of their original members left and they seem to have changed their sound a bit.  I didn’t enjoy it quite as much.  But they tour around here all the time, it seems (especially for a band from Scotland).  I’m curious if their shows will be as intense.  However, this show was right in the middle of a bunch of shows and I had tickets to see Band-Maid, who I’d never seen before.

I also didn’t quite think that Ardmore Music Hall was the right venue for them.

So, I’m sure WWPJ will be back again.

Breakup Shoes reminds me of The Housemartins/non-funny Barenaked Ladies–soda pop sweet, surf-flavored indie rock but with dark lyrics that you might not pick out.  All of this wrapped in a more 90s sound–buzzy guitars and fuzzy production with guitar solos.

I rather enjoyed the few songs I heard



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[ATTENDED: June 30, 2022] Man Man

I have seen Man Man twice before and each show was a wild extravaganza of fun and craziness.  Lead Man, Honus Honus knows how to put on a show–part lounge, part punk, part WTF.  It’s a spectacle in the best possible way.

This was the first time I Was seeing them as the headliner–they did headliner Philly Music fest, but it was a Festival, not a Man Man show.  The crowd was there for Man Man and they were pretty rowdy and wiled up (I didn’t really care for them).

But we were all there to see the band put on a great show.  So the lights dimmed, the band came out and soon enough Honus Honus walked up to his keyboard (which, as always, abuts the drums that sit at the front of the stage) and the launched right into their latest single “Cloud Nein.”

The band recently (pre-pandemic) put out a new album, Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between, and this was their first time back in Philly since the album came out.  They were well practiced with the song with Honus standing up and getting everyone to sing along.

It was followed by an oldie, the swinging surfy “Piranhas Club.”  It’s impossible to keep track of what everyone is doing on stage.  Especially since everyone seems to play whatever they can get their hands on during the next song.  As for a lineup.  I’m seeing:
Jazz Diesel on drums, Smunk Smalls on guitar, Eggs Foster on keyboards, Mature Kevin on marimba, and Hard Tay on wind instruments.

Next came a new song.  Not a new song on the new album, but a new, unreleased song.  This would be the first of several new unreleased songs.  This one was called “Iguana” and featured several deep chants of “Iguana!” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 30, 2022] A Hard Tay’s Night

I was pretty excited to see Man Man again and I didn’t really care who the opening band was.

Originally it was supposed to be Pink $ock, whom I have listened to and hated–a cheesy R&B lounge act that I was glad not to have to sit through.  He was replaced by A Hard Tay’s Night, which I didn’t understand the name of.  And didn’t really understand the concept of until it was over.

A Hard Tay’s Night is the creation of Taylor Plenn who is the saxophone player for Man Man.  Taylor, according to him plays saxophone, flute and EWI (an Electronic Wind Instrument that is a synthesizer controlled by breath) and is “known for my improvising skills and my ability to adapt to different genres. I have had experience performing and recording a wide variety of styles, from hard bop, rock and roll, blues, free jazz, hip hop, electronic music.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 25, 2022] Marco Benevento

Almost exactly five years ago to the day I saw Marco Benevento headline a show at the Ardmore Music Hall.  That show blew me away, it was so much fun.  The whole band: Marco on keyboards, Karina Rykman on bass and Andy Borger on drums were terrific.  And the three of them laid down a fantastic groove all night.

The trio was almost the same tonight. This time Dave Butler was on drums, but it was still Marco and Karina.  I looked up Karina and found that she is 23, which means she was 18 last time!  She was fantastic then and even better tonight.

There was supposed to be an opening act: Deer Scout.  But for whatever reason, they didn’t come and it was announced a few days ago that Marco would play two sets.

I arrived a little later than I wanted to, but he didn’t go on exactly at 8, so that was fine.  I was also amused because for the first time in a while, I was one of the youngest people there.

Joe Russo’s Almost Dead had played three nights in Philly a few weeks ago and it was clear that people who were at that show were here as well (Marco plays with JRAD, although his music is not similar at all).  There was a lot of tie-dye and a lot of long gray beards.  I decided not to get mixed up with that crowd so I hung back a bit. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: December 22, 2021] KT Tunstall / Christine Havrilla [moved from August 23, 2020]

So KT Tunstall was supposed to play three shows in my area.  The show at Ardmore was added when the other shows were rescheduled.  Then COVID pushed the shows back again.

For some reason this show was listed as being on December 8 for a short time before it was corrected to being on December 22.

That meant that it looked like she was playing four shows in the Philly area at different venues.

I like Ardmore, although if I can see a band closer I will go there instead.  Even though KT’s SOPAC show was postponed, the fact that it was postponed and not cancelled meant that I could just wait until she came back to South Orange. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: December 10, 2021] KT Tunstall / New Reveille [rescheduled from March 27, 2020 and February 12, 2021]

I enjoyed watching the saga of KT Tunstall’s shows getting scheduled and postponed and reschedule and postponed again.  Not because I want her (or anyone to be unhappy), but because it was a good bellweather as to what was going on.  Unlike most artists, KT was really game to get out there.

Plus she had three shows in my area and it seemed like I saw her name all the time.

Well, things finally opened up and she was playing her shows.  Of the three, I was most likely to go to this one since it was closest.  And then a short time before the show, it was postponed as well.  But her other shows weren’t

But this time it wasn’t because of COVID or other health related issues, it was actually a boon for her (although not for SOPAC).

She was invited to sing at the 41st Annual John Lennon Tribute Concert at Symphony Space in New York City.  A good reason to postpone a show.

I see that in the new year, KT is on the West Coast, so I’m not sure when she’ll be back for SOPAC, but I’m sure her local fans will be waiting.

New Reveille is an Americana/bluegrass band from North Carolina.  They’ve got banjo, fiddle and a ton of attitude.  While they are definitely in the country vein, I think the bluegrass and the rockingness (they cover The Killers live) makes them a potentially fun live band.  For the three shows in the area, she has three different opening acts.  This one might be the most fun.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: December 2, 2021] Darlingside / Lullanas

S. and I love Darlingside and have seem them several times.  I have them on my list of bands to see wherever and whenever. But sometimes things get in the way.

I think seeing them at Ardmore Music Hall would be a treat.  The sound would be amazing.  But sometimes getting to Ardmore is a hassle.

Plus, it actually felt nice to stay home for a week.  So we blew off this show, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be back to entertain us in the not too distant future.

I’d never heard of Lullanas.  According to their label

Twin sisters Atisha and Nishita Lulla, aka LULLANAS, create songs wrapped in Americana warmth, folk eloquence, country storytelling, and unassuming pop ambition. Their debut EP, Before Everything Got Real, thrives on an inimitable and familial balance.

They sound like an excellent complement to Darlingside.

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[ATTENDED: October 9, 2021] The Menzingers

I saw The Menzingers open for Weezer back in 2016 and really enjoyed them.  I’d been wanting to see them again mostly because I was really far from the band when I saw them and couldn’t really get into it the way I might have liked.

So when they were listed as headlining two nights of Philly Music Fest I knew I had to see them.  Especially in a small place like Ardmore Music Hall.

I have only been to Ardmore a couple of times.  My favorite show there was Marco Benevento where the sound was outstanding.  Even right up against the stage.  Well, for this show I was right up against the stage (although as more and more people crowded into the place, I moved away from the band’s more devoted (and a little crazy) fans.  But apparently I never got far back enough because literally all I could hear the whole show was Tom May’s guitar.  And May tends to play lead licks and solos, so I never really got the backing chords of Greg Barnett unless May wasn’t playing anything (which happened from time to time).

Obviously it was more fun being able to see bassist Eric Keen and drummer Joe Godino (who I couldn’t see at all last time), but it was weird having the sound so disjointed.  Throughout the set I tries moving further and further away from the stage, but I was never able to get further to the middle. (more…)

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