Archive for the ‘Atlantic City, NJ’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: September 24, 2022] Frantic City 2022

When I saw this show listed, I knew that it would be a fun opportunity for my son and I to go to a Festival. Only one day, kinda far but not too far, and headlined by his favorite band Car Seat Headrest.

The whole lineup was pretty exciting, in fact,

  • Car Seat Headrest
  • Yo La Tengo
  • Snail Mail
  • Titus Andronicus
  • Superchunk
  • Rocket from the Crypt
  • Protomartyr
  • Murder City Devils
  • Shannon and the Clams
  • The Raveonettes
  • Samiam
  • Control Top

And Fred Armisen will serve as host, so you can expect his specific brand of musical comedy to move the acts along.

I wasn’t sure what time we were going to arrive.  I wanted to see Control Top, who it looked like would go on first, then I was kind of okay with not seeing some of the other bands.

I feel like I should know Samiam, but I don’t exactly.  I feel like I don’t like The Raveonettes.  I didn’t really want to see Shannon and the Clams.  I don’t know Murder City Devils.  I have seen Protomartyr, and would have been happy to see them again.  I liked the first Rocket from the Crypt album, but haven’t thought of them in years.  I have seen Superchunk twice in the last few years and don’t need to see them again, although they are great.  I have not see Titus Andronicus who I don’t love, but who I understand are amazing live.

I do want to see Snail Mail (who I was supposed to see in April, but didn’t).  I have liked Yo La Tengo for years and have never seen them.  And then there was Car Seat Headrest, whom we had both seen in April.

Then on September 17, Car Seat Headrest pulled out of the Festival because of Will Toledo’s health.

I probably should have turned in the tickets right then, but I didn’t want the Festival to crumble from people returning their tickets–I do hope it comes back next year.

But that really put the kibosh on my son’s desire to see the festival.

On the day of, he said he really didn’t want to go and honestly that was fine by me.



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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 29, 2022 ] The Mountain Goats

Back in 2021 I wrote:

I’ve enjoyed a lot of The Mountain Goats’ music and I’d like to see them live, but their timing always seems to be terrible.

Some day I’ll see them preferably in a place smaller than the Fillmore, as well).

I don’t know how big the Anchor Rock Club is, but this show lined up with our vacation, so it was a no go.

I was especially looking forward to this show because Garcia Peoples were opening.  This is now the third time that I have failed to see Garcia Peoples.

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[ATTENDED: August 7, 2022] Phish

I was pretty tired for this show and not really looking to the long day ahead.  But I had pretty much assured myself that this would be my last Phish show, so I’d be sure to enjoy it.

I entered through the gate under the stage which was weird and kind of fun and I wound up right by Paige again.  I was also cutting it pretty close to the start (parking this time in a garage not too far away from the stage–an excellent choice).

They came out pretty soon after and played a ripping “Wolfman’s Brother” a song on my “Gotta See List.”  So that was a good sign.  And it was an unexpectedly long jam.  There was some watery funky bass and riffs and peaks from Trey and dirty watery sounds from Page and Mike as well.  A great start.

And then they jumped right into “Tube.”  Tube is one of those wonderfully mythic live song that is so much fun to hear.  Between these two songs they’d jammed almost thirty minutes already.

They followed it up with a mellow song I didn’t recognize (even though I love Farmhouse), the ballad “Mountains of the Mist.”  At this point I was getting annoyed by the people around me (so many smokers!) so I had to move.

They moved onto a bouncy version of Ocelet, a song I’ve wanted to hear live for a long time (two on my gotta see list already!).   This one seemed delicate and almost tiptoe-like as it danced around the sand until it took off for some good jamming with some nice peaks

Sadly, that would be the end of my checklist for the night.

And yet that would be okay because the songs they played were just some of my all time big thumbs up yesses. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 6, 2022] Phish

I simply don’t think I have it in me to drive to Atlantic City three days in a row.  And I’m not going to get a hotel room.  So I tend to blow of the middle of three shows there.

Here’s what I missed

The Setlist

Set 1: 46 Days > The Moma Dance, Olivia’s Pool > My Soul, 555 > NICU > Bathtub Gin, Heavy Rotation > Character Zero, Moonage Daydream

Set 2: No Men In No Man’s Land > Tweezer, Set Your Soul Free > Simple > Backwards Down the Number Line > Golgi Apparatus > Slave to the Traffic Light

Encore: A Life Beyond The Dream, Tweezer Reprise

Overall, a decent mix of songs.  There were two that I’ve seen a bunch and only one on my Must See list.  So it was probably a good decision to bail.

The six, five and four timers club (bolded songs were played tonight so my number would be one up)

  1. Mike’s Song [6]
  2. Weekapaug Groove [6]
  3. Split open and Melt [5]
  4. You Enjoy Myself [5]
  5. Suzy Greenberg [5]
  6. Wilson [5]
  7. Roggae
  8. 46 Days
  9. Slave to the Traffic Light
  10. Everything’s Right
  11. More
  12. Carini
  13. I am Hydrogen

I have selected the 36 or so songs that I want to hear live (the ones on the bottom are the rest of the Kasvot Voxt album and it would be cool to get the whole thing, but not essential).  These are in order of frequency of play (“Possum” is their second most frequently played song and I have not yet heard it live), which means likelihood I’ll hear them I guess.

  1. Possum [548]  (Weekapaug Groove has been played 497 times and I’ve heard it 5 times)
  2. Golgi Apparatus [469]   would have been nice to hear that one.
  3. Cavern [467]
  4. Foam [349]
  5. Lizards [325]  (Split Open and Melt has been played 332 times and I have seen it 5 times)
  6. Maze [326]
  7. Sample in a Jar [298] [saw it TREY SOLO]
  8. Fee [283]    (Slave to the Traffic Light has been played 272 time and I have seen it 4 times)
  9. It’s Ice [243]
  10. Silent in the Morning [185]
  11. Punch You in the Eye [161]
  12. Prince Caspian [165]
  13. Twist [160]
  14. Scent of a Mule [137]
  15. Guyute [132]
  16. Heavy Things [95] [TAB played it]
  17. Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan [79]
  18. Farmhouse [82] [TREY played it]
  19. Joy [52]
  20. A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing [43]   (Everything’s Right has been played 42 times and i have seen it 4 times)
  21. Pebbles and Marbles [27]
  22. Weigh [44]
  23. Big Black Furry Creatures from Mars [131]
  24. Kung [38]
  25. Fuck Your Face [18]
  26. Mexican Cousin [15]
  27. Ass Handed [17]
  28. Colonel Forbin/Mockingbird
  29. *Stray Dog [Kasvot Växt] [4]
  30. *Everything is Hollow [Kasvot Växt] [3]
  31. *We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains [Kasvot Växt] [9]
  32. *Play By Play [Kasvot Växt] [3]


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[ATTENDED: August 5, 2022] Phish

I saw phish earlier this summer and wasn’t sure if I was up for another Atlantic City run.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle all three nights, so I decided to do Friday and Sunday.  I also decided that this might be my final Phish shows, these being numbers fourteen and fifteen.

I decided to drive to Atlantic City straight from work on Friday night.  It saved a little grief, although not a lot of time.  I also wound up arriving fairly early, but apparently nowhere near early enough to get the famous Atlantic City posters (people started lining up for them at 2PM).   I parked in the Bass Pro Shops, which I pre-paid for, but I think that it would have been free because the store was closed.  Or something.  It was confusing.

So I wandered around A/C for a bit and enjoyed being plenty early.  The mood was good and I managed to walk all the way through the people set up with blankets and got a walked pretty close to the Paige side of the stage.

One of the bad things as far as Phish for me is that I have never really gotten close to the band–never gotten GA tickets.  So I thought it would be cool to be close (even with so many other people around).

Well, I enjoyed the view and the breeze and was soon rewarded with one my favorite songs “Chalk Dust Torture.”  It was quickly followed by a second favorite “Wilson.”

When Phish plays the shore, they play thematically appropriate songs like “Sand,” a slinky slow grooving song.  Although they had jammed Chalk Dust, this one they stetched out over ten minutes with a grooving mellow jam that seamlessly bounced back to the rugged raw melody of the song before segueing into “Plasma.”  “Plasma” had a bouncy ebullient jam with lots of swirling grooving keys behind Trey’s solos.

This led into a “Theme from the Bottom” a song I really like–many parts, weird melodies and it’s thematically appropriate.  Even though they had just played it at the Mann center back in July. Now I was under the impression that Phish almost never played the same song more than once in a tour.  I know that’s not true.  It may have been true for some tours in the past, but is no longer the case, with some songs getting multiple plays in a tour, but still I was really quite surprised that they played a song  that I heard last month.

This one had a lot of piano and kept a happy vibe as by this time my feet were in the ocean and things were very chill.  It segued into a bouncy “Back on the Train.”  There was a good long solo with so me nice high peaks.

Phish shows, especially at the Mann and Atlantic City are very strange for me because I can actually move around. Usually I am planted in my spot and the only moving I do is to schooch up or move back away from obnoxious people.  So to have the huge amount of freedom that the shore affords is a little unnerving to me.   It’s also my fourteenth Phish show and I’ve given up on the idea of “watching” the band and have accepted that Phish shows are more about the experience.  So yes, sometimes you’re walking away and looking at the water or the sky or the people dancing or whatever.

Then I got my first experience of the title track of their new album “Sigma Oasis.”.  I really like the album and I like this song quiet a bit.  I never expected it to run for over 21 minutes (the 6th longest Phish song I’ve seen them play).  A 20 minute jam on the beach is an interesting thing because you can really wander around and enjoy the sights and everything.  But you still want to get into the vibe and the lights.  I think that the air of COVID has made my usual hesitancy about strangers even more pronounced at events like this, so I’m even more standoffish than usual.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 15, 2021] Phish

I got home at an absurdly late hour on Sunday morning and then spent a day prepping to head right back down to Atlantic City for night 2 (for me).  There was the threat of rain, but it held off until after the show.

Having already been to this venue I had a better feel for where I wanted to stand.  I also thought that the sound was a lot worse tonight.  Possibly because the wind was blowing off the ocean–maybe causing some of the sound to get lost.  Or, and this seems more likely, I was standing a little further away and I think the sound was echoing off some of the other buildings in a different way. Whatever the case, Trey’s guitar seemed to come and go for me.  But I haven’t heard anyone else say anything, so it must have been where I was standing.

Nevertheless, it was a great set with some wonderful deep cuts for me to check off.  I may not have checked off a ton of songs from my “gotta see list,” but in the two shows, they played 18 songs I hadn’t seen live before.  That’s pretty wild. (more…)

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[ATTENDED [some]: August 14, 2021] Garcia Peoples

A few days before the Phish show in Atlantic City, Garcia Peoples announced that they’d be playing a free show in the Showboat Casino after the show.  Their set started at 11:30.  Phish ended a little after 11.  But realistically there was no way to get to the Showboat for 11:30.

I was prepared though and walked to the far exit where there were fewer people  But it’s still over half a mile away.  So I arrived at the stage sometime before midnight.  They were mid-song and they sounded great.

There were about three other people there and we settled in and enjoyed the music.  Slowly over the course of the next thirty minutes, more people showed up and some even started dancing.

I recognized some of the songs, like “World’s Illusion” and I’m quite certain that they played a bunch of new songs as well–they have a new album in the works.  They also did a few extended jams, which were really great. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 14, 2021] Phish

Atlantic City is not a convenient location for me–2 hours at best.  And yet when Phish announced a three night residency on the back in 2020, I jumped at the tickets.  Unsurprisingly, the show was postponed to 2021.  I thought it might get postponed again as COVID cases started rising, but they plugged along and played an amazing three night miniseries.

I had intended to go Saturday and Sunday, then something came up and I considered switching my Saturday to Friday.  And while Saturday was great, Friday had several songs on my “gotta see live” list as well as a Fish vacuum solo!  I can’t believe they did that on the first night.

However, the second night proved to be pretty great.  If for no other reason than I got to stand in the Atlantic Ocean and watch Phish play.  There was a lifeguard who made sure people didn’t go out too deep (thankless job!) but I was at least knee deep from some of the show.  I was also quite far away from the 36,000 (!) people who apparently attended.

I’m guessing Phish fans are smart enough to get vaccinated (no proof was required at our show).  I masked up, but few others did. But as far as I can tell, it was not a superspreader event at all.  I did venture into the middle of the crowd a few times (masked and no where near the dense pit), but mostly I stayed in the water.

They started out with “Llama.”  “Llama” was a song I hadn’t seen live before, so auspicious start.  Then I realized they were playing it differently–a slow “Llama.”  It’s hard enough tryin to keep track of songs you need to hear without them playing different versions of the songs too.  I do love the fast “Llama,” but this slow version was groovy and very cool. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 13, 2021] Phish [rescheduled from August 14, 15 & 16, 2020]

Phish (like everyone else) postponed their 2020 tour, which was going to stop in Atlantic City for three nights.  I didn’t think I could manage three nights driving back and forth to Atlantic City (both physically and familially), so I chose two. Saturday and Sunday.  Two years later and the shows finally went on as scheduled and I did not go to the Friday show (because of course I assumed Saturday would be the killer night).

Turns out Friday was pretty amazing and, I think I would have preferred the Friday to the Saturday.  If for no other reason that Fish did a vacuum cleaner solo–something I’ve never seen in person.

The main reason to see Phish over and over is to see if you can catch all of their songs at some point.  The Friday show also proved to chock full of songs I hadn’t see before:

Cars Trucks Buses
Wolfman’s Brother
I Didn’t Know

So from my perspective it would have been a great show.  Fortunately, my Saturday and Sunday shows (especially the Sunday show) were pretty great.


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[POSTPONED: August 15 & 16, 2020] Phish [moved to Aug 13, 14, and 15, 2021]

indexI have seen Phish a bunch of times but I will always try to see them again.  And this summer tour promised to be interesting.

Phish will perform three shows on the Atlantic City beach Aug. 14 through 16, according to promoter Live Nation Entertainment. Atlantic City will be one of only two stops for Phish in the Northeast on their summer 2020 tour.

Atlantic City is a bit far for me (okay, it’s really quite far), but this seemed like a fun way to see them.  So I got tickets for two of the three nights (I decided driving to Atlantic City of a Friday night was a fool’s errand).

Then on May 1, quite early in the pandemic, Phish made this announcement”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we sadly have made the difficult decision to reschedule Phish’s entire 2020 summer tour, now moving to the summer of 2021. We’ve been as excited as ever to play music for you all, and are so heartbroken to postpone these dates. The health and well-being of Phish fans, our touring crew, and the communities in which the band plays is our top concern.

I assume my tickets are going to be for the 14th & 15th 2021.  I wonder if they had printed any merch yet.  I hope not–although it could be a pseudo-collector’s item like the Curveball shirts.

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