Archive for the ‘Montclair, NJ’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: February 18, 2023] Flogging Molly / Anti-Flag / Skinny Lister

I actually saw Flogging Molly twenty-three years ago when they opened for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.  They had just released their debut album and I remember enjoying their mix of Punk and traditional Irish music.  I never would have guessed they’d still be around all this time later.

I also just found out that the lead singer of the band is Dave King the singer from the 80s heavy metal band Fastway, who I liked a bunch back in the day.

I wasn’t all that interested in seeing Flogging Molly–I haven’t listened to them since–although I’m sure they put on a super fun show.  But I was interested in seeing Anti-Flag (again).

Anti-Flag is a punk band who I should have known about but only learned of through my son.  Their live show was awesome and I definitely want to see them again. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: January 31, 2023] Anthrax / Black Label Society / Exodus

Anthrax is the only band of the classic heavy metal landscape that I’ve never seen (who I want to see, anyhow).  I thought seeing them in Montclair would be an easy decision.  They’re back to almost their original lineup (okay, not original, but “classic” lineup).  And I thought a Tuesday night show less than an hour away would be perfect.

They had played this tour in Philly back in August and I just wasn’t feeling it.  I don’t really care about Black Label Society, and it just felt like a lot of work.  But a close show seemed like a much better idea.

S. said she’d like to go too, so I got us both a ticket.  About a month ago I found out that it had sold out.  And I realized that I didn’t really want to go to a sold out metal show at the Wellmont.  I assumed it would be well attended, but a sold out show gave me visions of the worst metalheads all smashing around each other and it suddenly felt really unappealing. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 14, 2023] Teddy Thompson

This was my eleventh time seeing Richard Thompson.  For a while we had been seeing him pretty regularly and then his habits changed.

I had been seeing him every chance I could, but I took a little time off from his tours, hoping that he would perhaps come back with an electric tour.  Sadly for me, he did in fact come around with an electric trio tour in 2018, but it coincided with a hike that we were scheduled to go on, so I had to miss it.

Back in 2020, he introduced a new component to his show, his new partner Zara Philips has been singing with him on many songs (often Richard & Linda Thompson songs, but sometimes adding backing vocals to Richard’s songs.

For a while it felt like Richard was playing the same basic songs at all of his shows, although as I look at his setlists I see that he always mixes in a few new songs every tour.  Indeed, in 2020, he threw in a whole bunch of songs that I hadn’t heard him play before.

I was super excited that he opened with Gethsemane, an older song (I can’t believe that album is 20 years old!) that I like a lot.  He sounded great and his guitar playing was, of course, outstanding.

During the pandemic, Richard released some online albums.  He played If I could Live My Life again from Bloody Noses (which he had played back in 2020, just before the shutdown).

He jokes about the age of the audience and said he would play a song from a Fairport Convention album.  He described the origins of Genesis Hall, and that it was a protest song, which I didn’t know.  He had played it before but not for more than seven or so years, so it was good to hear it again.

Richard recently played a few nights of all request shows in New York City, which I’d love to attend (al though I suspect people probably just request all the popular songs anyhow).   But I wonder if it makes him want to mix up his setlists at all.  Whatever the case it was great to hear him plat “Turning of the Tide” a song that I love and haven’t heard him play live for a long long time.

Then he played “Beeswing.”  I don’t think there’s been a show where he hasn’t played the song and yet this time it really hit me how beautiful it was.  And I was marveling about how Richard Thompson, creator of the song was merely thirty or forty feet away from us playing this song and how amazing it was to be so close to someone so creative.  I had a real moment.  (I’m going to assume it came from talking about how wild it must have been for my young kids to go to concerts and see their favorite bands up close like that, something I never got to do as a a little kid). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 14, 2023] Teddy Thompson

This was our first experience with Outpost in the Burbs, a fun venue in Montclair.  The venue is actually in a church (I think it might be outside in the summer).  This Richard Thompson show was sold out.  But the tickets were first come / first seated.  In a church.  So, in a series of pews.

We arrived in what we thought was plenty of time, but we couldn’t find parking and wound up pretty far away, so by the time we got into the church, it was almost 8PM.  We walked in and the lights went down.  Luckily there were announcements to be had (which we missed), as we were sent looking for a seat.  We were told there were seats in the balcony, so we trudged up the stairs to the (very full) balcony.  We headed back down, having seen seats across the room.  We headed over there only to discover that these seats (strangely empty) ere positioned directly behind two massive speaker cabinets which entirely blocked the stage–thus, why they were empty.  Really they should not have even been available.

Luckily, right next to them was a pew bench against the wall that had a mostly unobstructed view of Teddy as he came out on stage.  If he backed away from the mic I couldn’t see him at all, but he didn’t do that very often so it was fine. In fact, it was actually quiet comfortable.  The bench had a cushion, and I was in the corner, so I had a corner edge to lean against.  And, plenty of leg room!

And, it must be said, the acoustics were outstanding, even in this weird eave.

I saw Teddy Thompson open for his father about ten years ago in Princeton.  He played songs from his then new album and sang some songs with his father. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: October 20, 2022] The Flaming Lips

I have seen The Flaming Lips six times and they never disappoint.  In fact, the last time, I said to myself that I wanted to bring my kids next time so they could enjoy the spectacle of inflatables, and confetti and balloons and lights and everything.

But this show happened to be right on my daughter’s birthday.  For some, that might be an awesome birthday present.  But she doesn’t really know them and didn’t want that to be how she spent her birthday (fair enough).

So we didn’t go to this one.  But I’m sure Wayne and the guys will be back again.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: September 24, 2022] Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin is one of my favorite comedians.

I would love to see him live.  But this show was scheduled for the same day as the Frantic City Festival that we had tickets for.

I hope he’ll come back around some day.


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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 28, 2022] Anthrax / Black Label Society / Hatebreed

Anthrax is the only band of the classic heavy metal landscape that I’ve never seen (who I want to see, anyhow). They’re back to almost their original lineup (okay, not original, but “classic” lineup).

This is the third or fourth time they’ve come around recently, but they’re never with anyone else that I want to see.

I don’t really care about Black Label Society, the band created by Zakk Wylde.  I’ve never cared about him and his silly name (although I didn’t realize he was from Bayonne, so that’s kind of cool).  I now he played with Ozzy, but  that was long after I cared about Ozzy too, so whatever.  When this tour was announced, I listened to couple of songs and thought they were okay.  Their presence on the bill definitely impacted my decision not to go.  If it had been a band I liked more, I might have stuck it out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 10, 2022] Guster [rescheduled from January 14, 2021, I guess]

Back in January, Guster was supposed to play the Wellmont (after postponing a seated acoustic show in 2020).

This show seems to have been the rescheduled show–does it even matter at this point?

The show sold out and we had pretty good seats.  Seats? For a  Guster show?  The seats thing proved to be the real downfall honestly because I was seated behind a freaking behemoth of a guy.  The entire row was full of normal sized people and this hulking dude who clearly did not care about Guster. What a travesty that was.

The guys came out to raucous applause and they opened with “Careful.”  Surprisingly, this was only the third time we’d seen them play this.  By the way, this was our ninth Guster show, we are definitely getting into territory where if they play anything we haven’t seen before we will be surprised.

Ryan was wearing one of his new wild fruit suits and looked wonderful. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 10, 2022] Laura Stevenson [rescheduled from January 14, 2021, I guess]

Back in January, Guster was supposed to play the Wellmont (after postponing a seated acoustic show in 2020).  Ben Kweller was supposed to open that show, which would have ben pretty fun as I don’t really know him very well, but I know he is tangentially related to Guster.

For this new show, Laura Stevenson was the opening act.

I only new Laura a little–from a Tiny Desk concert many many years ago, which I enjoyed.

I assumed she’d be fun–Guster tends to have good opening acts.

But we had a terrible time getting to the show and parking for some reason. Usually it’s not a problem parking in Montclair, but this show (which was sold out–good for Guster, but bad for us, I guess), made Montclair really crowded.

It seemed to take a long time to get in. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: May 21 & May 25, 2022] Primus: A Tribute to Kings / Battles

I saw Primus on the tour back in October and it was pretty great.  I would happily have seen them again, even playing the same songs (although I think set two varies somewhat).

I didn’t love the crowd around me (I didn’t realize Primus fans were bros, but I guess they are).

However, this first date was the same day that my wife and I were going to see The Music Man on Broadway.  And the second date was the same day that my family was going to see Blue Man Group.  So, this leg of the tour was not to be.

Battles are a weird band that I tend to forget about.

The two main guys in the band were once in Don Caballero and Helmet, and their music should be really heavy.   But as I wrote when I first heard their song “Ice Cream” back in 2011

But they’re not so much heavy as noisy and crazy.  And this track is a head-spinning amalgam of keybaords, unsettling rhythms, processed guitars and singing from Argentinean techno producer Matias Aguayo.  The lyrics sound like they are not English, but they are (with heavy effects on them).

The song is weird, indeed. But after just one listen, I was totally hooked.  It’s catchy and bouncy and very sunny and it’s a real joy to listen to.

Boy I’d like to see them live.

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