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Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

[POSTPONED: September 12, 2021] Andy Shauf / Faye Webster [rescheduled from May 1 and December 17, 2020; moved to March 31, 2022]

indexThis show appeared and then disappeared.  In May, Andy’s own website it was still an active date until you clicked on it and the ticket sales said March 2022.

Maybe in 2022 Andy will come back around.  He was supposed to play a show in NJ as well, but there was none listed in May.  We’ll see.

Postponing shows until December seemed like a safe bet.  My calendar was pretty free and I was hoping to see shows by now.  I’m not sure if I’d rather have gone to Philly or Asbury Park, though.  Well, next year will held me decide, I’m sure.

Andy Shauf is a Canadian singer songwriter.  He sings quiet, introspective songs.  He was playing at Union Transfer at the beginning of Mat and then in New Jersey in the middle of May.

I was introduced to his music from a Tiny Desk Concert in which he never really moves.  He has very long hair which also never moves.  His songs are really very pretty and well constructed.

It’s his voice that I find utterly fascinating.  He enunciates in such an unusual way.  The way he emphasizes certain vowels defies his Saskatchewan upbringing.  He sings not unlike Margaret Glaspy and other newer sings who stress their vowels in an unusual to me way.

I really enjoyed his Tiny Desk and I enjoyed reading about the album The Party which sounds like the worst party ever.

Since then he has cut all of his hair and looks totally different–I wasn’t even sure it was the same guy.

Faye Webster is a singer from Georgia who actually has a similar singing style to Andy, which is fascinating.  She sings low key torchy ballads and would be a perfect opening act for him.  I’m going to have to listen to a bit more from her.

He’s the kind of musician that I would think about going to but probably wouldn’t, and then I’d wish I had.  Well, now I have two more chances.

His initial itinerary fascinated me:

Boston, Brooklyn, Philly, D.C., North Carolina, Atlanta, New Orleans, Alabama, Indiana, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, upstate New York.

The rescheduled shows keep the same basic set up except that now Philly is the day before NJ–I wonder what changed that plan.

shuaf

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[CANCELLED: September 9, 2021] Bachelor

indexBachelor is the lockdown-inspired collaboration between Palehound’s Ellen Kempner and Jay Som’s Melina Duterte.  Their song “Stay in the Car” is one of my favorites this year.  I was excited to see both of these great women in a small venue like The Foundry.

Then on Friday August 13th, they sent out this message.

Unfortunately, the Event Organizer has had to cancel your event.

With this follow up on their Instagram

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Bachelor will no longer be hitting the road for the following shows. However, Ellen will still be supporting @lucydacus as @palehound on the first leg of her tour. Tickets for our headline shows will be refunded at point of purchase. Please get vaccinated and stay safe.

So that was a bummer.  Hope they can rebound and do more shows next year.

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[ATTENDED: September 5, 2021] Avatar

When Avatar announced they were playing TLA I knew I wanted to see them again.  When they opened for Babymetal, I was blown away by what a show they put on–for an opening act.  I imagined that when they headlined, it would be even more amazing.

It wasn’t more amazing (I was actually more impressed by their lights last time) but it was certainly a lot of fun–an even more fun since the audience was there to see them.

Their gear was set up and then a small drumkit was brought to the front of the stage (which was pretty unusual).  Then the five of them walked out and stood in a tight v formation.  After a lengthy pause with all five of them staring at us, drummer John Alfredsson began hitting out a loud snare beat.  Then the guitars started playing and singer Johannes Eckerström–dressed like a ringmaster, his face covered in white paint with (scary) clown makeup on–began singing the fantastic growling anthem “Colossus.”  The band played the entire sing in that tight V shape and from my vantage point when both guitarists played the same solo it was like a multi-armed beast on stage.

They followed that up with “Let it Burn” and then the stage went black.  The crew removed the tiny drum set and the band left the stage briefly while Alfredsson climbed up on top of his full sized kit.  When the band came back out they utilized the full stage and when they started “Silence in the Age if Apes” (the actual first song on the new album) the full synchronized headbanging extravaganza was under way.

Both guitarists take some time to show off, although never for too long.  In fact, when they started soloing, it was usually over by the time I had the camera ready.  Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby and Tim Öhrström (“he’s single, ladies”) both took turns at the front of the stage.  Although it was Jarlsby who stood up front to play the slow pretty intro of “Bloody Angel.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 5, 2021] Magic Sword

When Avatar announced they were playing TLA I knew I wanted to see them again.  When they opened for Babymetal, I was blown away by what a show they put on–especially for an opening act.  I imagined that when they headlined, it would be even more amazing.

I was pretty psyched that the opening band was going to be Magic Sword.  I had recently been getting into their brand of instrumental 80’s sci-fi/metal soundtrack kind of music (I don’t really know what else you’d call it) and I was pretty excited to see it live.

There are three members: The Keeper (red, keyboard, audio-visual), The Seer (blue, guitar), and The Weaver (yellow, drums).  Oh yes, they are all masked (and not COVID masked, but like a fencing mask with a glowing light (in the above color) for the eyes).  All of their songs are pretty heavy with a main riff (and bass) coming from the keys (and sometimes guitar) and really heavy drums.  And then The Seer plays some extended impressive and super catchy guitar solos.

Every song feels like the exultant triumph of a cheesy 80s sci fi movie.  Which is not to say that their music is cheesy (it really rocks) but that it would be placed in a cheesy movie–and would sound great. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2021] Deftones / Gojira  [rescheduled from August 22, 2020 moved to May 18, 2022]

indexI was pretty excited to see this show this summer. It turned out, however, that the show was the night that we returned home from vacation.  Ie, it would have been a pretty exhausting day.  So, the fact that Deftones decided to postponed until May was fine with me.

I’m bummed that Poppy is no longer part of the tour because I’d really like to see her.  But she is now headlining her own tour–which I don’t really want to see.  I’m not sure a full show of hers would be that much fun.  But hey, maybe she’ll be back on board

~~~

 

I saw Deftones at a lousy location (Sands Bethlehem hall), but it was one of my favorite shows that year.  The crowd was pushy and shovey, but Chino came within five feet of me and the energy was amazing.

Plus at the end of the show, when a roadie threw out a drumstick, I actually got it.

I knew I’d want to see them at least one more time, but wow was I surprised to see that they were going to play The Met in Philly, which I think of as a more “delicate” hall.  I’d be slightly afraid for the seats at a Deftones show.

The opening acts were really intriguing as well.

Gojira area French heavy metal band whose 2012 album I loved.  Heavy and very technical I’d imagine they put on a great show.

Poppy is an absolute mystery.  She’s an internet creation whose every song is is a different genre.  Her latest album was really really heavy but with that fake internet sheen on it (in a Babymetal kind of way but less sincere, if that’s possible).  I’ve been intrigued by here since I first heard about her, but I wouldn’t want to see her show if she was headlining.  This seemed like a great way to experience her weirdness.  I hope that she is still on the bill next year and that she is still into metal, otherwise it could be kind of awkward.

I really thought that this show at the end of August might go on but on May 19, they sent this note.

Due to the current regulations, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we must reschedule our North American summer tour dates with special guests, Gojira and Poppy. We’re currently rescheduling the dates for 2021, and you’ll be the first to know once they are confirmed. All tickets will be honored or refunded upon our next announcement regarding the tour.

I’m glad they are promising to come back  And by then, their new album (due in September) will be familiar to all of us.

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

I saw Wilco five years ago and it was one of the best shows I’d ever been to.  The band was amazing.  The live versions of their songs were tremendous and they played thirty two songs (two encores).

They were top on my list of bands I wanted to see again.  But they didn’t come close to us until this double headline tour last year which became this year.

The bad thing about the double headline is that neither headlining band plays a full set,  I assume this is nice for the bands, but who knows.   What this mean logistically is that the band played twelve fewer songs at this show.

But those twenty songs were fantastic.

They started with the most appropriate song for a post-pandemic tour “A Shot in the Arm.” And yes, that was all we needed.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

I saw Sleater-Kinney two years ago.  This was the tour where Janet Weiss had just left the band and I think there were some weird feelings floating around.  The show was odd since they weren’t a trio, but I came away thinking that they sounded amazing.

Last tour the had three additional players: Angie Boylan (drums), Katie Harkin (guitars/keyboards) and Toko Yasuda (keyboards).  This time, their backing band was entirely different.  Almost up front with Carrie and Corin was third guitarist Fabi Reyna (who started She Shreds magazine and was a major force on stage).  Then in the back row was Galen Clark on keys, Bill Athens on bass and Vincent Lirocchi on drums.

I saw S-K 21 years ago when they were a punky trio and while I would have loved to see one more set with Janet on drums, this new set up is really great live.  It allows them to explore in very different ways.  Having Fabi play a series of piercing high notes throughout most of the songs added a nice edge to all of the songs.  She also seemed to allow Carrie a little freedom to move around a bit more (something Carrie seems to be really enjoying).  Plus, now that they have a bassist (!) and a keyboardist, they can make all kinds of sounds.

I was surprised that they announced a tour with Wilco because they sound so different.  Although I know that Carrie and Jeff worked together on Portlandia, and that they are buds.  I feel like many of the Wilco fans had no idea who Sleater-Kinney were.  But there were plenty of S-K fans there to rock. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

NNAMDÏ is Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, an American multi-instrumentalist born in California to Nigerian immigrants now based in Chicago.

I had not heard of him, but I was really intrigued to see what his set would be like.  I can honestly say it was nothing like I expected.

Earlier in the tour NNAMDÏ fell off a scooter or skateboard and broke his wrist.  He missed a few dates and then was back on the tour.  NNAMDÏ plays guitar but he had to get a replacement for the tour.  He told us the replacement learned all of his parts in like a day.  And the parts were all over the place.  Because NNAMDÏ’s music is about as unclassifiable as Thundercat’s.

I felt like he was digging into prog-rock territory and yet I guess it would be more accurately labelled as jazz with rapid time changes, incredibly fast parts and wicked jamming.   And yet the roots of most of his songs were a kind of pop/R&B vibe. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Green Day: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

I loved Green Day’s Dookie when it came out.  I also really liked American Idiot (and a bunch of stuff in between).  But it was pretty wild when my teenage son became a big fan of Green Day (especially American Idiot).  I’ve never seen Green Day live before–which I’m guessing I now regret since they were fantastic live.

The most interesting thing to S. and myself was that they opened their part of the set by playing Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the speakers at full concert volume.  Not Green Day playing it, but the actual original version.  And the crowd went utterly bananas.  Singing along at full volume.  The lights even went bright and dim accordingly.  It was a pretty amazing moment to hear an entire arena singing along to a song.  And it really got everyone pumped.  It was a pretty genius idea and I’m surprised more bands don’t do it.

They followed this with Ramones’ “Blitzkreig Bop” which went over although not quite as well, but it segued into a kind of mashup of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, and “We Will Rock You” played behind a series of clips from Green Days shows old and new.  It was clear they were preparing for A SHOW.

They came out on stage to lights and video and started out with two songs from American Idiot.  And the crowd was berserk.  “American Idiot” and “Holiday” was like a one-two punch of wonderfulness for my son.  And there were fireworks and explosions and big lights and it was a great start.

I never knew that Billie Joe Armstrong was such a great and engaging front man.  I was especially delighted that he acknowledged that many of the fans there were from New Jersey.  I mean, sure we were in Philadelphia, but there were lots of NJ folks there and he really won us over by dividing the crowd into the Philly and NJ sides to see who could be louder.  This was especially cool for my kids, I think. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 20, 2021] Fall Out Boy: Hella Mega Tour: Green Day / Fall Out Boy / Weezer / The Interrupters [rescheduled from August 29, 2020]

Both of my kids are pretty big Fall Out Boy fans (naturally, my son likes the older songs and my daughter likes the newer songs).  I really only know them from my kids playing them.  This means, however, that I know most of their popular songs.  So while I wasn’t looking forward to this set as much as the other two, I was looking forward to a couple of songs (I suspected that the “Light ’em Up” song would have excellent pyrotechnics, and I was right).

So after Weezer, we ran off to Chickie and Pete’s to get some fries and made it back to our seats in plenty of time (we somehow just beat the crowd).  A dark cloud floated over the stadium as we were enjoying out fries.  So I looked at the weather app which assured us that there was no chance of precipitation, and moments later the skies opened up and dropped bucket loads of water on us.  We were soaked!

The main concern was that the posters would get wet (they got a little wet but nothing too bad).  As we tried to stay dry, Fall Out Boy came out and we quickly forgot about the rain.

They had a very cool set–it looked like a hole dug into the earth or something (it was a little hard to focs with all the rain) and a video screen in the hole which showed a series of videos that seemed to be telling a story.  In fact, when the set started a narrator told us something (I couldn’t follow it at all) that I assumed had to do with the narrative. (more…)

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