Archive for the ‘Philadelphia, PA’ Category

[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.

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[ATTENDED: October 1, 2021] Primus [rescheduled from June 19, 2020; and July 10, 2021]

When the Primus A Tribute to Kings tour was announced, there were two opening bands: The Sword and Wolfmother.  I was intrigued by both bands.  When the show was rescheduled, The Sword was dropped.  Actually, they ended their segment of the tour with the how before ours.  Interestngly, we were watching the Gilmore Girls season 7 recently and Wolfmother was mentioned with high praise (nit bas since they’d had one album out).  But when the show was pushed back again, Wolfmother had visa issues (they are Australian) and had been replaced by Black Mountain.

And I was pretty excited about that because I was already a fan of theirs.  Black Mountain is a Canadian band that plays stoner psychedlica that drifts into heavy territories.  They were a pretty great opener for Primus.  Once again, I don’t know what happened to Primus fans that they became the kind of guys who shout “Primus sucks” during quiet moments of the opening band, but that sucked for them.

Because otherwise they were great.

I was really impressed with the confidence it takes to open a show to a (mildly hostile) audience with the slow droning of the nine minute epic “Mothers of the Sun.” (more…)

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[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.


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[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Osees

I didn’t really know the Osees very well when I bought tickets to this show (which had been rescheduled, but I didn’t have tickets to the original show).  I knew them more from knowing their history of names changes.  [They have recorded as OCS, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees and now Osees].  And also from the Levitation/Reverb Appreciation Society live stream/quarantine shows.

Because of this, and because of the chill nature of the opener, Mr. Elevator, I never expected the show to be as wild, raucous and mosh pit filled as it was.

The first indicator should have been when the two drummer set up at he front of the stage (nods to King Crimson, there).  But it wasn’t until main Osees guy (the only one who has been in all iterations of the band) John Dwyer came out on stage (off to the left as we faced the stage).  He noted that it was Sunday, the Lord’s day, then he started playing “The Dream” and the crowd went apeshit.

Within minutes I was pushed pretty far to the side of the crowd, safely out of the way of flying feet.

Their set covered albums from 2011 (their twelfth album) through to last year’s Metamorphosed (their 23rd album).  It was glorious. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Mr. Elevator

I had I had never heard of Mr. Elevator and really didn’t know what to expect from them.

It turned out that they are a fun, retro-sounding psychedelic band.

I was immediately blown away by their drummer Jesse Gorman Conlee who was metronomically precise and playing complicated rhythms.  Which seemed at odds with, but which worked perfectly with the synthy grooves the rest of the band was making.

It also turned out that the keyboardist and main singer Tomas Dolas is (as of 2018) the keyboardist in Osees.  They started out as Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, but droped half of the name after releasing their first album Nico and Her Psychedelic Subconscious.

The show started with them spread across the stage–drums on the left, bass (Jon Tattleman), keys (Dolas) and more keys on the right (Justin Ruiz).  They played a series of mellow, but still rocking songs.  There were lots of cool trippy synths and some solid basslines.  Dolas has some lengthy jamming keyboard solos that were very retro. (more…)

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[POSTOPNED: September 24, 2021] Andrew W.K. [moved to September 23, 2022]

I saw Andrew W.K. three years ago and loved his show.  The positivity and energy were really remarkable.  And it was a ton of fun as well.

I wasn’t sure if I’d want to see him again, but when I saw he was playing TLA, I definitely considered it.  Then it turned out to be a very busy week for me, so I resignedly accepted that I would not go to his show (his new album is supposed to be very good).

Then, out of the blue, Andrew cancelled his entire 2021 tour and deleted his entire social media presence.  No one knows why.  Is it because he just got engaged (to Kat Dennings) and they appear to be expecting a baby?  Is it because Andrew W.K. is full of weird social media ideas?  Is it because…well who knows.

The point is that the show has been moved to next September, and I think I’m going to be going.  I need to see him play that pizza guitar again.

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[ATTENDED: September 21, 2021] Trey Anastasio

I was quite surprised to see that the last time I saw the Trey Anastasio Band was five years ago.  It didn’t feel that long at all.

Even though Trey plays some Phish songs, a TAB show doesn’t feel like a Phish show.  Mostly because there’s a horn section, but also because of the general feeling that TAB conveys–more grooving, less jamming.

But really, I went last time and I went this time because I never get up close to the stage at a Phish show but I knew I could get up close here.  And I did.

The show was supposed to start at 7 and with my work commute I decided to head into Philly right after work.  This allowed me to swing into Federal Donuts and then get to The Met in plenty of time.  I managed to get one of the evening’s (cool) posters and took my place right behind the people who were up at the fence.  Incidentally the guy in front of me was hilarious about his personal space.  He didn’t want anyone standing next to him while he sat on the floor and when someone squeezed past him to get to the fence he more or less shooed the guy away.  He never raised his voice, but he was a pretty intense. (more…)

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[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). (more…)

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[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.” (more…)

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[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.” (more…)

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