Archive for the ‘Set in New Jersey!’ Category

[ATTENDED: September 20, 2022] My Chemical Romance [rescheduled from September 22, 2020 and September 21, 2021]

I bought tickets to this show for myself, my son and his friend on January 31, 2020,  The boys were freshmen at the time.  Now, after two rescheduled shows, the boys are seniors and were still excited about this reunion.  (Even though they were too young to know about them the last time MCR played in NJ).

The crowd was super excited and buzzing,  We had floor seats right after the pit–wish they were closer, but the boys didn’t want to be in the standing section.

It seemed to take forever to get the show going.  They started playing some loud static, which lit the room. And afte ra few minutes, the static slowly morphed into the new MCR song “The Foundations of Decay.”  We all agreed we weren’t going to see what songs they were playing, but it became clear talking to other people that every show was different but every one opened with this song.

I don’t really know the song, but that’s okay because it was an excellent warmup for the next song, the fantastic “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” which had the whole crowd singing along.

Turns out that this song is from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, their second album (and the first that sounds like MCR really sounds.  It’s also the album I know the least. And its the one they played the most songs from.

They added a second show the following night (I’m not sure when this was added, but I feel like we might have wanted to go to both shows if I’d really thought about it).  And that second show played a lot more songs from the albums I know better.  So I think this first night was for the old-school die-hards. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 20, 2022] Thursday [rescheduled from September 22, 2020 and September 21, 2021]

I bought tickets to this show for myself, my son and his friend on January 31, 2020,  The boys were freshmen at the time.  Now, after two rescheduled shows, the boys are seniors and were still excited about this reunion.  (Even though they were too young to know about them the last time MCR played in NJ).

There were two opening bands, but our parking nightmares (oh Newark) made us miss The Homeless Gospel Choir, a folk/punk band from Pittsburgh who I was interested in checking out.

For our show (a second show was later added with a different opening band) Thursday opened.  Thursday is a band from New Brunswick, NJ.  They are an emo band that predates My Chemical Romance and somehow I had never heard of them.

I’m surprised I’d never heard of them.  Turns out they broke up in 2012.  They got back together in 2016 and toured a bunch then.  They started touring again after COVID.

It was interesting hearing their earlier stuff is far more emo.  “Cross Out the Eyes” had a soaring emo chorus and also some screamed backing vocals. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 9, 2019] Ghost 

This was my third time seeing Ghost.  In four years!  They never fail to put on a spectacular show.

Each time I’ve taken C. with me and these last two he brought his friend with him.  This time, though, the boys sat in the seats straight back but on a slight rise (they had a great view) and I went to the floor to get as close to the action I could.  The usually toss stuff out to the audience after the show, but I was not in the right place.

There were tons of people in full cosplay, and they looked amazing.

It took a while for Ghost to come out.  They have a huge stage change up, so it’s understandable.  I happened to run into someone I knew there and his son (Hi Gary) which was crazy (although not really as he has seen Ghost like 6 times).

They play taped music as the band sets up.  It’s usually a kind of Gregorian chant.  Soon the stage was revealed in all of its multi-tiered, stained-glass glory.  The music segued into a tape of “Imperium” before the Nameless Ghouls ran out on stage followed soon after by Papa. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 9, 2019] Mastodon

This was my third time seeing Mastodon.  I have enjoyed them each time but I didn’t think I’d be seeing them again.  So it was a treat that they opened for Ghost.

I hadn’t really listened to their new album that much, so I didn’t really know what to expect.  Plus, in an opening slot, they wouldn’t get that many songs.  And I see that each show has their sets getting shorter and shorter.

The biggest surprise was the addition of a keyboard player.  Joao Noguiera stood on the same riser as the drums and had a lot of hair and a top hat (yes, like Slash).  He added a lot of atmospherics and sounds while the other guys were tuning.  But Mastodon is such a force, I’m not sure he was needed.

So they played five songs from the new album.  And then six songs that I’d seen them play before.  Most of those they’ve played at each show.

There were great visuals behind them–a huge screen showing videos.

“Pain with an Anchor” was sung by drummer Brann Dailor, who has the most melodic delivery of the band.  He and singer Troy Sanders share a lot of lead vocal duties on the new album.  And I love Dailor’s colorful drum set.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 9, 2019] Spiritbox

We arrived pretty early for this show.  Early enough to get merch before the first band went on.

My son and his friend had seats (straight back and a few rows up–they said the view was perfect), but I wanted standing room on the floor.  And just as I walked down the steps to the floor, the lights went dark and I walked pretty close to the stage.

Then Spiritbox came out.  I didn’t know them at all.  But their story is

Spiritbox is a Canadian heavy metal band from Victoria, British Columbia. Husband and wife duo guitarist Mike Stringer and vocalist Courtney LaPlante established Spiritbox in 2017. The band’s full lineup comprises LaPlante, Stringer and drummer Zev Rose; former As I Lay Dying bassist Josh Gilbert currently performs live with the band.

The band plays pretty loud and abrasive guitars, but there’s all kinds of electronic effects and interesting quiet/loud elements going on.  Courtney LaPlante can growl/ scream very impressively, but she also has a pretty singing voice, adding even more to the diversity.

It’s like they combined some of the best elements of various new heavy metal sounds into a composite that sounds familiar but unique at the same time. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: August 26, 2022] The Beths / Rosie Tucker

I wonder what it is about Asbury Lanes.  This is what I wrote about Nada Surf when they played here:

I had just seen Nada Surf in November and didn’t really need to see them again.  But never pass up a chance to see a great live band, right?

November to July = 8 months.

So I’ll say the same about The Beths.  I had just seen them in February.  And here they were 6 months later playing Asbury Lanes.

Never pass up a chance to see a great live band.  Yes.  Unless, of course, you already have tickets to Peter Hook & The Light AND you are going out to concerts the two days before and the day after.

But seriously, The Beths are amazing live, and I would see them as many times as I could.

Back in January, Rosie Tucker was supposed to open for Best Coast.  But that tour was cancelled.

I wrote:

I didn’t know Rosie Tucker until Friday when I listened to her album because it was highly recommended on NPR Music.  I really liked her blend of quirky pop, enjoyable lyrics and kind of garagey sounds.  Her name sounds like she’ll be a country singer, but she’s far from that.  I hope to see her some time in the near future.

And maybe I still will.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: July 29, 2022] Nada Surf / Hurry

I had just seen Nada Surf in November and didn’t really need to see them again.  But never pass up a chance to see a great live band, right?

Well, it turned out to be the same night as my rescheduled King’s X show.  I have seen King’s X more often than Nada Surf, but I hadn’t seen King’s X in five years and they are getting up there in age.  So I opted for King’s X.  I think I made the right choice as I’m not sure if I’ll need to see King’s X again, but I’m sure Nada Surf will be back again.

I was supposed to see Hurry open for Restorations back in 2020 but COVID cancelled that show.  Here’s what I said about them then:

Hurry is a band from Philadelphia, originally the solo project Matt Scottoline.  They are described as 90’s rock revivalists and all of their influences are bands I like.  Some of their songs online are a little slower than I expected, but they do have some uptempo ones as well.

At this point I hope they open for someone else I want to see.

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[ATTENDED: February 22, 2022] Billie EIlish

Back in 2019, I bought tickets for my daughter and I to see Billie Eilish’s tour in 2020.  I was really looking forward to it because I’d heard that she put on an amazing show.

I was especially looking forward to the energy and the visuals.  Then COVID came in and we watched with bated breath as concerts were cancelled.  And then she postponed the whole tour.  Ultimately, she cancelled it.

And actually that proved to be not a bad thing in the long run.  The opener we had was much better than Denzel Curry.  And our new seats proved to be terrific.  When she announced the tour for the new album, we were given a pre-sale code since we had tickets for the earlier show.  Then in May of 2021 I grabbed tickets and waited nine months!

The only bummer was that this new tour was for her newly released, more mature album (she’s all of 18).  And I didn’t really like it.  I thought it was kind of bland.  I love that Billie is singing and not mumbling like she does on the first album–and I was really impressed by her voice.  But I found the album lacked the dynamics of the first one.

She was performing most of the album live.  Although I see that in the previous tour she did a whole middle section of covers, which I don’t really like, so that’s okay then.

I also thought she’d dress like the album.  But nope, as you can see she was good old punky Billie.  And she played 26 songs and performed for about an hour and forty-five minutes.


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[ATTENDED: February 22, 2022] Dora Jar

Originally Willow was supposed to be the support act for Billie Eilish.

My daughter and I were pretty excited about that because Willow’s new album is really good.  And, she had announced a headline tour, which we didn’t really want to go to.  This was an easy opportunity to see her.

Then a few days before this tour began, Willow dropped out of the tour.  She gave an excuse that, to my ears, sounds very lame:

Due to production limitations, I am unable to put on the show that I believe you all deserve.

It sounds noble, but let’s be honest, it’s not like the opening act’s performance was suddenly stripped down.

At the last minute, Dora Jar, an artist I’d never heard of, signed on.  I listened to a song online.  Thought it was fine and then forgot about it. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: February 10, 2022] Ghost

C. and I saw Ghost a couple of years ago and the show was amazing. I knew I’d want to see them again.  We sat close to the stage but kind off to the side.  It was actually an amazing view and we were really close to one of the risers that the guitarist and singer came to.

But for this show i got us floor seats (just behind the pit).  The seats were close but not quite as satisfying.  We did get an amazing view of the set, but it felt just far enough to not be really in it.  And, having seats meant that we couldn’t move away from the tall people in front of us.  (Plus, if we were in the pit we would have had a pretty good chance of getting one of the seemingly endless amount of picks and drumsticks they doled out).

But that’s beside the point, because the performance was great.  The curtain dropped and the amazing stage was revealed.  Stained glass windows of the former Papas, the stairs and platforms and the Nameless Ghouls playing.

This tour was ostensibly to promote the new album.  But Ghost’s new album isn’t out yet.  And, since they were co-headlining it meant that their set was cut short (who exactly does a co-headline tour benefit?  Not the fans.). But that also meant that this was like a greatest hits show.

After playing a new song “Kaisarion,” he began the first of man sing-alongs with “Rats.”

I was delighted with how “funny” the show was last time.  Because they had less stage time, this show did away with some of the fun.  Lead singer Papa Emeritus does some wardrobe changes and the Nameless Ghouls places some instrumental songs to keep us occupied while Papa is backstage.

Last time, the two lead guitarist Ghouls had a showdown.  This time, there was a much briefer contest.  But it was still funny, with the Ghouls pantomiming on stage.  At one point one of the Ghouls played a high note that squealed into feedback.  One of the other Ghouls had to run over and make it stop in what looked like a possible usurpation of lead guitar status.  And it was very amusingly when Papa shoved away the guitarists when they would be where he wanted to stand.

They played a bunch of songs from Meliora, and older album.  They were catchy and the crowd was really into it.

The lighting was always great–conducive to whatever the songs were about.

After a new song “Hunter’s Moon,” they played some songs from Prequelle.

Some jackass had been calling out for “Year Zero” for much of the show.  As C. pointed out–it’s a popular song with a great sing along chorus–of course they’re going to play it.

There was a guy in front of us who was really really into the show–waving his arms and acting out lyrics (even the Nameless Ghouls weren’t doing that).  It’s a little disconcerting when you now some of the words.

There was even a brief keytar solo during the show! The band has added some Ghoulettes to round out the family, one of whom plays keys and tambourine.

They played a rocking “Mummy Dust” complete with confetti cannons.  Although for whatever reason, the confetti all blew off to the right side of the stage and never really made it past the pit.

And then Papa told us that they had three songs left.  Volbeat felt so endless, I couldn’t believe that Ghost was almost over.  They played a cover of  “Enter Sandman,” I guess they did the song for the Metallic covers album.  It sounded really good.

Then they ended with two of their biggest, catchiest sons, “Danse Macabre” and “Square Hammer.”

I had such a good time with them playing “Kiss the Go-Goat” last time, that I was sure they would encore with it.  But they didn’t.  There was no encore.  Sure the final band gets to do an encore!  But no.  And their set was only an hour and fifteen minutes.  While Volbeat played an hour and twenty.  Boo!

But man it was so much fun to see them again.  Like last time, they ended the show with an tapes recording on an Emmylou Harris song (which is weird).  They handed out picks and sticks and waved to people and were generally fun and delightful.

Clearly, next time we see them we need to get pit seats

Oh, and how cool is it that were playing at Devils stadium?

2022 2018
TAPE: Imperia TAPE: Klara stjärnor (Jan Johansson song)
Kaisarion TAPE: Miserere Mei, Deus (Gregorio Allegri song)
Rats Ashes
From the Pinnacle to the Pit Rats
Mary on a Cross Absolution
Devil Church Faith
Cirice Mary on a Cross
Hunter’s Moon Devil Church [with extended jam]
Faith Cirice
Helvetesfönster Miasma
Year Zero Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
Ritual Helvetesfönster [partial]
Mummy Dust Spirit
Enter Sandman (Metallica cover) From the Pinnacle to the Pit
Dance Macabre Ritual
Square Hammer ♣ Satan Prayer
TAPE:  Sorrow in the Wind (Emmylou Harris song) Year Zero
TAPE: Spöksonat
He Is
Mummy Dust
Kiss the Go-Goat
Dance Macabre
Square Hammer ♣
TAPE:  Sorrow in the Wind (Emmylou Harris song)

⇑ Impera (2022)
⊕ Kiss the Go-Goat EP (2019)
♣ Popestar EP (2016)

¶ Prequelle (2018)
⊗ Meliora (2015)
∞ Infestissumam (2013)
 Opus Eponymous (2010)

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