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Archive for the ‘Asbury Lanes’ Category

[CANCELLED: March 20, 2020] Best Coast / Rosie Tucker [CANCELLED]

indexI had tickets to see Best Coast at Union Transfer in March 2020.  I like them although I was more interested in seeing their opening act Mannequin Pussy.

They were one of the first bands to cancel their tour outright back in May 2020 rather than rescheduling dates.

They announced a new tour for 2022 back in June.  I’d have rather seen them in Asbury Lanes, but that show was on the same night as our War on Drugs show.  So I considered going to the Union Transfer show.  It was supposed to be a busy week of shows, so I wasn’t sure I’d want to go or not.

But on January 6, the band announced they were cancelling the tour

Best Coast is canceling its upcoming tour in support of its “Always Tomorrow” album due to COVID concerns.

The tour was set to kick off on Jan. 11 at the Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California. The SoCal indie-pop group — consisting of singer-songwriter-guitarist Bethany Cosentino and multi-instrumentalist Bobb Bruno —was scheduled to hit August Hall in San Francisco as well as such cities as Chicago, Toronto, Seattle and Los Angeles.

“We are devastated to announce that our upcoming Finally Tomorrow tour is unfortunately canceled,” the band posted on Twitter. “It was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that we ultimately felt was right.

“The last two years have been so difficult for us as a band (and the entire world) — and we appreciate your support through it all.”

“Our last show was in Chicago (on March 11, 2020). It was about two weeks into a monthlong tour.  We had obviously been hearing a lot about COVID. But I think when you are on tour you exist in such a bubble of just what’s going on in the tour landscape. We were all kind of like, ‘OK, like I guess we’ll see what will happen with this.’ I fully didn’t think that the world was truly about to shut down. I did not see that coming whatsoever.”

“At this time, we are not rescheduling any of these dates, as the rollercoaster of the reschedule-announcement-cancelation cycle we’ve been stuck in is incredibly exhausting (for you too I’m sure!) and we just need a moment to decompress. We love you SO much and we hope to safely see you soon. Hang in there. love, bethany and bobb”

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 27, 2021] The Districts

I was supposed to see The Districts play at Union Transfer on March 12.  COVID-19 had just found its way into New Jersey and Pennsylvania and I was being very cautious so I decided to skip the show.  It was a safe decision, but one that I now regret as it would have been a pretty great final show of the year.  Shows pretty much completely stopped after that.

I was then supposed to see the Districts three times in 2021 (a lot of that was coincidence).  The opened for Modest Mouse (I had no idea they were going to), then they announced a show in Asbury Park and then, at the end of the year they were supposed to open for Dr. Dog (they bailed on that show, as did I, even though the show went on).

After seeing them open for Modest Mouse, I wanted to see them headline, because they tend to go a bit more nuts when they are in charge.

I was happy to see them in such a small place, but I hadn’t really thought this show through.  Asbury Park, on Thanksgiving weekend.  Holy crap, the place was full of reunited and drunk college students.  Which made for a more festive atmosphere but also meant that security almost had to pull somebody out and that everyone was singing along (badly) at the top of their lungs.  And of course drunk people were pushing forward throughout the show.

The band seemed to be in a really good mood when they came out and they rocked several classic songs: “4th and Roebling,” “Salt” and ‘If Before I Wake” (the crowd loves singing the “I’m just a narcissist” line)  Then they moved on to You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere for “Hey Jo,” and the moody “My Only Ghost.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 27, 2021] Sham

After The Scouts, Sham came out.  Sham is the project of Shane Justice McCord.  It was him and a bass player (I loved his bass guitar!) for this set.

The bass player started by playing bird calls on a small device while Shane played acoustic guitar.

The set was quiet and acoustic and perhaps a little atonal.  Very experimental (in a video I took, you can barely hear the band from all the chatter, until a guy behind me says, “this band is so weird, this is the best.”

In no way were they the right band for this particular show–a rowdy New jersey crowd looking to rock.  But aside from talking over the set, the crowd was at least respectful.

A few songs in, the bassist moved to drums and a new bassist came out and that added a little (very little) oomph to their set. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 27, 2021] The Scouts

I didn’t know if there were any opening bands for The Districts, and it turned out there were two.

The Scouts (a difficult search term, especially when combined with The Districts) are from The District’s home town of Lititz, PA.

They came out as a five piece and won me over immediately with some really solid guitar rock.  Their songs were all pretty long–about five minutes each with lengthy intros and multiple sections.

Lead singer Nathan Yager has long hair and a big beard but has a relatively restrained vocal sound (powerful but not overpowering).  He plays guitar as well and when he and Tom Hartman played together, they really brought in a nice mix of quiet and loud guitar. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: November 12 or 13, 2021] The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die / Bent Knee / Gates

I don’t really know The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die, but I have been intrigued by their name for years.  I’ve heard very good things about their live shows and was interested in checking them out.

However, I will likely never go to First Unitarian Church again (the venue just didn’t work for me for a number of reasons, even though it is a very cool place).  I was planning on seeing them at Asbury Lanes, but for reasons I never quite understood, that date simply disappeared from their tour poster.

The poster to the right has that show listed, but as the date got closer the poster had been updated and no longer included that final show and there was no word about it anywhere.  Fascinating.

I had not heard of Bent Knee, but this introduction from Wikipedia sure sounds interesting:

Bent Knee is an American art rock band formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 2009. The band performs in multiple genres and draws from multiple influences, including pop, industrial rock, progressive rock, and avant-garde. The band is known for unpredictable dynamic contrast and the wide vocal range of singer Courtney Swain.

I’m certainly sold enough to check them out.

Gates is from New Brunswick, NJ (just down the road from me).  I was unaware of them, but their music sounds like it would be pretty good.

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[POSTPONED: July 16, 2021] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [rescheduled from August 14, 2020 and April 6, 2021; now cancelled]

indexAlthough this show was still listed on the website as of mid may, when you clicked on tickets, it officially said cancelled.

Waxahatchee is playing all over the place, so I’m not sure if they’ll ever make it back to Asbury Lanes.  I’d have liked to see Fenne Lily open.

~~~

It took a pretty long time for this show to get officially postponed.  AS of a week or so ago, the date hadn’t been changed.  But I see now that it has been pushed just a few months away.  July seems REALLY questionable for a new show.  Although i will be vaccinated by then so…

Waxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

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[POSTPONED: April 6, 2021] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [rescheduled from August 14, 2020; moved to July 16, 2021]

indexIt took a pretty long time for this show to get officially postponed.  AS of a week or so ago, the date hadn’t been changed.  But I see now that it has been pushed just a few months away.  July seems REALLY questionable for a new show.  Although i will be vaccinated by then so…

Waxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

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[POSTPONED: August 14, 2020] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [moved to April 6, 2021]

indexWaxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

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[ATTENDED: July 31, 2018] Phoebe Bridgers

I was supposed to see Phoebe Bridgers back in February at World Cafe Live.  En route to the show I got really sick and had to bail.  I was pretty bummed.  But how exciting that she came back to the area just a few months later!

The opener for that show was Soccer Mommy, who I’d still like to see (although Angelica Garcia was terrific).

Phoebe Bridgers isn’t really someone I should like–she sings slow, kinda depressing songs.  In fact the first song I heard from her, “Smoke Signals” was an interesting litmus test for me.  I loved the sound of the song (it’s so Twin Peaks).  The lyrics were great (referencing Motorhead and David Bowie) and I really liked the melody.  But I found the pacing kind of slow and the song felt really long.

Then I heard “Motion Sickness” and I completely loved it.  I love the lyric

I have emotional motion sickness
Somebody roll the windows down
There are no words in the English language
I could scream to drown you out

I find her voice to be very beautiful but also a little peculiar.  There’s something about her delivery/enunciation that I don’t understand.  It’s not an accent (she doesn’t have one when she speaks), but it’s the way she enunciates certain vowels….maybe.

Anyway, I assumed that it would be her with her guitar.  But she had a whole band (and how awesome is that drum head logo for a folk singer?).  She and bassist Anna Butterss (who has wonderful backing vocals) wore black suits with ties, which was cool and was nicely set off by their very blonde hair (Phoebe explained that her hair has been many different colors over the years and she likes this one).

They opened with “Smoke Signals” and it’s evident that I underestimated how good this song is, the way it stretches out.  I loved the little noises and effects that drummer Marshall Vore added to the song.  About two seconds into the song, the woman in front of me took a picture of Bridgers and instantly posted it online with a text overlay that said “an angel from heaven.”

It was followed by one of the saddest songs I know: “Funeral.”

I’m singing at a funeral tomorrow
For a kid a year older than me
And I’ve been talking to his dad; it makes me so sad
When I think too much about it I can’t breathe

….

And last night I blacked out in my car
And I woke up in my childhood bed
Wishing I was someone else, feeling sorry for myself
When I remembered someone’s kid is dead

And yet as you can see by many of these pictures, she smiled and laughed a lot between songs.  In an interview she said of her lyrics, “I don’t consider myself a miserable person, but that’s the place I write from.”

This is totally not my type of lyric, but man she sings it so beautifully.  Most of her song mix that emotion with some humor (this one wisely doesn’t).  An example of her humor comes in the title of her album Stranger in the Alps which is taken from the edited-for-TV version of The Big Lebowski in which Walter’s “Do you see what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass” is changed to “Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps?”

The show slowly picked up tempo and volume.  “Georgia” sailed along with Harrison Whitford’s slide guitar echoing.  And for “Would You Rather,” Whitford sang the backing vocals.  She told us the song is about her brother.  And she told us he long story which was pretty shockingly sad.  But she assured us that all parties were fine now.

Bridgers mostly played acoustic guitar but for “Chelsea” she brought out her “cheap but cool looking” sparkly electric guitar.

She told us at some point that yes, indeed, she and Angelica went to school together.  They were friends and even played in a band together back in school.

After a few more songs, she and drummer Marshall Vore duetted on Gilliam Welch’s song “Everything is Free.”  I didn’t know the song but it was great and their voices sounded wonderful together.

Then she said that since she was in Asbury Park she had to play a Bruce Springsteen song.  Her band left and as the crowd cheered, she played “I’m on Fire.”  She’s the second performer I’ve seen cover this song recently.  I wonder why they chose this particular song which I think is one of his lamer (and sexist) lyrics.

The crowd was pretty hyped for that, but we were even more psyched to hear “Motion Sickness.”

Introducing “Scott Street” she noted about this song, “they’re all sad, but this one’s especially sad.”  It turns out that many of the songs are about her ex-boyfriend and current drummer Vore.

Keyboardist Nick White added some nice flourishes here and there, especially on the quieter moments.

And then Phoebe left for an encore break.  I was pretty sure the set wouldn’t be very long.  She has only the one album out and it’s only got 10 songs on it, after all.

She came out for the encore and played a gorgeous version of “You Missed My Heart” a cover of a song by Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle that is as powerful and poignant as the songs she writes.   I assumed it was her own song on the record.  Midway through the song she sat down in front of the drums and sang plaintively

I asked him one more time, this time pulled out my shiv
Struck him in the back and I pulled it out slow
And I watched him fall down, and as the morning sun rose
He looked at me and said
“You missed my heart, you missed my heart
You got me good; I knew you would
But you missed my heart, you missed my heart”

I really love the way the lyrics twist that title phrase in the next verses:

I chased her up the stairs and I pinned her to the ground
And underneath her whimpering I could hear the sirens sound
I rattled off a list of all the things I missed
Like going to the movies with her and the way she kissed me

Driving into downtown Wheeling, showing her off
Backyard barbecues and reunions in the park
I said I missed her skin and when she started laughing
And while I clenched down on her wrist, she said “that’s quite a list
But there’s one thing you missed
“You missed my heart, you missed my heart
That’s quite a list, but what you really missed
You missed my heart, you missed my heart

That song meant she’d played everything off of her album.  But the crowd was still buzzing and the woman in front of me kept nudging her fella hoping Phoebe would play the next song which was a romping cover of Sheryl Crow’s “If It Makes You Happy.”

It was the kind of lighthearted but earnest ending, almost a joke given how dark her songs were, that perfectly capped off the show.  A show full of powerfully personal songs with a lyrical twist (and charming crowd interactions)  that kept the show from being maudlin.

And of course, Bridgers’ voice sounded amazing.  You could hear every whisper and breath in that quiet bowling alley.

It was crazy going from the noise of My Bloody Valentine last night to the chill folk of Phoebe Bridgers.

I’m so glad I got to see her before she really takes off.

 

  1. Smoke Signals *
  2. Funeral *
  3. Georgia *
  4. Would You Rather *
  5. Chelsea *
  6. Demi Moore *
  7. Killer *
  8. Steamroller
  9. Everything Is Free (Gillian Welch)
  10. I’m on Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
  11. Motion Sickness *
  12. Scott Street *
  13. encore
  14. You Missed My Heart (Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle) *
  15. If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow)

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[ATTENDED: July 31, 2018] Angelica Garcia

I had never been to Asbury Lanes before (Apparently there is a feud about those who are mad that the club re-opened and isn’t as scuzzy as it used to be, or something.  Since I’d never been there before I have no boat in that race).  I can say that it was a great place to see a band.  The stage is very visible, the acoustics are great and the floor is intimate but not cramped.  And while there is bowling, there is no bowling during a show.

I was excited to see Phoebe Bridgers, although I hadn’t heard of her opening singer,  Angelica Garcia.  She came out with her guitar and started singing and I figured she was a pleasant enough singer songwriter. (more…)

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