Archive for the ‘Franklin Music Hall’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 30, 2019] King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020 and again on October 23, 2021]

After  the previous King Gizzard show in this very venue, I was all set to wait in line for this one.  People arrive very early for the merch.  But when I got there (close to 8), there was no line to get in.  That’s because the merch line was (once again) insanely long.  It went almost to the stage.  In fact, it was unclear who was on line and who was just milling about.  Well, even though I would have liked a poster, I certainly didn’t need to wait in that line (or spend $50).

The show started very late.  While waiting last time, I felt a sense of existential “what’s the point” last time, and I kind of felt this this time.  It’s crowded, it’s hot, we’re just standing here.

And then they came out and all was forgotten.  They launched into Oddlife.  By  the way, the band has released six albums since the last time they played here, so who knew what was coming.  This song featured the “Flying Microtonal Banana” guitar, so there was bound to be a couple more microtonal music.

Up next was “Billabong Valley” on which Ambrose sang (and played guitar).

At some point, all the yahoos who were hanging back started pushing in trying to get into the center for the inevitable pit.  I was really blown away last time at how mobile the KGATLW crowd was.  Slamming, pogoing, bouncing, just full body contact everywhere.  We were all pushed way away from our original position.

After the looming fun of “K.G.L.W.” Stu switched guitars to his new inverted flying V.  Although they had played songs from Infect the Rat’s Nest last time, this time they played two different songs from it, and they inserted the thrashing “Predator X” from Omnium Gatherum which fit perfectly.

Then things slowed down immensely for the mellow acoustic vibe of “Her and I,” the final song on I’m in Your Mind Fuzz.

So far, “Billabong Valley” was the only song they’d played for me before.

Then they began “Crumbling Castle” and the fans went nuts.  It’s one of my favorite songs, but I didn’t know it was everyone’s favorite song (who knows with KGATLW–they have 22 albums out).  “Castle” and “Her and I” take about 20 minutes alone, and this show was turning from a headbanging ball into a jam fest.  Especially when it segued into “The Fourth Colour” also from Polygondwanaland/

Then Ambrose said it was time to dance as they played King Gizzard’s rap song “The Grim Reaper.”  There was much dancing and waving.  And then they segued into “Ice V” the only song from the three albums that they released in October.  It’s probably my favorite track on Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava.

Then they called Leah Senior out and she began reciting some of Altered Beast with Leah doing the narration.  In 2018, they had played us Alter Me I and Altered Beast I.  This time it was Alter Me III and Altered Beast IV  It was like the ended the story four years later.

They ended with “Evil Death Roll” a rollicking good time from Nonagon Infinity.  They jammed this out for a pretty long time, throwing in teases from other songs.

Comparing this show to previous shows, the number of songs in significantly lower.  But they really jammed out some songs in the middle, giving this a more psychedelic feel than previous shows.  This in no way stopped the crowd from pushing and shoving and surfing.  Indeed ,some guy was just pushing me, for no reason that I could see–quite hard too–until I asked him to switch places with me.  Which he did.

Despite how much I love them, I decided that I don’t think I’ll be seeing them again.  The crowd is just not my crowd.  Unless they play somewhere else (but there’s really nowhere bigger than Franklin Music Hall) and they keep selling that venue out pretty easily.


Franklin Music Hall October 22, 2022 Franklin Music Hall August 30, 2019 Union Transfer June 18, 2018
Oddlife ∑ Planet B ℜ Digital Black ⊗
Billabong Valley ⇔ Perihelion ℜ Vomit Coffin ⊗
K.G.L.W. £ The Great Chain of Being Ω The Lord of Lightning ⊗
Mars for the Rich ℜ Stressin’ ℘ Cellophane β
Predator X Ø I’m in Your Mind β Alter Me I ⊗
Organ Farmer ℜ I’m Not in Your Mind β Altered Beast I ⊗
Her and I (Slow Jam 2) [Iron Lung tease] β Cellophane β Evil Death Roll ∝
Crumbling CastleΔ I’m in Your Mind Fuzz β Billabong Valley ⇔
The Fourth ColourΔ The Balrog ⊗ Nuclear Fusion ⇔
The Grim Reaper Ø Acarine € Rattlesnake ⇔
Ice V ¥ Murder of the Universe ⊗ All Is Known Ω
Alter Me III (with Leah Senior) ⊗ The Bird Song € Crumbling Castle Δ
Altered Beast IV (with Leah Senior) ⊗ Let Me Mend the Past ∼ The Fourth Colour Δ
Evil Death Roll
(Altered Beast & Hypertension teases;
contained elements of Invisible Face)
Billabong Valley ⇔ Deserted Dunes Welcome Weary Feet Δ
Nuclear Fusion ⇔ The Castle in the Air Δ
Doom City ⇔ Muddy Water Ω
All Is Known Ω The Wheel Ω
Boogieman Sam € Robot Stop ∝
Cyboogie € Gamma Knife ∝
Self-Immolate ℜ Some Context ⊗
Hell ℜ

© Changes (2022)
≅ Laminated Denim (2022)
¥ Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushrooms and Lava (2022)
Ø Omnium Gatherum (2022)
µ Butterfly 3000 (2021)
£ L.W. (2021)
∑ K.G. (2020)
ℜ Infest the Rats’ Nest (2019)
€ Fishing for Fishies (2019)
Ω Gumboot Soup (2017)
Δ Polygondwannaland (2017)
⊗ Murder of the Universe (2017)
Flying Microtonal Banana (2017)
∝ Nonagon Infinity (2016)
β I’m in Your Mind Fuzz (2014)
℘ Oddments (2014)
∼ Float Along – Fill Your Lungs (2013)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 22, 2022] Leah Senior [rescheduled from May 22 and then October 22, 2020 and again on October 23, 2021]

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard created a record label (Flightless) and they released Leah Senior’s latest album.

I had listened to Leah Senior when it was first announced that she was going to open for them on the tour.  I think her new album wasn’t out yet, because I found what I heard to be fine, decent folk music.

Or as NME says:

Her first two albums, 2015’s ‘Summer’s On The Ground’ and 2017’s ‘Pretty Faces’, are sparsely arranged folk records – usually just Senior and her guitar, maybe a bit of piano – with songs she says were often born from anguish. But on ‘The Passing Scene’, Senior moves away from the sounds of early Joni Mitchell to something echoing the late-’60s, jazzy, jam-band sound of Karen Dalton’s ‘In My Own Time’. Senior says she approached recording with a sense of playfulness for the first time.

Because live, these songs were delightful!  Fun and bouncey with a fantastic band and, the killer ingredient: backing vocals by her sister, Andi.  Together the two of them sang beautiful harmonies.

I expected to like her set, but I was enchanted by it.  By her voice, by the way her band fleshed out these songs and by the overall vibe she generated.  She played guitar for the first few songs and then switched to piano/keyboards for the rest.

I was less enchanted by the loud dude near me who felt compelled to talk a lot about which King Gizzard albums he had and how much he hated baseball and how mean the Aussies were during the lockdown.  Fortunately, the person he was talking to moved away from him and he was left talking to no one and we all enjoyed the last few Leah Senior songs ever the more.

I couldn’t see her all that well–a wall of KGATLW fans were in my way, but her voice soared over any obstacles.

  1. Time Traveller §
  2. Daisy
  3. Graves §
  4. Pony [new]
  5. Ocean Quilt Lady §
  6. There’s No Fish §
  7. Where Am I
  8. Love Outlast My Heart ♥
  9. Evergreen §
  10. Bug in a Bath §

§ Passing Scene
♥ from Love Hurts compilation

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 7, 2022] Stereolab

I saw Stereolab for the first time back in 2019 (after they had been away from Philly for 11 years).  I was a fan since the early 90s but had never seen them.

I really enjoyed the previous show–it was everything I wanted.  When they announced a new 2022 tour I wasn’t sure if I needed to go.  But I figured, why not?

Like last time, the Groop’s was set up in a half circle with Tim Gane on guitar to my far left and Lætitia Sadier singing, playing keys and guitars on my far right.  In the middle from left to right was drummer Andy Ramsay, keyboardist Joe Watson (with a giant Fender Rhodes), and bassist Xavier Muñoz Guimera.

As I mentioned for Fievel is Glaque, the crowd was really annoying.  I’m not sure what half of these people were doing here.   Do drunken college girls in 2022 like Stereolab?  Are they all over TikTok?  (No, apparently).

Of course, I felt like a poser myself because I didn’t know most of the songs.  Stereolab has put out a ton of records and even more compilations of one-off singles.  And, like last time they played three songs from one of these compilations (which I haven’t listened to in forever).

Last time, they played the bulk of their songs from their albums that came out in the 1990s, with a few from the 2000s sprinkled in. This time it was a lot more “recent” stuff.  I was sure they’d throw in a few songs I knew, but it wasn’t until “The Free Design” that I recognized a song.  They playe da few thigs from Dots and Loops, and usually a hugely long song would have me really excited, but I didn’t recognize “Refractions in the Plastic Pulse” which runs 17 minutes on the record (I feel like I should have been super excited for this song but I really wasn’t).

And then the set jumped between rare stuff and “newer” songs.  I just wasn’t feeling it.

Perhaps it was me, or the crowd around me rubbing me the wrong way.  Whatever the case, I just didn’t enjoy this set as much as I thought I would.  The band sounded great.  Although I did notice that I wasn’t as blown away by the bass like I was last time (song choices or mixing levels, I guess,, because I’m sure Gimera was great.  I also felt like Tim Gane wasn’t quite as much of a maniac as he was last time–I feel like I was less awed by his playing than I was last time.

Lætitia Sadier sounded great.  In fact everyone sounded good, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  Or maybe I just like Union Transfer better than Franklin Music Hall (I do).

Sadier told us they were playing a special encore for us.  A song they hadn’t played since 2001.  I was pretty excited, except when they started it, I didn’t know it.  Well, actually I did know it because it came from Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night, which I know I’ve listened to.  But apparently not all that much.

The second encore was French Disko, one of only two songs that they played last time.  Normally I love when a band plays a wholly different setlist for a show, but this one went so far into the obscure that I was really excited to hear the two dupes.  “French Disko” is super fun song and I did really enjoy that one.

They ended with a song that they released with Nurse with Wound which I didn’t know.  That segued into another obscure song.  And the night was over.

I’ve enjoyed Stereolab as background listening and as foreground listening.  Generally speaking anything they play is cool with me.  But I think a lot of factors made this show really less than enjoyable.

I’m sure there are many fans who would look at this setlist and tell me how jealous they were.  But I was getting a little nervous because this was two shows in a row that I had been really looking forward to from which I came away feeling meh.


2022 Franklin Music Hall 2018 Union Transfer
Supah Jaianto ⊗ Brakhage ∴
Low Fi ⇓ French Disko ≥
The Free Design © Baby Lulu ≅
Refractions in the Plastic Pulse Miss Modular ∴
U.H.F. – MFP Ψ Vonal Declosion ♣
Miss Modular Metronomic Underground €
Mountain ≥ Need to Be ♣
Delugeoisie ⊗ Anamorphose Ø
Harmonium ≥ Ping Pong Ø
I Feel the Air (of Another Planet) ¥ Percolator €
Pack Yr Romantic Mind ® John Cage Bubblegum ≥
Super-Electric Œ Lo Boob Oscillator ≥
encore encore
Op Hop Detonation (first performance since 2001) © The Stars Our Destination Ø
French Disko ≥ Rainbo Conversation ∴
Simple Headphone Mind Ω / Excursions Into “Oh, A-Oh” € Jenny Ondioline ®

⊗ Not Music (2010)
€ Fab Four Suture (2006)
♣ Margerine Eclipse (2004)
≅ Sound Dust (2001)
¥ The First of the Microbe Hunters (2000)
© Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night (1999)

∴ Dots and Loops (1997)
Ω Simple Headphone Mind (album with Nurse with Wound) (1997)
€ Emperor Tomato Ketchup (1996)
≥ Refried Ectoplasm (Switched On Volume 2) (1995)
Ø Mars Audiac Quintet (1994)
Ψ The Groop Played “Space Age Batchelor Pad Music” (1993)

® Transient Random Noise Bursts with Announcements (1993)
⇓ Low Fi (1992)
ΠSuper-Electric (1991)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 7, 2022] Fievel is Glaque

Deradoorian was supposed to open this tour with Stereolab.  I hadn’t heard of them, although I have just learned that they are the creation of Angel Deradoorian who was part of Dirty Projectors.  She had to drop off the tour for (unstated) personal reasons.

Her loss is a boon for Fievel is Glaque.

Fievel is Glaque is the duo of American keyboardist Zach Phillips and Belgian singer Ma Clément.  For the show they were a five piece–with guitar, drums and saxophone/flute.

They played a weird jazzy alt rock.  The songs were mostly just over a minute long.  And Clément sang in a French-inflected English that was really quite lovely.  They were practically like the anti-Stereolab.  Like if Stereolab had a younger, brattier cousin.

The audience around me was awful.  Five college girls who were talking loudly, dancing wildly, trying to pick up guys and talking to the band.  I really should have moved.  But I was pretty close.  Poor decision on my part as they annoyed me the whole night.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed this strange band with the strange name.  Zach told Post Trash:

Our first saxophonist, Eléonore Kenis, spoke the name in all sincerity in the volleyball court of Parc de Forest in 2018. We badly wanted to change it. Fievel is the mouse of cartoon fame (though neither of us have seen those movies) and “glauque” (rhymes with “oak”) is a French word notable for describing both a pale, bluish green and meaning creepy/sleazy/sordid/sinister. My own post-hoc rationalized interpretation goes something like this: gentrification functionally targets run-down, destitute, “glauque” areas; Fievel is an off-brand, “social realist” Mickey Mouse; accordingly, the name means something like “gentrify Mickey Mouse.” We deeply wish we had a different name but are committed to making this one retrospectively cool.

By the end of their set, I was really digging their weird music.  A little too much saxophone for me, but their guitarist was really good (as the drunken college girls kept shouting at him).  Although when I listened to their studio recordings I didn’t enjoy them quite as much–sounding even more like Stereolab minus the krautrock and adding lite jazz.

Great opening band though.  Worth arriving early for.

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: July 24, 2022] Mitski [rescheduled from March 25, 2022]

I saw Mitski back in 2018.  She sold out Union Transfer and while I enjoyed the show very much, I remember being disappointed that I was so far back and behind so many tall people that I couldn’t really see her performance all that well.

In that time, Mitski has taken off even more with the young people.  Both of my kids love her (as does a large section of the youth).  When this tour was announced, there was no question that I would get four tickets for my two kids and one of their friends.

I figured it wouldn’t be that hard, since she was playing at a pretty huge venue.  But the presale sold out in like 5 seconds.  And the main day sale also sold out in like 5 seconds.  The bots were all over this tour.  It was so obnoxious.

My kids really wanted to see her but there was no way I was spending a ton of money on her, so we were SOL.

Then a few days before the show was to happen, it was postponed because of COVID.  It’s not often that we are happy that things are postponed, but this one worked out very well for us., because a rescheduled date meant a possibility of new tickets being made available.  I put my name on the waiting list.  But didn’t really have much hope. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: July 24, 2022] The Weather Station [rescheduled from March 25, 2022]

Back in March, Mitski was forced to postpone a few shows, including Philadelphia, because of a COVID case in her touring party.  She rescheduled her shows in the summer.

Unbelievably, I was able to get tickets for this show and I was a hero to my kids.

We arrived early and the line to get in was around the block and half way down the street.  But it was warm and pleasant and the mood was good on line, so we didn’t mind the wait all that much.

We finally got into the building a few minutes before 8PM.

Everyone wanted merch.  It’s Mitski, after all!  Since I had seen her a few years ago, I offered to wait on line while they all found a spot as far up as they could get (which wasn’t very far).  My son and his friend went off to the left, but my daughter hung out with me. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: July 13, 2022] Bikini Kill / Brontez Purnell [rescheduled from November 22, 2020 and October 2, 2021; moved to April 7, 2023]


About a week before this show was supposed to happen we got another update that the show was postponed yet again.

I like to note that I bought ticket to this show on November 10, 2019.

The reunited riot grrrl stars were originally set to play a host of North American shows across June and July this year, but had to postpone them due to a positive COVID case in their touring party.

Original support act Alice Bag is long gone replaced by Brontez Purnell who is still slotted to support next year.

Brontez Purnell is an American writer, musician, dancer, and director based out of Oakland, California. He is the author of several books, including Since I Laid My Burden Down, and the zine Fag School; frontman for the punk band The Younger Lovers; and founder of the Brontez Purnell Dance Company.



Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: April 1, 2022] PUP

It’s kind of funny that the headliner is the only band on this bill that I hadn’t seen before.

I was really excited to see PUP.  I knew some of their songs and t hen slowly I knew and liked even more of them.  After watching their Tony Desk on NPR, I knew they were fun guys who probably put on a great show.

The backdrop was in  the same deliciously surreal style as the poster (which I love).  And then the band came out.

Stefan Babcock played the opening song from the new album (about just learning to play piano and writing a song on it because the label wanted them to) on a keyboard.

And as soon as the song ended, the whole place exploded into a pogoing slamming chaotic fest of fun.  They blasted through one song from each of their albums and everyone sang/screamed the words to all of them.

The light show was simple but really effective, with a bank of lights behind the drums and beams shooting out from time to time. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: May 6, 2022] Sheer Mag

I saw Sheer Mag back in 2017 and enjoyed their set quite a lot.  I had said that

They play a terrific swagger-filled hard rock (comparisons to many riff rock bands of the 70s abound).  And they are fronted by bad-ass singer Tina Halladay whose gritty voice sounds quite a bit like some of high-pitched male singers of the era.

They haven’t really made any new music since 2019, which is kind of a surprise as they were pretty prolific up until then.

This show had them playing a few songs from each of their albums and some of their earlier 7 inch records too.

This being a home town crowd, I thought the band would bring something extra.  It seemed like they were a little cranky or something. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: April 1, 2022] Pinkshift

Pinkshift is from Baltimore and they play a great mix of grunge and punk all coordinated by lead singer Ashrita Kumar.

I saw them open for Mannequin Pussy last year and they were amazing.  I was psyched that they were opening for Pup and made sure my son and I arrived early.

The band has only gotten better since we last saw them.  Kumar remains an amazing front woman, channeling her anger and aggression into an amazing set of songs and really getting he crowd pumped.

Guitarist Paul Vallejo and touring bassist Mikey Stabekis  were locked in step as they rocked.  Sounds like original bassist Erich Weinroth has been let go]. And drummer Myron Houngbedji was completely intense.

Here’s a funny detail I didn’t know.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »