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Archive for the ‘Mann Center for the Performing Arts’ Category

[POSTPONED: September 24, 2020] The Avett Brothers [moved to June 9, 2021]

indexI saw The Avett Brothers a couple of years ago in Bethlehem. I’d always heard that they were fun live and yes they were.  But oh man, was I in a bad place.  I was far back and behind a wall of people who just didn’t seem to want to let me look between their giant heads.

I’ve had a few disappointing concerts, but this one was hugely disappointing because of that.  I thought I’d like to see them again as long as they keep releasing rocking anthemic songs.

It’s possible I’d only heard about this show after it had been postponed.  I’m not sure I would have gone all the way to The Mann for The Avett Brothers (especially since I was going to be there the night before for Nick Cave).  I was hoping that the postponed date would mean they’d play a show closer to me, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  But we’ll see.

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[CANCELLED: September 23, 2020] Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds / Weyes Blood

indexNick Cave is now forever associated with disasters for me.  I was supposed to see him in 2001 about a week after 9/11 but he cancelled that tour.  Now, I had a ticket to see him and Coronavirus made him cancel this tour as well.

At least I got to see him once in the interim.  The show was amazing, but the venue was terrible–crowded, packed, people singing every word loudly in my ear and I couldn’t get anywhere near him.  I thought I’d really like to see him one more time and this seemed like a good opportunity.

I don’t love going to The Mann Center because it’s so far for me.  But they do tend to have great acts.  Plus, this one was going to be at The Skyline Stage which I’d never been to before (it’s general admission, a smaller stage).

The Mann Center wound up cancelling all of their shows this summer, but I see that Nick cancelled his whole tour.  I do hope he decides to come back (and play a venue closer to me).

Weyes Blood is a quiet band.  Nataile Mering is the main force behind the band and she sings beautiful, delicate music.  I’m not sure how this would translate in an open air venue, but I was very curious to find out.  I hope they team up next time as well.

 

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[POSTPONED: August 23, 2020] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [moved to August 22, 2021]

indexI’ve wanted to see Wilco again ever since I saw them a few years ago.  Their show was outstanding and long and I know that each set is a little different.

When I heard they were touring with Sleater-Kinney, I was pretty surprised.  They are very different sounding, but they share a sensibility that makes sense.  Their announcement of their co-headlining tour was pretty great too).

I had just seen S-K and didn’t really need to see them again (although it was a great show), but I was pretty excited that they were joining Wilco.  I got tickets very quickly (even willing to go to the Mann Center) and they were good seats (even though it was the day after Deftones).  Once again, I’m glad a show that I have good seats for is simply rescheduled with seats remaining.

S. had actually expressed interest in going after I mentioned that I had gotten the ticket. I felt bad because I didn’t think she’s want to go.  Maybe with the reschedule I can get her one too.

I haven’t heard of NNAMDÏ who is Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, an American multi-instrumentalist born in California to Nigerian immigrants now based in Chicago, Illinois.  He plays a kind of experimental pop and sings with a gentle falsetto.  He doesn’t really go with either of them, but he could certainly work on the edge of both of their more recent styles.  I’m curious to see him live as well.

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[POSTPONED: August 20, 2020] David Gray [moved to August 19, 2021]

indexDavid Gray is pretty uncool–definitely “old person” music.  However, White Ladder is a pretty solid album.  When he announced this show, I asked S. is she might want to go.  We both had the same reaction.  Maybe… if it’s convenient.  Well, the Mann Center is anything but convenient, so there’s no way we were going.

I really shouldn’t even post it here, but since I’m including anything I even considered going to, here it is.

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[ATTENDED: August 23, 2019] Tame Impala

I’ve liked Tame Impala since they first came out back in 2010.  I more or less pit them in a category with Dungen because of the jamming psychedelic sound and high-pitched vocals. I really enjoyed Innerspace and thought Lonerism was really good too.

When Kevin Parker (he makes the records himself and then tours with a live band) put out Currents in 2015, I thought it had some great songs and that the cover was quite an iconic and unforgettable image.

Then about a year ago I discovered that Tame Impala are HUGE!   People love them!  They even headlined Coachella.

How did this happen?  Not impugning the band in any way, but they are not a typical pop band.  Nor are they super catchy like Foo Fighters (another improbably popular band).  They’re even from Australia, for crying out loud.  But their fan base in the States is massive.

So I’d had them on my list to see for a while, but in recent years I’ve heard their live show is spectacular.  When I saw they were playing the Mann Center I was sure to get a ticket as close to the stage as possible.   And a couple days before the show it turned out the show sold out–that’s 14,000 people.  Wow. (more…)

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[CANCELLED: June 12, 2018] M. Ward/The Decemberists

S. and I love The Decemberists.  They are probably one of our favorite bands.  Despite this, we haven’t seen them live all that much.  In part because they went on a huge long hiatus after releasing one of my favorite albums (why didn’t I see them on that tour?).

We have seen them twice (only!) and each show was great in its own way.

But when they announced a new tour with a date in Philly AND New Jersey, I was sure to get tickets for both shows.

They were scheduled to play at the Mann Center on June 7.  The Mann is an amazing venue but it is a super duper pain in the butt to get to.  So, we decided that since we had tickets to the show in Red Bank, we would blow off the Mann show.  Astonishingly I couldn’t sell the tickets, so I just ate the price.  Dang.

Turns out Colin’s voice was giving him trouble and that show wasn’t his best.  Although they did wind up playing a great set list.

Nevertheless we were very excited for our show and hoped his voice would be perfect five days later.

Then today at 3:30 this afternoon we received this email.

The Decemberists event scheduled for Tuesday, June 12 at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ has been cancelled due to Colin Meloy’s ongoing voice issues.

We effectively missed two shows of one of our favorite bands in a week. (more…)

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[NOT ATTENDED: June 7, 2018] The Decemberists at The Mann Center

Boy were we excited that The Decemberists were coming back around to tour their new album.  Even though we have seen them a few times now, we can always make room for them.

I love the acoustics of The Mann enter–it’s a beautiful location.  But it is such a pain in the butt for us to get to.  If it’s the only place a band is playing I’ll get tickets, but otherwise, I’d just as soon not travel that far.

Well, they were playing The Mann Center and I bought tickets.  And then a few days later they announced another show at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ.  Well, that is 100 times easier to get to, so I said we’d give up on The Mann show for the Count Basie.

Easy peasy.

Except that I could not sell these Decemberists tickets.  The Mann Center has a strict no resale policy, so you can’t do that Ticketmaster resell business.  Then I tried CashorTrade and even StubHub and there were no takers.  I even went lowball by the end.  The one bad thing about print tickets is you can’t wait til the last minute.

We could have still gone to the show but we had another commitment that night by then and it was still a hassle to get there.  Plus we had the Basie show, so we accepted the loss bitterly.

I noticed an IM on Facebook a couple of days after the show that someone was interested, but obviously that was too late.

[NOT ATTENDED: June 12, 2018] The Decemberists at The Count Basie Theatre

The night of the Count Basie show, we received a notice that Colin Meloy’s voice was shot and the show would be cancelled.  This show and one other (not The Mann Center) shows were cancelled.  And there was no immediate plans to reschedule.  So at least this money was fully refunded.

The band seemed to promise that they’d come back.  But now they have made touring plans further afield.  They are touring the West (and then teasing us here in NJ by coming back in a few weeks to play a show in Brooklyn.  And they are coming East again in October to play Massachusetts.

Then in November they’re off to Europe.

I see a few blank days on the itinerary between the last show in October and the first show in November.  I sure hope they reschedule somewhere near here for us!

 

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[ATTENDED: December 28, 2017] The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses

legend

Last September, we all went to see Symphonic Zelda–the Symphony of the Goddesses.  Out of the blue a few months back, C. said he’d really like to see it again.  I assumed it would be a long time before it came around.  But I checked the site (it’s very rare that C. wants to go and do something) and they were playing right after Christmas.  This time at the gorgeous Verizon Hall.

The website announced that the show would be different.

Brought to Life as never before, witness as 30 years of video game history unfolds, complete with a stirring cinematic video presentation, synced with the games’ sensational, thematic and action-packed soundtracks played live by a full orchestra and choir.  In addition to Breath of the Wild music, the new program also features an all new movement from Skyward Sword, and the return of a classic that just might make some wishes come true!

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 3, 2017] Belle and Sebastian

Sarah and I saw Belle and Sebastian back in 2015 at Radio City Music Hall.  The show was great and we had a really fun time.  I knew we’d enjoy seeing them again, so I was surprised and pleased to see that they were playing the Mann Center (even if I said we wouldn’t go back and this was now show number three).

The venue was perfect for the band, and Stuart at least seemed to really appreciate the sound and warmth of the shell.  Astonishingly, the show was nowhere near sold out.  One of the guards told me they’d barely sold 3,000 tickets.  What the hell?   That explains how I was able to get row R or whatever we had.

So the band had no new album to promote (although they did recently release a new song).  I wondered what they’d be playing and if it would be basically the same show as last time. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 3, 2017] Andrew Bird

My experience with Andrew Bird has been frustrating.  I often hear a song or story about him and I think, “I love this guy!”  Whether it’s a feature on his amazing whistling or his adventurous violin playing, I love the songs that they play.

But when I try to listen to more of his songs, I find them…okay.  Never bad, just okay.  Perhaps if I really devoted time to the songs I would learn to appreciate them more, but as it is I find them pleasant.

And this concert was much the same.  I really enjoyed a number of the songs he played (I don’t know the names of most of them), but by the end of the set, I was sort of drifting off a bit.

Before the show we met some friends who were also there.  One of them told me that he often plays solo, looping his violin and such.  He did loop the violin a number of times, but he played every song with his four piece.  And while I can’t compare something I haven’t seen, I feel like the band worked very well and made the show a bit more upbeat. (more…)

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