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

[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

I saw Wilco five years ago and it was one of the best shows I’d ever been to.  The band was amazing.  The live versions of their songs were tremendous and they played thirty two songs (two encores).

They were top on my list of bands I wanted to see again.  But they didn’t come close to us until this double headline tour last year which became this year.

The bad thing about the double headline is that neither headlining band plays a full set,  I assume this is nice for the bands, but who knows.   What this mean logistically is that the band played twelve fewer songs at this show.

But those twenty songs were fantastic.

They started with the most appropriate song for a post-pandemic tour “A Shot in the Arm.” And yes, that was all we needed.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

I saw Sleater-Kinney two years ago.  This was the tour where Janet Weiss had just left the band and I think there were some weird feelings floating around.  The show was odd since they weren’t a trio, but I came away thinking that they sounded amazing.

Last tour the had three additional players: Angie Boylan (drums), Katie Harkin (guitars/keyboards) and Toko Yasuda (keyboards).  This time, their backing band was entirely different.  Almost up front with Carrie and Corin was third guitarist Fabi Reyna (who started She Shreds magazine and was a major force on stage).  Then in the back row was Galen Clark on keys, Bill Athens on bass and Vincent Lirocchi on drums.

I saw S-K 21 years ago when they were a punky trio and while I would have loved to see one more set with Janet on drums, this new set up is really great live.  It allows them to explore in very different ways.  Having Fabi play a series of piercing high notes throughout most of the songs added a nice edge to all of the songs.  She also seemed to allow Carrie a little freedom to move around a bit more (something Carrie seems to be really enjoying).  Plus, now that they have a bassist (!) and a keyboardist, they can make all kinds of sounds.

I was surprised that they announced a tour with Wilco because they sound so different.  Although I know that Carrie and Jeff worked together on Portlandia, and that they are buds.  I feel like many of the Wilco fans had no idea who Sleater-Kinney were.  But there were plenty of S-K fans there to rock. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 22, 2021] Wilco / Sleater-Kinney / NNAMDÏ [rescheduled from August 23, 2020]

NNAMDÏ is Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, an American multi-instrumentalist born in California to Nigerian immigrants now based in Chicago.

I had not heard of him, but I was really intrigued to see what his set would be like.  I can honestly say it was nothing like I expected.

Earlier in the tour NNAMDÏ fell off a scooter or skateboard and broke his wrist.  He missed a few dates and then was back on the tour.  NNAMDÏ plays guitar but he had to get a replacement for the tour.  He told us the replacement learned all of his parts in like a day.  And the parts were all over the place.  Because NNAMDÏ’s music is about as unclassifiable as Thundercat’s.

I felt like he was digging into prog-rock territory and yet I guess it would be more accurately labelled as jazz with rapid time changes, incredibly fast parts and wicked jamming.   And yet the roots of most of his songs were a kind of pop/R&B vibe. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 19, 2021] David Gray [rescheduled from to August 20, 2020; moved to October 18, 2022]

My August was filling up pretty quickly so I assumed I wouldn’t be going to this show anyhow, but now that it’s in 2022.  Maybe…?

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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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[POSTPONED: June 9, 2021] The Avett Brothers [rescheduled from September 24, 2020; moved to September 21, 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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[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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