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Archive for the ‘Sellersville Theater’ Category

[POSTPONED: May 29, 2020] Loudon Wainwright III [moved to December 4]

indexI really got into Loudon Wainwright III about ten years ago because he was on Freaks and Geeks and so was his music.  I enjoyed a lot of his then new stuff and even started going back through his older material.  He is a funny, snarky guy who writes really catchy songs.

I’ve seen his name at a lot of venues in the last few years, but the timing has never worked out.

Sellersville is a little too far away for me to go to, but it did seem like a good opportunity to see him in a close, quiet setting.

This is going to get postponed, so I assume it will be rescheduled, but I do hope he adds a show even closer to me.

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[POSTPONED: April 9, 2020] Darlingside / Francesca Blanchard

indexWe have seen Darlingside four times and they are always wonderful.

Seeing them at the Sellersville Theater would probably have been a great experience because the sound in that room is tremendous.

We had seen them fairly recently, and Sellersville is kind of a pain for us to get to though so we hadn’t actually gotten tickets for it.  Plus I had several other show already lined up that week.

If they reschedule though, I’m sure we’ll go.

I didn’t know Francesca Blanchard.  Her bio says

Francesca Blanchard is a French-American songwriter based in Burlington, Vermont. Since the release of her bilingual folk debut Deux Visions in 2015, the genre-bending songwriter has been busy redefining her wheelhouse.

It says that she has gone in a slightly more pop-oriented vein.  I’d have loved to hear her sing in French.  So perhaps the rescheduled dates will feature her opening again.

 

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[ATTENDED: April 27, 2018] Joseph

I saw Joseph on a video from the Newport Folk Festival a few years back and I loved the way the three sisters of the band sounded singing together.  The power of their voices and the harmonies they sang were just stunning.

Natalie, Meegan and Allison Closner are Joseph.  The band name, Joseph, is a real problem, at least if you are trying to find them on the internet.  (They are apparently named for their grandfather or their father or the town they are from or something).

I had put them on my list of bands I wanted to see, so I was pretty excited to see that they would be playing in Sellersville Theater.  But I had a weird experience by the tickets.  I first saw a notice about the show listing in January.  I immediately grabbed tickets up close.  And then all notice of the show seemed to vanish.  It wasn’t on the band’s website.  It wasn’t on the Sellersville theater website.  It wasn’t listed anywhere.  I kept checking to see if the show was cancelled, but there was no word at all.

And then about a month and a half later the show was officially announced again and my ticket was good. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: April 27, 2018] Becca Mancari

I hadn’t heard of Becca Mancari before this show.  So when Becca’s pedal steel player came out and sat at the instrument, I wondered if this is what she looked like and what she played.

Well, after a minute or so of pretty, trippy, soaring pedal steel (which Sarah said reminded her of Sigur Ros), Becca came out in a jump suit and goggles and started playing her guitar.  I have no idea if this outfit is typical.

The first song was rather serious, so I was surprised that after the first song, she started chatting with us and was very funny and quite silly.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 15, 2017] Kings X

My friend Sean and I were planning on making it three years in a row seeing King’s X, but he had last minute other plans (which I hope were wonderful).

It was interesting seeing them again (this is 4 times in four years! and three years at Sellersville).  Usually I can’t get good pictures at Sellersville, but either it was brighter, or my new phone is better in the dark.  Either way the photos were much better.

My friend Charles is a huge fan of the band and he warned me the dUg’s voice wasn’t sounding so great.  I thought that last time around, so I was prepared for the worst.  But he sounded okay.  As another friend said, he is 66 years old.  The only real drag about that is that his voice was so amazing that’s it’s a shame he’s lost that instrument’s full range.

But the band itself sounds great and since everyone in the audience is a huge fan, we did a lot of the singing for dUg, anyway.

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[ATTENDED: July 15, 2017] Kings of Spade

Back in November, I saw King’s X and Kings of Spade.  I was more than a little surprised to see that King’s X were coming back to Sellersville and to see that Kings of Spade were opening again (turns out, not again, but still).  The band said that King’s X brought them to Europe, which was pretty exciting for them.

In the last 8 months or so, Kings of Spade have gotten even better.  They were really tight and solid back then, but their rocking songs rocked more and they really had a lot of fun on stage.  I guess 8 months of touring will get you to loosen up a bit.  In fact, when I saw them after the gig–they hung around for autographs again, I told the singer they sounded even better and she said she felt a lot more comfortable up there and danced a lot more–very nice folks.

It was cool seeing how well the bassist Tim Corker and drummer Matt Kato feed off each other–there’s some great rumbling sections in the later songs, with some great, complex drumming and fast bass playing. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 5, 2017] Lez Zeppelin

I don’t go to concerts by cover bands.  Even though I know a successful cover band is going to sound pretty much spot on to the original, I’d rather see the original.  And, if the original is no more, well, such is life.

But when I heard about Lez Zeppelin–from a lady cutting my hair no less–it sounded like a really interesting premise for a cover band.  I had wanted to see them since I heard about them (almost 2 years ago).  They played a couple of shows that I either couldn’t go to or that were too expensive (for a cover band, seriously).  And then I saw this one announced at the Sellersville Theater.  It seemed like a great place to see them.

And it was, except that, as I’ve learned previously, seated venues tend to be a bit quiet and proper.  This is great during the songs, but the bands get a little self-conscious between songs–especially if they’re used to playing in bars.  One nice thing was that they took out all of the seats in the front of the venue to allow for a standing room area.  I didn’t go up there, and while I would have liked to have been closer for a few things, I think it was the right choice, since our seats were great.

I haven’t listened to Led Zeppelin intentionally for years.  I was a huge fan growing up, have all their albums, listened to them all the time and then …done.  I didn’t need to hear them anymore.  I’ve heard them in places, of course, but I haven’t put on a disc of theirs in I don’t know how long.

And that was a great idea, because Lez Zeppelin sounded fantastic, put on a great show and reminded me of what is so great about Led Zeppelin in the first place. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 21, 2016] Kings X

2016-11-21-21-23-35A little over a year ago, my friend Sean and I saw King’s X at the Sellersville Theater.  I didn’t know they’d be back again so soon.  I was surprised to see that they were touring the East Coast again and making another stop at the Sellersville Theater.  This time I bought the tickets (and we got row H) to see this great three-piece again.

Sellersville Theater is a small place (although not very conducive to photos).  But the sound is amazing and it feels like the guys are right really close (and they are).

The band had recently posted that they were adding some surprise songs to their set, so while the beginning of the show was similar to last year’s show, there were eight new songs, which was pretty awesome. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 21, 2016] Kings of Spade

kosI hadn’t heard of Kings of Spade before this show.   They are a four piece from Hawaii–billing themselves as blues rock, although they play a lot more.  They make for an interesting looking band.  The bassist (Tim Corkerand) guitarist (Jesse Savio) (not Hawaiian natives) have long beards and look like they’re from the North East (which they are).  The drummer Matt Kato and singer are Hawaiian natives.  Singer Kasi Nunes has a bright red mohawk and a voice to match.

I missed the first song, (it’s an hour to the theater, give me a break), but the band played a solid set after that and boy were they good.

The band plays off of each other really well.  The bass and drums are really tight, keeping time changes and shifts totally spot on.  They have a few songs that absolutely rock out and then stop on a dime to switch to a different genre.  “Way She Goes” is a full barrel rocker until the middle when it shifts to an almost reggae beat.

Overall, their set is full of really catchy grooves and foot-stomping (well, as much as you can when you’re seated).

After a few songs, Savio commented about how different it is playing in a club versus a theater.  I knew they had recently played with King’s X at The Stone Pony.  The Sellersville Theater is about as far as you can get from it–and I’ll take the civilized Sellersville over the rowdy Stone Pony (although it is weird to sit during a rocking show).  He said that the biggest difference was the noise level and alcohol consumption.  And that there were tables here.  But he also said that we were so quiet and respectful during the songs–which was cool, don’t worry–but it was so quiet that he could hear the drummer humming along.  And he never knew the drummer hummed before.  As long as we were loud after the songs (and we were) he was cool with it.

2016-11-21-20-47-15While it’s hard to take your eyes off of Nunes and her giant mohawk, guitarist Savio is a great player to watch. He switches effects–from distortion to wah to some other interesting sounds including a talk box without ever losing the essential feel of his playing–bluesy, grungy bar guitars.  And his soloing is in the bluesy tradition of grooving and not showing off.  It led to some really great jams for a band whose songs are relatively short on record.

And Nunes is much more than her mohawk.  Man, does she have a powerful voice.   Sellersville is a fairly quiet theater anyhow, but there were a few times when she held a note and slowly moved the microphone away but I could still hear her even un-miced.

It was clear that they were having fun.  Nunes introduced a song about losing someone and then Savio played the intro to a different song.  He laughed and said, remember that intro for the next song.  This one is about the War of 1812.

2016-11-21-20-47-26Before introducing their song “Ronda Rousey,” she asked if anyone was into ECW.  A few people cheered and when they asked who would win on Dec 31, they were shocked when the person said Amanda (I didn’t know what they were talking about).  Nunes said that they love Ronda and wrote a song about her.  It rocked.

Some of their songs are super catchy, like the all out rocker “Strange Bird.”  And “Boys in My Band” from thier first record is pretty great, too.

When they were about done, they said they had one song left.  And then retracted that and said that the stage guy was holding up two fingers–two songs.  They apologized and said they’d keep us entertained for 8 minutes (which they did).  Savio said that he’d be anxious to hear King’s X as well–in fact that’s who he’d come to see even though his band was playing.

For the final song, Nunes said she wrote this song in the 70s and they launched into a great cover of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart.”  It sounded great.  They got the perfect guitar sound for th esolos and Nunes totally handled the tough task of singing like Janis (although she didn’t do the big scream at the end–save your voce!_)

The band doesn’t even have an entry on Setlist (someone needs to get on that!).  So I don’t know the setlist.  But from listening to their two CDs on bandcamp, I recognize these songs from the show.  Their record is good, but man their live show is tremendous.  Check them out if they play near you–and don’t be late!

2016-11-21-23-15-34They were also nice enough to take a photo with me (I’m not from Hawaii so I couldn’t do the hand gesture).
Sweet
Boys in My Band
Take Me
Strange Bird
Ronda Rousey
Way She Goes
Piece of My Heart (Janis Joplin cover)

 

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[ATTENDED: October 9, 2016] Richard Thompson

2016-10-09-15-21-28I saw Richard Thompson play back in February at McCarter.  I saw him open for Wilco (well, I saw some of his set since I was late) back in June.  And now I’ve seen him in October.

That’s a lot of Richard.  But I couldn’t pass up this show because the Sellersville Theater is one of the most intimate venues around.  I scored Row G seats like in McCarter although Sellersville’s row G is a bit further back because they have tables in the front.  But it was still like having him play in my living room.

I’ve seen him play in many different styles over the years.  This summer he also toured with Bonnie Raitt with his trio.  I would have gone to that one, since I haven’t seen his trio, but prices were way too much and I don’t like Bonnie Raitt–well, her music anyway, I’ve no opinion about her.  Like the last two times, this was just him and his acoustic guitar.  And while I would love to have gotten a different setup, there is nothing wrong with just him and his guitar.

This was a matinee show (2PM!) thrown together kind of at the last minute (it was announced less than a month ago).  He joked about how matinees are usually played fro 5-year-olds or 95-year-olds–either playing 1930s covers or Puff the Magic Dragon.  He was glad that we were between those ages.

And like last time, there was the man just six rows away.  And I got to watch every amazing solos and chord changes and capo placements and tuning and everything else he could do with that one guitar.  For the McCarter how he played for 2 hours.  We only got 90 minutes (he said “I have three more minutes before I turn into a pumpkin”) which is a little skimpy (although probably about the normal length for a show).

And while no RT show is disappointing, I was a little bummed that his setlist was almost exactly the same as the one he played at McCarter.  The first two songs were different, but almost all of the rest were the same.  And there were no requests or improvs, apparently.

I mentioned last time that he doesn’t play a lot of songs from his new album.  Which is a shame both because his newer albums have been outstanding, but also because he works pretty hard at them (I assume), and he should get to play more from them.   Of course, I totally get that he is practically contractually obligated to play “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” “I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight” “Beeswing” “Persuasion” and something from Fairport Convention.  But holy cow, he has so many songs.   He could play a different setlist every night for a month!

But enough griping, because the show was great.  he sounded fantastic and the acoustics in Sellersville are really top-notch. (more…)

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