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Archive for the ‘SOPAC’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 24, 2022] Kathleen Edwards

Back in 2019 Kathleen Edwards came out of “retirement” after spending five years running a coffee house in Stittsville, Ottawa called Quitters.  She has since sold Quitters and it is now something else.

She announced a few shows in 2019 and then a small tour in 2021.  I hoofed it into New York City to see what I imagined would be my only time seeing her.  (She was also opening for Jason Isbell, but I didn’t want to see her as an opener nor did I want to see Jason Isbell).

But then she announced a full tour in 2022!  A few years ago I thought I’d never see her live and here we are and I’ve now seen her three times in under a year.

What was also pretty interesting was that this band line up was almost entirely different from the last time (which had been different from the first time).

The first time it was a five piece with two guitars (and a keyboard), bass and drums.  The second time it was drums, bass, pedal steel guitar and violin/keyboard.  So no lead guitar (all leads were on the pedal steel).  For this third show there was no bass or drums.  So, we had the same two “new” members from the show just a month earlier: Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel and Kinley Dowling who played keys and violin.  And we were once again joined by Colin Cripps (her ex-husband).  He played with her back in the old days and also when I saw her in NYC, but not a month earlier). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 22, 2022] Matt Sucich

I thought that Matt Sucich was going to open for Kathleen Edwards in Haddon Heights.  But he joined her tour right after that show.  And so we saw him for this SOPAC show.

Despite how easy it is to get to SOAPC, the parking area was nuts, so we walked in in the middle of his first or second song.

We also had the terrible realization that the seats (which were moveable and placed in specifically for this show were REALLY close to us.  It made for a remarkably uncomfortable set in the otherwise normally really comfy SOPAC.

Sucich has a really pleasant folksinger style with a soothing deep-ish voice and a simple playing and lyrical style.

Midway through the set as I was enjoying him quite a bit he said one of the few things that will turn me against a singer.  he said that his new album had backing vocals by Adam Duritz and that he had just been on tour with Counting Crows.  There may be no band that I hate across the board as much as Counting Crows (mostly because of Duritz’ voice).  So this was not good news to me.  Although since Duritz didn’t appear, it wasn’t the disaster it could have been.

At some point he had made a joke about himself and the audience applauded and it became a regular thing that he would say this same thing about himself and we would all applaud.  It made for a warm and fun set.  Later on when he sang with Kathleen, he really won me over and all memory of Duritz was forgotten.

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[ATTENDED: April 2, 2022] DakhaBrakha

After the last few nights, I was in need of a break, but there was no way I was passing up a chance to see DakhaBrakha.

I heard about this Ukranian band from Tiny Desk Concerts, of course.  I fell in love with them immediately.  Their music was weird and wonderful with amazing harmonies and interesting instruments.  And their outfits were incredible.  Giant hats and beautiful dresses on the women–who totally kicked ass while they played, too.

I was thrilled when I saw they were coming to SOPAC–local, small and seated.  I snatched up tickets way back in November,

And then Russia invaded Ukraine.  And who even knew if they’d be alive, much less able to play in the States.  Evidently they left the country about a week before the show–so they had been there (their home base is in Kyiv) during the bombing.  It’s unreal.

So now, this show went from being a fun celebration of Ukraine to a pointed attempt to show support to a country that needed it.  Suddenly, the night was more significant.

Which, fortunately, didn’t change the music.  True, the visuals that the band showed were often far more somber and dark than they probably would have been otherwise, but you can’t change the music.  And it was wonderful. (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: December 22, 2021] KT Tunstall / Christine Havrilla [moved from August 23, 2020]

So KT Tunstall was supposed to play three shows in my area.  The show at Ardmore was added when the other shows were rescheduled.  Then COVID pushed the shows back again.

For some reason this show was listed as being on December 8 for a short time before it was corrected to being on December 22.

That meant that it looked like she was playing four shows in the Philly area at different venues.

I like Ardmore, although if I can see a band closer I will go there instead.  Even though KT’s SOPAC show was postponed, the fact that it was postponed and not cancelled meant that I could just wait until she came back to South Orange. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: December 10, 2021] KT Tunstall / New Reveille [rescheduled from March 27, 2020 and February 12, 2021]

I enjoyed watching the saga of KT Tunstall’s shows getting scheduled and postponed and reschedule and postponed again.  Not because I want her (or anyone to be unhappy), but because it was a good bellweather as to what was going on.  Unlike most artists, KT was really game to get out there.

Plus she had three shows in my area and it seemed like I saw her name all the time.

Well, things finally opened up and she was playing her shows.  Of the three, I was most likely to go to this one since it was closest.  And then a short time before the show, it was postponed as well.  But her other shows weren’t

But this time it wasn’t because of COVID or other health related issues, it was actually a boon for her (although not for SOPAC).

She was invited to sing at the 41st Annual John Lennon Tribute Concert at Symphony Space in New York City.  A good reason to postpone a show.

I see that in the new year, KT is on the West Coast, so I’m not sure when she’ll be back for SOPAC, but I’m sure her local fans will be waiting.

New Reveille is an Americana/bluegrass band from North Carolina.  They’ve got banjo, fiddle and a ton of attitude.  While they are definitely in the country vein, I think the bluegrass and the rockingness (they cover The Killers live) makes them a potentially fun live band.  For the three shows in the area, she has three different opening acts.  This one might be the most fun.

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[POSTPONED: February 12, 2021] KT Tunstall / New Reveille [rescheduled from March 27, 2020; moved to December 10, 2021]

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The SOPAC site says that new dates will be announced for this show.  It’s nice to read postponed rather than cancelled.

When it was announced that KT Tunstall was going to play SOPAC, my first thought was probably, huh, she’s still around?

Then over the last few months I’ve been seeing more and more about her.  I also feel like her name keeps cropping up in local venues.

After listening to a live show of hers on WXPN, I realized that she’s really good (and released songs I didn’t realize were hers).  I had no intention of going to this show but with all of her shows rescheduled and the new one being moved to next year, this might be a nice show to go to.

New Reveille is an Americana/bluegrass band from North Carolina.  They’ve got banjo, fiddle and a ton of attitude.  While they are definitely in the country vein, I think the bluegrass and the rockingness (they cover The Killers live) makes them a potentially fun live band.  For the three shows in the area, she has three different opening acts.  This one might be the most fun.

sopac

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[POSTPONED: August 23, 2020] KT Tunstall / Christine Havrilla

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Initially, KT Tunstall wasn’t going to play Ardmore Music hall when she scheduled her Spring tour.  She had a date at SOPAC in NJ in March and a date in Sellersville in May.

With the rescheduling of her shows, she added a show at Ardmore Music Hall, sponsored by WXPN.  And there’s a really hopping poster attached to it.

Of all the advertising for her shows, this one certainly looks the most exciting.  This rescheduled show was on the same date as my Wilco / Sleater-Kinney show, so I wouldn’t have gone…but with the Wilco show cancelled earlier, it was a possibility,

I had forgotten about KT Tunstall.  I had her first record and then didn’t realize that she had had a couple of other (big) hits since “Suddenly I See.”

Her name has been popping up all over the place lately and each time I saw her name I wondered if I should check her out.  She’s touring with Hall and Oates this summer and she seems to be doing a lot of local shows as a headliner.  All of this repetition has me thinking I might go see her.  But mostly I’m intrigued by how much her name is going to show up in these posts soon.

Christine Havrilla is a folksinger who sounds a bit like she could sing with the Indigo Girls.  She’s from Philadelphia and apparently if she’s with her band Gypsy Fuzz she rocks out harder than solo–although the song I heard veered a bit into country.

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[POSTPONED: March 27, 2020] KT Tunstall / New Reveille [moved to February 12, 2021]

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When it was announced that KT Tunstall was going to play SOPAC, my first thought was probably, huh, she’s still around?

Then over the last few months I’ve been seeing more and more about her.  I also feel like her name keeps cropping up in local venues.

After listening to a live show of hers on WXPN, I realized that she’s really good (and released songs I didn’t realize were hers).  I had no intention of going to this show but with all of her shows rescheduled and the new one being moved to next year, this might be a nice show to go to.

New Reveille is an Americana/bluegrass band from North Carolina.  They’ve got banjo, fiddle and a ton of attitude.  While they are definitely in the country vein, I think the bluegrass and the rockingness (they cover The Killers live) makes them a potentially fun live band.  For the three shows in the area, she has three different opening acts.  This one might be the most fun.

sopac

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[ATTENDED: February 8, 2020] The Exile Follies

There are some musicians who I’ve often thought I’d like to see but who I wouldn’t really want to travel too far too see.  This trio of artists are each musicians that I loved back in the 90s but whom I’ve lost touch with since then.

I used to love Throwing Muses and I have her first two solo albums.  I often thought about going to her live, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it if I didn’t know her new stuff.

Same with Grant Lee Phillips.  His song “Mockingbird” is one of my favorite songs of all time, but I don’t love all of his material, so I wouldn’t want to have gone for a whole show, I didn’t think.

And John Doe.  X is one of favorite bands from back in the day and seeing them live was amazing.  But I was never sure if I’d want to see just him because I don’t know much of his solo work.

So this tour with all three of them (and in a nearby venue) was perfect.

Kristin came out first.  She sat on a stool center stage and played her acoustic guitar. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 25, 2020] Bob Mould

2020-01-25 21.13.34_previewI saw Bob Mould perform in 1996 at Avalon in Boston.  I don’t remember that much about the show.  He had a three piece band I believe (and Rasputina opened).  It was mix of Hüsker Dü, Sugar and solo songs (according to setlist.fm–see below).  Interestingly, there is a scathing review of his 1998 show in Chicago here.

So here it was 24 years later and Mould was touring again (he has toured a lot in the meantime, make no mistake) and I thought it would be fun to see him again.

This time it was just him and an electric guitar.  Once again he played Hüsker Dü, Sugar and solo songs.  Although now he had a lot more solo stuff to choose from.

What was fascinating about this show was that since it was just him, he was able to really rock through a whole bunch of songs at a pretty good speed–with minimal accompaniment or soloing.

And it was really quite loud–especially in this normally fairly quiet venue.  It was particularly amusing since I was in front of him so that that every time he moved to the left or the right, the amp (which was behind him) was so much louder–he was literally blocking a ton of the sound with his body.

Mould was in good form, telling some jokes and genuinely seeming to have a very good time. (more…)

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