Archive for the ‘The Fillmore Philadelphia’ Category

[ATTENDED: November 29, 2022] Måneskin

Back in May of 2021 I was pretty excited that Måneskin won Eurovision 2021.  I am in no way a Eurovision watcher, but during the lockdown I decided to do some dives into recent Eurovision happenings.  Måneskin was unusual–a rocking band who were glammy but heavy.  Their song “Zitti E Buoni” had it all (in a tidy three minute package).

I enjoyed the song, played it a few times and then kind of forgot about them.

So it was weird when, a few months later, my daughter became obsessed with them.  I realized that in 2022, it’s easy to be obsessed with a band from a non-English speaking country, but it still made me happy because obviously I am obsessed with lots of bands from far away places.

Måneskin announced a small concert in October 2021 and I missed out on the announcement and it sold out very quickly.  That sucked because she would have loved to see them (and it would have been pretty cool to see them in a small club before they toured the States).

It took almost five months for Måneskin to announce a proper U.S. tour.  There was no way I could miss out on these tickets and I grabbed them immediately.  She was thrilled and I was pretty excited to see them as well.  I was somewhat surprised, but not really, that it sold out.  But I was a bit more surprised that they announced a second show in Philly.

That one didn’t sell out and as the show approached, the idea came to us to go to the non-sold out show instead.  There was also the possibility of a few her friends going to–we may have been our own crowd.  Various things came up and it turned out to be just my T, S and me.  But i did manage to sell our Monday tickets, so it worked out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 23, 2022] Jinjer

I saw Jinjer almost exactly one year ago to the day.  It was also the night before Thanksgiving (that’s kind of weird, no?}

When they announced this show I bought a ticket immediately.  Last year, there was no war in Ukraine.  There was no crisis or concern.  This year, I wanted to support them and their country.  I didn’t even really pay attention to the rest of the bill.

Which turned out to be Space of Variations–a Ukrainian band that I hadn’t heard of but who I have since hear were excellent.  Vended–featuring two children of members of Slipknot and which sounded like it would be loud and unrelenting.  And P.O.D. a band I thought was Christian and who I thought was long broken up.  I didn’t want to see any of these other bands (well, maybe Space of Variations).  And I didn’t want to spend two and a half hours standing around listening to bands I didn’t really want to hear.

So I thought I might not go.  But I listened to some Jinjer and decided that I did want to see them after all.  Especially when I saw that they were playing “Pisces” on this tour (which they didn’t play for us last time). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 14, 2022] Mercyful Fate

When Mercyful Fate announced their first U.S. tour in 23 years, I immediately grabbed a ticket.  They were one of my favorite metal bands back in high school.  I listened to their two albums constantly.  My friend Joe and I used to jam to them, learning how to play fast metal.

They basically broke up in 1985 and lead singer King Diamond went solo.  He was the main focus of the band for me, so I followed his career for an album or two then gave up on the whole thing.

I had no idea they’d reunited in the 90s and released a bunch of albums.

But after their 1999 album Mercyful Fate went on hiatus again.  And now, here they were back together after 23 years.  Well, sort of together again.  The new lineup features two of the five original dudes.  The King of course and original guitarist Hank Shermann.  Then there are some dudes who joined them for the mid 90s reunion drummer Bjarne T. Holm and guitarist Mike Wead.  The final piece was supposed to be Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera, but he was off playing with Armored Saint.  So they found Becky Baldwin, who has been on a dozen albums by bands I don’t know.  But she totally kicked ass on stage and frankly it was nice to have a female presence on stage.

After Kreator was gone, we all rushed the stage and waited.  There was some turmoil as a big dude seemed to be lurking and lurching at the women in the audience. I anticipated trouble, but none was had.  And then people started pushing . Really hard.  Because the pit was being formed.  So I was far from where I started but still plenty close enough.

As with Kreator, I thought that the sound was too loud.  But that compliant is more for the fidelity of the music than the actual volume.  It felt like the music was very crackly and I actually thought it sounded better with earplugs in.  I also thought it was very un-Mercyful Fate like to play lead guitar in a baseball hat and sunglasses, but such is Hank Shermann’s deal I guess.

But honestly who cared as long as the music sounded good and that King Diamond could still do his magic.

They opened with “The Oath” and I was immediately transported back to 1985.  The riffs were spot on and, amazingly King Diamond sounded just as unholy and insane as always.

The stood at the top of the stage–there was a balcony over the drum riser with stairs leading to the stage–in front of a “marble” room. He wore a giant horned mask and a red robe.  And of course his face was painted white.  And he had his femur bone/cross/microphone.  The song started, the recognizable riff blasting through the speakers, and the King’s unholy falsetto soaring through the crowd: “I deny Jesus Christ.”

Yup, the giant floating upside down cross and goat’s head pentagram weren’t the only thing Satanic about this meeting.  It was followed by a song from their debut EP, “A Corpse Without Soul.”

I wasn’t really sure how many people liked Mercyful Fate. I mean, I know they are hugely influential (Metallica covered them after all), but who knew if that translated into actual fans.  But not only were there a lot of people there, most of them seemed to know all the words.

They played a new song, but I didn’t really care all that much about it.  I haven’t listened to anything past 1985 by them and doubt that I will.  It seemed to be a historical, rather than a Satanic song.  Between these three songs, it had been over twenty minutes already!

By this time, the King had gone up to the room and removed his horns.  He came back with the crown that he wears for most of the show.

And then they moved onto a song from Melissa.  It quickly became clear that I know Melissa a bit better than Oath, because every note of “Curse of the Pharaohs” was instantly familiar.  King Diamond hit those insanely high notes of the chorus with no trouble.  It was almost shocking how short the song is when compared t o the others.

King Diamond was pretty fun and funny throughout the show.  He invited us to “A Dangerous Meeting.”  They followed that up with “Doomed by the Living Dead,” another deep cut that shows a really catchy chorus.

I was pretty delighted that this tour was pretty much all classic songs–no 90s songs at all.  I wouldn’t exactly say hit after hit, but for a fan of those two records it felt like hit after hit.

Then it was on to a whole bunch of songs from Melissa.  They played pretty much all of the album (skipping “Into the Coven” and “At the Sound of the Demon Bell”).

The King climbed up to his room as Hank and Mike played the opening guitar riff and solo of “Melissa.”  King came out and knelt in front of the pentagram as he crooned the opening words.  I’ve listened to this song so much, I knew everything that was coming.  It was pretty awesome.

They followed it with the remarkably short “Black Funeral” and then the album opener “Evil” which I swear EVERYONE sang along to (except the high notes, thankfully).

The final song of the set was “Come to the Sabbath” (which he of course invited us to).

I knew they were playing “Satan’s Fall” on this  tour and I was unreasonably excited to hear it.  I didn’t know if there was anything else I especially wanted to hear.  “Nuns Have No Fun” would have been a hilarious addition, but I didn’t expect it.  And quite frankly, I was happy for the show to be relatively short.

So after an encore break, the band came out and began the epic journey.  It was crazy hearing that riff, hearing that voice (even if I had no idea what the words actually were), and feeling everyone moshing and slamming and singing around me.  If I had been 15, it would have been the greatest moment of my life, I’m sure.

The song was epic and they finished it and we all went crazy.

Then the band gathered near the front of the stage and it was very funny to see King Diamond smiling and waving to people.

There were actually some dudes shouting “one more song” as if a) you could top “Satan’s Fall” and b) you could actually tell King Diamond what to do.

Markit Aneight posted a full video of the show

  1. The Oath Ø
  2. A Corpse Without Soul ¥
  3. The Jackal of Salzburg [new]
  4. Curse of the Pharaohs ϖ
  5. A Dangerous Meeting Ø
  6. Doomed by the Living Dead ¥
  7. Melissa ϖ
  8. Black Funeral ϖ
  9. Evil ϖ
  10. Come to the Sabbath Ø
  11. Satan’s Fall ϖ
new song 2022
Ø Don’t Break the Oath (1984)
ϖ Melissa (1983)

¥ Mercyful Fate EP (1982)

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[ATTENDED: November 14, 2022] Kreator

When Mercyful Fate announced their first U.S. tour in 23 years, I immediately grabbed a ticket.  I didn’t care who the opening bands were.  The fact that it was billed as a kind of double bill with Kreator was no big deal.  And we had support from Midnight, whom I’d never heard of.

I wanted to arrive late enough that I wouldn’t be too far back but also with hope that I didn’t have to sit through too much of Kreator.

I missed Midnight entirely–they sound like a band I would have enjoyed back in high school (solid Metal Blade music).

I had heard of Kreator, (they’ve been around since 1985, after all) but I really didn’t know anything about them.  Apparently they are quite legendary in the metal world.  Wikipedia even says

Pleasure to Kill is widely considered a landmark thrash metal classic, along with Master of Puppets by Metallica, Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying? by Megadeth, Reign in Blood by Slayer, Eternal Devastation by Destruction and Darkness Descends by Dark Angel, all released in 1986.

But I’m guessing that since I didn’t get into this album back in the 80s, I never would.  I found the whole show, of which I saw about six or seven songs, too loud (so I’m too old).  And kind of samey. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 23, 2022] Metric

Metric’s Fantasties was one of my favorite albums of 2009.  I liked it so much I went back and got their first two albums as well and really enjoyed their brand of gritty synth pop all based around Emily Haines’ astute and observantly dark lyrics.  Then I kind of lost track of them.  They put out a record in 2012 Synthetica which I don’t understand why I didn’t listen to.  They’ve continued to release albums every three years or so, and I’d been hearing how good their live shows were so I decided to check out The Doomscroller tour.

The stage setup was quite simple–a wall of lights behind them.  The four members stood close to the center.   Amazingly, the four members have been the same since more or less the beginning (they had a different bassist but he left before their first album).  Joules Scott-Key on drums in the back.  Joshua Winstead on bass more or less in front of us.  James Shaw on guitar on the far side and singer Emily Haines in the middle.  They were all standing at keyboards as the moody intro to “Doomscroller” started.  Emily moved to one of the keyboards to add her parts and when the song shifted, she walked over to another keyboard–do they have different purposes?  

When the sound shifted, the guys moved away from the synths and started rocking out.  The lights changed.  Emily moved into the middle and the whole room rocked out.  Until things settled down again.  The song is ten minutes with several parts and it showed exactly what the band was going to do and what the show was going  to be like.

It was exciting and cathartic all together.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 23, 2022] Miss Grit

Metric was on my radar back in the early 2000s, but their album Fantasties proved to be one of my favorite releases of 2009.  I had not considered seeing them live until I’d heard such glowing reviews of their live show.

When this tour was announced, Secret Machines was listed as the opening act for all shows but Philly and one other location.  No other information was given.  Even walking into the venue I wasn’t sure if there was an opening act.  The only clue was that Metric was live streaming their show at 9 and the venue said the show started at 8.

A few minutes after 8, the lights dimmed and two people walked out.  The crowd cheered, and then I heard someone say, “Wait. is there an opening band?”  So I wasn’t the only one confused.

The people on stage were a guy behind some keyboards and a woman with a guitar.

The first song began and the keyboards made some cool sounds–weird and catchy–with a beat.  Then the woman started singing.  I liked the whole vibe she projected.  As the song came to an end, she played some really wicked guitar licks–they reminded me of the earlier sounds that St. Vincent made on her first couple of albums–weird, unexpected and really compelling.

The rest of the set was more or less like this.  Sometimes the guitar parts were more of a lead.  Sometimes they were more like solos

She didn’t say much.  She thanks Metric.  Thanked us for coming early.  And just as she was about to start the last song, someone shouted, Who are you?  She smiled, leaned into the microphone and whispered something inaudible, which I think was her saying Miss Grit.  I had actually heard of Miss Grit on an All Songs Considered episode from a couple of years ago.  I remembered liking the song.

The only way I knew the band was by doing an audio search on my phone during the last song “Like You” which had a distinctive guitar riff.

Then they walked up, with the audience pretty much blown away.  I think we all enjoyed her set immensely and I’m surprised she didn’t make sure we all knew who she was.



Like you


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[ATTENDED: July 26, 2021] The Linda Lindas [postponed from July 21, 2022]

I was excited to take my daughter to see The Linda Lindas since she is the same age as they are.  She didn’t really know their music (I heard about them when they played at a library in LA), but I thought she’d enjoy the show and the venue.

But when the show was postponed (it was pretty cool that it was only postponed five days), the new date was on a night that she has a 4H commitment.  So she couldn’t go.

So, I went since I wanted to see them while they were still buzzed about.  If you know them at all, you know that they are four teenaged girls who made a great punk song called “Racist Sexist Boy” about their experiences with a racist sexist classmate.  They did a pandemic-era show at the L.A. library and made huge news.

The foursome are great musicians, they write rocking, relevant (to them) punk songs and, most important, they have a ton of fun.  At the time of our show, the drummer, Mila de la Garza, was possibly not yet 12.  She played a solid drum, sang her heart out, drew a cat under her nose like a mustache and had a great time. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 26, 2021] Bacchae [postponed from July 21, 2022]

I was excited to take my daughter to see The Linda Lindas since she is the same age as they are.  She didn’t really know their music (I heard about them when they played at a library in LA), but I thought she’d enjoy the show and the venue.

But when the show was postponed (it was pretty cool that it was only postponed five days), the new date was on a night that she has a 4H commitment.  So she couldn’t go.

So, I went since I wanted to see them while they were still buzzed about.

The opening band I hadn’t heard of.  They are called Bacchae (a good start for a intellectual show, right?).  They are a Washington D.C. based punk band with really smart lyrics.

They released their last album just in time for the pandemic. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: July 21, 2021] The Linda Lindas / Bacchae [moved to July 26, 2022]

I was excited to take my daughter to see The Linda Lindas since she is the same age as they are.  She didn’t really know their music (I heard about them when they played at a library in LA), but I thought she’d enjoy the show and the venue.

We drove all the way to Philly.  We parked.  We walked to the venue.  And discovered that the show had been postponed!

In fairness to the world, apparently it was known on July 19th, that these shows were being postponed because of a case of COVID in the touring party.  BrooklynVegan posted on the 19th (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 4, 2022] Spoon [rescheduled from April 15, 2022]

This was possibly the shortest time between a postponed show and a rescheduled show.  Nineteen days!  It’s pretty remarkable that the venues were able to accommodate Spoon with such short notice.

So I’ve never been a huge fan of Spoon, but I like a lot if not most of their songs.  In fact, I like them more and more with each record and with each live show.  It’s like the live experience really shows what they’re doing to its best example.

So this was my third time seeing them.  And it was great.

They opened with “Held” a Smog song that they have covered a lot in the past (and which is on their new album).  As soon as Britt Daniel started singing, someone behind me loudly screamed along “first time in my life!” (more…)

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