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Archive for the ‘The Fillmore Philadelphia’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: October 27, 2021] Arlo Parks

I really enjoyed the songs I’d heard from Arlo Parks’ album.  But apparently I was too late in hearing about her tour.

I’m usually pretty on top of things when tours are announced but this one passed me by entirely and when I finally went to buy a ticket (not all that long after they went on sale, the only tickets left were selling for over $100–forget that).

A friend of mine went and told me that evidently tickets were made available just before the show, but I had long given up on this one. Her album made early everyone’s Best of the Year list so there’s no way she’ll play anywhere as small as The Foundry again.  (more…)

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[DID NOT ATTEND: October 19, 2021] The Mountain Goats

I’ve enjoyed a lot of The Mountain Goats’ music and I’d like to see them live, but their timing always seems to be terrible.

In addition to the several times that the John Darnielle solo show was postponed in Bethlehem, this show was added as part of a new tour following the cancellation of previous dates around the country.

This show happened to line up with two other shows that I wanted to go to that night.

Coincidentally, both of those other shows were cancelled, but by then, it was too late t even think about adding a new show to my week.

So, some day I’ll see them preferably in a place smaller than the Fillmore, as well).

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[ATTENDED: October 13, 2021] Idles

I saw Idles two years ago and the show was amazing.  A raw, raucous punk show with all kinds of slam dancing, crowd surfing (including the band), and shouting.  But also an incredible feeling of warmth and love from the band.

I’m gathering that the band always opens with “Colossus.”  A loud, slow, rumbling repeating bass note from Adam Devonshire shook the whole place.  And then Joe Talbot came out and started singing the slow, quiet introduction.

But the band and the crowd were just waiting in anticipation for the BOOM, when the song took of and the pit started flailing around.

Since I saw them last, they put out a new album, with another one on the way.  The only played one song from the forthcoming album, but they did play a bunch from Ultra Mono.  They sprinkled the songs throughout the set, interspersing classic tracks with the new ones.

(more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 13, 2021] Gustaf

I had not heard of Gustaf when this show was announced, but when I looked them up, they promised to put on a fun show.  And boy did they ever.

Gustaf is a five-piece from Brooklyn: Guitarist Vram Kherlopian, lead singer Lydia Gammill, bassist Tine Hill, vocalist/percussionist Tarra Thiessen and drummer Melissa Lucciola.  They are a classic old school art-punk band.

They make weird music and they have a lot of fun.  It was a terrific set.

The band was spread out across the stage with guitarist Kherlopian in front of us on the left.  It was fun watching him playing and not playing.  The kind of guitar work that is sparse and punchy.  The other side of the stage had the rhythm section.  Lucciola and Hill were the backbone of the band, keeping things grounded while the rest of the band did their weird things.  Thiessen might have been having the most fun as she played a Chock Full O Nuts Coffee can for percussion and often had her voice manipulated to sound deep and slow. (more…)

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[CANCELLED: December 10, 2020] Billy Strings / Molly Tuttle [rescheduled from April 10]

index

I initially didn’t want to see Billy Strings in The Fillmore because the venue was too impersonal for his kind of music.  But by December, I was ready to see anyone anywhere.

It’s a shame this had to be cancelled as well.  I guess I should have watched his streaming tour when I had the chance.

I saw Billy strings open for I’m With Her in a small theater (seated).  He was amazing.  Not only was his guitar playing phenomenal (as his name suggests), but his banter and his attitude and everything about him just made me want to watch him all night.

When he announced a headlining tour I thought I’d really like to see him again.  But this show is at the Fillmore–it’s just too big and impersonal a room to really enjoy what Billy can do, in my opinion.

I hope he can come back around and play some more intimate venues.

Molly Tuttle is an amazing bluegrass guitar player.  Molly is noted for her flatpicking, clawhammer, and crosspicking guitar prowess.  (She is also amazing at the banjo too).  In 2017, Tuttle was the first woman to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award.  In 2018 she won the award again, along with being named the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year.  She played with Billy at Newport Folk Festival, but we only saw about five minutes of their set.

A night of Billy and Molly would blow your musical mind.  Maybe the venue is immaterial.

Once this tour was postponed, Billy announced a streaming tour.

July 16 – Brooklyn Bowl (Streamed live via FANS)
July 17 – Brooklyn Bowl (Streamed live via FANS)
July 18 – Station Inn (Streamed live via Station Inn TV)
July 19 – Station Inn (Streamed live via Station Inn TV)
July 22 – City Winery (Streamed live via Nugs TV)
July 23 – City Winery (Streamed live via Nugs TV)
July 24 – Exit/In (Streamed live via TourGigs)
July 25 – Exit/In (Streamed live via TourGigs)
July 26 – 3rd & Lindsley (Streamed live via Nugs TV)

billyu

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[POSTPONED: April 10, 2020] Billy Strings / Molly Tuttle [moved to December 10]

index

I saw Billy strings open for I’m With Her in a small theater (seated).  He was amazing.  Not only was his guitar playing phenomenal (as his name suggests), but his banter and his attitude and everything about him just made me want to watch him all night.

When he announced a headlining tour I thought I’d really like to see him again.  But this show is at the Fillmore–it’s just too big and impersonal a room to really enjoy what Billy can do, in my opinion.

I hope he can come back around and play some more intimate venues.

Molly Tuttle is an amazing bluegrass guitar player.  Molly is noted for her flatpicking, clawhammer, and crosspicking guitar prowess.  (She is also amazing at the banjo too).  In 2017, Tuttle was the first woman to win the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year award.  In 2018 she won the award again, along with being named the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year.  She played with Billy at Newport Folk Festival, but we only saw about five minutes of their set.

A night of Billy and Molly would blow your musical mind.  Maybe the venue is immaterial.

Once this tour was postponed, Billy announced a streaming tour.

July 16 – Brooklyn Bowl (Streamed live via FANS)
July 17 – Brooklyn Bowl (Streamed live via FANS)
July 18 – Station Inn (Streamed live via Station Inn TV)
July 19 – Station Inn (Streamed live via Station Inn TV)
July 22 – City Winery (Streamed live via Nugs TV)
July 23 – City Winery (Streamed live via Nugs TV)
July 24 – Exit/In (Streamed live via TourGigs)
July 25 – Exit/In (Streamed live via TourGigs)
July 26 – 3rd & Lindsley (Streamed live via Nugs TV)

billyu

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[POSTPONED: March 22, 2020] Thundercat / TeeJayx6 [moved to November 4, 2021]

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  This was going to be potentially my ninth show this month.

I have seen Thundercat on a Tiny Desk and I really enjoyed his album “Drunk.”  It’s not exactly my kind of music–sometimes a bit too R&Bish for me, and yet I love his overall vibe and style enough that I thought a live show from him would be really fun.

I have no idea who TeeJayx6 is or how to say the name.  Indeed, there wasn’t even an opening act announced for this show until very recently.

But I had to look him up and I see that he is part of the “fringe world of scam rap.”   According to Wired, all he does is scam and rap about it.  He raps about the scams he does, the tools he uses and the ways he did it–so you can do it too.

“Swipe Story” is about lifting seven Xboxes and TVs from Walmart–from a red-herring perusal of the clothes racks; through fumbling conversations about golf with the clerk; to the feeling of relied zooming away in a rental car with  the cargo.

Damn, see what the virus had me miss.

It turned out to be the seventh of dozens of shows cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus.

Obviously, my main concern is for everyone’s safety, including the bands!

My selfish concern though is that once the shows are rescheduled that all of these shows will be scheduled on the same day!

Let’s hope the rescheduled dates also do some social distancing.

thunder

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[ATTENDED: November 14, 2019] Emily Reo [rescheduled from June 6]

I hadn’t heard of Emily Reo before this show.  She was supposed to open for Charly Bliss back in June when the show was postponed.  Reo opened on the rest of those shows so it was nice she was brought back for this extra show as well.

Emily joked about mid-way through the set saying she hoped she requested the day off from work…otherwise she might not have a job tomorrow.  Not sure what her job was, but that was certainly endearing.  It also made me want to buy a CD (or a cool shirt) from her, but the line was massive (good for her).

Emily Reo is a musician and recording engineer from Brooklyn.  She has been putting out music for ten years. and has about a dozen releases.  Most of the songs in this show came from her newest album, 2019’s Only You Can See It.

I don’t remember the names of her live band mates, (sorry guys), but they played a simple drum, bass and guitar foundation for the synths and vocals that made up the bulk or Reo’s sound.

Reo had a keyboard rack in front of her.  But I was really intrigued by her voice.  In addition to being powerful with a  decent range, she multi-tracked her voice throughout the show.   I couldn’t tell if the extra vocals were prerecorded or modified live, but her backing vocals often had some kind of processing on it (or just a simple echo) to make her voice seem huge.

You can hear some of the vocal tracking (and a nice guitar solo) on “Sundowning.”

I loved the drumming in “Fleur.”  In fact, I liked the drumming in a lot of the songs–a lot of toms and interesting patterns.  She has some really cool vocal melodies on a lot of these songs like the really fast chorus vocals in this song.  Although I can tell I was too close because in the videos you can’t really hear her vocals all that well.

Ghosting” has some great high notes that really showed off her range.  There some more complex drumming in the middle.  She also does a few different vocals styles in this song.

After a few songs I saw her pick up a keytar.  If you play a keytar I’m going to be pretty excited.  If you use it as a midi-controller, creating all kinds of interesting sounds while also playing the main keyboard lines, I’m going to be super impressed.  This happened in “Balloon.”  Many times, the vocals were all kinds of processed, giving the a very cool robotic sound.

She played one song from 2013’s Olive Juice.  “Peach” sounded very different, including using a programmed drum pattern (the live drummer did join in, but the dominant sound was the electric drum). It was also the simplest song of the night (the chord progression of the verses was so simple as to be almost a joke).  The bridges has some cool sound effects thrown on top, but overall it makes me think that this album isn’t as strong as the newer one.

Once again, though I am really bummed by the lighting.  That magenta–barf.  They had even brought their own lighting projector which sent shapes on the wall behind them.  But it couldn’t defeat the pink.

I loved the guitar riff and build up in “Candy.”   There were also some interesting vocal filters (and you can actually hear the vocals in this video) for this song.  The drums were quiet but were cool with lots of little clicks and pops.  “Strawberry” started with a sequencer playing a line of keyboard notes.  New sounds were slowly added as the song grew more complex. until it resolved in a simple melody with a prominent guitar riff and layered vocals.  The most memorable part of the song came at he end when, through a filter that sounded a bit like a megaphone, she sang lyrics that were almost like a cheerleader:

what do you deserve from me
n-o-t-h-i-n-g
why do you always have to be
so c-r-y-p-t-i-c
save the calls for my kitty
c-h-a-r-l-i-e
wish you had earned that PHD
in r-e-s-p-e-c-t
how many girls in this city
are getting t-i-r-e-d
finding a sense of security
through h-i-d-i-n-g
wish i could swim but i’m in your teeth
b-l-e-e-d-i-n-g
wish you had earned that PHD
in r-e-s-p-e-c-t

And who doesn’t love songs with lyrics that you have to spell?

Interestingly, the Charlie might be the person in my favorite song, the set ending “Charlie.”  The song was a slow burner with some big soaring vocals and terrific harmonies.

She was an enjoyable opening act and I ‘m glad to have heard her.

One observation about her voice.

On record she has a delivery that I’ve noticed a lot of women seem to have lately and I can’t decide if its an affectation or an accent or an age thing or what.  The women who do it are not from the same place, so it can’t be an accent).  You can hear it in the way she sings the first line of “Sundowning.”  From 30-40 seconds, the lines “something familiar caught in a smokescreen / locked in a mirror.”  The way she sings the word “mirror” is weirdly affected.  You can also hear it from 2:55- 3:00 in “Ghosting” (“from a hollow tree / I’ve been spirit hosting”).  Other singers who have this kind of delivery include Margaret Glaspy (who is from California).  At around 48 seconds in “You and I,” listen to the way she sings “out on parade” is that same delivery but so excessive it’s practically slurred.  And around 1:40 ” I think you might be harboring a heartache” is just full of that delivery.  What is is called?  Also SOAK (who is from Northern Ireland and may actually have an accent in her delivery), but the way she sings “B a noBody” has a lot ofthat delivery in the first lines and in the way she sings “c’mon c’mon.”  Perhaps it’s generational.

SETLIST

  1. Sundowning *
  2. Fleur *
  3. Ghosting *
  4. Balloon *
  5. Peach ⊗
  6. Candy *
  7. Strawberry *
  8. Charlie *

* 2019 = Only You Can See
⊗ 2013 = Olive Juice

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[ATTENDED: October 27, 2019] Sleater-Kinney

I saw Sleater-Kinney in New York City in 1999 and 2000.

Back in those days I didn’t try to get up close to the stage and I have one or two pictures of them from far away.

When S-K made their reunion album in 2015, I didn’t feel compelled to see the tour because I had seen them twice already.  I now regret it because it was at Union Transfer and that would have been an amazing place to see them.  Although looking at that setlist, aside from songs of that new album, I didn’t miss a whole lot that wasn’t played at my show, so my regret is now low.

There were some weird things going on with this tour before it even began.  People didn’t like the new record.  Then, amazing drummer Janet Weiss abruptly quit a few weeks before the tour started (I saw that people actually asked online about getting a refund (!)).  And my show had the weird detail of being listed at two venues.  Was it at the main room of the Fillmore?  Or was it in the tiny Foundry (as their site listed).  Now The Foundry would have been an insanely wonderful place to see them, and I wondered if the new album wasn’t selling or that without Janet, maybe they could only fill The Foundry.

But clearly that was a mistake because the Fillmore was well crowded (but not packed).  I have been really down on the Fillmore as of late because super crowded shows there really suck.  But I managed to get a good spot around nicer people and was close enough that I wasn’t in the halo of the bar, so it was all good.  And the sound in the Fillmore is outstanding, of course. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 27, 2019] Joseph Keckler

When I bought tickets for Sleater-Kinney ages ago, I don’t think they’d announced an opening act.

Then the opening act was supposed to be Shamir whom I’d seen on a Tiny Desk Concert and enjoyed.  His dance music seemed very different from S-K, but the S-K album is pretty different itself.  Then Shamir dropped out and I didn’t hear about the new opener until a few nights ago.

I looked up Joseph Keckler and I kept seeing this review from the New York Times which called him a “major vocal talent” which I thought was a weird phrasing.  As if they didn’t really know what noun to use to describe him.  I looked for a song briefly and found him to be rather operatic, but didn’t really pursue it very much for whatever reason.

So I had no idea what to expect when he came out on stage.  But wow, he blew me away. (more…)

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