Archive for the ‘The Met Philadelphia’ Category

[DID NOT ATTEND: December 10 & 11, 2021] Ween

When I was in college, Ween was a new novelty band singing silly songs about Daisies.  I enjoyed them and explored their back catalog a bit.  Then I forgot about them.

In the intervening years they apparently turned into a jam band favorite, with devoted fans and three hour concerts.

In 2015 I saw Gene Ween open for Modest Mouse (I think Ween was on hiatus at the time).  I was surprised by Gene’s set because it was goofy but well done.

I put Ween on my “bands to see” list, but I put them in the least urgent category.

I thought about seeing them at the Met Philly, but it seemed too fancy or something.  And the more I thought about it, the more I decided I just couldn’t bring myself to go to a Ween show.  I have (unfairly, perhaps) made their audience into a bunch of people I don’t want to be near for two hours.

So I won’t take them off my list of bands to see, but I feel like circumstances will need to be perfect for me to go.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: November 7, 2021] Bad Religion / Alkaline Trio / War on Women

I’ve been a fan of Bad Religion since, oh who knows, a long time.  Although I haven’t really listened to them that much in the last few years.  I’ve also never really thought about seeing them live.  Interestingly, S. saw them live at City Gardens a few decades ago (clearly she is cooler than I).

This show was announced and I was intrigued.  But it happened on the same night as a Flaming Lips concerts that I already had tickets to.

I don’t know Alkaline Trio, but I’m assuming they fall into the pop punk genre as well.

War on Women is a hardcore band founded in 2011.  I’ve heard really good things about their live show.  I think I’d rather seem them headline a small club, but it would have been fun to check them out.

Bad Religion has been around forever and you never know if long terms bands like this will tour again, but I hope they will so I can be almost as cool as my wife.

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[ATTENDED: October 11, 2021] St. Vincent

I have seen St. Vincent three times and each time was a totally different experience.

The first time was in 2015 at XPN Fest.  She was so good that I wanted to see her again on that tour (since her set was a little shorter due to the co-headline).  But she did not tour that album again.

In fact, when she toured again, it for Masseduction and that tour (in 2017) was radically different.

So here it is four years later and this tour was also radically different–and in no way even close to that first tour either.

I bought S. and I tickets but since I didn’t have a good handle on the seating areas of the Met, the seats sucked (practically the last row).  Luckily, the Met is pretty small, so even sucky seats aren’t bad.  The thing is though, that Annie Clark has so much going on, you want to be close to her when she does it.

For her new album, St. Vincent went away from the technology and sexiness of the previous two records and dove into a wholly retro experience.  It was quite a change (and, once again, really minimized her amazing guitar playing).

This concert was a theatrical spectacle.  The background was an excellent retro design of a city scape.  It didn’t change much, but dramatic lighting changed the look of the set in nearly every song–from day to night to midday to whatever else was going on. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 11, 2021] Ali Macofsky [Cassandra Jenkins]

I hadn’t heard that there was going to be an opening act for the St. Vincent tour.  In fact it wasn’t until the night of the show that I found out there would be one at all (although I see that the information was publicly available, I must have been searching the wrong way).

We were supposed to have Cassandra Jenkins as an opening act, but the St. Vincent team, decided to limit the number of people on the tour to prevent COVID infections, so Cassandra was removed.  I don’t know if Ali Macofsky did the entire tour but she was clearly slated to open the first few shows and she did our shows, so I’ll assume she was on board the whole time.

Ali Macofsky is a comedian whom I had never heard of.

She is young and, shall we say a kind of shock comic (she has a history of working with Joe Rogan I have just found out.  In 2021 that would have instantly made me hate her.  I don’t know if he was as much of a douchebag in 2019 when she worked with him (and maybe she still does, I’m not willing to find out). (more…)

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[CANCELLED: October 12, 2021] Dead Can Dance / Agnes Obel [rescheduled from April 17, 2020 and April 23, 2021]

On September 30, I received notice that show would be postponed once again.  Dead Can Dance cited reasonable concerns about COVID and travelling around the world.

Then on October 11, I received notice that the show was cancelled entirely.

There’s no word from the band on this except t o say that they are trying o reschedule shows for Fall of 2023.  Presumably the venue just didn’t want to wait that long.

So, while I was looking forward to this show, I can wait until 2023.

As April came closer and closer I was sure that Dead Can Dance was going to cancel this tour for good–so many other bands have done so.  But I’m happy they didn’t–even if I don’t have fantastic seats for this show.  This just feels like one of those shows that I’m going to be really happy to experience and I can wait a few more months.

I really enjoyed Dead Can Dance’s mix of cultural touchstones on their earlier albums. I have a bunch of their releases up until they broke up.

Somehow I missed their reunion entirely.  I also missed their subsequent reunion and new albums.

They haven’t played in this area for 8 years and I was pretty pleased to finally experience them live.  I bought a ticket for this show and then a few days later it was announced that they would be playing the State Theatre in New Brunswick.  Since that venue is about three times closer to me, I snatched up a great seat for that show and figured I could sell the Philly ticket.

Then a couple months ago the Theatre announced that the New Brunswick show was unexpectedly cancelled. No reason was given.  I don’t think it was sales as it looked like they sold well.  So that sucked, but I was glad I still had this ticket.

Agnes Obel is a Danish born singer who plays quirky atmospheric chamber pop.  I have heard great things about her for many years but never really investigated her music.  I was looking forward to learning about her in this setting.

She was actually scheduled to open for The The on their 2018 tour.  However, the three New York area shows had different openers, so I didn’t get to see her then.

I hope they all come back around together.

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[ATTENDED: October 1, 2021] Primus [rescheduled from June 19, 2020; and July 10, 2021]

Three years ago I saw Primus for the first time in 30 some years.  The show was featuring their then new EP The Desaturated Seven.   So, it wasn’t the ideal way to catch up with them, since they spent a lot of time playing that EP in its entirety.  The rest of the set was a mix of songs, with a bunch of songs from Pork Soda and some of their “hits.”  I was a little annoyed by the crowd at the show (when did tough guys start liking Primus?).  And in my post I wrote

Maybe in 2020 they’ll be back for a big two set career-capping tour.

Interestingly, they did come back in 2020, with a two-set show, but rather than career capping, it included a cover of the album A Farewell to Kings by Rush.  If I was there only for Primus, I’d have been annoyed at losing 40 minutes to another band.  However, A Farewell to Kings is one of my favorite albums of all time and knowing how Primus feels about Rush, I knew that this would be an amazing experience.  The show had been postponed a few times but finally, October 1 arrived and I headed to the Met in Philly.

The show was supposed to start at 7, so once again, I left from work and arrived quite early.  Early enough to get one of the night’s posters.  But boy was it ugly.  I didn’t want it on my wall, so I passed (there have been some really nice posters this tour, so I was bummed about ours).  Then I stood by the fence and waited with some remarkably loud and rather unpleasant characters.

In my head, Primus is for oddballs who like weird music.  But clearly they have struck a nerve with an unexpected crowd–people I would never hang out with intentionally.  So that sucked.  But once they got their nonsense out of their system after a few songs, people settled down and just enjoyed the music.

I asked someone at the show if the sets were different every night and he said that Primus always mixed up their setlists so it was worth seeing them a bunch of nights in a row.  Indeed, the night after ours, they played several songs that I would have really liked to hear–although our set was pretty great too. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 1, 2021] Primus [rescheduled from June 19, 2020; and July 10, 2021]

When the Primus A Tribute to Kings tour was announced, there were two opening bands: The Sword and Wolfmother.  I was intrigued by both bands.  When the show was rescheduled, The Sword was dropped.  Actually, they ended their segment of the tour with the how before ours.  Interestngly, we were watching the Gilmore Girls season 7 recently and Wolfmother was mentioned with high praise (nit bas since they’d had one album out).  But when the show was pushed back again, Wolfmother had visa issues (they are Australian) and had been replaced by Black Mountain.

And I was pretty excited about that because I was already a fan of theirs.  Black Mountain is a Canadian band that plays stoner psychedlica that drifts into heavy territories.  They were a pretty great opener for Primus.  Once again, I don’t know what happened to Primus fans that they became the kind of guys who shout “Primus sucks” during quiet moments of the opening band, but that sucked for them.

Because otherwise they were great.

I was really impressed with the confidence it takes to open a show to a (mildly hostile) audience with the slow droning of the nine minute epic “Mothers of the Sun.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 21, 2021] Trey Anastasio

I was quite surprised to see that the last time I saw the Trey Anastasio Band was five years ago.  It didn’t feel that long at all.

Even though Trey plays some Phish songs, a TAB show doesn’t feel like a Phish show.  Mostly because there’s a horn section, but also because of the general feeling that TAB conveys–more grooving, less jamming.

But really, I went last time and I went this time because I never get up close to the stage at a Phish show but I knew I could get up close here.  And I did.

The show was supposed to start at 7 and with my work commute I decided to head into Philly right after work.  This allowed me to swing into Federal Donuts and then get to The Met in plenty of time.  I managed to get one of the evening’s (cool) posters and took my place right behind the people who were up at the fence.  Incidentally the guy in front of me was hilarious about his personal space.  He didn’t want anyone standing next to him while he sat on the floor and when someone squeezed past him to get to the fence he more or less shooed the guy away.  He never raised his voice, but he was a pretty intense. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: August 27, 2021] Deftones / Gojira  [rescheduled from August 22, 2020 moved to May 18, 2022]

indexI was pretty excited to see this show this summer. It turned out, however, that the show was the night that we returned home from vacation.  Ie, it would have been a pretty exhausting day.  So, the fact that Deftones decided to postponed until May was fine with me.

I’m bummed that Poppy is no longer part of the tour because I’d really like to see her.  But she is now headlining her own tour–which I don’t really want to see.  I’m not sure a full show of hers would be that much fun.  But hey, maybe she’ll be back on board



I saw Deftones at a lousy location (Sands Bethlehem hall), but it was one of my favorite shows that year.  The crowd was pushy and shovey, but Chino came within five feet of me and the energy was amazing.

Plus at the end of the show, when a roadie threw out a drumstick, I actually got it.

I knew I’d want to see them at least one more time, but wow was I surprised to see that they were going to play The Met in Philly, which I think of as a more “delicate” hall.  I’d be slightly afraid for the seats at a Deftones show.

The opening acts were really intriguing as well.

Gojira area French heavy metal band whose 2012 album I loved.  Heavy and very technical I’d imagine they put on a great show.

Poppy is an absolute mystery.  She’s an internet creation whose every song is is a different genre.  Her latest album was really really heavy but with that fake internet sheen on it (in a Babymetal kind of way but less sincere, if that’s possible).  I’ve been intrigued by here since I first heard about her, but I wouldn’t want to see her show if she was headlining.  This seemed like a great way to experience her weirdness.  I hope that she is still on the bill next year and that she is still into metal, otherwise it could be kind of awkward.

I really thought that this show at the end of August might go on but on May 19, they sent this note.

Due to the current regulations, and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we must reschedule our North American summer tour dates with special guests, Gojira and Poppy. We’re currently rescheduling the dates for 2021, and you’ll be the first to know once they are confirmed. All tickets will be honored or refunded upon our next announcement regarding the tour.

I’m glad they are promising to come back  And by then, their new album (due in September) will be familiar to all of us.

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[CANCELLED: August 17, 2021] The Decemberists: 20 Years Before the Mast [rescheduled from August 18, 2020]

indexOn March 17, The Decemberists officially cancelled this tour.  I had SUCH GOOD SEATS FOR THIS SHOW!!!!  If They are cancelling a show in August, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the summer.

* Tour Update * We were really hoping against hope to be able to bring this 20th/21st anniversary show on the road this summer. And while there’s every reason to be optimistic about the state of the pandemic and the possibility of live shows in the future, we don’t think it’s going to happen in July and August of this year. There’s so much uncertainty about playing these shows safely, especially the indoor ones, that we thought the best decision is to cancel. Yeah, we’re bummed. Refunds are available now at point of purchase. We plan on touring next summer; whether that will be in the vein of a similar tour or something new altogether, it’s too soon to say. We promise to be out there again, seeing all your shining, singing faces — covered or uncovered. In the meantime, we’re putting together a different kind of anniversary celebration, and we’ll be in touch on that soon. Yours, The Decemberists

I’ve been a fan of The Decemberists for years and I am surprised by how few times I’ve seen them.  We were supposed to see them two years ago and then Colin Meloy’s voice went out just in time for our show, so that was cancelled.

I was surprised that this tour didn’t include a stop in Red Bank, but a show at the Met in Philly is almost as good.

I was really really hoping that this show wouldn’t be postponed–it seemed like a milestone date somehow.  Plus, I had AMAZING seats.  Fortunately, the show was postponed to exactly a year minus a day away (as many shows tend to be) and my amazing seats are still good.

Here’s their official word on the postponement from May 27:

Adored Mailing List Recipients,

As you might remember from previous emails, there was some discussion over whether or not 2020 was *in fact* the 20th Anniversary of The Decemberists. Did the band start out in 2000? Or was 2001 our proper debut? There are recollections of Decemberists shows happening in 2000 in some form, and yet our first website and logo proclaimed us “Est. 2001” — for reasons lost to time. Well, we’re happy to report that that controversy is settled once and for all, and it only took a global pandemic to do so.

And so: Twenty Years Before the Mast, The Decemberists’ 20th Anniversary Tour will be coming to your town in the summer of 2021, not this summer.

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