Archive for the ‘The Met Philadelphia’ Category

[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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[ATTENDED: August 5, 2021] Modest Mouse        [pictures to come]

I wasn’t planning on Modest Mouse being my first show back after 500+ pandemic days.  In fact, I didn’t even think they were my first show back (Japanese Breakfast on Saturday was first, I thought). I bought tickets for this show but forgot to write it on the calendar.  Thankfully, a reminder email got me totally psyched to be back.

This was my fifth time seeing Modest Mouse.  I laughed when I saw that last time I wrote:

I don’t ever plan to see Modest Mouse, they just sort of appear and they worm their way into my calendar.  And frankly … I’ll definitely go again if I can.

Obviously that was true as well this time.

I wish that there was a vaccination and mask mandate in place at The Met, because regardless of how vaccinated everybody may have been, there were a lot of unmasked faces in the pit with my masked one.

After a year and a half it was almost comforting to se that all of the irritating people came out for the show as well.  But I was in a good space, so I acknowledged their irritations bit didn’t get irritated.  I was fairly close to the stage, but there were some last minute pushers who forced me a little back.  I also tried my best to leave some distance between me and the others (but that was nigh impossible).  There were the requisite tall boys right in front of the stage and (I had forgotten about this behavior) a short girl (woman? it was hard to tell) who barreled her way right in front of me, dragging her boyfriend (father?) with her.  She also later tried to start a mosh pit but no one was biting.  And of course, by the end of the night there was the very sloppy drunk woman who was falling all over herself (and her boyfriend) who had to leave early.

After a 30 minute wait between bands, Modest Mouse came out.   And the crowd went nuts.

I noted last time that

The main draw for me at a Modest Mouse show is the thought that I’ll hear songs I haven’t heard live before.  I didn’t know if that was possible on my now fourth show but amazingly, they played 8 songs that I hadn’t heard live before.  They have over 100 songs officially released, so I don’t imagine hearing all of them, but I have heard 55 songs at four shows, which again, is amazing

That was not an issue for me this time.  I just wanted to hear live music.  They did play seven songs I hadn’t hear live before.  But six of them were from the new album The Golden Casket.  One was from the Interstate 8 EP.


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[ATTENDED: August 5, 2021] The Districts

I was supposed to see The Districts play at Union Transfer on March 12.  COVID-19 had just found its way into New Jersey and Pennsylvania and I was being very cautious so I decided to skip the show.  It was a safe decision, but one that I now regret as it would have been a pretty great final show of the year.  Shows pretty much completely stopped after that.

I was able to watch The Districts play at (virtual) Philly Music Fest which was fun (but not the real thing).

So I was pretty excited to hear that they were announced as the opening act for Modest Mouse.  They would be the first live band I’d seen and the symmetry made me pleased.

They sounded great, but I was a little bummed that their set was only 6 songs in 30 minutes.  I didn’t keep track of the songs, assuming someone out there would have updated the setlist page, so I only know four of the six songs played.  And the shows around it have slightly different setlists, so I guess I’ll never know.

They opened with “If Before I Wake” and introduced their new drummer (who was really good).  I feel like the crowd was a little subdued for these Philly favorites. (more…)

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[POSTPONED: July 13, 2021] Barenaked Ladies / Toad the Wet Sprocket / Gin Blossoms [rescheduled from July 14, 2020]

indexAs recent as mid-May this concert was still listed as happening in 2021, but when you clicked to buy tickets, the ticket pages said 2022.

I know that the whole “Last Summer on Earth” thing is a joke, but it’s getting a little creepy now.

I was kind of hoping they’d switch opening bands by now but, instead of this show, I think I’ll be seeing them at the Festival of Ballooning on July 24th instead.


I have seen Barenaked Ladies almost more than any other band.  I’ve seen them from way back in the early days to a few times in the last few years.  They are reliably solid live (if not a bit predictable with their setlists).

We didn’t see them for last year’s “Last Summer on Earth” tour.  They have been using that name for the last several years, it may be time to think of a new name, especially given the current state of the world.  I wasn’t planning on going to this show mostly because I don’t really like the opening acts.  And, honestly, unless the show was something special and different, it would entirely depend on the opening acts whether I went or not. Maybe they’ll mix them up for next year.

Toad the Wet Sprocket got their name from a Monty Python skit which immediately made me like them.  I think I ha a cassette of their first album, maybe.  I haven’t really thought of them in years and remember them being kind of inoffensive.  Oh, wait, they had a pretty big hit with “All I Want,” a sweet slightly alt folk rock song.  I’ll bet there would be lots of lighters up for that song.

I really hated Gin Blossoms back in the 90s.  They were so overplayed and hardly qualified as alternative or college rock, but they were lumped in that category.  They had a number of songs that I probably know all the words to even though I never listened to them on purpose.

With a lineup change I’d consider seeing them next summer, especially if they changed the name of the tour.

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[POSTPONED: July 10, 2021] Primus / Wolfmother / The Sword [rescheduled from June 19, 2020; moved to October 1, 2021]

indexOn April 27, Primus gave us some hope by pushing back this tour just a few months:

Finally, the clouds are parting, the planets are aligning, the dough is rising…whatever metaphor floats your preverbal boat, PRIMUS is going on tour again. We were poised and ready for a massive, bent-rock extravaganza when the gremlins of covid came and yanked the rug out from under us all. I personally have been climbing the walls like a shit-house rat and, after my first season off in 30 some odd years, I’m very anxious and excited to stand in front of the microphone with my four string piece of furniture and belt out some girthy ditties to sweaty throngs of punters.
C’mon Down,
Les Claypool

I’ll be there


I’ve been a fan of Primus since their first album.  And yet I never saw them live once they started to make it big.  I’m not keen on the frat boy fanbase they inexplicably developed, but what can you do.

I’ve wanted to see them for a long time and I’ve had a few shows snatched out of my hands.

I did get to see them recently, although it was for a new EP, so they didn’t play a lot of the old stuff like I’d wanted to hear.

Of course, when they announced this tour: A Tribute to Kings, in which they’d be playing all of Rush’s A Farewell to Kings (possibly my favorite Rush album, depending on the day), I knew I’d have to go.  Since that album is relatively short, I assumed they be playing some good old Primus songs too.

Wolfmother is a band I didn’t know.  I listened to a couple of songs and they sound like a pretty classic late 80s metal band with a loud, high-pitched vocalist.  I would have loved this band back then, and while I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them, it would be fun to relive a band like this live.  The band is from Australia and has an utterly fascinating history of in-fighting and replacements (Wikipedia has a page devoted just to Wolfmother band members).

The Sword is another retro-metal band, sounding an awful lot like Black Sabbath and other classic old school metal groups.  Once again, I would have loved them back in the day, and would no doubt enjoy rocking out to them live.

I hope that the rescheduled date is not too far off, but I’ve waited forever to see them, so I can wait a little longer.  It would be fine if the opening bands stayed with them, but if not, that’s okay too.

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