Archive for the ‘The Met Philadelphia’ Category

[ATTENDED: August 25, 2022] Jake Xerxes Fussell

The Decemberists are one of our favorite bands and yet we have seen them very few times.  We were supposed to see them on their last tour but they cancelled our show because Colin lost his voice.

Then last year’s show was postponed for COVID.

Finally it was rescheduled.  Originally the support was from Brigid Mae Power who I don’t know.  But at some point she backed out and the new support came from Jake Xerxes Fussell who I also had never heard of.

For whatever reason, we arrived pretty late and decided to get merch since the line was short. We walked in half way through Fussell’s set.  It was just him and his electric guitar

So, Jake Xerxes Fussell is a guitarist who sings traditional folk songs.  No, that’s not exactly right.  He songs untraditional folks songs–songs that were literally sung by the folk, most of which were never recorded until a chronicler like Folkways came along.

The first song we heard was also the first song he played on his recent Tiny Desk Concert and this is how they described it:

Jake Xerxes Fussell’s Tiny Desk (home) concert opens with the eyebrow raising lyric, “I’ve got fresh fish this morning, ladies. They are gilded with gold and you may find a diamond in their mouths.” It was originally sung by a fishmonger in Florida and captured in a field recording. Coming from Fussell, it sounds as lived-in as his worn Telecaster looks. It’s immediate, but somehow out-of-time. Fussell found the tune at the Library of Congress, part of his process of collecting and curating traditional, public domain folk songs, and reinterpreting them through his own lens.

His voice is deep and old-sounding.  He fills these songs with the appropriate feeling that the original singer intended.   His guitar playing was quite good as well.

He won over the audience pretty easily, too.   If I had been there to see him or, more importantly, if I wasn’t super excited for The Decemberists, I would have enjoyed his set a lot more.  As it was I enjoyed the set quite a bit, but I really wanted to hear the main band.

I’m not sure I’d listen to his records, but I would enjoy seeing him live.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: April 20, 2022] Lorde / Remi Wolfe

I have enjoyed most of Lorde’s output even if she is quite poppy.  In fact, I love the song “Solar Power.”  I find her rather intriguing and was curious about seeing her live.

This sow sold out (or nearly sold out) very quickly, so I didn’t bother even trying to get tickets.  It sounds like there was some kind of controversy at recent shows about her shushing people while she was singing.  Which is kind of cheesy, although, having been to shows where someone with an amazing voice is drowned out by a fan who cannot sing, I understand the sentiment.

Remi Wolfe is a singer songwriter whom I do not know.  The fact that she appeared on American Idol in 2014 makes me not like her.  That’s unfair, but whatever.

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[DID NOT ATTEND: March 19, 2022] Khruangbin / Nubya Garcia

I’m intrigued by Khruangbin.  I wanted them to sound a little different than they originally did.  And then they made some EPs with Leon Bridges and they did sound different–more trippy, but more catchy as well.

I thought they’d be fun to see live.

S. likes the EPs even more than I did, but she didn’t really want to see them.  So I refrained from buying tickets.  Then the Kim Gordon show was announced, and I was sue I’d go see that one.  But I didn’t get tickets to any of the shows today.

Go figure.

I know Nubya Garcia from a Tiny Desk Concert.  She’s a jazzy saxophonist who would probably go well with Khruangbin, although I don’t know that I’d want to see her on her own.

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[POSTPONED: February 4, 2022] Courtney Barnett / Shamir [moved to …]

S. andindex I were looking forward to this show although we both groaned a bit when we saw it didn’t START until 9PM.  Good grief.

Weather forecasts for this even were treacherous.  Freezing rains and temperatures that were expected to drop below freezing did not bode well for an hour plus drive.  We were fairly certain we were going to skip it.  We love Courtney and our friend Kaylo recently saw this tour and said it was great, but we have seen her before and it just seemed too risky.

Then, just before I left work, we got the notice that the show had been postponed.  I sort of assumed at first that it was because of the weather, but concerts can’t do that.  A little while later I saw on Instagram that someone in her touring company caught COVID: (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 5, 2021] The War on Drugs

A couple of years ago our friend Cindy invited us to see The War on Drugs with her and we said no.  We didn’t really know them that well.

Cut to 2022 and they were the first live show we’d gotten to see this year.

Not a lot has changed about my appreciation of the band.  They’ve always been a band that I kind of liked–good background stuff.  Then I heard their Live Drugs album and realized that they are a great live band.

So they announced two shows in Philly and I asked if S. wanted to go.  She had been listening to them a lot this past year and so I grabbed us tickets.

I like the Met but this is the second show in a row where we were in the back orchestra section.  Now that I’ve been placed there a few times, I have finally got it in my head that when you buy tickets there, ORCH 5678 seats SUCK.  The Met is a fairly small place, so even the further away seat isn’t bad, but there’s giant poles and the entire loge hanging above you.  None of it really blocks your view, but it feels like watching a widescreen movie on a letterbox TV.  (more…)

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[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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