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Archive for the ‘Theatre of Living Arts’ Category

[POSTPONED: June 20, 2020] The Fratellis [moved to Jnaury 21, 2021]

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I really liked The Fratellis debut album Costello Music.  There was nothing super original about it, it was just bratty guitar rock from a UK band.  They are actually Scottish, which makes them slightly more interesting, right?

Their songs were fast and rocking and often had something interesting in them–unexpected speed up or lyrical twists.

I had more or less forgotten about them. I just read that they “broke up” for a short while and then reunited and have released two albums since then.  I hadn’t heard any of those two.

I might have considered going to see them and now that the show has been moved to January, maybe I’d be free to check them out.

 

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[POSTPONED: June 7, 2020] Hyukoh / Hot Flash Heat Wave

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Hyukoh (Korean: 혁오) is a South Korean indie band.  Oh Hyuk is a well regarded indie rocker and this

I don’t really know all that much about them, but I have really been enjoying the kind of music that South Korea has been exporting lately.

Listen to how great “Wanli万里” is.  Excellent guitars, a great bass and relentless drums.  He even sings in English on the more mellow “Ohio.”  They released a new album in January and were planning to tour it here in the States.

Here’s their official word:

We have made the difficult decision to cancel HYUKOH 2020 WORLD TOUR – NORTH AMERICA due to increasing uncertainty regarding safety and travel feasibility caused by coronavirus. We are devastated to share this disappointing news, but we are currently prioritizing the health and well-being of our fans and tour crew above all during this unprecedented time. Refunds will be available from point of purchase. We are grateful for your continued support. Thank you.

코로나19의 전 세계적인 확산으로 인해 혁오 2020 월드투어 – 북미 일정이 취소되었음을 알려드립니다. 관객과 밴드 및 스태프의 안전을 위해 신중히 고려하여 내린 판단임에 팬 여러분의 너른 양해 부탁 드립니다. 감사합니다.

I hope they come back after their summer tour of Asia.

Hot Flash Heat Wave are from California (so not a local band tacked onto this tour).  I’m not sure how they got paired up with Hyukoh, but good for them.  They have a kind of trippy psychedelic vibe which is always fun live.

 

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[ATTENDED: November 25, 2019] Ice Nine Kills

I was unfamiliar with Ice Nine Kills until my son started talking about them.  Then his friend invited him to see a show at the Starland Ballroom on May 3 (Ice Nine Kills was not headlining–the lineup was Falling In Reverse, Ice Nine Kills, From Ashes to New and New Years Day).  So I was a little bummed that he didn’t go to his first club show with me, but it’s much cooler that he went with his friend.  He loved the show.

So when they announced that they were playing at TLA and headlining the Octane Accelerator Tour (a Sirius XM thing), I made sure we got tickets (even though it was a Monday night).

The show was (I’m exhausted just thinking about it) FIVE bands and started at 6PM (!).

The lineup was Ice Nine Kills, Fit For A King, Light The Torch, Make Them Suffer, & Awake At Last.

Since it was a Monday night, I knew it would be really hard to get there for the first band, so we decided we would assume we’d miss Awake at Last.  Then on November 5th, Make Them Suffer (who are Australian) announced:

Unfortunately we have had some serious setbacks with immigration, and were unable to secure the visas we needed in time for these shows.

TLA said the show would go on at the same time which was great for us since it meant we would get home about 30 minutes earlier.  I also figured I’d take my son for some good ol’ Philly cheese steaks before the show since Jim’s is just a few doors down.

We enjoyed out cheese steaks quite a lot and as we walked past the theater I asked the guy at the door which band was on.  He said the second band was on and since we had plenty of time, we decided to go to Atomic City Comics (which is a wonderful store).

We headed back to TLA figuring we’d be in the middle of Fit for a King.  But as we walked in, they were between bands.  The woman at the merch table said that ice Nine Kills was up in ten minutes!  We’d missed all of the opening bands! (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 13, 2019] The HU

The HU are from Mongolia.  I first heard about them when their video for “Wolf Totem” was getting some buzz.  I loved their heavy sound and their gorgeous instruments.  I wish these pictures did justice to the intricate detail and coloring of these traditional(ish?) instruments, but the lighting was just awful the whole night.

There are technically four guys in the band, but for the tour they had four extra guys supporting them.  It’s hard to know how “necessary” the other four guys were, but honestly, the songs are so percussion-heavy, there’s no way that they could have made these songs without at least one drummer (two were even better).

The band has only one album out (so its pretty amazing that they headliners)  They played the whole album and jammed out some of the songs longer than on record.

The most surprising thing though was that the DJ from WMMR came out and introduced them saying that they played their songs on the station.  Is that possible?  That’s pretty amazing if they do.  He also made a pretty funny comment about talking to them all day (they speak almost no English), although they posted a picture showing that they took them axe-throwing which is pretty hilarious).

The four guys stood at the front of the stage. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: November 13, 2019] Crown Lands

Crown Lands are a duo from Canada.  As with a lot of rocking duos, they play riff-heavy rock.  But they change things around a bit.  In their bio they say they are huge fans of Rush, and while they don’t do anything as complex as Rush, you can hear the Rush influence all over their songs.  The size of Cody Bowles’ drum set, the little high hat fills, and some of the percussion.  And Guitarist Kevin Comeau plays a doubleneck Rickenbacker and some of the chord progressions are distinctly Rush-ian.  And yet you would never hear them and think you were listening to Rush.

Comeau plays guitar and bass pedals which add a really full sound to their live show.  Bowles has a really powerful voice with a truly remarkable range.  He can do Robert Plant/Geddy Lee high screams, he also has a lower register for the body of most songs.  And their stage presence is pretty great too.

The have two EPS out and are planning a finishing up a full length now.  Most of the songs from this set came from their unreleased record, and these songs are great. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] Starset

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

C. has been a fan of Starset since their first album came out.  I had not heard of them and I’m not sure where he came upon them, but he really liked their debut Transmissions.

And I can say that now that I know more about them, they would have been a band that I would absolutely loved and been utterly obsessed with back in high school as well.  Their back story and concept is pretty intricate, so I won’t bother trying to do justice to it here.  Suffice it to say their albums are concept albums.

I also love that he didn’t like the second album, Vessels, as much because it was too poppy (not his words, but I think that’s what he meant).  When I had talked about getting tickets to them the last time (I think we’d just missed them come to the area, he said it was okay as he didn’t like that album that much).  But that the third album was back to the cool stuff again so he was pretty excited when I told him I’d gotten us tickets.

He wanted his friend to come along, but it being a school night and us not getting home until 12:30 made it impossible for his friend to come.  So it was just us. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] Palisades

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

Palisades was the biggest of the three supporting bands.  They had also toured with Starset on Starset’s last leg of the tour.  There were definitely a lot of fans there for them. A few of them in front of us left after their set. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] Hyde

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

After A Brilliant Lie, some people moved around and we were right in the middle for Hyde.

When I looked up this concert I saw that  lot of people were more excited about Hyde than anyone else.  Someone even suggested that Hype might play solo–just him and his guitar.

I had no idea who Hyde was, but based on that (erroneous) information I assumed he might be a metal guy doing some mellower songs.

Boy was I wrong. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 24, 2019] A Brilliant Lie

I had taken C. to a couple of live shows before and he had been to see Ice Nine Kills with his friends.  But this was my first time taking him to see a club concert.

This was going to be a long night too.  Four bands!  With the opening band going on at 7 and Starset ending around 11 (and it was a school night!).

Despite leaving pretty early, between traffic, getting pizza on the way there and parking (dad was trying to be cheap and find street parking, but eventually had to give in and pay), we walked in about 2 songs into A Brilliant Lie’s set.

It was certainly a surprise to walk in and hear a band playing “Africa.”  It was even more of a surprise to hear them later say “Weezer can go away now, because, surely they were only playing this because Weezer re-popularized it, right?”  However, A Brilliant Lie’s version was pretty great–heavier and less exactly like the original.  They even did a “everybody get down” middle section and encouraged everyone to sing along (for better or worse). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 6, 2018] Spoon

I couldn’t believe that Spoon was the second band on this bill.  I had seen Spoon last year at the TLA in Philly and they played a huge set and the fanbase was rabid.  It was weird to see them in the setting sun (Britt Daniel came out and acted like he was a vampire when he saw the bright sun).

The crowd had filled in somewhat between Sunflower Bean and Spoon, but they were still going on at 6:45–not an ideal concert time, to be sure.

Regardless, the folks who were there were there for Spoon and they reacted appropriately. There was lots of dancing and singing along.  And Daniel either saw people he recognized or just acted like it because he was engaging and a lot of fun.

A few days before this tour started, it was announced that bassist Rob Pope was leaving the band [he’s going to spend more time with his other band The Get Up Kids].  It seemed liked terrible timing, but I gather they had his replacement Ben Trokan all lined up because they didn’t miss any dates on the tour and Trokan was great when I saw them.

Britt Daniel was dressed in a shirt and jacket (again, it was very hot, what’s up with these singers?).  He immediately started interacting with the crowd, climbing on his monitors and putting a foot on the fence that kept the crowd from the stage.  Like last time, they opened with “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and everyone sounded fantastic.  Daniel’s voice was in great form and his guitar playing (when he played) was right on.

Since the previous show was nearly two hours and this one was barely 40 minutes, I assumed we’d get the truncated version of the previous set list.  But it seems that Spoon likes to mix things up a bit from night to night.  So up next was “The Way We Get By” which I didn’t hear last time (nice!).  They followed that with another favorite of mine, “My Mathematical Mind.”

They played the new song, “No Bullets Spent” which fit in perfectly with the rest of their set.  Then everyone went crazy when they started the rumbling guitar for “The Underdog”.  There were no horns like on the record, but the keys and piano were a great substitute.

I love watching drummer Jim Eno.  He seems to be having so much fun out there.  He definitely feeds off of Daniel’s energy–there were a couple of times when Daniel slashed his guitar through the air and Eno accented that with some drum hits.  During “The Underdog” he was playing the maracas and when he was done he hurled it across the stage to the roadie–who caught it!

The slow piano intro that started the next song sounded familiar, but I wasn’t sure if I knew it.  It turned out to be a cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation.”  It sure sounded like a Beatles song when they were playing it, but they put a nifty Spoon spin on it.

On the left side of the stage was Gerardo Larios and Alex Fischel both on keys and guitars.  Larios was standing in the back playing mostly keys but the occasional guitar.  I enjoyed watching Larios play the harp-like keyboard sounds during “Inside Out.

Alex Fischel is a rocking lunatic on his side of the stage.  Mostly he’s bouncing and pouncing on his own keyboards and effects arrays but every once in awhile he would strap on a guitar and come out to the center of the stage for a minute, playing some noisy angular guitars like in “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb” (a song I can’t believe they didn’t play last time and which I was super exited to hear tonight).

I knew that Trokan would fit in fine with Spoon once he played the throbbing bass of “I Turn My Camera On” which sounded perfect.

They ended the set with a rocking “Don’t You Evah” and  hen followed it with two songs from They Want My Soul, “Do You” and “Rent I Pay.”  Las time, they ended the TLA show with “Rent I Pay” as well.  So the first and last songs were the same, but much of everything else was different.

The sun started to set on them before their set ended, and that seemed to make their set a bit more fun.

Spoon were very loud though and I should have put in ear plugs.  But since they only played for 40 minutes, it wasn’t too much over-exposure for me.

All in all a great set and a good introduction to Spoon for S. who didn’t really know them.

 

2019 PNC 2018 TLA
Do I Have to Talk You Into It [Hot] Do I Have to Talk You Into It [Hot]
The Way We Get By [Moon] I Turn My Camera On [Gimme]
My Mathematical Mind [Gimme] Lowdown (Wire cover)
No Bullets Spent [Hits] The Fitted Shirt [Girls]
The Underdog [Ga] Don’t You Evah [Ga]
Isolation (John Lennon cover) Do You [Soul]
Inside Out [Soul] Via Kannela [interlude]
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb [Ga] I Ain’t the One [Hot]
I Turn My Camera On [Gimme] Everything Hits at Once [Girls]
Don’t You Evah [Ga] Can I Sit Next to You [Hot]
Do You [Soul] My Mathematical Mind [Gimme]
Rent I Pay [Soul] Don’t Make Me a Target [Ga]
The Underdog [Ga]
Got Nuffin [Trans]
Black Like Me [Ga]
encore
Small Stakes [Moon]
Hot Thoughts [Hot]
Rent I Pay [Soul]

[Girls] Girls Can Tell (2001)
[Moon] Kill the Moonlight (2002)
[Gimme] Gimme Fiction (2005)
[Ga] Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (2007)
[Trans] Transference (2010)
[Soul] They Want My Soul (2014)
[Hot] Hot Thoughts (2017)
[Hits] Everything Hits at Once (2019)

Evidently Eno has different bass drum heads.  I wonder how often he changes them.

This time it was the one on the left.  Last time it was the one on the right.

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