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Archive for the ‘Wellmont Theater’ Category

[POSTPONED: September 24, 2020] Joe Russo’s Almost Dead [moved to October 7, 8, 9, 2021]

indexI don’t actually know Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.  The only thing I really know about them is that Marco Benevento is the pianist for the band.  Honestly that’s good enough for me.

They are playing three nights in Montclair and two of them sold out almost immediately.

It didn’t actually occur to me that the Dead in the band name is a Grateful Dead reference.  But I see that JRAD is like a Grateful Dead cover band plus more.  They are known for their intermingling of the Grateful Dead’s recognizable folk-rock and Americana sound with more contemporary Progressive Rock and Jazz Fusion influences.

Formed by drummer Joe Russo, the band also includes Ween’s bassist Dave Dreiwitz, keyboardist Marco Benevento, Scott Metzger on guitar and Tom Hamilton on guitar and vocals.

This Dead-connection makes me want to see them less, although this description from Wikipedia is pretty exciting:

Keyboardist Marco Benevento is known for having at least one extended solo during each show where the band will stop playing entirely. During these solos Marco has led his solo improvisation to tease many different songs such as Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place”. These extended solos, after exploring a different sonic space, often build in energy and lead to the band rapidly joining in, leading the improvisation to a peak and getting quiet again rapidly.

 

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[POSTPONED: July 18, 2020] Ministry / KMFDM / Front Line Assembly [moved to April 17, 2021 and also April 16 at Wellmont Theater]

indexI’ve been a fan of Ministry for decades.  I even liked the first album With Sympathy (and listen to it now more than their hardercore stuff).  But when Land of rape and Honey came out, it was the most intense thing in the world. It was incredible.

They put out a series of great heavy albums, although by 1999’s Filth Pig either I stopped enjoying it or they just weren’t as good.

So I guess it has been two decades since I cared about Ministry.  However, Al Jourgensen and his band keep touring and, since I’ve seen Slayer now, I thought I should see what a ministry experience is like.

I wanted to go to their show in 2018, (I was really interested in seeing opening band Igorr) but the date just didn’t work for me.

Although I hadn’t yet gotten tickets for this show, I was looking forward to this retro bill.

I liked KMFDM more in theory than actually listening to them–I have one album I think). But I always appreciated them (especially the joke that their initials stand for Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode–actually it is Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, “no pity for the majority”).  Only one guy is still in the band, but I’d be curious to see what their proto-Rammstein show would be like.

Front Line Assembly was one of the few bands on the industrial label Waxtrax that I never really got into.  I liked many bands on the label, but really never had much exposure to FLA (in the days before you could listen to things online).   I’m curious what 1980s industrial music sounds like in 2020.

Now that I see that the show is also going to be at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, I will definitely try to get to that one instead.

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[POSTPONED/CANCELLED: March 26, 2020] Guster

indexMarch was going to be a very busy concert month for me.  S. and I were really really looking forward to this one and we’re especially bummed it’s postponed.

This would have been my ninth time seeing Guster, and this one was going to be so cool–an all acoustic show with strings!  The band has played many of these shows already and the vibe was great and the band raved about how much fun they were having.

What was especially exciting about this show was that I had great seats!  It’s pretty rare for Guster to play a seated venue.  And, since their shows are quite popular I don’t always get to stand where I want.  But these seats were so good!

I know they are going to reschedule, but still….

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!  Whatever the case, this one will get a priority over just about any other.

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

UPDATE: On August 10, I was sent a refund. This show was officially cancelled.  Damn. I had such good seats!

 

 

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[ATTENDED: October 26, 2019] MST3K Live

I didn’t realize it was exactly one year ago that I went to the previous MST3K Live experience.  How funny.

I have enjoyed both of the two previous MST3K Live shows quite a bit.  So when it was announced that they were going to do it again and this time it was going to be in New Brunswick instead of Glenside, PA, I got tickets right away (and wound up in the third row).  I only wish I had picked the other side of the stage, because Joel and the bots did their movie watching from over there.

I have been very lucky to have gotten two movies each time I’ve seen the performance.  It seem like a lot of locations get only one movie.  I’m not sure why I’ve been so fortunate.  (And State Theatre offered a discount if you bought seats for both movies!).

Last time the riffing was done by Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray as well as many of the actors from the show.

This time things were very different.

Jonah Ray was not there.  Nor was Rebecca Hanson as Synthia Forrester.  And of course, no Felicia Day nor Patton Oswalt (not even on video).

But the big announcement was that this was going to be Joel Hodgson’s last MST3K Live tour.  I don’t know if that means there will be more, or if this is the end of them entirely. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Mac Sabbath

When I saw that Okilly Dokilly was opening for Mac Sabbath I had to check out who this band was.  They’ve been around for a few years and this was their “American Cheese Tour” (that’s a good one).

And so basically, they are a Black Sabbath cover band, but all of their lyrics are about McDonald’s and the fast food industry in general.  So that’s pretty funny.  But that’s not all.  They have taken this concept to an absurd length.   Each band member is costumed or wears makeup.  And the costumes are phenomenal–not cheap little handmade things, but remarkably detailed and well constructed heads and bodies.  The attention to detail is really impressive.

The band members are also completely anonymous, which is also pretty funny.   And that is why they have such great band names:

The lead singer is Ronald Osbourne.
The guitarist is Slayer MacCheeze
The bassist is Grimalice (the least impressive name, it’s Grimace with an Alice in Wonderland hat on, but his other name is brilliant: “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butler.”)
On drums is Catburglar or Criss Cut Fries (he is dressed like the Hamburglar with Peter Criss Makeup).

I didn’t really think too much about the music before the show, I just wanted to see the stage show. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Okilly Dokilly

When I heard about Okilly Dokilly from The Simpsons, I knew that I would like to see them live.  So, when it was announced that they would be playing with Mac Sabbath (who I’d never heard of), at a venue fairly close to me, I grabbed a ticket.  Hilariously (although not for me), this show apparently sold so poorly that by a week before the event, the venue was literally giving tickets away.  So I signed up for free tickets and then couldn’t get anyone to go with me.  Oh well.

When I saw their video for “White Wine Spritzer,” in the credits of The Simpsons (clip at bottom of page), I loved the idea of a heavy metal band comprised of many Ned Flanders (technically: Head Ned (vocals), Dread Ned (drums), Shred Ned (guitar), Bed Ned (bass) and Zed Ned (synth)).  But I was a little disappointed that the vocals they chose to use were so cookie monster/growly.  I mean, it makes huge comic sense to have Ned sing like that, but it’s disappointing to not be able to understand all of  the lyrics which are “75 per cent made up of Ned Flanders’ quotes.”

But this band is dedicated to their craft 100%. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 27, 2019] Playboy Manbaby

When I heard about Okilly Dokilly from The Simpsons, I decided that I would like to see them live.  So, when it was announced that they would be playing with Mac Sabbath (who I’d never heard of), at a venue fairly close to me, I grabbed a ticket.  Hilariously (although not for me), this show apparently sold so poorly that by a week before the event, the venue was literally giving tickets away.  So I signed up for free tickets and then couldn’t get anyone to go with me.  Oh well.  [The band did sell out venues in Florida, so it’s not like no one goes to see them].

Of the three bands, Playboy Manbaby was the one I was least interested in.  But in the end, they were the band I enjoyed the most.

Playboy Manbaby is from Phoenix. Okilly Dokilly is also from Phoenix (and PM used most of Okilly Dokilly’s gear).

They usually have horns, but for this show (and tour?) they were a four piece:  Robbie Pfeffer on vocals, TJ Friga on guitar, Chris Hudson on bass, [with a Big Gay Ice Cream shirt on] and Chad Dennis on drums.  Unlike the other two bands, this band didn’t have a gimmick, they were just a kind of goofy, fun punk rock band. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2016] Indigo Girls

2016-01-30 22.57.42When I was a radio DJ in college, I received a promo disc by a band called the Indigo Girls, which I listened to because Michael Stipe sang on one of the songs.  I really enjoyed the sampler.  The Girls’ harmonies were outstanding and the lyrics were clever and funny and very very smart.

And I’ve enjoyed them intermittently for twenty some years.  I even saw them at Newport Folk Festival back in 1998 when they put on a fantastic show.

Sarah has been a fan of the band for a long time as well.  She saw them at an even more unusual venue–at the American Library Association Convention in 2002.

Neither one of us had seen them in a “proper” venue and thought it would be cool to see them in this small theater in Montclair.

And man, did they sound fantastic.  Their first album came on in 1989 and their voices sound exactly the same.  Emily can hit the high notes and Amy still has that great gravelly sound (despite claiming to be ill and on steroids to get her voice to actually work–I never would have guessed).  And their harmonies are still perfect together. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 30, 2016] Jill Hennessy

2016-01-30 20.26.55Jill Hennessy is an actress who was on Law & Order  from 1993-1996 and then starred on Crossing Jordan.  She is one of the reasons I watched L&O for the couple seasons that I did.  I pretty much stopped once she left, although I never watched Jordan).

I genuinely didn’t think that this was the same Jill Hennessy.  It’s been twenty years and all, but she looks so different (ans still so young) and the name didn’t seem that uncommon.  But nope.  It’s her.  She started playing music a long time ago.  She was busking in the subway in New York before getting a big Broadway gig.  And in fact, she appeared with the Indigo Girls in a Mountain Stage concert back in 2009 (it’s on NPR here).  Hennessy’s voice suits the Indigo Girls very well, she even sounds a bit like Amy Ray if you don’t think too hard about it.

clairehennesyyBefore the concert, I looked her up online and saw her bio–she’s from Edmonton, Alberta–and has been acting for ages.  She was even a candidate to be Scully on The X-Files.

Then I found a few songs and really liked what I heard–she’s sorta country but more in line with the style of the Indigo Girls.  So I was looking forward to hearing her.

We may have missed a song or two, I can’t find setlists online anywhere, but she played a fairly long and solid set.  (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 15, 2016] Blue Öyster Cult

2016-01-16 23.20.39I first got into Blue Öyster Cult in 1981 with “Burnin’ for You” (yep, I knew that before “Don’t Fear the Reaper”).  Fire of Unknown Origin was my favorite album for years.  When I got to college, I met my friend Nick when I drew the Blue Öyster Cult logo on my notebook and he saw it.  And then I found out that my neighbor Glen was the biggest Blue Öyster Cult fan, possibly ever.

He has seen them play a bunch of times, but for some reason I never went.  And that is my one major regret after seeing them–I wish I had seen them before when the whole band was together and when they were 20 years younger.  For while they did not disappoint, they weren’t quite up to the standards I had imagined.

The week before the show I listened to their whole catalog and imagined an ideal setlist–deep cuts and weird songs.  But honestly, they could have played any of their songs and it would have been great.

And I loved that they played a sampling of songs from throughout their career. (more…)

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