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[ATTENDED: October 3, 2021] Kayleigh Goldsworthy

On September 15, Frank Turner announced that he would be playing Underground Arts on October 3.  At 2PM!

I grabbed tickets immediately.  I have been wanting to see Frank Turner for years.

I didn’t know if he’d even have an opening act, but indeed he did.  It was Philly singer-songwriter Kayleigh Goldsworthy.  he was supposed to tour with Frank back in 2020, but the tour was cancelled.  Frank called on her again, and this was her first show since the pandemic.

I thought that I hadn’t heard of Goldworthy, but it turned out that I had actually seen her perform before!  She sang (a couple of songs) with Kevin Devine when I saw him at Underground Arts. I was also supposed to see her open for Tigers Jaw on a few postponed shows.

Kayleigh commanded the afternoon crowd right off the bat. She sang slow ballads that were full of angst.  Her voice was really strong and she had the amazing confidence to have long (relatively) stretches of her song where very little happened.  And we were rapt by her.  Her voice sounded very familiar to me–like someone who I can’t place.

I don’t know any of the songs she sang, although I may be able to add songs to the setlist as I listen to her CD more.

I feel like she must have sung “Cursed to Wander” because it’s the new song, but the recorded version is pretty rocking and her set was quite mellow.

As you can see from the poster, Kayleigh only played the shows on our date, so it was a nice treat to hear her.

 

[DID NOT ATTEND: October 2, 2021] MC Lars & Mega Ran & MC Frontalot & Schaffer The Darklord

There were two reasons I wanted to go to this show.  First, I have never been to Kung Fu Necktie–I seem to keep missing out on shows there.  Second, this night of nerd rap sounded hilarious.

I had been listening to MC Lars a bit leading up to this show. I’ve listened to the other guys as well and gotten more or less the same kick out of them,

But when it came down to it, I had been out several Saturday nights in a row and I had been to see Primus the night before, and I was going to a show on Sunday as well, so I decided to skip this one.

I sure hope the four of them tour again (I mean, who else would have any one of them?).

[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. Continue Reading »

[POSTPONED: October 2, 2021] Bikini Kill / Alice Bag [rescheduled from November 22, 2020; moved to July 13, 2022]

indexON April 28, Bikini Kill announced that they’d be pushing back this tour date one more time.

“We have moved all of our tour dates to 2022 to ensure our fans, our crew, venues’ staff, and the band’s safety,” Bikini Kill said in a statement. “We know many of you have had your shows rescheduled more than once and appreciate your patience and flexibility.”

Then on April 30, I was told

This just in – Alice Bag will no longer be performing at your upcoming event.

So that’s kind of a bummer since Alice Bag is iconic and I’d like to see her.  Not sure who is opening now, but I’m sure they’ll be good.  Maybe the Linda Lindas?

~~~

I’m not sure if something specific caused this Fall show to be moved to next summer, but it’s just as well since my October was filling up pretty quickly.

I am bummed to see that Alice Bag won’t be opening anymore.  I wonder who they’ll get instead.

Boy, a band reunites and plans a national tour and then everything blows up on them.  I thought surely this show would go on as planned–a bigger venue, possible social distancing. But how do you enforce social distancing at a rock show?  I sure hope we can go to live music again.

When Bikini Kill did their short reunion tour a couple years ago, tickets sold out in like ten seconds.  When they announced this follow up tour I grabbed a ticket immediately.  As far as I can tell it still hadn’t sold out when it was postponed (which is a surprise, I think).

Bikini Kill are foundation for the Riot Grrl movement although I was not a huge fan of them per se.  I have their records appreciate them for what they did, but they weren’t my favorite,

Nevertheless, this opportunity to see them live sounded like a great time.

Alice Bag has been cropping up in my periphery for quite some time although I realized I didn’t know much about her.  Alicia Armendariz was a co-founder and singer of the 70s punk band The Bags.  After they broke up, she was in about a half dozen other bands, although none of them released more than some singles.  She finally put out a solo album in 2016.

Her album(s) since have gotten strong reviews and it would be excellent to see this feminist icon in action.

[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.” Continue Reading »

[DID NOT ATTEND: October 1, 2021] Dance Gavin Dance / Animals as Leaders / Veil of Maya / Eidola / Wolf & Bear [rescheduled from April 3 then August 27, 2020, Then April 2, 2021]

indexThe whole reason I as thinking about attending this show was to see Animals as Leaders again.  They announced on August 27, 2021

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be withdrawing ourselves from the Dance Gavin Dance Afterburner Tour. Apologies to any fans who were planning on seeing us on the tour, but we’ll be returning to all these cities on a scheduled headline tour with new music for next year.”

Obviously, I’d much rather see them as headliners, so I’ll blow this entire show off.  The final line up appears to be: Dance Gavin Dance, Polyphia, Veil of Maya, Eidola, Wolf & Bear/

This show has been rescheduled one more time–this is now the third date change.  Boy I hope October 1 is not too soon.

Over the changes, the lineup has had some minor tweaks.

Now, Issues is out and Eidola is in.

Eidola is a bit more math rock, with some pretty complex rhythms, and soaring high vocals.  They seem like they’d be a good change up in the middle of this set.

~~

This show was rescheduled from April and I recall that when it was rescheduled, some people online joked that it was too soon.  I guess they were right.

I still wasn’t sure I was going to go to this show.  It depended on what else was going on that week.  But i would love to see Animals as leaders again for sure.

I saw Animals as Leaders at TLA last May and I was amazed at the show (including the opening bands), but the crowd was really rowdy and I wound up far back behind a lot of tall guys.  I wanted to see them again, so when I saw that they were playing at Franklin Music Hall, I was surprised that they had moved up to such a big venue.

I had no idea that Dance Gavin Dance was the headliner, not Animals as Leaders.  In fact, when I later saw a poster for the rescheduled show(s) I thought Dance Gavin Dance was the (admittedly strange) name of the Animals as Leaders tour.

I don’t think I would have gone knowing that Animals as Leaders were one of (the four!) opening acts, but who knows.

So Dance Gavin Dance has been around since 2005 and I’ve never heard of them?  Apparently there are eight guys who have already left the band over the years.  People are quite divided about them.  Maybe I’ll give a record a listen.

Issues is another band I’ve never heard of although they have been around for eight years. They are described as combining metalcore, nu metal, pop and contemporary R&B.  Woah.  I don’t love the whole clean/unclean vocal thing–small doses are fine, so this might not be the band for me.

Veil of Maya have been around for six years (clearly I don’t follow this genre at all).  They are another metalcore band and I think this show might have been exhausting if I stayed for the whole thing.

Royal Coda shares (past and current) members with Dance Gavin Dance and is described as post-hardcore, progressive and math.

For this rescheduled show they were dropped for Wolf & Bear.  They play some aggressive progressive metal with growly vocals–a mix of things I like with things I don’t.  They also have a clean vocalist who sings some rather poppy sections.  They;re pretty interesting.

It would definitely be an exhausting night.

dgd

[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Osees

I didn’t really know the Osees very well when I bought tickets to this show (which had been rescheduled, but I didn’t have tickets to the original show).  I knew them more from knowing their history of names changes.  [They have recorded as OCS, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees and now Osees].  And also from the Levitation/Reverb Appreciation Society live stream/quarantine shows.

Because of this, and because of the chill nature of the opener, Mr. Elevator, I never expected the show to be as wild, raucous and mosh pit filled as it was.

The first indicator should have been when the two drummer set up at he front of the stage (nods to King Crimson, there).  But it wasn’t until main Osees guy (the only one who has been in all iterations of the band) John Dwyer came out on stage (off to the left as we faced the stage).  He noted that it was Sunday, the Lord’s day, then he started playing “The Dream” and the crowd went apeshit.

Within minutes I was pushed pretty far to the side of the crowd, safely out of the way of flying feet.

Their set covered albums from 2011 (their twelfth album) through to last year’s Metamorphosed (their 23rd album).  It was glorious. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: September 26, 2021] Mr. Elevator

I had I had never heard of Mr. Elevator and really didn’t know what to expect from them.

It turned out that they are a fun, retro-sounding psychedelic band.

I was immediately blown away by their drummer Jesse Gorman Conlee who was metronomically precise and playing complicated rhythms.  Which seemed at odds with, but which worked perfectly with the synthy grooves the rest of the band was making.

It also turned out that the keyboardist and main singer Tomas Dolas is (as of 2018) the keyboardist in Osees.  They started out as Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, but droped half of the name after releasing their first album Nico and Her Psychedelic Subconscious.

The show started with them spread across the stage–drums on the left, bass (Jon Tattleman), keys (Dolas) and more keys on the right (Justin Ruiz).  They played a series of mellow, but still rocking songs.  There were lots of cool trippy synths and some solid basslines.  Dolas has some lengthy jamming keyboard solos that were very retro. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: September 25, 2021] Kathleen Edwards

I’ve enjoyed Kathleen Edwards’ music for years.  Her album Voyageur is just stunning.

But when that album came out back in 2012, I wasn’t really going to many shows.   It wasn’t until a few years later that I got the concert bug again and put Kathleen on my “gotta see” list.

But Kathleen had other ideas.  After Voyageur, she took a break from music.  In 2014, she launched a coffee house in Stittsville, Ottawa called Quitters.  And it seemed like she might never play again (even though she said she would).  So I left her on my “maybe, someday” list.

Then in 2019, she played the WXPNFest (the same weekend that we were going to the Newport Folk Festival–I was a wee bit surprised she didn’t play Newport too).  I kind of assumed that it was a one-off return and that would be that.

But an album soon followed.  And then earlier this year it was announced that she was playing The Met Philly.  But as an opening act for Jason Isbell, who I did not want to see.  [It’s one thing going to a show for the opening act, but it’s another if you don’t actually like the headline].  So, again, I was out of luck.

But then she announced a show in New York City at Le Poission Rouge.  And even though LPR is hugely inconvenient for me and it cost extra in tolls and parking, I’m so glad I went to the LPR show rather than the other two.  If for no other reason than the other two shows were all of 9 songs while this one was 16.  And the LPR crowd were there to see her!  And they sang along, and she was pretty tickled with us all. Continue Reading »

[ATTENDED: September 25, 2021] Mick Flannery & Susan O’Neill

I had not heard of Mick Flannery or Susan O’Neill.  When I saw the listing I wasn’t even sure if they were together or separate.  Well, it was almost both.

I hardly ever go to NYC for shows because it’s so much more of a hassle than Philly.  I had to leave quite early and then had to get a parking garage.  But I arrived in time to get a drink and settle in just as Mick Flannery came out.

He sat at a keyboard and sang.  He has a pretty strong Irish accent when he sings, and he had overtones of Van Morrison.  He’s been releasing music since 2007 and is apparently a pretty big deal:

Mick Flannery is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed songwriters and singers. The award-winning, double-platinum selling artist has released six studio albums, three of which reaching No. 1 status.

Maybe since Van Morrison is sort of embracing the anti-vax lifestyle, Mick Flannery can fill in those shoes.

He sang two songs by himself and then he called Susan O’Neill up to the stage. Continue Reading »