Category: Concerts

Reviews of concert I have attended, seen or listened to.

Jiggy Jiggy Joe

Hello friends . The prodigal son has returned.  I just needed to google that to discover exactly what it actually meant.  I’m not necessarily wasteful or extravagant , so at any rate . . .

As you have seen it really has been some time . I get on “kicks” and the most recent one was a new career . This one suffered in consequence . Well given that my cousin commented she “always looking for new tunes and I have been sick of the mundane .” to a recent facebook post , I reasoned I need to get back on my horse .  I am hoping this is like riding a bike .

Since my previous post I’ve been to a couple of terrific shows . First of all we attended Mumford and Son’s first stopover on the Gentleman of the Road tour . It was a stunning day here in Portland . Eight band took to two stages over more or less 8 hours . Heading in I had been psyched to check out St . Vincent and Mumford , however knew little to nothing basically relating to nearly all the other bands on the tour . I enjoy new music that being said I made sure to get there early so I could explore some new sh !t . The musical combo that stole my heart that day ( and still possesses a tight grip it currently ) was a group of three sister from California that call themselves Haim . Initially I had been curious about how they coined this name , but down the line discovered that Haim was their last name . They actually have only one digital EP released titled Forever . I’ve listened to this modest three track sampling of the band again and again since my first encounter with these lovely ladies however I still believe it pales in comparison with experiencing them live . I recommend taking a listen to the EP, but also checking out about the video of an acoustic performance of the song Go Slow .

More recently I got to see Ben Harper at the State Theater here in Portland . It was the second show this year that I been to with my sister , the initial one being the Black Keys back in March. Ben Harper is truly one of my younger siblings most loved performers , thus she was seriously fired up in the days leading up to the show . I had been excited at the same time , just simply not as much as her . For this tour Ben was on tour all by himself , his the stage setup consisted of approximately 20 or more stringed instruments resting on stands , and the performance consisted of Ben pretty much randomly choosing one of these brilliant instruments and performing a song from his extensive catalog . For the most part the set was an acoustic one , however occasionally he did play one of his electrics .
In addition to an amazing overall performance was the fact that this was the show that never ends.  Ben took the stage took the stage approximately an hour and a half before departing from for the first time . The crowd , as you would expect , cheered him to return on stage . He then performed for about one more hour before leaving the stage a second time . The crowd had started to thin a bit , however the remaining 2/3rds continued rock the place . Ben came back again for an additional hour long set ! I very seriously believe he would have played longer had it not been for the midnight noise ordinance in P-town . He actually performed his final song after midnight without a mic and only his acoustic guitar inhand . According to BenHarper.com he played a total of 33 songs . It was insanly fun and super exciting to share one of my sisters favorites with her!  I somehow promised her Dave Matthews, which I may live to regret doing, but that is another story…

Check out one of the many gems from the night below.  It is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City.

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Put Me in Coachella! I’m ready to play!

For those who aren’t aware this weekend kind of kicks off the summer festivals.  (Ok, Ok, maybe South by Southwest does)  This years line-up includes a ton of great bands.  Ones I particularly enjoy are…

Day one: The Black Keys, Arctic Monkeys, M83, M.Ward, the Black Angels, and Grouplove

Day Two: Radiohead, Bon Iver, the Shins, Andrew Bird, Feist, The Head and The Heart, and tUnE-yArDs

Day Three: At the Drive-In, Florence + the Machine, Wild Flag, Gotye, Fitz and the Tantrums, First Aid Kit,  and Metronomy

The bands listed here are just the tip of the iceberg.  For a complete list go the Coachella line-up page.

This weekends Coachella performances are being streamed online via YouTube also!!  I actually got the screenshots you see in the post from the broadcasts.  The broadcasts are all in HD. (if your bandwidth permits)  Last night I watched The Black Keys, The Black Angels and The Arctic Monkeys.  A couple things to take into consideration Coachella takes place in Indio, California, so all all times on the site are Pacific Time.  That means headliners are all being broadcast at midnight or later for is east coasters.  Today’s live broadcast are starting at 3:55 PST (that’s 6:55 EST).  You can however go right now and watch select re-broadcasts of yesterday’s performances.  Oh yeah, almost forgot, the Coachella YouTube link.

The Black Keys killed it as usual.
Swedish House Mafia had a crazy awesome light show!
I HAVE to see the tUnE-yArDs live at some point.
This Shin probably played a great set, I was to enthralled with St. Vincent
Amazing! I knew her album was amazing. Her live performance was even better.
The only hotter than that outfit was Grace's voice.
Andrew Bird made me wish some other amazing performances didn't over lap
An always amazing (and beardless) Bon Iver

(I had Radiohead images, but some how I messed them up…)

If you go to the Coachella YouTube page you can watch about 15-20 videos from this weekends performances.  There are on a few songs by a few artist posted, and the don’t appear to be streaming and rebroadcasts today.

The Black Keys – 2012-03-06 – Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME

Yes, I know I have mentioned a few times here (and a million times on Facebook), but I went to see the Black Keys last night.  It was an amazing show! My sister and I had a awesome time! I can’t wait to see them again and again and again…

I am actually a fairly new fan of the Black Keys.  I discovered them through NPR’s All Song Considered sometime around the release of Attack & Release in 2008.  I really liked the album but it wasn’t until Brothers came out that I really started giving them a wider listen.  I fell deeply in love with Brothers, and started to seek out there older stuff as a result.  I gotta say I think it really sucks that I discovered them so late because everything they have put out is so amazing. Better late than never they say.

So when I saw (via the Black Keys email newsletter) that they were coming to Portland, ME I was super excited.  After the euphoria cleared I noticed that the show was on my birthday!  I instantly new it was fate. So a couple conversations with my sister and two days later, I bought our tickets.  I actually bought my tickets two days before the general pre-sale via an exclusive Black Keys newsletter pre-sale.  (tip to readers, sign up for your favorite bands email newsletters).

So last night, after dinner with my new wife and sister at Granny Burritos (do check them out if ever in Portland) and a quick trip to Bull Moose (our local record store), we went to the show.  The Arctic Monkeys were the opening band.  They did one hell of a job although I think much of the Maine crowd was pretty unfamiliar with them.  I myself am a semi-fan of them and was pretty excited to see them live.  They played 15 songs which is quite a lot for and opening band.   If you would like to see the set list go check it out at http://rorypond.tumblr.com.  Annika got a signed copy of the set list.  Cool concert swag!  My picture below is a little blurry, but apparently the only one I took of them.

After a pretty short break and abandoning our spot near the front (we are getting to old for the pushy crowd) The Black Keys came out.  The crowd was amazingly loud.  Lets put that into perspective, Maine crowds are usually pretty tame compared to shows in other places.   I often wonder if fan in Maine are even awake for shows here.  I even think that bands get put off by how subdued a Maine crowd can be, they just have to realize us Mainers are pretty chill.  That being said the fans last night rocked it.

Based on the set-list posted at setlist.fm, they played 21 songs.  I knew they played a lot of songs but I didn’t realize they played that many.  My sister and I totally rocked out and I for one have a very sore voice from screaming and yelling so much.  Below is one of the dozen or so pictures I took during the set.  Amazing show!

I did buy a t-shirt at the show as I always do at all my favorite shows.  As you can see below it is a baseball style shirt with a Black Keys logo on the front and a list of all the tour dates on the back,  I would have like to have purchased one of the tour posters for this particular show but had to refrain from spending to much money.  Anyway, amazing show if you get a chance go see them.  (tour dates are listed on the shirt below).  Thanks for going with me sister!

Juliette Lewis – 2010-08-19 – Port City Music Hall, Portland, ME

I don’t go to enough concerts anymore.  I already posted about the last concert I went to (The Decemberists).  Juliette Lewis was one of the last three concerts I’ve been to and that was more than a year ago.  Pretty sad really!  I used to go to one a week when I was in college.  Ah…to be young again with no responsibilities!  So I went to the show with my friend, Krista, she hadn’t really heard much of Juliette Lewis but was excited to see her based on the little she had heard.   I actually bought my ticket the day they had gone on sale and was super excited to go see her.

Anyway, this was an amazing show!  First a band called the Dearly Beloved opened the show.  They are a indie rock band from Toronto and were really good.  They played a half hour (or so) set that the crowd seemed to be into.  They were a great warm up band getting the crowd primed for Juliette.  Krista liked them enough to buy one of there albums titled Make It Bleed at the merch table  at the end of the show.  I also thought they were really good, and I’ve now gotten a copy of the album and listen to it pretty frequently.

Juliette took the stage rocked all hell!  She is a phenomenal performer, you can certainly tell she takes her music seriously and has a lot of fun.  We got right up front and had a great view of the show.  I think I was one of the few who knew just about every lyric to every song and Juliette took notice, at one point winking at me, and at another point leaning down in front of me so I could big her a bog wet kiss!  All around I was definitely one of the best shows I’d been to in a while.   At the end I even got a copy of the setlist which you can see below.  I ended up buying a t-shirt from the merch table.  I do hope to get to see her again in the future!

You can click on both the crowd shot and t-shirt pictures below to get a bigger view.

Setlist:

Dearly Beloved Links:

HomepageFacebookMySpaceWiki – NPR

Juliette Lewis Links:

Homepage – FacebookMySpaceWiki – NPR

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My first concert.

Growing up in Northern Maine I didn’t get a chance to see any bands during my youth.  In fact, closest place bands would even play was more than 2 hours way.  To top it off I don’t think my parents would have let me go anyway.  It was the summer of 97, I was only 19 and it was the summer after my senior year of high school.  A few of my friends, Andrew, Jason and Wayne had gotten tickets to see ZZ Tops.  For what ever reason that I can not recall now, Andrew was not able to go to the show, so they asked me if I would be interested in going.  Of coarse I said yes!

ZZ Top that summer had gone on tour in support of there new album Rythmeen. It was called the Mean Rhythm Global Tour.  So on June 19, 1997, I attended my first concert at the Augusta Civic Center.  This was quite a long time ago so I only remember a few things really.  I remember it was general admissions and that we stood in the crowd down on the floor.  I remember them playing my favorite song Sharp Dressed Man as well as Legs, Rhythmeen and La Grange.  I also remember thinking that the stage was very basic, but I would learn later it was because this was “a no-frills, full-thrill presentation; streamlined and down ‘n’ gritty.” tour as ZZ Top press release had stated.  As you can see above I bought a t-shirt at the show which you can also see is pretty worn now.  Below is what remains of the ticket for the show which was torn in half by the person taking tickets.

The following is a setlist listed for this tour, but I’m not sure if this is exactly the set list for this particular show. (it was take from here)

“Got Me Under Pressure”
“Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings”
“I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide”
“Pincushion”
“Brown Sugar”
“Party On the Patio”
“Vincent Price Blues”
“Heard It On the X”
“Rhythmeen”
“Bang Bang”
“Cheap Sunglasses”
“Just Got Paid”
“Legs”
“Gimme All Your Lovin'”
“Sharp Dressed Man”
“She’s Just Killing Me”
“La Grange”
“Tush”

ZZ Tops Links:

Homepage Facebook MySpace Wiki – NPR

KidAJoe’s Music Challenge – A song that you first heard live…

Most my friends know my love of live music. I have been to hundreds of concerts over the years.  I have download hundreds and hundreds of live music too.  That is why I chose to cover “A song that you first heard live, that you became instantly obsessed with” as the next part of my music challenge.

Over the years I have fallen in love all sorts of new bands based on live performances I’ve seen or heard.   The Dropkick Murphys, however top all of them.  It was the fall of 1997, my first semester of my freshman year of college.  I saw in the local music magazine that one of my favorite band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were heading up to the Central Maine Civic Center in Lewiston.  I was totally pumped for the show and snatched up a ticket.  I later learned that the Bosstones were bringing 3 Boston area band with them on this tour.  I was pretty excited and although Boston in a good hour and half away, us Mainers kind of claim it as local.   If I remember correctly they were Bim Skala Bim, the Amazing Royal Crowns and the Dropkick Murphys.  I had never heard any of these band at the time and was pretty excited to hear some new stuff.

I went to the show that night excited I would finally get to see the Bosstones live.  I new they would rock.  What I wasn’t expecting is that the Dropkick Murphys (still fronted be Mike McColgan) would steal the whole night!  I was amazed by them.  I bought my first of many DKM t-shirts that night, and the next day went and bought their Boys on the Docks EP which at the time was the only thing they had recorded.  Since that night I have seen them 13 times, bought t-shirts at almost every single show, and purchased everyone of there albums and EPs on both CD and vinyl.   I’ve met the band on few occasions too!

So below I will post a video of some live Mike McColgan era Dropkick Murphys.   This clip is 10 minutes long, but contains 4 songs, Caps & Bottles, Finnegan’s Wake, Caught in a Jar and Boy on the Dock.  This performance is from a show in Seattle in March of 1998, which is about 6 months after the show I went to.

Dropkick Murphys Links:

The Decemberists – 2011-06-16 – State Theatre, Portland, ME

So this is my first in a series dedicated to concerts I have gone to.  I will start with the one I went to most recently, but will post some reviews of one I’ve been to in past years also.

Last week I went and saw the Decemberists.  I arrived just before the opener- Sara Watkins (formerly of Nickel Creek).  This was actually the first night she had opened the show, but she had spent the tour as a fill in member (for Jenny Conlee, who was diagnosed with breast cancer) for the Decemberists.  Sara flew her brother in to accompany her on the guitar and backing vocals, while she played the fiddle.  She was really good, playing a mix of bluegrass, folk and gospel.  They played for a measly 30 minutes, which could be expected for an opening artist.
After a 30 minute wait, The Decemberist joined the stage.  The intro was quite interesting actually with Colin Meloy (from backstage) telling us to “close our eyes and imagine you’re in a forest somewhere in the Pacific Northwest – maybe with a cup of strong coffee in your hand – and you see a strange group of people walking towards you through the trees…” .  He continues to spin a short tale, then the band took the stage.  It was a wonderful set,  mixing old with the new.  My personal favorites were The Rake’s Song and The Crane Wife.  As a relatively new fan of the Decemberists, there were a few songs I didn’t know, but overall enjoyed this set.  Colin seemed very down to earth and made sure the audience was very active and involved with the set.  At one point he was getting everyone to shake hands with the people on either side of them and introduce themselves, and another time getting people to clap hands with the people around them (and even joking to slap foreheads).   The one downfall to the whole show was it seemed to go by so fast.  I entered the venue at about 7:15 and was left it at about 10.   Overall though, it was a a very fun night and will definitely go see them again!
Setlist was as follows:
July, July!
Down by the Water
Calamity Song
Rise to Me
The Bagman’s Gambit
We Both Go Down Together
Won’t Want for Love (Margaret In The Taiga)
The Crane Wife 3
All Arise!
Rox in the Box
The Rake’s Song
O Valencia!
The Perfect Crime #2
This Is Why We Fight

Raincoat Song
When U Love Somebody
The Chimbley Sweep

June Hymn
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(pictures posted above were taken with my cellphone so excuse the poor quality, and setlist above was taken from here.)
Decemberist Links: