As 2011 reaches a close, we take a look back at the year in concerts. In volume, I probably attend the least amount of total shows per year if you pool all of the contributors here at Concert Confessions. But never the less, by years end I will have reached 23 concerts, eclipsing last years total of 20. My only personal goal is to always get out to more shows then the year before. We did that in 2011, and here’s hoping we crack a bigger mark in 2012. Back to the reminiscing, here’s the Top Ten Jay Porks Exerperience’s of 2011
It was a cold night in February. I remember it like it was yesterday-it was the day before I was to get my Blackberry, and I remember the whole night being pissed about how if I would’ve gotten a new phone earlier that day I’d leave here tonight with better quality photos. Speaking of photos, the Reverend Justito was able to go through channels and gain me a photo pass for the first 3 songs of their set. It was at this time that I would stand about an arms distance from the late Cory Smoot/Flatimis Maximus while getting soaked in GWAR fluids, which would later add some difficulty to hailing a cab after the show-being that it looked like I was covered in blood. Awesome times
I know what your all thinking-How the hell does he throw Hip Hop into his Top Ten? Well, a week or so prior to Joe Budden replying to a Tweet of mine setting off a back and forth which gained me a collective middle finger from his fan base, he played with Slaughterhouse at SOB’s. This is the show that made me buy the tickets to see the man solo at Irving Plaza, and even though that was terrible, I can’t deny what Budden, Royce Da 5’9′, ‘Joell Ortiz’ and ‘Crooked I’ did to the stage at SOB’s that night. And that was setting it on fire. Also, one of the openers ‘Emilio Rojas’, I promise you will headline shows in 2012. He sounded like the future.
8)Chris Cornell @ Town Hall(4/13/11)
With a Soundgarden full on reunion tour not yet confirmed, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see Mr. Chris Cornell on his Solo Acoustic Songbook Tour. The hair is back, and in full Jesus mode Cornell blessed us with hits from Soundgarden, Audioslave, his own solo catalog and mixed in a Beatles cover along with a, brace yourselves, acoustic cover of Ghostland Observatory’s “Sad Sad City”.
Overlooking the balcony on the 3rd floor of Terminal 5 for an epic night of events. If it wasn’t enough that I was seeing Dinosaur Jr., we had Keith Morris in the building with his latest band. OFF!. In addition to that we had the critical acclaimed “Fucked Up”. And the frosting for the cake, Henry Freakin’ Rollins interviewed Dinosaur Jr on stage before their set, an interview I captured in it’s entirety and it up on YouTube. Also got most of their set, they had great lighting and my spot was of epic proportions.
6)Local H Mercury Lounge (4/21/11)
Local H is one of those bands that will probably always find there way on my year end best list if they come around to my neck of the woods, and that’s just what happened. Not only that, but they were booked for an “Early show” at the Mercury Lounge-which means doors at 7PM and show was to end promptly at 9:30. No problem for Scott Lucas and Brian St. Clair, who kicked out about 20 jams in the time they had on stage, including 2 songs from a forthcoming Local H record: “Cold Matter” and “Another February”(which I have video of below this paragraph). Covered ‘Joey’ by Concrete Blonde and “Wolf Like Me” courtesy of TV on the Radio. During Wolf Like Me, Scott came off stage with his guitar and played, like, into the camera was recording with and eventually was jamming out leaning against me as people snapped photos of him in the crowd. What Mercury Lounge is great for in not having security so I can tape, they suck at lights-and there is no conclusive proof of this on video. At least my buddy who I met into at the Lemonheads show says he remembers me from the crowd and remembers seeing that happen. Got an autograph from Mr. Lucas after the show and gave it to my friend Pam, who was defeated by New York City traffic trying to make it there.
5)Flaming Lips&Weezer Get Freaky On The Same Stage PNC (7/28/11)
So when I saw the show listed on Ticketmaster it was billed “Weezer/Flaming Lips” yet when my ticket arrived in the mail it said “Flaming Lips/Weezer”. I figured at the least I save myself time seeing some crap opener, as I like both these bands. As the show drew near, it was announced that the bands would both set their gear up on stage, and take turns playing songs back and forth. Now isn’t this interesting? And it turned out to be even way more fun then I imagined. With limited time, sort of, Weezer wasn’t able to squeeze into their set a bunch of songs I hate. Plus they kicked off the night both bands on stage playing Black Sabbath’s “Sweat Leaf” with Wayne Coyne and Rivers Cuomo floating the pit area in space bubbles. After 2 hours of back and forth hits from both bands, they shared the stage again to play “She Don’t Use Jelly” followed by “Undone(The Sweater Song)” before going off. Awesomeness. I was still giddy as I wrote the review on a plane flying off to Washington State-that’s a hint for things to come on this list.
We have a tie for 3rd/4th place:
The Meat Puppets returned to New York City for the first time in 2 years to play Le Poisson Rouge. They would play 2 nights later in Teaneck, NJ at Mexicali Live with me in attendance as well. It’s a tie because on both nights they would equally scorch the stage they played frying hearts and minds-yet it was two totally different experiences for me despite the set list not varying much. Night one in NYC I got backstage, and was able to hang with the boys before the show and even got to meet Sean Yseult (bass player who started a little band called White Zombie with dude named Rob), who was nothing less then a bad ass chick-I mean that in the awesome sense. But after all that it ended up I couldn’t get a good spot up front and had to extend my arm up full length when recording songs(the good news being I don’t have to hide my camera from anyone, being the Social Media Assistant for the band I am actually permitted and encouraged to do so).
Two nights later I meet up with Pam in Teaneck, NJ-a little hidden spot of Northern New Jersey I never even knew existed. My intentions on this night are to finally show off my favorite band still touring to one of my good friends-
one of the few friends I have in real life who’s musical taste I respect. She’s never seen them, and this was to be my 9th time. Check this out, you know that band Black Box Revelation that’s been blowing up by the show? Yea, they opened up this one before they set off w/ Beady Eye on tour a week or so later. They were awesome. And my great spot for video during this Meat Puppets set as oppose to they Friday night set is not even comparable. I got everything I needed to get and more. About halfway during set Pam says to me “This drummer is amazing”. That drummer is Shandon Sahm (son of Doug Sahm, I’m gonna let you use Wikipedia for this one), and for the nights encore as it would have been Doug Sahm’s 70th Birthday day, we saw Curt Kirkwood relinquish his guitar to Shandon and took a seat at the drum kit. They then played “She’s About A Mover”, a Sir Douglas Quintet cover with Curt on drums and Shandon Sahm singing and playing guitar. Got Curt to autograph Pam’s ticket after the show. Freaking amazing weekend of the Meat Puppets, hence my tie for 3rd/4th place.
2)Ween Hammerstein Ballroom: Halloween 2011
For a second year in a row through circumstances beyond their control, Ween fall one spot short of the top spot on my best shows of 2011 list. It was Halloween, it was WEEN at Hammerstein Ballroom in the city. We tore the seated section 103 apart, stacking chairs creating a standing room frenzy. They did another “Evening w/ Ween” which includes no opening acts-and played for the better part of three hours dressed up for Halloween in skimpy sailor outfits. It was amazing, and even through picking up the pieces of my face on the way out the door-the number one spot had already been locked in.
Remember when I said I was writing the Flaming Lips/Weezer review on a plane heading to Washington State? Yea well, that was one insane weekend. With tour guides TheNaturalStoner and Mr. Sparkly taking care of me, we were off on Saturday July 30th of 2011 to the Gorge Amphitheater to see Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and THE MEAT PUPPETS. This was before any Meat Puppets dates were locked for NYC so I had to make sure I caught them right? Plus opening for Soundgarden?!? A band I’ve been waiting to see for years and years. And sandwich in Queens of the Stone Age, which I missed out on a presale from their NYC show in March and how can we think this could get any better? Well, it got better as soon as we were at the top of the grassy hill looking down at the stage camped so behind it is the beautiful Columbia River and mountainside. 18,000 people get in this place, standing room exclusive. If it wasn’t enough that I got to see the Meat Puppets for the 7th time that night, I also got to see Soundgarden close out strong. And while Queens of the Stone Age kicked out songs I love, like “Go With The Flow” & “No One Knows” ,with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river and silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8-10 minutes right there may have been the greatest moment of my life(well, besides Jen Cartiglia). We had from what I counted 5 of us Concert Confessioners in attendance- Myself, TheNaturalStoner & Mr. Sparkly in one tent trying to get texts through to Phishbeard to meet up with us, while at the same time we tried to gain WiFi to find Jakob. The whole Washington experience blew me away, and the show being that epic wasn’t hurting matters either. Camped out afterward sleeping on a folding chair using a sleeping bag as a blanket starring up at the stars, which I can actually see in a state without the air pollution that New York City contains. Woke everyone around us camping up early due to my phone’s alarm clock still being on east coast time. The video I share below is not one that I shot, but shot by TheNaturalStoner. Since I was standing right next to him anyway, and his camera is way better then mine, here you go:
I seriously wanted to put Charlie Sheen’s Violent Torpedo of Truth tour in here, but I didn’t want to take the crap from all the trolls out there who DIDN’T attend…But damn that was a pretty freaking epic night, awesome times with friends.. hence it’s honorable mention.
-Phish, Night 1 of their MSG New Years Eve run was pretty funky as well, had this list not been done before I attended the show on 12/28/11, it would have been up for nomination