Author: The Slurry Baron

Chris Cornell at Benaroya Hall – Seattle, WA – 9/29/15


Earlier this week, thenaturalstoner and I had what we would consider to be a perfect day in Seattle. We were in town to catch Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at Benaroya Hall, a stop on his solo acoustic tour. After driving across the state of Washington that morning, we spent the afternoon in downtown Seattle doing all the typical tourist stuff like buying Hawks gear at the Seattle Seahawks Pro Shop, snapping photos in front of the Space Needle while making obscene gestures, taking in the sights of Puget Sound and studying the odd “art” along the waterfront. Like I said, typical tourist stuff.

At one point, we stopped off at a pub for a couple beers. No big deal, right? That’s what we thought until we spotted Grammy Award-winning rapper Macklemore sitting at a table behind us. Now, for some of you, this wouldn’t matter too much. But here at Concert Confessions, we have a little more respect for Mr. Thrift Shop ever since he released his latest single Downtown, which features vocals by Foxy Shazam frontman Eric Nally. Concert Confessions kind of digs Foxy Shazam, as evidence here, here and/or here.

After our afternoon downtown (and a fist bump between thenaturalstoner and Macklemore), we headed over to the show. It was such a nice evening out that we decided to walk instead of taking a cab. As we made our way to the venue, we stopped off in a small bar for a drink. Okay, if I’m being honest, it may have been a few drinks. Eventually, we made it to the show and we were ready for an unforgettable evening.


Inside Benaroya Hall, Chris Cornell thrilled fans with a massive 30-song set list that lasted nearly three hours and included his work with Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog (plus solo material). Cornell is arguably one of the greatest frontmen in the business today, and his iconic voice sounded great in the sold-out 2,500-seat concert hall, which is also home to the Seattle Symphony. To add to the thrill of it all, we were sitting front row. I have to give credit where credit is due, thenaturstoner was on his game when he bought these tickets months ago. I couldn’t believe that here I was now, an arm’s length away from the legendary Chris Cornell.

One of the highlights included a guest appearance by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, who accompanied Cornell on Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog) and River of Deceit (Mad Season). Other members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were spotted throughout in the venue. McCready, however, was the only sit-in. Of course we would have loved for other guests, but McCready was a super treat for us all and those older covers sounded fantastic.



Chris continued the night playing classics like Blow Up the Outside World, Fell On Black Days, Like A Stone and Black Hole Sun—although Benaroya Hall’s signature drink, the Black Whole Fun, left something to be desired. Cornell also dusted off some cool covers, including Bob Dylan’s Threw It All Away, Led Zeppelin’s Thank You, and a new favorite of mine, Prince’s Nothing Compares 2 U.



All in all, this was an absolutely solid show and most definitely worth the time and money spent to make it to Seattle. I would highly recommend catching this tour if you have a chance. Cornell treats his fans to a massive set filled with great songs, which evoke the memories of the 90s.  Not to mention, his voice is still there and sounding better than ever. Thank you Seattle for an awesome evening.


Video credit: Tammy P.



Crowdsourced Video: Bon Jovi Performing Wanted Dead or Alive

Bon Jovi played London’s Hyde Park last month (July, 5) and YouTube user 45BonJovi has combined fan footage and official live audio to create a video of the band performing “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

Is this awesome or not? Watch the video below and judge for yourself.

An Evening with CAKE – Sandpoint, Idaho – 8/2/13

Cake at the Festival in Sandpoint 2013

On an overcast August evening, on the bank of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced: pond-o-ray) in Idaho, I came face-to-face with what I had considered to be my white whale. I was about to see a band that, for years, would play a few shows in the Pacific Northwest but, for some reason, those shows would fall on days that made it difficult for me to attend. This night, however, was my night. It was my night to check that band off my list, to realize the dream that had eluded me for so many years, and to spend a glorious evening in Sandpoint, Idaho…an Evening with CAKE.

But enough with the hyperbole. CAKE really is a band that I have wanted to see for the past 15 years, and something had always stood in the way of that, a family obligation, work, or what have you. So when I heard they were playing the Festival at Sandpoint on August 2, I knew that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t go.

After an unsuccessful attempt at recruiting friends to accompany me on my journey, I made the solo trek to the northern Idaho Panhandle. No ticket in hand and no hotel room booked. I showed up to the venue (Memorial Field) right when the doors opened, bought a ticket from someone off the street, and made my way through the gates.  One thing that is great about this venue is their extremely relaxed policy on coolers. Basically, you can bring whatever food and drink you want inside, including alcohol. As you might imagine, this ends up saving you a ton of money during the show. At first, I thought this could turn out to be a complete shit show in terms of people drinking too much and acting like idiots. However, the crowd was extremely laid back and there were enough security and uniformed police officers to handle any drunken buffoonery.

CAKE took the stage a little after 7:30 p.m. and delivered two sets filled with all the songs I love. Songs such as, “The Distance,” “Sick of You,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll Lifestyle,” “Italian Leather Sofa,” their awesome cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and many more. I was firmly planted at the railing near the front of the stage and soaked in every trumpet note blasted, while lead singer John McCrea’s Vibra-slap echoed in the northern Idaho night like the scream of a red-tail hawk.

I truly had a great time in Sandpoint that night and was bummed when it came to an end. There is no doubt in my mind that I will catch CAKE again someday, I just hope it doesn’t take me another 15 years.

Watch CAKE perform Long Skirt/Short Jacket at the Festival at Sandpoint:

CAKE performing Love You Madly at the festival. Shot with a GoPro worn by drummer Paulo Baldi:

Watch Sir Paul McCartney Jam with Nirvana at Safeco Field

Last night (7/19/13) at Safeco Field in Seattle, WA, Sir Paul McCartney was joined by the remaining members of Nirvana and treated fans to “Helter Skelter,” “Cut Me Some Slack,” and “Get Back.”

Video credits: Trent Moorman

Rancid Heads Back to Seattle (Not Olympia), WA – 7/12/13

Thenaturalstoner is in Seattle this weekend for Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Sub Pop Records. As a pre-festival warm up, our lovable pal headed over to the Showbox Sodo last night to catch punk legends Rancid.

“Rancid was loud and full of energy,” says thenaturalstoner. “Everyone was pumped, and the room was packed. It fuck’n rocked.”

The second night, of a two-night run in Seattle, Rancid delivered a massive set-list, opening with Roots Radicals and closing with Time Bomb. Radio kicked off the multi-song encore, and the band closed out the night with Ruby Soho. 

Check out these videos from the show:

Fleetwood Mac – Spokane Arena – Spokane, WA 6/29/13

Fleetwood Mac Spokane

The Spokane Arena was rocking last Saturday night as fans packed the house to see the legendary Fleetwood Mac perform a nearly 2.5 hour-long set, which included hit after hit from their more than four decade-long career.

Prior to the show, the Spokane Arena posted to their facebook page that the band had requested that no one take photos or video during the show. But rules are made to be broken, right? So I placed my camera down low and tried to be as inconspicuous as possible, thus minimizing the distraction I may have been causing other people around me.

I realize that my behavior would land me on Rolling Stone’s list of most annoying concert behaviors, but at least I was considerate enough to choose a seat where no one was sitting directly behind me. That coupled with the hundreds of camera flashes I saw go off, allowed me to easily justify filming a bit more.

Three fun facts that I learned from the show: (1) Lindsey Buckingham can rip it up on the guitar. (2) Mick Fleetwood apparently gets some assistance from an unnamed drummer located behind the stage. (3) And Fleetwood Mac fans LOVE when Stevie Nicks twirls around on stage.

I hope you enjoy the videos. If you are a Fleetwood Mac fan, I’d highly recommend catching their show is you have a chance.

Blitzen Trapper at the Kenworthy in Moscow, Idaho 5/19/13

2013-05-19 20.01.27

Blitzen Trapper is awesome. If you haven’t been to one of their shows, what are you waiting for? On Sunday night the band ripped up The Kenworthy in Moscow, Idaho with their badass folk/alt country/indie rock jams that should make music lovers take note of this band’s greatness.

Earlier in the afternoon, I “hosted” the inaugural Concert Confessions Backyard Horseshoe Championship. I tweeted Blitzen Trapper an invite to join us in a game before the show.  Unfortunately they couldn’t make it, but we still had a great afternoon of grilling, drinks, and pitching horseshoes. After a grueling semi-final match, I was bested in a sudden death championship round by the one and only, thenaturalstoner.


We headed over to the venue a little after 8 p.m., and had plenty of time to buy drinks and find good seats before the start of the show.

Seattle songstress, Sera Cahoone, took the stage around 8:15 p.m. and pulled the audience in with her melodic, bluegrass-influenced style. Sub-Pop records describes her as “one of the strongest songwriters in Seattle’s ever-vibrant Americana scene.” If you’re a fan of the genre, I would recommend giving her a listen.

Sera Cahoone

Blitzen Trapper took the stage around 9:15 p.m. They opened with Fletcher, from their 2011 album American Goldwing. This is just one of many great songs on that album. Their music reminds me of those great American classic rock/folk songs of the 70’s and earlier 80’s by artists like John Fogerty, Steve Miller, and John Denver—a music style that takes me back to my childhood, when my family would travel throughout south east Washington, northern Idaho, and western Montana to camp and fish.

At the request of frontman Eric Earley, people stood up from their seats and gathered near the front of the stage. The crowd, with their cups of Pabst Blue Ribbon in-hand, danced and sang along to favorites such as Love the Way You Walk Away, Furr, and God and Suicide.

Blitzen Trapper

We were treated to a few new songs, such as Heart Attack (video below). If the new songs reflect what the rest of the band’s album will sound like, it is going to be a great follow-up to American Goldwing.

From start to finish, this was an outstanding show. The band sounded great, the crowd was energized, and the intimate venue helped make the experience feel more personal. If Blitzen Trapper is headed your way, gather up your friends, spend the afternoon barbecuing and playing a few games of horseshoes, and then go check them out.


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MGMT at The Knitting Factory – Spokane, WA 5/14/2013

MGMT Spokane

MGMT played a sold-out show in Spokane on Tuesday, May 14, and thenaturalstoner and I were there (shaky cell phone camera and all) to brave a sea of skinny jeans and listen to some jams by the Grammy nominated band.

Prior to this show, the only MGMT songs I was familiar with were Time to Pretend and Kids (go ahead and roll your eyes). Not that I disliked the band, they just never made it on my musical radar.

Sometimes being unfamiliar with a band’s music turns out to be a good thing. I was able to experience this show with no preconceived bias for or against MGMT. Hearing a song like Electric Feel for the first time in an intimate venue, like The Knitting Factory, is quite the trip. Everybody (including myself) was clapping, dancing and generally having a great time.

As a whole, MGMT delivered a different experience than I anticipated. They played more mellow jams than I was expecting, paired with psychedelic imagery projected on the video screen behind them…a few songs had a Pink Floyd-esque feel to them.

So, if you’re a fan of MGMT, I definitely recommend catching one of their shows the next time they are around.  And if you’re on the fence about it, I’d encourage you to check them out. You might be surprised by how much you enjoy the show.


Flash Delirium

The Youth

Of Moons, Birds & Monsters

Your Life Is a Lie

Time to Pretend

Mystery Disease

Siberian Breaks

Electric Feel

Introspection (Faine Jade cover)

Weekend Wars

I Found a Whistle



Alien Days


Alice Cooper Raises the Dead in Airway Heights, WA

Alice Cooper at the Northern Quest Casino – Airway Heights, WA – 11/17/2012

On Saturday night, The Natural Stoner (TNS) and I made our way over to the Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights, WA to see the legendary Alice Cooper. I had wanted to see Cooper for years, but sadly never got around to going one of his shows before. Yeah, I know, I’ve only had more than thirty years to make that happen. However, after watching the stream of his 2012 Bonnaroo set, I knew that I would be there the next time he played the northwest.

TNS and I arrived at the casino a couple hours before the show started. I figured we would grab a few drinks, tour the casino floor, and maybe win some cash along the way (unfortunately, that last one didn’t quite play out). So we strolled around the casino, checked out the merch table (t-shirts started at $40), and wasted time until the show began at 7:30 p.m.

We headed into the venue and took our seats at about 7:25 p.m.  I had a nice little buzz going and was ready to have a great night rocking out to some awesome Alice Cooper hits. The lights dimmed and Cooper hit the stage to the unmistakable guitar opening of Hello Hooray. The sold-out 1,300-seat theater erupted in cheers, especially from TNS who had been hoping for months that this song was back in the set list after it apparently went missing from some of his shows over the summer.

The ninety-minute set was packed with classic Alice Cooper hits such as Welcome to my Nightmare, I’m Eighteen, Poison, and School’s Out. What really made it all worth it for me was the four-pack of songs that I had wanted to hear—the previously mentioned opener Hello Hooray, Under my Wheels, Be My Lover, and a song that forever is burned into my childhood memory as a result of watching Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives about a hundred times, He’s Back (the Man Behind the Mask).

The show had everything you would expect from an Alice Cooper show, including strapping on a gas mask and then morphing into a giant Frankenstein’s monster during Teenage Frankenstein. Of the many highlights throughout the night, one that will stand out for many is Cooper’s twenty-minute Raise the Dead tribute to Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, and Keith Moon by covering Break on Through (to the Other Side), Revolution, Foxy Lady, and My Generation, respectively.


Cooper is the original master of the macabre and has been influential to many artists over the past forty years. There are not many performers who can still work a crowd the way Cooper does, puting on one hell of a rock show. Backed by a great band, and with such an extensive catalog of hits, Alice Cooper brought fans to their feet with an amazing experience. For those of us who were lucky enough to be there, it was a show that we will remember for a long time.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse at Key Arena, Seattle WA – 11/10/12

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Key Arena, Seattle WA – 11/10/12

Videos by Phishbeard 

Concert Confessions contributor Phishbeard hits tons of shows. Actually, tons is probably an understatement. The guy hits so many shows that he’s usually on his way to the next one before he can share any info with us about the show he just left. But the videos continue to upload.

This week, our buddy Phishbeard was lucky enough to catch Neil Young & Crazy Horse at The Key Arena in Seattle. Some videos have uploaded and we’ve got them for you below, along with the set list. Be sure to check out Phishbeard’s  YouTube channel for more great concert videos.


Love And Only Love
Born In Ontario
Walk Like A Giant
The Needle And The Damage Done
Twisted Road
Singer Without A Song
Ramada Inn
Cinnamon Girl
Fuckin’ Up
Mr. Soul
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)

Tonight’s The Night

Watch PSY perform with Madonna

PSY joined Madonna onstage to perform a Gangnam Style mash up at her Madison Square Garden show on Tuesday.

This begs the question: which attention-whore are you most tired off, PSY or Madonna?

Sir Mix-A-Lot Tells Cougs to Put ’em on the Glass – Pullman, WA – 08/22/12

Sir Mix-A-Lot Tells Cougs to Put ’em on the Glass – Pullman, WA – 08/22/12


Grammy award winning rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot performed on the Washington State University campus in Pullman, Washington. The Seattle native was part of the lineup for WSU’s annual CougFest—additional acts included DJ 100 Proof, Fresh Espresso, and Hoodie Allen.

The hour-long set included hits such as “Posse on Broadway,” “My Hooptie,” and (of course) “Baby Got Back.”

Mix-A-Lot puts on a great show, and knows how to get the crowd going. After pointing out that he’s never been invited to play on the campus of the University of Washington, located in his hometown, the crowed began to chant, “Fuck the Huskies” (WSU and UW are fierce in-state rivals).

Sir Mix-A-Lot is a must-see for fans who yearn for a little 90s nostalgia. See below for videos from the show, including the whole-set  provided by  thenaturalstoner.

Girl Talk and STS9 Added to North Coast Music Festival Lineup


Girl Talk and STS9 have been confirmed (via Consequence of Sound) for the 2012 North Coast Music Festival. The North Coast Music Festival is August 30 – September 2, 2012 at Union Park in Chicago, Illinois. The event features the world’s electronic, indie, hip hop, jam and rock and roll artists. Here is the complete lineup so far:





















































Watch Chris Cornell Cover “A Day in the Life”

Watch Chris Cornell Cover “A Day in the Life”


Everyone should know that Sir Paul McCartney celebrated his 70th birthday yesterday; and it turned out to be a great opportunity for musicians to celebrate one of the most influential songwriters of our time. See below for video of Chris Cornell covering “A Day in the Life” at London Palladium.

Childish Gambino @ The Kibbie Dome – Moscow, Idaho – 5/2/12

Childish Gambino 05/02/12

Kibbie Dome – Moscow, ID

Words/Photos by Mr. Sparkly


Usually I have to travel at least two hours to see a decent show, but sometimes my town surprises me. So when I heard Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) was performing for The University of Idaho’s Finals Fest, there was no doubt that I had to catch this act that I have been hearing so much about.

I’ll give credit where credit is due, Mr. Jay Porks has been praising Glover for more than a year, and I should have been listening. Glover is a triple threat–writer, comedian, rapper–who has been gaining popularity through talk show performances and festival appearances. In fact, Childish Gambino was on my must see list for the 2012 Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge during Memorial Weekend.

The set was basically his debut studio album Camp in it’s entirety, with some additional gems such as Freaks and Geeks and an awesome Rolling in the Deep Remix that had the whole crowd bouncing. I was hoping that he would bust out some stuff from his previous mixtapes, but that didn’t happen.

Overall, it was a fantastic show and I can’t wait to catch his set again in a few weeks at Sasquatch!

Foxy Shazam with Maniac and Cadaver Dogs @ The Vera Project, Seattle 4/14/12

Words by Mr. Sparkly

Photos by Shanda Sheldon

Foxy Shazam (9:50 to 11 p.m.)

Less than 24 hours in the Emerald City and a 600-mile drive across the state of Washington and back. That’s a small price to pay to see Foxy Shazam, one of the most entertaining bands today.

For an hour and ten minutes, Foxy Shazam delivered the kind of show that only Eric Nally and the boys can deliver. From the moment they started into Church of Rock and Roll until Nally was eating four lit cigarettes during The Temple encore, the 200-plus people packed into The Vera Project were having the time of their lives.

My friend and I were right in front of Sky White, and got caught up in the middle of the action when he lifted his keyboard into the crowd during Killin’ It and played while the fans held it up. At one point, Nally told an anecdote about a trip he took with his wife to New Orleans, before launching into the crowd favorite I Like It (see video at the bottom).

Overall, it was a great set and Foxy Shazam did not disappoint. Couple that with their in-store performance earlier in the day, and it was a trip that was well worth the drive.

Eric Nally of Foxy Shazam

Sky White of Foxy Shazam 

Alex Nauth of Foxy Shazam 

Daisy Caplan of Foxy Shazam

Maniac (9 p.m. to 9:50 p.m.)

Maniac stood out as a highlight of the evening  for two reasons. (1)  As the night progressed, the bands became less obnoxious. This was a refreshing change of pace. (2) The band is charismatic and played an energetic and fun set, delivering one catchy song after another. Co-frontmen Shawn Harris and Jake Grigg have great on-stage chemistry, and the entire crowd was dancing and singing along for the entire 50-minute set.

At first glance, it might be tempting to describe their sound as a simple nod to 80’s pop. However, their sound is a complex mixture of folk, pop, and rock elements, and the band delivers it with such energy that it’s hard not to love–which might be why Eric Nally from Foxy Shazam was in the crowd during their set.

If you have an opportunity to catch a Maniac show near you, don’t hesitate to go. You will have a good time.

Griggs and Harris of Maniac



Cadaver Dogs (8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

Cadaver Dogs are a dirty, gritty rock band from Ohio who play loud, fast blue-collar rock. They have a “we don’t give a shit” attitude and that is 100 percent their intention. As I watched their set, I kept thinking that they look like a band that should have been playing in the bar scene in Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. 

Despite the drummer being a little over the top at times with his on-stage antics, I enjoyed their set and would go see these dirty mutts again.

Cadaver Dogs

Cadaver Dogs

Cadaver Dogs 

Just Like Vinyl (8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.)

Just Like Vinyl, a local Seattle band, played a mediocre 30-minute set. Nothing about this band really stood out as being different from other bands trying to make a name for themselves within the rock genre. The lead singer played up the stereotypical “rockstar” persona, and their set included plenty of sexual innuendos. It was as if they were trying to channel their inner Steel Panther. If that was the intention, then they are well on their way to “success.”

Just Like Vinyl

Foxy Shazam at Silver Platters in Seattle 4/14/12

Foxy Shazam played an in-store performance at Silver Platters (Queen Anne Store) in Seattle on Saturday.  Around 100 fans came out to see the band and were treated to a three-song set that included Holy Touch, Forever Together, and I Like it. The event was from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

I walked over to the store at 2:30 p.m., which was conveniently located across the street from my hotel, and expected the place to be packed. Surprisingly, there were about 30 people in the store when I arrived. I was somewhat disappointed that more fans didn’t come out for this free event, then again, the low turnout worked out in my favor because I got a great spot for the performance.

After the performance, the band chatted with fans and signed autographs. Two lucky people won Foxy Shazam prize packages that included posters, a signed Foxy Shazam print on canvas, CDs, stickers and more. See below for a video of Foxy Shazam performing Holy Touch and Eric Nally describing his “inspiration” for the song.

The Darkness w/Foxy Shazam 02/25/12: Nepture Theater – Seattle, WA

The Darkness w/ Crown Jewel Defense & Foxy Shazam 02/25/12

Neptune Theater – Seattle, CA

Words/Photos by Thenaturalstoner & Mr  Sparkly

If you’re a regular visitor to Concert Confessions, you may have noticed a recurring theme throughout February. On our website, individual Twitter feeds, and the official Concert Confessions facebook page, there has been a lot of talk about The Darkness, the UK rockers who hit the scene in 2003 with the infectious tune “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” So here you go, the third confession of this tour, which also happens to be the last show of the North American tour.

It seemed like this particular weekend in Seattle was about seeing a few love/hate bands…either you love The Darkness and Foxy Shazam (or Sleigh Bells who we saw the night before) or you hate them. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, at least within the CC crew. Well, I love the Darkness and was jacked when they announced their North American tour last fall. Those hopes of seeing them were quickly dashed when I saw no Pacific Northwest dates. However, the boys came through when a few weeks later they added three PNW dates to the end of the tour.

After rocking with Sleigh Bells at the Showbox at the Market the previous night, thenaturalstoner and I headed over to the most dreaded part of Seattle, the University District (Go Cougs!), to see Crown Jewel Defense, Foxy Shazam and The Darkness at the recently renovated 800 seat Neptune Theatre. thenaturalstoner actually enjoyed Crown Jewel Defense’s set more than some of our other Concert Confessions brethren (I felt they were not bad, but just a bit gimmicky). Although I am not above giving them a second listen as both Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) and Eric Nally (Foxy Shazam) had nothing but good things to say about the band. However, we were psyched when their set ended and it was Foxy Shazam time!

Crown Jewel Defense

After reading some Foxy Shazam reviews on the site, I was extremely excited to catch this set. All of the stage antics we had been led to believe all came true. Eating cigarettes, crazy stage rolls, and awesome banter were all a fun addition to the set. The music was really good too—“I Like It,” “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll,” and “Killin’ It” were amazing. We made our way to the floor, which was a great decision, and rocked out hard! After the set, we decided to head to spot near the front of the balcony and wait for The Darkness to hit the stage.

The Darkness came out about 10:30 and the sold out Neptune exploded. “Black Shuck” opened the set, and two hours later—with hits such as “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” “One Way Ticket,” and of course, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”—the band and their rock and roll madness had the venue in shambles. It had everything I want in a rock concert: crowdsurfing, wailing guitar solos, high-kicks, Justin Hawkins’ bad-ass jumpsuits, and a mind-blowing “Love on the Rocks with No Ice” encore. Hawkins is a hell of a front man, which made it that much more of a great show. I have listened to the band’s first album, Permission to Land, thousands of times since its debut. Over the years, I had come to the realization that I may never see this band live. Tonight, after all those years, I finally got to see The Darkness rock Seattle.


Sleigh Bells at The Showbox at the Market, Seattle, WA – 2/24/12

Sleigh Bells 2/24/12

The Showbox at the Market – Seattle, WA

Review and Photos from Mr. Sparkly and thenaturalstoner


Say what you want about Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss, the duo better known as Sleigh Bells; but if you’re looking for a show that is loud with killer guitar shreds, this is the show for you.  After a raucous pre-funk, we made our way into the Showbox at the Market in time to catch the last half of Black Bananas opening set.  Seattle is always a notoriously “late” crowd, so we were able to get a pretty close spot for what was to come.

I don’t think it’s too much to say this was the Sleigh Bells show to catch this tour. The duo released their second album, Reign of Terror, this week. They were featured on the cover of the latest issue of Spin Magazine, and are fresh off of their performance on Saturday Night Live. Plus this was the tour closer, always fun!!  Whether  you loved SNL or hated it…it doesn’t matter. A live Sleigh Bells’ show is as good as it gets, and tonight was no exception.

The show had been sold-out for weeks, and the Showbox ended up being packed. While there has been some discussion in the Concert Confessions Facebook group about the legitimacy of Sleigh Bells (both as a band and as performers) their appeal lies in their high-energy,  loud and rowdy shows—as displayed perfectly on this Friday night. Sleigh Bells isn’t for everyone, but it was  for the 1,100 people packed into the Showbox.

Opening with “True Shred Guitar,” Sleigh Bells set the tone for a fun hour-long set that included ”End of the Line,”  “Comeback Kid” and a scorching “Infinity Guitars.”  Derek was sporting a Nirvana shirt, and this place was pumped and shaking the floor to the point where the event staff had to place sandbags around the base of the stage lighting.  A lot of people were stage diving and crowd surfing, and a box of Pop-Tarts was launched on stage, which led Alexis to say that this was their “best show ever”.  “A/B Machines” really got the crowd pumped and, unfortunately, the short-set came to a close.  “Rill Rill,” “Demons”  and “Crown on the Ground” was an awesome encore and left everyone in the place dying for more.  This was a dancing, moshing, crowd- surfing, stage diving, sweaty good time.  I can’t wait for Sleigh Bells to release another new album, so we can get a little longer set next time.  I want more!!!

Set list:


Willie Nelson and Family – Northern Quest Casino, Spokane WA (7-31-11)

The Jay Porks Experience (Mr. Sparkly Edition)

It felt like 6:30 a.m. arrived earlier than usual at the Gorge Amphitheatre last Sunday. It didn’t help that some a-hole’s phone alarm was going off next to our tent (you know who I’m talking about). Thenaturalstoner, Jay Porks, and I got up, packed up our camping gear, and head off to Spokane, Washington to see Willie Nelson and Family at the Northern Quest Casino and Resort.

We arrived in Spokane around mid-morning. After hanging around downtown for a few hours, we headed over to the Days Inn in Airway Heights to get Porks checked into his hotel. We left the hotel and drove to the Northern Quest Casino at 5:30 p.m. Over the next hour we walked the casino floor, played some video slots, and grabbed a beer inside the spots bar. At 6:30 p.m. we headed back outside to the outdoor concert area. The casino didn’t allow cameras or video recorders, although the security check at the gate wasn’t too strict—except they did search through purses and bags. During the show, we saw plenty of people taking videos and pics with phones and cameras. Had it not been for Mr. Jay Porks, we wouldn’t have had any photos because both thenaturalstoner and I had dead cell phone batteries and no chargers (that seemed to be a theme throughout the weekend).

The majority of the venue was folding chair seating with small sections of grass on the sides for standing and a designated smoking area near the back next to the Honey Buckets. The seating arrangement made sense because it was an older crowd. It should have been expected—after all, it was Willie Nelson and we were at a casino in eastern Washington.

Around 6:55 p.m. it was announced that the Willie Nelson would go on in a few minutes.  I thought to myself, “Maybe in an hour, after the opening band.” After all, we had heard a couple different names thrown around as openers.  However, at 7 p.m. on the dot, Willie Nelson and Family strolled on stage and started playing. It was perfect. After a long night at the Gorge on Saturday, I was ready to get this thing going.

He opened his set with” Whiskey River.” It sounded great, but I expected nothing less from Willie.  Later on in the show, thenaturalstoner commented that the show could have been louder. I didn’t mind it much because I was exhausted from the night before, and the mellow atmosphere felt like the perfect way to end the weekend. The third song in was “Beer for My Horses” (a Toby Keith cover). Although to be fair, Keith originally recorded the song as a duet with Willie. So I don’t know if that would still be considered a “cover.”

By the 5th or 6th song, Nelson busted out “On the Road Again.”  From then on, it’s classic hit after classic hit. Among them included:  “Crazy,” “Always on my Mind,” and “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” followed by a Hank Williams three-pack: “Jambalaya on the Bayou,” “Hey Good Looking,” and “Move it On Over.” A few people in the crowd stood up and danced, but the majority remained seated.

The highlight of the evening for me was “Bloody Mary Morning.” It’s one on those songs that I really dig. The show ended at 8:30 p.m. Willie’s tour bus was literally parked right next to the stage. He threw some red bandanas to people in the crowed, waved one last time, climbed on the bus, and was out of there.  As soon as the bus left, we walked back to the car then drove Porks to his hotel. Thus concluded the weekend that The Jay Porks Experience visited the Northwest…until next May when he joins us for the Sasquatch Festival.

Now for my grievances: The stage was set up against the exterior wall of the casino. A little disappointing, especially when you have been staring at the Colombia River as a backdrop the night before at the Gorge. In addition to the unappealing view of the casino wall, as the sun started to set, the light reflected off the windows and back into the crowd. Also, tickets for this show were $60. Again, when you have just come from a 4-band show the night before that cost $20 more (and one of those bands are Soundgarden), it doesn’t add up. Now I know what you might be thinking, “Hey, you’re talking about Willie Nelson here, $60 is a small price to pay.” At least this is the thought I wrestled with. However, the set was only 90 minutes long. I didn’t have any issues with what he played or how he sounded.  Maybe it’s because Willie Nelson has such a legacy and catalogue of great songs, that I was left wanting more. At least give us some “Pancho and Lefty.”


Partial Setlist

Whiskey River

Beer for my Horses

Funny How Time Slips Away

On the Road Again


Always on My Mind

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

Me and Paul

Jambalaya On The Bayou

Hey Good Looking

Move it on Over

You Don’t Think I’m Funny Anymore

Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

Georgia on My Mind

Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys


Bloody Mary Morning

Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

Starfucker (STRFKR), Yarn Owl, and Rhythmmemory–6/20/11–The BellTower, Pullman, WA

Until about a month ago, I had no idea who Starfucker (STRFKR) was. I have, however, learned two important lessons when it comes to discovering new music: (1) Never judge a band until you see them play live and (2) Always trust thenaturalstoner for music advice. So, I spent the past month listening to Starfucker’s self-titled debut album and their newest release, Reptilians, to prepare myself for this show.

I met TNS and a couple of other friends over in Pullman. We had some drinks, and then walked down to The BellTower around 8:15 p.m. The BellTower is an old church that has been converted into a live music/event venue. It’s a smaller venue (holds approximately 600 people) and books mostly regional bands (Moscow/Pullman, Seattle, Portland).  Most of the main floor is standing room only, with tables along the edges of the floor. There is more seating in the balcony—although it’s hotter up there.

Once we made it inside, we bought some more drinks and waited for the first band to go on. The crowd was divided into two sections, those who were 21+ and those who weren’t. The show was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m., but the first band didn’t take the stage until 9:02 p.m.

Rhythmmemory—an electronic/techno duo—introduced themselves by speaking in cliché Asian accents. I was instantly put off by this because I didn’t understand the point. If it was supposed to be clever, it wasn’t. But what can you expect from guys who have “Instruments, Music, Poop” as a tag-line on their band’s website? Overall, I wasn’t impressed with their set, mostly because it seemed loud just for the sake of being loud. Drum beats drowned out vocals, and they spent most of their time focused on their equipment instead of engaging the audience.

Yarn Owl was up next. They recently released an album titled Montaña Y Caballo, which was recorded in a barn just south of Moscow, Idaho. Their sound has folk-rock elements and is rather mellow. I thought it would work well in this venue. Guitar, bass, and drums complimented each other and, acoustically, they were well balanced. A couple times, the lead singer screamed lyrics into the mic with little or no vocal control. Other than that minor issue, I was impressed by Yarn Owl and would check them out again.

At 10:46 p.m. Starfucker took the stage. Apparently, they have been selling out venues around the Northwest as part of their tour to promote Reptilians. After listening to their two albums for a month, I was pretty pumped to see them live. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of electronica or synth-pop (or whatever people are calling it), but I find their music catchy so I thought, “this is gonna be good time.”

The sound was good, but there were problems with the audio—specifically high-pitched audio feedback during more than one song. Starfucker has such a rich and complex sound, and I think that they would have fared better in a larger venue.  They will be at Bumbershoot, Seattle’s Music and Arts Festival, in September and their sound will probably be more appreciated in that setting.

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