Back in 2012 when a little known actor/comedian named Donald Glover started ripping up stages rapping under the moniker of Childish Gambino, we here at Concert Confessions were the ones bringing you the goods from all over the country. We have the receipts. Fast forward to 2018 and Childish Gambino is literally the biggest thing in the world right now. He’s stated that this tour, the This Is America tour, would be his final tour ever. So of course we had to get ourselves into the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.
Childish Gambino hit the stage right before 9PM to a roar that almost knocked the retired jerseys out of the rafters. With a long runway stage and a laser light show that had me thinking Chris Kuroda was backstage, Gambino played over an hour of his Awaken My Love-Esque tracks that are hits with all the cool kids that brought him to the top of this mountain. It was indeed, as he phrased it, it was “church” in that building.
Highlights include the ‘This Is America’ Pre encore along with ‘3005’ and ‘Sweatpants’. The full set list is below. For those who enjoy the rap stylings of Childish Gambino. For those who love the sick rhyme flow and punchline cadence, you should have went and seen him in 2012. This was not that. Not even for a second. Some people may have been hoping for at least a second. Maybe Bonfire. Maybe Freeks and Geeks. Maybe ONE RAP SONG. But hey, the writer of this doesn’t not make music and is not an artist, so therefore my opinion is just that. An opinion.
Intro ,(Unknown song) ,Algorythm , I. The Worst Guys , II. Worldstar , Late Night in Kauai , Stand Tall (First half), Boogieman
(“Me and Your Mama intro” / “Unnecessary” lyrics), Have Some Love, Riot, Terrified, Feels Like Summer, Spirits, This Is America…. Encore: Sober, V. 3005, IV. Sweatpants, Redbone
The Twins of Evil tour is coming to a town near you and you should most certainly go see it if you have the opportunity. That’s what we did on Thursday as we trekked out to Camden and the BB&T Pavilion in the slums of The Dirty Jerz. I saw Manson for the first and only time three years ago with the Smashing Pumpkins yet I have never seen Rob Zombie. Flip those scenarios for the case of my girlfriend, we’re both getting some new flavor tonight. I mean, I’ve never seen Rob Zombie before but I have met the girl that played bass/co-founded White Zombie, Sean Yseult backstage at a Meat Puppets show one time and I couldn’t get words out. That’s not a name drop as much as it’s another opportunity to plug a link in to kick you back for more Concert Confessions. Hashtag Content. Anyhow, we’re on the lawn tonight and there was a very rapey security guard who gave me the hardest search ever, but the latter is a story for my podcast. You ready to rock and roll?
Marilyn Manson came out at 8:08 and it’s always weird when an act like Manson hits the stage before the sun goes down. This is the best dressed crowd I’ve ever seen. Faces painted everywhere, dudes wearing house dresses, the obligatory black leather everywhere.
It even looked like some homeless people got in, but those might be folks left over from the Phish concert that was here last night.
Manson didn’t look like he was totally enthused with being here tonight, or maybe that’s just how he normally behaves. Didn’t take away from him putting on an awesome set. He lit up a joint before The Dope Show. His fog machines (like in 2015) made pictures from the lawn with my 2012 camera almost impossible, but I snagged some video that’s not so bad. Manson went off at around 9:10pm.
Set List: The Reflecting God, Angel With The Scabbed Wings, This Is The New Shit, Disposable Teens, mOBSCENE, Say10, The Dope Show, Sweet Dream (Are Made Of These), Kill4Me, Antichrist Superstar, The Beautiful People.
First thing I thought when Rob Zombie hit the stage is “why is he dressed like the Macho Man Randy Savage?” The joking stopped there as they proceeded to, and let me find the scientific term for this, F#%KING SLAYED for every second of their set. We’re talking new stuff, old stuff, covers, even a freaking trailer for the new ‘3 From Hell’ film he’s putting out. There was a giant groovin’ robot. A giant Satan shuffling. Video screens everywhere. Light show = epic. Hate to say the boring “wow this dude is a real rockstar” after leaving a rock concert comment, but man, this dude is a real rockstar!
Set List: Meet The Creeper, Superbeast, Well Everybody’s Fucking In A UFO, Living Dead Girl, In The Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High, Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown, More Human Than Human, Never Gonna Stop (The Red, Red Kroovy), The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore, House Of 1000 Corpses// John 5 guitar solo// Enter Sandman (a minute snippet of it), Thunder Kiss ’65 (With Sweet Dreams in the middle of it, assuming to attempt to summon Manson back on stage), Helter Skelter (w/ Marilyn Manson, who has made his was on stage now), “3 From Hell” Trailer, Dragula.
The second it was announced that Weezer was hitting the road with the Pixies there wasn’t any doubt that it would be something featured here on Concert Confessions when it came around the way. Two of my favorites of all time if we’re speaking honestly here. Weezer is as hot as they’ve ever been and that was my opinion even before they covered Africa. The Pixies are not only one of the best bands of all time, but they’re also band that all of our favorite bands take influence from. Anyhow, it’s a Saturday night in Camden. The real slums of Dirty Jerzy. It’s raining pretty heavy at times, but we have seats. I’m old now. Not built for the lawn.
The Pixies kicked things off at 8PM. As we’re walking in Where Is My Mind is blaring through the parking lot. I set off the metal detector so that held us up a bit but we made it to our seats soon enough. A couple of observations: (a)The people here for the Pixies are INTO the Pixies. I thought I was a super fan, the whole place was rocking, it wasn’t like half empty waiting for Weezer. (b) Livenation had all sorts of deals in the days leading up to the show, which leads one to believe there’d been less tickers sold than desired. If that’s the case, then they succeeded, because I can’t say this place was “sold out” but it was packed to the gills with people that were PUMPED. (c) Does the high school basketball team always have to buy the seats in the sightline of my camera?
The Pixies busted out a twenty two songs in their allotted 67 Minute set, which if you would have told me that they would have done as an opening act I would have called you crazy. Maybe this really is a true ‘split bill’ or double headliner, if you will. They were off by 9:07. Set list below.
Setlist: Where Is My Mind, Nimrod’s Son, Mr. Grieves, All The Saints, Here Comes Your Man, Silver Snail, Vamos, Cactus, Break My Body, Gouge Away, Head Carrier, Caribou, Bel Esprit, Gigantic, Wave Of Mutilation, Um Chagga Lagga, Isla de Encanta, Crackity Jones, Broken Face, Monkey Gone To Heaven, Hey, Planet Of Sound
Weezer didn’t come out until 9:42 and when they did we saw why. The stage was set up to resemble the Happy Days set that they used for the Buddy Holly video. That’s was cool as heck. Later on in the set they took that stuff away to make way for the “In The Garage” set, which featured AC/DC and Kiss posters along the back drop.
A night of hits and fun covers. We got ourselves the Weezer take on Happy Together by the Turtles. Cool thing about that is that they played the guitars on the hook grungy and not, like, happy with bright lights and stuff. Then in the middle they tossed a verse from Green Day’s Longview in there, (the “mash up” I guess) which Rivers has been doing at solo acoustic shows recently. The Rivers put on a sailor hat and shirt and rode a razor scooter off stage only to appear in the middle of the crowd on what I assume was some sort of b-stage set up. From our vantage point you could barely see him, but it was cool none the less. That’s when Rivers solo covered ‘Take On Me’
There were two total metal head dudes in Metallica tee shirts and all that a couple rows up from us. I wondered aloud why they were here. Then during Feels Like Summer, which is still hot a year later, pyro starts flying off behind the band. That’s why they’re here. Weezer is for everybody.
Sporting a Nirvana tee shirt with cut off sleeves for the duration of the show, Weezer played Africa before ducking off stage for the encore of Surf Wax America,Say It Ain’t So and at the very end finished us off with a tiny dose of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. They went off at 11 sharp, giving their 20 song set a duration of 78 minutes. What a blast. Full set list and some addition pictures below.
Set List: Buddy Holly, Beverly Hills, Pork and Beans, Undone – The Sweater Song, Hash Pipe, Perfect Situation, My Name Is Jonas, El Scorcho, In The Garage, The Good Life, Happy Together/Longview(The Turtles/Green Day), Keep Fishin’, Island In The Sun, Take On Me(a-ha), Burndt Jamb, (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To, Feels Like Summer, Africa (Toto)
There’s a new(ly branded) hotel in Atlantic City that was literally made for nights like these. It’s the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the slotty slums of Dirty Jerz! We’re here for Third Eye Blind. They’re about to fly overseas to record a new record, but in the meantime they’re playing this pop up show in AC while they plug their new covers album “Thanks For Everything”, which features deep cuts from bands you’ve never heard of. I kid. There is a Queens of The Stone Age cover on there. Did I mention we’re in the 2nd row tonight? Yeah, it’s about to be a lituation up in here.
A camera man working the venue said the band was due on stage at 8:20. What kind of rock band hits the stage on time? So around 8:25 Third Eye Blind graces the stage to a resounding roar from the crowd. In all of the videos in this post it is highly suggested that you check out these dudes in the first row. First few minutes I was almost annoyed that they were being typical dude-bro-lads, drunkenly screaming and almost fist pumping.
As the show progressed, the first row got more and more rowdy. They’re not “dude-bro-lads”, they’re misfits who are ALL IN at this show. Every word, every strum of every bar was LIFE to these dudes. By the end of the night they had turned me. They made the night more fun. And the irony of me getting upset at someone for having their camera block the sight line of my camera was not lost upon this “concert archiver.”
Then, in a shocking turn of events, I abandoned my hard camera for my iPhone 7’s camera. I did this because I wasn’t in need of a serious zoom from our awesome seats, so the phone is lighter so I can kinda jive to the tunes and stuff and not have to hold my arm completely still and I can use that to bob and weave the flying fists in that rowdy roddy row.
Always a good time with the 3EB boys. The last couple times I’ve seen them at casinos with no opener and those shows have been such a blast. Also as an old person for a set to end at like 9:30 and be that rocking is exactly the happy medium I need right now in my life. Thanks to my lovely girlfriend for another awesome night of getting me to a show and getting you to read this. Full set list is below the encore.
Set List: Graduate, Faster, Wounded, Never Let You Go, Losing A Whole Year, 10 (Happy Diving cover), Motorcycle Drive By, Company Of Strangers, Jumper, Deep Inside Of You, Crystal Baller, Fuck Forever (Babyshambles cover), Dopamine, Semi-Charmed Life
Every day there are more states legalizing gambling in some form or another. With new casinos opening up, that leaves many an opportunity for glorious concert venues to open inside said casinos. This weekend, an early Valentines Day celebration brought my girlfriend and I to the Xcite Center inside Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA for Third Eye Blind.
I’d never write in a post that I was allowed into a casino with an expired ID, but I will say that the staff at Parx Casino were some of the first authority figures I ran into in life that were actually human. Big screens, awesome lighting-the Xcite Center is open for business and recommended by the fine people at Concert Confessions.
Cool thing about Third Eye Blind is that recently they’ve been playing without openers. The times they did recently was Silversun Pickups(!). So the band hit the stage at 8:15, with frontman Stephen Jenkins sporting a shirt that said in all caps WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Damn right (#Resist)! They broke out with Losing A Whole Year, followed by Blinded and Faster. For the first time in over 100 concerts attended over the last 8 years or so of this Doctor of Journalism covering shows, I was in the building without a camera not included with my phone. Technology is a cool thing. So I decided it’d be a good idea to livestream Wounded straight to Youtube. The grainy video proof above is the result of that.
A song early on the record button, we went into high energy versions of Semi Charmed Life, Company Of Strangers, Graduate and Back To Zero. More on Back To Zero a little later. 3EB already rolls with some awesome lighting but the Xcite Center did nothing but make those lights look extra cool. I looked in the back after the show to see if Chris Kuroda was there, but I didn’t see him.
Dao Of St. Paul was a late audible, as the setlist originally had Slow Motion in that slot, but was crossed off in favor of Stephen Jenkins doing a solo acoustic version of this beauty.
Underneath the set list below, you’ll see a video of Back To Zero. Remember that this was an early Valentines Day night and there couldn’t have been a better gift I could have received than my girlfriend Amanda grabbing all sorts of content with a better mobile device than I. Incredible.
Set List: Losing A Whole Year, Blinded, Narcolepsy, Faster, Wounded, Semi Charmed Life, Company Of Strangers, Graduate, Back To Zero, Dao Of St. Paul, Deep Inside Of You, Motorcycle Drive By, Crystal Baller, Jumper // Encore: Never Let You Go, God of Wine
I decide to go on Facebook Live for the encore. I mean, are they going to throw me out on the last song? That’s when something different happened. After the first song of the encore, Stephen Jenkins starts saying how they’re a band about work ethic and that they don’t cancel shows. Then, visibly choked up and unable to fight back tears, he mentions his mom. About how in all his songs, she’s a common thread. He could barely talk as people just screamed out their support and well wishes. It really hit us all hard. We’ve all been there or are headed there. In that moment, Stephen wasn’t the lead singer of a big band, he was our friend that we all wanted to hug. He said he wasn’t sure if he could even sing the final number, we cheered him on as he dedicated God Of Wine to his mother.
Swedish melodic death metal band Avatar released their seventh studio album Avatar Country on January 12, 2018. Avatar wasted no time in announcing a North American tour in support of the album. Along with them, they brought psychobilly band The Brains and a freakshow act known as Hellzapoppin. This show at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles would be extra special because this was the first time that Avatar would be performing a headlining set in Los Angeles. The show started the Hellzapoppin performing magic tricks that had the audience gasping and wowing.
After them, psychobilly band The Brains took the stage which lots of obvious fans in the crowd sporting their merch and dressed in psychobilly fashion. The Brains got a strong reaction from the crowd as they played music to dance to and to rock out too as fans sang along to their music. After a short set, The Brains finished and a curtain fell on the stage to prepare the audience for the headlining act of the night.
The lights went out and the fans cheered as the curtain came down and revealed a banner for the King representing Avatar Country. The banner came down as the intro track Glory to Our King from the new album started and the band members came out one by one and the last member to appear was guitarist Jonas “Kungen” Jarlsby who was atop of the stage sitting on a throne and wearing a crown and cape as a proper king does. Avatar started the show with the first track from the new album, Legend of the King. Right away, the band got great reception from the audience as they started head banging and moshing to the music. The first thing you’ll notice from the band is how all the band members are dressed in attire as if they’re circus ringmasters. The second song performed was a fan favorite titled, Let It Burn and it had fans singing along. The third song played was another fan favorite titled Paint Me Red and proved to be one of the band’s catchiest songs as fans continued to sing along with smiles on their faces. To go with the band’s amazing stage presence, they also had an amazing light show that was different to each song played so you never got the same light show twice. It’s always nice seeing band’s have their own lighting rather than the venue’s dull and dark lights. Bloody Angel is one of the band’s most beautiful songs and is even more beautiful performed live as fans sang the song from start to finish as it changed from a heavy metal song to a more ballad-like tone. One of the more interesting moments was just before the song Puppet Show was performed. Singer Johannes Eckerström went to the top of the stage just above drummer John Alfredsson and motioned his hands like a puppet master and Alfredsson would move his arms and hit his drums in accordance to Eckerström’s hand motions. Avatar never had a dull moment in their performance as they played songs such as The King Wants You, Tower, The Eagle Has Landed, and Smells Like a Freakshow. Close to ending the show, Eckerström let the fans know that it was nice to head out on a headlining show instead of being an opening act; even more so because this was the first time that the band performed a headlining set in Los Angeles. Avatar performed The King Welcomes You to Avatar Country and made it an extra fun song as they turned on bubble machines and let out lots of bubbles into the audience and covered the fans in them. To bid the fans farewell, Avatar finished the show with perhaps their most popular song, Hail the Apocalypse. Avatar put all their remaining energy into the song and the audience happily moshed to the song. Avatar wrapped up their show as all the band members came forward to bow to the audience as Jarlsby was once again put into his King outfit and walked off stage. It was truly a memorable show whether people in the audience were fans of Avatar or not.
This summer, we covered Third Eye Blind as they trekked through America on the ‘Summer Gods’ tour. That tour was in support of a record that is actually still being worked on. Fast forward to the Eve of Indigenous Peoples Day and the boys are back in my area. Well sort of my area. The Sands Bethlehem Event Center is tonight’s swanky venue where my girlfriend and I will take in some more Third Eye Blind action. Still supporting the yet to be released record, this tour with no opening acts is billed cleverly as The Fall of The Summer Gods tour.
Set List: Back To Zero, Narcolepsy, Faster, Wounded, Semi-Charmed Life, Company of Strangers, Dopamine, Graduate, London, Red Star, Don’t Give In, *Slow Motion, *Deep Inside Of You, Motorcycle Drive By, Crystal Baller, Jumper
Encore: Losing A Whole Year, Never Let You Go, How’s It Gonna Be
*Stephan Jenkins solo acoustic
Shortly after 8PM, Third Eye Blind came out to a packed room of high rollers, road trippers and misfits. In almost two hours, the band busted out something for everyone in their career spanning set. Different people here for their own different favorite songs, breaking out in screams when they came.
As an old person these days, I enjoy going to a show where I can hear hits for a majority of the evening. While that was the case tonight, a few surprises were in tow. Before playing ‘Crystal Baller’, Stephan Jenkins had mentioned that they hadn’t played that song much over the years.
Earlier on an solo acoustic ‘Deep Inside of You’ was a shock to my girlfriend who says after seeing the band five times that that’s the first time she’s experienced that live.
Either my camera is going or the fog machines tonight we’re smoking out like it was Eric Foreman’s basement. Never Let You Go and Red Star were personal highlights of mine. As for everyone else, they were jumping the entire time. Set sent everyone home smiling around 10. Good times had by all.
Shout outs to the crack staff of Sands Bethlehem Event Center for enforcing that “Strict No Video” policy.
School has begun, the leaves are changing and as we wind down to the first days of Autumn we take a step back to enjoy the remaining hours of the Summer. You know what spells Summertime? PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ. Sublime w/ Rome and The Offspring. The lawn is where the party is at tonight and thanks to that crazy Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action lawsuit, tonight cost the magical price of zero dollars.
Set List: You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid ,All I Want, Come Out and Play ,(Can’t Get My) Head Around You ,Hammerhead ,Have You Ever, Staring at the Sun, Want You Bad ,Bad Habit ,Gotta Get Away ,Gone Away (Piano),Why Don’t You Get a Job?,Americana, Pretty Fly (For a White Guy), The Kids Aren’t Alright, Self Esteem
The Offspring kept it pretty concise, hitting all of their big numbers in a span of exactly one hour. The set list is posted above and I’ve got some pretty shaky videos (because, as you know, I’m not very good at anything) for everyone to enjoy.
Set List: Date Rape, Smoke Two Joints, Wrong Way, Murdera, You Better Listen, April 29th 1992, Panic, The Ballard of Johnny Butt, Badfish, Let’s Go Get Stoned, Doin’ Time, Scarlett Begonias, What I Got, Santeria.
Much like The Offspring, Sublime w/ Rome comes out and plays an hour of songs that I know. I’ve included the set list in this post. The lawn was cloudy. There was plenty of dancing. Beach balls aplenty as we’re really milking this final week of summer for all it’s worth.
Second to last song was What I Got and they brought a little dog named Cheeseball out to Rome (see what I did there?) the stage. I thought that was like the cutest thing and I’m a cat person. It’s funny, I had two extra tickets to this that I was looking to dump off for free and I had a friend laugh at me. That’s cool, but tonight was hours of fun for me at the cost of zero dollars. They were also giving out free, like, tote bag things, which I can use instead of plastic because the planet. I profited on this night.
Ocean Park Standoff opened up the night at 6:45. They have a female guitar player doing the heavy lifting, so I googled and it’s Samantha Ronson, sister of Mark. It’s a big world. After a couple songs I made a note: this slot they’re in is where I usually unfairly give a band the cold shoulder just because I’m really douchey. But no! All of their songs had sweet melodies and someone in this group can write catchy songs. The band released their debut EP in March and are already opening up on a major tour. Guess I’m not the only one that doesn’t hate them. They went off at 7:10.
The Silversun Pickups! Wow, you want to talk about making it count, that’s what this band does. Unlike Friday, we’re on time today and can watch the full scale of SSPU set in action. Songs we know, songs we don’t, songs we didn’t know we knew. In that hour, Silversun Pickups slayed the dragon that was an ugly “festival” stage, flat non elevating stand room and the high school basketball team situated right in front of you. They made me forget. The Royal We,Substitution both early in the set headbangers. Shocked some life into the crowd of bros who all shared an outfit. Really hope the world is in a place where the Silversun Pickups are back out there touring regularly again. How hasn’t anyone told me how good this is?! Panic Switch, Dots and Dashes and Lazy Eye ended their night at 8:30.
Third Eye Blind came on at sharply 9 and by this time the jam packed crowd has tightened up towards the stage. They opened with the same sheet gimmick as Friday (and is assume on this whole tour). They play Summer Gods behind a curtain and then drop it, but tonight the sheet malfunctioned a bit and didn’t all come down on queue. Nothing tops the live concert experience.
Pictures and video were tough on this night as the standing room doesn’t elevate or anything towards the back. I planned ahead for that and got all the hits on Friday. So for the first time in a while, I also brought words and sentences to the table. #Journalism. Stephen mentioned how this is the first night of the tour without seats. “I hate seats” he says. I get it. It’s a rock show. But tonight, my sciatica is acting up so I personally miss the comfort of seats. At least for this one night.
Such an extensive list of awesome songs. Some may call this band a one hit wonder. They are not that. And they’re not even a band with two hits that sound exactly the same. Even after the other night I still popped for Never Let You Go to lead the encore. By that point it feels like there’s no way they got another banger. As the set progressed, I noticed a benefit of not having seats. A sea of heads rockin on a beach was a scene to be had. I may judge the process, but you can’t argue with the results. For example, Jumper tonight had like a little singalong portion that was absent from the show up in PNC. Maybe the beach vibes. The set was the same exact set songs wise as Friday with playing the entire self titled debut record and all, but I couldn’t have underestimated more how awesome of a time Third Eye Blind could be live.
The handful of decent photos can be chopped up to Amanda Porks, who you can follow on twitter here. Set list lays below. If the Summer Gods tour is coming your way, it’s a fun night out that’s highly recommended.
Summer Gods intro
Company Of Strangers
Queen Of Daydreams
Losing A Whole Year
Semi Charmed Life
How’s It Gonna Be
Thanks A Lot
Good For You
I Want You
Motorcycle Drive By
Never Let You Go
God of Wine (yes that’s on the first record. They save it for the encore)
Third Eye Blind have kicked off a tour in celebration of 20 years since the release of their self titled debut record. Billed as The Summer Gods Tour, Stephan Jenkins and Co. have enlisted very special guests the Silversun Pickups. Roughly two weeks into the trek, the tour makes a stop off in Dirty Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center.
Silversun Pickups went on early. We barely were in our seats when Panic Switch hit.
Audible roars of the crowd on the lawn were heard during the duration of their set, especially during Lazy Eye. People were still filing in, but the entire lawn was jammed pack. Wish we would have known Silversun Pickups were going to be playing that early. Their set ended at 8 freaking 30.
It’s been 20 years since Third Eye Blind debuted with their self titled debut record. Let’s all allow that to sink in for a minute and realize that we’re old.
The night opened with Summer Gods. Opening up with a handful of hits before we jump into this record. Company of Strangers, Horror Show (aka “Heroin”) and Wounded followed. Crowd was getting loose at this point where dancing in aisles began to occur. The seats were pretty much pack out at this point, with the exception of the top sections.
Queen of Daydreams and Shipboard Cook finished off the non album cuts as the band ducked off for a second for a tiny break before coming out to play the record. That’s where we went into video mode:
London, Thanks A Lot and Burning Man garnered the most noise from the PNC crowd other than the big hits.
After a 2nd tiny break they came back to kicking off this encore with Never Let You Go
which by this point I had forgotten about in the sea of awesome songs tonight. Alright Caroline and God of Wine closed out their fairly epic set crisply before 11.
WMMR 93.3 FM is Philly is a rarity in this time: A terrestrial radio station with a rock format. Every year they put on the MMRBQ, a summer show in Camden, NJ. This year’s lineup features Godsmack, LĪVE, Bush, The Pretty Reckless, The Struts, Zakk Sabbath, Rival Sons and Dinosaur Pileup. It’s an all day event, with doors opening at 12 I believe. Excuse my tardiness tonight as there isn’t a bus that goes the full three hours from Staten Island to Camden directly. Still found ourselves on the Lawn (The Lundy Lawn!) by the time the Pretty Reckless was about to hit the stage.
The first I heard of The Pretty Reckless was on Concert Confessions and judging by their set I’m glad I did. Taylor Momsen is from Gossip Girl, but we’re not going to hold that against her because her band rocks. They can range from twangyish to shreddyness (yes, both of those words are made up) on the turn of a dime. You’ll notice there’s not a picture of the band above this. That’s because I believe I was actively sabotaged by some dude living the #VapeLife and blowing thick clouds of smoke in front of my camera. Jersey. At the end of their set, they covered “Like A Stone” for Chris Cornell. You could see Momsen wiping tears from her face throughout the rendition.
You ever see a band you like and leave saying “Wow, that was way more fulfilling than I thought it would be?” Well that’s Bush. Man do I miss Bush. In so many more ways than one. Came out with a blistering ‘Machinehead’. I caught that on the rail as I made my way around the massive (Lundy) Lawn trying to find good angles (which apparently never happened) for pictures and stuff. I moved back to the side to record ‘The Sound of Winter’ before I headed back mid-lawn to my peeps. While there, Bush continued to kick ass. I managed to find my way back to the far side to tape an amazing ‘Comedown’. I hadn’t been checking the set lists but Bush covering REM was pretty neat. Mixed in a Black Hole Sun tease. Was really good. I must have slipped into some sort of alternative universe when they played ‘Glycerine’ because I can’t quite remember when they played it.
Live and Ed Kowalczyk have kissed and made up. They’re back together. Slotted between Bush and Godsmack here in the one of the homicide capitals of America, Live managed to come out and kill it in their allotted time on a long day with tons of bands and moving parts involved. Opened things up with ‘All Over You’, Live was out here with tons of energy on a quickly cooling Camden evening. All the big ones tonight: ‘Selling The Drama’, ‘I Alone’ had the entire (Lundy) Lawn jumping. They explained how they’re kind of local, being from a “little town in Pennsylvania known for the Peppermint Patty among other things”.
Highlight of the evening was Live covering Audioslave’s ‘I Am The Highway’ in honor of the late great Chris Cornell. This has been a tough week for all of us. It’s cool that bands pay tribute to their peers and allow us fans to partake in those moments. When Live did this, when the Pretty Reckless did ‘Like A Stone’ earlier in the night, those were precious moments that we as fans needed to help us see some hope in this strange thing called life and who is taken from us and who gets to stay on this earth. Seeing that was well worth the price of admission alone. They closed with ‘Lightning Crashes’.
If you would have said to me a year ago “Hey Jay, you’re gonna be at the Godsmack concert next year” I would have told you that you’re crazy. Then again, there’s a lot of things you could have told me a year ago that would be happening now that I wouldn’t have believed, the world is a crazy place.
If you were starting a band specifically to fit the tastes of Beavis & Butthead, that band would be Godsmack. They opened their set up with a monstrous “I’m Awake” that included some cool pyro. It only took about two songs for me to turn to the people to the left and right of me and think “Yo, Godsmack freaking rocks!” The thing about Godsmack is that they have enough hits to keep a simple mind like mine entertained for the duration of their 75 minutes (or so) while simultaneously keep the Jersey fist pumpers pumping and doing that bald-headed head bang you see all the time. Fortunately, we didn’t see any mosh pits break out on the lawn. The Lundy Lawn.
You’ll notice I keep saying the Lundy Lawn. There’s a law firm that sponsors the venue called Lindy Law. So they call it the ‘Lundy Lawn’ as a play on words. Personally, if I was a lawyer, I don’t think I’d want to take on the liability that weekly rock concerts contained drunk and high people listening to heavy music would bring. I’ve seen too many episodes of Law and Order.
Checking in as songs I actually knew before tonight is ‘Voodoo’. They mixed in a medley of covers. Had a big spot with two drummers going towards the end where they flips sticks and beat the heck out of stuff. It was rad. Covered the Beatles “Come Together”. Godsmack. Covered the Beatles. That was a thing that happened. Ended the night with lots of crowd participation for ‘I Stand Alone’ in which my camera died during filming. A very enjoyable day of music. MMRBQ does it again.
Meat Puppets, Mike Watt + The Jom & Terry Show w/ Special Guest Grant Hart
Brooklyn Bowl – 05/10/2017
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
In 1985 label mates at SST Records embarked on the road in what was dubbed “The Tour” and it featured the likes of Husker Du, the Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Saccharine Trust, and SWA. Fast forward to 2017 and we have some of the ol’ gang hitting the road together again as The Meat Puppets have embarked on ‘The Tour Tour Two’ co-headlining dates with Mike Watt (Minutemen) + The Jom & Terry Show. Not only that, but a handful of dates here on the East Coast feature Grant Hart (From Husker Du) as a special guest opener. We’re at the Brooklyn Bowl for this one, which in case you’ve missed it, is a active bowling alley/concert venue hybrid and it’s the best thing to hit Williamsburg since IPA or CitiBike docking stations.
If you’re a fan of unique personalities, I’d like to introduce you to my new close and personal friend Grant Hart. Hanging around the venue incognito before he opened his set at 8PM with a booming Colorado. Real cool dude and as later discovered, nice enough to autograph stuff for fans who asked during the night. His set was about a half hour of glorioussness. You’re the Reflection of The Moon on The Water” is off 2009’s Hot Wax before the token Husker Du track Never Talking To You Again got resounding cheers. Or maybe it was someone rolling a strike at one of the lanes. Those folks seemed jacked to knock over pins with a ball. Two people behind me were talking to each other during the set. Overheard: “This guy, maybe he’s famous? A lot of people watching.” Yeah, he’s famous. As he said after the set “yeah man we worked hard back in the day on all this stuff so people can have our songs as their fucking ringtone.” Fantastic set.
Also, right before ducking off. Grant said something: “Home of the brave, not home of the chicken shit! We gotta do something man. Let’s shut the mother fucker down!” Damn right Grant, damn right. #Resist
Mike Watt has been bringing his Pedro twang to the scene since the 80s. He’s been in so many bands, so many different projects and is integral to every one of them. A set of assorted covers would blast out our eardrums over the next hour.
Tonight Mike Watt is with the Jom & Terry Show, comprised of Tom Watson on guitar and Jerry Trebotic. Need to be good to keep up with the pluckin’ and peddlin’ of Watt and these dudes are up for the task. Portions of the night had me in awe of Tom Watson’s guitar expertise.
Songs were running into each other without pause at times, like the notion of playing 48 songs in 43 minutes wasn’t so far out of the realm. Some songs contained long break downs at the end where Watt would run wild with the bass. Incredible vibes flowing through the Brooklyn Bowl on this night. Right after he said goodnight Mike Watt screamed out “John Coltrane!!!” then put his yellow backpack back on and headed off stage. Perfect.
The Meat Puppets had a little extra kick in their step tonight as they hit the stage at 10:15. Maybe it’s playing with old friends, maybe it’s the vibe of Williamsburg fueling the fire on stage. Legends to put it lightly, this is personally my 19th time seeing the sun scored desert rockers.
That said, it was exciting to hear a couple songs that haven’t been busted out most of those times. When Flaming Heart hit, it was so hard to contain squeals of excitement. They sang the harmonies on the chorus differently than the version found on Too High To Die, more low key. It was delightful.
Sam, Coming Down, Oh Me and Plateau hadpreceded. The Meat Puppets Facebook page had a live video going for the evening’s opener of Sam. How cool is that? And what do the comments read on that video? Well, they critique the abilities of the person taking said live video. The direct reason we can’t have nice things. Sidenote: I envy Cris Kirkwood’s beard.
The last time I saw The Meat Puppets play Severed Goddess Hand live, to my knowledge (fact-checking encouraged) was back in 2008 when they opened for Build To Spill with Dinosaur Jr sandwiched between them. The grainy pictures from my blackberry make me sick to this day. Sick in a different way was yet another gem from one of my favorite records of theirs.
Not exactly the same as the version that Metallica plays, Whiskey In The Jar is always a fun time live.
Mockin’ Bird Hill was the two minute break from the ear-shredding that we all needed. Sweet little diddy and gave everyone a chance to catch their breath. This calm in the air would only last one minute and forty four seconds.
ATTACKED BY MONSTERS!!!!!!!!!! How awesome!? It’s a freaking headbanger full of fuzzy guitar genius. Only time I’ve seen them do it is 2009. This was sick. Upset this isn’t one of the songs they chose to extended jam on, but the night isn’t over.
Up on The Sun had to have clocked in at over 10 minutes. It can’t be said enough about the Meat Puppets. It’s a trip you take. These mid-song space jams, it’s like being elevated into some sort of craft and you return to earth when they come back into the song eventually. They always come back. Curt didn’t pull out the slide til late in the evening. The Brooklyn Bowl got smoked by the old guard of SST tonight. And it was phenomenal.
Some people get a clown at their birthday party. Some people get bouncy houses and face painters. If you’re a special kind of cool, you get the Meat Puppets.
A private party in Williamsburg featuring the Meat Puppets at the luxurious Wythe Hotel across the street from the Brooklyn Bowl. The spread was phenomenal- some of the best burger sliders I’ve had in some time. Open bar. I have no idea what has happened to my life.
Kicking off at intimate set shortly after 8:30 with a rad version of I Can See Clearly Now, and I notice I’m standing next to the birthday boy for Whiskey In The Jar. Everyone is coming up wishing him happy birthday and stuff. Made sure to mention to Cris Kirkwood (the new King of Beards) that my birthday is in December, you know, so I can have a cool party too.
Covers galore tonight. And this small acoustic set is just fantastic. Hitting all the right parts of my ears tonight. Tennessee Stud was killer. My videos may be a little dark. That’s because this isn’t a “concert venue” per say. Their lights lighten the room, not exactly a light show with multiple colors bouncing towards the stage. But the sound in here isn’t slacking a bit. I’ve been to places that are owned by Livenation that didn’t sound this good.
Plateau, Up On The Sun, Climbing, Oh Me, Lost, Monkey and The Snake to name a handful of their own stuff that filled out a mixed bag set with lots of cool covers. Keeping things low key tonight. I can dig it.
George Jones is a theme tonight. Color Of The Blues was sweet. Where Does A Little Tear Come From built off that. It was just overall great times here tonight at the Wythe Hotel. Really glad I was able to be inside the building for this.
The Monkey and The Snake closed out the night a little after 9:30.
High Road Tour Featuring Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa – 08/02/2016
PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
Another day, another awesome concert courtesy of Curt Schlesinger and Peter Lo Re v. Ticketmister lawsuit. That’s right, The Jay Porks Experience rolls through yet another show free of charge from that list of shows you all complained had nothing but terrible shows. The High Road Tour with Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa rolled through Dirty Jerz at the PNC Bank Arts Center Tuesday night. Additional cool stuff: The free tickets were lawn seats. Ticketmaster’s app had an option for me to upgrade my tickets at $10. Upgrade to the fifteenth row. For ten bucks.
Went into this with a No Spoilers mentality. Didn’t want to read previous shows setlists. I wondered if they would each do extended sets or like be on stage simultaneously doing a song each. Who comes out first? Well this was answered after the hilarious cartoon intro video, as Snoop Dogg came out to perform The Next Episode.
The night would progress with Snoop and Wiz taking turns for the first 45 mins or so of the set. 2 songs here, three songs here. Hits. All killer no filler.
I won’t sit here and pretend I own Wiz Khalifa records. Radio ain’t what it used to be and it’s weird how you can get locked into you’re alone little musical corner alone without realizing there’s cool new stuff happening because you’re used to all that new stuff being terrible, making you miserable and ponder your existence on this planet.
That went to a dark place. Point is, Wiz Khalifa puts on a really fun show. One of the few bright spots in Hip Hop today. Besides rare occasions like when Joe Budden decides to destroy Drake on a track or if Run The Jewels drops a new record.
Snoop went through a slew of stuff, including making sure to touch base on all the classics. The Next Episode, Nothin’ But A G Thing, What’s My Name, Gin and Juice. Heck we even had some Drop It Like It’s Hot action. Was awesome.
When Wiz was up there alone he got all his hits in too. We Dem Boyz, On My Level, Taylor Gang, When I Roll Up, The Race – some with Snoop assisting as a hype man. They’d do that for each other. Hashtag Friends.
At 10 an apparent intermission with a cartoon playing on the screen.
Not so fast my friend, this is no intermission. There was another funny cartoon that played and roughly 90 seconds into it Snoop And Wiz appear what felt like miles away all the way leaning over the fence into the lawn section like from the 400 section of the seats. Doing Kush Ups with the rowdy lawn folk.
Good for the lawn folk, they’ve kept this party jumping from the start. I was legitimately happy for them. Most of these peeps who bought seats just showed up.
Show sort of winded down nicely. What’s My Name had that place going nuts like cashews.
I personally hate that See You Again song, but I hate a lot of things. Crowd loved it. Then suddenly Snoop turns to the side of the stage and says “Five what?” That was the five minute queue as 11PM was approaching. Can’t find myself asking for more. Especially for $10 at the end of the day.
Back in the swing of things tonight at the glorious PNC Banks Arts Center to catch Sublime w/ Rome and Dirty Heads tear up dirty Jerz on a Friday night. Doors scheduled for 6:30 but a thunderstorm rolled through so we waited it out in the car and walked in shortly before 8. That was after an extensive search at the door, which included metal detectors, because that’s the country we live in these days. While walking the lawn, noticed the crowd was a majority of children. Am I happy that younger kids are into decent music? I guess. Is being surrounded by high school seniors making me feel old? Heck yes. We got to our seats just as Dirty Heads were hitting the stage.
Dirty Heads are the best act that is at all hip hop going these days. Fuck Drake. That right there is some energy I wasn’t sure existed. Whole set was all killer no filler. Played a new song off the record they just put out this week, invited out Rome for “Lay Me Down.” I’ve listened to the Dirty Heads before, heck even saw them a couple years back. It’s a shame took me this long to catch them again, really didn’t expect to have that much fun during a set of a band that wasn’t going on last. The real deal. Grab the new record.
I’m gonna make a note here, and I haven’t done this in a while. Sublime w/ Rome is up next. If anyone reading this wants to make snarky comments about how this “isn’t the real thing” because of Rome, I’m here to tell you people to go get lives. Listen to music you like. A band billing themselves as the Grateful Dead played shows with Trey Anastasio fronting the band. Alice In Chains isn’t Alice In Chains w/ DuVall. Who is fronting AC/DC these days? Oh, right. So I’m gonna enjoy seeing this band tonight because I was a child when they got big. Jay 90s they call me in some circles. This house is packed out, just let us enjoy this.
Sublime rolled out at 9:30 and decided to set a blaze to the entire township of Holmdel. Date Rape, Smoke Two Joints, Wrong Way, and 40oz to Freedom, right out of the gate. And just like that I’m back on my couch. It’s 1996 and I’m watching Sublime videos on MTV.
Isn’t that all one can expect from the live concert experience? Maybe enjoy things instead of looking around keeping a tally of how many people take a selfie over the course of the evening.
Sublime has enough jams to keep the whole place jiving all night long sandwiched between a block of well known songs to kick it off and another back to back of classics to send everyone home happy. So I played it smart as you can see by the videos scattered throughout this post.
The boys ducked off at 10:39 before coming back out fairly quickly for some more jams.
If it need to be communicated to you that the two final songs of the evening were What I Got and Santeria then I can honestly say I have no idea how you found this write-up in the first place.
Strongest moments of the even: A wicked Pawn Shop, August 29th 1992 and of course their interpretation the Toyes’ track titled “Smoke Two Joints.”
Pfft.. And you people said those redeemable Ticketmaster Vouchers were only for lame gigs.
Atlantic City is known for many things. Casinos, Casinos that closed down, Buffets double stocking trays of food in fear of visits from the Governor, people wondering when new Casinos are going to open and lots and lots of folks walking down the street grubbing cigarettes. Tonight Atlantic City has one thing happening worth my time, and that’s an evening with Jewel at the Borgata.
Before the night officially kicked off we were treated with a set from JD & The Straight Shot. That is only if treated is actually code word for “tortured”. It’s bad enough my basketball team is terrible, but now the owner of said basketball team is causing another inconvenience to my life by impeding on this awesome evening with Jewel? What scared me most was that all these old people were digging it. The fake upbeat manufactured bluegrass crap.. Most likely the high rollers that surround me were comped in due to the amount of money they lose here on a weekly basis. Maybe they don’t even know who was playing. Covered “Let it Roll” by Little Feet before ending this annoyance at 9:30. Not before Dolan had a top hat on and pulled a stuffed rabbit out of it. What a clown
At 9:51 Jewel’s voice began playing on the loud speakers. Throughout the evening we would get these little pieces wisdom from her. Whether it’s little short stories written for the tour or pieces of her memoir on audiobook, which was on sale at merch because this is the Picking Up The Pieces tour after all. . Shorty, beginning the night with her version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Alaska’s favorite songstress was here to serenade the room.
The cool things about intimate evenings like this is the ability for the artist to give the audience some background on the songs. Most of tonight’s music was accompanied by a little tale. Jewel was taking a lot of time to tell us the stories behind the songs. Like driving down the mountains in 2001 hearing Hands on the radio shortly after 9/11. Or the drug bust Jewel and her friend Steve Poltz accompanied Mexican Federali on that ended with a thousand pounds of pot. Or how she hates that she thinks she sounds like Kermit the Frog.
The set was well rounded featuring songs both new and old. Plain Jane was a new one I got the name of. It’s written about a party she went to in New York City that she alleged wasn’t dressed nice enough to be at. Little Sister, Angel Standing By, Father’s Daughter all early crowd favorites. Heard some of the most beautiful songs of my life here tonight. The loudest the night got was during Standing Still oddly enough. It’s a way bigger song than I realize because I only usually hear it in a supermarket, I never listened to it as a stand alone song on purpose. There was a buzz for the whole song.
As far as documenting the evenings proceedings, I did fairly well. I was able to snag video of Little Sister, You Were Meant For Me, Foolish Games and Who Will Save Your Soul. The exact tracks I walked into this venue planing on getting. Love it when things work out. Also got Standing Still because the why the heck not. After Who Will Save Your Soul Jewel said goodnight to a resounding ovation. She came back out to do a little yodeling. Yes yodeling. It was awesome.
Sometimes you just need a phenomenal evening of good songs in good seats at a good place. And your favorite artists from the 90s hitting stages. With the exception of JD & the Straight Shot, I cannot find anything more I could have asked for from Jewel at the Music Box at the Borgata here in Atlantic City. Incredible.
For the first time since 2011, Ween is back in the Big Apple and they’ll be slaying the stages of Terminal 5 for the next couple days. Ween is back are words that I wasn’t sure I’d ever have the opportunity to type again but after almost 5 full years the hiatus is over and the boognish has yet again risen. These Terminal 5 shows are listed with doors at 8PM and a 9PM set time. It’s “An Evening w/ Ween”. Been to this venue countless times and I’ve never been that deep on a line here before. And here I thought 6:40 would be somewhat early.
The tension built inside Terminal 5 as it began to start really packing out around 8:30. With everyone in the building waiting with baited breathe, the 5 years are over. Ween is back. Again-The Boognish has RISEN.
The Stallion Pt. 1 kicked this night of fevered dreams. They hit they stage to a gigantic roar. It was the biggest pop in the world. Talking like Road Warriors Rosemont Horizon 1985 type pop. Crazy. And in case anyone here was under the impression that this was a game, the boys hit us with an early Roses Are Free. By this time I am starting to finally grasp what is actually happening.
Like they never were not together, Gener and Deaner came together to share in the bouncing of riffs off one another throughout the night. There was no sign of a lay off. Some bands get back together years too late just to go through the motions, play a greatest hits set, make a few bucks, and touch exactly zero lives while doing so. This was not the case tonight. At least seven or eight songs I thought were sure-things for tonight didn’t even make the cut. Usually that’d lead to said concert goer not being thrilled. That was the exact opposite of the case. Bananas And Blow, Your Party , Japanese Cowboy , Freedom of ’76 and The Grobe were early crowd favorites. That is until we got what we’d call the first bust out of the evening.
Captain Fantasy hasn’t been played live since 2011, or at least that’s what I read on the interwebs (Hey, wasn’t the last time these dudes played together like 2011? ). Staying in dream sequence theme titles we were hit with Don’t Get 2 Close (2 My Fantasy) to calm the storm that would follow with Touch My Tooter.
With the exception of a couple, I find that not everybody loves the same Ween songs. And that’s a great thing. People seeing these Ween shows need to know that. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. ANYTHING CAN BE PLAYED, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS. As Deaner noted when we were four songs in and already two Stallions deep.
These nights were meant to be special. Rumor has it, and I haven’t checked the set lists from previous nights but I do hear that it’s three nights of zero repeats. That’s going to be tough after tonight’s massive 31 song set.
Oh you probably thought that last sentence was a typo. Absolutely not. Boys came out shortly after 9 and the show went to roughly a little before Midnight. In the most pleasant of surprises of the evening, things got broke down with some beautiful acoustic versions of a handful of songs. Acoustic tracks were Chocolate Town, Little Birdy, Get A Little Taste Of You(Z Rock Hawaii- 1st time played live since 2001) , The HIV Song, Help Me Scrap The Mucus off My Brain and by request, Kim Smoltz.
Pumping for the Man was new for me. It’s a spicy little diddy. It got played when Gene went to pee. Lucky him he gets to come back and reclaim his spot when he returns, unlike someone like me who stands up and gets accosted about “stealing” a spot that my body was already occupying. But keeping things to the stage, other awesome portions of the evening included a jam session led by keyboardist Glenn McClelland, Boys Club, Baby Bitch and You Fucked Up. Excuse my lack of an exact set list but the font on the page was too small for my camera to pick up with it’s zoom. And the battery began to die towards the end of this show hence why the last few songs are missing from the Jay Porks Youtube Channel. That NEVER happens, especially without any opening acts.
With that we were still able to capture about 26 songs for everyone who wasn’t able to make it to the Thursday night affair. I’m sure the weekend is going to be, what are the kids calling it these days? Ah: I’m sure it’s going to be “Lit”. And as happy as I am to see Ween playing shows again, I may be even sadder knowing that it might be the last time in my life this gets to happen.
This April the US gets a taste of something that’s been missing from it’s pallet for a while and that folks would be The Darkness returning to America! It’s no secret we here at Concert Confessions are HUGE fans of the UK’s own mythological rock gods as we’ve covered them most recently here along with reviews happening here , here, and of course here. They’re too much fun to miss when they come to town.
“If music and good times are in your soul, come see us perform live,” declares frontman Justin Hawkins. “A Darkness show is a place where believers come together, where fluids are shared and dreams are built. But most importantly, rock and roll is crowned king EVERY NIGHT!”
Justin Hawkins is correct. Fluids ARE shared. Dreams ARE built.
The band hits the road April 8th in the lovely Santa Cruz, California and the trek continues across the country making it to the east coast by the end of the month. Several House Of Blues locations are on the itinerary. Tons of chances to catch the Darkness this year in America. Just scroll the dates below and see for yourself when you’ll get to catch this must-not-miss event.
Back To The USSR Tour Dates:
Friday, April 8 – Santa Cruz, CA //The Catalyst
Saturday, April 9 – San Luis Obispo, CA //Fremont Theatre
Sunday, April 10 – San Diego, CA //House of Blues
Tuesday, April 12 – Los Angeles, CA //The Belasco Theatre
Wednesday, April 13 – Riverside, CA //Riverside Municipal Auditorium
Friday, April 15 – Las Vegas, NV //House of Blues
Saturday, April 16 – Scottsdale, AZ //Livewire
Sunday, April 17 – Tucson, AZ //The Rialto Theatre
Tuesday, April 19 – Houston, TX //House of Blues
Wednesday, April 20 – Dallas, TX //House of Blues
Thursday, April 21 – New Orleans, LA //House of Blues
Saturday, April 23 – Nashville, TN //War Memorial Auditorium
Sunday, April 24 – Cleveland, OH //House of Blues
Tuesday, April 26 – Cincinnati, OH //Bogart’s
Wednesday, April 27 – Chicago, IL //House of Blues
Friday, April 29 – Indianapolis, IN //Deluxe at Old National Center
Saturday, April 30 – Baltimore, MD Baltimore //Sound Stage
Monday, May 2 – New York City, NY //Irving Plaza
Tuesday, May 3 – Buffalo, NY //Waiting Room
Wednesday, May 4 – Boston, MA //Paradise Rock Club
Chris Cornell w/ Special Guest Hemming – October 19th 2015
Beacon Theater – New York City
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
A question often floated in my direction is “Well you go to a lot of concerts, what’s the best show you’ve ever been to?” For a while now I’ve been saying the same thing: Chris Cornell Solo Acoustic Songbook tour that I saw at Town Hall a few years back. There, I saw one man with a guitar put on the best show I’ve seen in my short life. It was 1,500 people basically holding their breathe for two hours hanging on every lyric, every chord, every note . It was magic. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that when another show with Chris Cornell doing the solo acoustic thing was announced I would find myself in the building, but the bigger question was: Can you top the un-top-able?
Hemming opened the night and treated us to a handful of sweet sultry tunes that would make Ryan Adams wanna cover her entire record. No seriously, he probably will. Then Spin Magazine will hype it up for six weeks before panning it. It’s their style. Anyway about Hemming’s style, well, let’s say she had the whole building feeling feelings before her set was over and I for one was glad I showed up early enough to catch it. She’s from Philly, has a sweet sense of self and some bad ass tunes to go along with it. And Girls + Guitars = Happy Face Emoji. Can’t find a link to where you can buy Hemming’s record, but like her on Facebook here and stay posted. Highly recommended
Just a tad after 9 the man of Higher Truth, Chris Cornell hit the stage to a resounding ovation. Some folks here from last night, others like myself lucky enough that a second New York City gig was added to help combat a chilly Monday evening in October. Chris, excited as ever, said that he was gonna mix things up tonight for the peeps who are hitting both shows. First song of the night was Misery Chain as the backing music played as he sang, not reaching for the guitar just yet. Before We Disappear was up next and the Higher Truth track was resonating much more with me while sitting in the Beacon Theater than listening to the song at my house. Can’t Change Me (from 1999’s Euphoria Morning) was another strong effort before Cleaning my Gun, which Cornell claims to have written for Johnny Cash but “Johnny never got around to it.” Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart was another instant classic from Higher Truth.
See, last time I had the opportunity to see this tour they were using audio from the live shows to record an album. That lead to security being extra tight with the photo and video policy. This tour comes on the heels of the Higher Truth release. So tonight, in the balcony I’m 3 rows from the last one and there’s not a event staffer for miles. Safe to say I hit record on some of my favorites.
Like Fell On Black Days for instance, which was the first huge hit of the night. Besides the people continuously making the entire row get up so they can continue getting drunk, it was nothing short of incredible.
Chris Cornell’s daughter joined her father on stage to do a version of Redemption Song.
The definition of heart warming-or as the kids might say “Totes Adorbs”-moment right there. Chris wondered aloud afterward about how he was going to top it. Say Hello to Heaven was a good start to topping that.
River of Deceit finished topping that. Mad Season!!!!
Our first taste of Audioslave music came with Doesn’t Remind me. Back to 99 with Sweet Euphoria before the place exploded for Blow Up The Outside World. The Beacon Theater has got to have some of the greatest sound I’ve experienced. Chris Cornell’s voice reached every corner, every crevice of this joint. Sounded like I was first row. What a fantastic place to catch a concert. At the same time, we’ve got probably the greatest voice of the last 20 years out here proving why he is that (again) here at the majestic Beacon Theater It was like I was watching a perfect game being pitched. I didn’t want to jinx it by asking the question to myself: “Is he doing this again?!?”
One came next. Not Metallica’s One and not U2’s One, but actually a hybrid of the two. It’s a rendition he’s been playing since the songbook tour and its extremely cool.
Then we harked back to the wild time known as the 90s and the Singles soundtrack for a glorious Seasons, which was followed by a haunting The Day I Tried to Live.
Rusty Cage followed. My second aborted video due to concert goers just never ever having enough alcohol. Fans tonight in the balcony were disappointing. A lot of whom didn’t arrive til after Hemming (although event info listed an 8PM show time and also noted “please be early”) often shuffled around causing entire rows to have to stand to let them out. Felt like me and a handful of folks in the row behind me were locked in and other folks well, other folks were just not.
Like A Stone Chris dedicated to his mother in law who he says was in attendance this evening. Hunger Strike right around the corner and a the Beatles A Day In The Life closed out our pre-encore Cornell precedings.
There was a dude on cello kicking ass on a lot of songs tonight.
Earlier in the evening, before one song was played Chris mentioned a fan that had been screaming “Like Suicide” all night last night and he promised to play it if he didn’t hear that same guy screaming it all night.
Well, specifically for that guy we got ourselves a Like Suicide tonight. The title track from the new record, Higher Truth was the show closer. 11:29 lights on.
100 concerts attended. Damn that’s a lot for a guy who doesn’t have six dollars in his bank account.
If you’re somebody looking to get all the bang out of your concert buck that you can, may I be the first to suggest checking out the End Times Tour with Smashing Pumpkins & Marilyn Manson currently trekking across the country when it hits your town. On a toasty July hump day, End Times came to PNC Bank Arts Center. And it was phenomenal.
Let’s just say this, to have Marilyn Manson start his set at 7:46 with the sun still up was very, very odd. That said, even with the joint still filling out the place was rockin’ pretty heavy. By the time we made it to our seats about a song or two in, Manson noticed a child in the crowd and questioned aloud the implications of that. It was hilarious. Who knew we had a comedian in this house?
For Sweet Dreams the dude came out on stilts. Fucking STILTS. I’ve never seen Marilyn Manson live before and after tonight I have to ask myself the question of why. The new record ‘The Pale Emperor’ is actually his best effort in years. The new stuff got some volume from the crowd, Third Day Of A Three Day Binge came early.
Personal Jesus brought the first of a couple podiums tonight. Lots of sarcastic God slander. “You can find God but your arms ain’t long enough to reach the fucker” or something to that effect.
Once it started to get a little darker, the cool stuff on the stage was able to stick out and actually be cool. The church-like stained glass, the smoke working the lights and all that. Great times. When Dope Show hit it was reefer madness in there. Coma White closed out their evening. Manson’s set was lively and the crowd was extremely into everything happening. Unlike later on this evening when those people got replaced with statues and mannequins.
In the parking lot before the show there’s usually a car playing music from the band we’re about to go in and see. Tends to happen from time to time. Anyway when the car beside us start blasting “Today” and I thought to myself “Holy shit, I’m gonna get to experience that live tonight” a tingle shot down my spine. So safe to say when William Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins hit the stage around 9:30, I was way more than ready. Cherub Rock is kicking things off followed by Bullet With Butterfly Wings and I turn to Pam and say: “Two songs in and this is already amazing!”. And it was.
That’s the thing about both these bands tonight. This isn’t just a run of the mill concert tour, this is a SHOW. A Theatrical event. Tonight, Tonight because, just in case you thought this was a game, Mr. Corgan is gonna get everyone interested early playing back to back to back hits.
I noticed while recording their were people in the rows around me dancing with their hands up going nuts so I panned back to get a good look at what the folks were doing up front in the pit. They were STILL. Not moving. And there wasn’t a sea of phone lights either, I doubt all of those folks are going into business for themselves. I’m not one to judge other folks concert behaviors. Just saying it would have looked cool on the video if some of those folks pretended to give a crap. Not surprised at all my TNA chant didn’t catch on.
Never fear because there wasn’t anything that was gonna stop this set from being anything but memorable. I know they have tons of hit songs, but it felt like I didn’t get a song to like, take a break and adjust my pants or whatnot. It was great. People singing, dancing, hugging. Some people feeling things when the song that brings to mind whatever memory they have with whoever the person. There were literal tears. Folks cried. Thought that was a pretty deep sight.
If I do say so myself, they ran through Zero really quick. And that’s definitely my favorite tune of theirs. Pam agreed. If you were there comment and tell me if I’m nuts. Again, much like Manson I have never ever seen the Smashing Pumpkins before and taking this all in is pretty incredible. And if you didn’t realize Jimmy Chamberlin is back with the band then the ‘JC’ on the drum kit should give it away.
Before jumping into Disarm, Corgan strummed a diddy and told us that this was “a little song I play so you can all check your phone.” and continued “That’s what the Alternative revolution was about. It was so all of you can check your phones.”( *sigh*) Makes me wonder what was this “alternative revolution” all about and did we end up winning? Anyway, lectures aside, folks need to not jump on stage during performances. This isn’t a punk show where it’s cool to jump on stage and dive back out. A girl came up during Disarm and was removed. Later during 1979 there was a dude who rushed the stage and was stopped by event staff before contact was made (The video I shot of this has been hijacked by the folks at Spin Mag without even a thought to type the words ‘More at Concert Confessions.’ Fuck you Spin. Fuck you.). The first girl who did it Billy (William) seemed to smile about it, but by the time we were getting to closing time he was frustrated. “I don’t know who those people are running up on stage but the next one who does is getting a guitar upside the head” was the quote.
Could we talk about Landslide for a second? This was a moment I needed. Hearing that fucking song everyday at work, the 14 different versions on the Fleetwood Mac Pandora station, not that any of them are bad, but I’m always at the aforementioned work when I hear them. This version is one I will have a memory of that’s doesn’t involve serving food to strangers who scoff at the notion of paying full price for any item in life. It was great. Sometimes you just need a life break.
1979 was probably the crowds height for energy, with rows and rows of party-like atmospheres happening everywhere. That’s of course everywhere besides those first 20-30 rows of people standing in front looking at the band like they’re a dog who has just been shown a card trick. After a few more, Billy stated that it was “time to go soon, I can’t be your selfie anymore” and the band was off at 10:57. The ‘Encore’ of Today, which appeared on the bands set list for the entirety of this tour, happened to be absent this evening.
The last time I walked into the Bowery Ballroom to see the Meat Puppets they went on after 11PM, Shandon was standing atop a part of his drum kit after kicking it over near 1AM as the band was shredding a rare bust out of Attacked By Monsters to close out the night. Tonight, excitement is at new levels as The Meat Puppets are co-headlining this tour with Soul Asylum; basically giving you the chance to see two great bands still rocking out for the price of one. I mean, what else can happen here tonight to make it more awesome? Is Gibby Haynes gonna join the Meat Puppets on stage for a Freddy Fender song? That you’ll have to read on for.
Show is set to kick off shortly after 8-8:15ish. Questions one may ask are: “Well who goes on first?” and “Which band gets to play longer?”. Since the tour is co-headlining, each band is getting roughly 75 mins on stage. Tonight the Meat Puppets played first.
Never ones to stray from starting things with an instrumental jam, tonight’s lead off was Seal Whales. More people in this place than I originally thought. As I was at the merch table bullshitting before showtime didn’t remember THIS many people. Place looked as full as you’re gonna get on a Monday. And it was rocking in there. During Comin’ Down that gave me idea. Head downstairs. Oh, Me was great to get recorded from down there in the first few rows. Then, during Sam I get a tap on the shoulder with a security guard telling me not to take video. Instead of giving him the “it’s 2015” speech I give to all old people I shot back “Yes sir No Video Sir” and headed back upstairs to continue to film.
That’s when things got, well, things got awesome as Gibby Haynes (of course of the Butthole Surfers) was asked to come up and join the band in covering Freddy Fender’s “Wasted Days And Wasted Nights”. It was fun. I’ve got the video below. Wow.
We’re staying down in Texas here for a few as Hey Baby Que Paso preceded Before the Next Teardrop Falls and before you know it Seven Spanish Angels is being rocked out heavy. Bowery Ballroom doesn’t skimp on sound, this place was bumping! Very glad to see that happening.
There was an Up On The Sun a bit earlier in the set and it lasted over 10 mins. It included Cris and Elmo bumping into the speaker and it almost falling over followed by Cris’s best Urkel impression (“Did I do that??). That was some epic shit right there. Curt and Elmo bouncing those spicy riffs back and forth of one another while Cris lays down some, as he called them, direct quote: “Tasty fucking bass licks!”. Quite accurate. And Shandon. Shandon has to watch all this unfold in front of his very eyes and keep up with the Kirkwood Guitar Noise Expo. Anyone who can drum in this band is someone of serious talent. Killin’ it back there.
Finished up strong with Backwater followed by the Sloop John B into Lake of Fire set the building on fire show closer. These dudes kill it every time they come around, no surprises here to witness this. Just wish they’d play these slightly larger type venues more often than places like Mercury Lounge where every picture is pitch black. Oh yeah, and Soul Asylum is up next!
Somewhere after 9:30 Soul Asylum hit the stage and Dave Pirner had on an Aquaman shirt. File that under “Hashtag: Rad”. These dudes are way more than just Runaway Train, and this being my third time seeing this band I can say that they’ve proved that with every set. Somebody To Shove brought the crowd back to life from it’s short intermission real quick. Shut Down preceeded two personal favorites of mine, Just Like Anyone and Misery. Such a tight band these dudes are.
The dude writing this isn’t surprised that Dave Pirner owns a grammy. Dave has a great rock voice and a above par songwriter too. I mean every song seems like it could be in the soundtrack of movie. And sometimes they are as the case with Misery.
Sometimes they’re not. Whatcha Need was up next before Black Gold, another one I had to tape. Band rocked quite a few more tracks awesome tunes. Without A Trace, The Game, Can’t Help It were songs I just took in. I had a seat so I leaned back, had a great view of this awesome scene. Thinking back of my shitty weekend and thinking about how I wasn’t thinking about it at all. That’s what this whole thing is about. Tonight was the first night I felt normal again in a while.
A few more were in were in the tank before things wind down. Supersonic, which isn’t an Oasis cover (That might be a little too 1994 at that point) but actually, I believe it’s a new track off the forthcoming record. It’s a rocker. Eyes of A Child was the last man standing before this place was about to burst wide open for, quite frankly, one of the best Rock & Roll songs ever to exist.
Runaway Train. And I’m back to recording. I need to get one with good sound, the previous times I saw the vocals on my video didn’t sound so hot. Well thank you Bowery Ballroom because everything sounds great to me at 5AM here after the show watching the video. When Pirner plucks those final bars on that song it sounded like magic. This night was just too insane. Spinnin’ , Gravity,Made To Be Broken were heavy jams before the biggest of them all, April Fool closed that son’bitch down.
Check this tour out. It’s coming out west where Concert Confessions Headquarters is based out of. I know we got lots of readers from the best coast. Head to TheMeatPuppets.Com/Tour and keep up to date. So many smiles leaving Bowery Ballroom. Such satisfaction.
Ladies and Gentleman welcome to one of the newer venues to hit the Tri-state area: Rough Trade Records in Williamsburg.
And here I thought we were headed to some basement shack with 6 foot ceilings and a stack of 50 records that the band stands on and plays. Absolutely not. New York City now has it’s Amoeba, it’s Vintage Vinyl . If only the stage was located inside this extremely well lit, supermarket style record store but alas, open a door in the back and find yourself a real life rock venue. Long bar running along the left side with a very roomy standing room section and a 2nd floor wrapping around up top. Towards the end of the night I found myself thinking I would have been more comfortable had I opted for downstairs, but when given the chance I always get as high as I can. Heck, this place would be an awesome venue if it wasn’t in a record store! Also awesome that it’s owned by Bowery Presents (as opposed to Livenation). This fact was apparent when I found myself being treated like a human being by event staffers. Interesting.
At 9:20 Cass McCombs took the stage with his band to kick this night off. On tour with the Meat Puppets, one thing that can be promised is that they’re going to bring the weird. And that’s exactly what they did playing over an hour of jams, both slow folky and wild crazy tunes melded perfectly to thaw out the chilly Brooklyn crowd. Was making my way around the venue for the perfect spot during the set. Felt like every corner I enter these dudes were exploring a new sound, extending another song into the Halloween night. With 10:30 coming up, it’s only normal to look at your phone and wonder how many songs are left. (This writer has a LONG trip home!) Then Cass tells Rough Trade that this is there last song and broke into… The Unforgiven! Place went nuts. Where’d this come from? I’ve got video of most of the song below. The videos tonight will be a recurring theme of me trying to compensate for yet another dimly lit venue. At least from up top anyway. Cass McCombs headlines Rough Trade November 1st and is currently on tour with the Meat Puppets. Check them out.
Almost 11 and here come The almighty Meat Puppets starting the night with the familiar instrumental Seal Whales. A fierce Coming’ Down preceded The Monkey and The Snake before Plateau and Touchdown King got the place jumping.
Touchdown King isn’t even my ‘go-to’ Meat Puppets track but every time I’ve seen them do it, in the double digit amount of times they’ve always had some new wrinkle to add in. It’s gone way longer than the 5 1/2 minutes it went tonight but the Halloween 2014 edition is one for the ages.
Then, premiered in St. Louis a few shows back, it was time for us to get Seven Spanish Angels live. A Willie Nelson/Ray Charles cover, it’s a new addition to the set list. And it’s incredible.
Oh, Me brought the room more alive than ever and tonight’s epic Up On The Sun (the video above being the only video in these set that wasn’t shot by yours truly) kicked things into an even higher gear. Then Confusion Fog was busted out?! You guys trying to make me wet myself up here?
See the Meat Puppets have a set of songs that they will play written down on a sheet of paper throughout a tour, but they don’t play all of them on a said night. Confusion Fog is always on there, but if I’ve seen it live before it hasn’t been for a while. I let out a “Oh shit Confusion Fog?!” as it began. Awesome sauce.
I just got an idea and I’ll do this completely for free. We need a music video to accompany the greatness that is Waiting-really one of the stand out tracks from Rat Farm (they all stand out, but that’s the one Jambase likes). Someone needs to take video of me during the day waiting on tables (living the dream of serving food) and cut it up and make a Waiting music video. Or you can click play above. Either one works.
Cathy’s Clown when straight into Lake Of Fire tonight. Cathy’s Clown serves as the B-Side to the Meat Puppets split 7 in w/ Cass McCombs, the A-Side being Hey Baby Que Paso (which we got earlier during an unplanned emptying of the bladder) and Elmo sings lead vocals on it. Both live and on the record. Rad. Elmo, shreds far left on stage sporting his new Jack White-esque hair do. Folks chanted his name all night. After Lake Of Fire it was Sloop John B to close out the night. It’s a good going home song, as the chorus is “I wanna go home”.
The boys came back out as we’re nearing 1Am here. Aurora Borealis! Our third instrumental jam of the evening. With guitar tones like these, who ever really needs words?
For folks wondering where Backwater is never fear, it was up next and ended my Halloween at Rough Trade Records.
Setlist: Seal Whales, Comin’ Down, Monkey And The Snake, Plateau, Touchown King, Seven Spanish Angels (Willie Nelson), Oh, Me, Hey Baby Que Paso(Texas Tornadoes).Up On The Sun, Sam. Confusion Fog, Lost, Waiting, I’m A Mindless Idiot, Open Wide, Cathy’s Clown(Everly Brothers), Lake Of Fire, Sloop John B (Beach Boys).
Encore: Aurora Borealis, Backwater
Great Freaking Times. Should have grabbed an angle where the lighting worked better with my camera, hence the lack of many photos. Still some undeniably solid video though.
On this seasonably warm Saturday evening New York City is lucky enough to be graced with the presence of Kasabian tonight in the Hell’s Kitchen section of Manhattan. Back in March 2012 the band was here in this very venue and the night was almost as magical as Derek Jeter’s final home game. Tonight we’re hoping for some of the same, as we’ll be 3,000 deep in the sold out Terminal 5. Bo Ningen is the opening act and the doors are set to open at 7PM.
When Bo Ningen walked out on stage there was some snickering and confusion around the area I was seated on the third floor, especially when the lead singer told the New York City crowd that the band (all of Asian decent) was from London and originally from Japan. Once this band broke into their first song nothing at all was funny anymore. They ROCKED. Songs were long and jam filled. Who knows if the lyrics were even in English let alone if I knew what the set list contained. I understood two things; First off, they were really gracious and kept thanking us for coming out early. Two: The intensity of the rock that they played (which I look up later to be known as ‘acid rock. Which makes sense) made me get into it. And yes them not being your traditional Bud Light American band of the month didn’t hurt at all. They rocked it til 8:30. Who the heck knew? Bo freakin’ Ningen.
At 9:05 this place was about to burst awaiting the Kasabian to hit the stage. It’s odd because I’ve spent the better part of two years mentioning this band to everyone who asks me about music I’m currently listening to (you can only go to the 90s well a certain amount of times before people stop talking to you) and I’ve found maybe a handful of folks who’ve heard of them. Yet here tonight in Hell’s Kitchen of all places at a venue where I’ve heard several concert goers in the past complain about sound and sightlines we’ve got a full house of adoring fans of a band that barely comes to this country. Is there an after party? The band hit the stage before 9:10, kicking the night off with a track off the new record 48:13 . The song is called ‘Bumblebee’.
There are times where you go see a favorite band who’ve recently put out a new record and they shove it down your throat the next time you see them live. Filling you with that “new car smell’ as I say. Tonight this was not the case as Kasabian seemed to hit every person in the building g-spot at some point during the evening. I keep turning towards the crowd because those kids are going bananas. They’re having so much fun and really, is that the point of all this?
It’s hard to call a 16 song set ‘career-spanning’, but band followed Bumblebee with Shoot The Runner and Underdog before hitting us with another new one Stevie, which rocked way harder than it did for me when I sat down and listened to the record recently. Sometimes it’s just better live. Days Are Forgotten preceded another track off 48:13 Eez-Uh,
followed by an oldie: Processed Beats. These guys are kicking my ass. I wanted to tweet some stuff during the set but I was firmly set with one goal in mind: Record This Entire Fucking Set. So when The Doberman went right into Take Aim right into Club Foot-I shot that.
When possibly my favorite track from this band Re-Wired got played before Treat and Empire-I shot that. And when the crazyiness of Fire ensued-well, you get the point. Jeez it was so hectic up in there when the band ducked off at 10:15. How does this band not headline festivals in THIS side of the pond? (Not counting once at Coachella)
If anything is obvious here tonight it’s the on stage bromance that Serge and Tom have going on is nothing short of BFF status. After more than a few songs Tom walks over and slaps Serge, who sports a raccoon’s tail hanging from his ass a five. Mailing it in is something this band isn’t about. Maybe that’s why the one cool Beatle left digs them. Serge and (if Wiki has it right) Tim are having a little guitar noise circus over here far left side of the stage, or right below from my point of view. The encore consisted of Switchblade Smiles, Vlad The Impaler and L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever). Before L.S.F., we got into a few minutes of a cover of Fatboy Slim’s Praise You.
That was a fun thing to throw in.
There was a keyboard/noise box thing near Serge and he’d go over and jam out on it on occasion and dance mid stage. At the end of L.S.F. Tom sings the chorus to
All You Nee Is Love and just like that in a blink of a eye Kasabian had once again conquered Terminal 5.. and it was over.
If you needed anymore proof that Americans are stupid it’s the fact that this band hasn’t “hit it big” here like they have back home. Now all 3,000+ of us in that building tonight are sitting asking the same question we asked two years ago: Will they ever come back? Even if the answer to that ends up being ‘No’, it’s good to know that I’ve been able to rock with them twice. If you’re viewing this and there’s only two videos up congrats, you showed up early. Every song from the evening is being uploading as I type and as you read and will be added as they publish. Until next time folks, thanks for having me.
If the ‘Summer Nationals’ Tour is doing anything correctly, it’s giving us to chance to catch The Offspring and Bad Religion on the same bill. Unfortunately, the only date of this tour that I can make it to is the one at the Stone Pony Summerstage in Asbury Park down the shore of the Dirty Jerz. As mentioned in the past, The small, indoor actual Stone Pony is glorious, their ‘Summerstage’ is atrocious. If it wasn’t bad enough this venue is basically a parking lot with a stage and terrible sightlines, it’s gotten worse. How you ask? Well, they’ve added bleachers that block the view of half of your standing room only crowd and you can sit there for a fee of $25. That’s 25 extra dollars on a 46 dollar ticket to endure the struggle of trying to see the band you paid to see. Sodomy is always a fun time, I’ll pass on your bleachers.
Bad Religion was on stage delving into their set at 7:55 the latest. It was pre-8 for sure. This is my 2nd time seeing Bad Religion and the 2nd time I saw them open for a band that hadn’t been around as long as they had (Rise Against headlined last time) and it was the 2nd time I found myself feeling the need for more Bad Religion when the night was over. They had a good mix of both old school and new school hits. Stranger Than Fiction, Sorrow and You Are The Government were huge crowd pleasers alongside a couple of my own personal favorites 21st Century Digital Boy and Infected, the latter of which I made attempts to get on video.
As fun as this is the picture is becoming more and more clear that we’re going to have to move up somehow. Pretend our friends are up front or something. When Bad Religion was closing up shop at what couldn’t have been too far passed 8:30( which is an insane thing to think about), a couple of folks headed out of the pit and before we knew it, Pam and I found ourselves about 5-7 rows of people away from the front. Then the memories of the view of the pit last time I was here began to flush the the front of my head. I turned and said “You know we’re going to die, right?”
A shade after 9, the intro played and the band came out to play Smash in it’s entirety, as it’s celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year. Smash can be used a few different ways here. It is indeed the record they’re playing. It’s also what’s happening to us as this set begins, endlessly. Tried to be tough and stick my camera into the air and just take the blows, but before the crowd went ‘all in’ on screaming the acapella portion Bad Habit, I was being wildly flung back and forth like a rag doll in the mouth of a hungry pitbull. I stumbled back and found myself smack dab in the middle of this slam dance pit-circle thing and had to dodge some 200+ pound dude coming straight at me Lawrence Taylor style. Held my camera in both my hands for dear life and just took the hits for the most of the record, literally and musically. Got to have that “let loose and enjoy the show moment” (was forced to by savages) jumping around like a nutball, but somehow before the record was over, I had made it arms length from the stage and avoiding any more moshing. The played Smash in order with the exception of skipping Self Esteem and saving it for the album finale. They took a short break where a juggler performed. Seriously.
Now, back in wannabe journalist mode I was able to capture most of the 2nd half of the set. All I Want kicked things off followed by You’re Gonna Go Far Kid. Besides some pain, this is the most fun I’ve had at a show in some time.
Offspring really bringing the good times even if it’s to such a swampy shitty place to be. Swampy or not, Noodles is killing it just like it’s the old days, and Dex is somehow appearing to look like a ghost in every single picture I have. Some light drizzle started to fall, which didn’t bother me as much as all the beer that was dumped on us.
If I ever write a novel about going to concerts I’ll title it “A Cold Beer Drips Down My Leg”.
Staring at the Sun and Why Don’t You Get A Job, probably not in that order were thrown into our greatest hits portion of the evening. Can’t Get My Head Around You, Americana, and Pretty Fly For A White Guy preceded The Kids Aren’t Alright and before you knew it- just like that the show was over before 10:30.
The band played tons of songs, I don’t feel cheated or anything but I just wonder if they realize it’s a Friday night. It’s probably the Stone Pony’s idea, as they had a late show happening inside after we headed out.
What a great night, fun times. Feels like I got gang raped in a prison yard but it was all in the sake of punk rock and nostalgia, and who doesn’t appreciate that in their lives from time and time again. For those interested in listening to me trash this venue some more, head over to JayPorks.Com to hear my weekly podcast.. or just check it out below.. I’m far from finished venting about this venue.
Summerland 2014 – Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 & Spacehog
Irving Plaza – New York City
Words/Photos/Videos – Jay Porks
On this day 20 years ago my hometown New York Knicks won Game 5 of the NBA Finals while O.J. Simpson was on TV, well at least his white bronco was.. being chased by police down the freeway. Those were good times. So it’s most certainly fitting to attend the only throwback 90s concert tour worth seeing tonight: Summerland 2014. Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog. Let nostalgia not be a dirty word tonight as we take a trip back two decades. Doors open at 6:30 and showtime is set for 7:30.
Art Alexakis was on stage at 7:27 to let us know how he believes this years Summerland is the best yet. This will be an ongoing theme as Art is a social guy, and will introduce every band that’s not his tonight. Seems to be trying to build on the Summerland thing, maybe keep this as a recurring tour year to year. I speak for tons of us when I say fuck yes that is exactly what I want.
Spacehog plowed through the opening slot well, playing songs like Candyman and Mongo to settle in the late comers still straggling in. Might be more people in VIP upstairs than in the standing room downstairs. Heaven for bid one of these juice bag guards let me snap a shot from anywhere that’s not the photo pit. This place is filling out as walking to the staircase is becoming a bitch. Played a song off their new record called Love Is a Curious is Thing (at least what I want to say the name is) and that had my head nodding swiftly as I scoped out some better spots. And to the guy surfing OkCupid during their set.. Come on man, seriously? Spacehog rocked In The Meantime to end the evening slightly before 8PM. The crowd more than thrilled and gave a resounding roar.
Eve 6 had tons of fans in the house here to just see them as I found out while outside smoking. When they jumped into their set, it was clear to me what was to like about this band besides Inside Out. These dudes can still kick it. At one point the lead singer screamed “everyone on your feet!” To the standing room only crowd. Habit I guess? Here’s To The Night was a heavy hitter tonight, as I was reminded that I do in fact know and love this song.
At the end of their set, we let the filming commence on “Inside Out” which had to be one of the best moments inside that building this evening. They put my tender heart in a blender and were through by 8:45. Incredible energy.
While doing the pre band introduction, Art says he’s “been trying to get Soul Asylum on this tour since the first year”. A few minutes after 9 Dave Pirner and Soul Asylum hit the stage for a quick set of hits to get Irving Plaza jumping. This band is so under appreciated. From their nutty 80s years to not getting eaten up by the 90s. Pirner is having so much fun, and so is the rest of this band. Made sure to let the bassist know it was a great set as he passed by me later on the evening. After the first couple songs you get booted from the photo pit, so I found a little corner for us antisocial folks. Myself and the non-socialites rocked out to Misery and Black Gold. The former of which Art came on stage to share some vocals duties towards the end.
To sit here and try and pretend that Runaway Train wasn’t incredible to witness live, every time live for that matter, would just be absolute lunacy. Dave Pirner is often forgotten as one of the great songwriters of my generation, oddly that might be because he didn’t O.D. or kill himself.
Somebody To Shove and Just Like Anyone closes down a feisty set at about 9:40. What a band. I’m gonna see them every time they come to town if it’s gonna be this much fun and this rockin’ every time. Also times flies when you’re having fun, very surprised how quickly this evening is moving along.
Max Collins of Eve 6 was tapped to introduce Everclear, who came out together instruments in hand side by side and played a cooled down Santa Monica for about a minute or so. I did notice on the setlist that Santa Monica was listed as both the set opener and closer. In the photo pit I got experience up close and person Heroin Girl and Father of Mine, the ladder of which I snuck video of because I’m just plain allergic to rules. I fucking love those songs. If I wasn’t busy snapping photos I’d be jumping around as if I was the one happy in hell with my heroin girl.
As I’ve been doing throughout the evening, I headed to the red couch in the back to stand on after the first couple songs of each band. Now we’re at the end of the night, so let’s do what I do best: roll film.
AM Radio, Everything To Everyone, I Will Buy You A New Life and the aforementioned Father of Mine are all being uploaded to Youtube as we speak. Hopefully we can remove this last sentence sooner rather than later.
But really what this is all about, the essence that Summerland is aiming for is just fun times with good bands playing music with guitars. This epiphany was had during Wonderful, because in all honesty every thing IS wonderful now. Maybe Art Alexakis and Douche McGrath had a disagreement on what this concert tour should be, but I’m #TeamArt on this one. Let’s keep this going.
The amped up version of Santa Monica closed the set, the only song I can kinda play on real guitar. Or so that’s what was believed but the band came back out to play some 70s covers superjam while introducing the members of the band. Heard bits of Queen, Judas Priest, Zeppelin.
They were kicking out the hard jams, this is the loudest they’ve been all night. And then, around 11PM it was over. Summerland 2014 was over. And it was back to normal life.. Sad face emoticon.