Author: thenaturalstoner (page 1 of 2)

2017 Experience Hendrix Tour – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights (Spokane), WA

2017 Experience Hendrix Tour – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights (Spokane), WA

Review and Photos by thenaturalstoner

Last night, The Slurry Baron, my fiancée, and I trekked up to Spokane, Washington to see the 2017 iteration of the Experience Hendrix tour at the Northern Quest Casino.  In its second year, this tour brings in all kinds of guitarists from different genres to pay respects to one of the Greatest of All Time, Jimi Hendrix.  This years lineup was pretty unique, so the Baron and I hopped online, scored our front row tickets, and decided to rock out with our lineup of Dweezil Zappa, Billy Cox (the last survivor from the Band of Gypsys), Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang, Keb’ Mo’, Chris Layton (drummer from Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble), Mato Nanji (from Indigenous), Noah Hunt (singer from Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band), singer/MC Henri Brown, The Slide Brothers, Scott Nelson (bassist from Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band), and Tim Austin (drummer from Buddy Guy’s Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues Band).

I came into the show pretty much only to see Dweezil.  While there are certainly other good names on the lineup, Frank Zappa is my guy, and I have always wanted to see Dweezil perform.  Although this was not a “Dweezil Zappa Plays Whatever the Fuck He Wants” show, finally seeing him rip the guitar (from the front row no less) in person was a definite bucket list moment.

 

I was surprised with how long this show was.  3 hours over two sets, with only a small setbreak in between.  The rotating artists each got a ‘couple-to-a-few’ songs each, and then rotated in occasionally throughout.   Like I said earlier I was there to see Dweezil, so when the show started and the trio of Dweezil, Billy Cox, and Stevie Ray Vaughan drummer Chris Layton came on stage to open with “Freedom”, I was pumped.  It didn’t hurt that Dweezil picked one of the five microphones closest to me and my gang to stand and rock in front of.

Mato Nanji would be the next guitarist to come on stage, and was one of the big surprises of the night for me.  This dude can rip Jimi!  Mato probably played the most songs out there all night, except for Layton (while he did a fine job, he was fairly stoic during the show) and the bassist from Kenny Wayne Shepherds band who were pretty much the house band.  The Slide Brothers and Henri Brown then came out, obviously bringing more of a blusier side to the set.

I finally got to see Keb’ Mo’ perform, an artist I have been interested in for almost 20 years, and I didn’t realize how good of a guitarist he was.  He held his own up there with The Slide Brothers, I was surprised.  After a few songs everyone left the stage and Zakk Wylde came out and did some solo stuff that was loud and awesome.  His portion of the show was my favorite part of the evening, quite a bit to my surprise.  His “Manic Depression” was killer, as was “Little Wing” – the clear highlight of the show.  Wylde owned an extended version of this jam, including going out into the crowd to play most of his solos.  This was pretty much the only time all night anyone went deep into the crowd.  After Wyldes main portion of the show we got a quick setbreak to catch our breath and take a leak!

 

I was surprised this was a two-set show.  Frankly, I thought we would get ninety minutes and out, so set two was pretty neat.  Jonny Lang opened the second set, with Layton and Scott Nelson still the primary rhythm section, and would eventually be joined again by Wylde and Nanji.  Jonny was fine, but not necessarily my cup of tea on this night.  The Spokane crowd seemed to enjoy it fine.  Kenny Wayne Shepherd finally came out and was awesome on the guitar.  I had no idea Kenny could pull off such a Jimi, he played him well.  After several songs out there, Shepherds rendition of “Voodoo Chile” reverberated throughout this little casino in Spokane.

 

Billy Cox came out one more time to help close out the show, which ended with Chicago legend Buddy Guy finally coming out to perform.  At 80 years old, Buddy can (unexpectedly) still hit those notes!  We got a few songs with Buddy, including a lengthy “Red House”, again with Mato Nanji, that was really fun.

 

After three plus hours the show finally ended with multiple group bows on stage and the Spokane crowd on their feet.  This show exceeded my expectations… I finally got to see Dweezil and Keb’ Mo’, it was cool seeing some living legends in Cox, Guy, and Layton, and I got a greater appreciation for Wylde, Shepherd, and Nanji on guitar.

FYI if you are going, next to the primary merch table is a table where Billy Cox does a meet and greet and you can get stuff signed for $20 before, after, and during the show.

Would go again!

Sunday Sauce

Sunday sauce

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 1

I have really mixed feelings about posting this because there’s an unspoken code in my family regarding recipes. Basically, you never tell anyone the whole truth when it comes to cooking because the best meals are improvised and you couldn’t tell it on paper anyway. You have to adjust on the fly, using your senses—your eyes, your nose, your experience, and most importantly your mouth. If it looks and tastes fucked up then it is fucked up. Basically, if you don’t know what good food tastes like, you will be throwing darts when you try and cook. This recipe is for your basic “Sunday sauce”, it takes a whole Sunday afternoon to cook it. I’m a proud Italian-American and if I ate macaroni and meatballs 3 times a week I would die fat and happy, but satisfied. When given the choice I will always eat Italian food before anything else. My good friend Mickey Melchiondo says it the best, “the French talk about food but the Italians know how to eat.” If you’ve ever been to Italy then you know what I’m talkin’ about. Italian/American cooking is it’s own thing, different than the food in Italy, but I’m a bastard and I can only tell you what I grew up with. I come from a large Italian family in New Jersey and they all claim that I make the best macaroni and meatballs and I’m gonna show you how to do it right here. This was taught to me by all my relatives but I’ve added my own tasters along the way; I’ve cooked this meal one hundred times for my family and it’s always what I crave when I’m truly hungry. This is a step by step pictorial guide that I made on 12/16/07 for my wife, son, and parents. I cook for my folks and my sisters once a month and it’s the most rewarding thing in the world. All the little things I mention here are important for a successful meal, the difference between a great dinner and a passable one, so don’t skip the little shit in this tutorial and it will reward you in the end.

 

Macaroni

Pasta is pasta right? WRONG! I like spaghetti and clams. I don’t eat spaghetti with meatballs. I like tortellini Bolognese but I like Rigatoni with Carbonara sauce. Marinara sauce is something that I’ll only eat on mussels. I like fusili with garlic and oil. There’s a reason that pasta comes in so many shapes, and it’s not to accommodate your fork or for your kid to play with. When it comes to the most standard meal (pasta and meatballs) I will only eat macaroni. That’s penne rigate or rigatoni by my definition. If I cook spaghetti it’s usually with shredded chicken or seafood or (my fave of all) white clam sauce. This is about my regular family Sunday meal though, which from heretofore-unce on will be called macaroni with meatballs. Pencil points we call them.

Time
Time is a bitch, it’s really true. You can’t make this meal in less than 4 hours. If you do it enough you will learn how to force it in 3 hours, but no less. If you try and tell lies or rush this then it won’t taste as good. Good food takes time, and it’s not just a cliché. Relax and enjoy the experience, get drunk on wine while you’re cooking—it’s acceptable when you cook this.


Your ingredients
I’m already tired of typing this. You’re gonna fuck this up anyway. You have to go to the supermarket and buy the following:
(this recipe is designed for 7 people so adjust accordingly, freeze the sauce and meatballs you don’t eat for another day)

4 lbs of ground beef/veal/pork (if you’re lucky enough to have a butcher in your hometown have him grind it from cutlets, if not then buy it in the plastic packs)
some pork chops (bone in)
2 lbs. of penne rigate
1 gigantic yellow onion
1 head of garlic
1 fresh batch of basil
1 batch Fresh parsley
An egg
1 long ring of hot Italian sausage
4 slices of bread (I use any kind of white bread)
Milk
pecorino/romano cheese (don’t skip on this one, buy the best cheese you can get and either grate it or spend extra for the good shit already grated)
extra virgin olive oil
dry white wine (I just use holland house cooking wine, available anywhere)
3 big (29 oz.) cans of tomato sauce (depending on what texture you like—I like regular, already pureed sauce for this recipe)
4 bottles of wine.
A loaf of fresh Italian bread, and get some butter too.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 2

Go Time
Alright. You have a big pile of groceries on the counter. It’s 1pm and dinner is at 6. Relax. Pour yourself a glass of red wine and commence drinking. Sharpen your knife, the big one. Dice the big onion into bits. Take 5 cloves of the garlic and dice that too. Chop the basil up, all of it. Put the beef/v/p/ into a big ass bowl and add salt, pepper, a little bit of oregano, ½ cup of the cheese, and one raw egg. Take 4 slices of the white bread and put it into a cereal bowl and fill it with milk. This is key. Bread crumbs are bullshit in meatballs, this is our substitute. This is what will make your meatballs excellent. Sautee ½ of your onion, ½ of your garlic, and one half of the basil in 2 tblsps of oil in a big pan, slowly. I mean really slowly. If you burn the garlic right here then all is lost. Throw the whole meal away and start over. You won’t fool anyone if you burn the garlic. Burnt garlic will be the only thing anyone tastes. Be cautious and go slow and low, medium low heat. When the onions are translucent then it’s ready, it might take 15 minutes but wait it out. When the onion/garlic/basil mix is finished sautéing, then dump it on the bowl of meat. Squeeze out the milk bread and put the wrung-out milk bread into the meat bowl too. Squeeze the milk bread gently so it relinquishes half of the absorbed milk. Go easy. This is what it’ll look like out of focus:

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 3b

Now it’s time to get messy. Grind this shit together through your fingers. Mix and mash it up it up for 5 minutes, kneading it. Make sure that everything is blended together evenly. When it’s all done it will look something like this hopefully:

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 4

Now just wash your hands and set this bowl aside for the moment.

The Sauce (gravy, whatever)
Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large spaghetti pot and sautee the rest of your onions, garlic and basil, again, slow and low. Do not burn the garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the three cans of tomato sauce. For every can that you pour in the pot, go to the sink and fill up half the can with water and dump it in the pot, rinsing out the remaining sauce still in the can. This water is going to cook off over the next 3 hours as you will see. Remember that, 3 cans of tomato sauce, 1 ½ cans of water. Now sprinkle some oregano on the pot of sauce, and add a tablespoon of sugar, stir it a little, and simmer the sauce on medium low heat.

The Meat

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 5

Ok here we go. I like to brown my meatballs before putting them in the sauce, it greatly helps the texture and flavor of the end product, but it’s more time consuming and messy, but totally worth it. Pour an inch of oil in the bottom of your pan and turn the burner to medium high. Get that oil scorching hot. Shape the meatballs in your hand to whatever size you like, I like larger meatballs. Add them to the scorching hot pan, try and not let them touch one another. If the oil is hot they should brown on each side quickly. We are not trying to cook them here, it’s okay if they’re still undercooked in the middle, they will be cooking in the sauce for three hours. When each side is browned, remove the meatballs to some paper towels and add the next batch to your pan. I usually have to do this 4 times, 4 batches of meatballs. When you’re done, add your browned meatballs to the sauce.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 6

Pork chops
I always throw a couple of (bone in) pork chops in my Sunday sauce, they add a ton of flavor and they completely fall apart while cooking in the tomato sauce. Anyway, using the same oil you used for the meatballs, brown your pork chops, remove them from the pan and pat some of the oil off with a paper towel and then add them to the tomato sauce too. After this, cook the sausage and repeat the previous, add the sausage into the sauce.

Sausage
My father loves hot Italian sausage so I usually add a few pieces in there for him too. It too helps the flavor of the sauce.

Deglazing the pan
By now the bottom of your pan is filled with little bits of meatball, pork chop, sausage, onions, etc. put the empty oily pan back onto medium high heat and pour in some wine, enough to cover the bottom and then a little more. Smoke will come billowing out and all of the pieces that were stuck to the bottom will come off. Simmer this for a couple of minutes until the alcohol cooks off, you will be able to smell this. Now pour the brownish wine gravy into your sauce and stir it in.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 7

This is after 2 and a half hours of simmering, the pork chop has completely fallen off the bone and dinner is almost ready.

The hard work is now over. You are going to let your sauce simmer on low heat for the next three hours. Clean up the mess that you’ve created and get ready for the final phase. Over the next three hours your sauce is going to relinquish a lot of fat and oil, like tons of it. There is a lot of debate over this in my family, I personally skim 90 percent of it off. It is a constant job. Some people believe in stirring it back in for flavor. You will see what I mean. Like I said, I leave some and stir it back in, but not a whole lot.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 1

This is what it will look like. Get the table ready and put out the wine and whatever else your guests like. We tend to eat simple, but tasteful meals. I usually put out a bunch of fruit and berries and olives and cheese.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 8

Dinnertime
Cook your pasta until it is al-dente, about 11 or 12 minutes. When it’s finished, drain it in a colander and then transfer it to a big serving plate. A large plate is better than a bowl for this. Grab a fistful of cheese and cover the pasta with it and then toss it a little, this will help the sauce adhere to the pasta. Now start spooning the tomato sauce over the pasta, stirring it in, covering the pasta. Don’t put too much sauce on it yet, let your guests decide how much they want, I just cover it enough to use as a starting point.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 9

I like to put some meat around the outer ring of the serving plate, but take the whole pot of sauce and meat and put that on the table too. Let people decide how much sauce they like and let them hand pick what meatballs, sausage, pork they want. Last but not least, sprinkle the dish with parsley and a little more cheese for presentation. You made it.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 10
This is what it should look like and it’s time to eat and drink! Make sure the cheese is on the table. MANGIA!

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 11A

Mickey’s mom and dad throwing down.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 11

My beautiful girlfriend, Lindsey.

Dean Ween Sunday Sauce 12

 

Boyz II Men 4/8/15 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Boyz II Men 4/8/15 – Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights, WA

Review and pictures from thenaturalstoner

 Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 5

The outskirts of Spokane were host to a real treat tonight, as Boyz II Men threw a big time party at the local casino!  The only other time I have seen the guys from Philly, even if it is only three of them these days, was in May of 2011 and you may happen to remember my review.  If not, here is a quick summary: My girlfriend loves them, the show was a lot better than expected, and I said I would get us tickets early the next time they came around to avoid getting shut out (really!). Well… you could say I was DETERMINED about getting tickets quickly because I got up for a 6am pre-sale and popped front row, dead center tickets to the show!  So how were the Boyz from the best spot in the house? Awesome, of course!

Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 8

Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman and Wanya Morris came out to a boisterous sold out crowd following a ‘greatest hits’ type video montage that was shown on the big screens, similar to the start of their 2011 set.  But the setlist was mixed up from last time, which was what I was hoping for, and it just felt like the guys were in a better mood than four years ago.  Starting with a song I didn’t recognize was fine, most everyone else in the crowd knew it, but the set really got going when “On Bended Knee” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye” opened things up.  The latter being the first acapella jam of the night, and also their one big hit not played at the last show I had seen. It was very cool to get that one ‘off the list’, and acapella taboot.

Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 13

The over 90 minute set was filled with hits spanning the bands 23 year career, plus several covers including a Motown > rock and roll medley that included everything from Marvin Gaye to “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, The Four Tops, “American Woman” (Lenny Kravitz style), and “Come Together” by the Beatles.  Shawn even picked up a guitar and Nathan a bass for the segment.  That was something that was pretty cool and unexpected.  Shawn noted that they had just recently decided try out the instruments and learn how to play, and it actually ended up sounding alright.  The “Teen Spirit” was particularly surprising and got me excited.  Other hits like “Water Runs Dry”, “End of the Road”, “Uhh Ahh”, and the Lonestar cover “Amazed” were all crowd pleasers.

Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 16

While the other Men left the stage, Wanya slowed things down to tell a story about “Amazed”. Apparently Boyz II Men were offered the song but turned it down, even though they thought it had a chance to be a big hit, as they had other things in the works.  Lonestar then got the song, blew it up, and made a bunch of money off it, much to their dismay.  The set was filled with little stories like this, and continued on until the classic “Motownphilly” closed out the night to a huge round of applause and adoration from the Spokane crowd.

Boyz II Men 4-8-15 Spokane, WA 19

Being in the front row of a show can actually make a person feel a little self conscious, but it’s totally worth it when Nathan Morris gives you some knuckles and your girlfriend gets a rose handed to her!  Plus both of us were able to shake all three of the Mens hands, which was pretty neat. Being so close to the stage made this show special, and both my girlfriend and I had a really good time.  Boyz II Men seem to be able to bring it pretty good each time I see them, and I look forward to catching them again the next time they circle through eastern Washington.

 

Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper – 11/22/14 – Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA

Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper – 11/22/14 – Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA

Review, photos and video by thenaturalstoner

 

When I think of all the cities up here in the great Northwest, I honestly feel like Spokane, Washington is the most ‘Mötley Crüe’ kind-of-town of them all, and last night saw the final show of the 2014 leg of the bands ‘Farewell Tour’ finally come to the sold-out Spokane Arena. With Alice Cooper on board to open the festivities, Vince Neil and Co. brought a huge 20 song set full of hits spanning their entire 30+ year career. From opening up with the relatively newer ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ and closing with the great ‘Home Sweet Home’, diehard Crue fans would be very pleased with the song selection, with the notable exception of the absent ‘Without You’ – where was that?!

Alice Cooper Spokane Arena 11-22-14

There was actually a third band that opened the show, who we never got to see or hear because of the terribly lengthy lines of people trying to get in the venue and escape Spokane’s frosty winter temperatures. Once we finally got inside, saw some old friends, and got situated with beverages in hand, we made our way down to our floor seats right as Alice Cooper came out and opened with his classic ‘Hello Hooray’, my favorite Cooper tune (Judy Collins cover, be damned). Alice would continue on with ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy’, ‘Under My Wheels’, and hugely popular sing-along ‘I’m Eighteen’ to start our night.

I saw Alice Cooper a couple years ago, also in Spokane, and absolutely loved it. So I was pumped when this tour was announced and I got another chance to see him play close to home. Alice would make it pay off, continuing his set playing a plethora of big hitters, including ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’, ‘Feed My Frankenstein’, and another favorite of mine, ‘Ballad of Dwight Fry’. After a dozen or so songs, he would close out his opening set with ‘School’s Out > Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 > School’s Out’ with got the Spokane Arena in a pretty decent frenzy. The venue would explode, kind of literally, just a short time later however.

Motley Crue 4 Spokane Arena 11-22-14

Once Mötley Crüe came on the stage, lit fireworks, and threw some fire balls around, everyone that had forgotten them was wishing they had brought their earplugs because this was determined to be a LOUD show. As previously mentioned, 2008’s ‘Saints of Los Angeles’ opened the set before ‘Wild Side’ really got the crowd going. Vince Neil sounded pretty good for these first couple songs, but as the night wore on his vocals became less and less notable. There were no backing tracks for him, as I had heard there might be, but there were a couple background singers helping (along with the numerous crowd sing-alongs) most of the night. Mötley Crüe has a huge stage setup, lots of fire and fireworks, plus Tommy Lee has his gigantic ‘Crüecifly’ drum rollercoaster that looms high above the crowd on the floor, so these dudes know how to put on a big arena rock show. But there were a couple things that didn’t quite ‘seem right’, for a lack of a better term. Vince’s vocals throughout the night were one of those things.

The set continued with plenty of hits and older songs including ‘Same Ol’ Situation’, ‘Dr. Feelgood’ and a raucous ‘Anarchy in the U.K.’ cover, which I personally found a little odd (some people in the crowd didn’t even recognize the song). About two thirds through the set we got to the band member stories and solos, first with Nikki Sixx (from Jerome, Idaho!) telling the tale of how the band originally met in Los Angeles and then Tommy Lee getting his turn with the massive ‘Crüecifly’ system. This rollercoaster type track 50 feet above the crowd is one of the more impressive gadgets I have ever seen at a show. Tommy, and drum set, get to ride above the crowd while spinning upside down, shooting confetti, and drumming wild the whole time. My video doesn’t do the sound much justice, but I think it provides a pretty cool visual of the machine at work. Tommy got to go above and over the crowd to a platform near the back of the floor. He would then drum away as the machine went backwards above the crowd and back to the stage. Once his solo was over, Mick Mars got his turn with a scorching guitar solo of his own, which would lead back to the full band on the stage and blasting their first ever single from its debut Too Fast for Love album, ‘Live Wire’.

A few more songs would finish the set, including ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ and the closing ‘Kickstart My Heart’. The Spokane Arena would give a huge ovation as the band took bows and walked off the stage. “Crüe! Crüe! Crüe!” chants would flow around the Arena as the band would eventually come back and walk through an aisle in the crowd towards Tommys platform in the middle of the floor to play the ‘Home Sweet Home’ encore everyone was hoping to hear. I have always been under the impression Tommy Lee played the piano live for this song, however the piano track started playing before Tommy had even sat down to the keys, which left a strange taste in my mouth. It also made me wonder what other parts of the show may not have been played live. Regardless, the fans loved the finale and the Crüe sent everyone home with big smiles on their faces and their ears ringing. I thought the set was pretty fun and I got to see several long lost friends which is always great, but I am not sure where this show lands on my “Top 10 Sets of the Year” list I am compiling. But I am totally glad I went and the band put on a huge stage production with lots of fun songs I have never seen live before.

 

KUBE 93 Summer Jam 2014 – June 6-7, 2014, The Gorge Amphitheatre. Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, and more….

KUBE 93 Summer Jam 2014

Review, photos and videos by thenaturalstoner

I appreciate what Seattle’s KUBE 93 radio tried to do at the Gorge Amphitheatre this past weekend, however I am not quite sure this years Summer Jam worked out to its full potential. Moving the annual event to a two day format seemed to make some initial sense, you could book some old school rappers to fill out a classic Friday night and then bring out young guns for day two and (in theory) sell a bunch of weekend passes. What actually happened was another story. Most fans fell into two camps: Those who were there for Friday nights old school throw down, or the college kids coming Saturday to see Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean and others (Rick Ross, B.o.B and Chris Brown too, although they weren’t able to make it for various reasons). Not very many people actually stayed for both nights, which resulted in two days of half full crowds at the Gorge. While this was convenient when wanting to use a clean port-a-potty or get a $13 beer, as there were no lines and minimal waste to contend with, this was easily the emptiest I have ever seen the Gorge or its campground(s) and energy was lacking at times. The wide-open heat was something to contend with as well.

Gorge Entrance

What went down on stage WAS mostly good, so I am very happy to have gone and would definitely go back. But this event was not the “jam packed raging” Gorge Amphitheatre we all know and love. That said, there were certainly many highlights from the two days. Here is my ranking of what I saw, from best to worst.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – The clear winners of the weekend for those of us there for Summer Jam ‘Classic’. Right from the start the fellas from Cleveland owned the stage with massive energy and blazing rhymes. I honestly did not expect to like this set nearly as much as I did, but it was super. I would rank this in the top three hip hop shows that I have seen, and would go see them again any time. From all their hits, including catching my favorite of theirs on video (Thuggish Ruggish Bone), to an awesome tribute to Eazy-E, Biggie Smalls and Tupac, to some extremely energetic a cappella rap, this set was everything I want hip hop shows to be. Bravo Bone Thugs, you win!

Ice Cube – Another great set from Friday, was Mr. Cube. I was hoping to get angry Ice Cube instead of soft Ice Cube, so when Natural Born Killaz opened the show I felt much better about how things would go down. Ice Cube threw it down for around an hour playing mostly the old hits, including the N.W.A. I wanted to hear most. Ice Cube specifically called out those who think he has gone too commercial with a furious Check Yo’ Self, gave me Straight Outta Compton into Gangsta Gangsta, and rapped other jams like You Can Do It and Gangsta Nation. Of course he also snuck in It Was a Good Day before saying goodnight and sending us back to camp.

Kid Ink – Probably my biggest surprise of the weekend was how good Kid Inks set was. I only know a couple songs of his, but Kid Ink brought serious energy and had the crowd pumped. His set was my favorite from day two, it’s just too bad it was so early in the show (he was the second act on the main stage). Maybe next time he can move up the billing a slot or two, because it was that good. Show Me and Main Chick were two that specifically stood out. Oh and the ladies in the crowd really liked it when he took his shirt off.

Kendrick Lamar – A late addition to Summer Jam, as Chris Brown had to cancel due to legal problems, Kendrick had the younger Saturday crowd super pumped and myself entertained. Headlining night two, Lamar came out and dominated the audience for just short of an hour. I know a few of his songs, and he sang them all, so I cannot complain! Poetic Justice, Money Trees and Swimming Pools were solid. The highlight of the set for me his solo take on the A$AP Rocky collaboration Fuckin Problems. Lots of sing-alongs happened between Kendrick and the audience, who were able to hold their own with one of raps biggest stars.

Gorge Sunset

E-40 – I wasn’t expecting too much out of this set from the Bay Area legend, as I was never a fan, but it was actually really good! Probably the nicest surprise on day one in my eyes. U and Dat and Tell Me When to Go stand out. Also of note was the only collaboration (really Summer Jam, only one?!?!) of the weekend when E-40 brought out Too $hort to close his set.

Too $hort – I saw a pretty disappointing Too $hort set a couple years back (Thanks Todd!), so I didn’t have too high of expectations for this one. But it was actually pretty good too! Better than the show I saw in Pullman, Washington for sure. Once this set came and went I knew the weekend had started and I could relax and enjoy the surroundings. I was all over the place during this set, up top on the grass and down low amongst the die hards, and left pleasantly surprised with this 45 minutes of music. Life is…

Too Short Summer Jam From the Pit

DJ Quik – DJ Quik opened up the weekend as the first artist on the main stage and did a good job getting the crowd into things. Considering I don’t know much of his material, I was pleased with this as the first music I heard. Sitting up on that big Gorge lawn, looking out past the river, I found DJ Quik entertaining and pretty interactive with those up front. However, he did also lie to us and tell us his nephew, Chris Brown, was going to show up the second night, which was weak sauce. This was a good set but he pissed my girlfriend off with the Breezy comment, so I got to mark him down a peg or two.

Big K.R.I.T. – I don’t know any of his stuff at all, but this set was decent. Probably the last of the good sets, in my opinion. Opening the main stage on night two, this set was pure southern rap and a good way to get things started. I would see him again if he came close.

Sir Mix-a-Lot – B.o.B was originally on the Summer Jam lineup for Saturday, but had to be replaced due to a funeral. To save the day came Sir Mix A Lot, however KUBE 93 should have done the right thing and put him on the day one Classic lineup. Instead they left Mix on day two and the younger crowd just really wasn’t into it. Most of them had barely even heard of Baby Got Back for Christ’s sakes, so this was just wrong set placement. I saw him once before and it was way better than this. I wanted Testarossa but didn’t get it, so a little bitter about that too. Posse on Broadway, My Hooptie and of course Baby Got Back were the highlights.

Day Two Summer Jam

Big Sean – After Rick Ross had to cancel due to illness Big Sean got bumped up to the subheadliner slot for night two. This move probably worked for the young kids up front who knew all the words, but honestly didn’t do very much for me and I found the set rather unremarkable. I probably should have went to look and see if there were any rappers still going on the side stages up by the Gorge entrance during this time.

 

Too Short from up top

All in all a pretty good time out at the Gorge this weekend. We got treated to a few really good sets, one great set and a couple under par.  It was also really cool on night two when the hosts brought out several Super Bowl winning Seattle Seahawks to the stage, including Pro Bowl Safety Kam Chancellor who got the crowd going with multiple SEA-HAWKS chants! I will take that combination pretty much every time, crowd size and heat be damned!

Snoop Dogg – 4/26/14 Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA

Snoop Dogg – 4/26/14 Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA

Review by Mouph Breaver and thenaturalstoner

Videos by thenaturalstoner

Photos by Phishbeard, thenaturalstoner, Mouph Breaver, Mr. Sparkly

 

Snoop Dogg

The one and only Snoop D-O-double-G made an appearance very close to home last night. Beasley Coliseum on the campus of Washington State University in Pullman, Washington was the place. The venue was set up to house sixty-five hundred people and I would say that, sadly, it was only about two thirds full by the time old Snoop took the stage at some point around a quarter to ten. The floor (which required a special students only floor ticket which was not sold online) looked particularly sparse, while the arenas lower bowl was full. We took our group of seven up top to Beasleys upper bowl for maximum comfort, as it was barely occupied.

Young rapper Astro kicked off the show and tried his damndest to get the crowd good and pumped, but almost all of us were there for one thing and one thing only. It was a bit of a shame and I felt bad for the little guy and his “backup rapper” that looked a ton like Tyler, the Creator. They put on a good performance that was high energy despite the lackluster crowd participation. I will say that shouting “make some motherfucking noooooooise” after every song is not the best way to get a crowd the appreciate you. It comes off as a bit desperate. Either way, I dug the beats and some of his hooks were catchy enough.

Snoop and DJ Daz made us wait about forty-five minutes before taking the stage and giving us a sixty minute set. Snoop came out in a WSU Cougars sweatshirt and just started spitting rhymes. This surprised me a bit. I expected some early stage banter. The set included plenty of hits, both classic and current and the Beasley got to waving their arms and singing and rapping along throughout all of Mr. Doggy Dogg’s set. Snoop looked great and gave some good advice at the end of the show. I may be paraphrasing, but I believe what he said was “Smoke motherfucking weeeeeeeeeed!”

Beasley Coliseum doesn’t bring an artist of Snoops caliber around very often, so we were excited to get a nice sized group of friends to head up to the Palouse and enjoy the tunes. Highlights of the set included The Next Episode > Nothin’ But a G Thang, Drop it Like It’s Hot and of course the legendary Gin and Juice. The only negative part of the night was an oddly placed I Love Rock and Roll cover (which wasn’t technically a cover but actually just a song that got played over the PA while Snoop traded the traditional “Westside” W for the heavy metal devil horns) that really made no sense amidst all of the other covers played, which included Jump Around, Gangsta Party, and Hypnotize. Snoop said he appreciated the WSU students voting to bring him out to Pullman and would come back any time they asked, which was a fitting way to lead into the last song of the night, Young Wild and Free. An appropriate end to the evening, since almost all in the crowd were 18-22 year old students. Not all hip hop acts can pull it off live, but Snoop sounded nice and loud inside the big arena and we would all definitely make it a point to go back again for sure.

Shovels and Rope – 4/19/14 – The Bartlett, Spokane, WA

Shovels and Rope with Parker Millsap 4/19/14 – The Bartlett, Spokane, WA

Review, photos and video by thenaturalstoner

 

Shovels and Rope brought their fantastic husband and wife band to one of Spokane, Washingtons newest music venues tonight and had the sold-out crowd dancing and jumping and hootin’ and hoolerin’ along for a solid 90 minute release of folk-country-rock energy.  We got to The Bartlett around 7:30pm for the 8 o’clock show and opening act Parker Millsap and bandmates Michael Rose and Daniel Foulks came out to start the night soon after. Millsap is a young man from Oklahoma that has a fantastically weathered voice and stage presence that helps keep the audience easily captivated.  My group was able to get a spot nice and close to the stage without feeling too cramped and Parkers set was longer than I expected it to be, getting about 9 or 10 songs in before exiting behind the stage.  His soul, folk and blues songs kept me entertained and really had the other people in the room focused in as well.

Shovels and Rope 8

Around 9:30 Shovels and Rope (married couple Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst) came out and the sold-out 150 person venue erupted as loud as they could.  The audience packed in much tighter for this set, and the ballroom definitely felt a bit smaller than it had during the opener.  For the most part the crowd was on their best behavior and full of fun energy tonight.  The Bartlett is a pretty nice little place, and should be applauded for their decent selection of beers readily available at two different spots in the building.

Shovels and Rope is a band that I have been wanting to see live since first hearing about them on the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup a couple years back (on a year that I could not attend) and seeing them perform on the David Letterman show.  Since missing that Memorial Day weekend in George I have waited for an opportunity to see this duo perform, and they did not disappoint tonight in Spokane.  The hour and a half set mixed in songs from both of their prior albums, Shovels and Rope and O’ Be Joyful, plus some new material from an album they are currently working on.

I heard people in the crowd saying they traveled from as far away as Edmonton (over 600 miles) for this show, and everyone seemed to have a great time on that crowded dance floor.  Musical highlights of the set included Hail Hail, Keeper, Boxcar and version of Birmingham that was slowed down and different than any version I have heard, which closed out the set.  I thought all of the new songs sounded great as well.  The band would leave to a huge roar, and came back for an encore that included a cover of Bruce Springsteens Nebraska track Johnny 99.  Trent and Hearst traded instruments many times throughout the night and watching them bounce riffs off of each other and gaze into each others eyes while performing is a pretty neat thing.

If you like Americana music do not miss the chance to catch a Shovels and Rope set.  And if you have an opportunity to see Parker Millsap and his band, they are worth checking out too!

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry Miller 4/12/14 – Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry Miller 4/12/14 – Beasley Coliseum, Pullman, WA

Review, videos, and photos by thenaturalstoner

 

While Mom’s Weekend on the Washington State University campus is packed full of events every year, us “locals” typically hunker down and stay inside to avoid the massive influx of people and drunken carnage that comes along with the moms.  I have always heard that more booze, condoms, and morning after pills are purchased this weekend than any other in Pullman, Washington, and I believe that.  While this might sound like a lot of fun to some, the long lines EVERYWHERE, annoying attitudes and general lack of oxygen make most of us typically just “stay home” and count the hours until Sunday nights mass exodus.  However this year WSU decided to pay a little more money and bring in a bigger headline act than usual, Jerry Seinfeld, so I thought I would throw them a bone and go support the show and a comedian I have enjoyed most of my life.  Larry Miller getting added later as the opening act was a nice surprise as well.  I hope you find that this “Comedy Confession” fits in with the overall spirit of this website.

Jerry Seinfeld 4

For being in a remote location in Eastern Washington, Beasley Coliseum is a pretty large venue.  The over 10,000 seat arena is primarily occupied by the WSU Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams and other random performing arts events, but rarely does the facility open the entire place up to full capacity for concerts or comedy acts.  Two weeks from now Snoop Dogg will play the 6,000 seat configuration, for reference.  This show however was ‘in the round’ and had most sections of the arena open and sold near full capacity.  For the ‘higher than normal’ ticket price for Pullman events ($75), I was impressed by the size of the crowd that showed up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8d8qMIKwGI

I have always liked Larry Miller, my favorite role of his being University Dean Phillip Elias in ‘Necessary Roughness’ of course, so him getting added to the show after we had already purchased our tickets was a nice bonus.  It feels like interesting additions to shows rarely happen around these parts, so I got pretty excited when he got announced instead of some local small level comedy troupe.  Larry came on about 10 minutes after the advertised 7:30 show time.  Unfortunately he only got between fifteen and twenty minutes to warm up the crowd.  He did a pretty good job, except I thought it ended way too soon.  He made a run of jokes about eHarmony and compatibility (or lack thereof) with his wife, too many kids getting trophies these days in youth sports, the joys being in the car with his spouse and “backseat driving”, and then ended with a big series of jokes about growing old.  This last bit was several minutes long and described being young and eager to get older, and then going through the decades turning forty, fifty, sixty, and so on all the way to 100+ that finished with almost everyone cheering along.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_If6gBbN4I

After a very brief 5 or so minute intermission, the lights again dimmed and Jerry freaking! Seinfeld came out to a loud roar from the audience.  Having been a HUGE fan of his tv show, I was pretty happy to see him booked for this weekend.  The largely female crowd seemed to be laughing at most all of the material as he ran through topic after topic.  I thought maybe Jerry would go for some mom jokes due to the crowd makeup but neither he nor Larry “went there”.  I imagine these guys probably stick to the script pretty hard while out on tour.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SgNn796EEQ

Jerry immediately did a few Pullman jokes, including recalling how many times in his life that he has wished to come to our little town to do a gig (“Never”).  I think his set and the crowds reactions both got better as the show went along, as he eventually blitzed through an hour of non-stop humor.  Jerry talked about many things, including raising his three kids, eating at fancy restaurants, and mentioning how everyone is hooked to their telephones and todays modern technology.  He went on to make fun of the little white family stickers people put on the back of cars, the oddness of five hour energy drinks and other funny topics, but it was his segment of the set where he talked about prescription drugs, erectile dysfunction pills in particular, that won over the crowd the most.

Having not been too familiar with Jerrys stand up work, mainly not much other than a few late night TV spots, I was very impressed with how this event went and his command of the stage (having really nice seats helped, of course).  The nights success even made braving going out “on the town” during one of the busiest weekends of the year in Pullman worth it.  I would say it was worth it by a mile.

Jerry Seinfeld 5

Thanks for coming to Pullman Jerry!  Beasley Coliseum, please continue to bring in name acts like this, thank you!

 

Tool – 3/4/2014 Spokane Arena – Spokane, Washington

Tool – 3/4/2014 Spokane Arena – Spokane, Washington

Video and Words by thenaturalstoner, Photos by thenaturalstoner and Mouph Breaver

 

Full Concert Confessions Disclosure Intro: I am a Tool noob.  Not the biggest noob of all time mind you, but one nonetheless.  I know and enjoy most of the popular songs, but have not taken the time in my past to delve deep into their catalog.  This is a self-admitted mistake and something I hope to rectify down the line.  Regardless of my naivety, I had fairly high expectations going into this show.  Expectations that were met in pretty much all ways… other than show duration.  I do look forward to the day I can consider myself a Tool veteran, if tonight is any indicator.

Tool Spokane

Tool is another in a (too long of) line of great “1990’s bands” that I have wanted to see but never got the opportunity, for one reason or another.  I have been getting many of these types of bands off my bucket list the last few years, Soundgarden, Rancid, Mudhoney, etc.  But Tool was one that hadn’t really crossed my mind as a possibility for some reason.  Needless to say, once I saw that Tool had announced some random new tour dates with the first show being in Spokane, an hour from home, I had to go.  It’s not very often that a band of this stature hits Eastern Washington, much less as a tour opener.

Being most familiar with Undertow and Ænima, I was hoping to hear a bunch of Tools older songs that I knew plus some other gems that I might not have known much about.  To that end, the band did not disappoint.  We got two “sets”, although they were pretty darn short.  I am not sure the point of the twelve minute intermission 6 songs into the show, but who am I to complain?

Tool Spokane 2

From Lateralus to Forty-Six & 2 to Ænima, this show was a heck of a good time for me.  I dug the songs I knew, enjoyed the songs I didn’t, had some personal intense moments with the bands visual display, and basically had a really good time tonight in Spokane.

Eugene, Oregon act YOB opened the night, and their set of heavy metal riffs and screaming vocals got the Arena primed for the impressive show that followed.  But it was the group from Los Angeles that had the large sold out crowd in the palms of their hands.  I just wish we were in their hands a wee bit longer.

Opening with Hooker With a Penis had the crowd, and me specifically, pumped and ready for more.  Maynard and Co. (mostly the Co. as Maynard hangs in the back) owned this stage from start to finish.  The 80 to 90 minute show had several highlights, from the before mentioned Lateralus to personal favorite Pushit.  Ænima had some of the more cool lighting effects I have seen, and Stinkfist was a great way to finish the set (sorry about my finger blocking a corner of the screen at the start of the YouTube video, ugh). Maynard had a tree air freshener hanging off his microphone stand and before Ænima said “A friend of mine gave this to me, it’s new car scent, because some of y’all motherfuckers smell like shit, no offense.” The no encore was an expected bummer, but a bummer nonetheless.

 

 

I pondered and learned quite a bit this evening, mostly along the themes of “Why didn’t I ever dig a little deeper into this band when I was younger?”  But you can’t dwell on past mistakes, you can only hope to improve from them.  Tonight I finally got to confirm that Tool is a super live band, having just witnessed a pretty good throw down in Spokane, Washington with my own two eyes.

 

Setlist:

Hooker With a Penis
Vicarious
Schism (with Jam intro)
Pushit
Intension
Lateralus

Intermission (with 12 minute countdown in video screen)

B’Boom (King Crimson cover)
Jambi
Forty-Six & 2
Ænima
Stinkfist

 

Nine Inch Nails 11/19/13 Spokane Arena, Spokane, WA – With Explosions in the Sky

Nine Inch Nails with Explosions in the Sky 11/19/13 – Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington

Review by thenaturalstoner

Pictures by thenaturalstoner and Mouph Breaver

Nine Inch Nails 14

For a Tuesday night at the start of winter in Spokane, Washington, tonight ended up being about as good as it can get.  A smaller than expected “sold-out” crowd (much smaller, maybe 2,500 to 3,000 people) made their way to the Spokane Arena through decent weather to see two really great bands play 3 hours of music.

Starting promptly at 7:30, Explosions in the Sky came out and did their thing to perfection.  The ups and downs of their guitar jams really get me excited, and tonight they were on point.  Keeping the fans interested from beginning to end, the guys from Austin played an almost hour set that lived up to my expectations.  I had seen them once before at the Gorge, and was hoping they could repeat that prior energy tonight.  From the floor of the Spokane Arena there was no doubt that they were up to the task.

Explosions in the Sky 3

After a pretty standard set break, Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails came out at just before 9pm and started the night off with ‘Copy of A’ off their latest album Hesitation Marks.  Good enough for me, and the 2,500 others here tonight.  The Slip’s ‘1,000,000’ followed, and then they brought out some old stuff.  ‘Terrible Lie’, ‘March of the Pigs’ and ‘Piggy’ were next and everyone was relishing the moment.  Nine Inch Nails was rocking our faces off, quite well.

Nine Inch Nails 13

The band wound up kicking our collective asses for two full hours, with a set culminating in the amazing fan favorites ‘Wish’, ‘The Hand that Feeds’ and ‘Head Like a Hole’.

Nine Inch Nails 16

Closing the night with a big five song encore was a perfect ending, no ‘Closer’ be damned.  Sending Spokane home with a beautiful rendition of ‘Hurt’ that began with an eerily quiet Spokane Arena and closed with intense feedback blasting through the speakers as the band exited the stage was quite a sight.  I am so happy everything worked out and we were able to experience this awesome show tonight.  Will definitely go back to see Trent and Co. again.  Go Cougs!

 

 

Sasquatch! Festival 2013 Lineup Announced

SASQUATCH_2013_blue

 

The Sasquatch! Festival 2013 lineup has just been announced at the official Announcement Party at the Neptune Theatre in Seattle. The four night party over Memorial Day Weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre always promises to be a good time and this year looks to be no exception.

Cody ChesnuTT came out to start the night, the first artist confirmation of the Festival. After his short set came “surprise guests” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, who confirmed their own Gorge set for May after performing Thrift Shop, Same Love and Can’t Hold Us.

BCUP3cMCIAAgW8o.jpg large

(Macklemore live at the Neptune Theatre lineup drop)

After those the official lineup video was played for those in attendance (and those streaming online), the full lineup came to fruition:

Mumford & Sons
The Postal Service
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Sigur Rós
Vampire Weekend
The xx
The Lumineers
Arctic Monkeys
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Cake
Primus 3D
Empire of the Sun
Imagine Dragons
Bloc Party
Andrew Bird
Grimes
Dropkick Murphys
Built To Spill
Alt-J
Steve Aoki
Wake Owl
Disclosure
Toro Y Moi
ODESZA
Kingdom Crumbs
Theoretics
Nissim
Nancy & Beth
Youth Lagoon
Baauer
Lusine
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti
Beachwood Sparks
Menomena
The Barr Brothers
Brown Bird
Luke Sital-Singh
Brett Gelman
Jenny Slate
James Adomian
The Presets
Azari & III
Bombino
Brothers From Another
Divine Fits
ZZ Ward
Four Color Zack
Nacho Picasso
ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul
Mike Birbiglia
Let’s Talk
OC Notes: “Golden Gods”
Danny Brown
Brody Stevens
Jon Daly
Hundred Waters
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Reignwolf
Holy Ghost!
JJ Grey & Mofro
Knowmads
Kyle Kinane
Laidback Luke
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Joe Mande
Nick Offerman
Rose Windows
RA Scion
Devendra Banhart
Sean Nelson
John Talabot
Red Fang
Peace
Willy Moon
Youngblood Hawke
Ryan Bingham
Azealia Banks
Telekinesis
Yppah
Indians
Atlas Genius
Japandroids
El-P
Matthew Dear
CHVRCHES
Robert Delong
Earl Sweatshirt
Killer Mike
Shovels & Rope
Radical Face
Shad
Wild Belle
P.O.S
Michael Kiwanuka
Deep Sea Diver
Death Grips
Twin Shadow
Torche
Dirty Projectors
Tame Impala
Solange
Surfer Blood
Suuns
The Tallest Man On Earth
DIIV
Caveman
Baths
Fang Island
Akron/Family
Father John Misty
Porcelain Raft
Shout Out Louds
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Elliott BROOD
Jherek Bischoff
Sea Wolf
Capital Cities

thenaturalstoner’s Top 10 Shows of 2012

thenaturalstoners Top 10 Shows of 2012

By thenaturalstoner

 

Hello again dear readers, how are ya?!?  2012 was a pretty interesting year for me… saw lots of great shows, my dogs turned 5 (fucking 5!!) years old, and my house flooded while I was in Canada, displacing me from my home for over a month.  All of these experiences are what life is all about though, and this list below details some of these adventures in my top 10 musical sets of the year.  Besides WSU Football, live music is the best entertainment in the world, and I saw some pretty epic shit this year:

 

10. Warren G – 8/31/2012 – John’s Alley, Moscow, Idaho.

He may be a little older than he was in the summer of 1994, but make no mistake, The G Child can still put on a solid show!  It’s not every day that we get hip hop icons to perform concerts up here in Idaho, but we were blessed this past August with one of the Kings.  ‘This DJ’ to start and end the show, all of his hits and a medley of rap classics from others had the dance floor bouncing all night long!

9. Alabama Shakes – 5/26/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

On this Saturday, I had one of my only schedule conflicts of the entire Sasquatch Festival: Alabama Shakes vs The Civil Wars vs Portlandia in the afternoon.  Thank God I picked the Alabama Shakes set!  Brittany Howard is awesome and the Bigfoot Stage was packed full of fans that were loving the young bands soulful sounds.  This was one of the best sets I saw all weekend and I hope the Shakes blow up in 2013.

8. Starfucker – 10/22/2012 – The Belltower, Pullman, Washington.

Starfucker is my favorite electronic pop band, and this show was only a few blocks from my house!  My first Starfucker show was at this same venue, and The Belltower should be given credit as their audio improvements between the shows were drastic.  This show sounded great, had a great vibe, and I danced my ass off!

7. Silversun Pickups Acoustic Set – 5/28/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

I somehow randomly ended up in a Kokanee contest area at this years Fest, drunk on rum we snuck in that morning, then spun some big spin wheel and ended up landing on the rare “Kokanee Acoustic Tent Tickets” piece!  There is this small (200 people or so fit in there) tent setup in an out of the way area and acoustic sets happen each day at Sasquatch.  I was lucky enough to get a pair on the last day of the Festival and see the Silversun Pickups up close.  Nikki Monninger was totally checking me out the whole set and the bands jams were awesome.  I very much enjoyed this over their plugged in electric set on the Main Stage later that night.

6. Gary Clark Jr. – 5/28/2012 – Sasquatch Festival, The Gorge.

Gary Clark Jr. is the MAN and he ripped The Gorge a new one this day.  My favorite set of the entire Sasquatch Festival and it was a thrill to see him play guitar in person.  I hope we can get a repeat appearance soon… like 2013 soon!

5. The Darkness/Foxy Shazam – 2/25/2012 – The Neptune, Seattle, Washington.

My introduction to The Church of Rock and Roll capped off an epic weekend in Seattle (see show #4 below).  Foxy came out and blasted us with a great set, and then the Darkness followed with over two hours of their own!  A nice long show with two great rock bands.

4. Sleigh Bells – 2/24/2012 – The Showbox (at the Market), Seattle, Washington.

Sleigh Bells nailed us with a LOUD, thrashing show on this Friday night in the big city.  We were able to get inside the venue and close enough (super close) to really enjoy this experience in a proper fashion.  After the show the band called it one of the three best shows they have ever played.  After missing most of their set a year prior at the 2011 Sasquatch Fest, it was great to finally see them do their own show.  I think my ears are still ringing.

Sleigh Bells Seattle

3. Snoop Dogg – 7/20/2012 – The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC, Canada

I feel like these top three shows of 2012 are on a separate level from the others…. these three were A+, some of the best shows in a long time, type of gigs.  Snoop Dogg in Vancouver, BC was just what I needed at this random point in my life.  I was up in Canada for the week at this half work/half vacation thing, when I got a call from my landlord that my house had flooded and everything was a disaster.  Of course, this made the Canada trip an immediate bummer, and I needed some sort of positivity boost for the rest of the time we were up there.

On our last night in Canada we were treated to an hour of the D O Double G that brought a great feeling of happiness and life back into my depressed body.  Playing a mix of hits new and old, this show was off the charts.  Probably my favorite hip hop concert I have seen.

The venue was easily the smokiest venue I have ever been in (and I have been to Ween, Phish, Grateful Dead members, etc.), which made the 2 hour wait for Snoop to come out fairly tolerable.   Loved his hour long set and him encoring with ‘Young and Wild and Free’ with tons of blunts being smoked on stage seemed like a fitting end to this interesting trip across the border.

2. Alice Cooper – 11/17/2012 – The Northern Quest Casino, Airway Heights (Spokane), Washington.

I don’t know if I can accurately describe in words how great this show was.  Alice Cooper has still got “it” and he dominated the stage for almost two hours on this Saturday in Spokane.

You know that feeling that happens, honestly only a handful of times in your life, where you go to a show and you really only want one song to be on the setlist.  Like, this song MATTERS, and you just want to see it played live once before it’s too late. But then you look up recent setlists and notice that the song has been shelved for quite some time.  Well, my Alice Cooper song is ‘Hello, Hooray’ and he hadn’t been playing it at all that I had seen.  It’s the only song I felt I HAD to see live and he isn’t playing it.  But, oh man, “WHAT IF”??? I probably said “What if” a hundred times leading up to this show.

Then the lights in the venue drop, the intro guitar jam happens and then the curtain falls exposing the band and gear.  POW! ‘HELLO, FUCKING HOORAY’ to open the damn show!  Are you kidding me?!?!?!?!?!?  It’s these moments of pure joy that are the reason I go to concerts and have complete faith in music.  Besides winning the Apple Cup (zinger!) there are no greater sources of entertainment and elation than moments like this.

Oh yeah, and the rest of the show was great as well.  REALLY great. Soooo glad I got to see this show.  It is probably the best non Phish or Pearl Jam related show I have seen in several years, no joke.

1. Pearl Jam – 9/30/2012 – Adams Center, Missoula, Montana.

A show so great it launched an “Instant Classic” download franchise, Pearl Jam dominated their only full United States show (non-festival set) of 2012 in beautiful Missoula, Montana.  A benefit for recently re-elected Senator Jon Tester, this two and a half hour set was scorching from top to bottom… well, except for the mini acoustic set which was much more relaxed.

Due to the demand for tickets, most every fan in that building had traveled some distance and really WANTED to be there, which led to an amazing environment. “This is the coziest place we have played in quite awhile”, in reference to the small basketball gym the show was in, and “This is the best U.S. crowd we have had in a very long time” just really brought this show to another level.  And it was true, the atmosphere was thick in there.  Some people couldn’t quite handle themselves, getting too drunk and passing out in the hallway, or the guy about 6 people down from us who puked on the 4 people in front of him pre-show, this was a special night of mixed energy in Big Sky country.

A home state show for bassist, Jeff Ament, this show had everything.  Even if Eddie Vedder was a little under the weather he didn’t show it as he was all over the place.  Not as much as Mike McCready though, that man is a monster, bouncing all over the room while shredding guitar in his Team Gleason shirt.  Mudhoney opened the show and they came out for a sweet ‘Kick Out the Jams’ with PJ, but my personal highlight was the ‘Fortunate Son’ Creedence cover late in the set.  Ending the show with no ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ was a nice change, my first show out of six where I didn’t get that song in the setlist. A fantastic night all around.

Oh and to the annoying guy from Cleveland that I met at The Rhino bar, who did NOT appreciate my “LEBRON” t-shirt:  You are still from Cleveland and ‘The King got his Ring’.

 Pearl Jam Missoula

 

Just missed the cut: Beck Sasquatch, Fruition/Danny Barnes Moscow, ID, Jack White Sasquatch, Foxy Shazam Portland, OR, John C. Reilly Sasquatch, Starfucker Sasquatch.

 

Moment of my year: ‘Hello, Hooray” from Spokane.  I think you can get a feel for the joy I was feeling by hearing how pumped I get in the video clip:

Warren G – 8/31/12 John’s Alley, Moscow, Idaho

Warren G, 8/31/12, John’s Alley, Moscow, ID

Review and video from thenaturalstoner

John’s Alley in Moscow, Idaho is known in most circles as the best venue to catch music in the Palouse region, however I wouldn’t exactly call hip-hop it’s main draw genre.  So when Warren G got booked for last night, it was a “Must see” event for us rap music fans in the area.  Having grown up and old with The G Child, this was a bucket list concert that was a pleasure to cross off the list, and it did not disappoint.

Warren G came out around 11pm after a couple of less than memorable warm-up acts (including one rapper that was a dead ringer for our own Jay Porks), and opened up the show with This DJ, one of my personal favorite Warren G tracks.  This got the crowd worked up pretty good, and would soon be followed up with Do You See, another hit from his monster 1994 debut album Regulate… G Funk Era.  The small venue eventually filled in and everyone was having a great time dancing and drinking up a storm.

Lookin’ At You kept the party vibe going strong and everyone was having a blast.  A couple new Warren G tracks were played back to back, and while unfamiliar, they sounded really good. Party We Will Throw Now was particularly enjoyable.

An awesome medley of hits, some his and some others would soon follow, and everyone loves a good medley (especially when you throw in hits like The Next Episode, a personal favorite from Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, and Let’s Get High, another Dre staple).

The show would close in predictable style with the all-time classic Regulate wrapping up the set, followed by a short This DJ Reprise to take us all home.  Everyone in attendance, all 250 or so of us, seemed to have an amazing time and got their moneys worth.  Thank you John’s Alley for bringing in some legendary hip-hop for us fans up here in Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho.  Kudos!  Let’s do it again!

(You can see some of the live Ustream highlights posted from Concert Confessions regular The Mr. Sparkly here)

Snoop Dogg – The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC, Canada 7/20/12

Snoop Dogg, 7/20/12 – The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver BC, Canada

Review, picture and video by thenaturalstoner

Let me tell you what… I’ve been on an extended vacation the last week and a half, and its had its large share of ups and downs along the way, but one big freaking up was Snoop Dogg in Vancouver, BC at the beautiful Commodore Ballroom tonight!  Having this vacation in a foreign land interrupted by phonecalls from the landlord saying my water pipes have busted at home, and all the walls downstairs at my place needing replaced and I cannot stay at home for at least a week, I needed something great to end my trip (sadly I have to skip on the Capitol Hill Block Party tomorrow, and miss one of my favorites in Major Lazer, to get home and take care of business).  Snoop provided that something I was in huge need of in spades.

Being billed as Snoop Dogg and friends we entered the badass Commodore Ballroom to a DJ mixing all the classic rap hits you could ever want.  Ice Cube, NWA, Biggie Smalls, Tupac and more all set the stage for what would be a short, but awesome set to pull me out of the dumps.  Snoop came out more than two hours after the doors opened, but the preshow vibe was so good no one really cared at all.  Great vibes all amongst the crowd had everything A-OK.

Snoop opened with a couple newer tracks before busting into a huge Jump Around cover (the Commodore Ballroom has a sprung dance floor, somewhat similar to the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, and this place had it springing!) followed by Drop it Like It’s Hot and then Whats My Name? got it going good!  A huge stretch there midset.  A couple newer tracks like Sexual Eruption and California Girls (Katy Perry what up!) mixed in with hits like Gin and Juice (which I had two of at the bar) and Nuthin But A G Thang had the room grooving all night long. 

I have been to hundreds of shows over my life and it is no exaggeration at all to say that this venue was the smokiest room I have ever been in.  This easily beat out my Phish, Ween and all other shows as smokiest of all.  Vancouver BC is a very friendly place and seemingly the perfect setting for this show (even Snoop “had a good time” onstage himself a few times, if you know what I mean).  Glad I made this trip!!!

Closing out the gig with an extremely appropriate Young, Wild and Free was a great way to send us home and on our way.  In the morning I will come back into the States and head home to Pullman to see what kind of water damage awaits at mi casa.  The Mr. Sparkly and CC friend Nick O deserve major props for keeping thenaturalstoner sane (and out of jail) this week.  Major love to them.

Snoop did not dissapoint even though we only got a roughly one hour set.  I would love to see him again and definitely feel I need to see more shows in Vancouver, and at the Commodore Ballroom, in the future.  Kudos Canada, eh!

The Avett Brothers Rocking Out on Conan 06/21/12

The Avett Brothers on Conan 6/21/12

Hey mofos, while we are all celebrating the Miami Heats triumphant NBA Finals Victory tonight the world famous Avett Brothers were hitting the sauce extra hard with a Lebron James sized rager in their pants on cable tv’s Conan show.  They came out and slammed everyone in the face with a Conan-erific version of Murder in the City wowzering all in attendance.  Concert Confessions favorite Phishbeard really likes these dudes (as does DarbySTL), so strap on a seat belt  and check out the jam BEFORE it even airs for all of us on the West Coast (lots of time to drink more boooooze and enjoy this wonderful day in NBA history before watching the show).

Video Below Courtesy of The Audio Perv

Fitz and the Tantrums Announce 2012 Tour Dates/New Album Coming

Fitz and the Tantrums announce 2012 Tour Dates/New Album Coming

Post by thenaturalstoner

I may be the only “regular” to Concert Confessions that gives any sort of shit, but I don’t care about that because I am excited to bring you the news that Fitz and the Tantrums have posted some new tour dates and have also announced a new (yet to be titled) album to come out in Mid-October.  YES!

Sadly I will miss that Seattle Capitol Hill Block Party gig by one day (but I will be there the next day for Major Lazer/Diplo), but the rest of you should run out and get tickets to these shows ASAP.  Their album is awesome and their live show is tons of fun too, as I learned at last years Bumbershoot Festival when they opened for Hall and Oates on the Main Stage.  Take a chance and have a blast!

Upcoming Fitz and the Tantrums tour dates:

June 5 Birmingham, AL: WorkPlay Soundstage
June 6 Greenville, SC: The Handlebar
June 8 Manchester, TN: Bonnaroo Music Festival
June 9 Charleston, SC: The Music Farm
June 10 Raleigh, NC: Lincoln Theatre
June 12 New York, NY: Jones Beach Amphitheater w/ Dave Matthews Band
June 13 New York, NY: Jones Beach Amphitheater w/ Dave Matthews Band
June 14 Buffalo, NY Thursday at the Square
June 15 Columbus, OH: LC Pavilion
June 30 Santa Barbara, CA: Santa Barbara Bowl w/ Ben Harper
July 1 Los Angeles, CA: Hollywood Bowl w/ Ben Harper
July 3 Salt Lake City, UT: The Depot
July 4 Morrison, CO: Red Rocks Amphitheatre w/ Blues Traveler
July 5 Kansas City, MO: Crossroads
July 6 Milwaukee, WI: Summerfest
July 7 Minneapolis, MN: Basilica Block Party
July 20 Seattle, WA: Capitol Hill Block Party
July 22 Dover, DE: Firefly Music Festival
July 11 San Francisco, CA: Outside Lands Music Festival
September 6 Amherstburg, ON: Fort Maiden Park
September 20 Morristown, NJ: Mayo Center for the Performing Arts
September 21 Huntington, NY: The Paramount
September 23 Gulf Shores, AL: Deluna Festival

Sasquatch! Festival 2012 Preview – A Letter to You From thenaturalstoner

Dear concert going friends,

I know you and I go way back (hope all is well!) and it has been a long time since we have talked, but there is just something extremely exciting that has built inside of me about what is going to happen this weekend at THE GORGE for the 2012 version of the Sasquatch! Festival that I must tell you about.  Last years Festival set the stage for a year of great memories and the need to “go back every year no matter what”.  We’ll see if that every year thing happens, but the terrible trio of thenaturalstoner, Phishbeard and Mr. Sparkly made it at least one more year and are ready to dominate every single thing about the next several days. I feel like last years performances by Chromeo, Modest Mouse, Foo Fighters, Sleigh Bells, Major Lazer and more have planted a seed at the Gorge that is about to sprout like a f’n weed and engulf all 20,000 of us that are going to be there for the entire four days.

But really who gives a shit about last year anymore.  I know you don’t.  We are talking about 2012 and hooolllllly shit does it look exciting. I will be heading in pretty early Friday night to see Of Monsters and Men kick off the Fest. Maybe even a little earlier for Allen Stone if I get the urge, but I have been hooked on that Of Monsters and Men album for a long while now.  Most of Santigold will follow, and then one of the sets I am looking forward to most all weekend, Starfucker!! Sadly this means I have to skip the Mark Lanegan Band, which is a bummer, really wanted to see that one. Half of Girl Talk and then another performance to be VERY excited about, Explosions in the Sky. I have been told numerous times that their last Sasquatch! Festival set absolutely owned the Festival and was a “life changing experience”.  I don’t want to get hopes too high, but that portion of Friday sounds amazing.  Then Pretty Lights to take the night home aka into the raucous Gorge Campground to continue the party late into the evening.

Saturday looks to be my longest day inside the venue by far. Ideally I will make it in bright and early at Noon to see Reptar > Charles Bradley while Pickwick will be hitting hard on a different stage. I may still be asleep at this time however and might not make it into The Gorge until Blitzen Trapper at 2pm.  One of my only conflicts of the entire weekend is after that, The Civil Wars vs. The Alabama Shakes vs. Portlandia.  This is a game time decision friends. I know Mr. Sparkly and I will be at Jamey Johnson at the Sasquatch Stage afterwards, and then I will either see Childish Gambino or AraabMuzik.  Seeing Gambino a few weeks back makes this a tough decision as I really like the AraabMuzik jams I have heard. Some free time where I will see an interesting mix of Metric, The Shins, St. Vincent and tUnE-yArDs continues the evening.  Probably my most anticipated set of the weekend, Jack White, followed by The Roots late night (HELL. YES.) caps off a Saturday for the ages.

I hope all is well back home. How is the family? Still got that pet, what’s its name?  Come visit us sometime, we miss seeing you up here.  Sparkly might be getting a new house, Phishbeards over in Oregon, I got an air mattress, come on up!  It will be like old times.

Back to the music.  Sunday to me is a complete free for all-except for the very end of the night.  I don’t really have much I MUST see this day, but there is an interesting assortment of bands playing: Trampled by Turtles, Blind Pilot, The War on Drugs, Chiddy Bang, M. Ward, Deer Tick, Tycho, The Head and the Heart and We Are Augustines are all early in the day.  I will be a roamer for sure (you remember how I do!). I might check out Apparat or Beirut before definitely catching half of Little Dragon.  My highlight of Sunday, a James Murphy DJ set up in the Banana Shack promises to be off the charts.  I’ll probably head over to get one song of Bon Ivers show on video so ConcertConfessions gets some web hits, and then its off to Feed Me (with Teeth!!) to dance the rest of the night away.

Monday will be somewhat bittersweet. A great day lined up to close out another long Memorial Day weekend full of memories (like back in the day when we were hangin’). I might get in there early for that Grouplove set, I don’t know. Gary Clark Jr. will be a for sure, especially after just watching his Hangout Festival set webcast, and then a little more free time for the MC.  The Joy Formidable, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!, Cloud Cult, fun., Feist, Shabazz Palaces, and Shearwater are all early afternoon and I will bounce around the place. John C. Reilly and Friends over at the Yeti Stage will be a great time, but I will have to sadly miss The Cave Singers and most of Silversun Pickups because of it.  Then my only other real big conflict awaits. I am certainly going to see the start of SBTRKT in the Banana Shack, and will have to miss all of Spiritualized.  However, one of your favorites, Tenacious D, is playing shortly after SBTRKT starts and I will have to decide if staying for them is worth missing half of The D. Another decision that will be made on the spot. I will at least see the end of Tenacious D before getting just a small part of Mogwai in. I wish I could see more but the great Beck is closing out the Festival over on the main stage.  I have been wanting to see him for almost TWENTY years now, and this will be my first time getting to do so.  Remember listening to Mellow Gold on end back in the day?  I hope it’s amazing. It sure seems like a great way to end a Festival, way better than Wilcos tame set last year.

So that’s basically what I am up to these days. Nothing else is really going on. I hope you guys are all good over there and your mom and dad are well.  Tell your sister thenaturalstoner says hello, she’ll remember.

I will talk to you soon. You should try to come up for Quatch ’13.

thenaturalstoner

 

Video highlights from 2011 Sasquatch! Festival:

Chromeo

Sharon Jones introduction and ownage!

Modest Mouse

Flogging Molly fun, near the end of the clip I get told “Vomit’s running down onto your bag”! Hahahahahahaha

Pearl Jam and The Foo Fighters to Headline DeLuna Festival

Are you ready?? As part of DeLuna Festival  DJ JAZZY JEFF is going to unload his man-juice load all over the old ass retirement fucks in Pensacola Beach this September 21st -23rd

Now there wont be any Fresh Prince mind you. But who needs that fucking guy???? The DJ is in the fucking house!

Now who else is there. Jay fucking Porks’ two favorite bands Pearl Jam and the Fucking Foo Fighters.  “Fuck those assholes” Jay Porks said in an interview Monday night. He followed that up by saying “Seriously, fuck those assholes.”

Florence + The Machine, Ben Folds Five, The Wallflowers , Joan Jett and dick loads of other fucks on the bill.  Head over the festivals official website  here, fork over your cash and go get shitfaced

 

DeLuna Festival Line Up (a/o 05/15/12)

Pearl Jam

Foo Fighters

Florence and the Machine

Silversun Pickups

Ben Folds Five

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Guided By Voices

The Gaslight Anthem

The Wallflowers (Hey! Why aren’t these fucks playing Summerland?!?)

 Superchunk The Joy Formidable

Bad Brains

DJ Jazzy Jeff

The Corin Tucker Band

Band of Skulls

City and Colour

Ivan Neille’s Dumpstaphunk

Anders Osborne

Bonerama

Fishbone

Additional Artists as of 05/15/12

12th Planet

AC Slater

Bob Mould

Diplo

Jimmy Cliff

OFF!

Paper Diamond

Redd Kross

Trampled By Turtles

 

Too $hort and Curren$y 3/7/12 CUB Ballroom – Pullman, WA

Too $hort and Curren$y 3/7/12 – CUB Ballroom, Pullman, WA

Review by thenaturalstoner, photo by Sam C.

 

Todd.

 

 

 

Watch Buffalo Death Beam Rock Pullman Washington

Last night (01/24/11) in Pullman Washington up and coming buzz band Buffalo Death Beam performed a 45 minute set at the cities newest concert venue The Belltower. You can watch the entire performance below. For more on Buffalo Death Beam, check out the bands official webpage by clicking here.  You can also check out a great write up about the band from our pals at Antiquiet by clicking here.

 

thenaturalstoner’s Top 10 Shows of 2011

thenaturalstoner’s Top 10 Shows of 2011

2011 was undoubtedly my finest concert going year on record (out of 31!).  I saw over 80 bands, did several awesome road trips, brought in visitors from around the country to come to the Gorge Amphitheatre, and almost all my shows were at least ‘decent’.  Obviously some rise to the top, and some fall to the bottom… so here is my list of best concerts of 2011.

10) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings 05/30/11 – The Gorge – George, WA (Sasquatch Festival)

I had seen Sharon Jones a couple years ago sing backup to Phish in Indio, California, so I was very excited to finally see one of Sharons own sets with the entire Dap-Kings. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer!  Sharon was amazing and I got to meet her after her set over in the meet and greet area (AWESOME idea Sasquatch), which was a super cool experience.  After Chromeo and Sharons sets, the final day on Sasquatchs mainstage was off to a blistering Monday afternoon start!

9) Foo Fighters 05/27/11 – The Gorge – George, WA (Sasquatch Festival)

I love Foo Fighters and this was my first chance to see them live.  Well, let me take that back, I had one prior opportunity and didn’t exactly “make it to the show” that night.  Over 10 years later, I got my second chance and the Foos rocked me just like I wanted.  Headlining Sasquatchs first ever Friday night, the Foo Fighters rocked my face off.

8) Modest Mouse 05/29/11 – The Gorge – George, WA (Sasquatch Festival)

When I made my festival review immediately after the Sasquatch Festival, I put this Modest Mouse set as number one on my list.  Over time, perspective pushed Chromeo over that for me, however this set was a monster, and something I was desperately looking for that weekend.  Going into Sasquatch I was hoping some band I have heard but never appreciated would turn me into a fan, and Modest Mouse did that FAR more than any other.  I am looking at you Wilco, Death Cab, etc.

7) Soundgarden 07/30/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA

A huge 4 band lineup, including the Meat Puppets, Queens of the Stone Age and Mastodon, concluded with Soundgardens tour closer at the Gorge, a “hometown” show finale.  The experience of meeting ConcertConfessions own Jay Porks and having Soundgarden live up to all my expectations made this a huge weekend stop in central Washington!  I even did a Babe Ruth called shot right before Pretty Noose.  Ahhh good times…

6) Eddie Vedder 07/15/11 Benaroya Hall – Seattle, WA

If it wasn’t for the following nights epicness, this show would have left a much higher imprint on me.  A fantastic show, in a beautiful venue, and getting the opportunity to tell Krist Novoselic “Thank you”, and get a “You’re welcome” back, made this a once in a lifetime night.  Thanks the Jesus I got into these shows after 5 attempts at various online ticket sales.


5) Chromeo 05/30/11 – The Gorge – George, WA (Sasquatch Festival)

I think Chromeo’s Tweet following the show says it all: “Moved to tears, Sasquatch.”

4) Ween 07/02/11 – Les Schwab Amphitheater – Bend, OR

A fun road trip to Bend, Oregon with several friends left us with a great Ween weekend.  Poopship Destroyer, Monique the Freak, Slow Down Boy, Waynes Pet Youngin, etc were great, but when Baby Bitch was played, and then Birthday Boy followed, this show got real.  What a moment!  Ween treats us well in the Northwest! Staying at the Rainbow Motel in Bend was the icing on the cake! Here is Poopship Destroyer from ConcertConfessions own Phishbeard.

3) Phish 08/06/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA

A show that felt exactly opposite from the night before to me flow wise.  The show got GREAT at the end, instead of a solid start. Reba with whistling, a teaseful Antelope and a super encore with Sanity and a Suzy Greenberg that I needed to hear to get off my stats list (even though I “saw” it at Festival 8). And the pizzadillas!!!!

2) Phish 08/05/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA

What a JAM!  Rock and Roll > Fire on the Mountain Jam (I still insist this happened) > Meatstick > Boogie On Reggae Woman was one of the best segues thrown down in years.  If the set didn’t go limp after Boogie On this could have been a number one contender.  This Rock and Roll jam gets to hang out up with the Boise AC/DC Bag and Inglewood Bathtub Gin as favorite Jams of my life. Getting to have Reverend Justito make it up to our neck of the woods for his first ever Gorge shows made this a perfect weekend.  One of the best camping setups we’ve ever had at Phish too. We did this weekend right. Here is a GREAT Roggae, with an unusually long (great!!) jam, that the Rev got on tape:

1) Eddie Vedder 07/16/11 Benaroya Hall – Seattle, WA

When I look back at all the concerts I have ever been to, again 31 years worth, two specifically stand out to me as “best evers”. My first Phish show, 7/17/98 at the Gorge, and a random Phish show on a Tuesday night in Boise back in 1999 where the band decided to produce a set as grand as any they have ever played.  The only way I know how to describe this Eddie Vedder show is to say that it is on the same level as those two Phish shows from the late 90s.  This was no doubt one of the best concert experiences of my life, and gave me an exuberant feeling of positivity that I wasn’t sure still existed in this world (it had been 12 years since something hit me like this after all). Everything about this night was perfect, highlighted by an astounding mid-set run of: Needle and the Damage Done > Long Road > Wishlist > Man of the Hour > I Am Mine that rivals anything I have ever seen.

 

Just missed the cut: Major Lazer, John Prine, Big Boi, Meat Puppets, Hall and Oates, Sleigh Bells.

Biggest Disappointment: The Flaming Lips, The Gorge Sasquatch Festival. Described as a “Soft Bulletin” set (we didn’t even get the whole album), this gig was full of distractions (who sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to a music Festival mid Album set?) and too much wandering banter from Wayne Coyne. For my first Lips show, I was hoping for a LOT more.

Funny moment on video: I had a funny thing happen during Flogging Molly at the Sasquatch Festival.  Near the end of recording video of ‘Don’t Shut Em Down’, some guy taps me on the shoulder and says, “Vomits running down onto your bag!”. I look down and sure as shit the lady about 5 feet behind me had puked and it was streaming down below my feet!  See 3:10 into this vid!

 

Worst show: The Presidents of the United States of America, Cub Ballroom, Pullman, WA. Just terrible.

You know what else was cool?: Giving Marcus Trufant a “Go Cougs!” at Lil Wayne at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, WA!

My own downloadable audio recording:

  1. Blue Scholars entire set, 10/29/11 The Belltower in Pullman, WA  http://www.mediafire.com/?pyejjt21tsmyb9r

Blue Scholars w/ Grynch & Bambu 10/29/11- The Belltower, Pullman, WA

Blue Scholars with Grynch and Bambu – 10/29/11 – The Belltower – Pullman, WA

Review, pictures, video and audio by thenaturalstoner

I had a pretty fun evening at The Belltower last night with Blue Scholars, Grynch and Bambu!  This was billed as The Belltowers (Pullman, Washingtons newest concert venue) first hip-hop show, and I was admittingly worried about the sound levels in the building.  The venue is a converted old church, and I had seen Starfucker there a few months back and the mixes needed a lot of work.  Thus, I had reservations going into the bass heavy hip-hop show.  Thankfully, The Belltower sounded fine last night, and all fears were put aside for the evening.

The venue has a small bar in the back, and as you can see by the picture, the under 21 crowd filled up their half of the room first.  Us 21+ slackers arrived late and eventually evened out the place a bit.  I of course, sipped on screwdrivers all night while digging the beats on the right hand side while the younger crowd kept me entertained on the left.

Grynch came out first, about an hour after advertised.  No problem for me, as that just meant a few more (reasonably priced) drinks preshow!  If I was on the “under 21” side of the room I would have probably been pretty bored.  Nonetheless, I wasn’t and Seattles Grynch ended up entertaining the crowd for a good 7 or 8 tracks. I believe he finished with “My Volvo”.

After a short setbreak, Bambu followed.  Bambu is from Los Angeles, and having grown up in Southern California myself, I found myself more connected to Bambus lyrics.  The crowd, many in costume for Halloween weekend, loved it and I enjoyed it too.   He also did a sweet cover of Cypress Hills “How I Could Just Kill a Man”. DJ Infrared performed with both Bambu and Grynch behind on the turntables.

Before the show, we saw some of these guys at dinner across the street from the venue. As we set next to them, I overheard them talking about the show, and the night before in Spokane.  Apparently that was an all-ages show, and I heard the guys mention how the crowd was a little tame and that they were rapping to kids.  Apparently that is NOT their target crowd, hahaha!  Bambu took a little stage banter time to compare Pullman to Spokane, in our favor of course, and you could tell he was having fun out there.

One more setbreak and then Blue Scholars came out, also from Seattle.  This is one of the Northwests rising hip-hop acts, and while I don’t know much of their material, I enjoy what I have heard.  I happened to find a spot for my camera over on a windowsill, so I was able to capture the entire set on video! Sadly, The Belltower has terrible lighting for recording, so the quality is poor.  :(  I figured I should post the video to YouTube anyways though.  I have also created an audio rip of the show, and have a download link for it below as well!

This Blue Scholars set was also fun, with lots of friendly banter between the Seattle/University of Washington duo and this Washington State University crowd (I would say the crowd was two-thirds full, just fine with me as I had plenty of room) during their over one hour set.  They opened with “Cinemetropolis“ and the crowd was pumped. This was followed by “Hussein” and many more fun beats. A cool Halloween costume contest happened on stage near the end (during their Seattle Supersonics tribute song “Slick Watts”), with a ‘Bob Ross’ winning!  “North by Northwest”, one of the tracks of theirs I really like was well placed in the encore.  Fun times…

The Blue Scholars did not disappoint for the first hip-hop show at The Belltower.  Hopefully this sets a precedence for future hip-hop acts to come to our town and make people dance.

 

 

 

 

Click here for Download link of the entire set in mp3 format!

 

 

 

 

Homewreckr/Slaughter – 6/4/11 – Clearwater River Casino, Lewiston, ID

Homewreckr & Slaughter – 6/4/2011 – Clearwater River Casino, Lewiston, ID

Review from thenaturalstoner, pictures from Homewreckr

 

You know how sometimes you go see a band, perhaps past their prime, and the opening act completely blows them away?  Well that happened last week in Lewiston, Idaho.  My buddy AA and I drove down from Pullman, Washington to see Slaughter (and opener Homewreckr) and had a very up and down experience.  The ups were great, Homewreckr proved they are a local force with big time covers bringing the Casino arena fans to their feet.  The downs were not so great, Slaughter had terribly muddled sound and the volume was far too loud for this size of place.

Homewreckr opened the show with a terrific version of “Bark at the Moon” from Ozzy.  A nice choice to get the crowd off their rear ends and moving on a beautiful night in Idaho.  A surprising “Thunderkiss ’65” from White Zombie followed, I had no idea they would play a ‘newer’ song, which really got the crowd into a frenzy.  People were singing along, getting “Wreck’d” as they say, and having a blast.

How would you top “Thunderkiss ’65”?  How about “ENTER SANDMAN”.  Homewreckr brought out all the stops this night.  Sandman was rockin’ and led the way to other great covers.  The Rainbow/Ronnie James Dio’s song “Man on the Silver Mountain” was HUGE and then some AC/DC and Judas Priest songs brought us about mid-way through the hour long set.  A trip to the concession stand for some Lagers would follow, and Homewreckr would continue to bring the heat the remainder of their evening.

Another Ozzy hit, “Crazy Train”, started the second half of the set with a bang.  The two guitarists had been bringing great solos all night, the drummer was a monster force back there, the bassist was rad and the singer had a solid stage presence, all working to keep the crowd rocking and on their feet. Some Scorpions (“Rock You Like a Hurricane”) and Def Leppard (“Let it Go”) followed, then some more Priest and our first Motley Crue song of the night, “Looks that Kill”.

Homewreckr was about done at this point, which was a bit of a bummer, but they closed out their show in huge style.  “Youth Gone Wild” from Skid Row and then “Live Wire” from the Crue closed out this opening act and I was genuinely blown away by not only how good they were, but how much the crowd was into it as well. Sadly Slaughter could not match this feeling.

Slaughter came out and it was immediately obvious that their set was louder than Homewreckr, not a good thing (too muddled), and that the smoke and fog flowing out of the stage would be their main schtick.  Another trip to the concession stand for some beers would help.  “The Wild Life”, “Take Me Away” and “Eye to Eye” were some of the songs played at the start of the
show, and we would wait until we heard “Fly to the Angels” and “Up All Night” to be played before leaving for the night.  It seemed like a short set, roughly ten songs or so, but it was obvious to me that the highlight of the night was Homewreckr (although “Fly to the Angels” was awesome).

Looking at their website, it appears Homewreckr has only been a band for about a year. Pretty amazing considering how cool their set was.  I hope to get “Wreck’d” again like
this sometime soon. If you are ever able to check them out in the L/C Valley, you should. It looks like their next big gig will be opening for Puddle of Mudd at the annual Clarkston, Washington ‘Rockin’ on the River’ event in July, and I bet that set will be as good, or better, than this one!

 

Sasquatch! Festival Top 10 Review

Review and picture by thenaturalstoner

 

Prior to the Sasquatch! Festival I had created a preview for this site, and a couple of days later I am ready to look back and see how I did. Lots of moving and shaking going on in the table below.

It appears that the biggest surprise of the weekend for me was Major Lazer and the biggest drops were The Flaming Lips and Iron and Wine.

 

Preview Top 10 Post-Fest Top 10
1. The Foo Fighters 1. Modest Mouse
2. The Flaming Lips 2. Chromeo
3. J. Mascis 3. The Foo Fighters
4. Iron and Wine 4. Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
5. Bassnectar 5. Major Lazer
6. Modest Mouse 6. Flogging Molly
7. Chromeo 7. Rodrigo y Gabriela
8. The Decemberists 8. J. Mascis
9. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings 9. The Decemberists
10. Flogging Molly 10. The Flaming Lips

 

Just missing the cut would be 11. Pink Martini and 12. Iron and Wine

Honorary Top 10 Member: Sleigh Bells. If I had only seen more than 2-3 songs, they could have been top 5 (or higher) for sure.

 

Thank you Sasquatch!

Sasquatch! Festival – Monday 5/30/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Monday 5/30/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner

 

Monday morning was a little bittersweet.  Of course we started with a morning drink, but Mr. Sparkly was already gone for a couple days and Phishbeard was unable to stay for one last blow out, so I rocked Monday at the Gorge solo.  I had company from our neighbors of course, and the day turned out to be a total success.  I got to meet an artist I really like, we had some crazy weather, and some totally awesome tunes made the last day of Sasquatch! 2011 one to remember!

I went into the venue solo, but eventually met up with my Calgary crew in time to see Chromeo on the Main Stage.  I saw a couple Noah & the Whale songs on my way down to the Chromeo set, and they sounded good.  Unfortunately there was no time to waste before my show and I couldn’t stay.

I just want to say that Chromeo was easily the best act on the Main Stage all day, although Sharon Jones gave them a run for their money.  After watching the Coachella webcast, I was determined to see this performance.  It was quite an odd placement at 2:45 in the afternoon but the Gorge boogied as hard as it had all weekend.  Of all the 45 minute sets, this one was easily my favorite of the four days. “I-WANT-MY-CHROMEO”

Guided by Voices was next and the crowd really thinned out. Odd planning there.  The reunion tour was fun for some, but many in the crowd decided it was time to check out other acts.  After a few songs I left and saw one White Denim song (wish I had seen more) on my way to watch Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings close on the floor.

Sharon Jones brought the HEAT to the Gorge.  Her energy is amazing and she had that crowd on its feet from the very first second she was on the stage up until she left one hour later.  I took the opportunity afterwards to go to the meet and greet and say hello.  Sharon was very gracious and I got a picture, a kiss on the cheek, and the chance to ask her about signing with my favorite band Phish.  It was a great moment for me.  She also got a fan out of the crowd and danced and sang with him on stage during her set!

I had to sacrifice Best Coast to catch almost all of Rodrigo y Gabriela, who was amazing.  This is one band that turned me into a little bit of a fan, and Gabriela kicks ass!  The first poor weather (except for the wind) began during this set as rain would start to come down.  Some thought it added an element of fun to the set and were tired of baking in the heat for four days, so it wasn’t all bad.  After Rodrigo y Gabriela the weather did take a little twist, as we were greeted to many lightning blasts during The Decemberists and Wilco.

The Decemberists were a lot of fun, pretty darn good actually.  I like these Portland, Oregon folks a lot and their set did not disappoint.  I equate them to Iron and Wine, and I thought The Decemberists set was more fun.  They opened with The Infanta and played many that I like.  I remember Down by the Water, The Crane Wife 3 and others standing out and they finished with a fun version of The Mariner’s Revenge Song, a perfect song for the Pacific Northwest.  The Decemberists said this was their last show for awhile, so I hope you saw them when you could.  The weather got worse, not rain but lightning, during the set and got especially nasty for a little while before Wilco came out.  I thought there was a chance the storm would go right over us, but we were spared!

I had a dilemma all day, a few days actually, about what to do with the Wilco/Major Lazer conflict.  I didn’t want a repeat of the Sleigh Bells miss earlier in the week, but there was potential for Wilco to be amazing, and I certainly didn’t want to miss that.  So I did what I ended up thinking was near perfect, and watched the first few Wilco songs, busted over for one quick Deerhunter song (it was cool too, I think I missed something good there), and then saw the last 45 minutes of Major Lazer before returning to the floor for the end of Wilco and the Festival.

Major Lazer was crazy.  All that I had imagined and a little more.  I don’t love this style of music, but they have insane energy and the party up in the Banana Shack was undeniable. Thank goodness I saw most of this set, as it was FUN.  Lasers, crazy dancing, people having a blast and the dude on stage jumping from a ladder into the crowd (and other antics) made this set great!  I wouldn’t mind going to another Major Lazer party, that’s for sure. “I love it here in Washington! I don’t ever want to leave. Will someone let me stay in their basement!?!” he said.  A dance party with tons of chicks from the crowd up on stage and only the second collaboration I saw all weekend ended the set. Skrillex came out and they performed a demo that they have been working on (first time ever played) and the set ended with everyone in the crowd pumped!

After Lazer, the end of the Festival was near, and that was a bit sad.  I headed down to Wilco, ran back into my Calgary buddies which was awesome, and finished the set with just Calgary Phil and I being the last of our crew there.  The Wilco set was fun enough, it didn’t convert me into a fan like Modest Mouse did the night before, but the jams were cool and it seemed like a good way to close the show.  Phil and I walked back to the Campground, had one of the funniest conversations of my life along the way, and then drank some beers before officially calling Sasquatch quits.  The next morning came, camp was broken down, emails exchanged and goodbyes were said for all.

I’d like to personally thank Sasquatch! 2011 for being an epic blast and I hope next years lineup makes me want to go the whole three (or four?) days again.

 

Random Notes:

In some of the worst scheduling I have ever seen, Chromeo had the largest crowd all day on the Main Stage and got stuck with the 2:45-3:30 spot.  Once they left so did the crowd.  The floor was EMPTY for Guided by Voices who followed.

In lame joke of the weekend news: Jeff Tweedy, after egging the crowd on to throw as many glowsticks as possible at him (and I am paraphrasing): “You all suck! That’s probably why the Mariners are so bad too. Ohhh low blow, sorry.”

Sharon Jones is epic.

I heard the Skrillex set up in the Banana Shack was one of the best. Bummer to miss that. Also bummed to miss Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.

I will see you again Sasquatch!!!!!!!

 

Monday Video of the Day:

With a cameo from Phil at the 1:50 mark!

 

Monday Video list:

Chromeo – Banter and You’re So Gangsta

Chromeo – Out of Sight

Chromeo – Tenderoni

Guided by Voices – Over the neptune-Mesh Gear Fox (A Rock Anthem)

Noah & the Whale – Blue Skies

Rodrigo y Gabriela – 5-30-11 – Sasquatch Festival – The Gorge

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings – I Learned the Hard Way

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – If You Call

The Decemberists – Calamity Song

The Decemberists – The Mariners Revenge Song – Encore

Wilco – Bull Black Nova

Sasquatch! Festival – Sunday 5/29/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Sasquatch! Festival – Sunday 5/29/11 – The Gorge Amphitheatre

Review, pictures and video from thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard

 

Sunday morning started off much like Saturday, with a whiskey and coke.  We battled wind the night before and made it through unscathed, but Sunday night would be an entirely different beast.  The shows Sunday were great, possibly the best day musically, but the aftermath was about as lame as it gets. Read on….

We had a tough decision to make in the afternoon, and it was unfortunate, but we decided to stay in the campground, rest-up (much needed!) and then prefunk of course, instead of checking out Reggie Watts in the comedy stage early in the day.  The sound issues the day before for the Trailer Park Boys had an affect on this decision as well, as did not wanting to pay $9 for beers all night.

Cold War Kids was the first act we were able to see, and they were decent.  They had a pretty perfect time slot for them, before the big three Sunday night, and had many of the crowd on their feet. They played the one song of theirs I know, Hang Me Up to Dry, so that is all I really needed.  A decent, fun little set.  After the Kids we saw a couple Das Racist and Archers of Loaf tunes on the side stages, on our way to get ready for Flogging Mollys set to really kick off the night.

I just want to say that I thought Flogging Molly was amazing.  We started the set up on the hill which we quickly discovered was a bad decision. Instead, we made our way down to the floor to get much closer to the action.  Upon running into our Calgary campground neighbor friends, we watched the rest of the set with big grins on our faces.  Not even when I was informed puke was running on my bag, which I have on video (check it out!), did I have a bad time.  This set was one of the more fun ones with a rowdy crowd adding to the show.  Once the set was over we decided to get a little closer on the floor for the next act, one I was pumped for, The Flaming Lips.

Wayne Coyne and company are a bunch of weirdos!  The backdrop videos and the face camera and all the antics are just bizarre, but I like em!  The Gorge got one of the Lips’ “Soft Bulletin” shows, and also a fun rendition of Happy Birthday for the 10th Anniversary of the Festival.  A birthday cake made from the TV crew Ace of Cakes was brought our during the song, but it didn’t take long for Wayne to break it apart and throw it into the crowd.  The only problem is this was all done mid set, a seemingly very odd placement.  Wayne talks a lot too, and I left this set thinking that if Wayne would just shut up and play we could’ve seen a few more songs.  A nice tribute to Elliott Smith brought the tears out of Wayne, and a few in the crowd (Phishbeard!! Hahaha). They ended the show with Feeling Yourself Disintegrate.

After the Lips we were in for what I think could be the single best set of the weekend, at least for me.  I loved the Foo Fighters and J. Mascis sets, and Chromeo is a major ‘Best of’ contender, but to me Modest Mouse made me feel different from the others.  I had EXPECTED to have a good time at the Foo, Chromeo etc.  I had ZERO expectations for Modest Mouse and they were one of the few bands over the weekend that turned me into a fan.  Opening with Shit Luck was a treat and after that we were in store for almost 2 hours of great.  I remember This Devils Workday, Here it Comes, Bukowski, Lampshades on Fire (new song I think) and more all being top notch.  Like I said, I was waiting for a band all weekend to turn me into a fan and this is the best example of that.

I left Modest Mouse feeling great.  It can take awhile to get from the venue to the campground, so we were able to feel great for about an hour before we got back “home” and saw the damage.  Some complete fucking asshole(s?) decided to vandalize or area of the campground, breaking into cars and tents and causing all kinds of damage.  Phishbeards tent was cut open and his cooler dumped out inside. Others around us had their ipods and cell phones stolen, among other things.  Why some dicks want to ruin the times of others at something as fun as Sasquatch! is something that I will never understand.

We still had some post show beers, but the party certainly wasn’t the same as the couple of nights before.

One last day of fun awaits.

 

Random Notes:

Flogging Molly > The Flaming Lips > Modest Mouse was one of the funnest 1-2-3 combos I have seen.

Really bummed about missing Reggie Watts, sigh.

Lots of people were talking about how good the smaller stage acts were. Some I heard were great but missed were MSTRKRFT, Yeasayer, Flying Lotus, Ratatat, Sam Roberts Band.

Not very much hiphop here at this fest, but Das Racist was pretty sweet!

The wind up on that Gorge hill can be brutal…

 

Sunday Video of the Day:

3:13 into the video “Vomits running down onto your bag”!

 

Sunday Video list:

The Flaming Lips – Intro

The Flaming Lips – Intro and Race for the Prize

The Flaming Lips – What is the Light

The Flaming Lips with Reggie Watts – Happy Birthday Sasquatch

Flogging Molly – Don’t Shut Em Down – With Vomit commentary at end

Flogging Molly – Tobacco Island

Modest Mouse – Baby Blue Sedan

Modest Mouse – Bukowski

Modest Mouse – Float On

Modest Mouse – Here it Comes

Modest Mouse – Shit Luck – Set Opener

Modest Mouse – Spitting Venom

Modest Mouse – The View

Modest Mouse – This Devils Workday

Modest Mouse – Wild Pack of Family Dogs

Modest Mouse – World at Large

Older posts

© 2018 Concert Confessions

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑