How cool is Gary Clark Jr? Familiar with the festival circuit, the man has launched his own music festival: Maverick Music Festival. So far a one day event, on March 23rd Maverick Plaza in San Antonio will be taken over by the likes of The Toadies, Girl In A Coma, Arum Rae, Henry & The Invisibles along w/ obviously the curator of this shin dig, Gary Clark Jr. Take a look at the Festival trailer below and hit up the official website for more information. This sounds like fun.
Gary Clark Jr. stopped by Conan on TBS Tuesday Night to bring some soul to basic cable. Not only that, but he brought it to the web as the fine folks at Team Coco have a web exclusive that is now live on their website. It’s a sweet performance of “Ain’t Messin’ Around”. A video of that can be viewed below. Also, check out video of the performance of “Numb” that aired on TBS.
Gary Clark Jr Rocks Out The Late Show w/ David Letterman
Gary Clark Freaking Jr! This guy is seriously all kinds of awesome. Last night on Thanksgiving Eve, one of the last survivors of soul stopped by the Ed Sullivan Theater (where every night is a night of good music according to David Letterman) to perform on Late Night. In between Hurricane Sandy relief shows in New York City the past couple of weeks, Mr. Clark Jr and his band played the gut-wrenching track “Numb” (from the new record “Black and Blu”) last night for David Letterman. Check out the video below. And Happy Thanksgiving!
Gary Clark Jr is the man. You wanna know how cool dude is? His rhythm guitarist plays a double neck 18 string piece. This looks like the same guitar that blew my own mind at Orion Music + More festival earlier this year. Anyway, last night Gary Clark Jr and his cool ass band hit Late Night w/ Jimmy Fallon to play a song called “Numb” off the new record ‘Black And Blu’. They also performed “Ain’t Messin’ Around” as a web exclusive. Both videos are below, the web exclusive courtesy of NBC, and the “Numb” courtesy of The Audio Perv
If you’re looking for that one website who doesn’t enjoyGary Clark Jr., then you’re going to have to keep surfing the internet. No need to get intellectual or anything, the dude is a beast. Wrecked shit up at just about every festival this year, and his new record Black and Blu is critically acclaimed by every online music publication you respect. So why not check out his appearance last night on The Tonight Show with SatanJay Leno playing “Ain’t Messin’ Around”. Promise you won’t regret this 4+ minutes of your life. Video courtesy of The Audio Perv
Gary Clark JrAint Messin’ Around (Tonight Show 10/22)
San Francisco decided to jump into the festival mix early Tuesday, when the lineup for the sixth annual Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival was announced. Sir Paul McCartney will headline along side Nine Inch Nails and the Red Hot Chili Peppers the weekend of August 9th through the 11th at Golden Gate Park. Other notable acts include Phoenix, Willie Nelson,Kurt Vile and The Violators, Gary Clark Jr (shocker), Young The Giant, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Band Of Horses, Fishbone and Grizzly Bear.
No word on if Grohl, Novoselic and Smear make an appearance during McCartney’s set for some “Cut Me Some Slack” action. Three-day passes start at $235 but go up based on availability to $249.50. VIP is also available for $545. You can buy tickets at the festival’s Official Website here beginning Thursday April 18th at Noon PST.
Here we go folks, another day another festival announcement. The 2013 version of the Beale Street Music Festival released its lineup this morning. Taking place at Tom Lee Park during the Memphis In May International Festival May 3rd through the 5th. Serving as your headliners are The Black Keys,Alice In Chains, The Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins, ZZ Top, Deftones, Patti Smith, Gary Clark Jr., The Joy Formidable, Heartless Bastards, AWOLNATION, Cracker and The Wallflowers round out the list of acts this writer would want to check out. Other acts you may be into: Phoenix, Bassnector, SherylCrow, Lucero, Hall & Oates, The Roots and Public Enemy to name a few. The full list of acts are below, and for tickets (which are very reasonably priced compared to other festivals across the country) and other information head to the festival’s Official Website By Clicking Here.
Beale Street Music Festival 2013 Lineup:
The Black Keys
Alice in Chains
Daryl Hall & John Oates
The Smashing Pumpkins
The Black Crowes
Gary Clark Jr.
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
Three Days Grace
Jerry Lee Lewis
The Joy Formidable
Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers
This May, Atlanta will be host to a brand new music festival. Dubbed ‘Shaky Knees Music Festival’, the festivities will all be going down in Masquerade Music Park and the Historic Fourth Ward Park this May 4th and 5th . It’s a two-day swing, and the festival features 28 bands spanning over three outdoor stages. Word around the water cooler is that local food trucks, artisans and vendors will also be available.
The lineup for Shaky Knees includes everything from up-and-comers The Orwells to “Best New Artist” Grammy nominees The Lumineers, with an eclectic lineup that includes Band of Horses, Jim James, (here’s a shocker) Gary Clark Jr., Welsh rockers the Joy Formidable, Kurt Vile & the Violators and more. Curated by longtime Atlanta promoter Tim Sweetwood, the fest offers live music fans two days of music in an urban outdoor setting.
Two-day general admission tickets as well as VIP passes went on sale on yesterdayat Ticketmaster. For additional info check out the festival’s official website by clicking here
Every year New York City’s Randall’s Island hosts it’s annual Governors Ball and this afternoon the 2013 line up was was announced, and it’s not short on the large names. Headlining is our first adventure, which has slots slated for Kanye West, Kings of Leon and a “mystery” headliner (See Update Below). In the “acts that don’t suck” category we have ourselves Nas, Dinosaur Jr., The Avett Brothers, Gary Clark Jr., Death From Above 1979, Japandroids, Of Monsters And Men, Young The Giant and Kendrick Lamar. Weirdo favorites Animal Collective also making an appearance, along with Dirty Projectors, Bloc Party, Yeasayer and Crystal Castles. Tickets are on sale Friday January 25th at Noon EST and you can get them at GovBall.Com. For a full list of acts scroll below, and for more information you can head to the festivals official website.
UPDATE AS OF 02/07:
The mystery third headliner was announced this morning and it’s non other than the band currently touring under the moniker of Guns N’ Roses. So it’s official folks, you now have THREE lame headliners for Randall’s Island this June.
Its a big week for festival lineup announcements as this afternoon gave us the big names that will star at this years New Orleans Jazz Fest.
From April 25th to Cinco De Mayo the Fair Grounds Race Course will be graced will festival goers looking to check out their favorite acts, and there’s a little bit of everything in this one. Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Dave Matthews Band and The Black Keys lead the way while other notables include Widespread Panic, Hall & Oats, Gary Clark Jr., Phoenix, Willie Nelson and Patti Smith.
For the full day by day breakdown of which days who’s playing you can visit the festival’s official website by clicking here. If you want to take a look at the important acts, scroll down a bit.
Unlike the girlfriend of Manti Te’o, the lineup for the 2013 Mountain Jam Festival is totally real. And it’s totally sweet.
Hunter Mountain, which is usually home to skiing, hot cocoa and Cumbaya will be occupied with awesome musicians from June 6th to 9th this summer. The headliners like Phil Lesh & Friends, Widespread Panic and Gov’t Mule will play two sets, while you’ll have only one set’s chance to catch the awesomeness that is Primus, Gary Clark Jr and Dispatch.
For those choosing not to camp, there are Hotel and Lodging packages available at the festivals official website. You can head there for up to the minute information.
Mountain Jam Lineup 2013:
Phil Lesh & Friends
The Avett Brothers
Gary Clark Jr.
Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers
David Wax Museum
The end of the year brings us empty wallets, fat stomachs and most importantly larger egos than we had the year before. It’s because of these egos that people like me put together these year end “best of” lists. Although as you know, here at Concert Confessions we do things a little differently then other sites. We don’t have a Top Albums list, Top Artist list, Male and Female Rookies of the year list we do top Concerts of the year. Personally, I’ll trust all of you readers enough to go ahead and listen to all those albums of the year you’re listing-You’ll let me know what’s good. You’re nice people right?
Anyway, more self branding: Every year I set a personal goal of going to more shows then the year prior. In 2011, we had ourselves 23 Jay Porks Experiences. In 2012, money was a bit tight, schedules fluctuated and goals were not reached as 18 shows were only attended. But don’t worry, they were some memorable ones that will most definitely fill the void in my heart that sits beneath my wretched soul (Alright it’s not that bad, but it’s good copy!). Below, you can view the list of the Top Five Jay Porks Experiences of 2012.
Heading to the lovely Detroit in 2013, this year brought this guy to his first ever “festival” experience. Sort of. And it turned out to be way more than I was actually prepared for. When you think festival you think a few things: camping, shower trucks and people lying overdosed in mud puddles while folks from LA Weekly takes photos. But Atlantic City brings casinos, thousands of hotel rooms (lots of them luxurious), and no camp ground. The idea is to get a room for the weekend, they had room packages with some tickets, I chose to go off course and book my own room accommodations and take a cab over and back each day. Was a solid plan going in. The list of acts seen was immense, including Metallica (curators of the Festival) headlining the two night stint. The first day I got to see Baroness, Roky Erickson, Fucked Up, Cage The Elephant, Modest Mouse and Arctic Monkeys before Metallica turned me into a fan playing Ride The Lightening in it’s entirety. Skin was turned powdery white to beat red after the full day (sunscreen something I rarely carry) and the dreadful Flagship Hotel had a less than desirable internet connection. Day Two brought me the likes of A Place To Bury Stangers, Ghost, Gary Clark Jr, the waste known as Best Coast, The Black Dahlia Murder, Eric Church and Titus Andronicus before Metallica hit the stage to remind me why I was never that big into them in the first place when they played the The Black Album…. backwards. Okay. Then on this night the return to the hotel room brought me with the dilemma of having NO internet at all at the again, dreadful Flagship Hotel whose front desk said the services were down. So I walked myself to Bally’s Casino w/ bags packed with all the towels, soaps and ashtrays I was able to fit in there and awaited the 4:30AM bus back into New York City. Had to catch Childish Gambino in Central Park the next night after all. Sounds like a pain, and looking back it kind of was but at the same time, those two days spent AT Bader Field (while the music was playing )were absolute magic.
This show was epic for so many reasons. In my 2nd time seeing the band this year (plus the Scott Lucas and the Married MenMercury Lounge pit stop in June), and 1st time since the release of their latest record “Hallelujah! I’m a Bum”, which is an absolute masterpiece, I found myself leaving the Bell House that night feeling way more blown away then I could have ever predicted. Take into account the spot in the back of the room where we were able to survey the entire place instead of getting hit with cups full a beer down front. The energy Scott Lucas brought to the table that night was one of a man on a mission, and tons of great songs got played off the new record. I usually hate when a band tries to shove new songs down my throat at shows but this record is one that people need to hear. It’s too good to get lost in the shuffle. Ended the night covering TV On The Radio‘s “Wolf Like Me”, which was like the cherry on an awesome sundae.
#3 Kasabian (Terminal 5 – New York City) March 22nd
It was something out of Biblical times. On March 22nd 2012, Kasabian hit New York City with the entire world watching via YouTube and left every ounce of their fiber and being on that stage that night. Every song was like another chapter in a great novel I was having someone read to me. I wouldn’t say the man, myth and legend Reverend Justito and I like tons of the same bands, but this is one of the few he pointed to me and I was instantly a super fan. They burned Terminal 5 down to the ground that night, and everyone who was there is a changed person today. It’s a shame I didn’t have a good camera when I went to this gig, or I would’ve had some cool ass pictures. Well, none of my pics would’ve been better than Mick Rock‘s anyway, did I mention he was there? Google him. The video below from that evening at Terminal 5 is courtesy of The Bowery Presents because this show happened when this guy was still rocking a $50 camera. Dear Kasabian: PLEASE COME BACK TO AMERICA
#2 Foxy Shazam (Bowery Ballroom – New York City) May 16th
With Ween breaking up, they weren’t able to snag their normal spot as my #2 show of the year in 2012(as they had in 2010 and 2011). Having seen Foxy Shazam already kind of/sort of blow The Darkness off stage in February – when a show was announced at Bowery Ballroom where they would headline I had to get in on that action-let’s see what the whole shebang brings to the table. And Oh Lord was I heeled with the Holy Touch with an evening of their finest numbers, funky vibes, and Eric Nally eating the cigarette I threw on stage!
I was sitting next to some people I met outside who were nice enough to pass along a pipe to me as I was filming “I Like It” . Snagged the spot upstairs balcony. Cannot beat it. Check the video for yourself. But if you told me before I went to that show that it would end up being the #2 show on my year end list I would have never ever believed you. The band is just that good. Nailing a spot supporting Slash on his Fall tour was a great job by him. Glad Slash has good taste in music. That was Another show I attended. So three times I’ve been baptized into the Church of Rock & Roll this year… And I Like It.
#1 Mike Watt & Friends (Le Poisson Rouge – New York City) May 2nd
Mike Watt has tons of friends. When this purchase is made, the only thing known is that the Minuteman will team with J Mascis and Murph from Dinosaur Jr to play tonight and that Mike Watt will be interviewed on stage before the show. I got to tape the interview but the questions are raised. So what songs are they going to play? Dinosaur Jr songs? Minutemen songs? Who’s singing? Well there was no mic set up in front of J, which is indication this isn’t a Dinosaur Jr kind of night. Out walks Don Fleming (from the band Gumball) and they play The Stooges“Real Cool Time”. Then I remember who the active bass player in the Stooges is: Mike Watt! So here we are playing Stooges songs all night with a revolving door of guest singers. John Petkovic came out, then one of my freaking heroes Thurston Moore(of the recently divorced Sonic Youth), then Sharon Von Etten, then Kurt Vile. And Thurston reappeared at least two more times, and they had Steve Shelly (also Sonic Youth) in there on drums on some songs too along w/ Byron Coley (who did the interviewing earlier) and John Maloney. I couldn’t have missed any names, because Mike Watt tweeted over the set list the next day with all the names of the parties involved and what songs they played on. That show was something I’m never going to forget. That’s the closest I’ll ever come to seeing the actual Stooges.
The Jay Porks Favorite Read Of 2012 on Concert Confessions:
And last and certainly not least, I’ve added a new section to this top shows post. That portion is Top Concert Experience of 2012 NOT attended by me. We have lots of contributors, lots of varied acts getting written about. But one gig really hit close to home when out pal Reverend Justito went and saw my pals the Meat Puppets at the closing of the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, California. I can guarantee that I enjoyed reading this one as much as most of the attendees enjoyed living it.
2012: A Rock Odyssey, or the Best Live Acts I Saw this Year
It’s been over two months since I’ve contributed anything to the site. Don’t worry all, I haven’t abandoned you. But I have moved from northeastern Georgia to southern Germany; a huge move for me. So, I haven’t had much time to write anything up, let alone make any trips for concerts. Well, so far.
But 2012 has been an amazing year in concerts, even though I didn’t expect it to be. I went to my first camping festival, saw Phish—TWICE!—and met up with our own BeezNutz. So, for the end of the year I figured I’d let everyone know what I consider to be the best bands I saw this year. Now last year I wrote about the best concerts I attended, but since this year it’d be almost unfair to do that (Bonnaroo would count as one concert and would trump all competition) I figured I’d just tell you who the best live bands I saw this year were, from 20 all the way to number 1. So, without further ado, here we go!
When indie pop group Under the Influence of Giants went on hiatus in 2008, lead singer Aaron Bruno decided to start his own strange little side project that used the same principles of dance, electronica, and rock music, which he called AWOLNATION. Their growth in popularity has been pretty rapid thanks in part to FM rock radio, but mostly to the internet.
In May, Aaron and co. rocked a Saturday afternoon set in Atlanta; and when I say rocked, I mean ROCKED. Bruno’s scratchy vocal is great for clean music and loud crazy music, both of which were represented well. They played some radio friendly hits like “Not Your Fault” and “Guilty Filthy Soul,” some louder and stranger songs like “Sail” and “Burn It Down,” and they even threw in a cover of the buildup section of Rage Against the Machine’s debut album closer “Freedom.” All in all, a fantastically energetic show by a very underrated band. Nothing about them is too challenging and maybe not that original, but the music is fun and the shows are great.
19. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the biggest alternative rock bands of the past 25 years. They may not release albums on a regular basis, but they still have millions of fans and are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as of this year. So who cares if their music isn’t THAT great? They’re the Red Hot Chili Peppers!
Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined the What Stage of Bonnaroo on Saturday Night to an 80,000 member crowd. And something that surprised me about their performance is how they’ve transformed into a jam band. New guitarist Josh Klinghoffer fits in well with the Peppers and fills the hole that John Frusciante left when he left the group for the second time a couple years ago. The Chili Peppers zoomed through some of their hits and a few of their lesser known songs, and were very energetic. Especially Flea. No bassist on the planet earth has more energy than that guy. But they seemed to have trouble connecting with the audience. Maybe it was because I was far back, or maybe because it was such a huge audience, but it seems like Red Hot Chili Peppers didn’t perform at their best that night. But Flea did leave us with an important message about supporting live music. And that’s always nice.
18. Fitz and the Tantrums
If you ask anyone who’s seen Fitz and the Tantrums before—anyone who isn’t Justin, that is—you’ll probably hear some good reviews. This neo-soul group always put on very energetic performances. And although they were a last minute addition to my Bonnaroo List of Bands to See, I don’t regret the decision for a second.
Throwing in a few new songs, and a couple covers (The Raconteurs’ “Steady As She Goes” and Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams”), Fitz/Tantrums caused many a foot to tap on the sandy ground of one of Bonnaroo’s tents. All of this leading up to the magnificent crescendo that is “MoneyGrabber.” Seriously, if you’re looking for a fun show and your name isn’t Justin Watt, I highly recommend seeing Fitz and the Tantrums at your nearest venue.
17. Ben Folds Five
In 2000, the world lost one of the most humorously clever bands that the face of alternative rock has ever seen: Ben Folds Five. Don’t be fooled, reader, for Ben Folds Five are, in fact, a trio. They released three critically acclaimed albums in the 90s before amicably splitting up. Three years after a one-off reunion in 2008, BF5 reunited for good, announcing a few dates and a new studio album in the works. Everything was looking good.
Fortunately for me, I got the chance to see the newly reunited Ben Folds Five perform their classics on the Which Stage at Bonnaroo. There were smiles all around and all three members seemed to enjoy themselves as they sang songs like “Song for the Dumped”, “Underground”, and “One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces,” omitting any new material they might have had. They’re a fun live band and Ben Folds is seriously one of the greatest pianists and happiest guys to ever exist. Ben Folds frowning is about as unlikely as Michael Stipe smiling.
16. Major Lazer
Although producer Diplo may be best known for producing songs by M.I.A., No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Das Racist, and Die Antwoord, he is also half of Jamaican reggae dubstep dance duo Major Lazer. On record, they’re strange and nothing about them really makes sense. But in a live setting, it’s like a rave with marijuana instead of ecstasy. They’re not the greatest thing to ever happen to electronic music, but if Skrillex is too much for you then Major Lazer is definitely a fun electro show worth seeing. I caught them about halfway through their set and the crowd was going nuts. Their hype man may be annoying, but Major Lazer’s show is as over-the-top as it gets. Air horns, dancing ladies, constant countdowns to craziness; it’s all there. So maybe that’s just all part of the fun.
15. Gary Clark Jr.
Blues guitar virtuoso Gary Clark Jr. has played more festivals in the past year than anyone, and for good reason too. He’s amazingly good and has been racking up hype and rave reviews for the past year even though his breakthrough album was just released a couple weeks ago. On the closing day of Bonnaroo, Mr. Clark Jr played an early afternoon set at Bonnaroo’s main stage. The weather was stormy, the wind was blowing, and Gary had the entire crowd eating out of the palm of his guitar playing hands. His set was loud and full of droning psychedelic distortion tones that nodded to Jimi Hendrix and Roky Erickson.
He played the blues with some elements of 60s garage, soul, R&B, and psychedelia thrown in there. All in all, a mind-warping show that caused one to be fully immersed in the music.
The red-hot ska punk band has been active for over 30 years, and they’ve not lost an iota of energy since the release of their debut EP. Lead singer Angelo Moore is still totally cool with singing songs like “Let Them Ho’s Fight,” “Party at Ground Zero,” and the classic “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” Bassist Norwood Fisher is still as impressive as ever with the slap bass, and each musician is equally impressive at their respective instruments. With ex-Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George in tow, Fishbone certainly rocked the Hell Stage at Atlanta’s Masquerade with a fire-hot intensity that is rarely matched by other “older” punk bands. If you’re looking for a fun show, then I highly recommend catching Fishbone, since they’ll probably be touring for another 30 years.
Scandinavia is the perfect place for a heavy metal band to start. It’s cold, almost cut off from the rest of the world, depressing, and chock full of mystery. But never has a band as mysterious as Ghost existed since Mayhem released their debut album in the midst of a suicide and a murder among the band. Ghost’s sound is by no means frightening. It’s got an ear-catching, almost radio-friendly quality to it, and if it weren’t for the blatant satanism in the lyrics then Ghost would probably be very popular.
Lead singer Papa Emeritus (who dresses up in a manner that can only be described as “Devil’s Pope”) fronts a band of Nameless Ghouls (who wear black masks and hoods) and sings about their glorious master, Lucifer.
For the first time since Slipknot, no one is entirely sure who is behind the masks, and I doubt Ghost plan on revealing the members’ identities any time soon. But what matters is the frightening 6-song set they put on during their opening slot on the Heritage Hunter tour, where they opened for Opeth and Mastodon. Ghost managed to catch the ear of many audience members who had never heard them, as they continue to spread their philosophy, or whatever it is they’re trying to spread. They even managed to make Phil Anselmo a fan!
I know, I know. Dubstep is lame, Skrillex is untalented, I’m an idiot for liking it, bla bla bla.
Okay, have you vented your blind hatred yet? Good! Now let’s get through this with an open mind.
Skrillex, as you probably know by now, is an insanely popular and widely hated EDM artist, who many associate with the abrasive subgenre of dubstep, or “bro-step” for douchebags who don’t want Skrillex tainting the good name of dubstep. Skrillex’s early morning show (1:30 AM-3:30 AM) got going quickly and never got boring. The show was a nonstop wave of bass, energy, and volume. Some people need drugs to enjoy that kind of thing, others don’t. All I know is, I had a fantastic time there. He played through his hits such as “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” and “First of the Year (Equinox)” and even remixed songs by Bassnectar, Flux Pavilion, Doctor P, and Benny Benassi.
11. Bad Brains
In 1982, Washington D.C.’s own Bad Brains threw a curveball at the rest of the world with their self-titled debut album. It combined elements of reggae with that of hardcore punk, the likes of which had never been seen. Plus, it was (probably) the first time black people had involved themselves with the punk movement, and Bad Brains certainly put their own spin on it. Lead singer HR’s instantly recognizable howl led the band through some awesome times and horrible times. Sometimes screaming, sometimes singing, and other times using a fake Jamaican patois, Bad Brains were a whirlwind of genres and music that never seemed to stop.
Fortunately, I got the opportunity to see them live, and it was one of the strangest things I’ve seen yet. The music was loud and energetic and played almost without error, but I am beginning to think that HR is mentally unstable. Not quite sure. Either way, seeing living legends perform their classic songs is something not many people get to do, and I’m very happy that I was able to see Bad Brains’ early afternoon set. Keep sailin’ on!
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:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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:
Jack White, Guns N Roses, The Flaming Lips & More For 2012 Bridge School Benefit
So Neil Young‘s annual Bridge School Benefit(Oct. 20-21 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View) has announced it’s lineup via a Youtube video. Performing will be of course Neil Young & Crazy Horse along with Jack White, The Flaming Lips, Steve Martin and the Sleep Canyon Rangers, Gary Clark Jr., Sarah Mclachlin, Foster The People, k.d. Lang and, oh yeah, the band currently touring under the moniker of Guns N Roses????
That’s right folks, Axl Rose and Co. are one of the bands that pop up in the video revealing the lineup. All of the terms in the dictionary that describe charitable givings, caring for other people, being a decent person-none of these qualities describe Axl Rose. So how the hell this all came about is beyond any of us here at Concert Confessions (except Reverend Justito) . It just doesn’t make sense. Anyway, check out the video below, and if it’s bogus then the world is more terrible than I thought it was.
Update 09/11/12: Ray LaMontagne has been added to the lineup.
Last time I heard from Best Coast, it was killing time mid afternoon at Day two of the Orion Music + More festival between Gary Clark Jr and Black Dahlia Murder. Well, tonight marks the first time this writer has seen the Best Coast chick without the stupid white hipster glasses on. Anyway, you can watch the video below from their appearance on Conan from earlier tonight. Hat tip goes to the Audio Perv
Wakarusa was back in full force for the 9th straight year bringing music and nature together in Northwest Arkansas. This was their 4th straight year at Mulberry Mountain and for the 4th straight year the crowd seemed to get even bigger… the camping has been expanded to include three different offsite auxiliary campgrounds due to demand. I made the trek down to the Wakarusa Festival for the 5th straight year and made it my mission to see some new music, even if it meant missing some of my favorites such as Split Lip Rayfield, Mountain Sprout (mostly), Railroad Earth and the March Fourth Marching Band (I did manage to sneak in all 3 Dirtfoot shows though) The weather was absolutely amazing for the most part, but we experienced a few small storms late Saturday and early Sunday causing some problems with the schedule (and causing me to miss the Infamous Stringdusters!) and stages being shut down for a short time. I took lots of pictures and quite a bit of video to bring back to the real world, and it has taken me over a month to sort through all of it and recollect some parts of the weekend, but here you have it… my 2012 Wakarusa Recap!
Start making your plans now for the 10th installment of Waka next June…. there has to be some big things in store for Waka10
New Monsoon –Revival Tent
This was not a set we intended on watching but decided to check out early Thursday afternoon. Due to a family emergency, the regular guitarist of veteran jam rock group New Monsoon, Jeff Miller, was unable to make the show but in the spirit of music festivals, Dan Lebowitz from ALO stepped in to fill the void. No time was wasted getting to our first Grateful Dead cover of the weekend in “Eyes of the World”, definitely a highlight. We also had the first of many Doc Watson tributes of the weekend, in honor of the recently decreased bluegrass legend, in the form of the traditional “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor.” Their set also featured covers of Tom Waits and Neil Young songs. I was a big fan of New Monsoon and look forward to more opportunities to see them in the future.
Bungalouski – Kum & Go Outpost Stage
Another pleasant surprise, we stopped by the Outpost to kill a few minutes while waiting for The Big Wu to begin. We were quite happy with this decision, as Norman, Oklahoma prog-rock youngsters Bungalouski rocked the smaller of the tent covered stages. Bungalouski got real funky during their rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Very Superstitious.”
The Big Wu – Main Stage
Minnesota jam band The Big Wu played a short but sweet set on the Main Stage. The iconic band, founded in 1992, has only played a handful of shows since 2006, but are now touring with the original lineup. This was my first Wu experience, and I was instantly a fan. They, like many other acts throughout the weekend, played a song in honor of the recently deceased bluegrass legend Doc Watson, who had passed away days prior to Wakarusa. Want to watch it?
ALO – Main Stage
The first of my Must See acts of the weekend, and one of the highlights of the 2010 Wakarusa, Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) had their first Waka Main Stage show and it was much deserved. The California funk rockers were a great way to get your feet going in the late afternoon with favorites such as “Girl I Wanna Lay You Down.” They even featured a cameo by Jackie Greene on the harmonica during “Lady Loop.”
Bob Weir – Chris Robinson – Jackie Greene Acoustic Trio – Main Stage
Thursday nights headliner featured the fantastic guitar trio of Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Chris Robinson from the Black Crowes and singer/songwriter Jackie Greene. Together the three played a 90 minute set featuring songs from all over the place, including Dead tunes “Uncle Johns Band”, “Loser” (below) and “New Speedway Boogie”. A highlight of the set was their rendition of “Dear Prudence” led by Weir.
Perpetual Groove – Revival Tent
Perpetual Groove late night shows are always a thing of beauty, and they certainly didn’t disappoint the packed Revival Tent crowd at yet another Wakarusa. This as the first of two sets for P-Groove and even though we were in route to a Dirtfoot show we found our way by the Revival Tent for a few songs including a favorite of mine “Three Weeks.” Their second set conflicted with The Avett Brothers, so I was sadly unable to attend. See you soon P Groove!
Dirtfoot – Kum & Go Outpost Stage
The only gypsy, punk, country, grumble boogie band in the land, took the stage just after midnight for their first of three shows throughout the weekend. As Waka regulars, Dirtfoot always brings a crowd and throws a party… this set was no exception. The Dirtfoot boys had 90 minutes to either keep your night going into the Sunrise sets or send your ass back to your camp to call it a night as they wrapped up just after 2AM. Dirtfoot also featured the hoop skills of a young fan named Mya throughout the weekend, and she quickly became a crowd favorite displaying her craft like a veteran hooper.
Mountain Sprout – Revival Tent Arkansas’ natives Mountain Sprout kicked off my Friday with their brand of hillbilly bluegrass. The boys of Mountain Sprout have quite a following around these parts and it’s quite obvious why with their witty lyrics and rockabilly bluegrass. We only stopped by for a few songs but were able to catch “Turkey Buzzard” and “Dry County.”
Monophonics – Outpost Stage
As we left Mountain Sprout we were on our way to see Snarky Puppy play in the Outpost Tent. Our first schedule change of the weekend led us to the San Francisco based soul funksters, the Monophonics. The six piece consisting of guitar, bass, drum, horns and keyboards channel the best of the 60’s and 70’s era pioneers such as George Clinton, Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis. This set was certainly in my top 5 for the weekend. I expect big things from the Monophonics, who just released their newest album “In Your Brain.”
Royal Family Ball feat Soulive & Lettuce – Main Stage
The Royal Family Ball is composed of two different bands that each had an hour set and are both on Royal Family Records. First up was NY based jazz/funk trio Soulive (pictured). Two members of Soulive just so happen to be in Lettuce, the 2nd half of the Royal Family Ball, who have been funking up the circuit since the early 90s. This was a great set, and another unexpected surprise. I will definitely be seeing another Royal Family Ball if given the chance.
The Devil Makes Three – Revival Tent
I ducked away from the Royal Family Ball for a few moments to check out The Devil Makes Three, a band suggested to me by quite a few folks prior to the festival. I ended up staying for the last half of their set, and missing most of Lettuce. The three piece have elements of rockabilly, ragtime and Americana folk with a punk and blues background. I wasn’t familiar with any of their songs, but really enjoyed their set. Lots of songs about booze will get you far with a Friday afternoon music festival crowd.
Blitzen Trapper – Revival Tent
Blitzen Trapper has recently become one of my favorite new bands. This was my first opportunity to see them, and it certainly helped solidify their spot on that list. The alt-country rockers had an afternoon 90 minute set that gave way to nearly 20 songs. Highlights included “Black Snake River” and a cover of Jimi Hendrix “Hey Joe.” This is another of the Top 5 shows of the weekend and I have to give props to our founding father Reverend Justito for persistantly reminding me that I was missing something good with this band… it finally stuck.
The Avett Brothers – Main Stage
Another Top 5 set of the weekend, The Avett Brothers, featuring Scott and Seth Avett as well as Joe Kwon and Bob Crawford headlined the Main Stage on Friday night. Their set clocked in at just over 2 hours and featured “I Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home”, a tribute to Doc Watson as well as many of the Avett’s fan favorites including “Colorshow”, “Shame”, “January Wedding”, “Kick Drum Heart” and “I Killed Sally’s Lover.”
Umphrey’s McGee – Revival Tent
We had no hope of getting anywhere near the front for the late night Revival Tent dance party featuring Chicago prog-rockers Umphrey’s McGee. We have expressed our love for Umphrey’s on Concert Confessions on multiple occasions. The Revival Tent was packed to the brim and then some while Umphrey’s rocked through their set that clocked in just under two hours. Highlights included a funkified “In The Kitchen”, and a cover of McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” into “Miss Tinkles Overture” to end the set around 2AM. For some it was off to Girl Talk, while others waited around for Ghostland Observatory.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Backwoods Stage
Former Drive By Trucker guitarist and songwriter Jason Isbell teamed up with his backing band the 400 Unit for what may have been the hottest show of the weekend. It was mid afternoon Saturday and the Backwoods Stage doesn’t offer much in the way of shade that time of day so a medium sized crowd filed in as strong odor of sunscreen filled the air. I had the chance to briefly see Isbell open for Ryan Adams this past January, but this was my first time seeing him with his band. Their set lasted just over and hour and featured songs from Isbell’s solo albums as well as a ridiculously good cover of “Never Gonna Change”, a song Isbell wrote and performed with the Drive By Truckers that appeared on The Dirty South. He brought out the Secret Sisters for the last few songs including “Codeine” and “Alabama Pines.” This one didn’t sneak in the Top 5, but its certainly in the Top 10.
Gary Clark Jr – Revival Tent
This was my #1 show that I had to see going into the weekend, and it certainly lived up to the hype. Gary Clark Jr. is an absolutely amazing blues and rock guitarist and the dude is on his way to some major success. You need to see this guy while you have a chance to see him playing smaller clubs, because it won’t last. Clark ripped his way through a 90 minute set under the Revival Tent to a large crowd and this set hit on the blues rock you expected, and some soulful r&b grooves laid out by Gary Clark Jr. “Bright Lights” was definitely a highlight, as most would expect it clocked in around 10 minutes.
Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller Williams – Outpost Stage
This was another set that I was not going to miss, and another set that certainly delivered as expected. Saturday brought the all day bluegrass schedule on the Outpost Stage, and with that came the Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams. Together they just released Pick, a bluegrass album featuring original tunes and cover songs by both the McCoury’s and Keller, and they had 90 minutes to showcase that album and other surprises. Covers included “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summers, “Pepper” by the Butthole Surfers, “Tennessee Stud”, dedicated to Doc Watson, and even Jessie J’s “Price Tag” a song that surprisingly sounds like it was written to be performed by a hippie like Keller. After about an hour Keller said it was time to get this thing going and invited out Drew Emmitt and Billy Nershi for a mini bluegrass ball. We even had a brief cameo by the final bluegrass pioneer to grace the world in Del McCoury during “Bumper Sticker.” This was probably my favorite set of the weekend, and you should probably pick up their new album.
There was music on Sunday, as well as a few shows that I wasn’t able to cover for various reasons (camera battery, scheduling conflicts, lack of energy, fear of taking the camera out to late nights, too fucking hot, etc.) These included Umphrey’s McGee and Primus back to back on the Main Stage Saturday night, followed by your choice of late night SOJA, Big Gigantic or SOJA. Other late nights included Papadosio, MiMOSA, Girl Talk, Quixotic, and The Floozies. There was an entire day of reggae on Sunday at the Revival Tent featuring Iration, Slightly Stoopid and Matisyahu and others. Sunday also led to some power issues on the Backwoods Stage which gave way to intimate unplugged sets in front of the stage by Dumptruck Butterlips and Emmitt-Nershi Band.
There have been some amazing festival streams so far in 2012. Coachella gave u the Tupac hologram , Bonnaroo brought the Gambler out with to share a stage with Phish, Orion Music + More brought us.. well, it streamed. And today we’re here at Concert Confessions are happy to bring you the schedule of the acts that will be streamed from Lollapalooza 2012. At YouTube.com/Lollapalooza you can check out all of the going on from August 3rd through 5th inGrant Park in Chicago. The full schedule is below along with a webcast trailer.
Orion Music + More Festival- Day Two: Running later than yesterday because the alarm didn’t go off it was just a mere coincidence to have drank enough fluids on Day One that a built in intestinal alarm clock was installed as a back up. That was a dodged bullet there wasn’t it? That could have been so much worse. Maybe not wake up at 4pm and miss out on Ghost! Or The Black Dahlia Murder! Well luckily, in the 72nd edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, I made it to Bader Field on time, here in the beautiful Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Fuel Stage to kick today off with A Place To Bury Strangers.
You see an editors note on yesterday’s recap about me writing this review at the show. That’s true. With memory card space and battery life on my mind, instead of filming all I can I’m taping one song per set, therefore leaving me more time to take little notes and stuff. Hence why some of the wording seems as if it’s happening live. It was at the time.
A Place To Bury Strangers
Who’s the one who told me to check this band out like 3 years ago? Anyway, thank you whoever you are, because they ain’t too shabby. You’d think with a name like A Place To Bury Strangers, they come and rip your heart out with the death grips of metal. I mean, they’re loud as fuck, and quite heavy-but the elements of distortion (I don’t if that’s an effects box on the drum set or what), they’re more “alternative-ty”. They kicked off at 1pm and a few songs in I’m thinking “wow these dudes are wrecking shit up, what time is it now?” It was only 1:18pm. I caught maybe 6 or 7 of their songs before I headed cross the field to the Orion Stage to get a good spot(behind the empty VIP area) for Ghost.
Yesterday, Lars and Kirk introduced a few of the bands that they said they were fans of. Well, Ghost got that same treatment today, only from James Hetfield. I was chatting it up with a fellow rail rider and a security guard in front of us. Kid next to me mentioned that they changed from all black to all white for this tour “so they look like Klan members”. The security guard happened to be black, so I said to him “so don’t run when you see them!” jokingly. It was all fun and games- even when Ghost came on. These guys definitely have a sense of humor. The costumes, the whole thing. When they walk out you can’t help but chuckle. I was no longer afraid, but intrigued. And they don’t seem to me to be this “heavy death kill your face” metal as assumed.
Ghost rocked. We got that cool ass “Here Comes the Sun” cover, and I think that last song was called “Ritual”. I noticed their drummer was kicking up something wicked over there. Awesome band- now go take those outfits off boys it’s hot at hell out here
Gary Clark Jr
Fuck yeah! I had and still have no idea who this guy Gary Clark Jr. is, and you know what, that’s a bad job on my part. Shame on me. Apparently I was the only one who was new to dude, because the crowd really packed in for this one. If you’re a fan of awesome bluesy crazy guitar work- emphasis on awesome-then you need to see check this guy out. The solos were freaking epic- some take you to space type stuff. Kirk Hammet introduced him as “one of my new favorite guitar players” and praised his interesting sound. Well, as Kirk watched from the side of the stage the riffs from Gary Clark Jr were hitting me in all the right places song by song. I got the name of one cause the lyrics were easy “If You Love Me Like You Say”. Seriously, where’d this guy come from? Does Jack White know about this guy? Because I can guarantee once he hears him they’ll form some sort of awesome side project for Mr. White.
Yesterday saw the indie acts the likes Modest Mouse and stuff. Today leans more towards the metal side of things- therefore, more drunk metal fans, hence peaking my interest to see Best Coast get stuff chucked at them. While I walked over I heard Soul Rebels doing a jazzy version of “Enter Sandman” wish I could have caught that. But instead I was catching these wusses. With their soft, boring music. How old is that chick like 14? They’re like emo kids who heard a song with a distortion pedal and started a band with their parents money. I’m chatting it up with this female security guard as they play. Forget these losers. Such uninteresting songs I could write in my sleep.
The Black Dahlia Murder
Ghost and The Black Dahlia Murderare the two acts of Orion that Reverend Justitohas been in my ear about. I’m on the rail at 4:46( their set is at 5:15) and as they’re setting up at the Damage Inc. Stage one of the guitar players screams to the crowd “Take off the glasses so I can see your eyes!!”. These guys have a sense of humor they were joking around with fans the whole time they set up, and between songs. Once they started, it was the fastest played instruments I’ve ever seen in my life. THIS band, is the first band at this festival with the exception of Metallica that I’d hear one second of and immediately say “metal”. The lead singer has the full growl going, I don’t know how that can be done night in night out without killing your voice box. Few songs in dude tells the crowd he wants to see the biggest circle pit of all time. So this, already rawkus crowd with some epic crowd surfers just got a tad more violent. Awesome. Thought I enjoyed the band, not sure if it’s something I can do full albums of. I got out of there 10 minutes to 6, I have to find a spot with some shade.
Back to the Orion Stage and another act introduced by James Hetfeild, this one being Eric Church. I’m giving it the blind listen for the first 2 songs, I found an shaded spot where I can sit on the floor behind the handicap seating( I need a breather!). I can say this much- I didn’t need Hetfeild to tell me this dude is from Nashville, because from the first lyric he sang his voice conveyed the sounds of he south. He said “We’re from Tennessee, we just wanna drink and party like you guys”. Sweet. His voice would fit in well with country music- but his band sounds like they belong at a place like this. Songs I didn’t hate, even if it is country music. Church mentions he drinks “94 proof, single barrel Jack Daniels” while holding up a red cup and says “I wrote a song about it, for those who won’t remember all this in the morning.. called Jack Daniels”. Did I mention there is no liquor on sale here? Just beer and I saw wine. With this crowd, probably a safe idea.
While everyone heads over to the Fuel Stage for Avenged Sevenfold, a band I tried so hard to get into but couldn’t, I figured I’d check out Titus Andronicus at the Frantic Stage. Of course now that the sun is setting I’ll make my first trip to the tented stage. I know Titus did one of those covers on that Spin magazine Nirvana Nevermind tribute album that I didn’t hate. So there’s one I’ll know if they play it.
Once they started I’m thinking: “Now this is more up my alley”. Three guitar players, front man who’s looks like his girl friend dumped him and they’re here to tell you about it type of band. Slightly whiney, but I can’t blame them they’re from Jersey and they get loud enough to make up for it. They’re more punky than anything else. Really enjoyed their set, it was fun- made me bounce. Towards the end the lead singer is like “Metallica is up next.. never thought I’d be saying that”.
Now let me preface this following paragraph by saying I think it’s really cool what Metallica did here with this whole “inviting bands outside the genre of Metal” to a festival thing, and I loved it. Orion Music + More was something I’m going to remember.
They’re set to hit the stage tonight at 8PM tonight as oppose to 9PM, it is a Sunday after all. Once their set started I received three texts from three people who shall remain nameless (thenaturalstoner, Mr. Sparkly, and I made up the third one it was only two) asking me if Fuse is running a repeat of last nights show on the stream. Add an hour more of daylight, and I kind of felt the same way. They went with “Ecstasy of Gold”, “Hit The Lights” and “Master Of Puppets” to kick it off again. Last night I played the role of “first Metallica show” guy. The guy who’d never seen the band before and I just sat back and really was able to take it all in. . But can you tell me something? What the hell guys?? What the hell? If you exchange “Ride The Lightning” with “The Black Album” tonight was basically almost a carbon copy set of last night. Okay, at 8:42 we got “Fuel”, I’ll give you that-it was freaking awesome. But even the way Hetfeild worded everything exactly the same way as he had did the night before, as if he had all that stuff memorized. He keeps saying stuff like “Orion and Metallica are family” and making us chant it, as if he’s taking this Orion Music + More brand and trying to pitch it for next year already. First of all you’re Metallica, if you wanna have a festival I’m sure you can afford to have one every single year. And second off , dude, if you book good bands, we’ll come back again-stop forcing it on us.
I was really happy to be able to grab footage of Metallica doing my favorites though, even if they were played last night. This new camera is such a beast. Last night my battery died before I could get pics of any of their pyrotechnics fireworks explosions that started with “Enter Sandman” (on both nights that’s where the bombs went off).
‘Unforgiven’ was epic, thank the sweet lord they didn’t play versions II and III. It wasn’t til after 9Pm when we got into the Black Album-backwards. I don’t listen to albums in reverse order unless I’m trying to find out if Paul is dead, so what the hell is up with that? They did the same thing last night. And don’t call me a noob, because when I got in the cab after the show and I asked the people I shared it with if they stayed for the entire encore, the answer was a quick “No way they played all the same songs”. And don’t talk my word and the word of someone I asked for it, as the Concert Confessions peeps who were watching the stream and had their own thoughts:
-“Just play a two-hour long Enter Sandman…call it a night.”
-” Yes, James…you are at Orion and your band is Metallica.”
-” Alright, playing the Black Album was cool and all, but there was so much more they could have done with the second night.”
-“A wasted opportunity”
Ooooo look they’re encoring with “Seek And Destroy”. Yeah, like a lot of stuff during this set, I got this last night. During that encore I was heading towards the exit. Tonight Metallica set was kind of a let down all things considered. Last night they seemed like cool guys, like changed men. Tonight all I see on stage is a band looking at a sea of about 22,000 fans while calculating profits in their heads.
At least I saw Metallica two nights in a row-I mean in the general scheme of things having never seen them before this weekend. But I do have one last question. Metallica has a song called “Orion” right? This is Orion Music + More festival right? Why not play that song, do you guys think it sucks? Then why name you’re festival after it? But besides a 2nd night headlining let down, the whole weekend was really great and I got to branch out my musical tastes a little bit from stage to stage, set to set. First “festival” I’ve attended was a success, even catching that 4:30AM bus back to NYC at Ballys.
Notes: The Medical staff gets all the blame when shit goes wrong, well let’s slurp them when shit goes well. Their were tents everywhere if you were feeling even the least bit dehydrated or anything. Drunken passed out people on the floors were quickly scoop up brought into the tent and revived in time for Metallica.
Must See Acts, Set Times for Orion Music + More Festival
Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ June 23rd & 24th
On Saturday June 23rd, Atlantic City’s own Bader Field will be taken over by the legion of Metal-Heads as Metallica’s Orion Music + More Festival will kick off. You may have heard over the weekend that Phish just did 3 nights at this same “field”.
When you hear someone say “Hey, I’m going to that Metallica festival” it’s immediately interrupted as something that would be titled “Death Metal Fest” or something like that(and in pour the comments about the differences between death metal and black metal). But au contraire friends, this isn’t the typical festival(line-up wise) at all you would expect for Metallica to be curating. The two day festival is bound to bring not only fans of the Metal or thrash genre, but the pseudo-intellectual hipsters will flock to this thing too, as some of their favorite Indie acts like The Gaslight Anthem and Best Coast have been invited to this festival along with the other 30+ , eclectic to say the least, acts set to appear. We’ll get to the full list of the acts at the bottom of this post when we map out which bands will be appearing at what times on which of the four stages this festival will have, but for now, let’s get into the Jay Porks Top Five Must See Bands at this Orion Music + More extravaganza this weekend June 23rd and 24th.
#5 Metallica ( Headlining both nights ‘Orion’ Stage)
I know what you’re thinking: “How can Metallica NOT be number one here?!?” . Well, truth be told, I personally am not the biggest Metallica fan. Putting all the differences aside like when Lars and the boys got angry about fans downloading the bands music from Napster, all and all I’m lucky to see the band. And hey at least they’re playing the Black Album and Ride The Lightening in their entirety, because those are the only two albums that contain the Metallica songs I like. I’m happy to be able to cross them off the bucket list of bands to see, and I appreciate them putting on a festival like this with such diversity. But there are 4 other acts I’d rather see perform at this thing.
#4 Ghost (Sunday, ‘Orion Stage’ 2PM-3PM)
Here’s all I know about Ghost: they scare the living fuck out of me. Seriously, have you seen their cover of “Here Comes The Sun”? The people (Fine authors like Reverend Justito and Jakob Ross to name two)I know who seem to know music speak very highly of the Stockholm band, and with nothing conflicting (and hopefully carrying a change of underwear) I will be sure to check these dudes out on the Sunday at 2 in the afternoon.
#3 Roky Erickson (Saturday,”Frantic” Stage 2:45-3:30PM
Before I explain myself let me remind everyone that every act on the bill was invited by Metallica to perform. But holy shit, I get to see Roky Erickson! I’m over joyed . Pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement with the 13th Floor Elevators back in the day, Roky has be cited as the influence for a number of acts, from the Meat Puppets to obvious Metallica. If that’s not cool tits right there, I don’t know what is. Above is a video of Mr. Erickson jamming with the aforementioned Meat Puppets at SXSW last year.
#2 Arctic Monkeys (Saturday,8PM-9PM ‘Fuel Stage’)
I don’t remember when it was, but I know it was some random Pandora radio station I had created back in the day. I was trolling some bands message board arguing with people for reasons I forgot 5 minutes later, a song called ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ came on and I immediately stopped to find out who the hell these guys were. Such an interesting sound, so unique in so many ways-these guys just opened up a Arena Tour for the Black Keys . That show (though pricey I was still going to attend) sold out on me faster than you can make a premature ejaculation joke. I’m so freaking ready to watch these guys rock out the ‘Fuel Stage’ before Metallica closes out Saturday with ‘Ride The Lightening’
#1 Modest Mouse (Saturday 7pm-8pm ‘Orion Stage’)
And leading that pack of aforementioned pseudo-intellectual hipsters will be this guy right here, hopefully riding the rail for Modest Mouse’s set. Hell, I’ve even grab a few Tao Lin books and spend two days in a garage errrrrrr I mean an “art space” in Williamsburg watching Russ Meyer flicks to gear up for this one. I freaking LOVE this band. The only thing I would question is why have Arctic Monkeys and these guys on the same night? One of them should be playing Sunday before Metallica. Anyway, I’ll hopefully be “Doin’ The Cockroach” with some festival groupie chicks to whom sober is 26 miles in their rear view mirror.
Honorable Mentions: Cage The Elephant are a really cool band, and had I wanted to do a Top six they were next-promise. If all goes according to plan, Metallica fans storm the stage and trample Best Coast for being such wusses. That’s one band that’s gonna get killed at this gig, seriously. Back when Dinosaur Jr came to Terminal 5 and Rollins interviewed them on stage and that douche bag stole a snippet of my full 18 minute video, an opener that was sorta over looked in the aftermath was Fucked Up. So I’m interested to check out their festival set and see what they’re all about. And either Jim Florentine or Don Jamieson I guess I’ll have to check out to. I wonder if “That Metal Show” will do an episode remote from the festival. Probably not, but here’s hoping.
Below, you can find humongous screen shots of the festival’s stage schedules and all the bands playing when and where. TheNaturalStoner hooked that up because I’m an idiot who was gonna type it out individually.
There are two slots in these photos labeled TBA. The Saturday 1PM at Orion Stage is Baroness, and the Sunday, 5PM on the Fuel Stage is Volbeat. They were the last two bands added to the line-up. You’d think the festival’s website would have an updated version of this. Oh well. Come find me at the Flagship Resort as that’s where I’ll be staying since Atlantic City has closed my favorite hotel/casino the Trump Marina (that had a sweet buffet and a Hooters). Seriously, come find me, I’m looking to freaking party. Besides the time at Bader Field, and the hour after that I’m writing the experience up-I will be wasted. The Jay Porks After Party. Don’t act like I WON’T do that. See you all there, I’ll be the one in the shirt that says “Your Favorite Band Sucks”(or my Blood Half Moons tee shirt).
Jay Porks Orion Schedule:
1PM Baroness-Orion Stage
2:45PM Roky Erickson-Frantic Stage
4PM Fucked Up -Fuel Stage
5:15PM Jim Florentine-Frantic Stage
6PM Cage The Elephant-Fuel Stage
7PM Modest Mouse-Orion Stage
8PM Arctic Monkeys-Fuel Stage
9PM Metallica (Ride The Lightening)-Orion Stage
1PM A Place To Bury Strangers -Fuel Stage
2PM Ghost-Orion Stage
3PM Gary Clark Jr.-Fuel Stage
4Pm Best Coast – Orion Stage
5:15Pm The Black Dahlia Murder – Damage Inc. Stage
On the morning of my final day at Bonnaroo, I was prepared for what would certainly be our most relaxing day. With only four acts to check out (and the first one not going on until 1:00), I was ready to chill and maybe have a beer with BeeZnutz.
It had rained the whole night and well into the morning, but by the time we left our tent at about 9 or so, the rain had died down to a light drizzle as the clouds above threatened similar weather in our near future. Which of course is a whole lot better than heat and sun. Reminds me of Washington. *sniff*
After a big breakfast that consisted of pop tarts, eggs, and bacon (seriously, THANK YOU Tony) we hung out a little more and talked about Phish with our neighbors, asking questions such as “If you see Phish two nights in a row at the same place, does that count as seeing them twice?” The answer, obviously, is yes.
Eventually, it was that time of morning where we would have to walk on the wet grass over to the What Stage to catch bluesy newcomer Gary Clark Jr.
Chapter 2: The Savior of Blues
If you’ve paid attention to festival lineups lately, then you’ve probably noticed many common names. But one that you’re gonna want to remember is Gary Clark Jr. This 28-year old guitar virtuoso may come off as intimidating at first (I compare him to 1994 Samuel L. Jackson sans afro) he is actually an astoundingly skilled musician and seemingly vulnerable person. For example, when he breaks into falsetto for a song like Please Come Home, your heart immediately melts. Gary has what most guitar players lack (I also noticed this with Annie Clark): EMOTION. He actually feels the notes and chords of the guitar buzzing through his entire body, and lets his emotions affect how he plays and what he plays. It worked with Jimi Hendrix and B.B. King (who I’d compare Gary to without hesitation) and it will work for literally every guitar player with a heart.
Gary played an hour-long set full of songs both rockin’ and beautiful, sometimes both. He uses a fuzzy type of distortion that gives it an old school sound while also giving it a garage-revival sound. Something not exactly unique, but it is definitely put to good use.
And the dude, like I said, plays guitar extremely well. Whether it’s the crazy finger-picking riff on Don’t Owe You a Thang to, well pretty much any guitar solo he played. He played tastefully, not trying to draw the attention away from his fantastic band. That is another important part of being a blues musician. Your name may be the one on the CDs, posters, and t-shirts, but the band onstage is what’s making it happen. It’s easy to see now why they call Gary Clark Jr. the savior of blues.
Chapter 3: the Adult Swim Carnival
If you’re the kind of person that watches Adult Swim, then you’re also probably the kind of person who eats corn flakes at 2 in the morning and makes jokes about unicorns.
But seriously, Adult Swim is one of the strangest channels on television, and when they’re sponsoring a festival known specifically for its weirdness… well, you never know what could happen.
This year, they opened up an Adult Swim sponsored section of Bonnaroo right by the entrance that runs sort of like a carnival, but if the carnival was invented by Syd Barrett and Jim Morrison. There were classic carnival games like Balloonicorn, Smack Up My Uvula, and everyones favorite: Babies vs. Old People!
During Balloonicorn, you had to put on a comically oversized unicorn head with an extra-sharp horn tip and jump up repeatedly to try and pop the balloons that were above. Pop enough of them, you win a prize. Because of the long line and promise of a headache, I decided to skip that one.
During Smack Up My Uvula, you had to climb a horizontal ladder that is VERY unsteady and try to reach the uvula at the end. And then you smack it. And then you win a prize. I tried (and failed) but my dad won!
And during Babies vs. Old People (On Segwags) you stood on a mounted Segway with a sling shot between the two handles and fire small babies at the cardboard old people that are moving across. Again, I lost and so did my dad. Slingshots are hard.
After failed attempts to complete these games (thank goodness it was all free) we headed out towards the Which Stage to catch the second Ben Folds Five performance in over 10 years. Unfortunately to do this, we had to do the unthinkable: sit through Mac Miller.
Chapter 4: The Unthinkable and Ben Folds Five
While we waited in line to get into the pit for Ben Folds Five, we had nothing to do but listen to Mac Miller’s performance. And since I don’t have many kind words to say about Mac Miller, reviewing him wouldn’t exactly be fair. So I’ll just skip to the part where we were in the pit waiting for Ben Folds Five.
Ben Folds Five (who are actually a trio, HOW IRONIC!) parted ways in 2000, leaving Ben Folds with a successful solo career, but nothing that would ever match the greatness that is BF5. They were known for their pleasant nerdiness, jazz influences, and for being all-around happy people.
“This is our first concert as Ben Folds Five in over… seven days,” said lead singer/pianist Ben Folds, referring to the Mountain Jam Festival. “But before that it was over 10 years.” I guess he means as an actual working band, because they performed a one-off concert in 2008. But that doesn’t matter, it worked on a humor level.
The band kicked off the set with the first song off their debut album, Jackson Cannery. And afterwards they just let the hits flow through, not playing any of their new material (if there was any) but did invite us to check it out online. But hey that’s fine with me. Soundgarden did the same thing last year and I had a great time with them.
At one point Ben Folds stopped the show and said “Uh, this is a tradition at a Ben Folds Five show where I take a picture from atop my piano. So, if you could all very kindly flip me off…” and got on his piano. Everyone in the crowd very kindly put their middle fingers up to Ben Folds as he took a picture.
One of the coolest parts of the show was when they broke into Song for the Dumped, one of the most musically insane Ben Folds Five songs. It includes a solo where Ben Folds holds his mic up to the strings of the piano and just rubs on them, while bassist Robert Sledge holds his amp chord up to his hand producing rhythmic feedback with the buzz of the amp. It really is hard to explain, but it’s something to see.
Ben Folds Five are quite impressive to watch, even if you don’t know many of their songs. Their musicianship alone is enough to make you a lifetime fan. And Ben Folds’ smile is as contagious as wook flu at Bonnaroo.
Setlist: Jackson Cannery, Theme From Dr. Pyser, Fair, Selfless Cold and Compose, Uncle Walter, Where’s Summer B?, Battle of Who Could Care Less, Brick, Emaline, Philosophy, Army, Kate, Alice Childress, Song For the Dumped, Narcolepsy, Underground ENCORE: One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
Chapter 5: The Civil Wars
Of the many power duos to come about in the last few years, the one that has captivated me more than I ever would have imagined is The Civil Wars. With just two voices and a guitar, The Civil Wars churn out very interesting folk songs with haunting melodies.
At 6:25 PM in an over-capacity The Other Tent, singers John Paul White and (a very pregnant) Joy Williams appeared with smiles pervading their faces. Everything about the Civil Wars is just happy! Even the sad songs. And these two very talented vocalists almost make country music interesting, it seems.
I only got to catch the first half of their set due to a scheduling conflict with Phish, but was still mesmerized, and found it difficult to look away. John and Joy have sort of a lovers’ chemistry going through the performance, but they are both married to different people. It could be just what sells their songs. For some reason I think of the scene from Step Brothers where Will Ferrell is singing to his therapist in the woods whenever I see John and Joy interact on stage.
And when they cover songs (I only got to see one) it is a sight to see. Because they don’t cover easy guitar/vocals songs. Before I left I got to see them cover Sour by Portishead, but according to www.setlist.fm, they also threw in covers of I Want You Back by Jackson 5, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson, and Dance Me To The End of Love by Leonard Cohen.
The Civil Wars are a great band to see live. They’re so fun to watch that you almost forget that you’re standing there doing nothing for 90 minutes (or sitting there, depending on the venue.)
But at 7:00, we left and headed to catch the band that I really wanted to see. More than any other band at Bonnaroo. I was ready for one of the greatest live experiences in the history of ever.
Setlist: Tip of My Tongue, Forget Me Not, From This Valley, 20 Years, I’ve Got This Friend, Sour (Portishead cover), Barton Hollow, Falling, Birds of a Feather, I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover), Oh Henry, My Father’s Father, Poison and Wine ENCORE: Kingdom Come, To Whom It May Concern, Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover), Dance Me To the End of Love (Leonard Cohen cover)
Chapter 6: A Tasty Phish Philet
One thing Bonnaroo was known for pre-2006 was its impressive lineup of jam bands. They’ve hosted Umphrey’s McGee 7 times, as well as bands like Widespread Panic, Gov’t Mule, The String Cheese Incident, and members of the Grateful Dead. But no jam band (that currently tours) is as highly regarded as the legendary and almighty Phish!
If you’ve visited this website at all, then you probably know that the majority of its contributors are huge Phish fans. I mean, just look at how big the word “Phish” is on the tag cloud at the right of this post!
Anyway, I was anxious to finally see Phish. To finally see what Reverend Justito and thenaturalstoner have been talking about all these years. To see what guest they bring out and what covers they do and just… everything! I was prepared. Come at me, Phish!
At around 8:05 or so the lights went down and out from Stage Right appear the mighty phoursome: Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman. As Mike started to hit his bass (which was set to phaser) I thought it would be too good to be true: They would kick things off with Down With Disease? Nah! Can’t be! And then Mike slaps the bass riff and I knew from that moment that this would be the greatest thing I see at Bonnaroo. And I was not disappointed.
After Down With Disease they played Funky Bitch, a Son Seals cover, during which Mike Gordon took over singing duties. Afterwards they went right on into The Moma Dance during which Jon handled most of the singing. After a very funky performance of Moma I heard the chord progression to Sample In a Jar and once again had that feeling of “Nah! It can’t be!” But lo and behold, another shining moment from the Hoist album played within the first half of Set 1. And at this moment the rain that was looming over us started pouring a little bit harder and the glowsticks started going up and down at a faster rate. Seriously, I saw more glowsticks being thrown around during Phish than I did during Skrillex.
It really did seem like Phish brought their A-Game, and with two of my favorite songs already making an appearance, what could happen next I could not even begin to imagine. They followed Sample with Axilla I which I don’t think is on any of their studio albums. I know Axilla Part 2 is on Hoist, but I know nothing of a part 1.
Anyway, after Axilla, Trey invited up the special guest that everyone was so anxious to see. “It seems like every time we come here we get to play with people who we really admire, and, um, and we’re going to bring up someone we’re absolutely thrilled to play with right now. Please give a warm welcome to Kenny Rogers.” This was totally unexpected in my opinion. Kenny, who played a set earlier that day, seemed happy to play to a crowd bigger than his usual turnout of 300, while Trey could barely contain his excitement to be performing with the country-music legend. And with that, they broke into The Gambler, the one Kenny Rogers song that I didn’t even know I knew.
As much as I would love to go into each individual song and tell you how much I loved it, I just don’t want to write a review THAT long. But I will leave you with a setlist, and on a note that explains how much fun I had.
Bonnaroo was just nonstop fun. Sure, I only got like 3 hours of sleep each night. Sure I felt disgusting most of the time. And sure it was crowded and hot and expensive and there were long lines for things. Either way, I can’t for the life of me think of a time where I had so much fun at a place ever. If you get the chance, hit your local festival. Coachella, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Fire Fly, Wakarusa, Dave Matthews Band Caravan; whatever it is, it’ll be worth going to. Trust me.
Setlist: SET 1 Down with Disease, Funky Bitch (Son Seals c0ver), The Moma Dance, Sample In A Jar, Axilla I, The Gambler (with Kenny Rogers), Possum>Wilson>Tweezer, Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Cavern SET 2 Golden Age (TV On the Radio cover), 2001 (Richard Strauss cover), Chalkdust Torture, Carini>Shafty>Rock and Roll (Velvet Underground cover), Alaska, Harry Hood>Light, Character Zero, Rocky Top (Lynn Anderson cover) ENCORE Show of Life>Julius>Tweezer Reprise
Of all the shows I caught, I’d say the best was Phish. Without a doubt. Childish Gambino and Radiohead get 2nd and 3rd. After that, it’s pretty much up for grabs. I wasn’t disappointed at all by anyone I saw. Bad Brains were a little sloppy and Red Hot Chili Peppers had issues connecting with the audience, but overall everything I saw was nigh perfect. And with that, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.
So two days in a row we’ve got ourselves cool bands doing record breaking tours. The Flaming Lips today announced they’ve mapped out the itinerary of their attempt to break the Guinness World Record of most concerts in one day, 8.
They kick things off down south, in Memphis, Tennessee June 27th @ 7:30 ET and plan to end in New Orleans exactly 24 hours later. Between that they’ll hit 5 cities in Mississippi and one in Baton Rouge.
The Flaming Lips are always supported by cool folks. No exceptions here: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals,Gary Clark Jr, Neon Indian and Grimes
Tickets are on sale June 7th… Reports are that all 24 hours will also be webcast live online as part of MTV’s O Music Awards. Seems odd, to webcast all 24 hours. That tape gonna be rolling on the tour bus? Man this band only get’s cooler. All the dates,Show set times Venues and who’s opening where are down below:
06/27 – 4:30 P.M.: Memphis, TN – W.C. Handy Park (with New Fumes)
06/27 – 6:30 P.M.: Clarksdale, MS – Ground Zero Blues Club (with Hour of the Time Majesty 12)
06/27 – 9:30 P.M.: Oxford, MS – The Lyric Oxford (with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals)
06/28 – 1:00 A.M.: Jackson, MS – Duling Hall (with Neon Indian)
06/28 – 6:30 A.M.: Hattiesburg, MS – Benny’s Boom Boom Room (with Jackson Browne)
06/28 – 9:45 A.M.: Biloxi, MS – Hard Rock Casino – Biloxi’s Wet Spot Pool (with Phantogram)
06/28 – 1:30 P.M.: Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre (with GIVERS opening, performing with Linear Downfall)
06/28 – 5:00 P.M.: New Orleans, LA – House of Blues (with Grimes, Roger Daltrey and ???)
Bonnaroo Preview: The Top 12 Must-See Acts to Catch at the Farm
If you know me in any way, then you probably know that I am attending this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festivalin Manchester, Tennessee. It is repeatedly called “Best Festival of the Summer” by many music-based magazines and websites,and tens of thousands head out to Manchester every year to catch acts big and small. So here are my Top 12 acts of this year’s installment of Bonnaroo!
Honorable mentions: Skrillex, Superjam (feat ?uestlove of the Roots), Ben Folds Five, the Civil Wars
12. St. Vincent
St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, has got to be one of the coolest women around these days. When she’s not making appearances in Top 100 Guitarists lists, she’s busy promoting her solid 2011 album Strange Mercy at festivals such as Coachella and Sasquatch. Her live show always gets rave reviews, therefore I am excited to catch her 7:45 set on Friday night.
Dispatch are among the many bands who have reunited within the past year. The indie/roots jam band with a devoted following released a couple albums throughout the 90s before breaking up in 2002, playing one-off gigs in 2004, 2007, and 2009. They officially reunited last year, releasing a 6-song EP of new material and co-headlined the Dave Matthews Band Caravan touring festival. Their songs may not be very complex, but they are notorious for fun shows full of adoring fans. What more could a fan ask for?
10. Alabama Shakes
If any band deserves the title “Breakout Band of 2012,” it’s blues outfit Alabama Shakes, led by the phenomenal Ms. Brittany Howard. Based on videos I have seen from their live shows, they give energetic performances and wow the crowds every time. They’ve even got the honor of opening for Mr. Jack White on his solo tour. Their solid bluesy throwback with a soulful singer is perfect for the 100-degree Tennessee weather.
9. Gary Clark Jr.
Speaking of blues, here is a man who some have called “The Savior of Blues.” While that is debatable, I do know that Gary Clark Jr. is well on his way to becoming this year’s recipient of the Guitar God award, if one does exist. He is a slaying guitar player and his brand of blues tinged classic rock is always a crowd pleaser.
8. Bad Brains
Out of all the punk bands that came out of D.C. in the early 80s, Bad Brains were certainly the ballsiest. Their dreads were natty, their songs had the fierceness of Minor Threat (or the chill of Bob Marley, depending on which song you listen to) and they are the very reason the Beastie Boys existed. Now it’s just a matter of whether or not (lead singer) HR has what it takes to keep the energy going in That Tent.
7. Flogging Molly
For those who think The Pogues are too Irish and the Dropkick Murphys not Irish enough, there is Flogging Molly. Their last album came out a year ago, so it doesn’t seem like they’re playing to support it. They’re just playing for the hell of it, and I can’t wait to witness these guys for the first time ever. Will I lose my mind during “Seven Deadly Sins”, you ask? Does the Pope poop in the woods? (Yes.)
6. Umphrey’s McGee
To be honest, I am not too familiar with this band. With Dispatch and Phish on the bill, jam experts Umphrey’s McGee are almost overshadowed, with a late-night set that conflicts that of IDM/freak-raver Flying Lotus. I have heard on countless occasions that UM’s late night sets are ones that should not ever be missed, so I am letting curiosity get the best of me for this 2 A.M. set.
I know, it’s just a bit too obvious to put the headliners in the list, but I’m doing it anyway. If you asked me at the beginning of the year, I would’ve told you that I couldn’t care less about Radiohead and I didn’t care to see them, but things have changed. Radiohead (whose 2006 Roo performance has been hailed as one of their best) have really upped the ante with their 2012 live show. After watching—and being amazed by—their Coachella performance, I know that I have to see them, if only just to cross them off the bucket list.
4. Major Lazer
If you were to ask thenaturalstoner who his favorite act of Sasquatch 2011 was, he’ll more likely than not say Major Lazer. The reggae-infused electronic act (dynamic duo Diplo and Scratch) are known for astounding live shows, which is way better than anything you’ll hear on their debut album “Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do.” So I am hoping that the dudes do not disappoint me when I catch them in This Tent after Radiohead.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Yes, I know. Another headliner. But bear with me. See I have been listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers since I was just a toddler. My parents tell me I even used to sing “Scar Tissue” as a young’n! I’m looking forward to catching these guys regardless of how Anthony sounds nowadays. I do know that Flea is one of the baddest bass players of all time, and the new guy, Josh Klinghoffer, ain’t half bad either. So whether I’m singing along to “Under the Bridge” or jamming out to “By the Way”, I am going to see Red Hot Chili Peppers and have a fantastic time.
We here at Concert Confessions love Donald GloverTroy BarnesChildish Gambino, a semi-joking semi-serious rapper who has been hitting the festival and touring circuit since the beginning of the year to support his debut album Camp. He is a fantastic lyricist, an energetic performer, and an all-around cool guy. Whether you’ve seen his stand-up specials on Comedy Central or his role on NBC’s cult favorite Community, you know that Donald Glover is one cool dude. Gambino is a mastermind.
I have been wanting to see jam-band Phish since their reunion in 2009. My dad is a long time fan (he’s seen them twice already) and most writers for the site have seen them numerous times. Now I am not a religious follower of Phish’s live bootlegs; I don’t know what songs they play and which songs they don’t play and I don’t know which versions of their songs are good and which versions are bad. I do know that Phish are a great band who I am excited to see more than anyone else. From 8:00 to 12:00, I get to enjoy a delicious Phish Philet before heading home from my first ever camping festival. And that’s what’s up.
This week marks the 9th installment of the Wakarusa Music Festival in Ozark, Arkansas…. well, the 4th installment in Arkansas, but the 9th Wakarusa overall. This will also mark my fifth straight visit to Waka, and along the way I have learned many valuable things. One of the most important things I have realized is that your schedule very well may not be followed as you planned, and you will certainly find yourself at stages for bands you didn’t plan to catch. This is why I find it necessary to make a list of 10 bands that I will see, no matter what. This time around, I had a problem eliminating one more artist, so we are going to stick with the Top 11.
Here are my 11 Must See Artists at the 2012 Wakarusa Festival… make sure to check back in a few weeks for our full recap!
11. ALO / Thurs 4:30pm – 6:00pm Animal Liberation Orchestra makes their triumphant return to Mulberry Mountain, where they last visited for Wakarusa 2010. I was able to catch a few minutes of that set, and it was quite enjoyable. I ended up purchasing the DVD of that show and I think its been watched approximately 100 times since then. Their style of mellow California jam music will be a perfect way to kick off the first ‘official’ night on the Mountain! Too bad I will have to miss The Floozies first set of the weekend…. but wait!
10. The Floozies / Sun 12:30am – 2:00am
Lawrence, KS two-piece consisting of brothers Matt Hill, guitar/producer, and drummer Mark Hill. The Floozies do the funky electronic party rock, and they do it quite well. They are on their way up the ladder and their set to finish out the entire festival on Sunday night (technically Monday morning) is going to be a great way to catapult them in that direction. If you can’t make it to the late night show, they also play Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm
9. Umphrey’s McGee / Fri 12:15am – 2:00am Umphrey’s McGee is one of those bands that no matter how often you’ve seen them, you still can’t afford to miss a show because who knows what they will be breaking out on that particular evening. I made the mistake of missing their legendary Wakarusa 2010 late night that featured their mash-up Nine Inch Nails and The Beatles titled “Come Closer” and I won’t take that chance again. I will, however, be missing part of their Main Stage set on Saturday due to our 8th must-see act….
8. The Del McCoury Band / Sat 8:00pm – 9:30pm
You know what is awesome? By the end of the year I will have seen the legendary Del McCoury three times! You know what’s even better? The fact that this set not only falls during the bluegrass extravaganza on Saturday in the Outpost Tent, but it also immediately follows the Travelin’ McCourys, who just so happen to be Del’s sons and Del’s backing band. I expect things to get really wacky during the 12 hour bluegrass block on Saturday, and the legendary Del McCoury will certainly have a thing or two to say about it.
7. Perpetual Groove / Thurs 10:30pm – 12:00am
I knew nothing about Perpetual Groove going into the 2009 Wakarusa, and they are now one of those bands that I will never forget. I stumbled into their late night set that year in the Revival Tent with a friend and the two of us stood there for the next hour without moving or acknowledging anything around us, sucked in by the sweet, sweet sounds coming from this Georgia four piece. Oh yeah, last year some jerk off dove head first through the drum kit and messed up the end of their late night set, so there is always a chance of that happening again. Check out the album ‘Sweet Oblivious Antidote’ if you aren’t familiar with P-Groove
6. Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit / Sat 2:40pm – 3:50pm
Former Drive-By Trucker guitarist, songwriter and vocalist Jason Isbell hits Wakarusa with his band for an afternoon set on Saturday at the Backwoods Stage. Isbell has released three solo albums since his departure from the Truckers. He is a very gifted songwriter and surrounds himself with a group of talented musicians featuring including former Son Volt keyboardist Derry deBorja. I had a chance to catch a few songs in January when he toured the country with Ryan Adams and have been looking forward to my next visit with Jason Isbell ever since.
WAKA MAIN STAGE
5. Blitzen Trapper / Fri 8:00pm – 9:30pm
Critically acclaimed experimental alt-country act out of the Pac Northwest, Blitzen Trapper has been around for more than ten years, and their last three albums have all been highly praised. I never gave them a chance until recently, when I was instantly hooked in by 2008’s Furr. We have a few Concert Confessions Minions that are big, big fans of Blitzen Trapper, like our founding father Rev, and hopefully following their Friday night performance at Waka I will be as well. I will have to miss Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, but this is a risk I am willing to take for my first experience with the Portland quintet.
4. The Travelin’ McCourys feat. Keller Williams / Sat 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Not a lot that needs to be said about this one. The legendary Keller Williams teams up with Ronnie and Robbie McCoury, who just so happened to be sons of the legendary Del McCoury, for 90 minutes of pure pleasure. The Travelin McCourys are actually the backing band for father Del, which you already know if you read our #8 Must-See Waka act, and this set leads in to Del McCoury… so there could be some treats in store for sure. Keller and the McCourys are releasing their debut collaborative effort next month called Pick, so expect tunes from that album as well who knows what else. I am keeping my fingers crossed for their rendition of Jessie J’s “Price Tag.” Keep an eye on fiddle player Jason Carter, that dude can wail. (Click Here For Bonus Video)
3. The Avett Brothers / Fri 10:15pm – 12:15am
Is it punkgrass or folk rock or indie bluegrass?? Classify them how you wish, but Seth and Scott Avett will have 2 full hours to get the crowd into a frenzy on Friday night. The sounds that these two brothers produce along with Bob Crawford on the bass and Joe Kwon on the cello are just what the doctor ordered for the pre late night warm up for a Friday night. Whether its machine gun fast songs featuring banjo and electric bass with a kick drum and accordion, or down tempo heart-felt tunes with just guitar and cello, the Avett Brothers know how to do it. These guys will have their own festival one day.
2. Weir, Robinson, & Greene Acoustic Trio / Thurs 8:30pm – 10:00pm
Holy guitarist overload Batman! Bob Weir, who you may have heard of from his prior stints with Furthur, RatDog and the relatively unknown The Grateful Dead, teams up with Chris Robinson from The Black Crowes and Jackie Greene who is doing his best to seal his legacy among the top jam guitarists in the game for 90 minutes of balls to the walls acoustic guitar. This set promises to be a great time as Thursdays Main Stage headliner. Can’t think of a more appropriate way to kick off Wakarusa than a guitar trio followed by P-Groove and the option of a Dirtfoot or Split Lip Rayfield late night.
1. Gary Clark Jr. / Sat 4:45pm – 6:00pm
Twenty-Eight year old Gary Clark Jr. has been called by some the savior of the blues. That seems like an awfully big statement and weight to place on one mans shoulders, but Clark does his best to carry the load. Straight out of Austin, Texas, he shreds the guitar with blues rock, but there is definitely some soul and R&B influence. He started out on the stage that launched Stevie Ray Vaughn, he has shared the stage with the likes of Eric Clapton and Sheryl Crowe at the 2010 Crossroads Festival, not to mention playing at the White House with B.B. King, Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck, and Buddy Guy at Red, White and Blues. This dude can play a guitar, that is no lie… and I will be spending an hour and 15 minutes with him this Saturday night!
But we here at Concert Confessions don’t just give you the highlights, we give you the whole enchilada. So below, you can view the endless list of acts that will be taking the stage in Austin at Zilker Park October 12-14. Check out the festival’s website here, for on sale dates and prices and all that jibber jabber.
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Neil Young and Crazy Horse
The Black Keys
Jack White(I hear some folks are into this guy)
Florence + The Machine
The Avett Brothers
Iggy & The Stooges
Gotye (is it pronounced ‘Goat-Tee’ or ‘Got-Ya”???)
The Civil Wars
Tegan and Sara
Two Door Cinema Club
The Afghan Whigs
Gary Clark Jr.
Band of Skulls
Randy Rogers Band
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
The War On Drugs
Bombay Bicycle Club
Trampled by Turtles
The Devil Makes Three
Asleep at the Wheel
First Aid Kit
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Father John Misty
Dry the River
The Boxer Rebellion
Soul Rebels Brass Band
Thundercat(Really!! There’s a band named Thundercat?! That’s awesome!)
Jay-Z Set To Curate Made In America Music Festival
Jay-Z has a lot of stuff. He has a basketball team, he has 99 Problems, an album with Kanye West and of course a baby with Beyonce. Now Jay-Z has a music festival. This two day music event will take place in Philadelphia on September 1st and 2nd and will feature a diverse lineup spread across three stages. Some of the highlights include D’Angelo, Dirty Projectors and Pearl Jam. It will be known as the Made in America Music Festival and will take place at Benjamin Franklin’s Parkway in Fairmount Park. You can check out the entire lineup for yourself down below.
Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster on May 23rd at 10 AM EST. To check out the official lineup when it’s announced, head over to the festival’s official website, MadeInAmerica.Com