Progressive metal bands Mastodon and Gojira once again teamed up for another tour across the USA as they did earlier this year. Mastodon was out to support the release of their new album, Once More ‘Round the Sun which was released on June 24, 2014. Gojira was on the final trek of supporting their newest release, L’Enfant Sauvage (French for “The Wild Child) which was released in 2012. Both bands have a huge following in the states so having both bands together is a dream tour for many people. The Fox Theater in Pomona, California was in for a real treat.
The lights turned off and the stage was lit only purple strobe lights. It was time for the progressive metal band from France to take the stage and start things off with sheer animosity by playing the first track from the L’Enfant Sauvage album, Explosia. Right from the start, Gojira wasn’t messing around and all 4 members performed nicely and were constantly moving around. The crowd was on their feet whether they were jumping, moshing, or crowd surfing. Gojira played a vast array of songs from their catalog which made a nice mix of old and new material. Not a single song failed to impress or keep the crowd from being energized even when Gojira’s lyrics are environmental-themed. It’s the sound of the music that gets everyone moving. When Gojira finished, they thanked us for coming out and promised to come back not only to play for us again, but return with a new album as well.
Mastodon is a well-known band among the metal community. With them being around since 2000, they have lots to offer musically and continue to do so with the release of Once More ‘Round the Sun. Their sound has evolved over time with at first having a sludge metal sound and have now become a full-on progressive metal band. Both old and new fans of Mastodon gathered at the now packed Fox Theater for the headlining band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Mastodon opened with the first track from the new album called, Tread Lightly. Their setlist was a good mix of old and new songs and even played a song from their first album which they don’t do too often these days. Guitarist Brent Hinds is always entertaining to watch. As a backup vocalist, he’s known for his screeching voice and the variety of funny faces he does while doing so. Drummer Brann Dailor was amazing and was on point on the drums as always even when lending his voice as the lead vocalist on some songs. Mastodon ended the night with the song Blood and Thunder which is their most famous song and is also one of the best metal songs to be written. Mastodon and Gojira are two powerhouse metal bands that will bring crowds together like one big happy family which is one of the best feelings at any concert.
Millions of years ago, before civilization existed outside of Mexico, the Aztecs (because screw the Mayans) predicted that one day, a tour would come along that would relentlessly and brutally destroy any town in its path. This tour would be known as the Heritage Hunter tour, featuring Opeth and Mastodon touring in support of their respective 2011 releases, Heritage and The Hunter. Opening for them would be the mighty Ghost, who hail from the dark depths of Hell. Or Sweden. One of the two.
Having seen none of these bands before, I knew right away I would be in for a treat. My dad and I arrived at the Masquerade Music Park (the larger venue located right outside the Masquerade) just as Ghost were opening up their fantastic albeit short set with Con Clavi Con Dio. As I made my way through the crowd, Ghost were making the transition into the second song, Elizabeth.
After Elizabeth, lead singer Papa Emeritus invited us, the Children of Georgia, to stare into the eyes of the Prime Mover, which flowed perfectly into the aptly titled Prime Mover.
I must say, I was surprised by the amount of people in the audience that were Ghost fans prior to the show. I saw numerous people singing along to songs such as Satan Prayer and the set-closing Ritual. But they also converted a few non-believers at the beginning of the show into huge fans by the end. If Ghost aren’t headlining venues this size within the next few years, then I will give up all hope in humanity. Their set may have been short, but Papa’s enchanting and hypnotic delivery had everyone eating out of the palm of his hand.
About 20 minutes after Ghost’s set ended, fellow Swedes Opeth took the stage to much applause. Lead singer Mikael Akerfeldt—who recently sustained a head injury—and friends bust into a pitch-perfect Devil’s Orchard, the opening track from the album they are touring in support of. Then they played another song from Heritage, I Feel the Dark.
“We are Opeth,” said Akerfeldt simply after I Feel the Dark ended. “Do you remember the song by Twisted Sister, I Wanna Rock?” he asked. “Well, do ya, motherf***ers?” I’m not quite sure if he was asking if we wanted to rock, or whether or not we knew the song. “This is a, uh, tribute to Ronnie Dio.” It was almost 2 years to the day since Dio died of stomach cancer. The song they paid tribute to him with was Slither.
I must say, I was greatly impressed by Opeth, whether it was the calmer, slower songs like Windowpane and Burden, or the one-two death metal punch (and set-closers) Demons of the Fall and The Grand Conjuration (the former inspired the first mosh pit of the night). Mikael Akerfeldt has a fantastic sense of humor, and it is tough not to sit there in awe of their sheer musicianship. Not even a head injury could stop Opeth from rocking.
As the sun set and the drizzle that formulated during Opeth’s set turned into actual rain, the crowd was getting anxious for its Mastodon fix. The hometown heroes were expected to really deliver tonight, and they did not disappoint.
Mastodon’s 17-18 song setlist relies mostly on their release The Hunter, from which they played every song. Their show kicked off with a tight rendition of Black Tongue, which folk songstress Feist covered recently for Record Store Day. Afterwards, Mastodon took a sharp turn right into 2006, playing two songs from that year’s release Blood Mountain. Hand of Stone was followed immediately by Crystal Skull. Then they continued with the new songs until the 10th song of the set, which was the title track from 2009’s stellar Crack the Skye. 11-14 were All the Heavy Lifting, Spectrelight, Curl of the Burl, and Bedazzled Fingernails. They took another break from The Hunter to perform two tracks from 2004’s Leviathan, Aqua Dementia and Blood and Thunder. They ended their set with The Hunter’s closing song The Sparrow.
One thing I noticed before they came back for a super-special encore was that not one member of the band said a word to the audience throughout the entire show. Not once did I hear “How are ya, Atlanta!?” or “Want some more?” or “Are you ready to ROCK!?” Nope. It wasn’t until after the encore performance of The Creature Lives did drummer Brann Dailor acknowledge us and thank us for coming.
The cool thing about the encore was that members of Opeth, Ghost (all the Nameless Ghouls, but no Papa Emeritus), as well as members of Mastodon’s family and friends came to sing it.
Overall, a consistently amazing show by three of the greatest heavy metal bands of the last decade. And after seeing the look on my dad’s face afterwards, I have a good feeling I’ll get the chance to see those bands again.
So there I was in the dentist chair this morning getting my face drilled once again (let this be a friendly reminder that not having dental insurance for a decade is no excuse for skipping your bi-annual cleanings) when I had what I would like to believe is a genius idea. To distract you from what is going on inside your mouth, my dentist has this big monitor where her victims patients can watch Hulu. Not being a huge fan of TV I am the one guy who heads to YouTube in search of a full concert performance from a band I love. On this particular trip, I stumbled upon a set that featured two artists I love – The Flaming Lips and Beck. Then it hit me, the world needs a Feistodon tour.
In case you are unfamiliar with what went down a decade ago, The Flaming Lips not only opened for Beck, they also performed as his backing band. The tour was a huge success for both artists and I know I have kicked myself numerous times for missing out. With the successful Record Store Day release of the Feistodon 7 inch, the next logical step is for these two powerhouses to hit the road together. Think about it, Mastodon comes out and warms up the crowd for 45 minutes. A quick set change and the lovely Leslie Feist takes the stage for a few solo songs. Next thing you know, Troy, Brent, Bill and Brann are sneaking onto the stage and backing the Canadian songbird for the rest of the night. We know that there is a mutual respect between both of you, so why not take this to the next level? Sure a few Feist fans may be scared of Mastodon and I have no doubt that a few Mastodon fans may not enjoy some of Feist’s more mellow moments but on a whole I know that a majority of fans from both sides are open minded and would eat this up.
So what do you say, let’s make this happen. I vote for a Halloween night kick off at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. For real, this gives Mastodon the chance to ‘twang’ it up a bit and explore new styles and it gives Feist a chance to re-imagine her back catalog. Hell perhaps Feist can sing Mastodon songs as well and you know the album Metals was made for Mastodon to play. So what are we waiting for, let’s make this fucking happen.
Thanks for your time and consideration of this once in a lifetime concert experience,
Universal Studios Hollywood is always a bizarre place to see a heavy metal show. As you make the long walk from your car to the Gibson Amphitheatre it’s hard not to laugh as metal fans stuff their faces with food court fair as tourists walk past and modern day Madonna songs blast upon the jumbotron. I actually thought it was an odd place for the Heritage Hunter Tour to be stopping in Southern California and upon seeing how many sections of seats were closed off inside the large venue it was at least refreshing to know my suspicions were correct. Undersold or not I was just excited to be catching Ghost and Mastodon together.
The show was set to kick off at 8:15 pm, but actually started around 8:13pm. As music you would hear on church during Sunday morning service rang through the PA many fans rushed in from the lobby to their seats. As the intro music faded the familiar bouncy bass line of “Con Clavi Con Dio”began and our ritual was underway. For thirty minutes Ghost enchanted the few diehards who made it into the venue while winning over every single individual smart enough to show up on time. Having spent a decade now living in Los Angeles, I don’t recall ever hearing a band refer to us as Tinsletown, but that is exactly what Papa Emeritus addressed us as. With the band’s February 2012 appearance at The Roxy being one of the best shows I have ever had the privilege of seeing, I knew a 30 minute opening slot would never be able to compare. While brief, it was still magical and I am still convinced that one day we will be watching Ghost headline venues this size in America. For the first time in my life I actually taped an entire performance of a band, and you can watch Ghost for yourself down below.
The last time I saw a show at Gibson Amphitheatre, Live Nation incompetencecost me a chance to see Mastodon. Thankfully that was not the case on this night. Having just seen the band in New Orleans last October, I was excited to see what they could do in a “headline” capacity. With their most recent release The Hunter being my top album of 2012, I was hoping for a set that was heavy on songs from the record and I got exactly that. Opening with “Black Tongue” we were in store for 75 minutes of hard hitting Mastodon action.
The group followed up “Black Tongue” by taking it back a few years to Blood Mountain. Both “Hand of Stone” and “Crystal Skull” got the mosh pit moving as an impressive light show caused more than one fan to fight of seizures. Yet after those two songs, the next 45 minutes was dedicated to material from The Hunter. With limited interaction of the crowd, highlights of this run of songs included “Dry Bone Valley,” “Octopus Has No Friends,” “Blasteroid” and of course the title track “The Hunter.”
The group snuck in a stellar version of “Crack The Sky” before going back to more songs from The Hunter. Instead of listing off all the songs the band played; let’s just say they didn’t play one of my favorites “Creature Lives.” That didn’t matter as the show was still incredible. The problem with Mastodon is that they are too good. It’s hard not to say cliché terms like “they killed it” or “brought the house down” because that is exactly what they do. Towards the end of the set, they did sneak in fan favorites “Aqua Dementia” and the mighty “Blood and Thunder” before closing with “The Sparrow.”
What I really love about Mastodon is that they change things up each time you see them. I do believe this was my 5th time seeing the band and I am inclined to say this was the best one yet. Phenomenal playing, killer light show and the sound was superb. As I am not a fan of Opeth (I have a ton of respect for them, but they tend to put me to sleep) I called it an early night and made the long walk back to the car grateful to catch two of the best live bands on the planet together on a Thursday night in Tinsletown.
As you know by now, most of us are fans of Mastodon. We are pumped for the bands upcoming North American trek with Ghost (a band you should really check out if you have not yet heard them) and Opeth and will be confessing about stops in Los Angeles, Atlanta and hopefully Seattle. To get you in the mood, Mastodon has just released a live video for the track Dry Bone Valley which you can watch down below.
Big sexy love to our heroes over at Antiquiet for the heads up on this video. You can check out a complete list of dates for the Ghost/Opeth/Mastodon trek by clicking here.
Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost Team Up For North American Tour
Mastodon and Opeth have just released the dates for their monstrous “Heritage Hunter” North American Tour. The trek (which will feature Ghost performing the opening duties) will kick off April 4th in Portland, ME and wrap May 12th in Atlanta Georgia. Mastodon and Opeth will rotate the headliner spot depending on what market they are playing. Dates for the tour are listed below. Likewise if you do hit this show, don’t miss Ghost. One of the best bands to emerge the last few years, we caught their sold-out show at the Roxy and it was amazing. Click here to read all about it.
Apr. 04 – Portland, ME – State Theater (M)
Apr. 05 – Boston, MA – Orpheum Theater (O)
Apr. 06 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis (O)
Apr. 07 – Toronto, ON – Sony Centre (O)
Apr. 09 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory(M)
Apr. 10 – Wallingford, CT – The Dome (M)
Apr. 11 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom (M)
Apr. 13 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre(M)
Apr. 14 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection (M)
Apr. 15 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE (M)
Apr. 16 – Knoxville, TN – TN Theater (O)
Apr. 18 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom (M)
Apr. 19 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom (O)
Apr. 20 – San Antonio, TX – Back Stage Live (O)
Apr. 21 – Corpus Christi, TX – Concrete Street (O)
Apr. 23 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium (O)
Apr. 25 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues (M)
Apr. 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Gibson Amphitheatre (O)
Apr. 27 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre (O)
Apr. 28 – Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort (M)
Apr. 30 – Seattle, WA – The Paramount Showbox SODO (O)
May 01 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre (O)
May 03 – Edmonton, AB – Edmonton Events Center (O)
May 04 – Calgary, AB – MacEwan Hall (M)
May 05 – Saskatoon, SK – The Odeon (O)
May 06 – Winnipeg, MB – Burton Cummings Theatre (O)
May 07 – Maplewood, MN – The Myth (O)
May 09 – Washington, DC – The Fillmore (O)
May 10 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore (M)
May 11 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues (M)
May 12 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park (M)
(M) indicates Mastodon headline, (O) indicates Opeth headline
With their new album The Hunter due to hit shelves at the end of this month, Mastodon have announced dates for a North American Headline tour. In addition to an appearance at the Voodoo Music Experneice in New Orleans on Saturday October 29th the band will be performing in most major markets during the five week run. Coming along for the tour will be Red Fang and Dillinger Escape Plan. You can check out the first single from Mastodon’s new album here. Dates for the trek can be found below.
Mastodon 2011 Tour Dates:
10/25 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
10/27 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgeralds
11/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre
11/02 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
11/03 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
11/05 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
11/06 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
11/07 – Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
11/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/09 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
11/11 – Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
11/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Rave Ballroom
11/13 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
11/14 – Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont
11/16 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore Detroit
11/17 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
11/19 – New York City, NY @ Terminal 5
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
11/21 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
11/23 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
11/25 – Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
11/26 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
11/27 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/28 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
11/29 – Asheville, NC @ Orange Peel
12/01 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
Spent much of this weekend just staring around in amazement, repeating the phrase “Holy freaking God” over and over again. This is a special 53rd installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series as it took us to Newark Airport, where I hopped on a plane and came out to Washington State(Home of the Cougs) to meet up with some of the Northwest chapter of Concert Confessions: thenaturalstoner ,Mr Sparkly (Who Are Hosting Me) and possibly another 3 as at last check we were to have five Concert Confessioners who will be in attendance at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA for the epic bill of Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and The Meat Puppets on an awesome summer Saturday … Had NOOOO idea what I was getting myself into..
‘We’re not at PNC Bank Arts Center anymore’ is the thought in my head as we start to drive into the campground.. yea that’s right I said it, campground. A sea of tents pitched everywhere, people getting wasted everywhere; and this place was about 1000 times the size of ANY venue I’ve ever been to in my homeland on the Least coast. If I was at this show by myself, there’s no way camping out all night would’ve even been a thought in my head. We don’t camp in NYC, we take sweaty train rides after shows and get home at 2AM… but there I was after the show sleeping on a folding chair outside the tent using a sleeping bag as a blanket , but trust me we will get to all that later.
So we pitch a tent, camp out and pre-funk for a little while.. we decide to head down to the box office and claim the photo passes that were left for us through me via Meat Puppets personnel.. To not run off on a tangent here, lets just send out thanks over to those imbeciles (Livenation) that run the box office at this place for fucking that photo pass experience up for me. If I wasn’t walking over this hill and seeing heaven on the other side, I’d be super pissed-as opposed to just really pissed.
So after several up hill climbs through the scorching hot sun (Yea, I came to Washington State and didn’t see one drop of rain, not one CLOUD my entire time here! False advertisement right there-I thought I was escaping the heat), we finally make it to the the gigantic mountainside that is The Gorge Amphitheater.. I’ve been to venues with lawn based seating, but this is ONLY lawn seating and the hill is a hell of a lot of steeper then the one at PNC in Homdel or that similar, bigger venue in Camden, NJ.. and it’s not a polluted highway behind the stage, it’s a freaking river. It’s like this piece of land split in half causing a canyon to open-and they placed a stage in the middle. I know I sound a little too blown away by seeing the Northwest -but I’m from the city, this is all new to me. A one mile stretch without a cement building is something I’ve never seen before-let alone a valley(or a “Gorge” they might say).
Meat Puppets come out at 6PM with the guns blazing, they were heavy from the start..I knew it was gonna be “Oh, Me” to kick it off by the sound of the guitar jingles.. but I didn’t know they were going to come out that intense with it. I was thrilled to see as many people down on the cement area in front of the stage(every part of this place is general admission-lawn tickets get you everywhere here) can walk down to the front and get rocking out.. Because I know a lot of people are missing them right now, and that sucks. Jumped into “Sam”, the lyrical demonstration that it is..moving faster than R.E.M.’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it”.. Then “Plateau”, which was fitting considering we hiked many hills and plateau’s to arrive where we are. Except there was way more “nothing at the top” at this Plateau, there was the freaking Meat Puppets right in front of me for the seventh time. It was the first time I’ve ever seen Curt Kirkwood use his Les Paul live with my own eyes before, the six times on the east coast I’ve seen them he played his teal Fender Strat.. That’s a query I need answered: Is it a coastal thing? Not like they sound any different, it’s just something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while. “Backwater” followed, the one Meat Puppets song I was able to get played on the radio when I was the in-studio guest at my local college radio station a week ago(88.9FM WSIA or www.WSIA.fm), so we were diggin our heels in, and again I loved the people up front so into it. That one time I caught the Pups as a first opener there was like 30 of us there at a 3500+ capacity venue it saddened me.. so glad I’m in WA. When they followed Backwater with “Sloop John B” (Beach Boys cover) I started getting really excited. Not for Sloop John B so much as for the fact that I was completely sold on the fact they would play “Hey Baby Que Paso”, I’ve been going over the lyrics to the song with the kitchen staff at my day job for months. Then I recognize the little lead in that’s about to be “Lake of Fire”.. as much as I love that freakin’ song, it hurt like a stab in the chest because I knew the set was ending in a little over 7 minutes when the end this song.. Damn, I figured this venue would give them at least 40 mins, they got a half hour, if not less. Again I’m not exactly from around these parts, but I know for a fact that the Meat Puppets didn’t request to only play six songs. I think doors should’ve opened earlier and had longer sets for the bands. It’s not like we’re in a residential area here-we’re all camping here all night.. I just don’t get it. The boys were done at 6:30
Which brings me to my next point: If there’s one band to remove from this bill to make this a full out amazing Ménage à trois of great bands playing long sets, which one would it be? Who’s the odd man out here? Then at 6:48 when Mastodon came out and we started to make our way back up the lawn, that was the question wondered aloud. And lets not take this as a shot at Mastodon, they do what they do and judging by the herds of people heading down for their set-they do it well. Caught them on the BlackDiamondSkye tour at it’s Madison Square Garden stop …so as they plowed through their 40 minutes set while we were walking up the mammoth lawn, they were plenty loud enough where we heard the entire set no matter how far away from the stage we went.
Another wild card to the evening, what is Queens of the Stone Age going to play? They’ve been on a album-themed tour, playing their first record in it’s entirety.. and we just had a 30 minute set followed by a 40 minute set. It’s 7:53 when they came out, there is a lot of show left tonight.
Not recognizing the first four songs was the indicator that this first album thing was going down. First song I recognized was “Giveth Then Take It Away”.. a little while later we had Josh Homme, who is the man by the way, saying “everyone’s waiting for it to get dark so they could do all those things they can’t do in the light” … introduced a song called “Make It Wit-Chu”, saying it was a song for the ladies. Then suddenly out of no where we turn and two people just got engaged during the song-now obviously that guy was aware of what the set list was going to be, we should’ve found him… from that guy popping the question and onward was magic.. my eyes are drawn to the left, as I notice the sun is beginning to set. I know it’s happens everyday, but man during those last three songs “Little Sister”, “Go with the Flow” and “No One Knows” with the sun setting and beams of light bouncing off the river, silhouetting the people on the lawn.. man that 8 minutes or so right there may have been the greatest moment of my life (well, besides Jen Cartiglia of course). They went off at 8:43.. epicness
So it’s coming up on 9 and Soundgarden is on deck.. Little note to keep in mind for the duration of Soundgarden’s set-I hate Eddie Vedder, and I hate Pearl Jam-personal preference, lets not muddy this up. Anyway, being the last show on Soundgarden’s tour and being in their backyard(even though Eddie Vedder is from California,he wears flannel so he can say he’s from there) combined with my luck I had a bad feeling we’d be having a Temple of the Dog section of the set and me in tears during everyone’s glee. All the awesome stuff I’ve seen over here in Washington, this gorgeous venue, this epic adventure can easily be turned into another Jay Porks Bogus Journey. I hate to be the one guy in the building praying for it not to happen(no I don’t), but I think I’m the only one in the building who traveled 3000+ miles for this. If would be the equivalent to finding out the hottest girl you know has a penis.
Save the suspense, as we can read in Jakob’s review, there was no PJ sighting, no Vedder appearances, no Hunger Strike or whatever non sense it is that they do…Also in Jakob’s review he mentions the bootleg tee shirts they were selling outside the venue.. it had all four bands listed on it. Not only did it have the wrong Meat Puppets drummer on it in the picture, but above the words Queens of the Stone Age was a picture of Pearl Jam. I, of course, bought this shirt. With Vedder staring right at me, didn’t notice it til the next day.. (I can’t get away from this guy). So besides that, I’m also thinking “How is Soundgarden going to top this? Seriously, what are they going to do, play a 2 hour set of nothing but their best?”
To answer the question in my last paragraph-Hell yes. It’s exactly what Soundgarden did. The sky was still a bit pink as the sun was behind the mountains. I don’t care how far away I was the sound if freaking golden on some of these videos I got.. 9:10 was the official first riff. And speaking of video, “Spoonman” was the 2nd song in.. “Gun” followed. This place is rocking like I’ve never seen a place rock before. And I got to see “Jesus Christ Pose”! For that girl screaming it in the row in front of me at Town Hall a few weeks back for Cornell’s Acoustic Songbook tour. See, 2 years ago when Soundgarden said they were getting back together, I didn’t think I’d have to wait this long to see them-I thought they’d do some heavy touring-they never did. So these guys were going to have to earn it blowing me away tonight.. and when “Blow up the Outside” smacked me in the face, I knew they were doing just that. Seeing Cornell acoustic songbook tour gave me a reminder that I needed to see this band live, one day, some how. Blow up the Outside at Town Hall just didn’t pack the punch that I needed it too-now here, it’s laying heavy fists to my face repeatedly..
Just an observation here, what’s up with the little slowed down version of “Black Hole Sun”? That’s the song I need to blow up in my face, not the song I can’t wait to hear toned down a bit-but that’s my only critique here about this set, and its minor. I’m just sayin’.. he’s screaming like hell on every other song so it’s not like he’s voice is out.. And then it was only 10:18 when the song ended, which begs the question: So when do they start packing up here? I’m not used to seeing bands just keep playing awesome songs for hours .. everyone else had short sets, who knows.. And keep in mind Vedder walking around the back of my head, me thinking I was going to have to walk out and meet the group at the campground.. Out of no where, Chris Cornell, in one of the more humorous displays I’ve seen, got pissed off that the NBA took Seattle’s basketball team. I don’t know what got him, maybe he spotted a Sean Kemp jersey in the crowd- but he starts saying “Man, they fucking took away our team-It’s fucking bullshit to take away a basketball team!”
Fell on Black Days, My Wave..-they’re still kicking out the fucking jams. During “Burden in my Hand” I asked thenaturalstoner if the lyrics were actually “I shot my load today”.. then around 10:40 he turns and is like “Pretty Noose and I’m good”.. Freaking psychic is what he is, and I forgot how much I love that song. Played “Rusty Cage” and “Head Down” right before it….By now I’m playing with house money, I had stopped taking pictures(or little video snippets) for a while to just sit back and enjoy this.. I’m in the Pacific Northwest watching Soundgarden tear the place apart. We kept saying to each other (Mr Sparkly by now is down front and apparently found Phish Beard) “So what else you think they got?, what else can they play?”
Well they could play , “Head Down” and“Outshined”before topping us off with “Superunknown” before ducking off at 10:52, only to come back out at 10:56 and rock three more songs. On the last song they rocked out and eventually drifted into a pure feedback orgy.. it made me want to cream my pants. They distorted sounds from 11:13 to 11:20, and that’s when the sound was turned down.. it was over.
This is usually the time where I gloat about catching whatever scheduled train I need.. but not the case tonight.. we’re climbing back up the hill and all the way down back to the campsite, where we will spend the night in the tent.. not for nothing, NYC’s been sweltering the last few weeks.. and here, unlike home, when the sun goes down it actually cools off significantly.. I had an extremely comfortable folding chair, plenty of bud and brews- I said “fuck it , pass my sleeping bag over, now it’s a blanket”. After the show while we’re (Me and thenaturalstoner until Mr Sparkly eventually showed up, minus Phishbeard) discussing the night’s proceedings (so glad to be at a show with these dudes, usually when I’m telling a random cab driver or some stranger about an epic night, I spend most of the discussion explaining to them who the bands are. NY is so lame).. main topic is Sparkly being quoted to saying he was “Underwhelmed”. And we’re just about to delve into this deep convo about what show he was watching, those dickheads camped out next to us who where annoying as hell before the show ended up showing up and annoyed the crap out of us all over again. All of a sudden the drummer has a mouth. These dudes say they’re in a band that “sounds like NOFX and Blink 182” named after some actor I can’t remember the name of now. Anyway, your band sounds like NOFX/Blink 182? Yea, that’s just about the time we called it a night.
A side note, my alarm on my phone set to 930 eastern time woke us, and the rest of the surrounding campers up.. seems I’m the only one who didn’t hear it until I was awoken.. So we packed up, and headed into Spokane to catch Willie Nelson at the Northern Quest Casino and Resort before I fly home Monday… Awesomeness.
Soundgarden/Queens Of The Stone Age/Mastodon/Meat Puppets 07/30/11
Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA
Words/Photos by Jakobross424
On July 30, two epic concerts graced the west coast. One of them was LA Rising, which featured Rage Against the Machine, Muse, and Rise Against. The other was at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Washington. The bands included Soundgarden, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon and Meat Puppets. Many other Concert Confessions writers were there that night, so here was one side to the same story. My dad and I got to the Gorge with little to no trouble. We didn’t get lost, there was no traffic, we got a good parking spot, and we arrived an hour and a half before doors opened. So with time to kill, we cranked up the Echo Movement and we chilled. At around 3:15 or so, a heavy metal looking dude with a nipple ring came up to us and asked us if we wanted to buy a shirt. I’d experienced this before, it was a bootleg. But it was cool and $20, so we bought it. I looked at the back where it showed all the bands, and saw a picture of Pearl Jam above the Queens of the Stone Age logo. Upon questioning the heavy metal looking dude, we found out that there was a rumor that Pearl Jam would play a few songs and that got me even more excited about the show.
Before going into the line, my dad had to get his wrist band so he could purchase alcohol, which is funny because I don’t think he drank at all that night. So we are in that line and it’s my dad’s turn and I am right behind him. My dad hands the dude his ID, and receives his wrist band. I wanted to have a little fun, so I said to the security guy, “I forgot my ID at home,” which got a laugh. We went to the real line at about 3:30 and we were towards the front of one of the lines. First, the VIP/Fan Club members were let in and then us regular people were let in. When we got inside, I bought a legal shirt and my dad bought a Queens of the Stone Age shirt. We bought some water to fill our Camelbak with, and we made our way to the amphitheater in hopes to find something to do for two hours until Meat Puppets came on. We sat in the shade, ate some mediocre food, and at about 5:30, we stood up in the crowd to wait for the Meat Puppets.
After a quick sound check, I immediately saw Curt Kirkwood arrive on stage, followed by the drummer (whatever his name is) and Curt’s brother Cris. They immediately broke into “Oh, Me” and they were jamming out. Curt didn’t sound great, but I wouldn’t expect him to since that song was written almost thirty years ago. Next was “Sam,” the song I was looking forward to most. If you don’t know the song, Curt and Cris both sing incredibly fast. Like 400 words a minute or something. And it’s great to see that they both still know the words and can sing them without any mistake.
Then they played “Plateau,” an odd song about nothing in particular, I think. After that, they played their biggest main stream hit “Backwater,” which sounded amazing. The Kirkwood brothers’ harmonies together sounded better than Tom DeLonge and Mark Hoppus by a mile. After that they played “Sloop John B,” a song originally written by the Beach Boys. Then they finished their too-short set with “Lake of Fire,” which, for some reason, induced a mosh pit. People are stupid when they are drunk. Meat Puppets finished their elongated jam version of “Lake of Fire,” and if there was anything I could’ve changed about the entire show, it would’ve been that Meat Puppets would’ve played longer. They were so great, and even at the ripe old age of 50-something, the Kirkwood brothers can still rock harder than Black Veil Brides ever will.
Sort of at the last minute, I decided that I didn’t care to see Mastodon. So my dad and I walked around, shared a funnel cake, and listened for the cue that Mastodon was done. When they finished playing “Blood and Thunder,” they left the stage and my dad and I went into the pit to wait for Queens of the Stone Age.
The roadies started setting up the back drop for Queens of the Stone Age, which was the detective notes for the assassination of JFK. Why they chose that, I will never know. Somewhere around 8:00, QOTSA came on stage. Josh Homme spoke in his lovely country accent, telling us how beautiful the Gorge was and how happy they were to open for Soundgarden. QOTSA broke into “You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar, But I’m a Millionaire,” which was a relatively short song. Afterwards they played “3’s and 7’s” and the hits just kept coming. They played songs like “Burn the Witch,” “Little Sister,” “Go With the Flow,” “No One Knows,” and “A Song for the Dead.”
The band sounded so great and the crowd was really into it. The problem was the two moshing idiots in front of me. One of them looked like the creepy dude in the Die Antwoord “Enter the Ninja” video.
When QOTSA left the stage, my dad decided he didn’t want to be in the pit during Soundgarden, so he left and went to the very back, while I stayed where I was. Some dude made his way through the crowd with his hand up to his mouth. He passed me and a few others, and then found out what happens when you drink a lot of alcohol.
After a sound check and some technical difficulties involving the images on the screen, we were ready to let the Sun set on the Gorge while Soundgarden jammed away. We heard some feedback and then what was certainly the opening bit of “Searching With My Good Eye Closed,” (This is my good eye; do you know a cow; a pig says; this is a rooster; the Devil says.) The band broke into that song and played it like it was nobody’s business. Chris Cornell sounded better than I expected him to. Ben Shepherd wandered the stage, made funny faces, and was a very entertaining performer. Matt Cameron banged the drums like a gun was being held to his head. And Kim Thayil looked like a gun was being held to his head if he didn’t reunite with Soundgarden. He had a smile on his face, but it didn’t seem like he was enjoying any part of it.
Soundgarden broke into hit after hit. They played “Spoonman,” “Blow Up the Outside World,” “The Day I Tried to Live,” “Superunknown,” “Slaves and Bulldozers,” “Black Hole Sun,” “Outshined,” “Rusty Cage,” and so many more that I can’t even remember. They even played some old songs like “Gun” and “Beyond the Wheel.”
I was in a lot of pain after the show, and my hopes that Pearl Jam would come out were crushed. No Pearl Jam. Just Matt Cameron. Not even Eddie Vedder would come out and play “Hunger Strike” with Soundgarden. It wouldn’t be much of a Temple of the Dog reunion since 5/6 of TOTD is Pearl Jam, but whatever. All in all, one of the best shows I have ever seen.
So I hope that Justito had a good time at the RATM show, because I definitely did. Unfortunately I didn’t run into any of my Concert Confessions peers, but I met a guy named Jeremy who saw Slightly Stoopid last weekend. That’s just as good, right?
On the night of Sunday, November 15th, 2009 I was sitting on the floor of my bathroom puking into my recently cleaned toilet when the unthinkable happened. With no warning at all, warm liquid poop flowed right out of my bottom and straight into my underwear. As I sat with vomit dripping from my beard and pants full of feces, I knew that it could only get better. No matter how rotten I felt at that moment, it would one day pay off. That day just happened to be Wednesday (my first day back at work after having the 24 hour flu for about 36 hours), as I explained my experience in 140 characters via Twitter to the fine folks @thepalladium. They took pity on me and decided to help me gain back the 9 pounds I had lost earlier that week by giving me two free tickets to see the Mastodon and Dethklok co-headline their fine venue (I explained I needed something heavy to weigh me down). Having seen Mastodon before, I knew I ran the risk of having my pants fill with warm liquid scat again, after all, how many bands do you know who actually sound like their name? Sure, Tenacious D may claim they will blow your ass out, Mastodon actually will.
Now, in the interest of fairness, I have to admit, I don’t watch much Television (LOST, South Park and live sporting events for those keeping score at home). So while I have heard of Dethklok from Adult Swim, I had no clue what to expect. Despite the fact they closed the show, and I usually try to write these in order, I want to discuss them first since I don’t have a ton to say. I suppose I expected a Gorrilaz vibe – some ugly old dudes playing backlit behind a video screen with the cartoon superheroes doing whatever it is they do front and center for the mostly male audience. I was slightly wrong, as the video is actually behind the old ugly dudes (not that I am one to talk, 30 and pooping myself). I must say overall, I was very impressed. First off, the music was very heavy, which was nice (I assumed it be more Stryper than Black Dahlia Murder based off how the cartoon characters look). The highlight in my book was the Mermaid Abortion Squad jam, which was a song/video that had a checklist of weapons for Mermaids who swim around and well, you can guess the rest. If anything stuck with me from their set, it’s that I really need to start watching more adult swim. I laughed at many of the cartoon intermissions (kudos to the guy who left the stage to pee) and the songs were really good. I think it may be time to add a third show to my small Television habit.
With money being tight, I had been very bummed that I would miss Mastodon. Ever since I heard “March of the Fire Ants” on Headbangers Ball half a decade ago, I have been obsessed with the beefy Georgia four piece. For as many issues that I have with Live Nation, I can’t thank them and The Palladium enough for choosing me as one of the winners of the twitter free ticket give away. Having missed openers High on Fire and Converge to get a pre drink at the Frolic Room, I managed to walk and get a spot on the floor the second the house lights came down for Mastodon. I got very excited when the band opened with the epic “Oblivion”. I got even more excited when they went right into “Divinations”. Having done no research pre-show, it was this moment that I realized that perhaps they were still playing their most recent release Crack The Skye. I didn’t make it to Coachella, so I assumed I had missed it with their small spring tour, but by the time the band reached the thunderous third track – “Quintessence” I knew for a fact that my blessings continued. I love seeing bands perform albums start fo finish live, and Mastodon doing such a feat – wow. I am as guilty as the rest of listening to my IPOD on shuffle, but as someone who has always appreciated albums and long works, I fear the mainstream death of the album. In a year which a lot of good records have been released, Crack The Skye has managed to stay in heavy rotation over the year.
At the end of “Divinations” I basically stuffed the camera away, further altered my own reality and enjoyed the southern tinged post hardcore sludgeadelia journey. I watched and tried to figure out how they do it. How do they make something so heavy, so brutal yet flow, evolve and sound so pretty at the same time? Musically, the highlights of the album (at least for me) are the longer tracks “The Czar” and “The Last Baron”. The later, was so heavy at the end, I truthfully feared for my bowls (it only got worse with the pre-recorded music that made up the encore break). For as wrapped as I was in the performance, I really am at a loss for words. Mastodon is just that good, and watching them perform an album from front to back was just too much for me to comprehend and try to explain.
The encore I thought was really cool. I assumed they would play some of their bigger numbers, but thankfully I was wrong. The opening duo of “Circle of Cysquatch->Aqua Dementia” just took everything up a level in both heaviness and intensity. When not following trippy images on the screens behind the band, I notice it’s hard to peel my eyes from both bassist/vocalist Troy Sanders and Guitarist/vocalist Brent Hinds. The duo are larger than life and very intimidating, pounding the stage like two pre-historic terrors. Their screams make you feel as if you have had your chest crushed by something out of Jurassic Park, and as sick as it sounds, it’s a feeling I can never get enough of. That’s why I was sad when it was all over. The band closed the night with the elephant tit heavy “Mother Puncher”. 11 songs over approximately 90 minutes simply was not enough for me, I needed more. Sadly, that was not to be, so I headed back and grabbed myself a strong drink, thankful for a night of free music and clean underwear.
The metal fest known as Knotfest hit the desert plains of San Bernardino, California for two days of non-stop metal devastation! Someof the biggest names in metal were in attendance as well as some newer band and the Coldcock Whisky winners. I was fortunate enough to get access to both days of the festival and photograph bands to my metal heart’s desire with the exception of both day’s headliners Judas Priest and Slipknot. The festival also saw many attractions besides bands which included people on stilts, thunderdome, Slipknot museum, carnival games, and carnival rides. I arrived early on to catch many of the bands that I’ll either be seeing for the first time or for the second or more time.
Inquisition is a two-man black metal band from Colombia. As most black metal bands perform, they had corpse painting and all black outfits. For many fans, this was their first time seeing Inquisition. Inquisition started the show with Force of the Floating Tomb. Frontman Dagon has an interesting voice when singing as it sounds almost robotic, yet still has that black metal feel. While their music isn’t relatively fast as most black metal bands, Inquisition prefers a calmer style. Still, with their style of music they pulled in the crowd with plenty of horns thrown in the air and headbangers seen on the rail.
Swedish melodic death metal lords At the Gates were one of the main attractions of side stage 2. Plenty of fans were seen screaming their name and singing along as they started the show with Death and the Labyrinth from their newest album At War With Reality which is their first album in 19 years. The mosh pits commenced and helped At the Gates start off strong. At the Gates continued the slaughter with Slaughter of the Soul from their 1995 landmark album, Slaughter of the Soul. Being their biggest hit, fans went absolutely crazy as the mosh pits got more violent and huge clouds of dust were lifted from the ground and people could be seen covering their mouths and coughing. Some fans were seen waving the flag from Sweden as a thank you for At the Gates performing this one off USA show. Other songs in their setlist included: Cold, Under A Serpent Sun, Suicide Nation, and Blinded by Fear. At the Gates have proven themselves to be one of Sweden’s biggest bands and fans are very grateful to have them return after a very long hiatus.
Body Count is a heavy metal band formed by and fronted by legendary rapper Ice-T. Most people would think it’s odd to have an almost all black band perform heavy metal music. Some are for it, some are against it, some really don’t care. Body Count started the show with Body Count’s in the House and were welcomed with open arms as fans went wild and the mosh pits continued. After their performance of Masters of Revenge, guitarist Ernie C started experiencing technical difficulties and in the meantime, Ice-T entertained the audience by telling dirty jokes to which the crowd loved and laughed at them. The show continued and they played songs like Manslaughter and There Goes the Neighborhood. Body Count finished their set with their most controversial song, Cop Killer. Fans moshed and raised their fists and horns as they sang along, “Fuck the police! Fuck the Police!”. Body Count definitely knew how to get the crowd going and left the fans wanting more.
Belphegor is a blackened death metal band from Austria and along with stage-mates Kataklysm, have made the first stop of their tour at Knotfest. Belphegor have an intimidating stage presence with two microphone stands covered by bones and the band members have their faces painted white and covered with makeup that resembles blood. Plenty of fans could be seen anxiously waiting as Belphegor started the show with Feast Upon the Dead. Frontman Helmuth would unleash his demon-like vocals on the crowd while shedding on the guitar. Quite often he would make these evil faces while rolling his eyes to the back of his head giving him a truly demonic look. Other songs in their setlist included: Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador, Lucifer Incestus, and Bondage Goat Zombie. Belphegor has just started their US tour and hopefully will make another Southern California stop to truly experience a full set instead of a cut-down set.
The scumdogs of the universe Gwar are no strangers to the metal world. Infamously known for their stage theatrics, props, costumes, and of course their heavy use of blood (red food coloring) and other bodily fluids. Even with the death of Oderus Urungus, Gwar lives on and continues to spread their shenanigans to the masses. A human with an overly-sized head came out to greet the fans only to be held down by Bonesnapper and decapitated by a huge sword in which the body started spraying a stream of blood to the crowd as Gwar started the show with Crush, Kill, Destroy. Fans were overly joyed at the thought of being covered in blood and happily puts themselves in the path of the stream and soon lots of fans looked like they got a tan from the blood turning orange on them. An alien monster with a snail-shaped penis came out on stage to intimidate the fans and address since Urungus is dead, Gwar belonged to him now. Gwar would have none of that and proceeded to have an on-stage battle with Bonesnapper using an axe to beat down the alien monster as the band started to play Vlad the Impaler. The alien monster would then proceed to piss on the fans with his yellow liquid giving the human filth another chance to be soaked in alien piss. Other songs they played were: Saddam a Go-Go, The Salaminizer, and Sick of You. Gwar was one of the best side stage bands and were the final band on stage 2 as fans that were in the pit were seen leaving soaked in blood.
Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band and released their twelfth studio album titled Of Ghosts and Gods on July31, 2015. Along with Belphegor, they embarked on the Of Ghosts and Gods USA tour and made Knotfest their first stop. Kataklysm started the show with If I Was God…I’d Burn It All. Frontman Maurizio Iacono displayed his powerful voice and really displayed his technique. It took a few tries for Iacono to get the crowd going into a mosh pit instead of standing around. Kataklysm has a very heavy sound to their music and metalheads will have an easy time headbanging to their music. Sadly, Kataklysm are heavily underrated. They played songs like: The Black Sheep, The Ambassador of Pain, and Crippled & Broken. The whole band has a great stage presence and are more deserving than what they get. If this tour makes a stop in or near your area, they are definitely worth checking out.
The first band on the main stage that I got to check out was Trivium. Trivium released their seventh studio album Silence in the Snow on October 2, 2015. Trivium had plenty of fans in the crowd and some of the crowd up front had signs for them to see. Trivium came out and started the show with Silence in the Snow from the new album. Trivium‘s music can often be described as a blend of metalcore, thrash metal, and heavy metal. Some might refer to them as new age Metallica. Frontman Matt Heafy would shred away track after track and enjoyed interacting with the fans. The other band members did their part in making their music sound just as good live as on album. Trivium played songs from their catalog like: Until the world Goes Cold, Blind Leading the Blind, and In Waves. Trivium has a great stage presence and made a great addition to get the audience warmed up for the other main stage bands.
Progressive/sludge metal band Mastodon is currently one of the biggest bands in metal and on June 24, 2014, released their sixth album, Once More ‘Round the Sun. Mastodon started the show with the first track from the new album, Tread Lightly. As Mastodon does with most tours, it’s no surprise to see that the new album dominated their setlist with as many as 6 tracks of the 10 songs performed were from the new album. Mastodon is one of those bands that sound so well live that they sound just like the album, note for note. In addition to the new songs, they also played older songs like: Aqua Dementia, Bladecatcher, and Black Tongue. During the middle of the set, frontman Troy Sanders made note to the audience that this exact Mastodon show was their 2,000th show. One of the best songs played was High Road, the first single from the new album and the music video for it is the first ever metal music video to contain females twerking. Mastodon ended the show by playing their most popular song and one of the most well-known metal songs, Blood and Thunder from their critically-acclaimed and Moby-Dick inspired Leviathan album. Mastodon is surely on their way of becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all time.
Nu-Metal veterans KoRn are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of their self-titled debut album. KoRn‘s first stop on the 20th anniversary tour was at Knotfest. KoRn started the show with Blind, the first track from the self-titled album. Drummer Ray Luzier started the song by repeatedly hitting his ride cymbal as the song originally starts. Bassist Fieldy would hit the quick funky bass notes. Guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch would introduce the song letting the fans know the show was about to start. Frontman Jonathan Davis came center, took ahold of his signature mic stand, screamed into it, “ARE YOU REEAADDYYY!?!?” as the song started in full force with all members headbanging and fans on the floor jumping simultaneously for an impressive sight. For this tour, KoRn was playing their debut album in its entirety. Some songs they haven’t played from that album in years and others they play regularly. Songs like Ball Tongue and Need To have recently been been played for the first time since the anniversary tour of the album that started earlier this year. Other song like Clown and Faget are fan-favorites that are regularly played, but are still welcomed from old and new fans. Being that KoRn has a shorter setlist than their own headlining tour, they couldn’t possibly plays just songs from the debut album. Instead, they played the first seven songs from the debut album. Davis came out with his signature bag pipes and fans knew what song was coming next. Shoots and Ladders is one of KoRn‘s best songs and is played at almost all their shows and is always fun singing along to a mix of nursery rhymes. To mix up the setlist, KoRn played some of their other hits starting with Falling Away From Me. This being a fan-favorite, the crowd was very into it and jumped to the beginning of the song and fans could be seen singing along. Here to Stay and Did My Time were other fan-favorites that made people in the crowd go wild and mosh pits could be seen from anywhere in the venue. KoRn finished the show with their most popular song, Freak on a Leash. Fans could be seen singing along to the song and of course loved with when Davis performed the beat box solo that the song is known for. KoRn finished the show and came out to greet fans and have their kids come out as well as they threw guitar picks and drum heads into the crowd. KoRn left the stage and paved way for the headliner of the night; the gods of heavy metal, Judas Priest!
Judas Priest is regarded as one of the greatest metal bands of all time and they have every right to be called that. Led by the metal god Rob Halford, Judas Priest has earned their place in the music world as one of the greatest bands in metal. After what seemed to be the end for the band, they came back to release their seventeenth studio album Redeemer of Souls on July 8, 2014. Judas Priest served as the perfect headliner for night 1 with lots of fans waiting for the metal gods. Black Sabbath‘s War Pigs played over the speakers and fans knew that was the cue that Judas Priest was about to start. The lights went out and fans screamed as loud as they could as the intro track Battle Cry played over the speakers. The curtain that was covering the stage came down and revealed Judas Priest on stage as they started the show with the first track from the new album, Dragonaut. Judas Priest kept to their roots by playing classics as the show continued with Metal Gods, a song about robots and technology taking over the world. Victim of Changes was the third song and gave Halford a chance to show that age hasn’t affected his legendary voice as he let out his beautiful high-pitched voice throughout the song. He would send a shiver down your spine as he sang, “VICTIM OF CHAAANGEEESSS!!” and guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton played the song to perfection and showed why they’re two of metal’s greatest guitarists. Halls of Valhalla is another new song that they played followed by The Rage which was a nice treat given that they don’t play that too often. The synth intro to the next song could be heard and fans knew exactly what was coming. The classic song, Turbo Lover. Halford would hold out the mic to fans and let them, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” Halford would sing, “Tell me there’s no otherrr”. Halford would hold out the mic again and let fans again sing, “I’m your Turbo Loverrr!” and Halford would finish with, “better run for coverrr!”. The real treat of the night came when they played the next song, Screaming For Vengeance from their album of the same name which itself is a metal masterpiece. That song hasn’t been performed in almost 30 years and many younger fans were overjoyed to finally have the chance to hear it live. Halford was at the top of his game as he sing in high-pitch with little problem as the song requires. Faulkner and Tipton performed the guitar solos to perfection and really brought the song to life after so long. Following that, Judas Priest kept bringing out the classics that made them who they are. The next song was one of the greatest songs in metal, Breaking the Law. Anyone that listens to metal should be familiar with this song. Halford would hold out the mic to the audience as they sang the chorus, “Breaking the Law! Breaking the Law!”. It is a very fun song to sing to live and amazing to experience everyone singing along. The stage went silent as the sound of an engine roaring could be heard. Fans screamed as they knew exactly what was coming next. Halford came out riding a motorcycle and to no surprise, the next song was Hell Bent For Leather. The stage went dark again as the familiar intro of The Hellion started and fans sang along to the intro of, “ooo-ahh-ooo-oh”. The intro ended and Judas Priest jumped right into Electric Eye. Fans all over could be heard singing along to the chorus, “I’m electric, electric spy. I’m protective Electric Eye”. The band took a quick break while Halford engaged with the crowd with some vocal exercises as the crowd followed his lead. Judas Priest was to end the one with another one of their most popular songs, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’. Fans were loving singing along to this song from start to finish. The show seemed to be over until Jose from SiriusXM Radio came out and asked the crowd if they wanted one more song. The crowd cheered to no surprise and Judas Priest came out to play the final song of the night, Painkiller. What a perfect choice for a show finisher. This song is the definition of heavy metal. Dual guitar leads, fast drumming, and Halford’s legendary voice. Halford finished the song strong with a very long, “Pain…killerrrrrrrrrr!!”. Judas Priest showed off their musicianship one last time in a huge noise of heavy metal music mashup of guitars and drums being played at the same time combined with the screaming of fans. Judas Priest left the stage while leaving the crowd overwhelmed that they just witnessed one of the greatest bands in metal. So was the end to day one of Knotfest.
The plan here was to post the pic of all the bands and just name a handful of ones that us here at Concert Confessions are fans of and stuff like that. Then, as I kept reading into the poster containing the lineup for the 2014 Riot Fest in Chicago, this thing just has so much one would want to check out. Your top billing is The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, The National, Rise Against and Weezer while The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Slayer,The Offspring and Staten Island’s very own Wu-Tang Clan rounding out your ten highest billed performers. Dig deeper into the lineup and you’ll find Pussy Riot, ThurstonMoore, Kurt Vile. You’ll also run into Failure and The Dandy Warhols. The Afghan Whigs are back, and you guessed it, they’re here too. My new favorite heroes(i.e. Dave Grohl/Safe Music) Mastodon is at this party as well. Feel free to have some fun too, throw a little Cheap Trick in your day. Things you don’t see here: Outkast, Lorde, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, Skrillex and all those other garbage festival junkies you see on every card. Lots of music with guitars here.
Highlighted acts below, check out RiotFest.ORG for ticketing details and all that jazz.
For the 8th year in a row, a massive football stadium in Columbus Ohio will host the Rock on the Range Festival. Artists set to bring the HARD AND THE HEAVY to THE Ohio State University include Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Mastodon and many more.
For more information, check out the Rock on the Range website.
Good news for fans of Metal everywhere, The 2013 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival has announced the artists and dates that will keep heads swinging on both ends of the country this summer. Rob Zombie will headline and play along side Amon Amarth, Mastodon, Five Finger Death Punch while Children of Bodom, Behemoth, Battlecross and Machine Head will occupy the rest of your festival day. Check out the dates below, along with a announcement video that every festival seems to be doing these days. For more information, head over to the official festival website.
Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival 2013 Dates:
June 29 – San Bernardino, CA // San Manuel Amphitheater
June 30 – Mountain View, CA // Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 2 – Nampa, ID // Idaho Center Amphitheatre
July 3 – Auburn, WA // White River Amphitheatre
July 5 – Phoenix, AZ // Desert Sky Pavilion
July 6 – Albuquerque, NM // Isleta Amphitheatre
July 7 – Englewood, CO // Fiddler’s Green Ampitheatre
July 10 – Toronto, ON // Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 12 – Burgettstown, PA // First Niagara Pavilion
July 13 – Camden, NJ // Susquehanna Bank Center
July 14 – Darien Center, NY // Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
July 16 – Mansfield, MA // Comcast Center
July 17 – Bangor, ME // Bangor Waterfront
July 19 – Scranton, PA // Toyota Pavilion
July 20 – Saratoga Springs, NY // Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 21 – Hartford, CT // The Comcast Theatre
July 23 – Holmdel, NJ // PNC Bank Arts Center
July 24 – Bristow, VA // Jiffy Lube Live
July 26 – Noblesville, IN // Klipsch Music Center
July 27 – Tinley Park, IL // First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre
July 28 – Clarkston, MI // DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 30 – Atlanta, GA // Lakewood Amphitheatre
July 31 – Tampa, FL // 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre
August 2 – Austin, TX // Tower Amphitheatre
August 3 – The Woodlands, TX // Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Swedish Rockers Ghost are going to bless North America with a lengthy tour this spring leading up to their appearance at the Rock On The Range Festival in Ohio. Lots of major cities getting hit, like Seattle, Portland, San Fran and New York City. It’s a Concert Confessions guarantee that this band is not one you want to miss. Check out their slew of dates below, along with a video of the band being introduced at Orion Music + More Festival and kicking off their set with “Con Clavi Con Dio” . For more info, head to the bands official website here.
According to a press release, the band will from hence here forth be known as Ghost B.C. here in America due to legal issues. I think I can agree with every fan of this band when I say F%#k that. Ghost is Ghost.
Check Out Our Buddy Jakob’s Coverage of Mastodon, Opeth & Ghost from 05/12/12 by clicking here
Also Check Out Reverend Justito’s Ghost & Mastodon Experience from sunny California by clicking here
If this was my start to 2013, then boy is it going to be tons of musical fun. What goes on people, welcome yourselves to yet another Jay Porks Experience. Tonight it’s Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City to see Soundgarden, who are on the 2nd night of a back to back here at this dreadful venue located at 34th and 8th. It’s 15 degrees outside and I don’t have any money. No money means no cabs. No cabs mean spending 2 hours traveling and being frozen by the time I got to the venue. Luckily tonight, Cornell and Co. were here to help thaw out roughly 4,000 icy New Yorkers.
Let’s talk about the security outside of Hammerstein Ballroom for a second. At about 7:30 I was able to make my way inside without much of a line, the doors are at 7 and the show is at 8. The search at the door was insane. They’re making people take off their ski hats and everything. Searching every single person. My friend Pam is en route. They let me wait for her in the lobby so I’m watching this all go down. I get a call at 8:15 from Pam asking if the line I got on was around the block, because that’s where she is. I head outside to find a line has indeed, formed around the block. These guards are searching three people at a time. This place holds close to 4,000 people, and you guys can’t get a few more event staffers out there and get us in quicker? They’ve created a situation where half the crowd won’t be inside by the time this show starts. It’s 15 degrees out here. I’m not saying I know a better way, but there has got to be some sort of alternative to this. Can we do it like the TSA at the airport? I want to tell these people that I’m only going to be here for 2 hours or so, there’s no reason to bring every single illegal thing I own to this building. Not worth the struggle. This is one of the many reasons why I choose not to visit this venue if I don’t have to. What a scumshell this place is. This is not an issue I have at any other venue and they all do searches.
So remember that “show is at 8” part? Well, we didn’t get to our seats til after 8:30. Another travesty, the seating in the mezzanine. The seats are in “first come, first serve” order. So no matter what number it says on your ticket, no matter if you got tickets 5 weeks ago or 5 minutes ago you have your pick of the litter from all the seats up top. So what did I pay $65 + fees for if my seat isn’t reserved, that’s my only question. And if you caused fans to get into the building a half hour late because of your rigorous search outside, then whats all that weed I smell everywhere?
We seated ourselves in the last two seats on the right side, in the last row. Literally the furthest place you can be in this place. But remember folks, last time I saw Soundgarden I was about a football field away from them at the Gorge in 2010. So being able to actually see the action on stage was a treat. Somewhere between 8:30 and 9 the lights dimmed and the band was set to hit the stage. Ladies and Gentleman, SOUNDGARDEN.
When Soundgarden hit the stage and kicked things off with “Searching With My Good Eye Closed” they began a career spanning (I hate the term “career spanning”) set of old hits, old obscure tracks, and of course a nice dose of King Animal spun in there. We didn’t get into King Animal though, until “Non-State Actor” checked in as the 10th song of the evening. “Spoonman”was awesome in the two slot a the band ripped through “Gun”, “Rhinosaur” and “Flower” before I had to turn to Pam between songs and say “We’re seeing fucking Soundgarden!”. I was excited. I’m happy Twitter exists because I’m terrible with song names. Speaking of Twitter, last night I read tweets about an oversold Hammerstein Ballroom. I read that it was crowded on the floor. Tonight the floor looked packed out, and even though I was in the last row of the building, I did notice people standing behind me by the time we were into “Loud Love” and “Drawing Flies”.
It was during “Drawing Flies” I decided time to grab some quick drinks, and I stood on a line that had 4 people in front of me for the duration of that song as well as “Hunted Down”. I ordered a Coors Light and a Captain and Diet and received a Budweiser and some fruity looking beverage that was clearly not Captain and got charged 17 bucks (Pam got charged 17 bucks). I swear the only people who should be paid for working here tonight are the four on stage because everything else going on inside this venue is a train wreck.
I didn’t even need to hear the lyrics as soon as I saw that backwards American flag on the video screen I knew we were into “Non-State Actor” by now,
so I figured they’d go back to back with new tracks and hit us with “Been Away Too Long” but not so fast-they slipped “My Wave” between them.
“Worse Dreams” into “Blow Up The Outside World”-now we’re in a new one, old one portion of the set. It’s only the halfway point. Kim is adding a little extra funk in his riffs for this one, I hear his guitar trailing off in another direction from time to time in this one, and I like it. “Zero Chance” and “Eyelids Mouth” preceded “By Crooked Steps”-
another one of my favorites off the new record. Speaking of the record, Chris Cornell said at one point earlier (and I have this on video if it ever uploads): “the new record is called King Animal.. if you haven’t bought it by now, well I don’t care if you steal it or whatever” before jokily retracting the statement when he said “I think the president of our record company is here tonight”. “Outshined” was a little extra special tonight
heard everyone in my section screaming along to that one. That place was rocking all night long. Such an amazing live band these guys are. I’ve seen them do it outdoors now I’m seeing them do it indoors. The guy walking around my section who looked like Scott Ian from Anthrax was really getting into it with his girl during that one. I was waiting to have a good laugh when “Blood On The Valley Floor” came on.
The reason for that is because the other day while moving quickly to post a video of Soundgarden performing a song never heard live I mistakenly said that “Blood On The Valley Floor” was unreleased and wasn’t on King Animal. So here I am taping it and I can’t help but laugh at myself. Great track none the less. This King Animal record isn’t an album people should brush to the side while only being grateful that Soundgarden playing together again-this album is awesome. And I really thought I appreciated it when it came out. But seeing these songs brought to life live, Cornell‘s howling, the back drop of a powerful Matt Cameron on drums. Just cause he’s currently ¼ of the band I hate the most in my life he is also ¼ of Soundgarden and he’s tearing stuff up back there. One song another dude was drumming with him on the same kit. I also have that on video, again, barring it uploads anytime this month.
Moment of truth time: Yes they did indeed play “Black Hole Sun“. It was a sweeter version of the song, the ever so slightly more mellow chorus much like I witnessed two years ago across the country. I hate when bands don’t play their biggest hit so I’m happy they played it. Although, had I known what would come or not come later, I would have traded it for Jesus Christ Pose and Pretty Noose(both of which absent tonight).
But like I always say: When you’ve got a bitchin’ camera doubling as binoculars, sitting in a seat rocking out to Soundgarden next to a cool chick who loves Seinfeld as much as you there’s really no way that can turn into a losing situation. “Rowing” was next up before they ducked off. People were exiting since Outshined so lots of people walking in front of my camera. I have no desire to go back out into that cold I’m sitting right here til they make me leave. Came out to a four song encore of “Head Down”, “Rusty Cage”, “The Day I Tried To Live”
and “4th of July”-the middle two of the four being my highlights of that section. I was so into this show I wasn’t even keeping notes besides songs, I wasn’t writing down exact times and stuff.
After “4th of July” Chris left is guitar on the floor of the stage face down and feedback fed through the PA until it faded out into the house music. Somewhere between 11-11:30 they were done and we were on our way out.
You know you’ve taken in something of epic proportions when there’s a handful of songs you wanted to hear that didn’t get played and you’re still walking down the block chatting it up about how amazing the show was. And that’s what Soundgarden brought to the table here tonight. 28 songs. Count it, 28. That’s like a Bruce Springsteen type number. And someone tell Billy Corgan that if what I just witnessed was nothing but a “cash grab” then Cornell and company can snatch my wallet anytime they please.
May have mixed up a few songs in the paragraphs above in terms of order, but the full set list is below the fancy pictures. Late..
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!
When the Heritage Hunter tour was announced, I knew I had to go. Opeth was the band on the tour that I was the least familiar with, and upon fully immersing myself in their challenging brand of progressive metal, I knew I’d be in for a fantastic show. Combining light, almost beautiful song structures with the louder, heavier sounds of common heavy metal (and a touch of dry, awkward humor from frontman Mikael Akerfeldt in between songs) the Swedes managed to put on a show that was set right in front of an amazing Atlanta sunset.
9. Umphrey’s McGee
With great jamming comes some great responsibility. Umphrey’s McGee are a jam band known for ridiculous song covers, odd stage presence, great lights, and insane guitar playing. Keep in mind, all this comes from six dudes who look like they could be working at a Best Buy or Target, and call themselves “Umphrey’s McGee.” They’re a cult act, no doubt, and this 2 AM – 6 AM concert at Bonnaroo showed that their fans will go where they go. I only stuck around for the first half of the show (I left right around the time Big Gigantic played their guest spot) but I got what I wanted. I got a “Bulls on Parade” tease, a “Stranglehold” tease, and some of the most intense jamming I’ve heard from any band. It was a rock and roll set, without a doubt, and it was one of the best rock and roll sets I’m sure Bonnaroo has ever seen.
The headlining act of the aforementioned Heritage Hunter tour is a force to be reckoned with. Mastodon is a band that is exactly what the name implies: A big hairy beast that could crush a thousand men with the stomp of its foot. They played mostly new material from their stellar 2011 album “The Hunter” during the hometown gig and barely addressed the audience, but the concert was full of the sheer force that the Atlanta boys are known for. The facial hair on these guys alone should be enough to make the average man cower in fear. I would’ve liked to hear more from “Crack the Skye,” but it’s hard to complain when you’re witnessing one of the most brutal sludge/doom/weird metal bands of the past decade play songs in front of you.
Dispatch make catchy summer music and Bonnaroo is a festival built for specifically that. After nearly a decade long break from touring and releasing new material, the jam/roots rock band with a massive cult following has returned to rock the faces off frat boys who graduated from Dave Matthews Band University. The trio are phenomenal instrumentalists and write a great catchy tune. Although I couldn’t see the whole show, I saw enough to know that Dispatch’s music translates very very well to a live setting, especially when you’ve got a bigger crowd then one would expect from a band with literally no mainstream help.
6. Flogging Molly
Celtic punk isn’t for the critics, and neither is Flogging Molly. Nothing about Flogging Molly is very original, but it is a lot of fun. The sand that lined the floor was in the air and in my lungs by the time these guys finished their high-energy set. This set included their most well-known song “Seven Deadly Sins” as well as a Bob Dylan cover. Flogging Molly didn’t show up to promote any new music, but they did have a blast, as did I and the many other people who witnessed them perform.
5. St. Vincent
Anyone who knows me knows about my year-long crush on Annie Clark, the brains behind St. Vincent. And when I finally got to witness her perform music live in front of my eyes, I was not at all disappointed. Everything about this performance was everything I could’ve wanted from a St. Vincent show and more. She played mostly songs from her amazing 3rd album Strange Mercy, but threw in a couple songs from her first two albums. The set was full of energy, as well as beauty and intensity. And the way she plays that guitar… I could go on forever about how great of a musician this woman is. Bottom line is, you need to see her live if you want a great show.
4. Childish Gambino
Anyone who knows me knows about my man crush on Donald Glover, a standup comedian, writer, actor on the greatest comedy on television “Community,” and rapper. The rapper part of this complicated equation, Childish Gambino, put on a monster of a set at Bonnaroo. He walked on stage with what I can only refer to as “swagger,” wearing a black tanktop that was purposely a bit too big. He led the audience through energetic versions of “Bonfire,” “Freaks and Geeks,” “Heartbeat,” “You See Me,” and plenty more that just turned into sing-a-longs, for lack of a better word. It’s the only real hip hop show I’ve ever been to, and it was a fantastic experience. Gambino isn’t the world’s greatest rapper, but he certainly knows how to handle himself on stage.
Radiohead release some of the most beloved music of the past 15 years. Almost every other album they put out is hailed as a classic: OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, etc.; and if they aren’t hailed as a classic they’re almost always lauded by critics and fans alike. The reception for their most recent release, 2011’s The King of Limbs, wasn’t as positive as it was for some of their other albums, but it still gets better with each listen. Radiohead’s 2006 Bonnaroo performance is often hailed as one of their best, and they without a doubt topped that performance with their 2012 Bonnaroo performance. Although half the set was songs from In Rainbows and The King of Limbs, the 25-song set was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. They ended the first encore with Everything In Its Right Place and the second encore with Paranoid Android, two of their most incredible and ambitious works. And not only did they play with energy and emotion, but the lights and the screen display was one of the best of all time. Up there with Phish and Pink Floyd. Speaking of Phish…
I saw Phish twice this year. And from the very first song at Bonnaroo (Down With Disease) I knew that I was witnessing what might be the best touring band in America. The jamming is top-notch and the lights display is astonishing, especially since a good portion of the show is improvised. At Bonnaroo they brought out country music legend Kenny Rogers and performed his hit “The Gambler” with him, which proved to me that Phish can do a great cover. I also got to hear them perform their cover of TV On the Radio’s “Golden Age” the first time (I heard it again in Atlanta). Also in Atlanta I heard their cover of Ween’s “Roses Are Free” which was perhaps a tribute to the newly split group and they encored with a cover of The Beatles’ “A Day In the Life,” which would have made John Lennon proud. They’re not a band you’d expect to put on a great live performance since they hardly move from their spots while they play, but somehow they are able to reach these incredible crescendos that create this cloud of energy. Both shows I saw were amazing, and they’re a band you must see live at some point.
1. Flaming Lips
Has anyone ever seen Flaming Lips and been disappointed? Even if you’re not a big fan of their music the way they perform and the amount of effort they put into making the live experience perfect should earn them some respect. Lights, balloons, streamers, strings, explosions; all of this and more were a part of Flaming Lips’ Saturday night performance in Atlanta. They played some of their stranger songs like “See the Leaves” and “Pompeii am Götterdämmerung” as well as their more accessible hits like “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots Part 1” and “the Yeah Yeah Yeah Song.” They ended their beautiful and powerful live show with the all-out emotion-fest that is “Do You Realize??” which is probably their best song. It’s full of thought-provoking lyrics and is so powerful when performed live that it almost brought happy tears to my eyes. If you’ve lived this long without seeing Flaming Lips live, then I feel a bit of pity for you. But Flaming Lips tour very very often when they’re not busy paying tribute to King Crimson or Pink Floyd on record. So go out and see them. I did, and I have no complaints whatsoever. They’re the best band I saw this year, and probably the best band I’ve ever seen.
Soundgarden Unleash King Animal on The Ed Sullivan Theater Live on Letterman
We’re going to change things up tonight and post some Soundgarden stuff, it’s not like they’ve been in the news this week or anything. They’ve only announced some small gigs along with appearances on a few of the Late Night shows (Letterman, Kimmel), then killed it across the pond on Jools Holland before announcing a bigger tour for 2013 and have kept this writer busy posting stories about all that stuff here at Concert Confessions. All kidding aside, one of the best parts about writing for Concert Confessions besides the awesome folks involved in the project or having the opportunity to play journalist on the internet is the freedom to post about bands you love. It’s great to not have to read emails about how the “sharing of music” doesn’t involve a band you like, but some buzz band that doesn’t own a guitar, Thom Yorke‘s latest DJ set, etc.
Back to Soundgarden, the band was on David Letterman tonight (11/12) and with performing on the Late Show we have ourselves a ‘Live on Letterman’ webcast which went down at 8PM on the East Coast. The performance: Stellar. Soundgarden isn’t a reunion, it’s a continuation of something that was on hold for a little while. The band killed it, hitting us with heavy doses of King Animaltheir new record due out Tuesday(11/13) along with some essential older hits like Beyond The Wheel and Fell On Black Days(every time I hear that song it takes me back to the Gorge). The setlist, along with the full performance is below . They played “Been Away Too Long” on the CBS Televison broadcast. That video is also below, and that’s courtesy of The Audio Perv
I can’t name one person (besides possibly Billy Corgan) who’s not excited for this rebirth of Soundgarden we’ve had over the past few years, with a tour in 2011 and this year bringing a new record King Animal, due out November 13th. The band has just announced Late Night appearances on David Letterman(11/12) and Jimmy Kimmel (11/26), along with three other intimate gigs that will undoubtedly sell out in a matter of moments. Those dates are listed below, and tickets are on sale to the general public November 9th via Ticketmaster
November 13 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
November 16 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theater
November 27 – Los Angeles, CA @The Fonda Theatre
Finn Riggins is hitting the road this summer, including a week-long stretch in California. This Boise, ID band plays fun and energetic shows. Since our buddy Mr Sparkly is a slave to “the man” at work, figured we’d post these dates, in case I need to crash in Idaho again. The dates lay below, and see if you can make it out to any of these gigs
6/28 SAN DIEGO, CA @ Tin Can Alehouse w/ The Devfits + Little White Teeth + The Boyish Charms 6/29 LOS ANGELES, CA @ The Troubadour w/ Gardens & Villa + So Many Wizards 6/30 SANTA BARBARA, CA @ Muddy Waters 7/3 FRESNO, CA @ Audie’s Olympic 7/4 SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ 7th Annual El Rio Big Time Freedom Fest w/ Religious Girls + Tartufi + Battlehooch + more 7/5 SANTA ROSA, CA @ Christy’s on the Square w/ Tartufi 7/6 DAVIS, CA @ Sophia’s Thai Kitchen w/ Y La Bamba 7/7 BERKELEY, CA @ Starry Plough w/ Mwahaha 7/14 KETCHUM, ID @ MASSV Music and Art Show w/ Ghostland Observatory + Brother Ali + Gift of Gab + Atomic Mama + more 7/18 SALT LAKE CITY, UT @ Spedelli’s w/ Max Pain & The Groovies 7/19 FORT COLLINS, CO @ GNU Experience Gallery w/ The Gembrokers + Ned Garthe + Happy Family 7/20 DENVER, CO @ The UMS Festival 7/21 DENVER, CO @ The UMS Festival 8/8 JACKSON, WY @ Jackson Hole Live! w/ The Features 8/9 PRIEST LAKE, ID @ Millie’s 8/10 SANDPOINT, ID @ Downtown Crossing 8/16 STANLEY, ID @ StanleyStreet Dance 9/1 MCCALL, ID @ Salmon River Brewery
Pearl Jam Set To Play Big Show In Town Most Americans Can’t Find On A Map
So we have this kid thenaturalstoner. He hates Mastodon, he refuses to sign up for Twitter and he actually thinks the Washington State Cougarshave a shot to win the Rose Bowl this year. Instead of using his own account to post this news, he wanted one of us to let you know Pearl Jam is playing their only North American non-festival show of 2012 at the Adams Center in Missoula Montana on September 30th. He already has his vacation time approved for the event cause as he said “this is BIG.” Yes, he used caps for the word big.
I’ll tell you a true story right now. Back at the Gorge last year, during the end of the Meat Puppets set, our man Mr. Sparkly was pissed he missed them covering The Beach Boys “Sloop John B” a video that can be found here:
He was pissed because he loves the Beach Boys, and was in the process of bringing his camera back to the campsite after Livenation mistakenly thought we were wearing lipstick and completely fucked us hard out of our photo passes that were left for us through Meat Puppets management.
So when I noticed that NBC was quick to upload the Beach Boys performing three songs on Jimmy Fallon from Monday night (5/7), I said “hey, why not check these out, you know in case one of them die“. Turns out the night wasn’t a complete wipe-out (there’s your one surfing pun), as I found myself seriously enjoying the ol’ school jam “Wouldn’t It Be Nice”. Then I figured, since I write for a website with a “As Seen On TV” section-I’d share these videos with you, because that’s the kind of guy I am. Enjoy
In late 2008, Reverend Justito started a Myspace page with the idea that fans could share their concert tales with other fans. Out of the gate the page was an instant success to the point that Myspace could no longer support the beast. A few months later Justito was in a garage in Santa Maria California creating this very website – Concert Confessions.
With fan submitted reviews, you get the intimate details often left out by mainstream publications. Perhaps we may have a typo here or there and sure a digital camera won’t take photos as crisp as a professional photographer with a photo pass. Yet we are pretty darn sure that the reporter from your local paper has not felt bruises from being up against the guard rail and no doubt they missed the moment where the band came out for a surprise second encore because they were already back at the office trying to describe the experience in 500 words or less.
Concert Confessions is more than just a website, it is a family. With members spread across the United States and beyond we are more than just words and photos on a website. Members have traveled clear across the countyto take in shows with individuals they would have never met if not for this site. Seasoned Concert Confession vets take great pride in helping new members reach their full potential as concert reviewers. We may not all agree on who the greatest artist of all time is, but we do agree that nothing feels as good as music does when it hits your soul.
2012 Ottawa RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest Announces Lineup
We get a ton of email daily from Canadian citizens crying over the lack of festivals in their nation. Okay that is a giant lie I don’t think anyone from Canada has ever seen the site. That is also a lie. Regardless, another hour has passed and we have another festival to share with you. This one is in Ottawa which is in Canada and it lasts twelve days. It used to be called the Ottawa Bluesfest, but they decided to change the name to RBC Royal Bank Bluesfest. Now I will shut up and tell you who the hell is playing but only after I link you to the official site here so you can buy tickets and stuff. Oh and shockingly enough, Girl Talk is nowhere to be found on this lineup.
Tangerine Dream, Tiesto, Alan Doyle, Riot Police, Fishbone, AWOLNATION, Fet.Nat, The Melvins, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Loon Choir, Akron Family, Billy Brag
Charles Bradley, LMFAO, Fevers, The Strain, Plants and Animals, Mister Parker, Cole, Paul Oakenfold, Dry River Caravan, Johnny Sansone and Monkeyjunk
Conor Oberst, City and Colour, Freelance Whales, David Gray, Kalle Mattson, Arkells, Kid SL, !!!, Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, Charles Bradley, Lake Street Dive, Winchester Warm
Monster Truck, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Rory Gardiner, Hellbros, Sparrows, The Bright Light Social Hour, Marcia Ball, Lynn Drury, Toronzo Cannon, The Flats, Autumn’s Canon, Matt Dorgan Project, Philly Moves, DJ Illo, Mustard Pimp, MSTRKRFT, Downhere, Newworldson, Building 429, City Harmonic, She’s The One
The Peptides, Jeff Rogers, The Bright Light Social Hour, Norah Jones, Seal, The Wooden Sky, Walk Off The Earth, Shred Kelly, Ashley Crnic, Amanda Bon, Keek, Orgone, Sierra Leone’s Refugee Allstars, Down With Webster, Chromeo, A Tribe Called Red, Drastik, Lukas Nelson, Flight Distance, Toronzo Cannon, Lynn Drury, TJ Wheeler, Deep Dark Woods, James Vincent McMorrow, The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Downchild Blues Band, Brea Lawrenson, Josef Pollock, Lucas Haneman, Tyler Kealy
I Mother Earth, My Darkest Days, Nickleback
Snoop Dogg, Zoo Legacy, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Jesse Greene Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Deltron 3000, Chali 2na, Zeus, Damon Fowler, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Oliver Mtukudzi
Thievery Corporation, Grimes, Big Wreck, Youth Lagoon, Good Old War, The Claytones, Blitzen Trapper, Rich Aucoin, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys, Cody Allen Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Cassie Taylor
The Pack A.D., John Mellencamp, The Love Machine, Sam Roberts Band, The White Wires, The Hold Steady, The Sheepdogs, Ariyan, Adam K, Arty, Terry Gillespie, Karen Lovely, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones
Jordan Cook AKA Reignwolf, Our Lady Peace, Blue Rodeo, Become The Sun, Rudeboy, Dirty Heads, Young The Giant, Grandtheft, Drop The Lime, A-Trak, Mother’s Children, Bettye Lavette, Hey Rosetta!
Skrillex, Beirut, Mastodon, Monophonics, Handsome Furs, Dirty Projectors, Fire and Neon, Tyga, The Souljazz Orchestra, 10CC, Shemekia Copeland, Amalgamation, Kelly Richey, Pat “Hatrack” Gallagher, Sound of Lion, Spencer Scharf
The Ethics, Monophonics, K’naan, Metric, The Weeknd, Young Empires, The Bush Pilots, Birthday Girls, Victor Nesrallah, July Talk, The Balconies, Chains of Love, Detroit Cobra, The Trews, Wolfgang Gartner, Felix Cartal, Bzrk, Lazybones, Monkeyjunk, Current Swell
Feist put out a pretty sweet record called Metals late last year. Sadly a lot of people ignored it, but we did not regret it becoming an impulse purchase at a recent trip to Target. We have already shared with you Feists’ plans to rock Coachella, Sasquatch and Bonnaroo later this year. Now we give you a bunch of tour dates that takes the Canadian singer songwriter all over the world. In addition to festival and headline dates, Feist is scheduled to share the stage with the likes of Bon Iver and The Low Anthem in select markets. You can check out all dates as of March 20th below. There is no word if Feist will sneak in her Mastodon cover into the live set, but we sure hope she does.
Feist 2012 Tour Dates:
03/21/12 – Paris, FR @ Le Zenith
03/22/12 – Lyon, FR @ Transbordeur
03/23/12 – Lille, FR @ Theatre Sebastopol
03/25/12 – London, UK @ Royal Albert Hall
03/26 – Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo
03/27/12 – Glasgow, UK @ Royal Concert Hall
04/14/12 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
04/21/12 – Indio, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
04/22/12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Orpheum Theater
04/23/12 – Tucson, AZ @ TCC Arena ^
04/25/12 – Marfa, TX @ Crowley Theatre
04/26/12 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
04/28/12 – New Orleans, LA @ New Orleans Jazz Fest
04/30/12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room
05/01/12 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
05/02/12 – Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
05/03/12 – Raleigh, NC @ Memorial Auditorium
05/05/12 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
05/07/12 – Boston, MA @ House of Blues
05/08/12 – Philadelphia, PA @ Academy of Music
05/09/12 – Washington, DC @ Strathmore
05/11/12 – Burlington, VT @ Flynn Theater
05/28/12 – George, WA @ Sasquatch Music Festival
05/29/12 – Boise @ Idaho Botanical Garden
05/31/12 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks ^
06/02/12 – Minneapolis, MN @ Zoo Amphitheater $
06/03/12 – Madison, WI @ Orpheum $
06/05/12 – Ann Arbor, MI @ Ann Arbor Summer Festival $
06/06/12 – Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center $
06/08/12 – Manchester, TN @ Bonnaroo Music Festival
06/22/12 – Calgary, AB @ Sled Island Festival
06/23/12 – Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatoon Jazz Festival
07/04/12 – Winnipeg, MB @ Winnipeg Folk Festival
07/13/12 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Festival
07/14/12 – Pittsburgh @ Stage AE
08/04/12 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Music Festival
08/08/12 – Oslo, NO @ Oya Festival
08/10/12 – Gothenburg, SE @ Way Out West Festival
08/12/12 – Helsinki, FL @ Flow Festival
08/15/12 – Hamburg, DE @ Stadtpark
08/16/12 – Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop
08/17/12 – Biddinghuizen, HL @ Lowlands Festival
08/19/12 – Beacons, UK @ Green Man Festival
08/21/12 – Cologne, DE @ Tanzbrunnen
08/22/12 – Stuttgart, DE @ Freilichtbuhne Killesberg