Social Distortion Announces Fall 2012 North American Tour Dates
Social Distortion just announced details for a string of dates this fall. The trek kicks off October 11th in Chicago and runs through November 16th in San Antonio Texas. Highlights of the run include stops in New York, DC and New Orleans. Lindi Ortega and The Biters will handle opening duties. Tickets will go on sale this week, so make sure to check out Social D’s official websitefor all the details.
Now that’s what I call a punk rock show-It’s just continuous awesomeness for the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, in which the 47th installment brings us out to Asbury Park, NJ to the Stone Pony “SummerStage” for Social Distortion, a band I’ve been dying to see forever, but especially since I missed them last year. And since I’m rolling with Pam, the “Pam-Van” is in full effect picking me up from work and headed out to the show after a supermarket/liquor store stop to grab a 6 pack of Heineken light, bottle of Jack and a bottle of Captain . That’s how we roll. Doors open at 5:30-that’s not a typo, 5:30 doors. Let’s get down to business shall we?
After parking and trying to pregame as much as possible while keeping our bladders in tact, We rolled in at 6:30. On the walk over, I heard some security dude telling this chick “if you’re alone you should stand on this side of the street cause it’s a real shady neighborhood down that block”. Awesome, because you know how much I love danger and everything. We found the entrance and got in after I was searched to the maximum. Felling every pocket every item and stuff. Sucks that there’s something they didn’t find that was there-moving on. When we got in one of the openers, ‘Sharks’ was in full swing on stage.. Focus on the band for a second: These guys looked like they were straight out of a time capsule from England circa 1971. The leather was in full effect, pins on the jackets, the tight pants-all of it. Looked like a girly Sex Pistols. We’re scouting out standing spots, we notice the “21 and Over Section” sign, and head through there towards the bar area.. That’s when Sharks finally caught my attention by covering the Replacements “Can’t Hardly Wait”, which was pretty cool. They played their last song at 6:55PM
So as people file in-this is what I call a punk rock show. Holy God, I have never seen so many mo-hawks and chain wallets in my life. Skin heads to people draped in leather. Everyone is a character I swear, whether it’s army fatigues and knee high boots or green hair-this is what I wish I would’ve seen last week at Bad Religion/Rise Against. I’m standing outdoors surrounded by many people who wouldn’t mind breaking my face-the perfect desired atmosphere.
We headed inside for a little bit, grabbed some drinks as Chuck Ragan was on in between Sharks and Social D-but walking around the actual ‘Stone Pony’ venue where the bars and stuff are, I started to check out the walls that had signed guitars all over the place. So I’m checking these things out, signatures from bands of the likes of State Radio and Govt Mule.. until I found my way around to the back door and there in the corner hanging was a signed Gene Ween guitar.. took me all that time to find some taste around here..slow working bartender is keeping us inside long than desired I must say, but at least some dude bought Pam a drink.
Let me get on a pedestal for a second and rant: This preconceived notion that we can place a stage in the middle of any random parking lot-esque open area and call it a rock venue is completely ridiculous. I know I seem like I complain about every single venue, but venues like this(and Williamsburg Waterfront) make me SICK. You can’t just take a parking lot and put a stage there and hype it up to be a “Summerstage”. Sounds so fancy, it’s actually gross. Besides me being a huge proponent of size order at standing room only shows-maybe if you guy built the stage, I don’t know, two feet higher maybe we’d be able to see what going on. It was like a blind show, the only pictures I got was my arm held as high in the air as possible. I mean, if you had like a tilt effect, a slight downward hill thing going on where people were able to see as they got further away; maybe even some ascending levels or something, anything! Sound was loud as hell and amazing, it was awesome to hang out and hear the tunes of Social D for an awesome set on a nice night out-but for 45 dollars, throw up a video screen or something. You know who had a better view than I did? An entire floor of a hotel a few blocks away standing out on the porch enjoying the show for free. They had a great view I’d imagine. I’m standing here behind thousands of people who should be playing the in NBA. Social D as a very tall following if tonight is any indicator.
So at about 8:20 some dude gets on stage and to hype us up. He says “Social D has some awesome stuff planned, lots of surprises in this full two hour set! They’ll be out in a few minutes!”. Wow, a two hour set we’re going to get? That’s odd, because we’re in a residential area with a 10PM “noise curfew” . They’re not even on stage yet and you already only have and hour and forty left. Dude could’ve easily said “And rock it til 10!” and he would’ve saved himself from looking like a moron who can’t do math.
Those last two paragraphs aside, once I heard that “California Love” intro it was freakin’ showtime, I was into it. What’d you expect from Mr. 90’s over here? I suddenly realized why I was putting up with all this non-sense in the first place. Social freakin’ Distortion! Now I’m really in search for a good spot walkin’ around jammin’ out to “Road Zombie” and “So Far Away” before we found a by the back bar there was this little deck about 8 inches up from the ground, so we stepped up-still nothing, as another pretzel stand has gotten me. So we’ve settled on just chilling out enjoying this great show from this spot, as oppose to spending the rest of the night walking around missing things. So we’re rocking out to hit’s like “Bad Luck” and “Mommy’s Little Monster” as I’m scoping out chicks walking by in between attempts and some somewhat decent photos.. During this I smell the scent of ‘sexy lady’ to my left, cool chick, attractive and all that.. she was rocking all night next to what appeared to be her husband I’d assume. So he walks away to hit the bathroom or something and I see her glance over and then she leans into my ear and says “I F*cking LOVE your hair. I’m a hair dresser, I wouldn’t touch it! It’s perfect”. Now there’s a day brightener right there! Being this is the one rock show I’ve been to where having long hair seemed to be the minority, it was good to get a compliment from an older, kinda hot chick who may or may not have been hitting on me while her hubby was in the bathroom. I’m not stating that that’s what I believe was the case, just saying the onlooker may see it in that light. She said her son wanted to come to the show but it’s 16+, and I handed her some typical punk rock cliché “See, there’s the establishment at work prevent your son from rocking out” I’m so quick witted aren’t I?
“Machine Gun Blues” happens to not only be new but also awesome. Lots of little speeches in between songs and honestly the crowd was like, totally not interested. The crowd was asked for “back up singers on this next one”.. and I swear like 4 people raised their hands out of thousands. They were into the tunes, just not anything going on when guitar riffs were not involved. And my only issue with their set tonight was the version of “Ball and Chain” they did right after “Prison Bound”… it was like, a much slower version of it, as if the song was being dragged by the proverbial Ball and Chain.. First time seeing the band, kinda wanted to get the full effect of one of my favorite songs by them, but I’m still having fun through songs like “Lude Boy” and “Don’t Drag Me Down” before we heard “Okay, it’s time for another story” and this was like 9:43, so I knew this story was going to be the “Story of my life”, which is was before they said goodnight and ducked off for maybe a minute or two…
Came back out to play “California(Hustle and Flow)” and “You can’t take it with you” before closing the night with, what else? A classic from an artist everyone’s on board with, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”… I tried to record some of it, but let us not even waster our time with what I just saw on the video. These words give you a better picture than that. So it was 10:08 when they officially went off. An hour and 38 minutes keep that “2 hour set” quote in kind from earlier
Awesome night of punk rock. So glad I got to catch Social D-my issues with the venue did not interfere with me and Pam enjoying ourselves yet again-Bad Religion last week, Social D this week-I mean what’s next? Well, you’ll have to check the concert calender for the official purchases that have been made, but June 11th there’s a free Coheed and Cambria show at the Williamsburg Waterfront that some smart folks are highly recommending I attend. It’s a Saturday and I work til 4 and I have a feeling the line for this show is going to start the night before the gig-I have a few friends heavy into them who want to attend, maybe they’ll be a spot held in line for me. Headed out there anyway, just hope I make it in. Anyway, thanks for putting up with my non sense for a little while, and keep checking back at ConcertConfessions.Com and of course JayPorks.Com for some HUGE plans later on this summer. Things are happening-stay tuned.
Last time Social Distortion came to town was a few years ago. I went on advice of a friend and had a great time. When they announced the Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes tour I didn’t think I could go.
Somehow I got the night off work. I love it when the venues post the set times on the website. Unlike most nights I really did not want to go see a show. However I hopped in the car and headed out for The Pageant.
I showed up in time for Chuck Ragan and his band. A good soild opening set was what the crowd was treated to. I watched 3 songs and headed to the bar.
I went and sat at the Halo bar and watched the Cardinals play for a bit before securing a spot on the floor for Social D.
After a brief 20 minute set change a amped up remix of “California Love” started bumping. As the lights grew dark the Southern California band took the stage.
Mike Ness came out rocking both sides of the stage right away motioning off to the side stage for more guitar right away.
The next song the floor errupted into a massive pit and my position went from the back of the pit to almost the rail.
After a bit of this security rushed into the pit 3-4 deep trying to control the moshing. Only to be overtaking and tossed in the pit themselves at moments.
There was a very blended crowd, old and young, punk and casual. That is always cool when bands bring so many people together for a show.
Mike tells funny stories as intros and gets the crowd charged up. They talked a bit about the new album “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes” and played the single ” Machine Gun Blues “. Things were chaotic on the floor and would only get worse.
For “Bakersfield” It started out by Mike asking the crowd if they had ever been somewhere they didnt want to be before? He went on to talk about being stranded in Bakersfield. He said “I was walking thinking…How did I get myself into this mess……and more importantly how was I gonna get myself out”
Showing no signs of slowing the show down they left for a very brief intermission and came back out to play “Prison Bound”. This was one of my favorites of the nights. I really like the keys in this song.
Mike Ness then gave everyone in the crowd the day off the next day from work. Nice guy. “Story of My Life” was up next.
The night ended on somewhat of a bad note. Some girl took a hard fall and had a bad gash on her face dripping blood. All This while they were ending the set playing the Johnny Cash classic “Ring of Fire”. Then the house lights came up and drum sticks flew out. Another fun show, another fun night glad I went.
With their new album “Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes” due out early next year, OC royalty Social Distortion made their national Television debut last night performing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The band used the Bud Light concert stage to perform the lead single from “Machine Gun Blues” – the lead single from Hard Times as well as a modern day classic. Both clips are posted below (Well they were till Kimmel made them private).
In the continuing story line of awesome bands on a tour that doesn’t come to New York City, Social Distortion & the Toadies have teamed up to take the road for 20+ dates from April 10th in Portland and ending May 20th in Pozo, California.
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.
There’s a Festival Called “Free Press Summer Fest” that’s going to go down this year at Eleanor Tinsley Park in Houston, Texas June 1st – 2nd, has just released it’s 2013 lineup.
The upper tier names on the bill are The Postal Service, Iggy And The Stooges (Featuring Mike Watt on Bass) and TV On The Radio but the undercard isn’t bad either. Bands that don’t suck on the lower half of the bill include Arctic Monkeys, Japandroids, Of Monsters Of Men, Baroness, Social D, The Bronx , Grace Potter And The Nocturnals and added as of hours ago, UME. Hell you could even catch 2 Chainz if that floats your boat. Sounds good to me, who has a couch for me to crash on in Texas? For Tickets, head to the official festival website by clicking here. Full lineup below.
311 Bring Unity to Atlanta With a Little Help From Their Friends
One band that I’ve been interested in seeing for a couple years now is 311. And I finally got that chance when I purchased tickets to this show with my own money. I’m fairly positive that this is the sixth installment of 311’s Unity Tour, although I could be wrong. I know that last year’s Unity Tour featured Sublime w/ Rome And Lambert which I missed because we were out of town for that one. But last night I was able to catch not only 311, but also Slightly Stoopid and the supremely underrated LA group The Aggrolites, whom I saw open for Social Distortion last year.
This show took place on July 21st 2012 at Aaron’s Amphitheater in Atlanta, which is a venue I’d never been to before. Located right next to a high school (not even kidding) the entrance to the venue appears without much warning and the venue itself is just sort of…. there. But parking was free and easy, it wasn’t too crowded; so far a great concert experience compared to some I’ve been to.
The doors opened at 5:30 which, conveniently enough, is the exact time we got there. We walked in and got barely frisked by the guards and procured our pit bracelets. The Aggrolites were set to play from 6:30 to 7 and we had a little bit of time to kill, during which we bought our merch and made our way to the pit to check everything out.
The pit area was small and really the whole amphitheater itself was pretty small compared to some that I’ve been to in Washington. The lawn towards the back was huge, but there were maybe a couple hundred seats and maybe a 100-200 capacity pit at the most. Fortunately, the weather was nice—although Atlanta in July isn’t exactly cold weather—for some good vibes and other reggae-based cliches.
As expected, The Aggrolites graced the stage at 6:30 sharp and opened up their set with “Free Time.” They had great energy for an opening band. Their sound isn’t exactly built for an amphitheater setting, but they certainly made it work, encouraging sing-a-longs the likes of which I’ve never seen from an opening band. They finished off their 30 minute set with a great cover of The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” during which they invited everyone to sing along to the chorus, which they did. The band sounded great, as always, and were a great warmup act for the bands we all wanted to see.
About 20 minutes after The Aggrolites’ set ended, Slightly Stoopid and all its 8 members hit the stage for an instrumental intro followed by “Till It Gets Wet.” Singers Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald traded instruments a couple times throughout the set, one usually taking bass while the other sings and plays guitar, depending on the song. They played a few of their hits like “Anywhere I Go” and “Closer To the Sun,” as well as a few songs from their upcoming album Top Of The World. They even threw in their cover of “Leaving On a Jet Plane” as well as a cover of “Express Yourself” (the Charles Wright song, not the NWA song) to end the set. I also noted how during one of the horn solos I could hear a tease of the “riff” from “Yeah” by Ludacris, which you have to play if you’re in Atlanta.
Slightly Stoopid played a very impressive set. It was about an hour long and ridiculously chill. After a 30 minute wait, the lights went down (it was pitch black in the pit) and the men of 311 hit the stage. Nick started playing what I could only assume was the intro to “Down,” because that was the first song of the set, but no sound was coming out of his guitar, nor was any coming out of Tim’s guitar. SA began rapping his verse of the song and not much sound was coming out of his mic either. Really the only elements of the show that sounded good were Nick’s mic, the bass, and the drums. Everything else was not nearly loud enough. And that didn’t really improve at all during the rest of the show.
They then broke into “Large In the Margin” from their Soundsystem album. And then, as the sun set, they played the very appropriate “Sunset In July” from last year’s stellar Universal Pulse album. 311’s setlist is ever-changing, with a revolving door of at least 40 songs that they choose from for each show of the Unity Tour. During one of their songs (I wanna say it was “From Chaos”, but that’s just a guess) drummer Chad Sexton went into an awesome drum solo, during which a few mini drum kits, two gongs, and a bass drum were rolled onto the stage for the rest of the band members to jam on. After Chad’s solo ended, all 5 members went into a drumline-esque performance, eventually going back into the chorus of the song they were playing.
311 played pretty equally from all their albums, even throwing in a cover of “Leaving Babylon” by Bad Brains. After they performed “Amber,” P-Nut broke into his highly anticipated bass solo. P-Nut is an astounding bass player and did a really cool slapping thing, but compared to greats like Les Claypool and Flea, he’s not the greatest.
They ended their set with “Beautiful Disaster,” which actually was the best sounding song of the night in terms of sound coming out of the instruments. They came out for an encore of “Outside,” “Hydroponic,” and “Creatures (For a While)” before leaving the stage and barely making their 10:30 end time. 311 played an impressively great show that was way better than I was expecting. It was a great concert experience too, with no moshing that I could see and no crowd-surfing whatsoever. That might be a general rule for the venue, but perhaps people decided to not suck for once.
After the show, I came to the conclusion that 311 are just like Phish. 311 have had more mainstream success, but probably not enough to keep them an amphitheater band for so many years. They have a huge cult following and don’t need praise from critics to keep them a happy and fully functional unit. And I saw a guy with a shirt after the show that said “311 Is My Religion.” I think that’s all you need to know to really understand how big this band is, regardless of lyrical quality or poor sound mixing. And that’s all that matters.
SETLIST: Down, Large In The Margin, Sunset In July, Purpose, You Wouldn’t Believe, Freeze Time, Lose, Who’s Got The Herb?, From Chaos, Applied Science, Flowing, Rock On, India Ink, Amber, Bass Solo, Nutsymtom, Rub A Dub, Crack The Code, Leaving Babylon, Jackpot, Beautiful Disaster ENCORE: Outside, Hydroponic, Creatures (For A While)
I’ve been to a ton of concerts this year, thanks in part to my awesome Dad for putting up with my concert-going needs. Well out of the many I’ve been to this year, here are my top 10. I am not doing top 10 live bands, but the top 10 shows. So here we go.
10. Social Distortion 02/12/11 – Showbox SoDo – Seattle, WA
Although I didn’t write a review of this show (I hadn’t discovered CC yet), this is the show that kicked off my 2011 concert season. Punk legends Social Distortion playing three sold out nights in a row in Seattle is just an outstanding feat. They played a great setlist and they were loud and crazy. Mike Ness and the boys may be kinda old, but they still put out great music and put on great shows (Photo from 10/29/11).
Two days before seeing Soundgarden at the Gorge, I was seeing Hassidic reggae/rapper Matisyahu at the Portland Zoo. Matisyahu put on an energetic, albeit short, concert to a mostly Jewish crowd (I think there was a Hebrew school field trip there). There was certainly more weed than I expected, but it was a cool show with great vibes. Oh and being Jewish makes it more of a rite of passage than a concert.
I also had the pleasure of not only seeing but also being the youngest person seeing 90s post-grunge superstars Bush. After a decade-long breakup, the British band got back together for a tour that hit theaters and small clubs. Seeing them at the brand new venue The Neptune Theater just made it that much cooler, and Bush put on a brilliant show that rocked very hard. Gavin Rossdale sings better than I’ve ever heard him before.
Bumbershoot is an annual music/arts festival that takes place at the Seattle Center. While 2010’s festival sported big name acts like Weezer, Bob Dylan, Mary J. Blige, Meat Puppets, Hole, and Rise Against, this year’s festival was headlined by Wiz Khalifa, Presidents of the United States of America, Ray LaMontagne, and Hall and Oates. I was almost not gonna go until I won tickets for day 2 of the festival. I was able to see bands like The Kills (kind of), Butthole Surfers, Atari Teenage Riot, NoMeansNo, and internet comedy act The Gregory Brothers.
The recently reunited alternative metal band System of a Down did a short west coast tour earlier this year, including Seattle’s own Key Arena. Not only that, but they chose gypsy punk collective Gogol Bordello to open for them, a band I happen to love. Both bands put on amazing shows, with SOAD playing a 29-song set. It was also my very first review. (Read with caution).
Unfortunately, there are people out there unaware of Echo Movement’s mind-warpingly fantastic music. Lead singer Stephen Fowler and his brother, keyboardist, Dave, are the greatest songwriting duo since Lennon-McCartney. They inspire nothing but good vibes, and they are some of the nicest dudes ever. So take their motto to heart, and “listen to Echo Movement.”
4. Zeds Dead (12/9):
Say what you will about dubstep, I love it. The overall energy and feel of it just makes me want to get up and dance way more than Ke$ha ever will. Skrillex has more talent in his ridiculous glasses than Ke$ha does in her whole body. Well anyway, Toronto-based dubstep duo Zeds Dead (named after the famous Pulp Fiction quote) rocked the house with their rockin’ house music (see what I did there?). After numerous songs mashed into one (nonstop!), they encored with The Pixies‘ Where is My Mind?, and Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So. Long story short, see a dubstep show.
After days of bugging my dad to get me tickets to this show, I had to settle with the upper seating area of Key Arena. It was ok, though. I had a great view of great bands such as Mumford and Sons, Death Cab for Cutie (blech), Cage the Elephant, Foster the People, Young the Giant, Two Door Cinema Club, and Grouplove. The show was almost overwhelming with its sheer beauty, and it may have been more of a Christmas show (I am Jewish), but it was still wonderful.
2. Sasquatch 2011 Day 1 05/27/11 – Gorge Amphitheater – George, WA
Unfortunately, I only had the opportunity to see one night of the world-famous Sasquatch Festival. Fortunately, though, I was able to see Foo Fighters, one of the biggest bands in the galaxy. I also got the chance to see newly reunited garage rock duo Death From Above 1979, and new punk lords Against Me! The drive to the Gorge that day may have been difficult, but dancing to “Everlong” with strangers totally made up for it (Click here to read our review of Sasquatch Day 1 from our pals thenaturalstoner and Phishbeard.
No doubt, this is the best show I’ve been to. Not only did I have the opportunity to see the newly reunited Gods of grunge metal, but I got to see them with alt-rock stoners Queens of the Stone Age, muscular man metal band Mastodon, and classic indie rockers Meat Puppets. PLUS: I got to see them at the beautiful and fantastic Gorge Amphitheater. Soundgarden played through their classics, and I left the Gorge feeling tired and sore. Twas an awesome show.
I hope you enjoyed my Top 10!
Here’s to another great year of concerts. *coughREDHOTCHILIPEPPERS*cough*TOOL*cough*NOELGALLAGHER*cough*BONNAROO*
There is something to be said for having an adventure thousands of miles from home. My latest just happened to be a Saturday spent at City Park in New Orleans, LA. For years I have heard of the Voodoo Music Experience yet living 2000 miles away it’s not the easiest festival to attend. While my original plans for all three days fell through, I was able to at least take in one day of the long running music festival.
The adventure began with me hopping a street car from the Central Business District down to City Park. Public transportation in unknown cities can always be a bit nerve wracking but thankfully the $1.25 ride across town went as smooth as could be. Our street car operator pointed out places to get everything from Turtle Soup to Bacon Wrapped Donuts. He even allowed some local youth to pay for a ride on the car in candy. End of the line was City Park and I followed my fellow concert goers through the front of the park to the gates of the festival.
Upon entering, the first stage I stumbled upon was the Red Bulletin stage. Located next to some body of water, about 12 dozen kids were sitting on the lawn as Carmine P. Filthy did his DJ thing. This was the last kind of music I was looking for at just past 1pm so I headed deeper into the park to experience some sounds of New Orleans.
Over the next hour, I caught portions of sets by Treme Brass Band and Soul Rebels Brass Band w/ Cyril Neville. I’ll admit, I don’t check out many bands of this style, but when in Rome how can you not? I personally enjoyed Soul Rebels set more, mainly because as younger men they had much more energy and a more modern feel.
After walking around checking out the various foods and vendors for a while I took up residence at the main stage for a long haul. I was shocked to see next to no one at the main stage when I arrived but that probably had a lot to do with the fact that not only was it early, but that The Revivalists were butchering an Eminem song. The one good thing about such a terrible band performing on stage was the fact I was able to secure a spot three rows back. Pretty sweet spot for a stage that had at least 50,000 fans rocking out at it later in the day if I do say so myself.
Boots Electric (also known as Jesse Hughes from Eagles of Death Metal) came to New Orleans to share songs from his recently released solo record Honkey Kong. As a long time fan of Boots, the first few songs of the set were rough. I chalked it up to the fact that the new group would have been better placed on a smaller stage but as it turns out the city of New Orleans was to blame. In between songs like “I Love You All The Thyme” and “Boots Electric Theme” it was shared that the swaggering front man had been awake enjoying New Orleans for about 96 hours. Clearly on his twelfth wind, where the music lacked one couldn’t help but root Boots on in hopes he could make it through the sun drenched set. Not even Eagles of Death Metal songs like “Whorehoppin (Shit, Goddamn)” and “Speaking in Tongues” managed to draw interest from a sparse crowd mainly looking to pop their Blink 182 cherry later in the night. It’s always fun to rock with Boots, but next time I hope it’s in a small club well after the sun has set.
Following Boots Electric was the mighty men from Atlanta known as Mastodon. The bands late afternoon slot on the main stage was the set I was looking forward to most at Voodoo and they did not disappoint. The four piece did a fine job of mixing songs from the recently released album The Hunter as well as plenty of classics from yesteryear. Still planted three rows back, I had assumed the Mastodon fans would make their way up front for some larger than life mosh pits. While a few drunk knuckleheads did try (and fail) to crowd surf, the Blink fans managed to hold their ground forcing the circle pit to be located about 40-50 feet back from the guard rail. I get the feeling this took an effect on the band as they tried yet were unsuccessful in getting a majority of the crowd energized as they bashed out songs like “Spectrelite”, “Crack The Skye” and “Bedazzled Fingernails.” Where Boots and crew were lost upon the big stage, Mastodon and their monstrous sounds made the place feel small. While there are still a few kinks to work out within the new songs, Mastodon came and conquered Voodoo Experience and confirmed my assumption that they would be the highlight of my day.
As the sun began to set on City Park, the festival began to feel a lot like home. With quick set changes, all the older punks with faded tattoos and slicked back hair found their way to the front of the stage for the hard working tales of Mr. Mike Ness. With their hour long dinner time set, Social Distortion did an outstanding job of performing material spanning their lengthy career. When not joking about puking up your booze upon the Festivals small selection of carnival rides, Ness and company gave it their all on songs such as “Story of My Life”, “Bakersfield” and a reworked version of “Prison Bound.” One thing I never thought I would see as part of a Social Distortion show 15 years ago was an acoustic guitar, but it actually worked (as did the ragtime honkytonk piano). Having seen Social Distortion numerous times in the past the band never disappoints and Voodoo was just another example of this. As the band wrapped their set with a cover of Johnny Cash’s classic “Ring of Fire” I decided to leave my cozy spot at the main stage in search of more California sounds within City Park.
X was one of those funky festival sets where you are there, but not really there. I had a quick snack. I watched the legends blast out song after song from their debut album Los Angeles as I stood in line for porta-potties (and here I thought Outside Lands had it bad). Then I found a spot, taped the title track while braving two young men smoking something from tin foil. Moved, found another spot only to have someone almost puke on me so I end up saying enough is enough it’s time to go check out Snoop Dogg.
By the time I worked my way back to the main stage, the area was packed. I headed back to my stage left side however I couldn’t get to a good angle especially with the video camera passing back and forth right in front of my face. So I found another spot much further back and the pride of Long Beach paced back and forth upon the stage in a Marcus Colston New Orleans Saints jersey. When various members of Snoops entourage were not encouraging the crowd to light up on Cannabis, the collective were cranking out Snoop’s biggest hits. “Beautiful” “Gin and Juice” and even some Dr. Dre joints pleased the predominantly white rock crowd. Having never witnessed Snoop live before, it was fun but about ½ through the set I found myself bored. So I decided it was time to head over to the first stage I found at Voodoo and get a prime spot for Girl Talk.
Before we can discuss Girl Talk, let’s discuss Kreayshawn. For as bad as I thought the two songs by The Revivalists were, this may be the most God awful shit I have ever witnessed.
As you may recall, I ragged my nads off with Girl Talk at Outside Lands in San Francisco earlier this year as I had already seen major headliner Muse twice within the year. I made the same call at Voodoo, this time skipping Blink 182 for Mr. Gillis. I caught no less than seven Blink 182 shows before the bands hiatus and with their new album being one of the worst I have heard this year I knew exactly how I wanted to wrap my Voodoo experience. Hitting the stage in a Freddy Krueger costume, Girl Talk was the right call as I had a blast dancing my ass off during his hour long set. As a human being blessed with the gift of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, his unique blend of all genres of music makes my soul happy. It didn’t matter how tired I was or how bad my feet already hurt, the man made my fat white ass groove.
I ended up leaving Girl Talk’s set a few minutes early as I had heard many fans share horror tails of how hard it was to take public transportation back towards the French Quarter the night before. Walking towards the 91 bus almost an hour before the festival came to a close I couldn’t help but have a grin larger than Snoop Dogg’s cross my face. Sure, things didn’t go as I planned for Voodoo and I this year, but the fact is I got to spend a day in City Park with some great acts. I met some amazing folks, including one Tulane Student who graduated from the same Junior High as I did. I visited the Third Man Records truck and almost had my beard died green. While Voodoo didn’t work out for three days as I expected, it was the unexpected that had the biggest impact on me. For a city that was destroyed six years ago, New Orleans is on the upswing once again and just by being there spending my hard earned money I was able to not only help rebuild a place with a rich history, but help every single person who never gave up on their hometown. A truly magical experience, I hope one day I can return to City Park and Voodoo all over again.
Face To Face (w/ The Darlings, Blitzkid & Strung Out) 06/14/11
The Complex – Salt Lake City, UT
Words/Photos by Meredith
About two months ago, I found myself looking at the schedule of events coming to Salt Lake City. I saw Face to Face and Strung Out were heading this way. I was excited about this show because not only was it the first time Face to Face has toured in a while, but also I got to see Strung Out. This band has a large following here in Utah. I went to high school with a lot of people who love this band, even some who have the logo tattooed on them. When we got into The Complex(an all-ages venue), I was confused at the railing that was erected, because there were no crowd surfers the whole time, and press was not allowed into the photo area at all. Usually there isn’t a railing and we get to be right up to the stage. At least I got to stand side-stage.
I need to mention that there were two other acts that started off this night. First up, The Darlings. They were an intense punk act that seemed to keep true to the old style of punk, not the pop-confused genre that we hear now. The Darlings were impressive, and there were people in the crowd singing along as well. The Darlings had a song with guest performers from Strung Out, who joined them on stage for a Social Distortion cover of “So Far Away”. This was a delight for everyone. They were fresh for the show and did a great job, despite lumping into a one-bedroom apartment with a full crew the night they arrived in Salt Lake.
The next band up was Blitzkid. I was hooked by these guys. The front man, Goolsby, rocked his bass in ways I’ve never seen. He played it about 85 different ways, over the shoulder, under his leg, with his mouth; all while keeping perfect time and singing. The crowd was energetic and intrigued by the band’s performance. I snapped a few photos of both bands.
Next, Strung Out took the stage. By the time they started, the crowd had nearly doubled in size. It was a Tuesday night here in The Beehive State, but you’d never know it. The bar in the venue, separated from the all-ages area (of course), was full. The band was upbeat, vibrant, and for guys who’ve been rocking since 1992, they really into the show. The bassist, Chris Aiken and guitarist Jake Kiley, did several simultaneous jumps from ground level. To put it in the parlance of our times, they’ve got “mad hops”. The guys continued to amp up the crowd as they performed songs like “Matchbook”, “Support Your Troops”, “Cemetery”, and “Mind of My Own”. I was thoroughly impressed with the tenacity in which the songs were delivered, again and again. I thought I was at a Strung Out concert, not waiting for another band to play when the show finally came to an end after 14 or so songs.
After being delighted by Strung Out, Face to Face took the stage to play for the excited crowd. By this time, there was the dreaded open hole in the crowd, waiting to claim bodies from a good moshing session. The band played songs from the new album, “Laugh Now, Laugh Later”. They also regaled us with classics from their long list of tunes including “Blind” and “Bombs Away”. In my mind, no Face to Face concert would be complete without hearing “Disconnected” of course, and we were all very glad to hear it being jammed out near the end of the set of about 20 songs. By this time, I’d wandered into the bar area, and happened to end up hanging out with Jake Kiley from Strung Out. My man friend, a longtime and obsessive fan, even bought him a beer. It was his personal quest to meet each member of SO that led us to a drink and nice chat with Mr. Kiley and his photos with everyone but Jason Cruz (oh well). If you’re looking for a summer night with original punk rockers, sing-along songs, and a damn good time, hit up this tour. Complete sets of all show photos can be viewed here:
And the love-hate relationship with this awesome yet dreadful venue continues. As Jim Nantz would say “Hello friends”, and take a seat aboard a train head down the tracks of the 46 installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series.. Tonight Me and fellow Jay Porks Experiencer Pam are heading out to meet Terminal 5 in NYC, this time for Rise Against w/ Bad Religion. Now, call me, Pam and my father a few of the crazy ones-but we here are clueless to the fact of why Rise Against is the headliner. This is not a knock at all at the band, but I would be under the impression that Bad Religion would have a bigger following(considering they sold out four shows in NYC last year).. Regardless both shows are sold out as they played here last night.. Since I’m going straight from work I have the white button down on with the blazer, again the “working journalist” look.. and let’s get this party start shall we?
I have myself a little idea- And this comes from Reverend Justito and I having back and forth convos about why Rise Against was headlining, and the sometimes crazy differences in popular music on each coast, etc. So how about some statistical analysis on this issue? Again, I’m on my way there straight from work so should getting there early.. how about while I await Pam’s arrival (she has the tickets) I use my waiter pad I stole from work to I make two columns- one Bad Religion and one Rise Against and just randomally approach on people outside waiting for doors and ask them simply- “who you here to see?”.. Because I gotta find out if I’m crazy or what-the first time I ever heard a Rise Against song it was me accidentally listening to the radio and I only knew who it was by the DJ mentioning that it was the new Rise Against.
So I got off the train at almost 6.. At a stop earlier than I should have,so after walking a distance that should be illegal for us chubby kids to walk- I made it to the front of the place about 6:30, and there was plenty of people out there. I rethought the survey idea- then decided to go through with it.
So standing on the corner asking passers who they’re here to see, I got some interesting answers. I would say “Hey, I’m an annoying guy with a blog, just taking a tally here-who you here to see tonight?” You would not believe how many people said to me: “nah man I don’t need tickets”.. Allow me to go caps lock for a second-I DON’T HAVE TICKETS! JUST NAME THE BAND YOU’RE HERE TO SEE! The stupidity of people and the ability to be such assholes not to just say two words. Just name one band for me-Don’t say stuff like “I’m not suppose to talk to strangers” and laugh about walking away..o And to those who said “Four Years Strong”, sorry I didn’t have a column for you…lots of not nice people, but the first group of people I ran into were really cool about it.. and at least I was freakin’ doin it right? And when people would pass me up I’m yelling at them down the block like “You know what-I don’t wanna see you following me on Twitter in 6 months when print media dies” and stuff to that effect.. sarcastically saying “You know this is new journalism, this is how you get your news now-through people like me. And again all the people who said “I don’t need tickets” do you think I’d be selling tickets 5 feet away from the 6 thugs who were on different corners selling tickets to this “Sold Out ” show? Just taking a survey here..speaking of said survey I closed the polls when we walked inside, and it was completely overwhelming how many more people stated they were here to see Rise Against.. Final total was 75 people for Rise Against and 14 for Bad Religion- and that’s counting me and Pam for BR. I figured it’d be at least 50-50, boy was I wrong. I was amazed..So let me state that yes, I did underestimate Rise Against’s east coast fan base.
Need to tell a cool story here-Midway through this survey I end up next to a dude wearing an ‘EYEHATEGOD’ tee shirt( awesome band) and he’s trying to sell two tickets. I’m thinking he’s a nut-because of the previous mentioned thugs 5 feet away from us, so basically this dude next to me is on their turf. See this is what always happens at these shows-they’re sold out in minutes yet I could go night of show and scalp a ticket(unless it’s Alice in Chains) from some dude who works the corner. And if that wasn’t enough its never some dude who just has an extra-it’s you give the money to someone on one corner and walk across the street and someone else gives you your ticket.. it’s a whole operation they have going like,-at all these shows I got to in NYC it goes on.. it’s looks like dealing drugs except with tickets they way these guys work, I watch “The Wire”.. and to put it gently (tweaking Dorthy’s famous line from the Wizard of Oz) ”We’re not in Staten Island anymore”.. So one of these big dudes on the corner comes up and wants to buy them- my friend in the tee shirt (Max) tells him 60 for the pair…the dude goes “I’ll give you 40”.. Im thinking in my head shit man take it and run…Max looks at this dude and says “It’s 60 or you could walk”. I was floored-now this dude Max is someone who owns a pair of balls-I mean he looks kinda like me, and he’s talking down to this professional scalper. So eventually the dude says 50 and Max takes it and he walks away. HERE IS THE KICKER-The dude looks at the tickets at the price says Zero Dollars, Max won them in a contest or something. He scalped the scalper. Then he stuck around as I waited for Pam saying and I quote “It’s so funny to watch this guy not sell this ticket-everyone’s in there already. It’s over.” And it was because right as Pam and I were walking in about 8:15 or so (actually was asked to open my cigarette pack to check for drugs on the way in) and I saw the dude who bought the tickets from Max walking around saying “Does anyone want free tickets?”.. that whole story is tagged with #Winning. I took his number down because he says he gets tickets and stuff and has Seether tickets for later this month at Gramercy-Need to see if I could get my shift covered if so I’m getting those.
Anyway we finally get in and I wanna run out to the rooftop smoke deck because Pam’s never seen it.. So many confusing stairwells and a people on top of people on top of people. See at Terminal 5 once those spots along the railings on the 2nd and 3rd floors are taken, there’s no way to see the stage besides the TVs I’m noticing.. The pic I have up here was taken by annoying people bending near crotches to snap, you’re probably thinking “why wouldn’t he stay there?”.. Anyway. we finally the stairway to the roof when Bad Religion kicked off their set at promptly 8:45 I immediately turned and said “fuck it” as we tried to make our way to a decent spot.. We spent the first two songs on the 3rd floor.. The spots along the railing are like 4 heads deep at this point-again no view at all. Being I was taking a frickin’ survey outside for 2 hours-I had no shame in climbing up on a couch to try and get above the people. Still wasn’t able to get a decent shot of the stage, because the lights hanging from the ceiling up there obstruct the view.. So I hop down and we turn to each other and go “2nd floor?”.. so we head down-Way more packed than the 3rd and the best view from there was stage happenings that are being shown on he LCD TV screens all over venue..again, no buenos.
So we headed down to the mobbed 1st floor(the 1st floor with people stacked out into the hallway you read about in my PJ Harvey review) and found a spot against the wall all the way in the back tucked behind a bar- hey, at least I could get some pics from this spot when the preztel stand isn’t in my way. And way back hear the vocals are terrible, like there was a lot of chat in between songs that me and Pam couldn’t hear a word of-and this translates on the video I managed to get, which was a vid of “I want to Conquer The World”/”21st century Digital Boy” and then “Infected” (the ladder two by far two of my absolute favorite songs by them)on video in this spot. Anyway, like you’ll hear kick ass riffs in these vids, but this is the second time I’ve had problems with the vocals in this venue (Meat Puppets/Dinosaur Jr back in 08′-walked out on Built to Spill) . So when you hear the sound on the vids-for once I can tell you it’s not my camera it’s Terminal 5’s sound(especially when your so packed that the Fire Marshall would’ve shut you down right now- you have people backed into the hallway all the way to the merch table-I’m backed against a wall, it’s a complete mess down there on that first floor… the only good thing I noticed was people were courteous as they passed by saw me filming they bent down to not get in the way. Props to them..
So like a typical punk band they’re ripping through songs at-with the chatter at times that we can’t hear, after I’ve gotten a few vids I’m really into this.. I mean I wasn’t taking the setlist down, although there’s an unofficial one at Setlist.FM.. So we’re hangin’ and me and Pam start talking about how old these dudes look..didn’t show in the performance aspect of it but you know, you got these “LA Punk Rockers” here, looking more like normal folk.. To put it in perspective. they’ve been around 20+ years, and I’ve been on earth for 24 years. Damn… still rocking, and finally just as I got a real head nod going, and some cool tweets all of a sudden it was 9:26, and they went off. 8:45-9:26…. 41 minutes of the band I came to see. Of course I’m not too thrilled but their not the headliner as we know, Rise Against is(and recent Jay Porks polls show that about over 80% of that crowd was Rise Against), but at least I got to hear the songs I wanted and now during the break we can explore Terminal 5 and all it’s confusion.
So we finally made it out to the rooftop smoke deck outdoor bar thing and I’ve mentioned it before, this is a really cool place up here. It’s like, the bands should play up here, with the cities tall building surrounding you, drink in hand you feel comfortable. Speaking of drinks, I don’t usually do this but I may have went a little over board at the bar. I mean, I try not to get completely hammered at these thing, usually stick to a beer or two. Let’s just say a mention of a recent ex girlfriend and whiskey led to long rants by me, and looking down at people who came upstairs and screaming down at them “Here comes more people wondering why Rise Against is headlining!” and a few looked up and said “Exactly!”…. turn to Pam and say “Yea where were you when I was taking the survey buddy?”.. So I’m blabbing on-until I look at my phone-and its freakin’ 10:51 already!(RA set time was 9:55) saying “Oh shit we gotta see some of Rise Against!” as we rushed in to at least try and see what was the deal.. We got to the first floor and caught their last song before the encore.. I was really just focused on trying to get some good crowd shots and stage shots because their lights looked amazing, I bet they did put on a great set, even though I have no idea of most of the goings on-the place was jumping on our way out when they were gonna encore everyone’s chanting “One more song!” and as we’re headed to the merch table me, like being a dick is chanting “No more songs!, No more songs!” which had at least two people in agreement(more people who missed the survey I guess!). Anyway, got the tour tee shirt that says Bad Religion on it next to a picture of Ronald Regan for $20… sweet… We headed to the Pam-Van, and I got dropped off in time to make the Midnight boat back to Staten…
So I guess that’s it for now, I mean overall a fun night. Good tunes, taking surveys, getting tipsy-all in a good days work.. Well, won’t be too long til we’re back here, and with sticking with the punk theme, we will take our talents to Asbury Park, NJ for Social Distortion at the Stone Pony Summerstage. That will also be courtesy of the Pam-Van, helping me avoid all public transportation for that one. That’s Saturday May 14th.. Keep up with the concert calender and stay tuned for Jay Porks Ticket Givaways this summer. Until then, it’s 6:23AM over here on the east coast, maybe I should get to posting this..
Oh yea by the way epic pic right here-This is that same bum with the creative sign I saw outside the Hole shows I went to way back April of last year. Anyway, I wish I had money for the dude because he was telling me: “Ima catch ‘dat Grace Potter N Da knock-turtles ya digg! OO LA LA lala LA LA!” I need to buy this guy a sandwich or something, he is the greatest bum ever, and he had the same sign..He was screaming “Lets YouTube this shit man!”-and I should’ve turned him into the next bum who makes millions off YouTube..
21st Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas Lineup Announced
The once groundbreaking Los Angeles radio powerhouse has unveiled the details for the 21st annual Almost Acoustic Christmas. For most music fans snobs, the lineup is very average to say the least. Thankfully, most fans of KROQ are not fans of music, so chances are the show will sell out faster than you can scream PAYOLA.
Pre-sales are later this week, but that does not matter as Gibson Amphitheatre will be filled with close and personal friends of KROQ as well as individuals with nothing better to do then listen to the radio and call KROQ in hopes of being lucky called #20. As anyone in Los Angeles knows, it’s very hard to actually buy a ticket for these shows.
The line up for the 2010 KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas is as follows:
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
When it comes to Local H, I suppose I am only allowed to see them perform live in the South Bay. In the mid-1990’s, I saw the band perform at both Kamp KOME radio festivals just north of San Jose, CA. Some 13 years later, I found myself this past Friday night making my first trip to the SoCal South Bay community of Redondo Beach, where Local H were stopping on their 6 Angry Records tour. Inspired by a Jay Porks review a few weeks back, I figured it was time to catch up with a band I basically lost touch with around the turn of the century. Armed with a yahoo map, I headed solo down PCH to an unknown venue called BriXton South Bay hoping the small club experience would obliterate the memories of the band playing on a sunny afternoon inside a giant amphitheatre.
Once the shock of discovering that the club was located inside the Redondo Beach Pier wore off, I headed inside and plopped down onto a bar stool. I quickly discovered a few things. Sure, I may have no signal or service for my AT&T phone, but at least the club provided free WiFi. With a drink in hand, I surely didn’t stay on my bar stool very long. Taking the stage as main support was a Chicago Illinois band called Left Brain Heart. I am of the age where I have seen enough dull opening acts that it takes a lot to get me off my tush and into your set. By the time Left Brain Heart were wrapping their second song, I was not only vertical but one of the few standing on the very open floor. The five piece group manages to do it all while always sounding consistent. One moment your thinking they are a post-hardcore Queens of the Stone Age, only to have them pegged as My Bloody Moody Blues Valentine a few minutes later. The group had one original song that truly stood out because it was so familiar. It was reminiscent of Green Day’s “Hitchin’ A Ride” that crept into a slowed down version of Social Distortion’s “Sick Boy” only to speed back into the Green Day chord structure. Despite the similar vibes, the song was uniquely Left Brain Heart.
(Note, I once had video of Left Brain Heart. As I went to re-upload all files lost when YouTube had my account deleted in June of 2011, for whatever reason it is missing. Fingers crossed it turns up somewhere as I continue uploading my videos from 2010)
When not joking about recent championship victories of the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Lakers; the band was tearing up songs like “Going” and “Wonderland.” The band closed their set with “Mississippi Nights” – a song about vocalists Justin Slazinik’s St. Louis roots. Fearful of the clubs two large bouncers busting me for video-taping, I only managed to record the last minute of the song. Not to worry, though; I intend to see these guys on a future trip to Southern California.
The concept is simple. Six records written down on scraps of paper are thrown into a hat. One fan reaches into the hat and the album picked is played front to back. The crowd went nuts when Local H main mastermind – Guitarist/Vocalist Scott Lucas graced us with his presence, cowboy hat in hand. After joking that the beach town was more foul than Detroit, he allowed a female audience member to reach deep into his hat and choose our fate. The pick was 1998’s “Pack Up The Cats”, a record I suddenly regret passing along to a friend 10+ years ago.
Only being familiar with half of the albums found in the hat, I was stoked to get a record I was familiar with. Wasting no time, Lucas grabbed his guitar and kicked the set off with the albums scream-a-licious opening track “All-Right (Oh, Yeah).” While song two, “‘Cha!‘ Said the Kitty”, was a rip-rocking good time, my first personal highlight was “Lucky.” It may only be forty-eight seconds on the album, but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for those kinds of numbers. While this adaptation was a bit longer than the album version, it was fun and flowed nicely into “Hit the Skids or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rock.” The crowd reacted favorably to the entire record, but really seemed to go crazy for the cow bell introduction of “Cool Magnet.” A few moments later, “She Hates My Job” became a chaotic crowd sing along.
I am still trying to figure out what the hell happened during the albums most recognizable number — “The Kids Are Right.” Feeling shoving from behind, I looked back assuming a mosh pit had broken out. Unfortunately, the pit consisted of one fatty in a Toadies shirt, and he seemed to only be moshing with me. Apparently my request to stop in his mind was an invite to not only shove me, but finger my brown eye. Now anally violated, my next warning was not so kind and I grabbed him by the shirt and told him to cut the crap. Watching his abundant chest ripple and flop as he charged at me, I was preparing to defend myself. Before I had a chance to exterminate this drunk pest, he was being dragged out of the venue by one of the brute bouncers. With various audience members cheering, the guard removed the turd from the punch bowl as I turned around and enjoyed the final few songs.
Once the album came to a close, the band (who had been joined all night by various members of Left Brain Heart) spent the next hour playing non Pack Up The Cats material. A real angry version of “24 Hour Break-Up Session” kicked things off right. Two songs from the bands biggest album As Good As Dead quickly followed. “Fritz’s Corner” took me back to cruising around the Bay Area’s South Bay, rocking out to KOME on Friday nights. With a huge wall of feedback, “High Fiving MF” got the crowd jumping around to the thunderous guitar riffs. I found myself missing my buxomed drunk in the Toadies shirt during this number. After all, it is a song about assholes in the pit.
We all knew what was next once Lucas announced into his mic that this would be the last time on this tour the ban would play a certain song in our great state. Sure it may bash the transplants who ruin my home state, but the crowds loudest sing along was during “California Songs.” Local H — I am with you guys on this one; we don’t need anymore songs about the city of Los Angeles, especially by the once-great Weezer. Speaking of California bands, Local H found time for a choice cover of the Agent Orange classic “Bloodstains.” Lucas dedicated the cover to Agent Orange who frequent BriXton South Bay.
Once the anti-California-dreamin’ song wrapped, two more tracks from As Good As Dead ended the night. The highlight of the night was the bands’ biggest hit, “Bound For The Floor”, although not for obvious reasons. Having flirted with the gentleman to my right all night, Lucas brought the audience member on stage because he wanted to display his Chicago T-shirt. With drummer Brian St. Clair not missing a beat, the band launched right into the Chicago classic “25 or 6 to 4.” Gone were the signature horns; in their place, twisted feedback laced distorted chords and a huge smile on one lucky fan’s face. The cover eventually found it’s way back to the original number, only proving how tight these two musicians are together.
The show ended with one of my all time favorite Local H songs, “Manifest Destiny Pt. 2.” We all know Scott Lucas uses a bass pickup with his guitar, but what makes this song work is the slow, deep bass line with random guitar squeals thrown over for good measure. With more help from their friends in Left Brain Heart, the band rocked Redondo Beach one final time. Throughout the number, Lucas jumped from the stage and played the solo surrounded by the crowd. His return to the stage was short as the heart and soul of the band left his guitar on top of his amp, looping feedback as he walked to the merch booth. The crowd that didn’t follow Scott went nuts. I, on the other hand, made a promise to myself. South Bay, North Bay or no bay at all, I won’t wait 13 years for my fourth Local H show.
In two weeks, Dinosaur Jr‘s second studio record “You’re Living All Over Me” will turn 25 years old-why wait til then to start the celebration? Tonight, in the 81st Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series we return to Terminal 5 in New York City (610 West 56th Street) for what is billed as “Dinosaur Jr’s 25th anniversary of “You’re Living All Over Me” with Very Special Friends Sitting In and Special Guest Kurt Vile” Well, it’s well known that if the ticket says Dinosaur Jr and I can get there via Bus, Train and/or Boat-chances are I’m getting myself in the building. Kurt Vile and The Violators supporting, if nothing else, peaks my interest for an opening band. And Vile’s a bitchin’ guitar player so sitting in should be fun as well. But friends? Who? Weeks after I bought tickets a few names sprinkled out. Johnny Marr will be here. Dale Crover will be here. Al Cisneros will be here. Frank Black will be here and Kim Gordon will be here. If that’s not enough, there’s going to be two Dinosaur Jr sets, first playing the record and the second being a collection of hits ranging the band’s whole catalog. There’s still the extreme likely possibility that more guests will appear tonight on stage. Anything can happen. Let’s hope “anything” means “everything that you can think of in the world” tonight.
In my first trip into Manhattan in a post- Sandy world, I found myself outside on line to get into Terminal 5 at 6:30 with doors set to open at 7. Had to take a cab from the ferry because the (1) train line is totally fucked. Got dropped off a two blocks up, I need the workout anyway . Felt like forever standing out there on line-not because it was cold. It was my anxiety, my prayers to several gods to be able to obtain my awesome third floor spot. I was about 100 deep in the line and another 100 people (at least) were behind me by the time doors opened. We got in and I ran up two flights of stairs to find exactly what I was looking: an empty third floor with plenty of chairs and ottomans to keep me comfortable until showtime. After I grabbed myself a Pepsi, it was already 7:30.
At 8 o clock Kurt Vile and the Violators hit the stage. They impressed everyone by the end of their set. Each songs having a different feel, kept thanking us for being a “beautiful audience”. They seem like a band that should have been around when bands like Dinosaur Jr and Sonic Youth were getting big in the late 80’s. They have that psychedelic thing going, but the sweet melodies are what, well, keep making me want to compare them to Dinosaur Jr. Was that an 18 string acoustic I saw Kurt Vile bust out on a song called “Freeway” or am I wrong? He changed guitars every single song. I like guitars, so this is a plus in my book. And we share a haircut. His voice is very punky, the tone is perfect for this kind of show. You know-effects pedals everywhere and extended noise jams. I recorded their song “Monkey”. Awesome job by them. It was 8:40 when they went off.
Truth be told, I haven’t listened to “You’re Living All Over Me” front to back in a few years. So I had to go back this past week leading up to the show and re-brush myself up on the masterpiece that is that album. After kicking off the night with “Thumb”(with a chick on stage playing the flute.. or a clarinet) , our first guest of the evening hit the stage next and was our first surprise guest of the evening: Lee Ranaldo(of Sonic Youth fame).
He provided some vocals on the record’s first track, “Little Fury Things”. So here we are, for the next 46 or so minutes watching Dinosaur Jr just kill it. I mean it’s not like I haven’t seen this band kill it before, this is my forth time. But they’re getting better. J Mascis takes a cerebral attack towards his playing, making his guitar his total bitch. This is beyond distortion, this is beautiful madness at it’s finest. At one point his guitar sounded like a flock of doves-I’m serious. And I’m up here, sitting on a chair, (Low to the ground like an ottoman, yet it has a back like a chair. Very comfortable) 3rd floor Terminal 5- not taping. I’m taking this whole album in right now strictly like a normal fan, we do have two sets after all. I’m under an influence alright-the heavy drug known as awesome music. I’m checking out the crowd, they’re going nuts, slamming into each other and crowd surfing like crazy. I mean, it’s a very tiny part of me, but part of me wanted to be down there smashing myself into strangers. But the sea of people doesn’t end as I keep turning my head-this place is packed to the gills (and my “private” section has turned into a full house) One note, I know here in NYC we have some less than desirable fans in the crowd who throw stuff on stage. Usually empty beer cups- I know I’ve been hit with several beers in the pit at past shows. But tonight, it was hoodies exclusively being thrown. I hate to break the news to these people that although it’s hot in the pit it’s still cold outside. Keep glancing over to the rhythm section to see Murph is the only person in shorts, beating the kit with everything he had on ever song he drummed on. I could tell, he worked up quite a sweat. And Lou. Every time I looked in that direction his head was down, bass hanging real low and he was just creating earthquakes over there with his heavy bass licks.
At 10:01 Murph and J dart off stage and the lights dim, revealing Lou Barlow alone, holding a Ukelele ready to play “Poledo” solo, adding that this is an “awkward end to an amazing record” before cranking out the oddity but goody.
This was advertised as two sets, and the bill fit the length of what you’d get out of two sets. But props to the band for not making us wait like 15 minutes in between. Frank Black (or is it Black Francis these days? I get them mixed up) former Pixies frontman was on stage by 10:06. He’s here to “help out on one of the songs off the new record “I Bet on Sky” according to J. After they played the tune, Mr Black hands the gigantic hand drawn lyric sheet he had in front of him to a lucky member of the crowd, re-tunes his guitar and next thing you know you’re hearing the lyric “hips like Cinderella” and we’re jumping into “Tame”.
Dinosaur Jr and Frank Black doing “Tame”. Are you freaking serious?!?! Pass me a tissue, I just wet myself. it was so perfect, so right for this evening. So many joyous screams.
A great old tracked popped up “Alone”, a great new track from the new record popped up, “Watch The Corners” and here comes Johnny Marr at around 1045. Besides that crappy band with Morrissey, I loved Johnny Marr’s stuff with Modest Mouse and he is a highly regarded guitar player. He’s actually releasing his debut solo record later this year. He lended a hand on “The Wagon”. Then they brought out a lyric sheet on a stand for J as they got into a song I didn’t know.
Thankfully we live in the 21st century and Twitter was buzzing within seconds chiming in with the song title: “The Boy with The Thorn in his Side“, a Smiths cover. There was another guest vocalist up there(thanks to fellow fans comments, it was pointed out to me that it was Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene) .At least it wasn’t Morrissey. Dale Crover(of the Melvins) was out there drumming on the Smiths cover with them. Al Cisneros (known for his work in Sleep and OM) was on and off stage throughout the evening as well as Kurt Vile. Don Fleming(used to be in a band called Gumball) came on stage to cover a song by the band Iron Cross called “Crucified For Your Sins”. Your a typical hard rocking DC punk rock anthem to perk up the pit as some start to sober up. It was intense.
And at 11:09 Kim Gordon hops on stage. The sexist 59 year old chick I’ve ever seen, since her recent divorce with Thurston Moore (in turn, putting all things Sonic Youth on indefinite hiatus) Kim spends these days playing in an experimental noise rock duo with Bill Nace called Body/Head. Surprised Kim’s lungs didn’t come flying out of her chest during “Don’t”.
That one that requires screaming multiplied by a million. I hated when the band played this song last year(Review of that show here) because they let some fan sing the vocal and he kept slamming the microphone down and had an annoying scream. Kim was awesome, I just wish there was some better lighting in there for me to grab a better picture of her. Well, the lighting was good, but the shine from the drum set was messing with my camera. Everybody ducked off stage at 11:19
They came back out not long after. You know, there was one kid I saw outside wearing a Replacements tee shirt. At the time I saw it I said to myself “Sweet..the Replacements”. That must’ve been my spider senses tingling, because out for the encore on bass is none other than Tommy Stinson from the Replacements! Tommy also plays in the fake Guns N’ Roses band that Axl Rose tours with these days. And there’s my buddy John Petkovic (see Mike Watt & Friends 05/02/12) on vocals-and they’re playing The Stooges! “TV Eye”. The pit was chaos once again.
I had read reviews claiming Fred Arminsen was on stage at one point and I had to look back at my pictures a day later and notice that he is in fact drumming on “TV Eye”. I was having such a good time I missed the Portlandia star. “Start Choppin” followed and then our night ended with “Freak Scene”. The house music came on slightly after 11:30.
Dinosaur Jr never disappoints, but that my friends was something for the ages. I’ve placed a picture of the set list below. Enjoy the videos as they upload! Late.
NYCTaper has a great capture of this show available for download. You can click this link here to check out all the audio goodies
Amazing how things work out sometimes, it’s the whole “life evens out” thing. Great weeks you have end terribly and some of those terrible weeks end awesome. Tonight was fortunately one of the ladder as we embark on the 77th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight it’s the Stone Pony Summerstage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Yea that’s right, another trek into Dirty Jersey, this time it’s The Offspring with Dead Sara and NeonTrees. Say what you will about The Offspring(and I mean 95 % of the Concert Confessions crew, especially Reverend Justito who’s probably cringing at yet another Offspring review ), but that’s one of the few bands that has songs with lyrics that relate to me personally on every level. I’ve been a fan forever, and may not be up to date on their latest record but am still totally psyched to be seeing them. Also, Neon Trees in the past couple of weeks has gotten way more appealing to me as I hear more and more of them now with the new Alternative Station in New York City. And I know at least one Dead Sara song, they’re a hard rockin’ bunch. So this show (albeit a bit pricey $43 plus fees) was a must see. Especially when Jay Porks Experience veteran Pam being as into all this as I am, along with our buddy and new comer Janine-who’s concert cherry we will get to pop tonight weeks before I’m giving a horrible toast at her wedding. Doors set for 5:30. Show I’d assume at 6:30.
Dead Sara is most definitely alive(Stop pretending that you don’t love my puns) as they kicked ass all the way from the parking lot. My typical style of being unorganized and having no sense of direction has us in the car attempting to down beers (at Supermarket prices) as Dead Sara hit the stage at 6:43. Surprised they didn’t go full cavity search on me there-they were tough at the gate. Event staffers included a gander into my pack of cigarettes and everything. Finally made it to what was going to be our spot, down in front but not too far up and by 7:10 “Weatherman” was already deafening the place.. Here’s a band that should be bigger. They were amazing, and they were without a doubt the loudest band to hit the stage on this night. I saw a few Dead Sara tee shirts too, which surprised me at first, then delighted me by the time they went off at about 7:15. They would fit right in playing with a band like Ume, you heard that here first when the world eventually starts listening to me.
Some bands have songs that are catchy and stick in your head even though they are annoying as hell. It’s like you’re being duped into becoming a fan of a band sometimes, only to find out two or three singles later that it’s nothing but crap, And that’s sort of what I was expecting from Neon Trees, who hit the stage at roughly 7:31. It feels so good to be so wrong. Early in the set they had a song called “Sins of My Youth” which was a serious head-nodder. And “Teenage Sounds” is another interesting one. I’ve got my camera in hand waiting for the songs I know, while the lead singer, Tyler Glenn is full of all sorts of banter-both funny and true. It was about a half hour of the band absolutely killing it when this dude says “Two years ago we wrote this song and we recorded it and out of nowhere people started singing.. singing it in the shower and started singing it in all the offices complexes and all the other real ‘idiotic white people areas’ to sing songs. If you hate it, you can go get a beer and a hot dog and come back for the Offspring, this song’s called Animal”. I was never a vocalist, and never claimed to be one-but this guy can really sing. The way he can bend some of the notes in the slightest of ways is what makes the biggest difference. This is showcased really on “Everybody Talks”, the jam of theirs I’ve been getting wasted to almost every night since they did it on Letterman. They went off at about 8:20. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed these guys. Good band, great live band.
At 8:56 The Offspring hit the stage just as the fully darkened night sky was settling in. “Hurting as One” and “All I Want” started off the night and now we turn around and notice we couldn’t get to the back if we tried, in case stuff got crazy. Stuff did start getting crazy, I saw some crowd surfing attempts during “Come Out And Play”-but this is New Jersey, they don’t do it right. Really shocked how good Dex sounded. His voice hasn’t changed a bit. And it’s not one of this Axl’s Roses deals, to the right you got Noodles tearing it up. This is freaking awesome. I can’t believe I’m finally seeing the Offspring! During the craziness of “Bad Habit” during the break that song has Dex led the crowd into singing the line: “You stupid dumb shit god damn mother fucker!”, successfully. During “Gotta Get Away”, I noticed my first 30 seconds weren’t recording because I double tapped the button. It was the best three something minutes of my week as I screamed along those lyrics. “There’s demons in my head and it’s more than I could take”.“Starring At The Sun” really heated things up and we’re only about 10 songs in, and “Days Gone By” is already in the rear-view mirror.
Now the lights get low and no one’s on stage but Dex and one of the guys in the band is playing keys. He starts into “Gone Away”, in total, gospel style I guess. Like he Adele’d the song up. Then, Emily Armstrong from Dead Sara comes out to join him on vocals, and all I’m doing is waiting for the guitars to come out.. and they never did. The version wasn’t terrible, but in this writers opinion it could have been a lot better if they had the gnarly guitars wrecking shit on stage and you can still have Emily from Dead Sara out there-it’s not like she’s in a band that plays soft pop music.
Hell, they’re heavier than the Offspring. How bout the full Dead Sara band comes out and they play the heaviest, loudest version of “Gone Away” ever? That would’ve been awesome. But my first time seeing one of my favorite bands and they completely took one of my favorite songs and sacrificed it to a goat. It’s not like there are any songs slow in tempo at all to this point, I don’t understand what that was.. And while we’re on the topic of things that were annoying as hell tonight: WHY ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE SO TALL? My shoulder is deader than Sara right now, and the video is trash. I mean it’s good for the elements I was dealing with. I mean, no slam dancing broke out near us but because I had to have my arm fully extended to reach over the Rutgers Basketball team plus people up front holding up their iPhones blocking my angles. All the videos are a shaky mess, and these Youtube trolls are going to destroy me in the comments section. The Stone Pony’s Summerstage set up is nothing short of terrible. It’s a slab of concrete, it’s basically a parking lot with a stage. No incline at all. You move back it’s not like there’s a better view. Saw Social D here last May and remember hating this place. We need to do size order at these things-like back in 5th grade.
After “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?” I turned to Pam and Janine and said “The acoustic is out, ‘Why Don’t You Get A Job?” has to be next”. And it was. What a song. Hope you can’t hear me singing on the video of that one. “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” is a song I loved off their last record that I had totally forgotten about. “Pretty Fly For A White Guy” was my ring tone for about four years a few phones ago. That song is about me in Junior High School minus getting tattoos. Then “The Kids Aren’t Alright” completed the Quad-Phekda of songs that made up for the crappy Stone Pony Summer Stage. They ducked off at 10 o’ clock.
They came back out for the encore and played “Americana” then another forgotten favorite “Can’t Get My Head Around You”. Now the running theme through this show is how close to home these song hit me on a personal level, and nothing sums that up more than the final song of the evening: Self Esteem.
This is a song about every part of Jay Porks. Seriously. My girlfriend in High School used to cheat on me with all my friends, and I never dumped the girl I just “made her dessert” in a sense and would let it go. Shows the kind of person I am. Anyway, as Dex starts the line “Late at night she knocks on my door, drunk again and looking to score” I remember that about a week or two ago I received a text message from this very same High School flame who cut me loose 7 or 8 years ago saying that she was outside my house and I should come out. Now, I’m not saying that she was “drunk again and looking to score”, but hell I’m going to pretend that was the case for this instance as the Offspring are telling the story of my life on stage. The perfect end to a unique evening.
Dead Sara/Offspring/Neon Trees North American Tour Dates
Now continuing in a year of cool tours, Dead Sara is set to be joined on the road with The Offspring and Neon Trees. Dead Sara begins their trek August 11th and will be combining forces with The Offspring and Neon Trees August 31st at the Fillmore in Detroit. September stops at the Stone Pony in NJ and Terminal 5 in NYC may lead to a review ending up on this very website. We shall see.
All the dates below were taken from the Dead Sara official website.