Tag: Central Park Summerstage

Violent Femmes @ Central Park in New York City 09/12/13

Violent Femmes – Central Park Summerstage

New York City – 09/12/2013

Words/Photos/Videos: Jay Porks

Violent Femmes

A day before Friday the 13th, something out of sorts happened in Central Park. It was the Violent Femmes returning to the city that never sleeps for the first time in nine years, 2/3’s fully reunited, for a one night only (excluding Riot Fest appearances)event presented by Livenation and Josh Wood Productions. Who ever thought these dudes would tour again? Even if it’s only two of the originals. The band has an extensive back catalog that this writer had on his iPod before that and the other 4,000 songs were lost when it died. So what will they play? What will the set list look like? Well, let’s remove all the spontaneity out of that because Rolling Stone reported on Wednesday that the Violent Femmes will be playing their self titled debut album. Not that anyone should dislike this album, but unless there’s a reissue being prepped, what’s the deal with that? And it’s not like the article said “Debut album + other hits” or anything like that. Plus, another spice to tonight, the forecast. Alleged thunderstorms to hit around show time. Not worried about getting wet as much as the concern for people to bring obnoxiously large umbrellas and ruin camera angles. Screw those people. As for this guy, I intend on grabbing a garbage bag from work to use as a poncho, and once the clock hit 3PM we were en route to yet another Jay Porks Expernience… come, walk with me.

Doors are 6 and show is at 7. I’m as shocked as anyone else when I’m allowed in at 5:15. I’m upset that it took me til my 3rd or 4th time seeing a show here before I realized that the back bleachers top step are an awesome spot. I walk around for a living all day, and I walked 12 blocks to get here-why stand when you could sit? I notice a tweet from LivenationNYC, and it goes as follows:

 

Wow. That’s why I was let in I guess, me being early has allowed me to be on time. Maybe they see a window where they can get this show in with no rain, which seems to have passed right on by us.

The Bogmen

The Bogmen, an “indie” rock band from Upstate New York, hit the stage at 6PM sharp. I mean like, after song number two it was 6:08. First thing I notice about them is that they have every instrument you can think of on stage. Besides your basic band set up they had a Bongo section, a keyboard/sound effects guy, the whole nine yards. Or should I say ten yards? Because at all points during the set there was at least 10 people on stage playing instruments, at one point 14 may have been counted. And I don’t even know how to describe this. I found their scarce Wikipedia page and they’re labeled the aforementioned “indie”. I don’t know why folks continue to use words like indie and alternative when describing sounds, but another beef for another day. These guys were like if lyrically nicer Frank Black was fronting a high school glee club that have been brought up on strictly Violet Femmes farm type free range rock and roll. And that sounds like a dig, it’s not. Roll out all those terrible opening acts I’ve seen, they’re not gonna make the list. I’ve hung my garbage bag on the railing behind me, and headed to spot where I noticed they were letting folks smoke cigarettes as we finished out the remainder of The Bogmen’s set, which ended at 6:50.

 

Just as they finished up their set, a few drops of rain hit me. That’s when I made the dart back towards my garbage bag, which some kid was grabbing a hold of. I was like “I brought that all the way from Staten Island” and he relinquished it. He believed me? I wasn’t lying, but what if I was? I poked a hole in it and now my head pokes out of this ridiculous looking thing as the rain has held off. It’s become a tad after 7 and as “New York, New York” plays over the PA, it seems as if the main event is about to hit the stage.

Violent Femmes 4

It’s time for the Violent Femmes!

Out on stage come the boys to play their debut album for us and they kicked the night off with “Hallowed Ground”. Cool, so we’re not only getting that album tonight. We’ll sprinkle in some hits. “All I Want” came next, and it’s a wave back and forth type of mood right now. “Nightmare” followed, and afterward bassist Brian Richie addressed the crowd: “We’re about to take you on trip through time, space and psychology”.

Violent Femmes 2

 

“Blister In The Sun” is the first track off their self titled debut, and the crowd went bananas when that bass line dropped. Not even two minutes into everyone enjoying the nostalgia that is this band, not even two minutes into this album-the rain begins to fall. And it falls hard. In the Blister In The Sun video I have, you can hear people scampering around and shrieking as water pours on them.

Umbrellas start coming out (as predicted), and I’m poking another hole in this garbage bag for my camera’s lens to stick out of just in time to hit record for “Kiss Off”. I love this song, the counting portion reminds me of my life. I’m inside the garbage bag as I hear people screaming. It’s the security guards telling us to leave the bleachers because there’s lightning. Not for nothing, but is there a waiver I could sign that says I won’t blame Central Park if I die, because I have a killer spot right now. So after letting out a loud “fuck” and stopping video, I run towards the front to enjoy the rest of the song. After the song, the band tells us they’re being told to leave the stage due to lightning, and “we’ll be coming back out… this is out of our control”. And I wish I could have been the guy screaming this but I wasn’t: Someone shouts out “I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record!”. That dude is my hero.

Violent Femmes 5

Damn. Now we’re in a rain delay. I head back over to the smoking spot, and the rain gets heavier and heavier. Not only that, but they tarp they have placed over the lawn. So with added moisture, we have brown puddles forming everywhere. The Muddy Banks of Central Park. My sneakers feel like I have jumped inside a pool. We’re 20 minutes into the delay collecting water. I don’t mind water, but I start walking in the direction of the exit just in case they call this thing. I notice a slew of people leaving and I start heading with them. Two people conversing at the gate. One guy is like “Let’s just wait til they announce something” and the other dude says “Announce what, we can’t even see the fucking stage!”. I turn back and he’s right, they can’t possibly come back out. By the time I walked 5 blocks in the steadiest of steady downpours and made it to the train station I saw some people in the subway I noticed were also at the show. I said “So, how long did you guys end up staying?” and the kid goes “Until they postponed it.. there’s gonna be some sort of make up show”. And the four of us just shook our heads, what an abrupt end to what was on the way to be a magical night.

 

So the Violent Femmes at Central Park to allegedly be made up at a later date that is yet to be announced. The problem with that is for us who have jobs we need to pray that this show is on a day where said employed person could get to this show. I wish there was someone to blame for this because this was gonna be awesome and ended up being the pits. But it’s no ones fault. They did all they could. If Central Park didn’t have the 10PM curfew, maybe there would have been more of a chance of waiting it out. Who knows. I just know that last year if you told me I’d actually get to see the Violent Femmes live in any capacity I would have called you insane.

 

Late.

 

Check out my podcast, in which I talk more about the rain out, and other things. I do it weekly, my buddy Andy Derer (host of the Andy Derer Show) hooked me up with my own. so check it out!

Childish Gambino @ Central Park Summerstage 06/25/12

Childish Gambino – 6/25/12

Central Park Summerstage – New York City

Words/Photos/Video By Jay Porks

Damn, I wish I could keep this streak going of hitting epic shows every freaking night. What goes on people , welcome yourselves to the 73rd episode of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. After two days in Atlantic City at the Orion Music + More festival, it was time to get back in the New York groove as they say with a visit to Central Park, for Childish Gambino. Since this is Concert Confessions, I have a small confession to come clean with right now: I introduced ALL my peers at CC to this guy over a year ago! Then all of sudden Reverend Justito gets him at Coachella, then the entire NW chapter got him at Sasquatch in WA, even a confession from Mr Sparkly from a show in Moscow, ID on thenaturalstoner‘s birthday. Then Jakob got him at Bonarroo. I’ve read way too much about my new favorite rapper on this site not from me, it’s about damn time this Central Park show came around. Openers are Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown- “doors” at 6, show at 7 at the Summerstage, as a killer storm was just cleared up upon our arrival.

I don’t know if my head isn’t on straight or what, me and my buddy Chach got to the city at 6:30 and I took us all sorts of out of the way missing a bunch of trains. I’m the one who’s been to shows here after all. So we got in at like 7:30 and we heard Danny Brown on stage as we were entering. I thought it was going to be reversed and Schoolboy Q would be on first but it wasn’t the case. Danny Brown is a little too weird for my taste anyway. I can take him in small doses, and I’m sure he’ll be out here sometime later on tonight.

Schoolboy Q hit the stage at like 7:45 and was spitting lyrics to a hyped, packed out crowd who didn’t seem only into the headliner. During his set Danny Brown was walking around like the front of the stage by the crowd, taking pictures with people and stuff- like right when Schoolboy Q is up there trying to do his thing. I’d be pissed if someone was kinda stealing my thunder. His last song was “Hands on the Wheel”. He was off by 8:13PM

At about 8:32PM the stage was filled with smoke as Childish Gambino came out to a roaring ovation. Most of the crowd was chanting “Gam-Bino Gam-Bino”, just like they scream for Jay Z with the “HOVA” chants . Unreal. I never thought I’d see this many people as excited as me. Then like the 2nd song up was “Firefly”, which is a sick song. This guy is such a pro at what he’s doing. “Freaks and Geeks” hit us up next, the song containing such epic lines like “I’m in the back of the bush like Gaven Rossdale’s drummer”(get it? The female anatomy + 90’s Alternative rock band? Awesome). They’re was a video screen that I couldn’t see do to the fact I went far right to be as close to the stage as I could. He did a song or two off ‘Culdesac’, his first record (or mixtape). Besides a few people cutting in front of us and pissing me the hell off before they moved I was genuinely have such an awesome time. Even though I’m cramped in with a bunch of people being bumped from all sides-I feel like this is family.

Everywhere we looked there was weed being smoked..and not the typical “let me duck down and use this one hitter” type smoking. Everyone was smoking right in front of the event staff, they were watching and really could care less. There’s this couple in front of us (who earlier I was pissed at the dude for being in front of me, but he has since moved over) turns around and I see him talking to Chach and then he hands him half a joint, and it’s fat as hell. Chach goes “I don’t know, he said he was done smoking or something”. Sweet. Myself, not the type to shy away from the recreational use of the herbal, enhanced the night a little more by joining in with the rest of Central Park’s Marijuana Bonfire. People never share at shows, these are some good times right here.

The thing different about Childish Gambino, besides the way his punchlines emphasize the punch, is that he plays with a full band. These guys rock out. At one point during the set he says “Listen guys, this isn’t a Rap concert-This is a black rock concert!”. And tearing through “All The Shine” (tearing through it to epic proportions) and the “Rolling in the Deep” remix he does, with the two guitar players, two violinists, drummer and all of the above with one drum in front of them at all times creating all sorts of cool elements. Like, the guitar player bangs the drum for a little, hits the keyboard on another part of the song. All these guys are full with as much energy as Gambino. “L.E.S.”…….

“Heartbeat” and “Bonfire”(which was, like many tonight, full crowd sing-alongs as we all know the every single lyric) were all played before 9:27 when he said goodnight and headed off stage. I thought it was over before I looked at the time, because it felt like he played it all.

Comes back out like 3 minutes later, and says “I said it was a black rock concert, well now it’s time we turn this to a rap concert!”, then kicked a freestyle over the beat for a song called “Rack City” by Tyga.

Then he said “Ya wanna hear some new shit?” before jumping into songs recently released like “Eat Your Vegetables” and “Unnecessary Roughness” which Schoolboy Q was called out to perform his verse he has on the track.

One problem for Schoolboy Q, his mic seemed to be low or totally out. So Gambino, so aware of the situation, goes from just ad libbing the line to outright rapping Q’s entire verse for him. What a save. Now it’s Danny Brown time, I knew that weirdo would be out sooner or later. They drop a beat and Danny Brown ripped a freestyle, followed by Gambino ripping one of his own and then Schoolboy Q’s mic was fixed in time for him to rock one out too before the night was closed out with “Lights Turned On”. 9:55PM, right on time for the Summerstage curfew.

 

Wow. Seriously, wow. Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino comes home to destroy this place. Left it all on stage like he does in every town every time. I can’t wait til July 4th for the new mixtape to drop! This was some fun times tonight, so much fun had. If you’ve been keeping score at home, that’s two nights of Metallica followed by a barn burner by Childish Gambino. I’m wiped. Thanks for taking the time. Leave some comments! We have a new comment thing down there as of a few weeks ago. It’s cool tits.

 

LATE

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