Tag: Susquehanna Bank Center

Phish Friday 10 June 2011 @ Camden, NJ

Phish usually stops by Camden to lay down some killer jams and funky grooves.  Last Friday night was, at times, no exception.  The band delivered a stellar first set and finished with a somewhat lackluster second.

The first set opened with Rocky Top, but not before Trey plucked out the Rocky theme song while the others assembled themselves.  Rocky Top is a countrified lamentation of the simple life in a small town in Tennessee, originally from the banjo-slinging, beard-wearing Osborne Brothers.  Surprisingly, this is one of the tunes that has stuck with me since the show – I just can’t get it out of my head.

After Trey’s last wail on Rocky Top, the band switched gears and launched into Mike’s Song.  This was the song when things got serious.  Everything clicked.  Trey’s solos were nicely structured and Page wailed on the organ like it was nobody’s business.  I was surprised at how the Mike’s>Hydrogen>Weekapaug sequence showed up so early in the night, but I was not complaining.  I just hoped it was a harbinger of more good things to come.

When Weekapaug Groove began, it became very clear very fast that we were in Mike’s House, which is part of an ongoing joke from the Makisupa Policeman that happened in Bethel, NY earlier on the tour.  The magic music continued for almost ten minutes – there was no stopping these guys.  Mike’s metallic basslines artfully peeked through exciting guitar solos.  When the words came back, everyone busted a groove and sang along.  It was like we had stepped into the end of an excellent second set.

Stash gracefully let down some of the energy that resonated from Weekapaug.  A dynamic and semi-exploratory jam followed that led us through points of contemplation, exhilaration, and everything in between.  It was definitely a high point of the set.

A short and sweet Tube picked things up and reminded us that we were still invited to Page’s House… and it seemed there was a very funky party going on.

Scent of a Mule continued with the rockabilly theme that began with Rocky Top.  Mike flubbed the lyrics in first verse, but overall it was a good ole’ foot stomper that ended with a jazzy interlude-turned traditional Jewish tune led by Page.  It slowed the tempo down, but not the energy.  Mike (who, as well as Fishman, is Jewish) picked things back up into Mule with a long-winded wail.

Trey butchered the guitar intro of Sloth after a quick Cavern, but once he made it to the verse, things improved.  I had never seen Sloth live before, so it was quite a treat.  Know what was even better?  The Curtain With (which, unbeknownst to me, is actually two songs carefully segued together, sort of like Horse>Silent).

Check out this cool HQ video that Phish released after the show.

The first set of Friday night was shaping up to be the best I had seen or heard (via LivePhish.com) the entire tour.  A cool setlist, high energy, and some hella good jams (I’m lookin’ at you, Stash).  I suspected that if the band was delivering at such a high point in the show already, then the second set would be even better.  That’s the way it usually works, right?

Not so.  The second set, while it had some good moments, turned out to be an utter disappointment.  The energy level took a nosedive right halfway through, right around Golgi Apparatus.  Blame weird placement, blame overkill, hell, blame my personal taste, but from there on in the vibe was killed.  It sounded like they couldn’t decide when to end the set, so they just kept tacking on noncommittal song after song.

I tried to ignore the feeling of déjà vu that I faced when the band opened the set with Down With Disease and then went into Free.  Both were exciting, but the leftover energy from an awesome first set may have had a hand in that.  It seemed like it was too soon to do another DWD opener – it was Bethel all over again.

I hoped that Possum would save this setlist faux pas by injecting some novelty and continue the fun of the first set.  Combined with Big Black Furry Creature From Mars (which I had never seen in its entirety at a show), I had hope.  Halfway through the song, Mike sat down with his bass onstage and finished the song from there.  (Do I hear another Rocky theme tease at 1:15?)  Trey adjusted his microphone way above his head and sang the rest of the song looking up.

Swept Away slowed things down and allowed the band to tone down the goof.  A meaty David Bowie (and another Bethel repeat) was a welcome addition to the set list.

When Golgi hit, it was time for a bathroom break.  When Fluffhead began, I stood at the side of the lawn and chatted with friends.  When Joy closed the set, I was bewildered.  Joy?  I thought shows were supposed to build energy to the end of each set and leave the audience blown away and wanting more.  I usually complain when Joy is thrown into the second set because it’s a buzz kill.  Ending the set on Joy was really, really lame.  Perhaps they did it for shock value, perhaps for novelty.  Either way, it shouldn’t have closed the second set.

When they started the Hendrix song Bold as Love as the encore, there was no saving the vibe for me.  The show wasn’t over, but I was over it.  I guess the reason I was so disappointed with the song selection in the second set is because the first set blew me away.  Sometimes I guess it’s too much to ask for everything.

Phish 2011 Summer Tour – Round 1

Phish 2011 Summer Tour - Round 1

We will get excited once Phish announces their “additional Summer plans” but for now, here is a video that lets you know all the shit holes (Detroit, Cleveland and Jersey) Phish plans to visit during the first leg of their 2011 Summer tour.

 

Phish Summer 2011 Tour from Phish on Vimeo.

Phish also mentions via their Vimeo page that “following the summer, the band has no touring plans for the remainder of the year.”

PHISH SUMMER TOUR 2011
5/27/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/28/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/29/11 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
5/31/11 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/1/11 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
6/3/11 DTE Energy Center, Detroit, MI
6/4/11 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
6/5/11 Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
6/7/11 Comcast Center, Mansfield, MA
6/8/11 Darien Lake Amphitheatre, Darien, NY
6/10/11 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
6/11/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/12/11 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
6/14/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
6/15/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
6/17/11 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC
6/18/11 Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion, Raleigh, NC
6/19/11 Ntelos Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA

The Jay Porks Final Four: Top Experiences of 2010

The Jay Porks Top Four Shows of 2010

Words/Photos by Jay Porks of the Jay Porks Experience

I swear I’ll eventually learn how to cut down on the length of posts.. Just not quite yet. That said, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to determine shows would make the cut in my Top 5 of 2010. I mean, what does one exactly judge specifically when it comes to this type of list. The criteria is vague to say the least-what factors go into determining the awesomeness of a show? Well, here at Concert Confessions (and of course the Jay Porks Experience), we pride ourselves in delivering “different” kind of concert reviews to say the least. We tend to not follow the rules of conventional journalism-hell I personally don’t even follow basic rules of grammar at times. So it was decided that why start following any sort of rules when it comes to this, even if that means turning the top 5 into a ‘Final Four’.

#4- MMR(93.3FM) BBQ featuring Stone Temple Pilots and Alice in Chains w/ Three Days Grace, Fuel, Skillet, Dive, Automatic Fire at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ 05/23/10.

Anytime there is boobs being flashed in the parking lot you know you’re in store for a memorable day. And this is exactly what it was-the whole day. Pam and I didn’t pull into the parking lot until like 2PM and it was already a party out there. Hot chicks toss a beach ball around, us downing beers without being hassled by event staff to take it inside. Some girl flashed her boobs upon request. It got me thinking we should move the stage out here and just have the show in the parking lot-this is the place to be. After eventually making our way inside, by the time we we’re at the food court area I heard Fuel playing “Shimmer”. Damn, I really like that song.
Anyway, we had extra tickets to this show-I had 2 lawn tickets and Pam put a successful bid on some tickets for the pit So we first enjoyed the friendly confines of the lawn for the end of Fuel’s set and for Three Days Grace. We decided to start on the lawn and move down to the pit for Alice in Chains and STP. It was good to catch a second wind after getting bombed mid-afternoon in the parking lot At about 6:55PM Three Days Grace headed off stage and we began to bid our farewells to the posse of friendly fellow concert goers as we headed towards the pit for the headliners. A dude shook my hand and told me “Good luck” before we left.
Got down to the pit section and were literally feet away from the stage to witness Alice In Chains and Stone Temple Pilots play memorable sets. If only the camera I was using at the time was more “sound friendly”, as I got some awesome videos if you’re able to tune the sound to the right volume. This was the point where I decided that I was going to be at BlackDiamondSkye when the tour rolled through NYC later in the year. Stone Temple Pilots did little to disappoint as they ran through most of my favorites and the peak of the evening was when Jerry Cantrell came out to join the band for “Sex Type Thing”. Dean Deleo and Jerry facing each other trading riffs on one of my favorite songs; safe to say it was all worth the 2 hour drive into Camden, NJ.

#3-Local H Gramercy Theater 5/18/10

Was totally pumped to see another one of my favorite bands in Local H. Tickets were $15 and it was at one of NYC’s more intimate venues, the 600 person capacity Gramercy Theater. They labeled the tour the “6 Angry records” tour-they put all 6 of their albums names in hat and randomly picked out the one they’d play in it’s entirety that night. About a week before the show, news broke that the Stone Temple Pilots was looking to play a record showcase type gig in a venue smaller than their usual. Then I was nothing short of baffled when it was announced that STP would play Gramercy Theater the same night this Local H show was scheduled. I was worried my Local H show might have been compromised, but in the end both shows went on that night. STP was billed as a “Midnight Showcase” with separate admission of course. The bummer there was that Local H would only be able to play until 9:30 in order to clear out the place. So safe to say I showed up that night with low expectations, especially when the sign in front said “TONIGHT: STONE TEMPLE PILOTS!”
First thing Lucas says to the crowd is “You know, it kinda feels like we’re opening for the Stone Temple Pilots-but we’re not” before allowing a fan to reach into the hat and pick the night’s album. Turned out to be “Ham Fisted”, the bands first record-the record I was least familiar with of all their albums. To my surprise (through virtue of having the bands discography on my iPod) I happen to be familiar with most of those songs. After I got video of them doing “Feed” I knew I was in the best seat in the house-working with a two man band from this angle it’s very easy to keep the whole band in the frame without moving back and forth much. When they got into some other material later on after Ham Fisted I started to film almost every song. I impressed myself with the way I had the camera work in tune with the song, like: focused on the drums right before they break in, zooming in on the solos etc. The night ended when they played “Bound for the Floor” -in which mid way through they flipped it into “Rainbow in the Dark”(Ronnie James Dio had passed earlier that week) and then morphed back for the end of Bound for the Floor. Last song of the evening was an intense version of T.V. On the Radio’s “Wolf Like Me”-it was nuts! During the song Scott climbed off stage to lean his guitar into the crowd while taking a swig of the drink of a lucky fan. I was like 2 feet away, filming.

We could credit the great spot, the Scott Lucas autograph, the Wolf Like Me cover to end it-we could credit all that. Or we could just say that the band delivered big time in a tough spot-I mean, with my aforementioned low expectations and all I would have never thought to have taken away all I took from that show. Floored.

#2-Ween 9/17/2010 Central Park

After reading a review at ConcertConfessions.Com of a Ween show earlier this year-when I noticed they were going to play a show at Central Park it was an opportunity I could not pass up. I’ll be the first to admit, I only knew a handful of their songs but I found myself curious of what the big hub bub was about-when you know what they say “Curiosity almost killed the cat by melting his face off”.

I was at Central Park the night before to see the band Cake-they came on at 8 last night. On line for beer I notice smoke beginning to fill the stage with smoke, as Ween is about to kick off at 7:30 as I dashed back to my spot which was pretty good despite a few taller people in front of me(I still think we should do size order at shows, like back in school). From “Buckingham Green” I was locked in-the Deaner is godly over there with the six string. The awesome light show they had going lights bouncing off smoke in rhythm with each song was epic stuff. Covering David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”- playing every song I had attempted to verse myself on in the week prior to the show they played. “Spinal Meningitis”, “Voodoo Lady”-even “Mr. Richard Smoker” as Gene Ween puffed cigarettes for most of the duration of the night. When they ducked off at 9:48 as we stood waiting for an encore I took a look around and saw a park with double the people in it compared to the night previous all standing with wide eyed, blank stares.. some clapping some screaming, hugging, high fiving-I get it now, and I’m so glad I was able to have the privilege to comprehend. Especially since they came back out to play “Dr. Rock”, with the lights at their peak of craziness in edition to people all around me just screaming top volume-to say it was a moment of ecstasy for everyone would be an understatement.

On the way out there was a group of dudes selling “Whip Its” (Balloons filled with Nitrous Oxide that you inhale it gives you a minute or two of a a light dizziness/light headed feeling). Anyway they were 3 for 20 bucks so I got a few and sat on a rock by the entrance of the park, with my peers from the Ween concert, all of us blown away sucking air from balloons getting momentarily intoxicated. Jay Porks was baptized into the Ween faith on that night, it was unbelievable.

#1 –The Flaming Lips 4th of July FREAK OUT 2010-House of Blues Atlantic City

When The Flaming Lips were coming to New York City to play a show at a venue called Terminal 5, of course you know I was more than interested. Surfing Ticketmaster, I noticed that they were playing a 4th of July show in Atlantic City, NJ(of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ fame), in which the House of Blues AC tickets were cheaper than the Terminal 5 tickets . So I figured why not make it a night in Atlantic City, book a room see the show write the review come back next day. It’s like a 2 hour trip riding via Greyhound bus for $20. So that’s what I did, stayed at the Golden Nugget Casino. Posted a little “Pre-Show” video and everything. Had a new camera in hand-set to be a great night.

When I got inside the House of Blues it was amazing, it had the whole vintage look going on, and the balcony was stadium seating and I was top row aisle seat-my view is epic! I’ve got an event staffer right in front of me and he watched me bootleg all those songs, didn’t say a word.

The night played out and so many weird freaky things were happening on stage from the start when Wayne came out in the bubble all the way through the stream shooters, pounds of confetti, thousands and thousands of balloons, a dude in a guerilla’s outfit ran out and Wayne stood on his shoulders. With Star Death and the White Dwarfs cheering on the side of the stage joined by a giant cat fish mascot type dude and Wayne bringing out the gigantic hands reflecting beams of light with each finger tip onto two disco balls hanging from the ceiling. I mean seriously, read the review-check the videos, this night was freaking crazy and that’s not even including being the Mr. 1990’s that I am watching these guys do “She Don’t Use Jelly” would’ve sent me home happy-but a few songs later I was way above the level of “happy”. I went from excited, to amazing, to shocked, to totally freaked out by the end of the night. I was seeing balloons and confetti in my dreams for weeks following the show-it’s without question the best 4th of July I have ever participated in.

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