the tea party – lockport – 8-24-12

another local tea party show, at lockport again like last year. only they changed things a bit, and while it’s still a free show, they moved the VIP section to directly in front of the stage. so if you want to be close, you have to buy VIP tickets for $22, which include one drink. it’s not really a bad deal, i’d gladly pay $18 to see bands i like. this time i took Jason along with me, as i love to spread the tea party love, and even though it’s not his style really, he enjoyed it and thought they were quite good (which made me happy haha).

it was the usual set list from them, which is sorta disappointing, but in the end they always put on such a good show it doesn’t matter. i’m pretty sure the only differences from last year were opening with “the river” instead of “writing’s on the wal”l (making it the first time i’ve gotten to see the river), an intro into “sun going down”, and a new hendrix “all along the watchtower” and led zepplin “stairway to heaven” mashup inside of “save me” instead of…whatever they were doing last year, “i love you” or something? joe said they skipped “correspondences” again, as well as “shadows on the mountainside” which would have been great to see even if it’s not a fav song, it’s something different. they also left out “zahira” before “halcyon days” and “release”. also “the last goodbye” cover was in there somewhere, maybe before “the messenger”, but i’m not sure.

The River
The Bazaar
The Messenger
Fire in the Head
Nobody’s Fault But Mine / Sun Going Down
Halcyon Days
Save Me
Heaven Coming Down
Sister Awake

Kate had texted earlier in the week to get together after the show, but i never heard from her that day. happens that we ran into her as we were leaving, so we ended up going to hang out at her boyfriend’s house for a while afterward, which was fun.

the dreaming @ montage music hall, Rochester, NY

Jason was coming home from vacation in Lake George, and I was heading to Rochester to see the Dreaming, so we met up in the city to go to the show. A yummy dinner at the original location of Sticky Lips BBQ was followed by a visit with Eric and Tiff to see their new baby Nathan. A quick but nice visit, then to Montage for the show.

I’ve really been waiting 12 years or so to see Chris Hall and/or Stabbing Westward or the Dreaming. Somehow I never saw SW back when I got into them, even though they were still together at the time. Montage is a tiny little place, that was ridiculously loud. We got there later, missing most of the openers. I don’t know who was playing when we walked in, but I thought, that sounds like The Edge guitar, specifically “I Will Follow” and the singer introduced a song that “everyone would know”, and proceeded to play “Pride”. Ok so I had the wrong U2 song, but I was right about the guitar tone ha. Got some drinks, socialized with Joe a bit, said hi to Johnny Haro who plays drums for the Dreaming now.

Aside from the show being so loud, it was pretty decent. The band sounded good, though their songs start to sound the same after a while. I was impressed with Chris Hall’s voice, as many many many of those 90s guys I used to like can’t sing for shit anymore. He sounded right on, hitting all the notes he should be. After the show I bought their new cd Puppet and Chris signed it. He was like “you guys looked so bored during the show, which I’m sure is how I look when I’m at a show, but…” LOL I had to explain that they weren’t Jay’s style, but that I had waited a long time to see them, I just don’t dance sooo. There were at most 40 people there, and it’s hard to hide in the crowd when there isn’t one….

No setlist, and I can’t even begin to guess at it. But they did play SW covers: What do I have to do, Shame, Sometimes it Hurts (which Chris started acoustically), and Save Yourself…maybe another one, I didn’t recognize the song so it might have been from their 4th record (so far away? yeah that’s on the 4th, so I don’t know it). They also played their cover of Depeche Mode’s It’s No Good.

Ok so this setlist is from Chicago but Joe says it’s accurate except they didn’t play Waking Up Beside You (that’s a shame…)

End In Tears
What Do I Have to Do? (Stabbing Westward cover)
Set Fire to the Rain (Adele cover)
There Will Be Blood
Waking Up Beside you
Make It Go Away
Every Trace
It’s No Good (Depeche Mode cover)
So Far Away (Stabbing Westward cover)
Fight For You
Shame (Stabbing Westward cover)
Sometimes It Hurts (Stabbing Westward cover) (acoustic)
Save Yourself (Stabbing Westward cover)

Boston part 2

Jason and I headed back to Boston to stay with his sister because he had gotten tickets to see 2 Amanda Palmer events by donating to her kickstarter album campaign. So we left work super early Tuesday, to try to sleep before catching the red eye, but that didn’t work well so once we got to his sister’s apartment we went back to bed for a few hours. Caught a late lunch at Red Bones because he needed to succeed at eating the jamaican jerk beef sandwich which defeated him back in May hahaha (and he was successful this time!) Made a few stops in some stores, then off to the Middle East for the show.

The first night was a special VIP event for kickstarter supporters who donated at a certain (high) level. It was more of an artsy thing, featuring an art show of work Amanda had commissioned, or called for, for her album. She said usually the art is displayed in the same location as the performance, but at this place the art had to be in a different room of the restaurant upstairs, and the show was in the performance venue downstairs. And the show was not really a traditional rock show, more performance art kind of thing. She introduced a guy from her band, and he played an orchestral piece with some other string players. Then a guy named Walter Sikert played one song, and then Amanda. It was her, and the first guy who played, and another guy from her band, just with a banjo and mandolin or something, and she had a key-tar that she played a few times, and a knife….yeah. So it was just the 3 of them on the floor, no mics, no amps, with people sitting on the floor around them, and other standing behind. If there were 150 people there, that’d be high. It was small and intimate and kinda really great. They played a handful of new songs, a cover of Nirvana’s “Polly”, and probably old stuff…I don’t really know, because I don’t know any of her work other than what was played with Dresden Dolls when they opened for NIN in 2005. But yeah, she is definitely a performer and this small thing was really neat to see. Oh, everyone there got a gift bag with stuff in it, and each one had a different used book picked out by Amanda (or possibly her husband, Neil Gaiman, who I think is the real reason Jason donated to Amanda, cuz he really isn’t a fan of her haha). My bag contained John Irving’s A Widow for One Year…ok! and a folding pocket comb, which I’m pretty sure I also got in a package from Chuck Palahniuk, an adult sized eye mask, and a few stickers. I can’t remember Jason’s book, but he also got a purple crayola marker.

Our 2nd day brought lunch in Harvard area, so we could be near the glasses place Jason ordered new frames at, then we headed to the Institute of Contemporary Art. I had seen an ad in the subway for their current exhibit which looked neat, and I/we hadn’t been there before. It is a small museum, but it was a good interesting collection of modern art that didn’t make me mad, which is hard to do haha. Our next destination was Newbury St so Jason could get some shoes, but we went a round about way that included walking through Boston Common where it was ridiculously hot, then going down the wrong street in the wrong direction, and finally having to break out google maps to figure it out LOL. But we made it, he got shoes, then back to his sister’s to get ready for the 2nd show, and grab dinner with her.

The 2nd show was a regular concert that was open to the public and sold out (venue capacity was like, 567, so still a small show), but it was still part of the kickstarter rewards Jason got. It was ridiculously hot and uncomfortable in there, and Amanda wasn’t going to go on until 10:30, so it was a bit unpleasant, and we were stupid tired from being out in the heat all day. Eventually we moved from the bench we claimed on the side of the room, to stand in the back in front of a large fan, which was much much better. So there were 3 openers, someone maybe called Jaggery, the singer lives with Amanda. When she wasn’t screeching she had a nice voice, but good lord, the screeching was so ear pain-y. Next up was someone else who lives with Amanda, who is a piano composer and played one of his pieces. Then Walter Sickert played a full 30 minutes set, and he has potential. Going to have to look him up. Then it was Amanda, backed by her full band, the Grand Theft Orchestra. They played nearly 2 hours, and included 2 Dresden Dolls songs I recognized from 05. Again, she puts on a great performance, though it was different from the night before, and not being a fan, 2 hours might have been a bit long. But it was enjoyable and I’m super glad Jason took me with him. I don’t think I could ever listen to a full album of Amanda’s work, but she is definitely entertaining.

Bars close at 1 or 2am in Boston, depending on something we don’t know, so we caught a cab from the Middle East, and went to a bar we had passed on the bus that I was like “we must go there!” and happened to be open until 2, called People’s Republik. Communist bars yay! Grabbed a drink there before they closed and we headed back to the apartment for the night. Early wake up this morning, to head to the airport to come home, and my cab fare was $50, only he didn’t take credit cards and I only had $45 cash. oh well LOL. Guess I didn’t have to pay for his tolls, and he didn’t get a tip. So sad. Jason thinks $50 was too high anyway so….I win. Of course, my flight was delayed and I didn’t bother to check before I got the cab, so I had an extra hour to kill at Logan by myself. But it was no big deal (especially considering how long we sat at the airport when we went to Boston in May).

Great trip, albeit short, but it’s always nice to get away for a few days.

Bruce Springsteen – First Niagara Center – 4-13-12

We Take Care of Our Own
Wrecking Ball
The Ties That Bind
Death to My Hometown
My City of Ruins
Mountain of Love
Jack of All Trades
Prove It All Night
Darkness on the Edge of Town
Shackled & Drawn
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
Apollo Medley
Point Blank
American Skin (41 Shots)
The Rising
Lonesome Day
We Are Alive
Thunder Road
* * *
Rocky Ground (with Michelle Moore)
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out


Tonight was Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour Cirque du Soleil show with LeighAnne in Hamilton. Feels like I bought the tickets forever ago, because I think it was a year ago haha. I hate that.

Anyway. We headed out with google directions, which took me a way that I’ve never taken before, and instead of trusting them (also because we were on a street named not what the directions said), i thought we were going the wrong way and turned around. only that wasn’t the right way either, and after turning on data roaming, we ended up going back the way the original directions said…a nice tour through the Hamilton steel district, and low class homes instead of the usual highway route. Google maps fail. So with all that, we were 15 minutes late to the show. I’m not sure how much we missed since we saw all of MJ’s “main” songs in the rest of the show *shrug*. (edit: ooh, maybe dirty diana? if it’s not in the set, it should be)

Overall I thought it was very good. However having never seen a Cirque show before, I expected much more acrobatics and people flying around than there was. It was much more about the music and dancing, than flying around in the air. There still were some flying acts, and acrobats, and one pole dancer but…just expected more of that (perhaps the permanent “more theatrical” vegas show in 2013 will have more of it). I think MJ would be happy with it, they did a good job paying tribute to him and his style. Highlights were “Smooth Criminal” and “Human Nature”. There was a really creepy bit with a giant gloved hand and giant mj shoes/socks haha. The songs I don’t like because they are lame, I still didn’t like in the show (ahem, childhood, gone too soon). They did a lot of older Jacksons stuff too, which was nice, since I’d never seen them live.

After sitting in the parking ramp for a half hour, I remembered not to park in ramps at events 😛 We hit up a gas station on the way home to get weird flavors of chips…we got extreme dill doritos (groossss), spicy thai doritos (yum), roasted chicken (actually pretty good, didn’t taste like chicken, more like spices you’d put on poultry), spicy ketchup (much like regular ketchup) and…what’s it called? like “everything” flavor which really was mostly bbq. I also picked up a Coffee Crisp milk…not as good as I expected, definitely inferior to Intense Chocolate Milk, but it’s ok.

I had a good time with Lei, definitely enjoyed the show! Yay!

U2 Pittsburgh 2011

my 10th u2 show was with frank and kate in pittsburgh, the last US show of the 360 tour. we headed down around noon, met meredith at a restaurant called Fat Heads which was fantastic – 40 different kinds of beer on tap, and huge portions of really yummy food. found our way to heinz field, which seemed smaller than i expected and claimed our place on the floor. adam side, maybe 20 people back, right near the end of that leg of the claw.

the show was great, of course. same set list as the toronto show, but after they finished “moment of surrender”, they talked for a second and decided to play another song, “bad”. sweet. i felt sorta crappy and hot the whole show, by the time the encore and “one” came along i felt like i was going to pass out so i went out of the crowd and had to sit on the gross metal floor for the rest of the encore. that’s ok tho. you can see everything on the giant claw screens.

walking to the car afterward we got passed by u2’s motorcade, each member in their own suv (so if they crash they don’t all die? like the president and vp? lol). that was stupidly cool to see hahaha

2 days of tea

It is mighty hot outside. yuck.

The first day of the tea party brought leighanne, mary and i to toronto to see them at the Sound Academy, which is a pretty nice place with a terrible location next to a dump…or…something that just smells awful, and in 100 degree heat, that was very unpleasant. thank god the show was inside, i’d never see an outdoor show there. We headed up after they got out of work, arriving around 8:45 but still managing to catch at least half of the 2nd opener…I forget their name, they were not good enough to bother remembering…bleeker street or something? Anyway…Tea went on around 9:45, and I was just so happy to see them together again. They are still one of the best rock bands I’ve ever seen and I’m continually impressed that only 3 guys can make that much sound live. I did not think I’d ever see them on stage again after the break up, so they could have sat there picking their nose and I would have been happy. They sounded as good as ever, Jeff Martin wasn’t singing any high notes, and I’ve heard people complain about it but they have to realize, we’re all getting old, voices just don’t work like they used to. He sounded great. Setlist wasn’t too surprising, they have been playing The River, but left it out this show for some reason.

Writing’s on the Wall
The Bazaar
Psychopomp (!!! the only song i really care about seeing)
The Messenger
Fire in the Head
Correspondences (!!! ok i lie, love that they played this too)
Heaven Coming Down
Sun Going Down
Zahira / The Halcyon Days
Save Me / Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley cover)

Winter Solstice / Sister Awake / Paint It Black

We hit ridiculous traffic after the show, because the gardner west was closed and we were forced to take lakeshore out of the city. The holdup was inexplicable, no accident, a lot of cars, but no reason we weren’t moving…An hour and a half later we made it through. Aggravating.

Friday brought the show in Lockport, a free show as part of the Canal Concert Series. It was mighty hot out once again so I didn’t want to go too early, and then everyone bailed on me, so I ended up driving down alone and arriving around 5:30. There weren’t many people there and I was able to walk right up to the rail where Joe and his friend were waiting. Score. Eric met up with us around 6, and 2 opening bands later…the setlist was the same except no Correspondences, no Release and still no River. Jeff Martin mentioned how his voice was hoarse and it got worse and worse throughout the show, so I knew the set was going to be cut short long before they ended with Save Me, and then an encore of Temptation and Sister Awake. Every time his voice went out he sort of smiled and rolled his eyes. I felt bad for him, it seemed almost painful. Aside from the voice issue, they sounded great again. He did the same spiels between songs, as he always has done, and said they were back for good and wouldn’t go away again (and I certainly hope so, you can never have too much tea party). Excellent double shows, I’m just so so happy to see them on stage again.

u2 – rogers center, toronto

“Thank you for your patience,” Bono said “Some of you were two years younger when you bought tickets for tonight’s show.”

Finally the day came to see U2 in Toronto. I only had the tickets since November 2009….it was Cassie’s birthday, and she wanted to leave at 5am, so I got out of work, jumped in the shower, LeighAnne picked us up and we headed out to the Rogers Center, getting there around 7am. There were more people there at 7am than there were in 2009 when we got there after 10. Bummer. We ended up numbers 304-306 and settled in for the long, hot, day. I tried to sleep in line but that didn’t work out too well so I gave up. It was hot. It was maybe going to rain but it didn’t. So it was hot. Did I mention it was hot? When the clouds were around it wasn’t too bad, nice temperature and a breeze, but when the sun came out we roasted. It was unpleasant. And I am sunburned, yet again, even though I put on 70 spf at home and used someone’s 45 spf in line…great. They let us in at 5 I think…maybe it was 4, but either way we mostly got the same spot, rail outside, that Cassie and I had in 09 2nd show. And then I got a phone call from a guy I sold my extra ticket to, and someone else’s extra, and it ruined everything. The one ticket (NOT MINE) was invalid, it had been reported lost and a refund issued. Awesome. wtf. So that pretty much ruined my night, as I had to talk to him a few times on the phone and he was understandably upset, and then figure out what went on on the other end. It made me feel sick, plus the fact I hadn’t sleep in 32 hours at that point, I ended up leaving our spot with Lei and heading to the back of the field for the show. I was able to sit/lay down during Interpol (who were so boring), and just relax. I felt bad for leaving Cassie alone at her birthday show, but I know I couldn’t have stayed there another hour before Interpol went on, and an hour after that for U2.

I had stayed away from online setlists, but I think I knew all the surprises anyway. Must say I was very pleased with the setlist, since it was very 90s heavy, opening with 4 songs from Achtung. yesssss. I can still complain, as 2 of the 3 songs from No Line On The Horizon I think are 2 of the worst songs U2 has ever done, and they should change them out for “Breathe” and “Magnificent” but really, overall, fantastic set. The band sounded great, Bono was in top form after his back breaking injury, just excellent. Yes I wish I could have stayed up front, but back on the lawn we had fun too. There are huge screens to watch so it’s not a big deal if you can’t see well.

Even Better Than The Real Thing
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
Until the End of the World (always a highlight)
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Beautiful Day
Miss Sarajevo
Zooropa (!!! totally awesome to hear)
City of Blinding Lights
I’ll Go Crazy (remix) – Discotheque (snippet, the most we’re ever going to get, so i’ll take it)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On

Where the Streets Have No Name
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this made my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sooooo awesome)
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

Refound Cassie, headed out, construction traffic jam in Oakville as always (I’m not sure I’ve ever left a concert where there wasn’t construction traffic in Oakville) and got home around 2am….38 hours awake, not fun. I think this will be the last show I queue for…at least for a ridiculous amount of time. Definitely will never be queuing again on no sleep, that is for sure. Just too old for this now 🙂

Decided to go see U2 again in Pittsburgh on the 26th. It’s the last US show of the last leg of the tour (they added a date someplace in Canada). Managed to get tickets on stubhub for only $50 after fees…!!! Ridiculously cheap ($20 under face). So Kate, who was unable to get off of work for this show, and Frank and I are gonna go. No queueing tho!!! 🙂 And I decided to sell my APC tickets for Pittsburgh in August, cuz I don’t think I’d enjoy sitting through the Emotive setlist again. They are listed on stubhub for $50, hopefully they sell (it’s my first time buying and selling through there).

a perfect circle – fox theater, detroit

I was so super excited to hear that a perfect circle was getting back together to tour and I scooped up tickets to Fox Theater in Detroit and someplace in Pittsburgh right away. I headed out to this show with Phil, who had seen them in Buffalo (as did I) years ago, and we were both pretty excited.

After getting pulled over and having the car searched in Queenston, we made good time to Detroit through Windsor, grabbed yummy dinner at this Mexican place someone (I think sean) had posted a review of on fb a few weeks ago, then wasted a few hours at MGM casino before heading to the venue.

Fox Theater is stunning. You’ll just never have places like that built again, so glad it is well taken care of. The opener was Red Bacteria Vacuum, a punk band that turns out to be from Japan. Can’t say it was any good, but they were cute reading off a sheet of paper in english to the crowd about Japan, and how the best thing they can do to help Japan is play their music haha.

APC came on at 9, opening with Annihilation followed by Imagine, and then I got the bad feeling that this setlist was going to all be from Emotive…and I was right. So I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, because in general it was a good show – Maynard still sounds amazing, the band (Billy, James Iha, 2 guys from Ashes Divide/Puscifer, no Josh Freese 🙁 …) sounded great. Just…I felt like I was seeing a new band I’d never seen before, because since I hated Emotive and listened to it a whole total of once, I really only knew like 5 songs. The setlist just bummed me out big time. They really must have played the entire record, just song after song from Emotive (just checked, they played 10 of 12 songs), and I started wondering if they were still doing the “one album per show” thing, and had hopes that Pittsburgh would be better. But sadly, seems to show the same basic set – lots of Emotive with a few changes in the songs from Mer Des Noms and 13th Step. *sigh* Guess I need to try to brush up on my Emotive before August.

So here’s the setlist:

Annihilation (Crucifix cover)
Imagine (John Lennon cover)
Weak and Powerless
The Hollow
What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye cover)
People Are People (Depeche Mode cover)
The Outsider
(What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? (Nick Lowe cover)
When the Levee Breaks (Joe McCoy cover)
The Noose
3 Libras (All Main Courses Mix)
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (Black Flag cover)

Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
Fiddle and the Drum (Joni Mitchell cover)
By And Down

APC was never a band you really had to SEE, as they are not very active on stage, and they still aren’t. Maynard, James Iha and the drummer were on boxes at the back, with the bassist and Billy moving around up front. I’m glad we got Magdalena, as they sometimes seem to switch it out with Orestes (wouldn’t mind that either though), and they seem to switch out Gravity for The Package. So much of Emotive is slowish, it just brought the whole thing down. The crowd didn’t seem to have any energy (maybe due to a seated venue, but I’m figuring it was the setlist, the older songs got big reactions). Passive is better live than on Emotive, but it still pales in comparison to the live version called Vacant from…2001?ish (aka the buffalo show). Counting Bodies Like Sheep was pretty awesome, but it was one of 2 songs I liked from Emotive so it makes sense. And closing with 2 songs I have never heard before (or don’t remember hearing) was just…blah.

So….it sounds all like a complaint, but it’s only a half complaint. They really sounded amazing, and live music is always awesome. Nothing compares to live guitar, and Billy is a pretty great guitarist. I just don’t understand the setlist choices.

Now I need to get excited for U2.

econoline crush – st catherines

Econoline Crush, one of my fav bands, announced a tour with their 3 track EP, and of course my luck, initially I couldn’t attend any of the shows. Conflicts with work, then conflicts with a perfect circle, I was totally bummed I wouldn’t get to see any of the shows. Then they announced St Catherines a week before the show, on a day off, awesome! So I headed up with Joe and a friend of his also named Sara. We got there pretty early, and no one was there, and they venue didn’t have the guest list so we couldn’t get in at 8 with the doors. It was ok, because we went and had some beers at a bar next door, and listened to the openers from that bar’s patio outside. We were sorta glad we were outside, it was loud and…eh. After the 2nd band, even though EC still wasn’t there, we checked on the guest list again and were able to get in. Unfortunately, there were only about 50 people there 🙁 Wish there had been a better turn out, but I don’t know if it really got advertised at all in the week between the booking and the show. Oh well.

Econoline was great as always. It’s been a long time since the last show at Lee’s Palace, and of course even longer since the “Summer of Econoline” and they still have it. Trevor sounds as good as ever, can still hit all the notes, and the songs live are all fantastic – loud, heavy, electronic, awesome. Plus I got to see one of my top 5 songs ever, “Razorblades and Bandaids” for only the 2nd time. It was amazing of course. 🙂

Grabbed a setlist and pick from Robbie

Hole in my Heart
Get Out Of The Way
All That You Are
Sparkle and Shine
I’m Afraid
You Don’t Know What It’s Like
Razorblades and Bandaids

The band hung out after at the merch table (got a rocking long sleeve hooded shirt i can’t wait to wear in cool weather) signing and pics and all that. Got to meet the “new guys” since the last time we saw them, all very nice. (Just realized they didn’t play anything from Brand New History…) It was great to see them again, and wish I could go to their show tomorrow but APC calls.

I feel like I’m “on tour” again, show today, APC tomorrow in Detroit, U2 on Monday in Toronto, Kid Rock at Darien on Wed, then 2 Tea Party shows the following week (and I totally can’t wait to see the tea again).