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

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).

rammstein – air canada center, toronto, ontario

Adrienne2, Bliss and I headed up to Toronto to see Rammstein on their first time back to North America since…oh, Family Values in 1999. They are huge fans, me…I like them, they are fun, but being in German and all, I can’t say that I can sing along, or know any song titles or any of that. And the non english thing hinders my ability to really connect with the music. But it was still super fun and entertaining, and the music and show were great.

Opening band was Combichrist, who we saw with KMFDM and then again a few years ago on their own tour with Julien K. I’m only familiar with them through the shows, and they are a pretty good industrial band. They started right when doors open, so even though we got there at exactly 8pm, we missed a little bit.

Rammstein probably played a good 2 hours with, as expected, a great pyro show. Lots of plumes of fire, hand held shooters, face mask flame throwers, arm bands of fire, wings on fire, fire works, explosions, setting people on fire, a canon that shot foam (use your imagination haha). Yeah. Pyro. I was going to say it’s the best pyro show I’ve ever seen, but thinking about it, it may be the only pyro show I’ve seen. Regardless, it had to be the best one. Those Germans are crazy! I don’t know the setlist, and can’t find one. Good show, good music, very entertaining. Glad I got the chance to see them since they’ll probably never be back again.

Legends of Hip Hop Tour

Tonight was Salt n Pepa’s Legends of Hip Hop tour at Shea’s with Lindsay and Alex. I’ve seen Run DMC and Sugar Hill Gang, but this was really my first hip hop show. And it was quite an interesting experience. If you want to see an enthusiasic crowd with lots of participation, go to an old school hip hop show. It had to be the most energetic and excited crowd I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. It was amusing. And I can’t say I fit in AT ALL, but it was a cool happy party vibe.

So the show was Rob Base, Kurtis Blow, Doug E Fresh, Whodini and Salt n Pepa. I can’t say I was really familiar with what got played, but I did recognize songs here and there, and I used to loooove SnP back in the 90s. Each set was 20-30 minutes I think, even SnP’s, and it was one after another (no set changes when you just have djs haha). SnP played what you would expect (Whatta Man, Shoop, Push It) and older stuff I sorta recognized but didn’t know real well.

It was cool to see, and just a very different experience from a rock show. Had fun, glad I went 🙂

30 Seconds to Mars – Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls NY

This will be a quick review of the show. I am only familiar with 30stm’s first album, and then some radio singles, but I figured it was a night off of work, and it should be a good rock show to balance out seeing Salt n Pepa in a few days haha.

Opener was Middle Class Rut, and were fairly generic. Just 2 guys, singer/guitarist and drummer/singer. The guitarist would be better suited in a Jane’s Addiction cover band because he sounded just like Perry Farrel.

To be honest 30stm was underwhelming. I’ve seen many many bands where I have been unfamiliar with all or most of their catalog, who have still impressed me. I went into this show hoping to leave wanting to get their other albums, but alas that didn’t happen. They didn’t play anything from their 1st album, so I really only knew 4 or 5 songs, and those not very well. As Bliss put it at the end of the show, it was pretty much “the audience sings to 30stm”, with Jared Leto singing a few words and holding out the mic for the audience to sing. I half think it’s because the way he sings seems like it would be difficult to recreate live night after night, or that he just is not a good singer, I don’t really know. But it was alot of audience participation and not alot of Jared singing. I wondered if they just had an off night, and Leighanne, who had seen them twice before, said it wasn’t the best show she’s seen, so I guess my take isn’t all that off.

Now Rapids Theatre…I had been there for the Tea Party in 04 or 05, and Lacuna Coil/Stone Sour in 07, then it closed for a while. And wow what an improvement. It no longer feels dirty, and like the decorative ceiling is going to fall down on you. New owners spent millions on restoration work and it shows. It was a great place to see a show even when it was falling down, but definitely more comfortable now. It’s a good size for a small venue, interesting leveled floor setup and a nice balcony. I hope they have more good shows coming in the future.