Category — Concert Reviews
Last night I caught the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the Orpheum. I had bought two tickets to this show one for me and a buddy however my buddy couldn’t make it and I was left with a ticket. Luckily he let me know well in advanced so I was able to sell the extra on the last day to a guy off the CFOX ticket exchange.
So I headed down to the Orpheum after catching that fantastic finish to the Habs / Hurricanes game (go Habs), and arrived a little after 8:30. From the YYYs website it said that Blood on the Wall would be on at 8:30 sharp and they would take the stage at 9:30 because of the sharp 11pm curfew at the Orpheum.
Well Blood on the Wall didn’t take the stage till around 9pm so I started to get worried this show could possibly run short. I didn’t mind Blood on the Wall, the lead male vocalist reminded me a lot of the lead singer for the Frog Eyes. I found though that their sound really couldn’t fill the Orpheum, the vocals were pretty loud but the guitar, bass and drums were all silently being played in the background. I think they would have been better suited to a smaller venue like Richards.
Next began the time watching game. I knew the longer it took the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to hit the stage the less time they would have on there. They eventually got on close to 10pm. 30 minutes after their projected start time. They opened the show with Cheated Heart, with just Nick and Brian on stage, building up. Then Karen came out on stage. She was wearing quite the little outfit. Made her look like a pixie, sorta like tinker bell in the old old Peter Pan movie. Anyway the build up was pretty good, and as the song got to near the end you could really hear the power of Karen’s voice as she screamed it out “Sometimes I think I am bigger than the sound”.
The rest of the song featured mostly songs from Show Your Bones, however they did throw in a song or two from Fever to Tell. At around 10:55pm they left the stage. They were off stage for a long encore (literally 5 minutes), I haven’t seen such a long encore in a while. The fans were going pretty ballistic though, and were pretty loud. They finally took the stage and finished the show with Warrior and Rich.
While the show was really excellent I found it to be also very short. I don’t know what the deal was, whether they just got cut off by the Orpheum or they just didn’t feel like playing. I read online however that they might have been a bit angry at the venue, someone was saying they saw Nick giving a bunch of security guards the middle finger, but who knows.
So what can I say, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs bring a lot of energy to their shows, it was just too bad they didn’t play longer. A few song highlights, Phenomena was killer. Maps was great and before the song Karen O said it was a love song, and she went on to dedicate it to all the band, and the fans. Gold Lion was pretty rad, had the first half of the song with Karen singing with a scarf over her head, it also had the first showing of the acoustic guitar by Imaad. Miles Away was intense, Karen panting endlessly throughout the song (this is part of the song) and Nick tearing it up on guitar. Black Tongue was also big energy, great way to get the crowd into things at the start “with this you will regret, just let it be your yeah yeah yeah” rock on. Finally during Warrior the crowd got all silent, and during the first interlude where the acoustic guitar plays a few notes they lingered before Karen O started singing again. The crowd ALMOST achieved a perfect silence, you know the kind where not a single person is making a noise creating an awe effect that creates an amazing vibe, however it didn’t last and right before Karen O began singing and the band playing a bunch of people break out of their trance and start screaming, too bad too it was a pretty special moment. Show ended with Rich, which is one of my favorites. As the band stopped playing all you heard was a bit of feedback from the instruments and the underlying track of the song and the band all runs off stage.
So yes to summarize this behemoth of a review up, I would say that when the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were playing they were pretty fantastic, very energetic, and pulling off the songs. However the short set was a real downer, especially after spending a good $40 on this ticket. The other thing that pissed me off was the seated venue. I had a hard time getting into things with rows of chairs everywhere, and security guards running up and down the isle. I think this show would have been way better suited at the Commodore, they could have played longer, and it could have been a nice general venue. Whatever I will just have to stray away from Orpheum shows unless they are of the nature of more mellow content.
April 25, 2006 No Comments
Went to the Pink Mountaintops concert at Richards on Richards on Wednesday night. Unlike most shows here, tonight was not an early show. Anyway Amber and Josh opened the show; two members of both Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops. It was a pretty mellow set, and they seemed a bit awkward up on stage, but I don’t think they have played much live together yet so I will cut them some slack. Amber really has a great voice though, very powerful, you get a sense of it on the Black Mountain album and a bit on the Pink Mountaintops albums but to hear it live you can tell there is power behind it.
After Pink Mountaintops was a Victoria band called Frog Eyes. They were pretty wild. The lead singer reminded me of Frank Black from the Pixies, except on speed. Lester said he reminded him of a Chris Farley in Beverly Hills Ninja; I could see the resemblance. There stage setup was a bit odd, with the lead singer in the center, and the rest of the band members all huddled on the right corner. I didn’t mind the set though, had a sense of urgency to it. I think Kyle would really like this band.
Pink Mountaintops finally took the stage, which they barely fit on. The now 7 piece band crowded the front of the stage with 2 drum kits, bongo drums, keyboards and everything else. I really quite enjoyed their set, at times it was hard to make out the lyrics because Stephen’s voice was getting washed out by all the instruments on stage. My favorite song of the night was I Fuck Mountains. I couldn’t believe how good this sounded live, not to mention they had 2 drummers going full steam and this chick on the bongos. Rock on.
Other highlights were Coma, where after each verse of the song the rest of the band would repeat it. For example “I am not headed down a highway to hell” sings Stephen, then the rest of the band chimes in “Highway to hell…”. Was a nice effect.
Plastic Man, You’re the Devil, my favorite song from their new album they also nailed, as well as Cold Criminal. Finally Tourist in Your Town was also a excellent rendition with Stephen and Amber trading off versus.
All in all a pretty good show. I really am digging the Black Mountain Army crew right now and they didn’t disappoint. Only complaints on my end was the lateness of the show, and the annoying smoke and bubble machine. The smoke machine I think gave me a rough couch, and the bubble machine kept on hitting me in the head. I mean at first the bubble machine was cool, but yeah after 40 minutes of it, I grew tired.
Regardless of these small complaints I suggest you check out Stephen McBean and his army if you ever get the chance.
April 8, 2006 1 Comment
Usually I don’t write show reviews till a day or two after but I couldn’t resist for Metric. Tonight Emily Haines, Joules Scott-Key, James Shaw and Josh Winstead blew the top off the Commodore; and to think I wasn’t even going to go to this show. Once again I need to go by the simple rule of “Trust Lester when it comes to concerts”.
I don’t really know what to say other than this band is going very far. They have such a huge sound for just 4 people. James Shaw had some amazing licks on his guitar while Josh Winstead impressed me the most with his insane bass playing. Emily Haines, one of the front runners for indie musics sexiest lead singer, brought so much energy and was all over the place. When she wasn’t dancing and flaunting around she was kicking it out on the keyboards. I couldn’t believe how tight this band was, especially after having played an all ages show earlier that day, and a show the night before. That’s right, THREE shows in the span of 24 hours. If this band is working for it, I don’t know who is… Anyway the show was closed with the song Dead Disco which went on for over 20 minutes. Josh was insane, playing some insanely fast riff for a good 15 plus minutes. Near the end Emily jumps into the crowd and does some crowd surfing, being like right on the rail, pretty center I did my part in helping her along. Show ends with first Josh laying on the stage, kicking and punching the air, then Emily laying on her back singing to the ceiling. Finally the lights go out, the band takes to their feet and bows and goes off the stage.
If you have a chance to see Metric, especially right now in still quasi small venues do it, you wont have the opportunity again shortly.
Just a little note on the openers. The first opener was Panurge a local Vancouver band. I knew them from their catchy tune Mixed Cavalry. They were good, wouldn’t mind checking out their new album when it comes out. The second opener was a band called Islands. The band had like 7 members, all dressed in white. They had a very “Arcade Firesh” feel to them. Regardless they were really energetic, and very entertaining. I really enjoyed the string players, they were pretty funny. Only complaint was that the vocals were really low.
All in all tonight was a fantastic night of music, probably one of the best concerts I have seen this year. After this show I am now sold on Metric.
April 2, 2006 2 Comments
Saw Jason Collett on Monday night at Richards on Richards. We got to the show around 8:30pm expecting a 9pm start, only to find that there was maybe 25 people in the venue. So we watched the Canucks game while waiting for the opening band. Eventually Paso Mino took the stage and opened the show. They were ok but nothing really… took me. Anyway when Jason took the stage Paso Mino also acted as his backup band. As a backup band they were really tight.
Anyway after much hype around Jason Collett I finally got to see what all the fuss was about. It was an entertaining show, and a good performance despite obviously being sick and having a sore throat. Some of my highlights were Courage, Fire, and I’ll Bring The Sun. Of course the cowbell was also entertaining, and not to mention the dude in the crowd constantly yelling “More Cowbell!”, or even better the girl who after hearing Collett say he was sick, said “It doesn’t matter, I am too drunk to notice”. Good times at Richards and Richards on a Monday night.
March 30, 2006 No Comments
Yesterday went to two dance rock bands, You Say Party! We Say Die! and Controller.Controller at Richards on Richards. I was really excited to see Controller.Controller and was hoping to hear a lot from their History EP. Anyway we got down to Richards at around 7:30pm only for me to discover I forgot my drivers license again. This time the bouncer wasn’t as nice and he sent me packing. Drove back home only to find that I couldn’t find my drivers license anywhere. Eventually I just grabbed my passport and took off as it was getting late.
We got in the doors just as You Say Party! We Say Die! started into their opening song. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this Vancouver based group, but had heard good things. I wasn’t disappointed. Actually I really enjoyed their set. It was so energetic, the whole crowd was into it, jumping and dancing around, and they were all rocking out. It is funny too because they are all so happy and smiling and giggling on stage, it is as if they are still not expecting such a welcome. The drummer was really excellent. He was wearing an old retro Canucks shirt, and had a TV at the bar have the game on. In between beats he would watch the game, then as if roboticly jump right back into the beat. Anyway I was fully entertained.
Controller.Controller took the stage once their equipment was all setup. The drummer jumped off the balcony wearing a cat mask, only to find his kick pad to be fucked up. Apparently one of the band members fell on it at a show a few days ago and messed it up. Nirmala told a little story about their hectic trip from Calgary through a snow storm while the band played some melodic riffs, until finally the drummer Jeff got things sounding the way he wanted. These drum problems seemed to continue throughout their set however and every other song or so Jeff would appear to get all angry at his kick and try to re-adjust. This caused their set to be a bit disconnected, even with the other band mates tying the songs together with more slowed down riffs. I think it is important to note how the band would always wait for Jeff, and I think the reason being is because his drummer is such a key element to their success; his drumming being simply amazing, not to mentions makes the whole sound of Controller.Controller work.
Regardless they still had a really good set, and played quite a bit off of the History EP. Like the album the History EP shows so much more urgency and I find is a lot more exciting than what is on the X-Factors album. This translated in the show too, the songs that I thought they sounded best on where mainly from History.
At the end of the show everyone walked off the stage and it looked like they were packing up their equipment. The crowd was sticking it out and cheering on for an encore. The only member left on the stage was Jeff, who obviously didn’t want to leave yet, so he starts the synth into a new beat, and starts beating out some drum lines. The rest of the band appears on stage with Nirmala asking “What’s going on?”. They then all grab their gear and play one final song.
Anyway I had a lot of fun at the show. Both bands put on energetic and entertaining acts.
March 4, 2006 No Comments
Went to see Youth Group and Matt Pond PA on Thursday night. I was initially going to the concert to see Youth Group, however after giving Matt Pond PA a solid listen I was pretty excited to seem them as well.
Got down to the Red Room (used to be the Drink) at around 9:30pm. Going in we get ID’ed, which I then realized I left my drivers license at home because I had taken it out of my wallet to pick up a parcel the day prior. After talking with the bouncer he finally let me in with my Care Card, but properly instructed me to bring my DL next time in.
The show opened with some local artist who was fond of his loop machine. Constantly playing riffs or singing lines into it, then playing it back and playing over it. Not entirely bad, not entirely good though either.
Youth Group finally hit the stage, and started into a pretty solid set. After getting about 7 or 8 songs into their set in the middle of I think Drowned you hear this massive surge then nothing from any of the mics, not to mention the drums. The lead singer kept on trying to sing his chorus line “Ya I’m Drowned…”, but no sound would come through. Eventually they stopped playing and for the next 20-30 minutes or so they tried to figure out what happened. Eventually the band plugged their mics into their amps and finished the set with a couple songs acoustic.
Matt Pond PA came on a little while after. It appeared as if they had fixed the sound, and after getting it to sound the way they wanted they started playing. We watched their set from side stage which was an interesting view. The one thing I love about Matt Pond PA is how well the incorporate the cello into their music. It really adds a lot of body to the music. The lead singer of Matt Pond PA likes to say “This is a song…” right before every song. Anyway their set was good, nice to see they didn’t have any further sound problems. Near the end of the show a bunch of people started stalking their beer glasses on the stage, they grew it so high that it was actually taller than the mic. Eventually one of the staff came by and removed it, but it was pretty funny to watch.
After the show Lester and me went to go to his car only to find it had been locked in the parkade. After much begging the attendant there let us in to get his car. All in all decent night, worth the 15 bucks for sure.
March 4, 2006 No Comments
Thursday night I went to go see Wil co-headline a show with Sean Verrault (of Wide Mouth Mason) at the UBC Pitt Pub. I was excited to see Wil again, he is such a fantastic guitarist. I wasn’t too sure on Sean Verrault before the show, I am not a huge WMM fan however I had heard that Sean was a pretty amazing blues/jazz guitarist.
The show opened with a two piece band that I never got the name for. Lead singer played an bass guitar that had an offset sound hole. It was a bit odd looking, like he had a beer holder in his guitar. Anyway they were a pretty forgettable duo, as their vocals were inaudible and their songs sounded like they could be on an American Pie soundtrack.
After this duo Wil took the stage and opened the show with 15 Years on an electric guitar (something that is a bit unusual to see from Wil). After 15 Years, much like his Grouse Mountain show, Wil started taking requests from the crowd. Sweet Rebbecca (as usual) was requested, so Wil strapped on his acoustic and jumped right into it. Sweet Rebbecca is probably one of my favorite Wil songs live so I was pretty happy to hear it again. Wil continued the show like this taking requests from the crowd in between playing a few songs of his choosing. Last song of his set (which I called!) was Honey Pie, along with Sweet Rebbecca another one of my favorite Wil songs.
Wil’s set lasted about 50 minutes, after which Sean took the stage. Again I wasn’t too sure on what to expect from Sean. Sean opened the show with some amazing guitar kicks, and kept it going for his full set. I was fully impressed by his skills. This guy has some of the most nimble fingers I have seen someone have on guitar and the speed he has. Really wild stuff, I was fully impressed. His singing was ok too, however he really has a thing for hitting the high notes, and hold them, which at times was a bit tough on the ears. Like Wil he is the type of singer who gives it their all on stage, so hats off to Sean. He also did this cool thing where he would record his guitar chorus, then play it back, when he played it back he would then rip in to some major solos, pretty rad.
After Sean’s set they took a little break and said they would come back and do a few songs together. We took this opportunity to move closer to the stage as a bunch of people had left. They came out on stage and opened the duet set with Wil’s Both Hands. Sean breaking out the solos while Wil sang his heart out. After Both Hands they broke into a Wide Mouth Mason song called Ease Your Mind. After that they then broke into a cover of Little Wing. I have heard Wil cover this before, but this time with Sean on guitar as well it was truly awesome. They then played one more WMM song which I can’t remember the name of and finally ended the show playing Wil’s song Mama. The reasoning they played a Wil song (as he explained) was that Sean could follow anything he played on guitar, while Wil could follow nothing Sean played!
Anyway all in all a wonderful night of two extremely talented guitar/vocalists. Sean really impressed me with his guitar skills, and Wil as always was excellent.
February 11, 2006 No Comments
I went with Lester to see Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) last night at the Commodore Ballroom who was starting the west coast leg of his tour. Glenn Kotche the drummer for Wilco opened the show. I wasn’t sure what to expect of a solo drummer act. He basically had some audio tracks of sound effects/background noise that he played the drums to. It was pretty wild stuff, kind of tribal fusion with Asian/African type feel. I quite enjoyed it.
After Glenn’s set they cleared the stage of his drum and setup for Jeff. They basically made a half circle of acoustic guitars with a microphone in the middle. It was a pretty wild setup. Jeff came out onto the stage playing a guitar and harmonica. After his first song everyone in the crowd was screaming and cheering quite loudly. Jeff told the crowd that tonight he was going to play a lot of singer songwriter type songs, very emotional stuff and that he would like for the crowd to try and be really quite. He said that if you can get that really quietness you can then hopefully feel the magic in the air. He then started into his next song.
His little talk with the crowd didn’t seem to work as after and during the song the crowd was pretty rowdy with lots of woos and cheers. I think he realized quite quickly that this was going to be a loud crowd, not the kind he was looking for. Regardless he got into it and was very vocal with the crowd, talking quite a lot. He joked about the state of the union address by Bush, saying he feels much better about everything. Joking, “Bush told me not to worry because there are no problems anymore, and if there are any problems, he was going to fix them!”.
Later in the show Jeff continued to joke around about Bush’s address, then went on and made a nice joke about us too. “What the fuck happened up here? I mean all of us Americans were going to move up here, but now you fucked that up…”. Funny stuff. At one point some guy threw a CD on stage and screamed “thats for you Jeff.” Jeff jumped back a little shocked, wasn’t sure what it was. Then he went and picked it up and showed it to the crowd. It was a CB with about a half pound bag of weed tapped to it. Jeff then went on to rip that guy saying, “You realize I was like in rehab like a few years ago?”, and “I don’t even smoke weed man, I don’t, I am a square”, and “the last time I smoked weed I was curled up under a coffee table, weed and overly paranoid people is not a good mix.”
Sometime after the first set Glenn came back on stage and played a set with Jeff on drums. That was really awesome, it gave a bit of live back into the crowd after a lot of really emotional slow songs. Heavy Metal Drummer really stands out as being quite good. However I think the best song of the night was Remember the Mountain Bed, wow. Yeah wow, really, amazing.
Jeff ended up playing for a good 1 hour 45 minutes. Quite a long set. I really had a good time, Jeff is an excellent guitar player and one of the best songwriters around, and the Glenn solo stuff was also quite fun.
February 1, 2006 No Comments
For those of you who don’t know who Rain is don’t feel bad, I hadn’t the slightest clue till the other night. My friend had a couple of free tickets for the show and invited me to go. He told me it was a Beatles cover band. However it was more like the ticket stub said, “The Beatles Experience”. Basically Rain walks you through the ages from the start of the Beatles up until the final years. As they progress through the albums they have small intermissions where they play music from the specific era as well as show images to bring you into the age. They ended the show playing a few songs the Beatles never had a chance to play live. Of course during the entire show they never did say the Beatles, but instead had reworked all the Beatles memorabilia to say Rain on it, even with a few fake interviews to boot.
I was pleasantly surprised with Rain, it was a really entertaining evening and was really excellent to hear the Beatles songs live. It was quite uncanny how similar they sounded, especially the guy who was suppose to be Paul. During Blackbird it was ridiculous how similar they sounded.
I also gained a further appreciation for how much the Beatles were a full band effort. I never realized how much of the singing was shared between them. It was also cool to hear the Harrison songs live as they really take on the sound/feel of the seventies.
Anyway I am glad I ended up going and who can beat the price? While this is no substitution for the Beatles it does give you a small taste of what it could have been like to have actually gone to Beatles concert.
August 9, 2005 No Comments
I was pretty excited when I heard Ben Harper was coming to town. I hadn’t see him live since early 2000 at the Plaza and was really looking forward to seeing his show again. Plus as an added bonus he was going to be playing the Commodore Ballroom, the venue that has eluded me up until now.
We got down to the Commodore at quarter to eight (doors were at eight) to find a lineup wrapped around a corner. We got into the ever increasing lineup that eventually turned another corner. Ben Harper is surely loved in Vancouver. A few minutes after 8 the line started to move, and it wasn’t long before we were inside the Gorgeous Commodore Ballroom. I was shocked at how small the Commodore was, yet quite happy. It is really an amazing venue, and very reminiscent of an old 40′s ballroom dancing hall (likely what it was in the 40′s).
Tom Freund took the stage shortly after we got in, and we found ourselves a table to relax at before joining the floor. Tom Freund was good, played a bunch of songs on acoustic guitar, and a couple songs on a stand up base. I preferred his base songs to his guitar songs, but then again I am quite particular to the stand up base. Midway through the set we all went out on to the floor and parked ourselves in a good place to catch Ben’s set. Near the end of Tom’s set he did an excellent cover of the Beatles Revolution playing the stand up.
Ben comes out, with the rest of the band, he sits down on his small carved wooden chair (a big change from his thrown he used to sit on) and starts into the lyrics “you say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too”, Don’t Take That Attitude To Your Grave, an excellent way to start off the show. I knew right then that the night was going to be very special. Everyone erupts into an joyous cheer, Vancouver loves Ben Harper.
Anyway the night was really excellent, the band was totally on and full of energy. They have changed up a lot of their songs since the last time I had seen them, a lot more instruments in the songs, and a lot of them have gone very Reggae. Some highlights of the night for me were:
A very emotional Glory & Consequence straight into One Road to Freedom.
His new song Gather Round the Stone. I can’t wait to get a copy of this, what an excellent song, good lyrics, very anthemic beat, and a good message to boot.
Please Bleed is one of my favorite songs, so much emotion in that song and Ben was almost in tears at the end of the song.
Burn One Down in Vancouver is a given. I would say when he opened into this song every third person in the room light up a joint. It was a gong show. Leon Mobley had an excellent bongo drum solo on this song, where he walked around the stage while drumming, and made little sniffing notions with his nose, and a big ass grin on his face!
The first encore was mainly stuff from the newest album There Will Be A Light. This was a very gospelish encore set with songs like Take My Hand, There Will Be A Light, and Where Could I Go. He then shifted to a few lovish songs with Please Me and Steal My Kisses mixed into Pressure Drop to close the first encore. I was actually really happy with this encore, I enjoy Gospel Harper and found it was a good way to slow down the show and prepare us for a bunch more songs.
The second encore opened with Another Lonely Day and then into Walk Away, another two of my favorites. The third set closed with Ben and Tom on stage doing a duet on Pleasure and Pain. They sounded very excellent together.
The final encore arrived with them opening with Amen Omen, probably my favorite song off Diamonds on the Inside, and then closing with With My Own Two Hands. In the middle of With My Own Two Hands they mixed in a cover of War by Marley. The song went on from probably a good 8 minutes or longer. What a way to close the show. Awesome.
So I am no longer a Commodore virgin, and what better way to have my first time then a really solid Ben Harper show. I think this was probably the best show I have seen all year. The only annoyance of the night had to be a few idiots in the crowd. One guy behind us who didn’t even watch the show and spent his time talking (I mean WTF did you spend $55 on a ticket for?) and a couple of fucked up guys who kept on running into people and almost got into a fight (ironically during the cover of War). Regardless of the idiots it was still an excellent show. I think Ben is taking a lot of tips from Eddie or something, with the tags in the middle of songs, and some of the other similar things he does to PJ. Either that or these are just sings of good musicians/bands and good performances. Probably the latter. Regardless if you ever get your chance to see Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals do yourself a favor and go.
July 14, 2005 No Comments
On Thursday I went with my buddy Lester to the first Vancouver U2 show. I had never been to a U2 show before, so I was pretty excited about going. We arrived at the venue around 7:30 pm. There were massive lines everywhere around GM Place to get in. Having not been to a big stadium show in quite some time this was a bit of a shock for me to see so many people lined up for the show.
We got in within 20 minutes and found our way to the floor. The stage was setup as a regular stage, however in the front you had an ellipse that went from one side of the stage, to the middle of the floor, and back to the other side of the stage. In the middle of the ellipse were fans who were randomly selected (the lady behind me in line was selected).
After getting in we made our way to the crowd of people around the ellipse and started to ‘weasel’ our way closer.
The opening band was called the Kings of Leon. They are a group of brothers from Tennessee. The lead singer reminded me of a cross between a young Axle Rose and Shannon Hoon. I didn’t mind the Kings of Leon, they had a big sound and played well for having to open for U2. All in all I enjoyed their set.
After Kings of Leon the wait was on for when U2 would take the stage. It seemed to be taking forever, and having to stand crammed between people on the floor made the wait seem even longer. Eventually a roadie took a mic and told us that the show tonight was being video taped, and that they wanted it to be a perfect show because they ‘loved’ Vancouver so much. Anyway they eventually fixed the problem and a few moments later the U2 took the stage.
What can I say U2 put on an amazing show. I knew they would, being one of the biggest rock bands of the last 20 years they kind of have a reputation of putting on a good show. Bono talked a lot about Paul Martin, but more importantly about the fight to end poverty. Some of my favorite songs of the night were: Elevation, Where the Streets have No Name, One, and 40. What was really excellent during the show was that the band really favored the side of the stage we were on. Bono actually pulled two different girls on stage during the show to let them dance around with him as well. At one point during the show they moved the drum kit out to the front of the ellipse and Larry Mullen came out front and played a song out in front of us. After that Bono started the next song with him beating the drum, prancing like a drummer boy. Was funny stuff. The night was capped off with the song 40, where the chorus goes: “How long to sing this song”. Near the end of the song everyone started to sing along “How long to sing this song”, and as they did one by one each band member left until it was just the Mullen on drums. He was also about to leave but saw how much the crowd was still into it and continued to play for another minute. Eventually he finally left and the crowd was left still singing “How long to sing this song”. Eventually they turned on the house lights and everyone realized that was the end of the show.
Well what can I say about U2? They know how to put on a good show. After seeing this concert It really made me realize that I have to do the Pearl Jam tour this September. Only because I know how good this show is, and how much better a Pearl Jam show is in comparison. Anyway I think U2 is a band every rock fan needs to see at least once in their lifetime; I am glad my show turned out to be such a memorable one.
May 1, 2005 No Comments
Queens of the Stone Age
Went to Queens of the Stone Age last Wednesday with Amanda and Bernie. The two of them had both seen the Queens twice before, once at Richards on Richards the other time at the Orpheum. For me this was going to be my first Queens show and I was pretty excited. I have really been getting into their new album and I had heard a lot of good things about their live show.
We got to the show at around 9:15pm. Throw Rag was the opening band, yet it didn’t look like they had taken the stage yet. I decided to check out the merch before heading down to my seat. After checking out the merch I decided to pick up the Tara McPherson poster for the show. It is a monster of a print, and a pretty cool design. Plus it was signed and numbered by Tara, making it that much better for my first McPherson print.
I settled into my seat, which was row 11 dead center in the orchestra. Soon after Throw Rag started. I had heard mixed reviews about this band, some saying they were totally crazy and awesome, while others said they really sucked.
Throw Rag took the stage, their lead singer wearing a full captain (yacht) outfit, while the backup vocalist had a washboard hanging from his neck with two cowbells mounted on the bottom of it and a spoon in either hand. For the next 45 minutes Throw Rag rocked out punk style, with some amazingly good sounding washboard solos. I can’t believe how long the guy could go on playing the washboard with his two spoons. Near the end of the show the washboard dude striped himself of his shirt then went running out into the crowd and found someone to drag out onto stage. He then proceeded to strap the washboard on to this kid who went on to play the washboard for the next song. Near the end of the song the guitarist making a big rip on his guitar accidentally caught one of the spoons the kid was using and it went flying off on the stage. As the song was coming to close the kid thought this was a cue to him so he went and threw his spoon as well. When the washboard player came back onto stage he cursed the kid for throwing his spoons that he had just picked up on Hastings from some heroin junkies. The last Throw Rag song the band did more crazy stuff, like crawling on the stage on their bellies, or playing on their knees to make it look like it was a band of midgets. As the final song came to a close the lead singer proceeded to strip himself to his underwear before leaving the stage. Yikes.
Queens took the stage after a short sound check. Josh had a cigarette in his mouth as he walked out onto stage, so much for him having lung problems. As everyone took their instruments they started belting out Someone’s in the Wolf. Personally I thought this was such a perfect way to open a show. “So glad you could stay, Forever”. What was really cool about this song was in between the chorus when you normally hear the “Accchhh”, that noise was done by Natasha, who by the way was totally grooving out. She reminded me of a cat the way she was moving around, playing the keyboard and making special effects!
I am not going to go over the whole set list but wanted to mention a few notes about some songs. Avon and Leg of Lamb were major crowd pleasures. Broken Box I really enjoyed. Before Monsters in the Parasol Josh said “This song is about Acid”. Personally I thought the vocals were too low for Monsters cause I could barely hear Josh’s voice. After Monsters Josh again talked, saying “This next song we are all really proud of and really love to play, it is about a witch”. They then pounded into Burn the Witch, this song is absolutely amazing live. Funny circle of life thing, last time I was at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre was in Grade 11 with Amanda and Bernie to watch the play the Crucible, a play about the witch hunts, or burning witches. Right after burn the witch Josh goes “Here is a song for my little sister”, and they kick into Little Sister. Another favorite of mine from the new album and absolute golden live. Next up was No One Knows which clocked in easily over 10 minutes. Songs for the Dead was without Mark Lannagan, yet Josh did a good job of filling in. I Never Came another favorite of mine from the new album was spot on. Long Slow Goodbye was the first of two encore songs. Troy opened the encore first by playing a bit of a solo after being introduced by Natasha “This is Troy, he is a real badass”. While wolf was a perfect opener this was a perfect closer. To finish things off Josh goes “This is the first song off our first album.” and they bust into easily a 10 minute version of Regular John. It was really cool seeing Troy and Josh playing off each other both playing in sync with the same notes. They did this for like a minute straight and only missed one note I think.
All in all this show was very excellent, I really enjoyed it. While the sound could have been a bit better, and the vocals a little louder I didn’t mind the seated venue, probably because I was row 11. I am really glad I got tickets for this concert, and it made me really appreciate the new album even more. This concert also made me realize how talented Josh is and how this band can go without the likes of Nick or Mark and still rock as hard or harder.
April 17, 2005 No Comments
Last Monday I went to another Wil show at the Railway Club downtown Vancouver. This was the third Wil show I have been to and again was not disappointed. The last time I had seen Wil play he was in between drummers, however since then he had teamed up with Pat Steward former drummer of Bryan Adams, The Odds, and still drumming for Mathew Good. From what I had heard Wil and Pat had really clicked together and that their shows were that much more intense.
The show started a little after 10pm, with Wil playing alone on stage. Near the end of the first song Pat finally sat down on his kit and got ready to play. The next song I got to see what all the fuss was about regarding Wil and Pat. They mixed perfectly together. At times you would have thought Pat was reading Wil’s mind as he reacted perfectly to what Wil was doing with his guitar. As is normal with Wil shows they tend to start out slow and steady but slowly progress to get crazy and wild (at least in regards to him playing the guitar). This show was no different. Actually the first few songs I thought Wil looked a bit tired, but once he started getting into things it got pretty wild, with some excellent versions of Honey Pie, Spitfire and an fantastic version of The Tragically Hips Grace Too. As the night wore on Pat also started getting a bit crazy, and at one point was drumming with his elbow. On one of the last songs Wil sat down on the drum kit and played both the guitar and the drums in sync and in tune. Then on the last song as things were coming to a close Wil put his guitar back in its stand and started playing it upright. Pat liked what he saw and got and and helped Wil play the guitar off the stand. Then Wil left the guitar and took over the drums while Pat finished off with the Guitar. What a crazy finish.
Seeing Wil at the Railway Club totally rocks, since it is practically the size of my living room. You get to be right up close and intimate with the band and the music. Not to mention Wil and Pat being both very social. In the break between sets my buddy Lester spent probably 30 minutes chatting up Pat. Then after the show we all went up and thanked Wil and Pat for an excellent show. Like I have said before if you ever get the chance see Wil live. He is so much more than his very ‘studio’ album.
April 17, 2005 No Comments
Went to see David Usher a few days ago. I had once seen him back in 1999 or 2000 when Moist played at Sparties at SAIT. I didn’t expect too much from this show, just a night of some good songs I have come to like. Despite this being only his second show in a year he played a pretty tight set and put on a good show. He played a couple new songs, a few off his latest album, and a bunch from Little Songs and Morning Orbit, which made me happy. I think he played most of the songs I really like, which was cool. Also what was cool was the two chicks in his band. One of them plays a violin, I think her name was Lindsey, the other sings backup lyrics, and sometimes even in a very opera-ish style (ala black black heart). Both of these girls lit it up when they were under the spotlight, and I especially loved the solo’s by the violinist. One funny part in the night was when in the middle of a song the whole band broke into “You and me baby ain’t nothing but mammals so lets do it like they do on the discovery channel”. What was even funnier actually was how into singing that the violinist girl was. I think the only thing that I was a bit dispointed in during this show were to lame encores. If you are going to go off stage and take a break do it, but don’t walk off stage, then back on in like 10 seconds just so you can say you did an encore. Anyway Usher closed the show with St Lawrence River, which is a personal favorite, and he played perfectly. Anyway tonight is Wil, Wednesday is Queens.
April 11, 2005 No Comments
So I went to see the Pixies for the second time this year. They were playing
the Plaza of Nations this time around, which is a semi-outdoors venue that
holds around 5,000 people. I arrived early with Kim and got a good seat by
the rail on Kim D’s side of the stage. Soon after arriving the first opening
band took the stage. They were called The Marble Index and came from
Hamilton, Ontario. Their self-proclaimed awesomeness was actually not bad,
and after some coaxing they managed to get the crowd (the few hundred that
was there) into it.
After the Marble Index it seemed the crowd was beginning to grow quite a
bit. The next opening band then took the stage. They were called The Bad
Plus and were from Brooklyn, New York. Their band consisted of a drummer,
and stand up bass player, and a pianist. What was funny was that the drummer
was dressed (looked) as if he was totally from the streets, the bass player
dressed in casual type clothing and the pianist in a full suit. Anyway they
were an instrumental band and put on an excellent show. The drummer played
as if he had turrets syndrome as he break into fits where he would go and
scratch his snare, or rub his symbol creating a unique sound. He also used
many different things to drum on like a few pots and a couple baby toys.
Anyway the band seemed to mess really well and put on a great show, they
even did an interesting cover of Velouria.
After the bad plus the Pixies finally took the stage. I think I had the best
spot in the venue. I was one person off the rail right in front of Kim D
with a short person in front of me. Why this was better than being on the
rail you might ask? Because this way when the surge of people came pushing
from behind I had a soft body to squish up against, not a metal rail to bash
into my stomach! Anyway the show was amazing. Definitely a different
perspective of the show than the first one I went to where I was much
farther back. Anyway they played the whole show without breaks, without much
talking, just straight through. At points in time I was happy to hear them
slow it down as I felt like I would pass out (combination of the
squishiness, the no eating that day, and the smoke). Anyway they finished by
doing a small encore of debaser and tame after not leaving the stage.
Interesting things about the show:
(was this her FIRST concert or something?), anyway mid-show she couldn’t
handle being squeezed so she got lifted out by security and came out
barefoot. Luckily her sandals were rescued by some big dude up front.
singing on it.
September 8, 2004 No Comments