Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

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Panic Is Perfect – Live 105 BFD

Posted by xneverwherex on June 9, 2015

Live 105 BFD Festival
Shoreline Amphitheater
June 6, 2015

It was a hot hot sunny day in Mountain View over at the Shoreline. Somehow we got there early enough that the lines werent too painful, yet still managed to take forever to get inside. Ive yet to figure out their security system (its insane!) and how possibly taking every single thing out of a woman’s purse is at all productive. Oh, its a pen, let me look at it. Oh here’s your unopened water bottle, so let me open it for you and throw away the cap. Ive heard of ridiculous things, but seriously, this was the worst.

Actually, that was not the worst. Whoever thought of this venue and setup needs to seriously re-think their day job. Having the dance tent on top of the other stages and all the music going on at the same time was awful. The bleed through was non-stop and between songs you could just hear the thumping of the dance tent. Some performers were getting upset about it (not much you can do), but it just was bad. Its also bad that the two “smaller” stages are next to each other – and while theyre not having performances at the same time (thankfully it alternates), it just means the crowd is insane in one small blocked off area and going in and out, let alone to the ‘other’ stage soon became a clusterphuck of magnificent proportions.

With that being said – lets go on. This was all about the music. Instead of discussing bands in order, I will start with my favorite shows. Of course, theres always panic at shows of not seeing who you want and at a certain point, I just gave up and didnt even care. But the hands down best set of the night belongs to a band that I don’t particularly like (nor hate) but by far they know how to put on a show. Panic! At The Disco killed it! The band by far was one of the biggest surprises of the night. Now I knew their show would probably be big and insane, but I really was not expecting their energy and the excitement for the band. It was hard to not be jumping around. Lead singer, Brendon Urie, is really charismatic and him and the band were jumping around the entire stage and it was contagious. Their light show added to the overall dance-y rock feeling. And to make it all the better, I think by far this was the band that most people were there to see. And everyone around me was out of their seats and singing and jumping along. Some kids were way serious about it too and insisted on taking video of the entire show and not even enjoying it.

Probably the most impressive part of their set was Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody‘. Its hard for most people even to be able to pull off some of those high notes, but Brendon has incredible vocal range and got it just perfect. The band also decided to give a 30-second clip of a hardcore metal show and really went off for a good 30 seconds with loud screeching guitars and headbanging music. After that, they closed it out with their single ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies‘ and to say I barely recognized that would be an understatement. But it was impressive and the backflip in the middle of the song by Brendon was f’ing brilliant. The band was just insanely impressive and one very worth seeing again.

Of course, closers Modest Mouse put on one hell of a show. The band sounded so incredibly tight and have superior musicians. Isaac Brock, frontman and multi-talented instrumentalist, was in top form and sounded better than ever. Their song intros were quite long but when they would finally get into their song the pay-off was so worth it. It was pretty much a singles list from the band, but I couldnt have asked for a better set. They gave the crowd just what they wanted and even after performing single ‘Float On‘ and people expecting it as the last song, the band still continued on. And the song never sounded better, just filling the venue with everyone up and dancing.

And with all the many instruments, the band always manages to sound so tight. I love the varied instruments from trumpets to fiddles, banjos and the other instruments that appear. I just love the song ‘Ocean Breathes Salty‘ and on a nice cool night outside, it was almost perfect hearing it. The band were as awesome as always and I wouldnt have expected anything less.

One of my favorite bands played earlier on in the day – The Kooks. And man how I missed them. Sadly, the crowd mostly talked through their set and it was way too short but Ive always loved them and their energy. Luke Pritchard was as engaging as ever and tried to get the crowd going with sing alongs, but it didnt always work. He mentioned that he’d play an older song and it was quite sad how no one seemed to recognize “She Moves In Her Own Way“. I was just glad to hear earlier songs like ‘Ooh La’ and set-ender ‘Naive‘. While the band may not have sounded the best, they are always ones to watch for me. I never get tired of their music and its always a good time.

I was finally lucky enough to see Iceland’s Of Monsters and Men. The band who seems to play here all the time, sounded was great as I had expected them. Their set which seemed all dark and hazy due to their darkened lights totally fit the mood of the band. I didn’t realize how many band members were in the band and how many instruments were used. It seemed like a bunch of people on different drum sets, lots of different back-up vocalists and a range of brass instruments. In actuality, its probably just 7 of them, but their sound just filled the nighttime air and it was pretty beautiful. Somewhat moody and atmospheric they were quite the band. While I will always think theyre a somewhat lesser version of Stars, it still made for an engaging set. The harmonies are just beautiful and the back and forth interplay between the male and female always is just beautiful. Definitely a band I will need to see in a club at some point.

Atlas Genius sounded incredible and put on a really fun set. Sure, their music is all over the place and some of the songs got annoying, but on stage they were tight. Its a pity that their super dance-y guitar rock didn’t translate with the crowd (who were perhaps recouping from the major rays), because in any other place everyone would have been dancing. Their songs are all so very catchy and dance-y with lots of great catchy hooks and great harmonies. Songs like ‘If So‘ had people singing along and of course their first single ‘Trojans‘ had even more people singing along. This is one band who is made to play in clubs and I really need to catch them in that sort of environment.

Other bands included: WATERS – the very catchy indie-pop band from SF. I was standing with the guitarist and drummer (Marc Campbell and Etienne Bowler) of Misterwives during their set and he was super into it. Their show was just awesome fun (turns out theyre touring with Misterwives). Their songs were just pure catchy fun filled with catchy choruses. There was lots of crowd participation with sing-alongs and clapping along.

New York City’s Misterwives definitely did not let down. Im just so bummed that their next show here has been sold-out forever. They had one of the most awesome live performances of the day. The band was infectious fun with lots of solid dance performances happening on the stage as all the band members had their shots at showing off their dance moves. Their bassist just killed it and had all the moves. Lead singer, Mandy Lee, clearly took some cues from Gwen Stefani and was rocking the short shorts and half tops and really working the crowd. She had a moment too that was all about female-empowerment which was pretty awesome and rarely seen.

Their band has a definite No Doubt vibe with lots of ska infused songs complete with a brass section to really make the ska beats happening (think early No Doubt – not whats going on now). Their sax player was just genius and him and the trumpet player really add to the bands sound. It really made for a great set in which they had the crowd dancing to their very dance-y songs. It was just pure energy and it was great that the band and the crowd all could feel the same energy. Its a band that needs to be see again and will probably become huge at the rate theyre going.

Of course, Im a sucker for violinists – and Alan of Curious Quail killed it. Man could he rock out on the violin which was truly awesome. The band is from San Jose and is thankfully playing a small mini-tour on the west coast that should be awesome. Had a really great indie-rock/pop sound and had a really tight set with songs that were easy to get into and had you tapping along in no time. There were some great harmonies between the woman on bass and the lead singer. The singer had a really strong powerful voice. Was one of the best bands I saw on the local stage.

Andrew St. James was a pleasant surprise. I had crossed him off the list after not really getting into what I had heard, so it was just a fluke that I was exhausted and was looking for some grass and shade. He had with him a stand-up drummer and another guy. It was a pretty alt-folk act and he has a very Dylan-esque sound. He had such a great voice and it also helped that he was amusing as he yelled at the crowd for not applauding him on stage (bold move). He then commanded attention that was very well deserved.

K.Flay was someone that I just happened to catch in the dance tent. She is quite the talented rapper and has one hell of an awesome drummer. And with speaking of drummers – the drummer of 21 Pilots worked it and was insane. Along with a hanging mic the duo put on one hell of a set that was super high energy.

The Family Crest, another SF band, put on a really awesome set. They have so many different instruments including violin, cello, flute and piano. They were super tight with some great harmonies. A band very well worth seeing again!

Cold War Kids who I just want to like definitely put on a solid rock performance. But like always, I just find the band so boring and leave me wanting for more. Perhaps seeing them at a festival doesnt do them any justice, but its just one band that I could definitely be fine without seeing again.

Dangermaker from SF was one of the loudest bands I saw with heavy loud guitars and keys for good measure. The band just rocked out and had nice layers of guitars. And that lead singer could sure hit his high notes.

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How Does It Feel?? New Order

Posted by xneverwherex on October 10, 2012

New Order
Run Run Run
Fox Theatre
10/5/12

I was pretty lucky that I had ended up with a New Order ticket. It had sold out so quick and so many of us were unlucky. Thanks to Val’s boyfriend having to travel, it made me one lucky girl.

Friday night in Oakland was insanely busy. I can only assume that there was some sorta festival going on. There were bands on the street, djs spinning and people everywhere. Plus some sort of protest march going on. And the Fox Theatre was right in the middle of it all.

New Order

It seemed to take forever but New Order finally came out. The stage was quite dark as they started into their first song. And then BAM! The lights started going, strobes coming on and off and the beginning to what would be an insane light show the entire night. I was convinced my friend Will was their lighting designer.

Their second song, ‘Age of Consent’, really got the crowd revved up. They introduced the band via video screen. The band didnt do a whole lot of moving around, and Gillian barely left her keyboards. Bernard Sumner did some moving around and jumping around while Stephen Morris for the most part remained behind the drums. On occasion, he’d walk to the sides to play what looked to be a drum machine. There were a few other members rounding out the touring band, but couldnt remember who. It was definitely a loss to not have Peter Hook on bass.

The first half of their set was mostly songs I hadnt remembered and probably a few newer ones. It seemed I was recognizing one for every few. I was a bit disappointed. At least the seongs all had a catchy synthy beat and they were easy to get into. But then it was like all of a sudden all their most popular hits. True Faith was followed by Bizarre Love Triange, complete with the original video on the screen. The crowd went nuts with people dancing in the aisles, next to their chairs, wherever they could make room. And then they threw in ‘Perfect Kiss’ and ‘Blue Monday’. Lastly, there was ‘Temptation’. They were so great and the crowd was singing along. But then Barney was saying last song and everyone looked confused as it was barely over an hour at that point. It seemed a bit unreal. But then it happened, and the band was off the stage. It was hard to believe that after an hour and 15 minutes the show was nearly over.

New Order

New Order

Of course there was an encore. It was a short, but sweet, 2 song encore of Joy Division songs. The first was ‘Atmosphere’ and the set was closed out with ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. The songs arent quite as dark and moody as Joy Division, but still had that feel to them. Its hard to hear the songs and not imagine Ian Curtis’ voice, but its cool to be able to hear them played at all.

While I guess I had higher expectations, it didn’t totally disappoint. I heard some great songs live and they were performed with great execution. But just a few more songs would have been nice. I definitely would have loved to hear a song or two off of ‘Technique’. More of anything would have been great from a band that has countless albums and songs. C’est La Vie.

Set List:
Elegia
Crystal
Ceremony
Close Range
Age of Consent
Isolation (Joy Division Cover)
Here to Stay
Your Silent Face
Bizarre Love Triangle
586
True Faith
The Perfect Kiss
Blue Monday
Temptation

Encore:
Atmosphere
Love Will Tear Us Apart

Posted in Adventures in the Big City, Friends, Live Music, Random Ramblings, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Go Baby Go Go – Garbage

Posted by xneverwherex on October 8, 2012

Garbage
Screaming Females
Warfield
10/1/12

Monday night women rocked the house. Shirley Manson and “the boys” brought along Marissa Paternoster and Co. (aka Screaming Females). What a fearsome two bands it turned out to be.

It had been over 10 years since I had last seen Garbage. Somehow I had forgotten what a show it would be. Shirley came out in a long black cape like top and some awesome heeled boots. She walked around in big circles taking over the stage. She was ferocious, commanding attention.

Garbage

She started out the set with a charged up ‘Supervixen’ and then went straight to ‘I Think Im Paranoid’. It was an awesome start to the show and Shirley’s dance moves to Paranoid were spot on. The crowd was excited with lots of fists pumping in the air, lots of ridiculous bright red hair wigs and the like. About 30 mins into the set, Shirley stops by Butch Vig to change her shoes and put on way more comfy flats. She ran around, did even more funky dance moves – robot moves were just awesome – and was having a great time.

It was even a more special night for Shirley as the last time her mom saw Garbage perform live was at The Warfield. There were also a few more tributes for other people that had passed away and a really heartfelt one to Christopher, whose daughters were at the show. It was definitely moving and she played ‘Special’ for them, which had never sounded better. You could see that it meant a lot to her and and the band.

The band played a solid 2 hour set that just flew by. I had forgotten how many hit songs they had. #1 Crush, Only Happy When it Rains, Queer, Stupid Girl, etc. Eric Avery (Of Janes Addiction), who looks to be having a great time on tour with the band, veoted Shirley’s idea of a crowd picking the song. It was a competition of a ‘favorite’ or a ‘new’ song. Shirley went on about how some like risks and it was quite cute till Eric decided theyd play the new song. It worked out well, I think most appreciated hearing a new song. Shirley also mentioned a story about how one of the songs was about losing her virginity, but it was always assumed to be about something else. For what its worth, it wasnt good.

Screaming Females

As mentioned earlier, Screaming Females of Trenton, NJ opened the set. Many people had never heard of them and didn’t know what to expect. Marissa, in a dark dress, played the hell out of her guitar. The songs were tight, fast and short reminiscent of Nirvana. Grunge has never sounded better. The band, as always, had few words to say and made the most out of their 30 minute set. And from where I was standing, she definitely impressed a few of the guys with her amazing guitar-playing skills. She thanked Shirley and Garbage a lot and you could tell she was genuinely happy to be opening for them.

This was definitely one of the best shows of the year.

Set list:
Time Will Destroy Everything
1. Supervixen
2. I Think I’m Paranoid
3. Shut Your Mouth
4. Why Do You Love Me
5. Queer
6. Stupid Girl
7. Hammering in My Head
8. Control
9. #1 Crush
10. Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
11. Blood For Poppies
12. Special
13. Milk
14. Battle In Me
15. Push It
16. Only Happy When It Rains
17. Vow
Encore:
18. Bad Boyfriend
19. The One
20. You Look So Fine

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It Must Be Summer – Fountains of Wayne @ GAMH

Posted by xneverwherex on July 24, 2012

Fountains of Wayne
Mike Viola
Great American Music Hall
7/19/12

It seems like every time I see Fountains of Wayne its the summer. They are the perfect summer band, so it works out quite nice. The band came here via Japan and were still jet-lagged from the plane ride. They joked about the questions the Japanese asked them and clearly they had a great time. While maybe a bit tired, you never once got that feeling from them during the set.

The band played with so much energy. The crowd just loved Adam – who doesnt – and throughout the show you could hear various people yelling out his name. The crowd was beyond energetic and everyone around me was singing and dancing. There was just so much love for the band.

The band, who seems to have not stopped touring since summer of last year, was here promoting the new album Sky Full of Holes. Its great that the band manages to play songs from all of their albums. My favorite album has always been Utopia Parkway – so its always good to hear “Denise” and “Red Dragon Tattoo” (perhaps my favorite song).

The night seemed to go by at record speed. Their catchy power-pop songs felt like they were played at a frenetic 3 minute speed (they might have, actually). The guitars as always really add to the show. Im pretty sure the entire crowd was rocking out. I couldnt wait for the ‘Radiation Vibe’ medley which seems to always occur now. The real surprise is what songs will they mix it up. The guy behind me was nearly going into cardiac arrest yelling ‘Billy f’ing Squier’. Hah! Its hard to argue with the following mix tho – Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier), Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney & Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe. Im a huge fan of America (I make no apologies) and this was just insane. The crowd is driven to insanity and then bam – band leaves the stage.

Thankfully the band came back out with a 5 song encore. Of course, Stacy’s Mom (has got it going on) and Sink to the bottom was on it. Its hard to imagine a show without either of them (not sure it can happen).

Always great to see a NY local band along with FoW. I think it must be a staple for them. Mike Viola was an opener not to be missed. He had really catchy pop songs – so it wasnt a surprise to google him and find out that he composed songs for movies “That Thing You Do”. The 2 other guys accompanying him were a great addition, but he alone would have been fabulous. He’s definitely an artist worth checking out.

Setlist:
Bought for a Song
It Must Be Summer
Someone to Love
Denise
Red Dragon Tattoo
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
Valley Winter Song
Hackensack
A Dip in the Ocean
Bright Future in Sales
Barbara H
Mexican Wine
Radiation Vibe Medley: Radiation Vibe/White Wedding (Billy Idol)/Everybody Wants You (Billy Squier)/Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)/Jet (Paul McCartney/Wings)/Sister Golden Hair (America)/Radiation Vibe

Encore:
I-95
Cemetery Guns
Joe Rey
Stacy’s Mom
Sink to the Bottom

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Arm Wrestling with Yo La Tengo

Posted by xneverwherex on May 4, 2012

Yo La Tengo
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA

May 2, 2012

It was quite a show for the threesome from Hoboken, NJ. It was their first time playing at the Mystic and their first time in Petaluma. I am sure after the show they had learned a lot more than they would have ever expected.

The show started soon after 8pm and Ira announced that they would be having a q and a. He explained it that we could ask questions between songs and he’d answer them (well the band). Sure enough there were questions galore that covered most topics. It’d be hard to recap most the questions but some that stood out were – what were the band members first album purchased. James talked about his first album bought with his own money at 9 years old being Deep Purple. Because of course, at 9 years old, that is the first album _every_ kid should buy. Georgia, who was seemingly beyond quiet, didn’t want to answer?! Thankfully, Ira coaxed her into telling us the first albums she could remember listening to which were the Monkees. Ira’s was Let’s Spend the Night Together. Ah the Rolling Stones. Hard to go wrong.

Yo La Tengo

Of course, it meant that there would be a Monkees song or 2. There were quite a few covers with ‘Im A Believer’ and ‘Gonna Buy Me A Dog’ from the Monkees. A Velvet Underground song ‘She’s my Best Friend’ also was played. The covers they played were really well done.

They were asked about SFMOMA (pronounced svmoma (one word)) which led to the band pronouncing almost every word bizarrely. Someone asked Georgia about the drums on ‘Saturday’ (then it was played). They talked about working in parking lots and all the music that they consumed (Robyn Hitchcock and Grand Funk Railroad). Oh and yes, is it torture to play a baby Grand Funk Railroad and some sorta bizarreness.

While I really wasn’t familiar with most of their songs – the encore ‘Sugarcube’ was really well done. All 3 of them have really strong vocals. Sexbeat we learned was the first cover song the band (although it was just Ira and Georgia at the time) to have played live, at a friends party.

They played a song from the Hal Hartley film Amateur. It turns out that their name was misspelled in the film itself. Doh! There was a cover of Neil Young’s ‘From the Turnstyles’. ‘Big Day Coming’ was really great and the lyrics stuck in my mind.

As the night came to an end we were rewarded with the best question/statement ever. Apparently, Petaluma is the arm wrestling capitol of the world. The band quipped they thought it would be most known for its chickens. I dont recall seeing a lot, but it is more farmland I suppose. As they returned from the encore, sure enough, Georgia and Ira had an arm wrestling competition. Quite naturally, Georgia won! 🙂

Its really hard to top a night that ends with that. While I cant say I was very familiar with Yo La Tengo’s work, I was happily surprised with the entire night. It was fun and quirky and a bit odd, just like the band seemed to be.

Oh and yes, there was mention of Snooki and the gang being denied from filming in Hoboken. The band clearly was enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. Would highly recommend checking them out for anyone that has the slightest interest.

Randomness of what was played written in my phone:

Beatles
Saturday
SF Moma movie song
Sexbeat – first cover
Song from dump? – its smaller than you are
Going Home
There’s a big day coming, I can hardly wait
All the turnstyles
Amateur – Hal Hartley film
The Monkees ‘Im A Believer’
Im Gonna Buy Me a Dog
Velvet Underground ‘Shes my Best Friend’
Im On My Way
On The Course of Change, try to more aware
Whatever you want from me, tore me down – encore

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