Archive for the ‘concert photos’ Category

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In Which I Review a Wolf Parade Show

November 8, 2008

Wolf Parade
The Blue Note
Columbia, MO
11/7/08

A friend and I drove up to Columbia last night to catch Wolf Parade at the Blue Note instead of waiting until Saturday to see them at the never enjoyable Gargoyle in St. Louis. It also worked out nicely that I would be able to catch the Missouri-Kansas State football game the next day.

We got to The Blue Note just as opening act Listening Party was starting their set. It had been at least 7 years since I had been to The Blue Note – Modest Mouse and The Anniversary in 2001 – and even though I’ve seen dozens and dozens of shows there, I had kind forgotten how intimate the venue is for a theater. I guess I had gotten used to The Pageant in St. Louis.

Listening Party was good, but nothing to write home about. Several in the audience, though, really seemed to be into it. I imagine if I had been familiar with their catalogue I would have appreciated their set more. I did really like the way the would loop the rhythms for some cool effects and rhythms.

Wolf Parade came out and it seemed like the venue suddenly got packed – I’m not sure where all the people came from – and upon the opening drums of set-opener “You Are A Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” the crowd immediately showed that they were going to be into the show.

The set list was split evenly between the band’s two full lengths and featured all but one song from their latest, At Mount Zoomer. The set’s flow was perfect and the band followed a basic pattern of alternating between Spencer Krug-lead songs and Dan Boeckner-lead songs. It occured to me that I generally have a more immediate, visceral reaction to Dan’s songs, but realize that the band would lose what makes it so great if Spencer’s unique voice and songwriting were missing from the equation. The band was super tight and the show-closer “Fancy Claps” was played particularly faster and louder than the recorded version. All-in-all it was an absolutely great set.

After the show, we headed to a nearby bar for another drink, and trying to give my friend a taste of Columbia, we headed to a second bar for another drink. When we got to the second bar, however, we were told it was at capacity, so we headed to yet another place – I’m not sure what it’s now called, but it used to be The Music Cafe – where they let us in for a reduced cover because the band playing (who was never identified to us) was almost done. We walked in during the band’s encore break, hit the bar, ordered a drink and started talking. Over our conversation, the band got back up on the stage and my friend noted, without looking at the stage, that the guy sounded like former Drive-by Trucker guitarist Jason Isbell. Upon actually taking a look at the stage, we realized it in fact was Jason Isbell. We had completely randomly walked into a Jason Isbell show at a tiny relatively obscure bar in Columbia, Missouri.

So that was fun.

I will have pictures tomorrow, but here’s Wolf Parade’s set list:

You Are a Runner and I am My Father’s Son
Soldier’s Grin
Call It A Ritual
The Grey Estates
Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
Language City
An Animal In Your Care
Shine a Light
Grounds for Divorce
Fine Young Cannibals
California Dreaming
This Heart’s On Fire
Kissing The Beehive
–encore break–
It’s A Curse
I’ll Believe In Anything
Fancy Claps

I found some video from the show on youtube:
“I’ll Believe In Anything”

“Grounds for Divorce”:

Listening Party:

Wolf Parade:

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Pictures from Head of Femur and Jon Hardy & The Public

October 30, 2007

Last week, I caught Jon Hardy & The Public, Head of Femur and Walkie Talkie USA.

I have been enjoying JH&TP’s new CD, Working in Love for a few weekes now. The band was energetic and engaging live, and Jon’s voice sounded great. I would definitely recommend you check them out live ifyou get a chance:

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Head of Femur was next. They were appreciative of the crowd, but I felt bad there weren’t more people to enjoy their solid set:

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Walkie Talkie USA finished out the night. They were loud and had a decent-sized, enthusiastic crowd for a Thursday night. I had to leave early, and my camera died before there set, but I did get to catch their cover of The Soft Boys “I Wanna Destroy You.”

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Pictures from The Lot

September 21, 2007

So, I posted some video from this year’s Lot Festival earlier this week, and tonight I am going to post some GREAT photos taken at this year’s event by Jim Courrier (see all of his flickr photos here and his myspace page here). He managed to snap pictures of all but one of the bands that night and, as usual, his photos are top-notch.

7 Shot Screamers:




Jumbling Towers:





Nite Owl:




Bunnygrunt:





Say Panther:





Tenement Ruth:



Everything Else:


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An Under Cover Weekend, Night 2

September 12, 2007

So after a first night that blew away all of my expectations, I made it back to Off Broadway last Saturday for Night 2 of An Under Cover Weekend. Unfortunately, I missed Fattback’s take on The Cars, but I heard was great. Bad Blogger, Bad. (I apologize that the video from this night wasn’t of that good quality…) Be sure to check out my review of Night 1 here.

Fortunately, I was able to catch all of The Feed’s outstandingly awesome set as The Clash. The Feed was the one band playing this weekend that I had never heard before. The band is a trio: a drummer, piano player and sax player/bassist. They tore through a great, great set of The Clash’s best songs, including “London Calling”, “Rock the Casbah”, “Complete Control”, “The Magnificent 7”, and “Train in Vain” (with Mike Tomko on guitar). The drummer was crazy good, and the piano player was rocking out guitar solos on his Rhodes… perfectly. It was the set of the night.

The Feed as The Clash:

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Ghost in Light was up next with their intense and moody Cure set. They definitely stayed away from the “hits” (with one or two exceptions) and played to the multitude of “true” Cure fans in attendance. It was yet another great set from this weekend.

Ghost in Light as the Cure:

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We went from Goth to New Wave pretty quickly when The Bureau came up with a tight set of Duran Duran songs. They started off with “Girls on Film” and, of course, rocked out to “Rio” and “Hungry Like a Wolf.”

The Bureau as Duran Duran:

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7 Shot Screamers finished out the night with a sloppy set of Ringo-fronted Beatles songs… But no Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da… Hmmm. Despite this glaring omission, it was actually a great set, minus the overlong breaks between songs. You also got the feeling that guitarist Deano Sabella really wantd to be covering Black Sabbath…

7 Shot Screamers as the Beatles:

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Read Annie Zaleski’s re-cap of Night 2 HERE.


OMG!!!! It’s Simon LeBon at The Clash show!!!!

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Lollapalooza, Day 1 – The Review

August 15, 2007

Well, here it is, almost a week and a half after the fact: my review of Day 1 of the 2007 Lollapalooza Music Festival, held in beautiful Chicago, Illinois, USA.

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My flight arrived in Chicago from St. Louis around 10:15 a.m. on Friday morning. I hopped on the Orange line and headed up to the Loop to meet a friend of mine that works downtown for lunch, where I was to hand off my traveling bag, which he was to then take back to his place where I was staying so I could head on to the Festival. First, though, we made our way to the Billy Goat Tavern where I promptly ordered a triple cheeseburger and fries, without fully considering the implications of making such an order before heading out to an all-day music festival in the sun and 95-degree heat…

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After lunch and (somehow) stops at three different Walgreen’s, I made my way into the festival. I didn’t make it to Lollapalooza in 2006, but I was there during the record-setting-hottness of 2005. In 2006, they more than doubled the size of the festival grounds to alleviate many of the over-crowding and sound-bleeding problems of 2005. The trade-off, of course, ended up being that it took a good 15 minutes to get from one end of the park to the other and, if your personal schedule of bands to see for the day didn’t work out just right, you could find yourself walking back and forth all day, missing a chunk of each set in transit, since they didn’t really buffer any time between the sets.

The first band I caught was Chin Up Chin Up. They are a great band and one I have been a fan of for a while, but have never had a chance to see live. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch the last two songs of their set, which were both quite good. They had a small but very enthusiastic crowd at their stage.

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(Chin Up Chin Up)

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(Chin Up Chin Up)

After CUCU, I headed over to catch the rest of the Ted Leo & The Pharmacists set, which overlapped with CUCU by about 15 minutes. They were playing “Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?” to a good size crowd (especially for 1:30 pm on Friday) when I walked up. The band was, as usual, full of energy and worked through some of my favorites songs of theirs, including “Timorous Me” and “A Bottle of Buckie”.

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(Ted Leo & The Pharmacists)

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(Ted Leo & The Pharmacists)

After Ted Leo, I made my first park-length trek to the north side of the festival grounds to get a good spot for and catch The Polyphonic Spree and meet up with a friend. While waiting for PS to set up, I could hear the end of the Son Volt set from across the field, including set closer, “Drown.” As I’m sure you’ve read, The Polyphonic Spree have shifted away from wearing their trademark flowing robes to wearing militant black jump suits. No worries though; the band’s music is as happy and uplifting as ever. Surprisingly, they only played two or three songs from their latest album, The Fragile Army, including a great version of “Mental Cabaret” that featured the dance stylings of the Chicago Tap Theater. The Fragile Army song that benefited most from a live treatment, though, was “The Championship,” a highlight of their set. There was also an appearance during their set by Beatle Bob. For the encore, the band switched into the their traditional white robes and made their way through the crowd before playing a three-song encore. The crowd’s reaction to the band’s take on Nirvana’s “Lithium” was one of the biggest reactions of the weekend for a non-headliner.

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(The Polyphonic Spree)

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(The Polyphonic Spree)

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(The Polyphonic Spree)

We thought we’d catch a bit of Electric Six next, and while I enjoyed their first album quite a bit, their set wasn’t quite right for the bright sunlight and heat of a Friday afternoon in August in Chicago when you are more concerned with chugging water so you don’t pass out. They are more of a 1:30 in the morning, chugging beer in order to pass out sort of band. In the middle of the set, we headed over to check out the Improv stage, but the environment wasn’t quite right for that either, especially since they were being drowned out by some screamo band from across the way.

Because I felt it was my duty as a self-respecting music blogger, we headed over to see M.I.A. Bad idea. She was outrageously obnoxious. The bass was so loud you could hear her voice at all and when you could, she just sounded like she was wounded whale. I’m sure it would have been much, much more enjoyable in a small club.

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(M.I.A)

After abusing our eardrums at M.I.A., we made our way over to see The Rapture, who put on a great show. It was a shame they were relegated to one of the smaller stages, as it diminished the size of a lot of their new songs and suffered from a lot of sound bleeding from M.I.A.’s set.

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(The Rapture)

On our way over to catch Blonde Redhead, we caught two songs from Silversun Pickups, including the ubiquitous “Lazy Eye.” Meh. Blonde Redhead, on the other hand, was one of the best surprises of the weekend for me. Their latest album, 23, is one of my favorites of this year, but I was really surprised at how well the droning, haunting melodies were translated into a live setting. They sounded great. Kazu Makino was an engaging front woman… and she used a stuffed horse for her piano bench – you gotta give her some credit for that.

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(Blonde Redhead)

It was at this point that my Festival Friend had to leave, since he had a show that night, so I headed over in the general direction of The Black Keys (on the complete other side of the park), where I planned on getting some food as well. I never made it much closer to the stage on which The Black Keys were playing than a few hundred yards; I was being overly ambitious in my walking plans and decided to park it near the food stand. I grabbed a bite to eat and enjoyed the sweet sounds of the Black Keys (mental note: do NOT pass up a chance to see them in a small club setting) from a distance. I didn’t stick around for more than a handful of songs, as I was determined to get a good spot for the next band…

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(LCD Soundsystem)

LCD Soundsystem. I was obsessed with their latest album, Sound of Silver, for pretty much all of May and June and I had heard only good things about their live performances. But before they took the stage, we had to wait for Satellite Party to finish on the big stage. How people like this band, I guess I’ll never know. They did play “Been Caught Stealing,” though.

Finally, the band, minus James Murphy, took the stage. The band quickly locked into the deep groove of “Us v. Them”. Soon, Mr. Murphy emerged from the back of the stage, making a pit stop on his way to the front and center to turn up bassist Phil Skarich’s bass amp. This would mark the first of many moments throughout the set in which Murphy – a known perfectionist – would micromanage his band, peering over the shoulders of his bandmates’, adjusting and tweaking their instruments and settings. This performance proved to be the true revelation of the weekend for me.

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(LCD Soundsystem)

They next tore into “Daft Punk Is Playing At My House,” which everyone, of course, was waiting for since Daft Punk was actually playing after them, across the field, on the big stage; Murphy noted that this was “kind of funny, I guess”. The crowd went absolutely nuts during “All My Friends,” a performance that was a definite highlight of the weekend for me. Other standout performances included “North American Scum” and the awesomeness that is “Yeah” performed live.

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(LCD Soundsystem)

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(LCD Soundsystem)

Daft Punk finished out Day 1 of Lollapalooza 2007. It was incredible. What I would have given to be seeing them for the first time again… I will never be able to top seeing them at Coachella in 2006, though, when nobody in the crowd had any idea of what to expect (read my review of that performance here). Their stage show is now well-documented and near-legendary. Nonetheless, there is no denying the power and intensity and pure awesomeness of Daft Punk live. You could have only heard Daft Punk songs in your life via going out to bars, hanging out in dorm rooms, and watching TV commercials, and you still would have sworn you had a religious experience after seeing them live. They’re THAT good live.

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(Daft Punk)

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(Daft Punk)

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(Daft Punk)

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(Daft Punk)

All in all, it was a good first day – hot, dirty, and tired.

I swear my reviews of Day 2 and 3 will be shorter, though.

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The Hold Steady/The Thermals Pics

March 18, 2007

The Hold Steady and The Thermals put on a great show to a sold out crowd here in St. Louis on Thursday night. The crowd was definitely there for the Hold Steady, but The Thermals were great, too.

The Hold Steady:

Some chick that helped herself onto the stage. Craig was clearly annoyed, asking the crowd, “Which one of you is here with the drunk?”:

The whole crowd on the stage during the last song:

The Thermals:

Rob Corddry was at the show, for some reason. I couldn’t sneak a pic of him, so this will have to do:

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Ben Kweller & Magnolia Summer Pictures

March 2, 2007

On Wednesday night, I saw Ben Kweller and opening band Magnolia Summer. Magnolia Summer was, as usual, great. It was nice to see them well received by a crowd that was probably not that familiar with them. Ben Kweller was great, too. The band was tight and energetic. I wasn’t expecting him to be so short. When he sat down at the piano, you couldn’t even see the top of his head (the stage is only about three feet high). I was also really surprised by how funny he was in his stage banter. I won’t try to re-create it, but he was quite funny and charming. They played everything you’d want to hear, including some more rarely-played songs, like “Down”.

Here are some pictures.

Ben Kweller:

Magnolia Summer:

Edit: I forgot to put this video of Ben Kweller performing “Commerce, TX” at the show: