Monday, August 31, 2009

The Flaming Lips - Bank of America Pavillion, Boston MA, August 30, 2009

The Flaming Lips
Bank of America Pavillion, Boston MA
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Support - Explosions in the Sky and Stardeath & White Dwarfs

Late Friday/early Saturday I get an email from my buddy declaring "I got front row tickets to Flaming Lips" and he was kind enough to ask me along.

The weather cooperated and I actually ended up meeting him walking in to the venue. We were there pretty early, but that was okay, we don't see each other often so we could catch up.

Our seats were sure enough in the front row. We were a little off to the side, but if we had enough vertical leap, and the stones to go with it we could have been on stage easily enough.

At 7pm Stardeath and White Dwarfs came on stage. I had no idea who they were, but the four piece from Oklahoma did a fine job in warming up the crowd. Opening with a Butthole Surfers tune they'd spend their set filling with sonic bliss. They'd wrap up the main set with a Madonna cover and during the bulk of the set, Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne was on the side of the stage.

Explosions in the Sky were the middle slot band. The Austin Texas based band was on a short hiatus before heading out for a 10th anniversary tour this year. It was the final night on the tour for them as well and they really brought it.

Before the set, guitarist Munaf Rayani thanked the Flaming Lips with some heartfelt words about how if we thought they were nice guys, its was "true, they were and it was only the tip of the iceberg". I was a little worried since there a moments in EITS set where it gets pretty quiet and they grow louder and louder. There were times I felt it was a little bass washed, but overall they really had a great set and you could tell there was a fair number of people there to see them. The band all seemed thrilled with the response and stood, almost in awe waving thanks at the end of the set.

Their set was:
the only moment we were alone
greet death
the birth and death of the day

The Flaming Lips to this day still are out on stage setting up their own gear and soundchecking mics, guitars etc. It is sort of odd, but refreshing at the same time. Wayne would fire a confetti cannon from time to time to loud cheers. After a fair amount of time it seemed the band appeared to be ready to go.

The stage looked like a construction site. Everything seemed to be orange with yellow stripes on it. Behind the drum kit the visuals began. It was a woman, down on her hands and feet sort of pointing her privates towards the which she "birthed" the members of the band. Finally Wayne came out, and got in to a large inflatable ball and it rolled out in to the audience as the band got rolling.

Opening with "Race for the Prize" the stage was quickly flanked by women in short skirts and tops dancing on one side, and people in white fur suits on the other. We were on bassists/keyboardist Micheal Ivins side and the audience was quickly filled with balloons. The band has some connection for balloons as these are just massive. Confetti was going off, smoke, was a massive party with people dancing all around. Munaf from Explosions in the Sky was on the side of the stage bouncing around deflecting balloons as well.

The set would follow suit. We'd have more confetti than you'd ever imagine. Balloons would get bigger, and some would be stuffed with confetti, so when those popped confetti would spill out.

The setlist (pretty sure was)

Race For The Prize
Silver Trembling Hands
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Fight Test
Bad Days
Enthusiasm For Life Defeats Internal Existential Fear
Convinced Of The Hex
Vein Of Stars
The Firebird Suite
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
See The Leaves
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
The W.A.N.D.
She Don't Use Jelly
Happy Birthday (To Lindsay a woman in the front row)
Do You Realize??

Having seen the Lips a few times, some of the gimmicks are played out some. Wayne is always waving his arms for the audience to get "louder" and there really is no need, the audience loves it..I assure you of that.

We got a some new songs as well as some classic live staples. It was a good mix and the band really seemed to be playing well off one another.

The main set ended with a big sing along to "She Don't Use Jelly" and the band smiled and waved and headed off. There honestly was an inch of confetti on stage.

They came out for a short encore of "Do You Realize?" a song that I personally just love. The crowd just ate it all up and we were sent off in the night with smiles on our faces.

Some tunes fall a little flat, but the sheer elation the band has for playing live just makes up for so much. If you ever get a chance, and have not seen them, try and check them out. It is really a trip and a half.

Some pictures:

This was Stardeath + White Dwarfs

A few Explosions in the Sky images.

This one was right before EITS started, the calm before the storm if you will.

Wayne, Steven and Micheal at random times during the show:

I love this one for some reason:

Yes, it was like this, over and over again.


Caspian - TT The Bears Place, Cambridge, MA August 29, 2009

TT The Bear's Place, Cambridge, MA
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Support - Actors and Actresses, Arms + Sleepers.

The final show of a three night run in the states before heading to Europe for a massive tour, Beverly, MA based Caspian packed the small club to the gills for a cd release party. "Tertia", which is out now in Europe will get a release to stores come September 15th in the States. The good news, was it being a cd release party, I was able to secure a copy of the new cd.

Actors and Actresses were on stage when I arrived and I settled in to a spot. It was a sell out, so sure enough come the time Caspian started I had found one of the worst places in the venue to stand.

The fun part is with this being a big send off Caspian could have many friends and families in the audience. Some had a little too much to drink as well.

After some change over Phil took the mic, thanked everyone for coming and informed us they'd be right back.

Once one stage, and for the next hour the band just gave it their all. Songs from the ep, the first full length and the new cd were all played. The band flailed around the small stage, rocking bodies back and forth and the guitars just swirled around the room. The start of each song was greeted with more and more applause and hollers.

The show ended with "Sycamore" (last track on Tertia) with a massive drum breakdown. A gentleman that appeared to be Phil's father came up on stage and joined in the hard hitting drum "circle". It ended in elation in the audience and hugs on stage. The band is ready to conquer Europe that is for sure.

The band will probably take a little time off before doing a large scale U.S. tour. Catch em now, seriously it could only be a matter of time.

Full set list:
The Raven
Of Foam and Wave
Further Up
Further In
Ghosts of the Garden City
Some Are White Light

Check out Caspian on myspace for music and tour dates.


Friday, August 28, 2009

A little change from the norm....

This week I took a little diversion on Forgotten Disc Friday.

Still music to read about, and download, just changed things up a little this week. Back to the usual poorly written boring posts on FDF you have come to expect next week.

If you have any ideas of what you'd like my take on..lemme know. It helps if I own the cd, and if you have read the stuff on the site you get an idea of what it is I listen to..but you might be surprised what I can dig up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Pearl Jam - The Fixer

Check out the video for "The Fixer" from Pearl Jam's upcoming album Backspacer out September 20th. This is a high quality version!

"The Fixer" Video is here. (anyone else having embed sizing issues?)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back..back for more.

Home from a road trip/wedding. I have a good post brewing..but catching up on 7 days + out of the office...bah.

Friday, August 21, 2009

She's got a sunshine smile The kind that makes you forget again

Yet another week of summer speeds by...

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This is one cd that I have been meaning to do for a long time. I need to track down their other release. Man this was good....
Thanks to all for reading.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How are you...

okay thanks..more soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Slowly, I stroll, over where you sit, it took so long, now im into it.

Hey, happy book end to your work week...

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

It is an ep this week, and I think the bands full length releases smoke this one, but it could just be me. See for yourself.

Thanks to all for reading.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

give me strength......

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Blowing off the dust.....Skunk Anansie to tour...

One of the bands I really liked in the early 1990's was called Skunk Anansie. They never really cracked the US market but I had the chance to see them a few times in VERY small rooms with not too many people. I was excited to read today the band has re-formed and is doing a greatest hits tour. Granted there are no US dates as of yet, I can be hopeful of a US jaunt as well as perhaps some new material.

Here is the bands myspace page.

Here is the new video for the song "Because of You". (I tried to attach but it was too large for the screen) so you can click here for it.

Man she can still freaking wail..holy hot balls. Damn I gotta get on their stuff for Forgotten Disc Friday

Their best of is due out in September in the UK.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I know her daddy will be after me...

Here we are..August. Whooosh goes summer.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This is an odd pick by some estimates. Still its a brutal record that gets me to chuckle. Read and listen with caution.

Thanks to all for reading.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Them Crooked Vultures

The new supergroup featuring Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme apparently are called Them Crooked Vultures, and reportedly plan to tour in 2009. The band recently launched an official website, and MySpace, Twitter and Facebook pages.

Can't wait to hear what they have up their collective sleeves


Monday, August 3, 2009

Depeche Mode - Comcast Center, Mansfield MA July 31, 2009

Depeche Mode
Comcast Center, Mansfield MA
Friday July 31, 2009

Support: Peter Bjorn + John

Thursday afternoon I got a message via "Twitter" that if I responded back to a certain "Twit" I'd get a pair of tickets to Depecehe Mode. Figured I had never seen them, it was a Friday and "Free" well I had to give it a shot. Before 2pm on Friday (day of show) I had a message back saying I had a pair of tickets waiting for me at will call. At the time, it was raining sideways, but I decided "what the heck".

Rewind 20+ years ago. I saw "People are People" on MTV and decided to track down some of their work. After the massiveness that was "Violator" and the double live cd "101" I have to admit, my affection started to taper off. I had never seen the band live, they were just sort of falling off the radar with me but all the while I understood what they had added to "alternative" and or/ electronic music.

Arriving at the venue I could tell my suspicion was correct. This show had been horribly undersold. The Twitter response I used ran for over 24 hrs saying "everyone that responded would get tickets" and earlier in the week my brother forwarded me a note from Harpoon Brewery with the same sort of "reply now for a pair of free tickets' and they were giving out 500 pair! All along I figured my free seat(s) would be the lawn of the 19,000+ capacity amphitheater. To my surprise (and pleasure since it was still raining) I was in Section 4. I tried in vain to give my second ticket away. Some folks that were buying needed more than 1 as they wanted to sit together. Once inside, I noticed the entire lawn was "closed' and the open air seats had smattering of people. Even still, the crew at the Comast Center was waving people down into the shed..there was that much room.

Onward to the show. The band gets points taken off for having us wait for over 30 minutes to come on stage. I mean really, the stage was clear and set up w/smog rolling over it for close to 1/2 hour. Cut the shit and get out there and play. Even if its the same set list, let the fans go home early. Its not like the venue is making beer sale revenue since all concessions close at 10pm anyway. When the band did arrive on stage the sparse crowd showered them with affection and then all but sat on their hands. Opening with three songs from their new cd "Sounds of the Universe" the band really didn't open with a bang. Singer Dave Gahan tossed the mic stand above his head and shook his backside at the au dice. Guitarist Martin Gore was to his right and could remain in said slot for the bulk of the evening, while Andrew Fletcher worked full time to the left on one of the keyboards.

Four songs in the "casual" fans like myself got "Walking in My Shoes". The mid tempo track was a nice "reminder' of the bands pop sensibility and reminded me why I liked their music at one time. Then we sort of hit the breaks again. The set list, which could be riddled with hits seeming plodded along. Martin Gore took center stage for two solo tunes "Little Soul" and "Home". Both were "okay" but for a band better know for its poppier/dancier tracks placing a two song set, of solo sort of 'ehhh' music didn't help.

Before you cry fowl, I me the people around me and over to my left..and there were a lot of motionless people. Those that were moving were reaching for their cell phones it seemed to either text, or take a quick picture, it just was not what I expected.

After that bump in the road the set really seemed to start to warm up. "Policy of Truth" started a great run right up to the encore. "I Feel You" was a rocking a rousing version and even broke the mold and sort of "jammed' the song a little extending the guitar part and having a drum break down, it was really a decent moment. The main set ended with "Never Let Me Down" and that too was very strong.

Heading to the encore I knew the trend with the band was 4 songs, another break, then 2 more to close out. The set list has not changed at all up to this point barring the dropping of the very last song (prolly cuz they wait to freaking long to come on stage and lose time due to curfew..just sayin). The encore was "Stripped" "Master and Servant" and "Strangelove". Okay good..three songs I knew, the audience knew and the band seemed to be feeding off that.

They closed out with probably their biggest, or at least most widely known tune "Personal Jesus" closed it out. The band never really said much to the audience and to their credit they did play the show like it was a sell out, but I am not sure that would have even helped, having that large a crowd I mean.

Glad I saw them, but even for free I am not sure I'd go again. I was poking around the bands forum and seems like many fans liked it (go in 2-3 pages) and that is great. I am glad others had fun.

Here is the Setlist:
In Chains
Hole To Feed
Walking In My Shoes
It's No Good
A Question Of Time
Fly On The Windscreen
Little Soul
Come Back
Policy Of Truth
In Your Room
I Feel You
Enjoy The Silence
Never Let Me Down Again

Master And Servant

Personal Jesus