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Monday, December 15, 2008

Concert Reveiw: The Meat Puppets w/ Oakley Hall and The Soviet Machines

         “I think we’re going to go on about 10:30-10:45” says Cris Kirkwood, bass player for the Meat Puppets. Here we are on the ninth installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, and the venue is the Music Hall of Williamsburg which is 66 N 6th street in Brooklyn. The band: The “Meat Puppets” headlining the show with “Oakley Hall” and “The Soviet Machines” as opening acts. Doors are at 8pm and the show is at 9pm. So of course, I show up at the doors like at about a quarter to 6(the ticket says “happy hour 6-9”, a misprint I guess) and I see one person outside smoking a cigarette and one of the event staff talking to him then he goes in. So I walk up and I say “doors at 8 right?” and the dude was like “Yea. Your making me feel bad man its cold out here” I said I’d find something to do in the meantime, then I stopped and realized who I was talking to. I said “Wait a minute, your Cris Kirkwood aren’t you?”. He nods as he takes another drag. How cool is this? I’m smoking a cig with Cris Kirkwood, I got him to sign my ticket stub. Then I got into how I saw them a few months back at Terminal 5 with Dinosaur Jr. and we got into a little musically centered conversation for a minute. I mentioned how I saw Stone Temple Pilots in May and Cris started telling me about how the Deleo brothers called "us up"  and told him about the whole going on an hour late because of Scott Wieland being Scott Wieland situation . The Meat Puppets and STP go way back...  they have played a few recent shows over this summer/fall but way back when STP went on a US tour in the early nineties they had the Meat Puppets opening for them.. I mentioned that too and Cris started telling me “the Deleo brothers man… those guys can really play. Their good friends of ours”. Maybe it’s the whole brothers in a band thing. And that’s when he also said that Oakley hall had played with them the night before and they were really cool so that was another thing to get excited about. Then he says, get this, “we’re going to go on about 10:30-10:45, we’re doing an acoustic set; well Curt is playing acoustic I have my bass. We did it in Philly the other night and last night in Hoboken, I really dig the sound, it’s really cool man”. I was very impressed and suddenly more excited for the show when he said that. I started getting into how they deserve more credit then they get. I said “I tell people “oh man I’m going to see the Meat Puppets tonight” and they are like “who’s that”” and that’s when Cris says “yea that’s been the moniker of us like, we’ve had this band for what now?... 29 years…” I cut him off to say “yea man like almost 30 fucking years, people don’t realize that you guys rock and gets me mad” and he nods and takes a drag. “Well, it’s always been like that. We came out, then around that time MTV formed there were all these bands making videos and then all of a sudden its was like..” a bewildered look on his face “you know?” I agreed. I'll make the assumption that he was speaking about those bands we all see, hear and know that do whatever will get them on MTV or mainstream and it furthers the point that band these days only care about money. The sell outs. Of course, one can only wonder from implying,  he wasn't screaming sell outs on the freezing sidewalk of Brooklyn, but that’s what is inferred by the conversation we were having. Trying to keep words flowing, I said “At the Terminal 5 show I saw when the chord from your bass unplugged and you were like jamming it back in and shit”. Cris laughs and says “yea man Curt's been giving me so much shit about it, he told me to make sure I plug it into the top on the amp this time”. We shared a chuckle, then that’s when the cigarettes had reach their filters. He stuck his hand out and said “well it was good talking to you Jay(he had asked my name when I got the autograph earlier) I’ll see you inside later” I said “ thanks man seriously you have no idea. You guys are gonna kick ass tonight”. What a cool guy. There was no one else there, only one person actually passed by the whole time and it was a chick and when while walking by the heel of her shoe or whatever made a noise when it hit the concrete and Cris said “you see, in my mind I imagined that she just farted right there”. We were both laughing, he had already smoked a cigarette, he stayed out there to light another one seemingly because I lit one and to talk music with the first Meat Puppets fan that showed up, then again I was there like five hours before they went on. Now that's what I call an accommodating member of a band . You know, he probably would have  given me a cig if I didn’t have one, I bet he would e was that nice a guy. So that’s my “Conversation with Cris Kirkwood” . I didn’t do like a full court press interview the guy-I really  didn’t wanna  bother him I really wanted to hear his thoughts on things; still that’s like the first time I got to do some real deal journalism type stuff. Good start to a great night.  

     The first band to go on was “The Soviet Machines”, a band from Minneapolis. Young too, the dude selling their merch said that two of the members we’re 15 years old. Maybe this is what it’s like to see Silverchair pre-“Frogstomp”. When they went on there was seriously, like twenty people in this place. Put it this way, we could have moved up and leaned on the stage, but didn’t. A whole bunch of people listening to this new band that they’ve never heard of; they won over the crowd by end of their set. They have this garage, punk sort of sound with heavy injections of pop sound as well. Lead singer “Jack Swagger”(that’s the name listed on their MySpace) has stickers all over his guitar ala Billy Joe Armstrong. And their drummer was good too, he actually thought it was hilarious when they got on stage and I said really loud “I hope their not communists”. It was good to have like dialect with the band sort of after the show, because no one was there. The band drove down here from Minneapolis, and had to take a week off of school to come to NYC and play a show with the Meat Puppets. How cool is that? Where did the brothers Kirkwood find these guys? How long can they have been playing together if two of the members are 15 is what I’m trying to say. And I’ve been seeing some really bad opening acts as of recently, so it was a breath of fresh air to have a band come through, play there songs to 20 people or whatever and just try to rock as hard as you can. No pretensions, no bullshit. When there set ended, I saw the drummer, Marcus Jones, packing his stuff up and I’m like “hey man your not throwing sticks?” because most of the bands I’ve seen have done that, you need to throw your drumsticks into the crowd. So he looks and he I guess caught by surprise when he says “ohh, yea man” and flips one to me. It hit me right between the eyes because I’m not the most athletic person on the planet, but I didn’t let anyone know at the time how much that shit hurt. I picked it up and got him to sign it for me. And to be honest, I didn’t really understand how long an actual drum stick is. So now I have a drum stick in my pocket for the rest of the night, plus the Cris Kirkwood autographed stub from earlier. So far this is a great night. Right when they were coming packing up there stuff I said to “Jack Swagger” something to the effect of “Seriously dude, I’ve seen some really shitty opening acts as of late, and that shit far from sucked”. He came over and shook my hand and said thanks, and it seemed pretty sincere. 

    Up next was a band called “Oakley Hall”, which I was able to read up about on Yes, I know it’s not a quoted unquote “reliable source”, but it worded things pretty well. I had never heard of them either, but since Cris Kirkwood said he “digs their sound” it can’t be bad. The group's songs seem to combine elements of hard rock, bluegrass sort of folk , and an old-time music, prominently featuring the male-female vocal harmonies stuff that I like, its sort of Pixiesque( the Pixies a personal favorite of mine) if I may invent a word. The lead vocalists Patrick Sullivan and Rachel Cox who also play guitar. Rather than imitating the style of commercial country cowboy hat, “lets try to sell records” sort of stuff. Actually the group's melodic tone that had me singing along I must admit, sounded like old American folk like ballads sort of, but at the same time there is a prevalent driving rock beat with elements of noise/distortion/acid-folk sort of stuff going on with guitars and the organ and keyboard. When I saw the organ I thought “ohh no here we go” but whenever the keyboard or organ was being played it was loud and fast and vicious. I didn’t know an organ can provide feedback to the point where it sounds like Thurston Moore’s(Sonic Youth) guitar. Seriously it was really cool stuff, I was digging it, my friend Joe who was at the last Puppets show I went to said they we’re like a Fleetwood Mac meets the Talking Heads way harder. It was a great analogy. Pat Sullivan had a “Bad Moon” tee shirt on and after the set when he was unplugging his pedals and switches he had from the amp he was like right there, because by this time I’m leaning on stage because I needed something to lean on. So I said “What, not giving out picks?” referring to his guitar pick, and he was like sort of had the same reaction the drummer from The Soviet Machines had, he said “oh.. yea man definalty” and reached in his pocket for it and gave it to me. Then I saw Rachel Cox autographing something and I ask her to sign my drum stick that I had in my pocket. She said “Are you serious?” sort of laughing and I when I said yea she signed it “Rachel from Ohio!”. That was pretty cool. They rocked, I told Pat that and he thanked me for it. These two bands were really cool, both musically and socializing with the couple of us who were up in front and out spoken. Good stuff.

     Of course now on to the main event, the Meat Puppets!! The second time I get to see them(See show review 9/26/2008).The acoustic set that I had heard they were going to do I was interested in seeing. Especially since a roadie laid down a who set of pedals and switches and all these knobs I started to think that this alleged acoustic set was going to be short and maybe Curt Kirkwoodwould switch to electric like half way through. To tell you the truth, If I was blind, I wouldn’t have even known that Curt was playing an acoustic, its sounded so loud with all these weird noises and just amazing solos a lot of the times “fingerpicking” as they call it, which is sort of self explanatory and the way Curt’s eyes are closed and he’s in this zone like. And at the same time you have brother Cris on bass and he’s just doing all weird funny ass stuff. His bass chord didn’t unplug this time, but Curt busted a chord like a song or two in. So he ran off stage to get it fixed, at which time he and Ted Marcus the drummer, would jam and Cris would say dumb funny stuff and try to make up songs. Really cool. So Curt gets back on stage, and they get into “Commin’ Down”, I love that song they didn’t play it last time they came around so that was cool and they got into “Up on the sun”. I was trying to copy down songs but I was only able to get ten because I was right there, again only this time like two feet from Curt as oppose to the five I was at Terminal 5 because they had a barricade at Terminal 5, as where here at the Williamsburg Hall of Music I could have basically got up on stage I’m leaning on the amp the whole night. Another reason you can’t get every song they play is because it’s seriously like a trip being there, hearing their music live. It’s an experience that I think everyone needs to do in life, you wouldn’t regret it I promise. Anyway I believe it was after Up on the sun, maybe one of their ten minute jam sessions where you have no idea what’s going on; it’s so intoxicating, Curt broke busted two chords on his guitar this time, leading to him running off stage again. Cris says “okay, Curt quit the band, but we got some stuff we wanna play” and they just start jamming as Curt goes to put two more strings on. At this point I’m wondering how a band that’s been together for almost 30 years doesn’t have like an extra guitar, but some musicians have pet peeves about that sort of stuff and its not like he got all pissed of and stormed out he was laughing, I bet he wanted to break the strings. That’s the type of intensity he plays with. The played “Why” before getting into “Oh Me”, that song “Oh Me” rocks man, it was so musically fulfilling to be at this show. They did “Plateau” somewhere in the first 5-10 songs, hard to place where it was I didn’t write that down I was singing. Later on one of my favorites “Look at the Rain” along with “Severed Goddess Hand” and “Flaming Heart” Through all this craziness and totally rocking out as the venue is now completely packed of course as soon as the Meat Puppets came on I notice it was approaching 1 AM. So I knew “Lake of Fire” was coming up, and it did. And then they did a song that I was dying to hear that they didn’t play last time I caught them was “Backwater”. Hearing it acoustic, if we’re even going to call this acoustic because throughout the set the sounds that were coming out of this thing was unbelievable. I didn’t know an acoustic guitar can produce similar sounds to a police siren, just out of space sort of stuff. That’s what they are, they’re from space. They bring you up to their spaceship when they play live, which is the reason why it’s a seemingly hallucinogenic experience being in the crowd, losing yourself in the music. They really are like the Grateful Dead, every show is different. I didn’t see an acoustic set in this night, and when I heard it was acoustic I thought we were going to all sit on stools and sip hot coco. But that wasn’t the case of course, because once again the Meat Puppets prove why they’re so far and beyond a large majority of the music that it out there today. 

     That was most defiantly the best show I’ve attended in my life. Not only just from a Meat Puppets blowing the roof off stand point but overall, all the bands were good. The whole atmosphere was great, I got to talking to some really intelligent and musically intellectual people. So check this out I’m going to give you links to The Soviet Machines and Oakley Hall because they’re two pretty cool bands. 

Photos taken By me, Jay Porks via AT&T Pantech Matrix 

    Next up on the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series is a band called 'Witch',  I've recently gotten into them and they friggin rock. Its like this dark sort of sound but includes all the distortion and feedback driven guitars to keep me entertained. The opening acts are 'Earthless' and 'Children' is what the bill says, It's back at this same location, The Music Hall of Williamsburg on Feburary 26th.. Catch you then...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Concert Review: Local H @ Webster Hall NYC 11/22/2008

       So tonight was the night. The eighth installment of the “Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series” and the venue: Webster Hall located in NYC @ 125 E 11th St. The band I was here to see was the one and only “Local H” who I have been fans of for a while. They've only got two guys in the band: Scott Lucas, the lead singer/guitarist (who devised a way to put bass pick-ups in his guitar, to make up for the non-bass player) and Brian St. Clair, who was the drummer in Illinois based band Triple Fast Action(and Liz Phair's former tour manager)..  Only sad thing about tonight is that they are Sandwiched between two bands I’m not too familiar with but thats what you get when you’re a narrow minded guy like me who doesn’t listen to the radio because its filled with garbage(or bands like the other two I saw tonight). Doors opened at 6, and the opening act was a band called “Fall on your Sword” then “Local H” followed up the headliner, let me foreshadow the dreadful,  “Electric Six.”  

      Webster Hall, now there’s one over rated place to be to see a concert. I’m sorry, but if I’m indoors seeing a show I want the place to be intimate not a place that is going to pack it out after the concert and blast techno music all night. If you want to do that then do it, I’m fine with it. Just don’t try to appeal to all masses of inward capital, that’s something I can’t stand. But the place was roomy, therefore very simple for me to the front. I wasn’t leaning on the stage, but the guy in front of me was. 

     So here we go, Fall on your Sword hits the stage. I’m hanging toward the back checking out the crowd building up for Local H. I was talking to some of my peers; most of the people I ran into were in the same boat as I was having never heard of either band and just there for Local H. Anyway, I notice a screen behind the band with this like slideshow sort of weird interesting funny things mixed with a little bit of Atari-like video game sequences. I thought that was pretty cool. Other then that, nothing was cool about these guys. I saw duel male vocalists, the primary was on keyboard and the guitar player was singing too; sometimes. Their drummer had this stupid Afro puff hairdo going on and after the set walked around Webster Hall unnoticed and not paid attention to. The vocals and or lyrics were a little whiney whether it was subject manner or just a whining sound. At one point during a song the guitarist/half singer stopped playing and started playing that thing with the bells that you bang on your hand. Definatly not the type of rock and roll and I came to see. And I herd a kick-drum! New rule, do not ever EVER attempt to incorporate “techno/house” into music your calling rock. That only leads to more genres breeding, more confusion and most importantly more garbage music. So to the band “Fall on your Sword”, I say do it. Please.

     As I entered the place before the show started I walked over to the “merch” table so I could purchase my ‘Local H’ tee shirt. I asked the dude if he had a XXL he said no so I said “XL then, whatever gets me in my Local H gear” he said cool and it cost me $15 bucks, the lowest price I’ve ever paid for a band tee at a show. The dude who was selling the stuff looked familiar. I walked away thinking about where I knew him from. While I was talking to the two dudes who noticed me taking notes during the Fall On Your Sword set. The dude said “what’s that the hitlist?”, jokingly because we were making fun of this band their whole set. I told them I review the shows. Then the other dude says “Scott said they go on at 7:45. I was taken for a second, I said “Scott?? Scott Lucas?!” (the singer/guitarist for Local H). They were like “yea, he’s right there at the merch table. Always is, every time we’ve seen them”. I looked back and he wasn’t at there anymore as 7:45 was approaching, But lets stop for a second here. Scott Lucas sold me my Local H shirt! Are you kidding me?!?! This isn’t a new band or anything, they toured with Stone Temple Pilots back in 1996 and just put out a new album (which is very good, I recommend it). I had a brush with celebrity stardom and didn’t even realize it at the time. If you think I’m ever loosing this tee you have another thing coming.


Now on to the main event in my eyes, one of my favorite bands: Local H. The set was amazing as now I have moved up to the front, like very front. Not leaning on the stage, but the guy in front of me was. Songs ranged from new to old to the mildly obscure unknowns and it was all amazing. Some douche-bag was attempting a mosh-pit sort of out of his drunken mess of a self but he was thrown to the floor on many occasions. At one point during a solo Scott went over to them and hand gestured, in a non-prick sort of way for them to chill out (Axel Rose would have stopped the show until they were escorted out). The only real problem I had with the set was that they we’re not the headliner therefore had to play a sort of abbreviated set. The first couple of songs were (I don’t have the first song because I had to run out to give my partner in rock/photographer her ticket.) “Fine and Good”, “Michelle(Again)”and “California songs”. During the song “California Songs” there’s a lyric “and fuck New York Too!” which Scott did not shy away from being in the city. Another lyric in that song is “California Dreamin’s on the radio”, which was changed to, get this “Mother fucking Weezer’s on the radio”. Wow, is that beef right there? Is that fighting words? I like Weezer, actually if you read back I was at the show at Madison Square Garden and it rocked. Love Weezer, since 94. But I get what he means by it. It may not be a jab at Weezer as a band but that most of their songs are just that, California songs. It was very interesting at the time. Did I mention Brian St. Clair? He’s the drummer, let me tell you something you need to be a good drummer if your in a two man band get what I’m saying? This guy was relentless with every hit just kicking the shit out of that drum set. Hair swinging, reminded me a little bit of a poor man’s Dave Grohl, just with a shirt and pair of gloves on. The drumming in Local H is never slow and soft it’s a very busy drum sound. Okay, they got into “BMW Man”, “White Belt Boys”(off the new record), and “Hands on the Bible”. Then they finished up with they’re biggest hit “Bound for the Floor” followed by a song I hadn’t known by them titled “F—k Yeah, That Wide”. If you’re a Local H follower your saying to yourself “what? They left out all those other songs like ““Eddie Vedder”, “All the Kids are right” “Cooler heads”” this list goes on”. And that’s all valid statements, but you have to take into account that they’re not the headlining band and this band Electric Six is about to play a 17 song set.

      A 17 song set which made me absolutely sick. First off, there was way too much stuff going on up there on stage. We had a light show that almost put me in an epileptic seizure. They also had what I’m just going to generalize as “sound making machines”(kick drums, synthesizer, anything disco/techno related) in addition to the 2 guitarists, drummer, bass player and keyboardist. They even brought out a saxophone player at one point at which time I couldn’t hear one damn note, next time into the microphone please. Oh yea, and they’re amazingly arrogant, Andrew Volpe(From Ludo) wanna-be who’s not funny at all lead singer. And I had moved to the back because I needed something to lean on to write a few things down and I’m watching crowd surfing. Crowd surfing to this techno-rock garbage? Are you people kidding me? And at the beginning of like almost every song the singer was like “lets get some dance music going”. What? This isn’t a disco, it’s a rock concert. They play the type of music that someone who listens to techno/house/freestyle music would listen to and think they’re a death rocker because they like it. It was an absolute abortion I’m telling you. I guess that quote I read in the paper from Ringo Starr was right, the music business is not concerned in what anyone over 21 is listening to. And its sad really, that a band like Local H who have pretty much paid their dues with 4 studio albums has to be on the under card for such a terrible sad excuse for a band. One of the worst bands I have ever seen live. 

      Electric Six was so bad that halfway through their set (about the time balloons started being thrown from the stage; what a bunch of pansies) I look over towards the merch table and Scott Lucas was back over there, only this time with people realizing it was him. I went back over there because he was talking to everyone, shaking hands and taking pictures with people(while of course, selling merchandise). So I noticed they had 2003’s ‘No Fun’ EP for sale for 8 dollars. So when the crowd submerged I got over there and stuck my hand out, shook his hand and said “great show, you guys rock man” he said thanks then I said “Let me get the No Fun EP” and he said sure as I paid him I asked him to sign my ticket stub which he did without hesitation. Then and I notice Gina (photographer/good friend) is standing right there and I’m like “Scott can I get a picture with you” and this guy is like the coolest guy on the planet. Autographs, pictures, discussion; just an all around cool dude. The picture should be coming to me shortly and I’ll post it up here when I get the chance. 

     After the dreadful Electric Six set ended I was walking towards coat check when I see Scott, again at the merch table and I asked him “when’s the next time you guys are coming around” and he says “We’re goin’ on right after these guys”. Got to love the sarcasm, so I just said “I’ll stay on top of your MySpace page for tour dates” and he said “that’s the place to go”, I shook his hand again, thanked him for the great show and he said he’d catch me next time. 

     Incredible, absolutely amazing; I met someone who I sort of look up to. Maybe not a celebrity or high end rock star to you, but to me Local H is in my personal top bands list. And Scott is right, I will see them next time… and every other time they come anywhere close to my area. What a great night despite the other crappy bands, Local H rocked it.. and when they roll back through town you know the Jay Porks Experience will be there.... but until then, the next time you should hear from me is December 13th when I get to see the Meat Puppets at the Williamsburg Hall of Music in Brooklyn. No opening acts listed as of yet. Should be fun, catch you readers then. Late….

Special Thanks: All Photos Taken By Gina Sachi Cody 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Concert Review: Ludo @ The Knitting Factory NYC 10/20/2008

      I guess “My Addiction” is rocking out at concerts. Tonight was the seventh installment of the “Jay Porks Never ending Concert Series”, the place; The Knitting Factory NYC. The headlining act was the one and only Ludo who if you haven’t heard, are pretty good. The under card consisted of “Kids of Survival”, “House of Heroes” and “This Providence”, all bands I have not heard of. So let me run you down on them: This Providence is an “emo pop/ rock act from Seattle” so says All Music Guide. If someone can just explain to me what Emo is exactly, please do so because I’m more confused the more I look into it. House of Heroes is listed as a “Christian Rock” band on all the credible musical sites, they’re from Ohio, and to tell you the truth I didn’t hear them mention god at all so I’m not going to put that label on them. But lets start it off with the first act, Kids of Survival.

    Kids of Survival are from Queens, so we got some New York representation in the rock industry. I was sitting in a chair upstairs leaning on the balcony for them. There was this older guy standing next to me, I showed him where to get a chair. Before they start he turns to be and says in a sort of raspy older dude type voice “My son is the drummer in this band, so I want you to tell me what you think. Seriously.” I was like “defiantly “. They have a Myspace page and they’re listed as “Power Pop/Indie/Rock. Power pop sounds a little gay, but I like that sort of stuff. They didn’t sound power pop to me. Weezer and Fountains of Wayne are Power pop. These guys weren’t that, they had more elements of, I want to say emo because a lot of lost my girlfriend stuff was in there but they’re not that according to they’re myspace. They had some rocking songs though, and the drummer (who’s father I’m sitting next to”) hits it with strong conviction I noted to myself as they were playing. Probably the best song they played was a song called “My Addiction”, I’ll probably get it from iTunes later. They had thanked House of Heroes for letting them borrow some gear at the end of their set, which answered my personal question of “How does a band I never heard of afford Marshall amps?”.  

    After they went off I went downstairs to hit the bar, and then I finally found the spot where they were selling all the “merch”. Merchandise, is referred to as “Merch” at rock concerts, that’s like a rule. They had each band’s stuff set up in different parts of the room. I usually get a tee shirt but I was in a drinking sort of mood and with 6 dollar beers I wanted to conserve money, but I needed a Kazoo. In Ludo’s song “Love me Dead” there is a Kazoo crowd play along part at the end and I neew they had to be selling them. So I see a girl sitting down with one, and I start walking over and just when she’s about to say something I’m like “kazoo, where can get one?” and she replies with “oh, Ludo stuff is over there you should check out some of the Kids of Survival stuff.” So I’m like “what’s free?” and she says the sticker and I asked where do I put it and either her or one of the other Kids of Survival clerks said “Put it on your head”, And I was like “Hell yea, that’s a great idea” and proceeded to put it on my head. It was great, everyone loved it. this girl who obviously works with the band had a camera and was taking like a video of me with the thing on my head. She says “okay, do you know what band is on your head?” I stopped and remembered it and she was like okay and started recording and ask me who I just saw and she asked “did they rock?” and I said “ Absolutely, are you kidding me?” and she ended it there and was like “that’s great”. Another girl said to me “The band saw you, they thought it was great”. So I’ll probably be on they’re myspace page or something acting a fool with a sticker on my head. Great stuff. Then I turn to this other girl who’s standing by herself she heard me looking for kazoos and she asked “ Who you here for Ludo?” and I said “ Yea, you?” after she agreed I asked if she heard of any of the other band on the card she said “not the slightest”. So we were on the same page. I asked her if she came by herself and she said yea and I said me too and right there was the person I was hanging with all night. Her name is Amanda, and she recently moved here from Wisconsin(where she had seen Ludo 6 times already) and she was cool and showed me how to play the kazoo which I had purchased for, get this, ONE DOLLAR. Imagine? Something actually under priced because that’s not like a one time use kazoo, I will be carrying it around playing songs all day. So me and my new friend walked back towards the show floor. Now I’m on the floor level as oppose to upstairs, which did provide a great view but not a rock out effect I wanted to experience, and now I have someone to rock out with.

    House of Heroes, like I said I didn’t hear them mention god or anything so I’m ignoring the fact that they’re listed as a “Christian” rock band. They were very good, powerful hard sounding guitars. They had to be good because Amanda bought their CD after the show. I need to check out they’re catalogue; I can’t name a song they played because I can’t find they’re set list online anywhere. They’re from Ohio, so I guess Christian rock is different in Columbus. Played for about 45 minutes, they thanked the bands for having them and then the wait began for This Providence, which to my surprise had a lot of fans there.

     The wait was annoying, the previous bands were in and out and these guys where tuning up for what seemed to be hours. Amanda asked if I knew anything whatsoever about them I told her that I read that they were Emo. Now I’m an open minded guy, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band live and said to myself “wow, this is horrible”. But let me tell you something: wow that was horrible!! These guys looked straight off the “worst band ever” train. So now I know what Emo is, it’s garbage music. They had a drum machine/ kick drum sort of thing going on, adding the techno element to their music which in return made bad songs worse. The lead singer was wearing a scarf, a FREAKING SCARF! With a white tee shirt. Then, later in the set he tied the scarf to the mic stand ala Steven Tyler, which isn’t cool considering he’s belting out ballads of weak, wimpy stories in his lyrics. I swear one of the lines I heard was “I’m a coward, not a fighter!”. What losers. What a bunch of pansy emo kids. I’m sorry, but that’s unacceptable. Amanda turned to me after their set and said “yea, too bad. That’s pretty much what I expected”. Me and her we literally leaning on the wall the whole time, and the worst part about it is after they went off I saw all these kids leaving. Like, a lot of people were there to see this band? I feel sorry for them. so we moved up a little bit.

    On to the main event, LUDO!!! An alternative rock band from St. Louis, Missouri. They came out and did not disappoint. Their lead singer Andrew Volpe is a hilarious guy, just all around humorous and so into it. He and Tom Convy who plays moog (yes, it’s a instrument) had a lot of funny banter back and forth throughout the set. They played two songs off they’re new album to kick it off. One of them was “Dunken Lamont” which is a really good song. They have two previous albums so some other songs I couldn’t sing along to but they all kicked ass, every single one of them. Their second album is a concept album/rock opera about how this chick dies in 1989 and he travels back in time to try and stop it, from what I hear (and heard) it’s a good piece of music. That song was called “Broken Bride”, which is also the name of that record which came out in 2005. They also played ‘Topeka’, Lake Pontchartrain, Such As It Ends all are off the latest record “You’re Awful, I love you”. Halfway through about, they play their new single “Go Getter Greg” which I currently have as my Myspace song. So catchy, so hard, and so witty and funny all at the same time; this is the point in the show when I realize that this band could be really big one day with songs like this. “Ima go getter guy with a gun on my hip/just searching for that someone to be firing it”, I love those lyrics. Another thing, I love the jumping up and down to the songs. That is cool, that is official rock out status, and that’s what the atmosphere was like, especially during go getter greg. Then the band went off stage to leave Andrew up there to do a song called “The Horror of our love” solo which is a good song, would have been a better song had a fight not broken out about ten-fifteen feet from me to the right. I couldn’t see much, just a pile with event staff breaking something up. This guy Andrew Volpe didn’t miss a beat, kept his composure and didn’t do something dumb like stop the show or whatever. He had to have seen it because as he put it “I’m glad we sold out this place, all 84 of you bought tickets.”. He also made sure to thank the record company in between one of the songs saying “Yea, we’re not one of those bands that’s hates our label, we love the man! So we’re not cool because we like our record company”. The way he says things he could be a stand up comic. Anyway, that fight got cleaned up before that song even ended so didn’t really distract anything, just something worth noting. Then after an utterly brilliant performance they get into they’re big hit “Love me Dead” which is all over any good radio station right now. That’s the song where the Kazoo comes into play. And that was kick ass, I was freaking livid jumping up and screaming the words along with everyone else in there, that place was rocking hard. Tom (the moog player) made all of us in the crowd squeeze in for a picture he took form stage, he said it came out good and that they’ve only done that in Japan and Brazil. Hope they put that on the website. But wait a minute, Love me Dead isn’t their last song? What song is more rocking then that? well, I’ll tell you what song is. Andrew gets into a story saying that the next song is about something that happened in NYC in 1986 and nothing was ever the same and a whole bunch of funny non sense like that, then I hear a pretty familiar riff. Then I’m singing the words, “When there’s something strange/in the neighborhood/who you gonna call?” and we all screamed “GHOSTBUSTERS!!!”. That’s freaking amazing, you encore with the Ghostbusters theme song, and it rocked don’t get it twisted it was not corny or anything it kicked friggin tush. Then I ripped one of the Ludo posters off the wall when after we chanted “one more song” for like 10 minutes. 

    What a show, Ludo is such a great band live. They’re so into it, so good at it. They grab the crowd and put you in this like complete ‘rockin’ zone you can’t control. It was absolutely amazing. Take me a few weeks to decipher where it stands on my best shows list but its top three at least. So all in all I suggest checking out that band Kids of Survival, they’re were pretty good. And defiantly support Ludo, they’re on the rise, I have a knack for these things.

    Next up on the Jay Porks never ending Concert Series: Local H at Webster Hall in NYC! November 22nd they're opening for a band called Electric Six.  It should be good times. Thats followed up by the Meat Puppets(yes, again) at the Music hall of Williamsburg. I don’t think I’ve been to Brooklyn in like 5 years, it ought to be amazing, December 13th that goes down. I guess I’ll check you people then. 

Friday, September 26, 2008

Concert Review: Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. at Terminal 5 9/25/2008

THE MEAT PUPPETS!!!!! Wow, now that was something else. That was like a whole other experience. I still feel my pants shaking from the vibrations of the show. Tonight was the night, the last official installment of the Jay Porks Summer Concert Series. A band called ‘Built to Spill’ was headlining a show which featured the opening acts being the Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr(Dinosaur with all three original member Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph) respectively. When I first got this ticket I was so psyched, so pumped to see them. This would be the first time I get tickets to a show because I’m more interested in the opening bands then the headliner, which is good because the first 2 hours don’t have to be boring. All this and now the night had arrived. The venue: ‘Terminal 5’, which is 610 West 56th street and like 11th avenue, right by that Saab dealership. Doors open at 6:30pm and I make it to the place at about 6:20 and much to my surprise, there a line of like 30 people. Because in my eyes I thought everyone was there to see Built to Spill, that’s the only band even listed on the ticket. So I get padded down and walk in. Inside, its a really simple set up-just a hallway you walk down and which leads to the doorway of the standing room section by the stage. Its set up sort of like the Fillmore Irving Plaza was set up, there was an upstairs that you could watch from(there's actually a 2nd AND 3rd floor to observe from), a balcony wrapping around the inside of the venue . Had the aforementioned third floor too, but I didn’t go up any stairs tonight. I grabbed my Meat Puppets shirt in the little vestibule between the doors and the stage for 20 bucks, (which wasn’t so bad considering I paid 35 for a Weezer shirt at Madison Square Garden last night). Grabbed a beer for 6 bucks, which again was not so bad, then I head over towards the stage because I noticed not many people were over there yet; the show doesn’t start for an hour anyway. So I walked over and landing myself a spot leaning right on the barricade about 5 feet from the stage. I reached out and touched the stage like, I thought to myself "Wow this is fucking sick". Then I met a few cool people standing in like my area. We’re right in front of the microphone that Curt Kirkwood is going to be playing at (vocals/guitar). So the two kids to my right they saw me and were like “hey dude, just can I ask you a question, have you ever heard Built to Spill?, who are they?” I shook my head and told them “never even knew who they were until I saw they were playing with the Meat Puppets” and they’re like “yea man! Exactly, we’re just here for the Meat Puppets, they kick ass” and I’m like “-and we’re right fucking here” and everyone’s in agreement that this is going to be a kick ass night. We ask the kid to the left of me, who is he here to see. He says “ I’m here to see the Meat Puppets and Dino, I never heard of Built to Spill until this show” and at that point I’m thinking, finally some people I can relate too. We were just shooting the shit for like the whole hour before the puppets came on. We made fun of all the “hipsters” who are just showing up to see Built to Spill and didn’t even know there was opening acts. After about 5 people, we found a Built to Spill fan. “And now the brothers Meat come up on stage..”, and here comes Curt Kirkwood with his Fender Stratocaster with little stickers on it. Looked like those things you get out of those 25 cent vending machines, and they appeared to be butterflies and turtles and stuff to that nature. Also, Curt was not only wearing pajama pants but the stains on them appeared as if he was just painting his garage or something. It was hilarious, then his brother Cris who plays bass came out looking like his same old fun self.. I hate when people sober up and forget how to be normal and fun-not the case here..he gets into these zones with the bass that look like a seizure that's really cool.. glad he's got it together.. . Curt pulls his pick out of the pocket of his very comfortable looking plaid pajama pants and we’re ready to go. What a set they did. Most of the songs there was no pause in between, just played straight through to the next one. And the Meat Puppets do things live so much differently then they do on record and not one show is ever the same. Someone I was talking to on who has seen the Meat Puppets 14 times once described them as “the Grateful Dead, for people who hate the Grateful Dead”. Now I like the Grateful Dead, but I understand the analogy. I think they maybe paused between a song once, and during that 10 seconds one of those kids who are on my right while everyone is screaming requests screams “SLAYER!!! …” laughs and says “yes, I’m going to be that guy”. That was great, that’s when they went into “Severed Goddess Hand”. Great song- Also played an effervescent version of “Look at the Rain” The guitar work during these songs is god-like. A classmate of mine was showing me on the ferry how to use the pick and strum up with your pinky like and I thought that was insane(coming from somebody who owns, but cannot play guitar). But Curt Kirkwood at one point was strumming with three separate fingers while cuffing the pick between his middle and ring finger. It might have been four fingers at times, dude is just that amazing. And he would constantly adjust the feedback and turn it all the way up causing this fuzz and distortion which was like the living end; it was like when Grant took Richmond. “Plateau” was outstanding, truly incredible. I was screaming the lyrics along with the rest of the apparent crowd. I wasn’t too sure what the atmosphere of the crowd was because everyone was behind me; I could smell the fact that Curt didn’t brush his teeth, that’s how close I was. They played a few songs off their latest 2007 album 'Rise to your Knees' as well.. It's as if whatever Curt feels like messing with distortion wise with his guitar he just goes, and its freaking incredible. “Oh Me” was great when they got into that, my little posse was rocking to that. They finished it off with “Lake of Fire”, which included a solo that lasted about 10 minutes and made everyone think they were starting like a different song. It was a really fast version of it, far from the one on “Meat Puppets II”. It rocked, during it Cris Kirkwood’s bass unplugged from the amp and he was like jamming the shit back in there. After that they went off, I don’t even think I they said one word to the crowd. In previous shows I’ve been to, the opening act spends half there night thanking the band for letting them open for them. Not the Meat Puppets, their epicness precedes them. They’re the effin’ Meat Puppets, been around since like 82. Interesting thing after their set, Cris and the drummer headed right off stage but Curt was on stage with the roadies packing up his own gear. Unplugging all the amps and his various fuzz box pedals. He had to lean over to unplug a wire right by me and I was right there and I didn’t know what to say, so I blurred out “Curt! You fucking rock man!” and he didn’t even look, good thing too, because I sounded like such a loser. What a performance, nothing could top it. The Meat Puppets!! I saw them!!! I could die happy now.    Let us not misinterpret what I’m saying here. Because Dinosaur Jr put on a set that kicked ass to the fullest extent as well, J. Mascis is very meticulous with his guitar and amp set up with 6 amps set up almost surrounding him, and every amp on stage has a microphone up against it which just continues in to the theme of distortion and feedback heavily used in songs. A great band to possibly set the tone for Dinosaur Jr seems to be the Meat Puppets because both bands use similar elements in their music. Not only that, but J had some big tall like control panel sort of thing next to him that he kept messing with. Wish I was closer to Mascis. See, I was near the microphone that Curt Kirkwood was at, but J.Mascis uses the opposite one. They kicked off with “Tarpit” which rocked and made me realize in person how good J.Mascis plays guitar even if it was from 20 feet instead of 5. Lou Barlow plays a mean bass though, he was right there and I mean right there because he kept leaning over to look at the piece of paper to see what the next song was. And the drum set was much closer too, Murph was like right there, and he’s a pretty powerful drummer. One of Lou’s bass strings snapped during like the first or second song, he looks to pick up his extra-but its not there.. So he like runs behind the amp looking for the roadie with his other bass. Murph was drumming and he looked up and didn’t see Lou, he made a face as if to say “wow, we’re gonna break up again already?”. It was great, Lou runs back and I’m thinking wow he got a new string on there pretty quick. No, he came back with it playing three strings. I guess he didn’t see his other one, which was brought out during that second song. Lou’s bass sound differs from Cris Kirkwood’s because his is a lot more relevant in the structure of the song, it’s much harder, nosier and more distorted. He was rocking out, I got some pictures of him on my phone but they suck because my phone sucks. I was hoping he’d throw one of his picks out into the crowd because Murph threw his drum sticks to someone. but he didn’t, he let the roadies pack it up. They closed with “Just Like Heaven” but to tell you truth I didn’t know the names of most of the songs they played because their vocals went virtually unheard the entire set.. I know the Mic was on because I heard J say “here’s a song” followed by noise.., I think the extent of the noise they use made it so loud that it was just overpowering. Or, maybe I was just so close that I was hearing the guitar and bass at such loud, blistering volume that it was just me who couldn’t hear it well. I felt my teeth vibrating in my mouth that’s how friggin’ loud it was. It kicked ass. I did end up getting the set list of the songs they played, but I didn’t have to search online to find it. while the roadies were cleaning up the stage I kept screaming “DUDE!!! Let me have the set list!! Its right there I need it for my blog!!! Come on!!!”. The list was literally just a inkling out of my reach from grabbing, it was duct taped on the amp in front of Lou. I saw them put it there before the show, and I wanted it bad. And one of the roadies finally saw me while he was ripping it off the thing and he tossed it to me, still with the purple tape on it and everything. I HAVE THE SET LIST!! How freaking awesome is that! Celebrity memorabilia right there. I was in fucking awe at the fact that I was holding that in my hand, something to always remember and not just the ticket stub and wristband. This is going right on my wall next to my Slash poster. As written on the paper, I will write it here. Some of the songs don’t have the whole title. It says: Tarpit, Been There, Back to Heart, Out There, Feel Pain, Wagon, Swan, Freak, Sludge, Heaven. Freaking amazing. Oh yea, Built to Spill played too right? Well, I really wasn’t sure because I was out of there once I got that set list.. I have just seen the Meat Puppets-a band that I wanted to know more about since they climbed upon that MTV Unplugged stage back when I was 7 years old.. I figured it would be best to cut my losses at this point and chalk up the night as a win...And besides, I have school the next day. Can’t

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Concert Reveiw: Weezer @ Madison Square Garden 9/24 (with Angels and Airwaves and Tokyo Police Club)

Another show attended and yet another reason why I choose correct all the time when it comes to this whole concert thing. Unbelievable show tonight, Weezer at Madison Square Garden with Angels and Airwaves and Tokyo Police Club. Weezer just rocks plain and simple, music critics shun them all the time and I don’t get why. They’re fucking amazing; they never sold out money or shit like that. Same types of tunes keep coming out. The latter two bands I’m not to familiar with or at least wasn’t until tonight. Good bands, and by the end of the night, they had earned there spots on that MSG stage even if it was as an underlying gig play to a cavernous arena at the moment.

So me and my father get to city like before 5 a clock, find a parking space and sit in the car and pre-game for a little bit. Show didn’t start until 7:30 and we bought lots a beer anyway so we chilled. So we’re sitting there listening to the radio and getting fucked up when we decide to head over there because we’ve been listening to the Tokyo Police Club record in the car for the ride there.

Let me inform you people, considering I wasn’t to up on the where’s and when’s of Tokyo Police Club, it’s quick and to the point. They’re from Canada, they had a band, it broke up and they formed this band after performing at the Montreal Pop festival and being noticed. This year they released they’re major label debut and I would recommend checking out they’re MySpace page, they have a blog is what I hear. So they play 7:30 till 8:00 o’clock, I can’t name any of there songs but they didn’t suck at all. I think one of there songs had an extra kick-drum used which was a little to my chagrin, but all and all they could have been a lot worse, my father was digging them and he know a whole lot more about music then I do.

The e-mail I got from MSG gave me some “show details” so the deal was that after Tokyo Police Club there was going to be a “brief” intermission before Angels and Airwaves come on at 8:30. Again I’ll explain, since I really didn’t know I doubt you people do; Angels and Airwaves are a band from San Diego formed in 2005 after singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge was out of a job because his former band, Blink 182, just never ended hiatus. It’s funny because the drummer from that band was like in a plane crash recently and almost went down Buddy Holly style, and I’m at the Weezer show!! Get it? If you don’t then you think I’m really mean but whatever. With Atom Willard (formerly of The Offspring) on drums they’d from this band. They’re major label debut “We Don’t Need to Whisper” was released in 2006 and they’ve been chugging along since. And apparently have a huge following because they’re we’re a lot more cheers and love shown for this band by the people in the lower levels and the standing room only area in front of the stage. It was that surprising to me because I never really had heard of them, in fact I knew exactly as much about then as I did Tokyo Police club. But these guys actually had a like back round thing with there name and an actual light show. That’s the thing I’ve noticed about the shows I go to with opening acts. The bands equipment and stage props get better as the show goes on, the first band is usually shitty sounding (not tonight, but at other shows) and it improves. As did tonight, and Angels and Airwaves rocked it, the rest of the people I mean. Listen, I’m not saying that I didn’t like them, I just don’t usually have judgments on stuff when hearing it just one time. so the jury is still out, but the crowd was loving them. Maybe because it had gotten later and people had enjoyed more beer and got louder, whatever the case may be the band got a pretty good ovation when they went off stage at 9:45. that’s when I went to grab another beer.

And it finally getting towards the main event, the band everyone came to see. A band that’s been rocking since 1992 (says Wikipedia but there debut came out in 94, I bet anything) ladies and gentlemen here is Weezer!!

Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer and guitarist for Weezer comes out sarcastically speaking Spanish and says “Como es tas?”, which was fucking hilarious. Then when we’re laughing at him he says “Muy Bien…”. After that they kicked off the show with “My Name is Jonas”, a great song from disc two of the Weezer(Blue)Deluxe that came out few year back. The place was crazy everyone standing including us everyone singing along, and that’s a constant theme to the night; me knowing the words to every song because they frickin’ rock. And guess who was smart enough to bring a pen and paper this time to mark down the set list. I didn’t write the first couple I had forgotten I had I might be missing a song. Anyway, they went in a song off there 1996 album Pinkerton called “Pink Triangle”, its about being in love with a lesbian. Great song, then they played “Susanne”, another song that’s amazing and exactly what needed to be played at that time. They move swiftly into “Dope Nose”, which is off there 2002 record Maladroit. I didn’t know the title until they went into the chorus I will admit. At this point I’m thinking “wow, they’re being pretty obscure, not what I expected”, because I was expecting them to play all the stuff off the new album Weezer(Red) but they only played 5 songs off it, and all rocked. Anyway after dope nose they get into “Say It ain’t so”. One of there best songs by far; it’s about an alcoholic father or step father or both it’s kind of confusing. Love the guitar feedback on that song, what an amazing experience, and my dad approves. Then if my list is correct they brought out Tom DeLonge from Angels and Airwaves to sing on “Undone: The Sweater Song”, was a huge radio hit back in the day and it seems that every song that comes on it everyone’s favorite song. That’s how good this band is, all there songs are great. After the sweater song the had the crowd eating out of there hands so they busted out “Dreamin’” from Weezer(Red). That’s one of my favorite songs off there new album, its just so classic Weezer and at the end there’s a lyric repeated (4x) where River’s Cuomo is screaming “NO I DON’T WANNA GET WITH YOUR PROGRAM!!”. Song is intense man, I suggest you give it a listen. Then of course “Pork and Beans”, which with me being Jay Porks is pretty cool. That had the standing room only section in front of the stage rocking, I peeped that. Then Rivers says they need to end the show with a bang so they play “Troublemaker”, which is another song I like off they’re latest record. Then Rivers runs off stage as if the shows over, because he’s doing the rock star “encore” thing. So with him absent from the stage, the band gets into yet another quality track off the new album, a song called “Automatic” which The drummer Pat Wilson (who moves to guitar for that song) actually sings on it, a few songs on the album are sang by other members, another reason why its so good. After that song, Rivers blasts back on stage and the band gets into everyone’s favorite Weezer song; “Hash pipe”. Everyone is banging to hash pipe, anyone can relate. After that with the energy at its peak they get into a song off Pinkerton called “El Scorcho”. The opening lyric is “God dam you half Japanese girls do it to me every time”, very catchy. I love that damn song, and my half Japanese friend Gina from jersey does too.

Then, they make another attempt at trying to make us think they’re ending the show and proceed to come back out and play “I’m the Greatest Man that Ever Lived”, off the new album and I also had on my MySpace profile for a while, I thought I was the only one who digs that song but the building almost came down. After that they said goodnight and went off stage.

Here’s where thing being to get interesting. 9.23 K-Rock had this contest going on where you could win a chance to play on stage with Weezer during this show if you can play an instrument and text message fast enough. So the first actually encore they came out for was with like 30 people ranging from kids to young adults all with different instruments like one dude with a trumpet and even a dude with a cowbell, I am not kidding. And they come out acoustic. So they play “Island in the Sun”, with this recently formed 30 piece orchestra of non-professionals and you know what, that shit sounding great. Some of the instruments you couldn’t hear, but I’m amazed that no one messed that up at all, sounded great. Rivers turned during the song and said “who’s got the solo??” and this dude with a saxophone started playing it note for note just absolutely perfect. The crowd was going nuts. Then they did one more song with the contest winners and it was a lighter version of “Beverly Hills”, obviously it’s not going to be as hard because it’s acoustic. Those kids rocked that song too, and when he asked who had the solo for that one, someone with a trumpet just let it rip. Those dudes rocked, how do you win a contest, get on stage at the Mecca, Madison Square Garden and not do anything stupid. Not only that, but perform well?? I thought that contest was like a joke and when it got late I thought they forgot about it but they brought them out there. Then after those two songs they left the stage again to a huge hand. A minute or two later an old school looking record player was set up in the middle of the stage and it had a spotlight on it while it was playing “Heart Songs”, another great song off the new record. Not even 20-30 seconds into it just playing that song with nobody there Cuomo runs over to it and kicks it over, breaking it I believe an they plug there guitars back in and jump into a familiar sounding song that I couldn’t name. I found out it was a cover of an Oasis song called “What’s the story morning glory?”. They do it better then Oasis, it rocked.

Then all of a sudden, I hear a bass riff that made me jump out of my seat. I didn’t think it could be true, could all my dreams have finally been lived? I thought it might have been one of those jams in between songs but no, they played it. They played “Sliver”, one of the best songs ever by the best band ever: Nirvana. They covered it good too, and when Rivers covers Nirvana songs he never tries to sound like Kurt Cobain, he does the song in a Weezer way. And I was freaking rocking while Sliver was on, that’s like in my top five songs of all time probably. That caught me by total surprise, I didn’t think they’d do anything “outside the box” sort of say. And while that song was playing there was crowd surfing down in front of the stage, I saw at least two bodies surfing along the crowd. It was amazing, that right there made that the best show I’ve probably ever seen. Hearing a Nirvana song performed live by Nirvana-influenced band is great stuff. I love that damn song. After Sliver, they played “Buddy Holly”. Which turned out to be the last song, the solo was bliss though. That’s the song you got to end with, it was such perfect timing. The set list was so balanced, every song placed in the best possible position, no songs that I was expecting to hear were left out. The best show I have ever seen.

This is a show I really wish I could just sit and revel in the greatness of, but it a quick turn around for me as I have a ticket to see the Meat Puppets and Dinosaur Jr. tomorrow in the city. So you could stay tuned for that show review, I hope I was able to pass along the enjoyment I had tonight to you. That’s if you made it through this whole thing, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CONCERT REVIEW: Lez Zeppelin @ the Fillmore New York Irving Plaza 9/13

Okay, so the Fillmore East is no longer in its same location, but it’s pretty damn close. And no band could possibly be Led Zeppelin, but I must say that Lez Zeppelin is pretty damn close. There’s nothing like a nice cool almost autumn breeze coming from the open window of the ferry on the way back from yet another long night of hard rocking.

So I get into this place like right when the doors open at 8 (show starts at 9) and I’m directed to the wristband station and I’m just looking around scoping the joint out. The building looks really classic like as you walk up the stairs you have the framed pictures on the wall of all the acts that have been at the Fillmore. Photos of Eric Clapton, the Grateful dead, Pete Townshend, Elton John, Willie Nelson, Elvis Costello and this is all off memory, im leaving out like 40 others; Radiohead, The White Stripes, Tom Petty and Jane’s addiction. I felt the rock and roll history flowing through my veins right there while walking up that stairway to heaven even though it’s 2 blocks away from the original. They (Livenation and Irving Plaza) did a very good job in making that place an exciting venue to see a show, I wonder what Liquid Swords is going to be like tomorrow night.

I get done looking around, scouting out where I’m going to be situated. There are two floors, the top balcony upstairs where people are soon to be hanging off ledges rocking out and the main floor which is like 50 feet of free roaming space to stand and cause a complete “moshpit”; that’s where most of us wanted to be and ended up. It’s sick because the floor looks like a gym floor with the wood finish and shit, and the stage had a theater-like screen in front of it before they pulled it up so the band could play; the place was smaller then a one of the theaters at the South Avenue United Arts, which is a fucking incredibly great thing if your seeing a rock concert. And there are bars everywhere. 2 upstairs, like 3 downstairs and a beer on tap like near the door. And the “Smoking section” is one of the exit doors only they gated off like 15 feet of space for us to smoke. Because us smokers nowadays need to be confined to little hidden corners and back doors because we are not human because we smoke cigarettes (and by the way, yes I did light up some pot right there just for spite of it). So since I’m early, it is time to get drunk and quick. I had already smoked mad pot outside and sticked up to an entire different extent. So I hit the bar grab a beer or two before the opening act “In Flight Radio” comes out to do there set.

From what I’ve read about the band “In Flight Radio” I really wasn’t looking forward to it too much. I thought they would get the absolute opening act treatment considering who the fuck are these people to rain on our Lez Zeppelin parade? To my surprise, the band wasn’t bad at all. Not going to say that I’ve joined the fan club or anything, just saying that they had my head nodding and had won over the crowd by the time the lead singer known as “Peira” put her powder blue electric guitar down and starting tuning an acoustic for a song. It’s kind of quiet for like a minutes already and I’m waiting for someone to scream it, I’m looking around like where is the dude who’s going to say it? Well, I had to do what needed to be done. I screamed “Freebird!!!!!!!!” and a shit load of people near me were busting out laughing and Peira while chuckling says “I was waiting for that one”. She didn’t see me personally I was too far back at this point, but her being able to hear it makes it so great a place to see a concert. I’m fucking deaf right now.

A little while after In Flight radio went off I went to the bar to get a vodka tonic (look at me, I’m a baler ordering 9 dollar drinks). So I see a familiar looking face coming towards the bar from like this side of the stage door thing where they kept spare equipment and shit. Guess who the fuck is coming to bar to order a drink? It’s fucking Peira, the lead vocalist/guitarist of In Flight Radio. And like I’m leaning on the end bar and Peira orders a drink. No one is like coming up to her or anything, so I say “hey great show, how bout an autograph?”. This chick looks dead in my eyes, sips her drink and walks away from me without saying a word. Memo to people in bands: You can’t big time someone when your small time yourself.

And to the main event, Lez Zeppelin: The only credible Zeppelin cover band I could think of and the crowd that was there knew that. I was actually wondering how the atmosphere was going to be, but everyone there kicked fucking ass, everybody was cool. I hung out with like 5 different pairs or trios of people like just shooting the shit smoking cigarettes.

When these chicks hit the stage, it was freaking insane the amount of energy they brought with them and bounced those vibes off to us the audience. I was seriously no more then 25 feet(estimated because I’m not taking a Math class this semester) from the guitarist Steph Paynes who I can’t say enough good things about. No, of course she’s not Jimmy Paige but she holds her own without a doubt. Along with bringing out the double neck 18 string guitar for a song or two, some of her solos(along with drugs and the light show) put me in a dazed and confused sort of state. And they were moving into each song quickly as if you didn’t know the other song stopped. They performed all of Led Zeppelin II, and of course they did “Heartbreaker” then going directly into “Living Loving Maid”. And they lead singer of Lez Zeppelin Sarah McLellan was like fucking amazing hot looking. I was singing the songs, looking at her and her on stage movements and shit and I was like “this chick is getting me pretty horny right now”. And that’s probably the effect Robert Plant gave off to the females (or gay dudes[not that there’s anything wrong with that]) at the old scholl Led Zep shows. She was wearing these jeans and the way she held the microphone wire, damn. That show was friggin’ great. Are they a band played on the radio? No. Have they ever toured Japan? No, but in two weeks they’re going. Point is, this shit fucking rocked, and I’ll go to any show at the Fillmore NY Irving Plaza now, anytime any day. What an amazing show, great venue and such good times.

But, as the song says “Good Times, Bad Times”. One flaw to the show, which was very peculiar to me, was the fact that they didn’t play “Stairway to Heaven”. Are you freaking kidding me? No stairway?? I had half a blogged mapped out on the amazing solo I was going to see when they encore with that song. But it was not to be as they encored with Kashmir, which is a great song and was performed top notch but just I’m sitting there wondering where the hell “Stairway to Heaven” is? It Led Zeppelin’s like signature song!! I leaned on the stage as they took apart the set just to make sure that they weren’t going to come out and play it. Well, I guess when she gets there she knows that the store are all closed.

All and all as rambled on in this thing, it was a great show. Next up on the Jay Porks Never ending concert circuit is Weezer at Madison Square Garden September 24th. I guess that’s the next time you’ll be hearing from me.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

CONCERT REVIEW: 311, Snoop Dogg and Fiction Plane at the PNC Bank Arts Center NJ (07/19/08)

     So better late then never I finally will piece together the night that was Unity Tour 2008 passing through the PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, NJ on Saturday July 19th. The much anticipated 311, Snoop Dogg and Fictoin Plane show had the door opening at 6:30 so we planned to arrive around 5-5:30 to pre game in the parking lot. Right? Wrong, because the PNC Bank Arts Center prohibits drinking in the parking lot for shows that "attract an underage audience"-Since 2007's version of 'Ozzfest' came to this place they've tighten up security after reports of two people at the concert who overdosed(Two? Ozzy and who else?).. Now not only do we have a car full of booze going to waste(which coincides with us emptying wallets inside and a THREE drink limit) but I've still got this extra ticket I needed to get rid of, how am I going to do that from inside? More importantly how am I going to buy pot in the parking lot with all these cops walking around? As soon as I thought that some guy passed by me and said "tickets". So I said " I got an extra", he asked where and I let him know it was a 'lawn seat'. When he said "how much you want?" I replied with "how much you got?"(that kind of cracked me up inside, I'm usually on the other end of these deals). So the dude gave me 20 bucks (face ticket value) and that was the end of that fiasco about 2 minutes after showing up. So we headed in and after we attempted to pound a few beers in the car and we sipped those frozen wine drinks ($13!) while waiting to for the "doors" to open. So we get in and are hanging around on the lawn and by the concessions where I bought my 311 tee shirt for a moderate $25. 

I hardly noticed while walking in that Fiction Plane is up on stage playing already and they're  getting the opening act treatment to the fullest extent I've seen ever so far at a live show. The place wasn't close to half full as people shuffled for the duration of their set.. While we were walking up the lawn looking for a spot all of a sudden I heard Fiction Plane belting out their most popular tune to date: "Two Sisters" and before I could even start to enjoy it it was over and turned out to be their last song. Overall I probably would've enjoyed it a bit more if we were in smaller space and not at a venue where the it's basically a stage with seats in front and a big hill of grass behind the seats.  I mean ..I saw  a few fans (older folks mostly) sporting "Police" and "Sting" tee shirts walking around. I can't find the set list anywhere on the web but I'm almost positive they didn't play "Cold Water Symmetry", which is another song they do that I love. Maybe one day I catch these dudes in a smaller, sweat box type venue where I could really take in the experience.

   Then began the waiting game for Snoop Dogg to get on stage, I mean the place went crazy every single time roadies brought out a stage prop. Turned and noticed suddenly we're packing out the lawn very quickly-as about half these people are eagerly awaiting the only act they came for for. Which isn't unheard of nowadays with every artist playing with 2 to 3 other bands at a time, some fans are only there for one act or two. Snoop came on around 8 o clock, probably a little after (I knew I should have brought a pad to take note!) and to much roar from the now rushing to the front of the lawn waiting crowd which we were a part of. We were basically-well not basically-literally leaning on the gate that separates the seats from the standing room only lawn area (which didn't rent out lawn chairs for this particular event). This is far closer then I've ever been standing lots of people bunched together and everyone waiting for there favorite Snoop hit to be played, which every one of them was from "What's my name?" to the new single "Sensual Seduction" and everything in between. "Lodi Dodi" to "Murder Was the Case", it was an amazing set. Oddly, I didn't see a DJ on stage although they could've been hiding one behind the drums.. When Snoop first walked on stage, he came out surrounded by three dudes who lets face it, these guys define the word 'Thug'. If these dudes walked down my street-I'd think they were definitely going to rob me.. Then they spread and picked up instruments one jumping behind the drum kit and the other two hitting guitar and bass.  It was weird to see, but you got me impressed. What also impressed me was how much weed was getting smoked and how good it smelled. Like that was a mix of lots of exotic weed like with mad different people from different places. Someone in a wheelchair was with us on the lawn, which I thought was really 'gangsta' because there is plenty of Handicap seating available but this person chose to party with everyone else. And Snoop's "band" actually played the songs, he had a good drummer too. But I noted some stuff down when I got home later about what happened doing the Snoop Dogg set that I can't re-word if I tried, I'm just going to have to read from it and see what I could do. Well, lets just say that during Gin and Juice I got mauled by like 5 chicks who I could guarantee all were at least 18(hopefully). These chicks were fucking hot and grindin all over me and it was so hot and wheather they were making fun of me or trying to rob me, I copped alot of feels so i was happy. Best part was when this one chick was grindin on me and her friend was grindin on her and the one on me reaches back and like puts her hand on the back of my head and is just like loving the hair, it was so great.  I love the idea of chicks grindin on me without me having to do much but never actually experienced it to tonight. I noted that no body will believe me but I also noted how much I don't give a crap. It was a fucking great night. While that was my personal highlight for the night it only got better from there.

   Right after Snoop went off around 9 maybe a little after (damn the absence of that pad), there were rumblings down by the taped off entrance to the seats from the lawn. Word on the street was that they were letting us down into the seats. A few of us knew, some people were leaving and heading towards the beer and I'm think wow I'm going to get to stand down there for only 20 bucks? So a bunch of us are crowding by the opening, I'm saying shit about the security guard to Rodney and I'm like "she can't even hear me" and she shoots me a stern look. I guess she could hear me…

     So they finally start letting us down into the seats and it's un-fucking believable like I paid 20 bucks for this and I'm sitting in the isle seat with no body in front of me blocking my way, and I've never been that close before so it was scene man. When 311 came on everyone got up and didn't sit for a while, they played everyone's favorite song like. 'Amber' is a great song, amazing live. The basic 311 that everyone knows like "All Mixed up" , "Come Original", "Down"(which was like the 16th of 20 song set, fucking amazing), of course "Love song" (Love that fucking song, got it on my phone). They also had like a drum solo during there set, a bass solo (P-NUT!! BEAT THAT SHIT!!!), and this other weird drum thing where all five of them are playing drums it was fucking cool man I'm telling you, had to be there. The energy in that place was crazy, almost as crazy as the people getting caught smoking pot in the no smoking section. Come on guys, we already got down here at no extra charge and the rest of us got high during the Snoop set like normal people, don't make us all look bad. Anyway, when 311 made there first attempts to get off stage it was made quite obvious no one was leaving, that place got loud. Then they came back to do "Who's got the herb" which is an easy song to learn the words to, and they ended with "Feels so good". And it does feel so good. During the song I'm just thinking that to myself. What a night, it feels so good. Can't wait to tell everybody, what a way to end it; Who's got the herb? That's what I want to know. What a song, every song was good its like weird because your like bopping to the reggae/rap sort of sound and then you notice how heavy rocking each song is and how loud they play, fucking amazing.

     Amazing show, amazing night; I really can't think of anything more I could have asked for. They played everything I wanted to hear, not only 311 but Snoop also. I don't think Fiction Plane played "Cold Water Symmetry" but they don't have a set list posted on there website so I can't say that's 100 percent accurate. The opening act always sounds like shit for some reason(with the exception of 'Kill Hannah') I guess it's because they don't have doe for expensive, good amps and shit like that. On the way out I saw this kid like laid down in a bush like, he got up and he shirt collar was stretched and nose bleeding with his chick yelling at him while his eyes got all glossy like he was going to cry then got shove down again with loud roars of "Ohhhhh!!!!!" in the back round. Got to love it. this kid had like the perfect blood drip going, she defiantly cracked him, though I didn't see that so it can't be confirmed only assumed. And then we continue our walk to the car, get there and oh shit I have like 10 beers in the trunk!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Concert Review: Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band 06/27/2008 @ the PNC Bank Arts Center

      An extremely well put on show last night by a group of great musicians. That was probably the most technically sound show I've seen so far. These guys play like, I don't know, LIKE THEY ENJOY PLAYING MUSIC!! And for all you people that were heading towards the door during "With a little help from my friends" should be ashamed of yourselves. What? You need to beat traffic or something? Didn't you plan on attending a rock concert? Show started at eight and it ended like twenty minutes after ten its not like they went on all night like a Grateful Dead show in 1967 or something. Ringo Starr had the All-Star band in full effect with Hamish Stuart, Gary Wright, Colin Hay, Billy Squier and Edgar Winter. And of course I know that none of you people know who any of those names are, and I hardly know these people. But last night I got to know the band a lot more then I did or for that matter thought I would. I didn't think it would be that good, I thought I'm going there and like fucking around but my eyes were glued to that big screen man, shit was dope.

     I'm looking at the complete set list but I'm not going to list 25 songs but I'll go through the ones that you know and be you I mean probably nobody, because you people are clinically brain dead when it comes to music. Anyway, so I was in the parking lot waiting for my friend to show up and then I heard "Free ride" with Edgar Winter on vocals and I I like knew that song and so do you guys you just don't know that you know it. The same with the next song which was Colin Hay doing "Down Under" (he's from the band 'Men at Work') and that song is like the unofficial Australian national anthem like because I guess that's where dudes' from. Then Gary Wright steps up front and does "Dream Weaver" and at this point I'm like "whoa, I know like all these songs". Then Ringo did a song or two off the new record "Liverpool 8". Then as I'm walking to get a beer, I hear "Yellow Submarine" playing, of course as I'm waiting on line to buy the official concert tee-shirt. And by the way, that shit cost me 40 bucks man, that's not cool at all. I walked out of this place with like 8 dollars, 2 beers and a shirt and I'm out of money. Anyway, I get back to my seat and start blazing as Colin and Billy went with solo acoustics, respectively. Then here comes Edgar Winter back to the center like with his Keyboard on a strap like and he says " Just wanted to let everyone know, that I was the first one to use the strap-..board, the strap-..board". AND they have a sense of humor. He went on to explain that he didn't like being stuck behind the keyboard all night, then got into "Frankenstein". That is one hell of a song man, especially live in that venue when Winter is going from Keyboard, to Saxophone(plays a meeeeeeeeeeeeean saxophone, in other songs coming up too) to a little drums at the end. And by the way, when Ringo wasn't singing he was drumming and the hired drummer was also doing. Two drummers is a fucking hard thing to do, that's why only like two bands have ever done it('Grateful Dead', 'Captin Lipton and the Acid Commandoes', and I recently saw Modest Mouse doing it but it might just be for that one song). So on to Ringo doing two songs one of them having being "Never Without You", which is a song I recently discovered and sang along to. So I'm blazing the rest of my joint after they CUT OFF THE BEER AT 9:15!!! WHAT THE HELL???? and then a little later Gary Wright hops back on vocals to do "Love is alive", another song you all would know if you heard it. Followed up by Colin Hay doing "Who can it be now" with Edgar Winter playing sick saxophone, I mean its not like its Winter's song its Hays'. But anyway, Ringo does "Photograph", which is one of his biggest hits as a solo artist and then follows up with another one of his songs "Oh My My" and I found that song like a month ago so I was glad to hear and sing it. good stuff. Then Ringo starts saying we've been great, and "you know what time it is… we jog off stage into the night and come back on and do one more" like sarcastically and then he had us all sing along to the Beatles classic "With a little help from my friends". That was great too, because everyone knows it and its in some commercial now. Not by Ringo, but like a sped up version. And people just left like I sat there with my friend Gina and like watched them take the stage apart, he's a Beatle like and she says to me "You know, it makes me sick that this place wasn't packed and these people headed for the door before the last note hit. Do they have no appreciation for music?", something like that, and 100% correct there. It's the truth and it makes sense and want to know why she says things like that? It's because she knows music unlike some people I know and by some I mean all. So in the end I believe they only did two of the Beatles songs, which is typical Ringo trying to not profit off of songs written by a friends of his who are dead i.e. John Lennon, George Harrison. So all in all, incredible night, and I hope you all enjoyed hearing about it.Because I sure as hell enjoyed just thinking about it
     Next stop on the Jay Porks summer concert series, is 311 w/ Snoop Dogg and Fiction Plane on July 19th which is a Saturday Night. Gonna be a fun night, got some good, reliable friends who I've known a while attending. going to be an experience, because think about it. If i smoked all that pot at the Ringo show, and the STP show, then how much weed am I going to blaze at a show featuring 311 and Snoop Dogg??? stay tuned people.... stay tuned....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stone Temple Pilots Reveiw(05/31/2008) @PNC Bank arts center

      Okay, don't believe all the other blogs that you read saying that the Stone Temple Pilots show was bad. Those are just people who probably needed to be home by 11 pm like, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO TO A ROCK SHOW!! UNEXPECTED SHIT HAPPENS!! Okay so before I give the set list and what I personally thought of the show, I need to pay respect to Filter who was on the under card. Filter puts on a fucking great live show and going into this I knew 3 filter songs and I was loving there set. Of course they closed with "Hey man nice shot", which by the way when he asks the crowd to sing one line of the song, CAN YOU PEOPLE KNOW THE LINE!! I think I was the only person in that fucking place who knew to say "that's why I say hey man nice shot" on queue. But anyway like I said they were on the under card. The opening band was "Ashes Divide" which is one of the guys from that band "A Perfect Circle" and they weren't bad. Going in I had not known any of there music, but they did what an opening act for a huge band would do, they played to mostly empty seats, paying there dues and making the best of it. Between each of the bands, a K-Rock DJ came out and read off his list of advertisers, then repped the lawn seats as being "the real fans out there". so after Filter, Opie and Anthony(morning show, 92.3fm) came out and joked for like 5 minutes and then said coming up soon Stone Temple Pilots. That was about 9 o clock. Now, as its getting darker there is just more pot getting lit and smoked. The way I looked at it was, when I smell pot, I light up. And me and chach met this mad cool like 50 year old couple who where sitting right next to us and they had pot too and they gave me money for the first couple joints so we were just chilling(and not to mention that I later found out that they were at the Velvet Revolver, Alice in Chains show last year same one I was at). Mad bars being taken, sending Chach to get me beer (you know, the no i.d. situation) shit was cool. I was fucking wrecked for a while there.

      But like I said, Filter went off at 9. so we're getting high and wondering when the fuck is STP going to come on because the show is suppose to be 7-11 (some people are saying the venue closes at 11, THE VENUE CLOSES WHEN THE EVENT ENDS!!) so 930 hits and we're all waiting in anticipation for the first STP show in the NY/NJ area in 6 years. still smoking, because when It gets dark I guess the security guards go away or something because after Filter finished there set, everybody in that fucking place was blazing. Its nice to be high and shit but when 10 o clock hit we're all looking at one another like where fuck is STP? I texted a few people saying "if Scott Weiland just overdosed on Heroin, I'm breaking the story first" and at like 10:15, the boo birds came out. I turn to Chach and I'm trying to look on the bright side and shit I'm like "its showmanship". Cause you know, some bands do actually do it. they come on as late as possible and keep people in suspense waiting and wanting. But like I said, 10:15 is bad, and people will get restless, especially since they cut the beer at 10, so most of these people stocked up at 950 like to make sure. So I'm starting to get a little worried here, so I light another joint and start like making comments and having other drunk people like start screaming them. I was sitting there and people screamed "and coming up next FLITER!!". I start laughing and shout out "Scott Weiland O-DEED!!" and that got a lot of laughtr from the little drunk peanut gallery to my left, they we're screaming it too. Then I hit them with "he's the new Axel Rose!!" and that got a good laugh form a lot of the older people around me and that same drunk peanut gallery. When I shouted sarcastically "play some Nine Inch Nails" they ran with that. 10:25 hits and I turn to Chach and I'm like if this guys dead, they'd have someone out here stalling us or something.

     Like I said there was a lot of people booing from like 10:15 until they came on. But once they came on, THEY CAME ON!! They kicked things off with "Big Empty" and then they did "Wicked Garden" and I was really into, it was amazing live. It's a great song in general, but live was really nuts. And there Guitarist Dean Deleo was really putting on a show with his Gibson Les Paul, maybe because he's from Jersey, but he's moved up on my list of the greatest. Anyway I previously said that I'd know every word to every song, but I was mistaken because after Wicked Garden they played "Big bang Baby", and at that point I turned to Chach and was like "holy shit dude, I don't know which song this is" and that's part because they're song titles are so weird and never have anything to do with the song. But then it got back to stuff I know, playing "Vasoline" and then a song I didn't think they'd do live but when it came on was absolutely amazing was "Lady Picture Show". Holy shit that song live was fucking the living end. It was like when Grant took Richmond. At this point my life has already changed They then played "Lounge Fly" which is another one I didn't know the name to(they played four sngs that I couldn't name. I know them, I just get the names mixed up). Then shit got hectic with four straight fan(and radio) favorites with "Crackerman"(another fucking amazing song live, another guitar exhibition) "Sour Girl"(one of my personal favorites that hits close to home) "Creep" and the infamous "Plush". Plush was the crowds favorite up til that point, everybody singing along loving the atmosphere, I would hate to be somebody who absolutely loves this song and have missed out on going to see it. Then we have "Interstate Love Song" another fan favorite before we get into "Coma", which not to complain, but if your going to play one song off the "Shangri-La-Dee Da" record, it needs to be Hollywood Bitch, not Coma but like every time I keep thinking about it, Dean Deleo had every song sounding insane and at time he would just jam for like 5 minutes at the end of a song and not in a showing off sort of way either, he wasn't getting flashy or doing hammer pulls or anything out of the ordinary, just keeping it "in song". It was in a "yea, I've been playing guitar for 20 years I learned a thing or two" sort of way. Okay after Coma it was "Down" another song I know all the word too then "Sin" which is another song I couldn't think of the name of at the time. Good song, great live. And then of course they need to wrap it up with some more classics. So we had "Sex Type Thing", probably my favorite STP song (have I said that about every song?) and I just listened to it from the record like 5 minutes ago and oh man it's a different experience. Then "Trippin' on a hole in a paper heart" which rocked and since they came on late, they couldn't do the encore like the real way. Usually a band goes off, takes a shower changes cloths and stuff and when the fans don't leave come out for on more. Its like a rock concert thing. Anyway, they jog off stage and come right back on and play the hard, murky "Dead and Bloated" which is the only song you could play as an encore if you;ve already played Sex Type Thing.

       That 17 songs after coming on over an hour late. This was all it really lived up to be, greatest show I've ever been to. Chach said it was a great show, and we're talking about Chach here, who just called me from Summer Jam. The stage effects, everything was just off the fucking charts. What a fucking night…..