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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gorillaz Escape from Plastic Beach comes to MSG with N.E.R.D. 10/8/10

          Purchasing these tickets on Tuesday night for a Friday night show, I didn't expect premium seating.. Didn't need it at all.. What goes on people, thanks for stopping by and hoping on board the 38th Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series which takes us back to the Mecca- Madsion Square Garden, for NY's taste of the Escape From Plastic  Beach Tour with Gorillaz! Show is set to kick off at 8PM with N.E.R.D. billed as the opener.. This should definitely be interesting. I love cartoons and I love music by Gorillaz- so combining the two elements should be exquisite..

A few differences from when I was here last week for Alice In Chains- the floor pit section has seats as oppose to standing room. Also, I wasn't routed to another section upon arrival- sat in the seat listed on my ticket: Section 401.

N.E.R.D hit the stage a minute or two after 8PM.. Looks like visual effects will be tonight's theme- for an opener N.E.R.D had some light show going.. Three mini screens on the stage... Two hot chicks table dancing on each side of the stage- nice. I see two drummers with a dude on multiple keyboards in between them.. Guitar and bass player too- going with the full band. I appreciate "Hip Hop" ( if we wanna call this that) when a live band accompanies it. Makes it seems more, I don't know for lack of a better term, more real. Because truth is, if you play ME a beat I could rhythm to it, alot of people can. But ten minutes in I'm enjoying this- not even that "good for the opener" enjoyment- I legitimately like this.. Pharell says "since we're in the greatest city in the world where people know music, we're playing some new N.E.R.D." they then got into a song called " I've seen the light".. As the set progressed I got more and more impressed.. Here's the thing about us New Yorkers- most neighborhoods are ethnic ones, so we all learn to appreciate hip hop on one form or another- and when they closed out the set with "Lapdance", I was officially into it.. Seriously.. N.E.R.D. Just took the biggest stage in the world and killed it.. Great job- I'm sold.. They ended their set at 8:35PM

At 8:40 Matt Pinfield came on stage to pump us up for Gorillaz.. These days, Matt host the morning drive time (6-10AM) show on101.9 WRXP in New York City. Besides mentioning that the show '120 Minutes' will be coming back on the air soon(That's not a joke).. . He then told us that, get this: LOU REED WILL BE PERFORMING TONIGHT! Holy freaking god this is going to be crazy! Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Mos Def as well are in attendance and will all be making appearances..

A cartoon character appeared on screen as the lights dim at 9.. "When's this warm up band going to finish?", was what this angry green cartoon dude kept asking while looking with one eye straight at the screen straight at us.. Similar shorts like this made 2 more appearances throughout the night- then the screen cuts to a shot of Snoop Dogg- crowd goes crazy as they jump into " Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach", with Snoop Dogg on screen rapping his parts of the song.. The big Gorillaz neon sign on stage is lit and changing colors with moods and sounds.. directing sitting under it in chairs is the orchestral part of the band(horns and stuff) who are not seen- most of the time only being shown in silhouette(which was trippy). Light show is exuberant, different cartoons flood the big screen with each song. This looks like a pretty expensive production (but not over the top in the vein of Pink Floyd/It worked like in the vein of the Flaming Lips). The crowd gets crazier and crazier every song that passes- even I don't know all these Gorillaz songs, but they're rocking and there's nobody in there having a bad time.. “Empire Ants” was pretty jaw dropping to experience live.. Also I had some nice looking ladies dancing in the row to the front of me.. " Tomorrow Comes Today" almost half way through was the point where I went from really enjoying this night to just starring in amazement, repeating my signature phrase: “Wow”, to myself.. One of those moment where I kept reminding myself I almost didn't attend this show...

As I looked around to notice the only empty seats in the house were the ones to the far sides and behind the stage which during concerts aren't sold when the stage is placed where it is. I'm pretty shocked that Gorillaz(intended as a side project mind you) would sell that many more tickets than Alice In Chains two weeks ago. Upon googling it I saw one site listed the show as “Sold Out”- got my Tickets Tuesday night so not sure if that was official or not.. and while I'm taking a look around, allow me introduce you to tonight's rhythm guitar and bass- Mick Jones and Paul Simonon; they were in some band called ' The Clash', maybe you've heard of them. Keeping the melody flowing steady all night.. Then a Gorillaz cartoon version of Lou Reed was shown on screen, with Reed taking a pair of chopsticks to tangled wiring-had the XL forehead going just like the real life version. Reed came out to chants of “LOOOOOOOOOOU” and they played “Somekind of Nature”. During the song I can see(kinda) Reed signaling to the stage hand pointing at his monitor and pointing to the sky. He did this almost the whole song, I'm going to assume that meets “turn this shit up”, but again I'm in section 401 Reed exited the stage after that, as my dreams of hearing Gorillaz doing “Sweet Jane” were shattered. “Super fast Jellyfish” had the group of attractive young ladies in front of me excited, along with the rest of my section. Damon Albarn is a freaking genius man. Him and of course cartoonist Jamie Hewlett have created a monster, blending the brit pop sound of Blur's front man with completely unfabricated Hip Hop vibes. At one point during the set Jamie wanted to mention about how they played overseas, and then introduced us to what he call the “Arab American “ section of the orchestra. I am so glad he brought that to NYC in the midst of these bigoted New Yorkers complaining about a Mosque “near” Ground Zero. Glad that everyone in the building can see that people who are of Arab decent can  be and are just like all of us-they can be in an awesome friggin' rock band that is in the midst of ( I must preface this with figuratively)  burning down the house at the Garden. Incredible on so many levels!

    Anyway, as the night And the guest list doesn't  end as after they went off at 10:30 and then ran back out for the encore; Mos Def took the stage for “Sweepstakes”, De La Soul came back out for “Feel Good Inc.” (they may have made an earlier appearances-but the only person I could tell who it was without introduction was Jamie from my distance).. other in attendance performing on songs were Bobby Womack, Bashy, Miho Hatori, Bootie Brown and Yukimi Nagano.. And of course you knew this moment was coming- everyone's favorite Gorillaz song “Clint Eastwood”, with some of the rap lyrics changed(to the dismay of one of my YouTube commenters), Jamie even jumped the gun on the chorus first time around... It was great, and I recorded every minute of it! . “Demon Days” closed the out this night of insanity. Went off at about 10:53PM

WOW. Gorillaz, Escape from Plastic Beach Tour. Are you serious? Did this band really just put on THAT show? Did they really just tear down Madison Square Garden, the Mecca?? There was not a dull moment during the set.. Of course my personal highlight of the evening-LOU REED came out and performed! Incredible.. Seriously one thing I gotta get off my chest to everyone right here-I cannot believe I was just in the same building as Lou Reed! That is the stuff of legend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vaselines LIVE at Webster Hall NYC 10.6.10

Sub Pop records- 20 some odd years later they still have some real deal quality on their roster... Okay people, what the hell goes on? We're here coming to you for the 37th episode of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert series  and it brings us to Webster Hall, to see Glasgow's finest: The Vaselines. After an extended break ( about 20 years) Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee are back in the saddle, on tour in support of their latest release, " Sex with an X" . I caught them once before, in May 2009 as they set fire to the Music Hall of Williamsburg- completely killing a 20+ song set of their entire catalog. Now, with like 12 new ones in hand, it'll be interesting to see what songs make the cut tonight. Also be interesting to venture out to Webster Hall again.. Did not enjoy my last few concert experiences there if I remember correctly I saw the Melvins here last year and Local H back in November of 2008. Made it in time for the 5:10 ferry into the city- ticket says doors at 8 and show is at 9.. Should be fun. So let's take a stroll on yet another Jay Porks Experience shall we?

I got on line before 7, roughly an hour before doors were said to open.. There two lines, one for the Vaselines and one for “The Studio at Webster Hall” located downstairs-where they host DJ sets and that kind of stuff. I know, I also just threw up in my mouth a little bit. It gets worse: downstairs in the 'Studio' tonight at 11:30 is the " Built to Spill After party" (following their Highline Ballroom set which will be going on I'll assume at an adjacent time to the Vaselines tonight). I wouldn't wanna go see Built to Spill's concert, lead alone attend an after party for it. Why can't the club and concert scene be two separate entities? I hear these club goers chatting on line, and they think the random sounds of noise they listen to is music- ITS A BUNCH OF RANDOM SOUNDS! I freaking hate techno/house/freestyle music freaks with a passion known like no other. To put it short-I do not want to be near “those people”.

As I'm standing on line waiting for 8 o clock, word came via text from my father, telling me that Doc Halladay just no hit the Reds in Game 1 of the division series... Now there's a team I definitely do not want to see in the World Series as a Yankee fan.

About 8:20, after the doors finally opened and I grabbed a beer, made my way towards the front and I found myself perched on a foundation thing putting me about 3 feet above where I'd be viewing if I was standing on the floor- this is such a win.. And if event staff tells me I can't stay here my bag is sitting on the stage, ensuring my back up spot.. And once this place fills up I don't see how event staff will be able to reach me to stop my videos. So suck on that SubPop records for not answering my email requests for a photo pass.

Jeffery Lewis came out around 9 and as oppose to last tine I saw him when he opened for Dinosaur Jr at the Brooklyn Bowl back in January..That night it was just him and a projector with a sheet hanging up and he plugged in an iPod as his back up band.. Tonight :Jeffery Lewis and the Junkyard! Lewis on Guitar with a Bass player, Drummer , a girl on Violin and a horn player.. It was alright I must say.. He made me not hate him anymore.. We had to sit through 2 video/ history lessons he likes to do with the projector. His into cartoon stuff I noticed, as he was selling his own comic books at the merch table for $2.50 a pop. . The first slideshow was about the fall of the USSR and the other had to do with the French revolution.. Other than the screen slide shows accompanied with music- everything else about the set pretty cool.I got a little head nod going through a few of these songs.. Safe to say a much needed improvement for his act.. Check out the vid I have up on my YouTube page.. At 9:23 they said they had time for 2 more.. Went off near 9:30 right after they ended the set with Jeffery Lewis's "Ganster Rap about killing Mosquitos” . I should've taed it, it's actually pretty funny..

Special shouts to the two people who held my spot as I went to smoke a cig. I gave them my business card- let's hope they check out the site.. Crystal Stilts is the band set to come on at 9:45...

Cystal Stilts were ten minutes behind schedule, not kicking off til about five minutes to ten.. That had a keyboardist up there with a bass, guitar drum set up and the lead singer sans instrument.. halfway through the set the piano player-who is like 10 feet from me because by now I have my feet up on stage and as the kids say these days, I'm chillaxing- he says anyone know the score in the Yankee game? Of course I did, so I screamed out “3-0 Twins Bottom 5th!”.. he looked at me and said “Really?” I was like “Yea I got wifi in here!”. Bowery Presents provided WiFi access for us the entire night, and to that I'm grateful. As they're playing I can see into a window upstairs were I see Eugene Kelly sitting watching the room.. Coolness.. And few songs in, Crystal Stilts ( Brooklyn's own), was winning the crowd over with their jingle jangle hard pop they played.. Sound like they take some cue from the Vaselines- who wouldn't? Most of their tunes seem to be clocking in at under 2 and a half minutes- as nothing seem to drag along far passed a second break in song.. They went off at 10:20...

And the wait begins.. 10:49 comes and still no Vaselines on stage.. I told one of the roadies I'd give him 5 bucks for the setlist he taped to the stage..he said after the show.

The Vaselines hit the stage a couple of minutes before 11 and they got the party started with " Oliver Twisted" and completely began to set fire to everyone's face; quickly. You could feel the power of all three guitars melding into singular melodic tones from strand one... They had a slight light show going, and. best news of all-I have maintained my spot perched above everyone else, and I've got the tape rolling on this whole show- no event staff in sight. Being right in front naturally compromised the vocals slightly (or maybe it's the sub par Webster Hall sound), but it wasn't to a point where you couldn't hear.. " Monsterpussy" was up next and I'm noticing the band maybe slowing things down a tiny tiny bit as compared to the normal pace of their songs, lyrics wise anyway.. Hardly noticeable to the naked ear, but when singing lyrics I was streets ahead of them. One of the new singles, " I hate the 80's" followed.. Frances was talking to the crowd a bit between each song as Eugene tuned up...hard to make out what their saying through the thick Scottish accents, but Frances said that her children asked " Mommy, why do they play the shitty one on the radio" referring to the chorus lines: "I hate the 80's cause the 80's were shit!".. That was followed by " The Day I was a Horse", which is a song about taking LSD and pretending to be a horse. You got to love this band- all their songs are about drugs or sex and they know how to keep a sparkling sense of humor to keep it all tasteful. Well, maybe not tasteful but everyone should cherish the cheerful smut the Vaselines throw at you while performing live. It's a scene man. Then came the title track of the new record " Sex With An X".. Next came a familiar strum, and before they were done tuning up, I got ready to record tonight's version of "Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam" which was met to a huge hand from the crowd. What a moment in time.

The continued on to rip through songs off the new record like "The Devil Inside me" and then Jeffery Lewis was invited up on stage to play bicycle horn on " Molly's Lips". Everyone loves Jeffery Lewis tonight as he got a huge hand.. Next came " Such a fool" and holding the set list in my hand, it seems they had 'Whitechapel' listed and then crossed out in pen with Such a fool penciled in. Interesting. I wonder what the reason for that change was. “Slushy” and “Let's get Ugly” followed- amping up the crowd for the next level of awesomeness, when they played “Son of a Gun”. We all really got into that one. “No Hope” and “Rory Rides Me Raw” came before my favorite song off their new record, and that song is “Ruined”. It's the first track on the album, and it completely smacks you in the face-it's consistently heavier than the rest of the record.. I like the lyrics too, lots of quotable lines-like lines you would use in a Facebook status update to describe your mood.. Another one off the new record followed “Mouth to Mouth”.. The new record “Sex With An X” is a must buy-go find it..

The Eugene says to Frances “Do you wanna tell them?” and Frances says “Well I don't want to tell them either” and then after a sign she leans into the mic and says “This is going to be our last song of the evening”. She said “We have tons of stuff to do!”..”Dying for it” was the song, and then they ducked off stage-but the mains didn't come back on so you knew they'd be out for a few more.. I saw the roadie dude I had asked for the set list before they went on. I was like “Dude! Your my man wit the list right? You got me right?!” He reached in his pocket and handed me a copy! And I didn't even have to pay him for it.. Sweet! Thanks dude, hope you find this blog... Anyway, they came back out and played two songs “You Think Your A Man” and “Dum-Dum”... Vaselines show over about 12:05AM...

Amazement, joyfulness , sheer delight-all of these phrases could describe my mood as I walk down the chilly NYC streets headed towards the X1 express bus.. I had a great time, saw the legendary Vaselines and I got to see 2 other pretty cool bands as well in 'Crystal Stilts' and 'Jeffery Lewis and the Junkyard' .. Hope everyone enjoyed this little stroll through the Jay Porks Experience, and I hope you'l; be back in a few days to catch the full scoop from Gorillaz 'Escape from Plastic Beach Tour' when it hits the Garden this coming Friday.. We'll be there in full effect, and I heard though the grapevine some special guests may be in order-but I don't want to jinx anything.. I catch you all there-LATE