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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weezer @ Williamsburg Waterfont July 16th 2010!

Tonight we embark on the 30th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending  concert series, where we go to Brookyln, NY- The Williamsburg  WaterFront for Weezer ( try saying that 5 times fast). Here we have  ourselves a newer venue in the hipster town of Williamsburg- home to a  few cool places to see shows such as 'Brooklyn Bowl' and the 'Music  Hall Of Williamsburg'.. Bands booked at the Williamsburg Waterfront  this summer are the likes of Faith No More, Band of Horses, Silversun  Pickups, Modest Mouse, Pavement and tonight, the Weez.. Let's hope this  lives up to the hype of $55 tickets ( 3 of which I had to sell for way  less then face value)-not to mention having to evade a brawl that  ensued on the bus back in Staten Island on the way over.. To add  insult to injury, about halfway to Brooklyn I realized I forgot my  SD memory card, basically making my camera usless! I'm not sure how  many still frames this can hold without extra memory...I feel like  it's 2008 all over again... Let's hope for better times ahead!  
After getting lost in Williamsburg, I heard a familiar voice blasting  through the streets.. It was Matt Pinfield, welcoming everyone to this  WRXP sponsered event.. So there, I found myself outside the venue at  about 8PM.. Fresh after Rival Schools went off.. There's a paragraph I  won't have to for the Williamsburg Warerfront- what a  frigging dump this place was.. What are they renting a park for the  summer.. It overlooks the East River, which is a good look- but the  rest of this place is like a slab of concrete with a stage equipped..  It's all standing room, right in front of 40 Porta-pottys(Spell check is telling me that's the correct spelling)  giving me the feel that I'm in the parking lot at a Jets game.. with an area  they called ' the Beer Garden', a concessions section which is roped  off.. This place is packed.. The stage is huge, but looks so out of  place in the middle of a crummy neighborhood. It's a great view when your NOT facing the stage, but everything else is abysmal .. 
Showed up late enough  where even though I feel like I've been here 5 minutes- Weezer is  about to go on.. 
And at about 820- Weezer hit the stage and kicked the set off with 'Hash  Pipe' Sweet, I love this song.. From back here, looks like avid soccer  fan Rivers Cuomo is wearing a New York Red Bulls soccer jersey... If only someone  gave a crap about soccer..after Hash Pipe, the band got into  'Troublemaker'.... Then a stage hand gives Rivers a guitar as they go  into 'Undone(the sweater song)... Rivers has tried to get away from  playing guitar at shows recently, so he started without one and was  given it as needed.. I can't say that this isn't pretty cool so far  as we get into 'Surf Wax America"..then a newer, surprisingly likable  song-'Tripping down the Freeway'.. Towards the end of the song Rivers  had grabbed an Emergency Exit sign and planted it mid-stage... Now Rivers back to Guitar as next  up 'Perfect Situation'.. Now everyone around me goes from excited to  borderline giddy... Where are all those crappy Weezer songs I hate?  Absent so far.. 'Dope Nose' followed, then "Say it ain't so"- one of  Weezers like top 3 songs ever.. this rocks right now- how did I have  so much trouble selling these extra tickets?  
There it is! Weezer crappy side surfaces with "I can't stop  partying'.. Never thought I'd say these words- I'd rather hear the  version with Lil Wayne!.. Then we hear a "this ones for you for" as  balloons and a few clear beach balls fly from stage and they get into "Island in the sun".. When  the balloons surfaced- I said aloud "what are the Flaming Lips in  town?".. I got looked at by spectators.. I can't believe nobody got  that joke.. 'El Scorcho' was next.. Sometime during the last few  songs Pat Wilson jumped out from behind the drums and grabbed a guitar  to be replaced on drums by some other in the set came 'My  name is Jonas'.. The crowd is beginning to cram more towards the front,  I notice because I keep obtaining more room in the area in front of  me.. Now it's time for us to channel our inner Hollywood with "Beverly Hills".. I can't tell if Brian Bell is really using that talk box for the solo like Peter Frampton-or is he just mouthing the sounds.. I'm too far away to tell.  
9:20 Weezer ducks off stage for what seems to be the first encore..  Came back out and started with Pat Wilson soloing something wicked(I think it was EVH but I'm not 100% because I hate Van Halen).. That lead into "Pork and Beans", fitting for a Jay Porks Experience.... Then something really fun happened- Weezer doing MGMT- Kids/ Gaga's Pokerface.. With Rivers sporting  a platinum wig....
930- they head off for what seems to be the 2nd encore- because I  didn't hear Buddy Holly yet- and I'm not leaving til I do! Now all the  lights on stage are off and I this is when I finally notice that there is an abandoned building  behind the stage- and it's full of spectators(If you look at the top picture, you can seriously see the buildings behind the stage).. How much do those seats cost?  
Now a fan is on stage, it's 9:33 and they let the fan:' Chris from New  Jersey', sing lead on "If your wondering If I want you to (I want you to)'.. Guy didn't do half bad- I wish I could do that-Looked like he had a good time.. that must be the VIP package.. NOW we can get into the climax of the night: 'Buddy Holly'.. A song I can never get tired of.. By this time  everyone in this place is drunk on the Weezer kool-aid.. Everyones  having a blast.. After they played Buddy Holly it was followed by an impromptu drum jam- and off stage at 9:42...

Can't call myself disappointed  with the set.. played several songs I was hoping they would (they didn't play 'The Good Life', but I'll live).. I can't say anything that Weezer did pissed me off.. The schlep to the slums of Brooklyn, the heat, and the bums grubbing cigarettes, well, that can get tiring and make you never want to hit the borough again.. But we will, as this party will be continued at Prospect Park July 31st, where Sonic Youth is playing a FREE show.. Til then-if you made it this far, you've made me proud.. LATE...

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Flaming Lips at the House of Blues, Atlantic City: July 4th 2010

Did you hear? Lady Gaga is playing a show in AC tonight.. If you want to hear all about that-then exit this site and go somewhere else. As for the rest of us-all signs point to this night being crazy. Jay Porks here to welcome all of you to the 29th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series for the Flaming Lips at the House of Blues in Atlantic City. I'm coming to you live from my hotel, the Trump Marina here in the lovely Atlantic City. This is going to continue with the 'Summer Series' section of the little blog thing we have going on here considering the weather: It's 90+ degrees outside- a good day if your in shape. If you're me, then your stationed 21st floor in your room with the Air Conditioning pumping, set to a steady 65. The House of Blues website says that the Doors open at 9PM and the show is also listed to start at 9PM. Opening act is 'Fang Island', a band I haven't yet heard of. The House of Blues I located in the Showboat Casino, which is sort of a distance (a bus called the 'Jitney' goes there for $2.25) as oppose to the last time I stayed here, when I was attending Stone Temple Pilots and The Meat Puppets right across the way at the Music Box at the Borgata back on July 18th of last year.

For those who don't know anything about the Flaming Lips, they are a freaking amazing band from Oklahoma..Wayne Coyne, Micheal Ivins, Steven Drozd and Kliph Scurlock make up the band. The Flaming lips can be described as the, for lack of a better term, the weirdest band of their time. From their inception in the early 80's still rolling strong today. Last year saw the Lips release two albums- one being the critically acclaimed “Embryonic” in October; a double album containing contributions from 'Yeah Yeah Yeahs' frontwoman Karen O and Brooklyn's own MGMT The other release from the Flaming Lips camp in 2009, was 'The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon'. Long story short, there are two sides of the fence with this one. My “Pink Floyd die hard” sources are extremely pissed for all the obvious reasons you can name. Myself on the other hand have found myself with the Flaming Lips giving me new appreciation for Pink Floyd. The record is brilliant, and I suggest everybody checks it out.

The Flaming Lips performed 'Dark Side of the Moon' in it's entirety at this years Bonnaroo Festival. I got my hands on the audio days after the performance and was enamored. This is what's bringing us to the question of the night-Will the Flaming Lips do 'Dark Side of the Moon' here at the House of Blues for the 4th of July? Weeks of searching Google for show reviews and artist released info has left the hand un-tipped, as there is no inkling to what they will do tonight. The beauty of this band-I mean seriously: Who knows what they're going to do? Will Wayne pull out the gigantic hands or tell us that we must do our part to fight for the legalization of Marijuana in America, who knows? Hell-they could come out and play a set containing not one song I know the name of and this shit is probably still going to be a life changer. At least one credible rock music publication has them on their list of “Bands you must see before you die”. Well then, lets get to it.

Lets not overshadow the opening act, Fang Island- a band that just released it's debut album, which was self-titled, on Sargent House records in February of this year. They have to be cool if they're opening for the Flaming Lips right? Well, lets see how the night turns out

I finally got to the House Of Blues at like 9:30PM- and sure enough, show is at 10 not the 9 o clock it was listed on the website. Never a surprise. So I run into the Showboat casino to find this place and of course it's way deep in there- what felt like a mile.. I get there and it's this elaborate place- with a concourse downstairs from it and an escalator leading up to the venue.. When I got there I was greeted by an old fashioned cowboy sort of feel to the room. Imagine if there was a perfect looking place to see a concert-now picture a bunch of high rollers trying to imitate that kind of look to their establishment. It was a little overdone(the inside section where the shows take place is flawless-sound was top notch, sight lines are great and they didn't hassle me about video).. Concessions everywhere but since I thought I was late I was in a dash upstairs and not shopping around- I finally find the stairs that lead up to the balcony where my seat is and then proceed to head up four flights of steps at which point I was light headed-but I made it. here I am Row M- aisle seat.. The balcony seating is steep and elevates quite a bit- there is no way I can be blocked by anyone's head-Awesome.

So the story goes from what I heard from some security guy is that the "Opening act is at 10, The Flaming Lips at 11".. So here I am in my seat- at 9:44PM- as I await the set to begin.. And the crowd gets into the Star Spangled Banner before the bands hit the stage then clap for themselves.

Fang Island came on 10:03 and now I notice we have video screens to the left and right of the stage.. By 10:42 I had enough of these guys.. What's up with the keyboards? You guys have three guitarists- you have potential to rock and you choose not too. They played a few songs- not sure how many were songs and how many were just flat out noise jams.. Half way through the set I notice the balcony seating not even be half full- leaving people to pretty much sit where they want. I'm right where I need to be- the highest row you can be-awesome view..

Fang Island went off a quarter to 11 with roadies running on stage to set up for the act we all came here to see - the one, the only, the kings of the weird- THE FLAMING LIPS!!!

It's not until 11:10 that they start inflating the giant bubble Wayne uses to walk the crowd in.. Then a ramp was set up where all the other band members walked through a door that opened in the video screen and out on to stage to a big hand.. Then when they went into the first song with Wayne( after he stepped out of his bubble) fires streamers into the crowd, keeping with the 4th of July theme. The stage is set with almost everything orange, with tube/cannon shooter looking things on each side of the stage. These things shot out what must have been 1000's of balloons in all different sizes and they were everywhere. The balloons were filled with confetti which burst out from each when popped- I gotta say it was a sight. You got the light show going with the visuals on a big screen behind the band which varied between visual effects and a close up of Wayne's face.. He gave an emphatic 'thank you' after pretty much every song along with thanking the crowd for "being such freaks". Every song they played seemed to have a different feel to it.. constant vibe shifts..  

The set got more epic as the night progressed. We had “Mr. Catfish” on the side of the stage-one of the roadies in this big cartoon looking costume-its a great shot with that dude watching from the side of the stage. The later it got the more people started showing up and when I thought the props done I was so wrong.. Wayne heads off stage and comes back with the gigantic hands.. Those things are so great. I have it on video- he comes out with the hands and as the stage goes black each gigantic finger tip has a green light beaming onto the two big disco balls floating over the stage.. It was freaking crazy- I haven't seen that one on YouTube. 

They did a basic Flaming Lips set- no dark side- but was still something that needed to be witnessed.. They played alot of songs off 'Embryonic', like 'I can be a frog', 'Convinced of the Hex'. 'See the Leaves', 'Sparrow Looks up at the Machine', 'Powerless'...I recorded a great version of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots' .. They did that song 'the W.A.N.D.'- it was in a Dell commercial, 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah song'.. The show went on til about 1:10AM, when they ended with “Do You Realize?”- a song that will be stuck in my head probably until the next time I get my bank account out of a negative balance.. and that's a long, long time from now

Bonkers.. Complete shock that the show was that good-I thought there would be times where I would get lost in the deep cuts section of the show. Not so. This was everything I've seen in videos, everything from all the stories I've read and heard about seeing the Flaming Lips-it lived up to the hype.. what an awesome band. Also was great that by the end of the night it was like we all just saw 'Blue Man Group' as everyone was covered in confetti, streamers and pieces of balloons...What a night!

Flaming Lips-"She Don't Use Jelly" 7/4/10 House of Blues, Atlantic City!