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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Slaughterhouse sets SOB's on FIRE...May 25th 2011

Well, we decided to do something a little different here for the 48th installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series-we're going rouge on this one. We're headed out to a club called SOB's in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City teetering on the borderlines of the Lower East Side, catching an “impromptu” show featuring the Hip Hop super-group known as “Slaughterhouse”(recently signed to Eminem's Shady Records label), consisting of rappers 'Joe Budden', 'Joel Ortiz', 'Royce Da 5'9'' and 'Crooked I'.. As previous mentioned in a post here, “Budden is one of the handful of Hip Hop artists I'd go see. The lyrics on songs from his debut album way back when helped me get out of a bad time of my life ”. And that said, when the members started tweeting the night before about an “impromptu” show at SOB's the next night, a night that was billed for just Crooked I with opening acts “CMR” and Emilio Rojas. Doors at 7, show at 9. So I texted my buddy Chach(who you can follow on twitter @OneShotChach) and told him the news on Tuesday night, and we said why not check this out for 15 bucks? Being that I turned Chach into an avid concert goer (taking him to STP and Filter 5/31/08 now he goes to Summerjam and saw Jay-Z and Eminem at Yankee Stadium last year), I figured it could be fun to be rolling with him as oppose to him rolling with me; besides the fact I'd had a rough Monday and Tuesday sitting in my house bored as hell with the school semester being over and everything. So I ask everyone to open their minds here, and prepare to get weird...

Great to have the feeling of the welfare line while waiting to get into SOB's, it adds to the ambiance of this night sort of. We were there at 7 and we waited, and waited for what felt like forever and they finally opened the doors at like 730-745 and we entered this so called dinner club..

We were on line early, but not early enough as the space leaning on the stage was taken by the 6 people on line before us so we were regulated to being a head or two back. Standing room only-besides a seated section left of the stage that had signs reading “$25 minimum to sit”..If I knew I could sit for dinner during the show, I wouldn't have made that McDonalds pit stop beforehand. That said, those tables lined up over there looked so out of place, and who knows if they'd let us sit there all night; so lets stand here, I can get some good pictures from here.

There was an MC for the evenings proceedings.. funny dude too called “Low Key”(Twitter: @LowKeyUHTN).. who introduced all the acts and stuff, inbetween mixing in the roll call of the boroughs i.e. “Is ______ in the house?” and gaging the rooms reactions. This place only fits about 350-400 people, so when it started filling out I'm happy to report we did eventually have more than the two of us representing Staten Island “in the house”.

After 9, we began the parade of opening acts BEFORE the opening acts. I can't even begin to tell you how many acts went on that I have no recollection of. It was frustrating looking at our watches and it's creeping past 10 and no one on the bill has came on yet. To put it in perspective, we were on line at 7PM-Joe Budden tweeted that he was leaving his house(in NJ) at 7:23. Looking like we're in for a long night..

Eventually the first official listed opener came on, and man was it worth it. Emilio Rojas. This dude was, how do you say, 'a beast on the mic'. Had more than a few clever punchlines, the room went “Ohhhhh!” often during his almost 20 minute set in which the highlight was an accapella verse of lyrical genius. Speeding up and slowing down his flow, throwing out punchlines to die for, my favorite being something to the effect of “My mother didn't want me/no stranger to wire hangers”. Awesomeness. I got a pic of him and Chach when he got off stage. Check him out on YouTube, he killed it.

After the next listed opener CMR came on and went off, up on the stage came 4 dudes from the West Coast called COB(Circle of Bosses) came on stage and got crazy for a few minutes. This is another crew that Crooked I rolls with, so they basically led into him coming up on stage and doing a few of his own numbers.. we're at 11:30 right now.

Finally we look to our right and there is Royce Da 5'9'' standing in the crowd waiting to walk up on stage. As soon as everyone realized the show had officially started-some dude 4 people to my left sparked up one of the fattest blunts I've ever scene, with the “yea I'm smoking-so what?” look-he was texting and everything. Event staffers? That's a negative. I figured that was the green light for cigarette smoking.

Royce was introduced, shortly followed by Joel Ortiz and finally my man Joe Budden. When they all eventually made it up there, they jumped into a song called “Sound Off”.. once this night got started, I can really say it was awesome. Watching the crowd bounce up and down-Chach included. Watching the excitement unfold-having forgotten my SD card at home I wasn't taking constant video so I was able to get into these songs that I hardly know, opening up my mind and enjoying the evening.. They did “2.0 Boyz” and “Microphone” as the night rolled along. At one point Joe Budden picked three members of the crowd to come up on stage and rap a verse of whatever Slaughterhouse song they drop a beat to. It was an awkward spot-and they all failed at it. It was part funny, part sad, part “I feel like you guys are killing time on stage”ish.

Two biggest highlights of tonight was Royce teasing a song off a project with Eminem called “Bad Meets Evil”. Song called “Fast Lane”. You hear that and you look up on stage and you're like “damn, I remember hearing Royce rap with Eminem on the Slim Shady LP when I was in like 8th grade”. We're in the room with a veteran here.

But the number one thing to take from this night is Joe Budden doing his latest hit (with us fans at least) “Ordinary Love Shit Part 3”. It's a song that gets in depth describing a relationship with a girl named Esther Baxter who apparently was having sexual relations with NFL running back Derrick Ward-taken from the line “why's ol' girl sucking off Derrick Ward for?”. And I'm telling you this was like the proof of Joe Buddens massive following as most of the crowd rapped along with every verse. Funny social networking references in the song too like “You won't Skype, won' G-mail chat, won't OovoO!” and “You said the WiFi was down in the telly/you ain't say you was at hotel his house” The song is so real, as most of Buddens songs it covers not the glamor and glitz of money cars and hoes of hip hop life but sticks to stuff people like me can relate to-shitty times, being sad, dumped, addicted to things and helpless. And I'm so glad some professional has a video of it from that nights show on YouTube already-I'll try to put it in the post..

and this guy filming is like right behind me because this feels like where I was watching from. The group continued to rock the stage after that and they didn't go off til about 12:35AM . Felt like longer than an hour. Awesome night.

So we did something a little different and it paid off so far. I mean, I enjoyed my night I hope you all stuck with me on this one. It's not like I went to see some garbage like Kayne West, or Puff Daddy or freakin Solider Boy-this was a team of lyrical assassins we saw here tonight. Being sort of a word smith myself, I tend to appreciate the intellect and honesty that comes across in the lyrics of these four artists I saw tonight. Fun times at SOB's.. just wish I had a chair..

Next time we're out and about should be June 11th for Coheed and Cambria's free show at the Williamsburg Waterfront in Brooklyn.. I work til four, and I doubt there's a max capacity so we should be in there... lets hope we're not too far back. Thanks for staying tuned.. LATE

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Social Distortion 5/14/11 Stone Pony SummerStage Asbury Park,NJ

Now that's what I call a punk rock show-It's just continuous awesomeness for the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, in which the 47th installment brings us out to Asbury Park, NJ to the Stone Pony “SummerStage” for Social Distortion, a band I've been dying to see forever, but especially since I missed them last year. And since I'm rolling with Pam, the “Pam-Van” is in full effect picking me up from work and headed out to the show after a supermarket/liquor store stop to grab a 6 pack of Heineken light, bottle of Jack and a bottle of Captain . That's how we roll. Doors open at 5:30-that's not a typo, 5:30 doors. Let's get down to business shall we?

After parking and trying to pregame as much as possible while keeping our bladders in tact, We rolled in at 6:30. On the walk over, I heard some security dude telling this chick “if you're alone you should stand on this side of the street cause it's a real shady neighborhood down that block”. Awesome, because you know how much I love danger and everything. We found the entrance and got in after I was searched to the maximum. Felling every pocket every item and stuff. Sucks that there's something they didn't find that was there-moving on. When we got in one of the openers, 'Sharks' was in full swing on stage.. Focus on the band for a second: These guys looked like they were straight out of a time capsule from England circa 1971. The leather was in full effect, pins on the jackets, the tight pants-all of it. Looked like a girly Sex Pistols. We're scouting out standing spots, we notice the “21 and Over Section” sign, and head through there towards the bar area.. That's when Sharks finally caught my attention by covering the Replacements “Can't Hardly Wait”, which was pretty cool. They played their last song at 6:55PM

So as people file in-this is what I call a punk rock show. Holy God, I have never seen so many mo-hawks and chain wallets in my life. Skin heads to people draped in leather. Everyone is a character I swear, whether it's army fatigues and knee high boots or green hair-this is what I wish I would've seen last week at Bad Religion/Rise Against. I'm standing outdoors surrounded by many people who wouldn't mind breaking my face-the perfect desired atmosphere.

We headed inside for a little bit, grabbed some drinks as Chuck Ragan was on in between Sharks and Social D-but walking around the actual 'Stone Pony' venue where the bars and stuff are, I started to check out the walls that had signed guitars all over the place. So I'm checking these things out, signatures from bands of the likes of State Radio and Govt Mule.. until I found my way around to the back door and there in the corner hanging was a signed Gene Ween guitar.. took me all that time to find some taste around here..slow working bartender is keeping us inside long than desired I must say, but at least some dude bought Pam a drink.

Let me get on a pedestal for a second and rant: This preconceived notion that we can place a stage in the middle of any random parking lot-esque open area and call it a rock venue is completely ridiculous. I know I seem like I complain about every single venue, but venues like this(and Williamsburg Waterfront) make me SICK. You can't just take a parking lot and put a stage there and hype it up to be a “Summerstage”. Sounds so fancy, it's actually gross. Besides me being a huge proponent of size order at standing room only shows-maybe if you guy built the stage, I don't know, two feet higher maybe we'd be able to see what going on. It was like a blind show, the only pictures I got was my arm held as high in the air as possible. I mean, if you had like a tilt effect, a slight downward hill thing going on where people were able to see as they got further away; maybe even some ascending levels or something, anything! Sound was loud as hell and amazing, it was awesome to hang out and hear the tunes of Social D for an awesome set on a nice night out-but for 45 dollars, throw up a video screen or something. You know who had a better view than I did? An entire floor of a hotel a few blocks away standing out on the porch enjoying the show for free. They had a great view I'd imagine. I'm standing here behind thousands of people who should be playing the in NBA. Social D as a very tall following if tonight is any indicator.

So at about 8:20 some dude gets on stage and to hype us up. He says “Social D has some awesome stuff planned, lots of surprises in this full two hour set! They'll be out in a few minutes!”. Wow, a two hour set we're going to get? That's odd, because we're in a residential area with a 10PM “noise curfew” . They're not even on stage yet and you already only have and hour and forty left. Dude could've easily said “And rock it til 10!” and he would've saved himself from looking like a moron who can't do math.

Those last two paragraphs aside, once I heard that “California Love” intro it was freakin' showtime, I was into it. What'd you expect from Mr. 90's over here? I suddenly realized why I was putting up with all this non-sense in the first place. Social freakin' Distortion! Now I'm really in search for a good spot walkin' around jammin' out to “Road Zombie” and “So Far Away” before we found a by the back bar there was this little deck about 8 inches up from the ground, so we stepped up-still nothing, as another pretzel stand has gotten me. So we've settled on just chilling out enjoying this great show from this spot, as oppose to spending the rest of the night walking around missing things. So we're rocking out to hit's like “Bad Luck” and “Mommy's Little Monster” as I'm scoping out chicks walking by in between attempts and some somewhat decent photos.. During this I smell the scent of 'sexy lady' to my left, cool chick, attractive and all that.. she was rocking all night next to what appeared to be her husband I'd assume. So he walks away to hit the bathroom or something and I see her glance over and then she leans into my ear and says “I F*cking LOVE your hair. I'm a hair dresser, I wouldn't touch it! It's perfect”. Now there's a day brightener right there! Being this is the one rock show I've been to where having long hair seemed to be the minority, it was good to get a compliment from an older, kinda hot chick who may or may not have been hitting on me while her hubby was in the bathroom. I'm not stating that that's what I believe was the case, just saying the onlooker may see it in that light. She said her son wanted to come to the show but it's 16+, and I handed her some typical punk rock cliché “See, there's the establishment at work prevent your son from rocking out” I'm so quick witted aren't I?

“Machine Gun Blues” happens to not only be new but also awesome. Lots of little speeches in between songs and honestly the crowd was like, totally not interested. The crowd was asked for “back up singers on this next one”.. and I swear like 4 people raised their hands out of thousands. They were into the tunes, just not anything going on when guitar riffs were not involved. And my only issue with their set tonight was the version of “Ball and Chain” they did right after “Prison Bound”... it was like, a much slower version of it, as if the song was being dragged by the proverbial Ball and Chain.. First time seeing the band, kinda wanted to get the full effect of one of my favorite songs by them, but I'm still having fun through songs like “Lude Boy” and “Don't Drag Me Down” before we heard “Okay, it's time for another story” and this was like 9:43, so I knew this story was going to be the “Story of my life”, which is was before they said goodnight and ducked off for maybe a minute or two...

Came back out to play “California(Hustle and Flow)” and “You can't take it with you” before closing the night with, what else? A classic from an artist everyone's on board with, Johnny Cash's “Ring of Fire”... I tried to record some of it, but let us not even waster our time with what I just saw on the video. These words give you a better picture than that. So it was 10:08 when they officially went off. An hour and 38 minutes keep that “2 hour set” quote in kind from earlier

Awesome night of punk rock. So glad I got to catch Social D-my issues with the venue did not interfere with me and Pam enjoying ourselves yet again-Bad Religion last week, Social D this week-I mean what's next? Well, you'll have to check the concert calender for the official purchases that have been made, but June 11th there's a free Coheed and Cambria show at the Williamsburg Waterfront that some smart folks are highly recommending I attend. It's a Saturday and I work til 4 and I have a feeling the line for this show is going to start the night before the gig-I have a few friends heavy into them who want to attend, maybe they'll be a spot held in line for me. Headed out there anyway, just hope I make it in. Anyway, thanks for putting up with my non sense for a little while, and keep checking back at ConcertConfessions.Com and of course JayPorks.Com for some HUGE plans later on this summer. Things are happening-stay tuned.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Rise Against/Bad Religion @ Terminal 5 NYC 5/6/11

And the love-hate relationship with this awesome yet dreadful venue continues. As Jim Nantz would say “Hello friends”, and take a seat aboard a train head down the tracks of the 46 installment of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series.. Tonight Me and fellow Jay Porks Experiencer Pam are heading out to meet Terminal 5 in NYC, this time for Rise Against w/ Bad Religion. Now, call me, Pam and my father a few of the crazy ones-but we here are clueless to the fact of why Rise Against is the headliner. This is not a knock at all at the band, but I would be under the impression that Bad Religion would have a bigger following(considering they sold out four shows in NYC last year).. Regardless both shows are sold out as they played here last night.. Since I'm going straight from work I have the white button down on with the blazer, again the “working journalist” look.. and let's get this party start shall we?

I have myself a little idea- And this comes from Reverend Justito and I having back and forth convos about why Rise Against was headlining, and the sometimes crazy differences in popular music on each coast, etc. So how about some statistical analysis on this issue? Again, I'm on my way there straight from work so should getting there early.. how about while I await Pam's arrival (she has the tickets) I use my waiter pad I stole from work to I make two columns- one Bad Religion and one Rise Against and just randomally approach on people outside waiting for doors and ask them simply- "who you here to see?".. Because I gotta find out if I'm crazy or what-the first time I ever heard a Rise Against song it was me accidentally listening to the radio and I only knew who it was by the DJ mentioning that it was the new Rise Against.

So I got off the train at almost 6.. At a stop earlier than I should have,so after walking a distance that should be illegal for us chubby kids to walk- I made it to the front of the place about 6:30, and there was plenty of people out there. I rethought the survey idea- then decided to go through with it.

So standing on the corner asking passers who they're here to see, I got some interesting answers. I would say "Hey, I'm an annoying guy with a blog, just taking a tally here-who you here to see tonight?" You would not believe how many people said to me: "nah man I don't need tickets".. Allow me to go caps lock for a second-I DON'T HAVE TICKETS! JUST NAME THE BAND YOU'RE HERE TO SEE! The stupidity of people and the ability to be such assholes not to just say two words. Just name one band for me-Don't say stuff like “I'm not suppose to talk to strangers” and laugh about walking away..o And to those who said “Four Years Strong”, sorry I didn't have a column for you...lots of not nice people, but the first group of people I ran into were really cool about it.. and at least I was freakin' doin it right? And when people would pass me up I'm yelling at them down the block like “You know what-I don't wanna see you following me on Twitter in 6 months when print media dies” and stuff to that effect.. sarcastically saying “You know this is new journalism, this is how you get your news now-through people like me. And again all the people who said “I don't need tickets” do you think I'd be selling tickets 5 feet away from the 6 thugs who were on different corners selling tickets to this "Sold Out " show? Just taking a survey here..speaking of said survey I closed the polls when we walked inside, and it was completely overwhelming how many more people stated they were here to see Rise Against.. Final total was 75 people for Rise Against and 14 for Bad Religion- and that's counting me and Pam for BR. I figured it'd be at least 50-50, boy was I wrong. I was amazed..So let me state that yes, I did underestimate Rise Against's east coast fan base.

Need to tell a cool story here-Midway through this survey I end up next to a dude wearing an 'EYEHATEGOD' tee shirt( awesome band) and he's trying to sell two tickets. I'm thinking he's a nut-because of the previous mentioned thugs 5 feet away from us, so basically this dude next to me is on their turf. See this is what always happens at these shows-they're sold out in minutes yet I could go night of show and scalp a ticket(unless it's Alice in Chains) from some dude who works the corner. And if that wasn't enough its never some dude who just has an extra-it's you give the money to someone on one corner and walk across the street and someone else gives you your ticket.. it's a whole operation they have going like,-at all these shows I got to in NYC it goes on.. it's looks like dealing drugs except with tickets they way these guys work, I watch “The Wire”.. and to put it gently (tweaking Dorthy's famous line from the Wizard of Oz) ”We're not in Staten Island anymore”.. So one of these big dudes on the corner comes up and wants to buy them- my friend in the tee shirt (Max) tells him 60 for the pair...the dude goes "I'll give you 40".. Im thinking in my head shit man take it and run...Max looks at this dude and says "It's 60 or you could walk". I was floored-now this dude Max is someone who owns a pair of balls-I mean he looks kinda like me, and he's talking down to this professional scalper. So eventually the dude says 50 and Max takes it and he walks away. HERE IS THE KICKER-The dude looks at the tickets at the price says Zero Dollars, Max won them in a contest or something. He scalped the scalper. Then he stuck around as I waited for Pam saying and I quote “It's so funny to watch this guy not sell this ticket-everyone's in there already. It's over.” And it was because right as Pam and I were walking in about 8:15 or so (actually was asked to open my cigarette pack to check for drugs on the way in) and I saw the dude who bought the tickets from Max walking around saying “Does anyone want free tickets?”.. that whole story is tagged with #Winning. I took his number down because he says he gets tickets and stuff and has Seether tickets for later this month at Gramercy-Need to see if I could get my shift covered if so I'm getting those.

Anyway we finally get in and I wanna run out to the rooftop smoke deck because Pam's never seen it.. So many confusing stairwells and a people on top of people on top of people. See at Terminal 5 once those spots along the railings on the 2nd and 3rd floors are taken, there's no way to see the stage besides the TVs I'm noticing.. The pic I have up here was taken by annoying people bending near crotches to snap, you're probably thinking "why wouldn't he stay there?".. Anyway. we finally the stairway to the roof when Bad Religion kicked off their set at promptly 8:45 I immediately turned and said "fuck it" as we tried to make our way to a decent spot.. We spent the first two songs on the 3rd floor.. The spots along the railing are like 4 heads deep at this point-again no view at all. Being I was taking a frickin' survey outside for 2 hours-I had no shame in climbing up on a couch to try and get above the people. Still wasn't able to get a decent shot of the stage, because the lights hanging from the ceiling up there obstruct the view.. So I hop down and we turn to each other and go “2nd floor?”.. so we head down-Way more packed than the 3rd and the best view from there was stage happenings that are being shown on he LCD TV screens all over venue..again, no buenos.

So we headed down to the mobbed 1st floor(the 1st floor with people stacked out into the hallway you read about in my PJ Harvey review) and found a spot against the wall all the way in the back tucked behind a bar- hey, at least I could get some pics from this spot when the preztel stand isn't in my way. And way back hear the vocals are terrible, like there was a lot of chat in between songs that me and Pam couldn't hear a word of-and this translates on the video I managed to get, which was a vid of “I want to Conquer The World”/"21st century Digital Boy" and then "Infected" (the ladder two by far two of my absolute favorite songs by them)on video in this spot. Anyway, like you'll hear kick ass riffs in these vids, but this is the second time I've had problems with the vocals in this venue (Meat Puppets/Dinosaur Jr back in 08'-walked out on Built to Spill) . So when you hear the sound on the vids-for once I can tell you it's not my camera it's Terminal 5's sound(especially when your so packed that the Fire Marshall would've shut you down right now- you have people backed into the hallway all the way to the merch table-I'm backed against a wall, it's a complete mess down there on that first floor... the only good thing I noticed was people were courteous as they passed by saw me filming they bent down to not get in the way. Props to them..

So like a typical punk band they're ripping through songs at-with the chatter at times that we can't hear, after I've gotten a few vids I'm really into this.. I mean I wasn't taking the setlist down, although there's an unofficial one at Setlist.FM.. So we're hangin' and me and Pam start talking about how old these dudes look..didn't show in the performance aspect of it but you know, you got these “LA Punk Rockers” here, looking more like normal folk.. To put it in perspective. they've been around 20+ years, and I've been on earth for 24 years. Damn... still rocking, and finally just as I got a real head nod going, and some cool tweets all of a sudden it was 9:26, and they went off. 8:45-9:26.... 41 minutes of the band I came to see. Of course I'm not too thrilled but their not the headliner as we know, Rise Against is(and recent Jay Porks polls show that about over 80% of that crowd was Rise Against), but at least I got to hear the songs I wanted and now during the break we can explore Terminal 5 and all it's confusion.

So we finally made it out to the rooftop smoke deck outdoor bar thing and I've mentioned it before, this is a really cool place up here. It's like, the bands should play up here, with the cities tall building surrounding you, drink in hand you feel comfortable. Speaking of drinks, I don't usually do this but I may have went a little over board at the bar. I mean, I try not to get completely hammered at these thing, usually stick to a beer or two. Let's just say a mention of a recent ex girlfriend and whiskey led to long rants by me, and looking down at people who came upstairs and screaming down at them “Here comes more people wondering why Rise Against is headlining!” and a few looked up and said “Exactly!”.... turn to Pam and say “Yea where were you when I was taking the survey buddy?”.. So I'm blabbing on-until I look at my phone-and its freakin' 10:51 already!(RA set time was 9:55) saying “Oh shit we gotta see some of Rise Against!” as we rushed in to at least try and see what was the deal.. We got to the first floor and caught their last song before the encore.. I was really just focused on trying to get some good crowd shots and stage shots because their lights looked amazing, I bet they did put on a great set, even though I have no idea of most of the goings on-the place was jumping on our way out when they were gonna encore everyone's chanting “One more song!” and as we're headed to the merch table me, like being a dick is chanting “No more songs!, No more songs!” which had at least two people in agreement(more people who missed the survey I guess!). Anyway, got the tour tee shirt that says Bad Religion on it next to a picture of Ronald Regan for $20... sweet... We headed to the Pam-Van, and I got dropped off in time to make the Midnight boat back to Staten...

So I guess that's it for now, I mean overall a fun night. Good tunes, taking surveys, getting tipsy-all in a good days work.. Well, won't be too long til we're back here, and with sticking with the punk theme, we will take our talents to Asbury Park, NJ for Social Distortion at the Stone Pony Summerstage. That will also be courtesy of the Pam-Van, helping me avoid all public transportation for that one. That's Saturday May 14th.. Keep up with the concert calender and stay tuned for Jay Porks Ticket Givaways this summer. Until then, it's 6:23AM over here on the east coast, maybe I should get to posting this..


Oh yea by the way epic pic right here-This is that same bum with the creative sign I saw outside the Hole shows I went to way back April of last year. Anyway, I wish I had money for the dude because he was telling me: "Ima catch 'dat Grace Potter N Da knock-turtles ya digg! OO LA LA lala LA LA!" I need to buy this guy a sandwich or something, he is the great bum ever, and he had the same sign..He was screaming "Lets YouTube this shit man!"-and I should've turned him into the next bum who makes millions off YouTube..