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Friday, November 30, 2012

The Darkness - Terminal 5 (10/21/12)

The Darkness (w/ The Dirty Pearls & Sweatheart) - 10/21/2012

Terminal 5 - New York City

Words/Photos/Video - Jay Porks

Well, today was another case of me being on my way to a bitchin' rock show while one of my professional sports teams loses in heartbreaking fashion. Thursday was the Yankees, and before tonight's show kicked off the Jets had lost in overtime. Speaking of the show- Hello everyone, and welcome to the 80th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series (I'm told there's a watch waiting for me at # 100) which takes us to Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street) in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City to see The Darkness play one of their two shows on this side of the pond in support of their new album 'Hot Cakes', which you should go buy if you haven't. Now, the only bad news is that Foxy Shazam is not in the building (they opened up for the band at Irving Plaza in February) but we've got two other openers to make a case for themselves here tonight as we have 'Sweatheart' and 'The Dirty Pearls' due up before everyone's favorite cock-rockers hit the stage. Doors are at 7, with showtime at 7:30. Let's roll.  
After a pretty intense walk from the train station, I made it to the entrance at 6:47 where they were already bringing people in and having them wait on the roof top smoke deck not to crowd the streets of Manhattan. Did I mention I'm wearing a suit? Well, last night my friend Janine (who was at The Offspring with Pam and I) got married and the ceremony was so awesome I figured why not let the good times roll on into Sunday night. I mean, it's the Darkness we're talking about here-must keep it classy. So they let us in at 7 and I'm dashing to my usual spot on the 3rd floor when I'm stopped by event staff. First he's asking me for my VIP sticker (because I'm wearing a suit I guess) and when I tell him I'm a regular fan he informs me that the 3rd floor is not open this evening. I said “What's that, due to lack of ticket sales or something?” he nodded. I cannot believe the Darkness are underselling this place? It holds 3,000- They sold out both nights at Irving Plaza in February, granted it's a third of the size I figured this show would be sold out for months. Bummer. So my new spot is right behind the sound board and the guy controlling the lights, I'm looking down at all the action, hey there's the Darkness set list right there on the table-let me just copy all these songs down and scout out when I'm going to tape. This spot I grabbed is on the 2nd floor, straight in the back. Finally get to see the stage background thing that bands always hang but I never see because I prefer a side view.
 At 7:31 Philadelphia's own “Sweatheart” hit the stage. No, I'm not misspelling the word Sweetheart-it's actually Sweatheart. They have a mannequin siting at the key board , several members wearing black hoods, (Halloween is around the corner after all). Once she removes the black hooded thing, this lead singer has a this skin tight bodysuit hot enough to keep my attention, and that girl's name is Amanda Blank. For a half hour, they dropped their weirdness on us, filled with plenty of innuendo and crotch grabbing to explain why they were indeed opening for the Darkness. Justin Hawkins says this band did the animation for their music video “Nothin's Gonna Stop Us”. As I watched I kept trying to pin what sub-genre they fall under. They were like Bubblegum-Heavy, but when I came home, I read that they're “performance rock”, and the band's website says: “Approachable Stadium Pop, Man Jams (with Women) or Community College Rock. No wait, 80's Screwball Comedy Soundtrack Rock”. Well whatever it was it sounded good to me, I like bands with a sense of humor (and a hot lead singer who openly discusses ejaculating on breasts). I did not see a bass player. They went off at 8:02
Things are moving quick on stage, as it only took til 8:13, for The Dirty Pearls to come on and rock this joint out-and they did. This band was more straight ahead Rock N' Roll. Here we have a hometown band with a lead singer wearing sunglasses indoors and two guitar players playing nothing but gnarly fucking riffs man. Fuck Eddie Van Halen. I'm starting to get packed into this little spot here as people are catching on to this awesome view. Only one slow jam from them: “You Got Me Where You Want Me” to counter act the hard hitting songs like “Bruises” and the track that ended their set, “New York City Is A Drug”. They just released their debut full length record “Whether You Like It Or Not” which you can download at the bands website. Good times. They went off at 8:47
At 912 when "The Boys are Back in town " started blasting through the PA, you knew that the boys were in fact back in town as the Darkness hit the stage. The band has a new record out called “Hot Cakes” and it's spectacular. They have two U.S. Dates supporting this effort-that;s right TWO. Us NYC folk get them, as well as the City of Angels in a few days. Not surprising they'd began the evening with the first song on the new effort, “Every Inch Of You”.
Dan Hawkins in a Thin Lizzy tee shirt while Justin is in his usual Freddie Mercury style shiny white jump suit. “Black Shuck” followed with “Growing On Me” really had this place (well, the two floors of the place) rocking.

 I mean, I know about a handful of people who are as into this band as I am-not everyone is smart enough to get these guys. But the ones who do were here tonight, as hands were waving, people in the back on the first floor were dancing (good idea for the playlist if I ever get married-The Darkness), just good vibes all around this place. “She's Just A Girl Eddie” was our next Hot Cakes track to appear, and people already knew the words to it! This isn't even one of their singles.
“One Way Ticket” came next and it featured a pause in the middle of the song as Justin was kicking guitar picks with his heel until finally the bass player caught one on like the seventh try to a resounding ovation.

 Then before they played “Nothin's Gonna Stop Us” we were informed about how Sweatheart did the music video for them, and they were very grateful. Towards the end of “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” Justin had pointed to some fan in the crowd, who raced up through the sea of people to the front, where he was dragged on stage to help out on the “mother fucker” audience participation part of the song. That guy was funny. He took off his shirt and threw it at Dan, before walking over and taking a sip of Justin's water. All of a sudden this guy's a rockstar now. Awesome. Justin told him “end it with a leap!” and he did, he leaped right into Justin's arms before grabbing his shirt and diving into the crowd to be surfed to the back of the room. Priceless.
I find it funny that the band has two songs on the set list that start with the word love and they choose to put them back to back. That's the case next when the band busted out “Love Is Not The Answer” followed by my personal highlight of this evening: “Love Is Only A Feeling”.

 This is a song where Dan gets some time to shine with his gee-tar..See, back at Irving Plaza when I saw this band, event staff made me put my camera away before I was able to tape this epic ballard. So I was thrilled to be rolling when they jammed out on that one before Justin ran back stage to change jump suits. Tattoos much? Jeez I thought that said “Thug Life” across the stomach for a second. This guy's bad ass. In the black and silver jumper, an older tune “Friday Night” was followed by two new tracks “Concrete” and “Everybody Have A Good Time”.
This is the part where I say “The Darkness Covered Radiohead!!”  but it's not a rare thing as they do “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” live almost every set, so much so that they recorded a version of it for Hot Cakes. I have to be honest here, I'm not a fan of this song much as a Radiohead song, but The Darkness knock that shit out of the park. The band was in rare form tonight, and I hate myself for living in the only borough you need to take a boat to get to and having to leave right after that because of the Ferry's Sunday scheduling. Justin was introducing “Givin' Up” on my way out, as I heard him saying “Hey, you want to hear me and my brother sing a song about Heroin?”. What a great freaking band.
I had copied down the set list before the show started from the sound board, you can find that below this little photo gallery. So pissed at myself for having to duck out of there, but as with life, stuff happens. Once the videos upload, they'll all be posted right here. The Darkness covering Radiohead is first up of course. And oh yeah, check out my awesome photos. Seriously, I'm getting pretty good at this. [gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="rand"] Set List:   Every Inch of You Black Shuck Growing on Me She's Just A Girl Eddie One Way Ticket Nothin's gonna stop us Get Your Hands Off My Woman Love Is Not The Answer Love Is Only A Feeling Friday Night Concrete Everybody Have A Good Time Street Spirit (Fade Out) [Radiohead Cover] Givin' Up Stuck In A Rut I Believe In A Thing Called Love ----Encore---- With a Woman Hazel Eyes Love On The Rocks With Ice  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Local H - The Bell House 10/18/12

Local H - 10/18/2012
The Bell House - Brooklyn, NY
Words/Photos/Videos - Jay Porks
The CMJ Music Festival: Hundreds of bands, tons of venues, and so little time. The “Marathon” as they call it consists of 4 days this year of shows in and around New York City and Brooklyn and is the reason I get to see Local H tonight for the 2nd time this year. A scheduling conflict cost me my shot at seeing the band perform at Webster Hall in the afternoon on Wednesday, but as we turn the page to today, I find myself pumped for several reasons amidst heading to the Bell House tonight in Brooklyn. First off, my friend Pam is finally going to get to see Local H. Truth be told, any other Local H shows I've attended that I have confessed to on this site I've had a ticket for her every time. She never quite could escape work or traffic, but tonight is locked in (hopefully not my famous last words). Also, my buddy Flo (who I met at the Lemonheads) will be meeting me there too-It's going to be a freaking party. Do things get better? Well, how bout some Scott Lucas acoustic action at 8PM to open up the evening? Because that was the Facebook post from Local H that I woke up to this morning. Doors are at 7:30PM, I get off work at 4PM. Hopefully we can get ourselves there in time to grab that little elevated spot in the back, which is awesome for taking video, sitting, and charging our cell phones . So let's have some fun here in the 79th Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series...   We walked in and got to pass a big screen TV to take a glimpse at my baseball team taking it's final swings of the season. Some good news, the dream spot in back of the room is free. So we settle in as we wait for Scott to come on, which Facebook said was an 8PM set. I noticed that the other opening band already has their stuff set up on stage and just an acoustic guitar in the middle of the stage. There's four lights set up on stage too. I guess this has something to do with 'The Life and Times'.
Scott Lucas came on shortly after 8:30 and kicked off his acoustic set with a Misfits cover “Last Caress” before getting into some Married Men tunes like “Steady Gaze”, “Heavy Lidded Love” and “Blood Half Moons”, the latter of which being the title track to the latest Married Men release. It's amazing because, here I saw this band in April and Scott did this same opening for himself thing-then I went and saw him with the Married Men on their own, so all these songs are familiar to me and I get to sing along and stuff. Suddenly Scott starts explaining that they have the album at the Merch table for sale, and asks if we have any requests. Someone screamed “Nothing Else Matters”. That was probably worse than screaming “Freebird” at this point, Scott just looks at the guy and says “Nothing Else Matters? Yea fuck you asshole”. It was either “fuck you asshole” or something close to that. I drew a blank. Too much pressure for me to have 1 point 5 seconds to shout out a song that not only the crowd but the performer would be on board with. For some reason my whole night is focused on not giving Scott an excuse to throw me out or beat me up(You've seen the Cold Manor video!), and with less people here than there were for the Vaselines I could easily be picked out. No chances taken as someone screamed “Eddie Vedder”, which Scott and all of us liked so it got played. Next it was “Hey Rita” followed by the song that goes along with the new Scott Lucas and The Married Men music video, “a Halloween song” as Scott put it, and that's “Ain't No Grave”. A string broke on his guitar during “Hey Rita”, but the bad ass just kept it moving finishing off the seven song set with five strings. It was a little after 9 when he departed. Let's talk about the band 'The Life And Times' for a second, because they were slotted as the main support tonight. They have four lights sitting on the stage surrounding the band. These lights went on when the band started playing, providing light on their instruments as they played. As they broke into their murky-noise tunes and rocked their 45 minute set out. As a band, they were good. Maybe not my cup of tea, but tight musicians non the less. Maybe not the most cheery folk, after their 2nd or 3rd song the lead singer says “Wow, hope you guys make more noise for Local H when they come on”. I know we're New York scum rockers and all that, but usually we get a “Hello, thanks for having us” before we start getting treated like garbage. With their lights and macho head games. So one of their songs sounded like “My Sharona” by the Knack. I mean the bass line and the drum line is extremely similar. I didn't even point it out originally, Flo and Pam were screaming at me “MY SHARONA!!” and that's when I noticed the similarities. So I may or may not have started screaming out the lyrics to My Sharona. After the song they decided to tell us about their new record and the lead singer goes “Yeah, did you hear that ding-dong over there screaming My Sharona? Yeah he's probably not gonna buy the new record”. Ding-dong? Touche amigo.
Tonight is one of the few times I'm seeing a band headline and I'm praying for them to play a healthy amount of songs off their new record. Usually hate it when bands try to shove new shit down your throat at every opportunity-but the key word there is “shit”, and the new Local H record “Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!” the exact opposite of that. This album is a beast of it's own species, So at 10:36 when the beginning chimes of “Waves” hit the speakers, I was beyond pumped that we might be getting the same heavy dose of this record that the Troubadour got a few weeks ago. We went “Waves” into “Cold Manor” straight into “Here Come Ol' Laptop” (all from “Hallelujah I'm a Bum”) before an early appearance of “Bound For The Floor”. This is the first time I've seen that song appear this early in an evening, but it was so right for the moment-so right for the evening to get that out of the way and keep this new stuff rolling. It's one of my favorite songs of all time don't get me wrong, but it's good to have a night where the set isn't closed with it-let's roll the dice tonight. Next up, a stand out from the new album “They Saved Reagan's Brain”. Now, I'm not an incestuously political guy (besides when it comes to Republican lying scum who hate Big Bird), but songs off this record make me want to go out there and make a difference. “There's no use running with the Chinese coming and I don't want to see this world burn no more”. Damn right there isn't.
“Everyone Alive” came next, and that was followed by “The One with Kid” (from 12 Angry Months).The One With Kid is an amazing song, and as this night goes by the question is posed: Is Scott Lucas getting younger? Seriously, the car ride home consisted of a conversation between Pam and I about how old Scott is to be able to jump all over the place like a 12 year old having the time of his life when he's been putting out music for almost 20 years. The only thing that ages is his guitar playing-which ages like fine wine. It gets better EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Little added parts and alterations to riffs and sounds and the way he can turn feedback into puddy in his hand and mold it whatever he pleases at any given time. It's not just bass and guitar at the same time, he's making enough sounds for 4 or 5 people up there. Every time I see this band I mention how Brian St. Clair is “Grohlian” on drums, in attempts to coin my own phrase and it hasn't worked out. But he's incredible, it's like Keith Moon on speed assuming Keith Moon wasn't already on speed. Were more symbols added to his kit recently? How can these two guys fly under the radar all these years? It boggles my mind. Especially when you hear the crunchy guitar sounds on “Night Flight to Paris”. Then the band kicks it back up to crazy once again with an oldie but goodie “Back In The Day” before another 3-peat from the latest effort with “Say The Word”, “ Feed A Fever” and “Another February”. Since 2011 at the Mercury Lounge, I've seen Another February go from “here's a new song we're going to kick around” to a well oiled machine. I was late to hit record, so I got to rock out to this one. And it felt great.
With eight new songs already on display, I wasn't shocked that the band made the pit happy with “Alright, Oh Yeah”, “All The Kids Are Right”, “Fritz's Corner” and a haunting “Hands on The Bible” before which, Scott heard someone scream out The Libertines, and he replied with "Play The Libertines? No. We're American"..   “Waves Again” book ended their set and they ran off at 11:47. The encore I'd assume would be three songs, so after “California Songs” (with a “Fuck Brooklyn Too!” lyric included) and “Look Who's walking on Four Legs Again” it finally hit me what they were going to close with: “High Fiving MF”.. They got right into that next, and towards the end of the song were saying what I thought would be their final goodnight of the evening. But they didn't stop playing for more than a second before I heard a familiar riff. No way. Can it be? Are we getting “Wolf Like Me” right now?? You're damn right we are! Unreal. This is just insanity. After Midnight Thursday turning into Friday in Brooklyn and Local H has not only burned down the Bell House with this set, but pissed out the fire-closing the show with a TV On The Radio classic. I wouldn't have believed it was that good if I wasn't there. Me, Pam, Flo and what couldn't have been more than 100 other folks just witnessed a shot to be heard round the world.
  Set List: Waves Cold Manor Here Come Ol' Laptop Bound For The Floor They Saved Reagan's Brain Everyone Alive The One with Kid Night Flight To Paris Back In The Day Say The Word Feed A Fever Another February Alright, Oh Yeah All The Kids Are Right Fritz's Corner Hands On The Bible Waves Again ===Encore==== California Songs Look Who's Walking On Four Legs Again High Fiving MF Wolf Like Me (TV On The Radio) [gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="post_date"]    

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Concert Review: Slash and Foxy Shazam 09/18/12 Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC

Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators  with Foxy Shazam - 09/18/2012
Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom - New York City
Words/Photos/Video - Jay Porks
“The essence of “cool” that is Slash cannot be matched”. That's a phrase typed by this very music fan posing as a journalist in a social media world, after walking out on the band currently touring under the moniker of Guns N' Roses during their encore at Izod Center last November. Well, after tonight that phrase cannot sing any more true as Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (on tour supporting Apocalyptic Love) made a pit stop at Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom to turn a disgusting, rainy Tuesday night in New York City into an evening full of magic. Getting to see one of your favorite guitar players play live for the first time is an amazing feeling, and to top matters off, the opener. Now if Slash represents the essence of “cool”, then you'd need to find a bad ass opener able to keep up with that. You'd need to find a band that simply can't be touched right now in terms of putting on a rock show. Whelp, if those are the qualities needed, then you need Foxy Shazam. And tonight that's who we have. We've got Slash and Foxy Shazam, we've got mezzanine seats and best of all, we've got a good camera. Doors open at 7PM. So without further ado let's jump into the 78th Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series, shall we? Showed up at the door at 6:10. I have to stop showing up so early when I have a seat. The seat is there for me, why am I standing out here in the rain? Tad's Steakhouse taking the Patty Melt I usually get off the Menu and causing me to leave (I'm not a steak guy) may have effected my time. When they started letting us in the search was vigorous. I know I always complain about the search procedures and I sound like a broken record- but this one seriously had me rethinking if I had actually had anything illegal on me. Which of course I never do anyway, because I fear prison. They bring me to my section and tell me “Anywhere in these six rows is fine”.. What??? I paid for an assigned seat, I have the number on the ticket and I scouted online to see the angle I'd be on and everything, now you're just saying I can sit anywhere here? Is it hard to number the seats?
Soundspeak hit the stage at 8:01PM. That's right folks, they went “surprise 1st opener” on us. I was pissed, not at the band they didn't do anything wrong. The venue should advertise ALL of the openers. Hey maybe it was advertised and I didn't catch it since my place of employment is in the 19th century and I'm not allowed to touch my phone. But seriously Hammerstein, what's with these surprises? And this band I find out later is friends of my buddy who I met at the Lemonheads and later Local H. Had I known that before I would've given them a chance. They weren't bad, but I can't sit here and break them down for you because they were in a tough spot there (with me personally anyway). They went off at 8:19.. Had I known we were in for an 18 minute set I would have lightened up a bit.
At 8:34 when the lights went low I'm up there screaming “here it comes- the mother fuckin' Church!”. I was so excited. And look at this Eric is rocking a new hair color. Interesting. They ripped through “The Church of Rock & Roll” and “Holy Touch”. I was head nodding and screaming lyrics the whole time. I'm conscience of saving battery on my camera anyway. Suddenly, after Holy Touch I get a tap on my shoulder from the girl next to me. She's with her boyfriend and they have accents so they may or may not be from here but the girl says to me “What is the name of this band” and I told her and she says “They are amazing!!”. You damn right they are. The first song of their set I decided to tape was “Unstoppable”. Well, I decided to get the 3rd song in, it just happen to be that very song currently running in that MLB commercial. “The Rocketeer” followed, I don't think they played that one at Bowery Ballroom this past May, after I got it at Irving Plaza opening for The Darkness in February.  Interesting.
“Killin' It” before jumping into “I Like It”. And that song, well, “I don't like it baby I fucking love it” as Eric would say. Cigarettes got eaten during “Temple”, which was the set closer at about 9 maybe a tad after. “If we had an ocean, we'd all be Surfin' USA” was our “Deep thoughts by Eric Nally” moment before the lights came on. Unreal. And this night's not even over yet! I go out to smoke a cigarette, but you are not allowed to do that. They don't have stamps for your hand or anything. You must stay inside, where they have confiscated your lighter at the door anyway and not smoke cigarettes. Okay, to the bathroom for that cigarette I go. I guess it's okay to eat them but you can't smoke them at this place.
So here comes Eddie Trunk (of That Metal Show, and the radio) on stage, to tell us Slash was coming up next. I'm so glad they had Eddie Trunk here to inform us of this drastic turn in events. And here I thought I was here to see Emerson Lake & Palmer. Anyway Eddie, thanks for that. At 9:28 the man in the top hat himself hit the stage-Slash w/ Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (seems 'The Attractions' and 'The Imposters' were taken). They jumped into things with 'Halo', off their new record followed by “Night Train”. The place went bonkers. People walking away from their seats to make it to the back just to jump up and down and rock out. And all of these people are up to date on the new record a lot more than this guy. I have to admit I was more into the last record Slash put out with the revolving door of lead singers-but this stuff translates well live. “Standing In The Sun” came early and caught my ear. A few songs later they jumped into some more GNR cuts with a back to back of “Civil War” and “Rocket Queen”. An epic version of Civil War. Epic soloing as usual. Slash, Myles and the boys went to town on that one. During the 15 minute version of Rocket Queen that was only able to capture 9 minutes and 12 seconds of(because Slash went nuts with a solo that I can't wait to share with you as soon as it uploads), I noticed the entire floor level was pumping their fists in the air in unison. Looked like New Jersey, except that it was beautiful. Every song has it's very own “Slash crazy solo” warped into the song. He quite an amazing soloist on the gee-tar. A song later on in the set, that I can't even recall, I swear it was almost Phishy how Slash just jams out for 10 minutes at a time and then returns to the song Curt Kirkwood style. This became a problem on “Rocket Queen”, which I only have the first 9 minutes and 12 seconds of because I'm yet to figure out why my camera has a limit on the amount of minutes I can record a single video. I had camera issues all night.
Todd Kerns (the bass player) can sing too, so taking a break from Myles Kennedy for a song, we got “We're All Gonna Die”, which the vocals are sang by Iggy Pop on the record. So now not only was Myles killin' it but this guy is doing a hell of a job with this song. Good to have a second voice option in your band so you don't have to limit your set list-these are things professional musicians like these do. They jump back into the GNR catalog with “You're Crazy”. I mean honestly, right now I've “won” for lack of a better term. See, back when I saw the band touring as “Guns N Roses”, I got to hear the handful of songs I enjoyed but every time I looked on stage I realized that I hate Axl Rose and his way of being a douche nozzle in every sense of life. Tonight I look on stage and see Slash, a gifted guitarist who has switches cleaner than anyone I've ever heard who's whole life has been based on finding a singer. Finding someone to tour with and play music, write music, enjoy music with. This isn't a job, I mean, there is a paycheck of course, but Slash and Myles look to be having some real fun up there. And making some real good music too, you can't top the feeling of the artists you're seeing seeming to be almost as excited to see you as you are them.
“Bad Rain” came before Myles took a seat on his little pedestal there. What's with that? I first saw the guy from the Deftones doing it at BlackDiamondSkye with the tables set up in front. And he hardly stood on it. Anyway, he took a seat to get into a song called “Not for Me”, which, even with it's epic guitar parts may in fact, not be for me. Didn't hate it, but was one of the few times I looked to see what time it was during the night. But these guys know what they're doing, and that's when the “Sweet Child of Mine” riff started and then seriously there not an ass in a seat besides me trying to keep my camera steady. It was amazing. Myles does a really good Axl, like a much less annoying Axl. Then rumblings of a familiar riff again, but not of the GNR variety.. It was “Slither”! Velvet freaking Revolver! Eff all you people I loved Velvet Revolver and now we're finding out that Myles doesn't do a bad Scott Weiland either.. I was so happy to hear this song live.... again? That's when it dawned on me that I'm hearing this song live for the second time. In 2007 the first real concert I ever attended was Velvet Revolver with Alice In Chains and Kill Hannah. It's so old there's not even a blog for it. It took me til the last song before the encore for me to realize that this wasn't me seeing one of my favorite guitarists for the first time live, never the less it was the seeing this dude the best time live. It was 11ish when they went off for the encore.
I'm up, I'm on my way out. I know Paradise City is coming and to be honest I've already for lack of a better term “shot my load” here with this one. I've gotten everything I could have wanted. Then Slash is on the microphone, a rarity. He says something to the effect of “We haven't been playing this one, we're gonna do it tonight because it's fucking New York City!”. Then, with Kerns on vocals, we got ourselves “Welcome to the Jungle”. Once Slash grabbed the mic I stopped walking to see what they were up to. When he said that I immediately hit record and walking my way down the aisle and sat on the step there trying to record while everyone's passing by my freaking shot. I found a better seat when they jumped into Paradise City, but halfway through I look at the ticker on my camera and notice it's not moving. I didn't hit record. That's when I decided it was time to get my Foxy Shazam tee shirt and get out of here. Slash's merch is in the lobby and Foxy has a table set up in the back of the General Admission floor. The security guard won't let me through the velvet rope and tells me to head out the door as I'm ten feet from this merch table. So I walk out that door, and walk back in through a door this staffer is not guarding, and there I see Eric Nally taking pictures with two fans. I was trying to get my camera out to see if one of these strangers would take a picture of me with him but I'm way too anti-social for that kinda thing, so I went up to him when they left and shook his hand, told him they're awesome and that I've seen them three times this year and made sure to say “And the Reverend Justito says Hi”. Now this is all while Paradise City is still blasting, so who knows if he even heard a word of what I said, but he seemed like a very warm individual. Not the dude on stage at all. With Paradise City still rocking, and my $30 Foxy Shazam tee shirt hanging off my shoulder, I said goodbye to the Hammerstein Ballroom, I was in a cab at 11:31. What an amazing night.   LATE.   Show Notes: I have some issues with the venue I'd like to address here. Dear Hammerstein Ballroom: First of all, you search people like they're criminals. You take peoples lighters- for what reason might I ask? You think you're stopping people from smoking indoors? Everyone is still smoking anyway, raises lighters in the air, and I have 2 packs of matches besides the point. Speaking of smoking- you have a 3+ hour rock concert and people aren't allowed to go out to smoke cigarettes? What is that? You know what happens when you do that? People smoke inside of your building. People who are Drunk, high, tripping or all of the above are now using fire inside your precious “ballroom”. And on the way out your event staff wouldn't let me near the Foxy Shazam merch cause you stuffed it in the back of the GA standing area and security thinks I'm trying to sneak into that crappy area to stand for the last song of the show. Like I would want to sneak down from my SEAT to a STANDING AREA FULL OF NUTBALLS. Had to fake that lady out and head into the lobby before darting back in to grab my tee shirt. And hey, I don't want to tell you how to run things or anything, but you have a twitter account right? Of course you do, you follow me. Now why on earth would that twitter account not be put into use to TELL PEOPLE ABOUT THAT SECOND OPENER?! Is this a little game that venues like to play? Trick people into showing up early? And why do I get to choose where I want to sit in the mezzanine? I paid 50 dollars plus whatever fees you plugged my ass for on this ticket and you can't assign me a seat?? It's going to take a miracle to get me back inside that building again. [gallery link="file" columns="2" orderby="post_date"]

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Offspring, Neon Trees & Dead Sara All Come Hard In Threesome In Asbury Park 09/09/12

Offspring w/ Neon Trees & Dead Sara - 09/09/2012
Stone Pony Summerstage - Asbury Park, NJ
Words/Photos/Videos - Jay Porks
Amazing how things work out sometimes, it's the whole “life evens out” thing. Great weeks you have end terribly and some of those terrible weeks end awesome. Tonight was fortunately one of the ladder as we embark on the 77th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight it's the Stone Pony Summerstage in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Yea that's right, another trek into Dirty Jersey, this time it's The Offspring with Dead Sara and Neon Trees. Say what you will about The Offspring(and I mean 95 % of the Concert Confessions crew, especially Reverend Justito who's probably cringing at yet another Offspring review ), but that's one of the few bands that has songs with lyrics that relate to me personally on every level. I've been a fan forever, and may not be up to date on their latest record but am still totally psyched to be seeing them. Also, Neon Trees in the past couple of weeks has gotten way more appealing to me as I hear more and more of them now with the new Alternative Station in New York City. And I know at least one Dead Sara song, they're a hard rockin' bunch. So this show (albeit a bit pricey $43 plus fees) was a must see. Especially when Jay Porks Experience veteran Pam being as into all this as I am, along with our buddy and new comer Janine-who's concert cherry we will get to pop tonight weeks before I'm giving a horrible toast at her wedding. Doors set for 5:30. Show I'd assume at 6:30.
Dead Sara is most definitely alive(Stop pretending that you don't love my puns) as they kicked ass all the way from the parking lot. My typical style of being unorganized and having no sense of direction has us in the car attempting to down beers (at Supermarket prices) as Dead Sara hit the stage at 6:43. Surprised they didn't go full cavity search on me there-they were tough at the gate. Event staffers included a gander into my pack of cigarettes and everything. Finally made it to what was going to be our spot, down in front but not too far up and by 7:10 “Weatherman” was already deafening the place.. Here's a band that should be bigger. They were amazing, and they were without a doubt the loudest band to hit the stage on this night. I saw a few Dead Sara tee shirts too, which surprised me at first, then delighted me by the time they went off at about 7:15.  They would fit right in playing with a band like Ume, you heard that here first when the world eventually starts listening to me.
Some bands have songs that are catchy and stick in your head even though they are annoying as hell. It's like you're being duped into becoming a fan of a band sometimes, only to find out two or three singles later that it's nothing but crap, And that's sort of what I was expecting from Neon Trees, who hit the stage at roughly 7:31. It feels so good to be so wrong. Early in the set they had a song called “Sins of my Youth” which was a serious head-nodder. And “Teenage Sounds” is another interesting one. I've got my camera in hand waiting for the songs I know, while the lead singer, Tyler Glenn is full of all sorts of banter-both funny and true. It was almost 8 o clock of the band absolutely killing it when this dude says “Two years ago we wrote this song and we recorded it and out of nowhere people started singing.. singing it in the shower and started singing it in all the offices complexes and all the other real 'idiotic white people areas' to sing songs. If you hate it, you can go get a beer and a hot dog and come back for the Offspring, this song's called Animal”. I was never a vocalist, and never claimed to be one-but this guy can really sing. The way he can bend some of the notes in the slightest of ways that make the biggest difference. This is showcased really on “Everybody Talks”, the jam of theirs I've been getting wasted to almost every night since they did it on Letterman. They went off at about 8:20. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed these guys. Good band, great live band.
At 8:56 The Offspring hit the stage just as the fully darkened night sky was settling in. “Hurting as One” and “All I Want” started off the night and now we turn around and notice we couldn't get to the back if we tried, in case stuff got crazy. Stuff did start getting crazy, I saw some crowd surfing attempts during “Come Out And Play”-but this is New Jersey, they don't do it right. Really shocked how good Dex sounded. His voice hasn't changed a bit. And it's not one of this Axl's Roses deals, to the right you got Noodles tearing it up. This is freaking awesome. I can't believe I'm finally seeing the Offspring! During the craziness of “Bad Habit” during the break that song has Dex led the crowd into singing the line: “You stupid dumb shit god damn mother fucker!”, successfully. During “Gotta Get Away”, I noticed my first 30 seconds weren't recording because I double tapped the button. It was the best three something minutes of my week as I screamed along those lyrics. “There's demons in my head and it's more than I could take”.“Starring At The Sun” really heated things up and we're only about 10 songs in, and “Days Gone By” is already in the rear-view mirror.
Now the lights get low and no one's on stage but Dex and one of the guys in the band is playing keys. He starts into “Gone Away”, in total, gospel style I guess. Like he Adele'd the song up. Then, Emily Armstrong from Dead Sara comes out to join him on vocals, and all I'm doing is waiting for the guitars to come out.. and they never did. The version wasn't terrible, but in this writers opinion it could have been a lot better if they had the narly guitars wrecking shit on stage and you can still have Emily from Dead Sara out there-it's not like she's in a band that plays soft pop music. Hell, they're heavier than the Offspring. How bout the full Dead Sara band comes out and they play the heaviest, loudest version of “Gone Away” ever? That would've been awesome. But my first time seeing one of my favorite bands and they completely took one of my favorite songs and sacrificed it to a goat. It's not like there are any songs slow in tempo at all to this point, I don't understand what that was.. And while we're on the topic of things that were annoying as hell tonight: WHY ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE SO TALL? My shoulder is deader than Sara right now, and the video is trash. I mean it's good for the elements I as dealing with. I mean, no slam dancing broke out near us but because I had to have my arm fully extended to reach over the Rutgers Basketball team plus people up front holding up their iPhones blocking my angles. All the videos are a shaky mess, and these Youtube trolls are going to destroy me in the comments section. The Stone Pony's Summerstage set up is nothing short of terrible. It's a slab of concrete, it's basically a parking lot with a stage. No incline at all. You move back it's not like there's a better view. Saw Social D here last May and remember hating this place. We need to do size order at these things-like back in 5th grade.
After “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?” I turned to Pam and Janine and said “The acoustic is out, 'Why Don't You Get A Job?” has to be next”. And it was. What a song. Hope you can't hear me singing on the video of that one. “You're Gonna Go Far, Kid” is a song I loved off their last record that I had totally forgotten about. “Pretty Fly For A White Guy” was my ring tone for years at one point. That song is about me in Junior High School minus getting tattoos. Then “The Kids Aren't Alright” completed the Quad-Phekda of songs that made up for the crappy Stone Pony Summer Stage. They ducked off at 10 o' clock.
They came back out for the encore and played “Americana” then another forgotten favorite “Can't Get My Head Around You”. Now the running theme through this show is how close to home these song hit me on a personal level, and nothing sums that up more than the final song of the evening: Self Esteem. This is a song about every part of Jay Porks. Seriously. My girlfriend in High School used to cheat on me with all my friends, and I never dumped the girl I just “made her dessert” in a sense and would let it go. Shows the kind of person I am. Anyway, as Dex starts the line “Late at night she knocks on my door, drunk again and looking to score” I remember that about a week or two ago I received a text message from this very same High School flame who cut me loose 7 or 8 years ago saying that she was outside my house and I should come out. Now, I'm not saying that she was “drunk again and looking to score”, but hell I'm going to pretend that was the case for this instance as the Offspring are telling the story of my life on stage. The perfect end to a unique evening. Late. [gallery link="file"]

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Vaselines Hit The Bell House In Brooklyn 08/30/12

The Vaselines - 08/30/2012
The Bell House - Brooklyn,  NY
Words, Photos and Video by Jay Porks

As someone who's never been to Glasgow, it's odd to be a veteran of Vaselines shows. In '09 I caught them in at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg in Hipsterville. Then in 2010 out of nowhere they drop this awesome record, “Sex With An X”, then tour in support of it-successfully melting my face at the Webster Hall stop. Well tonight, it's back to Brooklyn to a venue called 'The Bell House'. Only good things being said about this place, and it seems pretty simple to get to: One bus, one boat, one train. Took the day off of my crappy day job to prep for this. Remember folks, this was a band that wasn't together for almost 20 years. Is this a comeback of sorts? Let's sure as hell hope so, because there are a handful of bands that certain people need in their lives to keep them sane, and the Vaselines make short list for this guy. You always know it's going to be a good time when you know the band's entire catalog off the top of your head, and if you're seeing a killer photo above this paragraph, then my bitchin' camera was worth every penny. So what do you say, shall we get the 76th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series rolling along? Thought you'd never ask. Got off the train, took a big inhale and said aloud "ahh Brooklyn". I walked a few blocks and found the Bell House: 147 7th Street. They say it was a warehouse in the 1920's. I believe it by the look of the outside of it, now it serves as a bar/restaurant with a back room for concerts. I got inside like 730 and waited by the merch table for the "doors" to be open( slated for 8PM). There are a few folks hitting up the box office for tickets, which are still available. They let us into the room contains a stage with two chandeliers dangling from the ceiling and a bar far left side. I notice in back of the room there is this area that's 2 steps up and has bar stools and tables. Like the type of spot that would be roped off for VIP if there was any VIP here. Of course I grabbed that spot, right next to an outlet to charge my phone. Awesome. After I picked up my Vaselines tee shirt (for ten bucks!) a guy walks up and asks if there's an extra stool for him, something with his leg. I let him know there was 3 others up here that's no ones claiming, then he said hes "gonna be shooting video". That makes two of us.
The opener is set to come on at 9, and at 926 the lights finally dimmed for 'Schwervon'. The two piece came on stage and I was surprised that the hot chick is not only drumming but singing lead on songs, as both members sing too. So the guitar player sings one, she sings one, they harmonize and stuff. Pretty cool. "This next song is called American Idol". The male/female dueling vocalists dynamtic of these two fits in perfectly with the band they're opening for. It was whatever song that the lyric "fuck yourself" was casually thrown into the chorus, that was the point I officially proclaimed this band as cool. The two are dating or married I'd assume, as the next song had story about riding the Cyclone at Coney Island on their 2nd date( The song was called Cyclone). She sounds a little like Kim Deal. They had a song called "Cougar Pride", and don't worry folks, it had nothing to do with the college football team Mike Leech is the coach of. Then towards the end Frances McKee came to lend some vocal assistance one of the last songs of their set. They went off at 10:03 having won ignorant snobs like me over. Not a bad band.
After an extended wait for gear to be set up, The Vaselines came out like gangbusters at 10:31, jumping right into "Sex Sux(Amen)" and "Oliver Twisted", two of the harder hitting songs in their catalog. Glad to see Frances and Eugene haven't lost any of their sense of humor- the banter between songs is hysterical. Its all innuendo- you don't hear any stories about cramped tour buses with this crew. Speaking of sex,, next song up was "Monsterpussy", and during the opening riffs I'm starting to notice Eugene Kelly's little underlying riffs that sort of fiddle into the songs when he's not singing. This third time seeing them is anything but a let down at this point, as the three guitar onslaught buried the Bell House with fuzz and feedback while sustaining that melodic sort of "jingle-jangle" that has always been their signature. "Such a Fool" gave us our first Vaselines song recorded post-1990 of the evening. "The Day I was a Horse" followed, if you don't know, it's a song about tripping on LSD and pretending you're a horse. 
Did I mention that Frances Mckee looked extremely sexy in the leather jacket and sundress? Well I just did, I had noticed it since she came out with Schwervon maybe I just never had a good enough camera to notice. By the time the band was ripping through more newer tracks like "I Hate The 80's" and "Devil Inside Me", I was using that bar stool I was sitting on as a ladder, this crowd seems predominantly taller than others. The Devil Inside Me is such a dark jam for a these guys. All the songs off “Sex With An X” are incredible-so amazing to be able to capture all this footage with a real deal camera. I was already getting every single song on video so far, I was on fire. So when the guy to my left says “You getting the whole show?”.. I paused and said “Hell yes I am”. The beauty that is "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” was preceded by Frances getting into an anecdote about the“Wankerchief” (see Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam video). It's filthy and brilliant, as was tonight's version of this legendary track. “Hairy” followed... then I called out "Molly's Lips” a second before they busted into it. I knew it was coming because Schwervon was on stage with bicycle horns for this one and back at Webster in 2010, Jeffery Lewis (the opener)played bicycle horn on that song. Then came Sex with an X is the title track from the bands latest effort. Can't help but think there's deeper meaning in that title with Frances and Eugene then they're letting on. Because they don't look like a band up there cashing it in, just touring because they know that since Kurt Cobain was a fan people will come out and see them. It's actually quite the contrary  as they're having tons of fun up there, like kids who's parents left them home alone for the first time ever. The cartoony riff of this song is bouncing around the room while heads in the crowd are swinging back and forth with smiles on the faces of Frances and Eugene. The lyrical lovey-doveyness of “Slushy” is counteracted by the confrontational lyrics in “Poison Pen”. “Bitch” and “Rory Rides Me Raw” followed “Son of a Gun”, the 5 or 6 folks in Nirvana tee shirts headed to the door as the last of the songs they know were played. 
Probably told you this many times in the previous paragraphs about other songs, but “Ruined” is seriously the best track off this new record. It's face paced, simple, heavy. “Lovecraft” and “Let's Get Ugly” went down before they ducked off stage for the encore at 11:49. Frances is mad because she wanting to play “Dying for it (Blues)” tonight, and they instead were going with “Dum-Dum”. Everyone cheered when they heard Dum-Dum was the choice, and Frances spurts out “I thought you were my friends!”. After they had a false start on it they killed it, then the final song of the evening was, as it normally is, “You Think You're A Man”. The re-worked Divine song that they turned into awesome.  
 It was 12:02 when they were off stage and I was off to try and catch that 1AM Ferry.  Seduced and sodomized once again by the Vaselines, and I loved every minute of it.[gallery link="file" orderby="rand"]

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Toadies/Helmet (w/ Ume) 08/02/2012
 Webster Hall – New York City
 Words/Photos/Videos By Jay Porks

I can honestly say that I've been waiting to see the Toadies again since Sept 2010, the 1st and only time I saw them live. So when news broke right here at Concert Confessions that they were to co-Headline tour with Helmet I was more than stoked. Helmet too? It's impossible for one not to be pumped for something like this, and a promise that can hopefully be fulfilled in these next few paragraphs-we'll try and find out how exactly the opening band Ume is actually pronounced. The songs I looked up on YouTube were pretty cool, so we got three solid bands lined up here tonight at Webster Hall for the 75th Edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Let's hope there are no former members of the Cro-Mags here, I don't want to get stabbed or anything. Doors are set to open at 6PM and Ume suppose to go on at 6:45.. I think it's Ladies Night here at Webster Hall so I wouldn't be surprised if they push us scum rockers out by 11 or so. Anyway, let's roll.

Got a 32oz soda at the ferry because Mayor Bloomberg can kiss my ass. It wasn't until I got in the line outside Webster Hall, 20 minutes til doors open that my bladder decided it was annoyed by the mass intake of beverage and let me tell you folks, that was the longest 20 minutes of my life. The only Starbucks near by had an "out of order" sign on the bathroom. As I stand around they open a door and I sneak a peak at the set times for tonight: Ume: 6:45, Helmet: 7:45, Toadies: 9:15. They let us in about 6:15, I find my way upstairs so I can lean on the rail and take some sweet pictures. Notice not a lot of people up here
The Austin trio scampered on stage at 6:45 and started things off with "The Conductor". Boy were they loud. The ferocious guitar playing of Lauren Larsen led the way, powering through each song without a break in the heavy. The room isn't even half full, but the people here are rocking out to no extent, this writer included. All their songs have this 'smash you in the face' type aggression, like an angry Dinosaur Jr-the distortion was all I've ever asked for in a band, the drumming was sexy as hell.  After "Chase It Down" had me sold mid-set, I started to wonder why someone didn't take the time out of their day to make this band a Wikipedia page, I got their names(first names anyway) from their Facebook page, Rachael on drums, Eric on bass. All killed it... They're from Austin so they'd be a perfect band to open up for the Meat Puppets on a tour(wearing my Pups tee, of course).
Being an earlier show (with Helmet due on 745 and Toadies at 915), they unfortunately were only able to get into seven songs..but with they time they had they were able to deliver everything the early arrivals could have asked for. They went off a little after 7PM leaving me wanting more.
The buzz outside while taking in a cigarette was "can't believe the Toadies are closing this show". I'm just happy to have two cool bands co-headlining a tour, not gonna nit-pick the order here. Then I got a text from a buddy that said "I'm shocked they played before the Toadies". I headed back in and at 7:45ish Helmet began what was to be a little over an hour of punching me in the temples with riffs. I hadn't been deafened like that in a while, come on now the last show this guy attended was Summerland. Helmet has some great banter, they were joking on superfans who ask them to "play b-sides from like 1990", also mentioned that this show was earlier due to some sort of "disco" happening afterwards. The aforementioned club night. As I'm laughing at this dudes funny commentary, I get a text from Pam, she's outside. Sweet. Pam is the one who got me to see the Toadies in the first place in a Cake for Toadies ticket trade off and it was so worth it. So now we're headed back upstairs (Helmet isn't deafening me any less by me being in a hallway), and one of the security guards is giving Pam a hard time so I'm just turn to dude and say "She's with me, it's cool", and it worked. With the likes of Maura Johnston from the Village Voice in attendance, confidence can go along way with "Wilma's Rainbow" as a stellar background soundtrack. We grab drinks, 10 bucks for a Jack and Diet in a dixie cup. As we're paying for the drinks, Helmet is not letting up and Pam (who's in the building for about 10 minutes) turns to me and says "This band is pretty rocking" or something to that extent. Hell she knows less about the band then I do, I know "Unsung". Man do I love that song, it's such an important song in the canon of 90's Rock & Roll tunes. Well, rolling near 9 o'clock the last song they played was "In the Meantime", leaving us Unsungless. No one seemed to care but me, as between sets I ran out for a smoke and saw a bunch of Helmet tee shirted folk talking, then turn towards the door and see people just arriving with printed out tickets-I guess only here to see the Toadies.
Two totally different atmospheres in the room as I returned to my spot. The Helmet tee shirts sort of drifted towards the back of the room, and the few fellows wearing plaid shirts made their way up front. Toadies came out promptly at 9:15 and kicked things off with some "Heel" action, followed by "Backslider" and "I Come From The Water" and that place was jumping. The last time I saw this band, I said something to the effect of "where have the Toadies been?". Well, those questions were answered in an interview with Clark Vogeler  over at AQ, and then this past Tuesday they released a new record called "Play.Rock.Music." I admit I have yet to grab the new album but I know they played "Summer of the Strange" off the new release, and that song is a keeper. They say the NSFW music video is pretty cool. The room was really settling in now, not many people seemed to have left after Helmet by the way everyone was fist pumping during songs like  "Sweetness" and "Waterfall". That man Clark Vogeler over there is tearing up this place-bouncing feedback off his amp Scott Lucas style really gets my juices flowing, I love that stuff. At like 10 o clock, I turn to Pam and tell her I'm gonna head to the other side to catch some pictures from different angles. "Song I Hate" was just ending, so what do you know I'm over here experimenting angles with my camera when I hear that "Possum Kingdom" riff. Okay, let's roll film. That version of Possum Kingdom I got at Gramercy in 2010 on video with heads bouncing in front of me needed to be trumped. And if you check
belowabove, it has been in terms of quality.
After that they jumped into "Mister Love" and after that it's 10:23 so Lewis says that since they're pressed for time sort of, they're not gonna do the run off stage for a minute thing and come back for an encore, instead just saying they had two more to play. "Rattlers Revival" kicked off the "encore" in fine fashion. Then, all of a sudden there's four drums on stage and one of the dudes from Helmet along with the drummer from Ume are on stage to help out on this one. I turned and said "What is this Applied Science or something?", of course making a 311 reference. Then, Lewis, messing with my fragile emotions teases the first few chords of "Unsung" and looks up into this window upstairs on the side of the stage where the lead singer of Helmet is at the window, flipping the bird to everyone on stage. So after all the jokes "I Burn" was the last song played and they headed off stage at 10:32. Not a soul left unsatisfied. 
That was fun times. It's rare to get two great bands together, let alone three with tonight's enlightenment to Ume, which is pronounced "ooo-may" by the way. Hope they come around again. Hope all these bands come around again. And props to Webster Hall for having that Air Conditioning blasting at an obnoxious volume. Keeping a chubby kid like me from sweating, you made everyone I sat near very happy people. Anyway, I'm out of here for now. Thanks to to ones who made it this far down. 
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summerland 2012 @ PNC Bank Arts Center 7/21/2012

Summerland (Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit, Marcy Playground) 07/21/12

PNC Bank Arts Center - Holmdel, NJ

Words/Photos/Videos By Jay Porks

Since late March the buzz has been huge for what people are dubbing the 90's throwback experience of a lifetime. It's Summerland! Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms, Lit and Marcy Playground. With the exception of Sugar Ray, these are all bands I was too young to see when they were popular, so for them to be getting together and bringing this carnival to one of my favorite venues, PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, NJ, is just the bees knees. According to the post breaking the story here at Concert Confessions, I was suppose to find a Big Dog shirt, bleach my hair and grab a wallet chain. Well, all the bleach in my house is being used soaking my work attire, I don't own a wallet chain, and I have misplaced my Big Dog tee. But it's cool, I found my Meat Puppets tee-shirt to make up for it.   PNC Bank Arts Center has a funky way of doing things with the prohibiting of tailgating. It's as if you never know until you show up if it's allowed. Well, this time after reading the FAQ on the venue's website I decided to call up and ask what the deal was. It was communicated to me that tailgating WILL be permitted and the parking lot opens at 5PM. Good to know, I'll pack my cooler. Rolling with a crew, and that's always more fun. We got my friends Pam, Ray and Lisa. Pam's is a veteran to the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series by now, having been along for many of our 74 installments.  It was actually a year ago to the day that Pam, Ray, Lex and I scampered across the Garden State Parkway just to miss Sublime w/ Rome.   My irresponsible planning and driving directions that took us in circles around Staten Island for a extra hour or so, we finally pulled up to the parking lot at almost 7PM. That's when show is set to start, I'd assume. But we decided that we'd walk in on "Sex and Candy" and it'd be no harm, no foul. We're trying to drink our beer at supermarket prices here in the parking lot. so we were about to start the trek towards the venue, when a yellow school bus suddenly appeared. The door was open and they were shuttling people to the main parking lot. It was like a Summerland miracle..

Got to the gates, after being frisked like criminals we headed up to the Lawn to hit a beer line where someone gave me props on my Meat Puppets tee shirt. Anything to spread the brand. Still on this line at 8:29 is when the chords of "Follow You Down" kick off. Now we're boozed up headed back to find a spot, which we found a good one. Not the best spot overall, but there was a path for a guy like myself to run up to the railing to get good video of songs I found important. So much weed was being smoked EVERYWHERE by the time "Found Out About You" came on. I turned to Pam and said "They're gonna do that Allison song next", and sure enough, here we are into "Allison Rd".. Towards the end you realize: Wow, the Gin Blossoms are really kicking ass right now. None of their set disappointed, as you can certainly hear on my video of "Hey Jealousy" where it seems as if I had walked into a crowd of teenage girls, who proceeded to scream every single lyric. I'd do the same thing if I wasn't wielding a camera. I finally got to see the Gin Blossoms, all those songs that represented all those shitty relationships I've had in my life I got to see live. That's what this tour is all about. You've figured out by now that we've already missed Marcy Playground AND Lit. That's a bummer. But then again, I'm chalking this up as a victory with the Gin Blossoms-and I got Everclear later. Speaking of Everclear, at about 9:15 here comes Art Alexakis on stage, thanking everyone for coming out and talking about how awesome the 90's were, and explaining a story about how he first met Mark McGrath in 1997 on acid (not sure which one of them was on acid). He then introduced Sugar Ray.

First song we hear is the Saved By The Bell theme song, I think it's being played over the loud speaker. Ray and I are screaming the lyrics aloud grabbing the attention of a chick sitting in front of us (yea, we're sitting on the grass for Sugar Ray), then the band played Wipeout and Mark McGrath appeared in a white sport coat on stage. McGrath has this cocky personality about him that anyone who's seen him live will tell you something to the effect of "you hate him but you love him". So I spent this set focused on not letting this douche nozzle win me over. After "Every Morning" and "Out The Window" almost made my head nod. I recognize way too many of these songs for me to openly admit. They broke into "Mean Machine/Blitzkrieg Bop" mashed into one song sort of-they've been doing that on this tour. The two fans were pulled up on stage, to sing verses on some more covers. The first dude got "You got to Fight For Your Right (To Party)" and it was pretty neat, then with the second dude the whole band got into "I Got A Feeling". Yeah, that Black Eyed Peas song. I was this close to enjoying that set until I heard that non-sense. He handed them each a shirt by saying "Here ya go, a Collective Soul Tee for you, and a Third Eye Blind one for you". Where are they on this tour? They closed out a crowd pleasing set with "Fly" which I taped and afterwards kept rolling for the first verse of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song he did.   So around 10:15 McGrath comes back out to introduce Everclear, proclaiming them "The ONLY band that can close out Summerland!". Damn right. The people who think Sugar Ray is the band on this bill need to have their heads examined.

So a few minutes later Everclear hit the stage and kicked things off with "Father of Mine" and "Everything to Everyone". I know people who disagree with my last paragraph will find joy in this, what bothered me was the mass amounts of people leaving while Everclear was just kicking off their set. It's bad enough that the seated area between the lawn and the pit was half empty, but by the time Everclear was into their 3rd song the place was getting scarce. Then at about 10:45, Lisa says "hey, why don't we sneak by that security guard into those seats". I finished taping whatever song I was (because I have a railing to lean on the camera isn't so shaky) and tapped Pam and said we were about to make moves. As soon as 3 hot girls passed in front of this dude, we walked right passed him with his back turned to us. That was bad ass.

So now we're in what, $50-$60 seats for the duration of the show, which wasn't too long but was everything we needed. "Wonderful" and "I Will Buy You A New Life" were beautiful and for all these people who say Art's voice is "shot" and they're "terrible live" please, comment below and tell me how that is fact? These songs sounded exactly as they did on record. Humor me. Then they jumped into a Led Zeppelin cover(Rock And Roll) that they had the lead singer of Lit come out to assist with. But during this while I'm recording a fight breaks out between these two drunken heavyweights a few rows up. Typical Jersey rock concert, people get drunk and argue over which one of them is the father of Snooki's child. But wait, why is my 5 foot 2 friend Lisa over there now? She's breaking up the fight is what she's doing, for reasons none of us, including her are able to explain. Dudes are covering Zep and I had to make sure some guy twice my size doesn't toss Lisa to the side like a discarded napkin. It was a conflict that resulted in me NOT being man and heading over there, and the video sucks anyway because I had my eyes on the brawl. The last song of the evening was of course "Santa Monica", which is personally the only song I can play on guitar-barely. But there were kids on stage, I believe the lead singer of Lit (who was still hanging on stage) brought his kids up to partake in the awesomeness. Show ended about 11, that was after Art said "See you next year, tell a friend!". Well, I'm the friend that just told you.   What a moment. Been waiting since March for this, and even with missing Lit and Marcy Playground this still was such a great experience, no matter how cheesy some may view it as. This cost me $25. In this economy, I'll take it! Anyway, those who stuck around to read I thank you, and hope you keep up with us at Concert Confessions because there is nothing but good things going on over here. Keep your eyes peeled.   LATE   [gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="post_date"]

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Childish Gambino @ Central Park Summerstage 06/25/12

Childish Gambino - 6/25/12
Central Park Summerstage - New York City
Words/Photos/Video By Jay Porks
Damn, I wish I could keep this streak going of hitting epic shows every freaking night. What goes on people , welcome yourselves to the 73rd episode of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. After two days in Atlantic City at the Orion Music + More festival, it was time to get back in the New York groove as they say with a visit to Central Park, for Childish Gambino. Since this is Concert Confessions, I have a small confession to come clean with right now: I introduced ALL my peers at CC to this guy over a year ago! Then all of sudden Reverend Justito gets him at Coachella, then the entire NW chapter got him at Sasquatch in WA, even a confession from Mr Sparkly from a show in Moscow, ID on thenaturalstoner's birthday. Then Jakob got him at Bonarroo. I've read way too much about my new favorite rapper on this site not from me, it's about damn time this Central Park show came around. Openers are Schoolboy Q and Danny Brown- "doors" at 6, show at 7 at the Summerstage, as a killer storm was just cleared up upon our arrival. I don't know if my head isn't on straight or what, me and my buddy Chach got to the city at 6:30 and I took us all sorts of out of the way missing a bunch of trains. I'm the one who's been to shows here after all. So we got in at like 7:30 and we heard Danny Brown on stage as we were entering. I thought it was going to be reversed and Schoolboy Q would be on first but it wasn't the case. Danny Brown is a little too weird for my taste anyway. I can take him in small doses, and I'm sure he'll be out here sometime later on tonight.
Schoolboy Q hit the stage at like 7:45 and was spitting lyrics to a hyped, packed out crowd who didn't seem only into the headliner. During his set Danny Brown was walking around like the front of the stage by the crowd, taking pictures with people and stuff- like right when Schoolboy Q is up there trying to do his thing. I'd be pissed if someone was kinda stealing my thunder. His last song was “Hands on the Wheel”. He was off by 8:13PM
At about 8:32PM the stage was filled with smoke as Childish Gambino came out to a roaring ovation. Most of the crowd was chanting “Gam-Bino Gam-Bino”, just like they scream for Jay Z with the “HOVA” chants . Unreal. I never thought I'd see this many people as excited as me. Then like the 2nd song up was “Firefly”, which is a sick song. This guy is such a pro at what he's doing. “Freaks and Geeks” hit us up next, the song containing such epic lines like “I'm in the back of the bush like Gaven Rossdale's drummer”(get it? The female anatomy + 90's Alternative rock band? Awesome). They're was a video screen that I couldn't see do to the fact I went far right to be as close to the stage as I could. He did a song or two off 'Culdesac', his first record (or mixtape). Besides a few people cutting in front of us and pissing me the hell off before they moved I was genuinely have such an awesome time. Even though I'm cramped in with a bunch of people being bumped from all sides-I feel like this is family.
Everywhere we looked there was weed being smoked..and not the typical “let me duck down and use this one hitter” type smoking. Everyone was smoking right in front of the event staff, they were watching and really could care less. There's this couple in front of us (who earlier I was pissed at the dude for being in front of me, but he has since moved over) turns around and I see him talking to Chach and then he hands him half a joint, and it's fat as hell. Chach goes “I don't know, he said he was done smoking or something”. Sweet. Myself, not the type to shy away from the recreational use of the herbal, enhanced the night a little more by joining in with the rest of Central Park's Marijuana Bonfire. People never share at shows, these are some good times right here.
The thing different about Childish Gambino, besides the way his punchlines emphasize the punch, is that he plays with a full band. These guys rock out. At one point during the set he says “Listen guys, this isn't a Rap concert-This is a black rock concert!”. And tearing through “All The Shine” (tearing through it to epic proportions) and the “Rolling in the Deep” remix he does, with the two guitar players, two violinists, drummer and all of the above with one drum in front of them at all times creating all sorts of cool elements. Like, the guitar player bangs the drum for a little, hits the keyboard on another part of the song. All these guys are full with as much energy as Gambino. “L.E.S.”, “Heartbeat” and “Bonfire”(which was, like many tonight, full crowd sing-alongs as we all know the every single lyric) were all played before 9:27 when he said goodnight and headed off stage. I thought it was over before I looked at the time, because it felt like he played it all.
Comes back out like 3 minutes later, and says “I said it was a black rock concert, well now it's time we turn this to a rap concert!”, then kicked a freestyle over the beat for a song called “Rack City” by Tyga. Then he said “Ya wanna hear some new shit?” before jumping into songs recently released like “Eat Your Vegetables” and “Unnecessary Roughness” which Schoolboy Q was called out to perform his verse he has on the track. One problem for Schoolboy Q, his mic seemed to be low or totally out. So Gambino, so aware of the situation, goes from just ad libbing the line to outright rapping Q's entire verse for him. What a save. Now it's Danny Brown time, I knew that weirdo would be out sooner or later. They drop a beat and Danny Brown ripped a freestyle, followed by Gambino ripping one of his own and then Schoolboy Q's mic was fixed in time for him to rock one out too before the night was closed out with “Lights Turned On”. 9:55PM, right on time for the Summerstage curfew.  
Wow. Seriously, wow. Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino comes home to destroy this place. Left it all on stage like he does in every town every time. I can't wait til July 4th for the new mixtape to drop! This was some fun times tonight, so much fun had. If you've been keeping score at home, that's two nights of Metallica followed by a barn burner by Childish Gambino. I'm wiped. Thanks for taking the time. Leave some comments! We have a new comment thing down there as of a few weeks ago. It's cool tits.   LATE