Friday, August 4, 2017

Descendents & The Bronx @ The Fillmore

Thanks to some lawsuit Ticketmaster lost, tonight's show is paid for by them and a chance to see the Descendents close up in a small venue, after seeing them from a distance at Riot Fest in 2014.

In a twist of fate against rock and roll, I had the hardest time getting into the Fillmore tonight.  As I was driving in, Kidz Bop fans were leaving the amphitheater out the back.  Traffic was chaos.  Then it seemed the Fillmore was light on staff taking tickets and doing security checks, so I missed Late Bloomer, who I wanted to see again after seeing them open for the Screaming Females in 2013.

So first up was, for me, the unknown Bronx.  From the get go I thought this band was special.  Singer Matt Caughthran was up for a good night, and it showed from the outset.  His bouncing/stalking/rocking out from the first song set a high standard for the night's energy.  It took only 3 songs for him to dive out into the crowd and by half way through the set he was back in the crowd, controlling the pit, blasting out 4 songs.  All the while the rest of The Bronx delivered a faultless, driving beat that forced energy into the Fillmore.  I knew nothing about this band before I came in (and I don't wanna be the guy on his phone typing song names to try and remember what was what), but you can bet that I am going to look for more of their stuff to listen to, and hope they come back, even if it's as Mariachi El Bronx, real soon.

I don't remember The Descendents being that big in Australia.  Maybe I was too young and not yet into punk.  But as my music awareness expanded, you hear of the importance of this band.  That's what I came to see more of tonight.  Starting with Everything Sux, The Descendents spent the next hour blasting out song after song that people around me remembered with fondness and belted out at the top of their voices.  I Like Food is the only song of their's I actually know - and I got my 15 seconds of bliss about 2/3rds of the way through the set.  While The Descendents had a ferocity that defied their age, it was a little amusing to see  singer Milo use oxygen between songs.  

A great high energy show from both bands, who I would see again any time they passed through town.

Descendents Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, Hypercaffium Spazzinate

The Crap Facts:
This is my 430th concert.
This is my 21st concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 64th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 72nd concert in North Carolina.
This is my 235th concert in the USA.
The Bronx is the 496th band I've seen.
This is my 2nd Desecendents concert.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Primus & Clutch @ CMCU Amphitheater

To tell you the truth, I wouldn't know a Clutch song if I fell over it.  I know Neil Fallon did an awesome version of American Waste on Rollins' West Memphis 3 CD years ago, and that was enough to get me to their Primus opening slot.  As usual for the outdoor show, rain in the area was trying to put a dampener (no pun intended) on things.  The rain eased to a drizzle and Clutch hit the stage as I walked from my car into the venue.  I went side stage (where I watch the poorly sounded Bush last year).  A few core fans there had the benefit of a new, extra speaker, so the sound was great.  I still don't really know a Clutch song, but they had the crowd engaged in their 75 minute set (Pretty long for an opener, right?).

Clutch Setlist Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, Psychic Warfare

Before Primus came on I tried to take advantage of the $10 seat upgrade offer the venue was advertising.  I assumed as a single I'd be good for an OK spot.  But apparently you can only pay with a credit card on your phone, and I'm too old and paranoid for that.  However, they accept cash only for a VIP seat upgrade.  What? Considering the amount of empty seats in both sections, sounds like a policy that needs to be reviewed.

Primus came out and it didn't take too much to realize they were going to rehash setlists from the last 2 times I saw them (last year with Tool, and the year before with Dinosaur Jr).  While their visuals that accompany the songs are great, it is time to mix it up a bit - new videos or how about adding some different songs to the playlist.  Frizzle Fry was the first great song for the night for me.  And Mr Krinkle is an all time favorite, so there is no denying the joy of that video / song combination.  Damned Blue Collard Tweekers got the crowd out of a mid-set funk and the new song, The Seven, is as Primus-y as you can get.  Except for the intro to The Seven, and Claypool having a dig at drummer, Alexander, for missing the end of Mud, audience interaction was at a minimum.  Only an extended Southbound Pachyderm was played as an encore and I didn't feel that the show had all the energy you usually find at a Primus gig.  We'll let them off with this being the first show of the tour - but I hope it gets better for the crowd's sake.  Don't get me wrong - I'll come back until I hear Tommy The Cat again, but lets hope that is sooner rather than later.

Primus Setlist Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, 2017 Summer U.S. Tour

The Crap Facts:
This is my 429th concert.
This is my 8th concert at CMCU Amphitheater.
This is my 63rd concert in Charlotte.
This is my 71st concert in North Carolina.
This is my 234th concert in the USA.
Clutch is the 495th band I've seen.
This is my 9th Primus concert.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Deftones & Rise Against @ CMCU Amphitheater

Ahhh! Rain and the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater go hand in hand more often than not.  This is the 3rd time I've stood in the rain for a show here (Violent Femmes/Barenaked Ladies & Weezer), and 2 other times we didn't even bother to turn up (Counting Crows & Ray LaMontaigne).

As per usual I see Rise Against because of a good line up.  However, they are growing on me.  Some great energy tonight and a lot of humble appreciation being thrown to the crowd for coming out in such horrible conditions.  I actually sat in my car for 15 minutes deciding whether I'd go in or not.  Definitely glad I did.  Ready To Fall kicked off the frenzy of Rise Against fans (these are some loyal people - the girl I was next to was talking about this being her 12th show - she happened to be in Charlotte for work and is going again next Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida).  A few other songs I was familiar with like Savior, Re-Education and Prayer For The Refugee littered the 50 minute set.  A couple of new ones thrown in as well fit in quiet nicely to Rise Against sound.

Like a lot of the older people in the crowd, I waited in the rain for the Deftones - some of the Rise Against kids left early (not knowing the greatness that came before their time).  From the get go the Deftones brutal sound had the crowd amped.  My Own Summer (my favorite song of theirs) was the 2nd song played and it sounded great.  Chino was on fine form, letting everyone know it was his birthday.  He played the crowd well, getting off the stage a few times to the delight of all nearby.  Rosemary was awesome, as was Knife Prty and Change.  I love Deftones use of the quite/loud dynamic, mixed in with slower and faster beats.  And Chino is a great frontman - better when he's not playing the guitar.  Age has not wearied the Deftones.  This show was as intense as any of the other 4 I've seen dating back to the Australian version of The Warped Tour in 1999.  With that in mind, I can't wait til they come back through Charlotte.

Deftones Setlist
Headup / My Own Summer (Shove It) / Swerve City / Digital Bath / Elite / Rosemary / Be Quiet & Drive (Far Away) / Phantom Bride / Knife Prty / Back To School (Mini Maggit) / Rivière (First verse only) / Change (In The House Of Flies) / Diamond Eyes / Rocket Skates
Encore: Root

The Crap Facts:
This is my 428th concert.
This is my 7th concert at CMCU Amphitheater.
This is my 62nd concert in Charlotte.
This is my 70th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 233rd concert in the USA.
This is my 5th Rise Against concert.
This is my 5th Deftones concert.
Deftones are the 50th band I've seen at least 5 times.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Tegan & Sara @ Fillmore

So my knowledge of Tegan & Sara is limited to a few tracks from The Con & So Jealous.  However they were so good at Riot Fest in 2014 (my surprise pick - I wanted them to be good, and they were great) that I had to see them do their on show, in a small venue.  Needless to say, since those albums they have more of a pop sound to them.

The band came out to I'm So Excited blaring.  A more appropriate song for the crowd at the time, there has never been.  Everyone was hyped, and from that moment on Tegan and Sarah could not (ad did not) do wrong.  You could tell that circle of energy was happening.  The band has enjoying themselves, so the crowd was getting into it, so the band was having a blast and so on.

Banter between songs was good enough for any comedy club, and the girls' connection with the audience was heartfelt.  The music had the Fillmore non-stop dancing.  The Con and Nineteen were highlights for me, but the whole set was outstanding.  Throw in Walking With A Ghost during the 3 song encore, and you have one of the great pop shows I've seen.

While the direction of the music wasn't what I expected, it made their Riot Fest set even the more better, by playing what was appropriate for that crowd.  Fun was had by band and crowd alike.  While their musical style was not what I'd usually listen to, I'd have no hesitation in seeing Tegan & Sara again.

Tegan and Sara Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, Love You to Death

The Crap Facts:
This is my 427th concert.
This is my 20th concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 61st concert in Charlotte.
This is my 69th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 232nd concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Tegan & Sara concert.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Setlist Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC, USA 2017, Skeleton Tree

The Crap Facts:
This is my 426th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
This is my 5th concert in Asheville.
This is my 68th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 231st concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds concert.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Paul Simon @ CMCU Amphitheater

I do like it when I get a chance to see a show with mum when she comes to town.  We've seen a couple of great ones before.  Namely Elton John and Santana.  This is another one to add to the collection.

Because it was at the outdoor CMCU Amphitheater, Amy decided not to come in order to not to enforce her rain curse on us.  So I actually went to a concert with my mum and in-laws (I sound like a kid).  I got my usual seats about 20 rows from the stage, just left of center.  And as always these were great.

Paul Simon walked out to a standing ovation and then proceeded to dazzle the audience song after song from the beginning.  I wouldn't say I am a fan of his, but there are the songs that just about everyone knows, and there was plenty of those scattered through the set for me.  

Boy In The Bubble was a great start.  America was a song I didn't realize I knew.  My highlight half way through the set was Me & Julio Down by The School Yard.  When he finished with a couple of Graceland hits, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes and You Can Call Me Al, the crowd was going crazy.

A 3 song encore before he cam back out with a mellower Questions For The Angels, and we started heading for the exit.  He did play Sounds Of Silence as his only song for a 3rd encore, but fortunately he skipped the song I really wanted to hear - Mrs Robinson.

Never really thought I'd see Paul Simon, but this was a good show.  His voice is fantastic - he sounds no different than I remember hearing on record.  Clocking in at over 2 1/2 hours, another veteran performer has shown stamina and showmanship that is definitely lacking with some of today's bands.

Paul Simon Setlist Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, 2017 U.S. Summer Tour

The Crap Facts:
This is my 425th concert.
This is my 6th concert at CMCU Amphitheater.
This is my 60th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 67th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 230th concert in the USA.
Paul Simon is the 494th band I've seen.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Franz Ferdinand @ The Underground

8 years ago I got to see Franz Ferdinand at Coachella, so I was a little surprised to see them at a small venue like The Underground.  It least the venue was filled.  Quite a nice bar, and a great sound in the venue, but again with a VIP area.  Give me a break.

Franz Ferdinand walked out to rapturous applause and set the tone of rock from the the first song. Do You Want To was an early favorite as the band excelled in their jumpy stop-start then changing tempo sound.  The crowd and band were feeding off each other well.  The more the crowd was into it, the more the band had fun.  That circle continued to the build up of Take Me Out - where the place went nuts.  Ulysses finished off the main set, but Franz Ferdinand were not done.  A 3 song encore was topped off with a wildly loved This Fire, sending the crowd into one last final frenzy.

Very glad I came to this show.  While I'm not an avid listener to Franz Ferdinand they were so good at Coachella that I wanted to see how they'd do in a smaller setting.  Tyey definitely did not disappoint.

Franz Ferdinand Setlist The Underground, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, 2017 North American Tour

The Crap Facts:
This is my 424th concert.
The Underground is the 120th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 59th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 66th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 229th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Franz Ferdinand concert.