Friday, October 27, 2017

Superchunk & Bat Fangs @ Neighborhood Theater


Superchunk Setlist Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017


The Crap Facts:
This is my 434th concert.
This is my 3rd concert at Neighborhood Theater.
This is my 67th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 76th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 239th concert in the USA.
Bat Fangs are the 497th band I've seen.
This is my 3rd Superchunk concert.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Spoon & Late Bloomer @ The Fillmore


After the fiasco of unsuccessfully trying to get into the Descendents show early in August to catch Late Bloomer, I got to the Fillmore just after 8 to catch this local Charlotte band play.  Great gig and a sound well suited to the headliners (not sure how it went with the Bronx/Descendents crowd).   I remember being indifferent when I first saw them open for the Screaming Females when I first moved to Charlotte.  This time, like the rest of the crowd, I was getting into it the longer the set went along.

Crowd size was a bit disappointing (curtain across the back of the first step up) but it is Charlotte, and it was a school night, so......their loss, and more room for me.  After a moody keyboard beginning, the band came out with all guns blazing.  Spoon were appreciative of those who came back after a washed out show in August . I was happy for the rain that night, as Amy was out of town and I would have missed it.  Do I Have To Talk You Into It set the tone for the night.  Fun, energetic and a well oiled band.  As is standard now, I was not familiar with any of the songs, and they didn't play the 2 songs I know (You Got Tour Cherry Bomb and The Way We Get By), but everything sounded great.  Inside Out and Beast & Dragon early on were the standouts.  A four song encore for their last show on the tour had the crowd in raptures. I liked Hot Thoughts in their "mini-set".

I saw Spoon at the Big Day Out in 2008 and on the strength of that show and the 2 previously mentioned songs, I came to this show.  And I'm so glad I did.  Spoon have their own unique sound and a stage presence which shows they love what they do.  Look forward to catching them again someday.

Spoon Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017

The Crap Facts:
This is my 433rd concert.
This is my 23rd concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 66th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 75th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 238th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Late Bloomer concert.
This is my 2nd Spoon concert.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Dinosaur Jr @ Orange Peel, Asheville, NC


Another Dinosaur Jr show.  And another drive to Asheville (the 2nd in 2 weeks).  Had a really smooth drive up there - I love my new dad van!  I had dinner with the family in Charlotte first and arrived as Easy Action were finishing their last song.  Was bummed.  They were pretty good earlier this year in Carborro.

As usual Dinosaur Jr straggled on stage to not a lot of fan fare, and in went the earplugs.  Not sure if I was tired from the drive, but it took a while for me to get into it tonight.  All the right ingredients were there.  I was 4 rows from the stage, right in front of J Mascis, and the crowd was a good enough size that everyone had their own space.  But it wasn't until Out There that I started really enjoying the night.  Fell The Pain was frenetic and wild.  It was also great to hear Get Me and Start Choppin' again - Where You Been is my favorite Dinosaur Album.  And before the set finished with Gargoyle, they played an all time favorite song - Freak Scene.  I got goosebumps - again!  A 2 song encore was topped off with another blistering version of the Stooges TV Eye with Easy Actions' drummer and singer joining the fray.

I'm so grateful to see one of my favorite bands twice in one year, even if I had to drive a combined 500 miles to see them - and on a school night (thank you wifey and Uber job).  If my ears hold out I hope this is the 8th of many more Dinosaur Jr shows I get to see.

Dinosaur Jr. Setlist The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC, USA 2017, Get a Glimpse of What Yer Not

The Crap Facts:
This is my 432nd concert.
This is my 2nd concert at The Orange Peel.
This is my 6th concert in Asheville.
This is my 74th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 237th concert in the USA.
This is my 8th Dinosaur Jr concert.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mastodon & Eagles Of Death Metal @ The Fillmore


I am very aware that 3 days after the shooting spree that killed 58 people in my previous home city of Las Vegas, I am seeing the band, who, with their fans, suffered from a terrorist attack while they were performing in Paris in November 2015.  It's not often I get nervous, but tonight is definitely the exception.

The Eagles of Death Metal, on the other hand, are not.  They are ready to rock like it's no one's business.  From the outset when Mastodon's Brent Hines joined for the opening song I Only Want You EoDM decided this was going to be their best show ever - which I'm sure they do every night.  Frontman Jesse Hughes was a ball of energy, bouncing, pogoing and dancing from one side of the stage to the other.  While I don't know any EoDM songs (yet) there is an engaging energy that bursts into the crowd, and a four-on-the-floor rocking beat which gets any crowd moving.  Jesse Hughes is a showman in the vain of Vintage Trouble, Hives, Cage the Elephant and, of course, Iggy.  His enthusiasm and the the great music make for an awesome show - and a challenge for a headlining band.

Eagles of Death Metal Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017

Mastodon had a crowd full of loyal fans and they were happy to oblige them with over 100 minutes of  heavy, sludgy rock.  While most songs came off the unfamiliar to me new album, Emperor of Sand, (I should know this from the last time I saw them and The Hunter dominated the set), there was plenty of familiarity throughout the show.  Divinations & Crystal Skull back to back got me started. and I really enjoyed Black Tongue, Colony of Birchmen and Oblivion through the middle of the set.  I began to tire near the end of the night and a lot stuff sounded a bit samey, except for the excellent Crack The Skye.  Mastodon do a great job of creating their unique sound, but unfamiliarity leads to you only to appreciate the musicianship instead of enjoying the songs.  I wish I'd heard Emperor of Sand before tonight.  Would have made for a better show for me.

Mastodon Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, Emperor of Sand

I walked into the venue to hear only the last song of Russian Circles.  I wish I'd gotten there earlier to see them, cause what I heard sounded great.  After 13 years I got to see only my 2nd Eagles Of Death Metal show (back in 2004 thew killed it opening for the Strokes in Vegas).  Tonight they were even better.  And again Mastodon keeps metal relevant.  Great night all round.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 431st concert.
This is my 22nd concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 65th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 73rd concert in North Carolina.
This is my 236th concert in the USA.
This is my 2nd Eagles Of Death Metal concert.
Eagles Of Death Metal are the 100th different band I've seen in Charlotte
This is my 5th Mastodon concert.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trevor Noah @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, Asheville, NC


I didn't realize Trevor Noah was coming to Charlotte in February or I would have taken the easy option, but thanks to Uncle Drew, Amy and I took advantage of staying in Asheville for the night.  We drove up in the early afternoon and spent time meandering around the River Arts District.  Some great galleries up there, and plenty of gift ideas for Christmas.

We checked into the Double Tree near the Biltmore (thanks to Amy's Hilton points, as hotels are ridiculously priced in town), with enough time to clean up and Uber back into downtown and catch dinner.  We walked passed Zambra when we were here for Nick Cave in June, so opted to dine there.  What a great choice!  The tapas was fantastic, and while some food was slow coming, we had a great seat watching the kitchen go bananas.  We've always wanted to try Curate, but am more than happy we found this place around the corner from the venue.

As usual I'm not going to retell jokes that Trevor Noah told in his 1 1/4 hour stand up show.  Needless to say he was funny, and knows his audience.  He told some great American stories from a foreigner's perspective (very relatable to me) and some good political stuff, while, surprisingly, going relatively easy on Trump and his administration. 

A sleep in - ahhh no children.  A quick breakfast at Well Bred before we drive back to Charlotte.  A nice quick getaway.  Something we should do a little more often.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Litchfield Beach, SC

From the 19th to 26th August we spent our 4th annual summer trip to the beach back at Litchfield Beach.  This time we had the added bonus of seeing the solar eclipse in totality (ahh....that's why the rooms are scarce and more expensive).  Besides that it was beach and pool time with plenty of visits to a couple of restaurants and our favorite ice cream store.

Quigley's Pint & Plate - a good first night dinner, overlooking a pond with alligators.  )A sentenceI never thought I'd type.)
Hanser House - just outside the resort.  Good food, but we left it too late and the boys turned hangry waiting for food.
Chive Blossom - a favorite from last year, great to sit outside and enjoy a fantastic meal.
Habenero's - pretty sure we'll find a better Mexican restaurant next time

 Solar Eclipse -  21 August


Litchfield Beach Solar Eclipse -  21 August - same day last year this beach was ours alone.

L, Mom & B

 L, Dad, B and Mom

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 Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre, Charlotte, NC, USA 2017, Till the End

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.