Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Melvins & Hepa Titus @ Las Vegas Country Saloon

Thank God for the Melvins.

I am a fan in the sense that any time they come to a town I'm in I will see them.  I own only 2 albums.  I know very few song names, and can barely sing along to what they do, but the 5 times I've seen them previous, they have killed it.  Tonight would be no different.

My first foray to the Las Vegas Country Saloon in Downtown.  A great, small venue (a bit larger than the Casbah in San Diego where I last saw the Melvins).  I got there in time for Hepa/Titus to hit the stage.  Containing Melvins bassist for this tour, Kevin Rutmanis, the band played some good rock, enough to get the crowd ready for greatness.

The Melvins are in at the end of an incredible 51 shows in 51 days in all the US' states and territories, and we are show 49 - on Dale's birthday.  They are doing this tour as a 3 piece (Melvins Lite), so the 2 guys from Big Business aren't with them, meaning no duel drum attack.  Bummer!  Still from the get go, the Melvins played their distinct style of rock and assaulted the crowd with their greatness.  As usual it wasn't until Hooch (a Houdini song), halfway through the set, that I knew a song.  This set played heavily on the new Freak Puke album.  A couple of covers, as usual, but a great version of the Wing's Let Me Roll It topped the night.  Overall another solid show from this unique band.  I will back to see them again for 2 reasons.  1) They never fail to put on a good show and 2) I just want to hear Honeybucket once, live.  It is an all time favorite song of mine and they've no played it in the 6 times I've seen them.  Oh well!....any excuse.

Melvins Setlist
Eye Flys / Captain Pungent / Berthas / National Hamster / Worm Farm Walt / Leon Vs The Revolution / Mr. Rip Off / A Growing Disgust / A History Of Drunks / Hooch / Baby, Won't You Weird Me Out / Holy Barbarians / Let Me Roll It (Wings cover) / Set Me Straight / Deserted Cities Of The Heart (Cream cover) / Sky Pup / Electric Flower / Inner Ear Rupture / Shevil

The Crap Facts:
This is my 344th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Las Vegas Country Saloon.
Las Vegas Country Saloon is the 91st venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 139th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 139th concert in Nevada.
This is my 151st concert in the USA.
Hepa Titus are the 407th band I've seen.
This is my 6th Melvins concert.
Melvins are the 800th time I've seen a band.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Peter Gabriel & Jennie Abrahamson @ Planet Hollywood Theater

Wasn't really sure what I was going to be in for with this show.  Peter Gabriel's tour coincides with the 25th anniversary of his So album.  I've never been a fan, obviously songs here and there were liked, but Amy was keen to see this.

The Planet Hollywood Theatre was a lot bigger than I expected but we had a great isle seat about halfway back in the room.  Sitting down for music is a little weird for me, but could be appropriate for this show.  We'll see.

The show started with Swedish pianist, and Gabriel's back up singer, Jennie Abrahamson, playing a few (maybe 4) of her own original pieces.  Very mellow beginning.

Unannounced Peter Gabriel and band walked on stage and he announced the format for the show.  He wanted to do a couple of acoustic numbers before rocking out, then was to play So from start to finish.  Shock The Monkey & Digging In The Dirt were familiar to me, and awesome live.  But the rest of the opening set was great and Amy - on a rare night out for the 2 of us these days - was having a blast.  Once he started playing So, I knew a lot more songs than I realized.  Sledgehammer, Big Time & Don't Give Up were fantastic, with Jennie Abrahamson doing a super version of Kate Bush's vocals in the latter song.  The set finished with the "Say Anything" anthem In Your Eyes.  The crowd went nuts.  I could only imagine what it would have been like the following night when John Cusack actually walked on stage in Los Angeles with a boom-box to do the classic stance from the movie.  But we weren't done yet.  While only a 2 song encore (mind you this was a 2 1/2 hour show, so I'm not complaining), the night finished with Biko - in my opinion, Gabriel's greatest song.  So glad I got to experience that live

So with his original recording band from So, a great light and staging show, Peter Gabriel has still got it.  A fantastic night was no only had by us, but pretty much everyone in a near capacity Planet Hollywood Theatre.  Glad I took the opportunity to see this great artist.

Peter Gabriel Setlist
OBUT / Come Talk To Me / Shock The Monkey / Family Snapshot / Digging In The Dirt / Secret World / The Family & The Fishing Net / No Self Control / Solsbury Hill / Humdrum
Red Rain / Sledgehammer / Don't Give Up / That Voice Again / Mercy Street / Big Time / We Do What We're Told / This Is The Picture / In Your Eyes
Encore: The Tower That Ate People / Biko

The Crap Facts:
This is my 343rd concert.
This is my 1st concert at Planet Hollywood Theater.
Planet Hollywood Theater is the 90th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 138th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 138th concert in Nevada.
This is my 150th concert in the USA.
Jennie Abrahamson is the 405th band I've seen.
Peter Gabriel is the 406th band I've seen.
Peter Gabriel is the 800th time I've seen a band.
This is my 50th concert with Amy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rise Against & Gaslight Anthem @ New Joint

I keep going back to see Rise Against - even though I am not a fan - because they keep bringing good support bands with them.  This time a current favorite, The Gaslight Anthem.

Not a huge crowd for The Gaslight Anthem, and those that were there were looking to get up front for the main event.  It was an OK set by them, though too big a venue to really enjoy it.  Plenty of songs off The 59 Sound (one of my favorite albums of the last 10 years).  Not sure why these guys don't come to Vegas on their own.  In the House Of Blues or the Hard Rock Cafe they'd be terrific.

Rise Against got another chance because I saw singer Tim McIlrath in the documentary "The Other F Word".  He seems like a good bloke, so why not.  However, I was quickly reminded what I didn't like - that voice is nails on a chalk board to me and the choreographed skipping gets a bit much.  But again, I was in the minority.  The kids in The Joint had a blast and knew every word to every song.  As always my thoughts just revert back to "Maybe I'm just too old for this".  Needless to say we had one foot out the door - gotta beat the crowd, get to your car and out of that nightmare Hard Rock parking lot - when the encore started.

Though this is far from the best show I've seen, I wonder when I will see Rise Against again - and more importantly who will the bring with them.

Rise Against Setlist
Survivor Guilt / Ready To Fall / Collapse (Post-Amerika) / The Good Left Undone / Broken English / Help Is On The Way / Drones / Disparity By Design / Re-Education (Through Labor)/ Blood To Bleed / Satellite / Wait For Me / Prayer Of The Refugee / Swing Life Away / For Fiona (No Use For A Name Cover) / Make It Stop (September's Children) / Give It All
Encore:  Broken Mirrors / The Strength To Go On / Savior

The Crap Facts:
This is my 342nd concert.
This is my 14th concert at New Joint.
This is my 137th concert in Las Vegas.
This is my 137th concert in Nevada.
This is my 149th concert in the USA.
This is my 3rd Gaslight Anthem concert.
This is my 3rd Rise Against concert.