Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Primal Scream @ The Visulite

Another band that I hadn't seen in 15 years (for the 4th time this year).  The last time I saw Primal Scream was at the Big Day Out, at the Gold Coast in 2000.  I don't remember much of the gig, but I do remember it was in a tent away from the heat, and I was stoked that I got to see a band I had never considered and they were good.

This time we are in the intimate confines of the Visulite.  And a disappointingly small Charlotte crowd on this Wednesday evening allowed me to get right to the front of the stage.  When the band ht the stage a good majority of the crowd moved down the front giving it a better atmosphere than I expected.  It was difficult to tell how this show was going to go, because Bobby Gillespie didn't look like he was enjoying himself - then it all turned around for Accelerator and the show took a turn for the best.  I didn't think I knew any Primal Scream songs but  a few - Kill All Hippies, Swastika Eyes and Movin' On Up - sounded familiar.  I spent the show in front of bass player, Simone Butler, and had my whole body vibrating from her playing.  Gillespie lit up for the encore, even cracking a smile as this thick Scottish brogue tried a Southern accent with a "Thanks Charlotte, North Carolina".  The hour and a half set finished on a raucous high with Loaded and Rocks bringing this great night to a pinnacle.

It's a shame they had to play to such a small crowd, but I feel like Primal Scream had a good time, because they certainly put on a good show.

2013 / Can't Go Back / Jailbird / Accelerator / Kill All Hippies / Burning Wheel / Shoot Speed/Kill Light / Damaged / Higher Than The Sun / Autobahn 66 / Swastika Eyes / Country Girl / Movin' On Up 
Encore: I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have / Loaded / Rocks 

The Crap Facts:
This is my 388th concert.
This is my 7th concert at The Visulite.
This is my 32nd concert in Charlotte.
This is my 36th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 195th concert in the USA.
This is the 2nd time I've seen Primal Scream.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Carolina Rebellion @ Rock City Campgrounds, Concord, NC

Festival time again!  Another new one.  This time just up the road to Concord for what is ONLY rock and heavier music.  My first impressions were how great everything was logistically, but when I think about it, this is probably a pittance of people compared to the NASCAR events at the Speedway.  Regardless I left Charlotte at 4pm to make sure I was there for Cheap Trick's set at 5.30pm (they played at Riot Fest last September, but just before the Cure at a far away stage so I left after 2 songs to get a good spot and had to endure Social Distortion instead).  I parked forever away (behind the drag track) and just followed other people in the hope they were going in the right direction.  In complete opposition to getting to the venue, inside was a bit of a clusterfuck.  No maps or times of when bands were playing to take with you.  Mainly because no two bands were playing at the same time for the rest of the evening.  Ridiculous considering a band would finish on one stage as simultaneously, another would start on another stage at least 15 minutes away.

At least Cheap Trick were on a smaller side stage, where a dedicated, if not older, crowd showed up to see this legendary band - 40 years together!  The band was into it from the start and Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me and Surrender were my favorites.  Rick Nielsen bought out a string of kooky guitars including a square one and one with 6 fret boards.  This is the actual reason I came to this festival - and I'm so glad I did.  Who knows how much longer they will be together, and they put on a great show, which had the older crowd enthralled.
Cheap Trick Setlist
Hello There / Dream Police / California Man (The Move cover) / Baby Loves To Rock / Clock Strikes Ten / I Want You To Want Me / Surrender / Auf Wiedersehen / Gonna Raise Hell / Goodnight

By the time I got near the Papa Roach stage, I was so far away I could barely make them out and spent the half a set watching one of the video screens nearby.  Disappointing.  Especially remembering how good they were when I saw them 8 years ago inside Rain at the Palms.  Not necessarily my type of music, but I wanted to see them again to see if they were still as good.  I held out for a half dozen songs before going to find some dinner.

Papa Roach Setlist
Face Everything & Rise / Getting Away With Murder / Between Angels & Insects / Where Did The Angels Go? / Blood Brothers / Scars / Lifeline / Kick In The Teeth / Warriors / Forever / Last Resort / ...To Be Loved

I always see Rise Against.  And never have I been to see a show because of them.  On the 3 previous occasions they have had Bad Religion, Rancid and Gaslight Anthem as their openers and today, there was no one else playing so I saw them again.  I have really tried to like them, seen interviews and videos and they seem like great people, but I just can't catch the bug.  I must just be too old.  This show, however, was my favorite I've seen.  They may be the first band I prefer in a big outdoor arena instead of a small venue.  Re-Education and Prayer For The Refugee were the 2 highlights.
Rise Against Setlist
Ready To Fall / Give It All / Re-Education (Through Labor) / Help Is On The Way / Chamber The Cartridge / Prayer Of The Refugee / The Good Left Undone / I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore / Savior 

As the young kids piled out of Rise Against, and the oldies took off to see Sammy Hagar I moved forward to get myself a good spot in front of the sound desk for Marilyn Manson.  16 years since I saw him at the Big Day Out and, unfortunately, this performance didn't live up to that memory.  Manson seemed distracted and frequently left the stage after songs.  He also seemed to be performing for someone stage right.  Having said that I loved the 2nd half of the set - Rock Is Dead, Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams, Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus and The Beautiful People finishing off the set as Manson ended up 10 feet away as he performed in the walkway separating the crowd back to the sound booth.
Marilyn Manson Setlist
Deep Six / Disposable Teens / No Reflection / Mobscene / Tourniquet / The Dope Show / Rock Is Dead / Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (Eurythmics cover) / Personal Jesus (Depeche Mode cover) / The Beautiful People

I went to see where I'd be if I hung around for Korn, but I was further back than when I saw Papa Roach earlier in the day.  I'd had enough, and old man mode kicked in as I decided I'd beat the traffic home.  I heard half of Korns' set walking all the way back to the car (how could you not with that heavy bass sound), but was more than happy to get out of the car park with ease and cruise home without the traffic.  An alright day overall but it would take an exceptional line up to get me back next year.

The Crap Facts:
This is my 387th concert.
This is my 1st concert at Rock City Campgrounds.
Rock City Campgrounds is the 107th venue I've seen a concert.
This is my 1st concert in Concord.
Concord is the 46th city I've seen a concert.
This is my 35th concert in North Carolina.
This is my 194th concert in the USA.
Cheap Trick are the 457th band I've seen.
Cheap Trick is the 400th time I've seen an American band.
This is the 2nd time I've seen Papa Roach.
This is the 4th time I've seen Rise Against.
This is the 2nd time I've seen Marilyn Manson.
Marilyn Manson is the 350th time I've seen a band in the US.