Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gogol Bordello & In The Whale @ Fillmore


You can never go wrong enjoying yourself at a Gogol Bordello show.  And tonight is no exception.

In The Whale had just started when I arrived and I'm so glad I saw all this.  This may be my new favorite band.  Rock n roll is not dead.  This 2 piece from Denver know what great music is, and how to get a crowd into.  Sure it is an unknown opening band, but in the end people were going mental.. Girlfriend was the highlight.  With the help of Gogol hype-man, Pedro Erazo, In The Whale bought the crowd, literally, to it's knees during Girlfriend, only to send them into a frenzy at the screaming last chorus.  It was absolutely wild!  I'm sure In The Whale left with a number of new fans tonight (but the Peyton rules, Cam sucks during the last song may have put a dent in that.

It was disappointing to see the Fillmore only half full tonight.  Charlotte will happily complain when good bands play all around us (Asheville, Carrboro, Greensboro, Atlanta etc) but when a great one comes through you get a piss-weak turnout.  This didn't matter to Gogol Bordello.  Actually I think they wouldn't care if no-one showed up.  They will have an awesome time regardless.  From the opening notes of  Break Into Your Higher Self singer, Eugene Hutz, was in full swing.  By Immigrant Punk he was too sweaty to have a shirt.  And nobody in the audience wasn't dancing.  Dogs Are Barking and Think Locally, Fuck Globally are familiar to me and definitely highlights, as was the friend they bought on stage to add a flamenco sound to a few songs - not sure who he was, but he was amazing.  A four song encore ended with Hutz throwing a drum into the crowd, stage diving after it, and standing above an adoring crowd, like that's what you always do.

I left the show upbeat and exhausted, I can only imagine how long it took the band to come down from that kind of 2 hour high energy.

Gogol Bordello Setlist
Break Into Your Higher Self / Saboteur Blues / Not A Crime / Immigrant Punk / 60 Revolutions / Oh No / Dogs Were Barking / Book Of Caveman / Trans-Continental Hustle / Immigraniada / Illumination / You Know Who We Are / Think Locally, Fuck Globally / Kathy Cruel / Start Wearing Purple / Mishto! / Wonderlust King
Encore: We Did It All / Ultimate / Alcohol / Baro Foro

The Crap Facts:
This is my 420th concert.
This is my 19th concert at The Fillmore.
This is my 56th concert in Charlotte.
This is my 63rd concert in North Carolina.
This is my 225th concert in the USA.
In The Whale are the 490th band I've seen.
In The Whale are the 100th different band I've seen in North Carolina.
This is my 4th Gogol Bordello concert.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Dinosaur Jr & Easy Action @ Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC


Dinosaur Jr in Carrboro - ok, if I must!  On the night that UNC play in the NCAA Final Four I head into town for another blasting from Dinosaur Jr.

Easy Action are a rocking opener that the crowd seemed a little intimidated by.  Singer John Brannon has a confrontational look (not unlike my own Resting Bitchy Face) and it plays through in their music.  Driving, four-on-the-floor, rock n roll.  The way it's meant to be.

Somewhere between the car and the venue I lost my always-needed-for-Dinosaur-Jr earplugs.  Thankfully the bar at the Cat's Cradle were there to rescue me.  As usual the band casually appear on stage to no fanfare and just start doing what they do best.  Thumb opened the show, but for me it got cooking at The Wagon (one of a few songs where the earplugs have to come out)  Out There was fantastic, and I love the faster live version of Feel The Pain.  The Where You Been album was when I first got into the band, so Start Chopping was great to hear as well.  Plenty of plays from the the new Give A Glimpse Of What Yer Not - which carries of that distinctive Dinosaur Jr sound.  Freak Scene was played near the end (which is an all time favorite song of mine).  And I thought a perfect way to end the night.  That is until some Easy Action joined the band for a TV Eye encore.  Dinosaur Jr playing The Stooges - I was happier than all the UNC students going nuts over their narrow victory in bars all around us.

I realized another piece of the live Dinosaur Jr experience for me tonight.  While J Mascis looks cool, calm and some may say uninterested, Lou rocks out a sweaty storm on the other side of the stage.  While in the middle Murph drives the yin and yang of the other 2 at the same time.  A visual juxtaposition added to the great music, makes for an awesome band.

Dinosaur Jr Setlist
Thumb / Goin' Down/ Lost All Day / I Told Everyone / Love Is... / The Wagon / Watch The Corners / Tiny / Out There / Feel The Pain / Knocked Around / Start Choppin / I Walk For Miles / Freak Scene / Gargoyle
Encore: TV Eye (Stooges cover)

The Crap Facts:
This is my 419th concert.
This is my 2nd concert at Cat's Cradle.
This is my 2nd concert in Carrborro.
This is my 62nd concert in North Carolina.
This is my 224th concert in the USA.
Easy Action are the 489th band I've seen.
Easy Action are the 250th American band I've seen.
This is my 7th Dinosaur Jr concert.