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.

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


This is the show I have been waiting over 20 years to see again. And with mum in town to look after the boys, I even got Amy to come along.  We got to Asheville with enough time to have a quick bite at Southern Kitchen & Bar, after scoring an amazing parking space in front of the restaurant, around the corner from the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

I was told the show started at 8, so of course I was in my seat 10 minutes early, which therefore lead to the Bad Seeds coming on stage 20 minutes late.  While the band started with 3 tracks from the unknown-to-me Skeleton Tree, it was clear that Nick Cave owned the stage.  He has that "it" factor, that won't let you take your eyes off him.  The crowd (yea, I'm not the oldest) erupted when the inevitable "I wanna tell you about a girl..." line preceded From Her to Eternity.  I was hooked!  Tupelo followed, the Jubilee Street, a song I was not familiar with, delivered the greatest line of the night (and one I'll use from now on) "And a ten ton catastrophe on a sixty pound chain" The Bad Seeds then played the stunning 1-2 of Ship Song and the ever-beautiful Into My Arms.  Oh!, then it got better.  From the first chime of Red Right Hand I got chills all over.  Such an awesome song.  Between his smooth voice and the cacophony of instruments, Cave stalked the stage.  And his improvised Trump lyrics - spot on.

"You'll see him in your nightmares
You'll see him in your dreams
You'll see him on the internet
You'll read his angry little tweets"

The Mercy Seat was also out of this world.  And the encore....Oh My God!  Starting with the fact that everyone was craving more, Cave started with The Weeping Song, straight into Jack The Ripper, and then sent the crowd and band into a frenzy with Stagger Lee.  It was phenomenal!  He then finished with the quieter Push The Sky Away, but in accordance with his repoire with the crowd throughout the show, he sung the song while climbing through the crowd, ending up about 5 rows in front of us.

And absolute marvel of a night.  I thought Flaming Lips would be hard to beat for a show, but Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds blew them away.  It was easy to drive back to Charlotte after the concert, I was so pumped.  I will make it a mission not to wait 21 1/2 years to see the Bad Seeds again. I think we even turned Amy into a fan.  She said it well, saying while it's not usually the music she'd listen to, there is no denying Nick Cave is a mastery of the English language.  A modern day poet!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Push The Sky Away"

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.