supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
Last night F and I went to see Mike Doughty at World Cafe Live (downstairs). The tickets were his Christmas present. It was a great show.

Leaving for the show, we had difficulty escaping from our clingy child, and it was freezing cold. We stopped and got butter on the way to the city (it stayed plenty cold in the car while we were at the show). Had no trouble finding the recommended parking garage or finding our way to the venue (F's first time there; my first time in several years).

Our tickets got us seats at a table, which was a great idea because we could arrive when doors opened and actually eat dinner without our offspring. F had the braised pork sandwich, which he loved. I had the vegan cheesesteak, which despite no actual cheese or steak was delicious. F had two beers; I had a beer and a glass of sauvignon blanc, and then the waitress mistakenly brought me another beer, which I drank most of; if I was going to have to spend another $8 I would have preferred a creme brulee, but the beer was open and in front of me and I don't know how I could have sent it back. A friendly guy named Cliff had the seat across from us at our table and told us stories about past Doughty shows he'd seen.

The opening band was Wheatus, whose big hit in around 2000 was "Teenage Dirtbag". Since then they've released six more albums, and I really liked their energy and sense of humor. The Wheatus folks were also part of Mike Doughty's backing band.

From the concert description (link above): "Doughty is touring with the largest band he's ever toured with: a cello/bass player, drums, another guitar player, an organ player, and a backing vocalist--six people on stage. The show consists of basically live remixing. Using hand gestures, Doughty improvises changes in what the musicians in the band are doing--stopping, starting, getting louder or quieter, changing their parts, repeating their parts. The songs are Soul Coughing songs and Doughty solo songs, but none are ever performed the same way twice."

It was really cool to see Doughty basically conducting his band - and everyone in the band also got a chance to lead and conduct too. Doughty clearly likes to be in control, but it's obviously in service to making the music really tight.

I only recognized three songs: "The Bells" (so awesome! I felt for the first time in a long time like this is going to be a really good year), the one about "looking at the world from the bottom of a well", and the one about how you "don't need to walk around in circles, walk around in circles, walk around in". But I wasn't really expecting to recognize any songs, so I was pretty happy. The songs I didn't recognize were really strong, and I'm planning to look up Doughty's latest album, The Heart Watches While the Brain Burns.

After the show, we realized via Instagram that our friend Liz had also been there, but we were too late to find her and say hi. We had an uneventful trip home, which is just how I like things when coming home from the city late at night.
supercheesegirl: (goth dolly)
I was so excited to go see the B-52's! I got tickets on Groupon with my friend Eric. And then my Groupon order didn't go through and I didn't find out until the Friday before the concert, and I had to buy a new ticket full price at the last minute, but that was okay, because B-52's!

Eric and I met up at a bar called Barcade at 5 for dinner. We had tacos: there was a mushroom taco and a seitan/vegan taco, and both were delicious, and we also had nachos. There was a delicious dessert, too. But there were also many beers. I had four beers that I am sure of, four large craft-brewed high alcohol content beers, and also one glass of pinot grigio that disappeared far too quickly. Hence I can picture the dessert but can't tell you what it was called, for I was already far gone in beerland by the time it arrived. And after dessert, Eric and I had fun, for Barcade is not only a bar, it is an arcade full of lots of old games. We played Ms. Pacman (a fun multiplayer version where you try to eat each other) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Q-bert, and the one with the little bartender sliding beers down the bar to angry customers. I rocked at Ms. P and the bartender game; Eric rocked Q-bert, and we both flailed at Ninja Turtles.

After Barcade, we headed to the Fillmore, which was only a block or so away. Here is where my night gets hazy. I've never been to the Fillmore before but I can only really tell you that it is a large venue with a large bar. (I think I only had water there, but my credit card shows a $22 charge, so perhaps I bought Eric a drink.) Eric got a B-52's T-shirt, but they didn't have any shirts that I wanted (because I like the girly fit shirts rather than traditional T-shirts) so I abstained. The opener for the show was DJ Robert Drake playing an 80s dance party, but it wasn't particularly dancey or partyish, so Eric and I sat and watched people come in, in their costumes, because there was a costume contest (I did not dress up; Eric had an inflatable costume that transformed him into a bunch of grapes. It was hilarious). Soon some friends of Eric's arrived: Kat, a lovely girl in a vintage dress, and Bobby, whose face was painted with dripping blood and looked like his skin had been peeled off. We spent the evening telling him how gross he looked.

When the B-52's finally went on, my beers had hit me to the degree that I was almost too drunk to see straight. I remember that Cindy was within my eyeline (left side of the stage) and was dressed in an angel costume, with huge silvery wings and a halo. Fred was center stage in a dress, and Kate on the right side, but I don't think I ever got a clear look at her. They sounded great. I remember hearing "Deadbeat Club", one of my all-time favorite songs of theirs, and of course "Love Shack" and "Rock Lobster". Now I'm looking at the setlist and discovering a lot: they opened with "Cosmic Thing", which I do vaguely remember, and I also remember hearing "Is That You, Mo-Dean?" which I was excited about. I definitely missed "Roam", which is sad - I must have been in the bathroom because I would have wanted to hear that - and I think I missed at least some of "Channel Z". There were apparently four encore songs, the only one of which I remembered was "Rock Lobster", so I think I must've been in the bathroom again for "Planet Claire". (I was in the bathroom for normal reasons: I was falling-down drunk, but never, thankfully, throwing-up drunk, and Kat like a good friend to an older stranger accompanied me to the bathroom each time). I remember thinking during the show that I was unhappy to be so drunk, and that I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been, and had been able to see the stage clearly, but I did have a really good time; I remember dancing a lot, with Eric and Kat and Bobby, and being so excited when they played my favorite songs.

After the show, we took our time heading out because we figured a lot of people would all be calling for Uber rides at the same time. We walked a little way away from the Fillmore together, and Eric called an Uber for Kat and Bobby. Then Eric simultaneously summoned a Lyft for the two of us (I didn't even know you could do that). Our Lyft driver was a big kind black guy named Jeremiah who works with troubled juveniles in the afternoons and evenings and then drives at night. We had a really nice talk as he drove us first to Eric's house in South Philly and then took me home. I got home safely, and though I tried to be quiet, I'm sure I woke F up as I got myself ready for bed. I was in bed at 12:20 or so and asleep shortly after.

Monday morning was a little rough. After I was up so late, my little one crawled in with me at 6:15. I was actually still drunk at the time, so we had a sweet snuggle, and my hangover didn't hit me until after my shower. After F & f left for work and school, I checked my work email and followed up on some things before going back to bed. An extra couple hours in bed, coupled with a walk to get my phone fixed (note: phone being broken was not related to concert stupidity, but rather just to general life stupidity, as I dropped it in the toilet on Friday morning), was a big help, and I was back on my feet in time for Halloween night, thankfully. Not at my best, but I was able to tromp around the neighborhood and enjoy Freya's joy.

Ultimately, there was definitely at least one beer I shouldn't have had, probably two, and I would have been a better dance buddy and enjoyed the concert more if I'd had more restraint. I'm old enough to know better, and I was feeling really ashamed of myself and angry at myself - Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and my actions at the concert really could have affected my ability to enjoy the holiday. I only get so many of these while she's little, and I want to be fully present for all of them. So I think a big part of feeling rough the next day was emotional rather than physical. I think I probably have to do something really stupid every once in a while, and this was my stupid thing. That said, I did have a really good time! And I'm glad I wrote this all out, because now I see that I remember way more of the evening than I'd thought I did.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
When I saw Journey come up on Groupon, I was so freakin' excited. My initial plan was that I'd get tickets for my parents and I for my mom's birthday (as an excuse for getting the tickets that I actually wanted for myself and thus kill two birds with one stone), but when I checked with them, they had overseas travel plans that day. So I asked my high school friend Lauren (differentiated from the other Lauren we know because she will definitely not take you to the nude beach, but the other Lauren will). And she was the perfect concert buddy and it was so cool.

We met up near my office and decided to get sushi for dinner. As we were looking at the map on my phone, Laur discovered that her favorite sushi place near her office had a location three blocks from my office! So we went there, and it was great. I never go for sushi on my own because I just don't know enough and don't know what to get, but now I do and it was delicious.

Because of the sushi, we were late-ish getting to the concert and totally missed Dave Mason, who was the first opening act. Oh well. We were in plenty of time to see the Doobie Brothers, and I liked them more than I was expecting. Here's their setlist. They opened with "Jesus is Just Alright" and they sounded great. I remember there was a lull in the middle where I didn't know many of the songs; they were fine, just not anything I got excited about. Then they came back with some great tunes. I don't know what song it is, but the one that goes "I like to hear some funky dixieland, pretty mama, come and take me by the hand" was a lot of fun, and "China Grove" and "Listen to the Music" were both great.

Concert drama: we arrived late enough that we didn't have much choice in where we set up our blanket on the lawn. We plunked down with some 50ish couples in front of us and some hippies behind us in their 20s or early 30s. When the Doobies started, the hippie guy came up and asked the 50ish ladies, who were standing around talking, if they could please sit down so he could see. He was polite about it from what I could tell, and they were apologetic and sat down. Then later, hippie guy and his friends got up and were dancing to some Doobie tunes, and one of the 50ish ladies just could. Not. Let. It. Go. She was in utter disbelief that someone who had asked her to sit down could now be up dancing. She actually approached the guy and confronted him about it. There was a chorus of "sorrys" and some hugging (he was such a hippie), but it was obvious she was still discussing it with her friends several minutes later. The hippies then left after the Doobie Brothers and declined to stay for Journey, which seemed nuts to me.

One reason I was excited to see Journey (besides just the obvious: their music is awesome) was to check out their new(ish) lead singer, Arnel Pineda. I had heard that Journey needed to find a new frontman to replace Steve Perry and had ended up with this Filipino guy who apparently rocked, and y'all, it is true. Arnel had such energy and charisma, and the voice! Rock solid, sounded amazing, and he really captured that Steve Perry wail. Here's Journey's setlist. Every single song sounded great, and we were up dancing the whole time. "Be Good to Yourself", "Only the Young", "Any Way You Want It", "Open Arms", "Faithfully", and especially one of my all-time favorites, "Don't Stop Believin'". It was fantastic. A really great night.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
On Sunday I got to see Sting and Peter Gabriel play, together. It was awesome.

Last week, I saw on Facebook that my friend Liz was considering getting tickets. She had tickets for other shows three nights in a row, and was thinking about adding a fourth, because Sting, how could you not? Everyone else was commenting urging her to go for it; I commented to say I'd go with her. And she scored tickets for $85 somehow, and they weren't even lawn seats but pretty decent seats!

In exchange for allowing me to escape at bedtime, I traded F childcare earlier in the day, and took f to a kid birthday party and then to Tyler Arboretum to see goats and a puppet festival (we're members of the arboretum, so it was even free). We had a great day. Then Liz picked me up around 6. We had to trek out to Roxborough to pick up a friend of hers who was coming with us; it was the completely opposite direction, but whatev, I was going to see Sting and someone else was driving. Then because of traffic we had to park about as far as one could possibly park from the venue and not be in the river, but again, whatev, I can walk for Sting.

We had just enough time when we arrived to wait in line for beer (I also got a pretzel) and get to our seats before the show started. Right as we got to our seats around 8:05, I received a text from F that ms. f was already asleep, as we'd skipped her nap and I'd worn her out sufficiently earlier in the day. Now I was ready to rock guilt-free!

Facebook updates, posted during the show:
8:39pm: I'm at the Camden Waterfront seeing Sting and Peter Gabriel. Any bets on what song I can't f-ing WAIT to hear?
8:46pm (Liz's update): 4th concert in a row and 3rd night in Camden. Worth it to see Sting and Peter Gabriel. Plus, we are the youngest ones here! (we were, at least in our section)
8:52pm: You guys, Sting is singing Shock the Monkey. Also, he's still really hot.
9:32pm: Red Rain and Message in a Bottle were awesome. But the mic-mounted camera is showing me way more of Peter Gabriel's nose than is really necessary.
10:29pm (with a video): You guys, you guys, my life is complete: I have confirmed that Sting sings it better than every single one of y'all.

The whole setlist is online here. Things I remember:

  • If I Ever Lose My Faith in You: really good

  • Invisible Sun: they showed a montage of photogenic underprivileged children from various international locales; presumably Sting and/or Peter donate to causes supporting such children? I don't know, it was pretty, if a bit cheesy

  • Shock the Monkey: Sting sang this. Awesome.

  • Red Rain: so good!

  • Englishman in New York: actually felt a bit poignant, perhaps due to the whole Brexit thing, which seems like something Sting would vote against? I could be reading too much into it.

  • Solesbury Hill: awesome (it was around here that I finished my second beer); from here to the end it was consistently excellent

The unsurprising high point of the show was when Sting played Roxanne. After having this song spouted off in my direction for pretty much my entire life, it was amazing to hear it sung by Sting, the way it's supposed to be done. He also went a little bluesy in the middle, segued into Ain't No Sunshine (when she, presumably ME, is gone), before transitioning back to rock the ending of Roxanne. Seriously, guys, life-changing moment. $85 for the ticket was worth it for this song. Desert Rose, In Your Eyes, Every Breath You Take, and Sledgehammer were all fantastic, just icing on the cake that was Sting singing my name.
supercheesegirl: (pp - elizabeth giggle)
Of all the stuff in my backlog to post about, this was the absolute most inappropriate pairing.

On Saturday January 15, we took f to see Daniel Tiger Live. It was playing at the Merriam downtown. It was chilly, so F drove and we parked in the city, then met up with our friends and their little daughter to see the show together. Oddly, we thought we were going to the Kimmel Center, and hung out in their lobby a while, and there were other children around but not in the quantities you'd imagine, so we eventually went to ask where we should be and were told to go a block further up Broad. Check, there are the crowds of children!

Seeing this show in such close proximity with Disney on Ice threw into sharp relief the budgetary differences between a Disney production and a PBS production. It was a fine show, don't get me wrong, but the costuming was... odd. Daniel Tiger himself was almost entirely plush, with a large cartoony face on his giant cat head and arms that didn't bend. By contrast, all the other animal characters had cutouts in their giant heads for their little human faces. It was kind of weird and creepy looking? Also, Daniel couldn't actually pick up or hold objects with his arms. This was hilarious during songs like "You can be a big helper in your family" because Daniel would just sort of flail near the thing he was supposedly doing to help. I wonder if any of the children noticed.

The casting was interesting for this. Mom Tiger, Katerina, and the chick in the Daniel suit were each played by individual actors, but for many of the other roles, they had one actor doing multiple parts. Teacher Harriet and Miss Elaina were played by the same actress, who was really good, though better at Teacher Harriet than at Miss Elaina (I overheard my friend's daughter whispering to her daddy, "Why is that girl dressed like Miss Elaina?" so she clearly wasn't buying the whole thing). The same actor played Dad Tiger, Prince Wednesday, and Mr. McFeely, and he was pretty great too, his Prince Wednesday was incredibly over the top and enthusiastic (although, when you thought about it, it was a little weird to see a six foot tall dude acting like that).

The weakest link was the poor guy stuck with four parts: O the Owl, Music Man Stan, Baker Aker, and King Friday. His Baker Aker was solid, and his Music Man Stan wasn't bad. His O the Owl was pretty awful, though - if you can't get that hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo down, it's just not believable - and this is despite the O costume actually being pretty cool. And his King Friday was downright awful. He was like a weird wizard. I felt a little embarrassed for him and ultimately unsure whether he'd ever actually seen the show. Then again, he got stuck with more characters than anyone else, and at least he pulled off two of them decently.

After the show, there was a restaurant we tried to go to but it was too busy, so we got crepes instead. f was not about this. We ordered her hot dog crepe completely deconstructed; we could have gotten her a PB & J crepe but when we described it to her it was clear she was envisioning bread and who knows how that would've went when it arrived in crepe form. I overindulged in a goat cheese-filled crepe and then got dessert too and felt bad about it afterward. And then I left the container with the leftover hot dog on top of the ticket machine at the parking garage. Hopefully a homeless person found it and enjoyed it.

In such unrelated news that it totally shouldn't be in the same post, a week and a half ago F and I got to enjoy a surprisingly epic date night. We had plans to go pick up the winemaking kit my mom Groupon'ed for us for Christmas, and while there we found out we had to actually get the wine kit (as the Groupon covered the supplies, like buckets and stuff, but not riesling juice). Over $115 later, we went for a wine tasting next door at Stone & Key Cellars and ended up spending like $40 on wine. And I got to try the mead! It was lovely. Then we hustled over to the movies, where we saw Deadpool. I loved it, it was so fun and fast-paced and smart and wrong and raunchy and so totally not where my mind is allowed to go anymore. And I am delighted to be posting about it on International Women's Day, which was actually a joke in the movie. After that we went for dinner to Bonefish Grill, which was pretty good once we landed a table. A really fantastic night. Yay.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
I bought the tickets back in September. We later booked a weeklong trip to Florida Feb 6-13; still later, I got assigned a business trip Feb 16-20, while still later I got a horrible cold right before the business trip. All this made the prospect of going to a concert on a Sunday night immediately afterward not too attractive, but we were both really, really glad we went.

The last time we went to a show at Union Transfer we made a whole night of it, got dinner out and had a few drinks and everything. This time, we just went straight to the show, all businesslike. We got parking no problem, and immediately upon getting in the door, we headed straight up to the balcony with the hope of getting actual seats (as the last time we were at Union Transfer, they had little cafe tables and chairs up on the balcony). This time, there were no little cafe tables, but there were risers with seats at the back of the balcony, directly above the bar. That was fine by us, and we sat in the very back row. (We feel extremely old and go to bed extremely early for this sort of thing so we need seats these days.) Another major perk of Union Transfer, besides the availability of seats, is the good beer. We had several.

Opening band was Elephant Revival, whom I'd never heard of but adored. Modern folk, really excellent, I bought one of their CDs and got it signed by the band. I also bought a Josh Ritter concert shirt, as they were selling girly-style V-neck shirts in size XL. My shirt is very comfortable.

Josh was great. It's wonderful to see him looking so happy these days, just so obviously loving his music and loving his fans and loving playing with his band. I'm not sure why he's wearing paint-spattered coveralls in his concerts and on the album cover, but whatev, he's awesome. He played Hello, Starling. He played Kathleen. He played the Mummy song, which is one of my absolute favorites. It was a great show. And we were sitting down and drinking craft beer during it. Five goddamn stars.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
On Saturday December 12, I took Freya on a Mommy/daughter date to see the Nutcracker. I felt, for her first time, she was a little too young to do the train ride downtown to see the PA Ballet do it, so we went to a production put on by The Rock School over in Havertown, at the Havertown School. It was actually excellent, with even their littlest dancers doing a great job and being adorable, and the teenage dancers really bringing it. Freya, despite thinking it was "too loud" (the music was a recording, not a live orchestra), sat riveted the entire time (albeit with her hands over her ears). Afterwards, she refused to leave until everyone left, so we watched them tear down the set and talked about how the people wearing black work backstage, and we watched the cast come out in the street clothes, talking and laughing. When we finally left our seats, we discovered that the dancer playing the mouse king was out in the lobby in full costume, and she was terrified, even though we talked about how he was just pretending to be evil and was actually a nice person inside the costume. Afterwards, we went out to a special dinner together (she wanted to go to "a cafe!" so we went to Sabrina's Cafe and it was perfect) and I had to retell the story of the Nutcracker over and over again, with special emphasis on the mouse king parts. I think I told it six times. The whole endeavor was a huge success.

On Sunday January 2, we took Freya to see Disney on Ice down at the Wells Fargo Center. This was my mother's idea; she got tickets for herself and my dad, F and me, and Frey. The tickets turned out to be front-row seats - folding chairs instead of permanent theater-type seats, set up literally two feet from the ice. ("How much did you spend?!" "It's for my granddaughter!") I would say at least 50% of the audience was under three feet tall and wearing a princess dress (although I did see some boys in Buzz Lightyear costumes). It was actually a great show, lights and fire and explosions and great skating - Disney knows how to do it right - and all the characters Freya is coming to know and love. Probably the best part was the Frozen section - the ice castle was great. Frey didn't really understand how they left out Sven completely, though. Also great were the Mickey/Minnie/Goofy/Donald interludes, and the princess section where each couple did a song and then a group skate together. The only rough part was the Mulan section, both because Frey doesn't know this one at all and it was hard to explain in the moment, and because it was getting close to naptime. We managed to avoid most of the merchandising and got away with buying only popcorn (in a souvenir bag of course) and a snowflake light-up magic wand, which despite costing $30 is actually pretty cool and could be part of Halloween costumes for years to come.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
A few weeks ago F and I had a date night! We went out for dinner (with a $50 gift card!) and then went to a concert on Swarthmore's campus. The show was Chopin Without Piano, an interpretation of two of Chopin's piano concertos (No. 1 in E Minor, and No. 2 in F Minor) but (obviously) without the piano. The piano was replaced by a spoken-word performance, a meditation on Chopin's music and life, on what Chopin means to Poland, on the nature of nationalism and art and creativity and inspiration. Entirely in Polish. (There were subtitles running on a screen above the stage, like at the opera, and the full text in translation was also printed in the program.) It was fantastic. It was also the US premiere, and it was free and a packed house. Really exciting to see real art happening and to be among the first to see it in this country.
supercheesegirl: (zelda likelike)
On Friday September 18, I went to see The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses: Master Quest concert with my mom. It was freakin' awesome. Here's the official description:

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert series is back with a third installment: "Master Quest". Audiences can expect to experience awesome new inclusions from The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, and new music from the recently announced remake of fan favorite The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. A four-movement symphony, recounting the classic storylines from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, A Link to the Past and more. Performed by the Zelda Symphony Orchestra and Choir with video from the Zelda series on a giant screen.

We arrived at the Mann early, in time to get dinner and not rush. (I did have some complications in taking the train and walking to the Mann, which I will duly note for future reference in case I ever go back there - notably, that there may be better ways to go than by taking the regional rail Cynwyd line to Wynnefield Avenue station, and that if doing so, it's best to keep in mind that this will result in a 20-minute walk down a road through an empty park in the city, and that you'll arrive at the literal back door to the venue where there's a gate but it's the one the event staff use, and so if you need to meet someone in the parking lot this may not be the route to take. Luckily the lady at the gate was really really nice and helped me figure out how to meet up with my mom.)

We ate up on a hill with a great view of the city in front of us. Below us, many nerds in costumes and Zelda shirts flowed in through the gates. These nerds are our people; we were also wearing our Zelda shirts. The costumes were really fun to see. At one point I saw a dude literally playing an ocarina. My mom, who's never actually been to a con, and who would totally identify Zelda as her primary fandom, was loving it.

The music was great. I remember that they started with Gerudo Valley, which makes sense because how can you have a Zelda concert and leave out literally the most awesome piece of video game music ever composed. They also did medleys from several of the games, including Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and the most recent one where you ride a bird, plus the SuperNES one (which I remember but am less familiar with) and one of the handhelds (which I didn't know at all but totally want to play now). I also remember they did the goddess music from Ocarina (appropriate given the theme), the great fairy's theme, and some dungeony themes. While the orchestra played, a giant screen behind them showed scenes from the game in question, all perfectly timed to the music. And there was a choir too. Now that'd be a dream gig. The conductor, Amy Andersson, was really funny (she wasn't mic'ed, just physical movement) and she got the crowd going, which is probably not part of a conductor's usual job description. The first chair violinist was surprisingly young and extremely kickass.

We talked to a guy and his mom sitting in front of us. He had a really cool Zelda watch, told us all about the Nintendo 3DS (I know nothing about the handheld systems but sudden possibilities opened before me: Zelda on the train!!! I could actually play again!!). He was taking his mom to the concert as a birthday present, like me (and, like me, had splurged on good seats). His mom had introduced him to gaming by playing the original Zelda with him in the room as an 18-month-old, which she got away with by using the time-honored method of giving him an unconnected controller and letting him play along with her. I need to start implementing that (which I can say here because F doesn't read LJ anymore).

In summary, it was freakin' great and I loved it.
supercheesegirl: (goth dolly)
On Saturday night, my mom slept over to watch f so that F and I could go to a concert! F and I headed downtown around 5:30 (after some dithering to waste time because the parking lot at Union Transfer didn't open until 6pm). We found the lot and parked with no problem, and then our indecision about where to go for dinner was resolved when we saw that Jose's Tacos, the hole-in-a-wall Mexican place we'd been considering, was literally right across the street. The guac was very good, smooth and creamy, my fish tacos were excellent, and F was pleased with the three different kinds of tacos he got. Jose's lost some points because they didn't have horchata, but overall, I'd totally go there again.

After Jose's we still had time before doors opened at 8, so we walked a few blocks to Prohibition Taproom, where I exulted over being in a bar! With my husband! And no children whatsoever in the entire establishment! I had an Einstök Icelandic white ale, and F had a spiced beer that was tasty, albeit autumnal, with a silly-sounding name (Doogelsnargel? Something like that). We also ordered a fried soft pretzel, which was as excellent as it sounds. We split one more Icelandic white ale while we ate it.

We arrived at Union Transfer to get in line a few minutes before 8 and had a fun conversation with the couple behind us, one of whom was surprising the other with concert tickets, so the guy had no idea who was playing and was trying to figure it out. He was pleased when he did.

It was my first time at Union Transfer and I thought it was a great venue. It definitely helped, from my perspective, that it was a seated show, but it was good to know that there are balconies that I could perhaps hide on if I wanted to go to a future show there. The bar area was really nice but we didn't hang out there at all.

Opening act was The Secret Cinema, who describe themselves as "the Philadelphia area's premiere floating repertory cinema series" focusing on old films that "fall between the cracks," and only on celluloid. The program they presented was really interesting, a series of short films all revolving around pop music. There were clips from the 1930s and 1940s (including one with a conga line in which the singer pulled up various stereotypical figurehead characters from random cultures, and the entire audience winced when she got to the "Indian Chief"), 1960s (including a light-hearted promotional short of British band The Thoughts featuring their song "Girls in Short Short Dresses" and the band running around London chasing some "birds", and about which Stephin later said, "How about swingin' London and its intense misogyny?"), and the 1970s (OMG Tim Curry singing "Paradise Garage" and being so totally secure in his absolute disco coolness). Overall, I wish every opening band could be replaced by interesting historical film clips.

Here's a description of the concept for Stephin Merritt's show and overall tour: "This show will be the very first date of a rare solo tour for Merritt, who will be accompanied by long-time bandmate Sam Davol on cello. For this series of performances, Merritt will present a set of solo, acoustic versions of selected songs from his extensive catalog. Merritt will perform exactly 26 songs with each song title starting with a different letter of the alphabet and running in alphabetical order."

And that's exactly what they did. It was so great. Here's the setlist (which we looked up after the fact):

  • Andrew in Drag (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • The Book of Love (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • The Dead Only Quickly (The 6ths cover)

  • Epitaph for My Heart (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Forever and a Day (from the musical Stephin's been working on with Daniel Handler since forever)

  • Give Me Back My Dreams (The 6ths cover)

  • 100,000 Fireflies (The Magnetic Fields cover) (I found this one very confusing at the time since I wasn't familiar with the song or its title - but "A Hundred Thousand" made much more sense once we looked up the setlist!)

  • I Wish I Had an Evil Twin (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Josephine (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Kiss Me Like You Mean It (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Love Is Like a Bottle of Gin (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • My Husband's Pied-A-Terre (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • The Nun's Litany (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • One Long Fairytale (I think this might have been from his Coraline musical? He mentioned that the mice are singing it, and that as everyone knows, mice lisp when they sing - and the lisp rhymes were just really excellent)

  • A Pretty Girl Is Like... (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Quick! (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Reno Dakota (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Shipwrecked (The Gothic Archies cover)

  • This Little Ukulele

  • The Ugly Little Duck (As Stephin said, this was from his Hans Christian Andersen musical, because, "you know, everyone has one")

  • Very Funny (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • The World Is a Disco Ball (Future Bible Heroes cover)

  • Xylophone Track (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Your Girlfriend's Face (The Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Encore: Zombie Boy (The Magnetic Fields cover)

I was wondering how they'd do the encore, since obviously they wouldn't do an extra song, but before "Your Girlfriend's Face" Stephin said something like, "And now, because Y is the last letter in the alphabet AS YOU ALL KNOW, this will be OUR LAST SONG", which I guess was the best way to do it considering the situation. :)

My favorites were "Book of Love", "Epitaph for my Heart", "Reno Dakota",and "Very Funny" (predictably, since they're all off 69 Love Songs), and I loved "Andrew in Drag". F liked these but also really liked "The World Is a Disco Ball". Overall, we wished he had dome fewer joke songs and more with emotional resonance - for example, doing "I Looked All Over Town" instead of "I Wish I Had an Evil Twin". It felt like there were rather a lot of joke songs ("Your Girlfriend's Face" and "Shipwrecked" being two that were new to me; I liked "Quick!" but F found it too jokey). But it was a great show, made all the better by the presence of no children, and I'm so glad I splurged on the tickets and we went.
supercheesegirl: (ben folds five)
I was so freakin' excited for the Ben Folds Five reunion tour that I shelled out for good seats. F and I asked Stacey to babysit, and we went out for dinner first (to the new Italian restaurant in our neighborhood, which just recently went from being called Mammoni to being called Amici). Dinner was decent: the food was good but not great, but the restaurant was quiet and the servers were very attentive. It's a little pricey there, so I'm not sure if we'll go back. Then we drove down to 69th Street. No trouble finding parking (in the garage behind the theater).

Before the show started, we ran into my high school buddy John and his wife Jessica. They'd also gotten a sitter for their baby girl, so we had babies to talk about, as well as just general catching up, since I hadn't seen John for at least seven or eight years and had never met Jess. It made me so happy to see him, since John is an integral part of my Ben Folds Five memories; Ben Folds concerts in the past have always made me think of John, and have always made me sad that we weren't in touch. But now we can share our BFF love again!

Kate Miller-Heidke opened. She started off a little quiet and it took her a few minutes to get command of the venue; it was crowded and loud enough that her louder, more rocking songs were much more successful than her ballads. My favorite moment was when she covered "The Real Slim Shady" - pretty badass.

At intermission I got up to pee and had to wait in a really long line. On my way back I ran into Liz and Grant! They'd attended a football game in Pittsburgh earlier in the day, then drove straight to the theater from the airport as soon as they got back to town. Liz is a huge Ben fan so we were both excited to see him play; I wish F had been with us too so he could have caught up with them, but alas, I abandoned him in our seats for the entire length of the intermission. (We had looked for Liz and Grant before the show, by scanning the crowd for the tall bald guy, but interestingly, the average crowd at a BFF show has aged enough that there were quite a few more tall bald guys in attendance than there would have been ten years ago.) They flicked the lights at the end of intermission and I had just enough time to buy a $5 bottle of water from the bar, which F and I desperately needed.

And then Ben Folds Five came onstage. They were incredibly awesome. John posted the set list on Facebook later, which I'm really grateful for:

1.Michael Praytor
2.Missing the War
3.Hold that thought
4.Jackson Cannery
5.Selfless Cold & Composed
6.Erase Me
7.Alice Childress
8.Sky High - Robert played upright bass
10. Thank you for breaking my heart - Robert played upright bass
11. Half-assed, hilarious almost cover of Carry on my wayward son
12.Battle of Who Could Care Less
13.Do it anyway
14.Brick - upright bass
15.Draw a Crowd
16.My Philosophy
18.Song for the Dumped

22.One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces

John and I agreed, later, that it seemed odd that they played "Landed", since it's not a BFF song (it's a Ben Folds solo song), and thematically it stuck out - it doesn't really feel like a BFF song. We both loved Robert Sledge doing the natural rock tenor on "Carry on Wayward Son", and we thought they should record (or at least play) a real cover of that song so Robert can shine. We also thought it was a little weird that they played so few songs from the third album, which in all honesty is my favorite BFF album. They played my favorite song, "Magic", so I was cool, but they could have done more. I theorized that they are probably getting a lot of nostalgia-driven crowds, since it's a reunion tour, and the first two albums are a lot peppier and more commercial than Reinhold Messner was, so possibly they're playing to what they think we want to hear.

Overall, though, it was a great, great show. So fantastic to see my favorite band in action again. And while I am notorious for getting sleepy at concerts and wanting to leave early, I was on my feet cheering and rocking out until the end of the last song of the encore. (I think in that sense that the good seats were worth the extra cash - because I got to sit down for the majority of the show, so I still had some energy in me at the end.) I was so pumped and so excited and could not shut up for the entire ride home. I didn't even care that it took us 20 minutes to get out of the parking garage. And the baby was totally fine without us (other than a brief screaming interlude around 9:00, Stacey reported), and she was sleeping soundly when we got home, so it was a successful evening all the way around.
supercheesegirl: (ben folds five)
This was a while ago but I hate to miss documenting a concert, especially since I go to so few lately. F and I got tickets for this because we love WXPN, but specifically because Ben Folds was playing; initially we thought we'd go all day like we did for last year's festival, but we've just been so crazy and so busy this summer that we just decided to catch the evening acts.

We got to the venue around 4:30ish, which gave us just enough time to find seats before Shemekia Copeland took the stage. That woman puts on a great show. She can really belt it out, and really enjoyed her set.

After Shemekia, we were sort of interested in seeing Carbon Leaf on the other stage, but we wanted to make sure we'd be in place ready to go when Ben Folds came on, so we skipped it and just got some food. By the time Ben started, we were fed and ready! It definitely wasn't the best show I've seen Ben do - it was pretty good, but not the spectacular I've come to expect from him. I think maybe Ben's not as much of a festival artist as other musicians may be; he really feeds off the energy of the crowd, which is great when the entire crowd knows all the words to his songs, and less great when people are sitting in the grass waiting for the next band eating fries. Anyway, my favorite song of Ben's was his last song, his cover of "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head", which he played because it was starting to rain.

As Ben left the stage, we put up our umbrella and huddled under it. We talked about leaving, and a lot of people did leave, but the rain cleared up soon enough and Emmylou Harris took the stage right on time! We were glad we had stayed because she was terrific. We hung out for most of Emmylou's set (I liked her song about the big black dog), but then it was getting late so we hit the road. We were home with plenty of time to get to bed for work in the morning, which is really our main motivation these days and the reason we we don't get to many concerts anymore. We're old. But we had fun at this show and we were glad we went.
supercheesegirl: (monsoon - alice)
Yeah, you read that right. Marina Sirtis. Counselor Troi.

Orchestra 2001 opened their 2010-2011 season with the piece "Enoch Arden". It's a piano piece composed by Richard Strauss, using as a text the poem "Enoch Arden" by Tennyson. Marina Sirtis gave a dramatic reading of the poem, with piano accompaniment. We read about this in F's college's events flier and just looked at each other with amazement. WTF! How could we not attend!

Marina is still beautiful. She read the poem beautifully, and it was really moving. The program was rounded out with two tangos by Osvaldo Golijov. I wasn't as impressed with the first of these ("Last Round"), although I was impressed by the cute violinist in the corset and hot boots. I really liked the second tango ("Lullaby and Doina"). But the real reason everyone was there was for Marina. F and I were hoping the director might give some sort of brief speech telling how on earth such a concert came to pass, but no luck. The music and the poem and her reading of it were well worth seeing on their own, even without knowing who Counselor Troi was. Very cool event.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
Last Sunday, F and I went to WXPN's music festival, in Wiggins Park on the Camden Waterfront. We were really excited to see Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros--we love their album, and we danced our first dance to their song "Home". F is a WXPN member and so we were able to get tickets for $15 each--for a full day of live music. Sweet. After deciding we wanted to go, I also saw that my friend Tom's band, These United States, was playing. I hadn't seen Tom play music since college, so that was also something I was excited about.

Doors opened at 12, and the first band was at 12:30--we got there around 12:15. I was impressed by the organization of the festival staff: we hardly waited in line at all, and when we got to the doors we were searched, ticket-scanned, double-braceleted, and temporarily-tattooed in under 5 minutes. We headed over to the main stage to spread out our blanket and stake out a spot. Edward Sharpe et al weren't playing until 5:20 so we had some time to relax. Since there were two stages, and everybody was pretty laid back, it turned out to be okay to leave our blanket unattended while we wandered around for a bit or checked out the band on the other stage. There were lots of food vendors, shops, and other booths to explore. Also, WXPN had a private members-only area where they were giving out free water, lemonade, and apple cider, and where they were doing artist meet-and-greets and also wine tastings. We did our wine tasting early before the crowds arrived. Also, it was really, really hot that day, and neither of us wanted to drink much later in the day. We split one beer around 2:00 and then we were done.

We saw a lot of bands I hadn't known about before. I liked Dawes a lot (and have since purchased their album on mp3 from amazon). I also thought Blood Feathers was interesting, and Fool's Gold, and I want to look them up. We saw Cowboy Junkies too but I wasn't all about them.

Tom's band had a meet-and-greet in the mid-afternoon, so we stopped by and said hello. They went on at 4:35 on the side stage, and we got good spots in the grass. I liked them a lot, although I didn't particularly love the singer--he's a lot less entertaining and cool than he thinks he is. Still, their band is touring pretty much constantly and is getting some acclaim, so he must be doing something right. Unfortunately we had to skip their last song to get back over to our blanket by the main stage for Edward Sharpe. ES & the MZs apparently broke the record for the highest number of people onstage at this festival at the same time. There's a lot of them. They were a lot of fun--we really liked seeing them. "Home" was awesome as was to be expected.

There were several couples near us who had young kids, all toddlers about the same age. We spent a lot of time watching them. The kids were mostly having a great time and dancing. One little boy (I heard his mom call him Simon) needed a diaper change and was so not interested--he squirmed all over the place, then he peed while his pants were off and it went splashing everywhere. What could his parents do? They tried to subdue the fountain and apologized to people nearby, but they couldn't help totally cracking up. It was pretty funny. That's an aspect of parenting I never considered before: getting peed on by my child at an outdoor concert. Little Simon was much happier when he was re-pantsed and could sit on his daddy's shoulders and dance some more.

After ES & the MZs, we went for dinner, which was apparently everyone else's idea too. I thought, well we need to eat, but I hadn't realized how long the lines were or how much F wanted to see Amy Correia, who was the next act on the side stage. We ended up missing F's favorite song of hers, which I felt really bad about. But we did get to hear a lot of other good songs and really liked her a lot. (F went to the vegany food vendor and got some kind of wrap, and a peach nectar lemonade or something, which I thought was tasty; I got two hot dogs and a coke. The hot dogs were awesome, the coke was coke, and I think in the future I'm going to pass up coke in favor of... well, anything else.)

We left after Amy Correia, maybe around 7:00. Local Philly band Dr. Dog was on the main stage, and WXPN REALLY LOVES Dr. Dog for some reason, they're pimping them all the time on the radio. From what we could hear, they weren't worth staying for and were in fact pretty annoying. We made great time getting home and were really glad we didn't stay for Dr. Dog. Overall it was a pretty awesome day, and fabulous to spend time out in the sunshine with my husband. I only got a little bit sunburned, on the backs of my hands.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
Last night I went to see Bon Jovi with Lauren. It was so awesome. To understand how awesome, you need to know that I have loved Jon Bon Jovi since I was six years old and I would play "You Give Love A Bad Name" over and over on my little record player. My dad got me a "Slippery When Wet" t-shirt that was so big on me I used it as a nightshirt--it fits perfectly now, and I wear it all the time (and was actually wearing it the night F and I got together).

So, I didn't even know he was touring, but Lauren found out and was so excited she bought two tickets without knowing who was going to go with her. First she invited Rose, and Rose said sure because Lauren was excited, but Rose said later on (and I quote), "I like Bon Jovi, but I like him on a CD so I can press 'stop' after two tracks." When I found out that Lauren had bought tickets and was going with Rose, I was all sad. Lauren eventually figured out that I would be the much better wingman for this concert, Rose gave her blessing with relief, and Lauren and I spent the evening rocking out. Our seats were way up near the ceiling, so Jon and the guys were very tiny, but that was okay.

Dashboard Confessional opened. Not much to be said about that. I felt a little bad for them. They're definitely not a bad band, but they can't really hold a candle to the 30 years of rockin' experience that Bon Jovi brings to the stage.

It was an awesome show. Bon Jovi came on around 9 and opened with "Blood on Blood", which I knew most of the words to. The third song was "You Give Love A Bad Name" and I near wet my pants. They sounded SO GOOD. And it is amazing how well Jon Bon Jovi has aged. He's even hotter now than he was when I was six. They played a lot of really great songs. I didn't know a lot of the newer ones but I still liked them. They did "It's My Life" and "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and it was great. Jon only took one break, and Richie Sambora sang "Lay Your Hands On Me". I'll tell you, I never really got my Aunt Deb's thing for Richie Sambora, but I have a much better understanding of it now. You don't think of him as a singer but he can belt it out, plus there's the whole amazing guitarist thing. When Jon came back out, they did an acoustic set and came out to a platform basically in the middle of the arena. Tico Torres was playing what looked like a big box but it still sounded good. Jon sang "Hallelujah" and it was a really nice rendition. They did "Keep the Faith" and "Runaway" and a few songs off the new album. For the encore, I don't remember what the first song was, but they moved from that right into "Wanted Dead or Alive", which sounded terrific. And then! We thought they'd be done there, since "Wanted" is such a big song, but they did "Livin' on a Prayer" too! That's the one Lauren really wanted to hear and she near wet her pants she was so excited.

They finished "Livin' on a Prayer" at 11:15, and by the time we climbed down from the roof, waited in line for the bathroom, and walked five miles out to the car, I guess some of the traffic must have cleared because we didn't wait at all to leave the parking lot and didn't have any problems on Broad Street or getting on the highway. I was home by midnight. Nice!

Unfortunately, I started coming down with a cold on Sunday night. I wasn't sure if I should go to the concert, but I'm really really glad I did. Who cares if I periodically had to sit down and blow my nose?

T-shirts were $40-$50 so I didn't get a new shirt. I wanted one but I am just not freakin' paying that kind of money.

Summary: If you like Bon Jovi for more than just two tracks at a time, concert tickets are worth whatever you pay for them. Because they are awesome. I had a really great time and my love for Jon is renewed.
supercheesegirl: (stars and swirls)
Last night, F made me go with him to an orchestra concert on campus. For some reason he really wanted to go and I kind of didn't, but then I think I ended up enjoying it a lot more than he did.

Orchestra 2001 is a group I'd never heard of before, but apparently they're a Philly-based orchestra that's been around since 1988. (I have no idea why their name is O-2001 when they were founded in 1988 and it's now 2009--it doesn't say in the program, even though there is a bio of the group--and it bothered me all night.) The orchestra has a relationship with F's college, such that whenever they play a concert there it's free, so that was cool. Looks like they play there several times a year. Last night they played a program of three pieces.

The first part of the program was a piece by Franz Schreker called Chamber Symphony, composed in 1916. Schreker was a European composer whose career pretty much got destroyed by the Nazis, leading to his death in 1934, after which he kind of fell off the radar and nobody played his stuff, but now there's a bit of a revival going on. I wasn't all that psyched about the piece, though. Honestly, we thought it was going to be played last on the program and were planning to sneak out at intermission and skip it, but it turned out to be first so we were stuck. Which makes perfect sense. I don't know, it was pleasant enough, and had a few really lovely moments, but it was nothing I would have left the house for on purpose.

After intermission, the second part of the concert was the best. They played a composition by Libby Larsen, who happened to be there to talk about it. She set six poems from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese. Originally Larsen composed this for the soprano Arleen Auger, who wanted to sing songs about real, mature love (as opposed to the young, sweet, fluffy sort of love that she usually had to sing about), but unfortunately Auger died before they could premiere the work. Last night it was performed by Hila Plitmann, who if you haven't heard of her (and I hadn't) is an amazing classical soprano who's won a Grammy and who sang on the soundtrack for the movie The Da Vinci Code. (Apparently she's also a Buffy fan. Wow, I totally love Hila Plitmann now.)

Anyway, Plitmann's performance of Larsen's music for Browning's poems was terrific. I absolutely loved this, and I am so glad F dragged me out of the house. I was all teared up by the end (which was, of course, the "How do I love thee" sonnet). It was amazing. I really, really want a recording of this piece.

The last piece was a libretto composed by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a Finnish composer, based on ancient poem fragments by Sappho. F and I were expecting to love this but mostly we didn't like it at all. Plitmann sang this too, and sang it beautifully, but we felt that the music itself was overdramatic and too big for the poems. The one exception was part 4, "The Evening Star", which was lovely and glimmery like starlight. Unfortunately, it was followed by part 5, "Wedding", which went on and on and on and was really weird and didn't sound wedding-celebratory at all. Honestly, I was really sad that they ended on Salonen's work--it would have been better (for me at least) if they'd ended with the Larsen, and it also might have made more sense because she was actually there and they could have highlighted her awesomeness a bit more.

Overall, it was kind of an uneven program, but definitely worth it for me, mostly because of Larsen and also because now I've discovered Hila Plitmann. I'm really glad I went. It was nice to get back in touch a little bit with my musical past.
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
I went to two concerts in the past month with my mother and my friend Lauren.

David Cook at the Keswick. )

And then (as Lauren put it when people asked her what she was doing that weekend), I went down to Atlantic City with some friends. We thought we might see a show. (Which sounds a whole lot better than, I'm going to AC with my mom to see the American Idol concert.) Concert was decent, but I will never go to anything at the Boardwalk Hall ever again. )
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
Last night's Tilly concert was pretty awesome.

Due to my gastrointestinal difficulties, Lisa and I arrived at the show probably close to 8:30 (doors opened at 7:30). We were able to score a pretty sweet parking spot only a block and a half away on 22nd. When we arrived, Pony Pants was finishing up their set, and we only caught a few songs--I had to run to the ladies room right away, so Lisa caught more of them than I did. I remember a rather screechy girl.

After Pony Pants finished up, we were able to claim a chunk of wall over on the left side of the room, between the doors to the rooms where the equipment was stored. We sat on the floor by the wall and chatted (and admired the attractive legs of the college-aged hipsters around us) until The Ruby Suns came on. They were pretty good, we both thought. A guy and a girl, with some interesting percussion and keyboard elements. I continued to sit through their whole performance; Lisa stood up briefly but then sat down again, since there wasn't a ton going on on the stage. It was nice to sit with Lisa and listen to pretty music. Some of stuff was kind of dancey, with a good beat, but I was saving all my energy for Tilly.

Tilly and the Wall came on probably around 10ish. They started off a bit weak, in my opinion, compared to how they were when I saw them in '06. But they played some of my favorites of theirs, including "Rainbows in the Dark", "Bad Education", and "Bottoms of Barrels", which really rocked. They played a lot of things off their new album, of course, none of which I recognized since I haven't heard it yet. One of the encores was "Freest Man", and the last song I think was called "Night of the Living Dead". That one featured a repeating chorus at the end with lines like "I want to fuck it up" and "It makes me feel alive". Holy teen anthem, Batman. But as always, Tilly delivered their songs with sincerity, earnestness, and energy. The teen angst didn't sound fake at all coming from them, even though they've got to be in their mid 20s, because they were so darn sincere. They were a lot of fun to watch.

Some pictures: Read more... )

Overall, it was a really good show. I dropped Lisa home around 11:30, and got home myself around 12.
supercheesegirl: (mst3k - rock & roll martian)
Realized I haven't done a concert update. And I went to some concerts.

Background on the Sellersville Theater: it's in Sellersville, which is a random town sort of near Quakertown. It was built in 1894, and by the time I started going there, it was a run-down movie theater. John Shelly worked there in high school. Then I guess somebody bought it and decided to fix it up a bit, and they made a deal with the Washington House restaurant next door. Now the theater has live music, which is terrific, and I think the Washington House gives a discount if you eat there before or after a show. And the theater is doing really well, if their coming events flyer is any indication. They've got bands in there practically every night, and some really good stuff, too. It makes me happy to see it succeeding.

Sunday 4/13/07: Vienna Teng. )

Here's the song my mom and I like.

Thursday 4/26/07: Erin McKeown. )
supercheesegirl: (brock Yeeaaahhhh!!1!)
::edit:: OMG, I totally hadn't realized that I actually saw Hail Social open for Rainer Maria in 2005! And I thought they kind of sucked. Either they got their act together or I changed my mind. Huh. ::/edit::

This was Rainer Maria's third-to-last show. (Their last show, in fact, is going on in NYC as I type right now!) They're breaking up after this tour, which makes me really sad since they're definitely one of my favorite bands. I couldn't get anyone to go to the show with me, so I went by myself, and I'm so glad I did. It was one of the best and most memorable shows I have ever seen. Just really terrific.

Earlier in the day, I took a few minutes from my lunch break and walked down to the venue, to see if I could scout out the closest parking garage. There was one right across the street, so that was perfect. After work I took the train to Lansdale, got my car, stopped at home to drop off my work stuff and grab some pop tarts for dinner, and ran out again to drive back down to the city. I parked my car and walked across the street to the church around 7:35. Doors weren't till 8:00, but it wasn't too terribly cold out. I started talking with a slightly older chick who had come down from NYC just to see the opening band, Hail Social. I didn't know anything about them, but I promised to be attentive during their set. Finally a little after 8:00 they opened the doors and we went in. I had plenty of time to buy the latest RM cd (Catastrophe Keeps Us Together), which I hadn't heard at all yet. I checked out the t-shirts, but ran into my typical concert shirt problem: the normal t-shirts are always big on me everywhere but in the neck and the hips, where they're too tight, so I don't want to buy a normal t-shirt anymore, but the "girly" shirts are usually just a youth large rather than a shirt actually manufactured for a woman, and those tend to be too tight all over for me to wear. I was really liking the shirt with the skull on it, too (it was actually a design of flowers and such that formed a skull shape). Oh well.

After the merch table, I caught up with my friend the Hail Social fan. She had snagged a spot right up front, so therefore I got a spot right up front. And soon Hail Social came on. I liked them a lot. They have a kind of 80's vibe going on, and interesting bass lines, and I liked every song they played. They played their set pretty much in the dark, but I did manage to get a few sort of interesting pictures.

two Hail Social pictures )

My friend the Hail Social fan decided to cut out right after their set, so she could catch the 10:30 train back to NYC, instead of the 12:10 train, which was her other option, but which would have required her to be walking around Queens at 3AM. She definitely had time to stay and catch the first few songs of RM's set, but I understand why she left. Whatev, I didn't even get her name.

So, I guess it was around between 9:30 and 9:45 that RM came on. five RM pictures )

I took several more pictures, mostly of Caithlin, but none of them are much different from the ones above, and eventually I decided to put away the camera and just freakin' enjoy the show. My favorite songs that they played were "Artificial Light", and "The Imperatives", and "Ears Ring" from the Long Knives Drawn album. They were so into the music, and the whole crowd was also totally into it--everyone was jumping up and down and screaming out the words. Just amazing. They did several encores, but part of that was because it was so incredibly hot in there that they had to leave the stage just to cool off for a few minutes. I remember one of the encores was "Pincushion", because they were wanting to play some of their way older stuff. They ended on "Tinfoil" (the one that goes, "Goddammit! Are you talking about my heart...") and the crowd went crazy. People were thrashing around, pushing each other. I had never been in the middle of something like that before. The bassist from Hail Social ran out on the stage and jumped into the crowd and I touched him as he surfed on by. I was touching pretty much everyone in my immediate area, though, because there was no way not to.

After the show, I stopped by the merch table again and bought Hail Social's album. Pretty good so far.

Please, please remind me, though, never ever ever to wear a sweater to a show at the First Unitarian Church, ever ever again. It gets to be about a million degrees in there. I had no layers to peel off. Everything I had on was thoroughly damp before the end of the show. I need to remember to have a tank top on whenever I go there again.


supercheesegirl: (Default)

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