Category Archives: Concer t Review

Show Review: Vundabar, The TeleVibes, Nice Guys, Midriffs @ Overlook (12/13/14)

Bands: Vundabar, The TeleVibes, Nice Guys, Midriffs
Date: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Venue: The Overlook

DAN! DANNY BOYYYY!!! Glen and I race over here to the old Overlook like a couple of Jack Nicholsons; freezing, drunk, and losing what’s left of our minds, no baseball bat though. We just came from the Lastfest over at the old Lasthaus. That was an extravaganza, lots of angsty, awesome bands. Tough competition, hard to follow or so we’ll see at the old Overlook. Let’s back up, this Overlook isn’t old though, it’s in fact a new spot – unless I’m hearing wrong or I’m drinking some bad liquor or something, but this is apparently the Overlook’s first show. Well sir, I’m happy to be a part of it. Let’s back up our sweet asses even a few more steps. I LOVE The Shining, if you couldn’t already tell. And if you’ve seen The Shining then you know that the Overlook is a monstrosity, a maze you won’t find yourself escaping from anytime soon. Well sir, house names sure are peculiar, funny little gems and this one is no exception, except it is. The title is fitting, cause this place is a huge motherfucker.

I ain’t kidding you though about the place being massive. As I’m walking in I stop by the Nice Guys merch table to say some hellos, shake hands, kiss babies, etc and this is in the foyer, if you will, the rest of the basement space where all the attendees are is around the corner. So, I walk around the corner expecting a bigger basement, but HOLY SHIT I didn’t expect it to be this huge. The room is very long, narrow. It’s just body after body after body of excited, partying  college kids. I can’t even see the band, which by the way is Midriffs and they’re pretty rad. I can only hear them though. It’s so damn packed. Check out their sheet here:

“Swamp Don’t”
Taboo Tattoo”
“White Washed”
“Death Beach”
“Sunday Morning Cigarettes & Orange Juice”

Nice Guys
 – The last time I wrote about a Nice Guys show I fell a little off the old wagon. To be frank, I may have had too much Haddenbear and booze in me and by may I mean absolutely. Here have a look, if you feel so inclined: Stumbling on my own words. Inadvertently, however, I did  raise a few points about their music. You won’t find a Nice Guys love ballad or a Nice Guys song about the alienation of the modern age. Maybe, they need more of this, maybe not. Either way, they’re the perfect band for a place like the Overlook. It’s packed to the gills, but we manage to make our way to the very front and like many other Nice Guys sets, it’s a rollercoaster from start to finish. We’re practically falling over, on top of the band, mic stands are falling down, it’s a wild affair. Alas, we’ll have to wait another month or so before we can enjoy another wild affair from these Allstonites. Eat up their bandcamp here:

The TeleVibes – Love me some TeleVibes, tellies as I say. This is my first time seeing the crew in a long while, I think. Once again, kids moshing and sloshing, just as much as there was during Nice Guys’ set if not more. There’s even some crowd surfing, all in this basement with a low ceiling. Everyone is having a rambunctious old time, it’s pandemonium. Perhaps the craziest basement show I’ve ever seen. Not best, but perhaps craziest.

The TeleVibes are one of my favorites in Boston right now. They’re a little smoother than the frenetic noise of Nice Guys, but they share similar vibes, if you will. It’s fun, rock ‘n’ roll, the exact kind we encourage and extol on this site. “Fun, rock ‘n’ roll” can be pretty vague, I admit. I know what it means to me and it might mean a totally different thing to you. In the case of The TeleVibes, it’s possessed punk slime surfing on the edge of a nasty acid trip. And these boys know a thing or two about surfing or at least the beach. Contrary to popular belief, the whole band IS NOT from Rowley, they also from Salisbury Beach. Get your shit straight wack ass music journalists scumfucks. Though, most likely Glen or I popularized this myth, I’d have to check the archives.  Either way, it’s the Northshore. It’s the NOTSURE KID. Well son, I’ll give you something to be sure about, The TeleVibes. Grab a beer, a babe or a dude however you roll, roll a splifft, and lay back and listen to this sheeet. Give you those warm, summery (tele)vibes in the dead of winter. Trust me, you’ll need em’.

Vundabar – “WHAT DID YOU COME HERE FOR? TELL ME WHAT YOU COME HERE FOR.” Well mister, I’ll tell you what I came here for, I came here to get my mind blown by these various local rock musicians, that’s vat I came here for. I too love the German language and using Vs in places of Ws. It’s been a vunderful night thus far Vuy not end vith a band like Vundabar? I’ve  seen them a few times now and while I prefer things to sound trashier, I can admire their music and I find much of it to be catchy. You can actually dance to it in both conventional and unconventional ways. I can best compare them to the “Post-Punk Revival” ilk of the double ohhs such as Interpol and Editors.

Review: Ravi Shavi, The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills in Providence (7/13/13)

Bands: Ravi Shavi, The New Highway Hymnal, Atlantic Thrills
Date: Saturday, July 13, 2013
Venue: BBQ in Providence, RI

Damn, it’s great to be back in Providence! Every time we come here it’s a blast, usually because we are seeing two of the best current rock ‘n’ roll bands: Atlantic Thrills and Ravi Shavi. Throw in Boston’s The New Highway Hymnal, burgers, and beer, and you got yourself one of the finest KLYAM attended shows all year.

Our journey begins with the masters themselves, Atlantic Thrills. Last night, we saw the Thrillz and The New Highway Hymnal at O’Brien’s Pub in Allston, coming off of that epic evening, I’m more than ready to dive into yet another sweaty rock ‘n’ roll show. Ohh and of course, it wouldn’t be a real psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll experience without the acid trippy imagery of The Lysergic Factory Lightshow, which consists of a constant barrage of bright colors being projected behind every band as they perform.

The fantastic foursome bash out several of their classic tunes – ” A Day At the Beach” (featuring the awe inspiring lead vocals of Dan Tanner, yeah buy that shit from Almost Ready Records on August  13, why don’t ya?!), “Light Shines,” “Shotgun,” “Drugs In It,” and my favorite “Lies.”  “Lies” always gets me screaming my lungs out! They also introduce a new, untitled song; my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I’ll have to keep my ears open for this one in the future.

Bikinis and big booties and Atlantic Thrills on a hot Summer night y’all, that’s what life is all about! Catch Providence’s finest on tour right now! Check out the tour dates here:

Set – List:
“Almost Anything”
“A Day At The Beach”
“Drugs In It”
“New Song”
“Light Shines”
“So Long”

The hoppin’ and boppin’ and boozin’ and loozin’ continues with one of Boston’s  most promising bands, The New Highway Hymnal.  I’ve seen many a New Highway set, but I’ve never seen them outside, tis a slightly different experience. In fact, this is my second time seeing a show outdoors period. I’m digging the change of setting, it switches things up a bit, for sure.

Song wise tonight’s set isn’t too different from most New Highway performances and that’s fine for me. For months now, I’ve been listening to the band’s amazing  LP Whispers, which features most, if not all of the songs they perform live tonight, so it’s always a thrill to hear the way these tunes translate on stage (or in a backyard). In particular, I’ve always appreciated hearing the LP’s closer “Hey Kid (Gotta Run),” which is a fiery mess of guitar feedback, maniacal drums, and stab to death shrieks.

If you like The Doors, 13th Floor Elevators, or psychedelic pop music in general, then I would be shocked if you didn’t dig these guys. Check them out here:

Following some miller lite and some truly punk slime drippin’, titty sucking back seat boogie, we soldiered on into the depths of the great Ravi Shavi. Ravi Shavi gets the kids dancing and moshing and a little bit of stumbling. I can’t help but dance my white dancin’fool ass off. Ravi Shavi simply bust out the hooks in their shirtless, soulful power pop. It’s a little bit of James Brown, a teensy bit King Khan, toss in an ounce of The Clash,  and slam it into a blender. You may get a disgusting meal or you can have Ravi Shavi. I choose Ravi Shavi.

Ravi Shavi has many terrific songs, but my favorite has to be “Accidental Mental.”  If this catchy number doesn’t make you burst into a series of erratic dance moves that would make Michael Jackson spin in his grave than do yourself a favor, hop in the Lexus and ride off the nearest cliff, because you suck so much. Ravi Shavi rules, definitely one of their best/most fun shows.

P.S. towards the end of the set, Atlantic Thrills join Ravi Shavi and unleash some nasty songs. Is this is a side project we should be expecting in the future? I hope so, either somebody slipped something in my drink or I am seeing Dan Tanner on drums. I’ll just have to find out next time. More importantly, go see Ravi Shavi live!


Concert Review: Hunx and His Punx, Heavy Cream, Radio Control @ Great Scott! (4/2/12)

Artists: Hunx and His Punx, Heavy Cream, Radio Control
Date: Monday, April 2, 2012
Venue: Great Scott (Allston, MA)
Act I: Radio Control– The show begins with Radio Control, a rock duo from Somerville consisting of Matt Studivan on vocals and guitar and Kristina Otero on vocals and drums. Radio Control are excited to play as are their supportive fans in the front row (just a couple folks, but nonetheless ultra supportive of their bros). As the set moves along more and more people show up, which is good because they deserve it. I have never heard of Radio Control before this evening, but now I wish I had at least checked out some of their music before entering the Great Scott. They rock pretty hard and the sound is solid. I admire their musicianship and in fact they are one of the tightest bands I have seen as of late. I do not know if it is just me, but I seem to have a thing for two pieces, maybe because I see them so often. Overall, I can hear a lot hooks in their songs and I am positive that if I knew their material beforehand, then I would be singing along to them. Here’s a link to their glorious band camp page:

Heavy Cream @ Great Scott (Papa KLYAM Photo)

Act II: Heavy Cream– I have been hearing a lot of good things about this Nashville band recently, so when I saw that they were playing with Hunx and His Punx it gave me all the more reason to be hysterically pumped up for this show. Alas, I have only had a small taste of Heavy Cream, but based on what I have heard I know they will not disappoint me.  And of course, they do not.  Heavy Cream definitely has their shit together, both sonically and visually. Singer, Jessica MacFarland is wearing an eye catching leopard skinned outfit and it is hard not to keep your eyes off her especially with her seemingly endless charisma and occasional spitting to boot.  I honestly only know one song from their repertoire and that is 2010’s classic “Watusi,” which is accompanied by one helluva music video.  The song is quite catchy and sounds terrific live, making the kids move and shake a little. I also see a familar face in bassist Seth Sutton, whom I saw way back in October ’09 when he played side by side with the late, great Jay Reatard in the kickass, guitar driven powerhouse known as Useless Eaters. Mr. Sutton isn’t the only Seth I have not seen live since October ’09, but I will get that later, back to Heavy Cream.  I do not want to pin the group down to one sound or style, but fans of bands such as fellow Nashville rockers, Those Darlins, Nobunny, Bleached, and Mika Miko will probably enjoy Heavy Cream. I also hear a lot Runaways/ Joan Jett in their music and performance as well.  Just like Radio Control, they are pretty damn tight and in terms of overall attitude, I cannot think of too many better bands to play before Hunx; they share the same Rock and Roll aesthetic, that is thee best aesthetic.

Act III: Hunx and His Punx– HUNX AND HIS PUNX!!! HOLY SHIT!!! Yes, they truly deserve all of those exclamation points. I am a humongous fan of Hunx and His Punx, so this show means a lot to me. Unfortunately, I have not seen the band since the Boston Shattered Records Tour show at Harpers Ferry on October 2, 2009. Yes sir, Jay Reatard, Nobunny, Hunx and His Punx, Box Elders, and Useless Eaters. To this day the greatest bill I have ever witnessed. At the time, I did not know who or what Hunx and His Punx was, so it was an exciting and bizarre experience that will stick with me forever. Flash forward a few months and Hunx is on my iPod every single day, and that has continued for the past two years. Due to some poor scheduling, lack of money and transportation I have missed the past two Boston Hunx shows, but today is my day. The Great Scott has never seemed so wonderful, and I have seen my fair share of Great Scott shows: Wavves, Harlem, Handsome Furs, all great, but none of them compare to Hunx at this moment. When the band hits the stage, I am harder and higher than ever and I am about to explode (INSERT DRAMATIC EFFECT). Tonight the band opens with the recent Hunx solo effort, “Hairdresser Blues,” and not being a hairdresser myself, I cannot say I have actually experienced these blues, but Hunx sings with so much passion I can tell he has. Next up is “Private Room,” another hit from the new record, and definitely one of the catchiest.  Too bad there does not appear to be any gay dudes in the audience for Hunx to share a private room with, and in general the crowd is a bit reserved. No need to worry though, the band brings their A game and they truly rock the place. I was discussing watching YouTube videos of live performances versus actually being present for the shows with a fine gentlemen earlier in the evening and we both agreed that sometimes it is just not the same if you were not there.  Tonight is a great example of this. I have seen Hunx vids before, but honestly  they do not do justice to the live act.  The band is extremely tight and every song  just fucking hits you like a hurricane. It brings me back to the old days of Jay Reatard, but with a smiley face.  Hunx is one of the greatest performers I have seen.  He simply has a contagious personality, a persona that rivals the likes of King Khan, Nobunny, and Bradford Cox, all of which I admire greatly. The whole group is fantastic: Shannon Shaw (also of the fabulous Shannon and the Clams) belts out incredible vocals on “If You’re Not Here” and “The Curse of Being Young” amongst others.  Shaw is one of my favorite singers right now, truly only on par with some of today’s greatest such as Mark Sultan. Erin Emslie (also of The Foxx) is a sick drummer, her drumming is simple on the surface, but she has undeniable skill and finesse. She keeps the beat at a fast, steady pace the whole show and there is a lot of physicality and power to her performance.  Then there is that creepy, mystery guitarist to the right of Hunx.  The songs would not be the same without him though, but he surely is one creepy motherfucker. JK! Often you think of “garage” as sloppy, but as far as I am concerned Hunx and His Punx has their shit together, much like the first two bands tonight. Every song hits you hard and the set consists of so many classics from both records, Gay Singles and Too Young To Be In Love. My favorites are “Cruising” and “U Don’t Like Rock and Roll.”  I am just in my own world when they play these songs. I love them to death so much,  when I hear it live I am in near cardiac arrest! The show concludes with “Lovers Lane,” and the band departs the stage for the errr dresser room (or lack thereof), but not for too long. “Good Kisser” is unleashed and all is well. Heavy Cream join the band on stage for the final song, which is a cover of a Pleasure Seekers tune: “What A Way To Die”. All in all, a great time is had by all. Hunx and His Punx is real Rock and Roll and it is KLYAM’s mission to bring Rock and Roll into the high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, and if we have time, the pre schools of America! Instead of an Easter Bunny, kids can come and sit on Nobunny’s lap! I can see the lovely mall riots in my mind. God bless America! I am a patriot, I hide in trees.

Set List:
Hairdresser Blues (from Hairdresser Blues)
Private Room (HB)
Cruising (from Gay Singles)
Bad Boy (from Too Young to Be in Love)
Gimmie Gimmie Back Your Love (GS)
Too Young To Be In Love (TY)
Let Me In (HB)
The Curse of Being Young (TY)
U Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll (GS)
If You’re Not Here (I Don’t Know) (TY)
Do the Make Up (GS)
Lovers Lane (TY)
Good Kisser (GS)
What A Way To Die (Pleasure Seekers Cover)

Concert Review: Pongos Groove, People With Instruments @ Dirty Douglas (4/8/11)

Artists: Pongo’s Groove, People With Instruments
Date: Friday, April 8, 2011
Location: Dirty Douglas (Lowell, MA)
Comments: As with my first visit at the Dirty Douglas, this show was another pleasant addition to my concert attending history. Once again the sound was great, I can’t help but pay props to the PA of the Douglas. Last time, we heard garage esque bands, this time it was Full Out Funk! Apparently, a first for the Douglas. In any case, it was a stellar show and people seemed to respond with enthusiasm and plenty of dancing. Pongo’s Groove had plenty of grooves and I loved their jams. Specifically, I adored the classic soul/funk jam, “You Can Make It If You Try,” by Sly and the Family Stone. PG more than did the song justice; it was exceptional. Next up, was People With Instruments. These guys were also great musicians, but I didn’t appreciate their musicianship as much as the previous band, but maybe that’s just me. They were definitely a fun group, but I was definitely less interested in their performance. With that being said, when they played Dr. John’s “Right Place, Wrong Time” I was estatic! Their renditon was spot on and simply the right song for the time being. Overall, I had a good time, long live the funk!

P.S.: Brett Mason had an awesome supply of Surrealist (at least to me) art work, which I thoroughly appreciated. Spread the word, his work is excellent.

Concert Review: Glassjaw, These People, Tidal Arms @ Paradise (3/25/11)

Artist: Glassjaw, These People, Tidal Arms
Date: Friday, March 25, 2011
Venue: Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)
Act I: Tidal Arms- These guys certainly had the musical chops and perhaps could be better appreciated by musicians or those that value technique as a high standard of musical quality. Not to say they were mind blowing musicians, they weren’t, but some of the drummers I attended the show with were definitely impressed with the musicianship displayed by Tidal Arms. For me, they fit too nicely in the typical rock band realm and didn’t do much sonically outside those confines.

Act II: These People- These people were better than the previous people. I felt like I was watching a combo of a less experimental Sonic Youth (especially in the vocals) meets the danceable quality of a Lemonade.  They didn’t totally floor me, but kept my intersted and I certainly enjoyed their performance. They were more on the inventive side than Tidal Arms and for me that is far more appealing than being a virtuso or a techncially sophisticated musician.  Overall, TP’s set was short, but sweet.

Act III: Glassjaw!!!-“You don’t know! You don’t know! You don’t know!” screams singer Darryl Palumbo as they open with the new classic ” You Think You’re John Fucking Lennon.” I think we do know Darryl; we know that Glassjaw is an unflinching powerhouse, a force to be reckon with. The band’s set placed heavy emphasis on their 2002 sophomore effort Worship and Tribute, an album that contains some of the group’s finest and most recognizable songs, This in turn got the crowd all riled up and I must say GJ fans appear to be some of the most energetic out there. Memorable moments included “Ape Dos Mil,” “Convectuoso,” “Tip Your Bartender,” and easily the most exhilerating number all night-“Siberian Kiss,” one of the band’s angriest/heviest tunes- a wise closer on their part. Alas, this was the only song from that LP- a major qualm for me and many others, with it being arguably their most beloved work. Also, while I enjoyed the fact that they played many of their current songs, I thought the choice of performing an encore consisting of an entirely NEW EP (Coloring Book ) was a poor one. And though I appreciated the music, I felt like coming off the intensity and heightened engagement of “Siberian Kiss,” playing solely subdued, reserved, more mellow music was a little too much. With that being said, as a whole GJ and particularly Darryl, with his frentic style and off the wall antics/persona, put on an amazing show of upwards to 105 minutes of pure, sonic insanity.

Set List:

You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)
Tip Your Bartender
Mu Empire
Ape Dos Mil
The Gillette Cavalcade Of Sports
Pink Roses
Jesus Glue
Natural Born Farmer
All Good Junkies Go To Heaven
El Mark
Two Tabs Of Mescaline
Siberian Kiss

Black Nurse
Vanilla Poltergeist Snake
Miracles In Inches
Stations Of The New Cross
Daytona White

Grade: 8/10

Excuse me for the extremely late arrival of this review! You guys deseve better… I’ve been very busy with school, work and the whoel shabang, but better late than never fuckers!

An Evening With Greg Dulli- Concert Review-Brattle Theater

Yesterday was the moment I have been waiting for quite a while for a chance to see Greg Dulli live in concert, and even though it was an accoustic show, its a chance I have been waitng for since I first heard the Afghan Whigs 6 years ago (I was late to the party, I know)

Opening Act: Craig Wedren from Shudder to Think

Anyway doors were supposed to open at 7:00, they actually opened at around 7:20. First let me just say although the Brattle theater seems like an odd choice for a venue, for this show it worked at least, it was intimate, the sound was great, and everyone had a good view of the stage (which probably couldn’t hold more then 3 people). The opening act Craig Wedren ex lead singer (or current he didn’t seem that sure himself) of the band Shudder to Think. His set consisted of him with a guitar and a few pedals which he used masterfully. It was an experience in minimalism, and he really seemed to enjoy being on stage, all musicians do but he really seemed to relish the opportunity. I wasn’t familiar with his solo work or his work with Shudder to Think, but what I heard I liked, he defiantly falls into the singer-songwriter category of music, in fact for one Shudder to Think song he said here is the song ‘drastically reinterpreted’ and I got the feeling it was reinterpreted not only because of necessity of being the only man on stage, but because this was the song of he had envisioned, and that’s probably the best way to describe Craig Wedren’s music, it was solely is vision. Truth is Craig is just a very, very talented guy who was doing playing his songs, the way he wanted them to be played, and it worked, the set was strong and it set the mood for the main act.


Greg Dulli Setlist

1. St. Gregory
2. God’s Children
3. Blackbird and the Fox
4. The Lure Would Prove Too Much
5. Bonnie Brae
6. Kings Only
7. Fourty Dollars
8. Hyperballad (Bjork Cover)
9. Step into the Light
10. Gunshots
11. If I Were Going
12. Summer’s Kiss
13. Follow You Down
14. The Stations
15. Never Seen No Devil

16. Candy Cane Crawl
17. Down The Line
18. Teenage Wristband
19. Twilight Kid.

Encore 2

20. Black Love

After Craig left at about 8:35 Greg Dulli and his back up band Twilight Singers guitarist Dave Rosser and multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson of the Polyphonic Spree, took the stage at about 9:00. Throughout the show they seemed relaxed and was joking around with the audience. Greg told a story about the last time he was in the Brattle Theater, that was good for a laugh, and he called out someone in the front row for checking his email while he was playing, also good for a laugh. I guess my one problem is their should have been more audience interaction, the Brattle only holds about 235 people and Greg really could of turned it into an event, something like VH1-Story Tellers, except people would be watching this. Musically what can I say the man has his detractor’s, just before I left, I read something in Blender saying he was embarrassing himself now on this tour, me I thought he was great, his voice sounded strong, the band was in synch, the setlist gave the audience a nice career retrospective plus a little taste of some new material. Since it was an acoustic show everyone was in their seats the entire time, nobody got up until the encore, the atmosphere was very mellow, but the audience was composed of die hard Greg Dulli fans (tickets sold out in under a week) and Greg really put on a great live show, I know I left happy.


Greatest Concert Experience Ever!

The following is an essay I wrote for my Essay Writing course. This is the first draft, but this is how I intended to tell the story. I may or may not post the final draft. Enjoy!

Sea of Blasphemy

Annually, my comrades and I look forward to seeing our favorite band, the Black Lips! when they come to town. This year was no exception, well except it was. One of our other favorite bands, the Box Elders would be opening. As a fairly frequent concertgoer (roughly twenty or more shows a year), whenever two or more of my favorite bands are on the same bill, this usually translates into a phenomenal show, one deeply etched into my music loving heart. On March 25, 2010, the Black Lips and the Box Elders did just that and then some!
The Black Lips! represent everything great about Rock and Roll, Punk, and music itself. They satisfy all the tastes one looks for in the greatest rock band: catchy songs, excellent showmanship, unmatched integrity, unique character, and best of all, an unflinching ode to youth rebellion. Though, there is far more to the Black Lips! craft than the bedlam they are known for, it is worth noting that their shows are notorious for wild, anarchic behavior such as vomiting, urination, nudity, amongst other havoc inducing shenanigans. As an enormous fan of anti-authoritarian art, I naturally found this quite appealing. My buddies, my fellow devotees of obscure Punk Rock, and I are so dedicated to following music (particularly of the underground variety, with the Black Lips! high above all) that we started our own subversive blog entitled, Kids Like You and Me or KLYAM (pronounced clam, go figure). The moniker derives its name from the lyrics to one of our most beloved Black Lips tunes, “Bad Kids.” The line goes “Bad kids ain’t no college grad kids. Livin’ life out on the skids. Kids like you and me.” Though the lyrics do not directly relate to us, we have kind of made it our own. Only a band like the Black Lips and their amazing shows can have such a life altering effect on a young, frustrated man, boy- boyman, such as myself.
I have heard some folks describe special shows as religious experiences; for Black Lips fans, seeing these Flower Punkers’ live is the equivalent of journeying to Mecca for Muslims. Okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but if you look at the audience at their shows, you might think differently. For the Klaymers (what we call those who contribute to the aforementioned blog), waiting months for a Black Lips! show is as painful as Guantanamo Bay torture. The anticipation just keeps building and building. Three months. One Month. Two Weeks. One Week. One Day. The Show! And when that glorious day finally arrives, words cannot describe how ecstatic I am.
As 6:30 P.M. rolls around, my pal Travis (the guy that introduced me to the band) picks me up and we hit the road. Naturally, when we arrive at the Middle East in Cambridge we are there way too early and the doors have yet to open. More waiting! As if, months of anticipation was not enough. Finally, the doors open and of course no one is there. Typical. My amigos and I like to be the first there and secure our cozy spot in front of what would become bassist Jared Swilley’s stage monitor. To kill time, we waltz over to the merchandise table. Whilst taking a gander at the various vinyls, CDs, seven inches, cassettes, t-shirts, and pins, I spot a long blonde haired hippie looking dude, which looks a lot like Clayton McIntyre, singer/guitarist for the Box Elders, one of my top ten favorite bands and the second group on the bill. Wait a second, yes it is Clayton! “Hey Clayton, I really dug Alice and Friends, I thought it was one of the best records of 2009,” I yelp. He smiles and appreciates the accolades. I inform him that “Atlantis,” is my favorite Box Elders song and he agrees, saying it is his favorite too. Then I notice drummer/keyboardist, Dave Goldberg beside him. I keep my cool and inform the man of my admiration for his band: “When I saw you guys open for Jay Reatard, a few months back, I experienced something I have never felt before with any band, I found myself immediately singing along to the songs, even though I had never heard them before.” Dave graciously accepts my compliments and various music driven conversations ensue. I am struck by what Dave tells me about his lifestyle, how little they make and yet how little that seems to matter in the grand scheme of things. The man seems driven to succeed or more apropos not fall back. Explaining his outlook, he cites a Butthole Surfers’ quote from the book, Our Band Could Be Your Life, but he cannot think of the title, until I tell him. And after name dropping some early Buttholes’ LPs, he claims “Shit, you’re very well-versed.” I get that a lot, but coming from one of my favorite musicians means far more.
After the chit chat, the show finally begins with the band, Movers and Shakers. Alas, they neither move nor shake me. No worries, up next was the Box Elders! and as soon as they start their set the crowd is more than moving and shaking. They play all their essential, brief, but incredibly catchy ditties. Not to mention the fact that the BE on stage are a sight to be seen. Specifically, one cannot forget the antics of Dave as he simultaneously commands the drum kit and plays the keys, and then occasionally makes aerobic movements, when he has a hand free. The highlight of the performance for me is when Clayton introduces my favorite, “Atlantis,” as “here’s a song this kid will like,” with his finger pointing to me at the front of the stage. Without a doubt, one of the best opening bands I have ever seen; it would have been one of my favorite concerts if the show had ended here.
Now, was the time I have been waiting for all year, like waking up on Christmas morning times a thousand and it still does not scratch the surface. The place is packed, sold out and we are ready to go! The entire crowd initiates the universal chanting “ohhhhhhhhhhhh” that opens every Black Lips! show. It is not as exciting on paper, kind of akin to the wave ( but way cooler), you cannot describe it to someone, it simply will not have the same effect as if you are present. But, as the chant builds and builds, you can feel the rowdy audience members on your back as you discover there is no place to breath and you are in a sea of drunkards, stoners, and possibly the insane. Then you realize you are amongst this sea of wild men and women and anything seems possible. The Lips- Cole, Jared, Ian, and Joe hit the stage and launch into “Sea of Blasphemy,” immediately chaos ensues: beers, saliva, and bodies a flyin, you never stay still for the entire show. In fact, you have to hold onto the people around you or the monitors in order to stand up and not die. The Black Lips are an attack on all the senses. Whilst the loud, noisy wall of music wipes out what is left of my hearing, I can taste the hair of various femmes getting caught in my mouth and I can smell some puke, blood, and certainly, unbelievable amounts of sweat. It is like I dove into a pool of sweat and I am saturated in it. Everyone is sticking to each other, when they are not crushing themselves in undeniably euphoric moshpits. Meanwhile on stage, the pandemonium is duplicated as the boys hop and bop around as energetic and crazy as ever. Singer/guitarist, Cole Alexander, ever the charmer, hawks a giant loogie in the air and then catches it in his mouth. He proceeds to make out with lead guitarist, Ian St. Pe. Much more of this “entertainment” continues as they play classic after classic from all over their discography. The evening culminates with their signature closer, “Juvenile,” in which many patrons rush the stage and dive off, just barely escaping the clutches of uppity, conservative security.
All in all this is easily one of the greatest experiences of my life. Concerts are measured musically, viscerally, visually, and as an overall experience. I would say the visceral is the key ingredient in the memorable concert dish. That is the difference between most concerts and “crazy” shows like the Black Lips. It is like an altered state of consciousness, for me at least, for others this is literally the case! Seemingly, time is suspended and everything is possible. You feel more alive than ever, an amazing feeling. If you have experienced viscerally, what I am speaking of, and if you attend one of their shows and are amongst the fun, wild, tornado in front of the stage, then you know what I am saying. I am making no exaggeration, when I say, you do not know what will happen next. I cannot imagine it any other way. And what better a band then the Black Lips to experience this visceral abandonment with?! This all sort of hits me while I am wandering around, practically tripping over the empty beer cans and beer bottles covering the floor. Extremely tired and ready to pass out, I decide to sit on the stage and wait to see my friends, in my dirty, sweat and beer drenched Jay Reatard shirt. “Hey, that’s a cool Jay Reatard shirt,” I hear a voice say. Looking up, I discover it is none other than Cole Alexander. There are about a thousand things I want to ask him, but at the time I can only muster a few sentences about how inspiring his music is to my life. I am sure he gets that all the time, but I truly mean it. Looking back, I think the lyrics to the Lips’ anthem “Drugs,” articulate my sentiments best, ” We’ll laugh about this tomorrow.
It’s times like this I hope we’ll follow me. I hope they follow me. I hope they follow me. oh oh I hope they follow me.”

Not from the Boston show! lol

Concert Review: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men @ TT the Bears (9/17/10)

Artists: Those Darlins, Strange Boys, Gentlemen Jesse and His Men
Location/Venue: T.T. the Bears, Cambridge, MA
Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
Gentlemen Jesse: WOW! Being only casually familiar with this band, I was pleasantly surprised that I loved every second of their performance. I was as energetically into the music as I would be for most of my favorite bands that I see, and it seems like this same zeal was true for most attendees. Pretty solid for an opening band. I had seen Gentlemen a little while back, opening for the Black Lips. Now, I don’t know if it was me, but they struck my senses far far more this time around. It was just one song after another of great pop/rock numbers of the catchy/noisy variety, and it was quite loud, well I’ve seen louder, but the volume was really essential here. It just gave the music that extra ummph, so to speak… They played an excellent set and were without a doubt the best of the evening, which I totally did not expect, because I really dig the Boys and the Darlins. All in all, the hopes I wished for in my previous post were more than satisfied and I do plan on continuing my venture into these (WE FUN!) Atlanta Rockers’ discography.

Highland Crawler
Kinda Up Tight
All I Need Tonight (Is You)
Word Gets Around
What Did I Do?
If I Can See You
Black Hole
Put Your Hands Together

The Strange Boys: The fun continues! With the Strange Boys there is this really delicate feel to their approach. In other words, these Boys can produce an invigorating, often loud and in your face, abrasive, punkified blues sound and yet maintain a very mellow, almost quiet tinge to their performance- a good comparison is Deerhunter, in this respect (not the music itself), which I had the privilege of seeing both of them open for Spoon about half a year ago. It’s like they can channel all this Black Lips esque garage chaos into an incredibly calm release. In terms of the actual sound, it was fantastic as before. In fact, I’d wager that they sound (much) better live than on record, which I enjoy. These guys are great performers and extremely proficient at their craft, particularly in the following jams- “Woe Is You and Me,” “A Walk On the Beach,” (Massive kudos for the gentle, but powerful pause between the soft opening chords and the louder “top of the mountain…” second half) “Should Have Shot Paul,” (classic opener), “Be Brave,” amongst others. Easily one of the better bands I have seen.

Those Darlins: These Darlins rock harder and better than most females one cares to name. Hours earlier, I was amongst a few fans in front of the stage. But, by showtime, the Darlins had garnered themselves a well-deserved, packed-sold out show. They displayed great shoWOMANship and crowd interaction including direct eye contact, going into the audience, and so forth. They rocked out with about an hour long set, which was good, but didn’t include as many of my favorites as I expected, oh well. They did however play such classics as “Who’s That Knockin’ At My Window?” (the opener), “Wild One,” “Red Light Love,” and their latest release, “Night Jogger.” They performed well, but the set was plagued by poor PA, which I don’t attribute to the band, as it seemed like they tried to fix this. Either way, this didn’t stop the band or the audience from having a good time. The show concluded with a really fun encore in “Funstix Party,” the B Side to their new “Night Jogger” 7″. Everyone came out for this number including Gentlemen and the Strange Boys as we all sang along to the raunchy, but catchy tune. With booze and saliva a flyin’ for a few moments it felt like Black Lips kind of craziness (to a much lesser extent).

Grade: B+

Concert Review: Silhouette Rising

Artists: Silhouette Rising, The Scouflaws
Location: West Side Social Club, Wakefield, MA
Date: July 2, 2010

Act I: The Scouflaws
As Glen discussed in his review of their Demo, Demolicious, The Scouflaws mix things up with a mish mash of Punk, Garage, and Pop. Throughout their performance they rocked out hard with a lot of high energy and crowd interaction, not to mention quick witted humor. They played signature songs like “Crazy Desert Island Cats” and “Stupid and Catchy” (a great title, but the latter is more accurate) as well as covers of “Walking On Sunshine,” and “Killing In the Name,” which served as a really kick ass closer, amongst some other fine tunes. I was pleased with their performance and I highly recommend others to see them live or at least check out their Myspace Page, If you’re a KLYAM reader, then you know we see bands all the time; The Scouflaws are more energetic than most of those bands and they are still in High School! Give their demo, Demolicious some ear time.

Act II: Silhouette Rising
Ahh yes, Silhouette Rising. Much anticipation led up to this show. Hell, much of my curiosity was devoted to staring at those wacky characters on my ticket, whom also apper on the cover of the CD. Which brings me to my next point, the entire purpose of this show. You see, this wasn’t just another concert from the group, as they play shows often and will be playing more and more shows in the near future. No, this was far more important. The culmination of all their rigorous, dedicated work throughout the years. In other words, the release of their latest and greatest CD, Promises. An epic recording, hard to match live, but the band pulled it off with an undeniable finesse and then some. Based on the energy of the performers and the audience’s reaction, one would think this was a spiritual release show. Each performance evoked a range of emotions: headbanging and jumping up and down to the fast paced Rockers of “Conversations” and “Poseidon’s War,” passionately singing along to the Classic Ballads of “Riverside,” “Behind Closed Doors,” and “A Failed Attempt,” or simply snapping your fingers and appreciating fine tunes with “Wake Me Up” and “New England Sunsets.” A particularly solemn moment came in the soft, slow number, “Perserverance,” a song dedicated in loving memory to Chris Rollins. The band also unleashed a wide variety of cover songs from Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic” to The Temper Trap’s “Sweet Disposition,” they even played a brief rendition of the “Familly Guy” theme! Whilst the band performed they were accompanied by a dazzaling light show and a backdrop of bizarre images, including what appears to be the apocalypse via archive Cold War propaganda footage of buildings exploding, which concluded the band’s set. These neat additions perfectly complemented the group’s muisc and artistic vision. Lastly, it should be noted that this was an ALL AGES show, literally! Fans of all ages were in attendance, anywhere from little tykes to elderly folks. Silhouette Rising was able to captiviate everyone for over 90 minutes. A rare feat, to say the least. In short, check out the band and attend their next performance. If you want to find out what “purple things” she brings to Cory, then you will just have to see the boys live.