SHOW: Arctic Monkeys @ HOB [May 19]

New LP coming SOON from Arctic Monkeys. More importantly, though, they are playing at the House of Blues on May 19. You know time flies when it feels like you just saw a band, when in actuality it’s been 16 months or so. I was just thinking about the Monkeys the other day and how I got to see ’em e at the Paradise then a few months later at the HoB. They seem to like touring in America, which is nice for us fans.

So it’s May 19. Tickets on sale March 12.

Harlem @ House of Blues

Harlem, you know that really awesome band from Texas who Chris and I saw at Great Scott just short of a month ago, will be back in these parts in a couple of months. July 14, to be exact, at the House of Blues. No, no, no. I know what you are thinking. They couldn’t even draw a sold-out GS crowd, so any chance of them headlining a 1,000 capacity venue seems moot, don’t you think? Right. They will be opening for the perfectly average hard-rock/blues outfit Dead Weather. Fellow KLYAMer Matt will be presumably in attendance and he’ll be in for a treat. In a summer void of great concerts, I’d probably go to this one. BUT it’s $29 bucks and $29 for a quickie set from Harlem (fuck they only played 25 minutes at GS as headliner) is a bit much.

Wolf Parade Announce No. America Tour

After seeing Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs tour around these parts last summer, it’s about time to get a glimpse of their main band Wolf Parade!

And this summer a lucky few American cities will get that opportunity.  Here are the dates:

07-08 Montreal, QC – Le National
07-09 Montreal, QC – Le National
07-11 Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall on sale 4/9 @ 10am
07-12 Boston, MA – House of Blues
07-13 NYC – Terminal 5
07-15 Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
07-16 Newport, KY – Southgate House
07-18 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
07-19 Winnipeg, MB – Garrick Center
07-21 Saskatoon, SK – Louis (Univ. of Saskatoon)
07-22 Calgary, AB – Republik
07-23 Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
07-25 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
07-26 Seattle, WA – Showbox
07-27 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom on sale 4/10
07-29 Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst Club On Sale 4/8 @ 10am
07-30 Oakland, CA – The Fox
07-31 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

July 12 for Boston people. Concert calendar’d.

Concert Review: Spoon, Deerhunter, Strange Boys @ House Of Blues (3/27/10)

Artist(s): Spoon, Deerhunter, Strange Boys
Venue: House of Blues, Boston, MA
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010

Note: Glen and I basically came to see the Strange Boys and Deerhunter, the opening acts and some of our current favorites, not to discredit Spoon in any way, but this was most likley different from other concertgoers.

Act I: Strange Boys– These garage rockers, for lack of a better face, excuse me, word, were one of the tightest bands I have ever seen live. Considering, their garage label, one would think they were sloppy and what have you like the Black Lips (not an insult!). But, in fact, quite the opposite, the band actually resembled their recordings pretty damn well. I suppose this is kind of a weakness, because live performances are naturally better when they are different from their recorded counterparts. But, then again, the boys were rather entertaining. They played several classic dittties, such as “Woe Is You and Me,” (my favorite SB tune!) “Should Have Shot Paul,” “Be Brave,” “A Walk On the Beach,” and others. ‘Woe’ was nearly perfect; the vocals were astonishingly accurate (if you know what I mean) and the guitars roared in unisen as we all know and love it. ‘Walk’ showcased SB soft side; seriously no fucking up the vocals or anything! and the crew exceptionally erupted into the heavy part of the song. Unfortunately, it seems like most kiddies and oldies in attendence were unaware of SB existence and during the soft part of the latter number, you could hear some creeps chi chi chi chatting away. Boring fucks! Looking back, the group did a great job, that I did not fully appreciate immediately due to their somewhat short set, under 30 minutes (at least through a fan’s point of view) and the fact that they did not play as many of my favorites as I expected them to. Overall, it was great and they are now amongst the kickass artists I have seen live.

Glen: Exactly what Chris said. Also, I can’t wait to see them headline someday (or open again).

Act II: Deerhunter– LOUD! and when I mean loud, I mean reverberate through your mind, body and soul and shake real low inside the lowest drums of your ears. Seriously, loudest band I’ve ever seen! and this time, unlike Dinosaur Jr, I was standing right next to the speakers lol. It was an incredible audio assault, real gorgeous, sonically and visually. The lights were fantastic and nicely complemented the bizarre music/performance, which, by the way, was easily the most technically sophisticated performance I have seen live, with Sonic Youth as the only contender. Singer/guitarist, Bradford Cox, the “nicest guy in Rock and Roll,” as Glen calls him, demonstrated some serious skill in the field of showmanship. This included, direct eye contact, hiding behing his guitar, then pretending to gobble it up, whilst posing for the cameras, and don’t forget that he loves Boston! as he proclaimed numerous times. Musically, Cox and crew played some Cryptograms tracks, but mostly Microcastle songs including “Never Stops,” “Nothing Ever Happened,” and the title track. Unfortunately, they didn’t play many of my favorites and they played nothing from their last release, the EP, Rainwater Cassette Exchange. The Atlanta rockers finished their exqusite set with the classic, dance track, “Operation.” Deerhunter was definitely my favorite from the night, no surprise. I can’t wait to experience their Supreme Genius again.

Glen: Loudest for sure. Bradford was the man. All members of the band were. Drummer Moses Archuleta really pounded hard and with fine precision. My favorite two songs were “Nothing Ever Happened” and “Operation.” “Nothing Ever Happened” was awesome because it was loud and featured an extended jam. “Operation” was just pure dance-rock or dance-punk. It’s way better live than on record.

Act III: Spoon– Not being a fan of Spoon (actually never listening to them prior to the show), I don’t have much to say here. I enjoyed their performance very much and I thought they were quite entertaining and displayed the right chops as a great Rock act. I could tell the crowd was really engaged with their performance and the musicians were equally interactive with their audience. Usually, with most bands I see live that I don’t know well, I lose interest, but with Spoon, I appreciated what I was seeing/hearing and greatly admired their performance.

Glen: I agree with Chris. I was really only vaguely familiar with Spoon prior to this show. I feel like it’s a must for me to research their earlier discography because there were definitely some songs that connected with me during this show. Even the new stuff off Transference, which was a decent at best studio album, sounded much much better live. Songs that stuck out to me (ones that I knew from before and/or caught my attention) were “You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb,” “Got Nuffin’,” “Don’t Make Me A Target,” “Written in Reverse,” “Don’t You Evah,” “Who Makes Your Money?,” “I Turn My Camera On,” and opener “Before Destruction.”

Set-List:

    1. Before Destruction
    2. Nobody Gets Me But You
    3. Rhythm & Soul
    4. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
    5. They Never Got You
    6. Stay Don’t Go
    7. Vittorio E
    8. Got Nuffin’
    9. Metal School
    10. Don’t Make Me A Target 
    11. Written In Reverse
    12. The Beast And Dragon, Adored
    13. Don’t You Evah 
    14. Who Makes Your Money
    15. I Summon You Play Video
    16. Trouble Comes Running 
    17. I Turn My Camera On
    18. The Underdog
    19. Encore:
    20. Is Love Forever
    21. Finer Feelings

Grade: A, definitely this will go down in my top ten favorite concerts! A night of three highly diverse, exciting, independent artists, what more can you ask for?

the Black Lips! but we saw them two days earlier suckas!!!

Glen: I haven’t figured it out yet, but this is definitely a top show. In the A/A- range.

Chris

Concert Review: Editors

Bands: The Dig, The Antlers, Editors
Venue: House of Blues Boston
Date: February 18, 2009

Act One – The Dig – Love this band, man. When I saw them twice back in September, they rocked. The bassist/singer again stood out as an absolutely slick musician, keeping a great rhythm to compliment his singing. The amplification at the House of Blues really did push the pulse over the limit and, in fact, made all the instruments sound louder and more impacting than at the Middle East. “Penitentiary” and closer “Just Wanna Talk To You” stuck out to me as the two best songs from the band’s 30 minute set. The audience took notice of the band’s genius, as I heard a few people next to me comment on how good they were.

Act Two – The Antlers Okay, so the Antlers. I’d say they were a good fit for pre-Editors opening band. As opposed to Hot Hot Heat, the band that performed before Editors in 2008, the Antlers relied on epicness. Keyboards, guitar, no bass, and loud ass drums. Most songs started out sort of slow, but by the end the band was in a full out jam and things really came together. The singer’s voice is powerful and as one kid said “angelic,” so definitely I got to say I didn’t mind them at all. Would I listen to them again? Probably not. They are probably great on record, too, considering bitchfuck and friends gave their last album a really high rating.

Act Three – Editors – This band has been a consistent favorite of mine for the past couple of years. Their live performance on this night definitely proved why. The light show is fantastic as always and as expected. That’s nice and all, but at the end of the day all four members gave it their all and gave the audience a great time. Classics like “Blood,” “Munich,” “Bones,” “Racing Rats,” “Escaping the Nest,” and “Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors” simply got the audience into a frenzy as did new tunes like “Papillon” and “Raw Meat = Blood Drool.” In fact, the entire set didn’t really have a disappointment in it. Tom smoothly and effortlessly moved from synths to guitar to piano. It’d be a disservice not to mention his stage antics. He loves his mics, that’s for sure. Chris played a mean lead guitar as the guy next to me consistently noted. By the way, you don’t need to remind the dude that he has synesthesia by shouting “colors” after every song and demanding multiple picks. Russell’s a fun guy. The band added in several quirks that really pushed the limits on what I thought they could do live. I really realized how much fun I had watching Editors during the encore. I started to really miss what I had just listened to. That usually means I had a great time.

Set List
In This Light And On This Evening
Lights
An End Has A Start
You Don’t Know Love
Bullets
The Boxer
The Big Exit
Blood
Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool
The Racing Rats
Escape The Nest
Like Treasure
Bones
Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
Bricks And Mortar

—-ENCORE—-

Walk The Fleet Road
Munich
Papillon
Fingers In The Factories

Note: Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see the kiddie masses listening to good music. It’s kind of messed up to see them outnumber every other age group. I was once a kiddie who saw Editors so I can’t hate, but that was at a sit down venue. I don’t mind it; it’s sort of shocking since I’m used to being the youngest at most shows, 18+.

Grade: A – Definitely a Top 10 show.

Top 3 Concert Venues In 2009!

Metal railings...seriously? What band is that?!

1.
Middle East Downstairs

Headlining Bands: Black Lips, Sunset Rubdown, The Walkmen, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, King Khan & BBQ Show

2.
Great Scott
Headlining Bands: Handsome Furs, Head Automatica, Warlocks, Rifles, Wavves

3.
Harpers Ferry

Headlining Bands: Jay Reatard, Trevor Hall

Honorable Mentions: Paradise Rock Club (Arctic Monkeys, King Khan & Shrines), House of Blues (Animal Collective, Arctic Monkeys), Wilbur Theatre (Sonic Youth), and Wang Theatre (Pixies).

Concert Review: Arctic Monkeys & Screaming Females @ House Of Blues (12/13/09)

Artist(s): Arctic Monkeys, Screaming Females
Location: House Of Blues, Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, December 13, 2009

Part I: Pre-Show Activities:
As soon as we arrived, it was pouring, so we raced through puddle after puddle. Along the way, we witness the most depressing thing to a concertgoer: lines and lines of people ahead of you. All bodies closer to the front then you. Fuck…
After some waiting outside, we made it in and at least we weren’t as far back as we were at Animal Collective. To pass the time we chatted with some fine lads (one of which bared strong resemblance to a notable Wakefield High student) about everything from college acceptances to the harsh reality of 18 + shows; this one was All Ages, which of course unleashed some fine talent. I bet that’s the one, the FBI I will nail me for lol.

Part II: Screaming Females
Chris: Well, not quite… Singing for the most part, but occasionally screaming female (the other two members were of the opposite sex) would be more apropos. They were ok, nothing special. They rocked out for a while with sledegehammer drums, powerhouse guitars, and a caterwoul sceam from the lead singer. Most of the time her vocals were high and reminded me of the voice of some Disney villian haha, no offense. I appreciated the individual parts of the songs, but overall they weren’t memorable or “stand out” numbers. They played far longer than I wanted them to.

Glen: Chris basically said what I was going to say. I’m sure if I look up more of their songs (“damn, I should have YouTube’d them”, I’ll probably develop an affinity for a few of them. That’s because I did really like a few, but in an overall picture they were kind of forgettable. At times they seemed too hard rock — which is a turn off for me.

Part III: Arctic Monkeys!
Chris: Ok, so if you’ve been to the House of Blues, at least in my experience, then you have withstood the shoving back and forth deal, resulting in enormous perspiration and lack of air to the point of leaving some attendees unconscious, and at points loss of the ability to see the show itself, at least for us 5’3 and below. Ok, well it got in the way of the music at times, but I just want to throw this out now, so I can properly critique the performance for the remainder of the review. So, in terms of music, the band was excellent. Unfortunately, they did no play that much from their debut as I hoped, but that was to be expected. They opened with a chill and mellow song, I believe it was “The Jewller’s Hands,” from their latest release, please correct me, if I am wrong. Then they exploded into “Brianstorm,” and like thunder as the song proclaims, the audience roared and entered a frenetic state of sorts for quite some time. The group went on to unleash such old and new classics as “Still Take You Home,” “My Propeller,” “Crying Lightning,” “Pretty Visiters,” “The View From the Afternoon,” and “I Bet You Look Good On the Dancefloor,” which rightfully garnered fantastic crowd response; I was pogoing my ass off! It was one of the best sing alongs that night. They slowed down for a “gentle” song in the form of “Cornerstone,” one of my new favorite monkeys’ offerings. It gave most of us a chance to breathe, relax and hear a slow, little, love song, whilst boyfriends held girlfriends and the rest of us envied them and held on to the dude beside them… kidding. The evening would end on a happy note with the beloved, fan favorite, “Fluorescent Adolescent,” this received a similar response as ‘dancefloor,’ but not as much excitement/dancing, because the song itself was slower and softer than I expected, but almost everybody in the house knew the words. Fans were greeted with a neat treat when the song suddenly transitioned into “Last Christmas,” as drummer Matt Helders took over vocal duties with black shades over his eyes, a glass of wine in his hand, he belt out the sappy lyrics to that sappy song. This digression left as quickly as it came; Helders returned to his drum set and the band smoothly transitioned back into ‘Fluorescent.’ They said goodnight and left the stage. Of course, we shouted, “Monkeys! Monkeys! Monkeys!” and naturally they returned for an encore. They started with “Secret Door,” a new favorite of mine and one of the best tracks of ’09 and finished with “505.”

Glen: I had a smashing time. Yes, at some points I couldn’t  really concentrate on the music. And that’s annoying. But for the greater part of the show, I could see the band and didn’t have to worry  about certain externalities (girl yelling that they she couldn’t breathe, another girl yelling because she lost her cell phone, etc). A big big fan of Humbug, I was quite pleased that they played quite a bit from that LP. Obviously, “Fluorescent” and “I Bet” got everyone going like Chris said. The slower jams were pretty awesome in their own right. So yeah, great shit. This was a great show, but there were some things that prevented it from being among the best. Also, fuck the Boston Herald. They called the Arctics performance “lukewarm.” Huh?

Set-List

    1. Dance Little Liar
    2. Brianstorm
    3. This House Is A Circus
    4. Still Take You Home
    5. Potion Approaching
    6. Red Right Hand [Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds Cover]
    7. My Propeller
    8. Crying Lightning
    9. Catapult
    10. The View From The Afternoon
    11. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor
    12. Cornerstone
    13. If You Were There, Beware
    14. Pretty Visitors 
    15. Do Me A Favour
    16. Fluorescent Adolescent / Last Christmas
      Encore:
    17. Secret Door
    18. 505

Glen’s comments, which should be highly valued, will be arriving shortly…

Chris