Category Archives: Live Shows

Concert Review: Elliott Brood / The Pack AD / Leah Lou & The 2 Left Shoes – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH – 03/09/2012

I completely forgot that Toronto’s Elliott Brood was coming to town last week and if it wasn’t for a a good friend of mine, I would have surely missed out on an awesome show.  Luckily for me, my pal Kyle was quick to remind me last Friday, hours before the show, that Elliott Brood was playing the Beachland Tavern.  (Thanks Kyle, you are always looking out for me…)

It was a last minute decision to hit up the show, and I can not tell how how glad that I was able to.  The Ontario country / rock act was just about to finish up a stretch of their tour last week in support of their new release Days Into Years, and made sure that Cleveland was one of their destinations.  Touring with their pals The Pack AD, the band turned what could have been a boring Friday evening into something much more entertaining.

Locals Leah Lou & The 2 Left Shoes opened the night with their cute yet harsh indie pop sounds.  At times, I thought that Ms. Leah Lou was going to smash her acoustic guitar into the ground as it would not tune right for her causing the duo to skip over more than one song from their set.  Instead, she hid away her frustrations and used the free time to get to know the crowd as well as introduce her family to them.  When she was able to play some of her songs, the crowd was just eating it up.  I did notice while Leah Lou played her set that Casey Laforet from Elliott Brood was checking her out and was loving what he heard.  How couldn’t he though?  I love this local act.  Lea Lou reminds me of Regina Spektor mixed with Joanna Newsome, but far sassier.  If you have not seen this local act live yet, you really should.

Up next was Vancouver’s The Pack AD and I will admit, I did not know what to expect from this female duo at all.  The young looking lead signer had a punk rock look to her while the drummer appeared to have been well versed in the days of rock n roll.  I was expecting more of a Runaways / Joan Jett sound but was blown away by what I heard.  Their sound was more or less the White Stripes mixed up with some Black Keys with a span of singing stiles that sometimes reminded me of Justin Hawkins (not the high pitched crap) making for some great tunes.  Guitar, drums, and singing was all these ladies delivered and it was awesome.  I loved “Haunt You” as well as when Becky Black just tore up her guitar during “Lights” and also during “Deer” (at least that is what I think the song title was).  A couple gents from Fort Worth, Indiana, actually traveled 3 hours to see these ladies rock out.  At first I questioned why they would do such a thing, but by the set’s end, I fully understood.  I’m shocked that The Pack AD has not already grabbed some major attention already.  I will be checking these girls out more in the near future.

I’ve missed Elliot Brood in the past when they played Cleveland, so I made sure I found a close standing spot to watch the band.  I actually wound up leaning against the small wall by the stage.  As the band played, I could not help but stare at Laforet’s feet as he played what looked like a drum machine hooked up to some organ pedals while playing guitar.  It was a very makeshift instrument, but it was perfect.  He barely even glanced at his feet while playing songs.  It was kind of impressive.

Throughout their set, Marc Sasso joked with the crowd.  At one time he even paid tribute to the SS&W Boardwalk Bar just down on Waterloo and mentioned how he liked to grab drinks there before shows in the past.  He then went on to inform everyone that is where his parents met and eventually conceived him.  Laforet added that he was conceived on the pool table in the corner pocket.  All jokes aside, the band did let the crowd know that they appreciated everyone for coming out.

The band played a lot of tracks off their recent release Days Into Years including “Lindsey” and “If I Get Old”, but was also quick to jam out to some older tunes like “Oh, Alberta” and  my favorite,”Write It All Down For You” (can I tell you all how much better that song sounds when they play it to you in a tavern?).  It was the highlight of my evening.  I would have liked to have seen Stephen Pitkin beat on a suitcase over a drum set like I heard he used to years ago, but I guess you can’t have everything.  Speaking of percussion, Pitkin actually passed out pie tins and wooden spoons towards the end of the set so that the crowd could help Elliott Brood play songs.

Elliot Brood finished up their set and exited the stage.  They had more important things to do, like hang out with the crowd.  It was a great show to start off my weekend and I am sure that all who were there would agree on that.

Concert Review: Frank Turner – Outland On Liberty – Columbus, OH – 02/22/2012

It’s a known fact:  If you speed, you risk a good chance of getting caught.  I can tell you this first hand seeing how I was speeding down I-71 Wednesday evening on my way to see Frank Turner in Columbus.  I was just outside of the state capitol cruising at about 80 m.p.h. not paying attention at all when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a state trooper shooting my car with his laser gun.  We made eye contact immediately after, and I knew I was screwed.

In a flash, the trooper was tailing my car down I-71 and the moment I switched lanes thinking that maybe, just maybe he would pull the guy over in front of me, he switched lanes again and turned his lights on.

Crap.

I knew I was speeding and was at fault, so I pulled over and waited for the trooper to approach my car and tell me what I already knew.  I tried to tell the state trooper that I was just cruising along and not paying attention to my speed because of how excited I was to be seeing Frank Turner at a venue in Columbus.  The trooper looked at me and asked who Frank Turner was.  I wanted to tell him all about one of my favorite musicians and persuade him to let me off the hook, but just told him that he was a punk rocker folk artist from England.  The trooper smiled at me and told me that he would be back in a moment with my ticket.

Shit.

So, my trip to Columbus from Akron cost me an extra $130 and I have no one to blame but myself.  Then again, if the trooper knew who Frank Turner was, maybe he would have shared his excitement with me and let me off.  After bidding the trooper a farewell, I jumped back on to the highway and made it to the Outland on Liberty.

Having never been to this venue before, I was not sure what to expect at all.  Hell, I had to ask a parking attendant where is was only to feel like a complete idiot when he pointed to the building directly across the street.  To be fair, it was my first time to the brewery district.

Outside, the Outland did not really resemble a venue at all.  Granted Turner’s tour bus was parked in front of it, I did not notice a sign for it nor did it look like your typical concert club.  There was also a Eiffel Tower metal-looking structure in a patio area that towered over everyone that stood out.  I was not sure what the significance was at all, perhaps a tribute.  Walking inside though, I had a completely different impression of the concert venue.  The place looked like what would happen if Austin Powers’ clubhouse turned into a goth club.  Crosses adored the walls and there was a giant tiered stage full of lights.  It was interesting and to be honest, I kind of dug it.

While asking myself if that stage was for real, I realized that there was in a completely different room that hosted the main stage.  Once I made my way to the stage area, I felt a little better about seeing Turner and crew play a normal stage and not a plexi-glass tiered stage, although that might have been awesome.

There were two opening acts and I will not lie,  I did not watch either of the openers as I was too preoccupied with catching up with some of my friends, new and old, who also were attending the show.  I will say though that I did hear one of the guys singing a song about Touchdown Jesus.  That is pretty bad ass if you ask me, but chances are if you are not from Ohio, you have no idea what that heck I am talking about.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls (his full band) took the stage around 10 p.m. to the adoring crowd.  Opening with “Eulogy” from the band’s latest release England Keep My Bones, Turner and crew put forth an amazing set.  Playing songs, old and new, the crowd sung along at the top of their lungs with each song.  It was not just a concert, it was a party, a gathering of friends all having a good time.  Following was “Try This At Home” and I could not help but get lost in the song.

Turner and crew continued on playing tracks such as “I Am Disappeared” as well as his tribute to home “Wessex Song”.  I liked how Turner told everyone that he could care less about songs about NYC and L.A. and wanted to pay tribute to where he grew up.  When he asked the crowd if anyone had ever been to England, a few hands rose, and when he asked if anyone was from England, a girl screamed in excitement that she was. I am sure she appreciated that song more than anyone else that night.

Not just keeping to material the fans knew, Turner played a couple brand new including “Cowboy Chords” and “Four Simple Words”.  The latter of the two was really fun to listen to.  Before he sung it, Turner told the crowd that he hoped one day that the crowd would break into a choreographed dance when he played it.  The crowd did their best to dance together, but it was no Broadway performance.

In between the new songs, Turner played “Dan’s Song” but let the crowd know that no one would be invited on stage to play the harmonica solo as he was afraid that there might be a few people who might get pissed that they were not chosen and punch him in the balls after the show.  Instead, he invited the entire crown to play the “air harmonica”.  Basically, everyone cupped their hands into an O shape and screamed whatever noise they wanted to in their hands.  It was no harmonica solo, but it did the job.

Although one of his more popular songs, I was still psyched to hear the band break into “The Road” and later “I Still Believe”.  I could not help but laugh though when they played “Glory Hallelujah”,  knowing that it was Ash Wednesday.

To end the night, Turner set down his acoustic and took the mic belting out Queen’s “Somebody To Love” while the rest of the band rocked out.  This cover was the perfect way to end the show.

It was kind of suiting that the set ended with a Queen song seeing how in the very first song played that night, Turner sang “not everyone can be Freddie Mercury”.  Did anyone else catch that?

Throughout that impressive cover, everyone went insane and naturally wanted more, so it was no surprise to see Turner return to the stage moments after everyone exited.

To barter with the crowd, Turner promised two more songs during the encore and then added one more .  Turner, sans the Sleeping Souls, played an awesome cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl” and a lot of people could not help but sing along.  Following was the always fun “Ballad Of Me And My Friends.”

During the last song of the night, “Photosynthesis”, the rest of the band joined Turner  on stage and played along.

Frank piped up just before the last chorus of the song and let the crowd know how he felt about rock n roll and said, “I’m always disappointed when rock n roll turns out to be a bunch of fucking dickheads with a tour bus and a raised piece of flooring who show up and make noise with a bunch of fucking hits and just turn around and go home. And no one talks to anyone anymore and no one fucking interacts and it’s boring and pointless and not the kind of shit we are supposed to be doing with our time.”

He continued with, “rock and roll is and always is, and punk rock especially, was about a run for the people who are equals and who are friends, who don’t have a fucking barrier who are doing something together and something communal, something transcending, something necessary…”

Needless to say, the entire venue went ballistic.  His words may very well single handedly changed they way people look at rock n roll in Columbus.

He was not joking about what he said either.  Once the band finished up, they all hung out with the crowd that stuck around.  Turner actually took time to talk to each and every fan that approached him, allowed photographs, and even signed records, fliers, and even a 20-year-old polo shirt (that was odd if you ask me, but who am I to judge?).  I think the greatest thing though, was that Turner was sincere with each interaction and wholeheartedly smiled and his fans, shook their hands, and even gave out hugs.

When I finally had a moment to chat with him, I thanked him for coming back to Ohio and could not help but tell him about my speeding ticket.  He laughed and grabbed my record  and signed it “Keep Speeding”.  He also was quick to give me a hug after we finished talking and I accidentally head butted him.  I was quick to apologize and he laughed and said “it’s ok, I feel as if we are now closer…”

Star struck?  Not one bit.  The guy is just like you and I.  He is real and does not play out for the paycheck.  He appreciates his fans as much as they appreciate him and that, to me, is beyond admirable.

Wednesday night was a good night in my book, well, not the speeding ticket part, but spending time with with some cool people and listening to one of my favorite acts out there definitely was.

Set List:
Eulogy
Try This At Home
If I Ever Stray
Prufrock
I Am Disappeared
Lore, Ire and Song
Wessex Boy
Fastest Way Back Home
Cowboy Chords
Dan’s Song
Four Simple Words
The Road
Peggy Sang The Blues
One Foot Before The Other
Glory Hallelujah
Long Live The Queen
I Still Believe
Somebody To Love (Queen Cover)

Encore:
American Girl (Tom Petty Cover)
Ballad Of Me And My Friends
Photosynthesis

The Revival Tour – Spring 2012

The Revival Tour is back on the road and will be swinging through Cleveland on April 6th! 

The Cleveland stop will feature Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio / In The Emergency Room), Cory Branan, and Nathanial Rateliff all playing at the Grog Shop.  This is going to be a night to not miss! 

Get your tickets now! There are also bundles available for purchase as well where you can score a ticket and a special vinyl.

Rock On The Range 2012 Lineup Announced!

Now in its 6th year, the ever popular Rock On The Range is taking over Columbus, OH, from May 18th to the 20th at Columbus Crew Stadium.

“If you thought last time was a blast, then this time we are gonna blow your f#@*ing mind,” – co-headliner Rob Zombie.

The current lineup for RotR 2012 is as follows: Incubus, Rob Zombie, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Slash, Megadeth, Chevelle, Cypress Hill, Mastodon, Theory of a Deadman, Volbeat, Down, The Darkness, Halestorm, Escape The Fate, P.O.D., Lacuna Coil, Adelitas Way, Black Stone Cherry, Cavo, Attack Attack!, Trivium, Bobaflex, Falling In Reverse, Redlight King, Aranda, Emphatic, Otherwise, James Durbin, Black Tide, Kyng, 12 Stones, SOiL, Rival Sons, Eve To Adam, and Ghosts of August.

That’s a pretty healthy lineup!  I do not know about you, but there a few bands playing this year that I would not mind checking out, including The Darkness, Volbeat, Mastodon, and Down.

To make things even more fun, the Friday Night 4Play returns, which is an absolutely FREE with every RotR weekend ticket purchase. The May 18th party will be featuring performances from Hairball, Foxy Shazam, Hells Bells and more… Did someone say Foxy Shazam???

Tickets go on sale on Friday Feb. 10th at 10am.

This has proved to be a fun weekend festival year after year.  Don’t miss out!

Interview: Dave Hause

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes used with permission.

Any fan of punk rock music these days should know the name Dave Hause.  He is an amazing musician who not only fronts The Loved Ones, but also has been quite successful at being a solo performer.

Touring over the years with the likes of Cory Branan, Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem, Dan Andriano of Alkaline Trio, Frank Turner, and Mikey Erg just to name a few, Hause has had no problem playing his solo material to the world.  His songs are infectious to say the least, and always make for a good time.

In 2011, Hause released Resolutions at the beginning of the year and toured non-stop in support of the album.  When I saw that there was not a Cleveland date, I reached out to him for the below interview and decided to try my luck and asked him to play a house show.  He and tour-mate Branan were all about it and with help from some friends, we put on a show at the Gurley House in Akron, OH that topped my list of live shows in 2011.

It’s still early in 2012 and Hause is already touring overseas.  The guy just does not seem to stop.  All I know is that his debut solo album was amazing and I can not wait for his next release.  I would be happy with a new Loved Ones album any day, but there is just something about his solo material I am just drawn more to.

Before, during and after that awesome December evening, I had a few chances to chat it up with Hause.  Here’s what he had to say:

BHP: Last year came to a quick end, rather quickly if you ask me. How was 2011 for you?

DH: It’s been a great year for me musically, I’ve been all over the world playing songs I made up on my couch with tons of great people.

You have been touring a ton this past year with everyone from Hot Water Music to the good folk on the Revival Tour. How different is to tour without The Loved Ones?

It’s pretty different, I’m much more mobile and able to do whatever I want socially. I miss the revelry with my buds and playing loud some nights, but I do enjoy the ability to just get up and go with ease.

Is there a backing band touring with you?

Not touring with me, no. Where I can put people together for a few shows or a one off or something, I’ll do that, for instance NYC and Philly on this tour I have a full band. But not yet, I’m working towards that in the future.

You toured with Cory Branan towards the end of last year. Any reason Cleveland was overlooked?

Cory’s booking agent put the whole thing together and then asked if I would like to come along. I think he has something against Cleveland. Not Cory of course, but his booking agent.

Luckily I was able to persuade you and Cory into playing some songs at a house show in Akron. Thanks for that by the way. I hope you guys had a good time. I know some of the folk who showed up there that night were beyond stoked to see you and Cory trade off on songs.

We did, thanks for having us. It interrupted our movie marathon but was worth it.

 

Photo by Andrew Wells

Has Cory given you any tips how to shred on the acoustic? That guy is insane when he does that.

He told me he learned those from some guy with horns at a crossroads down south, and was reluctant to share them with me.

So it was just Cory and you on the road for this past tour right? Who took over the driving duties?

Cory drove unless whiskey Cory showed up. Then I’d try my hand. Whiskey Cory probably would’ve been better…

You gave a shout out to Matt from American War that night, did you think he was in the crowd?

No, I just thought of his music due to the fact we were in Ohio. He’s a terrific talent.

That he is.  So, how did the rest of the East Coast tour treat ya?

Interesting and quite fun.  Philly was great, New Haven was, well, north of New York city…

Did you see a lot of Loved Ones fans at the shows? Have there been mixed responses from them about your music?

Loved Ones fans have been way into the record and the shows. I write for the Loved Ones and I write obviously these solo songs, so it’s just minor tweaks of aesthetics that separates the two.

I heard you will be playing with Frank Turner in Europe next year. How stoked are you about that?

I am doing one enormously huge show with FT in England. I haven’t heard about any tour, but we always get together drink whiskey and talk about all of the touring we will do, so sooner or later it will happen I would think.

What made you initially want to drop a full length solo album anyways? Not that I am complaining or anything,. Resolutions is amazing. Just curious
If this is something you wanted to do for a while or if you needed to take a break from the loved ones.

I needed a break and wrote some songs that weren’t best suited for the Loved Ones and one thing led to another.

 

Photo by Andrew Wells

Who are your major musical influences that helped mold this solo release? It is safe to say this is not a punk rock album at all.

Well really not much different, writing songs for anything always hold the same basic influences. As far as the aesthetic, I love what Conor Oberst did with his 2 solo records, what Jenny Lewis is up to, Jonathan Rice, Deer Tick, Patty Griffin, etc. Just more modern songwriting acts. Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires both are terrific as well.

I love how you have so many friends / musicians contributing on Resolutions. Was it easy to recruit everyone? Were there others that did not make it
on the record that you asked?

It was totally easy, everyone was so gracious with their time and really excited about the songs and the project. Some of my dearest friends and some amazing musicians played on it. Actually there were people who later said “why didn’t you ask me?”, not really the other way around. I’m a lucky girl.

You sister actually played organ on Resolutions. Does she happen to play in any other bands?

She hasn’t. She played some recitals as a kid and then The Loved Ones dragged her out on tour on Build & Burn. I keep telling her to get her ass into a local or cover band to keep her sharp.

I can hear many styles of music in Resolutions including a little country twang. With all of your punk rock history, I was kind of impressed to hear that your solo material was not just you and an acoustic guitar. Did you actually write all of the music in the album or did you get some assistance?

I wrote all of the songs, but when it comes to the specific bass lines, guitar parts and that kind of thing, I knew the people playing on the songs are amazing and let them just go for it. Pete and I sometimes would guide them in the direction more suitable for the vibe we were going for, but by and large their initial instinct governed the parts. Chris Gonzalez in particular wrote so many cool guitar parts. It was really amazing.

The video for “Time Will Tell” clearly pays homage to Martin Scorsese’s short The Big Shave. Where did you get the brilliant idea to add your own
spin on the film?

I went to film school for 2 semesters before quitting college. I have always been a huge fan of film and Scorsese is a cornerstone. Not sure where the idea to do that came from, but I must say, I’m glad the idea came. I love how it turned out.

Will The Loved Ones be releasing anything anytime soon?

Not sure. I have a whole record almost done, but not sure what the schedule is gonna be like.

Are you going to help Chris Gonzalez on his solo album? He still plans on recording something right?

He doesn’t need help, he’s amazing. I’m going to sing some on it I think. I am chomping at the bit to hear it finished!!

You are living the dream man and it does not look like you are slowing down. What’s next for you?

Making up songs, recording them, then playing them for people all over the world. That’s living the dream in my book, and I don’t want to slow that down.