Tag Archives: Live Show

Crack The Circus

I’ve been keeping a secret of sorts for the last week from you all.  It has to do with music so I hope none of you are too shocked…  I have two shows lined up this week that I am attending.

Tomorrow I am headed to Columbus to one of them.

Who am I seeing you ask? Good question.

First let me tell you who I am seeing this Saturday with Matt and two of my out of town friends…


On the night of Gaslight Anthem a couple of weeks ago Matt gazed into my eyes and asked “do you like Mastodon and would you be interested in catching them in a couple weeks?”  My answer was of course yes. The show is sold out at the Beachland in Cleveland and until Matt hooked me up I really thought I was not going at all.  My friends Shannon and Josh from West Virginia reached out to me a month ago stating they were driving all the way up here to see them.  I told them we would all go so it will be even more enjoyable now.

A lot of people are loving Mastodon’s new album Crack the Skye with the progressive metal wizard rock.  Some on the other hand think the band went soft because this album is not as hard as the others and there is actually harmonic singing this time.  I think it is awesome and from what I heard the band will be playing the entire Crack the Skye album start to finish during one set followed a second set full of older material.  I can not wait!  The CD is one of my favorite releases so far this year.

Still wondering who I am seeing tomorrow?  I will give you a couple of hints…

-I am not a fan at all
-Under normal circumstances I would not be caught dead at this type of show
-I own nothing by this artist

So if I am not a fan and would not want to be caught dead at this show then why am I going you wonder?

Well I used to be a part of an alt-girl pin up website where I met a lot of cool people.  After leaving I stayed in touch with a few of the members who were more so friends.  Actually Shannon and Josh, my WV pals, are from the site.  Anyways one of the guys on the site went by the name Prendick.  He and I became good friends while I was on that site and continued to keep in touch after I left.

Prendick had something happen to him last week that will change his life forever.  To respect his privacy I will not discuss what happened but he reached out to me last week saying he had tickets to a show in Columbus and asked if I would take the place of someone.  Under the circumstances I told him of course I would attend.

Tomorrow night I am going to see Britney Spears.

Brokenheadphones at a Britney Spears concert???  Yes, I laugh at it too but I am actually looking forward to it now.  Mostly I am looking forward to hanging out with Prendick but I have been told the show has been entertaining.  I will do my best to take a few photos and post them here.

So this week is all about pop rock and metal.  This shockingly is not the first time I have been through something like this.

Years ago during the same week I saw Pink and a couple days later Slayer.  I remember sitting 4th rock center at the Pink show surrounded by screaming girls in pink shirts as I slammed beers and wore a CKY shirt.  Pink actually looked at me for a second because I stuck out so bad.

Anything is possible I guess.

Have you ever been to a live show that you did not tell your friends about or have you ever gone to a show that you never in your life thought you would?  I want to know!

Virgin Festival 2009??? Will it happen?

Just found an interesting little article on the Baltimore Sun website about the Virgin Mobile Festival announcing that they will return, but to where is still to be decided.

I guess it is safe to assume that they may not return to the Pimlico Race Coarse if the owners file for bankruptcy. 

Honestly I am bummed to hear about that.  I have been at the festival for the last three years, or should I say, every year since it first took place.  I have had a great time each time I was the and saw some amazing acts not to mention enjoyed myself with my good friends.

I’ve seen amazing line ups for the last 3 years including NIN, Flaming Lips, RJD2, Bad Brains, Iggy & The Stooges, The Black Keys, Foo Fighters, Wu Tang Clan, The Who, The Police, Beastie Boys…the list goes on.  It was always a good time too.  I never had a bad thing to saw about that festival…only the motel that we stayed at in 2007…

Rumor has it they may move the festival to the Merriweather Post Pavilion which is not too far away.  I searched online about the possible move a bit and found another article from the Baltimore Sun about the possible move.

That to me is not a good move by any means.  Chopping the capacity from 60,000 to 20,000 (27,500 if they transform their parking lot into festival grounds) people means less of everything including potential acts…

Here is another nice article about the possible move found on baltimore.bizjournals.com.

The race track to me is the perfect grounds for a 2 day festival and I really do not know if I will attend for a 4th time if it is moved.  There was something about parking my car and hanging out for 10+ hours in the middle of Baltimore. 

It’s getting late in the year for a festival to be announced.  I should not speak too soon though because the 2006 Virgin Mobile Festival really was not announced until after I got back from Bonnaroo that year, granted it was in late September…

The Gaslight Anthem, Good Old War, & Redwater Rojo – Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, OH – 03/31/2009 – Concert Review

The Gaslight Anthem

Last minute shows are always a good time for me.  First I have to see if I can get off work early enough to go home and change from my “business casual” attire so I do not stand out like a sore thumb and then there is the planning of meeting up with friends and trying to grab a quick bite to eat.  Sometimes this planning fails immediately as work beckons me to stay, meaning I can not get off that evening.  Luckily for me things worked out perfectly this past Tuesday when The Gaslight Anthem came to town.

Matt from Addicted To Vinyl mentioned to me on Monday night that The Gaslight Anthem were playing the Agora Ballroom with special guests Good Old War and local rockers Redwater Rojo the very next night.  I honestly did not think I was going to make it to this show and kicked myself for also forgetting about it.  I was not 100% sure that I would be able to leave work early enough to head out to Cleveland to see them perform but as luck would have it I was able to.

Matt and I decided to grab a bite to eat before hitting the show and jokingly we discuss eating at My Friends in Lakewood, OH as I was once convinced he lived there because every time I ever picked him up for a show or what have you he insisted on meeting me at My Friends.  I give him hell for it all the time but on Tuesday I was shocked when he told me I could pick him up from his dwelling.

Once I arrived Matt asked me if I had ever eaten at The Town Fryer, a local southern cuisine based eatery, and I stated I had not.  He reminded me that the restaurant had expanded recently and opened shop in the same building as the Agora.  He suggested we eat there since it was literally butted up to the venue and I agreed it was a good idea.

Now normally I do not mix food reviews with concert reviews but something happened while we were eating that involved unknown crew/friends of a band that would play later that night.  It was not about the food, that was excellent (the catfish was to die for!), it was about other patrons…

I should take a moment here and clear something up right quick.  Originally I thought the people seated behind me were Good Old War with a female friend.  I was quick to exchange emails later in the day after writing the blog with my good pal Jonah who informed me that said girl who was associated with Good Old War was the merch girl and she, nor the band, were even able to eat at The Town Fryer as they closed shop shortly after Matt and I finished our meal.  So to Good Old War band members/crew, supposed girl, her boss, and anyone else who read this blog originally…oops, my bad.  Seriously, I need to stop assuming things…


While seated at The Town Fryer there were some folk seated behind Matt and I who were giving the waitress kind of a rough time.  It was apparent the waitress was a little stressed out since she was the only one there and we later learned that she not even 5 minutes before we walked in found out she had to open shop.  Apparently The Town Fryer was in the process of moving from one space to another in the building and she had been there since 6:30am.

To make a long story short these cool folk were not too kind and not too cool in my standards.  I knew they had something to do with the band because they paid with meal tickets, something that is given to the band and crew only.

There was a female companion who sat along with a few guys who seemed to be making a big stink about “being vegetarian” and gave the waitress kind of a hard time about her order.  Granted the restaurant lacked some of the menu items I still found it uncalled for how they were being.  They were not exactly a-holes to the waitress but enough to bother me while I was eating.

Regardless of how crappy her day was and how long she had been on her feet busting her ass for a decent paycheck, our waitress gave Matt and I great service and in return we were nice to her as we both understood she was having a rough day.  She was a cute girl and just looked ever so tired.  I could see the long day she had in her eyes so I decided to be extra friendly and funny to her.  I am pretty sure thanks to our conversations with her we put a smile on her face.  I will be going there again for sure.

Something that also pissed me off was that later our waitress told us that the tip Ms. I’m A Vegetarian left her was not even $3.00 for a $60.00 bill total (I don’t give a crap if there were coupons/meal tickets/gift cards…your tip should reflect the total bill).  Don’t worry friends/crew that hangs out with unknown band, I tipped heavy on account that you suck as patrons and failed to understand how rough of a time that waitress was having.  I had been in the food business for many years of my life and this you should know… – respect your servers.

So let’s get back to talking about the show shall we?

The original bill for this show stated that Dayton, OH’s Heartless Bastards were playing as well but for some unknown reason they skipped Cleveland but managed to play Pittsburgh and Columbus just days before.  If anyone knows why they skipped out I would love to know especially since I have been wanting to see them live for a while now and am a little bummed they passed up Cleveland.  I guess I will see them this summer though as they are playing the 2009 Bonnaroo.  Luckily the Agora was able to acquire Redwater Rojo to fill in last minute.

Cleveland’s Redwater Rojo took the stage to a small gathering to start off the night.  I have seen their name around and even used to work with the lead singer years ago but I had never seen them live.  Their performance was good with a strong mix of southern , smooth , and even at one time some progressive rock.  I was shocked to hear how great the lead singer’s voice was as I was not even aware he was the front-man of the band when he told me about it years ago.  I liked their music and hope to see them play again.  My only complaints really were that the band kind of stood in place their entire set and lacked movement and I was unable to decipher if they were religious or not as some songs seemed to go hand in hand with a bible while others screamed F you to pretentious women.

While hanging out in the lobby of the Agora, Good Old War performed.  I had never heard any material by the Langhorne, PA folk fun rockers whose songs really remind me of Paul Simon.  They were entertaining and from the medium sized crowd that cheered and sang along with them I would have to say I got a kick out of them and will be checking out their release Only Way To Be Alone sometime soon.

I do need to add though at times during Good Old War’s performance, loud group cheers from the bar area of the Agora overpowered their performance and I knew why.  The Cleveland Cavaliers were kicking some serious ass that night and a bunch of the attendees at the show gathered around the television to cheer on LeBron James and others towards another victory.  Go Cavs!  Only in Cleveland…

The Gaslight Anthem took stage after the Cavs claimed a win so everyone at the venue focused all their attention at the New Jersey quartet.  Opening with “Great Expectations” the band sounded just as amazing as they do on their studio releases.  All of the members were smiling and playing their hearts out and it was truly enjoyable seeing that.  Throughout the show they played some of my favorites like “Old White Lincoln” and “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” as well as “We Came To Dance” off their first release and “Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” off the Señor And The Queen EP.

The lead singer Brian Fallon at one time explained to the crowd that they were smiling and laughing so much because of inside jokes the band had with one another.  The laughs soon were shared with the fans when Brian Fallon stated that he could not having a hard time understanding what any of the guys were screaming at him but was able to hear the ladies perfectly.  I found myself laughing a couple times in between songs when some of the things the guys were screaming translated into “What?  Ja Rule was at a Gaslight show?” and “I heard french kissed hot dogs”.

Aside from the great rock and jokes Brian Fallon spoke about a legend of a performer who many compare the band to, Bruce Springsteen.  At one time he told the crowd that he met Bruce Springsteen and they talked about New Jersey and their music.  It was awesome to hear his short memories of the conversation and his attempt to imitate how the “Boss” speaks.

One statement that Brian Fallon did state earlier in the show about Bruce Springsteen kind of irked me a bit.  He mentioned that Bruce Springsteen was being inducted into the Rock Hall later in the week but the truth is that there is a Bruce Springsteen exhibit being opened at the Rock Hall later in the week and that it’s been 10 years since he was inducted into the Rock Hall.  I hope for the lead singer’s sake that he was just overcome at the response of the fans and not terribly mistaken.

During the encore Brian Fallon came out with guitar in hand and played a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”.  While he performed the classic I thought it would be a good time to head to the merch tables and see what goodies I wanted to pick up.  I decided that it was a good idea to pick up Sink Or Swim and The 59 Sound both on vinyl to add them to my collection.  I know these will be records I will listen for years to come.

Upon leaving we made a pit stop with the coolest “booking girl” ever and hung out with her for a few moments behind closed doors.  I could hear The Gaslight Anthem continue their encore and the very last song they played sounded like “Stand By Me” but was morphed into a song I could not figure out.  I thought they played three songs during the encore but I would not be surprised if I am mistaken.  If the set list below is not accurate let me know so I can update it.  Thanks.

I was really hoping that the boys that night would have played a little more material from Sink Or Swim or  Señor And The Queen EP, but this night was mostly all about their latest release The 59 Sound.  Regardless of their choice of the songs on the set list it was an awesome performance and I can not wait to see these guys again.  I do have the feeling though that next time the show will not be as intimate as this show was.  This band is going places.

The Gaslight Anthem Set List:

Great Expectations
High Lonesome
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
The ‘59 sound
We Came To Dance
Film Noir
Casanova, Baby!
Miles Davis & the Cool
Meet Me By The River’s Edge
Here’s Looking At You Kid
The Backseat

Encore (I could be off on this so if anyone has the correct set list let me know!)

I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
Stand By Me /I’da Called You Woody, Joe

Here’s a video a fan took of Brian Fallon signing “I’m On FIre” (no I did not take this…)

Filter @ Hard Rock Café – Cleveland, OH 11/01/2008

So I am a little late on this post…  I have been so busy with work and just life in general and have not had a moment to sit down until this now.

A couple Saturday’s back I was invited to check out Filter at Cleveland’s Hard Rock Café thanks to Big Machine Media.  Little did I know, I was invited to a more intimate setting with proceeds being donated to the Cleveland Food Bank.  It was also the world famous rock n’ roll restaurant’s ten year anniversary since it first opened it’s doors in Cleveland.

Just a quick note and tip for that matter…  If you want a free Rolex, all you need to do is work at the Hard Rock Café for ten years.  It’s no joke; a bunch of hard working employees were recognized for their decade of service before the show with an expensive timepiece.  Just before the show started, a handful of dedicated workers at the Hard Rock Café were all presented with a fancy Rolex.  It was nice to see such an award/thank you handed out, but who am I kidding…on with the show!!!

With the venue usually operating as a restaurant, it was no surprise that there was not much room for people to gather around the stage.  Meeting up with Matt from AddictedToVinyl.com, we chose to stand our ground by the stage with our backs to the security gate that protected the large soundboard.  Not the best place to be standing for picture taking, but I did my best to capture the evening.

Electric Touch
Electric Touch

Opening act Electric Touch from Austin, TX hit the stage for a set that I really was wishing could have been sped up.  The rock act, reminding me of all sorts of acts from the Strokes to the Rolling Stones (the lead singer looked like Elijah Wood with Mick Jagger like moves), blew through their songs with high energy but really did not do much for myself or the rest of the crowd for that matter.  Even if the lead signer had an English accent and two of the musicians were twins, their pop rock sound did not sit well with many who anticipated Filter.  I am sure this will not the the last time I hear about Electric Touch though, with their self titled Electric Touch hitting shelves over the summer the poppy rock act should be gaining some attention…just not mine.

Richard Patrick
Richard Patrick

Cleveland’s Filter took to the stage that very well may have been the smallest stage they have ever performed on.  That was the least of the industrial/hard rock’s worries though as they delivered an amazing performance to the very lucky crowd opening with “Welcome To The Fold” off of the band’s second release Title of Record.  The current line-up all looked great and appeared to be having a great time.  Lead signer Richard Patrick was full of smiles and energy that really lead the band through the eleven song set.

My highlight of the evening was when the band broke into “(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do”, a song that was actually created by Filter and electronic music duo The Crystal Method found on Spawn: The Album (1997 Film).  I immediately sang along from start to finish is it is one of my favorite tracks by Filter.  It sounded amazing live.


It was fun to people watch while the band continued to play.  There were lots of fans there who clearly have been fans of Filter during their 13 year career.  Having grown up, well most of them, some even brought their kids to the show.  At one time Richard Patrick stopped in between songs to ask how old a certain young fan was.  She let everyone know via microphone she was only nine years old.

The band continued through their set and performed “Hey Man, Nice Shot” the bands first commercial hit.  Everyone sang along to the track pumping their fists in the air.  It was indeed a very interactive evening.  After the song ended the band left the stage with all, if not every, fan begging for more.

With a brief pause the band returned to the stage for their adoring fans and broke into “The Take” off the band’s 2008 release Anthems for the Damned. From there the band played “Take A Picture”, one of their other mainstream hits.  After the last note was struck and the mic was put down, the band gave out sincere thank yous to everyone in the house.  With a quick bow and many handshakes and hi-fives the band exited and called it a night.

I admit this was the first time seeing the band live.  For some reason I thought I saw Filter live back in the day at a festival in the 90’s but apparently I was wrong (sorry Matt, I have no idea who I was thinking of)  I found out after the show by rifling through my huge stack of ticket stubs and then went so far as to research the number of times Filter played Cleveland.

It was a great experience.  Minus a couple of folk who clearly had too many pre-game drinks, most of the fans were really excited to be there and, like myself, really enjoyed their Saturday evening.  After the show staff from FYE were selling the band’s latest release Anthems for the Damned for twelve bucks.

What I didn’t know was that if you bought a CD, the band would sign it for you.  I picked up copy as I had not heard the politically charged album yet and needed something to listen to on the drive home.  After making my purchase I was handed the CD and given a wristband and pointed where to stand in line if I wanted my CD signed.  Since I was the only person standing there I decided to start the line and get the CD signed.  After I chatted with the band briefly I turned around to make way to the parking deck and discovered that the line had grown quite large.  Good timing on my part.

Thanks to my music loving guru Matt, who spoke about the show as well on his site AddictedToVinyl.com, I was able to score the entire set list:

Welcome To The Fold
American Cliche
(Can’t You) Trip Like I Do
It’s Gonna Kill Me
So I Quit
Hey Man Nice Shot


The Take
Take A Picture

More pictures from the evening: