Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pearl Jam (06.22.08)

the Band: Pearl Jam
the Date: Sun June 22, 2008
the Venue: Verizon Center (DC)

(Photo credit to Mick Arieta and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/riotonsunset/)

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists opened ... I don't know why.

Pearl Jam took the stage around nine and after they started, we never wanted them to stop. The show was spectacular! I wouldn't say that I'm the biggest Pearl Jam fan. I mean, I can't hold a candle to my best friend, Joe (of course, he may have a few restraining orders against him as a result of his obsession with Pearl Jam). I am a fan though. In so many ways, Pearl Jam defined the type of music I listened to when I was in college. I even picked up some fashion tips from Eddie ... well, I tied a flannel shirt around my waist at least. But I digress ...

Eddie and the boys played songs from the entire Pearl Jam catalog. So many of them were my favorites, including Elderly woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town, Corduroy, Daughter, Black and Rearviewmirror ... honestly, the entire show was my favorite. Amazing energy and amazing show! Solid Rock 'n Roll!

(Photo credit to syroste and his/her Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/27664413@N08/)

Near the very end of the evening, Eddie introduced the newest member to the band ... Jake, who just happened to be the luckiest Pearl Jam fan in the entire world (at least for that moment). Young Jake was led to the middle of the stage, handed a guitar, shown a few chords and invited to jam with the band as they played All Along the Watchtower. Wow, talk about being in Pearl Jam Heaven!

(Photo credit to jdlynch70 and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/27879172@N04/)

Pearl Jam ended the amazing night with the ultimate fan favorite, Yellow Ledbetter ... it was fantastic.

Full setlist: Hard to Imagine / Severed Hand / Hail Hail / Do The Evolution / Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town / Evacuation / Corduroy / I’m Open / I Am Mine / I Got Id / Daughter / Light Years / Even Flow / Green Disease / You Are / U / Who You Are / Why Go / ENCORE / Comatose / Sad / Given to Fly / Come Back / Grievance / Black / Rearviewmirror / SECOND ENCORE / No More / Last Kiss / Crazy Mary / Alive / All Along the Watchtower / Yellow Ledbetter

I want to drum it all away...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

These United States, the M’s, Centro-Matic (06.18.08)

the Band: These United States, the M's, Centro-Matic
the Date: Wed June 18, 2008
the Venue: Rock and Roll Hotel (DC)

(Photo credit to Jeremy Johnson and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/specialedge/)

There were two opening bands, These United States and the M's. We totally missed These United States, but caught the last half of the M's set. They were pretty darn good. I think they're from Chicago. There were a lot of fans there just to see the M's I think, cuz the crowd thinned a bit after they finished … what fools they were!

Centro-Matic came on stage around ten-ish and simply rocked the socks off of everyone there. The band is from Denton, Texas and consists of Will Johnson (lead vocals, guitar), Matt Pence (drums), Mark Hedman (guitar), and Scott Danbom (synthesizer, bass guitar). Just so you know, these guys have another band called South San Gabriel made up of the same foursome but adding a few additional friends to the mix. Will Johnson has also put out some solo work and in 2006 toured around with the indie rock "supergroup" known as The Undertow Orchestra, which included members David Bazan (of Pedro the Lion), Mark Eitzel (of American Music Club) and Vic Chestnutt.

I've been a big fan of Centro-Matic for some time now … ever since I saw them open for My Morning Jacket in a little club in Houston called the Engine Room back in 2004. They have been around for something like twelve years and just released their 8th album Dual Hawks (a split/double album with their alter-ego South San Gabriel), that's aside from the 4 Centro-Matic EPs, the 3 South San Gabriel albums, and the 2 Will Johnson solo albums. These Texans have put out a whole heck of a lot of music!

(Photo credit to Bill Ellison and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/billellisonphotographer/)

The show was nothing but entertaining. There were sweet serenades and kick-you-in-the-crotch rock and roll tunes. No matter what, Will's raspy singing and signature kicks carried us through the nearly two hour set. The setlist itself was a perfect blend of the new and old tunes. My favorites were To Unleash the Horses Now, Flashes and Cables (simply AMAZING), Rat Patrol and DJs (nice tune), Supercar (absolutely must be heard live), The Blisters May Come (they completely rocked the crap out of this song), and of course All the Lighting Rods (which Will sang solo with an acoustic guitar). What a show! Please, Will, bring your trucker cap full of rock and roll back to DC … we'll keep the porch light on for you.

Full setlist: Post-It Notes from the State Hospital / Fountains of Fire / To Unleash the Horses Now / Flashes and Cables / The Mighty Midshipman / Rat Patrol and DJs / I, The Kite / Argonne Limit Co. / All Your Farewells / Calling Thermatico / Strychnine, Breathless Ways / Guillotines Hung Together / Supercar / Huge in Every City / Strahan Has Corralled the Freaks / The Blisters May Come / ENCORE / All the Lightning Rods

if we found the time
if we found the merriment
if we found the words
we'd scratch them in new cement ...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the Montana Boys, the Breeders (06.11.08)

the Band: the Montana Boys, the Breeders
the Date: Wed June 11, 2008
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Angela N. and her Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aon/)

The opener was a five-piece rock and roll sort of jam band called the Montana Boys … from Grand Rapids, Michigan. These guys brought on the noise and the funk. Not really my cup of tea, but they sure looked like they were having a great time on stage. How could they not when they were touring with the Breeders?!

(Photo credit to Bao Nguyen and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/baonguyen/)

The main attraction, the featured act, really the only reason we all showed up was the Breeders. Now a quick history lesson for some of you … back in the early 90's, Kim Deal, bass guitarist for the Pixies, got together with Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses … they formed the Breeders … a bit later Kim's twin sister, Kelley Deal, joined the Breeders and Tanya left to form another band called Belly … the Breeders took a break when Kelley was busted for drug possession and went into rehab … while Kelley was in rehab, Kim formed a band called the Amps … meanwhile Kelley formed her own band called Kelley Deal 6000 … then later the sisters teamed back up to reform the Breeders. The current members are Kim Deal (guitar, vocals), Kelley Deal (guitar, vocals), Jose Medeles (drums), Mando Lopez (bass), and Cheryl Lyndsey (guitar … by the way, Kim told us they found Cheryl through a craigslist ad).

(Photo credit to Brad Searles and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/bsearles/)

The show was AMAZING. The stage setup was really cool … all the members next to each other in front of a wall of amps, no one member in front of another. Who knows what exactly prompted that setup, but it seemed to be a sweet gesture showing the audience that it wasn't just Kim and Kelley with a supporting band, but that it was all about the Breeders! They sounded GRRREAT. There is something about the harmonizing voices of the Deal twins … cute and husky at the same time. This was definitely the best Breeders show I've seen. Though it's been a few years since they toured last, this show topped both the August 7, '02 show at Nation in DC and the August 12, '02 show at Numbers in Houston.

Though focusing on tunes from this year's release Moutain Battles, the setlist covered the entire Breeders catalog and even included some tunes from the Amps. My favorites (if there is such a thing as a favorite among favorites) were Huffer, No Aloha, Happiness is a Warm Gun, and the tear-jerker Here No More (apparently written about Kim and Kelly's mom and Alzheimer's disease). We just simply could not get enough. But you know what I love about the Breeders? EVERYTHING!

Full setlist: Tipp City (the Amps) / Huffer / Bang On / Shocker in Gloomtown (Guided by Voices cover) / Divine Hammer / Night of Joy / No Aloha / Pacer (the Amps) / We're Gonna Rise / It's the Love (the Tasties cover) / Walk it Off / New Year / Cannonball / I Just Want to Get Along / Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Beatles cover) / Safari / Iris / German Studies / Empty Glasses (the Amps) / ENCORE / Overglazed / Drivin' on 9 / Here No More / Saints

I like all the different people, I like sticky everywhere, Look around, you bet I'll be there ...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the Rogue Wave, Death Cab for Cutie (06.09.08)

the Band: the Rogue Wave, Death Cab for Cutie
the Date: Mon June 9, 2008
the Venue: Merriweather Post Pavillion (Columbia, MD)

(Photo credit to Brian Firestone and his Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/people/27006735@N06/)

We really didn't pay much attention to the opening band, the Rogue Wave. The portion we did hear of their set was pretty nice. Cool and mellow … nice tunes to start off the evening.

The main attraction was Death Cab for Cutie. The boys from Seattle, Ben Gibbard (vocals, guitar), Chris Walla (guitar), Nick Harmer (bass guitar), and Nathan Good (drums) put on a great performance. Considering they have seven albums including this year's release, Narrow Stairs, the band did a great job of sampling the breadth and depth of their catalog. My personal favorites were I Will Follow You into the Dark, the drawn-out version of Cath…, and of course, Transatlanticism (great ending tune … even though it wasn't a rocker). You know, there's nothing quite like sipping margaritas on a summer evening with the blanket spread out on the lawn of Merriweather and having Ben Gibbard serenade you and the one you love. Aaawww, it makes my heart melt just like all the chocolate liqueur candies we ate.

Full setlist: Bixby Canyon Bridge / The New Year / Why You'd Want to Live Here / Photobooth / Crooked Teeth / Long Division / Grapevine Fires / A Movie Script Ending / Company Calls / Company Calls Epilogue / Soul Meets Body / I Will Follow You Into the Dark / I Will Possess Your Heart / Cath... / Pictures in an Exhibition / The Sound of Settling / Marching Bands of Manhattan / ENCORE / Your Bruise / Title and Registration / No Sunlight / Tiny Vessels / Transatlanticism

I've got a hunger, twisting my stomach into knots ...