telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Seriously Serious Concert No. 15: Drive-By Truckers, 8/28/09 by Barbecue Bros
September 1, 2009, 4:21 pm
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Drive-By Truckers
Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC

This time through town, the DBT‘s came to Charlotte for a two-night stop in support of their b-sides and rarities disc The Fine Print. The Truckers are a fine live band, and I like their old school, southern rock swagger. This show was maybe for more hardcore fans than I since I didn’t recognize a ton of songs (perhaps in the spirit of the b-sides and rarities disc). That, or they were spreading material out over the two nights (very likely, now that I think about it).

Still, they brought it to a sold out Visulite Theatre for almost two-and-a-half hours (with a brief 15 minute intermission) and no opening act. Really, it was a great night for any fans of the band – even if you are only familiar with a few albums as I am.

Next up: Possibly The Books on 9/23, which would be a third show in a row at Visulite

Some photos after the jump Continue reading

Seriously Serious Concert No. 14: Fiery Furnaces, White Rabbits, 8/18/09 by Barbecue Bros
August 19, 2009, 11:27 am
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Fiery Furnaces, White Rabbits
Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC

After a thoroughly enjoyable set to open up Bonnaroo for me, I was looking forward to seeing White Rabbits again in my own town. This time through, they were co-headlining a tour with Fiery Furnaces, which at first appeared to be an odd pairing until I read this morning that they are both Brooklyn bands. Still, musically it is still an odd pairing.

White Rabbits opened up on this night of the tour and played for an hour. As was the case at Bonnaroo, they played a high energy set covering songs from both of their albums, as well as switching up instruments for nearly every song – all but one of the six band members played some sort of percussion at some point. The added percussionist/instrumentalist really does add an interesting dynamic to this band that I really haven’t seen of many other bands. Highlights were “They Done Wrong / We Done Wrong” and “Percussion Gun” off this year’s It’s Frightening and “Kid on My Shoulders” from Fort Nightly. Initially I was disappointed that they were they opener on this night, but an hour set seems to really suit them, plus I didn’t end up having to sit through an entire Fiery Furnaces set.

I’ve heard about the band ever since their acclaimed Blueberry Boat album, but never listened. Their brand of hyperkinetic, multiple-shifts-within-a-song music started to annoy after about 35 minutes, so my friends and I decided to head out. I think John was right on when he described them s “very very mediocre.” While they had some interesting moments live, I think my instincts not to listen all these years were right on with this band.

Next up: Drive-By Truckers on 8/28, again at Visulite

Some photos after the jump; the rest can be found here Continue reading

Seriously Serious Concert No. 13: Coldplay, 8/7/09 by Barbecue Bros
August 10, 2009, 1:21 pm
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Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre, Charlotte, NC

As I said in last Thursday’s music videos, it isn’t always cool to like Coldplay as they’ve become one of the biggest bands in the world since their confident debut album Parachutes (which is still one of my favorite albums of the decade). Their subsequent albums have brought their sound to a wider audience, but for me their sound had stagnated a bit until they worked with Brian Eno on their last album, Viva La Vida, or Death and All His Friends.

The one thing I didn’t remember when seeing them four years ago in Charlotte was the energy Chris Martin brings to their live show (I was at the edge of the lawn and didn’t have glasses and had been drinking a bit), leaping and dancing across all parts of the stage. The band played a pretty standard set list, hitting on their big songs and fan favorites. As expected, “Yellow” had the huge yellow balls filled with confetti (though none made their way over to our side of the lawn). “Fix You” and “Viva La Vida” both sounded huge live with apparently the entire sold-out crowd singing along.

The band switched it up halfway through their set and played on a small stage which included a nice, Chris Martin piano solo of “The Hardest Part.” Later in the set they also made their way over to a small stage in the middle of the lawn¬† (though on the other side of the lawn from us – again!) and played a medley of acoustic songs including the Will Champion-sung “Death Will Never Conquer” as well as “Billie Jean” before making their way back to the main stage for the rest of the show as well as encore.

The show had lots of energy and was just a generally fun time watching a band that has hit a nice groove with a very entertaining live show. It would be cool to see them a little closer up next time, however.

Next up: This had originally been the end of the Seriously Serious concert series, but a few shows were announced recently for this month: Fiery Furnaces/White Rabbits on 8/18 and Drive-by Truckers on 8/28. So it continues for now…

Set list after the jump, courtesy of  Creative Loafing: Continue reading

Seriously Serious Concert No. 12: Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, 7/12/09 by Barbecue Bros

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, originally uploaded by twoguns.

Openers Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys out of Nashville were old school country rock, which was kind of cool for a change. Multi-instrumentalist Carco was arguably the star of the show, easing between pedal steel, bass, and what looked to be a tiny electric guitar. Set highlight was “a love song” called “She Got the Ring (I Got the Finger)” but the whole set was enjoyable, even if that type of music isn’t my normal bag.

As compared to the last time I was at Neigborhood Theatre about a month earlier for a sold out Band of Horses show, there unfortunately was barely 50 people to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers on Sunday night. However, thankfully that sort of thing doesn’t mean this band is going to take the night off in terms of bringing a solid, fun live performance. On the contrary, they played a longer set and were very gracious in taking requests for songs Refreshments as well as Peacemakers, which they were able to handle with ease. “Nada” was especially good, as were old favorites “Down Together,” “Banditos,” “Mexico,” “Tell Yer Mama” and closer “Green and Dumb”

My musical tastes have changed pretty drastically since I loved this band in high school, but I will always check out these guys live whenever possible because I know I can always expect a great live show from a bunch of guys who are just happy to be able to connect with their fans in a live setting.

Some photos from the show can be found here, though I wasn’t able to take advantage of the close proximity since I only had my camera phone for this show

Next up: Coldplay at Verizon Wireless Ampitheater on 8/7

Seriously Serious Concert No. 11: Band of Horses, 6/17/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 22, 2009, 10:06 am
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Band of Horses, originally uploaded by twoguns.

In front of a sold-out Neighborhood Theatre (my first sold-out show there, I believe), Band of Horses brought the jams last Wednesday night. I had heard rumors of them being sub-par live going in, but they seemed energized (and maybe somewhat surprised) by the packed room and played what you would expect from Everything All the Time and Cease to Begin – “The Funeral,” “The Great Salt Lake,” “Weed Party,” “Is There a Ghost,” “Ode to LRC,” and “No One’s Gonna Love You” were all great. Sadly, no “St. Augustine” though.

They did also play a few new songs from their upcoming album, which they have been recording¬†in Asheville as of earlier this year (in addition to recording with Kid Cudi). I feel like singer Ben Bridwell may have mentioned a possibly title and release timeframe, but can’t remember for the life of me.

Since they are now somewhat local (Mt. Pleasant, SC), hopefully it won’t take so long for them to return to Charlotte the next time, hopefully¬†with a new album in tow.


The rest of my photos from the show can be seen here

Next up: Possibly Polvo on 6/26 or Matt and Kim on 7/2

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo 2009, final thoughts by Barbecue Bros
June 17, 2009, 1:38 pm
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I was a late decider for Bonnaroo (1.5 weeks before) but I was extremely glad that I did end up going.  I saw a ton of great bands that I already had wanted to see, had fun camping, and generally enjoyed the vibe of the whole festival, which I found to be fairly well-run.

But take a look at all the artists I saw: White Rabbits, Chairlift, Passion Pit, Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, TV on the Radio, Phoenix, Public Enemy, Girl Talk, Bon Iver, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails, and MGMT. Many of those I had yet to see and those that I had were a few years ago anyways. It would have taken me hundreds of dollars to see those bands individually, which I guess is obviously the attraction to big festivals like this.

In addition to the bands, I saw a butt naked girl somehow scale a 12 foot tall tent in one single bound, met Hannah from American Teen, remembered how to camp, met some interesting people from all over the world, saw possibly the last NIN show in the US ever, and got a tan, among many things I’m probably forgetting. Not too shabby.

Even still, there were a ton of acts that I wished I had gotten to or had scheduling conflicts with: St. Vincent, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, Al Green, Patterson Hood, Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Heartless Bastards, Chairlift (acoustic), of Montreal,  Elvis Costello, Yeasayer, The Dirty Projectors, Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg,  Andrew Bird, and Okkervil River.

In any case, as long as I have some interest in the headliners next year, I am very seriously considering going again. And definitely staying until Monday.

Next up: Tonight, Band of Horses and Arbouretum at the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, a 7 minute walk from my house

Seriously Serious Concert No. 10: Bonnaroo, Saturday 6/13/09 by Barbecue Bros
June 16, 2009, 2:25 pm
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So Paul Oakenfold played a set that apparently lasted until 6am Saturday morning. I guess I was passed out from Girl Talk and it thankfully¬†didn’t¬†keep¬†me up, as we were really able to hear most stages from our campsite. In any case, we ended up not getting motivated to see Chairlift at Sonic Stage at 12pm (despite our collective crush) and opted to instead drink and hang out until Bon Iver at 3:30¬†at This Tent, hearing Booker T. and the DBT’s from afar (though it bled over¬†into part of Bon Iver‘s set which was a bit annoying – maybe a testament to DBT’s?). I expected a very quiet, pretty set and was surprised when it was more of a full sound. Justin Vernon seemed to be in a good mood, introducing his band from Wisconsin and NC at one point and¬†in addition For Emma, Forever Ago and Blood Bank cuts, they pulled out a Yo La Tengo cover of “I Feel Like Going Home.” The ending crowd participation of “The Wolves (Act I and II)” singing “What might have been lost” was a nice touch to end the set.

From there we got some food and proceeded to What Stage, in what would prove to be my only real venture to the main stage the whole weekend. I’m more upbeat about Wilco after the upcoming album than I have been in years, though they’ve always been very confident live. The two hour set started off with “Wilco (The Song)” and dipped in and out of songs mostly from the past couple of albums. “Misunderstood” at the 1 hour mark was transcendant and a hot air balloon came out of nowhere to punctuate it nicely.

Jeff Tweedy seemed to be in a good mood despite looking a little haggard. The band confidently strolled through their last hour alternating between shorter songs and those that delved into near-jamband tendencies before ending on “Hoodoo Voodoo,” a “song written by Woody Guthrie” from¬†Mermaid Avenue. The perfect¬†late afternoon set¬†on a nice day.

We headed back took in whatever parts of Bruce Springsteen‘s set seeped its way into our consciousness while hanging out at the campsite¬†before catching the tail end of the show. Then moved over to Which Stage for my first Nine Inch Nails‘ show but their apparent last U.S. show ever. I was only planning to stay until I headed over to MGMT at That Tent¬†a little early but got “March of the Pigs,” “I’m Afraid of American,” and “Piggy.” Obviously wish I could have seen “Hurt” but what are you going to do?

In fact, I wish I would have seen the rest of NIN‘s set considering how disappointed I was by MGMT, who just sounded flat from where I stood (outside of the tent, decently far back). The new songs sounded like surfer rock (interesting, considering they are recording their next album in California) and even the songs from Oracular Spectacular just didn’t have the same punch that I was expecting. I left with a few songs to go in their set because I was exhausted, though I did catch “Kids” clearly from my tent and it actually sounded really good.

We woke up on Sunday and decided to get on the road since a few of us didn’t have the foresight to take off work on Monday and none of the acts were must-see for us. We somehow managed to get Scotty’s big ass Durango through the campers and cars in the parking lot (thanks to two other groups of people also looking to leave as well as some nice campers) and parked across the street from our site, loaded up and hit the road. From there, we hit no traffic and were on the highway towards Charlotte-via-Atlanta in no time, looking at photos from the weekend and recounting stories from the past 3 days.

More photos after the jump… Continue reading