Tag Archives: Shows/concerts

Concert Cal, probably maybes

Whoa, Dessa CD release show on Fri Jan 22 at Fine Line.
That is a highly anticipated record for me.

Love-cars on Jan 30 at Triple Rock
yes, and that one is for sure

these is a good bet:
Sondre Lerche at Varsity Theater on Feb 17 @8:00 PM

this might be a better bet:
The xx at Varsity Theater on Apr 9 @8:00 PM

Music is usually slower to get going again in the New Year. What I mean is it usually takes a while for a few new releases to spark it off. 2009 had a huge leakage of tunes in Spring. Here’s a clip from my first fave of 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

Los Campesinos!

I am such a fan for kinetic motion/energy in videos and film. Music set to running, cars going fast, speed, propelling, flying. I often imagine scenery rushing by as I listen. This lends itself to one of my fave places to listen: the car.


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Phoenix = hot

There are 3, maybe 5 bands…

Stars, The National, Broken Social Scene, maybe Mates of State

and for sure…Phoenix

Phoenix at the Varsity this week was one of those rare concert moments when you know you’re experiencing something special. We had a varied crowd of friends including Kay, Jen, Dave, Alex, Patrick, Roxie, Xian, Ding!mann, Emily, Abby, Erin, Jess, Jeff, Jesse, and Andy among others.The jaded (and aging) hipsters were into it. People were dancing, sweating, smiling. Jess said it was like our Woodstock. Substituting sweat for mud. And also I’m sure she meant the last Woodstock, not the original. But she was probably tripping balls when she said it. Kidding, Jess. Or were you? She said it at a movie screening the following night, so yeah, she probably was.

The Varsity had recently increased their seating capacity to almost double what it was, now at 800. Curiously there was no air conditioning and it was about 85 degrees that night, very humid. Varsity Theater, if you have it, use it. If you don’t please get it or you will lose my favorite venue tag. It was a sauna show but we didn’t mind. We stood up front, way closer than normal. We sang, clapped and danced more than we have at a show in…years? I think so. Easily the concert of the year. Excellent mix of songs from all four albums, no filler, no bathroom or beer breaks. The lights and staging were exciting with the beefed up six piece to flesh out the songs in full rock fashion to match their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix record (get it already). The transitions were tight. The band actually whipped up a crowd of seen-it-alls into a frenzy. They were showmen. The lead singer, Thomas Mars, joined us in the crowd for the last song, walking amongst us. Not above us, but our equal in fun and sweat. That’s the key. The band looked like they were enjoying it as much as us.

If I buy a t-shirt it must be something I’m proud to advertise. And 4 of my 6 rock shirts still in rotation are among those aforementioned bands. (One of the others is still good (Halloween, Alaska) but more on them in a concert review later this summer. And the other is now defunct or morphed into another band – Lftr Pllr “became” The Hold Steady.)

An idea of the show, just a glimpse:

The Star Tribune review was pretty right on for once.

Good news, you’ll have a chance to experience Phoenix this fall at First Ave. I don’t think it’ll ever be the same. We felt like we were seeing a band at their peak before they break through to the next level of stardom with bigger venues to distance you. But it should still be excellent. I’m sure I’ll be there. Hook up and meet us at the Rally. Maybe we’ll sweat less.

Phoenix at the Varsity

and R.I.P. P.Y.T.


Filed under Music, Shows, video

Great Expectations vs. The Grab Bag

Have you ever liked a band for years without seeing them live? Your expectations run really high for what they might play. You have a dream set list in your head or maybe you even made a best of mix CD. The band may have more than a few albums already to pick songs from so it becomes a grab bag of riches. You’re happy to hear many, but wish they would play certain ones. In the past I’d judge a show unfairly if an artist skipped my faves live. Now I’ve grown to appreciate the grab bag and enjoy the ones they do without dwelling on what I may have missed. It’s difficult to let it go, but as Doodles would sing, look on the bright side.

May 28, 2009

Finally saw the band Doves live in concert last night. They’re the last of a trio (Badly Drawn Boy and Phoenix) of artists I got into in 2000 which remind me of living in Los Angeles among other things.

The show was great overall. I’m especially enamored of films/images being projected on a screen whilst a band plays. It sets a tone, gives more ambience and also helps a band that’s not jumping off the risers doing high kicks. Good to hang with Andy, Alex, Chad, Kay, Jesse, Bradford and celebrate Steph’s birthday.

set list

Yes, the set list was missing a lot of older ones, but the new ones sounded even better than the record. After previously raving up my fave venue, The Varsity Theater, it was too hot and crowded. They’ve been renovating it, so I’ll reserve final judgement till completed. We’ll be back for Phoenix on June 23.

Here’s a link to Doves live/interview with Mary Lucia on The Current.

Next big show: Metric at First Ave on June 13th. Watch for the review.


Filed under Adults (kid-free), Music, Shows, video