shows Archive

Subscribe to the RSS Feed for my Portfolio

Gaslight Anthem “Get Hurt” Record Release Show, 315 Bowery, 8-7-14

Posted on 08 August 2014 (0)

When I walked out of the front door of CBGB’s on October 15, 2006, I physically didn’t look back. It was a very deliberate choice, a very specific intention, a very definite goodbye. When I walked down Bowery for the first time after the inception of the John Varvatos store in that space, I didn’t realize it was there and I saw it and I reacted instinctively, flashing two middle fingers as the only conceivable reaction. From then on I made sure to walk on the east side of the street and confine my gestures to something that wasn’t quite as confrontational as that first reaction.

I got nothing against the guy, personally; he pays a lot of my favorite artists to appear in his ads and it’s not his fault that Hilly Krystal was an awful businessman. But he’s turned my “sacred ground” (to steal a thought from Jesse Malin) into a store that sells $350 sneakers. I don’t care if he left the walls intact and some stickers in place, it’s a temple to the kind of capitalist fashionista bullshit that we were all fighting against to begin with, and I vowed I would never set foot inside the joint.

This was a promise I was successfully able to keep until last night, when Gaslight Anthem played a ‘secret’ invitation-only album release show in the space, and it was time to put up or shut up.

Continue Reading...

Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Charlotte, NC, April 19, 2014

Posted on 20 April 2014 (0)

Back in the day, I used to have my circuit of Greenwich Village, the route I would take as a teenager to visit the various record stores. Each of them had their strengths and weaknesses, some had the bootleg records in the main section, others you had to ask behind the counter specifically, which I guess was to protect them from getting busted. Some would let you listen first, others wouldn’t, and it was at one of the latter that I picked up a bootleg that had “The Iceman” on it. It wasn’t labeled, had no cover art, and I took a big chance with my 15-year-old babysitting money when the guy behind the counter told me that it was amazing and that “any real Springsteen fan” had to have it. “Iceman” was on there, along with “Rendezvous” and “Taxi Cab” and in those pre-internet years, it was like owning some kind of Holy Grail. At some point, between moves and roommates the record got lost (or borrowed) and I’d forgotten all about it until Tracks came out and suddenly those long-lost songs were there again. It was like running into old friends you’d lost touch with.

So, when Bruce came out last night and out of absolutely nowhere–it wasn’t even in soundcheck spoiler reports–starts playing “The Iceman”–I was absolutely immersed into that sense of deja vu, taken back to the imaginary Springsteen concerts I’d attend in my teenage mind. It was spectacular, and immense, and pretty much perfect. The stage was dark, tiny pin spotlights on Bruce and Roy, hazy light on the singers and Charlie. It took a lot of guts to come out and hit a Saturday night crowd with a song 90% of them wouldn’t even know, especially one that required as much attention and tension as that one. There were deep breaths. There were quiet fist bumps. There were a lot of “Holy @#$%!” But mostly, it was just reveling in the magnificent performance of that particular song.

Continue Reading...

Review: Neil Young at Carnegie Hall

Posted on 08 January 2014 (0)

Another Billboard piece up today. Will also have something in the magazine this week (but only 150 words, don’t get too excited).

Continue Reading...

Stand Up For Heroes 2013

Posted on 07 November 2013 (0)

Screen shot 2013-11-07 at 11.46.00 AM

I was thrilled to be able to attend last night (invitation from a colleague) and filed my report over at Backstreets.

Continue Reading...

Concert Review: Arcade Fire as the Reflektors, 299 Meserole Street, 19 October 2013

Posted on 20 October 2013 (0)

IMG_5897

This was, quite simply, a fantastic show. The performance was tight but still full of life and energy. The band was in excellent spirits. And most importantly, the songs are not only ready to play live, they are so much better in person than they were on SNL or that 30-minute aftershow. I walked out thinking, “Wow, now I am excited for the album” as well as, “Wow, that TV special did not do them any favors.” The difference, at least to me, was night and day.

Continue Reading...

Concert Review: The Replacements, RiotFest Toronto, August 25 2013

Posted on 26 August 2013 (2)

Untitled

There has been excitement and there has been anxiety and there has been sheer fucking joy leading up to this first Replacements show since 1991. I walked through the gates of RiotFest and had a moment. I had another one when I purchased an official t-shirt. It was one of those I can’t believe this is actually happening but it is actually fucking happening moments that just well up and take your breath away.

I didn’t know what to expect when the boys finally walked out on that stage. Would I burst into tears? Would it fall flat? Did it possibly stand a chance of meeting my expectations?

The answer to the last question was a hearty FUCK YEAH, said with as much volume and emphasis as you can muster.

Continue Reading...

Concert Review: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Estadio El Molinon, Gijon, Spain, 27 June 2013

Posted on 26 June 2013 (2)

For those interested in my position tonight #brucegijon

Springsteen in Spain is hot and loud and smoky and bouncy and pretty much everything you know about from the Barcelona DVD. The fans started the queue on the Wednesday the week before the show, and by the time we arrived on Sunday night I was just happy to be under 200. (By comparison, I arrived at the Dublin queue at 4pm the day before the show and got number 163.)

Continue Reading...

Concert Review: The Rolling Stones, live in Philadelphia, 6-18-13

Posted on 19 June 2013 (5)

IMG_0032

It had been a few years, me and Charlie and Keef and Ronnie and Mick. Sure, I saw them at 12-12-12, but the last time before that was 2002. I wouldn’t have even been here were it not for those magical $85 tickets, the Stones hating the scalpers so much they were doing everything they could to keep them out and get us in. The $85 tickets entitle you to a random envelope with two tickets in it; we had horrible seats in very upper level and just when I was resigned that at least they were side stage, but worried I wouldn’t be able to stand and dance, at 8:50 a gentleman appeared at our section with a stack of tickets and we were magically upgraded downstairs to the first level. Where there was plenty of room to dance, and no one sat down for any reason except to catch their breath.

Continue Reading...

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, 12-3-12

Posted on 05 December 2012 (1)

IMG_1500

Walking onto the floor and seeing the Rust Never Sleeps set at the other end of the Barclays Center was this combination of disbelief and deja vu. I never got to see the Rust Never Sleeps tour; by the time I read about it in Rolling Stone it was long gone, and I used to sit in front of my stereo with the records and bemoan that I had missed what had to have been one of the most amazing things ever.

Continue Reading...

Little Kids Rock honoring Steve Van Zandt

Posted on 17 October 2012 (1)

Many words will be written about this night in its entirety, but right now I just want to talk about the highlights for me, personally. I was up in the balcony, which had to be 80% die-hard Southside fans, if not more, reminding me of the old adage that you can tell a Southside fan because they hope that Steve (not Bruce) will show up.

I was never a Southside diehard, I owned the records and loved seeing the Jukes live, but it was just not my thing as much as it was for some of my friends. But I loved the songs — who wouldn’t love those songs? — and one of my favorite parts of E Street history is the story about Steve singing the parts to the horn section and Bruce saying, “He’s hired.” (When I got to watch him conduct the horn section at the Carousel House, it was about as close as I would ever get to witnessing that live.)

Continue Reading...