Review: LCD Soundsystem, Juan McLean at Agganis Arena in Boston, MA 12-8-2017

James Murphy’s a pretty funny guy!

LCD Soundsystem before the show

LCD Soundsystem are one of my favorite bands and after finally getting a chance to see them live at Lollapalooza in 2016, I had to go to this show! Navigating the never ending construction in Boston, I got to Agganis Arena surprisingly early. I took my spot in the first section of the floor amid a bunch of people dancing as Juan MacLean opened with a DJ set to warm up the crowd.

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LCD Soundsystem

The crowd erupted as James Murphy and the many members of LCD Soundsystem made their way to the stage. After getting settled for a minute underneath a giant disco ball, the band kicked things off with “Us v Them” and “Yr City’s a Sucker“, but my favorite moment of the night was when they played “Tonight“, which has become one of my favorite songs. They ended with a cover of Chic’s “I Want Your Love” which was awesome!

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LCD Soundsystem

After a short break, the band did a few more songs for the encore, which Murphy stated at the beginning of the show that they would do. Starting with the quiet “Oh Baby” and kicking it back up with “Dance Yrself Clean“, they ended the show with “All My Friends“.

Considering that Murphy mentioned that various members of the band were sick or just getting over being sick, they still sounded great and put on a great show! This was a really fun night of music and dancing with an energetic crowd that was loving every minute of it. I’d make an effort to see them again any time!

Review: Polica, Andrew Broder at 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH 2-18-2018

It had been quite a while since I’ve made it out to a show (life and work seems to get in the way these days), so I was pretty overdue. I made a last minute decision to go to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to catch Polica and Andrew Broder at a cool, small-ish space called 3S Artspace.

After finding a parking spot (tip: on street parking is free after 8pm), I bought a ticket at the door and was inside the venue. This may have been the cleanest venue I’ve ever seen a show in and I loved the small size of the place, which made for a more intimate show with great views of the stage. There weren’t many people there yet, so I ordered a Stoneface IPA and waited for Andrew Broder to come out.

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Andrew Broder

Andrew Broder stood behind a laptop and mixed some beats, creating music that had kind of a Twin Peaks (the TV show, not the band) atmosphere to it. As the set progressed, the experimental/droney sounds morphed into something danceable, causing a few people to start moving, but settled back down like a crashing wave towards the end of the nearly 40 minute set.

After the set, I tried a Great Rhythm Brewing’s Tropical Haze, which was really good, as I waited with what was now a much larger crowd for Polica to go on stage.

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Polica

I had the opportunity to see Minneapolis’s own Polica twice in one weekend during Lollapalooza 2012 in Chicago. Once at Lolla and the second at a very small after party at the Hard Rock Hotel. Both times I was blown away and was excited to finally see them again. Featuring two drummers, a bass player, loops, no guitars, and lead singer Channy Leaneagh, this was their first time ever playing New Hampshire.

Starting out with the straight forward “Amongster” from their first album to the thumping beats of “Lipstick Stains“, the band held the crowds attention for the whole night. This also happened to be Channy Leaneagh’s birthday which led to constant shouts of happy birthday from the crowd until about half through their set and everyone joined in with singing happy birthday to her. After the show, Channy chatted with people everyone who lined up at the merch table.

This was a really cool, fun crowd in a really neat space and I had a great time at this show, even if I did feel a bit awkward being there by myself at first. I ended up at Gilleys for a burger and some cheese fries, where I also made a few new drunken friends who were nearly kicked out. This was the kind of fun night I needed and I’m glad I went.

Setlist

Setlist

Review: Brian Jonestown Massacre, Lucid Lynx at the Paradise in Boston, MA 9-09-2017

Sign Brian Jonestown Massacre

I bought a ticket for this show the second they went on sale, so needless to say, it’s been a long wait, but the night has finally arrived! I decided to drive to the Paradise, since the last time the Brian Jonestown Massacre played here, it was over 3 hours and I ended up missing the train, which in turn became a pricey Uber ride back to Alewife, but soo worth it! After circling the area for a while to find a parking spot, I managed to get almost the same exact space that I had only a few days earlier when I saw Warpaint. It was about a 15-20 minute to walk to the Paradise. There was a very short line to get in and there weren’t that many people yet. I started the night with a Harpoon Wannamango, which was ok, but I expected a better flavor since it seemed a lot of people like this beer. I waited for openers Lucid Lynx to go on.

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Lucid Lynx

Lucid Lynx are a trio that met at Berklee and play psychedelic music. I had never heard of them until this show and was very pleasantly surprised. they played about 40 minutes of pure mellow psychedelic music that was just trippy enough without venturing into drone territory. I was really digging this band.

In between sets, I noticed that none of the usual people I see at these types of shows was around. It also seemed to be more of an older crowd this time around too. I ordered a Harpoon UFO White, my old standby and tried to find a good spot for Brian Jonestown Massacre.

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Brian Jonestown Massacre

As Anton Newcombe and the rest of The Brian Jonestown Massacre came to the stage, the crowd went nuts! This was the band’s last show of 2017, so you knew it was going to be a good one. Starting out with “Groove” and “Geezers” with the fired up audience getting involved by yelling the “woo!” part during “Who”, it seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves.

Brian Jonestown Massacre Anton outside

Although I was pretty tired by the end of this almost 2 1/2 hour set, it’s always good to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre live. After the show, Anton Newcombe was taking pictures with a few fans outside of the Paradise, which was pretty cool. It seemed like the only thing really open was McDonalds, so I ordered some food and walked back to my car and was home pretty fast.

Review: Warpaint, Lady Pills at the Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA 9-06-2017

Sign - Warpaint at Brighton Music Hall

I was on the fence about going to this show, but ended up winning tickets from RadioBDC (1 of which went unused since nobody I know likes the same kinds of music that I do). I haven’t been to a show at the Brighton Music Hall since it was called Harpers Ferry, so I was kind of excited to check it out.

I fired up Waze for the first time in a long time, which I had apparently sent to “boy band” voice, thinking it would be funny, but after about 30 seconds, it was annoying and I regretted my decision for the next 45 minutes or so. After driving around endlessly to find to find somewhere to park in Allston, I finally found a spot pretty far away, but I’m not afraid to walk a bit and got to the Brighton Music Hall pretty quick. I was questioned about my camera at the door, which I had to prove didn’t have a detachable lens (I prefer it since it works better in the lower light of clubs, but from now on, I’ll probably stop bringing it because it’s too much of an issue with people working the doors at these places). Once inside, I went to the bar, which seemed to be out of a lot of beers on tap but I ended up getting a Blue Point Hoptical Illusion while waiting for Lady Pills to go on.

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Lady Pills

Lady Pills are a local band that were selected by Warpaint through a contest to open this show. I had missed their set at Lollapalooza this year, so I was excited to finally see them here. They played a really mellow set of indie rock and were a perfect choice as an opener.

In between sets, I decided to try the Kona Longboard Island Lager, which was just awful and had a weird smell. I also ended up buying a t-shirt and caught up with someone I knew for a bit before Warpaint went on.

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Warpaint

Warpaint pedals

Warpaint’s pedals…if you’re into that kind of thing

Warpaint took to the stage to really loud cheers and applause. To say that this sold out audience was into them is an understatement. Kicking things off with “Krimson” and “Undertow”, the band sounded soo much better than they did at Lollapalooza last month. Maybe something was lost by the much larger stage. The highlight for me was when they went from “Love Is To Die” into “Keep It Healthy” and “Disco/Very”, ending with my personal favorite “New Song”, which I find myself humming way too much.

Despite a few minor annoyances (and one major annoyance…that being the 3 girls in front of me that seemed to be there more to socialize with each other and just in general be obnoxious to those around them), this was a pretty good night of music. I ended the night with some food at a place nearby called Habenero Mexican Grill and then made my way home. happy to have seen Warpaint again.

Review: The Flaming Lips, Clipping, at the House of Blues Boston, MA 3-3-17

Mushrooms

The ‘shrooms

To say that I was excited about this show is an understatement. After a very long, due to traffic, drive from work into Boston, I parked near Fenway and made my way over to the House of Blues. The line to get in was insanely long and seemed to take forever but then again, it was freezing out, so that probably made it feel worse. Once inside, people were greeted by two giant inflatable mushrooms in the back of the club and a stage setup that was pretty awesome looking. I met up with my good friend Matt, who was just as excited for this show.

I haven’t been to the House of Blues in a while, but they now have a small bar with craft beers and food next to the coat check room. I started with a Jack’s Abby House Lager, which is probably the first beer from Jack’s Abby that I didn’t care for.

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Clipping

Clipping is a hip hop group that seemed to use a lot of jittery static sounds. As Matt stated, this guy can flow and I can’t argue with that. This seemed like an odd choice for an opener though, which was echoed by several people in line at the merch table after the show. Regardless, Clipping was pretty interesting to see.

I gave the Harpoon Hoppy Adventure a try and it wasn’t too bad, but I expected something a little different. I made my way back to the front to get a good view of The Flaming Lips.

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The Flaming Lips

I had caught a little bit of The Flaming Lips set in Austin at Levitation in 2015, but left early since I was pretty beat by the time they went on, but tonight, I wasn’t going to miss any of it. Also, this was the first date of their current tour.

It didn’t take long for a busy stage crew to set up, so with balloons and cannons drowning the crowd in confetti, the Flaming Lips started with “Race for the Prize” and I knew this night was going to be amazing. During “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”, Wayne Coyne, who was flanked by giant inflatable dancing frogs, wasn’t quite feeling the karate chops from the crowd. After a restart and much more energetic karate chops, the tone for the night was set.

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The Flaming Lips

Wayne Coyne truly seemed to be having a great time and I don’t think he stopped smiling all night. He interacted with the audience a lot, at one point, climbing into a giant inflatable ball during their cover of Bowie’s “Space Oddity”, and riding a unicorn through the crowd while shaking hands with people during “There Should Be Unicorns”. The trippiest part of the night had to be during “The W.A.N.D.”, which featured a lot of strobe lights, including one strapped to Coyne’s chest and two giant eyeballs. They finished with “Do You Realize”, which was a great way to end the night.

After leaving the House of Blues, I braved an intense snow squall and made my way over to Tasty Burger for some late dinner before heading back home. I thoroughly enjoyed every single second of this show and am now happy that I finally got to see them. I know it’s still early, but this will probably go down as my favorite show of the year.

The Flaming Lips 2017 tour dates:

5-9-2017 Los Angeles, CA, USA The Theatre at Ace Hotel
5-10-2017 Oakland, CA, USA Fox Theater
5-12-2017 Portland, OR, USA Roseland Theater
5-13-2017 Spokane, WA, USA Knitting Factory
5-15-2017 Vancouver, BC, Canada Queen Elizabeth Theatre
5-16-2017 Seattle, WA, USA Paramount Theatre
6-3-2017 Wichita, KS, USA Riverfest
6-17-2017 Chattanooga, TN, USA Riverbend Festival
6-23-2017 Pilton, England, UK Glastonbury Festival
6-24-2017 Hull, England, UK Zebedee’s Yard
6-26-2017 Norwich, England, UK The LCR
6-27-2017 Brighton, England, UK Brighton Dome Concert Hall
6-30-2017 Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain Vida Festival
8-11-2017 Newquay, England, UK Boardmasters Festival
8-12-2017 Birmingham, England, UK The Rainbow Open Air Arena
8-13-2017 Bristol, England, UK Colston Hall
8-15-2017 Glasgow, Scotland, UK Barrowlands
8-16-2017 Nottingham, England, UK Rock City
8-18-2017 Hasselt, Belgium Pukkelpop
9-10-2017 Portmeirion, Wales, UK FestivalN°6
9-17-2017 Saint Paul, MN, USA Myth Live Event Center
9-18-2017 Milwaukee, WI, USA Eagles Ballroom Club Stage
9-19-2017 Indianapolis, IN, USA Farmers Bureau Insurance Lawn
9-20-2017 Niagara Falls, NY, USA Rapids Theatre
9-29-2017 Houston, TX, USA Revention Music Center
9-30-2017 Irving, TX, USA Pavilion at The Music Factory
10-1-2017 Austin, TX, USA ACL Live at the Moody Theater
10-5-2017 Phoenix, AZ, USA Comerica Theatre

The Lollapalooza 2017 lineup has been announced!

Lollapalooza 2017 poster

The 2017 Lollapalooza lineup is out and it’s not bad at all. For some reason, I was expecting a very subpar lineup, and to be honest, I had considered skipping this year in favor of trying out a festival that I have never been to (FYFEST? ACL? perhaps Liverpool Psych Fest? any of these are still possible if I can scrape up the funds), but in the end, I still ended going through the adrenaline rush of trying to snag and succeeding in getting a 4 day wristband. So, when the bands were announced yesterday, I was actually pretty excited.

Thursday gives us Muse, Lorde, Cage the Elephant, and Wiz Khalifa (?) as headliners with Porter Robinson, Liam Gallagher, Kaytranada, Temples, and Atlas Genius playing during the day.

Friday is stacked with goodness from The Killers, Blink 182, DJ Snake, and Run The Jewels, with Crystal Castles, Little Dragon, Cloud Nothings, and Saint Jhn. This is probably my favorite lineup of the weekend.

Saturday has Chicago’s own Chance the Rapper, The xx, Alt-J, and The Head and The Heart along with Kaskade, Warpaint (I’d love to be on that side stage thing during their set!), Highly Suspect, and Boston representing with 2 acts…indie poppers Lady Pills and rapper Michael Christmas.

Sunday wraps up the festival weekend with Arcade Fire, Justice, Big Sean, and The Shins, with Rae Sremmurd, Tove Lo, Joey Bada$$, Charli XCX, and one of my guilty pleasures, Grace Mitchell.

Of course, Lollapalooza weekend wouldn’t be complete without hitting up some daytime parties (which there was a lack of last year) as well as the nighttime parties such as Culture Collide and Floodfest, or DJ sets at the Virgin Hotels (where I’m staying at again this year because that place was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!) which are always my favorite part of Lolla weekend. It’s going to be a long 4 1/2 month wait until I’m in Chicago. Did anyone else score tickets? Going solo as I am? Let’s meet up and hang for a set or two!

Ride release their new song called “Charm Assault”

There is nothing quite like randomly checking Twitter and seeing that one of my favorite bands ever, like top 5 favorite, Ride, have released their first new song in 20 years! “Charm Assault“, which will be on the band’s new album due out this summer, is a very catchy song that I’m sure will have lots of people singing along when they play it live. I for one, cannot wait until they tour the U.S. again (unless I can somehow get to some of their shows in Europe).

Ride 2017 tour dates:

March 21, 2017 – Limelight, Belfast, UK
March 22, 2017 – Olympia Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
March 24, 2017 – BBC6 Music Festival, Glasgow
Jul 13–16, 2017 – Festival Internacional de Benicàssim