Review: The Dismemberment Plan at The Paradise Boston

The Dismemberment Plan at The Paradise
The Dismemberment Plan at The Paradise

Because of the huge amount of snow piled up in Boston, as well as the ever elusive parking spot anywhere near the Paradise, I decided to take the T into the city. The downside of relying on the T to get to a show in Boston is that it doesn’t run late enough, but more on that later. I had missed the first band, Certainly Sir, but arrived before The Forms went on stage.

The first thing I noticed was the huge amount of plaid shirts, then I noticed that pretty much everyone had a beard, something that singer Travis Morrison would acknowledged during the Dismemberment Plan’s set. At this point, I cursed my inability to grow a decent beard while feeling like an outcast. Next, almost all of these bearded, flannel wearing people were drinking PBR’s (I believe the “B” in PBR should stand for “beard”, because you can’t have one without the other). I’m getting off track, this isn’t a review of hipsters.

The Forms
The Forms

The Forms which consisted of two people, went on stage. They played dance music but I just couldn’t get into it. Sort of reminded me of Javelin but different. Something seemed to be missing but I just can’t place it. I didn’t notice too many people dancing though, more of just a light sway. This was kind of disappointing since I saw a lot of posts and tweets saying not to miss these guys.

The Dismemberment Plan
The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan, playing their first show in Boston since 2003, walked onstage to loud cheers from the sold out crowd. The band looked really happy to be playing together again, which is usually a pretty rare thing. It’s great when a band is really enjoying themselves and looking like they are having a lot of fun! I don’t think singer Travis Morrison stopped smiling for the entire show!

The Dismemberment Plan - Travis

They started out with “The Face of the Earth” and went into a “A Life of Possibilities“. I have to say, it was pretty good setlist, which included my favorite song “The First Anniversary of Your Last Phone Call“.

I left during “Ellen and Ben” to make sure I could get back home. So, I was pretty bummed to miss “Ice of Boston“, because it would have been amazing to get up on the stage with them during it! Hopefully, the band will stay together and do another tour. Judging by the good time had by everyone, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did.

The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan

Overall, it was a very fun night with a band that I love and hope to see again in the near future. My only regret was taking the T there, which made me miss what could have been an even more amazing experience.

Concert Review: CKY at The Paradise Boston

CKY
Chad I. Ginsburg and Deron Miller of CKY

CKY is one of my favorite bands ever. As proof, one only needs to look at my Last.fm most listened to charts. I was excited to find out they were coming to Boston and even though I was exhausted, I forced myself to go, but missed all of the opening bands. For once, I was ok with that (nothing against those bands, but a nap was a little more important at that point).

We got there a little later than I wanted to, thanks to excellent detour signage in Boston (insert sarcasm tag here) and walked in during “Flesh Into Gear“, which I was told was maybe the 2nd or 3rd song, so it was still early…whew! This was the first show I’ve been at The Paradise since they remodeled and moved the stage away from that infamous view-obstructing pole. I like the new layout, which has the advantage of making it easier to get to the bars as well.

Chad I. Ginsburg
Chad I. Ginsburg

I expected there to be a huge crowd, but it was fairly small considering the following that the band has, as well as it being an all ages show. The band interacted with the crowd all night, even asking what songs people wanted to hear. A few times during the show, they would put on some crappy dance music like the Backstreet Boys or Justin Bieber and start dancing around the stage and mocking the songs. At one point there were problems with Chad’s guitar and he seemed to be pretty pissed off about it. They ended up killing time while someone fixed it, by playing more dance pop songs. Chad was getting pretty pissed off, yelling at their roadies, which was pretty entertaining.

The set consisted almost entirely of songs from before the Carver City album (possibly because there is more synthesizer on that album than the other ones?). Some of the songs they played were “96 Quite Bitter Beings”, “Sara’s Mask”, “Disengage the Simulator”, “Knee Deep”, “Plastic Plan”, and “Close Yet Far”. I was kind of disappointed not to hear “A #1 Roller Rager” since that is my favorite track off of Carver City, but I was pretty happy with the songs they played. In between songs, the crowd was loudly chanting “CKY! CKY!”.

Overall, I was glad to finally have the chance to see one of my favorite bands live. It was a really fun night and I will definitely be there the next time they come through the area, that’s for sure!

Concert Review: Belle and Sebastian at Citi Center in Boston 10-15-10

Well, hey what do you know, another concert on another rainy night! I arrived at the Wang aka Citi Center in downtown Boston to see Belle and Sebastian. My company for the night was the very friend that introduced me to them back in 1998 via her radio show on WRIU, and it has taken this long for me to actually see them live. Needless to say, I had very high expectations, especially since I’ve never heard a bad thing about their live shows.

The ritual of getting (overpriced) beers was performed, then we took our seats as Dean Wareham was playing the music of Galaxie 500 with his wife Britta. I have not listened to that band in soo long, but will have to rediscover them again. This also brings up the question of when will Luna get back together?

Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500
Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500

My good mood was kind of shot down due to the staff at the Citi Center who were being real pains in the asses about taking pictures or even looking at your phone. If I’m paying to be there, why can’t I snap a memory of it? Venues should really be more fan friendly. But eff them, I managed to get the one shot above. Also, for a classy place, beer in cans…really?

After Dean Wareham was done, it was off for another quick beer run, then back to our seats where Belle and Sebastian came out to much applause and cheers from the audience.

Belle and Sebastian at Citi Center Boston
Belle and Sebastian at Citi Center Boston

Starting off with “I Fought In A War” from 2000’s Fold Your Hands Child album, and going into “Dirty Dream Number Two“, the 12 people onstage sounded amazing! The guy in the row in front of me got up and started dancing immediately and never stopped. From now on, he will be known as “dancing guy”. It was kind of annoying but he seemed to be enjoying himself (perhaps a little too much).

This is when people were whipping out cameras and phones all over the place. The staff weren’t hassling people about taking pictures anymore. One theory we came up with was that maybe Dean Wareham was against it? Who knows, but I was happy to finally be able to get some pictures.

For “I Didn’t See It Coming” and “The Boy With the Arab Strap“, singer Stuart Murdoch asked for a few people to come up and dance onstage, letting violinist Sarah Martin choose the guys. Dancing guy hauled ass down the aisle to be the first one picked to get on stage. The four people danced non-stop through both songs. Before leaving the stage, they were given medals that said “I made it with Belle and Sebastian”. Definitely a nice memento of getting to be onstage with the band.

At one point, Murdoch ran up and down the aisles of the theater, giving out high fives to people as he ran by still singing. It’s always great when bands acknowledge their fans! He also tossed out some footballs to the crowd during another part of the show.

Towards the end of the first set, Stuart said that they were very grateful to have Dean Wareham open for them for the Boston show. He had one medal left and called Wareham to the stage, where he put the medal around his neck and thanked him. They played a little bit more and were done with the first set.

The band came out for an encore and played “If You Find Yourself Caught In Love“. After about an hour and a half show, the house lights came up and that was it, despite everyone around us hoping for a second encore. We hit the merch area on our way out, but it was absolutely insane! There were soo many people trying to buy posters and t-shirts, that it was impossible to get in there to see anything.

Overall, it was a very entertaining show and a great night! I left the show very happy that I finally got to see a band that I have wanted to see for quite a long time and regret not seeing them sooner. If you ever get the chance, by all means make an effort to see Belle and Sebastian live.

Concert Review: Broken Bells at Royale in Boston 06-04-2010

Broken Bells
Broken Bells - Royale Boston 06-04-2010

Note: I wrote most of this the day after the show. Found it in my drafts folder today and decided to go ahead and post it (after a little cleanup).

After having to take a few shortcuts to get to Alewife Station to catch the T into downtown Boston, due to the unbelievable amount of traffic on the highway, I had finally arrived at Royale Boston (formerly The Roxy), directly across the street from the Wang, where the Conan O’Brien tour had stopped. Unfortunately, I got to Royale too late to see The Morning Benders, except for their very last song, which was some droney guitar thing that I was kind of digging.

More importantly though, I was there to see Broken Bells. If you don’t know by now, Broken Bells is a collaboration between The Shins‘ James Mercer and Danger Mouse aka Brian Burton. It’s no secret that this is one of my favorite bands of 2010.

It was a fairly short set that consisted of them playing the tracks from their self titled CD, but considering that they only have one album out, it was kind of expected. There were a couple of other songs that I didn’t recognize. The main highlight was the predictable High Road singalong with the audience. The second and more interesting one was during the encore when they went into a long High Road jam that just sounded really cool and was stuck in my head for days. I wish I could have gotten a recording of it.

The only downer was the ridiculous price of drinks at Royale. 10 freakin dollars plus another buck for a tip for a jack and coke that was finished within 5 minutes.

Overall it was a very fun, but rather short night with an amazing band. I can’t wait to see them again, hopefully with newer material so that they can play a longer show.

Concert Review: Pavement at Agganis Arena in Boston 09-18-2010

I was looking forward to seeing Pavement live, ever since tickets went on sale back in March. I arrived at Agganis Arena, checked out the merch table, debated on whether or not to get a t shirt (I didn’t) and grabbed a much needed Harpoon IPA, then made my way down to the floor seats where Jenny and Johnny were already onstage.

Jenny and Johnny
Jenny and Johnny

This is a collaboration between Jenny Lewis and her boyfriend, singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice. I’m not really a fan of music that has a “twangy” sound, so I really couldn’t get into them, although there were quite a few people in the crowd seemed to like it as well as shouting their love to Jenny. To be honest, I would have preferred to see No Age or Times New Viking open as they were doing on other parts of this tour.

Speaking of the crowd, it seemed to be mostly older and there were an awful lot of pregnant women. Like, an unusual amount. I’m not quite sure what was going on, but it was weird. I have a theory as to the timeframe between when tickets went on sale and now, but I’ll keep that to myself. Also, the whole back section of seats were completely covered up for some reason. The illusion of filling an arena? Who knows.

Pavement
Pavement at Agganis Arena

After a short setup time, Pavement came out to much cheering and applause. I noticed the lighting felt like being in a mexican restaurant, hanging over the stage and and lots of reds and yellows. Does Stephen Malkmus age at all? He still looked really young. The rest of the band, not soo much. Quite a difference from the 90’s Pavement I still picture in my head.

They opened with “Silence Kit” from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, and went through a rather long set that started out rocking, but seemed to get a little slow half way through. Malkmus’s vocals seemed kind of low for a lot of the songs, while Bob Nastanovich did more of the screaming and vuvuzela playing (yes, really!). Don’t get me wrong, I loved it! They sounded great and really seemed to enjoy being back on stage in front of an audience. They ended with “Cut Your Hair”, with the whole crowd singing along, but then again, how could you not?

Then they came back for 2 encores. The first encore started with “Rattled by the Rush”, which sounded awesome live! This song always gets stuck in my head, but I was happy to hear it!

Pavement
Pavement
Pavement
Pavement

They finally ended with Slanted and Enchanted‘s “Here”. The band thanked the crowd and waved as they walked off stage. People were chanting for 1 more song but the house lights came up and that was it. I heard several people question why they didn’t play “Shady Lane”, which I was wondering myself. Maybe next time?

Overall, Pavement brought a fun night of 90’s indie rock for those of us who never got to see them live before, as well as for those who did. Most people left very satisfied and even the band seemed to be having a great time playing again. This makes me even sadder that I won’t be going to the Matador at 21 concert in Las Vegas, but there will be other events and I look forward to catching Pavement again sometime soon.

Concert Review: Whore Paint, Tinsel Teeth, Arab on Radar at AS220 in Providence, RI 07-03-2010

When I heard that Providence’s own Arab on Radar were reuniting for a tour *and* playing at one of my favorite venues (which was practically a second home to me during a rough time), AS220, I absolutely had to be there! After waiting in a line that looked longer than it actually was, I finally got in and proceeded to go straight to the bar for a Harpoon UFO while waiting for the first band of the night, Whore Paint, to go on.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this band, which features members of some other great Providence bands: Teenage Waistband, Made in Mexico, and Arcing.

They definitely came through and sounded great! I would love to get an EP or something when/if they release one. My only complaint was the Nathan Explosion wannabe in the crowd that was whipping his hair around, hitting both me and some girl standing next to me.

Up next was Tinsel Teeth, a band I have seen a couple of times before and are always interesting. In the tradition of Lightning Bolt, they played on the floor instead of the stage. There was lots of noise, blood, and nakedness. I couldn’t get a good view from where I was standing, but judging by how crazy the crowd went and the size of the mosh pit, everyone was digging it.

The night’s headliner, Arab on Radar came onstage to a sold out hometown crowd that went crazy! When the first song started, the mosh pits began and continued through the whole set. No time was wasted as the band quickly went from song to song. They still sound great and seemed to be loving every second of playing in front of this Providence crowd!

This was an amazing night of noise, rock, beers, and general fun. These are the kind of shows that seem near impossible to find in Boston, but if they exist, I’d appreciate it if someone could tell me where. Otherwise, I’m going to have to move back to Providence (and that wouldn’t be a bad thing!).