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.

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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

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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

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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

Review: Lush, Tamaryn at Royale Boston 9-15-2016

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Ever since the Lush reunion was announced, I had hoped a tour would follow (it did) and that they would play Boston (they did). I got to Alewife and took the very much delayed Red Line train to downtown Boston, where I met up with a couple of friends for some pre-show dinner and drinks at Jacob Wirth, then we were off to Royale Boston

At the door, our excitement was brought down as I got hassled about my non-removable lens camera by the people working the door (who have a reputation all their own, just look up the Yelp reviews of this place). After proving to them it was NOT a professional camera and that I wasn’t interested in being in the photo pit, amongst other assumptions they made, I was finally allowed in (thanks to the manager who took a quick glance and said it was fine). This was kind of embarrassing and different people who witnessed this whole thing came up to me throughout the night and told me how ridiculous it all was. Admittedly, this whole incident soured me on the night, so I wasn’t all that excited to be there anymore, but tried to make the best of it. All of the pictures below were taken on an iPhone 6 because I was too self conscious about using the camera at this point. Ok, enough with the negatives, I was here to see some bands!

After finding a spot really close to the stage, we made a few friends around us while waiting for Tamaryn to go on.

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Tamaryn

I first saw Tamaryn on the river stage at Austin Psych Fest a couple of years ago and they were amazing. Tonight was even better (minus the incredible backdrop of the Colorado River). Tamaryn came out to loud cheers and started to play immediately. With a dream pop, shoegaze sound that consisted of some fairly heavy bass, singer Tamaryn made her way all over the stage, and at times, played keyboards. I thoroughly enjoyed their set.

After they were done, I checked out the merch table before Lush went on and Tamaryn was signing CDs for people. So that was pretty cool.

I grabbed a Harpoon UFO from that lady that sells them in the back corner for $5 and found a spot to see Lush even though there was a pretty large crowd.

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Lush

I was lucky enough to have seen Lush a few times in the 90’s…including that one time at Rocky Point in Warwick, RI where they played with Live and Weezer (that was a very strange night in more than a few ways). Of course nothing can top the time I saw Lush at a 4AD showcase (which also featured Mojave 3 and Scheer) in the 90’s at Lupos in Providence where I had an awesome spot right against the stage in front of lead singer Miki Berenyi.

It seemed like a it took a while for the band to come out, prolonging the anticipation. When they finally did and launched straight into “De-Luxe“, it was awesome! Although the vocals sounded a little more mature, as they would after 20 years, the band overall sounded great! Playing all of the favorites such as “Hypocrite“, “Light from a Dead Star“, the long slow jammy “Out of Control“, which had quite a few people bobbing their heads, and the faster “Lady Killers” which got everyone dancing around. In fact, during Ladykillers, Tamaryn stopped and danced right in front of me. They ended the set with “Sweetness and Light” and left the stage, only to come back a few minutes later for a 3 song encore. They appeared for a second encore to play one more song, before finally ending the night.

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Lush setlist that some girl was nice enough to let me take a picture of.

Considering all of the issues getting there on the T and then problems with staff, I still ended up having a pretty good time and it was great meeting some new people, but I will have to seriously think about going to any more shows at Royale again.

Review: The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Veldt at The Paradise in Boston, MA 5-7-2016

Sign

Since I was unable to see the Brian Jonestown Massacre at the cancelled Levitation 2016, I was hoping to see them locally here in Boston, but didn’t order a ticket in time and the show was sold out. Through a pretty cool set of circumstances, I was able to go after all and I appreciate that more than anything!

After a very fast ride on the Red Line to Park Street, then a change to a very slow ride on the Green Line, I finally got to The Paradise. As I walked in, North Carolina’s The Veldt had just started playing. I ordered a Hoptical Illusion beer and tried to find a spot to see the band.

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The Veldt

It was kind of hard to see 90’s soul shoegazers, The Veldt, who were opening three of the East Coast shows on this tour, and not just because of the massive crowd around the stage, but because the stage was really dark. This was a big difference from seeing them in Austin where there were all kinds of swirly visuals being projected onto the band. One thing was for sure, the sound was much cleaner and louder than when I saw them last week at Barracuda. The first half of their set seemed to consist more of their shoegaze sound and switched to a more soulful sound for the second half. I have really enjoyed seeing The Veldt twice in two weeks and hope they stick around for a while and continue to tour.

After their set, I went outside to get some air and ended up randomly chatting with a really cool couple from RI. Then in a repeat from last week in Austin, I saw Tayler from Magic Shoppe and we chatted for a bit. I have to say, the psych scene is one of the friendliest (and yes, even in the notoriously very unfriendly Boston). I went back inside and ordered another Hoptical Illusion, while waiting for The Brian Jonestown Massacre to go on.

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Brian Jonestown Massacre

The Brian Jonestown Massacre came out to very loud cheers and applause from a sold out crowd that reached across all age ranges. I’m sure by now everyone knows about the Dig! documentary and the band’s past (and for some reason, if you don’t, I highly recommend see it!). From the very first song, BJM frontman Anton Newcombe held the audiences attention for a nearly 3 hour show that didn’t fixate on any one era of the band’s music. They played an incredible mix of older songs like “Geezer” and my personal favorite “Open Heart Surgery” to some newer stuff, some of which hasn’t been released yet. The crowd sang along with “Who?”, seemingly having fun yelling “whoooo” every time that part of the song came up.

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Evan Dando

They even had Evan Dando of The Lemonheads come out and play a mini set, which was something Newcombe teased earlier. After Dando left the stage, the band came back out and kept playing as the night got later and later. The crowd thinned out a little bit, but by a lot less than you would normally see at a show. This was probably due to the fact that the show went until almost 1am, long after the T stops running, but nobody wanted to miss any part of it. They could have played till 5am for all I care because it was incredible and worth missing the last train! They ended the night with an awesome, high energy jam that fired up the crowd.

I didn’t even care that I had missed the last train (thanks MBTA for cutting late night service), because this night was soo worth it! After wandering down Comm Ave. for a bit to find some food, I ended up at Otto Pizza, where I got a couple of slices to go. I requested an Uber to get me back to my car at Alewife and made my way home. This was an absolutely amazing night of music and will probably go down as one of my favorite shows of the year.

Review: Harmonix PAX East 2016 After Party at the Hard Rock Cafe Boston 4-23-2016

Although I decided to skip PAX East this year, I had soo much fun at last years Harmonix after party that I had to go again. I got to Alewife only to find out that the trains weren’t running from there this weekend, so that meant an annoying and long ass shuttle bus ride to Harvard Square, and then finally onto the Red Line train. Ugh. Eventually I made it to the Hard Rock Cafe and once inside, waited at the bar with one of my two free drink tickets as I could hear The Warning finishing up their set and I was pretty bummed to miss them. I overheard a lot of people talking about how amazing they were. It took about 20 minutes to get a drink, so yeah. Once I had my Sam Adams Brick Red in hand, I made my way to the back room where the stage is located. There was free food everywhere that ranged from veggie sticks to sliders and egg rolls.

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Princess Problems

The first band I managed to catch was Princess Problems. They played through a set of fun indie pop and seemed to be having a great time up on stage, which made for a really fun show! Making jokes and bantering with the crowd, they definitely won over quite a few people.

I decided to use my second drink ticket on a Sam Adams Rebel IPA but it was not to be as the Hard Rock was having issues with the tap. So, another Brick Red and I made my way to a small room on the other side of the club where they had Rock Band 4 set up. I hung out and watched some people take on the challenge of performing before moving back to the stage area to see Autoblaster. There were hamburger sliders near where I was standing, so I grabbed one to hold me over as I was pretty hungry.

One sidenote: Why does the Hard Rock keep the hot water in the bathroom soo damn hot? Like scalding, unusable hot! Ouch!

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Autoblaster

Autoblaster, which most people know from the game Amplitude, consists of members of the Harmonix team. Although they played mostly synth pop video game music, it felt like soo much more than that. They had a very attentive crowd that was loving every song, and the band really seemed to be having a lot of fun on stage.

I went to get one last beer but was told that all of the taps across two bars were down (except for the Bud/Bud Light ones…ick!). So it was a rum and coke to finish out the night as I waited for Bearstronaut to go on.

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Bearstronaut

Bearstronaut were one of the main reasons I wanted to go to this party and they did not disappoint! There was soo much energy and danciness (is that a word?) that it was contagious with the crowd feeling it and joining in. They played a mix of older songs, including my favorite “Moniker” along with some new stuff from their upcoming album “Telecoast”, which comes out on June 10th (there is a record release party at The Sinclair on this date as well). It was my first time seeing them live and they were amazing! More so because I was right in front of the stage and had a great view of the band.

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Freezepop

The crowd thinned out a bit by the time Boston based synth pop band Freezepop went on, probably due to the lack of late night T service, which had me watching the clock as well. Freezepop are another band that I like but have never seen live but damn, they were really good! Also, they are Kickstarting their new album and more info can be found here.

Despite a few issues getting there, I had an amazing time! I made my way back to the Government Center T stop and just barely caught one of the last trains and shuttle buses back to Alewife. The crowd was really cool (props to the girl dressed as Link from Zelda) and the bands were all really fun and brought good vibes! Also, thanks to Harmonix for throwing another great party!

Review: St. Lucia, Tigertown at Royale Boston 2-17-2016

It feels kind of weird to take the T all the way into Boston since I mostly see shows Central Square and the shorter rides have spoiled me. It wasn’t a bad ride though and we got to Royale pretty fast. There are two reasons why I try not to go to Royale for shows, one is the mens bathroom (hey, I drink, I gotta pee) which offers no privacy, and two, the drinks are insanely priced. That being said, it was a St. Lucia show and they are always worth seeing, no matter what.

Although the line to get in was long, it moved quickly and once inside, we were greeted by tables of swag from WERS which I had to pass on since I didn’t really want to carry a t-shirt and other goodies during the show.

Once we got into the main room, the slightly raised dance floor area was completely packed with people, so there was no way to get close to the stage. We waited off to the side, conveniently near one of the bars and were able to get a good view from there to see Tigertown. I started with a Goose IPA which was ok, but beer in a can…meh.

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Tigertown

Tigertown who come from Sydney, Australia, are the opening band on this tour. They played fun synth pop that had the sold out crowd dancing practically the whole time! Although I wasn’t familiar with them, I really enjoyed their set and they were a good opener for St. Lucia!

In between sets I discovered the bathrooms on the other side of the club and they were soo much better! Royale has redeemed themselves! There was also a little stand nearby with a lady selling Harpoon beers on tap, so naturally I got a UFO White while waiting for St. Lucia.

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St. Lucia

This was my third time seeing Brooklyn based St. Lucia, who came out to a roaring crowd and took it all in for a moment. The band went right into “Rescue Me” from their new album, “Matter”, which just came out a few weeks ago and is pretty good. With air blowing lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler’s hair straight up, almost as if it were the wind, it was almost as if you were on the breezy tropical island that their music invokes. A good portion of the set consisted of songs from “Matter” with some older crowd favorites thrown in for good measure, which included two of my favorite St. Lucia songs “September” and as part of the encore they did “Elevate”, which you can’t help but dance to! It was the perfect song to end the show and everyone seemed to leave the venue with smiles on their faces. The only bummer for me personally was that they didn’t play “We Got It Wrong”, which was the song that made me love this band when I saw them in Chicago at a Lollapalooza after party a few years ago (of which, some things are still very hazy, but in a good way).

I was pretty hungry and picked up a delicious steak quesadilla from Maria’s Taqueria in the Theater District before heading home. St. Lucia always put on a fun show and I would highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance, trust me, you won’t regret it (unless you’re against dancing and having fun!).