Review: Dead Meadow, Dyr Faser, Lucid Lynx at Sonia in Cambridge, MA 3-28-2018

Dead Meadow Dyr Faser Lucid Lynx Sign

I ended up leaving much later than planned, but soon I was in Central Square for this crazy psychedelic show. This was my first time seeing a show at Sonia, which was formerly known as TT the Bear’s (R.I.P.). The first thing I noticed was that Sonia is a lot brighter than TT’s and seemed to be much larger with the stage on the opposite side of the room. There really wasn’t a bad view from anywhere in the club, but if I had one complaint, it would be that the beer selection was a bit lacking.

Unfortunately, I had missed most of Lucid Lynx’s set, which was a bummer because I really liked these guys when I saw them open for Brian Jonestown Massacre last year. So, I waited for Bostons’s own Dyr Faser to go on.

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Dyr Faser

I think this was the first time I have seen Dyr Faser in its current form which consists of Eric Boomhower and Amelia May. The music seemed a little more mellow, almost ethereal at times, but the reverb-y goodness is still there. Sharing vocals through most of their set, the duo had an almost ethereal sound that completely filled the room.

After the set, I decided to try a Harpoon Pineapple UFO which was a huge mistake that I’m still trying to get over. Probably one of the worst beers I’ve ever had…just no! no! no! Dead Meadow were up next. 

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Dead Meadow

The first time I saw Dead Meadow was in, where else, Austin, and they put on an amazing show. Tonight was no different as the band played for close to 2 hours. The visuals provided by Mad Alchemy, gave me flashbacks to the Earthless show from only a week or two prior and were equally stunning. Standing off to one side of the stage, I had a great view of the band, who started out with “Greensky Greenlake”. Bassist Steve Kille, who was jumping around the stage looked to be having a fun time playing. It felt like a pretty long set and that’s not a band thing.

For an encore singer Jason Londono came out for an encore and sang solo for the song “One More Toll Taker”.

Overall it was a great night of music. It’s always exciting to check out a new venue and Sonia was pretty cool.

Review: Earthless, Kikagaku Moyo, JJUUJJUU at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA 3-17-2018

Earthless sign

There was nothing about this show that would have led you to believe it was St. Patrick’s day in Boston, unless you were riding the T and saw amongst other things, a girl sitting across from me with an amber colored fluid in her Polar Springs Sparkling Water bottle.

I kept flip flopping on whether or not to go to this show, but decided at the last minute to go with hopes that I could still get a ticket at the door. There was no traffic on my drive to Alewife and it was a really fast train ride to Harvard Square. In no time, I was at the Sinclair for this pretty stacked lineup that consisted of JJUUJJUU, Kikagaku Moyo, and headliners Earthless. I bought a ticket at the door, dropped my coat off at the coat check, and ordered a beer just as JJUUJJUU were just hitting the stage.

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JJUUJJUU

JJUUJJUU are, much like a lot of bands I’ve seen, a group I first saw at Austin Psych Fest a few years ago. Based in Los Angeles, their music is full of reverby psychedelic drenched goodness. They played for just over half an hour, but man, it was great!

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Kikagaku Moyo

Japanese psych band Kikagaku Moyo, whose name I have trouble pronouncing, but translates to “geometric patterns”, are another band I caught in Austin before and really dug them. With enough members on the stage to make it look pretty cramped up there, they played a set where the songs seemed to start out a bit mellow and before you knew it, crashed like a giant psychedelic wave washing over the audience.

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Earthless

As soon as I saw the crazy psychedelic visuals provided by the excellent Mad Alchemy, I knew we were all in for a treat. San Diego’s Earthless, who were draped in swirls of patterns and colors, hit the crowd hard as they went right into “Godspeed” and kept the heavy guitar riffs coming for the rest of the night. Playing mostly instrumental stoner rock to a sold out crowd that was really feeling it and I’ll leave it up to you as to what exactly “it” is, they held the room’s attention for the entirety of their set.

They finished out the night with a very heavy cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Communication Breakdown”, which was pretty loud and intense with most of the crowd singing along. Honestly, I didn’t want it to end, but like all good things, it had to.

This was an amazing night of music and I’m glad I ended going. It was a pretty quick ride back to Alewife and my eyes are still reeling from those visuals!

Earthless 2018 tour dates:

May 31 – Detroit MI @ El Club *
June 1 – Nelsonville OH @ Nelsonville Music Festival
June 2 – Louisville KY @ Zanzabar
June 3 – Morgantown WV @ 123 Pleasant Street #
June 5 – Asheville NC @ The Mothlight %
June 6 – Atlanta GA @ The Masquerade %
June 7 – Spartanburg SC @ GroundZero %
June 8 – Orlando FL @ Will’s Pub %
June 9 – Tallahassee FL @ The Wilbury %
June 10 – Baton Rouge LA @ Spanish Moon %
June 12 – Houston TX @ White Oak Music Hall %
June 13 – Austin TX @ Barracuda Austin %
June 14 – Ft. Worth TX @ Ridglea Theater %
June 15 – Memphis TN @ Growlers %

*: with Timmy’s Organism and The Octopus
%: with Here Lies Man
#: with Hill Giant

Kikagaku Moyo 2018 tour dates:

Nov 07 – Gorilla Manchester, United Kingdom
Nov 08 – Scala London, United Kingdom
Nov 17 – Café Bad Bonn Düdingen, Switzerland
Nov 19 – arena wien – verein forum Wien, Austria
Nov 21 – Loppen, Christiania KØBENHAVN K, Denmark
Nov 23 – Fasching Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 24 – Blå Oslo, Norway
Nov 26 – Hafenklang Hamburg, Germany
Nov 27 – Ancienne BelgiqueBrussels, Belgium
Nov 30 – Sala Upload Barcelona, Spain
Dec 08 – Paradiso Grote ZaalNieuw-Amsterdam, Netherlands

JJUUJJUU 2018 Tour dates:

Jun 05 – Columbus, OH EXPRESS LIVE!
Jun 06 – Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
Jun 07 – Lakewood, OH Mahall’s Locker Room
Jun 08 – Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
Jun 09 – Sterling Heights, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre at Freedom Hill
Jun 10 – Indianapolis, IN The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park
Jun 12 – Cincinnati, OH PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
Jun 13 – Milwaukee, WI Cactus Club
Jun 14 – Maplewood, MN Myth
Jun 15 – Bonner Springs, KS Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
Jun 16 – Camdenton, MO Ozarks Amphitheater
Jun 18 – Lincoln, NE Pinewood Bowl Theater
Jun 19 – Denver, CO Lost Lake Lounge


Jun 21 – Missoula, MT KettleHouse Amphitheater


Jun 22 – Redmond, WA Marymoor Park


Jun 23 – Bend, OR Les Schwab Amphitheater


Jun 25 – Troutdale, OR McMenamin’s Edgefield Winery


Jun 28 – Avila Beach, CA Avila Beach Golf Resort
Jun 29 – Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre


Jun 30 – Lincoln, CA Thunder Valley Casino Resort & Amphitheater


Jul 02 – Salt Lake City, UT Salt Air Pavilion


Jul 03 – Las Vegas, NV Downtown Las Vegas Events Center


Jul 05 – Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre


Jul 06 – San Diego, CA Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre


Jul 07 – Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre


Oct 12 – Perris, CA Moreno Beach

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: 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: 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

Review: Westbound Train, The Scotch Bonnets at the Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge, MA 9-16-2016

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I was still a little tired from the previous night’s Lush show, but a friend of mine who I haven’t seen in quite a while, is in The Scotch Bonnets, so I had to go. Plus I haven’t been to a ska show in a very long time. For the second night in a row, the Red Line had issues and had to “stand by” due to a disabled train…again, This cause me to get to the Middle East much later than planned, which in turn meant I missed openers The New Limits and caught Riki Rocksteady literally playing his last notes. I ordered a Sam Adams Octoberfest and stood among the crowd as The Scotch Bonnets were setting up.

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The Scotch Bonnets

Baltimore’s The Scotch Bonnets are a band I have followed for a while and I was glad that they were playing a Boston show. Fronted by singer/guitarist Kristin Forbes (full disclosure: Kristin is a friend of mine), who along with the rest of the band, kept the energy level pretty high. The bands brand of ska music that the pretty packed club dancing the whole time. This was a really fun set!

One more drink, this time a Hoponius Union before Westbound Train went on.

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Westbound Train

It was kind of interesting to see the 7 members of Boston’s own Westbound Train all try fit on the small stage. Their brand of ska was interesting as it seemed to have a bit of soul mixed into the songs. Frontman Obi Fernandez came off as very personable and held the crowds attention for the whole show, to the point where it seemed like everyone knew him personally. The entire band seemed to be having a really good time on what was the first of their two nights of shows at the Middle East.

Afterwards, I caught up with Kristin for a bit since I haven’t seen her in a long time, and after several hugs, I had to leave to catch one of the last trains back to Alewife. It had been a long time since I’ve been to this kind of show but I had a great time! I really wish I was able to see the two openers though, but I’m hoping they all make back to the area soon, because I will definitely be there.

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

lush-logo

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.