ORGY – Pop Killers Tour (The Outpost)

ORGY – Pop Killers Tour – Live at The Outpost, 1-14-2016

I waited all freakin’ night with camera in one hand, phone in the other to catch my favorite ORGY song live, Wide Awake and Dead. While the black-clad, Bowie-tribute-face-painted musicians didn’t play my favorite song, they still put on a fun show.

From Fiction Dreams In Digital to Opticon to Stitches to Dissention, ORGY members Jay Gordon, Carlton Bost, Creighton Emrick, Bobby Amaro and Nic Speck rocked the little Outpost while fans videotaped them and danced in their own ways.

It’s my opinion that these guys need a little revamp on their image. The crowd consisted of mostly guys, with a few girls peppered in. The lyrics of many ORGY songs (especially off the newest release, Talk Sick) make me squirm a little. Maybe I’m just getting older and more feminist in my years, but it’s hard for me to listen to, let alone sing along to verses like “I don’t want to love you Cause baby you’re mistaken that I’m here for you I don’t want to love you Sex and lies is what I do Baby you’re mistaken that I’m here for you So suck it” – that being said, I don’t have much room to complain since I knew what I was in for when I bought my ticket.

ORGY was going in such a good, non-derogatory-toward-women direction with Wide Awake and Dead that I feel they are just taking some steps backward by not playing it during this tour.

Regardless, I must say that it was pretty awesome to hear a good cover of Blue Monday live. It was the closing song where Gordon got on the floor and the whole room turned into an 80s dance party. Would I have rather spent my $12 on a ticket to see Blue Monday performed by New Order? Hecks Yes, but ORGY did a nice remake in my book.

The opening band, Bobaflex, put on a smashing performance. I didn’t arrive early enough to see Death Valley High.

I’ll leave you with this song so you can bask in how cool it is. I adore everything about it and would love to create my own take on a music video for it.

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EVE 6 – Under The Sun Tour (LC Pavilion)

EVE 6 – Under The Sun Tour – Live at the LC Pavilion, 8-7-2015

Friday was a pretty rad day.

The fast version: Max Collins, Jon Siebels and Tony Fagenson of EVE 6 were excellent, the crowd was friendly and down to earth, and PromoWest Productions takes the cake for nicest venue staff.

The extended version: Walking up to the second floor of the LC Pavilion, I could hardly believe it – I was about to meet one of my favorite bands. The four ladies who were also meeting the gang were super excited too – there was an energy in the air, and it was easy to see we were all star struck when we walked into the room where guitarist Jon Siebels and drummer Tony Fagenson were hanging out. Singer and bassist Max Collins walked in the room a few minutes later, and the three performed an exclusive mini acoustic jam session.

They started with Curtain and moved on to At Least We’re Dreaming, Collins keeping rhythm by snapping his fingers and clapping his hands on his legs. It was a pretty surreal experience to be up close and personal with the guys who created Horroscope, one of my all-time favorite albums. They ended the three-song set with Amphetamines, one of the best tracks off that prized record.

This was the first time I had the honor and the privilege of having a photo pass, so I was a jittery mix of nervous and over the moon. After the set, autographs were signed, photos were taken with each VIP guest, and I couldn’t help but geek out over the images in my camera. One VIP guest brought an EVE 6 fan club pack saved from more than 10 years ago! Needless to say the band, as well as the rest of the group, got a kick out of looking through the old memorabilia.

EVE 6 was a blast to hang out with, and the VIP session couldn’t have been hosted in a more intimate setting. It’s definitely an experience I will never forget.

As for the actual Under The Sun Tour, Uncle Kracker played a bunch of songs that the audience members seemed to adore as they sung along to every verse. EVE 6 was originally scheduled to open the show, but ended up playing second, allowing them to tack on another few songs. I definitely wasn’t complaining.

With my coveted photo pass, I was in the pit for the first three, shooting Collins, Siebels and Fagenson as they jumped around and rocked out classic hits. I’d like to think that I managed to capture the personality of each bandmate; out of the countless photos I took, I specifically chose to upload the ones I did because I think each one fits the character I saw while up in the VIP room.

Memorable songs from the show include Open Road Song, B.F.G.F., On The Roof Again, Think Twice, and Here’s To The Night. They closed with an audience-frenzied Inside Out.

After EVE 6, Better Than Ezra took the stage, and I watched with some new friends in the back of the venue. If you’ve never been to the LC Pavilion, I urge you to check it out. It’s a beautiful place that can cater to both indoor and outdoor shows, and there really isn’t a bad view no matter where you are sitting/standing.

Better Than Ezra played a charismatic show and at one point had over 20 audience members (at singer Kevin Griffin’s request, all girls) on stage with them in one big dance party. They played my favorite BTE song, Misunderstood, and happened to end the set with another one of my favorite love songs of all time, a cover of Just Like Heaven by The Cure.

I didn’t stay for Sugar Ray, the headliner, as I had some pressing plans with my Columbus buddies, but all in all it was a mind-blowing experience, a fantastic show, and I blew $100 on shirts, if that’s any indication of how much I want to remember the night.

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Filter (The Outpost)

Filter – Live at The Outpost, 7-16-2015

Yesterday I saw Filter for the first time and it was amazing and incredible and fun and holy smokes was it one of the best concerts of my life. With everything I had read about Richard Patrick being ‘washed out’ at previous live shows, I was expecting a man with a wrinkly face forming incoherent sentences, maybe even forgetting his own lyrics. His commentary for the song Watch The Sun Come Out Tonight sorta made me believe all the reviews. But seriously, the performance was anything but a drug-afflicted sob fest.

The Outpost is an extremely intimate venue. I seriously think there were less than 100 people in the place. I could be way off on that count, but it has such a small, warm feel that I want to believe it. My friend Royce and I were literally an arms length away from Richard Patrick throughout the entire set. I was dead center in front of the stage. I danced with a bunch of Filter fans, threw my hands up at almost every chorus, and felt my eyes water a few times when I realized that they were playing some of my favorite songs ever.

Before the show, Royce and I were chilling near one of the bars. A very well-dressed blonde girl and a very well-dressed boy with fun hair walked up to us. The guy pointed at Royce’s shirt (Invader Zim) and said how much he loved it, then hiked up his shirt sleeve to show us his Invader Zim tattoo. Only when Filter took the stage did I realize that the guy was Chris Reed, THE DRUMMER. How. Effing. Awesome. And how effing stupid of me to not look up the faces of all band members beforehand.

The blonde, none other than Ashley Dzerigan, rocked a sweet studded guitar strap on her bass. It’s so great to see ladies playing instruments in bands like Filter and BRMC. The novelty of it never gets old.

Filter was a very well dressed band. Before the show I had picked out the Filter members without even realizing it. (Besides Richard – I know that face to a T.)  The way they all dressed, you could tell they had a great sense of style and that they just belonged together somehow. And the drummer and bassist weren’t the only ones with great hair. Lead guitarist Oumi Kapila had some huge locks that he tied up for some of the show – a trademark look for the man, I imagine.

More highlights of the show include getting tossed around by the mosh pit that took place during Hey Man, Nice Shot, and seeing a guy in a NIN Tension shirt being the most active member of the audience. That lucky fellow snagged one of the set lists at the end, and let me take a photo of it (along with the back of his shirt.)

More about Royce: I’ve known the guy since I started college. I used to buy my waffles, pancakes and omelettes from him via my dining plan card way back when. We started talking when he saw me sporting a NIN shirt one day. I had never really spent much time with him outside of the cafeteria until last night, and I’m so glad I got the chance to experience a show with another music junkie like me. He’s lucky enough to have seen Filter a few years back… oh, and his first concert ever? NIN with David Bowie. I won’t get into how salty I am about that.

More about the venue: The Outpost is a little concert hall in Kent, Ohio that boasts a dark interior, two bars and an eclectic staff. With its carpeted and wooden floors, you can tell the building has gone through numerous expansions throughout the years. The place is only open specifically for live shows, which is about two nights a month.

Here are some photos from the gig. Thank you, Filter, for choosing to play at this little venue before kicking off your festival tour.

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Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Cleveland HOB)

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Live at the Cleveland House of Blues, 6-2-2015

No opening band. No crazy dance moves. Just pure Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds up on stage doing their thing.

It’s been 10 years since Oasis came to Cleveland and rocked the Blossom Music Center on a chilly Ohio day. I was at that show, my heart all up knots at the first real-life sighting of my favorite band of brothers. We all know some musicians suck hardcore performing live, while their studio work knocks it out of the park. From experience I can tell you that a live show with the Gallagher brothers is like stepping out from the cover art of an Oasis CD and being surrounded by the best live versions of your favorite songs that you could imagine.

After attending last night’s show I can safely say that nothing has changed. At 48 years old, Noel still sings, speaks and looks like a rock ‘n’ roll star. I had tears in my eyes at least 3 times watching and hearing one of my favorite musicians play inside the very intimate setting of the Cleveland House of Blues.

From the opening song Do the Damage to the ending encore song Don’t Look Back In Anger, the set list couldn’t have been better. And neither could the crowd. It’s not just the amazing musician who is aging so well that made this show so special, but the fan base was probably the most mature I’ve ever seen. Yeah, you had the obnoxious 30-year-old-somethings standing in the corner making snide remarks about Oasis. But other than that, it was easy to see the place was filled with people who truly love the music. I’d also like to note that it’s one of the few concerts I’ve ever attended that didn’t have the scent of weed drifting throughout.

I voice recorded the whole set, but since this was the first time using my new recorder, it came with some issues upon playback. Main thing I noticed, and I should have tested it out before attending the show: it seriously catches every sound. I definitely need to not stand around annoying people whining about what they will or won’t play next time. My recording of The Mexican came out the best – but it would be so much better if the dudes next to me would have shut up.

I think this line from writer Annie Zaleski perfectly sums up the night: “The final song, Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” turned into a delirious venue-wide sing-along: Strangers hugged, threw their hands (and phones) in the air and shouted along to each and every lyric with the gusto of one a.m. drunken revelry.” Needless to say, I was one of those people.

You can read Zaleski’s review from Cleveland Scene here.

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TV On The Radio (Newport Music Hall)

TV On The Radio – Live at Newport Music Hall, 5-15-2015

Yesterday I attended my first ever solo concert. The Newport Music Hall is one of my favorite venues, if not my favorite. I love how small it is, how dark it is, and that there is an upstairs. I had a blast and a half and going alone to see my favorite bands will definitely be happening again.

I’ve added DLZ and the Staring At The Sun encore for your listening enjoyment. These were recorded on an ancient Sony voice recorder, so they are a little rough.

Highlights from this show include:

  • Hearing them open with Young Liars and close with Staring At The Sun (both in my top 5 TVOTR songs)
  • Seeing wind chimes on the neck of a guitar
  • Falling in love with the bearded guitarist who kept jumping with both feet
  • Purchasing the worst well drink I’ve ever had
  • Dancing to Wolf Like Me
  • Seeing people mosh to TV On The Radio
  • Walking from High to Summit and having a guy in a van pull over and vomit in front of me three times. I asked him if he was okay and offered to throw my water over it so no one would see. Why? I have no idea.
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