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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BRMC with The Duke Spirit (Frankie’s)

BRMC with The Duke Spirit – Live at Frankie’s, 4-17-2008

A few weeks ago, I went through all of the forgotten sound clips on my phone. My heart about stopped when I came upon a live recording of Fault Line from the first BRMC show I attended.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club with The Duke Spirit at Frankie’s Inner City in Toledo, Ohio

If you’ve never been to Frankie’s, imagine a dark, dank bar with a small stage on one side – a venue that has character and one that the locals flock to. I was in the building for sound check, and I remember Liela Moss from The Duke Spirit practicing Dark Is Light Enough. She said she had a bit of a cold, but it sounded fantastic anyway.

The BRMC set was a low-lit, hazy affair. It was easy to see that the venue was full of people who truly loved the music. Fault Line is the only song I recorded, and while I’m lucky to have a recording at all, I really wish I had caught the first verse.

It was also on this night that I had my first kiss that actually mattered. It involved Blake and I sitting on a big desk at 4 a.m., doodling shapes on printer paper in the computer lab of our hotel. It was a whirlwind romance that quickly died and left me hollow.

Here are a bunch of photos I took while at this concert. I chose to not edit any of them so you can see the foggy, crowded darkness that was this show. A cool thing to notice: The posters on the wall. Exotic Birds, A Flock of Seagulls, Goo Goo Dolls, and The Smashing Pumpkins have all played here.

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