Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Movin' on up...

True to form, I am about 10 steps behind the rest of the world and have only just now created my own blog account. For 2007, I've decided to ditch the MySpace blog and post here for posterity. (Plus, it's a wicked pissah how Big Brother blocks me from MySpace while at work.)

If you're really really bored and don't feel like watching paint dry, you can dig through my former Gigoblog on MySpace for gigs I caught from the end of 2005 through all of 2006.

In the meanwhile, here are a few of my favorite concert pics that I took in 2006:

Radiohead, Theater at MSG, 6/13
Revenge of the Book Eaters, Beacon Theater, 8/23
Kanye West, et al., Nokia Theater, 8/29
Last Show at CBGB, October 15, 2006, Patti Smith, et al.


(Note 4/1/07 -- I am slowly moving my posts over from MySpace to Blogger.)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Damien Rice @Beacon Theatre, Dec. 13th

Gotta keep this short cos I should have been in bed an hour ago, but called up Tina and caught up with her for a bit.


Tonight Bharat and I made it to the Beacon just barely to catch Damien Rice in concert for the second time in less than a month. In November, we were lucky to see him at the intimate Hiro Ballroom show. Today we had awesome seats -- 6th row center, baby! -- but the increased size in venue seemed to equate an increased number of assholes. We sat in Row B, in front of Row C, which must have stood for chatterboxes. On the left behind us was the woman who insisted on talking, not whispering, through entire songs, pausing only to call out for the one song she knew -- "the Blower's Daughter", and to the right behind us were the gabby fans who kept screaming "Lisa" for the band's angel-voiced chanteuse despite a lack of response. Lovely.


Anyway, we obviously prefered the November gig, but the non-acoustic billing allowed for additional, heartier songs to be played. Whereas for the Hiro gig, Damien and Co. were playing for a small room and seemed to be winging it to a certain degree (and amusing themselves in the process), the Beacon gig was more polished and proved to be more of a performance. In particular, I, along the rest of the audience was captivated by his off-mike, solo on acoustic guitar rendition of "Cannonball." Simply stunning.

At numerous times, Damien did display that he does have the Irish gift of gab. Here's the final song from the evening, "Cheers, Darlin'" performed with guest openers Glen Hansard (of the Frames) and friends:

Overall, it was a good concert, but it could not top the Hiro show. I'm ready to move onto the next sensation.

Okay, time for bed -- I'll add more vids later!

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Ryan Adams @Town Hall, Dec. 6th


Ryan Adams started off the evening with a bang. He shut up some of the would be screamers immediately by opening with "Come Pick Me Up" maybe hoping they'd have nothing else to yell.

But he seemed to be in a stink of a mood. Nowhere to be found was the Ryan of Night 1, perhaps his strongest. The Ryan who was bantering on about his love of "Friends" and Diet Coke. Or even the edgy Ryan of Night 2 who struck up conversations with audience members and rambled on about Dr. Who. Nope. Tonight he seemed grouchy at the audience's every request, and tried his best to appease them by whipping out the hits.

One looking at the setlist tonight might think it was amazing, especially after two nights which were heavy on 2005 in the shape of songs from Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights. I mean, Ryan managed to pull a bunch off of Heartbreaker, Gold, Demolition and even the somewhat underappreciated Rock 'N Roll:

Come Pick Me Up
When the Stars Go Blue
Oh My Sweet Carolina
Love is Hell
This is It
Afraid Not Scared
La Cienga Just Smiled
Wish You Were Here
Judy Garland
Blue Sky Blues
Winding Wheel
Willow Jane
The Rescue Blues

For someone who was somewhat complaining about the 11pm curfew Town Hall imposes on its performers, he shocked the hell out of the audience tonight by dashing off quickly without so much of a round of applause by 10:35. Yup, that's it, folks.

To his credit, the songs he did play were inspired and stunning. I just wish...there...was...more.... Any other performer, we would have been satisfied with 75 minutes of mostly older hits, but I guess we all had expectations going into this final night, and the thing is, we know Ryan is capable of greatness. Disappointed not because we felt he owed us in anyway. Rather, we know he can be so much more. And we feel let down...

Oh, Ryan Adams...sobriety's a bitch, ain't it? Maybe he oughta talk to Chan Marshall, who has managed to keep her shit together quite nicely throughout her recent newfound lucidity. When I saw her 6 months ago at the very same venue, we all wondered if she'd unleash her manic self, but she surprised us all with a glowing performance. Ryan, on the other hand, is still fighting something, and unfortunately it landed tonight with a thud.

Here's his beautiful "My Winding Wheel":

Overall, seeing all three nights, I can't complain. Not one single repeat. We heard some amazing alternate arrangements of songs which prove why live music is essential, and some of the harmonies, especially for "Cold Roses" made the hairs on my arms stand up. I hardly ever see a band more than once on a tour, let alone more than one night in a row. I'm still convinced that the man is a genius and has the potential to move us, but he obviously has much internal struggle that hopefully won't keep him away from his A-game for too long.

Coincidentally, sat next to Matt from The Music Slut, who had something to say about this evening as well.

PS -- Pretty cool -- Product Shop totally used my reviews for Night 1, Night 2 and Night 3.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Ryan Adams @Town Hall, Dec. 5th

Went again with Bharat to see Ryan Adams & the Cardinals for night two of his three night stand. Tonight I managed to catch the opener, the Little Willies, featuring none other than Norah Jones. They were lovely. Not earthshaking, but lovely. Played for about 1/2 an hour -- a short set of originals and covers. Here's one called "It's Not You, It's Me":

Ryan & Co. came on at about 9:10, a little bit later, and played just short of 11pm. He was this time decked out in a Black Sabbath t-shirt and similar platform boots, just not so shiny and sparkly this time. I'm beginning to think he has some kind of height complex.


He was again talkative, but the direction the music took tonight varied from last night's set. They focused on longer jammier songs, thereby playing fewer songs tonight. Again, he played alternate arrangements of familiar songs, which is why we see live music, right?

So check this out, here's a copy of the setlist given to me by the soundboard dude:


And here's the actual setlist played by the guys:

What Sin Replaces Love?
Nobody Girl
Harder Now That It's Over
Meadowlake Street
Freeway to the Canyon (Neal Casal's song)
Trouble on Wheels

-set break-

Easy Plateau
Goodnight Rose
Cherry Lane
Dear John (w/ Nora Jones)
Stella Blue

So, you can see there was the potential for awesomeness (oh, what could have been!), but perhaps that will be during Night 3?!?!?

Here's the duet "Dear John" from the 2005 album Jacksonville City Nights that he recorded with Norah Jones. Good thing she was there tonight to sing it with him!

Here's an old favorite, "Firecracker":

Overall, I've felt satisfied with the setlists for the last two nights. He hasn't knocked me outta my socks yet, but it's been good. I'm hoping Night 3 really tears it up!!!

Here's a link to all my YouTube videos for tonight.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Ryan Adams @Town Hall, Dec. 4th

Gonna keep this short, cos I really ought to be in bed!

Tonight, with Wawa and Bharat, caught Ryan Adams & the Cardinals for the first of three nights at Town Hall. And yes, I'm going to all three nights. Even missing Kung Fu on Tuesday for him. Why? Cos he stated in his blog that he'd be playing three completely unique setlists. That means no repeats. Ridic.


Ryan was his usual wacky self in between songs. My favorite gem of the evening: "You can take away the booze, but you can't take away the crazy." He made beautiful music for two hours tonight, oftentimes sounding like Ryan Adams covering Ryan Adams. He closed out the evening with a full-on electrified version of "I See Monsters" that Wawa compared to Oasis' "Champagne Supernova." Hmmm...maybe that cover of "Wonderwall" from his EP, Love Is Hell, Pt. 1, was no accident.

Ryan Neal

Here's a clip of him playing a yet to be released cut titled "Blue Hotel":

The setlist:

Magnolia Mountain
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Dear Chicago
Peaceful Valley
Tears of Gold
Cold Roses
New York, New York
Arkham Asylum
-break while Ryan talks-
Kiss Before I Go
Let it Ride (false start)
Let it Ride
Bartering Lines
To Be Young...
Blue Hotel
Beautiful Sorta
The End
Wharf Rat
Expressway to Yr Skull
Shakedown on 9th Street
I See Monsters

It was not his most challenging setlist -- I think I've seen him perform the Dead's "Wharf Rat" a few too many times now -- but if he stays true to his promise of no repeats, then who knows what else he'll pull out of his ass...

You can check out my YouTube for other videos I shot.

Okay...now to sleep, so I can get psyched up for Night 2!