Sunday, November 30, 2008



Wow - Lots of Dead-related stuff on this day.

11/7/90 - Robert Hunter @ Lisner Auditorium - Washington, DC

Unlike my last post, where I said the novelty of his shows was wearing off, this was my very first Robert Hunter show. I was obviously familiar with his songs. He wrote pretty much all the words to every original song Jerry sang, but I was completely unfamiliar with the songs as performed by him. I still don't have any of his albums - an embarrassment I need to fix ASAP. I'm not sure I was quite prepared for this night. I knew about 80% of the songs he sang - thanks to Jerry - but they were completely reworked from what I was used to. The music, the phrasing, even the melody was different. There were different verses, different breaks - other than the lyrics, some of the songs were just completely different.

But then it hit me that HE actually wrote these songs. THIS is how he envisioned them when he wrote them. THESE are the original interpretations. Jerry and The Dead's versions were nothing more than reworkings of THESE versions of the songs. Once I had that breakthrough, I was able to enjoy this show more. By the time it was over, I was just in awe. I'll readily put Hunter's lyrics up there with Dylan. Just brilliant. Very fun and enlightening night.

11/7/91 - Jerry Garcia Band @ The Capital Centre - Landover, MD

Night 2 of the '91 JGB east coast swing. Jerry shows were just so much fun. The environment was like all of the good stuff that came with a Dead show, but only about 10% of the usual hassles. Everything was just taken down a notch - smaller crowds, less security... everyone just seemed to be there for the music rather than the scene or to party. Everyone just wanted to see Jerry. I miss these shows a lot.

When it comes down to it - JGB was really just a ridiculously good cover band. At least 10 of the 14 songs played tonight were covers. Possibly more, but I'm too lazy to look them up. But Jerry made them his own. We got the debut of Van Morrison's "Bright Side of The Road" tonight. A rare "Rubin and Cherise," another stunning "Shining Star," some Stones, Clapton, Chuck Berry and, of course, some Dylan. No encore tonight.

I had a really crappy tape of this one. So crappy that I think I only listened to it a few times. I've got it in a box somewhere around here. Maybe I'll give it another play this week.

I: How Sweet It Is/They Love Each Other/Forever Young/Let It Rock/Lay Down Sally/And It Stoned Me/Let's Spend The Night Together
II: Bright Side Of The Road/Shining Star/Tore Up Over You/Rubin and Cherise/Like A Road/Breadbox/Tangled Up In Blue

11/7/93 - Jerry Garcia Band @ USAir Arena - Landover, MD

Same band. Same venue (albeit with a different name). Exactly 2 years later.

Once again Jerry had avoided the east coast for a couple years and returned in the Fall of '93, about a month after The Dead's annual Fall tour. This was a pretty standard JGB show for the time. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nicely played and another amazing show. I vaguely remember running to the bathroom during Senor - a Dylan song I thought was quite boring at the time. What an idiot. I'd kill to see Jerry play that song now.

Unfortunately, this was the last time I'd get to see the Jerry Garcia Band.

I: How Sweet It Is/Stop That Train/You Never Can Tell/Run For The Roses/Senor/My Sisters and Brothers/Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
II: The Way You Do The Things You Do/Waiting For A Miracle/Money Honey/Knockin' On Heaven's Door/Don't Let Go/Mississippi Moon/Tangled Up In Blue

11/7/2004 - R.E.M. @ The A.J. Palumbo Center - Pittsburgh, PA

My more detailed original post about this one is here.

5th Row, right in front of Peter. Excellent. Without repeating everything from my original post, it was a pretty standard night for the tour. The rocking songs rocked. The Around The Sun songs were dull, while still being better than on the cd. They were more talkative and seemed to generally be in a better mood than they were in NYC. I wish Peter would bring back the banjo. Not much old stuff tonight.

This would be my last R.E.M. show until 2008. boooooo.

Finest Worksong / Begin The Begin / The Wake-Up Bomb / Animal / Boy In The Well / Imitation Of Life / High Speed Train / So. Central Rain / The Outsiders / Electrolite / I've Been High / The One I Love / I Wanted To Be Wrong / (Don't Go Back To) Rockville / Final Straw / Losing My Religion / Walk Unafraid / Life And How To Live It
encore: What's The Frequency, Kenneth? / Drive / Sweetness Follows / Leaving New York / Permanent Vacation / I'm Gonna DJ / Man On The Moon

(as usual - setlist courtesy of the awesome R.E.M. Timeline.)



11/6/91 - The Jerry Garcia Band @ The Capital Centre - Landover, MD

I hadn't seen the JGB in a couple years. They didn't play out east all that often. This was the first stop on Jerry's brief east coast tour. Man, I wish I had seen Jerry more often. This show kind of blends together with the show the next night, but there were a couple of interesting things of note here. First - the debut of "Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox - a bouncy little tune that quickly became a favorite. There was also my first "Shining Star" - an absolutely beautiful version. Nice and slow and looong. Wow. But the real highlight of the night was the encore - a cover of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World." The JGB was kind of famous for rarely playing encores at all. Once the set was over - that's it. So we were pretty happy to have him come back and give us anything. But this It's such a perfect song for Jerry. So sweet and pretty. Perfect for his now aging voice. It's hard to listen to this one without tearing up a bit.

I don't think I ever found a copy of this one. Jerry didn't allow taping, so quality copies were hard to come by. I'd love to track one down.

I: Cats Under The Stars/Stop That Train/You Never Can Tell/Run For The Roses/Simple Twist Of Fate/Breadbox/My Sisters And Brothers/Deal
II: The Way You Do The Things You Do/Waiting For A Miracle/Money Honey/Shining Star/Struggling Man/Don't Let Go/Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
E: What A Wonderful World

11/6/98 Robert Hunter @ Lithuanian Hall - Baltimore, MD

My only real memory of this one was what an odd venue choice it was. It looked like we should have been at a wedding reception or something. There was just an open floor, but there were folding chairs available, so people were just grabbing chairs and setting them up wherever they pleased. So there were people sitting on the floor, some in chairs, some standing right against the stage, some inappropriately dancing all over the place. They were selling drinks off of a folding table in the back. Odd night. Hunter is a lot like modern Dylan. You have to really be in the mood for him and know that his style is very different from they way you're used to hearing his songs. I remember thinking he was pretty good, but the novelty of seeing him was wearing off.

Saturday, November 29, 2008



11/5/79 - The Eagles @ The Capital Centre - Landover, MD

One of my very first concerts. For my 14th birthday I really really really wanted to go see Billy Joel. He was touring for 52nd Street - one of my favorite records at the time. My sister agreed to take me to that show. We drove up to Hecht's in beautiful Marlow Heights to get tickets. The only seats they had left were waaaaayyy up at the top near the back. Ugh. Even back then I didn't want crappy seats. My sister asked the woman behind the counter if there were any other shows coming up and she suggested The Eagles. My sister and I both loved The Eagles, so we decided to check what was left for that show. There was a pair of seats in 110 - directly on the side about 12 rows from the stage. Perfect.

The Eagles were touring for The Long Run, which was pretty damn big at the time. They played hit after hit - and they had plenty of them. "Hotel California," "Life In The Fast Lane," "Heartache Tonight," "Take It Easy" and on and on. Joe Walsh even played "Life's Been Good." Didn't expect that one. I was quite possibly the happiest soon-to-be-14-year-old on the planet. Thanks, Sis.

I have to admit I still have a soft spot for The Eagles' music, but I can't bring myself to go see them again or even buy any of their music. I blame them for single-handedly pushing ticket prices over the $100 mark. But I'll admit I almost caved-in this last time they came around. And I know it's only a matter of time before I pick up Hotel California and The Long Run. I'm weak like that.

11/5/2006 - The Slits/Apes @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

I remember hearing that The Slits were one of the most important bands in the history of the world, so I figured I should see them on their big reunion tour. They always seemed to me to be one of those bands people liked talking about, yet nobody ever listened to. Based on the small crowd that turned up, I'd say I was right. In short - they were booooring. I'm not sure what I expected, but I sure didn't get it.

The Apes (is there a "The" in there?") however were out of control. Holy crap what a fantastic opening set they put on. My original review described them as "Space-Age Psychedelia over-powered by Black Sabbath". All kinds of awesome all rolled into one. Great band. Don't miss them, if you get a chance to check them out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008



11/4/2004 - R.E.M. @ Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

This was the first show after Bush won for the second time. The band didn't hesitate to let their feelings be known, opening the show with "It's The End Of The World As We Know It." That's a first. What a completely different vibe from the DC show just a few nights before. All of the hope and optimism had vanished. Still a fun show though. That may have had something to do with meeting my friend Kevin before the show. He's trouble - but in a good way.

A few too many slow ones in this set. New York deserves an all-out rocking show. Highlights were "Begin The Begin" and "Life And How To Live It." Those never get old. Note that they were playing "I'm Gonna DJ" every night. That song wouldn't show up on a record until 2008's Accelerate.

It's too bad we didn't get to stay longer, but we had to get back home the next day. I really need to stop with these hit-and-run trips to NYC.

More details over at my original post about this one. I forgot that Stipe dropped his pants. I don't think I've seen the Ernie puppet since this show.

It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) / Begin The Begin / So Fast, So Numb / Animal / Boy In The Well / Welcome To The Occupation / The Outsiders / Get Up / High Speed Train / Cuyahoga / Sweetness Follows / The One I Love / I Wanted To Be Wrong / Imitation Of Life / Final Straw / Losing My Religion / Walk Unafraid / Life And How To Live It
encore: What's The Frequency, Kenneth? / Drive / Leaving New York / Electrolite / Permanent Vacation / I'm Gonna DJ / Man On The Moon

11/4/2005 - Monopoli/Routineers/Washington Social Club (Acoustic) @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

We went to this one to catch WSC play an acoustic set. It was interesting, if a bit awkward. I don't think it really gelled. More annoying - I seem to remember them playing for about 30 minutes or so. Really short. hrmph.

Stuck around for Routineers, who I liked more than I did at the Fort Reno show earlier in the summer. They've got that typical Dischord hard-rocking sound, but Amanda's voice sets them apart form the standard Dischord fare a little. Comparisons to Fire Party are inevitable, if not completely fair. Especially when Amanda isn't singing. duh. Good band. I don't know if they still exist. I haven't heard anything from them in a long time. I highly recommend their cd.

Monopoli....hmmm...I remember them being fairly generic sounding, but that's about it. Not bad, but not terribly intriguing. I think we left early. Dinger doesn't have the patience for checking out many bands he's not familiar with and I got him to stay through Routineers, so I agreed to head out.

11/4/2006 - These Arms Are Snakes/French Toast @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

I didn't really remember much about this show until I looked-up my original review. Turns out I thought These Arms Are Snakes were pretty much fantastic live. Doesn't sound like I really dug their music much (which explains why I forgot about them), but their live show was killer. It's for reasons like that that I started a blog - to help me remember crap like that. I'm old, you know. I forget things.

French Toast never disappoints. Have they officially broken up? They're never around anymore.

11/4/2008 - Bad Brains @ 9:30 - Washington, DC

Hey HR - I hope we didn't interrupt any other important plans you had tonight. God forbid you do more than stand there with a really apathetic look on your face, talking your way through the songs, not even pretending to be interested in the show. The crowd didn't have anything else to do anyway - being election night and all. We were more than happy to watch you barely go through the motions. Thanks a ton!

At least the band sounded great. hrmph.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008



11/3/2007 The Thermals/Reporter @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

I went to this one based on the recommendation of the folks on the 9:30 Forum. I remember thinking The Thermals were good, but I didn't get what all the hype was about. I need to look into them again. I think these guys just got lost in the shuffle of me going to a bunch of shows in late October/early November. Busy busy busy.

Yeah - Not a terribly useful entry. It's all I've got for 11/3 though. Oh well...



11/2/91 - The Psychedelic Furs @ The Smith Center, GWU - Washington, DC

Were The Furs even putting out records at this point? They were my favorite band in the early 80's, until R.E.M. took over that spot sometime around 1985 or so. Their records were seriously lacking by the late 80's, but I still saw them every chance I got. Mostly out of obligation, I guess. Maybe I was just growing out of them. I remember being bored at this show. I sat in the back of the half-empty arena wondering why I didn't really seem to like them much anymore.

I probably like them more now than I did in the early 90's. And it turns out those late 80's records really weren't all that bad.

11/2/96 - George Clinton & The P-Funk All-Stars @ DAR Constitution Hall - Washington, DC

For a while in the mid-90's I thought P-Funk was the greatest band on the planet. On a good night, they probably were. Great jams and the Funk that was just impossible to stand still for. After a few hours the lights came up and the band kept playing until they got cutoff. I thought that was the coolest. Later I learned that this was just part of their schtick, but it was fun at the time. This show was one of the few times I actually got to see The Mothership in its full glory. Give up the funk.

11/2/2001 Iggy Pop @ 9:30 Club - Washington, DC

I hadn't seen Iggy in about 15 years - not since the Blah Blah Blah tour. Back then I didn't know too much of his material back then, but was pretty much amazed at watching him perform. This time was different. Last time was in a small basketball arena, where he was the opening act and very few people even knew who he was. But this show was in a club - jam-packed with rabid fans that were all craving some Iggy. He did not disappoint. Everyone needs to see Iggy at least once. The man is just amazing to watch. The crowd was just crazy. The show was a mix of solo stuff and a handful of Stooges songs. At some point the stage was completely taken over by the crowd - at Iggy's request. I wasn't expecting that. I was too far back to make my way up there. You can bet I'll be there next time.

Iggy is King.


Mark My Words...

At some point this weekend I'm going to hurt myself imitating Tina's "Proud Mary" dancing.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Rose Bowl!

Thursday, November 20, 2008



11/1/2004 - R.E.M. @ DAR Constitution Hall - Washington, DC

R.E.M. in DC the evening before Election Day 2004. They were just here a few weeks earlier on the Vote For Change tour. Everyone was in a great mood. Everyone was optimistic about the election. Surely America wouldn't make the same mistake twice!

Unfortunately, they were touring for Around The Sun - easily my least favorite R.E.M. record. BOOORRIIINNNGGG!!! Yes, the songs sound far better live than on the record, but can only do so much with them. We got to see the first performance of "The Ascent of Man." Cool, I guess. The show was tons of fun though. It's always fun seeing them in DC, because I usually know a bunch of people at the show, rather than being the stranger in town. Nice selection of songs. You can't go wrong when the set includes "These Days", "Cuyahoga", "So. Central Rain", "Life And How To Live It", etc. We even got a brief, sloppy version of Springsteen's "Born To Run." 7th row seats. Thanks, fan club.

Even supporting their worst record, R.E.M. puts on a great show.

Around The Sun / Begin The Begin / These Days / Animal / Boy In The Well / Cuyahoga / High Speed Train / So. Central Rain / Electron Blue / Imitation Of Life / Ascent Of Man / Bad Day / I Wanted To Be Wrong / The One I Love / Final Straw / Losing My Religion / Walk Unafraid / Life and How To Live It

encore: What's The Frequency, Kenneth? / Country Feedback / Leaving New York / Born To Run / Permanent Vacation / I'm Gonna DJ / Man On The Moon

Old post on this one here.

11/ 1/2006 Oxford Collapse/Chin Up Chin Up @ The Black Cat Backstage

I heart Oxford Collapse. I've seen them a few times now and they've never disappointed. Similar in style to We Are Scientists, who they always seem to be on tour with. That makes for a great double-bill. Their music makes me want to jump around. That's always a good thing. Rock music you can dance to. Love it. Plus they always look like they're giving it their all and having a great time doing it. That goes a long way. I recall liking Chin Up Chin Up, but I don't really remember why and I never looked into them any further. Terrible name. At least there are no exclamation points in their name!!!

No stub. They didn't sell Backstage tickets for shows at this point.

11/ 1/2007 Van Halen @ The Verizon Center - Washington, DC


I told myself that if David Lee Roth ever got back together with Van Halen I'd be there, come hell-or-high-water. Of course, I never expected it to happen. Even after it was announced I didn't believe it. Even after I bought tickets I just assumed they'd implode and I'd need a refund. That's happened to me before (I'm looking at you, Courtney.) But Lo, Behold, they actually showed up.

And they f--king rocked.

All the hits. None of that Hagar crap. If these guys hate each other, you'd never know it. DLR is one of the all-time great rock frontmen. He's all about the show. I forgot how many great songs they had - and they just kept coming. Great night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008



10/31/93 - Jerry Garcia Band @ The Meadowlands - East Rutherford, NJ

A friend of mine got married on 10/30 in Reading, PA - my tour buddy Steve's hometown. We drove up there for the wedding and crashed at his parents' place. The next morning we got up bright and early and headed for NYC. We parked the car in The Village and spend the day eating and drinking our way around Manhattan. I was kind of surprised to be approached by kids trick-or-treating in the bars - basically asking for change. At least they had costumes on. Cute. I guess we left around 5:00 or so and headed out to Jersey for the show.

I remember running into my friends David, Barb and Nancy inside. David was dressed as Bullwinkle, Nance as some ghost-like thing.

I didn't get to see the JGB enough. It just never seemed like a priority. Every show I did see was killer, but I always waited for Jerry to come to me rather than go to him. Bad decision. This show was wonderful. Probably the best seats I ever had for a JGB show. We hadn't seen the JGB in a couple years. Every song was a treat. From the rollicking "How Sweet It Is" to the georgeous "Shining Star" and "Lucky Old Sun," to the expected "Werewolves of London" encore, this show was perfect from start to finish. I couldn't wait for next week's show at the Capital Centre.

We had to work the next day, so after the show we bolted to the car, ready to jump on the Turnpike for the mad dash home. It was a little chilly, so I went into the trunk to get our jackets. Much to my surprise, they were gone. Along with our bags of clothes, my suit I brought for the wedding, my toolbox - everything. Gone. Someone stole it all. Dammit. A closer look showed that someone had damaged (but didn't break) the lock to my trunk. My guess is that people saw us park in Manhattan, watched us load everything into the trunk and broke-in after we left. Crappy way to spend an otherwise awesome weekend.

I: How Sweet It Is, He Ain't Give You None, Forever Young, Run For The Roses, Money Honey, Lay Down Sally, My Sisters And Brothers, Deal
II: Shining Star, The Maker, Tore Up Over You, Wonderful World, Ain't No Bread In The Breadbox, Lucky Old Sun, Midnight Moonlight
E: Werewolves of London

10/31/03 The Phobes/The Whips/Washington Social Club @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

I may actually have these in reverse order. I don't really remember. I can't remember if I primarily went to this show to see The Phobes or WSC. I had never seen any of them before. All I know is I came away really liking The Phobes, but I totally fell in love with WSC. I think Olivia was dressed as an angel. She was definitely wearing wings. She looked cute as hell jumping around, totally rocking-out with these wings flapping around on her back. They barely survived the set. One of the other guys was dressed as a devil, I think. They put on a helluva show for a not-too-full Black Cat. Dinger and I became instant fans and tried to see them every chance we got over the next few years. It was interesting to watch them and their audience grow over those few years. I wish I had the stub from this one.

Monday, November 17, 2008



10/29/05 - Medications @ The Black Cat

Don and I had tickets to this one, but we didn't end up going. I seem to recall that the plan was to stop by a party at this guy's place, then leave early to hit the show. We ended up staying at the party and never made it to the show.



Nothing on 10/27. What's up with that?

10/28/05 - The Fleshtones/The Kissers @ Iota - Arlington, VA

I hate Iota. The stage is about 5-inches tall (is there even a stage? I can't remember). There's a divider in the middle of the room that blocks your view unless you're 2 feet from the stage or way off to the right. They allow smoking. They don't do advance tickets, so you need to get there really early to get in for anyone with any name recognition. It's in Virginia. I hate Virginia, too. So if I make the effort to go to Iota, you know it's a can't-miss show for me.

The Fleshtones are consistently one of the best rock and roll bands out there. Even in the small, stuffy room that is Iota, The Fleshtones are dancing in the middle of the crowd, standing on the soundboard and eventually ending up jumping around on the bar - all while totally rocking out. It's a non-stop party. They've got that mid-60's garage rock sound, with a slight 80's punk ethos about them. It's criminal that their record Hexbreaker never made it to cd.

Oh - You old folks may recognize their singer, Peter Zaremba, as the host of MTV's really old, but super-awesome show The Cutting Edge.

I just noticed they release a Xmas record this year called Stocking Stuffer. I need to get on that one ASAP.



10/26/98 - Planet Drum @ Lisner Auditorium - Washington, DC

The first Planet Drum tour was a life-changing experience. For a fleeting moment I considered quitting my job, getting in the car and running away to follow them around. I didn't, of course, but it was very, very tempting. So I was really excited for this show, when it came around some 7 years later. Maybe my expectations were too high, but this version fell flat. The first Planet Drum was all about the rhythm, while this version seemed to be more about the groove. I don't know if it's because there were more electronics involved or what, but I wasn't feeling that "global drum circle" vibe I had from the first tour. It seemed less communal and more structured and polished. The cd they were supporting was Supralingua. I kind of tossed it aside at the time, but it sounds ok now. Nowhere close to Planet Drum or At The Edge though.

Mickey's Global Drum Project show last year (see my 10/11 post) blew this PD show away by a mile. I'll go see Mickey any chance I get though.



10/25/05 - Social Distortion @ 9:30

Social D is one of those bands that has been around forever, I had heard about for years, but I never bothered to listen to. The only song of theirs I knew of was "Ball and Chain" and for years I thought that was a lame Replacements track. But a friend of mine is a Social D fanatic, had an extra ticket and pretty much insisted that I go. He made me a compilation CD and I watched Another State Of Mind (one of many of DVDs I've bought and never got around to for years) the week of the show.

It turned into a really fun night. Social D was a good punk band that has turned into a really good rock band - the same way X and The Ramones were really just rock bands at heart. I had a great time and the crowd was really into it. They put on a great, fun show. I can see where they'd be the kind of band that's fun to see on a Saturday night after having a few too many beers. I'm not sure I see why some people are so insane for them, but I'd gladly go see them again.

Thursday, November 13, 2008



10/24/86 - R.E.M./Camper Van Beethoven @ The Syria Mosque - Pittsburgh, PA

My 2nd and favorite R.E.M. show.

My senior year in college. There were 7 of us that wanted to make the 3+ hour trip to Pittsburgh for this show, so we had to take 2 cars. I drove one car and another guy borrowed a car from one of our frat brothers. We were kind of an odd collection of guys - all in the same fraternity, but we weren't the best of friends at the time. But a few of them needed rides and cars were scarce, so we all went to the show together.

The trip was pretty uneventful. Our seats for the show were in the balcony waaaayyy off to the side. So far that we couldn't see the whole stage. We sat there through Camper Van Beethoven - who were terrific. They played a big chunk of Telephone Free Landslide Victory and threw in a cover of Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive". Excellent.

Then R.E.M. came on and everyone on the floor rushed the stage. That, in turn, caused a bunch of people to leave the balcony for better seats. We moved over to the center of the balcony and had a perfect view, without having to deal with the crowd.

They were touring for Lifes Rich Pageant. The setlist was most of that, plus a smattering of songs from each of their other records. There wasn't a lot of downtime at this show. They just rocked rocked rocked. I'd kill for a setlist like this again. Opening with "These Days," "Harborcoat" and "Sitting Still" was just insane. We were all jumping around like idiots. I remember during "West of the Fields" I was dancing so hard that my glasses flew off my face and down a couple rows. Songs of note included "The One I Love" and "Oddfellows Local 151," both of which would appear on Document a year later. Also covers of "Radar Love" and Iggy's "Funtime." This may have been the only time I got to see "Flowers of Guatemala" and "Shaking Through." I should look that up.

Anyway - the show was just amazing. Afterwards, the guys I drove wanted to head home, but the other guys wanted to stay and hang out in Pittsburgh for the night. I gave my friends my keys and told them to go - I'd come back with the other guys. We ended up at one of their friends' apartments, drinking and listening to records all night. We wandered around Pittsburgh the next morning and headed home. I vaguely remember giving the only 21 year old $10 and he came back with a case of warm Red, White & Blue beer, which we consumed on the way home. I also remember us driving the borrowed car through a corn field at some point. Ah, college. We got back just in time to watch PSU stomp Alabama on tv.

This show also ended up being one of the first bootlegs I ever owned. This show was released as the "Rolling Stone" bootleg. Bootlegs were hard to find back then. Any R.E.M. boot was a real find, but a show I was at? I was more than thrilled - not matter how bad the sound quality.

These Days / Harborcoat / Sitting Still / The One I Love / West Of The Fields / Shaking Through / Feeling Gravitys Pull / White Tornado / The Flowers Of Guatemala / Maps And Legends / Driver 8 / I Believe / Seven Chinese Brothers / Unknown Instrumental / Superman / Can't Get There From Here / Pretty Persuasion / Auctioneer (Another Engine) / Little America
encore 1: Cushy Tush / Fall On Me / Cuyahoga / 1,000,000
encore 2: Oddfellows Local 151 / Radar Love / Funtime

10/24/03 - The Weakerthans/Maritime/Mico @ The Black Cat

I wanted to check out Maritime and had nothing better to do, so I swung by the club. For some reason I want to say I liked Mico, but I really don't remember anything about them. I didn't know them then. I don't know them now. Just a feeling. Maritime was good, once I got over the fact that they weren't The Dismemberment Plan. The place was pretty packed for The Weakerthans - a band I had never even heard of. I left early. I didn't leave early very often in 2003. They must have really, really bored me.

10/24/04 - Blogjam @ DC9 - Washington, DC

Not a concert, but a bunch of bloggers reading some of their more entertaining stuff. Jimbo, Chrisafer, Andrew Sullivan, JoeMyGod, Geekslut and a few others read. Bob hosted. Very fun night.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008



10/23/03 - Q And Not U/French Toast @ Warehouse Next Door

This was my first time seeing Q And Not U. First time for French Toast. First time at The Warehouse.

I miss the Warehouse Next Door. It was small. Really small. Like seeing a band in your living room small. When it was packed to the gills it held maybe 100 people. French Toast opened. They were a duo back then, playing this weird, experimental, kind of electric-indie-rock-hybrid mix of music. They were just pretty mesmerizing. I picked up their Bugman EP and they became my new favorite local band. For a while anyway.

I didn't really know much about Q And Not U yet. I knew they were local favorites and I had heard a few interesting tracks online. I was debating whether or not to go when an online friend insisted that I go, because I'd never have a chance to see them in a venue this small again. They were correct. I'd love to say that they totally blew me away and it was a life-changing show and I became an instant hardcore fan - but none of that would be true. I thought they were good. Not great, but good. Definitely worth looking into further, but I didn't quite "get it" yet. My loss.

Over time I definitely "got it" though. They were a pretty incredible band. I wish I could go back and see this show again. I'll bet they were actually pretty amazing. I wasn't really a good judge at the time, being so unfamiliar with them. At least I got to see them a handful of times after I fully appreciated them. I hope they eventually come back. I'm not holding my breath though.

No ticket stub. The Warehouse didn't sell advanced tickets. I really liked the Warehouse. DC needs more places like that.

10/23/04 - Death Cab For Cutie/Pretty Girls Make Graves @ 9:30
10/23/05 - Death Cab For Cutie/Stars @ 9:30

Same date two years in a row. Interesting. Anyway - These kind of blend together. I remember thinking Pretty Girls Make Graves were pretty fantastic. I remember thinking Stars didn't live up to the hype. The '04 show was my second show on the Transatlanticism tour. Damn, I love that record. The '05 show was on the Plans tour. There seemed to be a lot more Jennifer-types at the '05 gig. Lots of singing along loudly to the new record. I remember thinking they had already outgrown 9:30 and should be playing bigger halls. I think I was hanging out with Chrisafer at this one.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008



10/22/89 - The Grateful Dead @ Charlotte Coliseum - Charlotte, NC

Our last show of Fall Tour 1989. This one was a bit of a haul - Philly Friday/Charlotte Sunday. We drove down on Saturday and stayed in the nastiest motel I've ever been in. The windows were broken, it was dirty and it was about 25 feet from the airport runway. Ugh.

The Coliseum was brand new. Nice and shiny. I seem to remember sort of an inner concourse around the top. Kind of a walkway that went around the whole arena. That gave us the ability to go up to the concourse and have plenty of dancing room, all while staying inside the arena and getting to see the band at the same time. It was nice to be able to do both. We'd usually have to choose.

I always liked Sunday shows. They were always a bit mellower and had more of a family vibe to them. This was a really nice show. Nothing incredibly amazing, yet nothing less than very, very good. "Johnny B. Goode" was a nice way to end the first set. That never happens. It's always the encore. We got "Beat It On Down The Line" - my 2nd of only 4 times I'd ever get to see that one. Verrry nice "Bird Song." We got the expected "Samson and Delilah" - a standard Sunday sermon. Then it happened again. "chunk chunka-chunk chunka-chunk BAM!" "Help One The Way" again. After not playing it for years, we saw every comeback occurrence of it on the Fall Tour. Most people were lucky to get it once. We got it four times. Conversely, we missed every "Dark Star" and "Attics." This one came just before drums. How weird is that? I don't think they've ever done that before. Always a surprise with these guys. Typically great '89 show. We had no idea how spoiled we were at this time. The band was consistently fantastic.

We had to work on Monday, so we drove home right after the show. It took about 8 hours, I think. Lots of coffee stops. I remember getting stuck in rush hour traffic in Virginia on our way home. I thought for sure I was going to fall asleep while driving. We made it though. Home. Shower. Work by 10:00. Not bad.

1: Foolish Heart, Minglewood, 1/2 Step, Queen Jane, Ramble On Rose, BIODTL, Bird Song, JBG
2: Blow Away, Samson, Help>Slip>Franklin's, Drums/Space, Miracle, Stella Blue, Throwing Stones,Not Fade Away
e: Black Muddy River

10/22/2005 - Ambulance Ltd./We Are Scientists @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

Original review here. This was my 3rd time seeing Ambulance, Ltd. They hadn't put out anything new in a long time. They were good, but I was starting to get bored with them. You can only tour for that one album for so long. We Are Scientists opened and completely blew them away. Fun, frantic, dance-rock. They had the whole place hopping. They instantly became one of my favorite new bands and they didn't even have an album out yet.

Oh - Ambulance still hasn't put out a new album yet. sheesh.

10/22/2008 - A Place To Bury Strangers @ 9:30 - Washington, DC

I'm not sure how they went from being an opening act at The Rock and Roll Hotel to headlining 9:30 in just a few months. Not that it matters, because I ended up bailing on this one. A late show with 2 opening acts? On a Wednesday? There was no way they would be coming on before midnight. I'm too old for that sh*t. I decided to just eat the $12 and get a decent night's sleep.

Turned out to be a good decision. They didn't come on until after midnight and played for less than an hour. I would have been tired and totally pissed off, had I gone. They're a great band though. I was looking forward to this one. If it wasn't for the logistics I definitely would have gone.

Sunday, November 02, 2008



10/21/2001 - The Damned/Swingin' Utters @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC

The previous time The Damned came to town I blew them off to see The Grateful Dead. I'll bet I'm the only person in town that had a problem choosing between those shows. Anyway - I wasn't going to miss this chance. I called up a couple of my old high school buddies for this one - they guys I used to hit all the hardcore shows with back in the day. They're married with kids these days and rarely go to shows. Even they weren't gonna miss this one though.

I was totally unfamiliar with the Swingin' Utters. I'm not sure if they were an old band that The Damned just brought along for old-times sake, or if they're a new band that just sounded like the old-school stuff. I guess it doesn't matter. They sounded great and were tons of fun. Good choice for an opener. Glad we got there early.

I don't remember everything The Damned played. I just remember it was a mix of the classics and a few tracks off of Grave Disorder, which just came out. I think the Captain played a bit of "Happy Talk," too, but I could be wrong about that. My college buddy, Mike, told me that the last time he saw The Damned Captain Sensible played naked for a while. Unfortunately (fortunately?) that didn't happen. I think there were fuzzy pants though. I remember my friend David being excited to be in the pit again. Unfortunately, he forgot to have us hold his glasses and they ended up getting stomped on. Oops.

The show was really undersold. A shame. The Damned are one of the best and they still put on a great show. They have a new record coming out this month. They're coming back to the Cat in December. I'm all over that one. You should be, too. Don't miss this one.

10/21/2004 - Laurie Anderson @ Lisner Auditorium - Washington, DC

My old, longer review of this one is here. Laurie had become , NASA's "Artist in Residence" so she talked a bit about that. No real songs tonight, other than some violin solos. I was in the front row - right on the center aisle. Great seat (obviously), but it was a little awkward having her stare right at me when she was talking. Laurie never disappoints. I'll see her every time she comes to town.

Saturday, November 01, 2008



10/20/81 - Foreigner/Billy Squier - Capital Centre - Landover, MD

Foreigner was one of the biggest bands in the land at the time. Touring for 4 , this was a show not to be missed.

Billy Squier opened. Not very surprising - he was opening for just about everybody back then. I loved him at the time. I still kinda do, actually. Don't Say No is a pretty kick-ass rock record. It didn't hurt that I thought he was kinda hot. (Insert "Stroke Me" joke here.)

This was actually the second time I had seen Foreigner. I was quite the fanboy at the time. Fun show - all the hits. "Jukebox Hero," "Urgent," "Cold As Ice," "Double Vision"... We were the envy of all my little high school friends. Great time, even though...ummm...I think my mom took me and my friends. And not "I'll come back and pick you up later." More like "I have a ticket and I'll be sitting with you all night." For the most part my mom was cool about stuff like that though. The only time she was annoying was when people were lighting up around us. At least she was willing to take us, since we couldn't drive ourselves yet. That would change soon though.

10/20/89 - The Grateful Dead @ The Spectrum - Philly, PA

Nice, long first set on this one - 10 songs. That ..."Memphis Blues..." is just crazy. Bob at his sqwawkiest. "OHHHH! OOHHHH MAMA!!!! " hehe. Love that song. The big surprise tonight came at the end of the set. They had just finished "Promised Land" - which is always the last song of the set (if they play it), but they didn't leave the stage. Jerry finally hit a few chords than started playing something unfamiliar. It turned out to be a country song called "California Earthquake," originally by Rodney Crowell. The big SF earthquake was just a few days earlier. There was talk of the band going home and bailing on the tour, but they stuck it out. This was their first acknowledgement of the disaster that was going on at home. This was the first of only two times they'd play it. The chorus:

California earthquake you just don't know what you've done
We may fall off in the ocean, but you'll never make us run
You're a partner of the devil, but we ain't afraid of him
We'll build ourselves another town so you can tear it down again

brought lots of cheers from the crowd. Nice moment.

The second set was a totally rockin' dance-fest if there ever was one. "Hey Pocky Way" opened the set - the only time I'd ever get to see that one. "Scarlet>Fire>Truckin'" kept things going quite nicely. There's always a nice long jam after "Truckin'" and we were expecting "Space" to follow, but they started hinting at "The Other One." They never play that song pre-drums anymore, so we figured it was just a hint of things to come. But it kept going and going. They never actually got to the song, but they danced around the overall theme of it in all kinds of different ways. And it went on for like 10 minutes. Wow. I know it sounds pretty dorky if you're not into it - but that was a pretty exciting little jam they pulled out. They finally got to the song post-space. Actually, it was after "I Will Take You Home". God, I used to hate when they played that song right after space. buzz-kill. And, of course, the encore was "Brokedown Palace," as usual for the Spectrum.

Another classic 1989 show. The band is kicking these days. One more show for us and our Fall Tour '89 is over.

10/20/2007 - Bob Mould "Circle of Friends" movie/solo performance.

As part of the Reel Affirmations Film Festival last year they had a showing of Bob's new Circle Of Friends DVD. If you haven't seen it yet, you should. It kicks some serious butt. And I'm not just saying that because I was there when they filmed it. Anyway - after the screening Bob came out and did a handful of songs. It's the only time I've asked Bob for an autograph. I felt a little awkward about that.

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