Category Archives: Sounds my ears like

Rock n Rolla

I posted this on my facebook a little while back, but I figured I’d put it here and enhance a bit.

I am a complete audiophile. Not really by the true definition because i don’t know jack about hi-fi technology, but by the wikipedia entry that says it could also mean someone who loves music. I truly, truly do. I love most kinds (obviously some more than others) and thrive on seeing live shows.

At 21, I have seen probably around 75 bands live, many of them multiple times. Spurred by a Facebook note by Eric R. Danton, rock critic at the Hartford Courant (newspaper under fire and my summer and possibly future place of work), I compiled a list of just 50 of the bands I’ve seen. Here, I will provide mini-reviews, too.

Eric Danton is a rock critic. I am a wannabe. Thought I’d see what I could come up with for 50 of the bands I’ve seen live….

I spend a lot of time at concerts, so here’s a sampling of acts I’ve seen live:

1. Dave Matthews Band (including Dave and Tim Reynolds and Dave and Friends) (30x)

Yes, 30. My father took me to my first Dave show at the tender age of 12, and I have averaged 2-3 shows a year since. I’ve sat everywhere from the 4th row all the way back to the lawn, and I’ve loved every second of it. Despite a few shows where I was frustrated with the set list, including this year’s first night at Nikon at Jones Beach in Long Island, I will go as many times as I can afford and until DMB stops touring. Unfortunately, Dave has such strained vocal cords that he had to cancel last night’s performance. I hope he takes some much-needed breaks so he can entertain for years to come!
2. Rolling Stones (5x)

I was born and raised a Rolling Stones fan. My father has a big ol’ man crush on Mick Jagger, and I’m pretty sure they were my favorite out of the womb. My dog’s name is Jagger. My first Stones show was with my entire family when I was about 10 and my brother was 6, and I’ve gone at least once to every tour since. There is nothing like it. The energy of that 60-something year-old man far exceeds my own. Besides, he’s sexy!
3. Taking Back Sunday (4x) Just saw them open for Blink 182, and they now suck.
4. Brand New (2x) A-mazing.One of my very favorite bands, from their pop-punk beginnings to super moody current stuff.
5. Saves the Day (2x) – good when I was 15, not so good now.
6. Incubus – Awesome.
7. Jack Johnson – Surprisingly great live.
8. She and Him – Zooey Deschanel’s voice is like melted butter.
9. Jakob Dylan – Way hotter and way better singer than his father (not to disrespect Mr. Bob Dylan, but everyone knows he cannot sing).
10. Peter Gabriel – One of the coolest sets with very cool effects.
11. Paul McCartney
12. Elton John – Faaaabulous.
13. Stephen and Damian Marley – very cool to see them sing their dad’s songs
14. Black Crowes (3x) – Always sound horrible. Love their studio albums, skip the live shows. Also known to do some weird shit onstage.
15. Tom Petty -thinks he is God, but good nonetheless.
16. Blink 182 (3x) – Do not know how to play their instruments, but fun fun fun. If you’re easily offended by “I fucked your mom (or dad)” jokes, steer clear.
17. No Doubt (2x) – No words. Gwen is a goddess, and they know their stuff.
18. The Strokes  – opened for the Stones once.
19. The Used
20. Dropkick Murphys – very very fun show. Doesn’t matter if you know all the music, great time.
21. Gym Class Heroes (2x)
22. The Format
23. My Morning Jacket
24. Pearl Jam (3x) – One of the very best live acts around. Talented musicians, classic songs.
25. All American Rejects -I took my little brother for his birthday, don’t judge me.
26. Fall Out Boy (2x) – No matter how crappy they might be, I absolutely love them. They were terrible the first time (Warped Tour ’04) and much, much better in ’07.
27. The Academy Is…
28. Coheed and Cambria
29. Weezer (2x) Rocked out both times. This time they were in neon yellow haz mat-type suits (very Devo), but played an amazing set and still rock as much as ever despite their increasingly awful studio albums.
30. Foo Fighters – loud.
31. Coldplay – good, short, played every song I knew and none I didn’t.
32. State Radio – free show at UConn.
33. Dispatch – Zimbabwe benefit shows at MSG, high energy, really great.
34. MGMT – opened for Paul McCartney. Sick gig, eh?
35. OAR -3 too many times
36. Elvis Costello – one of my very favorites ever. Beacon Theater in NYC, sang part of a song a capella without mic from the edge of the stage and everyone could hear it. Great musician.
37. The Slip – $12 at the Webster, first time I’ve ever been there when the place wasn’t packed wall to wall. There were probably about 50-60 in the audience.  Really talented. I mean, no one’s ever heard of them, but “Even Rats” is on Guitar Hero!
38. Sara Barreilles (haha) she opened for maroon 5/counting crows. she plays a piano, cool.
39. Robert Randolph and the Family Band (3x) If you haven’t seen them, do it.
40. Black Eyed Peas – Not the time Fergie peed on stage. At a DMB festival. They were actually kind of good at the time (where is the love era, not all these new horrid songs)
41. Goo goo dolls – opened for the rolling stones
42. The White Stripes – Jack White is God. Best guitar player I’ve seen. Way too short (only about an hour and a half). Meg is practically useless.
43. New Found Glory – Was young.
44. Gwen Stefani solo – Her beauty and awesomeness and my undying love for her makes up for the crap that is her solo music.
45. Girl Talk – Sweaty. Fun. My anxiety prevented me from staying up onstage where you couldn’t move, but it was a great big dance party.
46. Kanye West – opened for the stones, sucks. Can’t run and rap at the same time.
47.Maroon 5 (3x) – Adam Levine is a beautiful sex god, and his songs are as sexy as he is. Fun times.
48. Counting Crows (2x) – Adam Duritz uses live shows as a therapy session, and it’s not a good thing. Although I was fully aware that the band drastically changes melodies and song arrangements live, I did not at all enjoy not being able to sing along. Second time was better, but wouldn’t recommend seeing them if you love their albums.
49. James Taylor – Too mellow, but he’s James Taylor.
50. Jimmy Eat World (2x) – Love. The first time, the band played every song a fan could ask for, and the second was the Clarity 10th anniversary tour, so JEW played Clarity in its entirety and a few other classics.

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Macca at Fenway

Sir Paul
Sir Paul

I went with my dad last night to see Paul McCartney (A BEATLE!!!!) play at Fenway Park. I love the Beatles (can anyone say they don’t?), so I was pretty excited to see the only surviving one (ok, Ringo’s alive, but he so doesn’t count) live.

 

As someone who likes a lot of music that came out twenty years prior to my birth, I’ve been blessed enough to catch the Rolling Stones five times in concert. Seeing the Beatles would be next on my to-do list.
Unfortunately, due to the deaths of the two awesomest (I know it isn’t a word) Beatles, the nicest Beatle and a kick-ass band would have to do.
And they were pretty kick-ass. The drummer, Abe Laboriel, Jr., looked almost pained as he bashed the drums. He kind of looks like the big Hawaaiian guy in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. But you could tell he’s been having the time of his life for the 30 years he’s backed up Sir Paul.
The guitarist and Keyboard/some kind of weird fake horn/harmonica player were also superb.
But Paul. SO good. At first, I couldn’t help but think that with all his plastic surgery, he looked a lot more like my 81-year-old grandmother than everyone’s favorite Beatle. However, it didn’t take long for me to remember why everybody loves him.
Macca engaged everyone in the stadium (which was a TON of people), sharing anecdotes between almost every song and taking in the praise of his audience. In a particularly adorable moment, he spoke of how the Beatles could never hear themselves sing in the early days because of how loud the girls were screaming. Of course, this prompted a very looong scream from the girls (read: middle aged+ women) in the crowd. After the next song, he said he just couldn’t get enough of it, and did it again.
He really was funny. And he sounded GREAT. Not only did his fingers manuever around his lefty guitar as nimbly as ever, but his voice sounded really good, for the most part.
McCartney opened with “Drive My Car” before going into a few of his solo songs and some songs by Wings. The majority of the show was a big ol’ Beatles sing-a-long, though, and it was fabulous.
I have to admit I was on the verge of emotional tears singing the “na na nas” of “Hey Jude” with thousands of people. And the beauty of acoustic numbers like “Blackbird” and “Yesterday” gave me chills.
I also loved the awesome pyrotechnic/firework display during “Live and Let Die” and the ’60s dance moves (mashed potato and all) of the Sarah Palin clone sitting in front of me.
Paul paid tribute to his long-gone friends, mentioning his late wife Linda more than a few times, much to my pleasure (I love Linda, and screw that Heather Mills bitch). He started “Something” with a ukelele, paying homage to my first favorite Beatle, George Harrison, and got everyone to cheer and give a standing ovation for John Lennon. However, I’ve gotta admit, the song he sang after that ovation, one he wrote for Lennon after his untimely death, was downright horribly crafted. Sorry, Paul.
Overall, it was an incredible experience. The fire the Beatles ignited in America in the ’60s was apparent as the older folks all around me danced their hearts out to “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” and it was awesome to snag a piece of the history the Beatles made.

Yummy.

i mean LOOK at him
i mean LOOK at him

In just over 24 hours, I will be anxiously awaiting the arrival of Incubus on stage at the Tweeter Comcast Center in Mansfield, Mass.

I am very excited to be breathing the same air as one of my oldest crushes.
That is all.
‘Til then, I’m going to be house-slash-dog sitting for my auntie and friendsitting (ok, not really) my best girl friend and my best guy friend (not to be confused with my best boyfriend).
Tostitos and pineapple-infused Skyy await 🙂