Liquid Fucking Swords. One of the best albums of all time. For real, up there with the best of them. I know what you're thinking....is Liquid Swords really the best Wu Tang album? and even if it is, is it that much better than 36 Chambers or Cuban Linx? does this mean that multiple Wu albums are in the Top 10 or 20 Best Albums ever? I'm not about to give a definitive answer on the best Wu album ever as I can never decide, but the answer to that last question is yes. Those 3 albums - Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers and Only Built for Cuban Linx - are pretty much all equal in my mind and all in the running for best albums ever. Up there with the Beatles and shit. So yes, this show, which was billed as GZA PERFORMS LIQUID SWORD (sic), was the fucking tops...and we'd seen it before. and this was better.
Back in 2008, right in the heart of the "bands playing their classic albums start to finish" era, I bought tickets to a GZA show....shortly thereafter a message was posted (or I just noticed) that The GZA would be playing all of Liquid Swords. Heaven fell to earth and landed right into the ticket clutched in my hand. And the show was just that. Heavenly. A sold out Irving Plaza packed to the brim with suburban white boys reciting every word Office Space style. Exactly what the GZA had in mind when he wrote the album I imagine....
When you mention to people that you have pit tickets to a Nine Inch Nails show or a Tool show or a Wu Tang show, you (or I at least) almost always get the concerned look followed by the "oh man, how intense/hardcore is that?" And the answer is always the same.....not at all. If it were still the early/mid '90s maybe things would be different, but it's not. The crowd is filled with aging rockers more prone to standing arms crossed doing the head bob, or white suburban kids going nuts as if they know from experience exactly what the GZA talking about. And no.....we are not pretending we're not a part of these groups. And I am not not using double negatives galore.
So what have I told you about this show so far....not a whole lot, so let's get down to it. First off, there was some false advertising here. The lights go down, Shogun Assassin kicks in and we hear....When I was little, my father was famous....and the crowd goes nuts....People said his brain was infected by devils...again, going nuts...That was the night everything changed...and the crowd starts going at the top of their lungs (once again, Office Space style) "When the Emcees came to live out the name...." though the GZA goes into Duel of the Iron Mic...and the crowd goes confused.
So yeah, while the GZA played most of Liquid Swords, unlike the 2008 show where he played it start to finish, he didn't do it in order nor did he play the whole thing. It didn't matter though because it was sick and he also treated us to a GZA rendering of Shimmy Shimmy Ya, C.R.E.A.M. and (I believe) a Ghostface tune though can't remember which at the moment. It was fucking awesome...and what pushed it over the top was the backing band, Grupo Fantasma.
My biggest issue with Wu shows is 1) the fact that they typically just spit one verse of a song, just long enough for you to get into it, and then stop, making the whole show seem like a giant medley and 2) the fact that they usually have no live instrumentation what so ever and it sounds like them rapping along to a tape in the boombox with the mix/volume of the vocals and music all fucked up and, I swear, sometimes you can even hear the vocals from the record bleeding through too. Both of these issues were nonexistent.
I was both excited and worried about there being a backing band - excited for the aforementioned reason and worried because I saw the GZA do Liquid Swords (the song) with Wavves on youtube...and it wasn't very good. Grupo Fantasma killed it though. Fucking awesome. They didn't play the songs exactly like they are on the record (the RZA freely admits in his Tao of the Wu book that prior to Wu Tang Forever his music theory skills were did not exist and therefore his songs were not really made to be played by an actual band) though the song Liquid Swords (see video) was pretty much spot on. Going in I was not positive the backing band would make the show better than the 2008 show, but it would at least make it interesting and that it did. Grupo Fantasma has awesome musicians - the percussion and guitars were sick and the horns were a perfect addition. The flow of the songs changed ever so slightly and, well, it was perfect. The perfect amount of being true to the original mixed with a new freshness.
There we go....filled in the gaps a little bit. Hopefully you now have a better idea of how and why the show was so awesome. If not.....well, watch the videos and be happy that I kept my mouth shut while shooting and you don't have to hear my whiteboy attempt at a rugged and raw Wu voice drowning out the GZA's.
We have uploaded Liquid Swords and Gold and hopefully will have Duel of the Iron Mic up before long if youtube would stop tweaking. This show was so awesome that we almost scalped tickets for the late show (he did two shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg that night). See this if it comes to your town. Oh yeah, the breakdown in the Liquid Swords video where he goes into the recording/writing of the song was fucking sick as it seems. Jealous. I know.
Alright so this will be quick, just to post the videos from the show, then we will put up videos from the main show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg with Is Tropical and do a more thorough review of both.
This was a showcase done at the ever so exclusive and trendy SoHo House where you have to be a member to get in (or get put on a list) and everyone there is a celebrity (legit or in their own minds). Graham from Crystal Fighters asked the bartender to take a picture of us and he responded, no pictures allowed, which laughed at thinking he was joking....til he told us he was serious. That being said, it is a pretty cool spot with a pool on the roof and not everyone is a complete fucking loser. Oh, and they have some pretty incredible drinks. And the bartender turned a blind eye and allowed someone else to take the picture.
So yeah, this was a small acoustic event. Played 4 songs. I thought it sounded pretty good and was at least cool to see the band do an acoustic set as that was a first. The vocals were loud and it was cool to be able to hear the female singer (blanking on her name at the moment) loud and clear...and to hear the songs sans lots of electronic back tracks. This basically turned into a full review, so I guess I will just wrap it up and show the videos.
So first up is the last song of the night - At Home - especially like how they have the female vox are the lead here, more true to the record. They did this the night before at the MHWburg show too....
Next is Xstatic Truth acoustic style.....
This one is mainly for the fans, or at least people somewhat familiar with the band, or, if you know nothing about the band, at least go with someone who knows what's up. Why? Well, this is Gene Ween's first show of his first tour as Aaron Freeman (his real name for those of you who don't know) and he is supporting his new album which is a collection of Rod McKuen covers....ok, what does that mean?
I am guessing a bunch of people don't know Rod McKuen....I didn't until recently, nor did Gener. He was a beat poet and songwriter known for somewhat sappy pop songs. I knew the song Seasons in the Sun because there is a, well, sad video of Nirvana covering it at the end of the DVD that comes with the With The Lights Out boxset (see videos below from the Nirvana DVD and Aaron playing it the other night). It is a sort of cheesey song and they all switch instruments with Kurt on drums, Dave on bass and Krist on guitar, and they are just having fun messing around with this song that is clearly not in their standard repetoir...considering the depressing way that band came to an end, it is sad to watch them messing around in the studio having fun. They aren't mocking the song, but realize it is funny and fun for them to be playing it.
Gener isn't that far off from Kurt in this regard. He has an eclectic taste in music and sees the good qualities in music others may deem cheesey/bad/etc. I think everyone should be more like this as there are good qualities in all sorts of music, regardless of seemingly bad qualities.
So yeah, Rod McKuen's songs are pretty cheesey but they are fun and pretty perfect for Aaron. If you walked into this show not knowing anything about Gener I think you would be confused as fuck. Is this a joke or is this some bad attempt at lounge music?
If you know Ween you'd know it's funny but not a joke. Aaron is putting on a character with his jacket, all cleaned up, taking his standard stage movements and mutating them into more of a lounge singer, and with Dave Dreiwitz and the other musicians singing harmonies. Gener isn't mocking this music - he writes just as many love songs as tweaked out fucked up rock songs - but he is cognizant of how people perceive these tunes and since he is funny and he always has fun on stage, the show is fun and funny.
So yeah, if you are a big fan who has seen Ween (and associated acts) many times and smile ear to ear when watching them, you will do the same here. Unless you have been playing the new record over and over for days, you won't know the songs but you will love the change of pace. Sitting down in a small venue, not drunkenly screaming, and just hanging out watching a more laid back show complete with spoken word pieces. Gener even wrote down notes to read to introduce the show/music. That was kind of awkward, but it was charming and the girls in our group thought he was "so cute". This is not just different for Gener. This is an Aaron show and completely different.
As Gener, Aaron gets to take on his stage persona....who knows how different that really is from Aaron's personality, but it is just the more absurd side I am guessing. The one who affects his voice (and often puts heavy effects on it too) and is loud and boisterous. It seemed like he felt pretty naked as himself up there at first. He keeps his voice unaffected on the record and you could hear him fighting to hold it back at times...though toward the end he did just let Gener come out.
So yeah....this isn't a joke, it isn't mocking the songs, but it is fun and funny and completely fucking unweak and awesome. While I would have been happy with the show if it was all Rod McKuen songs, Gener coming out at the end to play some Ween songs took it over the top and made it comepletely awesome. I got videos of the final 4 songs and they are all attached here. Check this show out if he is coming near you, and if you are bringing people new to Ween, give them a heads up about what they are getting themselves into.
Workout played a Cinco de Mayo show at Glasslands in Williamsburg/Brooklyn, one of our favorite venues in NY. Another awesome Workout show, what else is new. Well, they played a new song - Daddy Issues - which we failed to get video of but was really fucking awesome. Next time we will get video for sure.
So what else was new.....Workout was actually the first band on. Usually they headline, which means smaller bands play before them and they typically play to group comprised of mostly fans. This is good because they come on later in the evening and the crowd is ready to go and they get to play a longer set.
Now what are they negatives of going on first - well, a) it's early (8:30) so the crowd isn't as rowdy and b) their set is the shortest of the night (or at least not the longest). There seemed to be less of a turn out of fans for this, so combined with the early start time the crowd was extra motionless and quiet at the getgo. Doesn't matter because the pros weigh out the cons for sure.
Playing before larger bands at a place like Glasslands, where people often show up to watch all the bands including the ones they don't know, meant they played for a large crowd of new people....and they very much liked what they saw. Workout is a band whose live show picks up fans immediately without hearing anything previously. Not just like, oh that band was pretty good, or even, wow, I was surprised I should really check them out.....brand new people will go from standing motionless not really paying attention to practically singing along to songs they don't know and cheering etc as if they were the band they came to see. In some of the videos, you may even be able to hear people in the crowd talking about how awesome this band is, as this big group standing next to us wouldn't shut up about how awesome they were.
A funny quote I overheard from one of the guys was, "This guy's energy (Jack - lead singer) is permeating through the crowd"...lame but true.
Alright this has taken us too long to write up but that is mainly due to the hurt these shows laid on. The shows were better than expected, and expectations were high, and the pre and post show parties sealed the deal for a week worth of drinking depression. Was on bed rest for at least a week after the shows.
The first night was at Glasslands and while most people who attended both shows agreed that it was the better night, I was too drunk by the time the show started and it seems more of a blur. An awesome blur, but a little hazy nonetheless. That was caused by a good number hours before the show at Radegast, a beer garden a few blocks away, and while I was rather enjoying myself, the next morning I was very happy that my girlfriend and sister got me to go home right after the show around midnight. I was talking to the guitar player, Graham Dickson, before the show, discussing post show plans and he said it wasn't going to be a late night as they have to play another show the following night. Talk about a stinging slap of jealousy - oh you aren't going to have a late night tonight because in 24 hours you have to play another show, which consists of hanging out drinking beforehand and getting up and doing what you love.....well, I have to wake up in 6 hours to go to work and drinking off my hangover before I show up is typically frowned upon. Oh to live the life of a rockstar.
The next day we were hungover, wishing for death and all day it seemed like there was no chance we would make it to the show that night. The show was at Webster Hall in Manhattan, and since Crystal Fighters in the US is a rare thing, we had to make it. We met up with the band beforehand at a bar nearby, and like any normal person, we drank heavily to attempt to eliminate the hangover and get in a condition where we could enjoy the show. This was accomplished and the show was fucking awesome. Really fucking awesome. I tried to capture some video of the show but was ROCKING WAY TOO HARD to get decent shots. We put some clips up, so check them out. Even with the shakiness I think it gives a good idea of the energy here. As for the post show activities....I don't even want to get into it. All I know is that I got home around 3:30AM, after convincing one of our friends, who had no money, not to deal with the subway back to Brooklyn and to jump in a cab with us....only to then realize I had no money in my pocket when he dropped us off and stuck him with the cab fare. Everything in between was, well, pretty much standard stereotypical post show "partying with the band" (nice nice). Playing rock star for the evening, pretending I didn't need to be up in 3 hours to go sit in front of a computer all day.
So, yeah, felt horrible, but it was well worth it. I had never seen these guys play live, and, though I've seen videos of live shows, I have wondered how they would translate from their record. And the answer is that it was fucking awesome. The txalaparta, Basque percussion instrument, cuts through the mix more clearly than on the record, and the show is way more analog rock with electronic, than the other way around (the live drummer is especially awesome as well). Funny because I went up to Sebastian, the singer, post show and he asked how I liked it and I said what I just stated and that I was pumped because generally I am not crazy about full on electronic music. To this he responded, yeah, I've read your reviews before about not liking the unce unce unce electro dance stuff. Funny, but it's true, and these guys really pull it off - both live and on the record. For a band with very little US exposure, I have not seen a crowd this into it in a while. I mean, shit, for big bands with a lot of exposure, this crowd isn't the norm.
These guys are coming back to the US in May for the US release of their album, Star of Love. They are playing DC, Phila and the Music Hall of Wiliamsburg in Brooklyn (tickets are on sale now). There are also some west coast dates as well. We say this a lot, but this is really something you need to check out. These guys are the real deal and put on quite a show. Unlike anything you've seen before. They take the best parts of many different types of music and roll it all into a ball of awesomeness. They have the pure rock, electro heaviness, acoustic guitars and percussion from the Basque region, and pop hooks galore. 'twas unweak, some, like myself, may even say it stopped a lot of weakness.
What else is new - we went to a Workout show and thought it was the best. But honestly this one was like none other. This was a show that could only happen at a place like Grand Victory at this stage in a band's career. I say career because I think these guys will be huge. Well, scratch that, I think they should be huge (obviously), but with all the weak shit out there that people love, who knows what will happen. I think they will have a career and rabid following regardless though. I have never seen someone not love watching these guys play, whether it's their first time seeing them or their 50th.
This was one of those shows that you find on youtube of your favorite band when they were not well known and you wish more than anything that you could have been there. The stage is tiny (Grand Victory is the old Bruar Falls) and the band was in the audience more than on it. Guitars were being passed around, mics were being past around. There was Spinal Tap shredding on the floor complete with pick up from an audience member. And they played a lot of songs they don't play frequently.
These guys went to SXSW and opened for Tenacious D and I hear they were very well received. I spoke with a member of Crystal Fighters after their show in NY (will get that review/video up soon) and they saw a Workout show and said it was one of the tightest shows he's seen. Was blown away. Anyway, yeah, check out these videos (These Are The Years is most representative of the evening) and go see this band in this scenario while you can (you have a chance tomorrow night in Manhattan):
A readers sent us this review. Not sure how we feel about Galactic, and never seen Steel Pulse though want to....maybe I would check out Galactic. As always, feel free to send in your reviews and we will post them if we find them interesting.
We showed up to terminal 5 around 9pm to Steel Pulse rocking and the molly just starting to kick in, immediately got a few beers, a cup of whisky, and headed up stairs to claim a piece of the balcony. After unsuccessfully trying to grease the V.I.P. bouncer and a little reconnaissance we strategically commandeered a piece of a table next to the railing. The rubbing and jostling for that spot was a pleasure. Admittedly moving in there was probably a little obnoxious, but a few minutes later we had a great view of the stage and some new great friends to share in the experience.
The Show was terrific. Steel Pulse was probably the highlight for me, with the lead singer decked out in matching pants and shirt with some African colors and doing some energetic high knee stepping and dancing around. Galactic put on a great live show. There is nothing like a bunch of horns to funk up your night, and while I don’t love Galactic’s recordings seeing them live was better than expected. Horns playing funk are probably me favorite kind of music to see live, and while we had a great perch up top with the bar close by, being down on the floor in front probably would have been more conducive for dancing and getting our entire bodies into the music. I can’t remember the particulars of the show, but it was fucking great. I would definitely see these guys again.
Alright, Guns N' Roses are back in my good graces. The show was sweet. I felt bad about how not into the IZOD Center show I was and I had a good feeling this would be different - mainly because it was at a place 1/10th of the size, but also because I was just more in the mood....more in the mood to rock. And rock we did....from Midnight until 3:15 AM. Yes the next day was the worst ever and was kicked off with vomiting black into the toilet. They played f-ing 40 songs almost. It was absurd.
While this show was better than the last time, it could have been better, so let me get my bitching out quick. First off, it was a tiny venue and a band/leader who thrives on being larger than life, so I was expecting it to be loud and rocking....it wasn't that loud. I didn't post our videos because you can hear the crowd talking/singing over most of them. Brings me to the next point - the crowd. The crowd was just as fake and poseurish as the 3 guitarists Axl has hired to play with him. With a tiny club show for a monster band you have 2 outcomes - 1) you get only intense fans who are willing to pay the ticket price or 2) you get people with lots of money who aren't big fans to pay the price. The Primus show got #1 and Guns, not surprisingly, got #2. Rich NY dbags with lots of money paid a lot to see a show because, as one fan put it, they "wonder what celebrities will be here tonight". That was the first comment I heard upon walking in. People went crazy for Welcome to the Jungle but cheers weren't that great for any non super hits. Not a huge deal, but it can effect the feel of a show. Shows in NY in particular suffer from people going for reasons other than the music. People sitting there chatting away, looking for a social event, the cool thing to do, rather than actually being into it. Lastly, there were rumors of "super special guests" as someone said on XM Radio. This happens at most every GNR show so you can't get into those rumors but....this was a special small show and with the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame coming up (and Dizzy announcing that all original members would be attending - maybe just a rumor as well) it seemed possible.
Oh, one other complaint, and I will make this a topic of its own. One of our friends, who also hold Guns up as being his favorite band, came along and had never seen the new band. He was sold by the rumor of original members attending and I don't think he got comfortable with the new members before showing up. You MUST do this if you are a huge (or any bit of a) fan. When they had Robin Finck and Buckethead, this wasn't the case as much as those guys were legit, but DJ Ashba is such a fucking poseur loser, ripping off Slash and pretending to be his little clone.....it is embarrassing. Running around the stage, flying through the air. He is a great guitarist, and I know he is bound to the songs and probably image but....I just wish Axl had someone cool. Bumblefoot too. He is a NASTY guitar player but...just kind of cheesey. I like him more and more as time goes on, seems like a good guy and whatnot but...he's just so over the top animated and kind of cheesey. If you go into this prepared to see an older Axl with some cheesey other guys (Frank Ferrer and Tommy Stinson excluded) then you will be good.
Alright - so enough of this bitching, the show was great. Even with new members there is nothing like seeing Guns songs live. And they played almost 40. Civil Fucking War. Estranged and Rocket Queen back to back. Don't Cry, You're Crazy (played in the awesome style of the Live Era abum, which is to say slower than the Appetite version but hard and bluesy and rocking) and Used to Love Her. Almost 3.5 hours of music. It was awesome. If you can see these small shows, I would definitely try to make it. It is basically as awesome as you'd hope for, minus the original band members coming out.
Welcome to the Jungle
It's So Easy
Richard Fortus Guitar Solo (James Bond Theme)
Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings cover)
You're Crazy (First time played since 2010)
This I Love Motivation (Tommy Stinson song) (Tommy Stinson on lead vocals, with band introductions)
Dizzy Reed Piano Solo (Baba O' Riley)
Street of Dreams
You Could Be Mine
DJ Ashba Guitar Solo (Mi Amor)
Sweet Child O' Mine
Riff Raff (AC/DC cover)
Instrumental Jam (Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2)
Axl Rose Piano Solo (Gran Torino/Goodbye Yellow … more)
Bumblefoot Guitar Solo (Pink Panther Theme)
Knockin' On Heaven's Door (Bob Dylan cover)
Used to Love Her (First time played since 2010)
Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley cover) (Tease)
My Michelle (First time played since 2010)
Patience Instrumental Jam
Fuck all of you who missed this and fuck me for almost not getting tickets to this. This was one of the best shows I have ever seen. As has been documented here, I have had problems with Les Claypool in recent years and didn't have the greatest time when I saw Primus at Roseland a few months ago, which was completely depressing as I didn't think I could ever not love a Primus show. This show proved once that Primus is one of the best live bands around.
Even if you don't like Primus or Les Claypool's music, if you don't like watching Claypool playing this here bass for you....then you are not a person I would like to share time with. He destroys and all the musicians he associates with destroy. I recently learned that Ler was taught to play guitar by Joe Satriani, which I thought was interesting, and he is close to as good at guitar as Les is at bass. Incredible technical ability with his own fucked up style that is all his own.
The best part of this show was that it was at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. This place is tiny and it was filled with people who love Primus. Everyone was going nuts. The bass rocked the whole room and even in my old age I didn't want it to end ever. I paid for it the next day with the worst hangover of my life...which almost made me take my own life...but it was worth it. They destroyed. When Primus went on hiatus back in 2000 and Les went into the jam band world, it attracted fucked up faux hippies all over the place and I feel like as time has gone on Claypool shows, and even Primus shows, have been filled with more and more people who just aren't that into it. Seeing the Frog Brigade at the Stone Pony in 2003 was one of the best shows I've ever seen, but this was right up there. Primus is a band you need to be in the thick of it when watching. We were spitting distance, and it stopped all sorts of weakness. They also mixed the sets and the new album didn't take up the full second set. Primus sucks. I feel bad for all of you that missed it.
Oh, we put together a Primus playlist on Spotify too - check it out.
We will post some of our videos a little later, but here is the setlist for now:
Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers
Prelude to a Crawl
Moron TV > Tomorrow Never Knows (Tease)
Over the Falls
Tragedy's a' Comin'
DMV (Tease) - Jerry Was A Race Car Driver
Over the Electric Grapevine
Duchess and the Proverbial Mind Spread
Eyes of the Squirrel
Here Come the Bastards
Robot Chicken (Les Claypool song)
Jilly's on Smack
Lee Van Cleef
Last Salmon Man
Nature Boy (Tease) - Harold of the Rocks
All you know about me's what I sold you.…..Tool has always put on an incredible show but we have had a trouble getting into shows of even our favorite bands. So even though I could not picture having anything less than the best time, there was the smallest bit of worry that it would not live up to the memories. Thank god that worry was not only wrong - Tool put on probably the best show I've seen from them. They fucking rocked. Hard.
The setlist was made up of songs they haven't played in forever, like the opener, Hooker With a Penis, which hasn't been played since 1999, and it was non-stop rock from there on out. The only weak song is Intensions (from 10,000 Days) as it's just kind of slow and doesn't go anywhere. Forty-Six & 2 and Lateralus were unreal. Frank Ferrer, who plays drums in the new GnR, came out during Lateralus and it was quite the onslaught of rock. Sitting in with a band is supposed to be laid back and fun and though he proved his drummer worth over and over, I can't imagine how intimidating it must be to a) play alongside Danny Carey and b) play alongside Danny Carey on a song as difficult as Lateralus. There are two different kinds of unweak musicians - the ones whose bodies show how hard it is what they are doing and the ones who barely move yet play harder and faster than anyone. Buckethead is a prime example and this is what makes Slash look so fucking badass. Danny Carey takes this to the extreme as well as he plays the most difficult stuff with ease. He is a monster and just fucking destroys. 46 & 2 and Lateralus were just insane in all regards but drums especially.
This show was just fucking unreal as expected. Tickets said the show started at 7:30 - we missed the opening band but the show started right around 9PM and went until 10:45 or so. It was the perfect length. They had some annoying guy come out during Sober and do some lame vocal thing through effects, and they dragged a few things out slightly longer than necessary but that was a miniscule part of the show.
I don't know what else to say. If you haven't seen Tool, you need to. This is the best set from them I have seen in forever and they just didn't let up. Here, just check out the set list and videos and see for yourself:
Hooker With a Penis
Sober (with "Bill" played part of "4˚")
Forty-Six & 2
Lateralus (with guest drummer "Frank")
They don't allow filming or pictures, so sorry for the short clips:
and here is one from Boston just to show a full song:
Went to see Workout again, and they were sweet again. This was a midnight show at Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night and they played after the Stooges Brass Band, who came out with Workout and help them open their show with epic Chariots of Fire (see video). From there it was just a sick show. We say this all the time, but for real, this was the tightest we've seen the band. They played a ton of new songs as well, or at least ones that you can't find on their album....we just realized we never reviewed their album - it is one of the best albums to come out in 2011 - CLICK HERE TO BUY THE WORKOUT ALBUM. From there we will just leave you with some videos - enjoy:
I feel ashamed regarding my feelings for the recent GNR show. I have always been grateful to see Guns in any incarnation, think Chinese Democracy is a pretty great album, and have liked the band in the past. Don't get me wrong, the show was sweet, songs sounded great, but also a little depressing. It just felt a little lifeless and that could be for various reasons.
First off they didn't come on til 11. We left at 1:30 as we had a long trip back and we were just getting a little bored with the show. I felt kind of bad for walking out on a bad I have always stood up for when everyone talked shit, but they cut off beers right when we got there basically and I had that sobering up bad feeling starting at like 12:30 giving me a headache, which made me want to bounce more.
It was depressing because while the songs sound awesome there are now a lot of losers in the band who are nasty musicians but lifeless and putting on a show. Or they're just really lame. Axl makes them replicate and act just like past members. There is a Slash guy (DJ Ashba), complete with top hat and running around the stage and playing just like Slash, all his solos note for note. Another guy who looks just like Izzy (Richard Fortus) and who we actually thought was Izzy at first as I'd seen Izzy come out with the band in 2006. Even Bumblefoot is made to copy Buckethead's playing/solos....which I find funny because I think Bumblefoot is lame but he is a similar virtuoso/shredder type and has his own bag of tricks but he is made to copy Buckethead's which are really very specific to Buckethead. He does play a fretless guitar at times, which is absurd. Cool to watch. I don't think I have ever seen someone play one. It's a pretty impossible instrument to play.....so the show was sweet, but I have been reading Duff and Steven Adler's books and those put old Guns on my mind, how badass they were and this was just the opposite....it was a pre-arrange show/spectacle without much raw/sincere energy.
Man, that makes it sound really shitty, which it was not. If it hadn't started at 11pm in Jersey and they kept selling beers, I probably would have stayed into it the whole time and not have left. It was 3 hours long too with tons of annoying solos by every member of the band. Seeing Estranged and Don't Cry was so fucking sick though I must say. I would go again and definitely go if I had never been.
I am a big Dinosaur Jr fan, and I thought I was a bigger Sebadoh fan until I went and saw them the other night. Don't get me wrong, they have songs that are incredible and that is really what this show highlighted - the fact that some songs are incredible while the others are almost equal opposites.
It really isn't that bad, but, well, it sort of is. I love to see Lou Barlow playing bass, but the Sebadoh songs where he is singing and playing guitar are just far superior. Honestly, and I don't think these songs annoy me that much on the record, or maybe that's just because you can skip over them....but the Jason Lowenstein (Fiery Furnaces) songs are just annoying. Annoying screaming and annoying guitar playing, they contrast the Barlow songs pretty perfectly and make them really stand out.
I don't want to talk too much shit because I like the band and maybe I just wasn't familiar with a bunch of the songs, which can make screaming annoying songs that much more annoying. In Dino Jr fashion, they were real loud too, which doesn't help out a song that already hates your ears and makes them want to hate it right back.
So yeah, to sum it up....if you are a big Sebadoh fan, you will love the show and if you are not you will probably love half of it and hate the other half and that depends on what you are into.
Here is a video for Two Years and Two Days: