I saw you standing in my headlights Blink, Blink, Blink

The SaintAug 5th, 2009Posted by The Saint on

On Saturday I saw Incubus for the third time. Despite the fact that this tour is for a greatest hits album and not a new one, the show still rocked. Maybe more so, as they were not tied down to play all the new tracks.

Pardon Me
Nice to Know You
Anna Molly
Love Hurts
Just a Phase
Drive – acoustic
Make Yourself – acoustic
Dig – remix
A Certain Shade of Green
Oil and Water
Kiss to Send Us Off
Wish You Were Here
Aqueous Transmission

Are You In?
Lets Go Crazy

If you check that list, there is a whole lot of Morning View in there, which is a good thing because it is my favorite album (right now). I loved the acoustic break. Live shows give the artist an opportunity to add some wrinkles to their songs and that is what they did. To be fair, these are wrinkles that have been well tested, but it was still a nice interlude.

Once again Mike that he is really good at guitar. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again. He is very good soloing and the groove that Incubus has gotten into with their studio songs doesn’t let him show it fully. When you seem him in concert, he surprises you.

Continuing with that last thought, we have to talk about Let’s Go Crazy. This song is a cover of Prince and they actually recorded the track for the album. That being said, I had never heard this song before. So when I was bouncing my head to it, it was a new feeling and I was always trying to figure out what was coming next. What was coming next was an amazing guitar solo. As we were walking out, I said that the solo “melted my face off:” That’s how shocking, awesome and amazing it was. If you want to listen to it, find the live video as the studio version does not have the same emotion to it.

I would have liked to hear Sick Sad Little World again because of the amazing solo or Vitamin with the drum session interlude. But I’ve experienced those already, so I don’t mind getting something different. Especially since we got Warning, one of their best songs ever.

Three Months Ago My Best Friend Left…

The SaintJun 25th, 2009Posted by The Saint on

But he didn’t say goodbye. In a way, it almost works because he gave me so much that he will always be with me. With the exception of my parents, Evan is the one person who had the most influence on who I am as a person. From my interest in poker, to my love for movies, to development of my sense of humor, he effected me greatly. However, the one area that is most easily quantifiable is music. Growing up, I didn’t really listen to much music. While I had started liking some bands before I met him, Evan turned me on to so many more.

Bands That I Would Not be Listening to Now If It Wasn’t For Evan
Nine Inch Nails (My favorite band who we saw together live)
The Beatles (Arguably the best band ever)
Radiohead (His favorite band)
A Perfect Circle
Fiona Apple
My Bloody Valentine
The Pixies
Smashing Pumpkins
The Strokes

Honorable mention to Spoon. I only had their two most recent albums and didn’t know they had more and he only had their first two and hadn’t heard the new songs.

Those 16 bands make up exactly 25% of the albums I listen to and the percentage is slightly higher if you do it by number of songs. Take that and the fact that I listen to at least 40 hours of music a week to understand how frequently I am given a reminder.

Evan, you will always be with me despite the fact that you are not here.

The mob comes crawling up, I’m reclaiming my mind

The SaintOct 19th, 2007Posted by The Saint on

Last week was my birthday and to celebrate my friends and I went to see Queens of the Stone Age. The show was very good and was the best way I’ve celebrated a birthday in recent history. In an intriguing twist of fates, it was also the bassist’s birthday and according to Wikipedia, we were born in the same year as well. But that’s enough about that, let’s talk about the good stuff.

Joshua Homme is an underrated guitarist. It’s ok, I didn’t know his name either until just before the show. Queens of the Stone Age works essentially on the same level as Nine Inch Nails. It’s Josh’s band and the people he plays with is in a semi-constant rotation. That fact makes the following comment even more amazing. The band as a whole was very tight and always in time with each other. You could see that they were always looking around to catch one another’s eyes to make sure they were in pace with each other.

I went in expecting it to be an Era Vulgaris (newest album) show. I was happily surprised that is was not that at all. They even played some songs that I had not heard before. One of the best songs was Better Living Through Chemistry. It’s one of my favorites of the band, so it was great to hear it live. The lights they used the most were yellow-green and blue strobes that pointed at the audience. The lights were all programed to switch right on the beat of the song, which added to the tightness of the music. While this is a minimal lighting set-up, the performance of Sick, Sick, Sick had one of the best lighting effects I’ve seen. For this song, they added two lights that were pointed at Josh as he played. These two lights would strobe in opposition of each other so it looked like he was turning back and forth every quickly, almost as if two people were standing there.

Other comments on the songs they played go as follows. I would have preferred they use the slot for Feel Good Hit of the Summer for one of their stronger songs. I would have played Suter Up Your Future instead of Make It Wit Chu, but that song went very well so I can’t complain.

On the whole, great show and a great way to celebrate a birthday. Hopefully I’ll be able to top it next year.

Black then white are all I see in my infancy

The SaintJul 13th, 2007Posted by The Saint on

As mentioned before, I’ve had to close chances to get to see Tool perform live. Wednesday I get a call from the same kid saying he has one ticket for Thursday’s show. With that short notice I know it’s a lock that whoever I’m replacing absolutely can’t make the show.

The show was at the Tweeter Center just outside of Boston. The seats were the last row before the roof ends, but were dead center. The stage setup was guitar front right, drums off center right back, the mike for Maynard off center left, bass front left. They pretty much never left those positions. The most interesting thing about the show was the fact that at no point was there ever a light on Maynard. All you saw was his profile, he didn’t face the audience, against the LCD screen behind him.

The set list was a great mix of their albums.
Forty-Six and 2
Schism (extended)
Rosetta Stoned
Wings For Marie (Pt 1)
10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)
Lateralus (With Big Business Drummer)

I really can’t say enough about the double drum solo during Lateralus. These two guys just went off on their drum sets. They did some back and forth drumming, but in general just played, and played some more.

It’s hard to pick a favorite of all the concerts I’ve seen since they all have different flavors. This concerts flavor was straight up, bad-ass, hard rock. Very glad I finally got to see them and check off another band from my To See list.

Light Grenades

The SaintNov 21st, 2006Posted by The Saint on

Album out in a week.
incubus light grenades

incubus tickets

Are you happy?

The SaintOct 18th, 2006Posted by The Saint on

The Beatles
My parents were fans when they were young, just like anyone else who grew up while they blew up in America. Because of this I had some introduction to their music, but never in the form of an album or actually listening to the music critically. Beyond that, my knowledge of them was hearing other people talk about how they shaped rock music and blah blah. I decided they were over-rated and never really took any steps to listen to their works.

Fast forward to a year ago. Evan tells me he’s going to make me listen to four Beatles albums, because I’m missing something by having not heard them. Ok, whatever. Evan proceeds to be lazy and not get the albums.

Fast forward to just under two months ago. Evan finally gets off his ass and gets the four albums.
He hands me Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper and The White Album.
The clouds part, the sun shines down, birds and angles sing.

Fast forward to now. I’ve listened to each album a couple times though, so I feel I can start making comments. Do be honest, I usually just stick to listening to music and not talking about it, so don’t expect lots of profound explanations to go with my comments.

My Rank of the Albums as of Now

4. Rubber Soul
We get it, love, where are the drugs? Stand out tracks: The Word, Wait, Run for Your Life.

3. The White Album
Long. The one down side of a double album is that it’s hard to get a feel for the whole album. Maybe I should try just doing it one disc at a time. The plus side is lots of songs means lots of good songs. Stand out tracks: Glass Onion, The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Yer Blues, Helter Skelter

2. Sgt. Pepper
Kinda at a lose for words. But then again I didn’t really make many real comments about each album, so why start here? I can say it’s one hell of a first third of an album (With a Little Help from My Friends, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Getting Better) Other stand out tracks: She’s Leaving Home, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Good Morning Good Morning, A Day in the Life

1. Revolver
From the first time I listened, I felt it. Every track is very good. With the exception of Yellow Submarine, everything fits in it’s place. Stand out tracks: Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, For No One, Got to Get You Into My Life, Tomorrow Never Knows

So there you go. Don’t think that Rubber Soul being 4 means I don’t like it. My mind can’t hold enough information at once, so the stand out tracks are just picked by re-listening to a few seconds of the middle of each track.

Live Music (16 of 26)

The SaintJun 28th, 2006Posted by The Saint on

So Evan made an entry first, so most of my concert comments followed that. Nine Inch Nails was amazing and I’m looking forward to the next time I see them.

So, instead of looking at what was, I look towards the future.
The Next Band I am Most Likely to See in Concert
One of the few great hard rock bands of our generation. The fact that they just released an album gives them a big nudge into the lead as they will be on tour sooner than other bands that I really like. 10,000 Days is very good, and the rest of their collection makes them well worth seeing.

Bands I Would Go See in Concert Given the Chance (No Order)
Queens of the Stone Age – Another band with a very good collection. Rated R is most likely my favorite.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Female lead singers are not very common in rock, but Karen O does a very good job. They got a good deal of recognition when they released Fever to Tell’s ballad, however they don’t get enough recognition for the rest of their work. NOTE: I don’t listen to the radio or watch MTV, so I am basing that last sentence solely on the fact that I know like one other human that has said they really liked Fever To Tell.
The Strokes – The latest album is their third best album, but it has grown on me a lot. (Will, get off your ass and get me Ize of the World.) They just continue to make really strong songs.
Radiohead – Not at the beginning if I had to order this list, but 1) Evan would kill me if I didn’t list them and 2) I like them more and more as time goes on.
Rammstein – The lose some credit for being German and the fact that I would have to deal with a bunch of weird guys from the small continent with a lot of countries. Nothing makes rock sound angrier then when it’s in German.
Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Those guys with the flying bubble thing – They are not exactly touring our making new albums, but if I had a time machine, I would beginning head to some concerts after I made a bet or two.

Incubus and System of a Down are givens as they, along with Nine Inch Nails, are in my Big Three and the only bands I’ve distinctly made an effort to see live.

Do you think any one reads this?