• the format 8/17/07 rochester, NY

    24. Sep. 2007, 2:58

    this one was more recent than califone so i'll have a better idea.

    The Format played at water street and this time we got there before they started playing unlike when they opened for guster. there were actually 3 opening acts, which was kind of annoying because i hate sitting through opening bands, but they were all pretty decent so i can't complain. the only band's name i remember is Limbeck. if i wanted i could just look up the others but i don't think anyone even bothers to read these so it doesn't really matter.

    in any case, the first two bands that played were decent. the first one sounded like a cross between the postal service and some emo bands. they were fun but got repetitive pretty quickly. the second band was pretty upbeat and had catchier tunes so they weren't bad to listen to. limbeck was the third band and they opened with the one song i really like (and the only one i ever really listened to when i had their CD on my itunes), honk + wave. so that was exciting. but they were pretty decent live too. it's funny that freshman year randomly appears like that.

    then the format came on, and they played for a long time, and they played almost all of my favorite songs which was really awesome. the set list, obviously not in order and possibly incomplete:

    she doesn't get it
    dog problems
    on your porch
    i'm ready, i am
    oceans (!!!)
    the compromise
    wait, wait, wait
    tie the rope
    tune out
    the first single
    + a song off an EP that I didn't know

    inches and falling (!)
    give it up (!!!)
    and there was one more song which is most likely one of the ones listed above.

    i was so happy they played snails, and oceans was awesome to hear live. they had crossed it off the setlist and changed their minds. woohoo! a lot of the songs they had played when i saw them in april, but it was still cool to hear them again. i like hearing the first single, because it's sort of my "song" with matt. and matt came with me to the concert, which happened to be on our 9 month anniversary so it made hearing it extra meaningful. and that's another reason why i was so happy to hear snails, although snails is one of my favorite songs so it was good to hear either way.

    i also really like inches and falling, and give it up so the encore made me incredibly happy. especially give it up... love that song.

    overall, the sound quality was really good as usual, and aside from all the tall people, the show was great. i even got another shirt, because i can't resist buying cute band t-shirts.
  • califone 6/3/07 buffalo, NY

    24. Sep. 2007, 2:46

    this was over 3 months ago but i feel like i should still keep this concert journal updated, at least for my sake.

    so i saw Califone at the beginning of june and it was pretty cool. the only thing is that they didn't go on until around 11:30 pm, and i went with nich and jason and we both (jason and i, nich felt sick and actually stayed in the car the whole time) had to work the next morning so i only got to hear a few songs. which was okay, but i only really got to hear one song i really liked, and i felt like i would have heard more if i got to stay. they did a lot of their longer, more "out there" songs and jason wasn't a big fan so that contributed as well. but whatever, i'm glad i got to see them for a little bit. it was at the mohawk place, which is a sweet venue. and i didn't get carded woohoo.

    the opening bands were interesting, the only one i remember is The Bitter Tears and they were crazy and had some ridiculous songs and a guy in cut-off shorts who maybe had a mullet? and another in a dress and one more that i don't remember. this review kind of sucks so i'm just going to stop typing, but califone played the orchids so that was happy.
  • modest mouse 4/26/07 rochester, NY

    13. Jun. 2007, 3:06

    the second of two concerts in one week, this was the one i was more looking forward to because duh, Modest Mouse is my favorite band. not that the one before wasn't fun or anything. anyways.

    i went with breanne and a bunch of other people. Love As Laughter opened but we left late so we didn't even see them. i heard mixed reviews from people. we came in halfway through the set of Man Man. I had already "experienced" them at pitchfork, and while they put on an entertaining show with fun antics, it gets kind of, well, grating on the nerves after awhile. so I'm glad we didn't have to sit through the whole set. I guess I just don't see the "genius" in man man, but whatever.

    so modest mouse came on, and i think isaac may have been a litte drunk but nothing that prevented him from playing well so that was cool. and johnny marr was there and all that and i don't even know if i spelled his name correctly because frankly i don't care. but overall the show was really good, although the sound quality wasn't the best. they played at the armory, which is a sporting arena, so it was really spacious which was a plus. one of the people we were with fainted during the show so that was kind of strange, but she was okay so it worked out.

    sort of similar to Guster, i was a little disappointed with the set because i had heard a lot of the songs before. this was my third time seeing them, and even though a big chunk was obviously new stuff, the old stuff they played was almost identical to what I heard them play the last two times. EXCEPT THAT THEY PLAYED DRAMAMINE.

    set list from what i can remember (not in order):
    the view
    float on
    ocean breathes salty
    fly trapped in a jar
    tiny cities made of ashes
    paper thin walls
    doin' the cockroach
    trailer trash
    fire it up
    missed the boat
    and there were a few more new ones.. i think maybe education was one of them.

    but a few comments on the songs:
    the view sounded AWFUL. I think it was the sound quality but it sounds very disjointed and did not flow well. which is too bad because i love that song.

    tiny cities made of ashes was AWESOME, as usual. crazy, evil-sounding jam that really embodied the emotion of the song.

    doin' the cockroach and trailer trash were really great to hear as well.

    i didn't really like fly trapped in a jar at first but i like it better after hearing it live.

    DRAMAMINE. I don't think i need to say anything else.

    all in all a good concert. although i've been seeing in later concerts that they've been playing i came as a rat, styrofoam boots, and custom concern. i'm a little upset that i didn't get to hear those, but hey, dramamine was sweet and i got to hear them play here it comes at the last concert so that was awesome. i kind of wish they would go back to mixing in song likes 3rd planet, neverending math equation, interstate 8, and cowboy dan but i can't complain because i've heard all of those live.

    modest mouse is playing two dates in MA when I won't be around, one oddly enough with guster, and another at the pines theater which is where i saw them and Wilco before, and which is one of the best venues i've ever been to. waaah. and wilco is playing at pines theater again too. i'm so jealous.
  • guster/the format 4/24/07 rochester, NY

    13. Jun. 2007, 2:50

    yes I realize this and the next entry are almost 2 months late but no one reads these and they're mainly here as a personal concert log so oh well.

    so I saw Guster and The Format at water street music hall with david. we left at a decent time, and got there about 15 minutes after doors were supposed to open, but there was still a huge line when we got there. we waited, and by the time we got in the format had already started playing. this was really pretty annoying because 1) i came more to see the format because i've seen guster a million times and 2) there was still a huge line behind us. so that sucked. but we got in, and i was pretty close save being behind a post, but i really enjoyed their set. what they played (as much as i can remember):

    tune out
    the first single
    tie the rope
    dog problems
    the compromise
    she doesn't get it
    swans (a new song made for some movie jon heder is in, i think... unfortunately not a cover of Islands but it was still a good song)
    if work permits (didn't get to hear this one)
    on your porch

    and i think that was it actually... so i missed the first song and a half (all of if work permits and half of tie the rope) but at the end of the show the said they'd be back in a few months... and, i just bought my ticket the other day. they're playing water street august 17th so yay!

    guster came on and i think this was my... 7th? 8th? maybe even 9th time i've seen them. i've lost track it's so many. so it was a good time, and i always love seeing them live. but i'm starting to get bored of it. as much as i like guster, i don't know if i will see them again for awhile, because their set lists don't change much. although ryan made up a really funny song that i don't remember now, it was about adam backstage getting ready for the encore, and i think there was another one. oh well. i'm not going to list what they played, but they played a lot of my favorites. i want to hear 'all the way up to heaven' live again. i've only heard it twice i think and that's such a good song. but anyways. so this is a much briefer review, but all in all it was a good concert. the first of two in that week of april.
  • the decemberists 3/30/07 buffalo, NY

    1. Apr. 2007, 4:00

    last night I went to UB with breanne and justin (and two freshman we gave a ride too, one who happens to be in my religion class) to see The Decemberists. nich and jason came as well, but in a separate car.

    we stopped for food at ted's (hot dog and burger place) beforehand, and got to the venue right around 8. breanne and justin wanted to buy some merchandise so as soon as we found our seats the opener (My Brightest Diamond) left. I could sort of here her from outside and she/they sounded pretty decent. i heard mixed reviews from the people inside so i'm not too upset about missing it.

    anyways, our seats were really awesome, 13 rows from the front on the left side (it was a seated venue). a really nice view of the whole stage. we only waited about 30 minutes before the show started while they switched sets. the backdrop for the show was beautiful, it was this painted canvas-cloth with a forest scene, although it wasn't really in a forest. the edge of a forest is closer to the description, because in the foreground was a body of water (pond? sea? lake? maybe i would have a better idea if i knew the actual fable about the crane wife, but oh well) where a waterfall was flowing into. and the sky was littered with stars and a full moon, and there were deer, fish, butterflies, and other animals painted on. needless to say my crappy description does it no justice, but you can catch a few glimpses of it from here: http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/article/news/41862-photos-the-decemberists-jersey-city-nj-032107
    as you can see, there were also spherical japanese paper laterns, and the lighting for the show was really good too.

    on to the music! the show started with fanfare playing for a few minutes before the band came on, which was kind of ridiculous. and then they came on with fancy-schmancy outfits that really fit the set, so that was fun. personally, i think they did a really great job. they didn't deviate much from the way songs sounded on the album (although O Valencia! was a bit funkier), but it still sounded great. i really liked the island (i'm not going to list the full title cuz it's really long), especially the first section of it live, it sounded awesome. they played billy liar too which i really wanted to hear! i'm only disappointed because i wanted to hear july, july live very badly but to no avail. but i think the rest of the show made up for it, because they played a really nice selection. a good chunk of the crane wife, which is obviously expected, but lots of other good choices.

    and the one thing that really made up for the fact that they didn't play july, july was that they played the mariner's revenge song. personally, it's not one of my favorite songs of theirs, but the part in the song where the giant whale comes and eats the two survivors was accompained by an actual giant whale, made of paper machîer, cloth, and the like that came around and ate all the band members. and it even had evil, red eyes reminscent of laser pointers. so that was pretty much the most amazing thing ever. and the whole band added an element to the song, because of their actions and their movements on stage. so that was definitely worth not hearing july, july.

    another incident i really enjoyed was when colin meloy asked steve (i'm assuming the guy in charge of the lights) to bathe the stage in red light, and then proceeded to play 'shankill butchers.' preeettty sweeeet.

    so enough of my blabbering about the show, here's the set list (in a pretty unorganized fashion):

    the island
    billy liar
    the crane wife 1 & 2
    the infanta
    grace cathedral hill
    yankee bayonet (with my brightest diamond as the female vocals)
    16 military wives
    the perfect crime #2
    O Valencia!
    shankill butchers
    when the war came

    eli, the barrow boy
    the mariner's revenge song

    i actually don't know the name of the song they opened with, and i think there were actually some more songs but i have a pretty bad memory. they did close with when the war came, which i thought they would (either that or 'sons and daughters') because it's a good song to end a show with. most of the people i went with don't like that song, but it's one of my favorites off of the new album, so i was happy to hear it. they played for about an hour and 40 minutes, with a lot of really amusing interjections from colin. he has pretty great stage presence in terms of humor, but i must say, near the end of when the war came, he didn't quite pull of the 'the music is going crazy so i'm going to become the psychotic lead man' vibe so much. but maybe he wasn't going for that. regardless, he was really amusing and interacted really well with the crowd. and i love crowd participation (like the la de da de da dididedide da's on 16 military wives... it was a battle between the seated and the standing folks)!

    overall, one of the better shows i've been too, with amazing sound quality and a good set (and a good band!). i'm starting to like seated venues more and more, but deep down i think i still love general admission shows too. i also recorded a fair amount of songs on my phone and the quality was pretty good so now i get to pick a new ringtone :)
  • ju-jajuba/harry and the potters 3/3/07 rochester, NY

    5. Mär. 2007, 4:35

    last night I went with a bunch of friends to the a/v space to see Harry and the Potters and Ju-Jajuba.

    the a/v space is a small art gallery that doubles as a musical venue for obscure artists it seems. i saw Dufus and gaybot there earlier in the year, but this time it was a bit more packed. Although there weren't piles of fold-up chairs and birthday cake, it was still a great time.

    the first opener was A Wonderful and it was a pretty typical set. I didn't really pay that much attention because I was socializing and I got there right after it started, but what I heard was nice. Nothing to really catch my ear but I wasn't really that inclined in the first place. Still pretty cool though.

    Ju-jajuba came on next and played 5 songs which was awesome. They played my favorite songs (Secret Base and Secret Passages... guess I like secrets, huh?) and even a new one about dandelions. They were a lot of fun when they came to campus and I talked to them after that show and they were both really nice so amen to that. And apparently they're now engaged so that's happy. Overall, I was able to bust out my silly dance moves so that was good.

    Harry and the Potters came on around 12:15 am and played until about 1:30. Little Harry sort of remembered Ashleigh and I when we met on the boat last year so that was cool! And I talked to him and his friend from Clarke for a bit before the show so that was fun.

    The show was a blast, as I expected from the last time I saw them. I really like how they're interactive with the crowd. That's one good thing about the a/v space for a show like this - the room is small enough for a lot of interaction with the band and each other. But when everyone was dancing you could feel the floor shaking. Not that I don't trust the building or anything, but it was kind of amusing. Anyways, year 4 Harry and year 7 Harry (Joe and Paul, respectively) both did a lot to amuse the crowd, whether having us sing a long, scream into the microphone, dividing us into groups and having us shout words, or just dancing and playing their instrument. I really like interactive shows in small venues so this pretty mKuch spelled a good time. And it was. There wasn't much variation from the last time I saw them but it was still really awesome. As for songs, they played:

    The Foil (Draco Malfoy)
    Wizard Chess
    Platform 9 and 3/4
    My Teacher is a Werewolf (very fitting since it was a full moon)
    Save Ginny Weasley
    Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock
    The Weapon
    Fred and George
    The Missing Arm of Victor Krum
    Keeping Secrets from Me
    Cornelius Fudge is an Ass
    The Human Hosepipe
    Some song with their split with the Zambonis
    Save Ginny Weasley from Dean Thomas
    Felix Felicis
    This Book is so Awesome

    And that's all I really remember but that's pretty much all of them. I love The Foil, Human Hosepipe, and Keeping Secrets from Me, so yay! but no Stick it to Dolores... I wanted to sing "Oh my god you look like a frog!" but ah well. All in all a Saturday night well spent.
  • ben folds 11/11/06 geneseo, NY

    12. Nov. 2006, 16:21

    Last night was an amazing concert.

    Geneseo is actually not very far from Rochester at all, only about 40 minutes, which is nice. We left around 6:00 and got to Geneseo around 6:30. Only had to wait outside in the cold rain for 30 minutes where they threw dumb t-shirts at us. But apparently had one "you win a free Meet and Great with Ben Folds" written on the back so if you got that one I guess it wasn't a shitty t-shirt.

    They let us in around 7, and we were surrounded by some interesting people. But that made the concert more interesting. Anyways, the opener came on around 8:30 pm.

    Let me tell you about the opener. His name is Corn Mo and he is ridiculous. He seemed to be a cross between Meatloaf and Jack Black/Tenancious D. He was decked out in all white, played the piano and accordion, and was all around... amazing. Haha. I was not sure what to expect when he walked out on stage but it was incredible in that horrible way. Some sample quotes/lyrics:
    "My name is Robert, and I'm going to eat you."
    "I traveled back in time and saw Benjamin Franklin making love to a French Woman. He was wearing nothing but a coon cap. This was his way of saying, I'm American, fuck me!"
    "This is a song about my 8th grade girlfriend Angel. It's called Angel."
    I could go on but it's probably not that funny unless you know what I'm talking about. But that made the concert at least ten times better than it already was.

    Ben Folds came on around 9:30 and he played for almost 2 hours! Yay! This was my 4th time seeing him so I was only expecting the best, and as always he lived up to my expectations. This was a really, really great show. So much added stuff that you can only experience live. He had a new toy (a synthesizer) and he played with that a lot during the show... just messed around with it and used it in a lot of songs. He kept trying to play the "brown note" which was hilarious.

    I find that Ben Folds has amazing stage presence and entertains the crowd well which always makes shows so much better. The (bass?) guitarist "Jose" was hilarious as well too.

    As for songs... to this point, I still don't know a lot of Ben Folds stuff I will admit, but he still played a lot of great stuff, and even the stuff I didn't know sounded wonderful. From what I can remember:

    Zak and Sara
    The Luckiest
    Bitches Ain't Shit
    One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces
    Rockin' the Suburbs
    Such Great Heights (!)

    and there were definitely more but I don't know/remember them :3 He also did a few jams with his piano/the synthesizer, and enjoyed incorporating the link "Coach Paul Simmons says no" into several songs throughout night, inspired by the SUNY Geneseo bathroom downstairs.

    So, I was über excited to hear Kate live, and Bitches Ain't Shit was amazing. Army was fun as always, and I love yelling FUUUUCK! during Rockin' the Suburbs. "Jose" did the last part ("you better watch out cuz i'm gonna say fuck!") and that was hilarious.

    One Angry Dwarf... I was actually really hoping he'd play this song and he did! I would have liked to have heard Fair and/or Philosophy, but I've heard both of those live before so no biggie.

    and the cover of The Postal Service! not expected at all! It was really awesome, with the piano added. And I recorded it on my phone and it sounds pretty awesome.

    Other highlights included hearing several of Ben Folds' ringtones, using the synthesizer/piano to play "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John, and singing along to "Do You Realize??" by the Flaming Lips during the switchover time between Corn Mo and Ben Folds.

    All in all a real tip-top quality show that was totally worth my 28 bucks.
  • ted leo/death cab for cutie 10/27/06 rochester, NY

    28. Okt. 2006, 19:31

    last night i was offered a free ticket to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Death Cab for Cutie at the auditorium in rochester, so of course i took them up on it. i saw ted leo at pitchfork and that was a lot of fun. as for death cab for cutie, i don't really know much of their music, and i must say i like The Postal Service more, but they're essentially the same band. at least content-wise. regardless, i like death cab.

    the auditorium was really cool. it was pretty small for being an auditorium, and even though there were actually assigned seats, it worked out nicely. this is the first show i've been to in a looong time where it hasn't been general admission. but we were pretty close, and everyone at the concert was pretty laidback. i saw a lot of people from U of R, and a fair amount of younger kids, but the majority of the crowd seemed to be college-aged and older which was a little surprising.
    the venue itself was really nicely furnished and we kept sliding down the banisters.

    anyways... ted leo came out around 8 pm and played for 45 minutes or so. he was really fun, very personable and the crowd seemed to really like him. he was really funny too. someone yelled "you guys rock!" and he thought they said "you guys suck!" and that was sad. but it was a solid performance. as for songs, the only ones i remember the names to are 'me and mia,' 'counting down the hours,' 'little dawn,' and 'where have all the rude boys gone.'

    death cab for cutie came on around 9, maybe a little bit afterwards. their backdrop was really cool, it looked like building fronts, and they kept changing the lighting to really pretty blues and magentas, etc. and at times they had a powerline pole superimposed over the building fronts, and they had lights that looked like street lamps hanging from the buildings. i know, i suck at describing things but i thought it was pretty neat.
    death cab also put on a really solid show, and the crowd really liked them. ben gibbard was pretty funny, and he was talking to some other guy in the band (sorry, not being a huge fan i only know one guy's name) about ruling a small town and then they started talking about jennifer grey and her nose job. good times. i liked all the songs that they played, but only recognized a few. i can tell you that they played 'the sound of settling,' 'soul meets body,' and 'i will follow you into the dark' and uhhh i bet some of their other singles. there was song that went: "i loved you gweniver i loved you gweniver (repeat at least 10 more times) and one where he kept saying "i hope" oh and another that had the lyrics "you're beautiful but i don't really love you," or something similar, so if you're a bigger fan than i am you probably know what songs those are. they ended up playing for about an hour and 15 minutes, and then a 10-15 minute encore.

    all in all i'm glad i got to go, it ended up being a lot of fun. i would say more but since i am not that familiar with death cab for cutie i don't have much to compare to. but from my past experiences i'd say it was a solid concert. and the sound quality was WONDERFUL! compared to some other shows i've been to (like Murder by Death this summer...ugh)
  • dufus/gaybot 9/30/06 rochester, NY

    2. Okt. 2006, 14:16

    So I went to the AV Space with Breanne the other night to see Dufus. There were some other people from U of R and that was cool. The AV Space is a really nice little niche located in the Public Market Space. It doubles as an art gallery and is a very small and homely place. The place where we saw the music was basically a large room that looked like it could double as an office seeing as there was a desk with a computer on it in the back. but it was really kind of neat place to be, despite the fact that it was really COLD.

    the first act that came on was Beatrice is Dead and I believe they hailed from RIT. They were... different. not really my style, but seemed to be more of a performance art group then anything. but it was fun to watch. i guess i don't really get music acts like that. oh well.

    Dufus came on next, and they were a lot of fun. They had this really cool video going on via a projector in the background. It was basically several nature scenes that blended into one another. It was really relaxing. I liked it a lot. There was only one song I didn't really like but otherwise I thought it was a lot of fun. I particularly like when the main guy (Seth I believe his name is) came on and introduced a song:
    "This song came from a dream. I was at a Tom Petty rock concert, except Tom Petty had dark skin and dreadlocks. And he was singing this song, so that's where it came from."
    so that was fun.

    Then Gaybot came on. and they were fucking insane. the animation playing in the back was probably my favorite, it was so ridiculously trippy. I think it hails from the website paperrad.org so check it out if you're interested. anyways, gaybot did too many crazy things for me to remember. Climbing flags, passing chairs through the audience, wearing dresses and wigs, just... it sounds very tame but you have to see it to experience it, I guess. I honestly don't know what to say about it... the music was noise, i guess. I don't really know. It was just an experience in itself. It was someone's birthday from Gaybot so they had a cookie cake and that was that. and it was just fucking ridiculous. That's all I have to say. Gerald and Zelby got into it a lot and started knocking chairs over and pushing each other and fighting with chairs and stuff. and then the flag was ripped down and we made it into one of those parachutes you played with in middle school by putting balloons in the middle and bouncing them up and down. there were a bunch of decorations for said birthday, so that was cool.

    well, that was my exciting concert of the last few weeks.
  • joan of arc/owen 9/2/06 rochester, NY

    6. Sep. 2006, 21:09

    back to school, and i finally get to experience the bug jar. i really enjoy this venue because of its size. i wish i had been around when Jens Lekman played there! oh well.

    anyways, the decor inside of the bug jar is really cool, especially the "upside down" room where the bands play. basically it has appliances like an oven, dining room table (completely set for dinner), refridgerator, etc. on the ceiling. picture the room doing a complete 180 on you and now you're standing on the ceiling while the floor is above you. it was pretty sweet.

    so i went to seen Joan of Arc and Owen with quite a few people (i think the only one on my lastfm list that went was david).
    owen went on first, and he was pretty good. i would compare him to the time i saw Langhorne Slim. owen was nice acoustic music to listen to, with appealing (yet kind of trite and emo) lyrics. again, with langhorne slim, i would say that it wasn't terribly unique. i'm just waiting for everyone to come out of nowhere and tell me i need to give owen more credit, but whatever. i don't think owen is bad, but i didn't find it interesting enough to make me want to buy an album because it sounded so standard. but it's hard to be unique in an acoustic set.

    the second band i wish i knew their name so i could at least give them a tag but i couldn't hear what their name was. anyways, i liked them the best of the three bands i saw. they were kind of crazy prog-jam-rock that reminded me of a mixture of the following: the books, godspeed you! black emperor, the mars volta, and explosions in the sky. pretty difficult to imagine aurally, but that's what it sounded like to me. it was a little hard to get into, but soon enough i was lost in a daze. i half-expected them to start off "experimental-jam" and then break into indie pop, but that didn't happen.

    finally joan of arc came on around 11:30. there were a few REALLY obnoxious drunk people that kept "dancing/moshing" (i.e., bashing into people, spilling beer everywhere, and being a little too touchy-feely with the audience). dude, it's okay to get into the band, but getting ridiculously drunk and obnoxious is annoying and disrespectful to the rest of the crowd. especially in such a small venue. but i guess these kids didn't care. c'est la vie.
    the performance and music were... interesting. i actually had not been super familiar with owen or joan of arc going to this concert, and had only heard them through ashleigh, but i figured it would be something to do, and i trust ashleigh's taste in music (as well as others who are fans of the band that i went with). but i thought the performance was sub par. maybe it was the audience, maybe the band wasn't feeling it that night, maybe it was the venue, who knows. but there didn't seem to be a lot of energy (ok, i know the stage was small and jam-packed with people, but show a little emotion!). the projection showing a video slideshow-type presentation was hard to see but interesting to watch in the background.
    as for the music, some of it i really enjoyed, and some of it seemed really generic. i guess i just don't get this seemingly universal infatuation with Tim Kinsella in the independent music world.