Tag Archive for Stubb’s

4/24/13…Band Of Horses with Roadkill Ghost Choir @ Stubb’s

Band Of Horses

The time had finally come for me to see Band of Horses.  I had been a fan for several years and had a couple of (missed) opportunities to see them.  But I was NOT going to miss them this time, so help me!!  I was so excited for this show and was initially disappointed to find out that it was supposed to be a really cold night.  The concert was outside!!  But everything turned out perfectly:  the weather, my arrival time, and my location.

My view of the stage upon arrival. 4/24/13

My view of the stage upon arrival. 4/24/13

I got to Stubb’s and took my place close to the stage about 5 minutes before the opening band, Roadkill Ghost Choir, started playing.  I had no idea who this band was.  In fact, I ended up asking two guys nearby who seemed to be fans.  They had to repeat the name about 3 times before I got it, given it is quite an unusual name.  But what they lacked in name choice, they more than made up for in musicality.  They’re quiet, and hard, and lovely all at the same time.  It’s very difficult, in my opinion, to capture these three elements in a manner that makes sense, but they did it very well.  They were, in fact, a perfect lead-in to Band Of Horses, who attain this same wonderful combination of sounds on an even greater scale.  But I’ll get to that.  I liked Roadkill Ghost Choir so much that I’m definitely planning on acquiring some of their available music.  This is one of the songs that stood out to me:

They played about a 30 minute set, maybe less, and warmed up the crowd beautifully for Band of Horses.  I was now READY for them.  Thankfully they did not make us wait very long between sets.  They came on at around 8:30 or so, maybe even earlier and started us off with (how fitting) “The First Song”.  For me, not only was it a pleasure to get to know the band as they played live, but it was great to watch everyone in the audience just light up to their music.  As much as I love this band’s songs, I really didn’t know much about the band members.  Ben Bridwell, the lead singer, was so open to the audience.  I think one of my favorite parts about his stage presence was how he causally hung his arm onto the mic stand, leaning in the direction of the audience.  He just seemed very relaxed and inviting.  You don’t expect this amazing voice to come out of this skinny, tatted up, redneck-looking dude.  He’s GREAT!  All the band members were great.  And for such lovely songs, they really can ROCK.  At some points they had three guitars going at once and it sounded RAD!!!  They jammed.

Toward the beginning of the set Ben mentioned that it was one of their good buddy’s 80th birthdays and they were gonna film us singing happy birthday to him.  Well, the buddy turned out to be Willie Nelson!!  And some guy was on stage filming the audience as we sang “Happy Birthday” to Willie!  I’m pretty sure I was captured on film.  It was so fun!  One very cool thing about Band Of Horses’ shows is that they change up their set list every night.  I was hoping to hear two of my favorite songs and luckily toward the end of their set, one of them “No One’s Gonna Love You” came on.  I had to capture a bit of it.  And here it is, sounding as lovely as ever…

The band really managed to make each song sound even better live.  They’re a five piece band and each guy is multi-talented, playing more than one instrument and singing.  I was so impressed.  And when they hit “The Funeral”, I had to pull out my phone again to record it.  This is another FANTASTIC song:

I was even closer to the stage during this part of the show because of a last-minute surge in the audience.  I didn’t mind. 😉

There was only one minor incident during the show with some stupid guy.  Closer to the middle of the set, this guy had shoved his way past me to get closer to the stage.  He was either really drunk, a really big fan, or both.  I didn’t care at this point because he moved to the side of me, not blocking my view.  But he left from his spot a little while later.  Little did I know that he would be coming back.  He slid up next to me and asked if he could get back to his spot.  I kind of nodded and let him in front of me, thinking he would keep moving over.  But no, he decided to stand right in front of me.  And I’m only 5′ 2 1/2″!  HI!  I’m short.  So I got PISSED!!  After about 30 seconds I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “DUDE, you do realize you’re taller than me, right???!!!”  He was a little shocked and said, “Oh, I’m sorry.  I’m gonna move right now!”  And he did.”  So then I was happy again.  I may be short, but I don’t let people walk all over me.  “The Funeral” was actually the last song in the set, but of course they came back out for an encore.  I was so amused to hear the couple next to me chatting about the encore.  The boyfriend was explaining to his girlfriend what an encore was.  WOW!!  This must’ve been her first show ever.  What a GREAT first show!!  And here is that set list:

I love the cover they ended with.  It showed the band’s versatility both musically and vocally.  Ben sang the SHIT out of it, for sure!!  I’m happy that I finally saw this band perform live.  And I know without a doubt, it will NOT be my last time!!

 

 

9/27/12…Smashing Pumpkins with Ume @ Stubb’s BBQ

Smashing Pumpkins @ Stubb's 9/27/12

Smashing Pumpkins @ Stubb’s 9/27/12

Somehow I went through the entire 90′s without ever seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, Smashing Pumpkins.  I blame it on the fact that they were from Chicago and I took it for granted that I would always have the opportunity to see them.  Yeah, well that didn’t happen.  And almost 20 years from when I first discovered them, I FINALLY got to see them perform.  The line-up may be different, but the only one that really matters in this band is Billy Corgan.  He is the mastermind, and always has been, behind this band!  The songs, the arrangements…it’s all him!  And because of that, I was never in doubt that this particular show would be one that I could NOT miss!!  As soon as I got the information for the presale date I knew I was in a bind.  I would be working when the tickets went on sale and I was sure they would sell out pretty quickly.  Luckily, my friend and current concert buddy decided he wanted to go this show too; he was able to jump on the presale and buy us both tickets.  I was so grateful and thrilled that we would be going.  The closer it got to the date, the more excited I became.  This tour is in support of the new Pumpkins album, Oceania.  I bought it so I would be familiar with the songs before the concert.  I really love this album.  It rocks, it vibes…it’s his best in years.  My favorite song at this moment from the album is The Celestials.  It has such a sweet melody and sentiment.  I love it!  I got a glimpse of what would probably be the set list for this show.  Since this was a pre-show to the start of the official tour, the first half of the concert was dedicated to the entire new album.  It wasn’t in order of the album, but they played all the songs.  It was amazing to hear them live.  It was apparent by the looks Billy was giving to the sound guy that they were still working out some kinks in the show.  What I adored were the little smiles Billy gave at the beginning of the show.  This is a brand new album and this audience was already singing every word.  Billy’s smiles conveyed both his surprise and pleasure in the fact that his audience already knew these songs.  How awesome!!  I loved it!  I want to backtrack for a minute.  I told my friend, before the show, that I wanted to get there before the doors opened so we could get a good spot.  Since it was a general admission show, it would pretty much be a free-for-all when it came to getting close to the stage.  The line was already incredibly long when we arrived, but I knew it would move quickly once the doors opened.  And it did!  We were inside by 7:10 and we got a great spot in the middle about 8 rows back from the stage (standing room).  I was happy and I wasn’t planning on moving from that spot.  At this point, we still had no idea who the opening band was.  In fact, we didn’t find out till they went on at 7:30.  Ume is a local, Austin band.  They’re a 3-piece with two chicks (lead singer/guitarist & drummer) and a male bassist.  For a 3 piece, this band ROCKED!  I almost felt sorry for this male bassist because he was surrounded by these incredibly badass female musicians.  They really won me over.  I had seen this band’s name everywhere, but I had never heard their music.  I will definitely be checking them out again.  Back to the Pumpkins.  Their set started at around eight. I was so impatient.  In fact, right before they went on, I had been crouched down because I had gotten so antsy and my back was killing me from standing in one spot for an hour.  I heard the crowd start to roar, so I jumped up and there they were!  Billy’s traveling with 3 other band mates…a female bassist/keyboardist, another male guitarist/keyboardist and a male drummer (who also plays the keyboard, btw).  These guys were a great complement to Billy.  I was very impressed.  After the band made it through the entire list of Oceania songs, they played a David Bowie cover, “Space Oddity”.  That was very cool.  And then…then came the classics or the “dusties” as Billy called them.  lol  The first classic was X.Y.U.  I knew it was coming, so I was prepared for it.  Even so, that’s one of my favorites, so I still went a little nuts when I heard it starting.  I was excited about the songs that I knew to be included in the set list.  But one song, one of my FAVORITES, was glaringly missing.  So all I could hope for was that they would add it into tonight’s show.  Just when I thought I knew what song was next.  Just when I was reaching into my purse for a piece of candy, the beginning strains of Zero (the song I wasn’t sure he would play) began:

I started screaming like a lunatic, grabbed my friends arm…I mean, I grabbed his arm so hard that I ended up scratching him and drawing blood.  I was a maniac…a freak.  I LOVE that song!  I was so incredibly happy they played it.  I told my friend, “Kill me now because I can die a happy girl!”  And in the moment, I meant every word!  They played quite a few oldies, but goodies like “Disarm”, “Tonight, Tonight”, “Bullet With Butterfly Wings”, “Stand Inside Your Love”, etc.  I think “Cherub Rock” was the last song in the main set.  YES!!  And then they left the stage.  The crowd was calling for an encore and the band did not disappoint.  A few minutes passed and they came back out with some dude (Jimmy Flemion) from the band The Frogs.  I have no idea.  He did one of The Frogs’ songs.  ??  And then he jumped in on a Smashing Pumpkins song, “Thirty-Three”.  This guy was so weird.  He kept pretending like he was gonna throw his guitar in the audience.  And he actually jumped into the audience for a quick minute.  He was just very odd.  He finally left and Billy ended the show with one more song, “Mayonaise”.   I haven’t been to a show this incredible in a long, long time.  I was in heaven.  I’m so happy I went and I’ll never forget how great it made me feel to be there…to be a part of this amazing music.  The band played for two and a half hours!!  They sounded great, the guitars sounded brutal, & the audience was electric!  Billy didn’t talk too much during the show, but when he did he was actually pretty funny.  After the last song and the lights had come up, he took a few minutes to walk from either side of the stage and really acknowledge the audience.  That was great.  It was evident he really appreciated all the love.  And we appreciated the outstanding performance!

12/9/11…The Live Lights @ Stubb’s Bar-B-Q

Stubb's

Stubb’s

So, can’t say that this night got off to a good start, BUT I was determined to keep an open mind and hopefully enjoy the show.  I got in just as the band was sound checking. Literally about 2 minutes after I made my way to the stage, this energetic cat popped over to me and started chatting me up about the band that had just played.  Unfortunately, I missed them but he took my email to let me know about future shows.  Not even sure how he was connected to the band, nor do I know what the band’s name is.  Why did I give him my email??!! lol  We’ll see if he follows up…maybe he’ll lead me to some good music.  Anyway, back to The Live Lights.  I have to be honest here.  They never got me going.  They’re a four piece band (keyboardist is also the vocalist, guitars, drums, & bass) and they started out with a bang.    I even found myself tapping my foot at times.  But there was just something missing for me.  They never really got me on that visceral or emotional level.  Halfway through the show, I even sat down; I wasn’t inspired to dance, move around, or anything.  It’s not that they were bad.  They have a very 80′s inspired sound.  But it’s not so much the poppy 80′s sound, but more of the dark, droning synth sound of, say, The Cure, but with a bit of A Flock Of Seagulls.  I find it very hard to describe their sound.  There were definitely people in the crowd that were into them and that’s great.  They just didn’t do it for me.  I think the other thing that was super distracting was that they had a photographer/videographer up on stage with them half the time.  He’s obviously not a band member and it was just super weird to me that he was on stage taking shots as opposed to doing it in front of the stage.  I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but it kinda annoyed me.  I never want to diminish a band’s talents or efforts, but I do always want to be honest about what I really do enjoy.  And by the same token, I want to feel free to say what isn’t quite cutting it for me.  Everyone’s got their preferences and as much as I enjoy all kinds of music, not everything will inspire me.  Feel free to check them out yourself and YOU be the judge…www.thelivelights.com.