Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nylon Summer Music tour- FINAL Act: Patrick Wolf

This entry shall begin as an open love letter to my new musical icon and hero, Patrick Wolf. Today is his birthday. I would like to begin by wishing him a very happy birthday, and I would also like to thank his mother and father for having him. This is a confession of the utmost admiration and love- but not in a romantic sense. I feel he is a kindred spirit with whom I share ideals with, and as he is a devout believer in the magic of music, as well as magic itself, I feel it is safe to say this without him becoming TOO incredibly uncomfortable. You are a beautiful person who has filled my heart with joy and has sparked a creativity within me I felt had long been dead. Thank you for reawakening that part of me that for so long has felt cut off from the rest of my spirit. OK, now that that's out of the way... Let me try to explain to you the range of emotions I experienced during Patrick Wolf's performance at the Highline Ballroom on June the 23rd, 2009.

The lights went down and sent me straight into the abyss of anticipation. All around me I heard the baited breath of those around me mingle with the chaotic hoots and hollers of the crowd. I felt my grin rip open across my face as if it had been sewn shut for years. Suddenly, the familiar pangs and electronic drones of Kriegspiel began. The stage was dark and ominous as an elegant and extremely exaggerated figure emerged from the back of the stage. The lights went up as the notes of Kriegspiel did, and up came the 6'5" frame of Patrick Wolf as the Vulture. Never have I seen nor experienced a performance that immediately electrified me without moving! Before I knew what was happening I found myself in the throes of exuberance and dark joy. I danced and shook the way I normally do when I am alone in my room. I felt no shame. Any telltale "eye-rolls" simply rolled off of me. I was too excited and full of a vivacious spirit to care. Every song performed rang more and more true to the nature of my being. I went through a range of emotions normally reserved for a lifetime. I experienced extreme joy, yearning, darkness, sexual sadism, masochism, righteousness, melancholy, romance, contentment, liberation, honor, bachelorhood, humor, and enchantment along with many other dramatic effects of the heart and mind.

That was all introspective. Here's what was happening around me; camaraderie. Every person around me was with me. I realize now that there was no one there to judge. They all felt it too. Patrick puts it best when he calls his audience his "tribe". This is truly what we are. We are a community of givers, believers, and magic makers. We are soothsayers and old friends (though we've only just met). There were many crowning moments for me. There was a certain intimacy with Mr. Wolf that is normally lacking when one attends a performance. I felt so close to him, as a friend, a comrade, and as a kindred spirit that he may as well have been strumming at his dulcimer in the corners of my mind. Again, I am sure I am not alone in this sentiment... but rather than feel possessive and obsessive about it, I welcome that sense of belonging, of understanding. As if this acknowledgement from the surrounding audience wasn't enough... as I was standing there, front row and center with Hillary, one of my newly found friends (from the video shoot, mind you) I realized that Patrick kept looking down towards me and smiling. There were moments where we'd lock eyes, I'd laugh- he'd smile, and I would simply beam and dance along. When- without warning, between songs- an acknowledgement came that I was entirely unprepared for. From up on high, through his microphone and down to me, Patrick Wolf smiled, looked me in the eye and said, "How are you? It's so nice to see you again! I see you've gotten all the paint off! How did you fair after the video shoot?" I was paralyzed. I smiled nervously luckily Hil answered for me- "We slept- A LOT!" There was some more casual banter- 'til Mr. Wolf realized he wasn't sharing this conversation with the whole crowd, "These are two actresses from my Hard Times video shoot I did here a few weeks ago!" A mix of embarrassment and great pride swelled in my breast as I turned, smiled, & waved at the applauding audience. Shortly thereafter, "Hard Times" came on & every time Patrick looked down at me and scrunched his nose and grinned knowingly at me I melted a little- the only thing keeping me together was the excited and supportive pat on the back from fellow tribesman Jesse.

Patrick Wolf is a powerful performer. He unabashedly shows every and any range of emotion he experiences on stage no matter what the consequences. He is unapologetic about his nature. This is the mark of a truly great performer, and I simply reflected this honesty.

I shall close with the candor of my opening statements;

Patrick,

I will follow you to the ends of the earth. I can't possibly say thank you enough. With all the gratitude and sincerity I can afford, I remain, humbly at your service. I look forward to the inevitable greatness that your music shall bring to me and all those in this tribe!

With much love, admiration, and respect,
Madame K

Oh, and here's the INCREDIBLE set list:
Kriegspiel
Vulture
Oblivion
Bluebells
Enchanted
Damaris
Pigeon Song
The Bachelor
The Libertine
Battle
Tristan
Blackdown
Who Will?
Theseus
Land's End
Accident & Emergency
Hard Times
The Magic Position
Wolf Song
Armistice

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mr. Wolf!

Nylon Summer Music tour- Third Act: Living Things

I hadn't realized I knew the music of Living Things until about half way through their set. They're on Sirius XMU often, and their song "Bom Bom Bom" was featured in a commercial (I think, for the Ipod? or some cell phone... hmm not a very good sign for the effectiveness of music in advertising, eh?)... ANYWAY as the crew set up the equipment for the Living Things I noticed a musical instrument lineup I seldom see... the guitar, the mic, the drum kit, and the bass were all lined up in a row right up front. This, to me, symbolizes a certain level of respect and courtesy towards all the band members, it tells me that they are all equals- that each member contributes the same amount of input and creativity. Maybe I am reading too much into it, but I will go with it as I feel it is a symbol of unity most rock bands refuse to acknowledge. It is a Utopian concept, for sure, one I haven't seen since the Violent Femmes (and since they've broken up- I guess we just have more evidence as to why communism would never work?).

All the members are male. All the members wear black. They all carry a certain air of seriousness. Their outfits were tight fitting and comprised an acceptable amount of black leather. They all wore stylish boots. Their hair was carefully coiffed. Yes yes, they were "good looking" in that hipster trash chic kind of way that I both LOATHE and secretly find myself attracted to. Despite their very accentuated fashionista looks- one fact remains... they put on a jolly good show! Their songs were catchy, with just enough of that reliable rock edginess that I require. A big plus for me was that the songs definitely didn't sound alike regardless of the fact that I barely knew them as a group. The drummer was vivacious and a total powerhouse, the bassist was mysterious and alluring, and the guitarist was cocksure without being a douche about it. The lead singer, whose name I've learned is Lillian Berlin evoked the spirit of Mick Jagger whilst drinking as he eloquently put it "Total SHIT" (also known as House Merlot). He had fun with the audience, and the audience had fun with him.

The most memorable moment of this singer/audience interaction came when he commented on the gorgeousness of the women all lined up in the front row. Though he admitted it was a tad cliche- he simply couldn't help himself, and, considering I was one of the woman in the front row I can't really blame him. He complimented a young ladies sequined teal vest only to have her offer it up to him for a much needed "splash of color". As he slung it over his own black vest, he invited the woman and her lovely young female comrade onto the stage to dance- while he took their spots down below and sang from there. When the song ended- he made a VERY astute observation- "I think I like the view from down here with them up there MUCH better!". The girls stayed on for a spell dancing and having, what I'm sure will be one of their most memorable concert experiences of their lives. Living Things are certainly worth a listen, and are DEFINITELY worth catching live.

Living Things

Are on next... so far it was "eh" to "ooh la la".... let's see how these guys do!!

Yea!

Nylon Summer Music tour- Second Act: The Plasticines

There are only four things you need to know about The Plasticines, and they all begin with the letter "F": They are Fashionable, Female, Fucking Talented, and French.

The Plasticines are a beautiful and talented rock group hailing from France. Each member is distinctive and is a rather ingenious representation of an iconic female symbol. We have Katty on Vocals/Guitar, representing the CLASSIC blonde bombshell straight out of an awesome 50's style B-Movie that you can't stop watching. Marine on Guitar a Blondie-inspired self assured rock chick who kicks it classic like Keith Richards only with better breasts and more clarity. Louise on Bass who's strong, silent, and independent and whose stage personality is as quiet, mysterious, and sexy as George Harrison. Finally, there's Anaïs on Drums- with her streaked glitterati make up making me instantly recall my beloved Jem and The Holograms and actually reminded me that women CAN play drums!

I noticed a trend from this evening, and it's that each band performed very well, and they had their own unique "schtick". The Plasticines, in the midst of a VERY impressive rendition of Nancy Sinatra's classic "These Boots Were Made for Walking" had asked the audience to clap along. We all obliged... or at least I thought we all did. Right there, in the middle of the "breakdown" Katty stops the music and says in her gorgeous little French accent something along the lines of "Ey! Ass-ole! You are not clapping! Why? Clap! Or we will not play!" The nameless "asshole" did not comply, and the ladies made good on their promise! They all moved up towards the front of the stage (the drummer even left her kit) and began heckling him in French. They didn't play until he obliged to their whim! They ended with a song appropriately titled "I am a Bitch". This made me grin ear to ear, had me laugh, shake my head, and utter "classic".


Their music is fun and easy to bop around to OR rock out to depending on your desires. They played a short and sweet set and they gave me the right impression without being pushy. Their performances were vivacious, and had me asking for a wee little more when their time was up. For those of you who didn't like their "attitude" all I can say is this; if Mick Jagger did what they did, y'all would've been ALL over it, but apparently having a vagina makes all "edge and dry humor" come off as snobby. Fabuleux!

The Plasticines

Now THESE LADIES I LIKE!

Nylon Summer Music tour- First Act: Jaguar Love

There are a few things I always expect when I go to a show:

1. There will be an obscenely long line, and it will be chaos.
2. They SAY the time for the doors to open, but they will most likely not let you in until about a ½ hour after the fact.
3. The opening act always takes longer than scheduled to set up, and get on stage, and they almost always overstay their welcome with the eager crowd.

I am pleased to say that none of these things occurred at the Highline Ballroom a few nights ago. It’s true, the lines formed rapidly to enter the Highline Ballroom, but they were organized and well conceived. The doors opened promptly at 6. With THREE performers coming on before the headliner, they somehow managed to set up a lightning speeds, were on stage in a gif, and stayed long enough that we got an idea of who they were, yet left before our ADD got the better of us.

Nylon magazine’s Summer Music Tour featured many acts- the first performers of the line up being Jaguar Love. Like I said, they came on promptly. I have to admit, they just weren’t my sound. They were loud- which is impressive for a two-piece band, but Death From Above just did it better. I didn’t really notice that much of a difference between each song, though in their defense- songs tend to become an ambient backdrop of noise if you don’t know the music. I will give them high marks for enthusiasm, but not for manners. We were a rather large cluster of women in the front row, and though we're tough, we're still dainty (a conundrum, I know) and deserved to be treated as such.

One of the coolest moments of their performance was when they jumped down from the stage and played in the middle of the crowd. This move, however, had them slam and rush from the front of the stage and cause some serious physical injury to the pretty women around me! Not cool, young men! All they had to say was "MOVE!" or "Get outta the way!" and surely, we would've complied.


If I were a teacher, I'd give them a C-. I wouldn't see them play alone, but I certainly didn't mind seeing them as an opening act for, let's say... Patrick Wolf.

Jaguar Love

The Patrick Wolf show...

Front Row and waiting for the show! Want to know the most underappreciated element to nabbing a front row spot? I can put my bag down!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dead on a Friday: A Brief Introduction & LIVE!

What can I say about Dead on a Friday? Well, a lot actually. I was introduced to them roughly 7 years ago in Queens. I have learned that their sound is sometimes referred to as "So-Cal" Punk. I assume this means "audible melodic punk music". I always claim I am an open minded music fan- but I got to admit, it took my introduction to lead singer Dave Fox to give punk a chance. He explained to me Dead on a Friday's influences like Bad Religion & The Misfits, & that punk's intent is to be honest and straightforward, both musically & lyrically. Dead on a Friday recently played a show on LI at a bar called The Blue Parrot, & I'm glad to say that not only was the sound of this 3-piece outfit tighter than ever, but their newest songs "Early Grave" & "Good Old Days" have successfully maintained their classic rockin' Queens punk roots & their honesty while still remaining relevant. I can always count on Dead on a Friday to do a good show. In this unreliable world, I'm glad I can count on them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dead on a Friday @ The Blue Parrot

For a LI Venue I got to say the sound is pretty solid...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Decemberists: Radio City Music Hall

Wandering minstrels were something I often fantasized about as a small child. I would picture strangely dressed paupers from faraway lands, gypsy thieves their only true companions with guitar or lute in hand singing tales of triumph, love, and woe to the great pleasure of the surrounding crowd. They would have seen the world and all of its treasures. They were the accessible version of the wise man and prophets. I always pictured they would possess some exotic and unexpected beauty or handsomeness about them that would lure me into their world, and I would sneak away into the night to join them in their musical crusades. Some kids dreamed about running away to join the circus, I dreamed of running away with musicians.

Not much has changed. I still dream of running off with that band of exotic minstrels- maybe they could teach me how to carry a tune or play the tambourine. We could travel all day and play our music all night, always weaving a fine tapestry of sound to the great pleasure of the souls around us. Problem is, we no longer have minstrels. Like all the great things that have come to pass, the traveling troupe of singer poets spinning tales of fancy have gone the way of the dodo. So, quite recently, I had reluctantly abandoned the dream of the minstrel, and resigned to my life of the office job. Sure, I get out and go to concerts, but there's no intimate fairytale to follow in much of today's modern music. There's nothing to interpret, no cautionary tales of love and hate to be heard today.


That is, until I purchased "The Hazards of Love" by the Decemberists a few months ago. Lead singer Colin Maloy described this album as a "Folk Opera", and boy, he wasn't kidding. We are first introduced to Margaret (sung by Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond), who stumbles across a wounded white faun in an enchanted forest, when she attempts to help the faun; he changes into a beautiful man, William (sung by Colin Maloy). They fall in love instantly, and have sex right there on the forest floor. Margaret departs and returns to her village, and it is soon found out that she is with child. She decides to return to the forest to find William. The story grows more twisted and complicated from there. We meet a demented, jealous, and possessive witchwho is Queen of the Forest and also happens to be the adoptive mother of William (sung by Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond), as well as the loathsome Rake- a foul sex-crazed child murdering man.

It's definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. I hoped to God they would play NYC & I would get the chance to hear some of this enchanting minstrel inspired music. I got my wish, and then some! When it was announced that the Decemberists were playing Radio City Music Hall I was overjoyed. Then, I received an extra tidbit of information that catapulted me into frenzied elation. The Decemberists were to play ALL of "The Hazards of Love" as it was intended to be played- from start to finish and in its
entirety.


The night of the show arrived. My comrade Kristin (she's who introduced me to the Decemberists- and is certainly a fellow "run off with the gypsies" enthusiast) and I got into Radio City Music Hall shortly after the opening act had finished. I normally HATE doing this, but, uhh, I like eating and drinking usually WAY more than the opening acts. We filed our way into one of the prettiest old theaters in NYC and found our seats. The show began promptly and I knew from the first note- that this show would be a legend in the making. The set was simple, the musicians very casually dressed, their instruments acting as the perfect props. There is something magical about Radio City Music Hall. Maybe it's the velvet seats, or the classic décor, who knows, but something about that theatre makes you feel like you are a witness to something great. It doesn't even matter where your seats are, I felt like, although I was one of the thousands in the audience, that I was somehow part of the show and its ambiance. As the show progressed and all I could think was, "I found my modern minstrels! Now, how do I sneak away and become a member?" as the sound of their folksy fairytale carried beautifully and filled the theater, even the lighting had a mesmerizing effect.


There was much of the evening that I shall carry with me, always. The performance of the singers, and the harpsichordist stands out to me as the most awe-inspiring occurrences. Shara Worden in particular blew my mind away. Her work as head siren for her outfit My Brightest Diamond has been turning my head for a while now, but seeing and hearing Shara's banshee wail has confirmed that she is one of the most powerful yet underappreciated female vocalists of our generation. Her role as the wicked forest Queen went unparalleled by her peers. Not only did her voice deliver the message of the psychotic dark forest queen, her movement appeared as though she were possessed by demons! She shook and threw her tiny frame about as if she had no power to control herself. She was fiery and uninhibited much like I imagine the Queen would be, and I envy her for it. Margaret as played by Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond was the perfect contrast to the nature of Shara. She was ethereal and lovely, both in appearance and voice. The Decemberists made impeccable choices in the casting of these women- thus only confirming their own genius. The full set was Broadway worthy, and the musicians comprising the Decemberists are nothing short of incredible.

As if "The Hazards of Love" in its entirety wasn't enough, they came back to the stage after a brief intermission and did a full second set of their more classic songs! I believe in the minstrel again, and I've the Decemberists to thank for this. If you haven't seen them perform live I suggest you do so, and as soon as possible. Never will your thirst for story telling and enchanting music be more quenched!

Setlist 1:
Prelude
The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
A Bower Scene
Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
The Queen's Approach
Isn't It a Lovely Night?
The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
An Interlude
The Rake's Song
The Abduction of Margaret
The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing
Annan Water
Margaret in Captivity
The Hazards of Love 3 (Revenge!)
The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)

Setlist 2:
Crane Wife 3
July! July!
Billy Liar
Sleepless (from Dark Was the Night)
The Bachelor and the Bride
Part of Daughter of Dracula-- Maloy introduced this song by noting that most artists choose to perform their best material at Radio City. He was going to break with that tradition by playing the worst song he ever wrote. "I started it with a G major 7 and then, what's worse is that I went to a C major 7. In layman's terms the douchiest of douchey chord progressions."
O Valencia!
The Chimbley Sweep
Heart's Crazy on You-- Arguably one of the BEST things I've ever seen
performed live- Stark and Warden returned to perform it, and it BLEW ME
AWAY!

Then, for the Encore:
REM's Peter Buck joined the band for the first song of the encore, which was an R.E.M. Song that goes by the name of "Begin the Begin"
Sons and Daughters

Act two

Loving this hall for a concert. The sound is great & there are great visual effects happening...

Radio City Music Hall

THE DECEMBERISTS!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Defining Moment in my life.

Nine Inch Nails, Dimmi, & I...I've got A LOT to say about the events leading up to this... but for now just enjoy it like I am!

Nine Inch Nails VIP

videoThe Frail into the Wretched... no words... wow.

I can't believe any of this....

NIN SOUNDCHECK!

Nin meet and greet!!

He signed my heart!!

omgomgomg

This is my new angel Dimmi... just gave me back stage access!

Awaiting the big moment!

Good lord!!

Panic mode.

Waiting for the meet and greet

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NIN|JA 2009: Jane's Addiction PNC Arts Center

Let me tell you something about Jane's Addiction that you may not realize. They are the unequivocal GODS of performance rock and roll without a stitch of absurd makeup, costumes, or gimmicks. They give you a show with little more than the shirts off their backs and a song in their hearts (and sometimes also in their pants). Perry Ferrel is one of the most interesting and enigmatic performers ever to grace the stage. Any aspiring rock outfit should treat themselves to a Jane's Addiction show even if it's just to witness Perry ham it up and make sweet sweet karmic LOVE to the crowd.

It's hard for me to imagine a group that could "follow" Nine Inch Nails. Trent Reznor gives a piece of his dark and agonized soul with every song belted out. Every drop of anger, sense of betrayal, lost love, or deep seemingly inexplicable pain pours out of his music. The crowd responds to this act of catharsis by doing some of their own. The energy at a Nine Inch Nails show is unparalleled by anything I have ever seen. It's one huge rage fest. That being said, the energy level following a Nine Inch Nails show is... invigorated. It's as if 16,000 people just spent the previous hour and a half having the fight of their lives, and finally got everything that they've been meaning to say out of their system.

Usually after Nine Inch Nails' encore, we all let out a sigh, turn, and leave. Well, not this time. Not with Jane's Addiction in the building. Jane's achieved what I thought no group could ever manage. They followed Nine Inch Nails and held the audience captivated and intrigued. There is only one rational conclusion that I have made about this...

Nine Inch Nails' show is the concert equivalent to a cathartic fight between two lovers, and Jane's Addiction represents the ultimate and PHENOMENAL "make up" sex afterwards.

Take a moment to let that sink in. Take a swig of wine. I know, baby, I know.


Nine Inch Nails left promptly like a storm. After one of the briefest intermissions I have ever witnessed in all my years of concert going, the lights went down, and a filmy curtain lowered to reveal a short film. A small child is having a conversation with a young man. A regretful sentence is mumbled and echoes through the hushed crowd "I never got to see Jane's Addiction before they broke up"... Then the tell-tale voice utters the familiar words, the bass slowly rolls in... Three Days begins. Imagery of shapely topless vixens dance across the translucent backdrop... Then the curtain's raised to reveal Jane's Addiction as they were meant to be, the original lineup- Perry, Dave, Eric, and Steve all together again on stage.


It's all a beautiful blur from this point on. It was an extreme night for me on many levels, this being my inaugural NIN|JA show. My sister Gina and I experienced and battled with high anxiety (having showed up late and missing the beginning of NIN's "Pinion"), extreme elation (seeing how INCREDIBLY close our seats were), love (our sisterly love, my love for Trent, Gina's love for Perry), worry (Gina missing part of 3 days thanks to a t-shirt mishap), sheer panic (somewhere between the entrance and our fifth row seats- Gina lost her car key), Zen like acceptance (the key was gone, let us enjoy the show and worry later), to absolute awe and wonder at the joys of this universe and every creature in it (the key was found and delivered to security)! Pray tell, when have you ever gone to a show where so much has happened in such a short span of time? When have you ever experienced such extreme examples of life? Light and dark?


OH, Perry, you are a divine thin little messenger of the eccentricities of life! We applaud your candor AND your dancing! Dave- my God, could you BE any more handsome? You SO didn't look like a real human! Steve- every time you smiled I felt my mouth follow suit- what a joy to watch you play! Eric-we missed you- and now that I have heard you I see now what Jane's had been
missing all these years...

I am letting out an audible sigh as I write this, the NIN|JA show was THAT GOOD. Jane's Addiction was the perfect pairing with Nine Inch Nails, like a fine wine paired with an exotic chocolate, delicious.

This is worth saying twice: Nine Inch Nails' show is the concert equivalent to a cathartic fight between two lovers, and Jane's Addiction represents the ultimate and PHENOMENAL "make up" sex afterwards. I'm just glad I got to do it two days in a row. Now, excuse me- I think I need a cigarette!


Here's the set list:
Three Days
Whores
Ain't No Right
Pigs In Zen
Then She Did...
Up The Beach
Mountain Song
Been Caught Stealing
Obvious
Ocean Size
Ted, Just Admit It...
Encore:
Summertime Rolls
Stop!
Jane Says

Introducing...

videoJane's Addiction!!

NIN|JA 2009: Nine Inch Nails at the PNC

I was still ringing out my socks from the monsoon of the concert the night before... when I realized I had to start preparing myself. Today marks DAY ONE of the NIN|JA 2009 "Wave Goodbye" Tour. I am nervous... physically and emotionally. I am unprepared to close this rather large chapter of my musical life. I have been an avid fan and listener of Trent Reznor and his beautiful dark cathartic music known as Nine Inch Nails since I was the ripe age of 10. Ten. That's a little more than 16 years of commitment in my life to one man. One group. One sound. I have evolved both musically and as a person over the years... but anyone who knows me can tell you, that when I love something I love it 'til the bitter end, Nine Inch Nails is no exception. I have watched the band grow, adapt, and morph into the powerhouse it is today, and I am proud to have been there listening every step of the way.

The day begun with the pilgrimage to New Jersey. I won't bore you with the details of my day (though I didn't find it boring at all) I will instead get to the goods. The SHOW. We pulled into PNC around 7:30... unfortunately missing Street Sweeper Social Club. We parked in the boonies (I know what you're thinking- Isn't ALL of NJ the boonies?) and began our endless and exhausting walk. This walk is only worth mentioning because I was wearing a leopard print Lucille Ball dress (please PAUSE here fora moment, and give yourself the visual). I've a sneaking suspicion it was QUITE the thing to witness while one is driving on the Garden State Parkway. We saunter on in and pick up our Jane's Addiction Pre-Sale tickets- and successfully avoid the MASSIVE crowd waiting to get in. We B-Line it to the merch table where I rather successfully deplete my finances for the week. I'm getting anxious. Everything is taking too long. I want to get to our seats. My beloved sister and I finally climb the stairs and witness a MASSIVE lawn. All the way down the bottom of this little valley is the stage and seats. I check our tickets. We're all the way down there. We begin our trek... when the UNTHINKABLE happens. I hear the tell-tale sounds of "PINION" and realize in sheer HORROR- THE SHOW HAS BEGUN AND I'M NOT DOWN THERE! AH!"We begin to book it which is rather impossible for me. We sail through the throngs of screaming fans and work our way to our seats... it's not until I actually GET there that I realize how good our seats are. Then, it happens. The show begins and I have my mind blown and my FACE MELTED! Pinion leads straight into Wish, and then the FIRST of many shocking rare nails songs is performed... LAST! I never thought I would hear this live... I hear it, and I experience the first of MANY out of body experiences for the weekend.

I heard: Pinion, Wish, Last, Discipline, March of the Pigs, Reptile, Meet Your Master, Gave Up, La Mer, Non-Entity, The Way Out is Through, Mr.Self Destruct, 1,000,000, Echoplex, Survivalism, The Good Soldier, The Hand that Feeds, Head Like a Hole, and Hurt. I cannot express to you what it felt like to be there, that close, and hearing these songs. I was amazed at my own strength. I didn't cry once. That unto itself is a small miracle. Especially considering how near the man himself I was... unrequited love of a celebrity can be so painful, the yearning and the ache is palpable... but I dealt with it in stride and realized (finally?) that it's OK to love the ideal I've created- but that that ideal is NOT the man singing before me. He is beautiful, strong, and dark, or at least his music is for me. Ultimately, it's the music I've been in love with all these years, and Trent Reznor is simply the man who delivers it to me.


Every song was infectious and perfectly executed. Every picture I took was flawless and exciting. I couldn't help but revel in the choice I made of making Nine Inch Nails my favorite band of all time. Trent Reznor sets a standard that cannot be topped. The wall of sound and fury he creates is impossible to duplicate. I feel sorry for anyone who loves this music and hasn't seen it performed live.



I thought this was going to be a long and drawn out entry... but honestly, I don't have the words to express to you the mixture of pain and pleasure I am experiencing about this. This (and a few of the future entries making their way on here) is truly something you had to see for yourself. You just had to be there to get it. Even more difficult for you to imagine is my personal experience with this show. You will truly never know exactly how it made me feel... but that's okay. It's like my secret inward smile that I will take out and show myself whenever I turn blue.

La Mer...

videoWow just wow....

Reptile....

5th row center.

Friday, June 5, 2009

TV on the Radio at Central Park Summer Stage

It was a dreary Friday. I checked the weather every 15 minutes or so, hoping to see a change in the 100% humidity report, but to no avail. I glanced down at the ticket stubs reading "RAIN OR SHINE" in bold black type across the front under the headlining name. I sigh, and prepare myself for TV on the Radio at central park summerstage rain or shine.

In the pouring rain, across a massive sea of umbrellas, there is an unpretentious platform with one of the BIGGEST quilts I've ever seen hanging at the very back of it. A sign is mounted at the crown of the stage, it ironically reads "Summerstage". I stare at it for a few moments as the rain drips from the points of my umbrella to my unguarded backside. I'm chilled, and it's supposedly June. My dear friend and fellow avid music fan, Kristin stakes out the scene with me. Not many people have shown up yet. Where do we
go? I spot the bleachers- and point- "Maybe I will be able to see better from up on a seat?". So, with our galoshes on we slop on over and up to the bleachers. Kristin has a flare of genius mixed about her-she thinks of things that us little people wouldn't think of. Today is no exception- she pauses only briefly before she pulls a large black poncho out of her tote bag and uses it to spread upon the bleacher seats so our bums stay dry. It's moments like these that make me realize the sheer brilliance of my friends is limitless. We sit, strategically placing one of our umbrellas between us while I use the other to block our bodies from any additional dripping. The effect is rather pretty... however, it blocks our already obstructed view. It isn't the most ideal concert view... but we're as dry as is possible in the midst of a grand monsoon in NYC. We're chillin' having a laugh about the whole thing... when the opener approaches the stage. The Dirty Projectors are a group I know only from their singles playing on my Siruis radio... but I catch their vibe and enjoy their sound despite the wet weather pouring all about me. Their sound is folky, eccentric, and upbeat. The female vocals pair nicely with the sound. When you don't know the songs of a particular band however, they all seem to meld together and create an ambient soundscape that will eventually lose your interest. Blame it on ADD. The set ends and I've given up on the idea of bleacher seats. I ask Kris, if she would want to get a beverage of the alcoholic persuasion- since we're already living like sailors in the water. She concurs, and we quickly vacate our bleacher seats for a beer. When we get there, we discover there's something better than beer for sale at the concession. Cabernet Sauvignon in medium sized plastic cups! YES PLEASE! We toast to our good fortune- despite the rain and begin some basic French lessons.

There are many strange characters about. We're all soaked and in this together. People are friendly and obliging... with the exception of the occasional "accidental" bag smacker and shover. I'm not sure when it happens... but TV on the Radio FINALLY comes onto the stage and the show begins! A few things you should know about TV on the Radio. 1. They kick ass. 2. Their sound is eclectic. 3. Their group is diverse. 4. They're from Brooklyn. 5. (most importantly) Their music is ass-shakable no matter WHAT the circumstance! Tonight was no different. Every song had me on my feet, swaying my hips, and bopping my head. They are fun and vivacious- and can manage sincere and interesting lyrics all in the same instant. Kristin revealed to me at one point in the drenched evening that they are her 20-something answer to TOOL (a former teen fave of hers). I find the comparison riveting.


Day turned to Dusk, Dusk rapidly turned to night, and there was literally NOTHING I could view but the sea of umbrellas and strange ponchos, with billowing swirls of smoke mixing with the rain to create one of the most atmospheric environments I've ever encountered. It was rather lovely. The sound could've been better, but considering TV on the Radio was working in less than perfect conditions, they held their own and had me jonesing for more when the show finally ended.

Set List:
love dog
the wrong way
blues from down here
halfway home
crying
golden age
wolf like me
red dress
staring at the sun
DLZ
shout me out

family tree
young liars
a method

Family Tree...Encore

Literally all I can see of the encore! It's like music by moonlight... and rain. The sound is being washed out by the slop of the rain... yet still I am enjoying myself.

The view.

This is all I see. BETTER than I thought!

Strange..

Gnomes apparently dig tv on the radio!

TV ON THE RADIO IN THE RAIN!

Rain or Shine? Really? I fear for my physical health! I've never seen TV on the Radio... but I am fearful!! Hopefully the Dirty Projectors & TV on the Radio effin' BRING IT and make me forget this mournful weather!