Archive for the Concerts Category

Death Cab For Cutie Philadelphia 09-06-2015 TLA

Posted in Concerts on September 7, 2015 by Verge

So Monika’s birthday crept up on me as Summer wound down, and the issue of a great gift to give her this year snuck up on me, I will admit.  I really have a wonderfully tragic way of ignoring perfectly reasonably signs and signals of what she would like, and end up honestly having no idea what she would like or what she wants.  Everything I know she could use, seems like a shallow birthday present from a husband who should have some kind of a clue and some kind of romantic inkling of what the woman he sleeps next to every night might cherish.   New running shoes.  Nope.  A case of Champagne.  Too thoughtless.  Tickets to a concert I want to see with her.  Too selfish.

But hey, sometimes it works out.  After the Made In America festival this weekend in Philly, Death Cab for Cutie decided to wrap the weekend up by playing a solo show at the TLA on South Street, which only holds 810 people at capacity, and is by far the smallest show we could ever see them play.  Throw in the fact that they were the band that we chose to walk down the aisle to and also have our first dance to on our wedding day, and I was sold.  So I scored us some tickets, which wasn’t the easiest or cheapest thing to do, and took Monika for her birthday show last night.

Here are some pics.  I didn’t take a lot.  I’ve dialed back how many I take at shows because it can be obnoxious.  And I only took a few videos, even though I whispered to her that I wouldn’t.  The first is the song that I fell in love with and originally hooked me on DCFC.  The second is the song that our friends played live as Monika walked to be wedded.  The third– our first married dance.


Miley Cyrus – Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia – August 2nd, 2014

Posted in Concerts with tags , on August 7, 2014 by Verge

I know it sounds ridiculous.  I’m almost 40.  I’m married, have a house, two cars and an amazing career.  But no teenage kids.  So I have no excuse to hide behind when I say…  I like Miley Cyrus.  Not all of it, mind you.  Some of it’s throw away material.  But hey, the last couple Radiohead albums weren’t exactly filled with timeless gems either.  Actually most of her songs are pretty fucking catchy, and have skilled producers and programmers behind them, so it’s no wonder that they come across as great pop songs.  And, like it or not, you must admit that she’s an amazing and very talented singer (check out the backyard sessions if you don’t believe me).

So, after a 3 month delay because of a “reaction to antibiotics,” we finally caught up with Miley in Philly last weekend.  Here are the pics and videos.


Lily Allen opened for Miley, which was a nice treat because we really love her too.

Oh, and Billy Joel was playing over at the ball park next door, so we hung around afterwards to enjoy a little free concert!

Nothing – Boot and Saddle – Philadelphia, PA – June 8th, 2014

Posted in Concerts with tags , on June 10, 2014 by Verge

I can’t remember exactly how I came across the band “Nothing.”  Maybe I wrote that down in a previous blog somewhere, but who can remember everything?  I think it was when I started to revisit my shoegaze romance back in January, and a few months later, they released their first album, and I was sold.

Lucky enough, a few months after that, this past Sunday, I got to see them live.  And it kicked ass.  Dominic Palermo is a crazy ass bastard that pulls off the rock star “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” attitude way better than I’ve ever been able to do.  Sure, once when I was pissed, I threw down my bass, flipped a keyboard off a stand, and jumped off the stage to go to the bar and do a shot.   That was once.  I have a feeling Mr. Palermo pulls that shit every single show.

First thing first.  When they took the stage at Boot and Saddle, they asked to have all the stage lights turned to red (which isn’t so great for the following photos).  You have no idea how shitty it is to be on stage with lights in your face.  It’s hot, it’s annoying, and who the hell wants to see my face anyway.  Dirty Robots have a similar want.  We don’t need to be seen.  I’d rather not be, actually.  Just let us turn up our amps.

Which is the second thing.  These guys got to play at the volume we TRY to play at before the owner of whatever bar we’re playing freaks the fuck out and yells at us.  This shit was loud and my ears happily rung for 24 hours.  Damn straight.  That’s fucking rock and roll.

It was like the 90s again.  They were loud, and heavy as hell, with a shit ton of distortion and endless reverb, and not a soul in the crowd did much more that nod their heads.  True shoegaze.  But the best part is this.  Twice, Dominic finished a song, swung off his guitar, and aimlessly threw it into the crowd, still plugged in, for that organic wall-of-sound finale!

And another time, nearer to the end of the show, he took a good old fashioned stage dive.  And I’m not talking about that pussy shit stage dive where you slowly lean back into a dozen pairs of hands to ease you up into the air.  No.  He dropped his guitar, got behind the drum set, and took a running swan dive into the dark and crowded floor and hoped for the best.

Oh, and the biggest rock star move of all?  Check out the video I shot of what the band pulled off in the middle of Broad Street immediately following their encore.  Bad Ass!  It’s no surprise Dominic served time in jail for stabbing a guy at a show.  Clearly, this dude doesn’t give a fuck!  And I really admire that.

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I recorded some of the set, but I knew before hand it would be nearly impossible to capture the sound properly.  But this video gives you a slight idea.


This is their official video, which was shot in the the same bar.  The crowd seems just as enthusiastic in the video as we were in real life.  Hey man, that’s the way this scene is.  Enjoy.

Death Cab For Cutie – Atlantic City – Revel Ovation Hall – 5-25-2014

Posted in Concerts, Reflections with tags on May 27, 2014 by Verge

As I’ve said before, our last anniversary we couldn’t spend together because I was working and Monika was having an adventure.  But, we’re trying to make up for lost time.  Even though it wasn’t a surprise, I had gotten us tickets to one of our favorite bands for our fifth anniversary.  It was Memorial Day Weekend, and we both had off the next day (surprisingly).

It was the first time I’d ever been to Revel Casino, let alone the music venue there.  I could have gotten us seats months ago when tickets went on sale, and that’s what I usually do because, to be honest, Monika is short and General Admission can be a bitch for short people.  Even though I’ve seen DCFC a few times, Monika never did, so I opted for the GA tix in the hopes we could get close, and she could actually see Ben Gibbard up close.  We ended up 15 feet from the stage, and it all worked out.

I know some people think this band is too emo, or too sappy, or too girlish, but for me and Mon, they hold a special meaning. Transatlanticism was released around the time we started dating, and I listened to that album on repeat (along with a few others…). When we got married three years later, we walked down the isle to my long time friend, Johnny (lead singer of my band), singing one of their songs.  And then afterwards, as morbid as the lyrics actually are, our wedding song was the second song below, from the concert we enjoyed together a few days ago.

I, being  the one of us who is usually first to cry, didn’t this time around, but during these songs, she lost it.  And it was adorable.  She wasn’t the only one.  I looked around, and realized that these songs don’t mean something important to only us.  A lot of people there that night identify with the words and intentions of these songs.  And it is a great, sometimes overwhelming feeling to share a collective rejoicing in words that speak to us,  and to enjoy melodies that remind us of what it is to feel.

Those moments are the reasons I go to concerts, and why I am a musician.  Music often cuts deeper than words because it is a universal language we all share.  It’s why I enjoy writing with notes as much as I do with words.

“This is a song for all the lovers.”  If you listen carefully, you can hear almost everyone singing…even us.

Shoegazer Orgasm – Slowdive Reunite

Posted in Concerts, Daily Pictures with tags , on March 11, 2014 by Verge

Okay, I might have to be at the Pitchfork Music Festival.

Not really sure how I missed this when it hit, but I guess I’ve been a little side tracked lately with work and things.  I’ve seen Mojave 3 three or four times, and Neil Halstead the same amount of times.  A few years ago, after a show at World Cafe Live in Philly, me and a few friends even hung out with Neil at the bar afterwards, and had a smoke out front.  Great guy and amazing song writer.  He even made my top 15 list on the last decade.

And a few selections from the band I’ve always admired, from Slowdive, through Mojave 3, and right up to Neil Halstead solo.  This one is a collaboration with another one of my heroes, Brian Eno.

And, a song I thought I’d never have a chance to see live.  I can always hope.


I’ll get to the Mojave 3 and Neil Halstead favorites a little later.

CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe – FULL ALBUM

Posted in Concerts with tags on September 12, 2013 by Verge

Couldn’t find an an advanced copy of the CHVRCHES album coming out in a few weeks, so I made it myself.  Also, this is not the deluxe version, with new material, it’s just all of their singles ordered in the album order (except one track I couldn’t find).




Julia Nunes Live @ Philadelphia Living Room Concert Series 12-10-2012

Posted in Concerts, Daily Pictures with tags , , on April 4, 2013 by Verge
it was dark, and a bit difficult to take pictures sitting Indian style on the hard wooden floor of what seemed to be a rented row home that some University students lived in.  But, the lighting was a bit better when Julia signed shirts with Monika and Maya.

it was dark, and a bit difficult to take pictures sitting Indian style on the hard wooden floor of what seemed to be a rented row home that some University students lived in. But, the lighting was a bit better when Julia signed shirts with Monika and Maya.

And, the videos came out a bit shitty, too, but I've included them here for anyone who is a fan.  It wasn't the smallest concert I've ever been to, but it's gotta be in the top 3.  Catch her next time she's in Philly if you like the songs below.  The shows are always very lighthearted and fun, and tickets are usually under twenty bucks, something you don't see very much anymore.

And, the videos came out a bit shitty, too, but I’ve included them here for anyone who is a fan. It wasn’t the smallest concert I’ve ever been to, but it’s gotta be in the top 3. Catch her next time she’s in Philly if you like the songs below. The shows are always very lighthearted and fun, and tickets are usually under twenty bucks, something you don’t see very much anymore.

Spiritualized at the Theatre of Living Arts (TLA), Philadelphia, May 11, 2012

Posted in Concerts, Good Times with tags on May 19, 2012 by Verge

There’s always a pre-game before a concert. Monika and I split a Sam Adams Belgian Ale, kind of similar to Victory Golden Monkey, a perennial pre-game favorite.

my beautiful bartender before we left for the show.

we wanted more friends to come with us to see Spiritualized, but they are kind of an obscure band. And, it would be hard to live up to the last time we saw them, at Radio City Music Hall with Kreg and Kat.

Of course, we took the Patco into Philly and down to the TLA. There was only one opening band, so we left pretty late. I hate to have to wait through 2 plus hours of crap just to see the main band start at 10:30 at night.

I don’t know how, but we just walked up to the stage, row three, because it wasn’t too crowded, and watched the show from right in front of J.Spaceman.  Great show, sounded amazing.  Monika buddied up to the lighting guy at the end of the night, and scored the set list from him, which is now hanging in my studio.  Been seeing this guy for almost 20 years now…it’s amazing he’s still alive.

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