Category Archives: Concerts

Scott McCaughey Benefit 2/12/18, Chicago

Live at Chicago’s HideOut venue, the show was officially billed as “The Concert for The Emperor of the Bathroom: A Benefit for Scott McCaughey. Singing the praises of the beloved Minus 5/Filthy Friends/Young Fresh Fellows/R.E.M./Baseball Project musician were The Thirsty Birds:  Jon Langford, Nora O’Connor, Kelly Hogan, Dag Juhlin, Max Crawford, Susan Voelz, Jason Narducy, Rick Rizzo and others. According to the organizers, “the Chicago music community sends its love and support to their friend, Scott (who suffered a stroke last November). Assembled are friends who have played with Scott over the years and have survived their fair share of after-show drinks with the man. This show will be a celebration of Scott’s songbook, and proceeds will go towards the medical fund set up by his wife, Mary Winzig, to help cover his medical expenses as he recovers.”

PHOTO GALLERY BY MARTY PEREZ

Portland show’d the love for Scott McCaughey back in January, so Feb. 12, 2018 was Chicago’s turn to embrace the man who some call “Sled”.

The HideOut hosted this gala, which featured the creme de la creme of Chicago’s music society, playing under the one night only moniker: The Thirsty Birds. An exemplary evening of talent was shown and given.

Two real standouts were Jason Narducy’s take on R.E.M.’s “Finest Work Song”, which really had one asking, whatever happen to the passion from the song’s creators? The second, wha tha fuc moment was had during the evening’s closer of “Dear Employer”, sung by two angels—Nora O’Conner & Kelly Hogan—with the passion and reasoning of angels who just might know what it is like to up and quit on the big boss and flip him the bird while on the way out of them pearly gates. It left this reviewer blubbering and quivering in goosebumps, until the room emptied and it was safe to wipe away the tears and take a hit off the inhaler.

Cash was raised and thee good vibes shared was palpable and true. All glad tidings are going towards helping Scott’s safe, speedy, and thorough recovery.

Now, namaste that mutherfucker….

JON LANGFORD

 

NORA O’CONNOR

 

RICK RIZZO

 

SUSAN VOELZ

 

TIM TUTEN OF THE HIDEOUT

 

DAG JUHLIN

 

LANGFORD & JUHLIN

 

SHOW ORGANIZER CHRIS CASTANEDA

 

KELLY HOGAN

 

O’CONNOR & HOGAN

 

LANGFORD & RIZZO

 

JASON NARDUCY

 

NARDUCY & BAND

 

AUCTIONING LANGFORD PAINTING USED FOR THE CONCERT POSTER

 

JUHLIN, HOGAN & O’CONNOR

 

THIRSTY BIRDS

 

AN APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE

 

(note the matching shades…)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl Ray 2/26/18, Denver

Dates: February 26, 2018

Location: Larimer Lounge, Denver CO

Live at Denver’s Larimer Lounge, the British trio charmed all in attendance with their tuneful indie-pop.

BY TIM HINELY

Hey, I’m liking these early shows. This North London trio, who were opening for Porches (a band I hadn’t heard of but must be some kinda big deal as the show was sold out) so they hit the stage at 8 PM sharp. Huzzah!

Back to Girl Ray, much has been written about these three young ladies. Poppy Hankin on guitar/vocals, Sophie Moss on bass and Iris McConnell on drums (they also had a male on keyboards/second guitar as well) who had recorded a slew of singles before they even graduated from high school. Then, last year Moshi Moshi Records released the band’s terrific debut LP, Earl Grey and I was truly surprised (but excited) to see Denver on their tour. I’m not sure what I was doing when I was 19 but I sure as hell wasn’t touring another continent with a band (it all must be a bit surreal for them).

They opened up with the low-key “Stupid Things”  (where the keyboardist came in handy) and from there played plenty off off said debut like “Ghosty,” “Preacher,” “Just Like That” and as well as a few of their early  singles like the great “Trouble,” “Don’t Go Back at Ten” and they even pulled out a few new songs (none of which I caught the names of).

I’m not sure what song it was but Hankin and Moss did this neat little dance/spin around and then spun back the other way. It was as perfect a move as when Stephen Malkmus would wiggle his butt in early Pavement gigs.

The songs are well-crafted and have a certain uniqueness about them. Sure, you can tell there’s a bit of C-86 influence as well a some folk music too (and let’s not forget the band proudly calls bands like Pavement, Hefner and Gorkys Zygotic Mynci among their faves), but the never go for the easy hook  as the songs have fun starts/stops and choppy bits all over the place. Plus Hankin’s vocals sound wise and mature beyond her years (though they all appeared very shy on stage).

I’m really glad I left the house on this Monday evening. If they ever make it back here I’ll be front and center again and if they don’t, well, I can say that I was there in 2018.

 

 

Tedeschi Trucks Band 2/20/18, Port Chester NY

Live at the venerable Capitol Theater, natch.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY GREG KELLY

The Tedeschi Trucks Band tore through an almost two and a half hour two set opener in the first night of two at the Capitol Theater. Opening the show with “Do I look Worried”, from the album made up my mind. The band went through a nineteen song set list. A highlight from the first set was a great cover from Neil Young’s “Alabama”. Susan’s voice was as always nothing short of amazing. Another highlight was the song “Until You Remember”. The sound in the Capitol Theater was amazing. Derek’s guitar work echoed the walls of the Capitol without taking away from the rest of the band. An incredible work of musicianship the dual drummers and the smooth base blended so nicely with the horns and backing vocals. After a short break TTB opened the second set with a scorching version of “Statesboro Blues”. The crowd was more than ready for the second set, and the band did not disappoint. Playing a few cover songs the one that stood out the most was “You Don’t Know How it Feels”, by Tom Petty. Being such a fresh blow to music fans, the song took on a new meaning to me that night, RIP Tom Petty. The show was great and the fans made me think the “Wheels of Soul” will be spinning for a long time to come.

Buffalo Springfield Performed by the Wild Honey Orchestra 2/17/18, Glendale CA

Dates: February 17, 2018

Location: Alex Theatre, Glendale CA

PHOTOS BY SUSAN MOLL

Live at the Alex Theatre in Los Angeles (technically: Glendale) on February 17, it was a Springfield early spring festival. And yes, before you ask, notable in their absence were Stills and Young.

A benefit for the nonprofit Autism Think Tank (autismthinktanknj.com) which “brings together a team of top autism specialists, via an internet medical conference, to tackle the painful medical/psychological issues faced by kids like Wild Honey’s co-founder Paul Rock’s thirteen-year-old son, Jake, a non-verbal autistic boy with extreme digestive distress and self-injury issues.” To date The Wild Honey Foundation (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) has raised over $100,000 for the Autism Think Tank. Among the performers: Furay (of course), Micky Dolenz, Susan Cowsill, Terry Reid, Martha Davis, Elliot Easton, Claudia Lennear, Dream Syndicate, Rob Laufer, Brent Rademaker, Three O’Clock, Gary Myrick, Stephen McCarthy, Greg Sowders, Carla Olson, Darian Sahanaja, Ciny Lee Berryhill, Iain Matthews, Don Randi, Luther Russell, Syd Straw, Joss Cope, Chris Price, Bebopalula, Steve Stanley, Nick Guzman, Corinna & Isabelle Scott, All Day Sucker.

***

CHRIS MORRIS (host/emcee)

 

BRENT RADEMAKER

 

CARLA OLSON

 

CHRIS PRICE

 

CLAUDIA LENNEAR

 

DARIEN SAHANJA

 

NICK GUZMAN

 

OUR TRUTH

 

SUSAN COWSILL

 

JOSS COPE

 

GARY MYRICK

 

LUTHER RUSSELL

 

ELLIOT EASTON

 

STEVE STANLEY

 

WILLIE ARON

 

DAVID GOODSTEIN

 

 

SYD STRAW

 

THE THREE O’CLOCK

 

MARTHA DAVIS (The Motels)

 

FUZZBEE MORSE

 

ROB BONFIGLIO

 

MICKY DOLENZ (The Monkees)

 

TERRY REID

 

IAIN MATTHEWS

 

CINDY LEE BERRYHILL

 

ANDREW SANDOVAL/ROB BONFIGLIO

 

WILLIAM TUTTON

 

 

BEBOPALULA

 

RICHIE FURAY

 

GARY GRIFFIN

 

ALL DAY SUCKER

 

DREAM SYNDICATE

 

ROB LAUFER

 

PROBYN GREGORY

 

JORDAN SUMMERS

 

SCOTT SELLEN

 

 

Whitney Rose 2/13/18, Denver

Dates: February 13, 2018

Location: Goosetown Tavern, Denver CO

Live at the Goosetown Tavern!

BY TIM HINELY

I’ve been a fan of Canadian Whitney Rose since her sophomore release, 2015’s Heartbreaker of the Year, but I’d missed the last time she played in Denver. This time I was determined not to miss it. Plus it gave me a chance to check out the Goosetown Tavern, which is right across the street from the venerable Bluebird Theatre. The Goosetown used to be called the Across the Street Café, a venue that I saw Richard Buckner in on my first trip to Denver in ’97, but I digress.
Another early show and as we walked in about 8:30 PM she was a few songs in (per the doorman) and the venue, though small, was pretty packed for the charismatic Canadian. She had a full band including two guitarists, a rhythm section and of course Rose who only sang on most songs, but did bust out an acoustic guitar for a few numbers. Also, she’s a talker, loves talking to the crowd and told some funny stories.

Her latest record, Rule 62, came out last year via Six Shooter Records/Thirty Tigers and it’s got 11 slices of some real nice countrypolitan with terrific songwriting (also, it was co-produced by Raul Malo and Niko Bolas, two guys who know what they’re doing). It’s a bit glossy but not the typical county Nashville gunk

Off said new record we heard classic cuts like “I Don’t Want Half (I just want out),” “Arizona,” “Wyoming” and the single, “Can’t Stop Shakin’” (which Rose talked about it inspired at least in part, by her bouts of anxiety).She tossed in a few covers as well including a Tom T. Hall (“Harper Valley P.T.A.”) and from the Heartbreaker.. We heard “The Devil Borrowed My Boots” and “There’s a Tear in My Beer.”

Just before 10 PM she called it a night, no encores but the crowd seemed satisfied. Her merch table has everything from cds and vinyl to t-shirts to a rack of assorted clothing that she got a local thrift stores. A veritable pop-up store! Not much else to say, really, Rose has a great voice, terrific songs and an uber-talented band. They’re definitely worth leaving the house for.

John5 and the Creatures 2/15/18, Pittsburgh

Dates: February 15, 2018

Location: Hard Rock Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

The scene of the crime was the Hard Rock Café, and on a rainy night, following an opening set from hometown act God Hates Unicorns, the instrumental headliners slayed.

TEXT & PHOTOS BY TIFFINI TAYLOR

Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh welcomed John5 and the Creatures on a rainy February night. Anyone that enjoys great guitar playing would have completely enjoyed this show. John5 is a guitar virtuoso for the ages. He can switch from an electric guitar to an electric mandolin to a banjo and keep rocking. This is a tour not to be missed.

Since I was young, I can remember listening to the sounds of guitars. To me they were magnificent. (I can play some, but not superb, far from it.) I enjoy guitar solos, the longer the better. When I first heard John5 play, I was awestruck. This is what I wanted to listen to. This is someone who I enjoyed watching play. He and genuinely enjoys playing, one can see it in his emotions and face. It is a wonderful sight.

Rain was coming down as I arrived at Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once inside, I knew that it would be a good show. The opening band, God Hates Unicorns, took to the stage. An interesting name for a band, the name reminded me of Deadpool for some reason. Anyway, God Hates Unicorns hail from Pittsburgh. They were playing to hometown crowd, that is always nice for a band. The audience kept growing and growing. This was a sold-out show. A very fun opening band. Now for the main event.

John5 took to the stage from the Hard Rock Café kitchen. That is correct, John5 came running up the ramp to the stage from the kitchen. This is very cool. The band itself, known as the Creatures, is Rodger Carter on drums and Ian Ross on bass. John5 joins the band already on stage who are surrounded by blow up creatures. There is Frankenstein and a couple of Grim Reaper style blowups. A simple stage, that is all. This is nice to see because the music is why I came—an all instrumental show was performed, and performed well.

Some may not be into instrumental shows, but this is the type that would change their minds quickly. The uniqueness of this band along with adding country to rock to metal to pop to blues to bluegrass is incredible to see. The guitars themselves can be very entertaining; an illuminated Fender at the end of the show is beautiful and sounds fantastic. Then there is the electric mandolin—a surprise, and one which John5 plays fantastically. And also a banjo— who plays banjo in a metal band?!?

 

Seriously, the guitars, mandolin and banjo brought out the diverse talents John5 really has. To bring in the banjo was unexpected by most in attendance but it was well received by the crowd. The mandolin is not often thought of as an instrument in metal but he uses it incredibly. All the instruments were played well by talented musicians, showing what hard work and dedication and a little love can achieve. Music can be a beautiful thing.

It was nice that the crowd sang along too. Yes, this is instrumental but a couple of songs that were played were covers and it was fantastic. I will never forget this line and I quote John5: “Guitars, tits, and monsters” (the title of a song on the recently released Live album). “Beat It” was played and the medley is something that one does not want to leave early and miss. The show was extremely entertaining, from the light on the guitars to the quick change to masks, as well as the glow mouth that John5 does so well. Altogether, a beautiful and well thought out show. You’ll be thrilled you saw it.

 

 

Spook School 2/7/18, Denver

Dates: February 7, 2018

Location: Lost Lake Lounge , Denver CO

Live at the Lost Lake Lounge, the Glasgow combo may have been the opening act, but they stole the show.

BY TIM HINELY

It was a major treat hearing that this young, Glasgow, Scotland band were gonna not only be touring the states but making a stop in the Mile High City (not a lot of the indie pop bands seem to stop here). Not only that they were opening for Diet Cig (who I didn’t stay for) and Great Grandpa (who I stayed for a few songs and wasn’t into). I’m all about the early nights.

I discovered the band last year on their second album, 2015’s Try To Be Hopeful, which shows a young bunch of folks with passion and fire in their bellies ….oh and great, catchy songs as well. What’s not to like?

They hit the stage at 8 PM sharp at this 16 and over show (Lost Lake is usually 21 and over but they occasionally have shows to let the young ‘uns in) and it was sold out. The dark-haired guitarist proudly proclaimed that “We’re a queer band so thank you for supporting us” (or something to that effect) and many of the topics of the bands songs relate to that subject (as well as transgender issues).

He and the female bassist were both totally low-key, but the curly-haired guitarist jumped all over the place and the drummer was absolutely hilarious! This guy, well, he didn’t make the show as the band was terrific anyway, but definitely added to it with his between song comments (before taking his shirt off , tossing out funny one-liners and professing his love for our dear city).

They opened with the opening song from their latest album (Could It Be Different? out over here on the always reliable Slumberland label) “Still Alive” with the great chorus of “Fuck you I’m still alive!” and then proceeded to crank out many of their best songs including “Keep in Touch,” “Less Than Perfect,” “Best of Intentions” “I Only Dance When I Want To,” “Speak When You’re Spoken To” and plenty more. The set was ther perfect length, a little over a half hour and it seemed like the fans there to see them were happily satisfied and they even won over some newbies as well.

Being an opening band there was no encore but the band seemed more than happy to be out on the road, meeting fans and being able to spread the word. It was great fun and if they come to your town please be front and center. You won’t regret it.

 

Wood Brothers 1/28/18, Philadelphia

Dates: January 28, 2018

Location: Union Transfer, Philadelphia PA

Live on a Sunday evening at Philly’s Union Transfer venue, there was a whole lotta sonic sanctification goin’ on… (Photo by Matt Rea, via the band’s Facebook page.)

BY JOHN B. MOORE

The Wood Brothers have not received a lot of mainstream press coverage over the years. You’d be hard pressed to find their music on the radio. And still the band managed to pack Philly’s 1,200 seat Union Transfer on a cold Sunday in January recently. And it took just two songs from the neo-folk, blues, Americana revivalists to realize why.

The band started off the set with the stellar “The River Takes the Town,” off their just released album, One Drop of Truth (reviewed HERE), followed by “Keep Me Around” from 2013’s Muse. And that was all it took to win over the crowd that stayed with the band throughout the impressive set.

The trio, comprised of brothers Chris and Oliver Wood, along with drummer Jano Rox, played a blistering set that managed to fill the cavernous venue, despite only having three musicians up there (and two of them playing acoustic instruments). Although Oliver is technically the guy in front of the microphone, his brother Chris, deftly handling the stand-up bass, was the main focus throughout, swaying, dancing and playing his bass with both a bow and plucking at it like a rockabilly legend. You have to go back to the Stray Cats’ Lee Rocker in his mid-80s prime to find a bass player that can steal a show like Chris. Even Rox got off his stool for part of the set, picking up an acoustic guitar and playing it like a drum with open handed slaps and steel brushes.

Midway through the show, the trio huddled around an antique microphone to play through a series of solid traditional folk and blues numbers, including a remarkable take on “Midnight Special,” surrounded by members of Nashville’s Stray Birds, the show openers that night.

With little press or airplay, The Wood Brothers have managed to build a fervent fan base over the past decade thanks to little more than great songs and night after night of memorable shows. The Philly set proves that formula is still working remarkably well for the trio.

Azure Ray + Elected + Whispertown 1/20/18, Los Angeles

Dates: January 20, 2018

Location: Lodge Room, Los Angeles CA

“Nothing like a song”: a night of kinship and love at LA’s historically-marked Lodge Room.

BY SUSAN MOLL

Azure Ray’s first live appearance in five years happened not in Omaha, not in Birmingham, but more than 2000 miles west of their onetime Southern base, and sold out one of the newest and best music venues in Los Angeles’ eastern quadrant. Dedicated in 1923 as the Highland Park Masonic Temple, the Renaissance Revival space, which occupies spot #282 on the roster of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments, reopened as the stunning Lodge Room after a lavish renovation. It was an occasion many traveled long distances for on this, an unseasonably chilly winter night made to burn and shiver.

Much has happened in the time since Azure Ray last performed: Maria Taylor, now a Californian, settled down into marriage and motherhood and made two more solo records, Something About Knowing and In the Next Life. Orenda Fink cut another solo album as well, Blue Dream, and, more recently, a second O+S outing titled You Were Once The Sun, Now You’re The Moon. Their sisterly kinship is as strong and as true as ever, and the devotion of their fans has never wavered. The two brought along a three-piece string section to a stage festooned with candles and white lilies. (Bonus: cocktails in cans!)

Also on the evening’s bill: Blake Sennett and a revived Elected, silent since their 2011 Vagrant release Bury Me In My Rings. Former Rilo Kiley bandmate Mike Bloom chipped in harmonica, lap steel and guitar… Whispertown, led by onetime Elected collaborator Morgan Nagler, recently concluded a tour with M. Ward and will soon be a fixture on this year’s summer festival circuit as well. Its fourth album, I’m a Man, is out now courtesy of the Graveface imprint…

While there’s no word on future Azure Ray recordings at this point, Taylor is set to embark on a solo tour of Europe next month. Fink has teamed up with her sister, Christine, and several Saddle Creek alumni in High Up, whose first full-length, You Are Here, its first LP, will arrive Feb. 23 via Team Love. In the meantime, feast your eyes:

Azure Ray

Elected:

Whispertown:

 

 

 

 

 

Milky Chance + Lewis Capaldi 1/17/18, Nashville

Dates: January 17, 2018

Location: Marathon Music Works, Nashville TN

Live at the Marathon Music Works, and a good time was had by all.

BY MARK JACKSON

There is a good chance that by now you have heard of Milky Chance, but you may not have had the chance to hear the next break out artist hailing from Scotland by the name of Lewis Capaldi. Lewis has already had over 7 million views of his song “Bruises” between the live acoustic version seen here and the audio version. If you have ever been in a painful relationship or had someone leave you this song will cut right through you. I don’t know who hurt Lewis, but it must have cut very deep. Luckily for us, he has channeled these feelings into pure beauty. He also has other great songs such as “Lost on You”, “Mercy” and “Fade”.

Lewis’s voice has a heavy Scottish accent, but his powerful voice comes thru and gets right into your emotions. I first heard of Lewis Capaldi from the Bonnaroo lineup for 2018 where he will have a featured set. He immediately became one of the must see acts for me at Bonnaroo. His music is raw and stripped down and is easy to just sit back and let it just pour over you. I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed he was out on tour with Milky Chance and coming to Nashville. The majority of the crowd was of course at the show to see Milky Chance, but as Lewis began to sing I could see that the crowd was really tuning in to his awe-inspiring voice. I predict that you will soon be hearing a lot more about Lewis Capaldi.

***

Up next it was time for Milky Chance to give the crowd the night that they will remember for some time. This night was the biggest dance party that I have seen in a smaller venue. With Clemens Rehbein’s voice, on point instruments, and a two drum kit setup delivering ample bass beats and an exciting and colorful light show that would rival many festival stages, this was a fun concert night! It’s a rarity to get a harmonica solo at a concert, unless you are at a Blues Travelers show, but I think Antonio Greger could give John Popper a run for his money.

Milky Chance, from Germany and labeled as a German folk band, has steadily been moving up the ranks in the U.S. alternate rock scene.      Milky Chance is best know for their feel good hit song “Stolen Dance”.

The guys have a few more dates in the U.S. before heading out of the county so check their website to see if you are lucky enough to see them before they are gone for a while.

Photos and text By Mark Jackson: @MarkJacksonPhotography1