Archive for the Tours and Live Shows Category

O’Death Rocks! At Least, I Think So… by Joseph

Posted in Albums, Bands, Music In General, Songs, Tours and Live Shows on July 21, 2012 by mattstorm

Been awhile everyone, so this will be a bit disjointed, but bear with me.

The music:

While on leave from Iraq—just putzing about with my brother, sharing a few beers and watching New York Noise (a local music program)—a video for a unknown band started to play. The band: O’Death.  The album: Head Home.  The song: “Down to Rest.”  The intro to the song was quite simple (just a couple of chords, slightly haunting and repetitious).  The vocals…. my God, how raw!  The video itself… so odd an unprecedented.  All in all, it was just a scant 3:42 seconds. It seemed to scratch its nails down the chalkboard of my soul. I spent the next two weeks trying to find out everything about the band and that soul-searing song.  (Being a fossil with no access to the Internet, this was a Herculean task!)  I was final able to track down a copy of Head Home, and spent a full month listening to that damn fine album! I still couldn’t tell you what half of the lyrics for “Down to Rest” were, but this seemingly unknown band had rekindled my interest in modern music.

I devoured Head Home and quickly fell in love with the haunting melodies, which at points gave way to discordant symphonies, stretching string instruments to unholy bounds.  The vocals made me shudder with their raw intensity (“Ground Stump,” “Down to Rest,” “Adelita,” “Allie Mae Reynolds,” “Busted Up Church,” ” All the World,” “Nathaniel”).  Yet still, they could touch the very core of my soul with such sincerity and sorrow as to make me weep (“Only Daughter,” “Jesus Look Down”).

As soon as I found out that O’Death had a second album, I pounced on the chance to find it. In what would have taken a modern man only a day to find on the internet, it took me four months of scrounging around in local music shops and mega-marts to find Broken Hymns, Limbs and Skins, my favorite O’death album. From the frantic opening of “Low Tide,” my interest in this band was set on fire, anew, as the same folk/metal blitzkrieg assaulted my yearning eardrums. The whole album brought the organized chaos of the first album to new heights. While the raw vocals where still there, they were refined into something more. The soul-rending instrumentals sent me into a bacchanalian frenzy.  Just a small list of my favorites: “Low Tide,” “Fire on Peshtigo,” “Legs to Sin,” “MOUNTAIN SHIFTS!!!,” “A Lift That Does Not Dim,” “Angeline.” My three absolute favorite songs (which I had the luck of seeing preformed live) are: “Vacant Moan,” “Home,” and “Crawl Through Snow.”

A very good friend of mine picked up their third album! At the outset, I found it to be quite a departure from their previous work, being far more melodic and instrumental, and much lacking in the raw energy that had drawn me to them in the first place. This is not to say I don’t enjoy this album—it just leaves me wanting so much more. In short, I think that no matter what your musical inclination, you will enjoy this band.  I have been passing O’death off like a virus to friends, and to friends of friends. I’ve also noticed that they have been doing the same, which makes me feel like I’m doing my part, no matter how insignificant.

The concerts:

I have a hard time connecting to my friends (being so out of place due to my age, tastes and general outlook on life), so when I tried to bait my friends with free tickets to an O’death show at The Bell House in Brooklyn, it was a bit of a surprise when a friend I think highly of—Joe Massella (a social animal who cannot be rivaled)—took the bait. On our misadventure to find the venue, we almost went on a walking tour of the historic Brooklyn seashore, we spent an hour killing time and sipping beers at the main bar until show time, and then an hour and a half listening to the headliners.  I was quite worried Joe would hate the band, but was pleasantly surprised at how much he got into it. O’Death was bloody brilliant, and their energy quite high. All in all, it was the best show I’ve been to all year. It was all so primal and conjoined, I didn’t feel out of place in the slightest. I remember looking into the impromptu pit that started, and wistfully wishing I could participate. I bought a beer for Joe and toasted him, and he gave me a knowing smile, “So why aren’t you in the pit?” And I replied, “Well, I’m too old and broken for that, man; leave it to the young.” He laughed, “I have a feeling you’d be able to hold your own Joseph.” That meant lot to me… as did the fact that he loved the show and bought me a brand new copy of Outside that very night.

Second concert:

I pulled the same trick as before.  (This time, not only did I snag Joe, but I also snagged the owner/operator of this website, Matt Storm. Though the GlassLands was a much smaller venue, O’death rocked just as hard.  I insist that, if you like this band, you MUST see them live. I all but gave up on modern music until I heard this band, and now my faith is renewed.  So give them a chance and I’m sure you’ll be surprised.

Check out the video for Down To Rest

Advertisements

Chillin’ with the Playaz

Posted in Bands, Events, Music In General, Tours and Live Shows on July 15, 2012 by mattstorm

Saw the Wall Street Playaz perform last night. It was fantastic! Here is a shot of me and the guys from the podcast with them before they played. For more photos go to facebook.com/crashchords.

Road Review: The Flesh Junkies

Posted in Bands, Events, Music In General, Tours and Live Shows on July 14, 2012 by mattstorm

Looking for something to do on a Friday the 13th? You say you want to see a band that dresses as zombies and covers songs about the undead, werewolves, and blood, there’s a band for that. Zombies + Rock and Roll + High Energy Fun = The Flesh Junkies.  I saw them last night at Adobe Blues in Staten Island and it was a fantastic show. With a fearsome stage presence and a slick classic rock sound they are super entertaining. The band consists of Jack Dabdoub on vocals and guitar, Rina Sklar on vocals, Frank Cavallo on drums, Mike McMahon on guitar, and Al Sklar on bass, they are a solid and well oiled machine who play hard and have fun doing it. If you want to go to a show where you don’t necessarily value leaving with you brains intact come see these flesh eaters and you won’t be disappointed.

In conclusion if you like zombies and music about them, you should definitely check these guys out. For more on these fine dead folks check out their facebook fan page here.

Here is a video of them performing “Bloodletting” from one of there older shows. Enjoy!

Crash Chords Podcast Episode 2 Featuring the Wall Street Playaz

Posted in Albums, Bands, Events, Interviews, Music In General, Podcast, Songs, Tours and Live Shows on July 10, 2012 by mattstorm

This week we talk about the world’s largest drumsticks, a review of Cage The Elephant’s latest, we get up close and personal with the Wall Street Playaz and much more. Enjoy!

The Story of How a Concert Changed How I View the Music I love, or: I Could Have Danced All Night

Posted in Bands, Music In General, Songs, Tours and Live Shows on June 24, 2011 by kissmylit

Have you ever been to a truly amazing concert and afterwards had trouble telling people why it was so amazing? The specific details fall away leaving only your adrenaline and your emotions. That’s why everyone wants pictures, to remember what happened. Most of the concerts I’ve ever been to have been fun—really, I can’t complain about any of them. I just have never danced as hard as I did on May 7th.

On that Saturday night, my energy was high. My cells vibrated as my boyfriend and I showed up at the Wonder Bar. We knew two bands were going to stand in the way of the ones we really wanted to see and we were not looking forward to the wait, only to the reward. The doors opened half an hour after they were supposed to, letting us into the dimly lit and surprisingly small venue. A stage was situated in the corner, amps galore and two sets of drums waiting for the musicians. It hardly looked as if there were room for more than three people on that stage. Matt and I crowded the front, steadfast in our resolve to be on the frontlines when the Dollyrots and Bowling For Soup came on.

The stage lights started to work, three guys ran onto stage, and the most fantastic thing happened. They didn’t suck. They were actually kind of amazing. That’s when the dancing started. I couldn’t help myself. I couldn’t remember the last time I could really feel the music this way. It was tangible. Maybe that’s because I was so close to the speakers that I could feel the sound, but it didn’t matter. I was lost in the moment of loving the sound and movement.

The first band was called Almost There. I’ll be honest; they had a very familiar sound. Familiar isn’t bad, though. Familiar to me spells home, comfort, and safety. It is a sound to which I will always return because it’s solid and will always be there for me. The three piece group consisted of Eddie Soles on guitar and vocals, Philip Serzan on drums, and Zachary Sicherman on bass and vocals. They didn’t believe in set lists but did believe in providing energy. Though the crowd was thin, they behaved as if it were a full stadium. I like a band with personality. Soles’ voice was rich and confident with no screaming or whining to be found and the lyrics were inventive and catchy. I used Serzan’s drums as a guide, a map to follow the song. Sicherman’s bass was what I felt the most. Vibrations rocked through me, making marks on my bones, a way to say they had been there. They take the best from bands like Taking Back Sunday, The Academy is…, and Blink 182. They have a three song EP called Silver Lake which is very well produced, clean, and polished. It just lacks the same enthusiasm as their live performance.

When the lights lost their dreamlike quality and Almost There was finished, the crowd had thickened but not by much. Patent Pending replaced them. This band was on the tour with The Dollyrots and Bowling For Soup. After being pleasantly surprised by the first band, our hopes were high.

After some waiting, several guys started moving around on stage, setting up, bringing a large screen picture to display. The lead singer took the time to introduce himself to everyone close to the front of the stage. Joe Pending created a rapport with his audience that made it really easy for us to enjoy the performance. If Almost There took long strides with their notes, feeling like a sprint through the woods, then Patent Pending was like jumping on a trampoline, always reaching up with an element of joy that was unmistakable. They were a different sound, but carried the same emotion. It was another new band that drove me to dance with abandon. Joe Pending announced a birthday, called audience members on stage for ridiculous stunts, and danced like the Backstreet Boys (which, according to someone who knows better than I, isn’t as much of an accomplishment as I thought). They were big on crowd participation, calling up an adorable and tiny red head just to throw her back into the crowd, forcing her to trust that the wave of hands would carry her home. She looked terrified, but it’s hard to say no to Joe Pending’s level of charisma. He had an ability to make you want things, to make you need them. He also held a jumping jack contest on stage, whoever made it to the end would win swag. It was impressive to see two guys jump it out. While the music was fun, energetic, and definitely dance-worthy, that wasn’t what made me dance. With Almost There, it was about being moved by the melodies. Patent Pending was about being moved by their energies. If you’re interested in getting to know these friendly and happy-go-lucky types, check out their EP I Am Not Alone.

As quickly as they arrived, the stage was dismantled to make way for someone new, The Dollyrots. By then, I was tense with excitement. I adore The Dollyrots and that’s no secret. Kelly has one of the most amazing voices I’ve ever heard. I fell for them through a Kohl’s commercial—I’ll admit it. They played all of their singles, their best songs, new songs, and covers. Kelly’s voice is lilting and charming, capturing her listeners. Luis plays right alongside her, losing himself in his own work. He plays so hard, I wasn’t sure he knew where he was after a while. Meanwhile, Chris is content behind the drums leading the charge. Adoration made my feet move and my body sway. My love for this band drove the music home and made it come to life in my blood. I felt charged, powerful, and able to stand against anyone. I’ve heard them hundreds of times through my headphones, my car stereo, singing in the shower, but it was nothing like being right in front of them. None of that compared to standing right there and watching as they shook the foundations of my head and heart and wormed their way through the cracks. Their latest album is called A Little Messed Up. Here is where the test of recorded versus live comes in. Recorded, they sound polished and clean; it’s easy to hear everything. Live, they are raw, louder, and harder to hear, but bold, bright, and shining. Does the visual element make it somehow more enjoyable? Before this could be answered, they were gone. We were left to wait for the main attraction.

The audience boiled over with anticipation, all of us packed tighter than ever before, pushing towards the stage. Then, some of the funniest men in music came out onto the tiny stage. When Bowling for Soup appeared, it was as if someone had thrown a match onto gasoline, we lit up with excitement, buzzing and vibrating, unable to wait anymore. I had seen them once before, but that didn’t prepare me for this show. They played their classics, 1985, Girl All the Bad Guys Want, Phines and Ferb’s Theme, and so much more, including their hits from their latest album Fishin’ for Woo’s. It felt as in everything in my life was leading up to this moment. I danced my way through every song, through the jubilation of sound that came at me from all directions. Their recordings could never match up to the way they made me feel live and in person. Their music always made me feel happy, no matter what was bothering me, now I see it’s because the musicians themselves are vessels for joy and happiness. They punctuate their set list with funny quips and stories, making fun of each other the way friends should. It’s their reality and their humanity that made them such a joy to watch and listen to. I couldn’t have been any happier than I was at this show. This show outranked all other shows I have ever been to. While humor is their bread and butter, they also manage to wrest honest emotion from us. Turbulence is probably one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. While they weren’t afraid to inject the show with a slow moment, they picked it right back up and ended with a dance party.

When I ask my friends what they think about recorded music and what they think about live music, it’s hard to keep them separated. I’ve heard recorded music is more reliable, recordings of live shows are mixed improperly and fail to get the energy across, live shows are hit or miss, etc. While the recording is more reliable (it will stay the same, only you will change), the live show has potential to be a powerful experience. I suppose it’s the courage that cinches it for me. These musicians are brave and vulnerable; they are the emotions that we need to feel more than anything. This concert experience has made me sit and really think about the way I feel when I listen to music and how those feelings change based on my atmosphere and environment. Now I try and dance, no matter where I am or how I’m listening. Now I open my heart and feel.

Music has always been an expression that I could never really understand. I knew how I felt when I listened to a song or to a whole album, but I could never put my finger on how it was done. I’ve watched people create music in hundreds of locations, their bedrooms, garages, on stage, in an alleyway, on a train, and on busy corners in the middle of the night. I’m much better at dissecting a sentence and telling you why it works than I am at explaining why one chord is better than another; that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it all the same. Music became present when I was thirteen, that’s when music started to matter. It defined who my friends were, who I was, and what we were meant to do. It became a conduit for how I lived life and how I communicated love. Music helped me find love. Since this concert, I’m starting to wonder what else music can help me find. What can music help me lose? The night of this concert, I lost my inhibitions and found self confidence. I can’t think of another situation that would have allowed me to be that open.

Earlier, Matt Storm posed the question “Do you speak music?” In some ways, this is my response. Perhaps I don’t speak music, but I sure as hell am trying to learn.

I met Mike Phirman

Posted in Music In General, Tours and Live Shows on May 22, 2011 by mattstorm

I met Mike Phirman last night and it was awesome.  I got to talk to him for a bit.  Very nice guy and I was very happy to get to meet him in person!

Road Review: Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot at Jonas Beach Theater

Posted in Bands, Music In General, Songs, Tours and Live Shows on August 19, 2010 by mattstorm

Sorry it took so long for me to get this post up.  I’ve been distracted by other things.

This show was on Friday July 30th, 2010 at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach and it was phenomenal.  Unfortunately I hit a ton of traffic on the way to the theater and missed most of Switchfoot.  I got there just in time to hear their biggest singles performed “Dare  You to Move” and “Meant to Live”.  The Goo Goo Dolls put on a great show.  They play all the hits you’d expect like “Iris”, “Slide”, “Name” and so on.  They also played a few songs from the new album that comes out at the end of August called Something For The Rest Of Us.  They played for about two hours including the encore.  Now instead of rambling on further I’ll just post the video I have from the show.  Enjoy!

Also check out photos I took from the show here