Tag Archives: gigtastic

>Wolf Parade – 18 May 2010

>I wasn’t supposed to be at Wolf Parade on the 18th. I had tickets to see Real Estate on the 18th.  But then Mike said he was touring Europe and was going to be in London for most of that week. So I sent him a Last.fm link to gigs that were playing that week. Mentioned that I had tickets for the 18th, but if there were any others he wanted to see we could check them out.

Turns out Wolf Parade were playing the Borderline. The Borderline!

The Borderline is a fantastic venue. It is in an alley off an alley near Tottenham Court Road. It only holds 275 people and looks a little like a country and western bar. I’ve seen Brooke Parrott play there as well as Great Lake Swimmers. There isn’t a bad place to stand when you are in there – you will always be within 25 feet of the stage. The sound is good. It is intimate and cozy and lovely. And Wolf Parade were playing there. Wolf Parade! At The Borderline!

I like Wolf Parade, but was not a huge fan. They’ve got a few songs that I really, really like (“You Are A Runner And I Am My Father’s Son”, “I’ll Believe In Anything”) but if it hadn’t been for Mike I wouldn’t have dropped the tickets I already had for Real Estate (gave them to Tyran – I hope they make up for a few hundred of the dinners he’s made) and bought these ones. It really did help that they were playing in such a great venue.

The opening acts were pretty good. Oh No Ono played some catchy tunes and seemed to really enjoy playing. Especially the drummer, who was also adorable. If I hung around at all after shows, I’d definitely be a groupie.

The next act, Joensuu 1685 were not bad. The music was okay (they covered a Springsteen song at one point – a little surreal, that was) but they took themselves far too seriously.

Wolf Parade came on next. If I would have said I wasn’t a fan before, I definitely am now. They had so much energy and the music was simply incredible. It didn’t hurt that they played my favourite song first, but even though I hadn’t heard much of the new stuff, I was fully engaged for the entire gig. They held the audience and had a great time with everyone. They seemed genuinely pleased with the attention of the crowd and had good report with them. The Borderline is a great venue for a band like that… as the band you are practically in the crowd.

There are a lot of bands that I love that are a bit… ‘meh’… in concert. I’m putting Wolf Parade in the top five of acts that I surprised me how great they are live. I would definitely go see them again. And again. And again.

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>The National – 06 MAY 2010

>How excited was I for this gig? SO EXCITED.  The National are my favourite band in the world (right now). Their new album (High Violet) is amazing. All their old stuff is amazing. If you haven’t listened to them, find a way to do so RIGHT NOW.  Your life quality will improve 24.6%. Fact.

First, I need to apologise because there are no pictures. This is the point in my life where getting a new camera was no longer an option. I’m sad that there are no photos. I wish there were. Fortunately, I don’t think I’ll forget this gig even if I don’t have the pictures.

I went to the gig with Toni, a mate from work. And get this: HE HAD NEVER BEEN TO A GIG BEFORE.

Um, WHUT?

I’m still having difficulty wrapping my head around that one. How does one get to their late twenties (taking a stab at the dark here at his age) without ever seeing a concert? I asked him (only kind of joking) if he had been kept in a closet as a child. I didn’t really receive a satisfactory answer to that one. It would certainly explain a lot. No – a lot. You haven’t met Toni.

The gig was at the Royal Albert Hall, which is both a great and terrible venue. It is great acoustically and for sight lines. It is kind of lame for crowd involvement. I mean… it is a theatre, not a stadium. Or a pub. So everyone just kind of sits there. We had to sit there, we were up in the circle. But even the people on the floor were sitting, which is just weird. Or at least they WERE sitting, until Matt Berninger (lead singer) stepped over the monitors and reached into the crowd and started pulling people to their feet.

The music was fantastic and The National put on an great show. They had a lot of charisma (which came across even in a place the size of the Royal Albert Hall) and so much talent. I’d happily go see them play 100 million times. Maybe more. I’ll be accepting donations so I can buy tickets for their next shows.

Band of Horses – 12 April 2010

GOOD SWEET JEBUS I’M BAD ABOUT THIS.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I mean… obviously I like music. I like taking pictures. I like talking about music. I like all of it. And yet it takes me weeks (WEEKS) to get up a post about an AWESOME gig like Band of Horses. I am made of blogging fail. Again.

Band of Horses played at Koko, which is a fantastic venue. Seriously. Last year I saw Me First and the Gimme Gimmes play there and it was also fantastic, even though they are very, very different bands.

Eva joined me for the gig, which was cool. She’s a good sport – I apparently had emailed her work email, not her home, and when I sent her the text on Monday morning asking if she was excited about the gig, she went along with it… even though she didn’t know what I was on about yet. Awesome. She was just all like “yay, a gig!” and agreed to come.  This is why I always buy two tickets, kids. It means I can expose people to fantastic things like Band of Horses (and I don’t have to buy my own beer at the gig – iz win-win, yus?)

We got there early enough to stand right at the very front, which I haven’t bothered to do in a long, long time. It means that you may actually get to see that the band is in fact a band in my pictures.

The show was opened by Tyler Ramsey. He was really good. He also plays guitar for Band of Horses, so after playing a solo act, he came back on stage to play with the band. Win.

Here’s a video of him playing his lovely song “A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea”

Band of Horses were fantastic on stage. The interacted well with the crowd and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. During their song Great Salt Lake, the audience singers (you just gotta love them, don’t you… I mean, I paid all that money to listen to the off-tune teens behind me screaming garbled lyrics…) got ahead of the band. The lead singer stopped playing, said “Wait for it… ” before they resumed. If you have Spotify, you can hear the song at Band Of Horses – The Great Salt Lake.  If not… go YouTube it. It’s a great song.

My favourite song by them (Band Of Horses – The Funeral ) – The Funeral – they fucked up completely. But I forgive them, because it was funny. First, the lead guitarist / singer had the capo on the wrong fret so it all just sounded wrong, wrong, wrong. He sorted that, then part way through the song – when they have to go from the heavy bit to the picky bit again – he fucked up again and muttered “fuck this song”, laughed and started playing again. It was all good.

Their first encore they played in one of the balconies of Koko which was great.

Overall, a wonderful show. Could have done without the teenage couple alternating between screaming, singing off key and making out behind us… but other than that it was pretty awesome.

>Phoenix – 30 March 2010

>One thing I *could* be doing is mentioning how much freaking fun I have at gigs on my poor old blog.

I went to Phoenix with Tyran. It was freaking fun.

Hudson Mohawke was the opening act. I dug what he did.


Phoenix were fantastic live. I really like their album Phoenix Amadeus Phoenix. They put on a good enough show that I’m thinking about picking up tickets to Field Day just to see them again (okay, okay… them and Caribou).

So, there are my crummy iPhone photos of the gig. And here is a video (just for you) of them playing my favourite song of theirs for BBC. Much more subdued than both the album and live versions, but a lovely version all the same.

I’ve also been to Midlake this year… but it was long enough ago I’m going to skip it this time. I may get to see them again this year. Anyhoo… Phoenix. Good live show, yo.