Archive for concert

The Twenty Second of February, Two Thousand and Twelve

Posted in Daily Pictures with tags , on February 27, 2012 by Verge

Out of the loop for the last few days, for a good reason that will be posted shortly.  Until then…

looks like kool aid, but it's not

it's CD-3, some nasty chemistry that looks like this when you add it to your developer. Had to doctor up some of our chemistry post Super Bowl

went to World Cafe Live to see Julia Nunes again!

you can barely tell, but we were only 20 feet from the stage. Had a wonderful dinner while watching a great show.

got to meet her again after the show and have our new cds signed

and, we stole the setlist off the stage, and had her sign that as well!

Last Night of Cape May…Britney Spears

Posted in Daily Pictures, Vacations with tags , , on August 14, 2011 by Verge

Yep, that’s right, you read that correctly.  We headed to Atlantic City to see Britney on our last night of vacation (Britney Spears Atlantic City 8-6-2011).  Now, you might think that it is completely normal for Monika to want to see Britney because, well, that’s the music she grew up on…and it is.  You also might think that my taste in music is questionable for also wanting to see Britney as much as Monika, and I guess that’s kind of valid.  But honestly, I love all kinds of music…yes, even country sometimes.  Britney is a pop superstar.  She is one of, if not the best pop star of my generation.  I’ve never seen her before, and it was a perfect opportunity to close our vacation with a concert in AC.

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The concert was wonderful, even though she lip syncs a ton of it.  And even Lady Gaga was there to hang out with all of us.  Our tickets were cheap by today’s standards (62 a piece, compared to the 110 a piece for the Taylor Swift show in Philly the same night), the venue was awesome (Boardwalk Hall, which I had never been to), and we got to see Britney perform 20 or so of our favorite pop songs of the last decade (some of which you can check out here, albeit poor quality).  Well worth the money.

We had car trouble leaving the parking garage at 11 at night, and by the time we got home to Cape May, everyone was asleep.  But one last story.  When we got home, Kreg and Kat were asleep on the couches, not in their bed.  Kreg stirred and got up, clearly confused as to where he was.  As Monika and I began to make ourselves a nightcap, he wandered outside.  I chased after him, knowing that he had no idea he was outside.  I found him trying to get into the pool area, unsuccessfully because he was sleep walking.  He informed me that he was going to the bathroom, which was not in that direction whatsoever.  I laughed my ass off as he fumbled with the gate lock!

Eventually, after I had my hilarious question and answer session with Kreg, I led him back inside to the actual bathroom.  That’s what friends are for right?  Monika and I had a martini and talked about the Britney show for an hour or so while everyone else slept their last night in Cape May.  What a week, and this blog only skimmed the surface.  And we’ll do it again…stay tuned.

The Fourth of August, Two Thousand and Ten

Posted in Daily Pictures with tags , , on August 4, 2010 by Verge

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our tickets, along with some of the confetti from the finale

Tonight, we went to see Paramore at Festival Pier in Philadelphia.  Tegan and Sara opened.  We ran into our friends Uriah and Shannon.  Great times.

More (Better) Pictures Here courtesy of Maya

Lady Gaga

Posted in Good Times with tags , , on December 7, 2009 by Verge

There was a time when I never, ever missed a single show that I wanted to see.  I would see at least a handful of shows each month, and sometimes, several each week.  That was well before I had a mortgage, two cars, and…well, you know, things other than concerts that need to be paid for.

These days, even though I still browse Pollstar and Ticketmaster, among others,  and make extensive lists of the shows I would like to see, it’s a rarity that Monika and I actually get to attend any of them.  We get to see a good deal of them because of the graciousness of our good friend Jim, who has the occasion to score free tickets and kick them down to us because he is awesome (and has two young children, and is a good husband).

On Thursday we attended the Lady Gaga concert together with 6 of our friends who were lucky enough to have a pre-sale password and score not great, but not horrible seats at the Susquehanna Bank Center, nee the E-Center, in Camden.  Thursday’s show had the back walls on the venue, so it was a relatively smallish to medium sized show for my standards.

So, perhaps one day I’ll also devise a rating system for concerts, since it seems that in my mad compulsions, it is inevitable.  But for now, we are going to get right to the point.  These are my impressions of the concert, which overall I would rate an entertaining show with some great highlights, but much to be desired.

THE PROS:

  1. Lady Gaga unequivocally sings all her songs live  (no lip synching), while dancing, in costume, and performing stage stunts.  This takes a lot of professionalism as far as being a true “entertainer” goes, not to mention she occasionally plays the piano at the same time.
  2. As a true showman (PC advocates, deal with it), she made many costume changes.  This was nice for several reasons.  First, it created an additional level of entertainment.  Next, it gave a minute or two to sit down between small sets of songs to rest while she got changed, which was actually pretty nice.
  3. She had pretty creative stage projections during her costume changes.  They were filmed like short movies, and were projected on a huge, stage wide scrim that they lowered when she exited for a break.  They kept us entertained in a multimedia kind of way, giving us something of substance to watch instead of smoke machines and circular drum machine loops.
  4. Lady Gaga’s show was concise.  To a long time concert goer, this is actually pretty important to me.  Concision is based on several things.  She didn’t waste very much time between songs, and when she had to for a costume change, there was other entertainment.  Furthermore, she did like to tell a short anecdote occasionally, but when she chose to, she kept it pretty short and to the point.  There was no endless rambling, which I can’ stand, nor was there zero crowd interaction whatsoever, which can be equally detached and, frankly, rude.  There was one long, nearly two hour set without an intermission.  Then, for the encore, we only had to wait 5 minutes or so for her to return to play her final two songs, and that was that.
  5. I had no problem with the crowd.  Sure, there was the one really tall girl (must have been 5’10”) that occasionally blocked all of our views, but overall, it was a perfect crowd.  To start, my crowd of 8 people alone was made up of all individuals that I’ve known and liked for some time, thereby avoiding any uncomfortableness.  Plus, really, how upset can a man be in a crowd of 90% women, cheering, singing along, swooning at the male dancers, and generally being perfectly elated?  There was no vying for seat space, fending off drunken douche bags, or having to tell someone to stop yelling because you would actually like to hear the artist you paid to see perform.
  6. The sound was fantastic.  There was a bit too much reverb on her vocals, but that is the only thing I can point out.  The bass bins were powerful enough to shake our insides, the mixes were clear and uncluttered, her vocals, whether on hand-held or headset, sat in the correct place in the mix for a pop diva, and I was happy with the overall dynamics of the show.

Okay, the CONS:

  1. My biggest disappointment of the night, quite frankly, was the shocking lack of musicians!  Okay, so you may not like Lady Gaga’s music, but these are facts:  She began playing piano at age 4;  she was playing open mic nights by 13, playing original compositions a year later; by age 17, she was accepted into the Tisch School of Arts at NYU; at 19, she was signed to Def Jam Records; she performed as a musician for the next few years in NYC clubs; at 21, she was writing original songs for major label acts;  shortly thereafter, her vocal talents convinced major label reps that she should be a performer, rather than a mere composer, for her compositions. Unfortunately, even with those obvious credentials, her show included very little actual musicianship.  It was mostly her background tracks being played over the PA with her singing the lead vocals.  Absent was any actual performance of the songs.  There was no guitar, bass or drum players, no backup singers, and no synth players or programmers.  She sung leads over her own, album-recorded backup vocals.  The lone exceptions were live drums, with a little guitar, on the two lonely songs that she played on a real piano.  Those few songs sounded great, and I truly wished that that setup would have been the majority of the performance, rather than the gimmick it was portrayed as.
  2. She kept bringing this whole “I despise money” thing.  Now, I know that she thinks about money a lot as she has more than one song dedicated to it, but to bring it up over and over during your show is tiresome.  And, let me point out, she was saying how she HATED money, that she absolutely despises it, that it’s what she “hates in the world most.”  C’mon Gaga, I know there were a lot of young teenagers at the show, but they’re not stupid.  She absolutely loves money, and fame, and crazy ass costumes, and record royalties, and Hollywood glamor, and all that shit.  To say that you don’t positively have a love affair with money is hypocritical at best and at worst, shows you have a truly distorted self-image.
  3. Okay, this isn’t really a con so much as an observation.  When I told my boss that I was going to see Lady Gaga, he mentioned that his daughter had really wanted to go to the show.   She’s 8.  This was not a show for an 8 year old.  Of course I expected there to be plenty of “sexual” dances going on, but she was downright vulgar at times.  Like I said, it doesn’t bother me and it didn’t detract from the show.  It’s just odd for a performer to ask the entire crown to “fuck me.”

One more wierd thing that I noticed.  On her website, and online, and at the concert, the name Philadelphia was never mentioned.  Now, we all know that technically the venue IS in Camden, but the show was a Philadelphia show.  It was clear that the promoter, Live Nation, made it absolutely clear to Lady Gaga that she was not to mention the name Philly at all and that she had to, instead, call it Camden every time.  This girl is from NY.  She definitely know that it was her Philadelphia stop on her tour and to have to refer to it over and over as Camden was off-puting.  Not her fault, of course, but strange.

Overall, I enjoyed myself and we all had a good time.  It was a solid 2 hour show that was basically all hits.  She kind of ruined Poker Face by letting that hack Kid Cudi rap over part of it, so that sorta sucked, but I would definitely go again.  That is, if her aversion to money sticks around and tickets don’t double in price as she gains more and more fame.

–~r

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