Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Category

Not So Great Live Performances: Mariachi El Bronx

14 Mar

Mariachi El Bronx was the second opening act for Flogging Molly. They are, in fact, a straight up mariachi band. They even wore traditional mariachi costumes while performing on stage. They had two horn players, one guy who played a number of instruments, depending on the song, two guitar players, a banjo player (who later came out and did a couple songs with Flogging Molly as their banjo player had flown home for the birth of his second child), and the singer.

We found them to be only OK. Or, I should say, we found their front man only ok.

Great Live Performances: The Donots

13 Mar

The Donots were one of the opening acts at the Flogging Molly concert we went to last night. They are from Germany and describe themselves as a punk band. I don’t really know if they are punk or not, they are definitely a rock band (though that phrase is now reserved for a video game). They put on a great high energy show that included the lead singer crowd surfing during their final song- a cover of Twisted Sister’s We’re Not Gonna Take It.

The crowd was definitely into it. We certainly enjoyed the performance and will be following them.

Ode to Earplugs

15 Mar

I know that concerts are supposed to be loud. I know that it makes me “old” when I want to have earplugs for concerts, but you know what, I don’t care, because besides saving my hearing (if it can be saved) earplugs actually make the concert a more enjoyable experience.

They cut out the majority of the background crowd noise so that I hear the band but not a hundred people talking. They also cut down on speaker feedback and help me hear the singer and lyrics much more clearly. But I can still feel the bass pumping through me.

Great Live Performances: Flogging Molly at the Paramount

14 Mar

Last night was our second time seeing Flogging Molly in concert. Let me just that Flogging Molly is one of the few bands that I would travel to see. In fact, if they are going to be playing near me, but not in my city, there’s a good chance I will travel to see them.

The show atSeattle’s Paramount Theater last night was almost 4 hours long, with two hours of that being all Flogging Molly. Their energy was amazing. They played a number of new songs, but also a lot of the old stuff that the crowd loved.

Great Live Performances: BOWI @ A Terrible Beauty

18 Sep

We normally only catch BOWI at the Faire. But they are a local band (and we even have a friend in common) so we made an effort to go see them at a pub that is quite near us.

The pub performance is superior for one main reason- instead of doing one 30-40 minute set, they do four 40-45 minute sets. We stayed for two of them, but then it was a little late for us, so we headed home.

We will be back. BOWI was great, and A Terrible Beauty, the pub they played at, was a nice venue.

Great Live Performances: BOWI Band

14 Aug

My favorite part of the Renaissance Faire is seeing the live performers, especially the musicians. I love traditional music and hearing the variations the different performers put on the songs I already know by heart.

One of our favorite groups to see perform live is the BOWI (Band of Wandering Idiots) Band. They have a new CD out this year and performed a number of songs off of it. The Highwayman, in particular I really loved, but the whole thing is good stuff. Plus, their live performances are all about having fun, which is what I’m about, too, at Faire.

A Youth that Never Was

04 Dec

Midnight, on a Wednesday, the lead singer says stick around and have some drinks with us after the show. And I think, why couldn’t I have lived in Seattle when I was young? (I did; I couldn’t afford concert tickets.) This was the kind of concert I dreamed about attending- a new band, a small venue. I could have been right up against the stage from the beginning, shaking hands with the lead singer as he reached out, looking enviously at the old friends he kept pointing out in the crowd. And I definitely would have stayed for a drink.

Great live performances – The Gracious Few

03 Dec

“It’s called rock and roll, look it up.” This slogan was repeated a couple times during the Gracious Few concert, and rock and roll it definitely was, with a bit of blues thrown in. To quote Huey Lewis and the News, “They say the heart of rock and roll is the beating” and that was definitely true here. The beat and baseline drove the music, while the guitar solos added some flash.

Toward the end, they sat down for their “untamed” section- a little swamp bluegrass, they called it. It was intimate and added a new dimension to the performance.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire (2)

24 Aug

Back to the Faire for the final weekend. There was more Alexander James Adams, more BOWI Band (new album coming next year), and more yummy yummy root beer. This time I had a crepe for lunch- I don’t care if its not authentic faire food, it was hardy and delicious.

This weekend we watched the Gypsy Equestrian show. This is, apparently, what college level male gymnasts do when they are no longer competing. Instead of a pommel horse, they just use a real horse. There were also some vault variations. It was quite an impressive show.

Fun times for all.

Great live performances – Concrete Blonde

29 Jun

Most of the time at a concert, you expect things to sound a little off from what you are used to on the albums. It’s the vagaries of being on tour, bad acoustics, and the fact that recordings can be touched up, at least a little bit.

Not so with Johnette Napoltiano. Twenty years after their Bloodletting album came out, the lead singer of Concrete Blonde sounds exactly the same live as she does on CD, and trust me, there was no lip synching involved.

They rocked the Showbox, and I was even inclined to forgive the 10:30pm start time.

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