Saturday, December 17, 2016

A new travel challenge

My coworker Nick Dare told me about a friend of his who has resolved to have visited more countries than her age for the rest of her life.  I thought this was an interesting challenge, and that I am probably close to my age on both number of countries visited and number of states visited.  Having recently turned 35, that is my target for the next year or so.  Below is my current list of both countries and states.  For both, I am only counting places where I have spent a night and/or done some sort of activity besides transiting through.  I'm within striking distance in both categories, though I am far more likely to reach my age in states sooner than in countries - due to being closer, ease, and plans in the works.  I hope to conquer the challenge for states in the next year and maintain the lead in that category until I turn 50.  I'll need to pick up my game in terms of international travel.

#     Country             State
8Czech RepublicIdaho
20New ZealandNew Jersey
21NigeriaNew Mexico
22NorwayNew York
26SpainSouth Dakota

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sleigh Bells @ Neumos (11/19/2016)

I was expecting some hearing loss from this show, and I got what I expected. The show was an assault on the senses, both very loud and with lots of flashing lights (I didn't even bother trying to get many good photos, as they would not have come out due to all the strobes). Based on 2 listens to the new album that dropped the week before, I didn't like it very much. Hearing a few of the new songs live didn't do anything to change that - not that you can really make out much from their live performances if you don't already know the songs.

Rating: 4.0/5

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

What just happened?

November 2016 is shaping up to be pretty terrible.  First the Cubs win the World Series, and now Donald Trump has been elected president.  OK, that first one doesn't really matter that much (especially given how little I care about baseball these days), but let's pretend that it does.

Last week I broke my policy of not voting for people to cast a vote for Hillary Clinton for president; I even went through the "trouble" of casting an absentee ballot from Seattle, which actually ended up being not that much of a hassle.  I did this because I believe that Donald Trump is absolutely unqualified to be the president.  While I think that Hillary has her moral failings and sometimes displays poor judgment, I still respect her intellect.  This is not something that I can say about Trump - most of what he says is devoid of content when he is not being inflammatory.  In addition to his severe moral and intellectual shortcomings, the little that I can gather from his actual policy positions make them seem quite impractical.  I steer clear of the outright name-calling of Trump that you often see on the left (e.g., calling him a bigot, or comparing him to Hitler), but I also struggle mightily to find any redeeming qualities in him.  So I cast my vote as a vote against Trump, and not so much as a vote for Clinton.  It turned out not to matter at all in Missouri, or the country at large.

I was looking forward to the end of this election cycle, as I was tired of all the hubbub about these two unsatisfactory candidates.  Unfortunately, the result of the election has been even more unsatisfying, and there will be even more groaning about the winner for at least the next four years.  Even worse, I am adding to this groaning in an attempt to process what has just happened.  What follows will likely not even be very coherent; I'm just trying to capture some thoughts and questions that I have had over the last day.

My mood as I stayed up late (until after 2 AM ET) to follow the election returns progressed from worried to disbelief to stunned.  The election had not yet been called in Trump's favor when I tried to go to sleep, but it seemed imminent.  I couldn't fall asleep because there were too many thoughts running through my mind; those thoughts inspired this blog post.  I eventually caught a couple of hours of sleep, but I'm not even sure if it was before or after seeing the final call.  The couple of hours attempting to sleep before having to get up in the morning were not very restful, either.

As deeply disappointed as I am with the result, though, there is a not-so-small part of me that wants to laugh at all the people (myself included) who dismissed the prospect of a Trump presidency.  In some ways I think that they/we were out of touch with the motivations of an apparently significant portion of the population.

I'm also laughing at the electoral college system, where the election of the president only seems to really depend on a small fraction of the states.  Based on the latest data, it looks like Clinton will win the popular vote by a small margin but lose the electoral vote fairly handily.  I'm not sure what to think about that, but something doesn't seem right.  Regardless, the system is the system, and the rules were all known going in.

It should be obvious that I don't understand why so many people support Trump.  I am genuinely curious to find out why, though.  How much has to do with party lines?  How much of a factor is a growing distaste for political correctness and/or a desire to shake up the political system that doesn't seem to be working?  How much is an anti-globalization reaction?  How much is a reaction to radical Islam and/or the Middle East refugee crisis?  How much does racism play in this?  How much does gender and sexism play?  How much is related to an opponent with flaws of her own?  How much relates to Trump's actual policy stances?

I'm also left wondering what the impact of a Trump presidency can actually be, though some might argue it is more a symptom of underlying problems than a cause for future ones.  Can he really screw things up that badly, or is there a system in place that will prevent that from happeningOn the other hand, is it possible that Trump can actually be a good president?  Is there some good that can come out of all this for our society as a whole?

Despite my anguish, I must admit that it is certainly more interesting to live through such remarkable events than not. 

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Yeasayer w/ Lydia Ainsworth @ The Ready Room (11/5/2016)

The Yeasayer portion of this show was certainly better than their opening performance a couple of weeks ago. And overall the show was worth taking an "unplanned" home trip for. Interestingly, I got a chance to personally interact with both acts after each of their performances.

For this tour as an opener, Lydia is traveling pretty light. She has a laptop (a MacBook Pro, obvy) to play the backing track while she sings and sometimes plays keyboard. It wasn't fancy, but I thought it was still a solid performance. About half of the songs were new, and the others were off her debut album. After her performance she set up camp at the merchandise table, so I went over to ask if a new album was on the way - she said that it should drop in February (yay!). She was pleased to hear that her being the opening act was the deciding factor in me flying home for the show, and gave me an appreciative hug. I thought she was a pleasant young lady - she represents Toronto (and Canadians) well.

The main act didn't disappoint either. They were energetic, as usual, and I think they appreciated the energy that the crowd brought (especially on a few of their most popular songs). I was actually a little worried about the size of the crowd when Lydia was on, but it filled out pretty nicely for Yeasayer (though I don't think it quite sold out the 750 capacity). Once again, they played a nice mix of old and new. For stage decoration they had some lighted cutouts that were similar to the cover art on the latest album (Amen & Goodbye). The rest of the light show was also pretty solid, especially for a relatively indie act at a relatively small venue; I couldn't tell how much of that gear belonged to the venue and how much they brought. As for my interaction with the band... I came across the guitarist and bassist rounding the corner of the building after leaving the venue - I gave them a thumbs up and a "well done", and they thanked me, wished me a good night, and gave me a pat on the back. I'll take it.

Rating: 4.4/5

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

M83 w/ Yeasayer @ WaMu Theater (10/25/2016)

I was just about as excited for Yeasayer as M83 for this show, but their performances were (understandably) not in the same league. I arrived late for Yeasayer - I think because I had the start time wrong in my calendar. I'm not sure how many songs they played before I got there, but I did get to see them perform at least 7 or 8. As the opener, the sound wasn't quite as punchy, and the lights weren't terribly exciting. Something also seemed a little off in terms of matching the depth of their songs to the studio versions (e.g., their closer "I Am Chemistry", which is my favorite off the new record). I'm chalking it up to being the opener, and hoping that their headlining show in 11 days will be better.

On the other hand, M83 mostly exceeded my expectations. I've been a fan of theirs/his for a while, but not so much of the new album this year (appropriately, I think, entitled Junk). However, a few of the new songs came off better than I expected live - I might have to give the album another chance. They did play plenty of older material (though not many "deep tracks"), including a few of my favorites. "Outro", the last track off Hurry Up, We're Dreaming was a great closer to the main set. The light show was also pretty intense, which was another plus. There were a few minuses, though, including a couple of the new songs that didn't resonate. And I wish they hadn't played a shortened version of "Coleurs".

Lastly...WaMu Theater is a weird, cavernous venue for a concert.

Rating: 4.4/5

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Purity Ring @ Showbox SoDo (10/17/2016)

It's kinda hard to rationalize how a group with a fairly limited performance aspect to their music (he basically pushes play and bangs on some lights in the back, while she wanders around the stage singing and popping some pretty solid moves) can earn a higher score than artists who perform "real" instruments, can't deny that they play catchy song after catchy song (even with a sophomore album that I perceive to be a bit weaker than their first). The stage set-up and lighting was pretty interesting as well. Of note: they still don't do encores. Also of note: I witnessed my first instance of someone using a tablet to take pictures/videos at a concert.

I'm glad the show was very enjoyable - my night could certainly use a pick-me-up.

Rating: 4.5/5

Thursday, October 13, 2016

James Blake @ The Moore Theatre (10/12/2016)

I arrived a little late the show, but I'm guessing (based on the time) that I caught the end of James Blake's first song. He performs as a three-piece, with a drummer and another guy on guitar/keyboards - I wasn't sure what to expect since the music is solely in his name.

More stuff that I didn't expect included some pretty heavy songs, or sequences within songs. One particularly bumping song was an unofficial dance remix. He also amped up portions of some songs, including an outro or two. They brought some pretty good lighting gear, including some strobes, and the sequencing matched the music really well. There were (obviously) some slower songs played as well, including a live-looped "Measurements" to close out the show. At one point James suggested that the crowd stand up, but then proceeded to play four slow songs in a row; thankfully (for my old bones), most people only stood for the first of those. 

The highlight of the show for me was probably "Retrograde". It is one of his most popular songs (as far as I can tell), but I never got into it that much. Something about the live rendition just totally worked, though, so I'm now a fan of the song.

Rating: 4.3/5

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Phantogram w/ The Range @ The Paramount Theatre (10/7/2016)

I only learned a week or two before the show that The Range was going to open up for Phantogram, and I was excited to see him again. His album Potential is likely to make my top 10 for this year. Phantogram's latest album Three also dropped the day of the show. I tried to get a listen in beforehand earlier in the day, but I was only able to get a distracted partial listen.

The Range's set was kinda disappointing, though I'm not sure that I should have expected more, especially as an opening act. There's a limit to the entertainment value of his (suspected fake) knob twiddling, lip syncing, and DJ dancing. He also didn't have any of the visuals that he did for his earlier Seattle show as an opener. The music was alright, but the sound mix could have been better.

Phantogram didn't disappoint. They played a good mix of songs from their brand new album as well as their earlier two. They also had some good visual effects, including projections on both a front see-through screen and a backdrop. Brad commented, and I agree, that they are good at ending songs at the appropriate time - I can only think of one song with any sort of extended jam and even that one was quite short. Many of their songs are good for getting the body moving, while some others are good for rocking out. Overall, I was quite satisfied.

Rating: 4.4/5

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Foals @ The Paramount Theatre (9/23/2016)

With this being my third event at The Paramount in four nights (Sigur Rós, Neil DeGrasse Tyson), I feel like I live at the place this week...

Sitting for a Foals show is an interesting experience, as they put on a pretty energetic performance. It's a little tougher to tap into that energy from a seat in the mezzanine. Don't get me wrong, though - (being an "old man") I generally prefer sitting to standing.

The light show matches the kind of energy that the band, especially Yannis, puts into the show. To expand on that a bit, most of the band is generally not jumping all around constantly, but they're still going at it. Yannis definitely moves around more than the others (twirls, hops, etc), and ventures out into the crowd (sometimes crowd-surfing) at least once a show. The light show for this tour is heavy on strobe effects, especially when the band is going hard.

My main complaint about the show is that they apparently don't like playing my favorite songs by them. I tend to prefer their "mathier" stuff, but they seem to mostly like to rock out. That's fine, too, but I would like it if they played more than one from my top five.

Rating: 4.4/5

Thursday, September 22, 2016

An Evening With Sigur Rós @ The Paramount Theatre (9/20/2016)

As an "an evening with" show, there was no opener. Galen, Erin, and I arrived a couple of minutes after the 8:30 beginning. The show came in two parts, each lasting about an hour, with a 20 minute intermission.

The first part was slower, softer, and had more songs that I didn't recognize/recall - I didn't do much "prep" for the show besides listen to my two favorite albums of theirs (Takk... and Kveikur). The second part was more dynamic - which is my preference for their stuff - and had a couple of my jams, including Sæglópur. Somewhat unfortunately, though, I would estimate that they only played 3 or 4 of my top 10 favorite songs by them. The setlist also seemed to span the entirety of their catalog.

As was expected based on the Twitter chatter, their stage set-up was pretty amazing. They had lights or light strips on just about everything. They also had two big screens displaying stuff - one really big one all the way in the back, and another not-as-big partially see-through one that moved up/down and could serve as either a backdrop or a facade. Of course, the screens don't really add much unless they are displaying something cool or interesting, and they had plenty of that. For at least half of the songs I really wanted to take a picture to capture the feel of the chosen light/graphics scheme, but I didn't want to be "that guy" who was only snapping pics and not enjoying the show.

A random observation: there was no on-stage banter at all - they just performed the song. I'm not sure if it's for artistic reasons or because they're not native English speakers (though I know that Jónsi speaks at least decent English). They did do a double bow for the standing ovation at the end, though.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bloc Party @ Neptune Theatre (9/17/2016)

More random thoughts...

Showtime was a relatively late 9 PM. Kasey and I arrived a little after the opening act got on. Bloc Party started a little before 10:15. They played two half sets, though the first "half" was longer than the second. I thought that the second "half" was going to be an encore, not that the break was an intermission. They did end up coming out for a one song encore after the second "half".

They played a lot of older material, which I think the audience (myself included) was happy with. I guess they realize that the new stuff is not as strong, or at least not as appreciated.

Kele seemed more stacked (physically) than I recalled - I remember him as being fairly skinny.

Overall, the show was a little better than I expected. I hadn't listened to any of their stuff recently to reacquaint myself with it. But a lot of it sprung back when they played it.

Rating: 4.2/5

Sunday, July 10, 2016

We Are Scientists @ The Crocodile (7/9/2016)

Some random thoughts...

The show went pretty late. I arrived around 9:30 and still saw all of the second opener (The Palms). It was after midnight when I left after We Are Scientists' main set.

Keith, the guitarist/singer for We Are Scientists, is quite talented.

The on-stage banter was almost as good as the music. And there was seemingly almost as much of it.

This show resulted in some hearing loss for me.

Rating: 3.6/5

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Local Natives @ Tractor Tavern (6/20/2016)

When the Local Natives tour was initially announced, I was notified of the Seattle show on September 20. Unfortunately, this was the same day as two other shows that I was interested in (Sigur Rós and The Temper Trap), one of which I had bought tickets for already (Sigur Rós). In truth, Sigur Rós would be my first choice out of the three, but Local Natives wouldn't be too far behind (The Temper Trap would only be in the running if it was a weekend and I had nothing else going on), especially since they were the only ones I hadn't yet seen. Fast forward to Friday (3 days ago) when a Do314 e-mail randomly made me curious to investigate whether traveling back to St. Louis (for free) for a Wednesday night (October 5) just to see them would be worth it. When I went to their website just to see what their full tour schedule was, I noticed that the very first date listed was in Seattle...3 days away! In a delirious haste, I clicked through to buy a ticket as quickly as possible, incredulous that the show (at a bar that I hadn't heard of) hadn't sold out yet. Needless to say, the concert was sold out by showtime, and I'm glad that I stumbled across the show listing when I did. I am a little angry that Songkick did not alert me about (and still does not list) the show, though.

The show itself wasn't anything fancy - they were playing a decent sized bar, but there couldn't have been more than a few hundred people there. The stage was pretty small, and there wasn't much of a light show. But that was all fine - I was there for the music. In my typical style, I arrived about an hour after showtime, completely skipping the DJ opener. Unfortunately, though, that meant that the only spot I would be feel comfortable getting to (since I don't like pushing through people) was in the back. This was OK, but I do wish that I could have seen more of their actual playing of instruments from my vantage point.

This was one of the first, if not the first, official shows on their tour. In fact, a comment on stage made it seem that it was hastily arranged and prepended to the schedule. In any case, they used it to "road test" most of the songs on the new album. In general, I liked the new material, and am excited for the album to drop in September. I think 3 of the new songs had Kelcey on lead vocals, which was a bit of a change-up - I can only think of 2 songs from the first 2 albums where he's the main voice. While I do generally prefer the texture of Taylor's singing voice, I didn't mind too much Kelcey taking the lead. Half the set was a mixture of old material, which the crowd also heartily appreciated.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable show. While I think that I might have preferred seeing them at the Moore Theatre later in the year (in addition to being a "fuller" performance, I would have had a bit of time to digest the new songs beforehand), it was nice to at least see them in concert, and in such an intimate venue. Next time I'll try to get a better view.

Rating: 4.4/5

Monday, May 30, 2016

Lessons from DTA

As you may or may not know, I've been living in Seattle for the last seven months while on a domestic temporary assignment (DTA) for work.  It's been great.  I've loved the chance to live in and explore a new and interesting place, even despite not yet having the best weather of the year.  But I also really like the idea of having the stability and comfort of my home in St. Louis.  Reflecting on the experience so far has begun to formulate a life goal for a decade or so from now.

I imagine having a career that I can productively undertake anywhere in the world with a sufficiently fast Internet connection (not a stretch as a software developer).  I imagine being completely debt free.  I imagine being able to decide without hesitation that I want to spend the next couple of months in some new place in the world - living, working, and exploring as I desire.  I imagine having the ability to return to my comfortable home when each adventure is complete.

I realize that I am very fortunate to be born into a position where this is a possibility.  But why not seize the opportunity to make this happen?  We'll see what the next ten years bring.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Moderat @ The Showbox (5/24/2016)

OK, maybe I've gotten too lazy and nonchalant about getting to shows on time. This time I showed up after Moderat was already on stage, but I think it was only their first song. This was the second show in a row that I got a ticket a couple of days beforehand and the show ended up selling out. And like the previous show, it turned out to be a good decision.

The show as a package was pretty good. The big beats were bumping, and the light (and laser, and fog) show was dynamic. They played more instrumental (if you can really call it that - electronic music doesn't really have instruments) songs than I expected, and fewer ones with vocals. And they turned parts of the show into a dance party (as opposed to playing the standard songs); but this wasn't a surprise. One unexpected thing was the double encore - the first encore had three or four songs, and the second had one. Overall, it turned out better and more enjoyable than I expected.

Rating: 4.5/5

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Blonde Redhead @ Neumos (5/21/2016)

It seems like I've gotten pretty good at showing up just in time for the main act. Anyway, I committed unusually late to going to this show - I bought the ticket only a couple of days before. In the end I'm glad I made the decision that I did, and that I got the ticket before they sold out. It was a solid show - nothing flashy or super memorable. Perhaps my only real complaint is directed at myself for picking a spot at the back - partially for the suboptimal view, but also for having to deal with all the people who couldn't find a good place to cut through the packed crowd in the small venue. One thing that did strike me about their performance was that it seemed like they used a backing track on quite a few songs - I couldn't be sure since I didn't have the best view of what was going on. I don't remember this from the first time that I saw them. But I apparently also liked that show a bit more.

Rating: 4.2/5

Monday, May 09, 2016

The Range @ Barboza (5/8/2016)

I almost didn't go to this show, for a couple of reasons. First, I knew nothing about the main act, Rome Fortune, and was only interested in seeing The Range. Second, it was a Sunday night, and I've been going in to work earlier, so I didn't want a lack of sleep to lead to a sluggish Monday. When I'm indecisive enough to not buy a ticket ahead of time, it almost always means that I'm not going. This time was different, though - I decided over the weekend that I would only go for The Range (whose album will likely end high on my list for 2016). This would avoid the boredom of not knowing the other acts, and would (hopefully) also allow me to salvage some sleep.

The plan almost worked out. I arrived promptly at 8 PM, thinking that I would be able to immediately catch The Range and then bounce. Unfortunately, the first act was a DJ set, and The Range wasn't due on stage until 9:15. I made the best of the situation, though, and walked over to a nearby Chipotle to grab a late dinner, and then up the street to check out the apartment in Capitol Hill that my buddy Mike had just moved into. I made it back to the venue just in time to catch The Range for his hour on stage before finding a bus back to the apartment.

After all that preamble, I should probably say a word or two about the show. The venue is pretty small - it's really just a bar in a basement (of another bar and small concert club) with a small, slightly elevated stage. The crow was also quite small, though it sorta filled out to maybe 50 people by the time The Range was done (which I would guess was below 25% capacity). Those that were there did seem to enjoy him, though, but I couldn't get a read on how many people where his fans vs Fortune's.

Musically, there was much to like about the set. Most of the tracks off Potential made an appearance, and as did one or two from Nonfiction (plus at least a couple that I didn't immediately recognize). As expected, though, the performance aspect was not particularly intriguing. He (James Hinton, aka The Range) did hop about quite a bit and mouth most of the lyrics in between pushing buttons and twiddling knobs. And there were a couple of projectors involved - one for a transparent screen in front of him, and the other (which he almost knocked over once while jumping about) for the white screen behind him. It was a decent visual spectacle for being such a small electronic act, but it wouldn't blow many (if any) minds. In any case, I was satisfied just to hear those beautiful big beats bumped loudly. I also got a chance to ask him a quick question (about when the documentary for Potential is due out - screenings in June, generally available in July) and shake his hand while he was breaking down his equipment after he was done.

Rating: 4.0/5

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Beach House @ The Paramount Theatre (5/4/2016)

A Beach House show is a Beach House show, so it's gonna be good.  However, something was a little lacking about this one (even being their first in Seattle in 4 years).  I think it's mostly a matter of setlist preference, though - they didn't play any of my favorite 3 songs from either of their last 2 albums.  And I guess there were a couple of songs where Alex's guitar should probably have been mixed in a little louder.  Victoria also seemed frustrated on the first few songs with the sound levels on the stage monitors, but that was mostly unrelated to what we could hear in the audience.

Overall, maybe a teeny bit disappointing, but only because they're one of my favorite bands.

Rating: 4.4/5

Monday, April 11, 2016

Miike Snow @ The Showbox (4/10/2016)

I intended to show up in time for the opener (Kaneholler) tonight - I even checked out some of their music earlier in the day - but events conspired to make me miss them like I've seemingly missed all openers as of late.  Oh well.

Another recent trend is that I haven't particularly liked the latest album from the acts that I've been seeing, despite being a mid to long term fan.  Unless further listens cause a change of heart, that appears to be the case with Miike Snow as well.  Thankfully, their setlist contained plenty of older songs to keep me satisfied; and a couple of the new ones didn't come out too badly.

I haven't quite made up my mind how I feel about their live performance.  Their better (and usually older) songs tend to be mostly electronic, which diminishes from the performance aspect.  The newer songs are generally (but not always) more guitar driven, so they allow for more showmanship - too bad I don't like these songs as much.  In any case, I give props to the traveling drummer, who I thought did a pretty good job on the songs, electro or otherwise.

The lead singer (Andrew) is also a puzzler.  His heart seems to be in the right place in terms of being animated and attempting to put on a show, but there are aspects of the execution that cause me to scratch my head a bit.  For example, I don't understand the unnecessary transitions between the microphone up front and the seated position behind the keyboards on the left - sometimes multiple times in a song.  This is further exacerbated by his seeming lack of respect of microphones and wires, which cause a stagehand to have to come on to fix a tangled situation just about every song.  One of these events involved Andrew taking a tumble, which at least resulted in additional support from the crowd when he got back on his feet.

Rating: 4.2/5

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Junior Boys @ Neptune Theatre (3/11/2016)

So, apparently my new thing is intentionally missing the opening band(s) at concerts.  OK, maybe this is not really a new thing, but I've been doing a pretty good job of it lately.  Despite the late 9:00 PM start of this show, I arrived around 10:30 in a plot to miss the two openers.  I was a bit worried that I would miss some of Junior Boys, especially since (as usual) I had a hard time finding parking around this venue, but my timing was on point - I arrived between the second opener and the main act.

The audience was significantly less crowded than either of the previous two shows that I had seen here, so I took this chance to check out the seating on the balcony level.  The result was that I had a comfortable and relaxing viewing/listening experience.

Musically, there weren't too many surprises.  Junior Boys is a pretty small act, so the stage setup was pretty low key.  They played a mix of old and new, and the songs off the latest album (Big Black Coat) came off a bit better than expected - so far I'm digging the album less than its predecessors.  I did find it interesting that the live drummer had a kit that was a mix of normal and electronic elements - the bass drum being a noteworthy electronic component.  Also, the guy on the keyboard/mixer didn't seem to contribute very much to the music, despite his attempts at rapidly turning his attention among various switches and knobs.

Rating: 3.8/5

Thursday, March 10, 2016

MUTEMATH @ The Showbox (3/8/2016)

MUTEMATH is a fun act to see live.  They are energetic, even as they advance in years.  They bring a pretty elaborate stage and light show, especially for the smaller venues that they tend to play.  And their music ain't half bad either.

For this particular show, they once again played a good mix of old and new.  The beginning was mostly new-ish, and then they took it old school for a few songs.  As is to be expected, Vitals got the largest representation, being their latest album and all (as well as the name of the tour)In total they apparently played a whopping 22 songs (though I think that count is actually low by 1), the vast majority of which I enjoyed.  The encore wasn't really an encore, in that the band didn't fully leave the stage between, but I have zero gripes with that.  They closed things out with the customary "Reset"/"Typical" comboSide note: further research indicates that they played a very similar setlist every show during this tour.

All in all, this was a more than satisfactory show.  And after Animal Collective, it restored my faith that concerts can actually be enjoyable.

Rating: 4.5/5