Friday, April 28, 2017

Explosions in the Sky @ The Pageant (4/28/2017)

I was late to the show due to some family stuff that came up, and am not even sure how much of Explosions in the Sky I missed; needless to day, I also missed the opener.  I enjoyed the hour or so (maybe more than that, actually) that I did catch.  I especially liked a couple of their older tunes that they played (I don't like their newer stuff as much), and the crowd seemed to agree.  I'm impressed by how cleanly these guys play live, even for the tunes that I didn't like as much.  They also had a couple of pretty cool rows of articulating lights on the floor at the front and back of the stage - similar to what A Perfect Circle had (so I guess it may be the rage these days).  If I were to give a rating, it would probably be in the low 4 range (out of 5), but I don't feel justified in doing so since I missed a chunk of their performance.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Perfect Circle @ Chaifetz Arena (4/20/2017)

I missed the opener (not even sure who it was), but the guy next to me indicated that I should be glad that I missed them.  I arrived right as A Perfect Circle took the stage, so my timing could not have been better.  As expected, the band performed for the most part without any spotlights on themselves; Maynard, especially, was pretty much in the dark for the entire show.  They did have cool light effects in their stage setup, though.

The band haven't had a new release in many years, so most of the songs were ones that I knew from back in the day.  They did play a couple that I wasn't familiar with, though - not sure what release they came from.  One that I kinda knew, but had forgotten, was "Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums", which is a variation of "Pet" - it was a cool surprise for me.  They also played a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine", which I wasn't particularly fond of, but whatevs.

I'll also note a mild annoyance that had nothing to do with the band - a group of girls sitting directly in front of me decided to stand and dance for most of the show.  When I'm in the seats I prefer being able to sit and enjoy the show (especially since I had tired legs from a soccer game just before).  I was in no mood to stand on this day (partially due to being tired, and also not wanting to force those behind me to make the same decision), and so had to try to watch things "through" the girls.  Perhaps thankfully, this is one band where you wouldn't see too much of their on-stage performance anyway.  I was also annoyed by the number of times I had to stand up to let people pass by during the show; who goes out and gets multiple beers (or whatever they were doing) while the band is playing?!?  Again, it's unfair to pin these annoyances on the band, but the circumstances certainly didn't help my enjoyment of the show.

Without any significant new music in a while, it's tough to give the band that high of marks anyway.  I would also have preferred to be seeing Maynard's main band (Tool) in concert, and am eagerly awaiting release of their new album.

Rating: 4.1/5

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Radiohead @ Key Arena (4/8/2017)

The concert experience didn't get off to the best start for Galen and me.  We took our time getting to Key Arena because he wanted to avoid the rush and I had no interest in seeing Dudu Tassa again.  Unfortunately, by the time we got into the arena at about 8:35, Radiohead were in the middle of their first song.  Things didn't get better when we were turned away at the entrance to the general admission floor section for not having the necessary wristbands - we were supposed to have received them when they admitted us into the building upon swiping the credit card used to purchase the tickets.  We hustled back to the nearest entrance, only to find out that the organizers had pretty much run out of wristbands in the whole building (and there were a few other audience members waiting in the same situation as us).  After a few minutes of Galen (mostly calmly) reprimanding and complaining to them, they were able to rustle up a couple of wristbands for the two of us (though I'm not sure what happened to the others who were also waiting).  We made it down to the floor in the middle of the third song.  I wasn't too bothered by the ordeal because the first three songs were the same three that they had been playing to start off each show on this leg of the tour, including in Atlanta.

I ended up liking this show a tiny bit more than the one last week, because of setlist selection.  Two of my all time favorites, "Reckoner" and "Morning Bell", made an appearance this time around, as did the wonderful "15 Step", "Let Down", and "Lotus Flower".  Another notable inclusion was the B-Side "These Are My Twisted Words", which was completely unexpected.  This setlist was lighter on songs from The Bends, with only "Fake Plastic Trees" making it for the third encore (which I guess is a thing they do now - they've done three encores each show of this leg of the tour).  The band had a bit of technical difficulty during "The Gloaming" (a couple of false starts, and an off-tempo sequencer / drum machine), but Thom seemed to be able to eventually shrug it off after initially being upset.  And during "No Surprises" they made an extended pause after the line "They don't speak for us" to let the crowd voice their discontent with the current US presidential administration.

Overall, another great show.  I still wish they would have switched out a couple of the new songs for others that I prefer on the album (hence the slight deduction), but I once again can't complain.

You can find the setlist here.

Rating: 4.8/5

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Radiohead @ Philips Arena (4/1/2017)

So, the opener for this show (in Atlanta) was quite unusual.  It was a band called Dudu Tassa & the Kuwaitis - a Jewish/Arabic project that played supposed re-imaginings of legacy songs from Kuwait and Baghdad.  I can't say that I was exactly feeling it, but they only played for 30 minutes so I can't complain too much.  I can't imagine these guys getting this kind of exposure if this Radiohead collaboration hadn't happened.

Radiohead did not disappoint.  They started off with the same 4 songs as the show before - 3 from A Moon Shaped Pool and then "Airbag".  After that they switched it up (as they always do - never playing the same setlist twice) with a good mix of songs from all the albums since The BendsAMSP got the most representation, as expected, with 6 songs; unfortunately, only one of my top 3 from that album, "Burn the Witch", made the list - at least they played the best one.

They also played the back-to-back-to-back trio of "Myxomatosis", "Idioteque", and "The Gloaming", during each of which Thom got to roam around and showcase his dance moves.  An audience member commented after that show that he seemed to have been in a good mood, and I would agree.  A pleasant surprise at the end was a third encore (they typically do 2), during which they played "Karma Police".

Overall, I can't have too many complaints about the show.  I feel that they play (and sing) a few of the songs a little too loose (e.g., "Bloom", and most of the '90s era hits), but I think I'm in a minority in that opinion.  And I obviously would have traded out a few of the songs for my favorites, but I'll take what I can get with this band.  I'm hoping for "Decks Dark" and "Identikit" when I see them again in Seattle in a week.

The setlist can be found here.

Rating: 4.7/5