Archive for the ‘Rock and Roll’ Tag

The Dirty Blondes at Club Metronome October 31, 2014   Leave a comment

Dirty Blondes Halloween 2014 photo by Kathleen Barnes

Dirty Blondes Halloween 2014 photo by Kathleen Barnes


I had a great time seeing music Friday night at Club Metronome. I worked until 7 and the show was set to start at 8. I did a quick turnaround at home and took the pleasant walk downtown. The club was decked out in spider webs and the medium sized crowd was enchantingly costumed. I chatted with Ornan McLean for a bit, but soon enough it was time for the show. The band hit the stage hard will a killer version of Burn. I’m not sure if they have locked in the playing a bit more, or the person doing sound had everything just right, but they sounded as great and powerful as they ever have. Rebecca Rogers was the devil in black hair with a ’70’s bell bottom jeans look. Diane Sullivan was the devil in red with horns and a cape. They had the audience dancing as they played epic versions of Crybaby and the gotta do the dance move for Kung Pao. All of the songs took their time to unfold and really drove home how powerful they are. The voices were in top form and the show was brilliant fun from first note to last. A ways into the set it seemed like they were short on time and skipped a couple. They jumped into a killer version of Ornan’s song and wrapped the night with an epic That New Guy Is Not James Bond. Despite the time, the audience demanded another. They obliged with Drunk and called it a night.

Shortly after the last note rang out, I settled up and headed out the door. There was a ton of great music happening that Halloween night, but I was in a really tight spot money-wise and had to limit what I could do. I had to whittle down the list of what I could and could not make, and this show was on the cannot miss list. I’m so glad I made it happen.


The Sideshow Tragedy, Rough Francis, and Waylon Speed at Higher Ground April 25, 2014   Leave a comment

I had a great time seeing some of the music I wanted to see last night. It always takes a bit of time to come down from doing the radio show on Thursday nights, so getting up extra early on Friday was a challenge. I worked 8:30-5, got home and ate some dinner. A bit after 7 I headed out and walked over to Higher Ground. The ticket line went fast and soon I was in the small room with a couple of dozen others. It wasn’t long until The Sideshow Tragedy hit the stage. Despite being a duo, they filled the room with energy from the first note. Guitarist and singer Nathan Singleton had a wild look in his eye, and played some wicked, dirty, bluesy slide guitar. He’s a master showman who hits a stinging note in one moment and is using his hands to articulate the lyrics in the seamless next moment. Drummer Jeremy Harrell was cool and composed and could change the song tempo on a dime. They said they had just recorded a new album in NY and played a mix of new songs, and songs from their excellent album Persona. Every song got louder and louder cheers, as the audience filled in and was remarkably impressed. Singleton broke the barrier on the last song when he hopped off the stage and prowled the front of the audience. The band put on such a stunning show that I can barely describe it!
When they wrapped up, I realized the room was almost full. I found a little space to stand in and waited for the next band. I was pretty tired, and not up for the usual mosh pit, so I hung back a bit.
Soon enough, ROUGH FRANCIS hit the stage. In the back, the volume was down a little and the guitars were mixed down a bit so the effect was not as strong as usual. They played a few songs and it was good, but not over the top. When I realized people were more rocking out than moshing, I move towards the front. Being closer to the speakers helped, and the sound started coming along. They tossed in a cover of an Iggy Pop song and everything just came together. The band were locked into the fast song, the audience was getting more into it, and half way in, Paul jumped into the crowd and played guitar while moshing with a couple of people at the front of the stage. He hopped back onto the stage, but the four of five moshers did not stop until the show was done. The band cranked it up and played killer versions of Righteous and Black and Red, and it was just perfect. The packed room was having a great time, and the band were at the top of their game. When it was time, they started Comm To Space so slowly, that I knew it was going to end up as one of the epic versions. It built and built, then slammed into the end section that sounds like it’s going to wrap up, until that final note springboards back into the song, and we all get to rock hard for a bit more. It was a fun and glorious show.
I was dead on my feet, but really wanted to hang out for Waylon Speed.  They did a pretty quick changeover and hit the stage with some country fueled rock and roll. They followed with Silver And Gold which had a nice epic build, that I would have loved if every fiber in my being did not want to crash. I made it about 4 songs then took the long walk home. I owe it to myself to go see them for real sometime soon. My limitations aside, it was a great night of music.

Article about me in 7 Days   3 comments

7 Days photo of Tim and Vedora

Dan Bolles:

Scan the room at most local rock shows, and you’ll observe various types of concertgoers. There are the average fans, generally attentive people who form the majority of most crowds and tend to clump together in a semicircle in front of the stage. There are the cool kids, typically identified by hipsterer-than-thou detachment as they hang near the back of the room or by the bar, the occasional head nod or absentminded clap the only clues that they’re paying attention to the music onstage. There are the talkers, people whose constant babble suggests they’re oblivious to the performance at hand — or are just total assholes. There are social butterflies and wallflowers, hardcore fans and obvious noobs, players and prudes, drunks and teetotalers, cheerleaders and critics.

And then there is Tim Lewis.

Lewis is something of a Burlington institution, a fixture at local shows for close to 30 years. The general consensus is that he’s attended more rock concerts than anyone else around — though no one really knows.

Without hesitation, Lewis can recall the names and lineups of long-departed Queen City bands that most have never heard of, or have long forgotten. Save for the occasional political remark, his Facebook page is like the Yelp of local music, composed of reviews of shows he’s recently seen. And, of course, Lewis has a blog, Tim’s Triangle Tribune, on which he faithfully documents his live-music adventures. Like, all of them. Rare is the concert, whether at a club, café or basement party, that Lewis attends without posting at least some acknowledgment, along with what he thought of it.

“I think he deserves an award,” says Vedora’s Caroline O’Connor. “I swear he’s been to more shows than anyone in this town.”

(Cut to the town’s professional music writers slinking away in embarrassment.)

Lewis is not a paid music journalist. He’s not an A&R rep scouting for the next big thing — the guy works in the call center at Gardener’s Supply. He is, quite simply, a fan. And, in the realm of local-music fandom, Lewis stands alone. Sometimes literally.

At concerts, he can usually be found planted in front of the front row, notepad in hand, taking in the show with his signature fidgety enthusiasm.

It starts with a quick nod, imperceptible if not for the shimmy of the straight hair cascading past his shoulders. From there, the tremor progresses down his body, maybe punctuated by a jerky elbow burst from otherwise straight arms, a subtle, air-guitar-y flick of the wrist, or rapid foot taps. When a band is really rocking, Lewis’ entire body becomes a twitchy, rhythmic bustle, culminating in a sort of head-banging seizure.

“I’m kind of awkward,” Lewis confesses recently over coffee. “But music has always had a very powerful effect on me.” Indeed.

When those movements are coupled with his long, classic-rock mane — OK, it’s kind of a mullet — Lewis cuts a curious figure. To the untutored onlooker, his manic energy may seem strange, bordering on comical. But that’s not the perception from the stage. To at least one local band, Tim Lewis may be something of a muse.

“Lendway told me once that they can tell if a new song is any good by how much I react to it,” Lewis says, grinning.

“Tim epitomizes the guy that you want to be playing for,” says Lendway’s Matt Hagen. He doesn’t specifically recall telling Lewis he’s a human rock-and-roll barometer, but concedes he “probably did” at some point.

The average fan can lose track of the subtleties of a great performance amid catchy hooks or flashy solos. It takes a particular kind of listener to pick up on those nuances, or to care. Hagen thinks Lewis appreciates music on a genuine, profound level, so it resonates in him.

“When he’s in the audience, it’s an affirmation,” Hagen continues. “He’s that one guy who is absolutely going to appreciate the kinds of things that you, as a musician, are having conversations with yourself about.”

Lewis, 48, was born and raised in Shelburne. He shared a first musical love with legions of other teenagers in the late 1970s and early ’80s: Kiss.

“Ace Frehley’s guitar … those notes just always seemed to be in the right place,” he recalls wistfully.

Lewis is soft-spoken with a shy, genuinely sweet demeanor. He clams up a bit when pressed about his personal life. But he grows increasingly animated when the subject turns to music.

His first show was the Ramones at the Flynn Theatre in 1981 — with Burlington New-Wave band the Decentz opening. Lewis says Def Leppard are the “the most pyro” band he’s ever seen live, Iron Maiden the loudest. But it was Ninja Custodian in the early ’90s that turned him on to local music.

“I was never quite a Phish fan,” Lewis says. “They were kind of OK, I guess. But Ninja was just this furious energy … a funky, metal sort of thing that didn’t sound like anything else.”

Lewis says he was hooked immediately and has made local music a priority ever since.

How many shows does he see per year? Lewis isn’t sure. “Maybe one a week,” he ventures. “Sometimes two?”

That’s a lowball estimate.

In a blog post from December 2008, Lewis tallied the number of bands he’d seen that year. The number was 172, spread over a total of 72 shows at 23 venues. According to O’Connor and others, he hasn’t stopped being ubiquitous in the years since. Dude is simply always at a show.

“He honestly feels like a band member to me,” says O’Connor. “It’s a comforting feeling to have him [at a show], like, ‘OK, Tim’s here. We can start now.’”

O’Connor says she’s known Lewis since her days in then-local psych-rock band the Cush — an all-time Lewis favorite. As he has done with a number of local acts — including Lendway — Lewis has followed O’Connor’s career closely, from her early work as a solo artist to her stint in the duo Tapis Bleu through her current project, Vedora.

“He knows our songs and our development almost as well as us,” O’Connor says. “It’s a really amazing feeling to have someone who listens so intently. I don’t think anyone listens better than he does.”

Hagen agrees. He likens Lewis to an overeager student at the head of the class, absorbing everything, hand raised, anxiously poised to answer a teacher’s next question.

“And that’s what makes him so genuine and so receptive to what we as musicians do,” Hagen says. “To have someone recognize what we’re trying to do and be passionate about it is huge. And Tim is that guy.”

Joe Adler at Nectar’s, Vedora and Doll Fight! at Radio Bean February 2, 2013   Leave a comment

Woo hoo, Vedora were set to rock Radio Bean. Having Doll Fight! with them made it even more fun. Oh wait, wasn’t that the same night as Joe Adler and the Rangers of Danger show that was supposed to be the CD release party? Why yes, it was. I looked at the schedule and with Joe going on at 9 and Vedora at 10:30, I thought I had a nice window.

I got out of work at 6, got home and had dinner. I got ready to go out and arrived at Nectar’s just before 9. There was a guy onstage playing, who’s name I missed. He was singing and playing acoustic, but it sounded like a huge sweeping song that would have been cool with a full band. He finished up within a minute or two, and it was time to wait for Joe and the band. I wasn’t worried after 10 or 15 minutes, but as time kept passing without a band, I started eying the clock. I chatted with one of the drummers who played at Metronome at the Girls Rock Vermont benefit, and he and his girlfriend said that Joe’s drummer was held up at at another gig and was running late. I chatted for a bit with Johnnie Day, who was playing with Joe that night. She was going to play an early song with the band, so I was hoping to catch it. I knew I’d miss her later ones.

Finally, just before 10, the drummer arrived and Joe Adler and the Rangers of Danger hit the stage. They opened with the song that Joe sent around to the people who funded the Kickstarter for his album. It was a pretty cool song and they played it well. Eric, who had played mandolin with Joe at the Springsteen cover night, played some sweet lead guitar, and the band sounded great. Yes, the drummer was worth waiting for.

The next two songs were fantastic mixes of subtlety and rock and roll. Next up they brought Samara Lark to the stage for a solid Sympathy for the Devil. The next song sounded cool, but it was late, and I had to go.

I rushed up the street, and walked into Radio Bean as Vedora were set up and almost ready to play.

I got a drink, found a spot to stand, and away they went. Their set was brilliant as always. They played a few from the first album, including a vibrant Terrarium, but much of the set was new songs. In the Room and To Send You are just fantastic pieces of music and I can’t wait for the second album. Until then I am content to hear them unleash the rock and roll on the stage. They wrapped the night with a killer In the Pines/Chain.

Doll Fight! came on next and rocked the place to it’s core. Their punk songs were fast and furious and tons of fun. The audience was enthusiastic to start but half way through the set, the moshing began. I got shoved around a bit, but had a great time. This was set to be the last show with their drummer, which was too bad, as Vedora’s drummer, Jeff LaBossiere had glowing things to say about her. As it turns out, she is playing again this Sunday, when Doll Fight! and Vedora play with Hilly Eye at The Monkey House.

When Doll Fight! wrapped it up, I bought a CD and took the short walk home. I wanted to stay for Trapper Keeper, but was tired, and I had a long day of work on Sunday. I wish I had caught a bit more music that night, but I did my best, and was heavily rewarded for what I was able to catch.


Party in Max’s Basement Saturday January 26, 2013   4 comments

After a short night of sleep, Saturday was a long day at work. There were a couple of brief respites, but it was mostly call after call after call. I loved the quiet of the walk home, and was really not in the mood to go out or socialize.

When I got home Chris and Rich had stopped by. Mike was working on his podcast, so I popped on the new Elephants of Scotland CD. Rich had seen them once and had an idea of what to expect, but Chris was pretty blown away. We made it through most of the disc before they headed to Higher Ground to see Lotus Land, a Rush cover band. Just for the record, everyone that I know who went to the show, said they were fantastic.

The Board

The board

Nature's Gangsta

Life was quiet for a couple of moments after they left, but then Nathan called and we set up the plan. I met up with him and we grabbed some beer and headed for Max’s. There were lots of people around, so we dropped our coats and headed down to the basement. Nature’s Gangsta were on rapping to some beats, but finished right as we got there. I think I caught less than a third of a song.

Max had a chalkboard upstairs with all of the bands and their order, so I noticed that we had missed Night Slice and Max’s band, Torpedo Rodeo. I was slightly saddened by that, since Torpedo really bring the rock and roll.

Nuda Veritas

Nuda Veritas

Despite being a small basement, with some really cool rock formations, they had a main stage and a small side stage. Nuda Veritas set up on the side and began the loops to create her songs. She sang beautifully and lit up my heart. Hearing her voice and watching the intensity, you’d have thought she was singing at Carnegie Hall, and not a basement party. Her songs have a shimmering elegance and I was enthralled for her whole show. I knew I would have fun at the party, but I didn’t know the level of musicianship would be so magnificently high.

Black Rabbit set up the main stage as she played, so when she finished, they began with a fury. Their punk rock was loud and fast and fun. Their songs have a fun direction to them and it’s not always obvious where they are going. To really listen to them, you have to chase the songs a bit, which makes their name pretty perfect. I had tons of fun for every moment of their show. They got me rocking really hard for the first time in two days. Every time I have seen them, they’ve brought a smile to my face, and Saturday night’s show was more of the same. They played a good long set, and confirmed that the effort to go out that night was well rewarded.

During the break, we headed upstairs and hung out chatting on the porch. There were lots of people at the party and everyone was fun to talk with. After a bit the sounds from the basement were getting more organized, so it was time to head back.

Peach Pie Zealot

Peach Pie Zealot

Peach Pie Zealot are a three-piece (guitar, bass, drums) instrumental band. They call themselves a jam band, which is accurate, but I don’t know if that really nails their sound. It’s a bit jazz fusion, mixed with an almost metal desire to rock. They opened with the guitar player using a slide to play some of the most beautiful and delicate notes I’ve heard in a long time. From the moment they began, it was obvious that something special was happening. As the song progressed, and the drums and bass kicked in, they worked themselves into a monster jam. They rocked hard, blew the room away, and were absolutely tremendous. The drummer was a complete monster and found some of the most amazing beats. One song that had a theme that they kept varying and they let it slowly build into a freakish monster jam. Every moment of the show was a chance to try and keep up with them. The structures of the songs were an interesting intellectual stimulation, and the notes that they unleashed kept my emotions pounding through the set. If you ever get a chance to see them, run, don’t walk.

When Particles Collide

When Particles Collide

Again, we wandered upstairs to hang out, but it was not long until When Particles Collide took the stage. After the Peach Pie overload, it was fun to rock out to some straight up punk. With just a drummer and singer/guitar player, they let loose a set of hard rocking joy. Sasha’s growling vocals and low slung Les Paul had the look and sound of everything you could want in a punk band. They closed with a couple of Green Day covers, but their original songs were the highlight of the set. With such energy, it was impossible not to release every bit of enthusiasm in my body and soul.

Endless Jags

Endless Jags

After their set, it was back to the porch for a bit, but it was not long until Endless Jags began to play. With three guitar players, bass, drums and keys, they had a full sweeping sound. It’s kind of indie rock sensibility with a nice drive as the music blows through your mind and body. They rocked and all the songs were lovely to hear. They had me moving from first note to last.



Soon after they wrapped up, Rawsome took the stage. Max jammed hard on guitar as he traded saucy lyrics with the radiant Jessylou. Their set was raw as always and nothing but fun. At different points they had 3 drummers along for the ride, but played much of the set as a duo. They jammed hard, we rocked out, but soon it was time for goodbye.

Thanks to Black Rabbit for the pictures.

Nathan and I took off close to 3:30, and I was home writing a facebook entry by 4. There was a message for me from Diane Sullivan to check my mailbox. I walked down the stairs, and there was a package with The Dirty Blondes album in it. I wanted to put it in, but work on Sunday called, so I saved it for later that day.

Vedora and Jen Crowell at the Black Box Theater at Main Street Landing December 12, 2012   Leave a comment

I was running a bit late but I made it out to see Jen Crowell and Vedora. I walked in on Jen’s set and found a seat a little ways up in the theater. She played a couple on the acoustic guitar and sounded pretty nice. Her voice was lovely to listen to. The host of the show came up and interviewed her for a bit about being a performer and also a road manager for Grace Potter. She played a couple morethen wrapped it up.

I said a quick hi to Caroline O’Connor in the break as Vedora set up to play. Big Heavy World was filming, and I think streaming the show. There was a space under one of the cameras where it looked like I could stand for Vedora. I moved in there, stayed back far enough so the photographers and mobile cameras could do their job, and was able to stand for the rock and roll. You can sit through this? Really?

Dressed in white, they opened with Matthew Hastings singing Promises. The sound was a teeny bit off, but they played it very well. It sounded better and better as it went along. By the second song, Terrarium, they sounded great. Maria was super solid, including the super fun ending. They played a new one, who’s name I’ve forgotten, that was pretty awesome, especially the magnificent work by Jeff LaBossiere on drums. Somewhere in there I felt a tap on my shoulder. Nathan Curtis had gotten out of work, gotten my message, found the place, and showed up.

Like Jen, they stopped in the middle for an interview. When they turned back, Caroline picked up the guitar and Matt took the bass. To send you, sent me. I’ve really loved that song, the couple of times I’ve heard it. Next up Ritual just smoked. They have so many cool new songs, they must be thinking about a new album soon, but it may be after the spring tour of the northeast that they mentioned in the interview. Also in the interview, the host, who’s name I’ve forgotten, compared Matt’s guitar playing to Lindsay Buckingham. Vedora closed the show with In the Pines dropped into the end section of Chain. It was great. I’m so lucky to be able to see such great music so easily.

I caught a ride home from Nathan, and stopped in for a beer. We turned on the 12-12-12 concert on AMC and watched a bit of Alicia Keys. Steve Buscemi spoke for a bit and said ass. There was a sound drop out a few seconds later, like the censor missed it. The who came on and played Who are you. The censor missed a bleep or two in that one. They Who played forever. Bell Boy, with video of Keith Moon, Love, Reign O’er Me, Pinball, lots of stuff. Kanye came on next and I headed for home after a song. When they came back Billy Joel opened with Miami 2017, played a little of a Merry Little Christmas, and closed with New York State of Mind. Michael Stipe came on with Chris Martin (on acoustic guitar and backing vocals) to sing Losing My Religion. Paul McCartney just played Helter Skelter

Are they really doing this? MacVana? Apparently for one song, it was Sir Paul McCartney and the Nirvana boys. Mike Luoma wrote “New song “Cut Me Some Slack” according to reports on Twitter…” Paul then played Live and Let Die and may have set a record for most pyro in one song.

In the end I think I traded seeing Roger Waters and Eric Clapton (not together) on video for Vedora playing live. I’m fine with that. Blissfully fine.  They are a video to find.  Vedora was rock in the moment.

Vedora and Kiki’s Lost Nation at Manhattan Pizza December 1, 2012 plus one song from Dino Bravo at Radio Bean   Leave a comment

I went out to Manhattan Pizza tonight to see Vedora. They rocked it hard tonight! Kiki’s Lost Nation were really fun too. Nice groove, solid rock, hot singer and a subtle furiousity. Except for the drummer, there was nothing subtle about him. He was playing Madison Square Garden and didn’t seem to care that we thought we were in a pizza joint. I like them a lot and need to check them out again.

The set change was fairly quick, and Vedora unleashed the slow building one. Hmmm. A couple of drop outs on the guitar slowed down a couple of songs, but they kept at it, and song after song was enchanting. Promises kept the listener swooning. Basalt Anchor was especially intense tonight. Almost furious at times. In the Pines rocked to perfection and the lay down into Chain was masterful. They switched it up with Matthew Hastings on bass and Caroline O’Connor on guitar for a killer Solution. They kicked the night with the, at least, second new song of the night. It completely roared. I though I’d be all smart and remember the name, but soon after they finished, I was out the door. At the top of Church, I took a right and went by Radio Bean. I heard a song ending and looked in the Window. Dino Bravo did not look like they were done, so I walked in. They said they had one more song, and played a song about the Ocean. I love that one. It rocks so hard, and flows so well. After that I walked home and should be sleeping instead of typing. Soon will be the sleep and dreams of sweet rock and roll.



Vedora at the South End Art Hop September 7, 2012   Leave a comment

Vedora at the Art Hop


It was a Friday (my Monday) and there was lots of music plaing in the south end of town. Every year there is a giant party were people check out lots of local businesses, mostly on Pine st, to see lots of art, eat lots of food, and listen to lots of music. Cameo Harlot, Vedora, Dino Bravo and many others were set to play. I thought I’d catch as much as I could. Cameo were playing in the tent behind the Maltex building, Dino at the Speaking Volumes outside stage, right next door, and Vedora were playing at a stage set up in front of Curtis lumber.

I got out at 6:30 that night. Cameo were set to play at 7, and I was not sure when Vedora or Dino were on. I got the classic 18 minute call that came in 2 minutes before closing. I got out at 6:45, or so, and was home by 7. It takes 25 to 30 minutes to walk to the south end, so my hope of catching Cameo vanished immediately. Rats. I checked online and saw that Vedora were going on at 7:30. Yikes! No time to check anything else out. I shut my computer down and was out the door by 7:10. I figured I’d miss 5 minutes or so, but would do the best I could.

I made it to Curtis Lumber around 7:35 and there was a hip-hop duo onstage. I was not sure if it was the right place, so walked farther south for a bit. The sidewalks were full of people, so walking was a bit slower than usual. I made is as far as Speaking Volumes, where a woman with an acoustic guitar was just finishing a set. I turned around and went back to the hip-hop duo. I looked closely at the stage and could see Jeff’s drums, so I knew I was in the right place. I hung out for a bit then decided to see if there was anyone else playing. It did not seem like the duo were leaving anytime soon. I went back to SV and ran into Conner from Will. He said Matt Marro had a design in the Magic Hat contest, so I went into the tent behind the Maltex building and voted. There was a singer on playing some dance music, so I thought I should head back. The duo were still on. I waited, and eventually they left the stage. Vedora set up pretty quickly and the night began.

Dressed in white, with lots of flashing lights all around them, they opened with Jumpback, but the sound was a bit off. There was no sound person so they had to mix it by themselves. It got better with Basalt Anchor, and Caroline’s voice and bass rang strong and clear. They tweaked things a bit more and sounded even better on the next song, one of the newer ones that I don’t know as much. From there the set took off. They played a stunning Dragnet, then a killer Promises. Another newer one called Ritual followed and was easily my favorite song of the night. Wow that thing takes you places! Up next was super strong version of Solution. The band were locked in and playing great. After a bit they played a killer Maria which grabbed the crowds attention. That was pretty impressive since people were there mostly for the art, and in the parking lot, near the band, several artists were putting the finishing touches on their paintings. Live music and live art at the same time. Cool!

The wrapped up with In the Pines. Matt’s super deep vocals growled out the song. When they made the switch to Chain, it caught most of the crowd by surprise. Suddenly they were playing a song the crowd knew. That wrapped up their set, and I immediately went to see if I could find more music. I did not spend enough time at home to find out when anyone else was playing, so I thought I’d wing it. I went back to SV but no one was onstage. At the Maltex building there was a dance band on. Ok, nothing exciting there. I stopped back at SV and Blowtorch had just finished a song and the stage was dark. Having no idea what was happening when, and feeling the drain of a Monday night and the call of an early start time on a Tuesday, I decided to head out. Mike later said Dino went on an hour or so later than their planned 8:30 start. I wish I had hug around and caught the set, but what can you do? I mad my way through the crowd, up to downtown. Once I made it past Church st the walk home was relaxed and easy, with my heart full of Vedora.

Posted September 10, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Swale, Lendway, Lounge Act, and a little Cave Bees at Nectar’s and Signal Kitchen July 14, 2012   2 comments

I got out of work at 8, stopped home for a bit of dinner, then headed downtown. I made it to Nectar’s and got a drink just as Swale were letting their tuning up, turn into the first song. It was that, sort of, new one, that starts really slow, then just rises and rises and rises, then ebbs back to the beginning. The night had begun. Next up they went Old School with a mellow countryish song. Good Medicine started slow, but when it hit the middle it was rocking hard. Jeremy and Amanda sang a cool one, as Eric ripped it up on guitar. They kept up the heavy pace for a few, including one with a pretty staggering number of changes. It was hard to follow, but fun trying. After that, Amanda said something about after playing such a complicated song, they would play one that she wrote with 3 chords. Lost was super sweet and just soared in the middle. They played a couple more rockers to wrap up the night. There’s nothing like seeing a bunch of bands in one evening and getting your moneys worth on the first one. It so great to have them back and playing out so often.

Having not played out too much lately, Lendway were up next. I chatted with Michael Clifford earlier and he said this was their first show since he broke his collar bone. To make it a challenge, it was the shoulder that his guitar strap hangs on. Instead of canceling, they structured the set to include a little less of his guitar, and went on with the rock. Their first couple of songs felt like a cool musical breeze blowing through your mind. Very smooth, very elegant. They picked up the pace a bit and let loose the rock and roll for the next few. Drummer Todd Gervy, and bassist Kevin Lynam were rock solid all night long. Lead guitarist Matt Hagen seared and soared, like he always does. He knows where to put all the killer notes, and never lets a rock fan down. I need to make an effort to see these guys more often.

Despite how good they were, I knew the Cave Bees were going on at 11 at Signal Kitchen. I ducked out a bit after 11, and walked down the street. The Bees were playing a furious punk song when I arrived. They were great. They wrapped it up, said good night, and took off the guitars. I said a quick hello, and Rebekah said they went on earlier than planned. Rats! I raced out the door and back to Nectars to catch the end of the Lendway set. They wrapped it with a Shark Victim song that really rocked. I’m torn. I should have blown off Lendway to see the Bees, and might have if I knew when they really were going on. I should have blown off the Bees to see the full Lendway set, but as a music fan, you do the best you can.

Nectar’s was pretty full as Lounge Act took the stage. They were a Burlington supergroup featuring James Bellizia (guitar), Jason Cooley (vox), Bobby Hackney (drums), and Eric Olsen (bass). They were there to play Nevermind in it’s entirety, and opened with a furious Smells Like Teen Spirit. The audience was pretty excited, but there was only one guy slam dancing. Cooley said now that Stairway was out of the way, the show could really begin. In Bloom followed, but after Swale, I realized, I like a lot of music much better than Nirvana. The band were smoking hot, so it was all good fun. Come as You Are was heavy and menacing like it needs to be, but as the song I like most from the album, and work looming Sunday morning, when it wrapped up, I took it as a cue to go. It was too bad about the Bees, but I put in the effort and got a lot of sweet music as a reward.

Posted July 15, 2012 by tmusicfan in Rock Shows

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Iron Maiden Montreal July 11 2012 with Alice Cooper   Leave a comment

This picture was posted on Facebook by so I hope it’s ok to use here

Phantom of the Opera

Iron Maiden live 2012

I am a man who walks alone. Except Wednesday July 11th.. I caught a bus to Shelburne, picked up my brother and a car, and headed north to Montreal. It was a beautiful day. The drive was easy. Getting through the border was easy. There was clear sailing into Montreal, with no hold up on the Champlain Bridge. Moments later we were in and parked. We wandered around a bit, grabbed a bite and went to the show. The ticketless option I had to take when ordering tix put us in a long line. It was kind of stressful, but it went pretty quick and we were in and seated 15 minutes before showtime. Our seats were four rows above the floor and very close to the stage. The stress of waiting in line slipped away, and soon enough, it was showtime.

The lights went down and Vincent Price began reading the intro to the Black Widow. The band kicked in and Alice Cooper was wheeled out in a small staircase. He had a spider arm jacket and set off sparklers in his hands. The crowd was on fire as we sang We love him, yes we love him. The band, with three guitar players, bass, drums, and Alice, kicked it up a notch for a wicked heavy Brutal Planet, then lit the room up with Eighteen. He brought out the snake for No More Mr Nice Guy, then got the audience singing Hey Stoopid. I was a bit worried when I saw that in the setlist, but it was pretty fun live. Next up, Orianthi Panagaris, ripped out a killer guitar solo, proving girls can rock as hard as any guy. For Billion Dollar Babies, Alice had a sword full of dollars, that he shook into the audience. Alice looked both menacing, and like he was having a great time, despite the photographer who kept walking up to the band to take pictures. Alice shooed him away a few times. For Feed My Frankenstein, Alice donned the lab coat, did some experiments at the back of the stage, and a 12 foot high monster puppet came to life to wander the stage for the rest of the song. Up next, Poison rocked pretty hard, and had the audience singing. Wicked Young man followed, and it was great except that photographer came back again. Alice was sick of it, and took his mic stand and rammed it through his heart. A couple of local goons took him from the stage, but came back to make Alice pay for his sin. They grabbed him and stuffed him into the guillotine. The blade dropped as the band cranked out I Love the Dead. They finished off the song, as the executioner held Alice’s head to the audience, and then the stage went dark. Suddenly the school bell rang, and out came Alice in denim tux with a Canadians shirt underneath. Large balloons were tossed to the audience, and the band locked into Schools Out One balloon came back to the stage and Alice disintegrated it with his sword. He slashed his way through most of the rest, as the fans tossed them back to the stage. As the song slid past the second No More Pencils part, the lyrics changed to We Don’t Need No Education. The audience followed along up to the All in All It’s all Just Bricks in the Wall part. Alice brought the school back and sent it into recess. The band received a hero’s ovation as they left the stage.

After the standard 30 minute switchover, the music on the PA kicked into Doctor Doctor. The lights went down as it ended, and some heavy classical music begat Moonchild. The set was tremendous, as was Iron Maiden. Two hours of back to back to back really intense songs kept us standing and rocking all night long. We were very close to the stage and at times it was like a Janic Gers guitar clinic right in front of us. Steve Harris spend the night with something between a serious grimace and a huge smile on his face. As always, he mouthed all the words. Murray and Smith traded solos and played beautiful harmony guitar. Nicko roared on drums, and kept the pace driving all night long. The band were on fire, and so was the stage for much of the show.

The first few songs came at us fast and furious. There was not much chat in between. Moonchild set the staggering pace for the show. Can I Play with Madness had the audience screaming the chorus, the Prisoner had the classic video opening from the TV series, and rocked hard. 2 Minutes to Midnight followed and kept the audience singing loud and true. They slowed things down a bit for the beginning of Afraid to Shoot Strangers, but were at full tempo by the end. The brutal pace continued with a searing version of The Trooper. Bruce ran to our side of the stage and hung the tattered Union Jack in Gers face as he was soloing, seeming to delight and annoy him at the same time. The night turned Biblical with a reading from Revolution, and the band used massive amounts of fire on The Number of the Beast. Ken and I were sitting so close, that we could feel the heat. They dug back to the first album for Phantom of the Opera, and I was elated. I’ve had that running through my head a lot lately. It’s so great to hear Bruce sing it. For Run to the Hills, Eddie showed up as a cavalry trooper with an arrow through his head. The 12 foot caricature of their mascot brandished a sword and dueled with Janic a bit. Dave strapped on the flying V and Adrian sang a bit on Wasted Years. The audience sang a lot. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son unfolded like the beautiful epic that it is. After the heavy opening, as is slowed into the middle section, one of the candles on either side of Eddie the prophet was lit and the other was not. As Bruce finished off the lyric with “So it shall be written, so it shall be done” he pointed at the unlit candle, flicked his wrist, and up it lit. So simple, and yet, so sweet. The band brought the song through the rousing final stages and ended with fireworks exploding from the ceiling, in perfect time. That’s the rock and roll we know and love! They stayed on that album for the Clairvoyant, then slowed things down for Fear of the Dark. It built and built to a stunning height before ebbing back where it came from. We returned to the beginning with a rousing Iron Maiden, and the version of Eddie on the Seventh Son album appeared, holding his beating heart in his hand. Thank you and good night.

Of course that was not the end. The stage was black but the video screen lit up. Winston Churchill gave his speech and the band ripped into Aces High. The audience was still singing along at top voice. Going back to the Seventh Son album one final time, The Evil that Men Do kept up the punishing musical pace. Again, they reached back to the beginning for Running Free. Bruce did the band intros and periodically yelled “I’m running Free” with the audience screaming the same back to him. They wrapped it up with a bang, and brought down the lights as they left the stage. The house lights started to come up and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life started playing. What a show. What seats. What a great time.

We we went out the nearest door, and made our way to the car. We were quickly out of the parking long and on the road out of town. The was a bit of a slowdown on the Champlain bridge, but after that, it was smooth sailing home. Crossing the border went quick, and I had Ken home in Shelburne 2 hours after the show ended. Still wired, I drove home, but woke up early the next morning to bring the car back. I met Ken and my parents for breakfast, then caught a ride back into town. Through with being a car person, for now, I am a man who walks alone.

Thanks to Blammermouth for posting these videos