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  • Soundgarden at Prudential Center (07/08/2011)

    9 jul 2011, 16:06

    Fri 8 Jul – Soundgarden, Coheed and Cambria

    Soundgarden was one of those bands that I thought I would never be able to listen to live because well... they disbanded back in 1996. So when they announced they were getting back together and recording new songs I got very excited because this smelled like a new tour. What I wasn't expecting was the tour taking place before they recorded new stuff. It was a pleasant surprise because that meant they were going to play old songs during this whole tour! (just like the most recent Iron Maiden North American tour where they played "recent" stuff, but not more than a song from their newest album, which was still unreleased when the concert happened). And that's what the tour has been all about pretty much, a kickass nostalgic night for those who enjoyed Soundgarden back in the day, or those of us who weren't lucky enough to be young adults during the 90s.

    Now into the concert... Coheed and Cambria was the opening act. While I may not be much of a fan of theirs, because of the singer's very high pitched voice, I thought they sounded very nice live. I dare to say they sound way better live than in studio. The only two songs I recognized from their set list were "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" and "Welcome Home", which are the songs I like from them. The only song I didn't enjoy was a very mellow romantic one, it sounded a bit cheesy. Aside from that they were a pretty nice opening act, and I couldn't help staring at the singer's crazy hair.

    After a 30 or 40 minute break we got what we all were looking forward to: Soundgarden!
    The setlist was as follows:

    01. Searching With My Good Eye Closed
    02. Spoonman
    03. Gun
    04. Black Rain
    05. Hands All Over
    06. Jesus Christ Pose
    07. Blow Up the Outside World
    08. My Wave
    09. The Day I Tried to Live
    10. Ugly Truth
    11. Fell on Black Days
    12. Get on the Snake
    13. Rusty Cage
    14. Outshined
    15. Superunknown
    16. Burden in My Hand
    17. Black Hole Sun
    18. Beyond the Wheel

    Encore:

    19. Room a Thousand Years Wide
    20. Face Pollution
    21. 4th of July
    22. Like Suicide
    23. Slaves & Bulldozers

    The setlist was very consistent with what they have been playing in recent concerts so far. Unluckily there weren't any surprises, and I say unluckily because there are two songs that I would have loved to listen to: "Pretty Noose" and "Big Dumb Sex", which are two of my favorite songs by them. Aside from that nitpicking, the concert was very enjoyable. It was fucking awesome! Cornell still has that amazing voice that has distinguished him for all these years. He still has it, and I'm glad I got to listen to him while he's still on his prime.

    A lot of the people attending were adults on their 30s or 40s, and some brought their kids and teens too. Or it could be the other way around, their teens dragging them along to see the show with them haha. A very mixed crowd, which was very into the show but not as loud as I would have liked them to be. I think the song that got the best reaction was "Outshined". I think I heard the crowd singing along the whole song.

    The concert was a very pleasant and kickass experience, and I'm hoping that their new album (whenever they release it and record it) kicks butt too, because I definitely want to see them live again.

    ---> Pictures of the concert here <---

    Original post from: My bloggie blog.
  • Ghost at the Webster Hall (05/01/2011)

    2 jun 2011, 20:01

    Wed 1 Jun – Ghost, Sabbath Assembly, Natur

    A friend from college told me about the band Ghost (from Sweden), and as soon as I checked them out in youtube they got my attention. I first listened to their most famous song “Ritual” and I was hooked. I had to listen to the whole album, and I did quickly. The album Opus Eponymous is a rock masterpiece that I recommend to every rock music fan out there. The lyrics are satanic, so if you’re religious you might not like them, but if you can overlook the content of the lyrics and focus on the music and singing you will see that this is an amazing band with great potential to be huge.

    Thanks to last.fm I found out they were playing in NYC and I HAD TO go see them play live. These guys know how to put on a spectacle when they play live. The whole band uses costumes that don’t reveal their identity. I will refrain from trying to explain what they look like because a picture can do a much better work than words from a guy with a bit of a language barrier haha (pictures link at the bottom). The tickets actually sold out so a bunch of people expecting to buy tickets at the entrance ended up probably disappointed or pissed off.

    Now onto the show… Natur and Sabbath Assembly opened the show. Natur was alright. I enjoyed their set, even though it was a little bit long (40 minutes , which is 4 minutes more than the Ghost album itself haha) for an opening act. It was noisy, and fast paced, which was what I needed being in first row. Sabbath Assembly on the other hand was a little bit slow paced and kind of dense. While it was a fitting opener, the pace of the music made me a bit impatient. I will check out the studio recordings of both bands anyway to see what they sound like not-live. One funny thing from when Natur was playing was that a guy was going crazy for the band and he even attempted to jump into the audience from the stage… nobody wanted to receive him so he had to jump on his feet lol.

    Finally it was Ghost’s turn to kick ass on stage. They entered the stage from the side instead of the back and they had incenses on the front stage amps (which could not be seen by people who were not in first row probably). The set list was as follows:

    1. Deus Culpa

    2. Con Clavi Con Dio

    3. Elizabeth

    4. Death Knell

    5. Satan Prayer

    6. Stand by Him

    7. Prime Mover

    8. Genesis

    9. Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles cover)

    10. Ritual

    I was glad they played their “Here Comes the Sun” cover since it will probably become a rarity if they don’t record it on a studio. And as you can see they pretty much played the whole Opus Eponymous album (which will make this performance very special if they release more albums). The performance was great overall and thank god (haha yeah right) for being on first row. Thanks to being there in the front I got my hand grabbed by the singer for a second during one of the songs and at the end of “Ritual” he ended up feeding me a communion wafer and also gave me a sip of wine. Also I got a guitar pick from the lead guitar player and also picked up a wafer that was on the floor of the stage. We got to shake hands with some of the band members while they were leaving too.

    It was a pretty kickass concert. I really hope they become bigger and their next album is as good as or even better than Opus Eponymous. And I also hope they come back soon to the US.

    Links:

    Pictures from the concert

    Video 01 Band entrance and incomplete “Con Clavi Con Dio”


    Video 02 “Here Comes the Sun”


    Video 03 “Ritual”
  • The Strokes at Madison Square Garden (4/1/11)

    3 apr 2011, 03:58

    Fri 1 Apr – The Strokes, Elvis Costello, Devendra Banhart and The Grogs

    While I am not the biggest The Strokes fan ever I have liked the band a lot since Is This It came out back when I was still in high school. Because of that it was a thrill to see them live because they are one of the bands I listened to when I was a teenager (and also because their music is great :P).

    I got really lucky with my ticket to be sincere. When I went to Ticketmaster I didn’t like the seats I was getting at first (300 and 200 level tickets) but after some retries I got section 7 (fuck yeah!) and saying no to that ticket/seat would be stupid so I bought it right away! It was the first time I got a floor level seat at the MSG.

    Now lets get into the concert itself… The first opening act was Devendra Banhart and to be sincere I didn’t like his music at all, but I have to admit the last song he played was pretty nice and also he seemed to be a cool fun guy. After that we got Elvis Costello!!!! A very nice and unexpected April fool’s “joke” but I’ll be sincere… since I don’t know the guy too much I didn’t recognize him and thought it was an actual April fool’s joke with the tech guys playing a short set because all the guys playing were old haha (and also because it was very fast and too loud). It got me thinking if it was actually Elvis Costello because I knew “Pump It Up” and “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”. I found out later that he was actually Elvis Costello when Julian Casablancas started talking about him and how he wished he entered the stage and sing (and he did).

    After that and a brief break we finally got to see the main event of the evening: The Strokes themselves! The setlist was as follows:

    1. Is This It

    2. Reptilia

    3. Under Cover of Darkness

    4. Hard to Explain

    5. Last Nite

    6. Life Is Simple in the Moonlight

    7. Juicebox

    8. Someday

    9. You’re So Right

    10. Under Control

    11. You Only Live Once

    12. New York City Cops

    13. Games

    14. What Ever Happened?

    15. Taken for a Fool (with Elvis Costello)

    Encore:

    16. Ask Me Anything

    17. The Modern Age

    18. Gratisfaction

    19. I Can’t Win

    20. Take It or Leave It

    The crowd (as expected) was freaking crazy about the band and The Strokes really delivered. Julian’s voice is as good live as it is in studio, which is something that can’t be said about every rock singer out there. Julian was very playful and even got close to the crowd a bunch of times (or maybe just twice). The first time actually looked like he got kidnapped with mic in hand because the venue’s camera didn’t take a shoot of him during that song (which I don’t remember which one it was).

    I also have to say that The Strokes really know how to put up a good show. They don’t limit themselves to just play well live. The lighting effects were really good, and when the disco ball was put on stage it was simply magic! And as a videogamer I really loved when they played “Someday” with all those old school videogames being shown on the background (Pong, Tetris, Pac-man, and Space Invaders) while they played. It was very nice to see Elvis Costello singing along with the band the song “Taken for a Fool” too.

    I was very satisfied with the concert, and even though I liked the whole setlist my favorite moments of the concert were when the old songs from the first album were played, and also “Reptilia” :P. My only complain about the show would be the absence of the song “Machu Picchu” from the new album. I thought it was a no brainer to include it in the setlist since it is one of the highlights of Angles. Still, I was very satisfied with the show and I totally wish to get to see them again but with General Admission tickets closer to the stage because they got really lucky with Julian being really close to them.
  • Finntroll and Ensiferum at Gramercy Theater NYC

    28 feb 2011, 01:53

    Sat 26 Feb – Finntroll, Ensiferum, Rotten Sound, Barren Earth

    So… Yesterday was the Finnish Metal Tour concert! It was an amazing experience since it was my first concert on General admission (that means no reserved seating). Here it is my little review or actually a blog of the experience.

    I got there 2 hours (or a little bit more) before the doors opened and to my surprise there were only a bunch of people there. It seems that Americans don’t like to wait in line too much, or at least not in the cold. I was wearing my leather jacket so I really got to feel the cold in there. Thank God there was a bathroom in a Chili’s restaurant in the same block and people were nice enough to save me the spot in the line. So now you know, if you have to wait in line for an event at the Gramercy Theater in NYC go to pee to Chili’s if you need to.

    The doors finally opened at 7:10 p.m.-ish and the venue was small to my surprise, which isn’t bad at all because it makes the concert a little more intimate, interactive and loud. I got in first row (fuck yeah!) pretty easily and didn’t move from there at all throughout the whole concert in order to not lose my spot. The place got crowded fast and there were seats behind too (which I guess it’s good if you’re old, injured, if you’re going with your significant other or just don’t want to bother with the heat of the crowd).

    The first band to play was Barren Earth, which to my surprise was pretty good live. It’s a band with a style (kind of) similar to Opeth it seems. Before the concert I hadn’t heard of them but after hearing them live I’m definitely checking them out.

    The second band was Rotten Sound, a band. The genre and band are not my cup of coffee (or to be accurate, my glass of Pepsi) but the people in the moshpit definitely loved them.

    The third band was my personal favorite of the performing bands, Ensiferum. Funny thing is I didn’t know the correct pronunciation of the name of the band before the concert. In the end the pronunciation of it didn’t differ from the Spanish one (I was worrying about mispronouncing all this time for nothing, yay!). The band was simply amazing and the crowd was very responsive. There were no surprises pretty much in the setlist for the show since they have been performing the same songs in their US performances. The only problem I have with their US setlist is the absence of “One More Magic Potion” which is a fan favorite and one of their most iconic songs. I think it’s a shame that they are not performing it on the US tours but the whole show was excellent and very enjoyable nonetheless. I am totally being a guy for saying this but the keyboard player (Emmi Silvennoinen) was so damn gorgeous that at some points I couldn’t take my eyes away from her <3. Gotta love those European women! The highlights of the show to me were Iron, Token of Time, Twilight Tavern, Victory Song and Lai Lai Hei.

    Finntroll closed the show and goddamn!! They were awesome! Vreth kills on live performances, he kills!!! Even though the songs are harder to sing along because of language they make pretty damn sure there’s interaction of the public with their songs. I’m sorry to repeat myself but Vreth’s voice really shines live. I was very surprised and pleased with his performance on stage, and I think that if the people knew the lyrics of their songs they would have been total show stealers. One of the songs I would have loved to listen would be Rivfader, but it was very unlikely since their setlist has been pretty much the same during their whole worldwide tour (they played pretty much the same setlist in Costa Rica a bunch of weeks ago). Highlights of their show was Vreth’s voice, Trollhammaren and all the songs from their recent album Nifelvind.

    The show ended and a fight almost started between two guys who were in the moshpit. I got a buzz in my ears for the rest of the night and the whole next day, but that’s to be expected and it was worth it. And unluckily I didn’t get to grab shit that was thrown to the audience :(. A final observation is that I couldn’t hear the voice of the singers that well in front row, but when I saw a video recording of the show on youtube the singing was pretty clear. A guy outside when we waited in line said that he doesn’t like to be in front row and prefers to be a little bit more on the back to appreciate the concert better, so now what he said makes sense to me.

    Pictures taken from the show can be seen here (Phone quality pix, sorry :< ):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15591480@N08/
  • Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden (07/12/10) Review

    14 jul 2010, 01:14

    Mon 12 Jul – Iron Maiden, Dream Theater

    This concert was my second Iron Maiden concert and my first time at the MSG. As a person who got to be part of the previous tour that featured classics only, the current set list was a dream that came true. And anyone who didn't like the set list should have done their homework about the current tour, since it was known that it would be focused on the “newer” albums.

    That aside… the opening act, Dream Theater, was alright. I only knew “As I Am” (opening song) and “Pull Me Under” (song that closed their show), so I didn't really enjoy the other three songs that got played in between. Even so, I think they are a fitting opening act for Iron Maiden, instead of Lauren Harris.

    The crowd was really hot for Iron Maiden (obviously), and while the songs didn't get a “Rock in Rio” kind of reaction it was still a pretty nice one. It was great to listen to songs from their “Brave New World” album (which was the main focus of the “Rock in Rio” live album/DVD), and also songs from “Dance Of Death” and “A Matter of Life and Death”. I was totally looking forward to hear “These Colours Don't Run” and “Ghost of the Navigator”, and Maiden totally delivered. Surprisingly there were a lot of newcomers in the crowd who are probably going to come again for more on the next tour after such a great performance. Songs of the night were “Fear of the Dark” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name” definitely, both of those songs were probably sung along in their entirety.

    Not everything was perfect though. There were some small technical difficulties during the performance. Sound problems that made a guitar sound a little bit fast paced or slow paced during a solo, the public caught on it and booed the sound guys but thankfully Bruce came back to sing and the public forgot about it fast. Still, I don't think there should be this kind of problem in a venue like MSG, but well… not even a screw up like that can make me not enjoy Maiden. Also, item prices inside the MSG were outrageous. A bottle of water had a five dollar price, five dollars!!!! I seriously recommend eating before getting inside the building.

    Overall the concert was a fun experience. The crowd in New York is way better than New Jersey, so whenever I have to go to a concert I'll be going to the Garden. And also there are still three songs I want to hear live: "Sign of the Cross", "Dream of Mirrors", and "Rainmaker", hope I get to hear them some day :P.