...they should check out Head Automatica for their dance-friendly hard rock needs. It's the singer from Glassjaw (one of those "Tool fans like them" bands) joining forces with the erstwhile Dan "Tha Automator" Nakamura, among others, to create something surprisingly accessible.
Here's a video for "Brooklyn is Burning", a song that seems destined for either a Guy Ritchie soundtrack or an iPod commercial.
Turns out not where, but who you're with that really matters
It was a beautiful day at Polo Fields, which, funnily enough, is a polo field. Despite having lived in the Bay Area for 14 years, I didn't know that people 1) actually played polo in California, or that 2) people watched people play polo in California. Learn something new everyday!
DJ Z-Trip treated us to a cool 2.5 hour opening set. He did a nice job of laying down songs that would appeal to the audience (predominantly classic and mid-90s alternative rock) with popular hip hop/R&B choruses and backbeats. I was surprised to hear Janis Joplin wailing "Oh Lord" at a particularly sweet portion of one of the remixes, but it was a nice touch (until "Oh Lord" was repeated another 20 times without leading into "... won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?" - for those of us who knew which way the song was going, it was a pretty frustrating tease). His album will be coming out within the year, so consider it, because he was a lot of fun to groove to, get it on to, rock out to, etc.
Where do you start when describing the Dave Matthews Band? Aside from the fact that the entire concert was mindblowingly amazing, I have to take a moment to gloat. I have always seen Dave from afar, whether it was the "afar"-ness of stadium seats in PacBell Park or the "afar"-ness of the lawn at the Shoreline Amphitheater. For once in my life, I saw dmb from a 50' distance. I actually saw the band (without the need or aid of television screens, binoculars, etc). I could see their faces. A big "Hell Yeah!" to the dave matthews band staff & blue wrist band folks. Now I can pretty much die happy and retire from music altogether. Or maybe reverse the order a little there.
Back to the show: Altogether the energy level of the band was relatively high. Extended jams were fairly limited to the first half of the concert, although we did enjoy the obligatory 15 minute version of "Lie in Our Graves." New songs to the set included "Joy Ride," "Sugar Will," and "Loving Wings" (which are not that new, but are 2004 tour songs for the most part). Among scarier renditions were "Hello Again" and "All Along the Watchtower," which make you hope you never piss Dave Matthews off, ever, because he may tear your face off and eat your children. A few of the band's songs were cleverly embedded within other songs (e.g. "Everyday" made a brief bridge feature in "Lie in Our Graves"). "One Sweet World" was a lovely opening. We were also treated to an amazingly difficult to understand rant scat/rant against the Bush administration coupled with an audience-led cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth." We were also treated to amazing jam sessions incorporating Carlos Santana and a salsa-infused version of "Warehouse." Enjoying an extra hour over the concert time was a nice benefit as well. The set list pretty much ran the gamut, covering every album but incorporating enough "well known" songs or singles that hte audience wasn't totally bewildered the entire time. What I couldn't understand, however, were the long pauses between songs. Apparently the set list was organically grown at Golden Gate fields.
SETLIST! One Sweet World
What Would You Say
So Much To Say
Pantala Naga Pampa
Best of What's Around
Lie In Our Graves
Drive In Drive Out
Where Are You Going
Sugar Will *
All Along The Watchtower *
r3wind: concerts in review And while I have never been friends with mary jane, my musical tastes would dictate otherwise
Part One: Matt Nathanson / Howie Day / Guster / O.A.R.
In case anyone missed it, the very empty Greek Theater concert 9/28 featuring the aforementioned bands was WONDERFUL.
Matt Nathanson, in true Matt form, managed to be endearing and vulgar, as per always. His appeal to the crowd for a group orgasm via sing-a-long in addition to calling out those who weren't singing offered ample public entertainment (humiliation for some) as well as encouraging us all to help our neighbors reach a group climax. Hey, even Hillary knows it takes a village. Missing from his usual set, however, was the 80s hair band medley. Instead we found Marc Roberge guesting on vocals for "Angel." Which, if anyone would like the musical backstory, is about Matt's good friend Emm Gryner, not about his wife (and yes, woman flashing the band and waving the "I LOVE YOU MATT" sign, he does have a wife). Matt receives +100 concert points just because I adore him, and I made up the scale.
This was the first time I'd seen Howie Day without a band in quite a while. For the most part he played Australia from beginning to end. Given that Australia is an excellent album to listen to while committing suicide or driving off a cliff, it was a bit of a downer for a beautiful summer evening. There were no new tricks, no new loops really and no new songs. All in all, I award Howie -20 concert points.
Nearly the end... Guster. Always fun, always hip, and yet they played "Airport Song" and not "Either Way" or "What You Wish For," despite some very loud caterwauling from Greek section D in the pit steps. There really wasn't much different from their June show on the East Coast although it may have been a bit more subdued at the Greek. Maybe because the theater was empty? Maybe because as east coasters they know their hard core fans are on the right coast? Only time will heal our left coast wounds. They receive 50 points for continued (but not mind blowing) excellence in performance.
As a MN/HD/Guster fan, I wasn't particularly looking forward to O.A.R. However, after seeing them live, I can finally understand what the hype is all about. While these boys are already a leg up by virtue of their association to Ohio State, they completely sealed the deal with their fun, upbeat and fluid hour long set. Ending with "That Was A Crazy Game of Poker" left everyone in a really happy mood. I think there's also humor value in a bunch of midwestern white boys ( + midwestern Asian guitarist!) confusing themselves for Bob Marley. That doesn't make the music less great, just more entertaining. So if you're stuck at home listening to O.A.R. albums, I recommend getting your etree on and downloading a show or two instead. You are guaranteed to shake your ass. O.A.R. earns 60 concert points for impressing me, thus surpassing Guster in style and efficacy points.
Overall Concert Rating: 190 (out of a possible 230)
Part Two: G. Love & Special Sauce / Jack Johnson
I've seen Jack Johnson perform about 4-5 times now. Given that not a single song has been added to his repertoire, I don't think I'll be watching him live for quite a while. Originally it was fun to go because half of the songs he performs weren't on any albums. Now, however, they're all on On and On or Brushfire Fairytales, so really, what's the good of coming to a show where he doesn't even do the fun covers anymore?
As far as G. Love is concerned, all I can say is yay for "Stepping Stones," and next time he should consider diversifying and should sell G.Love condoms (the "glove" as I like to call it) at his merch table? He could sell special sauce as well. Really, he has a lot of potential to promote safe sex. Instead, I went to sleep during his set (when I wasn't falling down the lawn's extreme incline).
Upcoming Album Releases:
Ani DiFranco - January 20
The Coral - January 27
Moby - February 3
Jonny Greenwood - February 24
The Hives - February 2004
Melissa auf der Maur - February 2004
Garbage - Early 2004
The Vines - Early 2004
The Who - Spring 2004
Wilco - Spring 2004
Beck - Summer 2004
Ben Folds - 2004
Chemical Brothers - 2004
Eels - 2004
Interpol - 2004
PJ Harvey - 2004
Queens Of The Stone Age - 2004
R.E.M. - 2004
U2 - 2004
Coldplay - Late 2004
Paul McCartney - Late 2004
Oasis - Late 2004