#SupportPGHMusic // Exclusively on HughShows Radio streaming at the bottom of the page, enjoy the entire December 13, 2014 concert of HughShows Live at Eide’s Finale featuring mini sets from acoustic and solo versions of my favorite Pittsburgh bands during the marathon 6 hour concert. //

I arrived from the Host Skull/Donora gig to literally catch the last minute of the set. Bummer. I previously featured David and his other band KADMAN last November.

Every time I see this band they get tighter and tighter. Being a busy night I couldn’t hang long but always look forward to see them play again.

I recently gushed about these guys and was thrilled to discover they were coming to town. Their live sound wasn’t as polished as their recorded stuff but just as great nonetheless. It’s a shame that only a handful of people were there to see them. Throw in the sweet Budai poster for the gig and this is a definite contender for show of the year.

A bunch of snot nosed punks from Nashville that probably aren’t old enough to buy beer but are touring the East Coast this summer tearing up rooms as they go. It’s amazing to me where you can find great music these days.

These two are raw, young and have an exciting vibe going on. I love seeing confident bands not paying attention to anything else and seemingly taking on the world. Check out more of them here.

It’s hard to imagine that as I write this, I will be shooting U2 at Heinz Field later on in the evening. Declared THE highest grossing concert tour in music history, I can’t think of a more different show than this one I saw last week. Three of the bands on the bill I had never heard of and this particular group seems to have almost no internet presence whatsoever. That’s not taking anything away from this band at all. Nothing thrills me more than to see a bunch of musicians pouring their heart out in a room with a few people there to witness it. In other words, U2 who?

There were several people in the audience who said they never saw the band and were just as excited to see them as the headliners. After the exuberant set, they came away fans. They sounded so good. Their record is gonna smoke!

Cool opening set to get the crowd in the mood for the highly anticipated live debut of 1,2,3. I don’t know if I (along with the rest of the crowd) had enough beers in me by that time to truly get my groove on but fun nonetheless.

This show was a blast. With free beer flowing, everybody seemed to be psyched to be finally seeing the live Pittsburgh debut of 1,2,3 for their big hometown CD release gig. They had a lot of expectations to fill and I am so happy to say they were met and then some. This is a fun live band and I have been listening to their debut all day. Their next and only scheduled Pittsburgh gig is July 11 supporting Cut//Copy at the Altar Bar. More photos here.

The band arrived minutes before from their hometown in Jamestown, NY to hit the stage to a 3/4 empty room. I can’t even begin to imagine life on the road as an indie band playing to a roomfull of strangers. It was nice to see that they had at least a couple of ‘groupies’ and neighbors in rock Triggers to cheer them on.

All this week, I am going back in the archives and featuring bands that have been opening acts to other artists. I actually could spend two weeks featuring these little bands that I forgot, or rather never had time to feature, until now. First up is Rumbledaddy, a damn fun rockabilly trio from Ohio who opened for Wanda Jackson. They seemed to be having a hell-raisin’ blast (there was actual fire on stage! that I totally missed changing lenses) and played their usual set but had to stretch it out as Ms. Jackson was taking her good old time. Nobody minded as we were all excited to see a legend perform. The guys valiantly played on for what seemed to be another hour before finally getting the cue that Wanda was ready. Nice job boys!

In an effort to preview new music and upcoming shows of worth, I am starting a new feature here. Rather than an interview, I will ask few questions pertaining to an artists’ musical taste. Today, I ask Jeremy Porter (who has a long and interesting career) to participate.

The first album you ever bought?

“KISS Alive! or Cheap Trick at Budokan. I remember hearing I Want You To Want Me and just being drawn in by that melody. I couldn’t get it out of my head and to this day melody and hooks are my favorite parts of music. Truth is though, it was probably Alive! I knew I wanted a KISS record, I knew it had to have Rock And Roll All Night on it, and Alive! had so many songs. Seemed like a good choice. Funny that they were both live records!”

Your last album bought?

“The Big To-Do by the Drive-By Truckers. Lots of people see them as the best band in the world these days. I have trouble arguing that. They have been unbelievably consistent for many years. This record is a bit shorter and a bit more rockin’ than the last couple, but the perfect follow up to last year’s Brighter Than Creations Dark.”

Favorite album of all time?

“Tough question. It rotates around a bit I suppose. Let it Be by The Replacements is up there. Exile on Main Street (Rolling Stones) or Quadrophenia by The Who. Zen Arcade by Hüsker Dü. Springteen’s Nebraska is in the top 10 too.”

Least favorite album?

“Not sure I have a least favorite album. Nothing comes to mind. I have a pretty low tolerance for things that are self indulgent, excessively noisy, or lack hooks and strong melody. I just get bored. Nothing against that stuff – some people eat it up so it has its place, just not my cuppa tea.”

First concert attended?

“Alice Cooper with The Rockets at the Alpena (MI) Drive In, Special Forces Tour, July 4th 1981.”

Last concert?

“Drive-By Truckers at Tipitina’s, New Orleans, LA March 19 & 20 2010.”

Favorite concert ever?

“Probably The Ramones at Harpo’s in Detroit in December of 88. An unbelievable onslaught of power and great songs. I’ve seen a lot of great shows, but that one has stuck with me.”

Least favorite concert?

“The Grateful Dead, 1994ish, The Palace of Auburn Hills, MI. I paid an (at the time) ungodly $35 to stare at the back of Jerry Garcia’s head for 3 goddamn hours. It was a waste of a buzz, money and time. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.”

Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

“I’ve been to Pittsburgh a couple times. A few years back we went to a Penguins/Red Wings game. Got to see Mario Lemieux score a couple of goals, but the Wings won in OT. Then, this past June I was playing in St Louis when the 2 teams faced off in game 7 of the finals. We were the only people in the building who wanted the Wings to win. I don’t think the people there cared that it was the Penguins, but they desperately wanted Detroit to lose. Anyhow – I am happy for the Penguins to see success after almost losing the franchise. Pittsburgh is a cool, blue collar city like Detroit and I can’t wait for my show at Howler’s Coyote Café on Friday April 9th!”

Thanks Jeremy. I am digging the disc.

If you are in a band and would like to be featured in upcoming First/Last columns, drop me a line.

The Harlan Twins are synonymous with Bloomfield. It was great to finally see them play Howler’s. When this band is in their element (which it seems to be any place performing live) they cannot be beat for good times rock and roll fun.

Unfortunately, I was uncharacteristically late to this show and only caught the last couple songs of Nik’s opening set. What I heard I dug and it’s so endearing for me as a concertgoer to see a father and son rocking out as I did with Nik and his dad this night. I couldn’t help but hear a ‘Ray Davies’ quality to Nik’s voice and was surprised that I was the first person to point that out to him afterwards, even though he’s been known to play a Kinks cover when inclined. I am anxiously awaiting his debut and will definitely be at his CD release show on Friday March 5 at The Thunderbird Cafe. Trust me, you should be there as well.

Chet is hands down one of the nicest guys I have met, musician or otherwise. I was thrilled that they had a blowout of a crowd for their CD release. In fact, I was kinda surprised. There was the obligatory Pittsburgh contingent of musicians in the audience showing their support (which is uniquely awesome to our town, methinks) and a very fun ‘Chethead’ crowd for their main set. Loved it. I have to hang at Howlers more often.

The Queen of Rock & Roll! Very well deserved moniker after witnessing the 72 year old deliver the goods at Howler’s. A little shaky at first but man she was great. Almost as fun was the diverse crowd. I haven’t seen so many tattoos and poodle shirts since, well…never!

This set was to promote 2nd Annual National Record Store Day on April 18. I liked the performance, although I have to admit I (uncharacteristically for me) enjoy the CD better. Maybe it had to do with the fact that there was VERY little room to move in the store (and I was facing his back the entire time!). It also didn’t help that during the third song some girl fainted and her man FREAKED OUT! Yeah, it’s a scary thing when someone you care for is in peril but I thought someone was getting murdered! I felt really bad for the guy. After a few minutes she came to and the set hesitantly went ahead. Also, no SMOG tunes even though someone requested one.

The last time I caught Local Honey was a short radio set on Super Bowl Sunday…in 2007! Jeez, it’s been too long. They had Megan Williams on fiddle and she added a sweet texture to the tunes. Too bad I had to bail before the first set was over. I gotta chill and not show up three hours before show time.

This was an unexpected night out for me. We had plans to hang with some friends and when that fell through because my kids got sick, I decided to hit up my local faves Local Honey (which BTW was a year and a half since I had seen them last). The city was having the ‘burgh’s big 250 fireworks celebration and were closing down all kinds of bridges, so I decided to try to get to the joint a little early. I am on the other side of town crossing rivers and all. I end up talking to opener Pokey for the majority of the night. What a nice guy. It always fascinates me how working musicians live and travel. His set was way retro, way acoustic (when is the last time you saw a kazoo played!), and way awesome!