#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. //

After Brendon agreed to a First/Last for me, I delved a little into his music and was totally looking forward to his set opening for Deer Tick. Regardless of the bummer time I seemed to have had (and having the band call me out on it…awesome!), I did enjoy the night, especially the Viking Moses part of it. He kind of reminds me of early Palace Brothers, which is a great thing. There was also the news that there was a tribute album called Lucky Numbers released last week featuring bands such as Castanets and Devendra Banhart covering his tunes. He ended up being super nice and always has a home here on this blog.

Believe me, literally photographing hundereds of bands a year, I am used to drunken audiences that don’t seem to be on their best behavior but this night it almost put me over the edge. Not even being a sell out, the lip of the stage was annoyingly crowded as the band took the stage. With no regard to people who were minding their own business staking out a spot, there were a few revelers that just didn’t give a shit and bully their way so that there is absolutely no room to move let alone enjoy the show. Jerks. More photos here.

I do like the Rex. Since Ben’s put in a new lighting grid what’s not to like, right? Getting some easy, awesome shots has become a breeze, no, a joy to shoot there. But considering the GA floor without any space between audience and stage, that makes getting up close work. What kind of work you ask? Well, you either be patient and stand for two hours at the lip of the dusty stage (no disrespect but every stage in this town is dirty) and claim your spot or, as I have found out a couple of times this past week, wait until the opener is about to come on and drunkenly elbow your way through with any disregard to anyone or anything in your way. Not being a Prima donna or anything, it’s just not worth it to me anymore. Guess who has two thumbs and will only shoot soundcheck from now on? This dude.

The bands were cool, sure. My photos are bangin’ as usual, I’m not shy. It’s just that getting beer spilled on your pants, and worse, your lens kinda sucks. You think I sound bitter now, wait until my Deer Tick review, UGGGGH…You can check out some Jesca Hoop fawning here. More photos here.

I have never seen Lambchop and couldn’t even recall the last time they were here. I casually like the band and scored a photo pass figuring to hit up some of their set before the excellent WOODS gig in Garfield. As the band came on, I noticed that the stage lights were low. Did I say low? I meant altogether off!?! I knew the pictures were going to turn out grimy but the real kicker was Kurt and the rest of the band ‘rolling their eyes’ at the fact that I dared try to shoot the intimate set. I am as stealth as the next guy when shooting but I guess not inconspicuous enough. No worries, I was late for a show I was actually looking forward to anyway. Later dudes.

What made this night better than usual was that I was just excited to see openers Hacienda as much as headliners Heartless Bastards. I have seen them before and they did not disappoint. If you never heard of these guys, do yourself a favor and check them out. Cool dudes to boot!

Starting out the night was Devin Therriault. He was good but what I’ll remember from him was as we were walking down Carson pre-gig to grab a bite, Devin and his band were coming the other way. My buddy commented (not knowing who he was) after he passed, “Nice haircut Flock of Seagulls.”

Unfortunately with the sheer amount of shows I shoot, it’s a very rare one that I am actually looking forward to seeing. Add the fact that my wife wanted to see the band as well and this show had epic written all over it (at least for me). The band did not disappoint. They sounded fantastic and the best part of the night is Club Cafe took away the annoying tables so there was plenty of room to hang making it a contender for one of the best shows of the year! More photos here.

I thought this was fascinating. As I was leaving the Charles Bradley/Little Barrie gig, there was a crowd of extremely enthusiastic teens(?) gathered around on the street. I asked one of them what was up and he told me they just left the Mike Stud show at Diesel and were forced by the club to have their meet-n-greet outside (across the street from the club, no less). What really threw me off was the sheer joy these kids were having meeting this guy and taking pictures with him. These kids were seriously geeked to hang with him (or maybe they were all just Red-Bulled up, who knows?). Even though I had absolutely no clue who he was, it was cool to see the power of music has regardless of genre as well as the awesome way he treated his fans.

Talk about a fantastic show. I had my skepticism concerning an old R&B guy suddenly becoming popular with the indie hipsters and all (kind of still do) but man did he deliver the goods. The show precariously bordered on shtick at times which is O.K., the set was still fun as hell. For an extra added bonus, Little Barrie absolutely tore it up as openers with their fiery guitar blues/rock that didn’t let up from note one. Such a surprisingly great night of music.

The band’s album release gig was officially announced today but last week the band played TEN shows in five days. I was able to catch the last two, this one being the penultimate show of the ‘tour’. They sounded unsurprisingly tight and I was fortunate enough to snag an early copy of the excellent new disc. Thanks Megan!

I love these two. They are like a indie folk Burns and Allen. Scott’s jokes are SO damned corny you just gotta laugh.

Ms. Edwards will always hold a special spot on this here blog. Her last album was my favorite of the year back in 2008. She also holds the distinction of being the very first (and second) live review when I started this thing nearly four years ago. Of course I was going to hit her show when she eventually swung through town again promoting her latest release. Thing is, she was good but could never reach the high mark from the last album. Still I am glad I went for sure. It’s been a long time I was on the Southside after 10 p.m. and I have to tell you it’s gross. Here’s another review (with an incredible photo, I might add). More photos here. Opener Hannah Georgas, who also sang back up in Kathleen’s band, was the long lost twin of Pittsburgh very own Brooke Annibale, even down to the way she held her guitar. Freaky

Club Cafe
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It seems that I didn’t have as much as a fawning giddy fanboy crush my fellow blogger had for this show but I am positive he didn’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. the next morning. The handful of tunes I did stick around for were pleasant enough…I really should have familiarized myself more with her stuff before the gig.

Club Cafe
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Midway through the set, a drunken former roommate of Adam came in to the place and along with his friends started celebrating hard, in front of the stage no less, his engagement that night. It was kind of hilarious to see one of the guys hand Adam a bottle of beer, as he was playing a solo! He was actually waiting for Adam to take it! Nice move. One thing the dude did mention that I couldn’t have said better was, “You guys sound better and better every time I see you play!” So true. Wait till everyone hears the new album. So good.

Le Cachot Club Cafe
Saturday, January 21, 2012 Southside

The band’s bassist Paul ‘Miser’ Werkmeister was cool enough to drop me a line inviting me to the show. I had a fairly packed schedule but was able to end the night down at the Southside. The enticement of my boys Triggers opening up surely help persuade me to stay up past my bedtime.

Greg Dutton Club Cafe
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Southside

As much as I dig The Wreckids and as much as I know very little about Jaymay, I wanted to trek out last night for one reason only. I had never seen a solo set by Lohio’s main man Greg. He mainly played new tunes (here’s hoping some of it will be recorded/released soon!) and although the band’s future is somewhat up in the air(?), it was reassuring to see no less than three of his Lohio mates in the room for support. Hmmm…who’s down for helping start a “We want more Dutton!” campaign?

Marah Kollar Club
Saturday, December 17, 2011 Southside

Billed as a ‘Marah Hot Metal Christmas’, it was a two night stand organized by fans turned friends turned supporters Dr. Mike and Jimmy. The dedication these guys have towards the band is nothing like I have ever seen in music and although the band plays regular gigs in the city, these are always something special indeed. Scroll down for a nice writeup of the shows here.

I arrived to hear the last two songs of her set and was wishing I heard more. I usually have a hard time getting a spot at Club Cafe but on this night the first three front tables were empty so…score one for the photog!

As this was another “WYEP presents…” gig, I wasn’t all that familiar with his music. O.K., truth be told, I never heard of the dude before. He seemed cool enough with his acoustically suave love songs. I couldn’t hang for the whole set as I was running to the Delicious Pastries CD release gig.

Ali Spagnola is a local artist who likes to party. She enjoys it so much she has developed a unique style of performing where the audience chugs shots of beer in conjunction to the stage show. She takes it to the next level when she releases her Power Hour Drinking Game CD of 60 one minute songs to, you guessed it, drink to. Sounds like a frat boy’s dream. Go here to learn more. Ali was cool enough to put down her ‘shot glass USB’ for a few minutes and participate in this edition of First/Last.

Thanks Ali. I must say, even though I am 20 years out of college, it still sounds very intriguing. Have fun…like I even need to say that.