Downtown This was one fantastic concert. Leaving out all the negatives that could be brought up (ticket prices, venue choice, ‘auto-tune’?) I was floored how good the music (the backing band in particular) sounded. Yeah sure, the guys are getting up there in age and one cannot rule out the ‘cashgrab’ factor, especially after seeing first hand the ‘fragility’ of Brother Brian, but the songs were great, the crowd was into it and I simply had fun. My biggest surprise was Mike Love. Always considered (unfairly) to be the cantankerous Beach Boy, he was charming as he blew kisses and waved and told corny jokes throughout the night. He really made the show for me, other than all those killer songs of course.
This was my second time seeing Justin and even though he was good both times, I came away from the sets wondering what his intimate music would be like in a less ‘grandiose’ atmosphere. The grandeur of the Benedum and the vastness of Point State Park kinda swallowed the vibe for me. Thankfully, he is returning to the smaller stage of Mr. Smalls in August. I would love to hear him with a full band. Here’s hoping… Listen to a WYEP studio session from earlier in the day here. More photos here.
This is a band that you either really love or really hate. Strike that, I don’t hate them, it’s just that I have tried several times to get into them and they always leave me a tad lukewarm. I am not trying to slag them, it’s just that you can’t like every band in the indie rock world, can you? Apparently around 2826 people do love as them this show was sold out and that is the official seating capacity in the place. And what a place it is. The Benedum may be the nicest venue in town. Ornate, spacious and built for acoustics, I can’t recall the last time I was there? Was it those Three Stooges festivals I went to while in high school when it was The Stanley? That was too long ago. There should definitely be more concerts booked there. Got to give the band props in that they played the Quiet Storm during their early years! Talk about coming a long way, baby. More photos here and here.
The car scene in Up In Smoke might be the funniest thing in a movie I have ever seen.