Lollapalooza 2013

August 6, 2013 § 2 Comments

Nick and I went to Chicago’s Lollapalooza three years ago and had a blast, but this year, being nearly 7 months pregnant, I sat it out. It’s hard to help but feel a little sad you’re missing out on bands and fun, but my legs, stomach, and well, my entire body, thanked me for staying home while Nick went without me.

Also, now that I’ve found the entire sets in HD from The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, I’m spending the morning watching some of the few bands I’d have been most excited to see there. Now if only I could find Cat Power’s…

The Cure’s 2 hour set

Nine Inch Nails’ 1.5 hour set

Desaparecidos

February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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During my second year of college, I got into Conor Oberst‘s mostly solo, emo-masterpiece Bright Eyes BIG TIME. When he joined social commentary rock band Desaparecidos and released “Read Music/Speak Spanish”, I loved having a punk alternative to his soulful sad songs.

I have seen Bright Eyes live many times. When I was 20, I saw him play the Horseshoe in Toronto then drove with four friends to Montreal the very next day to see him again. (I also got up the nerve to introduce myself to him and tell him I loved the new record before that show. On stage, he told a story about a Canadian girl who offered to marry him so he could live in our country instead of America. All of my guy friends thought that was me, and I never corrected them – until now.)

Although Desaparecidos did tour briefly, I don’t think they ever came to Canada so I never saw them. I was so happy to finally get the chance to see them live last night at New York’s Webster Hall. They were great! Lively and passionate and spot on with every song. Not to mention, they played all their old songs, with just a few that I believe to be new and a cover of opening band/their best touring friends Joyce Manor.

Sorry for the vertical video – I was holding my phone out over the balcony and didn’t feel comfortable holding it sideways! Also the floor was actually bouncing with people rocking out. What a great show!

P.S. I was standing a few feet away from Conor before they played in the VIP area and, yes ladies, he is still a cutie pie.

Smashing Pumpkins Homecoming

October 22, 2012 § 3 Comments

If you know me at all, you know that Smashing Pumpkins have been my favourite band since I first saw them live in 1996; my first concert ever. Since then, I have seen them in many incarnations: Billy, James & D’arcy; Billy, James, Jimmy & Melissa; Billy solo; Jimmy’s jazz band; Zwan; Billy reading poetry in a church; and Billy with a band full of hired musicians who called themselves Smashing Pumpkins. This however, was the first time I was able to see them in Chicago, their music-rich hometown that I’ve always had a soft spot for.

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Nick’s band Anberlin was opening for them this leg of the tour, so we flew out on Friday afternoon for the show that night. Arriving on a windy and rainy day (miraculously) without any problems, we checked into our hotel and did a bit of work and ate some dinner before heading over to the Allstate Arena.

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Now, I’m a 31 year old former-music industry professional and have been around many rockstars in my time, including Billy Corgan, but I still get a little silly from time to time. If you’re also a fan, you’ll appreciate that my flight number was 3-33 and that there were porcelain pumpkins sitting on the counter at our hotel’s check in desk. IT WAS MEANT TO BE, YOU GUYS.

When we arrived, Anberlin’s lovely tour manager Andy had these waiting for us.

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Then I found out there would be a VIP pre-concert mini show in the room right across from Anberlin’s dressing room. YES! I was so happy they left the door open for the first song, so I could watch Billy’s entrance. Even after the door was closed, I listened to all of the short set, including a rendition of Plume from Pisces Iscariot. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one live before!

Anberlin were great! I don’t think I’ve seen them in years and years. Nicest guys ever. They were the only opener since SP played for almost 3 hours.

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Their stage show included an enormous orb, used as a film screen but as a complete sphere.

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They played Oceania in its entirety.

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Then they rolled out the hits including XYU, Cherub Rock, Mayonnaise, Stand Inside Your Love, Bullet With Butterfly Wings, Tonight Tonight, a cover of Space Oddity, and more.

Tonight Tonight video playing on the orb

The performance of Tonight Tonight was almost out shined by the projection of the video on the sphere. It was so cool to watch all warped!

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Friday night was one of those amazing moments in life where I had to sit back and remind myself just how great what I was experiencing was. One of those times where you feel like you must have done something right to be in the situation you’re in now. In short, thank you Nick and Anberlin for crossing another “must do” off my list of life goals – watching Smashing Pumpkins live in their hometown.

(P.S. Click on the photos to see them larger on Flickr – they look much better that way!)

Do you ever go to concerts, movies, or events alone?

September 29, 2011 § 7 Comments

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It’s the social norm to go to these events with at least one other person, whether it be a date or a friend. If, god forbid, you’re meeting your +1 there and they’re late, these days we all bury our noses in the comfort of our smartphones to make us look busy and important until they arrive.

I found it easier to go to events on my own when I lived in Toronto because the city is smaller and I knew a lot more people, and had greater chances of running into a friend. Now that I’m in enormous New York, things are very different!

Since I’ve moved here, I find myself going to movies alone in the daytime a few times a year. I love attending Creative Mornings¬†alone because you listen to the entire lecture carefully and talk to those around you. I got a job from exchanging small talk with another attendee at one of these events! I still prefer to go to concerts with at least one other person, but last night worked out well that I was at a show alone.

I managed to procure a single ticket to the very sold out Radiohead show at Roseland Ballroom. I went alone, knowing there would be two people I knew there among the hundreds of others attending. I could bump into them. It would be okay…

I never did find them, but I did end up standing beside David Fricke, senior editor of Rolling Stone. Of course, I had to take the opportunity to say hi! He was also there alone and we both found a really good spot with a great view of the stage. We stood there all night and engaged in a nice amount of conversation. When the band was done, we shook hands and said it was nice to meet each other. Would this have happened if I was there with friends? Probably not.

So do you ever go to these things alone? If so, do you have any positive stories to tell? I’d love to hear them!

P.S. Radiohead was incredible.

Death Cab at the Waterfront

August 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

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On Tuesday night, I went to see Death Cab For Cutie and Frightened Rabbit at the Williamsburg Waterfront. While waiting for Nick and Annie to meet me, I was interviewed by Winkball.com about how long I’ve been listening to DCFC and I realized I had been listening for ten years! It’s amazing how time flies when it comes to great music. It seems like only yesterday I was listening to “Something About Airplanes” and it certainly doesn’t feel like 8 years have passed since I saw them at the tiny Toronto club, The Horseshoe.

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Death Cab For Cutie

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Frightened Rabbit

If you live in New York and haven’t been to a show at the Williamsburg Waterfront yet, I urge you to go. It’s great to listen to music while the sun is setting and you watch the Manhattan skyline light up.

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Plus, you can sip on Australian wine, like Annie & I!

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