February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Their stage show included an enormous orb, used as a film screen but as a complete sphere.
They played Oceania in its entirety.
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.
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!
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!)