02/28/2017 Big Wreck (Rochester, NY @ Anthology)

By Eric | March 1, 2017 12:16 pm

I have to admit I was baffled that Big Wreck was coming to Rochester. They were also playing Buffalo a couple days later on the tour, so why Rochester too? Not that I was complaining, far less of a drive for me! I also had not yet been to Anthology since it had been remodeled (from the old Daisy Dukes / A-Pub Live). Since I figured it would be a fun opportunity, I also decided to make this show worth my while and I sprung for the VIP meet and greet before the show as a psuedo-birthday present to myself. Unlike any of the other M&G’s I’ve done, this one was very early (5pm!) and we got two songs worth of soundcheck also! They had billed it as two songs that wouldn’t be in the set, and with Skybunk Marche (the instrumental), they were right. They also played Digging In, which actually ended up being the first song of the encore (and hadn’t shown up on any other setlists I’d seen). After soundcheck the guys came down and were very gracious with signing everyone’s stuff and taking pictures (there were only 10 of us). Always a fun experience.

2017-02-28 17.55.12 - BigWreck

So I got to go back home, eat dinner, get the boys to bed, and then head back out to the show. My timing was impeccable, as I only waited about 10 minutes from arrival until the band came on. The set was heavy on the newly-released Grace Street, making up seven of the fifteen songs. I’d been streaming the new album in anticipation (got the physical copy as part of the VIP), so I had enough familiarity with the new tunes to get into them live. They had fun with them too, getting a little jammy with them instead of just playing them like the album. The older tunes were fun also, including Under The Lighthouse, a tune off the first album that I’d never seen live. Interestingly, there was nothing off of Pleasure and The Greed at all. At one point, Ian mentioned that they hadn’t been to Rochester in forever (tour for the first album back in 1998 was the last time), and also when someone yelled for a song (presumably The Oaf), he mentioned “it’s coming, it’s coming. I know most of you die-hards know what the setlist is already, but thanks for sticking with us!”. He was right, the place wasn’t anywhere near full, but with a band like Big Wreck, anyone that was there was a die-hard for sure. Lots of people singing the newer Ghosts / Albatross songs, and even some of the new-new Grace Street stuff (it had only been out for around two weeks). Obviously an older crowd, but an enthusiastic one to be sure.

One other fun note; Ian mentioned that two of his good friends from high school had made the trip down from Toronto to see the show, and called them out. I happened to be standing near them at the end of the set, and talked to them for a minute. More of a “why Rochester for Vacation?” sort of inquiry. They said they knew it would be a much smaller and intimate show than anything they could see in Ontario, plus they were going skiing and made a vacation out of it, between this show and the Buffalo date. I told them they had to try a garbage plate before they left! Another fun show, another good crowd – everyone happy to be there and having a good time.

2017-02-28 Big Wreck @ Anthology

One Good Piece of Me
I Digress
That Song
It Comes as No Surprise
The Arborist
Wolves
A Speedy Recovery
You Don’t Even Know
Ghosts
Albatross
Under the Lighthouse
Tomorrow Down
Biko [Peter Gabriel Cover] [clip]
Blown Wide Open

Digging In
The Oaf [This Is Where My Heart Is insert]

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02/26/2017 Mike Doughty (Rochester, NY @ Flour City Station)

By Eric | February 27, 2017 11:58 am

Also known as “Eric and Matt’s Biennial Man-Date Night”. Seriously, early 2012, late 2014, early 2017. The 2008 show kinda messes it up, but you get the idea. Doughty comes around Rochester roughly every other year, and Matt and I always go! This show was supposed to have Wheatus (they of Teenage Dirtbag fame) as an opener, but apparently the lead singer got sick. So instead, we got Mike coming out doing a stripped down not-quite-acoustic set, effectively acting as his own opener! Not that we hadn’t seen something similar before (at the 2008 German House show the band was in “disguise” as their own openers). What was really nice was that it was all songs that did NOT get played in the main set, especially nice considering it was a lot of the favorites (Brunettes, Starbucks, 27 Jennifers, Super Bon Bon, etc.). A great way to kick things off for the people that showed up early.

Opening Set
———–
Tremendous Brunettes
Busting Up a Starbucks
I Just Want the Girl in the Blue Dress to Keep on Dancing
Down on the River by the Sugar Plant
27 Jennifers
Super Bon Bon (Soul Coughing song)
Ossining
Soft Serve (Soul Coughing song)
Moon Sammy (Soul Coughing song)
(I Keep On) Rising Up

So after a bit of a break (and a couple Genny Cream Ales for us!), the main set started. This one featured a full band and had a much more electronic bent. Part of the gimmick with this tour was that Mike would “remix on the fly”, essentially conducting the band while playing the song. It made for some interesting jams, and they pulled out some back catalog for the set, especially on the Soul Coughing stuff (Screenwriters Blues, How Many Cans), and the return of More Bacon Than The Pan Can Handle! It was a really fun show, and considering we got a double dose of Doughty with no other opener, what more could we ask for?

Main Set
——–
Screenwriter’s Blues (Soul Coughing song)
Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well
Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago (Soul Coughing song)
I Hear the Bells
Bus to Beelzebub (Soul Coughing song)
Grey Ghost
Wait! You’ll Find a Better Way
More Bacon Than the Pan Can Handle (tease)
Circles (Soul Coughing song)
Shunned + Falsified
Rational Man
How Many Cans? (Soul Coughing song) (Monster Man insert)
So Far I Have Not Found The Science (tease) (Soul Coughing song)
Put It Down
St. Louise Is Listening (Soul Coughing song)

Encore:
Janine (Soul Coughing song)

2017-02-26 Mike Doughty @ Flour City Station

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02/23/2017 The Tea Party (Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom)

By Eric | February 24, 2017 11:10 am

Ah The Tea Party. But not just any Tea Party show this time! The first of a two-night stand at the Ballroom (I couldn’t do both nights, and I heard the 2nd show was just as good as this one), on the Twenty Years of Transmission tour. So instead of us complaining about the same setlist as always, we got another completely known setlist, but better! All of Transmission, plus some other favorites. In yet another example of “putting the band back together”, our motley crew this time included Sara and Jason, Mary, and a drop in from Karl and Kelley (with some Ithaca friends in tow)! Talk about flashbacks to all those times waiting FOREVER at Arizona’s (see: 2000, 2001, 2002), except instead of aimlessly standing around waiting, we all got drinks and dinner at Expo down the street from the Ballroom. This was TTP show #17, breaking the 2nd place tie with OLP and moving into a first place tie with Sevendust for the “band seen most often” crown! For me, this may as well have been the “19 Years of Transmission” tour, as I didn’t actually see them in 1997, but I did see them on the Transmission tour in March of 1998 at Water Street (two weeks shy of the actual 19 years!). And as is personally required, I wore my ancient, ratty, and now ill-fitting Transmission tour shirt purchased at that Water Street show! (Because of course I did.) It did get one or two oohs and aahs from a couple people in the lobby prior to the show!

So enough precursor, on to the show! We shuffled down onto the floor, probably about 10-12 people deep, and had a wonderful time all night. Crowd was packed in nicely (both nights were sellouts), but great. In a change from the way most bands approach the “play the whole album” tours, we got all of Transmission, but not in album order. As was customary on the original Transmission tour, Army Ants was the opener. Pyschopomp was a delight as always, even hearing it for (probably) the 17th time, but the real highlights were the songs we’d never heard live before. Gyroscope, Emerald (a bit different than the album version), Alarum, and Pulse were fascinating to finally see, after all these years and all these shows. Bookending the album, they closed with Temptation, naturally, and that would have been cool enough. But after a small break, back out came the boys with another set of “hits”, which was all stuff we’d seen a million times before, and were happy to hear again (even Writing’s On The Wall, ha!). Even the usual encore, Winter Solstice into Sister Awake / Paint It Black, felt as right and as comfortable as ever.

Another Tea Party show where they sounded fantastic, surrounded by the same long-time good friends with whom I’ve shared many, many Tea shows over the years. Can’t beat it!

2017-02-23 The Tea Party @ Town Ballroom

[Set 1: Transmission]
Army Ants
Babylon
Psychopomp
Gyroscope
Emerald
Alarum
Release
Transmission
Embryo
Pulse
Aftermath
Temptation

[Set 2: Greatest Hits]
Writing’s on the Wall
The Bazaar
The Ocean at the End
Heaven Coming Down [with lyrical snippet of ‘All Along The Watchtower’]
Save Me [Included Jeff Martin Solo with bow]

[Encore]
Winter Solstice
Sister Awake / Paint It Black [with lyrical snippet of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’]

Psychopomp

Gyroscope

Emerald

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01/28/2017 Will Hoge (Buffalo, NY @ The Studio at Waiting Room)

By Eric | January 29, 2017 4:57 pm

An Eric and Tiff date night! Another trip down to Buffalo, this time we stayed over at my parents house since it was a Saturday night. We made our way down to the Waiting Room on a fairly cold and snowy night, which probably contributed to the sparse attendance. Though few, there were Will Hoge die-hards that did attend, and we had ourselves a grand old time. Not long after arriving, we ran into Jennifer, our Rochester acquaintance from the Iron Works show, and pretty much hung out with her all night, which was a lot of fun swapping stories. The Waiting Room, and particularly the Studio upstairs where we were, is an even smaller place than Iron Works. This was like he was playing in our living room, especially considering it was just Will, solo acoustic.

One very nice surprise is that there was no opener! We didn’t get a lot of warning as Will just walked right up and started in on Daddy Was a Gambling Man. There was a lot of audience banter and storytelling, and a lot of laughs. It was a super intimate show, and to that end, he even took a request that was not on the setlist for Someone Else’s Baby. We also got two new songs that are going to be on his new album, both of which sounded quite good. There’s not a ton more to say other than this was a lot of fun, seeing an artist we both love, in a really small place. Will came down and met with just about everyone after the set, so it was very cool to thank him for coming back, and thank him for the music!

2017-01-28 Will Hoge

Daddy Was A Gambling Man
Goodnight / Goodbye
Better off Now (That You’re Gone)
Little Bitty Dreams
A Little Bit Of Rust (new song!)
When I Can Afford To Lose
Hey Tonight
Home Is Where The Heart Breaks
When I Get My Wings
(Pretty Sure) I’m Over You
Doesn’t Have To Be That Way
Someone Else’s Baby
Falling Apart?? (new song!)
Even If It Breaks Your Heart
The Highway’s Home
Jesus Came To Tennessee
Middle Of America
Damn Spotlight (Julia’s Song)

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Top 5 Albums of 2016

By Eric | January 1, 2017 10:57 pm

As always, in alphabetical order:

Black Stone Cherry – Kentucky. After being a little disappointed with Magic Mountain, this one gets back to the stuff I love about BSC, the heavier, rockier tunes. Shakin’ My Cage is a banger.

Deftones – Gore, This one actually took me a little bit. For as much as I liked Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan right off the hop, Gore had to grow on me. There’s a lot to like here through repeated listens though!

Gemini Syndrome – Memento Mori. After hearing the pre-singles and really liking them, and also comparing to Lux (which I played a ton), initially the album as a whole didn’t grab me. Probably due to my own over-hype in my head. But upon repeated listens, I think it’s equally as strong as Lux with some really cool tunes.

Hatebreed – The Concrete Confessional. As Jamey always says, “It’s HAAAAAARRRRRRDDDDD!”

Killswitch Engage – Incarnate. The second album after the return of Jesse was better than the first, and that’s saying something, because Disarm The Descent was great.

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Top 3 Concerts of 2016

By Eric | January 1, 2017 10:46 pm

Considering I only went to 8 shows all year, even doing a top 5 would be kind of worthless. But for posterity, here’s the best 3 out of those 8!

3. 07/24/2016 Disturbed, Breaking Benjamin, Alter Bridge, Saint Asonia (Darien, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center)

The big ol’ radio rock show didn’t disappoint. Solid sets from everyone.

2. 09/28/2016 Clutch, Zakk Sabbath, Kyng (Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom)

Getting to see Clutch now that I knew all their stuff, plus seeing Zakk Wylde cover Black Sabbath, makes for a great night.

1. 08/31/2016 Prophets Of Rage, Wakrat (Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theater)

Having never seen RATM, Cypress Hill, nor Public Enemy, this was a chance to get a taste of all three… and hot damn did they blow the roof off the place. Fantastic “old-school” show.

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Korn – 2016 – The Serenity Of Suffering

By Eric | December 18, 2016 6:00 pm

Artist: Korn
Title: The Serenity Of Suffering
Label: Roadrunner
Released: Oct 21, 2016
Packaging: Jewel Case
Pack-in DVD?
Release Type: Standard
Autographed?

Tracklist:

#Insane
#Rotting In Vain
#Black Is The Soul
#The Hating
#A Different World
#Take Me
#Everything Falls Apart
#Die Yet Another Night
#When You’re Not There
#Next In Line
#Please Come For Me

Review:


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Metallica – 2016 – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

By Eric | December 11, 2016 6:00 pm

Artist: Metallica
Title: Hardwired…To Self-Destruct
Label: Blackened Recordings
Released: Nov 18, 2016
Packaging: Digipack
Pack-in DVD?
Release Type: Standard
Autographed?

Tracklist:

#Hardwired
#Atlas, Rise!
#Now That We’re Dead
#Moth Into Flame
#Dream No More
#Halo On Fire

#Confusion
#Manunkind
#Here Comes Revenge
#Am I Savage?
#Murder One
#Spit Out The Bone

Review:


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Lamb of God – 2016 – The Duke EP

By Eric | November 23, 2016 6:00 pm

Artist: Lamb of God
Title: The Duke EP
Label: Epic
Released: Nov 18, 2016
Packaging: Jewel Case
Pack-in DVD?
Release Type: Standard
Autographed?

Tracklist:

#The Duke
#Culling
#Still Echoes (Live from Rock Am Ring)
#512 (Live from Bonnaroo)
#Engage the Fear Machine (Live from Bonnaroo)

Review:


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11/22/2016 Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Sixx A.M. (Rochester, NY @ Blue Cross Arena)

By Eric | November 23, 2016 4:50 pm

[As Lions was first on, didn’t see them.]

I missed As Lions, and found Pete and his buddy almost as soon as I got on the floor. We ended up camping out to the left of the soundboard for the entire show; a nice vantage point, no one really around us. I got down there with Sixx AM already on, and for knowing approximately zero songs, they were pretty good. I know they’ve been around a bit, and all of the guys are seasoned performers, so no surprise there. Most of the crowd seemed pretty familiar with them and were into it, which always bodes well for an arena show.

Sixx AM
——-
This Is Gonna Hurt
Rise
When We Were Gods
We Will Not Go Quietly
Everything Went to Hell
Prayers for the Damned
Lies of the Beautiful People
Stars
Life Is Beautiful

It somehow had been six years since I’d last seen Shinedown (Carnival of Madness at CMAC in 2010), so I was fairly excited to see them again. The stage show was fantastic, the setlist had a good spread (although nothing from Us & Them; no Heroes, Save Me, or I Dare You), the band was on point, and Brent sounded good, all things considered. Eric and Zach singing background has helped these performances immensely. Being back by the soundboard had its perks for this show, as there was a small auxiliary stage right behind the board, and Brent came through the crowd to use it for the closer, Sound of Madness. Always a nice touch for the people in the back. It was your typical solid Shinedown show. They’re always good.

2016-11-22 21.14.15 - shinedown

Shinedown
———
Adrenaline
Fly From the Inside
Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
Unity
How Did You Love
Enemies
Call Me
State of My Head
Second Chance
Cut the Cord
Simple Man
Sound of Madness

Fly From The Inside

Sound Of Madness

It had been quite awhile since I’d seen Five Finger Death Punch also (November 2011 in Niagara Falls), and this was the first time seeing them in a big place, everywhere else had been 1000-seaters or under (save for the Mayhem side stage). Ivan was still doing okay at this point (he’d leave the tour 8 days later, and Phil Labonte from All That Remains filled in for the last couple dates), so we saw the whole band. They certainly have the stage presence to do the big shows, and the fanbase to fill the arenas, but something was missing from the performance to me. They were “good”, but they weren’t “great”. The setlist was fine, they sounded fine, and the acoustic songs (Wrong Side of Heaven and Remember Everything) were fine, but it was almost like the energy was lacking. I can’t help but think that FFDP work better in the smaller places, where the crowd is more intimate, and they’re right on top of the band. Maybe I’d feel different if I was smashed up front, not sure. I had a good time at the show, but I’m not sure FFDP is at the top of the “must see” list if it’s going to be this big of a show again – perhaps at the Armory.

Five Finger Death Punch
———————–
Lift Me Up
Never Enough
Wash It All Away
Got Your Six
Bad Company
Jekyll and Hyde
Drum Solo
Burn MF
The Agony of Regret
Wrong Side of Heaven [acoustic]
Remember Everything [acoustic]
Coming Down
Under and Over It
The Bleeding

Lift Me Up

Wrong Side of Heaven

Coming Down

2016-11-22 FFDP / Shinedown

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