I’m going to exit the rock ‘n roll highway for a second. Not to worry, it’s more like visiting a rest stop than getting off the interstate to go see Seattle’s Gum Wall. So go get yourself a Slim Jim and a soda, and come on back and sit for a spell.
I went to the Barnes Foundation recently to see a new exhibit entitled “Picasso: The Great War, Experimentation and Change.” It’s running through May 9, 2016, so if you are thinking about going, recognize that time is running out. I’ll get back to the Picasso exhibit, but first a bit of background.
For those of you not familiar with the Barnes, it is an art collection that was established almost 100 years ago by Dr. Albert Barnes, a Philadelphia physician who became fabulously rich through the development of Argyrol, an antiseptic used to prevent blindness and eye infections in newborns. Barnes used his money to start buying art, but not just for display purposes. He ultimately established an educational foundation to teach art to students, and like a lot of rich guys, he did it his own way. So the Barnes has a very eclectic approach to displaying art: you will see paintings, metalwork, decorative art, furniture and the like, and from very mixed provenances around the globe, all displayed in “ensembles” (i.e., a wall in the museum). There is no explanation that exists for why Barnes displayed certain pieces together, but it’s different and interesting, and allows everyone to establish their own theory about what Barnes was up to.
And what a collection! Barnes sent his long-time friend, William Glackens (the so-called American Renoir, but I think only by those who don’t care for Renoir) to Paris to buy some art. Glackens came back with about 35 paintings by now legendary artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Renoir and other contemporary Parisian artists. Barnes greatly added to this base of works, and his collection grew into one of the most important assemblages of post-impressionist and modern art in the U.S., if not the world. It has the largest collection of Renoirs anywhere on the globe, as well as vast assortments of work by Cezanne, Matisse and Glackens. It also has impressive works by Modigliani, Van Gogh, Rousseau and Picasso.
Personally, I love the Modigliani’s, Matisse’s and Renoir’s the best. It’s not that every one of the paintings by these artists is my favorite, but there are such wonderful paintings by each that it is hard not to feel moved by them. The Modigliani’s carry his signature elongated humans, and their faces are almost always mask-like: the eyes have no irises or pupils, and the facial expressions are blank. I guess this is intended to have you focus on the remainder of the human figure, but I can never stop looking back at the faces, too. They’re really haunting and fascinating to me. And the Matisse’s! I love them – some have lots of movement (such as dancers) or harken back to Greek themes, such as naked people in a mythical natural setting. But there are others that explore a darker side to human emotion. And there is an amazing triptych of three sisters that is both traditional and thoroughly modern. His work is the basis for much of modern art, and it is GREAT. The Renoir’s are not all masterpieces – there are simply too many of them in this collection, and some of the impressionistic landscapes have been knocked off so much they look like something you could buy at a department store or Ocean Gallery on the Boardwalk. But there are also amazing scenes of people, many of them mothers with children, that are just beautiful. And the dreamlike quality of the paint texture adds to the moods of many of them.
But I digress. The Barnes has also been the subject of a bitter controversy in Philadelphia. It was established and run for most of its existence in the Main Line suburb of Merion. But there was a tremendous amount of litigation involving Dr. Barnes’s will and the financial viability of the Foundation, and lo and behold, the entire collection is now sitting on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia. I was never convinced that the neighborhood in Merion was very fond of the traffic that this collection brought, but once the big powers in Philadelphia started to hover around the collection, the Merion populace rose up to fight it. There is an excellent movie about the entire episode called The Art of the Steal, and I highly recommend that you check it out on Netflix. It tells one side of the story, and it certainly doesn’t heap praise on the powerful interests in Philadelphia that ultimately won.
So back to the Picasso exhibit. I generally like Picasso. He left behind an incredibly large legacy of paintings, prints, sketches, and sculptures, and he explored many styles. In Ottawa a few years back, we went to a Picasso show, and it was one of the best and most comprehensive exhibits of a single artist that I have ever seen. But the Barnes exhibit is much more focused on a period in Picasso’s life, and ends up truly focused on the birth of cubism by Picasso and Georges Braque.
If you like cubism, you will like this show. I am ambivalent about the style. I think it is interesting to see the interpretive and creative renderings of familiar objects in a very different style that is both jarring and alarming. But it also seems impersonal, sometimes too abstract, and lacking in high artistic accomplishment. Nonetheless, the exhibit, although rather small, does project a space in time that is critical and fundamental to modern and contemporary art. The Barnes also has a short film that helps to set the scene, and I recommend that you see the film first. I would not recommend that you go to the Barnes just to see the Picasso exhibit. But if you are in Philadelphia with a few hours to spare, you cannot go wrong seeing the Barnes. It’s just that good.
A couple of quick comments about the practicalities of your visit. First, the Barnes isn’t cheap - $25 per person for general admission. Second, there is very limited parking in the area, so assume you will be doing some walking. Next, take the time to see the Picasso exhibit, but DO NOT miss the permanent collection – it is truly one of America’s great smaller museums, occupying the space in Philadelphia that the Frick holds in New York, the Isabella Stewart Gardner has in Boston, and the Phillips commands in Washington. In other words, it’s not the biggest or most comprehensive museum in the city, but it’s outstanding and world-class, and if you are an art lover, a collection that should not be missed. Finally, we first went to the top floor in our last visit, which is less crowded and holds the majority of the Matisse works, and it worked well for avoiding some of the crowds on the first floor. But see it all – it’s not so extensive that you can’t take visit each room in a few hours of time.
I took a picture of the new building, which you can see below. Now, I think it might be time to listen to some tunes. Enjoy your day, and thanks for reading.
I’ve seen a lot of concerts, but one artist that I never saw was Prince. He was most definitely on my list, but alas, the dream of seeing him perform will be unrealized. Prince died today at the “young” age of 57. Like most untimely deaths, it was unexpected. That doesn’t mean it was shocking – after all, the rock ‘n roll death toll is huge and filled with people who didn’t get their full allocation of American life expectancy. We’re used to this in some sort of way, right? But it was saddening and a bummer for those of us who were fans.
And how could you not like Prince? The guy was flamboyant in dress and style. He wrote great songs full of hooks and melody, loading many of them up with raunchy, sexually charged lyrics. And he dabbled in so many musical styles that it is hard to characterize his genre: funk, rock, soul, pop, electronica – you name it, he incorporated it into his repertoire. Most of all, he loved to make you dance and get those gadunks working.
I’m always glad to see an artist hail from a place that no one expects. It proves that great talent and world-changing ideas and creativity surround each of us no matter where we live. Prince was from Minnesota, not New York or California. Now, there are some great bands and artists from Minnesota, like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, but it’s not exactly the first city that comes to mind when thinking of musical hot beds.
I’ll miss the dude. Yes, I will. But he left behind a large catalogue that deserves further exploration and examination. I started some of that review today on the way home from work, and was rocking out pretty hard by the time I got home. I wasn’t sad, but actually happy because the music is so infectious and grooving. But as I write this, I’m more melancholy about the world losing another talented and influential American musical artist. RIP, Prince.
I'm just messing around with the Weebly site, and wanted to try to link a video from YouTube. This song was stuck in my head all day, and I love it. I love dancing to it, and since it's from the '80s, I love the suits and the choreographed dance moves in the video. And it proves that I don't just love power pop, punk, punk pop, metal and other forms of guitar-based glory. So have fun with it: assuming the link works, go ahead and close the door, turn the volume up, dance around the room like a crazy person, and ROCK STEADY!
So I don't know quite how to control all of the different "elements" that you can use to modify a Weebly website. I drag and click like they tell me to do, and all kinds of weird things happen. So forgive me as I get my bearings on this thing and try to get it looking a bit more professional.
I designed a new logo for the BRP.com website, and will use it as a break between blog entries. I think it's kind of cool. I also think it's kind of cheesy. But I like cool and I like cheese, so I'm going to stick with it for a bit. Maybe I'll get t-shirts made up with the logo and wear it to shows. Yep, it's official - I'm losing my mind.
Hey, I've been watching some interesting stuff on TV lately. If you get MTV Live (the former Palladia), they have four shows that I like. One is Live From Daryl's House. It stars Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates, and is an hour-long show that has Daryl invite some musician, and then they jam together, have a meal together, and hang out at Daryl's home studio. I've seen Mayer Hawthorne and Billy Gibbons (from ZZ Top) on the show, and it's pretty cool. Oh, and one time Daryl was lecturing some younger musician and telling him how hard it is to make it in the music world. You have to bring it every day, Daryl said, because there are so many other guys trying to become stars and take your spot. That must be why Hall & Oates played about an hour and fifteen minutes when opening up the new Philly Fillmore venue? But they gave out cool posters marking the opening of the new venue. And, yes, of course I was there! I love Hall & Oates, it was Philly, and it was F-U-N.
Another show, and the one that is my favorite, is Later ... With Jools Holland. This one is from the BBC, so it's financed well. Jools formerly played with one of my all-time favorite bands, Squeeze, as well as leading his own band, Jools Holland and the Millionaires. Now he hosts a show that is set in a studio with multiple stages, and he simply goes from stage to stage introducing a number of bands, each of whom will play a song or two. They stand around waiting to play and watching the other bands the rest of the time. And these aren't a bunch of "never heard of them" bands, either. I've seen Paul McCartney (surprisingly good for a founder of AARP), Neil Diamond (he played Forever in Blue Jeans, which I accompanied by barfing), the Strypes (a very hot new band that sound like a modern version of the original British Invasion bands), David Gilmore, Katy Perry, etc. It's a great way to check out new acts, and to reacquaint yourself with some older ones. By the way, when Neil Diamond plugged in, it was to an IV, not a guitar - that dude is OLD. We'll revisit the too old to rock 'n roll, too young to die thing in another post.
Up next is the well-known Austin City Limits. You probably already know this one - it's essentially a concert show, with all of that format's pros and cons. But they get great bands. And for whatever reason, music just sounds better coming from Austin.
The last one is Front and Center, another concert-type show. They sometimes have lesser known acts, but big stars play it, too. Christina Perri, Cyndi Lauper, Grouplove, Train have all been featured, along with someone called Alt-J. Who the heck is Alt-J?
OK, in my last post, I said I was going to do the Barnes Museum next, but I clearly got sidetracked. I promise to get to that topic soon. In the meantime, have fun, enjoy some good music, and rock it hard!
Oh, and here's a photo of a guy I just randomly saw in Austin the last time I was there - it's my favorite Austin picture. Check out the hat! It's a freakin' horse - you wouldn't see that anywhere but Texas, right? Haha, it's crazy. And there is another photo of a band that was simply tearing it up in some Austin 6th Street bar. I mean, these guys were playing as though the future of the free world depended upon them giving it their all. We just wandered in, and there was no stage. They were right there, almost in the doorway. We just stopped and watched them - they were amazing. I wish I knew who they were - if you recognize them, let me know. I blurred the picture and made it dark just to make it a little more difficult for you.
See you on the flip side soon. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed.
Two shows in three nights. Another banner week for the Kid, and let me tell you, these were two very different shows in two nice venues. Funny, but neither one had an opening act. It was down to business right away.
On Wednesday, it was off to the Keswick Theater in Glenside to see Robin Trower. Now I’m old as dirt, but Trower has 15 years on me, meaning he was around for the Big Bang. But he’s still on tour, probably because his retirement plan needs a boost. Anyway, Trower is British, played with Procol Harum in the ‘60s (the real big bang), and then set off on his own with a power trio. His most famous album, and the one I’m most familiar with, is Bridge of Sighs and was put out in 1974. I own it on vinyl, and wore down one side of it in college.
Trower is known for his guitar jams, and he does have a way with a Stratocaster. But he isn’t Mr. Personality on the stage. In fact, I think he said “thank you” and “you’re a great crowd,” and that’s about it. At least he wasn’t an obnoxious jerk with the audience like the young Elvis Costello, but a little banter could have helped.
The essential Bridge of Sighs songs were played, and that pleased the crowd. There was a lot of blues-based material, and his trio powered through. He didn’t play long – only about 1:40 – but it was more than enough for me. There is no doubt that Robin is a guitar master, and he can make a lot of sounds come out of that Fender. But there wasn’t a lot of dynamism on the stage, the crowd pretty much sat in their seats and bobbed their heads, and I was home by 10:30. Not exactly hot times in the city.
As for the venue, the Keswick is an old movie theater that was reborn into a music venue a while ago. A lot of bands come through, but since the place holds a few thousand, the bands have to have enough popularity to make the event economical. By the way, the Trower show was far from sold out, but I would say that the crowd filled about ¾ of the theater. Acoustics are good, sight lines are fine, but there is nothing fancy in the lighting or stage set. The seats are relatively close together (not so ungodly as the Tower Theater, but you still have to stand up every time someone comes or goes), and they can move a bit so that you can either sit straight up or slide the seat forward and lean back a bit. The place could use a bit of refurbishing, but it’s a good venue, close, with free parking, and for those who like to drink, it sells beer. For those who need to get rid of the beer before they leave, be sure to give yourself ample time as there is only one restroom and it’s small and crowded.
Friday night brought a very different band to the area. The Feelies ain’t young, either, but man, this was a GREAT show. The band has been around since the mid-1970s, and were a big influence on early REM (you know, back when REM was good). It’s obvious that REM liked the jangling, hook-filled and layered guitar sound. They’re hard not to like if you like rock music. The Feelies formed during the eruption of music that spawned the punk/new wave scene, and had a unique sound that set them apart. Ultimately, the band released four or five albums, broke up in the early ‘90s, took about 15 years off, and then reformed for small reunion tours about 7 or 8 years ago. This is the first time I have seen them, but if luck plays out for me, it won’t be the last.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes up a great show. I think it’s a combination of things. You have to like the band (a lot) and know their music well enough so that you can recognize most of the songs. The band has to bring it, be well-rehearsed, pick good songs to play, and basically leave it all on stage. Your frame of mind has to be right – you know, it’s better to be in a party mood than to be hangdog about something or other. The venue and crowd have to be top-notch. And it helps to have the show on a weekend night when people are more likely to want to stay up late and have a good time.
The Feelies first performance in Delaware (and they’re from NJ!) on Friday had all of those things. The show was at the Queen in Wilmington, which is one of my two favorite Philly – area venues (along with Union Transfer). The acoustics are just terrific, and the space has a great combination of new and old, with a sweeping balcony, high roof and low-key blue-lighted dome at the top. There is a bar at the back where all rock ‘n roll venues ought to have their bar, and it serves a wide assortment of micros. The space is great, and it’s small so there isn’t a bad spot in the club. It’s cool. I’ve seen a lot of bands there (Los Lonely Boys, Rev. Horton Heat, Southern Culture on the Skids, Rosie Flores, Old 97’s, the English Beat, Joe Ely, and others that aren’t coming to mind at the moment) and never had a bad experience. Parking is simple to find on the street, and if you can’t find a street spot, it’s $5 to park in a connected parking garage. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
Friday’s crowd, while healthy, was moderately sized so that you had space and the ability to move to the music. There were not a lot of people pushing and shoving, and as my pictures show, we were as close as you can come to the stage. In fact, the crowd was amazingly polite, happy, and fun to be with.
And the band was on fire. Again, this isn’t a band with a lot of crowd interaction, but they played all of their great tunes, never slowed it down for a boring ballad nor stopped the momentum of the show with those famous words “and now we’ll play something from our upcoming new album.” Instead, the lights went down at 8 pm, the band came out and smoked through an hour-long set, took about a 25 minute break, then played another 1 ½ hours. They played five, yes five, covers to close the show with songs from Jonathan Richman (“Astral Plane”), Bob Dylan (“Seven Days”), the Stones (“Paint it Black”), the Beatles (sorry, can’t remember the song title) and Lou Reed ("I Can't Stand It"). The band played about 2 ½ hours and the crowd would have gladly stayed for more.
The band has 5 members, with Bill Million and Glenn Mercer being the up-front guitarists. They have two guys playing percussion: one is a drummer who looks like an accountant with his glasses and balding head, but the dude can play. And the other is a very intense guy with white socks and who plays a snare, marraccas, bells, tambourine, a rain stick, wood blocks, and whatever else he can hit with a stick. I’m not quite sure which one is which, but their names are Dave Weckerman and Stan Demeski. The bassist is Brenda Sauter who stands pretty still and lays down a mean bass line that keeps the band rolling. They are very tight and have obviously played a lot together.
In the pictures below, check out the talismen on the amplifiers. I'm not sure what that is all about. Oh, and when Brenda came out wearing glasses for the encores, it became obvious that the Feelies have a terrific vision care benefit plan.
Here’s a link to their website: http://www.thefeeliesweb.com/
Check out the pics. By the way, I've now upgraded to an iPhone 6, and the camera is superior to the old iPhone 5. It also helps to be really close to the stage. I really like some of these photos, and hope that you will, too.
Thanks for reading and I'll be back next with something different: a quick review of the Barnes Museum's new Picasso show, as well as some thoughts on the Barnes itself. OK? And check out the new BillyRocksPhilly logo at the very bottom - kind of cool, right? Hope you like it.
I’m taking this week off from seeing any shows. So what else can I bore you with? How about some news from jolly old England, the surprising ancestral home of many reading this blog. I’m not sure whether you know about this or not, but the Sex Pistols famous song, “Anarchy in the U.K.,” turns 40 this year, and the Brits are celebrating this by having museum exhibitions, movie (oops, sorry, “film”) showings, and other fun-for-the-family events to commemorate the occasion. The Wall Street Journal and Spin, among others, have each written stories about the happenings, including the very odd story that Malcolm McLaren’s son, Joseph Corré, is going to burn his horde of punk memorabilia worth about $7 million because … he’s a dick? That’s so punk? I don’t know what he is thinking.
A couple of points on this. The British like to grab the credit for the invention of punk, but are they serious? I still think that Iggy Pop was the original punker, and that the Ramones beat the Sex Pistols to the game by a few years. But to be fair to the UK, in 1976 they did take it well beyond what was happening in the U.S. And the bands that they put out! I still listen to the Sex Pistols on occasion (Lately, I've been particularly partial to the song EMI), and I often listen to the Clash, Buzzcocks, Jam, Damned, etc. Yes, the Ramones, too, but damn, they had some talent over there. Credit where credit is due.
Another point is kind of the same question that you might ask about the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame: that is, should punk be commemorated at all (or should the Hall exist)? I mean, rock ‘n roll was founded to be all about rebellion and non-conformity, and how conformist is an exhibit at the British Library or an I.M. Pei designed-museum sitting on Lake Erie? Now, don’t get me wrong, I would go to both (and, in fact, have been to the Hall) – I’m a bit of a museum geek, and I love rock memorabilia, so it’s a match made in heaven. But when you get back to the rock ethos, the reason for its existence (should I throw in a French phrase now? Nah, I went to a state school), it’s most basic roots, rock, and certainly not punk, wasn’t meant for these places.
But the point behind the exhibitions and the Hall isn’t really about rock, right? It’s more about the social movements that have been spawned from the music. For punk, it was a huge shift from the hippie bullshit days of peace, love and harmony to the hard reality of the late 1970s western world: Jobs were scarce, globalization was moving industry to Asia, “there was no future and England’s dreaming.” It was a grim time, and the nihilism and social pathos played out in the punk rock movement. Who else would put a safety pin through their cheek, or spend a concert lobbing gobs of spit at the band and vice-versa? So that is what the museums are trying to capture, I think, the movement itself and not the music. The music is what it is – some stands the test of time, some falls into the dustbin.
Now, the other question that these exhibits ask is whether punk rock is dead. No, emphatically. There are still great punkers out there (Titus Andronicus, anyone?). And, the end of the punk revolution in England didn’t mean it was over in the U.S. In fact, I hate to admit this, but Los Angeles put out some terrific punk bands in the 80s, like X and Black Flag, and their music also stands the test of time. Too bad that L.A. was also putting out the Eagles and other shit commercial bands at the same time, thus proving that marketing and making money has always been part of rock history, too, but we Americans had some great punk bands, too (I didn’t mention the Dead Kennedys because they were from the Bay Area – that means Annapolis, right? – but they are also in the pantheon of U.S. punk rock national institutions, too). Even DC got into the act with bands like Minor Threat and Government Issue. And the movement continues, thank the Lord.
One other question: why does 40 years spawn this nostalgia? Why wasn’t this done at the 35th anniversary or why didn't it wait until "Anarchy in the UK" hit 50? Hell if I know. All I know is that we like anniversaries, commemorations, traditions, etc., and we like them on even blocks of years. We also like top ten lists, lists of the “best,” and other subjective trivialities, and rock is not immune to this human trait.
So there it is. If you get a chance to go to London and enjoy the punk commemorative events, be sure to spit on the Queen if you see her. And since you are American, give her a good “gabba gabba hey,” for measure. Punk on!
So I had a big weekend. Want to hear about it? Then keep on reading.
I started the weekend by going yet again to Union Transfer, this time on Friday night to see Wolf Alice. If you don't know this band, shame on you, but they are a four-piece outfit from London. Don't let their lousy name deter you from giving them a listen. The lead singer is Ellie Roswell, and she also plays rhythm guitar. The lead guitarist is Joff Oddie and I'll get back to him in just a bit. WA would be best described as an indie rock band, whatever the hell that means now other than the fact that they don't get any real radio airplay in the U.S.
I would describe this band as one that covers a lot of ground, from a melodic, dreamy vocal-based style to grungy guitar-based rock. Usually in the same song. Ellie has a beautiful and wide-ranging voice, and uses two microphones, one for the dreamy chanting/vocalizing and the other for lyrics. Whatever, it works.
Joff can play the guitar and seems clearly fascinated with technical trickery to bring out more noise. He's good. But he also has a distracting style on stage when it is his turn to solo. My wife described it as "he looks like he is trying to avoid being stung by a bee." Funny, but true - he is herky-jerky and flailing around on stage in a memorable way, but not the memorable you dream about when playing guitar hero. The other members of the band gave him a wide berth when he was soloing. The rest of the band was the typical rhythm section, staying out of the way and driving the songs.
WA only has one album out (My Love is Cool) - it's good, you should listen - so they played a bit over an hour. That was fine as it was Friday night and I didn't want to be out too late anyway after a long week of work. We went with friends who didn't really know the band, and they enjoyed the show, too, proving that I'm not a complete idiot (I did use the word "complete" in that last sentence).
A two-piece band called Slaves (UK) opened for WA. One shirtless guy played the drums (no kick drum) and the other guy played either bass or six-string guitar. They had one song out of their set that was ok, the rest was loud and kind of sucked. Hey fellas, screaming at the top of your lungs over and over is not pleasing to the ears, ok? And put on a shirt.
Here's a link to Wolf Alice's official site.
And a couple of crappy iPhone 5 photos taken by yours truly.
On to Gregg Allman.
So that's how Friday went down. On Saturday night, it was off to the hub of rock 'n roll, Bethlehem, PA, to see Gregg Allman perform at the Sands Casino. OK, ok, I know that bands on the casino circuit are a bunch of has-been, money-grubbing, over-the-hill, sorry sacks of whatever. But not Gregg. Well, he may be, but the guy has an awesome backup band with a full horn section, and he travels with his huge Hammond organ thus giving it his best shot.
This is the second time I've seen Gregg solo in about a year and a half. I was a little concerned about his general state last night. He seemed a bit more feeble than previously, and he was having trouble remembering vocals (he needed a music stand with the lyrics for a song, hmmm) and, oops, the names of the members of his band (needed a cheat sheet for that, too). But other than that, he was in fine form. I've always loved his voice, believing him to be one of the best blues vocalists out there. It has that rich but gravely texture that is much imitated but seldom matched. His voice is still true and I credit that to the fact that he was never a screamer (Axl Rose, beware).
The band was rocking and they can simply jam. These are really great musicians that Gregg has brought together, that's a for sure. And when you can play songs like "Melissa" (one of my all-time favorites, written by Gregg when he was in his teens), "One Way Out," "Statesboro Blues," "I'm No Angel," and ending with Dickie Betts "Southbound," well, you know it's a great show.
Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers has a band that plays a mix of blues and jazz, and they opened for Gregg. They were good. I'm a sucker for the blues live, and they put on a nice little show.
As for the venue, it was a really pleasant surprise. It helps to be in the 6th row (asshole alert, I know), but the acoustics were great, and the sightlines are terrific. The stage is about 5 feet high, so there is good visibility for everyone. The "events center" should have had a sloped floor for those in the back, but hey, I was up front so who cares? The crowd was a lot older than the Wolf Alice crowd, and sang along at inappropriate times. I'm sorry, I came to hear Gregg Allman sing, not some hillbilly from the Poconos in white tennis shoes with a mostly bald head but with just enough hair to sport a greasy gray pony tail, too. And security was anal, and I mean ANAL, about people taking videos with their phones - guys, I'm sorry, but EVERYONE has a phone now, and it's just reality that they are going to use the video feature A LOT. But back to the venue - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it as it seats a few thousand and there truly can't be a bad seat in the house.
You can find a ton of info about Gregg on the net, so no links. But here are a couple of photos.
How did you spend Easter Sunday? I was in the rock 'n roll church called Union Transfer seeing Titus Andronicus. Do you know this band? They are funny - their website says that they have been specializing in punk solutions since 2005. Titus is led by Patrick Stickles, a very un-punk like personality but cool, funny and a guy who can craft great get-up-and go songs with a lot of heart. I haven't seen a band with three guitarists for a long time; it reminded me of the old southern rock bands like the Outlaws, Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet - a thick wall of sound used by Titus for a different purpose, but I love them all anyway. More on southern rock in a different post.
Here's a link to their official site:
Check them out. I also uploaded a couple of crappy photos taken with an iPhone 5 - if you have one, you know how much the camera sucks and how much you envy the guy with the Samsung getting the good shots. Anyway, the pictures give you a sense of what was happening there on Sunday, but don't capture the humor of Patrick, the LOUDNESS of the band, the energy of the songs, or the moshing/crowd surfing taking place.
Have a good weekend!
My name is Bill, and I live in the greater Philadelphia area. I love music, and I have a lot of opinions. This site is primarily focused on music, but sometimes I get off track. I hope you enjoy.