Little Lies and Massive Dreams

My name is Bear. I play in a band called Talking About Commas and live and work in Providence, RI. I like music.
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Jul 3, 2008

Pearl Jam wraps up tour in Mansfield

So last week I finally crossed out one of my top “bands I need to see live before I die” at Great Woods (now the Comcast Center – but not in my book) with Seattle rockers Pearl Jam. I’ve always loved Pearl Jam since Ten came out when I was 11 years old, but lost touch with their music in the middle years (Yield, Binaural). I got back into them when Riot Act came out but never had a chance to see them live. I figured they were the type of band that hits the road and plays the crap out of whatever album they are supporting and maybe throw in some older hits. Boy was I wrong.

As the lights dimmed before 20,000 screaming fans at PJ’s final show of their summer tour, I started to get giddy. I haven’t seen a massive show (one at an arena, amphitheatre type place with over 10,000 people) since my days of following Phish. It’s really an amazing feeling to been in the same “room” as 20,000 people – the energy makes you feel alive. When the first chords of “Wash” ( a old gem that appears on the band’s Lost Dogs compilation and hasn’t been played live in 2 years!) delighted the screaming fans, I knew I spent my $70 wisely.

Eddie and company launched into an eclectic, energetic set mixing an equal amount of songs from ALL their albums. Present were the monster hits like “Better Man”, “Alive” and “Elderly Woman…” but they also treated fans to rarities like “Bee Girl”, “Footsteps” and “Garden”. The band was tight, the sound was great for a huge shed but most impressive was the ragin’ light show they brought that you don’t often see in the rock world (what I mean is not just a huge stage production, but a cohesive light show that feeds off every sonic crest and trough, every musical turn...and vise versa). The only thing I could have done with out was Vedder's preachiness about Bush and the war in Iraq. I totally agree with his viewpoint, but I don't really know why being a great singer gives him the right to rant about politics. But hey that is kind of his M.O. and that was probably the 2 bottles of wine (that he drank on stage) talking. So I'll let it slide.

In this day of hyped up indie bands that can’t fill a 60 minute set to save their lives, it’s refreshing to hear a band with over a dozen albums (including live releases) celebrate its entire repertoire with attentive, participating (sing-a-longs, synchronized hand gestures etc) fans that know and love that whole repertoire. It gives me hope that music lovers are still willing to grow with a band and not leave them for the next best thing. I’m now a full convert into the genius and superior rockademics of Pearl Jam. They are perhaps America’s greatest candidate to represent us in a worldwide battle of the rock and roll bands. You better believe I will be making every attempt to see PJ next time they're in my area. Check out the set list and some vids I found on youtube below

Set List: Wash, Last Exit, Save You, Severed Hand, Animal, MFC, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, 1/2 Full, Corduroy, Given To Fly, Even Flow, Education, Satan's Bed, Whipping, Glorified G, Do The Evolution

encore: Bee Girl, Who You Are, Better Man(Save it for Later), Garden, Why Go

encore 2: No More, Once, Footsteps, Alive, Rockin' In The Free World

I have seen the Light...and it is Big!

A new wing of the ever growing White Thighs music collective has just spread its wings. Some of my good friends and band mates have released a brand spanking new 7 song EP on reapandsow records. With a couple reworked White Thighs west coast staples ("Heavy" and "Separation Anxiety"), a Nathan Moore cover ("Safe and Sorry") and some delicious new gems; the EP will have you humming their indie-rock melodies all day long. Although 4 guys in the band are among the dozen or so members of the bi-coastal cult outfit, the White Thighs, don't expect any cheeky hijinks here. Big Light is quite a departure from the White Thighs patented goofball motifs as Torphy explains in new verse of "Heavy" that "We lost our funny but we found our sound".

San Francisco's Big Light is the brainchild of Fred Torphy, Jamie Fordyce and Bradly Bifulco and with the addition of keyboardist Colin Hoops (Kanvus), bassist Steve Adams (ALO), multi-instrumentalist Dan Hurley (Two Out Rally) and percussionist Cochrane McMillan they are now a 7-ball wrecking crew. Check out their music here then go by their new EP and go see them live this summer (if you happen to live in California). They are about to head out on the road with Surprise Me Mr. Davis after 2 sets at the wonderful High Sierra Music Festy this weekend in Quincy, CA. In the famous words of Al Cerrone "You'll be glad you did!"