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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Jan 7, 2011

Hey Phish, "Welcome tah Wustah, dawlah twuntee fiave"

Phish 3.0's first shows at the Worcester Centrum (now the DCU Center) proved a nice warm up to NYE in NYC but the band obviously saved the big stuff for MSG. However, I went on night 2 and had a blast. I can't over analyze Phish shows anymore because it gives me a headache. There are always imperfections and slow/new numbers that don't stand out but overall this band kills it on a nightly basis.

The first set was book-ended by new songs from Joy but in between we got a huge bust out - a cover of Taj Mahal's "She Caught the Katy (And Left me a Mule to Ride)" (first since 1998) - solid versions of "Stash" and "Wolfman's Brother" and a hilarious beginning to "Alaska" complete with Trey playing a Sarah Palin doll in to the mic. The doll was loaded with vocal samples of pure Palinisms like “We eat therefore we hunt it”, “pretty relevant important stuff, to me anyway” and “yeah quit makin things up”. The band's vocals were a little off due to Trey's hoarse voice but musically, they were dead on.

The second set started with a nice "Carini" but it never entered the major key jam realm as it has the past year. A nice "Back on the Train" > "Limb by Limb" heated things up before the cool down mid second set, which was eventually saved by "Harry Hood". And what a "Hood" it was. Atypical to most "Hood's" this one featured strong band interplay and bouncy, staccato rhythmic jamming before cruising back in to the climax we all know and love. A solid yet uneventful "Bug" closed the show before a great encore of the Rolling Stone's Exile on Main St classic “Shine a Light” which ushered the almost capacity crowd in to the cold night with warm hearts and big smiles.

Venue Info:

beer sitch:
$7 Miller Lite's
Street parking if you get there right at 6pm (when the 2hour limit stops) or Garages/Lots for $20+
Arena, end stage
14,900 (95% capacity)

Set List from
Set 1: Kill Devil Falls, My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own, Alaska[1], She Caught the Katy and Left Me a Mule to Ride, Wolfman's Brother, Pigtail[2], Stash, Bouncing Around the Room > Rift, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Birdwatcher[3]

Set 2: Carini > Backwards Down the Number Line > Back on the Train[4] -> Limb By Limb > The Wedge > Frankie Says > Albuquerque, Harry Hood > Bug

Encore: Shine a Light

[1] Trey used a device that played Sarah Palin quotes. [2] Debut. [3] Phish Debut. [4] Streets of Cairo tease from Trey.
Notes: She Caught the Katy was last performed on July 21, 1998 (323 shows). Trey used a device that played Sarah Palin quotes during Alaska and after the debut of Pigtail. This show also featured the Phish debut of Birdwatcher. Back on the Train featured a Streets of Cairo tease from Trey.

Jan 6, 2011

Surprise, It's the Slip

Let me start of by saying sometimes things happen for a reason. Sometimes you can expect something and then be blown away by the unexpected. What I expected to see on December 27th at the Narrows was a show by Surprise Me Mr Davis, but due to a blizzard what I got was a sprawling 2 set throw-down of songs new, old and virtually forgotten by my favorite band on the planet. Instead of cancelling the show due to 2 members not making it, the Slip (the trio are 3/5 of Davis) decided to go ahead with the show.

I have been seeing the Slip for 14 years and have loved them through every twist and turn in their musical style (and trust me there have been a few) but it's not often we get them all in one show. The show started on the quiet side with beautiful renditions of "74" and the much coveted but unreleased "Reddish Moon" before bringing down the house with the new "Give the Devil Back His Heart"(found on the Barr Brothers record). The boys seemed loose and playful; willing to reach deep in to their catalog to please the crowd that dug themselves out of the previous day's blizzard to make the show. Inspired by taking requests for the 2nd set they shocked us with stellar versions of "Headshot > Meowskers" (featuring the tastiest bass solo ever) and old favorites like the "Weight of Solomon" (w/ Brad on piano) and the latin jazz of "Yellow Medicine" which hasn't been played in years.

Many people have argued that the Slip has forgotten about the old stuff and play the same old set of Eisenhower era material at every show but on this night they showed how a vast repertoire of a variety of sounds can gel perfectly for one evening. Hopefully they'll keep it going this way.

Opener/s: none
Venue Info:
beer sitch: BYOB
parking: free lot behind venue or plenty of street parking
layout: top floor of an old mill building. big open space
Capacity: 550 (probably half full)

1: (75min) 74, Reddish Moon, Driving Backwards with you, Give the Devil Back His Heart, New Tune*, Paper Birds, Mudslide, before You Were Born
2: (73 min) If you Knew, intro jam > Mother Wolf, Headshot > Meowskers, Solomon**, Yellow Medicine***, Predicting the Rain, Poor Boy, Soft Machine
E: Children of December, If One of Us Should Fall**
* chorus lyrics include "I dont care...I dont dare" ** Brad on baby grand piano (1st verse only on IOOUSF), *** w/ "Zion" jam. This show was just tremendous. Andrew put out "request sheets" for people at set break to request songs with.

download the show here
View photos by Phrazz here

Jan 5, 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane with Weezer

I love Weezer. I know in the past 5 year or so they have really become pop culture whores with songs about Beverly Hills, Lady Gaga/MGMT mashup covers, duets with Lil Wayne and an album named after a Lost character but they still are a kick ass band. I'm under the impression that their first 2 albums are their best and they have slowly regressed since then, so when they announced this "Memories tour" in which they would cover all of the Blue Album and Pinkerton on subsequent nights I was all about it. I opted for the Pinkerton show over the Blue Album and I stand by my choice. Although Blue Album is a blockbuster and one of the best debut albums in the last 20 years, Pinkerton is top 10 of all time for me. I know its whiny and self produced but I just love its rawness and intimacy.

The band took the stage for the first of 2 sets and launched in to the new single, "Memories", before taking us down memory lane with a reverse chronological greatest hits set covering every album (except Raditude) and even a couple b-sides ("Susanne" & "You Gave Your Love to Me Softly"). Pat was out front on guitar for the first set while some roadie played drums which freed Rivers up to run around the stage, walk through the crowd and climb all over their stage set up. Weezer has a really hardcore following so it was fun to be in a room of 2,000+ people that knew every word to every song. Highlights for me were "Perfect Situation", "Susanne" and the expansive "Only in Dreams" set closer.

Set break lasted about 20min before a slide show was presented by longtime road manager Karl Koch documenting the band's early years. It was full of old pics, show posters and stories were shared. Then came the 2nd set, Pinkerton front to back. From the first feedback of “Tired of Sex” to the last G chord of "Butterfly" I was as happy as a “kid in some kind of a store”. They flawlessly marched through the 14 year old disc to the vast delight of the adoring crowd. The energy during those 35 minutes was insane and I'll never forget it. While sometimes I think band's playing full albums is gimmicky and unnecessary, Pinkerton is one of those albums brilliant from start to finish and they nailed it. Bravo.

Opener/s: Free Energy
Venue Info:
beer sitch: $12 for 24oz Harpoon drafts
parking: Not much street parking in that part of Boston, take the T
layout: Theatre with Balcony
Capacity: 2,763, sold out.

Hits Set: Memories, Pork and Beans*, The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn), Perfect Situation, Dope Nose**, Island in the Sun, Hash Pipe, You Gave Your Love to Me Softly , Susanne, Only in Dreams
Pinkerton Set: Tired of Sex, Getchoo, No Other One, Why Bother?, Across the Sea, The Good Life, El Scorcho*, Pink Triangle, Falling for You, Butterfly***

The first set featured Josh Freese on drums and Pat Wilson on guitar. * w/ Brian Bell on vocals for one verse. ** w/ Scott Shriner on vocals. *** Rivers on acoustic, Karl Koch on drums.

Check out this compilation of various songs from the night.....