This was a really fun concert. I had seen Ozomatli open for Santana and they were awesome, so I was excited to see them in a small venue.
The opening act was Chali 2na, who was one of the founding members of the hip hop group Jurassic 5. He was cool and got the crowd going. Always great when you have a good opening act, it’s like a bonus.
As far as Ozo goes, they were fantastic and had the audience dancing from start to finish. Near the end, they came out into the crowd with various percussion instruments and had a real tribal thing going. It was very cool. If you’ve never seen or heard Ozomatli, I highly recommend them. They are the epitome of what a multicultural world beat band should be.
So I have to confess that ever since the COVID-19 crisis hit I have grappled with whether or not to post about my concert memories. It just seemed like rubbing salt into a wound, because in spite of all the great streaming performances that are being made available, for me, there is nothing quite like being at a live concert, and this is what has been the most difficult for me during these five weeks of social distancing (so far). I really miss going to concerts, and if you are reading my blog, I can only assume you feel the same. But a fellow blogger encouraged me to start posting again (thanks Barb), and also, there seems to be a glimmer of hope that some restrictions may be eased soon. So, here we go.
For a long time I was reluctant to go see Dark Star Orchestra. Having seen the Grateful Dead many, many times, and having been in a “Grateful Dead tribute band” for several years, it just did not call to me. But at the encouragement of a good friend, I decided to go and check them out. And I’m glad I did. They are exceptionally good musicians, and the crowd was very appreciative. Let’s face it, the crowd can make or break a concert. Music is a reciprocal art form, where the artists and the audience feed off each other and create a unique energetic experience. And DSO definitely was able to make that connection with the Orange Peel crowd. I danced and grooved with all the other freaks, and everyone just had a real good time. Sometimes, that’s all we need.
I really hope we can all start gathering at concerts again in the near future. Heck, I have tickets to see Alanis Morissette with Liz Phair and Garbage in June. The show still has not been cancelled or postponed. Hope springs eternal.
Please let me know if you want to hear more concert stories in these days of social distancing. I still have plenty of stubs and stories to share.
Donna the Buffalo has one of the punniest tag lines: “Herd of ‘em?” This was actually the second time I had “herd ‘em” perform live, but the first time was a bit of a bummer. They were playing at the Lake Eden Arts Festival, and I had agreed to volunteer in order to get a free pass, and just my luck, my volunteer slot was right when Donna the Buffalo were on stage, so I got to hear them, and was able to sneak off for one song, but did not get the full experience. Which was why I was psyched to see them at the Orange Peel.
I ended up going to this one on my own, but it was cool. I had a great time. The music was awesome and the crowd was energized. I danced with all the hippies, and only had to relocate once when a guy who was near me kept flogging me with his nappy dreads.
I was recently at a party at my friend Ilene’s house, and she asked me if I was familiar with this band. I told her I had never heard of them, and she told me they were really good, and that her and her husband had gotten some comp VIP passes and that they could get me one if I was interested. Far be it from me to turn down an opportunity to see a show for free. So they secured me a freebie and I listened to some of their stuff to familiarize myself with their music.
How to describe them? They are definitely a jam band, but they have a bit of a funk sound too. Their stuff is upbeat and danceable. I figured it would be a good time, and when I saw that the show was sold out, I suspected it would be pretty high-energy too.
I met Ilene and her husband Jonathan outside the venue. They got us the VIP wristbands, which allowed us to sit in the reserved section on the side of the stage. Not that it was really reserved. It was still pretty much open season for the freaks who chose to wedge themselves in there.
The opening act was a band called The Fritz. They are local, but very good. I had remembered a friend telling me about them. They were better than your average opener.
PPPP came on around 10ish, and they were pumped. Definitely feeding off the energy from the audience. And they played a looooooong time—finishing up about 1:00 am. Two solid sets and an encore. I was definitely feeling tired toward the end, but forced myself to stay until the end, which is a testament to how good they were.
In between sets, I ran into my friend Andy. I had not seen him in years, so it was a nice surprise. He had come into town specifically to see the band and was planning to see them the following night in Raleigh. I didn’t realize that following Pigeons was a thing, but I guess it is.
After the show, as I exited the venue to walk to my car, I was surprised to find people selling balloons full of nitrous oxide. Nitrous?! People still do that shit? I suppose some things never change in the jam-band scene. It made me think of a quote from the Netflix show, “Big Mouth”: “They’re jam bands. They’re the tools of Big Nitrous.”
Anyway, here’s the setlist, followed by a few pictures I snapped at the show. Rock on!
If you have not listened to this acoustic guitar duo, you need to. They are nothing short of amazing. As a guitarist, when I heard they were coming to town, I was psyched and immediately bought tickets. I went with my friend Joe and we got to the Orange Peel early enough to stake out a good spot.
They important thing about being a successful duo is that your playing really needs to complement your partner’s, and vice versa. Rodrigo and Gabriela do just that. Gabriela’s percussive rhythm is like a heartbeat that allows Rodrigo to spiral off into intricate Latin-influenced guitar solos. I left the show both awe-struck and inspired.
On the way out, Joe picked up a copy of the group’s current cd, “11:11.” He later gave it to me as a gift. I have to say, I listened to it extensively. Such a great album!
Sorry I could not find the setlist for this show online, but as a consolation, here is a YouTube video to check out and get a sense of this group’s amazing musicianship. Enjoy!
As a horror film buff, and someone who enjoys prog rock, it’s no surprise that I am a fan of Goblin. I saw them some years back on their first ever US tour, and they were awesome. So when I saw that they were coming back to town and would be performing the soundtrack to “Suspira” live during a screening of the film, I knew I would be going. I offered to buy my brother a ticket, since he is also a horror fan, and we were in.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Goblin, they are an Italian progressive rock band that formed in the 70s and became famous for composing the soundtrack music for films such as “Suspiria,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Tenebre,” and many others. Note: Claudio Simonetti, the keyboardist, was the only original Goblin member on this tour, but the other band members were exceptional musicians.
We got to the Orange Peel early enough to snag a decent spot, as well as one of the few bar stools so we could sit and watch the film. The band took the stage, and got ready to queue up the film.
The film started, and the band played the opening musical sequence, which was hauntingly powerful. I commented to my brother that they had an easy first half of the gig, spending a lot of time sitting and waiting for the next point in the film where music was needed. But I have to say, it was a totally unique concert experience for me, something that is rare for a veteran concertgoer as myself.
After the film ended, they paused briefly before launching into a killer second set, with lots of horror film clips and surreal visuals projected on the screen. The band was really tight, effortlessly flowing through intricate scale runs that rival any prog band. Suffice to say, I was on my feet for the entire second set.
Here is the full setlist, along with some pictures from the show. Rock on!
Set 1: “Suspiria” live screening and soundtrack accompaniment.
Sometimes, people win stuff. For example, I entered a drawing hosted by the local radio station to win tickets to Galactic, and I won! Woo Hoo! Corey Glover, the lead singer from Living Colour, was slated to be a guest vocalist with Galactic, which I was pretty psyched about. I do love Living Colour.
I asked my friend Scott if he wanted to go, since my wife was not up for it. He readily accepted the freebie and we headed to the Orange Peel for the show.
We got there in time to see the opening band, Orgone (I am assuming a phonetic spelling of Oregon). They were forgettable, but I don’t recall them sucking, so that was good.
Galactic took the stage and played some solid jams. Glover came out occasionally to lend his vocals, which was incredible. They sounded AWESOME together.