Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA. October, 2007.
I took a musical journey back to my high school and college eras with a show at The Sands Event Center in Bethlehem, PA featuring Taking Back Sunday and The Used. Though I wouldn’t say I stopped liking these acts altogether, but I haven’t paid the greatest attention to them in recent years. Both of these bands stormed through my early morning playlists for my 5:00am train rides to Temple back in my college days. So, this was really a blast.
After a few bands I never heard of did their thing (Tonight Alive and Sleepwave), The Used played an absolutely fantastic set. Bert was a little yappy and said some dumb things, most notably when he randomly took a shot at the entire state of New Jersey. But they killed it with a great track selection, including I Caught Fire, Buried Myself Alive, The Taste of Ink, A Box Full of Sharp Objects, and All That I’ve Got. I really missed Cut Up Angels, though. And although Bert declared Smells Like Teen Spirit “the greatest song ever written” (really, it’s pretty much the opposite), bravo to them. They’re officially back in my weekly rotation.
Then entered Taking Back Sunday, a band that I haven’t seen live since 2007 when they were on the Projekt Revolution tour. I wish they could have played every single song in their catalog, but overall the set list (below) was great. And the best part? Adam nailed the mic flips and twirls around his neck with insane precision, and I’m glad that never left the act. And just hearing Cute Without The ‘E’ live again put the biggest smile on my face. Thanks, guys.
I return to The Sands Event Center on May 15 to see The Killers, a show celebrating the venue’s second birthday.
2. Stood A Chance
3. Timberwolves At New Jersey
4. Liar (It Takes One To Know One)
5. Faith (When I Let You Down)
6. You Know How I Do
7. Beat Up Car
8. Number Five With A Bullet
9. What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?
10. A Decade Under The Influence
11. Better Homes And Gardens
12. You’re So Last Summer
13. Error: Operator
14. Flicker, Fade
15. Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team)
There’s live music, and then there’s Pearl Jam – that’s what I’ll be telling my kids 20, 30 years from now. Yeah, Bruce brings down the house – as do The Killers to an extent – but Pearl Jam shows are special for me. Ever since I picked up Ten when I used to order CDs from Columbia House (remember that shit?) without my parents knowing it, their music has changed my life. And ever since I saw them live for the first time 10 years ago, live music has never been the same for me. And that feeling is renewed with every show.
Eddie and company’s latest visit to Philly, this past Tuesday, marked the 23rd anniversary (to the day!) of the band’s first ever live show in Seattle. And I was glad to be there for the occasion. We celebrated with 34 songs, two encores, a particularly acrobatic Eddie, a shout-out to Springsteen (who attended the show incognito), a Happy Birthday from the crowd to the band, and of course, the one and only, Baba.
An absolutely incredible show and experience. And if they stay on schedule and make their way back here in 3 or 4 years, Mackenzie will finally have a chance to experience her first Pearl Jam show.
Mind Your Manners
Amongst The Waves
Given To Fly
World Wide Suicide
Do The Evolution
State Of Love And Trust
Them boys went and did it again, let…me…tell…you.
The Killers manhandled The Borgata’s Event Center (my favorite venue in the world) in Atlantic City last night. And although Brandon’s signature vintage Levi’s star shirt was absent, it’s officially one of my favorite shows ever. With a bullet.
If opening the set with Mr. Brightside alongside the house lights wasn’t enough, I’m pretty sure that Brandon acknowledged my request via Twitter for This River is Wild, my all-time favorite and a song that, despite seeing them a dozen times, I’ve never experienced live. Here’s my tweet from the day of the show:
And so, before he launched into the tune, Brandon explains, “This one’s for Andrew.” Well, I didn’t find any other Andrews requesting the song, and the amount of people who refer to me as “Andrew” after seeing my actual name is staggering. I assume there’s science behind it, and even rock Gods are not immune. Therefore, unless some “Andrew” comes forward with proof, I’m taking this one as a personal victory and monumental achievement. Because it’s the little things.
Mr. Brightside (house lights on)
The Way It Was
Smile Like You Mean It
This River Is Wild
Bling (Confessions of a King)
Somebody Told Me
I Think We’re Alone Now (Cover)
For Reasons Unkown
From Here on Out
A Dustland FairyTale
Read My Mind
All These Things That I’ve Done
Change Your Mind
Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
When You Were Young
photo credits go to my friend, by the way, because my phone was dead
Live music has played a special role in my life since I went to my first concert at the Spectrum in 1996 to see Garbage and The Smashing Pumpkins. Ever since that day, I’ve had a deep love for the art and a sincere penchant for red heads. What a night.
I’ve mentally maintained a list of favorites over the years but asked myself recently: Which 3 songs do I need to hear live once more before the end?
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen
You can basically call it a religious experience. All of the house lights fire up, and even an apocalypse outside of the arena’s gates couldn’t dampen what everyone’s feeling at that very moment. It’s liberating. Like you were just released from under a rock after 150 years.
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
The best thing about it is that the louder and faster it’s played, the better it sounds. There are so many trademark moments that get the blood flowing – the buildup towards the outro, the way they explode into the final chorus, the “it was only a kiss” blast that the crowd nails on cue and without fail. If you ever see it live, just follow Brandon’s lead and jump. Jump.
Baba O’Riley (Cover) – Pearl Jam
This is it. The one that changed my life. Sure, it’s not an original, but they sure as hell play it like it is. Part of the brilliance here is that the crowd expects them to play it like men possessed, which makes everyone seem pretty…well, possessed. It literally makes you want to grab the nearest sweaty person and just start making out. And anytime an event inspires that kind of behavior, you know you’re having a good time.
* I actually attended the Springsteen and Killers concerts featured in the above videos.
Right outside the nursery. Perfect.
I’ve never seen The Killers this damn good. Opening with When You Were Young with the house lights, throwing in a little Bruce, and the most fantastic All These Things initial closing I’ve ever experienced. This was the final stop on the Battle Born tour, and absolutely everything they had was left in Jersey. I could not be happier that this was our soon-to-be-(battle)-born baby girl’s first concert.
1. Enterlude (house lights on)
2. When You Were Young (house lights on)
4. Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen, partial)
5. The Way It Was
6. Smile Like You Mean It
7. Bling (Confessions of a King)
9. Miss Atomic Bomb
11. Somebody Told Me
12. For Reasons Unknown
13. From Here On Out
14. A Dustland Fairytale
15. Read My Mind
17. All These Things That I’ve Done
18. This Is Your life
19. Mr. Brightside
20. Battle Born