O.A.R. & Matt Nathanson
This one was the first great show of 2004.
The night started off innocent enough with an interview scheduled
with Matt Nathanson before the show was to begin. I meet up
with the tour manager who leads me through the Electric Factory
in Philadelphia, and walks me to Matt's dressing room, only
to find O.A.R. frontman Marc Roberge sitting in there. We small
talk for a bit before he wants to begin the interview, but they
are unable to pull the rouse on us, as we quickly figure out
that Marc is pretending to be Matt...after more stalling on
our part Marc catches on that we know and says that he will
go and get Matt, who was posing as him for an interview in the
O.A.R. dressing room. Bad thing is that the other interviewer
had no idea and Matt was able to successfully give the interview
as a member of O.A.R. which was full of sound bytes. Matt finally
comes in and we all have a laugh at this poor person's expense,
rumored to be from Penn University (if anyone has a copy, I
would love to see what Matt said, email us here).
A great show from front to back and O.A.R.
had the sold out crowd just jumping from beginning to end, with
Roberge doing the cool thing of stopping the annoyance that
is crowd surfing before it has a chance to get going. O.A.R.
does an impromptu version of the u2 classic "Sunday Bloody
Sunday" and just destroys it and the crowd. The next night,
also at the Electric Factory, the guys bring Nathanson up and
him and Roberge duel on the vocals...a must if you can find
Photos » Matt
|• February 13
& Robert Randolph
show where we decided that Boston had to be our new home. Randolph
was on first and had the old Orpheum Theatre swaying with his
great live show. O.A.R. came on and just destroyed as usual,
but the true highlight of the night came during the encore when
Randolph was brought back on stage for "Anyways" and
the two bands just ripped through a great tune from O.A.R.'s
latest studio record, In Between Now & Then.. We were hoping
for the cover the two did of the Led Zeppelin classic "Fool
in the Rain" but it wasn’t meant to be tonight but
be sure to download it from ITunes when you get a chance as
it is a must listen.
Ingram Hill / Better Than Ezra
The night started with an Ingram Hill interview
where we sat around talking about music more than actually doing
an interview which is always nice. The band ripped through their
set and was highlighted by their great "Captain" followed
by a terrific cover of the Peter Gabriel classic "Salsbury
As Better than Ezra hit the stage, we made
our way to the merch both to chat with the guys of Ingram Hill
some more, which was great as the band let their guard down
and were no longer in interview mode, as we talked about music
as well as some of the great parts of the country...we need
to hit Atlanta soon judging by their description of some of
the great clubs.
| » Ingram
Story of the Year
An all around good night of music with bands
that genuinely enjoyed sharing the stage together. Letter Kills
just had the sold out TLA jumping before giving way to one of
our new favorites, Motion City Soundtrack. Story of the year
closed and put forth such a high energy show complete with back
flips off of amps and all around mayhem on stage. They finished
the encore with a cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman"
which was highlighted by a concert goer's stage dive off of
the walled of bar area. It was straight out of PCU as the sea
parted and this poor guy hit nothing but the ground below him
which had the band momentarily stop, laugh, and then rip right
back through the rest of the song.
| » Story
of the Year Photos » Letter
Our last official show in Philadelphia was
a trip back to the future. The sold-out, acid-wash wearin',
mullet loving crowd was roaring with approval as the band hit
both the best of their old and new. The highlight though was
the string of songs that started with Modern Day Cowboy, Little
Suzi, Signs, and then the crescendo moment of "Love Song,"
the ultimate in power ballads. The lighters were flicking and
every guy was grabbing his lady and swaying along before the
opus of the sing along. It really was such a great and fun moment
in such a small club.
|• May 28
The first show in
Boston sure was a good one. We knew it was Jason Mraz but had
never heard of the other artists. This acoustic, intimate show
kicked off with Hawaiian Makana's set full of some great acoustic
rhythmic strumming and his amazing voice. Raul Midon was lead
onto stage as well as Mraz and they all did a song together
before Makana and Mraz left for the amazing Raul Midon. His
set was nothing but stellar before Mraz came out for a song
and Midon left. Mraz's acoustic performance was hands down one
of the best sets of the year. The best part of the night was
the set closer of "Curbside Prophet” done by everyone
from the evening in a vocal jam. An amazing night, one hopefully
Mraz continues through the years.
Another great Matt Nathanson show, this
time with a full band, something we hadn’t seen before.
The night started pre-show with another interview with Matt
as he got ready for the show. We chatted about everything and
anything, with the interview coming to a close when I mentioned
I had a copy of one of the new Van Halen songs that were soon
to be released. Matt grabbed my iPod and plugged his headphones
in and jammed along with that pained look on his face as he
wasn't really digging "It's About Time," a song that
ultimately never took off like the VH camp wanted. When the
interview ended Matt hopped up and gave myself and my girl a
hug and thanked us for all our support and proceeded to put
on a great show, complete with heavy metal band intros.
|• June 16
We drove back to
Philadelphia for this one and met up with some great fans of
the site. The rain did not damper anyone as we made our way
in for the opener of Silvertide, a Philly rock band who was
just really beginning to take off for the year. Although the
show was disjointed at times, it was great to see the first
favorite band of the EmpyreLounge.com recapture the stage. The
set closer of "When It's Love" was an odd one but
when the sing-along at the end hit, there was no doubt as the
near sold out CoreStates Center was rocking.
Everyone says you have to say The Hives live
to really get a feel for them and definitely could not agree
more. Lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist had the crowd in palm
of his hand for the whole show beginning with their simple walk
onto the stage. Without a doubt he is one of the few great true
frontmen in the business right now. Opening act Sahara Hotnights
put on a great set and got the crowd amped for The Hives. It
was just ferocious from beginning to end.
|• August 18
I will say it now; you have to see Prince
live. We saw the second of the three shows at the Fleet Center
and it was amazing from beginning to end. Maceo Parker opened
and had everyone on their feet early, something that carried
throughout the night. There really are no words that can describe
the true sites and sounds of Prince live, complete with Maceo
singing a great "Georgia on my Mind" by the late great
Ray Charles. "Purple Rain" closed the show and was
like a religious experience, as even on the way to the T, people
were still singing along.
| • August 19
is a very tough task but the Polyphonic Spree did a darn good
job of it. It really is a site to see to see all the members
of the Spree, in their robes, filling up a small stage and just
rocking out. Lead singer, Tim DeLaughter, was like the cult
leader with his animated antics and strong stage presence. It
was just positive energy all around from beginning to end.
|• September 13
of the surprises of 2004 had to be Snow Patrol. These Irish
men took charge and blew up behind "Run," a true power
ballad. There sold-out show at the Paradise confirmed that they
have the songs and the chops to stick around for a while.
Ah Donovan Frankenreiter, G. Love, and Jack
Johnson live and sharing the stage together. Each member did
a solo set with a few guest spots throughout and really just
killed the Fleet Pavilion, as the weather held up nicely for
everyone. There is nothing better than three friends sharing
the stage and throwing one hell of a party.
| » Donovan
Frankenreiter Photos » G
Love Photos » Jack
|• September 28
first time seeing the Seattle legends, was the band getting
ready for the ultimately unsuccessful "Vote for a Change"
tour. PJ was really amazing live, and all over the stage, something
I did not expect. It was like watching a bunch of 20 year olds
in their prime, instead of a band that is well past their 20s.
An old favorite was a little confused when
we went and interviewed them at the Middle East. Having talked
with them a few times in Philly over the years, and having a
small guest spot on their DVD, it was nice to have the face
recognition. It was better to see the band fight through a crowd
keeping one eye on them, and the other on the Yankees/Red Sox
playoff game. The addition of Brandon Lea on the piano brought
such a big addition to the overall sound of the band.
Living Colour / Public Enemy
We were not sure what to expect heading in
to this show, but the near sellout was rocking for Living Colour
and Public Enemy. Living Colour was as good as ever, but P.E.
was shocking. They hit the stage with a fury, rare for a rap
act. They had it all from the stage antics of Flav and Chuck
D to the crowd of loving fans.
| » Living
Colour Photos » Public
|• November 9
We went to Worcester
for this amazing show and would go even further for the next
one; hopefully we won’t have to though. There is no better
frontman in music than Scott Weiland and the songs are just
amazing. Though the sound wasn’t the best, seeing Velvet
Revolver was amazing. The attitude is back in rock!
Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace
The first time seeing Korn as a headliner
and it was in a packed Avalon...a place far too small for Korn.
Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace put big, big sets to
get the crowd just jacked up and it erupted when Korn hit the
stage. The lobby of the club looked more like an E.R. than a
club as people were getting stitched up and heading right back
into the Pit. The intensity brought forth a new found appreciation
| » Korn
Photos » Breaking
Benjamin Photos » Three
Days Grace Photos
| • December 4
Such a short
show, thanks to the great Avalon club which has acts off by
10pm so it can become a dance club. Nights like this, make that
such a band thing. Randolph played a solid 1.5 hr set and maybe
sang for about 15 minutes tops as the music did the talking.
You could not move in the club it was so packed and everyone
was dancing to the soulful grooves of a budding superstar.