Guster is officially old enough to rent a car.

When I’d purchased my solo ticket to Guster’s annual Thanksgiving tour stop at the Beacon Theatre, I’d completely forgotten that it was their 25th anniversary until I showed up to the theatre. When I arrived and saw the displays of all their old tour tshirts, drum sticks, backstage passes, etc. It was super neat. I sat down in my seat and waited for the show to begin, after the opener, The Pisapia Love-In, who was pretty fun, but let’s be honest, we were there to see Guster. The lead singer did come back out during Guster’s set to sing a few songs with them which was fun (1st photo)I sat down just to promptly stand back up the moment they came out. Everyone in the Beacon was excited to be there and so were they. Guster has three main groups of fans: families who have been fans for forever, bros, and nerds. I had a family of four sitting in front of me and their youngest daughter slept through the entire thing. Amazing. 

Ryan announced at the beginning that they were going to play all night and play the longest concert they ever played, and we all cheered, but we knew there were rules. In the end, they ended up playing for about 2.5 hours. A generous concert, indeed! They even brought up one of their oldest fans (in the fourth photo) who has seen them hundreds of times and always makes a point to be super honest and critical about how their performance was. 

They also brought out a choir from Long Island to sing a few songs with them. “We thought it might be fun to have a choir and then my manager goes, ‘I know this choir on Long Island but their audience is mainly the 60-70 year olds,’ and I go ‘Look no further! That is exactly what we’re going for!’” But the choir added a fun element to Empire State and Jesus on the Radio

The entire setlist (here) was a good time and I had a great time rockin’ out for two and a half hours. I hope they stick together long enough to celebrate their 50th. I will definitely be there. 

#throwbackthursday

I realized I had a bunch of old photo posts that I never actually posted, so they’re being turned into #throwbackthursday posts. 

This is from 2013 when Paul McCartney played a surprise mini-concert in Times Square. It was pretty awesome. Working in midtown kind of sucks, but this was one of the perks: being close to the action. 

Last Wednesday night I went with my friend Ben to see Cage the Elephant in concert at Terminal 5. I’d first heard of Cage when a favorite yoga teacher of mine used “Aint No Rest For the Wicked” as a track on an asana playlist. Then I distinctly remember after a few too many glasses of wine, turning on Pandora on my Roku and freaking out when the song came on. Then I heard “In One Ear” and “Back Against the Wall” and I was hooked. 

My friend Tanya had told me that J. Roddy, the first opener, was pretty good, but The Foals, the second opener, were horrendous, so we made the executive decision to skip both. We secured a great spot directly in front of the stage but up on the second level. We decided to leave the mosh pit to the youngins’. 

I literally had no idea what to expect from this concert but I was extremely impressed. The lead singer, Matt Shultz, was an incredibly physical and captivating front man. He came out dressed in white and his shirt last all of a minute and a half before he was sweating through it and ripped it off. He was crowd surfing (and doing handstands in the crowd as well) and he was thoroughly insane but, again, highly impressive. The entire band was as they collectively were responsible for the awesome night we were all having. 

Shultz didn’t jump off the second balcony again as he had the night before, sadly. I’m assuming he’d gotten a strict talking-to after that by Terminal 5. Something along the lines of “do it again and we’ll break your legs.”

On Thursday I got an email from The Black Keys announcing their tour and Cage the Elephant will be opening. If I can get tickets to that, I definitely would love to go them again. And I guess seeing The Black Keys wouldn’t suck too much either. 

if you ever find yourself presented with the opportunity to go see these guys, I’d definitely do it. 

Eleven years ago I saw Love, Janis off-broadway at what is now known as Le Poisson Rouge. It was my first exposure to the blues rocker’s music and although I totally enjoyed it, it was probably the last time I heard any of her music until last Tuesday night when I was invited to see a performance of A Night With Janis Joplin at the Lyceum Theatre.

The story was similar to that of Love, Janis (as in it was the story of her life) except it also focused on the blues singers who influenced Joplin greatly, such as Nina Simone, Odetta, and Aretha Franklin. The audience was treated to a platter of Joplin’s greatest songs, as well as those from her influences. 

The audience was full of baby boomers who were jumping in their seats with joy, and standing after most of the larger numbers. It was thrilling, to say the least. I imagine it’s how I’ll act at a Broadway show about Green Day’s career in the distant future. 

The entire cast was great, but special mention must be given to Mary Bridget Davies who flawlessly portrayed Joplin. My friend who was with me told me he thought she sounded exactly like the real thing. My only criticism of A Night With Janis Joplin was the length. It was two and a half hours long, including an intermission. It would’ve been just as enjoyable to skip the intermission and cut it down to an hour and forty five minutes.

Other than that: A Night with Janis Joplin is a good night indeed.

Full disclosure: Tickets were provided by the producers.

Uno, Dos, Tre…

I’d bought a ticket a few weeks back for Cuatro! at the CBGB festival and completely forgot what day it was for until about two days ago. Luckily Tanya was also going, so after a long day of work yesterday, and a delicious meal of authentic tacos at a tiny little place called Oaxaca on a street called ‘Extra Place,’ I met up with her at the Anthology Film Center on 2nd and 2nd.

Because the band, and CBGB’s, is awful at planning, they booked the premiere of this film on the same night as Broadway Idiot, and since Broadway Idiot had a talkback afterward, of course everyone went there. There were probably 15 people at Cuatro!, but we didn’t care. We were there to have fun. 

It was a incredibly fun trip down memory lane and made me remember how much fun October 2011 to April 2013 was. It was amazing to see their creative process and how much fun they have while at it.

It also made me want to pick up my guitar (which has been sitting in it’s case for a few weeks now) again. Which is always awesome too.

I look forward to see Broadway Idiot soon, and all the future documentaries to come from Green Day (fingers crossed, right?).