Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My May: Filter, The Cranberries, Awolnation, Incubus, Cake, Neon Trees...

May was a bit of a concert adventure month for me...I saw Filter at Krock's DFB in Syracuse, NY, The Cranberries at the 9:30 Club in DC, and several bands at the DC101 Chili Cookoff.

The first event was the Chili Cookoff...which my first impression was actually disappointment at the news that Angels and Airwaves were not going to be there. They were the top band I wanted to see. I WILL see them one of these days! But I was also eager to see Awolnation and Cake for the first time, and having seen Neon Trees and Incubus before, they were also welcome to the bill for me.

It's been a few years since I've gone to a big festival style concert...and that crowd was ROUGH. I got worn out pretty quickly, the thought that I might be getting old actually crossed my mind haha! It was on asphalt for one thing, which made it feel even hotter with the sun beating down. And being short just makes you feel even MORE smushed inbetween all the sweaty people, almost stifling. The crowd surfers were even annoying just because they were so constant. I couldn't focus on the bands and the music much, which kind of defeated the purpose for me...Maybe if I'd been drunk like 99% of the attendees, then I would have been happy haha. But instead, I was mostly annoyed.

Neon Trees gave a great performance though, I really like them, ever since I saw them open for Duran Duran last year. The singer is full of energy and at the end he announced that their drummer was currently 6 months pregnant, and she was still performing! That was pretty amazing.

Awolnation was good, but I didn't think the vocals were loud enough. And it may have been the crowd that made it less enjoyable for me, but I was kind of hoping for more from them...I really like their album. Live didn't do it for me as much. But that's the only band I got a picture of because it was just too hard to try and snap pictures in that audience.

Cake sounded great, even though the singer complained about his voice giving out. I still really liked their performance, despite not being able to see absolutely any parts of the band, due to the crowd and my lack of height....

Incubus was great as usual, I've seen them three times previously, but it's been a few years. I stayed for about half of their set, then I had enough. The crowd surfers got to a ridiculous point of frequency. I saved one girl's life I think...and she may not even realize it. But she was almost dropped directly on her head on the pavement. She fell onto my shoulder and somehow I got her in like a headlock with my arm and held her up until more people got her back to surfing. Some other people had her feet still, but if I hadn't caught her she would have cracked her skull open I'm sure. So shortly after that incident, I decided to leave and beat the traffic of everyone else leaving when it was over. Sorry Incubus...

Now, a few days later, I had the pleasure of catching one of my favorite bands for the second time in my life. I've loved The Cranberries since I first heard their hit "Linger," and did get to see them once back in 1999. This show was sold out at the 9:30 Club, and after the cookoff experience, I didn't feel like trying to get to the front of the audience that night. So I just stayed toward the back and saw some of it from inbetween people's shoulders, and enjoyed the music. They sounded awesome and it was an amazing, positive vibe circulating in the air. It was one of my favorite kinds of concerts, when you feel that extra something special, like the music is connecting to you. 

I got some pictures, nothing great. And I didn't know I could record video that night, so I missed out on that opportunity. But it was a great concert and I would love to see them again in the future. 

The Cranberries

It was a road trip to see Filter again, but I think that's kind of becoming a habit for me now haha. I go on little adventures for Filter. :) This time was no exception. It was about a 7 hour drive to Syracuse, New York. But it was very pretty through the mountains and trees and wasn't a bad trip at all. Due to Memorial Day weekend, I got a free hot dog at a rest stop, and a ladybug landed on my hand, which I consider good luck. 

I bunked up at the Best Western which was right down the street from the New York State Fairgrounds where the show was being held. They were the closest and cheapest hotel, therefore the most convenient, and it was a very nice hotel. I even got awesome room service food there, as well as an impressive free breakfast. 

I missed the first handful of bands at Krock's Dysfunctional Family BBQ, since I was traveling. But I arrived in time to see Hurt, who went on before Filter. I also caught Flogging Molly after Filter and they were great too. I had heard of both of those bands before, but wasn't that familiar with their music. I left wanting to look up their songs. So needless to say, I liked their performances.

I managed to get up front for Filter, since I planned on trying to get some videos, which I did. That crowd wasn't quite as jam packed as the DC101 Chili Cookoff, but they were rougher. At least I didn't have the annoying crowd surfers there though. There was an intense mosh pit, that luckily stayed far enough away from me most of the time. But one girl next to me was rather annoying, intoxicated, and kept bumping into me and stuff. So my camera work came out shaky. The security guys also blocked my view a few times, as you can see in some of the videos too haha. But I still had fun and Filter killed it!

Jonny Radtke
Phil Buckman
One part of the show that was disappointing was when they were about to play "Best Things," when Richard Patrick typically crowd surfs. They were cut off and informed of a time constraint, so they didn't get to play the song. So they jumped right into "Hey Man, Nice Shot" to finish up their set. That was kind of a bummer and some of the audience was even yelling their objections, especially the ones who were ready for Richard to jump in the crowd. 

Richard Patrick
So it was a bit chaotic, but still a blast of a performance. It was also my first time seeing Filter with their new drummer, Jeff Friedl. I was very impressed, especially when he tore it up on one of my fave drum parts in "Under." So Jeff has my approval as the new Filter drummer haha. 

Jeff Friedl
That was about it...we'll see when and where my next concert adventure will be...

In the mean time, enjoy my pics and videos and such. As always, look, listen and love!

Also, check out Filter's tour dates and go rock out with them!

6/2 Cajun Heartland Fair, Lafayette, LA
6/10 Rockin on the River, Cedar Rapids, IA
6/29 Street Festival, El Paso, TX
7/6 Paramount, Huntington, NY
7/7 Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
7/12 Irving Plaza, New York, NY
7/14 Rock USA, OshKosh, WI
8/4 State Fair, Sioux City, IA