We just hit the one year anniversary of The Lebrewski Cruise and I just realized I never posted anything about it. Once the cruise was announced, I knew it was a must do as it combined a couple of my favorite things good music (namely O.A.R.) and craft beer. I easily convinced Kim that we should leave the kids behind with their grandparents and set sail to The Bahamas. We had a blast seeing O.A.R. perform three shows, finding some new great bands such as Jared & The Mill, tasting a ton of craft beer, and seeing a couple of different ports. We would have considered going again, but unfortunately the cruise appears to be one and done. Anyway, here are some of my photos from that trip last year.
Archive for the 'Music' Category
There are not a lot of words that can be said about seeing Paul McCartney perform live. It was truly amazing and possibly a once in a lifetime experience for me. The setlist was 38 songs long and filled with 23 hits from The Beatles, a handful of Wings tunes, and rounded out with some of Paul’s solo work. My pictures may not do it justice, but here they are anyway.
Overall this was a really good year at Bunbury. I rarely saw any lines, thanks to the RFID equipped wristbands used for entry and payment, which was easily the biggest improvement from last year. Occasionally I saw some lines for certain food but it always seemed to be moving and there were always nearby stands with much less demand. Only downside to the wristband was the obscene amount of money spent by me and my family without even realizing it.
My highlights for the first day included The Mowgli’s, X Ambassadors, and The Killers. Saturday was a little slower for me, and some sets were cut short due to rain. Personally I really liked Austin Plaine and Umphrey’s McGee.
One thing that still needs some improvement revolves around the river stage. It was often so packed that I truly only watched a single performer and that was from way to the side. Maybe it’s time to move this stage off the wall like the festival was forced to the year with high water. Or if it stays in the current location, perhaps a video screen on top of the stage would be nice so you could see the performance without actually being down on the wall. If there is anyway to get a larger floor section in front of the stage that could help alleviate some of the crowding too.
The biggest highlight of the festival for me was seeing Of Monsters And Men for the first time. I have been a big fan of the Icelandic based band since their debut album from 2011. The nine member band hit all the highlights from the two studio releases in the hour-long set. I look forward to seeing them again, so hopefully they will return to the area again soon.
Other highlights from Sunday included Elle King and a monstrous closing set from Florence and the Machine. Florence put on a hell of a show and was an excellent way to cap off the weekend. See you next year, Bunbury.
A few weeks ago, Kim and I traveled to Indianapolis to sample some food, some brews, and most importantly to see Mumford and Sons. This was Kim’s first time seeing the band, my fourth. This was by far the closest I have been to the stage for one of their performances. All of the other shows I have attended have been general admission, but for this show I was able to get some really good assigned seats on the side. Here are some photos from the fabulous night!
I spent this past weekend in Salida, Colorado for Mumford and Son’s last Gentlemen of the Road stopover for this year. Salida is a beautiful little mountain town about three hours from Denver and it served as a great backdrop for a weekend full of music.
A group of my friends and I rented a house near the downtown area, adjacent to the Arkansas River. We were only a couple of blocks from the center of town and we spent a lot of time exploring the area’s bars, restaurants, and shops. For the most part the town seemed very receptive to the large number of visitors and welcomed us with open arms.
There was also plenty of music downtown, with a stage going from Thursday evening through late Saturday night. This area was blocked off to traffic and beer was being sold from a wide variety of Colorado breweries.
The downtown area was about a mile from the main festival site, where thousands of people were camping. This was a lot farther than the last stopover I went to in Troy, Ohio, but it was still a manageable walk. Plus shuttles were available between the two areas.
The main festival site was set next to a little mountain ridge on the left and had sweeping views in all directions. The sunsets each night were really awesome! It was definitely an ideal spot for a festival and the weather couldn’t have been better.
The first night highlight was easily the band Dawes. This was the same band that opened up for Mumford and Sons the first time I saw them play. This time they opened up the first night of the festival for The Flaming Lips, which I skipped out on after a few songs as I’ve never been a big fan of theirs.
Jenny Lewis was another highlight of the weekend. She played just before Mumford. If you don’t recognize her name, you may know her as the front-woman for the now defunct band Rilo Kiley. She played songs from both her solo efforts and from Rilo Kiley and I was surprised by how many of the songs I knew.
Mumford and Sons easily delivered another great performance. I will admit that I wasn’t too sure how the tracks from their latest release, Wilder Mind, would sound live but after hearing roughly 3/4 of them played I am a fan. The rest of the 20+ song set was an excellent mix of their other two releases plus an awesome encore ending “With a Little Help from My Friends” with many of the artists from the festival. That was an awesome way to end an incredible weekend of music.
This past weekend was the fourth annual Bunbury Music Festival. I missed the first year completely due to prior commitments, but I’ve attended at least one day in every year since. Aside from some issues on the first day this year, this year’s fest was probably my favorite to date.
First my favorite addition for this year was the Sawyer Point Stage, which was added adjacent to the permanent Sawyer Point Pavilion Stage. However I still feel that this should become the main stage, over the currently used Yeatman’s Cove Stage. The reason is simple and I’ve said it before, the Sawyer Point area seems much more conducive to large crowds than Yeatman’s Cove. A large video screen occupied the back of the sound booth for the main stage, but since the space is too narrow views of the stage from the back of the crowd are nearly impossible.
The lineup for this year was also very good. With The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and The Decemberists all playing on the second day, I knew this would be hard to top. But I really enjoyed seeing sets from Father John Misty, Bleachers, and Walk The Moon on the first day. I wasn’t overly thrilled with Sunday’s lineup, but I was still able to catch a great performance from Shakey Graves before leaving early due to the heat.
As I mentioned earlier there were definitely some issues on the first day, all of which were due to the large attendance, which lead to lines for nearly everything. Some friends waited an hour and a half just to get through the main gate. While I didn’t face much of a wait there, our group waited over an hour and half for pizza! For the second and third day, additional entry gates were opened and I walked right through each day. Water lines were also terrible and something that needs to be addressed for next year, though it was nice they changed the policy for the second and third days to allow sealed water bottles to be brought into the festival.
I’ll be honest and say that the issues on Friday were enough for me to consider making this my last Bunbury, but I was happy to see the organizers make some changes to try to fix the mistakes made. I’ve heard rumors of the festival possibly moving up I-71 to remote locations between Cincinnati and Columbus, which would offer more space and room for camping. But I really hope that this is not the case. I enjoy the festival where it is, even if that means there are ongoing issues to be worked through.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the Cincinnati’s Tunes & Blooms series. The first three weeks of this year had to be postponed due to severe weather in the area each of those weeks. Last night was the first make-up date and it seems that many people haven’t got the message about the rescheduled dates as this was the least crowded I’ve seen Tunes & Blooms in years!
There are still two more rescheduled dates, the first is tonight, Thursday, May 7. The second is next week on Wednesday, May 13. And now that Zoo Babies is going on, it is the perfect time to head to the zoo. Last night I took the kids over to see the three lion cubs and the ten African painted dog puppies. The energetic lion cubs must be driving their parents crazy as it looked like the keepers have given them phone books to explore and other things to chase.
The painted dog pups are just as rambunctious, but I think there are enough of them that they often leave their parents alone. The creek that runs through their habitat seems to give them plenty to explore as well. It’s going to be a fun couple of years watching these babies grow up.
Two weekends ago I attended the Queen City Survival benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This event was held at the newly opened Columbia Community Center in Columbia-Tusculum. This beautiful event center and music hall was renovated and is owned by the same man who brought us Eli’s BBQ, which is conveniently located just down the road.
During the few hours I was there I saw a few of the musical acts perform and the sound inside was really great. The event featured many local artists and there were a couple of dozen raffle items including Red’s tickets and items from some of the bands.
I hope more concerts are held at the Columbia Community Center. I missed Al Scorch at a recent show but would happily go back to see him perform if/when he returns.
I’ve been a big fan of The Head and the Heart since seeing them open for The Decemberists back in 2011. Since then I’ve seen them play at a couple of music festivals but never saw them as a full headliner until a week ago. And to make it even better I had second row seats in the pit!
PHOX opened the show with their eclectic folk/indie mix. Though the one thing I remember most was lead singer Monica Martin drinking what appeared to be whiskey out of a plastic water bottle. It must do wonders for her voice as she sounded wonderful.
My seats were too close to get a full band picture with all members of The Head and the Heart in it. But I guess that’s a good problem to have.
The band is very active on Twitter and was taking requests leading up to the show. I was happy to get my request in and hear one of my favorite vocal melodies of their’s in “Honey Come Home.”
@edpaffjr on it.
— The Head & The Heart (@headandtheheart) December 13, 2014
With two albums out they definitely have enough material for their own headlining shows and I’m glad to see it happening. Their biggest hit is still their first single, “Lost in My Mind,” but they have had additional success with “Down in the Valley,” “Shake,” and most recently “Another Story.”
They do not have any tour dates currently posted, but hopefully we will see some more soon! I can’t wait to see this band again.
Last night I saw The Lone Bellow perform for the fourth time in a year and a half. First was their very intimate performance at Mayday in May 2013. I saw them later that year in November at the 20th Century Theater. Finally was their performance at this past summer’s Buckle Up Festival. It seems their appearance at Buckle Up helped to double the crowd at 20th Century last night compared to what it was a year ago. I really enjoy seeing them in this intimate theater so I hope it is not the last time, but I fear that they will soon outgrow the limited capacity.
Last night’s setlist was a very solid mix of tunes from their self titled debut album and the soon to be released Then Came The Morning, due out January 27. “Working with producer Aaron Dessner of the National, the Lone Bellow has created a sound that mixes folk sincerity, gospel fervor, even heavy metal thunder, but the heart of the band is harmony: three voices united in a lone bellow.” The new songs that I heard have definitely evolved from their debut material, but I still feel that they are at their best in their stripped down acoustic numbers where their incredible voices truly can unite.
As my friend Will said on his instagram, it was another passionate and spiritual show, which is what I’ve come to expect from this band. I look forward to seeing them perform more of their catalog in future performances. For now, enjoy this live recording of “Then Came The Morning,” which could very easily be my favorite track off the new album and I’m saying that after only hearing a handful of songs.