Live: Megadeth – 11/18/09 – Columbus, Ohio

Though I’ve been a fan of Megadeth since the Peace Sells … but Who’s Buying? release (1986), I somehow had never managed to see Dave Mustaine and whoever currently backs him up until just last week. In a way, that’s probably a great thing as the 2,000+ crowd (I’m terrible with estimating sizes of crowds, but the Lifestyles Community Pavilion was near packed and holds 2,200 for a sold-out show) was treated to a run through of Megadeth’s greatest hits as well as a few new songs from the return-to-form Endgame CD.

Having a unique vantage point from the photo pit for the first 3 songs, the thing that struck me was that there didn’t seem to be any bonding between band members – something that is decidedly different when you see a new, young band play a small club where they are forced to interact to avoid bumping into each other. And Dave Mustaine seemed very focused on playing with technical proficiency which came across as a bit stiff. Nevertheless, the opening 3 songs sounded amazing and I was particularly happy to hear “Wake Up Dead” so early in the set.

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Photos: The Entrance Band / Nebula

Word on the street was that The Entrance Band wasn’t to be missed and, truth be told, I was interested just to see the new band Paz Lenchantin (ex-A Perfect Circle, Zwan) was playing in. The crowd at the Ravari Room wasn’t as big as I expected it to be (what? the preview I wrote didn’t bring out the masses?) but those who ventured out “early” (The Entrance Band went on around 10:45pm) were treated to a performance that will not be forgotten. The Entrance Band doesn’t exactly wow with their stage presence but it was the music that blew 90 or so of us away. It’s trippy, hippie stoner rock from the ’70s as played by instruments and technologies from the ’00s and was memorizing to watch/listen to.

Nebula kicked some ass as well – that’s who a majority of the crowd was there to see and it’s pretty obvious that while some of the band members may be somewhat new, the Nebula sound (spacey/stoner funk grooves) has been well crafted over the course of the band’s 10 year history.

More photos of The Entrance Band and Nebula after the jump

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Weekend wrap-up

You’re not going to get these too often because most of the time my weekends are pretty boring but this one wasn’t. Now before telling you who I saw on Saturday afternoon, I have to provide a little context. I was a big fan of the pop-punk SoCal band Wax back in the early ’90s. They put out 2 records before splitting up and while singer Joe Sib continued on with 22 Jacks, the other guys seemingly disappeared. Not sure how I stumbled about guitar Soda Gardocki’s stuff but just a few years ago discovered the former Wax guitarist was doing this tin pan alley/Tom Waits/old-timey style music and it sounded damn good.

Recently I become one of Soda’s “friends” on Facebook and a status update last week indicated a show in Ohio! As luck would have it, Soda was in Columbus this weekend visiting a friend – a violinist he introduced me to as “Sea Bass” (short, I think, for Sebastian) – and Sea Bass hooked Soda up with a gig at Vic’s Cafe. Soda texted me about an hour before he was scheduled to play on Saturday and my youngest daughter (3.5) and I made a quick trip south just in time to catch Soda and Sea Bass run through a 40 minute set. This is one of those occasions where I really have to pinch myself because I never thought I’d have the chance to see the West Coast troubadour unless I happened to run into him at SXSW. To have him play in my backyard during the daytime? Priceless. (Video coming soon)

Sunday is a bad day to play a show. When it’s Mother’s Day, it becomes worse. When you have to finish the show by 10pm due to a previously scheduled reggae night, well, you can imagine what the turnout was like for The Dears/Great Northern/Eulogies show at Skully’s. Eulogies started off … EARLY … and play to about 5 people. A few more turned up to see Great Northern during whose set singer Rachel Stolte mentioned that there probably weren’t any vampires in the house since it was still light outside! For those going to check out this tour, Great Northern is playing music exclusively from their new record so if you’re hoping to hear something from Trading Twilight for Daylight, you’re out of luck. That being said, while Trading Twilight for Daylight was my favorite release of 2007, I’m thinking that I like the new record – Remind Me Where the Light Is – even more.

The Dears – 7 strong – made up for the last time I saw them and put forth a valiant effort despite the lack of crowd size. There were only two songs I really, really wanted to hear and The Dears delivered on both (“Lost in the Plot” and “Disclaimer”). I wasn’t quick enough to the draw on either song so the video that I did capture was only for about half the song for both. I still need to check them out to see if the videos look okay before posting.

In the meantime, enjoy Great Northern performing my favorite song from the new CD, “Fingers”.

Great Northern perform “Fingers” at Skully’s Music Diner on Sunday, May 11, 2009

A moment of reflection; a moment of beauty

One night later and I can’t get Nine Inch Nail’s performance of “The Great Destroyer” (at the 70% full Schottenstein Center in Columbus) out of my head. It was truly a thing of beauty, especially the last half as the LED screens (or whatever they were) flashed television static in sync with the electronic blips and bloops coming out of the keyboard and keyboard-like samplers that Trent and band were playing (at about the 2 minute mark in the video below).

(This isn’t from the Columbus show – it’s from a August 2007 show in Sweden – but it looked exactly the same)

There has been enough talking about the show and the crowd size on the Interweb so I’ll just say that I thought the show was well worth the $17 (plus $12 service fees) that I paid.

Related reads:
* The New Model (
* Donewaiting Message Boarders review the show (
* Can Touring Really Save Musicians? (Houston Chronicle blog)
* Flash shows artist at his creative best / Live photos (Columbus Dispatch)
* Columbus setlist

Brightblack Morning Light – Motion to Rejoin

I don’t really care too much for hippies; they stink and the peace, love, flower power bullshit rubs me the wrong way. We’d all love to drop out of the white collar working world and, maaaaan, just let the wind take us wherever it might, but I can’t pay my mortgage with good wishes and good karma.

Brightblack Morning Light – a duo comprised of a couple of hippies (Rachel Hughes and Nathan Shineywater) – should bug the piss out of me, all freewheelin’ and acid trippin’ and stuff but they are far removed from any Woodstock revival sound. Simply put and put simply, BBML’s forthcoming release, which I’m sure they’d prefer you buy on vinyl but sounds just fine as MP3s, Motion to Rejoin (to rejoin what? society? the tax paying nation?) is hands down one of the best releases I’ve heard in 2008 and I’ve only listened all the way through twice. On first listen, I wasn’t entirely even sure this was BBML, I thought somebody had slipped a new Spiritualized CD onto my iPod and had tagged the MP3s incorrectly. Motion to Rejoin, as it is, is a better Spiritualized release than Jason Pierce’s 2008 release, Songs in A&E.

The druggy, trippy, swimming through space sound that Spiritualized perfected so early in their post-Spacemen 3 career, along with the soul touch that was added on later recordings, comes through loud and clear on Motion to Rejoin. And it’s not just a one or two song anomaly, the space-rock spirituals are performed on all 49 minutes of this 9 track CD (do the math – there are a few 7, 8, and 9 minute slowburning jams spread throughout). It’s not hard to get lost in the slumbering organ playing, the atmospheric vocals, and steady maraca shaking (“Gathered Years” is like a funeral dirge in the middle of the desert). One song burns into the next, the tempo rarely changes, the tone of vocals remains a constant and the 49 minutes at times feels like 5 and at other times feels like 49 days, depending on the state of mind you’re in.

By no means am I advocating drug use, but it seems like this one will serve as the hypnotic soundtrack to those burnout incoming college freshman with long hair and dirty moustaches that live 14 to a 3-bedroom off-campus house and have plenty of vintage black light posters to hang in the cavernous basement.

“Hologram Buffalo” is the freebie track that BBML’s label (Matador) wants you to sample before committing to a purchase and it’s as good as any of a place to start on Motion to Rejoin. There is no bait and switch – “we’ll give you the catchy single and then you’ll buy 11 additional tracks of boring, mundane not-ready-for-primetime rock”. What you hear in this 5 minutes and 18 seconds is what you’ll hear on the other 44 minutes. So get to downloading, listening, purchasing ($10 for the CD; $12 for the LP).

DOWNLOAD: “Hologram Buffalo”

October and November tour dates after the jump.

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