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Review: Pearl Jam @ Adelaide Oval 17-Nov-09

Last night I had the opportunity to check out Pearl Jam for the first time, thanks for a mate of mine who managed to get me ticket for $50.  My short review is that it was $50 very well spent, and was certainly worth a full price charge.  My lengthier review is as follows:

The evening started with us getting to the venue at about 6:30pm.  By that time the opening act Liam Finn had already been and gone, and Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 were just starting.  They put on a pretty good set from what I heard, though most of the set was spent in a long line to get a beer.  Eddie Vedder came out to join the band for a cover of Queen’s Under Pressure.

Initial concerns that the sun was in a bad spot (the stage was facing east with the sun setting directly behind it) were quickly quashed, as the sun hit the horizon at more or less the same time as Pearl Jam came on stage.  Security checking people getting access to general admission was pretty relaxed, we had seated tickets near the back somewhere and had no problems walking straight into GA.  While it was great for us, those who paid a ticket premium to get into this area would justifiably be a little pissed.

Pearl Jam’s set was a mix of tracks both old and new.  They rolled out the classics as expected, threw in about half a dozen tracks off their latest album and also played a cover of The Who’s The Real Me.  Overall the setlist was pretty good, there were a few tracks I didn’t recognise, but I missed a few of their last albums, so that’s no huge surprise.  Eddie was in great spirits during the show, taking plenty of chances to chat to the audience, certainly giving us the impression that they are genuinely happy to be in town and performing for us.

During the first encore Ben Harper joined the band onstage to play his slide guitar on the track Red Mosquito, and then sang Indifference in duet with Eddie.  Other highlights of the set included a great extended jam during Even Flow, and a thumping version of Rearviewmirror, apparently not played in Adelaide since 1998.  The oval lights coming on midway through Alive during the encore didn’t faze the band either, who seems to ignore this “get off stage” message and continued to finish their set as planned.

Sonically, the show is as good as any outdoor gig I can remember.  Occasionally you could here a little reverb about the place, but overall the sound was top notch.  Hat’s off to the audio crew for this show.  The camera work and lighting were all great as well, though I’d guess when you’ve been around as long as Pearl Jam, and have access to the resources they do, you’d expect all of this.  However, similar bands have been disappointing in this area, so it’s great to see someone get it right.

Overall, it was a great show, I’d almost go as far as to say it’s one of the top 10 gigs I’ve ever been to.  If you’re a Pearl Jam fan given the opportunity to see them on this tour, then make sure you do – you won’t be disappointed.

San Diego Puscifer Review

A concert review of the recent Puscifer show in San Diego has appeared on Spin

What followed felt like an X-rated episode of Hee-Haw, starring two more characters: Keenan as bumpkin crooner Billy Dee (a polyester-clad cross between Charlie Rich and Carl Perkins) and comedian Laura Milligan as his child bride/sidekick Hildy (think sexed-up Dolly Parton). And, for added ambiance, all of this played out on a detailed set of a country-style front porch.

Sounds like a cool show to me!

On The Road Again…

As Tool hit the road for another tour, laden with festival dates, I’m sure there will be plenty of you who are interested in sharing your thoughts on the tour.  To help with the, the current Summer 2009 Tour page will transform over the weekend to become less of an ticket sales page, and more of a reviews mecca.

Anyone is welcome to submit a review for the show they’ve been to, and I will happily post it on this tour page.  There are a few rules though:

  • Keep the reviews legible.  I reserve the right to edit and/or outright reject reviews that include poor grammar.
  • No abuse.  Constructive critisism is welcome, abusive language and tone is not.
  • Please include photos if you’ve got them!

Please submit your reviews and photos to me at hellboy@fourtheye.net or use the Contact Form.  Thanking you all in advance!

Soundwave 2009

On Saturday my brother and I went along to the Adelaide leg of the Soundwave Festival.  After hearing a few complaints about excessive lines in Sydney I was a little apprehensive, though in the end there was no need to be.  Apart from the one time I went to get beer, there were virtually no lines at all.

We arrived at the venue at about 1:30pm, and basically walked straight in.  We did a quick lap of the venue to check things out.  They layout seemed a bit odd, in that with a pair of binoculars you could probably stand in one spot and view four of the six stages.  Initially we thought that this may cause a bit of a sound problem, however at no point did the sound from one stage encroach on that of another – at least not for any of the bands I saw.

The first band we checked out were Unearth on the metal stage.  I’d only heard a handful of their songs before the show, and we were pleasently surprised by how good they were.  Pretty much by the numbers metal, but was well executed and they showed a good amount of energy.

Next, after spending 15 minutes in the beer queue we headed over to the main stage and caught a glimpse of Underoath.  The sound was pretty crap, as the wind had picked up at that point, and we didn’t really want to get near to the stage.  They we’re pretty boring, and we didn’t hang around for more than a couple of songs.

Poison The Well played next on the metal stage, and much like Underoath their sound was a bit average.  I’ve listened to a couple of PTW albums and generally like them, but was a little disappointed with the set, I just couldn’t get into it.

We grabbed something to eat after then, and headed over to the small stage where Minus The Bear were playing and shade was plentiful.  Minus The Bear sounded pretty good, better than I expected and I immediately regretted not seeing a bit more of their show.  We also caught a glimpse of a band called Hello Goodbye, who sounded terrible.  In fact throughout the day, we didn’t hear a single band on the stage under the big top who were any good…

Eventually we made our way back to the main stage for Dillinger Escape Plan.  I’d heard a lot about the energy of this band, and enjoyed their set.  As expected there was plenty of jumping, climbing, bottle throwing and screaming.  A highlight of the set was the version of When Good Dogs Do Band Things sans Mike Patton.  This would be a band I expect would be great to see in a smaller venue, rather than on a big outdoor stage.

Bloodhound Gang came on next, as expected they played a range of their greatest hits, which was ok and funny in parts, but I left at one point to go see what else was going on.  The answer was 36 Crazyfists, who were ok, but not much more than that.  Came back to Bloodhound Gang just in time to see the bass player do the beer chug-regurgitate-re-chug routine.  Cheap laughs were the order of the day it seemed.

I decided to just chill out and get a decent spot for Alice In Chains, but to do that I had to hear Billy Talent.  These talentless fucks played their Walmart brand of pop-punk for what seemed like an excruciating hour or so.  Eventually they got the hell off stage.

Alice In Chains came on, then kicked ass from start to end.  The new singer William Duvall seemed to fit in quite well, and they played a set which contained pretty much all of their hits from over the years.  Overall I was blown away with how good they were, and they were definitely the highlight of the day for me.  They didn’t play any new material, which was a little disappointing, but the set had a great energy to it, and the crowd seemed to enjoy every minute of it.  The only minor disappointment was that the vocals were lost in the mix, but otherwise it was almost the perfect set.  I have a feeling this could be one of those rare cases where a singer replacement actually works.

Nine Inch Nails were the last band of the day, and probably the band I was looking forward to the most.  Even though I’m not a huge fan of their music, they are a live band as good as any I’ve seen, and tonight was a great example of that.  The set, mainly made up of their hits from over the years, was extremely energetic.  The lighting show was cool, though I was disappointed it was a much more sedate affair than the Lights In The Sky Tour.

Both Trent and Robin seemed to have instrument problems throughout the show, with their guitars, keyboards and the stage crew all receiving a fair amount of abuse.  A definite highlight of the set was when the guys from Dillinger Escape Plan joined them on-stage for a version of Wish.  Overall I was impressed by the NIN show, though there were a few points in the set when the played songs which aren’t really favorites of mine.

Overall, it was a great day, and a great festival.  The smaller crowd meant it was much easier to get around, and get close to the stages, and I much preferred the day to the last few Big Day Outs I’ve been to.  My only criticism would be that I would have liked to have seen Lamb Of God, but being at the same time as NIN made that a hard choice.  Alice In Chains were probably the act of the day, but Nine Inch Nails were a very close second.  Looking forward to next years event!

Puscifer Reviews

A couple of Puscifer Reviews have popped up, on from a reader and Toolarmy member, and the other a more professional review from IGN.

Cirkus from Toolarmy shared his review of the Puscifer Experience, as well as a photo of the setlist:

friday:

was able to get a quick glimpse of the stage during soundcheck and was able to hear 2 songs being rehearsed. full details under the fellowship board, vegas meetup thread.

the concert itself was awesome.

uncle scratch’s gospel revival was very entertaining. crowd-interaction and religious comedy nonstop. “give me back my bible baby”, “i banged a sinner”, “lord took my hand”, etc. bluesy, punk, and sacrilegious, all in one (a divine trinity of sorts).
puscifer was no disappointment. the opening clip, the mr. show-esque short films, and meats meiers “bob cult” footage were all hilarious. i really enjoyed the religion skit as well. that was unique to the friday show. it included televangelism jokes with a priest and nun, pokes at eastern philosophy, and a lovely aging, beer-bellied, dabbling-in-debauchery, comb-over’d, wrinkle covered, and ghetto fabulous diamond-lettered-jesus-rear valor tracksuit wearing neil socket (pronounced both s’o-kay and suck-it) aka maynard.

the music itself was awesome. very tight considering it was the first night, but a little slow-moving and unrehearsed in its transitions. songs were reinterpreted with a slew of different band members. musicians stayed on stage when finished, sitting on lounge furniture. maynard poured and passed wine glasses around. tim alexander surfed the web and twittered throughout. “the mission” with milla was the highlight of the night. the new song “polar bear” was very cool as well.

after the show, i got a hug from danny carey, right before he disappeared through the backstage double doors. i also met several ta members after the show. you know who you are!

setlist thanks to spin.com:

(Video segment #1)
(Skit)
“Sour Grapes”
“Rev 22:20”
“DoZo”
(Video segment #2)
“Drunk With Power”
“The Undertaker”
“Vagina Mine”
“Momma Sed”
(Video segment #3)
“Polar Bear”
“Trekka”
“Indigo Children”
“The Mission”
“Queen B”

crappy audio:
the mission (with milla): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxjEMIly4F8&fmt=18
queen b: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7tR27Jo40I&fmt=18

video footage can be found on youtube.

saturday:

got a free fourth row ticket to billy joel, thanks to my friend’s connection with the backup band. billy definitely put on a good show.

sunday:

as the venue filled up, anticipation built up. usgr put on a great show again, and thankfully played “cant bang you on a sunday (guess i’ll have to bang you on a monday)”, a song i heard on their myspace and wanted to hear on friday. they were so kind as to ask the soundboard folks to turn up jesus. a jesus portrait was mic’ed (and the drummer pointed out the portrait was not of david grohl). i ran into the band at the merch table after their set and told them i felt saved. “you are saved, brother” was the response. i also met junior (lighting) at the soundboard before the show. talked for a short bit.

a curtain was removed and a mini trailer on stage was revealed. maynard crawled on stage from the first row somewhere between 9 and 9:30. he went into the trailer and the screens on either side of the stage displayed a video of inside. he was at his computer calling the cast of characters and telling them there was a forgotten third night (some members were playing poker, apparently). a woman was also in the trailer. she had a bright orange wig, but you couldnt see her face. maynard exited the trailer to set up folding lawn chairs and a mini grill with marshmellows.

the songs were much solider than friday, and different versions were played. i felt as though the music was better, but friday was just as good due to the virginity of the event. oh yeah, the woman with the orange wig, fishnetting, and nurse outfit was none other than tim alexander from primus. he joined in on some songs and then went back to drinking wine and eating food in the trailer (he even ate sushi during dozo).

mid-set maynard married juliette to her boyfriend who strongly resembled justin chancellor but was not. juliette had “left her wedding” to come sing at this surprise third show.

the performance was great. i had hoped to witness a cuntry boner encore, but oh well.

here is the setlist for sunday:

Puscifer Setlist
Puscifer Setlist

IGN posted a review of the Friday night show, as well as a couple of pictures that have been round the traps for a while.  Here’s a snippet:

Perhaps the most compelling performance of the show was of the all-new track, “The Mission.” For one “The Mission” is easily Puscifer’s most sophisticated entry to-date with complex vocal layering and a memorable piano progression, but it also features the talents of actress/singer Milla Jovovich. While Jovovich is most recognized for her roles in the Resident Evil film series, she is also an impressive singer. Jovovich’s vocal style is much like her speaking voice – smooth, sweet, and sometimes raspy.

Sounds like they were a great success, and personally I’d love to see a Puscifer performance one day.

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