My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 7

And the beat goes on. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2click here for part 3,  click here for part 4,  click here for part 5, and finally click here for part 6. Without further ado here are more concerts I went to. Starting with a couple I forgot to mention in previous editions..

163. Silversun Pickups, Dandy Warhols – November 3, 2009 – Gibson Amphitheatre, Los Angeles.

164. Seu Jorge – July 27, 2013 – Hollywood ArtsPark – My thoughts, “He kept walking off the stage as feedback from the microphone reared its ugly head. Finally, five songs into his set, Jorge said some words in Portuguese and stomped off. His backing band looked confused for a moment before following him. The crowd booed.”

165. Jose Gonzalez – September 28, 2015 – Hollywood ArtsPark –My thoughts, “The singer is stoic, remaining calm through only a couple of technical problems with the sound, just as when a siren from the nearby street encroached on one of his songs. The only emotions he showed on the evening were heard via his soft, though direct and precise, singing voice.”

166. Chris Cornell – October 29, 2015 – Arsht Center, Miami – My thoughts, “Still, the impressive range of Cornell’s set list didn’t stop fans from shouting out song titles they wanted to hear. He had to explain that many of the songs in his catalog don’t translate into this format where it was just his voice, an acoustic guitar, and the occasional cellist accompanying him. Professor Cornell also taught us the cello could be a rocking instrument, as it was for the night’s renditions of “Black Hole Sun” and a cover of the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.””

167. Silversun Pickups – January 8, 2016 – Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale – My thoughts, “First coming to fame in 2005, Silversun Pickups brought an American angst edge to British shoegazing influences like My Bloody Valentine. On this night, they replicated their recorded work in a live setting so convincingly that it kept possibly one of the more polite crowds in human history locked in place. By the time they finished their main set with “Lazy Eye,” the best Smashing Pumpkins song Billy Corgan never wrote, there was finally some jumping and hair flailing in the crowd.”

168. Peppa Pig – January 23, 2016 – Fillmore Miami Beach – I admit to getting a little teary eyed reading about taking my then two year old to this play that I’ll classify as a concert. My thoughts, “The plot from what I could piece together was that there was a hole in the school’s roof and Peppa and her friends threw a fair to raise money to fix the roof. There was a scene with talking pineapples that had the parents behind me joking in a South American accent about LSD.  At this point I got a little distracted because my daughter began swinging from the waist high bar in front of us. She’s not the toddler equivalent of the friend who when they get drunk passes out, she’s the one who dances on the tables.”

169. Colin Hay – January 29, 2016 – Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale.

170. Bryan Adams – February 20, 2016 – Fillmore – My thoughts, “A little after 8 p.m., Adams walked on to the stage with gelled hair and a sports coat that would have him perfectly comfortable at a hedge-fund manager’s summer mixer. Backed by his longtime guitarist, bassist, drummer, and keyboardist (whom he refers to as the Dudes of Leisure), Adams came out with the earnest, high-energy bar-band rock ’n’ roll of “Do What Ya Gotta Do” followed by “Can’t Stop This Thing We Started.” The music was fine. The Dudes of Leisure all had chops, Bryan’s voice sounded good, his diction clear enough so his lyrics could fit whatever product advertisers might wish to sell you. The music was the soundtrack of a million midlife crises, bringing the crowd back to a past that — for one Saturday night anyway — they could believe was still in their future.”

171. Okeechobee Music Festival – March 4-5, 2016 – Going over the review this Central Florida festival had a better line-up than I remembered. Robert Plant, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Portugal the Man, Hall & Oates, Shabazz Palaces. What I remember most was how long it took me to figure out how to set up the tent I slept in.

172. of Montreal – April 1, 2016 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “To great cheers, out came singer Kevin Barnes, his silky and well-conditioned hair and magenta shirt flowing. He played the guitar and sang in a more subdued fashion than is generally the case at of Montreal shows, allowing himself to stand out as the straight man amidst all kinds of shenanigans.”

173. The Cult – April 16, 2016 – Fillmore – My thoughts, “The Cult couldn’t have a more fitting name. If a Druid or Dionysian from centuries ago time traveled to the Fillmore this past Saturday night, they could be forgiven for thinking that the concertgoers were actually religious followers gathering at a temple to witness some sort of holy ceremony.”

174. The Sword – May 10, 2016 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “The Austin, Texas, four-piece is classified by some as metal, and I suppose the fact the band has toured several times with Metallica could pigeonhole it as such, but it doesn’t play at such quick tempos. The group’s musicianship, and the fact that both bassist and guitarist harmonize with lead singer, almost nudges it into prog-rock territory. There’s Black Sabbath in the band’s DNA for sure, King Crimson and Queens of the Stone Age too. Beyond categorization or comparison, though, the Sword’s music is something like the soundtrack to a ’70s-era teenaged boy’s life, music for rolling the 16-sided dice during a weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons.” 

175. Trick Daddy – June 4, 2016 – Churchill’s, Miami – My thoughts, “After a rendition of “Thug Holiday,” he said he was going to play one more song and stayed true to his word, leaving through the door behind the stage not even 25 minutes after he’d entered. His extended crew followed him and the audience slowly realized that was it. His show lasted barely as long as it takes to watch an episode of your favorite sitcom. There were a couple of boos and a few chants of, “We want Trick.” But most of the crowd filed out resigned to the fact that Trick Daddy is thug enough not to care if he earns that cash from your wallet.”

176. Weird Al Yankovic – June 10, 2016 – Arsht Center – My thoughts, “Everyone should attend a Weird Al Yankovic concert once in his or her life. And probably only once.”

177. Steely Dan, Steve Winwood- June 29, 2016 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – My thoughts, “This was the first band that made rock music for grownups. Rock ‘n’ roll from Elvis to the Stones to the Strokes was always three chords, crooning about lust with careless abandon. Steely Dan, meanwhile, wrote songs with complicated structures about regret and nostalgia. If the Beatles were what you played during your first kiss and the Cure was what you played during your first heartbreak, Steely Dan was the soundtrack for making your alimony payment.”

178. AC/DC with Axl Rose – August 30, 2016 – BB&T Center – Easily the loudest concert I ever went to. My thoughts, “It was terrible news for classic rock fans last March when AC/DC cancelled the last leg of the “Rock or Bust” World Tour because singer Brian Johnson was at risk for total hearing loss. At the time, the band announced it would make up the ten missed dates with a guest singer;  we figured some shmoe from an AC/DC cover band would get the honor. No one dreamed the substitute could possibly be one of the most famous rock stars of all time: Axl Rose. But that’s exactly who  sang “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell” Tuesday night at at the BB&T Center. Axl’s distinctive high screams stood in sharp contrast to Johnson’s deep bellows, but the fact that Rose was singing only AC/DC songs backed by AC/DC  made this concert something weird and unique and fascinating.”

179. Donovan – September 8, 2016 – Parker Playhouse .

180. Brian Wilson – September 14, 2016 – Hard Rock Live.

181. Slayer & Anthrax – September 28, 2016 – Fillmore – My thoughts, “If, as a child, the notion of mutilating the neighborhood cat made you a little squeamish, Wednesday night’s concert at the Fillmore Miami Beach probably wasn’t for you. One half of the all-time big four of thrash metal were in town — Slayer and Anthrax — and an army of their fans, clad in black, were ready and eager to bang some heads.”

182. iii Points – October 7-9, 2016 – Wynwood.

183. The Dandy Warhols – October 1, 2016 – Culture Room.

184. Peter Hook & The Light – November 18, 2016 – Culture Room.

185. The Flaming Lips – November 19, 2016 – North Beach Bandshell.

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 6

I wasn’t lying about this being a sick exercise of compulsion. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2click here for part 3,  click here for part 4, and finally click here for part 5. Away we go…

137. Ludacris – May 26, 2011 – American Airlines Arena – I forgot about this “concert”. The rapper played a free show in exchange for courtside seats for when the LeBron James Miami Heat were the biggest show in the world. My thoughts, “He had the crowd moving and cheering when he spoke of how the Miami Heat were going to kick the collective ass of the Chicago Bulls. He reminded himself, “Lot of young ones out there so I’m going to keep this a clean show.” But then a couple moments later he went into the hit song with the rousing chorus, ‘Move bitch, get out of the way… get out of the way….'”

138. The Black Keys & St. Vincent – December 15, 2014 – BB&T Center, Sunrise.

139. Gregg Allman – January 4, 2015 – Hard Rock Live, Hollywood – My thoughts, “The man who was as synonymous in my mind with Southern rock as anyone this side of Lynyrd Skynyrd gave a performance that was more Chicago-blues-based than rock ‘n’ roll from below the Mason-Dixon.”

140. Alice Cooper – February 18, 2015 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “You could complain that Alice Cooper’s voice sounded strained Wednesday night at Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, but that would be like visiting the zoo and whining about the quality of the food. If you go see the Godfather of Shock Rock live, it’s not to hear a fine baritone, it’s for the sheer, utter spectacle. And last night Alice Cooper was an animal.”

141. Gogol Bordello – March 11, 2015 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “I know there’s a documentary about the band, Gogol Bordello Non-Stop, that backs up Hütz’s story of growing up in the shadow of Chernobyl. And when I interviewed him, his accent seemed fairly consistent, but the way Hütz took the stage Wednesday night — stumbling along as if he were drunk, brandishing a mustache as vast as the Caspian Sea — I still couldn’t help but think he’s nothing but a persona. But whether Hütz is who he says he is or some New York hipster doing performance art, the packed house at the Culture Room was smitten.”

142. Elvis Costello – March 18, 2015 – Broward Center for Performing Arts – My thoughts, “Standing in a blue suit under a white hat that would fit an 1890’s carnival barker, Elvis Costello told the crowd at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, “I thought being in Fort Lauderdale, I would just sing my songs about love and fidelity. But that would be a short set.” On the final night of his Detour tour, this set was anything but short. Closing in on thirty songs, with three encores, Costello belied his sixty years by performing for over two and a half hours.”

143. Black Lips – March 20, 2015 – Culture Room.

144. Miami Beach Centennial – March 31, 2015 – South Beach – Flo Rida, Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli, Barry Gibb. My thoughts, “It’s hard to imagine how the founders of Miami Beach envisioned their island paradise a century in the future. It’s unlikely that they foresaw Miami Beach residents in 2015 using selfie sticks or drones. They also probably could not see Flo Rida coming.”

145. The Ting Tings – April 16, 2015 – Revolution Live – My thoughts, “The only inefficient thing about the Ting Tings might be the name. Singer/guitarist Katie White and drummer Jules De Martino powered through thirteen songs at Revolution Live last night in just under an hour, not even going through the charade of leaving the stage and having the crowd chant their name for an encore. These two from Manchester, UK, with their dancy, catchy beats and angular guitars, lived up to their reputation of either being the last big Britpop band or the first successful Britpop revivalists.”

146. Sunfest Day 1 2015 – April 29, 2015 – West Palm Beach – I went to see Wilco, but Lenny Kravitz was there, and a pre-fame Lizzo. My thoughts, “The two headliners were Wilco and Lenny Kravitz, who were playing at the same time on opposing stages. You would think having to choose between the two biggest draws would be a problem, but it was more like going to the movie theater and learning Fast & Furious 7 and the new Noah Baumbach movie are playing at the same time.”

147. Sunfest Day 4 2015 – May 3, 2015 – West Palm Beach – Pixies! Pixies! Pixies! My thoughts, “The Pixies are notorious for cutting all fat or dead spots from their sets, and the band has never been confused with being a jam band. But on this set, Pixies played around with some old favorites. Opener “U-Mass” had a stretched-out instrumental intro. When Frank Black finally sung, it wasn’t as rapidly as the recorded version but rather with a laid-back drawl. “Nimrod’s Son” also had a verse where the tempo went down to a countrified Tennessee waltz time. The elephant in the room at all live Pixie shows was that original member Kim Deal is no longer with the band. She’s currently replaced by Paz Lenchantin. The band respects Deal’s absence by not playing the songs she sung lead on, like “Gigantic” or “Into the White.””

148. Neutral Milk Hotel – May 6, 2015 – Olympia Theater, Miami – My thoughts, “In a 90-minute set as beautiful and ornate as the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center stage upon which they played, Neutral Milk Hotel made believers out of the unacquainted under a ceiling painted as the night sky.”

149. Big Guava Fest – May 9, 2015 – Tampa – Made the drive to Tampa to see The Strokes, Pixies, TV on the Radio, and Run the Jewels. The review seems to have disappeared from the internet.

150. The War on Drugs – June 16, 2015 -Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “It’s safe to assume the Philadelphia-based rock band that played the Fillmore last night came up with the name the War on Drugs ironically. Its sound is, after all, one of pure 1980s cocaine excess. Its latest critically acclaimed album, last year’s Lost in the Dream, is basically ten different awesome variations of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer.” On the band’s first visit to Miami, it was able to masterfully replicate its signature overproduced aesthetic in a live setting that had the audience clapping in spontaneous unison during the nearly two-hour set.”

151. Wyclef Jean – June 18, 2015 – Surfcomber Hotel, Miami Beach – Concert was ok. Biggest memory was my brother and I nerding out talking to then Miami Heat assistant coach David Fizdale.

152. Brit Floyd – July 16, 2015 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “Brit Floyd gave the packed crowd at the Fillmore a positive impression on the tribute genre last night. The band picked an artist in Pink Floyd that doesn’t have any iconic members whose images are etched in our collective memory. While a Led Zeppelin tribute band is required to have a singer with long curly locks to play Robert Plant and a Doors tribute band better have a singer who will take off his shirt, Brit Floyd didn’t have to waste energy on embodying the looks of Roger Waters, David Gilmour and gang. Rather they were able to concentrate on emulating the brilliant psychedelics that is the music of Pink Floyd.”

153. Marilyn Manson & Smashing Pumpkins – July 22, 2015 – Bayfront Park, Miami – My thoughts, “In their peak years, the Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson would have never toured together. Though they are both of the same genre, the two acts couldn’t be more different. It wasn’t too difficult to pick out the Manson fans from the Pumpkins fans at Bayfront Park Amphitheatre. Manson’s loyal army were a little more hardcore, dressed in black with no shortage of dark eyeshadow. Corgan’s people were a little brighter, nodding politely along as Manson screamed into his knife-shaped microphone.”

154. Zappa Plays Zappa – September 10, 2015 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “There was a technical difficulty midway through the set, when Dweezil was forced to stall for time and told about acting in the 1987 movie The Running Man, where he was witness to Arnold Schwarzenegger crassly hitting on any chick on set while lighting ten-foot flames. The punchline brought a lot of laughs from the house. Though Frank Zappa’s music was one part jazz, another part rock, and a portion Broadway showtune, Dweezel Zappa’s Schwarzenegger story would have fit right in to the lyrics of his father’s comedy music.”

155. The Jesus and Mary Chain – October 4, 2015 – Olympia Theater – My thoughts, “And as the Jesus and Mary Chain launched into its set, few dared to stand. Sure we were all older and the seat cushions were so comfortable, but it felt wrong to be sitting. But when the opening riff of “Head On” started, that course was corrected. Like dominos in reverse, one row stood up and then another until it reached the point where concertgoers were being told by tuxedoed ushers with flashlights not to dance in the aisle.”

156. iii Points Festival – October 9-10, 2015 – Wynwood – Saw Run the Jewels, a video concert of MF Doom, Toro Y Moi, and Warpaint.

157. Cheap Trick – October 22, 2015 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “A bit after 8 p.m., what sounded like an automated female voice said over the Hard Rock Live loudspeaker, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the best fucking rock band you’ve ever seen — Cheap Trick.” That might be a bit of hyperbole, but last night, the aging Midwestern rockers with their tongues often planted firmly in their cheeks did indulge a hearty crowd with flashbacks of four decades of high-quality rock ‘n’ roll.”

158. Public Image Ltd – November 5, 2015 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “John Lydon, more infamously known as Johnny Rotten, earned his place in the books as lead singer of the Sex Pistols, but last night at Fort Lauderdale’s Culture Room, the legendary punk rocker proved his “secondary” band, Public Image Ltd, are second to none.  Lydon walked on stage at 9:15 dressed in a ridiculous jailbird-striped set of pajamas, hair still spiky and bleached blonde, with looped earrings pierced into his lobes and that smart-ass punk rock attitude he trademarked in full effect.”

159. The English Beat – November 7, 2015 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “They ripped through nearly 20 songs, barely taking a breath in between rocksteady beats. There was not even the clichéd, ego-boosting walk off the stage having the fans chant their name.”

160, St. Paul & The Broken Bones – December 5, 2015 – Culture Room.

161. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and Imagine Dragons – December 30, 2015 – South Beach – My thoughts, “But the main attraction was the hip-hop of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and the stadium rock of Imagine Dragons. While both acts are too over-polished and obsessed with positive messages for this music critic’s taste, it was hard to walk away from the show without appreciating the effort the two groups put into giving the crowd its money’s worth — which, yes, was technically $0.”

Click here for part 7.

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 5

Alright, now we’re deep into it. The beginning of when I started reviewing concerts for the New Times. Lots of links and excerpts are coming your way. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2click here for part 3, and finally click here for part 4. Away we go…

103. Flogging Molly – February 13, 2013 – Revolution, Fort Lauderdale. Here’s what I wrote way back then, “Whatever preconceptions you might have about the California band Flogging Molly, seeing the dedication of their fans at last night’s concert at Revolution Live would force you to listen to them with fresh ears. At their best, Flogging Molly’s recorded music is soulful hardcore pub music. At its worst, they sound like a generic Warped Tour band with an Irish accent.”

104. Rush – April 26, 2013 – BB&T Center, Sunrise. My thoughts back in the day, “Geddy Lee’s falsetto voice is the most distinguishing feature of Rush. And as he hopped around stage on one foot, he hit pitches that would make Mariah Carey’s dog whistle envious. Harder for me to appreciate was the ridiculous bombast that surrounded the music. When the screen behind the band was not focusing on close-ups of the musicians, it showed a series of silly images. At one time, it displayed atomic bombs detonating, other times, it there was a giant baby carriage rolling around the world.”

105. Crosby, Stills & Nash – May 10, 2013 – Hard Rock, Hollywood – I’ll always fondly remember this show because it was the last concert my very pregnant love interest and I attended before our daughter was born a week later. Ever since this concert hearing “Our House” brings a tear to my eye. My thoughts back then, “If you want to feel young, go to a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert where the generation that coined “never trust anyone over thirty” are all now in their sixties. The two women in the seats in front of me discussed the travails of hot flashes as they waited for the veteran supergroup to take the stage.

106. Donovan Frankenreiter – June 15, 2013 – Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale – My thoughts back then, “It had been many a Cinco de Mayo since I’d seen the number of girls wearing fake mustaches as were in the parking lot outside the Culture Club on Saturday night. The reason was simple. Donavon Frankenreiter, the surfing singer, was in town with his band. His mustache is his calling card, so much so that if you forgot to bring one from home, the merchandising table was selling them for a dollar a pop.”

107. Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket – June 26, 2013 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm – Only for Bob Dylan could I convince my love interest to leave our one month old daughter for the first time. My thoughts back then, “Now a Southwestern rockabilly Lothario playing between two bright flames, there was a sinister drawl to his performance. Sounding more like Tom Waits than Bob Dylan, it made sense why he was not commenting on the change in the wind. It took five songs into the set before there was a recognition by the audience of familiar lyrics. “Tangled Up In Blue” brought out cheers of familiarity, but the arrangement was completely different. Now, it was less a song you would hear at an open mic night at a coffeehouse and more an accompaniment of a striptease at a Juarez bordello.”

108. 311, Sublime with Rome, Pennywise – July 21, 2013 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – I only drove up there to see Cypress Hill and I missed them. My thoughts, “Seeing a line-up of 311, Sublime With Rome, Cypress Hill, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Pennywise on a Sunday in July in 2013 would be like going to a concert in 1993 headlined by War, Grand Funk Railroad, and Three Dog Night. The 311 Unity Tour is a nineties-centric nostalgia package, that brings you back to a time when you couldn’t be on the phone and the internet simultaneously.”

109. Justin Timberlake and Jay Z – August 16, 2013 – Dolphins Stadium, Miami Gardens – My thoughts, “Twenty years ago, JT and Jay would have been an unlikely match, The Mouseketeer and the crack slinger. But on this evening, they were equals. From the first song, “Holy Grail,” Timberlake took the left of the stage and Jay Z the right. They stood under screens displaying Greco-Roman sculptures. And they shared a massive backing band, set up in three tiers. There were no breaks between sets. A Jay Z song would segue into a Timberlake number.”

110. Scott Weiland – August 24, 2013 – Revolution Live – My thoughts, “There was a sense of urgency at Revolution Live Saturday night. Many came to see Scott Weiland perform because they thought it might be the last time they would have the chance to see him live.” And they were right to fear that. He died a couple years later.

111. Loretta Lynn – September 15, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – Can’t find the review, but remember going with my Dad. She put on a good show, but did not play a minute longer than her contract obliged her to.

112. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – October 8, 2013 – Grand Central, Miami – My thoughts, “Sinister, lustful, and serious, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club showed Tuesday night that they are just as committed to rebelliously acting out as that thespian outlaw, Marlon Brando.”

112. John Fogerty – October 29, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “Breaking the South Florida record for most flannel shirts under one roof — long held by a K-Mart off of US1 — was not the only impressive feat that took place at Tuesday night’s John Fogerty concert. Even more remarkable was that the 68-year-old singer and guitarist could command the stage for a 28 (yes 28!) song set at Hard Rock Live.”

113. Sleigh Bells – November 2, 2013 – Culture Room – Great show! My thoughts, “The duo of Krauss and guitarist Derek Miller were joined on stage by a drummer and bassist who provided a much harder sound than fans of Sleigh Bells might have expected. The band found a particular branch of fame by juxtaposing noisy, experimental beats behind Krauss’s pop diva voice. But knowing Sleigh Bells catalog would not prepare you for how heavy their sound was this weekend. It far surpassed any of their peers you might hear on the xm indie station. This was Ministry heavy. Nine Inch Nails heavy. This was Rage Against the Machine fronted by Christina Aguilera.”

114. Friends of Nature Festival – November 10, 2013 – A boring fest. My thoughts.

115. Janelle Monae – November 23, 2013 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “Monáe, a Kansas City-raised, Atlanta-based neo-soul singer, belongs to the school of Andre 3000 and CeeLo Green. Her performances are equal parts church sermon, art-school project, and r&b, funk, and science fiction rave up.”

116. Tegan & Sara – December 6, 2013 – Scope Art Fair – My thoughts, “Tegan & Sara still possess their secret weapon: twin voices that work together to create untraditional harmonies. They also came armed with humility and humor, charming every member of the audience who was actually paying attention and not checking the iPhone for the next Basel party to attend.”

117. ZZ Top – December 28, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “Stick around long enough, and you become what you pretended to be. When ZZ Top formed in 1970, they were a trio of twenty-year-olds trying to capture the blues of their home state of Texas. Thousands of whiskey bottle-emptying, smoky nights later and they’ve filled the role they cast themselves to play.”

118. Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – January 9, 2014 – Revolution Live – My thoughts, “Once you hear Claypool’s voice, you will never forget it. It’s instantly recognizable by its baritone goofiness. That goes double for his bass playing. If Claypool has a superpower, it’s that, armed solely with a bass (and in this instance a kick drum and a companion on guitar), he can make a band sound huge, filling the room with a full sound. If Claypool has a second super power, it’s the ability to make every song, no matter the song’s genre or origins, sound like the same song.”

119. Lauryn Hill, The Marleys – February 15, 2014 – Miami Dade County Fairgrounds – My thoughts, “Ms. Lauryn Hill, the one-time Fugee, one-time costar of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, five-time Grammy-winner, and mother of five children with another of Bob’s sons, Rohan Marley, reminded us though she might not ever record another album, her live performances are hurricane-level forces of nature.”

120. Yo La Tengo – March 22, 2014 – The Colony Theatre, Miami Beach – My thoughts to this live scoring of a documentary, “Even in this multitasking day and age when people respond to email, talk on the phone, and watch a rerun of Seinfeld all at the same time, it was hard to know exactly where to keep your eyes on Saturday night at the Colony Theatre. At center stage was a screen displaying the sound and images of the film documentary The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller. To stage right stood the movie’s director Sam Green in a bright orange shirt, live-narrating the movie. And then, most distracting of all, to stage left, sitting amid a scattering of instruments were indie rock legends Yo La Tengo, performing the soundtrack.”

121. Deltron 3030- April 3, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts on this great show, “”The future is coming on.” Fitting last words for an act so devoted to a time that has not yet happened. And to continue the Nostradamus theme, while I wouldn’t dare predict the future, I can say with near certainty that in December this will rank as one of the top South Florida hip-hop shows of the year.”

122, Tech N9ne – April 16, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Through his 90-minute, high-energy set, the Kansas City rapper shouted about “evil brain, angel heart” and wondered aloud, “Am I a Psycho.” For a Wednesday night, Culture Room was utterly packed with scarce room to breathe. A small but obnoxious percentage of the crowd seemed to be auditioning to be Tech N9ne’s evil henchmen. But these meatheads pushing their way around the floor need not apply, as he already had a sidekick in labelmate Krizz Kaliko.”

123. Haim – April 29, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “If forced to choose a band from music history with which Haim draws closer parallels, instead of Fleetwood Mac, it would be Hanson. Like the 1990s singers of “MMMBop,” Haim are three siblings of the same sex, reared by their parents to dominate the music charts with their magnificently long tresses. Throughout their hour-plus set, the three sisters shook their luxurious manes and showed emotion by running fingers through their perfectly conditioned hair. If the music thing does not work out, they can count on a lucrative contract endorsing Neutrogena or Herbal Essences.”

124. Of Montreal – May 7, 2014 – Grand Central – My thoughts, “Of Montreal is one of those critically acclaimed bands whose dozen-album deep catalog is impossible to dive into. That is, unless you see them live. Such an occurrence will baptize you into the cult, screaming, “Amen!” after every one of the outfit’s impossibly energetic numbers and leaving you counting down the days until you can listen to the next sermon.”

125. Bastille – May 15, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “Bastille walked out to the dreamy theme song from the 1990 David Lynch TV show Twin Peaks. The quartet later performed a song, “Laura Palmer,” named after a dead central character from the series. But it was difficult to find a connection between the nihilistic drama with an oddball sense of humor and a rock band that takes everything so seriously while making it sound life affirming. It was as incongruous as if Stitches came out for a concert with the Sesame Street theme and performed a song titled “Cookie Monster.” If Bastille were an old TV show, it would more likely be Law & Order, reliable and hard working, with every episode following the same formula.”

126. Toadies, Supersuckers – May 16, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Openers Supersuckers are another casualty of the ’90s who never hit it as big as Toadies, but not for a lack of talent or stage presence. They play a filthy, hairy style of rock that would fit in any bar you’d be scared to walk into.”

127. Drive-By Truckers – June 4, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Through Drive-By Truckers’ 22-song, every odd song was Cooley’s, and every even song was Hood’s. The yin followed by the yang. The country followed by rock. The wiry, clean shaven stoic followed by the stocky, bearded, jokester.”

128. Little Dragon – June 12, 2014 – Grand Central – My thoughts, “Little Dragon hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. Four albums into the band’s career, the foursome is quite comfortable skipping between genres, from the realm of sunshiny pop reminiscent of Gwen Stefani to dark, moody synth stuff as icy as a Scandinavian winter.”

129. Lionel Richie, CeeLo Green – July 15, 2014 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – My thoughts, “‘You’re always going to remember three things from tonight. Where you were, what you were doing, and who you were doing,’ Lionel Richie told the large crowd at Cruzan Amphitheatre on Tuesday night before letting out that wide grin underneath his signature mustache. He then sauntered over to the piano to sing “Easy.” Say what you will about Lionel Richie, and many critics have over the years, but the man does not lack confidence.”

130. Tori Amos – August 24, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “A little after 9 p.m., the Zeppelin was turned off, the house lights dimmed, and out in a silver robe/dress walked Tori Amos to a standing ovation. With her famous fiery red hair, she bowed to the crowd and sat at a majestic black grand piano, where she kept the crowd in rapt attention for nearly two hours as she dug into “Parasol,” the first of more than 20 songs she played on the final night of her Unrepentant Geraldines Tour.”

131. Washed Out – September 13, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “As imagined, with its introverted dreaminess, Washed Out did not inspire much dancing or movement, but instead smiles and bliss. The only complaint I overheard about the band’s 13-song set was that it was too short. Even with the break before the two song encore, its time on stage barely dented a full hour. But I suppose that should be expected as dreams, like the music inspired by them, are always fleeting.”

132. Peter Frampton – October 5, 2014 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “When you look up Peter Frampton’s name, four words come up: “teen idol” and “guitar god.” Today only a very strange teenager would have a poster of the now balding, 64-year-old Frampton on their wall. That is, unless the kid was a student of the guitar. Then it would make perfect sense. Last night in his two hour set at Hard Rock Live, Frampton showed that while the dreamy hair might be long gone, he still knows his way up and down the neck of a guitar.”

133. Foster the People – October 16, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “After Soko’s joie de vivre, the overpolished sheen of Foster the People couldn’t help but feel like a repeat episode of American Idol. Simon or Paula Abdul or JLo or whoever’s working as the judges these days would give the band high marks. The singer hit his falsetto notes, did his darnedest to connect with the audience, and even looked fashionable coming out in a leather jacket, only to take it off four songs into the show. But there was such a blandness to the delivery that it made me want to pore over Foster the People’s lyrics and see if it’s a Christian rock band. (It’s not.)”

134. Ringo Starr & His All Star Band – October 22, 2014 – Broward Center for Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale – My thoughts, “If you’ve ever seen Paul McCartney live, you know what an unforgettable experience that is. Even at seventy-two years of age, Sir Paul still belts out three hour performances, playing all the hits that pull at your heartstrings. There was no Paul in sight last night, Ringo Starr was the only Beatle in town, offering a different kind of show. Less rock and roll, more Vegas lounge act.”

135. Coral Skies Music Festival – October 26, 2014 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre- Julian Casablancas, Manchester Orchestra et al.,

136. Phil Collins, Richard Marx – December 6, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – Billed as Phil Collins first performance in years. The guy didn’t even play. At least I got to take advantage of an open bar at this charity gala. My thoughts, “It’s understandable that a musician would only like to be heard when he is at his best. But since the night was for a cause to aid aspiring musicians, a better lesson could have been taught. Even if Collins wasn’t close to 100 percent, he could have embodied that old quote for the young kids: being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.”

Click here to read part 6.

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 4

We’re almost to the point in my life where I started writing concert reviews where I will have documentation of most concerts I attended. But for now I’ll rev up the old memory banks to see what shows I’ve seen. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2 and finally click here for part 3. Away we go…

81. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – September 18, 2007 – Troubadour, Los Angeles.

82. Frank Black – October 15, 2007 – Safari Sam’s, Los Angeles – Thank goodness for FrankBlack.net or I’d never remember the dates of all these Frank Black concerts I went to.

83. The Moody Blues – March 11, 2008 – Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles.

84. Cold War Kids – August 23, 2008 – Sunset Junction, Los Angeles.

85. The Breeders – November 17, 2008 – The Wiltern.

86. Modest Mouse – February 24, 2009 – Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles.

87. The Dodos – August 8, 2009 – J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

88. Frank Black – August 11, 2009 – The Mint, Los Angeles – We have now reached the first concert that I wrote about and still have records of. You can read my thoughts by clicking here. If clicking is too much trouble for you, here is what I wrote:

“It was just Frank Black and his guitar. From time to time he bantered with the audience. Frank recognized his asides were second rate and apologized for no anecdotes coming to mind.

My friend Anthony and I have an inside joke that during the band’s downtime Frank and Kim Deal engage in pie eating contests. This dwindles into us doing imitations of Frank Black eating pie.

We joked amongst ourselves that he should talk about pie. But maybe we did say it loudly because then he did in fact start talking about pie.

“I was in Kansas and the waitress asked us if we’d like dessert. We asked if she had pie. She said, ‘We have buttloads of pie’.”  For him the punchline was that the waitress used the word, buttloads. For us it was the fact that this round, hairless man somehow has a magical, musical portal into our minds.”

89. Pixies – November 4, 2009 – Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles- By now you can tell I’m a Pixies and Pixies affiliated band fanatic. I love the Pixies so much I bought a bootleg t-shirt of the band outside the gig which I still have to this day. Unfortunately whoever crafted the shirt didn’t have a proofreader. They write the cities on this Doolittle tour as Demver, Colorado and Washinton D.C.. After all these years it adds to the charm.

90. Otto Von Schirach – December ?, 2009 – The White Room, Miami – I’d seen my friend from high school perform his crazy show many times. This was the first time I wrote about it. Was a great, chaotic, show.

91. Paul McCartney – March 30, 2010 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles. This was the night I got over my stigma of seeing my classic rock heroes play live. I guess I feared the geriatric versions of these great rock and rollers would tarnish their music. But most of these old timers are amazing. None more so than Macca who I wrote, “blasted out Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which evolved into the final medley from Abbey Road. “And in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take.” Everyone in the crowd was hoarse from singing along for over two and a half hours, but found the spirit to yelp out those final words. And on the way out we had enough voice to keep singing away from the venue.

92. Pavement – April 15, 2010 – Fox Theater, Pomona – I’d been waiting a decade to see Pavement play live again. Was happy to drive 37 miles east of LA to see one of their first reunion shows. Amazing 30 song set. Here’s what I wrote, “The power of music was undeniable. Space and time be damned a bond was created between me and this girl and probably hundreds of other in the crowd as we sung along to every verse in their catalog. It didn’t matter if you first heard their music on a car stereo on the Pacific Coast Highway or a dorm room in the Midwest. Those guitars set to alternate tunings hit you right in that nostalgic part of your heart.”

93. Coachella – April 18, 2010 – My buddy Justin said he could get us into Coachella for free so on the spur of the moment on a Sunday we drove out to the desert even though we both had to teach the next day. Pavement (again), Gorillaz, Spoon. We drove back to LA in the early morning hours. We stopped at a rest stop to close our eyes at about 2 am, next thing I knew it was 5:30. We somehow made it back in time to teach our classes. Here’s what I wrote back then, “I soaked in the polo field with a million hipsters drugged and sunburnt out of their minds. As I leaned against the tree I saw a familiar face. It was the waist high alternative icon, Beck, with his  flunkies and toddler son who all wore the same haircut.”

94. MGMT – July 16, 2010 – Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.

95. Pavement, Sonic Youth – September 30, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA. Two of my favorite ever bands playing in a venue much too big for them. a fitting last concert for me to see to close out my California years. Here’s what I wrote back in the day, “Due to noise ordinances Pavement played an abbreviated set. All their weird songs skipped over for their semi-hits. A sixty year old man was loving it, dancing in his flowered shirt with his woman of a similar age. But what finally got me involved wasn’t a song, it was a joke. The drummer announced, “This next song is ‘Rattled By The Rush’”. Then lead singer, Stephen Malkmus, one of the wittiest lyricists of the twentieth century said, “We’re going to dedicate this song to Matt Leinert.” Unless you’re a football fan you wouldn’t get it, but half the crowd did.”

96. Metric – December 1, 2010 – sands of Miami Beach.

97. Interpol – April 29, 2011 – Fillmore, Miami Beach

98. Blackstar – September 27, 2011 – Fillmore, Miami Beach.

99. Ladytron – October 15, 2011 – Grand Central, Miami.

100. Glass Candy – January 21, 2012 – Grand Central, Miami.

101. Wilco – May 15, 2012 – Fillmore, Miami Beach.

102. The Dandy Warhols – October ? 2012 – Portland – While visiting my friend in Oregon got to be treated to seeing one of my fave bands playing down the street from his house at some benefit against putting fluoride in Portland’s water supply.

Click here to read part 5.

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 3

And the list goes on. My memories of these years are a bit shakier. I seemed to have seen a lot of bands multiple times. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2.

53. Stephen Malkmus – February? 2003 – El Rey Theater, Los Angeles – I can’t find evidence of this concert, but I know I attended it right after I moved to LA. I was living on the fumes of my unemployment checks, picking oranges from trees to save money on food, but somehow I found the cash to pay for this show. It was worth every citrus based meal i was required to eat the next week.

54. Bjork – August 11, 2003 – Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles – A friend showed me how to sneak into this legendary venue and I took advantage of it many a time.

55. Toots & The Maytals – August 24, 2003 – Hollywood Bowl – Case in point.

56. Radiohead – September 25, 2003 – Hollywood Bowl.

57. Josh Rouse – October? 2003 – The Troubadour, Los Angeles.

58. Coheed and Cambria – January? 2004 – Spaceland, Los Angeles – I wasn’t too impressed with the band, but I remember more the only in LA kind of night I had. My roommate at the time was sleeping with former MTV host Matt Pinfield who loved this band, and throughout the show all he did was talk about how much he loved them. Never saw Matt again who took off with a biography of the director Elia Kazan I had in my living room.

59. Franz Ferdinand – March 15, 2004 – Amoeba Music, Los Angeles.

60. Quannum Projects Tour – April 29, 2004 – House of Blues, West Hollywood.

61. Coachella – May 1, 2004 – I drove out to the desert expressly to see my favorite ever band’s first show together in a dozen years, the Pixies. It lived up to the hype I created in my head. I also got to see some of my other faves in Beck and Radiohead. But looking at who else played I’m kicking myself for not yet being into Stereolab or LCD Soundsystem. Ah well, what can you do until they invent time machines?

62. Rush – July 6, 2004 – Hollywood Bowl.

63. Liz Phair, The Cardigans – August 17, 2004 – House of Blues.

64. Pixies – September 22, 2004 – Greek Theatre, Los Angeles.

65. Pixies – September 24, 2004 – Greek Theatre, Berkeley.

66. Pixies – September 25, 2004 – Greek Theatre, Berkley- I went a little crazy when I heard the Pixies reunited. OK maybe a lot crazy as I drove up and down the Golden State. But each show was completely different. I’m curious to see how many times they show up on the list.

67. All Tomorrow’s Parties – November 6-7, 2004 – The Queen Mary, Long Beach – One of, if not the greatest festival I ever went to. Held on an old war ship, it had a line-up that blew me, and perhaps only me away, as I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Lou Reed, Modest Mouse, Stephen Malkmus, the Flaming Lips, Peaches, The Shins.

68. TV on the Radio – November ? 2004 – Amoeba Music, Los Angeles.

69. Modest Mouse – February 7, 2005 – The Wiltern, Los Angeles.

70. Pixies – June 2, 2005 – The Wiltern.

71. Stephen Malkmus – June 14, 2005 – El Rey Theatre.

72. Digable Planets – June 20, 2005 – House of Blues – Felt so fortunate to see one of my favorite acts from my high school years reunite.

73. The Dandy Warhols – November 18, 2005 – Avalon, Los Angeles.

74. Belle and Sebastian – March 20, 2006 – Amoeba Music, Los Angeles.

75. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – March 23, 2006 – El Rey Theatre.

76. Dave Matthews Band – August 28, 2006 – Hollywood Bowl – Don’t judge me any more harshly than I do myself. And if you do just remember this was the venue I was able to sneak into.

77. Modest Mouse – November 5, 2006 – Avalon.

78. Modest Mouse – November 6, 2006 – The Wiltern.

79. The Raveonettes – June 1, 2007 – Spaceland.

80. Sonic Youth – July 20, 2007 – Greek Theatre.

Click here to read part 4.

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 2

And now we continue into 1999. I realize I’m leaving out a bunch of shows featuring smaller bands whose names have been lost to the annals of time. But I will do my best to be as accurate as possible. On to part 2. Here’s a link to part 1 if you’re a glutton for punishment.

29. Frank Black – January 18, 1999 – Cow Haus, Tallahassee – This week in January might have been the best week of concerts the capital city of Tallahassee ever enjoyed. At the very least it was the best week I experienced in my 4 years there. It all started with the singer of The Pixies who I would continue to see many times afterward.

30. Blonde Redhead – January 19?, 1999 – Cow Haus – Best week of concerts Tallahassee ever had continued.

31. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – January 21, 1999 – Cow Haus – Music fans are divided on this band. But this show lived up to their name. It was explosive!

32. Paleo Festival – July 24, 1999 – Nyon, Switzerland – I was nearing the tail end of bumming around Europe for two months. I was so low on cash. My friend Patrick wanted to see Iggy Pop playing at this fest so bad. I went with him. Neither of us had a tent so we went to the lost and found and picked up one to sleep in at the campground. I was too cheap to pay for a ticket. By the time I got into the actual festival Iggy Pop had already played. I saw the Italian singer Zucchero which was a poor poor substitute.

33. Zen Fest – September 18, 1999 – Coconut Grove Convention Center, Coconut Grove – I never made a good raver, but for some reason I decided to go to this rave by myself. Maybe someone was going to meet me and they flaked out? I spent a lot of hours that night trying to dance the night away and failing. Chemical Brothers were the headliner.

34. Galactic – October 13, 1999 – Floyd’s Music Store, Tallahassee

35. De La Soul – January ? 2000 – Floyd’s Music Store, Tallahassee – This was the first opportunity I had to interview one of my musical heroes when I got to interview these rappers before their show for Break magazine. I don’t remember much about the concert but I remember being super nervous meeting trugoy afterwards. He was a nice dude. even pretended he was excited to meet me.

36. Tea Leaf Green – Mondays in February 2000- Elbo Room, San Francisco – Patrick and I moved to California and for some reason we became regulars at this Monday night jam band gig.

37. Frank Black & The Catholics – March 7, 2000 – Slim’s, San Francisco.

38. The Dandy Warhols – July ? 2000 -Great American Music Hall, San Francisco.

39. Beck, The Go-Go’s – September 8, 2000 – Golden Gate Park San Francisco.

40. The Dandy Warhols – November 5, 2000 – The Fillmore, San Francisco – A friend from the bookstore I worked at went to the show with me. He won a raffle where he got an electric guitar signed by the band and we were invited to the afterparty where we got to meet the band and some kids who rented a limo for the show who gave us a ride back. But what I remember most is the bartender at the afterparty bragging how he used to be Jerry Garcia’s heroin guy,

41. Frank Black – December 8, 2000 – Cubberley Community Center, Palo Alto – I’ve written about this show a bunch of times, but it’s worth repeating. The show was at an old high-school auditorium. After the show, I was walking to my car when I heard the footsteps of a man behind me. This was like a surreal dream. Not only was I walking past rows of lockers in an empty high-school hallway, but also I was next to the man whose voice soundtracked a couple of my high-school years. I had to say something, so I asked Frank Black the first thing that came to mind. “What’s your secret?” He looked at me with grave concern: “What do you mean?” “How do you write these great songs? I mean, they’re from, like, right out of my head.” Without saying a word, he let me continue rambling. “Is it from hard living? Is it from easy living?” He laughed and thanked me for coming to the show. I got to my car and backed out of the dirt parking lot. I saw him getting things out of his gas-guzzling Cadillac, and I guess I stared for a moment too long because he had the look of a man afraid he was dealing with a stalker. 

42. Ralph Stanley – February ? 2001 – Cubberley Community Center, Palo Alto.

43. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – March 12, 2001 – Fillmore, San Francisco.

44. Coachella Festival – April 28, 2001 – We made the long drive to the desert to see a hundred different bands, but the only one I really remember is Jane’s Addiction blowing me away.

45. Radiohead – June 27, 2001- Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View – Normally I would jump at the chance to see Radiohead. But I had just come back from a ten day sleep deprived trip with a cult to Israel. It was my 23rd birthday and I just wanted to sleep for a week to get all the brainwashing out of my head. But my friends had an extra ticket for me and so I went. Later they did an imitation of me standing while sleeping during the concert.

46. Jane’s Addiction – October 26, 2001 – Shoreline Amphitheatre.

47. EmmyLou Harris – October 27, 2001 – Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

47. The Breeders – October ? 2001 – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz.

48. Gorillaz – March 7, 2002 – The Warfield, San Francisco. Weird show for a great band. They were supposed to be a band of cartoon characters, so the musicians played behind a wall and you couldn’t see them. Rather you’d watch the animated characters on the screen.

49. Frank Black – March 15, 2002 – The Catalyst, Santa Cruz.

50. Modest Mouse, The Flaming Lips, De La Soul, Cake – August 10, 2002 – Greek Theatre, Berkley.

51. Sonic Youth – August 28, 2002 – Amoeba Records, San Francisco.

52. Beck – August 29, 2002- Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, San Francisco. The list continues by clicking here…

My Compulsive List of Every Concert I Can Remember Seeing Part 1

There is no reason for writing this except for my love of music and my love of lists. Let’s see how many concerts I can remember attending and how many I can find exact dates for from the internet. We’ll start from the first show I ever went to and go from there. I’ll try to keep my memories brief.

  1. Lollapalooza ’92 – August 22, 1992 – Bicentennial Park, Miami – What a way to start. No wonder I became addicted to concerts. Lush, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, Soundgarden, Ministry, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was so hot and sweaty. My skinny 14 year old self tried to mosh. I couldn’t understand why I kept going into the pit, but I did. Biggest memory though was getting home and my Mom saying we had to pack because Hurricane Andrew was on its way to wreak havoc.
  2. Beastie Boys, The Rollins Band, Cypress Hill – November 14, 1992 – Bayfront Park, Miami – Who knew there were so many skinheads in Miami? These punks who kicked around their steel toed Doc Martens were vicious. But I braved them to see the Beasties who started my music addiction as a 9 year old when I bought a cassette of License to Ill from Spec’s Records. A bonus that night I got to learn about two other crazy acts in Rollins Band and Cypress Hill. Decades later I’d get to interview members from both groups. Still holding out hope of talking to one of The Beasties one day.
  3. Soul Asylum, The Goo Goo Dolls, Vic Chesnutt – April 3, 1993 – University of Miami – I went to hear Soul Asylum, but it was The Goo Goo Dolls who blew me away with their high energy rock. I was really confused when they made it big a couple years later as adult contemporary soft rock.
  4. Stone Temple Pilots, Butthole Surfers, Basshead, Firehose – June 19,1993 – Bayfront Park, Miami
  5. Belly, Radiohead – September 23, 1993 – Cameo Theatre, Miami Beach – I live a half mile from this club and every time I pass by it I think about how I once saw one of rock’s biggest ever bands in this little space. Radiohead singer Thom Yorke was all glammed out doing his best David Bowie imitation. And Radiohead wasn’t even the headliner. That honor went to Belly who became one of my favorite bands.
  6. Nirvana, The Breeders – November 27, 1993 – Bayfront Park, Miami – I wrote my memories of this legendary Thanksgiving Weekend show for The New Times in 2014. Read it by clicking here
  7. Pearl Jam -March 28,1994 -Bayfront Park – I don’t remember too much about this show except I jumped the fence with hundreds of other ne’er do wells to get in and that during the show one shirtless drunk guy pointed to his friend at a helicopter in the sky and they both simultaneously stuck up their middle fingers and shouted “FUCK YOU!!!” at the pilot hundreds of feet above them.
  8. Rollins Band, Helmet, Sausage – July 20, 1994 – Bayfront Park
  9. Lollapalooza ’94 – August 15, 1994 – Bicentennial Park- All my friends waited all summer for this show and it didn’t disappoint. All our favorite bands were playing A Tribe Called Quest, The Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins, The Beastie Boys.
  10. Chuck Berry – January 1995? – Bayfront Park- The first concert I attended that I can’t find any proof of happening on the internet. I remember it was free and some guy kept yelling at Chuck, “Elvis might be the king, but you’re the prince!”
  11. Bob Marley Festival – February 11, 1995- Bayfront Park – I love Bob Marley but don’t remember the slightest thing about the music on this all day event. I think me and my high school friends simply went to see how many joints we could be a part of. We got home that night and tried to skimboard on the flats by the moonlight. I don’t think any of us caught the board even once.
  12. Natalie Merchant – September 1995? – Gainesville – Some kids in my dorm at Florida State were driving two hours to see her play. I went along for the ride.
  13. Sonic Youth, The Make-Up – October 14, 1995 – Legion Field, Athens, Georgia – Sonic Youth was one of my favorite bands. When I saw someone post a handwritten piece of paper anyone want to drive to Georgia with me to see sonic Youth I jumped at the chance. The Make-Up blew me away too. Like if Prince was the lead singer of The B-52’s. Athens was a super cool college town too filled with record shops and vegetarian restaurants. Shame I’ve never been back.
  14. Burning Spear – October? 1995 – The Moon, Tallahassee
  15. The Toasters – November? 1995 – FSU, Tallahassee – This ska band was incredible. Never been in a club where so many people were dancing like their lives depended on it.
  16. Los Straitjackets – December? 1995 – Grand Central Cafe, Tallahassee – I loved this bar and restaurant and I loved this band that played surf music while obscuring their faces with Mexican wrestling masks. I remember while dancing having the epiphany that you can only really have fun if you’re sweating. People who have smelled my body odor might disagree.
  17. Blonde Redhead – February ? 1996 – Grand Central Cafe – My best friend was in town visiting me in Tallahassee. This guy in my college Italian class recommend we check out this show. There were only maybe 25 people in the audience, but every person stuck around until the end to buy a cd from the band of two Italian brothers and two Japanese women.
  18. Dick Dale – February ? 1996 – The Moon – My college FSU would bring all these great free concerts for students. this was one of them. Interviewed Dick decades later. was disappointed he was a Donald Trump fan, but what a guitarist!
  19. De La Soul, Fishbone – October 15, 1996 – The Moon – What a great show I’d been listening to De La Soul’s album Stakes Is High all summer and their live show didn’t disappoint. I feel like they played on a school night way past 2 am.
  20. Lollapalooza 1997 – June 25, 1997 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm – We drove an hour North to see Porno for Pyros which was great. We were all in a tiny tent. Lead singer Perry Farrell took a swing from a bottle of wine and passed the bottle around to the crowd. He eventually drank from it again. Life before COVID! We saw Snoop Dogg and Orbital too, but with hindsight I look at the line-up and kick myself for missing Tricky and Doctor Octagon.
  21. The Kelley Deal 6000 – October? 1997- FSU – A couple months after starting to write for a local newspaper, I got the first assignment I was so excited for the chance to interview Kelley Deal. She never called! I was so disappointed. She still put on a great show. Decades later when I did get to interview her she was the sweetest lady and even apologized.
  22. Pavement – October 12, 1997 – Birmingham, Alabama – I could only find the date for the show because I remember driving back the four hours from Alabama back to Tallahassee that the news said John Denver died in a plane crash. Pavement was my girlfriend in college’s favorite band. After seeing this show they became my favorite band too.
  23. Mike Watt – 1997? – FSU
  24. The Make Up, Thee Headcoats – July ? 1998 – New York City
  25. Beastie Boys – September 2, 1998 – Lakewood Amphitheater, Atlanta
  26. A Tribe Called Quest, Black Eyed Peas – November? 1998 – Gainesville
  27. Modest Mouse – November ? 1998 – FSU – Another band that quickly became my favorite immediately after seeing them for the first time. I’ve seen them countless times since. Although I suppose when I finish this list I will be able to count how many times I’ve seen them.
  28. Yo La Tengo – 1998? – Cow Haus, Tallahassee. The list continues by clicking here….

The Land of Sleeping Rocks – A Short Story

Every morning the boy stared at the ocean. Once all he could see was the water, but now the boy saw other things.

A sailor with one leg had told the boy there were other lands than the island he called home. Lands with rocks that sleep and birds that speak. Before this conversation with the traveler the boy knew the island of his birth was not the entire world, but he was not aware of it. Now to the boy the horizon was not an end, but a beginning.

The boy took one step into the water. “What are you doing?” The girl asked him.

“I am leaving this place.”

“Why would you do that?” she asked. “Do we not have everything we need here? Trees that feed us, lagoons to swim, sunshine to keep us warm, our families, our friends…?”

“We do not have rocks that sleep, nor birds that speak. There are no dragons that breathe fire nor women with tails of fish.”

“We do not need those things.”

“I do.”

“Oh,” she said sadly.

The boy had known the girl longer than he could could remember and he wished not to see her hurt. “You could come with me.”

“No, I can not.”

“Then I will bring you back a sleeping rock.”

“That will be nice,” she said. Those were their parting words before the boy dove into the ocean.

He swam further than he ever had before. Past the breakers, through the crashing waves, beyond the reefs that were home to the fish. He swam until his arms ached and then he kept swimming. The sun rose and set and was then followed by the moon. The sea was more vast than he ever imagined. Its tides were unrelenting, but he found the strength to keep kicking. He had a promise to keep. He told the girl he would bring her a sleeping rock. He would look foolish if he failed.

As day turned into another day and then yet another he saw a dot. It became a hope and then a glimmer and then a certainty. It was land. He stroked with all the force he could muster and let the water do the rest. Then he tumbled into a sandy beach. The boy put his hands into the ground and pushed himself up. His knees nearly buckled, but he took one step after another to see a bed of sleeping rocks.

The boy picked up a stone. It did not move in the slightest. The boy figured it was a sound sleeper. Before the boy could examine it further a bird with feathers of the rainbow perched next to him. The bird stared at him. Was this the bird that spoke?

The boy asked him, “Where am I?”

To which the bird replied, “Where am I?”

The boy stepped closer to continue the conversation, but the movement scared the bird. It flew away as quickly as it arrived.

This was a spectacular place, one beyond the boy’s imagination. But still the boy’s heart was heavy. He had spoken to the most amazing bird, but there was no one else to witness it. No one to make certain it was not ill effects from his day at sea that was speaking to him. Perhaps if someone else was there he would not have behaved so rashly. The girl, for instance, was smart. She would have advised him to proceed cautiously. Maybe then the bird would have shared stories from the sky. Fortunately he still had the sleeping rock which he put in his pocket for safe keeping.

The boy walked along the coast. As far away as he was, this new land seemed eerily similar to his old one.

He heard footsteps. The man with one leg had warned him not all foreigners were friendly. There were pirates and cannibals out there.

The boy dove into the brush. He tried his best to stay hidden, but was too tired to keep still. He took out the rock and shook it with all his might. An awakened rock would surely scare off any villains. But it was no stranger he faced, it was the girl.

“You are back!” she said. She hugged him strongly.

The tides the boy realized were stronger than he estimated. They had taked him in a circle. “Yes, I am back.”

“We were worried you would not return.”

“Of course I came back. I promised, didn’t I? Here….” He handed her the present. “It is a sleeping rock.”

“Oh, why thank you,” she said as she wondered if all the rocks on their beach were also sleeping.

The boy was too tired to move. Meanwhile the girl was occupied inspecting him. So it took them both by surprise when they heard a yawn and then a cry. The rock was awake and it wanted something to eat.

Like a Rolling Kidney Stone

“How does it feel?”

Grunt.

“On a scale of one to ten how bad is the pain? How does it feel?”

I’ve come up with a pain scale if ever asked that question again. Ten meant you were knocked out or possibly dead from the pain. Nine meant it hurt so bad you were trying to vomit but nothing came out but a guttural moan. Eight meant it hurt that much, but vomit was actually forthcoming distracting you a bit. That meant this was a “seven,” I said.

The emergency room nurse pricked something into my arm as I prayed. I imagined with her manipulation the tightness in my stomach lessening. And it slowly did before moving up to my ribs.

I’d had kidney stones once before fifteen years ago. I was working an office job and sometime after lunch I started feeling uncomfortable. The movie producers I worked for were out of the office so I went to my car and tried to sleep it off. Impossible. I paced around the office and some intern seeing my face, God bless his soul, offered to drive me home. On the afternoon ride I must have been making faces because he said, “Dude, I should take you to the hospital.”

“No, I just want to be home.” In my head the bright fluorescent lights would make things worse. On the throne of my blue toilet I could resolve this.

Home was no better. Bathroom, bedroom, couch in living room. I couldn’t escape it. Until finally the toilet came calling. Out of my mouth came all of that delicious broccoli from that Chinese restaurant where we always ordered take-out. Too bad, I thought. I liked that restaurant but this had to be food poisoning. I had a cast iron stomach. This was Spring 2005 and it was the first time I had thrown up since I stained the newly renovated science wing at my high school  between first and second periods when I was a freshman in 1993. I believe on that evening in 2005  I threw up a second time, then I went to sleep, woke up in the middle of the night to drink some rice milk, went back to sleep and in the morning I planned to go back to work when the tightness in my stomach came back. Maybe it wasn’t food poisoning. Maybe my appendix burst?

I didn’t have insurance, and the emergency room treated me as such. A lady came in asked for my credit card before I saw a doctor. Eventually a doctor  quickly diagnosed me with kidney stones. This wasn’t on my radar. “What can you do?”

“Nothing. You can wait around here and it will cost you a lot of money to have me watch you pass them or you can go home and pass them yourself. How much pain are you in?”

I noticed I wasn’t  hurting.

“Maybe you already passed it without knowing it?” The doctor suggested. He handed me a prescription for painkillers, some paper sieves for me to urinate through to catch the stones for a specialist to examine and sent me on my merry way.

And I was merry. I was back at zero on the pain scale. With the exception of the hospital bills that kept coming my kidney stones were quickly forgotten. I now had a pat answer for the most extreme physical pain I’d ever felt., but as  fifteen years passed that pain grew abstract.

Until Saturday morning at 3 am. when I didn’t know why my stomach hurt so much. I burped out gas. I didn’t want to wake my wife so I went to the living room to try to replicate that yoga move she showed me to relieve bloating. I let out some more burps and went to the bathroom and I remembered this was what kidney stones felt like. There was the cramp of all cramps stretching the right side of my lower rib cage. I lied down on the couch and it hurt so much I couldn’t even cry. I could barely even breathe.

I had to vomit, but this time nothing came out but a moan. If anyone would have asked me, this pain was a nine. I paced from the bathroom to the living room and back again. This was kidney stones, it had to be. Or maybe this time my appendix had burst? Regardless, I would go to the emergency room and if need be now the doctor was obliged to watch me pass them, after all I had insurance now.

Except  this was the year 2020. And there was a global pandemic for the highly contagious COVID-19. Miami Beach where I now lived was currently one of the hotbeds for the contagion. Was it worth going to a hospital with kidney stones and coming home with coronavirus?

And then my  fifteen year vomit-free streak ended. Kidney stones had done twice what no cocktail, mediocre burrito, or flu bug had accomplished  by making me retch again. Except this time there was no release. There was no going to sleep for a ten hour slumber. There was only more pain. So much more.

Like anyone searching for answers in our present time I went to the internet. There was something called teledoctor where I could talk to a doctor at any time of night. It was 6 am when I spoke to the medical expert and recited the last few paragraphs to him.

“You need to go to the emergency room,” he told me after my monologue.

“Even with COVID?”

“We take abdominal pain very seriously.”

I appreciated that. For the first time I understood why everyone thought it was so charismatic when Bill Clinton said “I feel your pain.”

I put on some shorts and my flip-flops. It crossed my mind this wasn’t appropriate wardrobe to die in, but it hurt too much to attempt to be fashionable. I woke up my wife and told her I was going to take a taxi to the emergency room. In hindsight I can appreciate this is a messed up thing to be woken up to. She wanted to drive me, but that meant waking up our daughter and I didn’t want her to see me like this.

I’d always been a stubborn contrarian. I can’t even explain why I don’t trust Uber, but I compromised and let her call me one instead of a cab. I’d been boycotting wearing the surgical masks too and had instead been using this bandana I got one Halloween when I masqueraded as a pirate that I tied around the back of my scalp.

I stood outside waiting for the black SUV driven by Rosa to pick me up. The light was coming out indicating morning. I paced around until I saw the massive vehicle parked diagonal from the corner I was at. “Melanie?” she asked. I nodded yeah not having the wellbeing to inform her that it was my wife’s name and app.

She took a long time to start driving. She was looking at her phone. I stopped myself from explaining this was an emergency. I rolled down the window in case I had to vomit again.  There were no cars on the road but somehow she caught every red light that was between us and the hospital. I tried to will myself out of my body. It didn’t work. I was stuck.

But we got to the hospital’s campus where a handwritten sign greeted us reading, “Thank you heroes”. Heroes. They would save me.

As mentioned I’d been to emergency rooms before. I expected a long, uncomfortable wait. But after having my temperature taken to make sure I didn’t have a fever and given a surgical mask that I’d avoided for all these months I was grateful to find I was the only person in the lobby. Everyone else was either fortunate or smart enough to be anywhere else at that moment. I filled out some paperwork, turned over my driver’s license and proof of insurance and was quickly walked into their care.

I collapsed on the hospital bed as though all my problems would now disappear. The young guy who led me to the room wrapped velcro around my arm. “Do you have high blood pressure?” he asked.

“It’s probably because he’s in a lot of pain.”  A nurse told him and now we’re at the beginning of the story when she asked me “How does it feel?”

So bad that at the time I would have happily made any deal with any deity, god or devil, that agreed to take away the pain.

The nurse injected something into my arm and my mind wandered as it is so prone to do into the world of pop culture. I thought about Kurt Cobain and how he claimed his whole heroin addiction stemmed from stomach pains. Was that my fate? Dependency on drugs to numb the pain, followed by bouts of creativity, worldwide adulation, and then a bullet to the brain? The two middle steps seemed unlikely, but as hours of anguish turned into days I did start considering ending it all for the first time in decades. On day four or five of this kidney stone ordeal I  conceived a suicide plan for if this went too much longer. I would find the tallest highrise in my vicinity whose roof I could access. It would have to be at least thirty stories. I would swallow all the pills still in my possession and step off of this cruel ride. You might think this a cowardly solution, but then you probably never had a kidney stone.

But at this point I had faith in modern medicine. And the pain was lessening. I tried to shut my eyes in the bright hospital light and add to the three hours of sleep I was working on.

The nurse as she was adjusting IV’s oozing into me said to someone else in the room. “I have the Eminem song ‘Stan’ stuck in my head.” This was a conversation normally in my wheelhouse. I love small talk about old songs. but I couldn’t muster up the chit-chat. It made sense that a conversation was going on like I wasn’t even in the room.

“I don’t know it,” the other person said.

“It’s where the term Stan comes from when you’re a big fan of someone,” the nurse informed her.

The doctor came in. I explained my whole story as best I could. He felt around my mid-section asking if it hurt here or it hurt there as he applied pressure.  He agreed with my self-diagnosis of kidney stones, but was going to have me take a CAT scan just to make certain it wasn’t anything else. He gave me a jar to pee into and then told me something that I noticed everyone in the hospital said as they left my room, “I hope you feel better.”

What a nice thing to say. I told myself I would end all future interactions with that statement after they healed me.

An orderly wheeled my bed into a room where I was told to lie down in an open machine with a cushioned bench. The CAT scan technician told me to follow his instructions of when to hold my breath and when to breathe normally. Holding my breath was easy, breathing normally took more effort.

Wheeled back into my room I heard my phone beep. My wife texted asking my condition. I wrote something back but had no reception. I slept as best I could. At a certain point I heard the song “Stan” played at a low volume just outside my quarters.

“Such a good song,” a male voice said as the samples of Dido singing played over Eminem’s absurd rapping. “It’s funny how much better the first couple albums are. Why’s it always like that? It’s like you only have so many good songs in you.”

That’s a thought so many of us share. The early stuff is always better. Does that apply to life too? I was turning 42 in a week. It’s not old, but it sure ain’t young. Had I used up all my hit songs for my non-musical career? Was the rest of my life meant to be a series of duds with an occasional memorable trip to a hospital thrown in?

Some time after that thought the doctor came in and confirmed it was kidney stones. He gave me a series of prescriptions, told me to see a urologist, drink more water and lay off eating too much salt and they were going to discharge me.

“Wait what?” It took me a second to register they were telling me to leave.

“You can always come back if you’re in too much pain.”

I guess there was a pandemic. And the pain wasn’t as excruciating as it was when I came in. I was at a five now. I checked my pockets. My phone said it was 9:30. Had I only been in their care for three hours? I had a full day ahead of me still. My wallet was in my pocket, but where was that pirate bandana I used as a face covering? Guess I lost it. We had some good trips to Trader Joe’s together. Well I had the hospital issued mask now. But as I walked out of the hospital I saw my reflection and there without my feeling it was the bandana wrapped lower around my throat.

The next days were amongst the worst in my life. The painkillers would stop the harshest edges of the pain, but never enough. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t shit. I couldn’t read or even watch TV. All I could do  was down one glass of water followed by a pill followed by another glass of water and then another pill as a mineral rattled around my organs.

In one not particularly proud moment maybe on day  three I went on some fuck COVID rant. And not in the way people say fuck cancer. I was certain nothing was worse. I would trade kidney stones for all the coronavirus in the world. Hook me up to a ventilator and stop this!

Maybe on day four I realized Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” was all about kidney stones.

You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hanging out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud

I continued to offer my services to Yahweh and to Allah and to Satan and even Apollo. I would be as religious as need be.

On the morning of day five, I had a Zoom meeting with the specialist. From my laptop computer I explained to my urologist all the misfortune I had suffered. He told me to continue to drink water and that sometimes this can take weeks.

Weeks? But isn’t there some procedure where you can blast the kidney stones with sound waves?

“Yes,” he calmly responded. “But your stones are too low. This would shatter your pelvis.” Instead the procedure that would need to be done would be they would stick a hose up my dickhole and they would shoot lasers at my kidney stones so they could pass easier.

That sounded painful.

“You would be unconscious But yes it is uncomfortable.”

I don’t know if it was that conversation that finally knocked the stones out of me, but after a dozen more hours of moaning I went to the bathroom.

I remembered after my last kidney stone experience fifteen years earlier I’d had a scary conversation. One of the producers I worked for was an ornery sort and had a death threat. He hired a private security guard who I spoke with long enough that I mentioned my first kidney stone experience. He said, “Ooohhh kidney stones. That’s like pissing out razor blades.”

I had yet to feel such a sensation. My pee hadn’t hurt. It was only my stomach.

“It will,” he told me. “If it hasn’t yet it means you haven’t passed them.”

That freaked me out. That meant the pain could come back, but it hadn’t until now. But yet here I was urinating and the stream stopped and out came something I could describe like I was peeing out a razor blade. I looked down into the toilet bowl and my piss was tinted with a tinge of red. It stung a bit, but nothing like the rattling around in my kidneys. I kept my eyes open for a four millimeter stone. My naked eye could spy nothing. Please God I prayed. I will piss out razor blades for the rest of my life, just cast out the stones.

After five days of hell I was able to sleep through a night.

And now I write this down in the hopes I don’t forget. These are tough times. Maybe all times are tough, but in the future if things get me down, if things aren’t going my way, I’ve got to remember. Any day without kidney stones is a good day.

 

 

 

 

Just Another Date Night in the Year 2030 – A Short Story

 

Just Another Date Night in the Year 2030 – A Short Story

by

David Rolland

Wow the work week flew by. Friday night already. Let me check the date app to see who I want to go out with tonight. I’m feeling like something cis norm.

Scroll. Scroll. Ah, let’s get a close up. Oh, never mind according to her menstrual app, she’s showing potential for moodiness. Scroll. Scroll. Let’s get a hologram. OK! Even better she hasn’t streamed this week’s episode of The Walking Thrones, so she won’t give any spoilers. Let’s do it! We agree to a reservation at eight at Chez Le Drone which has received tremendous Yelp reviews.

I schedule a driverless car pick up. Hee hee, what a hilarious holo video of a cat getting run over. Car’s here. I rate it, but begin to get annoyed by the podcast blaring In the speakers. I text to turn it down, but I have to pay a subscription fee for a noiseless ride.

She said she’d be sitting in the back by the window. There she is. I’ll rank her on the dating app before I say hello. A ten on punctuality and a 9 on looking like her hologram. WTF? She ranked me a 6 on punctuality and a 5 on false advertising.

We greet. She already ordered for me based on my profile. The wine is red and the meat rare. We discuss various amusing Tweets and controversial Instagram postings. It gets a tad bit awkward when the drone asks if we would like more to drink and I realize I’m a bit low on Bitcoins. Fortunately, she has already reached her maximum caloric intake for the day.

As she stands up I realize I am aroused. Perhaps it is the wine that makes me feel so forward when I ask her, “Your AirBnb or mine?” She offers hers, but first insists I log onto a sexual relations app. She uses Consexual. I download it and look over the contract. It’s fairly standard. Fifteen minutes of foreplay before touching privates. No posting of videos without her prior approval. Rear ends are off limits.

I punch in my PIN and an hour later we are laying in her bed rating each other’s performances. I give her a 10 with the good faith that she will do the same for me.

I keep refreshing the screen waiting to see how she rated me, but she is obsessed with the number of likes the pictures of her undressing are getting. I begin to feel a strange sensation like something is missing from the night. A void, an emptiness, that is until she asks, “Want to watch The Walking Thrones?” 

I then feel complete.