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Author Topic: 2017 Concert Journals  (Read 442 times)
plvarona
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« on: June 12, 2017, 01:51:19 AM »

Looks like I'm starting the Concert Journal Thread, and I might as well start it with a bang.

I got to see U2's "Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary" show in Houston a few weeks ago, and simply put, it was an amazing show.  This was the first time I've gotten to see them, and I'm glad I finally got the chance to do so.  The show was at NRG Stadium (home of the Houston Texans) and I had a reserved seat which placed me in the stands.  My seat was on the first level, seven rows from the front.  I was also positioned so that I was directly facing a platform stage that extended from the main stage.  Whenever U2 played on the platform stage, drummer Larry Mullen was facing my general direction!

On this tour U2 played the entire The Joshua Tree album from front-to-back, but before they did that they started with three of their "classic" songs.  The set started with Larry Mullen walking by himself to the front platform and starting with the opening drum beats of "Sunday Bloody Sunday", which certainly got the crowd going.  The Edge walked on stage next and started his part with Bono and Adam Clayton following a few seconds later.  That was certainly a way to build up the opening song.  It was also amazing to see all of the cell phones that were recording the opening song.  The other two songs in the opening trio were "New Year's Day" and "Pride (In the Name of Love)."  On the latter, the words to Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech were shown on a large video board towards the end of the song.  I thought that was a nice touch.

For The Joshua Tree portion of the show, the band went back to the main stage.  Just about all the songs from the album sounded at least as good as they did on CD, if not better.  I actually got chills when I heard "Where the Streets Have No Name", since that has become one of my favorites on the album.  I also particularly enjoyed getting to hear "Trip Through Your Wires" live, as that's probably my favorite deep track on the album.  Among the songs that sounded even better live were "Bullet the Blue Sky", which sounded even more intense live, and "Exit", which I didn't really care much for on the album but it sounded great in a live setting.  There was also a large video board that was used to augment the performances, as different scenes were shown for different songs.  For instance, there was a desert road shown for "Where the Streets Have No Name", while a scene of a desert mound was shown throughout all of "With or Without You."  The video board most enhanced "Red Hill Mining Town", where they showed a Salvation Army brass band playing as the song was going.  Towards the end of the song, a split screen on the video board was shown with the Salvation Army band on one side and a live shot of U2 on the other side.

After the run-through of The Joshua Tree, there were two encores.  The first was more of a "social awareness"-type encore, where a video of a teenage female Syrian refugee was shown.  Right afterwards, a banner with the refugee's face was passed throughout the stadium while the band played "Miss Sarajevo".  I even got to touch the banner.  The second encore covered some of the band's more recent fan favorites, such as "Beautiful Day" and "One".  There was also some social commentary here, but nothing overly radical.  There was one portion of the encore where faces of strong women throughout history were shown on the video board while the band played "Ultraviolet (Light My Way)".  Smartly, political figures from both sides were included in the montage of faces.  I was somewhat surprised the band closed their set with a new song, but it was a song that ended strongly so in that context I could see what the thinking might have been there.  Overall, it was definitely a strong show.

The opening act was The Lumineers.  On the plus side they were quite energetic and they seem like talented musicians.  However, their music didn't really stand out all that much.  It certainly didn't help that quite a few of their songs ended abruptly.  For an opening act they were fine, but I didn't get much of a reason to check out their music more in depth.

Set Lists:

U2:
Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year's Day
Pride (in the Name of Love)
Where the Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With or Without You
Bullet the Blue Sky
Running to Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God's Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Exit
Mothers of the Disappeared
Encore 1:
Miss Sarajevo
Bad
Encore 2:
Beautiful Day
Elevation
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
One
It's the Little Things That Give You Away (new song)

The Lumineers:
Submarines
Flowers in Your Hair
Ho Hey
Cleopatra
Dead Sea
Charlie Boy
Slow It Down
Sleep on the Floor
Angela
Ophelia
Big Parade
Stubborn Love
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- Phil V.



My current pub songs:
Andrew Peterson: "The Reckoning (How Long)" (from Counting Stars)
Jars of Clay: "Out of My Hands" (from an upcoming release)
The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie" (from What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood)
murlough23
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 04:02:44 AM »

I would have considered catching U2 on this tour, but since I saw the 360 Tour a few years ago and concerts that big tend to feel like a huge hassle for me, I kind of felt like seeing U2 live was one of those things I could check off my list and say I'd done it once.

With that said, I think it's cool that you get to hear the whole album, deep cuts and all. "Trip Through Your Wires" has long been a favorite of mine and I'm sure it would be a total blast live. (Please tell me there was harmonica.) "In God's Country" is another favorite of mine, which oddly enough I was first introduced to when Caedmon's Call covered it at the first show of theirs I ever attended, back in 1998. I'm willing to bet the drama of some of the album's later songs came more to the forefront because in a live setting, you don't have to turn your volume up to hear what's going on in a song like "Exit".

Which reminds me of a question that's been bugging me for years: Is the "O great ocean, O great sea" refrain meant to be part of "One Tree Hill"? It sounds like it should be, but some pressings of the album put it at the beginning of "Exit". I wonder if different parts of the audience applauded at different times, depending on where they expected on song to end and the next to begin.

I'm a bit surprised that nothing from Songs of Innocence made the setlist... I wonder if they're trying to distance themselves from that one. I wonder if the new song was meant for Songs of Experience or if they're even going to call it that any more. Last I checked, they had the album done, but decided to hold it back and rework some songs (or else write some new ones) based on recent events.

As for The Lumineers, I thought their first album was so "meh" that I never bothered with their second one. They're a great example of a band that should be right up my alley genre-wise, but try as I might, I just can't get into them. I would say that U2 should know how to pick a band that can rev up a stadium-sized crowd instead of lulling them into complacency, but then the Black Eyed Peas were sufficiently loud and boisterous, and honestly I would have rather sat through The Lumineers, if given the choice (and if The Lumineers had even existed back in 2009).
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plvarona
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 03:57:31 AM »

^Yes, there was a harmonica on "Trip Through Your Wires."  In fact, just before that song was played Bono commented, "I'm going to apologize for some sh*te harmonica playing."  Bono also played harmonica at the end of "Running to Stand Still".  Since you mentioned "In God's Country", that song also sounded great live although that's probably not too surprising.

I actually can't remember off the top of my head whether "O great ocean, O Great sea" came at the end of "One Tree Hill" or the beginning of "Exit".  For what it's worth, I didn't hear a big disparity in when the audience applauded.

It's true Songs of Innocence was completely excluded from the set list, but then again there wasn't much on it post-All That You Can't Leave Behind.  Perhaps this had more to do with a focus on the "classics", and not so much anything against that particular album?

It looks like you have a similar opinion to The Lumineers that I do.  You would think I would like them, but I can't really get into them either.  It's not that I think they're bad - they just don't stand out.

I feel you on the hassle that comes with these big concerts.  I happened to be on vacation at the time I saw this show.  In fact, I built a whole South Texas road trip around it.  Since I was on vacation, some of things that normally would have annoyed me didn't bother me as much.  However, if I had to work the next day, I'm sure this would have felt like an even bigger hassle. 

Interestingly enough, I just found out U2 added a New Orleans show this Fall, which would have been more geographically convenient for me had I known they were going to do that.  Oh well.  I don't plan on double-dipping.
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- Phil V.



My current pub songs:
Andrew Peterson: "The Reckoning (How Long)" (from Counting Stars)
Jars of Clay: "Out of My Hands" (from an upcoming release)
The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie" (from What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood)
murlough23
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 05:43:06 AM »

It's true Songs of Innocence was completely excluded from the set list, but then again there wasn't much on it post-All That You Can't Leave Behind.  Perhaps this had more to do with a focus on the "classics", and not so much anything against that particular album?

Yeah, it was probably that. I do find it interesting that in reviving some of their classic material, they seem to have rediscovered a fondness for "Ultraviolet". It was a fixture on the 360 Tour, and it seems to have popped up again on this tour. Honestly it's my least favorite track from Achtung Baby, but that's a remarkably solid album, so I guess I don't mind. (If they brought "Love Is Blindness" out of mothballs, now that would be a jaw-dropper.)

It looks like you have a similar opinion to The Lumineers that I do.  You would think I would like them, but I can't really get into them either.  It's not that I think they're bad - they just don't stand out.

For me, this year's version of that is Father John Misty. He's a better songwriter, though.

I happened to be on vacation at the time I saw this show.  In fact, I built a whole South Texas road trip around it.  Since I was on vacation, some of things that normally would have annoyed me didn't bother me as much.

I planned an entire weekend out of town around a concert once, though it wasn't as big of a concert popularity or attendance-wise. This was back in 2010 when I flew out to Colorado to see Iona. When a favorite band from out of the country who rarely tours here makes a stop within weekend trip distance, I'll actually consider it. (It turned out to be good timing, since it was their last trip overseas before the band stopped existing in any active capacity last year.)

I had thought about seeing Belle & Sebastian at Red Rocks two years ago when I had already coincidentally planned a trip to Colorado. I decided against it since I was traveling with people who didn't know the band at all and I didn't have much familiarity with their back catalogue. I'm sure it would have been fun under slightly different circumstances.

However, if I had to work the next day, I'm sure this would have felt like an even bigger hassle.

That U2 show I went to was on a Sunday night, but I'm fortunate enough to go to work pretty late in the morning, so for me it was no big. Having to walk like a mile and a half back to the car was kind of annoying, but that definitely beat parking at the venue, since driving would have taken longer to get out there of than walking.
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Nai
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2017, 08:49:10 PM »

only concert i saw this year was Swans. they were loud
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plvarona
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2017, 08:02:19 PM »

Here's my brief rundown of whom I saw at AudioFeed Festival this year.  As usual, if anyone wants a set list for any particular artist, just let me know.  This post would be way too long if I included all the set lists in it.

Earthholder: This was a local instrumental rock band, and if nothing else they had a lot of energy (especially the drummer).

Euriah: This was another local band, and they performed a pretty solid rock set.  Their music tends to be a bit moody on CD, but live they were straight-up rock.

Sam Arias: He's an R&B singer who brought a pretty tight rhythm section with him.  All of the songs in his set were unrecorded, so I probably didn't get into the set as much as I could have.

Steven Dunn: He's a pop-rock singer/songwriter who has some R&B leanings.  Some of his songs even had a bit of a Jason Mraz-type feel to them.

Adjy: This was one of my favorite early sets of the festival.  Music was very creative as it featured differing time signatures and many diverse instruments, including xylophones, accordions, a trumpet and even a brief appearance from a banjo.  Some band members even switched instruments within the same song.  Combine that with the band members' natural energy and there was a lot of action here.

Insomniac Folklore: Basically, this set was quirky fun.  The band played one of their older EP's called EP straight through and they had a lot of fun doing it.  Lead singer Tyler Hentschel plays to the crowd very well between his actions on stage and his comments between and during songs.  There's also something to be said about having a stuffed sheep blowing bubbles throughout the set.  As a side note, one guy actually found a way to propose to his girlfriend during the last song of the set, which the band did not know in advance would happen.  (She said "yes.")

The Mailboxes: This was catchy female-fronted pop done well.  I thought they sounded a lot more crisp this year than they did last year.

1983 Midwesterners: This was just a solo instrumental electric guitarist using an adder to build a song up.  It was interesting watching him construct a song before us.

Derek Webb: This was just Derek on an acoustic guitar and it's something he does very well.  This set primarily covered Derek's early albums with several new songs included from his upcoming album Fingers Crossed.  Just about all the songs Derek did went over well with just him on an acoustic.  The most interesting selection was "Freddie, Please", which Derek converted to a '50's-style do-wop song.  Derek also had a lot of funny comments throughout the set, with my favorite one referring to how he's not the same guy who wrote his older songs.  He went on to say, "I'll cover that guy the best I can."  As for Derek's new songs, it sounds like he's going to be talking a lot about either personal struggles or struggles with his family.  Finally, I did find it odd that Derek played a guitar with "Ctrl" on it, yet he didn't play any songs from that album.  (There were also no songs from I Was Wrong, I'm Sorry and I Love You.)

Analecta: I only caught the first half of their set due to a schedule conflict.  However, from what I saw they had plenty of energy, and their songs went over well in a live setting.

My Epic: These guys continue to rock hard and I especially thought the songs form their newest EP went over particularly well.

Lowercase Noises: This was a very mellow electric instrumental set.  The music was a little sparse for my taste, but there were some pretty moments.

Jeff Elbel & Ping: Their set is usually pretty fun and this one was no exception.  Most of the set was from their upcoming album, and those songs sounded especially fun.

Farewell to Juliet: This was basically Ping with Brant Hansen replacing Maron Gaffron and taking over lead vocals.  (It certainly helped that 3 members of Ping were also members of Farewell to Juliet.)  This was a pretty solid '90's pop/rock set, and it was a discovery for me since they broke up at around the time I started following Christian music.

The Still, Small Voice: This Christiana Benton-led project has been a personal favorite of mine since year 1 of AudioFeed, and this was another solid set.  Christiana had an all-new band this time, and they backed her up well, especially with her drummer adding some nice harmonies.  The set primarily consisted of her latest EP, which I think is her strongest material to date.

Max Simmons: Max typically plays singer-songwriter style music on CD, but in a live setting he and his band can flat-out rock.  I also think Max's voice is better suited for rock than it is for acoustic music.

Von Strantz: This was a stripped-down set with just acoustic guitar/cello/keyboard, and it was performed quite well.  Harmonies between Jess Strantz and Kelsey Horton highlighted this set.  This set was also all new songs, and a lot of the songs were pretty heavy emotionally.  I suspect Jess must have recently gone through a nasty divorce or separation, since multiple songs seemed to point to that.

Zach Winters: This was just a stripped down acoustic set with primarily Zach on acoustic guitar with Jason Barrows joining him for a few songs.  Zach's songs didn't stand out as well as others nor does he have the best stage presence, but it was still a solid set.

Tow'rs: They were one of my favorite new discoveries last year and they turned in one of my favorite sets this year.  I like their highly-textured acoustic sound a lot.  Harmonies between Kyle and Gretta Miller particularly stood out this time, and cellist Emma Crislip had a more prominent role this time.  Gretta was 31 weeks pregnant at the time of the performance, so I especially gave her props for going out there and performing.

The Gray Havens: If I had to pick a favorite performance, I would most likely pick this one.  This was just Dave and Licia doing an intimate acoustic set, and they came across as very personable.  Even though they were playing on the festival's biggest stage, they had such a warm presence I felt like they were playing in my living room.  Musically, the two brought a lot of energy and they sound very crisp.  Their songs also went over very well in a live setting, and I was certainly happy they worked in most of my favorites into their set.

John Reuben: This was John's first performance in five years, and he certainly still knows how to have fun.  There were a few occasional hiccups, especially when John forgot the bridge to "Do Not", but for the most part John was still able to get his raps down pat.  John also showed his sense of humor throughout the whole set, with the most amusing moment coming when John noticed somebody was filming him, and he started pointing at the camera/cell phone and making angry faces at it.  My favorite comment from the set was when John saw a teenage girl in the front row and said, "You're too young to be knowing all my songs."  I was particularly impressed that John was able to jam-pack all or parts of 18 songs into a 50-minute set.  Overall, I would say this was one of the most fun sets I saw this year.

John Mark McMillan: This was a pretty solid rock set for John and his band.  He did preview a few songs from his upcoming album, and they all went over well in a live setting.  It was also amazing getting to hear the crowd sing along to some of his better-known songs, especially "Future/Past".

The Hollands!: This acoustic folk family band brought a bunch of friends on stage with them and it was fun to hear all of the different instruments in action.  The one down side was that lead singer Jana Holland rambled on a bit much and that really cut into their time as they only got to play four songs in 30 minutes.

Least of These: This was a pretty solid rock set.  One thing I appreciated about this band was their versatility, as their lead singer and lead guitarist kept alternating vocals and guitar leads.  The drummer also added some vocal harmonies.

RavenHill: These guys have seem to be transitioning from a blues-rock sound to more of a straight-up rock sound, and they can certainly pull off the latter.  This set was very energetic and Josh Clifton worked the crowd quite well.  This band just gets better every year.

Jason Barrows: This was just Jason with an acoustic guitar and some tracks, and his songs still went over well in a stripped-down setting.  Jason's amusing comments in between songs were also a plus.

Harry Gore: This is probably the best I've seen Harry and his band.  Harry's band rocked pretty hard and Harry can still play his guitar quite well at his advanced age.  Harry also had some of the boldest messages of the festival, particularly with his statement on the transgender movement with "You'll Never Be a Girl."  Harry especially went all-out during the outro to his last song, "I Ain't Gonna Live a Godless Life" where he played his guitar with his tongue, kicked over his music stand and ended the song by saying, "I ain't taking it back either!"

DeNS: These guys remind me a little bit of Cool Hand Luke before Mark Nicks went primarily to the piano.  A lot of their songs tend to build up gradually, and the songs sounded good in a live setting.  Their bassist is also very animated, and sometimes I wondered if his limbs were made of elastic with the way he was swinging around.

Liz Vice: I was very impressed with her voice.  Even though Gospel music isn't my forte, Liz and her band were so tight even I could get into the set.  Liz also had some of the most interesting cover songs as she did R&B-style renditions of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" while closing her set with a cover of Blackstreet's "No Diggity", complete with a "We out" at the end.

Sean Michel: This was a rocking roots Gospel set that effectively combined the spiritual sound of Sean's early years with the rock sound to which Sean has gravitated as of late.  Sean's energy and passion certainly helped carry the performance.  He also had an all-star band consisting of Jimmy Abegg, The Choir's Steve Hindalong and two former members of Rich Mullins' band, plus a Gospel choir consisting of The Wayside's John and Michelle Thompson, and country singer Katie Bell.  This was another one of my favorite performances of the festival.

Abram Shook: This was another new discovery for me as I found Abram's unique sound incorporating elements of pop, electronic music and jazz to be quite interesting.  Abram's songs went over well in a live setting.

Sho Baraka: I caught his last three songs.  While I'm not the biggest hip-hop fan, I was particularly impressed when Sho went into his freestyle rhymes after the music stopped.

Flatfoot 56: This was just all-out chaos.  This year's show had an '80's/'90's video game theme so there were some nostalgic elements for me as references were made to classic video games like Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers and Pong.  Musically, the band had a lot of energy and that likely helped to incite the chaos.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 08:38:27 PM by plvarona » Logged

- Phil V.



My current pub songs:
Andrew Peterson: "The Reckoning (How Long)" (from Counting Stars)
Jars of Clay: "Out of My Hands" (from an upcoming release)
The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie" (from What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood)
murlough23
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 04:09:58 AM »

I'd be interested in setlists from Derek Webb, John Reuben, and The Gray Havens. I didn't realize Webb was making music again. (I'm still trying to figure out what the heck happened to Caedmon's Call, but that's another story.) I'd imagine a lot of the subject matter from his last two albums is kind of "too soon" right now, so maybe that's why he's skipping it in his recent setlists. Just a guess.
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plvarona
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2017, 10:59:47 AM »

I actually didn't know Derek was making music again either until he mentioned his upcoming album on Noisetrade.

Here are your requested set lists:

Derek Webb
I Want a Broken Heart
Mockingbird
A New Law
The Spirit Bears the Curse (new song)
Chasing Empty Mangers (new song - Christmas song)
The End
The Very End
I Hate Everything (But You)
The Braver One (new song - about a friend's wife who had died)
Nobody Loves Me
Freddie, Please
Easter Eggs (new song)
Wedding Dress
A Savior on Capitol Hill
Goodbye For Now (new song)

John Reuben (about 1/3 of this set was from Reubonic)
Candy Coated Razor Blades
Jamboree verses with "Time to Start the Show" inserted into the chorus
Word of Mouth
Future Nostalgia
Do Not
Curious Pt. 1
Curious Pt. 2
Identity
Fallen
Nuisance
No Be Nah
I John Reu (1 verse)
Him Her He She (1 verse)
Divine Inspiration (1 verse)
Move (1 verse)
(song I didn't recognize)
Doin' (1 verse)
Gather In

The Gray Havens
Music From a Garden
Shadows of the Dawn
Gray Flowers
Ghost of a King
Band of Gold
Silver
Sirens
("incomplete" song they've been playing for the last 10 years)
Take This Slowly
Diamonds and Gold
This My Soul
Stole My Fame
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- Phil V.



My current pub songs:
Andrew Peterson: "The Reckoning (How Long)" (from Counting Stars)
Jars of Clay: "Out of My Hands" (from an upcoming release)
The Mynabirds: "Numbers Don't Lie" (from What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood)
murlough23
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 09:44:05 PM »

Wow, I didn't even realize Reubonic had been released already. I'll have to go check that out. Thanks for the setlists!
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