Archive for July, 2011

2011 Concert round-up: midpoint edition

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Here are some statistics around the 67 concerts I’ve been to in the first half of this year:

• I saw a total of 190 different bands at 29 different venues.
• Saturday was my most popular concert-going day with 16. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays were all tied for the lowest at 7.
• Most frequented venues: the Black Cat (6 on the main stage, 4 on the backstage), Sonar (7), and Jaxx (6).
• House venues: the Robot House (Arlington), the Corpse Fortress (Silver Spring), the Candelhaus (Fairfax)
• States: DC (27), VA (22), MD (17), and PA (1). (yes, we know that DC isn’t really a state.)
• Most frequently seen bands: Ilsa (3), Kylesa (3), and Cartoon Johnny (3).
• Busiest month: March (17). Quietest month: February (6).
• Busiest day: the 17th. I saw a concert on the 17th of every month for the first 6 months of this year: January (Night and the City @ the Velvet Lounge), February (Eyehategod and Misery Index @ Sonar), March (Kataklysm and Decrepit Birth @ Jaxx), April (Sharon van Etten @ the Red Palace), May (the Antlers @ the Black Cat), and June (Earth @ the Ottobar).

May and June 2011 Concert round-up

Monday, July 11th, 2011

So I’ve already written about the highlights of Maryland DeathFest, but I went to 17 other shows in May and June that are worth mentioning. Here are the high- and lowlights:

Best opening song: David Bazan‘s “Wolves At the Door”. 24 June @ the Black Cat.

Best multicultural show: a vocal festival featuring groups from Canada (Cadence), Russia (Konevets Quartet), South Africa (Wits Choir), Indonesia (Cordana Youth Choir), and the U.S. (Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Pacific Boychoir). Even better? The show was free! 26 June @ Strathmore.

Best Iraqi metal band: Acrassicauda, opening up for Destruction. I had spent the earlier part of the evening at a Nats game, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see an Iraqi metal band later that night. 13 May @ Jaxx.

Best Tuesday night crowd: I always love seeing a venue packed on a Tuesday night, and the Antlers certainly didn’t disappoint. 17 May @ the Black Cat.

Worst cell phone: The woman at the Agnes Obel show whose phone rang not once but twice. Seriously? You didn’t turn the volume off after it rang the first time? You didn’t notice that everyone turned to stare at you? Really? 13 June @ 6th & I Synagogue Downstairs.

Best cello: I didn’t really think that an extra instrument would make Earth‘s music better, but I was pleasantly surprised: the cello added a lot to the group’s newest album, but it added even more to the older songs. 17 June @ the Ottobar.

Best show at a pizza joint: Must say, it was kind of surreal to see Municipal Waste in a pizza house -slash- ping pong place. 6 May @ Comet Ping Pong.

Best pelt: some dude at Amon Amarth was wearing a full bear pelt, which is impressive enough on its own, but the A/C at Jaxx took the night off, which made wearing animal fur even less appealing. More power to you, drunk pelt-wearing dude who kept staggering around as if you were going to vomit in the back of the club. 2 May @ Jaxx.

Best stage set: Shpongle had an elaborate stage set: a gigantic boat-like contraption from which the Shpongle dude stood and DJed/danced. 3 May @ the 9:30 Club.

Best birthday party: A whole slew of metal bands celebrating Marie’s birthday out in Leesburg, VA. 14 May @ Balls Bluff Tavern.

Best going-away party: Someone moving away is always a good excuse to get a bunch of metal bands to play a show, and Deathammer bid farewell to one of its members in style, along with Ilsa and Extermination Angel. 25 June @ the Corpse Fortress.

Best death metal: The guys in Loculus are always up to crazy stuff, as this picture illustrates. 18 May @ the Corpse Fortress.

Best way to warm up for DeathFest: Anhedonist and Oak. Wish I could’ve stayed out later to catch Midnight Eye and Ilsa, but I had a long day of work the next day before heading up to Charm City. 25 May @ the Corpse Fortress.

Best way to cool down after DeathFest: Dead Can Dance’s Brendan Perry and the Cocteau Twins’s Robin Guthrie. The most amusing thing about this show was the kid on my pew who freaked out at every Dead Can Dance cover, literally squirming in his seat– and shaking the entire pew. 30 May @ 6th & I Synagogue.

Best house show: Auroboros, the latest project from Brian Baroness and Rob Salome. 4 June @ the Robot House.

Best way to celebrate a holiday that I really don’t care anything about: As much as I love Mexican food, I’d rather be anywhere other than a Mexican restaurant on Cinco de Mayo. A power metal show– thanks to Holy Grail— provided a great alternative. 5 May @ the Red Palace.

Biggest disappointment: Maybe it was all the hype– a metal show! in a church sanctuary! with a women’s choir!– but damn, I found the Assembly of Light Choir to be off-pitch and the Body‘s set to be too damn short. Total letdown. 24 June @ St. Stephen’s.