Cloaca Melodia

My life in concerts, by Mike Sauter.

12/18/2026

My Life in Concerts: The Blog (explanation)

Here's the brief how-to. Click on the post header (where it says "My Life in Concerts: The Blog (explanation)" above) or the date link at the bottom of this entry to read background and more detailed info.

There are 3 main ways to use this blog. (1) Browse. The archives, the monthly list at left, are months in which I attended a concert. You can click on these links to browse around and read about shows I've attended.

(2) Search. Type in an artist or venue name in the search box (in the upper left) and click the "search blog" button next to it to see a list of shows or entries which mention that name.

(3) Labels. Each entry is tagged with artist name, venue name, city of show, and two-letter state code (NY, PA, etc.). You can type in the URL http://cloaca-melodia.blogspot.com/search/label/[label name] to see a list of entries tagged with that label. Replace [label name] with whatever you want to check out (minus the []). For example, if you want to see all the Red Hot Chili Peppers shows I've seen, use as the URL:
http://cloaca-melodia.blogspot.com/search/label/Red Hot Chili Peppers
Spaces are acceptable and proper capitalization is required (e.g., you must use "Red Hot Chili Peppers" and not "red hot chili peppers" or "NY" and not "ny").

And be sure to post comments/memories if you attended any of the same shows as me!

Questions? See email address at left.

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A few years ago, I started working on a list of all the concerts I've ever attended. Then I started adding setlists or other info where available. And then it occurred to me to put it all in blog form, backdating the entries to the actual performance date. For a long time, Blogger only let one backdate to 1990, but now any date is fair game so I can go all the way back to my first concert experiences in 1985.

I began the project by getting out all of my ticket stubs, but I've also gone to huge number of shows where I've been on the guest list and never had a hard ticket. A number of these took place before the rise of the Web, so I'm having a devil of a time tracking down specific date info for them. In the early stages of this blog, I simply left these shows out but that doesn't provide a full picture of some of the artists I've seen. Plus there are some undated shows I really want to write about. Therefore, I finally decided to give rough approximate dates for a number of shows and try to correct them later (all inexact dates will be noted as such in the show's full entry.

7/29/2011

Sean Rowe

Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA

Sean is a singer/songwriter from the Albsny, NY, area with a deep, rumbly voice that needs its own ZIP code.

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He did a bunch of great songs from his first nationally distributed album, Magic, including "Jonathan." He also did a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel," Richard Thompson's "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," and a Tom Waits song for his encore.

add your own comments if you were also there!

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7/26/2011

U2/Interpol

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA

My fourth time seeing U2. I never planned it this way, but I've seen them once per decade. It was a very enjoyable show, although if I had to rank them, it might be fourth. At best, tied for third.

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The show started off great, with four songs from Achtung Baby and the concert had a terrific final third. Somewhere in the middle it the set list was a tad soft, although I'm not sure exactly why.

The set was interesting to look at at first, but not although that great in enhancing the show (unlike, say, the Zoo TV tour staging).

Bono's voice definitely couldn't hit all of the high notes of old, although he pulled off the Pavarotti part in "Miss Sarajevo" quite gracefully.

Setlist:

  1. Even Better Than the Real Thing
  2. The Fly
  3. Mysterious Ways
  4. Until the End of the World
  5. I Will Follow
  6. Get On Your Boots
  7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
  8. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
  9. Beautiful Day
  10. Elevation
  11. Pride (In the Name of Love)
  12. Miss Sarajevo
  13. Zooropa
  14. City of Blinding Lights
  15. Vertigo
  16. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
  17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  18. Scarlet
  19. Walk On
  20. One
  21. Hallelujah/Where The Streets Have No Name
  22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
  23. With Or Without You
  24. Moment of Surrender
  25. Bad



... add your own comments if you were also there!

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5/27/2011

The Avett Brothers/Nicole Atkins

Stage AE Outdoors, Pittsburgh, PApost continues....sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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4/21/2011

The Decemberists

Benedum Center, Pittsburgh, PApost continues....sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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3/08/2011

Jonathan Richman

Mr. Smalls, Millvale, PA

Marking the 6th time I've seen Jonathan live, it was perhaps the 2nd or maybe 3rd best performance.



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Here's the set list, as I recorded it:

1. No One Was Like Vermeer
2. This Romance Will Be Different For Me
3. O Moon, Queen of the Night On Earth
4. I Was the One She Came For
5. Bohemia
6. Dancing in the Lesbian Bar
7. Old World
8. Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild
8. Let Her Go into the Darkness
9. Keith Richards
10. Here It Is (Leonard Cohen cover)
11. These Bodies That Came to Cavort
12. We'll Be the Noise, We'll Be the Scandal
13. Sa Voix M'Atisse
14. Her Love Is From Somewhere Else
15. ?
16. When We Refuse to Suffer
17. My Baby Love Love Loves Me
18. My Affected Accent
19. You Must Ask the Heart

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1/28/2011

John Hiatt & Lyle Lovett

Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh, PA

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4/30/2010

Elizabeth & The Catapult/Emily Rogers

Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, PApost continues....sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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10/09/2009

Mike Doughty

Club Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

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This concert was one of Doughty's "Question Jar" shows. A glass jar was placed on a stool at the front of the stage and, prior to the performance, audience members were encouraged to write questions down on provided slips of paper. During the show, slips were pulled and questions would be answered.

A live broadcast on WYEP for the show's first hour, I acted as MC and special guest question-asker.

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9/12/2009

Serena Ryder, Ra Ra Riot, Lohio

WYEP's Rock the Block, Pittsburgh, PA

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8/14/2009

The Decemberists

Byham Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

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Setlist:
1. Prelude
2. The Hazards of Love 1 (The Prettiest Whistles Won't Wrestle the Thistles Undone)
3. A Bower Scene
4. Won't Want for Love
5. The Hazards of Love 2 (Wager All)
6. The Queen's Approach
7. Isn't it a Lovely Night?
8. The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
9. An Interlude
10. The Rake's Song
11. The Abduction of Margaret
12. The Queen's Rebuke/The Crossing
13. Annan Water
14. Margaret in Captivity
15. Hazards of Love 3
16. The Wanting Comes in Waves (Reprise)
17. The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)

Encore Break

18. Oceanside
19. July, July!
20. The Sporting Life
21. Billy Liar
22. Shankill Butchers
23. Down by the Water
24. Dracula's Daughter
25. O Valencia
26. Crazy On You

Encore Break #2

27. Summer Comes To...?
28. A Cautionary Song

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8/02/2009

Pete & Tao Seeger & Friends

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. Well May The World Go
  2. War Time Blues
  3. Walking Down Death Row
  4. When the Saints Go Marching In
  5. Will the Circle Be Unbroken (led by Del McCoury)
  6. Cajun Fever (led by Balfa Toujours)

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Judy Collins

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. Both Sides Now
  2. Someday Soon
  3. Anathea
  4. Oh, Had I a Golden Thread/Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
  5. The Weight of the World
  6. The Blizzard (Colorado Song)
  7. Amazing Grace
  8. Diamonds and Rust (duet with Joan Baez)

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Joan Baez

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. Lily of the West
  2. Scarlet Tide
  3. God Is God
  4. Silver Dagger
  5. Love Song to a Stranger
  6. Farewell Angelina
  7. Gospel Ship
  8. Christmas in Washington
  9. Joe Hill
  10. Forever Young
  11. House Carpenter
  12. Long Black Veil
  13. Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
    encore break
  14. Angel Band

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Arlo Guthrie

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. In My Darkest Hour
  2. St. James Infirmary
  3. Motorcycle Song
  4. I Don't Want a Pickle
  5. instrumental
  6. Alabama Bound
  7. Pretty Boy Floyd
  8. Times Like These
  9. City of New Orleans
  10. My Peace

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Neko Case

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. Things That Scare Me
  2. Sparrow
  3. People Got a Lotta Nerve
  4. Fever
  5. Animal
  6. Teenage Feeling
  7. Hold On, Hold On
  8. Middle Cyclone
  9. Pharaohs
  10. Tigers
  11. Wish I Was the Moon
  12. Polar Nettles
  13. Red Tide
  14. Don't Forget Me
  15. This Tornado Loves You
  16. Vengeance
    encore break
  17. Train From KC

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8/01/2009

Pete & Tao Seeger & Friends

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. Turn! Turn! Turn!
  2. The Midnight Special
  3. Blue Skies
  4. Des Colores
  5. Take It From Dr. King

    [Pete brought up all of the day's performers on stage for the remainder of the set]

  6. The Little Light
  7. Guantanamera
  8. Worried Man Blues (led by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings)
  9. If I Had a Hammer
  10. This Land Is Your Land

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The Decemberists

George Wein's Folk Festival 50, Fort Adams State Park, Newport, RI

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Setlist:

  1. The Crane Wife Pt. 3
  2. We Both Go Down Together
  3. Yankee Bayonet
  4. Down By the Water
  5. Copper Mine Song
  6. Isn't It a Lovely Night?
  7. The Hazards of Love
  8. The Wanting Comes in Waves
  9. The Chimbley Sweep
  10. Dracula's Daughter
  11. O Valencia!
  12. A Cautionary Song
  13. Sons & Daughters

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7/20/2009

Elizabeth & The Catapult

Thunderbird Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

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7/05/2009

Rusted Root, Donna the Buffalo, Sim Redmond Band, The Horseflies

Great Blue Heron Festival, Sherman, NY

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6/26/2009

WYEP Summer Music Festival

Sam Roberts Band, Dar Williams, The Duhks, Meeting of Important People

Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA

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6/13/2009

Bonnaroo: Public Enemy

This Tent, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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Bonnaroo: Femi Kuti & The Positive Force

Other Tent, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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6/12/2009

Bonnaroo: Al Green

What Stage, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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Bonnaroo: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

This Tent, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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Bonnaroo: Vieux Farka Toure

Other Tent, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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Bonnaroo: Gomez

Which Stage, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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6/11/2009

Bonnaroo: Alberta Cross

That Tent, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN

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sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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Paleface, The Deep Vibration, Heartless Bastards

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

It had been quite a few years since I had last seen Paleface, so I was psyched to catch him live again.

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Listen to The Deep Vibration's set here.

Listen to Heartless Bastards' set here.

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6/05/2009

The Black Keys, Jessica Lea Mayfield

Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA

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sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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5/30/2009

Zee Avi, Marshall Crenshaw

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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Listen to the Zee Avi set here.

Listen to Marshall Crenshaw's set here.

Setlists:

Zee Avi
1. Poppy
2. Traveler
3. Honey Bee
4. First of the Gang
5. Bitter Heart

Marshall Crenshaw
1. Fantastic Planet of Love
2. Live & Learn
3. Someone Told Me
4. There She Goes Again
5. Someday Someway
6. Stormy River
7. Passing Through
8. Right On Time
9. Never Coming Down

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Jessica Lea Mayfield

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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5/29/2009

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, The Revelations

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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Rhett Miller, The Avett Brothers, Pete Yorn

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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Listen to the Rhett Miller set here.

Listen to the Avett Brothers set here.

Listen to the Pete Yorn set here.

Setlists:

Rhett Miller
1. Dance With Me
2. If It's Not Love
3. Question
4. Caroline
5. Rollerskate Skinny
6. Sometimes
7. Come Around
8. I Need To Know Where I Stand
9. Timebomb

Avett Brothers
1. Laundry Room
2. Paranoia in B-Flat Major
3. I and Love and You
4. Kick Drum Heart
5. Murder in the City
6. The Perfect Space
7. Bella Donna
8. St. Joseph's

Pete Yorn
1. For Nancy
2. Life on a Chain
3. Shotgun
4. Last Summer
5. The Man
6. For Us
7. Bizarre Love Triangle
8. On Your Side
9. Don't Wanna Cry
10. Strange Condition

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The Derek Trucks Band

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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Listen to The Derek Trucks Band's performance here.

Setlist:
1. I Know
2. Done Got Over
3. Down In The Flood
4. Already Free
5. Get What You Deserve
6. Get Out My Life

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5/28/2009

Hill Country Revue, Cracker

World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA

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Listen to Hill Country Revue's set here.

Listen to Cracker's set here.

Setlists:

Hill Country Revue
1. Alice Mae
2. Hill Country Revue
3. Georgia Women
4. You Can Make It
5. Growing Up In Mississippi

Cracker
1. Turn On Tune In Drop Out With Me
2. Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey
3. Hey Bret (You Know What Time It Is)
4. Friends
5. I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right
6. Happy Birthday
7. Gimme One More Chance

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5/22/2009

Wes & Euguene's Cabinet of Wonders

Thunderbird Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

The "Wes" in "Wes and Eugene's Cabinet of Wonders" is John Wesley Harding, touring with his stand-up comedian friend Eugene Mirman in an ad hoc cabaret, with local/regional musicians, comedians, and poets invited to each stop of the festivities.

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JWH began with a poem about the Cabinet (or the "Mini-Cabinet," as he dubbed the club-sized version of the show instead of their usual theater setting), and then he brought the ensemble up on stage and introduced them each in tongue-in-cheek verse. This version of the show included PGH-based poet Terrance Hayes, Chicago singer/songwriter Chris Mills, Rusted Root frontman Michael Glabicki, Philly singer Megan Reilly, PGH garage rockers The Cynics as an acoustic duo.

JWH started off the show with a brief solo set, including the terrific "Top of the Bottom," a track off his latest album (Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead). Then he began mixing it up, introducing and sometimes performing with the evening's ensemble.

Highlights included an incredible cover of Neil Young's "Powderfinger" by JWH and Glabicki, Glabicki's own two-song solo performance, and Mirman's comedy set.

Betsy and I were lucky to have my parents visiting to babysit, especially as were able to say hi to various members of the cast (as well as Paul Collins, of The Beat fame, who was in attendance as an audience member) and spend a rather long time chatting with that very generous conversationalist Wes himself.

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10/11/2008

Tony Clifton and His Katrina Kiss My Ass Orchestra

Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA

One of the most unexpected--and unexpectedly great--shows of this year has be seeing Tony Clifton. Before the show, I had no idea what to expect; was this going to be a lame cash-in? Was the joke going to be on the small audience for attending? Regardless, of the answer I didn't want to miss this one.

Clifton, as you may be aware, was a character created by the late performance-art comedian Andy Kaufman. Clifton was partially a satire of a D-list Vegas-style lounge singer with somewhat of a drinking problem and an even greater politeness problem. The character had little in the way of social graces, and was sure to offend nearly everyone in whatever room he happened to be in (those not in on the joke, at least).

But Clifton was primarily another tool for Kaufman to act as agent provocateur both on stage and on TV. In the early days, no one knew Clifton was a Kaufman character and in his appearances audiences and those sharing the stage with Clifton were provoked into hostility by his behavior. I won't go into detail about Clifton's history; read more of it here.

But nearly everybody at Clifton's show was in on the joke, and woe be to the audience member not aware that his truly offensive stage patter was satirical.

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Two of the unexpected elements to this show were a 3 1/2 hour length and a band numbering as many as 19 people including a horn section and a burlesque dance troupe. When Tony Clifton does a show, he goes all out!

Especially considering the small size of the audience. The show was not well promoted. I almost didn't hear about it, and I'm sure there were others who would have loved to see Clifton but didn't know he was coming to town. Clifton himself made repeated reference to the small crowd during the show ("What do we care? There's only ten people here!").

Not only was the concert more extravagant than I expect, but Clifton lived up to his reputation as an offensive troublemaker. During one of the opening numbers, he lit up a cigarette, took a few puffs, and then flicked it still-lit into the audience. He doused the audience multiple times with the contents of his frequently-refilled highball glass (the drinks sloshed into the crowd, at least, was real liquor; I was hit twice and can attest to it being actual whiskey). And between songs, Clifton kept a steady stream of one-liners almost exclusively belittling women and ethnic groups in the most vulgar terms possible (sample: "Why do women get yeast infections? So they know what it's like living with an irritating cunt.").

Clifton (as presumably played now by Kaufman's writing partner Bob Zmuda) kept the spirit of Kaufman's edgy satire alive doing some between-song bits that sought to inspire a gnawing sense of discomfort in the audience. One bit involved a young woman in Clifton's backing ensemble that was a purported refugee from a broken home that Clifton was promising a showbiz break in exchange for her sexual attention. When the scenario was set up, Clifton and the girl really sold the bit with him groping her lasciviously as she awkwardly submitted to his advances. It went on for much too long without much of a payoff--which is exactly the point: to make onlookers wonder if this is actually real.

Similarly, they closed the first set with a blistering rendition of "Black Magic Woman" (more on the great musicianship of the band in a moment). One of the dancers began dancing with plate of candles balanced on her head. After Clifton lit a cigarette from one of the candles, he took out a long dagger and started a sword-swallowing attempt, only to have it end with blood spilling out of his mouth on his tux shirt. One of the other musicians helped Clifton off the stage, and the show's producer took to mic to announce that they would take a short intermission to determine whether Tony was okay. Despite using an obvious theatrical prop dagger, it was effective enough at giving a moment's pause: "Could that have been real? Nah? Well...."

But the show couldn't have been as entertaining as it was without such a kick-ass band. Clifton was backed by a core rock section of guitar, bass, drums, and two keyboardists; added to this was a 4-piece horn section (occasionally augmented by a 5th player on baritone sax) and two female backing vocalists. In an inspired piec eof showcraft, the horn section all had wireless mics so they were able to parade around the theater during several amazing instrumental jams. The first time they did this early on in the first set, it occurred to me that this was going to be a real show, with real music, answering those pre-show questions I had.

Clifton was pitch-perfect, not in his singing (which was better than I expected, although not up to the task of a more melodic number like Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown"), but in his subtle-by-route-of-bombast send-up of low-grade Vegas-style showmanship. The aformentioned "Sundown" was played as a tribute to Lightfoot who, we were told by Clifton, "just died earlier today." That the Canadian singer was alive and well was the punchline, and one that would likely be a time-delayed one for some in the audience who perhaps took Clifton at face-value in his tribute (the tip-off should have been when a votive-type flame was brought out at the start of the tribute, only to end up used by the stage entourage as fodder for campfire marshmallows).

Other songs performed include showbizzy fare like "Ain't That A Kick In The Head," "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast," "Goldfinger," "Rhinestone Cowboy," his infamous "Volare" medley, and for the final encore, "God Bless America."

He also did a take on some familiar rock/pop tunes like "Synchronicity II," "Touch Me," and "I Will Survive."




photo by Brian Siewiorek

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9/20/2008

Lynyrd Skynyrd

PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA

You know, I often wonder whether a band feels cheesy doing this sort of a show, where the concert is a value-added freebie tacked on to a ballgame ticket. If you're Me First & The Gimme Gimmes or The Clarks, probably not. Playing a baseball stadium is a thrill in its own. But if you're in Lynyrd Skynyrd?

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I dunno. But I am sure that the band doesn't usually have a massive fireworks finale to accompany the coda to "Freebird," and the band didn't have to pony up a dime towards the cost of the pyrotechnics.

To back up, after the Pirates finished what was only their ninth sellout of the season with a win (what? did he say "a win"???), the players dashed off the field and the stadium crew set up a stage at 2nd base. With an enviable efficiency (just a 20 minute or so turnaround), the ballpark was switched into concert mode and the archtypical Southern rock band began playing.

Skynyrd played a crowd-pleasing set of past hits, including "That Smell," "Saturday Night Special," "Sweet Home Alabama," and the aforementioned "Freebird" (but why, oh why, does Johnny Van Zant have to use the painfully tired introductory question "what song is it you want to hear?"). Also standing out was "Gimme Three Steps," "What's Your Name?" and their take on J.J. Cale's "Call Me the Breeze."

Although the central New York of my youth was nowhere near the Mason-Dixon Line, bands like Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and the Charlie Daniels Band were still hugely popular. My hometown was in a fairly rural area, and the image of the rebel South (perhaps one of the most effective branding jobs in U.S. history; see, for example, here) struck a chord with many disaffected high schoolers there. But Skynyrd's Gold & Platinum compilation was on seemingly everyone's turntable, not just the Southern rockers in town, since their music was all over radio in a way that many other similar bands simply couldn't match. My sister owned the album, and I certainly spent a fair amount of time watching that label rotate around the phonograph spindle. So it was good to see these songs live for the first time.

The sound was not ideal for the show, however. It was a bit muddy and not loud enough. I guess it's unfair to expect sound like the Rolling Stone's "Steel Wheels" show I saw at Shea Stadium, but there's got to be some middle ground. The instrumental second half of "Freebird" is really the song's power, showcasing the interplay of the multiple guitars, but that complexity was largely lost in the wash of sound from the roll-away PA system set up perhaps too efficiently after the game.

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9/06/2008

Cracker/Donora

Bedford Square, Pittsburgh, PA

Cracker agreed to headline WYEP's 3rd annual "Rock the Block" event, where we block off the street in front of the radio station and have a concert and general party.

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sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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9/01/2008

Del Castillo, Jason & The Scorchers

Johnstown Folk Festival, Johnstown, PA

I've been wanting to see Jason Ringenberg & The Nashville Scorchers live for more than 20 years. At my college radio station in 1985, '86, '87, we used to play "White Lies," "Golden Ball & Chain," and the band's take on "Absolutely Sweet Marie" quite a lot. And I remember my friend John Webber going to see them live and enjoying the hell out of it--despite being nearly deaf for days afterwards.

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So I wanted to see them, too. But eventually, they stopped playing out of Nashville much. I did see Jason Ringenberg solo live back in 2003, which was a great time. But I still wanted to see the band.

When I saw they were going to be appearing at the Johnstown Folk Fest, I thought that the stars were aligning; I've always meant to go to the Fest since moving to Pittsburgh in 2003 (close enough, although still a more than 90-minute drive). Plus, Del Castillo was also on the bill and performing immediately preceding The Scorchers--a band that not I really dig, but my wife likes as well.

Of course, now that I have a baby I have to make sure that she's consulted on such plans (9-month-olds have amazing powers of veto). The Scorchers were scheduled for a 7pm start time which was just barely within the realm of do-ability to see some of the show, drive home, and get baby to bed at a reasonable time.

So, to make a long story short, we came, we saw, we, er, well, not conquered. We enjoyed. Jason & The Scorchers are not the same band they were twenty years ago--I wonder whether Jason Ringenberg foresaw that he would be doing Farmer Jason children's music--but it was thoroughly fun. Sadly, I wasn't able to stay for too long and didn't get to hear any favorites (especially "Broken Whiskey Glass") but it was good to finally scratch that band off my list.

And Del Castillo was frickin' amazing as well. As my previous experience seeing them live attested, they are an incredible bunch of musicians. In some ways, they're remind me of Los Lonely Boys, but without the drug busts and with a souped-up, two-guitar attack.

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8/09/2008

New American Music Union festival

Gnarls Barkley, Spoon, The Raconteurs, Bob Dylan

South Side Works, Pittsburgh, PA

post continues....

The festival was two days long, featuring a lot more bands than listed above, but due to childcare these four were the only ones I was able to see. Of them Gnarls Barkley and Spoon were terrific. The Raconteurs and Bob Dylan not so much.

Gnarls Barkley was already on stage when Betsy and I arrived, running through their great cover of Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Gone." Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo were wearing tan jackets over a white uniform (Cee-Lo quickly removed his, due to the summer heat) and their band all had maroon-looking vests over their dress whites (the drummer gussied up his uniform with a bowtie). Other highlights were "Run," a set-closing "Smiley Faces," and even their ballad (which I'm not as into on record) "Who's Gonna Save My Soul." Naturally, "Crazy" was great to hear live, but I was a little surprised that the crowd didn't go, well, crazy when the band played it.

Spoon put in an excellent performance, ably assisted on selected songs by a 3-horn section. Standouts were "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb," "I Turn My Camera On," "Don't Make Me a Target," "Don't You Evah," "I Summon You," "The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine," and "The Underdog."

It was my second time seeing The Raconteurs, and frankly, I'm not a big fan. To me, they sound like a cover band without the familiar songs. On record they come across much better than live; live they simply sound self-indulgent.

And it was also my second time seeing Dylan, the first being only last summer. Dylan's performance was rather lacking for most of the set, only really taking off during "Ballad of a Thin Man." Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so. We didn't make it to the final song, departing during the encore break.

Anthony Keidis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers "curated" the festival, choosing the bands and acting as the public face of the event. He made an appearance before The Raconteurs to thank people for coming, rev himself up that Dylan would be later on that very stage, and to declare "See you next year!" (a de facto announcement that he's on board for a second year of the fledgling fest).

Dylan setlist:
Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35
It Ain't Me, Babe
The Levee's Gonna Break
Spirit on the Water
High Water (For Charley Patton)
Tangled Up in Blue
Honest with Me
Beyond The Horizon
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Nettie Moore
Summer Days
Ballad of a Thin Man

encore:
Like a Rolling Stone

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7/20/2008

Amos Lee

WYEP Community Broadcast Centervenue, Pittsburgh, PA



sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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7/12/2008

Steve Forbert

Mellon Park, Pittsburgh, PA

Songs performed included "My Stolen Identity," "You Can't Do That" (Beatles cover), "Settle Down," "Good Planets Are Hard to Find," "In the Jailhouse Now" (Jimmie Rogers cover), "It Sure Was Better Back Then," "Mexico," "What Kinda Guy?," and "Yellow Submarine">>"Romeo's Tune." (not a complete setlist, but close)

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7/06/2008

Donna the Buffalo, Slim Redmond Band

Great Blue Heron Festival, Sherman, NY

sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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6/27/2008

WYEP Summer Music Festival

Old 97s/The Watson Twins/Juliana Hatfield/Good Night, States

Schenley Plaza, Pittsburgh, PA

sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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6/15/2008

New York Dolls

Three Rivers Arts Festival, Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA


I had seen Syl Sylvain and Johnny Thunders once at the Continental in New York City (with a guest appearance from Cheetah Chrome; wish I remembered the actual date for that show, it was either in 1989 or 1990) but I've never seen the Dolls as a band.

We couldn't stay for too long, having the little one with us (she was more tired than I, which, considering I had just gotten back from Bonnaroo, was a feat!). Frankly, though, I was a little disappointed with what I heard. It just didn't seem like the Dolls I knew. I heard from others, though, that the show got better later in the set.

The setlist (ass far as I heard)
Babylon
Puss 'n' Boots
We're All in Luv
Piece of My Heart
Plenty of Music
Private World
[here's about where I had to leave]

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6/14/2008

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Donavon Frankenreiter/Mason Jennings/Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings/Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet/Ozomatli/The Avett Brothers/Cat Power/B.B. King/Ben Folds/Jack Johnson/Pearl Jam/Phil Lesh & Friends/Sigur Ros

Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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6/13/2008

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Drive-By Truckers/Tegan & Sara/The Swell Season/Rilo Kiley/Willie Nelson/Metallica/My Morning Jacket

Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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6/12/2008

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Newton Faulkner/Superdrag/MGMT/Nicole Atkins & The Sea/Vampire Weekend

Bonnaroo Music Festival, Manchester, TN

sorry, I haven't yet written about this show... add your own comments if you were also there!

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