live shows Archive

Progressive Nation Act IV: Dream Theater

I like progressive rock, especially the British/European varieties. Those seem informed more by European folk, music of the Middle Ages, and classical, yet with plenty of power and bombast leavened by subtlety. The American variants have never moved me as much. So while I really dig acts like Yes, King Crimson, Gabriel-era Genesis and lesser

Progressive Nation Act III: Zappa Plays Zappa

As mentioned previously, I’m something of a Zappa fanatic. I was lucky enough to see the man onstage twice in the 80s; his peculiar hybrid of obscenely-complicated art/jazz/rock/whatever crossed with a withering sense of irony and a jaundiced eye toward poseurs of all stripes rendered his music tailor-made for a proto-postmodern twentysomething mulleted me. Or

Progressive Nation Act II: Bigelf

Second to take the stage was Bigelf. Like Scale the Summit, these guys were unknown to me. I was totally unfamiliar with their music, so I did a quick bit of reading about them ahead of time. I learned that one of their trademarks is use of vintage instruments. So with that, I was delighted

Progressive Nation Act I: Scale the Summit

First up was Scale the Summit. This four-piece (two guitars trading leads, plus bass and drums) trades in the modern instro-metal-prog genre. A really young lot (not Hanson “Mm-bop” young, not “Michael Jackson when he was human” young, but young nonetheless) turned out a bruising set. For me, the songs ran together and didn’t offer

Progressive Nation 2009

So awhile back I bought a ticket to the local date of the Progressive Nation tour. My buddy and band mate Jeff talked me into it. On one level, I didn’t need much convincing: near the top of the bill was Zappa Plays Zappa; I’d seen ZPZ a couple years earlier and was wowed by

Concert Review: Japanese Motors, Raleigh NC 03/11/09

A quick listen — heck, even a careful, critical series of listens — to “Single Fins & Safety Pins,” the latest single from Japanese Motors, would give most people the clear impression that the band owns a well-worn copy of the (apocryphal) Noo Yawk Song and Stylebook authored by members of The Strokes and the

Echo Project 2007: The Little Festival That Could

Let’s face it: the festival calendar is pretty crowded. Coachella, Bonnaroo, 10k Lakes, Langerando; the list goes on and on, and it grows longer every year. This is good news for the barefoot nomadic types who crisscross the continent selling hemp-flavored chewing gum and blown glass smoking accessories, but what about the live music consumer?

Bonnaroo 2007: It’s Not Just for Hippies Any More

A sell-out crowd of 80,000 descended on a barren 70-acre tract in middle Tennessee (halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga) for the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, one of the world’s largest and most successful festival enterprises. This year’s lineup of bands for the four-day event (June 14-17) was more varied than in previous years, with

Legendary Pink Dots: Connecting With the Dots in Chapel Hill

Unpredictable and experimental as always, The Legendary Pink Dots make a concerted and successful bid to connect with their audiences. Cutting a swath through the USA’s eastern seaboard — mostly by way of tiny clubs — the Legendary Pink Dots appeared in the dark, humid confines of Chapel Hill’s Local 506 this night to a