Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Black Keys 7/26/10

So far this year I've been to small venues and big ones, no outdoor ones yet, and heard some powerful live shows. All have been pretty great but Monday night they were completely blown away by The Black Keys. I saw these guys @ 930 in support of their Danger Mouse produced album "Attack & Release". It was so good I made sure I was on a mailing list for when they were coming to DC to play "Brothers". I actually got tickets on the floor at Constitution Hall which was great and the presale tickets also included the new album so I would be prepared for the awesomeness that is a Black Keys show. To my satisfaction they started the night by getting right into the classic older stuff from the first three albums, I thought I even heard a tune off "Chulahoma" too. These guys have some serious power and the tracks were short and full of energy. Besides Josh Homme I would have to say that Dan Auerbach is the best guitar player out there right now. It's hard not notice his heavy bluesy twang that encompasses each song he plays which stand out all the more because it's just his guitar playing. On his right was the strong and steady Patrick Carney whose drumming was always on point whether the song was loud and fast or soft and slow. After about a half hour the two Black Keys were accompanied by a bass and keyboard player to start performing selections from their new album that had some full band elements reminiscent of "Attack & Release". The new players were very subtle and didn't take much away from the original guitar and drum format that is The Black Keys signature sound. Despite the full on production value of the last two albums the majority of the hour and half set belonged to the simple but full sound formula. These guys can flat out play and I can't wait to see them again. Don't miss these guys, you will be blown away.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Virgin Free Fest/Ticket Fly Hot Mess

While I have normally applauded for their great service and ease of getting concert info out there quick and releasing tickets early the Virgin Free Fest was a total disaster. I haven't really hated on much on this blog but this was ridiculous! Usually if I want to see a hot show I have found out about them soon but if I know it'll be seated, or in this case free, I'll get my ass up to a phone or computer to make sure I get in the infinite waiting room of online servers to get my tickets before they sell out in mere minutes. I went to Virgin's first local festival with some friends that cost in the hundreds but it had a slew of great bands playing. I saw Wolfmother, Brazilian Girls, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Who, and The Racteouers that year. Not bad for the price despite it being played at Baltimore's dirty Pimilico Field infield. Then last year it went free and I was shut out thanks to Ticketmaster. I've been hounding the Virgin Free Fest fan page on Facebook all week to get a head of the pack and they released their presale code the night before the first attempt to made on the tickets. Needless to say I was ready. CRASH!!!!!! System crashed, what a bummer. Nothing worked, no direct links, nothing. I got back on Facebook and the masses were hot. Eventually at around ten after Virgin Free Fest sent a new link up. Still no dice. After ten more minutes they finally stated they got everything all up and working and I finally got in and got tow tickets. I was even able to call a few people to send them the link too. I checked today and tried but nothing got through. They posted later that 75,000 people tried for close to 35,000 tickets. That's ridiculous. Glad I got hooked up because I have been waiting to hear word on when LCD Soundsystem was coming to DC. I am also grateful that Sleigh Bells, Chromeo, and Neon Indian are coming too since I missed their last go round here. Sorry to vent but the ticket situation is crazy but I can't complain since they're free. Thanks Virgin and Ticket Fly, Love Julian.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Starr Hill Cruise 7/16/10

Did you know there is a dock behind Nats Park? There is and the boat behind it, The Patriot II, takes people out on cruises all year round. Brooke and I happened to take a night time cruise last Friday sponsored by On Tap Magazine, my favorite local *FREE* mag, and Charlottesville's own Starr Hill Brewery. We got onto the boat and it had a bar on two floors and a few cheese and cracker bowls. Not the best food but it'll do. It was a good time considering I do like Starr Hill and even have some still in my fridge and the weather wasn't super hot and the scenery was great. We went from Nats Park past the airport and Old Town and turned around past the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to see National Harbor on the way back. The only bummer, well first bummer, was the live music. Two jokers, guitar and violin(?!), played wimpy Dave Matthews covers on full blast in the downstairs bar area. I mean WTF? Total buzz kill having those clowns blaring in the only air conditioned room downstairs. The bar also had only four styles of Starr Hill and no company reps were there. I have been totally spoiled by Hard Times beer tastings in Springfield but overall it was a great ride. Romantic even!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Dead Weather 7/13/10

Last night saw The Dead Weather kick off their summer tour at the 9:30 Club in DC. I missed them the last time they played here but I am glad I caught them this time around. The band's front woman, Alison Mosshart was all over the place singing her ass off to some heavy bluesy songs while Jack White alternated between singing/drumming/and even playing guitar. The band themselves had an explosive energy that carried all their songs without much delay between them. The sound was amazing and although I've seen a few sellouts at the club this show felt more packed. It was truly a rock and roll show to the fullest and my ears are still ringing and my head is still banging!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

National Marathon

So I signed up for the National Marathon in DC next March. I always say I'm never running that far again but this will be the 3rd one I've signed up for since I said I'd do no more. It should be good as I'd rather be cold than hot while running, and lately being outside has been a total running bummer! Got the Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon in September so I'm going to have to get on a treadmill soon. And that would suck but that seems like the only option at this point!

Uncle Sam Jam 7/4/10

Happy belated 4th of July! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Started off the weekend with a walk off Nats win again the dreaded Mets (suck) and watched some UFC that night. For the 4th a whole gang of us went back down to SW to catch the Uncle Sam Jam at the Zanzibar. It was super hot but luckily all my friends (and beer and pizza) were on the side of the building with all the shade. The main stage was melting! Good Dos Equis & 105.9 sponsors giving out schwag was pretty good and everyone seemed to have a good time. Got to see Soul Asylum (of "Runaway Train" fame) for a hot minute before we took part in watching Brooke and Heather run through a "quicksand" mix in honor of a "Most Interesting Man In The World" contest. It was pretty good. Once it started getting darker we ventured to the patio deck and watched the DC fireworks and called it a night!