Show Review & Photos: Kiss & Buckcherry @ KeyArena

Review & photos by Dagmar

I’ve wanted to see KISS for quite some time. They’re one of those bands who are totally larger than life. I got to catch them at KeyArena last night, along with some of opener Buckcherry’s set, and what an amazing evening it was.

First of all I love that KISS has the whole makeup and costume plan. It’s brilliant. It’s not a gimmick because so many fans have embraced it and their fans know what’s what. The large number of fans who showed up in makeup and costume made my heart swell – it was really cool. What a way to be able to share a persona with your favorite musicians, you know? I adore that Gene Simmons is still the Demon, Paul Stanley still the Starchild, and Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer have become, respectively, the Catman and the Spaceman. And I adore that people show up looking like them. Rock Superheroes? Yes they are.

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This show was gargantuan. It had all the explosives and fire I hoped for. This was the first time at a KISS show for me and I would definitely go again and I totally recommend that you throw your money down for this show. When guitarist/singer Paul Stanley talked about how people came to the show to escape their problems, I thought, damn right. And KISS knows this. They know that fans want to escape at rock shows and not get mired down in a bunch of people preaching at them about how we can save the planet. They also know that giant platforms raising Gene Simmons and Tommy Thayer on the sides of the stage to new heights is just plain awesome. Oh, and the platforms were smoking too. They also know that Gene Simmons being lifted by cables onstage is awesome, as is Paul Stanley drifting over the audience by cable to do Love Gun at one end of the stadium.

They do all this crazy stuff and for not one moment did it seem ridiculous or tired. It was rejuvenating and sincere. There was so much going on onstage and the solos each band member got were so cool. The large screens above and on either sides of the stage brought immediacy to those in far away seats and were even nice if you were close – you could see more detail.

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Musical highlights for me: Calling Dr. Love, Detroit Rock City, Strutter (I was taking pix during that one!), Black Diamond, I Love It Loud, Shout It Out Loud, and Lick It Up. The entire set was strong and the entire show was a fascinating and explosive rock drama. Even if you aren’t a KISS fan I just can’t imagine you not enjoying their show.

Los Angeles band Buckcherry opened the night and I enjoyed all the band members’ expressive personalities and I would see them again in a minute. They were what you need in a band – rousing and plucky.

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Buckcherry

Many more photos on their way . . .

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Buckcherry

November 16.
2:35 am

Photos: The Bravery @ the Showbox

New York City’s the Bravery blow my mind every time I see them. Their set at the Showbox on Monday night was absolutely glorious and highlighted so many of their great songs. What a pleasure to take pix at this show, which included material off their releases The Bravery (Unconditional, Swollen Summer, Public Service Announcement,
Tyrant, Fearless, An Honest Mistake
) and The Sun and the Moon (Every Word Is a Knife in My Ear, The Ocean, Time Won’t Let Me Go, Believe) – as well as new material off their upcoming December 2009 release, Stir the Blood. The new CD sounds like it’s going to be fantastic and I am basing this on the songs Slow Poison, Hatefuck and the scarily groovy Red Hands and White Knuckles. Photos:

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all photos by Dagmar

Photos: Devo @ the Moore

Devo performed their album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! in its entirety last night as night one of a two evening stay at the Moore in Seattle. I knew any show that starts with Uncontrollabe Urge would have to be good and yes it certainly was an excellent performance. Right after a brilliant rendition of Mongoloid the band ripped off their Devo radiation suits and went into the beloved Jocko Homo. How awesome to see this band again – you can catch them tonight as they do Freedom of Choice. We got a sneak preview of the show when they did Gates of Steel as an encore. My photos (more coming):

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all photos by Dagmar

CD Review: Beak> by Beak>

Beak>, a band from Bristol, England, released their self-titled debut CD just this month. The CD will be released in the States in November and it’s an awesome debut. The band is made up of Geoff Barrow (Portishead), Matt Williams (alias Team Brick), and Billy Fuller (Fuzz Against Funk). I decided I would listen to the CD without reading up at all on the background of the band. I didn’t want it to be tainted because the name Beak> intrigued me enough on its own.

I think this CD is quite the dazzler. I like the organ and weird pulses in Backwell. The chanting and bass in Pill are peculiarly affecting and the droning gloom of Dundry Hill really pulled me into the CD as an entire piece. And I feel like the CD is an entire piece – not just songs randomly put together by musicians who want to mess with the listener. There’s a haunted momentum to I Know and Iron Acton that I totally fell for and there’s more weird chanting in Battery Point with guitars frying along. Ham Green‘s pounding use of bass is exquisite. Ears Have Ears brings in more strangeness with unsettling tweeting sounds.

Perhaps describing something as odd does not appeal to you but I like music that tries something different. Every once in a while you want to be challenged pleasantly, right?

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Beak> (Ipecac Records)