concerts | virtual book

concerts

#journal #music #live-music Mentioned in what I'm doing now

Log of concerts I’ve attended.

★ ★ ★ = Wanna see them again!

★ ★ = Worth seeing

★ = Ok

☆ = Disappointing

2024

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★

Terrace Martin with James Fauntleroy

the blue note

#journal #live-music #nyc Mentioned in concerts, nyc trip, what I'm doing now

Compared to The Village Vanguard, The Blue Note was a bit embarrassing. Doors open two hours before showtime, giving guests ample time to meet their $20 minimum. Accordingly, we showed up with plenty of time to have dinner before the show. However, after we wriggled and hopscotched into seats at the claustrophobically crammed tables, we found out that the main dishes themselves – and even some appetizers – start at $20 and reach comfortably past the upper $30s. (As I write this and look on The Blue Note’s website to check my memory, I notice the online menu omits the prices.) With more than an hour until showtime, we decided Z and Coco would go out for food elsewhere in Greenwich Village and I would stay and have dinner there.

A few minutes before showtime, I went upstairs to the bathroom and stumbled upon a gift shop because of course they had a gift shop. On the way back to my seat, I overheard a conversation at the till. Your total is $75. After a short silence, during which, I presume, the customer looked down at the two items on the counter, blinked, and looked back up: How much is each item?

At least the show was good. The drummer, who apparently tours with Alicia Keys, was amazing. Gleefully he battered the kit with urgency unabating as if he were Tom and the groove Jerry. Between songs, Terrace took his time telling stories and teasing his bandmates. Halfway through the set, he announced his guest, whose name might not ring many bells, but has been inscribed on several Grammies for cowriting hits like Bruno Mars’s That’s What I Like and Justin Timberlake’s Pusher Love Girl. For two people in the audience the name rang not a bell but a gong, and when Terrace hesitated during the introduction, one of them cried out The GOAT! Terrace nodded and confirmed, the GOAT… James Fauntleroy! Out shuffled a man befitting his all-but-pop-star status: a short, chubby man wearing thick-framed glasses, a hawaiian shirt, and striped jogging pants.

New York City USA Blue Note 05/23/2024
★ ★ Kurt Rosenwinkel New York City USA Village Vanguard 05/18/2024
★ ★ Nate Smith, Kiefer (3rd), & Carrtoons Seattle, WA USA Nectar Lounge 05/16/2024

Hailu Mergia

technical difficulties at Hailu Mergia

#journal #seattle #live-music #music Mentioned in concerts, what I'm doing now

I first read about Hailu Mergia in Pitchfork’s The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s, which listed his 2018 album Lala Belu at 185th. But my favorite Hailu album quickly became and has remained his 1978 album, Wede Harer Guzo. It’s that rare and precious kind of music that’s somehow nostalgic on first listen. I adore even the album cover, which is a scan of the original tape cover art set against a solid magenta background. Late 2019 and early 2020 was a fertile time of music discovery for me.

It’s been five years and I still listen to Hailu routinely, and so does my friend Isaac, who was my roommate at the time and is Ethiopian like Hailu. So, in January, when Isaac got a Spotify notification that Hailu was playing a concert in Seattle in March, we bought tickets instantly. Soon afterwards, it sold out.

We showed up close to scheduled showtime, but Hailu and his bandmates didn’t for another hour, almost two. On “Habesha Time,” as Isaac anticipated of his fellow Ethiopians. Nonetheless, the crowd roared as the band came on stage.

From the first song, I thought the music sounded spare, like an instrument was missing. So much so, that by the end of the second song, I felt let down. It wasn’t sounding like I expected. And yet the rest of the crowd was thrilled. I wondered if we should move away from the stage to a place in the venue where the speakers translated better. Maybe our position under them was deceiving us.

But by the third or fourth song, Isaac and I realized we were thinking the same thing. Something was wrong. In the middle of a song we saw Hailu turn a keyboard knob left and right with a puzzled look like one would if the volume wasn’t working. The other two band members, the bassist and the drummer, seemed to sense something too. The three of them exchanged looks but did not betray much worry. When the song ended, the crowd clapped and whooed enthusiastically. I waited for Hailu to say something to someone about the keyboard. He didn’t. They went on to the next song.

We were standing a few feet to Hailu’s left, in the perfect position to watch his left hand play mute accompaniment. We could hear every note he played with his right hand on the upper keyboard, and even some of the notes he played on the right half of the faulty keyboard, but almost nothing from the left hand as it pressed futile chords into the left half.

After the fifth or sixth song, I approached an employee standing security next to the stage to tell him. He leaned in and listened to me and nodded without looking up. I stepped back to my spot and waited. He leaned and said something to the other employee standing by the stage. Neither seemed bothered. When the song ended, they just stood there and clapped.

Then I noticed a guy in front of me and Isaac shifting and glancing restlessly at the two employees and conferring with his friends about something. I figured he must have noticed too. At the end of the next song, I leaned forward and asked him, trying to speak over the noise of the crowd. It’s ridiculous! he said to me immediately. After a moment I realized he was talking about the huge fan at the end of the corridor blowing air into the venue from outside. He was just cold.

Isaac needed to go to the bathroom and I still held out hope that the music would sound better farther from the stage, so we waded diagonally through the crowd towards the bar, listening as we went. We agreed. No difference.

Isaac went to the bathroom and I went to the merch table to see what albums they had. I commented to the woman working there about our suspicion that half of Hailu’s keyboard wasn’t working. She reacted with concern, but then said that her boyfriend was in charge of the sound and that he was a pro. I dropped the subject.

They were selling Lala Belu on vinyl but didn’t accept debit, credit, cash, or Venmo, so I spent the next several minutes downloading PayPal and trying to set it up. I stood aside and the woman continued selling copies of the record to people that came up. While I battled with multifactor authentication and her confusing instructions – no, you can’t do it that way because of the currency exchange – people kept coming up and buying records until there was only one left. Another guy came up wanting to buy the record. The woman looked between us, apologized, and said that whoever paid for it first could have it. I was on the brink of giving up but then I tried again, this time ignoring her instructions. It worked, finally.

With my new record in hand, I went with Isaac to the back of the venue to listen from a third vantage point, to see if the chords were audible from there. Nope. Still nothing.

Seattle, WA USA Tractor Tavern 03/01/2024
★ ★ ★

Vieux Farka Touré

Vieux Farka Touré

#journal #concerts #live-music Mentioned in concerts, what I'm doing now, what is this site? #2

Walking on a late evening on my own I passed a theatre I knew nothing about. I looked up what shows they had coming up and saw that Vieux Farka Touré was playing that week. I confirmed that he was the artist who had released a collaborative album with Khruangbin and mulled over buying tickets before realizing it was sold out.

While working the next day I listened to his KEXP live studio performance. It sounded great. On the day of the show, I called the theatre a couple times and managed to snag a couple tickets. Z and I went, and it was amazing. His band was the same as in the KEXP live performance: a bassist, a percussionist, and Vieux Farka Touré on guitar and vocals. All the instruments sounded great, especially the percussion and the guitar, but best of all was Vieux Farka Touré’s voice. I’ve since returned to Ali, his album with Khruangbin, and confirmed that it doesn’t do his voice justice. Live it was spellbinding.

Vancouver, BC Canada York Theatre 02/23/2024

2023

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★ ★ The Go Rounds Mexico City Mexico Frëims 11/01/2023
★ ★ King Krule (2nd), with Slauson Malone 1 Seattle, WA USA Paramount Theatre 09/20/2023
★ ★ Kaytranada & Aminé Troutdale, OR USA McMenamins Edgefield 09/09/2023
Perry Porter, with Jarv Dee Seattle, WA USA Nectar Lounge 05/21/2023
★ ★ Knitting / 3x tuk / Guests / Hurry Up Snufkin Seattle, WA USA Drongo HQ 03/26/2023
★ ★ Tank and the Bangas Seattle, WA USA Neumos 03/19/2023

2022

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★ DOMi & JD BECK Seattle, WA USA Nectar Lounge 11/07/2022
Stereolab ★ ★ Fievel is Glaque ★ ★ ★ Stereolab (2nd), with Fievel is Glaque Seattle, WA USA Showbox 09/25/2022
★ ★ Loving, with Sam Burton Seattle, WA USA Madame Lou’s 08/06/2022
★ ★ Sharon Van Etten, Angel Olsen, Julien Baker Redmond, WA USA Marymoor Park 08/03/2022
★ ★ Kamasi Washington Seattle, WA USA Showbox 07/31/2022
Tyler, the Creator, with Kali Uchis (2nd), Vince Staples, and Teezo Touchdown Seattle, WA USA Climate Pledge Arena 04/08/2022
★ ★ Jacob Collier Seattle, WA USA Showbox SODO 04/06/2022

2021

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★ Injury Reserve, with Slauson Malone 1 (recounted on fattystrap) Seattle, WA USA Neumos 11/07/2021
★ ★ ★ Kiefer (2nd) Seattle, WA USA Neumos 10/05/2021
★ ★ ★ Herbie Hancock Seattle, WA USA Paramount Theatre 09/21/2021

2020

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
Raphael Saadiq, with Jamila Woods Seattle, WA USA Neptune Theatre 02/25/2020

2019

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★ ★ Ezra Collective Seattle, WA USA Barboza 12/13/2019
★ ★ ★ Brittany Howard Seattle, WA USA Moore Theatre 11/18/2019
Moonchild ★ Kiefer ★ ★ ★ Moonchild, with Kiefer (1st) Seattle, WA USA Neumos 11/09/2019
★ ★ ★ Jordan Rakei Seattle, WA USA Neumos 10/24/2019
R.A.P. Ferreira Seattle, WA USA Chop Suey 10/10/2019
Ross from Friends Seattle, WA USA Neumos 09/26/2019
★ ★ JPEGMAFIA Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ James Blake Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ Tierra Whack Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ Solange Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ ★ Rosalia Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
Kali Uchis (1st) Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ ★ Robyn Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ Tame Impala Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/01/2019
★ ★ Julia Holter (2nd) Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/~01/2019
★ ★ ★ Stereolab (1st) Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 06/~01/2019
Nas Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/~31/2019
★ ★ FKA Twigs Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/31/2019
★ ★ Janelle Monáe (2nd) Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/31/2019
★ ★ ★ Sons of Kemet Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/31/2019
★ ★ Snail Mail Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/31/2019
★ ★ ★ Erykah Badu Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/~31/2019
★ ★ Midori Takada Barcelona Spain Primavera Sound Festival 05/31/2019
Earl Sweatshirt Vancouver, BC Canada Commodore Ballroom 04/15/2019
Noname Vancouver, BC Canada Commodore Ballroom 03/12/2019
★ ★ Julia Holter (1st) Vancouver, BC Canada Imperial Vancouver 03/04/2019

2018

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
★ ★ ★ Allen Stone Victoria, BC Canada Capitol Ballroom 12/13/2018
★ ★ Childish Gambino Vancouver, BC Canada Rogers Arena 12/08/2018
Leon Bridges ★ ★ Khruangbin ★ ★ ★ Leon Bridges, with Khruangbin Vancouver, BC Canada PNE Ampitheatre 09/16/2018
★ ★ Lauryn Hill Vancouver, BC Canada Deer Lake Park 09/14/2018
★ ★ Father John Misty Seattle, WA USA Capitol Hill Block Party 07/22/2018
★ ★ Unknown Mortal Orchestra Seattle, WA USA Capitol Hill Block Party 07/22/2018
★ ★ Brockhampton Seattle, WA USA Capitol Hill Block Party 07/21/2018
★ ★ Janelle Monáe (1st) Redmond, WA USA Marymoor Park 06/11/2018
★ ★ Joey Bada$$ Seattle, WA USA Showbox 05/13/2018

2017

Rating Artist City Country Venue Date
Shabazz Palaces Victoria, BC Canada Upstairs 12/02/2017
★ ★ Daniel Caesar Victoria, BC Canada Capitol Ballroom 11/11/2017
★ ★ ★ King Krule (1st), with Standing on the Corner Vancouver, BC Canada Vogue Theatre 11/05/2017
Bonobo Victoria, BC Canada Royal Athletic Park (Rifflandia) 09/~16/2017
★ ★ ★ Five Alarm Funk Victoria, BC Canada Capitol Ballroom (Rifflandia) 09/~15/2017
★ ★ Charlotte Day Wilson Victoria, BC Canada Royal Athletic Park (Rifflandia) 09/~15/2017