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by mbreen 08.30.2011
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Dallas Moore Readies “Hank To Thank”

Area label Sol Records is taking pre-orders now for the Dallas Moore Band’s next release, Hank To Thank, culled from the locally-based Country crew’s sessions one year ago with longtime Willie Nelson guitarist Jody Payne at the site of Cincinnati’s Herzog studios where Hank Williams laid down some of his early, big hits.

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by Mike Breen 05.18.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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The Thompson House Opens Tonight

Former Southgate House locale hosts first concert under new management

Tonight, the Venue Formerly Known As The Southgate House hosts its first big show. The Thompson House — as it's now called after a family dispute went to court and resulted in the longtime operators getting the boot and the owners of faux-strip club the Brass Ass taking over — opens its doors tonight to the public for a 7 p.m. concert headlined by modern Ska/Reggae revivalists The Aggrolites.

A recent Enquirer story about the "new" venue drew an avalanche of comments, the vast majority of which suggested that those who were fans of the Southgate House despise the look and direction of the Thompson House, with its purple decor and Rock star murals. Check out this pic from the Thompson House's website:



But the new venue's origins and the relative abruptness of the closing of the Southgate House is angering people more than the color scheme. The wall colors are just purple icing on the cake, so to speak.

The Thompson House has been developing a schedule that seems to be attempting to mimic the eclectic nature of the old Southgate House — a little Jazz, some open mic stuff, a Hard Rock band, some Metal, some Country. Often, the Southgate House's eclectic nature harvested a following whose tastes crossed over. And as diverse as the bookings were, rarely were there shows at the old club that made you go, "Why would they bring THAT show to the Southgate." For much of its run, whoever was booking the Southgate House seemed to have good and, more importantly, consistent taste in a wide-range of music. They wouldn't just book a random Country band; they'd book an interesting, great or unusual one.

The Thompson House bookings so far seem like they will be able to attract a varied audience. But can the people who, say, go to the Blue Wisp Jazz Club every couple of weeks and will probably enjoy the local Jazz lineup at the venue feel at home going to the same club as the younger music lovers who used to hang out at The Mad Hatter (or its current occupier, Bangarang's of Covington) to watch Hardcore and Death Metal bands? We'll see.

I have clubs that I like to go to more than others, but I have never gone to a concert because of where it was being held. And I've never not gone to see a concert at a venue I don't feel as comfortable. But I would be less inclined to frequent a venue if I have a bad experience and I'd be less likely to just roll the dice and take a chance on a show at a venue in which I don't feel comfortable.   

I understand the passion of the Southgate lovers who insist they'll never set foot in the Thompson House, but if a band comes to town that you'd like to see, or your favorite local artist is performing in the "Rock Star Lounge" some night, you'll be hurting those artists as much as the new owners. Over the years, I've had club owners or promoters be dicks to me and occasionally have reached the point of anger where I momentarily think, "Screw them, I'll never write about one of their shows again." But it passes quickly. I've never "blacklisted" a club or promoter, no matter how big of an a-hole their employees are, because I've always felt that it would be unfair to both the musicians that work with them and the music fans who would like to know about the concerts they're promoting.

Like I said, I can totally understand the urge to boycott — I haven't stepped inside Clifton movie theater The Esquire since they "banned" CityBeat and its film critic from the theater after we reported how the operators had censored a raunchy part of a film without permission and without informing the audience of the edit. It's just one of those "principled" stands we all take and whether they are "rational" or not is relative and personal. (I'll admit that not going to the Party Source for several years after a manager was a jerk to me there was a little silly … but it made me feel a little better.)

Perhaps the hope is that if all these people who say they'll never go to the Thompson House actually don't, the club won't survive. But, from the bookings so far, a big chunk of the Southgate House's old clientele would never have been interested in the Thompson House bookings anyway. And if the Thompson House fails, someone might just come in and turn it into a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill.

Me? I'm leaving the door open. I won't be there tonight, though I am a fan of The Aggrolites (and local openers The Ohms and The Newport Secret 6 are excellent, as well). I just have other plans. But, out of sheer curiosity alone, I will step foot in the Thompson House. And when there's music there I want to check out, I'll step foot it in it again and again. I miss the old Southgate House as much as anyone and I really appreciate the efforts of the previous owners, but I'm not going to deprive myself of a good concert experience. I mean, I never stopped going to Bogart's, even when it was the source of some of the worst concert experiences I've ever had.

Although when the Thompson House starts hosting the "Thompson House-produced country (music) revue show, 'Through the Years,' " as the Enquirer reported, I'll probably pass. I'm loyal to Kings Island when it comes to cheesy musical revue numbers.

Tickets for tonight's show are $13. You can buy them here and pick them up at Will Call (or buy them at the door). Click here to see who else is performing at the Thompson House, as well as some of the specialty nights.

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.23.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music Video at 06:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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WATCH: Afghan Whigs on Jimmy Fallon

Band plays recent cover "See and Don't See"; "I'm Her Slave" posted as online exclusive

For those who needed to see it before they believed it, The Afghan Whigs are officially back. The band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, performing the old-school Soul cover "See and Don't See" that was released as a free download recently. The band also played "I'm Her Slave," the first full song off of their second album for Sub Pop, 1992's Congregation.

"Slave" was posted as a "web exclusive" clip. Check it out below. We'll add the other tune when it's available.



The Whigs play their first concert in 13 years tonight at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Check back later this week for an exclusive review of the show.

UPDATE: Here's last night's full episode from Hulu. You have to watch a ton of commercials but the Whigs play at the 37 minute mark. They sound better on this one (?uestlove plays with them as well). And they look fantastic throughout! Dig Greg Dulli performing without an instrument.


 
 
by Alex L. Weber 05.19.2009
Posted In: Live Music, Festivals at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Lineup Announced for Cincy Blues Fest '09

It's time to get liquored up on whiskey, slog through the humid summer heat and make that deal with the devil down at the river again. Yes, the Cincy Blues Fest itinerary has officially been announced for 2009. The summer celebration of America’s original musical art form has been going strong for 17 years.

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by mbreen 10.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Southgate House Revival Opening on Hold

Weekend shows for anticipated Newport club's grand opening halted

The grand opening for the Southgate House Revival, the new venue from the former owners/operators of Newport's beloved Southgate House, has been canceled. The club was supposed to open tonight, but it has been announced that this weekend's shows (including tomorrow's album release party for The Newbees' latest) are to be rescheduled. We'll update with any information we hear as soon as possible, but it appears the CincyPunk Fest scheduled for next weekend is still on for now.

The Southgate House Revival's Facebook page made the announcement around 4 p.m. this afternoon. Here's the post:

"ATTN: Biggest bummer post-summer? Our grand opening weekend has been postponed. This weekend’s shows have to be delayed due to a few last minute construction challenges.

We are completely committed to opening the right way to make your experience the best it can be. We just can't in good conscious present anything below the very best.


Says Morrella: “We are sorry to have to delay sharing this
magical venue with the music fans of the area, but our first concern will always be to make sure that it is safe and ready for public occupation. The City of Newport, our wonderful construction crews and crew of volunteers have all been working very hard to make this happen. We thank them so much. We look forward to seeing everyone next weekend for CincyPunk Fest. We will announce rescheduled dates for these shows very soon.”

Anyone who had pre-purchased tickets for this weekend’s dates may be issued a refund through ticketfly.com or may hold on to their original tickets for the soon to be announced rescheduled dates"

UPDATE: Here's the press release sent out:
The grand opening of the Southgate House Revival at 111 East Sixth Street in Newport, Kentucky scheduled tonight at 9 p.m. and The Newbees CD Release show scheduled for tomorrow night, Saturday, October 6 have been postponed.  This weekend’s shows had to be delayed due to a few last minute construction challenges. 

The 1866 property, the former Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, has been under a massive renovation since May that includes all new electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems, as well as roof repairs and new flooring.

“We set a very ambitious goal,” said Morrella Raleigh “and we were very, very close.”  “We are sorry to have to delay sharing this magical venue with the music fans of the area, but our first concern will always be to make sure that it is safe and ready for public occupation.

The City of Newport, our wonderful construction crews and crew of volunteers have all been working very hard to make this happen.  We thank them so much.  We look forward to seeing everyone next weekend for CincyPunk Fest.  We will announce rescheduled dates for these shows very soon.”


 
 
by Amy Harris 10.25.2012
Posted In: Interview, Live Music at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Q&A with Jackyl

Jesse James Dupree brings his Hard Rock (and chainsaw) back to Cincy Friday night

Jackyl is a Southern Metal band led by one of the most charismatic frontmen around, Jesse James Dupree. The band has been making the rounds since the early ’90s but have gained their biggest fame with Dupree appearing regularly on the TruTV show Full Throttle Saloon. He also has infamous for turning a chainsaw into a musical instrument. CityBeat caught up with Dupree this week to preview Jackyl's upcoming return to Cincinnati. The two discussed where Jackyl stands in today’s Rock n Roll landscape and the group's new album, Best in Show. Jackyl performs Friday night (Oct. 26) at the Inner Circle (formerly Annie's) in Cincinnati.

CityBeat: I think you are still out on tour with Nigel, your son, correct?

JD: No, Nigel is not on this date with me. I have a band called Wayland that is opening for us and they are doing really great. They are getting a good bit of airplay on 96Rock and I am proud to have them on the run with us.

CB: I have been listening to the new record Best in Show and I think “Horns Up” is my favorite song. Can you tell me a little bit about that song and how you put it together?

JD: It came about with Roman the bass player; obviously you can tell that song originates from that bass groove. Roman came in and said, “I have an idea but don’t know what to do with it though.” We basically stopped everything and we said “Let’s hear it,” because when Roman says he has something going on it is usually pretty interesting.

So we stopped everything and he started this looping, playing it round and round, and then I picked up the guitar and started grabbing the soft beats with it and choking through, and next thing you know we had a really cool groove going. So we laid that down so we wouldn’t forget what we had.

I actually got up and went for a run the next day and it was playing over in my head, and it seems like it was one of those songs that every now and then you come across something that writes itself. That one, all the parts fell together, even the gang vocals part; it has that old Sly and the Family Stone type of gang vocal, you know, “Everybody grows…”

So Roman and I got up to the microphone and did it and sounded like him. We laid down the idea and that is what ended up being on the record because it had such a natural flow to it. It was one of my favorite songs too. It has such a fun energy to it. I think our record is non-portentous in a sense. It is just a celebration of the fundamentals of Rock & Roll.

CB: I have been a Jackyl fan for a long time. I have talked to you over the years and seen the shows. Have you ever had women approach you that are offended by some of the lyrics?

JD: I really haven’t. Can I imagine that within my lyrics that I have offended lots of groups or whatever? At the end of the day, if you are analyzing the music that close, you are missing out on the essence of what it is all about.

In Rock, some of these artists are so self-righteous and self-proclaimed geniuses and Rhodes Scholars or whatever, I don’t subscribe to that. I think music is something that should move you and excite you. I think Rock music should be considered right alongside going to see a movie, whether it is a comedy or a drama or a horror movie, whatever the case may be. I think it is just an expression of a vibe and blowing off some steam. How many people work their asses off for 40 hours or more a week? I don’t think they want to stop in Rock & Roll to have other issues to be upset about. I think they dial in to something that is like going to see a great movie of a different genre. It is about an escape.

Anybody that is looking for music to cure a rare disease or something needs to be re-aligned. I’ll just tell you this, I’ll leave it to Bono and U2 to go save the world in that respect. I just want to provide some sanity for people when they blow off some steam.

CB: The Flaming Lips broke the record for the most concerts in 24 hours. Would you guys ever try to do that again?

JD: The record, if you look at it, the record they broke is something else. I think our record still stands. We did 21 shows in a 24 hour period and we did 100 shows in 50 days. I think they did a certain amount of shows in certain states. They added something more of a twist to it. At the end of the day, it is just something we did to validate our work ethic. If we are going to be out there, we make it stick.

CB: Since I saw Jackyl last time, you had your motorcycle accident last fall. Has that changed your views on riding at all?

JD
: Hell no! I was riding all day yesterday.

CB: It is so scary to me. I know people love it, just love it. I talk to people all the time and they have had accidents just like you and they say they would never give it up.

JD: Nah — hell, if I quit riding today, I would probably get run over by a train tomorrow. You can’t run off and be scared of life.

CB: You guys did Throttle Fest this summer in Kansas City. What was the highlight of that for you?

JD: We were shooting the Full Throttle Saloon fourth season. The TV show has been a blessing as far as kind of sharing the lifestyle we celebrate every day. It is the No. 1 rated show in its time slot and we are very, very proud of the success the show has had. Bruce Chappell is a big part of that TV show. At Throttle Fest, we ended up doing some really cool things with the Full Throttle brand this year. We took it to a whole new level that I don’t think anyone will expect. It is going to be a pretty interesting season for sure.

CB: That was one of my questions actuallywhat can we expect from season four?

JD: You know that bigger is better and I will leave it at that.

CB: I actually had the privilege of seeing Run-DMC re-unite live this summer for the first time in a long time. I wasn’t sure if you had any thoughts on that. I know you are friends with
Darryl and he is a great friend of yours. Were you excited about them reuniting?

JD: I was proud for
Darryl. It was something that meant a lot to him to be able to do that for the fans. They have had their issues with stuff as far as performing together. It is good when that can be put behind them and they can get out there and mix it up. I just love him to death and anything that excites him, I am proud for him.

CB: Going back to the album for a minute, what made you choose to cover “Cover of the Rolling Stone”?

JD: I just felt the tongue-and-cheek aspect they wrote that song. I don’t think they (Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show) would have ever expected to be on the cover of Rolling Stone so they wrote that song. I think Jackyl has a lot of that cynical, fun outlook on thingsnot cynical in a negative way.

I think with Jackyl, we scoff at being the whole critically-acclaimed thing. It is kind of a joke. I don’t need Rolling Stone magazine to validate Jackyl. The fact we are going to play a sold out room in Cincinnati, Ohio, validates Jackyl. The fact that people come out and support us. I don’t need Rolling Stone or any other critic to validate us because every night we hit the stage and everybody that comes to support us validates us, and shows that the core and what the heart of Rock is all about. It is not about a critic or a magazine. We did it with a fun twist and kind of (worked) a couple other influences into it and even used the chainsaw on it. It is an appropriate song.

CB: You guys spend a huge amount of time in Cincinnati and I know you have a hugefan base here. What can the fans look forward to Friday at the show?

JD: We are celebrating the release of this new album and we will be playing some of the new tunes for everybody and looking forward to doing it. At this point and time it is more like a family reunion. We normally come (to Cincinnati) around this time of year and we look forward to it every year. If (Inner Circle) place went out of business, we would still have to open the doors up every year about this time to do a show.
 
 
by Mike Breen 02.29.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News, Festivals at 01:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)
 
 
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Forecastle and Pitchfork Fests Announce Lineups

The two established music events coincide with Cincy's innaugrual Bunbury festival

The Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati falls on the same weekend as two other big regional music fests, one 100 miles to our south and the other about 300 miles northwest of the Queen City. Like Bunbury, the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago and the 10th annual Forecastle fest are happening July 13-15.

In theory, the proximity (geographically and time-wise) should lead to some crossover, as artists from one event might run their tour route to the other cities to score some of those big festival performance fees. (MidPoint's 2011 fest in Cincy, for example, shared some acts with the somewhat nearby Pygmalion Music Festival in Urbana-Champaign, Ill.) But so far that hasn't happened with Bunbury, which seems to be focusing on more mainstream "Alternative" artists, as opposed to Pitchfork's more esoteric lineup and Forecastle's endearing mishmash of styles.

Louisville's Forecastle previously announced that hometown heroes My Morning Jacket would be curating the event and performing. This morning organizers announced that joining them will be Dubstep superstar Bassnectar and Dad Rock champs Wilco, plus Andrew Bird, Girl Talk, Atmosphere, Neko Case, Sleigh Bells, A-Trak, Dean Wareham (playing Galaxie 500 songs), Galactic, Clutch, Flying Lotus, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Mike Doughty, Real Estate, Deer Tick, Charles Bradley, JEFF the Brotherhood and Cincinnati's Walk the Moon, among others. Click here for ticket info and the the full lineup so far.

Meanwhile, here is who Pitchfork announced yesterday for this year's event in Chicago's Union Park: Vampire Weekend, Feist, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Hot Chip, AraabMUZIK, A$AP Rocky, The Field, Liturgy, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, Cloud Nothings, Tim Hecker and Willis Earl Beal. Thirty more artists will be announced later.

Pitchfork tickets go on sale next Friday, March 9, at noon via the Pitchfork fest's site here.

So if you could go to any of the three festivals, based on the info available so far (and not counting travel costs and lodging arrangements) which one would you attend — Cincinnati's, Louisville's or Chicago's?

 
 
by Mike Breen 03.05.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Just Announced: Radiohead at Riverbend

Those who were contemplating heading to Indio, Calif., this summer purely to catch British experimental music kingpins Radiohead at Coachella can save a little cash and drive to Riverbend instead. This morning, the local outdoor shed announced that Radiohead will perform June 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets run $30 (for lawn seats) to $69.50 (plus fees) and go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m. through ticketmaster.com, riverbend.com and all Ticketmaster box-office locations. Get your tickets early. The band is currently on a run of U.S. arena dates that have completely sold out.

 
 
by Adam Sievering 06.18.2010
Posted In: Live Music, Reviews, Festivals at 01:23 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bonnaroo 2010: Surviving Day 3

By Saturday, you better have developed enough Bonnaroo survival tactics to make it through the day. The key is to keep pounding water and let the music fuel your body.

Saturday’s schedule was like NOS octane pumped into my bloodstream. The day was kicked off at 11:30 a.m. on Which Stage with Rebelution, a Reggae/Rock group from Santa Barbara. The 100-something degree weather didn’t keep a crowd from showing up and grooving out to Rebelution’s soaring, heavily reverberated jams that echo with uplifting, worry free vibes — exactly what we needed as the hottest part of the day was upon us.

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by Brian Baker 07.19.2012
 
 
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Sweet, Sticky Bunbury: A Wrap-Up

Final thoughts on this past weekend's dreamy debut Bunbury Music Festival

I drifted off Thursday night and had my wonderfully fitful sleep punctuated by the strangest dream. Like most dreams, it was disjointed and surreal, but it made an odd sort of sense. It’s never easy to describe these nocturnal apparitions but it was so vivid, I shall give it a try.

Friday, July 13

I was walking downtown. I knew exactly where I needed to go but I didn’t know exactly how to get there. A ridiculously convoluted route got me to the desired entrance, I received my press credentials and a map of a fascinating kingdom which I entered through the back gate, popping up in the midst of a Craft Beer Village, a place I would revisit many times.

Because of family obligations, I had arrived late, and the celebration, which had been dubbed Bunbury, was already in full swing. I headed for what I perceived to be the main concentration of activity and there ran into Brent and his wife Kat, who I frequently cross paths with at these sorts of soirees and who are always a welcome sight and great companions. Almost immediately, I encountered my nephew Jim, who proceeded to buy me a multitude of beers, a welcome refreshment on a steamy afternoon.

We made our way to the Globilli stage to see The Crash Kings, a keyboard/bass/drum trio that made sounds like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath with a twist of Styx (when they were a decent Rock band) refracted through an Indie Rock prism. Keyboardist Tony Beliveau was improbably wearing a long sleeve flannel shirt in 90-degree heat, but he said they were from L.A., so he may have legitimately been cold. They played songs from their eponymous debut and a few from their as-yet unreleased new album, there was an epic bass solo at one point, and Beliveau made other worldly sounds with the use of a whammy bar on his rig, which I had never seen before. The Crash Kings were incredible, and they would have kicked 1975 square in the balls.

At the Landor Stage, Ponderosa were cranking out some sweet Indie Rock/Soul from their first album, Moonlight Revival and their new album Pool Party, which ultimately led to a cover of Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U.” Kalen Nash, clad in a much cooler serape and stalking the stage in Hobbit-like bare feet, bemoaned the loss of the Southgate House and said to the crowd, “Let’s bring that back.” We couldn’t have agreed more.

Back at Globilli, O.A.R. were giving a sizable audience a fair dose of heartland Indie Rock and getting an enthusiastic response in turn. The band started in Maryland but rose to prominence as students at Ohio State, and became something of a regional phenomenon. Much like the Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R.’s reputation grew by grassroots methodology and hard work. Marc Roberge acknowledged their local ties and thanked fans for their loyalty with a rousing set. Jim’s pals Andre and Kevin arrived at some point, more beers were acquired and all was well.

I took my leave of Jim and his friends to check out Ra Ra Riot at the Bud Light Stage. I love their studio brand of visceral Chamber Pop/Indie Rock and they most certainly do not disappoint in the live arena as they tore shit up good and proper. Ra Ra Riot make compelling feel-good music but I always feel a touch of melancholy when I listen to them, remembering their courage and loyalty when they remained together as a band in the aftermath of losing their original drummer John Pike, a drowning victim five years ago. Their biggest successes have come in the wake of that tragedy, but they remain in contact with Pike’s family who have in turn remained fully in Ra Ra Riot’s corner. That is truly inspirational, and that depth of feeling is translated into every note that RRR puts out into the universe. The real headline from RRR’s set was Wes Miles’ announcement that Bunbury was “the best run festival we’ve ever played,” high praise from a band that’s attended SXSW, CMJ, Seaport Music Festival and a good many others.

Somewhere between O.A.R. and Ra Ra Riot, I ran into Sean Rhiney (Messerly & Ewing) and Brian Kitzmiller (Black Owls), and was introduced to a flock of people (between them, Sean and Brian know every human in the Tri-State area) whose names are lost in a haze of previous beers but who were constant friendly faces in a sea of humanity over the next three days. I raise a perpetual glass to your continued well being and camaraderie.

It was back to the Globilli stage for The Airborne Toxic Event (named for a phrase in Don DeLillo’s 1985 chemical spill thriller, White Noise), which I’ve found to be one of the better muscular Indie Rock outfits. On the surface, they might seem like one of many innocuous radio-friendly ciphers but they’ve got a fascinating back-story, a fairly intricate sound and impressive songwriting talent. Frontman Mikel Jollett and his TATE cohorts played with a calculated frenzy to a rapturous response, and Jollett even injected a few serious moments into the festival’s spirited atmosphere to plug the Wounded Warrior Project and to offer some bi-partisan criticism (“Don‘t tell us you’re with us if you’re for cutting veterans’ benefits, don’t tell us you’re with us if you’re for raising taxes on returning veterans...”). A show with a message and a blazing soundtrack … not too shabby.

Then it was back to Landor for the most anticipated show of the night, and quite possibly the best show of the festival; the triumphant return of Cincy's Foxy Shazam. Eric Nally was in rare form, in both gymnastic stage behavior, microphone stand ballet and crowd interaction. A sampling of his repartee: (facing GABP) “Hey Votto, if you can hear me, hit the motherfucker out of the park..."; “I did an interview and when I read the story, the writer said we were unique, and I said, ‘Yeah, we‘re unique, just like everybody else..."; “Spill a little wine over here, spill a little wine over there, eventually everything’s red, spill a little blood over here, spill a little blood over there, eventually everything’s dead.”

During “Unstoppable,” someone winged a bottle of Gatorade at Nally, who flung it straight back and took issue by singing “Whoever threw that Gatorade is going to pay” at the close of the song. He then chastised the offender, saying, “Don’t make me explain to my kids why I have a bottle of Gatorade stuck up my ass,” and noting that he would let security allow the thrower backstage if he wanted to fight. Classic Nally.

Later, Schuyler White danced on his keyboard then tossed it onto the front row of the audience and dove into the crowd, playing while the audience held him in place. Classic Foxy. The crowd went batshit crazy when Foxy launched into “I Like It” from their latest and best album, The Church of Rock and Roll. At the breathless conclusion of Foxy’s set, the bar was officially set for the next two days.

With a fairly elaborate stage set complete with women on trapezes and giant video monitors displaying some sort of acid freak-out movie from the ’60s, Jane’s Addiction clearly trumped Foxy in terms of spectacle but fell short in terms of raw energy. Dave Navarro peeled off plenty of scorching riffery, his patented classic combination of ’80s Hard Rock and ’90s AltRock with his guitar set to stun, Stephen Perkins bashed his kit like a man possessed and new bassist Chris Chaney supplied a thunderous heartbeat, while Perry Farrell stalked the Globilli Stage like an earthbound raptor, howling his way through a set comprised of songs from their latest album, last year’s The Great Escape Artist, and heavy on the classics from their other three discs.

The show couldn’t be characterized as lackluster or phoned in, as it was a feast for the senses; plenty of engaging trappings and a propulsive soundtrack that tapped into memories of a visceral and compelling band on the edge of the alternative frontier two and a half decades ago. It was all incredibly entertaining, but it was a far cry from the scalp-tingling urgency of JA’s hungrier days, which is why this tour was designed with so much visual overload; few if any bands are able to recreate their earliest chemistry 25 years after the fact. My favorite JA memory will always be their opening set for Iggy Pop in 1988; seeing Jane’s at Bogart‘s that night was the aural equivalent of licking an electric outlet. I was certainly not disappointed with what transpired during JA’s Bunbury set, but neither was I spellbound by it. And Farrell’s humorously profane diatribe (“Let the pussies hear you!”) linking Pete Rose’s absence in the Baseball Hall of Fame to Jane’s Addiction’s lack of nominations two years after their eligibility was a bit awkward; he seemed to think steroids were somehow involved in Rose’s case, and as far as JA is concerned, well, four albums over a quarter century span, regardless of the influence of the first two, does not a Hall of Fame career comprise. I was glad to have experienced Jane‘s Addiction in the 21st century and I like the bombast they’ve created to present their old and new material but, as Blue Oyster Cult once noted, this ain’t the summer of love.

At some point during the JA set, I spied my most excellent zen editor Mike Breen, so I sidled over for some quick face time (being freelance I don‘t get into the office as much as I probably should), and he seemed to be digging the show greatly. I look forward to his thoughts on it because I greatly respect his musical opinions in a completely non-ass nuzzling way. (Editor's Note: You're hired! Fireworks rock! And "Free Pete Rose"!)

And Jim’s wife, my niece Robin, came late to the festival but somehow spotted me in the twilight and gave me a nudge in the back. Even though she is only five years my junior, I have been married to her aunt for almost three decades, and so I am and will forever be Uncle Brian, which is both touching and charming. A good number of the nieces and nephews I inherited when I started dating my wife have kids of their own now. Time and the generations march on.

I left Mike to his JA reverie when I spotted revered music connoisseur and branding legend Matthew Fenton (once an occasional CityBeat music contributor), who came down from his lair in Chicago to experience Bunbury’s inaugural year. I had e-mailed him to ask if he and his most excellent girlfriend Kelly would be in attendance, but never heard back. Turns out he’d quit his job after last year’s MidPoint and has taken up the study of improv comedy at Second City, a program from which he will graduate next month. I am both astonished and completely unsurprised because Matthew is a genius that makes geniuses insecure. Matthew assured me that Kelly would be around for Saturday’s festivities and introduced me to his older brother John, an equally princely guy by all indications.

Now we have a festival.

Saturday, July 14

I made my way back to the media entrance, this time being tended by old friend Jacob Heintz (Buckra) and the lovely and talented Sara Beiting (a former CityBeat all-star). The cloud cover was heavier, and it had already rained relatively hard north of the city but it didn’t seem to have impacted the downtown area too badly. I grabbed a beer and made my way through the throng … or did I make my way through the throng and grab a beer? The skies were not the only things that were partly cloudy.

At the Globilli stage, I was just in time for the start of Alberta Cross, a British duo now getting their mail in Brooklyn and fleshing out their live sound with a full fledged band. They sported an expansive vibe that had an appealing Verve quality, or Oasis without the contentious brothers problem screwing everything up.

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