Live Hops: 3 Shows, 3 Beers

I caught a TON of great live music this past week. It would be really time consuming to write about each one individually, so I’m going to give you the highlights.

10/10/12

Rush- Webster Bank Arena- Bridgeport, CT

This is probably the one show I could go on for a long time about. I’ve never seen Rush before last week, which is a crime since they are one of my favorite bands. They put on a fantastic show at the arena in Bridgeport. Our seats weren’t close to the stage at all, but the sound was still good. I especially liked that it wasn’t a “greatest hits” show. Sure, they played “Spirit Of Radio” and “YYZ” and “Tom Sawyer” that get played about 10 times a day on a given classic rock station. But they delved into a lot of stuff from the 80s, with a good number of songs from Power Windows, Grace Under Pressure, and opening up with one of my favorite Rush tunes, “Subdivisions” from 1982’s Signals. They played 2 sets; the second of which covered more material from their latest release, Clockwork Angels. The on stage visuals were awesome. The stage was set up like a time machine, with weird props such as a popcorn maker, strewn about.

My beer of choice for this show was Murphy’s Stout, which, at 7.25 a pint, was not outrageous for arena pricing. Not a bad stout, but I would definitely choose a Guinness over it if given the choice.

10/12/12

Kvelertak/Torche/Converge- Club INT- New Britain, CT

Getting to see two of your favorite bands in the same week rules. So I was really looking forward to catching Kvelertak with Torche and Converge in New Britain. I sort of have mixed feelings about this show though. The last time I saw Kvelertak was possibly one of the greatest shows I’ve ever been to, on a Rocks Off boat cruise with Skeletonwitch last year. So it’s not really possible to top that. But they still played hard for a short set. I can’t wait until they come out with a new record. Kvelertak was the band that I really went to the show for, so after their set I wasn’t as psyched up for the next two bands. I also got hit in the nose so even physically I wasn’t that into it. Torche rocked it though; they were heavy and super sludgey, two of my favorite qualities in metal. I have to admit- by the time Converge came on, I was tired, and not really digging the crowd for them. Really full of energy which was awesome, but not what I was into at the time. As for the venue- for a place I’d never heard of until now, I would definitely go back to Club INT again. It’s comparable in size to the Webster Theater in Hartford, but way easier to get to and navigate around in.

My beer of choice was Bud Light and a shot of well whiskey- and yes, I am counting these as one drink. They were equally awful. Much like getting hit in the face.

10/15/12

Silversun Pickups- Terminal 5- New York, NY

Driving to New York on a Monday night was on a spur of the moment whim. My brother had an extra ticket so I said sure. This is going to sound really cliche, but I remember listening to Silversun Pickups a few years ago and thinking, “this band is great. they’re going to be really huge”. Maybe playing a packed house at Terminal 5 two nights in a row isn’t HUGE, but it’s definitely not small. I just thought they had a really cool sound. Unfortunately I never really followed their music much since, although whenever I have checked out their records I have always enjoyed them. So when I saw them live, I definitely was more familiar with them than I expected. Their live show was great. The set was just the right blend of well known songs and ones off their new record. The sound was great too- the vocals were front and center and everything was mixed really well. I also really enjoyed the visuals- I just noticed the lights more than I have in other shows at Terminal 5 that night, and they really helped to visualize the music.

After 3 shows and much partying in a weekend, my liver and wallet were depleted. It was Tecate in a can, and it was pretty terrible.
Summary: A week of great shows but horrible beer drinking. It all evens out in the end.

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