Andrew WK @ First Avenue

I'm not sure if I would have gone to see Andrew WK at First Ave had he not been doing the "I Get Wet" album in its entirety.  But since he was, I went, and was really pumped to go.  I don't think I've ever listened to any of the other Andrew WK albums, I did however own "I Get Wet" when it was first released 10 years ago.  (Side note, you can tell you're getting older when albums you enjoyed in high school and college start celebrating their 10 and 20 year anniversaries.  It's crazy, and depressing at the same time.)  Anyway, the show was pretty much what I expected.  Loud, sweaty, and lots of moshing.  I did agree with the City Pages review, in that you could tell he didn't quite have the energy he may have had 10 years ago.  That was displayed by the fact that he let the band do a lot of the vocals and he almost played the role of a back up singer.  Nevertheless, I thought it was a fun show to watch.  In fact, it was nearly 2 and a half hours long, but never once did I get bored.  

It was great to see a fun party album like "I Get Wet" performed front to back, live.  It was even funny to see a real live mosh pit.  Can't say I remember when the last time I saw one was.  


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Saul Williams @ Triple Rock Social Club

I think I saw Saul Williams a few years ago at Lollapalooza, and was actually disappointed.  I remember seeing him and thinking that it was a lot louder and punk-ier than I was hoping for.  So when I saw he was stopping at the Triple Rock, I decided to give his music another listen.  What I heard wasn't what I remembered seeing live.  I really liked it, so thought I give it another shot.  It turned out to be a pretty good show live.  Maybe being in a smaller indoor venue helped keep things a little more contained.  Whatever it was, it worked.  

The show itself was great, except for one particular fan.  I initially got a great spot on the floor near the front, and for a few songs was really enjoying myself.  Aside from the really drunk girl bumping into me, there was plenty of room.  But quickly I learned who I was standing in front of.  A group of douchebags.  I know this because they kept threatening to throw their beer at anyone who was going to use their phone to take pictures or video.  Something that I fully intended on doing myself.  After they yelled a guy next to me about it, I figured I'd grab another beer and find another spot to camp.  No biggie, until the main douche decided that he needed a change too, and ended up standing in front of me.  It didn't bother me much, but was a little distracting since I moved to be away from this idiot.  

Overall the show itself was great, and I would definitely see him again live.  As long as it was inside a small club, that is.  Unfortunately, douchebags attend concerts too.  

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Heyoka @ The Cabooze

I really didn't know what to expect from this show, but was hopefull.  I found Heyoka by checking out what was coming up at the Cabooze, and liked what I found on Spotify.  I was a little weary, although it was electronic, it did sound a little like hippie electronic.  I felt that it sounded descent, but didn't really go anywhere.  But what the heck, I'll check it out anyway.

As I've mentioned before, it's awesome to be able to get the set times via Facebook or Twitter so you know when exactly you should be there.  Still fighting my cold, and being really tired in general, I wanted to make sure I didn't get there too early and end up sitting around.  I mean, that's valuable couch time I could be taking advantage of. So when I saw the time Heyoka was to go on was 11:45PM, I thought "Holy shit, there's no way".  Thankfully I was able to sit to watch the show.  Which sounds so ridiculous to admit, but if I could have brought in a chair I would have.  

The crowd was pretty interesting.  It was as if a Phish concert had let out next door and people wanted to stay out and dance.  There were so many white people dreads, it was just like pipe/incense shop employee convention.  The patchouli and weed smell just added to the ambiance.  

As far as electronic shows go, it was just meh.  I thought his song choice was weak.  It could have been a lot of his own songs for all I knew, he seems to have so many, and they all kinda sound alike.  His mixing was pretty weak too, along with the over all flow of his set.  And the icing on the cake was he was just boring to watch.  I know he's a "dj", but if you rely on your laptop that much, you're not putting on much of a show.  Between pushing buttons on a controller and adjusting his laptop, he really had no other personality.

I was probably in the minority in my opinion, since he had the room dancing the whole time.  But honestly, that crowd would have danced to the sound of a broken frosty machine


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Grimes @ The 7th St Entry

When I purchased my $8 ticket a few months ago, it was out of curiosity to see Grimes perform live.  I saw a brief video of her live performance and thought it looked interesting and sounded cool.  As time went on though, her newest album was released, and I began to get pretty excited to see the show.  After all, she was getting tons of attention in the music press.  

The weather here was getting amazing, so it was a pleasure to get out and head downtown to see a show.  I ended up parking on the street for free, and decided not to drink since I was fighting off a cold.  So it was going to turn out to be a cheap night if nothing else.  

The show was sold out, and the Entry was packed as a result.  In classic First Ave style, it was hot inside, thanks to the unseasonably nice weather.  It definitely reminded me of the old days, when no matter when you went to a show in the summer at First Ave, you were going to sweat, a lot. In any case, I got a great spot along the back wall on the bench, and had a clear view of the stage.  I even chatted up a couple people near me until the show started.  

Right off the bat, I was pretty impressed.  For one person to be able to manage that many elements at once, as well as sing, it can't be to do.  Which explained why her set was just shy of an hour.  She even admitted it was a short set based on the fact that her songs don't translate live very easily.  Toss in a few start/stops due to sound issues and you kind of lose some of the momentum.  Regardless though, I felt what she played sounded good.  Although, I'm not sure if it was the Entry's acoustics, or her sound, or where I was standing, but the bass was ridiculous.  That did deter a bit from the overall experience, but not enough in my opinion to make it bad.

*Apologies for the awful pictures.  The iPhone takes the worst pictures in low light.

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