Concert History (Last Update: 04/21/11)

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Abr 21 2011, 7h41

Most Recent Update:
04/21/11 - Added Raul Midon and Ingrid Michaelson shows.

2 Skinnee J's (2) - Toad's Place Newhaven CT, Rocks Off NYC Boat Cruise Reunion Show NY Harbor NYC
~A byproduct of my Rustic obsession, the J's were headlining a show down in CT that PSC and Rocktopus opened. B and I took the opportunity to see the two bands formed out of Rustic play together and made the trip south. What we weren't expecting was the spectacle of the J's. Having only heard snippets of songs we were both blown away by their showmanship and lyrical abilities. Following that show (which we ended up having to leave early to get back home) we got our hands on as much J's material as possible. Unfortunately, the band went on a 3 year hiatus before reuniting for a series of shows in July of '05, an event Brandon and I had no intention of missing. We took the train down to NYC and rocked out on the water with the J's and a couple hundred other devoted fans. I'd be hard pressed to describe the J's music, but they've been classified as "Nerd Rap". I invite you to go check them yourselves at their Myspace page.

6gig - Opened for PSC Asylum Portland ME
~I only vaguely remember this show. I'm pretty sure we missed part of it for one reason or another and only caught a couple of songs. 6gig was always more of B's band than they were mine, but they were in that big group of bands loosely affiliated with Rustic and PSC and they had a really solid sound and quite a following in Maine. PSC did a cover of their song "Hit the Ground" for the "Beautiful Locals" album that I really dig.

As Fast As - Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
~Part of the New Years Eve extravaganza with Rustic and PSC, I finally got to catch an AFA show after having been to so many Rocktopus shows back in the day (the former name for most of the AFA lineup). I must say I was impressed. They've been on a break while the Rustic album was put together, since the keyboard player is in Rustic, and they still sounded tight and played a great, high energy set. They rocked the crowd hard and had the best set of the night, even as the first of two opening bands (with PSC being the other). I really enjoyed their "debut" album, and was eager to see if they could pull it off live and they certainly did.

Barenaked Ladies (7) - Memorial Auditorium Burlington VT, Verizon Center Manchester NH [3], Fleet Center Boston MA, Orpheum Theatre Boston MA [2]
~I've been seeing these guys play since '95, soon after they released Rock Spectacle, and they continue to impress with great high energy, hilarious and flawlessly performed shows. One of many under appreciated artists on this list, I'll continue to see BNL as long as they continue to tour and I've been introduced to a couple of great acts who've opened for them over the years. For pictures and details about my most recent BNL gig, peep this.

Ben Folds (2) - UNH Fieldhouse Durham NH, Fleet Center Boston MA, Walnut Creek Ampitheater Raleigh NC
~Another artist who sat on my "must see" list for a long time before I had the chance to catch his show. Folds uses the piano in ways it was never intended, though clearly should have been. His geeky power over a crowd can't be denied and his consistently well composed improv songs rarely disappoint. Though it was extremely hot at the fieldhouse, that was my only complaint about this show. I'd see Folds perform over and over and never tire of hearing him play.

Blue Man Group - Blue Man Theatre Boston MA
~After years of wanting to see the show, I took a UNH sponsored trip down with a friend and about 40 other folks on a bus to Boston. There's no way to accurately describe a Blue Man show. It's surreal, powerful, loud, hilarious and inspiring. Such simple concepts, but executed perfectly and with energy that really does seem otherworldly. If you haven't seen Blue Man, you should.

Bonnie Raitt - Stowe Concert Series Stowe VT
~The Stowe Concert Series were a bunch of shows I got to attend for free with my mother. She got tickets through her place of work at the time and it was an excuse to sit outside on a summer night and enjoy some good company and some tunes. I was quite young for all these shows (maybe 13 by the time we stopped going to them) and I certainly wasn't always a fan of the bands, but hey, free concerts should never be dismissed. This was the only one of the Stowe shows I can honestly say I really enjoyed. My mother being a huge Bonnie Raitt fan I had grown up listening to her music and her live show was really great. More than the show itself I think I got a kick out of how much fun my mother had.

Brett Dennen - Opened for Jason Mraz Hollywood Bowl Hollywood CA
~This was my first exposure to Dennen's music and I was pleasantly surprised. Mraz always manages to pick great openers and this was no excepetion. I thuroughly enjoyed Brett's set and vibe and look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

Butterfly Boucher - Opened for BNL Verizon Center Manchester NH
~One semi-hit and that was it. Her single never really did a whole lot, but she put on a pretty good show and really played to the crowd well. I was expecting big things from her but they never developed.

Carbon Leaf - Opened for Jason Mraz Orpheum Theatre Boston MA
~A pleasant surprise at the Mraz show. An interesting and eclectic modern rock band with a lot of Irish influence. Their set was hot and cold and they seemed less polished than they should have been for such a seasoned act but the songs that hit were great.

Cornmo - Opened for Ben Folds UNH Fieldhouse Durham NH
~There aren't even words...wait, yes there are, not good.

Dane Cook (4) - Comedy Connection Boston MA, Hampton Casino Ballroom Hampton NH, UNH Fieldhouse Durham NH, Fleet Center Boston MA
~I first caught Dane's act on Comedy Central in '99 when he did the Comics Come Home special. I was immediately drawn to his style and took the first chance to see him perform down in Boston. I had his independently released cd and got him to sign it and take a picture with me and my crew. Since then his career has exploded and I'm happy to have had the chance to watch it grow. I hope he continues to be successful in whatever he does.

Dave Matthews Band - Molson Center (now the Bell Center) Montreal Canada
~I was 18 or 19 and my fried Kevin called me one day to ask what I was up to the following afternoon. Not having any plans he said he'd be by to pick me up and that we were driving to Canada to see Dave Matthews. Both fairly robust DMB fans we were unstoppable balls of crazy all the way there. Late getting started, and even more so after getting lost in Montreal, we finally rolled into the Molson Center, ran to Will Call and grabbed our tickets and proceeded to the nearest usher. The tickets were a gift from Kevin's wonderful mother who worked for Ben and Jerry's, one of the primary sponsors of the tour. We had no idea where our seats were located and it wasn't until the usher led us to our 11th row center final locations that we had the chance to turn to each other and share looks of absolute amazement. Two solid hours of grooving out ensued, from which my neck was sore for three days. The show was incredible and the entire trip will probably always stand as one of the greatest experiences of my life.

Dominic and the Lucid - Opened for Rustic Overtones Stone Church Newmarket NH
~A fairly talented young band from the Portland area. The show was lackluster due to poor vocal mixing and a low energy set. The crowd was there to see Rustic and most of us were tierd of waiting by the time the set came to a close. I've heard good things about them but I was not impressed.

Empty Pockets (many) - Wainer Park Hinesburg VT
~My mom's old band, I catch their show whenever mom and her husband (the guitar player) make the trip up from NC. I was too young to get into any of their shows when they played in the Burlington area regularly back in teh day. Great covers of clssic rhythm and blues, rock and whatever else floats their boat.

Even All Out - Opened for Rocktopus State Theatre Portland ME
~A now (thankfully) defunct high school band out of Maine who opened for Rocktopus at their CD release party.

Famous - Opened for PSC Stone Church Newmarket NH
~A decent young band with a lot of talent and some really good songs. In terms of personality though, I just a got a really annoying vibe from them. Maybe it was just that night, but they came off a bit to cocky for my taste and the lead singer annoyed the hell out of me during his between song rants. Their whole attitude is probably what kept me from really enjoying the music and probably from buying their album.

Four Tops - Champlain Valley Fair Essex Junction VT with the Temptations
~I don't really remember much about this show. I was fairly young and my mother took me. I remember being surprised by how many of the songs I knew and I know I had a good time and I'm certainly glad I can say I saw them.

G. Love & Special Sauce (3) - UNH Fieldhouse with Run DMC Durham NH, Bank of America Pavilion opening for Jason Mraz Boston MA, Hollywood Bowl opening for Jason Mraz Hollywood CA
~It was an odd bill that night at UNH, at least to me, but odder still was that G. Love was the headliner. DMC ended up running late so G. Love went on first and put on a hell of a show. Though much of the setlist consisted of his standard style of bluesy, laid back tunes, he still held the crowd's attention and you could really feel the passion he had for the music. A large portion of the crowd was there for Run DMC, but I think even many of them were fully into G. Love by the end of his lengthy set. As the years have gone by, G. and the guys have continued to put out good music and are still kickin' just as hard if not harder these days and I enjoyed having them along for the Mraz tour.

Gavin DeGraw - Opened for BNL Verizon Center Manchester NH
~I had never heard of him before the show but man did he blow up soon after it. I wore out his album but I must say I've tired of hearing about him at this point. Unless he puts out some new and interesting material soon I don't expect to hear much from him in years to come. A great talent though and his show and band were awesome.

Gratton Brothers Band - Enosburg High School Enosburg VT
~A collection of Gratton family members and friends who play family events every so often, in this case for RenFest.

Guster - Opened for BNL Fleet Center Boston MA
~I think I might have known one or two Guster songs before I saw them play but as soon as I had the chance I picked up more of their material and they've become a favorite of mine. Their show is intense. If you don't have the Guster On Ice cd/dvd, run out and get it. The show was taped at the State Theater in Portland and B and I foolishly missed our chance to be there.

Ingrid Michaelson - Higher Ground Burlington VT
~Another artist whom I've come to know through Jason Mraz. Ingrid opened for Mraz on his European tour a few years back and since seeing a few of her videos on Youtube I've become quite a fan. She has an amazing voice, is a quality piano and uke player and has a great way with melodies. She's come up in the industry on her own terms, making a name for herself as an indie artist and licensing her songs for use on TV. Her show was full of great surprises, dynamic covers and amazing reworkings of her own hits. She's an artist that clearly enjoys performing and makes sure the audience is having just as much fun. She's definitely on the list of artists we'll always see when she's in the area and I hope she keeps pumping out great music.

Jason Mraz (4) - Orpheum Theatre Boston MA, Pickel Barrel Night Club Killington VT, Bank of America Pavilion Boston MA, Hollywood Bowl Hollywood CA
~There aren't enough words to express how amazing Mraz is. I only wish I had known about him sooner. After being forced to play his first album over and over again while working at a record store during its release, I swore that if I never heard another Mraz song I could die happy. But when he released Mr. A-Z I was intrigued and dug deeper into his older material. What I found were dozens of amazing songs and an artist with more talent then will every truly be appreciated. I'm happy to call Mraz my favorite modern artist and all time favorite singer/songwriter. The Boston show (my first) was great, with two really high quality opening acts. My mother drove all the way up from North Carolina to come to the show with me and we both had an amazing time. I was lucky enough to get third row seats and with the Orpheum being a fairly small venue, Mraz was literally a couple of feet away (pictures here) and put on a great show. All in all right up there in my top three concert experiences ever. If you're interested you can read about it here. Update 01/30/08: Head over to my journal entry here to read all the details about the incredible, small venue Jason Mraz show I was lucky enough to attend in Killington earlier this month. His first gig back in the states after touring and recording in Europe in preparation for his new record We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things that'll be released on May 20th. It was an amazing night and the new songs are incredible. Just read the recap for full details and a few pictures.

The Jazz Guys - Opened for Mike Doughty Higher Ground Burlington VT
~A fun local band and a great opener for Doughty. They're getting pretty big locally and for good reason. Fun lyrics and a good live show.

John Mayer (3) - Mullins Center Amherst MA, TD Banknorth Garden Boston MA, Walnut Creek Ampitheater Raleigh NC
~One of the glaring standouts on the "list of artists I need to see" for a long time I knew Mayer would be a great show but it was even better. Hannah and I were in awe the entire set and the show rocked much harder than I would have imagined. The band was on point, the stage set was comparatively minimal but added wonderfully to the show, the set was well constructed and the guitar work was simply amazing. There will be more Mayer shows in my future without a doubt. Edit: Since that first show, Hannah and I caught the Mayer/Folds tour when it rolled through Boston. I didn't know it could get better, but our seats owned and the show was even more amazing. Easily at the top of my concert list as one of the greatest shows with one of the most amazing people I've ever met. I had such a good time that I flew down to NC and took mom to the show in Raleigh.

K'naan - Bank of America Pavilion opening for Jason Mraz Boston MA
~I was really looking forward to seeing K'naan after checking out some of his stuff on Myspace and Youtube. He's got a flow built for storytelling and wears his Samolian heritage on his sleave. We ended up missing his first couple of songs thanks to traffic but I was impressed with his ease on stage and evident enjoyment of what he's doing. I'm hoping to catch him again at a headlining show that's a bit more intimate.

Lewis Black - State Theatre Portland ME
~As good live as his is on his albums and the Daily Show. For a guy who's entire act is built on being angry he really seems to have a great time doing standup and he connected with the audience really well. I was lucky enough to have second row seats and laughed my ass off even though I had heard a bunch of the jokes.

Live - Whittamore Center Durham NH
~Not a show I would have stood in line for, but the tickets were cheap, the company was good and it turned out to be fun anyway. I actually preferred the opening band but this road-tested group did their part and I rocked along to the hits that I knew.

Looker - Enosburg High School Enosburg VT
~My uncle Brian's band, reunited after about 20 years for the RenFest bennifit for my Aunt Renee. Just great to hear my uncle sing and as a bonus he had my cousin Dylan (his son) fill in on drums, a great experience and the greatest of causes.

Loudermilk (2) - Opened for PSC Muddy River Smokehouse Porstmouth NH, Asylum Portland ME
~I am not a fan of Loudermilk

Lyle Lovett - Opened for Bonnie Raitt at Stowe Concert Series Stowe VT
~Yeah, he's definitely strange looking and just a bit to twangy for my taste.

Mat Kearney - Opened for John Mayer at Mullins Center Amherst MA
~I didn't know anything about Kearney before his show with Mayer but I was quite impressed. I figured he'd have to be decent to stand up next to a talent like John Mayer and he didn't disappoint. Good songwriting and a really distinct and fun delivery I'll definitely be picking up his album when I get the chance.

Michael Bolton - Stowe Concert Series Stowe VT
~Again, not a concert of my choosing. The only redeeming factor had nothing to do with the performance. Before the show, the guy in the raised sound booth in the center of the audience was juggling facing the left side of the crowd, the opposite side to me. I was about 12 and went around to ask him if I could give it a try. He handed me down the objects, I juggled for a second, threw one behind my back and caught it and that entire side of the audience started clapping. I, of course, freaked out, handed him back his objects and walked briskly back to my seat. In hindsight it was pretty cool, but at the time I couldn't have been more embarrassed.

Mike Doughty (2) - Verizon Center Manchester NH, Higher Ground Burlington VT
~After getting into his music at the start of '06, I finally had the chance to catch Doughty's show when he opened for the Barenaked Ladies and then again at his Halloween show in Burlington a week later. The former Soul Coughing front man has grown up a lot since he split with his SC mates, and grabbed onto a sort of folk/rock/new-wave style that suits his poetic lyrics well. With such an interesting artist I was concerned his live act might not live up to the hype I had created for him but he didn't disappoint. With great energy and a fun, improvisational show, Doughty and his very capable band entertain the hell our of the crowd and he continues to create compelling and intersesting music.

Paranoid Social Club (many) - Stone Church Newmarket NH, Higher Ground Burlington VT, Club Metronome Burlington VT, Barley Pub Dover NH, Asylum Portland ME, Big Easy Portland ME, Tin Palace Durham NH, Muddy River Smokehouse Portsmouth NH, Toad's Place Newhaven CT, Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
~PSC is comprised of the lead singer, bassist and drummer (for the last few months anyway) from Rustic. It was a natural progression from one band to the next and PSC took from Rustic much of the same vibe and energy. More of a classifiable rock band, PSC is all about good music and good times. With rock solid riffs and amazing vocals the band always puts on a great show and is at all times determined to rock an audience no matter how many they are or how excited they seem. Some of my best memories stem from PSC shows and sharing the band with new fans and old fans alike.

Pete Kilpatrick (5) - Big Easy Portland ME, Barley Pub Dover NH [3], York Highschool York ME
~An up and coming songwriter out of Maine with a rockin' band (the Pete Kilpatrick Supergroup or Pete Kilpatrick Band) and a fun live show. He was a frequent opener for PSC and Rocktopus at their NH and ME area shows.

Raul Midón (Raul Midon) (2) - Opened for Jason Mraz Orpheum Theatre Boston MA, Higher Ground Burlington VT
~An awe inspiring guitarist who I was very excited to see. His very simple "man with a guitar" set held the audience's full attention the whole time. His flamenco strumming and soulful vocals should truly be experienced live to be appreciated. My only wish is that he had more than one album and an EP worth of music for me to enjoy. UPDATE 04/2011: Hannah and I managed to catch Raul at Higher Ground a few months ago and he was fantastic. So incredibly engaging and full of amazing stories. We met him briefly after the show and got to thank him for coming up to play for us and had him sign a CD. I hope he comes back our way again and keeps putting out quality music. His last two albums have both been great.

rebel alliance - Roques Burlington VT
~My step brother's band, also one known as Given Groove. They do both covers and originals that Paul writes and they've been playing together for a few years now. Paul is an amazing guitarist and song writer and I expect big things out of him in the future if he can just get a bit more motivated.

revision - Opened for Rustic OvertonesHigher Ground Ballroom Burlington VT
~A fun three piece from Ithica NY. Great energy, fun songwriting and an energetic jam-band feel. Nice to see the use of piano and organ and all three band members were into the set from start to finish. They're always high energy from what I can gleen from short clips of other performances I've seen, but they were especially excited to open for Rustic, one of their favorite bands. They sat up the the balcony and rocked out to Rustic's set just as hard as anybody there.

Rocktopus (many) - Stone Church Newmarket NH, Barley Pub Dover NH, State Theatre Portland ME, Bull Moose Music Portsmouth NH, York Highschool York ME, Toad's Place Newhaven CT
~The band of former Rustic keyboard player Spencer Albee that has since changed its name to As Fast As. Following the Rustic split B and I would try and catch these guys whenever they were in town. They had a catch sound and a fun-loving, if a bit pretentious, vibe. After a while it began to feel as if the band thought they were huge stars on some imaginary stage and our interest wained. When they fired the one down to earth member of the band, their drummer Brian, and changed the name, we stopped going to shows. I've heard some of their recent stuff and am unimpressed. Even the retooled versions of old Rocktopus songs feel overproduced and radio polished. It was the raw, reckless keyboards and bass lines that I enjoyed about Rockto and that seems to be missing in the more modern As Fast As product.

Run DMC - UNH Fieldhouse with G. Love Durham NH
~Hip-hop royalty in southern NH, a little strange yes, but a great show still. The stage setup was minimal but it didn't matter at the group put on a high energy show, even after touring for over 20 years. It was an honor just to have the opportunity to see them perform.

Rustic Overtones (6) - UNH Granite State Room Durham NH, "Final Show" at the State Theatre Portland Maine, "Summer Reunion" shows at the Asylum Portland Maine, Higher Ground Burlington VT, Stone Church Newmarket NH, Northern Lights Clifton Park NY
~The band that started my rock renaissance and pulled me out of an extended, exclusively hip-hop phase. Rustic was a rock-centric seven piece out of Maine who's influences and output can't be nailed down to one genre. After being dragged to their show my Freshman year, I was immediately drawn to their energy and unique sound. I spent the next few years trying to get my hands on everything Rustic related and by my junior year I found myself front and center for their farewell performance. Rustic's music touched a lot of people, and though they never made it to the main stream, their rhythms live on in their passionate fans, such as myself, who do whatever they can to pass on the Rustic love. Edit: 08/25/07 Rustic has reunited for the summer of '07, playing a bunch of shows around New England, the last of which went off tonight in Troy NY. There's still hope that they may book more but no word yet on how long the reunion will really last. The one show I had a chance to see was simply incredible and I can only hope they book a Burlington area date. Edit: 11/15/07 Ask and ye shall receive, Rustic played their triumphant return to Burlington at Higher Ground on the 9th to a packed house. Awesome show as always and the fanbase is really starting to pick up steam again. The folks over at RockLikeWar.com are good people and a buch of us were able to make it out, resulting in a bunch of good pictures and finally a live recording of one of the summer tour shows! Edit: 01/11/08 A dream come true for fans of Rustic and the bands that their breakup spawned, PSC and AFA opened for Rustic at their New Years Eve extravaganza down in Clifton Park NY. Awesome show you can read all about on the message board ar Rocklikewar.com.

SO GLAD - Foothills Juice & Java King NC
~The new incarnation of my mother's band with just her vocals and her husband Dave on guitar. They have a bass player fill in on ocasion and are looking for a regular drummer. Such a good time whenever they play and they always draw quite a crowd.

Splender - Opened for Live at Whittamore Center Durham NH
~Now reconfigured as Headrush these guys grabbed my attention from the first note they played. With hard charging melodies and thoughtful lyrics I was really impressed by their energy and command of an audience almost completely unaware of their music. They promised to come back to UNH later in the year but never returned. They released two albums, as Splender and I'll probably pick up the Headrush album if it ever actually comes out. You can check out the new band on their Myspace page.

Strangefolk - Johnson State College Johnson VT
~I don't remember much of this show other than getting a serious contact high from everyone there. I was hanging out with an old friend from high school who's sister was attending JSC at the time and we decided to hit up this show. I must say, they were better than I would have expected, just not my type of music.

Temptations - Champlain Valley Fair Essex Junction VT with the Four Tops
~I don't really remember much about this show. I was fairly young and my mother took me. I remember being surprised by how many of the songs I knew and I know I had a good time and I'm certainly glad I can say I saw them.

Tony McNaboe - Opened for Rocktopus State Theatre Portland ME
~Former Rustic Overtones Drummer turned R&B singer. I was both shocked and impressed by his abilities when I first caught his act at the Rocktopus show. I bought his debut disc that night and enjoyed the hell out of it. It seems his career has stalled somewhat, which is too bad because I certainly would have picked up another of this albums and I'm always down to support anything with Rustic roots.

Full Update List:
04/21/11 - Added Raul Midon and Ingrid Michaelson shows.
11/25/09 - Added Hollywood show
08/28/09 - Various Edits, added BOAP show.
01/30/08 - Added Jason Mraz Killington show
01/11/08 - Added Rustic/Dominic and the Lucid Stone Church and New Year's show with AFA and PSC, added Ben Folds Fleet Center show.
11/15/07 - Added Rustic Overtones/Revision show, and RenFest acts.
08/25/07 - Added a few shows, Rustic, Mayer/Folds and mom's bands.
02/28/07 - Added John Mayer/Mat Kearney show, slight edit on a couple entries.
11/24/06 - Added The Jazz Guys as the opener for Doughty at Higher Ground.
11/02/06 - Added links to blog entries about BNL and Mraz shows, edited Doughty entry following Higher Ground gig.
10/25/06 - Added another BNL show and Mike Doughty shows.
10/19/06 - Added the 6gig show that B reminded me about.
10/08/06 - Added DMB show I somehow managed to leave out, added venues to PSC and Rocktopus, spell checked.

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