1:55 pm: Said hey to my Hepcat buddies, settling in at the day party down here at the Lincoln. Youth Lagoon is on now, really cool 2-piece indie pop group.
2:15 pm: Hammer No More the Fingers is taking the stage. Hells yeah, good classic Triangle indie rock.
2:42 pm: Two songs from Hammer No More’s new EP debuted live here, should be a good one.
3:07 pm: HNMTF is wrapping up a very good performance. Very solid, consistent, fun, and technically intricate. Their new EP and supporting tour ought to be just as good.
3:35 pm: Up next, Ben Sollee. Yes, that guy with the cello. We’ve played him a lot on the podcast, can’t wait to see what he has in store.
3:52 pm: Sollee started off with a song from his album with Daniel Martin Moore, “Something, Somewhere, Sometime”. Top notch, very engaging. Took over Davie St. with the first note and never let go.
4:05 pm: Ben Sollee is giving, if not the best, then one of the best performances of the weekend. He only has three albums out, but is hitting all of them, especially the new one.
4:28 pm: So impressed with Ben Sollee. One of the greatest young songwriters in all of music, judging by his albums and this performance. Like Julianna Barwick last night, this performance is forcing us to re-evaluate his newest album, will likely push it up into the top 10 of the year list.
4:50 pm: After brief interviews with Joe Hall of HNMTF and Ben Sollee, I’m off to grab a bite to eat before Superchunk.
6:40 pm: Back just in time to nestle in to the belly of the crowd for Superchunk. Can’t wait!
6:55 pm: Wow, Superchunk sounds great down here at City Plaza. Amazingly, I think they sound better indoors for some reason, which is surprising because of their volume, but they still sound great.
7:07 pm: Terrific set thus far, a few older tunes, now one from MAJESTY SHREDDING. “Rosemarie”. As long as I get one from ON THE MOUTH, the show will be complete.
7:12 pm: Whaddya know! “For Tension” was next. Love this tune. I have seen it live before, but I was kinda hoping for it to be on the setlist.
7:30 pm: This show gets better and better. “Driveway to Driveway”, “Slack Motherfucker”, “Learned to Surf”. They’re busting out a bunch of great live stuff, old and new.
7:44 pm: Mac was right when he noted the significance on stage. This is an historic event for music in Raleigh. A punk band playing City Plaza. Whaaa?!?! Not the Brewery or the Pour House or a house show, but the freaking Fayetteville St. Mall City Plaza. Might not seem like a big deal, but it really truly is.
7:50 pm: Myself and a handful of like-minded folks are leaving before Flaming Lips take the stage. First, they haven’t been artistically relevant in at least six years. Second, Superchunk opens for no one in my mind. Maybe 15 years ago, but not today. And if I can’t keep Flaming Lips from playing, then I’ll just keep them and their very strange fans from dragging down my memory of tonight. I’m off to catch a breather before a night of jazz rock, surf rock, and lo fi punk rock.
9:03 pm: Early arrival at Kings, patiently awaiting the first show of the night, the Hairs.
9:30 pm: Right on time, the Hairs taking the stage. I’ve heard a lot of things about what to expect, people calling them surf pop, shitgaze, 90’s alt-rock-like. Will have to wait and see for myself.
9:46 pm: Ok, so all those tags could perhaps be applied by the untrained ear, but this band is way different than any of those would imply. More like lo-fi garage pop.
9:55 pm: I hear a lot of different influences swirled into this band. Their carefree pop and simple rock instrumentation gives the impression of early- to mid-era of Montreal, or perhaps Let’s Wrestle.
10:02 pm: You can also hear a little early Yo La Tengo at moments. High praise, yes, but it’s only shades of that sound.
10:21 pm: How a band with one short EP and two singles filled an hour set is beyond me, but they did and sounded really good in doing so.
10:30 pm: Going to interview the Hairs then move over to Tir na nOg and the Pour House for a while.
10:44 pm: Really cool interview. Awesome dude, very engaging to chat with.
10:58 pm: A little late, apparently, for the start of Beach Fossils’ set. Wanted to catch Fight the Big Bull too, but got over here too slowly.
11:05 pm: Tir na nOg is freaking packed. Probably the early crowd for Titus Andronicus.
11:28 pm: Caught a few of Beach Fossils’ really great tunes, but can’t deal with the ridiculously crowded vibe here. Gonna get a head start on the long walk to the Union for Times New Viking.
8:40 pm: Arrived downtown in time to catch the end of Drive By Truckers’ City Plaza set, staying for the beginning of GBV.
8:55 pm: Skipping out on GBV (blasphemy, I know!) to make sure I get a great seat for Julianna Barwick. Walking down to Memorial Auditorium.
9:46 pm: Julianna Barwick has finally taken the stage, first two songs are off the charts amazing. Her mastery of looping is beyond her years. So subtle, even in a genre that prides itself on subtlety. Her talent and soft-spoken power are overwhelming, her stage presence undeniable, her voice perfect.
9:53 pm: As we noted, live performance is a huge measurement for our album of the year list. Barwick’s THE MAGIC PLACE is sky-rocketing up our list by the second.
10:10 pm: Leaving Fletcher and heading up to the Moore Square area to get ready for Braids.
10:21 pm: The line for the Pour House is ridiculous. Stopping in at Tir na nOg to see King Mez real quick, then hopping in line.
10:44 pm: Missed “Plath Heart” but I’m finally in for the rest of Braids.
11:02 pm: Braids cementing themselves as our favorite new artist of the last couple years. The place is packed, the pit a dance party. Not quite as much as the last time I saw them, but I get the feeling that the Hopscotch crowd isn’t as ready for what they’re seeing as the people who went out specifically to see Braids open for Toro y Moi in the spring.
11:11 pm: Ended up catching the bulk of Braids’ set. They were stunning as ever. “Native Speaker” and “Plath Heart” (even through the wall) were top notch
11:18 pm: Off for a short break, then camp out the Pour House for the rest of the night.
11:40 pm: Back at the Pour House for Disappears. Late start but fucking rocking beginning to their set.
11:56 pm: Setting up an interview with Braids but we can’t hear each other talk over the thrashing indie rock of Disappears. Really impressive stuff from them.
12:09 am: Interview with Braids on the street. Great people, outstanding artists.
12:25 am: Want to head back in but even the VIP and Press lines are getting out of hand. Think I’m going to call it a night.
12:40 am: Caught up with Iggy Cosky outside Bu-Ku. He’s not performing for the festival, but has a couple shows next week.
1:03 am: Finally calling it a wrap on Night 2 at Hopscotch. Less walking than last night, fewer bands seen, but the quality still tremendous.
Alright, last night was fantastic. A lot of walking, but fantastic. I got to check out everything I had hoped to except the line-up at Lincoln Theater. I went down there to check it out, but it was packed so I decided to head back to a place I could actually, you know, get in to. So, I managed to catch Dinosaur Feathers (great), Twelve Thousand Armies (very good), Tender Fruit (great), Dustin Wong (great), Reading Rainbow (very good), Weekend (very good), and Cold Cave (pretty good). All in all, a successful night one, even if I did completely ignore my schedule. That being said, I’ve got plans for tonight but will likely not stick to those 100% either.
I’ll probably kick off the night down at Fletcher Opera Hall for Julianna Barwick, kind of get a chilled out start to the evening. I was hoping to see her perform a smaller venue, see how her ambient loop layering played in a place like Tir na nOg or Kings Barcade, but I’m sure she’ll be brilliant at Fletcher or anywhere.
After that, I’ll be heading up to the Pour House to see Braids play. I’ve seen them before, and they stole the show as an opening band. They might have given the best performance I’ve seen all year when they opened for Toro Y Moi, and I would expect this set to be fairly consistent with that one. They haven’t put out any new albums since then, haven’t had any changes to the band of note. Perhaps they’ll give us some new material from something upcoming, or if I can get in touch with them afterwards I’ll try and dig up some deets on what they’ve got going on.
From there, we have a few options — Swans, Twin Shadow, Disappears, Mount Eerie, and Generationals will all be playing. I’ll probably go catch the end of the Vivian Girls’ set, then just see where my feet take me from there. In any case, I’ll end up back at the Pour House for the last show of the night, Japandroids. I’ve wanted to see them for years and missed them every time I had the chance, but tonight I will most certainly be catching them.
This is all subject (perhaps likely) to change, but tonight’s schedule seems much more sane than last night’s. Then again, I could get down there, talk to some people, and realize how wrong I am about that and end up seeing 8 bands like last night when I expected to see 4 and actually saw 7. I’ll be live-blogging from the festival again tonight, so I’ll keep you apprised of my ever-changing schedule.
6:00 pm: Getting it cracking with the delicious country jams of John Howie and the Rosewood Bluff.
6:35 pm: John Howie just wrapped up with a phenomenal closing track “The Last Great Guitar Slinger” that had Sadlack’s rocking. Up next Chip Robinson.
6:47 pm: Solo acoustic lo-fi bringing a small but raucous crowd to silence, nothing like it in the world. Chip Robinson and his powerfully stark voice are as blazingly brilliant as his songwriting. “And the world don’t stop if you want it to…”
7:15 pm: Leaving Sadlack’s for a short break, then downtown for the start of the festival.
8:31 pm: Dinosaur Feathers at King’s — high-intensity psychedelic-spun 50’s pop. The place is packed to capacity and the band is rocking.
8:48 pm: Dino Feathers were really, really good. Kind of like old school Vampire Weekend playing soda shop pop. Mostly stuff from their debut LP, plus one that sounded new… New album on the way?
9:14 pm Tir na nOg for Twelve Thousand Armies and the start of Tender Fruit’s set.
9:21 pm: Twelve Thousand Armies is really cool. Kinda like a less poppy version of Girls. Lo-fi, bluesy, sweet music over grainy but commanding vocals. Perfect lead-in for Tender Fruit.
9:44 pm: Twelve Thousand Armies covering GBV. Gotta love it.
10:06 pm: Tender Fruit open with a solo ukelele tune. Unexpected but phenomenal. Love her voice.
10:22 pm: Tender Fruit might be the most aptly named group at this year’s festival. Sweet and ripe, and yet delicate and raw. One of the most underrated sets you’ll see all weekend.
10:31 pm: En route to the Hive to catch Dustin Wong and Reading Rainbow, then over to either the Lincoln or Pour House to wrap up the first night.
10:38 pm: Dustin Wong is really neat, somewhere between chillwave and psych-pop. Either way, really cool experimental instrumental synth electropop, although it almost feels more influenced by folk than by pop music.
10:57 pm: Dustin Wong was brilliant, even if he did spend the entire show messing with his pedals and staring at the floor.
11:05 pm: Between sets, just noticing how cool a venue the Hive is. It’s my first time here and I really love the space. The set-up — air-tight bar with a stage in the upstairs apartment of the Busy Bee cafe — and the classy but homy vibe make it a really nice spot to take in a show, especially for the slate of bands they have on tap who all seem like they’d thrive in an intimate environment.
11:31 pm: Reading Rainbow taking the stage. If their set is as good as when they opened for the Dum Dum Girls, we’re in for a treat.
11:40 pm: After a slow starter, Reading Rainbow performed a new song. Needless to say their next LP will be highly anticipated around here.
12:02 am: Hell of a show by Reading Rainbow. Maybe not quite as strong as the first time I saw them, but comparable. Leaving the Hive and Tir na nOg area, off to check out the Lincoln and Pour House.
12:08 am: Everyone else had the same idea, the lines down here are insane. Skipping the Lips, off to catch the end of Weekend’s set, then Cold Cave.
12:13 am: Back at Pour House, Weekend is bringing down the roof on the place. Best post-punk show of the young festival.
12:40 am: Cold Cave is taking the stage. I have no idea what I’m in for, just that it’ll be good.
12:47 am: Very hipster-friendly dance music from Cold Cave. Disco-inspired electropop twisted with experimental rock undertones perhaps? It is fairly good and fun, but at least in my opinion not quite up to the hype.
1:00 am: While I do enjoy dance parties, I think I prefer their studio stuff. Something about the live show turns me off, but perhaps it’s only the crowd. Because the music itself is wonderful to listen to, but I just get this intuitive feeling that I’d rather be enjoying it from afar.
1:27 am: For a band that doesn’t have a ton of material, they filled out the set well and even played an encore. Not the most engaging show ever, but fun.
1:35 am: Finally done Hopping Scotch for the night. Very strong Day 1, even if I did tear up all my plans and catch a little bit of everything. That being said, I’ll still draw up tomorrow’s schedule in the morning but will likely throw it to the wind too. I need a time machine to catch everything I want to!
Well, it’s Hopscotch week around Raleigh, and the city is abuzz in anticipation of a phenomenal line-up and exciting schedule of non-show events. From Thursday through Saturday, Downtown Raleigh will be one giant indie rock concert, bringing together legendary bands that have left their mark on the music world over the last twenty years and brand new underground artists that are cutting their teeth to make it on some level or another and, of course, outfits of every status in between. Everyone knows the names of the headliners playing the Amphitheater – Guided By Voices, Drive By Truckers, Superchunk, Flaming Lips, Dodos – and those are all groups known to put on incredible shows, so I wouldn’t expect anything less. What you might not know is how unbelievable the rest of the line-up is.
There are points in time where you have to choose between seeing the Black Lips and Lonnie Walker, BRAIDS and the Vivian Girls, Titus Andronicus and Times New Viking. In these cases, among others, there really is no wrong way to go, as you’re bound to see a phenomenal show either way. If you’re only interested in one genre, you can stick to that and not have too many conflicts to drive yourself crazy over (perhaps only three or four), but my recommended method for taking in all the great stuff would be to try and catch a little bit of every kind of sound on display. With that in mind, we will post each day what we recommend you see, as well as a couple sets we’ll be sad to have to miss. We will also be live-blogging from the festival, and over the weekend or next week host plenty of Hopscotch-related material including interviews, reviews, news, and (hopefully) even a performance or two.
Tonight, you should start off at Kings Barcade for the opening set of the weekend with Dinosaur Feathers. As the name might imply, the Feathers are a wildly chaotic indie pop band in the mold of Architecture in Helsinki perhaps, and a perfect artist to kick off the festival proper. Their first album didn’t get a ton of publicity, but probably should have, and it really gives the impression that it would lend itself to a great live show.
From there, you have to make a choice – do you go for the upstart local folk band Tender Fruit or the veteran local blues rockers Spider Bags? Personally I’d go see Tender Fruit, except that you have to consider the “where”, and I can see going from Kings to Tir Na Nog (for Tender Fruit) to Lincoln Theater for the rest of the night could be a pain in the ass, so with that in mind I’d say skip on Tender Fruit and go catch the Spider Bags over at Lincoln. Tender Fruit are great, but they’ll play around here again sometime soon. Spider Bags do not play very often, and are opening for the two bands you’ll want to see the rest of the night, the Love Language and the Black Lips.
The Love Language, as you know, are the fledgling local indie pop stars who have made quite a name for themselves in the last couple years with two strong albums, but they are still growing into themselves and it remains to be seen whether they will continue to burn brighter and brighter as they mature or become self-absorbed and fizzle out like many of the bands in their style do. For now, though, they’re great and put on a good live performance.
The show of the night is clearly the Black Lips at the Lincoln. This Atlanta, GA garage rock outfit has been putting out good album year after year, and can’t seem to stop being the most consistent artist of their genre. Their live set is not just energetic and loud, it embodies energy and volume. They’ve toned down some of the antics, but never the music. It’s a little surprising they aren’t included in the Amphitheater shows this weekend, but perhaps they don’t draw quite as large of a crowd as some of those other bands’ names do. You’ll have to miss out on Fan Modine, Lonnie Walker, and William Tyler in order to catch the Lips, but trust me: it’ll be worth it to catch one of the more raucous bands of the last 10 years live and in person, especially considering the groups that are opening for them.
Hercules and Love Affair – Blue Songs
Following their first eponymous record, nu-disco fans everywhere can rejoice as Hercules and Love Affair have released their sophomore album this week. Without Antony Hegarty (of Antony & the Johnsons), this album will garner a little less attention but looks to be as good or better than their first. Don’t know if we’ll be posting a full review later this week or not, but we’ll get around to it.
Botany – Feeling Today EP
Need a refreshing bit of chillwave to lighten the weight of the late-summer heat? Perhaps something new, from a band you haven’t heard of, with a tone that is as soft and comforting as it is weird and off-the-beaten-path? We’ve got just the band for you. Texas-based Botany released their first EP this week, and it’s five tracks of mellowed-out madness. There is an epic kind of feel despite its tender voice, the intricacy and fragility and incomprehensible strength of a spider web only minus the scary little biter it houses. Instead, the only poison here is its catchy beats and unequaled flavor. Think of a more refined, more chilled out version of the chaos of A Sunny Day In Glasgow – lots of windows opening and closing, an impressive amount of sonic texture, and more than enough complexity to keep your mind spinning play after play after play. There are a lot of releases out this week, but so far this is the one we keep coming back to.
Mister Heavenly – Out of Love
It’s quite an odd pairing, this Mister Heavenly band is. Honus Honus of Man Man, Nicholas Thorburn of Islands and the Unicorns, and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse and the Shins. Hell, they even welcomed in Michael Cera (yes, that Michael Cera) to tour with them on bass. Their first album, Out Of Love, was recorded late last year sometime during the tour in which they opened for Passion Pit, but is finally being released this week. We’ve played a lot of it in the last couple weeks on the podcast, so you’re probably fairly familiar with it. It’s not particularly inventive, sort of settles in to the generic indie rock canvas and doesn’t do anything that sets it far apart from their contemporaries, but still is a very enjoyable album. A little unfocused at times, it waffles between cute and dirty, but I guess you could call that “showing a wide range” if you wanted to. The best element of this group is clearly the Thorburn influence. Honus brings a cool flavor to it to. Probably could have done without Joe Plummer, but hey, if we’re throwing together a super group, why not toss him in there too?
The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient
The War On Drugs’ first album, although at times unfocused and figuring out its own sound on the fly, quickly thrust the Philadelphia, PA indie rockers into the limelight. The Americana influences on it were thick, but not so thick as to block out the jangle pop, psychedelia, and ambient rock that also were swirled in to form what would become a cornerstone album of the late 2000’s indie rock catalog. The band’s second album, and the first without Kurt Vile and two of the others in the band’s first steady line up, still features much the same sound: Dylan-/Springsteen-esque Americana, this time a little more heavily drowned in ambient indie rock, a sound produced by more pronounced keyboards, longer and more churning guitars, and an overall more chilled out affectation. Very, very cool stuff.
Stephin Merritt – Obscurities
Yes, I know, it’s not out until next week *technically*, but we’ll put this here for two reasons. One, it’s a huge release and one we cannot wait to get to next week, and two, it’s actually available for your listening pleasure if not for purchase. Just head on over to PasteMagazine.com and you can stream the album in its entirety. The whole album is a compilation of random recordings from before 69 Love Songs, including five previously unreleased tracks, three from the unfinished sci-fi musical written by Merritt and Daniel Handler (Lemony Snickett), and several from Merge-era 7-inches and compilations, from the 6ths, from an audio book, and even one from a K Records cassette.
Tour Dates Posted
Eric Bachmann is going to be one busy dude over the next year or so. Monday, Merge Records announced that he would not only be touring with Archers of Loaf, who have recently begun re-releasing their early works and have seemed to have a lot of news surrounding them in the last couple weeks, but that he would also be doing a full tour with his other band Crooked Fingers in support of their new album Breaks in the Armor (out October 11). As it should, this tour features a ton of dates in the Carolina-area: three in NC, one in TN, one in DC. Of course the date we’re most interested in is on October 15 at the Cat’s Cradle. For the record, trying to pick between Crooked Fingers and Archers of Loaf is comparing apples to oranges, but I’ll give a slight edge to Crooked Fingers in terms of personal taste. Would never argue against someone who takes Archers though.
Cat’s Cradle –
Friday – Archers of Loaf, Electric Owls, Schooner
Saturday – Archers of Loaf, Hammer No More The Fingers, Cobra Horse
Kings Barcade –
Friday – Hadwynn Album Release Party
Saturday – Dntel (of the Postal Service), the One AM Radio, Geotic
Local 506 –
Tuesday – Shovels and Rope, The Bayonets, Matrimony, Humble Tripe (Solo)
Wednesday – Rayland Baxter, Uncle Mountain, Jack the Radio
Friday – Six Organs of Admittance, Donovan Quinn, Degollado
Saturday – L in Japanese (Dance Party)
Alright, indie fans. Lots of album reviews rolling in this week, but for now let’s take a quick look at live music in the Triangle and run down the shows we’re looking forward to this week. It’s not a huge week for live shows, but one in which you can catch no less than three wonderful artists.
Monday, you’ve got Alela Diane at Kings Barcade. Haven’t seen her before, but can’t imagine getting a bad show there. Not much else happening at Kings that we’re interested in, but check out their website to see if anything else catches your eye.
Local 506 has a bunch of smaller acts that we’re intrigued by, and then one big show at the end of the week. Wednesday, it’s the Elected, and then Thursday they’ve got Heaven (Americans in France and Nightdogs supporting). Then, Saturday David Bazan will be playing with Centro-Matic and Sarah Jaffe opening. Of course, Bazan is worth the price of admission alone, but don’t get there late. Sarah Jaffe is a must-see too.
The only thing of note to check out at Cat’s Cradle this week will be on Friday, when Ben Sollee plays. We love, love, love Ben Sollee here at theanimalscankillyou and can’t wait to check him out live.
Other than that (and that’s plenty), it seems like a quiet week around Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill. We’re planning to be at the Bazan, Sollee, and Alela Diane shows, and look forward to seeing all you guys and gals there.
In all the excitement of covering a huge week in new releases, I completely forgot to discuss the live music going on around the Triangle in our Week In Preview segment published Sunday, and so we’ll do that a little late (and very quickly).
First, the Local 506… Not as big of a week as last week (mostly just because of Times New Viking last week), but the guys on Franklin St. still have a few really good shows popping off this week. Thursday, the Design is playing with Jack the Radio and Spiralfire supporting. Friday, it’s Vess and Supreme Fiction opening for Jessica Long. Then on Saturday, it’s the big non-local show of the week with Thao and Mariah headlining, Bobby and Led to Sea opening.
Cat’s Cradle also is not going to be quite as busy as last week. Sondre Lerche is playing Thursday, touring for his new album (tACKY review coming later this week). Saturday, Trekky Records is hosting an Album Release Party for Brice Randall Bickford. Phil Cook (of Megafaun), Django Haskins, Lee Waters, and Heather McEntire are all booked to play that event. Sunday, they’ll have another pretty big show with Joe Purdy and the Milk Carton Kids playing.
We mentioned Phil Cook playing Brice Randall Bickford’s AR Party, but he’ll also be playing Thursday at Kings Barcade in support of All Tiny Creatures. Kingsbury Manx and Birds and Arrows are playing the Barcade the next night. Then there’s the huge local show of the week with the Rosebuds and Charlie the Horse playing Kings on Saturday.
It’s been a big week for live music in the Triangle, and especially in Chapel Hill. With sold-out shows like Okkervil River / Titus Andronicus and Matt & Kim / the Hood Internet, you might assume that Cat’s Cradle’s schedule was the highlight of the week. You would be wrong in that assumption.
The true headline this week, and perhaps for the entire year up to this point, took place a couple blocks away at the Local 506 on Thursday night. The night opened with a small blues-rock band called the Toddlers. With a frontman whose baritone vocals and enrapturing stage presence would rival those of the best blues singers in recent memory, you knew after only two songs that you were in for a treat. The simplicity of the bass lines and the subtle complexity of the percussion complimented their guitar-playing lead man perfectly as they played a great blend of folksy indie rock and Doors-esque blues (minus the whirling keyboards). They are not what you’d expect as an opener for Times New Viking, but were great in their own right and are sure to make waves in a scene that lacks a lot of what they have to offer.
Times New Viking, in contrast, were everything you knew they would be — loud, reverb-blasted, rough as hell, and more fun than any music fan ought to have the capacity to absorb. They mostly stuck to material off of their latest album DANCER EQUIRED, which was fine by us since it is one of their strongest albums start-to-finish and a theanimalscankillyou.com favorite. They also threw in a few not-so-new tunes, like “Move to California” and “City on Drugs”, which were both outstanding. Amazingly, their raucous studio sound translated perfectly live, and actually seemed a little cleaner and tighter than on the albums (complete opposite of 99% of the bands you’ll see), and made for a phenomenal show.
The crowd was perfect, both in size (about 2/3 capacity) and knowledge/appreciation of the music. Everyone there knew why they were there instead of seeing Matt and Kim, and everyone seemed to have the time of their life watching the Ohio-based lo-fi noise-poppers rock the walls off the 506. The only disappointment was the fact that there was no real encore, but I don’t know that any show I’ve ever been to has been less in need of one.
I went in hoping not to be let down by a band I regard very highly (top 10-15 all-time), and left in utter amazement that the show not only met expectations but took those expectations and ripped them to shreds. I was thinking this was one of the better shows I’d see in June. This was truly one of the better shows I’ve ever seen.