Halcyon Repose


Concert Update: Breaking Benjamin/Sick Puppies/RED – Saturday June 30th, 2007

by on Sep.13, 2007, under Music

Another trip to the House of Blues Anaheim, this time with Amanda in tow. Breaking Benjamin was the first thing I had found that I had in common with her, so it seemed fitting that she should be there with me for the concert.

We arrived at the venue at the doors on time, but apparently the VIPs got to go in first (those people that actually ate there that evening), and they had a line just as long as ours. Of course we did get inside well before the opening act even came on, so we got to spend some time scouting for a good viewing angle down on the pit floor.

REDThe first act was RED, a rock group that hails from Nashville. That of course immediately piqued my curiosity. I never really expect much from the first opening band in a three band show, but I was totally surprised by their performance. The lead singer had a good voice, and the instrumentals where strong. I was really impressed, impressed to the point where I knew I would probably pick up their album after the show. I wish I known about them when I lived in Nashville. I don’t know if I would have been as into them back then (Alternative Rock is a genre I have only gotten into during the last year or so), but I know I would definitely catch any of their shows now.

Next up was Sick Puppies. I must admit, I was not to enthused with the name of the band, and I made mention of that to Amanda. They started off one strike down, and that was just from reading the ticket stub. Things turned around almost immediately when they came out onto stage. A three person band from Australia, and the bassist was a tall Asian girl dressed in a short catholic school girl skirt. What is there not to love? Not only was she cute as all get out, but she could really play her bass. You could tell she was flustered from the onset of the show though, they had her turned up extremely loud, almost to the point of overpowering the rest of the band, and she was not happy about it. There were many points during the show where she gesturing wildly to the off-stage crew to get her levels turned down. Regardless of her feelings, I thought they were fine, I could still hear the lyrics which is what I mostly care about anyways. Once I started looking beyond the cute bassist, I realized that I was REALLY enjoying the band for a lot of other reasons. The lyrics were a bit rough, but in a good sort of way. They weren’t polished like so much of the stuff on the radio, but it didn’t need to be. Just like the Arctic Monkeys, and so many other indie bands, they used their rough edges to craft their music into something that polish doesn’t get you. I think music can gain a great deal from having sharp edges now and again.

I know I have taken this far into a land of metaphors. Let’s just let’s just say I left with their album in my possession as well at the end of the evening, and it has since spent a lot of time on my iPod playlist.

Last up was the headliner, Breaking Benjamin. After the first two acts I was primed for this set. Unfortunately I can’t really say much about it, except that it was everything I wanted to see from the group. They put on a great show, and I didn’t feel like their albums were a misrepresentation in any way. They didn’t stand out in my mind as much as the first two acts, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. At one point in the show, lead singer Ben Burnley performed a cover for Nine Inch Nail’s “Hurt”. Deeply heart felt, Ben’s performance was touching, and stands out in my mind the most about the show.

At the end of the show, Amanda was kind enough to chill while I purchased some CDs for both RED and Sick Puppies. The best thing about picking up a CD from an opening band is that they are there to talk to the fans and sign your new purchases. Sometimes I wish larger bands did the same, but I can understand why they would prefer not to.

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Concert Update: Hinder / Papa Roach / Buckcherry – Wednesday August 1st, 2007

by on Sep.11, 2007, under Music

Thanks to the glorious traffic provided to us by the Orange County Fair, we arrived a bit late to this concert. Buckcherry was already halfway through their set, but I did get to hear a number of songs I was looking forward to on the way into the venue. You could tell the band was obviously heavily produced in the studio, either that or the evening’s heat was getting to the lead singer. Album perfect harmonies are never a requirement for me, and I still found the group enjoyable. I would have liked to hear the whole set, but c’est la vie.

Papa Roach came on next, and they totally dominated the arena. The energy the lead singer put off was amazing and soon everyone was up and out of their seats. He is another example of a heavily produced singer, but his raw throaty voice fits the music style. I only recently got into Papa Roach (I picked up the album after buying tickets to the concert), but they mostly played their newer songs, or songs that got a lot of radio play, so I very rarely felt lost. Jacoby seemed a little irked at the restrictions placed on them by the venue, and he swore they would never be playing there again. I can understand the venue’s point of view, it was a part of the fairgrounds and there were many families out and about. In between hitting on all the pretty girls in the audience, Jacoby soon broke every rule he was able, whipping the audience into a frenzy.

Hot on the heels of Papa Roach came Hinder. Hinder’s debut album Extreme Behavior was an album that I had fallen in love with, and I was truly looking forward to this set. The album itself is obviously eye catching, more bands need a red longerie clad beauty on the cover, but I had managed to keep from picking it up from the Target racks for many months. I finally broke down and picked it up in one of my BMG orders, and upon receiving it, I immediately knew this was an album I could get behind. My only complaint, if you can call it that, is the subject matter. Beyond the the opening song, the entire album is composed entirely of break-up themes. Either he was trying to break up with a girl, or he had already broken up and was try to reconcile/move on. It makes for a bit of a depressing, melancholy listen, but a good one none-the-less. The instrumentals balance out the lyrics nicely, and provide for an excellent listening experience.

My first surprise when they came out on stage was how much their lead singer, Austin Winkler, was going for the Steve Tyler look, down to the knotted ribbons on the microphone stand, and singing poses. The atmosphere in the arena definitely fell a notch after they started, and as much as I dig their hard instrumentals, I feel the show was limited by the subject matter. The audience soon found their seats, and stayed there for most of the show, a marked change over the energy from the Papa Roach set. They tried hard to bring up the energy level, but somehow fell short, that is of course, until they performed “Get Stoned” during the encore. Partly because of the edge of the song, partly because it was a well known single, and partly due to the singability of the chorus, the audience rallied up to send off the band in true style. The set was enjoyable, but it was hard to reconcile the band on stage with the impressions I received from the album. If Hinder came back with another band I wanted to see, I would love to catch them again, but I would also be perfectly fine with just supporting them by purchasing and enjoying their albums.

After the show, we were allowed into the fair for free. We obviously used this opportunity to partake of fair food (the food of legends) and meandered through the fair. Not as memorable of an experience as I would have liked, but a fun night overall.

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by on Sep.12, 2006, under Music

I recently uncovered Poe’s website that proves that she is alive and kicking.


The thought of more Poe goodness at some point in the future makes me very happy. I got a chance to catch her in concert back in Nashville and I must say, she is one of my favorite live performers ever.

YouTube and Joe have offered to help ease the pain of withdrawels.

Hey Pretty
Angry Johnny
My Lips are Sealed
MTV brings us some higher quality vids along with “Trigger Happy Jack” Unfortunately includes commercials before the goodness. :(

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Recent Concerts

by on Nov.18, 2005, under Music

The Fenians played at the Harp last night, and a good time was had by all. It was night to get out and have a night of fun and a few pints.

I also went to the Death Cab For Cutie concert last weekend as well. It was a great show, and even though we got there just as the opening band (Stars)was finishing up, we did get to hear a couple of their songs. I picked up their latest album at the concert, and I must say it is was well worth it.

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Recent Concerts

by on Nov.18, 2005, under Music

The Fenians played at the Harp last night, and a good time was had by all. It was night to get out and have a night of fun and a few pints.

I also went to the Death Cab For Cutie concert last weekend as well. It was a great show, and even though we got there just as the opening band (Stars)was finishing up, we did get to hear a couple of their songs. I picked up their latest album at the concert, and I must say it is was well worth it.

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How do you get out of a parking ticket?

by on Sep.30, 2005, under Fencing, Life, Music

Now that I have bared my soul, on to the rest of my gritty life.

Apparently I have a whole block of my life missing. I say this because I received a letter in the mail two days ago from the LA Sheriff’s department telling me that I am past due on paying a parking ticket. A ticket I received at 9am August 29th. Not only was I apparently not at work that morning, but I was in a part of LA I have never been in before.

Assuming work calms down tomorrow, I will be giving them a call to let them know that apparently there has been a mistake. I’ll tell them what happened, or what didn’t happen as the case may be, and I will listen to them tell me that there is nothing that can be done and I will have to pay the ticket. I mean there is my license plate number in the letter along with a rough description of my car, and without some sort of concrete proof, that will probably be all she wrote.

This is just totally crazy, the sort of thing you would expect to see on some cheesy TV show at 10 o’clock at night. Regardless of how crazy it is, I guess it is better to pay the $45 ticket than to have that go on my “permanent record”. Crazy…..

On the lighter side of things I actually got my Death Cap For Cutie tickets.. So very very happy.

The Long Beach Invitational tournament is this weekend. I have actually signed up for the first time in 3 years. I don’t expect to do great, as I spent all summer recovering from a sprained back, but gosh darn it, I plan on enjoying myself.

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Death Cab For Cutie

by on Sep.19, 2005, under Music

I have decided that I HAVE to go to this concert. So now the scouring of the internet for decently priced tickets begins.

I recently purchased one of the new iPods (my Creative Nomad didn’t cut it when I saw some of the organizational features of iTunes/iPods), and I listened to Death Cab for a good long time. Since the concert is still a month out, hopefully I will be able to find something I can afford.

If anyone happens to run across any tickets, let me know and you shall be rewarded :)

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