Psychic TV & Celebration @ Sonar.

Psychic TV @ Sonar
Celebration @ Sonar.

See the rest of the Psychic TV & Celebration photos here.

This show was a real surprise. I knew what to expect from Celebration, one of the best (and most long-lived, at this point) current band in Baltimore… I have seen them many times, own all their records… so I knew they were gonna be great. But Psychic TV… that’s another matter. Genesis P-Orridge’s project post-Throbbing Gristle has gone through so many manifestations through the years (and I honestly lost track a long time ago), so I didn’t know what to expect. I was honestly expecting some 80s “I.C. Water”-era proto-rave… instead, what I got was 90 minutes of rollicking prog-rock, including at least two Hawkwind covers (but maybe three?) and some great banter by Orridge, include a claim (which I don’t think is true?) of actually having been a member of Hawkwind. Anyway, great, really unexpected show.

Dan Deacon Ensemble, Celebration, Matmos @ Ottobar.

Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar   Dan Deacon Ensemble @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar
Celebration @ Ottobar   Matmos @ Ottobar

Awesome show, from beginning to end. 3 very different, yet complimentary Baltimore music groups, all on one bill! A great weekend for the Ottobar, who also hosted a sold out Wye Oak show the following night… anyway…

I have seen Matmos several times, and they are always different. This night, they chose to create a droning/grooving sort of atmosphere with a Caribbean (to my uninformed ears) feeling type of beat, very noddable and swayable. One of their songs got pretty minimal industrial, again to my uniformed ears, and I would SWEAR that on one song they used the same sample as Ministry does on one of their “Land of Rape And Honey” era records… but maybe I am just a goth.

Celebration remains one of my absolute favorite bands to see live in Baltimore… I love their old material and their newer stuff is growing on me more and more now that I have seen it played live a few times. Their set has morphed into only having one or two songs from the “The Modern Tribe” era, and they are still a treat to watch.

Dan Deacon used this show to introduce his new five piece ensemble (who I have posted about here recently) , and I really enjoyed the additional instrumentation. I think it worked best on the newer songs, ones that I assume were written for this group, but even on the classic Deacon songs, I think they added alot, especially the dual percussion. Live drums really can create a feeling like nothing else. The crowd seemed to agree, they went CRAZY, which is too be expected, and it was a really really fun set. Somehow I managed to stick it out the whole time at the front… a bit of a while since I managed that, but I was having a blast!

See the rest of the photos here!

Celebration Weekend Tour with TVOTR.

celebration @ rams head
celebration @ rams head.
celebration @ rams head   celebration @ electric factory.

Celebration went on tour with TV On The Radio, I shot them in both Philly and Baltimore. (Read the SPIN review of the TVOTR Philly show here). The Philly show at Electric Factory was cut a little short, or seemed to be, but the Baltimore show at Rams Head was absolutely great. Packed house, sold out, great sound for Celebration’s set, friendly audience… a great show. Both shows showcased how together they are as a band and how the new “Digital Tarot” material they have been releasing online (and their new record) is really starting to shine live. Go see them!

Also : come to my Photo Show friday 4/15 at the Windup Space in Baltimore. Photos of Celebration and many other artists will be on display.

Celebration, Future Islands, Arboretum @ 2640

Celebration @ 2640
Celebration audience @ 2640
Celebration @ 2640   Future Islands @ 2640

Great show. This was organized by Friends Records at the 2640 Space, a retired church in Baltimore. Great venue for a show, it’s a beautiful old building… the show was packed, too, and they did a lot of special decorations and stage setups… huge clouds made out of cotton candy (no joke!) and helium balloons floated around, lots of projectors situated around the room displayed dreamy images on the various walls… it was really impressive. All the bands were excellent, too… Celebration are playing later this month up and down the east coast with TV On The Radio, go if you can get tickets, you won’t regret it…

Barn Aid (Birdland, Wye Oak, the Pilgrim) @ Golden West.

birdland @ barn aid
wye oak @ barn aid   wye oak @ barn aid
pilgrim @ barn aid   barn aid

Barn Aid was a one time benefit show at the Golden West for Springfield Farm in Sparks, Maryland, which needs money to pay some legal bills. It was a GREAT night and featured a reunion show for Birdland (which is the band which ultimately became Celebration), Wye Oak, and the Pilgrim.

Check out the whole Barn Aid set here.