Concrete Blonde – Concert Review – 061910
LIVE AT EMO’S, AUSTIN, TEXAS
JUNE 19, 2010
So let’s go back to 1990/91. I was working part time at an independent record store in Norfolk, VA called The Music Man. Pretty legendary place for a store that was in a mall. Between them, Skinnie’s Records and Unicorn Records, there were none better in the area as far as indie stores went. Skinnie’s is the only one to still be alive. Awesome!
At The Music Man there was a girl named Teresa that worked there. Tall, dark hair, black leather jacket, seemingly pissed off at the world and would likely kick your ass. We weren’t friends by any means but were amicable. Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting had come out and any night that we were working together, she spun it in the store. I neither liked nor disliked it, but I became very familiar with it. She was a Concrete Blonde fanatic. So for the year or so that I worked there, the album was force-fed to me.
A month or 2 ago it was announced that they were going to tour for the 20th anniversary of Bloodletting and were coming to Austin on the tour. I figured what the hell, never seen them, liked some of the stuff I remembered by them, so why not go? As I am apt to do, I bought 2 tickets. I mentioned the show to my stunningly gorgeous friend, Christine, and she accepted. This is the same Christine that went to Iron Maiden with us last weekend.
So I pick her up, we go eat some awesome sushi at Mushashino, grab a margarita at my favorite bar in Austin which shall remain unnamed) and head downtown. Jason McMaster’s Killa Maul was playing early at Red Eyed Fly and we wanted to catch some of their set. Killa Maul is Jason’s Metallica tribute band which plays only the Kill ’em All album. It’s a fun show to watch, mainly because you can see him having so much fun with it. We only caught 2 or 3 songs and had to head to Emo’s for the Concrete Blonde show. They were playing the outside stage and it was hot and muggy and slightly uncomfortable with such a large crowd. It seemed that no matter where we stood, some dude wanted to take his shirt off right in front of us. We ran into my friends Sean and Jen and found a decent spot to catch the show.
An announcement came on before the band took the stage dictating that there is to be no filming of the show and no flash photography. So, sorry…I have no photos or video to share.
The band took the stage which was purposely poorly lit on Johnette’s side. They opened with Bloodletting (Vampire Song). Her voice sounded good and really got better as the night progressed. Next song was their hit “Joey”. They botched the intro and I noticed on a vid or 2 on YouTube that they had done this a time or 2 already on the tour. Hey…it happens. We’re musicians, we’re not always perfect! ha
Overall they sounded really good. I was quite impressed with their guitar player. He had a cool style, switching between using a pick and just fingers and sometimes a combo of the 2. Drummer was solid. Towards the end of the set, Johnette really belted out some lyrics.
Overall it was a good show and my friend seemed to enjoy it as well. The one thing I could have done without was the cover of Little Wing. I’m not a Hendrix fan in the least. That being said, not too many people can do his stuff justice. Their version wasn’t bad, but, well…ugh. Hendrix. ’nuff said. I would have rather heard their version of Thin Lizzy’s It’s Only Money. That would have been bad ass. But alas, no. I knew the Hendrix cover was in the set thanks to the interwebz, so it was expected.
Instead of doing encores, they just played through to the end of their set. Four of the last 5 songs were done with no bass. Just vocals, acoustic guitar and drums. Sounded pretty cool. They closed with Still In Hollywood.
As expected, this was a mostly “older” crowd and it’s obvious that some of these people don’t get out much these days. It was great people watching for sure. I was a little surprised to not see much of the goth crowd there.
In the end, nice job to Concrete Blonde. We had a great time and they sounded really good.
This setlist may be a little jumbled up. I’ll fix it later if I can find the correct order.
3. I Don’t Need a Hero
4. Days and Days
6. Scene of the Perfect Crime
7. Ghost of a Texas Ladies Man
9. Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen cover)
11. When I Was a Fool
12. God Is a Bullet
13. Run Run Run
14. Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix cover)
15. Heal It Up
16. Your Haunted Head
17. Mexican Moon
18. Happy Birthday
20. Tomorrow, Wendy
21. Still in Hollywood