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Dunkin Shines

Phish
The Baker’s Dozen – Night 13
Madison Square Garden
August 6th

After being shocked and awed by Phish’s coconutty first night of their Baker’s Dozen run at MSG, I was ready for them and I to go to infinity and beyond in their 13th and final show  

Before the concert, I huddled up with my 3 diehard Phishead buddies and we all guessed as to what they were going to play.  The final flavor/theme was pink glazed donuts with rainbow sprinkles.  I had no idea what songs of their own that they would play (cause I only know like 5 of them), but I had some ideas of what themed songs that I hoped they would play

my @phish picks were born losers

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By day I’m your humble TM, but by night I’m MP, and MP’s guesses were… garbage sauce, but I really did wish they played what I guessed, and that they didn’t, or anywhere near that was actually kinda disappointing.  Sure, the boys played Bowie and the Stones and Willie Nelson, and a bunch of songs that made the faithful happy, but I really thought they were going to tear the roof off in the final night.  I mean, they did, but I just think they could have gone bigger.  Like play the Pretty In Pink soundtrack in reverse order, or something else that would be out of their comfort zone, and perhaps a little more Junior Senior-y

Still, it was the best Phish show I ever went to, but not for the music.  I me enjoyed myself cause I was with these three fellas who love Phish so much, but not as much as I love them

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXeHpfNjvss/?taken-by=thighmaster

 

Set One – Dogs Stole Things / Rift / Ha Ha Ha / Camel Walk / Crazy Sometimes / Saw It Again / Sanity / Bouncing Around the Room / Most Events Aren’t Planned / Bug / I Been Around / Izabella (Jimi Hendrix cover)

Set Two – Simple / Come Together / Starman (David Bowie cover) / You Enjoy Myself / Loving Cup (The Rolling Stones cover)

Encore – On the Road Again (Willie Nelson cover) / Tweezer Reprise

a fine line for the dirty baker's dozen's final night

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Until The Nut Comes Out

Phish
The Baker’s Dozen – Night 1
Madison Square Garden
July 21st

David Bowie is no longer with us, and yet I was super lucky to even see him 1.2 times in concert.  Junior Senior are no longer together, but caught them twice and super loved it.  I missed out on those Page/Plant shows of the 90s, but I did get to hear Robert Plant some Led Zep tunes in my ear once!  The incredible Harry Nilsson barely toured when he was living, but I only grew into his genius 17 years after his passing

As for Phish, I’ve now seen them 3 times – which means I’ve seen them more than I got to see David Bowie and Robert Plant play live combined!!!  In my mind that is plain wrong, but life doesn’t work on plain wrongs – it works on plain truths.  I’ve said before that I care not for Phish and their original music, BUT they are certainly a ball of fun to see live, and are perhaps the greatest cover band of all time!  And in fact, they covered ALL the artists I mentioned above and I loved all them covers!

Donuts are handed out every night of Phish’s ‘Baker’s Dozen’ residency at MSG, and the night’s chosen flavor sets the tone for the show.  Night one’s flavor was coconut, and while Nilsson’s ‘Coconut’ was an obvious cover choice, much to the crowd’s surprise, and to mine – they opened with a cover of Junior Senior’s ‘Shake Your Coconuts’.  The Phish phollowing probably knew zero about Jr Sr, which is fitting cause I know next to nothing about Phish, and am well versed in the Denmark’s duo oeuvre, but after 3 minutes of tearing through the rip-roaring track, band, audience and me were all on the same page from the get-go

Just keep on dancing now
Just keep on getting down
Just keep on having fun
The party’s just began

it was all such awesome plain truth!

so much so, that I won’t even bother to make up a faux setlist like I did for the previous two shows I done saw!  if only Phish did a whole Junior Senior show.  that would be something… and maybe even count as my 3rd Junior Senior show, and not a 4th Phish show  

here’s another plain truth – I will probably see Phish a 4th time.  COVER ME GOODD!!

Set One – Shake Your Coconuts (Junior Senior cover) / Martian Monster / Timber (Josh White cover) / 555 / Pigtail (Trey Anastasio song) / Halfway to the Moon / Reba / Moonage Daydream (David Bowie cover) / Walls of the Cave

Set Two – Tweezer / Seven Below /  Billy Breathes /  Sparkle / Everything’s Right (Trey Anastasio Band cover) /  Slave to the Traffic Light / Suzy Greenberg /  Coconut (Harry Nilsson cover)

Encore – The Mango Song / Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)

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Gorillaz In Da Midst

Gorillaz
Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 17th

How lucky are we to be alive (and well) in a day and age where we get to over-experience the genius of Damon Albarn – our most magnificent modern music maestro, master of majestic melodies in multiple multitudes?

I only discovered this man in 1998, after a former thigh mistress imparted her Blur wisdom on me.  I felt so behind (they were already on their 5th album), and dumb for being so behind on Dan Abnormal, but once bitten, 9ever smitten

Since then, it’s been nothing but Damon Albarn for me, in any shape or form, and there have certainly been a lot of forms.  Blur is what launched him into the stratosphere (WOO-WHO!!), but in their long 21st century hiatus, his idle hands were hardly anything but.  There was a fantastic teaming with Clash bassist Paul Simonon and Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen – The Good, The Bad, The Queen, another side project with Allen and RHCP’s Flea – Rocket Juice & The Moon, a (not so amazing considering how amazing he is) solo album – Everyday Robots, and other lil things here and there, but the one project that seems to capture his greatness greater than all the rest of the greatness (yes, even more than Blur!) has been Gorillaz

Now four brilliant albums deep, the Gorillaz is not only Albarn’s most tremendous accomplishment to date, but they may in fact be the best music act going IN THE WORLD!!!  I may be biased, but I am not wrong.  The Gorillaz’ albums act as a mix tape carnival of what the world sounds like, well, at least to Damon.  And we’re all ears!! He supplies the basis, and brings on a bunch of guest stars – legends, ones in the making, and people you have zero awarness of – and blends it into the best cocktail that you want to rub your cock to

On the Gorillaz’ latest go around – Humanz – it’s not more of the same – but even more insane!!!!  And when it came alive at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland (where I haven’t seen a show since 1997, when I caught the Wu-Tang Clan open for Rage Against The Machine… and then left after the Clan finished their set!), it was even more marvelous live, in the flesh… and on tape!  

Tape! as in pre-recorded video, for the contributors who couldn’t join the Gorillaz on this tour.  And in the past, that was part of the problem of their ability to tour.  The first album had few guest stars, but when their all-star studded second, Demon Days, dropped, they weren’t really into the pre-tapping stuff, and so they only staged concerts in 2 cities, for 10 shows in total (I saw 2 of them!).  That was it!  Everyone else outside of Manchester England and New York City had to suck it!  And that really sucks.  People deserved to see Demon Days toured… even if, lets say, Ike Turner and Dennis Hopper couldn’t make it to every stop (although they did film one of the shows for all to see)

But such things don’t stop the Gorillaz now.  It’s all systems go, even if some of the guest stars can’t go with them. So while Gorillaz newbies like Vince Staples, Danny Brown, Peven Everett, Jamie Principle and Pusha T (his 1st appearance on the tour) were able to join this Merriweather date, we had to make do with a pre-recorded Mavis Staples and a bunch of others.  We didn’t get De La Soul, live OR recorded, and so we didn’t get soulful De La/Gorillaz tracks, and that’s OK, cause everything we did get was amazing (although I really would have loved to have heard ‘She’s My Collar’ and ‘Charger’, which were played at other stops), and we always get Damon Albarn at every show, and he gives us his all, and all of him is all I truly need (this marks the 11th concert I’ve seen of him in some form or another.  I look forward to the next 11)

Guess if I want it all(barn), I’ll just have to quit all my jobs and follow Damon everywhere he goes.  I bet he even makes sweet music on the toilet.  Too be honest, I’d love to find out.  I’d even do the wiping!

SetlistM1 A1 / Ascension (with Vince Staples) / Last Living Souls / Saturnz Barz / Tomorrow Comes Today / Rhinestone Eyes / Sleeping Powder / 19/2000 / El Mañana / On Melancholy Hill / Busted and Blue / Let Me Out (with Pusha T) / Submission (with Danny Brown) / Strobelite (with Peven Everett) / Andromeda / Sex Murder Party (with Jamie Principle) / DARE / We Got the Power

EncoreStylo (with Peven Everett) / Kids With Guns / Clint Eastwood (with Vince Staples) / Don’t Get Lost in Heaven / Demon Days

@damonalbarn always throws the best sex murder parties!! honored @gorillaz let @dcdunsun and I attend one

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Even Better Than The Original Thing

U2
Giants Stadium II
June 28th

Lets get one thing clear – The Joshua Tree is a fantastic album… but it’s not even close to being my favorite U2 album (hello Achtung Baby).  So when the JT tour was announced, I was going regardless, and knew I had some brushing up to do.  Probably re-listened to the album 50+ times since I secured tickets, and while I certainly liked what I heard and rediscovered, I wasn’t exactly jumping up and down in anticipation of the show.  Which is strange, cause I usually am for a U2 show – as this would be my 9th time seeing them (previously on U2TWS – 2015 / 2011 / 2009 / 2009 again)

I was 10 when the album was released, and not of concert going age.  The album is now 30 years old, and the concert experience put on to celebrate it is probably a better show than the original one was.  Obviously I cannot say that for certain, but just by looking at one of the shows from the ’87 tour, it looks like a primitive caveman staged it!!!!  U2 of today could never go back to those sparse good old days of yesteryear – their INCREDIBLE Zoo TV tour cinched that, ensuring all future tours would be a visual spectacle, each trying to top the previous, but U2 could at least go back and revisit the music, and refresh our memories of their past greatness, while dazzling our eyes with their current greatness

Surrounding the full run-through of the album, in order, U2 played a collection of greatest hits – all lovely choices, but I felt the non-JT songs (especially the modern ones in the encore) should have also had a more throwback feel.  How about a few more songs from the proceeding The Unforgettable Fire?  Or why no love for the follow-up/continuation of where Joshua left off – Rattle & Hum?  I think I could have forgone hearing ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Beautiful Day’ for an 8th time to hear me some ‘Van Diemen’s Land’!!  Well, at least the JT tour gave me one of the things I’ve always wanted to hear live – ‘In God’s Country’.  Next wish – Zoo TV 2 tour, 2021.  Make it happen lads!

While the theatrics have certainly changed, Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry are still the same 4 blokes we’ve always loved and admired, and perhaps we love them and admire them even more than we ever have.  Sure, they aren’t the Beatles, but the Beatles couldn’t stay together beyond a decade.  OK, so the Rolling Stones have never stopped rocking/touring, but they’ve also never stopped making albums more forgettable than the 2nd Vanilla Ice album.  U2 have carried and inflamed the torch of those rock gawd forefathers, and perhaps have even given us more than they ever have, and hopefully continue to do so.  New, old, newish-old – U2, you keep showing us what we’re looking for, even if we don’t know what it is we’re looking for!

possibly my favorite Bono part of any @U2 song ever

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SetlistSunday Bloody Sunday /  New Year’s Day / Bad / Pride (In the Name of Love)

The Joshua Tree – Where the Streets Have No Name / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For / With or Without You / Bullet the Blue Sky / Running to Stand Still / Red Hill Mining Town / In God’s Country / Trip Through Your Wires / One Tree Hill / Exit / Mothers of the Disappeared

EncoreMiss Sarajevo / Beautiful Day / Elevation / Vertigo / Ultraviolet (Light My Way) / One / The Little Things That Give You Away

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You Are Watching Big Brother

1984
Hudson Theatre
101 Minites
now through October 8th

1984 – the book is usually required reading for all high school students.  I personally consider it an essential read for all human beings.  In fact, although I have only read it once, it remains the best book I have ever read (that isn’t Chicken Soup With Rice).  The new 1984 play on Broadway isn’t required or even essential viewing, but it never hurts to take a fresh look at the material, regardless of how painful it is to do so.  The play is both fresh, and painful.  I’m sure you’re asking – where do I sign up??

To me, plays are usually a too stage-y and static for my enjoyment.  I prefer musicals cause the songs keep the pace going, in between the slower talking expositiony bits.  Well, there is no music in 1984, but there’s nary a lull or dull moment.  If you somehow find yourself napping during the show, the constant yelling, sirens and blackouts will jolt you back into the surreality being performed on stage

1984 isn’t a happy place or time, but you know this cause you’ve already read the book (or seen the underloved film).  If you haven’t, I don’t think you can sit through the play and appreciate Orwell’s text.  You may get the message, but you won’t get the details.  Also, you will be served a Winston Smith that wasn’t really to my liking.  Don’t get me wrong, Tom Sturridge gives it his ALL in this adaptation, and I actually feel for him that he has to endure the fake pain he encounters night in and night out on the Hudson Theatre stage, but there was something totally off about his interruption and diction of the character.  He sounded like a bro that was rad + cool, and not a radical brother.  Maybe I just picture Winston to be more like the stoic, and recently departed John Hurt, which hurt Sturridge’s chances of being my new Winston Smith

But Sturridge isn’t alone.  I didn’t really care for Olivia Wilde’s Julia (she didn’t get naked), or Carl Hendrick Louis as whomever he was, or Robert Duvall’s cousin (who doesn’t seem very Duvallian) loud loudness.  I did care for Reed Birney and Cara Seymour‘s work, and all else that went into the production.  The staging in the early parts was pretty fixed, but as things got more fcuked up in the story, so did everything else with it.  As Winston got stripped down, so did the production.  As the tension mounted onstage, it did the same for its audience.  And you know your play is working its intended magic when the lead has his teeth pulled, spits waterfalls of blood from his mouth, and your wife turns to you and says ‘this is the worst play I’ve ever seen!‘  She didn’t say anything like that after the show was over, but I’m sure she was thinking that she was happy to live in a society that wasn’t 1984 (no matter how many of you Trump revilers think we are)

that’s some goodthink right there, so to newspeak

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