The Who Reign O’er Atlantic City With Quadrophenia

Who front man Roger Daltrey famously swings his microphone chord. (Photo by Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City)

The Who front man Roger Daltrey famously swings his microphone chord. (Photo by Ben Fogletto/Press of Atlantic City)

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of their 1973 rock opera “Quadrophenia,” The Who brought their album around the world with them.

On February 22, they stopped in Atlantic City to play the historic Boardwalk Hall, a very appropriate venue for the beach scenery of the second half of the album.

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, the two surviving members of one of Britain’s greatest rock acts of all time, took old Who fans on a trip down memory lane while bring one of their greatest albums to life for a newer generation of Who fans.

The show started off with the classic crashing of the waves and little teases from the rest of the album. It then spun into a bit of a Who highlight reel with “My Generation” and a couple other 60’s Who songs playing in the background before Daltrey screamed, “Can you see the real me, can you? Can you?!”

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Metallica’s Orion Festival Sets AC on Fire

Metallica plays at Atlantic City’s Bader Field on June 24, 2012. (Photo by John Russo)

Back-to-back festivals in Atlantic City’s Bader Field has been all the buzz in South Jersey.

After Phish rocked the shore spot for a three-night weekend on June 15-17, Metallica brought their pyro and fireworks to the abandoned air field Saturday June 23 and 24.

The plan was to hold a festival, similar to the size that Dave Matthews Band brought in last summer, and feature 35 other acts that included the Arctic Monkeys, Modest Mouse and New Jersey’s own Gaslight Anthem. Metallica headlined both nights, featuring a whole album each night.

On Saturday, they played their 1984 album “Ride the Lightning” and on Sunday they played their 1993 self-titled album to celebrate it’s 20th anniversary. After opening each show with a few hits, they played their respective albums in full from finish to start, and then concluded the show with a few more hits and playing about two hours each night.

Both shows included hit songs “Hit the Lights,” “Master of Puppets,” and “One” as well as seeing “Battery” and “Four Horseman” played on Saturday and “Blackened,” “Fuel” and “Shortest Straw” on Sunday.

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Phun-Philled Weekend With Phish In AC

The sun sets behind the stage while Phish plays on Friday. (Photo by John Russo)

Band: Phish
Date: June 15-17, 2012
Venue: Bader Field in Atlantic City, NJ
Setlists: Night 1/Night 2/Night 3
Rating (5-star rating): 5

Atlantic City knew what was in store for them this past weekend when Phish made it’s triumphant return.

After Halloween 2010 with Phish took the city by storm and the Dave Matthews Band Caravan festival last summer to re-Christen the abandoned airport called Bader Field, the city had itself prepared to combine both elements from their previous two experiences and created a memorable weekend for locals and tourists.

Local businesses boomed once again as a touring act with the following such as Phish’s came into town. But also, the Phish fans were treated to three absolutely spectacular shows.

Friday’s show featured a very hot opening set for Phish. They nailed a pair of three-song runs of My Sweet One > 46 Days > Camel Walk and Tube > Cities > It’s Ice early in the set. A fantastic Stash also helped highlight the first half.

They closed the first set with a gorgeous Squirming Coil. As pianist Page McConnell closed out the song with a piano solo, the other three members stepped off the stage to let him finish out the set by himself.

The second set didn’t disappoint. During a huge six-song stretch, the highlight was Twist > Piper > Billy Breathes.

They closed the second set with the song of the night, David Bowie. Bowie featured Stash, It’s Ice, Birds of a Feather, Simple, and Ginseng Sullivan teases that was well-received by the crowd.

A wild First Tube was played in the encore and that capped off a great night one and set the band up for higher expectations the next two nights.

Beach balls fly while Phish plays “Brother” on Sunday. (Photo by John Russo)

The second show was even better. The show opened up with a bit of a sloppy Mike’s Song but the band tightened back up to deliver excellent versions of Weekapaug Groove, Gumbo, Hailey’s Comet, Lawn Boy and a boisterous and awesome jam in Ocelot.

But the number one highlight of the first set, and possibly for the whole show hadn’t the second set been ridiculous was Wolfman’s Brother. The band took that song to a whole new level, setting up the rest of the first set’s energy.

The band came out for the second set firing away. Crosseyed and Painless was incredible as well as being teased throughout the second set during Light, Sand and the Manteca jam during Light.

Run Like An Antelope finished the second set with an incredible jam and the ever popular Good Times, Bad Times cover of Led Zeppelin’s was played in the encore slot to end a wild second night.

With expectations running high for the Sunday show, Phish delivered the best show of the early summer tour.

Because it was Father’s Day, for the fourth time in a row the band opened the show with Brother while having all of their kids sitting up on the stage in a bathtub. From that moment on, the band was going to have fun the entire night with the third show.

All of Phish’s children sitting in a metal bathtub while the band plays on Sunday. (Photo by John Russo)

The highlights from the first set included a very funky cover of Stevie Wonder’s Boogie On Reggae Woman, Fluffhead, Dogs Stole Things as well as an energetic run of Foam > Wilson > Timber.

The second set, though a bit strange with a lack of “flow” (opinion of a handful of fans), was still an incredible way to finish off the weekend. They opened it up with a cover of The Who’s Drowned, which they led into the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey and one of the best versions of Reba anyone will ever hear.

Chalkdust Torture was incredible and Silent In the Morning was gorgeous and fun. But the way they closed the second set was pure genius starting with a version of Bug that was out of this world. McConnell then led the band into a fantastic cover of the Beatles’ A Day In the Life before they brought the house down with Down With Disease.

They played a two-song encore for the fans, surprising everyone with Gotta Jibboo before ending on a great rendition of Quinn the Eskimo with featured some intense fire from guitarist Trey Anastasio.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend in AC for Phish, its fans and myself. Got to meet some people from AntsMarching.org, the DMB forum I’ve been a member of since 2007 as well as some amazingly nice people on Friday and Sunday.

Album no. 13: “Junta” – Phish

Album: “Junta”
Band: Phish
Year: 1988
Single: n/a
Best Song: “You Enjoy Myself”

Tracklist
1. Fee
2. You Enjoy Myself
3. Esther
4. Golgi Apparatus
5. Foam
6. Dinner And A Movie
7. The Divided Sky
8. David Bowie
9. Fluffhead
10. Fluff’s Travels
11. Contact
12. Union Federal [Live]
13. Sanity [Live]
14. Icculus [Live]

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Concert Review: Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews

Band: Dave Matthews Band
Date: June 24-26, 2011
Venue: Bader Field in Atlantic City, NJ
Rating (5-star rating): 5

It had been a seven-month wait for me to see my favorite band. This time, I didn’t have to travel to Philly, Camden or Hershey to dance my ass off but instead ride my bike over to Bader Field and take in the show.

The three-night stand marked my 14th, 15th and 16th DMB shows with the 16th being potentially the greatest DMB show I’ve ever attended. Busting out covers, gems and songs we thought were dead, DMB rocked AC harder than expected.

Friday [setlist]: They kicked off the weekend with a good show on Friday. They played a pretty mainstream set with a few surprises tucked in. Opening four songs sounded like any typical festival with “Don’t Drink the Water,” “You Might Die Trying” and the “Proudest Monkey/Satellite” combo.

But it was the fifth song that shocked many hardcore fans: “Captain.” This song hasn’t been played since 2005 and is one of the best songs lyrically off the 2002 album “Busted Stuff.”

The band continued on with more typical festival-songs and even featured guest guitarist David Ryan Harris to come out on stage for “Jimi Thing.” They finally broke up the run with a song many people thought was new. Instead, it was a cover of Morphine’s 1994 song “Buena,” which featured a bari sax solo by Jeff Coffin.

After giving every woman in the audience an orgasm with “Crash Into Me,” Matthews brought out his tiny Gryphon guitar and played the opening chords to “Shotgun.” Much of the crowd stood frozen, either trying to figure the song out or too shocked to do anything (I was screaming like a girl). Once the band joined in on Shaotguns more familiar riff, the place blew up.

The encore was one of the coolest ones I’ve heard. A four-song set, Dave again came out with the Gryphon and played a beautiful rendition of Procol Harum’s “A White Shade of Pale.” The band then joined in on “Stay or Leave” and “Grey Street.” With one more song left in the tank, Tim Reynolds went Led Zeppelin on us and played the opening riff to “Good Times Bad Times.” The rest was history as they tore apart Zeppelin’s hit, musically and vocally.

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