The Stagediver: Ryan Adams Acoustic Show @ The Lincoln Theater, Washington, DC


By Spencer. I wanted to write a review of Ryan Adams’s sold-out acoustic show at DC’s Lincoln Theater. It was probably a fantastic show, and you’d think I’d be more sure of that considering I was there and all. But instead of writing about Ryan Adams, I really have no other option but to write about “that guy.” You know the one I’m talking about, because you’ve probably seen him at many a concert yourself. He’s the guy who decides he’s going to dance wildly with his arms flailing around for the entire show, bumping and jostling anyone in a ten-foot radius. He’s the guy who wandered in from the year 1994 to start a mosh pit, when everyone else just wants to listen. He’s the guy who can’t stop checking his cell phone in a darkened room, or the guy who goes for ten beer runs, or the guy who thinks everyone came to hear his voice instead of, you know, the person whose name is on the ticket. And if you were sitting anywhere near Row S, Seat 17, in the upper left balcony last night, you know exactly which guy I’m talking about. Continue reading

The Stagediver: Smashing Pumpkins In Plainsong @ The Lincoln Theater, Washington, DC


By Spencer. When Billy Corgan announced that the Smashing Pumpkins would be doing a special acoustic tour of small, intimate theater venues called In Plainsong, I was intrigued. When he announced Jimmy Chamberlain would be returning on drums, I was sold. The Pumpkins were my favorite band growing up. They were my very first rock concert (way back in 1994). This would be my fourth time seeing them live, but my first since their initial breakup in 2001. It was a chance to reconnect with all the teenage angst that Billy Corgan so perfectly voiced during the 90s. But just like I have grown in the years since, so have the Pumpkins—and the “acoustic-electro” concept behind this show would be a chance to see them in a newer, more mature light. Continue reading

The Stagediver: Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary Blowout @ RFK Stadium, Washington, DC


By Spencer. “Did you think there was any fucking way I was gonna cancel this show?!” Dave Grohl screamed from his throne at center stage—a contraption made up of lights and guitar necks that was seemingly dreamed up by some unholy mind meld of George R.R. Martin, George Clinton, and George Jetson. Grohl broke his leg two weeks ago when he fell off the stage during a show in Sweden, and everyone had feared that yesterday’s festival, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the band’s 1995 self-titled debut album, might not go on. But just as they’ve been doing for two decades and counting now, the skeptics underestimated Dave Grohl. Continue reading

The Stagediver: The Ryan Adams Album Release Party @ The 9:30 Club, Washington, DC

photo(3)By Spencer. The tickets sold out in ten seconds. I’ll say that again. Ten fucking seconds. Those kind of expectations are damn near impossible to meet. And Ryan Adams didn’t bother trying. For the official release party and the kickoff to his fall tour, he came to the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC—long considered one of the nation’s top venues—and acted like he was playing a frat party in his best friend’s driveway. The music was loose and the banter with the crowd was even looser, spanning topics from The Amityville Horror 2 to mushrooms to an imaginary cover band called the Dingo Infestation. (Trust me, some of this actually made sense in context). Continue reading

The Stagediver: The 2014 Buckle Up Music Festival, Cincinnati, OH


By Jeremy. “That’s what I think country music sounds like, Jason Aldean, and you can tell him that I said that!”

This was the proclamation of Ketch Secor, co-founder of the Old Crow Medicine Show, near the end of their one-hour set at the first annual Buckle Up Music Festival. On this evening it was a tale of two cities, or rather a tale of two countries – music that is. At its home on Pete Rose Way, The Great American Ballpark was hosting contemporary country music stars Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and the Florida Georgia Line. And a few blocks away from that, hugging the banks of the Ohio River, Sawyer Point Park served as the backdrop for a three-day festival celebrating a different kind of country music. While only a short walk separated these venues, an apparent schism existed between the mass popularity of country-pop and the diverse representation of the Buckle Up Music Festival. Continue reading