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Posts Tagged ‘concerts’

One of the good things about 2018 was the amount of concerts attended. I had the good fortune to get free tickets. Not sure how long this luck will go on, but every minute was thoroughly enjoyed. A friend took me to see Melvins, Mac Sabbath, Slayer, and Royal Thunder (with local Philadelphia band Heavy Temple opening). Won tickets to see Judas Priest and Deep Purple over at Jones Beach, then that burlesque tribute to Led Zeppelin a few weeks later. In between I saw Anvil, Clan of Xymox, Robert Plant, CAKE, and a few others.

While I was this close to catching Ministry live, instead I was given tickets to two concerts happening over at the St. George Theater. Not many people outside of Staten Island know about this outer borough venue.

First of all, when one lives in NYC, Staten Island is kinda-sorta considered the “forgotten borough.” Everyone talks about Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, and even Queens. Queens being the borough I live in. Staten Island however, hardly shows up on the radar.

Don’t count out Staten Island however. Within this overlooked borough contains some hidden gems. For starters, you can board the Staten Island ferry for free. Once boardedm one can purchase some cheap beer for the duration of the ride. Cash only, please. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty.

Once the ferry hits St. George Terminal, the fun doesn’t end there. Only a few blocks away is the landmark venue which went into renovated starting in 2004. If you’re a fan of old architecture, particularly from the vaudeville circuit, then you will appreciate this establishment. The theater itself was designed in Spanish and Italian Baroque revival style interior. It’s original intention was to be a movie palace, popular during from 1900s to 1940s. The Art Deco and Egyptian revival styles was particularly majestic. Like the Drive-Ins, these movie palaces started to decline after the end of World War II, and the arrival of television. During the 1970s, a few of these movie palaces began to show porn to avoid closure.

 Luckily the St. George theater was spared from the wrecking ball. It’s currently under non profit status as it was reborn as a concert venue. It also has schedule of classic films to be shown on the big screen.

Having been curious about the St. George theater since Todd Rundgren played there, I finally had a chance to check it out on October 20th, 2018. It was to see a concert by ’80s Alternative legends The Psychedelic Furs. I already saw them during their height of their popularity sometime during the mid-80s. Figured seeing them again decades later in 2018 was a perfect excuse to visit the venue.

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Going to see the Psychedelic Furs reminded me of why I fell in love with music in the first place. In 2018 was the opportunity to catch many Metal concerts. 2018 was a Metal kind of year. However. My first love will always been anything Post-Punk, New Wave, ’80s Goth, classic Punk or ’80s Alternative. Seeing the Furs live was the reminder I needed. Accompanying me was my friend Kitty Hawke, a member of the NYC Goth band Night Gallery. She had also seen the Furs live back in the ’80s.

 

 

We had time to kill, so we checked out the local (female owned) comic book store Hypno-Tronic. Soon it was time to catch the gig. We were not disappointed. Our seats were floor orchestra – yes! Basically the Furs did all their greatest hits. Songs like “Pretty In Pink”, “Ghost In You”, “Heaven”, and “President’s Gas.” The encore was an awesome rendition of the song “India” from their first album.

Afterward the concert we walked around the venue checking out the interior. There were a few Halloween decorations up for display.

 

 

Exactly two months after the Psychedelic Furs was a chance to see another concert at St. George. It was Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes, with David Johansen opening. Okay, straight up. I only went for two reasons. One, to see David Johansen live. Second, to see the St. George theater during the holiday season. Not that I have anything against Southside Johnny. I was just never into that Bruce Springsteen/South Jersey sound. Not my thing.

Arrived at the St. George theater just in time as David Johansen began his set. For those who don’t know, David Johansen was the singer of the proto-Punk/Glam band The New York Dolls. Later on, he reinvented himself as Buster Pointdexter with the pop hit “Hot Hot Hot.” Back in 2006 to 2011, the NY Dolls reunited thanks to Morrissey. Never had a chance to see any of the Dolls’ reunion gigs. Had to settle for the documentary about Arthur Kane as seen on Amazon Prime. So the St. George show was the next best thing.

 

 

For the record, he only did one NY Dolls song. Lonely Planet Boy. Which was okay, it was to be expected. David did a great cover of that Erma Franklin song “Piece of My Heart” but we all know Janis Joplin’s version. Other tunes from the set list included Frenchette and Mannish Boy, a Muddy Waters cover.

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The majority of the audience was there to see Southside Johnny and The Asbury Dukes. I wasn’t feeling this crowd at all. It was the most suburban environment I’d been in a long time. Bad news. There was a guy sitting a few seats away from me sporting a vintage plaid suit, but after David Johansen was done, he hightailed it. As for myself, I wore a black sweater, a loose light colored blush velvet top, black pants and Doc Martin boots. Looking respectable. Meanwhile, I had grandma sitting behind me, giving me silent stink-eye thanks to my blue hair. She glared at me, looking at me as if to say “what are YOU doing here!?!” You think after years of post-feminism, ladies would stop at being unnecessarily catty. I’m ignoring her, minding my own business. Then Negative Nancy tapped my shoulder in very nasty manner. She demanded that my cell be turned away from her. Geez. What did I do to her? Even though I wasn’t even using the smartphone. You know, like what everyone else normally does at shows nowadays, which is tape the entire concert instead of actually watching. She was using any excuse to be a hater. Then she gossiped loudly with her friend. Welcome to the Trump era.

The way the last three months of 2018 was going, this was no surprise.

The lady’s behavior did throw me off a bit with her attitude. All year, and this was the only truly bad experience with my 2018 concerts.

It’s okay. In-between bands, I pretended to to rest my head on my cellphone case, as I silently but slowly turned my cell around so the cover could face her. It was a Rip n Dip design. The one with the cat giving you the middle finger. You’re welcome.

I had a much better time at the Psychedelic Furs gig. Knew I should’ve worn my Junji Ito shirt. Because everyone should have at least one offensive shirt in their wardrobe. For occasions like I just described. For the record, I own a few.

Despite grandma having her Geritol moment, the set by Southside Johnny was decent. They’re fine musicians. Just not my cup of tea. The audience loved them though. Their encore was their biggest hit “Having A Party.”

After the show was over, again I walked around taking photos of the venue. One of the two reasons why I showed up.

 

 

Heading towards back to Manhattan, I met three ladies dressed like holiday fairies. It was perfect for the winter solstice. They were also much, much nicer than Geritol lady. Next time I shall hang out with them.

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Could’ve done the annual Labor Day sketch. However on Thursday I received an email. Last month or so I had entered some contest online. Forgot about it. Then out of the blue I received an email informing me that I had won tickets to see Judas Priest and Deep Purple in concert.

Needless to say, I was floored. Such fantastic news! The only issue was traveling to the venue. The show was at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater, which was in Long Island. In the past I’ve always gone to Jones Beach theater by car. Regardless I decided to take my chance taking the Long Island Railroad.

Before heading out to Long Island, I had my hair re-colored over at Second Star salon. My hair was rocked out with a custom blended Pulp Riot ombré in shades of blue, along with lovely beach waves.

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Colored my hair with custom blended Pulp Riot ombré in shades of blue + lovely beach waves. Hair done at Second Star salon in Ridgewood, Queens, NY. Sept. 1, 2018. Photo by Kelly Marie.

Getting to Jones Beach wasn’t too bad. Turns out there was taxis waiting to take concert goers there at ten bucks per passenger. This cab driver squeezed in five of us in one cab. Everyone seemed to be psyched for the show. During the ride, the other passengers broke out into vocalizing the guitar riff from the most well known Deep Purple song “Smoke On The Water.” You know that riff – “Ta-ta-taaaa/ta-ta da-dah! Ta-ta-ta da-dah!!!” It was something out of a television show or film. Two of the passengers were two men from Mexico, having the time of their lives. One was already living in the U.S., the other was his cousin. It was the cousin’s first American rock concert. Their vibes turned the cab ride into a celebration, as they were a bit tipsy. Yet despite me being the only female in the cab, everyone acted like gentlemen. Then out of the blue, one of the Mexican guys proclaimed “You know what? Everyone here is so beautiful, I’d like to thank everyone for being here – I’m paying for everybody’s cab ride!” Well hey!

I expected my tickets not to have great seating. When I picked the tickets up from the VIP booth, there was another pleasant surprise awaiting. I go to the gate, asking the usher where my seat was. Turns out my seat was in orchestra! In other words, they were floor seats to the left of the stage, near the water. These were not just any ‘cheap seats.’ Their was usher, a slim Asian teen. I had witnessed her the month before during the Slayer show at the same venue. She had been arguing with three loser dirtbags who were in the wrong section. This young (guessing Chinese) lady really held her own pretty well. This time, she not only led me to my seat with a smile, she graciously wiped down my seat. I nearly forgot to thank her due to shock over how good my seats were.

Missed most of the opening act, which was The Temperance Movement.  Managed to catch the last three songs on their set. The concert itself was a double bill with Judas Priest and Deep Purple. To be honest, I was there more for Judas Priest. Perhaps it was a good thing Judas was up first. Had Deep Purple gone on stage first, Judas Priest would’ve wiped the stage with them. Not to say Deep Purple wasn’t good, but I’ll get to them later.

 

The Judas Priest set itself was mostly classics with tunes from their latest release Firepower. Again, the new album isn’t bad either. It was pretty awesome seeing Rob Halford come on stage on a motorcycle. So yes. Judas Priest ruled.

Towards the end of the set, original Judas Priest guitarist Glenn Tipton joined them onstage. Tipon had bow out of touring earlier this year due to Parkinson’s disease.

The crowd’s age median was a mixture, but mostly older due to Deep Purple. Believe it or not, this was my second time seeing Deep Purple in concert. Saw them live back in 2000, also at Jones Beach. If you’re asking how or why, an ex-boyfriend dragged me to the concert. Again, to my pleasant surprise, I enjoyed Deep Purple more the second time. I suppose this was due to the company I kept then compared to now. Ritchie Blackmore had been long gone from the current Deep Purple line-up, but it made no difference. The band seemed more relaxed without him. If you’re curious, their set list is listed here. Oh, and yes. They did “Smoke On The Water.”

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Deep Purple live at Jones Beach, Long Island. Sept. 1st, 2018. Double bill with Judas Priest.

Which leads us to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. So instead of doing the obligatory Labor Day sketch, did one with a Judas Priest theme instead. Without further ado, here’s classic Rob Halford in vintage Judas Priest form.

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The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. Sept. 2018.

In late October, I will finally do a comic con in Upstate NY. It was about time. So come by, free admission for IncrediCon, Oct. 28th.

You didn’t think I forgot all about my social media shout-outs:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch and finally get to post some commission work.

All photos taken by Michele Witchipoo, unless noted.

 

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When I caught the Culture Club and B-52s concert at Forest Hills Stadium, there was another concert around the corner. That same weekend I went from ’80s Pop/New Wave to Thrash Metal. The next day was Slayer, performing at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY.

I know. Go figure.

The line-up for Jones Beach was Napalm Death, Testament, Anthrax, Lamb of God and of course, Slayer. It’s a rare thing when a band goes out while still on top, and that’s exactly what Slayer did. Although there’s a part of me that expects a ‘reunion’ tour in roughly five years.

All the bands were great. Lamb of God, the band right under Slayer on the bill, had their own followers. When the intro music came on, this Lamb of God fan stood up at attention, dead serious. He was ready for battle or something.

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Would’ve brought the Slayer bootie shorts if I was thinner. Merch at the Slayer Farewell Tour. July 2018, Jones Beach theater, Long Island, NY. July 2018. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo.

Then there was the Slayer greeting. It’s just one word: “SLAYER!” Observing the crowd, it’s usually said with male aggression. If one wished to expand the tribal greeting some more, you can go “FUCKIN’ SLAYER!!!” I witnessed men looking at each other, shouting the greeting “SLAYER” to each other. One guy in back of where I was sitting was shouting “SLAYER!!!” until he was beet red. Dude, calm down.

Slayer is also one of the few concerts you can attend wearing the shirt of the band performing. Most people look down upon this. I don’t, but others think it’s some kind of fashion faux pas. With Slayer, not only is this acceptable – it kinda makes you look slightly bad-ass.

This leads to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny does Slayer! However, Psycho Bunny isn’t normally a Metal head. His best and perhaps one of his only friends, is a die-hard. Loves Metal. Thrash, Groove Metal, classic Metal, you name it. He even likes classic Hardcore and Punk. But when Psycho Bunny suddenly gets into Slayer, Buddy Bear becomes suspicious.

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Psycho Bunny does Slayer. Buddy Bear thinks Psycho Bunny is a poseur. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for August 21, 2018. Based on the comic book written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo.

Social media time:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Better yet, order my shit. Otherwise there’s going to be some Payback.

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