Wakarusa 2011 pre|Saturday

11:01 pm by

Live Art

Saturday is yet another strong day at Wakarusa 2011. The best thing about Waka is the amount of variety. You get to decide between reggae, electronica, bluegrass, rock, funk – almost any genre you want is here. Put that on top of a beautiful mountain with beautiful people – it’s pretty fantastic. Read on for a detailed Saturday line-up.

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Portugal. The Man @ Fitzgerald’s

2:30 pm by

Portugal. The Man @ Fitzgerald's

On a Saturday night, there are always plenty of options to choose from musically in our city of Houston. Hell, there were two solid shows at Fitzgerald’s that night alone. While I had the chance to check out the other one briefly (Wanda Jackson, who was awesome!), my choice performance of the evening was Portugal. The Man in the upstairs room at Fitz. This was my third showing from the Oregonians in a little over a year, including last year’s Warehouse Live performance and at Austin City Limits in the fall, so I was no stranger to what they were going to bring to the table live – a solid performance to a packed and sweaty room. The younger audience was much more apparent at this show, rather than the other two, mostly due to a growing radio presence, and the use of their songs in hit teen television programming. Usually it doesn’t bother me when the younger music aficionado’s of Houston join the ranks of us seasoned concert goer’s, but for this particular occasion it was a bit too much. Bringing their high-pitched vocals with them, the quieter songs of the evening, particularly during opener Telekinesis’ set, were all but ruined by the rumblings of the tweens. Thankfully, Portugal. The Man decided to play louder than usual that night, because they destroyed any chance of the kiddo’s conversing throughout the majority of their set. That, and eventually half of them got kicked out for drinking underage just in time for us to enjoy songs like “People Say,” “AKA M80 The Wolf” and a flawless cover of Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind.” All was perfect in the world when they closed their heavier than usual set with the rocker “Chicago,” one of my personal favorites of their growing cannon of songs. It was a great show overall, but would’ve been better if Fitz was 21 and over. Can’t win ’em all!

Check out the rest of my smoke and laser-filled shots and peep the full setlist after the jump.

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Wakarusa 2011 pre|Friday

10:25 am by

wakarusa 2010

Damn. Friday at Wakarusa 2011 is going to be a long day. Breaks may not happen – there’s just so much good music every hour. This is a day to go into with a bit of a plan, or you may regret missing some real good shows. Start early, go hard. Read on for a detailed schedule.

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The Avett Brothers @ Verizon Wireless Theater

2:34 pm by

The Avett Brothers @ Verizon Wireless Theater

This past Friday, The Avett Brothers, one of BOT’s favorites, made their way to Houston for a make-up show from last months cancellation due to a birth in the family. Well, they more than made up for it with a setlist that featured a wide array of their material from their entire catalog. While we didn’t get a chance to hear some staple songs like “Shame,” “The Perfect Space,” “Die Die Die” and “Weight Of Lies,” the show focused more on material that they rarely play along with some of their bigger songs from both Emotionalism and I and Love and You including “Laundry Room,” “Paranoia in B-Flat Major,” “Kick Drum Heart” and “Head Full Of Doubt/Road Full Of Promise.” While these songs were all highlights, it was their older and rarer songs and covers like “Colorshow,” “Blue Ridge Mountain Blues” and show-closing “Down In The Valley To Pray” that were the true set standouts. The most memorable moment of the show was a cover of David Childress’ “Prettiest Thing” that was placed in between a sandwich of “When I Drink” and my favorite Avett song “Murder In The City.” Three acoustics in a row… not bad! I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing the Avett Brothers on numerous occasions, but this show was unlike any other. They’re not touring in support of any album, which gives them the opportunity to push the boundaries of song selection and placement, so this is a great time to catch them as you don’t know what you’ll get from the boys. I’m sure they’re working on a new album, which was proven by a few choice new tunes played that evening, so as soon as that drops expect shows to get a bit more standard. Until then, though, I’d highly recommend catching them live if you have the chance.

Check out my photographs of the show and the full setlist after the jump

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Portugal. The Man @ Granada

7:43 pm by

Photo by: Bill Ellison of Granada Theater

You’re looking into the beautiful yet unforgiving landscape of the Alaskan wilderness:  daunting mountains, frozen rivers, miles of undisturbed alabaster snow.  The protagonist (lead singer and guitarist, John Gourley) is preparing for a journey with nothing but a rifle, a sled and his dogs.  He sets off, and stops for nothing but to eat and make camp for the night.  He wakes up to find one of his dogs has been killed, and the rest are missing.  Wielding his gun he goes out in search of them.  After what seems like hours of looking he hears barking in the distance.  With his spirits heightened he uses all of his exhausted energy to run toward the sound.  Frantically fighting through thick snow and fatigue he has a hard time staying on his feet, but the barking is getting louder.  Just as he is about to reach them he trips and shoots himself in the face.   The dogs discover his body and eat his brain. Read the review of the show after the jump.

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