Features > Live Moments of 2004
• January 29
O.A.R. & Matt Nathanson

   This one was the first great show of 2004. The night started off innocent enough with an interview scheduled with Matt Nathanson before the show was to begin. I meet up with the tour manager who leads me through the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, and walks me to Matt's dressing room, only to find O.A.R. frontman Marc Roberge sitting in there. We small talk for a bit before he wants to begin the interview, but they are unable to pull the rouse on us, as we quickly figure out that Marc is pretending to be Matt...after more stalling on our part Marc catches on that we know and says that he will go and get Matt, who was posing as him for an interview in the O.A.R. dressing room. Bad thing is that the other interviewer had no idea and Matt was able to successfully give the interview as a member of O.A.R. which was full of sound bytes. Matt finally comes in and we all have a laugh at this poor person's expense, rumored to be from Penn University (if anyone has a copy, I would love to see what Matt said, email us here).
   A great show from front to back and O.A.R. had the sold out crowd just jumping from beginning to end, with Roberge doing the cool thing of stopping the annoyance that is crowd surfing before it has a chance to get going. O.A.R. does an impromptu version of the u2 classic "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and just destroys it and the crowd. The next night, also at the Electric Factory, the guys bring Nathanson up and him and Roberge duel on the vocals...a must if you can find it online.
» O.A.R. Photos » Matt Nathanson Photos

• February 13
O.A.R. & Robert Randolph

   The show where we decided that Boston had to be our new home. Randolph was on first and had the old Orpheum Theatre swaying with his great live show. O.A.R. came on and just destroyed as usual, but the true highlight of the night came during the encore when Randolph was brought back on stage for "Anyways" and the two bands just ripped through a great tune from O.A.R.'s latest studio record, In Between Now & Then.. We were hoping for the cover the two did of the Led Zeppelin classic "Fool in the Rain" but it wasn’t meant to be tonight but be sure to download it from ITunes when you get a chance as it is a must listen.

• March 4
Ingram Hill / Better Than Ezra

   The night started with an Ingram Hill interview where we sat around talking about music more than actually doing an interview which is always nice. The band ripped through their set and was highlighted by their great "Captain" followed by a terrific cover of the Peter Gabriel classic "Salsbury Hill."
   As Better than Ezra hit the stage, we made our way to the merch both to chat with the guys of Ingram Hill some more, which was great as the band let their guard down and were no longer in interview mode, as we talked about music as well as some of the great parts of the country...we need to hit Atlanta soon judging by their description of some of the great clubs.
» Ingram Hill Photos

• April 27
Story of the Year

   An all around good night of music with bands that genuinely enjoyed sharing the stage together. Letter Kills just had the sold out TLA jumping before giving way to one of our new favorites, Motion City Soundtrack. Story of the year closed and put forth such a high energy show complete with back flips off of amps and all around mayhem on stage. They finished the encore with a cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" which was highlighted by a concert goer's stage dive off of the walled of bar area. It was straight out of PCU as the sea parted and this poor guy hit nothing but the ground below him which had the band momentarily stop, laugh, and then rip right back through the rest of the song.
» Story of the Year Photos » Letter Kills Photos
• May 10
Tesla

   Our last official show in Philadelphia was a trip back to the future. The sold-out, acid-wash wearin', mullet loving crowd was roaring with approval as the band hit both the best of their old and new. The highlight though was the string of songs that started with Modern Day Cowboy, Little Suzi, Signs, and then the crescendo moment of "Love Song," the ultimate in power ballads. The lighters were flicking and every guy was grabbing his lady and swaying along before the opus of the sing along. It really was such a great and fun moment in such a small club.
» Tesla Photos

• May 28
Jason Mraz

   The first show in Boston sure was a good one. We knew it was Jason Mraz but had never heard of the other artists. This acoustic, intimate show kicked off with Hawaiian Makana's set full of some great acoustic rhythmic strumming and his amazing voice. Raul Midon was lead onto stage as well as Mraz and they all did a song together before Makana and Mraz left for the amazing Raul Midon. His set was nothing but stellar before Mraz came out for a song and Midon left. Mraz's acoustic performance was hands down one of the best sets of the year. The best part of the night was the set closer of "Curbside Prophet” done by everyone from the evening in a vocal jam. An amazing night, one hopefully Mraz continues through the years.

• June 11
Matt Nathanson

   Another great Matt Nathanson show, this time with a full band, something we hadn’t seen before. The night started pre-show with another interview with Matt as he got ready for the show. We chatted about everything and anything, with the interview coming to a close when I mentioned I had a copy of one of the new Van Halen songs that were soon to be released. Matt grabbed my iPod and plugged his headphones in and jammed along with that pained look on his face as he wasn't really digging "It's About Time," a song that ultimately never took off like the VH camp wanted. When the interview ended Matt hopped up and gave myself and my girl a hug and thanked us for all our support and proceeded to put on a great show, complete with heavy metal band intros.

• June 16
Van Halen

   We drove back to Philadelphia for this one and met up with some great fans of the site. The rain did not damper anyone as we made our way in for the opener of Silvertide, a Philly rock band who was just really beginning to take off for the year. Although the show was disjointed at times, it was great to see the first favorite band of the EmpyreLounge.com recapture the stage. The set closer of "When It's Love" was an odd one but when the sing-along at the end hit, there was no doubt as the near sold out CoreStates Center was rocking.

• July 23
The Hives

   Everyone says you have to say The Hives live to really get a feel for them and definitely could not agree more. Lead singer Howlin' Pelle Almqvist had the crowd in palm of his hand for the whole show beginning with their simple walk onto the stage. Without a doubt he is one of the few great true frontmen in the business right now. Opening act Sahara Hotnights put on a great set and got the crowd amped for The Hives. It was just ferocious from beginning to end.
» The Hives Photos

• August 18
Prince

   I will say it now; you have to see Prince live. We saw the second of the three shows at the Fleet Center and it was amazing from beginning to end. Maceo Parker opened and had everyone on their feet early, something that carried throughout the night. There really are no words that can describe the true sites and sounds of Prince live, complete with Maceo singing a great "Georgia on my Mind" by the late great Ray Charles. "Purple Rain" closed the show and was like a religious experience, as even on the way to the T, people were still singing along.

• August 19
Polyphonic Spree

   Following Prince is a very tough task but the Polyphonic Spree did a darn good job of it. It really is a site to see to see all the members of the Spree, in their robes, filling up a small stage and just rocking out. Lead singer, Tim DeLaughter, was like the cult leader with his animated antics and strong stage presence. It was just positive energy all around from beginning to end.

• September 13
Snow Patrol

   One of the surprises of 2004 had to be Snow Patrol. These Irish men took charge and blew up behind "Run," a true power ballad. There sold-out show at the Paradise confirmed that they have the songs and the chops to stick around for a while.

• September 15
Brushfire Tour

   Ah Donovan Frankenreiter, G. Love, and Jack Johnson live and sharing the stage together. Each member did a solo set with a few guest spots throughout and really just killed the Fleet Pavilion, as the weather held up nicely for everyone. There is nothing better than three friends sharing the stage and throwing one hell of a party.
» Donovan Frankenreiter Photos » G Love Photos » Jack Johnson Photos

• September 28
Pearl Jam

   Our first time seeing the Seattle legends, was the band getting ready for the ultimately unsuccessful "Vote for a Change" tour. PJ was really amazing live, and all over the stage, something I did not expect. It was like watching a bunch of 20 year olds in their prime, instead of a band that is well past their 20s.

• October 12
Flickerstick

   An old favorite was a little confused when we went and interviewed them at the Middle East. Having talked with them a few times in Philly over the years, and having a small guest spot on their DVD, it was nice to have the face recognition. It was better to see the band fight through a crowd keeping one eye on them, and the other on the Yankees/Red Sox playoff game. The addition of Brandon Lea on the piano brought such a big addition to the overall sound of the band.
» Flickerstick Photos

• October 17
Living Colour / Public Enemy

   We were not sure what to expect heading in to this show, but the near sellout was rocking for Living Colour and Public Enemy. Living Colour was as good as ever, but P.E. was shocking. They hit the stage with a fury, rare for a rap act. They had it all from the stage antics of Flav and Chuck D to the crowd of loving fans.
» Living Colour Photos » Public Enemy Photos

• November 9
Velvet Revolver

   We went to Worcester for this amazing show and would go even further for the next one; hopefully we won’t have to though. There is no better frontman in music than Scott Weiland and the songs are just amazing. Though the sound wasn’t the best, seeing Velvet Revolver was amazing. The attitude is back in rock!

• December 1
Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace

   The first time seeing Korn as a headliner and it was in a packed Avalon...a place far too small for Korn. Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace put big, big sets to get the crowd just jacked up and it erupted when Korn hit the stage. The lobby of the club looked more like an E.R. than a club as people were getting stitched up and heading right back into the Pit. The intensity brought forth a new found appreciation for Korn.
» Korn Photos » Breaking Benjamin Photos » Three Days Grace Photos
• December 4
Robert Randolph

   Such a short show, thanks to the great Avalon club which has acts off by 10pm so it can become a dance club. Nights like this, make that such a band thing. Randolph played a solid 1.5 hr set and maybe sang for about 15 minutes tops as the music did the talking. You could not move in the club it was so packed and everyone was dancing to the soulful grooves of a budding superstar.

 

 

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» 50 Best CDs

» 50 Best Photos

» 10 To Watch in 2005