Thursday, March 23, 2017

Tonight's STRFKR show is canceled

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM


STRFKR, the popular L.A.-based psych-pop band, has had to cancel tonight's concert at the Knitting Factory. According to the band's social media accounts, they've broken down en route to Spokane.

"We hate cancelling shows," their Facebook post reads, "so this is a huge bummer for us. We'll def make it up to you on the next tour."


According to that same post, online purchases will be automatically refunded; for any other inquiries, contact the Knitting Factory at 244-3279.

Read the Inlander's interview with STRFKR frontman and songwriter Josh Hodges here.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW: Coathangers, Birth Defects deliver raucous punk at Observatory

Posted By on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 4:13 PM

The Coathangers play their garage punk sound to an active Tuesday night crowd. - TUCK CLARRY
  • Tuck Clarry
  • The Coathangers play their garage punk sound to an active Tuesday night crowd.

The Coathangers’ songwriting relies on a veil of playful satire, but there's a core of biting truth underneath the silliness in all their songs.

That truth was apparent halfway through the band’s blaring Tuesday night set at the Observatory, when drummer Stephanie Luke fought back tears during a song’s fill. She had recently discovered the loss of a friend and fellow drummer and tried to jolt herself back into the thick of the set.

“If you or someone you know does heroin, don’t do it,” Luke said. “It’s not hard. That’s what these songs are about.”

The Atlanta band quickly went back into their sway-inducing garage punk, but songs like “Watch Your Back” went from reading as playful breakup songs to inspiring visions of having to close off relationships and harmful lifestyles. Topics that seem like simple boilerplate in typical garage-rock retrovision have inspirations rooted in these artists' realities.

The band skillfully played within the trappings of garage rock while pushing punk stamina, a tightrope affair they’ve mastered over their decade-long project. Guitarist Julia Kugel yelped and crooned during many of the straightforward riffs while Luke paired her drumming with a raspy growl reminiscent of punk long gone.

Luke’s vocals played best during songs like “Follow Me,” where her blistering tom rides paralleled her anthemic hit-the-road lyrics, and Kugel’s power chords chugged along the whole way. Kugel’s yelps excel in the more garage-meets-surf-rock that is found all over their latest release Nosebleed Weekend. A highlight showing off the band’s carefree tendencies came in their closing song “Squeeki Tiki,” where Kugel dropped the Jaguar guitar and pumped a squeaky toy for the song’s bridges.

The night was full of supersonic buzzing as the other touring band, Los Angeles’ Birth Defects,

 challenged the rainy Tuesday night crowd to match their thunderous thrashing punk sensibilities for a fast-paced forty-minute set.

Birth Defects raised the ante for how loud and heavy the small Observatory could get - TUCK CLARRY
  • Tuck Clarry
  • Birth Defects raised the ante for how loud and heavy the small Observatory could get

Holding their power chord-wielding axes on their pelvises for much of it, Birth Defects were as heavy as it got Tuesday night. It was hard not to bob your head during their raucous set, even if you stood in the back.

The Ghost Ramp (run by Nathan Williams of Wavves) label’s thrashers turned beer swiggers into chuggers within a single face-melting breakdown. Substance abuse and late nights are the center of the band’s 2015 album First 8 Mistakes. Unabashedly on the nose, songs like “Drugs” and “No Sleep” were given an extra gear when played live by the sweat-drenched guitarists and writhing bassist.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

REVIEW: The Meat Puppets' sold-out show Monday was a mighty, messy joy

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 2:58 PM

Brothers Cris (left) and Curt Kirkwood are still leading the Meat Puppets nearly 40 years after forming. - DAN NAILEN
  • Dan Nailen
  • Brothers Cris (left) and Curt Kirkwood are still leading the Meat Puppets nearly 40 years after forming.

The Meat Puppets are pros when it comes to touring.

I don't mean "pro" in the sense of slick or methodical — indeed, the band revels in turning once-brief songs into some epic jams, as well as performing oddball cover tunes. I mean "pro" in the sense that they deliver every time they hit the stage. They certainly did at their sold-out show at the Bartlett Monday night.

The set list leaned heavily toward the older stuff, but brothers Curt (guitar) and Cris Kirkwood (bass), along with drummer Shandon Sahm and extra guitarist (and Curt's son) Elmo Kirkwood, touched on all aspects of a four-decade career that's seen them tackle styles ranging from rapid-fire punk to loping country tunes and everything in between.

That dexterity was on display Monday from the get-go as the Kirkwoods blazed through the set-opening "Sam" in half-rapping unison before segueing straight into a twangy tune with gospel overtones, "Comin' Down."

Curt Kirkwood was one of the first old punks to forge his way into monster guitar solos back in the '80s, and he's still a player with some jaw-dropping skills. Trading riffs with his son, the guitarist and singer was clearly pleased with the sounds, smiling at his bandmates when songs would take an intricate turn.

A slew of older songs familiar to fans of the band's SST Records heyday popped up throughout, from "Oh Me" and "Lost" to "Lake of Fire," "Plateau" and "Attacked By Monsters." And the band's lone sort-of hit from the early '90s, "Backwater," still garners a loud reaction from audiences who might be less familiar with the band's first few albums.

The unexpected treats turned out to be some of the night's best performances, as is often the case. "The Monkey and the Snake" from 2009's Sewn Together album was a highlight early on (complete with whistling!), as was the cover of traditional Irish folk tune "Whiskey in the Jar," coming a few days after St. Paddy's. Another surprise was the rock-solid cover of "Mockin' Bird Hill," a song popularized by Patti Page in 1951.

There's a certain joy in watching grizzled old punks smiling at each other as they play to a packed club. There was a lot of that at the Bartlett Monday as the Meat Puppets closed it down with "Touchdown King" and a version of "Up on the Sun" that they stretched into a monstrous instrumental workout between the song's undeniable pop hooks.

The somewhat sloppy, sort of improvised dismantling of a song that's beautifully catchy at heart — that finale was a pretty good summation of everything the Meat Puppets do well.
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CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: TOOL heading to The Gorge for June 17 show

Posted By on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 10:26 AM

TOOL headlines the Gorge on June 17.
  • TOOL headlines the Gorge on June 17.

No new album? No problem.

Prog-metal heroes TOOL have been teasing a new album for years — their last release was 10,000 Days in 2006 — but they've consistently been able to hit the road for short tours and sell out gig after gig after gig. With good reason, too, since TOOL has delivered one of the most mesmerizing stage shows around for about 25 years now.

The band will headline The Gorge on Saturday, June 17, and tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 am. That much we can tell you. What we CAN'T tell you is how much those tickets will cost thanks to LiveNation's incomplete press release. When they DO go on sale, you'll be able to get them here, and purchases will be limited to six tix at a time. And we can tell you the first series of concert dates the band announced earlier this year sold out in a hurry.

TOOL, of course, is led by magnetic lead singer Maynard James Keenan, along with co-founders Adam Jones on guitar, Danny Carey on drums and long-time bassist Justin Chancellor. The band's shows are often visual feasts much like their most popular videos, like this one:

TOOL last played in the area at Spokane Arena in March 2014.

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Monday, March 20, 2017

CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: Spoon set to return to the Knitting Factory in August

Posted By on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 4:57 PM


Spoon, the acclaimed Austin-based rock band fronted by songwriter Britt Daniel, is scheduled to return to the Knitting Factory stage on Aug. 28.

The band last performed at the Knit in 2015, touring behind its previous album They Want My Soul. Spoon's ninth studio LP, Hot Thoughts, was just released last week, and their 2017 tour kicks off on Wednesday.

Tickets for the Spokane show go on sale Friday, March 24, at 10 am through TicketWeb, and they start at $28.50.
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Monday, March 13, 2017

CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: Paul Simon is playing Spokane Arena in June

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 10:12 AM


Here's a big name to cross off your Spokane concert bucket list: Legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon is set to perform at the Spokane Arena on June 23.

Since scoring his first hits with Art Garfunkel in the mid-’60s, Simon has written and produced dozens of classic songs as a solo artist, including the Top 10 singles "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Kodachrome" and "Mother and Child Reunion." He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he's won a slew of Grammys, including two lifetime achievement awards.

Simon's most recent album, 2016's Stranger to Stranger, earned the artist some of the best reviews of his long solo career; in a four-star review, Rolling Stone wrote that the record "draws together nearly all of the man's accrued vernacular with seeming effortlessness."

Tickets for Simon's Spokane show start at $65, and they go on sale through TicketsWest at 10 am on Fri, March 17.
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Spokane Arena’s GM addresses complaints about long lines before Elton John concert

Posted By on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 at 2:42 PM

click image BRE CLARK, KREM
  • Bre Clark, KREM

If you were among the 11,200 people who attended Sunday’s Elton John show at the Arena (here’s our review) and you arrived anytime after the doors opened at 7 pm, the odds are good that you waited in a seemingly never-ending line.

At the time I queued up at 7:15 pm on Sunday night, there were two visible lines for ticket holders: one leading into the Arena’s southeast entry, which was spilling out onto Howard St., and another that started on the sidewalk and snaked up to the Arena’s main entrance by the box office.

I was in line for an hour (and eventually jumped into another line that, thankfully, moved way faster) before finally reaching the Arena’s metal detectors, a relatively new security system that, understandably, slows down the getting-into-the-building process a bit. A lot of concertgoers missed Sir Elton’s opening songs, and some took to Facebook and Twitter to complain about the wait.

Matt Gibson, the general manager of the Spokane Arena, says he has heard from several concerned concertgoers, some angrier than others, since the Elton John concert. The Arena increased its security measures in October of last year, and the metal detectors were in place for two major 2016 shows — Carrie Underwood in September and Florida Georgia Line in November. Neither event, Gibson says, saw as much confusion as Sunday night.

“Up until now we’ve not had issues with people getting in more than ahead of time,” Gibson tells the Inlander. “The fact that we had lines going all over the place surprises me a little. I know it’s not been perfect, but it’s never been to the point where we can’t get everyone in. It’s concerning to me, and my staff and I have talked about trying to figure everything out.”

The Arena has two big shows coming up next week — Journey and Asia perform there on Thu, March 16, and country star Eric Church plays the next night — and Gibson says there will be more Arena employees on hand to control crowds and direct attendees where they need to go.

“Clearly we’ve got to police it better at the main doors up top, because that’s where 90 percent of the people come in,” he says. “The last thing we want is to irritate the heck out of people before they get into the building. We are taking it very seriously.”
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Monday, March 6, 2017

CONCERT REVIEW: Elton John dazzles the Arena with a collection of pop classics

Posted By on Mon, Mar 6, 2017 at 11:00 AM

  • Nathan Weinbender

About three songs into his 2 ½ hour set at the Spokane Arena on Sunday night, Elton John turned to the packed house and said, “We hope you like what we’re gonna play tonight.” Sir Elton needn’t have worried, however, because it was plain that the adoring crowd was eating out of his hand from the get-go.

That’s because John, in his third Spokane stop since 2011, is still a magnetic stage presence at 69, and Sunday night's 23-song set was well-paced and loaded with classics: “Your Song,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer.” (The latter got a regional lyric tweak — “Blue jean baby / Spokane lady” — much to the crowd’s elation.)

John played only two songs from his most recent album, Wonderful Crazy Night — “Looking Up,” a reasonably catchy, up-tempo number, and “A Good Heart,” a pretty standard ballad that John called his favorite from the record. He wisely positioned them at the front end of the set list, which was otherwise dominated by his biggest pop hits.

He also threw in a couple out-of-left-field choices: “Have Mercy on the Criminal,” from the album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, which has popped up on a few tours since the ’70s, and “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock and Roll),” a flimsy novelty song that prefaces “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It was good to hear “Burn Down the Mission,” a track from the oft-overlooked Tumbleweed Connection album that John has turned into a live show staple.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT: Modest Mouse playing Spokane in May

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2017 at 9:43 AM

Modest Mouse is heading to Spokane in May.
  • Modest Mouse is heading to Spokane in May.

Hard to believe Modest Mouse has been kicking around since the early '90s, when they formed as a trio in Issaquah specializing in surprisingly expansive indie-rock, given their diminutive lineup.

Both the band (led by Isaac Brock) and its sound have only grown larger in the years since. Recent iterations of Modest Mouse have featured up to eight members on stage, giving the group the ability to experiment and stretch out beyond anything fans from the early days could possibly imagine. That expansion has been met with much success; the band's album from 2007, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank reached No. 1 on Billboard's album-sales chart.

Modest Mouse is heading to Spokane to headline the Knitting Factory on Tuesday, May 23. Tickets are $37.50 in advance, $40 day of show, and go on sale Friday, March 3, at 10 am through the Knitting Factory website and There will be a select number of tickets available via presale on Wednesday, March 1, as well.

The band's most recent album, Strangers to Ourselves, came out in 2015, and they've also re-released some remastered older gems like The Lonesome Crowded West and This is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About in recent years.

The Spokane show is the first date on a spring tour that will take Modest Mouse throughout the that lonesome crowded West and toward the middle of America.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

John Mayer schedules summer performance at the Gorge

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 11:35 AM

John Mayer is set to perform at the Gorge Amphitheatre on July 21.
  • John Mayer is set to perform at the Gorge Amphitheatre on July 21.

It's cool to hate on John Mayer.

He's churned out a lot of safe blues rock over the years. He's said some dumb stuff in interviews. He probably takes himself a bit too seriously. But it's impossible to deny that the guy's a solid guitarist, and he's generated a huge fan base since releasing his first album in 2001.

Mayer has made a habit of playing the Gorge Amphitheatre every few years, and his upcoming summer tour has him returning to George, Washington, on July 21. Earlier today, Mayer released an EP titled The Search for Everything: Wave Two, a sequel of sorts to a four-song collection he dropped last month.

July's concert marks the first time Mayer has played a solo gig at the Gorge since 2013. He was there last summer with Dead and Company, a jam band he formed with the surviving members of the Grateful Dead.

Tickets go on sale next Saturday, March 4, at 10 am on and through Ticketmaster outlets.

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