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Kicking Daisies Ridgefield Playhouse 9/23/11

Friday night, Kicking Daisies played a hometown show of sorts at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, CT.  Shortly before the show started the band had posted on facebook that the show was officially SOLD OUT!

The first band opening up the night was a local band from Ridgefield, The Distractions.  They were made up of 3 young guys – all dressed up in a t-shirt and a tie.  After a couple of songs they called everyone up to the front and at one point tried to get people to come up on stage, but that was shot down pretty quickly by the staff.  I thought that their music was decent, but I wasn’t sure the singers voices were able to hold up throughout their entire set.  Maybe that will come in time.

The second band was Carly & Eliza, another local band.  They did 7 songs and mentioned that their soccer team was in attendance and in the front row.  While the director of the theater tried to get everyone to go back to their seats for the start of this set, everyone made their way back up to the front as soon as they could.  Their voices went really well together and I really enjoyed their set.  I tried to keep track of most of their songs – Fighting Fate, Wonderwall (Oasis Cover), Broken Glass, Never Felt So Free, Forever, Livestrong, Rollercoaster.  I may have gotten some of the titles wrong, but I think they mentioned most of them.

Next up was Kicking Daisies.  They are from my hometown and I first saw them opening up for Hanson in PA and was hooked.  While they may be young they are also super talented beyond their years and most of all – FUN!

You can tell that they are having a great time up on stage – running around and always smiling during all the songs. The beginning of their set was basically just them jamming for a few minutes while the crowd screamed for them.

It had been a while since I have gone to a show with such a young audience – and it was amusing to see parents taking out their small children before the show was over because it was past their bed time and they just couldn’t stay awake any more. (For that reason I was thinking it was odd to have 2 openers, but the teens obviously were able to hang in there the whole night) It was also funny to see all the extra cars in the parking lot when the show ended – all the parents picking up the kids they had dropped off for the night! (And fortunately when they saw that I needed to get out of my parking spot they were ready and willing to move for me)

The band hung around after the show to meet with fans, but considering there were a few hundred people waiting I opted to leave and head home. I’m not a fan of driving in the rain and in the dark and I didn’t want to be doing that too late at night. (I guess I’m getting old)

Kicking Daisies shows are always so high energy… I am now planning when I will get to see them again. (They are playing with Action Item in New Jersey in November so I am thinking that may be the winner, especially since the show starts so early…)
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Kicking Daisies At The Space 1/29

Kicking Daisies is a Connecticut based band made up of 4 teenagers, Duran (guitar/vocals), Ben (lead guitar), and sisters Carly (bass) and Caitlin (drums).  They were recently named Radio Disney’s “Next Big Thing” for 2010 and their single “Keeping Secrets” can be heard frequently on the station.  If you want to check out their music, they stream most of their EP on their website and their EP is also available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.

On Saturday they did a show at The Space in Hamden, CT.  A small venue which has a capacity of about 150. Also joining them for the show was FIGHTING CONFESSION and Twenty To Twelve.

When I got there, it didn’t look like doors were opened yet. I was a bit confused because my ticket said 6pm but the venue website said 7pm.  A little after 7 it looked like people were going in, but there was still a long line.  I waited a bit longer and ventured over to the door.  What had happened was they had a line with tickets and a line for people who were going to be buying tickets that night.  The line with tickets was inside and the rest were waiting (about 50 people) but the venue was nearly at capacity and they only had 20 tickets left!  Everyone was crowded around the area to give your ticket so I hung back while they sold the last 20 tickets.  People in the crowd were complaining that KD “better make it up to them” because they hadn’t missed a show of theirs yet. (Here’s a thought – buy your ticket in advance)

While I managed to sneak around to give my ticket and get my hand stamped the venue was handing out numbers.  They were sent to another area that the venue owned and then as people left The Space they’d be allowed in, in number order.

Twenty to Twelve was on stage already when I got in.  It was incredibly crowded and it was hard to really enjoy the band (no fault of the band though!)  I was standing right near the sound board with about 2 inches of personal space around me! It was awful for a little bit there.  Then I heard the owner (?) tell the sound guy it was the band’s last song, but after they finished it, they kept going into another song!  There were shouts of “cut the mic!”, but it seemed like the lead singer just got louder.  They did end up leaving in the middle of the song, but everyone was worried that would throw everything way off schedule for the evening.

Fighting Confession was up next and as they were in their first song, the owner (?) came back and said they were back on schedule and that Kicking Daisies would be on at around 8:45 or 9pm and didn’t even have an hour worth of material for their setlist.  It seemed like a lot of people were there for Fighting Confession and I had hear that numbers 1-10 from the waiting list were let inside.  They were alright, but I thought that they were trying too hard to impress the kids by saying “shit” every time they talked to the crowd.

Then it was time for Kicking Daisies.  The nice thing was, there was not a lot of set up time between bands at all. Only about 10 minutes which was pretty shocking. Usually shows are like 20-30 minutes in between sets!  The owner(?) said that he wasn’t even going to introduce them, we had to shout who we were there to see and he made everyone shout “KICKING DAISIES!” twice before they took the stage. Their first song was Promises and man do these kids have energy.  During one song, Ben had a guitar solo and he climbed up on the drumset and started playing the guitar with his teeth. It was ridiculous (in a really good way) and they really had the crowd pumped.  They said happy birthday to a few people who were in the crowd and talked a bit about their EP and new album that is due out hopefully in the Spring in between songs.

Before “Video Killed the Radio Star” Duran joked that he had written it back in the 80s and Caitlin did a bit of “ba dum ch” on the drums. The Duran tried to say that he was sorry his jokes were bad, but every time he said ANYTHING, there was Caitlin again with a “ba dum ch”  To the point that Duran couldn’t even say what he wanted to say, he just cracked up and asked her to stop.  Of course, that made her do it one more time before they finally went into the song.  After that song they went into another cover – except this time Caitlin and Duran swapped places.  He played the drums while she rapped on a rendition of “Airplanes”  I wanted to sneak out a bit early to get out of the parking lot ASAP (snow was supposed to be coming) and I hear the owner(?) tell another guy that “that was it” so I decided to take off.  I don’t know if they did an encore after Airplanes or not.

I think that they are really going to be going places.  For being so young they are all really good at their instruments (especially Ben!) and they seem to be having a ton of fun doing it.  I am pretty sure next time they come around this area it will be somewhere a bit larger – as they recently sold out The Fairfield Theater and now The Space! (Both in the 150ish for capacity)

Set list and a couple of photos under the cut!

Cruel Intentions
Shut Up!
Keeping Secrets
The Plan
Alive (new)
Video Killed The Radio Star (cover)
Airplanes (cover)

Ben on the drums playing with his teeth.  Unfortunately this pole decided it wanted to be front and center in a bunch of my pictures lol

Duran singing

I am not sure how I managed to get all 4 of them in this picture lol (Although Duran’s face is covered by a camera)

I was at a bad angle to get decent photos of Carly and Caitlin.  I did try but there is nothing really post worthy 🙁

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Hanson Sherman Theater 11/19

Friday afternoon I made the trek down to Stroudsburg, PA to see Hanson at the Sherman Theater. This would be an extra special show because not only was it seated, my friends had managed to score us front row center tickets!

My GPS said it would take two and a half hours to get there, which was a pleasant surprise because all this time I had been thinking it would be 3 hours. Unfortunately, I ran into 2 accidents in NJ, one of which looked really, really nasty and all the traffic from the crews cleaning them up and rubber necking, etc. added another hour.

When I got there, I had the wrong address in the GPS, so I ended up nowhere near a theater. But I found a McDonalds, grabbed a bite to eat and then reprogrammed the GPS. As I drove by the Sherman Theater, Taylor was standing on a table with a megaphone – I had just missed the walk. (I wasn’t intending on going on it anyway though, so it was fine!)

At this point it was about 4pm, so I hung out in my car (in a handicapped spot I had found on the street – so lucky!) until about 6:30 because doors were at 7 and I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to walk down to the theater. (Turns out, only like 2 minutes lol)

Once 7pm rolled around, everyone loaded in the doors, but it didn’t look like anything was going on. Then more and more people kept coming in. I happened to turn around and saw Maribeth’s sister and her friend so I went outside to wait with them, but then they left to get Maribeth so I ended up going inside on my own.

Once I got inside, I couldn’t find my seat. I had ORCH A, seat 11, but the seats up front were ORCH 1 and ORCH 2, with seats starting with 101. I asked an usher for help and she said “Oh you’re front row!” and brought me to the regular row A, which was numbered 1,3,5,7. Then she looked and saw ORCH 1 and 2 and had to go ask where our seats were. By this point my friends had showed up and were like “what is going on!?” but it all ended up working out and ORCH A was labeled ORCH 1.

The first opening act was Kicking Daisies. They were actually really good and at the end of their set, one of the guys breaking down the stage threw their setlists down to us so I grabbed one. A few of the songs are blacked out (and the page STILL smells like marker) but the ones that aren’t blacked out (and therefore the ones I assumed they played) are: Masquerade, Breathing, Shut Up, Keeping Secrets, Alive. After their “last song” we could see someone come on the side of the stage and hold up one finger and they realized they had time for one more song so they did Video Killed the Radio Star. There is also notes in red stating “Talk Carly” and “Talk Duran” signaling when the band members should talk to the crowd. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them going into it, but I was very into their set, they are very energetic and very talented and maybe I’ll see them around town at some point 😉 I think that they went over really well with the crowd as well based on tweets I was seeing.

Next up was Jarrod Gorbel. I have to say that I enjoyed this set a lot better than his one in Northampton, maybe because he only pointed out one person in the crowd this time. But I still don’t think he was that great of a fit to get everyone hyped up for Hanson (especially sandwiched in between Kicking Daisies and Hanson). He lost his concentration a time or two and had to start a song completely over.. yelling out “FUCK!” and “OH SHIT!” which just made it seem like he was trying too hard. I think seeing him in a completely different setting – maybe in a coffee house or something like that – I would enjoy him. I think he is either incredibly awkward or incredibly nervous (or a combination of both) and that came out with his making fun of people and the like.

Finally it was time for the main event! We were bracing ourselves for people jumping over chairs to be behind us in the front row, but the Sherman had some HUGE (and scary!) security guys who did a great job at keeping everyone in their seats! Kudos to the security team.

The beginning of their set was very much the same as the other shows I had gone to, starting with the Waiting For this Medley – except this time I actually jumped during In the City. They then went in to Make it Out Alive, but surprised me by throwing in Thinking Of You. This one isn’t played all that often, plus since the setlist voting on had Middle of Nowhere in the lead for the encore, I was surprised that they would be throwing random tracks from it into the set. Another surprise was Runaway Run!

Then it was time to break it down for the acoustic set, when Zac was like, directly in front of me. They played Penny and Me and This Time Around which are a bit too over done for my taste (but were singles so I can see why they include them so often) and also threw in a Kiss Me When You Come Home.

Then it was back to electric, where there weren’t too many surprises, but Isaac came flying at me during Hand In Hand and I wasn’t paying attention (I was trying to take a picture) and then I noticed everyone on either side of me had jumped back and thought he was going to go flying over us. (Or fall on my head) During If Only, I jumped during the first part, but not the second. Since it was an old theater, the floor was shaking like CRAZY especially since everyone was jumping on the same beat. I must’ve looked something like this: =-O and then looked up at Zac and he mouthed “JUMP!” to me. I shook my head no, but ended up jumping the next couple of times anyway because it was too scary not to.

For the encore, we knew it would be Middle of Nowhere songs, but the guys had tweeted about possibly throwing in a surprise. They came out and did With You In Your Dreams and then we counted to track 21 and they played Man From Milwaukee. (on the CD, With You In Your Dreams is track #12, then everything is blank until 21) Then they really threw a curve ball by getting us ready for the holiday season by playing Merry Christmas Baby! It was a very pleasant surprise and also a song that I had never heard live before so I was doubly excited 🙂

The show ended shortly after midnight and I was completely exhausted. (Putting all the dance/jump songs of Give A Little / If Only / Lost Without Each Other back to back to back did me in) I bought myself a bottle of water and Iced Tea and went back to the car and hydrated. Then I made the two and a half hour trip back home. No traffic at all, and I got home just before 3am.

Definitely one of my favorite Hanson shows EVER (and it was my 55th so that is saying a lot) My camera LOVED Isaac and I got a few good ones of Zac too, but for some reason the lighting on Taylor wasn’t all that great. Will be making a picture post soon. (Actually, it’ll probably be more like 4 picture posts.. but that is ok!)

Setlist under the cut!

Waiting For This Medley

Make It Out Alive

Thinking of You

And I Waited


Runaway Run

Carry You There

Penny and Me

Kiss Me When You Come Home

This Time Around

Where’s The Love

Voice In The Chorus

Can’t Stop

Minute Without You

Hand In Hand


Thinking Bout Something

Oh Darling


Give A Little

If Only

Lost Without Each Other

With You In Your Dreams

Man From Milwaukee

Merry Christmas Baby

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