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The Raconteurs Concert

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The Raconteurs Concert

Hello hello my darlings! On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to be able to see my beloved Jack White for my second birthday concert in a row with The Raconteurs at Stage AE in Pittsburgh. As we all know, I love Jack White more than I love myself most days so when The Raconteurs came out with their first album in eleven years, Help Us Stranger, going to see them was an absolute necessity when they announced their tour.

As luck would have it, they ended up playing in one of my favorite cities (Pittsburgh), at one of my favorite venues (Stage AE) so my parents treated me to two tickets for my 25th birthday. For the past several years in a row, I have attended a concert with my sister for my birthday outing with her and it always ends up being one of the best nights of my life. I am so thankful to Kristen because even if she doesn’t like the band or is unfamiliar with them, she will go with me and words can’t describe how appreciative I am for that.

So, off to Pittsburgh we went to get re-antiquated with Stage AE, where we went to see Marilyn Manson two years ago and Jack White who we saw last year. Stage AE is such a fantastic venue because you can get so close to the stage, and we ended up being in the front row like how we were for Marilyn Manson. And, being that close to some of your favorite musicians is an experience that everyone should have.

Now, you’re probably wondering “where are the pictures?”. And, unfortunately, I have none. Jack White is quite strict about his “no phone” policy at concerts so Kristen and I just left ours in our car. However, the people who did bring theirs with them had to put them in a bag that was sealed with a security tag like they use at clothing stores and could only be removed by security after the show.

I understand this rule and I don’t. It is definitely nice to fully experience a concert without your phone in hand. However, not being able to snap a few pics or take a video is disappointing – especially since we were so close to the stage. I just feel lucky that when I saw Jack White at X-Fest last year, he was performing with other bands so the no phone rule didn’t apply and I was able to take pictures and videos to my heart’s content.

Speaking of other bands, Ex Hex opened for The Raconteurs and they were very good! The all female alt band really held their own nicely on stage and performed songs from their new album It’s Real. Ex Hex hasn’t been on my radar since my PacSun days so it was nice to see them evolve musically and I enjoyed their performance. They wouldn’t necessarily be who I would pick to open for The Raconteurs but it set a good vibe for the amazingness that was to come.

The Raconteurs came out swinging, opening with Bored and Razed and following up with a much loved favorite off of Broken Boy Soldiers, Level. They played a solid mix of nine songs off of Help Us Stranger with nine other tracks from Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers Of The Lonely peppered in for good measure.

I would have loved for them to throw in more of their heavy hitters from the albums, because a few of their choices were a bit too slow paced for my liking. This is especially due to the fact that a lot of their more mellow songs are sung by Brendan Benson with Jack White only accompanying on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the songs. But, Jack White has an undeniable presence and Benson just didn’t have that. It was also difficult to hear him throughout the concert.

It was awesome hearing a majority of the album Help Us Stranger, though, and their strong points were definitely with Don’t Bother Me and Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying). Shine The Light On Me was another especially powerful one off of their new album. The lighting was also very cool throughout the concert, going between green, red, and a lovely pale yellow which looked awesome on stage.

The highlights for me during the concert were when they brought back songs off of their first album, Broken Boy Soldiers. Their performance was really strong during these songs and it was amazing to hear them close with Broken Boy Soldier, because that’s my absolute favorite song by them. The instrumentals paired with the shocking green light made for an unforgettable version of it and that is what I immediately think of when replaying the night in my head.

Thankfully, they encored with SEVEN MORE SONGS because the first half of the show just wasn’t enough. And, it was a spectacular ending when they concluded with a long version of Blue Veins set to moody midnight lighting and, of course, ultimately bidding their farewells with Steady, As She Goes – as to be expected.

Despite some qualms with not having my phone and a few song choices I could have done without, it was an overall fantastic concert. The gentlemen in The Raconteurs play off of each other so well and are such a cohesive group that watching them put it all together was nothing short of mesmerizing. Although they sounded great, Jack White definitely carried the weight of the show on his shoulders. And, believe me, I am so okay with this. But, it would have been nice to have seen the other guys step up a little more because they are all extremely talented, in their own right.

My fourth concert experience in Pittsburgh was an absolute success and I am looking forward to attending more shows with the best sister a gal could ask for. Sadly, Jack White didn’t notice me pounding White Claws in the audience, but there’s always next time, right?

What concerts have you been to this year? Who else is a fan of The Raconteurs? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: NPR

Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

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Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday! This past Friday my sister, Kristen, and I trekked to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (About a two hour drive.) to see Marilyn Manson in concert for his Heaven Upside Down tour at Stage AE. After literal months of anticipation for this show, it was finally the night and the performance definitely didn’t disappoint. ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT WE WERE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE STAGE!! Take a look at some low quality iPod pictures and let’s discuss:

marilyn1marilyn2marilyn3marilyn5marilyn4

^^^ Lol, I love that last picture. “Ayyy”.

First of all, Stage AE was an absolutely excellent venue. It seemed like no matter where you stood in the crowd, your visibility of the stage was average at a minimum and amazing at the max. Kristen and I began our concert experience with an okay viewing for the opener (Alice Glass, who I’m not even going to talk about because she sucked.), and ended our night in front of the stage.

How, you might ask?

Well, it’s not like the crowd was intensely rowdy throughout the show. Some fights definitely did break out but nothing “major”, and some people just weren’t comfortable with it (understandably) and opted to get away from the vicinity of the mosh pit. So as soon as people left the area for safety purposes, drinks, or what have you, Kristen and I would make our way forward until we had a view of Marilyn Manson at all times during the concert.

And speaking of the concert…

It. was. AMAZING. Manson is nearing fifty years of age, and I told Kristen on our way home that this is probably the best we’re going to see of him since he isn’t getting any younger. There was no on stage self harm, no crazy gimmicks with girls, minimal audience banter, and not even an inkling of violence. This show was everything that his performances weren’t when the band was just starting out, but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a lot of fun.

The Heaven Upside Down tour didn’t seem so much of a celebration of his new album of the same name, rather, an ode to some old school Marilyn Manson hits that even people who don’t even like Manson love. We’re talking The Dope Show, Lunchbox, mOBSCENE, This Is The New Shit, No Reflection, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This), and The Beautiful People.

Marilyn Manson played four songs off of Heaven Upside Down and opened the show with the album opener of Revelation #12. He then peppered KILL4ME, WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, and SAY10 into the set list. The rest of the show was filled with Deep Six (I’m disappointed that more songs from The Pale Emperor weren’t played.) and Tourniquet, which is another old love. (Manson then encored with Coma White but, alas, Kristen and I had to make the two hour drive home so that she could work early in the morning.)

^^^ Obviously the set list rocked…

And the performance that came along with it was just as good. The lighting, the different costumes Manson donned, his gorgeous speaking/singing/screaming voice – it all worked so well. I mean, a front row view doesn’t hurt, but it was a damn good show. Fans that were able to see Marilyn Manson in the beginning might think that he is slowing down (Unfortunately, I was a toddler so until time travel is invented, I will never know what his early shows were like first hand.), but, to me, he is just getting started.

Marilyn Manson dragged his last album, The Pale Emperor, through some gritty, rough blues influence and it came as a triumphant, different comeback. Yes, some tracks off of Heaven Upside Down does sound like classic Manson (KILL4ME and WE KNOW WHERE YOU FUCKING LIVE, anyone?) but that doesn’t mean that the whole album will, and I’m looking forward to exploring it in its entirety when it comes out on October 6th.

Marilyn Manson is at a stage of experimentation that is working in his favor – from his art, acting, and playing with new and unique sounds – everything seems to be a success. I expect Heaven Upside Down to reflect these gutsy changes and the fact that he is soon going to be a half a century in age. Friday’s concert brought us some old school fun mixed with new favorites, but it seems like the party is raging on just fine for Manson in a way that’s not only, dare I say, age appropriate, but totally fucking cool.

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Marilyn Manson Concert Edition! What was the last concert that you attended? How do you feel about Marilyn Manson? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: Excited AF Edition

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Monday Update: Excited AF Edition

Hello everyone and happy Monday! When it comes to Marilyn Manson, people either love him or they hate him. I’ve honestly never met anyone who was like “yeah, he’s just okay”. Myself? I absolutely one hundred and fifty percent freaking LOVE him. His music, his art, his style, his speaking voice, his devil may care attitude peppered with a childlike love for metal lunchboxes. He really is just mesmerizing to me.

My above profession of love shouldn’t come as a shock. You all know by now that I’m an emo kid at heart so, of course, I have a major soft spot for Marilyn Manson. And now, after literal years of being a fan of his, I finally get to see him in concert for his Heaven Upside Down tour at the end of the month. My sister and I will be venturing to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s Stage AE to see Ohio’s own on stage doing what he does best: Performing that strange, beautiful heart out. I. Can’t. Wait.

We have all heard the rumors and stories about what goes on at a Marilyn Manson concert. We’ve seen the fake affidavits penned by various family councils. We’ve heard Manson’s name come up as the scapegoat for a litany of adolescent problems time and time again. Needless to say, he is a bit much. He is not everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s okay, because he is a man that is so uniquely himself that the last thing he needs to worry about is pleasing everyone. So, despite the stories and slander, he has me hooked.

I have no idea what I’m going to be walking into on September 29th for this show. Is it going to be as wild and disturbing as the concerts described in his autobiography, The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell? Or will we see a more toned down version of Marilyn Manson as he nears fifty years of age and has cut back on drinking absinthe – his favorite. I’m about to find out, and if the anticipation doesn’t kill me first, then I’ll be back to report on the show here on lifewithlilred!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Excited AF Edition! What concerts do you plan on seeing soon? What was the last concert that you went to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: The Awesome Daily