Spiral Stairs With Spider Bags Cat’s Cradle Back Room 3/30/2019
I was supposed to be seeing Hamish Kilgour (of the Clean) in the opening slot of this Spiral Stairs gig, but at some point between when I bought the ticket and show time he had been swapped out with Spider Bags for reasons that would never be given (though the obvious culprit is likely travel from New Zealand). I’ve seen Spider Bags a shit ton lately, but they’re still a damn fine back-up plan that I’ll never complain about. This isn’t the first time I’ve said this, but their sets seem to be getting shorter by number of songs, but the songs are getting longer and jammier in that great seventies butt-rock way. I keep waiting for a James Gang or Joe Walsh cover to make their way into the set list. They played pretty much everything I wanted to hear except for “Keys To The City,” so stop not playing that please, Mr. Bags.
Teenage Fanclub With Eric Bachmann & The Love Language Haw River Ballroom 3/18/2019
There is no tool to accurately measure just how excited I was to see Teenage Fanclub again. Last time was five years ago at Merge25, in the middle of the day in the blisteringly hot parking lot of the Cradle, and despite all that it was still a blast. This time around, with a better venue, a reasonable temperature, and me planted right at the front trying to get a good picture or two? It quite literally doesn’t get any better than that. One major bummer is founding member Gerard Love is no longer with the band – his harmonies were definitely missed. That said, I doubt it’s tough for a band of this stature to find adequate fill-ins for their touring ensemble – in this case, bassist Dave McGowan (Belle & Sebastian) and Euros Childs (Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci) signed on to join Norman Blake, Raymond McGinley, and long-time drummer Francis Macdonald in a fantastic performance of tracks from across the…