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September 13, 2007

Butch Walker & The Lets Go Out Tonites; San Francisco, CA; 9.7.07

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Butch Walker has the type of career and respect millions would die for. From his role of front man of punk-pop band Marvelous 3, who had a hit in "Freak of the Week," to his great songwriting ability (he has written for the likes of Avril Lavigne, All American Rejects, Bowling For Soup, Pink, Fall Out Boy and many others), his current and long-standing successful solo venture, or his well-known producing abilities, this is a guy working non-stop in the music industry and doing a hell of a job.

Though he is technically a solo artist, Butch records and tours with his own band, and they are on the road now in support of their latest album, The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and The Lets Go Out Tonites. When a date in San Francisco was added, I knew this wasn't a show I wanted to miss - I'd yet to catch Butch live and had heard nothing but high praise from my friends fortunate enough to have already.

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September 05, 2007

Ben Kweller; San Francisco, CA; 9.4.07

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One of the best things about being a Mobile Beat blogger is having the opportunity to attend shows by artists that I probably wouldn't have gone to see otherwise. Enter in Ben Kweller. Though I own a couple of his albums, I don't know his music very well. I can't really imagine that I would have jumped at the chance to go see him on my own, but when making my list for shows I'd like to cover for Billboard, I felt I had to put this one down. I've heard great things about Ben and was excited to see what the fuss was about for myself.

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August 27, 2007

Warped Tour; Marysville, CA; 8.23.07

Warped Tour's date in Mountain View back in early July was the first show I officially covered for Billboard, so my review for this one in Sacramento that I attended on my own accord won't be too long lest it gets repetitive. What I dread about Warped hitting my neck of the woods, especially if it's in late August, is that it is painfully hot. Though I've gotten through it okay in years past, this time it didn't go so well: upon getting home I spent twelve straight hours vomiting, had a fever, was sunburnt, and lost 7lbs in less than half a day because of dehydration. Fun!

In any case, while that dampered the experience a bit in retrospect, the line-up that Warped brings usually has at least a couple bands I really love that make up for things like this.

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Daughtry; California State Fair; 8.22.07

Chris Daughtry has certainly proven himself to be the emerging superstar from season five of American Idol despite the fourth place finish. His album, Daughtry, recently hit the three-times platinum selling mark, and with each successful single, is showing no signs of slowing down. 

The thing about my feelings toward Chris is that...well, they've never been very good. I couldn't stand him on Idol and celebrated his elimination from the show. Oddly enough, though, I don't have much objection to seeing him live (masochist? Perhaps.) Since I had missed his club tour in the beginning of the year, when I noticed he was playing the concert series at the State Fair this summer, I decided to check it out.

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August 13, 2007

Rx Bandits; Orangevale, CA; 8.12.07

When Drive-Thru Records was in its prime (from my viewpoint, this is easily the years of 2001-2003), their roster of artists was the backbone of my music taste. Though a lot of the bands signed to the label were of the pop-punk variety, Rx Bandits stood out as one of the differing sounds: they are, rather, a wonderful melding of ska, rock and reggae.

I can't even tell you the last time I saw these guys live, but it was far too long ago. So when I saw they were coming to my favorite local venue, The Boardwalk, it was hard to pass up. Admittedly, the place is nothing special, but I used to go to shows there practically every weekend and, you know, emotional attachment and all. It still thrills me to no end when an artist I really enjoy plays there, such as the Bandits.

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August 07, 2007

The Format; San Francisco, CA; 8.3.07

The Format, The Honorary Title, Limbeck, Steel Train and Reubens Accomplice. The line-up of this tour was a big flashback to 2002 through 2004 for me; almost all of these bands were ones I listened to frequently then. While I haven't kept up with most of them as well lately, I was thrilled when I saw this group would be touring together once more because it's guaranteed to be a good show.

There were two disappointments to start out my evening, the first of which was that upon stopping by the box office to get my ticket, there was no photo pass to go along with it. I had been looking forward to being able to get up close and get good shots of everyone, but sadly that was not able to happen. Second disappointment was by the time I got inside (if there is one thing I have mastered, it is getting lost in San Francisco no matter the amount of times I've been there), I had just missed Reubens Accomplice; I have seen them live before and they put on a great show.

When I saw Steel Train was setting up to go on next, I tried to get as close as I could since they were who I was most excited to be seeing. The Great American Music Hall was jam-packed, so it was difficult to get that great of a view, but once the band started playing I cast those worries aside and focused intently on the music itself.

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July 26, 2007

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals; Berkeley, CA; 7.24.07

When I found out I'd be covering Ryan Adams, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd liked what I'd previously heard of his music, but wasn't too familiar with much of it and didn't know what the live show, or the man himself, would be like. But as most of us settled into our seats, Ryan went up and down the aisles taking song requests from fans all over the theatre, kneeling down or grabbing an empty seat nearby in order to attain eye-level with them as they shared a conversation. Watching him interact with his fans was enough to bring a smile to my face, and that smile never left the rest of the night.

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July 11, 2007

Rocco DeLuca & The Burden; House of Blues, San Diego; 7.8.07

I love a ridiculous amount of bands and have been to more shows than I can keep track of, but it is not often that an artist actually blows me away in their live performance to the extent that Rocco DeLuca and the Burden have. I've seen them anywhere from small clubs (their performance at The Fillmore in San Francisco is one of the best live sets I've witnessed, ever), to community theatres, to record stores and coffee shops, to a crowd of over 17,000 at the Hollywood Bowl. No matter the setting, they do not disappoint; but I do think they excel and musically are best suited for a club, so I was extremely excited to be able to see them at the House of Blues during what is their first headlining tour.

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July 03, 2007

Warped Tour; Mountain View, CA; 7.1.07

The summer staple for rock fans that is Warped Tour recently kicked off its lucky 13th year and is showing no signs of slowing down. This was my sixth year going and I've come to find that with seven stages and over 50 bands, it would take a miracle of scheduling in order to see all the acts you'd like. Because of so much going on, Warped truly is an individual experience for every person that attends, which makes it a bit difficult to recap as a whole; however, I will at least take you through some of the highlights of my day.

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Circa Survive from side-stage

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