Kristen’s Connecticut Summer Concerts: An Overview!

Kristen Bayusik

Summer is the best time of year for music. So many acts spend countless hours playing shows inside and out, all over the country. I picked the top three shows I caught this summer.

HENRY ROLLINS: June 6, 2009- The Webster Theatre (Hartford, CT)
Even though this show was spoken word, Henry Rollins definitely has a ton of involvement in the music world, spanning far and wide from his earliest well-known days as the front man of Black Flag. I went in not really knowing what to expect. Was it going to be as funny as those videos I saw on Youtube? Was he just going to get really angry? Was he going to preach to the audience like some sort of hardcore minister? Well, he managed to do all three, all while staying entertaining and never taking a break. Throughout his stories, he kept a constant theme of the importance of traveling. Henry has spent the past several years trekking the globe, getting (sometimes with difficulty) visas for countries few people want to travel through, much less vacation in. From Eastern Europe to the Middle East, Henry enters each nation with the same mindset; to explore. And then to come back to America and tell hilarious stories about his experiences. Occasionally he would go off on other rants, such as what happens in your physical after you turn 40, and his experiences sneaking into Nick Cave’s dressing room and singing on stage with Jello Biafra, all at the same show. One thing was made certain by the end of his performance; Henry Rollins is only just getting started.

TED LEO AND THE PHARMACISTS: June 19, 2009- Toad’s  Place (New Haven, CT)
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists were always a band I knew by name but never by song title. I realized by the end of this night that this was a shame, and I proceeded to acquire as much of their music as possible afterward. However, even for someone who could barely sing along to the choruses, this show was a great time. Titus Andronicus opened, with plenty of energy, sweat, and distortion. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists came on right after. Playing a set of songs spanning through their catalog of albums, Ted also threw in hits such as “Me and Mia”, “Little Dawn”, and “Timorous Me”. Many of the songs were unfamiliar to everyone, however, with plenty of talk about a new album on the way.

INCUBUS: August 2, 2009- Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)
After being together for over ten years, Incubus has plenty of material under their belts. This year, they released a greatest hits CD, Monuments and Melodies, which also features a new song, “Black Heart Inertia” and a few previously unreleased tracks. Their summer tour took them across the country in support of this album. I managed to catch them at Mohegan Sun, where they packed the arena and played hits off most of their albums, especially 1997’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and 2001’s Morning View.