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Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview

Concert Preview: Deeper/Godcaster

As we near the halfway point of the fall semester, — some of us walking, some of us lumbering like wounded animals — the necessity for distraction and/or stimulation abounds.

For me personally, the monotony of the daily grind (waking up at 7 a.m., riding the Wolfline, walking to class, rinse and repeat) compounds in a strong desire to Go To Shows.

Photo by Evgeniy Smersh on Unsplash

The biggest challenge for the average show-goer (aside from a litany of counfounding variables surrounding money, transportation and our ongoing(?) public health crisis) is knowing when and where shows are happening.

As somebody who has missed several shows already this year, I’m choosing to use my platform for the public good.

This upcoming Saturday (September 30), rock bands Godcaster and Deeper are playing live at Durham’s Pinhook at 7:00 p.m.

Where will you find yourself this weekend?

Godcaster

Godcaster is an art rock sextet based in Brooklyn, New York.

As part of their ongoing “Like a Heartache in Your Head” American tour, they’ll be making a stop in Durham this Saturday.

How can one best describe the sound of Godcaster? The band has breadth, spanning a wide range of sounds and sensations across their discography.

Cover for “Long Haired Locusts” by Godcaster

Comparable to Black Midi, Godcaster delivers tracks ranging from saccharine sweetness to guttural fervor, pivoting between energies with dizzying abruptness.

While some Godcaster songs inspire visions of sprawling meadows and fawns drinking from babbling brooks, others pass by in a whirlwind of dionysian frenzy.

Deeper

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Deeper is an idyllic post-punk band sounding straight out of the garage.

My first encounter with the band came back in 2020 with their album “Auto-Pain.”

Cover for “Auto-Pain” by Deeper

Oscillating between the realms of indie rock and post-punk, “Auto-Pain” is a great place to start exploring the band’s discography.

Charmingly youthful and upbeat, Deeper’s music paints a vast mural of pleasing rhythms and beats that fill the chest like bees in a hive.

Final Thoughts

I’ll be dragging my baby brother to this gig on Saturday (so expect a concert review in these next few weeks) as part of my plan to help him speed run his “pretentious music boy” phase.

Whether or not this is possible remains to be seen.

But I’m excited for the opportunity to share this experience with him and to, for just a couple hours, fill my brain with jilting guitar instead of academic journals.

Keep an eye out for more concert previews, which I will be hopefully releasing in a more timely manner than this one.

Categories
Blog Concert Preview Festival Coverage Local Music Miscellaneous

Hopscotch – This or That: Main Stage Guide

Promotional logo for Hopscotch music festival 2023, including date and location of the event.

It’s that time of year again, when thousands of music-lovers take to the streets of Raleigh to vibe with some seriously class acts, whatever the weather. Yes, 13 years after its debut, Hopscotch Music Festival is back (Sep. 7-9), with main stages at Moore Square and City Plaza, and dozens of stellar acts across the city.

With over 120 acts performing, even the choosiest of playlist-makers can find something to enjoy over the three day event. From rock to rap, post-punk to country, indie, folk, and more, diversity and inclusivity is truly the name of the game.

However, as with every festival lineup worth its salt, a dilemma lies in the inability to put oneself in more than one place at a time. City Plaza and Moore Square are only half a mile apart, but those steps rack up quickly if you’re planning on trekking back and forth between every few sets.

While the truly determined festival-goer could yo-yo between main stages and catch every set, the best intentions don’t always pan, out so it’s best to know your must-sees in advance. To help plan your musical voyage, here’s a look at the main stage lineups:


Thursday (Sep. 7)

Smooth Haze vs. Alt. Edge

Moore Square:

On Thursday afternoon, Moore Square opens the festival with a mellow haze of rock, jazz and psychedelics. A trio meant to be, Sam Evian, Mild High Club and King Krule embody that chill, late summer, “almost the weekend” feeling.

City Plaza:

Summer is also ending over at City Plaza, but with a bit of an edge, as brooding, post-punk takes the stage with Raleigh’s own Truth Club, followed by similar hints of angst from alt-rock groups, Palm, and Alvvays. Late-90s icons, Pavement, follow suit, closing the alt-rock set in style.


Friday (Sep. 8)

Urban vs. Country

Moore Square:

All things country take the stage on Friday at Moore Square. Sunny War brings modern folk-blues, and Neon Union epitomizes that all-American country sound. Cut Worms and Margo Price add pop and rock slants to the genre respectively, with a singer-songwriter angle.

City Plaza:

Raleigh native, Pat Junior, leads the urban parallel happening at City Plaza. TiaCorine builds on Pat Junior’s pure, simple, rhythm and flow with dreamy beats, while Digable Planets bring retro to the party in the style of 90s hip-hop and jazz. Rapper, Denzel Curry, completes the lineup with his signature emotional style.


Saturday (Sep. 9):

Emo vs. Indie

Moore Square:

Saturday is the host with the most with both main stages kicking off at at an earlier time of around 1pm. Max Gowan play emo, indie tunes to his hometown at Moore Square, before Quasi picks up the pace a little with alt-rock, indie hits. 90s emo heavyweights, American Football define the emo mood of the set with electric guitars and pining vocals.

Things get louder when Sunny Day Real Estate introduce prog rock energy to the lineup, and alt-rock, genre-changing, Dinosaur Jr. round off the set.

City Plaza:

Singer-songwriters start Saturday at City Plaza, with the soft vocals of Chessa Rich and the country twang of Florry. Anjimile adds a hint of melancholy to the mood, before ESG shake things up with post-punk and house.

Singer-songwriter, Soccer Mommy, brings rock and gentle vocals to the set, before the dreamy vocals and beats of indie sensations, Japanese Breakfast, close the festival.


More Info:

Having a better idea of the headliners might make planning a little easier, but with acts like these and almost 100 others playing smaller venues across the city, deciding where to be might just take a little more time. Check out the official website, Instagram, Facebook, X (f.k.a. Twitter) and the official Hopscotch app for more information on the lineup and the latest event updates to best Hopscotch your way around Raleigh next week.

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview

Max Gowan Artist Profile + Hopscotch 2023 Performance Info

About the artist

Max Gowan is a North Carolina based artist who has released six solo albums. He has also worked behind the scenes filling a multitude of roles in the music production process for other artists.

This collaborative process has become a large part of his musical work. He has been credited on albums by groups and artists including fuvk, Infinity Crush, Laptop Funeral, and computer science. More about his work in Mixing, Mastering and Audio editing can be found on his website.

Solo Work and Production Attitudes

The best parts of Gowan’s recorded music would arguably be its unique atmosphere and sonic nuance. These qualities are a product of the artist’s attention towards each track in the arrangement/recording process.

In an interview with Max Gowan for the WKNC 88.1 FM podcast “Off the Record”, the artist explained,

“Technically I guess you could call my music singer songwriter, but it’s very focused on instrumentals. I am big into riffs if you will.”

Listen to the “Off the Record” here on wknc.org

This focus on creating interesting instrumentals is not just limited to the guitar. Rather, it is omnipresent in his recorded music. One of my favorite examples of his intriguing instrumentals would be the percussion on his track “Bad Breeze” off his 2017 album Far Corners.  

The percussion consists mostly of a single looping sample that seems to be a recording of a single flexible object smacking against a surface.

The combination of the sound’s unique timbre, omnipresence and rhythm is uniquely alluring and strangely calming. During the song’s choruses, additional layers of percussion are added to create nuance in an otherwise consistent atmosphere created by the looping sample.

The unusual sound persists throughout the entire track until the fade out of the song begins.

Gowan’s focus on instrumentals has led to the creation of recorded music that is interesting and complex while remaining pleasing to the ear.

Hopscotch 2023 Performance

Max Gowan will be performing in Raleigh, North Carolina during Hopscotch Music Festival on September 9, 2023 at Moore Square. More information about the festival can be found on the festival’s website.

-Daniel Turk

Categories
Concert Preview Miscellaneous

K-Pop Bash at Ruby Deluxe

I’ll be the first to admit I had a K-Pop phase– my “kpoop” playlist remains a staple of my Spotify profile even though I’m no longer trading photocards of my favorite idols. K-Pop is ever-growing and the fanbase of the many groups that make up the genre is only getting bigger.

There’s a lot of opportunities for K-Pop fans to interact with music and communities online, but due to the global reach of many K-Pop groups, opportunities to see favorite artists are few and far between and are usually only found in big cities with expensive, nosebleed-seat tickets.

Citizens of Raleigh– fear not! K-Pop is coming to Ruby Deluxe in the form of a K-Pop Bash being put on by local DJ and music producer Rusty later this month. I asked Rusty a few questions about his event to get some information about what to expect for this first-of-its-kind event.

What is the K-Pop Bash?

“K-Pop Bash is a brand new monthly event that I’m hoping to expand in North Carolina. Our aim is to bring a K-pop filled night to fans while providing a safe space while dancing their favorite music, and meeting new people.”

Who are some of the artists you’ll be playing?

“A few of the artists we’re going to play are groups like BTS, Blackpink, Seventeen, NewJeans, TXT, NCT 127 and Twice. Honestly, there’s so many groups we’re hoping to play, I hope people come and find new songs and groups to enjoy. I personally enjoy finding hidden gems within the genre.”

Will this be a regular/monthly event?

“The aim is to make this a monthly event, so I’ve been working on getting an event booked for each month. July 20th is our first and we have another one in August, which we’ll announce a bit later.” 

What are you most excited about for the Bash?

“The thing I’m most excited for is seeing how this event can grow. These kinds of events really only happen because of community and so far I’ve been amazed out how excited everyone is for this kind of event.”

The K-Pop Bash will take place at Ruby Deluxe in Raleigh, July 20 at 10 p.m. More information about the event can be found at this link. If you’ve wanted to have a BTS dance party somewhere other than your own bedroom, now’s a great chance.

–bel$

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Concert Preview

Concert Preview: Joyce Manor & Teens in Trouble

Joyce Manor is a pop punk band from Torrance, California.

I was 14 or so when I was first introduced to Joyce Manor by someone I probably considered cooler than me. Their 2016 album “Cody” was the first new album from the band that I was able to listen to as the singles dropped and I’ve considered it to be one of my favorite albums since then.

Joyce Manor will be at Cat’s Cradle with Teens in Trouble on June 26 as a small pit stop on their tour with Weezer. Tickets are currently being sold for $25, and more show info and ticket access can be found at the Cat’s Cradle website.

Joyce Manor

Joyce Manor’s most recent release was their album “40 oz. to Fresno” in 2022. Their most popular album, according to Spotify and the many Joyce Manor fans in my life, is “Never Hungover Again,” released in 2014 on Epitaph Records.

Joyce Manor has performed at the Cradle a number of times, including touring with Jeff Rosenstock and Modern Baseball. Their music is punchy and punky without crossing the bridge over to hardcore or pure punk. It’s like the type of punk that might be palatable to a larger audience, but still not everyone– essentially, pop punk.

Vocalist Barry Johnson has a trademark voice that sounds a bit like screaming without any of the vocal violence of screamo. It’s part of what makes the group so special, because they’re able to maintain a signature sound without becoming repetitive.

Teens in Trouble

Teens in Trouble is a WKNC favorite, especially after Double Barrel Benefit 19 earlier this year when they joined us for our annual fundraiser at Kings Raleigh.

Teens in Trouble is the perfect opener for Joyce Manor, because they’ve got indie rock to offer that is easily enjoyable without sacrificing inventiveness.

Vocalist and frontwoman Lizzie Killian described her band’s sound as “fuzzed out indie rock for dog people,” which is kind of a perfect descriptor. Reminiscient of music from Remo Drive and The Beths, Teens in Trouble should be a great opener for the show at the Cradle and will undoubtedly hype the crowd up before headliner Joyce Manor plays their set.

See you at the show!

— bel$

Categories
Band/Artist Profile Concert Preview

Phoneboy Concert Preview

Phoneboy is a three piece indie pop band from New Jersey. 

Their discography is toe tapping and inescapably danceable. High energy and radiantly positive, this band provide a youthful optimism to the music world. 

With much enthusiasm, Phoneboy is currently on tour and is coming to North Carolina on Tuesday Mar. 28 at Cat’s Cradle Back Room. Tickets are currently being sold for $18. For more show information and tickets, you can visit the Cat’s Cradle website.

Brief History and Successes

Emerging in 2018, this band was an instant internet success. In an interview with The Stute Magazine, band member Ricky Dana recalls the release day of their first single “Acid Girl”,

“I remember looking at my Instagram stories and seeing the whole thing was the color of pink and red because everyone was posting it. It was crazy. Friends from home, people from our fraternity. If we didn’t have that support, it wouldn’t have gone anywhere or gotten that exposure at all,”

gloss red mannequin in white sweatshirt with red background
“Acid Girl” single cover art by Phoneboy

From their immediate success, they have continued to gain traction. Their 2021 self-titled album “Phoneboy” greatly contributed to their momentum.

Tracks “1987”, “Hey, Kid!” and “Nevermind (feat. Justin Magnaye)” are just three of the many popular songs off the release. It is easy to hear why Phoneboy is such an immediate success– from one listen there is an instant feeling of positivity.

Phoneboy makes music that sounds like candy. It is sweet, stark and begs for another listen. This is especially apparent in track “1987”, it’s incredibly wholesome and bright. From backing guitar, drums and lyrics, this song effortlessly evokes a feeling of a happy summer day.

The positive energy heard throughout their discography will undoubtedly seep onto the stage.

Latest Releases

In their latest singles, “Ferrari” and “Runaway”, they hold onto a childlike, careless energy.

In an interview with Sweety High Magazine Phoneboy elaborates on the inspiration for the newest releases:

“‘Ferrari’ represents the lack of responsibility we had when we were teenagers, and how much we took that freedom for granted. We hope any kids that are transitioning into adulthood and feel like they’re drowning can listen to this track and feel a little bit less alone.”

In many ways this theme of childhood and freedom connects their entire discography. To be in the moment without impeding responsibilities.

“Ferrari” Music Video by Phoneboy

Although much of their discography has genuine themes and deeper meanings– It’s clear they don’t take themselves too seriously and they have a good time making their music.

They make music to evoke a good time away from the stress and screens of daily life, and they succeed in this goal without any bells or whistles.

“Runaway” Music Video by Phoneboy

This carefree energy is very clear in their newest music videos and cover art. I’m excited to see how the personalities seen in the videos and heard in the music translate to a live stage.

Concluding Thoughts

It goes without saying the Phoneboy concert will have fun, positive energy.

The core purpose of their music is to encourage the listener to be in the moment and live a little more carefree– I am excited to see and hear how they promote this purpose on stage.

Regardless, it will be a great event to get away from attention hording phones and dance the night away. See you at the show.

Categories
Concert Preview Local Music

Upcoming Local Shows for March

Chatham County Line

When: Friday Mar. 3. Doors open 7pm, Show 8pm

Where: Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, NC

Price: $20/$25

Chatham County Line is a local North Carolinian bluegrass band. This group blends characteristic native North Carolina bluegrass with soothing song writing and honest lyrics. Their sound is greatly inspired by the work of Neil Young and Gram Parsons– melding sweet guitar, mellow vocals, and rustic notes of harmonica and banjo picking.

Soul Glo

When: Saturday Mar. 4. Doors open 7pm, Show 8pm

Where: Cat’s Cradle Backroom, Carrboro, NC

Price: $17

Soul Glo is a hardcore punk and screamo band from Philadelphia. High energy, loud, and infused with political frustration, this band will undoubtedly put on an entertaining, heavy show. Soul Glo blends elements from screamo, punk, hip-hop and rap. Tracks such as “Driponomics” and “Coming Correct Is Cheaper” are great examples of the versatility and power this trio brings to their music.

Included in the show are performances from three openers: Cloud Rat, Backslider and Overgrown Throne.

The French Cassettes

When: Monday Mar. 6. Doors open 7pm. Show 8pm.

Where: The Pour House Music Hall and Record Shop, Raliegh NC

Price: $12-$15

The French Cassettes are an indie pop band from San Francisco. Their discography is filled with high energy tracks that evoke positivity and movement. Songs such as “Santa Cruz Tomorrow” and “Utah” demonstrate the richness this band brings to the indie pop genre. Their songs are anything but flat. The care and consideration that went into layering and building each track is prominent. The richness and high energy of their songs will provide for a great show.

Opener, Tino Drima, will add to the fun and light energy of this show. Tino Drima brings a dash of retro funk into the pop-rock genre. Together these bands will perform a fun, funky, crowd-pleasing show.

Sweet Pill

When: Saturday Mar.11. Doors 8pm, Show 9pm

Where: Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC

Price: $15

Sweet Pill is an emo punk band from Philadelphia. Their most recent album, “Where the Heart Is”, is characterized by bold vocals, complex guitar lines and unapologetically emo lyrics. Lead singer, Zayna Youssef, has a powerful voice that resonates energy from fellow emo-punk singer, Haley Williams. Sweet Pill is upbeat and bold– their performance will be energizing.

Opener Their / They’re / There holds a similar emo energy but takes a more indie rock approach. This is a great pairing of bands. Their / They’re / There will be an exciting, energetic opener and will transition beautifully to the heavier notes of Sweet Pill.

Runnner

When: Monday Mar. 13. Doors open 7pm, Show 8pm

Where: Cat’s Cradle Backroom Carrboro, NC

Price: $15/$18

Runnner is a folk, indie project by singer-songwriter Noah Weinmann. In his discography he has a collection of soft hits including “Ur Name on a Grain of Rice” and “Vines to Make it All Worth It”. His sound is gentle, refreshing and pleasant. The show will most certainly bring a meditative mood to Cat’s Cradle Stage.

Opener, waveform*, follows suit with a soft, pleasant indie sound with more of a moody and melancholy tone. Tracks “Favorite Song” and “makeup” by waveform* are great examples of the types of sound that may be heard at the concert.

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Concert Preview

Origami Angel 2022 Tour Concert Preview

Origami Angel, the D.C.-based emo/pop-punk duo, is touring all across the United States after the release of their album “GAMI GANG” in 2021 and two new EPs, “re: turn” and “DEPART” right before their tour. They are visiting Blind Tiger in Greensboro on November 15, 2022. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is at 8 p.m.

I have been a fan of Origami Angel since the release of “Somewhere City” in 2019. They have a great sound and put an excellent twist on a genre I already love a lot. When I saw they were coming to Greensboro for only $18, I couldn’t turn down the tickets.

To sweeten the pot, Pool Kids and insignificant other are starting the show.

Origami Angel

Rooted in the sounds of emo and pop-punk, Origami Angel has been releasing music since 2017. Origami Angel puts a fun twist on the genres they are rooted in, using a sound that is typically very angsty to create mostly very hopeful music.

Origami Angel’s focus on this tour is their 2021 album, “GAMI GANG”. However, they released two EPs right before their tour with polar opposite sounds which will also be performed. “re: turn” is heartfelt and acoustic, and “DEPART” is a screamo EP.

Fans can also expect songs from their older releases, of course including songs from “Somewhere City”. They can be expected to start the show by playing Sweden by C418 before moving into their set. The encore will consist of “Noah Fence” and “Find Your Throne”.

Nonetheless, I am extremely excited for the show, it seems like Origami Angel has put together an excellent setlist which is a wonderful representation of their discography.

The Openers

I found out about math-influenced emo band Pool Kids earlier this year through their album “Music to Practice Safe Sex To” and loved their new self-titled release which came out in July. They will be playing songs mostly from their new album, but will also play “Erso” and “$5 Subtweet” from their first album.

insignificant other is an indie band that I started listening to in preparation for this concert. They have one album, “i’m so glad i feel this way about you” from 2019 which will make up the entirety of their setlist. Everything I have heard from the band is super fun and I am excited to hear it live.

This show has a very stacked lineup. I am thrilled to have the chance to see the show. Tickets can be purchased through the etix website. If you are a fan of Origami Angel and have the time, this would be a great show to go to see.

Setlist information provided by setlist.fm.

Categories
Concert Preview Music News and Interviews

Upcoming Local Concerts

MICHELLE – Oct.31

Opener: Nickname Jos

Where: Motorco Music Hall, Durham

When: 8pm Monday, Oct.31

Price: $18/$24

MICHELLE Tickets

It is a shame Halloween fell on a Monday this year, but MICHELLE is here to excite the Monday nightlife and welcome November

MICHELLE is a R&B group from New York City. Their discography is filled to the brim with upbeat tracks and rich harmonies. This vocal-led group is extremely dynamic in rhythm, tone and musical composition. Each member has so much vocal control and range, allowing the group to create some stunning vocal lines. They will put on a fantastic show.

Superorganism – Nov. 3

Opener: Blood Cultures

Where: Motorco Music Hall, Durham

When: 8pm Thursday, Nov. 3

Price: $22/$25

Superorganism Tickets

Superorganism is a psychedelic indie pop band from London. I would also like to highlight their opener, Blood Cultures, an anoynoymus experimental indie pop project from Brooklyn. Both of these bands have such a unique aura.

To add to the excitement of this performance, Superorganism released their album, “World Wide Pop” this year and just released a remix album, “World Wide Pop- Reeeemix!” Oct.28. These two bands will certainly bring lots of new sounds to the stage.

Oso Oso – Nov.6

Opener: M.A.G.S and Anxious

Where: Motorco Music Hall, Durham

When: 8pm Sunday, Nov.6

Price: $19/$23

OSO OSO Tickets

Oso Oso is an alternative emo band from Long Beach, New York. Oso Oso has such a well versed discography, ranging from heavy rock to light alternative tracks. The openers M.A.G.S. and Anxious will complement his wide range of music wonderfully.

Opener, M.A.G.S is an indie garage rock and pop project from Buffalo, New York. Anxious is an dreamo band from Connecticut. This trio of artists have a wide variety of sounds, yet remain unified in their melancholy tone.

Sorry – Nov.12

Opener: N/A

Where: Local 506, Chapel Hill

When: 9pm Saturday, Nov.12

Price: $13/$15

Sorry Tickets

Sorry taps into an astral of genres to create there unique sound– ranging from bubblegrunge, punk, indie rock, and psychedelic. Hailing from London, this duo brings with them a weighty discography.

Their newest album, “Anywhere by Here” released Oct. 7. In my opinion, it contains some of their best work.

The freshness of their album will certainly contribute to an extremely energized show.

Omar Apollo – Nov. 20

Opener: N/A

Where: The Ritz, Raleigh

When: 7:45pm Sunday, Nov.20

Price: $50

Omar Apollo Tickets

Last, but certainly not least, R&B artist Omar Apollo. He released his fourth full album, “Ivory” earlier this year. Although I think it was less successful compared to his previous work– it is clear his energy is ecstatic throughout this tour.

If this show reflects “Ivory”, it will have an excellent variety of high and low energy tracks. Each track in his discography is rich– he just has such a great voice.

Omar Apollo keeps achieving more with each and every release, this performance will be rich in talent, stage presence and musical variety.

Categories
Concert Preview

Mother Mother Inside Tour 2022 Concert Preview

Off their latest release, “Inside”, alt-rock sensation Mother Mother is touring with Vundabar and Transviolet across the globe. They are visiting Raleigh’s own The Ritz on October 18, 2022.

This is the first time Mother Mother has made their way to the triangle in almost ten years, since 2013. The opportunity to hear songs such as “Hayloft”, “Verbatim” and “Infinitesimal” live is an opportunity fans will not want to pass up.

On top of that, with openers like Vundabar and Transviolet, it is shaping up to be quite the show.

Mother Mother

Mother Mother has been releasing music for almost 15 years at this point, with eight studio albums under their belts. While their newer releases have been split among audiences, their early releases have energy that can’t be found in many other bands.

Mother Mother, “Inside” Album Art

Fans can expect the set to open with “Verbatim”, one of their most popular songs. They will play music from all reaches of their discography, with acoustic versions thrown in and even a cover of “Creep” by Radiohead. The set will wrap up with “Hayloft” into “Hayloft II”. Fans can also expect an encore.

The Openers

Fans of the electronic indie band Vundbar can expect to hear a variety of songs from their earlier alums. They will be playing many of their most popular hits including “Alien Blues”, “Oulala” and “Chop” all from their album “Gawk”. Fans should not expect to hear many tracks from their three newest albums.

Pop band Transviolet will start the Mother Mother show with their song, “Bloodstream”. Fans can expect songs from all over their discography to be played, especially “Girls Your Age”.

With all this in mind, fans of Mother Mother should expect an excellent show with great openers. Tickets are being sold by Ticketmaster and are still available for the Raleigh show.

Setlist information provided by setlist.fm