The Shindig 2014

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Due to Riot Fest 2013, I didn’t partake in The Shindig’s inaugural event last year. Luckily, Riot Fest 2014 didn’t interfere or overlap with The Shindig this year. Last years featured the likes of Dropkick Murphy’s, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Gaslight Anthem as well as Clutch and Larry and His Flask (the last two played this year as well). Given the festivals fledgling status, sketchy area and (seemingly) disappointing turn out, I had major concerns with how well the festival would go off this year. Despite some minor issues, The Shindig went off without a hitch. Inside the festivals walls the stages were set up close enough together that fans could remain on one side or the other without having to switch for each band, food vendors were plentiful without being overbearing and it managed to feel like a major festival turnout while also feeling intimate. The set times were perfectly staggered so fans could see every band without issue (which was also great for photographers) and security was very respectful of press and fans alike. While the turnout may have been disappointing (but not shocking given the festivals steep price tag of $70), I thoroughly enjoyed my time at The Shindig and I hope that 98 Rock and the rest of the sponsors and promoters choose to bring it back again next year.

Charm City Devils:

It’s been five years since the first (and only) time that I’d seen Charm City Devils. I debated going much later and making Halestorm my first band of the day, but I remembered how great Charm City Devils were the first time I saw them and decided to suck up the down time in between in order to see them. The band didn’t disappoint. Despite playing early on in the day, playing a home town show has a lot of perks. The crowd may not have been huge, but it was loud and raucous. They were well worth getting there early.

Vocals: 8.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 8.5
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 8.5

 

Larry and His Flask:

A friend of mine had spoken very highly of Larry and His Flask. So, rather than just chilling with my friends and killing time, I chose to check out their set too. They were absolutely fantastic. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a great mixture of folk, punk and bluegrass. For most people, that doesn’t sound too appealing. I can’t really judge because if someone had told me that before their set, I probably would’ve written them off too. But they were my second favorite band of the day, only slightly being edged out by Gogol Bordello. Not only did they sound fantastic, but they were filled with energy despite being one of the “softer” (and I use that loosely) bands on the bill. One of my favorite new(ish) bands.

Vocals: 10
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 10

 

Halestorm:

I’ve seen and covered Halestorm many times over the years and they never disappoint. Despite my normal dislike of female-fronted bands, vocalist and guitarist Lzzy Hale has an unbelievable voice and even better stage presence. Despite seeing them so many times over the years, Lzzy and company never disappoint. They’re hard at work on a new album (much needed since their last release, The Strange Case Of…, came out in 2012) so, naturally, they rented equipment to perform at The Shindig. And given the number of thefts that have been plaguing musicians, I can’t fault them for taking extra precautions in Baltimore.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. I Miss the Misery
2. Love Bites (So Do I)
3. It’s Not You
4. Freak Like Me
5. Rock Show
6. Break In / Familiar Taste of Poison
7. Dissident Aggressor [Judas Priest cover]
8. Mayhem
9. Mz. Hyde
10. I Get Off
11. Here’s to Us

 

Clutch:

Like Halestorm, I’ve seen Clutch many times over the years, but oddly this is the first home state show that I’ve seen them play. They’ve always been solid, but they were at another level in Baltimore. While the energy wasn’t anything to get excited about for most of the band members, vocalist Neil Fallon was much more enthusiastic and energetic than I’ve ever seen him. I’d heard how great their local shows were, but it was great to finally experience one. If you’ve never seen Clutch, you’re seriously missing out.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 8.5
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list (partial, possibly out of order, too):

1. Earth Rocker
2. Unto the Breach
3. Burning Beard
4. Crucial Velocity
5. The Mob Goes Wild
6. The Regulator
7. D.C. Sound Attack!
8. Electric Worry

 

Gogol Bordello:

I caught the very, very end of their set at Riot Fest 2014, but it wasn’t enough to do them justice. I was so sad that I had to miss them and then I got approved for this show and was beyond excited to finally see if they lived up to what other people said about them. They did. When they first came out, it was complete sensory overload. There were so many members running around and jumping around that it was impossible to focus properly until I’d managed to get oriented. About thirty seconds into their first song, I was finally really able to start shooting, but even then I found myself stopping and just watching them; being completely mesmerized.

One of the greatest things about Gogol Bordello is how multicultural they are. They’ve got members from Ukraine, Belarus, Ecuador, USA, Ethiopa, Scotland and Russia. Because of this melting pot, the band infuses so many great sounds and inspirations into their music and makes them utterly captivating. How people described Gogol Bordello’s live show didn’t do them justice. They were my favorite band at The Shindig and I’m anxiously waiting for the next time I can see them live.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 10

Set list:

1. We Rise Again
2. Not a Crime
3. Wonderlust King
4. The Other Side of Rainbow
5. My Companjera
6. Dig Deep Enough
7. Last One Goes the Hope
8. Trans-Continental Hustle
9. Immigraniada (We Comin’ Rougher)
10. Start Wearing Purple
11. Break the Spell

 

Rise Against:

Despite conflicts, I chose to photograph Rise Against two weeks prior at Riot Fest 2014 over Jane’s Addiction. It was a tough call, but one I ultimately hoped would pan out since I thought I’d be shooting this show. Thankfully it did. While the energy level for Rise Against was as high as it was at Riot Fest, vocalist Tim McIlrath was noticeably off tonight. It appeared as though he was sick, but there’s no real way to confirm that. With how great they sounded two weeks prior, I feel inclined to give them the doubt. Still, McIlrath sounds better sick than most singers do healthy. It almost helped his normal gravely voice sounds even more efficient.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 8

Set list:

1. Ready to Fall
2. Give It All
3. Re-Education (Through Labor)
4. Behind Closed Doors
5. Long Forgotten Sons
6. The Good Left Undone
7. I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore
8. Help Is on the Way
9. Chamber the Cartridge
10. Prayer of the Refugee
11. Audience of One
12. Satellite
13. People Live Here
14. Swing Life Away

Encore:

15. Make It Stop (September’s Children)
16. Savior

 

Jane’s Addiction:

I’ve been going to concerts for thirteen years now and it’s become very hard for me to see new bands, especially given my job. A brand new opener here and there, but overall I tend to be covering the same bands, festivals and tours repeatedly and without much change. It gets a bit exhausting after awhile. One of the great things about Riot Fest 2014 and The Shindig, I was able to see so many amazing bands that I’d never seen before. Like Gogol Bordello, I was able to hear a bit of Jane’s Addiction at Riot Fest, but I wasn’t able to give them a proper listen.

I’ve never been a big fan of Jane’s Addiction, but I was very excited to finally see them. For the most part, they delivered. Vocalist Perry Farrell was impossible to hear if you were close to the stage, but the quality improved the further you got back in the crowd. While bassist Chris Chaney was relatively stationary, there was a bit more energy from Farrell and guitarist Dave Navarro.

Jane’s Addiction didn’t blow me away, but they were worth seeing once.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 8

Set list:

1. Up the Beach
2. Ocean Size
3. Had a Dad
4. Ted, Just Admit It…
5. Standing in the Shower… Thinking
6. Summertime Rolls
7. Mountain Song
8. Idiots Rule
9. Jane Says
10. Thank You Boys
11. Pigs in Zen
Encore:
12. Been Caught Stealing
13. Just Because
14. Stop!

To view the gallery below, you can either click on the giant play button to view in slideshow form, or you can click below to go to my Flickr page to view them broken down by band.

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