Date: November 17th, 2009
Location: Philadelphia, Pa
Venue: The Electric Factory
Opening Act: Griffin House
[Opening Act: Griffin House]
I wish I could say something about Griffin House, but the man didn't make much of an impression. He didn't sound terrible and the music was pleasant enough. He just didn't stand out: House sounds like every guy who ever picked up an acoustic guitar and made nice sounds. I will give him marks for attempting to engage the audience and making note that he was a fan of the cranberries when he was a teenager. It was a nice touch. He left the stage in a timely matter, not overstaying his welcome, and that's it.
After Griffin House left the stage I remarked to my wife that the sound was very cloudy. It was hard to hear although the volume was fine. It just sounded washed out (music and talking). While that was a big issue, overall we had a good time at the Electric Factory. I have been there in the past and it had been hotter than hell, but it was very comfortable last night.
We ended up in the upper section by the bars, waiting for friends. I scouted the area and picked out a spot that gave us a clear view of the stage. We were close to the security guard: I mention this because the guy was EXCELLENT. Our clear view depended on people not standing in a restricted area; at another show, the guards would just let them creep over, but this guy was on the ball - ensuring our awesome view. On top of that, at one point in the night he gave my wife a stool to sit on (completely unprompted). He didn't yell at people - he was polite but stern and he made my night way more enjoyable. On our way out I hooked him up with a tip because he restored my faith in standing room shows (positive reinforcement!). This guy was a total asset to the Electric Factory.
The Cranberries came out very quickly (no 45 minute wait between sets). They began the show with a tune I recalled, but have no idea what the name was. When Dolores O'Riordan pointed the mic at the audience to sing, I realized that I really don't know many Cranberries songs besides "Linger", "Ode to My Family", and "Zombie".
Luckily for me, the band wasn't stingy with their known songs. They mixed up the set well between slower and more rocking tunes. O'Riordan jumped and shimmed across the stage like a girl half her age (she is almost 40). Her voice sounded great (I noticed she was using an echo effect for many of the songs, which sounded cool), and she made an effort to connect with the Philadelphia crowd; I think she has family in the city but I couldn't make out what she was saying. Good amount of chatter, but not too much.
The band sounded great, they obviously knew their way around the songs. Dolores played a few tunes from her solo album and the band provided back up. The new material sounded good, but not mind blowing. I decided once they played "Zombie" I was going to leave and beat the crowd out. Before we left, we heard an excellent version of "Salvation" - I had completely forgotten that song. Soon enough "Zombie" was played and we said good night to our friends and left.
I had an excellent time at the show: The band sounded great, the employees at the venue exceeded their job function to enhance my concert going experience, and I got home a decent time... which is good because I had to cancel my day off today. I will leave you as I left the venue last night: