Episode 21: Janet Devlin

After almost taking a year off (hiatus or vacation?) from Before The Concert, we’re back with Episode 21 featuring Irish singer/songwriter Janet Devlin and guitarist Roo Walker!

Janet’s new album Running With Scissors is a catchy folk-pop album and I like it a lot. She has such a unique, distinct voice and it was a treat hearing it in person. Janet was a contestant on the UK’s version of X Factor in 2011 and she went pretty far too. She was over in Manhattan for some press & events so I didn’t get a chance to see her perform a full set yet but I will next time she’s back in NYC.

I met up with Janet and her guitarist Roo at her hotel, along with her manager and publicist. I was originally going to film in Times Square area but when I went there, it was mobbed with people of course. crowds, Elmos, cops oh my! So it wouldn’t have been a good spot plus I didn’t know how long the rain was going to stay away. We tried filming on the hotel’s rooftop which would have been absolute perfect despite the fact that all the air vents were on full blast! After one try we knew that wasn’t going to work but it was certainly nice up there. We eventually just shot the videos in the hotel room, which worked out well.

Janet started out with “Whisky Lullabies,” and then played an acoustic version of “House of Cards.” Janet and Roo finished things up with a nice cover of Kodaline’s “All I Want.” It was a pleasure to meet and film with Janet and everyone should check out her new album!

You can watch this episode on the Before The Concert YouTube channel as well.

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Episode 20: Jake Smith of The White Buffalo

I’m fairly new to The White Buffalo but as soon as I heard songs like “Wish It Was True” and “BB Guns and Dirtbikes,” I became an instant fan that had to get all of the band’s albums. When I knew this Chuck Ragan/The White Buffalo tour was going to stop in New York City, I figured that would be a great time to meet up with Jake Smith of the band.

Originally, I was trying to get both Jake Smith and Chuck Ragan to do something together but I was happy just to film either of them. Like with all Chuck Ragan shows in New York, he was incredibly busy but thankfully Jake Smith found time to film 2 songs with me, even though he was a bit under the weather. Would have been nice to film outside but don’t think we’re quite there yet with the weather in New York. One day is great and then it’s two steps back to being cold again. The schedule was a bit hectic for Jake as well so Team Reybee and me just decided to film in the band’s dressing room at Irving Plaza.

I got into the room a few minutes before Jake came in so I could setup. As I was setting up, I realized that The White Buffalo’s drummer Matt was sleeping on one of the couches. I didn’t even realize he was there! I was trying to setup as quietly as I could so I didn’t wake him up. Once Jake came in, Matt woke up and moved to another couch since the other one didn’t have mirrors behind it. I didn’t want to show up in the video the entire time.

Jake ended up playing “Fire Don’t Know” from the band’s newest album Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways and then one of my favorites, “BB Guns and Dirtbikes.” It was a real treat to hear Jake sing exclusively for me and I was hoping he would play at least one of my favorites. Glad he did! Even though Jake was sick, I still wanted to take a picture with him afterwards. Thankfully, I didn’t catch what he had.

Thanks to The White Buffalo for letting me film in the dressing room before the concert, as well as a nice thank you to the Reybee crew!

You can watch this episode on the Before The Concert YouTube channel as well.

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Episode 19: Jason DeVore of Authority Zero

I’ve been a fan of Authority Zero since their first album was sent to me for review around 2005. Since then, I’ve been a big fan and love seeing Authority Zero in concert every time they are in town. Like many of the musicians and bands that are featured on this site, frontman Jason DeVore and the band have been on my wish-list to film since I started the series. I was trying to find time to film Jason last June when they played in NYC with Ballyhoo! but couldn’t find time. Thankfully, I finally got around to filming Jason this time!

This episode is a bit different than the others since it’s not a BEFORE the concert episode. Originally I wanted to film Jason before the concert started but with time restraints, we couldn’t make it work. So this is an AFTER the concert episode that was filmed outside the venue, towards the end of the show. It was too noisy to film in the dressing room and thankfully wasn’t raining, so we ventured outside and quickly grew a small dedicated audience.

Jason played two songs, both from Stories of Survival: “Get It Right” and “Big Bad World.” Both songs are some of my favorites so I was happy with the choices. It was great seeing the people around Jason singing and dancing, it made for a better video. During the video, Jason broke 1 or 2 strings while playing and added a verse about it in one of the songs. That made for a funny moment. Afterwards, Jason stuck around the cold to talk with fans and take pictures. I wanted to get a photo with him and a few others jumped in the shot as well, which I was laughing about since I just wanted one with myself. It’s all good, makes for a fun photo. Thanks to the Irving Plaza guys for not stopping the filming!

If you haven’t seen Authority Zero in concert yet, you’re truly missing out! They put on an awesome show and they just keep getting better and better.

I took a ton of photographs at the show, which you can see over at my photo site SkaPunkPhotos.com.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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Top 5 Favorite Episodes of 2013

Well, the year is almost done and I managed to do about 16 new episodes this year. I probably could have done 5 or 6 more if things panned out. With this type of series, everything is based on a lot of factors: my schedule, the band’s schedule, weather, location, etc. So I was happy to have filmed that many episodes and hope to do more in 2014.

While it’s tough picking favorites, there was quite a few videos I ended up watching over and over than others. No offense to other bands or anything, it’s just some episodes I’m more proud of, or made me laugh a lot or a lot of memorable things happened during or before/after filming. I managed to film a lot of people on my wish list this year and crossing my fingers I get to film even more of my favorite artists & bands in the new year.

Here’s my top 5 favorite episodes of 2013:

1. The Beards


By far my favorite video of the year! It was tough filming these guys because I was trying to hold in laughing throughout the video.

2. Carbon Leaf


The very first band I thought of when I started Before The Concert. They didn’t disappoint!

3. Willie Nile


Didn’t know what to expect with filming in a small room in Barnes and Noble but ended up be a ton of fun!

4. Tim Warren of The Alternate Routes


While we waited to go inside the club, I filmed Tim singing “Stereo” and it’s one I always watch. Not because of my crappy filming, but how great Tim is in the episode.

5. Nick Gill


Nick was the first episode of the new year, it was in January and wasn’t too cold but it was still pretty chilly. We only filmed the one song but it was a lot of fun trying to get it right.

Episode 16: Carbon Leaf

When I decided to start Before The Concert, the first band I thought of was Carbon Leaf. Whenever they played their one-mic style songs, I knew that would be perfect for the video series. The guys haven’t been in NYC for over a year since they were recording new music and being family men. Thankfully, they finally returned to New York and played a sold out show. Before their concert, my wife Kristen and I met up with the band at the venue and filmed them playing 3 songs. As you can imagine, it was an awesome time!

When we arrived, we were greeted by Terry, Carter and Barry outside the club. We decided it was way too hot to even try to film something outside. We were lucky enough to film in the next room. It was some sort of winery room where they make the wine. It kind of reminded me of that bubble wonkamobile scene in Willy Wonka. Of course I had Willy Wonka quotes running through my brain before we were filming. Kristen and I filmed some “b-roll” stuff and then it was onto the main event of filming Carbon Leaf.

The band played 3 songs: a sort-of new one called “Ragtime Carnival,” one of my favorites “Learn to Fly” and a new favorite “Donnybrook Affair” off their latest album Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle. During the beginning of “Learn to Fly,” you’ll notice a noise. That would be Jon, the bass player, knocking his bow into his bass and immediately shaking his head and laughing about it. Everytime I see that part, I crack up. There’s other stuff I wished I got on camera, at least to put in an outtake video, but wasn’t meant to be. Some of the audio I got in-between songs was quite hilarious. Terry was goofing off too which we did get some video of that so we’ll have to put that into an outtake. Though there is one scene in the episode that makes me laugh too when Kristen points the camera towards him.

After the filming, I helped the guys film “Donnybrook Affair” again for their PledgeMusic page and filmed it on Barry’s iPhone. My arms were killing me by that point but I think that came out okay for them. We took some pictures with the guys and always the jokester that I am, was making fun of me and Jon since we’re on the short side. I was doing an impression of Frodo and Sam from Lord of the Rings, so I got a stupid looking face in my photo with the band. Hopefully Jon didn’t want to kill me for calling us Hobbits haha. Another hilarious moment happened while Terry was helping me wrap my XLR cable since I’m an idiot and don’t know how do it. We realized Barry still had the lav mic on but went away but the camera wasn’t on thankfully. We found out he was using the bathroom so would have been a funny Naked Gun moment if that was the case. I got to remember to get the lav mics from singers after I’m done filming.

I’m glad I finally the chance to film the band for the series and hope I get to do something with them again. Next time I hope it’s around Xmas time so we can try out their holiday songs on the NYC streets. That would be fun…and cold.

If you like YouTube better, you can watch the episode over at the Before The Concert channel.

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