I’ve been meaning to comment on the shows I’ve been to lately, but I always seem to have something more pressing to do. Here’s a quick re-cap.

Against Me! with The Epoxies September 25 at The Icon in Buffalo

As it turns out, it was Against Me! with The Epoxies, and Smoke or Fire, and The Soviettes. First off, The Icon is a shitty little building, I won’t argue that, but it wasn’t bad for a show like this. They have a big garage door at the back, so it didn’t get too hot in there. BP really didn’t like it, though, so I’m assuming he fell off the step that’s inexplicably located in the middle of the place.

The Soviettes were fun to watch, but I didn’t like the music much. Smoke or Fire was pretty good, but I wasn’t paying much attention. The Epoxies were absolutely ridiculous. The best way I can describe them is “synth punk” - they sort of had this rivethead look going on, and the music prominently featured a synthesizer. They filled the place with fog, and the guitarist and bassist both had laser pointers attached to their guitars. They reminded me of Gogol Bordello - music isn’t great, but their show was fun to watch.

Against Me! was great, as expected. They played a few from the new album, which has been growing on me - it’s definitely better live. I would say that this one was on par with the show in Toronto, back in May. This time around, I knew all the songs, but it felt like only the people up in the pit were really into the show. In Toronto, the entire room was like the pit, but with less pushing. Either way, it was a fun show and I’m glad we went. And we got Mighty Taco before coming home.

Jon Stewart October 8 in the Gordon Field House here at RIT

Jon was a disappointment. It took him like 15 minutes to get going - he kept dicking around with the captionist and interpreter – which was only moderately funny the first 20 times I’ve seen comedians do it - and asking all the photographers where they were from. It almost felt like he was stalling because he knew he didn’t have enough material. Most of his set was pretty good, but he finished with a story about his dog getting sick. Did he really have to appeal to the lowest common denominator? No one goes to see Jon Stewart because they know he tells great poop jokes. As good as his political commentary and other jokes were, ending on that one sort of left me with a bad impression of the show overall.

The Rochester Philharmonic October 14 in Ingle Auditorium here at RIT

I really only went to this because I had to for my Haydn & Mozart class. When they finished the first piece, I started to think that it would be a much better show than expected. The first three pieces were outstanding - three of Braham’s Hungarian dances. But then they did one of Mozart’s concertos. It was like 30-second intervals of exciting and emotional music padded with five-minute stretches of boring. They finished with Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, which was better than the Mozart, but still pretty boring. After the conductor took a few bows, they did another Hungarian Dance, so at least the end didn’t suck. The musicians were fantastic, but the 18th and 19th centuries produced some real crap.