Aaron Fortin

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Besides being an avid concert-goer, currently working at Fox Sports and serving as co-editor / writer for LIVE music blog, while living in Santa Monica. Tweets @phortin.
How many shows have you gone to that feature an ugly sweater contest
Very late Monday night, iTunes released the entire tracklist for Phish's 13th studio album 'Big Boat' (due 10/7) along with the option to buy the first single "Breath and Burning." The 13 tracks were listed for less than twenty minutes and already fans are discussing why "Mercury" and "Let's Go" weren't included and if "Asshanded" would be a secret...
Last night Spin Cycle Presents produced one helluva jam session in Santa Monica, CA. It featured some of the community's finest musicians in an intimate 80-100 person venue aptly named TRiP. Marcus Rezak called this project Cosmik Playground Superjam and it lived up to that billing. Arthur Barrow (Zappa), Jason Hann (SCI), Joel Cummins (Umphreys), Marcus Rezak (Stratosphere All-Stars,...
Psychedelic-jam-rockers, Shaky Feelin’ just announced the official release date for their sophomore album, INSIDER MIND as February 27th. The 11-track album will be celebrated with an official Album Release Party at The Crest Theatre in Westwood, CA that same night. It’s a big weekend for the Ventura quintet as they look to follow-up 2013’s The Real Picture with a...
Back in October word leaked that James Murphy was getting LCD Soundsystem back together for a few Coachella performances. It was quickly dismissed by DFA Records and not much was heard of since. Until yesterday when Coachella announced their 2016 lineup with LCD headlining on April 15th and 22nd. Today, James Murphy has followed up with a personal letter to...
I'm ready to declare a winner in November for my 'Album of the Year.' Khruangbin's debut release The Universe Smiles Upon You is one of the catchiest, soothing, soul searching, slow-mo funk albums I've heard. It was released last week, November 6th by Night Time Stories and is readily available on their official bandcamp page and streaming on Spotify....
**UPDATE** 4:00 pm : DFA Records, the label co-owned by Murphy, has issued a statement denying the band’s plans to reunite. Despite this, our sources stress the band intends to reunite next year, and we stand behind our original report. - Consequence of Sound Five years ago, LCD Soundsystem and their band-leader James Murphy called it quits, citing exhaustion from the...
UPDATE: the band has confirmed a four-night run at MGM Grand Garden Arena! Back in October of 2015, this little nugget of info dropped below: Some reliable yet unconfirmed word around the scene is that Phish has been in talks to appear at a festival in Las Vegas in 2016. This would be an outdoor festival, and know that Rock in...
Oh tequila I turn to you like a long lost friend... Phish and CID Presents have put together a pretty impressive vacation from January 15-17th. The official website just went live and here are the details: Phish: Riviera Maya is a 4-night all-inclusive concert vacation featuring 3 nights of Phish in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The...
Vulfpeck just released info on their first full-length album, Thrill of the Arts and a Kickstarter campaign in support. The ten-track album drops October 9th via Vulf Records and features guests galore including Antwaun Stanley (1612!) and David T. Walker. There are several Kickstarter packages you can sign up for including digital, vinyl and t-shirt bundles. After recently signing...
Jam Cruise and Cloud 9 Adventures just announced the lineup for their 14th annual voyage and per usual it's a live music fan's dream. Headlining the boat this year will be Dr. John & The Nite Trippers, Trombone Shorty, Galactic and Lotus. Along with LIVE favorites, Joe Russo's Almost Dead, New Mastersounds, Lettuce, Anders Osborne and Karl Denson's Tiny...
The Dead camp has finally confirmed the news of two additional FARE THEE WELL shows for June 27th and 28th. The concerts will take place at the newly constructed LEVI's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA and will feature the exact same lineup as the final FARE THEE WELL shows in Chicago -- Trey Anastasio on guitar, Bruce Hornsby and...
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My Morning Jacket has given fans a peak under 'The Waterfall', their seventh studio album out May 4th. The two-minute trailer features fragments of five songs and beautiful cinematography of Northern California's Stinson Beach where the album was recorded. You can pre-order the album now from Amazon and it'll likely get there before the release date.
Two weeks after Trey Anastasio joins the remaining members of the Grateful Dead in Chicago for the Fare Thee Well celebration, Phish has confirmed they'll be returning to the road. The band just dropped their 2015 Summer Tour dates along with details for MAGNABALL, their tenth music festival, set to return to Watkins Glen in New York the weekend...
*Update 3/23 2:30PM PST* Bill Walton's Official Twitter page: https://twitter.com/BillWalton/status/580117293117493248 Is the Dead's 50th Anniversary Celebration getting some much needed West Coast love? A few weeks ago The Chicago Tribune interviewed promoter Peter Shaprio who said "There’s no extra dates planned. For Chicago or anywhere else" but that's apparently all changed in a very short period of time. Chatter from fans began...
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We here at LIVE are huge fans of the Oscar-winning film Whiplash which centers around a jazz drummer and his relationship with an intense teacher. So when the opportunity struck, we had to post this parody trailer from the funny guys over at Nacho Punch. They nailed it. #DJWHIPLASH
The second phase of artists were announced today for High Sierra Music Festival's Silver Anniversary taking place July 2-5th in Quincy, CA. Topping the list is Umphrey's McGee who announced their Saturday headlining slot from the stage in Oakland last weekend. High Sierra was the first festival the band ever played in 2001. LIVE favorites, The Word, The Motet,...
It looks like Chicago won't be the only city celebrating The Grateful Dead this Summer. With Fare Thee Well selling out and setting Ticketmaster on-sale records you had to wonder if more events would capitalize on the Grateful Dead's 50th Anniversary. Two days ago Peter Shapiro came out and said "There’s no extra dates planned. For Chicago or anywhere...
Big day of news for My Morning Jacket fans. They've announced their seventh studio album as The Waterfall with a May 4th release date via ATO/Capitol Records along with the first single "Big Decisions" which you can download now when you pre-order. According to Rolling Stone, the album was inspired by the Panoramic House studio in Northern California's Stinson...
*UPDATE FROM THE GRATEFUL DEAD* Thank you to all of the Deadheads for the amazing support that you have shown for the Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago! This morning you broke Ticketmaster's on-sale record when nearly half a million of you queued up to buy tickets. If you do not have tickets, please know that we are working on...
Let's take a quick moment to celebrate this awesome month in Phish's rich history. Many have heard the famed "Nassau Tweezer" but two days prior the band dropped a masterpiece at The Centrum Centre in Worcester, MA which was twelve years ago today or as Phish’s Archivist Kevin Shapiro calls it, #TIPH. Not only did it include the rare...
Immediately after disembarking from my first Jam Cruise, I had a ton of friends asking me what my highlight was. Because that’s a loaded question full of many answers, the easiest answer I can give that sums up my maiden voyage is this: it was positively addicting. And trying to write my summary of the events has left me...
The High Sierra Music Festival turns 25 years old this year and they've just announced the first batch of bands that'll help them celebrate. The String Cheese Incident tops the list and it certainly speaks to the history of the small-town festival. SCI last headlined High Sierra in 1999 just before the event moved from Bear Valley to its...
Summer festival announcements have been heating up as of late but leave it to Phish to steal headlines with JUST rumors of their own 3-day event. If a few key sources are to be believed, something might be brewing in Watkins Glen, NY on August 21-23, 2016. Scott Bernstein of JamBase has a wonderful breakdown on why this makes...
From Sin City to the Magic City and all points in between -- Phish is taking their talents to South Beach in Miami for their annual New Year's Eve run. We've had a solid two months to digest the band's epic Halloween run in Vegas, and now it's onto sunny Miami where the focus turns to New Year's Eve and...
Vulfpeck is my new favorite band. You may have heard about these guys back in April when they made waves because Spotify banned their all-silent album Sleepify after it raised $20,000 in royalties, a rather genius stunt where they asked their fans to stream their all-silent album over and over while they slept. What you may have overlooked is that...
It had been awhile since STS9 played Los Angeles. Ten months ago they announced they were parting ways with founding bassist David Murphy, consequently canceling their upcoming show (and the entire tour) and sending their fan base into "now what?" mode. Fast forward to now and it seems everyone has completely embraced Alana Rocklin on bass and the band...
On Thursday night Greensky Bluegrass added another barn burner to their Southern California resume playing The Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA to a near sold-out crowd. The Michigan natives are no strangers to LA, working their way up from The Mint to the Troubadour in the past few years. The show was heavy on covers including "Jambalaya (On The...
It's been ten years since Phish and their fans have entered the sinful confines of Las Vegas. The last time the band played there, MySpace was popular, Will Ferrell was Anchorman and Friends was still on the air. Unfortunately, ten years ago saw some of the worst performances in the band's history, a set of three shows at the...
Phish begins a 3-night run in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium tonight. This is the third straight year the band has played the legendary venue. Reviews on the Fall Tour have been a mixed bag so this run could and should be a turning point as we head down the home stretch to Halloween weekend in...
Phil Lesh has announced plans to join Joe Russo's Almost Dead for a New Year's Eve run at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. JRAD (sans Dave Dreiwitz) will serve as Phil's backing band for both nights. http://vimeo.com/109386843 A New Year's Celebration with PhilRAD featuring Phil Lesh & Joe Russo's Almost Dead on December 30 and December 31 We're...
Phish's 2014 Fall Tour is finally at our doorsteps. Tonight's opener in Eugene, OR will kick off a 12-show, seven-city jaunt that will climax in Sin City for Halloween weekend. The band has decided to break Autumn tradition this year, and instead of playing East Coast staples like Rochester or Worcester, we're talking about West Coast destinations like Santa...
Wilco have just announced some hometown shows to help celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year. Jeff Tweedy and 'Co. will play six shows at the Riviera Theatre on December 5, 6, 8, 9, 11 and 12. The shows are being billed as a Wilco Winterlude. Tickets go on sale this Friday, October 17th at 10am CDT via JamUSA. Wilco...
Superhuman Happiness just released their first new song in almost two years, "Catch A Break." It's available on YouTube, iTunes and streaming on Spotify. We haven't heard much from Superhuman Happiness as Stuart Bogie's been touring with Arcade Fire on their Reflektor tour. The song features vocals from Andrea Diaz and was likely the track that the band hinted...
Leading the nominations are Sting, The Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Nine Inch Nails and Lou Reed, but it's certainly a solid list including Green Day, Chic and N.W.A. Also receiving a nomination are The Paul Butterfield Band, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, The Marvelettes, The Spinners, War, and Bill Withers. This was the first year NIN and Green...
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Joe Russo brought his Almost Dead project to the Bay Area yesterday to play Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and a kind soul has uploaded the entire set to YouTube for our enjoyment today. This set is so good; must-see stuff right here. It's the one current Dead project that surpasses all others, by a large margin. We can only...
KCRW.org and The Barr Brothers are streaming the new album Sleeping Operator a week before it's actual release date (10/7). This is the sophomore effort from Brad and Andrew Barr, Sarah Page and Andres Vial. It's an absolute gem of a record, perfect for this Monday morning so grab a cup of coffee and listen here. Track List: 1. Static Orphans 2....
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Just wanted to share this video I got of the last ten minutes of "Petrichor" from Trey's symphony show last night at the Hollywood Bowl. As far as I'm concerned this is one of Trey's greatest accomplishments as a composition, right up there with "Divided Sky". Bravo, Big Red!
Way Over Yonder kicks off this weekend on Friday and one of my all-time favorite family musical combos, The Barr Brothers, is in town to play the festival. They're kicking things off on the main stage at 2pm on Friday and I'll be there bright and early to catch the whole set. Also, it looks like they're getting here...
If you're a Southern California music fan and you're not already scheduled to find your way over to the iconic Santa Monica Pier the weekend of September 26-27 for the second installment of Newport Folk Presents Way Over Yonder, you are going to miss something special. Jackson Browne, Local Natives, Lucinda Williams, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Barr Brothers, and...
Radiohead just recently updated their PolyFauna app with an all new layout and new music no one's heard before. We're not sure if the accompanying soundtrack is the first glimpse inside the creative process of Radiohead's ninth studio album but it's sure fun to speculate. Their drummer Phil Selway just told NME: "We are starting again in about a...
This will be Phish's fourth straight year doing a three-night run at Dick's Sporting Goods Park over Labor Day weekend, and per usual the community's anticipation always seems to be at an all-time high in the week leading up to the shows. And this year, with good reason -- the band had zero shows in June and only three...
Even though it's the 10 year anniversary of one of the most important events in Phish history -- Coventry -- frankly, it's not a moment we care to re-live. It was right around August 2004 when this blog launched, started as a way for us to move forward with new music in our lives after the hole that...
KEXP, the non-profit radio station based out of Seattle, just uploaded an absolutely top notch Woods performance recorded live last week. The band is in the midst of a promotional push of their most recent album, With Light and With Love, the title track of which, while even at being over eight minutes long, is one of the better...
Phish has announced an official webcast for their 2-night stand at Merriweather Post Pavilion on 7/26 and 7/27 which you can pre-order now. Let's hope the buffering issues surrounding Sunday's webcast in Chicago have been resolved. Missing that "Tela" was brutal for those on Couch Tour.
:50 second mark. Huge payoff
Phish just confirmed their fall tour plans, and more importantly, signified their return to Las Vegas in grand fashion for the first time in over 10 years with three shows over Halloween weekend. The band will kick off the fall on October 17th in Eugene, OR then hit Seattle before heading down the coast for seven shows in California...
This morning, The Barr Brothers and Secret City Records uploaded "Half-Crazy", the newest track off their forthcoming second album, Sleeping Operator. On this track, we wired the harp through a dirty little amplifier. I played my early 40's Oahu lap-steel. Andrew uses a loping high-hat feel, and the electric bass pushes the whole thing. The lyrics got...
Phish caps off their run in Chicago tonight with the #NeverMissASunday hashtag looming. The first two nights (7/18, 7/19) have delivered a hand-full of highlights but we think tonight could be the one where Phish lays it all out on the stage, especially with four days off this week. With a smaller rotation so far this summer, it's only...
Phish has settled in for night two at Northerly Island after an impressive opening performance last night. The band stretched out a cover of TV on the Radio's "Golden Age" for 17 minutes and later in the set delivered a "Wombat" that surprised just about everyone in attendance and on Couch Tour. The song's lyrics (cuddly, but muscular) have...