Category Archives: Photos

Cajun Tomato’s Favorite 2012 Concerts

Photo credit: Cajun Tomato

My adventures in live music in 2012 started like me, in Portland, and finished 3,000 miles east in New York City. In between, I spent three incredible, and incredibly hot, days and nights at Coachella, where I witnessed a who’s who of A-list artists and up-and-comers.

I started writing concert reviews on the Cajun Tomato in 2010 as a means to wed two of my favorite pasttimes. This year, I posted 42 reviews, with assists from correspondents in Portland (Scott) and Chicago (Brett). These reviews continue to provide me enjoyment, and thus I plan to review even more concerts in 2013 – Mayan Apocalypse, be damned.

Below are my favorite 2012 concerts. Each wrapped me in a coat of awe, whether through their visual spectacle, sound, or both. That’s why I go to concerts – to feel a sense of wonder and tap into something beautiful and raw. Enough romanticism. List time!

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Grieving Pies I Never Ate: Reflections On The Fiery Loss Of Hubig’s Pies

Smoke yo sorrows away!

NOTE: It’s an exciting day on this site. The Olympics have started … I mean, my friend Laura McKnight penned her first piece for this site, and it’s a good one. Laura wrote about New Orleans institution Hubig’s Pies burning down in the early morning hours on Friday near her house. She also provided photos. Talented lady, that Laura McKnight.

I’m a pretty big fan of most South Louisiana specialties – crawfish, Abita beer, Zapp’s potato chips, king cake, Bourgeois beef jerky, etc., etc. – but there are a few things that make me feel like a traitor to my roots: I rather my coffee without chicory, I’m ambivalent about oysters, and I’m pretty sure I have never in my life eaten a sugar-glazed Hubig’s Pie.

That’s right. I have never eaten a Hubig’s Pie, not even with the factory sitting on the next block from my house. I walk past that factory almost every day, often multiple times a day, sometimes catching a whiff of fried sweetness in the air, and I have not tasted one. They just never tempted me, not even with the happy little baker man smiling at me from the front of the bags.

So I don’t even know if I like Hubig’s Pies. But I like the idea of Hubig’s Pies. I dig the happy retro logo, I dig the fried-ness, and I really like living on a block nestled between a cheerful pie factory and the Lost Love Lounge. There’s a metaphor for my life somewhere in that.

A little background for the unfamiliar, and some would say unfortunate: Hubig’s is one of those uniquely New Orleans/South Louisiana icons like K&B, Mr. Bingle, the Special Man on the Frankie and Johnny’s commercials. Hubig’s history in New Orleans goes back to 1921, the factory on Dauphine Street to 1924. Flappers were eating these pies while doing the Charleston.

And like anything uniquely New Orleans, especially anything retro that can be screen-printed onto a T-shirt or made into a group Mardi Gras costume, Hubig’s has a fiercely loyal following. I mean diehard fierce, as in this fire at the pie factory is nothing short of a catastrophe.

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All The Profane Timbers Army Chants (Not) Fit To Print

Cover your eyes!

NOTE: The Timbers Army chants juvenile, R-rated things from time to time. If you are offended by such expressions then I recommend A) you not stand with the Timbers Army and B) read one of my hundreds of other posts. Thanks!

I stood with the Timbers Army Saturday night when the Portland side hosted the Vancouver Whitecaps inside Jeld-Wen Stadium. The match marked my first time in a year seeing Portland’s Major League Soccer team play.

For the record: I don’t consider myself a Timbers fan or an MLS fan, in general. I couldn’t tell you the Timbers record. I do, however, enjoy the rowdy nature of their crowds. The Timbers Army reminds me of a more harmonious, less plastered New Orleans Saints crowd.

I forgot over the past 12 months the Timbers Army could make a sailor in a whorehouse blush with its inventive use of profanities in song.

Here are some of the Timbers Army songs I heard Saturday, plus photos I took while there. The match ended in a 1-all draw. Both teams scored in the second half.

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Macklemore, Big Freedia Star at MusicFest Northwest 2011

Someday I want to attend South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. It’s a bar-hopping live music extravaganza of epic proportions featuring fresh-faced local bands and grizzled national acts.

Portland’s MusicFest Northwest is what I imagine South by Southwest is like, albeit smaller and in the Pacific Northwest. (Duh!)

I witnessed everyone from veteran post-rock outfit Explosions In The Sky and dynamic Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to local buzz bands And And And and Ages and Ages during the three days I attended MusicFest Northwest 2011.

It was a solid festival. I would hesitate to call it great because the headlining options — Iron and Wine, Explosions in the Sky, Band of Horses –could have been better. But overall I enjoyed myself.

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Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Electrify MusicFest Northwest

Macklemore crushin' it!

Seattle hip-hop act Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a kingmaking performance Friday night inside Portland’s Roseland Theater as part of MusicFest Northwest 2011. The show had everything you could ask for: incredible music, incredible crowd energy, and incredible charisma from Macklemore.

Prior to Friday night, I had heard a few tracks from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis I enjoyed. If I had any doubts about attending the show, Portland weekly newspaper Willamette Week ended them by blasting Macklemore on its cover this week. The music and the hype were enough to bring me and 1,200 others out.

The crowd reaction two songs in was about as deafening as I have heard in a venue this size. You would have sworn Macklemore was hip-hop Jesus incarnate. I must admit I was a bit skeptical at first. White rapper hype can be deceiving, especially in a place as vanilla as Portland. But Macklemore earned every ounce of the crowd’s love.

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