Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert Night 2

Night 2 started out much the same as Night 1. Tom Hanks then Jerry Lee Lewis (this time doing Great Balls of Fire).

Aretha Frankin was, well Aretha Franklin. It was ok for me but nothing special. Annie Lennox and Lenny Kravitz were her guests and ended up being the least interesting pairings. In fact they didn't mesh well at all.

Baby I Love You
Don't Play That Song
Make Them Hear You
Chain of Fools (with Annie Lennox)
New York, New York
Think (with Lenny Kravitz)

Jeff Beck is a genius. There are not enough adjectives to describe his playing. His set was a clinic on how to play guitar and I loved it. I do think Clapton would have gone over better with the crowd as the material is more familiar. Buddy Guy was really good, but Billy Gibbons song choice was...odd to say the least. Rough Boy is just about the worst ZZ Top song ever. Puzzling. Everything ended with Jeff's version of A Day In The Life. Stunning.

Drown In My Own Tears
People Get Ready (with Sting)
Freeway Jam
Cause We've Ended Up as Lovers
Let Me Love You (Buddy Guy)
Big Block
Rice Pudding
Rough Boy (Billy Gibbons)
Foxey Lady (Billy Gibbons)
A Day In The Life

James Hetfield: "We're Metallica and this is what we do". For Whom the Bell Tolls.
That pretty much says it all. Metallica were great last night. Touring all year has them playing like a well oiled machine. Lou Reed looked confused. Ozzy was Ozzy and Ray Davies was great. All in all an excellent set.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Turn The Page
Sweet Jane (Lou Reed)
White Light White Heat (Lou Reed)
Iron Man (Ozzy)
Paranoid (Ozzy)
You Reall Got Me (Ray Davies)
All Day and All of the Night (Ray Daivies)
Stone Cold Crazy
Enter Sandman

U2 hits the stage at around 11:45. No tape backing, just them which was cool. If there is such a thing as look key U2 this was it. Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith join them for Because the Night. The Black Eyed Peas come out for one (not familiar with their stuff....they came out during Mysterious Ways) and stay. Gimmie Shelter starts and Fergie is dancing and singing the chick intro and out comes...Mick Jagger. The Garden goes ape shit. Mick sticks around for another with U2 and after Beautiful Day it's all over. Just an hour long, but is was a great hour.
Because The Night (Bruce & Patti Smith)
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (With Springsteen)
Mysterious Ways > Where Is The Love > One (with Black Eyed Peas)
Gimmie Shelter (With Mick Jagger & Fergie)
Stuck Inside a Moment
Beautiful Day
The show was about 2 hours shorter than Thursday and in many ways Night 1 was a better show, at least for me. However the highlights last night were BIG. All in all it was two amazing nights of music. I'm glad I live in NY.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gov't Mule with Joe Bonamassa

Two of my favorites tearing up the Albert King classic. The second clip is from the same show jamming out on a Mule instumental "ScoMule".

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert Night 1

The first of two Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concerts lived up to most of my expectations last night. The evening started off promptly at 7:30 with a video montage & Tom Hanks blathering on about the power of Rock & Roll...typical boomer bullshit (and I am 47). This was followed by Jerry Lee Lewis doing "Whole Lotta Shakin" solo at the piano.

Crosby, Stills & Nash were not great in my opinion. Stephen Stills is a little rough vocally now and they just weren't great. Of the guests I will say that Bonnie Raiit sounded as good as always as did Jackson Browne who played one of my favorites (The Pretender).

Marakesh Express
Almost Cut My Hair
Love Has No Pride (Bonnie Raitt)
Midnight Rider (with Bonnie Raitt)
The Pretender (Jackson Browne)
Mexico (James Taylor)
Love The One You're With (with James Taylor)
Rock & Roll Woman
Teach Your Children (with all 3 guests)

I have been waiting to see Simon & Garfunkel for most of my life and I want to say right off that I didn't need anything else for this poriton of the show. That said I really do enjoy Paul Simon's solo work so that was a treat. Dion and Little Anthony and the Imperials were fine. When Art finally joined him on stage it was highlight time. If hearing them, even after all of these years, singing the Boxer and Bridge Over Troubled Waters doesn't give you a little goosebumps there must be something seriously wrong with you. Tremendous.

Paul Simon:
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
Me & Julio Down By the School Yard
You Can Call Me Al
The Wanderer (Dion)
Late in the Evening
Two People in the World (Little Anthony & the Imperials)

Enter Art Garfunkel:
Sounds of Silence
Mrs. Robinson > Not Fade Away > Mrs. Robinson
The Boxer
Bridge Over Troubled Waters

I felt awful for Stevie Wonder...tons of sound issues for his set. Having never seen him before all I can say is WOW. What a fantastic talent, you knew that on record but live...just amazing. Lots of guests and a killer set.

Uptight(Everything's Alright)
I Was Made To Love You
For Once In My Life
Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours
Boogie On Reggae Woman
Tracks of My Tears (Smokey Robinson)
Mercy Mercy Me (John Legend)
The Way You Make Me Feel (with John Legend)
The Thrill is Gone (B.B. King)
Living for the City
Higher Ground > Roxanne > Higher Ground (with Sting)
Superstition (with Jeff Beck)

The highlight of the evening was Bruce's set. The E. Street Band probably could have been the house band all night. They were TIGHT. Sam Moore was just fantastic as was Darlene Love. John Fogerty was really good (although a little predictable). Tom Joad was incendiary with Tom Morello and the evening ended with a surprise guest...Billy Joel. What a great, loooooong night (6 hours). Can't wait for tonight.

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out
Hold On, I'm Comin' (Sam Moore)
Soul Man (Sam Moore)
The Ghost of Tom Joad (Tom Morello)
Fortunate Son (John Fogerty)
Proud Mary (John Fogerty)
Oh, Pretty Woman (with John Fogerty)
A Fine Fine Boy (Darlene Love)
De Doo Ron Ron (Darlenes Love)
London Calling (With Tom Morello)
Badlands (with Tom Morello)
You May Be Right (Billy Joel)
Only The Good Die Young (with Billy Joel)
New York State of Mind (with Billy Joel)
Born To Run (with Billy Joel)
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me)Higher & Higher (all Bruce guests + Peter Wolf & Jackson Browne)

The show was really long. I had to jump at the end of Born to Run to make sure I didn't miss the train (after 1:30 the next was at 3:10) but all in all a great night of music. First half was a little heavy on the Adult Contemporary side but the second half was rockin'. Tonight should even more. I am really looking forward to what U2 will be doing and with whom.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gov't Mule - By A Thread

I'm a fan so I'll spare you all the adjectives that I want to describe this band with. Love 'em. Been on the band wagon since 1997 and haven't looked back. The thing is each studio album takes me some time to grow to love. It's kind of weird. What at first seems a let down almost always turns out to be a keeper. I guess it's because I have heard so many songs live for so long that the recorded versions seem just a bit off. It usually goes away after a few listenings.

I have been playing By a Thread for a couple of weeks now and at first I thought it was good, but not great. I will say it is improving quickly to the point where I am really enjoying it now. In fact it might be my favorite album track for track since Life Before Insanity.

It grooves, it slams, it pummels, it jams, in a phase it is an "ass-kicking". Makes me really look forward to the Beacon run. Check it out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eric Clapton To Miss Hall of Fame Concerts

From Where's Eric...

Eric Clapton - Hall of Fame Concert Appearance Cancelled

Published: 22 October 2009

Unfortunately Eric Clapton has cancelled his performance for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert next week to undergo a minor medical procedure for gall stones. He will spend time recuperating at home in the UK and is very sorry to disappoint the fans and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He remains committed to his 2010 concert schedule. Spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame said today that they wish Eric Clapton all the best and they will announce a replacement for Eric’s part of the show shortly.

Needless to say I am bummed. The thought of Clapton/Beck/Guy jamming was almost too good. Let's see who they replace him with. May I suggest...

Paul McCartney
Neil Young
Mick & Keef
Pete & Roger

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My Classics - Darkness on the Edge of Town

I was thinking about why I like what I like. I guess it's because I am reading the new Nick Hornby "Juliet, Naked" which is kind of all about music and our obsessions and how it affects our lives and relationships. It's a really good read by the way. So I have been thinking about how certain records have played a part in my "musical" life as well as life in general. Bruce Springsteen is certainly first and foremost in my musical thoughts for most of the past 30 years so I decided to start with him.

I was a little too young for Born To Run, in fact I was probably too young for Darkness on the Edge of Town, but as a 16 year old I found it by chance. My friends didn't care. Local radio wasn't buying into the hype at the moment. Not much stirring for a high school kid in 1978 on the Bruce front. Then I got my hands on a copy and things changed. Forever. Before this I was all about Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith (still like 'em too) but hearing this album changed the way I heard music.

I was the classic case of the "teenager". Mad at my father for whatever reason. Not getting along with my step mother. Mad at my mother for divorcing my dad (like he had nothing to do with it). I got over all of this soon enough, but at that particular time in my life I dropped the needle on Badlands and things changed. Here were feelings and thoughts expressed that I had and would continue to have. It's not always a rosy world out there and we need to get through. That and some killer rock & roll. I know these songs are over-played over the years, but they are for a reason. This album is just amazing.

Adam Raised a Cain voiced my feelings about my relationship with my father at the time. It screamed it out of the speakers and while I came to understand him over the years, much like Bruce does on Independence Day (an amazing track off of the River), this one spoke right to me at 16.

Something in the Night and Candy's Room have some screaming guitar and I love 'em both but the highlight comes at the end of side 1...Racing in the Street. What most folks hear as a song about a guy a girl and a car is all about the same redemption that we all seek. The question is will we ever find it. A simply stunning song.

Side 2 is loaded with concert staples: The Promised Land, Prove It All Night and Darkness on the Edge of Town. The first two all full of promise and hope. The latter searching for that chance that we all hope is out there. The battle rages on in each of our lives the question is will life's little victories be enough to get us through.

Even the out-takes, some of which will make The River, and some which don't see the light of day until the Tracks collection are so far above what was out then, or now, that the music continues to amaze me. I love a lot of what he did and I like most of the rest quite a bit, but for me this was the pinnacle of his career. And I keep going back again and again. Searching for that redemption...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Perhaps There is Some Confusion

I may be a bit confused, but if Fox is not a real news network because of their bias (which it has) then what is MSNBC? That weekly line-up sure looks a little on the left side of things last I checked. Memo to the White House...just becuase they are on your side doesn't make it any better.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dana Fuchs Band

I am a sucker for rock chicks. I somehow missed Dana Fuchs and just recently found here live album. This is some pretty good stuff. She's got that sound in her voice. I think I like it...

Ashley Cleveland

One of the great voices out there. I just wish more folks could here her. If you get a chance grab here CD "God Don't Never Change". I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Thanks to the folks over at Music Fog and Koch Records for the great performances.

Joe Bonamassa and Eric Clapton

Way too tasty...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tom Petty Live Anthology

Due out on 11/24, this is a 4 CD set of previously unreleased live Tom Petty. No track lists available as of yet however there will be 3 versions:

Standard 4 CD Package ($24.99)
Deluxe Version with an extra live CR, some DVD's and all the music on Blue Ray ($99.99)

Personally I am very excited. Tom Petty is always great live so this should be a blast to listen to.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

UFO - B.B. King's 10/10/09

Took my son to see UFO last night. I wasn't going to go as Phil was wasted last time and the show was not good, but a buddy of mine decided to go to KISS so I took the tickets and Sam and off we went. Let me just say that my buddy chose poorly. UFO absolutely rocked their asses off last night at B.B. King's.

I am no a huge fan. Certainly not a fanatic so I hadn't heard the new material and it was pretty good. I went for the songs from my youth and got pretty much all of them. Mother Mary, Only You Can Rock Me, Too Hot To Handle, Love to Love, Doctor Doctor, Rock Bottom. The songs were great then and still are. UFO was one of those "unheralded" bands back in the 70's in the US. Too bad for those who missed out then and now.

Michael Schenker is a great guitarist, but I have to say I think Vinnie Moore is a better player. Well at least currently.

Great night. Great show. That and we made the 10:10 back to Long Island. Sweet deal.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bruce Springsteen - Giants Stadium 10/9/09

Another night, another fun show. The crowd was really into it and the sound was much improved to my ears at least compared to last Saturday. Very similar setlist but that's fine. I've seen him so many times that they all start to blur together. BITUSA was actually better tonight with Nils positively killing Cover Me. The show ended with Jersey Girl which was a little strange, everyone was expecting one more but it was not to be. Oh well, you really can't complain witih 31 songs over 3+ hours can you? By the way "The Last Time" was great. No way it was spontaneous but great still the same.
Next up the Hall of Fame show and two nights at MSG. Well at least as far as Bruce goes.
1. Wrecking Ball (Max & Patti)
2. Badlands
3. Spirit In The Night
4. Outlaw Pete
5. Hungry Heart (crowd surfing)
6. Working On A Dream
7. Born In The USA (dedicated to a friend for his birthday)
8. Cover Me
9. Darlington County
10. Working On The Highway
11. Downbound Train
12. I'm On Fire
13. No Surrender
14. Bobby Jean
15. I'm Goin' Down
16. Glory Days
17. Dancing In The Dark (w/a middle-aged bald guy)
18. My Hometown
19. Tougher Than The Rest (for Danny)
20. The Promised Land
21. Last To Die
22. Long Walk Home
23. The Rising
24. Born To Run (w/Jay) ~~~~ collecting signs~~~~ (RYH riff)(w/Max)
25. Raise Your Hand / You Sexy Thing
27. Waitin' On A Sunny Day (Marriage Proposal)
28. Seven Nights To Rock
29. Kitty's Back
30. JAmerican Land
31: Jersey Girl

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bruce Springsteen - Giants Stadium 10/3/09

I was a little dismayed to find out Bruce was playing BITUSA on both of the nights I was going to be a Giant Stadium. Great album, a bit over-played but still a really fun record. I have to say it worked great last night. Lots of energy and Bruce and the band were on fire throughout the show. While the setlist may look a bit "pedestrian" everything sounded great. I took my son and two of my sisters last night and they all loved it. I have to admit, so did I. In fact I am looking forward to next Friday night.

Aside from BITUSA, we got Jersey Girl (always a treat at the Meadowlands), and absolutely smokin' Kitty's Back and my favorite encore, the never fails to satisfy Detroit Medley. Last to Die and Long Walk home were unexpected but very welcome. Now if Bruce would just retire Waitin' on a Sunny Day life would be perfect.

Don't miss this tour if you get the chance to go. He's still the Boss after all of these years.

Now if we could only get the River at MSG...

Wrecking Ball
Out in the Street
Outlaw Pete
Hungry Heart
Working on a Dream
Born in the USA
Cover Me
Darlington County
Working on the Highway
Downbound Train
I'm On Fire
No Surrender
Bobbie Jean
I'm Going Down
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark
My Hometown
The Promised Land
Last To Die
The Rising
Born to Run
Raise Your Hand (Instrumental)
Jersey Girl
Kitty's Back
Detroit Medley
American Land
Waitin' on a Sunny Day
Thunder Road