Friday, October 21, 2016

Caspian - New music and tour film.

Sometimes you just get inspired.

No secret for my affection for the band Caspian

They have done it again.  Just yesterday they released a short tour film with the soundtrack being a new track called "Castles High, Marble Bright".

The film (and song) are, at times, simply breathtaking.

(it the imbed doesn't work - here)

The band kicks off a tour tomorrow in DC and it runs through the mid part of November.

They hit Royale in Boston on the 18th of November.  I'll see you there.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What are you people hiding from me??

Being a music fan, and a fan of many genres, it is always fun to find something that has flown under your radar.  Once exposed you get to be ravenous.  You want to hear more.  You want to hear their early stuff, their late stuff, their live stuff.  You comb the internet for videos of Late Night TV appearances (or European music festival coverage).

My most recent to fall in to that category is Nina Simone.

I knew the name, and that was really about it.  One day scrolling through my Netflix queue I saw a “recommended” pick for the documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?”  A friend on facebook had posted their admiration for the documentary so I decided “what the heck”.

She led a very interesting life and I’ll leave any sort of “was it accurate” etc to another time but what I really liked and what got me hooked was the music (of course).  The way she carried herself, the way she sang.  I felt mad…why had none of my friends told me about her?

The tipping point was the black and white footage of her doing “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I had to watch it again…twice.  A day or so later I looked for the footage on line.  To both my surprise and frustration (again..nobody told me!!) the clip has been viewed over 14 million times.  14 MILLION!

Yet it was brand new to me..and it was awesome.

Watch for yourself here

Look at her smile around the 2:20 mark.  I mean..come ON!

The final note she sings and never seems to bend makes my knees shake.

Watch it again..go ahead I understand.

What else are you people hiding on me?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

God Is An Astronaut - August 31, 2016 - Sinclair, Cambridge MA

God Is An Astronaut
Sinclair, Cambridge MA
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just two days prior to this show I was in an outdoor ampetheater setting listing to “metal” to then be inside the comfortable confines of a club outside of Boston.

Irish post rock band God Is an Astronaut kicked off their US tour to a ravenous crowd on a Wednesday night.  I am not sure where I read it, but GIAA noted that this might be their final US tour.  Issues with touring and papers I am sure is a hassle and when you are a band the size of GIAA it makes it even harder and even less cost effective.  Still, based off the reaction of the audience in Cambridge the band might want to reconsider (or re-locate!)

There was no support band so the band hit the stage shortly after 9pm.  It was dark and quiet and “Beautiful Decay” began.  After the keyboard and bass track ended the full band arrived and went in to “Pig Powder” from the latest record. The set list was solid and the band seemed to perk up after each track slowly realizing the kick off to the tour seemed to be a success.

Full Set list:
Beautiful Decay
Pig Powder
Vetus Memoria
Worlds In Collision
Helios | Erebus
From Dust to the Beyond
Forever Lost
Red Moon Lagoon
Suicide by Star

As I said the band seemed to really perk up and fed off the audience.  One particular fan was over zealous, yelling often between the songs, and you could see the band smirk.  Late in the set he kept shouting “Suicide”! (he request for Suicide by Star).  It was granted and the young fan hung over the balcony railing and flailed about.  The band stepped to the lip of the stage to play right along with him.

The US tour is now complete.  Sorry you missed em??!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Korn and Rob Zombie - August 28, 2016 - Xfinity Center, Mansfield MA

Xfinity Center, Mansfield MA

Sunday August 28, 2016

Support – Rob Zombie and In This Moment

If you’ve been around this blog much you know that I have some sort of odd attraction to the band Korn.  I am not sure where this long lasting relationship has come from, but I still buy all their records and see them live when I can.  Although this past show was a little bit of a push for me I do have to admit that back in March I came upon a 20$ groupon for this show…so…..

This was a back to back Sunday show for me at the Xfinity Center.  The plus side is the venue, although it’s a summer shed, is about 20 minutes from me.  Made my way to the show with little issue and parked further back than I expected (compared with the heavily undersold Prophets of Rage show the week prior).  Even upon entering the venue and then making my way to the “open air seats” 
I was surprised to find that that lawn was closed for the evening. 

In this Moment was on stage when I arrived and I was pretty far back and it was pretty loud honestly.  Seemed “theatrical” with stage dancers (which I thought was odd since the band is fronted by a woman) but it was neither here nor there.

Rob Zombie and Korn have been “co-headliners” and at this show Zombie was slated for the middle slot.  Rob was born in Massachusetts so it’s odd he didn’t get top bill, but perhaps with Korn having a new album due in October?  Who knows?

I had never seen Rob Zombie and it was fun.  There was a lot of distractions on the stage (I giant boom box) robots, a walking giant, just sort of “fun”.  Rob seems sincere and a likeable guy but that bubble/gurgle microphone vocal effect it’s a bit played out.  When he is talking to us why does it still need to be the same as when he sings.  The set list was pretty good and I am admittedly a casual fan but I felt pretty happy in hearing tunes I knew.

Rob Zombie Full Set list.
Dead City Radio and the new Gods of Supertown
In the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get High
Wild Thing (Tone Loc) tease
Living Dead Girl
Well, Everybody’s Fucking in a UFO
More Human Than Human (White Zombie)
Never Gonna Stop
The Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore Whore
House of 1000 Corpses
Guitar Solo (Rob in audience)
Thunder Kiss 65 (White Zombie)
We’re An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)

So breaking down the set it wasn’t bad and he packed a lot in.  The band has a lot of visuals so the set list probably will remain pretty consistent.  The Wild Thing tease went on way too long (they don’t really play it outside of the drum and guitar riff)  The guitar solo was sort of “meh” and Rob was in the audience with a flashlight.  He never  came up as far as I was and it seemed sort of silly to do this.  When it came time for Thunder Kiss 65 they teased the opening guitar riff for probably 5 minutes.  Start, stop, yell at us, start, stop…by the time they finally started playing it people had lost the ‘ramp up’ they initially had.  It’s a killer riff, but get on with it.

By the time Zombie was done and off the stage it was “late”.  The venue has a tight 11pm curfew and it was about 9:50 before Korn took the stage.

The stage for Korn seemed wide open compared to the amount of stuff that Zombie had.  The lighting director spent a lot of time blasting us in the face with strobes and spotlights but it almost seemed expected.

Opening with “Right Now” the first thing I noticed was the bass was way up….like way up.  Shake the freaking seat up.  I felt it was muddy and “boomy” at the same time.  It took a few songs for it to level out but the band moved right along.

Korn full set:
Right Now
Here to Stay
Coming Undone
Y’all want a Single
Make Me Bad
Rotting in Vain
Shoots and Ladders
Got the Life
Falling Away from Me
Freak on a Leash

During Shoot and Ladders Davis did use the bagpipes and the band teased “One” by Metallica.  The back side of the set I felt was even stronger than the front.  It was funny though, the guy I happened to run in to ended up leaving shortly into to their set and he kiddingly said “why is this band so angry!” and then Davis proceeded to go an expletive laden “thank you” about how “happy they were to be here”.  It was sort of comical.

The bill seems to work out, both artists continue to work on their passions.  Zombie is slated to release a move “31” this fall and Korn has a new album due on October 21st.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Prophets of Rage - August 21, 2016 - Xfinity Center Mansfield MA

Prophets of Rage
Xfinity Center, Mansfield MA

Sunday August 21, 2016

Support – Awolnation

I realize its been a few months since the show and a review might hardly make any sense, but I had the chance to write so I wanted to.

Make America Rage Again!  Not only the tour name, but emblazoned on merchandise too.

A few months back I had heard about this new band being formed.  It was 3 of the 4 guys from Rage Against the Machine (Tom – guitar, Tim – bass and  Brad-drums)  The singers in the band would be Chuck D (Public Enemy) and B-Real (Cypress Hill).  On paper it all sounded pretty neat and thankfully live they mostly pulled it off.

DJ Lord got the crowd up for a 12-15 minute span of his turntable work.  Mixing everything from Stevie Wonder to Jackson 5 to Led Zeppelin.  It was neat but seemed to linger a little longer than it should.

Opening with Public Enemy song “Prophets of Rage” the band swerved over the next 90 minutes in an out of the various bands catalogs.  They even tossed some cover tunes in good measure.
The venue, which was very undersold to my eyes, seemed to enjoy the mix and match of the set list and you could see the fan bases of the 3 bands represented. 

Full Set

Prophets of Rage (Public Enemy)
Guerrilla Radio (Rage Against the Machine)
Bomtrack (RATM)
Miuzi Weighs a Ton (PE)
People of the Sun (RATM)
Take the Power Back (RATM)
Rock Superstar (Cypress Hill)
Testify (RATM)
Hand on the Pump/Can’t Truss It/Insane in the Bran/Bring the Noise/I Ain’t Going out like that/Welcome to the Terrordome (B-real and Chuck D in audience)
Sleep Now in the Fire (RATM)
Cochise/She Watch Channel Zero
The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen)
Bullet in the Head (RATM)
Shut Em Down (PE)
Know Your Enemy (RATM)
The Party’s Over
No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the Power
Bulls on Parade (RATM)
Killing in the Name (RATM)

As you can tell it did bounce around and kept the energy high.  Morello was pretty tame in his political messages by most standards.  He did have a piece of paper on the back of his guitar that read “Nobody for President” and did make a note that some proceeds from the evenings show was going to local charities.  Always a plus.

Overall it was fun, but I felt it lacked just that little “something”.  It could be the fact that Zack De La Rocha was missing and being the voice of Rage Against the Machine is a tough role to fill.  The venue was a bit large too, put that in a smaller place (even for two nights) and it really would have been something.  Also a big plus on this was I scored these tickets using my Ticketmaster voucher (my lone use so far) and had ticket upgrade from open air seats to section 5.


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mike Peters - Firehouse 13 9/16/16

Mike Peters
Friday September 16, 2016
Firehouse 13, Providence RI

Support: Laurie Sergeant

It is hard to think that I have been attending live concerts for over 30 years.  That really seemed to strike a chord on this particular evening.  Mike Peters, the lead singer of the Alarm, is on tour.  Mike is currently on the road calling the tour “The Spirit of 86 in 2016”.  The reason for the name is Mike is out celebrating the 30th anniversary of the show the Alarm played on MTV in April of 1986.  The show, at the time, was huge in that the band was being beamed around the globe live.  Remember this was 30 years ago so this was pretty huge.  30+, 000 people were there. 

You can see for yourself right here.

I had the good fortune to see the Alarm on a few occasions and seeing this show was really a blast.  At first I thought it was going to be totally acoustic.  Mike, his guitar and harmonica.  He’d tell stories, sing, we’d laugh, clap and have a grand old time.

The good news is that did happen..but it was way more than that.

Mike came on stage and painted the picture of that day.  He told the whole set up, left the stage and pretended to “enter the stage”.  Even his mock up of the MTV VJs Martha Quinn was on point.
So Mike starts to play, and its “Declaration”.  The acoustic guitar is being just pummeled with his strokes and we all sing “Marching on annnnnnnnnnnnnnnddd oonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn” and it  pummels down.  “Marching On” kicks off and Mike has done some stage wizardry.  He is now playing along with the live track of bass, guitar and drums. 

You’ve probably rolled your eyes but this works.  It really worked.  It was loud, rowdy and just a whole lot of fun.

I’d have been fine with Mike playing the acoustic and telling stories, but this was just full on awesome.  I felt 16 all over again.  I was smiling, clapping, whooping and being a music fan.  Its how music should make you feel, its how live shows should be.  For the next 90 minutes we had it.

Full Set list.
Marching On
Howling Wind
Knife Edge
Blaze of Glory
Walk Forever By My Side
Spirit of 76
68 Guns
The Stand
Rain in the Summertime
Rescue Me
The Stand (Prophecy)
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

There we a lot of fun moments.  Mike telling stories of seeing the Sex Pistols and The Clash, and how both bands front men treated him differently.  How they got the support of U2 and toured with them early on, and even toured with Pat Benetar.

The night was capped when Mike left the stage at the end and then proceeded to hang out and sign and pose for pictures.  He was just a gracious man.  It is hard to root against him and what he is trying to do.

He accomplished a lot this evening for me personally.  A terrific night.

For all news on Mike and his tour, the Alarm etc,check out the official site


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tom Jones Returns to the Road! Boston show slated!

The legendary Tom Jones is back!

Late in 2015 Tom Jones released a new album Long Lost Suitcase (S-Curve Records) and autobiography Over The Top and Back (Blue Rider Press) to great acclaim.   Starthing this week, Jones will hit the road for his first major tour of the United States in support of his latest album and will make stops in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more. Fans will hear songs from Sir Tom's latest release as well hits and deep cuts from his career repertoire.
Long Lost Suitcase was mostly recorded at The Distillery, a little known studio facility in Wiltshire. Some of the players are familiar from Jones' previous albums, including drummer Jeremy Stacey (who also plays in Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds), bassist Dave Bronze, and of course Ethan, who plays guitar or keyboards on most tracks. New to the team was Andy Fairweather Low, a fellow Welshman and peer of Tom’s from the early ’60s R&B scene, who started out in The Amen Corner and later proved his guitar mastery on tours with Roger Waters and Eric Clapton.
The result is a powerful collection of thirteen newly-recorded songs that includes the Celtic hoedown "Honey, Honey" by The Milk Carton Kids, the rollicking R&B tune "I Wish You Would" originally by Billy Boy Arnold and made famous the Yardbirds, a stripped-down version of Willie Nelson's "Opportunity To Cry" and many more.
US Tour Dates:
9/20: Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theater
9/21: New York, NY - The Beacon Theatre
9/23: Boston, MA - The Orpheum Theatre
9/24: Mashantucket, CT - Grand Theater
9/25: Washington, DC - Warner Theater
9/28: Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater
9/29: Pittsburgh, PA - Benedum Centre
10/1: Northfield, OH - Hard Rock Rocksino
10/2: Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace
10/3: Chicago, IL - House of Blues
10/5: Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
10/7: Tulsa, OK - Brandy Theatre
10/8: Thackerville, OK - Winstar Casino
10/11: San Francisco, CA - Masonic Centre
10/13: Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl w/ Van Morrison
For everything Tom Jones be sure to check out his official website