Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sorry for the quality on this one. Didn't focus my camera properly. Motley Crue performing their hit "Kickstart My Heart" live at Crue Fest '08 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. August 29, 2008.
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Papa Roach performing their hit "Getting Away With Murder" live at Crue Fest '08 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. August 29, 2008.
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Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
John Mayer performing "Waiting On The World To Change" live at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on August 25, 2008.
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Journey Live at Saratoga Performing Arts Center performing their hit, "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)". Recorded on August 24, 2008.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live at Albany's Times Union Center. This was their encore, "Born To Run" / "Dancing In The Dark". November 15, 2007.
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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing Darkness On The Edge Of Town Live at a concert at Albany, NY's Times Union Center. November 15, 2007.
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Saturday, August 2, 2008
Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt were born for each other. Which is why the reunification of Extreme (well at least a 75% reunification) was inevitable.
Cherone, the lead singer, and Bettencourt, the band's guitarist, have always complemented each other perfectly, whether harmonizing or just feeding off of each other's energy.
Extreme are back together after a 13 year hiatus (except for a few shows in 2004 and 2006) with Pat Badger back on bass and the only change taking place behind the drum kit with Kevin Figueiredo (who, amusingly, looks like a cross between Wolverine of the X-Men and a Hobbit) replacing Paul Geary, who is still with the band, but in a management position.
Extreme's new album, "Saudades de Rock" will be released on August 12th. However, the tour in support of the album kicked off last night at a place called The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY (they played Rocklahoma this year as well, but this show was the official start of their tour).
I was there.
I arrived late and missed the first act, a local band called Downfire. King's X was already on the stage and their set was very good.
But, having been an Extreme fan since 1989, I was there to see them.
The Chance is a small place...an old vaudeville theater converted into a bar/club. The capacity is only 748.
Extreme took the stage a little after 10:00.
I didn't keep a detailed set list but the show opened with "Decadence Dance", "Comfortably Dumb" (from their forthcoming new album) and "Rest In Peace".
Closed with "Get The Funk Out". At least I think it did...dammit now I can't remember if that was the last song or if there was one after that.
The encore consisted of "Hole Hearted", "It('s A Monster)" and "Warheads".
There were some typical opening night technical glitches but the band worked through them with a good sense of humor. The only real rough point was with their new song "Ghost". The sound mix was all off and Bettencourt's piano was terribly distorted.
Nuno played one of the most amazing, if not THE most amazing, guitar solos I've ever seen. On a stool with an electric/acoustic the man showed why he needs to be ranked among the top guitarists of all time. And what makes Nuno even greater than most is the way he is on stage. He wasn't pulling all this "rock god / guitar god" stuff. He was having fun and it was clear to everyone. A constant smile on his face, bopping around while he played, and the way he interacted with the audience elevated his stature above what it already is.
Kevin Figueiredo, behind the drums, who played with Nuno in Bettencourt's project DramaGods and also Perry Farrell's Satellite Party is pretty damn good too. It's amazing what he can do with just a 4 piece kit...he makes it sound like he's working at least 7 pieces.
And Cherone (having gone blonde) proved that he's still one of rock's greatest vocalists.
The set list itself was a great balance of their old and new stuff.
But what really made this show special, outside of the music of course, is the way the band interacted with the crowd. Of course, that's much easier to do in a small venue than in an arena, but they could have had the "rock star attitude" and just methodically moved from one song to the next. Rather they would interact with the crowd...not just in a collective sense but also one on one with people. It was clear that everybody was feeding off of everyone else's energy and I think the band had as good a time as the audience did...they seemed to genuinely enjoy the atmosphere and enthusiasm.
Best new song of the night: "Take Us Alive".
Catch the show when it comes near you if you can.
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Here are the tour dates:
Jul 31 2008 8:00P
Bank Of America Pavilion Boston, Massachusetts
Aug 1 2008 8:00P
Brookhaven Amphitheater Farmingville, New York
Aug 2 2008 8:00P
Rams Head Baltimore, Maryland
Aug 4 2008 8:00P
Fillmore East at Irving Plaza NY, New York
Aug 5 2008 8:00P
Chameleon Club Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Aug 6 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Cleveland, Ohio
Aug 8 2008 8:00P
Emerald Theater Detroit, Michigan
Aug 9 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Chicago, Illinois
Aug 10 2008 8:00P
Union Center Blvd Bash Cincinnati, Ohio
Aug 12 2008 8:00P
Amos' Southend Charlotte, North Carolina
Aug 13 2008 8:00P
Center Stage Atlanta, Georgia
Aug 15 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Orlando, Florida
Aug 16 2008 8:00P
Revolution Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Aug 18 2008 8:00P
House of Blues New Orleans, Louisiana
Aug 19 2008 8:00P
Meridian Houston, Texas
Aug 20 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Dallas, Texas
Aug 22 2008 8:00P
The Marquee Phoenix, Arizona
Aug 23 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Las Vegas, Nevada
Aug 25 2008 8:00P
Fillmore San Francisco, California
Aug 26 2008 8:00P
House of Blues Los Angeles, California
Sep 13 2008 8:00P
Rock Of Ages - A September To Remember Festival Milan, Italy
Nov 11 2008 7:00P
Corn Exchange Cambridge, UK
Nov 12 2008 7:00P
Norwich UEA Norwich, UK
Nov 14 2008 7:00P
Leeds Academy Leeds, UK
Nov 15 2008 7:00P
Glasgow Carling Academy Glasgow, UK
Nov 17 2008 7:00P
Newcastle City Hall Newcastle, UK
Nov 18 2008 7:00P
Manchester Academy Manchester, UK
Nov 20 2008 7:00P
Newport Centre Newport, UK
Nov 21 2008 7:00P
Guildhall Southampton, UK
Nov 23 2008 7:00P
Birmingham Academy Birmingham, UK
Nov 24 2008 7:00P
Astoria London, UK
Dec 1 2008 6:00P
Lemon Hall Tokyo, Japan
Dec 2 2008 6:00P
Lemon Hall Tokyo, Japan
Dec 4 2008 6:00P
Lemon Hall Tokyo, Japan
Dec 8 2008 6:00P
Koseinenkin Kaikan Osaka, Japan
Dec 9 2008 6:00P
Shi Kokaido Nagoya, Japan
Dec 10 2008 6:00P
Yubin Chokin Hall Hiroshima, Japan
Dec 13 2008 8:00P
Melon AX Hall Seoul, South Korea
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
July 8, 2008 found me at Peabody's, a sports bar in Saratoga, NY, as a contestant in a last man standing contest being done by a couple of local sister radio stations for tickets to next week's MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.
Unfortunately, I got eliminated rather quickly (first name drawn in the second round), but some other good came out of it. At the beginning of the contest, it was announced that the first name drawn (the first loser) would score a pair of tickets to the Stone Temple Pilots concert which was taking place up in Glens Falls, about 20 minutes north. Well the guy didn't want them...and neither did any of the subsequent losers before me. I didn't know if anyone had claimed them or not so I asked Jeannette, the promotions goddess at Regent Communications of Albany if they were still available. She thought they weren't but then my buddy Jeff Mrozek, afternoon jock at Q103 (q103albany.com) said they were and handed me the pair. So off I went to the show.
Opening band started at 7:30, I arrived there around 9:00. Fortunately it was still between acts and STP took the stage about 20 minutes or so later. The Civic Center was embarrassingly empty for a band as big as Stone Temple Pilots. The floor was only half full...directly across from me I could see many empty seats even in the first rows. To my left and directly across from the stage the 5 sections that wrap around that end of the arena were all but empty...just a few people scattered here and there.
But from what I saw (I left a little over an hour into the show because some security jackoff wanted to confiscate my camera and hold it until the end...I could have stayed and got my camera back after the show but I was totally wiped out and had a nearly 2 hour drive home), the recently reunited STP were awesome. Scott Weiland was pitch perfect. Still a little flaky even though he's supposedly clean and sober...but, as always, a great entertainer.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Gary Mullen & The Works is the official name of the band. The show is called "One Night Of Queen."
Essentially, they're a Queen tribute band. And the show is amazing. On April 3, 2008 I brought my 16 year old daughter to this show at Proctors Theater in Schenectady, NY. I've been a fan of Queen for nearly 30 years, and when I came up with my list of the top 25 rock singers of all time, which can be seen if you click here, Freddie Mercury topped the list. Admittedly it's a subjective and opinionated list, but I think anyone who's familiar with the history of rock music would have to place Mercury at least in their top 5 if they were to make a similar list. The man was just incredible both in his vocals and in his stage presence.
My daughter is also a huge fan of Queen so she was pumped up for the show as well. We had fourth row seats. We arrived about 15 minutes before the show was scheduled to start and I was shocked at how empty the theater was. However, it was filled nearly to capacity by the time the show started.
The show is broken down into two segments, with about a 20 minute intermission in between. There's a problem when a band like this plays in theaters like this. Everybody feels they need to stay seated. It is, after all, one of those old-time fancy vaudevillian theaters that used to cater to the stuffed shirt hoity toity crowd and the atmosphere of the place, because of the architecture and embellishments and, frankly, its history almost force decorum onto the theater patron.
But this is rock and roll. And Proctors recently has brought in more of these types of acts to cater to more than just the champagne and caviar crowd. About 4 or 5 songs into the first set, the band broke into "Another One Bites The Dust". I said to my daughter, "Come on. Let's stand up and get this crowd going." Mullen had earlier stated to the crowd that they could stand up and dance...an obvious "hint" for everybody to start doing so. My daughter replied to me, "I'm not standing up if nobody else is." So I didn't. But, God, I wanted to stand up, turn around and start moving my arms up and down to encourage everybody to get up off their asses and start getting into it. Before the final song of the first set, which for the life of me I can't remember what it was right now as I'm typing this, Mullen came to the edge of the stage and stated that he wanted everybody to stand up. He recognized the fact that people were thinking in a theater state of mind and said that this wasn't a theater show...that it was a rock and roll show...and he wanted people on their feet. That's when everyone responded and finally got up. They did the song and it was time for the intermission.
My daughter and I went out and bought a couple of tour t-shirts, which is when we found out that Mullen would be doing autographs after the show...a nice, classy touch. So my daughter and I met him afterwards and had our shirts signed. He was quite chatty with her about her name, which is Mackenzie and, he being a Scot, had quite a bit to say about it. Very nice, likable guy.
The second half of the show rocked with people finally letting loose and it started to feel more like what a rock concert should feel like.
The band itself is amazing. And the show is incredible. Unlike your typical tribute bands, not every member tries to look like their original counterpart. The only one that does is Mullen, who dons a fake mustache during the performance to look more like Mercury. His stage antics mimic Mercury perfectly, but the biggest surprise to me is his voice. I always thought Mercury was so unique that nobody would be able to duplicate his voice. But Mullen pulls it off. He sounds exactly like him. And if you close your eyes you can imagine that you're really at a Queen concert.
This tour is their first tour in the United States and the show I attended marked approximately the halfway point of the tour. If you can catch it, you by all means should. At the end of this is a link to the official website where you can see the tour dates (it ends at the end of April).
The only disappointment I can really express is that they decided to take one of my favorite Queen songs of all-time, "Radio Ga Ga" out of the show. Mullen explains why in his blog: 7th March : Rialto Square Theatre , Joliet:
This was one of the most stunning theatres that I have ever seen.
The inside was very Romanesque, marble and statues everywhere, wouldn’t have looked out of place next to the Coliseum. This was a busy show, and the people of Joliet were ready to go from the beginning.
All the songs went down well, except for “Radio Ga Ga ”, turns out it isn’t as well known over here. Have to remove it from the set.
Highlight of the show so far seems to be “Fat Bottomed Girls “.
If you do a YouTube search for "One Night Of Queen", you'll find some videos from performances. But none will match the feeling of seeing this show live and in person.
Visit the One Night Of Queen website