Kansas City Concert Review – Brian Wilson

REVIEW AND PHOTOS BY DAN LYBARGER

 Brian Wilson

Muriel Kauffman Theater – Kansas City, MO

November 13, 2018

Brian Wilson

At 76, Brian Wilson could still make a crowded auditorium happy, even if he didn’t appear to be doing anything at all.

Having co-written and arranged dozens of hits for The Beach Boys and on his own, Wilson can get away with outsourcing songs he originated to other vocalists. He sat behind a baby grand piano as if he were an audience member instead of the star of the show.

Criticizing Wilson for being odd is like chastising the Beatles for being English. It’s essential to his greatness, even if it can be disconcerting to watch. The distinctive harmonies in the songs he recorded with the Beach Boys are the result of defying convention. The fact that Wilson is deaf in one ear only makes his accomplishments seem even more formidable.

It’s also worth noting that many Beach Boy songs like “California Girls” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” sound better in live performances now than they would have when the band and the session players from the Wrecking Crew recorded them over 50 years ago. The amplification to do those songs justice wasn’t around back then, and Wilson’s current band consistently performed them with both fidelity and spirit.

The 11-piece ensemble behind Wilson juggled instruments and skillfully mimicked the harmonies Wilson originally created with his late brothers Dennis and Carl and cousin Mike Love. Fellow Beach Boy founder Al Jardine wound up taking most of the vocal chores that evening and seemed happier with ingratiating himself and the band with the crowd than Wilson did. Then again, Wilson seemed to have had the crowd’s attention by simply uttering “Hello, Kansas City” at the start of the show.

Unlike musicians from the past who might have needed too much chemical help to get on stage, Wilson can at least still read a map.

Rob Bonfiglio

He and the band found a great venue. The Muriel Kauffman Theatre normally hosts classical performances, but Leonard Bernstein praised Wilson’s distinctive compositions as being worthy of the old masters, so they certainly belonged on that stage.

If Wilson seemed only fitfully engaged, the rest of the band were eager to give the songs he had popularized justice. Jardine can still plaintively beg Rhonda to help him forget his ex and can fill in for passages that Carl or Wilson’s cousin and lyricist Mike Love used to sing.

Ben Jones

Wilson’s son-in-law Rob Bonfiglio ably delivers the falsetto portions of the songs that his father-in-law used to sing, and the other instrumentalists in the ensemble change instruments more frequently than most of us change our clothes.

For “Good Vibrations,” the band even incorporated a delightfully eerie Theremin and played acoustic marimbas instead of keyboard samples. Darian Sahanaja, who helped Wilson resurrect long lost Beach Boys album Smile, played keyboards and figured out how to make studio trickery work live.

The set also received a shot of adrenaline when South African singer-guitarist Blondie Chaplin hit the stage halfway through the set. A member of the 1970s incarnation of The Beach Boys, Chaplin tore through “Free Flows,” “Wild Honey” and “Sail On, Sailor,” stopping only to deliver some scorching guitar solos. Chaplin would return to harmonize on later songs, but he left the crowd craving more.

Wilson and Al Jardine

Wilson seemed content to simply let Chaplin, Jardine and Bonfiglio do the heavy lifting. He still managed to deliver moving renditions of “God Only Knows” and his solo tune “Love & Mercy.” If you had written those haunting melodies, maybe you could afford to take it easy during the rest of the set.

Opening band Beat Root Revival offered self-deprecating quips about opening for a titan like Wilson, but delivered a brief energetic set that featured solid covers and some touching originals. Englishman Ben Jones is a remarkably nimble guitarist, while Irish vocalist Andrea Magee provided most of the percussion and found new uses for a pennywhistle in her reinterpretation of Stevie Nicks’ “Dreams.” Her original tune “Forever” may have originated with her parents arguing about a piece of cheese, but it’s catchy and delightful even if you don’t know its origin.

Andrea Magee

Set List (Courtesy of Setlist.fm)

California Girls

Dance, Dance, Dance

I Get Around

Shut Down

Little Deuce Coupe

Little Honda

Surfer Girl

Salt Lake City

Wake the World

Add Some Music to Your Day

California Saga: California

Don’t Worry Baby

Darlin’

Feel Flows

Wild Honey

Sail On, Sailor

Do It Again

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Sloop John B

God Only Knows

Good Vibrations

Encore

All Summer Long

Help Me, Rhonda

Barbara Ann

Surfin’ U.S.A.

Fun, Fun, Fun

Love and Mercy

Win Passes to the Kansas City Advance Screening of “CREED II”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at MGM to give (50) lucky readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the most anticipated films of the year, “CREED II.”

The film will be shown on Monday, November 19 at the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri and will begin at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (50) passes have been claimed the giveaway is over.  Good luck!

CREED II

Monday, November 19, 2018 – 7:00 pm

Cinemark Palace at the Plaza – Kansas City, Missouri

Win Passes to the Kansas City Sneak Preview of “Robin Hood”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Summit Entertainment to give (3) lucky readers and a guest the chance to attend the special sneak preview of the upcoming film, “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx.

The film will be shown on Monday, November 19th at the AMC Barrywoods Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.  The show begins at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win these passes is let us know below who your favorite big-screen Robin Hood is.  Errol Flynn?  Kevin Costner?  How about Disney’s animated hero?

Three entries will be randomly chosen and the winners notified by email.  

This giveaway ends at 6:00 p.m. Sunday night, November 18th.  Good luck!

Win Tickets to the Kansas City Screening of “Boy Erased”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Focus Features to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the most anticipated films of the upcoming season, “Boy Erased.”

The film, written and directed by Joel Edgerton, will be screened on Wednesday, November 7 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kansas City.  The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m.

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  Good luck!

BOY ERASED

Wednesday, November 7, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Kansas City, Missouri

Win Tickets to the Kansas City Screening of “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Fox Searchlight to give (100) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

The film, starring Melissa McCarthy, will be shown on Monday, October 29 at the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.  The screening will begin at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE  The first (100) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (100) passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.  Good Luck!

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME

Monday, October 29, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Cinemark Palace at the Plaza – Kansas City, Missouri

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Hunter Killer”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at Lionsgate Films to give (50) lucky readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Hunter Killer,” starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman.

The screening will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at the Screenland Armor Theatre in North Kansas City and will start at 7:00 p.m.

To win all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  When the allotted (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway is ended.  GOOD LUCK!

HUNTER KILLER

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

Screenland Armor Theatre, North Kansas City, Missouri

Win Passes to the Kansas City premiere of “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Media Mikes has teamed with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (25) lucky readers and their guest the chance to be among the first to see one of the most anticipated films of 2018:  “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The film will be screened on Tuesday, October 23 at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.  The screening begins at 700 p.m.

 

 

To attend, all you have to do is click HERE.  The first (25) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first-come/first-serve giveaway.  When the (25) pair of passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  GOOD LUCK!

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY opens nationwide on Friday, November 2.

 

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

AMC Studio 28 Theatre, Olathe, Kansas

Concert Review: FOO FIGHTERS in Kansas City

 

 Foo Fighters
 Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
 October 12, 2018
 
During an introduction a few years ago on CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” the now-retired host said this about the Foo Fighters, “We can all sleep easy at night knowing that somewhere at any given time, the Foo Fighters are out there fighting Foo.” With founder Dave Grohl at the helm, Foo Fighters did plenty of that and then some in front of a packed audience for three wild hours on Friday night (Oct. 12) at the Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
 
After hitting the multi-generational crowd with three songs – “Run,” “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” and “La Dee Da” – from their ninth studio album “Concrete and Gold,” Grohl, who somehow manages to not blow out his vocal chords, took a break from wailing to let drummer Taylor Hawkins perform an epic solo, which was upon a miniature stage that rose a couple stories above the main stage. This led into “Something From Nothing,” also from their current album, before Grohl and company – bassist Nate Mendel, guitarist Pat Smear, Hawkins, guitarist Chris Shiflett, and keyboardist Rami Jaffee – took the Sprint Center on a rock journey across their 23-year music career.
 
Using just the right amount of laser lights and other visuals to complement their music, the Foo Fighters often went on extended, improvised versions of such classic hits as “The Pretender” and “Learn to Fly.” Without missing a beat, the audience was impressively able to sing every song word for word when called upon by Grohl, who once again proved he is a master showman. Some singers can bore you to tears when they decide to stop and talk in between songs. Grohl is a brilliant exception. Even with plenty of f-bombs to spare, Grohl, much like he did while sitting in a guitar throne three years ago during their last Sprint Center appearance, kept his spectators engaged and entertained.
 
The Foo Fighters took a break from their hit parade to allow each band member to have their own feature solo. No one in the house was disappointed as they demonstrated masterful musicianship, highlighted by a fantastic rendition of “Blitzkrieg Bop” with Smear taking the lead and “Under Pressure” with Grohl on drums and Hawkins on lead vocals. However, perhaps no more fun was to be had than when Grohl explained how important music can be to healing differences with Jaffee playing “Imagine” in the background. With everyone expecting to sing along with the John Lennon classic, Grohl surprised everyone by doing Van Halen’s “Jump” lyrics to the music of “Imagine,” again showing their versatility and playful side.
 
The Foo Fighters wound up the raucous evening of pure American rock with classics “My Hero,” “Monkey Wrench” and “Best of You” before diving into a slightly surprising encore. It featured Grohl inviting an 11-year-old kid onstage to play “Enter Sandman” on guitar, which was to the gleeful delight of the crowd, before the group ultimately ended with mainstay “Everlong.”

SET LIST:  Run, The Sky is a Neighborhood, La Dee Da, Sunday Rain, Something From Nothing, Walk, These Days, Arlandria, The Pretender, Times Like These, All My Life, Learn to Fly, Breakout, Another One Bites the Dust, Imagine/Jump, Blitzkrier Bop, Under Pressure, My Hero, Monkey Wrench, Best of You.  ENCORE:  Enter Sandman, Dirty Water, This is a Call, Everlon.,

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “Bad Times at the El Royale”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (50) readers and their guest a chance to be among the first to attend the Kansas City screening of the new film “Bad Times at the El Royale.”

The film, starring Jeff Bridges,  Jon Hamm and Chris Hemsworth, will screen on Monday, October 1st at the AMC Studio 28 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.  The screening begins at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do to attend is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all (50) passes have been claimed the giveaway has ended.  Good luck!

Theater Review: “Chicago” – Kansas City

CHICAGO
September 14, 2018
Starlight Theater – Kansas City, Missouri
When the Kander and Ebb musical “Chicago” opened on Broadway in 1975, it caused a sensation.  The show, directed and choreographed by the great Bob Fosse,  played for three years and earned an impressive (11) Tony Award nominations.  Sadly, it didn’t win any, running into the juggernaut that was “A Chorus Line.”
In 1996, the show was revived on Broadway and that version fared much better at the Tonys, taking home (6) of the (8) awards it was nominated for, including the award for Best Revival of a Musical.  What’s even more impressive is that, since November 14, 1996, “Chicago” has never left Broadway, earning the right to call itself the longest running American musical in theater history!    This weekend, the touring production made its way to Kansas City and, despite some technical difficulties, greatly entertained.
We meet Velma Kelly (Amra-Faye Wright) as she entertains her nightclub audience with the show’s signature number, “All That Jazz.”  We follow this with a quick peek into the bedroom of Roxie Hart (Angel Reda) to discover her in an argument with her lover.  Moments later, Roxie shoots him dead. When the police arrive, Roxie’s husband, Amos (Paul Vogt) takes the blame for the shooting, but quickly recants when he learns the truth.  Roxie is taken to jail, where she will await trial for murder.  But not before a little singing and a lot of dancing!
There are a million reasons to see this show at Starlight.  First off, it’s one of the best outdoor venues in the country.  The shows are usually excellent or, if not, entertaining.  “Chicago” boasts an amazing cast and a top-notch orchestra.  Both Ms. Wright and Ms. Reda (who is from nearby Overland Park, Kansas) are strong dancers with great vocal chops.  My quibble above regarding technical difficulties comes from the fact that, for the first hour of the show, there was an obvious problem with Ms. Wright’s body microphone.  The fact that I could hear her in my seats stems from the fact that she can belt out a song.  Once the problem was fixed both actresses were at the top of their game.
The rest of the cast is equally strong.  As publicity loving attorney Billy Flynn, Peter Lockyer is as smooth as silk.  Jennifer Fouche’ steals her scenes as Matron “Mother” Morton and Mr. Vogt puts an ache in your heart as he sings “Mr. Cellophane.”   The choreography (by the amazing Ann Reinking, and based on Fosse’s original work) is spectacular, delivering in spades the moves that are so associated with the late choreographer.
If you’re looking for some fun under the stars this weekend, I’d highly recommend a trip to “Chicago!”

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “Life Itself”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Amazon Studios to give (40) lucky readers and a guest the chance to be among the first to see the new film “Life Itself.”

The film will be shown on Wednesday, September 19th at the B&B Overland Park 16 Theatre in Overland Park, Kansas and will begin at 7:30 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (40) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (40) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  Good Luck!

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “The Predator”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at 20th Century Fox to give (50) lucky readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film “The Predator” at an advance screening.

The screening will be held on Monday, September 10th at the AMC Town Center Theatre in Leawood, Kansas.  It will begin at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once all of the passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  Good Luck!

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “God Bless the Broken Road”

 

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures to give (35) readers and a guest the chance to be the first to see their latest film, “God Bless the Broken Road,” which will be screened on Wednesday, September 5th at the B&B Lee’s Summit Theatre.  The screening will start at 7:00 pm.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (35) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the (35) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  GOOD LUCK!

GOD BLESS THE BROKEN ROAD

Wednesday, September 6, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.

B&B Lee’s Summit Theatre, Lee’s Summit, Missouri

 

@gbbrmovie #BlessAVet #GBBR

#BlessAVet is a huge initiative for this film launched in partnership with Disabled American Veterans, Fandango, and the film God Bless the Broken Road where people can contribute to give a veteran a night out to dinner and to go see God Bless the Broken Road in theaters this September. Visit http://bit.ly/BlessAVetGen for more information!

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection First Time Ever on Blu-ray!

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A LANDMARK COLLECTION SHOWCASING THE LEGENDARY MONSTERS IN MOTION PICTURE HISTORY

UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS: COMPLETE 30-FILM COLLECTION AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY ON AUGUST 28, 2018 FROM UNIVERSAL PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Universal City, California, August 22, 2018 – Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray™ for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on August 28, 2018, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the horror genre with imaginative and technically groundbreaking tales of terror in unforgettable films from the 1930s to late-1950s.

From the era of silent movies through present day, Universal Pictures has been regarded as the home of the monsters. The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection showcases all the original films featuring the most iconic monsters in motion picture history including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon. Starring some of the most legendary actors including Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains and Elsa Lanchester in the roles that they made famous, these films set the standard for a new horror genre and showcase why these landmark movies that defined the horror genre are regarded as some of the most unforgettable ever to be filmed.

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes a 48-page collectible book filled with behind-the-scenes stories and rare production photographs and is accompanied by an array of bonus features including behind-the-scenes documentaries, the 1931 Spanish version of Dracula, Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce, 13 expert feature commentaries, archival footage, production photographs, theatrical trailers and more. The perfect gift for any scary movie fan, the collection offers an opportunity to experience some of the most memorable horror films of our time.

The Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes Dracula(1931), Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Werewolf of London (1935), Dracula’s Daughter (1936), Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), The Invisible Woman (1940), The Mummy’s Hand (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), The Mummy’s Ghost (1942), The Mummy’s Tomb (1942),Invisible Agent (1942), Phantom of the Opera (1943), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943), Son of Dracula (1943), House of Frankenstein (1944), The Mummy’s Curse (1944), The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944), House of Dracula (1945), She-Wolf of London (1946), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954, and includes a 3D version), Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955), Revenge of the Creature (1955 and includes a 3D version) and The Creature Walks Among Us (1956).

 

BONUS FEATURES:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Documentaries
  • 3D Versions of Creature from the Black Lagoon and Revenge of the Creature
  • 1931 Spanish Version of Dracula
  • Featurettes on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Jack Pierce
  • 13 Expert Feature Commentaries
  • Archival Footage
  • Production Photographs
  • Theatrical Trailers

 

Win Passes to the Kansas City screening of “Searching”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Sony Pictures to give (50) readers and a guest the chance to be among the first in Kansas City to see the new film “Searching.

All you have to do is click HERE.  The first (50) readers to do so will receive a pass for (2) to attend the screening on August 23rd at the AMC Studio 24 Theatre in Olathe, Kansas.  This is a first come/first serve giveaway.  Once the allotted (50) passes have been claimed, the giveaway has ended.  Good Luck!