METALLICA: ALL WITHIN MY HANDS FOUNDATION PRESENTS THE HELPING HANDS CONCERT & AUCTION DECEMBER 16th

METALLICA’s ALL WITHIN MY HANDS FOUNDATION
Presents
THE HELPING HANDS CONCERT & AUCTION
DECEMBER 16 AT THE MICROSOFT THEATER IN LOS ANGELES

Tickets On Sale to the Public Friday, September 23 at 10:00am Local Time HERE

Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation focused on creating sustainable communities by tackling issues including hunger and workforce education, brings its Helping Hands Concert & Auction back into the physical world for its third year: On December 16, Helping Hands will make its Southern California debut with Metallica and special guests performing at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Tickets will be on sale to the public from 10:00am local time Friday, September 23 with a two-ticket limit per customer. As always, 100% of proceeds from this years Helping Hands event—tickets, fees and auction items—will go directly to help those in need. For further information, pre-sales etc., go to: www.axs.com/events/449833?skin=microsofttheater

Metallica’s previous Helping Hands Concert & Auction was live-streamed November 14, 2020, raising more than $1.8 million—funds used to work with partners at Feeding America and the American Association of Community Colleges, as well as various COVID and disaster relief efforts. All Within My Hands was established in 2017 as a way for the Metallica family to give back to communities that have supported the band. All Within My Hands expenses are covered entirely by the band, the board, and friends who have worked with the band over many years, ensuring that 100% of proceeds go directly to help those in need. To date, All Within My Hands has donated over $5.8 million to critical local services and the fight against food insecurity, working with partners around the world to feed more than 10 million people. In addition, the foundation’s Metallica Scholars Initiative has pledged a total of $5.9 million in grants benefiting 33 community colleges across the USA.

For more about All Within My Hands, please visit allwithmyhands.org.

Concert Review: Roger Waters: This is Not a Drill

 

 

Roger Waters: This is Not a Drill

T-mobile Center/Kansas City, MO

September 3, 2022

 

IN THE FLESH AND OUTSIDE THE WALL

 

Near the ceiling of the T-Mobile Center, the electronic signs warned patrons not to use offensive language and advised reporting people who engaged in that sort of discourse to management.

 

Thankfully, Roger Waters missed that note before hitting the stage last Saturday night. There were enough F-bombs to flatten Moscow.

 

Throughout his 2½ hour set, the former Pink Floyd bassist, lyricist, singer and driving force made his views on politics explicit. When some Pink Floyd fans lament the activist bent in his more recent music, it’s tempting to wonder if they had simply been using the Floyd for chemical recreation and missed Waters’ agitation in the words for “Us and Them” and the entire George Orwell-inspired album Animals.

 

At 78, Waters may be campaigning for the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during his performances, and his set seemed like a refutation of some of the themes he and his former bandmates explored in The Wall.

 

This was for the best.

 

Waters conceived The Wall because he was disturbed by how fame and massive area shows (like the one he was giving when I saw him) had separated Pink Floyd from their audience.

 

Nearly 4½ decades later, Waters seemed sociable. The slender Englishman bounced around the stage. He quoted Wilbert Harrison’s “Kansas City” and made a point of thanking fans who had held onto their tickets for two years. Covid ruined a lot of plans. He even left the T-Mobile Center marching through the crowd with the band. He repeatedly acknowledged that his shows were for the fans, and they clearly returned the love.

 

For a guy who has written tunes about grief, alienation and even the price of nuclear war, Water came off as contagiously giddy. Even when he briefly tripped over the words to one of his newer songs, Waters’ enthusiasm buoyed the entire night.

 

Opening with “Comfortably Numb,” the performance of the offering from The Wall missed David Gilmour’s soaring and then ominous guitars solos. Nonetheless, it still sounded captivatingly eerie.

 

That song came with unsettling images of bombed out rooftops and people mindlessly waking through lines as the walked through lines mindlessly. The screens would be raised and lowered at strategic moments and supplemented the newer songs to illustrate why Waters had written pointed tunes line “The Powers That Be” and “The Bravery of Being Out of Range.” He ran a slide show of unarmed people across the world who had died in police shootings. The list seemed even more urgent that night because it included Donnie Sanders, who had died here in Kansas City.

 

The screens also enabled Waters to add backstory to songs he was performing from Wish You Were Here. Waters still mourns original Pink Floyd leader Syd Barrett and slides of the band’s early lineup made the tunes even more poignant. Seamus Blake’s passionate sax solos on those tunes and on “Money” and “Us and Them” certainly helped. The rest of the band delivered a solid, tightly rehearsed set. Apart from “Comfortably Numb,” they followed Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright’s original playing on the Floyd songs.

 

The dancing animated pigs on “Money” made of up for any lack of spontaneity.

 

In addition, longtime fans were rewarded with the expected lasers, giant inflatable pigs and sheep and theatrics that recalled Alan Parker’s movie of The Wall.

 

When Waters broke into songs from Amused to Death or Is This the Life We Really Want, the crowd lost none of its enthusiasm. It probably helped that the enormous screens displayed a disclaimer letting anyone who objected to his takes on indigenous rights or police shootings to “f**k off to the bar.”

 

It’s a nod to his newer song “The Bar,” which deals with being able to freely discuss difficult topics. Waters clearly knows how to entertain (who doesn’t love giant, floating pigs?), and much of his outrage is sadly warranted. His songs may have launched a thousand bong hits, but if Bob Dylan, whom he cited in his show, can write “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Waters can warn us about the urgency of addressing nuclear war.

 

I attended the show as a guest of Kansas City Veterans for Peace, Chapter 97. I’m merely a former military contractor (a cubicle jockey) who doesn’t want troops being put into peril for a fool’s errand, and nuclear conflict certainly qualifies. Waters correctly cited Kansas’ Dwight D. Eisenhower, who repeatedly expressed many of the same concerns.

 

That said, I’d like to have a beer with him at a bar sometime. I’m not sure how we’d get along, or if alcohol would be conducive to the topics at hand. I have quibbles about Mr. Assange, but challenging subjects don’t get the attention they need when people simply shut up and sing.

Concert Review: “Weird Al” Yankovic w/Emo Philips

 

 

  • “Weird Al ” Yankovic w/Emo Philips
  • Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts/Kansas City, MO
  • September 2, 2022

 

Roger Daltrey.  Tina Turner.  Robert Plant.  Freddie Mercury.

 

These amazing people possess some of the greatest and most powerful voices in the history of Rock and Roll.  To that list I humbly add Mr. Alfred Matthew Yankovic.  That’s right…”Weird Al.”

 

In a show that, except for the Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer,” included only original songs – there was a brief medley of some of his more popular parody songs towards the end – Yankovic gave a show that I would put up against any concert I have ever seen.  After opening the show with “Fun Zone,” Yankovic reminded the audience that this was going to be a show that some fans have complained about, because he was doing the “funny” stuff.  He noted that “the name of the tour should have tipped you off.”  And he was right, as the show was billed as “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour.”  Not a lot of leeway there.  And while I secretly hoped he’d break out his new “Hamilton” medley, I went home utterly amazed at what I’d just witnessed.

 

True fans of Yankovic are, of course, familiar with his parody hits, but also enjoy his original tunes as well.  On this night, he interspersed several of his more popular originals – “One More Minute,” “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” and “The Night Santa Went Crazy” with an array of great tunes, some done much differently then their album versions.  “Dare to Be Stupid” was done like a 60s lounge song, while “Craigslist” could have easily been included on an album by the Doors.  He really let his rock chops loose when he introduced a song he claimed he’d written for the band Rage Against the Machine.  Apparently, the band didn’t record it, so he did.  The song, “I’ll Sue Ya,” brought the audience to its feet with its growling vocals and kick ass music.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the musicians accompanying Yankovic on stage were amazing, showing the skill, and tightness, of a band that had been together for over four decades!

 

Opening the show was comedian Emo Philips, whose comedy I was introduced to late at night while listening to Dr. Demento with my friends.  I always enjoyed his style of comedy and it was a true treat to have the opportunity to see him in person.  Speaking of Dr. Demento, early next week (September 14th) will mark the 42nd Anniversary of when I heard “Weird” Al live on Dr. Demento’s radio show introducing his first big parody song, “Another One Rides the Bus.”  Wow!  I should write a book titled “Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Dr. Demento!”

 

 

“Weird” Al’s “The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour” continues through the end of October.  Many shows are sold out, but if you’re thinking about going – and after reading this review,  why the hell aren’t you? – click HERE

 

SET LIST:  Fun Zone, Close But No Cigar, Melanie, Bob, One More Minute, Dare to Be Stupid,  Dog Eat Dog, Velvet Elvis, Craigslist, You Don’t Love Me Anymore, I’ll Sue Ya, Franks 2000” TV, Don’t Download This Song, The Night Santa Went Crazy, Skipper Dan, Good Old Days, Albuquerque.  ENCORE:  Psycho Killer, UNPLUGGED MEDLEY – Amish Paradise/Smells Like Nirvana/White & Nerdy/Word Crimes/Yoda.

 

Concert Review: The HAPPY TOGETHER Tour

 

 

  • HAPPY TOGETHER TOUR
  • Kauffman Center – Kansas City, Missouri
  • August 21, 2022

 

Part two of my wonderful musical weekend!

 

What if I told you that you could see the Cowsills, the Vogues, the Buckinghams, the Association, Gary Puckett and the Turtles all in one night?  No, really!  They are all together on the most recent HAPPY TOGETHER tour, which made a stop in Kansas City this past weekend.

 

For those who may not know this, the Cowsills was a group made up of a mother and her musical children.  Sound familiar?  That’s right.  The Cowsills were the inspiration for television’s “Partridge Family.”  On this night, brothers Bob and Paul, along with sister Susan, opened the show with a set of the most popular songs.  They even threw in the theme to television’s “Love, American Style,” which I had no idea they’d done. 

 

The Vogues took the stage and opened with their classic “Five O’ Clock World.”  The group was in fine voice, with amazing harmonies.  The Buckinghams were represented by original members Nick Fortuna and lead singer Carl Giammarese, who was celebrating his 75th Birthday this evening.

 

Next up was the Association, who sounded as good on this evening as they did in their heyday.  Songs like “Cherish” and “Never My Love” filled the Kauffman Center, with the crowd signing along.  Next up was the amazing Gary Puckett.  I had seen him in 1986 when he opened for the Monkees.  He didn’t disappoint then, and he didn’t disappoint on this evening.  With his distinct voice, songs like “Young Girl” and “This Girl is a Woman Now” rolled over the audience.  Mr. Puckett noted that Carl Giammarese was 75 but that Susan Cowsill was 63.  He also noted that he had them both beat as he will be turning 80 later this year!

 

Closing out the night was the Turtles, whose hit “Happy Together” gives the tour its name.  A big bonus, for me anyway, was that Ron Dante was the lead singer.  Dante, who turns 77(!) today also was the lead vocalist on the biggest selling song of 1969, “Sugar, Sugar.”  Which means that I can legitimately tell people that I saw the Archies in concert!

 

The night ended with everyone one stage in a mini-medley of some of the night’s best moments.

 

The HAPPY TOGETHER tour continues through the year.  You can find tickets for it HERE.

 

SONG LIST:  Cowsills:  The Rain, the Park and Other Things, We Can Fly, Indian Lake, Love, American Style, Hair.  The Vogues:  Five O’Clock World, My Special Angel, Turn Around Look at Me, You’re the One.  The Buckinghams:  Don’t You Care, “Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song), Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Susan, Kind of a Drag.  The Association:  Windy, Never My Love, Cherish, Along Comes Mary.  Gary Puckett:  Lady Willpower, Over You, This Girl is a Woman Now, Woman, Woman, Young Girl.  The Turtles:  She’d Rather Be With Me, You Baby, It Ain’t Me Babe, You Showed Me, Sugar, Sugar, Eleanor, Happy Together.

Concert Review: Boz Scaggs, Robert Cray Band, Jeff Leblanc

 

  • BOZ SCAGGS/ROBERT CRAY BAND/JEFF LEBLANC
  • Kauffman Center – Kansas City, Missouri
  • August 19, 2022

 

What an amazing weekend of music I just concluded.  Keep an eye out for my piece on the HAPPY TOGETHER show – this one is all about the night I got to listen to one of my all-time favorites and discovered a new one.

 

I had certainly heard of the Robert Cray Band, and was familiar with their biggest song, “Smoking Gun,” and I had known for years that Mr. Cray was the guitarist for Otis Day and the Knights in “Animal House.”  But I’d had no idea that he was a master of the guitar, with an amazing band to match him lick for lick.  I will mention here that my wife is a big fan and has told me for years that I didn’t know what I was missing.  She was right.  With Mr. Cray changing guitars for almost every song played, the music lept from his fingers and filled the sold-out Kauffman Center.  His band kept pace, with bass player Richard Cousins supplying the beat while changing instruments almost as much as Mr. Cray did.  The set ended with a bluesy rendition of Chuck Berry’s (You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie.

 

After a short break it was time for headliner Boz Scaggs and his band to take the stage.  I’m old enough to remember when hits like “Ledo Shuffle,” “Lowdown” and “Look What You’ve Done to Me” – a great song to have on the turntable when you were “entertaining” a lady friend – were first released.  I played Mr. Scaggs’ “Silk Degrees” album constantly as a teenager and it was quite a joy to hear those songs – and others – performed live.   I just realized I may have confused our younger readers by using both words “turntable” and “album.”  Still the best way to listen to music.  Don’t believe me?  Ask your parents.

 

Besides the hits, Mr. Scaggs also played a selection of songs from his latest album, “Let it Roll.”  The mixture of old and new was well received by the audience, as was the rousing “Ledo Shuffle” sing-along.

 

The evening began with a short set from singer/songwriter Jeff Leblanc, who easily engaged the audience with his stories, including a folksy rendition of Al Green’s (or, if you’re my son’s age – Tina Tuner’s) “Let’s Stay Together,” which he introduced as a song he had to learn for a wedding.  A budding talent who I’m sure we will all hear more about sooner than later.

 

For upcoming shows, please click HERE.  

Concert Review: Brian Wilson with Chicago – Kansas City

 

  • BRIAN WILSON with CHICAGO
  • Starlight Theater – Kansas City, Missouri
  • June 20, 2022
Brian Wilson’s 80th Birthday Party or How Chicago Set the Starlight on Fire

 

June 20 would have been s a big day for music even if Brian Wilson and his accomplished band had stayed in California and enjoyed the surf. The composer, arranger and producer of countless hits for the Beach Boys and others turned 80, and the Internet was full of tributes. In one video fellow musicians Elton John, Joe Walsh and even actor Jeff Bridges wished him well. Naturally, the clip played just before he and the band took the stage.

 

Wilson can no longer hit those acrobatic high notes and now gently croons Beach Boy Mike Love’s vocal parts and spends much of his own shows watching on as Darian Sahanaja and a gifted ensemble perform the songs and a few covers in a way that sounds better than Wilson’s compositions might have sounded when he was touring with the Beach Boys in the early 1960s. Thanks to Beach Boys cofounder Al Jardine, his son Matt and decades of improvement in amplification, Wilson’s dense harmonies and complicated arrangements now work live.

 

Sahanaja, who worked with Wilson on resurrecting his lost album SMiLE also knows how to make tunes like “Good Vibrations” and “Heroes and Villains” reach their full depth on stage. The former was recorded in four different studios, and the 12 people on stage ably made it work on a hot clear night.

 

Maybe you don’t need to work the crowd if your songs and your band’s performance are this good.

 

Midway through the set South African Blondie Chaplin who played with the Beach Boys in the 70s and who has teamed up with the Rolling Stones and others roared though “Sail On, Sailor,” “Wild Honey” and “Long Promised Road,” a song by Brian’s younger brother Carl, which provides the tile to a terrific documentary on Wilson that is currently playing on the PBS streaming app. Chaplin’s wailing voice and stinging guitar licks seem like a bolt of lightning has hit the Starlight despite the clear, sunny evening. The energy rose and kept nearly 60-year-old tunes from seeming as if they were preserved in amber.

 

The Jardines both have fine voices, and Matt’s falsettos were the highlight of “Don’t Worry Baby.” Jardine can still plead for Rhonda’s help and sound like he means it.

 

In the documentary, Wilson appears to be happiest and most animated when he’s in the studio coaxing out arrangements. For his birthday show, there were hints when he altered the playlist slightly. As the he led the crowd in the Ronette’s “Be My Baby,” his fondness more than made up for the fact that he doesn’t have the late Ronnie Spector’s superhuman vocal chops.

 

Wilson always gets a standing ovation for “God Only Knows,” but he also seemed to hit his stride later in the set when he broke into a rousing version of “Surfin’ U.S.A.” Wilson had to use a walker to get on and off the stage, but that song almost made you think that he was getting ready to join his late brother Dennis to catch some tasty waves. Dennis was the only Beach Boy who ever got on a board, but Brian still understood that even people from Kansas or Missouri could love the sport through music.

 

Another pleasant surprise can when Chicago’s horn section joined Wilson’s band for “Darlin’.” Trombonist James Pankow, trumpeter Lee Loughnane and sax player Ray Herrman seamlessly fit in the tune, which boded well for the rest of the set.

 

Chicago is celebrating a 55th anniversary of its own, and cofounders Pankow, Loughnane and singer-keyboardist Robert Lamm all seemed elated to be back on stage after covid had sidelined the band for a few years. All are in their mid-70s and perform with a gusto that would make younger men jealous. Pankow, in particular struts around with his trombone as if it were a small harmonica.

 

As a grade schooler, I tried taking up in the instrument and would like to apologize to my teacher and the classmates for the drubbing their ears took from me. It’s a heavy, challenging instrument, and Pankow energetically answered everything guitarist Tony Obrohta threw his way.

 

While the band has had most of its hits with ballads, their live takes on the songs have just enough snap to them to keep the melodies from becoming sleep inducing. One almost wishes that songs like “If You Leave Me Now,” hadn’t downplayed the horns, which are a highlight of the live gigs.

 

Singer-bassist Peter Cetera left the group in the mid-1980s, but Canadian Neil Donnell sings Cetera’s tenor parts with enthusiasm. He used to play in a Chicago tribute band called Brass Transit and adds just enough spontaneity to prevent Cetera’s absence from overwhelming the tunes.

 

Chicago may have sold lots of copies of “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” but the band really tore into the upbeat coda “Coda.” The same could be said of their takes on “I’m a Man” and “25 or 6 to 4.” The 1969 hit, which was about Lamm’s attempt to finish a song in the middle of the night despite missing two strings on his 12-string guitar, was the second song in the encore and easily proved that some of the band’s best tunes are the rockers.

 

Chicago debuted a new ballad “If This Is Goodbye,” but the highlights were the extended jams. In the middle of the set, drummer Walfredo Reyes Jr. and percussionist Ramon “Ray” Yslas got into a sort of duel as flames played on large screens behind them. The images weren’t an exaggeration.

 

Wilson may have been the birthday boy, but he and Chicago certainly gave back a lot to the crowd that night.

 

Concert Review: “New York United 2022” Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, Crown of Thornz. Syracuse, NY

“New York United 2022”

Agnostic Front, Sick of It All, Crown of Thornz
Friday, May 6th, 2022
The Lost Horizon, Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 Stars

Veteran NY hardcore bands Agnostic Front, Sick of It All and Crown of Thornz made a stop at the intimate Lost Horizon in Syracuse, NY on May 6th as part of the co-headlining “New York United” tour. Originally slated for Spring 2021 but cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic the tour brings together three of the biggest names in hardcore music.

Taking the stage first were Queens NY natives Crown of Thornz. The Danny Diablo (Skarhead) fronted group wasted no time letting the audience know that they were taking no prisoners as the band ripped through songs like “Head Check”, “Icepick”, “Mental Masquerade” and “Juggernaut”. Diablo and company worked the crowd to a steaming simmer often taking time to share the mic with fans (many of whom didn’t miss a beat filling in the correct lyrics) energizing the room further before bringing their set to a close. Sick of It All would be tasked next with keeping the nights energy going and they quickly got to it by launching into the tracks “Injustice System” and “Clobberin’ Time” both from the band’s debut 1989 release “Blood, Sweat and No Tears” before taking a brief pause which allowed vocalist Lou Koller to catch his breath and to address the Syracuse crowd. As the set stretched on through songs like “Good Lookin’ Out”, “World Full of Hate” and “Pushed Too Far” Bassist Craig Setari, guitarist Pete Koller and drummer Armand Majidi pummeled the audience song after song with impressive cohesiveness and a percussive attack which obliterated your senses.

Hardcore legends Agnostic Front would close out the evening in signature NYHC style kicking off their twenty plus song set with the title track from their 1984 debut “Victim in Pain”. Vocalist Roger Miret fresh off a bout with cancer in late 2021 commanded the audience’s attention over the course of the night pausing only briefly to share his thanks for the support during recent health troubles and to announce the start of tracks like “New Jack”, “For My Family” and “Crucified”. Guitarist and founding member Vinnie Stigma sneered, snarled, and smiled at the crowd as he made his way around the cramped stage pausing from time to time to address the crowd in his thick NY accent which garnered loud applause and cheers of “STIGMA, STIGMA”. The band closed out the evening with a spot-on rendition of the classic Ramones song “Blitzkrieg Bop”. The punk staple had those in the crowd expelling any energy they may have had left before being basked in the grow on the house lights which signaled the end of the evening.

Despite reschedules, cancelations and a very serious medical scare the power of hardcore persevered as fans are now able to see some of the biggest names in the genre back up where they belong. All three bands give their all to make sure no one goes away unhappy. With East Coast dates running through May and a West Coast leg of the tour kicking off in September do yourself a favor and grab a ticket to one of these shows and get in the pit!

Sick of It All Set List:
1.) Injustice System
2.) Clobberin’ Time
3.) Take the Night Off
4.) Rat Pack
5.) Us vs. Them
6.) Inner Vision
7.) Good Lookin’ Out
8.) World Full of Hate
9.) Pushed Too Far
10.) Friends Like You
11.) Sanctuary
12.) Uprising Nation
13.) My Life
14.) Road Less Traveled
15.) Machete
16.) Bull’s Anthem
17.) Busted
18.) Scratch the Surface
19.) Step Down

Agnostic Front Setlist:
1.) Victim in Pain
2.) Your Mistake
3.) Blind Justice
4.) Last Warning
5.) With Time
6.) The Eliminator
7.) New Jack
8.) Strength
9.) For My Family
10.) Friend or Foe
11.) Discriminate Me
12.) Crucified
13.) United Blood
14.) Fascist Attitudes
15.) Peace
16.) United & Strong
17.) Power
18.) Gotta Go
19.) Police State
20.) Hiding Inside
21.) Society Sucker
22.) Blitzkrieg Bop

Concert Review: All Star Tribute to “Rubber Soul/Revolver” – Kansas City

 

  • ALL STAR TRIBUTE TO “RUBBER SOUL” and ‘REVOLVER”
  • The Kauffman Center, Kansas City, Missouri
  • March 27, 2022

 

In October 2019, I had the great pleasure of attending an all-star tribute concert to celebrate the Beatles White Album.  With a top notch band including Todd Rungren, Micky Dolenz, Christopher Cross, , Chicago’s Jason Scheff and Joey Molland from Badfinger, the show was an amazing celebration of music.  Not only did they deliver the goods on the Beatles music but each one also performed a couple of their own hits.  I should also note that, in my review, I lamented how Todd Rungren was not a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I also started an on-line petition to correct this error.

Tonight the band was back together, celebrating two other of the Fab Four’s classic albums, “Rubber Sou” and “Revolver.”  Dolenz didn’t make the trip this time, but he was ably replaced by Moody Blues and Wings co-founder Denny Laine.  Again, the Beatles music was great to hear live, but the real treat was getting to hear some of the other hits the musicians had been a part of.  Two of the non-Beatle highlights were Laine’s rendition of “Band on the Run,” with a vocal that rivaled Maccas and a blistering “25 or 6 to 4” with a guitar solo that would have made Terry Kath proud.

 

The music was infectious, and the crowd responded by dancing in their seats and giving a well deserved standing ovation at the concert’s end.  They also stood after the afore mentioned rendition of “25 or 6 to 4” and after a sing-along to Rungren’s “Hello It’s Me.”  As I left the show, I was already praying that next year brings an “Abbey Road/Let It Be” tour!

 

Incidentally, this time around Todd Rungren IS a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Just saying!

 

SET LIST

 

Drive My Car, I Want to Tell You, Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, If I Needed Someone, Go Now, Band on the Run, I’m Only Sleeping, No Matter What, Baby Blue, Good Day Sunshine, In My Life, AYou Won’t See Me, Sailing, Ride Like the Wind, And Your Bird Can Sing, Here, There and Everywhere, Girl, Michelle, I Just Saw a Face, Norwegian Wood, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, 25 or 6 to 4, For No One, Nowhere Man, I Saw the Light, Hello It’s Me, Dr. Robert, Got to Get You Into My Life, Tomorrow Never Knows, The Word, Yellow Submarine. 

 

Concert Review: Every Time I Die “Tid The Season” 2021

“Tid The Season” 2021

December 9-10, 2021
Riverworks, Buffalo, NY

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

After a year hiatus due to Covid-19 Buffalo’s favorite sons Every Time I Die returned with their annual “Tid The Season” holiday bash. The sprawling Riverworks complex in Buffalo, NY once again played host to the two-day event which featured ice skating, curling, wrestling and bands such Circa Survive, Knocked Loose, Ice-T and of course Every Time I Die.

Media Mikes had the opportunity to check out day two of the event which started off with a full bill of wrestling courtesy of Empire State Wrestling. Highlights from the multi match card included hometown favorite Puf opening the event with a fun filled match which had him blasting opponents with an array of confetti cannons one of which he even saved for an unsuspecting referee. AEW stars Evil Uno and The Blade w/ The Bunny squared off in the main event which started out quite heated after Uno took multiple verbal jabs at Buffalo and its inhabitants. Being local The Blade and Bunny didn’t take very kindly to Uno’s tirade and the match quickly ensued. After a tense couple moments of back-and-forth action between the two participants Blade’s tag team partner Butcher (Andy Williams) emerged donning what appeared to be attire inspired heavily by Donald Gibb’s character in “Bloodsport”. Though the Butcher didn’t fair to well initially the match concluded with the duo’s signature finishing move “Full Death” being delivered to a weary Evil Uno before the count of 1,2,3, was made. Prior to leaving the ring the team thanked the ever-growing crowd for the continued support which helped usher the team to the locker room accompanied by a wave a cheers and chants.

After a brief intermission to clear the floor of the ring the music portion of the night would be kicked off by the extreme Hardcore group END. The band consisting of members from the bands Misery Signals, Counterparts, Reign Supreme, Shai Hulud, and Fit For An Autopsy wasted no time delivering to the near capacity crowd as they ripped through songs from their “Splinters From an Ever-Changing Face” release setting a high standard for the bands still to come. Three-piece Ontario rockers The Dirty Nil took the stage next and proved that big things can come in small packages as the three-piece group decimated the audience with their unique blend of fuzz infused overdrive. Certainly, a highlight of the performance was a rawkus rendition of the Metallica classic “Hit the Lights” which was performed near flawlessly and left the crowd wanting more. Vancouver natives Spiritbox would follow and though I personally found the set to be rather lackluster and vocalist Courtney LaPlante quite pitchy at times the band invoked a solid reaction from the crowd that you had to applaud.

Heading into the meat of the nights lineup we saw Los Angeles based The Bronx return to the stage for their second performance of the weekend (the band performed on night one of the event with their Mariachi El Bronx lineup). The band helmed by energetic front man Matt Caughthran kept the nights energy going despite battling feedback issues as they performed crowd favorites such as “Shitty Future”, “Six Days a Week” and “History’s Stranglers” before closing out the set with “Around the Horn” from the bands 2006 album “II”. Tid The Season regulars Knocked Loose would follow instantly re-igniting the crowd after a brief reprieve. Guitarist Isaac Hale dominated the stage left position with his precise chuggery while front man Bryan Garris commanded the attention of capacity crowd while the band performed such tracks as “God Knows”, “All My Friends” and “Counting Worms”. The set also featured a couple guest appearances including Brendan Murphy on “Billy No Mates”, Courtney LaPlante on “A Serpent’s Touch” and Keith Buckley on “Forget Your Name” all of which garnered loud roars from the bustling crowd. The Original Gangster Ice-T occupied the direct support slot this evening and despite a much different sound than the other bands on the bill Ice and his crew fit in perfectly as they threw down his signature West Coast rhythms backed by long-time DJ Evil E’s beats. Despite more widely known tracks like “New Jack Hustler” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous” missing from the set Buffalo did get to hear “O.G. Original Gangster” along with a few other classics prior to Ice leaving the stage with his wife Coco and daughter Chanel in tow.

As a white banner projecting of a large burning fireplace dropped from the ceiling and Christmas music began to play through the PA the anticipation level jumped threefold as what has become the marker signaling for the evenings hosts Every Time I Die to take the stage. As a dangerous windstorm swirled outside and synthetic snow began dropping from the ceiling the band burst on to the stage with the song “Roman Holiday”. The band appeared as though they were shot of a cannon as the opening number set a solid foundation for tracks like “A Colossal Wreck”, “Post-Boredom” and “The New Black”. The set features a couple new tracks as both “Desperate Pleasures” and “People Verses” from the newly released “Radical” album made their way into the set for the first time fitting perfectly amongst more seasoned ETID tracks like “We’rewolf”, “Decayin’ With the Boys” and “Map Change”. Despite internal tensions within the band being reported recently the members of Every Time I Die showed they are consummate professionals at the top of their game as the band once again delivering to the sold-out Buffalo crowd.

Every Time I Die Set List:
1.) Roman Holiday
2.) Romeo a Go-Go
3.) Off Broadway
4.) A Colossal Wreck
5.) Desperate Pleasures
6.) Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space
7.) The Marvelous Slut
8.) Post-Boredom
9.) The New Black
10.) Sly
11.) Pigs Is Pigs
12.) The Sweet Life
13.) Champing at the Bit
14.) Cities and Years
15.) No Son of Mine
16.) Thirst
17.) I Been Gone a Long Time
18.) We’rewolf
19.) AWOL
20.) Bored Stiff
21.) The Coin Has a Say
22.) White Void
23.) Decayin’ With the Boys
24.) Floater
25.) Map Change
26.) People Verses
27.) Indian Giver

Kansas City Concert Review – James Taylor/Jackson Browne

  • JAMES TAYLOR w/ JACKSON BROWNE
  • December 5, 2021
  • T-mobile Center – Kansas City, Missouri

 

James Taylor and Jackson Browne have been major parts of the soundtrack of my life.  I played Taylor’s “JT” album repeatedly in my youth and, after saying “I do” to each other my wife Juanita and I walked back up the aisle while my best friend Matt played Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is (To be Loved by You).”

 

As for Mr. Browne, I’m dating myself here by saying that “Running on Empty” was the first album I owned on cassette, vinyl, 8-track and compact disc.  In that order.  And yes, I had an 8-track player in my sweet 1969 GTO.  You know you love something when you make sure you have it with you ALWAYS.  When I play along with the Facebook post that asks, “If you were going to be stranded on a desert island, what 10 albums would you take with you?” “Running on Empty” is always near the top of the list.

 

Loving these two amazing artist’s music as much as I do, I was overjoyed when I heard they were coming to Kansas City in one amazing show.  And amazing it was.

Mr. Browne took the stage first, opening with his hit “Somebody’s Baby,” which was featured in the film “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”  He was in great voice and his band was tight. 

 

For the remainder of his set he mixed in some popular classic songs (“Late for the Sky,” “Doctor My Eyes”) with a selection of songs from his new album – which I heartedly recommend – “Downhill From Everywhere.”  During one song from the album, “The Dreamer,” he was joined on stage by singers Tiffanie Cross and Alethea Mills.  Together the trio had the crowd in the palms of their hands with their harmonies.  Taylor surprised the audience by coming on stage on joining Browne in a fine rendition of “The Pretender” and the set ended with a lively singalong to “Running on Empty.”

The second half of the show began with a short video highlighting the music of James Taylor.  He took the stage to a loud round of applause and he and his band kicked off the set with a country-tinged medley of “Fiddle and Drum/Country Road.”

Like Browne, the set was a well divided combination of newer material and classic songs.  As he notes in “That’s Why I’m Here” – one of my favorite JT tunes, sadly inspired in part by the tragic death of John Belushi (a neighbor of Taylor’s on Martha’s Vineyard), people “Pay good money to hear Fire and Rain again and again and again.”  Before the break Taylor and his band did a rousing “How Sweet It Is” causing my wife and I – and a lot of others – to slow-dance in the aisles.

When everyone returned to the stage, Jackson Brown came with them and the two combined for a mellow version of “Take it Easy,” a song Browne co-wrote with Glenn Frey and was a hit – gulp – nearly 50 years ago for the Eagles.

 

As the show concluded, Taylor led the audience in a moving rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend,” which inspired the crowd to hold their lit cellphones high above their heads (where have you gone, Bic disposable lighter?).

To sum it all up, it was a great night of great music – one I highly recommend you take in when they come to your town. 

 

SET LISTS

 

JACKSON BROWNE

 

Somebody’s Baby, Barricades of Heaven, Long Way Around, Fountain, Downhill from Everywhere, TheDreamer (with Tiffanie Cross and Alethea Mills), Until Justice is Real, Doctor My Eyes, Late for the Sky, The Pretender (with James Taylor), Running on Empty.

 

JAMES TAYLOR

 

Fiddle and Drum/Country Road, Copperline, That’s Why I’m Here, Mexico, You Make it Easy, Line ‘em Up, Steamroller, Rolling Off, Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, Carolina, Shower the People, How Sweet it Is (To Be Loved by You), Shed a Little Light, Take it Easy (with Jackson Browne), You’ve Got a Friend, Close Your Eyes

Concert Review: Anthrax “40th Anniversary Global Streaming Event”

“40th Anniversary Global Streaming Event”

Anthrax

The Den at 20ft Bear Studios, Los Angeles, CA

Friday, July 16th, 2021

Our score 4 out of 5 stars

Twenty-twenty-one marks Anthrax’s 40th anniversary as a thrash metal band, during this time the band has released 11 studio albums, been awarded multiple Gold and Platinum certifications, garnered six Grammy nominations, and racked up a host of other accolades from the media, music industry, and fans. To commemorate this achievement on July 16th the band along with Danny Wimmer Presents hosted a streaming event titled the “40th Anniversary Global Streaming Event”. The performance was shot recently in Los Angeles, CA at the Den located within 20ft Bear Studios and featured songs from all eras of the bands career along with a few surprises.   

Despite the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still causing logistical nightmares for many touring bands it does not stop the need for recognition and celebration. No truer words have been spoken than when it comes to the 40th anniversary of one of the biggest bands in thrash metal, Anthrax. From the group’s early beginnings in Queens, NY to playing some of the biggest stages in the word as part of the “Big 4” tour and along the way releasing eleven studio albums this is a career that needs to be recognized! To celebrate the occasion Anthrax and Danny Wimmer Presents put together a brand-new show which they dubbed the “40th Anniversary Global Streaming Event”. Clocking in at over 2hrs the band dove deep into their impressive catalog ensuring that all periods of their career were represented. Making it into the set alongside staples like “Caught In a Mosh”, “Madhouse” and “I Am the Law” were lesser performed songs such as a cover of the Discharge song “Protest and Survive” which had not been performed live since 1997 along with “Keep it in the Family” and “Bring the Noise” which both had not been heard live since 2015. “Bring the Noise” was a double bonus as it featured a special guest spot by Public Enemy front-man Chuck D. D’s appearance instantly took me back to my younger years and to the days when MTV actually played music. Man, those were the days! Throughout the evenings stream amidst the top-notch sound and lighting production were brief interviews provided by various musicians and media personalities where they shared their own personal thoughts or experiences with the band. I found this part of the show to be great as it helped showcase the bands reach and impact across a variety of performance genres.

If the initial concert was not enough the main portion of the stream was followed by an additional stream which was made up of rehearsal footage, interviews with the band, a tour of NYC with Scott Ian and three bonus performances. The additional footage clocked in at just over forty-five minutes bringing the entire runtime for this special to nearly 3 hours! One thing I did find to be lacking was the band only performed in its current line up consisting of Joey Belladonna, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, Scott Ian, Jon Donais. Yes, I know things can get tricky when trying to bring in past members and such however given the nature of the bands retrospective YouTube series which led up to this event recounting the bands history through new interviews with past and current members, I would have thought there could have been room to make this happen for the fans. Maybe this is something we can wish for during the 50th anniversary celebration. If you missed the streams initial debut it is available at until July 25th at anthraxlive.com. Do yourself a favor and check it out. You will not be disappointed.  

Set List:

1.) Fight’Em ‘Til You Can’t

2.) Madhouse

3.) Caught in a Mosh

4.) Metal Thrashing Mad

5.) Got the Time

6.) I Am the Law

7.) Keep It in the Family

8.) Lone Justice

9.) The Devil You Know

10.) Be All, End All

11.) Now It’s Dark

12.) Antisocial

13.) In the End

14.) Medusa

15.) Evil Twin

16.) Indians

17.) A Skeleton in the Closet

18.) Aftershock

19.) Blood Eagle Wings

20.) Bring the Noise

21.) A.I.R.

22.) Among the Living

Encore: (featured in “Behind the Scenes” stream)

23.) Breathing Lightning

24.) Protest and Survive

25.) Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)

Concert Review: Bad Religion “Decades Season 2 2010’s

“Decades Season 2- 2010s”

Bad Religion

Saturday, June 26th, 2021

The Roxy, Hollywood, California/NoCapshows.com

Our score 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bad Religion wrapped up Season 2 of their “Decades” streaming series on June 26th from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. Broadcast exclusively via NoCapshows.com the final episode of season 2 followed the same format as the previous three shows which featured sets containing deep cuts and rarely performed songs from each decade of the bands career. Songs from the bands three 2010’s era releases (“The Dissent of Man”, “True North”, “Age of Unreason”) would be the focus of this evenings performance.

Veteran punk purveyors Bad Religion brought a close Season 2 of their “Decades” streaming series on June 26th with an impressive and upbeat 14 song set of 2010’s era BR material. The evenings performance featured the live debut of six different songs along with a handful of other songs some of which have not appeared live since 2010. Kicking of the night was the fast paced, guitar fueled “Past is Dead” from the album “Truth North”. The song set the evenings pace and instantly while show casing the tight knit guitar tandem of Brian Baker and Mike Dimkich. The nights first live debut would follow as the band performed the title track off their most recent studio release “Age of Unreason”. With a song this powerful I cannot believe it never made its way on to the set during the bands last outing pre-covid. Other debuts from the night’s performance included “Hello Cruel World”, “Big Black Dog”, “In Their Heart Is Right”, “Downfall” and “What Tomorrow Brings”. Despite all of these songs being newer to the BR catalog the band really showed their music prowess as each number came off as very well-rehearsed almost as if these songs have been being played day in and day out for years. Closing out the night was the song “Cyanide” from the 2010’s “The Dissent of Man”. Despite the songs ominous title, the performance was very enjoyable as it offered an added level of instrumentation courtesy of Senses Fail’s Gavin Caswell who sat in on pedal steel guitar for this song giving the closing moments of “Decades Season 2” an almost Eagles like sound and feel.

Bad Religion once again delivers with a unique and safe concert experience that fans can enjoy from the safety of their homes. The 60-minute runtime felt like just the right amount time to give viewers a quick break from their normal day and return them feeling good and recharged. No matter if you tuned in just for this show or have caught all the previous performances you really get your money’s worth as the band delivered across every performance. If you missed any of the shows I believe they will be still available to stream through the end of June at Nocapshows.com If you are waiting to see the band live an in-person have no fear as on 6/24 the band announced their rescheduled 40th Anniversary co-headlining tour with Alkaline Trio and special guests War on Women will kick off on October 15th in Riverside California. Very Cool! For more information on the tour head over to badreligion.com

Set List:

1.) Past is Dead

2.) Age of Unreason

3.) Nothing to Dismay

4.) Hello Cruel World

5.) Big Black Dog

6.) In Their Hearts Is Right

7.) The Profane Rights of Man

8.) Won’t Somebody

9.) Downfall

10.) Meeting of the Minds

11.) The Devil in Stitches

12.) Dept. of False Hope

13.) What Tomorrow Brings

14.) Cyanide

Concert Review: Bad Religion “Decades Season 2 1980’s”

“Decades Season 2- 1980s”

Bad Religion

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

The Roxy, Hollywood, California/NoCapshows.com

Our score 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bad Religion kicked off Season 2 of their “Decades” series on June 5th from the Roxy Theater in West Hollywood. Broadcast exclusively via NoCapshows.com its the first of four episodes which will feature deep cuts and rarely performed songs. Like season 1 each episode of season 2 will focus on a specific era of the bands 40+ year career. Up first was the 1980’s which pulled songs from four different releases (“How Could Hell Be Any Worse?”, “Into the Unknown”, “Suffer” and “No Control”) some of which have not been performed live in over 30 years.

Capitalizing on the success of the first four “Decades” live streams veteran punk purveyors Bad Religion are back with a brand-new set of shows which take fans deeper down the BR rabbit hole. Though the format and look of “Decades Season 2” is very similar to that of season 1 the setlists could not be any more different. Over the course of 60 minutes Vocalist Greg Graffin and company took viewers deep into the group’s massive song archives to revisit some of the bands lesser performed tracks from the groups first four studio releases. Prior to the show starting I was skeptical as to how the set was going to go as it was being touted as having completely different songs with no repeats from the subsequent performances. How were we going to watch a Bad Religion show and not hear songs like “Infected”, “Sorrow” and “21st Century Digital Boy”? Could the rarities fill in for these long-time staples which have had fans coming out on droves since their release? Well, right off the bat any fears I had about the set not living up to the standard Bad Religion always puts forth were quickly put to bed as the band ripped through tracks like “Voice of God is Government”, “Doing Time” and, “Damned to Be Free” all of which have been absent from live performances since 2008. The band even dipped in to “Against the Grain” (yes, it was technically released in 1990) to perform the Brett Gurewitz penned track “Walk Away” for its first time ever! Pretty cool from a fan’s perspective for sure. Easily my favorite performances of the night were two songs pulled from the widely panned 1983 release “Into the Unknown”. The somber “…You Give Up” set the stage nicely for the keyboard fueled “It’s Only Over When..” which came complete with a key slide that would bring Rick Wakeman to his knees and one that had me cracking up for the next few seconds. This combined with some comedic interview Segway’s really made for a good watch.

Clocking in at around 60 minutes Bad Religion’s “Decades” gives you what you want as a fan and then lets you get back to your day. With lives shows slowly starting to happen across the country and around the world there is undoubtably still some skepticism around if things will be safe. The latest virtual offering from Bad Religion alleviates those worries and offers a fun, enjoyable concert performance which you can watch any time and, from wherever you are comfortable. With three more shows coming in season 2 and the option to be able to go back and re-watch season 1 Greg, Mike, Brian, Jamie and Jay have you covered until you are ready to get back out there and see them face to face.

Set List:

1.) Voice of God is Government

2.) Politics

3.) Yesterday

4.) Delirium of Disorder

5.) Billy

6.) Sometimes It Feels Like…

7.) …You Give Up

8.) It’s Only Over When

9.) What Can You Do?

10.) Part II (The Numbers Game)

11.) Part III

12.) Part IV (The Index Fossil)

13.) Land of Competition

14.) Doing Time

15.) Damned to Be Free

16.) I Want Something More

17.) Turn on the Light

18.) When?

19.) Walk Away

20.) Sanity

21.) Faith in God

22.) Pessimistic Lines

23.) Progress

To watch Season 1 and 2 of Bad Religion “Decades” visit Nocapshows.com here

IN ADVANCE OF UPCOMING POKÉMON DAY CONCERT, POST MALONE RELEASES “ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU – POKÉMON 25 VERSION”

LISTEN HERE

In anticipation of the Pokémon Day 25th anniversary celebration and virtual concert on Saturday, February 27th, Post Malone has released a cover of Hootie and the Blowfish’s smash 1995 hit “Only Wanna Be with You” – appropriately dubbed the “Pokémon 25 Version”. The original record was last on the Billboard charts 25 years ago and Post recorded his version to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon. The song will be included as part of Post’s headlining appearance in the Pokémon Day virtual concert which begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST on February 27 and can be viewed for free on the official Pokémon YouTube and Twitch channels, and on Pokémon’s 25th anniversary website.

Listen to “Only Wanna Be with You – Pokémon 25 Version” HERE

STEEL PANTHER LAUNCH VIRTUAL PHOTO EXHIBITION “SEX, JPEGS AND ROCK & ROLL” TO SUPPORT LIVE CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHERS


Band Will Curate A New Gallery Every Two Weeks With Prints For SaleIn Various Configurations To Support Concert Photographers Who Have Covered The Band Throughout The Years

https://steelpantherrocks.com/pages/sex-jpgs-rock-n-roll

(Photo by: Niall Fennessy)

First Photographer Niall Fennessy Will Open His Virtual Gallery With An Interview With Stix Zadinia on February 1st at 12:00PM PST

As the music industry waits for a time when touring can return and fans can gather to celebrate the music of their favorite artists again, Steel Panther has begun another charitable endeavor to help support concert photographers that have been sidelined since the Covid-19 pandemic began. Aside from venues, promoters, support staff, and patrons – concert photographers have had no performances to cover since March 2020. 

Steel Panther has decided to partner with 7 of their longtime collaborators to curate a virtual photo exhibition of each individual’s work for a 2-week period. Each photographer has captured the band with their lens at various points of their career. Fans can purchase exclusive prints that were hand-picked by the band and photographers in various configurations with the profits going to help each photographer during this touring shutdown. All images are available as a Premium Matte Poster, Framed Print or Framed Canvas with prices starting as low as $24.99.

The photo exhibition will be available to see and purchase here: https://steelpantherrocks.com/pages/sex-jpgs-rock-n-roll.  

To coincide with the launch of each gallery, an individual band member will interview the photographer about their work, any memories from covering Steel Panther, and allow fans to interact with them when time permits. The first gallery will be by legendary photographer Niall Fennessy who has been following the band for years. Drummer Stix Zadinia will sit down with Niall at 12:00PM PST on February 1st for a chat.

The conversation will be available online afterwards and fans can go to: https://steelpantherrocks.com/pages/sex-jpgs-rock-n-roll to check out the conversation. A new gallery will be available for fans to peruse and purchase and every 2 weeks.  

The schedule for photographers is:

Feb 1: Niall Fennessy – interviewed by Stix

Feb 15: Joe Lester – interviewed by Satchel

Mar 1: Richard Booth – interviewed by Satchel

Mar 15: Evil Robb – interviewed by Michael

Mar 29: Pamela Sprenger – interviewed by Lexxi

Apr 12: Charlie Steffens – interviewed by Michael

Apr 26: David Jackson – interviewed by Stix 

“You see them all the time. They block your view for the first 3 songs and you may even kick them in the back of the head while crowd surfing, but these unsung heroes never complain or kick you back. These photographers have been friends of Steel Panther for a while and we decided for all they have done for us, this was the least we can do. So grab your fancy berets and prepare to learn a thing or two from Steel Panther photography exhibit Sex, JPEGS and Rock & Roll. Admission is free so don’t be cheap and buy something to support these artists.” 

L to R: Lexxi Foxx, Satchel, Michael Starr, Stix Zadinia (Photo by: David Jackson)