Tag: concert reviews

In Concert: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies at Sellersville Theater, 1/9/15

In Concert: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies at Sellersville Theater, 1/9/15

Music
Like most Cherry Poppin' Daddies fans outside the Pacific Northwest region, I first heard the band when their Zoot Suit Riot compilation CD rode the wave of the late '90s swing revival to immense popularity. And if I'm being perfectly honest, I sort of lost tracks of the group a few after when it was clear they weren't about to be constrained by the retro-swing sound that so many new fans expected from them. But with the release of 2013's Black Teeth, White Thoughts, the Daddies' first all-swing record since Zoot Suit Riot, I was firmly back in the camp of Daddies fans again. Maybe that makes me a fairweather fan, but I just know what I like to hear. All this is to say that when the Daddies brought their tour to my area for one of the relatively few times in recent years, and announc...
In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

In Concert: Rush at the Prudential Center, 10/20/12

Music
I'll admit that at this point in my life as a Rush fan, I'm rather spoiled. I've been going to Rush concerts since they came to Madison Square Garden in December 1991 on the Roll the Bones tour, and I've seen them on every album tour since (as well as the 30th anniversary tour). And the thing is, even a mediocre Rush show is better than most bands on their best night. So for me, the sheer visceral thrill of seeing Geddy, Alex, and Neil live isn't what it used to be. But after sitting out the last few tours, I decided to see the band for the first time since the Snakes & Arrows tour in July 2007. I did so for two reasons -- I caught a peek at some of their set lists from the tour, and I was impressed with the first several tracks I heard from the Clockwork Angels album. But before I ...
In Concert: Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, 2/17/11

In Concert: Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, 2/17/11

Music
The first thing I noticed about Paul Banks’ voice is how very different it sounded from the last time I saw them. Not bad, just not like what I remember. There’s a richer, more developed tone in there with some subtle nuances that weren’t apparent several years ago at Madison Square Garden. While my seats weren’t the best for visuals, sitting next to the sound board was ideal for maximum aural enjoyment. Everyone appeared to be in fine form, and even from a distance I could enjoy Daniel Kessler’s goofy dancing along with his excellent guitar work. Since founding member and notorious man whore Carlos Dengler left Interpol shortly after the completion of their fourth album, Interpol, David Pajo filled in on bass like a ninja, managing to sink into the shadows on a fully lit stage. From
‘Tis the season to win Michael McDonald’s new Christmas DVD!

‘Tis the season to win Michael McDonald’s new Christmas DVD!

Music
That's right kids, don't say I never give you anything.  Thanks to the generous folks over at Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music, I have a copy of Michael McDonald's latest DVD, This Christmas: Live in Chicago, to give to one lucky reader.  It features McDonald and his band in a holiday performance on the PBS concert series Soundstage. This DVD showcases a bunch of McDonald yuletide originals and covers, and even features some of his best-known solo and Doobie Brothers hits.  If you're a McDonald or latter-era Doobie fan, you will want this disc (my review is forthcoming).  But even if you just like good Christmas music, you still can't lose.  And best of all, it's free! To win your very own DVD of This Christmas, simply do any one of the following by 11:59pm (New Jersey ti
In Concert: Field Music w/The Spinto Band and The Mugs

In Concert: Field Music w/The Spinto Band and The Mugs

Music
Dear reader, in my travels to bring you reports of local performances by various musical acts, I have encountered some strange people.  But over the weekend I encountered one of the strangest yet - the Brooklyn Hipster.  For those not from the New York area, it's important to note that Brooklyn is to Hipsters as Mecca is to Muslims or Wal-Mart is to rednecks.  It's the source of their strength and identity, which in this case means lots of bad haircuts, wool caps, and faux vintage clothing.  They're harmless for the most part, but damn are they annoying in large groups. (more…)
In Concert: The Week That Was

In Concert: The Week That Was

Music
One of the true bright spots of last year's bummer of a musical 2008, The Week That Was (the current solo project of Field Music's Peter Brewis) is in the midst of a brief jaunt across the Pond.  In fact, the show was billed as "Field Music Presents The Week That Was".  Last night brought them (and a trio of openers) to the rather intimate Mercury Lounge in New York City's Lower East Side.  It's the first time a Field Music-related project has hit the States since School of Language was here early last year, so I jumped at the chance to see them. But first, let's talk opening acts.  There were three of them, although I missed the first one (Monuments).  The second, Philadelphia's own Arc in Round, put on a decent performance that was unfortunately partly sunk by lousy vocal acoustics. 
In Concert: Andrew McKenna Lee and QQQ

In Concert: Andrew McKenna Lee and QQQ

Music
In celebration of two new CDs from New Amsterdam Records, four of the label's acts took to the stage last Friday night at Joe's Pub, located in New York City's über-artsy NoHo district.  Despite having already heard music from three of them, I still wasn't sure what to expect from the evening.  After all, classical guitarists and modern chamber groups are not the types of shows I usually see in the Big Apple. The evening got off to a rather interesting start as, one by one, the three members of opening act Janus took the stage and contributed a few lines to a spoken word loop that comprised the vocal foundation for a piece called "I Am Not (Blank)".  It was a rather startling way to begin a performance to say the least.  The trio's style (comprised of viola, harp, and flute) is not for
In Concert: Hank Jones at Birdland, 8/8/08

In Concert: Hank Jones at Birdland, 8/8/08

Music
When I was starting my exploration of jazz about eight or so years ago, Hank Jones was one of the first musicians I gravitated toward.  By complete chance I was listening to a local jazz radio station and heard a studio version of one of his original compositions, "Interface", and made it my mission to hear more from the man who had written such a wonderful song. Although I never did track down that album (The Oracle, long out of print), I did develop an even greater appreciation for Jones's music, and in turn for jazz in general.  So when I discovered, quite by chance, that he was scheduled for a run of shows at New York's famed Birdland jazz club in celebration of his 90th birthday, there wasn't even a thought of not going.  It's not every day you get to witness a living legend perfor
No storm or heavy weather will rock the boat you’ll see

No storm or heavy weather will rock the boat you’ll see

Music
Growing up in the '80s, my musical universe basically consisted of three bands - Kiss, Iron Maiden, and everyone else (Rush became the third member of the holy trinity of music closer to high school, but that's another topic). Sadly, somehow I never made it to see either band during their accepted prime periods (I was way too young to have seen mid-'70s Kiss and just barely too young to have caught mid-'80s Maiden). In the case of Kiss, that was rectified when I caught them twice during their much-ballyhooed (and first) reunion tour in 1996. And now, just about 25 years after I became a fan, I finally witnessed an Iron Maiden concert on Saturday night at the PNC Bank Arts Center. I use the word "witnessed" because this wasn't just a matter of a band playing music in front of a crowd....