Hotel/Resort Review: Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel – Beverly Hills California

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This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This stay was during my recent trip to Beverly Hills in June 2015. This review is for Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. [Read more…]

Aerosmith (Blue Army Tour 2015) at Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s | Stateline, Nevada | 7/3/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Remember baby, the lake may be cold, but the light at the end of the tunnel may be you…”  The final words from the immortal Steven Tyler as he turned his back to the crowd and strutted topless down the ramp and into the bright lights glowing from the back of the stage, as “Bad To The Bone” played him out.  Performing at Harvey’s Outdoor Arena in South Lake Tahoe as part of their Summer Concert Series two years running, the explosive live show by Aerosmith kept a sold out crowd on their feet for over two hours.  In my own opinion, Aerosmith is not just the best live rock and roll band touring today, but maybe of all time.  They do pretty much everything better than anyone else, and they have so many hits in their arsenal that it just builds and builds and builds all night.  Steven Tyler was born to do what he does, and even at 67 years old, he does it like no one else (and last night appeared to be have more energy than any of the 7,000 people in attendance).  As much as he is the ultimate front man and performer, he is absolutely beaming when “Joe Fucking Perry”, “on guitar for 40 fucking years” is beside him, bringing the familiar riffs to life in a way that seems to be equal parts passion and effortlessness.  Their songs feel like they were made to be performed live, and maybe more than any other band today, they know how to put on a show that’s brilliant no matter where you are, from up close to far away in the bleachers.  Even if you are not a dedicated Aerosmith fan, I would say above any other band today – if you are a fan of ANY contemporary music – you’ve got to turn out to their show at least once, just so you have a new benchmark from which to judge all other concerts.  It really doesn’t get any better when you consider every critical element that goes into a live concert event.  They’ve earned the title, “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”.

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Martin Gore of Depeche Mode (DJ Set) at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club | Santa Barbara, California | 6/27/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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Depeche Mode has been my favorite band since Black Celebration came out, so when I came across the new of this special DJ set show at SOhO Restaurant & Music Club in Santa Barbara, I was excited for an opportunity to see the man behind some of my all-time favorite songs express himself in a completely different setting.  Part of SOhO’s 20th Anniversary Fundraising Show Series, it did not disappoint.  Martin Gore played his unique style of live music for around two hours.  It was amazing to see the man at work, and being close enough to see his own facial expressions reacting to his own music.

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Aerosmith’s “Blue Army Tour” Playing Throughout North America in June, July, August

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Aerosmith’s “Blue Army Tour” series of concert events begins June 13th at the Gila River Arena in Arizona, and travels the United States and British Columbia well into August.  Four time Grammy winners, they are one of the most exciting rock and roll bands touring today.  They come armed with a ton of hits, old and new, that get crowds worked up into a frenzy.  Having seen them live before, I give it my highest recommendation if you can make it out to one of their upcoming dates. [Read more…]

Live Auction Events Calendar: Original Music/Rock/Pop Stage & Studio Used Entertainment & Pop Culture Memorabilia

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Below is the latest updated list of memorabilia for entertainment memorabilia, including rock and pop music stage and studio used equipment and costumes, as well as other entertainment memorabilia. Please contact me if you are aware of any coming events of interest to collectors. Please also note that I update changes/additions to the calendar until the next update, in order to maintain as up to date as possible. [Read more…]

Live 105’s BFD 2015 at Shoreline Amphitheatre – PART TWO (MAIN STAGE) | Mountainview, California | 6/6/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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Live 105’s BFD 2015 festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview, California marked the 21st time that the annual event has been held.  Live 105, “The Bay Area’s Alternative”, had a well curated line-up of known and emerging acts, covering a wide range of musical genres that all fall under the “alternative” banner, including 15 local acts.  All of this resulted in a quick sell out for the entire show.  With a vast line-up, they managed to squeeze it all into one day, with two “Festival Stages” that alternated back and forth throughout the day (to mitigate any downtime – it was literally non-stop music) as well as a “Subsonic Tent” and “Soundcheck Local Band Stage”, which ran concurrently.  It all lead up to the “Main Stage” acts within the Shoreline Amphitheatre itself, which ran back to back through the night.  A fantastic show that seemed to come off without a hitch, playing to over 20,000 fans.  This article features my PART TWO coverage, which focuses on the nighttime “Main Stage” artists and performances.

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Live 105’s BFD 2015 at Shoreline Amphitheatre – PART ONE (FESTIVAL STAGE) | Mountainview, California | 6/6/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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Last weekend was Live 105’s BFD 2015 festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountainview, California.  Representing the 21st time that this annual event has been held, it sold out in advance of the concert date on June 6th.  Live 105, “The Bay Area’s Alternative”, had a well curated line-up of known and emerging acts, covering a wide range of musical genres that all fall under the “alternative” banner, including 15 local acts.  With a vast line-up, they managed to squeeze it all into one day, with two “Festival Stages” that alternated back and forth throughout the day (to mitigate any downtime – it was literally non-stop music) as well as a “Subsonic Tent” and “Soundcheck Local Band Stage”, which ran concurrently.  It all lead up to the “Main Stage” acts within the Shoreline Amphitheatre itself, which ran back to back through the night.  A fantastic show that seemed to come off without a hitch, playing to over 20,000 fans.  This article features my PART ONE coverage, which focuses on the daytime “Festival Stage” artists and performances.

[Read more…]

Meg Myers at The Boardwalk | Orangevale, California | 6/5/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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I usually open my concert review articles with a quote from one of the artists on stage that night, though with Meg Myers at The Boardwalk on Thursday night, it would have been words in reference to asking some loudmouthed people in the venue to shut up.  More on that in a moment.  In spite of the ongoing source of annoyance to those who showed up to enjoy the music and the artists who came to perform, Meg and her band put on a stellar performance.  I’ve been a strong supporter of Meg and her music since I first saw her open for the Pixies in Los Angeles two years ago, and she has continued to build on her works and cultivating fans who understand her and her music.  Her debut album, Sorry, is due next month, and it will be interesting to see how much it fuels her career and where it will take her coming into 2016.  The single, “Sorry”, has been a big hit for her.  She is, in my opinion, one of the most creative and interesting (and exciting) artists active today, and her live show is definitely one not to miss.

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U.S. Leg of Garbage’s “20 Years Queer Tour” Coming in October

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Garbage is celebrating two decades since the release of their self-titled debut album with a U.S. tour coming in October.  The “20 Years Queer Tour” will see the alternative band playing their first album in its entirety.  That debut was released on August 15th, 1995, and included hits such as “Queer”, “Stupid Girl”, “Vow”, and “Only Happy When It Rains”.  The album went on to sell more than four million copies worldwide and garnered three Grammy Award nominations.  Leading up to the tour, the band will release a special remastered 20th Anniversary Edition of Garbage which will include remixes and previously unreleased versions of some of the songs. [Read more…]

MisterWives at The Independent | San Francisco, California | 6/4/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Holy shit!  San!  Fran!  Cisco!  Oh my God.  Well, I may be really fucking tired…  I danced my ass off!  I have sit down so I don’t have a heart attack!  … just in case you missed what we were trying to say…  San Francisco, you are fucking amazing!”  MisterWives’ Mandy Lee, after coming back on stage for their encore, taking a seat behind the drum kit.  That encore opened with a “fucking amazing” cover of “Uptown Funk”.  This is the moment where they really showed off how each member of the group is an exceptional musician, as they went through an extended jam session that really showcased their music talents and ability to intuitively wander about a song and squeeze every last bit of sonic confection out of it.  I first saw the New York pop band performing as part of the KNPB television series, Cargo Live at Whitney Peak Hotel in Reno, and came away feeling that it was a band destined for a very bright future.  That feeling was cemented Thursday night, as they have matured even more as a live act.  Their debut album, Our Own House, has since been released, and fueled them through an hour and a half show.  The theme of the night, for them, seemed to be an earnest love for The City by the Bay, with Mandy becoming choked up at the love being showered onto the band throughout the concert.  They are definitely a young act with much larger stages waiting for them in the not too distant future, as long as they keep on doing what they are doing.

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Meg Myers Playing U.S. Headlining Dates and Festivals; The Boardwalk in Orangevale and Live 105’s BFD in Mountain View

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Alternative singer-songwriter Meg Myers has some live dates coming up, taking her around the United States from now through October, including appearances at some of the best festivals including Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas and Austin City Limits.    Her last big release was the fantastic Make A Shadow EP, which has gained significant critical acclaim as she continues to build a fan base for unique style of music.  Her latest single, “Sorry”, was released just a few months ago.  I’ve been a huge fan of her work since seeing her supporting some Pixies live shows in Los Angeles a few years ago, as well as her show with Broods last year. [Read more…]

Louis E. Johnson Passes Away at 60: Concert Photography Tribute – Photos from Last Concert as The Brothers Johnson

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Louis E. Johnson, known as Louis “Thunder Thumbs” Johnson and half of The Brothers Johnson with brother George “Lightnin’ Licks” Johnson, passed away on May 21st at age 60.  Louis Johnson was a legendary bass player and one of the principal figures in Funk music, and also is famous for laying down that incredible bassline on Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” as well as playing on his hit, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough”.  The Brothers Johnson collaborated with Quincy Jones, and are best known for their 1977 cover of Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23″, their 1976 hit “I’ll Be Good to You”, and the 1980’s hit “Stomp!”.  I was lucky enough to see what I think might have been the last live concert performance by The Brothers Johnson” in September 2013 as part of WorldOne Presents and their “Funk Fest” event at Thunder Valley in Lincoln, California, and did extensive photography at the show.  You can see my full review and photos in my original article, but I thought I would pull out some of the Louis Johnson ones here as a tribute to the great man. [Read more…]