An ongoing personal tradition of mine, I have made a commitment to try to see Daryl Hall and John Oates perform live every year, preferably at my favorite venue – Mountain Winery in Saratoga – and am happy to have been a part of that event again last night. As readers of the Rock Subculture Journal would likely surmise, music from the 80s is the foundation for my love of popular music, and among all those wonderful artists that were highly prolific in those times, I would personally rate Hall and Oates among the very top. Billboard Magazine rates them as the number one duo of all time for very good reason – they are simply brilliant songwriters, and have published seemingly endless hits, and their live shows are some of the best I’ve experienced. Last night I had a great vantage point from which to take it all in.
Last night, Mountain Winery in Saratoga played host to a true co-headlining concert, with the two artists – Blondie and Devo – alternating opening and closing duties, date-to-date, as this joint tour gets underway, having kicked off just this week. The show was mixed overall, with Blondie putting on a stellar performance in her opening slot and Devo powering through some technical glitches that diminished their quite obvious intent to provide some serious fan service. Overall, it was a great night of 80s nostalgia for those in attendance. Both artists brought their very unique styles and presence to the stage, and overall it was a great opportunity to experience two very different performances.
Duran Duran kicked off their North American tour this week with two back-to-back dates at my favorite venue, Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California. I was fortunate enough to attend the second date on August 9th. Duran Duran is one of my all-time favorite bands, and it was just an amazing night, with an incredible set that stretched two hours and kept the audience on their feet and singing and chanting along to favorites, old and new alike, as soon as they came out onto the stage. [Read more…]
Santigold has been on my “must see list” for a while, and with their latest tour, they did not schedule any Northern California shows, so I made a special trip to Los Angeles to see them last night, at one of my favorite venues, Club Nokia. I have been a fan since the release of their first album, and have become an even bigger fan with the release of their second album, Master of My Make-Believe. It was an absolutely fantastic night that felt like a giant celebration, with two great opening artists, so enough with the preface and I’ll get right to it. The thing that most struck me about Santi was her natural ability to make those magic connections with individual members of her audience, one by one – her eyes seeking out and locking onto people with a special smile, expression, or gesture. Wonderful stuff, and her music is so uniquely her – rare when a newer artist can produce and deliver such genuine art. I really can’t recommend enough picking up her albums and seeing her do her thing live, with her awesome band. [Read more…]