“30 years is a long time. Think back 30 years ago… no cell phones… no Internet… no CDs… no reading glasses… Those were the days. And in case you guys haven’t figured it out yet, we’re going to play the Sports album. From the beginning to the very end. And that… was Side 1. That was the ‘video’ side, if you will. And now we’re going to take the record, and we’re going to turn it over… because that’s what we did, kids. We took the record, and we turned it over. Right? ” Part of a pretty entertaining monologue by Huey Lewis of Huey Lewis and the News at Mountain Winery last night, half way through their #1, septuple platinum 1983 album, which had four Top 10 hits (“Heart and Soul”, “I Want a New Drug”, “The Heart of Rock & Roll”, and “If This Is It”). Playing the classic album front to back – side to side – in honor of the “Sports 30th Anniversary Tour”, they did not end with that, as the concert continued on beyond with a new song as well as more non-Sports classics and covers. It was really a phenomenal show, and Huey and the band were in top form playing in their Bay Area home at Mountain Winery in Saratoga, which Huey Lewis characterized as “the scene of so many of our youthful indiscretions“. The sold out venue was filled with an awesome crowd of fans, and I think this was the first time I checked StubHub before a show at this venue and found that there was only a single ticket for sale, which I illustrates that it was the hottest ticket for the night in Northern California on the beautiful Saturday evening overlooking the lights of Silicon Valley.
This is the second and last of my 2012 “Year In Review” articles, though this one is mostly a pictorial. I went through the pictures I took at shows throughout 2012 and pulled out 100 of my favorites to republish here, in celebration of an amazing year for concerts and a fun year for me with photography. You can also check out my other Year in Review article with my Top 10 Live Music Concerts and Top 10 Studio Albums & Songs. [Read more…]
2012 was an amazing year for both new music and live concert events, and although writing this “year in review” proved to be a monumental task, it was fun for me to do it to relive some special moments and appreciate the opportunities I had over the past 12 months to find new music and attend so many awesome live shows. It’s funny because many concerts and tours are announced with little notice, so at the start of any given year, you don’t really know what to expect, and 2012 definitely held a lot of surprises. When all was said and done, I ended up going to 58 concerts in 2012, each of which featured anywhere from one to seven artists, so that is a lot of live performances.
“I would kind of skim through and look at the influences that they had, you know… if it was Megadeath, nothing against Megadeath, it just wasn’t gonna be the guy that I was gonna call…” As per tradition, The Killers front man Brandon Flowers reminisces about the fortuitous twist of fate in his life which lead to his musical partnership with guitarist Dave Keuning in the City Life section of their local Las Vegas Weekly more than a decade ago, though I’m not really sure if it is a tradition for the benefit of the audience or his own grounding in life. Regardless, the audience in the second and final night of the sold out show at the 4,000 capacity Chelsea Ballroom at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas were treated to an amazing show by the home town band that reimagined an 80s New Wave sound over a decade ago with great success. Maybe his now traditional on stage retelling of the anecdote is more out of tribute to the happenstance from which this music and their careers were born rather than being insightful, as the crowd was heavy with hardcore, long-time fans of the band, who traveled for this show from all over the U.S., and even overseas to see what was for me, and some I talked with after the show, the best show that the band has put on… a really great night with a perfect mix of old and new material that pushed the show well into the next day on this special New Year’s Eve weekend.
Music legend B.B. King’s New Year’s Eve show in Florida will continue on a steady schedule through the end of April thus far, as his North American tour for the first part of 2013. [Read more…]
I was fortunate enough to see the second gig on Journey’s 2012 concert tour, which was at Stateline, Nevada in South Lake Tahoe (see prior review). As mentioned at the time, it was an unforgettable evening, and one of the best concerts of the year for me, and if I had the opportunity, that I’d like to see them again before year end. I was able to make that dream come true Friday night, this time seeing the second to the last show of 2012, and the second of three special concerts at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. It was a much different show (more on that later), and just as enjoyable as the first, as the legendary band played pop and rock music standards that have stood the test of time for decades. Definitely a great send off to an amazing year for concerts.
This article features the sixth in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Jack Hues of Wang Chung. The band is today releasing their first new album in 23 years, Tazer Up!, and front man Jack Hues took the time to talk with me from England about the new release and his thoughts as a veteran of the music industry going back to his pioneering days at the forefront of the New Wave movement of the 80s.
As noted yesterday, Not So Silent Night (NSSN) is Live 105’s “Annual Holiday Rock Show”, with 2012 being the first year it spans two consecutive nights. This second night featured headliner The Killers, along with M83, Passion Pit, Tegan and Sara, GROUPLOVE, and Imagine Dragons. Again, I was very, very impressed at how extremely well managed this multi-artist event was on both nights. Oracle Arena again served as host to six amazing acts in about seven hours time, with very brief breaks in-between. I found the two night show to be such a great event to attend, to have an opportunity to see so many great bands back to back, with a stellar closing set by The Killers.
Not So Silent Night (NSSN) is Live 105’s “Annual Holiday Rock Show”, with 2012 being the first year it spans two consecutive nights. This first night featured headliner Jack White, along with The Shins, Metric, Of Monsters and Men, The Gaslight Anthem, Two Door Cinema Club, and Our Vinyl Vows. I’ve never been a fan of traditional, outdoor festivals (for a variety of reasons), but this was an extremely well organized multi-artist event that can serve as a model for how to do them right, and comprised an excellent line-up of artists. The packed Oracle Arena was treated to seven great acts in under seven hours. It was a really fantastic evening celebrating the work of some really great bands, with Jack White closing things out with a really amazing performance.
“You’re singing the words to the new songs… I can’t express… how happy I am that it touched you and connected to you… thank you for that… it’s the greatest feeling ever.” Gwen Stefani taking a moment (one of many) to chat with her fans at the sold out show at the 6,200 capacity Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City – the sixth of their “Seven Night Stand” special residency shows running late November through tomorrow. Having recently released their first new album in 11 years, Push and Shove, the audience of mostly dedicated fans flocked from all over the U.S. and beyond to see this amazing band perform live truly better than ever. In addition to putting on a phenomenal show, front woman Stefani took many moments to reach out to fans – sometimes literally – and all the members of the Anaheim band (Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, Adrian Young, Stephen Bradley, and Gabriel McNair) seemed to be having the time of their lives on stage. Hopefully this will serve as a prelude to a full tour next year, given the reception of these shows and the strength of the new album, which is fantastic. Truly an epic night that will not be forgotten by those lucky enough to have attended this show or one of the others.