This is the first of my two 2017 “Year In Review” articles. As with my articles in 2012, 2013, and 2014, 2015 and 2016, I reviewed a sampling of my concert photos from 2017 and compiled some of my favorites and stopped when I hit around 100 photos in total. Please also check out my companion 2017 Year in Review article, which covers my Top 5 Concerts, Top 5 Albums, Top 50 Songs and more. [Read more…]
“This next song is one of our very, very oldest ones. One of the first ones… And I just wanted to say thank you, because it means a million times more to me now then it did years ago when it first came out and I owe that to you. Your hearts and your experiences and this whole thing that we’ve been sharing together for the past twenty years… so thank you!” Amy Lee’s preface to the Grammy nominated song “My Immortal” in her live performance to a sold out crowd at the Grand Theatre at Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada on Friday night. The song was one of the singles off of their debut album, Fallen, in 2003. In 2017, Amy Lee has brought that song and other Evanescence hits on the road in a completely rearranged and re-imagined form with this “Synthesis Live with Orchestra” tour, along with the release of their fourth studio album, Synthesis, which features the same music along with two new songs. The concert itself was magnificent – marrying the original music and that incredible voice with her rock and roll band playing alongside a 28-piece full symphony orchestra – really it was a show unlike any I’d ever experienced. I watched some snippets of past shows in advance to get some idea of what it might be like, but it is really something else to experience it and take it in at a venue like the Grand Theatre. It was certainly the most impressive production I’d seen this year, and the performance overall was stellar. It’s really one of the best tours going in 2017.
I think I was too “in the moment” to make note of any particular quote from the band during Oingo Boingo Dance Party’s performance in Pano Hall at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Friday night. Oingo Boingo Dance Party what? Yes, exactly. What the heck is Oingo Boingo Dance Party? In short, it is more or less Oingo Boingo minus original front man Danny Elfman, with a very impressive Brendan McKian (formerly Brendan McCreary) on vocals. It was really a spectacular show and experience for me personally (Oingo Boingo is one of my all-time favorite bands). I never thought I would get such a live experience with all of that brilliant music ever again. So I really can’t recommend enough turning out for one of these shows if Oingo Boingo Dance Party is ever in a town near you. Highest recommendation. [Read more…]
“It’s lovely to be here celebrating beautiful memories”… Boy George in one of his asides during his headlining performance at the inaugural “iHeart80s Birthday Bash” live concert event at SAP Center in San Jose. The special show on Saturday night featured Boy George, Tiffany, The Romantics, A Flock Of Seagulls, Farrington & Mann of the Original When In Rome UK, Tommy Tutone, Animotion and Nu Shooz, with former original MTV VJ Martha Quinn hosting along with radio personalities Christie James and Morris Knight. It was really a stellar show with end to end 80s-era hits and hitmakers putting on non-stop entertainment for four hours.
“This is the 34th city on this tour. And I woke up this morning with the cold from hell. I made it through thirty three and a half days. But however we do have a really great treat in store for you… let’s get together and welcome Mr. Peter Frampton to the stage. We’ve been having a really great Summer playing lots of different American blues tunes and we’re going to do three of them for you. This very first one we do you already know, it’s called “Mercury Blues” by K.C. Douglas”. Steve Miller of Steve Miller Band on stage with co-headliner Peter Frampton playing to a sold out crowd at Ironstone Amphitheatre on Sunday night, bringing their popular tour to an end. Both artists have made visits to Murphys in recent years, but it was nice to enjoy them on the same stage. The crowd went wild for their performances both together and apart, as they had fans up on their feet much of the night. [Read more…]
“We want to let you know that we really appreciate you… You have supported us – you have shown lots of love and dedication – for the last 58 years… That’s real special. And now it has come time, to show our appreciation. We’ve talked about it, and we agree that this song is the song that says the way we feel. So you sit back and we’re going to tell you a little story, so it’s something like this…” The original remaining two principal members of The O’Jays at a sold out show at Thunder Valley Outdoor Amphitheater on Saturday night before singing an incredible rendition of their song “Forever Mine”. Off of their 1979 album, Identify Yourself, the pioneering R&B group had the crowd on their feet throughout much of their headlining performance at World One Presents’ “Soul Fest ’17” concert, which also featured sets by Morris Day and The Time, The S.O.S. Band, and GQ. [Read more…]
“And now here we are… What are we going to do with this night, that’s the question right? It’s up to us, and it’s up to you guys… what are we going to do with this night? It’s a Monday night… I propose that we had a Monday last week, and we’ll have a Monday next week… but this is our Monday tonight. And if we don’t make the most out of it, we’re just wrong. So the only question I have is, who’s with us? Front to back, side to side, who’s with us? Alright, let’s do this…” Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, bonding with the massive crowd at Ironstone Amphitheatre at Ironstone Vineyards. Touring alongside Counting Crows on their “A Brief History of Everything Tour”, it’s all about giving the fans what they wanted, and it would seem that they delivered. [Read more…]
“That was a beautiful and circular moment…” Lindsey Buckingham talking about Christine McVie coming back to the world of Fleetwood Mac in 2014 – after a 15 break from the band – and then the two of them working on a new album together. That album, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, was released to much acclaim last month. Now touring together as a duo and playing a fairly even mix of old and new, the pair put on an amazing performance at Ironstone Amphitheatre at Ironstone Vineyards on Friday night. Of all of the dozens of shows I’ve personally seen at the venue, this one might be my all-time favorite.
I usually open my reviews with a quote from the artist, but Phantogram didn’t do too much talking during their set, and when they did their words were mostly lost among adulation from the cheering crowd. Their live sets are still driven by songs from last year’s Three, which I voted at the #1 album of 2016. I’ve personally been dying to hear songs off this brilliant album live, as last year each time the duo and their band were playing local, I was traveling elsewhere. So with their appearance at Grand Sierra Resort & Casino’s Grand Theatre in Reno Friday night, I was not disappointed. This was actually my favorite concert thus far in 2017. Phantogram are so amazing right now the rest of the world needs time to catch on. [Read more…]
“Every little thing, is gonna be alright… We’re just gonna do this for fifteen minutes!” Jason Mraz & His Superband closing out the first of two sets, channeling a bit of Bob Marley. Which seemed quite appropriate, given his fun and optimistic “an evening with…” style show at Ironstone Amphitheatre on Sunday night, marking his only Northern California show on this tour. Early in the first set, he advised the audience, “you are permitted to sing… you are invited to sing… you are practically obliged to sing…” The audience accepted this challenge and most were up on their feet dancing and singing throughout the night. Mraz certainly has a distinct outlook on life that he carries with him and that is contagious with his fans (who span all ages, gender, and culture), and I’d have to say it was certainly the most joyful show I’d seen out of dozens at this beautiful venue, and that’s saying a lot.