“Two words to introduce this next song! Two words! Two words to introduce this next song! Two words to introduce this next song!” Billy Idol getting the sold out crowd of nearly 3,000 screaming, fist pumping fans shouting “Rebel Yell” at the opening night of Grand Sierra Resort’s new Grand Theatre. I can’t imagine a better way to launch a high end new concert venue than having none other than Billy Idol kicking off a new tour of his own on the vast stage built on the $10 million dollar renovation of the live music space. Billy Idol has been building on his own career and accomplishments of late, with 2014’s awesome new album Kings & Queens of the Underground (the first in nine years) and bestselling Dancing With Myself autobiography. In the midst of a resurgent mainstream interest in all things Billy Idol, he seems to be as popular as ever. Alongside his incredible band, they’ve put together probably their best live show ever with this tour. It also clocked in as the longest show I’ve seen, at around two hours. I’ve always noted this band as one of my all-time favorite live shows, and I’d have to say that this was the best I’d ever seen them. I’ve always complimented Idol on his boundless and limitless energy and he seems to have reached a new high with this show and tour. He is at once an icon and an enigma, as he continues to evolve his style while retraining his trademark lip curl and tongue in cheek uncensored gestures, looks, and poses. And one can’t neglect to mention Mr. Steve Stevens on lead guitar, who could put the audience in a trance even if he stood alone on the stage – one of the best guitarists performing today, if not the very best. If you haven’t been to a Billy Idol concert lately, you haven’t seen him and his band at all, as they are better than they’ve ever been, and that is saying a lot.
2014 and 2015 are shaping up to be epic for fans of Billy Idol, starting with the Dancing With Myself autobiography, hitting stores and online retailers tomorrow. Today is the last day to pre-order for an entry into the Dancing With Myself Sweepstakes, and today is the first day of a limited number of book signings in the United States and the United Kingdom throughout October. In just a few weeks, on October 21st, the first new Billy Idol studio album in some time, Kings & Queens Of The Underground, will drop. The new single, “Can’t Break Me Down”, is already available. While UK and European concert dates were announced for November some time ago, today North American dates were announced for January and February 2015, including special meet and greet tickets. [Read more…]
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of people in costumes. [Read more…]
As I have been covering San Diego Comic-Con on my sister site, The Original Prop Blog, since 2007, I am sharing some of the photos of the people and sights in and around the exhibit hall and the Gaslamp Quarter for this year’s event. This feature focuses on photos of the convention at large. [Read more…]
As I’ve published the periodic article with recommendations and discussions about cameras for fan photography at music concert events, which seem to be fairly popular, I know with changing technology it is long overdue for an update. With this feature, I thought I would provide a broader overview with my own observations and experiences shooting with a variety of cameras and formats, including full frame, APS-C, micro four thirds, and smaller sensor cameras, spanning full-featured DSLRs, mirrorless, and point and shoot cameras. With this article, I will also provide some advice on general settings and shooting tips and tricks. Overall, I discuss options for cameras from shooting up close right in front of the stage as well as at a distance, for both still photos and video. In short, I’m still a huge fan of the Sony RX100, a year later, and feel it is the best overall “go to” option for fans – great image quality and truly pocketable.
This special benefit concert was organized by Crisis, with proceeds designated for their “Crisis at Christmas” as well as their Year-round services throughout the UK. The stellar line-up featured Bastille, Foxes, AlunaGeorge, Michael Kiwanuka, and Jake Bugg, with presenter Clara Amfo from BBC Radio 1Xtra managing the event on stage. It was a high energy show that drew a young and enthusiastic crowd, and was certainly in line with the festive spirit of this week leading into Christmas. The night kicked off with a great performance from the charity organization’s own Crisis Starlight Band and that moment carried through the night. A great evening for a great cause.
“Essentially, the word around here is grateful…” Chris Martin at his piano, backed by the Royal Academy of Music, opening the encore for the night with a cover of “White Christmas”. I’ve written quite a few articles about Coldplay in the past, so any who have read them would know that they are one of my favorite bands (along with Depeche Mode and Pixies). I hadn’t seen them live since their show in San Jose in April of 2012, so it has been a while. They took 2013 off as far as performing live goes, and have been in the studio working on new material. The band has always used their gifts and successes in music to help others, and one of the organizations that they’ve been a big supporter of is Kids Company in the UK. And, as per tradition, they tend to do a special show each year for Christmas and/or New Year’s, so this year it was another of their “Under 1 Roof” multi-artist events. Sharing the bill with them this year was Lily Allen, Ricky Gervais reprising his character from The Office performing as David Brent and Foregone Conclusion, magician Dynamo, and Rizzle Kicks, with Fearne Cotton hosting the evening, along with some surprise guests like Robbie Williams and Tim Rice-Oxley from Keane.
The world needs Billy Idol. The world needs cool, and it needs a bit of a rebel yell. But it also needs dreamers. And, sometimes, a crazy, impossible, outlandish dream can lead to great things. And all of this was proven on an epic night in Seattle, as a young man with hope, ambition, persistence, and ingenuity leveraged the Internet in a way that lead to rock music legend and icon Billy Idol playing his 26th birthday party at the Showbox SoDo in Seattle last night. I’ve seen Billy Idol many, many times over the years, but I can say without a doubt that last night’s special show featured the best audience I’ve ever been a part of at one of his concerts. And in these challenging times we live in, it felt like everyone left their struggles and frustrations and all other negativity at the door, and embraced the awesome music and amazing live performance of Billy Idol and his band, as the put on a scorching show. As just the second (by my count) U.S. date this year (with a third in Eugene tomorrow night), I believe it serves as evidence of the significant demand for fans to see Billy Idol play live. He is one of my all-time favorite artist, has such a fantastic catalog of songs, and is one of the best live acts performing today accompanied by a peerless band and the incomparable Steve Stevens on lead guitar. Cheers to Michael Henrichsen for having a dream and putting such effort into something that brings joy not just to himself, but everyone who loves Billy Idol who came to take part in it. Michael certainly knows how to party, and he brought it to Seattle last night, in the form of the legendary Billy Idol.
Following last night’s Coldplay iHeartRadio benefit concert at Club Nokia, I was lucky enough to share a pair of tickets with another Coldplay fan who won them from The World Famous KROQ for a special Jimmy Kimmel Live! outdoor mini-concert / block party (or “bloq” party) behind the El Capitan Theater, where the regular show is shot in studio. Some of the songs performed at this concert will be broadcast on a special post Academy Award special of the JKL! show, following the Oscars telecast. This concert was originally scheduled for February 7, 2012, and rescheduled for tonight, February 9th.
I was fortunate enough to attend a very special Coldplay benefit concert tonight, which took place at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, in collaboration with iHeartRadio and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Los Angeles radio stations KIIS FM, 98-7FM and MYFM. The proceeds of the show benefit two charities – A Place Called Home and Youth Mentoring Connection. [Read more…]