The Asteroids Galaxy Tour at Bimbo’s 365 Club | San Francisco, California | 10/17/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Do you want more?” Mette Lindberg at Bimbo’s 365 Club in San Francisco Friday night, to a crowd mesmerized by the amazing show put on by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour.  Kicking off a new headlining tour, following a summer of festival appearances and the debut of Bring Us Together, their third studio album last month, the group, as she put it at one point during the hour and a half set, got to play a lot of their new songs.  This was my first time seeing the band live (I was always traveling in past opportunities), and I have to say it definitely ranks I think within the top five of my favorite concerts so far in 2014.  Incredible music to be sure, but they bring it to life in a concert setting in a way that truly surprised and impressed me.  Mette’s vocals were just spot on, and the sound was dialed in perfectly, and the band has a way of bringing their brilliant sound to life on stage that has to be seen and heard to truly appreciate.  I came away from the show a much bigger fan to be sure, and will definitely turn out for any future show that I can to experience it all over again.  One of the best newer bands active today.

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Olivia Newton-John Concert Dates In The United States Through February; “Summer Nights” at The Flamingo in Vegas Extended

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Four-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Olivia Newton-John has a number of live concert appearances in the United States scheduled out through February, so it is a great time to see her in the U.S.  Certainly one of the top artists who has been active since the 70s, she’s had an incredible number of hits that cross over many genres and she has fans all over the world. [Read more...]

Last Leg of 2014 Black Keys “Turn Blue” World Tour Picks Up At End of October and Runs Through End of December

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The Black Keys have spent a lot of 2014 on the road, supporting their latest studio album, Turn Blue from Nonesuch Records.  Kicking off in May at Hangout Music Festival, the year has seen the garage/blues rock duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney take their unique blend of authentic music all over the world at headlining shows and festivals.  Having taken a little break at the end of September, they will pick back up again in Minneapolis, crisscrossing throughout North America until the end of December. [Read more...]

Crystal Castles Comes To An End As Alice Glass Announces Break-Up; Special Exclusive Concert Tour Photography Showcase from 2012 & 2013

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Today, Alice Glass announced her departure from – and thus the break-up of – Crystal Castles with Ethan Kath.  She made a short statement on social media, including her personal Facebook page (with her first post since July): I am leaving Crystal Castles.  My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others.  For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC.  Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.”  Crystal Castles, who I had a chance to cover and photograph at two shows (one in Seattle in 2012 and the other in Oakland in 2013), and they were as unique in live form as they were in studio recordings.  I thought I’d bid farewell to the band with a pictorial showcase of photos I shot at those two concerts, some of which have never been published previously. [Read more...]

The Kills To Tour North America In October, Building On Artistic Explorations in Other Media

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Garage punk band The Kills will be playing a handful of just seven shows in North America in the second half of October, kicking off in New York and finishing up in California, with the last stop appearing with Queens of the Stone Age in Los Angeles.  While their last album, Blood Pressures, hit in 2011 on Domino Rocords, the duo have explored other media in 2014.  Jamie Hince opened his “Echo Home” exhibit of photographic work at the Morrison Hotel Galley in New York in June while Alison Mosshart has had several original paintings on paper, canvas, and fabric included in “Push It”, a group show of female artists at ArtNowNY in April.  Their work can be seen in Du Jour and New York Times T Magazine, respectively. [Read more...]

Billy Idol Announces 2014/2015 World Tour Following “Dancing With Myself” Book Tour, New “Kings & Queens Of The Underground” Album

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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...]

Tears for Fears at The Wiltern | Los Angeles, California | 9/23/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Is that the new iPhone 6?”  Roland Orzabal, early on in the show, as he and Curt Smith looked out over the sea of cell phones in the air, held by an exuberant sold out crowd at the historic Wiltern in Los Angeles last night.  Tears for Fears, best known for their collection of timeless and classic New Wave hits from the 80s, do not tour very often, and when they do, the tours are usually not too many dates and cities.  So there was a bit of an “event” feeling in the air, and based on some of their comments later in the show, they both seem to have quite an affinity for the City of Angels.  As such, it seemed to be one of those special sort of shows, that unfold in a different sort of way.  About halfway through the show, Curt even gave a shout out to Richard Blade, who was at the front of the GA crowd in the pit…  if you didn’t know him by his own lifetime in music, you would think he was the band’s biggest fan (and maybe he is).  Perhaps the development that represented the biggest point of fan service, prefaced by Roland with “nothing like changing it up for L.A.; obviously this is a special place for us…” was the surprise encore opener, a song that “we haven’t done for many, many years”.  He said that this version will be included in their deluxe reissue of Songs From the Big Chair in November.  He said it has been impossible for them to do live “until now”, and then proceeded to play “The Working Hour”.  Definitely a special show by a fantastic band, and the place was certainly buzzing when it all came to a close after upwards of a two hour show.

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Better Than Ezra at House of Blues Anaheim | Anaheim, California | 9/21/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“Michael, I want you to take this crowd – this hardened crowd of entertainment junkies – on a percussion journey…”  Kevin Griffin of singer and guitarist for Better Than Ezra, along with co-founding member Tom Drummond on bass, setting the stage for the most blazing cow bell drum solo ever, by their drummer, Michael Jerome.  This was my first time seeing Better Than Ezra live in concert, and I came away with my expectations far exceeded…  and maybe a bit sad that they didn’t become bigger back in the day; big enough to carry them forward in a way that was, for lack of a better explanation, more successful.  They are talented songwriters, and it all manifests itself on stage in a unique way.  Everything is framed in a bit of irreverence…  not quite on the scale of, say, They Might Be Giants, but let’s just say that Griffin doesn’t take himself too seriously and makes the show fun for him, and in turn, the band’s mix of audience.  An audience that I couldn’t really begin to stereotype, as it seemed to be made of people of all ages, genders, and walks of life.  They certainly captivated and entertained the crowd, and there is a real sense of expecting the unexpected throughout their set.  I really recommend checking out their live show if you have a chance, and either way, I think the new album released this month, All Together Now, is certainly worth a listen.

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The Asteroids Galaxy Tour “Bring Us Together” with Concert Tour in Major U.S. Cities in October

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The Asteroids Galaxy Tour this week released their latest studio album, Bring Us Together, which debuted in the iTunes Top 50.  They also have a new music video out for “My Club”.  Next month they will be headlining a short concert tour targeting major cities in the U.S., including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. [Read more...]

Elton John’s “All The Hits Tour” coming to West Coast of United States

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Elton John has had an extensive world tour underway since last year (following a hugely popular and periodic residency in Las Vegas with The Million Dollar Piano, which I reviewed in 2012).  Playing Denver tonight, shows in Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, San Jose, and a pair of back-to-back concerts in Los Angeles will bring the U.S. tour to an end.  In addition to many Top 40 hits, he will also be performing songs from his latest release, The Diving Board. [Read more...]

Heart at Mountain Winery | Saratoga, California | 9/16/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

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“In the spirit of toasting, here’s a song by Paul McCartney…”  Nancy Wilson of Heart giving an appropriate intro to their cover of the Wings song, “Let Me Roll It”, from 1974, with her sister Ann sharing the stage in the wonderful atmosphere at Mountain Winery in Saratoga last night.  This was one of several cover songs performed, though the rest were Led Zeppelin songs for their encore.  I’ve saw Heart twice last year, and they always deliver with stunning performances and are truly as great as they’ve ever been.  In addition to their own vast and growing (with last year’s Fanatic) catalog, they’ve also in some way become the caretakers of keeping Led Zeppelin songs alive and well (in addition to Jason Bonham’s own Led Zeppelin Experience, which toured with them last year).  Who else but Ann Wilson can give epic delivery of those vocals, and yet with her own trademark style?  But of course fans turn out to hear Heart songs first and foremost, though they only played one song off the new album, “Mashallah” (which Ann said drives her into the stratosphere).  Each time I see them, the familiar songs sound a bit different, as though they find new and innovative ways to translate them into a live experience.  In any event, they put on a fantastic show in a gorgeous venue, so it was a wonderful celebration of them and their great music (as well as a tribute to some other greats in music).

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Daryl Hall & John Oates’ U.S. Summer Concert Tour Heads West in October

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Daryl Hall & John Oates, currently in the midst of a Summer U.S. tour, will be coming to the west coast next month, playing Saratoga, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.  The Philly duo hit makers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year (already recognized by the Songwriters Hall of Fame); each also have new solo work out in 2014 (John Oates’ A Good Road To Follow and Daryl Hall’s Laughing Down Crying).  They put on one of the best live shows today, so it is most definitely worth turning out to one of their concerts if you have the chance. [Read more...]