Colin Hay at Crest Theatre | Sacramento, California | 3/22/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

Colin-Hay-2015-Tour-Concert-Review-Live-Photos-Setlist-Crest-Theatre-Sacramento-FI

“I’m happy to live in the mystery…”  One of a seemingly endless set of poetic and thoughtful comments made on stage at The Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Sunday night.  Part of a solo performance by Colin Hay, best known as the front man, vocalist, and guitarist for the Australian, early 80s, Grammy-winning New Wave/Rock/Raggae band Men at Work.  In 1983, the band had a number one album (Business as Usual) and a number one single (“Down Under”) and gained international fame with their music and quirky music videos.  Here we are, 32 years later, and Mr. Hay has cultivated not only an interesting career but an interesting life with insights and experiences that continue to guide him.  All this time later, there is no ego, no regret, and an incredible depth of self-awareness.  He seems to have a vivid and real view of the world and how it works, and seems quite settled and comfortable with who he is and his role in life as not just a musician, but as a storyteller and philosopher, with much of the latter coming in the form of brilliant comedy.  I’d been lucky enough to catch his Finding My Dance one man show in 2013, so I had an idea of what to expect, but his current tour supporting his latest album, Next Year People, was even better.  He is one of the most entertaining and gifted artists touring today, and I can’t recommend enough turning out for one of his shows if you have the opportunity.

[Read more…]

Wolf Alice at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop | San Francisco, California | 3/13/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

Wolf-Alice-Live-2015-US-Tour-Concert-Review-Photos-Popscene-Rickshaw-Stop-The-Moth-&-The-Flame-Taymir-FI

“We’ve got a couple more for you… party on, Friday night!”   Ellie Rowsell’s preface leading into Wolf Alice’s encore at the sold out show at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop on Friday night in San Francisco.  The alternative band from London put on a blazing show at a rare headlining stop in the U.S. on their way to SXSW.  A relatively newer band, their debut album, My Love Is Cool, is due in June, and already they seemed destined for much bigger venues.  I would be surprised to see them on a steep upward trajectory over 2015.  While the four members skew quite young, they exude maturity and confidence in their music, and as great as their EPs released thus far sound, their music seems fashioned to excel in a live setting even more than the studio recordings.  Even though they didn’t move around too much on the stage during their set, their music moved the crowd and they are one of the most exciting bands to come along in recent years.  Definitely ones to watch, and to catch live if you get the opportunity.

[Read more…]

Colin Hay’s U.S. & Australian Solo Tour In Progress and with Barenaked Ladies & Violent Femmes in June & July

Colin-Hay-2015-Tour-Live-Concert-Next-Year-People-2015-Last-Summer-on-Earth-Tour-Barenaked-Ladies-Violent-Femmes-FI

Colin Hay, best known for his role in Men At Work, will be undergoing an extensive U.S. tour over the coming months, as well as playing some dates in Australia in April and May.  Come June, Colin Hay will be joining Barenaked Ladies and Violent Femmes as part of the “2015 Last Summer on Earth Tour”. [Read more…]

The Airborne Toxic Event Plots Out Special U.S. Tour with Release of Two New Albums, “Dope Machines” and “Songs of God and Whiskey”

The-Airborne-Toxic-Event-2015-Tour-Dope-Machines-Live-Songs-of-God-and-Whiskey-Concert-Dates-Cities-FI

A few weeks ago, The Airborne Toxic Event released not one, but two new studio albums… Dope Machines, which has been expected since last year, as well as Songs of God and Whiskey, which was announced on their official Facebook page just one day prior.  The former features more electronic/synthpop sounds while the latter is more in the direction of acoustic rock and roll.  The select shows across the U.S. this month will be “very special audio/visual performances” and they have announced that they will be performing Dope Machines “front to back” as well as material from prior releases and other surprises. [Read more…]

Jefferson Starship (The Music of Jefferson Airplane 50th Anniversary) at The Center for the Arts | Grass Valley, California | 2/27/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

Jefferson-Airplane-Starship-50th-Anniversary-2015-Concert-Review-Photos-Grass-Valley-Center-for-the-Arts-FI

“I think Paul and I actually played this before we even picked up electric instruments, more than 50 years ago… “ An intro into Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Cod-ine” by David Freiberg, who played with legend Paul Kantner in both Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.  The sold out concert at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley last night was a celebration of both bands, as they celebrated 50 years of the former and 45 years of the later.  Coincidentally, yesterday was also the day that the great Leonard Nimoy passed away.  I made the connection in that Jefferson Airplane and Paul Kantner and Star Trek and Leonard Nimoy were both pioneers in pop culture from the mid-60’s onward and remain icons of that period today.  The 60’s represents many different things to different people, but as time marches on, the reality of it slips more and more into the past and that reality is transformed more and more into symbolism and ideas.  In some ways it fades, but it also becomes more powerful in that it has more of a mythic than real quality to people today, who forget…  Or, like me, were born after that time.  But Paul Kantner and David Freiberg are still on the road, keeping their music and the messages behind their art alive for those who come out to experience it.

[Read more…]

Jefferson Starship Tour Schedule for 2015 Reaches Across United States for Jefferson Airplane’s 50th Anniversary

Jefferson-Starship-Airplane-2015-Tour-Concert-Live-Show-Dates-40-50-Year-Anniversary-FI

Well already into their 2015 tour, Jefferson Starship will be traveling all over the United States in the coming months, celebrating the music of Jefferson Airplane and it’s 50th anniversary.  Jefferson Airplane was founded by Paul Kantner in 1965 and he founded Jefferson Starship in 1974.  The band is expected to play rock staples from both bands like “Somebody to Love”, “White Rabbit”, “Get Together”, “Jane”, “Miracles”, and more. [Read more…]

Information Society and Book of Love (“80’s Rewind Fest Presents: PURE ENERGY”) at Thunder Valley Casino Resort | Lincoln, California | 1/31/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

Information-Society-2015-Concert-Review-Photos-Book-of-Love-80s-Rewind-Fest-Thunder-Valley-Casino-FIb

“Oh, somebody wants to hear, “What’s On Your Mind?”.  Peer pressure him into letting it go… Dude.  Or is he telling us to hurry the fuck up?”  Kurt Harland, singer and front man for Information Society, displaying a mix of confidence and humor at their concert at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday night.  Live shows from the New Wave/synthpop band are very rare these days, and the guy shouting out the name of the song that made them very famous with the masses circa 1988 didn’t have the same appreciation for the full spectacle and show they put on as the rest of the crowd, who couldn’t seem to get enough of their unique style of music, whether it was old favorites from the 80s and 90s or new songs from the newly released (and excellent) _hello World, which came out late last year.   This concert event promoted by WorldOne Presents was marketed as “80’s Rewind Fest Presents: PURE ENERGY”, and it was a special winter edition of their “80’s Rewind Fest” series.   This concert boasted additional special guests Book of Love as well as local opener, Self.Same.  Though the three founding members of Information Society have gone off to create lives and careers outside of their band, you wouldn’t know if from this concert.  They brought a ton of excitement and style on stage.  Given their amazing new studio album and their ability to put on a fantastic live show, hopefully it represents more InSoc coming in our future.

[Read more…]

The Ting Tings at Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub | Sacramento, California | 1/24/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

The-Ting-Tings-2015-Tour-Concert-Review-Live-Photos-Super-Critical-Sacramento-Harlows-Kaneholler-FI

“Okay, you all know this song and you need to sing along, because we don’t know what fucking hours of music were going to play tonight we’re going to keep going, so you guys sing along with this one…” Jules De Martino providing an intro into one of The Ting Ting’s biggest hits, “That’s Not My Name”, just before Katie White throws down with the vocals and gets the audience into a frenzy at their sold out show at Harlow’s Restaurant and Nightclub in Sacramento on Saturday night.  As mentioned in my review of their show for Popscene at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco the night before, The Ting Tings haven’t passed through on a tour since supporting their sophomore album, Songs from Nowheresville, in 2012 (see my review of that show at The Fillmore). Their newly released third studio album, Super Critical, just came out late last year via their successful PledgeMusic campaign. Co-produced by original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, the album pivots them into a different direction, though with their trademark infectious and experimental sound and energy.  I thought the show Friday night was amazing, and illustrated how the band puts a lot of thought and attention into creating a live show that refashions their music a bit with each outing, keeping it all fresh and exciting for the crowds they turn out…  Somehow, the Sacramento show was even better, and will definitely be in my Top Ten shows of 2015 at the end of the year, and has set the bar high for all of the other shows I’ll be seeing in the next 11 months.

[Read more…]

The Ting Tings at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop | San Francisco, California | 1/23/2015 (Concert Review + Photos)

The-Ting-Tings-2015-Concert-Review-Live-Photos-Super-Critical-Popscene-Rickshaw-Stop-San-Francisco-Kaneholler-FI

“San!!! Fran!!! Cisco!!!”  A city turned into a three-word chant by Jules De Martino, he and the other half of The Ting Tings duo Katie White aren’t the type to chit chat too much in-between songs at their live shows, but they certainly know how to get a place jumping.  And that’s just what they did at the sold out show at Popscene at Rickshaw Stop on Friday night.  The Ting Tings haven’t passed through on a tour since supporting their sophomore album, Songs from Nowheresville, in 2012 (see my review of that show at The Fillmore), and this latest gig was even more of a special occasion since they aren’t hitting but a handful of cities on this front end of touring in 2015 (and the dates in play are predominantly in California).  Their newly released third studio album, Super Critical, just came out late last year via their successful PledgeMusic campaign.  Co-produced by original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor, the album pivots them into a different direction, though with their trademark infectious and experimental sound and energy.  The show Friday night was amazing, and illustrated how the band puts a lot of thought and attention into creating a live show that refashions their music a bit with each outing, keeping it all fresh and exciting for the crowds they turn out.  I loved every second of it, and while it was a full set, they left me wanting more, but I’ll get that at their follow-up show in Sacramento…  one of those rare bands who inspire me to follow them around a bit.

[Read more…]

Dave Wakeling’s English Beat “For Crying Out Loud” Album Coming Soon; 2015 Live Concert Dates, Photos, & Preview

The-English-Beat-Dave-Wakeling-Concert-Photos-2015-Tour-Live-Preview-Review-Show-Sacramento-Ace-of-Spades-For-Crying-Out-Loud-PledgeMusic-FI

I recently had an opportunity to see The English Beat at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, for my first concert of the year (on my birthday no less!).  Unfortunately, with all of the cold and flu going around, after shooting the first three songs of their set, I had to bail as my fiancée was under the weather and burning up with fever.  Rather than waste the opportunity to talk about one of the best live bands playing today, I thought I would put up this preview for what they have coming in 2015, with a list of upcoming concerts, a little bit of information about For Crying Out Loud – the new album due early this year – as well as share a few photos taken at the show last week.  Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to attend another one of their shows soon, and put up a proper feature about it. [Read more…]

Jason DeBord’s Top 100 Concert Photos of the Year: The Rock Subculture Journal 2014 Year In Review

Rock-Subculture-Journal-Top-100-Best-Concert-Photos-2014-End-of-Year-Jason-DeBord-Images-Live-Music-FI-c

This is the first of my 2014 “Year In Review” articles. As with my articles in 2013 and 2012, I reviewed a sampling of my concert photos from 2014 and compiled some of my favorites and stopped when I hit 100 photos in total. Please also check out my companion 2014 Year in Review article, which covers my Top 10 Albums, Top 10 Songs, Top 10 Concerts and more. [Read more…]

Reignwolf at The Independent | San Francisco, California | 12/26/2014 (Concert Review + Photos)

Reignwolf-Concert-Review-2014-Tour-Photos-Jordan-Cook-The-Independent-San-Francisco-Rock-Subculture-FI

“All I was trying to say was, that it means a lot to us the day after Christmas that San Francisco shows up… I’m serious; thanks so very much for that… and I say like this… ‘Are You Satisfied?‘…” Jordan Cook, AKA Reignwolf, standing on the kick drum that he dropped into the audience at sold out show at The Independent, before throwing down with his signature anthem that somehow showcases what he is all about – authentic rock and roll.  I first saw Reignwolf opening for the Pixies in Los Angeles in 2013, and I have been raving about him since, to anyone who will listen.  It’s been more than a year, but Friday night in San Francisco I finally got to witness him and his band do their own headlining show, and it was even better than I imagined (and I went in expecting it to be one of the best shows of the year).  The man has such gifts, and taps into them with ease.  The only other artist I’ve seen live that has that same mix of innate improvisational ability and also has more music in him than can maybe come out through the traditional instruments of rock and roll is Prince.  Since seeing Reignwolf more than a year ago, I’ve been certain that he is destined to be one of our generation’s top rock stars, and I am as sure of that then ever after his show this weekend.  It’s really just a matter of how soon he debuts a full album and how long it will take the rest of the world to catch up to this brilliant talent.  Needless to say, the concert was phenomenal, and those who didn’t make it out the day after Christmas maybe missed the greatest gift of all.

[Read more…]