“Are we not in the desert? Where are we?” A bit of comic relief part way through The Go-Go’s set by Gina Schock, who as per tradition emerges from her drum kit at some point in the show to give us a bit of fun. And that is kind of at the heart of The Go-Go’s punky/poppy/surfy/beachy New Wave music, so what better a group to headline 2014’s newest 80s-centric tour, Replay America. Also on the bill is Patty Smyth from Scandal, Martha Davis from The Motels, and Pete Byrne from Naked Eyes. A real assortment of 80s hitmakers each took to the stage at Thunder Valley Casino Resort on Saturday night to take the crowd back about three decades to a real innovative time in music. Though there was a lot of music to be heard, things proceeded along quite quickly with the first three artists sharing a band (with some changes set to set), and a quick changeover for the aforementioned Go-Go’s, who closed out the night with a string of classic songs. Definitely a unique opportunity to catch many favorites in one sitting, and I know I thoroughly enjoyed each artist, only half of whom I’d seen live before (though I was already a fan of all four). Awesome show.
“What do you think? You’re scared… you want to know more, you want to see the whole thing”… Capping off “Metallica Day” at Comic Con International: San Diego (i.e. San Diego Comic Con) with a “secret” concert at Spreckels Theatre, the metal band’s front man James Hetfield makes a mid-gig reference to the IMAX 3D film, Metallica Through The Never. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band gave away tickets to the intimate 1,463 capacity concert venue during their Comic Con Hall H appearance earlier in the day (and funny enough, Hall H accommodates a much larger crowd of around 7,000. I know from picking up my own ticket at the special will call earlier in the day that many Fan Club members were also in attendance, so it was a pretty great energy from the crowd. Though the show was not too long (they came on an hour late at about 11 PM and finished up well before 12:30 AM), it was a fairly relentless onslaught of the metal music fans came to hear.
“Hey Gina, did you play your brother’s 78s?” The Go-Go’s bass player Jane Wiedlin giving their drummer a hard time as Gina tried to give a preface to their stellar cover of the Rolling Stone’s hit “Paint it Black” by talking about how when you were a kid you would borrow your older brother or sister’s “records or CDs or whatever“. Like co-headliner The B-52s, both bands brought a combination of rock and good fun on stage at Mountain Winery in Saratoga last night, and even shared the stage for one song, contributing to the intimate, party-like atmosphere. I’ve seen both bands in the past 12 months, but it was something special to be treated to their respective New Wave sound on the same night. It was also kind of neat to see members of each band watching each others’ sets from side stage (like Belinda Carlisle fully immersed in The B-52s show and Kate Pierson taking in The Go-Go’s performance). Maybe the combination gave special energy all around, as each put on the best show I’ve seen from either band, so it was a pretty amazing night celebrating some of the best songs from my personal favorite era of music.
The Go-Go’s and The B-52s started touring North America this month, and lucky fans in certain cities will be treated to co-headlining shows featuring both bands. Each innovators in their own right, the groups each have innumerable hits from the past three decades. While both have their own distinct sound of New Wave and pop rock, most of the songs are high energy and positive, and together I imagine create quite a party atmosphere. [Read more…]
Guitar and legend Johnny Marr, best known for his role with The Smiths, has announced a tour of the United States and Canada this Spring. As one of the performing guests at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Marr has added 18 dates outside of the popular multi-artist festival, including two with New Order. Johnny Marr’s new album, The Messenger, is due February 26th. Fans of Electronic, the joint project between Marr and Bernard Sumner of New Order, are hopefully that some of those amazing songs might be played at the shows where both appear. [Read more…]