“I’ve been losing my voice, so I’m probably going to be singing a lot of sweet, falsetto songs tonight. I apologize for not being able to do more of my trademark growling and Janis Joplin screaming that I’m so famous for… but I’ll do what I can.” A few songs into her set, how singer-songwriter Jewel framed her performance at Ovations LIVE! at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino last night in Chandler, Arizona, well into her “Greatest Hits Tour”. Having had an opportunity to meet her backstage before the show, where conversation was limited to whispering, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Amazingly, sitting in the audience, you would never have any idea that she was having any issues at all, as she put on an incredible showcase performance, reflective of her place in the music world as one of our most gifted vocalists in popular music today, with range, versatility, and emotion bursting out of every song. Having penned over 500 songs, later in the show Jewel mentioned that no two shows are ever the same, yet in addition to the music she provided some personal insights into her life and journey in music, both of which seem forever intertwined. It was really a fantastic evening, and her (mostly) solo, all acoustic show is definitely a must see in live music today.
So I just saw the B-52s three months ago (to the day) at Ovations Live! in Arizona… and from the experience, knew that I wanted to see them again, at the earliest opportunity. So last night I found myself at Harrah’s South Shore Room at Stateline, Nevada, to more or less repeat the awesome experience from earlier this year. And the band – a favorite of mine since childhood – did not disappoint. Given the differences in the venue – 100% seated at Ovations Live! and with a mix of options at the South Shore Room including a vast GA pit in front of the stage, the latter was a feature that was a huge benefit for experiencing their incredible music live. The set list was also completely rearranged since the last show I attended, so it was very much a fresh and unique experience, and as always they put on a phenomenal show. I’m left wondering, as I write this, when I might get to catch them again.
This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This review is for the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona for a stay in June 2012. [Read more…]
I have been a fan of the B-52s going back nearly 30 years, finding their music when I was a kid, and being really moved and inspired by their unique and always catchy sound. The thing that most struck me about their concert at the Ovations LIVE! Showroom inside the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino last night… how their timeless music continues to have the same impact on generation after generation. Within the crowd were a number of kids, just having the time of their lives. And what was really moving for me were the efforts made by the band to not only acknowledge them within the crowd, but literally reach out to them, with members of the band giving them cool mementos to remember this great night, including drum sticks and guitar picks and the like. Because when it comes down to it, as stylishly esoteric and at times irreverent as their music can be, the B-52s are all about celebrating life and doing so in the most positive manner we know how – through great music. And the B-52s continue to deliver after all these years. [Read more…]