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 stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for the Hilton London Tower Bridge. I stayed at and reviewed this property last year, so this is an updated review. [Read more…]
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 stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. [Read more…]
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 stay was during my extension trip throughout Eastern Europe and London in May and June 2013. This review is for the Hotel Indigo London-Paddington. [Read more…]
15,000 hardcore Muse fans showed up at the Royal Horse Guard’s Parade in London, England last night for a special one-off concert promoting the premiere of Paramount’s new film, World War Z. As fans waited for the expected partial show (rumor was about half an hour of actual performance), we were shown the same movie trailer over and over and told that Brad Pitt would be appearing on stage before us. Well, he never did appear (apart from some silent footage on the jumbo monitors from the red carpet), but I don’t think the Muse fans could care less, as the usual opener to their shows was modified with some footage from the film, and after those few moments, it was pure Muse (not “Muze”, as the marketing department for the film would like us to believe). Being from the U.S., the awesome setting amidst historic London buildings and the awesome crowd certainly was not lost on me. The energy was as palpable as the heat wave surging into the audience from the pyrotechnics above the stage. But the real power came from the band, who have grown into being one of the best acts touring today, with real anthemic music that stirs the crowd into a fist-pumping frenzy. They ended up playing maybe just under an hour, but I’m certain that they satisfied all who turned out for the special free show, most of whom turned out for the two shows at Emirates Stadium and seemingly universally declared them the best Muse concerts ever.
“The Zombies started over 52 years ago…” One of many breaks in-between songs wherein Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent – two founding members of the band – would provide some background and history on the “musical journey” myself and others in the packed indigO2 took part in throughout the concert. I love to have opportunities to witness true rock and roll pioneers and icons do their thing on stage, but given how long ago the band started, I always adjust down my expectations and anticipate nostalgia filling in where perhaps the performance might fall short. This perspective of mine ended up making me that much more thrilled once they started doing their thing, because the five men on stage were true musicians at the top of their game. They played flawlessly together, the sound was superb, Colin’s vocals were nothing short of staggering and sublime, and their music – new and old (and covered) sounded as contemporary as anything “new” I hear these days. I was truly floored by how The Zombies hit on all cylinders with their show in London last night, and cannot recommend enough turning out for their upcoming tour in the United States. Brilliant musicians and they put a variety of songs through their paces in a unique way that makes me wonder even more how this band never became so much bigger in popularity.
Last night’s Depeche Mode concert was the last for me, representing the fifth show in the past two weeks. The second of two concerts back-to-back at the O2 Arena in London, as with the night before, I elected to take a spot in the front row center at the end of the catwalk extending into the vast general admission standing floor. Waiting for the band to come out, it was a bit of déjà vu, but it turned out to be anything but… with the prior four shows, the set list was exactly the same at Bratislava, Slovakia’s Štadión Pasienky, Zagreb, Croatia’s Zagreb Arena, Budapest, Hungary’s Puskás Ferenc Stadion, and the prior night’s show at London, England’s O2 Arena. The signal that last night’s gig had something different in store was the familiar sound of distorted guitar feedback that marked the opening of Depeche Mode’s “In Your Room”, which opened into the awesome Zepyhr Mix version of the song. A friend of mine from California also turned out for the two O2 shows, and we turned to each other at the same time with a “holy shit!” expression on our faces. We knew at that point we were going to be treated to an amazing – and unpredictable – show put on by my favorite band on Earth, and they did not disappoint. An epic conclusion to an amazing personal (and literal) journey with the band and their music over the past two weeks, spanning a number of countries all over Europe and coming to a close in their home of England.
“Welcome To My World” – the song Depeche Mode has been using to kick off each gig for the European leg of their Delta Machine World Tour – took on a whole different meaning for me tonight as I had an opportunity to see Depeche Mode play in their native home country of England. Playing two shows back-to-back at The O2 Arena in London, this marks my fourth consecutive Depeche Mode show in the past two weeks (having seen them previously at Bratislava, Slovakia’s Štadión Pasienky, Zagreb, Croatia’s Zagreb Arena and Budapest, Hungary’s Puskás Ferenc Stadion. Surprisingly, though the set list has not changed show to show, the concerts themselves have all been pretty different from one another, and completely different experiences on a personal level to be sure. One thing I didn’t expect with the London shows was that what seemed like a majority of the concert goers (close to stage on the floor at least) were not from England, but other countries, so it was quite a multicultural affair. I’ve also made a concerted effort to change my own point of view – literally – with each show, and with this first O2 gig planted myself at the foot of the catwalk that extends out into the audience (and is much shorter in the indoor arenas compared with the outdoor stadiums), and it was really a fantastic experience. Seeing the expression on Dave Gahan’s face as he came out to the end for “Never Let Me Down Again” – close up and in real life – made this relentless two week country-hopping adventure worth it just for that amazing moment (which I managed to catch on video as well). As I’ve mentioned over and over in the reviews leading up to this, Depeche Mode has long been my favorite band, and these concerts have been nothing short of epic.
Live Nation has provided Rock Subculture Journal with a pair of tickets to Killing Joke’s April 19th concert at Irving Plaza in New York City to give away to one of my readers. The show in New York is their first U.S. date and one of just a handful of shows announced for this tour. One winner will be selected at random to receive two (2) general admission tickets to the show, which is part of their world tour currently underway. [Read more…]
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have this week published their upcoming new album, Mosquito, in its entirety, two weeks ahead of the official April 16th release date. In addition, they are at the beginning of a somewhat haphazard tour that will have them playing Coachella and a handful of U.S. dates before heading out for England early next month and then back and forth between Europe & the UK and the U.S. through July. They have already played about 10 shows and festivals thus far in 2013. [Read more…]
As reported in recent months, with 2013 Fleetwood Mac is touring together with their first concert performances since 2009. The band today announced their first set of dates outside of North America, with concerts now scheduled for Europe and the UK in the Fall, beginning in September, following the 47 shows already on sale in the U.S. Additionally, last week Rhino Records released several different versions of Rumors, one of the all-time classic albums produced in all of rock and popular music. Celebrating 35 years since its release, a number of deluxe versions of the album will be available with incredible extras. [Read more…]