“Yeah, we rule a very tiny kingdom…” Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid’s modest response to a fan shouting out “you rule” in-between songs during their lengthy set, gesturing to the crowd within the historic Fillmore in San Francisco as they celebrated with their “Vivid 25th Anniversary Tour” last night. The band literally attacked the stage, with drummer Will Calhoun busting a large hole in the kick drum two songs in, with their explosive live performance of their classic Grammy Award-winning 1988 hit, “Cult of Personality”. Playing Vivid front to back, the group put on an amazing concert that underscored what a great work that album was, taking us back to a time when albums mattered, as well as showcasing their innovative blending of disparate musical styles and genres into something really unique and powerful.
This article features the latest in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. My latest guests are Method Man and Redman. The guys were kind enough to make some time to sit down and chat with me at their hotel prior to their performance. This special edition of the podcast was recorded at Caprices Festival in Crans-Montana, Switzerland on March 16th, 2013.
Singer-songwriter Sheila E. (Sheila Escovedo), with work that crosses pop, R&B, rock, jazz, and funk, will be showcasing her unique mix of powerful vocals, drums, and percussion at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland, California in March. This special engagement will be held over three consecutive nights (March 20, 21, and 22) with two shows per night (an 8pm and a 10pm). [Read more…]
Grammy Award winning pop and R&B artist Jody Watley and her band will be putting on a special night at the very classy Yoshi’s Jazz Club in Oakland. A real pioneer in popular music in many regards, Ms. Watley is sure to put on an incredible show in an intimate setting. Billed as “A Saturday Night Experience of Sophisticated Funk”, it will include a mix of both greatest hits and rare material, and new music as well. [Read more…]
This is the second and last of my 2012 “Year In Review” articles, though this one is mostly a pictorial. I went through the pictures I took at shows throughout 2012 and pulled out 100 of my favorites to republish here, in celebration of an amazing year for concerts and a fun year for me with photography. You can also check out my other Year in Review article with my Top 10 Live Music Concerts and Top 10 Studio Albums & Songs. [Read more…]
2012 was an amazing year for both new music and live concert events, and although writing this “year in review” proved to be a monumental task, it was fun for me to do it to relive some special moments and appreciate the opportunities I had over the past 12 months to find new music and attend so many awesome live shows. It’s funny because many concerts and tours are announced with little notice, so at the start of any given year, you don’t really know what to expect, and 2012 definitely held a lot of surprises. When all was said and done, I ended up going to 58 concerts in 2012, each of which featured anywhere from one to seven artists, so that is a lot of live performances.
An ongoing personal tradition of mine, I have made a commitment to try to see Daryl Hall and John Oates perform live every year, preferably at my favorite venue – Mountain Winery in Saratoga – and am happy to have been a part of that event again last night. As readers of the Rock Subculture Journal would likely surmise, music from the 80s is the foundation for my love of popular music, and among all those wonderful artists that were highly prolific in those times, I would personally rate Hall and Oates among the very top. Billboard Magazine rates them as the number one duo of all time for very good reason – they are simply brilliant songwriters, and have published seemingly endless hits, and their live shows are some of the best I’ve experienced. Last night I had a great vantage point from which to take it all in.
Last night Seal put on an incredible performance at Humphreys Concerts by the Bay in San Diego. Stunning voice, amazing performance, he really filled the smaller, intimate, outdoor venue with life. Beautiful songs (both his own and a few covers of classic material) and real, true emotion on full display. Seal is an artist that sings from the heart, and I can’t imagine him being any other way, especially after having had the privilege of spending a good amount of time with him and a small group later, after the concert. He is really singular in the field of music, and if he could not sing, after spending around 40 minutes hearing him open up to us about his thoughts and feelings on a few different subjects – talking with strangers as though they were old, close friends – if he could not sing, I would still remain a huge fan of Seal the man. He is undoubtedly a person to look up to, who lives life with a great deal of introspection, honesty, and modesty. Overall, the night was an unforgettable experience, and I feel so, so fortunate to have been a part of it.
This is the seventh and last in a series of photojournals covering concerts during my trip to England and France. Tonight I attended a Rihanna concert at the O2 Arena in London, England on December 20th, 2011. [Read more…]