Johnette Napolitano, singer-songwriter well known as the vocalist/bassist for Concrete Blonde, is scheduled to play a handful of special, one-off solo shows in the first quarter of 2014. It is anticipated that Johnette will perform acoustic versions of Concrete Blonde songs, works from her own Sketchbook albums, as well as read extracts from her book, Rough Mix, the first of her series of memoirs, stories, poetry, lyrics and essays. A prolific artist in many disciplines and with a number of different collaborations with other artists, it should prove interesting to see what she brings to the stage with these special shows. [Read more…]
“This is a song for you young lovers out there. I was in love once. When I picked my guts up afterwards, I wrote this tiny little song, I hope you enjoy it; it’s called Wonderful.” A twisted sort of sentiment about his most mainstream song, New Wave icon and post-punk pioneer Adam Ant and The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse kicked on their 40-city North American tour in San Diego last night, at the classy Balboa Theatre. Adam Ant launched his first album in 18 years, Adam Ant is the Blueback Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, earlier this year. Somehow last night’s show felt even more spectacular than the one I caught in San Francisco last year. Adam Ant was like a rock star possessed; perhaps more confident and somehow… joyful? At one point deep into the set, he tossed his mic stand, which landed on his bass player’s effects pedals, completely shorting them all out. One of the stage crew came out and messed with it briefly, then unplugged it and plugged him directly into his amp… the relentless onslaught of music could not be stopped, or even paused due to technical difficulties… and the near sold out crowd was perhaps treated to a more raw version of what was planned. A lot of music acts continually reinvent themselves, over and over, sometimes to the point where they become a series of completely different artists. Adam Ant is different. He is today what he was more than 30 years ago, in terms of his identity, style, and sound. He has evolved, of course, but stayed true to what he was and has always been – one of those rare artists who maybe got it perfect the first time.
Following last year’s rocking tour, Adam Ant & the Good, the Mad and Lovely Posse will be returning to the United States supporting his first new studio album in 18 years, The Blueback Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, which was released earlier this year. Supporting the tour (on all dates except Hawaii and Buffalo), which is kicking off next month, are Los Angeles-based group Prima Donna. [Read more…]
I was fortunate enough to see the second gig on Journey’s 2012 concert tour, which was at Stateline, Nevada in South Lake Tahoe (see prior review). As mentioned at the time, it was an unforgettable evening, and one of the best concerts of the year for me, and if I had the opportunity, that I’d like to see them again before year end. I was able to make that dream come true Friday night, this time seeing the second to the last show of 2012, and the second of three special concerts at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. It was a much different show (more on that later), and just as enjoyable as the first, as the legendary band played pop and rock music standards that have stood the test of time for decades. Definitely a great send off to an amazing year for concerts.
“We’d like for you guys to participate in this, because otherwise it just sits on its ass”. Music legend Juice Newton’s typically blunt and modest preface to the tremendous 80s country/pop crossover hits “Queen of Hearts” mixed with “Love’s Been a Little Bit Hard on Me”, as performed flawlessly (with audience providing the “clap-clap, clap” beat) at Yoshi’s in San Francisco in probably the most intimate show I’ve been to all year. The Juice Newton Trio, which was all acoustic strings with Jay Cawley and Danny Dugan both on guitars and providing backing vocals, Juice Newton stressed that this was a different sort of challenge and endeavor for her… a live concert sans the full band, which required the selection from of incredible songs from her catalog to be rearranged for a completely different result. And that result – simply amazing songs with the most artful delivery by one of the best vocalists in the business – was very moving and definitely sets the bar for soulful live music performances in small, intimate venues.
New Wave revolutionary? Prince?? Pirate??? Adam Ant has adopted a multitude of roles spanning many decades… but as an icon of post-punk and early 80s music and pop culture, he still knows how to kill it on stage, which is what he did for the sold out crowd at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco last night, tearing through a massive 28+ song set list that still left out some fan favorites. Who would have imagined when he came on the scene in the mid to late 70s that not only would he still be selling out shows, but he’d still be relevant (and, looking backward, prescient) well into his late 50’s. Truly an artist musician, Adam Ant has created a culture and world all his own, and it is definitely a fun place to visit.