Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn kicked off 2014 with their first live date of the year at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California, just as they did last year (which is a show I caught and reviewed as well). The biggest difference between last year and this year is that their amazing new album, Animal, came out this past September. While they have been playing some of this new material in their shows in the past few years, somehow it felt much more seamlessly intertwined into the set, maybe because now I’m so familiar with the songs. Like last year, it was another stellar show with excellent supporting artists, and Saint Rocke is a great little venue. I think more than most bands, Berlin gets what their music is about, how it affects people, and the power a live show can have on celebrating life and living it with some passion. They definitely bring it all out on stage and they are one of those bands that can carry you along with them vicariously. [Read more…]
Northern Irish indie band Ash will be doing a rare tour starting on the West Coast later this month, stretching across the U.S. through February with 13 headlining shows and then joining up with Weezer for their 2014 Weezer Cruise going from Florida to the Bahamas. [Read more…]
Sacramento dance-punk band !!! (Chk Chk Chk) will be doing three shows this month, the first in their home town at The Assembly and then back-to-back shows at The Chapel in San Francisco. Their latest EP, R!M!X!S, came out a few months ago, following their fifth studio album, THR!!!ER, which came out earlier last year. [Read more…]
“I wanted to be a writer. I didn’t just want to shake my hair around and scream…” Johnette Napolitano, in one of many self-reflective moments in her honest and raw solo show at The Griffin in San Diego on Friday night. The singer and bass player for Concrete Blonde has always projected raw emotion and artistry in all she does, but this was certainly a step even further into having a glimpse into her world, which was bathed in gentle red and blue lights on the small stage in the intimate venue. For me, she has always been one of my favorite vocalists in rock and roll (and based on this show, it is only getting better with age), but there is so much more to her as an artist beyond that one remarkable gift. She talks about ghosts a bit, and it makes me wonder if she can see and feel things that the rest of us mere mortals cannot, and that is one of those things that gives her work more depth and dimension, and of course more emotion. Regardless, the show was an amazing experience for fans of her and her work, whether it is on vinyl or paper, she is that writer she always dreamed of becoming, in multiple disciplines. Brilliant artist and amazing showcase of her work in San Diego for those lucky enough to attend.
Berlin Featuring Terri Nunn has announced new concert dates all across the U.S. through May, which kicks off at Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach later this month. They will play favorites from the 80s as well as songs from the fantastic new album, Animal (which I rated one of the Top Ten Albums of 2013). [Read more…]
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…]
X, the pioneering punk band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles, will be starting 2014 out with two special shows this week – one of the 50th Anniversary gigs at the world famous Whiskey A Go Go in their hometown on January 15th and another show at The Casbah in San Diego on January 16th. [Read more…]
As is somewhat of a tradition, it was announced this month that Coldplay will be doing a special charity concert in London to benefit one of their favorite organizations, Kids Company, who provide practical, emotional, and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people in London and Bristol. The special event, “Under 1 Roof: A Night For Kids Company”, will be held on December 19th at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. Joining Coldplay on stage will be Ricky Gervais, in character from The Office’s David Brent as David Brent and Foregone Conclusion, Lily Allen, magician Dynamo, and hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks, all hosted by Fearne Cotton. [Read more…]
Playing on stage for nearly three and a half hours, with just two 2-minute breaks and almost no in-between song chit chat, The Cure was all about songs and performance at the Neal S. Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu, Oahu last night, making the legendary band’s first ever concert in Hawaii maybe one of the best for those lucky enough to score tickets at the sold out arena. Last night’s rocking show was all about fan service, from the sprawling 38-song set list to the special meet and greet opportunity for those who were able to get one of the coveted front row seats on the floor; the decades old group that is impossible to categorize played a dream set of many of their seemingly endless catalog of hits, spanning their entire career. Though they’ve been one of my own favorite bands since the 80s, I haven’t seen them live since their Wish Tour in the early 90s. I’ve been to over 60 concerts so far this year and with that probably have seen sets by well over 100 artists, and I would definitely rank this as one of my Top Three shows so far in 2013. Having traveled special to the islands for this special concert event – part of their “The Great Circle Tour” – it was definitely more than worth it as it was an unforgettable experience.
It isn’t often that real, genuine rock and roll legends come into my hometown of Sacramento to perform in concert, but after last night’s Fleetwood Mac show at Sleep Train Arena, they’ve set the bar quite high for any act to follow. Have loved this band since I was a kid, but have never seen them live, so this was an eagerly anticipated show for me. I did see Lindsay Buckingham on his own last year, and Stevie Nicks with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players earlier this year, so have had bursts of greatness, which really fed my desire to see them together as Fleetwood Mac even more. As amazing as those other performances had been, they did not prepare me for the magic of having their best line-up (unfortunately sans Christine McVie) on stage together. I think it cements Lindsay Buckingham as the true rock God of the 70s/80s generation and Stevie Nicks, fittingly, as the rock Goddess. Mick Fleetwood is like Zeus (or maybe a mad pirate), with twin balls hanging (in a dangling/dancing sort of way) from his belt. John McVie is content to leave center stage to the others, throwing down his bassline and keeping everything on the tracks as much as possible. This is a band who know who they are, and haven’t strayed from their identity in sound or fashion. What really hit home is how much they appreciate their fans, which was expressed not just in the performance but in eloquent statements from Nicks and Fleetwood to close out the show, calling us their “Dreamcatchers”, and really articulating the music fan/musician dynamic better than I’ve ever heard before. This date closed out the U.S. leg of their tour, and certainly inspires one to start following them around Europe later this year…