So. A classic album with heart and soul. Last night Peter Gabriel played the PH Live at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas to the nearly filled 7,000 seat venue as part of his ‘Back to Front’ tour, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of his classic album, So. In fact, the full So album was played as the third part of a concert running well over two hours, with the first two parts comprising music from other works. It was definitely a dream concert for fans of the legendary artist, and he did not disappoint; his voice, to my ears, sounded better than ever. In this day and age when albums as a musical framework unfortunately means less and less, it was something special to be part of this show celebrating the album that gave Mr. Gabriel his real mainstream success and identity as an innovative and ground-breaking solo artist.
Roxette played the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco last night, and more than delivered with their unique brand of rock infused pop to an eager audience, the majority of which appeared to be made up of truly hardcore fans of the Swedish band front by the duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle. High energy, enthusiasm, and joy emanated from the stage as the band played through a set framed by their many international hits, having sold over 60 million records worldwide. The fact that they were able to break out so big back in 1989 is a testament to their incredible songwriting skills, and having had four number one hits in the U.S. and nineteen Top 40 hits in the UK illustrates their ability to craft really catchy and hooky tunes that appeal to fans of music the world over. More impressive is that they were able to break out globally back when artists were completely reliant on record labels and radio stations to be heard, long predating the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and all the opportunity it has brought to the masses since those days. All that aside, they are a band that really need to be experienced live to fully appreciate their music, as their performance was stellar.
Last night, Mountain Winery in Saratoga played host to a true co-headlining concert, with the two artists – Blondie and Devo – alternating opening and closing duties, date-to-date, as this joint tour gets underway, having kicked off just this week. The show was mixed overall, with Blondie putting on a stellar performance in her opening slot and Devo powering through some technical glitches that diminished their quite obvious intent to provide some serious fan service. Overall, it was a great night of 80s nostalgia for those in attendance. Both artists brought their very unique styles and presence to the stage, and overall it was a great opportunity to experience two very different performances.
Last night was quite an amazing concert event for fans of 80s music. Under the banner of “Lost 80’s Live”, the one night show at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento featured performances by A Flock of Seagulls, When In Rome, The Motels, Bourgeois Tagg, The Escape Club, and Gene Loves Jezebel. In addition to the incredible line up, the event was hosted and DJ’d by the legendary Richard Blade. There was also a meet and greet opportunity made available for those who bought VIP tickets, which I participated in, and it was of course a thrill to meet the artists behind the music. Essential, the show was a sextuple header. [Read more…]
The Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium hosted last night’s concert performance by Tears for Fears. It doesn’t get much better than a set that opens with “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, closes with “Head Over Heels”, and finishes an encore with “Shout”. Some of the most classic songs of the 80s, and the band looks and sounds as great as ever. It was a fantastic evening with an awesome set that spanned their catalog and reflected the real diversity of their work. Truly one of best songwriting teams that helped define the 80s. A fantastic evening and true thrill to see them perform live, and in top form. The songs never sounded better.
As part of their Summer Concert Series, Harvey’s hosted an incredible night of music at their Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena on Sunday, July 22nd. The concert featured Journey as headliner, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, and Loverboy. Truly an amazing line-up particularly for fans of 80s music, as all three had many hits during that decade, though their works of course span multiple decades, and their popularity has been ongoing. It’s hard to summarize what was an amazing show in a couple of lines to open this review, but it was just an unforgettable evening, even for someone like me that regularly goes to many, many concert events. Really, it was one of the best. [Read more…]
Maroon 5 played a special one-off U.S. show last night at the Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s at Stateline, Nevada, as part of their Summer Concert Series. The band will now embark on a broad international tour for their newest album, “Overexposed”. Fronted by Adam Levine, who has further broken into the mainstream with his role as a judge on NBC’s “The Voice” and other activities, the band easily and quickly sold out the outdoor venue in South Lake Tahoe, and the audience at large were enthusiastic in their response to the show. The band put together a great set of old and new hits alike, and the generally flawless performance (save for one bug swallowed by Levine) was high energy and very impressive. The group’s funk and R&B infused pop hits really came alive on stage, and the band’s live renditions of the songs, with a bit of the polish off, came off great.
Last night Modern English played Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their U.S. West Coast tour, which begins and ends in the month of July. For me, their biggest hit, “I Melt With You”, was definitely among the best and most decade defining songs of the 80s – it is really ubiquitous with the vibe and culture and new direction in music that took hold in the early 80s. As the band has a history and habit of disbanding (in ’87 and ’91), this was my first time seeing them live, so it was an extra thrill to see the band featuring all of its original members. Of course, it was a matter of time until that seminal classic song would be played on stage, but the set list leading up to it was a fantastic voyage through their incredible catalog, and they sounded absolutely fantastic (and kudos to Harlow’s for the really nicely tuned sound system). It was both incredible and surreal to see this important band play live, just a few feet in front of me, but definitely worth the wait.
This article features the second in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Robbie Grey, founding member of Modern English. Tomorrow night Modern English will be playing Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their special West Coast U.S. tour. Mr. Grey, lead vocalist for Modern English, took time away from his schedule today to talk to me about the reformation of the original line-up of the band, their current U.S. tour, the UK tour this September, their upcoming new album, the history of the band and their work, and a bit of a discussion about one of the songs that defined the music scene in the early 80s, “I Melt With You”.
Late last night and into this morning at King King in Hollywood, Information Society played a special one off gig in the U.S.; the only scheduled show here for 2012 and their first live performance since 2009. The band leaves for Brazil this morning to play a number of concerts there this month, and those who make those shows will likely be as thrilled to see the band as the fans here in the Los Angeles area. It was a fantastic show and the group sounded as great as they ever have, and it was a thrill to see them perform. It was a great crowd of dedicated music fans and the band obviously had a ton of fun playing in this intimate venue. Epic night. [Read more…]