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Event Reviews

The Church

The Church

The Social, Orlando, Florida • April 23, 2019

Australian alternative rockers The Church rolled into Orlando on the second leg of their 30th Anniversary Starfish Tour and played an intimate set for a packed house at The Social. Their breakout album literally brought the band overnight worldwide success with the help of their dreamy, iconic track, “Under The Milky Way” as well as the harder, Blue Oyster Cult-esque “Reptile,” which features unmistakable opening riffs. Ironically, “Under The Milky Way” ALMOST didn’t make the record, but the band’s manager heard the song and made sure it was included. Thirty years later, the anthemic gem is as fresh as ever.

Peter Koppes

Michelle Wilson
Peter Koppes


Tim Powles

Michelle Wilson
Tim Powles

Founding member and frontman, Steve Kilbey, original guitarist Peter Koppes, long-time drummer Tim Powles, guitarist Ian Haug and multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Cain packed in two high-energy sets of music and a two-song encore. The hour-long first set from 8-9pm consisted of Starfish in its entirety, followed by a short intermission and then a healthy mixture of career-spanning jewels. Kilbey’s dry wit and knack for storytelling kept fans laughing throughout the evening. The venue’s advertising screens were directly opposite the stage, and Kilbey joked that he never thought in 2019 he would be playing a gig in Orlando and seeing himself on the screen with “a really botched attempt at dyeing [his] eyebrows,” and asked if it really had to be on? Sure enough, they turned off the screens and he thanked them.

Ian Haug

Michelle Wilson
Ian Haug

Listening to Starfish from beginning to end was like taking a trip back in time. The opening one-two punch of “Destination”/”Under The Milky Way” thrilled the crowd as did “Lost,” “Spark,” (a real highlight) “Antenna” and “Reptile.” “Ladies and gentlemen, in 1986 we were doing a soundcheck in Texas…a stormy afternoon when Peter Koppes came up with this little riff.” That “little riff” was the intro to “North, South, East and West.” Ending the first set with the album closer, “Hotel Womb,” the band from down under proved that their unique sound still translates into an amazing live performance all these years later.

Peter Koppes and Jeffrey Cain

Michelle Wilson
Peter Koppes and Jeffrey Cain

Following a twenty-minute respite backstage, the band returned at 9:20pm for another blistering one-hour set of catalog nuggets covering eight albums and one EP. Opening with “Anaesthesia” (Holgram of Baal, 1998) and closing with “Tantalized” (Heyday, 1985), the band covered a rich mixture of music. Offering “Toy Head” (Further/Deeper, 2014) and “Sealine” (Forget Yourself, 2003) back to back, Kilbey threw in band intros laced with humor in between the two songs. Other highlights included “Metropolis” (Gold Afternoon Fix, 1990), “Another Century” (ManWomanLifeDeathInfinity, 2017), “Constant In Opal” (Persia, 1984 EP), “Day 5” (Uninvited, Like The Clouds, 2005), and “Ripple” (Priest=Aura, 1992).

Steve Kilbey

Michelle Wilson
Steve Kilbey

After a brief exit the band took the stage once again to heartfelt applause and cheers, and Kilbey addressed the house. “A long, long time ago in another universe, we were just another scruffy band in Sydney playing to five people. And then we had this song…was on TV and then the next week we had 900 people – hooray! And we’re gonna play that song for you right now.” That song was none other than “The Unguarded Moment,” a smash hit for the then-up-and-coming band off their debut record, Of Skins and Heart (1981).

“Okay ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for having us. It’s very appropriate we leave you with our last song. It is indeed about Florida,” said Kilbey, and they closed it out with “Miami.”

Michelle Wilson


Michelle Wilson

It’s always a special evening when a band plays up close and personal at a small venue. For fans of The Church, it could not have been more perfect to enjoy one of Australia’s Paisley Underground pioneers. The packed venue was a true testament to just how beloved this band still is. As they wrap up this second leg of their anniversary tour of Starfish, one can only hope that a new release will be somewhere down the horizon.

Check out the full gallery of photos from Rock Legends Photographers.

rocklegendsphotographers.smugmug.com/ROCK-CONCERT-PHOTOS/THE-CHURCH-at-The-Social-Orlando-FL-4-23-19

www.thechurchband.net

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Event Reviews

Dance Gavin Dance

Dance Gavin Dance

with Don Broco, Hail the Sun, Covet, and Thousand Below

House of Blues; Orlando, FL • April 28, 2019

The Artificial Selection Tour had finally made its way to Orlando and to say I was excited would be an understatement. This tour had such a stacked line-up that I attended it in Houston earlier this month. The House of Blues was packed to the brim with fans, and it was prevalent the show sold out. Orlando’s crowd definitely beat Houston’s, in my opinion.

Thousand Below

Vanna Porter
Thousand Below

California post-hardcore band, Thousand Below opened the show. A crowd favorite of theirs was “No Place Like You”, everyone in the audience whipped out their phone flashlights and swayed back and forth.

Covet

Vanna Porter
Covet

“Adventure rock” band, Covet rocked the crowd with their boppy instrumentals soon after. Their set was so hypnotic, the tappy guitar parts would put you in a trance. It was refreshing to see an instrumental band play a bill like this. A little pit broke out during “shibuya”, which was surprising due to the nature of Covet’s songs.

Hail The Sun

Vanna Porter
Hail The Sun

Vanna Porter


Vanna Porter

I could feel the crowd buzzing as Hail The Sun set up behind the House Of Blues curtains. Once they hit the stage playing “Black Serotonin” off of their sophomore studio album, Wake, the energy in the room immediately spiked. It felt like most of the audience knew all the words. As “Burn Nice and Slow (The Formative Years)” blared through the venue, crowd surfers popped up left and right. During “The ‘Fun’ In Dysfunction” vocalist, Donovan Melero jumped into the crowd to crowd surf. I have seen this band over 5 times in the last couple of years, and not once have I seen Donovan do that.

Don Broco

Vanna Porter
Don Broco

Vanna Porter


“donbroco_apr19_3”

Next were British rock band, Don Broco. They are one of the most entertaining bands to see live. Don Broco has taken the world by storm and are absolutely huge in England. I can see them blowing up here in the US after this tour is over. They always steal the show every time I see them. Vocalist Rob Damiani, directed the crowd to circle pit during “Stay Ignorant”. They also played their latest single “Half Man Half God”. It easily was my favorite song they played that night. During their last song, “Pretty” the crowd turned into a real dance party and there was a massive wall of death.

Dance Gavin Dance

Vanna Porter
Dance Gavin Dance

Vanna Porter


Vanna Porter

Finally, Dance Gavin Dance took the stage. Opening with “Son Of Robot” off their latest release Artificial Selection. It sounded like the whole audience was shouting the lyrics. Vocalist, Tilian Pearson, had some breathtaking dance moves. He really knows how to groove. Dance Gavin Dance are the type of band everyone knows at least one song by them. My absolute favorite of the night was when they played an oldie “Uneasy Hearts Weigh the Most”. Ending the night with “Evaporate” as an encore, the crowd screamed the lyrics as if their life depended on it.

dancegavindanceband.com

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Event Reviews

Collective Soul

Collective Soul

Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, Florida • April 19, 2019

Collective Soul is one of the most underrated bands to emerge from the 1990s. The fact that they are STILL doing it, and doing it smashingly, is a testament to just how formidable they truly are. Fresh off the Jon Bon Jovi “Runaway to Paradise” rock cruise on the Norwegian Jade out of Miami, the band kicked off this leg of their tour in Clearwater at the fabulous Capitol Theatre. There wasn’t a seat to be had at the sold-out event and the crowd stood for the entire show, proving that these guys STILL seriously know how to rock. When I say that there wasn’t a seat to be had, I mean it. Our seats were high-back chairs smack up against the soundboard. We loved every minute of it.

Michelle Wilson


Michelle Wilson

At 8:10pm, the lights dimmed and Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ “Pump It Up” got everyone on their feet dancing, followed by the entrance of founding member and lead singer, Ed Roland (opting now to be known as E Roland), who headed straight for the far side of the stage to play keyboards. Along with Roland’s brother, guitarist Dean Roland as well as bassist Will Turpin, the three original members were joined by guitarist Jesse Triplett and drummer Johnny Rabb.

Michelle Wilson

Opening with “Observation of Thoughts” (also referred to as “Observation of Thought”), a new track off the band’s forthcoming release, Blood (June 21), the band immediately kicked it into high gear and set the tone for the evening. Several cuts from the unreleased record have been in the set rotation for many months now (six of them on this show’s set list), meshing seamlessly with the group’s established catalog. They are still delivering the riff-heavy intros and catchy hooks that established them as one of the premier post-grunge bands, and they continue to thrive.

Michelle Wilson

Frontman Roland had a wonderfully easy rapport with the crowd and was full of hilarious one-liners, such as “As you can tell I grew up on Elvis and Pepé Le Pew.” and “The life of a rock star. Where do you go? SeaWorld.” But he was serious about thanking the crowd. He thanked us for our patience in listening to the new music. “We gotta do this. We’re gonna play a couple of new tunes. By the way, you’re gonna fucking love ’em!” One of those new tunes was “A Good Place To Start,” which has major echoes of Cat Stevens. Also on tap from the new effort were “Now’s The Time,” “Over Me,” “Crushed” and the first single, “Right As Rain.”

Michelle Wilson

But new material wasn’t the only choice on the menu. Throwing it back to Dosage (1999), the boys dug deep and pulled out “Tremble For My Beloved.” “This is one we put back in the set list for this run. Hopefully I remember it,” Roland teased. They also did a killer version of “Heavy” and a very special performance of “Needs” off the same record during the main set. Roland brought up two fans who are also cancer survivors. He spoke at length about the women, pointing out that one had attended 55 Collective Soul shows. Following a false start, Roland and company restarted and pulled off a heart-wrenching execution of “Needs” as both ladies held the lyric sheets for Roland and even sang a bit. “My wife and brother said we need to play it. I’m like, fuck, man,” admitted Roland. As he played acoustic guitar and sang, standing between these two brave fighters at the mic, he joked “How cool am I right now?” There were lots of hugs, kisses, tears, and cheers, and it was just the thrill of a lifetime for these two diehards and a very tender moment indeed. “Thank you guys for letting me do this and once again, FUCK CANCER!” It’s defining moments such as this that endear this band to its long-standing fan base.

Michelle Wilson

Covering a wide range of their discography, the crowd also was treated to “Why Pt. 2,” “Better Now,” “Precious Declaration” and “AYTA (Are You The Answer?).” Of course, no Collective Soul show would be complete without the heavy hitters: “Shine,” “December,” “The World I Know” and “Gel.”

“I want to thank you for allowing us to live a dream for 25 years and releasing our tenth record. Thanks for allowing us to feel like family and friends this evening. We love this venue!” shared Roland sincerely.

Michelle Wilson

Closing it out with “Where The River Flows” and “Run,” the band members all moved to the front of the stage, kidding around with each other, waving, fist-bumping with fans and smiling the genuine smiles of a group of men who truly love what they do and who also love each other, but who also appreciate their fans. As Roland continued to play acoustic guitar and the adoring crowd belted out the chorus to “Run,” the band took their leave with another spectacular show in the books.

Michelle Wilson

Collective Soul continues to tour and I highly recommend that you catch their show if it comes nearby and grab their new record, Blood, which drops on June 21. It will be some of the best money you ever spend.

Check out the full gallery of photos from Rock Legends Photographers.

rocklegendsphotographers.smugmug.com/ROCK-CONCERT-PHOTOS/COLLECTIVE-SOUL-Capitol-Theatre-Clearwater-FL-4-19-19

www.collectivesoul.com

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Event Reviews

An Evening with Lou Barlow

An Evening with Lou Barlow

Cavalcade, Fruita, Colorado • Friday, March 1 2019

It seems Lou Barlow was as surprised as I was to find out Lou Barlow was playing in Fruita, a small agricultural town on the trailing end of Western Colorado’s Grand Valley, literally halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City. Cavalcade is a cozy performance arts venue in downtown Fruita, the kind that offers a reasonably-priced concession stand instead of a bar. Decorated with tapestries and olde-tyme junque hanging on the walls, illuminated by a variety of light sources, and filled with a few rows of plastic folding chairs (MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY: 49 reads the placard by the exit), it has a distinct and intimate personality, and made a perfect match for the type of entertainment ahead.

As the audience filed into the room, Barlow himself was busy on the stage, doing his own roadie work. This batch of intimate shows was running fast and light, with Barlow, a guitar, and a couple baritone ukuleles on the stage and a non-performing Murph (better known for drumming for one of Barlow’s bands, Dinosaur Jr.) helping with the driving and such. Murph sat a few seats away from me, indistinguishable from the rest of the Gen X audience until called out from the stage by Barlow.

photo by Julius C. Lacking

Barlow’s shaggy brown age-indeterminate look stands in stark contrast to sworn frenemy J Mascis’ white-haired immortal wizard appearance. On stage, Barlow’s face is a closely-guarded secret, hidden behind a curtain of locks as he looks down at his instrument or relates some piece of information about the song he’s about to play. If you were brought up on Addams Family reruns, you would be reminded of Cousin Itt. It’s a strange shyness that contradicts, or maybe enables, his voluble on-stage banter.

photo by Julius C. Lacking

The evening promised songs spanning a 35-year career, performed without a set list and by request, and accompanied by rambling explanation, and it truly delivered. Many of the touchpoints were performed, and there were some surprising requests from the audience. Almost every song got some form of extended introduction, noting its origin, or a related anecdote, or technical notes only another musician would appreciate.

Barlow opened the evening with a cover of the Palace Brothers’ “Riding”, explaining it was a good way for him to warm up his voice as well. The audience got the full scoop on the story behind “Ballad of Day Kitty” (from his solo album Emoh) before its performance. The audience got in a good set of requests (Sebadoh’s “On Fire”, “Skull”, “Rebound”, Folk Implosion’s “Mechanical Man”, and Dinosaur Jr.’s “Back To Your Heart”) before closing the evening with “Brand New Love”. Along the way, we also got the Big Hit, “Natural One,” delivered in a satisfactory minimalist rendition, and a wonderful anecdote involving Barlow’s future wife and a Sebadoh song on a mixtape that you’ll have to ask for yourself the next time he’s near your town.

Special thanks to Blake Bickham for his help with this review

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Event Reviews

Peter Murphy: 40 Years of Bauhaus

Peter Murphy: 40 Years of Bauhaus

with David J, Vinsantos, and Desert Mountain Tribe

The Oriental, Denver, Colorado • Tuesday, February 29, 2019

The challenging of my expectations began before I even made it through security.

Waiting in line at Denver’s Oriental Theater, the patrons who had come to see Bauhaus’ uninterrupted performance of In the Flat Field lined the sidewalk. In a crowd of post-punk fans celebrating a formative album turning 40, I expected signs of tired rebellion, rehearsed apathy, and the jaded defensiveness of “I-didn’t-sell-out,-I-bought-in” ennui.

Then I heard the clanging of bells.

Two performers in lace corsets and velvet capes followed in a languid trod behind a third. All of them were dressed head to toe in black, with gowns of taffeta and silk. They rang their bells slowly, like town criers with bad news.

“This is your warning,” the lead performer called to the back of the line sharply. “The show is starting in five minutes, so get your asses inside. If you stop to get a drink, you’ll be late. Move it!” I later found out his name was Vinsantos, and the associates to his left and right were local Denver drag witches, named Heavenly Powers and Noveli respectively.

As promised, once I was ushered in with the crowd, largely adorned with studded black leather, intricate tattoos, and immaculate pointed eyeliner, opening act Vinsantos had already begun the show. Flanked by the drag witches, he played a jangly piano that recalled the ragtime of the Old West with a heavy reverb on the vocals that echoed over the crowd. It was the kind of vaudevillian performance that a seasoned performer like Peter Murphy knows will grab a crowd early.

photo by Will Whalen

After handing off a rose to a favored audience member, and a heartfelt dedication to his late grandmother, Vinsantos departed, and Desert Mountain Tribe took the stage. DMT was not just a contrast, but a triangulation, another branch of the family from Bauhaus’ sound. Where the opening act showcased lyrics and performance, DMT communicated in hypnotic bass, wailing guitar, and chest-rattling drums. The unspoken message of this London-based band was “feel this.”

The long droning vocals of frontman Jonty Balls brought the group into focus, but they remained as a band outside time: elements of ’80s echoing delay, the grunge grit guitar riffs hearkening to the ’90s, and a thrumming, trance frequency of psychedelic rock revival, at once being both post-2000 and pre-1970. The sound of a well-crafted song can be identified in any era, an opinion soon capitalized upon when the Oriental Theater was commanded by Peter Murphy.

As promised, the first acidic guitar notes signaled the opening song, “Double Dare” and Murphy, reunited with Bauhaus alum David J on bass, played their formative album, In the Flat Field from beginning to end. When they reached the song “God in an Alcove,” Murphy took center stage, holding up a gold crown with both hands with the verses floating through the air “He’s a God, a God / Now I am silly, now I am silly.” The performance was delivered with trademark sardonic anger and a “you-should-have-listened-when-we-told-you-about-the-bastards-back-then” attitude, but most surprising was the energy level for Murphy during this, the 74th stop on his tour since it began in October.

Murphy’s raspy, buzzsaw bellow rolled out over the plinking synth of “Nerves,” creating an intentional unease that stilled the voices in the audience, and signaled the end of the album. The four then launched into the Bauhaus catalog with “The Sky’s Gone Out.” Murphy, supported by David J’s bass line, insisted he was going into hell again. During a searing hot drum solo by Marc Slutsky, Murphy loomed over Slutsky’s shoulder from behind the kit, melodica in hand, and with an air of glamorous foreboding. The rusty guitar buzz of Mark Gemini Thwaite cut through the thumping bass drum, and Murphy’s echoey vibrato began belting out again. The crowd knew the lyrics to “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as “undead, undead. undead,” but with a fistful of rose petals, and a flourished toss to the crowd, the lyrics vocalized as “I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead,” underscoring the dirge and darkness of the message.

photo by Will Whalen

During “She’s in Parties,” Murphy began leading a chant to the audience, a call-and-response designed to sound vaguely like a Catholic mass in the original Latin. The spacey, plucky slices of guitar notes wrapped with the amplified melodica in Murphy’s hand like roses in barbed wire. Flowing guitar gave way to the intro for “A Passion of Lovers,” where Murphy, again behind the drum kit, began playing an electric pad. As a last promise, David J and Slutsky held a driving beat for Thwaite to careen over the top of with wailing solo riffs, and Murphy repeated the vow of Bauhaus’ hit song “Adrenalin”: that like many of the songs in the Bauhaus’ extensive catalog, they will “put you through your paces.”

The evening closed out with an encore, punctuated by a rendition of “Ziggy Stardust,” and the stage closed with David J, Marc Slutsky, and Mark Gemini Thwaite playing as Murphy made his exit.

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Event Reviews

A Bowie Celebration – The David Bowie Alumni Tour

A Bowie Celebration – The David Bowie Alumni Tour

with Earl Slick, Charlie Sexton, Bernard Fowler, Cory Glover, Carmine Rojas and guests

Capitol Theatre; Clearwater, Florida • March 17, 2019

The David Bowie Alumni Tour rolled into Clearwater, Florida and stopped at the beautiful Capitol Theatre, an intimate venue not far from the ocean. The seasoned Bowie band members performed their show for a packed house on this particular evening. What these musicians offer is SO much more than a “tribute” show – several of them were members of various incarnations of Bowie’s backing bands at one time or another. Who better to pay homage to Bowie’s intellect, innovation and vision than members of his collective bands?

Mike Garson and Bernard Fowler

Michelle Wilson
Mike Garson and Bernard Fowler

On this leg of the tour, musicians included pianist Mike Garson, Bowie’s longest-standing band member, guitarists Earl Slick and Charlie Sexton, bassist Carmine Rojas, and vocalists Bernard Fowler (The Rolling Stones) and Cory Glover (Living Colour, Galactic). Also joining the lineup and keeping it a real family affair were drummer Lee John, percussionist/backup vocalist Imani Elijah, and backup vocalist Naia Kete. John is Slick’s son, while Kete is engaged to John and Elijah is Kete’s brother.

Taking the dimly lit stage at 7:40pm, Garson briefly chatted with the audience followed by the appearance of Fowler, and the two offered a stirring rendition of “Bring Me The Disco King,” a jazz-infused deep cut from the vast Bowie catalog off Reality (2003). Fowler’s vocal range is absolutely amazing and it was a joy to hear him sing Bowie’s material with Garson’s piano accompaniment. After the rest of the band settled in, Fowler continued on lead vocals with “Rebel Rebel,” “Moonage Daydream” and “Fame.”

Earl Slick

Michelle Wilson
Earl Slick

Bernard Fowler, Lee John, Cory Glover, Earl Slick and Carmine Rojas

Michelle Wilson
Bernard Fowler, Lee John, Cory Glover, Earl Slick and Carmine Rojas

Fowler, Glover and Sexton shared lead vocals throughout the evening, including double lead vocals. The diversity of the three singers’ styles and sounds created a wonderful vehicle for Bowie’s vision. Glover nailed “Young Americans,” “Changes” and “Ashes To Ashes,” while Sexton, whose voice is so eerily similar to Bowie’s that you could close your eyes and “almost” think it WAS Bowie, conquered “Space Oddity” and “Lazarus,” a cut off Bowie’s final record, Blackstar (2016). Sexton and Slick spent the entire show trading licks and having a ball.

Charlie Sexton and Corey Glover

Michelle Wilson
Charlie Sexton and Corey Glover

Charlie Sexton and Earl Slick

Michelle Wilson
Charlie Sexton and Earl Slick

Fowler returned with brilliant versions of “Cracked Actor,” “Diamond Dogs” and “Sweet Thing” followed by a blistering take on “I’m Afraid Of Americans” with Glover on dual lead vocals. The two also paired up to absolutely slay “Under Pressure,” with Glover positively nailing the Freddie Mercury falsettos.

Cory Glover, Earl Slick and Lee John on drums

Michelle Wilson
Cory Glover, Earl Slick and Lee John on drums

Earl Slick, Charlie Sexton and Lee John on drums

Michelle Wilson
Earl Slick, Charlie Sexton and Lee John on drums

At one point Garson kidded that he had played on thousands of records but that he gets emails every day about “this one f-cking song” – that song, of course, is “Aladdin Sane.” Garson’s famous solo on the title track of the 1973 Bowie record is still a fan favorite, and he told the crowd that he would be doing a different interpretation of it on this night. After he finished and received a standing ovation, he thanked the crowd for listening to all of those notes and joked once again that he gets a dollar a note. He was charming and personable, and the fans loved it. Glover’s vocals were equally enticing on “Aladdin Sane.”

The David Bowie Alumni Tour

Michelle Wilson
The David Bowie Alumni Tour

Rounding out the main part of the set with “Let’s Dance” (Sexton) followed by “Suffragette City” and “All The Young Dudes” (Sexton and Glover) complete with an audience sing-along, the two hours were over in an instant. The two-song encore featured Fowler and Garson on the poignant “Life On Mars,” during which the full house made not a single sound and after which another standing ovation was deservedly given. The only possible song that could end such a stirring evening had to be “Heroes,” and so it was. Somewhere up there Bowie was no doubt smiling down, basking in the glory of his ongoing legacy.

Check out the full gallery of photos from Rock Legends Photographers.

rocklegendsphotographers.smugmug.com/ROCK-CONCERT-PHOTOS/BOWIE-CELEBRATION-Clearwater-FL-3-17-19

www.abowiecelebration.com

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Event Reviews

The Talbott Brothers

The Talbott Brothers

CSPS Hall Cedar Rapids; Iowa • 02/20/2019

The Talbott Brothers concert on Feburary 20th took place at the restored landmark, CSPS Hall, in the NewBo district of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The venue has been a cultural center for artists and musicians since 1890 and was the perfect venue for The Talbot Brothers second visit. Back by both popular demand, and their own affinity for the people and atmosphere, they put on a fantastic show

Nebraska born and raised brothers, Nick and Tyler, are not only talented musicians and songwriters but also very humble and genuine people. Our local record shop, The Analog Vault, which is located on the first floor of CSPS hall, hosted a 45 minute meet and greet with the brothers directly before the show. And while they arrived in Cedar Rapids to sub-zero temperatures outside, inside they were greeted with warm affection and obliged pictures, signed autographs, and spent time with each person before performing a quick song and heading upstairs to start the show.

Nick Talbott

Jeremy Glazier
Nick Talbott

They started the show with Tyler on mandolin, Nick on guitar, and ran through “Running Man” from the 2015 album Places, “Free As a Bird” from the first album The Road, and “We Got Love” from the 2016 album Gray. Between songs, they genuinely connect with the audience and bring you along with their musical storytelling. You feel that each song is a tangible, important piece of their lives, and in return for such honesty, the audience stays completely hushed until the end of each song.

They performed a total of 18 tracks that span all 3 albums as well as 4 covers. They did Neil Young’s “Old Man”, Bill Withers “Ain’t no Sunshine”, “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, and an extremely tastefully done version of the co-written Greg Allman/Kim Payne song “Midnight Rider”. 3 of the 18 were new songs, not yet out on any album, named “Mannequin”, “Without a Doubt”, and “Family”.

Tyler Talbott

Jeremy Glazier
Tyler Talbott

The duo were set up in front of the main stage on a raised platform that put them within feet of the audience and provided a very intimate show. Before the last song of the evening they step away from the microphones, stand directly in the audience, and play what they call a very personal song in the aforementioned “Family”. That song is like their coat of arms or family crest and was a beautiful way to end a great night of music with The Talbott Brothers.

They will be back out west touring multiple dates in both California and Arizona with stops in Maryland and Missouri in June. I believe in these brothers so much that I’ve personally contacted friends and family in Colorado, California, and Arizona to catch shows. Consider this my personal invitation to see some great music and while you’re there, grab some cd’s and meet a couple of true gentlemen.

www.thetalbottbrothers.com

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Event Reviews

Boo Ray

Boo Ray

Raccoon Motel; Davenport, Iowa • 2/1/2019

Since befriending Boo Ray over a year ago and asking him to come to Iowa, Iowa is finally getting a damn taste of what Boo Ray and his amazing band bring to the table. He’s out promoting the new album Tennessee Alabama Fireworks and hitting as many venues as he can pack in to spread the word. Luckily for us, the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel in Davenport, Iowa was on the list and he and the band treated us to his brand of country and rock and roll.

Jeremy Glazier

The new album continues with more life stories of the traveling troubadour and while his deep southern roots are always present, he’s music is more eclectic than any one category, genre, or geographic location. The opening song, “A tune you can whistle”, mentions Tennessee Alabama Fireworks in the lyrics and is a reference to a huge road sign, a “southern gothic effigy” as Boo Ray describes in the liner notes, that he passed numerous times on his various road trips. Produced and mixed by his buddy Noah Shain at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville, this team is really firing on all cylinders and has again put out a classic Boo Ray album.

“Don’t look back” and “Honky Tonk Dream” both made this album and are 2 of the first Boo Ray songs I became aware of through his One Mic Series videos with legendary producer, John Cuniberti. Both songs have that genuine 70’s honky tonk feel and tell great stories in typical Boo Ray fashion. A couple other ballads are “She Wrote the Song” and Outrun the Wind”, which both feel like he’s singing directly to the muse that inspires him. His songs are born of real life experience and that honesty plays like another character in his music.

Boo Ray at Raccoon Motel

Jeremy Glazier
Boo Ray at Raccoon Motel

“Gone back down to Georgia” has the addition of some great horns and is easy to see why it was picked as one of the singles before the albums February 15th release. Boo Ray’s love of Jerry Reed’s fast paced, double guitar leads show up a number of places on the album as well as his signature slide playing, and pedal steel to give it some country roots. With a Boo Ray album you get everything from heart string pulling love songs and heart break, to honky tonk rock and roll.

Back at the Raccoon Motel, Boo Ray and band mates Cooper Heffley on Drums, Twan Haugen on Bass, and Nick Champeau sharing guitar parts with Boo Ray, had on all the clothes that they brought with them as they weren’t expecting the below zero temperatures that were experience. It didn’t deter them from firing with both barrels and performed “20 Questions” and “Skin and Ink” from the new album, and also treated us to crowd favorites “Bad News Travels Fast”, “Redneck Rock and Roll” and a nice rendition of “Willin” by Lowell George as part of the nights 16 song set list. The band is exceptionally tight and Boo Ray and Nick do an excellent job handling dual leads that really add a ton of musicianship to the music.

Jeremy Glazier and Boo Ray at Raccoon Motel

Jeremy Glazier
Jeremy Glazier and Boo Ray at Raccoon Motel

The unique venue, with exceptionally friendly staff and atmosphere in droves, only holds around 60 people but the almost capacity crowd was definitely there to see the band and made the guys feel welcome. Boo Ray and the band hung around and talked with fans and genuinely connected with those of us brave enough to face the weather and support the band. Tennessee Alabama Fireworks is available now online and from his website and I recommend grabbing the album and sinking your teeth into another great Boo Ray album.

booraymusic.com

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Event Reviews

The Magpie Salute

The Magpie Salute

Capitol Theatre; Clearwater, Florida and The Plaza Live, Orlando, Florida • February 9 and 10, 2019

Let’s just get this out of the way – The Magpie Salute is one of my absolute favorite bands on today’s music scene. Sometimes, it seems bad things happen for good reasons, and the disbanding of The Black Crowes in early 2015 may just have been one of those things. Rich Robinson wasted no time and moved quickly forward to create a band on his own terms. That band became The Magpie Salute, and even though the band’s lineup has streamlined to six members from ten, there is no mistaking the ever-present huge sound that still exists. In addition to Robinson, band members include guitarist Marc Ford and bassist Sven Pipien, both original members of The Black Crowes, as well as drummer Joe Magistro, keyboardist Matt Slocum and lead singer John Hogg. After touring throughout the United States, Europe and even Japan in support of their outstanding freshman studio release, High Water I, the group rounded out this run with a series of Florida dates culminating in a gig on Rock Legends Cruise VII. I was lucky enough to attend two of these Florida shows, and my only regret is that I couldn’t attend all of them.

Sven Pipien and Rich Robinson

Michelle Wilson
Sven Pipien and Rich Robinson


Marc Ford and Sven Pipien

Michelle Wilson
Marc Ford and Sven Pipien

Both two-hour, non-encore shows featured several cuts off High Water I interspersed with material from The Black Crowes catalog, individual side projects and various covers. Fans are well aware that the set list differs each night, which creates eager anticipation throughout the crowd. Both evenings included a midway acoustic set that featured Robinson, Ford and Hogg on such gems as “Christine’s Tune (Devil In Disguise)” (Gram Parsons/Chris Hillman/The Flying Burrito Brothers), “Girl From The North Country” (Bob Dylan) and “Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz” (featuring only Robinson and Ford) off The Black Crowes’ Amorica. The acoustic trio also performed a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “You Found Me” off the new release, and Hogg’s vocals have never sounded better. His easy rapport with the crowd kept everyone laughing.

John Hogg

Michelle Wilson
John Hogg


Joe Magistro

Michelle Wilson
Joe Magistro

Other standout full band covers included “Rollin’ Over” (Steve Marriott/Ronnie Lane/Small Faces), “All Shook Up” (Otis Blackwell/Elvis Presley/The Jeff Beck Group), “Every Picture Tells A Story” (Rod Stewart/Ronnie Wood) and “What Goes On” (Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground). These were all fabulous, but there were two that kicked it up just a notch more. War’s “War Drums,” with Slocum’s intense keyboards and Robinson’s killer solo, even elicited a rare grin from Robinson himself. But the real highlight of the covers for me personally was “Laila, Part II” from the German progressive rockers, Agitation Free. With its unmistakable homage to The Allman Brothers Band, The Magpie Salute’s fourteen-minute opus complete with incendiary guitar solos was a thing of sheer aural beauty indeed.

Matt Slocum

Michelle Wilson
Matt Slocum

Digging deep into The Black Crowes vault, the crowd was treated to “What Is Home,” “Lay It All On Me,” “Been A Long Time (Waiting On Love),” “Halfway To Everywhere,” and “Hotel Illness” in Clearwater, while the Orlando show offered “Miracle To Me,” “Tied Up And Swallowed,” “Paint An Eight,” “She Gave Good Sunflower,” and “My Morning Song” in addition to the aforementioned “Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz.”

“Send Me An Omen,” “For The Wind” and “Mary The Gypsy” off the new record really rocked the crowd as did Hookah Brown’s “Omission” (Robinson/Hogg). Ford’s brilliant “Smoke Signals” and “Shalimar Dreams” were also thrown into the mix. The Orlando fans got a possible sample off the forthcoming release, Highwater II, with the soulful cut, “I’m Only Lonely.”

John Hogg

Michelle Wilson
John Hogg

As more people begin to realize exactly who this band is and how amazing the players are, the fan base surely will continue to grow. There is a very loyal following and it was great to meet so many of those friends at these shows. I feel blessed to see this band in intimate venues, but I know they are destined for larger ones. Give High Water I a listen if you haven’t already, and take advantage of attending a show if the band comes through your area.

Check out both sets of photos from Rock Legends Photographers.

rocklegendsphotographers.smugmug.com/ROCK-CONCERT-PHOTOS/Tms

rocklegendsphotographers.smugmug.com/ROCK-CONCERT-PHOTOS/TMS-The-Plaza-Live-2-10-19

themagpiesalute.com

Categories
Event Reviews

David Crosby & Friends

David Crosby & Friends

Paramount Theater, Cedar Rapids, Iowa • 11/24/2018

The Paramount Theater in Cedar Rapids, Iowa hosted David Crosby and friends to a very full crowd of both younger and older fans alike. The friends included Michael League on guitar, Michelle Willis on Keys, and Becca Stevens on guitar and vocals. They are on tour to promote their new album collaboration, Here If You Listen.

The music itself was very David Crosby and an interesting mix of his signature harmonies, heart-felt lyrics, and the additional elements of his recruited help. Becca stated that they raided Mr Crosby’s lyric note books going back to the ’70s to compose some of the music for the new album. Of the 15 songs they performed, 4 came from the new album: “Vagrant of Venice”, “Other Half Rule”, “Glory”, and “Janet”.

Jeremy Glazier

The remaining 11 songs were a good mix of new songs and ones that spanned through out Mr. Crosby’s productive career. He stated at the beginning of the show that they would play a couple songs that everyone would know and he wasn’t wrong. While I’m more familiar with his Crosby, Stills, and Nash work before 1977, the only 3 songs that I, or the casual fan may recognize were “Guinevere”, “Woodstock”, and “Ohio”.

While I did enjoy the new music, the true highlight of the night was Mr. Crosby taking a moment before preforming solo, to explain the story and deeper meaning behind his song “Laughing”. As most things in Mr. Crosby’s life, it appears that one simple gesture can change the history of the world. It seems that besides his obvious musical contributions, the man on stage was the precipice for a larger musical inspiration than I could have imagined.

On their first trip to England, The Byrds were nervous about running into The Beatles, as they were huge fans. Since they were playing nothing but dive bar gigs, they didn’t think it would be a problem. Mr. Crosby explains, “On the third one of those I look out through the smoke and and there’s John Lennon and I think to myself, oh shit, not here…and he’s talking to Jagger, they were all there… McCartney drove me home that night and we laughed all the way.” He pauses briefly, recalling a moment, and then continues.

Jeremy Glazier

“I liked George…good guy all around…even then he was going to high ground…fun to be herbally enhanced with. A thing happened that was weird, just before I left America I had been turned on to an Indian musician named Ravi Shankar…fantastic musician…insanely good and beautiful…so I had this record in my suitcase. I’d just gotten it and I gave it to George, which had repercussions. It turned out he liked Indian music.”

“The Indian music lead him eventually to India, and to a teacher that he was talking to me about, that he’s pretty wise and got a glimpse of the truth. Okay, I’m very skeptical almost cynical about that shit…and I wanted to say that to him…to take it with the grain of salt…and I was chicken…it’s George. So there’s a thing that I do when I wanna do something like that and I can’t, I write a song…so I wrote this song, a pretty simple song.” With that he preforms his song “Laughing”.

Jeremy Glazier

With David Crosby and Friends you get pieces of where he’s been, what he’s done, and how he perceives the future. He’ll not only speak his mind, but also ask you through his lyrics, to question your mind as well. If you listen, his message is still coming through as loud and as clear as it always has and I don’t think he plans on backing down any time soon.

davidcrosby.com