Oh what a show it was last week at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel. Having seen Robert Randolph perform numerous times, I knew what I was getting into but this show was by far the best I’ve been too, it was flat out awesome. See below or click HERE for my review which appears in the September 27 issue of Vegas SEVEN.
I can sum my Lollapalooza experience up quite easy: an incredible time with great friends.
Any chance I get to return to the city of my birth I’m excited but add in a music festival with 100,000 people in Grant Park and you crank it up to 11. This year I approached Lolla a bit different and wasn’t running from show to show. I took the pace down a little and really stepped back to enjoy it a bit more. I was late to some shows which was unfortunate but at the end of the three days I was still stoked about who I saw and just wonder what may have happened if the Saturday afternoon storm evacuation didn’t cancel acts like Alabama Shakes, The Temper Trap, B.o.B. and the band I was most hoping to see, The Dunwells. Props to C3 Presents for acting swiftly to recover and push back start times, reschedule bands like fun., Chairlift, Empires, etc. C3 also did an incredible job of scheduling overall forcing the crowd to pick and choose like I’ve never seen. When you are looking at a mile walk from the Bud Light Stage to the Red Bull Stage, it’s just not really possible to get everywhere you want to be unless you are a marathon sprinter.
A breakdown of who I saw each day:
Friday: O Rappa, Michael Kiwanuka, The Black Angels, The War On Drugs, Metric, Die Antwoord, Passion Pit, Black Sabbath, The Black Keys
Saturday: Of Monsters and Men (off the grounds), fun., The Weeknd, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sunday: Outasight, The Devil Makes Three, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Trampled by Turtles, Gary Clark Jr., The Gaslight Anthem, Of Monsters and Men, Florence + The Machine, Miike Snow, Jack White
Headliners: I have to be honest, you shouldn’t have gone to Lollapalooza just for the headliners. Talented musicians indeed (and ones I like) but you can’t compare The Black Keys, Black Sabbath, Avicii, Justice, Jack White and Red Hot Chili Peppers to last year’s of Coldplay, Muse, My Morning Jacket, Eminem, Foo Fighters and Deadmau5.
My First Show: O Rappa
My Final Show: Technically Jack White but essentially I caught all four final acts bumping to Kaskade, hearing Childish Gambino drop “Heartbeat” and hearing one of my favorite Justice songs, “On’n’On.”
My Moment of Joy: Seeing the rambunctious overfilled crowd on hand for Of Monsters and Men Sunday night time slot.
My Favorite Show: Didn’t actually happen at Lollapalooza. Off-site Of Monsters and Men show on the rooftop of a condo tower for Gilt City’s ‘Better Than Backstage’ party. Thanks to my friend Nicole for making it happen! Seriously one of the top three bands I was dying to see at the festival and here I am just inches away as they rocked out. A tip of the hat to an amazing group of musicians doing big things.
Best Overall Show: Die Antwoord, my second time seeing them and this was just flat out awesome. They had the crowd mesmerized and loving every moment of this high energy set.
Best Bud Light Stage Show: For me, Passion Pit – flat out great performance but easily it was Florence + The Machine, she had at least half the festival goers on hand to hear that incredible voice. I remember the first time I saw her was in a small tent at Bonnaroo and she owned Lollapalooza. Say hello to next year’s festival circuit headliner.
Best Red Bull Stage Show(s): I guess The Black Keys, those guys are just so honed in and solid in front of big crowds.
Best Playstation Stage Show(s): Die Antwoord, Gary Clark Jr.
Best Sony Stage Show: Last year I spent the most time at this stage. This year I only really saw Miike Snow.
Best Google Play Stage Show: The Gaslight Anthem, the Jersey rockers did exactly that making the most of their 45 minute set.
Best BMI Stage Show: Well the only one I actually got to this year was Outasight and he had the crowd bouncing.
Best Perry’s Stage Show: In truth, I didn’t even see a show here, passed by a lot but didn’t get caught up in the pandemonium but the stage setup that may have been the best show. LED bonanza creating quite the visuals.
Overall Stage With The Best Performances: Hands down Google Play, they stacked the deck with this stage and fans responded packing all of these shows. Big time acts like The War on Drugs, Blind Pilot, SBTRKT, Band of Skulls, Dawes, Wale, GIVERS, fun., Washed Out Twin Shadow, Frank Ocean, Of Monsters and Men, The Gaslight Anthem, Hey Rosetta!, The Big Pink, Childish Gambino
Biggest Surprise: How much I enjoyed the Metric show.
Best Legend Show: I just have to say Black Sabbath for the sheer fact that I saw Black Sabbath, even if Ozzy is starring into gigantic teleprompters and not sounding too good.
Random Moment(s) Of Awesomeness: fun. show being rescheduled after the Saturday evacuation and just owning the crowd for a 35 minute set filled with their hits.
Most Entertaining Show: Die Antwoord, if you’ve never seen them, you can’t help but be entertained
Most Disappointing Moment: not getting to see a bunch of acts I was super excited to see for the first time like Milo Greene, First Aid Kit and The Dunwells (the rain ruined that one for me) and some of my favorites like GIVERS, Chancellor Warhol, DAWES.
Next Big Thing: I want to say The Dunwells but the evacuation for the storm forced a cancellation of this show. And I sincerely hope more people discover Michael Kiwanuka; he’s got an incredible voice, great songs and is an absolute treat to listen to live.
Giving it a shot: The Devil Makes Three and I absolutely loved them.
Top Party: I’m giving this to Passion Pit because it was entertaining, full of energy and well I am a fan.
Funky Good Time Show: Gary Clark Jr.
Band I Was Sad To Miss: Sigur Ros
Best Intro: Rahm Emanuel introducing The Black Keys
What Would Have Been Great: Having less scheduling conflicts so I could see more bands
Top Moment: Choosing to skip Milo Greene, Chancellor Warhol, JEFF The Brotherhood and GIVERS for a once in a lifetime moment with Of Monsters and Men on the rooftop with the Chicago skyline serving as the background.
Best Festival Eat/Drink: Uncorked Wine Lounge
Best Place To Cool Off: I didn’t really find one and it was hot and humid
Biggest Waste of Time: The Toyota Crane game thing that totally wasn’t a crane
Evacuation Nation: Wow, getting 100,000 people out of the park in approximately 30 minutes before the torrential storm came in was pretty incredible. Holed up in a steamy Irish Pub with $6 Bud Lights wasn’t ideal but it was festive and one of those random things you won’t soon forget.
Clutch Move: Popping out a little early on Friday night to head over to Big Star, my favorite taco and mescal joint in town.
Tip For Next Year: Coming a day early again and leaving on a later flight on Monday.
More Tips: drink water, more water, sunscreen is your second best friend after water, if you see someone struggling give them a hand or find someone to help.
Crazy for me to think that two years ago I started this online journal aka my music spot on the massive internet aka a blog. I think what I’m most excited about is that I haven’t given up and that I’ve tried to keep posting new, interesting and fun content to share with friends and people I have never met (closing in on 700 posts!). But the most joy I get out of penning doyouhearthemusic.com is when someone tells me they love xyz band I posted, dug that new song or tell me a new band to check out. Music is the universal language that can connect everyone in some shape or form and I’m just happy being a piece to that puzzle.
The last year has brought me incredible memories via music. I spent 15 of the coolest minutes of my life talking to Mr. Jimmy Cliff. That interview ran in Vegas SEVEN as did my chats with Walk The Moon, Foster The People and Ryan Bingham. I made my radio debut and started writing for a second publication getting to feature DJs. I made my first trip to Lollapalooza (to which I am going back to tomorrow), I returned to Bonnaroo and reveled in four glorious days of music with incredible friends. I discovered new bands and musicians like The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Sleeper Agent, San Cisco, Clement Marfo & The Frontline, New Navy, Baywood, Jukebox The Ghost, Zach Heckendorf….you get the point, I could go on forever. I saw some incredible concerts with the likes of rising stars Vintage Trouble and Allen Stone to some of my favorites like Dave Matthews Band, O.A.R., G. Love and Dispatch. Said goodbye to some truly amazing musicians who’s music I grew up listening to (RIP Adam Yauch, Whitney Houston, Levon Helm, Donna Summer, Robin Gibb, Etta James, Davy Jones).
All in, not a bad 365 days! But where do I go from here? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see but if the stars align, the next year could be the most rocking one ever!
Peace + Love + Music
Country music is pretty foreign to me. Sure I know a bunch of the artists and I could probably name a handful of songs but its one genre of music I’m pretty much lost with (I’m trying to improve). But I do know who Garth Brooks is and since he started a residency at Wynn/Encore Las Vegas I always wanted to see his show. This past weekend thanks to a dear friend, I got that opportunity.
Friends of mine have raved about the show and called it a must see but I don’t think any of that could have done justice for what I experienced. Hands down one of the best shows I have ever seen in Las Vegas (I rank Elton John’s Red Piano and the Beatles LOVE as the other two) and I may as well clump it into that category of memorable shows. If you haven’t seen it, it’s just Garth Brooks, a guitar and a stool serving as a resting spot for two bottles of water.
To any real fan, now I get why it’s so special and such a coveted ticket. For someone who really doesn’t know his catalog of songs, this was like a Garth Brooks 101 class taught by the man himself. Sitting there and listening to one of the most successful musicians tell his story and how he came to be, truly amazing. I love that he takes you back and shares his inspiration for his music, let’s you in on his upbringing and how he got to where he is today (nice job Steve Wynn, this was done right). And as he spanned the years, a pleasant surprise was when he brought his wife Trisha Yearwood on stage (to a rousing ovation) and had her perform a few songs. Seriously that was an incredible treat and now I can say I saw two music legends in concert on Saturday night. Even with that, my favorite part of the show was learning what an inspiration James Taylor was on his career. I for one had no idea and hearing the stories and the first time he ever met his idol, that was cool. The rest of the show was just awesome as he ran through a bunch of hits and favorite songs; a whole two hours and fifteen minutes of Garth Brooks. Final song of course one that I knew, “Friends in Low Places.”
I can’t thank the guys enough for bringing me on to chat Bonnaroo and to listen to some new music. Give a listen below to hear the full interview as well as music from the Alabama Shakes (Live from Bonnaroo), DAWES, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Dispatch, Black Star, Electric Guest, Charles Bradley and GROUPLOVE. I just wish we had time for more! Perhaps next time.
Hope you enjoy!
Bonnaroo is a lot like camp, you hang out with friends, create memories and have the greatest summer alive and when it’s time to say goodbye you don’t want to accept it and it can be sad. But those frowns get turned upside down when you realize it’s less than a year away from returning to the friendly confines and get the chance to rekindle friendships and make new memories.
Now that the sappy stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the meat and potatoes that was Bonnaroo 2012. First off flying in Wednesday night was the best move of the festival which besides getting to roll in to the grounds during daylight, I got the opportunity to enjoy a full Thursday and what a first day it was.
Over the course of the four days I exhausted myself trying to squeeze in as much music as possible. And at the end of the day, that was a tough task and personally I feel I fell short and should have squeezed in more but ultimately my body didn’t agree. I did however stay true to my top three to see: Dispatch, Alabama Shakes and Black Star and those were three shows I got so much joy out of. Dispatch was over a decade in the making for me and the fellas were enthusiastic, having fun and straight up rocking the way I imagined. Alabama Shakes reconfirmed to me what I have been preaching; amazingly talented, rock and roll has a new voice and Brittany Howard may be one of the most charismatic musicians in the business. And Black Star, a true honor to see some of hip-hop’s finest share the stage and just own the night.
As for the rest of my thoughts on Bonnaroo 2012, here we go:
A Breakdown of who I saw each day
Feist (did an impromptu set on Which Stage to prepare for her regular gig), Fort Atlantic, The Dirty Guv’nahs, Rubblebucket, Mariachi El Bronx, Danny Brown, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Kendrick Lamar, Marina Orchestra, SOJA and Phantogram (just tidbits walking by), Alabama Shakes, Big Gigantic, CHERUB
Shahidah Omar, Electric Guest, Michael Kiwanuka (he ended 15 minutes early so only heard one song), Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Two Door Cinema Club, Caitlin Rose, Afrocubism, The Avett Brothers, Foster The People, Radiohead, Black Star, Major Lazer, Umphrey’s McGee
Charles Bradley, DAWES, The Temper Trap, Flogging Molly (one song), Oberhofer, Santigold, Childish Gambino, The Roots, Dispatch, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Superjam, (gulp) Skrillex
Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, ALO, The Black Lips, Honey Island Swamp Band, GROUPLOVE, Mac Miller (Beach Boys was too crazy had to watch from a TV!), Kenny Rogers, Bon Iver, Machines Are People Too, Phish
My First Show: Feist (impromptu set)
My Final Show: Phish
My Moment of Joy: Seeing a throng of people overflow This Tent for the Alabama Shakes and watching them in amazement as they owned opening night at Bonnaroo. Want to try and capture the energy? Click HERE to download their set from Bonnaroo!
Best What Stage Show: Phish – are you kidding me, besides having Kenny Rogers come out to sing “The Gambler,” the jam band legends did their legacy well.
I did also love The Avett Brothers show, those fellas are so damn good live.
Best Which Stage Show(s): Dispatch and Childish Gambino. Dispatch were on fire and had an aura of happiness that was contagious with the crowd. Gambino didn’t allow technology malfunctions to derail his time in the spotlight and a major upgrade from the tent last year.
Best Tent Show: GROUPLOVE (see below)
Best Side Stage Show: DAWES at Sonic Stage – after thinking it was going just be a “30 minute set and play some songs,” Taylor Goldsmith wasn’t shy about letting the packed legion of fans know “ you made this like a second performance at Bonnaroo” which in turn granted fans an encore after the show was well over! Wild stuff.
Best Overall Show: GROUPLOVE – there is something about this band that I feel and it gets me to the bone every time I see them live. I love their story, their music, the way they approach shows, how sincere they are and yeah, they are damn good musicians. The crowd was lively; the band was energized and together formed a beautiful hour of music euphoria.
Biggest Surprise: Marina Orchestra – no idea going in and left loving this band craving more.
Best Legend Show: Kenny Rogers (even if I did miss Lionel Richie coming out to sing with him).
Random Moment(s) Of Awesomeness: Seeing Kenny Rogers come out on stage to sing “The Gambler” with Phish; Flea taking a moment during RHCP set to reel off all the bands he had the chance to see and how awesome Bonnaroo is.
Overall Stage With The Best Performances: Got to go with the main one, What Stage, this year was packed with supreme talent that did not disappoint.
Most Entertaining Show: Rubblebucket – this show had it all, sick horn section, rocking lead singer, robots (yes really) dancing in the crowd courtesy of the band and all this happening on the Solar Stage!
2nd place – Mariachi El Bronx which was not only amazing but I love this hardcore punk turned mariachi band. Best part was lead singer Matt Caughthran finding a way to dedicate every song to someone and to see the sheer joy about performing at Bonnaroo.
Most Disappointing Moment: Missing a plethora of bands I wanted to see just based on schedule conflicts – Alice Cooper, Hey Rosetta!, The Civil Wars, St. Vincent, Kurt Vile, Trampled By Turtles, to name some
Next Big Thing: Electric Guest and GROUPLOVE (Alabama Shakes have already arrived)
Giving it a shot: I did two things I said I wouldn’t, caught some of Skrillex’s set and took in Bon Iver (actually found a song I like, “Skinny Love”)
Top Party: Superjam, c’mon were talking about ?uestlove bringing D’Angelo out! First show in the US in 12 years and man did he sound good.
Oddest Show That Was A Blast: Danny Brown
Funky Good Time Show: Charles Bradley
Band I Was Sad To Miss: The Civil Wars
Best Intro: Do my intros to friends going to see a band they never heard of count?
What Would Have Been Great: a fifth day to see some more of the acts
Top Roo Rookie: Dispatch, yeah the seasoned veterans played their first Roo and boy was it special
Top Moment: The entire crowd at What Stage singing “Under The Bridge” during the Red Hot Chili Peppers show.
Best Festival Eats: Amish Bakery Doughnuts
Best Broo’ers Beer: Starr Hill Brewery Amber
Best Place To Cool Off: the RV
Biggest Waste of Time: anything that involved a line (again)
Shocker Of The Festival: Not too many surprise guests as expected
Worst Part: Scheduling conflicts
Clutch Move: Native Rain Boots, comfy and convenient to deal with the mud on Day 4
Tip For Next Year: Walmart is so close to the campground, don’t buy more than you really need, you can always go back for more, we did this year and it saved us close to $1,000.00.
More Tips: drink water, more water, sunscreen is your second best friend after water, if you see someone struggling give them a hand or find someone, Ben & Jerry’s is still my favorite thing to eat at Bonnaroo.
Photos coming soon, stay tuned!
Day 1 proved to be an amazing first day at Bonnaroo and got kicked off with a solid surprise as Feist did a sound check performance at Which Stage to prepare for her Friday gig. Full recap coming after the festival but Alabama Shakes were incredible, Rubblebucket just wow wow wow and Mariachi El Bronx were sick!
Here’s who I saw:
Impromptu set: Feist
The Dirty Guv’nahs
Mariachi El Bronx
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
East coast trip took me to Boston for a few days and lucky for me, Dave Matthews Band just happened to be in town during my stay. Last night I attended yet another DMB show and all I can say is this was my favorite show I have seen to date. Even in the chilly weather (you could see your breath, it was that cold) couldn’t put a damper on this evening in which the band was dynamite and the energy was through the roof. Being night one of two sometimes you never know what to expect on these double-dip shows but I for one may have been the happiest person in the crowd as I finally heard “The Song That Jane Likes” live! My favorite song the band had yet to play in some 20 something shows I’ve seen (and I assume many haven’t either). In the back of my mind I knew there was an outside chance since the guys busted it out last week in Scranton (and it was fumbled a bit at that show so I had my doubts) and when Dave said “I have a sister and this is…” I was in music euphoria. Add in playing “Save Goodbye” and I heard two songs I’ve been waiting every show for in one night!! From beginning to end the show was sensational and packed a punch that makes me want to venture out on the road to catch a few more gigs this summer. A great balance of old and new, some rocking jams, Jeff Coffin continues to amaze me, and it sure looks like the boys are having a ton of fun out there this year.
Don’t Drink The Water
You Never Know
Why I Am
Funny The Way It Is
What Would You Say
Everybody Wake Up
The Song That Jane Likes
Lie In Our Graves
Pantala Naga Pampa
Digging A Ditch
Anyone Seen The Bridge
Want a download of the show? You can find the torrent HERE.
Last night Allen Stone returned to Las Vegas and Book & Stage at The Cosmopolitan to perform yet another incredible set. As one of the most gifted up and coming entertainers, Stone was on-point from beginning to end and had the solid crowd grooving during his entire 90 minute set. If you are in Vegas tonight and tomorrow, don’t miss the chance to see him.