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Revisited (Video): Shakey Graves | “Dearly Departed” | Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas | 5.22.15

22 May

Here’s a complete video of “Dearly Departed” from last night’s Shakey Graves show at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. Killer show, great energy and fun crowd. Shout out to my buddy Max for lighting up this show (that disco ball/moonshine number!), it was fun one!

REVISITED: My thoughts on the 2015 GRAMMY performances

9 Feb

Each year the day after the GRAMMY Awards I try to post my thoughts on each performance here on the blog. To be honest compared to past years I thought there were a bunch of underwhelming performances this year and instead of poking holes in the lackluster, I want to mention the moments of awesomeness.

  • My favorite performance was Jeff Lynn of ELO and Ed Sheeran, that was as awesome as it got last night.
  • John Mayer is mounting his comeback to the mainstream audience. Last week he was guest hosting the Late Late Show and last night joining Ed Sheeran (along with Questlove and Herbie Hancock) was brilliant. I’d love to see what those two could do together on an album.
  • “FourFiveSeconds” is clearly Rihanna’s song and Kayne was just Kanye and Sir Paul, man I love him but it didn’t even appear that he was really part of that performance. Regardless, loved hearing that song live. Lots of GRAMMY wins collectively on that stage.
  • Perhaps it’s just that I have been a huge fan of Beck for years but I really enjoyed his performance of “Heart Is A Drum” with Coldplay’s Chris Martin.
  • A tip of the cap to the GRAMMY’s for recognizing the rise in country music. Eric Church delivered a great performance, Miranda Lambert equally the same and Brandy Clark with Dwight Yoakam was great.
  • Having one of the biggest Latin superstar musicians, Juanes, perform was a great achievement to draw in a different audience and showcase a different genre to millions
  • Simple and just perfect Beyonce and Katy Perry. Both traditionally have elaborate set designs and moving parts but last night it was just enough and worked extremely well.
  • Thank you Annie Lennox
  • I said it after seeing them on NYE, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga it works and I for one am happy to see Gaga in this role, I believe she was meant to play this part and I hope they are able to continue performing together for a long time to come.
  • Sam Smith and Mary J Blige, bravo
  • Wasn’t crazy about Pharrell’s performance but I understand the artistry and what a HUGE coup having Lang Lang and Hans Zimmer perform alongside.  Rad and so Pharrell to pull off something like that.

Revisited: #Superjam ft. Skrillex & Friends at @Bonnaroo 2014 (Video)

22 Jan

Bonnaroo 2014.  It was halfway through Jack White’s thrashing rock and roll set, @808Dave, @JoleneMannina and I knew it would be tough but we had to leave to make sure we were on time for the Superjam ft. Skrillex & Friends! So off we went, leaving our nearly front row spot for a chance to see something amazing happen. As we ran through the farm we finally arrived at The Other Tent with time to spare, or so we thought! Thanks to a fellow Bonnaroovian, he informed us that a push notification announced a switch in for Frank Ocean with the Superjam so off to This Tent we marched. Finally we really had made it! Thanks to some friends we had been tipped off to the remaining unannounced special guests and just knew this was going to be one of the most incredible performances we’d ever witness. And as people who weren’t there soon after found out, it was just that, an epic performance from incredible musicians. Just click play below to see the Danny Clinch directed documentary showing the preparation leading up to this unreal late night evening of music which started out with the “house band” of Skrillex and Big Gigantic with Thundercat on bass, Mike Einziger of Incubus on guitar and Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s McGee on keys. From there it was on with the special guests as Fatman Scoop hyped the crowd on a couple of tracks, Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead sat in for a few, Craig Robinson and Mystikal (yes, really), followed by the ladies of Warpaint, the incredible Janelle Monae, A$AP Ferg, Zedd on drums, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Matthew Shultz of Cage The Elephant, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and then a four song encore with Ms. Lauryn Hill.  It was simply incredible and something I was in awe of.  Hands down one of the coolest performances I had ever been witness to.  To this day that memory on the farm stands out.  If anything it set a new bar for where Superjam’s of the future need to go.  Sonny Moore, Paul Peck and the Bonnaroo Crew, bravo and I can’t wait to see what awaits at Bonnaroo 2015 in June!  SET LIST and WORDS.

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Revisited: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – 12.31.14 – Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

2 Jan

First post of 2015 takes us back to the last hours of 2014 where I had the pleasure of attending the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga concert inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

My New Year’s Eve for 10 of the last 11 years have involved music (be it nightclubs or concerts) so to spend December 31 surrounded by music wasn’t a surprise but on this night, this show was different, this was special. Seeing living legend, Tony Bennett was just spectacular and at 88 years old he makes it look so easy on stage. Add Lady Gaga in a role that I believe she was born to perform in (and with Tony Bennett) and what happened was just a magical evening of music. Yes it was NYE and spirits were high, champagne was flowing and faces were all grinning ear to ear but take away all that and you had two dynamic performers on stage in what was a perfect ending to 2014 and a welcomed way to usher in 2015.

Click HERE to read a great piece by Variety on the show and HERE for one from The Hollywood Reporter.

Here are a few images courtesy of The Comospolitan of Las Vegas shot by Ethan Miller.

Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga Headline New Year's Eve At The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga Headline New Year's Eve At The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas Tony Bennett And Lady Gaga Headline New Year's Eve At The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas

Revisited: Dave Matthews Band – 7.15.14 – Jacksonville, FL (Video)

16 Jul

I sure hope if you weren’t there you were watching online. I have seen the Dave Matthews Band dozens of times live but this was the first time getting a chance to see the special summer two set tour, an evening of acoustic and electric. I for one loved it. Thanks to modern technology and Yahoo, fans had the chance to stream the entire concert live as part of the company’s initiative with Live Nation to broadcast 365 concerts in 365 days on Yahoo Screen. This show was numero uno! And as luck would have it, I somehow managed to get from Vegas to Jacksonville overnight to attend!

The acoustic set was ridiculous at least for my DMB taste. Unless you’ve been fortunate to catch a Dave & Tim show, chances are you’ve never heard these songs live or acoustic. With just Dave & Tim on stage, the show opened with Bartender (I swear more than half the shows I’ve been to have opened with this song) before the whole band joined for Two Step, Snow Outside, Satellite, Stolen Away On 55th and 3rd, #27, Sweet, Tripping Billies and What Would You Say. The guys sounded great, looked like they were having an absolute blast and the set was a great balance to get the crowd all warmed up and feeling good before breaking into the electric set.

After heading back into the arena following a set break, it felt like you were JUST heading into the show. I mean seriously, it was like two separate DMB concerts. Oddly enough I don’t think the venue knew what to prepare for as the great beer shortage of 2014 may have occurred at the arena last night! Haha. On to set two! Dave returned solo to open with Minarets before having the whole band return to break into One Sweet World. From the second set the highlights for me were the Seven > Belly Belly Nice > Crush (what a jam), Warehouse, the always amazing cover of Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer and the tour debut of Belly Full. All in another great DMB show with some old, some new, some fast, some slow.

Here’s a video of “Sledgehammer” I shot.  Hope you like it.

 

 

:::: SETLIST ::::

ACOUSTIC SET

Bartender

Two Step

Snow Outside

Satellite

Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd

#27

Sweet

Tripping Billies

What Would You Say

ELECTRIC SET

Minarets

One Sweet World

Seven

Belly Belly Nice

Crush

Save Me

If Only

Warehouse

You & Me

Sledgehammer (Peter Gabriel cover)

You Might Die Trying

Everyday

Grey Street

_Encore_

Belly Full

Good Good Time

Why I Am

 

As for the Yahoo Live Concert series on Yahoo Screen, DMB was just the beginning and I know if I’m not at a show, I’ll most likely be couch concerting with Michael Franti on July 18,  KISS July 19, Common July 21, Jurassic 5 July 23, Wiz Khalifa July 25, Panic! At The Disco July 30 and OK Go August 14.  Can’t wait to see the other 300+ shows Yahoo will be announcing.

 

VIDEO: 2013 Life is Beautiful Festival MUSIC Recap

22 Jun

Oh man, just 24 hours from the 2014 Life is Beautiful lineup! I cannot wait to share this year’s lineup with everyone. Each minute we get closer to releasing it the more excited I get. I hope my enthusiasm and love for the talent assembled for year two of the festival is shared by you as well after tomorrow.  I hope that as you watch this video below which recaps the music portion of Life is Beautiful 2013, you get pumped to create a whole new set of beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

“A music festival is a gathering of a lot of strangers but I must say that music by the end of the night it always makes me feel like I know everybody that I shared that experience with and there’s nothing else in the world that can do that like music.” – Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons at Life is Beautiful Festival

 

 

REVISITED: O.A.R. | 4.24.14 | Brooklyn Bowl | Night 1

25 Apr

Damn did it feel good to see O.A.R. live once again. While I have lost count of how many O.A.R. shows I’ve seen over the years, I do know that it has been a couple years since I last got a chance to see them live. Night one of a three night extended stay at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas instantly put me back in that happy place and made me feel right at home. With good friends all around me it was a perfect evening and I for one can’t wait for the next two nights of shows.

SETLIST:

Love and Memories

Untitled

Hey Girl

Risen

Living In The End

About Mr. Brown

Heard The World

About An Hour Ago

One Shot

James

Anyway

Dareh Meyod

Something Coming Over

Black Rock

Lay Down

That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker

52-50

City On Down

ENCORE

Peace

Shattered

Fool In The Rain (Led Zeppelin cover)

 

Here are some images from the show last night.

Video

Video: Phil & Friends | “Franklin’s Tower” | 4.20.14 | Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas

23 Apr

Last weekend was one for the ages as Phil Lesh descended upon Las Vegas and played three nights at the brand new Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas with an all-star lineup which included Jackie Greene, John Scofield, John Medeski, Stu Allen and Joe Russo.  How’s that for a powerhouse lineup?!  And boy did it live up to the billing.  It was definitely an honor to watch these guys on stage and the chemistry was just ON.

Here’s a video of “Franklin’s Tower” from night three of the run.  Apologies in advance as it’s only four minutes since I wasn’t prepared for them to play one of my favorite Dead songs and I cut it short because frankly, my arm was tired.  Regardless, I think you’ll enjoy it!

 

And since today is a great day, I’ll do you one better. You can click the links below to download all three shows from Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas!

April 18

April 19

April 20

Revisited: The birthday weekend of music that was

22 Aug

Another birthday has come and gone.  Naturally for me this involved lots and lots of music.  More importantly I had the chance to experience it all with family and friends.  As for the itinerary, pretty damn awesome if you ask me.

Friday: Cold War Kids

Saturday: Jason Derulo and Robin Thicke

Sunday Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Monday (the actual birthday): Yeah Yeah Yeahs

All in an awesome weekend of live music, finally got to see Cold War Kids live, even a 45 minute set by Robin Thicke was great, Yeah Yeah Yeahs for a third time this year was the best yet but the highlight for me as to be Preservation Hall Jazz Band.  Not only have I been a fan for many years but this was the coolest music moment for me as they played/sang Happy Birthday to me at midnight.  Such a surreal experience; thank you Joey for making that happen, still grinning ear to ear!

Revisited: My 2013 Outside Lands adventure

18 Aug

Took me a little bit to get around to writing up this bad boy but below is a little bit of my recount from Outside Lands.  Believe it or not, this was my first time attending this festival and now I’m scratching my head wondering why I’ve never actually gone (to be fair to myself, the dates never really lined up for me until this year).  My hope is that I don’t miss another Outside Lands.  The city, the setting, the experience, the people all made for an amazing weekend.

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I decided to get things started a little bit early and book my trip to arrive Thursday night for two reasons, one I wanted to be there Friday morning (I’m not a fan of flying in the day the festival starts) and two, Zedd was playing at The Independent.  Seeing him in a venue that only holds 500 people (and that’s one of my top 3 favorite venues, yes please!) just doesn’t happen so there was extra motivation to get to this show.  Excited, set to leave Vegas and then it hit, the damn weather in SF delayed ALL flights.  Quickly I started thinking I was going to miss the show as my plane was delayed first an hour, then three hours and finally four hours and we were told to deplane.  Once off the plane I immediately checked the departure board and boom, flight to Oakland leaving in 9 minutes.  Could it happen?  Could I really make it?  Guess luck was on my side because the gate agent held the door as she was processing my change and off to Oakland I went!  Landed, hopped in a cab, $80 later dropped my stuff off, got in another cab and made it to Zedd right on time!

As for the real Outside Lands experience, two words, PAUL MCCARTNEY.  This was hands down one of the top musical moments of my life.  Watching from front of house and witnessing the 71 year old jam for three hours, no water breaks, silence a crowd at times and create the biggest sing-along in San Francisco, now that was cool.  After six failed attempts for all sorts of reasons, I was finally destined to see Phoenix live!  And man was it awesome.  35,000 strong at the Twin Peaks stage and everyone going crazy for Thomas Mars and the gang.  I can still visualize them playing “Lasso,” it was that good.  So many great memories from this trip, here are some of them.

WHO I SAW:

Friday: Naia Kete, Midi Matilda, Smith Westerns, Houndmouth, Wild Belle, Band of Horses, twenty one pilots, The National, Zedd, Paul McCartney

Saturday: Atlas Genius, Young The Giant, Jurassic 5, Baauer, Grizzly Bear, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, Nine Inch Nails

Sunday: The Easy Leaves, Kopecky Family Band, Rudimental, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Foals, The Head and The Heart (surprise show in the woods), Hall & Oates, A-Trak, Vampire Weekend, Matt & Kim, Dillon Francis, Red Hot Chili Peppers

My First Show: Naia Kete  

My Final Show: Red Hot Chili Peppers

My Moment of Joy: Paul McCartney.  This was an absolutely unreal experience.  Just look at THIS 39 song setlist

Best Lands End Stage Show: McCartney, hands down nothing could have been better BUT I will say Vampire Weekend crushed it and had a monster crowd

Best Twin Peaks Show(s): Phoenix and twenty one pilots but I’m biased since these were two must see sets.  Now Rudimental, they stole the show and my Outside Lands experience (more on that below)

Best Panhandle Stage Show: Kopecky Family Band, had seen them a couple times prior but this performance was just solid

Best Sutro Stage Show: I only made it over there for The Easy Leaves and Kurt Vile (yeah, I missed out on some amazing performances including CHIC which received rave reviews)

Best Overall Show (not being Paul McCartney): Rudimental.  Thanks to a friend from London I was told to check them out and boy was he right; I got to catch the beginning of their set and wow was it awesome!  If you are not familiar with this troupe, I suggest you start listening to them

Biggest Surprise: See directly above

Best Legend Show: Can Jurassic 5 count for this one? So awesome to see the MCs back together again doing it big and with a massive crowd responding to every rhyme

Random Moment(s) Of Awesomeness: Paul McCartney asking for a moment to take in the scene, The Head and The Heart surprise show in the woods, and that bloody mary on Sunday at a location I won’t disclose was delightful.

Overall Stage With The Best Performances: Lands End had the big ones but I think the shows over at Twin Peaks were all ragers

Most Entertaining Show: twenty one pilots, you never know what’s coming next, those fellas have unlimited energy

Most Disappointing Moment: Missing a plethora of bands I wanted to see just based on schedule conflicts – Willie Nelson, Yeasayer, Rhye, King Tuff, DAWES, Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk

Next Big Thing: Wild Belle, it has got to happen for this brother-sister act, they keep getting better and better live

Perfect Moment: coming over the hill to catch Nine Inch Nails and them busting right into “Closer,” too perfect!

Giving it a shot: Young The Giant, I’ve seen these guys live 7 times, was a bit over them and then I accidentally caught their set and they reminded me why I became a fan in the first place

Top Party: A-Trak, dude just crushed the crowd in the middle of the day

Band I Was Sad To Miss: Yeasayer

Best Intro: Do my intros to friends going to see a band they never heard of count?

What Would Have Been Great: two of me to split myself and see every show

Top Moment: Taking in the surreal moment the first time the entire crowd went dead silent listening to Sir Paul

Best Festival Eats: The Whole Beast’s Lamb Paella

Best Beer Lands Beer: Magnolia Brewery Kolsch

Best Place To Cool Off: Wine Lands

Biggest Waste of Time: thinking taking anything but an Uber (at surge pricing) to get to/from the park was a good idea

Shocker Of The Festival: There was a whole lotta sun (until Sunday)

Worst Part: Scheduling conflicts

Clutch Move: bringing a backpack and having layers for when it got cold

Tip For Next Year: stay a day later and enjoy SF!

More Tips: drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen even if the sun isn’t shining, have comfortable shoes, VIP access is totally worth it, arrive early to take advantage of all the good eats, if you think you’re going to want a blanket or sweatshirt from OSL buy it on day one