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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

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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.

Revisited: My week that was live music in Vegas! Local Natives, Of Monsters and Men, Kenny Chesney, Beach House, The xx and more

21 Apr

I say it often, I am very fortunate for the opportunities and things I get to experience and the last three weeks have been nothing short of amazing (Yes, I still need to write a post about Festival Generation Week from the beginning of the month, such a cool five days).  Last week I recapped the week in music that was to me, Coachella East and this past week I was back at it again for round two.

It started on Monday night catching Beach House at House of Blues.  I had wanted to see their show for some time and there was a good turnout for show at the beginning of the week.  The show was just okay and left me trying to find a bit more energy to stay awake.  However, Holy Shit opened up and I have to say, a little fine tuning and these guys are going to be fun to see live.

Tuesday it was time for The xx at The Joint.  My first time seeing The xx it got rained out a couple songs in, the second time I just got up and left so the third time I wasn’t sure what to really expect and they did not disappoint.  I was floored by how good the show was and as my friend Abby would say, LASERS!  There were a ton of them.  Definitely caught up with a lot of friends at the show too which made it an even better evening.

Wednesday night, I had this one earmarked for some time; split billing of Local Natives and Of Monsters and Men at The Cosmopolitan.  But before that, I had the chance to head over to the CBS Radio studios earlier in the day and catch a mini Of Monsters and Men set.  So talented and seeing them in an intimate setting, again, has me spoiled.    Now to the show; I had caught a Local Natives show at SXSW and was amped to catch them again and they flat out destroyed it in front of a sold out crowd.  These guys are primed for a monster break out this year.  As for OMAM, the show was good, the band was on point but unfortunately I think the cool weather and whipping winds made it seem a bit tame instead of a giant sing-a-long dance party on The Strip. 

Thursday my body gave out and I had to miss Hot Chip.  I was told the show was great and I’m bummed I missed out but my body won.

When Friday rolled around the energy level came right back up as it was all about The Postal Service.  Reunited after 10 years since they released Give Up!  A chance to see Jenny Lewis again!  And LED overload!  Definitely was a lot of fun and after seeing Death Cab For Cutie a couple of times, was great to finally see The Postal Service.

Saturday it was a first for me as I attended my first country music concert!  I have no idea how many thousands of concerts I’ve been to but until Saturday night that category of country music was empty.   Yes, I had seen Garth Brooks’ show at Wynn but that was a show, not a concert.  My first country music concert was Kenny Chesney and it may have been the perfect artist to see live.  So much energy and an awesome environment, I felt right at home (if only I knew the lyrics to his songs).  Add on top of that the concert was two and a half hours which included a four song set with Grace Potter and I was thrilled.  After the show it was straight to The Cosmopolitan to catch the second half of the Band of Horses concert.  Getting to finally hear “The Funeral” live was a great way to wrap up a two week marathon of concerts.

A special tip of the cap to my friends at The Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock and House of Blues for lighting up Las Vegas the last two weeks with a plethora of fantastic shows.  The music scene continues to grow here and we are breaking out of the mold where bands skip Vegas and instead they now crave playing Vegas!  Thank you!

Here are some images from the shows.  The week would not have been nearly as much fun if I wasn’t surrounded by an amazing group of friends who make every experience that much more memorable. Thanks for being a part of this real life dream with me.  The best is yet to come, I promise you that!

Revisted: (Photos) Rival Sons and Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – 2.23.13 Las Vegas

24 Feb

Last night was one of those nights of live music you wish you could experience on a nightly basis. If you happened to be one of the roughly 500 people inside Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, you were treated to an evening of real rock and roll. Beware of Darkness, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, great to see these two perform again and wow some new fans. Rival Sons, seriously brought it last night, 10 minutes shy of two straight hours. A tip of the hat gentlemen on a great show! My review of Rival Sons will be in the next issue of Vegas SEVEN but until then, check out these photos from my friend, Erik Kabik.

 

Revisited: Street Drum Corps at Vinyl Las Vegas

27 Jan

Last night I had the chance to check out Street Drum Corps inside Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel.  If you don’t know, Street Drum Corps is a high energy, drum and percussion show from Los Angeles. Last night they had some special guests including Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, Stephen Perkins of Janes Addiction and Adrian Young of No Doubt.

Photo credit courtesy of © Erik Kabik/ erikkabik.com.

 

Revisited: My @Lollapalooza 2012 | Running down the festival from top to bottom

8 Aug

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.

Revisited: Dave Matthews Band | 6 5 12 | Boston, MA (Setlist) (Photos) (Download)

6 Jun

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.

Setlist

Don’t Drink The Water

Seven

You Never Know

Improv

Why I Am

Pig

Funny The Way It Is

If Only

What Would You Say

Spaceman

#41

Say Goodbye

Everybody Wake Up

Gaucho

The Song That Jane Likes

Lie In Our Graves

Pantala Naga Pampa

Rapunzel

Encore:

Digging A Ditch

Anyone Seen The Bridge

Too Much

Want a download of the show?  You can find the torrent HERE.

Revisited: JUSTICE | 4 19 12 | Las Vegas | (Photos)

20 Apr

Back in 2008 I had the chance to see JUSTICE perform at House of Blues in Las Vegas and I was just too exhausted to go (living in Las Vegas and the line of work I was in can do that to you) so I gave up my ticket .  Not a day went by I didn’t kick myself for missing that show.  Finally last night I got the opportunity to redeem myself as the duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay took the stage in front of a amped crowd at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  I’ve often said I love concerts out at the BLVD Pool because one, it’s outdoors and two, the there is something about being surrounded by the neon glow of The Strip that just makes these shows better.

As for the show itself, AWESOME.  I know, I know it’s an experience and the lighting rig was impressive (LED piano was sweet, LED orbs adorning the backdrop were intense) but I really just wanted to hear them live.  For me the highlight was “On’n”On,” my favorite track off Audio, Video, Disco which along with “We Are Your Friends” was teased before bringing both back during the encore.   Plus when they played “D.A.N.C.E.” I don’t think you could find one person standing still which brings me to the wide eyed crowd; wow, it was an intense group right in front of the stage!

At the end of the day I can count on one hand the electronic acts I would go out of my way to see and sure enough, JUSTICE is right there.  See you in August at Lollapalooza!

 

Photos courtesy of Scott Harrison

Revisited: The Shins | Blvd Pool at The Cosmopolitan | 4 13 12 | PHOTOS

14 Apr

No need to head to Coachella if you live in Las Vegas as plenty of the musicians have/are making pit stops in the neon desert. Last night it was cold and wet after an afternoon turned evening of rain but the show still went on as The Shins kicked off their 2012 U.S. tour outdoors at The Cosmopolitan’s Blvd. Pool.

Big thanks to Erik Kabik (www.erikkabik.com) for the photos from last evening.

2011 in Photos via ErikKabikPhoto.com

28 Dec

Thanks to friend, photographer and music lover, Erik Kabik, I have been able to feature some stellar photographs from concerts throughout the year and as we close 2011, here are some images Erik tabbed as some of his highlights from the past 12 months. Hope you enjoy!!