Archive for the ‘concert review’ Category
I don’t quite know how to review this show. My brain hurts yet I’m extremely relaxed because of the events of last night’s show with Paco de Lucia.
It was because if Al Di Meola that I found out about Paco…and really it was Riot<Di Meola<Paco. The album Friday Night In San Francisco with Di Meola, McLaughlin and de Lucia was my introduction to his playing.
I’ve always heard that after Segovia died, Paco pretty much was deemed the greatest living guitar player. I think that may be true.
I bought tickets for this show 14 months ago and we were 2nd row in the center section. The amazing One World Theatre put on this show and they used The Riverbend Church for the venue since it holds a few thousand people. The place was beautiful and the sound was great. With our tickets we had VIP status which basically just gave us a nice dinner before the show. All this week leading up to this show I’ve been a little giddy. Last night’s show and this weekend’s Arch/Matheos show close some gaps for me for bands to see before I die.
After the dinner and milling around the courtyard we went in and got a nice look at the venue. Really not a bad seat in the place.
The lights finally come down and Paco takes the stage on his own and plays for a while. It was beautiful. Even in his mid-60s the man showed why he has such a high status of a guitarist. He was just phenomenal. After about 10 minutes some of his band mates came out to add some vocals. The vocal stylings sounded very Arabic but were clearly in Spanish. Of course there is that whole invasion of the Moors thing and this sounded like an influence from that. It was quite interesting.
For a few numbers one of the singers did some flamenco styled dancing and it was pretty impressive. His percussionist was great as were the harmonica/keyboardist, the bassplayer and the 2nd guitarist. It was a great combination of musicians and musicianship.
Paco didn’t have a vocal mic and only spoke into his guitar mic to introduce the band. I heard rhythms tonight that I don’t think I have ever heard before. Listening to the music and watching Paco’s leg in the count was pretty mind-numbing. And of course Paco shredded in some spots, but not in the same way you’d see Yngwie or Di Meola do it. It was just f’n awesome and damned near perfect.
Cameras were not allowed during the performance but I managed to catch a shot or 2 when he came out for the encore.
The show looked to be just around 3/4 full, maybe a little less, which is a pity. He doesn’t come to the US very often and he’s not getting any younger. Many thanks to One World Theatre for putting this on!
I had to turn in my metalhead membership card for a night. May I have it back now? Thanks.
Last night was Sade and opening act, John Legend. What a show. I’ve been a fan since her 1984 debut album Diamond Life. What a voice. Smooth, unique, beautiful. She doesn’t tour often and when she did in the past, the opportunity never seemed right for me to see her. That is until this show.
Earlier this year her tour dates were announced and the closest one to me was Houston. It was a weeknight and once again I didn’t go, this time because of work. I would have had to take a day and a half of vacation that I didn’t want to spare. After the tour had started, more dates were added with Austin being one of them. AUSTIN! Even better it was scheduled at a venue 6 blocks from my house.
The day of the presale I wasn’t able to find a code to use and a friend on Facebook let me know that Citicard was one of the companies offering presale tickets. Just so happened that I have a Citicard that hadn’t been activated yet. Luckily the presale accepted my number and BOOM, I got 3 front row center tickets. My friends got the next 3 seats. We were set. Finally I was going to see one of my favorite vocalists ever. Just a week and a half earlier I got to see Odin in Hollywood, a band that I had waited 25 years to see. I’m a pretty lucky fella for sure.
The day I bought the tickets, I called my buddy Mike who I knew was a huge fan and offered him one of the tickets for face value. Mike is one of the biggest Sade fans I know and a phenomenal singer in his own metal right. Mike sings for Texas metal legends Militia. Mike instantly accepted and my other ticket was to go to whomever I decided to take with me. That ended up being my best friend, Amelia. I missed her birthday and thought that this would be a good belated gift. She was pretty excited when I asked her to go.
Now, on to the show! The 3 of us walked to a restaurant for a quick dinner then into the Frank Erwin Center to get our seats. It reminded me of the old days going to shows at Hampton Coliseum and Norfolk Scope except none of the shows I saw back then were reserved seating. Apparently there was some weird problem with the seating in the front row but security got it straight and we were able to remain in our spots. Sweet!
John Legend was originally scheduled to go on at 7:30, but I think the problem with the seating and some other issues
delayed him until 8:30. I’ve never heard one song by the guy and didn’t know anything about him. I had no expectations but generally was disinterested in seeing his performance. All I can say is that I was pleasantly surprised when he started. He’s a really good singer and pays the piano pretty well. While I don’t think I’d ever buy any of his music, I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing him live again. He’s a solid performer and his backup band was pretty badass, especially the drummer and guitarist. You could have inserted those dudes into any metal band and they would be able to hold their own just fine.
Being right up against the stage, we didn’t get the cleanest mix. I don’t think I heard any of the bass and most of the drum sounds I got were straight from the kit, which was nice actually. Same with the guitar, we got most of his stuff from his small Fender-copy stage amp. There were times when you could hear John’s voice coming at us naturally, mainly when he would stand in front of us at the edge of the stage. We were literally 10’ from the edge of the stage. It was quite incredible, really. Nice show, John Legend!
After his set, everything is removed from the stage completely and it was completely empty. I noticed that her stage setup was under the stage and most things would be moved up and down with hydraulics. Bob Marley’s One Love started playing and that has apparently been her intro music for years.
All of a sudden some spotlights come on and Sade appears as does her band, opening with Soldier of Love. She is still
quite beautiful and her voice seems unchanged. There were professional video cameras in the stadium. We were asked before the show to sit during the performances of Jezebel and Pearls, obviously for video purposes. When she did Jezebel, she sat on the edge of the stage right in front of us. It was quite incredible for me. The whole night. Her set was a good mix of her hits as well as some lesser known songs (unless you’re a big fan).
There were a few quick wardrobe changes but it was no detraction at all. She’s still got “it”…whatever “it” is. She’s got a good sense of humor as well and that woman’s smile could easily melt glaciers. Stunning.
Three of the guys in the band have been with her since her first album, which is pretty impressive. They also had a band called Sweetback, whose first album is pretty good. All of these guys have some serious chops at their respective instruments.
The sound up front was a little better, but the bass and keyboards were still pretty low because of our location to the mains. No biggie. Like during Legend’s set, there were time where you could hear Sade’s natural voice when she was at the edge of the stage and the music was low. Incredible. She belted out a few notes here and there that certainly gave me chills as did her performance of No Ordinary Love. Easily my favorite song of hers and it was spot on beautiful last night.
Because of the pre-show delays, her performance didn’t end until almost 12:30AM. I got up at 6:30AM for work and it took me forever to wind down from the show and finally fall asleep last night. I’m tired but it was worth every effort. I’ve seen a lot of shows since I first started attending concerts in 1985, but this one I think is in my top 10 all time and easily top 2 of all non-metal/hard rock shows. It was a great night all around with great friends and wonderful music. If she ever tours again, I’ll certainly try to be there and will certainly try for front row again!
- Soldier of Love
- Your Love Is King
- Kiss of Life
- Love Is Found
- In Another Time
- Smooth Operator
- Bring Me Home
- Is It a Crime
- Love Is Stronger Than Pride
- All About Our Love
- Nothing Can Come Between Us
- Morning Bird
- King of Sorrow
- The Sweetest Taboo
- The Moon and the Sky
- No Ordinary Love
- By Your Side
- Cherish the Day (Encore)
Let’s be clear…I fucking hate Warrant…always have. I hated 99% of all that sissy hairband bullshit. I saw Warrant open for Crue on the Dr. Feelgood Tour. Crue wasn’t that great live but it was the only time I ever saw them and it was enjoyable at least. But Warrant? Fuck ‘em. At that show all I really remember is Jani Lane talking a bunch of retarded bullshit between songs. It was annoying as hell. There were a lot of folks in the crowd that were yelling at him and flipping him off. Someone even threw a shoe at him *cough*. They blew.
Crue, again, did alright, but Vince kind of ruined it. No surprise there. The one great thing about that show was this little redhead who wanted up on my shoulders. Of course I put her up there for a few songs and she even got topless. Nikki Sixx threw 2 bass picks our way, I caught them both, I don’t think the girl even noticed them. After I let her down my buddy put her up. Or maybe she was on his shoulders first. Doesn’t matter. I scored 2 picks! I ran into the girl in the hallway after the show and gave her one of the picks. “One of these belongs to you.” She gave me a quick kiss and a hug and we parted ways.
Damn she was cute.
So Lane was 47? No secret he had been spiraling for years but I never quite saw this coming. Hopefully there’s a decent story with some hookers attached to it. RIP dude. Sending good vibes to your family and friends.
Warrant? Really? Sheesh.