The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘paramount theatre’ Category

Chick Corea & Bela Fleck Concert Review, Austin, TX, April 15, 2016

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I’m a pretty big fan of the late 60s/early 70s heavy fusion jazz movement that Chick Corea was a huge part of.  I caught the Return to Forever reunion show weveral years ago and it was great.  I’d also seen Bela Fleck and the Flecktones several times back in Virginia as his bassist, Victor Wooten, was from my hometown area.  They played there often.

When I first saw the show announcement I jumped on tickets, not paying attention to the fact that it was just Chick and Bela and no backing band.  Oh well.  Man, was I surprised when the show started.  It was incredible.

Two master musicians whose respective instruments worked well together.  Perfectly even.  It really was a great show.  I stayed through half of the second set as I had some late night dinner plans and yet another show to see closer to my house.

I highly recommend going to see this tour if you like either musician.  Thankfully no pictures are allowed inside the venue during performances.  I was able to just zone out and listen to some beautiful music.

 

Written by The Metal Files

April 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Michael McDonald Concert Review, Austin, Texas 4/9/2014

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Right after the Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse experience came another show that I had gotten tickets for.  Michael McDonald (MM).  I’m a huge fan of his work with the Doobie Brothers (who I had seen a few months earlier), 70s/80s solo efforts, Steely Dan and Christopher Cross.  He’s a talented guy and although the tickets were very expensive, I had to go.

I ended up getting front row center mezzanine at The Paramount Theatre.  It’s an old venue that really needs to upgrade its seats to fit modern day humans.  Even sitting front row, my knees were against the barricade.  No fun.

MM hits the stage and openes with 2 Doobie Brothers songs, Here to Love You and It Keeps You Runnin’.  His voice sounded great and his backing band, of course, was incredible.  He played most of the songs you’d expect and I was of course happy to hear I Keep Forgettin’, You Belong to Me and What a Fool Believes.  Three great songs.

Most of his backing band is based out of Nashville and the bassplayer, Tommy Simms, was the guy who wrote the Clapton hit Change the World.  He sang most of it that night.

One of the best parts of the night was during the encore when Christopher Cross came out on stage and did Ride Like the Wind with MM in the backing vocal spot.  It was awesome and gave me chills seeing it performed live.  One of my all time favorite songs.  Cross sounded great and played a killer guitar solo.  Cross also handled a verse of Takin’ It To the Streets.

Great show but doubtful I’d spent that kind of money to see Michael again.

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The Doobie Brothers Concert Review, Austin, TX, November 5, 2013

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The Doobie Brothers are yet another band that has been around in my family for as long as I can remember.  More than anyone, Mom was a fan.  The only album I remember us owning was The Captain and Me.  Not sure why the Michael McDonald era albums weren’t around, probably because buying and owning music wasn’t a priority in my family.  That could be why it became important to me, who knows?

I was able to catch them last night in Austin’s Paramount Theatre.  I bought tickets late and ended up near the top of the venue, but that was OK.  Not a show that I necessarily need to be close to the front for.

No cameras were allowed and I was able to get a quick shot right as they hit he stage.  The volunteers that work the venue were pretty hardcore about making people put their phones away.  It was nice not having those lit rectangles sticking up all over the place for the night.

I brought my best friend, Amelia, with me as I hadn’t seen her much lately.  She’s my “go to” for shows when I can’t find anyone else to go with me.  She said, “We see all of the old people shows together!”  There’s some truth to that.  She’s good kid.  Late 20s but loves the Doobies, Hall and Oates, Chicago etc.  Perfect show date as always.

We climb the stairs and got to our seats, the lights go down and they come out with Jesus is Just Alright, straight in to Rockin’ Down the Highway and then in to Take Me In Your Arms.  The Doobies are still fronted by Patrick Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McPhee, all original members and all in their mid-60s.  But let me tell you, those guys can still sing and harmonize.  They didn’t sound like most rockers in their 60s.  Simmons sounded the best of the 3 and his guitar playing was quite incredible to watch.  The guy is a damn fine guitarist.

They rolled through a string of hits and one or 2 off of their latest album.  I was quite pleased that they played Clear As The Driven Snow from The Captain and Me.  Easily one of my faves by them and was never a radio hit.

Something was missing, though.  Oh!  The lack of Michael McDonald songs!  Beyond Takin’ It To The Streets, there were no other songs from that era.  Looking back at setlist.fm, it seems they have been neglecting that era since about 2000.  That seems strange to me.  Apparently there must be a rift between them.  Too bad as I really wanted to hear What a Fool Believes, my favorite by them.

But no matter, it was another fun show and I’m really glad I got to see them.  If I had a real complaint, it’s the 2 drummer thing.  Other than wanting to try it once with some friends in the mid-80s, I’ve always found it silly.  It’s impressive as they 2 have to be spot on with each other, and both of the drummers last night were super tight, I just find it unnecessary.  Oh well.

Great show!  And I couldn’t help but think about the episode of What’s Happening the whole night.  Most of you readers under 40 or from outside the USA probably won’t remember or even know of that show and/or episode.