The Metal Files

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Christopher Cross Concert Review, Austin, TX, September 18, 2015

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Two nights in a row of yacht rock?  And with the guy who essentially created it?  Sure!  Probably should hand over my Metalhead Gold Card for a little while, eh?  No worries, lots of metal shows coming up!

I’ve been a fan of Christopher Cross since as long as I can remember.  Good easy smooth rock.  Ride Like the Wind is still such a fantastic song.  I took the decision yesterday to see the show and got a seat in the upper balcony of the famed Paramount Theater.  I had only seen Cross when he sat in with Michael McDonald a few years ago for Ride Like the Win.

The show opened with Got To Be a Better Way from his new album.  Never Be the Same was up next and he spoke a little about TV preachers, which was an intro to another song called Reverend Blowhard from his new album, The Secret Ladder.  Is this a 1989 metal show?

He played a mix of old and new songs split between 2 sets.  Of course Sailing drew a huge response.  I was really stoked to hear Thinking of Laura and Minstrel Gigolo which featured an appearance by Eric Johnson.  He mentioned that he and Eric had been best of friends since the 70s and I think it rubbed off on him.

It was a really good show and what I was most amazed by was Cross’ guitar skills.  The guy is a bit of a shredder.   I was blown away.  I’ll really have to go back and revisit his early catalog and give a better listen.  And of course his backing band was top notch.  His drummer and piano player especially.

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.