Archive for the '2011' Category



1. Dream Theater Nokia Theatre 9/25/2011

2. Return To Forever4&Zappa Plays Zappa-Greek 9/20/2011

3. Steely Dan Santa Barbara Bowl 7/6/2011

4. Prince Forum 4/21/2011

5. Duran Duran Nokia Theatre 9/27/2011

6. Mr. Big Canyon 7/31/2011

7. Steel Panther House of Blues Sunset 5/23/2011, 5/30/2011, 6/6/2011 and 8/22/2011 and 11/28/2011

8. Dread Zeppelin Key Club 5/19/2011

9. The Cars Palladium 5/12/2011

10. Devo The Canyon 8/26/2011

11. Wayne Static Key Club 10/10/11

12. Roger Daltrey Nokia Theatre 10/19/2011

13. Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger Hollywood Bowl 10/11/2011

14. Def Leppard Heart Gibson Ampthitheatre 9/7/2011

15. Robert Plant Santa Barbara Bowl 4/25/2011

16. Lee Ritenour OpenBorders 7/16/2011

17. Al Di Meola Canyon 2/17/2011

18. George Thorogood Canyon 4/13/2011

19. Guitar Masters- Eric Johnson and Andy McKee The Canyon 1/23/2011

20. Yngwie Malmsteen Club Nokia 10/29/2011

21. Eric Johnson- Canyon 7/10/2011

22. Red Cross Benefit at Hard Rock Café Hollywood 12/15/2011

23. Stryper The Canyon 10/8/2011

24. Molly Hatchet Canyon 3/11/2011

25. Blondie Club Nokia 10/5/2011

26. Ray Manzarek Open Borders 6/4/2011

27. Brian Setzer Orchestra Gibson Amphitheatre 12/17/2011

28. Gordon Lightfoot The Arlington Theater 11/9/2011

29. OZOKIDZ- Canyon 3/5/2011 and Ozokidz- Grammy Museum 2/12/2011

30. Dave Mason The Canyon Club 11/19/2011

31. Jake Shimakaburo The Canyon 3/25/2011

32. Brian Auger Canyon 6/2/2011

33. Alcatrazz and Uli Jon Roth Ventura Theater 1/20/11

34. Zo2, Jeff Scott Soto and Fozzy at The Whisky 1/14/2011

35. Andy McKee at Borders on Vine 1/14/2011

36. Hurricane Alcatrazz HOB Sunset 7/2/2011

37. Michael Lee Firkins Montrose Canyon 9/8/2011

38. George Benson DMS Hollywood Bowl 8/31/2011

39. Leon Russell Canyon Club 10/20/2011

40. Disco Inferno Constitution Park

41. Berlin The Canyon Club 11/25/2011

42. Albert Lee John Jorgenson Canyon 7/11/2011

43. Go-Gos Greek 8/17/2011

44. Y&T Canyon 3/31/2011

45. Totally 80s- Berlin, Fixx, B-52s, The Human League Hollywood Bowl 9/2/2011

46. 80s concert (Malibu Benefit) Canyon 6/10/2011

47. Cinderella Canyon 9/22/2011

48. John Waite The Canyon Club 12/9/2011

49. Kenny Wayne Shepherd at the Ventura Theater 10/1/2011

50. The Carl Verheyen Band The Canyon Club 12/1/2011

51. Adrian Belew Power Trio Stickmen Canyon 10/21/2011

52. Led Zeppelin 2 at the Key Club 11/5/2011

53. Boogie Knights at the Canyon 2/27/2011

54. Charo TOCAP 5/6/2011

55. Renegade Creation Canyon 8/20/2011

56. Lita Ford Canyon 5/20/2011

57. Circa The Canyon 10/6/2011

58. Spazmatics at The Canyon 1/14/2011

59. Champlin Canyon 7/7/2011

60. Psychedelic Furs Canyon 4/29/2011

61. Tubes Canyon 7/22/2011

62. House of Floyd TOCAP 3/19/2011

63. Whiskey Chimp Constitution Park 7/16/2011

64. Kenny Loggins The Canyon 3/26/2011

65. Marshall Tucker Band 5/28/2011

66. Matisyahu TO Civic Arts Plaza- 2/15/2011

67. G. Love Grammy Museum 4/9/2011

68. The Misfits Ventura Theater 9/30/2011


My 2011 “Top 20” for musicians, bands, and shows

After lots of thought, here are my favorite singers, guitarists, bass players, drummers, etc. etc. from 2011- a great year of music with some incredible musicians- there’s no real order to my selections, but I do pick my favorites down below).

My Top 20 Singers for 2011

Sebastian Bach

Michael Starr

Jeff Scott Soto

Keith St. John

Terri Nunn


Leon Russell

Tim” Ripper” Owens

Michael Lee Firkins

Dave Mason

George Thorogood


Robert Plant

Tortelvis (Dread Zeppelin)

Kelly Hansen

Simon LeBon

Noah Hunt (Kenny Wayne’s Singer)

Wayne Static

Michael Sweet

George Benson

Graham Bonnet

Mark Boals

Dave Meniketti


My Top 20 Bass Players This Year

Billy Sheehan

Bob Knarley (Dread Zeppelin)

Marcus Miller

Tracy Wormwood (B-52s)

Ida Nielsen (Prince)

Dave Marotta

John Taylor

Jimmy Haslip

Lane Hoppen (Albert Lee/ John Jorgenson)

Julie Slick (Adrian Belew)

Tony Levin

John Myung

Stanley Clarke

Bjorn Englen

Tony Franklin

Deon Estus

Pete Griffin (Zappa Plays Zappa)

Melvin Davis (Lee Ritenour)

Dave Rapa (Michael Lee Firkins)

Jeff Pilson

My Top 20 Favorite Guitar Players This Year

Al DiMeola

Russ Parrish

Albert Lee

John Jorgenson


Howie Simon

Paul Gilbert

Yngwie Malmsteen

John Petrucci

Al DiMeola

Russ Parrish

Andy McKee

Eric Johnson

Joel Hoekstra

Michael Lee Firkins

Frank Gambale

Lee Ritenour


Michael Landau

Vinnie Moore



Gary Novak

John Blackwell (Prince)

Walfedo Reyes, Jr.

Tommy Clufetos

Mike Mangini

Glen Sobel

Ronald Bruner, Jr.

Jeff Friedl

Tobias Ralph (Adrian Belew)

Pat Mastelotto

Lenny White

Joe Travers


My Top 12 Keyboards

Greg Hawkes

Brian Auger

Jordan Rudess

Rat Manzarek


John Beasley

Tony Kaye

Chick Corea

Leon Russell

Nick Marino (Yngwie)

Donald Fagen

Roy Hay


My Top 10 Best “Metal” Shows”

Yngwie Malmsteen

Dream Theater

Mr. Big
Steel Panther

Wayne Static



Jeff Scott Soto



My Top 15 Best “Classic Rock” And “Rock” Shows

Roger Daltrey

Molly Hatchet

Ray Mazarek

Dave Mason

Leon Russell

George Thorogood

Def Leppard

Robert Plant




Night Ranger

Gordon Lightfoot

Dave Mason

Best “Jazz” Shows

Return To Forever

Steely Dan

Lee Ritenour

Al DiMeola

Brian Auger

George Benson


Best “80’s” Shows


Duran Duran







The Human League

80s concert- Boys Don’t Cry


Michael Lee Firkins

Kenny Wayne Shepherd


Dream Theater

Adrian Belew and Stickmen


House of Floyd

Zappa Plays Zappa

Best “Cover” Bands

Dread Zeppelin- reggae Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin 2- awesome recreation of the real band

Foreigner- NO ORIGINAL members when they played Hollywood

Steel Panther- they do songs better than the original versions

Disco Inferno- great disco band

Boogie Knights- another great disco band

Spazmatics- great 80s music

Least Favorite Concerts- The “Bottom 5”

Matisyahu- fell asleep- acoustic show wasn’t as exciting as his regular concerts

The Misfits- left early- the sound was horrible and it all sounded the same

Marshall Tucker Band- great band, but horrible singing and harmonies

Kenny Loggins- even after several beers, Footloose just didn’t do it for me this time around

G. Love- took my kid for a “kid’s” show- wish I hadn’t- very inappropriate and unmusical

Top 10 Concerts This Year:

1. Dream Theater Nokia Theatre 9/25/2011

2. Return To Forever4&Zappa Plays Zappa-Greek 9/20/2011

3. Steely Dan Santa Barbara Bowl 7/6/2011

4. Prince Forum 4/21/2011

5. Duran Duran Nokia Theatre 9/27/2011

6. Mr. Big Canyon 7/31/2011

7. Steel Panther House of Blues Sunset 5/23/2011, 5/30/2011, 6/6/2011 and 8/22/2011 and 11/28/2011

8. Dread Zeppelin Key Club 5/19/2011

9. The Cars Palladium 5/12/2011

10. Devo The Canyon 8/26/2011


Berlin The Canyon Club 11/25/2011

This is my fifth time seeing Berlin in the last 2 1/2 years. I’ve seen them three times in "80s band" type settings where they’ve played 4-5 songs per set and now twice at the Canyon where they played a full length set.  Their last show at the Canyon was around the same time last year.  For some reason, that show was kind of "low energy"- Terri Nunn seemed depressed or bothered by something- and I felt kind of bad for her.   But not on this evening- this show rocked! Great lighting, great sound and a cool video intro to start their set.    From all the hits ("Take My Breath Away", "No More Words", "The Metro", etc.), to a Jefferson Airplane cover tune, to a Christmas song and Adam Sandler’s "The Hanukkah Song", this was a solid show.   As always, Terri was very personable with the audience- actually venturing out a few times and singing songs throughout the crowd.    At one point, a bunch of people got up on stage and danced along to a tune.   There aren’t many performers that are so accessible at a show like she is.   I realized tonight how much I like the song "Masquerade”- that was one of the highlights of their set.  It seems like the smart people were here enjoying the show while the crazy people were out shopping.    The show lasted about an hour and a half and was a great way to spend the Black Friday evening and usher in the holidays. 










Dave Mason The Canyon 11/19/2011

As a young kid, I remember listening to Dave Mason 8-tracks on the long drives camping to various rivers and lakes in both Central and Northern California.    He was the “road trip music” of my youth.   I guess his music is now just a part of who I am, as it has left an indelible impression on me and I am always compelled to see him here every time he plays The Canyon.

Dave Mason is a true legend.    I was once given a trivia question with a $100 cash prize for the right answer.   Unfortunately, I didn’t know who played rhythm guitar on the original recording of “All Along The Watchtower” and wasn’t able to pocket the money (where was the Internet when I needed it?).   In fact, I had no idea and was kind of shocked to find out the answer.     Guess who?    This is my fifth time seeing Dave Mason and he always rocks, as does his great band.   He also brings in the largest crowds I’ve ever seen at the Canyon.   People were parking as far as the Do-It Center clear across the lot to get to the show.

He played for about an hour and 45 minutes.  Excellent guitar playing, musicianship and just a good, happy musical experience. I showed up right before his set started and stayed behind the mixing board by the door.   Every time someone went out on the patio for a smoke, the air outside felt great. The sound was good and it was a nice crowd of really happy people- just how I like it.      Like all enjoyable shows lately, it seems as if it went by in a heartbeat.   I’m very glad I attended my 4th Dave Mason show at the Canyon in 4 years…  Time and money well spent, for sure.

And he encored with "All Along The Watchtower".   The perfect sending to a great show.  











Yngwie Malmsteen Club Nokia 10/29/2011

First off, the drive to Downtown LA sucked!!!   I almost turned around and went home.  Had it been a lesser performer, I might have given up.      I got down there and still had a little time to eat, drink and make it to the show.    My seat was on the VIP balcony in last row on the far corner.  I couldn’t see the drums or keyboards and my view was blocked with a railing.     Looking down below, it didn’t seem like there were that many people there.   I felt bloated from eating too fast.   It made the show a little less enjoyable, but that’s my own fault.    The sound was overbearing for the opener- killer band, but I was feeling a little hypertensive.    I ran to the lounge towards the end.     Yngwie came out a while later- the sound level was actually really good and he was as fierce as ever on the guitar.   But over the course of the evening, the songs seemed to get louder and louder.   There are two things I always expect from an Yngwie concert- a little hearing loss (days of ears buzzing) and being completely blown away by his guitar playing.   Every other time I saw him, I was right in front of the stage, so this wasn’t as exciting sitting in a cushy seat upstairs.   Then again, not standing right in front of all his Marshall stacks made a big difference in the volume level and me not being deaf for days afterwards. And having caught a pick at one of his previous shows, I didn’t feel the need to stand there for hours hoping for a little piece of plastic to come my way. I did throw on some earplugs about halfway through the set when Ripper mentioned something about making the music louder. Thanks for the warning, Mr. Owens.  Yngwie kept beating up his guitars. He tossed them around, broke strings, slid them across the stage and just kept abusing them. It was amusing. I was waiting for one to get smashed or dropped by his roadie. I hung upstairs until the encore and then went to the floor to enjoy the rest of the show and plan my quick exit at the end.  Ripper sounded really good and the band did a fine job in keeping up with the guitar master.   Yngwie should not bother to sing- not one note….ever. He’s another guitarists on my "Do Not Sing" list. Singing on "Cherokee Warrior" and handling background vocals was a bad call. Sorry, Yngwie.      The highlight was at the very end of the when Yngwie smashed the shit out of his guitar at the end of “I’ll See The Light Tonight”.      He busted the headstock off and then just ripped it apart and threw it into the crowd. Whoever got the pickups and the strap really made out. I’m glad I was there to witness that…..  And my ears are buzzing a bit, but not like the last couple times I saw him.   I captured a few songs and quite a bit of soloing. Great show.


Rising Force: Dreaming:

Heaven Tonight: I’ll See the light Tonight (encore) with smashed gutiar:




Put down the microphone, Yngwie:


Set List

  1. Rising Force

  2. Never Die

  3. Shot Across the Bow

  4. Overture

  5. Critical Mass

  6. Badinerie

  7. Icarus’ Dream Suite

  8. Far Beyond the Sun

  9. Star Spangled Banner

  10. Enemy Within

  11. Red Devil

  12. Damnation Game

  13. Baroque & Roll

  14. Live To Fight (Another Day)

  15. Dreaming (Tell Me)

  16. Gates of Babylon

    (Rainbow cover)

  17. Into Valhalla

  18. Demon Driver

  19. Trilogy Suite Op: 5

  20. Blue

  21. Fugue

  22. Heaven Tonight


  1. Black Star

  2. Cherokee Warrior

  3. I’ll See the Light Tonight


Dream Theater NOKIA THEATRE September 25, 2011 9/25/2011

This show was awesome.  I got to LA Live early and visited the Grammy Museum.   I then met up with a friend and watched part of the hockey game before hanging out in the VIP waiting for Trivium to finish their set.   We got into the theater at 9:12 and Dream Theater started at 9:15.   That was probably the fastest two hours of my life.  Exceptional concert.   Mike Mangini is the real deal (and I’ve known that for a long time).   Everyone was completely on their game and the crowd absolutely loved it!!!    What a great Sunday!!!

Dream Theater Setlist NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE, Los Angeles, CA, USA 2011, A Dramatic Turn of Events




 DSC03924DSC03922 DSC03926DSC03927DSC04034DSC03941







Cinderella Canyon Club 9/22/0211 Agoura Hills, CA




It was a nice afternoon and evening in Agoura.   I had to take a picture of the Buick on the way in.    I met up with a bunch of friends and had a fun time before, during and after the show.   It was pretty packed at the Canyon tonight and it was a lot of fun seeing all the people into metal.  The band played a nice long set with plenty of good songs.   Tom Keifer seemed to have a tough time with some of the vocals, but it’s totally understandable given how strenuous his style of singing is.  The music rocked, the songs sounded good and everyone enjoyed themselves.  It was a truly enjoyable evening at the Canyon.





Once Around the Ride
Shake Me
Heartbreak Station
Somebody Save Me
Night Songs
The More Things Change
Coming Home
Second Wind
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
Nobody’s Fool
Gypsy Road
Shelter Me







The Human League, The B-52’s, The Fixx, Berlin Hollywood Bowl 9/2/2011

Totally 80s!!!

I got there early to beat traffic and enjoyed the beautiful grounds of the Hollywood Bowl- my favorite venue of all time.   When the show started, I moved around quite a bit to find the best spot for sound. My seat was in the terrace/ super seat section, but I felt like cruising around the Bowl a bit and checking the show out from different vantage points.  

Berlin sounded really good.  I’ve never recalled them NOT sounding good (and I’ve seen them quite a few times).   They played a really short set of their best tunes. The Fixx sounded good, but they played too long. They should have just played their 3 songs and called it an evening. And Berlin shouldn’t have opened for them. The B-52s were OK. I’m not a big fan, but I was interesting in seeing them. Kate Pierson still has an incredible voice and their bass player did a remarkable job. But they also played too long. 3 or 4 songs would have been enough. The other sings wore a sweater that looked like a mix Freddy Krueger’s sweater and my older kid’s lady bug Halloween costume from 2008.  Anyhow,  I was really hoping for that song Channel Z (all static, all day forever, or something like that). I like that tune. The Human League was OK, but could have done a few less songs. You be the judge. They played their two popular songs (I couldn’t think of any more of their songs I needed to hear) and people were leaving in droves.  Not wanting to get stuck in Bowl traffic, I ended up leaving as well and almost made it all the way to the street when I heard another of their familiar tunes- "Don’t You Want Me" (I guess they had 3 after all), so I turned around and boogied back into the Bowl.   It sounded good- it took me about 90 seconds to get from the parking lot to the garden box section. I taped it. That was easily the best vantage point of the evening.  They played another song for about 30 seconds when I darted back to my car, got in it, waited for the light to turn green at the intersection and was on the freeway in no time, thus beating the Labor Day traffic.

80s concerts should be in a format of 7 or 8 bands doing 3 to 4 songs each (or 5 if you’re Berlin).    I’ve seen it pulled off before with great results.


Terri Nunn also did a great job as the host of the show.












George Benson George Duke Marcus Miller David Sanborn (DMS) HOLLYWOOD BOWL 8/31/2011

I think this show signaled the end of the summer.   I saw kids getting out of school on the way there.   Traffic is back to being awful in the early afternoons.   There’s an art to attending concerts at the Bowl- from parking to dining to seating to an exit strategy (beating the other 15000 people out of the parking lot and onto the freeway, etc. etc.).    Being able to bring food and drinks into the venue is great, but there were quite a few drunk people at the show.   It was the worst crowd in terms of inconsiderate people I’ve experienced this year.   It’s quite obvious that a lot of people are just there to party. 

(DMS) David Sanborn, Marcus Miller and George Duke opened the show.     It started off strong and there was some great playing in their set.   Some of the songs were of the easy listening variety, but the band managed to pack a punch into some very mellow tunes.   Marcus Miller was playing great, as always.  The drummer was also really jamming out.   I’d see them again, but I think I liked Marcus Miller’s band that opened up for Chick Corea (SMV) better than this one… Can’t they come up with better names for bands than the last name intial acronyms?



George Benson is one of my favorites and I’ve seen him many times over the years.   He’s always been a brilliant guitar player and singer.      Tonight, he played a lot of his favorites and some odd cover songs, like Norah Jones and a Stevie Wonder tune.  He also played “Tequila”.  However, he didn’t play “On Broadway”, so that’s a huge foul right there….  He could have scratched a lot of the songs he played in order to make it a better set.  And I think I’ve seen him enough times that I probably don’t need to see him too many more times in concert.     Looking back,   I’d have to say I like the opening band better than George tonight.  

Even so, I’m glad I went- the Bowl is as nice as ever and I am looking forward to a few more visits before the end of the concert season.














DEVO CANYON 8/26/2011


DEVO always puts on a great show and this was yet another one to add to the list.   The Canyon wasn’t packed out and it was quite the relaxing atmosphere leading up to their 9:00 stage time.   Josh Freese wasn’t on drums (he’s on tour with Weezer- bummer), but this drummer did a great job and the band shredded.   It was really neat seeing these old guys still rocking.  The visuals were great and the sound was pretty decent.     A bunch of quirky keyboard sounds panned through the PA and neat stuff happening throughout made it a great show. One of the real highlights was seeing Terri Nunn from Berlin dancing on the table in front of us- nobody rocked out as much as she did at this show.   Definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen at The Canyon. 




This is the standard set list for the shows (I think it was the same set list):

Devo Setlist The Grove Of Anaheim, Anaheim, CA, USA 2011

Steal This Disc Album Cover | Album Covers
What would have made this show better?  This Instrumental Version of Jerkin’ Back and Forth compilation CD.

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