Archive Page 2

30
Dec
12

2009 shows

30
Dec
12

2010 SHOWS

12
May
12

DREAD ZEPPELIN CLUB NOKIA 5/12/2012

There are tons of Led Zeppelin covers bands- some are really good and some are really bad.   Dread Zeppelin gets a really bad rap for being a “novelty” act and is dismissed as a joke band, which is total garbage.  These guys are excellent musicians, and, although people take exception to an Elvis impersonator doing reggae versions of Led Zeppelin tunes, this is some seriously good music.   From the quirky 8-string guitarist, to the incredible bass player, to the awesome keyboard playing, percussion and drumming, you really can’t go wrong with this band.   They do more than just Led Zep covers.     Some of the music and the act is cheesy by design, but once you get past the gimmicky, low-budget Las Vegas lounge act vibe, there is so much to discover and appreciate in their playing and ingenious renditions of the tunes.

Mark Schwind and I were completely besides ourselves when we heard about this show.    This was my third time seeing Dread Zeppelin- I caught them in 2010 at The Canyon to a fairly sizeable crowd and  in 2011 at The Key Club with a very small audience.   Both times, they played great sets.  This Club Nokia show was by far the largest venue to date that I’ve seen them perform at.  They were the opening act for the headliners (Super Diamond), which is quite a different audience demographic and contrasting styles of music.

Dread Zeppelin came out and played an intimate show for Mark Schwind and a few others in attendance.   They ripped it up- Led Zep songs reggae style, Viva Las Vegas, Big Old Gold Belt- they rocked it.   Conspicuous by his absence was bass player Bob Knarley.   He was replaced by a new bass player- Fred Zeppelin.   Fred was awesome, but I was planning on seeing Bob.   Anyhow, the show was as good as expected.   We also stayed for a few Super Diamond songs.  That band is awesome- the singer doesn’t really sound like Neil Diamond to me, but the band sure can play….   Anyhow, we left early to beat Laker traffic.  It was the smart thing to do….

 

 

 

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31
Dec
11

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

Blondie

Leon Russell

Tim” Ripper” Owens

Michael Lee Firkins

Dave Mason

George Thorogood

Prince

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 3 FAVORITES- SEBASTIAN BACH, MICHAEL STARR and JEFF SCOTT SOTO

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 3 FAVORITES: BILLY SHEEHAN, JULIE SLICK and IDA NIELSEN

My Top 20 Favorite Guitar Players This Year

Al DiMeola

Russ Parrish

Albert Lee

John Jorgenson

Prince

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

Charo

Michael Landau

Vinnie Moore

MY 3 FAVORITES: HOWIE SIMON, JOHN PETRUCCI and PAUL GILBERT

Drums

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 2 FAVORITES: JOHN BLACKWELL and MIKE MANGINI

My Top 12 Keyboards

Greg Hawkes

Brian Auger

Jordan Rudess

Rat Manzarek

Devo

John Beasley

Tony Kaye

Chick Corea

Leon Russell

Nick Marino (Yngwie)

Donald Fagen

Roy Hay

MY 2 FAVORITES THIS YEAR: JORDAN RUDESS and JOHN BEASLEY

My Top 10 Best “Metal” Shows”

Yngwie Malmsteen

Dream Theater

Mr. Big
Steel Panther

Wayne Static

Alcatrazz

Stryper

Jeff Scott Soto

Y&T

Cinderella

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

Roger Daltrey

Molly Hatchet

Ray Mazarek

Dave Mason

Leon Russell

George Thorogood

Foreigner
Def Leppard

Robert Plant

Montrose

Heart

Journey

Night Ranger

Gordon Lightfoot

Dave Mason

Best “Jazz” Shows

Return To Forever

Steely Dan

Lee Ritenour

Al DiMeola

Brian Auger

George Benson

DMS

Best “80’s” Shows

Prince

Duran Duran

Cars

Devo

Go-Gos

Berlin

Fixx

B-52s

The Human League

80s concert- Boys Don’t Cry

Blues

Michael Lee Firkins

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Prog

Dream Theater

Adrian Belew and Stickmen

Circa

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

31
Dec
11

End of 2011- the start of my concert book from all the work this year

In 2011, I hit up 73 concerts and many other events and tapings of a musical nature that don’t really “qualify” as concerts.  Of the 73 (done over and 11 month span), I thoroughly enjoyed about 50 of them and only regretted going to between 5-10 of them, but they were all for the sake of research in one way or another.     Of the 73 shows, I only paid full price for a few of them.  Oftentimes, I’d enjoy tremendously discounted ticket prices or have been on the guest list.   Many times, I’ve gone to events with unused tickets that are sitting in a box because I didn’t try hard enough to give them away.   

I’m running behind in publishing my concert eBook that will explain current concert trends and a lot of the tricks, tips and observations that I will share from my personal experiences in planning and attending events.    Whether there are 50 people or 50,000 people at a show, there is a way to come and go without making it too hard on all involved.   I have a lot of experience that will make for a good read of these subjects. I’ve also been a lazy blogger this year and have done a mediocre job at reviewing concerts.   I’ve purposefully withheld some of the details that I would rather include in the publication. 

By using some of the techniques I’ve learned or improved during 2011, I will cover some strategies I’ve developed to make it easy on the wallet, while still maximizing enjoyment for different concerts such as metal, rock, blues, jazz, new wave and many other musical styles.   If you have a budget for 5 concerts this year, you may be able to stretch it out to 10 shows or more, depending on how you plan and what’s involved.

Here are some of the topics I am going to cover in my book:

Going VIP, but not paying hundreds to do it

Going on a shoe string budget

Ticketing- retail, cheap seats/ discount, papering, guest list/ comps

Free shows

Ticket box office trick

Ticketmaster trick

Upgrading your seats

Capturing memories- cameras, blogging, filming your friends reactions after shows, etc.

Small venues, theaters, larger venues, festivals

General admission

Seating

Parking

Scams in parking lots

Partying

Eating

Set Lists

Set Times

Cell Phone

Money

Concert tricks….

Concert “kits”

Going alone versus with a friend, date or a group

Sound quality considerations/ ear plugs

Meeting the artist

Exit strategy

Meeting people

Merchandise

Security staff

Being safe

Using technology and Social Media to your advantage, BOTH BEFORE And AFTER THE SHOW

I’ve written my book in bits and pieces and it’s time to assemble and edit it for publication.  Some of it is common sense, but a lot of it is the result of a lot of thought, practice and execution.    I’m not giving away every last one of my secrets, but in attending shows with many different people over the years, reading this will definitely “up your concert game” in quite a few ways.

Please visit my new blog:   www.concerts2012.wordpress.com for more details and information on the shows I am attending this year.

17
Dec
11

Mark Schwind. Grinchmas and Brian Setzer Orchestra Gibson Universal 12/17/2011

Mark Schwind, the Grinch and the Stray Cat Strut- holiday style!

Like last year around Christmas, it was another cool time at CityWalk with the inimitable and irrepressible Mark Schwind.   We enjoyed VIP seating at Karl Strauss, Saddle Ranch, The Tree Lighting Ceremony for Grinchmas at Universal Studios and last, and certainly not least, The Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Show at the Gibson Amphitheatre, where we enjoyed premium seating in a section reserved just for Mark.  The guitar at the Hard Rock Café is currently a replica of the Eddie Van Halen guitar, so that made my evening right there.      After telling her about what a great time we had, my wife regretted not going to this event with us.   Her loss (and the fact that we had an extra ticket that went unused really made her upset- I had to throw that in for free to lift her holiday spirits).  Now she’s really not happy that she missed out.     Brian and his orchestra were incredible- his guitar playing and singing were perfect.  The Stray Cats songs were great and the holiday tunes were killer.   I’m glad I was finally able to catch this show.      The only thing better would have been if Mark Schwind had jammed with the band!!   HOW DO YOU KNOW MARK SCHWIND???

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The Brian Setzer Orchestra Setlist Gibson Amphitheatre, Universal City, CA, USA 2011

 

Mark enjoying the show from his very own VIP section:

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HOW DO YOU KNOW MARK SCHWIND???  #HDYKMS

15
Dec
11

Comedy at On the Rox (TMS Guys) and The All-Star Red Cross Benefit Concert at Hard Rock Café Hollywood 12/15/2011

The Rainbow was pretty empty at 6:30.   We hung there for a while before going next door to On The Rox (what a tiny room!) for what turned out to basically be the Metal Blade Christmas party.    Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine from That Metal Show did their stand up acts and all was said and done before 9:00.   It would have been a pretty intimate hang-out after the show with the rock celeb personalities in attendance, but we opted to rush to a concert instead.  We jumped in the concert vessel and went straight to the Hard Rock Café at Hollywood and Highland for the Red Cross Benefit Concert.  According to my camera, we were still walking down the stairs at The Roxy at 8:51 and were in the Hard Rock Café watching the show right around 9:10 (not bad if I do say so myself!)

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The benefit  show for the Red Cross was going in an “unplugged” format and  Hurricane was playing "I’m On To You" just as we walked in.   Then Richie Kotzen played a few of his tunes.   Oz Fox from Stryper played some tunes with Angel.  Graham Bonnet did a couple Alcatrazz songs with Howie Simon.     Great White then did 3 songs and then there was an All Star jam with Carlos Cavazo, Jeff Pilson, Howie Simon, Graham Bonnet, the keyboards player from Iron Butterfly and the drummer of Great White.  They did “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Day Tripper”.   More All-star jams were starting up after that, but we had to head home.   I’m really curious to find out what we missed. It was truly a great show and a very fun evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROCKING FOR A GOOD CAUSE!

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Jeff had fun:

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Cool song to purchase and support the cause:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/one-family-single/id485785133?enlh=3&ls=1




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