Review by Donna Erichsen
“Ghosts of Christmas”
Mohegan Sun Arena
November 26, 2017
The Christmas season has arrived with the performance from the progressive rock band the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This has become an almost every year tradition for many. So it doesn’t seem like the season starts without an evening watching TSO. The performance was split into two parts. The first portion of the show was the “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve”, a story from the 1999 soundtrack, was narrated by Bryan Hicks as portions of the rock opera were shown on screens.
Prior to beginning the show a presentation was made of over $10,000 for local Connecticut charities from some of the proceeds from shows at Mohegan Sun this year. Trans-Siberian Orchestra has always made sure with each of their Christmas performances that they contribute something back directly to the community where they are performing that night.
As always the string section is made up of local talented performers brought in for the event. On its first tour since the death of founder Paul O’Neill seven months ago. The band continues on with his vision of the show started in 1993. They still keep the concept of two troupes performing at the same time in different areas and bringing in the local talent as well as their own performers.
With each new season TSO changes the layout of the lasers and platforms that move. This year there were numerous risers for guitarists Chris Caffery and Joel Hoekstrar to strap onto as they performed. Roddy Chong on the violin was also hooked on to risers and floated above the stage in both the front and back of the arena. The arena was filled with smoke and flames. But, this year the entire backdrop was turned into many different sections of video screens all playing at the same time to expand the storyline well beyond the back of the stage. This year included the entire percussion section and keyboards on a stage that ascended up in the air about 30 feet during different numbers.
TSO played selections from their numerous rock operas Christmas Eve and Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, Beethoven’s Last Night, The Lost Christmas Eve, their two-disc Night Castle and Letters From the Labyrinth. They played a few from each of these as well as “Wizards in Winter” from The Lost Christmas Eve album released in 2004.
The second half of the concert was predominantly music from their non-Christmas albums including “Carmina Burana” a deep and dark number with flames shooting as the background videos projected flames shooting out of castle windows.
Trans Siberian Orchestra is one of the top ticket selling bands of the first decade of the new millennium. They are known for never having had an opening band and have never been an opening band for any other performers. They went straight to performing in auditoriums without being a bar or club band. Their performances from the start have been extravaganzas full of light shows and special effects. This is one part of the show that never disappoints the audience. O’Neill always wanted his shows to be intentionally over the top.
The concert was a bit too long and could possible be shortened by a couple of songs without losing it’s effect. Perhaps not playing “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” twice. Once clearly does suffice without the reprise. But, all and all it was a good performance and rang in the season in a now traditional form.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Time and Distance (The Dash)
The Lost Christmas Eve
O Come All Ye Faithful/O Holy Night
Good King Joy
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)
Christmas Canon Rock
What Child Is This?
Music Box Blues
Promises to Keep
This Christmas Day
Siberian Sleigh Ride
Christmas Nights in Blue
A Mad Russian’s Christmas
For the Sake of Our Brother
Wizards in Winter
Madness of Men
The Safest Way Into Tomorrow
The Night Conceives
Find Our Way Home
Requiem (The Fifth)
Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Reprise)
Greenwich Concours d’Elegance
June 2 – 4, 2017
The 22nd edition of the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance was held this past weekend at the beautiful waterfront venue in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was an event celebrating both vintage and some of the latest offerings from the auto industry. The event featured the American Classes on Saturday and the International Classes on Sunday.
The Concours d’Elegance is an event that also gives back. The proceeds from entry fees and ticket sales along with other generous donations from patrons are donated to charity. Americares, a health-focused charity serving all 50 states and 90 other countries, is the charity of choice for the Concours d’Elegance.
Saturday’s event could not have asked better weather and drew crowds from Connecticut and surrounding states to take in the mix of beautifully restored and maintained American automobiles and motorcycles. There were also plenty of custom and hot rods cars on hand as well. There was nostalgia in the air and some owners dressed the part to complement their entries.
The judging was divided into classes with teams of judges. Each team of three was assigned approximately 15 cars to judge. Saturday’s classes were Hot Rods, Custom Cars, Children’s Cars, Horseless Carriage, Brass Era, Classic Open, Classic Closed, Postwar Open, Postwar Closed, Unrestored Preservation, Competition, Muscle/Performance, Supercar and Motorcycle.
Wayne Carini of the hit Velocity Channel show “Chasing Classic Cars” was an honorary judge. He also had two cars of his in the Concours as entries.
The youngest judge was also a seasoned veteran. Christopher DeMarey at 15 years old was judging for his ninth year alongside his father Jeff DeMarey. Starting at the age of seven it is safe say he was exposed to some of the finest cars on earth before many his age could even pronounce the name Lamborghini correctly. Christopher proudly displayed his pins from previous years tacked to the inside of his jacket. It is safe to say he will continue on at Greenwich for quite a few more years.
Bonhams Auctions held an event on the grounds and Saturday and Sunday displayed items for sale in tents as well as on the lawn for prospective buyers to inspect for Sunday’s auction.
Sunday featured the International classes of Bugatti, Racecars from the 2016 Lime Rock Historic Festival, Children’s Cars, Prewar, English Sports/GT, English Touring/Saloon, German Sports/GT, Italian Touring, International Sports & Touring, French, Special Interest, Unrestored Preservation and Motorcycle Classes.
One of the interesting things to do is to wander the grounds and speak to the owners about their specific vehicles, especially the restored classics. Many of those I spoke to gladly told the history of vehicle, how long it took to restore and what process they went through to get it right, down to the smallest details. Each owner clearly proud and many had photos of past owners and some cases racing history and drivers.
Take the 1933 Packard 1006 V-12 Cabriolet Deville by Fernandez & Darrin owner who painstakingly had 24 coats of paint placed on his Packard until she gleamed a mirror. He recited how the vehicle was once owned by Charles Lindbergh’s son-in-law and possibly Lindbergh himself.
For those who prefer something more modern there was an example of a new generation of concept cars. The Rimac Concept One two-seat high-performance electric sports car designed and manufactured by Rimac Automobil.
The ultra modern electric car has a total output of 811 kW the equivalent of 1,088 hp, and can accelerate from 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph) in 2.8 seconds.
The 2017 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Best in Show vehicle is decided by an experienced panel of judges and is presented during the awards ceremony, where the owner typically drives the car to the podium area and is interviewed by the master of ceremonies.
The Best of Show for Saturday: 1935 Packard Dietrich D-C Pht.
The Best of Show for Sunday: 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante.
All class winners are listed below,
For all vintage vehicle and modern one of a kind auto and motorcycle admirers the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance is a must see for the summer. If you have not taken in this New England weekend of beautifully crafted vehicles it is something you should consider for next year. In addition it’s a charitable event so it’s great for everyone involved and attending helps in many ways far beyond Greenwich.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
David Crosby and Friends
Garde Arts Center
May 29, 2017
The Garde Arts Center outdid themselves with this concert. Although they have hosted many great shows, this show was spectacular.
Growing up as a child of the sixties one the voices in the soundtrack of my youth would have to be David Crosby. He and his counterparts were a representation of the era and the outspoken cry for justice and political change in America. To see him now as an adult completes a cycle of decades of changes. Changes in age, political climate, people. Crosby has accepted those changes and evolved into a still relevant voice in American music. Though the Vietnam war is long over we are still embroiled in ever present political strife as much now as ever.
Crosby, never one to shy away from his political stance still speaks for peace and love. He has an opinion on what is right and what is wrong in America and what we as American’s allow to happen in our society.
This was such a memorable concert on many levels. To hear Crosby play his older tunes was one but also to hear his musical evolution brought it to another level. He has for almost the last two decades enjoyed playing with one of his sons. James Raymond, Crosby’s son, is the keyboard player in the band and also co-author of many of Crosby’s newer works. They have worked together since forming the band CPR (Crosby, Pevar & Raymond) with Jeff Pevar on lead guitar in 1996.
Crosby gathered together some friends to tour with him, Truly talented friends they are. As Crosby stated during the concert each band player is an accomplished musician on their own and have had their own bands. The friends are James Raymond (keyboards/vocals), Jeff Pevar (guitar/vocals), Michelle Willis (keyboards/vocals), Mai Agan (bass) and Steve DiStanislao (drums/vocals).
Starting off his career with The Byrds, then on to Crosby, Stills, Nash. Continuing with the addition of Neil Young for a time. Crosby was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and inducted twice for his works with the Byrds and CSN, and he was a founding member of both bands.
Crosby released his first solo album, If Only I Could Remember My Name, in 1971 and his solo career is still going strong to this day. This past October he released Lighthouse. His newest release “Sky Trails” was available for the concert patrons to purchase only at the venues on concert nights.
There were the obligatory Crosby, Stills and Nash songs. Along with each song though there was a short explanation of where that song belonged in his life. The reasons for writing them and where his mind was at the time and who among the greats of 60’s rock he was associating with during the writing and performing of those songs.
Crosby said that all his life when he had an emotion he squashed but felt he needed to air he would air it by writing a song about it. “In My Dreams,” was the opening song of the evening. Followed by a song he wrote about Jim Morrison. The Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Long Time Coming” finished up the first set and the band took a short intermission.
After the intermission they returned to the stage and went right into a CPR song “Map To Buried Treasure” They played a Crosby & Nash song “Homeward Through The Haze” and then “Angel Dream.”
Jeff Benedict, prize winning author and native of New London, CT, who wrote the book “Little Pink House.” “Little Pink House” is a story of one woman’s fight to keep her house which was being taken by the law of eminent domain. It tells of how large corporations or governments can remove a person’s right to live in a home they purchased and call home simply because it is in the way of development. The Garde Arts Center concert was important because the fight the book and film were based upon is the case that took place in New London.
The book was made into a movie and while searching for inspired music for the movie Benedict thought of asking long time friend Crosby. Crosby an opponent of taking of homes for eminent domain of course agreed and wrote the song “Home Free” Jeff Benedict invited Crosby to play at the Garde Arts Center and the song was performed live for the first time ever at this concert.
They finished up with a rousing version of the CSNY hit “Déjà vu.” The encore to follow was full of patriotism and a great rendition of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee”
At 75 years young David Crosby sounded fantastic as did his friends. Their voices filled the theater with such wonderful harmonies. Crosby’s vocals were so strong all we can hope for is that he continues to play for many years to come. Hopefully he will also do a encore performance at The Garde Arts Center in the near future. If he does I am sure the house will be full of eager patrons waiting to hear his beautiful music.
In My Dreams
She’s Got To Be
At The Edge
Long Time Gone
Map To Buried Treasure
What Are Their Names
Low Down Payment
My Country Tis
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Rhode Island National Guard Airshow
May 20 & 21, 2017
Quonset, Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Nation Guard annual airshow at the Quonset Point air base could not have asked for better conditions. They treated families, aviator’s, plane enthusiasts and photographers to an action packed weekend with some of the world’s best aviators in action. The planes ranged from F-16 Vipers to vintage WWII aircraft circling the skies over Narragansett Bay in a spectacular display of daring and skill.
The United States Special Operations Command Parachute Team opened the show jumping out of a Lockheed Martin c130 and trailing a 30 foot American Flag held by the lead jumper as they passed a baton in mid air and trailed smoke as they showed off their precision landing skills in front of the crowd. The Para-Commandos are representative of the Special Operations Forces and represent the Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Air Force Combat Controllers and Marine Raiders.
It was a kid friendly event that was perfect for families and as an extra bonus all the proceeds from the vendor’s profits goes to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital and other local charities. Patrons got to enjoy a world class airshow, eat, drink visit various displays and support local charities all in one afternoon.
The USAF F-16 Viper Demo Team streaked through the sky performing precision feats and high performance rolls. They showcase the capabilities of the jet and the expert pilots of the USAF.
Mike Goulian put is EXTRA 330SC Unlimited through a thrilling aerial aerobatic display of daring climbs, barrel rolls. Goulian is one of the top performers in the sport and it was evident in this performance. The high tech carbon-fiber and rugged steel plane is the world’s most high performance aerobatic airplane. He flawlessly swooped down low and upside down just feet above the runway before driving his craft straight up skyward and then tumble back toward earth. He showed his world class skills before a cheering crowd.
The military brought out the Rhode Island National Guard Dynamic Military Display with soldiers giving a demonstration of troop deployment from a variety of aircraft. They used Apache helicopters and medical helicopters to show deployment of personnel and equipment including cannons, and vehicles as well as evacuation of personnel.
John Klatt piloted The Jack Link’s Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco plane powered by dual power plants. It has a Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine and a General Electric CJ610 jet engine with 3,000 pounds of thrust for a combine rate of 4,500 lbs. This jet can accelerate while climbing straight up and were both on hand to thrill the crowd with aerobatics and screaming jet powered antics.
Of course no Jack Link’s event would be complete without the Jack Links Sasquatch on hand to mingle with the crowd much to the delight of the kids on hand bringing smiles from toddlers and adults alike. I think I spied a dinosaur ambling through the spectators too.
The AV-8B Harrier V/STOL strike aircraft was brought out to show it’s capabilities in all conditions. It can take off and land on short runways and pitching aircraft carrier decks. It provides close air support, intermediate range intercept and attack missions. The versatile aircraft performed takeoffs, landing and was able to turn 360 degrees while staying in the same spot in front of the crowd. It was then able to rise up and take off to speed in seconds.
A 1940’s F4U Corsair piloted by Mark Murphy performed stunts and was put thru her paces. This was a popular aircraft from WWII and was proven in both the british and US military. The planes were flown off aircraft and were successful in downing 2,140 enemy aircraft during the war.
Sean D. Tucker took to the skies in the bright red Team ORACLE Challenger III. The legend of the air performed awe inspiring daredevil feats in the air. He is amazing in his ability to maneuver the plane into seemingly impossible positions. He dove down and went under, cut through and back under 3 cables strung across the airstrip just 30 feet above the ground. He spoke from the cockpit while performing and entertaining the spectators with enthusiasm and his trademark yell of “Yeah Baby!!” while screeching across the sky rolling and pitching his plane in amazing twists and turns.
The Shockwave Jet Truck showed up and blasted its 36,000 horsepower down the runway. They even had a race between the Shockwave Jet Truck and Rob Holland in his MXS-RH Nano Pro plane. Holland and his Ultimate Airshows is the three time defending World Freestyle Aerobatic Champion raced the Shockwave Truck upside down down the track in a amazing feat of both skill, daring giving the spectators a visually stunning loud and fast jet race from ground and air.
Randy Ball brought out his 26 years of airshow experience by wowing the crowd with an exceptional performance of the capabilities of the MIG-17 jet fighter. He powered his machine past the crowd at a screaming pace with low level runs to shoot straight up skyward at a breakneck speed. The spectacular aircraft looked like a couple wings hooked onto a huge engine.
The Geico Skytypers Air Show Team performed precision flight maneuvers with six aircraft simulation war time flight scenarios and amazing stunts. They performed low level flights in the WWII American SNJ-2 1940 and 1941 vintage trainers surrounding the crowd with beautiful precision flight from the world renowned team.
All in all it is a great weekend event that changes it’s talent each year. Next year the Blue Angels are scheduled to appear again. So mark your calendars for May 2018 in Quonset, RI for a memorable weekend event.
Grand Theater at Foxwoods, Mashantucket, CT
April 28, 2017
Steve Winwood has a career that spans decades. He started as a member of The Spencer Davis Group at age 14 in England. He went on from there to Traffic, and then to Blind Faith one of the first super rock bands. Once leaving those bands and embarking on his successful solo career he has carried on through time with hits of his own. It is great to see such an iconic legend of an era still out there touring.
Winwood was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004 and won two Grammy awards. He was nominated twice for the Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989.
The evening started out with Winwood on the mandolin as he and the band played his well know hit “Back in the High Life Again.” He was accompanied by Richard Bailey on Drums, José Neto on Guitar, Edwin Sanz on Percussion, and Paul Booth on Saxophone.
Then they rolled into “Pearly Queen” and then “I’m a Man” from his Spencer Davis Group days. They followed that with “Fly” off his Nine Lives Album.
“Higher Love” was one of his US Billboard Hot 100 number ones that they played. Though Windwood does not speak to the audience too much while performing he was clearly happy to have his daughter Lilly Winwood come on stage and accompany him in singing “Higher Love” as well as on “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” during the encore.
The first encore song was the ever popular “Mr. Fantasy.” Always one of the audience favorites and a must play at any Steve Winwood concert.
The song list was not lengthy, but there were some great solos by each of the band members. It had the feel of an earlier time at concerts when bands would jam on longer during live performances.
Winwood’s voice still sounds as good as ever. I last saw him 11 years ago and he has not lost a bit of his edge. I would recommend this concert to anyone wanting to hear great music spanning 4 decades. I only wish there was enough time in one concert to cover his many songs and styles of singing.
It was also refreshing to see Winwood’s daughter, Lilly Winwood open for him. She played an acoustic set of cuts from her newly released debut EP titled “Silver Stage.” Her voice was soulful, beautiful and wise beyond her years.
Back in the High Life Again
Pearly Queen (Traffic)
I’m a Man (The Spencer Davis Group)
Them Changes (Buddy Miles cover)
Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
Had to Cry Today (Blind Faith)
The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic)
Empty Pages (Traffic)
Light Up or Leave Me Alone (Traffic)
Higher Love (with Lilly Winwood on vocals)
Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic)
Gimme Some Lovin’ (The Spencer Davis Group)
(with Lilly Winwood on vocals)
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Fire on the Floor Tour
Feb. 25, 2017
Fox Theater, Mashantucket, CT
The Fox Theater darkened and the band begins to play. The crowd looks at the stage anticipating Beth Hart’s arrival. An electric guitar continued to moan in the dark. Beth Hart began singing the first lines of a song, her voice echoing throughout the theater. Suddenly she surprised and thrilled the audience when a lone spotlight lit up the singer dressed in a sparkling mini smoothly entering the theater from behind the crowd. The spotlight followed her as she passed by patrons, touching a few shoulders and hands along the way, as she sung “Don’t Explain” a Billie Holiday cover. Hart paused in the isle turned and faced the enthusiastic crowd to croon out the blues. She swung around and glided up onto the stage, not missing a beat. This woman has big stage presence and a voice to match it. Everyone was already fixated and cheering Hart on and the second song had not even begun.
The second number was “As Good as it Gets,” which was a number one single of Hart’s in Denmark. She has had many releases in Europe of various songs that have topped the charts. She is well recognized for her blues and soul songs worldwide and has released the albums “Seesaw” and “Live in Amsterdam” with fellow blues artist Joe Bonamassa.
Beth Hart and her band consisting of guitarist Jon Nichols, bassist Bob Marinelli and drummer Bill Ransom meshed so well, they knew their show and played perfectly. Jon Nichols made his multiple guitars used during the performance wail, moan and he also sang backup vocals.
Hart has such incredible range and rich tone. She brings the audience right down into the depths of her low down blues. She sings with such conviction coming from a life of knowledge of pain and suffering that she transfers into such beautiful music you feel every note. Hart’s “Lift Me Up,” a song she wrote for a sister who passed away was soulful and beautiful. The raw emotion in the song had people feeling it in the audience.
Hart’s husband Scott asked her to include the song “Leave the Light On,” off her platinum album of the same name. Before the song he made an impromptu appearance on the stage running over to her at the piano and giving her a little hug.
The evening was well rounded with heart aching blues off Hart’s newest album “Fire on the Floor,” including the title song from that release that told of the heartbreak of desire and love. These soulful ballads were alternated with lighter songs from the same DVD. The rock song “Fat Man” was popular as well with a catchy with toe tapping, driving beat.
The band played a mix of songs from some of Hart’s large catalog of releases since 1999. She also sang a cover of Tom Wait’s “Chocolate Jesus.” Hart alternated between shimmying across the stage, sitting, kneeling and playing on the piano. Her energy was passionate and boundless.
The band came back onstage for an encore of “No Place Like Home” followed by Hart’s 1999 single “LA Song (Out of This Town)” from her second album “Screamin’ for My Supper.”
I was totally blown away by this concert. I have heard her music and loved her voice, but seeing Hart perform in person was a treat I will not forget. Hart was humble, thankful for her success and honest about her struggles in life. Her sharing that made the show even more memorable. To realize what she has gone through in her life and for her to come out so positive and happy on the other side makes you want her success to continue for a long time. If you get the chance to see this woman and her band perform do it. Do not hesitate for a moment. If you are a blues lover or just a lover of great music this is a night not to miss.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday cover)
Good as It Gets
I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Lifts You Up
Baby Shot Me Down
Close to My Fire (Slackwax cover)
Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover)
Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of
Leave the Light On
Love Is a Lie
No Place Like Home
L.A. Song (Out of This Town)
Jesse Colin Young
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Feb. 18, 2017
The Jesse Colin Young Band performed at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on Saturday, February 18, 2017. It was a two part show. The first set was all acoustic with Young solo on his guitar. The second set was Young accompanied by his band of young talented artists in their 20’s. It’s ironic that they are around the age he was when he was touring in the Youngbloods.
Jesse Colin Young’s career began on the east coast in 1964 but really took off when he became one of the founding members of the Youngbloods in 1967, during the summer of love in California. Their best known hit is the iconic and still well loved song “Get Together” which was a worldwide top ten hit.
“Get Together” has become one of the anthems of a generation that proclaimed peace, love and harmony and would see us all through the turmoil of the Vietnam war era. It is such a classic that no Jesse Colin Young article or concert would feel be complete without the song. It’s been included in numerous movies throughout the years.
After the Youngbloods, Young continued with his own successful career and solo albums. He recorded in his studio in Marin, California and started his own Ridgetop Record label until a fire ravaged his home and property in 1995. He then moved his family to Hawaii and began a new life that included writing and producing music in a new studio. He and his wife also started their own coffee plantation 2000 feet up the slope of the 8000 foot Hualalai Mountain Volcano.The organic coffee is called Morning Sun and is sold and shipped worldwide.
Young opened with his well known songs “Songbird” and “Sugar Babe.” Followed by “Four in the Morning,” “Sunlight” and “Desire.” Young told the audience how he had taken a hiatus from touring for 6 years and had not planned on returning to the road until he saw his son and fellow Berklee college students performing at a recital and was blown away by their talent. He then decided to start touring again and invited Aleif Hamdan (electric guitar), Jack Sheehan (saxophone), Donnie Hogue (drums), Jenn Hwan Wong (keyboard), Sally Rose (backup vocals), Virginia Garcia-Alves (backup vocals) and Young’s son Tristan Young (bass) to join him. Their youth and enthusiasm energized his desire to tour again and it’s evident he enjoys their energy onstage.
For the second set Young was joined by the band and they started the set with “Ridgetop.” This was followed by “Sweet Good Times” and “Walk the Talk About Love.” They then sang “Cast a Stone,” which Young wrote following the Boston bombing about the emotions felt during the anxious hours in the aftermath.
The band shows their versatility by changing it up with a mix of blues and soul songs. They played a cover of the Marvin Gaye songs “What’s Goin’ On” and “Mercy, Mercy Me.” The band moved smoothly between the blues, folk and jazz mix of songs. Sally Rose and Virginia Garcia-Alves added beautiful accompaniment to Young’s voice.
They performed another of Young’s acclaimed songs “Darkness, Darkness” off the album Elephant Mountain. The song was also an anthem of the 60’s but refers more to the soldiers feelings in Vietnam. Jesse then sang a song he wrote, “For Orlando” after the tragic Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting.
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is gem of a venue in Old Saybrook, CT, an intimate theater holding 250 patrons. It was a sold out concert and all of the patrons were happy to spend an evening with the band judging by the applause for an encore as the performance ended. The band returned to the stage and played a rousing rendition of T-Bone Shuffle.
It was a feel good performance with a legend and his band that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Jesse Colin Young Band Members:
Aleif Hamdan – Electric Guitar
Jack Sheehan – Saxophone
Tristan Young – Bass
Donnie Hogue – Drums
Jenn Hwan Wong – Keyboard
Sally Rose – Backup Vocals
Virginia Garcia-Alves – Backup Vocals
Set 1 : Young Solo
Four in the Morning
Set 2 with Jesse Colin Young Band
Sweet Good Times
Walk the Talk about Love
Cast a Stone
What’s Goin’ On/Mercy, Mercy Me
Right Here, Right Now
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Mohegan Sun Arena
Nov. 25, 2016
Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders opened the night for Stevie Nicks. At 65 you would think Hynde would be showing signs of slowing down, not so. She prowled the stage guitar in hand with just as much swagger as ever. Hynde and the Pretenders sang for an hour prior to Stevie Nicks taking the stage.
Hynde played many of their most popular 1980s tunes including “Back On The Chain Gang,” “Brass In Pocket,” “Private Life” and “My City Was Gone”. They all sounded great and were still played with enthusiasm. Her vibrancy on stage has not deminished. The band played tracks from their recent album “Alone” produced by Dan Auerbach, including”Gotta Wait,” “Let’s Get Lost,” “Holy Commotion” and “I Hate Myself”. Hynde knows when to stick with what works and this album had very much of the same feel as those ’80s rock tunes that made her a household name.
Known as one of the classic women in rock Hynde still entertains and although she gave praise to Stevie Nicks and downplaying her own influence on rock, Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders had no problem showing that they are still one of the best known rock bands fronted by a woman.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Message of Love
Down the Wrong Way (Chrissie Hynde song)
Hymn to Her
Back on the Chain Gang
I’ll Stand by You
My City Was Gone
Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks cover)
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Middle of the Road
Brass in Pocket
The Martin Barre Band
The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
Oct. 13, 2016
Just one word needed to describe the Martin Barre Band performance at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center on October 13th. “Brilliant“.
To coin a british term brilliant best sums up the energetic performance. The band took the stage and wowed the sold out crowd. They played an assortment of songs including original compositions by Barre, some blues-rock, Jethro Tull classics, and even a jig.
Martin Barre on guitar, Dan Crisp on vocals and guitar, George Lindsay drums and Alan Thomson on bass were a top notch combo. Each an exceptional musician in their own right combined to make a memorable evening. All of the band members complimented one another’s talent and they meshed beautifully. It was evident they enjoyed playing together and looked like they had fun on the stage.
In between the songs Barre entertained the audience with a few clever quips and jokes. Barre has an unexpectedly dry sense of humor as well as being warm and down to earth. He also spoke of the early years of playing and how he was changed by coming to America.
Martin Barre has not wavered a bit in his performances. After 43 years of playing with Jethro Tull and then on to his own Martin Barre Band one thing that has never changed is his amazing ability on the guitar. While with Jethro Tull he sold over 60 million records and racked up eleven gold and five platinum records. He sounds just a good as I have ever heard him.
Dan Crisp was spot on on his vocals with backup from the rest of the band. He belted out with great animation the Jethro Tull songs and soulfully crooned the blues numbers. Sounding similar enough like Ian Anderson when needed but with a style all his own on most songs. Crisp showed that when he launched into “Bad Man” off the Back to Steel album and in “Thorazine Shuffle” a Warren Haynes & Gov’t Mule cover.
There was no need for a flute in this crowd. The guitars wailed and teased the audience into each song with abandon. They did reengineered versions of “Teacher” and “Fatman” and a few other Jethro Tull classics. Enough of the original to remind you of the roots but taken in a different direction by Barre. Barre even pulled out the mandolin for a tweaked up version of Robert Johnson’s “Cross Road Blues”. Every song was so great that 2 1/2 hours later it was impossible to pull out a favorite.
Called back by a cheering and clapping audience for an encore Barre and the band blew the roof off the house with “Locomotive Breath”. As they took their bows Barre said he would remember “The Kate” for a long time and promised to return again. We certainly hope they do. If you get the chance to see The Martin Barre Band definitely do it.
For more information on the band and future tour dates visit www.martinbarre.com