Rock legend Roger Daltrey accompanied by members of The Who and the Boston Pops Orchestra put on the complete performance of The Who’s 1969 rock opera “Tommy” at the Tanglewood Koussevitzky Music Shed in Lenox, MA.
Pete Townshend is taking a year off but Daltrey said he just did not want to do that. He said performing kept his voice from suffering and that too much time off and his voice would not be the same. But holding onto the familiar sound of Townshend during the vocals was Simon Townshend, Pete Townshend’s brother. Besides sounding amazingly like Pete he plays with the group and this night he sang some of the lyrics Pete would normally deliver, but Daltrey took on most of the wide array of characters in the opera.
The rest of the band consisted of Frank Simes on guitar, Scott Devour on drums and Jon Button on bass.
This performance kicked off the 2018 summer season at Tanglewood and also the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. It’s also the 50th anniversary of the launching of the rock opera “Tommy.”
Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be celebrating Bernstein starting with this edition of “Tommy.” Surprisingly Bernstein was a great supporter of this rock opera. I found this out at the performance during a conversation with David Knowle Edwards a writer for the Berkshire Edge.
Here is some background courtesy of Edwards. “Following a performance of “Tommy” at the Fillmore East in 1969, the Who’s lead guitarist and songwriter, Pete Townshend, received Leonard Bernstein’s effusive praise in person, straight from the maestro’s mouth:”
“Leonard Bernstein came with his daughter,” recalls Townshend (in various published interviews). “And he was incredibly excited. He grabbed me by the shoulder, shook me and said, ‘Pete! Do you realize what you’ve done?’ He was so passionate! … Of course, what he was talking about was that I was going the next step in what he had done with ‘West Side Story,’ which was creating a popular song cycle, a musical that was really rooted in street culture.”
The Boston Pops with conductor Keith Levenson joined Roger Daltrey to give the audience a fantastic night of music and even some of his famous microphone twirling. Daltrey’s voice was strong and he gave the audience an energetic and enthusiastic performance. The crowd was on their feet throughout the final few numbers showing their appreciation for the band and the Boston Pops with a long standing ovation.
The audience never took their seats as “Tommy” concluded. The encore songs were “Who Are You” and “Baba O’Riley.” During “Baba O’Riley” Katie Jacoby, a violin soloist, took center stage and gave a rousing ending to the song that had the entire crowd cheering.
Daltrey then ended the night with “Always Heading Home” off his newest album release “As Long As I Have You.” This release is Daltrey’s first solo album in 25 years and he is completely happy with the finished product.
Proceeds from the night’s sales of Daltrey’s new CD “As Long As I Have You” went to benefit the Teenage Cancer Trust. Also, one dollar from every ticket sold on The Who’s current North American Tour is being donated to Teen Cancer America. A project Daltrey is very much involved in and raises money for the charity whenever possible.
This was a historic concert that won’t be forgotten. Daltrey’s voice was strong and the band excellent. The addition of the magnificent playing from the Boston Pops made for a magical night. If you get the chance to catch this show don’t hesitate. It’s not a combination that will happen often if ever again. Different venues will have other orchestras backing Daltrey but if they perform anywhere near as well as the Boston Pops it is well worth seeing. This was a perfect pairing of talents on a beautiful summer night.
It’s a Boy
The Hawker (Eyesight to the Blind)
The Acid Queen
Do You Think It’s Alright?
There’s a Doctor I’ve Found
Go to the Mirror!
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Smash the Mirror
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It
See Me, Feel Me/Listening To You
Who Are You
Always Heading Home
Greenwich Concours d’Elegance
June 2-3, 2018
Greenwich Connecticut was buzzing with activity this weekend with the 2018 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance. The annual event draws attendees from all over the world for a glimpse of some of the rarest of the rare in the automotive industry and is a Northeastern USA must see for many automobile aficionados and collectors.
The 2018 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Best of Show winners!
International Best of Show Sport was the 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Spider Scaglietti of Scuderia N.E.
International Best of Show Elegance was the 1935 SS1 Tourer belonging to Colin Seid and Richard Annis.
American Best of Show Elegance was the 1934 Packard Convertible Victoria of Judge Joseph & Margie Cassini, III.
Saturday was the Concours Americana featuring domestic autos and motorcycles. Warm and sunny skies made a perfect day for the crowds of admirers to enjoy the various vintage auto and motorcycles. Saturday included a ring of American and Foreign modern supercars.
Sunday was the International Concours with rings full of Jaguars, Ferraris, Bentleys, MG’s, Triumphs and numerous other makes and models. There was something for every taste.
It was a beautiful weekend for a rare gathering of Briggs Cunningham automobiles highlighted at this year’s Greenwich Concours. It was an amazing feat to gather so many of the autos in one place for the show. There were 37 original Briggs Cunningham autos produced. Out of the 37 that were made there are now only 35 survivors. The owners of the 35 survivors were invited by the Greenwich Concours officials and 33 of those attended the event. I don’t think this milestone will be repeated anytime soon.
For instance one couple Larry and Jan Pfitzenmaier brought their Cunningham C-4R 2,500 miles from Arizona not sure if the weather would cooperate but taking the chance anyway in order to attend this largest gathering of Cunninghams. Theirs is the last of the 4 continuation C-4Rs completed. It served as the test mule for the other 3. The original 331 Hemi V8 has been rebuilt to 350HP.
There was a variety of different Cunninghams, from convertibles and coupes to Corvettes as well as a 1962 Maserati Tipo 151 straight in from racing at Monaco two weeks ago. Jay Leno entered his 1953 Cunningham C3. It was an amazing sight to seen them lined up along the waterfront gleaming in the sun.
The 12 metre America’s Cup yacht Columbia, which Briggs Cunningham was the winning skipper of in the 1958 America’s Cup, was at the Delamar Hotel docks next to the concours grounds. Charter guests enjoyed sailing on the Long Island sound off of Greenwich.
Bonhams returned to Greenwich, CT for its twelfth annual Greenwich Concours d’Elegance Auction on Sunday, June 3rd. Greenwich being less than an hour from New York City drew a large crowd for it’s weekend of premier offerings from barn finds and automobilia to totally restored rare gleaming and historically significant autos. There was also an opportunity to bid on one of two dozen cars from the late Carroll Shelby’s personal collection.
The weekend was outstanding and a complete success, it’s a wrap until next year. This is an event not to be missed.
Blues and Bayous Tour
May 27, 2018
John Fogerty, one of the greats in rock music, was at Mohegan Sun on Memorial Day weekend to both put on a great show and also remind us what Memorial Day is about. The Blues and Bayous Tour features Fogerty and his band and ZZ Top in a killer combo evening.
Fogerty started the night with “Travelin’ Band” the band was energetic and immediately engaged the arena full of fans. They then launched into “Hey Tonight.” Many Creedence Clearwater Revival songs were performed during the night along with some of Fogerty’s solo songs from his 1985 album “Old Man Down the Road.”
Fogerty has always been outspoken about on his respect for veterans but his dislike for war. He spoke of how we don’t treat our Veterans who complete their service with the honor they deserve before singing “Love and War,” a tune he co-wrote last year with country singer Brad Paisley. The song is a reflection of America’s treatment of those who serve the country.
A New Orleans medley tribute for the city dear to his heart was performed and he sang Rockin’ Sidney’s “My Toot Toot,” Hank Williams’ “Jambalaya” and Gary “U.S.” Bond’s “New Orleans”. This ended with a New Orleans style parade through the audience as Steve Robinson, Ethan Chilton and Nathan Collins on horns played “When the Saints Go Marching In” while flashy purple, green and gold costumed band members strutted though the audience.
Fogerty’s son Shane is in the band and he was joined by Fogerty’s other son Tyler for the songs “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “Psycho.” Together they also have their own band called “Hardy Har” in the Los Angeles area.
They ended the set with the encore of “Bad Moon Rising” and “Proud Mary.”
After the conclusion of Fogerty’s set ZZ Top took the stage to finish off the evening. While they were on they celebrated Fogerty’s 73rd birthday coming up the following day with a birthday cake complete with lit candles and “Happy Birthday” sung by the band and audience. It was fitting that a man who has spent much of his life on tour celebrated his birthday onstage during a concert.
Having seen Fogerty in concert a few times it’s always a very enjoyable night and his energy is unwavering. It was a great concert and I would go again.
Travelin’ Band (Creedence Clearwater Revival song)
Hey Tonight (CCR song)
Rock and Roll Girls
Who’ll Stop the Rain (CCR song)
Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard cover) (with Hearty Har)
Psycho (The Sonics cover) (With Hearty Har)
Up Around the Bend (CCR song)
Love and War (Brad Paisley cover)
I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Gladys Knight & The Pips)
Keep On Chooglin’ (CCR song)
Born on the Bayou (CCR song)
My Toot Toot (Rockin’ Sidney cover)
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (Hank Williams cover)
New Orleans (Gary “U.S.” Bonds cover)(with ‘When the Saints Go… more )
Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (CCR song)
Down on the Corner (CCR song)
The Old Man Down the Road
Fortunate Son (CCR song)
Bad Moon Rising (CCR song)
Proud Mary (CCR song)
Jackson Browne invigorated the crowd at the Providence Performing Arts Center as he and his band delighted the audience with his large catalog of songs including some of his hits and a few lesser known selections.
Playing at the Providence Performing Arts Center is a treat in itself. The newly completed renovations of the 1928 theater are enough to take your breath away. The 3100 seat venue is the second largest theater of its kind in the country. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also ranked by Pollstar as one of the Top Venues in the world.
The interior of the PPAC is filled with art deco lighting and gold leaf decorating the walls and ceiling. So much time and heart has gone into restoring the theater to it’s early 20th century glory and it clearly shows. You’re treated to a marvelous experience by attending any show at the venue. They even went so far as laying carpet that’s an exact reproduction of the original carpeting throughout. The original main chandelier in the theater was lost to time so the board went to a local trade school and had a new one designed that was a close replica but keeping a bit of the school’s individual style.
The staff is rightfully proud of the center and very helpful to all patrons. I really can’t say anything but kudos to the entire staff and management of the Providence Performing Arts Center for providing a world class experience and the acoustics are marvelous.
Browne, Chavonne Stewart and Althea Mills made the best of those acoustics. Stewart and Mills have been backing him for many years and they harmonize beautifully together. Accompanied by his band they began with “Before the Deluge” followed by “Some Bridges.”
A sign of the times and a reflection on society and his always political nature Browne sang “The Long Way Around” after discussing the sad effects of the Parkland shooting that is still so fresh in everyone’s mind.
They did perform “Doctor My Eyes” and “You Love the Thunder.” These timeless classics never get old and no one is ever tired of hearing them live. It’s actually not a Browne concert to some fans unless these songs are trotted out. The audience knew every word and made sure Browne and the band heard that.
“These Days,” a reflective song that seems even more so now that Browne is 69 and like many others of this generation ponders over the things he’s accomplished as well as those he never managed to attain. Even though the song was written years ago it seems more fitting now.
A couple of my personal favorites showing foot stomping fun side of Browne were “Somebody’s Baby” followed by “Redneck Friend.” He’s as versatile as they come and shows that with the different types and tempos he plays during the show.
Browne sang the hits “The Pretender,” followed by “Running on Empty” which had the audience on their feet and they never sat down right through the encore songs “Take it Easy” and “Our Lady of the Well.”
Vonda Shepard opened the show and put on a wonderful performance. She is clearly talented and very strong vocally. Shepard played beautifully on the piano and I can think of no one else to better lead into Jackson Browne than Shepard. I would go to see her as a main act.
Before the Deluge
The Long Way Around (Talked about the Parkland shooting)
You Love the Thunder
Lives in the Balance
Doctor My Eyes
In the Shape of A Heart
Your Bright Baby Blues
Just Say Yeah
World in Motion
Running on Empty
Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
Our Lady of the Well
Eric Burdon and the Animals performed a great concert at the Lynn Memorial Auditorium. The sold out mostly baby boomer generation crowd were treated to a little slice of the past. Part of the British Invasion that hit the airwaves in 1964 Eric Burdon still brings his blues rooted soul filled music to an eager crowd who stood and applauded his arrival on the stage following the intro notes of “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick,” played by his band The Animals.
The Animals are a new younger version of the Animals with Rubén Salinas on Saxophone, Evan Mackey on Trombone, Johnzo West on Guitar, Justin Andres on Bass, Davey Allen on Keyboards and Dustin Koester on Drums. The entire band played a great set and were a good accompaniment to Burdon.
As Burdon took the stage the band immediately launched into the hit song “Spill the Wine.” Burdon crooned through it with his hand gestures honed over decades of performing the song live. It was a good choice as the crowd knew it well. “Spill the Wine” is one of those songs that is impossible not to know if you listened the radio in the 70’s when he was with the band War and still it’s on the air on Classic Rock stations worldwide to this day. For a man on the eve of his 77th birthday he hasn’t lost his stage presence and was a crowd pleaser.
On “In the Pines” Burdon gave the audience a soulful performance followed by a memorable rendition of “Bring it on Home to Me.”
The Animals hits “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and the classic “House of the Rising Sun” had the audience singing along. There was a standing ovation for the band as they completed these songs.
Burdon’s known over the years for his R&B style didn’t sway from that genre. He performed “Monterey” and “It’s My Life.” Both of those a classic and he performed them solidly.
The Encore for the evening was “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” one of the British Invasions greatest hits. It was also a song voted as one of the most memorable songs of the 60’s by veterans who served in Vietnam. This was followed by “It’s My Life” and ending the night was “Hold On, I’m Coming” a Sam & Dave cover.
Then it was time for Burdon and the Animals to pack it up and move on to New York to celebrate his 77th birthday with another concert and a full house of fans. All in all it was a fun night with one of the greats of the British Invasion. If you do get the chance to take in this show, don’t miss the opportunity.
Spill the Wine (Eric Burdon & War cover)
When I Was Young / Inside Looking Out
Bo Diddley Special (Eric Burdon song)
In the Pines (traditional cover)
Don’t Bring Me Down (The Animals cover)
Mama Told Me Not to Come (Randy Newman cover)
Bring It On Home to Me (Sam Cooke cover)
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Nina Simone cover)
The House of the Rising Sun
We Gotta Get Out of This Place (The Animals cover)
It’s My Life (The Animals cover)
Hold On, I’m Comin’ (Sam & Dave cover)
At 73 Rod Stewart is still going strong. He treated the Mohegan Sun Arena’s sold out crowd to a high energy performance. He brought to the stage an enthusiastic young set of singers and a mix of young and older members in his 12 piece band.
Before he took the stage a local band the Mystic Highland Pipe Band wound its way through the isles with bagpipes and drums.
The opening song “Soul Finger” had a 60’s feel to it with the singers shimmying out until Rod appeared and made he was across the stage. The energy of the night was palpable from that moment to the last note of the evening. They played almost nonstop for 2 hours including a number of costume changes.
His back up singers called the Rodettes shimmed and strutted right along with Stewart as has sang “Young Turks” followed by “Infatuation.”
Stewart and the Rodettes sang a great version of the Muddy Waters tune “Rollin’ and Tumblin’.”
The persussion section performed a great solo while part of the band did a quick outfit change.
During the song “Love Is” the ladies in the band were dressed tartan skirts. Julia Thornton played the banjo as J’anna Jacoby and Caissie Levy joined in on the violins. The ladies all accompanied Stewart twirling and dancing with the backup singers in a foot stomping dance to the song.
Stewart dedicated “Rhythm of My Heart” to those who died in battle during World War II. They then dedicated “People Get Ready” to students who took part in the “March for Our Lives” against gun violence the same day.
Jimmy Roberts performed a great solo on saxophone allowing Rod and the Rodettes time for one of several costume changes.
Stewart told the audience to have a seat as he and part of his band and singers joined him at the front of the stage. They seated themselves and performed a multi song acoustic set. They did “The First Cut is the Deepest” followed by a fan favorite “Reason To Believe.” Next was Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately.” It was refreshingly laid back and intimate. Then the band went right into “You’re In My Heart.” The audience needed no encouraging to wholeheartedly join in the songs. They knew the words and Stewart enjoyed the participation.
Stewart’s final songs of the night were from his time with The Faces, including “Stay With Me” with Stewart kicking and throwing signed soccer balls into the audience. He is great kicker and landed a couple into the upper decks to the delight and shouts of approval from the crowd. He followed this with his Number 1 hit “Maggie May.”
The encore was “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy” and the audience loved it as this is one of Stewart’s best known songs.
Stewart and his band are definitely a must see if you get the chance. I don’t know how many more years he will tour, but he has an ageless quality and puts on a thoroughly enjoyable concert from beginning to end. I can’t think of one thing he didn’t do or could have done to make the evening more entertaining and enjoyable.
The band members:
Conrad Korsch – bass guitar
Dave Palmer – drums
Jimmy Roberts – saxophone
J’anna Jacoby – violin, mandolin, acoustic guitar
Julia Thornton – vocals, banjo, harp
Caissie Levy – vocals, violin
Chuck Kentis – keyboards
Emerson Swinford – guitar
Bridget Cady – vocals and dance
Becca Kotte – vocals and dance
Di Reed – vocals and dance
Having a Party (Sam Cooke cover)
Some Guys Have All the Luck (The Persuaders cover)
You Wear It Well
Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright)
Rhythm of My Heart (Marc Jordan cover)
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Hambone Willie Newbern cover)
Downtown Train (Tom Waits cover)
The First Cut Is the Deepest (Cat Stevens cover)
Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin cover)
People Get Ready (The Impression cover)
You’re in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)
Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison cover)
Stay With Me (Faces song)
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.
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)
To many, when you speak of “Grand Funk Railroad” the person who comes to mind will always be founding member Mark Farner. He was the heart and soul of the supergroup.
Mark Farner led “Grand Funk’ from their breakout concert in 1969 right into the mid 70’s. After “Grand Funk” split up in 1976, Farner rejoined the group a couple of times, which didn’t work out, He has continued making music and performing for decades and has not stopped just because he is no longer with “Grand Funk Railroad”.
During recent years there have been ups and downs. Farner successfully continued his career and in 2012 at the age of 64, cardiac problems finally caught up with him and he underwent pacemaker insertion. Since then he hasn’t missed a beat and is still going strong. Farner says his faith is what keeps him going. Even today you still hear fans say they wish the group would reunite. I doubt that will happen, but it does not matter. He is still the ball of energy he always was and his show is non-stop from begining to end..
They began with “Footstompin’ Music” and rolled right into “Rock & Roll Soul” and then “Aimless Lady”. Farner was energetic and animated. He cavorted about the stage playing up to the audience. His energy was boundless. They blasted away at “We’re We’re an American Band” much to the audiences delight.
Accompanying Mark Farner at the Wolf Den was his band N’rG consisting of Dennis Bellinger on Bass and background vocals, Hubert (The H-Bomb) Crawford on Drums and Karl Propst on Keyboards and vocals. Together they treated the Wolf Den audience to an evening jam full of Grand Funk hits and a few extras.
Farner spoke of the times when songs stood for something and joined a generation collectively toward causes. He then launched into “Ohio”, a well-known Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. The band the lightened up the tempo and ended the set with “The Loco-Motion” and “Some Kind of Wonderful”.
They returned to the stage for an encore that started with a fantastic drum solo by Hubert Crawford . When Farner introduced the last song of the evening “I’m Your Captain” (Closer to Home). he asked the audience to sing along and as they did to remember and honor the American servicemen and servicewomen who are keeping the country safe far from their homes and families. He didn’t have to ask the audience to sing along though, they already were and had been all evening.
It was a memorable concert and a treat to see Mark Farner perform so many of the songs he is so well known for, After all these years,he still plays with such energy, enthusiasm and happiness. His voice and guitar playing are still impeccable and he gives his all in concert and his band is a perfect accompaniment to his sound. Would gladly see them again.
Footstompin’ Music Rock&Roll Soul Aimless Lady We’re an American Band Heartbreaker Shinin’ On Creepin’ Mean Mistreater Sin’s a Good Man’s Brother Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young cover Bad Time The Loco-Motion – Soul Brothers Six cover
Encore: Drum Solo I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)
Lita Ford played the Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den wearing a stunning red leather suit with her long blonde hair flying as she strutted the stage with her band to bring her brand of 80’s rock music back with a vengeance. One of the guitar queens of the eighties Lita and her band played to a full house plus the extra crowd that spilled out to the casino floor outside on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Many fans waited for hours to gain entrance to the concert. Those that didn’t get a seat circled the outside of the Den to take it in standing.
Ford started as a sixteen year old lead guitarist for the all-female rock band The Runaways in the late 70’s. After a short stint and rough breakup with the band she embarked on a long solo career. At 57 Ford is still out on tour rocking crowds 40 years into her career. LIta Ford still has staying power and proved she can still fill the seats.
Lita lead off with “Larger Than Live”, followed by “Relentless”. The warmed up crowded then rocked among to Ford’s rendition of Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back”. They continued with many of her best known songs.
The song “Can’t Catch Me” included drummer Bobby Rocks in an exceptionally fun and interesting drum solo. He beat on the drums shirtless and focused finishing with a flair and with his forehead. I have never seen head banging taken to that extreme. Evidentially, many others had not either and he wowed the crowd.
Patrick Kennison on guitar did a great job filling in for Ozzy Osborne’s part on the hit “Close My Eyes Forever”. The song was probably Ford’s most critically acclaimed hit when she performed it as a duet with Osborne on the self titled “Lita” album.
They performed “Devil in My Head” which let Marty O’Brien on bass shine with its heavy bass and drum beats. Then crowd helped out by singing along on the well known song Ch..Ch..Ch…”Cherry Bomb”.
“Kiss me Deadly” was the final song and there was no encore, but much to the fans’ delight Lita graciously held a meet and greet and signed photos for almost an hour after the show.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Larger Than Life
The Bitch Is Back
Falling In and Out of Love
Gotta Let Go Back to the Cave
Devil in My Head
Can’t Catch Me
Out for Blood
Close My Eyes Forever
Kiss Me Deadly
Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull: The Rock Opera is not just another concert. It’s the story of Jethro Tull, an 18th Century agriculturist, as seen through Ian Anderson’s eyes and imagination. The whole concept of a rock opera is not often done, but when pulled off right it’s a night not to be missed. Ian Anderson has spent decades fluting his way around the stage as one of the most recognizable front men in rock. Who else is instantly associated with standing on one leg, like the Pied Piper of rock, with flute in hand? His opera consists of many songs we are familiar with mixed with 5 new songs and narration from the projected video of virtual guests on the back screen to tell the story of Jethro Tull. It was an entertaining mix of the English countryside, fields of grain, and other interesting imagery along with wailing guitar and Anderson owning the stage.
Most of the band members were considerably younger than Anderson’s age of 68, but you didn’t notice the gap as he cavorts about the stage shifting from flute to mandolin and on to harmonica. They played 2 sets with a short intermission and it was pure energy the entire time. After many years of singing Anderson’s voice is a bit raspier, but he hasn’t lost his bounce or swagger.
The stage band consisted of John O’Hara on keyboard, Florian Opahle, who played particularly well on lead guitar, Grieg Robinson on bass and Scott Hammond on drums. The virtual guests were Unmur Birna Björnsdóttir playing Tull’s wife. She added clean and frankly beautiful note to production as her voice pierced the theater and took it that next level. The virtual young Tull was played by Ryan O’Donnell, who also used to tour with Anderson a couple of years ago.
They started off with “Heavy Horses”, followed by “Wind-up”. Then came “Aqualung” with cheers from the crowd for Florian’s guitar playing on that oh so familiar song. “With You There to Help Me” and “Back to the Family” were next. “Farm on the Freeway” was backed by scenes of farmland being pushed out by loaded freeways clogged with streams of cars. Anderson new song “Prosperous Pasture” was followed by the heavy beats of “Fruits of Frankenfield”. He then ended set one with the well know and more folkish “Songs From the Wood ”
The band resumed the opera with set two and “And the World Feeds Me” and ” Living in the Past” always well received. Next came “Jack-in-the-Green” and “The Witch’s Promise”. The set continued with new songs “Weathercock” and “Stick, Twist, Bust”, which was a new song . Anderson and the band followed with “Cheap Day Return”, “A New Day Yesterday” and “The Turnstile Gate” another of his new tunes.
It only took the first few notes of the closing set and opera song on the keyboard by John O’Hara for the audience to know “Locomotive Breath” was coming down the track and many rose from their seats singing along to the steady pounding beat and “No way to slow down”.
The final song and encore of the evening was “Requiem and Fugue”.
Well done and very entertaining night. If you get a chance to take it in don’t hesitate, even if you have seen Anderson perform many times. This rock opera rounds out a long career wonderfully.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Set list :
With You There to Help Me
Back to the Family
Farm on the Freeway
Prosperous Pasture Anderson
Fruits of Frankenfield Anderson
Songs From the Wood
And the World Feeds Me
Living in the Past
The Witch’s Promise
Stick, Twist, Bust
Cheap Day Return
A New Day Yesterday
The Turnstile Gate
Requiem and Fugue
(with Bourée snippet)