Beth Hart Announces First Live Release In 13 Years, ‘Live From New York – Front and Center’


CD/DVD set will be released on April 13th, 2018 via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group 

Watch Hart Perform

On March 7th, 2017, the GRAMMY nominated “powerhouse vocalist” (Rolling Stone) Beth Hart performed a very special, intimate concert at NYC’s Iridium Jazz Club, which featured songs from her latest album ‘Fire on the Floor’ and from throughout her career. Now, 13 years after the release of her incredibly successful live release, ‘Live at Paradiso,’ Hart is treating fans to a DVD/CD release of this standout performance with ‘Live From New York – Front & Center’, out April 13th via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group. The performance is also featured on the Season 8 premiere episode of Public Television’s critically acclaimed concert series, Front and Center (airing now, check local listings).
Known for her visceral, soul-baring vocals and dynamic range, Hart is riding a creative tidal wave following the release of her critically acclaimed 2016 studio album, ‘Fire On The Floor’, as well as her just-released studio collaboration with guitarist Joe Bonamassa, ‘Black Coffee.’ Leveling audiences with her incredible power and celebrated burnt-honey vocals for 20 years, Hart has just launched a 16-date coast-to-coast US tour, which will be followed by a European tour in April-May 2018.
Hart has had an incredible career, beginning with the release of a fistful of hit albums through the ’90s, then reigniting in the post-millennium as both a solo artist and the head-turning vocalist for guitar heroes like Joe Bonamassa, Slash and long-time collaborator Jeff Beck. But it’s in recent times that Beth has truly blossomed, selling out ever-larger venues in cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen. She is recognized as one of the great live vocalists of our time, with a voice “reminiscent of Etta James and Janis Joplin” (Music Connection), topping Billboard’s Blues Album Chart and receiving numerous GRAMMY and Blues Music Awards nominations. Dubbed “the ultimate female rock star” by The Blues Magazine, the Guardian has praised her “daring, brooding performances” and The Times has called her “Extraordinary.”
‘Live From New York – Front And Center’ will be released as a 2-disc DVD/CD set, mixed in 5.1 stereo, featuring never before seen bonus material, including an exclusive interview with Hart. The audio from the performance will also be sold separately as a digital release.
Track Listing
CD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – Broken And Ugly
06 – St. Teresa
07 – Isolation
08 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
09 – Fat Man
10 – Love Gangster
11 – Leave The Light On
12 – As Long As I Have A Song
DVD
01 – Let’s Get Together
02 – Baddest Blues
03 – Jazz Man
04 – Delicious Surprise
05 – St. Teresa
06 – Tell Her You Belong To Me
07 – Fat Man
08 – Leave The Light On
09 – Can’t Let Go
10 – As Long As I Have A Song
Bonus DVD features:
* Full Band Bonus Content (Love Gangster – Broken And Ugly – For My Friends)
* Acoustic Bonus Content (Isolation – My California – No Place Like Home)
* Beth Hart Interview

Tour dates – www.bethhart.com/tour/

Beth Hart Online: 
www.facebook.com/officialbethhart
www.twitter.com/BethHart
www.instagram.com/officialbethhart
www.bethhart.com

Rod Stewart – Mohegan Sun Arena – March 24, 2018

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
http://www.rodstewart.com/
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Setlist:
Young Turks
Infatuation
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)
Love Is
Rhythm of My Heart (Marc Jordan cover)
Rollin’ and Tumblin’ (Hambone Willie Newbern cover)
Forever Young
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)
Maggie May
Encore:
Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?

 

 

POCO – Infinity Music Hall Hartford, CT – February 24, 2018

Poco played the Infinity Music Hall to a sold out crowd of dedicated fans. The band is celebrating their 50th anniversary and is still giving it their all.
Poco in 2018 consists of Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; Jack Sundrud – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals ; Michael Webb – keyboard, accordion and mandolin; and Rick Lonow on drums, percussion.
Rusty Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner and George Grantham were the founding members of the band Poco in 1968. Although most of the original members are no longer playing the four present this night were very much into making an enjoyable night for everyone. They are still holding up the traditions of one of the most well loved bands of the late 20th century.
Rusty started out the evening with a big smile and made the comment that the guys in the band were “All Fired Up” before launching into the well known song. The audience clapped along and got right into the spirit of the night.
They then played “Good Feelin’ To Know” which was followed by “Rose of Cimarron” It seemed like Rusty may have had a slight cold and coughed a couple of times during the songs. But, that didn’t detract from his recognizable voice and the band’s top notch playing.
Jim Messina, one of the founding members and the opening act to Poco, did a walk on to play a couple of songs. You could tell by the banter between Messina and Young that they still after all these years are friends and enjoy the chance to perform together. The audience got a kick out of it too.
Rusty Young quipped between songs about Poco’s history. He shared with the audience a couple of stories. He and Messina joked about a some of the early years and what they went through together.
Being the only 50 year member of the band Young did make one solo album “Waitin’ for the Sun” but that was recently. The bulk of his half century in the band was only recording with Poco.
The audience sang along to one of the best known favorites “Crazy Love.” Everyone knew the words with no prompting. It was nice to hear an entire hall of voices singing with the band.
Michael Webb got in a guitar solo as he sang lead on “That’s What Rock and Roll Will Do” from the All Fired Up album. A tune that’s about the rock and roll life on the road. It was a little more hard edged than the normal Poco songs and showed a different side to the band.
Jack Sundrud took the lead on the heartbreaking tune “Hard Country.” He did a wonderful job with the song that describes the loss of farms on a grand scale and the emotions of those left behind.
It’s still fantastic to see Poco out there and performing a setlist that most people are pleased to hear. There are certain songs that most bands know the public associate with their name, their anthems so to speak. Rusty and the band are keen to make sure that even though they can’t do all the hits and songs the audience calls out for they give a great mix. Each band member is allowed to shine and take the lead on different songs.
It was a wonderful evening of great toe tapping music that brings you back to a simpler time. One of my favorite bands of all time, I’m glad they’re still hanging together after all this time and making such enjoyable music.
http://pocoband.com/
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris

 

Setlist
All Fired Up
Good Feelin to Know
Rose of Cimarron
Pickin Up the Pieces
My Friend
Call It Love
Heart of the Night
Keep on Tryin’
Crazy Love
Rock and Roll
Hard Country

Beth Hart

Beth Hart

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
Beth Hart 
Set List
Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday cover)
Good as It Gets
I’ll Take Care of You (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
Delicious Surprise
Baddest Blues
Lifts You Up
Baby Shot Me Down
Sister Heroine
Close to My Fire (Slackwax cover)
My California
Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits cover)
Woman You’ve Been Dreaming Of
St. Teresa
Leave the Light On
Fat Man
Love Is a Lie
Encore:
No Place Like Home
L.A. Song (Out of This Town)

 

Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Mohegan Sun Arena

Nov. 25, 2016

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Stevie Nicks North American 24 Karat Gold tour is named after her most recent solo album,
Stevie Nicks greeted the enthusiastic Mohegan Sun crowd with a mix of songs seldom heard in her concerts blended in with a few of her better known hits. She started off the evening with the soul song “Gold and Braid.” She also did cuts from newest album, “24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault,” which were accompanied with stories from Nicks about how each song was written and subsequently “lost” over the years.

 

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Nicks recalled that she had been in the music industry for 43 years. Nicks did a lot of reminiscing about the early years and playing with Lindsay Buckingham on their first album together. She performed songs from her 1981 “Bella Donna” for the first time since the very early ‘80s, and four songs not heard live before other lesser played cuts from her 1983 album “Wild Heart”.
Nicks talked about bringing the song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” onto an album that she credited for launching her solo career. She said Tom Petty and that song were instrumental in making a name for herself without Fleetwood Mac. Nicks then was joined by Chrissie Hynde on stage to perform it along with Waddy Wachtel singing Petty’s choruses.
Tempe’s Al Ortiz on bass, Sharon Celani and Marilyn Martin were on vocals. Waddy Wachtel her long time production manager played lead guitar.

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She told of how she did not perform live for 9 years after being dismayed by the internet until finally being moved to perform again by the 2011 song “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” inspired by the film “Twilight: New Moon”. She felt she had lived a similar love story to Bella and Edward in her past relationship with Lindsey Buckingham.
She then rolled into a more well know combo of “Gold Dust Woman” a Fleetwood Mac favorite followed by “Edge of Seventeen.” as a tribute of sorts to Prince with his images added to the screen. She told that this was one of his favorite songs.
The encore was two of her best know crowd favorites “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, which Nicks said she has performed at every concert since 1975, and she ended the concert with “Leather and Lace”.
After this show it was announced that she would add 20 new dates to the tour.
Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders opened the show. 

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www.stevienicksofficial.com
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Stevie Nicks Set List
Gold and Braid
If Anyone Falls
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Chrissie Hynde)
Belle Fleur
Gypsy (Fleetwood Mac song)
Wild Heart
Bella Donna
Enchanted
New Orleans
Starshine
Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)
Stand Back
Crying in the Night (Buckingham Nicks song)
If You Were My Love
Gold Dust Woman (Fleetwood Mac song)
Edge of Seventeen
Encore:
Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac song)
Leather and Lace

 

Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders

Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders

 Mohegan Sun Arena

Nov. 25, 2016

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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.

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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.

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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.

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www.thepretenders.com
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
Pretenders Setlist
Alone
Gotta Wait
Message of Love
Private Life
Down the Wrong Way (Chrissie Hynde song)
Hymn to Her
Back on the Chain Gang
I’ll Stand by You
Holy Commotion
My City Was Gone
Stop Your Sobbing (The Kinks cover)
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Mystery Achievement
Middle of the Road
Brass in Pocket

Mark Farner

Mark Farner

July 10, 2016 – Mohegan Sun Wolf Den

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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.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris  www.georgebekris.com

Setlist:
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)

Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne at Tanglewood

June 21, 2016

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Our friend Patrick Markham, a lifelong musician from northern Virginia, enthusiastically messaged me about seeing the best concert he has ever seen at the Filene Center at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Va.  It was one of our favorite artists “Jackson Browne”. So we made arrangements to see his show at a similar venue in the northwest hills of Massachusetts.
It was the first day of summer 2016 and there is arguably no better way to spend the evening than enjoying a cool breeze watching Jackson Browne sing as the sun sets over the Berkshire Mountains. The Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox, Massachusetts is a great venue set in the rolling mountains. It offers the choice of seeing the performers up close under the shed in seating or bringing their own seat or blanket and enjoying the music under the stars as the sun sets.
Browne began the night with “Rock me on the Water”. He recalled memories of his early years struggling to make it in the music industry. His easy banter with the audience made for a comfortable evening and his exceptional band consisting of Val McCallum (guitar), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Jeff Young (keyboards), Bob Glaub (bass), Alethea Mills (Vocals) and Greg Leisz (guitar, lap steel, pedal steel) all meshed seamlessly giving the audience a night full of magical music.
Browne spoke of friends in his life. He sang the song “For a Dancer”, which he wrote after a friend died a few years back. This night it was also sung in memory of those who died in the tragic shooting in Orlando this month, as well as their families and friends. They ended set one with “Doctor My Eyes” and left the crown anticipating more to come after the break.
After a 15 minute intermission the band returned for the second set. This set consisted of mostly the hits from his early career with lyrics the crowd sang along with. Browne upped the tempo, sending the crowd to their feet. Many ran up to the stage and at one point Browne said it was ok to go back and sit down and return to their seats. That lasted for about one song and the crowd returned to the stage.
Never one to shy from political statements Browne sang “Which Side”, a song off his album “Standing In The Breach ” released in 2014. A song relevant in the current political and social climate in America.
Browne did two encores. Encore one was an ever popular cover of the Eagles “Take it Easy” done with a Jackson Browne twist.  Followed by “Our Lady of the Well”. He ended the night with “I Am a Patriot”, a Litte Steven cover. This sent the crowd home on a positive note.
The performance was just around 3 hours of great music with an exceptional band.  Everyone we saw seemed to thoroughly enjoy the night. If you have haven’t seen Jackson Browne and you get the chance, DO IT!!
He sounds just as wonderful as he did early in his career. Some performers’ voices change and it gets harder as the years pass to keep the sound their fans recognize when performing live. This is not true with Jackson Browne, after many years and multiple albums his voice is as true and spot on as it ever was. Browne’s last song sounded as good as the first. His songs, old and new, still play daily on the radio and his sound is as relevant as ever. Pat Markham was right, this was a concert well worth taking in and ranks as the best concert we have seen this year.
By Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris  www.georgebekris.com

Set List :
Set 1:
Rock Me on the Water
Just Say Yeah
Looking Into You
Linda Paloma
Fountain of Sorrow
The Long Way Around
Call It a Loan
I’m Alive
For Everyman
For a Dancer
Doctor My Eyes
Set 2:
The Birds of St. Marks
Play Video
Your Bright Baby Blues
Which Side
These Days
Somebody’s Baby
Boulevard
Redneck Friend
The Barricades of Heaven
Late for the Sky
In the Shape of a Heart
The Pretender
Running on Empty
Encore:
Take It Easy (Eagles cover)
Our Lady of the Well
Encore 2:
I Am a Patriot (Little Steven cover)

Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Lita Ford

Mohegan Sun Wolf Den – Nov. 27, 2015
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

Set List
Larger Than Life
Relentless
The Bitch Is Back
Hungry
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
Cherry Bomb
Kiss Me Deadly

Ian Anderson

From the rock opera "Jethro Tull"
Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson

Fox Theater, Mashantucket, CT
November 8, 2015
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 :
Heavy Horses
Wind-Up
Aqualung
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
Set2
And the World Feeds Me
Living in the Past
Jack-in-the-Green
The Witch’s Promise
Weathercock
Stick, Twist, Bust
Cheap Day Return
A New Day Yesterday
The Turnstile Gate
Locomotive Breath
Encore:
Requiem and Fugue
(with Bourée snippet)