.. apologies to the Rolling Stones for post title. (Pictured – Wishbone Ash).
I have a couple of shows that for whatever reason I never got around to writing about. Generally speaking, I’ll write about them whether good, bad, or indifferent. In that dilemma of “should I or shouldn’t I,” the thought occurred to me to write about a few of them in one post rather than dedicate posts to each one. This is no reflection on the quality of them. Call it expediency or just plain laziness, but this is what I got (in no particular order):
There’s a place up in Derry, NH I’ve gone to a fair number of times called Tupelo Music Hall. It’s a pretty nice venue, with static auditorium seating in the back and a front section that can be set up as tables. In the past, I’ve seen Billy Gibbons, Ry Cooder, Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Blue Oyster Cult and Robben Ford there.
A few weeks back we went to see Roomful of Blues, a New England-based 8-piece band I wrote about a while back and who have been active in one configuration or another since 1967. Wikipedia refers to their genres as blues, jump blues, boogie-woogie, R&B, swing revival, jazz-rock, jazz-blues and that about sums it up.
While I don’t see nearly as many tribute bands as Christian, the Undisputed King of All Tribute Bands, I see my fair share. I never did see Floyd (minus Waters’ Wall extravaganza) and the odds are pretty good I never will. So I will have to settle for Brit Floyd, an offshoot of Australian Pink Floyd.
Wikipedia: “Brit Floyd originated in 2011 on the initiative of musical director, guitarist, and singer Damian Darlington “simply because he felt he could do it one better” than his previous band, The Australian Pink Floyd Show, and stating that “there is much more attention to details in every aspect of the show, from the music to the visuals to the lighting: everything is that much more perfected and there’s a passion coming off that stage… It’s a coherent, emotional journey through Pink Floyd’s catalog.”
The Boy and I went to see them at a venue called Lynn* Auditorium. I had a reasonably good idea of what to expect as Down Undah Floyd shows up on public television every time they want to run a telethon to raise money. This because, I reckon, they figure that boomers have all the money and can only be tempted to cough it up by being bribed by some variation on their favorite bands.
Anyway, this was an outstanding show from beginning to end with great gobs of The Wall, Dark Side, Meddle, etc. You also will never see Pink Floyd together again so I suggest that if you have anti-tribute band thing, get over it, go and close your eyes.
Here they are doing “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from Animals:
Another venue I like to attend is in Beverly, MA which has a nice venue called The Cabot. (This suburban town manages to have not only a good music venue but a pretty decent theater that shows Broadway-quality musicals. Contrast that with my own ‘burb’ which has shopping and whose motto is actually ‘How Nice.’)
This show goes back to, I think, last year when we went to see the mighty Los Lobos, a band I’d wanted to see forever and about whom I wrote here. Los Lobos does rock and blues and Tex-Mex and does them all exceedingly well.
All that said, I recall having had a bad day for whatever reason and try though I might, could not get into them as much as I wanted. (It doesn’t help that they’ve been taken over by Deadheads who wait to the end and start doing their strange, quirky little dances.) I will see them again one day.
I wrote about Wishbone Ash a while back, a band that memorably I last saw on a bill with Elton John likely before most of you were born. I kept hearing them on satellite and thought to myself, geez I wonder exactly when they broke up?
Well, not! They are a British twin-guitar sort of prog-leaning band who have been active only two years fewer than Roomful of Blues. (Yet light years away in sound and style.)
I believe that guitarist Andy Powell is the only original member of the band. I caught these dudes at a small venue called the Bull Run where I’ve seen far too many bands to remember. While I enjoyed the show, I think it was around this time I started developing a certain ennui about seeing live bands, something I’m going to talk about in a follow-up post.
Alas, my videos, while good in quality, are brief. So I’ll post a gig from last year in Paris:
I wrote about jazzman Wynton Marsalis not too long ago. We went to see his ensemble at Symphony Hall in Boston, a cathedral to music I haven’t entered since seeing the Boston Symphony Orchestra lo these many years ago.
Wynton was performing with his Lincoln Center Orchestra not with some hot four-or-five piece band. And I don’t know if it was their respectfulness to the venue or what but for whatever reason, the ensemble never really caught fire. They’d give a little speech about a song, then they’d play it, everyone would solo, then they’d give another little speech. In some ways it felt more like a recital than a concert and maybe that’s what it was. Good, but disappointing.
Contrast that to how the same orchestra sounded when they played Live in Cuba. Now this – this- is what I wanted to hear. Denied!
Despite some people thinking that Chicago should be slotted into being their mom’s favorite band, I prefer to think of them as that hot horn-driven band that really knew how to cook.
How were they live? I don’t know. I didn’t feel like going to some big fucking venue to see them or I missed them or something. So we went to the Bull Run and caught a tribute band called Introduction: The Chicago Experience there. (The Bull Run is a mixed bag. Great shows in a setting that feels like a wedding reception. You will inevitably wind up at a table with a guy who looks like your uncle regaling you with how many times he saw Hendrix. Or how great Woodstock was although we all know it was really kind of a fiasco.)
*Lynn, a city about 11 miles north of Boston, has some notoriety in the Rolling Stones saga. On June 24, 1966, their brief set ended when they left the stage during a storm at the (now-demolished) Manning Bowl stadium. Angry fans broke through barriers, prompting police to use tear gas, and the Stones pledged never to return to the city. Contrast that with the placid, Disney cruise ship-like audience of the show I just saw and I say bring on the fucking tear gas.