Tag Archives: Concerts

Song Spotlight: Matthew Sweet – “Sick of Myself”

12 Jul

HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE of seeing Matthew Sweet in concert last night. More than just a 90’s flashback, his power-pop and polished songs still sound fresh and had a grit and edge to them on-stage. Especially my favorite song of his, “Sick of Myself.”

Always loved that riff! Was also reminded how much I can relate to the lyrics…

New Podcast Episode – An Inside Look at Concert Promotion

27 Jun

NEW, EPISODE 22! Mel & Steve are psyched to welcome a special guest, Gene from Minneapolis concert promoters Rose Presents. Gene gives the lowdown on what concert promoters do, how and why bands get booked and much more.

Available almost everywhere you’ll find podcasts and directly via Podbean – click the image!

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Five Insanely Great Nada Surf Songs

13 May

I’LL ADMIT IT, I was late to the party on becoming a fan of Nada Surf. I remember when  “Popular”  was popular, and I lumped them in with a slew of other late 90’s bands that had a big hit thanks to a TV show. Even though friends would be incredulous that I wasn’t too familiar with them – me, a lover of melodic rock/power pop – I never heeded their urging to check Nada Surf out.

Well, I’m on their bandwagon fully now. Four years ago someone sent me their then-new album Tbe Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy and I embarrassingly went overboard without a life raft. I know, I know, at least a decade late! I saw them on that tour and was instantly blown away and I vowed to never miss them when they came to town.  Continue reading

Where Would I Be Without You Tube?

24 Dec

Merry Christmas to ME, upon finding THIS on You Tube, an absolutely SMOKING Winery Dogs show from Japan. And this was only their SECOND show.  Faves on here include opener “Elevate” the positively monstrous “Six Feet Deeper” (which goes into Portnoy’s epic drum solo), “I’m No Angel” the cool cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” and Richie’s “Desire”..shoot, the whole show is amazing.

I was never a Dream Theatre fan, really, but always knew Mike Portnoy had few peers on the drums

Billy Sheehan I’ve been a fan of for years, since he blew my mind on David Lee Roth’s debut solo album. I don’t know how he can bend strings like that. Lot’s o’ folks say he overplays; in a trio format, he’s like a rhythm and lead guitarist as well as a bass player – he fills up space and the bottom end is always adventurous.

I’ve previously gone overboard without a life raft in regards to Richie Kotzen’s prodigious talent, but to sum up: the guy can do it all. You’d be hard pressed to find a lead guitarist who can sing like that – and vice versa.

Cheap Trick Concert Anthology, Chapter 1

30 Aug

So if you haven’t already guessed, Cheap Trick is my favorite band of all time.  The most-played soundtrack to my life, basically.  It all started in 1978 when I got the Live At Budokan album on 8-track.  Fast forward many years later and I’ve seen the band live roughly 43 or so times, met them on many different occasions, had beers with Rick Nielsen at a TGIFriday’s in Amarillo, TX and played several of his guitars in St. Paul, MN in 1995 (or was it 1996).

Anyway…back to the live shows.  Several years ago I started writing down my thoughts – what was left of them – of the various shows, starting with the very first time I saw Rockford, Illinois’ Finest Export.  Without further adieu, here’s chapter 1, with the first two shows…

First Cheap Trick Concert: June 1985 @ Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

Opened for REO Speedwagon.  Went with my best friend Rob and then-girlfriend Liz.  Barely made it to the show in time.  Decent seats, bumped into my cousin Scott Rosen there.  This was just prior to the release of Standing On The Edge. I really didn’t know what to expect because in 1985 I had never even seen any concert footage (outside of one TV appearance)!  I was blown away with the power and charisma and was on my feet the entire show.  Rick was all over the stage, flicking picks everywhere. Robin Zander personified lead singer coolness. Jon Brant was laid back but looked cool just the same.  Bun E. Carlos made his pounding look effortless.  The stage set was pretty basic, as they were the opening act, but the amps were covered in cool scrims featuring the mid-eighties blurry logo (which I LOVED).   They played the title track for the upcoming record, which Rick introduced as “Standing On The Edge of A Bilge.”  At least that’s what I think he said.   “Surrender” included my first sighting of a five-neck guitar.

For me, hearing the classic CT songs live for the first time was awe-inspiring.  Bun E.’s brother was one of the passengers in a hijacked plane around that time and REO dedicated “Riding The Storm Out” to him.  I’m pretty sure most of the band came out and sang back up for this.

Since they opened for REO, they did about 60 minutes.  An hour or so after their set amongst 15,000 folks waving their lighters during REO’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling” I was standing there wishing Cheap Trick was still on… 

RadioCityMusic Hall – Halloween Night, 1985

Co-headlining with John Waite at the famous NY theatre.  Went with Keith Zebroski and someone else (Pete Mastropolo?).  CT went on first, and the crowd was crazy.  I’m pretty sure that Joey Ramone was sitting in front of me.  I remember the energy level being sky-high.  Maybe because it was NYC, or Halloween; everything just seemed bigger.  Certainly the venue was much bigger than the Agora!  One highlight was “Tonight Its You,” where Robin wore the same sunglasses that he wore in the video for the song.  At the start of that giant pre-chorus, he flung the sunglasses into the audience and the place went nuts.  Rick had one his skeleton outfit underneath the obligatory CT t-shirt and black pants.  During the encore, he was in full skeleton regalia.  Though I am now a big fan of John Waite, we didn’t stick around to see him.  Our reasoning was that there was no way he could top the mighty Trick on this night, so why bother?

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