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Hall Passing With Flying Colors

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 29th Induction Ceremony
Barclays Center
April 10th

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame may be meaningless (OH LOOK, THEY HAVE JOHN LENNON’S POOL PASS!), and who they decide to let a lot too arbitrary, but they certainly know how to put on a show (Their 25th Anniversary ones were near legendary to me), and especially an induction ceremony.  Previously an industry and insider only affair for years, the powers that be decided to open the festivities to the public this year.  With the 29th class consisting of Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens(!!!!!), Kiss, The E Street Band, managers Brian Epstein + Andrew Loog Oldham, Linda Ronstadt & Nirvana, I knew that this was a show NOT to be missed.  But apparently people thought otherwise, and one could have snagged a ticket for 1/2 off of face value.  Maybe the Kiss army weren’t pleased that the band refused to perform.  Or maybe people are juss dumb.  I’m sorry you missed this, cause you really really missed something.  Anywho, here’s how it went down, in order…

Peter Gabriel

peter gabriel rock hall

Love me some PG.  He can totally shock my monkey, BIG TIME, with a Sledgehammer on the games without frontiers!!!!!!!!!!!  Those are MY favorite PG tunes, but sadly, he didn’t play any of them. He played

Digging in the Dirt  / Washing of the Water (with Chris Martin) / In Your Eyes (with Y’Sou N’Dour)

Not bad choices, but Peter, c’mon man, lets rock a little, not put me to sleepzzz.  Guess this means I’ll juss have to see him play a full show some other time.  Jerknutz.  Not a total loss, as I used his speeching as a time to go grab that yumcredible brisket mac & cheese from Fatty ‘Cue

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Kiss

kiss

I hate Kiss, but would have been happy to see them perform, with the original line-up or with whatever line-up they wanted to play with.  Still, their speeches were sincere, and funny, and pointed, especially when Paul Stanley took a shot at the Hall for how they choose the inductees, saying the fans should have more say

I still hate Kiss, but this Chuck Klosterman love letter on them was pretty fcuking great, and comprehensive!

I really hate Kiss, but mainly cause when I was younger, my cousins had Kiss wallpaper in their room, and when I went into that room, the wallpaper scared the living crap out of me.  It SILL scares me.  All of it – the wallpaper, the dudes in make-up.  Eeeek

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Cat Stevens / Yusuf Islam

cat stevens

Dude, I think we all take Cat Stevens for granted.  Sure, he (now Yusuf Islam), may have had some poor choice of words and thoughts over the years, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s Cat Stevens.  Apparently some still think he’s a ‘terrorist’.  The US even put him on the no fly list from 2004 – 2006.  Even my mom said last week that there’s juss something not right about him.  What do we all know?  Well, what I know is that Cat/Yusuf/whomever is a lover of peace, and music, and that peaceful lovely music shined thru BIG time in his set…

Father and Son / Wild World / Peace Train

Oh man, he sounded SO FCUKING GREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT.  He has to do a proper tour of America, and America muss open its arms and doors to him.  Maybe he can tour with his induct-or, Art Garfunkel, who said of the honoree ‘this guy’s better than Paul Simon’.  BURNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!

Btw, one of the greatest things ever remains Colbert & Jon Stewart piecing together the Peace/Crazy/Love Train medley with Cat, Ozzy & The O’Jays

CAT FCUKING STEVENS PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Linda Ronstadt

linda rondstadt tribute rnr hof

A couple of days before this show, all I knew about Linda Ronstadt was that her last name isn’t easy to spell AND she dated George Lucas in the 80s.  Then I decided to youtube her hits, and man, oh woman, did I have a brain fart.  Linda has quite the impressive back catalog, we all know AND love.  Even her cover versions are equally as famous AND awesome as the originals is/are!  But poor Linda, she has Parkinson’s disease, and can no longer play or travel, but in her place was a chick-love-fest that initially I didn’t think much of, BUT AFTERWARDS I THOUGHT MUCH OF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Look at THIS set, and WHO was involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Different Drum (with Carrie Underwood) / Blue Bayou (Roy Orbison cover with Emmylou Harris + Bonnie Raitt & Carrie Underwood) / You’re No Good (Dee Dee Warwick cover with Sheryl Crow + Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey) / It’s So Easy To Fall In Love (Buddy Holly cover with Stevie Nicks + Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey) /When Will I Be Loved? (The Everly Brothers cover with Stevie Nicks + Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood & Glenn Frey)

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The E Street Band

bruce e street

I’m no fan of Bruce or the E Street guys/gals, but there’s no denying their talent.  There’s also no denying that they should have been inducted with Bruce back in ’99, so we didn’t have to hear EACH of these dogdammnn band members give a speech, which resulted in 23921392939139 hours added to the concert.  The only speech that had any resonance or purpose was the one delivered by Clarence Clemons’ widow’s.  The Band and Bruce played three songs, but none of them were ‘Dancing In The Dark’ and Courtney Cox wasn’t honored, so who cares?

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Hall & Oates

hall oates

Never thought too much of lion-maned Hall & mustachioed Oates, but they did have some killer hits.  LOTS of them.  Not enough time to play em all, but we were treated to

She’s Gone / I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do) / You Make My Dreams Come True

These dudes eat men!  And props to Daryl Hall who took aim at the E Street Band for making too many speeches, and decided not to make too much of a speech himself

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Nirvana

nirvana jett

The Rock Hall saved the best for last.  Not necessarily the best inductee (I’d say Cat Stevens is the most deserving on the docket), but the best performance for last.  Rumors swirled for days as to who would take Kurt Cobain’s place in the show.  Would introducer Michael Stipe take the honors?  Or some other random dude?  

Then Joan Jett’s name popped up online.  I was like, OK, that’s cool, I guess.  Well guess what, Joan Jett DID indeed front Nirvana, for ‘Smells Like Teen Spirt’, and OMG, here we are now, AND IT ENTERTAINED US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  One of my biggest regrets in life was never seeing Nirvana live.  Would never be able to correct that error, but you know what, watching Dave Grohl behind the drum kit, and Krist bouncing with his bass (+ Pat, smearing), and hearing Joan belt the mulatto, albino, mosquito, libido bits kinda sorta really makes up for it.  Not really, but really.  Whatever, I’ll take this times a zilllllllllion over nothing!

Then Joan left, and then Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon came on for an awful, earsplitting rendition of ‘Aneurysm’.  No stretch for her, since Sonic Youth are kinda awful and earsplitting (I only dig their more commercial Dirty album)  

Then she took off and St Vincent/Annie Clark came on and RAWKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKED THE FCUK OUT OF ‘LITHIUM’.  I FOUND GAWDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Then that Lorde came on to do a decent ‘All Apologies’, with Krist Novoselic playing accordion  

OH MAN –  THIS WAS AN ALL TIME HIGH!!!  Til the end of my days, I will never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never never forget what Jett & Annie St Vince & Dave & Krist (+ Pat) done did.  It’s right up there with greatest concert performances I’ve EVER seen – Simon & Garf reunited at MSG, that RnR at 25 Night 1 showAn Evening with Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop from Travis

Although I bet this after-show-secret show of Nirvana + Joan + St Vince + Kim Gordon AND J Mascis and John McCauley would have put all other shows I’d ever seen to shame.  They really should do a tour of this Nirvana with multiple Kurt Cobain stand-ins thing.  A tribute act that’s part tribute, but all parts awesome

 

Sadly, since the show ran super long, they axed the usual all star jam at the end.  BOOOOOO YOU E STREET BAND!!!

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All Heel NPH!!

Hedwig & The Angry Inch
On Broadway
Belasco Theater
Debut Preview Performance
March 29, 2014

hedwig NPH

Neil Patrick Harris put on some make-up, turned up the 8-track, and pulled a wig down from the shelf.  And like that – POOOOF, NPH went from Doogie Howser/that guy from HIMYM/The Tony’s host to Broadway’s newest star, transforming and disappearing behind the East German transgender superstar in his/her own mind – Hedwig

Originally a cult off-Broadway musical, created and performed by John Cameron Mitchell (with music & lyrics by Stephen Trask), and then turned into a cult underloved film (which I know the material from best), Hedwig and The Angry Inch has now been glitzed and glammed up for the Great White Way.  Fans of the musical will have no issue with the super-sized production, but I, a lover of the film, was taken aback by the monologue-y presentation of Hedwig’s tale.  In the film, all the characters Hedwig speaks of are embodied by other actors.  In the original show, and this Broadway version, they are played out by Hedwig.  I fear that any Hedwig virgins who see the new one may get a little lost within the storytelling of her story, and drowned out by the music.  The music still kicks major ass, and the new incranation of Hedwig’s band – the Angry Inch – sound amazing, but the storytelling feels a little cluttered when told thru the songs, especially for someone who doesn’t know this Hedwig from Harry Potter’s owl

STILL, for diehards or even the uninitiated, there’s no denying the power (and sweat – he sweats A LOT) that NPH exudes on stage, giving Hedwig his all, and her all. It’ll make the NPH nobelievers say Doogie who?  The show tears him down, but builds up its audience’s energy and love.  Crank up that midnight radio, for rock and roll will never die

Bonus love goes out to Lena Hall, who plays Hedwig’s drag queen lover Yitzhak, and who makes women with mustaches the new hotness!!!

hedwig stache

NPH 9ever!!!

nph shirt

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d’Amour Outlandos

Paul Simon & Sting
Madison Square Garden
March 6th

paul simon sting

I love me some Paul Simon.  Sting, not so much.  I love the Police, and a smattering of Gordon Sumner’s solo work (I used to be obsessed with the song and video for ‘All This Time’), but most of his stuff is too stuffy, and slow, and boring.  Saw Stingster reunite with the Policemen in 2007, and wasn’t exactly blown away.  Then briefly again, when he joined Stevie Wonder for two songs at the 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Anniversary Concert.  That performance fared better in my mind, cause it wasn’t all about him, and cause Stevie Wonder if the f$%king greatestestest.  And Sting fared even betterer when he teamed up with Paul Simon for this special tour, and tried his best to be Simon’s Garfunkel and sometime Garfunkel’s Simon, although I still don’t get why Simon won’t juss reteam with Garfunkel and blow everyone’s ears and minds.  Sting should stick to doing Police covers, and Simon covers.  His take on ‘America’ > ‘Fields of Gold’ or any of that other ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzsnooozefest stuff

SetlistBrand New Day / Boy in the Bubble / Fields of Gold / Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic / Englishman in New York / I Hung My Head / Driven to Tears / Walking on the Moon / Mother and Child Reunion / Fragile / America / Message in a Bottle / The Hounds of Winter / They Dance Alone / Roxanne / Desert Rose / The Boxer 

EncoreBridge Over Troubled Water / Every Breath You Take / Late in the Evening 

Encore 2When Will I Be Loved? (The Everly Brothers cover)

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