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Robyn & Röyksopp
JBL Live at Pier 97
August 20th

robyn rokysopp

Dude, Robyn!
Dude, Röyksopp!!
Dude, together they made the bestest song of 2009!!!
Dude, together they made the bestest song of 2014!!!!
Dude, they touring together!!!!!
Dude, we saw them!!!!!!
DUDE, IT WAS SO RÖBYNKSOPPTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!

Setlist

Röyksopp – The Drug / Happy Up Here / What Else Is There? (with Zhala) / This Must Be It (with Zhala) / Senior Living / Remind Me / Poor Leno

Robyn – Be Mine! / Love Is Free / Set Me Free / Indestructible / Work It Out / Stars 4-Ever / Call Your Girlfriend / Dancing on My Own / With Every Heartbeat

Robyn & Röyksopp – Sayit / Every Little Thing / The Girl and the Robot / Monument / Do It Again

Encore – None of Dem

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Grahamer Rodeo

Damon Albarn
Irving Plaza
June 8th

grahams

No, that is not a picture of Damon Albarn and two dudes with their mouths gaping open – it’s Uncle Grambo, yours drooly and Grahamorama, reunited like Wu Tang, but with no double LP, but the world was still excited.  Actually the world didn’t really know or really care, but I did.  It’s not often that I get to be in the company of these extra ordinary gentlemen, and on top of that, gettin to pound whatever Miller Fortunes are is, with background music provided by my favorite living artist born post 1960 – Mr Albarn.  The show?  Damn good stuff – including tracks from his not so hot solo album + choice non-Blur project cuts (see set list below) – but what really made the show a show of shows was being with the Bros Graham, and showing them how much I loved them.  I almost humped their thighs to pieces.  Afterwards, we craved Dairy Queen, but it was closed, so instead we all took a rookie spin on a CitiBike bike, and forever changed our thighs/lives

Setlist - Lonely Press Play / Everyday Robots / Tomorrow Comes Today (Gorillaz) / Hostiles / Slow Country (Gorillaz) / Kids With Guns (Gorillaz) / Three Changes (The Good, The Bad & The Queen) / You and Me / Photographs (You Are Taking Now) / Poison (Rocket Juice & The Moon song) / El Mañana (Gorillaz) / Kingdom of Doom (The Good, The Bad & The Queen) / The History of a Cheating Heart / Out of Time (Blur) /
All Your Life (Blur) 

Encore Last Living Souls (Gorillaz) / Clint Eastwood with Vic Mensa (Gorillaz) / Mr Tembo / Heavy Seas of Love

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Sweet Valli High

Frankie Valli & ‘The Four Seasons’
NYCB Theatre at Westbury
April 25th

frankie valli

If you’ve seen the musical Jersey Boys, you know the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.  If you haven’t, you can join the rest of us this summer in theaters when Clint Eastwood gives it cinematic life.  If you can’t bother with either, try Delaware Fellas.  But if you don’t want any of that, I’ll tell you how it goes – four boys from Jersey meet under a streetlamp and then they’re like, hey, talk like a duck, and then one of them is like, NO – WALK LIKE A MAN!!!  Then another one is like, oh Carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.  And the rest be like, no, Sherrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry!!  And then one is like small girls do cry, and then the others be like, no, BIG GIRLS, THEY DON’T CRY-YYYYYYYYYY.  That’s how all their songs came to be

Frankie Valli still lights the torch that is he and the Four Seasons.  The original seasoners have retired, so Valli hits the road these days with 4 young looking dudes doing all the background singing.  It’s fine, cause they are the background harmonizing to the awesomeness going on in the foreground – Frankie’s unique voice, which apparently can still hit them high notes, and melt ears.  Frankie and the fellas ran thru ALL the hits, and there are a TON.  He opened with his ‘Grease’ theme, and WORD, it was SLICK!!!  He also rocked him some 60s covers, like ‘Spanish Harlem’ and ‘Call Me’ (not the Blondie one).  And it was ALL RAWKIN, in a soft rawkin kinda way.  If you ever have the choice between seeing Jersey Boys or seeing the real thing, see the real thing

But the real star of the show?  The theater itself.  Never had been to NYCB Theatre at Westbury before, and this trip certainly won’t be my last.  It’s not an easy venue to get to from the city without a car, but it was WELL worth the journey.  The stage is in the round, which means every seat is a good one, as the performers on stage slowly rotate on a spinning floor!!!!  I had only seen one other show in the (sorta) round before, and it was Prince and it was glorious (although the shape was a cross, not a circle).  That was at a huge arena, but this Valli show was intimate.  The venue only seats 3,000, and let me tell you, there’s nothing like spending an intimate evening with 2,998 really old Long Islanders, listening to really old music, that still sounds really fcuking great

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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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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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