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Bros Before GMOs

Neil Young + Promise of the Real
Jones Beach
July 21th

neil young jones beach

Neil Young was one of those remaining guys high on my list of people to see before he or I die, and while I’ve had many chances in the past to see him, I kept kinda avoiding it, and apparently for no good reason.  F’reals, cause had I seen him a decade before, I probably would have seen him 10 times already.  YEP, Neil Young live is necessity!!!!  

But did I pick the right show to go to?  He’s supporting a new album (never fun when seeing old fogey musicians), and his backing band features two of Willie Nelson’s sons.  I don’t know them from Adam Nelson or his sons, but I assume they love farms and smoking dope.  Sounds like a match made for Neil Young.  And for me?  Well, their collaborative album – The Monsanto Years – was included with the price of admission [a practice I love!] – and is totally not bad!  It sounds like Neil Young, and he’s even angrier than ever!  The dude TOTALLY hates Monsanto, and Starbucks and WalMart and GMOs.  I try to ignore the ranting and juss enjoy the music, and not juss for Neil, but for all musics.  And live?  The album (and ranting) sounded great!  He could have been singing about how much he hates Popeyes Fried Chicken and it would have STILL fcuking RAWKED!!!

Plus the genius idea to play 5 BEYOND CLASSIC songs solo at the show’s beginning was blammmmmazin!!!

Plus he jammed the hell out of a BEYOND ROUSING 16 minute-ish version of ‘Down By The River’!!!!!  

16(ISHHHH) MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and every second of it was ear-blowing!!!

But no ‘Cinnamon Girl’?  Hopefully he plays it once out of the next ten times I see him, GMOs or not

neil young gmos

Setlist

Solo Neil – After the Gold Rush / Heart of Gold / Long May You Run / Old Man /Mother Earth (Natural Anthem)

with Promise of The RealHold Back the Tears / Out on the Weekend / Unknown Legend / Field of Opportunity / Wolf Moon / From Hank to Hendrix / Harvest Moon / Words (Between the Lines of Age) / Lookin’ for a Love / Winterlong / A Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop / People Want to Hear About Love / Big Box / A New Day for Love / Down by the River / Workin’ Man / Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere / Monsanto Years / If I Don’t Know / Love and Only Love

EncoreCortez the Killer

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October In July

U2
Madison Square Garden
July 19th

bono u2 spits water

It was my 8th time seeing U2 (and 3rd time at MSG), and apparently the first time I had ever heard ‘October’ or ‘Gloria’ live!!!!!!!!!!  How do I know this, well you see, a week ago, I decided to create a profile on the incredible site – setlist.fm – to keep track of what concerts I’ve been to, and also to add shows I’ve been to that aint listed on the site (you should do the same and help make a better tomorrow!!!).  Well, they have a handy little statistics thing and you can see what songs a band has played at the shows you’ve attended.  Here are my U2 stats.  I haven’t heard a single song played at all 8 shows, but have heard ‘Beautiful Day’, ‘Mysterious Ways’  and ‘Vertigo’ at 7 of them!  Sadly, I’ve only heard my favorite, ‘Even Better Than The Real Thing’ at 3 of the shows.  What’s the point?  U2 are awesome, and have way TOO many songs to play, and sadly they don’t have time to play them all, so I have to keep going back, and improve my stats!

Btw – that new album that was thrown onto everyone’s tHighphones and caused mass hysteria and hate-aria – Songs of Innocence – is pretty fcuking awesome.  Of course it is – it’s a U2 album, and any U2 album sounds like U2, and thus instantly becomes a part of their prolific awesome back catalog.  ‘Vertigo’ is from an album that’s 11 years old, and yet it seems as vital and important as anything from their 80s or 90s output.  I already feel that ‘The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)’ is a song that I want to hear them play at every show I see of theirs going forward.  That’s no miracle – it’s U2, and it’s me 3!

Btw 2 – nice frosted hair Bono.  You look like Philip as Clark on The Americans

philip clark

Setlist

Set 1 – The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) / Gloria / Vertigo / I Will Follow / Iris (Hold Me Close) / Cedarwood Road / Song for Someone / Sunday Bloody Sunday / Raised by Wolves / Until the End of the World / The Fly / Invisible / Even Better Than the Real Thing / Mysterious Ways / Volcano / Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of / October / Every Breaking Wave / With or Without You / City of Blinding Lights / Bullet the Blue Sky / Pride (In the Name of Love) 

EncoreBeautiful Day / Bad / Where the Streets Have No Name / I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

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Prog, Check Republic

Rush
Madison Square Garden
June 29th

rush double

photo by Randy Johnson

Rush has been around for 40 years, and apparently their R40 tour may be their last tour.  Who are they kidding??  This Canadian trio – Geddy Lee / Alex Lifeson / Neil Peart – are in their early 60s, and yet they are kicking it as if they were in their 20s.  There might not be a tighter trio going on earth, well, besides me, my mouth and Popeyes Fried Chicken

Seeing them, FINALLY, was part obligation (I’ve been in love ever since I got my hands on the double CD set Chronicles via BMG Music Service), and partly cause I like me some kick ass rock, and the fellas did not disappoint – playing a career spanning show, in reverse chronological order.  Even the stage decorations got less and less extravagant as the night wore on – going from glitz (a popcorn maker and some washing machines!?) to back to basics (just a few amps) by the time the show ended, some 3 hours later(!!!)!

And what did I take away from this show? The sight of double guitars!! and double bass guitars!!  And Neil Peart’s dumb skully,  and how Alex Lifeson looks exactly like David Warner (sorta not really!).  And things, and stuff!!

Setlist

Set 1 – The Anarchist / Headlong Flight / Far Cry / The Main Monkey Business / One Little Victory / Animate / Roll the Bones / Distant Early Warning  /Losing It (with Jonathan Dinklage) / Subdivisions(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Set 2 – Tom Sawyer / Red Barchetta / The Spirit of Radio / Jacob’s Ladder  / Cygnus X-1 Book II: Hemispheres Part I: Prelude / Cygnus X-1 / Closer to the Heart / Xanadu  / 2112 Part I: Overture / 2112 Part II: The Temples of Syrinx / 2112 Part IV: Presentation / 2112 Part VII: Grand Finale

EncoreLakeside Park / Anthem / What You’re Doing / Working Man 

double guitars

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He Didn’t Start The Fire

Billy Joel
Madison Square Garden
February 18th

billy joel

This was only the 2nd time I’ve seen BJ.  The first was on his River of Dreams tour at the Capital Centre in 1993 (one of these two shows)

He played ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ then

He didn’t last night

I’d consider that single omission a waste of an entire evening

JFGAY BLOWN AWAY WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO SAY?????

BUT it wasn’t, cause even if Billy Joel looks like an old mole, he’s still got it!!  And you can tell he’s really enjoying his monthly MSG residency.  He even is semi-sorta letting his fans dictate some his set – asking them to choose between two songs to play, by cheering their choice!  

AND he loves ‘Tush’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WHO DOESN’T???????????????

Setlist

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway) / Pressure / Say Goodbye to Hollywood / The Stranger / Vienna / Summer, Highland Falls / The Entertainer / The Downeaster Alexa / Zanzibar / Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) / New York State Of Mind / Allentown / I’ve Been Working On The Railroad (Instrumental) / My Life / Sometimes a Fantasy / She’s Always a Woman / Don’t Ask Me Why / The River of Dreams (with ZZ Top ‘Tush’ interlude) / Scenes From an Italian Restaurant / Piano Man

Encore Uptown Girl / It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me / You May Be Right / Only The Good Die Young

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A Quest Called Vibes

Jack White
Madison Square Garden
January 30th

jack white q tip msg

Last time we saw Jack White ROCK out MSG, it was 2007, and the girl with the bouncy boobs was bouncing her boobs behind him, AND IT KICKED THE FCUKING BALL AND THE BISCUITLISTICS!!!!!!!!  They were two kids, playing to 18k people, and they somehow were able to own a building that’s built for giant acts.  Sure, at the time, they were a big act, but 6 years prior, they were playing the tiny Bowery Ballroom, a place better suited for their raw sound.  But Jack White’s sound now and forever knows no bounds.  ‘Seven Nation Army’ has become a sports stadium rally call, and now, Jack White can fill any sized venue to match those calls

Meg White is still sorely missed, but Jack, 7ish years later, has really done an amazing job to fill her (boobie) void.  Sure, having a full band helps, and at times, his band adds TOO much sound to Jack’s music, but they follow his lead, and we’d follow him anywhere he goes, cause it’s always steady as he goes.  His latest MSG set perfectly blended Stripes tunes with the stronger selections of his solo work + enough of the other side-project ditties (juss like his Roseland show of 3 years ago), but the larger venue made everything seem even larger, more vital.  Having Q-Tip come out to help didn’t hurt neither.  In fact, it cleaned and opened our ears even mo!  [editor’s note – we haven’t used a Q-Tip since 2009]

Setlist

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground / High Ball Stepper /Lazaretto / Hotel Yorba / Temporary Ground / Cannon / Broken Boy Soldier / Cannon / Love Interruption / We’re Going to Be Friends / Three Women / Black Math (intro only to) Top Yourself / Ball and Biscuit

Encore That Black Bat Licorice (with Q-Tip) / Excursions (with Q-Tip) / Sixteen Saltines / Astro / Steady, As She Goes / Would You Fight for My Love? / Just One Drink / Blunderbuss / Seven Nation Army

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