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Yes, Know, Maybe So

32nd Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Barclays Center
April 7th

There have been 32 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, and I’ve sadly only attended three of them.  For a long time, they weren’t open to the public, and were held in either Cleveland or the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel only for industry people  

As soon as they did open them to the public, and in my neck of the woods – starting with the 2014 show – I HAD to be there.  Somehow the demand wasn’t as high with the 2016 show (guess Cheap Trick as a headliner didn’t do the trick), and I somehow snagged a pair of tickets for a paltry $26.06!!!

For the 2017 show, I knew that that would not be the case, with Pearl Jam and Journey getting in, who both have strong fan bases that would just have to be there.  I had to be there too, no matter what.  I’d go even if the inductees were the now eligible Spin Doctors, EMF, Letters To Cleo, Color Me Badd, and Right Said Fred!!  (come to think of it – I’d actually love to see a concert of all those bands together!!!)

E.L.O.

Last year’s show led off with a David Bowie tribute, and so of course an obvious Chuck Berry one was due this year, and of course, the obvious choice to kick things off was E.L.O. and their outer-spaced out version of his ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, and of course, that is what happened, and of course it rocked.  I know it would, having been lucky enough to see Mr Jeff Lynne and his orchestra do that song + ‘Evil Woman’ and ‘Mr Blue Sky’ this past September, like he totally rocked them again this night  

E.L.O. is a well deserved entry into the Hall, although I strongly feel that Lynne’s other project – The Traveling Wilburys – deserve a place there too.  Mainly cause I want him to reunite with Dylan and Petty (and maybe get George Harrison’s son Dhani, who inducted E.L.O., plus someone else to stand in for Roy Orbison) and play the songs they NEVER toured, EVER

Joan Baez

I know Joan Baez, but if you asked me to name her 5 most famous songs, I’d probably not even get to 2.  Yikes, but I know she’s important, and while not the most rockiniest choice for the Hall, a vital one nonetheless.  And with today’s politically charged climate (although seriously, what day and age’s climate is NOT politically charged), Joan brought a taste of injustice and protest from times past to the present, playing ‘Swing Low, Sweet Chariot’ + brought out Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Indigo Girls to strum ‘Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)’ and ‘The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down’.  I’m all for her making a statement, but I would have preferred a little more rockin – like her cover of ‘House of The Rising Sun’ (if you can call that ‘rockin’)

Yes

One of THE best things about the Rock Hall inductions is the once in a lifetime reunions AND collaborations, and the band Yes, gave both of those an emphatic YES!!!  The band has had many many many formations in its history, and currently tour the world in two different factions, but on this night, they didn’t come from a place of ‘no’, and all came together to say ‘yes’ to Yes!!!  And superfan Geddy Lee (and Rush bandmater Alex Lifeson) as the inductor, not only had high praise for the group, but filled in admirably for the departed Chris Squire on ‘Roundabout’.  The long song only allowed for a second tune, the 80s staple ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’

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Tupac

You’d think that a posthumous induction would not be all that great, but you’d be DEAD wrong.  Poor wording, but totally true.  The Kurt-less Nirvava performance was one of the most bestest things I have ever witnessed, musically.  When Linda Ronstadt (who is not dead) missed her induction 3 years ago, the performance put on in her honor was udderly fantastic.  Same was true for Tupac’s big night.  I missed the Snoop Dog speech while taking an extended wizz, and didn’t really know all the songs in the medley, but what a medley it was…

Ambitionz az a Ridah / I Get Around / I Ain’t Mad at Cha / Dear Mama / Changes (see below) / 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted / Gangsta Party / Hail Mary / Keep Ya Head Up

all with the help of Alicia Keys, YG, TI, Treach from Naughty By Nature, and of course the Snoop man himself!

No hologram needed – as 2Pac’s music brought him back to life!

Journey

The night’s most memorable moment was the one that didn’t happen.  Steve Perry joined his former bandmates on stage for a heartfelt reunion that didn’t continue into the post-speech performances, leaving everyone VERY happy to see him, but VERY sad that we didn’t really get to hear him (sing)

Steve Perry can do whatever Steve Perry wants to do.  If he wants to accept an award and not play with Journey ever again, that’s his choice, but in choosing to not perform (perhaps for the last time and chance ever to do so… but never say ever), he denied the audience, the fans, and humanity the opportunity to witness perhaps THE music moment of the decade  

It may be time to stop believing in a Steve Perry reunion, but with current frontman Arnel Pineda perfectly imitating his chops, there’s plenty to lick and believe in here.  Pineda & co rocked the arena and our world with ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), ‘Lights’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believin’

Pharrell Williams then inducted Nile Rodgers with the Award For Musical Excellence, but sadly Daft Punk did not show up to make us all ‘Get Lucky’

this was followed to a nice, but not anything super special Lenny Kravitz tribute to Prince, featuring ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘The Cross’.  Prince should never not be memorialized and honored, but I feel a little Prince-tributed out.  Maybe they could have done a nice Leonard Cohen tribute, and have all the 1284384288424842 people who have covered ‘Hallelujah’ play it all together as one

Pearl Jam

Save the best for last, and Pearl Jam did, bringing up the rear for this show.  While Neil Young called in sick, David Letterman came out of hiding and brought well needed non-musician humor and heart (and beard) to the proceedings 

Another lovely moment was the appearance and reunion with their original drummer Dave Krusen, who sit in with the band for ‘Alive’, for the first time since he departed the group in 1991(!!!!!)!  Personally, I would have let the group play Ten in its entirety, but they chose to sprinkle in other works, like ‘Given to Fly’ and ‘Better Man’  

The only other moment that would have been super epic, was the show’s all-star jam closing number ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’.  The jam WAS super epic, but without Neil Young, it was a little less super-y epic-er than it could have been.  But who cares!!!  When George Harrison’s son is jamming with Geddy Lee, Eddie VedderJonathan Cain and Neal Schon of Journey, and Trevor Rabin of Yes, you’ll take that over not taking that.  TAKE THAT!!  I will, thanks!  

Keep these shows a coming and a rocking Rock Hall, and especially to Brooklyn! and with more capes!!!!

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Lytle Giants

Granddady
(Le) Poisson Rouge
February 28th

If you asked me to name one of the more essential albums of the 21st Century, I think I would have to say that one of them would have to be Grandaddy’s The Sophtware Slump.  It was album with past and future tense – and created an incredible soundscape that I constantly wanted to escape into.  And somehow, 17 years have passed since its release, and I somehow escaped from the reality of that album’s amazingness, and the band that created it

Luckily, a memory refresher was headed my way

My musical tastes haven’t really grown in this century, mainly discovering older groups (it’s all about the classics, man!), but I still and will always maintain a love for certain groups of the new millennium (anything Jack White, Air, Franz Ferdinand, Ladytron, etc).  Grandaddy is one of those groups, but I really did forget about them.  Mainly, they forgot about themselves, as they were broken up for awhile, but alas, here we are, and when I heard that Grandaddy was making a new album and touring it, of course I had to see them… 14 years since I last did – pre-Thighs Wide Shut(!!!!), in 2003.  

And so, for prep for the concert, I listened to what I could of the new album – Last Place.  A few singles had been floating around for months, and then with less than week to go, NPR had the album in full, streaming.  Normally it takes awhile for an album to work its magic on you (if it has any actual magic to begin with), but in a short amount of time – I felt like the grand(addy) early 2000s had never ended, and this new album felt a year apart from the essential Slump, not 17 years separated

And live?  Oh man, the old stuff was beyond beautiful music to my ears.  And the new stuff?  It fit in-between the old stuff like a glove (not the OJ type of glove, but the one that fits perfectly – like a new glove, or an old glove)!

The show was 17 songs done up in under 90 minutes, but for every minute – I basked in the bestness that was and remains Grandaddy, and escaped back into the early 2000s, which somehow seems like such a simpler, happier time

Setlist – Hewlett’s Daughter / El Caminos in the West / Laughing Stock / Way We Won’t / Disconnecty / Evermore / The Crystal Lake / My Small Love / Levitz / AM 180 / So You’ll Aim Toward the Sky / I Don’t Wanna Live Here Anymore / Everything Beautiful Is Far Away / Now It’s On / He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot

Encore The Boat is in the Barn / Summer Here Kids

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Does Anybody Want Some Magic Johnson?

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Madison Square Garden
February 15th

Does anybody want some Magic Johnson?  I do!  I do!

I want it, and anything from Mother’s Milk! And ALL of Blood Sugar Sex Magik!!

Is that so much to ask for, for my very first Red Hot Chili Peppers concert ever????

I mean, when I finally got around to seeing Pearl Jam last year, they pretty much played a setlist that pretty much perfectly suited what I pretty much REALLY needed and wanted to hear them play. I mean, I kinda left off with Pearl Jam back in the 90s, and didn’t know of anything they did since, but I’ve kept better tabs with the Red Hots over the years, as some of their songs were not only popular, and not only catchy, but downright good!!

And so I cannot complain hearing them rock ‘Dani California’ or ‘By The Way’, but they only dropped 3 songs from Blood Sugar Sex Magik???  And 5 songs from the new album?  OK, I didn’t do my homework, like I normally would, mainly cause I didn’t have time to, cause I got a last minute ticket, but c’mon man!  Old stuff!  Not new stuff!  I know new stuff was gonna happen, but it can’t make up a 1/3rd of your barely 100 minuted show.  Pearl Jam played for double the amount of time and played double the amount of songs, and so when PJ played stuff I didn’t know, it was fine, cause they played like 381283812 things I DID know!

Damn you Red Hots!  You sounded great (when I was hearing what I wanted to hear), but I think you owe it to yer old fans to play the old stuff

But it’s not their fault.  It’s all mine.  Why didn’t I see them on their Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour when it came to my area???  OK, I was 14, and about a year away from going to concerts all the time, but still!!!  How come I didn’t beg/force one of my parents to take me?  Or how come I didn’t decide to visit my 5-years older brother at Tulane a year before that, and see Pearl Jam AND the Smashing Pumpkins open for the Red Hots like he did!!??!?!?!??!  OMGGGgGgGgGgGG!!!  Lucky fcuking bastard.  More like, my lovely man

SetlistIntro Jam / Can’t Stop / Dani California / The Zephyr Song / Dark Necessities / The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie / Right on Time / Go Robot / Californication / Sick Love / Search and Destroy (Iggy and The Stooges cover) / The Getaway / Suck My Kiss / Under the Bridge / By the Way

EncoreGoodbye Angels / Give It Away

over the bridge and tunnelers, I drew some blood #RHCP

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Spoke & Mirrors

Sia
Barclays Center
October 25th

Sia later #ElasticFart

A photo posted by Thigh Master (@thighmaster) on

Sia isn’t quite herself, because she doesn’t want to be herself, and usually wants someone else to be her.  She’s written a slew of hit songs for other chart topping artists, and even made hits for herself, and even even made hits that were meant for other people, but they rejected the songs, and so their awesomeness reverted back to her.  If you’ve seen any music video of hers, you know that she’s nowhere to be seen and makes you seek her in the form of other people acting out as her

So what would a Sia concert be like?  Would she hide?  What would we see(k)?

Well, if you have seen those music videos, the live show is essentially the same thing, except she’s on stage, in the shadows singing along, while performers play her part in the foreground.  But is it really her singing?  Or is it a stand-in?  And with the videos on screen mimicking what’s on stage, are the performers even themselves?  It’s highly doubtful Paul Dano, Tig Notaro, Maddie Ziegler, Kristen Wiig, Gaby Hoffman and the GREAT Ben Mendelsohn are actually touring with her, and so whatever is actually going on, on stage – live or staged, is a sight to be seen.  Obviously, the sounds are definitely to be heard!

What’s real and what isn’t may be up for debate, but all I can say is I’d Sia her again.  Sia now, and Sia LATER!!

SetlistAlive / Diamonds (Rihanna cover) / Reaper / Big Girls Cry / Bird Set Free / One Million Bullets / Cheap Thrills / Soon We’ll Be Found / Fire Meet Gasoline / Elastic Heart / Unstoppable / Breathe Me / Move Your Body / Titanium (David Guetta cover) / Chandelier

EncoreThe Greatest

I let @siathisisacting be the rhythm tonight #MoveYourBody #SiaLater

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Them & The Holograms

Tidal X 10/15
Barclays Center
October 15th

I know nothing of modern music.  I was born too late to be a teen rocking out to the music of the 60s that I truly love and live for.  But here I am, in the twenty first würst century and I want to know what the kids are into.  I’ve tried to tune into the MTV Video Music Awards year after year, but I quickly tune out after realizing that this is not my cup of tea’s nutz.  Well, Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service held a 2nd annual Tidal night of musicness, and I said, well, my wife and I like that one DNCE song, and I’ve never seen Beyoncé live, so why the hell not!

We didn’t arrive on time, so we missed probably the one and only time we’d hear Robin Thicke play live (unless he ever decides to tour with his divorced parents), and we left early, cause 4 hours may work for Bruce Springsteen, but it doesn’t work for me, so we missed out on Alicia Keys (who I had sorta heard live once before), but what we got was A LOT!!!!  Look at all these names!!!!

lineup

Who are 1/2 of the people?  I think that’s the point, and I did really enjoy all the ones who actually played an instrument – cause you could actually hear what they were playing.  Stand outs in my mind were Kevin Garrett and Emeli Sandé.  The other acts were mainly rappers, and were too loud and distorted to understand, or enjoy

As for DNCE?  WAY NICE!!!!  They were rocking!  Did I ever think I’d say that about a Jonas brother?  Well, I didn’t ever think about a lot of things, but sometimes life hands you lemons and Jonas brother bands that are actually way rocking!!

and while it was nice to see Lauryn Hill, alive, performing, and showing up in general, the showstopping showstopper of the evening was whatever Beyoncé was doing with those holograms.  Sh!t was TIGHT, and confusing, and led me to believe that maybe seeing holograms in concert, in the future, isn’t necessarily the würstest thing

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