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I Just Want To Scream… HELLO!!!

Pearl Jam
Madison Square Garden
May 2nd

my very first (and long overdue) @PearlJam show was more epic than Epic Records #ImStillAlive

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It’s never too late to right wrongs.  Never have regrets in life, and if you do, fix them, if they are fixable.

Pearl Jam’s Ten owned the ears of high schoolers everywhere from 1991 onwards.  When grunge was grunge, these guys were like the fringe of grunge – rocking rock that had an edge (but not droning like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains’ music did), and this rock was rock built for the ages.  I LIVED for Ten.  We all did.  It’s not only the perfect debut album, but a perfect album – up their in my mind with the likes of Paul Simon’s Graceland, Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Beasties Boys’ Paul’s Boutique, most albums by The Beatles, and so on and so forth and so onforth

At the height of their and my hysteria, I somehow neglected to see them in concert, which is odd, considering how I saw a LOT of shows as a teen, including the original Smashing Pumpkins line-up, Nine Inch Nails, Fugazi, Alice In Chains, the Beasties Boys 128238823 times, Ice-T, Public Enemy, Urge Overkill, The Soup Dragons, etc.  (My lucky brother saw Pearl Jam open for the Red Hot Chili Peppers AND Smashing Pumpkins in New Orleans, in 1991.  Red Hots are another band I meant to see, and still never have)

Time passed, and then Pearl Jam released their 2nd album – Vs – and while a lovely effort, it was no perfect Ten.  More like a 6?  Probably a 7.  But time has been good to it.  It’s probably an 8 now.  But back then?  A 6.  I was so pissed it wasn’t Ten-2 that by the time their 3rd album dropped – Vitalogy (still a terrible name) – I was done – and for me – Pearl Jam was over.  And while I was done with Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam wasn’t done at all – they were just getting going – releasing 7 albums in my absence, and keeping on keeping on rocking in the free world

Eons passed, beards grew, and then I saw that they were coming to MSG this year, and was like, you know what – I’ve never heard ‘Even Flow’, ‘Jeremy’ or ‘Alive’ (my holy Pearl Jam trinity) played live – not a once, and how could I let this wrong continue to be wrong?  Boom – done – wrong to be righted.  And spank the lord I did, for in 3 hours time, my face melted (like the Nazi in Raiders) with endless and effortless and awesomebest rock n roll, and I couldn’t have asked for a better first Pearl Jam show (OK, I was a little/lot pissed when they played Ten in its entirety two shows before the one I would attend)  

Look at that setlist below!!!  They played THREE songs with ‘man’ in the title, IN A ROW!!  They played BOTH songs from the Singles soundtrack, BACK 2 BACK!!!  They did a cover of Cheap Trick’s ‘Surrender’, WITH 2 DUDES FROM CHEAP TRICK!!  They did a Police cover WITH STING – AND IT DIDN’T PUT ME TO SLEEP (cause Sting is boring).  And after studying setlist after setlist from their 2016 tour, I nailed it when I said they’d do a cover of the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ (which I’ve always wanted to hear them play ever since they played it on MTV in 1992).  The two dudes who came with me to the show (one being Shreddy FCUKING Mercury!!!) each had one request each, and Pearl Jam played both (‘State of Love and Trust’ AND ‘Yellow Ledbetter’).  And they played my holy trinity of ‘Even Flow’, ‘Jeremy’ and ‘Alive’.  Think I enjoyed that?????  See video above!!!!!!!!!

Moral of the story – Pearl Jam never stopped rocking / I was an idiot for years / you CAN go back again / the mid 90s will never die / I will see Pearl Jam ANYTIME they come back to NY / Sting is still boring, but less so when Pearl Jam is his backing band

SetlistCorduroy / Mind Your Manners / Once / Animal / Given to Fly / Surrender (Cheap Trick coverwith Rick Nielsen & Tom Petersson) [watch] / Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town / Nothingman / Leatherman / Better Man / Garden / Even Flow / Sirens / Deep / Jeremy / Leash / Do the Evolution

Encore – You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Beatles cover) / All or None / Pendulum / Present Tense / Breath / State of Love and Trust / Porch

Encore 2 – Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover) / Driven to Tears (Police cover with Sting) [watch] / Lightning Bolt / Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover) / Alive / Baba O’Riley (Who cover) / Yellow Ledbetter / The Star-Spangled Banner (John Stafford Smith cover)

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Straight Out of Miller High Life

31st Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Barclays Center
April 8th

Say what you will about the actual Hall of Fame for Rock and Roll, and how they go about figuring out who gets in and who doesn’t, but the show they put on to induct whoever gets in is simply amazing – cause these moments only happen once – and sometimes people come together that haven’t been in awhile, and then never will again  

I know how special these induction shows can be and how knees bees they is cause 2 years ago I had my shiz flipped watching Cat Stevens playing in America for the first time in ages AND Nirvana be Nirvana without Kurt, but with some awesome ladies doing their best to be Kurt + a bunch of other awesome shiz (outside of the E Street Band being inducted and giving 31281238238 hours of speeches – F them!) at the 29th induction ceremony

This year’s inductees weren’t AS monumental, both to me personally and for music in general, but the show went on, and the show was AWESOME!!

it opened with David Byrne and Kimbra and The Roots paying tribute to David Bowie with ‘Fame’!!!

Deep Purple

deep purple

I had no idea who was in Deep Purple or whether they were still alive or not.  Well, they are alive!! And David Corverdale was in Deep Purple at some point (and now actually looks like a white snake)!  And Lars Ulrich loves them!!!!  And they were great! Although they didn’t play ‘Child In Time‘, which is one of my mos flavorite longest songs of balls thyme, but I guess there wasn’t time for 10+ minutes songs, but the ones they played were juss perfect

Highway Star / Hush / Smoke on the Water

Steve Miller

steve miller

I think we take Steve Miller for granted and granite.  Maybe cause his name is so basic and so American, or that his music has become so commonplace and so 70s American.  But you know what – we took a listen to Steve Miller’s greatest hits last week and we realized how foolish we’d been for not listening to him in ages.  His music is CLASSIC rock that truly rocks, and Steve’s still got it at age 72.  Hearing 3 of his songs was not nearly enuff to quench my need for Miller time.  I’ll have to go see a full on Steve Miller show.  HAVE to!

Fly Like An Eagle / Rock’n Me / The Joker

N.W.A.

nwa swelfie

Coming off the HUGE success of the hugely awesome Straight Out of Compton movie, N.W.A.’s influence and importance has never been higher – so what a PERFECT time for them to be inducted into the RnR hall of fame (becoming the 5th hip-hop group to do so), right???  And the group members speeches?  Thighly memorable – but they didn’t peform – which is almost a complete waste of inducting them.  Apparently N.W.A. wanted to perform but the Hall wasn’t helpful in helping them do what they wanted to do, so they didn’t do anything, which is BS.  But hey, if all we have are those speeches, then speech on!

then a little break for a Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter duet of The Eagles’ ‘New Kid in Town’, a tribute to the late Glenn Frey (who was at on this very stage 2 years ago)

Chicago

chicago band

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions that bring about unexpected reunions are the single greatest reason for the Hall to exist.  I mean, it brought The Talking Heads together, and the 3 other heads HATE David Byrne more than I hate microwaved Nazi tunafish at Duke University.  Well, if Peter Cetera and his former bandmates of Chicago were to EVER reunite – this would have been the time – but alas, they didn’t, and so, we heard Chicago as they are today – Chicago minus Peter Cetera.  They do have a faux Cetera, but it’s juss not the same.  Anywho, Chicago remain cheesy, but they’re fun, and groovy, and cheesy groovy fun

Saturday in the Park / Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? / 25 or 6 to 4

25 fcuking or 6 or fcuking to 4!!!!!!!!!

no Cetera, but nothing stops 25 or 6 to 4 #RockHall2016

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Cheap Trick

cheap trick

2 weeks ago, I was like – I don’t know who Cheap Trick really are or why are they being inducted (esp over Three Dog Night or Duran Duran or whoever you think).  Then I youtubed some of their hits and was like, oh yeah, I know those songs, but they’re so MEHHHHHHHHHHHH, and I was like, so why are these guys getting inducted??  And then when I was at the show, I was like, they must induct these guys first and get them out of the way.  But no – they were the last dudes to go.  Probably cause their music is high engery, but whateves.  They were inducted, and they sounded good (and it was cool that their former drummer played with them for maybe the last time ever), and now I can move on with my life and Cheap Trick can with theirs

I Want You to Want Me / Dream Police / Surrender

and it all ended with a jam that was not one for the books, but hey, when else are Steve Miller Deep Purple Chicago Cheap Trick Paul Schaffer Sheryl Crow Kid Rock Rob Thomas and Little Stevie all going to play music together at the same exact time????  Nowhere else but for the Hall!!!!!!

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Not Malo Meaning Bad But Malo Meaning Good

Raul Malo
City Winery
January 29th

In my family, I’m the vulture of culture, and usually dictate which movies and concerts we go to.  My wife excels at other things – like being beautiful and being an amazing cook, and even being funnier than I.  So it came with great shock and awe shucks that she turned me onto an incredible singer/songwriter that I never had the pleasure of hearing of, and hearing in general.  Ears, meet Raul Malo – a Cuban-American whose influences are wide-ranged, and whose voice is so grand and marvelous that it sends chills down my ears, to my spine and into my heart, where it hugs and tugs, and warms it song after song

We caught Mr Malo at the intimate City Winery, where all he brought was an acoustic guitar and that singular soul-shaking voice.  My oh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!  It didn’t matter what he was singing, from his own solo catalog, to tunes from his band the Mavericks – it all ROCKED.  But where things really really REALLLY ROCKED were the covers her covered – doing justice and then some to the likes of Willie Nelson, SinatraHarry NilssonRoy Orbison and The Hollies.  I want to hear him cover every song ever!!!  EVER!!!!!!!  

Sign me up for mas Malo, por favor!

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Wild Man Best

Woody Allen & the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band
Café Carlyle
December 14th

woody allen cafe carlyle

Sometimes you have to make your own New York dreams come true, and sometimes that means taking a Brinks truck to your bank, and unloading your savings account to see Woody Allen play the clarinet with his jazz buddies, at one of his Monday shows at the chez shwanky Café Carlyle.  You know this place was crazy chezy swanky cause there’s a ‘é’ in the venue’s name

And?????????????  It was worth EVERY penny (although the money you’re additional forced to spend on food would have been better used for 26 trips to Wendy’s, although the shrimp cocktail was off the heeeeezy) – to sit in a VERY intimate room (a napkin’s toss away from the Woodman, at any seat) and listen to the 80 year old geezer kick the jazzy ballistics

It’s a once in a lifetime experience you should experience if a) you love Woody and b) love the music often featured in his movies and c) want to sit in a room with Woody Allen 

May he live to be 80000000000000000!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOODY ALLEN = WILD MAN BEST!!!!! #OnlyInNewYork #BucketList #AlvySinger #JazzInMyPants

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Feels Like The First Time

I Want My ‘80s Concert
The Theater at Madison Square Garden
November 6th

May I interest you this?

i wantmy80s

too late – you already missed it!!

yep, you missed THE show of 2015, THE show of the 80s, and perhaps THE best show I’ve ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

no, it wasn’t life-changing, like seeing Simon & Garfunkel was, but it was LIFE-BEYOND-AMAZINGNINGINGING!!!!!!!

we’re a culture of greatest hits, and not deep cuts, and who wants to see a full Flock of Seagulls concert, when you can hear them play juss ‘I Ran’ + their 2nd best song, and then get off stage so you can hear the next 80s act play their 2 or 3 best known tunes

this happened, and I lived to tell about it, but more importantly, I lived to ROCK OUT TO IT!!!

MTV VJ Martha Quinn MCed the whole thing – and hearing her voice was like hearing the voice of MTV’s Jesus’ Mary!!!!

Then on came Tiffany.  Can you guess what song she played????  

YEP!!  WE WERE NO LONGER ALONE!!!!!!!!

TIFFANY!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert

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and then instead of playing another one of her other hits, she was like, I’m gonna play an 80s fav of her own…

SWEET CHILD O’ MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and then good ole raspy-voiced Tone Lōc comes out, and guess what he plays besides ‘Funky Cold Medina’?  

TONE-LOC!!!!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert

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YEP!

and then THE GUY FROM FLOCK OF SEAGULLS PLAYED THAT 80s SONG WE ALL FLOCK TO!!!!

THE GUY FROM FLOCK OF SEAGULLS!!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert

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BOOOM – check hearing that live off of my music bucketlist!!!!!!!

and then Run-DMC came out and got tricky, and then was like, I don’t need Run or Jam Master Jay (RIP) or Aerosmith, cause I got Dee Snider in da house and we are going to

DMC and DEE SNIDER!!!!!!!!!! #WalkThisWay #IWantMy80sConcert

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WALK DIS WAY

TALK DIS WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, this thing muss slow down at some point, right?

NOPE!

On comes still sweet Debbie Gibson who makes dreams a reality!!!

DEBBIE FCUKING GIBSON!!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert #OnlyInMyReality

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wait, is this show gonna ever stop being awesomesss???

NOPE!

on comes Howard Jones – the dude with a forgettable name, but unforgettable music. YOU KNOW THESE TUNES!!!!

HOWARD FCUKING JONES!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert #WoahOhOooohOhOhOoohOhOh

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woah oh ooooh oh oh oooh oh oh!!!!!!!!!!!

and no, I wasn’t a big Twisted Sister guy.  they freaked me out man.  even their cameo in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure wigged me out, but there’s no denying they rock – HARD – and everyone WILL take it – even if the only sister in attendance was Dee Snider!!!

DEE FCUKING SNIDER!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert #ITookIt

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MAN, THAT WAS MAD RAD!!!

and hey, how bout we throw Lou Gramm of Foreigner on stage to put a big ole cherry on top of this delicious bomb-ass cake?????????

LOU FCUKING GRAMMMMMM!!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert #HeShowedMe

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He wants to know what love is?  IT’S THE PEOPLE HEARING HIS AMAZING MUSICS AND SINGING IT RIGHT BACK AT HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dear lord was that some show.  How do you end something like that?  Well, you bring ALL of them folks back on stage (although Tone and DMC somehow skipped the end) and have them sing that Journey song everyone loves to sing together

EVERYONE (minus Tone and DMC) ARE JOURNEY-MEN!!!!!! #IWantMy80sConcert #BestConcertEver (maybe/probably)

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I MEAN WHERE ELSE YOU GONNA SEE DEE SNIDER SLIGHTLY STANDING IN THE WAY OF TIFFANY AND DEBBIE GIBSON ROCKING OUT MAD HARD YO??????????????

dee tiff deb

and who needs these people’s backing bands to back them up, when they rocked out with the greatest 80s cover band going…

Jessie’s Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!

jessie gierl

not sure how the show did $$$$-wise, but awesome-wise – it was BEYOND THUNDERDOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I pray they do another one of these, cause I need to hear ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me’) by Simple Minds + 1 more of their songs, and then have them get off the stage so I can hear A-ha ‘Take On Me’ + 1 more song and then make way for Young MC to quickly ‘Bust A Move’

Nostalgia never dies – as long as we don’t let it die

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