Tag Archives: Sting

Honored Thy Father

Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen
Bell Centre
November 6

hey, that IS a way to say goodbye #LeonardCohen

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My birthday was once soiled by the public announcement that Magic Johnson has AIDS.  I’ve always wanted that stain on my birthday replaced by another more significant event, and while I wish Leonard Cohen had lived forever, he left this world on my birthday last year, and I’ll take that over MJ’s admittance as the ‘thing’ that happened on my day of birth  

Leonard is still gone, but he will never NEVER ever be forgotten, especially in his hometown of Montreal, where 364 days later, his son Adam put together a tribute concert to beautifully honor thy father

So with Leonard as an excuse, the wife, my parents and I descended upon Leonard’s hometown, to say goodbye to my 30s, and to Leonard Cohen, with a cast of WOWsands.  Big names like Sting, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang and Lana Del Rey commanded much attention and awesomeness, but it was the lesser known (to me), fellow Canadians who really shined on their takes of Leonard’s finest works.  Standouts include Ron Sexsmith (who is no stranger to Cohen covers), FeistPatrick Watson and the haunting (Irish, not Canuck) Damien Rice 

It’s really hard to screw up a Leonard Cohen song, and while I didn’t really take to Sharon Robinson nor Betty LaVette’s contributions, they at least weren’t sacrilege… which is exactly what Courtney Love’s rendition of my personal favorite LC song ‘Everybody Knows’ (thanks to Pump Up The Volume) was.  An ear-sore and a blasphemous disaster, Love brought hate out of me on a night of pure… love.  I mean, not even Seth Rogen bothered me on this noche, and he always bothers me!  Take that Courtney!!  But why Courtney anyway?  Couldn’t she be replaced by someone more deserving and probably more loving, and actually talented, like dual US-Canadian citizen and LC fanatic Rufus Wainwright???  And while we’re here, Sting and Elvis C are lovely and all, but Leonard wasn’t beloved enough by the likes of McCartney, Dylan, Paul Simon or Neil Young to drag any of them out to this event?  Were they even asked?  

Whatever, dumb gripes aside, the event was perfect (aside from Cunt-ny Love) – it made my mom tear up often, and I did too, but mainly cause I was with loved ones and just so overjoyed.  And a big thanks and hug has got to go out to Leonard’s son Adam, who stirringly dueted on 4 of his father’s songs.  Dad would be proud.  The rest of us certainly were.  Son should go on tour and play pop’s music on the road – keep the legend alive, even though the legend will live on if son does or not.  Leonard’s still our man.  Not even death can change that

First SetSting – ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ / Feist – ‘Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye’ / Patrick Watson – ‘Who by Fire’ / Sharon Robinson – ‘I’m Your Man’ / Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites from The Lumineers – ‘Democracy’ / Ron Sexsmith – ‘Suzanne’ / Elvis Costello – ‘The Future’ / Damien Rice – ‘Famous Blue Raincoat’ / Adam Cohen and The Webb Sisters – ‘So Long, Marianne’ / k.d. lang – ‘Hallelujah’

Second SetShaar Hashomayim Choir – ‘Tower of Song’ / Sting – ‘Sisters of Mercy’ / Adam Cohen and Lana Del Ray – ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’ / Betty LaVette – ‘In My Secret Life’ / Courtney Love – ‘Everybody Knows’ / Seth Rogen – ‘Field Commander Cohen’ / BØRNS and The Webb Sisters – ‘If It Be Your Will’ / Adam Cohen, Coeur de pirate and Damien Rice – ‘The Partisan’ / Elvis Costello – ‘Bird on the Wire’ / Sting – ‘Anthem’ / Shaar Hashomayim Choir – ‘You Want It Darker’ / Adam Cohen and Basia Bulat – ‘Coming Back to You’ / Basia Bulat – ‘Closing Time’

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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

A video posted by Thigh Master (@thighmaster) on

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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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

Setlist – Brand 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 

Encore – Bridge Over Troubled Water / Every Breath You Take / Late in the Evening 

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

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Rocktobering Out With Our Cocktobering Out

The 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Anniversary Concerts – Night 1

Madison Square Garden
Rocktober 29th

this once in a zillion lifetimes concert contained the criznazzyiest of criznazzy collaborations and a super-sized sizzling sing-a-long setlist that set everyone’s ears ablaze and heads into a daze (see belows, complied by Thighlandium’s favorite son, Mr Pibbums), so much so that a listing of the who and what does all the talking and the walking that anyone would ever need to say or walk about the greatestestetstesteteststest 5 hour and 40ish minute concert wees have ever beens to and evers will. great googly mooogly!!!

Jerry Lee Lewis

‘Whole Lotta Shakin’

Crosby, Stills & Nash

‘Woodstock’

‘Marrakesh Express’

‘Almost Cut My Hair’

‘Love Has No Pride’ (Bonnie Raitt)
w/Bonnie Raitt

‘Midnight Rider’ (Allman Bros)
w/Bonnie Raitt

‘The Pretender’ (Jackson Browne)
w/Jackson Browne

‘Mexico’ (James Taylor)
w/James Taylor

‘Love The One You’re With’
w/James Taylor

‘Rock n’ Roll Woman’ (Buffalo Springfield)

‘Teach Your Children’
w/James Taylor, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt

Paul Simon

‘Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes’

‘Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard’

‘You Can Call Me Al’

‘The Wanderer’ (Dion & the Belmonts)
w/Dion

‘Here Comes The Sun’ (The Beatles)
w/Graham Nash and David Crosby

‘Late In The Evening’

‘Two People In The World’ (The Imperials)
w/L’il Anthony & The Imperials

Simon & Garfunkel

‘Sound of Silence’

‘Mrs Robinson’

‘Not Fade Away’ (Buddy Holly)

‘The Boxer’

‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’

‘Cecilia’

(this is udder BS, since they needed their own 5+ hour set)

Stevie Wonder

‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ (Bob Dylan)

‘Uptight’

‘I Was Made To Love You’

‘For Once In My Life’

‘Signed Sealed Delivered’

‘Boogie On Reggae Woman’

‘Tracks of My Tears’ (Smokey Robinson)
w/Smokey Robinson

‘Mercy Mercy Me’ (Marvin Gaye)
w/John Legend

‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ (Michael Jackson)
w/John Legend

‘The Thrill Is Gone’ (BB King)
w/BB King

‘Living for the City’

‘Higher Ground’
w/Sting

‘Roxanne’ (The Police)
w/Sting

‘Superstition’
w/Jeff Beck

Bruce Springsteen
& the E Street Band


‘Tenth Avenue Freeze Out’

‘Hold On I’m Coming’ (Sam & Dave)
w/Sam Moore

‘Soul Man’ (Sam & Dave)
w/Sam Moore

‘The Ghost of Tom Joad’
w/Tom Morello

‘Fortunate Son’ (CCR)
w/John Fogerty

‘Proud Mary’ (CCR)
w/John Fogerty

‘Pretty Woman’ (Roy Orbison)
w/John Fogerty

‘Jungleland’

‘Fine Fine Boy’ (Darlene Love)
w/Darlene Love

‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ (The Crystals)
w/Darlene Love

‘London Calling’ (The Clash)
w/Tom Morello

‘Badlands’
w/Tom Morello

‘You May Be Right’ (Billy Joel)
w/Billy Joel

‘Only The Good Die Young’ (Billy Joel)
w/Billy Joel

‘New York State of Mind’ (Billy Joel)
w/Billy Joel

‘Born To Run’
w/Billy Joel

‘Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher’ (Jackie Wilson)
w/Billy Joel, John Fogerty, Jackson Browne, Tom Morello, Sam Moore and Darlene Love

my/our lord. we may never be able to fully comprehend that bestness that befell our be-eyes & be-ears be-last night. bi the gay, if you really want to know our thoughts on the show, czech our Twitter feed from last noche, and do the same tonight for Part 2 w/U2, Urethra, Metallica and Clapton’s replacement, Jeff Beck

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