Alright, now we’re deep into it. The beginning of when I started reviewing concerts for the New Times. Lots of links and excerpts are coming your way. In case you’re as compulsive as me click here for a link to part 1 and click here for a link to part 2, click here for part 3, and finally click here for part 4. Away we go…
103. Flogging Molly – February 13, 2013 – Revolution, Fort Lauderdale. Here’s what I wrote way back then, “Whatever preconceptions you might have about the California band Flogging Molly, seeing the dedication of their fans at last night’s concert at Revolution Live would force you to listen to them with fresh ears. At their best, Flogging Molly’s recorded music is soulful hardcore pub music. At its worst, they sound like a generic Warped Tour band with an Irish accent.”
104. Rush – April 26, 2013 – BB&T Center, Sunrise. My thoughts back in the day, “Geddy Lee’s falsetto voice is the most distinguishing feature of Rush. And as he hopped around stage on one foot, he hit pitches that would make Mariah Carey’s dog whistle envious. Harder for me to appreciate was the ridiculous bombast that surrounded the music. When the screen behind the band was not focusing on close-ups of the musicians, it showed a series of silly images. At one time, it displayed atomic bombs detonating, other times, it there was a giant baby carriage rolling around the world.”
105. Crosby, Stills & Nash – May 10, 2013 – Hard Rock, Hollywood – I’ll always fondly remember this show because it was the last concert my very pregnant love interest and I attended before our daughter was born a week later. Ever since this concert hearing “Our House” brings a tear to my eye. My thoughts back then, “If you want to feel young, go to a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert where the generation that coined “never trust anyone over thirty” are all now in their sixties. The two women in the seats in front of me discussed the travails of hot flashes as they waited for the veteran supergroup to take the stage.
106. Donovan Frankenreiter – June 15, 2013 – Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale – My thoughts back then, “It had been many a Cinco de Mayo since I’d seen the number of girls wearing fake mustaches as were in the parking lot outside the Culture Club on Saturday night. The reason was simple. Donavon Frankenreiter, the surfing singer, was in town with his band. His mustache is his calling card, so much so that if you forgot to bring one from home, the merchandising table was selling them for a dollar a pop.”
107. Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket – June 26, 2013 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre, West Palm – Only for Bob Dylan could I convince my love interest to leave our one month old daughter for the first time. My thoughts back then, “Now a Southwestern rockabilly Lothario playing between two bright flames, there was a sinister drawl to his performance. Sounding more like Tom Waits than Bob Dylan, it made sense why he was not commenting on the change in the wind. It took five songs into the set before there was a recognition by the audience of familiar lyrics. “Tangled Up In Blue” brought out cheers of familiarity, but the arrangement was completely different. Now, it was less a song you would hear at an open mic night at a coffeehouse and more an accompaniment of a striptease at a Juarez bordello.”
108. 311, Sublime with Rome, Pennywise – July 21, 2013 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – I only drove up there to see Cypress Hill and I missed them. My thoughts, “Seeing a line-up of 311, Sublime With Rome, Cypress Hill, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Pennywise on a Sunday in July in 2013 would be like going to a concert in 1993 headlined by War, Grand Funk Railroad, and Three Dog Night. The 311 Unity Tour is a nineties-centric nostalgia package, that brings you back to a time when you couldn’t be on the phone and the internet simultaneously.”
109. Justin Timberlake and Jay Z – August 16, 2013 – Dolphins Stadium, Miami Gardens – My thoughts, “Twenty years ago, JT and Jay would have been an unlikely match, The Mouseketeer and the crack slinger. But on this evening, they were equals. From the first song, “Holy Grail,” Timberlake took the left of the stage and Jay Z the right. They stood under screens displaying Greco-Roman sculptures. And they shared a massive backing band, set up in three tiers. There were no breaks between sets. A Jay Z song would segue into a Timberlake number.”
110. Scott Weiland – August 24, 2013 – Revolution Live – My thoughts, “There was a sense of urgency at Revolution Live Saturday night. Many came to see Scott Weiland perform because they thought it might be the last time they would have the chance to see him live.” And they were right to fear that. He died a couple years later.
111. Loretta Lynn – September 15, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – Can’t find the review, but remember going with my Dad. She put on a good show, but did not play a minute longer than her contract obliged her to.
112. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – October 8, 2013 – Grand Central, Miami – My thoughts, “Sinister, lustful, and serious, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club showed Tuesday night that they are just as committed to rebelliously acting out as that thespian outlaw, Marlon Brando.”
112. John Fogerty – October 29, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “Breaking the South Florida record for most flannel shirts under one roof — long held by a K-Mart off of US1 — was not the only impressive feat that took place at Tuesday night’s John Fogerty concert. Even more remarkable was that the 68-year-old singer and guitarist could command the stage for a 28 (yes 28!) song set at Hard Rock Live.”
113. Sleigh Bells – November 2, 2013 – Culture Room – Great show! My thoughts, “The duo of Krauss and guitarist Derek Miller were joined on stage by a drummer and bassist who provided a much harder sound than fans of Sleigh Bells might have expected. The band found a particular branch of fame by juxtaposing noisy, experimental beats behind Krauss’s pop diva voice. But knowing Sleigh Bells catalog would not prepare you for how heavy their sound was this weekend. It far surpassed any of their peers you might hear on the xm indie station. This was Ministry heavy. Nine Inch Nails heavy. This was Rage Against the Machine fronted by Christina Aguilera.”
114. Friends of Nature Festival – November 10, 2013 – A boring fest. My thoughts.
115. Janelle Monae – November 23, 2013 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “Monáe, a Kansas City-raised, Atlanta-based neo-soul singer, belongs to the school of Andre 3000 and CeeLo Green. Her performances are equal parts church sermon, art-school project, and r&b, funk, and science fiction rave up.”
116. Tegan & Sara – December 6, 2013 – Scope Art Fair – My thoughts, “Tegan & Sara still possess their secret weapon: twin voices that work together to create untraditional harmonies. They also came armed with humility and humor, charming every member of the audience who was actually paying attention and not checking the iPhone for the next Basel party to attend.”
117. ZZ Top – December 28, 2013 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “Stick around long enough, and you become what you pretended to be. When ZZ Top formed in 1970, they were a trio of twenty-year-olds trying to capture the blues of their home state of Texas. Thousands of whiskey bottle-emptying, smoky nights later and they’ve filled the role they cast themselves to play.”
118. Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – January 9, 2014 – Revolution Live – My thoughts, “Once you hear Claypool’s voice, you will never forget it. It’s instantly recognizable by its baritone goofiness. That goes double for his bass playing. If Claypool has a superpower, it’s that, armed solely with a bass (and in this instance a kick drum and a companion on guitar), he can make a band sound huge, filling the room with a full sound. If Claypool has a second super power, it’s the ability to make every song, no matter the song’s genre or origins, sound like the same song.”
119. Lauryn Hill, The Marleys – February 15, 2014 – Miami Dade County Fairgrounds – My thoughts, “Ms. Lauryn Hill, the one-time Fugee, one-time costar of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, five-time Grammy-winner, and mother of five children with another of Bob’s sons, Rohan Marley, reminded us though she might not ever record another album, her live performances are hurricane-level forces of nature.”
120. Yo La Tengo – March 22, 2014 – The Colony Theatre, Miami Beach – My thoughts to this live scoring of a documentary, “Even in this multitasking day and age when people respond to email, talk on the phone, and watch a rerun of Seinfeld all at the same time, it was hard to know exactly where to keep your eyes on Saturday night at the Colony Theatre. At center stage was a screen displaying the sound and images of the film documentary The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller. To stage right stood the movie’s director Sam Green in a bright orange shirt, live-narrating the movie. And then, most distracting of all, to stage left, sitting amid a scattering of instruments were indie rock legends Yo La Tengo, performing the soundtrack.”
121. Deltron 3030- April 3, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts on this great show, “”The future is coming on.” Fitting last words for an act so devoted to a time that has not yet happened. And to continue the Nostradamus theme, while I wouldn’t dare predict the future, I can say with near certainty that in December this will rank as one of the top South Florida hip-hop shows of the year.”
122, Tech N9ne – April 16, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Through his 90-minute, high-energy set, the Kansas City rapper shouted about “evil brain, angel heart” and wondered aloud, “Am I a Psycho.” For a Wednesday night, Culture Room was utterly packed with scarce room to breathe. A small but obnoxious percentage of the crowd seemed to be auditioning to be Tech N9ne’s evil henchmen. But these meatheads pushing their way around the floor need not apply, as he already had a sidekick in labelmate Krizz Kaliko.”
123. Haim – April 29, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “If forced to choose a band from music history with which Haim draws closer parallels, instead of Fleetwood Mac, it would be Hanson. Like the 1990s singers of “MMMBop,” Haim are three siblings of the same sex, reared by their parents to dominate the music charts with their magnificently long tresses. Throughout their hour-plus set, the three sisters shook their luxurious manes and showed emotion by running fingers through their perfectly conditioned hair. If the music thing does not work out, they can count on a lucrative contract endorsing Neutrogena or Herbal Essences.”
124. Of Montreal – May 7, 2014 – Grand Central – My thoughts, “Of Montreal is one of those critically acclaimed bands whose dozen-album deep catalog is impossible to dive into. That is, unless you see them live. Such an occurrence will baptize you into the cult, screaming, “Amen!” after every one of the outfit’s impossibly energetic numbers and leaving you counting down the days until you can listen to the next sermon.”
125. Bastille – May 15, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “Bastille walked out to the dreamy theme song from the 1990 David Lynch TV show Twin Peaks. The quartet later performed a song, “Laura Palmer,” named after a dead central character from the series. But it was difficult to find a connection between the nihilistic drama with an oddball sense of humor and a rock band that takes everything so seriously while making it sound life affirming. It was as incongruous as if Stitches came out for a concert with the Sesame Street theme and performed a song titled “Cookie Monster.” If Bastille were an old TV show, it would more likely be Law & Order, reliable and hard working, with every episode following the same formula.”
126. Toadies, Supersuckers – May 16, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Openers Supersuckers are another casualty of the ’90s who never hit it as big as Toadies, but not for a lack of talent or stage presence. They play a filthy, hairy style of rock that would fit in any bar you’d be scared to walk into.”
127. Drive-By Truckers – June 4, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “Through Drive-By Truckers’ 22-song, every odd song was Cooley’s, and every even song was Hood’s. The yin followed by the yang. The country followed by rock. The wiry, clean shaven stoic followed by the stocky, bearded, jokester.”
128. Little Dragon – June 12, 2014 – Grand Central – My thoughts, “Little Dragon hails from Gothenburg, Sweden. Four albums into the band’s career, the foursome is quite comfortable skipping between genres, from the realm of sunshiny pop reminiscent of Gwen Stefani to dark, moody synth stuff as icy as a Scandinavian winter.”
129. Lionel Richie, CeeLo Green – July 15, 2014 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre – My thoughts, “‘You’re always going to remember three things from tonight. Where you were, what you were doing, and who you were doing,’ Lionel Richie told the large crowd at Cruzan Amphitheatre on Tuesday night before letting out that wide grin underneath his signature mustache. He then sauntered over to the piano to sing “Easy.” Say what you will about Lionel Richie, and many critics have over the years, but the man does not lack confidence.”
130. Tori Amos – August 24, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “A little after 9 p.m., the Zeppelin was turned off, the house lights dimmed, and out in a silver robe/dress walked Tori Amos to a standing ovation. With her famous fiery red hair, she bowed to the crowd and sat at a majestic black grand piano, where she kept the crowd in rapt attention for nearly two hours as she dug into “Parasol,” the first of more than 20 songs she played on the final night of her Unrepentant Geraldines Tour.”
131. Washed Out – September 13, 2014 – Culture Room – My thoughts, “As imagined, with its introverted dreaminess, Washed Out did not inspire much dancing or movement, but instead smiles and bliss. The only complaint I overheard about the band’s 13-song set was that it was too short. Even with the break before the two song encore, its time on stage barely dented a full hour. But I suppose that should be expected as dreams, like the music inspired by them, are always fleeting.”
132. Peter Frampton – October 5, 2014 – Hard Rock Live – My thoughts, “When you look up Peter Frampton’s name, four words come up: “teen idol” and “guitar god.” Today only a very strange teenager would have a poster of the now balding, 64-year-old Frampton on their wall. That is, unless the kid was a student of the guitar. Then it would make perfect sense. Last night in his two hour set at Hard Rock Live, Frampton showed that while the dreamy hair might be long gone, he still knows his way up and down the neck of a guitar.”
133. Foster the People – October 16, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – My thoughts, “After Soko’s joie de vivre, the overpolished sheen of Foster the People couldn’t help but feel like a repeat episode of American Idol. Simon or Paula Abdul or JLo or whoever’s working as the judges these days would give the band high marks. The singer hit his falsetto notes, did his darnedest to connect with the audience, and even looked fashionable coming out in a leather jacket, only to take it off four songs into the show. But there was such a blandness to the delivery that it made me want to pore over Foster the People’s lyrics and see if it’s a Christian rock band. (It’s not.)”
134. Ringo Starr & His All Star Band – October 22, 2014 – Broward Center for Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale – My thoughts, “If you’ve ever seen Paul McCartney live, you know what an unforgettable experience that is. Even at seventy-two years of age, Sir Paul still belts out three hour performances, playing all the hits that pull at your heartstrings. There was no Paul in sight last night, Ringo Starr was the only Beatle in town, offering a different kind of show. Less rock and roll, more Vegas lounge act.”
135. Coral Skies Music Festival – October 26, 2014 – Coral Sky Amphitheatre- Julian Casablancas, Manchester Orchestra et al.,
136. Phil Collins, Richard Marx – December 6, 2014 – Fillmore Miami Beach – Billed as Phil Collins first performance in years. The guy didn’t even play. At least I got to take advantage of an open bar at this charity gala. My thoughts, “It’s understandable that a musician would only like to be heard when he is at his best. But since the night was for a cause to aid aspiring musicians, a better lesson could have been taught. Even if Collins wasn’t close to 100 percent, he could have embodied that old quote for the young kids: being a professional is doing the things you love to do, on the days you don’t feel like doing them.”
Click here to read part 6.