Show Reviews

G Eazy in Reno, NV

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G Eazy Concert Review
April 9th, Reno Events Center

​My grandma bought me and a homegirl a ticket to go for my birthday with my step sister and her boyfriend. We showed up at the Events Center at 6:30 to get in line for the doors to open at 7. The line was backed up like 2 or 3 miles!! When the doors were opened, so many people packed in that room; it was awesome!!! The show opened up with Nef the Pharaoh and Big Tymin, the intro to G Eazy was so awesome. He was rewording some of his lyrics talking about Reno, his intro song to ‘Random’ was biggg! In my opinion, he is better live! His voice just sounds better when its not recorded. He is a very attractive rapper, definitely. Two of my favorite songs by him are “some kind of drug” and “of all things”. This concert was poppin! It is the second concert I’ve ever been to, I LOVED IT!

​In his song “Everything will be okay”, he tells his life story of how he is just getting to find himself of who he is as a rapper and how his mom left him as a young child. Tragedy took over him and his dad’s life when his step mom came into place, he came home one day, found Melissa dead on the floor from an overdose. His realist line in the song is when he says, “toughest pill to swallow, but we lost, that’s forced reflection.” Gerald has such a good heart, hes just a lost soul who came to find out that rapping was his greatest will power.

​My favorite part of the concert was the end when they played “some kind of drug” and “I mean it” off of his other album. The crowd sure knew that song; hearing them all singing along with him is the best thing ever, G Eazy is definitely my top knock.

Foo Fighters and Yes’ Jon Davison Cover Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”

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If you are a fan of music then you know that a live cover creates a memorable experience on stage. That is why it is only logical for a band to invite a popular musician on stage to join them for the performance. Then they can cover a famous song in which that musician is known for. But in a recent Foo Fighters performance, this did not exactly happen.
The band “Foo Fighters” recently performed in Anaheim. While they were there, they invited the lead singer of the English rock band “Yes” up on stage to join them. The leader singer, Jon Davison, has been friends with the drummer of Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, since they were children. In fact, they have been best friends every since they were in second grade. Hawkins even told this to his audience before bringing Davison out on stage to perform with the band. He even mentioned how they were big fans of rush and that they used to have huge mullets.
So when Davison came out on stage, everyone assumed they were going to play a popular song from Davison’s “Yes” band. However, the Foo Fighters band decided to play Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” song instead. Dave Grohl, the front singer and founder of Foo Fighters, explained the reason for this is because the “Yes” song is too hard. Besides, Grohl has always been more of a fan of Rush and the vocals used in their songs. Not only that, Grohl doesn’t have the close personal connection with Davison that is drummer Hawkins has. And since Grohl is the lead singer and has to carry the song, he wanted to perform something that he felt confident that he could play well. If he had taken a chance and played a “Yes” song that he wasn’t confident at playing then it may have been a lousy performance and a slap in Davison’s face. So instead of doing that, he thought it would be better to just focus on singing a song he knew would be a high quality job.  
As a result, the audience didn’t mind at all. They loved the fact that so much diversity took place in the performance. They had members of two different bands on stage who were playing the song of an entirely different band than theirs. Perhaps Grohl was right in his decision to play a song he liked to perform. Most musicians will agree that you need to have passion and love for the song you sing in order to perform it well.

Madonna’s Tour to Feature ‘Sexuality and Religion’!

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Whether you are a music fan or not, chances are you have already heard of Madonna. She is literally a household name that everybody loves and respects, which is why she is given the name “Queen of Pop.” One of the things that are most appealing about Madonna is the sexual essence she gives in her music and performances. Now it seems like Madonna is going to mix religion and sexuality into her next performances while she goes on her “Rebel Heart Tour.”
The 56-year-old pop star stated in an interview that she has been inspired by what she calls “deconstructing concepts” related to her next world tour. She wants to deconstruct the concepts of religion and sexuality because normally these two things are not supposed to go together. In Madonna’s world, these two things apparently do go together and she wants to let the world know it. So how is she going to represent religion and sexuality? Well it was revealed that her tour will feature pole dancing nuns. Some people find it controversial, while others who are fans of Madonna find it exciting and entertaining. As for Madonna, the thing she is looking forward to the most is being able to perform new material on the tour from her recent album “Rebel Heart.” The pole dancing nuns are just something new that will add entertainment value for the audience.
The hardest part for Madonna is balancing her older material with her newer material. Madonna realizes that her long time fans want to hear the music of hers that they originally fell in love with. So Madonna has been spending up to 12 hours each day preparing for her tour and figuring out a way to satisfy fans that want to hear new and old music of hers. What Madonna came up with was a plan to turn her older songs inside out by making them more iconic. Fans who go to her European tour should expect originality in all aspects of her songs and performances. If there is one thing fans know about Madonna, it is that her concerts are never without originality. She understands that the presentation is just as important as the songs being performed. If she were just some has-been going on stage and singing her songs straightforward, her concerts would probably not be as popular. Madonna has pretty much redefined the music scene, which is why the Queen of Pop nickname suits her well.

Foo Fighters Cancels All European After Grohl Injury

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The Foo Fighters European tour is going to be finished early after Dave Grohl broke his ankle recently. He was able to make it through his last concert with a broken ankle, but he won’t be able to finish the tour with it. The pain and the limping will be too unbearable for him to continue. As a result, the Foo Fighters had to cancel their recent European tour. Some people say they should have just gotten a replacement for the singer and continued the tour that way. But the fans probably wouldn’t have liked this because Dave Grohl is the frontman of the band. If he is not there then it would definitely be noticeable.
Dave Grohl broke his ankle because he fell onstage during a concert in Sweden. For a short period of time after the fall, he left the stage to get medical attention. But then he managed to find his way back on stage and finish the show with a bandaged leg. After the concert was over, an X-ray of the broken ankle was tweeted to the band’s followers on Twitter. Grohl did get surgery for the broken ankle, but his doctors were unable to predict a recovery time for it. The fact that Grohl had to cancel the rest of his tour had made him sad. He did release a statement thanking his fans for all their support and he apologized to them for the cancellation. These cancellations will mostly affect people who were going to see him in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
The Foo Fighters is a rock band that was form in Seattle, Washington back in 1994. Dave Grohl had been the drummer for Nirvana and formed the Foo Fighters as a one-man project after Kurt Cobain died. Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of his previous band “Nirvana.” So naturally, Grohl wanted to do something new and create his own band. The name “Foo Fighters” comes from the UFO sightings by Allied aircraft pilots during World War II. These UFOs were given the name Foo Fighters because no one knew what they were. The name stuck with the band quickly and became a household name for all music lovers around the country, and eventually around the world. The Foo Fighters will eventually go back on tour again after Dave Grohl’s ankle heals. Then fans of the band can look forward to the exciting return of the legendary frontman and his legendary band.

Van Halen Tour!

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Van Halen made an appearance last night at the Concord Pavilion and it was the 3rd show on their 2015 tour. This is the third tour they’ve done since reuniting with original vocalist David Lee Roth 8 years ago. I took my son to the show,and the tickets were a birthday present that he had to patiently wait over 3 months to actually enjoy. The band’s current line-up is close to the original group – David Lee Roth on vocals, Eddie Van Halen on guitar, Alex Van Halen on drums and the newer guy – Wolfgang Van Halen on bass. That’s right, Eddie, his brother and his son are the current musicians. David Lee Roth is the odd man out, in oh so many ways with this band. I have a few comments regarding the show:
• Nice stage set-up, not too plain and not too much flash. I thought it was perfect for the band. It was interesting prior to when they took the stage since they had 3 or 4 guys out totally mopping down the stage floor. Even my son made the call on that – they were getting it very polished so DLR could “slide” around the stage with his dance moves.
• The band was playing very well, especially Eddie and Wolfgang. They even did a very nice job with all of their background harmonies. Eddie was pretty much flawless on guitar, he still has it even at his age. He seemed legitimately joyful to be up on stage playing, beaming throughout the entire show. He also looked like he was in much better health than during the 2012 tour, which is good to see. His guitar solo was amazing and he seemed genuinely touched by the crowd reaction afterwards. Interesting side note, Wolfgang right now is a doppelganger for a cousin of mine. If you told me that was my cousin up there playing with Van Halen, I couldn’t have disputed it just by looking at him.
• David Lee Roth is such a hot mess. He must be so frustrating to work with. While his vocal contribution is a unique part of Van Halen’s sound, he flirted with bringing down many songs throughout the evening. He did pull it together a little better for the final 25% of the show. Most of his banter was inane, he slowed down many of the songs and was killing momentum throughout the set. But I have to give Eddie credit for smiling throughout all of his shenanigans and replying to DLR’s stupid questions. DLR does have a lot of charisma, but the band right now is giving him a little too much leash. My son asked me towards the end of the show – “is he like this in real life or is it just an act?” I had to tell him, yes this is actually how DLR is all the time. His singing ability is pretty much shot, he doesn’t even try to fake it these days, he just kind of speak/sings or focuses on key works in lines. Right now, the band may be better off finding a DLR imitator like Journey did for Steve Perry and not have to deal with the rest of the package that DLR brings to the stage. I can definitely see why they experimented with other vocalists over the years. I’ve never been to a concert where I thought, “let me take over the vocals for this song because I’m sure I could do it better”. On the other hand, the riffs that Eddie wrote during the DLR era are timeless and unstoppable so you want to hear those songs.
• The 25 song set highlighted just how awesome this band was during the DLR era. Eddie wrote so many awesome guitar riffs. The band had a great set list, pulling some deep album cuts along with many of their most famous songs. They played two songs they’ve never performed live before, one which happens to be one of my favorite songs from the album 1984 – “Drop Dead Legs”. The other was “Dirty Movies”, a solid track from the album Fair Warning. They opened with “Light Up The Sky” which they haven’t played in 35 years. They also played “In A Simple Rhyme” which they haven’t broken out in 37 years. They are playing another show at Shoreline next week. If you like Van Halen at all, you should try to go check it out. This could be your last chance. You will be entertained.
• I’m highlighting a couple of the lesser known tracks from the Van Halen catalog that they played live for the first time this week.

Dirty Movies by Van Halen

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“Dirty Movies” – A track from “Fair Warning”, Van Halen’s 4th album and what I’ve always considered their “grittiest and dirty” sounding record. Maybe it has to do with some of the guitar effects Eddie uses on the album or the nature of the songs, but this has always seemed to be a darker album from the band. Even the album cover stands out as being different for them. When I was younger I didn’t listen to this album as much but now I enjoy it much more and listen to it as much as any other album. This is not an atypical track where Eddie starts off with some slower guitar work before breaking out into the main riff for the song. It’s always a nice rush when the main riff kicks in and the rest of the band locks in with the groove. This song is a little unique with the chorus being a bit slower and mostly featuring the harmonies of Eddie and on the album Michael Anthony and live Wolfgang. David Lee Roth is up to his usual antics on this song and has plenty of room to adlib during the live performance.

Drop Dead Legs by Van Halen

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“Drop Dead Legs”–This lesser known track from the album “1984” (which spawned “Jump”, “Panama” and “Hot For Teacher”) immediately put a smile on my face when Eddie broke into the opening riff. I love how well Eddie’s guitar lines integrate with the heavy rhythm section driving this song. You also have classic David Lee Roth vocal styling and the band’s classic back-up harmonies on this song.

that album cover makes me smile every time I see it

Higher Ground by Playing for Change

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This organization does it all when it comes to getting people together for the sake of music! For each episode and song they create, this organization travels the world and finds music students, artists and children to participate in creating one song all pieced together from small parts each person preforms. The finished art work looks like a well put together travel video made up of all the artists. The best thing about this organization? They give all their proceeds to building music and art schools for children around the world.

Listen on!

My Time On Stage At The Grammy’s

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I was born and raised in California’s Silicon Valley, just a decade ahead and a few miles south of where Apple would eventually take shape and introduce the iPod and iTunes to the world. I played in bands throughout Jr High and High School, and when I left for Los Angeles to attend the now defunct Grove College of Music, I told everyone to watch for me on the Grammy’s someday.

One of the first people I met upon arrival in the San Fernando Valley happened to be a TV producer. He was a nice guy – a friend of my roommate, and I didn’t really know the details of his involvement in the entertainment industries. He was aware of my music aspirations, and I shared with him that Peter Gabriel was my all-time favorite artist. Later that year, just ten days after my 19th birthday, my friend left me a cryptic message, “I need you to go to the Bonaventure hotel today to pick something up at the front desk. Be sure to bring your ID.”

I followed his instructions, and the concierge handed me a regular envelope. I was amazed to find two “All Access” passes to the Grammy’s inside!

I immediately called the young lady I was dating at the time – a talented vocalist I met at music school, and I went home to get ready for the show. I had achieved starving student status with honors, and the only thing I had to wear was a 3-piece suit that was easily one size too small. I figured it was more important how I carried myself than how it fit me, so I went with it and headed for the show.

The day was such a blur that it really didn’t hit me what I was doing until we were walking down the red carpet at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood, and I heard fans and paparazzi whispering “who’s that?” Once inside the theater, I grabbed the nearest usher – a young man just a couple years older than me and asked, “where does this pass get me?” He responded, “Dude, it’s all access. You can go anywhere you want. Upstairs, downstairs, backstage, press boxes, wherever.”

So I did.

Everything that followed was magical and surreal. The first thing I did was head backstage to get a behind-the-scenes look, and that’s where I was shocked back to reality for a moment. I walked smack into Stevie Wonder, and like an idiot I said, “I’m so sorry – I didn’t see you there!” to which he replied, “That’s okay, I didn’t see you either.” His escort looked pissed, and I suddenly felt small enough to fit into my suit. But in a way, that moment helped me regain composure so that I could really take in the rest of the evening’s events.

The performances were amazing. Janet Jackson must have had 40 people on stage for her dance routine – totally tight – and Anita Baker’s voice could have filled the theater without a mic. I spent some time chatting with the year’s Best New Artist, Bruce Hornsby, who seemed almost as awestruck by the Grammy experience as I was. I met Mike Rutherford of Genesis fame that was nominated for his work with Mike & The Mechanics.

I went to the press area backstage and watched Paul Simon field questions about his Album of the Year award for Graceland. I was talking with Steve Winwood when a group of ladies came over to get pictures with him, and as he put his arms around them for the shot he paused for a moment, turned to me and said, “hold these” and handed me the two Grammy’s he had just won. I distinctly remember Whitney Houston running by screaming, “Where’s my dress! Where’s my dress!” as she was being chased by several people with walkie-talkies whose job it was to look nervous all the time.

As the show was drawing to a close, the celebrities took the stage for a chorus of “Stand By Me.” I went around to stage left where I was abruptly halted by a guy we’ll call “tank.” I flashed my pass, he stepped aside, and there I was – on stage at the Grammy Awards standing somewhere between the year’s MC, Billy Crystal and Doobie Brothers’ Michael McDonald singing “Stand By Me” and waving my hands in the air like I was at the last 60’s flower power rally.

And yes, I met my idol. As everyone pooled in the lobby to wait for their limousines, I took the chance to chat with Peter Gabriel. I spouted something about how I had seen him perform in Oakland on his “So” tour the previous summer and I thought it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. I told him how disappointed I was that he didn’t pick up any awards from his four nominations, to which he said, “It’s politics.” At that moment he held the record for the most Grammy nominations without an award (nine), although “Sledgehammer” went on to receive the most awards ever for a single music video. And just a side note – Gabriel was on the Independent Music Awards judges’ panel that recently named my service Noisy Planet “Best Music Business Website 2009.”

As a youngster, I packed my bags and left for LA determined to fulfill my dreams of meeting Peter Gabriel and being on stage at the Grammy’s. I didn’t expect that it would happen in one night, or so early in my quest. And now as each year passes, I wonder whether I will ever return to the Grammy’s and take the stage for a very different reason.

Nine Inch Nails Tour Review: Tension 2013

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When I found our seats at the US Airways Center in Phoenix and looked at my son, it hit me. I was his age the first time I saw Nine Inch Nails perform at the Universal Amphitheater near Hollywood. At the time it was hands down the best show I had seen in my young life. I mean the light show that Genesis was putting on, the musicianship of Yes, and the energy of Oingo Boingo were amazing – yet nothing compared to the sheer intensity that Trent Reznor delivered on stage. Flash forward to Phoenix in 2013, and NIN is still the best game in town.

It’s impossible not be completely consumed by the meticulously choreographed lights and video clips, but what’s even more impressive about a NIN show is the quality of the sound. You can hear every detail clearly as if you were listening on a phat set of headphones while still getting kicked in the ribs by the live bass and drums. And even on thrasher tracks like “Wish” and “March of the Pigs” you can hear everything. It’s as if a 40-piece orchestra got really pissed off one day and annihilated the front row with their musicianship.

The Tension 2013 tour is the best yet, and I must admit I didn’t fully appreciate some of the tracks on the new album until I saw it live. The funky groove of “All Time Low” with the ethereal synths fading in to end the song and the rich female backup vocals was somewhat reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s best days. The more modern Trent-style techno tracks “Running” and “Disappointed” were so much bigger on stage than I could have imagined when I first listened on ear buds the day the album came out. And again with the backup vox, my favorite track from Hesitation, “In Two” did not disappoint.

One of the things I appreciate about the NIN experience is the bizarre mix of people who show up. People of all ages gather – some wearing leather and studded dog collars, some wearing neckties, and others not wearing much of anything. You get goth-punk and nerdy wannabies mashed up with corporate rejects and pacifier-sucking e-trippers, and I’ve even seen some data junkies writing code during shows as if NIN playing live in the background was completely incidental. And one of my favorite moments of every NIN show is when this eclectic mix of people suddenly pump their fists in the air and yell “fist f**k!” unilaterally releasing some shared inner rage during the song “Wish”. It’s pretty awesome, and my son and I enjoyed every bass thumping, guitar screaming, Reznor rocking minute of it.