Life – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Mon, 02 Mar 2020 08:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 Bethany Cosentino and Best Coast rock the Regency https://martineztribune.com/2020/03/02/bethany-cosentino-and-best-coast-rock-the-regency/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 08:00:56 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=14119 BY MASON BISSADA Pop-rock duo Best Coast performed at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Saturday night, giving a powerful, fun-filled performance that displayed talent and a new-found maturity from the group.  The Los Angeles-based duo, consisting of lead-singer and lyricist Bethany Cosentino and all-around musician Bobb Bruno, has been creating beachy, easy pop music …

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BY MASON BISSADA

Pop-rock duo Best Coast performed at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco Saturday night, giving a powerful, fun-filled performance that displayed talent and a new-found maturity from the group.

 The Los Angeles-based duo, consisting of lead-singer and lyricist Bethany Cosentino and all-around musician Bobb Bruno, has been creating beachy, easy pop music for over a decade now. Their music, previously consisting of simple-yet-addictive tracks like “Boyfriend” and “When I’m With You”, has recently assumed a more mature tone with their newly released fourth studio album Always Tomorrow. The album, which dropped last week, covers heavier subject matter such as sobriety, mental health and independence. Cosentino was forthcoming about the tonal shift during the concert, which showcased an equal balance of old and new material.

While performing “Graceless Kids,” a track off of Always Tomorrow, Cosentino took a moment to address the audience and explain the meaning of the song’s lyrics.

“The lyrics to this song are seriously about feeling like you’re not worthy of praise and feeling like you don’t understand why anyone would consider you a role model,” she said. “When I was really depressed and really going through sh-t, you guys are seriously the people that lifted me up and made me feel something.”

Clearly, there has been a jump in conceptual depth to Cosentino’s writing since she came onto the music scene with “Boyfriend” (“I wish he was my boyfriend/I’d love him to the very end/But instead he’s just a friend”). Before performing it as her encore song, Cosentino made it clear to her audience that she wrote “Boyfriend” when she was just 22, and was performing it in part because she knew it was what her fans wanted to hear. It appears as though she wishes she could detach herself from past work and focus on ideas that are important to her now. She says as much on another new track, “Seeing Red”, writing “I’m so sick and tired of writing love songs about the same unhealthy things.”

Cosentino’s desire for a mature image was reflected in her and her band’s stage setting. Entering the Regency Ballroom prior to the show, all that could be seen on stage was a neon sign that read “Always Tomorrow” in cursive letters. After a minutes-long single synth tone played and built up fans’ anticipation, the band took the stage and immediately began performing their hit “California Nights” without any prelude or introduction. Cosentino was dressed in a professional-yet-cool baby blue pant suit, her hair in a bun and her silver Stratocaster in her hand. Flanking her was Bruno, who has fully embraced the “rocker dad” look, his long grey hair flowing as he jammed on his guitar as if he was alone in his man-cave. Throughout the concert, there were never any gimmicks or tricks on stage to distract from the band. A few rotating beams of light would illuminate the stage and change colors as the group changed songs, but it was essentially a good, old-fashioned rock show that consisted of a talented band performing songs that mean a lot to them.

Cosentino’s stage presence was something to behold. Though she began the concert with a guitar, there were many songs (largely from Always Tomorrow) in which she set her instrument down and allowed her voice to stand alone. In today’s era of autotune and heavy editing, Cosentino stands as one of the few artists whose live performance outdoes the studio recording. Less memorable songs off of Always Tomorrow suddenly became bangers on stage as Cosentino belted her lyrics flawlessly, captivating her audience with an indescribable aura. Her small gestures, like holding one arm behind her back or sticking her tongue out, convey her personality and confidence without her ever having to speak a word.

With 17 songs in just over an hour of performing, Best Coast re-established themselves as an exciting group that knows who they are while simultaneously attempting to create a matured image, and Cosentino reminded fans that she is a no-nonsense, undeniable talent. She might want to move on from her musical past, but she seems to know which of her qualities make Best Coast a memorable act.

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Clapton’s Cream to get tribute treatment at Sweetwater https://martineztribune.com/2020/02/16/claptons-cream-to-get-tribute-treatment-at-sweetwater/ Sun, 16 Feb 2020 22:00:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13998 Any Eric Clapton fans that were priced-out of the guitar god’s recent opening week performance at Chase Center are about to get a second chance for their Slowhand fix in the form of a familial tribute revolved around Cream’s iconic Disraeli Gears album at the Sweetwater Music Hall on March 6th. The Music of Cream, …

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Any Eric Clapton fans that were priced-out of the guitar god’s recent opening week performance at Chase Center are about to get a second chance for their Slowhand fix in the form of a familial tribute revolved around Cream’s iconic Disraeli Gears album at the Sweetwater Music Hall on March 6th.

The Music of Cream, featuring the pedigree of the hallowed ‘60s trio, will honor the legendary band’s landmark album Disraeli Gears, performed in its entirety, followed by Clapton Classics including hits such as “Cocaine,” “Layla” “Crossroads,” and “Wonderful Tonight” along with other Cream hits and rarities.

The Music Of Cream continues to feature family members Kofi Baker (son of Ginger Baker) on drums and Will Johns (Eric Clapton’s nephew and son of Zeppelin/Stones engineer Andy Johns) on guitar and vocals. The two will unite with master musicians Sean McNabb and Chris Shutters. Along with the legendary music, the show features storytelling, photographs and integrated videos, many of which have not been seen before. The unique project first launched in 2017 with a handful of concerts celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Cream in Australia and New Zealand. The show was so well-received, The Music of Cream has now been seen over one hundred times by tens of thousands of fans across North America and the U.K. with many shows selling out. And with the recent passing of Ginger Baker, The Music of Cream looks forward to sharing Cream’s incomparable music with even more fans to keep the trio’s legacy alive.

“To follow our 50th Anniversary Tour, it was a no-brainer to go out and celebrate Disraeli Gears in its entirety,” shares Kofi Baker. “There are songs that are quite different, they wanted to challenge everything ! And from a personal point of view, it gives me the opportunity to perform another song my dad wrote, called “Blue Condition,” that I really like. I also loved the artwork for the album. My sister and I used to laugh because we said you could see up my dad’s nose. Happy memories that we can bring to the stage.”

“Why Disraeli Gears ? Well, that’s easy for me,” says Will Johns. “It was the birth of the wah-wah pedal and you gotta love the wah-wah ! That we can interpret such groundbreaking music and continue to tell Cream’s story is as exciting for us as we know it was for the band when they recorded it all those years ago. Like my Uncle, I am a blues man through and through and on this record, there’s some fantastic interpretations of this genre, the likes of “Lawdy Mama” and “Outside Woman Blues,” so it doesn’t get better than that !”

With primal riffs, soaring operatic choruses, poetry, fashion and theatre rolled into one, Disraeli Gears defined the era in which it was written. The super-group’s second studio album, released November 1967, is often considered Cream’s crowning achievement. Disraeli Gears, featuring the singles “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Strange Brew,” was their American breakthrough reaching #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and ultimately becoming a platinum-seller in the U.S. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and Rolling Stone included Disraeli Gears in their list of the Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time saying, “Cream’s sharpest, most linear album focused its instrumental explorations into colorful pop songs.”

In addition to critical acclaim over the decades, the original band members themselves praised their work on Disraeli Gears. Ginger Baker noted, “You can’t escape the fact we were having such fun playing with each other,” while Jack Bruce said, “This was a whole new beginning for the band and I loved that time very much,” and Eric Clapton added, “We had found ourselves…it was a pivotal point in the history of popular music.”

Advance ticket purchases for The Music of Cream’s March 6th performance at The Sweetwater are available at : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-music-of-cream-disraeli-gears-tour-tickets-76838503031.

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2020 BottleRock daily schedule announced https://martineztribune.com/2020/01/10/2020-bottlerock-daily-schedule-announced/ Sat, 11 Jan 2020 01:29:14 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13774 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The daily schedule for the eighth annual BottleRock Music Festival May 22-24, at the Napa Valley Exposition has been announced as follows: Friday, May 22: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Miley Cyrus, Brandi Carlile, Foals, Jimmy Eat World, Local Natives, Finneas, Milky Chance, Amos Lee, Village People, MUNA, RIPE, The Frights, Digable Planets, Atlas …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The daily schedule for the eighth annual BottleRock Music Festival May 22-24, at the Napa Valley Exposition has been announced as follows:

Friday, May 22: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Miley Cyrus, Brandi Carlile, Foals, Jimmy Eat World, Local Natives, Finneas, Milky Chance, Amos Lee, Village People, MUNA, RIPE, The Frights, Digable Planets, Atlas Genius, Oliver Riot, White Reaper, Meg Myers, Tessa Violet, Uncle Blazer + DJ Ango from Workaholics, 99 Neighbors, In The Valley Below, Ryland James, Chris Pierce, Pacific Radio, The Haden Triplets, Grass Child

Saturday, May 23: Stevie Nicks, Khalid, Janelle Monáe, Maggie Rogers, Blondie, Of Monsters and Men, Empire of The Sun, Tegan & Sara, CAAMP, Grace VanderWaal, Eric B. & Rakim, Hamilton Leithauser, Ra Ra Riot, Jack Harlow, MAX, DJ Z-Trip, TWIN XL, DeVotchKa, Reignwolf, slenderbodies, Smith and Thell, Madison Ryann Ward, JJ Wilde, Hembree, almost monday, Peter Harper, Lily Meola, Sam Johnson, Napa Valley Youth Symphony

Sunday, May 24: Dave Matthews Band, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Zedd, The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Iration, Jon Bellion, Matt Nathanson, Trampled By Turtles, The Band CAMINO, Turkuaz w/ Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew: Remain in Light Turns 40, Mandolin Orange, Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers, Big Freedia, Absofacto, Eliza & The Delusionals, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears, Evie Irie, KOTA The Friend, Full Moonalice: The THC Revue, Buffalo Gospel, The Alive, Lily Meola, Obsidian Son, Silverado Pickups

Specific set times for each day will be published here once available along with being posted at http://www.bottlerocknapavalley.com/schedule.

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Peter Frampton goes out on top, calling it a career in Concord https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/14/peter-frampton-goes-out-on-top-calling-it-a-career-in-concord/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/14/peter-frampton-goes-out-on-top-calling-it-a-career-in-concord/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2019 07:00:22 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13459 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER In an era where musicians routinely promote farewell tours to cash in on their riches, only to return to the road countless times shortly thereafter, there was a legitimate sense of finality to Peter Frampton‘s performance at the Concord Pavilion Saturday night. The 69-year-old, Frampton, who first gained prominence as a 16-year old …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

In an era where musicians routinely promote farewell tours to cash in on their riches, only to return to the road countless times shortly thereafter, there was a legitimate sense of finality to Peter Frampton‘s performance at the Concord Pavilion Saturday night.

The 69-year-old, Frampton, who first gained prominence as a 16-year old lead singer and guitarist for the British band The Herd, three years prior to co-founding Humble Pie with Steve Marriott, announced publicly in February that he had been diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, a degenerative disorder causing muscle inflammation, weakness and atrophy. It’s a progressive disease whose symptoms include weakness in the wrists and fingers, as well as the muscles that lift the foot. San Francisco Giants fans might recognize it as the same disease that has plagued longtime announcer Mike Krukow, and seen it’s effects on him since he first made his condition public in 2014.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Peter Frampton performs Saturday night at the Concord Pavilion on the final stop of his Farewell Tour.

 

Some four years after first learning of his own diagnosis, Frampton’s symptoms have become more noticeable. He’s fallen on stage and indicated that performing live is continuing to get more and more difficult. When announcing the tour, he said, “I’ve had a very good run. The reason I’m calling it the ‘farewell tour,’ is because I know that I will be at the top of my game for this tour and will make it through this and people won’t be saying, ‘Oh you know, he can’t play as good.’ I can. But we just don’t know for how long.” Not knowing how much longer he’d be able to play guitar, or perform onstage, he immediately went into the studio to undertake multiple recording projects along with plotting what will likely be his last big tour.

Dubbed Peter Frampton FinaleThe Farewell Tour, the final stop of the four month tour reached Concord with many fans of the beloved English-American traveling long distances to celebrate the end of an era. A businessman seated next to me came from St. Louis just to be one of the 12,000 fans that packed the Pavilion on a beautiful autumn evening. On the shortlist as one of the biggest omissions to not be inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, along with Jethro Tull and Ian Hunter, Frampton co-founded Humble Pie, one of rock’s first super-groups, in 1969 before starting his solo career three years later.

Taking the stage appearing slim but vibrant in a black leather jacket and blue jeans, the long flowing locks that helped him become pin-up material following the 1976 release of Frampton Comes Alive are long gone but the guitar virtuosity, golden pipes and passion to entertain at the highest level remain intact.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Peter Frampton performs Saturday night at the Concord Pavilion on the final stop of his Farewell Tour.

 

Opening a 130-minute set that provided a near perfect overview of his 16 studio albums, Frampton took the stage to the first of many video tribute compilations with “Baby (Somethin’s Happening)” from 1974’s Somethin’s Happening, the last of his four early albums that would provide the bulk of the contents of his upcoming double live album that would change his life forever when it was released two years later.

The unheralded “Lying” from Premonition and “Lines on My Face” would follow, as the first three songs, along with Frampton’s engaging dialogue with the audience, stretched to 25 minutes. Paying tribute to some of his bandmates from the early days no longer with us, it would be indicative of the intimate storyteller role he embraced throughout the evening.

Another of the six tracks played on the night from the 16-million selling Frampton Comes Alive, “Show Me the Way” highlighted the amiable artist’s use of synthesizers to deliver the desired effect. Seemingly always smiling, Frampton began telling tales of crawling over bodies at Humble Pie’s party house prior to starting his solo career, before fast forwarding to deciding go into the studio to make a blues album after touring with Steve Miller last year. Actually, after coming to grips with his illness, he went into his Nashville studio and made 3 1/2 albums, a creative burst of energy motivated by his desire to record as much music as he can while his affliction will still allow it.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Peter Frampton performs Saturday night at the Concord Pavilion on the final stop of his Farewell Tour.

 

The first to be released, All Blues, has hovered near the top of the blues charts since it dropped in June, and it provided the birthplace of the set’s next trio of songs. An instrumental cover of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia (On My Mind)” and the Freddie King songs “Me and My Guitar” and “Same Old Blues” fit nicely in the middle of show while also ably demonstrating Frampton’s natural ability both as a blues guitarist and vocalist.

After returning to rock with the title track of 1981’s Breaking All the Rules, Frampton detailed how he reached out to fellow musicians including Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones to assist him in recording 2005’s fully instrumental Fingertips. The resulting album earned him a Grammy for best instrumental album of the year, and yielded a beautiful cover of Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” which he dedicated to Chris Cornell prior to concluding the song with voice box vocals as an image of Cornell flashed on the video monitor behind the stage.

Still, the best was yet to come. The infectious groove and guitar pyrotechnics of “(I’ll Give You) Money” set the stage for Frampton to return to storyteller mode while introducing “Baby, I Love Your Way” and its memorable hooks that dominated radio waves. A 15-minute version of “Do You Feel Like We Do” insured that any of the few members of the crowd still seated would be on their feet for the remainder of the evening, ecstatic and singing along as the band left the stage for a moment before returning for an electrifying three song encore.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Peter Frampton salutes the crowd Saturday night at the Concord Pavilion on the final stop of his Farewell Tour.

 

Digging deeply into his roots for “Four Day Creep” and “ I Don’t Need No Doctor,” a pair of Humble Pie tracks from their epic 1971 live album Rockin’ The Fillmore, before closing out the evening, and perhaps his touring career, with a rousing performance of The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” the fervor in the audience reached near manic proportions. As a joyous Frampton invited the entire cast of his behind the scenes personnel to join him onstage one last time, resulting in an endless series of hugs and embraces, he spoke to the crowd of it’s inspiration healing him. It would be the only time all night that he referenced his illness.

Peter Frampton’s setlist on October 12, 2019 at the Concord Pavilion:

    1. Baby (Somethin’s Happening)
    2. Lying
    3. Lines on My Face
    4. Show Me the Way
    5. The Lodger
    6. Georgia (On My Mind)
    7. Me and My Guitar
    8. Same Old Blues
    9. Breaking All the Rules
    10. Black Hole Sun
    11. (I’ll Give You) Money
    12. Baby, I Love Your Way
    13. Do You Feel Like We Do

      ENCORE:

    14. Four Day Creep
    15. I Don’t Need No Doctor
    16. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

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The Who continues to orchestrate rock history at Chase Center https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/11/the-who-continues-to-orchestrate-rock-history-at-chase-center/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 07:00:35 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13432 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Arriving at the Chase Center Wednesday night to perform for the first time since lead singer Roger Daltrey lost his voice early in a concert in Houston two weeks ago, The Who wasted little time reestablishing their presence as one of the most iconic bands of the rock era. As the unmistakable …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Arriving at the Chase Center Wednesday night to perform for the first time since lead singer Roger Daltrey lost his voice early in a concert in Houston two weeks ago, The Who wasted little time reestablishing their presence as one of the most iconic bands of the rock era. As the unmistakable opening strains of “Overture” from Tommy kicked off a career spanning setlist that provided a far more diverse overview of their catalogue than their most recent Bay Area appearance at Outside Lands in 2017, it was crystal clear that these kids are still quite alright.

© DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Roger Daltery and Pete Townshend of The Who perform in a recent file photo.

 

Dubbed as the Moving On! tour in advance of the December release of their first new album since 2006, the iconic English rockers are Mod’s no more, a fact later documented by guitarist Pete Townshend’s encore proclamation to the crowd that he Daltrey are just “A couple of co-dependent old chaps.” The band’s well polished two and a quarter hour performance featured a sampling of their most recognizable hits that have become classic rock staples for at least three generations of fans.

Supported throughout most of the night by a 48-piece orchestra fronted by Keith Levenson, Townshend and Daltrey performed 23 songs, all but a handful with the orchestral backing. It did seem they provided more punch during the period they had the stage to themselves, performing early songs ranging from “Substitute” and “I Can See for Miles” to 1982’s upbeat “You Better You Bet,” along with “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Behind Blue Eyes” from the 1971 classic Who’s Next, but there were some great moments where their limitations were clearly enhanced by the extra manpower which included percussion, brass, violin and cello accompaniments from the crowded stage.

Daltrey, 75, has clearly regained his voice enough to continue providing spot on vocals. While the scent of herbal supplements was heavy in the arena, prompting him to quip “Whoever is smoking pot in the front row, can you please smoke it the other way or eat it ?”, the one time pin up idol demonstrated no loss of his showmanship in fronting the still bombastic band, as his many microphone twirls and tambourine bashes continued to demonstrate. The 74-year old Townshend’s vocal contributions to “I’m One” and “Eminence Front” also showed that time has had little affect on his golden pipes as he deadpanned that “Roger is even older than I am,” and that there would be “wheelchairs and oxygen available to fans at the end of the show.”

The Who’s first studio album since 2006, WHO, is set to be released on December 6th.

 

The two new songs preimered from WHO, “Hero Ground Zero” and “Ball and Chain” provide great promise for the upcoming album. And any production that also includes tracks including the bombastic “Who Are You,” the always epic “Love, Reign O’er Me”, the legendary “Pinball Wizard” or a finale of “Baba O’Riley” (defined in Webster’s as how to play harmonica on a classic rock track with a picture of Daltrey) has clearly left nothing on the table. Yet for a show that provided no encore, one of the most lasting memories will be the nearly five minutes that Daltrey and Townshend addressed the crowd after the music had concluded.

Along with band introductions that included Pete’s brother Simon Townshend on guitar and Ringo Starr’s son Zak Starkey on drums, the duo generously thanked the crowd for it’s support over the years. But Townshend’s tributes to deceased bandmates Keith Moon and John Entwistle “part of the great band in the sky,” along with mentions that October 9th was both Entwistle and John Lennon’s birthday, were more personal moments that will also be remembered from a band that has been in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame since 1990.

For a band that has survived much adversity and played their first “Farewell Tour” in 1989, one must continue to hope that they will grace stages in the Bay Area yet again, but you just never know. As their British colleague Mick Jagger has been known to say, “This Could Be The Last Time.” The tour continues with three shows this weekend at the Hollywood Bowl before heading to San Diego next Wednesday.

Opening act Liam Gallagher, the former lead singer for Oasis, seemingly set a new All-Time record for the shortest set by a musician of his stature, barely clocking in at 25 minutes. His newly released solo album, Why Me ? Why Not has been getting well-deserved strong reviews and continues to help carve out his identity as a solo artist. Hopefully he’ll be returning to Northern California to headline his own shows in 2020.

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Thousands attend SF’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/06/san-franciscos-hardly-strictly-bluegrass-festival/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 01:30:36 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13389 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The 19th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco saw over 80 diverse acts perform during a three-day concert over the weekend that drew over 300,000 people to Golden Gate Park.   A gift from the late Warren Hellman to music fans throughout the Bay Area and beyond, the concerts started …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The 19th annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco saw over 80 diverse acts perform during a three-day concert over the weekend that drew over 300,000 people to Golden Gate Park.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Robert Plant mugs for the crowd during his headlining performance at The Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park Saturday evening.

 

A gift from the late Warren Hellman to music fans throughout the Bay Area and beyond, the concerts started out as a free festival devoted to bluegrass music but has evolved to include many different genre’s of sound as it’s grown into one of the largest free festivals in the country.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Country singer Margo Price performs on the Banjo Stage during the Hardly Strictly Bluesgrass festival at Golden Gate Park.

 

Hellman, a successful financier and philanthropist who was an amateur banjo player himself, passed away in 2011, but his parting gift was creating an endowment to cover the costs that would ensure that the festival would continue long after he was gone.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Calexico and Iron & Wine perform together on the Towers of Gold Stage during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.

 

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robert Plant, Emmylou Harris, Grace Potter, Tanya Tucker, St.Paul & The Broken Bones, The Waterboys, Margo Price, Judy Collins and Joan Osborne were among the performers at this years festival.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Hordes of fans flocked to the three-day Hardly Strictly Bluesgrass festival at Golden Gate Park.

 

While Harris has traditionally closed out the three day Festival, it was Plant’s Saturday evening performance at dusk that was the most transcendent. Playing to an overflow crowd that had Lindley Meadow bursting at the seams, the former Led Zeppelin lead singer and Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famer delivered an eclectic 75 minute set of solo and cover material along with a generous dose of choice Zeppelin cuts including “When the Levee Breaks,” “ Black Dog,” “Gallows Pole” and a curfew busting “Ramble On.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
A young fan rises above it all Saturday afternoon at the Hardly Strictly Bluesgrass festival at Golden Gate Park.

 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
A boy climbs tree to find a creative way to get a better look at the action during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Par.

 

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Daltrey and Townshend bringing The Who to the Chase Center https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/24/daltrey-and-townshend-bringing-the-who-to-the-chase-center/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 21:55:42 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13227 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER There’s not a lot of bands that can still fill arenas around the world in spite of only putting out one new studio album in close to 30 years. But you can certainly count The Who on that shortest of lists.   Soldiering on after the death of their iconic and exuberant …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

There’s not a lot of bands that can still fill arenas around the world in spite of only putting out one new studio album in close to 30 years. But you can certainly count The Who on that shortest of lists.

© DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who are returning to the Bay Area for an October 9th performance at the Chase Center. The band is also releasing a new album, “WHO,” their first since 2006, in time for the holidays.

 

Soldiering on after the death of their iconic and exuberant drummer Keith Moon in 1978 while still at the peak of their powers, and more recently the passing of bassist John “The Ox” Entwistle in 2002, The Who have overcome both the loss of half of their original band in addition to other tragedies to continue being relevant well into their sixth decade. Accompanied by a 48 piece orchestra, founding members Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and company are preparing  to appear at the new Chase Center in San Francisco on October 9th as part of their Moving On!  tour in advance of the release of their first new album since 2006.

Nearly seven years after helping to bring the 2012 London Olympic Games to a close on their home turf, and a decade after headlining the Super Bowl halftime show, the iconic English rock band last embarked on a major tour in 2016 as part of their 50th Anniversary tour celebration.

Daltrey and Townshend, both now in their mid-70’s, have clearly rejected the “Hope I Die Before I Get Old” theme of their seminal break thru hit “My Generation” in exchange for educating yet another generation of fans to one of the most influential bands of both the 20th century and rock history.

Townshend is a songwriting genius, having written hundreds of songs and concept albums including a majority of both the magnum opus Tommy in addition to Quadrophenia and 1971’s Who’s Next, an innovative hard rock classic on most critics short list as one of the greatest albums of all time.

With just ten shows remaining on a North American tour that could be their last, recent reviews indicate that the band continues to perform a vintage two hour setlist at the highest level that few others from their era beside Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones can come close to matching.

The addition of Zak Starkey ( Ringo Starr’s son and the bands primary drummer since 1994) and guitarist Simon Townshend has went a long way towards supplementing any missing bombast from days long gone by. Also, striking lighting displays in addition to theatrical video montages both pay tribute to the bands history and provide a timeline of the last half century with sometimes psychedelic images ranging from Richard Nixon and Princess Diana to the more recent carnage of 9/11 and the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Iraq.

Performing hits ranging from “Who Are You” and “Love, Reign O’er Me,” to “You Better You Bet,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and “Baba O’Riley” to an introduction of their newest material should surely be incentive enough to catch a few more Daltrey microphone twirls and signature guitar windmills by Townshend for any true fan of rock.

It’s not going to be often that the excitement level at the Chase Center comes close to exceeding that of a Warriors game, but October 9th promises to be a rare opportunity to take in one of the last performances of this legendary band. Just don’t forget your earplugs for what is guaranteed to be both a high energy and high decibel performance.

Tickets for The Who’s October 9th performance at the Chase Center are available at: https://www1.ticketmaster.com/the-who-moving-on-san-francisco-california-10-09-2019/event/1C005684E59D8C6F?_ga=2.212838036.1006123025.1566229467-1269572879.1566229467&affil_code=umg_uk

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Squeeze concert at The Fox showcases decades of hit making https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/13/squeeze-concert-at-the-fox-showcases-four-decades-of-hit-making/ Fri, 13 Sep 2019 18:38:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13130 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Taking a victory lap mid-way thru their fifth decade together, the British band Squeeze performed a highly entertaining career spanning concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Thursday night. Promoted as “The Squeeze Songbook Tour,” lead singer and guitarist Glenn Tilbrook and his songwriting partner, guitarist Chris Difford, have shared the stage with many …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Taking a victory lap mid-way thru their fifth decade together, the British band Squeeze performed a highly entertaining career spanning concert at the Fox Theater in Oakland on Thursday night.

Promoted as “The Squeeze Songbook Tour,” lead singer and guitarist Glenn Tilbrook and his songwriting partner, guitarist Chris Difford, have shared the stage with many illustrious bandmates over the years including Jools Holland, Paul Carrack, Steve Nieve and Aimee Mann since first forming in the clubs of London in 1974. They’ve also been produced by the likes of Elvis Costello and Dave Edmunds.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Squeeze performs at The Fox in Oakland Thursday night as part of “The Squeeze Songbook Tour.”

 

Vastly underrated, the duo of Difford and Tillbrook’s catalog of work and endurance puts them on a short list behind only Lennon and McCartney and very few others amongst the most prolific collaborators of the last half century. Being in the same company with such elite duos such as Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Don Henley and Glenn Frey and Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan is rarified air, even if lots of folks only recognize their music but don’t know them by name.

While the band has had numerous line-up changes over the years, the brilliance and witty lyricism of Difford and Tilbrook has produced such well known hits as “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” “Tempted,” and “Annie Get Your Gun.” Each was played during the 90 minute show that featured cuts from 13 different albums the band has produced in the 41 years since their self-titled 1978 debut was released at the dawn of the new wave movement.

With the bands last album The Knowledge released in 2018, the current tour has been designed as more of an opportunity for them to provide an overview of their entire catalog including lesser known cuts and rarities as opposed to simply emphasizing their latest material. In fact, only one track, “Please Be Upstanding,” was performed from last years release, one of eight albums to be so represented.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Squeeze lead singer Glenn Tilbrook salutes the crowd during the bands performance at The Fox in Oakland Thursday night.

 

Taking the stage to the unique video backdrop of the band arriving and setting up at The Fox just hours earlier, Squeeze opened with the unheralded “Footsteps” from 1987’s Babylon and On as the packed crowd showed their appreciation with a manic energy level that would only increase throughout the night. Minutes later, “Mussels” and “Hourglass, the first two widely known hits of the evening, quickly left no doubt that this would strictly be be an night of deep cuts.

It would only get better from there as tracks like “Third Rail” from Some Fantastic Place, “In Quintessence” from 1981’s East Side Story, “Cradle to Grave,” “Cool For Cats” and “Slap and Tickle” would soon follow in the fast paced show. What was becoming quite clear surveying the room was that everyone was engaged and smiling, leaving their outside affairs and cell phone monitoring behind in what was undeniably becoming a welcome escape from the realities of everyday life.

While there is no Squeeze without Difford or Tilbrook, make no mistake that the lads aren’t remotely flying blind. That was quickly made abundantly clear during the nights fourth number, “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),” as keyboardist Stephen Large and drummer Simon Hanson both elevated the iconic hit with extended solos. Melvin Duffy was also an electrifying man of many instruments, providing lap steel, slide, electric and acoustic mandolin, along with Yolanda Charles on bass and Steven Smith on percussion.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Squeeze guitarist Chris Difford performs at The Fox in Oakland Thursday night.

 

As the show progressed, the nostalgia of seeing nearly a half century of Squeeze memorabilia plastered on the video monitor throughout the night signaled the inevitable onslaught of hits that would close the show. On the shortlist of the bands most well-known songs, “Tempted,” was originally sung by Carrack on East Side Story, but he was only with the band for the one album and left a year later. It’s been legendarily preserved by Tilbrook’s golden pipes for close to 40 years now, but Thursday he shared the vocals with the audience in an acoustic sing along.

Other fan favorites like “Goodbye Girl” and Argybargy’s “Another Nail in My Heart” and “If I Didn’t Love You” would close the set. Returning for a lively three song encore with “Take Me I’m Yours” and “Is That Love,” the band would bring the curtain down on the all too brief affair with a nearly ten minute version of Sweets From a Stranger’s “Back Coffee in Bed” featuring solos from each member of the band as they were introduced.

Surprisingly, for a duo that’s shared such a successful and productive partnership for so long, there was no real interaction between Difford or Tilbrook. They didn’t even join hands during the traditional encore bow when saluting their audience. Strange, but no one was complaining or questioning their genius. While Tilbrook was charming and engaging throughout the night, the line of the night went to Difford who quipped that Squeeze was formed in 1973 only after he turned down an invitation to join Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.

Squeeze’s “The At Odds Couple Tour,” continues with shows Friday in Los Angeles and Saturday at the KAABOO Festival in Del Mar.

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Dave Matthews helps introduce Chase Center to the Bay Area https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/11/dave-matthews-helps-introduce-chase-center-to-the-bay-area/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/11/dave-matthews-helps-introduce-chase-center-to-the-bay-area/#comments Thu, 12 Sep 2019 01:00:45 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13087 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The Dave Matthews Band continued the march of elite headliners into the Chase Center Tuesday night, becoming just the second performers to grace the stage at the Warriors newly christened arena in Mission Bay. DMB normally plays the Greek Theater in Berkeley or Shoreline when visiting the Bay Area, but the new …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The Dave Matthews Band continued the march of elite headliners into the Chase Center Tuesday night, becoming just the second performers to grace the stage at the Warriors newly christened arena in Mission Bay.

DMB normally plays the Greek Theater in Berkeley or Shoreline when visiting the Bay Area, but the new venue allowed them to actually play in San Francisco for the just the second time since headlining Outside Lands a full decade ago in 2009.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Dave Matthews performs Tuesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco. DMB was just the second act at the newly opened future home of the Golden State Warriors, following Metallica, who christened the venue last Friday.

 

Following Metallica, who played the arena on Friday and Sunday, the 52-year old Matthews appearance at the shiny structure with wide concourses and comfy chairs precedes Eric Clapton and Elton John by a matter of days. The first Warriors exhibition game isn’t scheduled until October 5th.

As thousands of wide-eyed music fans arrived early for their first experience at the sparkling venue, the cavernous arena was slow to fill up, save for the tightly packed pit. But as the lights dimmed and DMB took the stage at 8:15 it would quickly fill to about 95% capacity as Matthews embarked on delivering a high energy two hour and 45 minute performance.

The band has evolved with a different look since the departure of long-time violinist and founding member Boyd Tinsley prior to the release of 2018’s Come Tomorrow, their most recent project, but nothing was lost from the diversity of the talented group. Featuring long-time sidekick Tim Reynolds on guitar along with Jeff Coffin on sax, Rashawn Ross (trumpet), Stefan Lessard (bass), Carter Beauford (drums), and keyboardist Buddy Strong, it would change tempos frequently throughout the evening on a moment’s notice, much to the delight of their fans in attendance.

The joy of seeing a band with so much quality material in their catalog that never plays anything close to the same set is incalculable. It puts DMB in the elite company of bands like Pearl Jam and Phish and few others that are known for improvising, rarely if ever performing with a pre-arranged setlist, or playing more than a handful of the same songs in back to back shows. It’s just one of the many things that makes the band so endearing to its fan base that frequently makes travel plans to take in multiple shows as soon as a Matthews tour schedule is announced, knowing that each show is likely to be a unique experience, as opposed to a choreographed performance down to the banter between songs.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Dave Matthews performs Tuesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

 

Opening with “Squirm,” from 2009’s Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King, the Charlottesville based septet, beloved for their live appearances in addition to the abundance of concert recordings they’ve made available to the public, would proceed to present a balanced overview of their 26 year old career by playing tracks from nine of their ten studio albums.

The electricity in the room was noticeably amped up for what would be the first of many times with the appearance of “Tripping Billies” as the evening’s third song. The cut from DMB’s 1993 debut album Remember Two Things is instantly recognizable from it’s opening chords and and has long been a crowd favorite as one of the earliest tunes that helped Matthews and his bandmates gain widespread recognition.

Taking a moment to compliment the surroundings, Matthews showed his humor by quipping “It’s a beautiful view out there in the concourse. And I hear it f#@kin’ cost a sweet penny” in an animated voice. The $1.4 billion price tag provides no room to argue. Renditions of “Lie in Our Graves,” “Say Goodbye” and an incendiary horn driven version of “Rooftop” would soon follow. 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The Dave Matthews Band performs Tuesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

 

A jazzy trip rock jam version of “Lying in the Hands of God” prior to “The Song That Jane Likes” and “Jimi Thing,” complete with trumpet and sax solos, would set the tone for one of the most surprising but enjoyable moments of the evening.

Dipping into it’s never ending supply of reworked cover versions of popular favorites, the band broke out a bluesy version of Prince’s ”Sexy M.F.” which led to a brilliant mash-up of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive.” As if that unlikely paring wasn’t enough, it evolved into a full-fledged version of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle” on the back end. Unbelievably, yet as has come to be expected at a Matthews concert, the best was still yet to come.

Edgy versions of an inflammable “Don’t Drink the Water” from 1998’s Before These Crowded Streets and “Funny the Way It Is”  took the show past the two hour mark with seemingly no end in sight. “Can’t Stop,” one of the stand-out tracks from their most recent effort, kept the energy level high before “The Space Between,” the lone cut played from 2001’s Everyday, delivered a more melodic touch.

The songs “Pig” and “Louisiana Bayou” would lead to an extended encore break, but the many fans that remained through the interval would quickly be most handsomely rewarded as the clock approached 11.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The Dave Matthews Band performs Tuesday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

 

Returning to the stage with a brief excerpt from “The Dreaming Tree” before revisiting Before These Crowded Streets a fourth and final time for an inspired version of “The Last Stop,” DMB brought the proceedings to an electrifying conclusion with with an eight minute rendition of “All Along the Watchtower” with a healthy dose of “Stairway to Heaven.”

Having experienced this previously at other Matthews shows, it would be a significant understatement to not emphasize exactly how electrifying it is to hear the Dylan/Hendrix classic intertwined with Zeppelin’s iconic masterpiece by a band of such pedigree.

The Dave Matthews Band summer tour continues Friday night with a show in Phoenix before headlining the Kaaboo Music Festival in Del Mar the following day.

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Guitar Legend Adrian Belew announces live show at Sweetwater https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/10/guitar-legend-adrian-belew-announces-live-show-at-sweetwater/ Tue, 10 Sep 2019 07:04:14 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13070 Guitar legend Adrian Belew is well-known for his diverse travels around the musical map. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose solo records are critically acclaimed. His moving singing voice and prolific songwriting has endeared a loyal fan base of music lovers. His music is being discovered everyday by more and more listeners thirsty for great music …

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Guitar legend Adrian Belew is well-known for his diverse travels around the musical map. He is a multi-instrumentalist whose solo records are critically acclaimed. His moving singing voice and prolific songwriting has endeared a loyal fan base of music lovers. His music is being discovered everyday by more and more listeners thirsty for great music with a creative standard not often pushed by the commercial music industry. On September 18th he will be appearing at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley.

For more than a decade the Adrian Belew Power Trio stunned audiences around the world. Now Adrian is ready to re-invent his live show with a new quartet which includes Jordan Perlson on drums, Saul Zonana on keyboards, guitar, and vocals, and bassist extraordinaire Julie Slick. The tour dates will be in support of Adrian’s newest release “POP-SIDED”, coming March 2019. Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy master musicians playing great songs and having a blast.

Adrian describes the show as, “a more complete picture of most things I’ve done. More songs, new songs from the award-winning FLUX app, King Crimson material I haven’t played for years, and a dose of classic Power Trio. It’s my intention to make this the best Adrian Belew show ever !”

Adrian first appeared on the guitar-world radar when he toured with Frank Zappa who later said, “Adrian reinvented electric guitar.” Adrian’s signature tones, unique use of effects and whammy bar remains completely different, and his techniques continue to be a huge influence on today’s guitarists. He was guitarist, songwriter and frontman Progressive Rock Powerhouse King Crimson for over 30 years. “Discipline”, Adrian’s first record with King Crimson, is listed among the most important rock records ever made.

Adrian has had a career that commands both awe and respect from fellow musicians and loyal fans, from his first solo record “The Lone Rhino” to the Atlantic Records hit album “Mr. Music Head” or any of his other 20 plus solo records that push sonic boundaries while maintaining artistic integrity. Adrian shreds on guitar but also writes beautiful songs that will make you cry. Yes, Adrian has taken his fans on a wild ride through countless world tours and albums with David Bowie, Talking Heads, Laurie, Anderson, and Paul Simon.

Tickets for Belew’s show on Wednesday, September 18th at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley are available at https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1831709.

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