Life – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Mon, 05 Aug 2019 23:31:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 The Alarm’s uplifting anthems shine in concert at The Regency https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/03/the-alarms-uplifting-anthems-shine-in-concert-at-the-regency/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/03/the-alarms-uplifting-anthems-shine-in-concert-at-the-regency/#respond Sat, 03 Aug 2019 21:36:10 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12779 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER 42 years after debuting as a punk band in Wales named The Toilets, Mike Peters and The Alarm’s spiritual journey touched down at The Regency in San Francisco Friday night, returning to the city where they played their first US show as openers for U2 in 1983 at the Civic Auditorium. While ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

42 years after debuting as a punk band in Wales named The Toilets, Mike Peters and The Alarm’s spiritual journey touched down at The Regency in San Francisco Friday night, returning to the city where they played their first US show as openers for U2 in 1983 at the Civic Auditorium.

While Bono’s band hasn’t fared too poorly, The Alarm has built a highly dedicated fan base of it’s own with an uplifting brand of rock anthems since first forging it’s own identity after signing with IRS Records in 1982. Supporting U2 on the War Tour helped introduce the band to US audiences while promoting their stellar debut album Declaration which featured “Marching On”, “The Stand”, “Sixty Eight Guns” and “Where Were You Hiding When the Storm Broke ?” All had previously been released as singles before the album dropped, and The Alarm’s electric live performances quickly catapulted them to widespread admiration on this side of the pond.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Mike Peters of The Alarm mugs for the crowd at The Regency during the bands Friday night performance in San Francisco. Their latest album, Sigma, was just released five weeks ago.

The explosion of MTV on the music scene also helped fuel The Alarm’s popularity. On April 12,1986 the band played one of the first live worldwide satellite broadcasts from the campus of UCLA at a time when music television was at it’s absolute peak. Attended by close to 30,000 people in the flesh, including a much younger version of this reporter, it featured fans on rooftops and perched in trees straining to get a better look at a highly energized group at the peak of its virility long before they had accumulated well over six million in album sales.

It was later that year while hitch-hiking home from outside London that lead singer Peters met his future wife Jules Jones, who now provides keyboards and backing vocals to the bands efforts. Unfortunately it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the couple as they’re both now cancer survivors. Awarded an MBE earlier this year for his chivalry along with his efforts and contributions to raise awareness of the disease, the experiences have clearly helped supply the inspirational messages that are evident in so much of The Alarm’s musical catalog.

Back on the road touring in support of Sigma, their eighth studio album released just five weeks ago, Peters, 60, and The Alarm continue to produce quality new material well into their fourth decade as a band. The album showcases the passion and optimism that has been a constant throughout their career.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Mike Peters of The Alarm performs at The Regency during the bands Friday night performance in San Francisco. The band is touring in support of their latest album, Sigma, which was just released five weeks ago.

On Friday night, the band played three of the albums dozen songs during their 95 minute set, including opening with “Blood Red Viral Black,” the energetic cut that also opens the album, as well as “Brighter Than the Sun,” yet another track that showcases Peters always powerful vocals along with the driving drums of Steve “Smiley” Barnard. The band has such an abundance of quality material to work with that two Sigma songs, “Armageddon in the Morning,” a powerful new seven minute tour de force, and the positively passionate “Love and Understanding,” yet another Alarm song that features Peters soaring vocals, couldn’t even find their way onto the hits packed setlist.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Mike Peters of The Alarm performs at The Regency during the bands Friday night performance in San Francisco.

Moving about the front of the stage throughout the evening, Peters took turns using all three microphones placed left to right to give the entire crowd better access to him. The career spanning set featured fan favorites ranging from “Sixty Eight Guns” and “The Stand” from 1984’s Declaration to “Spirit of ’76” and “Strength,” the title track from 1985’s follow-up. 1987’s Eye of the Hurricane was well represented by the rocking “Rescue Me” and the unforgettable “Rain in the Summertime, and a bluesy version of “Sold Me Down the River” served as a reminder of what a quality album 1989’s Change was.

While it was clear throughout the evening to anyone will a pulse that the band was truly having loads of fun and enjoying themselves onstage, a feeling equally shared by everyone in the audience, their enthusiasm was notched up even further when original drummer and founding member Nigel Twist joined them for an encore rendition of “Shout to the Devil,” with “Sixty Eight Guns” and “Two Rivers” soon to follow. If anyone arrived unfamiliar with the quality of The Alarm’s catalog, they certainly left as an enthusiastic new fan. They could’ve easily played an even longer set, but no one went home disappointed after yet another inspiring performance by the band from Wales.

The Alarm, with opening acts Modern English and Gene Loves Jezebal, continues their West Coast trek Monday with a trio of back-to-back shows in Portland, Seattle and Spokane.

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Kim Petras delivers euphoric experience at the Mezzanine https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/01/kim-petras-provides-euphoric-experience-at-the-mezzanine/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/01/kim-petras-provides-euphoric-experience-at-the-mezzanine/#respond Fri, 02 Aug 2019 03:25:02 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12735 BY MASON BISSADA Kim Petras Wednesday night concert at the Mezzanine in San Francisco, the fitting final U.S. stop on her Broken tour, was a euphoric, rave-like wonder. Petras, who first came onto the pop-scene with her hit “I Don’t Want It at All,” sold out the SoMa venue/night-club and transformed it into her personal ...

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BY MASON BISSADA

Kim Petras Wednesday night concert at the Mezzanine in San Francisco, the fitting final U.S. stop on her Broken tour, was a euphoric, rave-like wonder.

Petras, who first came onto the pop-scene with her hit “I Don’t Want It at All,” sold out the SoMa venue/night-club and transformed it into her personal shrine. That is not to say the stage was covered with superfluous props, back-up dancers and other distractions. On the contrary, Petras needed only a microphone, DJ, a few background displays and a “WOO-AH” sign (a sort of mating call among the Petras fandom) to engage and mesmerize her crowd.

©DIEGO MORENO Kim Petras performs Wednesday night at the Mezzanine in San Francisco on the last night of her World Tour.

What gave the the roughly 17 song, hour-long concert a shrine-like vibe was the way in which her fans seemed to worship her and her confidence. Petras carries a presence that is reminiscent of her pop star contemporary Ariana Grande. She commands the stage despite her petite stature and dollish appearance. She was swearing between tracks and encouraging the crowd to sing along and go wild.

Though psychedelic clips of Jigglypuff and Mario Kart would occasionally flash across the screens behind her, the attention would never leave Petras herself. Her wardrobe would change from white to black to blue, but her intangible glow continued to radiate off of her throughout her entire set. Bangers such as the instantly addictive “Heart to Break” had every pit attendee’s hands in the air, grasping as if she were some sort of pop messiah.

Petras dressed the part of pop-sensation to a tee. Her skin-tight dresses would color-coordinate with the stage lights and stand out amongst the smoke and wind machines. She wore her hair down with a single bun atop the corner of her head. Her high-heels were high, but not so high that they restricted her mobility. Make no mistake, this was no Lady Gaga masquerade. There were no extravagant wigs or meat dresses to confuse the audience or make some audacious statement. Petras let her music and vocals speak for themselves, and her aesthetic was just icing on the trippy cake. 

The only other soul sharing the stage with Petras was her DJ/songwriter/producer Aaron Joseph. Joseph was placed behind a turntable desk in the traditional DJ role, but would often run to center-stage and mouth along to Petras vocals, pumping his fists and running back and forth in an attempt to get the crowd even more lively. While Joseph deserves a ton of credit for writing and producing many of Petras hit songs, perhaps this particular brand of showmanship wasn’t the best choice for the betterment of the concert. While nothing short of an earthquake could distract the crowd from Petras stage presence, Joseph’s antics would sometimes subtract from the spectacle of her performance. At the end of the night, her name is the one that sells out venues, not his.

©DIEGO MORENO Kim Petras strikes a pose Wednesday night at the Mezzanine.

Petras now age 26, first came under the media spotlight as a teenager in her home country of Germany for being one of the youngest people to undergo gender reassignment surgery. Since her music career took off, Petras has been a staunch LGBTQ+ advocate and a voice for the trans community. It was fitting that the U.S. leg of her sold-out tour would end in San Francisco, one of the most prideful places on the planet.

As the crowd held up their phone lights as proxy-lighters for a slow(er) jam, one concertgoer described the pit as “a gay sea anemone.”

A month ago, Petras released her first studio album, Clarity, which peaked at #7 on Billboard’s Heatseekers charts. This October, Petras will be releasing Turn Off The Light Vol. II, the sequel to her Halloween mixtape of the same name. Her star is ascending rapidly, as she is currently bringing in 2.3 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Petras has all the makings of a potential pop sensation. She’s young, fun, clearly talented, and stands for a message that is worth sharing. Time will tell if she can turn this potential into reality.

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Paul McCartney’s Magical History tour blazes thru San Jose https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/11/paul-mccartneys-magical-history-tour-blazes-thru-san-jose/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/11/paul-mccartneys-magical-history-tour-blazes-thru-san-jose/#comments Thu, 11 Jul 2019 11:15:09 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12456 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Presenting a treasure trove of classic Beatles and Wings material, Paul McCartney’s long and winding road arrived at SAP Pavilion in San Jose Wednesday night for another sold out performance on his “Freshen Up” tour. Having turned 77 just weeks ago, McCartney continues to amaze with near three hour concerts at every stop. 36 ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Presenting a treasure trove of classic Beatles and Wings material, Paul McCartney’s long and winding road arrived at SAP Pavilion in San Jose Wednesday night for another sold out performance on his “Freshen Up” tour.

Having turned 77 just weeks ago, McCartney continues to amaze with near three hour concerts at every stop. 36 shows into a tour that has already visited the Orient, Europe and South America, there aren’t many artists other than Springsteen who so consistently give their fans so much for their money.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Paul McCartney takes the stage Wednesday night during his sold-out performance at SAP Pavilion in San Jose. The 77 year old rocker performed a three hour set featuring material from The Beatles and Wings as part of his “Freshen Up” world tour.

While he might not have moves like Jagger, McCartney’s shows consistently last an hour longer than the Stones, and unlike The Beatles onetime rivals, he continues to produce quality new material, unlike the Stones, whose last original album was released in 2005. McCartney, meanwhile, has released three studio albums in that same period. His most recent two, 2013’s New and 2018’s Egypt Station, released last September, are both valuable efforts nearly exclusively written by himself where he clearly demonstrates that making hits still comes quite naturally to him.

Macca also isn’t afraid to get creative, as evidenced by his eagerness to adopt Beatles classics such as “Something,” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite !” or “A Day in the Life,” originally sung by bandmates George Harrison or John Lennon to his own vocal arrangements.

On Wednesday night, out of a marathon 38 song setlist, 22 songs came from The Beatles catalog along with an additional seven classic cuts from his days with Wings. Opening with the unmistakable intro and uplifting energy of “A Hard Day’s Night,” McCartney wasted no time establishing that the audience was in store for a significant recreation of Beatlemania before sandwiching “All My Loving” between “Junior’s Farm” and “Letting Go” from his near equally prolific decade with Wings.

A three piece horn section featuring trumpet, saxophone and slide trombone made their first appearance of the evening in the middle of the audience on the loge level during “Letting Go” before reappearing periodically over the course of the evening.  It nicely augmented McCartney’s current four man backing band that’s been together nearly twenty years itself featuring guitarists Brian Ray and Rusty Anderson, keyboards/multi-instrumentalist Paul Wickens, and the always phenomenal and animated Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums.

The 1973 Band on the Run cut “Let Me Roll It” saw McCartney segue seamlessly into a blazing cover of  Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” before telling the crowd about how Hendrix was so blown away by Sgt. Pepper that he had already learned the title cut and opened his set with it as a tribute to the Fab Four just a day after it’s release in May 1967. More nostalgia would quickly follow with 1970’s “I’ve Got a Feeling” from the Let It Be album and “Let ‘Em In” from 1976’s Wings at the Speed of Sound.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Paul McCartney salutes the crowd Wednesday night during his sold-out performance at SAP Pavilion in San Jose.

“My Valentine,” a McCartney original written as a love song to his wife Nancy from 2012’s cheekily titled Kisses on the Bottom was one of the evening’s slower, but still touching moments as actors ranging from Johnny Depp to Natalie Portman presented the tune in sign language in black and white on the large video monitor behind the stage. But any perceived lull didn’t last for long as the band quickly followed with the rollicking “Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five” from the 1973 Wings classic Band on the Run and “Maybe I’m Amazed,” his first solo hit, immediately followed by “I’ve Just Seen a Face” from the 1965 soundtrack to Help, the Beatles second film.

The concert then took an even further journey into the wayback machine as “In Spite of All the Danger” from the pre-Beatles project The Quarrymen was given a spin after McCartney detailed how the song evolved after he wrote it with the aid of a Harrison guitar solo in 1958. Bandmates Lennon, Harrison, pianist John Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton each took possession of the original for a week apiece, until it disappeared for nearly 25 years before Lowe attempted to auction it to the highest bidder. Not happy, McCartney interceded and purchased it himself, releasing it for the first time in 1995 on The Beatles Anthology 1 and later debuting it live on his 2005 world tour.

Returning the concert to more familiar ground, “From Me to You,” The Beatles third single, and first to go Number 1, a mere 56 years old after being released in 1963, and “Love Me Do,” their debut single from six months earlier, proceeded “Blackbird” from The White Album, with the ukulele infused “Dance Tonight” sandwiched in between before Macca’s melancholy 1982 tribute “Here Today” mentioned some of the things he wished he would have said to the fallen Lennon before his death. 

Once again not wasting any time to pick up the pace, The Beatles staples “Lady Madonna” and “Eleanor Rigby” would quickly follow prior to “Fuh You,” a melodically provocative cut from the new Egypt Station. But two hours in, somehow, the best was still yet to come. The colorful brilliance and tales of Henry the Horse in what was originally Lennon’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite !” was appropriately given it’s psychedelic justice on the video monitors before McCartney paid Harrison tribute with a moving version of “Something” while strumming a ukulele once given to him by The Beatles lead guitarist.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Paul McCartney performs The Beatles hits “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” on piano in this file photo.

Amazingly it continued to get even better as the effervescentOb-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” preceeded “Band on the Run” and “Back in the U.S.S.R., complete with it’s soaring intro and personal tales of McCartney’s first trip to perform in Red Square in 1987. And if there’s room for desert island discs in anyone’s Rock ’N’ Roll heaven, they’d be hard pressed to even slightly improve on the set closing triumvirate of “Let It Be,” or “Hey Jude,” each of which showcased Macca’s prowess on the keyboards, or the insanely bombastic pyrotechnics of Wings iconic theme song from the 1973 James Bond movie “Live and Let Die.”

After McCartney and the band returned to the stage for their encore bearing the Union Jack, American, California and Rainbow flags, Sir Paul asked that the house lights be turned up so he could get a better look at the myriad of personalized signs being held up by his fans. One in specific stated “I am the walrus who sold my Mini Cooper to see you.” It was witty enough to get her and a friend invited on stage after he opened his six-song finale with “Birthday.” 

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Paul McCartney displays the American flag near the conclusion of a performance in this file photo.

Dressed in a walrus costume she bought especially for the show, the girl confessed on stage that she did indeed sell her car to attend the concert. She also got Macca to sign the her foot with a sharpie with the intention of having it turned into a tattoo. About to leave the stage, she returned to whisper something in his ear. “Do you know what she whispered to me ?” he asked the crowd. “She just asked if they could stay and dance for a song !”

Happy to oblige, he granted their request. And they made the most of their time in the spotlight by dancing their asses off to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter.” It was an enjoyable moment even for those in the crowd, unrelated to the pair on stage, to be able to soak in the pure spontaneous joy of a couple lucky fans who will undoubtedly be sharing tales of their time with a true legend and one of the most iconic men on earth for decades to come.

Returning to the piano a final time, McCartney put a bow on the proceedings with a medley of “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight” and “The End.” Fitting, as they were the last songs The Beatles would ever press to vinyl on Abbey Road, released just short of exactly 50 years ago on September 26, 1969, shortly before the band called it quits.

The tour continues with a show at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles Saturday night.

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Howard Jones revives MTV glory days & looks towards the future https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/06/howard-jones-revives-mtv-glory-days-looks-towards-the-future/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/06/howard-jones-revives-mtv-glory-days-looks-towards-the-future/#comments Sat, 06 Jul 2019 21:40:55 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12367 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Nearly two generations after appearing at Live Aid and becoming one of the largest stars in the MTV galaxy, British new wave pioneer Howard Jones delivered a jubilant performance highlighting his four decade career in music Friday night at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco. Jones, 64, had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Nearly two generations after appearing at Live Aid and becoming one of the largest stars in the MTV galaxy, British new wave pioneer Howard Jones delivered a jubilant performance highlighting his four decade career in music Friday night at The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco.

Jones, 64, had ten top 40 hit singles in the UK between 1983 and 1986, with six of those reaching the top ten. His 1984 album Human’s Lib reached number one on the UK Album Chart. He also played Live Aid in London 34 years ago next week, slotted between sets from Sting with Phil Collins and Bryan Ferry with David Gilmour. More recently, a younger generation has heard his music in television series ranging from Breaking Bad to Stranger Things 3.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Howard Jones performs Friday night at The Regency in San Francisco. The British rocker is touring in support of his latest album “Transform.”

Back on the road, touring in support of Transform, his 13th studio album just released in May, the one-time new wave darling remains instantly recognizable to anyone who followed him during his glory days. Stylishly dressed in a futuristic pleated grey suit, the personable Jones hair might be shorter and less spikey, but he still has the sides of the back of his head shaved and he worked the setting perfectly, moving between his black electronic Roland keyboard and synthesizer effortlessly when not bouncing from end to end of the stage.

Elegantly taking the stage to open with “Hide and Seek” from Human’s Lib, before being joined by guitarist Robin Boult and his backing band, Jones wasn’t shy about introducing the audience to his latest work, playing six of the ten songs from his first new studio album in nearly a decade during his 95 minute set. While the quality of Transform, featuringHero in Your Eyes” and “Tin Man Song” is undeniable to his fans starved for new material, it was his 80’s classics that elicited the greatest response.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Howard Jones strikes a pose for the crowd Friday night during his performance at The Regency ballroom in San Francisco.

Jones didn’t remotely disappoint, adding an eloquent take of “No One is to Blame” where you could hear a pin drop to a bouncy version of “Everlasting Love” that saw him interacting with images of himself on the video monitor from thirty years ago during the first half of the show. But it was the back end of the set that brought back the nostalgia of both simpler and more innocent times. An updated version of “Life in One Day” preceded the original, as the crowd joined in singing along.  The ebullientLike to Get to Know You Well” (“Don’t wanna talk about the weather/Don’t wanna talk about the news/Just wanna get to the real you inside/Like to get to know you well/Like to get to know you well/Like to get to know you well/So we can be one/We can be one together‘) would quickly follow.

Finishing strong, Jones was joined by a pair of female backing singers to harmonize on “What Is Love?” as images of different terms for love from around the world flashed on the monitor behind the stage. Videos of a slightly younger Jones, 1980’s model, would replace them during “New Song” before the band briefly left prior to returning for an encore that saw the show end on yet another high note thanks to the always uplifting “Things Can Only Get Better.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Howard Jones perrorms “No One is to Blame” on his Roland organ Friday night at The Regency ballroom in San Francisco.

The evening was given an unexpected further boost by opening act Men Without Hats. The Canadian synth pop group, originally from Montreal, is best known for their hit “Safety Dance,” from 1983’s Rhythm of Youth but they’re far from one-hit wonders. After disbanding in 1993 the band reformed in 2010 with original vocalist Ivan Doroschuk taking on three of his touring musicians as full band members. They haven’t released a new album since Love in the Age of War seven years ago, but new cuts like “This War” and “Head Above Water” along with “Antarctica” from their debut album and a cover of Abba’s “SOS” gave the crowd plenty to cheer about.

The Howard Jones Transform tour continues with shows next week in Phoenix, San Diego and Las Vegas.

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Dido Still on the Minds of nostalgic Masonic after 15 year leave https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/27/dido-still-on-the-minds-of-nostalgic-masonic-crowd/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/06/27/dido-still-on-the-minds-of-nostalgic-masonic-crowd/#respond Thu, 27 Jun 2019 11:58:50 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12279 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Returning for her first world tour in 15 years, English pop star Dido emphatically displayed that both her angelic voice and stage presence have only aged like a fine wine before a sold-out crowd at The Masonic in San Francisco Wednesday night. One of the best-selling artists of All-Time in the UK, her 1999 debut album, No Angel sold over 21 million ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Returning for her first world tour in 15 years, English pop star Dido emphatically displayed that both her angelic voice and stage presence have only aged like a fine wine before a sold-out crowd at The Masonic in San Francisco Wednesday night. One of the best-selling artists of All-Time in the UK, her 1999 debut album, No Angel sold over 21 million copies worldwide propelled by hits like “Thank You” and “Here With Me.”

DANIEL GLUSKOTER Dido performs Wednesday night at The Masonic in San Francisco as part of her “Still on my Mind” tour.

While an additional four albums over the next 20 years have doubled that total, the 47 year-old has been much more concerned with being around to watch her young son, now seven, grow up than performing live. Providing less drama, or tragedy, than contemporary countrywomen Adele or Amy Winehouse, her maturity shows thru both her music and level of confidence on stage.

Touring in support of Still on My Mind, written mostly with her brother Rollo Armstrong, it’s her first album in six years and was just released in March.  At The Masonic, Dido’s 95 minute set provided a balanced overview of her catalog with a 20 song arrangement which she delivered flawlessly along with her five piece band.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Dido soaks in an ovation from the crowd Wednesday night during her performance at The Masonic in San Francisco. The British singer-songwriter is touring for the first time in over 15 years following the March release of her latest album “Still on my Mind.”

After kicking off the evening with the haunting “Hurricanes,” a beautiful ballad which opens the new album that evolves into a lush pop tune with an uplifting backing chorus, Dido, dressed fashionably in a frilly black blouse with black jeans, surprisingly slotted “Thank You,” her biggest hit, nonchalantly into the middle of her set. Indisputably her most recognizable song, further popularized by it’s inclusion in her duet with Eminem on “Stan,” it’s placement emphasized Dido’s confidence in the appeal of her entire catalog, as evidenced by her stage presence throughout.

The stand-out rhythmic and bouncy “Mad Love” and disco pulsations of “Take You Home” from the new release also made strong impressions live, before “Take My Hand” brought the show full-circle by revisiting No Angel one final time in the form of the first song she ever recorded. Returning to a sustained standing ovation Dido closed with “Have To Stay,” a love song written to her son, also named Stan, and “White Flag” from 2003’s Life for Rent for her encore. 

The North American portion of Dido’s world tour concludes this weekend with a trio of shows in Portland, Vancouver and Seattle.

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Neil Young, Santana, Mumfords & Pharrell pump up BottleRock https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/27/neil-young-santana-mumfords-pharrell-pump-up-bottlerock/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/27/neil-young-santana-mumfords-pharrell-pump-up-bottlerock/#respond Mon, 27 May 2019 16:42:51 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11825 BY HELEN LAME’ AND DANIEL GLUSKOTER The seventh annual BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival concluded Sunday night with headlining sets by Mumford & Sons, Santana and Pharrell Williams bringing the Memorial Day weekend event to a utopian close with over 120,000 fans attending the three day event. With temperatures consistently milder than previous festivals, and ...

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BY HELEN LAME’ AND DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The seventh annual BottleRock Napa Valley Music Festival concluded Sunday night with headlining sets by Mumford & Sons, Santana and Pharrell Williams bringing the Memorial Day weekend event to a utopian close with over 120,000 fans attending the three day event. With temperatures consistently milder than previous festivals, and intermittent rain on Sunday, the diverse mix of music, wine and culinary delicacies seemingly had something to offer for everyone.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Neil Young + Promise of the Real perform Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

Playing his first Bay Area show since the final Bridge School benefit in 2016, Neil Young + Promise of the Real played a transcendent set, joining The Cure and Foo Fighters as recent headliners to have the plug pulled on their performances for exceeding the strict BottleRock curfew of the event set in residential Napa.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Neil Young + Promise of the Real take a bow after their curfew busting set on Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

The 73 year old Canadian Rock ‘N’ Roll of Famer continues to do things his way, taking the stage 15 minutes late at the start of his tightly regulated performance window only to quickly launch into a feedback induced 15 minute jam of “Love and Only Love,” from 1990’s Ragged Glory, quickly eating up a large amount of his allocated set time.

©CHRISTOPHER HELKEY / BottleRock Napa Valley

From there the remaining 75 minutes of the hour and a half performance was a nostalgic trip through Young’s five decade long career. Fan favorites including “Like A Hurricane,” “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon” mixed brilliantly with Crazy Horse staples such as “Mansion on the Hill” and “Rockin’ in the Free World,” the evening’s final song that would ultimately see the crowd continue to sing along with the grandfather of grunge even after the speakers and video monitors had been turned off once the clock struck 10(pm).

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Nathaniel Rateliff performs Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

Earlier, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats delivered one of their signature lively and upbeat brands of Roots-Rock Americana that they’ve come to specialize in, with the infectious “S.O.B.,” the first single from their debut effort joining more recent cuts such as “Hey Mama” and the title track of their most recent, “Tearing at the Seams.”

The bands summer tour is highlighted by a pair of headlining gigs at Red Rocks starting August 21st before returning to the Festival circuit in September for a series of shows where they’ll be appearing besides artists ranging from Robert Plant to John Fogerty, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Gary Clark Jr. performs Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

Gary Clark Jr., the 35 year old guitar wizard from Austin, demonstrated his prowess with a fusion of rock, soul and the blues that weighed heavily on his recently released album This Land, which dropped just three months ago. Having shared the stage with the likes of Eric Clapton, Foo Fighters, Jeff Beck and Dave Matthews, Clark’s set-closing rendition of The Beatles “Come Together” had the crowd fully engaged.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Michael Franti performs Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

East Bay native and soul rocker Michael Franti, fresh off of appearances at The Fillmore to begin the year in support of Stay Human Vol.II, which had been released just days earlier, was a recurring presence over the weekend. Performing three separate times over the weekend on different platforms ranging from the intimate canopied VIP tent to the main stage, the always joyous Franti is well positioned for his summer tour that starts Friday in Seattle before returning to the Bay Area June 11th for a pair of shows at the the Saratoga Mountain Winery.

©GRACE SAGAR / BottleRock Napa Valley – White Panda performs Saturday May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

©CHRIS TUITE / BottleRock Napa Valley – Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons performs Sunday, May 26th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

©CHRIS TUITE / BottleRock Napa Valley – Carlos Santana performs Sunday, May 26th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

The legendary Carlos Santana’s Sunday set provided a magical overview of the guitar icon’s half century on the stage. With their new album Africa Speaks set to release next Friday, the fact that the band completely eschewed it in favor of older material and fan favorites failed to disappoint in the least.

Opening with “Soul Sacrifice,” followed shortly by performances of “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye como va,” Santana and his band left little doubt that the upcoming 50th anniversary of Woodstock would be more influential on their setlist than their upcoming release.

A drummer fronted version of John Lennon’s “Imagine” that evolved into a screeching solo by the frontman was an unexpected surprise, as was Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September,” which followed Santana’s commercial comeback “Smooth” from 1999’s Supernatural. The Chambers Brothers “Love, Peace and Happiness” would conclude the show.

©QUINN TUCKER / BottleRock Napa Valley – Pharrell Williams performs Saturday, May 25th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

©CHARLES REAGAN / BottleRock Napa Valley – Skylar Grey performs Sunday, May 26th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

©CHARLES REAGAN / BottleRock Napa Valley

On Friday, it seemed like Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds was in need of a geography lesson. Reynolds seemed to be oblivious to the fact that the Napa Valley isn’t a part of Los Angeles, but the Las Vegas native stepped up his game in time to warrant a headlining slot, a mortifying cover of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” not withstanding. Rebounding with some of their hits including “Thunder,” “Natural” and “Radioactive,” the Dragons were still able to display what enabled them to earn headliner status in the first place.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Jenny Lewis takes a call during her performance Friday, May 24th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

Earlier in the day, Jenny Lewis, wearing a full length pink sequined dress with appropriately similar sunglasses on a 70° afternoon, performed a 12 song set featuring cuts from her newly released album On The Line. In addition to a pair of tracks from her collaboration with The Watson Twins and “Silver Lining,” from her halcyon days as front woman for Rilo Kiley, the former indie singer-songwriter and child actress entertained the crowd with her guitar and keyboard talents along with always melodic vocals.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Vintage Trouble performs Friday, May 24th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.
©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Vintage Trouble lead singer Ty Taylor crowd surfs Friday, May 24th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

Vintage Trouble, the stylish Hollywood based rhythm & blues band fronted by Ty Taylor, might not have been known to many in the early arriving crowd, but their upbeat style and retro rocking energy quickly won them over. Touring shortly after the release of Chapter II – EP II, the completion of a set that first arrived in November, tracks such as “Knock Me Out,” “Run Like the River” and a cover of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” were quick to make lasting impressions.

©CHRIS TUITE / BottleRock Napa Valley – Neon Trees perform Friday, May 24th at the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy appears with Baseball Hall Of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. on the culinary stage of the 2019 BottleRock Music Festival in Napa on Friday, May 24th.

Another attraction throughout the weekend was the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage, which featured cooking demonstrations which paired many well-know chefs with several musicians and celebrities, including Ken Griffey Jr., Alice Cooper, Jeff Goldblum, Jerry Rice and Trisha Yearwood.

With crowds approaching 40,000 people per day, there were hardly any signs of altercations outside of a few brief instances where immaturity or inability to handle one’s alcohol consumption got in the way. The overwhelming sense of a positive atmosphere with great vibes in the air throughout the weekend remained intact.

Once again, BottleRock pulled off one of the finest festival line-ups of the year in just it’s seventh year of operation. 2020’s BottleRock Festival is already set to take place May 22-24 on the same Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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Colin Hay still an engaging Man at Work during Terrapin show https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/08/colin-hay-still-an-engaging-man-at-work-during-terrapin-show/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/05/08/colin-hay-still-an-engaging-man-at-work-during-terrapin-show/#respond Wed, 08 May 2019 20:08:14 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11541 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter Colin Hay’s performance at Terrapin Crossroads Tuesday night was a welcome revelation for anyone previously unfamiliar with his solo works. Best known as the lead singer and frontman for the long disbanded Australian band Men at Work, Hay has also created a solid catalog of solo material dating back over ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Scottish-Australian singer-songwriter Colin Hay’s performance at Terrapin Crossroads Tuesday night was a welcome revelation for anyone previously unfamiliar with his solo works. Best known as the lead singer and frontman for the long disbanded Australian band Men at Work, Hay has also created a solid catalog of solo material dating back over three decades.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Colin Hay performs Tuesday night at Terrapin Crossroads.

As one of the most recognizable bands of the MTV era, Men at Work burst onto the scene in 1981 and have sold over 30 million albums worldwide to date while receiving a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1983. All that success came in spite of the band only producing three studio releases during a four year stretch that ended in 1985.

But Hay, 65, has also earned acclaim as a solo artist, releasing 13 albums while continuing to tour. His most recent, 2017’s Fierce Mercy, is a solid effort that includes a number of quality songs ranging from bouncy to introspective.

On Tuesday, his setlist included cuts from eight different solo albums, in addition to a generous dose of his original band’s most recognizable hits. Opening with “Beautiful World” from 2002’s Company of Strangers, Hay, who’s also appeared in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, proceeded to deliver an engaging 110 minute set with his own eclectic band that provided a solid overview of his four decades as a musician.

The joyously upbeat “Come Tumblin’ Down,” the opening track from Fierce Mercy would soon follow. Preceding the reflective “A Thousand Million Reasons,” the infectious cut would be the first of three songs performed from the album.

Reaching back for the first of six songs he would perform from the Men at Work catalog, Hay dusted off “Down by the Sea,” the final song from their 1982 blockbuster Business as Usual. The remaining selection of songs would provide a mixture of origins while highlighting the artistic talents of his five member backing band across the remainder of the show.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Colin Hay and his band take a bow following the conclusion of their well-received performance Tuesday night at Terrapin Crossroads.

Truely a band with international flavor, featuring the multi-talented Scheila Gonzalez from Guatemala on keyboards, flute, sax and backing vocals, along with added vocals from Peruvian singer and composer Cecilia Noël, in addition to a rhythm section of guitarist SanMiguel Perez bassist Yosmel Montejo (both hailing from Cuba) the diverse ensemble combined with Hay to keep the captive audience in a groove throughout the night at the intimate venue.

The back-end of the show was pretty much a non-stop assault on the senses with an array of hits and fan favorites. Thanking the crowd for not having a panic attack over the lack of Men at Work tracks, Hay proceeded to alleviate any concerns as he introduced “It’s a Mistake,” from 1983’s Cargo, the bands sophomore effort. Written during the Cold War, it’s about what would happen if the arms race resulted in a nuclear war. 

Up next, “Who Can It Be Now,” recorded in 1981 prior to the release of their first album, reached the top of the charts in the US a full year later and is perhaps their biggest hit with it’s unique saxophone opening, making it one of the most quirky singles of the new wave era. Nearly four decades after it’s debut, Gonzalez’ efforts lost nothing in translation.

A witty mariachi and flamenco infused cover of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” with Noël (Hay’s wife since 2002) on lead vocals and Hay’s backing was a unexpected delightful treat. “Overkill,” another song from Cargo written by Hay while living in Melbourne about the stress of leaving one’s comfort zone was next.

Finishing strong, the diverse musicianship of the band was showcased yet again on a powerful reggae infused version of their timeless trademark hit “Down Under,” extolling the virtues of Vegemite sandwiches, which quickly segued into a truly frenetic rendition of “Be Good Johnny,” written from the perspective of a nine year old boy who’s constantly being told to behave by his parents who don’t seem to understand him.

A two song encore of the introspective “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” and 2015’s “Next Year People” remained, but if there was anyone that hadn’t been a faithful follower of Hay and his band prior to entering the venue, their conversion was now complete.

Hay returns to Northern California for a show at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Friday, May 17th. Tickets are available at: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1788798?utm_medium=api

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Reflective John Mellencamp Show captivates Paramount crowd https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/24/reflective-john-mellencamp-show-captivates-paramount-audience/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/24/reflective-john-mellencamp-show-captivates-paramount-audience/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2019 02:22:30 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11296 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER “I don’t think that anybody in 1975 imagined that we would still be doing this today,” John Mellencamp stated near the end of a 25 minute documentary video that served as an overview of his long career which preceded his performance at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Thursday night, adding “The longevity of this ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

“I don’t think that anybody in 1975 imagined that we would still be doing this today,” John Mellencamp stated near the end of a 25 minute documentary video that served as an overview of his long career which preceded his performance at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Thursday night, adding “The longevity of this is surprising.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER John Mellencamp performs at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Thursday night.

But over four decades later, the artist initially branded as John Cougar by his record company against his will has more than established his own identity, and earned universal respect for a career that’s seen over 40 million album sales worldwide on the way to induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The 67 year old native of Seymour, Indiana has evolved into a poignant storyteller. Telling tales of small-town life and the struggles of growing up and living in middle-America, Mellencamp has become a champion of the little man, as evidenced by his co-founding of Farm Aid in 1985 with Willie Nelson and Neil Young.

Just over three decades later, the program has raised over $ 55 million to help farmers along with changing a system that allows industrial agriculture to dominate a trade that often overlooks food from family farms.

Taking the stage in a black mechanics jumpsuit surrounded by a nattily attired band just four months after the release of Other People’s Stuff, his 24th studio album which featured ten covers recorded for various tributes or soundtracks along with four from his own catalog, Mellencamp wasted little time making it clear that a career spanning retrospective was in store for the sold-out crowd.

Opening with “Lawless Times” from 2014’s Plain Spoken, the raspy voiced midwesterner fluidly interspersed an array of songs which demonstrated he was a champion of both social and economic issues along with a significant amount of his greatest hits.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER John Mellencamp pereforms at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland Thursday night.

A pair of cuts from the midst of his commercial peak in 1985 followed with Scarecrow‘s “Minutes to Memories” and “Small Town,” which brought the audience to it’s feet for the first of many occasions. The trip down memory lane would continue shortly as “Lonely Ol’ Night” and “Check It Out,” one of four cuts from 1987’s The Lonesome Jubilee provided yet another sense of nostalgia.

Introducing “Longest Days” from 2008’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom, Mellencamp delivered a humorous detailed backstory of the songs roots involving his then nearly 100 year old grandmother, who called him “Buddy.” Shortly before her death, blind and certainly no longer a cougar, she called him to her bedside, telling him they needed to pray.

After an “uncomfortably long” silence, Mellencamp’s grandmother concluded her prayer with “Me and Buddy are ready to come home !” Unable to stop himself, he screamed “Grandma, what the f*ck ? Buddy’s not ready to come home. Buddy’s got a lot more singing he intends to do.”

Coming full circle to end the story, he shared, “When she was 99, she said ‘Buddy, I love you, but you’re going to find out life is short even in your longest days.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER / dgpics.com A younger John Mellencamp performs in Los Angeles in this mid-1980’s file photo.

Next, a passionate acoustic version of “Jack & Diane” from American Fool quickly evolved into a sing-along little ditty about two American kids growing up in the heart land. It served as a unique interpretation of Mellencamp’s only hit to reach the top of the charts (he’s had ten in the Top 10), spending nearly the entire month of October 1982 there.

It was followed by the song “Easy Target” from 2017’s Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, his most recent album of primarily original content. It’s another political song that makes a statement in the age of Trump. Released on the eve of his inauguration, it includes the lines “Black Lives Matter / Who we trying to kid / Here’s an easy target / Don’t matter, never did / Crosses burning / Such a long time ago / 400 years and we still don’t, let it go.”   

The remainder of the show was an onslaught of hits and fan favorites. Aided by the talents of violinist Miriam Sturm (in a ball gown) and pianist Troye Kinnett, along with long-time guitarists Mike Wanchic and Andy York (also a member of Ian Hunter’s Rant Band), the band delivered powerful performances of “Rain on the Scarecrow,” “Paper in Fire” and “Crumblin’ Down,” a protest song about the rampant deregulation of the Reagan era. It provided the feeling of some good old fashioned arena rock’n’roll as the evening wore down, while still emphasizing the plight of farmers and other working class Americans.

With a closing kick of hits ranging from the rambunctious “Authority Song” to the timeless “Pink Houses” and the nostalgic “Cherry Bomb,” much ground had been covered and there were only a handful of rocks left unturned by a musician who has successfully fought to make a difference.

At the cusp of beginning his sixth decade as an entertainer, little question should remain that the native Indianian belongs on a short list with Messrs Springsteen, Dylan, Petty and Seger as one of the most prolific poets to be produced on these soils.

The John Mellencamp Show continues tonight at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara before concluding next week in Tuscon and Albuquerque.

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Bushels of Blueberries at Farmers Market from Smit Farms https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/22/bushels-of-blueberries-at-farmers-market-from-smit-farms/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/22/bushels-of-blueberries-at-farmers-market-from-smit-farms/#respond Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:43:21 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11269 BY DEBRA J. MORRIS Blueberries are one of the delights of early summer. Their beautiful blue color means they’re ripe and ready to eat. The shrubs are harvested by hand five or six times throughout the season at the firm, ripe stage because blueberries do not ripen once picked. The berries we enjoy today have ...

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BY DEBRA J. MORRIS

Blueberries are one of the delights of early summer. Their beautiful blue color means they’re ripe and ready to eat. The shrubs are harvested by hand five or six times throughout the season at the firm, ripe stage because blueberries do not ripen once picked.

The berries we enjoy today have ancestors in the wild blueberries enjoyed by Native Americans and early settlers, later domesticated and improved, becoming the large sweet berries we enjoy today.

These plump blue gems are well worth the wait. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. The flavor is sweet and delicious.

When selecting blueberries, look for those that are firm, dry, plump, and smooth-skinned, with a silvery surface bloom, no leaves or mold. Berries should be deep purple-blue to blue-black (except for the lighter blue Duke variety). Refrigerate them as soon as possible, unwashed. They will last for three to four days.

You’ll find blueberries from Smit Farms out of Linden. Their blueberries are the best, just-picked straight from the farm ! They offer varieties such as O’Neil, and sweet early-season variety; the Duke, a lighter blue and abundant variety; and Jewel, a high-yield, slightly tangy blueberry. So, from May to almost July, you’ll find delicious blueberries at the market, in varieties that can’t be found at your supermarket. They’re freshly picked by hand and brought to you each week.

Grab a big bag and make some blueberry muffins, blueberry cobbler, or a few jars of this delicious blueberry jam !


Blueberry Lime Coriander Jam

6 cups blueberries, crushed

4-1/2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons vodka

3 limes, using zest and juice

2-1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, freshly ground

1 package low sugar pectin

Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar; set aside. Put blueberries in a large pot; add juice, zest, vodka and coriander.

Add pectin/sugar mixture and lemon juice. Bring to a full boil. Add remaining sugar and return to a full boil. Boil 1 minute.

Skim foam from the surface of the jam. Add jam to hot sterile jars. Fill sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Add canning lids and rings; process (boil) for 10 minutes in water bath. Carefully remove from water and place on a heat-resistant surface. Let cool. You can tell jars are sealed when you hear a pop of suction from the lids. Store in a cool dry cupboard until ready to use, then refrigerate for up to two weeks.

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Blues legend Buddy Guy gives a history lesson at The Masonic https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/14/blues-legend-buddy-guy-gives-a-history-lesson-at-the-masonic/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/04/14/blues-legend-buddy-guy-gives-a-history-lesson-at-the-masonic/#respond Sun, 14 Apr 2019 14:13:19 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=11160 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Legendary Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who was raised in the Jim Crow south and rose to influence the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn to name but a few, delivered a transcendent concert performance Saturday night at the Masonic in San Francisco. ©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Blues legend Buddy ...

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Legendary Chicago blues guitarist Buddy Guy, who was raised in the Jim Crow south and rose to influence the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn to name but a few, delivered a transcendent concert performance Saturday night at the Masonic in San Francisco.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Blues legend Buddy Guy performs at The Masonic in San Francisco Saturday evening as part of his “the Blues is Alive and Well” tour.

The 82 year old Guy, raised on a sharecroppers farm in rural Louisiana, is the last of the great blues men of the 20th Century. At the Masonic, he told the crowd how he grew up not knowing what boiling water was until he turned 17 in a home that had no electricity. In a recent interview he detailed how artists like Muddy Waters and himself used to earn an extra dime for beer sales when they were playing for free on the Windy City club circuit during the 1960’s when he got his start playing with Waters as a house guitarist at Chess Records.

He has evolved into a National Treasure on the way to being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and becoming a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Along the way he’s been awarded the National Medal of Arts by President George W. Bush in 2003 and induced Barack Obama to sing “Sweet Home Chicago” along with him during a visit to the White House in 2012.

Guy’s past two albums, the Blues is Alive and Well, released last summer, and Born to Play Guitar, released in 2015 have been joyous affairs that included contributions by Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Billy Gibbons, Joss Stone and Van Morrison among others.

Still a fearsome guitar player with vocals that are as impassioned as ever, the colorful Guy took the stage in a trademark polka dot cherry red shirt along with a white cap which was emblazoned with tan polka dots.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Blues legend Buddy Guy performs at The Masonic in San Francisco Saturday evening as part of his “the Blues is Alive and Well” tour.

Smiling and telling anecdotes throughout the 90 minute set, he showed no lack of energy as he displayed his prowess playing his instrument in a variety of novel ways and even hopped off the stage at one point to take a lap thru the adoring crowd as he continued to sing without missing a beat.

Opening with “Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues,” the storyteller who wrote the biographical line “I got the blues running through my veins” on the title track of Born to Play Guitar wasted little time making it clear that the audience was in the company of greatness.

In the first half hour of his set Guy performed a pair of Willie Dixon covers, “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” with Johnnie Taylor’s 1973 tongue in cheek composition “Cheaper to Keep Her” sandwiched in-between before finally taking a brief break after a nearly ten minute version of Bobby Rush’s “Chicken Heads.”

John Hiatt’s “Feel Like Rain” preceded a smooth version of Eddie Cooley’s “Fever” before Guy lit up the room yet again by delivering a smoking take of John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom.” After further demonstrating his prowess by playing strains of “Crossroads” with a drumstick and then on his backside, he brought the audience to it’s feet with a cutting take of Al Green’s “Take me to the River.”

Showing the mobility of a man half his age, Guy suddenly appeared on the floor of the auditorium in the midst of the enthusiastic audience as he sang “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In” from his 2010 album Slippin’ In.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Blues legend Buddy Guy shows his guitar playing prowess while performing at The Masonic in San Francisco Saturday evening. Guy is on the road as part of his “the Blues is Alive and Well” tour.

Introducing 2008’s “Skin Deep,” Guy told the crowd how “after looking in a mirror for the first time and telling his mother how good looking he was,” she admonished him to treat everyone the way he wanted them to treat him regardless of how they looked before taking a quick encore break.

Returning to another standing ovation, he brought a festive evening to an end with a flavorful version of Cream’s “Strange Brew” before a brief Santana jam signaled the end of a night to be remembered.

Opening act Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was an absolute revelation who on most nights would’ve been worth the price of admission alone. Kingfish provided an unexpected additional treat for the crowd with a masterful 40 minute set fronting a five man band with their own powerful soulful renditions of the blues. A true 20 year-old blues prodigy out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, his piercing guitar and infectious vocals have already earned him a contract with Alligator Records that will deliver his debut album on May 17th.

Guy’s tour continues with at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento Sunday night before heading to the Northwest for shows in Portland and Seattle.

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