Concert Review – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:09:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 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 …

The post Peter Frampton goes out on top, calling it a career in Concord appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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

The post Peter Frampton goes out on top, calling it a career in Concord appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/14/peter-frampton-goes-out-on-top-calling-it-a-career-in-concord/feed/ 5
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/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/11/the-who-continues-to-orchestrate-rock-history-at-chase-center/#respond 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 …

The post The Who continues to orchestrate rock history at Chase Center appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post The Who continues to orchestrate rock history at Chase Center appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/10/11/the-who-continues-to-orchestrate-rock-history-at-chase-center/feed/ 0
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/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/13/squeeze-concert-at-the-fox-showcases-four-decades-of-hit-making/#respond 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 …

The post Squeeze concert at The Fox showcases decades of hit making appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Squeeze concert at The Fox showcases decades of hit making appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/13/squeeze-concert-at-the-fox-showcases-four-decades-of-hit-making/feed/ 0
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 …

The post Dave Matthews helps introduce Chase Center to the Bay Area appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Dave Matthews helps introduce Chase Center to the Bay Area appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/09/11/dave-matthews-helps-introduce-chase-center-to-the-bay-area/feed/ 1
Jon Anderson brings his Wonderous Stories to Napa https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/jon-anderson-brings-his-wonderous-stories-to-napa/ https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/jon-anderson-brings-his-wonderous-stories-to-napa/#comments Mon, 26 Aug 2019 03:57:44 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=12966 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Bearing the voice that propelled some of the most recognizable hits of the classic rock era as lead singer for the progressive British band Yes, Jon Anderson arrived at the Uptown Theatre in Napa Saturday night for a rare solo appearance. Touring in support of his new album 1000 Hands, the 74 …

The post Jon Anderson brings his Wonderous Stories to Napa appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

Bearing the voice that propelled some of the most recognizable hits of the classic rock era as lead singer for the progressive British band Yes, Jon Anderson arrived at the Uptown Theatre in Napa Saturday night for a rare solo appearance.

Touring in support of his new album 1000 Hands, the 74 year old Anderson has embarked on a number of musical forays since the dissolution of the original band in 2008, most notably with Jean-Luc Ponty and then former Yes bandmates Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin as part of ARW which toured the Bay Area in 2016.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Jon Anderson performs at the Uptown Theatre in Napa Saturday night. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famer and long time lead singer for the band Yes is touring in support of “1000 Hands,” his latest solo effort.

Anderson’s voice, much like the flute of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson or an Eric Clapton guitar solo, continues to be one of the most distinctive and recognizable sounds of the rock era, and he had the crowd eating out of the palms of his hands enjoying every moment of his near two hour set.

A long overdue inductee into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame with Yes in 2017, Anderson co-founded the band along with the late Chris Squire in 1968. He spent the better part of the next four decades as their frontman before starting to emphasize his solo career and other projects as the Yes name was highjacked by other members. It continues to carry on with the likes of cover band lead singers and others that couldn’t hold a candle to the group in their heyday.

His latest effort, 1000 Hands, is another joyous showcase for Anderson’s work with a dream team of collaborators that first began taking shape during a retreat to Big Bear in the L.A. mountains close to 30 years ago. It finally revisits a project that included contributions from Yes members Squire, Steve Howe and Alan White along with Ponty, Ian Anderson, Chick Corea, Pat Travers, Steve Morse and Rick Derringer among others.

The collaboration with the other Anderson was a coming full circle moment as the first Yes tour of America was with Jethro Tull. Unfortunately the CD version seems be next to impossible to obtain thru normal channels, even perplexingly at the venues he’s appearing at, but it was well represented in Saturday’s setlist with the five performed tracks holding up quite well compared to his best material.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Jon Anderson performs at the Uptown Theatre in Napa Saturday night as part of his “1000 Hands” solo tour.

Appearing with an eclectic eight member band at the Uptown, the angelically voiced Anderson opened with “Owner of a Lonely Heart” from 1983’s 90125 which saw the rebirth of a second generation of Yes at the dawn of the MTV era with the additions of Rabin and keyboardist Tony Kaye to the group. “Yours Is No Disgrace,” the first of many classics from the original line-up via 1971’s breakthrough The Yes Album would quickly follow.

“Ramalala” and “Makes Me Happy,” a catchy song written for his wife in typically uplifting Anderson fashion (“Just to be who you are makes me happy”) would be the first pair of songs from the new album presented for the audience.

Yes staples “Your Move” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” would quickly veer back into more familiar territory, and the back end of the show would become a non-stop parade of elongated seventies classics.

An incredible sounding “Long Distance Runaround,” also released in 1971 on Fragile during the the bands creative peak would precede the mystical “Wonderous Stories” from 1977’s highly underrated Going for the One. Along with Tormato, released a year later, the two albums brought the first true chapter of Yes to a close as the vintage lineup of Anderson, Squire, Howe, Wakeman and White would splinter and not reunite again until 17 years later in 1996.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER Jon Anderson performs at the Uptown Theatre in Napa Saturday night as part of his “1000 Hands” solo tour.

After “First Born Leaders” and “1000 Hands (Come Up),” the title track from the new album, Anderson took a great performance to yet another level. Closing with ten minute plus renditions of “Starship Trooper” and “Roundabout,” by which time the crowd appeared to be shaking their heads in unison as the intensity of the music continued to increase, the songs impact were even further enhanced by the unique sounds of Jocelyn Hsu’s violin and ukulele and Billy Meether’s sax and flute.

While Anderson has recently expressed his openness to recording new material as part of a reunion with Yes, his place in rock history is intact regardless of what the future might bring. Whether fronting his original band or performing solo when he’s not teaming up with the likes of Ponty or ARW, his catalog is timeless and only gets better with age, while the quality of his new material only continues to add to his legacy.

Anderson’s “1000 Hands” tour continues with a show at The Harris Center in Folsom on Monday night before wrapping up its current leg in Southern California later in the week.

The post Jon Anderson brings his Wonderous Stories to Napa appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/25/jon-anderson-brings-his-wonderous-stories-to-napa/feed/ 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/#comments 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 …

The post The Alarm’s uplifting anthems shine in concert at The Regency appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post The Alarm’s uplifting anthems shine in concert at The Regency appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/03/the-alarms-uplifting-anthems-shine-in-concert-at-the-regency/feed/ 1
Kim Petras delivers euphoric experience at the Mezzanine https://martineztribune.com/2019/08/01/kim-petras-provides-euphoric-experience-at-the-mezzanine/ 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 …

The post Kim Petras delivers euphoric experience at the Mezzanine appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Kim Petras delivers euphoric experience at the Mezzanine appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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 …

The post Paul McCartney’s Magical History tour blazes thru San Jose appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Paul McCartney’s Magical History tour blazes thru San Jose appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/11/paul-mccartneys-magical-history-tour-blazes-thru-san-jose/feed/ 2
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 …

The post Howard Jones revives MTV glory days & looks towards the future appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Howard Jones revives MTV glory days & looks towards the future appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
https://martineztribune.com/2019/07/06/howard-jones-revives-mtv-glory-days-looks-towards-the-future/feed/ 1
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/ 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 …

The post Dido Still on the Minds of nostalgic Masonic after 15 year leave appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
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.

The post Dido Still on the Minds of nostalgic Masonic after 15 year leave appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>