Masonic Auditorium – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Wed, 17 Apr 2019 03:58:38 -0700 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 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/ 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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Metallica performs at Masonic for All Within My Hands Benefit https://martineztribune.com/2018/11/04/metallica-performs-at-masonic-for-all-within-my-hands-benefit/ Sun, 04 Nov 2018 22:52:07 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=9867 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER For fans of a band that usually sells out arenas and stadiums, the chance to see one of your favorites playing an all acoustic set in a small theater setting can be a rare treat. On Saturday evening, Metallica gave some of them a post-Halloween gift to remember with a benefit concert …

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©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
James Hetfield and Robert Trujillo of Metallica (pictured L-R) perform Saturday night at The Masonic in San Francisco during the bands All Within My Hands acoustic benefit concert.

BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

For fans of a band that usually sells out arenas and stadiums, the chance to see one of your favorites playing an all acoustic set in a small theater setting can be a rare treat. On Saturday evening, Metallica gave some of them a post-Halloween gift to remember with a benefit concert performance at the intimate Masonic in San Francisco.

The band was performing a hometown fundraiser for their All Within My Hands charity foundation. Launched early last year in an effort to encourage more participation from their fans to help to make the world a better place and encourage volunteerism, Metallica is donating funds raised from the show and it’s accompanying auctions to a cross-section of charities that the individual band members support, along with to music education programs and food banks.

With lead singer and guitarist James Hetfield, dressed in black, anchored to a stool with his head behind the microphone most of the night as opposed to terrorizing a large stage, guitarist Kirk Hammett, bassist Robert Trujillo and drummer Lars Ulrich were supported by a percussionist, pedal steel player, mandolin player and keyboardist for a rare 12 song acoustic set as the band stripped down and revitalized some of its most menacing rock hits.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
James Hetfield of Metallica performs on acoustic guitar Saturday night at The Masonic in San Francisco during the bands All Within My Hands Benefit concert.

Opening with a rearranged version of “Disposable Heroes” from 1986’s “Master of Puppets,” the band soon proceeded to treat the crowd to a quartet of classic rock covers. The first seven songs included unique interpretations of Deep Purple’s “When a Blind Man Cries,” Nazareth’s “Please Don’t Judas Me,” Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page,” and Blue Oyster Cult’s “Veteran of the Psychic Wars.”

Appreciation for that uniqueness aside, the strongest audience reactions were still reserved for more familiar fare. “The Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters,” and “Enter Sandman,” all from Metallica’s 1991’s self-titled album that exploded their popularity were delivered masterfully and still instantly recognizable in their unplugged glory.

Finishing the 80 minute presentation with “Hardwired,” the sole track played from their most recent 2016 release, the band quietly left the stage without an encore, but certainly no one was complaining after a memorable night for all.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Metallica performs Saturday night at The Masonic in San Francisco during the bands All Within My Hands acoustic benefit concert.

The band resumes its “Hardwired… to Self-Destruct” tour in support of their 10th studio album on November 26th in Las Vegas, before returning for California shows in Sacramento on December 7th and Fresno two days later.

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Brian Wilson celebrates Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary https://martineztribune.com/2016/10/13/brian-wilson-celebrates-pet-sounds-50th-anniversary/ Thu, 13 Oct 2016 19:26:40 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=5524 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER The creative genius of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brian Wilson was on display and shining brightly Wednesday night at The Masonic in San Francisco. Wilson, the 74 year old singer-songwriter and original Beach Boy whose iconic profile has grown even larger following the recent release of his new memoir “I …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

The creative genius of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Brian Wilson was on display and shining brightly Wednesday night at The Masonic in San Francisco. Wilson, the 74 year old singer-songwriter and original Beach Boy whose iconic profile has grown even larger following the recent release of his new memoir “I Am Brian Wilson”, in addition to the highly acclaimed “Love And Mercy” motion picture last year is in the midst of a prolonged tour celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Beach Boys ambitious masterpiece “Pet Sounds” by playing it in it’s entirety.

Positioned behind his black Yamaha baby grand piano center stage throughout the evening, Wilson is clearly a survivor. Long considered a reclusive LSD casualty with well documented struggles with mental illness, he’s also overcome the loss of both younger brothers. Bandmates Dennis drowned in the Pacific Ocean off Marina Del Rey in 1983 after a day of drinking while Carl was lost in 1998 to brain cancer.

But this night was strictly a celebration as the stage was filled with an 11 piece backing band including fellow Beach Boys co-founder Al Jardine, his son Matthew, and flamboyant early Seventies member Blonde Chaplain. Opening with the unmistakable piano chords of “California Girls” as fans were still finding their seats, Wilson proceeded to deliver a stellar two hour plus performance featuring an astonishing 32 Beach Boys songs out of the 35 played.

A 16 song first set established the tone of the evening as some of the Beach Boys earliest and most memorable hits including “I Get Around”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “Surfer Girl” (the first song Wilson ever wrote at the age of 19), and “Don’t Worry Baby”, delivered with the stellar falsetto vocals of Matthew Jardine, were played. Al Jardine, dressed in an all white suit and playing a white guitar for the first part of the show also sang lead on a handful of numbers, as did Chaplain, most notably on the set closing “Sail On, Sailor”.

Returning to the stage after a twenty minute intermission, Wilson and his ensemble launched into the 13 song groundbreaking “Pet Sounds” with the elegantly produced “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” as a kaleidoscope of instruments ranging from flutes, harpsichords and Electro-Theremin merged with sound effects ranging from trains, bicycle bells, soda cans and barking dogs. The folksy “Sloop John B” concluded the end of Side One from the original vinyl pressing, prompting Al Jardine to inform the crowd that it “Was time to flip the record over”.

The amazingly harmonious “God Only Knows” was once described by no less a music authority than Paul McCartney as his favorite song of All-Time. Hardly a shallow compliment coming from a Beatle that has written some of the greatest songs of All-Time, it led to a well-deserved standing ovation as one of rocks earliest concept albums played out with a melodic mixture of sounds ranging from jazz and classic to the more exotic avant-garde.

The uproarious crowd reactions also led to a glimpse of the discipline and focus Wilson seems to need to perform as he sought to curtail the audience’s enthusiasm with his unexpected request of “Please take your seats” before introducing the instrumental title track by stating “no voice, just instruments” in a way only he could verbalize. The album was completed with “Caroline, No”, once described by Wilson as his “favorite on the album and prettiest ballad I’ve ever sung”.

Returning for an extraordinary extended encore featuring the symphonic “Good Vibrations” followed by Al Jardine’s voiced “Help Me, Rhonda”, Wilson resumed lead on “Barbara Ann”, but the precision of nine of the musicians on stage simultaneously harmonizing perfectly together would not go unnoticed. “Surfing’ USA” saw both youngsters and oldsters standing and dancing in the aisles while “Fun Fun Fun” maintained the energy level before a heartfelt “Love And Mercy” singled the end of a memorable evening.

Showing no signs of slowing down or resting on his laurels, Wilson indicated in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that he not only had no plans to retire but is preparing to enter the studio in December to record a new album tentatively titled “Sensitive Music for Sensitive People”. An additional 37 shows just announced will extend the current tour thru the end of May before concluding at the Santa Barbara County Bowl during Memorial Day weekend.

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Garbage keeps it’s Vow to Bay Area fans https://martineztribune.com/2016/09/26/garbage-keeps-its-vow-to-bay-area-fans/ Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:25:15 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=5328 BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER Returning to the Bay Area a year after their 20th anniversary performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland in support of their first new studio album in four years, Garbage kept its vow to their local legion of fans with a solid two hour career spanning set at the Masonic Auditorium in …

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BY DANIEL GLUSKOTER

© Daniel Gluskoter Shirley Manson and Garbage perform at the Masonic in San Francisco Saturday night.
© Daniel Gluskoter
Shirley Manson and Garbage perform at the Masonic in San Francisco Saturday night.

Returning to the Bay Area a year after their 20th anniversary performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland in support of their first new studio album in four years, Garbage kept its vow to their local legion of fans with a solid two hour career spanning set at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco on Saturday night.

Having promised to return with new material within a year during their visit to Oakland, the influential alternative rock band from Madison stuck to their word. Freed from the constraints of performing their debut album in its entirety, and touring in support of a strong new album allowed the band to present a much more balanced overview of a career that that is now approaching twenty million albums sold worldwide.

Fronted by Scottish lead vocalist Shirley Manson, sporting a pink ponytail while appearing in a yellow flapper dress with patterned leggings, Garbage’s grungy alternative rock sound is propelled by original members Duke Erickson and Steve Marker on guitar and Nirvana producing mastermind Butch Vig on drums. Even with Vig unfortunately absent on Saturday night due to an acute case of sinusitis, the continuity of having the same line up since it’s inception 21 years ago was clearly evidenced by the bands tightness throughout the evening.

© Daniel Gluskoter Shirley Manson of Garbage performs at the Masonic in San Francisco Saturday night.
© Daniel Gluskoter
Shirley Manson of Garbage performs at the Masonic in San Francisco Saturday night.

Between sharing a number of heartfelt antidotes with her fans while continuously traversing the stage, Manson easily lived up to her reputation as one of the most energetic and captivating front woman in rock. Frequently gesticulating while delivering her vocals and rapidly moving across the stage throughout the evening, Manson’s stage persona ranged all the way from subdued to manic.

Playing six cuts from their latest effort, the guitar driven “Strange Little Birds”, provided a nice bookend to the early material as it was recorded on the bands own label. Manson mentioned how much freedom that provided the foursome in the recording studio contrasted with a previous experience where their record company went to the extent of pressing their authenticity by trying to get them to release a hip hop album.

Continuing her dialogue with the crowd, Manson recounted an anecdote about how Chrissie Hynde graciously granted permission to use a brief excerpt from The Pretenders song “Talk of the Town” on the single “Special” from their multi platinum selling sophomore effort “Version 2.0” in 1998. Contrasting the frenetic energy of “Why Do You Love Me” from 2005’s “Bleed Like Me”, Manson sang an extended stretch of the song from her back while lying down on the stage. The title track from that same album brought many smiles with its catchy refrain “After two drinks he’s a loser, after three drinks he’s a star”.

A slow paced intro to “Only Happy When It Rains” saw Manson seated on the floor again as the song’s beat crescendoed into the well known angst-filled anthem the third single from Garbage’s debut album has become. “Push It” concluded the regular set, but an extended four song encore culminating with an unexpected finale of the funky “Androgyny” from “Beautiful Garbage” capped the evening in a highly satisfying manner.

Saturday’s show was the last for the band before a four week break. Garbage returns to the road on October 20th for a pair of performances in Southern California before continuing their world tour in Europe, Australia and South America.

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