Last night I went to see one of my longtime favorite bands, the Zombies, with my Kinks sister NeonSign -- and boy, was it a great concert! We last saw the band about a year ago, but this concert was something really special: Besides Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, the two other living members of the original fivesome, Chris White and Hugh Grundy, came out of retirement to join them on stage to play the great 1968 album Odessey and Oracle in its entirety. WOW! Despite years of not playing together, they still sound tight and jazzy, with great vocal harmonies. In fact, I think Colin Blunstone's lead vocals are better than ever. It was such a great album, and hearing it live was a thrilling experience. The energy in the concert hall was electric.
They also did a fantastic first set of other hits, including several from their new album Still Got That Hunger. (I just got it yesterday but haven't yet had a chance for a proper listen.) It's always a pleasure to see ex-Kink Jim Rodford playing bass with the modern-day Zombies line-up. In fact, Rod told the story that Jim was asked to be in the original Zombies, but he was already in another local band that was popular, so he turned down the chance. What a career -- he's played in Argent, a version of the Animals, 18 years with the Kinks, and now the Zombies for at least 10 years. A great musician!
WOW! I went to the classic Apollo Theater in New York City last week to see the great Joe Jackson in concert. The set list was spot-on perfect (I'm proud to say that all but 2 songs he performed are on my Joe Jackson iTunes playlist). I carefully chose seats up in the balcony so that my concert pal Robin and I could see Joe's hands on the keyboards. What an incredibly talented musician he is!
My heart was warmed by the fact that Joe had (as always) enlisted his original bassist, Graham Maby, to play with him. I'm a particularly huge Graham Maby fan. Two of my kids are bassists and they both greatly admire how Maby's lyrical basslines complement Jackson's magisterial chord-crashing piano style. My attention was torn between Maby -- moving up and down the stage, physically possessed by the music's rhythms -- and Jackson, tied to the keyboard but clearly passionate about conveying his songs' humanistic messages.
The audience was full of devoted fans who knew every lyric of Joe Jackson's nearly 40-year career. I was impressed so see so many middle-aged people responding with such fervor. Joe's not the straightest of arrows, and yet here were short-grey-haired guys in glasses passionately singing out lyrics with a decidedly ambiguous subtext.
This concert gives me hope for the world moving forward.
The Who / Wednesday, April 12th 2017 at the Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, UK
Report from across the pond
We arrived in London this afternoon and are about to go exploring. My impression for the day so far has to do with two things: • The railroad system here puts what goes on in America to shame. Everyone thinks their independence in their cars except the traffic jams take away your independence that you think you have; • Everywhere we go there is tremendous new music that sounds like the logical successor to the music that we loved from the 60s and the 70s. It's not Folk it's not Rock it's maybe Indie Rock but it's incredibly cool, lyrical and just makes you feel good listening to it. I guess it's up to us to write something it sounds like that bring it home or maybe we already have.
It's just after 4 AM at home but it's 9:20 AM here across the pond in England. I'm reflecting on last night‘s concert. Whether it hung together as an opera, story or not there's no doubt in my mind that Tommy was the strongest material The Who ever produced for a live show. The emotional power of that song cycle was almost overwhelming. Of course the songs from Quadrophenia and Lifehouse had equal power as individual songs with maybe not as much when you put them altogether. One thing I'm clear on, seeing Pete Townsend in the flesh, after almost 50 years, performing these mystical vibrations felt like seeing Beethoven playing piano but at that same moment greeting an old friend. Also, listening to Roger Daltrey's amazing voice blasting the auditorium strength power as well as tenderness, in his 70s was breathtaking. Above all seeing that they appreciate each other's as companions through this crazy rock 'n' roll adventure and appreciating what each other brought to the table was heartening.
- I'm still surfing the enormous wave of energy and emotion from The Who concert last night. I feel inspired and empowered to create and be productive. Most Americans either don't know or don't care, but I've noticed a few things so far in my interactions: • The people we've met so far have been warm and kind and seem to love Americans; • Birmingham is a multicultural city with lots of different cultures present but I didn't feel uncomfortable anywhere. People don't seem to be at odds with each other like in America; • Most importantly, the food here is significantly cleaner than the garbage we get in the states. Even the Coca Cola had real sugar instead of that high fructose corn syrup and it tasted like what I remembered as a child. No GMO crap. I do my best to eat clean at home and it's a big effort. Here it's effortless; • We actually saw evidence of moderate Muslims who were protesting terrorism and violence from a kiosk in the center of town welcoming any who wanted to share and dialog and we're doing it freely without any negative bias. We don't see this in America because either they're oppressed and afraid or don't realize how much it's needed. We need to support and encourage this kind of behavior. It occurs to me that Muslims in America are damned if they do and damned if they don't. We have to make sure that they have a safe environment to express their disdain for violence and terrorism and that it gets reported by our media
Today we wound up at the natural history Museum in South Kensington. They had an absolutely gorgeous butterfly exhibit which should be a permanent fixture at a place like Selby Gardens. Sitting outside later, having a coffee, yes I did have a coffee, listening to so many different languages being spoken as the people walked by, it occurred to me how narrow our experience is living in the United States. Once again it was clear to me that people we spoke with, including those for Cleary Arabic and Muslim, very warm to us as Americans and they were definitely aware of where we were from. With each passing day I am more aware of what it's like to eat clean food and not the GMO crap that's being pushed on us. I wish to hell people in the United States knew what was going on in the world, but the combination of repressive government and media that is spineless won't let us know.
Dr. Richard S.
Copyright and permission by Dr. Richard S.
Thanks for your great review on The Who’s concert, Richard, and for some insightful thoughts… …have a safe trip back.
Last Edit: Apr 18, 2017 1:01:33 GMT -5 by martin53
Elvis Costello and the Imposters in Central Park, New York City
What a great evening! The theme was "Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers" -- in the course of the evening, the band performed all the tracks from Imperial Bedroom, but several other iconic tracks as well. Wacky projections behind the musicians -- created by EC himself -- mixed the Picasso-like Barney Bubbles visuals of the Imperial Bedroom album cover with various other wacky images. EC's vocal were augmented by two dynamite back-up singers, and Steve Nieve was on fire on the keyboards.
It just reminded me of why I love Elvis Costello. His snarky wit, social satire, and range of musical references are to me a natural outgrowth of my love for the Kinks. (And let's not forget that EC did one of the best covers of "Days" ever!)
Government Mule/Gov’t Mule, Wednesday June 14th 2017 at the Kaufleuten Zurich/Switzerland
…a Gentlemen at an Investor’s Conference approached and asked me. «You are a Procoler, right?» I nodded. „You know Procol Harum very well?» Affirmative. «Good. I’ve been with Gov’t Mule since the very beginning and have been co-producing their records. Every time when I have the time I go to their concerts. I have a VIP-Ticket here for you. Want to come?“ „Yeah, sure, thanks.“
Ok, so there I was. I had never heard of the band. Nor did or do I own a record. I paid attention to their set. And hey they were great. I didn’t know a single song and they performed well. It’s just that the songs didn’t reach my heart. Were the drinks better than the set? I don’t know…
The drummer did a great job. Why was the bass player so arrogant? The group’s mastermind, Warren Haynes, played his heart out and was pleased to be back in Zurich. And, in my humble opinion, the guy who saved the whole set for me personally by adding proggy touches to each and every one of the band’s songs was their keyboarder Danny Louis. Hats Off! He has tremendous musicall skills.
On my way home I thought it would have been a great if not a better night if I had known just one song or a record be the group. I will make it up! And let’s face it – where in the world does one encounter a band that plays a 2 ½ hours set?
I made a mental promise to visit their next concert being better prepared…
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2017 18:45:36 GMT -5 by martin53