There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Concerts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Concerts. Show all posts

18 July 2017

A Night in the Village

7.18.2017

The night before, Trevor Hall had a show at Red Rocks with Michael Franti and Spearhead to 10,000 joyous fans. To come from that experience to a solo acoustic show with a crowd of maybe 200 people total was quite a shift for a musician.

Yet it was the opening night of Trevor's "A Night in the Village" where he was playing songs he wrote from his experiences in India, and telling the stories behind his lyrics and some of his life changing events that happened while over there.
It was an intimate show that I can not yet fully express, as I'm still wrapping my head around it.

I will say though that my own experiences in Kenya came back like a flood.

But I need to get something out there, so here it is, my memories of unity during a night in the Village with Trevor Hall at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, Colorado.

7.20.2017

Trevor tells the story of his first trip to India, and how he travelled far up into the mountains to a sacred and beautiful temple. Just outside the temple was a lone beggar. He had learned in the cities not to give to beggars as it creates a mob that one becomes surrounded by, but out here the man was by himself. Trevor wanted to feel good, do good, and so he went up to the man and offered him a banana that he had.

But that man only held out his hands in the air, but wouldn't take the banana. Trevor didn't understand, he was trying to help, why was this beggar refusing his gift?

The wise men that were with him saw what was happening, and came up to Trevor and whispered in his ear....

"he's blind"

04 July 2017

Bluegrass Underground

The bands had finished their warm ups, and it was time to let us in to the stage area to get our seats. It was first come, first serve, and I was nervous about getting a rotten seat as there was quite a few people ahead of me in line. I thought about sitting on the rocks that were stage right, but then thought better of it and made my way down to the front...
One of many luxuries of solo traveling is you only need one seat for concerts. People have a natural tendency to give others space and not crowd perceived personal areas. This works to my advantage as two front row couples have left a single chair open between them, front row and center.

I excitedly grab it and get to know my neighbors before the show begins. The couple to my right drove down from Michigan. It was a birthday gift from the girlfriend.

The older couple on my left are from the South. She immediately questions me, wondering if I'm a "northerner?". We don't talk much after that comment.

Soon the lights go down in the cave, and Bluegrass Underground is about to begin. First up is Haas Kowert Tice
335 feet below the surface of the earth, the fiddles and banjos fly, the familiar plucking of strings and down home lyrics fill the cavern. Next up is Town Mountain, and they figuratively bring the house to it's knees, especially with their classic rendition of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on fire".
Without a doubt, if you love bluegrass music, seeing it a cave in the South is a must.

30 June 2017

Paul Simon

Driving through the wild Wyoming Mountains with a young hippie girl as "50 ways to leave your lover" plays on the tape that she made for me. I can't believe that she loves me.

I slam the door. "Go ahead and kill yourself" goes through my head. The radio plays "Sounds of Silence".

We get done making love in the warm afternoon sunlight. "Cecilia" plays softly in the background.
The flood gate of memories is opened as Paul Simon is playing in Bend, Oregon.

20 June 2017

more Seu Jorge please

Walking down 7th avenue, a light rain starts to fall. As I'm waiting for the light to turn green, a chap next to me says, 

"Seu Jorge?"

I turn and smile and acknowledge that I am indeed going to the show.

"Your red beanie gave you away my friend."
I'm not one to usually dress up in costume when going to concerts, but after having seen Seu Jorge last year in Denver, I knew that Team Zissou would be worn this time around.

I continue down the streets of Minneapolis until the Pantages Theater is seen, the bright lights of the marquee shining like a lighthouse in a storm.
 Like most theaters in the midwest, the Pantages is ornately gorgeous inside. I marvel at the intricate artwork until the lights go down.

Seu tells the story of how his own Father passed away three days after David Bowie died. During this time his ex-wife pushes him toward a tour of the songs he so memorably brought to life in the movie The Life Aquatic.
Which is how our lives became intertwined over these last few months. I find no coincidence that I hear this story the night before Father's Day, and it seems to add something special as I let my own Dad know how much I love and miss him.

Which is what the movie was really all about.

I hum and whistle the songs in the Minnesota night as I walk back home in the rain, a smile repeatedly finds it's way onto my aged face.

17 June 2017

Us + Them

1986.

The year I got my drivers license, my first car ( a yellow Ford Pinto), and the freedom to drive to my hometown's local music store.

I bought Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" on tape. Back then it was touted as one of the top selling albums of that year, even though it was originally released in 1973.

I popped in into the sound system I'd just installed into my shitty little car, and what I heard blew me away, leaving an ever lasting impression on my world view.

June 14th, 2017.
Roger Waters, one of the founding members of the band, is still touring. This time around is the "Us + Them" tour, honoring music from this timeless classic album, as well as new material he has released.

I'm no fan of Trump, but Roger's anti-Trump sentiment in his new songs was a bit too much, even for me. When he stuck with his classic songs though, his concert was a huge success.

05 June 2017

Prisoner

I settle into my seat at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park just as the opening act walks onto the stage. I overhear the girls behind me remark "is that Karen Elson, Jack White's ex?"
What I saw was a beautiful red head, not someone's ex-wife, nor a former British supermodel. What I heard were heartbreaking lyrics, a tortured soul singing about her pain, and the magic that comes from baring your soul.
Goosebumps start as Ryan Adams comes onto the stage. This will have been my third time seeing him perform live, but after the first song I could tell that for me, he has never sounded better vocally, and the band was in tight form.
Perhaps it was because he was playing in his hometown, or perhaps it was just that he is in a good place in life, but no matter the reason, his Prisoner tour to showcase his newest album is a tour de force.
The night compromised of a 23 song set list that had such classic songs as Magnolia Mountain, Gimme something good, and Firecracker, as well as a new version of When the Stars Go Blue, plenty of tracks from the new album, and a final acoustic performance of Come Pick Me Up sung as a duet with Kate Elson.
If you have the chance, get out to see Ryan Adams this summer, as you won't regret it.

25 May 2017

Oils! Oils! Oils!

I'm the son of an immigrant. My mother came to this country from Australia when she was eighteen years old with the same hopes and dreams as most immigrants...the search for a better life.

I've never been to her home country, but I've always recognized that in me are Aussie roots. One way I've connected to my ancestry is through the music of Midnight Oil.
A band that is pro human rights, staunch environmentalists, equality for women, and currently anti-Trump. They took a fifteen year hiatus while the lead singer, Peter Garrett, pursued a career in politics in Australia so that he could make a positive difference in his country from his strong beliefs.

But now the band is back on a world wide tour, and damn if I wasn't lucky enough to see them at the historic Webster Hall in New York City.
The power inside this arena seemed to come from the electricity in the air. Everything was super charged with excitement, all anxiously awaiting to see if the band was the same after such a long absence.
As soon as they took the stage, any naysayers were silenced, as the Oils lit up the hall, rocking and sounding better than ever.

The chants of  "Oils!Oils!Oils!" reverberated in my ears long after the show ended. Peter's swaying body, flailing arms and piercing voice echoes in my head to this day.
It was epic.

12 April 2017

Sigur Ros

I had never even heard of the band Sigur Ros before, but I know my instincts well enough by now to listen when I hear the words....
"Go".
I find myself at the top of Berkeley's Greek Theatre, listening to lyrics in Icelandic, having no idea what they mean, but feeling the power of this group's music come through loud and clear.

They were phenomenal!
I can't recommend them enough, and if you have the chance, go see them live. It won't matter that you can't understand what they are singing about, the lead singer's falsetto voice, the light show, the ethereal and hypnotic feeling of the music, and the playing of guitar's with a bow string will be more than enough for you to fall in love with Sigur Ros.


31 March 2017

The Game of Thrones Live! concert experience

I was magnetically drawn to the show like a horse with a carrot dangling in front of it's mouth. The Game of Thrones Live! concert experience at the Talking Stick Arena in downtown Phoenix.
It may have just been a 2 1/2 hour promotion for the new season that starts this summer, but if you are a fan of the series, and love Ramin Djawadi's musical score, this is the show for you.
From reliving the past six seasons on the jumbo tron, to hearing the music live with an orchestra and Ramin conducting, to the costume and set pieces, it was everything I hoped for and more.

So which House are you in?

07 March 2017

Get the Led out with the sexy Phoenix Symphony

I can still hear the infamous opening riff of "Black Dog" from the album Led Zeppelin IV. The tape played non stop in my basement bedroom as a young kid.

Some thirty odd years later, the music sounds the same, only the faces have changed.
 The Phoenix Symphony put on an amazing showcase of Led Zeppelin songs over the weekend, and Robert Plant look alike, New Orleans native Randy Jackson, brought the voice (and the hair).

The super sexy Isabella Rezy, from El Paso, flew in to lend her talents on electric violin. Conductor Brent Havens had his orchestra in fine form for one of the greatest nights of music I've experienced.
I think that when you let musicians have the freedom to play material out of their normal genre like this, something magical is unleashed in both the performers and the audience.

Like when they let the drummer go wild on the rock drum solo classic, Moby Dick.
Enjoy the music of Led Zeppelin.

16 February 2017

The Pickin' in the Pines Festival 2016

For three glorious days up in the cool pines of Flagstaff, Arizona, you can hear some of the greatest bluegrass music our country has to offer at the Pickin' in the Pines festival.

Held in September each year, last years festival was my first time attending. From camping with a village full of bluegrass lovers to the bands playing at the Pepsi amphitheater to the workshops and classes being offered, it is a full bluegrass experience.
I'm salivating just thinking about it, and hope to return each and every year. Until September rolls around again though, I'll settle for this reminder of the great music to be found,

Enjoy the steeldrivers, just one of many great acts to be found last year. Long live Bluegrass!

09 February 2017

Pickin' in the Pines - the camping experience

Just outside the town of Flagstaff, Arizona, there is a little festival that happens each year in September.

People from all over come to camp for three nights, playing their banjos and other stringed instruments in what is affectionately called the Pickin' in the Pines festival.

Last year was my first time attending, and I went all out with a three day pass that included camping just outside the arena.
After making quick work of setting up my campsite, it was time to just relax under the tall pines, sip whiskey, and listen to the music and good times all around.

Many of the bluegrass acts playing in the festival were also camping in the same area as the attendees, which meant you could hear great bluegrass music all the time!

Hiking trails galore start from the campgrounds as well if you need to get away from it all for a bit.
It was here that I heard some great local music, new bluegrass bands from other parts of the West including Durango, Taos, and Moab.

I hope to make this a yearly event for me, but we will just have to wait and see. Until then, I'll strap on my cowboy hat, let my hippy flags fly in the breeze, and enjoy the sweet sounds of Bluegrass Americana.
*******

05 February 2017

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

When the sixteen year old guitar prodigy first came onto the airwaves, I was in my late twenties. I think it was actually an old girlfriend that introduced me to his music.
Down home Louisiana Blues with smokin' guitar riffs had me hooked. For the next twenty two years, I've listened and hoped for the chance to see him live.

With a stroke of luck on getting a ticket, that finally happened last night at the Talking Stick Showroom in Scottsdale.
The band came out on fire, playing some great covers, including a version of the Sex Pistols "God save the Queen", which I still can't believe happened.
They then slowed things down with a couple of love songs, then went into some BB King classics, then returned to some more KWS classics.

The night ended with Kenny Wayne Shepherd playing his version of the Great Jimi Hendrix classic, Voodoo Child.

Woah.

16 December 2016

Ugly Christmas sweater concert

It's time to return to the music.

Ever since I moved here to Arizona almost one year ago, I've been looking for an outside concert venue. Luckily, the Ugly Christmas sweater concert had a triple line up of some of my favorite bands, and it was at the Mesa Amphitheatre, a relatively small outside venue that is only minutes from where I live.

So on December the 12th, 2016, I sat on the grass in the cool and near perfect winter evening to listen to Band of Horses, Head & the Heart, and Kings of Leon.
The pink sunset faded as the full moon rose above the tree line. The Christmas lights from people's ugly sweaters illuminated the crowd as the bands played.
Hipster beanies donned with board shorts and flip flops kept me smiling and feeling the love. The Arizona lifestyle is becoming more and more contagious.
I mean, who doesn't love an outdoor concert in the middle of December, other than people in the Southern hemisphere?

Enjoy some of my favorites tracks from these artists and celebrate my newest music venue discovery.

20 November 2016

the Life Aquatic with Seu Jorge

I think I was fifteen when I first saw the movie "The Breakfast Club". I had no idea who David Bowie was as the lyrics to "Changes" appeared in the opening movie credits. I just knew they were some of the most powerful words I'd ever read.

"And these children that you spit on
as they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They're quite aware of what they are going through."

As the years passed, Bowie's music took a stronger hold on me musically. When Wes Anderson's movie "The Life Aquatic" was released in 2004, the soundtrack sung by Brazilian musician Seu Jorge blew me away. Acoustic David Bowie sung in Portuguese?

Sadly, as I'm sure you know, David Bowie passed away earlier this year from cancer. Seu Jorge, in wanting to do a fitting tribute to this amazing artist, as well as to recognize the film that so many of us loved, decide to put together a tribute tour.
This dream all came together in beautiful harmony on a chilly Friday night in Denver.
Red beanies were seemingly everywhere. As Seu came onto the stage, he skillfully wove amazing stories about the film, the actors and director in between songs.
I was so captivated that I didn't want to break the magical spell by pulling out my phone to record, but then I realized I needed more than just my memory of this night.

Here are just some clips of the evening.
Yet I can't leave it at that. Here is his rendition of Space Oddity, probably one of my favorites songs of the evening.
and of course, the song that started it all. Changes.

18 September 2016

Ouroboros

September the fourteenth, two thousand and sixteen.

7:45 PM.

Ray walks out onto the stage, guitar in hand, and starts to sing a four song acoustic set that puts chills on everyone's skin.
He then brings out the band, and sings his new album in it's entirety.
He then ends with audience requests, creating a magical night that I'll never forget.

09 September 2016

Trevor Hall

You will most likely have no idea how to relate to what I'm about to tell you.

I don't believe that each soul is entirely unique, and that some of us share a piece of the same spirit.
I've followed Trevor Hall's music and life journey for a few years now. No other artist has written lyrics that I can more personally relate to.
His thoughts are my thoughts, his quest and journey mirrors the footsteps of my own path. Call it what you will.

Seeing him live tonight in the small, intimate Club Congress in Tucson was one of those moments in life you cherish, hold close to your heart, and remember during times of sadness and joy.
Trevor told a story about his time living with the Hawaiian people, and how they have a story about the "Bowl of Light". It basically is a philosophy that everyone has a bowl of light within them, all the potential goodness that you can share.

It is easy however to get dark stones in your bowl. Evil and selfishness. There is no room for both the stone and the light, and something will have to give.
The beauty of a bowl though is that all you need to do is turn it upside down and the stones will fall out.

You have the power to control your own Bowl of Light.

He also spoke of the importance of community, and that western culture has us seeking that perfect home, with a fence surrounding you, blocking out the people around you.

This leads to anxiety and depression, things that didn't exist before the modern era.

We need to support and be a part of our community, to share and be One Love.

At least, that is our Wish Man.

The Wild Feathers

"No one really knows her first name, but they all hold her hand
Everyone leans on her window pane but no one looks in"
Breaking out of my comfort zone in Nashville, Tennessee. I'm not a country music fan, but I knew I would have to shift gears while in this city.

"She's so far from home
But only the starlight can turn this town cold"
The Wild Feathers are a local band from Nashville, and something told me that this was the show to go see.

"And lonely is a lifetime of getting used to being alone
So where do you go?"

I go to Nashville.

08 September 2016

California, I don't even know ya

I sat down in my church pew of the Ryman, and finished off my beer just as the opening act took to the stage.


I'd never heard of them before, but was pleasantly surprised .
When the song, Cast Iron Soul, from their album aptly titled "Utah" was played, I fell in love.

Give it a listen, and perhaps you will fall in love as well.

30 August 2016

The Ryman

On October the 12th, 1841, Thomas Green Ryman is born.

In 1892 the Union Gospel Tabernacle is completed.
December the 23rd, 1904, Thomas Green Ryman dies. At his funeral, the Rev. Sam Jones takes a vote to rename the tabernacle the Ryman Auditorium.

The audience responds with a standing ovation.

Throughout the early 1900's a variety of acts grace the stage, from Harry Houdini, to Presidential candidates, African American singers to budding country artists.
June 5th, 1943 The Grand Ole Opry moves to the Ryman. Acts such as the Carter Sisters, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash join the Grand Ole Opry. Elvis Presley himself even played here once.

The Grand Ole Opry eventually moves out, renovations take place, and the Ryman is now a concert hall for all kinds of acts.

Yet it's rich Americana history is still alive and well in it's historic walls and church pews.
I sat in wonder, waiting for tonight's show to begin.

Will I see history being made here tonight?