Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tears for Fears at the Austin Music Hall

So, tonight I completed a study in contrasts. Four days after traveling to Philadelphia to see the King of Prog Rock, I'm now on the other end of the spectrum watching Tears for Fears.

The show started right at 8PM, and consisted of 1 set and an encore clocking in at approximately 2 hours. Of course, the Austin Music Hall was populated by a large amount of 40 somethings.

Curt and Roland played a wide selection of songs, including their big hits, as you can see from the setlist. I was presently surprised to discover that both of them still had their voices, and could still hit the notes.




I have a feeling that the band will remember this show for a long time for several reasons:

  • Although there were cell phones, the audience was very attentive, and about 95% of the audience was singing along with the band, particularly during Mad World, Everybody Wans to the World, and Head Over Heels. You could tell that this invigorated the band, and they responded accordingly.
  • This was the first show that I had been to in Austin in a long time, that had that vibe that I remember from 20 years ago. It was good to see it again; it was what always made Austin a special Music town.

It was a great night of music. Despite seeing my favorite band twice last week, I still had a fantasatic time. One that successfully allowed me travel backwards in time about 30 years, if only for one night.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

King Crimson at the Kimmel Center

So my original plan was to just see this one show, since it was on a weekend. Like the 2008 tour, I chose to fly in during the evening of the day before, since thunderstorms are common this time of year. In hindsight, this ended up being a good choice.

Of course, I was able to meet with some of my fellow campers before the show, and we went to dinner.



The venue itself was very impressive, with outstanding acoustics, and excellent sight lines, as you'll see in the pictures below.




Humorously, the merch table was run the same person who has done the merch for Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson. Looking back at the history, I found my post from 2007. People were audibly complaining about the length of the line for the merch, saying it was the longest they had ever seen at a show.

Chuckling to myself, I was happy I loaded up on merch during the dress rehearsal show at the Egg, when the crowd was small. I guess some things don't change. ;)




The show itself consisted on a single set with an encore. As before the setlist had been already posted when I checked back at my hotel.

So, now that the tour is underway, I'll talk briefly about the music. As you know, the players are arranged in an unorthodox fashion, with the 3 drummers in the frontline, and the Sax, Bass/Stick and 2 Guitarists in the back.

The songs were selected mainly from the early albums, before the Adrian Belew/Discipline era. In particular:

  • In the Court of the Crimson King (21st Century Schizoid Man)
  • In the Wake of Poseidon (Pictures of a City)
  • Islands (Sailor's Tale, and the Letters)
  • Larks' Tongues in Aspic (LTIA pt1 and pt2, and Talking Drum)
  • Red (Red, One More Red Nightmare, and Starless)

The only new vocal songs were 2 selections from the Scarcity of Miracles, and instrumentals from Thrak, the Power to Believe, and the ConstruKction of Light.

Other than that, the two shows differed in this way:

  1. The ConstruKction of Light Part 1 was played during the rehearsal show, but not last night.
  2. The show last night featured Vroom and Coda Marine 475.

This show will be a treat for any KC fan, and for me the highlights were hearing LTIA part 1, One More Red Nightmare, and Starless. All classics in my mind, and songs I had thought I would never get to hear played live.

Here's hoping for a second leg of the tour in the near future, although there is something in my gut telling me that this may be Robert Fripp's Swan Song.

As Before

Tony Levin's road diary contains some excellent shots, at the following link.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

King Crimson Rehearsal at the Egg

So as TOAPP Camp ended ...

I signed up for Tony's guest-list for the final Rehearsal Show of King Crimson, at the Egg, in Albany, NY. Since it was a Monday night, I thought that I might not be able to go, but the stars aligned properly, and it became a reality.

Preshow Dinner

My camper friends and I, all agreed to meet at the Hill Street Cafe prior to the show. Brian McGuinness gets the award for being invited to the show twice, once directly by Tony Levin, and indirectly by Tony, through Uncle Funk member, Joe Beesmer.

It was fun sitting with Joe and Brian, and reminiscing about the late 80's era Woodstock.



After dinner, we drove the short distance over to the Egg, for the show. Here the biggest challenge was figuring out where to park. For some reason, I forgot to take some pictures from the plaza in front of the main entrance, since the venue is very impressive.

As I walked up to the main entrance, there were even more people from camp. What a wonderful group of people.



The Main Course

The actual show commenced promptly at 7:30 and lasted a bit over 2 hours. Of course, no photography or recording was allowed, and I would have never dreamed to violate this request. The best you're going to get is this picture of the stage.



I was also going to wait until the first show tonight to post my setlist, but someone had already done it. You can browse the setlist here. If you don't want a spoiler, then I would say, don't click it ;)

I will say my favorite KC album was well represented in this setlist.

Post Show

Afterwards, I was able to briefly say hello to Tony and Pat. Robert surprisingly came out and spoke with some of the guests, but was eventually ushered off to safety, by the tour manager, as some started requesting autographs.

But for me the highlight might have been being able to talk Jakko Jakszyk, after the show. Jakko had changed into street clothes, and very nonchalantly returned without bringing much attention to himself. Myself, and two others had a great convo with him.

I also took a few quick pics of some old friends.





The Next Morning

The 5:30AM flight out of Albany to Chicago was slightly more bearable, with my two fellow campers from Texas, Mark Cook and Mike McGary. Now, to repeat this all again this weekend. ;)



Update

Tony Levin has posted a nice account of last night's show here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Terry Bozzio at the One World Theater

So, this was the third time that I've seen Terry perform solo. He is without a doubt, a unique creative talent.

The first thing I was presently surprised at, is that the One World had resumed selling a dinner option with the tickets. I had forgotten, but when I looked at my ticket, I discovered that I had purchased the food. A great decision in hindsight, it was superb.

The show last night started promptly at 7PM. Terry played most of the show inside of his monsterous trap kit.



This time around he had two stations to either side of the trap kit. On the left there was a Cajon. Terry did a very amazing improv, showing off incredible hand and finger technique, worthy of a Tabla master.



Later in the show, he first thanked many of the people present, reminiscing about the years he lived in Austin, just before beginning an improv on a Korg WaveDrum. Once again, he showed off some amazing finger technique.



Two and a half hours, later the show concluded after two sets with an intermission, and a single piece encore. I attempted to catch of some of the setlist, but Terry neglected to mention names for some of the pieces.



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three of a Perfect Pair Camp 2014

August 11-15, 2014





So, I'm sitting in my Living Room a day after returning from my third TOAPP camp, absorbing the experience, and dealing with the inevitable exhaustion. Just like anything else, things evolve, and that includes the camp. So, I'm only going to talk about what was new, you can read more in depth accounts of my previous camps here and here.

  • Like 2012, Pat, Adrian, Tony, and Markus were there all week. This time around, all 4 were very focused on teaching. Once again, Markus provided scheduled one on one lessons, which were very informative. In my case, I picked up with the son and daughter on a U8 Touch Guitar. I made sure to attend one of every session type, and that included doing drum stroke rudiments with Tobias and Pat, which was a blast, BTW.

  • Every morning of camp, a dedicated few convened on the lawn with Markus, and did some polyrhythmic movement and clapping exercises. These got to be very challenging, and were also great fun. I came to the realization that while I had internalized some polyrhythms in my hands, things were a lot more difficult starting with the feet and legs.

  • The group jam, was replaced with a set of smaller jams spread over two nights. Tony, Pat, and Ade selected two songs each, such as Red, Walking on Air, Larks Tongue II, Happy with what you have, Elephant Talk, and Schizoid Man. Campers could then sign up for the individual slots. I played keys backing Adrian and some others on Walking on Air, and sang lead vocals for Happy with what you have to be happy with. I really enjoyed this.

  • Pat and Adrian had some shorter group recording sessions, which were intended as samples for a project in Pat's case, and Flux, in Adrian's. I attended both. I really enjoyed the chance to display my cymbow chops.

  • This year, the show at the Bearsville Theater was Friday evening, after camp finished, rather than Thursday. This meant that there was one additional full night, and we were able to do more things Thursday.
    As a result, the last night, Adrian and Gary Slick (Julie's dad) sat around the campfire with us, and led us in a whole slew of Beatles songs.


Other matters

This time, I shared a vehicle with Cedric Theys, and chose not to rent a keyboard from Alto Music, figuring that there were plenty around the last two camps. Well, I won't make that mistake again. There was only one keyboard in camp in the Roadhouse. Perhaps next camp, I will have a touch guitar. I'm not sure, but am leaning heavily that way.

I also didn't contact John Esposito this time, and am regretting not staying an extra day, because he was playing a gig with Jeff Seigel in Woodstock, last night. But, I would have been forced to choose between his gig, and a gig Markus did in Beacon. Instead, I saw neither, returning to home to find the AC on the fritz.

Conclusion

Rather than attempt to do the equivalent of Dancing about Architecture, I'll just say that there is a great vibe around the camp, and it unbelievably refreshing to spend some time with some old friends, and make some wonderful new acquaintances, as well. I wish you could be there to see it!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

RIP: Tommy Ramone

Well hopefully there's not a third shoe about to drop. The last Ramone has passed away, since Tommy Romone (aka. Thomas Erdelyi) drummer and producer for the band, is now no longer with us. It appears that after listening to Charlie Haden and Ornette Coleman, I'll have to queue up Blitzkrieg Bop.

RIP: Charlie Haden

Well the Jazz world lost another great today, bassist, Charlie Haden.

I'll have to look through my collection, and find some suitable recordings from his vast discography to listen to this evening.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Devo at ACL Live

So, I was anxious to see Devo on this tour, since they were featuring music from the earliest days of the band. I was familiar with some of these songs, since I loaded up on a fair of amount of bootleg albums, in highschool. It's hard to be believe that 36 years have passed since I first saw them play, at the Painter's Mill Music Fair, on 12/29/1978. Amazingly, most of the material during this tour, predates even that show.



This show didn't disappoint, with the only low note being the absence of Bob Casale (aka. Bob 2). The show went by fairly quickly, and I was able to capture the setlist.



The encore included an appearance by Booji Boy.



In closing, the only other thing I was going to say is, "I am always amazed at the following Devo has here in Austin." It was a full house, as you can see in this picture.