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Saw Brand X at the Iridium last night. Sat right in front of them,

John Goodsall and Percy Jones of the original band were there with new members, Chris Clark on the keys, a great drummer I couldn't catch the name of and Scott Weinberger (ex-Adrian Belew drummer) replacing the late Morris Pert on percussion.

Goodsall played, of all things, a solid body Gretch through a M-B head and cab. He is still in fine form but  I would have liked to hear the brand new looking PRS he had on the stage as a backup. His board had only had 4 pedals bit I could see them from where I sat. One was a tuner and one a boost. He never hit the other two but one had to be  chorus based on his sound. His signature lick is still in force with not much new from him over the decades. They did "And So to F ..." so he had plenty of time to stretch out but stuck to the old riff from the record, not that it wasn't excellent to begin with.

Jones played a 5 string fretless Ibanez that I assumed was custom. He was amazing. I love how he plays the electric like a sideways upright. He even did a solo alone on stage with a looper or premade background track. 

The new keyboard player (with a Motif, Nord lead and Studio Logic) was superb and nailed all Lumley and Robinson's old parts. The drummer was very talented and worthy of sitting in that chair. Scott Weinberger almost stole the show. He had less odd sounds than Pert and served as a second drummer, but was very entertaining. 

Set list was many of their classics, playing was enthusiastic and EVERYONE looked old. The band, crew and especially the audience.

The Iridium is a bar with table seating so you are always looking sideways, in a crowded spot and actually too close to the stage. I would have preferred a more traditional concert venue than a bar gig.

Bottom line is that fusion is alive, barely. It will die with the 70's music fans as they fade away. Shame that. In the meantime, there are two more shows tonight (8p and 10p) at the Iridium ($40 online and $45 at the door) 

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Saw Umphrey's McGee at The Capitol Theater in Port Chester in one of the worst concerts I've seen in several decades

Great band and I know they can play live as noted on the Jam On Sirius channel but not here and not this night. I don't know if the issue was the venue or the band's FOH but the sound was the worst I have heard since the age of the battle of the bands in the gym in Junior High.

UM consists of two excellent guitarists, a great keyboard player, a decent bassist, an average drummer and a so-so percussionist. The sound was one complete din the entire night. They had the bass drum mic'd with two mikes and had so much reverb on it all you heard was booming. The bass player, playing a boutique bass (might have been a Fodera) was way too loud and not well defined. plus played at the top of the neck way too much. He had a huge pedal board. I love pedals, but c'mon man, for a bass? The guitar solos and fill ins never stood out of the mix and so were hard to hear. One was a G&L Legacy with a maple neck which does not do well in loud environments unless your sound guy is really really good and the other a PRS McCarty, for which there is no excuse for the mix I heard. As far as the keyboardist goes, who ran a six board setup plus misc. devices, he might as well have gone back to Notre Dame as far as the concert goes. He had a honest to goodness B3 (it's good to have roadies) and a Rhodes to go with his synths which should have added at lot to the music. 

The band itself for what I was able to hear was not at all tight and someone in the muddled vocals was several cents off ALL the time.  Again, very Jr. High. After Brand X last week, this was like seeing AA ball after an MLB game.  

As far as Westchester venues go, the Cap is in a seedy neighborhood and parking is difficult and expensive. The venue consists of a floor, a loge and a balcony. the floor is often SRO as it was this night and the balcony in another zip code so this is not the premier facility locally. The 3 row Loge, where we sat, had another problem that we'll get to in a second.

Whoever works the lights should be captured, tied up and tortured by being forced to listen to hours of Karen Carpenter. Lights are a big part of a show but should always be on the musicians not the audience so we can see them (unless it is Robert Fripp, of course). Most of the time, the brightest lights were shined right in our face, often flashing and pulsing. For all the money spent on this show, I would have been better off putting on one of their live albums and having someone shine a perp light in my eyes for 2 hours.

All of this was made worse by the audience. The aforementioned Loge is only three rows but as soon as the band came out, several people in the front row stood up and never sat down so we had to stand the entire time in a three row section (!). They did seem to love the show, despite not being able to hear the music or see the band. Many people danced, mostly out of rhythm with the music and at inappropriate times. I have to admit I never saw someone dance to a drum solo before. BTW: You can move to the music that you listen to, but you cannot listen to it all if you are consciously dancing, which is one of the reasons Be-bop and Fusion were so advanced for their respective times. The dancing and singing stopped in deference to actual music. 

You wouldn't notice this from the football side of this board but I think the younger generations are quite happy with bad product and mediocre performance. They just seem to always have that drink of cool aid in their hands. So, if you love music, sit down shut up, open your ears and try to learn something. Otherwise, it all becomes very Orwellian.

Oh well, not every show can be great.

 

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22 hours ago, HighPitch said:

UM has 1 PHENOM guitarist, 1 sloppy rythem guitarist that has poor vocals, great kb player, very solid drummer and a very solid and tadty percussionist.

 

robert frip is all effects. I love him but hes over rated and gimmicky.

 

i applaude the youngsters for following UM and Tauk versus hip hop.

 

dude it was a bad show ( they happen) with bad sound. Next time....

 

 

You, sir, obviously have better taste in music than you do in football teams :)

Never seen Tauk, been waiting for them to come here, somewhere

How about Big Something? Another good jamband

 

BTW: THE Fripp comment referred to how he does not like the spot on him and even used to play behind stuff. Weird dude but very creative 

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22 hours ago, HighPitch said:

And now i review my own band. Daytona beach bandshell. 5000 people. For floyd fans only

 

Wall of Echoes ... great name for a Floyd tribute band !

Do you guys just do PF? 

Good work on GGITS, you gotta have the singer to do it right and you certainly do 

Been listening to your stuff for a while this evening, I absolutely love the fact you do Dogs and do it well

Ever gig in NY?

 

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Saw Renaissance in Ridgefield, CT last night. The venue, basically a school auditorium with a balcony is one of my very favorites

If you are unfamiliar with the band, they started as a Yardbirds spin off (no, no Beck, Page or Clapton) but after a couple of years completely changed all personnel including adding the diva, Annie Haslem, she of the 5 octave range. This is the version most folks know

The current version features Ms. Anselm and a whole new band. The concept is classical-rock fusion. Think english art-rock lite (early Genesis for example) ... very lite

The 5 piece band, fronted by Annie, consists of piano, synth, bass, drums and electric-acoustic guitar (I could have sworn these things were killed off in a field in Bethel NY in 1969, I have no idea why they revived them) This night they were backed by a 10 piece chamber orchestra, but they didn't do much and could have easily been replaced by another synth 

Haslem is now 70 years old, the voice is still clear and the range (mostly there) but she is just not the Annie of old. I guess none of us are.

There were nice moments, such as the classics Mother Russia and Carpet of the Sun but not much inspirational and nothing really stood out as a reason to think you were glad you came. It was kinda like going to one of those old timer games they used to have at Shea. Comfortable, nostalgic and not all that memorable. 

What is missing in their music is the electric guitar to add some energy. I just might be a tad prejudiced with that thought however.

The Mrs. wasn't too impressed with the proceedings and when I asked her what she thought, her response was, "When do we see McLaughlin?" 

 

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2017 at 11:05 PM, HighPitch said:

Thanks. 

No mostly fl and ga. We get nice offers to fly out once in a while but theres always one or two crybabies that dont want to. 

We also do a complete 22 minute echoes and sheep :)

I thought that was very cool being that most people only seem to know Dark Side and the Wall. You could be my hero of the month

Anything from Ummagumma? :)

 

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Saw John McLaughlin for the last time last night (assuming he's actually retiring) at NJPAC in Newark. Bitter sweet moment. He probably influenced me more than any stranger has in my life and may have been the most influential guitarist in the history of the instrument

Jimmy Herring opened. A great guitarist in his own right, you may know him from Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit or Jazz is Dead. His current gig is with Widespread Panic (replacing McConnell who replaced the late Michael Houser?). He put together a special band for this one, bass (who looks disturbingly like Debbie's boyfriend from Shameless), drums, EP/violin and B3/Calvinet. The band was pretty good but the clav got annoying after awhile (why not just use a patch in a good synth and get more sounds?). He opened with a Miles piece called John McLaughlin and moved on to an Allman Bros cover that I forgot the name of. Played about 7 pieces with this band. He used a Strat style PRS that lacked the definition and bite needed for this material but the guy is really really good. In some ways this was the better part of this show

McLaughlin's current band, 4th Dimension took over. Gary Husband on EP/Nord, Etienne Mbappé on bass (yeah I had to look up the spelling) and a drummer who I forgot the name of (OK, I'm getting old). They played some 4th D pieces like El Hombre Que Sabia and Gaza City plus one or two Mahavishnu pieces (Miles Beyond, Meeting of the Spirits). McLaughlin played a nice PRS, looked like Custom 22 or 24, but obviously made just for him by PRS. He still has it, and by that I mean IT. The instrument wasn't as powerful as the SG double neck and Guild double necks he used with those large Hi Watt and Marshall stacks back then but let's face it, the 70's are not coming back (which is good and bad). They came close to ruining the set with a long very repetitive boring drum solo (more on that later). Also, Husband on the Nord did not work, at least for those who remembered Hammer's super fat Mini from the days. Some of his playing was too self indulgent and not in the envelope of the piece. Husband is also a good but not great drummer. They later did the same drum solo with both him and the regular drummer and it was even worse than the first drum solo (it gets worse later)  

The Master then brought out the Herring's entire band to do their promised Mahavishnu set. McLaughlin then brought out a sky blue double neck that PRS built just for this tour (and is being auctioned for charity) but it wasn't a regular neck/scalloped neck like the original SG and Guild. The scalloped neck was an important component of the MO sound and sorely missed here.  

The set was spotty as some pieces were bad, some good and one brilliant. Herring shared the solos with JM and that worked but no trades that the original band was famous for. There was a mediocre Trilogy, a dull Be Happy and a mess of a Birds of Fire which I was looking forward to the most. There was also was way too much Inner mounting Flame. Problem was that there were two bands playing at the same time which never works, unless you are Robert Fripp. They missed the interaction and polyphony of the various parts of McLaughlin's original compositions like the BOF bass line which drives the piece.  There was a yet another drum solo between Herring and McLaughlin's drummers and it was the same as the first two. Didn't quite get it unless he wanted everyone to stretch out including the drummers but three bad long drum solos? Yeesh. 

The highlight was Dance of Maya which they nailed, including the juxtapositions of the two themes.

Was it a great show by itself? Well not really. The three drummers did not equal one Billy Cobham, Herring's violist reminded you how perfect Goodman and later Ponty were for this music and the keyboard players didn't even come close to how complimentary Hammer's Rhodes and Mini were to McLaughlin's playing. The funny thing is that back than, we all lamented that Laird, the original bass player was not up to the level of the other four in the original band but the playing of Mbappé with his great solos and Debbie's boyfriend showed the true value of how a bassist holds down a bottom without thinking that he is also a lead instrument. Ralphe Armstrong, one of history's most underrated bassists who replaced Laird had both skills and would have been brilliant in this setting. 

All in all, it was worth sitting trough the fluff to just to see McLaughlin do a few more solos. 

The venue was stunningly beautiful and the seating relatively good except that none of the balconies overhang the orchestra seats so all of the above decks (4?) are at the back of the venue. As it is in Newark (by the light rail and river), NJPAC does offer the best part about Newark ... getting out of there alive. 

There was only one Mahavishnu Orchestra (OK, two ..or three of four) but only one original. It has never been duplicated even by the guy who started the group. I'm still waiting for that time machine to go back to the Wollman Skating Rink in August 1973.  

Birds of Fire was the Meet the Beatles for whole generation. We can only say thank you and S'long John.

Meanwhile, whatever happened to Sri Chimoy?  

 

 

 

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Saw The Grand Master Stanley Clarke at the Paramount in Peekskill tonight

Played both an Alembic (no, not THAT Alembic) and a double bass. Interesting pieces included School Days and a nice rendering of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (although Mr. Beck still wins that battle). Highlight was (at least) a half hour long No Mystery with a long and mind boggling solo on the double. It can only be described as OMG. HARD music to play, yeesh. 

Asking who the "best" is at any instrument can easily degrade into an argument but IMHO here is an exception to that rule. No one was ever this good on this instrument and because several of the most recent generations could care less about musicality, no one will ever be this good again ... and there is little difference between the old Stanley and who I saw tonight. Suffice it to say that we were most pleased with the proceedings.

So here is this Koufax/Gretzky/Jordan of the bass, 66 yrs old on the stage with three guys whose combined age is 72. One was a drummer from the Bronx named Shariq Tucker, who at age 20, came very close to stealing the show. Blew everyone away like I haven't seen in years. Remember the name, Shariq Tucker.  Overshadowed were two keyboard players (mic'd Grand/Motif and Fantom8/vocorder) of good skills but between Clarke and Tucker there was little room for them. No guitarist though, now THAT would have elevated the music even higher, needless to say :).  

The shame of it is that the theater was only about half full, surprising after seeing McLaughlin selling out his tour. Of course there was no one in the audience who doesn't get ARP come-ons in the mail. The advantage of that is everyone remained seated for the whole show, except for the standing O's of course. 

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2 hours ago, southparkcpa said:

WOW....  just wow. How any one can make that statement is mind boggling.  Entwistle is of course a fully trained musician, played horn,can read and write music to say he is better than Clarke is well, respectfully stated, naive.   There is nothing that Entwistle ever did on a bass that Clarke can't do BUT the reverse, in my view, is probably not true.  

 

I majored in music, played double bass and studied all the great bassists as most kids would do.  Entwistles name only comes up by rock listeners in a rock context, never by fully trained musicians who went to school, can read and write music etc.  Great bassists like Ray Brown, Mingus, Ron Carter, Clarke and so many more.  They are all classically trained, play with a bow, acoustic bass, electric bass etc.

Wow, an actual learned opinion ! Thanks for that

How about Jaco, Wooten, Squire, LaFaro, Patitucci, Vitous, yeesh, there are so many ... Percy Jones? Tony Levin? Bunny Brunel? 

When I was a kid we used to argue over Bruce vs Bogert and now I find them both a bit unlistenable to  

I mostly agree with you on the 5 and 6 strings although with the fidelity of today's equipment that low B can be useful at times

I have been constantly amazed that so many people like/love music but are so unwilling to learn anything about it and just go with popular opinion. 

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On ‎10‎/‎14‎/‎2017 at 1:25 PM, The Crimson King said:

Saw Brand X at the Iridium last night. Sat right in front of them,

John Goodsall and Percy Jones of the original band were there with new members, Chris Clark on the keys, a great drummer I couldn't catch the name of and Scott Weinberger (ex-Adrian Belew drummer) replacing the late Morris Pert on percussion.

Goodsall played, of all things, a solid body Gretch through a M-B head and cab. He is still in fine form but  I would have liked to hear the brand new looking PRS he had on the stage as a backup. His board had only had 4 pedals bit I could see them from where I sat. One was a tuner and one a boost. He never hit the other two but one had to be  chorus based on his sound. His signature lick is still in force with not much new from him over the decades. They did "And So to F ..." so he had plenty of time to stretch out but stuck to the old riff from the record, not that it wasn't excellent to begin with.

Jones played a 5 string fretless Ibanez that I assumed was custom. He was amazing. I love how he plays the electric like a sideways upright. He even did a solo alone on stage with a looper or premade background track. 

The new keyboard player (with a Motif, Nord lead and Studio Logic) was superb and nailed all Lumley and Robinson's old parts. The drummer was very talented and worthy of sitting in that chair. Scott Weinberger almost stole the show. He had less odd sounds than Pert and served as a second drummer, but was very entertaining. 

Set list was many of their classics, playing was enthusiastic and EVERYONE looked old. The band, crew and especially the audience.

The Iridium is a bar with table seating so you are always looking sideways, in a crowded spot and actually too close to the stage. I would have preferred a more traditional concert venue than a bar gig.

Bottom line is that fusion is alive, barely. It will die with the 70's music fans as they fade away. Shame that. In the meantime, there are two more shows tonight (8p and 10p) at the Iridium ($40 online and $45 at the door) 

 

*******************************  CONCERT ALERT *************************************

Brand X is coming back this spring. They'll be back at the Iridium on Sat 5/5 and Sun 5/6

https://www.ticketmaster.com/brand-x-iridium-new-york-ny/venueartist/337448/1408670

They'll also be at Daryl's House in Pawling, NY on Wed 5/2.

http://www.darylshouseclub.com/shows

I guarantee that our resident bassist would love Percy Jones. Also bass related, Stu Hamm will be at Daryl's on Wed Mar 21 

*******************************  CONCERT ALERT *************************************

 

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2 hours ago, Panzer Division Marduk said:

Pestilence in Dublin last night, for the first time ever. They were supposed to play here on the Testimony of the Ancients tour in 92, supporting Death, but owing to Tony Choy being a lazy idiot without a visa, it never happened.

Last night was billed as the first four albums tour, and for a guy who's said time and time again he's not over enthusiastic about playing the old stuff, Patrick Mameli had a blast, as did everyone. Great night, and them playing five songs off Testimony was the icing on the cake.

 

There's a band called Pestilence who was going to tour with Death?

Well we know there's a band called War so all you need is one called Famine so you can have a Four Horses of the Apocalypse Tour

Although, my guess is that Death and Pestilence fans wouldn't enjoy Lee Oskar's harp much 

"Famine" should be made up of really fat guys 

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War (uhh), what is it good far?

The answer is, one heckova good time

Saw War at the Paramount in Peekskill after an excellent dinner at Division Street Grill. We got he tickets because like my friend's ex-wife, they were cheap and easy to get and not much has been coming around here lately.   

It was a rare concert for us wherein the band's music was relatively popular but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the musical chops displayed this night.

Lonnie Jordan was the only original member from 1969, but as the lead vocalist and lead showman he was an important one. Good voice and a decent keyboardist using a Roland VK-8. An aside, nice keys! Hammond good with whatever faux Leslie he was using and surprisingly good Rhodes sound. Piano was way too digital, you'd figure he could have used another unit for that.

Marcus Reyes, a first call percussionist out of LA is a first rate latin jazz and salsa player. He's been with the band about 20 years. The star for me was a bassist called Rene Camacho. Of course, this music relies on both the bass player and percussionist so they hired two very talented guys to replace the originals. The sax player and drummer were both good but not hall of fame great, but both added to the music rather than subtracted from it.

The guitar player was just OK and better on rhythm. He mostly played a Strat and had a nice Les Paul handy that he played a little but not in the manner one wishes to see this instrument used. Was sitting in the second deck so I didn't see any of what was on his pedal board, which was small (3-4 pedals, one of which was a wah). When trading licks were called for, the sax and harp player were the ones to do it and he just sat it out. OK, I admit it, I am a guitar snob :)

When one thinks of War, Lee Oskar, ace harp player comes to mind. You may know him by the brand of excellent harmonicas that carry his name (When Junior Wells died, he was buried with a bunch of Lee Oskar harps). It was Oskar that defined the sound of many of War's hits.

Well, Lee wasn't there. I believe he is with several other ex-members of War touring under the name of Low Rider or something like that. They did manage to replace him with another excellent player, Stanley Behrens, who has played on a zillion TV and movie soundtracks and was also a past member of Canned Heat and Willie Dixon's band (of course I looked him up when I got home). In any event, he was darned good playing a chromatic on a harp pickup through a Fender with the reverb cranked. His comping and solos were excellent, serving as a horn replacement and I have to say that this guy was better than Popper for me.

Crowd was, shall we say "well aged" but that didn't stop folks from getting up and dancing to the hits. Of course, they all looked ridiculous doing so but a good time was had by all.

Great Barramundi at the Division Street Grill BTW. 

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The weather was so nice Saturday that we decided to just go to the City and walk around. After a nice al fresco meal we ended up at the Iridium where "Band of Friends" was playing. They advertised themselves as a Rory Gallagher show. Tickets, not unlike a close friends ex-wife, were cheap and easy to get so we decided what the heck.

This is a trio consisting of the long time bassist, Gerald McAvoy and one of the later drummers who played with the late Rory. The guitar and vocals were handled by a kid named Davey Knowles, formerly of Back Door Slam.

They did the Rory catalog and the kid was very good. He played a beat up old Strat like Gallagher's and had a few excellent but limited licks and little in the way of effects (there were two pedals I couldn't see). He handled all of the material well (it's not easy doing three piece) and had a great voice for it. He also was a good slide player (standard tuning on the same Start ... the way I like it) The Iridium is tiny and we enjoyed a nice close up view while enjoying a criminally overpriced bottle of red. 

Highlight was personal for me. They closed with Bullfrog Blues. Brought back 1972 (wipe tear from eye). 

I know the Hendrix comment and others like it elevated Gallagher to an artificially high level, but he was a damn good a blues/rock player and so is Knowles. It was not the type of music that inspires you to go home and practice all night, but it was a good show of one the types of music that is seemingly lost on the last few generations and will probably go gently into that good night when us older folk are gone. 

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On ‎2‎/‎24‎/‎2018 at 5:26 PM, The Crimson King said:

 

*******************************  CONCERT ALERT *************************************

Brand X is coming back this spring. They'll be back at the Iridium on Sat 5/5 and Sun 5/6

https://www.ticketmaster.com/brand-x-iridium-new-york-ny/venueartist/337448/1408670

They'll also be at Daryl's House in Pawling, NY on Wed 5/2.

http://www.darylshouseclub.com/shows

I guarantee that our resident bassist would love Percy Jones. Also bass related, Stu Hamm will be at Daryl's on Wed Mar 21 

*******************************  CONCERT ALERT *************************************

 

Another great show by Brand X last night. Virtually the same band and review as posted last year a page or two ago, except now Goodsall used a Tele.

They are at the Iridium this weekend so if you like musicianship, you must go see these guys

What I wanted to report on this time is the venue ... Daryl's House. Can't tell you how impressed we were. Tiny place, free parking, just over the Duchess County border in Pawling. The food was so good and reasonably priced that we would go there just as restaurant. Great server and even reasonably priced wine and scotch. Poppy Chubby is coming soon but most of the lineup are vocal based musics. We will be watching for more shows here. Sure beats going to the city.  

Also:

************************************* CONCERT ALERT ************************************************

Al DiMeola doing electric at Ridgefield  

https://ridgefieldplayhouse.org/events/al-di-meola/?mc=reload

He'll also be at Town Hall in the City on 6/30 and the Egg in Albany on 6/29 

************************************* CONCERT ALERT ************************************************

One more thing if you excuse the indulgence:

A moment of silence for my beloved JV-1000, which finally looks kaput after almost a quarter century. After the appropriate mourning period, the FA-08 might look good where the JV has lived all this time :)

 

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On ‎5‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 1:54 PM, HighPitch said:

Poor jv..... 

I have a jv90 with the keyboards of the 60s 70s card. Lotsa sounds still hold up today

ordered an FA-08 to replace the JV a couple of hours ago. Started watching You Tube videos of how to use it. I'm now in a corner curled up in a fetal position sucking my thumb and muttering "damn I thought the ARP Axxe was hard to run ... "

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14 hours ago, HighPitch said:

I just got one of these.....real easy to use. Its got a touch screen and you drag and drop effects boxes, amps, and cabs into your chain then double tap an effects and analog knobs tweek parameters. Real nice

F66D0784-F394-45CF-80B1-FE8C32E9D0FD.jpeg

Nice. Costs a bit though. You should start a gear thread and repost this so folks can discuss or ask questions (or what little of us there here). I have a bunch of course :)

Love that patch name ... searing lead ... drive 100% ... that's for me !

 

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Good show at The Space in Westbury tonight … Jean-Luc Ponty. 

The tour is a visitation of the Atlantic years, including Enigmatic Ocean, Cosmic Messenger and Imaginary Voyage.

Band was the actual late 70's- early 80's band, a rare thing these days when the band consists of one old original dude with a bunch of unheard of young bucks or some hack musicians and a cousin of one of the original members. This means Jamie Glaser on guitar who replaced Allan Holdsworth after most of the albums in question were recorded. Glaser, another Berklee guy is a great player but just a tad degree below the late great Holdsworth (this is no slight, the description fits many excellent players). Played some sort of custom job through a MB cab. Couldn't get the FX or the head though. Sounded Nice.  Similar chair replacements were also there tonight, Wally Minko in for Alan Zavod (also great, also a degree below), Keith Jones in for the major league talent of Ralphe Armstrong (one of the best and surprisingly unheard of bassists ever) and Rayford Griffin on drums (forgot the original drummer but this one was about even).  Jean Luc himself was also a tad below the Ponty of ages ago but given that he is now 75 yrs old it is pretty much understandable. Still has a lot of the speed and precision of the days when Ford was President and disco hadn't poisoned music yet.

Still, all in all some skilled playing, it's just that the original band after Ponty's Zappa and Mahavishnu stints was manned by some of the best who ever played. Pieces were mostly true to Ponty's excellent original compositions. I always felt that his best skill was composing and was always overshadowed by Jerry Goodman and John Blair as a pure soloist. They did blow one of my favs, The Struggle of the Turtle to the Sea by replacing the synth-guitar-violin tradeoffs at the end with an overly long drum solo (and Griffin just isn't Cobham) and Jones totally missing on Armstrong's amazing bass solo 

The real thrill was the venue. I recognized the building right away as the old Westbury Movie theater. Having grown up on the other side of that town, I spent a lot of time in that theater before the albums described above were even recorded but escaped from LI to go to school and never returned. Very nostalgic as that theater was where the first time I ... uh ... never mind.

The crowd was mostly appreciative but we noticed a lot of folks leaving before it was over. Probably because it was past their bedtimes and they needed to get home to take their medications. There were no one there who looked to be not collecting Medicare. Yet another important slice of musicianship destined to fade into the history of virtuosity among the mediocrity of embarrassingly talentless pop downloaded on i phones.

Still some good musicianship coming up in the next couple of months. Paul Gilbert (Racer X, G3 tour) at the Iridium, Eric Johnson at Ridgefield and Keaggy, Levin & Marotta at Daryl's Place. Some excellent choices for all you musical snobs out there

 

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Paul Gilbert at the Iridium last night in third of three sold out shows

Played two specially made Ibanez' though single stack Marshall and just a few pedals. Great drummer, bassist (6 string!) and keyboards (Nord EP and an honest to goodness B3) all schooled in jazz and prog.

Cool thing was that he only sang once (Red House closes the show B4 encore). He said that he "plays" the vocals on guitar. A tear came to my eye as I love it that way. Alternated between "vocals" and solos. Very inspiring, the Ibanez had magnets attached where he kept his slide. Never saw that before and it allowed him to seamlessly alternate between fingers and the slide (metal slide on middle finger). Darned if the guy can't play ! 

One of the quickest two hours I have ever experienced.  

You may know him from Mr. Big, Racer X or one of the G3 tours but he has been doing solo for quite some time and he is a GREAT player. 

Found this on You Tube:

 

The venue is OK but standing outside for an hour an half to get a decent seat is getting tiring, Food not bad and not priced too bad either.

Now thinking about this is making me sign off and go practice :)

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Eric Johnson at the Ridgefield Playhouse tonight.

Three piece with Tommy Taylor on drums and Kyle Brock on bass (his old band from Ah Via Musicom days)

Show was pretty good but as you might know Johnson is a one or two trick pony and the same lick gets played over and over again although it is a hellova lick and some great playing

Eric played three Strats (two maple, one rosewood) and a Paul. He had a much smaller pedal board than when we saw him last year.  Amps were a Marshall for lead (2 4X12 cabs) and Fender Twins for rhythm on an A-B switch

Worth seeing if you play before all this music goes away. No one under 50  there tonight as far as we could see

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David Sancious and Will Calhoun at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock tonight

Just the two of them, with Sancious on a Yamaha Motif and the amazing Calhoun on a double bass drum set and a myriad of very interesting electronic percussion thingees none of which I ever saw before and all of which I want to have now :)

A lot of improv and some great playing in front of a crowd of about 35 people. I've seen more at amateur open mics. Weird.

Woodstock is the phoniest and most BS town I have ever been to. Remember that they were too uptight to have the festival so they forced them out and at the last minute it was moved to Yasgur's farm way on the other side of the Catskills. Now the whole town claims to be the center and start of the counter culture. What crap

Anyway, if you don't know who Sancious is, he is the guy who musicality wise stood heads and shoulders above the rest of the E Street Band in the first two albums (witness the piano intro on NYC Serenade or the organ solo on Kitty's Back) and also starred on electric guitar in the band Tone and in sessions with the likes of Stanley Clarke … and he still has "it"

Calhoun, another one of those Berklee guys, was the drummer from Living Color (w/Vernon Reid). the dude is amazing

Although I thought that they could have used a bassist and electric guitar, the two played their butts off and made a show worthy of attending. I believe that they have an Iridium show coming up. If you like musicianship, you will like the show. 

…  and of course, no one not collecting Medicare in the entire place

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9 minutes ago, HighPitch said:

Hulaween 2018 was great as expected. 

First time seeing Vulfpeck. They killed.  Great musicians and entertaining 

Roosevelt Collier kicked ass again

This band from Orlando, the groove orient, second time i saw them and they are superb. Great originals. The young bassist has this odd old school southern  crooner voice going on. 

This band Future Rock was really good too. 2 piece band with a great female vox joing on a few tunes. 

Joe russos almost dead played 2 superb dead sets, but their zeppelin instrumental project, bustle in your hedgerow, disappointed me a bit. 

Then you got great sets from papadosio,  lettuce and sts9. Good times.... Worth the 500 buckd

Wow, how long were you there ?

Wanted to see Vulfpeck when they played in Brooklyn but that would have involved having to actually go to Brooklyn so we skipped it. Love the musicians, especially Joe Dart on bass. Did they do an extended version of Dean Town?

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Vanilla Fudge at Daryl's Place Wed. night. All original except Tim Bogert who retired a decade or so ago

Carmine and Mark still have it big time and both were charming and funny in between songs. Martell is way better than he was in the old days and is still a step or two being contemporary guitarists. The "new" bass player was OK but just not Bogert who was an important part of their sound

Still doing covers in their own inimitable style with the familiar power and unique harmony.  They did the classic covers plus some new ones, "I'm a Believer" (didn't work),  "Break on Through" (not so much), "Gimmie Some Lovin' (uh, not that one either) but a new original by Stein, "Let's Pray For Peace" was pretty good and he nailed the vocals. The old covers, "Take Me For a Little While", "You Keep Me Hanging On", "Season of the Witch (Mama I'm coooollld)", "People Get Ready" were taking us all back to the Action House in Island Park.

Naturally, no one there had not heard of what a Medicare Advantage Plan is

I'm not big on nostalgia, the music needs to hold up now and these guys still do that. For many Long Islanders, the Fudge was immensely influential. Still have not done a cover like the record (or at least that I would admit) since Roscoe was playing them on WABC-FM. 

Now let's all set the time machine to My Father's Place in Roslyn for more of this. Who do you want to see?

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2 hours ago, southparkcpa said:

I LOVED their cover of Ride my See-Saw and Story in her eyes. Ive met and "partied' with the guitar player Randy once many years ago.  I watch him now and im not as impressed But they were, to me, the best LI Bar band in the 70's including Twisted Sister. Sister was fantastic but not as deep a bench as Zebra. He's a huge Beatles fan as well.

 

 

Other names and places from those days:

The Good Rats, NRBQ, Long Island Rale Rode, Elephant's Memory

Hammerheads, Oak Beach Inn, Peaches, The Green Door

Ash in Huntington and Hempstead, Gracin's on Sunrise Hwy

Buy Lines

so many more, it was a great place for music in so many ways

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Remember Rudy's on 48th St? That is where John Suhr came from. Pensa-Suhr back then now two sperate names and both ridiculously expensive. Never played one. 

Now that 48th ST had been de-music'd, Rudy opened stores in Soho and, of all places, Scarsdale. Gotta go see the Westchester store but that could be dangerous 

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heads up on some good shows for the player oriented coming up:

Keaggy, Levin, and Marotta at the Bearsville Theater on 2/28, worth it for the crowd so small that it is like getting a private concert, especially for fellow Tony Levin fans 

Procol Harum at Ridgefield Playhouse 3/1

Musical Box at Tarrytown Music Hall 3/10, perfect early pre sell out Genesis recreation, visuals and all. 

Tony MacAlpine (CAB, Steve Vai) at the Iridium 3/10 and 3/11, great 7 string guitar player/jazz shredder

Lewis Black at Tarrytown 3/14, first tour since Trump elected, this should be funny as heck

Winery Dogs 5/5 at Ridgefield, Yngwie Malmsteen there on 5/30

Adrian Belew at Daryl's House 4/14 

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Keaggy, Levin and Marotta at the Woodstock Community Center last night

Was supposed to be a the Bearsville Theater but they moved it here. Narrow room with room for a couple of hundred or so. Pretty crappy if you don't sit in front.

This is guitarist Phil Keaggy (Glass Harp), THE Tony Levin (which is why we went), drummer Jerry Marotta (played with a zillion folks, hired gun type) and an extra guitarist to handle the other parts on the records (didn't get his name)

Keaggy played a super strat HB's in the neck and bridge. Couldn't make out the name on the headstock (Avion?) and an older looking Strat with lace sensors. Played through a miked Supro. Sounded pretty good. Switched to an acoustic for a bit. Played through a bunch of pedals (nice that the stage was almost floor level so you can walk right up and look). Several Truetone/Visual Sounds (looked like duplicate Route 66's), two Infinity Loopers, Boss DimC and a Boss OD plus several more. Spent most of his stomping on a boutiquey three switch OD but I've forgotten the model.  Good player with a lot of technique, some really good acoustic work too. Worth seeing. 

Levin opened on the Stick but never picked it up again. He mostly played a semi hollow Epi (!). Don't know the model but you know the type, 335 style. He also played an electric 5 string upright. He was, as always, brilliant and unique in his style.  I want to have him cloned so I can keep a copy of him in my home studio.  It was cool sitting a first down away from him.

Marotta complimented the two nicely. Not quite the power/speed type I like but a competent pro. Great stage presence too.   

Material was mostly the all instrumental Bucket List album which is a nice lighter side of fusion undertaking worth giving a listen to. Keaggy also added some of his Christian Rock where he sang. I just waited that out until they went back to the Bucket List. He also did a long improv-y thing with his acoustic and the two loopers. Gave me some ideas. 

Bearsville was a nice little venue but seems to be in jeopardy. Too bad because in August they have schedule the Stickmen (Levin etc) opening for Adrian Belew.

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Musical Box at Tarrytown tonight

This is a great Genesis tribute band that uses the actual costumes and background films from the old Genesis tours (yup the ones they used) plus instrumentation that matches the period (Hackett's LP, Rutherford's double neck Rick, Bank's Roland 202 and yes, an honest to goodness live in person Mellotron)

These guys are on an international tour and started tonight in our little theater. Lead singer sounds just like Gabriel (even plays flute) and the others nail the exact parts or Rutherford, Hackett and Banks, Most impressively, the drummer that usually plays (they've been doing this for years) couldn't make the tour at last minute and they hired some guy who had 3 days of practice before tonight and he NAILED the parts. This is not easy peasy rock and roll I-IV-V music folks. and he pulled it off. 

First set were selections from Wind and Withering plus Trick of a Tail, second was some excellent work from Lamb Lies Down. After an intermission, a bit a of the earlier stuff from Trespass, Foxtrot, and Selling England with a great version of Musical Box (they had to do it) as an encore. None of the commercial crap that followed these releases.

I saw Genesis before they were known and played small places like My Father's Place and the Felt Forum. This is exactly what it was like and the same show experience (without a certain .. uh.. umm .. atmosphere enhancement of the time...)  If you loved this band before they sold out after PG left, you gotta see this show. You will leave with tears in your eyes. 

"… play me my song … here it comes again …"

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The Hendrix Experience last night at The Palace in Albany

Firstly, the venue is amazing. Perfectly preserved and maintained century (or so) old building. Huge seating capacity. Awful parking ). My 90 yr old Dad grew up a few blocks from here and came here as a kid.

This was not a tribute band per se but a company of pros doing mostly Hendrix songs

Started with Eric Johnson and Dweezil Zappa doing a few early pieces. Billy Cox on bass (the only one who actually was connected to Jimi). SRV's old drummer, Chris Layton, who flat out sucked and seemed to be playing in a different time frame than others. Johnson is amazing and Dweezil can hold his own.  Nice start.  Then they brought out the Slide Brothers. Never heard if them before. One played a pedal steel and the other looked like he had a standard guitar on a stand. Played the blues like nobody's business.  A true highlight. I gotta see these guys in their own act. Somewhere along they trotted out Taj Mahal (actually more like shuffled out). He's only 77 but looked to be much much older. A classic from another time. Fun to see him after all these years. 

Dave Mustaine did a set. He was awful, out of phase and frankly lacking in skills. Johnny Lang also played and sounded like a minor leaguer considering who else was on stage that night.  Then after a break, the "headliner" came out. Joe Satriani in a trio with drummer Kenny Aranoff and the weirdest bass player I ever saw, Doug Pinnick from Kings' X.  

The Satriani set was marred by several things. the sound guy had the bass drum up so high that it dominated the sound and created a din. Satriani did way too much DIgitech Whammy tricks that tried but failed to do the Jimi feedback which was naturally done with Marshalls on 10. There were 3  mic'd Bassmans with 3x15 cabs and all you could hear was mud but Pinnick is so odd looking that it was entertaining. He looked to be about 7 feet tall and weighed 100 lbs top. Played lefty with Manute Bol arms and the bass slung the lowest I've ever seen anyone play (by the knees). Bizarre. Couldn't hear him so no idea of his skill level. 

Everyone had their own gear so there were 15 guitar amps on stage and a pedal board for each (view of which were blocked by monitors across the entire stage).  Load out must be a nightmare for this tour. 

All in all not worth the price of admission or the 2+ hour ride to this beautiful theater.  Winner? Eric J. and the Slide Brothers. Losers? Mustaine, Lang, Layton and the idiot that ran FOH 

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41 minutes ago, Bugg said:

Saw the Who at MSG Monday. A fine show- segments with an orchestra doing mostly "Tommy" and then "Quadraphenia" tracks and a segment in between with a band. A fun show. It wasn't 1979 or 1982, but then I'm not a pimply faced kid in a denim jacket either so. One thing they have hit upon they should have been doing for years is a virtuoso violinist doing the solo at the end of "Baba O'Riley". 

Do they still have Ringo's kid in the drummer's chair? Way better drummer than Dad. 

The violinist should have been a woman right? Katie Jacoby. Not a bad player. Electric violin is a great instrument especially when paired with effects (see Jerry Goodman, John Blair, Mark Wood, Eddie Jobson, J.L Ponty, etc.)

Nice to see at least part of an old band surviving in lieu of a copy/tribute band 

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Yngwie Malmsteen at the Ridgefield Playhouse last night

Two opening acts: Paralandra and Sunlord

Not a great show. Malmsteen is amazing but after one or two pieces, he leaves you wishing the show would end. Same riffs over and over, way too much phony showmanship, lousy backup band. Lots of speed and flash with little substance or depth. Played his scalloped Strats of course and threw about 100 picks into the audience which got old fast.

Opening acts were somehow transported from the 80's right to the stage. Someone should have raised the shields to block the transport.

Paralandra was a metal band of mediocre musicality led by a tall girl who has an impressive screaming range. Every song was structured the same and were indistinguishable. The most entertaining part was the waist long hair on the bassist and guitarist complete with the in-rhythm swirling and front to back movements. Guitarist had a nice LP but really couldn't do much more than you used to see kids do at Sam Ash. Amazon sized singer girl played rhythm on a PRS. What a waste of a sweet instrument. It didn't take long for that little voice in your head to start saying "get off, get off". They did get points for enthusiasm however. 

Sunlord was even harder to take. A power trio led by a guy who played a Flying V and sang the deep devil style metal yelling vocals. No real shredding and a mediocre backline. The guitarist was also Malmsteen's guitar tech and had to work his ass off in that job. That was impressive and exhausting to watch. Just to be fair, since there guys are New Yorkers and might just be JN members, they did have a large following there that were  absolutely nuts about them, so I'll chalk this up to just not being my style.

We did have a nice dinner and some drinks at a bar beforehand in town so it wasn't a bad evening overall. 

Next up is a Tywla Tharp program at the American Ballet Theater. Not a concert per se but the wife is making me go and I guess after so many Jets games, she deserves it. Suffering payback. 

 

EDIT: forgot to mention the highlight of the whole show: the wall of Marshalls at the back of the stage. 52 heads and about 18 4x12 cabs. Covered end to end and mostly to the top. Looked like only one head and one cab was used. I imagine that the rest, expect for one or two backups, were gutted for easier set up and take down but what a sight !

 

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Tony MacAlpine at the Iridium last night

Guitarist from CAB, guitar/keys in Vai's band. A mix between fusion and metal (metal fusion?) playing a well worn Ibanez 7 string through a very well worn H&K head and generic cabs, Sat right in front of him (literally) and enjoyed some good playing. Played a variety of licks, not just the same one over and over. Uses a 3.0mm Dunlop jazz pick (fell on my table so I handed it back to him). Played mostly his Death of Roses album in front of a sparse but supportive crowd. Lack of interest made them cancel the second show, made me sad.  Also made me go home and practice a bit late that night (with of course a 3.0mm Dunlop)

Best part of the night, other than talking to some great folks while waiting for an hour on line beforehand, was the opening band, Arch Echo. This was a band of very young guys playing fusion. Good stuff that could have been better mixed so I will be looking for some CD's from these guys. Now that is something you don't see every day. Good work on guitar and keys and a GREAT drummer. Bass and drums doubled as MacA's backup band.

There was one sad part of the evening that will take me some time to get over.  The club is on  51st and Broadway and since it was a nice night, we took a walk after. As we passed 48th and 7th, I looked down the block and saw that they knocked down the building that housed Manny's and Ash and in the old days, Gracin's. This was just as painful as seeing the demolished Shea if not more. The bastards ! 

Not much more of this genre coming around for awhile, oh well

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3 hours ago, #27TheDominator said:

 

Herbie ******* Hancock?  He did the Beverly Hills Cop theme!  I posted this here because Vinny Colaiuta played with Sting and Dominic Miller both before and after Freese.  I looked it up, and the show I saw actually had Abe Laboriel Jr.  Laboriel started with Vai and played with a bunch of others.  He has done all of McCartney's tours, if Wikipedia is to be believed, since the Concert for New York which I attended, though I was working, so I didn't get to pay as much attention as I'd have liked. 

Abe Jr did some amazing CD ROM's for samplers, namely Burning Grooves and Liquid Grooves. I've never seem anything that could match them. Way too talented to play w/ Sir Paul (no offense intended to McCartney fans) but I guess you gotta make a living. Abe Sr, his dad, could play the hell out of a bass.

Hancock? The dude played with Miles and made the Headhunters album. 'nough said.  

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Steve Hackett at Ridgefield last night

Great player, would be hall of fame if they had a real one of those for musicians,

However, not such a great show. First half of the show was from his solo albums and he just does not have the writing chops other great guitar players do. The band was spotty, especially Craig Blundell the drummer (from Steve Wilson's band) who was off on timing because he was trying to get too fancy with fills he couldn't quite pull off.  

Second half was a redo of Selling England by the Pound. This was spotty at best. Some interesting twists such as Rob Townsend, an OK sax/flute player doing some of Bank's synth parts (despite actually having a keyboard player in the band) but Blundell's blundering, the bassists inability to nail the heavy Rick sound of Rutherford, the keyboardists inability to make a Mellotron sound or blast it when he needed to (love me some Mellotron) and a ridiculous light show kind of ruined it.  Worse was the singer they brought out that couldn't handle the material. He did not have the range to hit the high notes (just about trashed Cinema Show) and he was trying to be Gabriel but just couldn't reasonably pull it off. The Mrs. commented that it was like watching Andy Kaufmann try and fail to do an exaggerated takeoff of Peter Gabriel.

Oddly enough, the encore was a medley of some post-Lamb Genesis and it was fabulous. Everyone actually played to the same beat, with big energy and enthusiasm.  Good enough to kinda save the night.

Hackett is a great player, especially on classical and 12 string. His electric work is complex, unique and brilliant and I can listen to him play all night. However, everything is does is orchestrated. The one jam where they tried improv fell on its face, They tacked it onto the end of I Know What Like, of all pieces and no one, even Hackett could pull it off.

Funny thing is that as mediocre as Hackett's own Selling England was is as good as Musical Box (see previous review) does it. Coincidentally, MB's show at Ridgefield for 4/1/20 went on sale this AM. If you like old Genesis and want to see it come alive again, this is the show for you. Just get your tix now because they always sell out. 

A note about the audience. Us older folk always complain about the lack of this and that in the younger generation but the older folk crowd that showed up last night were as a rule, a rude bunch of idiots. They had no idea that what they were watching was poorly executed and shouted out idiotic things between songs, talked throughout the show (loud during songs) about other shows they've seen and gave standing O's to bad drum solos and the like. Were these the same people who sat around me in the late 60's-early 70's? Maybe they should start passing around the joints again.   

One more item that I shook my head about. They had an open auction of a "Les Paul guitar singed by Steve" in the lobby. Turns out that it was an Epiphone Std LP going for about $550 new. To bid, you sign a sheet with your offer. they next one comes along and ups it. the last person who signs wins the auction. I don't know what it went for but about 30" before the show the bid was up to $1,900. How much is Steve Hackett's autograph worth and why the %#$ would you want it on a guitar? (sorry this irks me)

Bottom line, Steve Hackett is one of the all time greats but if you want to relive pre-sellout Genesis, go see Musical Box next spring.  

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