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Semi-Official Concert Review Thread

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Just saw Corea / Gadd band at the blue note. To old timers that have for the most kept thier chops flanked by some great younger players.  One of the better shows Ive seen in awhile, not sure where the tour is taking them but if you are a jazz fan it's worth checking out 

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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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11 hours ago, Dcat said:

saw Tedeschi-Trucks at the Beacon on Saturday. What a great show!  Highly recommend next time they come around.  

What did you think of Trey and the 30 min mountain jam? 

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My friend was there and hated it. Some people hate jams they want singing. 

How bad could it be? Trey and derrick jamming? Lol id watch for hours with a bag of shrooms.

glad to see yoko silenced for a while

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On 10/17/2017 at 7:17 AM, CTM said:

What did you think of Trey and the 30 min mountain jam? 

I loved it.  The wife not so much.  But I was an Allman Bros. fanatic.  She didn't like them much.  

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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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Jake dillinger of UM is one of the most bad ass players out there. He does so many little touches so well. Sorry the sound was bad but UM kick ass. Ive seen em a bunch 

i cant believe kings x can even be mentioned in their company but to each their own

ever hear of TAUK? One of my favs modern jam fusion no vocals they are from cold springs harbor. Maybe not the best video but ...

 

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On 10/21/2017 at 1:09 PM, The Crimson King said:

 

UM consists of two excellent guitarists, a great keyboard player, a decent bassist, an average drummer and a so-so percussionist.

 

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?

(unless it is Robert Fripp, of course). 

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. 

 

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....

 

 

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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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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 :)

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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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On 10/24/2017 at 8:39 PM, HighPitch said:

Jake dillinger of UM is one of the most bad ass players out there. He does so many little touches so well. Sorry the sound was bad but UM kick ass. Ive seen em a bunch 

i

jake cinninger* (assuming that was auto correct?) and he's too choppy/ showy for me 

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20 hours ago, The Crimson King said:

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? :)

 

 Set the contols and astronomy 

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2 hours ago, CTM said:

jake cinninger* (assuming that was auto correct?) and he's too choppy/ showy for me 

No i just messed his name up . I was close 

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Well im back from 4 days of hulaween. Sadly, i didnt see nearly as much as i wanted as i had to spend rv time with my gf who is a casual music fan but here goes a few things:

Umphreys Mcgee- i feel that thecrimsonking cursed me here. I was center and about 16 rows back. The sound was awful......muddy bassy no crisp mids or highs. When i squeezed up 5 or 6 rows, or back 20, it was a night and day difference. Either way, a nice set. Off to....

Joe Russos Almost Dead- This is my fav dead tribute, moreso than even the dso. I was feeling great in front of joe about 8 rows back. I cant remember what the first 2 songs were but they were heavenly, then my casual music loving gf "had" to go back to camp.....

i stayed at camp and missed UM second set and J R second set. I was mad. We had a meeting about how things are going to go for now on at music festivals.

friday-

dumpstafunk- another great funk set. Always fun. Sounded fantastic. You couldnt not dance

the nth power bob marley set- wow this was a surprise. Ive seen these guys a few times and always dug em, but the best part was that they had, what i believe might have been, 2 genuine marley back ground singers. They were old, jamaican, and sounded just like the chicks on the albums. They danced, we danced. Secondly, they played maybe 1 or 2 songs off legend. The rest were the deep cuts. Of course my casual music fan gf kinda didnt like that, but i loved it.

bluesky greengrass- nice fun band. Always good

the resolvers- never heard of them, but they were excellent. Only proves that the best music comes from new orleans today (dumpstafunk, galactic). I got a free sticker so i was happy. Its on my rv now

string cheese incident- always a great band. Strong set. I love their ability to got total bluegrass to real funk.

lettuce- i missed em thursday because it took 2 hrs to get in and find camp, but they were superb. A must see

disco biscuits- i came late and was far....plus i was wasted but they were in total disco mode and euveryone was dancing. Lots of fun. I stumbled home. I fell a few times too

saturday

Aqueous- this was THE surprise show. I liked em on jam on radio, but never saw em live. These guys, i dont know what to say. Their songs are great, their musicianship is off the charts, they do great covers too. The lead guitarist is phenominal. He wails out so tasty and never misses a single note. On top of that, they are total masters of effects. There are constant time changes, parts switched up and then sound shifts. Just brilliant. Must see

Parker urban band- never heard of em. From florida. Great set. 2 black female singers and a good percussionist. Worth mentioning

string cheese theme set- finally, the cover set. The theme was love, and every song had love in title. Turn on your love light, love is what i got, love to love you baby etc. my casual fan gf loved it and so did i. The chinese guitarist is very good

ok now, my casual music fan gf wanted to end the nightseeing damian tuff gong marley on the main stage. I am unfamiliar with him, but another band called Spafford was on a smaller stage. I KNEW id rather see spafford, just because i can read between the festival lines, but i gave in. Damian marley BLEW. It was a dickhead convention. To make matters worse, damian preached about politics and marijuana between songs which drove me insane. He was preaching to the choir, its was just lame. I tolerated 3 or 4 songs, took my gfs hand and told her she went where i decided to go because i knew more than her.

we stumbled on to Spafford, which was indeed fun. They were doing their full band dancy  techno trip out thing ala disco biscuits and it was really good. I dont remember much except how much i hated wasting time to see bobs total loser son.

we rode bikes home. She fell i did not.

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Totally sucks all that is available are these washed up bands it's a shame like everything else music is disposable.

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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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On 10/31/2017 at 10:05 PM, HighPitch said:

 

Aqueous- this was THE surprise show. I liked em on jam on radio, but never saw em live. These guys, i dont know what to say. Their songs are great, their musicianship is off the charts, they do great covers too. The lead guitarist is phenominal. He wails out so tasty and never misses a single note. On top of that, they are total masters of effects. There are constant time changes, parts switched up and then sound shifts. Just brilliant. Must see

 

Goign to see them on Jam cruise in January, they used to be talked about as the up and coming band on the jam scene but Spafford seems to have gotten more popular. Looking forward to catching them

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1 hour ago, CTM said:

Goign to see them on Jam cruise in January, they used to be talked about as the up and coming band on the jam scene but Spafford seems to have gotten more popular. Looking forward to catching them

 Jam cruise nicccceeee. 

Yea they were both good. Not a competition enjoy! 

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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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Clarke is a great bassist. But he ain't John Entwistle, period, full stop, end of story.

The most sedated and seated crowd on any show I've been to the last few years was far and away Black Sabbath. Either the drugs have taken full effect or we are all really old. When I saw them 25-30 years ago in one of the Ronnie James Dio incarnations, the crowd behaved very, very differently. 

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