Turntables & Vinyl #19 – She Met Sabrina Carpenter

Turntables & Vinyl is my journey through music.  Most of the time it is about my vinyl purchases, but occasionally it is about my musical experiences.  This time it is actually about my youngest daughter’s musical experience.

My youngest keeps bringing up the fact she has never met anyone famous while her older sister has gotten to meet so many famous people including Matt Nathanson, Tori Kelly and actor Keegan Allen.  So, when she found out former Disney star, Actress and Singer Sabrina Carpenter was coming to town she mentioned she wanted to go to the show.

Now, my daughter never really asks to go to concerts (except for Shawn Mendes, but that is another story) so I immediately told her we would go.  She asked about getting to meet her and I reminded her that if it was too expensive, we would not be able to do it.  On the day of pre-orders for the tickets, I go online and look up ticket prices and you know, they weren’t terrible for the meet & greet.  Well they were, but her birthday was going to be shortly after the concert and I thought it would make a great early present.

They were offering two packages, the expensive one that gave you a tour of the Tour Bus as well as a personal meet & greet with Sabrina for individual pictures.  The other lesser expensive one (but still expensive) was no meet & greet, but Sabrina was going to do a  Q&A with the VIPs and a group picture, no individual photo.  You also would get an autographed show setlist and a special gift from Sabrina.

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Continue reading “Turntables & Vinyl #19 – She Met Sabrina Carpenter”

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Kiss in Concert – The First Time to The Last Time

Back in October, Kiss announced their final tour called “End of the Road” World Tour.  The tour would last three years according to them and that is one helluva a long tour.  But it has made me sad for many reasons.  One, all the rockers I grew up idolizing and following are getting old and are not going to be touring for too much longer.  As a result, I need to catch as many shows now as I can before they are all gone.  Two, It means I am getting Old.

But this is Kiss.  One of the very first concerts I ever saw was Kiss. I think it was the 2nd concert I had ever been to see.  This a different sadness.  Thanks to the influence of my big brother, I became a huge fan of the band.  I have seen them only 7 times so far, but next to Def Leppard, that is the most I have seen any band.  I thought I would go through my Kiss journey in form of all the concerts of theirs I have seen.

It all started in 1983. Christmas morning to be exact.  I was turning 15 years old. I think it was a Birthday present and not a Christmas present (as they are the same day).  My older brother, Gary, gave me a ticket to see Kiss for my birthday.  That was a big surprise.  The other surprise was, the show was the very next day on December 26th.

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Kiss was touring in support of their album ‘Lick It Up’.  It was the first time they were performing without makeup.  It was a big deal…well it was to me!!  I never had seen them before so I was just happy to finally see them live in all their glory.

The opening acts were Pat Travers and the band Axe and the show was at the Omni which has since been torn down and became Phillips Arena (which I think just changed it’s name to State Farm Arena or something like that).  The stage was still the Tank stage from the Creatures of the Night Tour and was completely badass to this 15 year old.  It was pretty cool.  The lead guitarist at the time was Vinnie Vincent and Eric Carr was on drums. I am glad I got to see that  line up of the band.  Vinnie was fired after this tour.

Setlist:

  1. Creatures of the Night
  2. Detroit Rock City
  3. Cold Gin
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Firehouse
  6. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  7. Exciter
  8. War Machine
  9. Gimme More
  10. Guitar Solo (Vinnie)
  11. Bass Solo (Gene, duh)
  12. I Love It Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Drum Solo (Eric)
  15. Young & Wasted
  16. Love Gun
  17. Black Diamond
  18. Lick It Up (Encore)
  19. Rock And Roll All Nite (Encore)

That was a damn fine setlist. Songs on here they will never play on their final tour.

On January 9th, 1985, brought me to my 2nd Kiss concert and back at the Omni.  The opening act was Krokus and they were great.  The tour was for the Animalize Tour and the lead guitarist on this one was supposed to be Mark St. John, but he was fired in December.  Bruce Kulick took over duties for the remainder of the tour and for years later. I hate I didn’t get to see Mark. He is the only Kiss guitarist I have not seen live.

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This time I bought a souvenir as I would have had a job.  I bought one of their big ass programs.  I still have the Tour Program from that show and it still had Mark St. John throughout since they didn’t have time to change them up.

The setlist for this show was similar to the last with some minor tweaks.

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Creatures of the Night
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Heaven’s On Fire
  6. Guitar Solo
  7. Under the Gun
  8. War Machine
  9. Drum Solo
  10. Young & Wasted (Eric now on vocals)
  11. Bass Solo
  12. I Love it Loud
  13. I Still Love You
  14. Love Gun
  15. Black Diamond
  16. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  17. Lick It Up (Encore)
  18. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

I started 1985 with a Kiss concert so I had to end it with a Kiss concert.  This one was on December 31, 1985 and where else, but at the Omni.  This show was for the Asylum Tour this time. The opening act for this show was Black n Blue.  Gene had produced their album so no wonder they opened. Same line-up as the earlier show so nothing really new.  I had to get another program…of course.

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This setlist was different in the sense that Rock and Roll All Nite was not the encore.  This encore was a big jam session with a lot of covers

  1. Detroit Rock City
  2. Fits Like a Glove
  3. Guitar Solo (Paul)
  4. Uh! All Night
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Under the Gun
  7. Guitar Solo (Bruce)
  8. I Still Love You
  9. Bass Solo
  10. I Love it Loud
  11. Tears Are Falling
  12. Drum Solo
  13. War Machine
  14. Love Gun
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. La Bamba (Encore)
  17. Whole Lotta Love (Encore)
  18. Heaven’s On Fire (Encore)
  19. Oh! Susanna (Encore)
  20. Won’t Get Fooled Again (Encore)
  21. Lick It Up (Encore)

The 80’s still weren’t done.  Time for another show.  We are now in February 1988.  February 10th to be exact.  They were now touring for the Crazy Nights album.  The show was less pyrotechnics and more of a rock show.  Gene did spit fire though.  The opening act, if I remember correctly, was the one and only Ted Nugent.  For me, this was a dream come true as I hadn’t seen him before and I was a huge “Cat Scratch Fever” fan.  I was not disappointed.  He is a mad man.

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No tour book this time as I had been to so many concerts over the past 12 months and ticket prices were now up to $17.50 up from the $11.50 that cost for my first show.  Since it had been about 3 years since the last show I had seen, had the setlist changed much?  Let’s see

  1. Love Gun
  2. Cold Gin
  3. Bang Bang You
  4. Fits Like a Glove
  5. Crazy Crazy Nights
  6. Shout it out Loud
  7. Guitar Solo
  8. Drum Solo
  9. War Machine
  10. Reason To Live
  11. Heaven’s on Fire
  12. Bass Solo
  13. I Love it Loud
  14. Lick It Up
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite
  16. Detroit Rock City (Encore)

This was a shorter set and a much shorter encore.  They must have been bored or something.  But some cool songs that they don’t play now like Bang Bang You.

Now we jump to the 90’s. The first show for me of this new decade was none other than…KISS!!  It was July 20, 1990 and this time it was at the Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheater.  This was a great show.  The opening acts were Danger Danger for sure and the other act was possibly Slaughter. This show got me hooked on Danger Danger so that is why I remember it.  I was already a fan of Slaughter, but Danger Danger was better live. The tour was for the album Hot in the Shade and had a huge Sphinx for the stage setup.  Ticket prices were now over $20 at $24 after fees.

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This one is probably my favorite setlist so far.  They played mostly old songs and some new and just a great mix of songs.  Plus a lot I hadn’t seen live yet.

  1. I Stole Your Love
  2. Deuce
  3. Heaven’t on Fire
  4. Crazy Crazy Nights
  5. Black Diamond
  6. Shout it Out Loud
  7. Strutter
  8. Calling Dr. Love
  9. I Was Made For Lovin’ You
  10. Rise To It
  11. Fits Like a Glove
  12. Hide Your Heart
  13. Lick it Up
  14. God of Thunder
  15. Forever
  16. Cold Gin
  17. Tears are Falling
  18. I Love It Loud
  19. Love Gun
  20. Detroit Rock City
  21. I Want You (Encore)
  22. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

The next time I saw the band was the big Reunion Tour in 1996.  Kiss reunited with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.  The make-up came back on and they did a massive tour.  I am glad to say that on October 1st, I got to see them finally in their make-up. I never thought I would get to see that and I never thought I would get to see Ace & Peter.  My dreams were fulfilled.  The opening act was the Verve Pipe.  Yeah, don’t remember their set at all.  The ticket price was $42 with fees, but I paid nothing  as my sister-in-law worked for the company that built the Omni so we were in their box.

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It was such an amazing show and my favorite so far. I got to see them do what they do best.  Gene looked so much more comfortable back in the make-up and the blood and fire spitting were back in full force.  I remember it was the best Kiss show I had seen because it was them in Make-up.  Ace doing his guitar solo with the smoking guitar and shooting fireworks.  It was what I wanted to see when I was a little kid, but I was too young.  I was in my late 20’s at this point so no longer too young!

The setlist was nothing but classic 70’s Kiss. No 80’s crap here (not really crap, I like the 80’s music too) since Ace & Peter were’t really there in the 80’s.  It was fan’freakin’tastic.

  1. Deuce
  2. King of the Night Time World
  3. Do You Love Me
  4. Calling Dr. Love
  5. Cold Gin
  6. Watchin’ You
  7. Firehouse
  8. I Stole Your Love
  9. Shock Me
  10. Guitar Solo
  11. Let Me Go, Rock ‘N’ Roll
  12. Shout It Out Loud
  13. Strutter
  14. Bass Solo
  15. God of Thunder
  16. Drum Solo
  17. New York Groove
  18. Love Gun
  19. 100,000 Years
  20. Black Diamond
  21. Detroit Rock City (Encore)
  22. Beth (Encore)
  23. Rock and Roll All Nite (Encore)

Damn!!!

Now, there was a long, long stretch before I saw them again.  In fact, it was 16 years.  The next show I remember was on July 19th, 2014 after we had moved to Charlotte.  It was Kiss’ 40th Anniversary Tour and the opening act was Def Leppard!!  That is right.  The 2 bands I have seen in concert the most were playing together in the same show.  Wow!!

My brother, my sister and her husband drove up to Charlotte to see them with me.  If I am being honest, Def Leppard was absolutely amazing.  Probably the best show I have ever seen them do.  They blew the doors off Kiss that night. Kiss has become a well organized, choreographed Las Vegas show and it felt forced.  It did not have the excitement as did Def Leppard’s.  However, it was still an awesome time and I am so glad my family came up to see it with me.  That meant a lot.  I can’t find a stub, but I have a shirt and some pictures!!

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And what about the setlist?  A little shorter as they are older and it was a double headlining show so both acts put on full sets.

  1. Psycho Circus
  2. Deuce
  3. Shout it Out Loud
  4. War Machine
  5. Hotter than Hell (Gene breathes fire)
  6. I Love it Loud
  7. Lick it Up (with Won’t Get Fooled Again)
  8. Bass Solo (Gene spits blood and flies to rafters)
  9. God of Thunder
  10. Hide Your Heart
  11. Cold Gin
  12. Love Gun (Paul flies out to audience)
  13. Black Diamond
  14. Detroit Rock City
  15. Rock and Roll All Nite

I thought this would be my last time seeing the band since I was a little disappointed (only a little).  But when Kiss announced their End of the Road Tour, I changed my mind.  I decided to take one more final ride.  This time I am taking my wife and two daughters whether they like it or not.  I want them to see, just one time, the band that has been a part of my life for so long and has meant so much to me.  I took my wife and oldest daughter to see my other favorite band Def Leppard just last year.

We have our tickets.  Four of them.  For August 10th, 2019 at PNC Pavilion here in Charlotte, NC.  It will be a sad and joyous day for me.  But one I am eagerly anticipating.  I know it is a long way away, but I can’t wait.  Once the show is over, I will definitely write about it, but until then I hope you enjoyed this walk back through my Kiss Experiences.  It has been a fun ride.

I haven’t seen them near as many times as those diehard fans, but I have had my fair share.  As my final sign-off for this post…here are the ticket stubs for my first time and what will be my last time!!! Prices have gone up a little.

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Alice Cooper – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC 10-9-2018)

Ok, I am in no means an Alice Cooper aficionado, I am a casual fan at best.  However, I have always wanted to see Alice live, but never actually went.  Well, as I am getting older and so is Alice, I realized that we won’t be around much longer and I better go see him while I am still around and so is he.  So after my pal Deke went and wrote about it at Thunder Bay Arena Rock, he convinced me to finally do it.  And let me tell you, I am so glad I did.

Now, if you want better pictures go to Deke’s blog as he had front row I believe.  I wasn’t so lucky and I am too cheap!  But I did get pictures and they suck because my phone sucks.  So I apologize up front for that.

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My wife decided to join me on this concert experience and I am glad she did as it made the night that much more special that she was with me.  Plus, it is nice any time we get a date night.  No kids!!!

Now my wife is a little height challenged so she had trouble seeing. Me, I am 6’2″ so I had only minor issues as the guy in front of me was a little taller than me.  But that is okay, I got to see most everything.  Okay enough about that, let’s get to the show.

The show opened with Alice’s voice welcomes you to the nightmare and the band comes exploding out with “Brutal Planet” which was such a great opening song and there was no holding back.  Alice comes strolling out with this coat and cane and never has a 70 year old man looked so cool!!  He owns the stage and has such presence that you are completely drawn to him.  And the way he swings that cane around, those band members better not be standing close or they will get knocked on their ass.  Hell, Alice swung the cane so hard against a speaker that the damn cane broke.

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Needtobreathe – Concert Review – (August 21st, 2018 Charlotte, NC)

I don’t get to enough Live shows each year. I wish I could get to more, but when I do get to attend it is always worth the time and money.  Seeing your favorite band is always the best thing ever.  There is nothing like hearing your favorite songs live as they are always a little different than the studio album and a good band can make them even better.  Thankfully Needtobreathe is a good band…hell…they are a great band.

If you follow my site, you know Def Leppard and Kiss are two of my favorites.  Needtobreathe is right up there with them for me.  I have every album on vinyl and I have now seen them live 3 times (which isn’t a lot, but I don’t usually see too many bands more than once).

Let’s get to the adventure of the show.  My wife decided she would attend the show with me this time as my daughter doesn’t really know the band and she had no interest.  My wife knows they are one of my favorite bands so she thought it would be a fun night and a good chance for us to have a date night…no kids!!!  She even made a playlist on her phone so she could familiarize herself with the band.

I get home from work that night and I can see something is off with my wife when I get home.  I asked her if she was okay and she lied and told me she was fine, but I knew something was off.  I gave her the opportunity to back out and that I would either go alone or drag my oldest daughter.  My wife toughed it out and went as she didn’t want to disappoint me.  It turns out she felt she was getting a kidney stone and if you have had one you know how painful that is.  I will let you know by the end of the night she was feeling fine and even started enjoying herself.

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Journey – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC June 9th, 2018)

Yesterday, I did the review on the Def Leppard part of the show (since they opened the show they should get the first review).  Now, it is time to talk about Journey’s portion of the show.  After seeing Lep, I was really pumped and excited to finally see Journey live.  I have never had the pleasure and I can’t believe I missed them in the Steve Perry years.  Journey has survived all these years because they have something a lot of bands don’t really have and that is songs.  Journey’s hits are some of the most loved and admired songs ever.  I mean  “Don’t Stop Believin'” might be the most recognizable song around the world.

The band is still pretty much in tact.  At least the band from the era I grew up with. You have founder Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory and Steve Smith.  All these guys were there doing the early 80’s and their heyday.  11 years ago they added vocalist Arnel Pineda who they found off Youtube and let me tell you what a find he was.  I still wish they would have done more with Jeff Scott Soto, but oh well.  Arnel is pretty darn good vocalist.

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The stage set up was slightly different than Def Leppard’s, but not by much.  They both used the big 40 Foot screen in the back and the 3 large screens up top on the front of the stage.  Journey stripped back all the risers and platforms that Def Leppard used and had a much simpler set up.  Piano on the left, drums in the middle, Ross and Neal up front and Arnel all over the place (more on that later).

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Def Leppard – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC June 9th, 2018)

Def Leppard is back on tour and this time they are out with Journey on a co-headlining trek around North America.  The last time the two bands toured together was 12 years ago and I missed that tour (I am sure it had to do with having an almost 3 year old and maybe another on the way).  Whatever the reason, I missed it and I wasn’t going to do that again.

When tickets went on sale, I joined the Def Leppard Rock Brigade so I could get early access to tickets.  And damn, tickets were expensive.  This show wasn’t going to be just 2 tickets, I had to buy 3 this time as my wife and my oldest daughter (the one that was almost 3 is now almost 15 – my 11 year old opted out), were joining me on this one.  My wife was going for Journey, but my daughter was going for Leppard (and now has the shirt to prove it).  Me…I was actually going for both.  I have seen Leppard numerous times, but I have never seen Journey…crazy, I know.  Here is what you get for joining the Rock Brigade…a T-shirt & a Pin…

Back to tickets, Lower Level seat were kinda ridiculous.  They were at least $150 or so a piece and then even higher the closer to the stage.  I settled for 3 Front Row Tickets!!  That is right 3 Front Row Tickets!!!  Of course, front row in section 226 on the upper deck because I do have to eat and these were only $99 a piece (only…like $99 is cheap).  Hey, I had an unobstructed view of the show and I could sit if I wanted and not miss a thing.  No real complaints (except I will pay more next time…and there will be a next time).

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Thirdstory – Concert Review (Visulite Theatre in Charlotte, April 18, 2018)

I don’t get to attend many concerts each year and when I do it is usually me taking my daughter to a show.  This case was no different with the exception that I am fan of the band as well. The band is Thirdstory who are out of New York City and featuring Elliott Skinner, Ben Lusher and Richard Saunders.  Their music is a mixture of Pop and R&B with some unbelievable harmonizing.  That is definitely the highlight of the band.

The night started out early as the show didn’t start until 8pm, but we had to arrive at 5:30pm.  Why?  Well, I am trying to win a Father of the Year award and I surprised my daughter with Meet & Greet passes for the show.  She had been hinting all along how cheap it was and I didn’t even have to get a pass since she was underage.  I could be her chaperone.  Little did she know how convincing of an argument she made.

We got there a little early and she ended up being 2nd in line to meet the band.  She was so nervous and it all started it out well enough.  She walked up all smiles and started talking, saying hello to the band and then suddenly she got a little quiet. So, in good old dad fashion, I jumped right in to keep the conversation going.  I mentioned she saw the band once before when they opened for Tori Kelly almost two years to the day at the Fillmore in Charlotte.

The band has a song “G Train” (which I will talk about later), but I brought up the fact we were in New York a couple weeks earlier.  I told them we were unable to catch the G Train while we were there.  Funny enough, they laughed and said they would be worried if we did as it isn’t the safest train in New York.  Now, I am glad we didn’t catch it.

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Ed Sheeran & James Blunt – Charlotte 9/3/2017 – Concert Review

It was Sunday, September 3rd and I was getting in a car with two teenage girls and we were going to see Ed Sheeran in concert at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC.  I must be a glutton for punishment.  For the pre-concert experience I was serenaded rather loudly the whole way to the show.  I was able to hear such classics as “Hunt you Down” by Kesha, Taylor Swift’s new song “Ready For It”, and several of my all time favorite songs from High School Musical 2 including “Fabulous” by Sharpay (sadly I know this and yes I am being sarcastic).  At least they did throw in “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.  All this was prep for me being surrounded by thousands of screaming Ed Sheeran fans (two of which started screaming before we even arrived).

We arrived in plenty of time before the show as I do not like to be rushed.  Nothing worse than being stressed out to go do something you enjoy like going to concerts.  We made the way to our seats and they weren’t bad at all.  We had a nice line of sight to the stage.

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David Bowie – Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74) – #RSD

One of my main goals on Record Store Day on April 22nd was to obtain a copy of the David Bowie album ‘Cracked Actor’.  Thankfully, I succeeded.  It fast became one of my favorite LPs I have in my ever growing collection.

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The year was 1974, David Bowie was king and touring supporting the Diamond Dog album. The album was recorded live at Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles on September 5th, 1974.  The Theatre only sat around 5,000 so it was a nice intimate setting and quite small to what David was able to fill later in his career.

Let’s first talk about the packaging of the record.  It is a very nice, high quality, high glossed album cover.  So high glossed, I couldn’t avoid being seen in the cover as I was taking pictures.  I tried so many angles.

Continue reading “David Bowie – Cracked Actor (Live Los Angeles ’74) – #RSD”

Def Leppard – And There Will Be A Next Time…Live From Detroit (2017)

Part 3 of the Def Leppard Live Series is ‘And There Will Be A Next Time…Live From Detroit’.  This the latest released from Def Leppard and sparked my reason behind reviewing all three of the Live albums they have released.  The other two are as follows:

‘And There Will Be A Next Time…’ was recorded back over the Summer of 2016 in Detroit, MI (obviously) in support of their album that was simply titled ‘Def Leppard’.  The release was in both CD form and in Blue Ray / DVD and consisted of 17 tracks.  The track listing is below:

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CD One:

  1. “Let’s Go”
  2. “Animal”
  3. “Let It Go”
  4. “Dangerous”
  5. “Foolin'”
  6. “Love Bites”
  7. “Armageddon It”
  8. “Rock On”
  9. “Man Enough”

Continue reading “Def Leppard – And There Will Be A Next Time…Live From Detroit (2017)”