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.

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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”

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Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011)

If I remember correctly, there was an interview with Joe Elliott a long, long time ago asking him about Cover albums and Live albums and why Def Leppard hadn’t done any of these albums. His response was something to the effect that bands that have nothing else to give do those kind of albums (not a direct quote).  I tried finding the article, but was unsuccessful.  Well, 1 Cover album and now 3 Live albums later, I guess Def Leppard has nothing to give…Okay, we know that is wrong as Def Leppard has still put out great albums in between all these Live albums and the Cover album.  His opinion of them has apparently changed.

This post will be the first in a 3 part series discussing Def Leppard’s 3 Live Albums including ‘Mirror Ball’,‘Viva! Hysteria’, and ‘And There Will Be A Next Time…’.  We will start the series in chronological order starting with the 2011 release ‘Mirror Ball: Live & More’.

‘Mirror Ball’ is the first official release on CD for any Def Leppard recording.  I have bootlegs of live albums, but glad to see an official release of live material.  It was long overdue.  The album was a 2 CD set and included a Bonus DVD as well which I will discuss later in the post.  The CD packaging is one of those old thick plastic cases that doesn’t hold up well. I cracked the back of the case on the day I bought it.  I don’t remember what I did, but it is nicely cracked now.

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Concerts, Concerts, Concerts – The 90’s

I am going to continue rehashing all the concerts I have been to that I still have the tickets stubs for those shows and even mention shows I remember that I can’t find a ticket stub.  I started off talking about The 80’s (click to read about it), now we will pick up in the 90’s and see what wonderful shows I attended.

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.  Not positive on that one. This show got me hooked on Danger Danger so that is why I remember it.  The tour was for the album Hot in the Shade and had a huge Sphinx for the state setup.  Ticket prices were now over $20 at $24 after fees.

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