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 Start 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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Concerts, Concerts, Concerts – The 80’s

I have been going through this rock & roll trip down memory lane with this blog.  It started with the vinyl records I found in a box and than last week with the posters.  I actually found one more box from my younger days and this one had a ton of concert ticket stubs from over the years.  I also found a couple concert T’s and a couple programs as well.  I still can’t believe I kept all this stuff, but I am glad I did.

Going to a concert nowadays, they don’t give you a physical ticket anymore.  If they do, they charge you for it.  Nope, tickets are on your phone and get scanned in or you print it out on your printer.  Not the same as those dot matrix printers from the old days.

You also used to stand in line for tickets.  You had to arrive an hour or two before the tickets went on sale whether it was hot, cold, raining or snowing.  We did it each and every time we wanted to go see a show.  And we loved it!  Now you go online from the comfort of you home…not the same.

Whether you want to or not, I am going to take you on a journey of my musical concert experiences…at least most of them because I think I am missing quite a few ticket stubs.

The 80’s

Our journey begins back around 1983.  I was only 14 years old.  My parents finally agreed to let me go to a concert, but I had to go with my sister…REALLY!!!  Actually, it was okay.  My sister and I have been to many concerts together and even went to one 2 years ago some 3o+ years later.

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Joseph – Concert Review

The opening act for the James Bay concert on September 25th at the Fillmore in Charlotte was a female trio called Joseph.  Joseph are three sisters who come to us from Portland, Oregon. My daughter has really enjoyed their new album ‘I’m Alone, No You’re Not’ that only came out a few weeks back.  She got me to listen to it as well so I would be familiar with the band when we went to the concert. And I have to say the album is really great and worth a listen.

Now before the show, as we were standing behind the sound boards, there was a young lady standing in front of them talking to the sound guy.  My daughter started getting exciting as she turned to me and said that it was one of the girls from Joseph.  And sure enough, it was Natalie.  Why my daughter didn’t snap a picture of her I don’t know.

The band consists of only Natalie, Allison & Meegan Closner and when the show started, the three sisters walked out on stage by themselves with only Natalie carrying a guitar. A very simple set up.  They did have a drummer during the show, but he was off stage and out of sight.  When they started singing, it was apparent they really didn’t need anything more than their voices.  They were amazing.  The 3 part harmonies were spot on and I have to tell you these women can sing.

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