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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Friday New Releases – August 31st

The last Friday of August and we go out with a little bang.  Not a huge bang.  September is going to be huge so get ready for the ton of new releases coming your way.  There are a handful I am interested in this week and those will be highlighted in Blue as usual.  Let me know what you want to hear or you are going to get.  Leave me a comment because I always miss some good releases.  I hope you have a great weekend and Happy Listening!!!

  • download-3  The Veer Union – Decade II: Rock & Acoustic – (Rock Shop Entertainment):  This is a greatest hits package with a heavy side and a softer, acoustic side.  I have enjoyed Crispin Earl’s vocals (and only original member) so I will give this one spin.  I was hoping for new music, but this will do for now.  I will admit, I do like the cover of “Numb” by Linkin Park.  That might be worth it all by itself.

  • 814FHRdGWaL._SX522_  Alice Cooper – A Paranormal Evening at the Olympia Paris (Live) – (earMusic):  I am hoping to see Alice here in Charlotte in October and this will be a great way to prep for his live show.  Alice’s last studio album ‘Paranormal” was absolutely FANTASTIC!!  His band is also awesome and live, it is one helluva a show.  Can’t wait!!

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – ‘Radio Free America’ – Album Review

Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently.  The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time. I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi?).  Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them.  She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work.  The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work.  Did I get that…well…we will see.

After releasing two E.P.’s in 2017 and a couple singles including one double single, we finally get a full album called ‘Radio Free America’ from RSO (it’s there initials, get it!).  Now here is the problem with that…the full album is all 13 songs previously released with those E.P.’s and singles and only 2 new songs.  That is right, only 2 and one is a cover.  So, if you bought the E.P.’s, you aren’t getting much more.  And to make it worse, it is an album of 15 songs in length (over an hour and 7 minutes).  That is pretty long for an album and you know there will be filler…and trust me there is filler.  I heard they recorded 25 songs, I would like to know where those other 10 songs are.

I have reviewed all the E.P.’s and 2 of the singles previously, but we will compile them here again and make it a full length review adding in the singles I haven’t discussed prior.  We might as well jump in and away we go…

With the opening and title track “Making History” Richie & Orianthi are doing what we wanted them to do.  They are rocking out.  The guitars on this one are exceptional with an almost Def Leppardesque sound from around the “Euphoria” era at times (maybe).  The guitar solo is freaking sensational and it is all I ask from these two.  Of course I have one minor negative on the song.  The vocals are missing something whether it is the chemistry or the mix.  Bob Rock is the producer and he does great work, but I am not a fan of them singing simultaneously.  I prefer them to trade back and forth.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper!  Is there anything more that needs to be said.  I don’t think so.  It is now time to honor Mr. Cooper and the greatness that he is.  There are not too many rock stars out there as cool as he is.  Heck his last album was incredible so there aren’t many people out there still relevant after over 40 years of music (or is it 50 now).  Sit back and enjoy Alice Cooper.

The Songs…

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Friday New Releases – February 23rd

Welcome to the last Friday of February for new releases.  There isn’t a whole lot of new ones that are peaking my interest.  There are a few I will listen to and as usual, they are highlighted in Blue.  Let me know if there is something that tickles your fancy or if there was anything that I don’t have on my list.  Thanks and have a great weekend.

  • 510qrK6DCuL._AC_US436_QL65_  Alice Cooper – The Sound of A E.P. – (Edel Germany):  Alice Cooper’s latest album ‘Paranormal’ is absolutely stellar.  This is really just a single release of “The Sound of A” from that album, but what makes it special is the 4 B-Sides you get as well including Live versions of “The Black Widow”, “Public Animal #9”, “Is It My Body” and “Cold Ethyl”.  That makes it worth it!!

  • 715ygsnBa6L._SX522_.jpg  CoreLeoni – The Greatest Hits Part 1 – (Frontiers Records):  Leo Leoni, guitarist from the band Gotthard, releases this on the 25th Anniversary of Gotthard to celebrate rock and bring back some songs that Gotthard has left behind.  With singer Ronnie Romero taking on the vocals this could be a very interesting project.  Worth at least a listen.

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Hired Gun – Documentary Review

I have been wanting to see Hired Gun since it was announced as a documentary in the Summer of 2017.  Thanks to Netflix, I finally got that chance.  If you don’t know what it is, I will tell you.

‘Hired Gun’ is a documentary about those musicians singers and bands hire to be in the band whether to help make an album or to do a tour.  They are the “hired guns” and they aren’t actual members of the band.  For me, that sounded like a very interesting story to be told.  What do these musicians/artists go through to get the gig and to actually keep that gig.

The people they interview are incredible musicians.  You might not know them all by name, but you would probably recognize a lot their work.  They are as follows:

  • Liberty Devito (Billy Joel)
  • Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Phil X (Bon Jovi)
  • Eric Singer (Kiss)
  • Ray Parker, Jr. (Ghostbusters)
  • Justin Derrico (P!nk)
  • Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson)
  • Kenny Arnoff (John Mellencamp)
  • Jason Newsted (Metallica)

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Top Rock Songs of 2017

Welcome to the Top 20 Rock Songs of 2017.  These songs are my favorite songs of the year and were not necessarily played on the radio or even shot up the charts.  They just moved me in some way good or bad!

If you missed the Top Rock Albums of 2017 or the Top Albums of 2017 (that were not Rock), just click on the link and go check them out.

It is time to start the list so here we go…

#20 – “Make It Move” by Jonny Lang off the album ‘Signs’:  The loud stomping sound that opens the song and throughout feels like a train barreling down on you.  The opening track to the album starts it all off with a bang.  The song also delivers a great message that you need to make the move and not wait on something to happen.

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The Top Rock Albums of 2017

2017 has been a fabulous year in music, but mostly for all the Anniversary Editions of some of my favorite albums from Def Leppard, Whitesnake and Stone Temple Pilots.  However, there were some stellar Rock albums this year as well.

This list will be my favorite “Rock” albums of the year.  All other types of music will be for a later post.  I am going to leave this one to my favorite genre.  It is a broad genre, but these are the albums that I consider to be ROCK!!

Also note, these are MY FAVORITES!!  These are not the most popular or trendy albums.  These are the albums that I connected with during the year and kept coming back to again and again.  And without further adieu, here are the Top Rock Albums of 2017:

My #1 Album of the Year:

61hNZekCmAL._SS500 Jonny Lang – ‘Signs’This album is straight-up Blues Rock and was one of two albums I can’t stop listening to this year.  With songs like “Make It Move” and “Wisdom” how could I vote for any other album as #1.  If that isn’t enough, Jonny’s guitar playing is sensational and his vocals are filled with so much emotion you are attached to these songs.  Here is what I said in my review…He has brought a rawness back to his music that brings a more authentic blues sound and brings a lot of emotion.  There is no reason you should skip out on listening to this album. (Click at the top to see the review).

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RSO (Richie Sambora & Orianthi) – Rise E.P. – Album Review

Back in 2013, Richie Sambora met Orianthi and sparks flew, apparently.  The two are an item and now they are putting out music for the masses and it is about time.  I had heard back last year, I believe, that they were working together and going to put out an album.  Well, we finally got one; however, it is only an E.P. with only 5 songs.  Now, I am not greedy, but I would have preferred a whole album.

Now when I heard we were getting music from the two, I was excited.  I love Richie’s vocals and his bluesy, rock style plus he can play the guitar (have you heard of Bon Jovi).  Orianthi is also one helluva a guitar player herself and she can sing with the best of them.  She has played for Michael Jackson and for Alice Cooper as well as her own solo work.  The two together, I was expecting a bluesy rock album with some amazing guitar work.

What I was expecting and what we actually have are not quite the same thing.  Apparently, the two of them wanted to deliver an album that was not what people expected.  They wanted to give something that shows that they can do something more than play guitar.  Message received loud and clear.

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Friday New Releases – July 28th

It is the last Friday of the month and it has been a slow month.  And it is another Friday where there isn’t a ton of releases, but there are at least a few I am interested in and those are highlighted in Blue.  If you like Rock, Pop, Metal, Country, Christian, Electronic and even old time rock & roll, there is a little for everyone.

  • 51ZBD6E9HnL._AC_US218_  Alice Cooper – Paranormal – (EarMusic):  The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Alice Cooper is back with his 27th or so album.  How many artists can say that??  I have seen and heard a lot of buzz about this one and I am actually excited to get this one.  I can’t wait to hear what is in store with this one.

  • 617WoFX2ojL._AC_US218_  Seventh Day Slumber – Found – (VSR):  The Christian rock band from Texas is here to bring us more of their post-grunge, hard rock.  I haven’t heard anything of this one yet (haven’t watched the video either) so waiting to be surprised when the full album is out.  I am generally not disappointed by anything they have released over the last 12 years.

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