Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Social Distortion @ Bataclan, Paris - April 29, 2015

Social Distortion is celebrating twenty-five years of their self-titled record, and the celebration thankfully doesn't stop at hanging a backdrop in the image of that album sleeve behind the drum kit. They played ten songs off of that record, to the delight of every fan in the audience. Add a few tracks from their latest album Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes and a few more from Somewhere Between Heaven & Hell and White Light, White Heat, White Trash and you have a near-perfect setlist for the Orange County punk veterans.

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas @ Bataclan, Paris - April 29, 2015

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas play a vintage blend of old times rock and roll and swing with a punk edge. A very pleasant opener.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lynyrd Skynyrd @ Palais des Sports, Paris - April 25, 2015

No one is going to argue that Lynyrd Skynyrd is the band that has been dealt one of the worst hands in rock and roll. So I would not begrudge Gary Rossington for taking any version of the band out to reap what they sowed with their first four albums. It doesn't matter that he is the only original member left: the band he has assembled is as legitimate as they come.

Those songs deserved to be played. Rossington, Rick Medlocke and Mark Matejka perfectly recreate the classic three-guitar attack and Johnny Van Zandt is a dead ringer for his late brother Ronnie, both vocally and physically.

The set was short and to the point. All killer, no filler. Workin' For MCA, Simple Man, Gimme Three Steps... Every song played last night is a staple of American classic rock radio. And of course they had to finish with Seet Home Alabama and the epic Freebird, originally written as a tribute to the late Duane Allman but which has now become an psalm for all the tragedies that have plagued the band, as well as an ode to the almighty Electric Guitar.

This is Southern Rock in its purest incarnation. Honest, resilient, and distinctly American.

Jared James Nichols @ Palais des Sports, Paris - April 25, 2015

This new gunslinger is one to watch. I had never heard of him but my bet is that he'll be huge in the next few years. H plays a brand of hard rocking blooze very reminiscent of Cactus or Moutain, with jaw-dropping guitar pyrotechnics. A great rocking discovery.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Gentle Storm @ Divan Du Monde, Paris - April 22, 2015

Anneke Van Giersbergen has kept herself busy in the years following her departure from The Gathering, and her latest project finds her delving into folk-influenced symphonic metal. Gone are the experimentations of her later years with the Gathering, and this is European metal by the numbers.

Stream of Passion @ Divan du Monde, Paris - April 22, 2015