Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rolling Stones Exhibitionism @ Industria, New York City, NY

Cool travelling exhibit showcasing the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band ™. Original artwork, instruments used on recordings and tours, hand-written lyrics, stage designs, stage outfits, and a replica of the London apartment they lived in at the beginning of their career. Great stuff, even if you just have a passing interest in the Stones. If you're a fan like me you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Answer @ le Trabendo, Paris - December 8th, 2016

This Irish hard rock band has been touring and recording non-stop for a decade and a half. I first say them opening for AC/DC back in 2008 and I saw them as recently as last summer when they opened for Whitesnake. 

The Dead Daisies @ Trabendo, Paris - December 8th, 2016

Dead Daisies is more of a vanity project than a band. Rhythm guitarist David Lowy has assembled a great rotating cast of musicians, and the Dead Daisies past and current roster reads like a who's who of journeyman musicians for hire.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

King Crimson @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - December 4th, 2016

Night two of the short KC residency at the Salle Pleyel. A slightly different setlist, and the same level of excellence on all fronts. A moving tribute to David Bowie at the end of the night brought some audience members to tears. Not me, obviously. I'm a man. I don't cry. Ever.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

King Crimson @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - December 3rd, 2016

A year after his three-date engagement at the Olympia, King Crimson is back in Paris. The middle drummer has changed but apart from that, the approach and repertoire are roughly similar. Old classics are de-constructed and re-imagined and themes are re-thought to accommodate the new instrumentation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Generals gathered in their Masses

Delicious slow smoked barbecue restaurant and micro-brewery in Copenhagen, named after one of Black Sabbath's most famous songs. If you re-scramble the letters in the word meat and add an L, you get METAL

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Opeth @ Le Trianon, Paris - November 22nd, 2016

A very good set by one of the most adventurous metal bands of the past twenty years. Opeth started out playing rather complex but prototypical black metal, and they have now become a classic progressive band with accents of extreme metal.

Myrkur @ le Trianon, Paris - November 22nd, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wilco @ Casino de Paris, Paris (well, duh) - November 16th, 2016

Jeff Tweedy and Wilco keep releasing one fantastic album after the other. It's been a long time since they played anything that can be categorised as "alt-country", but at its core Wilco still sings about the American experience and in that way they are quintessentially Americana. But pop, punk, psychedelia, swing and other genres seep through in Tweedy's idiosyncratic songwriting making this original blend something more...

William Tyler @ Casino de Paris - November 156, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Saxon @ Le Trianon, Paris - November 14th, 2016

Saxon has been around almost forty years and this experience shows. They are incredibly professional and they deliver a great show. Pyro, fog machines, demonic lighting, songs about motorcycles, outlaws and rocking all night... Biff Byford and his musicians do not apologise for the clichés and excesses of heavy metal, they embrace them. And well they should. This is what the audience has come to enjoy. Fantasy, escapism, good natured rebellion and some face-melting guitar solos.

The Last In Line @ Le Trianon, Paris - November 14th, 2016

Last in Line started as the reunion of the original Dio band without Ronnie James Dio who passed away in 2010. Since then they've lost some musicians (like Jimmy Bain, who died last year) and released al album of new material.

Girlschool @ Le Trianon, Paris - November 14th, 2016

This concert was supposed to be headlined by Motörhead. It was postponed after the Bataclan attacks, and then postponed again after Lemmy fell ill. Unfortunately Lemmy didn't make it, on account of being Stone Dead Forever. But his friends Saxon and Girlschool are honouring the commitment, and they brought Last In Line along with them.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

R.I.P. Leon Russell

In the last decades of his life, Leon Russell became sort of a forgotten figure of rock and roll and he never got his dues. Addictions, lawsuits and mediocre albums have unfairly relegated this music giant to the C List. Elton John recently recorded an album with him, which triggered a resurgence in interest for this man who has been a part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew, played with JJ Cale, assembled the Mad Dogs and Englishmen band for Joe Cocker and has written some enduring classics (Delta Lady, A Song for You, Superstar, This Masquerade...) which hopefully helped him get solvent again and enjoy the last years of his life. The concert I saw at the New Morning was very good, but a far cry from the Leon Live triple album, one of the most raucous, rocking, rolling and rollicking live recordings ever committed to acetate. Do yourself a favour and track it down (preferably on vinyl), it's killer from beginning to end.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Les Insus? (Téléphone) @ Le Zénith, Paris - November 12th, 2016

If you're not French you can be forgiven for not knowing who these people are and why their reunion is such a big deal. But if you lived in France anytime in the past forty years then chances are you've heard their songs at parties, in bars, on the radio or in television commercials.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Stanley Clarke @ le Trianon, Paris - November 11th, 2016

Jazz fusion bass maestro Stanley Clarke is in town and that means an evening of funky grooves, and virtuosic musicianship.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Renaud @ Zénith, Paris - October 27, 2016

Dix ans après un Bercy où il était apparu très en forme, revoilà Renaud soi-disant ressuscité. Si sa déchéance physique et vocale est impressionnante, le concert reste néanmoins excellent en grande partie grâce à un public bienveillant et solidaire.

Gauvain Sers @ Zénith, Paris - 27 Octobre 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Jeff Beck @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - October 24th, 2016

We were expecting Jeff Beck to play with his current backing band Bones but for some mysterious reason the girls didn't make it and we got to see a more traditional Jeff Beck show. He played his instrumentals as a quartet and added vocalist Jimmy Hall when needed. We're not complaining! In fact, this was really for the best as we are not really big fans of his latest album Loud Hailer.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Skye & Ross @ Elysée Montmartre, Paris - October 20th, 2016

The majestic Élysée-Montmartre burned down about five years ago and it looked like it would never open. I have some great memories from that venue, and I am happy to come back here for the first time since Jane's Addcition's show back in 2003.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Black Sabbath @ Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT, USA - August 27th, 2016

This isn't Black Sabbath's first farewell tour, so I don't know how much credence we can give to their claim that this is "The End". But things are different now. The guys are nearing seventy, and Tony Iommi's health isn't what it used to be. So I couldn't really pass up this opportunity to see the venerable behemoth, nearly three years after their first Paris gig since the return of original singer Ozzy Osbourne.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Strolling down Sunset

While in SoCal for the last show of this leg of the GN'R tour, it would be silly not to drive down to L.A. for a little rock and roll pilgrimage.

If you're into movies and music like I am then Sunset Boulevard holds a mythical place in your imagination. I hadn't been here in years, decades even and it's good to see that things haven't changed. All the legendary rock clubs are still there and although it shut down years ago the famous Tower Records store is still standing.

I had quick lunch at the fabled Rainbow Bar & Grill but unfortunately they are only inaugurating their Lemmy statue tomorrow, so I didn't get to see it... Guess I'll have to come back.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Guns N' Roses @ Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego - August 22nd, 2016

This was something I thought I'd never see again. As a kid living in Brazil then later as a young teenager living in Paris, Guns N'Roses was my band. I wore the fuck out of my Appetite For Destruction vinyl AND tape and when the Use Your Illusion albums came out on September 17th 1991, after months or false promises, years even, I was first in line at the Virgin Megastore to get my copies.

The Cult @ Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego - August 22nd, 2016

The Cult was announced two hours before show time as the opener of the last date on this leg of the Not In This Lifetime tour and you could tell they weren't happy about it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Whitesnake @ Olympia, Paris - July 19th, 2016

Although I've enjoyed David Coverdale's voice and music for as long as I've been a rock fan, I've had to wait until the day after my 38th birthday to finally check out Whitesnake in concert. While they are way past their prime, and the musicians are mostly all faceless sidemen, it was still a great show thanks to a near-perfect setlist.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Keb' Mo' @ New Morning, Paris - July 6th, 2016

Keb' Mo's debut album on Okeh Records is one of my favourite albums and one of the ones I've listened to the most in the nineties. Those songs have been such a big part of my life that it's hard to put into words. His second album was very pleasant, but more of the same and a little too polished. And I kind of lost track after that and haven't seen him live in twenty years.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Iggy Pop @ Grand Rex, Paris - May 15th, 2016

The Stooges are no more. Both Asheton brothers are now dead and the best rock reunion has now come to an end. So when it was time for Iggy to return to his solo career, instead of slumming it in festivals with a mediocre backing band comprised of pedestrian metal musicians, Iggy decided to class it up a bit. He called up Josh Homme and he formed a deluxe band with members of Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys to play some of the world's most beautiful theatres.

Friday, May 13, 2016

AC/DC feat. Axl Rose @ Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France - May 13th, 2016

When AC/DC ended their last album/tour cycle, they probably didn't expect the next one to be so bumpy. Founding guitarist Malcolm Young, stricken with dementia, had to retire and was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young. Then drummer Phil Rudd's excesses caught up with him and he had to be replaced by a returning Chris Slade after the new album was recorded. And if that wasn't enough, mid-way through the tour, vocalist Brian Johnson had to drop out because of a hearing problem. Or so they say...

Thursday, April 21, 2016

R.I.P. Prince

Legends are dropping like flies these days. BB King, who lived a great long life, performing almost into his nineties. Lemmy, who burned the candle at both ends. David Bowie, who turned his death into art just like he did his life. And now Prince, who was always so vibrant, so creative, so full of life. It's hard to imagine him as a strung-out junky jut like it's hard to make sense of this opiate epidemic.