Thursday, December 13, 2018

In defence of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

It's the same thing every year. The R&RHoF announces its nominees or inductees and immediately the cries of a thousand fanboys are heard across the twitter sphere demanding the head of Jann Wenner, Barack Obama and whatever hip-hop group was awarded a trophy that year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Zeal and Ardor @ La Cigale, Paris - December 12th, 2018

Closing out this concert year for me is Zeal and Ardor, a great young band that has been very hyped up in the past couple of years, for good reason. They play a very original blend of black metal and blues/gospel music that is at once heavy and groovy, doomy and catchy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Paul McCartney @ La Défense Arena, Paris - November 28th, 2018

It had been a couple of years since Macca's last concert in Paris, which means we were overdue for a visit. This time, the occasion is the release of his new album, "Egypt Station", another strong release like every one since the new millenium, chock-full of meticulously-crafted songs, peerless melodies,  perfect harmonies and fantastic performances.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

King Crimson @ Olympia, Paris - November 17th, 2018

Tonight was the last night of the King Crimson Paris residency and the last night of their Meltdown 2018 European tour. Being somewhat of an obsessive-compulsive fellow I attended all three Paris dates and even treated myself to the Royal Package experience for the last night.

Friday, November 16, 2018

King Crimson @ Olympia, Paris - November 16th, 2018

Another blinder of a gig. Keep'em coming' boys! I'm excited for the Royal Package tomorrow, as long as it's not a metaphor for something naughty. Slightly reshuffled setlist, we happily gained LTIA pt.1 but unfortunately lost Schizoid Man and Easy Money.

The Rockin' Vicar

The resemblance probably didn't extend to their lifestyles, but who knows?

Thursday, November 15, 2018

King Crimson @ Olympia, Paris - November 15th, 2018

I sold my children's kidneys to make sure I would get the best seats to see those eight hunks play their greatest hit singles and I have to say I was most disappointed at the lack of props, smoke bombs and pyro. Also these guys can't dance for shit. It's like they weren't even trying! I was also told by a security guy I wouldn't be able to film the whole set with my phone and that was the last straw! Joke's on them, I did manage to get some pictures, hahaha!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Nightwish @ Accorhotels Arena, Paris - November 10th, 2018

I bought a ticket for this show out of curiosity after seeing one of their recent Wacken shows on TV. I was never a fan their brand of symphonic metal with operatic vocals and cheesy synthesizers but I remember being very impressed with that particular gig. I had written them off because I could never stand Tarja’s vocal mannerisms. Their relatively new singer Floor Jansen thankfully has a more metal approach to the job which balances the pomposity of the compositions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Glenn Hughes @ Élysée-Montmartre, Paris - November 6th, 2018

When Glenn Hughes announced he would be bringing his Deep Purple tribute tour to Paris I wasn’t overly excited. I knew the setlist would be great but it wasn’t enough to make me buy a ticket. I would much rather see him with Black Country Communion or play a regular solo show. But I ended up getting comped so why not?

Lex Koritni @ Élysée Montmartre, Paris - November 6, 2018

I missed most of Lex Koritni's set as I got into the venue right as he was starting the last song, an acoustic but muscular cover of Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning". I think I remember seeing his eponymous band open for Mötley Crüe six years ago but that's about all I can say. And of course I saw Midnight Oil sing that song last year during a great gig at the Olympia.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Ry Cooder (feat. the Hamiltones) @ Olympia, Paris - October 21st, 2018

Almost ten years after playing that same venue with Nick Lowe, Ry Cooder is back in the Olympia for what was undoubtedly the concert of the year.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Saxon @ Bataclan, Paris - October 15th, 2018

In the spirit of full disclosure, I've never been a huge Saxon fan. I was always aware of them and their brand of working class British metal, and even saw them live once before, but when it comes to the famed New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, I was always a bigger Iron Maiden fan.

FM @ Bataclan, Paris - October 15th, 2018

FM was an odd choice for this middle slot. Squeezed in between pure metal artists like Raven and Saxon, their brand of AOR seemed a little out of place.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Toots & the Maytals @ l'Olympia, Paris - October 2nd, 2018

I don't like reggae. These aren't the lyrics from Dreadlock Holiday, it's an actual statement. I genuinely don't like reggae. Most reggae artists get the cosmetics right: they all groove on that syncopated caribbean shuffle, sing about the evils of Babylon and the miracles of ganja and sing ayo, ayoyo yo during the chorus. And in the process, they forget to write actual songs. In that respect reggae is very similar to heavy metal, where most bands have the right sound, the right speed, the right image and are completely devoid of anything memorable beyond their intro riffs.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Alice Cooper @ Greek Theatre, Los Angeles - August 12th, 2018

I've already written several lengthy reviews (here, here and here) of the current Alice Cooper show. Suffice to say it's as brilliant as ever.

Ace Frehley @ Greek Theatre, Los Angeles - August 12th, 2018

Ace Frehley, the original guitarist from KISS, was at the Greek Theater opening for Alice Cooper. I hadn't seen the guy since the KISS reunion tour in 1996 but I had seen recent clips on YouTube and I was expecting a disaster.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Look who is in Downtown SLO

Ace Frehley is playing the Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo tonight. We'll see him at the Greek in L.A. in two days time.

Monday, August 6, 2018

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Not exactly rock and roll, but anyone with even just a passing interest in literature, counter-culture, jazz or Beat poetry knows that City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco is hallowed ground.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - July 23rd, 2018

So there's an old guy called Robert Plant touring the world right now. He used to be the singer in a legendary rock band, Tin Aircraft I think? Anyway, he's an old dude these days. He has moobs. He looks nothing like a golden God. He doesn't even sound like a Rock God.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Iron Maiden @ Accorhotels Arena Bercy, Paris - July 6th, 2018

There is an intense debate that has split the Metal legions into two very vehement factions and that has lasted several decades now: Priest or Maiden? Some reasonable fans have managed to keep a level-headed, measured approach by saying both are great bands in their own right, blah blah blah... Fuck that. I like Judas Priest, they're pretty cool. But I'm a Maiden guy all the way. And over the last two nights I was reminded as to why.

The Raven Age @ Accorhotels Arena Bercy, Paris - July 6th, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Iron Maiden @ Accorhotels Arena Bercy, Paris - July 5th, 2018

Iron Maiden is bringing their Legacy of the Beast Tour to Paris for two nights. This is the page for pictures taken on night one. Unfortunately, I was pretty far from the stage and only had my point and shoot so the pictures leave a lot to be desired but they do give a sense of the scope of the show.

John Hiatt & the Goners feat. Sonny Landreth @ Alhambra, Paris - July 4th, 2018

John Hiatt is touring the world with The Goners, his band from the late eighties, celebrating the 30th anniversary of his hit album Slow Turning. Which means Sonny Landreth will be handling lead guitar duties, which gives us three good reasons to check out this concert.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic @ Casino de Paris - July 3rd, 2018

This is not the review I wanted to write. 

For a couple of years during high school I was obsessed with all things P-Funk. I'd buy records just because Bootsy played on them. I'd track down terrible sounding live bootlegs from the seventies just to hear another version of Maggot Brain. I saw Bootsy Collins play with Lucky Peterson instead of going to my senior prom. Then in 1998 I finally saw the George Clinton P-Funk All-Stars for the first time and it was everything I hoped it would be, a funky lysergic transe that built up and up and up... The climax never came however because they played past curfew and the building shut them down.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Steve Earle & the Dukes @ Trabendo, Paris July 2nd, 2018

Country singer/songwriter Steve Earle played the Trabendo last night with his band The Dukes in support of his latest album, the aptly named So You Wannabe An Outlaw.

The Mastersons @ Trabendo, Paris - July 2nd 2018

Before husband and wife Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore hit the stage as part of Steve Earle's band The Dukes, they presented their musical duo The Mastersons. While not exactly original or groundbreaking, their songs are very pleasant and their voices harmonise perfectly together. It was a great set and a perfect way to warm up for the main attraction.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Dernière de "Plus Près de Toi" @ Radio Nova - June 29th, 2018

C'est la der de Baer ce matin à Radio Nova. Une émission très drôle (j'ai encore mal à la mâchoire, la faute à cet échange entre Édouard et Alain Chabat) et avec en invité surprise Alain Souchon accompagné de son fils qui nous chantent Foule Sentimentale et La Vie ne vaut Rien. Superbe.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

R.I.P. Vinnie Paul

And now both Abbott brothers have crossed the Cemetery Gates...

Monday, June 18, 2018

Guns N' Roses @ Download Paris - June 18th, 2018

Holy shit guys! Did you know Slash and Duff are back in Guns N' Roses? For real! You remember Guns N' Roses? They were huge in the early nineties. Like, Michael Jackson huge! Remember their singer? Well, he still wears a bandana. He keeps his shirt on nowadays, thankfully. But they still sing all those cool songs we liked as kids, as well as a bunch of other classic rock songs. Plus a bunch of stuff no one knows, but they sound cool! Anyway, I just saw them last night and it was good. A little long, because all the musicians like to play a lot of notes that don't amount to a song (not that I've heard on the radio at least) but still, it was just like 1992.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Ozzy Osbourne @ Download Paris - June 15th, 2018

Yesterday was the first day of the Download Paris 2018. It's actually pretty far out of Paris but quite easy to get to thanks to an uncharacteristically efficient organisation.

Opeth @ Download Paris - June 15th, 2018

Opeth is a great band and their records are at once increasingly challenging and satisfying. They were never just another black metal band, and it's obvious with their more progressive recent outputs which have discarded the growling vocals altogether.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Jeff Beck @ Olympia, Paris - June 9th, 2018

My seventh time seeing Jeff Beck*, and I just can't get enough. Somehow, even when I know to expect the unexpected, he still manages to surprise me. Whether he plays blues, rock n' roll, soul, jazz, hard rock, electronica or even classical pieces the man can do no wrong (yes, I even enjoy his Flash album from the eighties!)...

John Parr @ Olympia, Paris - June 9th, 2018

I was sitting front row at the famous Olympia, waiting to see Jeff Beck for the seventh time when I overheard someone  from the crew say there was a support act called John Parr. Surely I must've misunderstood. Surely it couldn't possibly be THAT John Parr from my childhood.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Field Music @ Flow, Paris - April 7th, 2018

The Brewis brothers David and Peter are Field Music, a band that plays a brand of angular chamber pop with progressive leanings that is distinctly English. Not exactly the most fashionable music these days, especially here in France and consequently the small venue wasn't even full.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Celebrating David Bowie @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - January 10th, 2018

It feels like David Bowie's body was still warm when it was announced that some of his former musicians would pay tribute to him by touring the world and playing his songs. While it's easy to be cynical, this outfit has the legitimacy of Mike Garson, who has been with Bowie since 1973. Let's face it: nothing and no one can replace Bowie but those songs deserve to be played.