Thursday, July 4, 2019

2018/2019 Concert Season Recap - Part 1: June 21st -December 2018

Well, here it is. It's July. Summer is upon us (has been for quite some time, too) and we're wrapping another concert season. 2018/2019 has been phenomenal on that front: lots of great gigs by veteran bands, the confirmation of major talents and the revelation of future greats.

If there is a trend or pattern it seems to be the resurgence of a "classic" American sound, whether Country, Blues, Soul or Rock and Roll. Some modern acts like to update the form and take it into 2019 while purists prefer to preserve it but some of the best records and shows this past season have been meddling with these idioms.

That's not to say there haven't been great things by less traditional, more exploratory outfits. And to be perfectly honest, this is probably just a reflection of what interests us these days.

It's impossible to rank shows. We had a blast at all of them, and they were all great for different reasons. So I am just going to recap all of them here starting June 21st last year. Click on the links for full review and pictures. My apologies to some of the great opening acts we've purposely excluded from this list.

This is part one of this recap, and hopefully part two and three will be up in the next few days.

After this, there might be a couple more entries to the site here and there (we have a few Friday's Playlists ready to go, for example) but most likely this is it until the end of August.

Enjoy your summer!

We started this season by going to Wine Country to attend this great gig by the reunited Gunners. This was our fourth gig on this three-year tour, one of the most profitable in Rock and Roll history.

The country veteran, survivor and all around bad-ass Steve Earle payed a great set in Paris for about 500 people.

They can't all be winners. This gig was quite the disappointment, unfortunately. As a big fan of Funkadelic and Parliament, I was very underwhelmed by this performance. George Clinton is retiring at the end of that tour (or so he says) and it's a shame to hang it up on such a lacklustre performance.

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

What better way to celebrate the American Independence than with one of the most prominent figures of American music of the past forty years? John Hiatt was touring in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his classic record Slow Turning, and he brought his old band with him featuring slide guitar virtuoso Sonny Landreth. A great gig in an intimate venue.

Two epic gigs by the British Metal legends: breathtaking production, killer performances... This was Iron Maiden at its bombastic best. Maybe a slight preference for the second night because of where we were. Some awesome shots of that night, check them out!

Robert Plant @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - July 23rd, 2018

A typically inspired set by the venerable legend, always a privilege to see the man live.

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

The greatest show in Rock and Roll. Our fourth time seeing the Master on this tour, and what a treat to see him in this beautiful outdoor venue in sunny Los Angeles...

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

Great to see a legend and hear him play some of Reggae's most enduring classics. The contact high was just the icing on the cake.

Saxon @ Bataclan, Paris - October 15th, 2018

Our first time at the Bataclan since the tragic attack that claimed the lives of nearly a hundred rock fans... A great show by the NWOBHM runner-ups, despite the weight of History attached to the venue.

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

An absolutely exquisite evening in the company of a master guitarist and esteemed musicologist. Goosebumps from beginning to end, one of the best concerts of the season and high in the running for  best concert ever.

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

A decent show thanks to the musicianship, but the Deep Purple Tribute angle felt a little too contrived perhaps. But still, great to hear songs like Mistreated or Getting' Tighter which never get played by the current band.

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

A very pleasant surprise. Breathtaking scenery and epic performances, this is the best of Symphonic Metal.

King Crimson @ l'Oympia, Paris - November 15th, 2018
King Crimson @ l'Oympia, Paris - November 16th, 2018
King Crimson @ l'Oympia, Paris - November 17th, 2018

Three absolutely brilliant concerts by one of the most constantly innovative band. This new version is an eight-headed beast that features THREE drummers on the front line. Thrilling, demanding, delicate at times, apocalyptic at others, and more tension and release than a swimmer's leg spasms. One of our very favorite bands ever, always stimulating but above all... FUN.

Paul McCartney @ la Défense Arena, Nanterre - November 28th, 2018

What can be said about Paul McCartney? The guy has the greatest catalogue in music. He plays for close to three hours. He pretty much invented the world we live in today. Seeing him live is always a privilege.

Zeal & Ardor @ la Cigale, Paris - December 12th, 2018

We capped off the year with an intense blend of Black Metal and Gospel Music (!!) with new sensation Zeal & Ardor. Their reputation is well-earned and the gig was excellent. Future greats, undoubtedly.

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