Friday, June 24, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Americana

As the title indicates, this Friday's playlist focuses on Americana, Country and Folk artists. This is in no way an anthology (that would take several days) but a rather concise selection of some of our favorite somewhat recent Americana recordings. We've emphasized some younger artists, but there are some older legends in here too. Save this playlist in your favorites for your upcoming summer road trip: it is best enjoyed while watching a highway scroll by. It's even better if you have no idea where you're going.

Enjoy, comment and share.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets @ le Grand Rex, Paris - June 22nd, 2022

Nick Mason has assembled a top band to play the early Pink Floyd repertoire, going all the way back to the Syd Barrett era. Needless to say, the setlist is a fan's dream.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The Sheepdogs @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 18th, 2022

As a potentially deadly heatwave descends upon the country, one could think of a better idea than to join several hundred dancing, sweaty people in a sweltering underground club. But see, the Sheepdogs are back in town. Three years almost to the day after their last Paris gig, and hot off of the release of their excellent new record Outta Sight, the Canadians played a typically exciting set that transported the attendees back to a time most of them are too young to have known.

Rosalie Cunningham @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 18th 2022

Opening for the Sheepdogs on this unbearably hot night was Rosalie Cunningham and her band. Like the headliner, her music is a throwback to the sixties and seventies but where the Sheepdogs harken back to an American sound, Rosalie Cunningham is more indebted to British psychedelia.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Stuff

This Friday's Playlist has no theme, no common denominator, no unifying thread. It also contains very little music that can be considered "rock". Just a bunch of good tunes that didn't really fit in any of our other playlists and that we felt like featuring. So grab a cocktail, put on your headphones and meet us on the other side.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Drive-By Truckers @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 15th, 2022

At long fucking last. Over twenty-five years into their career and twelve years after having been forced to cancel their date in Toulouse, the Drive-By Truckers quintet finally made their French debut at la Maroquinerie. Better late than never. And to say that the quintet didn't disappoint would be an understatement. In fact, they were absolutely brilliant. Their blend of Southern Rock, Soul, Alt-Country and Replacements-style Punk Rock turned the Paris venue into a fiery furnace within thirty seconds of the opening chords.

Jerry Joseph @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 15th, 2022

Jerry Joseph is a veteran singer/songwriter who has been in several bands before launching a solo career. His latest album was produced by Drive-by Truckers' Patterson Hood who invited him to open for their current tour.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Israel Nash @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 14th, 2022

Not only was Israel Nash's Paris date one of this year's best best concerts, it was also one of the best we've attended, ever. And we've been to quite a few... 

Dylan LeBlanc @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - June 14th, 2022

Louisiana singer/songwriter played a beautiful, emotional set at la Maroquinerie opening for Israel Nash. He won the audience over with his impassioned, distinctive vocals, his exquisite fingerpicking technique and most of all his delightful songs in the vein of Neil Young , Tom Petty and John Prine.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Steve Vai @ Trianon, Paris - June 13th, 2022

Because of his image of a guitar shredder, and his stints as a sideman for party boys David Lee Roth and David Coverdale in Whitesnake, it's easy to overlook the sheer musicality of Steve Vai's output. Yes, he plays crazy-fast runs, impossibly convoluted licks and dangerously acrobatic solos, but it's a means to an end and never the end itself. You don't have to be a muso to dig his work, although it helps: Vai might be the ultimate guitarist. He has Al DiMeola's dexterity, Rory Gallagher's sense of melody, David Gilmour's nuances, Jeff Beck's absolute control of the instrument, Jimi Hendrix' penchant for exploration and Frank Zappa's zaniness.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Friday's Playlist - Elliot Easton: Sessions & Contributions

This playlist focuses on the genius of guitarist Elliot Easton. While he is more famous for his fantastically quirky solos in the pop context of the Cars (and they are obviously represented here), he has shown his talents in other contexts, not least of which is his remarkable solo album Change No Change.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Mastodon @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - June 7th, 2022

A tough decision faced every Parisian headbanger tonight: KISS or Mastodon? With all due respect to the elder statesmen of Hard Rock/Glam Rock, the spectacle of septuagenarians stuffed in faux-leather lip-syncing their way through their venerable catalogue is just not as appealing as it once was. This is, in fact, KISS' second farewell tour so, if fancy strikes, one can always catch them on their third or fourth one.

I always tend to think of Mastodon as a young band but they have now been active for over twenty years (with an unchanged line-up, no less!). For perspective, if they were Aerosmith, they'd be releasing Get A Grip. The Southerners are now bona-fide veterans of Heavy Metal and they have the repertoire to prove it: albums like The Hunter or Leviathan are now rightly considered classics of the genre. Yet, somehow, and despite having been a fan for a while now, I had never seen them live before.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Upcoming gigs

Well, the next few weeks are shaping up to be pretty busy indeed... Here is a list of the gigs we should be covering.

Click on the links provided to buy your tickets or listen to the bands on Apple Music. Visit the banner below to subscribe to Apple Music and get one free month of music.

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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Neal Morse Band @ Trianon, Paris - June 4th, 2022

It's hard to believe it's been twenty years since Neal Morse found Jesus and quit Neo-Prog heroes Spock's Beard. Fans of the Nashville-based musicians might have been apprehensive at first, but it's worked out quite well for them since he has been incredibly prolific with his many projects like Prog supergroup Transatlantic, Flying Colors, his solo career and the Neal Morse Band, which is touring the world in support of their brilliant new concept album Innocence and Danger, a large portion of which was performed at the venerable Trianon theater last night.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Happy Pride Month

It's Pride Month in the U.S. so we slapped together this quick playlist with gay anthems, songs about self-acceptance and other similarly-themed tracks. We're venturing a bit outside of our usual rock/blues/metal/soul realm here with a bunch of disco tracks, but there is also some punk rock and some folk. Hopefully this flows nicely despite the disparity in genres.

Monday, May 23, 2022

John McLaughlin @ l'Auditorium de la Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt - May 23rd, 2022

Five years after his last concert in the French capital, and a few months into his 81st year, John McLaughlin returns to Paris (well, Boulogne-Billancourt, close enough) with his star-studded 4th Dimension band. This is the first night of the tour and John's first concert in a few years, having been sidelined by the pandemic like much of his peers and colleagues. His most recent record Liberation Time was therefore mostly recorded remotely, with each musician contributing their parts from different places in the world.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Neal Black & the Healers @ Jazz Club Étoile, Paris - May 12th, 2022

Neal Black & his Healers played their first Paris gig since the pandemic at the Jazz Club Étoile with the help of special guests Janet Martin and Amar Sundy. French Bluesman Fred Chapellier was also announced but had to bow out on account of some unspecified medical reason.

The club formerly known as the Lionel Hampton Jazz Club is a somewhat hoity toity venue situated in the posh Paris Méridien hotel. For an artist who paid his dues playing seedy New York dive bars and rowdy Texas barrelhouses, this decidedly well-behaved audience with a median age averaging Medicare eligibility must have been a little disconcerting...

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Greatest Hits Live (1996-2022)

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is still very much present, things have returned to a semblance of normalcy. In our neck of the woods, everything is now ope, without even having to mask up or show proof of vaccination: schools, stores, restaurants, and concert venues.

We attended our first "post-COVID" gig last September and we've been to 17 more since. So we figured it was time to update this page, which compiles some of our favorite shots that we have taken over the years, with some of our more recent photos. Click on the caption to access the full galleries.

Follow us on our social channels FacebookInstagramTwitter or YouTube to get updates on which concerts we'll be covering next.

Enjoy, comment, share and don't forget to wash your hands.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

A-Ha @ le Zénith, Paris - May 7th, 2022

I've lost tracks of how many times A-Ha have called it a day only to resurface a couple of years later. The sirens of crowd adulation are hard to resist and financial solvency is reason enough to quell any of the inner-band tensions hinted at in last year's documentary about the band. I, for one am not complaining: I've loved the band ever since I was a child. In fact, they were the very first band I ever saw in concert (at the Mane Garrincha stadium in Brasilia, on May 17th 1991). Since then I've only seen them once twenty years ago at the Zénith in Paris, and tonight they are playing that very same venue to celebrate their debut album Hunting High And Low.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Simple Minds @ la Seine Musicale, Boulogne-Billancourt - May 6th, 2022

Simple Minds' current tour is a fan's dream come true. Titled 40 Years of Hits, the show is over two hours long and spans their entire career. Opening with the pre-historic Act of Love, a song that dates back to their beginnings but had remained unreleased until recently, the set list then progressed through the band's history somewhat chronologically, which emphasized the sheer progression of the band from an alternative post-punk band, indebted to Joy Division and new wave, to the stadium pop/rock juggernaut they are known as today.

Friday's Playlist: Last Week's Originals

Last week we published a playlist compared entirely of covers. This week, we are giving you the original versions of these great tunes. That's it. No theme, no concept. Enjoy, comment and share!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Therapy? @ la Boule Noire, Paris - May 4th, 2022

I don't know if you guys have heard, but apparently there's been a worldwide pandemic that effectively shut down entire countries, killed millions of people and decimated businesses the world over. I guess this explains why Therapy? are celebrating their 30th anniversary as a band in their 34th year. It's a valid excuse.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Covers (part four, but who's counting?)

More awesome covers, running the gamut from Metal to Americana to Funk to New Wave.

Check back next week for the originals. Same time, same place.

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Bass Solos (pt.3)

Here's the third installment in our ongoing Bass-centered playlist. You can find part one HERE and part two HERE.

To clarify, I know it's called Awesome Bass Solos, but these are not solos necessarily. Sometimes they're riffs, sometimes they're just fills, or little motifs. But they're all AWESOME.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Anneke Van Giersbergen @ Petit Bain, Paris - April 21st, 2021

Anneke Van Giersbergen will forever be thought of as the former vocalist for Dutch symphonic metal band The Gathering, but this shouldn't overshadow her collaborations with Devin Townsend, Ayreon, the Gentle Storm, Sirens, and of course her solo career.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Sparks @ Casino de Paris - April 19th, 2022

Much has been written about the resurgence Sparks have been enjoying recently, and while it is tempting to treat it as such, this isn't a comeback. Sparks never left, never stopped being creative, never stopped releasing excellent records and never stopped entertaining crowds the world over. But, with the release of two movies (a documentary on their career and a musical that they wrote), a typically fantastic new album and a world tour, their pandemic years have been very prolific indeed and it does seem like they are, in the parlance of our time, having a moment.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Guitar Solos (pt. 6)

Here we go again. It's been a while since we've made one of these playlists (check out the previous installments HERE). As usual, a mix of famous favorites and overlooked obscurities, in a bunch of different genres, from classical to punk rock and even a Lionel Richie ballad. I apologize for nothing!

Friday, April 8, 2022

Friday's Playlist - Ollie Halsall: Sessions & Contributions

This Friday we zoom in on another one of rock's unsung guitarists. Ollie Halsall could have been mentioned in the same breath as some of his contemporaries and the closest he ever came to fame was as a part of The Beatles parody band the Rutles, and even then he ended up being cast out of the movie almost entirely.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Friday's Playlist: John McGeoch - Sessions & Contributions

This Friday's playlist isn't an April's fool post. It's a compilation of some of John McGeoch's greatest moments. McGeoch had a short career and is somewhat forgotten today. This is criminal. Check out his work with Siouxsie & the Banshees, Public Image Ltd., or Magazine and marvel at his unique approach to the guitar.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Gibberish Songs

This Friday's Playlist compiles a few songs that are sung in made-up languages (Kobaïan, Loxian, Klokochazian...) or just straight-up gibberish.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Psycho Killer

This Friday's Playlist asks the question: Psycho Killer, qu'est-ce que c'est? The answer surely is in one of these songs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Genesis @ La Défense Arena, Nanterre - March 16th, 2022

Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford had put Genesis to rest fifteen years ago after their last reunion trek, and many of us assumed this was the end of the band. Collins' health issues made it seem unlikely that they would ever play again, let alone embark on a world tour and present an entire 2-hour concert. But right before the pandemic hit, it was announced that the core trio, now starting to really ressemble their Spitting Image puppets from the Land of Confusion video, would be resurrecting the stadium prog-pop behemoth for one last jaunt around the globe. Understandably, the endeavor was postponed, but it is now time for them to grace our shores with two concerts in Paris (well, Nanterre technically... close enough) and for their legions of fans to pay one last tribute to the group.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Celtic Rock

This Friday's playlist is a quick overview of bands that brought the traditional celt heritage into rock music. Some of them, like the Chieftains, actually contain very little to no rock instrumentation and are purely traditional musicians, but they were very important to the form which is why they're included here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Women Rock

In honor of the International Women's Day we've compiled a few of our favorite concert shots featuring women. Whether they be front women, guitarists, oboe players, dancers or music fans... They all rock.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Sylvaine @ Nouveau Casino, Paris - March 2nd, 2022

After a rather prolific autumn, things had quieted down on the live music front due to a rebound in COVID numbers. Many international tours got postposed, some for the third or fourth time, and some were even outright cancelled. Aerosmith, for example, was unfortunately in that second category. But three months into the new year, as the pandemic finally seems to be winding down somewhat in our neck of the woods, we are finally back in a concert hall to attend our first gig of 2022.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Ego Bands

This Friday, we indulge in a little bit of novelty. We are featuring groups named after their leader. Not solo acts, but actual bands whose name is the same as one, or in Van Halen's case two, of the musicians in the band. Which means that it can't be, for example, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band or the Rossington/Collins Band. Even Alice Cooper is off limits as Vincent Furnier only changed his name after the original group disbanded.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Friday's Playlist: Reggae

This Friday's Playlist will take you around the world. Of course, it'll start in Jamaica but will also make some stops in England and in the United States.