Archive for November, 2008

Concert Recap November 11-19, 2008

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

I’m way behind on concerts for a busy month, let’s get right to it:

Tina Turner November 11th, 2008 at Phillips Arena

My girlfriend wanted to go, and I admit I was curious what the experience would be like.  Then I realized Tina Turner is SIXTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD.  The curiosity grew, and I figured I shouldn’t miss this chance to see her perform.

Tickets said there was no opener and the show would start promptly at 8 p.m.  Mrs. Turner started at about 8:30 and came out to an energetic number that I didn’t recognize.  She had 4 very sassy looking backup dancers who started out on the top level of a two-level elaborate stage.  It was immediately clear that this wasn’t just going to be a woman singing some songs, this was going to be a SHOW!

She played a lot of hits, and we saw a lot of costume changes as well as some serious reenactments for her James Bond song and “We don’t need another hero” from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  We’re talking full costumes, many actors reenacting scenes from the movies.   There was also a moment where it looked like a fan had jumped onto stage, but that quickly morphed into a fake chase scene which turned into some Jackie Chan shit.  A little over the top, but Tina wanted to make sure you were entertained.  Most impressively, she sounded great and really moved well considering she was wearing high heels for most (if not all) of the show.  Sure, her hips didn’t swivel quite as much as the backup dancers, but it is still hard to believe she’s nearly 70 years old.

One surprise was that she opened the second set (after a 30 minute intermission) with a mellowed out cover of “help” by the Beatles.  I liked that she chose this song, but honestly she didn’t do that much with it.  Slowed it down and just ran through it.  Cool, but could have been cooler.

For the encore she gets on part of the stage that becomes a crane and swings out over the audience while she sings a call-and-response of “Nutbush” to the crowd over and over again.  I can’t lie, “Nutbush” isn’t all that great of a song in my book, but it was still a fun spectacle when it was all said and done.  I’m glad I went.

Kings of Leon November 18th at the Tabernacle

My buddy asked if I wanted to get tickets to this show.  As you might be able to infer from the rest of the blog, I rarely turn down the opportunity to see live music.  The band I’m in now covers a KOL song, and I really didn’t know much more of their material at the time we bought the tickets.  I got their latest album “Only By NIght” and also downloaded what looked like the most popular 3-4 tracks off of their other albums.

The show was sold out, and we had an extra ticket.  I quickly sold our extra to a scalper outside the venue, so we were off to a good start.  It was really crowded inside, and we missed all but a bit of the opening bands.  That was a shame because I’ve heard good things about the Whigs, but it also sounds like I’ll get a chance to hear them again sometime since they’re from GA.

Because of the crowd, we weren’t able to get a great spot to stand for the show, but we were near the bar so it wasn’t too bad.  The band sounded great – even though I was only familiar with about half of the songs, I enjoyed all of them.  For the most part they’re riff-based, somewhat basic rock and roll songs.  I’m a novice drummer, but I think I could have played the drums to all of their songs if I put a little practice in.  That’s not meant to be a dis in any way, just to give you an idea of the music.  I actually think it takes a lot of skill to write a rock song with really simple parts and then have the end result sound original.  KOL does a great job with this.

The band also draws a pretty high testosterone crowd.  Lots of douchey looking guys, one of whom actually yelled “yee haw” at some point during the show.  This would have been a great show to find fodder for the website The crowd was also full of very loyal fans.  There were a couple of moments where it felt like I was the only one in the crowd who wasn’t singing along to parts of some of the songs.  A band who can command a sing-a-long with a whole lot of participation always makes for a good show.  If you get a chance to see them and are up for a testosterone-filled rock show you should definitely check them out.

Broken Social Scene November 19th at the Variety Playhouse

I had a friend flake out at the last minute for this show (you know who you are, Robert!), and despite casting a net far and wide I couldn’t find a taker for my second ticket.  Still, BSS was one of my favorite concerts of 2005 and I really didn’t want to miss it.  I decided to take the plunge and go solo, realizing full well I might look like the 34 year-old creepy loner narc dude.  I also again had success selling my extra outside the venue.

It was worth the risk.  As I remembered from the last time I saw them the show was amazing.  They had a big band, with as many as 10 people on stage at one time.  That sometimes included two horns and/or FOUR guitars.  The crazy thing is that when they had four guitars on stage you could hear every one of them.  That’s what makes this band amazing – each musician plays with great tone and with restraint.  No one overpowers anyone else.

This band also has a wide catalog of material – some great stuff like most of the album You Forgot It In People, and some really out-there stuff on many of their other albums.  They did a great job of playing most of “the hits,” or the stuff that I consider very accessible.  They also gave every musican the spotlight for a while to play a couple songs off of their own albums (Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew, and some dude from the band Hawaii are the ones I can remember).

By contrast from Kings of Leon, the BSS drummer was amazing and I don’t think I could play the drums to any of their songs. I think the lineup of the band might change a bit from tour to tour.  I know Feist used to spend some time with the band, but she was not on this tour with them.  The female vocalist they did have did a great job, but showed that she was a little green when the song “anthems for a 17 year old girl” came up.  The song starts with some loopy riff and a hard-to-find rhythm.  The singer kept looking at the keyboardist for a cue of when to start the song, but she still missed the cue and had to re-start a couple of measures later.  Somehow this little screw-up was endearing and made the show seem that much more real.  Once she got over that hiccup, she did a great job with that song and all of the others she sang on.

The ended with Kevin Drew playing a solo version of “Lover’s Spit,” which was a nice mellow end to an amazing show of musicianship.  This is a must-see band.  If someone offers you an extra ticket, don’t do what my friends did – take it!!!