Green Day w/Best Coast
The Parlotones w/Dangermaker, Cameron and Dinner and a Suit
Maroon 5 w/Owl City & Neon Trees
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Date: May 14, 2013
Venue: The Fillmore / San Francisco
I first saw Olly Murs last year when he opened for One Direction in San Jose and I was hooked from the moment he took the stage. I was definitely excited when a friend told me he was coming to one of my favorite venues in San Francisco on his headlining tour.
I was very glad my friends and I sat/stood upstairs because the screaming teenie boppers down below might have sent me to an early grave. Olly’s fans are just a tiny bit crazy…maybe not quite as bad as Ed Sheeran’s fans but still…the grown people don’t need to be in the thick of that.
I’d never heard of the opening band, Before You Exit, but I have to say, I really enjoyed them. They are primarily three brothers that are 15, 17 and 19 years of age - or so they told us…I still maintain that they are 12 - and they sounded great! They had a strong band behind them and sang fun songs that were very catchy. They had a really good rapport with the audience and seemed to genuinely enjoy performing. I could definitely see them again and will be acquiring some of their music for my iPod as well.
When Olly took the stage I thought the teenagers down below might lose their collective minds. It was reminiscent of the screaming for the One Direction show last year and I was even more thankful to be sitting upstairs so it wasn’t right in my ear. I just don’t ever remember screaming like that. For anyone. Maybe I’m blocking it out. Anyway…
Olly was fantastic! His music, his dancing, his smile…it was just all great. And oh yeah, that accent…
He’s got so much energy and I didn’t sit down during his entire set (even though I had an actual chair to sit in if I wanted to). He’s completely engaging and draws everyone in with ease. It was also his birthday so there were lots of signs and hats and he had a lot of fun with it. At one point he had on a birthday hat, then a birthday crown…and then there was a cake and the whole crowd sang to him. And then there were birthday shots, which didn’t go over all that well. I actually thought he might hurl on stage but he regained his composure and continued singing.
My friend Raquel had gone to a radio event earlier in the day and gave him some birthday badges and he actually wore one throughout the show…losing it at one point and pinning it back on almost immediately. It was pretty cool.
If you like pop music, you need to get involved with Olly. He’s just great and seems genuinely thrilled at the love he gets from his fans. He has a lot of fun and doesn’t seem to ever stop smiling. And oh yeah, his band? Ridiculously good. Amazing back up singers and phenomenal musicians.
Seriously. Get involved.
Fun side note to the night…got to meet one of my Twitter friends for the first time. She’d flown up from SoCal for the show and we got to say a quick hello after it was over. How fun is that?! Gotta love the Internet…
So, until next time…here are a few pics from the night…
BEFORE YOU EXIT
(my friend’s sign for the birthday)
(the birthday shot)
Date: April 25, 2013
Venue: HP Pavilion / San Jose
I just realized I never did my concert review for this show, which was over a week ago…ack! Better late than never?
This was my fifth time to see Bon Jovi and I was excited when the show was announced because I missed the last tour…mostly because I wasn’t a big fan of the last couple of albums and thought I might need to give myself a break.
About a week or so before our show the band announced that Richie Sambora was leaving the tour and I honestly wondered if our show would even happen. I wondered if Bon Jovi was really Bon Jovi without him. Obviously it’s mostly about Jon’s voice but every Bon Jovi song in life involves Richie and he’s got some very distinctive vocals and certainly some of the extremely recognizable and memorable guitar riffs and solos around. I was skeptical.
When I tweeted earlier in the day that I was going to the show a friend who’d seen it two days earlier in Phoenix told me it was still great and that Jon turned up his Joviness to make up for Richie’s absence. I was encouraged.
I loved that there was no opening band and that it truly was a night with Bon Jovi. More bands should do this. Especially established long-running ones like Bon Jovi. It was refreshing to start a show at 8:00 and end a little after 10:30 and hear everything you wanted to hear.
I will say that my friend was mostly right. The show was fully of energy and excitement and Jon Bon Jovi has clearly made some sort of deal with a genie to keep him looking and acting and sounding as amazing, if not better, as he has for all these years. Well, he definitely LOOKS better than he did in the 80s. And she was right…he brought almost enough of the Jovi to make us forget that Richie wasn’t there.
The fill-in Richie was a phenomenal player and had a decent voice for the background vocals but you know…it just wasn’t Richie and it was still weird, especially on some of the classics like Livin’ on a Prayer and Wanted Dead or Alive. They really just weren’t right without him. I’m not saying they weren’t good, because they were; they just weren’t right.
The rest of the band, David and Tico, sounded fantastic and like I said, Jon was amazing. I never cease to be amazed at rock stars that are my age or older that can jump around night after night and entertain thousands upon thousands of people and make it seem like it’s not a routine; that it’s not just a script they’re running through to get to the end.
Two of my favorite performances were the ones Jon did from the crowd in the middle of the floor…one from the new album, a beautiful ballad called Amen, which he sounded ridiculously awesome on and then the fantastic Bed of Roses. So, so good. I would have loved to have heard more from the Bounce and Crush albums, as those are probably my favorites of the post-80s music but I have to say…the old stuff…the classics from the 80s are still the best. They are pure Bon Jovi and I was definitely the most excited about those.
So, did I have a great time? Yes, I totally did…and so did my friend. I felt bad for her though because it was her first time seeing them and I felt she was cheated because of the Richie situation. I hope that whatever’s going on with him gets cleared up and that he rejoins the band on the next tour.
All in all…a great night. Jon is an amazing performer and entertainer and while he didn’t sing all of my favorites, he definitely sang enough of them to give me a memorable concert experience. Our seats were a little far back so my photos aren’t the best but here are a few anyway…until next time…
Date: April 16, 2013
Venue: Greek Theatre / Berkeley
Well. What can you say about Green Day? That they’re one of the best bands around? That they put on an amazing show time after time? That they have more energy than people half their age? That they completely rocked my face off? Yes. All of that and more.
I suppose I should start with the opener, Best Coast, but to be honest, they just really weren’t that memorable. It’s not that they were bad; in fact, they were decent. I wasn’t a huge fan of the lead singer’s voice but I’m not a huge fan of female-fronted rock bands in general. Still, she was decent and the music was catchy. I just really wanted to get to Green Day.
I’d never heard of Best Coast before they were announced as the opener for the show and I meant to go listen to them ahead of time so I could have an idea of what they were about but I just ran out of time. One of my friends that I was with told me she liked them and our tastes are pretty similar so I figured it would be okay. And like I said, they were fine and I found myself tapping and/or clapping along to several of the songs.
They played for about 30 minutes and the crowd was definitely entertained. The lead singer had strong stage presence and is definitely talented. I think on another night, when I wasn’t so anxiously awaiting the arrival of Billie Joe and the boys, I would have probably enjoyed them more.
I think it was also strange that they were playing in daylight since the concert started so early (6:30pm). It was still daylight when they finished 30 minutes later and it’s just not the norm for a concert - unless you’re at a festival of some sort. I think that may have thrown things off for me as well. I’ll definitely go listen to the music online and make a better decision about whether or not I like them. In the meantime, here are a few photos of their performance…
Thirty minutes later, when it was still pretty light out, the boys from Green Day took the stage and for the next two and a half hours I jumped around and screamed like a teenager. And it was AWESOME!
This was the third time I’d seen the band live and while I will always remember the first experience, I think this was the best. The venue made it special, as did the fact that it was a hometown show for them. The theatre was packed and every person inside was a true fan. Most of us were disappointed in the fall when multiple shows in the Bay Area (and other places) were cancelled due to Billie Joe’s rehab situation and the band did not let us down with their performance. They were all in all night and probably could played for another two hours had there not been a curfew at the venue (thus the reason for the early start).
Every time I see them perform I am amazed at their level of energy. I really don’t know where they get it because it’s not like they’re 20 years old anymore. It’s completely impressive and I just wish I had tickets to another show or two (or three) on this tour.
They played new stuff, they played old stuff, they played stuff in between, and it was all fantastic. Every time Billie screamed “Bay Area” or “Berkeley, California” the crowd went nuts and it truly never got old. There’s just something about hearing him scream “Bay Area” that makes me smile. Even now as I’m writing this, I can hear his voice and I’m totally smiling. I just wonder what he yells in other cities. “Los Angeles” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. I’m going to find out from friends who are attending the So Cal show tonight. I don’t know though…I just can’t imagine it’s quite as cool as hearing them yell out the name of their hometown.
I know some old Green Day fans take issue with their newer stuff but I’m a fan that likes all of it. I own all the music and love each album for different reasons. They grew up a little and I grew up a little but at the end of the day, when they pull out Welcome to Paradise and Christie Road, I’m 15 years old. And when they hit the first chord to American Idiot? I remember exactly when it came out, what it meant and how I knew it was something special.
In short, this show ROCKED. And I have a feeling the show I’m going to next week is going to pale in comparison, even though it’s another band I love. It’s going to be hard to top the Green Day hometown show. Very hard indeed.
Date: April 5, 2013
Venue: Cafe du Nord / San Francisco
Four bands playing in a show that doesn’t start until 9pm means a very late night. I didn’t get home until about 2:30 the next morning but it was absolutely worth it. What a great night of music!
I went to the show to see The Parlotones and had not heard of the other bands but am always interested in finding new music to love so my friend and I got there before the doors opened…we were first in line actually, and found spots right up front so we could properly soak in every bit of the music.
The first band up was Dangermaker and my friend was pretty sure she’d seen them before. While they were setting up the bass player was taking a photo of a stuffed animal sitting on his amp and my friend identified it as one of the San Rio characters. When he heard us talking about it he turned and talked to us and we had a nice conversation. About a stuffed animal. I’m pretty sure it’s a chicken…
As the rest of the boys were stepping onto the stage they asked us if we’d come to see The Parlotones. We told them we had but that we were always interested in finding new music. They were very nice and told us they were a two-man band though they’d added a keyboardist and a bass player that night. I’m always a fan of people being pleasant so I was excited for their set. And they absolutely did not disappoint!
The music was pure rock and I loved it. They had great stage presence and a very tight sound. They played a strong 30-40 minute set and it definitely set the tone for the night. We met them afterward and again…so nice! I was pleased to learn they hail from San Francisco, though I’m pretty sure one of them had an accent. Local means I might actually have a chance of seeing them again at some point. That is most definitely yay.
Here are a couple of shots from their set…the lighting in Cafe du Nord is always very red so the photos are never that great but here they are…go check out this band. If you like rock, you will not be disappointed.
Next up was a band called Cameron. The set change was quick and we watched Dangermaker dismantle everything while the Cameron folks got all their equipment on stage. I was fairly impressed that no one injured themselves or any equipment in the process since the stage is very small and there’s not a lot of room to maneuver. Apparently my friend and I looked very friendly because the lead singer - Cameron himself - spoke to us as he was taking the stage. He had a fantastic smile and asked if we were ready and we told him we were.
Once they took the stage he introduced them as Cameron Rafati and then also mentioned them as The Cameron Rafati Band…he said they were working on a name. I’ve tried to find them online and have run into all sorts of walls. I’m pretty sure this part of the show happened but I can’t find any evidence that this band actually exists. Maybe someone can help me out.
Absolutely loved this band! The lead singer’s voice was wonderful and he had a huge personality. The band was very eclectic in its makeup and it really seemed like they were just a bunch of friends hanging out playing music together. Cameron’s stage presence was great and the songs were really good. His voice at times reminded me a little of Tony Lucca, which is definitely not a bad thing. It also didn’t really hurt that he was quite good looking.
We were extremely disappointed that we didn’t get to meet him after the show. By the time we made it back to the merch tables and started looking around for him, he was nowhere to be found. So seriously, if anyone knows about this band and how I can find out more about them, please let me know. Maybe these photos will help…
We watched the stage turnaround again after Cameron’s 20-25 minute set and I will admit that I was already getting tired. It was nearing 11 and we still had one more band before the headliner came on.
The third band was Dinner and a Suit and wow were they young. And hipstery. Yes. They were a young hipster band. And I really liked them! We learned from Wikipedia, while we were waiting for them to start, that they are three cousins and I actually thought that was pretty cool. Their sound was more pop than rock though maybe more along the lines of alternative pop. Is that a thing? Whatever. I’m making it a thing.
The lead singer could easily pass for a Jonas brother and my friend took to calling him Nick Jonas for the rest of the night. She also noticed that the bass player “looks like one of The Wanted or a mini version of Cameron” so for the rest of the night we called him The Wanted and mini-Cam. The other two band members were just who they were and despite some weird sound issues, which they were having all night at CDN, they sounded good. The lead singer and the guitarist, the two cousins that started the band, both played piano and it was cool to see their versatility. They had good stage presence too and I have to say this was one of the best lineups of opening bands I’ve seen in a long time.
We didn’t meet the boys after the show primarily because I was afraid we’d actually call the kid Nick Jonas…okay, primarily because I really wanted to chat with The Parlotones guys, but I will definitely be downloading the music and would absolutely see them again. See if you agree with us about Jonas and The Wanted…
There was kind of a funny moment somewhere in the middle of the set when the guitarist was playing keyboard. He’d flipped his mic stand so that he could also sing but it wasn’t staying up and he could not get it to stay steady. Someone from the venue got his attention and pointed to the knob he needed to turn to make it stay but he couldn’t make it happen and a minute later Glenn from The Parlotones jumped on stage and fixed it for him.
I’m not sure how long Dinner and a Suit played but after a final set change, The Parlotones finally took the stage. I think it was somewhere around 11:45 and they rocked Cafe du Nord for almost and hour and a half. It was unfortunate that they had sound problems as well, actually losing power on one side of the stage in the middle of a song, but they kept their composure and just played on. I’ve never seen so many sound problems at that venue. It was very strange.
I first learned of The Parlotones last summer when Ryan Star opened for them and after seeing them play a full house in Chicago, I was hooked. This was my fourth time seeing them and they were absolutely fantastic. If you don’t know who this band is, you need to get involved with them right now. RIGHT NOW! They’re from South Africa but are based in LA now, which means they can easily come to the Bay Area and that pleases me greatly. They’ve been around since the late 90s and are rock with a little punk and maybe even a little new wave thrown in. It’s a fantastic sound and I truly love it.
Kahn is the lead singer and I swear, passion just drips from him like sweat. You can feel every word he sings and his energy as he bounces around the stage is truly impressive.
Glenn plays bass and keyboards and also sings background vocals. He also does a lot of the talking during the set and always seems very serious but can rock with the best of them. He’s also not horrible to look at.
Paul throws down on the guitar and also adds a few keyboards here and there. He doesn’t sing but every now and then he steps to the mic and is always entertaining, usually at Kahn’s expense.
Finally there’s Neil, the drummer. And well, he’s just fantastic. If I was a kid and wanted to be a drummer, watching him would make me think it was the easiest job on the planet. He always looks so relaxed no matter what the tempo of the song is. Also, he gives the best hugs. Just in case you were wondering.
I met the guys a couple of months ago after an intimate set at Ex’pression College and it was fun to see them again so soon. They are seriously some of the nicest guys you will ever encounter and I can’t wait to see them again. These photos will give you a little taste of what I’m talking about.
Date: March 13, 2013
Venue: HP Pavilion / San Jose
Owl City opened a show that I knew was going to be fabulous from the moment it was announced. I’d never seen them (him?) live before but had liked a few of the songs on the radio and figured it would be entertaining. I was definitely right. He (they? … I’m still confused about whether or not it’s a solo act or a band though Adam Young, the lead singer/solo artist, did say, “We’re Owl City” at one point, so maybe that’s my answer) had tons of energy and the band sounded great. They did everything an opening act is supposed to do: start on time, get the crowd excited and leave people wanting more. They were really good! I’ve always thought most of the songs sound pretty much the same, but I liked the first big hit (Fireflies) so I suppose everything sounding like that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They definitely left me feeling impressed with their talent.
I was VERY excited for Neon Trees to take the stage. I saw them on their headlining tour last year and they were freaking amazing. I expected nothing less on a much larger stage and I was only disappointed that they didn’t play longer. So, so good!! Tyler Glenn, the lead singer, is full of sass and awesomeness and oh yeah, he can flat out sing too. The band is fantastic and they put on a great show. As I mentioned above, the crowd was already pretty excited from Owl City’s performance and Neon Trees took that energy to a whole other level. From what I could see there weren’t very many people sitting down during their performance and everyone around us was singing along and screaming for more. And yes, I was right there with them. If you’ve never seen this band live, put it on your list of things to do. They are perfection.
When the lights went back down for the main event I thought the arena crowd might lose its collective mind. People were excited and there wasn’t a single person sitting from the moment it got dark. And the excitement boiled over when the first notes of Payphone were played. When the screen silhouetting the band dropped I knew we were in for an amazing night. I hated that I wasn’t standing right in front of the stage but the energy was everywhere and they sounded phenomenal.
This was my second time seeing them and it was a thousand times better than the first…and the first time was amazing! I think Adam Levine is just getting better with age…better looking, stronger voice, greater amounts of sexiness…all of it. He was delightful and I had to wipe the drool from my face more than once. And then I had to hand my friend Stephanie a tissue to do the same. Wow.
I love that this band has been together for so long and has made it so, so big. It’s cool when Adam is introducing people and he’s like, “I’ve known him since 7th grade and him since 10th grade.” That’s a long time to not only know people, but still like them and want to hang out with them every day. That’s why this band just keeps getting better. They know each other so well and are growing together in the best way.
The show was all about the music but they had some amazing lasers and lights going on and while sometimes I’m not interested in those things because they distract from the music, this was not the case last night. They enhanced the music and the performances and were truly a feast of goodness for the eyes. Yeah. I said feast of goodness for the eyes. Between the lights and Adam himself my eyes were extremely grateful to me for taking them to the show.
After a very brief moment away from the stage a bridge was lowered from the ceiling and Adam very kindly made his way across it to a smaller stage - closer to us - and sang a few songs from there. James (guitarist) came across too and it was nice to be able to have a little better view of them.
It was evident to everyone in the building how much fun these guys have performing. Adam could hardly stop smiling and that made everyone else smile. They love what they do and they make us love it too. If I were independently wealthy I’d be figuring out how to follow the rest of this tour so I could see them night after night. This was truly one of the best shows I’ve seen. And as you know, I’ve seen a lot.
Until next time…I’ll just leave you with these…
Date: February 23, 2013
I was so happy when I heard Tyrone Wells was touring again because I had to miss his San Francisco show last year due to a wicked migraine. When I heard that Graham Colton was opening I knew I couldn’t miss it.
Until the day before the show I had no idea who Brett Young was and wasn’t sure I needed to be involved but my friend Raquel and I checked out his music online and were pretty impressed. I thought it sounded a bit country, which is never my favorite thing, but it also had a soul twinge in it and his voice was great. He also wasn’t horrible to look at. Anyway, we weren’t sure what to expect from his set but wow. He was fantastic! And yeah, he looks even better in person and is extremely nice. But at the end of the day it was about the music and we really liked everything he did. He had a drummer with him, which frankly just made me miss Craig Meyer, but he definitely enhanced the set. Then, just for fun, he brought up a friend of his to play violin on a couple of songs and wow. He was great.
We met Brett after the show and like I said, he was incredibly nice and genuinely appreciative that we liked his music. You definitely need to get involved with him.
Graham was up next and well, I just adore him. He’s got such a gentle spirit and interacts very well with the crowd. This was the second time I’d seen him solo and I just always find myself smiling during his set. He had a big hit a few years back called Better Days, which is why most people know who he is, and while I love that song I think some of his other songs are even better. He’s a great guitar player and has incredibly soulful lyrics and I thought his set was great, just not nearly long enough. When I saw him last fall he was the main act though and sometimes I forget that the openers have to yield the stage to the headliners. But nonetheless, Graham played and sang beautifully and I look forward to seeing him again.
We’d actually chatted with him a bit before he took the stage and then caught up with him after the show as well and, like most of the musicians I see play, he’s just incredibly nice. If you have a chance to see him, take it. I think you’ll really enjoy what he does.
After a 20 or so minute clearing and resetting of the stage Tyrone and his band stepped on and played a brilliant set of music for the very appreciative crowd.
I’m not sure when I became a fan of Tyrone’s music, but it’s been a couple of years at least, and I’m so, so glad I finally got to see him live. I’d heard from numerous people how great his live show was and they were all absolutely correct. He played and sang his heart out from beginning to end and never missed a beat. His band was amazing and his voice…wow. So good, so pure.
Tyrone is a great storyteller and that showed throughout his performance. Not only was he telling us stories through song - at one point practically channeling James Taylor on a song called Carolina Blues - but he also told some actual stories in between. He seems like a very passionate person and was clearly put on this planet to make music and touch people’s souls. And he makes it all look effortless.
We were very fortunate to meet him after the show and he’s just as nice as I expected he would be. And very tall. Not quite as tall as Brett who, by the way, is 6 feet 6 inches, but still, tall. I am now trying to figure out if it’s possible for me to catch another show on this tour. I’m pretty sure you should be making your own plans to see it too.
Date: February 22, 2013
I was introduced to The Parlotones last summer when Ryan Star opened for them. I saw them first in Chicago and then again in San Francisco where, unfortunately, I could not stay for the whole show. Still, I was hooked. They are a band of amazing musicians and put on a great show. When I heard they were doing a showcase type of concert at Ex’pression College I knew I needed to be there. I’d been listening to their music since last summer and really wanted to see them again live.
Getting to Emeryville from San Jose on a Friday afternoon is no small feat but I made it and am so, so glad I did. The performance space at the college is amazing and I was disappointed that more people weren’t there. Still, it meant I got to stand right up front and drink in the awesomeness of Kahn’s voice and the wonderful music that goes along with it.
The Parlotones have amazing energy on stage and are ridiculously good musicians while being beautifully humble. And oh yeah, they’re from South Africa and sound just delightful when they speak.
As with any showcase event the set list is short but I believe they played 6 or 7 songs and they were all great. If you have not heard of this band I strongly encourage you to check them out. Now. And if you have heard of them but haven’t seen them live? Get yourself to a show! They told me they’re planning a tour later this spring so be on the lookout. I honestly can’t wait to see them again.
When the event was over they actually answered a few questions from the school and from the audience and it’s clear that they love what they’re doing and that they love each other since they’ve been together as a band for more than a decade. They graciously stepped off the stage and met the few folks that stuck around, me included, and signed and took photos and frankly made me love them more. Again, as my friend Raquel would say, you need to get involved with this band. Come on, have I ever steered you wrong?
Date: February 18, 2013
Venue: HP Pavilion / San Jose
I had seen Pink once before this show and she was unbelievable. I knew I couldn’t miss her when she came to town and was definitely ready for the show when the lights went out.
I’d heard of The Hives but didn’t know their music at all. I’m not sure how you classify it but it was definitely entertaining. They were very fancy in their suits and tuxedos and had a TON of energy. The lead singer seemed a little bit crazy - in a good way - and while I couldn’t understand half of what he was singing I still found it rather enjoyable. The band itself was full of great musicians and I think I probably enjoyed the music more than the lyrics. I don’t think I’ll be running out and buying their songs but I was definitely entertained and I felt like they served their purpose of being an opening band extremely well.
Also, they had a tech crew full of ninjas that, come on, are just about the coolest thing a band could possibly have.
After an intermission to remove The Hives’ equipment the crowd was definitely ready for Pink. Her show started with some video and a crazy clown sort of ringleader guy, who I frankly could have done without. But it made since that she had a ringleader because her show is like going to a circus in a way. There’s so much going on that you do need someone to bring you back into focus every now and then.
When the curtain finally rose she delivered one of the most spectacular opening numbers I’ve ever seen. There were acrobatics and things that flew and oh yeah, some really good singing! And the night just kept getting better.
Pink is a showman - show woman? I don’t know. Whatever the proper word is, she is that. She clearly loves to have fun and doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks. She’s got loads of stage presence and, oh yeah, can sing better than many artists out there today. Sometimes her amazing voice gets lost in all the theatrics, and I heard a lot of people saying they wished she would just sing and not fly through the air and twist upside, but for my money, I think what she does on stage and in the air is fantastic.
There’s never a dull moment at a Pink show and last Monday night was no exception. From her classic rock songs like So What and Raise Your Glass to her gorgeous ballad-like songs like F**kin’ Perfect, Sober and Who Knew, she rocked the arena. And when she spliced in video of Nick Reuss from fun. for their Just Give Me a Reason duet, I thought the crowd might lose its collective mind. I’ve seen this gimmick a lot at shows in the last few years and she definitely did it right. There’s always the danger when you record a duet that becomes a huge hit because that person can’t very well travel with you to every show to just sing that one song but you know the crowd will be disappointed if you don’t sing it. So, you get creative, and Pink did a great job with that on a song that has quickly become one of my all-time favorites.
One of her most recent hits, Try, has a beautiful video to accompany it, one that shows off Pink’s athletic and dance talents. I saw her perform it on some awards show and was amazed at how great she sounded while also doing the dance with the phenomenal dancer from the video. I had no expectations of how that would be performed in the concert but when the dancer showed up on stage I knew we were in for a treat. It was truly one of the best moments of the show and I really have no idea how she is able to sing at all, much less sound fantastic, while dancing like that. She is truly amazing.
In case you couldn’t tell by now, I absolutely loved this show and would highly recommend that you figure out a way to see it. Even if you’re just a marginal fan of her music, I can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.
Date: February 14, 2013
Venue: Cafe du Nord/San Francisco
I loved Kris Allen when he was on American Idol; even voted for him several times. I would have been just as happy if Adam Lambert had won that year, as I loved him too, and quite honestly, that was the last year I watched the show.
I saw Kris in concert several years back when he toured with Lifehouse and I was really excited to have the chance to see him again. I fell in love with his second album when it was released and was thrilled that he was set to play in one of my favorite venues.
Jillette Johnson started off the night, an artist I’d never heard of, and she was okay but not my favorite. I liked that she played the piano and even liked the first couple of songs but then they all started to sound the same and I got a little bored. She was very personable and had good stage presence but it just wasn’t my favorite. I got a little excited when she got into a cover of Radiohead’s Creep but there was something strange about the way she sang some of the words and it just didn’t do much for me. I’m not sure I’d rush right out to see her again but I’d give her another chance if she was someone’s opener. I actually think she has a lot of potential.
The sold out crowd was very excited when Kris took the stage, braced wrist and all, and I was no different. Kris is the all-American boy, the kid next door, your best friend’s brother, the guy you wanna hang out with just because he’s nice and cool and, oh yeah, extremely talented.
He put on a great show - even though he didn’t play my favorite song from his new album, My Weakness. He did a good mix of the old and the new and even did a couple of great covers including I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You. It was Valentine’s Day after all.
It was unfortunate that he was unable to play guitar, due to the car accident he had right before his tour started, but he had a great band behind him and there was certainly nothing wrong with his voice. He sounded great, had great interaction with the crowd and never seemed to stop smiling. He seems to genuinely love what he’s doing and I’m so glad he shares his talent with the world.
Date: February 8, 2013
Venue 1: Los Gatos Brewing Company/San Jose
Venue 2: 99.7 Now Studios/San Francisco
Venue 3: The Warfield/San Francisco
When I heard that Ed Sheeran was going to headline at The Warfield I knew I needed to be there. I’d seen him twice last year at radio shows and was completely hooked. I knew a full show would be amazing. I also knew it would be hard to get tickets but after about 20 minutes of refreshing my ticket-buying page I got one. Little did I know I’d also win entry to the Mix 106.5 radio event and get invited by a friend to the 99.7 radio event, all on the same day as the show. It was, quite literally, a day filled with Ed!
Stop #1 - Mix 106.5 Lunchtime Mixer
First off, let me just say that Ed fans are very pushy. I seriously thought I might slap someone. After we had a little lunch in the basement of the Los Gatos Brewing Company we started gathering by the back door, which most of us new led to the outdoor performance area in the back of the restaurant. When they opened the door the people rushed it and I nearly fell more than once. It was ridiculous. Thankfully my friend was in the front of the crowd and scored us good seats…not that any seat was bad, but we were in the second row, which gave us a good vantage point to get pictures like this:
He sang four songs and they were all fantastic. He is loaded with talent and always impresses me. It was such a good appetizer for the main event later that night. So, so good!
Also, there was this:
My friend and I jumped on the road shortly after this photo was taken and headed toward San Francisco. She’d won entry to an exclusive interview session with Ed that afternoon and we wanted to make sure we weren’t late. I may have sped a tiny bit.
Stop #2 - 99.7 NOW! Interview
There was no singing at the afternoon event but it was extremely delightful just to hear Ed talk for 20 minutes or so. It was also highly entertaining to watch the tween girls propose marriage to him and give him gifts and cry. It was fun to hear him talk about how some of his songs came about and, since this was before the Grammy’s, how excited he was about that experience. Plus, it’s just fabulous to hear his accent go on and on about anything at all. it also gave us the opportunity for photos like this:
And also this:
And finally, this:
Stop #3 - The Warfield
So after radio event #2 we found some dinner then made our way to the ginormous line of tweens winding its way around The Warfield. To be fair, we didn’t actually get IN the line. We met another friend who had will call tickets and went in with her. Yes, maybe we cheated the system a bit but we’re grown ups. Sometimes grown ups get to win. Anyway…let’s just get to the show since I’m now almost two weeks behind in getting this done!
First up was Foy Vance who none of us had really heard of. We had no idea what to expect but were completely impressed by him. He was a pure singer songwriter with great guitar skills and a very strong voice. It didn’t hurt that he had a delightful accent from somewhere in Ireland. No. That didn’t hurt at all. He had a looping system set up, which always impresses me, and he was a great performer. In addition to moving from one great song to the next seamlessly, he had a ton of energy and interacted extremely well with the crowd. I loved his entire set and came right home and downloaded a lot of his music. He definitely has a new fan in me!
Next came Rizzle Kicks and I really had no idea what to expect but it was pretty clear from moment one that they were pure hip hop. They actually reminded me a lot of the 90s group Kriss Kross - did I just show my age? Whatever. They bounced around the stage like Tigger and had so much energy I thought they might actually bounce right out into the crowd. Wearing Giants jerseys helped their cause immensely but I actually really liked them. I’m not sure I’m ready to go out and buy their albums but they put on a fun show and definitely have a lot of talent.
Finally…the main event. Ed.
I was very excited to see Ed headline a full show since I’d only seen him at radio events until that night and he did not disappoint me at all other than not playing for 2 or 3 more hours. I suppose everyone has their limits. He was, as I expected he would be, absolutely fantastic. He moved from one song to the next with ease and had phenomenal rapport with the audience. He’s not that much older than a good portion of them and I’m pretty sure most of them wanted to marry him. I actually saw some people crying. What?! Anyway…he put on a great show that went from extremely high energy singing and rapping to the simple singing of an old folks song. He is a singer songwriter at his core and if all he did was stand in front of a mic with his guitar I’d be thrilled. Adding in all the hip hop and pop elements just makes him that much better. And then you remember that he’s 21 (well, he’s 22 now but he was 21 that night) and you wonder how any of it’s even possible. And then you just thank God for creating Ed Sheeran and know that very few artists can do what he does.
In short, AMAZING. Don’t pass up a chance to see him. Ever.