Sunday, August 9, 2015

CONCERTS - 2010 to ___________

JUNE 8, 2010 - CAROLE KING & JAMES TAYLOR/THE TROUBADOR REUNION TOUR - VERIZON CENTER, WASHINGTON, DC
What can I write about this show that hasn't already been written about all spring and summer?  Thirty-nine years after seeing them together for the first time, these two incredbile singer-songwriters once again joined forces with their classic band and delivered two and a half hours of incredible music and memories.  And Ms. King absolutely stole the show.  Carole's energy level was astounding...it was clear she was feeding off the love and the vibes from the audience.  The way she tore the house down with her gospel-like version of "Natural Woman" before the break?  Whoa.  And when she and James joined voices with his guitar for the closer of "You Can Close Your Eyes"...well, I don't think there was a dry eye in the arena at that point.  A truly memorable evening!



AUGUST 15, 2010 - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH - JIFFY LUBE LIVE - BRISTOW, VA
It was a Sunday night, they were opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and it was an hour's drive from our house.  So after a terrific 90-minute opener from CSN, we split.  Because really, that's who we came to see.  The boys were all in good voice, and Stills was just shredding it on electric guitar all night.  They didn't play "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" or "Carry On," but they did a great version of "Southern Cross," which became one big sing-along!  Going to see them again in two weeks' time up in Baltimore.  Stay tuned.



SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 - CROSBY, STILLS & NASH - PIER SIX PAVILION - BALTIMORE, MD
Great show on a lovely late summer evening. Some observations and program notes: Stephen Stills is 65 and can't sing anywhere near as well as he used to, but he is still one killer guitarist. Did anyone ever expect that David Crosby would live to be 69 years old??!! He is still a fantastic singer, and he and Graham have a bond that defies words. At one point Crosby mentioned how it's weird to come to Baltimore, because it was at Johns Hopkins that he was told he needed a new liver or he would die. At which point a guy yelled out, "We love you, Dave!" To which Crosby responded, "I love you guys too, but next time, could you ask your sister to shout that out? When I hear a guy yell it, it reminds me of prison." Huge laughs from the crowd! They played two 1-hour sets, mostly electric (great backing band), and a 15-minute encore. Biggest omissions from the set: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes and Carry On (a personal favorite).  The Allman Brothers' Midnight Rider was one of many covers they played. Word has been out that they're recording, or have recorded, a covers album. Those performed tonight also included: Norwegian Wood, Ruby Tuesday, Behind Blue Eyes (with Stills doing half-windmills)...and something else that I can't recall.  The second song of the night was Graham's Military Madness. Now we all know that these guys have never shied away from making political statements. The last verse of MM normally goes:

And after the wars are over
And the body count is finally filed
I hope that The Man discovers
What’s driving the people wild

This night, that last line was changed to:
I hope Obama discovers
What's driving the people wild

Can't say that was expected. In light of the recent religious controversies, Graham did a song called In Your Name; should be easy enough to figure out the theme of that one.

Later, Crosby revived a song from his first solo album, called What's Their Names. He introduced it by saying it describes his current feelings about politics in this country:
I wonder who they are
The men who really run this land
And I wonder why they run it
With such a thoughtless hand

What are their names
And on what streets do they live
I'd like to ride right over
This afternoon and give
Them a piece of my mind
About peace for mankind
Peace is not an awful lot to ask

To say they've not lost their fire would be an understatement.  As their buddy Neil might say, Keep On Rockin' In The Free World!





MARCH 6, 2011: MAIA SHARP, with DONNY ANDERSON opening - COOPERSHOUSE 1790- - COLUMBIA, MD
I've mentioned in earlier posts how it would be cool to see Maia Sharp in a solo performance.  Well, on this rainy Sunday night we finally got our chance.  CoopersHouse 1790 was, as you might guess, built in 1790, and is used to stage house concerts.  The room used for the concerts was -- intimate, to say the least.  We were sitting in the second row, and we were probably 5 feet away from Maia.  The show opened with a set by a young Canadian vocalist, Donny Anderson.  He has a great voice and was a real treat.  Maia's "band" for the night consisted of another guitarist, Linda Taylor, and she was amazing on both acoustic and electric.  Maia's songs are direct and from the heart, and she was really enjoying herself this night.  She even got into a little chit-chat with Kara!  A splendid evening.  Two videos are included here: the song "Home," which she wrote with her father Randy Sharp, and which was recorded first by Dixie Chicks.  The other song is her show closer, "Red Dress," which is a straight-ahead take on maintaining one's unique identity.  Enjoy!



MAY 2, 2011: DAVID CROSBY & GRAHAM NASH - THE MUSIC CENTER AT STRATHMORE - BETHESDA, MD
Some years you just score when it comes to concerts.  But when you have a triple play like I did in May 2011, that's pretty damn good.

Two and a half years after seeing them at GW, and it's fairly amazing that as both of them turn 70, they sound even better than before!  Their vocal blend is still so pure and so amazing, especially when they perform "Guinnevere."  This was my first time at  Strathmore, and the concert hall is amazing.  Beautiful laid out, excellent sight lines and tremendous acoustics.  Their backing band, which includes David's son James Raymond on keyboards and vocals, is superb.  One thing that hasn't changed from their earliest shows as a duo: the wonderful byplay between David and Graham in between songs.  They are a hoot to listen to!  Unfortunately, no cameras allowed during the show.




MAY 11, 2011 - JAMES TAYLOR - THE HIPPODROME - BALTIMORE, MD

The second leg of the triple play...thanks to my darling wife Kara, we had SECOND ROW SEATS, DEAD CENTER!  It really doesn't get much better than that.  After 2010's Troubadour tour with Carole King, it was great to see James in a solo show again.  Although, solo is not entirely the right way to describe it.  As always, he was backed by an amazing quartet of vocalists: Kate Markowitz, Andrea Zonn, David Lasley and Arnold McCuller.  Plus a backing band that just cooked all night.  It would be hard to single out any song or group of songs from the night, but Kara captured most of "Fire and Rain" and all of "You Can Close Your Eyes" with her digital camera, so...enjoy!











MAY 25, 2011 - PAUL SIMON - DAR CONSTITUTION HALL - WASHINGTON, DC
Perhaps you've read about Paul Simon's tour supporting his new album "So Beautiful or So What," but if you haven't, let me tell you: the man is still a musical and songwriting genius!  I went with my friends Marty and Amy, and we were all knocked back on our heels by how fantastic Paul was, and how upbeat and energizing the show was.  On this night, Paul seemingly had an issue remembering the lyrics to the song "Gumboots," but he noticed someone in the crowd who was singing right along, so he called him up to the stage.  And at that point, it became Simon and Fournier, as Paul Fornier took over most of the lead vocals.  I captured some of it on video, which you'll find below.  What a great night!!




APRIL 3, 2012 - THE MOODY BLUES - DAR CONSTITUTION HALL - WASHINGTON, DC
We'd not seen The Moody Blues in concert in four years, so when this show came around, we made sure we'd be there.  This tour was to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the release of "Days of Future Passed."  Even though the ticket says we were in Row E, the first three rows of the orchestra were covered, so in reality we were in the second row!  They were in excellent form this night.







video



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