Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Concert News And Reviews

Scroll back to read our review of The Eagles concert Saturday Night at The All State Arena in Rosemont, IL.

Meanwhile, here are some the things you guys have sent in during the past 48 hours ...

This just in from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ... 
Burton Cummings Schedules New North American Concerts; Will Release Documentary DVD Soon
Founding Guess Who frontman Burton Cummings is preparing to wind down his 2013 tour schedule with a brief series of fall U.S. dates that will see him visit select East Coast cities next month.  The four-show trek gets under way on November 11 in Alexandria, Virginia, and wraps up with a November 15 concert in Newton, New Jersey. 
Cummings, the voice behind such classic songs as “American Woman,” “No Time,” “These Eyes” and “Undun,” also will play a November 30 benefit concert in the Toronto suburb of Brampton.  The 65-year-old rocker will perform along with fellow Canadian singer Jann Arden at the show, which will raise money for three local hospitals in the William Osler Health System.
In addition, Cummings has lined up his first two 2014 gigs and his first-ever solo headlining concerts in Las Vegas, a January 17-18 engagement at the Orleans Hotel & Casino.  In other news, Burton is planning to release the first in a series of documentary DVDs in November.  RUFF, Vol. 1 will feature various concert performances and sound check footage, including some highlights from the 2000-2001 Guess Who reunion with guitarist / singer Randy Bachman and drummer Garry Peterson.  A second volume of RUFF also is currently in the works. 
Here are all of Cummings' upcoming tour dates: 
11/11 — Alexandria, VA, Birchmere
11/12 — Annapolis, MD, Rams Head On Stage
11/14 — Glenside, PA, Keswick Theatre
11/15 — Newton, NJ, Newton Theatre
11/30 — Brampton, Canada, The Rose Theater
1/17 — Las Vegas, NV, The Orleans Hotel & Casino
1/18 — Las Vegas, NV, The Orleans Hotel & Casino 
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Great to see Burton getting some additional press ... man I would LOVE to see him again in Las Vegas ... that is going to be one hell of a couple of shows!!!
To clarify a couple points above however (as is my nature):
Burton Cummings was NOT a founding member of The Guess Who ... he was asked to join shortly after the band had already had its first hit with "Shakin' All Over".  Hired originally as the keyboard player, Cummings took over more and more of the lead vocals as then lead singer Chad Allan was preparing to leave the band.  The Guess Who, with Cummings at the helm, burst onto the international music scene a few years later when "These Eyes" became a MONSTER hit all over the globe in 1969.
And he told us ALL about his new video series "Ruff" in our exclusive Forgotten Hits Interview a few weeks back:  
I've got a brand new DVD series called "Ruff" ... R-U-F-F ... and Volume One is just about ready to go.  (Here it comes, folks … it'll be out in a few weeks, well ahead of Christmas.) It's even better than I'd hoped. It's volume one of what could be a dozen or so volumes. We have almost 13 years of digital video. We graduated from tape years ago, and now it's endless hard drives.  Lillian Sarafian, my videographer, has followed me with a camera for over a decade ... about the last thirteen years ... so much so, that we started calling her the "life capturer" … and capture she has … ALL this great stuff ... back stage, on the plane, on stage, off stage, in hotel rooms, in tour buses ... tremendous stuff.  From multi camera shoots at Massey Hall to the streets of New York City, to the streets of my home town of Winnipeg, to rehearsals and sound checks at the beginning of the century to a glimpse into so very personal events and places in my life. Soul is bared several times in Volume One. Pretty strong viewing in spots … pretty strong … beautifully assembled and edited by Lillian Sarafian, and all our post production audio was done at Blue Moon Studios, in Agoura Hills, California. The main sound engineer was Joe Vannelli, brother of Gino Vannelli, a fellow Canadian singer.  So, if you can imagine, now we've got thirteen years of archives, including rehearsals and sound checks ... stuff that fans never get to see.  Real "fly on the wall" stuff.  So we're putting all of that ... plus a lot of the stuff from Massey Hall, which was shot with eight cameras and edited ... together into one place.  It's called "Ruff" and volume one is coming ... it's wonderful.  We're planning a whole series of these and she's done a wonderful job and I'm kind of co-producing it with her.   
-- Burton Cummings
Also in the works is Burton's first book of poetry ... and after there's talk of another brand new studio album!!!  So LOTS of good stuff to look forward to in the coming months from Burton Cummings!
My book of poetry ("The Writings of B.L. Cummings") is almost ready to go ... and that's going to have about the first fifty poems in it ... it'll be a very nice package on that.  But I have yet to make a dummy copy … run a real one and assemble it and hold it in my hand to see how it affects me. It has to be absolutely perfect. I don't take the poetry lightly. I'm not really overly concerned whether people like it or hate it, or say loudly that they "just don't get it" … don't write the poetry to impress ... I write it to make myself smile … or think. Period.
And I'm probably going to do another album with the same band.  You know, I have more than enough songs for this and I've REALLY picked the songs carefully for this so it's not like I'm scrambling to do an album ... I have MORE than enough songs so we'll see what happens ... but right now we're focusing on the book of poetry and "Ruff".
-- Burton
You can read the complete interview here:   http://forgottenhits.com/forgotten_hits_interviews_burton_cummings
The effect of an Aries Full Moon on the Westbury Music Fair ...
That subject is the only way I can explain the sardonic events last night. 
First, I want to applaud each of the four groups for putting on an outstanding show musically.  As we know, the show must go on! 
First The Buckinghams!  Too short, but when you are appearing with other music hotties, you have to trim.  Though Carl is the lead singer here, Nick got his turn with 'Expressway' and Dave Zane had lead in 'I Go Crazy'.  Smooth sailing for The Bucks, with much love and appreciation coming from the audience.  A glitch for me?  I missed getting the chance to connect and say Hi, as we (the audience) did not understand who was signing autographs in the lobby, and when (during / after the show?).  Westbury staff was not very helpful on this.  (or anything else for that matter)  Next up:  The Grass Roots.  Fast forward to ... oh wait a minute.  We can't fast forward OR go backward as the rotating stage got stuck and I stared at Joe Dougherty's back for 20 minutes.  He is actually quite an animated drummer.  Just as I thought that my tickets had been purchased from 'get-to-know-your-drummers.com', the stage began to turn. Just 90 degrees to the right, though, and then back again 180 degrees.  So we only got side views.  I should mention that two stage-hands had opened up the floor and were working 'below deck' all this time.  The audience obviously appreciated The Grass Roots songs OR / AND the effort they made in continuing the show as the group received loud applause.  I was not worried about the next act:  Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone.  Peter runs around the perimeter of the mobile stage even when it works.  The Hermits keep an eye on him as he cavorts around.  (it is really for their own safety ... he is quite unpredictable) So I was bound to see a face or two.  As expected, the stage wobbled back and forth, not making full circles, with Peter Noone keeping every inch of the audience entertained.  And I, again, got to know the drummer's back.  Hey Dave!  You are even more animated than Joe and flip, flick, and toss those drumsticks in amazing varieties of movement.  Then ... THE STAGE MADE A FULL CIRCLE!  The stagehands emerged from the bowels, and The British Invasion was completed with people raving about Peter and his Hermits.  INTERMISSION.  BTW, Herman's Hermits received quite a few screams from the audience which reminded me of a 60's concert IN the 1960's. Tommy James and The Shondells completed the night with a working circular stage and the best set I have seen them do.  However, now the sound was ramped up and seemed to me, (and regrettably those around me) to be louder than needed.  For me, there were times I could not understand the lyrics (I knew what they were but still ...) due to the sound volume.  I get a kick out of the Security Team jumping up to protect Tommy James as he enters the audience to shake hands.  This is something he has done for about 50 years and yet each time theatre security acts as though they are surprised.  I had no idea how I was going to write this review, but then it struck me.  There was a lack of communication within the theatre, the stage got stuck, and at the end the volume was too loud.  And still -- each of these four groups gave a decidedly superior performance. 
That's not just magic ... it's MAJICK! 
Shelley Sweet-Tufano 
How'd you like to have been at THIS show?!?!  What a completely unexpected surprise!  A true fans' delight!
But the best part of this article (written by Andy Greene and published in "Rolling Stone") is his spot-on depiction of Mike Love ... and how Andy thinks Mike might have reacted if a similar idea had been suggested during the reunited Beach Boys tour last year.  Funny stuff!  (kk)
When Brian Wilson last took the stage at New York's Beacon Theater, a little less than a year and a half ago, he was once again a member of the Beach Boys, content to stay perched behind a piano on the side of the stage while his cousin (and longtime nemesis) Mike Love pranced around and dominated the proceedings as much as possible. It was a reunion few could have ever imagined, and nobody was surprised when it imploded months later. Each side has their story of what happened, but nobody disputes that Wilson is now once again a solo artist and Mike Love's Beach Boys are now available for bookings at a casino or state fair near you.  
Wilson wasn't about to simply give up and leave the Beach Boys banner in the hands of his litigious cousin. Instead, he put together a coalition of the willing Beach Boys - including founding members David Marks and Al Jardine alongside 1970s Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin and Brian's incredible longtime backing band - and hit the road with a show that blows Love's tired oldies revue completely out of the water. Last night, they revisited the Beacon with fantastic results.   
Jeff Beck is along for the ride, too, and is in the middle of recording a new album with Wilson. At first glance the pairing seems completely incongruous, since the 1960s British blues rock scene had little in common with the Surf Wall of Sound that Brian created 5,000 miles away in Los Angeles. But the minute the former Yardbird played the opening notes of "Surf's Up" on the guitar - flawlessly recreating the original vocal melody while Wilson and his bandmates contributed gorgeous backing vocals - the pairing made complete sense. These are artists with a lot of mutual respect, and they've found a way to perfectly complement each other.  
The show began promptly at 8:00 PM with Wilson and his band performing a beautiful a-cappella rendition of "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" by the Four Freshmen, a formative influence on Wilson. After getting the crowd on their feet with "California Girls," they brought out Blondie Chaplin - a man whose tenure in the Beach Boys stretches from early 1972 all the way to late 1973. He cut two albums in that time period, and song lead on the classic "Sail on Sailor." Forty years later, he delivered it with pretty stunning vocal power and followed it up with the fan favorite "Wild Honey."  
It was at this point that Wilson dropped the bomb: not only were they going to play "Wouldn't It Be Nice" next, but they it would be followed by the rest of Pet Sounds in sequence. It's the first time he's done the album in many years, and the first time he's ever done an album without any prior announcement. The audience was stunned into silence, and didn't seem to even believe it was true until sometime around "That's Not Me." They didn't have the string section from the Pet Sounds tour of 2000 - 2001, but the band was clearly up for the challenge. 
Pet Sounds is a very demanding album for Wilson vocally, and although Jeff Foskett handled many of the higher notes, it was clear Wilson gave it everything he had. "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times" has rarely been so touching, and "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)" was incredibly moving. "Now we're going to play, I think, the best song I ever wrote," he said before "God Only Knows." "And I've written a lot of songs." Nobody can match Carl Wilson's original vocals, but he still did a stellar job and got a huge standing ovation. 
When the album was done, they got the crowd dancing with "Good Vibrations," "Help Me, Rhonda," "I Get Around" and "Fun, Fun, Fun." These gave Jardine a chance to shine, and his voice is remarkably well-preserved for 71. Having him there is a huge asset to the show, even when he's only on background vocals. A simple "pom-pa-bom-pa-bom bom-pa" makes a big difference and causes it to sound like the Beach Boys and not just a cover band featuring Brian Wilson. David Marks also took some guitar leads, perfectly recreating parts he played as a teenager fifty years ago. 
After a brief intermission, Jeff Beck took the stage with his four-piece band. He had a tough job in front of him. Unlike Wilson, he doesn't have an arsenal of hits to draw from. He doesn't even have a singer on most of his songs, but he won over the crowd very quickly with his sheer virtuosity and his seemingly unique ability to play the vocal melody of any tune on the guitar. He wisely mixed into the set a few classic rock covers like "A Day in the Life" and "Little Wing," but the audience seemed mesmerized by the entire thing, especially when his young violinist Lizzie Ball took a solo, or even channeled Mary Ford's vocals on the Les Paul classic "How High the Moon." 
As Beck's set went on, Wilson and members of his band came and went from the stage, helping the guitarist out on the Smile classics "Our Prayer" and "Child Is the Father of the Man." At the end of the night, both bands came together for "Surfin' USA," "Barbara Ann" and the grand finale of "Danny Boy." Beck was clearly having a blast taking solos on the Beach Boys classics, and at the end of the night he gave Wilson a huge hug. 
It's easy to imagine Mike Love's reaction to this show: "Who the hell is that guitarist without any sleeves? Why not do 'Kokomo,' 'Be True to Your School' and the car medley? People might not want to hear all of 'Shut Down' and 'Little Deuce Coup,' but you gotta play a little bit of them! Oh my god, not Pet Sounds! You're doing all of it? I don't remember half those songs and that'll take up too much time and you won't be able to squeeze in the John Stamos drum solo. What's that? No Stamos? How can you say such a thing? Tell me you're at least doing 'Surfing' Safari.' Good god, I haven't done a show without that song since Kennedy was in the White House. And don't even tell me that's Blondie Chaplin up there! Didn't my brother take care of him back in '73?" 
His vision of the Beach Boys and Brian's was always very different. The reunion tour last year was a lot of fun, but it clearly wasn't meant to last. Anybody that wants to hear "Kokomo" and listen to a Full House cast member play drums can easily find that show, but Brian Wilson has once again proved he doesn't need to own the name "The Beach Boys" to carry on the group's legacy. 
While I  didn’t see them this past Saturday I did see them earlier in the tour ... once at Summerfest and about a month ago at the United Center. A great show no doubt. I do wish they would have continued with the chronological sequence though. As for Joe Walsh ... I like him, BUT I feel his large number of songs done in a EAGLES concert to be excessive. Especially when the tour is titled “The History of the Eagles”. I don’t recall any Don Henley songs during this show and his at least sound like Eagles songs.
I certainly hope you are wrong about this being their last tour. They seem to have a lot of energy left.
Ok stepping down from my soap box now.
Thanks, Kent, for all you do. 
Scott Schultz
In this context, I do see your point regarding the Joe Walsh portion of the show ... I think he's simply become his own attraction at these events ... and at The All State Arena the place COMPLETELY went up for grabs once he took center stage.  But you raise a valid point ... what do these songs have to do with "The History Of The Eagles"???
I heard the United Center and Summerfest shows were equally fantastic ... I firmly believe The Eagles are not capable of putting on anything less than a perfect show.  Kudos to them for keeping it so rewarding for all of the fans.  (Here again, I think the ticket prices are exorbitant ... there's no reason that they should have to charge that kind of money for a seat.  Add in dinner, parking and a couple of souvenirs and you're up to about an $800 date night!  Then again I think four of the people sitting in our row that night spent nearly that much on drinks alone during the show.  I swear we had to get up 70 times to let them get out for the concessions!)  kk
I really liked your Eagles review.  We went to the show in Memphis and loved it.  I agree with nearly every comment you make about the show.  BTW, I was an Eagles concert virgin until this show (it was always too expensive), but I'm really glad I shelled out the bucks this time!
Mike Schooler