The Beach Boys: June 19, 2012 Toronto

I haven’t posted a blog entry for a long time…so…

Here are some pictures I took at the fantastic Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour show. One of the best concerts I have seen in a long time…Enjoy.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Roger Waters: The Wall Live

I was very excited to see this concert so my hopes were very high. Unlike 3 years ago when I bought a single ticket for Roger Waters Dark Side of the Moon Tour (DSOTM) I was simply curious as to how one original member of Pink Floyd could pull it off.

Pink Floyd’s “The Wall Tour” was a very limited concert tour in 1980-1981. They only played select shows in Los Angeles, New York, London and Germany. So this was a must see show for myself.

Waters and company played the entire Wall album without any encores. Encores would have been dificult since the stage was a mess with bricks strewn all over. The playing was note perfect except for some rough sound mixing in few places which was expected being the first show of the tour. Overall it was a Pink Floyd’s fan dream come true to see the wall presented by its principle authour before he becomes too old to perform anymore. Waters seems in good form for a man of 67.

Here are some pictures and video I took at the Roger Waters production of “The Wall” (opening night) on Sept 15, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre.

Beatles Anthology

Here is an interesting picture of John Lennon (out of focus) on stage at the Budokan Hall, Tokyo Japan in 1966. (LIFE magazine)

lennon-japan-sml

One of my favourite parts of The Beatles Anthology series is the 1966 visit to Japan. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit myself. And the fact that John Lennon met his future wife (Yoko Ono) only a few months after that trip, makes it somewhat interesting as well.

The best parts of The Beatles in Japan video clips are the concerts at the Budokan Hall. Watching the video you get a glimpse into an authentic Beatles concert in full colour. The performance was considered by The Beatles to be substandard as it was one of the rare concerts where they could actually hear themselves play. It was only ever officially released as a laser disc in the 1980’s (in Japan of course!) but I have seen bootlegs on VHS and DVD (plus most of the footage can be be found on youtube).

This was the last world tour The Beatles would give and it included Germany, Japan, The Philippines, and finally America. The setlist for most every show was:

Rock n Roll Music

She’s a Woman

If I Needed Someone

Day Tripper

Baby”s In Black

I Feel Fine

Yesterday

I Wanna Be Your Man

Nowhere Man

Paperback Writer

I”m Down

The only new songs to play live in ’66 were “Nowhere Man”, “If I Needed Someone”, “Day Tripper” and “Paperback Writer”. They also neglected to try to to play anything from their new album, Revolver, although “Paperback Writer” was from the same sessions.

Standards like “Rock-N-Roll Music” and “She’s A Woman” (a great version is on the Anthology 2 CD set, with George’s guitar solo sounding just a bit psychedelic) were still predominant. Or maybe they didn’t want to play anything from Revolver as I remember hearing one interview where George Harrison said they had got fed up with it by the time it was completed. However, the scene in the Anthology where they are revisiting the original master tapes of Lennon’s tone poem “Tomorrow Never Knows” (which closes the album), George, Paul and Ringo are thrilled at the re-listening.

BRITAIN BEATLES

It’s also interesting that this 66 world tour was the last gasp of world Beatlemania. “Strawberry Fields” and “Penny Lane” were just around the corner.

Picture of 1995 Beatles from : www.riprense.com/beatlessong.htm

A Little Less Juxtaposition Please

I was watching a Skydiggers interview last Saturday on youtube (just do a “skydiggers” search on youtube, I forgot the link)and though it was a treat to watch a new interview of the Diggers, unfortunately, it was kind of a wasted opportunity. I can’t remember how many times the interviewer (Jian Ghomeshi of the CBC) skydiggers-dec-2007tried to complicate the process by sticking in the word “juxtaposition” as many times as possible to make the interview sound “intellectual”(Maybe he didn’t write the questions himself?). I found this approach unnecessary and just plain wrong for the subject at hand…a rock band. All he had to do was ask “So tell me about your new album? What songs do you think are the best on it? How long did it take to record?” pretty simple eh?

Instead he tried to make a point that Skydiggers music, sounding rural, was created by urban folks…an interesting point to make but it kinda fell flat and the two Skydigger’s Andy and Josh were tongue tied for some of the “juxtaposition” questions. So to whoever wrote those questions, keep it simple please…

Photo credit: Danya Hawerchuk

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhawerchuk

Visit Danya Hawerchuk’s Flickr site for some great concert photography. I like her style.

YES: In the Present Toronto Show

Benoit David has a powerful voice and I was amazed at his resemblance to Jon Anderson as well. This man could give YES another 10-15 years of touring life. The song selection was much better than some recent YES gigs. Adding rarities like “Machine Messiah”, “Tempus Fugit” both not played live since 1980! “Onward” from the 1978 album Tormato and “Astral Traveller” from their second album Time and a Word. Excellent choices in my book. The rest was standard YES concert fare with “Close to the Edge”, “Roundabout”, “All Good People” etc…but the man can sing exactly like Anderson with the same accents and he reaches the high notes. Although his voice did crack during “Machine Messiah”, overall, he was excellent.

Steve Howe was also fantastic changing guitars whenever it suited a particular song (which was often). Chris Squire was on fire and Alan White gave a good solid performance. Oliver Wakeman was kept behind the keys and did his job well with a lot less of the flamboyance of his father. Obviously making sure he played the parts faithfully especially the piano bit on “South Side of the Sky”.

I have to say I walked out very satisfied knowing that YES music lives on…

yes-toronto-20081105-3yes-toronto-20081105-5yes-toronto-20081105-17yes-toronto-20081105yes-toronto-20081105-11

YES: In the Present Rehearsal Photos

All credit to Paul Silveira who took these shots of YES rehearsing in Hamilton, Ontario for the http://www.yesworld.com website. These were most likely taken on November 1st. Not enough close ups for me except the nice one of Steve Howe. Perhaps they didn’t want any close ups? I’m looking forward to tomorrow night at Massey Hall and a future DVD from the tour.

yes_20081101-hamilton-ontario-rehersal-2

yes_20081101-hamilton-ontario-rehersal-3

yes_20081101-hamilton-ontario-rehersal-4

yes_20081101-hamilton-ontario-rehersal-11

Jon Anderson: YES, He’s Not Happy

Yes frontman Jon Anderson says his bandmates royally dissed him by announcing they will tour with a replacement singer. Anderson, who is on doctor-ordered bedrest for the rest of the year after suffering acute respiratory failure in June, states he is “disappointed and very disrespected.”

Source: http://www.spinner.com

Well, it’s really a shame that the other guys didn’t contact Jon about this. But I’ve got my ticket for Nov 5th Massey Hall, because, with all due respect, Jon Anderson in Yes does not make it Yes…it’s the sum of many parts which might not include Jon (remember 1980?). I love Jon’s music and maybe the band could have even asked him if he didn’t mind but apparently, he no longer has a corporate stake in Yes, therefore he has less say in the matter. I’m interested to hear this version of the band. I am a fan of the Drama album and this is the first chance in a long time that we might get to hear some “Machine Messiah”.

Nov 4th Update: It seems that Jon has recanted his public disapproval (even though it has now been widely documented) and has made peace with the band over the decision.