I’m going to talk about 38 Special first even though they were the headliner because The Outlaws need extra thought. Now that we got that out of the way I will say 38 Special was a lot of fun. Where is singer Donnie Van Zandt? No clue. Don Barnes is the other singer so most of the main vocal duties fell on him. After the first song I thought uh-oh Don Barnes’s voice is already toast. I was wrong as he warmed up and although he did struggle a bit he delivered when it counted. The band was super tight as expected, the only fail was a medley of old songs that just didn’t work. I would rather hear one great song for four minutes than thirty seconds of six good songs. With hits like: Rockin Into The Night, Caught Up In You and Second Chance the audience was happy to sing along. The best part of the show was the encore of the ever popular Hold On Loosely which got everyone to their feet as the band gave all the energy they had left to make sure you would remember them.
3.5 (out of 5)
I had been given a meet and greet pass to see 38 Special but had to pass in order to see The Outlaws thirty minute set. It’s a good thing I did becuase I went from The Outlaws? Green Grass And High Tides? Those Guys? to Wow The Outlaws one of the best live shows I have ever seen. Thirty minutes of pure southern fried rock served to perfection! Chris Anderson and Billy Crain are two of the most ridiculous guitar players I have ever seen. Coupled with Randy Threet on low end thunder bass, Monte Yoho on trap kit and Dave Robbins on keys were all in it to win it. Seriously, download the current line up doing Green Grass from I-tunes if you don’t believe me. Speaking of Green Grass And High Tides it was thirteen minutes of the thirty minute set and it blew my mind out the top o’ me head. The Outlaws started their set with track one of their new record Tomorrow’s Another Night complete with four part harmonies. Herny Paul sounded awesome on lead vocals and had no problem pumping up the crowd and letting everyone know they should be headlining somewhere. I am so happy that I got to see The Outlaws as I am now a huge fan.
5 (out of 5)
I received the The Outlaws new record It’s About Pride in advance of the show. I popped it in and was immediately transported to the south. And in this case the non country ”Yankee” really didn’t mind. I always like Green Grass And High Tides and There Goes Another Love Song but truth be told that is as far as my knowledge of the band goes. The band has had some serious sadness of the past thirty years but I will let you wikapedia that yourself if you feel like getting bummed out. That being said It’s About Pride is the first new record bearing the name The Outlaws and at the risk of pissing off the die hards I think it’s perfect. The production is is huge and not hampered by new technology. Three and four part harmonies ring all over the place and the freedom that is allowed lyrically is really refreshing. In a time when most bands are happy just to play their hit song, get a few bucks and move on The Outlaws have made a stand with a great new record and as the title states:
It’s About Pride
5 (out of 5)
When I was around 11 years old I bought Road To Ruin at Recycled Records purely because of the cover art (That became a long term practice with me). That began my love affair with The Ramones one of the most important rock bands of all time. It’s sad that Joey, Johnny and Dee-Dee are gone but such is life eh? That is why the posthumously released demo collection Ya Know? is such a nice surprise. Joey put out one solo record which besides his amazing take on It’s A Wonderful World was just okay. Strangely not the case here, Ya Know? is actually a strong record on it’s own (almost impossible with demo collections). Mickey Leigh (Joey’s brother and executive producer) put a lot of love into this collection and the production matches for the most part from song to song which again is amazing for a collection based over a long time period. Lots of cool people float through the record including Joan Jett, Steven Van Zandt, Bun E Carlos and Handsom Dick Manatoba. Just as you would expect and in my case wan’t Ya Know? could have beed a later period Ramones record, every song is a sing along (ask my kids!) and Joey’s voice (always underrated) is warm and awesome on every track. Because there is some time traveling involved some of lyrics are dated in a fun way referencing party lines and MTV (Remember when MTV didn’t suck?) Overall Joey Ramone’s Ya Know? is a wonderfull reminder of a great voice that belonged to us all. Joey is one of America’s rock and roll treasures and this record is sure to make you smile as you think back to when you used to bop all night long.
Track one says it all: Rock And Roll Is The Answer
4 (out of 5)
Styx is the best and hardest working classic rock band out there and I have seen them all. I was so excited when I heard that Styx would be doing Grand Illusion and Pieces Of Eight from start to finish. I was disappointed for half a second when I found out during the first song that this would not be the case. What followed was an amazing “best of” set that blew my mind even though I have seen Styx many, many times. What could be better than a rock show with Styx? A rock show at the L.A. County fair complete with chunky era Elvis, (With trippy bum dancing out of step in the background) Biggies Meat Shack (My bud Sean-E Two-Pops had a pulled pork Sammy… turned out to be a bad idea), chocolate covered bacon, ski-lift to nowhere, tons of scary spinning rides, a terrifying bungie jump (good idea at a fair right?) as well as a midway to rival any other carney/gypsy no win alley with the possibility (albeit very slim) to walk a way as the proud new owner of a giant knock off Care Bear! (you paid 50$ to win, retail cost 38c) Back to Styx…
The proof of any great rock show is if you can get the crowd to do goofy sing alongs? Styx can! Keyboard player/singer and slightly less fruity Dennis DeYoung replacement Lawrence Gowan actually got the crowd to finish the lines from classic rock songs! “We don’t need no… (crowd says) education!” Etc. It was delightfully cheesy. The never aging Tommy Shaw was amazing as always, he has got to be one of the most underrated guitar players out there. James JY Young is an amazing soloist and has very funny facial scenes that make you smile right along as he tosses guitar picks at the adoring outstretched hands. The drummer Todd Sucherman and bassist Ricky Phillips are the reason for the fresh and huge sound that Styx has had for the last decade or so and the live show is the proof (you can get Regeneration which is a best of CD with this lineup at Best Buy) Original bassist Chucky Panozzo always does a few songs live with the band which is fun. Styx has so many great songs with unapologetic hope and they still play them with passion: Too Much Time On My Hands, Grand Illusion, Man In The Wilderness, Lady, Come Sail Away, Lorelei, Crystal Ball, Blue Collar Man, Miss America and Renegade… How about that for a good time? The best thing for me about the show was this: for the first time in a long time I didn’t just want to watch the show, I wanted to be on the stage.
Styx did that.
See them next time they are in your area, you will be glad you did.
5 (out of 5)
I have been waiting for a record like this since Sugar Copper Blue. Silver Age is lean and mean with 10 power pop post punk gems that are performed to perfection. Bob Mould has had many great moments over the years especially the last few records but Silver Age is a return to form. Gone are the goofy beats and fruity auto-tune vocals and back is the big guitars and emotional outbursts. I have been following Bob Mould since Husker Du’s New Day Rising and after watching Bob on David Letterman I was sure of one thing… He is inspired and energized again. The first single is The Descent which is a perfect intro to this record. Really cool video for The Descent here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MdhsCeasBQ
All in all Bob Mould’s Silver Age is awesome and perfect. The Godfather of alternative music has delivered.
Available everywhere, but it now!
5 (out of 5)