Goblin: 11/28/2018

As a horror film buff, and someone who enjoys prog rock, it’s no surprise that I am a fan of Goblin. I saw them some years back on their first ever US tour, and they were awesome. So when I saw that they were coming back to town and would be performing the soundtrack to “Suspira” live during a screening of the film, I knew I would be going. I offered to buy my brother a ticket, since he is also a horror fan, and we were in.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Goblin, they are an Italian progressive rock band that formed in the 70s and became famous for composing the soundtrack music for films such as “Suspiria,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Tenebre,” and many others. Note: Claudio Simonetti, the keyboardist, was the only original Goblin member on this tour, but the other band members were exceptional musicians.

We got to the Orange Peel early enough to snag a decent spot, as well as one of the few bar stools so we could sit and watch the film. The band took the stage, and got ready to queue up the film.

The film started, and the band played the opening musical sequence, which was hauntingly powerful. I commented to my brother that they had an easy first half of the gig, spending a lot of time sitting and waiting for the next point in the film where music was needed. But I have to say, it was a totally unique concert experience for me, something that is rare for a veteran concertgoer as myself.

After the film ended, they paused briefly before launching into a killer second set, with lots of horror film clips and surreal visuals projected on the screen. The band was really tight, effortlessly flowing through intricate scale runs that rival any prog band. Suffice to say, I was on my feet for the entire second set.

Here is the full setlist, along with some pictures from the show. Rock on!

Set 1: “Suspiria” live screening and soundtrack accompaniment.

  • Suspiria
  • Witch
  • Opening to the Sighs
  • Sighs
  • Markos
  • Black Forest / Blind Concert
  • Death Valzer

Set 2:

  • Mater Lachrymarum
  • Demoni
  • E Suono Rock
  • Roller
  • Dawn of the Dead (L’alba dei Morti Viventi)
  • Zombi
  • Zaratozom
  • Tenebre
  • Phenomena
  • Profondo Rosso

Eric Clapton: 7/23/1990

This concert was part of Clapton’s Journeyman tour. I had seen Clapton years before this with Muddy Waters, but I was definitely looking forward to seeing him again. My girlfriend at the time, Joyce, was a big Clapton fan too, so we were both excited about this show.

Our seats were in the lower section, pretty much straight back, so the sound was good, but the musicians were a little small. Not that I minded. Clapton sounded great, as was to be expected. He is, without question, one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

So you may be wondering about the guitar pick that is in the image along with the ticket stub. Of course, I would not have been able to get a pick sitting all the way in the back. But my roommate at time, Lowell, had seats right up near the front center, and he was one of the lucky souls to get a guitar pick that Eric had actually touched and played guitar with… and he gave it to me! I was kind of shocked. All I could think was, “Damn! That’s a true friend who offers you his Eric Clapton guitar pick.” It is a piece of rock memorabilia that I will treasure forever.

Here’s  the setlist from the show.

Setlist:

  • Pretending
  • No Alibis
  • Running on Faith
  • I Shot the Sheriff
  • White Room
  • Can’t Find My Way Home
  • Bad Love
  • Before You Accuse Me
  • Old Love
  • Tearing Us Apart
  • Wonderful Tonight
  • Cocaine
  • Layla
  • Cross Road Blues
  • Sunshine of Your Love

Robert Plant: 7/1/1985

So if you are paying attention, you will notice that the date on the stub and the date of this show do not match up. That’s because, even though this was an indoor concert, it was postponed due to rain. If you grew up in South Florida in the 70s and 80s, you would remember the barn of a venue that was the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium, which was such a shithole that when it rained, water threatened to pour down on the stage.

The Sportatorium roof was infamous for occasionally leaking over the stage (and performers) or the audience during heavy rainfalls. Robert Plant postponed a 1985 concert for one day due to leaks in the roof, and remarked to the crowd the following night, “This is the first gig I’ve ever done that was rained out inside the building.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

We had driven out to Pembroke Pines on the Sunday, since we hadn’t heard the news about the postponement, and we were turned away along with a bunch of other concertgoers (read Sun Sentinel article about cancellation). Thankfully, there were no conflicts preventing us from returning the following night. Since this was my first time seeing Robert Plant, I would have been devastated if I had to return my ticket.

Anyway, the next day, we made the trek (again) out to the Sport-hole, and this time we were treated to an awesome performance by Plant. He was touring in support of the Shaken and Stirred album, but he also included a short Honeydrippers set, which was very cool. I was slightly disappointed that he didn’t play any Zeppelin tunes on this tour, but I guess he was trying to establish himself apart from his past. I can respect that, but it would have been cool to toss in one or two songs. But the quality of what he did play certainly made up for it, and I would see Plant perform Zep stuff at future shows, particularly when he performed with Jimmy Page.

Here’s the setlist—there was good rockin’ at midnight!

Setlist

Robert Plant

  • In the Mood
  • Pledge Pin
  • Pink and Black
  • Little by Little
  • Burning Down One Side
  • Too Loud
  • Thru’ With the Two Step
  • Other Arms
  • Messin’ With the Mekon
  • Slow Dancer

Honeydrippers

  • Rockin’ at Midnight
  • Young Boy Blues
  • Sea of Love
  • (Every Time I Hear) That Mellow Saxophone

Robert Plant

  • Like I’ve Never Been Gone
  • Easily Lead

Encore:

  • Big Log

Guns n’ Roses with Soundgarden: 12/31/1991

I was never a huge GnR fan, but I like some of their stuff. When I heard they were holding a big New Year’s Eve concert with Soundgarden, and some of my good friends were going, I figured this would be the time to check them out and scratch them off the list of bands to be seen.

The concert was being held at Joe Robbie Stadium, which kind of sucked. I’m not a fan of stadium shows, but such is life. One thing that made me chuckle, though, upon getting my ticket, was the statement *Showtime Approximate*. Axl was notorious for showing up late for performances (or not showing up at all), so the audience was duly warned.

We got there and our seats were straight back, lower section. Soundgarden came out and started their set, and some asshole in the upper deck started tossing down M-80s, one of which exploded at my feet. I was beyond pissed and stormed upstairs, seeking out the jerk with every intention of having an altercation, but alas, I could not find him. He either moved on or ran out of ammunition.

After what seemed like an unusually long time, GnR took the stage and kicked right into “Welcome to the Jungle.” I have to say, I was pretty impressed by the energy with which they opened the show. Reminded me of how I felt when I saw The Clash and they exploded on stage with “London Calling.” Even sitting at the back of Joe Robbie Stadium, I felt the power of the music emanating from the stage.

The band played a long time, and the show was killer. I gained a new level of respect for the band, and understood why people liked them so much. I still don’t own any Guns n’ Roses albums, but I have good memories of seeing them live and tend to turn the volume up a bit when one of their songs comes on the radio.

Here’s the setlist.

  • Welcome to the Jungle
  • Mr. Brownstone
  • Live and Let Die
  • Attitude
  • Nightrain
  • Bad Obsession
  • Double Talkin’ Jive
  • Civil War
  • It’s So Easy
  • Patience (w Wild Horses intro)
  • Rocket Queen
  • November Rain
  • You Could Be Mine
  • Matt Sorum Drum Solo
  • Slash Guitar Solo
  • Speak Softly Love (Love Theme From The Godfather)
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine (with Sail Away Sweet Sister… more )
  • Don’t Cry
  • Move to the City
  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door  (w Only Women Bleed intro)
  • Estranged
  • Paradise City

King Crimson: 2/28/2003

For me, King Crimson sort of holds a mythical place in the world of rock music. They were definitely at the forefront of the prog movement, so when I saw they were coming to town, and playing a very small venue, I didn’t hesitate to grab tickets. My brother also wanted to go, so I grabbed a ticket for him and made plans for him to come to town for the concert.

This show was part of the Power To Believe tour. The album and tour featured some incredible musicians:

  • Robert Fripp – guitar, mastering, production
  • Adrian Belew – guitar, vocals, lyrics
  • Pat Mastelotto – electronic drumming, hybrid acoustic
  • Trey Gunn – Warr guitar

I had seen Adrian Belew perform with David Bowie, and he was amazing, so I was looking forward to seeing him again. And as a guitarist, I was really psyched to see the legendary Robert Fripp.

The concert was somewhat short, but the quality of the music made up for that. Technically, they were as impressive as I expected them to be. Fripp was a little strange, and occasionally would walk off stage for reasons unknown, but he always returned and stoically ripped through his scales.

The only thing that was a little disappointing for me was that the song choice was limited to three albums:   The Power to Believe, The ConstruKction of Light, and THRAK. I really thought they would do at least one song from Discipline, and I would have loved to see them play “21st Century Schizoid Man,” but alas—Fripp plays what Fripp wants to play. Anyway, it was still a killer show. Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • The ConstruKction of Light
  • ProzaKc Blues
  • The Power to Believe I: A Cappella
  • Level Five
  • Eyes Wide Open
  • EleKtriK
  • Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
  • The Power to Believe II: Power Circle
  • Facts of Life
  • The World’s My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum
  • Dangerous Curves
  • Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (Part IV)

Encore:

  • The Power to Believe III: Deception of the Thrush
  • VROOOM
  • Dinosaur

Frank Zappa: 4/18/1980

This was my one and only time seeing the great Frank Zappa. He was playing two shows at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, and my friend Mark and I had tickets to the late show, which was starting at 11:30 pm. Zappa at midnight just seems appropriate.

The lineup for this tour was:

  • Frank Zappa
  • Ike Willis
  • Ray White
  • Arthur Barrow
  • David Logeman
  • Tommy Mars

We were pretty young at the time, and neither of us had a car, so we had to negotiate rides from the parental units. This proved somewhat challenging, but after some finagling, we got it worked out.

At the time, I liked Zappa, but was not a huge fan. I only owned one of his albums: “Roxy & Elsewhere,” but I liked the record a lot and it spent a lot of time on my turntable. But seeing Frank live, I realized just how frighteningly awesome a guitarist he was. He just came out on stage and unleashed an avalanche of intricate guitar work that frankly made my jaw drop (pun intended). And even though he didn’t play anything from the Roxy album, the show was excellent and started me down the path of really appreciating Zappa’s musical genius.

Here’s the setlist. Rock on!

Setlist:

  • Chunga’s Revenge
  • Keep It Greasey
  • Outside Now
  • City Of Tiny Lights
  • A Pound For A Brown (incl. Louie Louie, q: Inca Roads, I Love Lucy theme, Mo ‘N Herb’s Vacation)
  • Cosmik Debris
  • You Didn’t Try To Call Me
  • I Ain’t Got No Heart
  • Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up
  • He Used To Cut The Grass (with vocals!)
  • Easy Meat
  • Mudd Club
  • The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing
  • Heavenly Bank Account
  • Dancin’ Fool
  • Bobby Brown
  • Black Napkins

Goblin: 10/3/2013

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the band Goblin (which I will assume most people are), I will provide a little background info. Goblin is an Italian prog rock band that has been around since the early 1970s. They are best known for their film soundtrack work, particularly Dario Argento’s horror films (including  “Suspiria,” “Tenebre,” and “Profondo Rosso”). They also composed and performed the soundtrack music for George Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Dead.” So as a horror film buff, I was familiar with the band, even though they remained under the US music radar. Additionally, they had never performed in the United States. So when I saw they were coming to my little city in the mountains, there was no question about going. I immediately got a ticket and convinced my friend Greg (a big prog rock fan) that he should do the same.

The show at the Orange Peel was the second stop on the tour, which opened in Atlanta. Greg and I got there early and were interested in seeing the opening act: Secret Chiefs 3. Greg had heard good things about this band from another musician friend of ours, so we felt compelled to check them out. Really glad we did. They sounded great and were the perfect opening act, wearing ritualistic hooded cloaks while performing intricate and darkly mystical music.

Afterwards, Goblin took the stage and launched into an intense performance of some of the most spine-tingling progressive music you can imagine. And if that was not enough, they had a big screen behind the band where they were showing very graphic scenes from the various horror films that featured their music in the soundtracks. And while the band performed “Zombi” as scenes from “Dawn of the Dead” were splattered across the screen, it reminded me of just how much the music added to the overall experience of watching that film for the first time.

After the concert, I went to the merchandise table and bought a blood-red vinyl record, which included some of their more well-known pieces and was only being sold on the tour. I figured it would be a great keepsake.

I’m not sure if the band will tour the States again. I did see on their website that they are playing the Psycho Festival in Las Vegas on August 18, 2018, but that is their only date worldwide. They did do a full tour in 2017, so it is possible they will tour again. If you are into prog rock and/or horror films, I highly recommend going to see them if you have a chance.

I could not find the Asheville setlist, but here is one from the same tour, so I assume it is the same.

Setlist:

  • Magic Thriller
  • Mad Puppet
  • Dr. Frankenstein
  • Roller
  • E Suono Rock
  • Aquaman
  • Non Ho Sonno
  • Death Farm
  • Goblin
  • L’Alba Dei Morti Viventi
  • Zombi
  • Tenebre
  • Suspiria
  • School at Night
  • Profundo Rosso
  • Zaratozom

Rush: 2/28/1992

I was a big Rush fan in the 70’s and early 80’s. Some of the later stuff did not speak to me the same way, but the Roll the Bones album was pretty good, and Rush always puts on a great stage show, so I figured I would go and see them again.

Primus was the opening act. I had not heard of them (yet), but the friend I was with was pretty excited about them. They came out, and honestly, I was not impressed. I did not think Les Claypool was that good, personally, but my friend was diggin’ it, so I hung out.

Rush came out, and as always, had a very visual-intensive show. Great lights and videos, and the band was tight. I had not seen them since the Moving Pictures tour (sorry, no stub from that show… gates were crashed and teargas deployed, but got to see them anyway), so it had been a while. They still sounded great and performed well. I would have liked to have heard more older tunes, especially “Working Man,” which was noticeably absent, but it was still a great show.

Afterwards, my friend was convinced that Primus blew Rush off the stage. Personally, I was inclined to disagree. Although it was not the Rush I saw on the Hemispheres tour, they were still great.

Here’s the full setlist.

Setlist:

  • Force Ten
  • Limelight
  • Freewill
  • Distant Early Warning
  • Time Stand Still
  • Dreamline
  • Bravado
  • Roll the Bones
  • Show Don’t Tell
  • The Big Money
  • Ghost of a Chance
  • Subdivisions
  • The Pass
  • Where’s My Thing?
  • Drum Solo
  • Closer to the Heart
  • Xanadu
  • Superconductor
  • Tom Sawyer

Encore:

  • The Spirit of Radio
  • 2112 Part I: Overture > Finding My Way > La Villa Strangiato > Anthem > Red Barchetta

Roger Waters: 3/13/1985

This was my first time seeing Roger Waters. I had seen David Gilmour solo prior to this, which was very cool, but I was definitely excited to see Roger.

Unfortunately, we were on the second leg of this tour. The first leg, which happened in 1984, featured Eric Clapton on guitar. Instead, we had Jay Stapley. Oh well… such is life.

I went to this concert with both of my brothers, one of whom traveled a considerable distance to attend. But that brother has always been a huge Pink Floyd fan, so he was not going to pass on the opportunity to see Waters.

The show was basically broken into two sets: the first set was all Pink Floyd stuff, and the second set was “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” in its entirety. Then they did “Brain Damage/Eclipse” as the encore, which was awesome.

The sound was about as good as it could be, considering it was in the Hollywood Sportatorium, notorious for its crappy acoustics. The stage show was very cool. Lots of freaky visuals, props, and theatrics. Basically, everything that you would expect from a Roger Waters concert. High points for me were “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” “If,” “Pigs on the Wing,” and of course, “Brain Damage.” Here is the full setlist. Rock on!!

Set 1:

  • Welcome to the Machine
  • Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
  • Money
  • If
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Pigs on the Wing 1
  • Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
  • Southampton Dock
  • The Gunner’s Dream
  • In the Flesh
  • Nobody Home
  • Have a Cigar
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

Set 2: (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking)

  • 4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)
  • 4:33 AM (Running Shoes)
  • 4:37 AM (Arabs with Knives and West German Skies)
  • 4:39 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 2)
  • 4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)
  • 4:47 AM (The Remains of Our Love)
  • 4:50 AM (Go Fishing)
  • 4:56 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 1)
  • 4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)
  • 5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Part 10)
  • 5:06 AM (Every Stranger’s Eyes)
  • 5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)

Encore:

  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse

Alice Cooper: 3/26/2018

I know – I’ve seen Alice a LOT of times. But my youngest daughter had never seen him and wanted to go, so how could I say no?

We drove to Greenville, SC, which was a little over an hour. We got there with plenty of time to spare, which was a good thing, because there was only one merchandise table, so the line literally snaked around the hallway. But we waited patiently with the other rockers and got a couple of cool shirts. Then headed in to the show.

We had decent seats on the floor, right in the center. There was no opening act, just Alice. He came out, ever the grim glam god, and opened with “Brutal Planet.” After that, it was all Killer and no filler, just one great tune after another. Some of the high points for me were “Billion Dollar Babies,” where they had the classic snakeskin wallet cover as a backdrop, “Halo of Flies,” one of the greatest epic Cooper tunes ever, and “Serious” off the “From the Inside” album, somewhat obscure, so great to see performed live.

My daughter really loved the show, which I was glad about. And while she slept on the drive home, I thought about how lucky I am that I get to share live music with my kids.

Here’s the setlist from the show.

Setlist:

  • Brutal Planet
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Under My Wheels
  • Billion Dollar Babies
  • Be My Lover
  • Lost in America
  • Serious
  • Fallen in Love
  • Woman of Mass Distraction
  • Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss)
  • Poison
  • Halo of Flies
  • Feed My Frankenstein
  • Cold Ethyl
  • Only Women Bleed
  • Paranoiac Personality
  • Ballad of Dwight Fry
  • Killer (Excerpt)
  • I Love the Dead (Band vocals only)
  • I’m Eighteen

Encore:

  • School’s Out (with “Another Brick in the Wall”)