Robert Plant & the Band of Joy: 1/18/2011

Robert Plant is one of those musicians that I just have to see any time I have the opportunity, so when he announced a show at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium—a small, intimate venue—I made sure I got tickets right away.

The Band of Joy included some amazing musicians backing Plant:

  • Marco Giovino – drums, percussion, vocals
  • Patty Griffin – vocals, guitar
  • Byron House – bass
  • Buddy Miller – guitar, vocals
  • Darrell Scott – vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedals, lap steel guitar, banjo

Anyway, I went with my wife to this show, and we had pretty good seats: orchestra center. The North Mississippi Allstars opened the show, and they were good. These days, it’s always a bonus when you have a solid opening act.

Finally, Plant came out, and not surprising, he sounded great. He just has a presence about him (pun intended). He played a great mix of Zep tunes, solo stuff, and some covers. The band was tight and it was just an all-around great show.

There was a strange incident, though. As the band was finishing up, and they were all standing together in a row on stage, ready to take the collective bow, some jackass jumped up on stage to get his picture taken with Plant and the band. Plant gracefully played it down and asked if they got the picture, but I  thought it was kind of uncool. I will say that since then (now seven years), Plant has not come back to Asheville. I can only hope that it is coincidence and that he is not pissed at the city. I do hope he comes back. I would definitely go see him again.

Here is the full setlist from the show.

Setlist

  • Down to the Sea
  • House of Cards
  • Angel Dance
  • Please Read the Letter
  • Monkey
  • Twelve Gates to the City / Wade in the Water / In My Time of Dying
  • Tangerine
  • Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go
  • A Satisfied Mind
  • Move Up
  • Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down
  • Central Two-O-Nine
  • Houses of the Holy
  • Tall Cool One
  • You Can’t Buy My Love
  • Ramble On
  • Gallows Pole

Encore:

  • Harm’s Swift Way
  • Rock and Roll
  • And We Bid You Goodnight

Elton John and Leon Russell: 11/16/2010

EltonLeon_11-16-10

This was a real hard ticket to get. This show sold out at lightning speed and I almost was unable to get tickets (since our good friends at TicketMaster were not releasing all the tickets at once). Anyway, after getting a message that tickets were gone, my friend told me to try again, and like magic, tickets were available. I got tickets for my wife and two daughters.

I had seen Elton before, but this was my first time seeing Leon Russell, so I was pretty psyched.

Our seats were behind the stage, but that actually turned out to be a good thing. Both musicians had their pianos facing toward the center of the stage, so we had a great profile view of Elton and Leon was almost looking right at us. And we were close, which was nice.

Leon opened the show and played several songs of his own. Then Elton came out and kicked his set off with “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” which was the perfect opener, in my humble opinion.

Elton played a long set, during which Leon came out and the two performed together, playing songs from their collaborative album, “The Union.”

I really enjoyed taking my kids to this show. They both loved it and were thrilled to be seeing two rock and roll legends. There’s nothing like passing down a love of music to your children.

Here are the setlists from the show.

Leon’s Set

  1. Tight Rope
  2. Prince of Peace / Out in the Woods
  3. A Song for You
  4. Delta Lady
  5. Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms / Stranger in a Strange Land

Elton’s Set

  1. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
  2. Philadelphia Freedom
  3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  4. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
  5. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  6. Bennie and the Jets
  7. I’m Still Standing
  8. If It Wasn’t for Bad
  9. Hey Ahab
  10. Gone to Shiloh
  11. Jimmie Rodgers’ Dream
  12. Monkey Suit
  13. The Best Part of the Day
  14. A Dream Come True
  15. When Love is Dying
  16. Hearts Have Turned to Stone
  17. Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
  18. In The Hands of Angels
  19. Burn Down the Mission
  20. Levon
  21. Tiny Dancer
  22. I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
  23. Daniel
  24. Candle in the Wind
  25. Take Me to the Pilot
  26. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
  27. The Bitch Is Back
  28. (encore) Your Song

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss: 6/14/2008

PlantKrauss_6-14-08

The Rolling Stones may be the greatest rock and roll band, but Led Zeppelin embodies the mythos of rock and Robert Plant is the archetype of the rock god. So when Robert Plant booked a show in lil ol’ Asheville with Alison Krauss, I had to grab a ticket, even though I had seen Plant multiple times before. The two had recently collaborated on an album, “Raising Sand.” Then I discovered that T Bone Burnett was also part of their band, and I was really psyched. I knew this was going to be a special show.

I went with my wife and we had decent seats about halfway back on the side. The Civic Center is far from acoustically perfect, but it really didn’t matter, they still sounded incredible.

Plant and Krauss each sang some songs separately and many together. I was really impressed by how well they harmonized. Many rock singers suffer from voice damage in later years, but Plant still sounded great. He performed three Zeppelin tunes: Black Dog, Black Country Woman, and Battle of Evermore. I can honestly say that the performance of “The Battle of Evermore” was one of my most memorable moments of live music performances ever. I managed to find a YouTube recording of the performance. The quality of the video is not the greatest, but it at least gives a sense of how magical the performance was.

The Battle of Evermore – Asheville Civic Center

Overall, it was a wonderful date night with my wife. I’m fortunate to be married to someone who loves live music as much as I do.

For those of you who are interested, here is the complete setlist from the concert.


Setlist:

  • Rich Woman
  • Leave My Woman Alone
  • Black Dog
  • Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us
  • Through the Morning, Through the Night
  • It’s Goodbye and So Long to You
  • Fortune Teller
  • Black Country Woman
  • In the Mood
  • Bon Temps Rouler
  • Shut it Tight
  • Trampled Rose
  • Green Pastures
  • Down to the River to Pray
  • Killing the Blues
  • Nothin’
  • The Battle of Evermore
  • Please Read the Letter
  • Gone Gone Gone

Encore

  • Don’t Knock
  • (I’m a) One Woman Man
  • Your Long Journey

Phish: 6/9/2009

Phish_6-9-09

So I should start by saying I was never a big Phish phan. I could appreciate what they did musically, but I was much more of a Grateful Dead fan when it came to jam band music. But when a show was announced in Asheville, walking distance from my house, I figured I might as well check them out and mark them off the list of bands I had seen.

Usually, when bands would perform at the Asheville Civic Center (now renamed the US Cellular Center), I would go and buy tickets at the box office and avoid the TicketMaster service fees. But alas, all the Phish phreaks started camping out days in advance at the box office, and I for one had a life at that point and could not just check out and go sleep on the sidewalk for two or three days. So I decided to take my chances on the TicketMaster website and pay the fees.

Well, that was an epic fail. Tickets were gone within 5 minutes and I was “conveniently” redirected to TicketMaster’s partner site where scalper tickets were already being offered for $500. I was a little disappointed, since I had never seen Phish before and wanted to see what the fuss was all about, but figured it was not that big a deal, since I was not that into their music.

Then, out of the blue, my good friend Seth contacted me and said his friend had a couple extra tickets and wanted to know if I was interested in going with him. I said “Hell yeah!” So we got the tickets for face value (about $50) and went to the show. I have to admit, it was really fun. We danced, the music was good (much better live than on recordings I had heard), and it was just a really good time. And as a bonus, I got a really cool looking ticket stub to add to the collection.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again Seth for hooking me up!