Jeff Lynne’s ELO and Dhani Harrison: 6/24/2019

Some of you may have noticed that I have not posted in a while. That’s because I moved and am now a California dude. And what better way to get settled into a new state than by going to see a concert.

Electric Light Orchestra has been on my short list of bands I want to see but have not had the opportunity. I can now check them off the list. I managed to get tickets for my wife and I, which were cheap seats way in the back, but this actually worked out for the best, because the light show was mind-blowing.

Anyway, getting ahead of myself.

Dhani Harrison opened the show. If his name seems familiar, yes, he’s George Harrison’s son, and quite a good musician. His songs were cool and he had a unique sound, but his voice definitely sounded like his dad’s on a few songs. It was nice to have an opener who was actually good.

After a brief intermission, ELO took the stage. Wow! Incredible sound, even in a big arena. And the lights—mesmerizing. But what was most astonishing about the show was just how many hits they had. I recognized every song, and they played a long time. The band was comprised of multiple keyboardists, cellists, a violinist, and stellar backing vocals, so every song they played sounded spot on. Even “Xanadu,” my least favorite ELO tune, was cool.

Another treat was when Dhani Harrison joined ELO on stage and performed “Handle with Care” by the Traveling Wilburys. He nailed his dad’s part, and the vibe was just really good.

I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of shows here on the west coast. For now, here’s the setlist from this one. Rock on!

  • Standin’ in the Rain
  • Evil Woman
  • All Over the World
  • Showdown
  • Do Ya
  • When I Was a Boy
  • Livin’ Thing
  • Handle With Care (with Dhani Harrison)
  • Last Train to London
  • Rockaria!
  • Xanadu
  • 10538 Overture
  • Shine a Little Love
  • Wild West Hero
  • Sweet Talkin’ Woman
  • Telephone Line
  • Don’t Bring Me Down
  • Turn to Stone
  • Mr. Blue Sky

Encore:

  • Roll Over Beethoven
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Paul McCartney: 7/28/2010

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This was the second time that I went to see Sir Paul McCartney in concert, but it holds a special place in my heart because I went with my two daughters, who are both Beatles fans (I raised them well). I had seen McCartney 20 years before (I think there is a song reference here), but was particularly excited about this show because it was indoors as opposed to a big stadium show. My friend Bob was also taking his two daughters, so we all piled into his van and made the journey to Charlotte for the show.

We got there with time to get dinner, so we went for pizza. The streets were teeming with McCartney fans, which was very cool. There was a real sense that we were all part of something big.

After entering the arena, we had to split up, since we did not all have seats together. My daughters and I had seats in the upper deck on the side of the stage, which was cool because we looked right down on Paul and when he played piano, he was facing right at us. We missed some of the video stuff, but that was not a big deal for me.

Paul opened the show with Venus and Mars > Rock Show > Jet. I was floored right off the bat. Not what I would have expected, but Rock Show is one of my favorite Wings songs. The rest of the concert was heavy on the Beatles stuff, with a good dose of Wings and McCartney solo material. What was really cool, though, was that he played some George and John stuff, which was totally a surprise for me. It was like he was acknowledging the influence his former bandmates had on his musical career. I found it to be very moving.

Watching my kids dance and sing along to these songs made me happier than I can really express. My mom was a huge Beatles fan and actually went to school with Ringo in Liverpool. So watching my kids at this concert, it was like the music formed a bridge connecting generations. Music is like that. It transcends.

Paul played a marathon concert. I was really impressed with how long he played and the energy he had. There were so many high points, it would be impossible to cover them all. In addition to the opening, definitely “I’ve Got a Feeling,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Helter Skelter” were probably the top moments for me. But again, it was all great. There was nothing about this concert that was anything less than fab.

Here is the setlist. Let’s all hope that Paul keeps on rollin’ for years to come. He has been part of the soundtrack of my life and I would like to keep him around as long as possible.


Setlist:

  • Venus and Mars
  • Rock Show
  • Jet
  • All My Loving
  • Letting Go
  • Drive My Car
  • Highway
  • Let Me Roll It (With Foxy Lady Snippet)
  • The Long and Winding Road
  • Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
  • Let ‘Em In
  • My Love
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face
  • And I Love Her
  • Blackbird
  • Here Today
  • Dance Tonight
  • Mrs. Vandebilt
  • Eleanor Rigby
  • Ram On
  • Something
  • Sing the Changes
  • Band on the Run
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.
  • I’ve Got a Feeling
  • Paperback Writer
  • A Day in the Life (With Give Peace A Chance Snippet)
  • Let It Be
  • Live and Let Die
  • Hey Jude

Encore:

  • Day Tripper
  • Lady Madonna
  • Get Back

Encore 2:

  • Yesterday
  • Helter Skelter
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  • The End

Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam: 12/12/2015

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Warren Haynes, former guitarist with the Allman Brothers and currently with Gov’t Mule, has been hosting the Christmas Jam in Asheville for 27 years now. The Jam is a benefit concert that raises money for Habitat for Humanity and Warren invites a slew of artists to participate in the marathon event. I’ve been attending this show every year since moving to Asheville, so if my fuzzy math serves me well, that makes 13 years that I have been going to the Jam.

This year’s show sold out fast, boasting a solid lineup. Unfortunately, one of the performers who I was REALLY looking forward to seeing—Joe Bonamassa—had to cancel. In spite of that, it was a great show.

I went with my wife and we met a group of friends (Perry, Philip, Devorah, Mike, and Bob) and we secured a row for ourselves on the left side of the stage, which afforded us a great view.

The show began promptly at 6:45 with Love Canon, a fun bluegrass act who plays bluegrass versions of 80’s pop hits. They played between acts while the crew was setting up and breaking down equipment. After a few songs, Warren came out and played a great acoustic version of George Harrison’s “Give Me Love.”

After Warren, we had an electric set from Hot Tuna, one of my favorite bands. Hot Tuna was formed by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the guitarist and bass player from the Jefferson Airplane. They were great, but too short, playing a mere five songs if memory serves me well.

After Hot Tuna, Bruce Hornsby played an acoustic set. It was good, but strange. I had seen Hornsby several times and this was the first time I had seen him that he did not play any piano, playing dulcimer for the entire set. It was not what I expected, but I feel like I got to see something that most people will never have the opportunity to experience.

Next up was the Tedeschi Trucks Band, who were the highlight of the evening in my opinion. They were incredible! The energy was so high and the musicianship was so impressive, I was kind of dumbstruck. If you have never seen this band and have the opportunity, do not pass it up.

Following TTB was Dawes. I was not too familiar with them, but I knew they were somewhat popular. They were OK in my opinion, but not great. They also seemed less interesting following such an outstanding performance. They did a nice version of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” to close their set, which was fun.

The next act to perform was Blackberry Smoke. Personally, I was not impressed with this band, at all. I know they are very popular, but they were not my thing and their sound was wretched, which did not make things any better. My friend Bill texted me during their performance and called them Black Pickup Exhaust, which caused a chuckle.

It was now getting late in the evening, and the Doobie Brothers took the stage. They opened with “Jesus is Just Alright” and played one hit after another. I loved their show! You knew every song and the crowd was singing along. It was fun and brought back lots of memories for me. The Doobies were huge when I was growing up, and I listened to “Black Water” over and over as a kid. They were a close second to Tedeschi Trucks, in my humble opinion.

The Doobies finished about 1:30 am. Warren’s band was still scheduled to play, but by this time I was tired. Since I have seen Warren more times than I can count, I decided to skip the last set and get some much-needed sleep. I heard it was good, but looking at the set list, I could tell I didn’t miss anything special.

Just to give you all a taste of the Christmas Jam, here is a video that my good friend Robert made: Tedeschi Trucks Band with Warren Haynes joining them on guitar. Enjoy!