The Moody Blues and The Fixx: 9/29/1986

Here is a great example of why it was cool to be around in the 70s and 80s. You could go and see two cool bands for a mere $16.50. I’ve spent three times that much just for parking at concerts these days.

Anyway, I had seen the Moody’s the night before in Miami, but I figured, “Why not go see them again?” Supposedly The Fixx opened at the Miami show too, but I don’t really have any recollection of that concert. This one I remember better. I went with my friend Carlos and we had a great time. While the West Palm Beach Auditorium was not nearly as intimate as the Knight Center in Miami, it was cool because you could walk around and pretty much do what you wanted. It was a very laid-back venue.

Nothing really extraordinary to share about this show. I was able to locate the setlists online, so here they are. Enjoy!

The Fixx Setlist:

  • Lost Planes
  • Saved by Zero
  • Built for the Future
  • Secret Separation
  • Are We Ourselves?
  • Treasure It
  • Deeper and Deeper
  • One Thing Leads to Another
  • Red Skies
  • Stand or Fall

The Moody Blues Setlist:

  • Gemini Dream
  • The Voice
  • Rock ‘N’ Roll Over You
  • Tuesday Afternoon
  • Your Wildest Dreams
  • Isn’t Life Strange
  • The Story in Your Eyes
  • It May Be a Fire
  • Reflective Smile
  • Veteran Cosmic Rocker
  • New Horizons
  • The Other Side of Life
  • I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
  • Nights in White Satin
  • Legend of a Mind
  • Question

Encore:

  • Ride My See-Saw

ZZ Top: 9/6/1981

This was my first time seeing the little ol’ band from Texas. This show was part of the El Loco-motion tour and I was pretty psyched to see them.

While I am not 100% sure of this, I think I went to see this concert with my friend and fellow guitarist Mike. What I do remember most vividly about this concert, though, was the laser light show.

Our seats were in the back of the Sportatorium. I confess that when the first blast of lasers erupted from the stage I was taken aback. ZZ Top was not a band I expected to have lasers. I equated lasers with bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Yes, and Pink Floyd. But I have to say, the lasers worked really well, especially during “Cheap Sunglasses.”

The band was totally rockin’ the entire show. I don’t recall any weak spots at all.

I have no recollection of an opening act. I read on Wikipedia that the Joe Perry Project opened for a bunch of shows on this tour, but Joe was definitely not at the Sporto show.

Anyway, here’s the setlist. Rock on!

Setlist:

  • Groovy Little Hippie Pad
  • I Thank You
  • Waitin’ For The Bus
  • Jesus Just Left Chicago
  • I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide
  • Ten Foot Pole
  • Manic Mechanic
  • Heard It On The X
  • Francine
  • A Fool For Your Stockings
  • Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings
  • Pearl Necklace
  • Cheap Sunglasses
  • Dust My Broom
  • Arrested For Driving While Blind
  • Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers
  • Just Got Paid
  • Party On The Patio

Encore:

  • Jailhouse Rock
  • Tube Snake Boogie
  • La Grange
  • Tush

Cheap Trick: 10/28/1984

It’s been a long time since I posted. Life has gotten in the way. It happens. But here we go.

I think this was the first time that I saw Cheap Trick in concert. I know the first time I saw them was at the Sunrise Musical Theatre, and I am pretty sure I only saw them there once, but memories get foggier the father back you go.

Anyway, if this is indeed the concert I was thinking about, I went with my friend Jim who was a big Cheap Trick fan. He was telling me about the plethora of guitar picks that Rick Nielsen would toss into the crowd, and some of the other rock and roll antics. And they did not disappoint in this area. I was amazed at how far Nielsen could flick a pick. And yes, when they played “Surrender” as an encore, they sailed a KISS record out into the crowd too!

I looked online and the following is an average setlist from 1984. It seems to be about right from what I remember. Rock on!

  • Hello There
  • California Man
  • Reach Out
  • I Want You to Want Me
  • I Want Be Man
  • The Ballad of T.V. Violence (I’m Not the Only Boy)
  • If You Want My Love
  • Baby Loves to Rock
  • Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
  • I Can’t Take It
  • Up the Creek
  • Dream Police
  • She’s Tight
  • Stop This Game
  • Surrender

Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings: 10/28/2011

This ticket was for admission to an art installation by Brian Eno which was part of MoogFest in Asheville, NC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Eno, he “is an English musician, record producer, visual artist, and theorist best known for his pioneering work in ambient music and contributions to rock, pop and electronica. A self-described “non-musician”, Eno has helped introduce unique conceptual approaches and recording techniques to contemporary music. He has been described as one of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures.” (Source: Wikipedia)

The concept of the art installation is a combination of visual images and ambient music generated through software to create a continually morphing experience. “The title is derived from the possible number of combinations of video and music which can be generated by the software, effectively ensuring that the same image/soundscape is never played twice.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Anyway, MoogFest was a weekend-long electronic music festival, and this year I was doing the full festival (more on that soon). I decided to check out the art installation, to get myself in the proper mental-state-of-being for three days of mind-expanding music. And this definitely did that. I spent a fair amount of time basking in the sights and sounds that can only be described as consciousness-altering. After that, I was primed and ready to indulge myself into the rest of the festival.

This is one of those things that needs to be experienced. Words fail to adequately convey what it was like. As such, here is a link to a 7-minute sliver of Eno’s multimedia masterpiece on YouTube. Check it out. Headphones recommended.

Taj Mahal Trio: 11/5/2006

This is going to be a short and sweet post. This stub hearkens back to a simpler time. I had bought tickets for me and my wife to go see Taj Mahal. Before the concert, we went out for dinner, then made our way to the Orange Peel and just had a great time listening to excellent live blues music.

These long months of COVID social distancing and no concerts has really emphasized how wonderful it is to just go out for dinner and attend a concert with someone you love. I really miss these simple pleasures. I can’t wait for when I can have a date night with my wife, enjoying dinner and a concert. Hopefully it will not be too far in the future.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe, and please do your part to help us return to a happier place.

Jethro Tull: 11/17/1993

So I have to confess that this concert was a little disappointing. I am a big Jethro Tull fan, and the first time I saw them they were AWESOME. For this reason, I had very high expectations, especially seeing them in a smaller venue like the Sunrise Musical Theatre, as opposed to an arena like when I first saw Tull.

My wife and I went to this show with my friend Stewart and his girlfriend. We had fairly good seats, although there were no bad seats in the Sunrise.

I was pumped when Tull took the stage, but my excitement waned, and then I found myself thinking that I should be enjoying the show much more than I was, and finally realizing that they were just dragging through the performance. The contrast to seeing Jethro Tull in the 70’s was stark. As I watched them plod through their songs, I was forced to remember a scathing review I had read about the band in a rock magazine, where the writer referred to them as “Jethro Dull.” Sadly, that about summed up this concert for me.

Stewart seemed to have enjoyed the show, so I played along and said I thought it was good. I didn’t want to spoil someone else’s musical experience. And honestly, there were a couple songs that got me pumped, particularly “Living in the Past” and “The Whistler.” But mostly, it was weak. Even “Locomotive Breath” lacked steam.

Anyway, that’s the thing with a live performance—sometimes it’s great, and sometimes not so much. Here’s the setlist…

Setlist:

  • My Sunday Feeling
  • For a Thousand Mothers
  • Living in the Past
  • Bourrée in E minor
  • So Much Trouble
  • With You There to Help Me
  • The Whistler
  • Farm on the Freeway
  • Thick as a Brick
  • Sossity; You’re a Woman / Reasons for Waiting
  • Songs From the Wood / Too Old to Rock ‘n’ Roll, Too Young to Die / Heavy Horses / Songs From the Wood
  • Later, That Same Evening
  • Budapest
  • Andy Gidding’s Parrot
  • Passion Jig / Seal Driver
  • A New Day Yesterday
  • Aqualung
  • Locomotive Breath

Encore:

  • Cross-Eyed Mary
  • Dharma for One

Wilco: 4/21/2009

The first time I heard Wilco was when someone turned me on to their collaboration with Billy Bragg, which is an amazing album (check it out if you are not familiar). After that, I began to explore more of Wilco’s music and gained a deep appreciation for them. Since I had not seen them before, my wife and I jumped at the opportunity to see them at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, an intimate venue.

There really isn’t a whole lot to talk about with this show. Wilco was amazing, and I had a wonderful evening with my wife. Sometimes just enjoying live music with someone you love is all you need.

Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • Sunken Treasure
  • Remember the Mountain Bed
  • You Are My Face
  • I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
  • Pot Kettle Black
  • Handshake Drugs
  • She’s a Jar
  • Impossible Germany
  • At My Window Sad and Lonely
  • Forget the Flowers
  • Jesus, Etc.
  • I’m Always in Love
  • A Shot in the Arm
  • Box Full of Letters
  • Heavy Metal Drummer
  • Hummingbird (with Lilac Rain – vocals)

Encore:

  • The Late Greats
  • Candyfloss
  • Hate It Here
  • Walken
  • I’m the Man Who Loves You

Encore 2:

  • Misunderstood
  • Hoodoo Voodoo
  • I’m a Wheel

Ozomatli: 3/11/2009

This was a really fun concert. I had seen Ozomatli open for Santana and they were awesome, so I was excited to see them in a small venue.

The opening act was Chali 2na, who was one of the founding members of the hip hop group Jurassic 5. He was cool and got the crowd going. Always great when you have a good opening act, it’s like a bonus.

As far as Ozo goes, they were fantastic and had the audience dancing from start to finish. Near the end, they came out into the crowd with various percussion instruments and had a real tribal thing going. It was very cool. If you’ve never seen or heard Ozomatli, I highly recommend them. They are the epitome of what a multicultural world beat band should be.

Rock on.

Warren Haynes 18th Christmas Jam: 12/16/2006

This Christmas Jam was a strange one, with some highs and some lows. Also, things on a personal level were very unsettled at the time, so that affected the overall experience.

The lineup was pretty solid:

  • Dave Matthews
  • Gov’t Mule
  • The John Popper Project Featuring DJ Logic
  • Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives
  • New Orleans Social Club (featuring Henry Butler, Leo Nocentelli, Ivan Neville, George Porter & Raymond Weber)
  • Taj Mahal Trio
  • Special Guests: Mike Barnes, Brendan Bayliss, Randall Bramblett, Audley Freed, Col. Bruce Hampton, Taylor Hicks, Kevn Kinney, Branford Marsalis, Mickey Raphael, Dave Schools

I was really psyched to see Branford Marsalis. He is a virtuoso on the saxophone, and I had really high expectations of him jamming with various groups.

I guess I should address the low points first. John Popper’s group was pretty boring. He is a great harmonica player, but something about him as a frontman just doesn’t spark excitement for me. The other weakness in this show was Dave Matthews. Although I like Matthews, he was totally sick at this show, obviously fighting the flu. He was struggling to sing, and actually had to stop midsong once to get a drink and catch his breath. I give him a lot of credit for getting up there in such condition, but it did not make for a great performance.

As far as the high points, Branford and Taylor Hicks jamming with New Orleans Social Club was mind-blowing. Hicks, the American Idol winner, played harmonica alongside Marsalis, and the look of admiration and awe on Taylor’s face of getting to jam with Branford was priceless. Branford also performed a killer sax solo on “Low Spark of High Heeled Boys.”

The last thing I want to say is that Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives were awesome. I had seen Marty solo at the Christmas Jam, just sitting in on mandolin, but to see him with his full band was really great. They were really top notch musicians and their entire set was flawless.

I was only able to locate the setlists for Dave Matthews and Gov’t Mule, so here they are. If anyone has any other setlists from this show, feel free to post them in the comments section.

Dave Matthews:

  • Bartender
  • Grace Is Gone
  • #40
  • Save Me
  • So Damn Lucky
  • Smooth Rider (aborted)
  • Gravedigger
  • Crush
  • Long Black Veil

 

Gov’t Mule:

Set I

  • Cortez the Killer (w Dave Matthews)
  • All Along the Watchtower (w Dave Matthews)
  • Reggae Soulshine
  • Brand New Angel
  • Unring the Bell
  • Leaving Trunk

Set II

  • Sco-Mule
  • Mule
  • Sugaree
  • I Shall Be Released
  • Time to Confess
  • 3 String George
  • Child of the Earth
  • Devil Likes It Slow
  • The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
  • I Shall Be Released

The Allman Brothers Band and Phil Lesh & Friends: 10/4/2008

This show was a jam-band fan’s dream. The Allmans and Phil Lesh. I was pretty psyched for this one. I made the drive from Asheville to Charlotte with my friend Greg, which took us a little over two hours. We had scored lawn tickets, which was fine. I felt no desire to be up close. Plus, the lawn tickets were only $16.50++, which was very reasonable for two great bands in 2008.

We staked out our little patch of grass at the Verizon Amphiteatre and waited for Phil. He came out and opened with “Cumberland Blues,” which was great. But the band didn’t seem able to sustain the energy for this particular show. There were a few high points, like “Golden Road” and “Cosmic Charlie,” but overall I was left with the impression that this was probably the weakest Phil & Friends show I had seen. It happens. As a musician, I know that you can’t be 100% all the time, and that any number of factors can affect a performance. Still, it was great seeing Phil, as always.

Then came the Allmans, and in comparison, they were stellar. Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes together on guitar were phenomenal. You could tell that they were feeding off of each other’s energy, seamlessly shifting between solos and augmenting and supporting each other like the seasoned veteran musicians they are. And Gregg Allman was in great form, belting out the tunes and making the hairs stand up on the back of the neck. By the time the last note of “Whipping Post” faded, I was completely rocked out.

My friend Greg and I wandered back to the car, only to discover to our dismay that the car would not start. One of the wires had come loose from the battery terminal. I tried not to panic, but the thought of spending the night in a parking lot in Charlotte was, shall we say, less than appealing. Thankfully, a friendly concert goer offered to help. We got the wire reattached, got the car started, and made it home without further incident.

Here are the setlists from the respective acts. Rock on!

Phil Lesh Setlist:

  • Cumberland Blues
  • Gone Wanderin’
  • Rock-n-Roll Blues
  • Minglewood Blues
  • Row Jimmy
  • The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)
  • Uncle John’s Band
  • Dark Star
  • So Many Roads
  • Dark Star
  • In the Midnight Hour

Encore:

  • Cosmic Charlie

Allman Brothers Setlist:

  • Done Somebody Wrong
  • Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
  • The Same Thing
  • Gambler’s Roll
  • Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More
  • Manic Depression
  • Come and Go Blues
  • Come On in My Kitchen
  • Into the Mystic
  • Dreams
  • Black Hearted Woman
  • Southbound

Encore:

  • Whipping Post