Warren Haynes 21st Christmas Jam: 12/12/2009

Another year, and another Christmas Jam. This one was special for me because my wife and I took our older daughter, along with some of her friends. This was the only Christmas Jam that she attended with us, and I have great memories of how excited she and her friends were.

The lineup for this show was a little more eclectic than most jams. The main acts included:

  • Counting Crows
  • Ani DiFranco
  • Gov’t Mule
  • moe.
  • George Porter Jr.
  • Eric Krasno
  • Nigel Hall & Adam Deitch
  • Stax Records Legend William Bell

In addition, there was a nice group of guest musicians who augmented the headliners.

Special Guests:

  • Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford
  • Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews
  • Jeff Austin
  • Mike Barnes
  • DJ Logic
  • Jackie Greene
  • Col. Bruce Hampton
  • Jimmy Herring of Widespread Panic
  • Kevn Kinney
  • Collective Soul’s Ed Roland

Counting Crows was definitely cool. They did a cover of The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers” medley, which was excellent. I also enjoyed Ani DiFranco. She is someone that I probably never would have paid to see by herself, but she was better than I expected. Glad to be able to check her off the list. William Bell was also really great. I wasn’t familiar with him, but was very impressed with his performance.

At one point, I took all the youngsters down onto the floor for a bit, while my wife held the seats. While on the floor, Brad Whitford joined some musicians on stage and did a cool version of “Last Child,” one of my fav songs from Aerosmith’s “Rocks” album. As we were cramped into the floor space, I noticed some older freak offering his pipe to one of the younger girls I was chaperoning. I caught his eye and gave him a look that basically said, “You’ll most regret doing that.” He heeded the silent warning and melted back into the sea of people.

As always, the show went on until the wee hours of the morning. I was not able to find all the setlists, but I found a few. Here are the ones I was able to locate. Rock on!

Setlists:

Ani DiFranco:

  • Anticipate
  • Untouchable Face
  • Manhole
  • As Is
  • Present/Infant
  • Fuel (with Nigel Hall)
  • ¿Which Side Are You On? (with Warren Haynes & Jeff Austin)
  • Overlap (with Adam Deitch, George Porter Jr., Jeff Austin, Nigel Hall, Warren Haynes, Eric Krasno & Xmas Jam)

Counting Crows:

  • Round Here
  • Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End
  • Miami
  • Goodnight L.A.
  • 1492
  • Washington Square
  • A Long December
  • Rain King (with Warren Haynes)
  • With a Little Help From My Friends (with Warren Haynes & Jeff Austin)
  • Rain King (with Warren Haynes) (reprise)
  • This Land Is Your Land (with Warren Haynes)

Ed Roland:

  • The World I Know
  • Shine

George Porter Jr.:

  • Little Old Money Maker
  • Leave Me Alone (w/ Trombone Shorty )
  • Fire on the Bayou (w/Jimmy Herring, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Hard to Handle (w/William Bell, Audley Freed & Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Everyday Will Be Like a Holiday (w/William Bell, Warren Haynes, and Audley Freed)
  • You Don’t Miss Your Water (w/William Bell, Audley Freed, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Everybody Loves a Winner (w/William Bell, Audley Freed, and Xmas Jam Horn Section)
  • Born Under a Bad Sign (w/William Bell, Brad Whitford, Audley Freed, Xmas Jam Horn Section, and Warren Haynes)

Gov’t Mule:

  • Broke Down on the Brazos
  • Steppin’ Lightly
  • Railroad Boy
  • Frozen Fear
  • Devil Likes It Slow (with Jimmy Herring and Ron Holloway)
  • Patchwork Quilt (with Jimmy Herring and Fred Eltringham)
  • Sugaree (with Jackie Greene, Jimmy Herring & Fred Eltringham)
  • Don’t Let Me Down (with Jackie Greene and Fred Eltringham)
  • I Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home (with Brad Whitford, Ron Holloway & Fred Eltringham)
  • Train Kept A-Rollin’ (with Brad Whitford and Fred Eltringham)
  • I Shall Be Released

Warren Haynes:

  • Wild Horses

moe.:

  • Captain America (with DJ Logic)
  • Tailspin
  • Together at Christmas
  • Z0Z (Zed Nought Z)
  • Happy Hour Hero (with Jimmy Herring)
  • George

Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians: 3/23/1991

Edie Brickell was one of those artists that I liked right off the bat. She had that cool hippie chic vibe, and her guitarist was obviously influenced by Jerry Garcia. So I jumped at the opportunity to see her and her band at the Button South, which was one of the better music clubs in South Florida at the time.

There is not much to say about this show, other than it was really, really good. Edie’s vocals were so sweet, and the band was tight and energetic. They also tossed in some cool cover tunes by Bob Dylan and David Bowie. I guess if you are going to pick artists to cover, those are solid choices.

Which I had more to share, but it was just a good, fun concert, and I was glad that I got to see them in their prime.

Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • Woyaho
  • Mama Help Me
  • Little Miss S.
  • Nothing
  • Carmelito
  • Strings of Love
  • Picture Perfect Morning
  • Do It Again
  • He Said
  • Jackrabbit
  • Stwisted
  • Oak Cliff Bra
  • Air of December
  • What I Am
  • A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
  • Forgiven
  • This Eye
  • Circle
  • Moonage Daydream

Sarah McLachlan: 9/22/2018

Sarah McLachlan is not someone I usually listen to, but we have her first cd and I have listened to it a bit. I can appreciate her piano playing and her vocals are amazing, without question. When I saw she was coming to town, I looked at ticket prices, but they were a little out of my price range. But when I got an email announcing that a non-profit to which I belong was giving out free tickets, I put my name in, and my wife and I each got a freebie to the show.

This was a benefit concert to raise money for the pediatric cancer center, so it was a good cause. There were some speakers and a couple opening musical acts, one of which was quite good. His name was Andrew Reed, and he’s a local Asheville musician who I understand is actually on the Billboard charts now. I guess I’m a little out-of-touch. Anyway, he was good, and after he played Sarah came out.

What can I say about her? She was awesome! Her voice was as clear and powerful as it was 25 years ago. Even in the US Cellular Center, which has pretty crappy acoustics, her voice was crisp, vibrant, and unwavering. My wife had seen her years ago at the Lilith Fair, and she agreed that Sarah sounded just as great today as she did back then.

For whatever reason, the setlist for this particular night is not online, although the shows before and afterwards are available. The two I found are almost identical, and seem to match what I remember about the performance, so here is the setlist from Charleston on the 24th, which should be the about the same as the Asheville show.

Setlist:

  • Possession
  • I Will Remember You
  • Adia
  • Building a Mystery
  • Good Enough
  • Answer
  • Fallen
  • Beautiful Girl
  • In Your Shoes
  • Elsewhere
  • Rivers of Love
  • World on Fire
  • Sweet Surrender
  • Loving You Is Easy
  • Angel

Encore:

  • Untitled/unreleased song (“Into Your Wilderness”)
  • Song for My Father
  • Ice Cream
  • The Sound That Love Makes

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

George Benson: 6/28/1979

Wow! I kind of surprised myself when I discovered this stub. I have a strong memory of this show, but did not realize that I had saved the ticket stub.

At the time of this show, I was involved in a youth program. The director of the program also worked at a local radio station, so he got a stack of tickets to take a group of us to see George Benson in concert. As a young guitarist, I was pretty excited to see one of the guitar greats live.

This show was a long time ago, but I remember how tasteful his playing was, how cool he was on stage, and how smooth his tone was on the guitar. He is a definite virtuoso guitar player, easily transitioning between rich jazz chords and melodic solos. On top of that, he is a great singer, too.

At 75, he’s still around, but I rarely hear of him performing; although, what I read online is he has a new album tentatively scheduled and there is talk of a tour in 2019. I would see him again if he came nearby. But I am grateful that I got to see him in his prime.

Sorry, could not find any setlists from this era.

David Bromberg: 11/9/1989

Since some of you might not be familiar with David Bromberg, I figured I would share his bio from Wikipedia.

David Bromberg (born September 19, 1945) is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. An eclectic artist, Bromberg plays bluegrass, blues, folk, jazz, country and western, and rock and roll. He is known for his quirky, humorous lyrics, and the ability to play rhythm and lead guitar at the same time.

Bromberg has played with many famous musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry Garcia, Rusty Evans (The Deep) and Bob Dylan. He co-wrote the song “The Holdup” with former Beatle George Harrison, who played on Bromberg’s self-titled 1972 album. In 2008, he was nominated for a Grammy Award. Bromberg is known for his fingerpicking style that he learned from Reverend Gary Davis.

(Source: Wikipedia)

So as you can see, he is no slouch. This was actually the second time I had seen Bromberg. I went with my dad to see him in the 70’s at Avery Fisher Hall in New York (alas – I do not have that stub). When I saw he was coming to Tobacco Road, I figured I had to go see him again, since the Road was the perfect place for his style of music.

Tobacco Road was a famous blues bar on the Miami River that was a speakeasy in the time of prohibition, and was the oldest bar in Miami until it was demolished on October 26, 2014. So it was a regular haunt for me and my music-loving friends. This particular night I went with my friends Todd and Craig. The place was packed, and the music was incredible. Seeing Bromberg in this venue was really something special.

I could not find a setlist from this particular show, but found a generic setlist from 1989.

Generic 1989 Bromberg Setlist:

  • Brown’s Ferry Blues / There’s No Business Like Show Business
  • Framed
  • Chump Man Blues
  • Keep On Drinkin’
  • I Like to Sleep Late in the Morning
  • Summer Wages
  • Stagger Lee
  • I’ll Take You Back
  • First I Look at the Purse
  • Midnight Hour Blues
  • Sharon

Encore:

  • Fiddle Medley
  • Delia’s Gone

Cher: 1/26/2018

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, unless it is seeing Cher. That’s definitely worth sharing (pun intended).

I had never been to Las Vegas; it was just not something that appealed to me. But when my wife said she was going there for a conference and asked if I was interested in going with her to check it out, I figured why not. I reckoned I could see a few shows and then check Vegas off my bucket list. I looked online for shows and saw that Santana was playing the House of Blues on Saturday, January 27, so I bought tickets for that (thoughts on that show coming soon). Anyway, a couple days before we were to fly out there, I checked again to see what other shows might be of interest, and I discovered Cher was playing too! The caveat was that it was Friday night, the night we arrived, and it would be very tight trying to make it. I figured I would hold off on buying tickets, and see if the stars aligned.

Our flight was scheduled to land at 6:00 pm, but actually landed a little early. We got our bags without a hitch, caught a Super Shuttle, and were at the hotel by 7:00. We quickly checked in, dropped bags in the room, and caught a cab in front of the hotel. We got to the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo with time to spare, bought a couple tickets from the box office, and were in our seats well before the curtains came up. The stars had aligned!

What can I say about the show? At 71, Cher still looks and sounds amazing. The stage show was over-the-top, but I kind of expected that from a Vegas show. Video screens, floats, dancers and acrobats: it was the whole shebang. And I had forgotten just how many hits Cher had. It was like a journey through the past. Everything was perfectly choreographed, sound was great; there was nothing weak about this show at all. High points for me were “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves,” and “I Got You Babe,” where Cher sang along with a synchronized video of Sonny. It was quite moving.

I can’t imagine that Cher would do a full tour again, but you never know. That said, if you are in Vegas and have a chance to see her, I highly recommend it. Even if you are not a huge fan of her music, she puts on a great show, and is definitely a musical and pop culture icon.

Here’s the setlist.

Setlist:

  • Woman’s World
  • Strong Enough
  • All or Nothing
  • The Beat Goes On
  • All I Really Want to Do
  • I Got You Babe
  • Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
  • Dark Lady
  • Half-Breed
  • Welcome to Burlesque
  • Take Me Home
  • After All
  • Walking in Memphis
  • The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)
  • I Found Someone
  • If I Could Turn Back Time

Encore:

  • Believe

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

Bob Dylan: 11/12/2016

bobdylan_11-12-16

So yes, this is one of those crappy print-at-home ticket stubs, but I am psyched to have it.

I had not intended to go to this show. It was expensive and I had seen Dylan multiple times already. I thought it would be nice to take my daughter to see Dylan, but not for $300 (figure about $100 per ticket). So I passed, and Dylan won the Nobel Prize, and the concert sold out. Oh well.

On November 12, my wife and I were shopping at the mall. I was trying on clothes at Old Navy when she texted me: “A friend of a friend has three tickets to Bob Dylan tonight that she is giving away for free. Should we take them?” Of course, my response was: “Ummm… YEAH!” So the person transferred the electronic tickets to us, we printed them out when we got home, and my wife, daughter, and I were heading to see Bob Dylan… for free!

This was a very different show than any of the other times I had seen Dylan. He played no guitar at all. He played piano, or else he stood at a microphone and just sang. He did play harmonica on one song, “Tangled Up in Blue,” which was awesome. He also played “Highway 61 Revisited,” which is probably my all-time favorite Dylan tune.

Performance wise, Dylan sounded better than any other time I had seen him. I expected him to sound wretched at best, but he was actually in key and you could make out the lyrics. It was kind of strange, but in a good way. He also played longer than any other time I had seen him. I expected maybe an hour and 15 minutes, based on prior experience, but he played a good two hours. All in all, a great show, and I was really happy that I was able to take my daughter to see the legend himself.

Here is the entire setlist from the show.


Things Have Changed

Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right

Highway 61 Revisited

Beyond Here Lies Nothin’

Full Moon and Empty Arms

Pay In Blood

Melancholy Mood

Duquesne Whistle

Love Sick

Tangled Up In Blue

High Water (For Charley Patton)

Why Try To Change Me Now

Early Roman Kings

I Could Have Told You

Desolation Row

Soon After Midnight

All Or Nothing At All

Long And Wasted Years

Autumn Leaves

ENCORE:

Blowin’ In The Wind

Stay With Me

Fantastic Negrito: 10/16/2016

fantasticnegrito_10-16-16

I discovered Fantastic Negrito while listening to a Studio 360 podcast while driving. I was so blown away by his story and the power of his music, I immediately downloaded his album, The Last Days of Oakland. Every song was amazing and he catapulted to the top of my favorite-new-artist list. So when my friend Bill told me he was coming to Asheville to perform, I immediately went out and purchased tickets.

Fantastic Negrito (real name Xavier Dphrepaulezz) has an amazing story, one worth reading about. My friend Bill interviewed Negrito and published the story in the Mountain XPress (click here to read article). I encourage you to check it out.

Negrito played at the Asheville Music Hall, an intimate venue that allowed me to get close to the stage. I went with my friend Greg, and we met Bill and his wife Audrey there, so it was great hanging out with close friends.

Often times, when you have high expectations about a musical act, they can fail to meet those expectations. But that was not the case with Fantastic Negrito. His band was tight, energetic, and inspiring on so many levels. After the performance, all I wanted to do was create and express myself artistically.

In an effort to support him, I decided to purchase a vinyl copy of his album, even though I had the digital version through Apple Music. Xavier came out afterwards and mingled with the audience, graciously giving autographs and talking with fans. I got him to sign my album and let him know how inspiring he was. If you get an opportunity to see him, I strongly encourage you to do so.

To close, I want to mention that Fantastic Negrito was the overall winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. Click here to see that performance, and be inspired!