Tag Archives: Eels

One last look back at 2011

Here’s my 2011 list of concerts.  A little shorter than some years, but I had a lot of work distractions in the past year, so it’s actually a pretty good tally all things considered.  There’s a lot of quality there and a few once in lifetime shows.  I’ll make a few individual notes where appropriate  (But, of course there’s a review of each if you’re so inclined to read more.

Phil Vassar – A nice little private show at the PCMA conference for people with a CMP designation.  Fun and loose show.

Robert Randolph & the Family Band

Chromeo – A bit of a letdown, but I’m still hoping to see them again and see how they evolve.

Richard Cheese & Lounge Against the Machine

Delgado Brothers

Jeff Beck & Imelda May – Once in a lifetime and one of the best shows I saw all year.

Prince – Another show that for all the hype was a bit of letdown.

Doheny Blues Fest – Tedeschi/Trucks, John Fogerty, Experience Hendrix, Mavis Staples, The Blasters, Funky Meters, Big Head Blues Club, (Plus others) – Two great days on the beach.  A couple misses, but mostly hits. Tedeschi/Trucks being the very best of day 1 and the Blasters the best of Day 2

KSBR Birthday Bash – Brenda Russell, Kieko Matsui, Brian Bromberg, Dan Siegel, (Plus others) – A really cool gift from my friend Eliott.

Eels – Confounding and complex.  It was great in some very unexplainable ways.

U2 & Lenny Kravitz (2x) – Night 2 was the better of the two nights, both were strong but night 2 has the edge (pun intended).

Weird Al

Kansas & Blue Oyster Cult – Not very good, one of the most disappointing shows of the year for me.

Rock Candy Funk Party – Going back in January, a top five evening and surprisingly it’s not once in a lifetime, looking forward to it very much.

Barenaked Ladies – Good, but not great.  More and more I miss Stephen Page.

Return to Forever & Zappa Plays Zappa – I’d say that along with Jeff Beck this were the most amazingly talented musicians I saw all year…or in many years.

Frank Turner – My best find of 2011.  Seeing him in February once again!

Fountains Of Wayne – I wanted this to be better, bit it wasn’t up to the pervious levels I’d seen them perform at.

Airborne Toxic Event – Another cool find of 2011 and this was the Filmore show in SF that was really cool.

Big Head Todd w/Ruthie Foster and Charlie Musselwhite – Again, a sort of letdown show and slightly disappointing overall.

Airborne Toxic Event, Tokyo Police Club, Built to Spill – Good headliner, the rest of the bill was hit and miss.

Bob Segar – Just reviewed, the man still has it!  Great show.

So there you have it.  My 2011 in a nutshell.

Looking ahead to 2011 I already have four shows slated.  Joe Bonamassa, Frank Turner, Social Distortion and Roger Waters.  Plus, I know Springsteen is touring.  So, lots to be excited about in the coming year.  Thanks as always for reading!  Happy New Year!

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Wrap up Reviews Pt.3 – Eels – Galaxy Theatre – June 1, 2011

Back in June I saw Eels (not “the Eels”…just Eels)

Eels is basically a guy named Mark Oliver Everett who calls himself E. with a rotating cast of backing musicians.  This show was a warm up for a world tour that would take him around the world (literally), the next shows after this were in China and even a stop in Glastonbury.

E. is sort of known for being somewhat of an enigma and at the same time having been very open about his struggles in dealing with the death of his father, his mother to cancer and his sister to suicide. (He did the album “electro-shock blues” in the mid 90’s that addressed the topic).  In other words, this is music of depth and can be challenging.  He’s done quite a few albums (more than I own) and I wouldn’t say they are casual listening.

So, I went into the show not quite knowing what to expect.

The opening act “The Watson Twins” were fun and well suited.  A nice cover of “ain’t no sunshine” highlighted their brief set.

There was an out of kilter feel to the night that was enhanced by the intermission music which included “Sunshine Lollipops” and a german version of “Leader of the Pack”….(I totally love artists who pay attention to the little details like the specifics of what to play before they hit the stage.  This was too wonderfully weird to have been an accident.)

But now here’s where I fall down as a reviewer and what vexed me into not writing this up before.  I couldn’t tell you the names of half the songs he did, I’m not familiar enough with his material I guess…..I ended up with notes like “driving hellhound beat, with long sustained guitar grind” and “maybe called I’ve got fear? – driving punk beat”.  Not exactly useful in the light of day.

It was confounding, challenging and completely brilliant stuff.

A few things I know he did play: “Daddy was a drunk”, “She’s Dynamite”, “This is Where it Gets Good”, “Novocain for the Soul”, “I Like the Way this is Going”….and even a great version of “Hot Fun in the Summertime” (Sly and the Family Stone) that lead into another funk number I didn’t recognize.

There are some free downloads on the website:  Go and explore for yourself  http://www.eelstheband.com/

Here’s a song he did as part of the second encore, “Fresh Blood”:

 

Here’s a version of the Sly cover:

 

Here’s “Novocain for the Soul”

 

This was just one of those shows that defy’s description.  It was one of the top ten shows that I saw all year, but it’s impossible to exactly describe why.  I’d just say, if you get a chance to check him out, do so…and park your expectations at the door.  You’ll have a good time.

 

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