Tag Archives: gorevette

Wrapping up 2010

Wow, where do I start….

As evidenced by the previous posts I had a pretty amazing year of concert-going.  A near lifelong quest completed, an epic show I’d missed 30 years ago revisited.  A music oriented couple weeks in London.  Countless HOF members of the Rock Hall of Fame….heck a ton of them in just a single week.  Shows with good friends old and new.  Hard to even wrap my head around the whole thing.

Here’s the list:

Keb’ Mo’ – Coach House – Jan 14

The Blasters, John Doe, Rumble King – Coach House – Feb 20

Peter Gabriel – Hollywood Bowl – May 7

Styx, Kansas, Foreigner – Citizens Bank Arena – May 19

Richard Thompson – Royal Festival Hall – June 19

Green Day, Joan Jett – Wembley Stadium – June 19

Elvis Costello – Royal Festival Hall – June 20

Glastonbury – June 23-27

Jackson Browne – Albert Hall – June 29

Jack Johnson – O2 Arena – June 30

Laura Marling, Fanfarlo, Peggy Sue, Smoke Fairies – Hyde Park – July 1

Hop Farm – July 2-3

Jools Holland – Kew Gardens – July 6

Barenaked Ladies, Kris Allen, Angel Taylor – Greek Theatre – July 22

Blondie, Gorevette – Pacific Amphitheatre – August 8

Rush – Irvine Meadows – August 13

Al Yankovic – Pacific Amphitheatre – August 14

Scissor Sisters – DAR Consitiution Hall – August 23

Neil Finn – Largo – September 11

Muse, Passion Pit – Staples Center – September 25

Gorillaz, N.E.R.D. – Gibson – October 27

Bonobo – Music Box – November 26

Roger Waters – Staples Center – November 29

Roger Waters – Honda Center – December 13

Roger Waters – Honda Center – December 14

Twenty three shows and two festivals in all.  I don’t think I could even pick a “best”.  However a few things to note do occur to me.

Worst sound, Scissor Sisters.  Horrible mix that completely left the vocals out, and it’s not like I had a crappy seat, I was in the 5th row.  Really guys?  Totally detracted from an interesting performance.

Only show I left early, Jack Johnson.  It was okay, but very one-note.  I like his studio stuff, but in a huge arena it was lost.  Put the same show in an intimate venue and I might have loved it.  Add to the experience that I was a bit sick that night and it was just not a compelling show.

Most disappointing, Muse/Passion Pit.  Passion Pit left me cold and Muse after all the hype just didn’t live up to expectations.  Lot’s of copped riffs and wasted technology that didn’t go anywhere.  If you want to use technology look to Gabriel, Waters or even the Pet Shop Boys.  This was “sound and fury that signified nothing”…

Most intimate, Neil Finn.  The Largo is magic when Neil plays there and the September show was no exception.  An obscure setlist that actually added to the special feeling of the evening.  You knew even while watching this was the sort of thing that would never be duplicated.  Jackson Browne in the acoustic tent at Glastonbury was a close second.  While the masses grooved to Stevie Wonder….Jackson held court for a few hundred lucky folks and spun magic with his sidekick David Lindley.  Moving and unique almost sell short just how very special a way it was to end my Glastonbury experience.

Surprises…How awesome Gorillaz were in LA after disappointing in Glastonbury.

Bonobo, Midlake, Hot Chip, Fanfarlo, Laura Marling, Mumford & Sons, Two Door Cinema Club, Magic Numbers, The Bees….none of whom I knew before 2010 and who all get extensive spins regularly on my ipod now.

How great Rush could be at doing “Moving Pictures” after being somewhat average the other time I’d seen them previously….this show made up for that one in spades.

Disappointment….U2 having to cancel in Anaheim and Glastonbury…(of course it does give me a couple shows to look forward to in 2011 already…)

Well, that’s it…another year in the books, and an amazing one at that.  Curious to see what 2011 (and beyond) will bring?  But, it’ll be hard for any year to reach the heights of 2010 for me.

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Blondie and Gorevette at the OC Fair

Stepping away from my UK trip to review a local concert I went to see at the OC Fair first.

Obviously the ticket doldrums are having an effect on the OC Fair shows, only about 2/3 of the house sold…and that’s with tickets bottoming out at 10.00

I bought mine yesterday on a whim.

I had the chance to see Blondie at Hop Farm in the UK and had opted instead to see Richard Thompson on the smaller stage. Thompson thanked us at the time for choosing 60’s dinosaur folk rock over 80’s dinosaur pop. So tonight I decided to see what I might have missed.

First up was 30 minutes of Gorevette. That was about 29 minutes past what their talent warranted. Basically a band of punk cliches looking for an audience…it wasn’t me.

A pinch of X, a dash of the Ramones, a hiccup of the Runaways and the Go-Go’s that amounted to….nothing. The most memorable song of the set was a karaoke bar bad version of “Goods girls don’t” by the Knack…seriously kids? You couldn’t even cover better Knack song? Wait, that’s sort of an oxymoron isn’t it?

My mind wandered to the mid 80’s when I saw X open for Oingo Boingo on this very stage….and I knew that I would never look back at this band 25 years later for any reason except a small footnote in my concert-going history.

On to Blondie.

A strong opening with “D-Day” leading into “Call Me” and then a surprisingly muscular version of “The Hardest Part” from their “Eat to the Beat” album (they were still called albums back then kids).

A couple of surprisingly good new songs led to “Maria”, which was also a surprise in that Debbie Harry’s voice was spot on. None of the ravages of age showing the way that I’ve heard in so many other aging rockers (cough, Roger Daltry, cough).

Next up was the first of a couple small mis-steps of the evening. The song “What I heard” was fine, but the guitar solo was a little too “Bon Jovi” for my taste. I mean Blondie is about whip smart pop with a punk edge. Tommy Kesslers solos all night edged toward the excess of the 80’s Sunset Strip and away from the raw CBGB sound that I associate with the band. Not a fatal error, but an error to me nonetheless.

All was forgiven as the band blasted into the hits….”Atomic”, “The tide is high” (with a nice snippet of I’ll take you there and Debbie doing a mean hula) and “Rapture”….then the first (maybe only?) clinker if the night when she just couldn’t climb the heights of “Call Me”. Not a horrible version, just a weak spot or two finally tipping us that despite her ageless look, she is honestly a woman in her 60’s…(in great shape and darn hot), but after a solid hour of singing she was unable to keep her voice quite as ageless as her looks.

The set wrapped with “One way or Another”, and then four encore songs…interesting less known choices that were highlighted by “Picture This” and then closing with “Heart of Glass”.

All in all, well worth the discounted ticket and spending an evening with a band that I’d never really had a chance to see before. As I walked out many seemed to agree, as I overheard numerous positive comments from the crowd around me.

Good show! (Well except for Gorevette it was a good show.)

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