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CONCERT REVIEWS

An Evening with Kevin and Joe Jonas – Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA – June 7, 2014 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2014

An Evening with Kevin and Joe Jonas – Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA – June 7, 2014 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2014

Off the Record with Kevin and Joe Jonas – Keswick Theater – Glenside, PA – June 7, 2014

So what becomes of teen pop stars when they give up the pop? 

The Jonas Brothers suddenly announced their breakup (as a band, not as brothers) last year, surprising their hardcore fans – a constituency which admittedly had shrunk somewhat since their heyday as Disney Channel heartthrobs about five years ago.  All of the guys had somewhat been straying from the band idea for a while: Joe was starting to concentrate on acting, Nick put together his own band on the side and Kevin had become a dad.

Still, these guys had been making music since they were little boys.  When the split happened, it begged the question, what is next for the Jonas boys?

This show featuring two of the three brothers, part of a three-stop East coast mini-tour, appears to be the answer.  It was recently announced with a certain amount of fanfare and also a bit of mystery.  This Philly area stop was the second of the three shows (one had been in Wilmington, Delaware, and the other one was in their hometown of Freehold, New Jersey.) 

It was promoted as an interactive spoken word tour.  Which got people wondering – if they weren't going to sing, what exactly were they going to do?  The Jonases don't seem the type to do stand up, or to get topical or rant about society, like say Henry Rollins.  So what's the dealio?

The crowd was made up almost entirely of teenaged girls who were decked out to make sure that Kevin and Joe knew that they had developed since the boys last saw them.  It was not a huge audience (actually the venue was about half empty), but the girls who were there were very passionate fans, screeching their appreciation and love throughout.

The empty seats probably were not totally an indictment on the guys' waning popularity, more likely people just weren't sure what exactly the Jonas Brothers were planning on doing if they weren't singing.  And would taking a chance to find out whatever it was be worth the slightly hefty ticket price (particularly on a young girl's budget)? 

It turns out that Off the Record with Kevin and Joe Jonas was a celebration of all things Jonas, a virtual Jonas convention complete with Q&As, cute baby videos and lots and lots of filmed footage of the group's glory days.  Their long-time best friend acted as emcee, asking questions he had collected from the crowd and sort interviewing/reminiscing with the guys.

The show started with a tease right off the bat.  Sitting on a rather comfy looking living room set, taking questions from the crowd, the first one addressed the elephant in the room: Why did you guys break up?  The guys looked faux uncomfortable, Kevin even grabbing a beer from a piece of stage setting (this ain't the Disney Channel no more, guys!).  Then they said we'll get to that later.  Maybe.  And then they kept pushing the question back as it kept getting asked in different ways.  Later, when another girl asked where little brother Nick was that night, the guys vaguely said he was working on a new TV show.

And after a few minutes of talking and a couple of questions answered, cue the next video montage.

The guys were charming, mostly funny, flirting gamely with their audience of young girls.  As an adult man, they didn't even care that I was there, which is fine, it was the way it should be.  I'm not their audience.  They talked about being a Jonas and being a father and being an actor and the crazy whirl of pop stardom.  And there were lots of videos.  Scenes of the guys singing.  Bloopers.  The guys as little boys in their first theatrical roles.

They had a trivia game called "Know Your Bro" which put a fan up against each Jonas in a trivia contest about the other brother.  We all learned that Joe Jonas has nightmares of being chased by Avril Lavigne.  Who knew?  Actually, the girl playing along knew.  Good for her.  For knowing that, she won a chance to take a picture with the Jonas boys and Santa Claus (yes, it is June), for her holiday card shot.  The picture was taken on a Polaroid (who knew there were still Polaroids?), I guess so that it wouldn't easily end up online.

And just over an hour into the show, it was over, probably close to half of that time was watching clips on a screen which have been seen before.  However, none of the fans seemed to feel shortchanged as they filed out.  It was an orgy of the senses for Jonas fans.  And if you don't care about the Jonases, you'd have been bored stiff.  Then again, you wouldn't have been there anyway.  As the old song goes, the boys don't like it, but the little girls understand.

Jay S. Jacobs

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The All-American Rejects - Delaware Valley College - Doylestown, PA - April 25, 2014 - photo by Ally Abramson © 2014

The All-American Rejects - Delaware Valley College - Doylestown, PA - April 25, 2014 - photo by Ally Abramson © 2014

The All-American Rejects & Gentleman Hall - Delaware Valley College - Doylestown, PA - April 25, 2014

Wow! What a concert. I can honestly say that in my whole life, I have never seen a live performance like this before. Everything about the concert added to the vibe, and it all culminated into quite the show.

First, there was the venue. This weekend, Delaware Valley college had a series of performances for its spring concert series. This was the first of three nights dedicated to “A-Day Weekend” as they call it, and it did not disappoint.

The concert was held in the main gym on campus, a venue quite like a high school gym setting. There were bleachers in the back and a stage was set up at the front where concert-goers could get close enough to see the sweat on performers faces. This interesting setting wasn’t typical, but it worked. The intimate setting made it all the better, the music was louder and there was a strong connection between the bands and the audience.

The concert opened with Gentlemen Hall, a quirky indie pop band from Massachusetts. Gentlemen Hall is newer to the music scene than the Rejects are, but they were great nonetheless. You may have heard their music recently on TV or in commercials. The band performed with high energy. They were all dancing around while playing their instruments. Their songs were very catchy and fun, I even woke up the next morning with one stuck in my head.

One of my favorite things about Gentlemen Hall is their use of different instruments that aren’t often seen in pop bands. They had a synthesizer and a flute. The flutist really added to the band with his intense energy and enthusiasm. Coupled with his great playing, the band reached a whole other level.

For me, the best song that the band did performed was “Sail Into the Sun.It was catchy and fun, a real hit (previously featured in Target Commercials). In addition, due to the small venue and casual nature of the event, I actually ended up meeting the flutist, Seth, who is a really cool and laid back guy who loves being a part of Gentlemen Hall.

The All American Rejects were finally up. As the lights came up, they started performing right away. They started off with a big hit, “Dirty Little Secret,” which really set the tempo for the whole show. It was fast and loud and the whole band was full of energy.

They were moving and dancing around, inspiring the audience to join in the power. When a band has energy it makes the concert all the better. This energy was there the whole time, even when they slowed down for the ballad “Mona Lisa.”

The Rejects did not disappoint, either old fans and new. For the new fans, they kept the energy high and the lights flashing, providing an entertaining experience. For long time fans, they played several classics, mixed in with a few newer songs. They really outdid themselves, it was an exciting concert that was wonderful to see.

The All American Rejects and Gentlemen Hall were an unique combination but worked well together, providing an unforgettable concert experience for everyone.

Ally Abramson

Pentatonix - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA - March 30, 2014 - photo by Rachel Disipio © 2014

Pentatonix - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA - March 30, 2014 - photo by Rachel Disipio © 2014

Pentatonix - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA - March 30, 2014

This past Sunday night the Electric Factory had a full house to see the up and coming a capella group, Pentatonix, winners of season three of the reality singing competition The Sing-Off. When going to this show I really didn't know what to expect, but as soon as they hit the stage the energy from the five vocalists as well as the fans was spectacular.

The group did a series of covers that ranged from Daft Punk's hit single "Get Lucky" to the new wave classic "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles. Though covers at times can be rather dull, the group was able to twist the songs in very unique ways to make even the toughest critic want to get up and dance.

Not only were their covers phenomenal, but the artists got to showcase their specific talentsone being Kevin (K.O.) Olusola beat-boxing and playing the cello simultaneously. Needless to say it was extremely impressive. If you were to drop a pin on the floor the whole venue would have been able to hear it because they were so enthralled from this performer's amazing talent.

Although I thought this show couldn't have gotten any better, to my amazement, as the performances continued the charisma and enthusiasm of the five performers on stage led into an amazing crescendo at the end of the show to the audience's delight.

This show was one to remember and was probably one of the most energetic, fun concerts I have ever been to. So the next time Pentatonix are in Philadelphia, I would mark it on your calendars because this vocal group is going to be one to watch. 

Rachel Disipio

Selena Gomez - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA - October 18, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

Selena Gomez - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA - October 18, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

Emblem3 - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA - October 18, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

Emblem3 - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA - October 18, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

Selena Gomez and Emblem3 - Wells Fargo Center - Philadelphia, PA - October 18, 2013

Selena Gomez didn't disappoint her fans when she rolled into Philly Friday night for the latest stop of her "Stars Dance" World Tour. Showing off her powerful singing voice and impressive dance moves, Gomez the latest Disney Channel star gone pop superstar made it perfectly clear that she's thrilled to take her fans with her on to this new chapter of her life. She even thanked them and their parents for trusting her to be a good role model. Throughout her 80-plus minute performance, there were no tongues hanging out, no twerking and she never, ever wagged a foam finger across anyone's crotch. 

Though their age and background of growing up on a hit Disney show puts Selena and Miley Cyrus at similar places in their lives, this 21-year-old star is no Miley. Gomez loves her fans of all ages and is definitely all about class. Before singing one of her songs that talks about being sexy, Selena gave an Ashton Kutcher-like short speech about what is sexy – and when Selena announced that to her "class" is sexy, the whole arena burst into applause.  Interestingly, the volume of cheers was not just the teens and tweens in attendance though, but also from appreciative parents thankful and impressed that a positive message was being given to their kids. 

The show started with a video showing Selena awakening and walking through a mysterious white door leading to the stage. Throughout her performance, the same video technique was used several other times: with her walking through other doors like Alice in Wonderland, allowing for costume changes. 

The audience clearly enjoyed Gomez's set selection, which included music from all of her albums including hits like "Who Says," "Bang Bang Bang," "Come and Get It" and "Birthday." Selena also performed some covers, including a powerful and well received rendition of Katy Perry's latest hit single "Roar" and a moving rendition of "Dream" by Priscilla Ahn, which she sang only after telling her audience to never give up on their dreams. 

Before performing "Love Will Remember," Selena showed her vulnerable side as a video flashed on the screen highlighting her very public breakup with Justin Bieber. Words like "no trust," "rumors," "breakup," "jealousy," "busy," and "famous" all flashed slowly and then progressively quicker on the screen. When it all went black, Gomez appeared on the stage to perform the song, seeming very emotional. 

Selena's fans sang along to all the words of her songs and seemed to enjoy every moment of her performance. The dance-friendly vibe of her performance was enjoyable and her total performance made a powerful, positive statement to her young fans. The majority of the show was choreographed well, though there was one song with her and female dancers twisting in ropes hanging from the ceiling that I didn't really get. But Gomez's eight talented dancers backed her up well and definitely made her performance exciting. Overall, Gomez put on an fun and enjoyable show proving the girl who used to be known for being the cute girl on The Wizards of Waverly Place and for dating the Biebs, is so much more than that. 

Opening for Gomez was the awesome trio from Huntington Beach, California called Emblem3. Consisting of brothers Keaton and Wesley Stromberg along with their lifelong friend Drew Chadwick, Emblem3 was first discovered as contestants on the second season of The X Factor in 2012. The boys were quickly signed by music mogul Simon Cowell to his label Syco Records and Columbia Records... because lets face it, the guy knows how to spot musical talent. 

Thanks to the smart marketing of their record labels, the boys of Emblem3 are no strangers to Philadelphia. They seem to be on an endless loop to our area, as this is probably their fourth visit to Philly in the last year. With their cool California sound and adorable looks, all these visits are paying off, as they leave their fans wanting more and more with each stop.  Friday night was no different.  The guys put on an exciting show with their young, adoring fans screaming and dreaming of their next visit. 

Known for their reggae, rap, rock sound, Emblem3 performed an energetic set with crowd favorites from their recently released CD Nothing to Lose which included "Sunset Boulevard," "Just for One Day" and of course their mega-hit from the summer, their first single "Chloe (You're the One I Want)." Other song choices included a rocking cover of Rhianna's "Diamonds." They sounded great and surprisingly you could hear their voices and music above all the screams of "Will you marry me Keaton?", "I love you Drew" and yes, frighteningly I did hear "I want to have your baby Wesley!" 

The boys of Emblem3 know how to excite a crowd.  They seem to love a lot of interaction with their audience, which is always well received.  In a favorite moment for a lot of fans, the trio figured "when in Philly..." and pulled on some Flyers jerseys, wearing them proudly for the next songs. 

During the performance of their recently released rock ballad "3000 Miles," the Wells Fargo Center glowed with cell phone lights (apparently the new concert of the old-school cigarette lighters) and you could hear a chorus of thousands singing along with the guys. 

Recently the boys were doing a CD signing for Nothing to Lose that we were lucky to be part of.  We spoke with many of their fans and learned of their devotion to these talented musicians and that they are willing to pay whatever they have to (or get their parents to pay) in order to see them.  Friday night's show was no different, as we heard from some of the same girls who not only forked over cash for their concert tickets, but they also super-sized the experience by buying a VIP pass to meet and touch their favorite Cali boys before their set began. 

Emblem3 really is a different kind of boy band that we will be hearing about for a long time. They put on a fun, energetic show... so if you haven't caught them in concert yet, give them a try.

Debbie Wagner

Peter Hook & the Light - The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA - September 14, 2013 - photo by Serge Levin © 2013

Peter Hook & the Light - The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA - September 14, 2013 - photo by Serge Levin © 2013

Peter Hook & the Light – The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA – September 14, 2013

What Peter Hook and the Light offered was a glimpse into the greatness of Joy Division and New Order. They also exposed the transition of the members of the first band surviving the tragic passing of their lead singer, Ian Curtis, and changing to develop the sound of iconic New Order. In a performance that lasted almost three hours, Peter Hook gave his all as he showed his appreciation for and his role in creating a sound that is now a part of music history.

Those late to the show may still be kicking themselves for missing Slaves of Venus, or Peter Hook & the Light’s name for covering a number of Joy Division classics. This included a rare B-side “In A Lonely Place,” which also happens to be the last song written by the late Ian Curtis.

The transition to Movement came in the form of “Ceremony,” which is both a New Order hit and one of the last songs written by Ian Curtis. Peter Hook then played through Movement, an album which still carries the signature bass and the dark lyrics of Joy Division, but with the emerging sound of New Order.

After taking a short break, the band returned to play Power, Corruption & Lies, the record where New Order came into its own. Finally, Hooky finished with the classic “Temptation” (featured in the movie Trainspotting), and closed with “Blue Monday,” which sent the crowd roaring into the memorable night.

Needless to say, any doubt regarding Peter Hook’s ability to carry lead vocals for two distinct bands has been shattered, as he sounded excellent while rotating between the bass and the guitar. His supporting cast consisted of his son, Jack Bates, on the bass, David Potts on guitar, Andy Poole on keyboard, as well as Paul Kehoe excelling at the drums.

Overall, Peter Hook & the Light put on an intimate show that felt like a heartfelt celebration of Joy Division and New Order, one which can stick with you for weeks and create a deeper appreciation for songs you already love.

Serge Levin

Cody Simpson - The State Theater - New Brunswick, NJ - July 17, 2013

I went to see Cody Simpson with the silly notion that I could relax and listen to this guy, see what the hype was about for this 16-year-old teen sensation from Down Under. I thought I knew what to expect; beyond thousands of screaming teens and tweens hoping that they would be selected as Cody's Angel for the night. But I was more than pleasantly surprised, though it was difficult to relax and listen. This was his Paradise tour, promoting his first full length EP Paradise. He also included some songs from his new album Surfer's Paradise (do you detect a theme?) that was released just the night before.

True to his roots from the Australian Gold Coast, his music is beachy and fun. He has a smooth, mellow voice; almost mesmerizing. And no it's not his adorable Aussie accent - which you can't hear anyway when he sings, though it sure sounds charming when he speaks. The teeny boppers all around me felt the same; every time this kid opened his mouth, before he had barely uttered a word or a note there was screaming and crying all around me. I was sitting in a balcony and at times was uncertain that the weight of all the jumping and dancing was not going to cause a disaster. If the screaming did not completely interfere with my Cody concert experience the bouncing and vibrating balcony did. I was actually a little nervous we would crash.

Even if he was not a talented singer and entertainer his fans would probably buy tickets just to hear him speak. When I say entertainer, he has it all. He is a singer (a good one at that), plays a bit of guitar, is a great dancer and writes some of his music. Do I need to mention that he is an adorable beach blond surfer "dude"?

His new album, Surfer's Paradise is more mature and I find myself listening and wanting to hear more because I like it and not because I have to. It has touch of reggae, a touch of rap (both of which he pulls off just fine) and I hear a hint of John Mayer. It's very pleasant and not at all reminiscent of a teeny bopper concert. And to make it even more respectable, Ziggy Marley is featured on "Love" and Asher Roth is featured on "Imma be Cool."

Cody Simpson's events are a family affair. So as usual his ever-present family members were… present. His dad Brad and pretty younger sister Alli (who also is breaking into music, in addition to doing some modeling) could be seen chatting and being photographed with their own fans and hanging out watching the show. I did not catch sight of his mom Angie or his younger brother Tom at this show but I've seen them at other events, including both sets of his grandparents all the way from Australia. Lot's of love in this family, which should give you a hint at Cody's character and groundedness; a nice thing to see in a young pop star.

It's hard to believe that he is only 16 years old. His voice is mature and he has the physique of someone much older. It will be interesting to see and hear how this young, talented man evolves over the years. I think he will be around for a while and that eventually people my age may be buying tickets to his show; not as a "mom of a teen fan" but as a fan of Cody Simpson.

Danielle Speiss

Carly Rae Jepsen - WPST PopFest 2013 - Sun National Bank Center - Trenton, NJ - May 30, 2013 - photo by Vin Manta © 2013

Cher Lloyd - WPST PopFest 2013 - Sun National Bank Center - Trenton, NJ - May 30, 2013 - photo by Vin Manta © 2013

Jason DeRulo - WPST PopFest 2013 - Sun National Bank Center - Trenton, NJ - May 30, 2013 - photo by Vin Manta © 2013

Carly Rae Jepsen, Cher Lloyd, Jason DeRulo, Hot Chelle Rae, Emblem3 and Megan & Liz - WPST PopFest 2013 - Sun National Bank Center - Trenton, NJ - May 30, 2013

Thursday May 30, 94.5 WPST radio hosted Pop Fest 2013, featuring some of this years biggest music stars.  Held at the Sun Financial Center in Trenton, NJ, fans were obviously very excited to see some of their favorite musicians, including Megan & Liz, Emblem 3, Hot Chelle Rae, Jason Derulo, Cher Lloyd, and Carly Rae Jepsen.  The atmosphere was definitely very family oriented, with the majority of the fan base being young children accompanied by their parents.  But that did not stop the fans from getting loud with a lot of energy as they definitely enjoyed the various pop-stars’ performances. 

Megan and Liz were the opening act.  The duo is becoming one of music’s biggest as they played some of their most famous songs Thursday night, including “Cruise” and “Bad for Me”.  Megan and Liz definitely set the night of with a bang, setting the tone for a great night for the fans. 

Emblem3, the band featuring Wesley Stromberg, Keaton Stromberg, and Drew Chadwick, were definitely one of the acts that fans came for.  The band played their biggest song, “Chloe, You’re the One I Want”, throwing fans into a frenzy of excitement.  As soon as Emblem3 started to play the song, the audience erupted with applause and screams. 

Hot Chelle Rae followed Emblem3, and they were also welcomed warmly.  The band played a few of their songs, including “I Like it Like That,” “Whatever” and “Hung Up.”  The bands' sound was very similar to what you would hear on the radio, showing that the band is less synthesized than most today.  Hot Chelle Rae, like every performer, gave a very good, fun performance. 

Jason Derulo was definitely one of the fan's favorite performers.  Immediately as he came on stage the fans seemed to get even louder than they had previously during the concert.  Derulo played many of his best hits including “Whatcha Say” and “Ridin’ Solo,” songs that have been prominent for some time now.  A very exciting dance team accompanied Derulo and they were all perfectly synchronized for all of his songs.

British pop star Cher Lloyd's performance included hits like “Oath,”, “With Ur Love” and “Want U Back.”  She also covered other pop songs such as “O.M.G.” by Usher, but put her own flare to them.  Rising from the UK’s X Factor, Lloyd went back to her roots of performing live and did not disappoint.  

Probably the biggest star that performed, Carly Rae Jepsen gave a great performance.  Starting off with her Owl City collaboration “Good Time,” Carly Rae was truly fantastic live and had all fans singing along to all of her songs.  Jepsen also inevitably included her most famous song, “Call Me Maybe.”  For many fans, hearing one of the most popular songs of the decade live was very exciting. 

Matt Balick

Tom Jones – Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA – May 17, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

Tom Jones – Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA – May 17, 2013 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2013

 

Tom Jones – Theater of the Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA – May 17, 2013

The youthful and charismatic Prince of Wales of yore has matured into a slightly grizzled and hardened King.  While the years have passed and life has challenged, he still retains at 72 years old the chiseled handsomeness and bellwether voice that so mesmerized your mother (or grandmother) that she threw her panties up on stage back in the staid 60s, when they just didn't do that kind of thing.  (I apologize if that's a disturbing image, but you know it happened, dude.)

Jones has always been a bit of a musical chameleon.  Over the years he has tried (and mostly succeeded at) pop, soul, country, dance music, alt. rock, new wave, hip-hop and easy listening.  Jones' latest album, the bluesy Spirit in the Room and its 2010 predecessor Praise and Blame are back to basics efforts in which he covers the likes of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Richard Thompson, Joe Henry, Johnny Lee Hooker and more.  The stripped back albums – particularly Spirit – have been getting terrific critical reviews and comparisons to Johnny Cash's American series. 

Therefore, it made sense that such a low-key project would spawn a low-key tour.  Even calling it a tour is a bit of a stretch.  Jones' US trek of 2013 consists of smallish club dates in three cities – Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York – over a period of a little over a week.  Tickets were released – and sold out – mere hours before the shows.

The packed-to-the-rafters TLA was alerted to the fact that they were not in Live in Las Vegas territory from the very start, when Jones opened with a soft take on Leonard Cohen's "Tower of Song," featuring the apocryphal opening couplet, "Well, my friends are gone, and my hair is gray/I ache in the places that I used to play."  This was a more wizened, mature Tom Jones, and he wore the gravitas well.

With that, Jones spun out an adventurous two hour set of bluesy songs, performed enthusiastically with pitch perfect vocals and a hot band backing him up.  He teased the audience with the intro "This is a very nasty song," and then launched into a rollicking and playful version of Tom Waits' "Bad As Me" that sizzled on the stage.     

Jones took something of a gamble in the fact that he almost completely ignored his classic songbook in favor of newer songs and covers.  That's right, no "It's Not Unusual."  No "What's New, Pussycat?"  No "Love Me Tonight."  No "Delilah."  Not even later hits like Prince's "Kiss" or "Sexbomb."

The one song that Jones performed written by Mickey Newbury, who wrote many of his biggest hits, was actually a hit for someone else: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition's psychedelic classic "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)."  However, he said that he wanted to show how his old collaborator had really wanted the song performed, so it was a cool musical rescue mission. 

Jones also paid tribute to the recently deceased George Jones by doing a stunning version of "He Stopped Loving Her Today."  Then Jones talked about his good friend Elvis Presley and said he was going to do his favorite Elvis song, but in keeping with the off-the-radar vibe it turned out to be one of Presley's lesser known hits, "One Night With You." 

When he finally played the first of his old hits (and it turned out, last) in the second to last spot of a generous five song encore, Jones picked a slightly more obscure one.  A great song, granted, but if 100 Jones fans were asked what song they wanted to hear most from his playbook, I'd be shocked if any of them picked "Green, Green Grass of Home."  I kind of get the choice, though, beyond the fact that I fucking love the song, it is the old-fashioned story song lament of a death row inmate reminiscing about his youth the night before his execution.  It fit the vibe of the rest of the playlist.

It would have been a gas to hear some more of his old classics, but I can rather understand why he kept them under wraps in this set.  The more upbeat swinging beats of his classics would not rest easily with the more bluesy set Jones had in mind.  And while some more of Jones' classics, like say "Delilah," "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" or "I (Who Have Nothing)" could have been tweaked to fit the mood, the fact is they weren't needed. 

Not many artists have the type of talent that they can keep an audience rapt for two hours, performing mostly songs the audience did not know and ignoring the ones that they expected to hear.  Tom Jones did it easily and with style.  The show was not exactly what I was expecting coming in, but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Well done, Sir Tom.

Jay S. Jacobs

Lindsey Buckingham - World Café Live at The Queen at  - Wilmington, DE - June 11, 2012 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2012

Lindsey Buckingham - World Café Live at The Queen at  - Wilmington, DE - June 11, 2012 - photo by Jim Rinaldi © 2012

Lindsey Buckingham – World Café Live at the Queen – Wilmington DE – June 11, 2012

Lindsey Buckingham spent quite a bit of time discussing the big machine and the small machine at his recent solo show. 

“The big machine” is of course Fleetwood Mac – a long-lived British blues band that became one of the biggest groups in the world after Buckingham and then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks joined in 1975.  The couple turned out to be just the thing to turn a cult band into arena rock superstars, and it was greatly attributed to Buckingham’s smart and artistic pop songwriting.  Their 1976 album Rumours, written and recorded around Buckingham and Nicks’ personal relationship fracturing as well as bandmates Christine and John McVie’s divorce, is arguably the definitive break-up album in rock history, eventually selling over 19 million copies.

“The small machine” is Buckingham’s solo work, which was critically acclaimed though more earthbound sales-wise, though he did have a few hits in the early ‘80s such as “Trouble,” “Go Insane” and “Holiday Road,” the theme to the comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Buckingham’s career with Mac is getting further in the rear-view mirror.  He originally left the band in the late 80s and re-upped in 1997, but in the 15 years since returning to the fold the group released one live album, one studio album of original material and mounted three tours, the most recent in 2009.

This solo one-man-show was a bit of an experiment even for Buckingham, who said that when he started touring solo he had a 10-piece band, then for years toured with three other musicians.  Now it was just he on stage.  Though coolly, for a one-person-show there was a bank of at least twelve different guitars – electric and acoustic – all of which were used on one song or another. 

The stripping down worked well for Buckingham.  The sparse arrangements took away from some of the slickness of his studio work – particularly the Mac songs – and gave them a new ragged urgency.

Take, for example, his mid-‘80s solo single “Go Insane.”  Buckingham slowed the tempo greatly and ramped up the vocals, giving the song a bleak desperation that is probably more in tune with the lyrics than the upbeat pop of the original recording.  The song was completely reinvented, making a very good tune even better.

Even when he was faithful to the original arrangements (or at least as faithful as a single man can be on band songs) he enjoyed teasing the melody.  After starting of with a very upbeat, swinging version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back,” Buckingham suddenly bogged down the arrangement in the middle, stretching the lyrics out as if they were painful to get out, before returning to the original beat.

There was also a slight feeling of melancholy over the proceedings – although Buckingham did not acknowledge this – because the show happened a matter of days after the suicide of Bob Welch, the guitarist that Buckingham essentially replaced in Fleetwood Mac. 

Buckingham picked frugally between band and solo tunes, offering up Fleetwood favorites like "Go Your Own Way" and "Big Love" with lesser-known solo tracks like the lovely "Cast Away Dreams," the wistful "Seeds We Sow" and the blistering "Come" (it's amazing all that sound came from one guitar).  He even did an instrumental version of the early Buckingham/Nicks song "Stephanie."

He encored with a strong version of the semi-obscure “Rock Away Blind” when a cute blonde in the front row begged for it.  Buckingham good-naturedly joked that it wasn’t on his set-list and now everyone will be expecting him to take requests.  You won't get that with the big machine. 

The set was loose and passionate, fun and frisky, dark and ultimately hopeful.  The show proved that while Lindsey Buckingham is great with a band, he sure as hell doesn't need one.  The small machine was working pretty damned well all by itself.

Jay S. Jacobs

Lucy Woodward live at the Highland Ballroom, New York, NY on July 17, 2010 - Copyright 2010 Jim Rinaldi

Lucy Woodward live at the Highland Ballroom, New York, NY on July 17, 2010 - Copyright 2010 Jim Rinaldi

Lucy Woodward – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY – July 17, 2010

There was probably a certain amount of wishful thinking involved when the emcee at this show introduced Lucy Woodward as “The star of stage and screen” – but even if he somewhat over-inflated her importance, in a better world those accolades would be deserved.

Instead, Woodward was playing the show for her terrific third album Hooked – her first album for the legendary jazz label Verve Records – and way too many people have never heard of her.

In fact, to this day, Woodward is best remembered for her 2003 hit single “Dumb Girls” as well as writing Stacey Orrico’s hit single “There’s Gotta Be (More To Life).”  Both are wonderful songs, however they couldn’t be farther artistically from where Woodward is now.  Back then her label was trying to sell her as an Avril Lavigne-lite. 

Woodward showed her true colors a couple of years ago when her second CD Lucy Woodward is Hot and Bothered reintroduced her as a modern jazz chanteuse, a good-natured jump and jam artist whose sound is timeless and at the same time a tougher sell.

Hooked continues Woodward’s metamorphosis into a jazzy song stylist, with a broad stylistic palette and a warm, inviting vocal style.  The Highline show was a return home for the Bronx-born singer who has recently moved to California.  She seemed comfortable and welcoming in this homecoming show, where she introduced the new album to her old hometown.  And she was not just playing with some hired hand jazz band, her musicians were smoking hot.

The show was very specific to Hooked – playing every song on the album except for her gorgeous cover of “Stardust.”  In fact, the only complaint I have about this show is that none of the songs from her amazing previous album Hot & Bothered were performed at this show – unless you count “Slow Recovery” which was originally on that album and has been rerecorded for the new one. 

That gorgeous heartbreak ballad, which is Woodward’s current single and would be a smash in a just world, sounded quietly and defiantly strong in a stripped-down more acoustic arrangement. 

In fact, the live versions often improved on the already good versions on Hooked.  For example the live setting brought out the humor and desperation of the ticking-biological-clock torch song “Babies” in a way that the more lushly orchestrated studio version doesn’t quite achieve.  She was also even more playful in the sexy “Ragdoll” and even more desperately sad in the torchy “My Purple Heart.”

The only non-album track done in the show was a sultry take on Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” (a.k.a. the theme song to the HBO series True Blood.)  The version smoldered and simmered with passion and Woodward should rush back into the studio like yesterday to record this tune.

Jay S. Jacobs

Leonard Cohen at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA, May 12, 2009.  Copyright 2009 Jim Rinaldi.

Leonard Cohen at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA, May 12, 2009.  Copyright 2009 Jim Rinaldi.

 

Leonard Cohen – The Academy of Music – Philadelphia PA – May 12, 2009 

When was the last time you saw a man who was 75 years old give a three-hour-long concert? 

Leonard Cohen – the quietly polite gentleman, recent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, novelist, poet and humble son of a tailor – seemed determined to offer maximum entertainment value for the rather expensive tickets.  (They were just under $200.00 apiece!  Not that anyone in the crowd seemed to feel exploited at all.) 

Perhaps it was the knowledge that Cohen doesn’t tour often (his last Philadelphia show was in 1993.).  Perhaps it was the unspoken understanding that this may be his last go-round.  Perhaps it was just a personal bucket list experience for many in the crowd. 

Whatever it was, Cohen had the audience in his pocket from the opening notes of “Dance Me to the End of Love.” 

Cohen filled the grand old opera hall with his unusually eloquent musical tales of love, lust, war, religion, darkness, chaos, heartbreak, aging, betrayal, apocalypse and redemption.  

From the sexual politics of “Everybody Knows” to the doomsday scenario of “The Future” to the artistic dread of “Tower of Song,” Cohen explored the human condition with exceptional insight.  Yet, from all the darkness there was hope – as he sang in “Anthem”: “There is a crack in everything.  That’s how the light gets in.” 

Cohen’s voice – always a gruff and not a naturally beautiful instrument – has taken on nuances and shadings with age which fit his divine words in unusual and trenchant ways. 

For example, he reclaimed “Hallelujah,” which is arguably his best-known song, from the ethereal cover done by Jeff Buckley.  His slightly cracked vocal brought passion and befuddlement and betrayal to the uneasy religious quality of love. 

The set list was nearly identical to Cohen’s current album Live in London, which was recorded last year.  Only three songs were added to the queue – “Chelsea Hotel #2,” “Waiting for the Miracle” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” – and one or two other songs were switched out of position.  (“Sisters of Mercy” was definitely played earlier here than on the London show.) 

Even much of the between-song patter was word-for-word identical.  However, this makes a certain amount of sense.  Much more than most artists, words are vital to Cohen.  Everything out of his mouth is artistically structured and measured for maximum impact, so it is only natural that when he found the perfect phrasing he would stick with it. 

After three encores, Cohen – always an elegant gent – closed the show with an impassioned speech thanking everyone involved in the concert: from band members, to the lighting and sound crews, roadies and even the catering people.  However, mostly he thanked the audience for sharing the night with him. 

"I don't know when I'll pass this way again, so until then, take care friends,” he said.  “The weather's kind of tricky out there, so don't catch a cold.  If you have to fall, fall on the side of luck.  And may you be surrounded by friends and family.  And if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude.  Thank you so much for your warmth and your hospitality.  We greatly appreciate it.  Good night, friends." 

From some artists, this would sound insincere, but you get the feeling that Cohen has truly come to appreciate his lot.  For all of the craziness and hypocrisy and pain and desperate love in the world, there is nothing more vital than to shine a little light and spread a little beauty.  To paraphrase a line in “Chelsea Hotel #2,” life can be ugly, “but we have the music.” 

But, perhaps Cohen captured his own power even more simply as he signed off with: 

“Sincerely, L. Cohen.” 

No one should ever question his sincerity. 

As someone who has been to hundreds of shows, I can say without hesitation that this show was one of only a handful of truly transcendent concerts that I have been privileged to experience. 

Jay S. Jacobs

Chad Kroeger of Nickelback at the Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA, March 9, 2009.  Copyright 2009 Jim Rinaldi.

Shaun Morgan of Seether at the Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA, March 9, 2009.  Copyright 2009 Jim Rinaldi.

Nickelback, Seether & Saving Abel – Wachovia Center – Philadelphia PA – March 9, 2009

It’s sometimes a little easy to forget how many Nickelback songs you know and how ubiquitous their music has been on the radio for the last several years, simply because so many of their songs kind of sound alike.

However this long – closing in on two hours – set shows that while it is easy to take their meat-and-potatoes rock for granted, this Canadian group has put themselves together a pretty neat set list.  Even if you aren’t a fan, you probably like more of these songs than you ever realized.

From the moment that they shot out of the gates with the funny/sexist anthem “Something in Your Mouth” the group had the crowd in his hand – making jokes about dive bars, half-jokingly asking the women in the audience to see their tits, cannoning t-shirts into the crowd – Nickelback has the blue-collar rock star role down pat.

Whether doing an acoustic guitar version of their admittedly funny music biz parody “Rockstar” to slamming down a fiery version of “Figured You Out” to the sensitive balladry of “Far Away,” the band was hitting on all cylinders.  

The group also kept an interesting show going behind them on the big screens.  For example, they made a virtual slideshow video for their nostalgic hit “Photograph,” giving the audience a Polaroid snapshot history of the band members – growing up, partying, in school, in concert, back stage and back street.  They also kissed up to the local crowd, mixing shots of the recent World Series parade, the Eagles, the LOVE statue and the Phillie Phanatic. 

Nickelback played pretty much every song a fan would expect – though they did skip over lead singer Chad Kroeger’s side project hits like “Hero” which he did for the first Spider-Man movie with Josey Scott of Saliva and his Carlos Santana collaborations “Why Don’t You & I” and “Into the Night.”  Even without those songs, it is a pretty perfect night of Nickelback.

But, please guys, knock it off with the fake gunshots explosion sound effects in the middle of the sets.  I know you love loud noises, but you scared the shit out of me several times.

Rounding out the bill were a couple of bands that are quirkier but every bit as rock.  South African band Seether kept the audience rapt with their hardcore hits like “Remedy” (which sounds disturbingly like Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” in spots) rocked out seriously, as did the acidic “Tongue” and their rather surprising cover of Wham featuring George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”

However, the band sounded best when they slowed down the pace a bit, particularly in their shattering ballad “Broken” and the poppier “Rise Above This.”

Singer Shaun Morgan also returned to the stage with Nickelback to do a shredding cover of Filter’s “Hey Man, Nice Shot.”

Opening act Saving Abel also gave a strong short set – with the standout performances being their hit single “Addicted,” the soldier’s tribute “18 Days” and the pissed-off rant “Out of My Face.”

Jay S. Jacobs

Nikka Costa at World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA, October 21, 2008.  Copyright 2008 Jim Rinaldi.

Nikka Costa – World Café Live – Philadelphia PA – October 21, 2008 

At Nikka Costa’s new tour they were selling t-shirts with a lightning bolt and 70s-styled fat fonts which read “The return of the funky white bitch.” 

After watching Costa stalk the boards for nearly two hours all I can say is “Hallelujah! Yea, she is back!”  Costa, the daughter of jazz legend Don Costa (Frank Sinatra was her Godfather) has deep-fried soul down to the core. 

She is a funky diva in the tradition of Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Millie Jackson, Patti Labelle and number of soul mamas.  She is a singer out of time – if she were around in the 60s or 70s she’d have been huge. 

Instead, after two critically acclaimed but mostly overlooked major label releases she comes back swinging on a smaller label – but it is a revived, legendary soul label, Stax; home of Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Booker T and the MGs and Isaac Hayes.  Her album may not have as much corporate backing, but it’s got just as much fire. 

This do-it-yourself credo is achieved in her latest live gigs (which she referred to as an Obama-styled grass roots tour) in which Costa testified and screamed, jammed, cooed, burned, crammed and creamed. 

With a whip-tight backing band full of brassy horns and enough wocka-wocka guitar magic to make Isaac Hayes blush, Costa sizzled with a retro abandon that more mannered current divas would just envy.  She even lost herself so much in the encore ballad “I Wish I Loved You Less” that she teasingly slipped her hand deep inside her pants – but it wasn’t gratuitous and dirty, it was fun and frisky. 

She’d tell her guitarist “Gimme some of that chicken shit” and get a scratching funky sound straight outta a blaxploitation flick.  Songs like the almost-hit “Everybody Got Their Something,” “Keep Pushing,” “Cry Baby” and “Happy in the Morning” built up a playful soulful sweat that got every booty bumpin’. 

The funky white bitch is back! 

Testify!

Jay S. Jacobs

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder - The Hollywood Bowl - Hollywood CA - July 7, 2008

SIMPLY WONDER-FUL... 

It's a simple mathematical equation. Stevie Wonder + Hollywood Bowl = one special night of music. After the passing of his beloved mother, Lula Hardaway, in June of 2006, Wonder, long absent from the touring circuit, has returned to live performance. He's currently finishing up a US leg and getting set for an European jaunt beginning in September. On Monday, July 7th, Stevie Wonder was back on his home turf performing a spectacular two and a half hour show for a packed hometown crowd at The Hollywood Bowl, which included legendary Motown Records icon, Berry Gordy and Adam Levine of Maroon 5. 

Boasting a ridiculously rich catalog of timeless classics spanning the Sixties though today, Wonder simply owns the concert stage, embracing his time honored legacy with a contagious enthusiasm and winning exuberance. Kicking off a typically incandescent set, Wonder dipped heavily into his 1980 LP, Hotter Than July and knocked out five gems from the record including the set opener "As If You Read My Mind," "Master Blaster (Jammin')", "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me", "All I Do" and a rare airing of the moody "Rocket Love." Drawing from all facets of his illustrious career, Wonder's set indisputably proved he's a master stylist, comfortable in a myriad of musical idioms including R&B, pop, funk, soul, jazz, reggae, prog-rock, avant-garde and Tin Pan Alley pop. 

Part of the fun of a Stevie Wonder show is witnessing the pure joy and spirit that he exudes while performing. Whether executing complex piano motifs or stomping clavinet grooves or unleashing supernatural acts of elastic vocal acrobatics, it's clear that Wonder revels in the enjoyment of being in the moment, uniting artist and crowd in a wondrous musical communion. Nestled alongside a slew of quintessential Wonder penned classics like "Sir Duke," "I Wish," "Isn't She Lovely" and "Do I Do," Wonder also drew heavily from his 1973 album, Innervisions; his impressive thirteen-piece band, ably led by bassist Nathan Watts, interpreted a winning cross section of material from that seminal album including "Higher Ground," the Latin-tinged "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing," the breezy majestic pop of  "Golden Lady" and the funktastic, urban-charged anthem, "Living For The City," its gritty message resonating even stronger today than when it was first recorded more than three decades ago. 

During the show, Wonder also unveiled a few lesser played tracks from his double-album masterpiece, Songs In The Key Of Life, embracing the picture perfect pop of "Knocks Me Off My Feet" and a beautiful and moving rendition of "If It's Magic," the solitary harp stylings provided by a member of the 25-piece orchestra, who also lent their rich and supple instrumental flourishes to a number of songs in the set. Boding well for his next musical project, Wonder also introduced a promising new song, "Keep Foolin' Yourself Baby", which the artist informed the audience that the song is earmarked for his next CD, provisionally titled Through the Eyes of Wonder. Other surprises were a funky, vocoder flavored  version of The Spinners' "People Make The World Go 'Round", the instrumental "Spain" by Chick Corea and "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life," which showcased a radio contest winner on duel lead vocals with Wonder. 

The show was also a family affair in the truest sense of the word; Wonder's daughter, Aisha (she was the inspiration behind "Isn't She Lovely") sang strong background vocals throughout the show. His older son, Mumtaz, lent his soulful lead vocal expertise to a dynamic mini-reading of "Ribbon In The Sky" while his six-year old son, Kailand, sat in on a miniature drum kit during show closer, "Superstition," which also featured Howard Hewitt, former lead singer of Shalamar, on guest vocals.

Ken Sharp

KT Tunstall at Roseland, New York, NY, November 21, 2007.  Copyright 2007 Jim Rinaldi.

KT Tunstall at Roseland, New York, NY, November 21, 2007.  Copyright 2007 Jim Rinaldi.

KT Tunstall - Roseland Ballroom - New York NY - November 21, 2007

This was one of very few KT Tunstall US shows in 2007 to promote Drastic Fantastic Tunstall's follow-up to last year's slow-burning smash CD Eye to the Telescope.

This Thanksgiving-eve show was a low-key affair.  Tunstall didn't even bring her whole band, just doing an acoustic set with only herself on guitar and vocals, a drummer and two female backing vocalists. 

And yet she rocked this legendary venue, with her enthusiasm, strong vocals, sweet-natured charm and already-rock-solid songbook easily seducing the packed house.

You knew you were in for a different night early on, when an stripped-down version of the normally lush "Other Side of the World" stunned with new textures and and even more direct longing than the band performances. 

This was just the first of many wonderful surprisesthe most significant of which is how well the songs of Drastic Fantastic, which has seemed to receive more public resistance than the debut album, held up with the earlier, more well-known tunes.

Tunstall gave a hilarious insight into the writer's head when she explained her motivation behind writing the good-natured tune "Ashes."  Apparently, Tunstall was surfing the net and stumbled across a site which offered to take the cremated ashes of family members and pets and turn them into jewelry.  "You can turn man's best friend into a girl's best friend," she cracked.

Other new songs which stood out were her current-kinda-hit "Hold On" in which Tunstall gamely mocked her own beat-boxing skills as well as the wonderfully well-grounded (for an entertainer) "Saving My Face," which argues for aging naturally.

Of course it goes without saying that the songs from Telescope rocked the house, with "Another Place To Fall," "Under the Weather," "Stopping the Love" and "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" keeping the audience rapt.  By the time she wound down with a propulsive "Suddenly I See," the audience was totally in her hand.

This concert was a hell of a place-holder for Tunstall.  Still, as much as I enjoyed this show, I'm looking forward to her returning again with a full band.

Jay S. Jacobs

John Ondrasik, a.k.a. Five for Fighting at the Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA, May 9, 2007.  Copyright 2007 Jim Rinaldi.

Chantal Kreviazuk at the Keswick Theater, Glenside, PA, May 9, 2007.  Copyright 2007 Jim Rinaldi.

Five For Fighting & Chantal Kreviazuk - The Keswick Theater - Glenside PA - May 9, 2007

John Ondrasik is not just a singer, he is an old-school storyteller, as demonstrated in the live setting.  Whether sitting at the piano or standing alone with a guitar, Ondrasik had the audience rapt with his gorgeous melodies and warm, funny explanations of the songs' inspiration.

These could be tongue-in-cheek (a winking story of realizing he was getting old because he heard his song "Easy Tonight" played at a bar by a guitarist who told him he learned the song as a kid) or heartfelt (the beautiful story about the soldier and his father who inspired the song "Two Lights.") 

Of course the stories wouldn't work if the music wasn't good, so Ondrasik kept the beautiful melodies coming.  He did his new charity single "World" with warmth and skill.  There was also a beautiful acoustic version of perhaps his most impressive song"If God Made You" which was dedicated to his childrenas well as a rollicking ode to his '65 Camaro.

One of the few semi-missteps was when Ondrasik decided to do a slightly flamboyant cover of one of the last songs in the world that you'd expect anyone to try to cover Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."  Not that it is a bad song, it is just a song that is so particular to its author.  More importantly, Ondrasik played the song way too broadly, going for a wink rather than the tongue-in-cheek seriousness of the original. 

He covered that gaffe quickly, though, teasing a heckler who yelled out for "100 Years" by saying that Billy Joel told him to always play the hits last.  Then he settled into the bench and started tinkling the very recognizable intro to "Superman (It Ain't Easy)," his even bigger smash from 2001.  Then he dove right into the sweetly yearning "100 Years," closing the show on a warm high.

Opening act Chantal Kreviazuk who has never quite become the recording star she deserves to be, but has become an in-demand songwriter-for-hire for the likes of Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera and Pink was very much FFF's equal, doing a charming act full of new songs ("Ghosts of You," "Wonderful"), oldie-almost-hits ("God Made Me") and some soundtrack faves ("Time" and "Feels Like Home.")  Like Ondrasik, Kreviazuk is talented at stage banter and has a warm piano-based sound.  It was an inspired pairing.

Jay S. Jacobs

Chris Collingswood of Fountains of Wayne at the Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA, April 28, 2007.  Copyright 2007 Jim Rinaldi.

Fountains of Wayne - The Trocodero - Philadelphia PA - April 28, 2007

The best live rock band in the world Fountains of Wayne? 

It's not so far-fetched. 

The Fountains rocked the joint recently in this gig, a show which only benefited by the venue's colorful history (it was a burlesque joint in the 1920s).  This past seediness lent depth and color to FOW's power pop short stories of desperate outsiders trying to make it in a world that really doesn't give a shit about them.

The band has a mastery of styles and irony that if possible is even stronger in person than on their CDs.  For example there is the spaghetti-western dry lament "Hackensack," in which a loser in a small town in New Jersey still pines away after a first-grade crush, who has since become an A-List actress.  Beyond being a surprisingly beautiful song, the depths of the narrator's self-delusion is touching.   

Then there are the lovely flamenco touches of "Hey, Julie" in which a worker drone has only his girlfriend to look forward to in life.  The band turns up the rock on "Bright Future In Sales," about a kid out of college who is being overwhelmed by his first NYC job, perhaps because he is getting plastered every night in Manhattan.  They also slammed out the grunge-flavored early hit "Radiation Vibe." 

By the time the familiar neuvo-Cars power chords of their biggest hit the fractured MILF fantasy "Stacy's Mom" rang out over the crowd, they had the audience eating out of their hands.  Great tunes, funny banter... and there were periodic jokes at the expense of Neil Sedaka (who they had backed in concert in New York the night before.)  What more can you ask for in a rock show?

Jay S. Jacobs

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