Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I got a chance to speak with Journey guitarist Neal Schon for a piece that ran in this week's edition of the Cleveland Scene prior to their upcoming show here in the area on Tuesday evening with Steve Miller Band and Tower of Power.
As is often the case, writing that story sent me to the music stacks to pull out some Journey. I was going to Buffalo to see Blue Rodeo and wanted to load in some tunes for the car. It's funny, for a long time, there wasn't really a lot of live Journey available officially beyond the well known (and for many people, the essential) Captured double live album which was released in 1981.
What I really wanted was a proper live album that covered more of the later material from Journey that came after Captured, you know, albums like Escape, Frontiers...they sold a few copies of those albums and had several hits, right?
Journey filled that request in 1998 with the appropriately titled Greatest Hits Live, which even though it was compiled from a couple of different shows, had a track listing that had the expected hits, but also went a little bit deeper with tunes like "After The Fall," "Still They Ride" the title track to "Escape" and "Line of Fire." It was a good starter package that still works great if you're looking for a single CD that has a lot of their best tunes from across the years.
Released in 2005, Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour brought a famous Journey gig home to consumers, available on both DVD and CD (marking the first time that a Journey performance from that era had been officially released on DVD, unless you count the semi-official release of Frontiers and Beyond, which was available very briefly for a minute from the official Journey website in the early '00s). For reasons that aren't quite clear, the CD has a live version of "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love) while the DVD does not, which could be quite simple to explain -- maybe it just wasn't filmed. First shown on MTV in the early '80s, the Houston show had only circulated on bootleg prior to the official release.
I couldn't find my CDs for either of those releases when I went hunting for them, so instead, I grabbed a couple of bootlegs. One of them was a show recorded in Norman, Oklahoma for Westwood One in 1983. The other one was a 1979 show from the Evolution tour, captured in Chicago for the syndicated Studio Jam series.
Listening to both shows back to back as I drove to Buffalo, it was interesting to hear the differences between the Gregg Rolie era of Journey and the Jonathan Cain era of the group. Cain gets a lot of criticism for his alleged role in turning Journey into a ballad band, but that wasn't really what stuck out to me, listening to the shows. Instead, it was interesting to note how Perry's role changed in the group between the two shows. During the 1979 performance, Rolie still had a commanding presence vocally in the Journey lineup, but it was hard to miss the charisma that Perry brought each and every time he took the microphone, especially for the songs he sang the lead vocals on.
Journey as heard during the Norman, Oklahoma performance is a different story -- Perry has very clearly taken the reins of the group and even if it wasn't necessarily Perry's band behind the scenes, it was without question, a hell of a partnership. The songwriting that he, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain were engaged in produced quite a powerful batch of material that gave Perry and the members of Journey a lot of firepower to work with onstage.
Even now, more than 30 years later, Schon realizes why the power of Journey still endures. It comes down to the usual things that are most important for a band that wants to build a legacy (even if you might not realize that's what you're doing at the time). It's all about hard work and good songs, as he shared during the interview.
“I think on the Journey level [that’s] why we’re still prominent and out there,” he says. “I think it’s because we basically work our butts off and we tour every year. And we continually play the music and have new audiences come in all the time, we’re claiming younger fans. And also I think mainly, I think we just got it right, you know we wrote a lot of really great songs, the three of us; myself, Steve Perry, and Jonathan Cain. And it was like we just got some things right and I think that’s why it’s etched in stone.”
Journey soldiers on with Arnel Pineda at the helm in place of Perry these days and together, they present a concert experience that is arguably as close to seeing the band with Perry in his prime as you're ever going to get. While Perry himself has recently returned to the stage for the first time in nearly 20 years, performing a handful of guest appearances singing Journey songs while backed by the band eels, it doesn't seem likely that he and Journey will reunite again.
And that's okay with me -- in my mind, there's room for both. Let Journey continue to do what they do and let Perry make whatever sort of music he might want to make on his own terms. I enjoy both. I like to watch Neal Schon play guitar and I enjoy hearing Perry sing -- so even if that doesn't happen on the same stage, it's all good. And although Perry's vocal abilities appear to have diminished from what he was capable of "back in the day," it would be fun to see him play some shows.
But as always, who knows what's up ahead?one
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
When it comes to live stuff from Tom Petty, there's certainly a good amount of officially available material to choose from. The Live Anthology in particular should be at the top of your list if you don't own it, both for value and because of what's on it.
Going further back, the Pack Up The Plantation live release is one of my personal favorites, crying out for both an expanded edition and an official DVD/Blu-ray release of the companion live video. That's a legacy edition that I'd buy for sure.
But you know what else would be great? An official bootleg series from Mr. Petty. Imagine the possibilities....finally being able to get your hands on some of the really cool shows that they've done, like the '97 run at the Fillmore. Mudcrutch club shows? You name it, we'd buy it.
It would be a nice outlet for purchasing the current stretch of special shows that Petty & the Heartbreakers have been playing. Starting at the Beacon in NYC and zagging over to Los Angeles for the in-progress set of gigs at the Fonda Theatre (which will wrap up tonight), the focus has been on the deeper side of Petty's catalog.
That brings us around to this particular audio snapshot, recorded on June 3rd at the Fonda.
After opening with a relatively safe double shot of "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n Roll Star" and (the always welcome) "Love Is A Long Road" Petty took a moment to greet the Los Angeles crowd and set up the night, telling them "you know, we're doing mostly album tracks tonight." Finishing off the opening moments with a rendition of the tried and true Full Moon Fever favorite "I Won't Back Down," Petty would stick to his word for the majority of the set, pulling out a selection of lesser heard cuts, including "Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)," "To Find A Friend" from Wildflowers and a freshly reworked version of "Rebels."
Petty continues to remember the Wilburys side of his career, choosing Dylan's "Tweeter & The Monkey Man" as his Wilbury cut to dust off for this year's tour. The mere mention of the Echo album (released in '99) brought cheers from the audience, which led Petty to quip "we've got the hardcore here tonight, don't we?" He explained the relative absence of Echo album tracks from previous setlists saying that "I've made a lot of trips to the psychiatrist's couch talking about why we don't play anything from Echo very much." (For the unfamiliar, Petty was going through a divorce at the time that the album was made and reportedly, he avoids material from that album and time period for that reason, because of the painful memories associated with the material.) Hearing "Billy The Kid" from that album is a quick reminder of how underrated that Echo album is and it's good to see that Petty has perhaps been able to move past the hard memories previously associated with the songs on that release.
Clocking in at about two hours, the Fonda gig exposes that even when you spend that length of time exploring a good portion of the deep cuts that are in the Petty catalog, there are still so many more that you can think of that weren't played. Some of them, like "Two Gunslingers" from Into The Great Wide Open, for example, have surfaced in the setlists of the other shows.
It seems like the regular tour dates will play things a bit more safe, focusing on the "hits" that the arena and shed crowds have come to expect, but with Petty, it's a strong bet that some of the rarities currently being aired in the smaller venue shows will find their way into the regular setlists. As a bonus, for a handful of dates this summer, Petty & The Heartbreakers will be joined by longtime ATV faves The Smithereens, who have been handpicked to open a series of shows starting in Noblesville, Indiana this coming weekend.
This show is the perfect tuneup to get you ready for those summer shows from Petty & crew and as you'll hear, they're still going at it full throttle.
Anything that's rock and roll....
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Live at the Fonda Theatre
02 So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star
03 Love Is a Long Road
04 I Won't Back Down
05 Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)
06 Cabin Down Below
07 Good Enough
08 (I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone
09 A Woman in Love (It's Not Me)
10 Billy the Kid
11 -band intros-
12 Tweeter and the Monkey Man
14 To Find a Friend
15 Angel Dream
18 I Should Have Known It
20 Runnin' Down a Dream
21 You Wreck Me
22 American Girl
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Pardon me while I rediscover my own blog, won't you?
Today we're going to take a journey back to November of 1979 for a (nearly) full set from Foreigner, recorded live on the Head Games tour.
Tunes: Many of your favorites including "I'll Get Even With You," "Love On The Telephone," "Rev On The Red Line," "Fool For You Anyway" and oh yeah, all of the hits, too. But when I saw the previously mentioned album tracks in the setlist, I knew I needed to hear this show right away....and so do you!
Sourced from an FM broadcast, the sound is a bit rough around the edges, almost as if you got a dub from the guy who originally taped it back in the day (something that you get used to really quickly), but the setlist and performance make this one a winner. I'd probably rate the sound at around an A- or a B+ or even better, a bootleg that sounds pretty awesome, considering it is from 1979.
Former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm has a new autobiography out which might make a good addition to your reading stack if you haven't acquired it yet. Check that out here.
The incredible songwriting career of Gramm and his co-conspirator Mick Jones will be celebrated this month as they are inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Certainly very well deserved!
Foreigner at the Omni
Long Long Way from Home
Blue Morning, Blue Day
I'll Get Even With You
Rev on the Red Line
Dirty White Boy
Fool for You Anyway
Cold as Ice
Feels Like The First Time
Love On The Telephone
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
From time to time, I get emails about some of the more popular live shows that I've posted here at ATV for download, either because there is a broken link or because they want to thank me for the post. (Gratitude on the internet, folks. It really does happen occasionally.)
Two of my personal favorites come from the same club in San Francisco and were broadcast back to back at the end of April in 1995. On the first night, the Jayhawks took the stage at Slim's for a set in support of their latest album at the time, Tomorrow The Green Grass. The following night, Del Amitri were onstage playing songs from their entire catalog including Twisted, which was their most recent disc of the moment.
I have a special affection for the Del Amitri set, since it is very representative of the tour, which I saw three times. I also caught the Jayhawks in this same time period, but their performance was abbreviated, since they were performing as part of a three band bill with Soul Asylum and Matthew Sweet (and it was an awesome night, indeed).
The Del Amitri recording is sourced from a DAT of the FM broadcast. Before it was so easy to download live shows on the internet, I did a lot of tape trading, eventually moving into the digital realm with DAT tapes. I did a string of trades with a San Francisco taper who had great recordings of a lot of the local broadcasts. A lot of those tapes of mine have disappeared into the ether, including a dada live performance from the El Subliminoso era which I really wish that I still had. It clocked in at about seventy minutes and although it had quite a bit of static, it was awesome. Wish I could hear it again, so if you have it, drop me a line!
The Jayhawks recording is one that I had for quite a few years and then discovered that when I had burned CDs of the show, I somehow ended up with gaps in between the songs on the second disc. That has been fixed with the newly revised post (linked above) which uses a new source that as I recall, came from a pre-FM recording and if memory serves me correctly, it includes some songs in the encore which were not broadcast. Either way, it's the complete set and captures a great performance.
(And wouldn't you love to get another Jayhawks bootleg from the Louris era 'Hawks? You got it.)
Hall & Oates has been another topic of recent discussion and a show that I get a good amount of email about is their "Acoustic Power" bootleg, which I had a recording of for quite a while that was several cassettes removed from the master, as all good bootlegs are. I upgraded with a better source which sounds like it's almost directly from the original Japanese television broadcast (which again, I'd love to have a copy of.....). I'll kick myself for a long time for missing this tour, but it's nice to have this bootleg to enjoy at the very least.
So there's a few things for you to listen to....hopefully you'll enjoy at least one of them!more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
One of the great things about the Foo Fighters is that they tend to do quite a few radio broadcasts throughout the cycle of promoting a new album. 90 minutes to two hours worth of Foos favorites mixed with whatever new album they happen to be promoting at the time is always a good recipe for guaranteed awesome listening and likely, occasional headbanging and air guitar as well.
Having seen the Foo Fighters towards the end of their last run promoting the Echoes (etc.) album, it was pretty clear that Dave Grohl was in need of a break to give his tired vocal chords a well deserved rest. That's no bash, but when you give 200 percent on stage every night as Grohl does, it's bound to take its toll eventually. With the release of a greatest hits package and what seems like barely any time off of the road, the Foos are back at it and about to drop a new album (Wasting Light) in little more than a month from now on April 12th.
This concert from Monday night in Cologne (in front of an invited audience of 600 concert winners) finds the band rolling through nearly 100 minutes of material stretched across 20 songs including a handful of new ones. If that seems a tad short, it's because the additional encores weren't broadcast, but with what is here, that's hardly anything to complain about. I can't wait for my next chance to see Grohl and the boys kick it out!
1Live Radio Konzert
01. Bridge Burning
02. All My Life
03. Times Like These
04. White Limo
05. Learn To Fly
06. My Hero
07. Up In Arms
08. Long Road To Ruin
11. The Pretender
12. Enough Space
13. Cold Day In The Sun
14. Stacked Actors
15. These Days
17. Skin And Bones
18. Monkey Wrench
19. Hey, Johnny Park
Encores (not broadcast)
22. Young Man Blues
23. Matter Of Time
24. Miss The Misery
25. Best Of You
26. This Is A Call
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
So what's Bruce Hornsby up to right now, anyway? And better yet, what are his plans for this summer?
In a recent radio interview, Hornsby covered both subjects, talking about his current (and long-awaited) debut musical SCKBSTD and also his touring plans for the summer. The first 45 minutes of the interview will net you plenty of SCKBSTD chat, but it's the last 5 minutes of interview time that really bring it all home.
First up, that previously mentioned live album (although the title has been amended slightly) Bride of the Noisemakers will be in stores in April, according to Hornsby. The live release will be a perfect fuse to set your fires burning in anticipation of what will certainly be an excellent summer vacation for Hornsby fans. Hornsby says that he'll perform this summer at several festivals including this year's edition of Bonnaroo and he'll also spend the summer touring with the Noisemakers as part of a package tour featuring Hornsby and.....drumroll.......his longtime pals Bela Fleck and the Flecktones! Hornsby calls the package "The Bela and Bruce Show" and says that the pairing will be hitting markets during July and August and promises that there will be the expected jam sessions featuring both Bela and Bruce.
Listen to the entire chat here (left click and download) via Bruuuce.com and if you're so inclined, don't forget to check out the "Free Noise" series featuring a ton of live Hornsby/Noisemakers recordings from the 2009 tour, for free! (There are also some 2004 recordings posted that are not free, apparently newly migrated from similar downloads previously available at Munck Music.)
2010 found Bruce off the road taking a break to recharge the batteries, so his return to touring this summer will certainly be welcome!more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Somewhere on my list of New Year's resolutions, there's a simple one: Must get replacement copy of Rocksteady, the newest album from Big Head Todd & The Monsters that came out earlier this year. True to its title, Rocksteady definitely maintains a steady rockin' pace throughout the entire album, but the promo copy I received has skip skip skipping on several of the tracks. Which is fine, because I'm always happy to throw dollars at the Big Head Todd boys.
Checking in, I discovered that they've got quite a bit going on at the moment, including a $10 download featuring a full album performance of their Midnight Radio LP, commemorating the 20th anniversary of its release.
At present, the band is out on a set of tour dates labeled as "Big Head Blues Club - Blues at the Crossroads." The current tour dates are a preview for an interesting project due for release in February of next year, an album celebrating the 100th birthday of Robert Johnson. Recorded at Ardent Studios with a slew of special guests, it looks to be a killer.
As the above proves, there's never a shortage of things to listen to for Big Head Todd fans. I came across the following covers compilation via Hear Rock City and it's a nice collection of recordings sourced from the band's shows on Archive.org. Although I'm a cover song kinda guy, I do like it when a band actually does something interesting with a familiar song instead of putting forth a straight forward version by the numbers. And truthfully, I've never really met a cover of "Suspicious Minds" or "Friend of the Devil" that I didn't like.
Long May You Run
Friend of the Devil
Ring of Fire
Train Kept A Rollin'
James Brown Medley
Jesus Just Left Chicago
Polk Salad Annie
photo above - BHTM in Boulder, CO, from the official websiteone
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
If you've been following the series of Bruce Cockburn Christmas-themed broadcasts that Kevin has been posting in the past week, the following story might warm your heart. Or at the very least, you'll appreciate one last piece of holiday musical booty. In the last installment, Kevin noted that there were a total of 5 Cockburn Christmas broadcasts, of which he only had 4. (I honestly was shocked to find out that he had more than one!)
Thanks to random ATV reader Mark, we now have a copy of the missing broadcast from 1995 featuring special guests Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin and Peter Stuart (of the sorely missed Dog's Eye View). Mark figured that even though Christmas is now several days gone, there might still be a few people that would enjoy hearing it. We're guessing that he's right about that. And at the very least, you'll have some advance listening material to stow away for next year!
Huge thanks to Mark for the share!
Bruce Cockburn 12/17/95
Columbia Radio Hour "Christmas with Cockburn" Guests: Jonatha Brooke, Patty Larkin, Peter Stuart
Sony Music Studio, New York, NY
02 Joy Will Find a Way
04 The Coming Rains
05 The First Noel
06 Tango (Patty Larkin)
08 Small Wonder (Peter Stuart)
09 O Come, O Come Emmanuel (with Jonatha Brooke)
11 Don't Explain (Patty Larkin)
13 Is This All (Jonatha Brooke)
15 War (with Jonatha Brooke)
16 Joy Will Find a Way
Bruce Cockburn portrait by Karen Robinsonmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I need better connections in Youngstown (that's in Ohio, for those of you that are either unfamiliar with the Springsteen song of the same name or living in one of the other states not named Ohio).
In the past few weeks, I've missed concerts from both Eddie Money and Bryan Adams in the Youngstown area. Adams is still touring acoustically and after hearing his Bare Bones acoustic live release, I don't feel so bad about missing that one.
The Money Man on the other hand, played a series of Acoustic Christmas shows, which made my eyes bug out when I heard the news and realized that I had missed a tour date within driving distance. You have to understand how much I LOVE the Unplug It In acoustic EP that he put out in the early '90s. It's one of my great concert regrets that I missed his acoustic tour during the same era, which I believe played at Nautica Stage.
The good news for both you and me is that Money is selling copies of two of the Acoustic Christmas shows and that thought makes me salivate, thinking about what the setlist might be. The tour is becoming an annual event and reading this interview with Eddie about last year's show, it certainly sounds like a fun evening of music.
Perhaps I'll get a chance to catch it next year.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Thinking in the context of the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks series (curated by their late great archivist Dick Latvala), some of the best live releases are compiled by the people that know the artist/band inside and out. In the case of Bruce Hornsby, recording engineer/producer Wayne "Dagle" Pooley has been an important part of the Bruuuce universe since 1991, helping to capture Hornsby's sound both in the studio and on the road as the front of house (FOH) mixer for Bruce. Mix describes Pooley as Hornsby's "architect of all things technical," and that's not a stretch at all when you wrap your ears around Dagle's Choice, Volume 1, the new three CD compilation of recordings from assorted dates on Hornsby's 2009 tour (with audible shout outs to Sioux City and St. Louis), as collected by Pooley.
Issued as the second volume of the recently launched Free Noise series, if this isn't Pooley's crack at creating a nice little "dream setlist" for Hornsby fans, it's certainly a mighty fine coincidence that it plays out as just exactly that. As a compilation, it certainly whets my appetite for the prospects of future full show downloads (and just like the initial dose from Free Noise, this edition is a complimentary download as well!), and hopefully one of those will be the Pittsburgh-area date that I saw at the Carnegie Library Music Hall last year. (Please?)
Listening to the collection, I'm struck by the reality of the instant gratification that we enjoy these days as music fans. The live albums that we used to wait months and years to receive, now can be sprung on the unsuspecting audience instantly, available to download with a few clicks of the mouse for all who are interested. Unlike the previous Free Noise offering, which was a bit rough around the edges, Pooley's mixes here are pristine and would be worthy of an official release. (And it's a nice little tuneup for the upcoming official live release Bride of Noisemakers, which will land in stores next year.)more