Sunday, March 23, 2014

Concert Review: BandFuse Rock Legends Present: EXPERIENCE HENDRIX


EXPERIENCE HENDRIX: March 22, 2014 The Concert Venue at Harrah's

A sure-fire sellout year in-year out at Atlantic City theaters was a sure fire hit once again.



This night's All-Star Lineup: Original Hendrix Experience bandmate BILLY COX, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Stevie Ray Vaughan's longtime drummer in Double Trouble, Chris Layton, Dweezil Zappa and it's always a treat to see Aerosmith's Brad Whitford up close from about 30 feet away!  A+++

Talented Supporting Stars: Kenny Wayne Shepherd's longtime frontman, Noah Hunt, Mato Nanji from Indigenous, Eric Gales and HENDRIX look-a-like and major "shredder" Dani Robinson  A+

The Set list: A blistering 3-hour show kicked off promptly at 9pm with a stage introduction from Janie Hendrix, The President of Experience Hendrix, LLC. She spoke of Jimi's early references to the "Electric Church."  The "Electric Church concept was the simple formula of a rockin' jam session featuring accomplished musicians to connect people by way of music!

The legendary bassist, Billy Cox the ONLY player with the exception of Jimi Hendrix himself to be an active member of both the "The Jimi Hendrix Experience" and Band Of Gypsys took center stage to Rock out STONE FREE! Guitarist, singer Dani Robinson who best resembled Jimi himself in a real back to the future' 1968 moment,  sent shivers through a sold out pack house at Harrah's Concert Venue.  The only protest I may have had was that Dani Robinson, who at one point was wailing on guitar with his tongue, was not on stage throughout the 3-hour non stop performance. I have to believe it would have taken the focus off the other all-star players.  A

My personal Hendrix Favorite moments: Eric Johnson wailing on FOXY LADY, Johnson and powerful frontman Noah Hunt performing EZY RYDER, A rockin' Hendrix classic HEAR MY TRAIN A COMIN' and the finale of RED HOUSE featuring Buddy Guy, Billy Cox and Brad Whitford! I loved the coolness of Buddy Guy performing the Muddy Waters classic, LOUISIANA BLUES! WOW! A+++

Stage energy: From the opening featuring Cox and Robinson, to Eric Johnson, Eric Gales, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd wailing on his axe' one-handed at times, the players appeared to feeling the high of performing the rock God that is Jimi Hendrix. Johnson remarked to the audience "what a gift it was to be present and able to perform that music for us!" A+

Crowd Response: Like most casino audiences, it was a sit down affair. At times, various performers had to remind people they were at a rock concert and they appreciated a rowdy response. It was clearly a sold out theater of classic rock enthusiasts who appreciated the level of play on stage. C+

Overall: The music of Jimi Hendrix will never fade or lose its appeal. It has transcended generations of fans! From 17-70, the house was rockin' to EXPERIENCE HENDRIX! A+

Thanks to the legendary Billy Cox and his lovely wife who chatted with us for a time before show even posing with my resident 19 year old Hendrix fan for a picture. Billy is a total class act who not only performed flawlessly but had free time for any fan wanting to get close. He does this every night!!!!!A++++

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Concert Review: THE MACHINE

The Machine-Levoy Theater 11/9/13




PINK FLOYD fans in the Southern New Jersey and Tri-state region are no longer worried that the originators of this music some 46 years ago have been caught up in a 33 year disconnect. THE MACHINE took a packed house at the Levoy Theater in Millville, NJ back in a 40 year time warp! WOW! I personally felt overjoyed to be strapped in my seat and being transported back to the "dark side" of 1973! I was sitting in a Pink Floyd concert watching the band in it's youthful heyday! I felt young and carefree!

THE MACHINE featured a high-powered 19-song set spanning the decades of the iconic fathers of ethereal ROCK, Pink FLOYD! OK, let's look beyond the opening number, Have a Cigar, select cuts from The Dark Side Of The Moon including Speak To Me/Breathe and Time to The Final Cut, a radio station fan requested Shine On (You Crazy Diamond) Parts I-V, and a fully sensory satisfying version of Pigs (Three Different Ones). A++

The second set after a brief intermission spanned the decades in flow to a perfect cadence. MONEY opened from the 1973 iconic release Dark Side Of The Moon (1973), then a time machine visit to the 1980's with The Happiest Days OF Our Lives/Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2. From 1980, our pleasurable journey made a brief stop to 1994 and What Do You Want From Me (The Division Bell release) then we were off into the stratosphere, feeling tremendous G-Force, landing on my birthday, October 25, 1969, the day of release for Ummagguma and a totally cool Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun!

Can we get another.........WOW!   A++

The Encore: One Of These dAYS!!! Run Like Hell from the WALL! My favorite instrumental from seasoned musicians in present day giving a proper rite of passage AND life to timeless Rock classics enjoyed by a crowd from 12-70**

The Crowd: Families! Generations of Pink Floyd fans. Dads and young teenage sons and daughters wearing matching Pink Floyd t-shirts and jackets! Couples on date night with matching Floyd attire. I was standing in the lobby before show when a white haired gentleman shuffled by ever so slowly in a metal walker for assistance. He was wearing a Dark Side Of The Moon T-Shirt and matching hoodie!  They roared and sang all around me, all evening! A++

Thanks to promoter Bob Rose for his hospitality! Lauren at the Levoy Theater and WZXL radio listeners who participated in our request a song from the band contest, John Baker, Taylor Henry and Al Reichebach.

WHAT a fantastic experience! The MACHINE is the real deal  A+++  

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Concert Review: JOHN FOGERTY Rocks Borgata!

John Fogerty: The Borgata Event Center 11/2/13

The John Fogerty "Wrote A Song For Everyone" Tour barreled into Atlantic City
and ruled the Rock N Roll universe to the delight of a sold out house!

Highlight: NO Opening band! ALWAYS a plus. A Rock guitar legend with 42 years of hits doesn't need to warm the crowd up. He opened his very cool 29-song set with a blistering version of Traveling Band and promptly announced he was featuring his iconic album Cosmo's Factory! A+



Cosmo's Factory, originally released on July 25, 1970 featured not only my fave' Travelin' Band but a 7 minute version of Ramble Tamble, The Roy Orbison classic Ooby Dooby, the hit single Looking Out My Back Door, The Bo Diddley classic Before You Accuse Me (also a later hit for Eric Clapton), Run Through The Jungle, a chilling rendition of Who'll Stop The Rain and a very cool, bluesy I heard It Through The Grapevine! Cosmo's Factory: A

Fogerty was a colorful story teller, connecting his song writing and hit making to events in his life.

From listening to the legendary bluesmen as a young boy, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Bo Diddley to seeing a young newcomer on the TV scene in the 1950's, Elvis Presley, Fogerty relayed his musical inspirations as a child to a man child who just loves to write rock songs and play em' back!" The sold out auditorium responded in loud applause! Fogerty Storytelling: A

John Featured his 1980's solo hits, including Centerfield, featuring his signature Louisville Slugger 6-string!
Fogerty showed video clips of old time New York Yankees games, Fogerty's stint at an Oakland A's fantasy camp and pictures of his kids "hittin' the ball" during little games. "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play" AND the Rock legend DID just that! A+

My personal favorite Susie Q was slick, bluesy and air guitar worthly and the rockin' Roy Orbison cover Oh Pretty Woman simply blew away the Van Halen hit version, hearing it up close and personal.

Fogerty featured other great hits including the Viet Nam War Protest song Fortunate Son and closed with a killer encore of Bad Moon Rising and Proud Mary. The crowd went crazy!!

John Fogerty's latest release is a collection of his all time classic hits done by other artists. Wrote A Song For Everyone features: Fortunate Son by The Foo Fighters, Born On The Bayou by Kid Rock, Who'll Stop The Rain by Bob Seger and Almost Saturday Night by Keith Urban! other superstars on the new CD are Zac Brown Band and country's best Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert and R&B star Jennifer Hudson also contributed. The Fogerty written Mystic Highway was featured in concert! A

John Fogerty offers an interactive contest at all his show stops: fans who purchase the new CD Wrote A Song For Everyone at the merchandise stand automatically qualifies for a random drawing to win an autographed signature John Fogerty Electric Guitar! Proceeds of CD sales go to Shriners Hospitals for Children, a longtime charity of Fogerty's benefitting medical attention and treatment for children whose families can't afford it. A FANTASTIC effort by a Fantastic artist! A++

Overall: The crowd, who stayed seated through most of the show to my disappointment came to life toward the end and were dancing in the aisles for the encore finale: Proud Mary! It was a well behaved, less intoxicated crowd than I'm used to but a delightful experience all around Audience: B+

Show energy and musicianship also featuring drumming legend Kenny Aronoff: A+++

John Fogerty wraps up his tour with a three night engagement in New York City November 12-13-14. For that hard to find RoCKER on your holiday/Christmas shopping list, an affordable ticket to see John Fogerty may be the right choice!