All posts tagged: Concerts

A Warped Tour: One Lunachick’s Life on the Road

It was 1999, a full-on, hot and sweaty Summer. We were getting ready to go on the infamous Vans Warped Tour that is ironically — or un-ironically — touring for the very last time this year. By “we,” I mean me and my BFF’s — three friends from Laguardia High School with a big sister from another mister who, in 1987, started an all-female band called the Lunachicks. We did it for shits and giggles, but it became an accidental career. All of our favorite local bands had broken up, died from heroin overdoses, or other accidents, or literally just disappeared into the ether. (That happened, but that’s another story.) So we figured we’d just make our own thing. Each one of us — Squid, Gina, Sindi and me — all had good, diverse musical tastes. We liked everything from Funkadelic to The Runaways to The Stooges, to Black Sabbath to KISS…. Just for starters. And we just thought playing in a band would be a good time. By 1999 we had been doing it …

In Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour, Expect The Unexpected

(Photo: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott) Where were you when you first heard Madonna? It’s a question that pop fans who devoured the offerings put forth by MTV and top-40 radio during the ’80s and ’90s can probably answer without thinking. Mine: “Borderline,” off her self-titled debut and an MTV staple thanks to its video, which mixed high art and graffiti and hopscotch. The song’s wounded, yet bubbly production made me dance; Madonna’s effortless cool gave me a glimpse at what bohemian adulthood might be like. The songs of hers that I probably remember best, though, are the ones on her 1986 album True Blue, which served as the official warm-up album for a dance class I took during sixth grade; any mention of the pugilistic actor Jimmy Cagney, to whom Madonna dedicated that album’s feisty “White Heat,” flashes me back to the afternoons of leotards and stretching at the barre. 30 years on, the Material Girl still packs stadiums around the world. No matter what era of Madonna one remembers most fondly — the …

Your Weekend: Big Rock Shows, Small Gigs & Everything in Between

Music matters to me more than most things in life, and live music has changed me — my physical state, my mind, and yes, my heart and soul — on more occasions than I can count. Wherever you are, whatever genre you love, you can find live music pretty much anywhere. (Although you lucky ducks in places like Austin, NYC and New Orleans pretty much just have to walk out your door.) Plus, now that there’s an inexhaustible supply of live music on the internet? Who even needs to even go out? Well, sometimes I do. Hence… Big Rock Shows Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden is the show I’m sorriest I missed this summer, mostly because of my deep love for Chris Cornell. This weekend, the retro-awesome double bill rolls into Woodlands, TX on Saturday night and Dallas on Sunday. Mötley Crüe brings their final tour with special guest Alice Cooper into Pelham, AL tonight, Alpharetta, GA tomorrow, and Tampa on Sunday. Madness — and a lot of fun — is a guarantee for this one. The …

What Makes an Amazing Live Show? It’s All in the Secret Sauce

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) A hot damp breeze blew across the infield as a bank of dark clouds rolled in. The crowd collectively braced against the first fat drops of rain. On stage, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss moved through a set of songs from their collaborative album, Raising Sand, with Plant’s grizzled tenor the salty counterpoint to Krauss’ angelic soprano. No doubt, this was a good show. Then the whole damn thing kicked up about a thousand notches as the band played the opening bars to the Zeppelin classic “The Battle of Evermore.” The raucous crowd fell silent. Grown men had tears in their eyes as they recognized a song that had meant so much to them back in the day. The wind whipped through Krauss’ hair, her image huge on the screens that flanked the stage, her voice wrapping around the tune like a cashmere throw as Plant growled in jagged harmony. At that point, the performance entered some other plane entirely, far above the dusty N’Orleans racetrack where we stood, transfixed. In the …

In Defense of Parrotheads — Really, There Is a Defense

Parrotheads on the loose. (Photo courtesy Jody Jones) Oh, haters. You just love to hate on my boy Jimmy Buffett. Do you think he’s too pedestrian? Too conformist? Too old? Too old school? Too silly? I can’t seem to figure it out. Perhaps you’ve only heard the ubiquitous party anthems “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise”. They’re simple, harmless songs. Sure, they can get annoying — but anything can, if you hear it too much. Buffett has penned tons of those types of tunes— songs like “One Particular Harbor” and “Boat Drinks”. It’s all good fun. And those of us who dig him? We really love this shit. We like being transported to a place where sand in your shoes and waves crashing on the beach removes us from the mundane. I have to credit my brother-in-law for introducing me to Buffett when I was 18.  Just beginning college, I was struggling with my mother’s imminent death, and Buffett took the edge off by giving me an escape. Ed took me to concerts and I found a …

Why I Stopped Being a Rock Critic

Buzzcock Steve Garvey and Margit (Photo courtesy the late, great Mpozi Tobert) Adjust the radio dial to find the right frequency. Seek the perfect sound, skip past that uncomfortable crackle…. It’s 1975 and I’m a grade schooler, snuggled under my Marimekko sheets, waking up to my little clock radio. I’m tuned into Philadelphia’s WFIL-AM, listening: Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing,” ABBA’s “S.O.S.” and then….Bowie. More specifically, David Bowie’s “Golden Years.” The song snaps and thumps through the Solid State and I recognize, for the first time, that I love music. The righteous guitar riff, thudding bass drum, distant melodica and that bellowing, sinewy voice…it turns me on, like a radio. Music became my breath, my way of life. It relaxed me and it amped me up. I’d fall asleep to side two of Tattoo You. I’d dance in my bedroom to The Cars. I called i-92 to score tickets to The Police/Joan Jett/R.E.M/Madness at the old JFK Stadium (yes, that was a line-up). I’d make mixtapes for boyfriends. My life could be charted in musical moments. …

A Music Journalist’s Go-To Spots in London

View from the London Eye (Photo courtesy Michael Moskovitz) While known for its legendary performances, sticky floors and the place made famous by The Who poster, the Marquee Club will be forever remembered as the spot I met my UK BFF Katrina Kelly. We met in the graffiti’d dressing room after a show for a band we loved, Twenty Flight Rockers. Katrina was dating the guitarist Ian, while I was seeing the drummer, Mark. It was 1986, my summer abroad, and when I wasn’t in class or interning for Melody Maker, Katrina and I were inseparable. I was 19 and she was 22, and we were living on a stretched budget in the Kensington section of London. We lived for record release parties, gallery openings, guest lists, concerts and free drinks. We knew a ton of doormen, bartenders and musicians. Fast-forward 28 years and our tastes have matured and our wallets are a bit little fuller. Katrina and I still love being together in London, but we experience it with more sophistication. Since 2010, I’ve …

When Booze Became More Important Than Bob Dylan

(Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) One could argue that Bob Dylan was not at his peak live performance level when I saw him in concert in 2005. Granted, this is coming from a one-time Deadhead who believed Jerry Garcia was a genius, even when he forgot lyrics and bumped his head against his microphone. But I was in no position to judge. While Dylan’s legendary, scratchy voice echoed from the stage, I was in the lobby of the Beacon Theater, practically begging the bartender to hurry up. Pour me my beers, man, and fast. It was just taking too long. My mother and cousin, who were both inside enjoying “Visions of Joanna” and now “Highway 61 Revisited,” were surely starting to wonder what was taking so much time. Music had become something that sounded so good when I was under the influence, like a triumphant anthem applauding my inebriation, but so dull when I was sober. And what was taking so much time? The musty, slightly weed-scented lobby was practically empty since Dylan was on stage. Getting …

Start Me Up: My Very First Stones Concert Was a Rite of Passage

(Photo courtesy Jennifer Ha) My Dad did a killer Mick Jagger imitation in which he put his hands on his hips, stuck out his tush and made fish lips. I had a patch with big, fat Rolling Stones lips on the back of my jeans, stitched on the right ass pocket. We all laughed when my Dad once brought a seat warmer to one of their stadium gigs. When Some Girls came out, I got special permission from my parents to stay up late and watch them on SNL. As you can see, this love for the Rolling Stones was a family affair. In 1981, when the tour for Tattoo You was announced, I was finally old enough to go see them in person. The question was with who, and how. They’d only scheduled one date in Florida. Orlando was too far away for me to go with friends unchaperoned. My older brother and sister had left the house, and over the years I had watched them go to concert after concert, to see whatever …

Front to Backlist

Peace and Love, Man: Two Books Revive the Free Wheeling ‘60s and ‘70s

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) The very first concert I ever attended was of the classical type. I was nine or 10, and my best friend and I were being allowed to stay up late to see a famous symphony orchestra play in our hometown with our violin teacher. My mother took extra care helping me select a dress and shine my mary janes, which let me know that this was a big event. I’ve never lost that feeling of a live music performance being a big event. Whether listening to alt country in Austin, hearing opera in Berlin, or dancing on the grass at Wolf Trap, concerts are different and special. Spectators become part of something as the band or singer or ensemble attempts to connect with the audience. The iconic American example is, of course, an event that many of us were too young to experience: Woodstock, 1969. Fortunately, for your summer reading delectation, there is a new book out about the festival, and it may make you feel (almost) as if you were there. …

Margit’s Note: Lighters Up

(Photo: Eric R./Flickr) In the ‘80s and into the ‘90s, stadium concerts were smoky, sweaty affairs. Pot was prolific, security was meh, the shows legendary. You’d always ditch your ticketed seat to try and push to the front and, once arriving at the third row, jettison one fluorescent polka dotted earring at the stage, nearly missing Simon Le Bon’s butt. Regaling everyone with that moment for months. A quick list of concert highs and lows: First Concert: Paging Dr. Noah Drake. Rick Springfield. There, I said it. Nope nothing even remotely cool. Best Concert: Too many to even try to quantify. But… a nearly five-hour Parliament Funkadelic extravaganza at Philly’s Trocadero in 1993, presided by George Clinton wearing a Sponge Bob Square Pants bed sheet. Give up the funk. Worst Moment at a Concert: Someone throwing up on my back at a Bruce Springsteen show at the Spectrum. What was your first, best, worst concert? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook with #firstconcert #bestconcert or #worstconcert  — we’ll share! This week, we’re …

The TueDo List: Cool, Easy (Even Cheap!) Stuff to Do with Dad

(FIFA 2014 World Cup Opening Ceremonies/Photo Courtesy FIFA) It’s Father’s Day weekend, so dads are what it’s all about. Here’s what to do for him, with him — or both — this weekend. Movie Dad Sometimes simple is the sweetest, and and it’s possible that your dad may just be up for a movie date — whether it’s just with you, your kids, or the whole fam. Godzilla’s out there for the monster-movie fan, Spiderman and X-Men for your favorite superhero lover, and Grand Budapest Hotel for the father whose tastes are a little more eclectic. Don’t forget to treat him to dinner beforehand. If your dad is more of a homebody, there are Father’s Day deals on Roku, too. The top of the line version connects to more than 1,000 channels (including everything on Netflix) and works with Android and iPhone to turn those into streaming devices, as well. If your recipient is anything like my dad, make sure you throw in the hookup. (Roku.com, $40-90) Musical Dad Bonaroo — what could be termed the …