Sunday, September 16, 2018

Jimmy Eat World Live in Edmonton Sept.8th 2018

Last Saturday I ended up going to the Sonic Field Day Festival held at Victoria Park here in Edmonton. I had absolutely no intention of going to this show, as from what I saw of the line up, the only bands I even knew were Jimmy Eat World and the Arkells. This is a festival that the local alternative radio station here Sonic 102.9 put on. They use to put on a tow day festival called Sonic Boom, but that got cancelled a few years ago. Looks like they have brought it back to life under a new name and only one day now. I guess I don't know much about these new bands as I don't listen to the station.

Well, as luck would have it, a buddy of mine "Metal" invited me to the festival as he had an extra ticket and was only interested in seeing Jimmy Eat World as well. So late Saturday afternoon I met him and some of his buddies at a local watering hole for some pre-drinks before we made our way to the show. I had been into the drinks for the better part of the day, so I was primed to get out and have some fun. After a few drinks we caught the shuttle bus to the festival site and got there about ten minutes before Jimmy Eat World started, talk about perfect timing.

As soon as we got there, I b lined it to find a drink and use the can, while I was doing that, I lost the whole damn group. But I made my way closer to the stage just as JEW were starting. As I was rocking out to the band, I turned around and lo and behold, there's the group I had came with. So that was cool, we all got to hang out and rock together, I figured I had lost them and I was on my own for the night, but nope.

I really don't know the band Jimmy Eat World all that well, I know a few of their songs, but not enough to say I am a huge fan or anything, just appreciate the pop punk songs that I have heard. Of course I think everyone has heard their biggest song "The Middle" which of course they played last, but man did that ever have the crowd singing along. That song really hit a nerve with me at this show with what's been going on in my life these days. Especially the chorus...

"It just takes some time
Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride
Everything, everything will be just fine
Everything, everything will be all right

I really enjoyed their set and wish they had played longer. After their set we headed to the back of the crowd close to the bar. Sadly they ran out of beer, which seems ridiculous for a music festival to run out of beers, so it was into the whiskey for a bit, until they ran out of that as well. Next up was rum. So needless to say we were all getting a pretty good buzz on by the time the last band of the evening the Arkells came on.

Jimmy Eat World at Victoria Park.

The Arkells a band out of Hamilton, Ontario closed out the festival. I had seen this band once before years ago when they opened for Wilco. I've never really listened to them and know next to nothing about them, so I wasn't expecting much. The gang I was hanging out at the show were all by the bar bullshitting and drinking as I was too, but I was actually surprised by the Arkells. They were entertaining and I had no idea they were as popular as they are. The band caught my attention here and there and overall were alright. Would I rush out to buy their albums or see them again, probably not, but kudos to them for getting as big as they have.

Overall this was a fun night out with a great bunch of people. Thank you Metal and JFK and rest of the group, I needed that. After the festival we caught the shuttle bus downtown and continued on with our evening with more drinks and laughs. It was nice to hang with an old friend and make new friends. Good times!!!

The Arkells at Victoria Park.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Seven Inch Sunday (Alice Cooper)

It's been a while since I have done a Sunday seven inch single. So today I will write about a Alice Cooper seven inch single I picked up last weekend at the Dead Vinyl Society monthly record swap. I had to pick this up as the cover itself is hilarious. Alice looks very John Travolta like on it.

This is a single that was released in 1977 featuring the lead off single "You And Me" from Alice Cooper's 1977 album Lace and Whiskey. This song is a ballad and went to number three here in Canada and number nine in the US. It was the last top ten single Cooper had until the song "Poison" from his Trash album 12 years later. Alice performed this song on the Muppet Show in 1978. I have included a video of said performance.

The "You And Me" official video.

The song "You And Me" performed on The Muppet Show 1978.

On the B side of this single is another song from the Lace and Whiskey album, a song called "It's Hot Tonight"

Monday, September 3, 2018

Alice Cooper Live in Edmonton August 23rd 2018

Well it has been well over a week now since Janis and I went to the sold out Alice Cooper show here in Edmonton at Jubilee Auditorium. This would be my seventh time seeing Alice in concert. This tour was dubbed a Paranormal Evening With, therefore no opening act, just Alice Cooper in all his glory. Paranormal is the album Alice released last year in which he is touring for.

Alice and his band opened with a song called "Brutal Planet", a song I wasn't that familiar with, it's the opening song and title song from his 2000 release. It was a rocking song and instantly had the sold out audience on their feet right from the start, there was no sitting down at this show. After that song it was right into the classics, which is what everyone was there for. "No More Mr. Nice Guy", "Under My Wheels", "Billion Dollar Babies" and "Be My Lover" were up next. What an awesome start to the show. Alice's back up band were excellent. Nita Strauss who has played in Cooper's band since 2014 was especially entertaining, she didn't stop running around the stage the whole show, she is an amazing guitar player and looked to be having a lot of fun. The rest of the band which included Chuck Garric on bass who has played in the band for the past 11 years, Ryan Roxie on guitar and has been since 1996, Tommy Henriksen also on guitar and been in the band since 2011 and rounding out the band is drummer Glen Sobel who has also been in the band since 2011. So this band was tight. And of course you have Alice Cooper in all his make-up glory who at the age of 70 still brings it to the stage every performance. His voice sounded great and still pulls out all the theatrics he has been come to known for. The guillotine and electric chair are being used for this tour, no noose hanging this time around.

After the four classics songs in a row it was time for some newer songs which sounded great at fit into the set list good, it did give me time to run up and grab a drink. One song he did do that really surprised me was the song "Serious" from his very underrated 1978 album From The Inside. Nita Strauss ripped out a decent guitar solo, but to be honest guitar solos, or any solos for that matter really just bore me. After her solo it was the song "Poison" next, this is a song I have always hated since it's release on Alice's 1989 album Trash. Well on this night I actually enjoyed this song with Alice belting it out and pointing his wand at members in the audience and singing it with some real attitude, and of course the crowd loves this song, and I now too don't mind it.

Alice brought out the electric chair in which he was put into during the song "Feed My Frankenstein" in which he turned into giant Frankenstein. Then it was two classic song from his album Welcome To My Nightmare, the songs "Cold Ethyl" and "Only Women Bleed", two songs in which Alice still can stir up controversy with. Alice was throwing around a rag doll and such. Then it was time "Ballad of Dwight Fry" in which Alice was put into a straight jacket, I love this song. Alice closed out his set with more classics like "Killer", "I Love The Dead" and "I'm Eighteen" and then for the encore "School's Out". A wickedly fun and entertaining show as usual from Alice Cooper and his band. Good times!!!

Alice Cooper at the Jubilee Auditorium.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite Live in Edmonton August 21st 2018

On Tuesday night my buddy Buzzard and I went to the Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite concert at the Jubilee Auditorium. We got the tickets for 20 dollars as part of Ticketmaster's summer concert deal they had, so the price was right for sure. I would have probably paid full price for this show as I really like the two albums these two have done together. The 2013 Grammy Award winning album Get Up! and this years release No Mercy In This Land. This would be my third time seeing Ben Harper in concert and second time seeing Charlie Musselwhite live, but first time seeing the two perform together.

When we got to the venue you could tell right away that this show didn't sell very well. When we went to go to our seats which were on the second balcony, hey what do you want for 20 dollars. As we got to the first balcony there was staff there telling people that seats in the second balcony had been upgraded to first balcony thanks to the promoter. So we ended up with seats in the third row of first balcony, pretty decent seats actually. So the venue was only about half full for this show.

The night started with opening band Hey,King from Los Angeles, California. I had never heard of the band before so we figured we would check them out. The are an indie rock band led by Natalie London and Taylor Plecity. Apparently they have an album coming out this fall that was produced by Ben Harper. We listened to about half their set and then went for beers. I found them to be kind of middle of the road music. They didn't do much for me.

Hey,King at the Jubilee.

Headlining the night was Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, I love this collaboration. I'm more a fan of the duo then I am of Ben Harper's solo stuff. Ben's bluesy soulful voice works so well with Charlie wailing away on the harp. The show opened with the song "When I Go" which is also the opening song from their latest release No Mercy In This Land. Right from the get go you got the feeling that this was going to be a kick ass rocking blues show. They followed up that song with "Bad Habits" which is also the second song from the same album. I was starting to think that maybe they were going to play the album in sequence, but they didn't, after that it was a Charlie Musselwhite song. Holy shit Charlie can still play the harmonica like a champ, very impressive. This show would have been very cool to see in a small blues bar like Blues On Whyte, but nonetheless, they did a great job of making it feel like a blues bar.

What did bother me through out the show was the idiots that persisted on yelling shit between songs, like really, shut the hell up and let the musicians play there damn music without the stupid interruptions. I thought every song was amazing but there were a few stand out tracks for me like "I'm in I'm Out and I'm Gone", "Trust You to Dig My Grave", "Get Up!" and "The Bottle Wins Again". I really enjoyed this show and would go see them as duo again anytime. Good times!!!

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite at the Jubilee.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Ry Cooder Live in Edmonton Aug.11th 2018

Last Saturday my buddy Buzzard and I attended the Ry Cooder concert at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival. We had intended on going down to the show in the late afternoon, as Ry Cooder was scheduled to hit the stage at 9:30 so we thought we would go down checkout some of the other acts and some of the side stage performances and work shops. But as we had a few beers before the show downtown, it started to rain, go fucking figure, my luck with outdoor shows this summer isn't exactly very good. Well we weren't about to stand in the rain for four hours before Ry Cooder as there were no other acts that we really wanted to see. So we hung at the bar waiting for the rain to stop. Well that wasn't happening very quickly. We ended up sitting in the bar until 8:30 when the rain subsided enough and the act we wanted to see was to start in an hour, so that is when we made our way down to Gallagher Park. By the time we got there, the place was starting to thin out quite a bit, as I am sure most people had been there for the better part of the day and were getting tired of the rain. We got there in time to have a beer in the beer tent as there was no line up, which was a bonus. After our beer it was off to the hill to catch Ry Cooder. Because the crowd had thinned out so much due to the shitty weather, we were able to get within ten feet of the stage.

This would be my first time seeing the slide guitarist blues legend in concert, I have wanted to see him for many years and now I was going to get my chance. It was going to take longer then anticipated as his set was delayed by about 45 minutes, luckily it was only drizzling and not a down pour.

The show started with Ry Cooder sitting on a stool playing his slide guitar and belting out an unbelievable version of the Blind Willie Johnson song "Nobody's Fault But Mine" which was followed by two more songs from his latest release The Prodigal Son "Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right" and "Straight Street". After the new songs it was time for a song from his 1970 debut album a song called "Alimony" which had a lot of people singing along. Sharing the stage with Ry Cooder were The Hamiltones whom are three musicians from North Carolina. They added some soul and gospel sound to Ry Cooder's music, they were good but I myself found then to be a bit overbearing and taking away from Ry Cooder. I would much rather have seen just Ry Cooder play with his own band, but that's a minor complaint. The Hamiltones also did two songs without Ry.

Ry also played a couple older songs from the Bop Till You Drop album "The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor)" and "Little Sister". I was so impressed with Cooder's voice and his slide guitar playing was excellent. At times he reminded me a bit of Joe Walsh just with his facial expressions and the way he moved about the stage and of course his sense of humour. A great show and I really hope I get the chance to see Ry Cooder perform again in the near future.

After Ry Cooder's set there was still Michael Franti & Spearhead to play to close out the Saturday night of the Folk Fest, but we didn't bother staying for him as the weather sucked, it was wet and cold and I wasn't dressed properly for the elements as I had left home early in the day and wasn't prepared for the fall like conditions. All and all though it was a great hour long set and I got to see who I really wanted. Good times!!!

Ry Cooder at the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.