Wednesday, May 9, 2018

George Thorogood Live in Enoch May 7th 2018

On Monday night Janis, Char, Buzzard and I went to the George Thorogood and The Destroyers concert at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta. This venue is just in the outskirts of Edmonton. Ya, yet another Monday night concert, damn! I really had no intention of seeing George again, as I have seen him seven times before, but the three people I went with had never seen him, so I said, ya count me in. Hell it had been a while since I have seen Thorogood play a venue where you could actually get up and dance and drink. The last two times I have seen him was at the Jubilee Auditorium which is a soft seat theatre venue not the best place to see someone like George. And George always puts on a good show, and just maybe he would pull out an acoustic guitar and play a few songs, after all his 2017 album release Party Of One was an acoustic album. But as like every time I have seen him, that didn't happen. I guess when your tour is named Rock Party, there is going to be no solo acoustic stuff, too bad!

There was no opening act for this show, so George and his long time band The Destroyers hit the stage right at 8 o'clock as advertised on the tickets. What did surprise me this time around was that he opened with a song called "Ain't Coming Home Tonight" a new song that was written by his guitar player Jim Suhler and was released as a limited edition Record Store Day 7 inch single, the A side of this single is a cover song called "Shot Down" originally done by garage rockers The Sonics, he also did this song on this night. Which was very surprising, as George has been playing the same songs forever live. So kind of a nice surprise to hear them two.

Of course you got all the songs one would expect at a Thorogood show, "Who Do You Love", "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", "Night Time", "Gear Jammer", "I Drink Alone". "Bad To The Bone" you get the idea, all the hits he has been playing for thirty plus years, some of them 40 years. That don't seem to phase him or his band as George looked to be having one hell of a time, smiling, rocking, Thrusting his hips and generally just rocking the fuck out. And at 68 years old, he has still got the moves and his voice is the same old rough blues voice we have all come to know and love.

For the encore George came out on stage sporting a Canada t-shirt which got a good rise out of the sold out audience of about 1200 would be my guess. he closed out the night by playing "Move It On Over" and "Born To Be Bad". The crowd and myself would have loved a few more songs, but that was it, a 90 minute set and no more. As he was leaving the stage an instrumental version of the Canadian anthem played, a nice touch. All and all another fun Thorogood show, but if you have seen him once, you have seen him a hundred times. A great party band, especially if you get to see them in a drinking venue where you can get up and shake your ass. Good times!!!

George Thorogood at the River Cree Casino.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Altameda Live in Edmonton May 3rd 2018

On Thursday night my concert buddy Buzzard and I went to the Altameda show at The Common here in Edmonton. This was a free show presented by Pabst Blue Ribbon and would be my fourth time seeing local rockers Altameda. I was first introduced to this band at last years Record Store Day after party, and have been hooked since.

When we got to the venue it looked to us like there was no line up, so we went and had a few beers down by the tracks, what we didn't realize when we came back to the venue was that the show was upstairs in the restaurant, not in the basement, which is called 9910. So when we did get in there were no god seats and that this restaurant was kind of posh and packed. We did manage to find a table to sit at, but we couldn't see fuck all, and the place was loud with everyone chatting, shit this wasn't going to be good. Seemed like a stupid place to have a show. Very hipster like.

The opening band Jared And The Mill out of Phoenix, Arizona who are touring across Canada with Altameda. The tour actually started on the west coast and they were about 5-6 shows in to the tour. Jared And The Mill are a band that to me sounded a lot like Mumford And Sons, not my jam at all, I didn't care for them, but they did seem to grab a lot of peoples attention, just not mine.

Next up was Altameda, by the time they came on the place had thinned out a bit and we were able to shimmy ourselves up to the front of the stage, this was much better then where we had started the night. As like the previous three times I have seen them, they were incredible. Led by singer-songwriter Troy Snaterse who can write one hell of a song and is great on guitar and has a cool stage presence. The band did a lot of songs from their debut album Dirty Rain and some new songs from their forthcoming album, the album is wrote and recorded, the band is currently shopping it around to labels, hoping for a late summer fall release. A couple of the songs they did from Dirty Rain were "Queen Of The Street", "Borrowed Suit, Secondhand Dress" what an awesome song that one is, though I think they are all great songs, but that one really sticks out for me. As did "Blackmarket Blues". One of the new songs they played called "Time Hasn't Changed Me" has real Wilco vibe to it. To close out the night they played an old Jackson Browne song "Runnin' On Empty". This truly is a band to watch for, amazing music and musicians. For fans of Petty, Ryan Adams and Wilco. Good times!!!

Altameda at The Common.

To purchase their album checkout their bandcamp page by clicking here.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Uriah Heep Live in Edmonton April 30th 2018

On Tuesday night my buddy Buzzard and I went to the Uriah Heep concert at Union Hall. Uriah Heep are an English rock band that formed in 1969, considered one of the first heavy metal/prog-rock bands. I didn't realize til after I bought my tickets that there was only one original member left in the band, that being guitarist Mick Box. I was starting to think maybe I shouldn't have got tickets for this show, but I was committed now, so to the show I go.

We missed the opening band Alleviate who are from Northern Alberta.

Next up was Uriah Heep, after looking into who was in the band, I was surprised to see that this line-up has been together since 2013, and that the lead vocalist Bernie Shaw ( whom is Canadian) and keyboard player/vocalist Phil Lanzen have been in the band since 1986. Rounding out the band is Russell Gilbrook on drums and Davey Rimmer on bass. So this band are no slouches.

The show started with Uriah Heep's very first single "Gypsy" from their debut 1970 album ...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble, what a sweet way to start the show, the classic keyboard sound and then the Mick Box riff, and away we go!!! Bernie Shaw on vocals sounded amazing, he sang the same way as original vocalist David Byron (RIP). David passed in 1985.

That song was followed up by two songs from the 1971 album Look At Yourself, the title song and "Shadow Of Grief", other songs played were "The Magician's Birthday" which went on for a while, very proggy and fun, "The Wizard", again sounding awesome, "July Morning" and "Lady In Black", seems the band were playing heavily from the Look At Yourself album, but then damn near the whole set except for a couple numbers, most of the songs were from the 1970-73 era, classic Uriah Heep stuff. And there was just no way that they were going to get away without playing "Easy Livin'", which is what they played for the encore. Again, amazing!

What I also really liked about watching Uriah Heep was how much fun Mick and the boys looked to be having. Mick was smiling and ripping it up all night, and Bernie on vocals was having the time of his life singing these classic Uriah Heep songs, and can't say enough about keyboard player Phil Lanzen pounding the keys and singing his heart out as well. And this was their 48th of 50 shows for this tour, so well road tested and maybe just happy to see the end of the tour coming. But no, in all honesty you could just feel a vibe from the guys that they were having a lot of fun playing this music.

The crowd of about 300 people, and I don't think there was a person there under the age of 40, and they were eating this old school rock n' roll up. I used to think of Uriah as a Deep Purple light, but have so much more respect for this band and their music after seeing them live. A really great show and am so glad I went. Good times!!!

Uriah Heep at Union Hall in Edmonton.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Steve Miller Band / Peter Frampton Live in Edmonton April 21st 2018

I know I'm slow on my concert reviews but damn things are busy and hell I have no deadline, so here is my review of the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton show at Rogers Place I saw a couple Saturdays ago. I went to this show with Janis and my buddies Buzzard and Eor.

I've never seen either band, and had they played separate shows, I probably wouldn't have gone to either one. But as a double bill, hell ya, count me in. Both these artists were huge in the 70's.

The night started with Peter Frampton, a British musician who got his start with the band Humble Pie back in 1969. He really hit his stride with the album Frampton Comes Alive! released in 1976, one of the biggest live albums ever having sold over 8 million copies in the US alone. I think everyone has heard or owns a copy of this.

Peter and his band hit the stage opening with three songs that I didn't know, I was starting to think this might not be a very good show. But by the third or fourth song he finally played a song I knew, that being "Show Me The Way" from the live album, now he had the fans excited. After that song he did an instrumental version of the Soundgarden song "Black Hole Sun", that surprised me. Frampton went on to tell a story about the first time he heard this song and had to pull off to the side of the road while driving and just listen and take in the song. He later befriended Chris Cornell the lead singer of Soundgarden and has even performed this song with him before. Something else I didn't know as that Peter had recorded this song for an all instrumental album Peter released in 2006 called Fingerprints, which also went on to win a Grammy in 2007. It was a cool version he and his band performed, he even pulled out the talk-box at the end of the song to sing the last few lines of the song. When Peter used the talk box you really knew you were at a Frampton concert then!

After that he played more songs from Frampton Comes Alive!, "(I'll Give You) Money" and "Baby I Love Your Way)", followed by "Do You Feel Like We Do" which really had the crowd moving and singing along, the song went on for a while too. Frampton closed out his set with a song he did with Humble Pie "I Don't Need No Doctor", that was awesome. Peter's hour long set started slow but only got better as the show went on. At 68 years old Peter looks great and can still play. I quite enjoyed his set.

Peter Frampton live at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The Steve Miller Band were the headliners, opening the show with the songs "The Stake" and "Swingtown" from his 1977 album Book Of Dreams. Their stage was very sparse with next to nothing on the stage. Also at this show which I should have mentioned earlier, there were no large screens showing the band. It was kind of old school, as most bands now have screens for those with shitty seats, like we had.

It seemed like every song Steve Miller played was a hit, it was like listening to his Greatest Hits album, another iconic record that every classic rock fan probably owns. Songs such as "Abracadabra", "Take the Money and Run", "Dance Dance Dance" which did have lots of the audience up and doing. "Space Cowboy", "The Joker", "Rock N Me", "Fly Like an Eagle" it was just one hit after another. I kind of forgot how many big hits he had in his day. A cool part of the show was when he brought Peter Frampton out and did three blues songs together, jamming them out. Peter and Steve are really quite good guitar players.

For the encore Steve and his band belted out "Jungle Love", "Threshold" and "Jet Airliner", see what I mean, it was one big song after another through out his whole set. The crowd of about 8,000 were eating it up. Looked to me like Steve stole the show, but for me it was Frampton that I enjoyed more. All and all a great double bill, despite having shitty seats. Good times!!!

Steve Miller Band live at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Steve Miller and Peter Frampton jamming out some blues covers.

T-shirt front.

T-shirt back.