Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bonnie Raitt Live in Edmonton June 17th 2017

Saturday night I went to the Bonnie Raitt show at the Jubilee Auditorium here in Edmonton. This was my second time seeing Bonnie in concert. The first time I saw here was in 1998 when she opened for Eric Clapton here. In my opinion she stole the show, I always said I would go see her perform again. Well, almost twenty years later I got my chance, this time with her headlining on her "Dig In Deep Tour". And she didn't disappoint.

Playing an almost two hour show, at the age of 68 Bonnie hasn't lost a step at all, her voice sounded great as did her slide guitar playing and she looks damn good as well. The second song of the evening was an Inxs cover of the song "Need You Tonight" from her latest album Dig In Deep. She pulled out a few cover songs on this night including a B.B. King and John Prine song. Both songs sounded wicked, Bonnie sings with a lot of heart and soul. During the encore she covered the Talking Heads song "Burning Down The House" which sounded great as well. Bonnie's back up band of musicians were stellar too. Of course it wasn't all cover songs, her own songs went over well too. All and all I thought it was an awesome show. Good times!!!

Bonnie Raitt setlist.

Bonnie Raitt at the Jubilee in Edmonton.

T-shirt front.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Tool Live in Edmonton June 13th 2017

On Tuesday night I finally got out to a concert at the new Coliseum (Rogers Place) here in Edmonton. The place has been open for almost a year already but there had been no shows that interested me until the Tool show.

This was my third time seeing Tool in concert. I didn't make it to the show to se the opener which was Crystal Method, missing them was no big deal to me as I am not a fan.

I almost didn't go to the show as it's been 11 years since the band has put out any new material, but having seen them twice before I knew how good of show this would be. I was waiting it out to see if I could get a good seat for the show, as tickets were expensive, so I didn't want a shitty seat. Well a week before the show I managed to get a decent seat. Now I really wish I had waited longer as tickets were going for dirt cheap a few days before the show, as low as 15 dollars US on stubhub and the likes. Hell, even outside the venue people were letting tickets go for cheap cheap. While I was outside the venue having a smoke a guy came up and bumbed a smoke off me and asked me who I was with. I told him I came to the show by myself, he then handed me a 150 dollar ticket for free and told me to enjoy the show. Fuck me, how I wish I didn't already spend the money on a ticket. I felt like a tool for having already spent the money on a ticket, damn!!!

Tool hit the stage promptly at 9pm opening with the song "Grudge" from their 2001 album Lateralus. The musicianship from the band was loud and incredible, with lead singer Maynard James Keenan standing in the background silhouetted by the light show singing away in his weird Robocop/Military outfit. I really wish he would come out to the front of the stage so the audience could actually see him sing, but this never happens with him. The band was tight but I found that the vocals could have been a bit higher in the mix, or maybe it was just where I was sitting.

As the show went on it was just a wall of sound and visuals. Tool is certainly a psychedelic band, which I dig, but you really should be in the right frame of mind for these guys (really high), which I wasn't. After about 75 minutes into the show, it all started to sound the same to me. I really wish there had been some new songs. They didn't play the two songs I really wanted to hear "The Pot" and "Rosetta Stoned" sadly. As the show went on the visuals got more weird and the light show and lasers got more intense. Maynard said very little to the crowd through out the show. It was fun watching the crowd at time losing their shit to some of the tunes, flailing about head banging and shouting along. They are obviously serious Tool fans, much more then I am that's for sure.

At times I loved the show and at times I was bored out of my mind, other then watching the light show. It was basically the same show I saw the last time they came through town. Would I go see the again, probably not, especially for the price I paid. I'd certainly wait it out longer next time for tickets and hope for a freebie or a real cheap ticket.

I got no pictures at this show as they were very strict about pictures being taken. Security were kept busy watching the crowd for anyone taking out there phone to take a picture. I didn't even try, not wanting to get kicked out after spending what I did for the ticket. Now that I think of it though, I should have taken pictures, if I got kicked out, hell I had another ticket in my pocket I could have used to get back in. Oh well, didn't happen.

All and all an alright show. Good times!!!

Setlist for Edmonton show.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Megadeth Beer

I finally found myself a bottle of the Megadeth beer yesterday at the local liquor store. I have been looking for this for quite sometime now. It's a Belgian style session ale that is brewed in Chambly, Quebec by Unibroue with an amazing label featuring the Megadeth mascot Vic Rattlehead. A tasty treat that I drank while out on a long hike. A beer well worth looking for.

Monday, May 29, 2017

R.I.P. Gregg Allman

Saturday afternoon while sitting around listening to tunes and having a few cold ones, I got the news of the passing of Gregg Allman at the age of 69 to liver cancer. In my opinion one of the best blues singers ever. This news struck me hard, therefore the rest of the late afternoon and evening, it was Allman Brothers Band and Gregg Allman solo albums played the res of the day. It was mourning and celebrating the great music of Gregg Allman, and especially the soulful voice of Mr. Allman. Absolutely beautiful!

I was introduced to the Allman Brothers Band by my buddy Buzzard back in 1990-91 or so after a night at his place drinking and listening to music. How did I not know of this band, well I guess I knew of them but never really gave them a proper listen. I was hooked after that night at Buzzard's. It was right around 1990-91 that the band had got back together after nine years of being apart. Now my buddy was a huge fan of the band and had never seen them play live before, so now that I was hooked on the band, we were both hoping to get the chance to see them perform live.

Well, as look would have it. The Allman Brothers Band put out a new album in 1994 called Where It All Begins. This album blew me away. From the song writing, the singing and the music, I was in awe of these guys. Not only that, this album came out at a time when I was going through some tough times. This album helped me through them times and will always be my favourite album of theirs. Six months after the release of Where It All Begins the band came through town on tour, playing the Edmonton Convention Centre. Of course we were all over this show. And the band didn't disappoint, playing a show that was over three hours long. Spot on musicianship, great crowd and good times. This show is still among my top ten shows I have ever been to.

Gregg Allman may you Rest In Peace! Thank you for the beautiful music and soulful voice. Wish I had seen you more then once, but am very thankful for the time I did get to experience you and your music live. RIP Mr. Allman. A sad day indeed.

Concert ad from the Edmonton show.

Ticket stub from the show.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

R.I.P. Chris Cornell

On Thursday morning I woke up to the sad and tragic news of the death of Chris Cornell the lead singer of Soundgarden and Audioslave. Hours later it was revealed that he had taken his own life. Chris had just performed with Soundgarden in Detroit. His death shook me more then I expected. The man had an amazing voice and was a voice of a generation a lot like Kurt Cobain was. Soundgarden was a band that my brother introduced me to back in 1989 with the album "Louder Than Love", I loved this album for its rawness. Then in 1991 Soundgarden released my favorite album of theirs "Badmotorfinger" another raw rocking album.

It was in the summer of 1994 that I finally got to see Soundgarden perform live when they played here in Edmonton at the Convention Centre when they were touring for their "Superunknown" album. This was an amazing show and probably the peak of Soundgarden. It was at this show that I saw for the first and only time a guy in a wheelchair crowd surfing. You don't forget memories like that.

Just when you think someone has life by the balls, he does the totally unexpected. Rest In Peace Chris Cornell, thank you for leaving behind all the great music. Your memory will live on. So sad!!! Condolences to his family, friends and his fans worldwide. You will be missed.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Helix and Kick Axe Live in Edmonton May 6th 2017

Last Saturday my Cuz and I went to the Helix and Kick Axe double bill at the Century Casino here in Edmonton. When I first saw heard of this show being announced I was excited to see it. Not only because it would be a fun show to see these two Canadian heavy metal bands play again, but it was also the very first concert I ever went to. Back in 1984 when I was a 14 year old I saw this exact same double bill play at the old Golden Garter here in E-Town. So for nostalgic reasons if anything I really wanted to go. But with tickets being 50 dollars it was out of my range with all the other shows I want to see this summer. But much to my surprise I was able to see this show for free, thanks very much to the drummer of Kick Axe Brian Gillstrom who was nice enough to put me on the guest list for the show. Now I was really stoked and excited about reliving my youth with this all Canadian metal double bill. Give me an R,O,C,K!!!! This was going to be a fun show.

My very fist concert ticket stub.

The first band of the evening was Regina band Kick Axe who are now based in Vancouver. This was my fourth time seeing them in concert and first time I have seen them since 1986. When I heard about this show I had to look into who was still in the band. Well, much to my surprise it was all originals from their classic line-up except for the lead singer. Now singing for Kick Axe is Daniel Nargang who replaces George Criston. So still in the band is Brian Gillstrom on drums, Victor Langen on bass, Ray Harvey on lead guitar and Larry Gillstrom on lead guitar.

The band was in fine form with guitarist Ray Harvey and bassist Victor Langen looking to have the most fun on stage. Ray was smiling through out the whole show and really ripping it up on the guitar. And Victor on bass having a blast too, and I had forgotten all about his famous axe bass in which he played the whole show.

Kick Axe opened the show with "Alive & Kickin'" from their first album Vices that came out in 1984, they actually played a lot from that album, which to me is their best album. Other songs played from that album was the title song "Vices", in which lead singer said to raise your drinks and cheers, that was when I got a good laugh when the band all raised a bottle of water. Hey, I guess everyone is getting older and don't swill the beers like they used to. So from the album Vices, they played "On The Road To Rock", "Just Passin' Through", "All The Right Moves", and of course "Heavy Metal Shuffle". Lead singer Daniel Nargang did a great job as did Brian Gillstrom on drums, he was pounding the hell out of the drums all night.

Other songs played were "Welcome To The Club" the title song from their 1985 album, "Hellraisers", "Too Loud...Too Old", "Feels Good, Don't Stop". And from their 1986 album Rock The World they played "Medusa", "Rock The World" and closing out the set with the Fleetwood Mac cover "The Chain". What surprised me was for the encore after the near capacity crowd cheered them back tot he stage they closed their 75 minute set with another Fleetwood Mac song "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)". What an awesome set and so much fun flashing back to the old metal head days.

Kick Axe at Century Casino.

Next up was Kitchener, Ontario rockers Helix. Now this was the exact opposite of Kick Axe with only lead singer Brian Vollmer being the only original member still in the band. Although the bass player Daryl Gray has been in the band since 1984 except for a seven year absence between 2002-2009. As for the rest of the band, I wasn't familiar with any of the other names. This was my fourth time seeing Helix in concert, the last time being I believe in the late 90's early 2000.

What impressed me the most about Helix's performance was lead singer Brian Vollmer's stage presence, he is still a great front man knowing how to work a crowd and still has a decent voice. Although he looks rougher then the last time I saw them, which only makes sense with it being many a years since I saw them play live. He has certainly lived the rock n' roll life I am sure.

Helix didn't disappoint with their performance and song selection playing mostly oldies like "Heavy Metal Love", "No Rest For The Wicked", "Rock You","Gimme Gimme Good Lovin", "Animal House" from their albums No Rest For The Wicked and Walkin' The Razors Edge. From their 1985 album Long Way To Heaven they played the title cut and "Deep Cuts The Knife". I remember not liking that album when it first came out but now think it was a very underrated album.

The last Helix album I bought was 1987's Wild In The Streets, and luckily they played a few songs from that one as well, the title song and another which is escaping me right now. This was a fun night of old Canadian heavy metal which brought back a lot of memories, and hell it was the exact same bill as the very first concert I ever went to in my life, and since that show back in 1984 I have been hooked since. Good times!!!

Helix at Century Casino.

After the show Brian Vollmer of Helix took the time to sign autographs and meet his fans and take pictures which was cool. I picked up his autobiography "Gimme An R!The Story of Brian Vollmer, Lead Vocalist of Helix", This should be a very interesting read. Brian even autographed it for me and my ticket sub from the very first concert I ever saw.

What an awesome night. And a huge Thank You! to Brian Gillstrom of Kick Axe for putting me on the guest list for the show. You made my week, it was nice to chat with Brian and show him the ticket stub too, he thought it was pretty cool that I still had it from 1984. Thanks Brian.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Altameda Live at The Buckingham May 5th 2017

On Friday night before game five of the Oilers and Ducks game my buddy Buzzard and I went to The Buckingham for an early show featuring local bands Altameda and The Velveteins. This wasn't a planned outing for Buzzard and I, I had mentioned to my buddy about how good this band Altameda was, having just seen them a few weeks ago, so we made our way to the show.

Altameda was the opening band and again put on an amazing show. It took three songs for the band to get their sound right as it started way too loud, but after that the band sounded great. Lead singer/guitarist Troy Snaterse was in fine form, great vocals and energy, and the drummer was amazing again as well.

If you are a fan of Petty, Springsteen and Ryan Adams, I am pretty sure you would enjoy this band. The band is currently touring Europe and will be back in hometown Edmonton for a show on Thursday May 25th. Good luck on your European tour guys. We didn't stick around for The Velveteins as it was time to go home and catch the last two periods of the hockey game. Good times!!!

Altameda at The Buckingham.