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Welcome to Rock of Agers

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Year-Plus Review of Atlanta Music Concerts

The historic Fox Theatre in Midtown Atlanta
The Tabernacle: A great concert venue in Atlanta

The Last Waltz concert in 1976 was the legendary last performance of the Band. The re-creation of that concert I saw 2 nights ago marked the last live show I will see in Atlanta before my wife and move back to Washington, DC in 2 weeks.

In the 14 months we lived in Atlanta to spend time with our grandchildren, I got to see 15 shows. Here is the list:
  1. Widespread Panic @The Fox Theatre
  2. A Night with Janis Joplin @The Fox
  3. Chris Stapleton @Braves Field
  4. Tom Petty w/Mudcrutch @The Tabernacle
  5. Windborne Music Presents the Music of David Bowie w/The Atlanta Symphony @Symphony Hall
  6. Dolly Parton @Infinity Energy Center
  7. Cyndi Lauper @Symphony Hall
  8. Alice Cooper @Symphony Hall
  9. Phish @Chastain Park
  10. Blackberry Smoke (Laid Back Festival) @Lakewood Amphitheater
  11. ZZ Top (Laid Back Festival) @Lakewood Amphitheater
  12. The Greg Allman Band (Laid Back Festival) @Lakewood Amphitheater 
  13. Eric Burdon and the Animals @City Winery
  14. Don Henley @The Fox
  15. The 40th Aniversary of the Last Waltz Concert @Symphony Hall
My wife Judy attended some of the shows with me. I went to the rest by myself. All the shows were good to fabulous, but obviously both Judy and me had our favorites.

Here are the 3 shows Judy enjoyed most:
  1. A Night with Janis
  2. Don Henley
  3. Cyndi Lauper
Here are my top 3:
  1. The 40th Anniversary of the Last Waltz Concert
  2. Eric Burdon and the Animals
  3. Alice Cooper
So that's it for now for live music in Atlanta. But the shows will resume in DC. Here are the concerts I'm planning to attend during of first months there:
  • Voodoo Dead
  • Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • The Flower Power Cruise (15 bands from the late 60s and early 70s at sea)
  • Dan Baird and Homemade Sin
  • Ann Wilson of Heart
  • Dana Fuchs
  • Willie Nile
If any of you are in the DC area when these shows are scheduled, come on and join me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Last Waltz Concert Redo Rocks @Atlanta Symphony Hall

Can a redo outdo an original?

Especially if the redo involves The Last Waltz, the legendary final concert of The Band in 1976.

Well, music fans in Atlanta got a chance to decide that last night when an all-star band featuring Warren Haynes on guitar and Michael McDonald on piano performed 24 songs that were originally played at the historic concert at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

Now I have been attending live rock concerts since 1965 (Herman's Hermits at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey) and I have seen some great shows. I would place this concert, the last I will see in Atlanta before moving back to Washington DC next month,  in the top 10 of shows I have witnessed.

So what made this event so special?

Well, of course there was the historic nature of the original production, which was captured in a film that many critics believe is the best rock documentary ever made.

But most of all it was the musicianship and vocal work. Haynes and McDonald were joined by Hammond organ virtuoso Jon Medeski, country guitarist and vocalist Jamey Johnson, bass player and producer Don Was, and New Orleans drummer Terrence Higgins. The 6-man nucleus was augmented on many numbers by a 4-piece New Orleans-style horn section. The group was joined on some numbers by Dave Malone, the guitarist for The Radiators. Bob Margolin, a member of blues great Muddy Waters' band, also sat in for few songs.

Obviously, the sold-out crowd of Band fans spent most of the night on their feet. In Atlanta, judging from the reaction, 2 of the most well-received songs were Alabama native Johnson's stirring rendition of "Georgia on My Mind" and the Band's southern story classic "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," with Haynes, McDonald, and Johnson sharing the singing.

But almost all the songs were gems.

For me, the highlights were:
  • a mesmerizing extended version of Bo Diddley's classic "Who Do You Love?"
  • a back-to-back wallop of "Down South in New Orleans" followed by "This Wheel's on Fire"
  • Jon Medeski incredible organ intro to "Chest Fever"
  • a 3-pack of Van Morrison's "Caravan," Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young's "Helpless," and Little Junior's Blue Flames version of "Mystery Train"
  • The trio of 2nd set closers before the 2-song encore: "Forever Young" and "I Shall Be Released", both written by Bob Dylan, and the Band's best known song - "The Weight"
  • Every time Haynes, who is currently my favorite guitarist to hear live, touched the strings on his guitar.
Originally, the Last Waltz 40 Concert was to be a one-and-done special performance at last year's Jazz Festival in New Orleans. But the concert was so well received - with some critics going so far to claim it was the best thing at the famous festival - that a short tour was scheduled. 

Last night's show was the 3rd in the 11-show tour. The special outing concludes on Feb. 4 with a final show at the just opened MGM Theater at the new casino at National Harbor just outside DC.

Encore - The Set List
  1. Set 1:
  2. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  3. (The Band cover)
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  4. (The Band cover)
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  5. Play Video
  6. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  7. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  8. (The Band cover) (with Dave Malone)
    Play Video
  9. (The Band cover) (with Dave Malone)
    Play Video
  10. (Bo Diddley cover)
    Play Video
  11. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  12. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  13. Set 2:
  14. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  15. (The Band cover) (>)
    Play Video
  16. (Van Morrison cover)
    Play Video
  17. Play Video
  18. Play Video
  19. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  20. (Muddy Waters cover) (with Bob Margolin) (without Michael McDonald,… more )
    Play Video
  21. (Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five cover) (with Bob Margolin) (without Michael McDonald,… more )
    Play Video
  22. (Bob Dylan cover)
    Play Video
  23. (The Band cover)
    Play Video
  24. (Bob Dylan cover)
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  25. Encore:
  26. (Dr. John cover)
    Play Video
  27. (The Band cover)
    Play Video

Monday, January 23, 2017

Don Henley Live @The Fox in Atlanta

Now I was never a big fan of the Eagles when they emerged on the music scene in the 70s. At the time, their county-tinged harmonies were too light for me.

Finally in 2009 I saw the Eagles live for the first time and I was impressed.  Their sound was as clean as any band I had ever heard, even though the concert was staged in a sports area in Philadelphia.

Last night, my new, more positive attitude to the songs of the Eagles and at least one of their members was solidified as  I took my wife to see Don Henley in concert at the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Backed by 6 instrumentalists, 3 female singers, and, on some songs, a 5-piece horn sections, Henley, the former drummer and vocalist for the Eagles, presented a perfectly-paced show, 2-plus-hour show, mixing Eagles hits, solo offerings, and a few well-chosen covers.

Included in the 20-song set were my favorite Eagles' song "One of These Nights" and my favorite Henley solo hit "Dirty Laundry." Of course the Eagles songs "Witchy Woman," "Life in the Fast Lane," "Hotel California," "Wasted Time" and "Desperado" proved to be  crowd-pleasing, singalong classics.

But I thought the real inspiration that made the show special came from its surprises which included:
  • all 10 members of the band opening the night with a stirring A cappella cover of Steve Young's "Seven Bridge Road"
  • a soulful, funky version of the rarely played "Shangri-La" featuring the 5-piece horn section
  • The Tears for Fears 1990s hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
If I had to single out the highlight of the show it would be the inclusion of the great "Rainy Night in Georgia" by Brook Benton cover, which Henley said the band had never performed before and learned at the soundcheck earlier in the afternoon.

So, as a long time classic rocker, I want to thank the Eagles, and especially Don Henley, for proving it's never too late to revisit the music you passed over when it was first released. You might just like it.

The Complete Show Set List

  1. (Steve Young cover)
    Play Video
  2. Play Video
  3. Play Video
  4. Play Video
  5. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  6. Play Video
  7. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  8. Play Video
  9. Play Video
  10. (Garth Brooks cover)
    Play Video
  11. (Brook Benton cover)
    Play Video
  12. Play Video
  13. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  14. Play Video
  15. (Tears for Fears cover)
    Play Video
  16. Play Video
  17. Encore:
  18. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  19. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  20. Encore 2:
  21. (Eagles song)
    Play Video
  22. (Eagles song)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Route 66 Justs Keeps Rolling Along

For six decades, Bobby Troup's (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 has been a musical guidebook, transcending styles and fashion, recognizing no boundaries.

You could just as easily hear it in a dusty honky-tonk or a swank cabaret, slashed out by a three-chord guitar band or swung by a three-piece combo.

It has zipped along without aa break through all the years, from genre to genre, constantly in motion, speaking to the national impulse to get behind the wheel and start moving.

It's our quintessential American tune, a mythic travelogue.

To keep reading, click here.

Friday, January 20, 2017

President Trump vs. Classic Rockers: The Battle Continues

Donald Trump‘s ascension to the presidency has not exactly been met with classic-rock jubilation.

In fact, many bands have fought him tooth and nail on everything from policy to his use of their music during political events.

Not that the latter arguments did any good. Trump and his wife, Melania, walked down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial while a Rolling Stones song played during inaugural activities. Still, artists continued to push back.

To keep reading this article, click here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Saga of Paul Revere and the Raiders

Everything about Paul Revere and the Raiders was contrived and corny, except for their music.

There's no rational excuse for why they shouldn't be routinely counted among the most accomplished consistent rock groups of the mid-60s.

But they aren't.

Why is that?

To keep reading this article, click here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dana Fuchs: A Soulful Southern Singer Steeped in Rock n' Roll

The rock and roll prowess comes honestly for Dana Fuchs

She was raised in a rock appreciative family, surrounded by cooler older siblings who guided her toward influential greats like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. 

Now she’s an influence herself, a notable rock vocalist with an unmistakable vocal talent. 

We recently asked Dana about her background and how music helps her cope.

To keep reading this article, click here.


Here is a link to personal article after seeing Dana Fuchs on the Rock Legends IV cruise.

Sexy Devil, Serene Angel or Both?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

50 Years Ago: Stones, Ed Sullivan Clash Over Lyrics

These days sex on TV—even network TV—is no big deal. Steamy scenes on Grey’s AnatomyScandal and How To Get Away With Murder border on being NC-17… and those are just Shonda Rhimes’s shows. On cable, things get even hotter, with scenes in WestworldGame of Thrones, Masters of Sex and Girls bordering on porn.
Ah, how far we’ve come. 
It was fifty years ago this weekend (January 15, 1967) that the Rolling Stones performed on CBS’s The Ed Sullivan Show and caused a stir because of their song “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” 
To keep reading this article, click here.