Thursday, November 1, 2007

Zappa, Skaggs, Bush, Police, PBS, Derek Trucks and The Last Waltz

A few items of note this week.

Saturday night you can hit some bluegrass and bluegrass related shows with Ricky Skaggs playing at Toad's Place (8:30 PM, $40 advance, $45 day of show, $55 gold circle). Who knows, maybe his recent collaborative partner, Bruce Hornsby (who lives in Williamsburg) will stop by? Also Saturday, new grass pioneer, Sam Bush, plays with classical cellist, Edgar Meyer, and dobro player, Jerry Douglas, at a sold out show at Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond. Show starts at 7:30 PM if you have tickets or want to try to scalp.

The Police reunion tour pulls into Charlottesville's John Paul Jones Arena on Tuesday night. Tix are $50 - $225 and show starts at 7:30. The Police were one of my favorite bands and their cassettes had a permanent spot in my friend's big green LTD when we were cruising around town in high school (along with Van Halen. How about a review, Gordon?). They were the second concert I ever saw. The date was August 20, 1983 and we packed into JFK Stadium in Philly in 98 degree weather. Check out the openers: REM, Joan Jett and Madness. All that said, I find it hard to spend over $100 to see them. I listened to the show from Bonnaroo on line and they were good but not $100+ good. Apparently others feel this way, as the only seat level sold out for this show are the lower bowl $90 seats. You can still get the $225 seats on the floor. Wouldn't it be funny if there was no one in the $225 seats so there was a big gap between the stage and where the first fans were sitting? Serves the bastards right for charging that much. As the JPJ Arena is fairly small, the $50 seats would be a good bargain and if not for the young tyke, I might consider going for that price.

Wednesday, two great bands are in Richmond. New Orleans funk masters, Porter, Batiste & Stoltz are playing at Capital Ale House downtown. Doors open at 8:30 PM and tix are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. I saw these guys at All Good this year and they will get your booty movin'. You will probably have as much if not more fun (especially considering that they serve great beer here and no beer at all at JPJ Arena) than you would seeing that other trio from England the day before and spend a heck of a lot less money.

Also on Wednesday, at Toad's, is the Derek Trucks Band. Derek is of course the young guitar wiz who has played with the Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh and Eric Clapton. Doors open at 7:30, show at 8:30 (with opener, American Babies), tix are $25 in advance and $30 day of show. Derek's mellower jazz rock will probably work better indoors than it did at Innsbrook this summer and once he kicks into the blues there are few better guitarists that you'll ever hear.

Thursday at Capital Ale House, The Band tribute act, The Last Waltz Ensemble, play. "The Last Waltz" is one of my favorite albums/rock movies of all time and I am going to catch these guys eventually. Doors open at 8:30 and tix are just $6 in advance and $10 the day of show.

If I get out, Thursday night I go to Zappa Plays Zappa at Toad's. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8, tix are $32.50 advance and $35 day of show. Zappa Plays Zappa features Dweezil Zappa, an awesome guitarist in his own right, playing the music of his daddy, Frank. Included in the band is Zappa alumni (1976 - 1984), Ray White, on guitar and vocals. Zappa's intricate music is rarely performed live (I've only seen it twice, once on Frank's last tour in February 1988, once by NYC based Zappa cover band, Project Object, here in Richmond at Alley Katz) and I'm hoping to lace up my rock and roll shoes (Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars, black with blue racing flames) again and get out to see this one.

So a full week. If I had no kids, lots of money and a job where I didn't have to get in until noon, I would be out a lot this week. As it is, hopefully I'll get to Zappa Plays Zappa on Thursday. Unless I hit the lottery this weekend, in which case I'll go to everything and you'll all be invited.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan