Thursday, July 17, 2008

80s rap, Pink Floyd, and Spectrum Memories

On this weekend's calendar, you can rock it or rap it old school. On Brown's Island on Friday night, 80s rappers KRS-One, Doug E. Fresh ("The Show"), MC Lyte, DJ Kool ("Let Me Clear My Throat") and E.U. ("Da Butt') will play in a show called "The '80's Was The Greatest". Tix are $15 - $40 and the show starts at 6:30.

If your taste runs more classic rock than classic rap, catch The Machine - Pink Floyd Tribute at The National. They bring the whole thing - lasers, lights, videos and of course, the music. They are as close as you'll get to a Floyd show because Floyd shows no signs of reuniting. Show starts at 8 (no opener!), and tix are $18.

If you're hangin' at home, you'll want to catch the VH1 Rock Honors The Who. I'm watching it now and there have been some great performances from Foo Fighters ("Young Man's Blues"), Flamin' Lips ("Tommy" medley and Wayne Coyne busts out the bubble in what may be its TV premiere), Pearl Jam ("Love Reign O'er Me", "The Real Me") and of course, The Who, or The Two as I think they should call themselves now.

In sad news this week, it was announced that the Philly Spectrum was going to be torn down after the hockey (the Flyers farm team, The Phantoms, play there) and indoor soccer seasons end. That may not be sad to you, but I grew up about 15 minutes from The Spectrum and while I went to a few Sixers games there (Flyers games were always sold out), The Spectrum is where I cut my rock n' roll teeth, where I saw some of the greatest concerts and had some of the greatest tailgate parties of my life. She's been around since 1967 and I guess she's getting on, but she'll be missed. So from now until the end of the old building, I'll have a weekly series reminiscing on Tony's Spectrum Concerts (catchy title).

We begin with my third show ever (Ozzy at the AC Convention Hall and The Police/Joan Jett/Madness/REM at JFK Stadium were the first two), The Cars with opener Wang Chung on July 16, 1984. (I didn't remember the date, I'm not that good, but I'm using the handy dandy calendar on the site Remember The Spectrum). I was a pretty big Cars fan at the time, listening heavily to what I still consider a great album, and a great summertime album especially, their first, The Cars. I was also listening to their latest release, the big hit (thanks to that newfangled MTV), Heartbeat City.

My friend's dad was picking me up (I think it was Chris G. but memory is slightly hazy there) at my local convenience store to take us to the show. I don't remember Wang Chung but I suppose we heard "Dance Hall Days" that night which is still a pretty cool song. As for The Cars, they were disappointing. Even at my third show, this one felt cold. The songs were played just as they were off the album and the "cool" stage that was designed by Andy Warhol was just some video screens on day-glo (it was the 80s) cranes going up and down. I remember at one point there was a weird burp or pop in between songs and Ric Ocasek said "I bet you're wondering what that was". I suspected the album had skipped. So not a good start for shows at The Spectrum. But never fear. Only eight days until my next Spectrum show, Roger Waters w/Eric Clapton on guitar!

Until next time, have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan