Friday, May 29, 2009

Former Wilco member Jay Bennett dead


This past Monday former Wilco member Jay Bennett died of unknown causes in Urbana, IL. This morning the musician’s friends and family issued the following statement via the multi-instrumentalist’s e-mail list:

Our good friend Jay Walter Bennett left us this weekend. As news hits the wires so instantaneously these days, we thought it was important to share some thoughts about our friend and brother before any rumors got out of hand.

First, let it be known that Jay was in a really good place these past few years. He had returned to the area he loved--the “Twin Cities,” Champaign-Urbana--and resurrected his studio, Pieholden Suite Sound, with the assistance of many dear friends and allies. Jay had been busy making music. He recently had released an intimate record entitled “Whatever Happened I Apologize,” and he was looking forward to wrapping up his new work, “Kicking at the Perfumed Air.” Proud of finishing a trilogy of records, including “Bigger Than Blue,” “The Beloved Enemy,” and “The Magnificent Defeat,” Jay loved the balanced yet ironic album titles. He was also looking forward to engineering and releasing Titanic Love Affair’s previously unreleased record, as well as starting work on “The Palace at 4 a.m. Part II,” the follow-up to his post-Wilco debut with Edward Burch. “Jay the Academic” had also reemerged, pursuing his umpteenth degree at the University of Illinois, and he was thrilled to be t aking graduate classes again.

As many of you may be aware, Jay had finally found the courage to put his Wilco issues out into the public forum. After a long, four-year process (and therefore very much unrelated to his impending hip surgery), formal filings against Wilco were finally initiated. This task was very emotional for Jay. He was a “lover,” and this confrontation was not easy for him. With the exception of his final period in Wilco, Jay looked back on his time in the band with great fondness and pride. While he was dismayed that some people may have formed a narrow perception of him via the “documentary,” all who truly knew him understood that with most entertainment media, editing is usually constructed for dramatic effect and presents only a small part of a larger, more complex reality.

So, please spend some time this week engaging in Jay’s favorite passions: listen to a Nick Lowe album, watch some Mythbusters on Discovery, play Warren Zevon’s “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner,” rent Pay It Forward (one of his favorite movies), write a song with the TV on and the sound off, and focus on how Jay always concluded his communications:

“Love, Jay"

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lee Boys, Carbon Leaf, Cracker, Willie, No BK3

Friday Cheers on Brown's Island will feature The Lee Boys this week. These guys play "sacred steel" music which is a combination of gospel, blues and funk. If you've seen Robert Randolph, you know what I mean. I've heard good things about these guys so I'm sure they'll be worth checking out. As always, Friday Cheers is FREE and kicks off at 6 with opener DJ Williams Projekt. Get there early for DJ Williams Projekt as they always know how to get the party started. Here's the Lee Boys a couple years ago at the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Jazz and Blues Festival:

After Friday Cheers, the Lee Boys will head up to the Mountain Jam festival at Hunter Mountain, NY. You can check out the pay-per-view webcast of the festival at It'll cost you $30 for the whole weekend or $20 for a single day. You'll get to see Porter Batiste Stoltz, Umphrey's McGee, Gov't Mule, Brett Dennen, Gomez, Jackie Greene, Hold Steady, Bill Kreutzman, Derek Trucks, Richie Havens, Michael Franti and the Allman Brothers Band. I'm kind of bummed that these are going pay-per-view. I can dig that they need to make money to pay for their coverage. But I wish they could pay their way with commercials during the webcast or something similar so more casual viewers could watch. I have two kids and I have to do chores and stuff during the weekend, so I usually watch the festival webcasts when I can but that sometimes isn't much during the day and certainly not enough for me to pay $30. Granted you do get to watch the archived webcast for 6 months after the event. But still....

The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ fest goes down at the Richmond Raceway Complex on Saturday from noon to 6. They'll, bourbon and BBQ. There are few different price packages:
- VIP Tasting Glass: $35 advance ONLY - Valid from Noon-6pm. Includes admission into the event, a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited sampling, TWO EXTRA hours of tastes and a t-shirt.
- Regular Tasting Glass: $25 advance online or $30 on-site – Valid from 2pm - 6pm. Includes admission into the event, a souvenir tasting glass, unlimited samples from 2pm - 6pm.
- Designated Driver Ticket: $15 advance online or on-site. Valid from noon-6pm.
Includes admission into the event only.
- Kids 12 and under are FREE.

Saturday night, Carbon Leaf comes home to Richmond and plays the National. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and tix are $21. The opener is Alternate Routes. Carbon Leaf has a new album out called "Nothing Rhymes With Woman". You can check some of it out by clicking the Carbon Leaf link above.
Here they are playing "Drops Of Rain" at their Plan 9 in-store show a couple weeks ago:

Darius Rucker of Hootie & The Blowfish fame (no his name is not Hootie) brings the new country version of himself (sounds like Hootie & The Blowfish but with country slide guitar) to Innsbrook Pavilion on Sunday for the K95 Countryfest. Also appearing will be Jo Dee Messina & Jamey Johnson. Tix are $20. $40 if you want Gold Circle. Gates open at 3.

Sunday night, Cracker, led by Richmond's own Dave Lowery, will be at the National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are $15. Backyard Tire Fire will open. Cracker has a new album out, "Sunrise In The Land Of Milk & Honey". They always put on a great show. Here they are playing the title track at one of their friend's birthday party. This video isn't very dynamic visually but the sound is pretty good.

Monday, you can check out Dave Matthews Band live (really live) at the Beacon Theater in NYC on Fuse TV with no commericals. If you don't know Fuse, you should be able to find it on your cable or satellite provider. They are a music channel that actually plays music unlike some other music channels that don't anymore but strangely keep the word "music" in their name. The show starts at 9 PM.

Willie Nelson will be at Innsbrook on Tuesday. Tix are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Gates open at 6 PM and famous opener tba will play first. I love Willie. You should definitely see him once to say you saw the legend. He has a great band. But Willie is getting up in years and the show is pretty laid back to say the least. He also has an annoying penchant to put a bunch of songs in medleys. I realize the dude has written an incredible amount of songs. But just pick a few and play the whole thing. Play some different ones the next night. It'll keep things fresh for you and the audience.

Wednesday night Bill Kreutzman, drummer for the Grateful Dead and The Dead, was supposed to play at The National with his trio BK3 which also features Scott Murawksi from Max Creek on guitar and James "Hutch" Hutchinson from Bonnie Raitt's band on bass. As my friend, Mark H., used to say when we would see Max Creek in college, "Scottie will totally melt your face". But in a good way.

However, the show is no longer appearing on the National web site and according to Ticketmaster, the show has been postponed with no new date announced. But here is a new interview with Bill Kreutzman on the Crawdaddy web site. Bill says he was the reason the Dead got back together for this latest tour. He also states that a nameless promoter wanted to charge even more for tickets on the tour but that the band was able to beat that back. They still charged $95 a ticket so what could this promoter have been wanting for the top tickets. $150? $200? Unreal. It also makes you wonder why the band would get in with a promoter like that.

I'll leave you with a link to the 10 worst performances of "Take Me out to the Ballgame" at the Cubs games, including the classic Ozzy Osbourne performance and a drunk Eddie Vedder.

That's it for me. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Feat & Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Little Feat comes to Innsbrook on Wednesday night. Tix are $15 at the gate and gates open at 6 PM. Any military, police, fire, or emergency medical service personnel will be granted free admission into this concert with a valid ID proving their service. This includes active and non-active members.
They must not have sold too many tickets to this show because I will be going thanks to some tickets given to me by Mike L. He got them as he was leaving the Elliot Yamin show on Saturday. He says his wife made him go see Elliot.

Not sure why tix aren't selling why since Little Feat has always done well at Innsbrook in the past. May be the economy, may be the fact that the Feat haven't had a charting album or song in a while though that's due partially to the fact that its hard to get airplay these days. Anyway, the Feat always put on a great show, they have one of the greatest rhythm sections in rock history (Sam Clayton (percussion), Richie Hayward (drums) and Kenny Gradney (bass)) and "Waiting For Columbus" is in my top five albums of all time so its gonna be a good time.

I did just find out that the female singer, Shaun Murphy, that has been with the band for 16 years just left in February. It looks like it was amicable since she is still on their web site. Email messages from the band and Shaun indicate that the band asked her to leave. So on this tour and going forward it will just be the boys.

Here's the band doing "Feats Don't Fail Me Now" on their European tour earlier this month:

Opening for Little Feat will be Tea Leaf Green. Tea Leaf Green are a blues & classic rock influenced jam band and should be an excellent fit for the Little Feat crowd. What I've seen and heard from them has been good, though they don't have me doing back flips yet. They are certainly worth a look so get there early.
Here they are live in Las Vegas earlier this year:

Over at the Canal Club, the great New Orleans funk/jazz act, Dirty Dozen Brass Band will appear. Local acts The Dirty Truth and Bungalo 6 will open. There is an 8:00 show time and tix are $14.

Hope to see you at Little Feat.

Tony Jordan

Friday, May 22, 2009

Where do all the tickets go? Bruce in Richmond?

Ever wonder where all the tickets to the big shows go? broke down a report about where the tickets went to the two Springsteen concerts that recently wrapped up in the Meadowlands. That was the ticket sale where Ticketmaster either locked up customer's computers with an application snafu or sent them to their market site, TicketsNow. Turns out there were about 10,000 less seats to begin with. Here's the story:

BTW, Springsteen announced last night that he will be the last musical act to play Giants Stadium before they blow it up after this football season. He'll be there September 30, October 2, and October 3. Why does that matter to us? Well, that bodes well for a fall tour which may bring Bruce back to Richmond. We'll keep you posted.

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Old Crow Medicine Show, Free Downloads, Felice Brothers

Not usually the busiest of weekends as most people head to the barbecues and such for the Memorial Day weekend. But there is actually quite a bit going on this weekend.

Old Crow Medicine Show will get things started on Thursday at Groovin' In the Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 5:30 and tix are $25. Old Crow Medicine Show hails from Nashville but are not a watered-down, top 40 country band. They are much more traditional and bluegrass based. Should be the perfect show under some perfect weather in the beautiful gardens tomorrow night. Here they are performing their song "Caroline".
Old Crow Medicine Show - Caroline

Zac Brown Band plays at Friday Cheers for FREE on Brown's Island. I don't know much about them but they seem to be gaining some popularity on the Country charts which isn't necessarily a good thing. Here they are performing their #1 Country Hit, "Chicken Fried". I am picturing lots of drunk girls with big hair dancing around with arms raised when they play this on Friday night, beer in one hand, lit cigarette in the other.

Local band David Shultz & The Skyline will be opening aat Friday Cheers starting at 6 PM and they get a nice write up in local blog, All Things Richmond. You can check it out here:

If you are home this weekend, you can purchase the webcast of the Summer Camp Festival on It'll cost you $20 for a day pass or $30 for the whole weekend. The webcast starts Friday at 2:30 EDT and will feature moe. (all 3 days); Dark Star Orchestra; Toubab Krewe;, Lotus; Umphrey's McGee (all 3 days);, Les Claypool;, Sexy Bitches feat. Keller Williams, Rob, Vinnie & Al (from moe.), & Joel ( from Umphrey's); and Los Lobos.

Or you can take advantage of some of these free downloads:

- Coldplay has made their latest live "album", "Left Right Left Right Left", available for free on their website:

- Style Weekly has a nice local music collection available for free at 18 tracks and you can find your new favorite local band.

- 4 free classic Phish tracks are available for download at the Bonnaroo 365 site:

At The National on Friday night, Robert Fleischman & The Sky perform with local band Horsehead opening. Tix are $13, doors open at 6, show at 7. Robert Fleischman was with Journey until they parted ways and Journey got some dude name Steve Perry to be their lead singer. Haven't heard of them since. Robert now lives here in Richmond and this will be the debut of his band. Here is what his MySpace page says:

"May 22, 2009 multi-platinum singer songwriter Robert Fleischman will be unveiling his new band The Sky at the National theatre in Richmond, Virginia. Upon his induction with Journey to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his desire to perform live was inspired. After auditioning his native town of Los Angeles for musicians, Robert decided to look into a different circle of players. LA session drummer Andre LaBelle, who played with Robert in the past with KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent, had relocated to Virginia. Robert soon discovered that Richmond was exploding with talent. Upon flying perspective players to Vegas for auditions, Robert decided to develop the band in Virginia. Holding down the rhythm is Andre LaBelle and Steve Barber. The guitars are provided by Stephan LaJaunie and Brady Cole. The sound these five musicians have created is an atmospheric chemistry with a driving punch that could be compared to the likes of Oasis, The Verve, or the more psychedelic sounds produced by The Cult and Bowie. The Sky is excited to debut this fresh material for the city of Richmond at this historical Theatre. "

The Felice Brothers play at The National on Saturday night. Their latest album "Yonder is The Clock" scored an 85 out of 100 on (Rotten Tomatoes for music) making it one of the top 9 rated albums this year. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 and tix are $15. They are apparently gaining quite a buzz. Here is what their website reports happened at the SXSW conference:

"The Catskill boys are fresh off a couple of raucous (one was so packed the fire department had to come and make sure the crowd was under control) and well-received gigs at SXSW 2009. The Austin American Statesman wrote that their Friday afternoon appearance at the Dirty Dog “showcased the Felice Brothers’ recent artistic strides. Material from the forthcoming masterwork ‘Yonder is the Clock’ both torpedoed hearts and shook homes. Easy highlights like the scattershot country blues ‘Run, Chicken, Run’ and ‘Ambulance Man’ offered brilliant Southern Gothic narratives.” Metromix proclaimed the show “one of the day’s highlights,” and lauded the “gypsy brand of folk-rock, heavy on fiddle, accordion and lurid lyrics.” The Telegraph in London meanwhile deemed the Felice Brothers “the shining new lights of American roots music, a quintet of rabble rousers with a drunken surrealistic spin on jazz, folk, blues and country.” The journalist continued, “I saw them twice yesterday and would watch them twice again today.”

Here they are performing "Her Eyes Dart Round" in Raleigh NC on May 3.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Take a moment to remember those who gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedom to rock out, drink beer, live our lives and love our friends and family.

Tony Jordan

Friday, May 15, 2009

Music Makes You Healthy!

A couple loose ends for Friday:

This video is pretty cool. Thanks to Mike L. for the email. It is a composite audio/video of where additional tracks were laid in by different singers and musicians (mostly street musicians) from different places around the world.

Saw this article on CNN Health: Researchers have proven that music actually makes you healthier. And listening to a variety of songs and music makes you healthier still. Perhaps someone can tell that to corporate radio programmers who insist on playing the same 300 classic rock songs for the last 20 years or radio that plays the "hits" 30 times a week. Maybe we can get the state legislature to do something about it in the interest of public health?

Have a great weekend! Hopefully the rain will hold off for the Rusted Root concert tonight.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ZZ Top, Brandi Carlile, Riverrock, Carbon Leaf

Thursday night, those good ol' boys from Texas come to town. ZZ Top plays Innsbrook with tix $20 in advance and $25 at the door. You may want to buy tickets now because Gold Circle is sold out and they aren't allowing any lawn chairs in General Admission which usually means they are expecting a big crowd. Gates open at 6 PM and River City Gang is opening.

I saw ZZ Top once and didn't have the best of times but it was more me than their show. I was still working for the radio station in Allentown and was with another dj accompanying our contest winners on a bus trip to Hersheypark. We had admission to the park and then tickets for ZZ Top's show at Hersheypark Arena. I don't know if it was riding roller coasters all day or the pitchers of beer I drank with my friend before the show, but I had a mean headache as the show started. The sound for the band was wayyy too loud. I like loud music but this was loud to the point of distortion and the bad acoustics in the decrepit arena (it opened in 1936) didn't help.

I do have a recent performance of ZZ Top's on a copy of the Eric Clapton Crossroads show I videotaped a few years ago and they are pretty damn good. I don't think you'll have sound problems at Innsbrook as the sound there is usually fine. Here's a video from their last tour, the classic "Got Me Under Pressure".

Also on Thursday night, fairly new (Carlile was named one of 2005's "Artists to Watch" by Rolling Stone) singer-songwriter and sometimes rocker Brandi Carlile comes to Groovin' In The Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 6 with opener The Noises 10. The rockin' will be done by Brandi acoustically as this show is billed as "An Intimate Acoustic Evening With Brandi Carlile". Tix are $20. You'll dig Brandi if you like Melissa Etheridge, KT Tunstall, Elton John, Patsy Cline, Jeff Buckley, Indigo Girls, Dave Matthews, or Shawn Colvin. Here's a link to Brandi performing her song "The Story" acoustic:

Friday and Saturday Dominion Riverrock is at Brown's Island. This is an adventure sports/music/drinking combo event and is FREE. The music on Friday night is provided by Rusted Root at 7:15 with Jesse Chong opening at 6. (You can also see Jesse later that night at Capital Ale House Downtown.) Saturday they will have bands playing from 10 AM until 4 PM. They'll also have events on both days such as Ultimate Air Dogs (the dogs take a running jump off a dock into a pool chasing something thrown), Freestyle Bikes, 5K Mud Run, Rowing, Mountain Biking and more. I had also read something about a pub crawl but I can't find it on the web site.
I'll see you there Friday night and maybe Saturday, too. Friday night, my 4 year old is excited to see Rusted Root because he knows "Send Me On My Way" from Shrek 3 and the mix CD I made for him. I even told him he has to stay until the end of the show (he usually wants to leave early) because they won't play it until the end and he is willing to do that. Here is "Send Me On My Way":

Sunday afternoon, you can see Carbon Leaf for FREE in an in-store performance at Plan 9 in Carytown. They'll start at 3 but get there early unless you want to be back by the t-shirts. They'll probably play some old favorites and some stuff off of their new CD, "Nothing Rhymes With Woman".

I'll see you out at Brown's Island this weekend. I would go see Carbon Leaf too, but I'm going to the Phillies - Nationals game up in DC. Looking forward to checking out Nationals Park. GO PHILS!
Tony Jordan

Update on Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger

Here is an update on the proposed Live Nation/Ticketmaster merger:

Live Nation is already charging you more for beer and souveniers and hiding parking fees (even if you don't drive) in the ticket. So if you think the merged company would be consumer friendly, you're delusional. More control will only lead them to raise prices on everything surrounding the price of a show.

Thanks to Live Music Blog for bringing this article to my attention.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Friday Cheers: JGB, City Slickers Bluegrass Fest, Snoop Dogg

Friday Cheers kicks off its season on Friday night with JGB (that's Jerry Garcia Band) featuring Melvin Seals. JGB is the band that used to back up Jerry Garcia on his side solo project. It always kind of irked me that they would call themselves JGB when there was no longer a JG. In fact, they are even less of the Jerry Garcia Band than before as only two of the six current members (including Melvin Seals) were in the Jerry Garcia Band. I think I saw them once or twice at a festival and I don't really remember them so they didn't affect me much one way or the other. However, since Friday Cheers is FREE and since I am dying to get out of the house after a week of rain and enjoy some beers down by the rivah, I'm going to look at this as a very good cover band with very good musicians playing some very good songs and not get all wrapped up in the name thing. The show opens at 6 PM with opening act The Spaceheaters.

Here's JGB doing The Beatles' "Dear Prudence" last year at Magnoliafest with some tasty organ by Melvin Seals:

Saturday there are a couple small festivals here in Richmond. The Strawberry Street Festival celebrates its 30th Anniversary. This takes place at 2300 Hanover Avenue in Richmond from noon until 4:30 and benefits the William Fox Elementary School PTA. This will be a good one for the kids and Cashmere Jungle Lords will be playing a set at 2:45.

The River City Beer Fest will be going on outside of Bandito's at 2905 Patterson Ave in Richmond and will run from 1 - 7 PM. From the beer lineup on the poster it looks like they'll have some pretty good microbrews represented. Music will be provided by Powder Keg, Big Boss Combo, Gorgeous, Bart Chucker Band & Build A Band.

If you wanted to walk between the two festivals its only a 12 minute walk. So you could entertain the kids at the Strawberry St. fest and then walk them over to the Beer Fest so you could quaff a few brews.

Also Saturday afternoon is the City Slickers Bluegrass Festival at the Science Museum of VA. Gates open at 2:30, show starts at 3 and tix are $15 in advance, $20 day of show. The show will feature Seldom Scene, The Grascals, Sierra Hull, and Page Wilson with Reckless Abandon.

Monday night, smoke 'em if you got 'em 'cause Snoop Dogg is coming to The National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with "a special guest", and tix are $35. Here's one of Snoop's greatest songs that'll help get you ready for the weekend, "Gin & Juice".

Tuesday at The National, Gavin Rossdale (formerly of Bush and the lucky man who gets to sleep with Gwen Stefani) comes to town. Doors open at 7 and show starts at 8. Tix are $23.

Wednesday at The National, The Shins play. Doors open at 7 and show starts at 8 with opener The Delta Spirit. Tix are $35. You'll dig The Shins if you like bands like Spoon, Death Cab for Cutie, Feist, Arcade Fire, The Byrds, Donovan, XTC, Badfinger, Nick Drake, or The Beach Boys.

Here's the video for The Shins, "Sleeping Lessons":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Shooter Jennings, Future Rock

A couple shows on Thursday night:

Groovin' In the Garden kicks off its season tonight at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Its good to have them back after a year off. Shooter Jennings (son of Waylon) will play if the rain holds off. Tix are $15 and doors open at 5:30. I heard that they have made some improvements to the stage area to improve sight lines, which weren't that bad before. Shooter plays alt-country that definitely has a heavier rock feel to it.

At the complete opposite end of the musical spectrum, electronica/jamtronica band Future Rock w/ Shout Out Out Out Out play at the Canal Club tonight. Show time is 10:00 and tix are $15. Here is what the Live Music Blog had to say about them:

"As a Chicago native, I’m always proud to give a shout-out to Chi-town bands. I lived in Chicago for about four years and was able to catch Future Rock rock out the local club circuit a number of times with their unique brand of live electronic rock. In my opinion, this trio doesn’t get nearly enough respect in the electronic rock or "jamtronica" scene (ugh, I really dislike using the latter label, but it is useful). So it’s great to see these guys grabbing a nice headlining slot at the Metro and a spot at this year’s Rothbury Festival, because they’ve been serious tour workhorses for the last five+ years, and they keep putting together great tunes and a killer live show. Although Future Rock is just as likely to get the house jumpin’ as a band like Lotus or the Disco Biscuits, their sets are a bit more geared towards the songs and crafting cool textures and themes. They also have picked some great covers to hone their sound (check out their takes on Daft Punk and Aphex Twin for some great examples).

Bottom line: These two should make for a nice, dance-friendly show, but with enough exploration and substance to keep you interested."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Gordon Lightfoot, Foreigner Canceled

Instead of one big ol' weekend concert blog this week, I'm going to do a quick hit each day. My wife has a conference this week and though its here in Richmond, I've got the kids each night and quite frankly, its tiring. I don't know how single parents do it.

Got two big 70s artists in town on Wednesday night. Foreigner comes to Innsbrook with that favorite opening band, tba. Or not. I just went on the Innsbrook site and saw this message: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Foreigner concert scheduled for Wednesday May 6 has been cancelled. Further announcements regarding refunds and exhanges will be announced on May 6." Looks like they are still on for the next night in Reading PA so perhaps the circumstances beyond their control was that they didn't sell many tickets.

That leaves your entertainment choice clear for Wednesday night. Its singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot at the Landmark Theater. The show starts at 8 PM, tix are $38.50 & $48.50. Gordon Lightfoot is known for such hits as "If You Could Read My Mind", "Sundown", "Carefree Highway" and the all-time classic, "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". I saw a good show on the Discovery Channel about the SS Edmund Fitzgerald and it was originall believed the ship may actually have split in two when either end was caught up on large waves. The Discovery Channel concluded it was sunk after being hit by three huge rogue waves. It sank within a matter of minutes and there were no survivors. This is a really well done video incorporating Gordon Lightfoot's song, news footage, actual radio transmissions, and footage of the wreck at the bottom of the lake.

Tony Jordan

Review - The Dead - Spectrum, Philadelphia - 5/2/09

Here is the review of the May 2 Dead show at The Spectrum. This would be the last at the Spectrum after over 50 sold out shows over the last 40 years. And I went to quite a few, including my first show, 3/31/87.

By all accounts this was one of the two best shows on the tour so far, the other being MSG the previous weekend. Friends Phil & Keith who attended said, "It was awesome! The best Dead related show I have seen since before Jerry died."

I would have liked to have gone, just to see them one last time at the old Spectrum. Well, rumours abound that Phish will be the last show at the Spectrum so maybe I'll try to hit that one.

Here is Joe C.'s (from Scranton) review. Thanks again to Joe.

The Dead at the Spectrum, May 2, 2009

Wow! What a show. If someone had told me that I would see a Dead show where they played Schoolgirl, Mason's Children, Cumberland, Cryptical Envelopment, Morning Dew, St. Stephen and Help Slip Franklins, I would not believe it. I'm not sure what these guys are up to with working so hard to play all these songs so well. I can't tell if it's a love letter to their fans or that they are ready to pick up where they left off with the perpetual touring machine. Regardless, if their selling, I'm buying because they continue to put out a high quality and entertaining product. I'm very grateful.

What I assumed would be the encore was actually the set opener, a spirited One More Saturday Night. It was moderately paced with a darker bluesier edge to it. Very nice. It had attitude without being too fast.

Brown Eyed Women was excellent. The mix was truly amazing. Great ensemble playing. Nothing special with the guitar solos. Warren's vocal harmonies were amazing. He is so talented.

The Schoolgirl was different. A sleek and polished version of this gritty classic. If it's bluesy, Warren knocks it out of the park.

Althea was very funky, slow and loose. Warren was working the Jerry style envelope filter. Bobby's phaser tone was a little heavy. Warren does the vocal justice.

He's Gone was outstanding. It had that personal feeling. Very delicate. Timing was impeccable. The down beat was completely obscured by the psychedelic rhythms. The transition jam screamed Grateful Dead. The actual transition to the Uncle Johns intro was tight and on. No hesitation. A perfect 10. Harmonies on UJB were awesome. Sounded fantastic. Mid song reggae breakdown was so playful and natural, masterful and lacking any self awareness. The crowd was going wild. The transition to Mason's was a little weird. They went way out there but then came back for the traditional UJB finish. The actual transition to Mason's was, again, flawless. Hard to believe it could sound so tight in a venue of this size.

Mason's Children set ender was perfect. The harmonies sounded stupendous. Warren wielded heavy distortion.

The first set had a second set feel. Lots of loose and natural psychedelic jamming. Lots of space on the tunes with rich vocal harmonies. It's like they were really warmed up when they started playing.

Second set opened strong with a crowd pleasing Good Lovin'. Followed by a crowd pleasing Cumberland.

Once the crowd was completely buttered up, the band jumped into the "That's It for the Other One" suite. Cryptical was great. Phil delivered on the vocals. The big Phil bass build up transition did not connect, but otherwise a very enjoyable rendition.

Awesome drumz. The crowd was raised into a frenzy many times.

Space was great and short.

Morning Dew as excellent. Instantly recognizable. It was nice and slow, and yet it seemed busy.

St. Stephen rocked. The bridge was beautiful.

Revolution was strong and got the crowd rocking.

Help Slipknot Franklins was an incredible set ender to an incredible set. The transition to Franklins involved a complete stop, which sounded a little weak.

The GD sold out the Spectrum 53 times. This year it will be torn down. The last Dead tune to be played at the Spectrum was the Samson and Delilah encore. The crowd went nuts every chorus.

Phil declared after Samson that "this has been one of the most satisfying performances, er series of performances, that we've played on this tour. I gotta say the energy here is so, how should I say, compelling, so welcoming, so positive and uplifting, so God bless you." Amen Phil. Please come back."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Concert Industry Responds to Fans Caught Between Rock and a Hard Place

An article in the Sunday Washington Post talked about bargains on concert tickets that you can get as promoters try to pack venues in a down economy. If you're going to try and get tix for any amphitheater shows this year, read this:

You do need to set up a user ID and password for the Washington Post but its free.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tipitina's web casts this weekend

Just got this in from the Live Music Blog. The venerated venue in New Orleans, Tipitina's, will be webcasting some of their post-Jazz Fest shows this weekend. These shows look to be as good or better than anything AT&T is showing during the Jazz Fest webcasts. I can't understand whey AT&T is showing clips from older Jazz Fests when you have about 70 bands playing each day at this year's Jazz Fest. But anyway, here is the lineup from Tipitina's:

Friday 5.1.2009 [Webcast begins 9 PM CT]The Radiators
Friday 5.1.2009 [ Late Show Webcast begins 2 AM CT]The Greyboy Allstars
Saturday 5.2.2009 [Webcast begins 9 PM CT]Porter Batiste Stoltz Featuring Special Guest Page McConnell from Phish
Saturday 5.2.2009 [ Late Show Webcast begins 2 AM CT]Michael Franti Trio
Sunday 5.3.2009 [Webcast begins 10 PM CT]Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk Featuring Special Guest Skerik plus The Lee Boys

Tony Jordan