Wednesday, September 30, 2009

U2, Disco Biscuits, Bruce Hornsby, Austin City Limits Fest

October starts with a busy weekend here in Richmond. We kick things off tomorrow night with U2 at Scott Stadium at the University of VA in Charlottesville. Doors open at 5, show starts at 7 with opener, Muse. Tickets range from $30 - $250. As of 9:40 PM on Wednesday, there were seats available (and pretty good ones) at the $250, $95, and $55 levels. The only ones sold out were the $30 seats. (Sidenote: In looking up the Scott Stadium site I discovered that it has the completely ridiculous full name of "the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium".) If you're going to the Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium to see U2 (I really hope Bono works the whole name in. "Hello, Carl Smith Center, home of David A. Harrison III Field at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia! Are you ready to rock!?!"), they aren't allowing you tor bring anything into the stadium not even a bottle of water. All the better to get you to buy those tiny $4 bottles they'll be selling. And the bastards don't even serve beer!

If you have never seen U2, you really must. They are a legendary band at this point, one of the biggest bands in rock history and one of the few bands left that can do a huge stadium show and do it well. And the stage for this one is the largest stage OF ALL TIME. The previous largest stage, the Stones' Bigger Bang tour stage, could fit UNDERNEATH this one. It should be a site to behold.

I will be there on the field with the rockers who don't mind standing and going nuts for hours on end. I have seen U2 on each tour since the Joshua Tour, except for the last tour, so the layoff has me rather excited to see them. I have been avoiding pictures and setlists so as to keep the show as much of a surprise as possible. So I have come up with my dream setlist. My rules: At least one song from each album, 25 songs and in order of where they should be in the show. Feel free to contribute your own setlist in the Comments field. Here we go:
No Line on The Horizon - from album No Line on The Horizon (They usually start with a song from the latest album and I think this one will make a good opener.)
Vertigo - How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (Hello! Hello!)
I Will Follow - Boy
Where The Streets Have No Name - Joshua Tree (No pauses between the first four songs. Come out banging!)
Sort of Homecoming - Unforgettable Fire (A breather. Great bass line from Clayton.)
Surrender - War (Been listening to War a lot lately and this one just seems to stand out. No New Year's Day or Sunday Bloody Sunday. Overplayed.)
Pride In The Name of Love - Unforgettable Fire
Even Better Than The Real Thing - Achtung Baby
Gloria - October
Bad - Unforgettable Fire
Exit - Joshua Tree (A great song that just builds and builds until it explodes. Was phenomenal in the Joshua Tree show. Watch Rattle & Hum if you forgot.)
Until The End of The World - Achtung Baby (Some of Bono's best lyrics. He takes the point of view of Pontius Pilate speaking to Jesus.)
Elevation - All That You Can't Leave Behind
Angel Of Harlem - Rattle & Hum (Perhaps their funnest song. Great horn lines that would have to be pre-recorded or played on keys.)
Stay (Faraway So Close) - Zooropa (When I worked overnights at the radio station, I used to crank this one way up. Perfectly captures that half-awake/half-asleep dream world of 2 AM.)
Love Is Blindness - Achtung Baby (Some of the Edge's best work at the end of this one. Really jammed it out at the end of the Zooropa show.)
Red Hill Mining Town - Joshua Tree (Just something different to play off of this album.)
The Saints Are Coming - single (w/Green Day) (This would be killer live.)
Do You Feel Loved - Pop (A great song with another great Clayton bass line. Listen to it again. You'll thank me. Really nice production on this one too.)
Moment of Surrender - No Line on The Horizon (This one is standing out early for me as I learn the new album. Will probably have a new fav from the album after seeing some of the songs in concert.)
Bullet The Blue Sky - Joshua Tree (The Edge as Hendrix, all squawling semi-controlled feedback. Off the charts.)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me - single (A great song from a lame movie. The movie also gave us "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal. Listen to that one on the headphones. Beautifully sung by Seal and produced by Trevor Horn.)
Please - Pop (I think this one of their best songs ever. No shit. This album also had one of their worst songs ever ("Miami").)
Beautiful Day - All That You Can't Leave Behind (A great, feel-good song. And they gotta get the lights all rainbowy at the proper moment.)
Ultraviolet (Light My Way) - Achtung Baby (A great closer. They must bust out the mirror ball for this one.)

Its getting late now since I took 15 minutes out to watch the Phils win the NL East for the third year in a row (GO PHILLIES!). That list took longer than I thought it would too. Had to get just the right order and seperation between the slow songs. But since it took so long, I'm going to quickly run down the weekend's events in Richmond.

Thursday night, if you can't go to U2, to the National and check out jam band Disco Biscuits. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Big Gigantic and tix are $25. As their name would imply, Disco Biscuits tend toward the dancey, electronica side of the jam band universe. Here they are at the Fuji Rock Fesitval in Japan this year:

The Austin City Limits Music Festival will be broadcast for FREE on starting on Friday at 12:30 PM, then Saturday & Sunday at 11:45 AM. They are still working out some of schedule but highlights include Avett Brothers, Coheed & Cambria, John Legend, Medeski, Martin & Wood, STS9, The Dead Weather and you're sure to find a new favorite band in there too.

Jamie McLean & DJ Williams Projekt are at the Capital Ale House on Friday night. Show starts at 10 and its $6 to get in. Jamie is the guitarist for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and if you like classic rock, blues and such you'll dig him. Here he is performing in July:

Steve Kimock and his new band Crazy Engine will be at the Canal Club on Saturday night. Doors open at 8 and the opener is the Jesse Chong Band. Tix are $20. Some jam band aficionados worship the ground Kimock walks on. I've found him to be good at jammy and jazzy stuff but he doesn't really rock much or get a dancable groove going at least in past bands I've heard him with. I tend to find his solo stuff a might sleepy. Maybe that's changed with Crazy Engine. Keyboard great Melvin Seals is in the band so that should definitely add some soul. Here they are at the All Good Festival this year. Look for Phil and Angie in the audience. GET WELL SOON YOU TWO! I can't lose my concert buddies for any reason.:

Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers will be at The National on Saturday night. Wonder if you may see Kimock stop by with Hornsby or vice versa as they were bandmates in the Grateful Dead offshoot, The Other Ones. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. No opener, Bruce and the band will do 2 full sets. Tix are $35. Here they are doing a song from their latest album "Space Is The Place":

Sunday, "A Taste of Carytown" 6th Annual Food & Wine Festival will take place in Carytown from noon to 6. Tix are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate.

Sunday, the Richmond Roots Music Sessions "tour" stops at Legend Brewery. This series is leading up to the Folk Festival next weekend. At Legend will be Eden and John’s East River String Band (old timey blues duo from NYC) - with - Slack Family (bluegrass). Tix are $10 at the door and the show starts at 5 PM.

Also Sunday, Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain, and Edgar Meyer will be at Modlin Center for the Arts. However that one is sold out so you if you don't have tix you're out of luck.

Monday, Richmond Roots Music Sessions will be at Gibson's Grill with Fight the Big Bull (multi-musical jazz blowout) - with - Miramar (brazilian love duets) & DJ Rattan. Tix are $10 at the door and the show starts at 8 PM.

On Tuesday, Richmond Roots Music Sessions is at Plaza Bowl with Jesse Lege (cajun dance band) - with - Gypsy Roots (django Jazz and gypsy music) & Horo (bulgarian dance troop). Tix are $10 at the door and the show starts at 7:30 PM.

Finally, also on Tuesday, guitar great Robin Trower will be at The National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener 3borne and tix are $20 in advance, $23 day of show. Here's one of my favorite Robin Trower songs (had it on a K-Tel album!), Too Rolling Stoned:

Have a great weekend and I'll see you at U2! Bono, feel free to use my setlist.

Tony Jordan

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sin & Umphrey's in Vegas, Lady Gaga, Alice Cooper

Hello and welcome back. I haven't done a blog in almost three weeks because I was at a conference in Vegas (more on that in a minute) and then last week I was sick and just too exhausted to stay up and do one. Luckily, it was a pretty slow week for music in Richmond so not much lost.

Onto Vegas, land of glitz and sleaze all wrapped up into one sparkly, jingly package designed to seperate you from your money. Musically, its not as easy to find music in Vegas as it used to be, with acts confined to the big shows at the casinos. They no longer have piano bars and singers in every lounge in the casinos. Can't take any space away from the slot machines. Music in the casinos is just some upbeat, inoffensive pop music pumped in just like the oxygen to keep you awake, alert and spending money.

I did have the luck of stumbling upon a good band at the rooftop bar (51st floor) of the casino I stayed in, the Rio. On Tuesday, intending to go to sleep early (which meant before midnight), I decided to accompany some co-attendees of the conference up to Voodoo (the name of said bar) because they wanted to check it out. I had been up there the night before and figured one drink and I was gone. It was free to go up as the Rio handed out passes each night that were good any night but Friday & Saturday. All the better to get you up there to drink $8 beers and $13 drinks. But I digress.

So out on the deck (a beautiful view of Vegas) they were playing your standard hip-hop/dance stuff but inside was a band that was much better than I expected. They were called Sin City Sinners, the most famous member of the band being guitarist Brent Muscat, formerly of Faster Pussycat. They do have some originals but I caught the second set in which they covered Cheap Trick, Quiet Riot (with a former lead singer of Quiet Riot, Paul Shortino), AC/DC (with the singer from an AC/DC cover band who sounded just like Bon Scott), Black Sabbath and Kiss, among others. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this band as much anywhere other than Vegas because (1) I was starved for live rock music after hearing only dance/hip-hop at the bars and pool and the aforementioned casino music, (2) the crowd at the bar, including me, was just there to get drunk and have fun, including some crazy, chunky, middle-aged looking (I may be middle-aged but I try not to look it. Too much.) ladies who were dancing and yelling and singing and making the band crack up, and (3) the band had the perfect attitude for the room. Funny, even a little wink-wink, nudge-nudge cheesy at times, but they were excellent musicians and really bonded with the fun vibe of the crowd and the room.

So, thanks to Sin City Sinners, it was another late night at Voodoo. If I ever get back to Vegas, I may look up this band to see if they are playing a more rock n' roll (read dark, dirty and sleazy) room where there would be lots of off-duty strippers, tattooed rock dudes and "working girls" with big hair rocking out. And maybe some go-go girls dancing in cages, you know, just for atmosphere. BTW, if you are a fan of hair metal, check out their web site just to see the list of guest stars they are going to play with over the next few weeks or have played with. These guys are definitely well connected.

My other Vegas music experience occurred on Wednesday night (9/16). After I took advantage of the free drinks at the closing night dinner for the conference, I went to see Umphrey's McGee at the House of Blues with some of the cool people from the conference. We had missed the first set by the time we got there (incorrect start time on the web site I checked) but no matter, we paid and went in anyway because we were drunk and it was Vegas and if we didn't spend the money there, Vegas would get it from us somewhere else. No matter how you feel about the franchising of music venues, the House of Blues does it right with great sound, sightlines and bars well placed throughout the venue. I wish I could give you more detail about the show other than we drank more, we danced, had a great time and they played some excellent Floyd covers and "Dear Prudence" but I am still getting to know Umphrey's so I'm unfamiliar with most of their songs (didn't matter). I can tell you Umphrey's is an excellent jam band and I will definitely see them again if not in Vegas, definitely here in Richmond. Here they are doing Dear Prudence at the show. If you look closely, you can see me in silhouette. I think that's my hand that gets in the way of the shot early in the song. Sorry dude.

And here is the song at the end of the second set "Much Obliged" with a little "Rocky Mountain Way" thrown in at the end for good measure. My big nose also makes an appearance in silhouette in this one.:

As I was taxiing down the runway to leave Vegas, hung over, exhausted and, quite frankly, happy to be leaving (as my friend, Leslie, said "A little Vegas goes a long way"), I played this song on my iPod, Drive-By Truckers, "Checkout Time in Vegas", an appropriate song for my mood if there ever was one. ("Checkout Time" is followed by "Deeper In" and "Sinkhole" because you can never have enough DBT.)

Anyway, back to Richmond. Dance diva Lady Gaga is playing on Monday night at The Landmark Theater. Per an email I got Sunday night at 8 PM, "A limited number of tickets have been released for the LADY GAGA show tomorrow night Monday September 28th at The Landmark Theater ... Tickets are available now at all Ticketmaster outlets,, and The Landmark box office". The show starts at 8 and tix are $30. Though the hits she's had so far don't seem much more than above average dance music, I did come to respect her after reading the article about her in Rolling Stone. She is trying to blend fashion, art and music to create this larger than life character of Lady Gaga in a way not unlike Bowie. Whether she'll be a flash in the pan or not we shall see, but I give her points for trying. If you haven't heard her song "Let's Dance" you may have been asleep for the past year so here's the link (can't embed it):

In an unrelated article, the nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2010 are in. Up for induction: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, LL Cool J, Kiss and Genesis are up for nomination alongside the Stooges, Donna Summer, ABBA, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Chantels, the Hollies and Jimmy Cliff. Based primarily on influence, I'd have to go with the Chili Peppers (still producing great music after 25 years), LL Cool J (one of the few rap artists to still be active after 25 years and one of the first crossovers to big pop success), Kiss (millions of records sold and the first taste of rock and roll for many a child of the 70s), Genesis (everything through Abacab helped build progressive rock, past & future), The Stooges (huge influence on the punk and alternative movements), Donna Summer (introduced us to Europop and influenced divas for years to come. And she's a guilty pleasure of mine so I would feel validated.), Darlene Love (epitomizes the sound of those early 60s girl groups. Should get in for "Be My Baby" alone. Definitely influenced everyone from Springsteen to Amy Winehouse.), and Jimmy Cliff (helped introduce reggae to the world along with Marley.) For those I'm not choosing, ABBA had a lot of hits but little influence on other musicians. Laura Nyro, while a fine singer, had a fairly short-lived popular arc and I don't percieve her as being a huge influence on future artists. The Chantels were one of the first girl groups but I just don't know the songs and don't see them rippling through future generations.

Coming up on Tuesday at The National, is a guy who isn't in the Hall of Fame, but should be, Alice Cooper. Tix are $27.50 in advance, $32.50 day of show, doors open at 7 and show starts at 8 with opener 5th Avenue Vampires. Here's Alice doing Elected. This is a classic video and it has a chimp in it so you know its good. I know after this video, I'm writing Alice Cooper in for Governor of VA in the upcoming election.

I'll be back on Wednesday night with a U2 blowout and the upcoming weekend in Richmond so watch the Interwebs for that.


Tony Jordan

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BoDeans, Bugalo 6, Beatles, Elvis

Start with a little news. Some band from the 60s caused a stir this week when they released their remastered albums. For a witty review of the albums from these so-called "Beatles" check out Chuck Klosterman's review on the AV Club:,32560/.

Tomorrow night, the old Toad's Place reopens as The Hat Factory with classic alt-rockers, The BoDeans. Doors open at 8, the show starts at 9 with openers Jonah Smith and The Hackensaw Boys. Tix are $25. Here's wishing The Hat Factory the best of luck. The more music venues in town, the merrier, I always say.

Local funk/jazz band Bungalo 6 will be at Sine Irish Pub in the Bottom on Friday night. The show will start at 9. Here's their list of influences from their MySpace page so you can dig where they're comin' from: Quincy Jones, Curtis Mayfield, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Michael Jackson, Fiest, Erykah Badu, Donnie Hathaway, Lettuce, Jamie Liddell, Rick James, Isley Brothers, Guns and Roses, D' Angelo, Fiona Apple, Parliment Funkadelic.

That's about it for this week. There may be no blog next week as I am off to Vegas on Sunday for a conference. Pray for my soul as I enter that land of sin. To get us all in that Vegas mood, here's Elvis in Vegas in '70 before he got fat.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Tony Jordan

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Steel Mill, Stones & Feat drummer news, Rappin' Rodney

Not a whole lot going this week on account of the Labor Day holiday, so let's start off with a few news items.

Charlie Watts is still with the Stones, despite rumors to the contrary earlier this week. And the Stones are contemplating making a new album (possible with Jack White producing!) and an Exile on Main Street box set, which would kick ass. I was recently listening to the last Stones album "A Bigger Bang" which is pretty good. I was thinking though it really doesn't matter how good a new Stones album is because it will always be viewed up against the three album run they had with Beggar's Banquet, Sticky Fingers and Exile. And no album can stand up against those. The late 70s albums seem to have gained some stature over the last few years so perhaps it will take 20 - 30 years before the impact and worth of the full Stones catalog can be judged.

In sad news, Little Feat's drummer, Richie Hayward, is taking a leave of abscence from the band. He has severe liver disease (cancer) and may need a transplant. Richie is one of the founding members of the band and one of the greatest rhythm sections in rock history (with bassist Kenny Gradney). Send out some good vibes to Richie and hopefully we'll see him at their annual show at Innsbrook next year. In the meantime, the Feat soldier on with replacement drummer, Gabe Ford. Here's a clip from Richie's last show with the band (for now) doing "Spanish Moon":

Wednesday at The National, you can hear some of Springsteen's older songs and I mean pre-E Street Band songs when original E Street Band drummer Vini "Mad Dog" Lopez brings Steel Mill to town. Steel Mill was Bruce's band before he went off on his own and into history. Doors open at 7, and the show starts at 7:30 with the KRL Monsters of Rock performing Tom Petty's greatest hits and AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells. It will be interesting to see if Richmond native Robben Thompson, a former member of Stell Mill, shows up to play with the band.

That's about it for this week. I'll leave you with a video from the early 80's when everybody thought they could rap. Even Rodney Dangerfield.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Tony Jordan