Sunday 1 July 2012

A Musical Journey June - Live Music

So June has been and gone, The start to the British summer is upon us and it's the same old story, hopes of lazy summer days are washed away with terrential downpour, but nevertheless we still hope and still pray that one day, one summer we will bask in sunshine! Music is a great accompaniant to British summers, or at least they are to me, I often associate many of my summers with key songs, and as soon as these songs are heard my mind opens up the vault of memories it holds tied to them, I wrote about some of them here.

Anywho I am as ever getting distracted from my original post. This months Musical journey entry is a little different. If you read my blog you'll be aware that this past month I went to see 3 great gigs in the space of one week seeing more than 7 bands at these gigs. Each one was great and so instead of me talking about music I have listened to in my car, or on my radio this months post is about the 3 greats gigs I went and rocked to, so here goes....

#1 Blink 182-
Support Acts - Twin Atlantic / The All-American Rejects

I enjoyed both support bands, I'd never heard of Twin atlantic so hearing them heree has made me want to downlaod some of their songs to know them more, their songs were kind of in the vain of Blink 182 which I guess says why they are supproting them. All American Rejects,I'd never seen live before but quite like them. The lead singer is quite clearly crazy as he was all opver the place and kept fing and blinding which was quite funny and seeing him was entertainment in itself.

Blink 182 were on form and looked to be at their best. I've had the joy of seeing them two times previously, each time better than the last, but last nights show saw the band act more comedic as ever before, they looked like they were enjoying it, and so because of their apparent enjoyment, this fed off onto the crowd, who in turn enjoyed the night. As the band seemed even more enjoying themselves their music playing and singing grew more bold, guitar and drum solos louder and harder than ever before. To say the gig was good is an understatement.

For an encore the band decided that restricting themselves to the main stage wasn't good enough, Mark and Tom (the guitarists) took to a pre arranged centre stage, something that was just bigger than the garden patio I'm currently sat on. The played with their acoustic guitars telling stories of the 2 songs they were about sing about how they were wrote when they were teenagers in California. Of course this probably had happened at all the other shows they've recently played, in fact I know they had as my good friend Disco Dave had been to them and told me about them, but you get a sense that all the comedy moments in the show was pre routine, but it just happens on the spot.

Blink also announced in the evening that England was winning the football, and 5 minutes later announced that England had won to a cheer from the crowd, this would also be something Tom would refer back to to get a cheer if one of his jokes fell flat on it's face, but he does so brilliantly the crowd laugh at him anyway. Theres not many American bands I can think of who would have had the courtesy to do such a thing, but with Blink you sense that these shows meant a lot to them, they meant a lot to the crowd, after all many had probably done as I had and bought the tickets 2 years ago expecting the show last year only to have it rearranged to this year.

I ended the evening waiting for 40 minutes to see the band and the back gates, there was nothing pre arranged it was purely that's where Dave wanted to go, he had managed to go backstage last week in their London shows, so I thought might as well join him, we didn't see anyone and after 40 minutes I decided that I'd had enough of waiting, I'm still waiting to hear if he saw them today, but I wouldn't mind if I missed them, seeing them on top form like I did tonight was enough. They managed to get a healthy mix of old and new songs playing classics like carousel with new songs like after midnight. They also played their comic songs like Blew Job and Country song, much to the crowds delight.

My favourite Blink song has to be Dammit, a nice quick song that ends just under 3 minutes. Classic Blink and just a great song that gets you smilingg....

#2 The Red Hot Chilli Peppers-
Support Acts - Reverand and the Makers / The FutureHeads / The Wombats

All the bands were good and well recieved by the crowd. As I had predicted to my OH the futureheads would play hounds of love and divide the crowd to sing the chorus as they always do. The wombats were very lively and in all honesty looked like they could be a main stage headline act in their own right.The Chillis came on in their usual high tempo energy. The band did a lot of old songs mixed with the new and the set felt very well balanced enough for the crowd to appreciate and please all types of fans. There was also a lot of their famous jams inbetween songs, this not something I was too aware of not being a huge fan, I enjoy their singles but can't confess to knowing many album tracks, but nevertheless I was able to enjoy the show. OH had us dancing, she had me stood up grabbing hold of me to ensure if she tumbled I'd be taken down with her.

I'd have to say though that my favourite Chillis song, and so the song I decided to post on here is Dani California. I know a weird one to choose, but I have my reasons. This song I remember was released when I was at Uni sitting my third year and final exams, a time in my life I truely enjoyed, living in Liverpool, so due to that it makes it my favourite Chillis song.

#3 Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band-
Support Acts - None, cos thats how the Boss rolls!

We initially started quite close to the front enjoying the first few tracks, but had got separated from our group of friends. Usually at gigs I'm more far to just bopping around, listening to the music and moshing a little if need be, yet at Bruce I prefer a. It more space to dance (although I'm not a very good one, the fact I had a fair few beers probably helped aid this desire) with this in mind we soon went further back in the crowd. We had found our friends and enjoying the music.
The boss played a lot from his new album wrecking ball and then an encore of hits. His whole show lasting between 3 and a half and 4 hours. The weather may have not been the best, but it could have been a lot worse, it being overcast and for only 5 minutes actually raining. It didn't dampen any ones spirits as The band started belting out hits such as Born to Run, Dancing in the Dark and Glory days many people were singing and dancing, often with perfect strangers, but this doesn't matter as their is a certain cameradere present when seeing an act of this magnitude. Couple this with people hearing the Boss sing new songs live for us for the first time such as waitin' on a sunny day and Jack of all trades, the crowd took really well eager to hear each song thrown our way. There was no need for flashy light effects and the use of bad langauage or stage props, the Boss and E Street are old school and just need Guitars, drums and the crowd, they make the show, they tailor the show to the crowd, no 2 gigs are the same, the crowd knows that and th band know that they aim to give you a show you remembered and they certainly succeeded.

The highlight of the night was undoubtedly the tribute played to the late great Clarence Clemons, the saxophonist on Bruce's biggest hits. The Big man will never be replaced, and his presence on stage was duly noted. It's great that the E Street managed to keep it in the family and have his nephew take up sax duties, and I'm sure his uncle taught him how to be such a good saxophonist. The band played 10th Avenue Freeze out as one of the last songs, and the lyric hit, "When the big man joined the band" the music stopped and a montage of pictures of Clarence played on the screens, from years gone by, at this point the crown stood and clapped, this was the case for the next 2 minutes until the band restarted the song from that point. A touching and fitting tribute for the big man himself who is sorely missed, but a fitting tribute to his greatness as a truly fantastic sax player.

The gig was beyond words, its tough to describe how good it was, and that is why I have to finish my post now, I could keep going on about each song and how the crowd reacted or talk about the night in endless details, but it wouldn't do any of it justice. To simply say The Boss was electric, the E Street Band was on fire and the atmosphere was magnetic would be a few simple steps to describe it, but would still be nowhere near giving it justice.

My favourite Boss song for a final video to leave you with, WOW thats tough, theres too many great ones to choose. Therefore I will leave you just as the Boss did in Sunderland with Tenth Avenue Freeze out as a tribute to the Big man Clarence Clemons.....

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