Ramble On Ron

Diamonds, Music and other Facets of Life

Summer Concert Review

Posted on | September 5, 2009 | 5 Comments

As the late, great Jerry Garcia said, “Summer time’s come and gone my oh my.”  And this summer went fast.  I hit a few shows though, both local and national acts, and the results were mixed.  I’m gonna start in the spring.

March – Blues Traveler

Yeah I folded and thought that they would be good.  I’ve been seeing them ever since the Horde Festival way back in the early 90′s and remembered that they sucked live.  Well 2009 was no exception.  What a bore.  Next time just play your first album all the way through and Hook as the encore and get a new guitar player and it will rock!

March – The Allman Brothers Band

I have a yearly tradition of going to The Beacon in NYC to see the Allmans and this year I headed up with Laura.  Had a great dinner at Neo before the show BTW.  Of course I missed Eric Clapton play with them the night before, but got to catch a great show as usual with a Bruce Hornsby guest appearance.  The Allmans bring me back to college and The Beacon is the best place to see them. Plus, Warren Haynes is one of my all time favorite guitar players – only with the Allmans.  I discussed Warren in the post – Warren Haynes Is Better With The Allman BrothersClick here to see some video I took at the show.

June – Santana

Surprisingly, Santana was one of the best shows I saw all summer.  I saw him in Vegas at the Hard Rock and was not expecting much.  I guess that’s part of it – not expecting much.  Sat in the 3rd row center and I have to say that Carlos delivered.  Sure he played his hits and scattered a few new tunes in the set.  But guess what?  I wanted to hear him rip Oye Como Va, and he also did this killer version of Soul Sacrifice.

July – The Bridge

These guys are an up and coming band in Baltimore.  I hope they make it because they are very talented and good guys.  I had a great time at the show.  Click here to see my band jamming out with lead guitarist from The Bridge, Cris Jacobs.

August – Phish

I’ve been seeing Phish for a long time and was pumped to have 2nd row at this show.  I used to see them in small venues back in the early 90′s and as soon as they started playing bigger venues, I did not enjoy it as much.  The show at Merriweather Post Pavillion was the one show that had a terrible setlist.  The shows before and after had all the great songs that I love, so part of the blame was timing.  Click here to see a funky jam I recorded, but overall, not the best show.  Could I have gotten just one YEM, Stash, Golgi, Cavern, Suzy Greenberg, Chalkdust or any of the other fifty songs I like?  Oh well.

August – The Black Crowes

I’ve seen the Crowes five times now.  The first time in Atlanta 1991, then at a small bar in Baltimore called Bohager’s which was a great show, in Atlantic City at The Borgata, in Philadelphia with Jimmy Page, (which was one the best shows I have ever seen from any band – all Zepplin) and this last show at the Ram’s Head in Baltimore.  This last show was sooo boring.  All new stuff that I guess is on their new album, (that they recorded at Levon Helm’s farm) but it was slow.  And of course The Ram’s Head oversold the show so you couldn’t even see them.  It also didn’t help that Chris Robinson was a jerk on stage.  He was the same way at Bohager’s but a least they played a great show.  Hey Chris, big deal, you married Kate Hudson – she realized what a schmuck you are and got rid of you – good move Kate!  Your brother’s Rich’s hot wife dumped him too and took his money.  Maybe they’ll sell their diamonds to me through DivorceYourDiamond.com.

I saw a theme at these shows.  All the bands that I loved so much in college went through (and are going through) the same trip.  They were new and fresh and hungry when they first came out on the scene.  Then they got sick of each other, got older, and went on to do solo stuff.  Trey, Mike and Paige from Phish did it and so did Chris and Rich Robinson from The Black Crowes.  Well, they didn’t make any coin from their solo careers, so they got back together to go on tour and make a new album to earn some money.  At their live shows, they play all the new stuff and very little of the old beacause they’re sick of it, but the crowd wants to hear the old tunes.  Because that’s what brings them back to a good time in their life and that’s what is familiar.  Only music can give you that feeling.  It’s like when I hear a Journey song and get that nervous feeling in my stomach that I had to ask a girl to slow dance.  Now, I don’t expect them never to create new music.  As an artist, that’s what it’s about.  But when you’re paying $50 or more a ticket, maybe the band shouldn’t be so selfish and play some crowd pleasers and covers.  Take it from Carlos Santana – it’s NOT all about them!  Look, on a much much smaller scale, when my band Heller Highwater is practicing for a gig and we jam a tune that is fun, we nix it sometimes.  Why?  Because we say to ourselves. “Is anyone really gonna want to listen to this?”  If the answer is no, then we don’t play it live.  Maybe these guys who do this for a living should think the same way…

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