With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

Journey & Def Leppard – Madison Square Garden, New York, USA – Wednesday 13th June 2018 June 17, 2018


Well thanks to a business trip to New York this blog is about to give you its third gig review from the Big Apple! I was only in New York for three nights but I thought I would check out who might be playing only to find joint headliners Journey and Def Leppard appearing at the iconic Madison Square Garden venue in the heart of New York City. Until now I had never seen Journey and the last time I saw Def Leppard was in the early 1980s, so this was one I was really looking forward to. I was joined by my brilliant boss Shannon and how good was the show? Well dear reader you will need to read on to find that out.

Journey formed in San Francisco way back in 1973 by some former members of Santana and an US psych band known as Frumious Bandersnatch (which if you wondered was the name of a character from that immortal Lewis Carroll poem, “Jabberwocky”. Sadly Journey have operated without original lead singer Steve Perry for some time now, he was replaced by Arnel Pineda. While Arnel has a great voice he will never be Steve Perry, although his stagecraft is pretty darned good. The only ever-present member of the band is guitarist Neal Schon, although bassist Ross Valory was there in 1973, but he left for a several years from the late 80s. I am convinced Journey are one of the finest rock bands that the US has produced and their songs are testament to that. From opener “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” through to the magnificent encore of “Any Way You Want It” (in my opinion one of their greatest songs) they were great. Although there was a lot of focus on Neal Schon’s guitar prowess, something which has been criticised in earlier reviews of this tour, there is no denying that he is an ace axeman. But surely if you see a classic band like this guitar solos are expected, right? The pre-encore set closed unsurprisingly with “Don’t Stop Believin'”, the Journey song that everyone knows, and yes it brought the house down. For me though the highlight was “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” from 1979’s ‘Evolution’ album and Steve Smith’s amazing drum solo which seemed almost effortless.

I believe that the bands have alternated the order of their appearance on this tour, but tonight it was Def Leppard, one of Sheffield’s greatest and most successful rock bands to hit the stage last. The excitement was stirred by a big screen countdown clock highlighting exactly when Joe and the boys would appear. They opened with a magnificent two punch combination of “Rocket” and “Animal”. Stunning and storming versions of “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Armageddon It” were hammered into us in the first half of a set that made it clear just what a collection of great songs this band has. They chose an early 70s UK chart hit to cover mid set and for me the choice was a little surprising, it was David Essex’s first hit “Rock On” which Def Leppard made their own. In their hands it became ten times heavier and it seemed to go down incredibly well. There was a soulful and emotional acoustic rendition of “Two Steps Behind”. Rick Allen’s drum solo in “Switch 265” was astounding and it looked like he was loving it. In fact the whole band seemed to be enjoying themselves. Joe Elliott and Rick Savage have been with the band from the start, while Rick Allen joined in 1978. “Hysteria” and that wonderful rock sing along “Pour Some Sugar On Me” closed the set before an encore to die for; “Rock Of Ages” which after this gig is now my new favourite Def Leppard song, and “Photograph”. This show was well worth the admission price and if you get the chance don’t miss it. I would love to hear from you if you have seen any of the shows on the tour.

Public Service Announcement: Pictures discovered via Google and videos via YouTube. If you want me to credit you in this post if any of these are yours then please let me know.

 

Reel Big Fish – Liverpool O2 Academy – Wednesday 21st October 2015 October 23, 2015


This was my third visit to the O2 Academy in Liverpool in just over a week and there hasn’t been a poor night yet! Not that I want one mind you. Anyway tonight was going to be the first time that I had seen Reel Big Fish for around ten years. But before we move on to them there is the little matter of the support bands to deal with. First up were the rather fabulous local (well they are from the Wirral) purveyors of a really original British style of ska with a fun punk attitude, which echoes the Jamaican roots of the style with a nod towards the late seventies UK revival of this wonderful form of reggae. Ladies and gentlemen I give you Broken 3 Ways. If they are playing anywhere near you then believe me I will be very, very disappointed indeed if I hear that you didn’t go and see them.

b3w

Next up were the California-based ska pop punk band Suburban Legends. Are they suburban? I don’t know. Are they legends? Well I reckon then can become so! They played some great covers of, would you believe it, Disney songs. This sort of thing shouldn’t really work, but it does with this band. The fact that they can carry off ska punk style versions of “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Under The Sea” with such aplomb is the mark of a great band in my opinion. They supplemented Disney with a few originals and a rousing version of Neil Diamond‘s “Sweet Caroline“. Could this night get any better?

SuburbanLegends_Promo1_BW_High

Actually it could get better and it did. Is it even possible to not enjoy a Reel Big Fish gig? I don’t believe that it is. This was a phenomenal set by a band that remains at the peak of their power after more than twenty years of success. From set opener “Everyone Else Is An Asshole” to the superb cover of A-Ha‘s “Take On Me” at the end of the encore the quality and the pace never dropped. they played around with some potential and fun covers; “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Don’t Stop Believing” respectively. But perhaps the best cover of the night was a stonking work out of the ska classic “Monkey Man”, Toots Hibbert would be proud of that one! This band has so many great songs and they played a stack of them tonight; “Your Girlfriend Sucks”, “The Kids Don’t Like It”, “She Has A Girlfriend Now”, “Don’t Start A Band” and “Your Girlfriend Sucks” were some of my favourites from this set. I will not be waiting for ten years before I see them again. Go and see them yourselves right now. That’s an order!

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“Howling in shadows living in a lunar spell” December 14, 2010


Well there really isn’t a great deal to say about this fantastic album cover animation other than it is truly brilliant. It’s called Battle Of The Bands and it truly is a fight to the death!

If I have noted it correctly it contains album covers from all the following artists, if you see any I have missed just let me know!

Foreigner, Yazoo, Billy Joel, Shaun Cassidy, Violent Femmes, Rick James, Eminem, Joe Jackson, Beastie Boys, 50 Cent, Roxy Music, King Crimson, Scorpions, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Coldplay, Rush, Boston, AC/ DC, Def Leppard, Replacements, Jane’s Addiction, Love And Rockets, Depeche Mode, Ozzy Osbourne, Weezer, B 52s, Dead Kennedys, Van Halen, Dio, Iron Maiden, Night Ranger, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, OMD, Nirvana, Asia, David Lee Roth, Black Flag, Cars, Michael Jackson, Beatles, Journey, Green Day, Hermans Hermits, Madness, Phil Collins, Lou Reed, Madonna, Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Lionel Richie, Devo, Jimi Hendrix, Quiet Riot and Metallica.

My favourites are Michael Jackson and Roxy Music, what are your favourites? Can you find the hidden Ozzy track?

 

“Pack his raincoat show him out” November 3, 2010


A balls up from the Met perhaps?

"You wanna use song titles in your evidence?" "You've got the gun, want me to play piano?"

A Metropolitan Police Firearms Officer has been suspended after giving evidence at the inquest into Mark Saunders. Saunders was a  Barrister who was killed by the police in May 2008 following a threatening standoff involving a shotgun at his Chelsea home.The suspension happened after it was discovered that he planted numerous song titles in his evidence. Among those songs were;

“No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” Donna Summer and Barbara Streisand

“Point of No Return” – Duran Duran

“Line of Fire” – Journey

“Faith”George Michael

“Quiet Moments” Chris De Burgh

“Kicking Myself” – As Tall As Lions

“Fuck My Old Boots” – Membranes

Now I have played this game, along with Bullshit Bingo at various meetings over the years, however I would not dream of doing anything like it in such a serious situation. Just what kind of idiot is this copper? To think that he is allowed to carry a gun too! You can read the story at the Guardian and the BBC.

I have played said game on at least two occasions. Firstly back in the 90s when I worked in the Finance team at a large Pharmaceutical company. We decided to see who could get the most Phil Collins solo titles into their working day. I didn’t win. The champion was Dave, who actually managed to get “Sussudio” into a conversation! How did he manage that? Well largely because he always struggled to pronounce the name of one of the director’s PAs, which was Cecilia. As I recall the conversation went something along the lines of “Has anyone seen Ce-Ce-Ce-Sussudio” I also realise that this does not look even remotely funny when you read it, but you really had to be there.

The second occasion was a little more planned and prepared. I was working in the project delivery team at a large electrical retailer in the UK back in 2000. Four of us decided that we were going to liven up our fortnightly status meeting with the IT Director by slipping as many Elton John song titles into the meeting as we could. We could only work from a pre agreed list of 25 songs. Apart from me the other participants were Kim, Phil and Frank. Phil bottled out and refused to take part and Frank was unwell, so that left just me and Kim. We both managed 11 each, however at the AOB stage of the meeting Irene the IT Director turned to Kim and said why do you have a list of what appears to be song titles in front of you and columns headed with four names. Basically Kim bottled it and simply said to Irene, it’s Elton John bingo and it’s all Bill’s idea. ( For the non regular readers I am Bill, but I’m not Spartacus, well not in this story anyway) As it happens I had resigned earlier that week so no punishment was forthcoming thankfully. There is a rather amusing footnote though, Irene the IT Director actually scored three points without even knowing she was playing. So for Kim an myself that meant that we were the winners but that Phil had effectively finished fourth out of three! Confused? probably!

I would love to hear your own stories of bullshit bingo experiences!

 

 
I Am Incorrigible

Libidinous curmudgeon & faux intellectual snob. Fighting injustice and exposing media driven political hypocrisy. Evidence not ideology. Merit not money. Neither red nor blue. Blog best viewed at 125% (based on 19" monitor)

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