When was the last concert you went in 2017

Good Friday, Wilco Johnson at The Ark, Bury St. Edmunds. just fabulous entertainment. his guitar just drifted off tune a couple of songs before the end, a quick re-tune (by ear) "good enough for rock" :-) no electronic tuners or FX pedals needed in this mans rig and once again the fantastic pub rock trio were back to it.

Wilco still has the killer stare, the erratic moves and pin sharp timing, how he makes one guitar sound like two I will never know.

Great to see him in good health.

 

Went with more than a little trepidation to see John Prine at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall last night.

My trepidation was because firstly, I have loved his music ever since I was a student in the 70s (I have around 10 or so of his albums in my collection) but have never had a chance up to see him live until now, and secondly, because he is getting on a little bit, and has been undergoing treatment recently for a serious illness.

However, I needn't have worried. John played more or less all of the standout tracks I would have selected myself in a fantastic 2 hour show. His guitar playing and vocal performances were exemplary, and he had a really tight band backing him for most of the set. Some great solo tracks as well plus a stunning surprise guest duet with Sturgill Simpson on "The speed of the sound of loneliness". I confess to not knowing a great deal about Sturgill Simpson, but his acoustic guitar playing on the song was superb.

So glad to have finally managed to see John Prine, and even more glad that he did not disappoint in the slightest. In fact, quite the contrary. To me he sounded much better live than on CD, and I guess this is the way it should be.

I think he only has one date left in the UK on his short tour (Manchester), but he will apparently be heading out to Canada after a sort break. If you are a fan of Prine and based in Canada, I would strongly recommend that you catch him while you can.

Next for me over the next few months: Al Stewart then Jackson Browne.

     

Bob Dylan
Palladium, London, Sunday 30th April 2017:

 1. Things Have Changed (single)
 2. To Ramona (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
 3. Highway 61 Revisited (Highway 61 Revisited)
 4. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Together Through Life)
 5. I Could Have Told You (Triplicate)
 6. Pay In Blood (Tempest)
 7. Melancholy Mood (Fallen Angels)
 8. Duquesne Whistle (Tempest)
 9. Stormy Weather (Triplicate)
 10 Tangled Up in Blue (Blood on the Tracks)
 11. Early Roman Kings (Tempest)
 12. Spirit on the Water (Together Through Life)
 13. Love Sick (Time Out of Mind)
 14. All or Nothing at All (Fallen Angels)
 15. Desolation Row (Highway 61 Revisited)
 16. Soon After Midnight (Shadows in the Night)
 17. That Old Black Magic (Fallen Angels)
 18. Long and Wasted Years (Tempest)
 19. Autumn Leaves (Shadows in the Night)
 20. Blowin' in the Wind (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
 21. Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited)

So glad I went, I was very lucky in row C with a great view of the stage and great sound.

Bob was in great form, the best for years, and his band just right for what was a great evening.

it was worth it just for Desolation Row.

Richard

 

 

Opera North's Turandot, LEDs Town Hall, 30th April.

Another semi-staged large scale opera from Opera North, using the large space of the Town Hall while their home venue is being renovated.

I thought it was a wonderful production. The principals all did a great job, Ping, Pang, Ping managed to be both weird and scary, Turandot was fantastic, Calaf sang beautifully and nailed Nessun Dorma wonderfully, and Liu's singing was heartbreakingly beautiful. Even so, the orchestra and even more the chorus stole the show for me.  The chorus were genuinely terrifying in the mob scenes in the early acts, and the choral finale was glorious. 

Went to see and hear The Robert Cray Band at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall last night (30th). While Robert gave a good set, I thought his backing band lacked lustre with not enough verve to last the evening. I felt I was drifting away after a half hour or so which is a pity given their huge back catalogue of rich laid-back rock. Perhaps I am just a little spoilt as the last backing group I heard (if I can call them that) was with a similar line-up accompanying John McClaughlin at Ronnie Scotts. Perhaps I'm just getting fussy in my later years. One thing is for sure, it's getting increasing more difficult to expect perfection, but when it happens...my goodness you know it.

They switched position between the first and second half. Hamelin on the left for Rite of Spring.

Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin

Program:
Mozart: Larghetto and Allegro in E-flat Major for Two Pianos

Stravinsky: Concerto for Two Pianos

Debussy: En blanc et noir
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

[ENCORE]

Stravinsky: Madrid for Two Pianos from Four Studies for Orchestra
Stravinsky: Circus Polka for Two Pianos
Stravinsky: Tango for Two Pianos

 By far the star of the afternoon was unforgettable Rite of Spring.

This performance was far more potent than any of live full orchestra sets  I have heard to date. Not only all the notes were played these guys were able to  capture and mimic the sound of each instrument out of two 9 ft. Steinway grands. More nimble than often stodgy rendition of orchestra version, the piano score is much more direct and powerful interestingly closest to Stravinsky's orchestra style.

Andsnes/Hamelin were so in tune like joined at a hip.

About this program, Andsnes explains:

“I first performed The Rite of Spring in 2009, also with Marc-André Hamelin. You really experience different aspects of it on two pianos. The rhythmic patterns become very precise, and the harmonies, which can sometimes be blurred in the larger orchestration, become so clear.

After the final note was played, it was so spectacular that,  the audience roar erupted. ( those guys knew they nailed it, too ) It was just electrifying I was completely absorbed and in awe.  They obliged FOUR encores which is very unusual for a piano recital at the Orchestra Hall.

If they come around in your area, do try catch their show. They won't disappoint!

I've read that, they are going to release it in upcoming CD.

Little Hurricane, Borderline Club, London, 2nd May.

Only the 2nd time they've played in the UK, and this was their only show on their current tour. A bit of a trek for me from Birmingham but well worth the effort.

CC never stopped smiling from start to finish (got to be the happiest drummer ever!) And Tone cranked out the tunes. A really enjoyable gig in a very small and intimate venue. I recommend them to anyone who likes that bluesy guitar sound.

Foto isn't great but gives you an idea of what this 2 piece from San Diego are about!IMG_20170502_215516

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Have this evening a concert with Hillary Hahn, not sure what to expect. It's the first time I will see her live....program as follows...

 

Hilary Hahn | Violine
Leonard Slatkin | Dirigent

Orchestre National de Lyon

Franck, Le chasseur maudit (Der wilde Jäger).
Symphonische Dichtung g-Moll FWV 44
Tschaikowsky, Violinkonzert D-Dur op. 35
Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique.
Épisode de la vie d’un artiste op. 14

Excellent performance, and some dry humour, from Al Stewart in Glasgow on 1st May.

He played a pretty good mix of songs, including many from his early albums that I listened to when I was a student.

Very enjoyable, and some spellbinding acoustic guitar accompaniment from David Nachmanoff and the amazing Tim Renwick. I knew of Tim Renwick's appearances with Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton, but I've only just discovered that he was the lead guitarist with Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. If Stewart's tour takes him anywhere near to your location, I would thoroughly recommend that you go to see him.  

Bert Schurink posted:

Have this evening a concert with Hillary Hahn, not sure what to expect. It's the first time I will see her live....program as follows...

 

Hilary Hahn | Violine
Leonard Slatkin | Dirigent

Orchestre National de Lyon

Franck, Le chasseur maudit (Der wilde Jäger).
Symphonische Dichtung g-Moll FWV 44
Tschaikowsky, Violinkonzert D-Dur op. 35
Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique.
Épisode de la vie d’un artiste op. 14

Concert was great, very good performance by Hilary, really enjoyed - nice tone, and special signature playing...... the orchestra was more average in the other pieces but still enjoyable enough....

 

She is sooooo nice, isn't she?

She comes around quite a lot at the Orchestra Hall but usually she plays more unusual pieces.

Did you get her autograph?

For Slatkin, I agree he can be so middle of the road, but I love his Ravel Le Tombeau De Couperin.

kuma posted:

She is sooooo nice, isn't she?

She comes around quite a lot at the Orchestra Hall but usually she plays more unusual pieces.

Did you get her autograph?

For Slatkin, I agree he can be so middle of the road, but I love his Ravel Le Tombeau De Couperin.

No I didn't get her autograph, and didn't also have a cd to sign of. I am ok with that as I am not so in this thing of oh this is signed by the artist. I was indeed happy that she played a regular piece like the Tchaikovsky  violin concerto.....

Muti/CSO: Brahms Symphony No.1 & 2

Old Muti is back! What a spectacular performance!

Muti has recorded all 4 symphonies with Philly but so far he only played the Second with the CSO. Now this season, CSO/Muti is going to play all four Brahms symphonies.

He was unusually energetic and tight leashed the band especially the No.1. Granite like control yet so lyrical, he kept a brisk pacing throughout. A big applaud to Chicago Brass accenting the music with beautiful colours.

This is a performance from last night.  Too bad they did not record the set from No.1 which was even better.

They are going to be playing the No.3 & 4 next week.

Muti Conducts Brahms Symphonies 1 & 2

Muti

FangfossFlyer posted:

Bob Dylan
Palladium, London, Sunday 30th April 2017:

 1. Things Have Changed (single)
 2. To Ramona (Another Side of Bob Dylan)
 3. Highway 61 Revisited (Highway 61 Revisited)
 4. Beyond Here Lies Nothin' (Together Through Life)
 5. I Could Have Told You (Triplicate)
 6. Pay In Blood (Tempest)
 7. Melancholy Mood (Fallen Angels)
 8. Duquesne Whistle (Tempest)
 9. Stormy Weather (Triplicate)
 10 Tangled Up in Blue (Blood on the Tracks)
 11. Early Roman Kings (Tempest)
 12. Spirit on the Water (Together Through Life)
 13. Love Sick (Time Out of Mind)
 14. All or Nothing at All (Fallen Angels)
 15. Desolation Row (Highway 61 Revisited)
 16. Soon After Midnight (Shadows in the Night)
 17. That Old Black Magic (Fallen Angels)
 18. Long and Wasted Years (Tempest)
 19. Autumn Leaves (Shadows in the Night)
 20. Blowin' in the Wind (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
 21. Ballad of a Thin Man (Highway 61 Revisited)

So glad I went, I was very lucky in row C with a great view of the stage and great sound.

Bob was in great form, the best for years, and his band just right for what was a great evening.

it was worth it just for Desolation Row.

Richard

 

My son and I saw him in Cardiff on Wednesday. I've seen him twice before (Blackbush in 1978 and Earls Court around 1980) and this might have been the best! I've been put off in recent years by reports of eccentric performances and his diminished voice, but he was amazing, as was his band.

Keith

Went to see Kandace Springs last night at the Sage, Gateshead.

It was in Hall Two, which was perfect as it's very small (only holds c300 at a guess). Her voice was tremendous and well supported by just bass and drums. Her piano playing was very good, and she was gorgeous. She did a lot of the tracks from Soul Eyes and a brilliant cover of Rag n Bone Man's 'Human'.

She also said that she has a new album out in the fall, so looking forward to that.

Nigel

Nigel 66 posted:

Went to see Kandace Springs last night at the Sage, Gateshead.

It was in Hall Two, which was perfect as it's very small (only holds c300 at a guess). Her voice was tremendous and well supported by just bass and drums. Her piano playing was very good, and she was gorgeous. She did a lot of the tracks from Soul Eyes and a brilliant cover of Rag n Bone Man's 'Human'.

She also said that she has a new album out in the fall, so looking forward to that.

Nigel

I like Hall Two, it has a nice intimate atmosphere and I imagine it would (as you say)  have suited her perfectly. Good to know she has a new album in the offing.

Hmack posted:

Excellent performance, and some dry humour, from Al Stewart in Glasgow on 1st May.

He played a pretty good mix of songs, including many from his early albums that I listened to when I was a student.

Very enjoyable, and some spellbinding acoustic guitar accompaniment from David Nachmanoff and the amazing Tim Renwick. I knew of Tim Renwick's appearances with Pink Floyd and Eric Clapton, but I've only just discovered that he was the lead guitarist with Sutherland Brothers and Quiver. If Stewart's tour takes him anywhere near to your location, I would thoroughly recommend that you go to see him.  

Saw Al Stewart on Friday at The Barbican in York but there's no point in me reviewing it as Hmack has done the job for me!

steve

Bert Schurink posted:

I am very very much looking forward to the concert of Dream Theater on Friday with their Images and Words tour....

I envy you! Do let me know how they were... Saw them live several times - the first one at the Marquee in London, right after the Images and Words were released. Than at the Brixton Academy and the last time in Prague several years ago.

 

Last Friday we went to the RCM for Rafael Payare conducting the RCM Philharmonic in Shostakovich's Symphony No.10.  

I was excited by this because I'd heard quite a buzz about Payare and I have to say he didn't disappoint.  He's currently chief conductor for the Ulster Orchestra, so for anyone living in Belfast you are extremely lucky!

Temples - 8.4 Strom Munich. I really love this location, the sort of place that makes me wish I was 20 years younger and a student again. Something special about it. Small and intimate and they usually have a decent offer or 2 at the bar. Temples were touring their new album. Good tunes played well, big sound. They have the necessary swagger, but maybe still just missing the killer hook that is needed to take them to the next level.

Sleaford Mods - 10.5 Freiheiz Munich. Astonishing...not really my thing but I didn't want to miss the chance to see them live.  They had the crowd in the palm of their hands right from the start, one of the biggest reactions I have seen out here. The tunes, the sound and the delivery....massive energy + real anger. Still never going to be my favourite band, but would go out of my way to see them live again any day of the week. Highly recommended.

Thursday, May 4, 2017, Aladdin Theatre, Portland.  Marc Cohn  great small theatre show in a venue that always has a respectful, knowledgable crowd.  Marc on piano, a gentleman on djembe and misc. percussion and a second keyboardist on organ, electric piano and backing vocals.  Marc covered his entire eponymous first album plus additional songs in a roughly 1 hr 20 min set.  What a voice.  Terrific varied arrangements of familiar songs.  Great rapport with audience.  A most enjoyable evening.

Thursday, May 11, 2017, Doug Fir Lounge, Portland.  Anais Mitchell small club show in a venue I am not fond of.  Anais was in terrific voice and played fine syncopated acoustic guitar with a support player on electric guitar.  But they hadn't had much prep time together before touring (jokingly, I think, saying once on Skype) and it showed in being a less than seamless interaction.  I am glad I got to see here live and I am completely enthralled with her music.  A wonderful lyricist.  A concert in a small theatre or college campus performance space would have been a better fit for her music or for me, as I am way too old for the club scene.

Yesterday I had my first concert of the weekend with Dream Theater. It was a brilliant concert. The guys concentrated the concert around the album Images and Words and it was going down the memory lane..... Before the break they played some songs which related more to the years after images and Words - more or less the last 24 years. The sound was first a great issue. But already in the 2nd song it improved and it improved further to a good sound. After the break it was the full album and then as encore A Change of Seasons. It's such a pleasure to listen to some of the most accomplished rock musicians in the world........happy I visited this concert. Now tomorrow a complete different concert with Joshua Bell.....

 

Bert Schurink posted:

Yesterday I had my first concert of the weekend with Dream Theater. It was a brilliant concert. The guys concentrated the concert around the album Images and Words and it was going down the memory lane..... Before the break they played some songs which related more to the years after images and Words - more or less the last 24 years. The sound was first a great issue. But already in the 2nd song it improved and it improved further to a good sound. After the break it was the full album and then as encore A Change of Seasons. It's such a pleasure to listen to some of the most accomplished rock musicians in the world........happy I visited this concert. Now tomorrow a complete different concert with Joshua Bell.....

 

Nice one Bert.

Bert Schurink posted:

Yesterday I had my first concert of the weekend with Dream Theater. It was a brilliant concert. The guys concentrated the concert around the album Images and Words and it was going down the memory lane..... Before the break they played some songs which related more to the years after images and Words - more or less the last 24 years. The sound was first a great issue. But already in the 2nd song it improved and it improved further to a good sound. After the break it was the full album and then as encore A Change of Seasons. It's such a pleasure to listen to some of the most accomplished rock musicians in the world........happy I visited this concert. Now tomorrow a complete different concert with Joshua Bell.....

 

Well done Bert!

I need to catch up!

Thursday, 30th March: Ese & The Vooduu People at the famous Dublin Castle in Camden, London. Despite a slightly depleted audience it was a great, high energy show. One of the problems playing this part of London is that certain promoters have the scene sewn up and they're all graspers and snakes...

Friday, 31st March. Back to Camden, this time to the Jazz Café, to see Shabaka Hutchings & The Ancestors.

I've got a lot of time for Big Shab, especially his work in Melt Yourself Down and Sons of Kemet, but I thought this gig and this band were merely OK.

Nothing wrong with them, just, for me, too much repetitive blowing, too many long pieces that never went asnywhere and a rhythm section that didn't really swing. I quite like the album but for me this gig didn't quite live up to the hype. But everyone else seemed to love it, so maybe I'm just deaf.

I preferred the support band (can't remember their name) who mixed funk, Sufi mysticism, jazz and hypnotic Tinawiren-style grooves.

Anyway, you can see the Ancestors for yourself in this video clip from the night I found on YouTube:

 

Muti/CSO: Brahms Symphonies No. 3 & 4

They concluded Brahms Symphony series with yet another outstanding performance.

It is hard to imagine how Brahms's 3rd was first thought as dry and intellectual by listening to Muti's reading.

Particularly his No.3 had an opera like narrative quality which brings out the most humanistic aspect of Brahms' score. Throughout, there was a beautiful flow, the music flows like a river yet, I can hear all the instrumental textures and layering clearly.

Altho, my friend claimed that horn missed a que slightly in the opening ( I certainly didn't notice! ), Muti brought out opulent colours and textures out of CSO horn and brass sections.  Tempo throughout was just about perfect. Not too slow not too fast. Perhaps he took waaaay too slow in the 3rd mvt. for my taste, but the contrast to the robust 4th movement was very effective. And the transition to the home key, the way he brings back the original F-A-F theme, was so beautiful and gentle, down to the last pluck of the strings, it had me in tears. ( yes music can do that! )

I was surprised that the house was absolutely full! There are 5 CSO recordings of Brahms' 3rd, but I hope the house makes this performance onto a CD release.

Personally, I think they should have taken down Wagner and replace it with Brahms.

Bert Schurink posted:

This evenings concert...

 

Joshua Bell | Violine
Daniel Harding | Dirigent

Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Ravel, Tzigane. Konzertrhapsodie für Violine und Orchester
Chausson, Poème für Violine und Orchester op. 25
Mahler, Symphonie Nr. 5 cis-Moll

The concert was solid. A good performance of Joshua Bell, no encore however. The Mahler 5 was also solid. Enjoyable, nothing to remark in the extreme positive or extreme negative direction.

 

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