Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jeff Lynne's ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) - Irving Plaza, NYC - November 20, 2015 photos, video and review

I think I have better luck (or maybe just so much more practice) scoring tickets to these special shows that sell out basically in seconds than most folks because I got lucky once again.  

I got a Live Nation text alert a little after lunch last Thursday (November 12) saying Jeff Lynne's ELO would be playing Irving Plaza in NYC the following Friday (November 20) and presale was at 4pm that day.

It turns out the presale was for member's of the fanclub who had been sent a password and it took me about 15 minutes to guess it (it was "alone".)  The new album is called "Alone in the Universe" so it probably shouldn't have taken me that long to guess, but by the time I did, whatever pre-sale ticket allocation was set aside had sold out. So I would have to try the next day at 10am during general onsale.  I didn't hold out much hope.  It would be while I was at work and Ticketmaster is blocked by my job (I have no clue why, I don't think folks are sitting on ticketmaster all day instead of working) so it would mean trying to get them using my iphone which never works well for these mad rush on sales.

The capacity for Irving Plaza is 1025 according to their website (I mention this not only in regards to how tough it was to get tickets, but how this affected the experience of the show).  The ticket limt for this show was two per person - figuring maybe 200 went during pre-sale at best there's 800 left, so at 10am, out of the thousands of fans/scalpers trying to get them, the first 400 will get through.

I knew I would try, but made myself ready to be dissapointed.  

10:00am comes and I pop in my 2 ticket option and wait until the window comes up asking if I'm a robot. I click no and the window with 12 pictures comes up telling me to click on the ones that contain a dessert and the goddamn pictures are so small on the iphone and wouldn't blow up that I'm guessing that I see a dessert and not a mountain range.  I evidently guess correctly and about 45 seconds in I get exactly what I expected - "There are no tickets available."

So this is when you keep trying for about ten minutes and pray for bad luck for others.  I have no problem doing this because I've been the person who has had great tickets pop up for a show, only to lose them because of either a time out or lost network connection. Well about 4 minutes later my prayers are answered and two tickets someone else lost became available and I got them.  There was no tiered ticket pricing.  All tickets were $65 (plus $15 convenience charge) and general admission.

I was stoked!  I'm going to see ELO in more or less their first concert in America in decades.  My buddy Kev is a huge ELO fan and it's possible he had the best orgasm of his life (don't tell his wife) when he learned of the news and was told to free up next Friday night.

Friday, November 20 arrives and Kev and I hop on Metro North after work.  Get to Grand Central, hop the subway, get to Irving Place and the line to get in is down the block around the corner, but it's moving fast.  Basically under the marquee, there was security checkpoint first then ticket scan and you're in.

The tickets said the doors were 6:30 so the show would probably start 7:30 or 8:00.  We had our tickets scanned at about 7:10 and went inside where you then walk up a flight of stairs to the main floor and Holy Shit!

Now, we know the show is sold out, but I've been to plenty of sold out shows at Irving Plaza and we know we're not there late...there was still a line a block long continuously being let in after we got in, but again Holy was SO PACKED.

We soon learned why.  A couple of reasons actually

First no one with standard general admission tickets was allowed upstairs in the balcony (unless maybe this was fanclub?  But you know all the fanclub folks are skipping that option and are as close as possible).  So pretty sure this was VIP only.  Usually one side of the balcony is roped off for VIP and sometimes both, but even when that happens, there a pretty large area in front of the upstairs bar behind the soundboard where you can stand and watch the show.  But no dice tonight.

Next if you're on the main floor facing the stage, on the right there's a ramped up section which is sometimes VIP and again that was roped off too.  

So a major amount of floor area is roped off and there was so much room in there...oh to be one of the beautiful people...

Lastly and probably the biggest issue, I stated before that the soundboard for Irving Plaza is front and center of balcony upstairs.  Tonight, evidently that was not good enough, so they gated off I'd say a 10' x 20'x area in the small main floor for I assume ELO's personal soundboard.  200 square feet that would normally be open to the folks that paid $80 for their tickets was now used up and the other available areas locked down.

EVERY INCH of the main floor was packed right back to the bar to the point you couldn't get into the main floor area at all, so let me show you this video below during "Sweet Talkin' Woman" to give an idea of how a lot of us had to watch this show.  This was the best spot we could eventually find.

Yep...We had to stand in the hallway to watch the show.  And you're probably saying, "Aw that looks like fun...those drunk singing folks are having a blast."  I'll admit I agree with you it was fun for a while, but not for every song of the set.  Oh and don't let me forget the best part, when during the last song or two, security came through yelling at everyone to move it closer to the wall by the packed in main floor doors because they needed a clear path at all times (I'm not sure why this became important 10 minutes before the show ended).

So being a roll with the punches kind of guy, you kind of have to say fuck it and think I'm here and I'm lucky to be here, so let's talk about the band and the show itself.

The stage was already set and lit when we got there, so we could tell there almost definitely wouldn't be an opening band and that was correct.  The lights dimmed at a couple of minutes after 8:00 and the current 12 piece version of Jeff Lynne's ELO hit the stage with "All Over the World."

About a minute into this song was when you heard the following two comments which everyone in attendance either said or heard at least 17 times throughout the night:

"(Choose from "Damn!" "WOW!" "HOLY CRAP!" etc) Jeff Lynne looks exactly like he did back in the day" (which often would then lead to discussion of guessing how old he is...according to the all knowing source of truth Wikipedia, he's 67 - turning 68 on December 30)

As well as "His Voice/The Band sounds exactly like the record"  Which he/they did. 

The setlist for the night was basically (almost) all the greatest hits ("Do Ya" being the one biggie that was missing) plus four songs from the new album which basically sound like all the old hits.  

In case you haven't see it elsewhere, here's the full setlist:
All Over The World
Evil Woman
Turn to Stone
When I Was a Boy
Livin' Thing
One Step at a Time
Strange Magic
Don't Bring Me Down
Steppin' Out
Sweet Talkin' Woman
Can't Get It Out of My Head
When the Night Comes
Ain't it a Drag
Rock 'n' Roll Is King
Telephone Line
Mr. Blue Sky
Super quick encore break:
ELO's version of the Chuck Berry Classic "Roll Over Beethoven"

Time show ended 9:27pm!  We actually were able to hop on the subway and catch the 9:47 train back up North.  Home on time to catch "Murder She Wrote".  Earliest show ever in NYC!

I usually don't read about shows I attended until after I write about them, but this one couldn't be avoided today.  From the review on Rolling Stone online by Rob Sheffield to everyone on Facebook on the Jeff Lynne page all I read were words like "Magical," "Incredible," "Greatest show ever."

I'd say it was simply "Really Good."  I'll probably receive hate comments for saying that, but it being that it was a perfect live band greatest hits duplication of the studio version of songs (so basically you'd never say "Oh man, you like that gotta hear it live!") along with instead of being in the full mix of the crowd but with the main floor outsiders, I didn't really feel any electricity in the air that I did at the other special gigs that were super hard to get tickets for and in some cases in arenas (ie. Patti Smith closing night at CBGB or one of the three 2013 Rolling Stones shows).

But it was "really good."  I'm glad I finally got to see them and I hope for all my friends that wanted my extra ticket that they do a US tour next year so they can go.  The overall audience reaction was fantastic and appreciated.  Jeff Lynne looked like Fonzi with his leather jacket and all the thumbs up he did between songs through out the night.

I heard many people talking of traveling from as far away as California and outside the country to see this show.  I bet for them this was the "greatest show ever" and hell, that's awesome for them.

Click on any of the photos to supersize them.

If you dug reading/viewing this (or totally disagree with me) go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests (some damn good ones coming soon!)  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cheetah Chrome with Dead Elvi at Chiller Theatre in NJ - "Sonic Reducer" Live Video - October 24, 2015

A quick post tonight of one of the highlights of this years Chiller Theatre convention party on Saturday October 24, 2015.

During the Dead Elvi's set, Cheetah Chrome (who was a guest at the convention - see my fan boy photo with him below), hopped on stage to perform the Dead Boys classic "Sonic Reducer."

If you dug reading/viewing this, go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests (some damn good ones coming soon!)  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

Saturday, November 14, 2015

7 Year Bitch - NYC Home Alive Benefit - March 2, 1996 and December 1993 tour

If you're interested in the full story of 7 Year Bitch headlining the Home Alive Benefit in NYC on March 2, 1996, then click here to read part one of that night. 

This post will pick up with the photos I took of the band that night and then continue on to talk about the first time I saw them on December 1, 1993 on what was one of the greatest tour packages of all time:  Cypress Hill / Rage Against The Machine / Funkdoobiest / 7 Year Bitch

So again, here's the link to part 1 (which also explains why there are only four friggin photos here)

And here's the photos from the Home Alive NYC Benefit which featured Selene Vigil on vocals, Elizabeth Davis on bass, Valerie Agnew (in the killer King Diamond shirt) on drums and Roisin Dunne on guitar.

So let's go a little bit back further in time to December 1, 1993 and my live introduction to 7 Year Bitch.

7YB are posting their history on their Facebook page right now and posted a flyer from this tour earlier today.  If you read their page you may have already seen this next part which I added to the comments, but if not, I'm just gonna copy what I posted and share again here:

"I've been to a lot of shows over the past 30 years and I love talking live music and like any music fan, there's always the question of "What's the best show you've ever see?" and it really is impossible to pick, but the immediate ones that come to mind are the three times I got to see The Stooges (1st reunion then doing all of Fun House and then doing all of Raw Power) and this tour. Saw this on 12/1 at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, NY which was my younger sister's 15th Birthday. Was already a big Rage and Cypress fan and knew a tune or two by Funkdoobiest. I had heard of 7 Year Bitch recently I'm almost sure in an interview you did for Fiz (or was it Fizz by that time) magazine and in those days what you read about a band had some meaning before you saw them. Needless to say the whole night blew us away. Stopped at the merch booth before leaving and picked up the CD, shirt and sticker (plus a three page pamphlet RATM were giving away) and walked behind the civic to the back door where we met you gals. You definitely dug the fact that my sister came out for her 15th bday and you did autographs all around (I can't find my damn signed "Sick 'em" CD or I'd post that too. I remember at least a few of you adding "SMP" to your signatures. heheh (note: "Smoke More Pot")...we all chatted and then you guys said "Did you meet Tom (Morello)?" and we had missed him so one of you went and got him off the bus and he came out and chatted too...Tomahawk from Funkdoobiest hung for a while and Zach stopped for a moment as he exited. Awesome experience and the show was so good we drove to New Britain, CT 6 days later to catch it again at The Sting. Then you kept releasing even better albums and became even more intense live over the next few years. I can't wait til this #7YearBitchHistory reaches present day and says you are touring and/or doing a new album! Here's some shots of the ticket stubs and my shitty old sticker covered guitar with the 7YB sticker in the primo spot."

Dear movie prop houses, if you are filming a movie about a young fella in 1996 who likes rock and plays guitar I will be happy to lend this sticker collage 6 string o' mine.

So there you go gang. I hope some 7 Year Bitch fans dug this, but more importantly I hope it has some of you check them out and like their page and sign up on their mailing list and see them if/when they reunite!  If you need a starting point go with Viva Zapata!

This is one of those rare things I sometimes mention - the perfect album.  Great from beginning to end and one of my fave albums of all time (but you can't go wrong with the others.  If you dig real raw sounds, go with their debut "Sick 'Em" instead and hell, you absolutely can't go wrong with their third and final album "Gato Negro" either")

Now please let's hear a tour announcement!

If you dug reading this, go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests (some damn good ones coming soon!)  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul

NYC Home Alive Benefit part 1- March 2, 1996 - Spilth, Gretta Harley, Cristien Storm, Bush Tetras, Ruth Ruth, 7 Year Bitch...and maybe Combine?

I'm talking about this 19 and a half year old benefit concert mainly because of 7 Year Bitch.  In the past couple of week on their suddenly very active Facebook page, they are running through their history and moving at a pretty good clip.  They are showing posters and photos from concerts and as of a few hours ago they were at the early part of 1994.  I figured I would dig out these photos I took at the Home Alive gig in case they wanted to use them when they get to March 2, 1996 and even if they don't, I do want to share this old stuff I have with any other fans who might dig it.

So while 7YB is having me post, you'll notice this is part 1 which will include everything but 7YB.  I'll immediatly post part 2 when I'm done with this which will be the 7YB portion of the show along with the story of the first gig I saw of theirs.

I wish I had more from this show.  This was at the time when you still had to sneak in cameras and I don't know where I got it, but right before this show I was either given a roll of film or a disposable camera (I think the latter) from a company called Seattle Filmworks that would have you use their camera, then mail it to them in Seattle and pay whatever and they would process the film AND give you a CD-ROM with your scanned pictures for I think 5 bucks more. That was a great deal and great price in 1996 when scanners were expensive as all hell.

I also think I expected there to be alot of security at this show because like EVERY benefit show of this type in a major city the rumor was ALWAYS that Pearl Jam would show up (and if you weren't around then, Pearl Jam were SO huge).  I would have gone to this gig anyway, but I assure you I too was hoping for a PJ guest appearance (or Soundgarden or Joan Jett or any of the many bands I loved on the Home Alive compilation album)

None of that was to be.  You can see who was scheduled for this show and that is who showed up (although I wonder about Sexpod...I know I was front and center at this show and pretty much was snapping at least 1 photo of every band with my one dumb ass roll of film, but have nothing of them)

Also you can see the spoken word lineup which took place in a smaller back room. I know I checked that out for a few minutes, but can't guarantee all of those folks performed although I'm about 90% sure I remember seeing Jim Carroll walking around. He wasn't on the bill and lived in NYC, so was probably just checking out the gig.

So above are the two ticket stubs I have, but don't let the VIP PASS written on top fool you.  This was the standard general admission ticket we bought at the door and what I believed everyone got for the $20 or so admission.

 Not really alot more to say, more just to share the photos below.  I remember it was not packed (so if Pearl Jam had showed up it would have been a story to tell and I probably would have had 2 shots left on my shitty Seattle Works camera cause I guess I was too cheap to bring more film), just a decent sized crowd.

The selection of bands was eclectic genre wise to say the least from noisecore to, yep I'm gonna say it, "grunge."

I remember Bush Tetras, who I had heard of, but not heard at that time blowing me away and then after these bands all performed it was 7 Year Bitch who closed out the night who were and are one of my favorite bands.  Click here to see the 7 Year Bitch post.

So enjoy the photos below (click on any of them to super size) and if you can help me identify the last one (Combine?) it would be appreciated.  Also if you dug reading this, go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests (some damn good ones coming soon!)  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul


Cristien Storm:

Gretta Harley

Bush Tetras:

Ruth Ruth:

Mystery Guy - My guess is he's from Combine, but unfortunately there appears to be numerous bands named Combine and I can't find photos of any from this era.  Or was he in one of the other bands above?  If you happen to know, please let me know so I can update this and tag him in the Facebook versions of these photos.

Jane's Addiction - Voodoo Music Experience, New Orleans - Halloween 2015

This is the last of my posts from Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans' City Park on Halloween night 2015.  Babes In Toyland to this set by Jane's Addiction to Public Image Ltd to Ozzy and Friends (Slash, Tom Morello and Geezer Butler).  As I said in the other posts, it was a helluva night of music and worth the mud, mayhem and new pair of sneakers I had to buy the next day.  If you want the whole story, check out the links to those other posts, here we'll talk about the Jane's Addiction set.

When the Voodoo schedule came out it was cool to see that basically Jane's would have a 75 minute set "opening" for Ozzy.

I thought the whole current Jane's tour had them playing all of "Ritual de lo habitual" and they posted on Facebook saying they would be doing this album in full at Voodoo, so that was the expectation this night - all of Ritual and then encore with 2 or 3 other tunes or maybe a 10 minute "Chip Away" jam.

The set started as expected with the Spanish spoken word intro and right into "Stop!" 

We then immediately realized it wouldn't be a full "Ritual" set as they skipped "No One's Leaving" and went into the third track instead, "Ain't No Right" (by the end of the night we would get five of the nine tracks off "Ritual")

This current lineup of the band features three of the four original members with Perry Farrell on vocals and various noises, Dave Navarro on guitar and Stephen Perkins on drums.  Chris Chaney has replaced Eric Avery on bass and made himself known at this point in the set with the instantly recognizable opening bass line to "Mountain Song" off "Nothing's Shocking"

Next up was the ridiculously catchy (I was humming this thing for at least a week after the show) "Just Because" off 2003's "Strays" album

We were then back to "Ritual" for an epic "Three Days" followed by the funk of "Been Caught Stealing"

Perry asked the crowd if we were ready to go "Up The Beach" which of course led into "Ocean Size" the killer opening tracks to "Nothing's Shocking"

Perry then asked the crowd if they were ready for a slow one and promised the guys in the crowd that it would be worth it because this next one would get the ladies in a romantic mood.  It was "Classic Girl" which I haven't heard them do in years and is a favorite.

The night would end with a pair off their self titled album.  First "Whores" to end the main set, then they brought the steel drums out front and a chair for Dave to lounge in for the sing-a-long of "Jane Says"

The only problem, that was a great SIXTY minute set.  They started on time and walked off 15 minutes before their schedule which was a complete bummer.

My guess is this was related to the weather and perhaps they were asked to cut it short in hopes to get Ozzy on earlier before the place was completely flooded/mudded out (which is exactly what ended up happening, causing the cancellation of the whole next day.  Not a huge deal for me.  Would have been cool to see The Cult and Third Eye Blind again as I haven't seen them in years and I keep getting told I have to check out Zac Brown band live and chances are this was the only time that was going to happen...oh well)  This would have been a logical plan, but Ozzy started right at 9:30 as he was expected to and if anything went slightly long pulling out some deep Black Sabbath cuts.

But overall it's was minor complaint. Oddly this set went over probably much better than all of Ritual in order would have.  They cut out the more atmospheric tracks and beefed up the set with monster riffing from the other albums.  Not sure Ritual would go over great in front of a mostly casual fan large festival crowd.  And hell I love everything by these guys.  I prob only would have been pissed if they cut Three Days or Classic Girl.

Perry was a great front man throughout the night, welcoming the rain and welcoming the crowd to dance with him through it.  He was also rather funny in his between song banter, at one point stating something along the lines of "There's warnings out there to get to higher I took some drugs...and then my manager told me that's not what they meant"

Lastly I have to mention the ladies (which included Perry's wife Etty Lau Farrell, Lisa Eaton, Maxine "Mama" Hupy - and if anyone knows the names of the others I'll be sure to tag them in their photos).  As many of the women swooned over shirtless Dave Navarro, Jane's has a bevy of beauties to dance, act out, strip, make out and fly over the stage in violent fashion suspended by hooks in their backs for the rest of us to enjoy.

It's everything that's great about a truly great rock n roll show...and probably the best band I've ever seen open for Ozzy (I didn't see Ozzy on the "The Ultimate Sin" tour with "Master of Puppets" era Metallica opening...I'll give you that one, that would have been hard to beat)

Well done Voodoo Music Festival - made for great Halloween festivities and made us forget the mud until the music stopped and we had to hike out of that deep, sticky stinky slop.

Enjoy the rest of the photos below (click on any of them to super size).  Also if you dug this review, go to the Most People Are Blank Facebook page by clicking here and click the "Follow" button to join to be kept up to date on future posts, to comment, share and take part in our giveaways and contests (some damn good ones coming soon!)  Also follow on twitter at @MostPeopleBlank   As always - Rock on and Enjoy - Paul