Archive for the 2000-2007 Category

Hot for Teacher with Generation Swine

Posted in 2000-2007, Teaching at LE on March 17, 2009 by concertproject

l_3dd7cfc78d6124d1e59e359e40e65834Bands: Hot For Teacher with Generation Swine

Venue: Little Fox Theatre, Redwood City, CA

Date: Sept 2007

Before I bit the proverbial bullet and saw these two bands perform live, I had never personally attended a tribute band show before. Sure, I was aware of the tribute band phenomenon (Super Diamond, AC/DShe, and Blood Pollution from the movie Rock Star), I just never visualized myself being in the audience for the aforementioned spectacle. But as I was about to find out for myself, sometimes the audience is just as interesting a part of the whole concert experience as the band.

11To their credit, the boys in Generation Swine really had the look and swagger of Motley Crue in their heyday. Right down to the clothes, the wigs, and the original band’s individual performance postures, these guys did their homework. The only area that I recall being less than spot on was the actual playing of the music. Granted, Vince Neil’s voice is a bit difficult to effectively emulate and some of Mick Mars’ guitar solos may be tough to pull off in a live setting, but come on, I didn’t show up wearing earplugs!

hot_for_teacher-bandBy the time Hot For Teacher hit the stage, I was ready for some good ol’ David Lee Roth era Van Halen rock n roll. And that’s exactly what I got, right down to the last musical, nuanced detail. In fact, the band was so musically accurate that they probably didn’t move as many cds as they imagined they would on this cd release party because all the songs sounded exactly the same as the Van Halen originals and I would assume that a vast majority of the crowd owned their own copies or else they wouldn’t be here. Hell, most of the songs even appeared in the order on the actual disc.

hft_cd-smlBut as I alluded to before, the most memorable aspect of the evening was the audience. The only way I can think to describe it is in this fashion: Since there were a couple of bands going through the motions and rocking out to the best of their ability like the real deal, so, too, must the audience perform their role in this macabre masquerade. There was the drunk before the show guy, the old and awkward out of place guy, the just hooking up for the first time so forgive us our inebriated primal urges as we tongue each other the whole night couple, and the tall, scary guy that dressed up like Gene Simmons in full demon make-up and costume. Just like the performers on stage, the members of the crowd were caricatures of who they not-so-secretly wished to be.

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Los Amigos Invisibles

Posted in 2000-2007, Teaching at LE on February 10, 2009 by concertproject

los-amigosBand: Los Amigos Invisibles

Venue: The Edge Nightclub, Palo Alto, CA

Date: August 2003

Like dozens of bands in my personal collection, I discovered Los Amigos Invisibles completely by accident. For years, I would routinely spend a significant portion of my paycheck on cds at the now-defunct Tower Records. One time while browsing the Latin music section of the store, I stumbled upon a specially priced double cd entitled Zero Accidents on the Job. It was a sampler of sorts released by Talking Heads frontman David Byrne’s label Luaka Bop and it featured a song by this Venezuelan band named Los Amigos Invisibles. After obsessively listening to the song at least fifty times, I hopped into my truck and headed back down to Tower to purchase anything they had in stock by this amazing disco/acid jazz/latin pop group.

d4ed8296-1125-4920-b2f3-8c3ede42e3761About two years later, I was absently flipping through one of those free bi-weekly newspaper magazines you see displayed in racks in front of heavily trafficked businesses and who did I see coming to town at the end of the summer but Los Amigos. I immediately called my friend and recent Amigos convert Kathy “Flake” Romelfanger to see if she wanted to accompany me to the show that was taking place in about a month or so and upon hearing her say yes, I made the call to BASS and secured two tickets.

latinfunkfest2005_18Two weeks prior to the scheduled date of the show, I got sick. Really sick. Pneumonia sick. The kind of sick where my doctors were asking me if I had recently been in contact with anyone who had been exposed to SARS (remember that health scare?). A week of bed rest and a round of antibiotics was just what the doctor ordered for I was finally (but just barely) up and around on the day of the concert. Even though it was contrary to my doctor’s wishes, I was bound and determined to attend the show. Living up to her nickname, my friend Kathy bailed on me so it was with no small degree of health-related trepidation that I arrived to the nightclub, for the first time in my lengthy concert-going history, alone.

800px-los_amigos_invisibles_2008_austinI found an empty seat at a small table on the edge of the dance floor. The opening act came and went without much fanfare and soon after they exited the stage, a deejay began playing some typical upbeat dance club music. As the grooves played on, several couples began dancing on the dance floor. About twenty minutes into the deejay spun dancing, a guy with a guitar casually walked on stage and began playing along with the record. A few minutes later, another guy strolled on stage and started playing the keyboard along with the record. One by one, dudes were hitting the stage, getting behind instruments and jamming along with the groove. Eventually, the entire band was up there and before anyone in the audience knew what was going on, the house lights had dimmed and Los Amigos Invisibles had launched into their two hour long, high energy set of Venezuelan disco dance music. I quickly abandoned my seat and joined everyone else in attendance on my feet dancing. I even bought a copy of the band’s new cd which hadn’t even been released in the States yet. I had such a good time at this show, I would not hesitate to rank it in my top three most memorable and enjoyable shows I have ever attended.

Justin Timberlake with Pink

Posted in 2000-2007, Teaching at LE on January 27, 2009 by concertproject

timberlakemainnotuneingy71Bands: Justin Timberlake with Pink

Venue: HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA

Date: January 2007

I have taken a lot of shit for admitting that I enjoy listening to the music of Justin Timberlake. The figurative flying feces has been flung by my hard rock friends, my heavy metal friends, my alt-country friends, my jazz friends, my classic rock friends, and my hip-hop friends. Even my sports talk radio friends have piled on. And it’s not even as if I can defend myself and my perceived musical integrity by claiming my love of JT’s music as a guilty pleasure. Oh no. I enjoy his Futuresexlovesounds cd so much that if I were to rewrite my top 10 favorite album of all time list, it would easily crack the top seven, at least.

114694510482239e02e8hr2So, it was a complete no-brainer that I would be attending Timberlake’s show when it came around. In fact, I even pre-ordered my front row seat tickets from his website weeks before they were available to the general public. Umm, well, actually, that’s not entirely true. The truth is that my wife Fehmeen has been a major JT fan since his days in N Sync and when she purchased his new cd and played it over and over and over in our car for months on end, I learned to like, I mean love, most of the songs on it. In fact, I dug them so much that I thought it would be cool to see them performed live. Plus, Fehmeen wanted to go, so we bought tickets and went.

justin-timberlake-timbaland-335a032707I remember it being chilly that evening in January because I vividly recall the serpentine line slithering around the entire outside of the HP Pavilion before they opened the doors. Once inside, we found our way to our assigned seats in the upper nosebleed region and prepared ourselves for the show to start by engaging ourselves in a serious game of people watching. We determined quite quickly that I was easily the oldest, non-parent in attendance. Before I could even begin to process that tidbit of information, the lights went down and the show began.

Opening act Pink was blaringly loud and generally unremarkable, save for the circe de soleil-esque acrobatic rope from the rafters trick. JT performed the way one would expect: lots of singing, solo and synchronized dancing, and even some piano playing. Every thing was rolling just fine until about the fifty minute mark when artist/producer Timbaland came out and played records for almost half an hour. It totally killed the show which unfortunately, never regained it’s momentum.