Showing posts with label Pittsfield Massachusetts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pittsfield Massachusetts. Show all posts


Concert Review: The Ten Tenors in Concert at The Colonial Theater

The Ten Tenors in Concert at The Colonial Theater
March 10, 2017
Pittsfield, Mass.

The Ten Tenors warmed up a chilled capacity crowd at The Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts on a typical blustery winter night in the Berkshires. The crossover classical group is celebrating their 20th year with the Power of Ten Tour. The tremendously successful act has accounted for six Platinum and Gold records and performed alongside countless music legends including Andrea Bocelli, AndrĂ© Rieu, John Travolta, Nicole Kidman, Geoffrey Rush, Keith Urban, Rod Stewart, Alanis Morissette, Sarah Brightman, Willie Nelson, Katherine Jenkins and Christina Aguilera. It comes as no surprise to me that they have the utmost respect of music industry people all over the world. 

Their set was comprised of two acts of diversity and musical excellence. The very first thing that struck me just before they opened the night was the stage lighting. The lights came shining down on the performers like rays from the heavens. The interesting thing was that it felt like musical heaven while taking in this special evening.

I was impressed with this group of men prior to attending the concert. I watched their cover of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” on YouTube (which has over 1.2 million views and counting) and was blown away by their exceptional talent. My first thought after that was how incredible it must be to see them perform on stage! I was even more impressed once the show kicked off with another Queen staple, “We Are The Champions.”

What I was not prepared for was their implausible diversification and electric stage presence. These Australian performers know how to present any kind of music.  Their abilities to do so points to the different ranges that each vocalist commands and how they are positioned on the stage. They do have a good sense of humor as well and the choreography was spot on and always right in sync.

I think the highlights of the night for my ears were the “Jersey Boys Medley” and the encore of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Bowie’s “Heroes,” which closed out the show and gave me chills several times. I am a huge Bowie fan and always have been so this was the icing on the cake for my night.

I must tip my hat not only to the all-around performance of the ten men but the three others that provided the instrumentation, Ben Kiehne (piano), David Orr (guitar) and Trent Bryson-Dean (drums) were essential to their presentation as well. Without them it would just be voices, which would also sound wonderful. The musicians made a difference and so did the piped in orchestrations they had. Each number came together flawlessly once again proving that the most amazing instrument is the human voice. None of the extras included were necessary, they were just bonuses added to ten incredible vocalists with varying arrays of resonance.

The Ten Tenors are a guaranteed fun night for any music lover. The fact that they cover a wide expanse of genres give them a worldly appeal - from the crowd that appreciates opera to the all-encompassing lovers of pop and rock music. It all comes together for an amazing night of entertainment.

Selfie posted on Facebook of the audience at The Colonial, were you there?

Set List:
ACT 1:

ACT 2:

Review Provided By: Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 12, 2017
Founder of: 


Richard Marx In Concert At The Colonial Theater

Richard Marx In Concert At The Colonial Theater
February 19th 2016
Pittsfield, Mass.

Richard Marx came to town Friday night at the Colonial Theater on a not so typical February night in the Berkshires. It has been the strangest winter that I can remember, one weekend its 14 below zero then the next it is pushing 60 degrees. 

The atmosphere at the Colonial was one of anticipation before singer/songwriter Richard Marx hit the stage.

This artist holds a special meaning to me and my wife as his music was making its way to the top of the charts when we met. For me it was a bit of a history lesson as well. Marx has not only had a record number of hits on the charts in a short period of time, he has collaborated with several artists and wrote songs specifically for others that have charted. His debut recording yielded four Top Five singles and he has sold over 30 million albums worldwide.

This night was a man, his voice and guitar, and for a few songs he sat behind the piano. The talent this individual commands was enough and no backup was necessary. His voice is spot on, just as I remember it in the late eighties. He is a true showman, interacting with the audience, telling stories, throwing out quips to engage the audience with laughter, and inviting shout outs. Another thing that I found refreshing was how Marx discarded the house rules of no pictures and videos, encouraging folks to pull out their cell phones, which everyone did simultaneously lighting up the venue.

I was impressed with not only Richard Marx the vocalist but his ability to play the six string acoustic. If you are the only performing artist on stage you had better be able to fill in the space on your vocals and he did that admirably the entire evening. A plugged in acoustic has a great sound and I really appreciate what he had to offer.

He let the audience know that he wanted to give them what they came to hear, namely all the hits. Not only was that ground covered he cut loose with a few others lesser known tracks like the hysterical country number “How Can I Miss You (When You Won’t Go Away).” Marx told us of his love country music and his partnership with country star Keith Urban and the song he wrote for him then he went directly into the song “Long Hot Summer.” I recognized it instantly. He also played the song he wrote with Luther Vandross “Dance With My Father,” which was very touching particularly if you have lost a parent.

With “Angelia” he decided to go the unplugged route which was different. I recognized the huge difference in a venue between being amplified then suddenly not. I doubt people as far back in the balcony seats could hear him. Nevertheless it was an interesting change. Marx just emanates confidence and pleasure when he performs and that translates into the music directly to his audience.

Some of my favorites were the night kicking off with “Endless Summer Nights” and the way he closed out the night with “Right Here Waiting” behind the ivory keys. Check out the original video provided here with over 7.5 million views!

Richard Marx is a prolific artist with a long legacy of great music and collaborations. I don’t see him slowing down anytime soon and would highly recommend spending an evening with him if you get the chance.

I dedicate this night and review to my lifelong partner and best friend, my wife.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February, 22, 2016


Concert Review: America At The Colonial Theater

America The Beautiful!
Legendary Band Entertains Capacity Crowd At The Colonial
Pittsfield, Mass.
May 28, 2015
Two men together for 45 years recording and on the road is quite an accomplishment considering many folks that tried to do it that long have been gone for years. That does not happen anymore right? It sounds incredible but it’s true. Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have been doing it for that long as America. I tip my hat to them for their consistency and output of incredibly good music all these years. 

The current touring lineup of America is Gerry Beckley (founding member, guitar, keys, and vocals), Dewey Bunnell (founding member, guitar, and vocals), Rich Campbell (bass guitar, keys, and vocals), Bill Worrell (guitar, keys, and vocals) and Ryland Steen (drums).

On a beautiful Berkshire night in Pittsfield at the Colonial Theater the two men and their crackerjack band showed us why it has worked for so long. I went expecting soft rock and a lot of acoustic guitars, which there was, but what came as an unexpected surprise was how many songs they did that rocked the house! That’s right…America is more than just soft rock folks. They have a group of men that know how to compliment all of their hits with pinpoint precision on guitar, bass, keys and drums. In fact a young and versatile musician named Bill Worrell (the sound man’s son) added a lot to the mix. He sang, played keys, acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, and all very well I might add. He really cut loose on the electric six-string several times during the course of the set much to the delight of the audience. 

There was no warm up band, they started right on time and played past 9pm nonstop-no intermission for these gents or the audience. I sure didn’t hear anyone complaining.

Gerry started off a little shaky in the vocal department on the first few numbers however he smoothed it all out in short order. When you are in your sixties it’s a bit harder to hit those higher notes than when you are in your thirties. Coupled with the fact he has a very unique vocal style makes it even more difficult to reproduce what he did in the past.

I must say the musicianship was outstanding and Dewey Bunnell sounds spot on and has not lost much with his vocal range. Music is more than a job for these men it’s a passion that drives them daily and like Gerry said “We will keep playing if you keep coming to listen,” and that got a big applause from the crowd. It was nice to see that happen and for this listener it was the first time I ever saw them perform. It’s hard to believe they released their first album in 1972!

All the hits came pouring out along with a screen for a backdrop showing images of the duo when they were younger along with some psychedelic colors and textures to fit the more rock oriented numbers. The images were like a multi-colored lava lamped that smashed on the floor, if you can picture that. Some songs from the new album Lost and Found were introduced along with some surprising covers from a previous recording called Back Pages. “California Dreaming” was especially good. That is still one of the best songs ever recorded in my opinion. There was a lot to like and when they played “Ventura Highway” they hit their stride and there was no turning back.

The one thing all the artists that play there say is the venue is beautiful, which makes me proud to be part of the entire experience, and I have the privilege of enjoying these great shows on a regular basis.

Some of my favorites were “Tin Man,” “Don’t Cross The River,” “Sandman,” the list goes on and on. This band had so many hits. It takes sitting in a theater and watching a band such as America to realize their lifelong achievements. If you were fortunate enough to live in the time when all their music was on the radio then it can be a very special experience to relive your life in a few hours. Music has that kind of magic and America still has what it takes to make all that happen. There has always been a bond or kinship with the people that make the music and those that listen and come out to hear it live. This was yet another night that validated that truth.

May 31, 2015



Concert Review: George Thorogood and the Destroyers At The Colonial Theater

Badder Than Ever!

March 3, 2015-The inclement weather did not stop anyone from packing the house at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts. Once everyone got inside that theater the heat was on! And did it ever start cooking once the legendary guitarist/vocalist George Thorogood took the stage.

Massachusetts’ own Barrence Whitfield served as the warm up to get us all in the mood. He is to say least, one of the liveliest entertainers I have seen in some time. He bounces across the stage and even rolled around on it before he left after his last number. Whitfield has quite a vocal range however he adds a lot of unnecessary screaming to an otherwise good song. Other than that it was a good warm up act.

Thorogood goes back a few years and he has long history of successful recordings and live performances. This is the Badder Than Ever Tour and at a very young 65 this cat still has plenty left in his tank.

It was a great show and there is no other way to describe it. Thorogood’s band consists of Jeff Simon (drums), Bill Blough (bass), Jim Suhler (guitar) and Buddy Leach (saxophone). This group of gents provided solid support for George. 

So after over four decades of rockin’ the world George made his way from up north at his last stop to our humble Berkshire County. What we witnessed was a performer that has not lost a step since the passing of time. His voice is strong as ever and his guitar playing superb. There was an interesting way to kick things off on this night though. Derek Gentile, long time columnist for the Berkshire Eagle was there with pen and pad taking his notes and providing some of us own coverage when suddenly George pointed to him to come forward to the stage. He promptly asked him for his note pad and Derek obliged then the star of the night took it and flung it across the stage and said “That’s not the way you are supposed to do it” or something to that effect. I had never seen anything like that before. Needless to say Mr. Thorogood doesn’t pull any punches and tells it like it is just as he does in all his songs. I know he is straightforward from personal experience as I had the opportunity to interview him in 2003.

Thorogood knows how to rock the crowd and not just with music, he is a true showman. He seems to adore the adulation he receives from the audience and it’s definitely a two way street. When he lets go on some smokin’ hot slide riffs the crowd just loves it. His combination of rock and blues keeps those fires burning from within one song to the next.

He played all the favorites, “Who Do You Love,” “Bad To The Bone,” which I was surprised was not the encore, “Madison Blues” was. And then to  get all the partiers rolling he kicked in with “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and of course “I Drink Alone.” The one song that I had forgotten was “Get A Haircut.” What a great song full of humor and trademark Thorogood innuendos too. The one thing that is a guarantee you will get with a song from George, a good dose of humor and irony or just everyday life things included with a large helping of blow off the roof off rockin’ blues.

I loved the way the show ended with the encore and everyone on their feet clapping, a man in the front row sat down and George promptly looked down and said “WTF you doing sitting down?” He jumped right up on command as King George had spoken. That was one of many laughs for the night along with fantastic music.

I thought perhaps because of the weather the crowd would not be as large as it could be, I was dead wrong to even have that cross my mind. There is a reason George Thorogood has been around for so long. The man respects his craft and gives the audience everything he has every night. I saw it for myself and it’s a beautiful thing to see someone on stage in their element making everyone happy with their music. If George and the boys roll into your town make sure you mark it on your calendar to catch their show.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder
March 5, 2015


Concert Review:10,000 Maniacs Entertain At The Colonial In Pittsfield Massachusetts

10,000 Maniacs rolled into to Pittsfield Friday night…well not literally. I am referring to the groundbreaking alternative rock band that broke through college radio and made an imprint for that respective niche over three decades ago.

This is not a band I have followed over the years although have been quite aware of their impact since they arrived in the early 80s. I covered the reissued vinyl LP Our Time In Eden and completely enjoyed it so that was enough impetus to go see them perform at the beautiful Colonial Theater.

Mary Ramsey took over for Natalie Merchant in 1994 and has been with the band ever since. It’s never easy stepping into the shoes of an established star of a successful band and sometimes it just doesn’t work but in this case the transition was seamless and 30 years on Ramsey is still at center stage delivering her vocals and viola playing with authority.

Members include Jerome Augustyniak (drums), Dennis Drew (keyboards, vocals), Jeff Erickson (guitars, vocals), Steven Gustafson (bass guitar, witty banter), Mary Ramsey (viola, vocals) and John Lombardo (occasional guitar and trivia). On this night however Melanie Luciano was on stage playing acoustic guitar and providing harmonies as well. Also towards the end of the second half of the show, three local brass players entered the mix and things really got cooking.

Hailing from Jamestown New York, the band takes influences of Celtic Folk to produce their distinctive sound. They can be subtle and inviting within a song but they also can build a piece into a literal rocking wall of sound. Right from the start I was impressed with their precise musicianship and innate musicality. The chemistry on stage with the band is obvious and they all seem in sync with each other. That obviously has a lot to do with their success and the way each song is presented in a live setting.

One of the first things I noticed right at the beginning of the first song was the big drums of Jerome Augustyniak. He continued to impress throughout the evening and I genuinely respected how hard he worked behind his drum kit. That position in the band is the most arduous as far as I am concerned and you have to have endless stamina and be very athletic. With all due respect to everyone in the band, as they were superb, this man was a perpetual motion machine.

What I found most enjoyable was the eclectic presentation the band made. Their blend of Celtic, folk, rock and alternative left the door wide open for plenty of improvisation. What the audience witnessed was exactly that, a prominent display of across the board talent. I was most appreciative of the fine musicianship. These are true professionals who do not miss a thing making their way through a song.

I think the people in attendance really appreciated what was on offer this beautiful fall evening. There was a couple in front of us that came in and it seemed like they were in absolute awe of the facility. They were from New York City and certainly there are plenty of venues there to appreciate. They thought that The Colonial was gorgeous and very special. I could not agree more and the 10,000 Maniacs were in agreement as well, as all artists are that visit there are.

I look forward to many exciting upcoming dates at the Colonial for the rest of this year and until March next year. Check their website and mark you calendar’s!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-Founder of Write A Music Review, New Age Music Reviews, Prog Rock Music Talk and Rate The Tracks