Showing posts with label Rock Legends. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rock Legends. Show all posts

9/05/2021

Book Review: Rainbow In The Dark- Ronnie James Dio

Amazon Hardcover Link
Publisher: Permuted Press (July 27, 2021)
Hardcover: 264 pages
ISBN: 978-1-64293-974-3
ISBN (eBook): 978-1-64293-975-0

Ronnie James Dio, is a name synonymous with heavy metal. If you have any interest in the history of music or the pioneers and influencers of the genre, then Rainbow In The Dark is a must-read.

I read this fascinating account of a life and career in short order. I tend to do that with books I get absorbed with. It also helps to have a genuine interest in the subject matter and being one of your favorite vocalists. Other than that, it is just a very entertaining read for anyone.

From his humble beginnings in upstate New York and on to some of the largest stages in the world, Dio climbed the ladder to the top of the mountain.

You will get a detailed account from Dio how it all began, from being a trumpet player to a lead singer to the band ELF, then to Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and his ultimate success Dio, his amazing band showcasing his voice and writing talents.

What touched me the most was Dio’s dedication to his fans and the importance of acknowledging them. He understood and appreciated that without the audience he would not have had the success he enjoyed.

The music industry can be brutal and there are plenty of accounts of those instances and some of the bad luck Dio and his bands experienced along the way. The stories of Ritchie Blackmore and his unpredictability and Tony Iommi’s paranoid episodes leading to Dio exiting the bands then eventually having full artistic control and the great successes that brought him, his wife Wendy, and the band members.

Ronnie James Dio was a good man, an honorable individual, that was fair and honest with everyone he dealt with. His serious and sometimes funny take on situations and the characters he was involved with gave his story plenty of color. Your interest will never wane while reading this book and with 264 pages it is not overkilling nor will you find any ramblings and anything that did not apply to this true story of rock stardom.

It was not an easy road but persistence and determination proved to be his greatest asset. We only wish you were still here making your music Ronnie.

I loved this book and feel I got to know the man behind the music like never before.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-MuzikMan.net Founder
September 5, 2021




11/11/2019

Book Review: Tom Petty and Me by Jon Scott

Publisher: Chickasaw Buddy Publishing, INC. (2018)
ASIN: 069209119X
Website: https://tompettyandme.com/



 
Some of the best rock music you will ever hear was recorded by the late great Tom Petty. To reach that elusive plateau where you become a legitimate superstar, a household name, and all of your songs are instantly recognizable around the world, is for the few not the many.

There has to be at least one person to believe in you and dedicate their time and energy to get other people to follow. That is where it starts and hopefully grows exponentially. Things today are a world away from the days of DJs and A&R men to play music and push out to a listening public.

Jon Scott was one of those people that entered the life of Tom Petty that helped to get his music heard. The book by Jon titled Tom Petty and Me tells the trials and tribulations of making those important things happen for an artist back in the 70s. Against all the naysayers, negativity and the dreaded music consultants, Scott broke Petty, big time. Their first meeting was a bit rough due to ABC Records blowing off Tom’s first album, but things would change with time. Once Scott got Petty to believe in him it was like a fairy tale come to life.

I have enjoyed Petty’s music, particularly the first two albums. I did not know the back story of Petty and thanks to Jon Scott and the interview I had with him (included here) and reading his book, I know what happened and what it took to make things happen.

The book is an easy read, to the point, and very entertaining. It is not too long either so when you look at it, you’re not faced with a daunting task like reading something that may take you weeks or even months. This is the way a book about rock music should be written, short and sweet and to the point. And every chapter is like that, it does not drag and never once did I wonder when a chapter was finally going to end.

I have read my share of books about music over the years and Tom Petty and Me was one of the best and most memorable. Thanks to the interview that Jon so graciously provided, I was able to get to know him better, and while I was reading, find some of the missing pieces and details, he did not cover. The experience for this reader is now complete.

Tom Petty and Me is a must-have for any Petty fan or music lover that is interested in how things worked in the industry before the internet and Spotify. This is when people mattered the most and their influence was paramount in breaking an artist. The author’s account is heartfelt and honest, and there is no other way to slice it. I loved the book and how it shed the truth on all the people that played their part in the making of a superstar we will never forget.

Tom Petty was the real deal, a down to earth matter of fact Southern boy that found his way to stardom through a brother he did not know but came to know, Jon Scott.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 11, 2019


Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews



3/28/2018

Rock-Blues Review: Cream-Nineteen Sixty-Seven

Release Date: April 6, 2018
Label: Vogon

Cream Nineteen Sixty-Seven features a fantastic live recording made for Swedish radio in March 1967 and previously unreleased BBC radio sessions. Also included are live in-concert and live in the studio recordings made in the period leading up to their classic 1967 album Disraeli Gears.

Personally, I have always appreciated Cream and the talents of Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), Jack Bruce (bass, vocals) and Ginger Baker (drums). I remember when the first round of the remastered catalog CD releases came out many years ago. I was in awe of their power and skill. They were the first supergroup trio that I can recollect. 

This CD is a documentation of a band maturing from a rock-blues band to a progressive wide-open rock-blues improvisation unit. You can hear them stretching out on all of the eleven tracks. “Toad” for instance, just cuts loose on every instrument. Baker’s drums are simply phenomenal and of course, Bruce playing bass, keeping up with his rhythm section mate, is a true wonder. And last but not least is Clapton, peeling off some scorching licks on his six-string. 

Cream was a band destined for music immortality and the music these three men made was incredible. If you stop and considered what they presented, it sounded more like 4 or 5 musicians. That is how amazing they were.

Nineteen Sixty-Seven is a fantastic recording considering how dated it is. The Vogon label did a nice job of curating and a mastering the tracks. They are as clear and concise as I could have hoped for from that time period.

Another example of how this band was cooking along is “Traintime,” with Bruce on harmonica. He definitely emulated a train rolling down the tracks on that blues burner.

Cream fans will be glad to know that this is not just for the completist. This is a group of recordings that have great historical value but at the same time hold up very well to this day. At some point, this release will be coming out on vinyl and I know I will want a copy.

The Vogon label has a growing library of releases of classic rock music. I have provided a link to the Discogs site so you can take a look for yourself.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 26, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews and News

Tracks:
01. N.S.U.
02. Stepping Out 
03. Traintime 
04. Toad 
05. I'm So Glad 
06. Sleepy Time Time ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
07. I'm So Glad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
08. Traintime ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967)
09. Toad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967) 
10. Tales of Brave Ulysses ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967) 
11. Take it Back ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967)

 

3/26/2018

Rock-Blues Review: Cream-Nineteen Sixty-Seven

Release Date: April 6, 2018
Label: Vogon

Cream Nineteen Sixty-Seven features a fantastic live recording made for Swedish radio in March 1967 and previously unreleased BBC radio sessions. Also included are live in-concert and live in the studio recordings made in the period leading up to their classic 1967 album Disraeli Gears.

Personally, I have always appreciated Cream and the talents of Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals), Jack Bruce (bass, vocals) and Ginger Baker (drums). I remember when the first round of the remastered catalog CD releases came out many years ago. I was in awe of their power and skill. They were the first supergroup trio that I can recollect. 

This CD is a documentation of a band maturing from a rock-blues band to a progressive wide-open rock-blues improvisation unit. You can hear them stretching out on all of the eleven tracks. “Toad” for instance, just cuts loose on every instrument. Baker’s drums are simply phenomenal and of course, Bruce playing bass, keeping up with his rhythm section mate, is a true wonder. And last but not least is Clapton, peeling off some scorching licks on his six-string. 

Cream was a band destined for music immortality and the music these three men made was incredible. If you stop and considered what they presented, it sounded more like 4 or 5 musicians. That is how amazing they were.

Nineteen Sixty-Seven is a fantastic recording considering how dated it is. The Vogon label did a nice job of curating and a mastering the tracks. They are as clear and concise as I could have hoped for from that time period.

Another example of how this band was cooking along is “Traintime,” with Bruce on harmonica. He definitely emulated a train rolling down the tracks on that blues burner.

Cream fans will be glad to know that this is not just for the completist. This is a group of recordings that have great historical value but at the same time hold up very well to this day. At some point, this release will be coming out on vinyl and I know I will want a copy.

The Vogon label has a growing library of releases of classic rock music. I have provided a link to the Discogs site so you can take a look for yourself.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 26, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews and News

Tracks:
01. N.S.U.
02. Stepping Out 
03. Traintime 
04. Toad 
05. I'm So Glad 
06. Sleepy Time Time ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
07. I'm So Glad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 8 November 1966 - Broadcast 11 November 1966) 
08. Traintime ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967)
09. Toad ("Saturday Club", Recorded 10 January 1967 - Broadcast 14 January 1967) 
10. Tales of Brave Ulysses ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967) 
11. Take it Back ("Joe Loss Show", 14 July 1967)

 

2/16/2018

Rock Review: Scorpions-Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best of Rock Ballads

Release Date: November 24, 2017
Label: Sony Legacy

Klaus Meine, Rudolf Schenker, Matthias Jabs, Pawel Maciwoda, and Mikkey Dee are the Scorpions. It has been four decades since the song "Born To Touch Your Feelings" was released for the first time. If you are into them or were, there is something here to relish. This music will remind you of the good times (I hope).
Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best of Rock Ballads is 17 tracks of pure Scorpions at their rock ballad best. I have always loved to rock out to their tracks like "The Zoo, " "Rock You Like A Hurricane" etc. I have to admit I never think of ballads when discussing these iconic rockers.

It is collections like this that help you to relive those great rocking ballads, done the way only Klaus could sing them and the band could play them. It also makes you realize that the band was not one dimensional. They have always been a solid musical unit with a massive worldwide following. That comes as no surprise and it is a tribute to their staying power and mass appeal.

This is goose bump time people, this music hits you straight in the heart. It will have you smiling, laughing or crying all in one listen. That is how emotional I get when I hear this great music. What makes this release so special besides everything I just mentioned?  The fact that there are new updated versions of tracks, acoustic takes, and completely new tracks, which gives it more oomph than a run of the mill greatest hits release. So needless to say, there is more than enough material to keep your interest from beginning to end.

The leadoff and title track set the bar high and they never lose that focus and maintain that standard on each offering. I have a few favorites like "Still Loving You" and "Wind Of Change," which are the "Comeblack Versions." Those two tracks just put me away. What great music, feelings, and vocals. When “The Smoke Is Going Down” (2015 Remaster) is no slouch either - so spot on and filled with passion. At concerts, it was time to break out the disposable lighter time back in the day and now its cellphones in flashlight mode.

Then there are some tracks I have never heard and absolutely loved. "Send Me An Angel" (New Acoustic Version 2017) is excellent. And the next treat for my ears was closing out the album with two brand-spanking new tracks "Melrose Avenue" and "Always Be With You."

This is a superb package of the old, new and redone (very well) tracks. If you are a Scorpions fan you will love this collection and if you are a rock fan I am sure you will find plenty of appreciation for this collection. The musicianship is outstanding the sound quality will knock your socks off.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 14, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan’s Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Born To Touch Your Feelings ("MTV Unplugged" Studio Edit)
02. Still Loving You ("Comeblack" Version)
03. Wind Of Change ("Comeblack" Version)
04. Always Somewhere (2015 Remaster)
05. Send Me An Angel (New Acoustic Version 2017)
06. Holiday (2015 Remaster)
07. Eye Of The Storm (Radio Edit)
08. When The Smoke Is Going Down (2015 Remaster)
09. Lonely Nights
10. Gypsy Life
11. House Of Cards (Single Edit)
12. The Best Is Yet To Come
13. When You Came Into My Life ("MTV Unplugged" Studio Edit)
14. Lady Starlight (2015 Remaster)
15. Follow Your Heart (New Full-Band Version 2017)
16. Melrose Avenue (New Song)
17. Always Be With You (New Song)

 

2/10/2018

Rock/Blues Review: Jimi Hendrix-Both Sides of the Sky

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Label: Sony Legacy

Although the man has been gone since 1970, the legend of Jimi Hendrix is alive and well and continues to grow exponentially. There was a period of 4 years that this amazing guitar player created some of the most remarkable music. From what I understand, if he wasn’t playing to audiences, he was in the studio with the tapes always rolling. So as one can imagine, he left behind an overabundance of material on the shelf. He made more music in a 4-year period than anyone I am aware of.

This falls right in line with the Hendrix family taking control of his legacy and contributions. When that happened, all of his music was handled properly. Since then, every year we see at least one or two unearthed and remastered albums coming out. It has been a true renaissance for arguably the greatest six-string bender ever. And because of this flow of music over the years, it feels like he never left us. For my musical tastes, that is a beautiful thing. If you like the music of Hendrix I am pretty sure you would agree. I think it goes beyond like at this point for a lot of us.

Both Sides of the Sky is part of trilogy that included Valleys of Neptune (2010) and People, Hell and Angels (2013). So, what is really cool about this release? It is the cast of legendary artists that played with Jimi on these tracks. I had always heard of the different sessions he had at Electric Ladyland Studios (the renowned music church), however I have not heard anything with so many different artists on one recording.  Ten of the tracks are previously unreleased (see all the notations provided on the track list). The sound and engineering on this set is phenomenally crisp and clear. I would expect that goes without saying after all the previous reissued music that set the bar so high.

“$20 Fine” has one of the most recognizable vocalist in rock history, Stephen Stills. “Things I Used to Do” features the master of the white boy blues Johnny Winter. Now that is quite a paring of guitar players. The classic track “Woodstock,” which was originally recorded with Stills on lead vocals (CSN), is in a totally different incarnation with Hendrix laying down the guitar lines. With all the other layers of instruments that were added, it made for a maximum overhaul of the track. I found comfort out right out of the gate knowing Stills is there on vocals, just to remind us who sang it first. With Hendrix’s blues-based rock hammering away, it was a perfect opportunity for the vocalist to step in and complete the changing shades and colors of the track. It worked for me but may not for some purists. It is more meat and potatoes (musically) if you will, and a totally different but interesting take on the song.

“Power of Soul” has always been one of my favorites ever since I heard it back in the 70’s on vinyl courtesy of the Crash Landing album. This extended version is terrific. 

There are some real blues barn burners on this set. The playing is pinpoint, biting and memorable. Hendrix had it down, he owned it. Once you hear “Things I Used to Do” and “Georgia Blues” you will find out exactly what I mean. Lonnie Youngblood does a great job belting out those ‘Georgia Blues,” answering Jimi’s sting like a bee leads. The sax that comes in towards the curtain closing on the number is a nice touch as well. That horn just cries and screeches “do you hear me now?” And trust me, there is no filler anywhere on these tracks. If you enjoy a total blues workout then you will love those two rippers.

Any time I cover anything by Hendrix I feel like I could write a book instead of an overview, but I have to reel it in and let the music fans decide if they have the same feelings and or thoughts about this release. Both Sides of the Sky is a fine addition to the archives and one release any rock or blues fan should get ASAP!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 10, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews

Tracks:
 

*Previously unreleased
^ Previously unavailable extended version
+Featuring Stephen Stills
#Featuring Johnny Winter
++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

01.Mannish Boy *
02. Lover Man *
03. Hear My Train A Comin’ *
04. Stepping Stone *
05. $20 Fine *+
06. Power Of Soul ^
07. Jungle *
08. Things I Used to Do #
09. Georgia Blues ++
10. Sweet Angel *
11. Woodstock *+
12. Send My Love To Linda *
13. Cherokee Mist *

 

Rock/Blues Review: Jimi Hendrix-Both Sides of the Sky

Release Date: March 9, 2018
Label: Sony Legacy

Although the man has been gone since 1970 , the legend of Jimi Hendrix is alive and well and continues to grow exponentially. There was a period of 4 years that this amazing guitar player created some of the most remarkable music. From what I understand, if he wasn’t playing to audiences, he was in the studio with the tapes always rolling. So as one can imagine, he left behind an overabundance of material on the shelf. He made more music in a 4-year period than anyone I am aware of.

This falls right in line with the Hendrix family taking control of his legacy and contributions. When that happened, all of his music was handled properly. Since then, every year we see at least one or two unearthed and remastered albums coming out. It has been a true renaissance for arguably the greatest six-string bender ever. And because of this flow of music over the years, it feels like he never left us. For my musical tastes, that is a beautiful thing. If you like the music of Hendrix I am pretty sure you would agree. I think it goes beyond like at this point for a lot of us.

Both Sides of the Sky is part of trilogy that included Valleys of Neptune (2010) and People, Hell and Angels (2013). So, what is really cool about this release? It is the cast of legendary artists that played with Jimi on these tracks. I had always heard of the different sessions he had at Electric Ladyland Studios (the renowned music church), however I have not heard anything with so many different artists on one recording.  Ten of the tracks are previously unreleased (see all the notations provided on the track list). The sound and engineering on this set is phenomenally crisp and clear. I would expect that goes without saying after all the previous reissued music that set the bar so high.

“$20 Fine” has one of the most recognizable vocalist in rock history, Stephen Stills. “Things I Used to Do” features the master of the white boy blues Johnny Winter. Now that is quite a paring of guitar players. The classic track “Woodstock,” which was originally recorded with Stills on lead vocals (CSN), is in a totally different incarnation with Hendrix laying down the guitar lines. With all the other layers of instruments that were added, it made for a maximum overhaul of the track. I found comfort out right out of the gate knowing Stills is there on vocals, just to remind us who sang it first. With Hendrix’s blues-based rock hammering away, it was a perfect opportunity for the vocalist to step in and complete the changing shades and colors of the track. It worked for me but may not for some purists. It is more meat and potatoes (musically) if you will, and a totally different but interesting take on the song.

“Power of Soul” has always been one of my favorites ever since I heard it back in the 70’s on vinyl courtesy of the Crash Landing album. This extended version is terrific. 

There are some real blues barn burners on this set. The playing is pinpoint, biting and memorable. Hendrix had it down, he owned it. Once you hear “Things I Used to Do” and “Georgia Blues” you will find out exactly what I mean. Lonnie Youngblood does a great job belting out those ‘Georgia Blues,” answering Jimi’s sting like a bee leads. The sax that comes in towards the curtain closing on the number is a nice touch as well. That horn just cries and screeches “do you hear me now?” And trust me, there is no filler anywhere on these tracks. If you enjoy a total blues workout then you will love those two rippers.

Any time I cover anything by Hendrix I feel like I could write a book instead of an overview, but I have to reel it in and let the music fans decide if they have the same feelings and or thoughts about this release. Both Sides of the Sky is a fine addition to the archives and one release any rock or blues fan should get ASAP!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 10, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By MuzikMan Reviews

Tracks:
 

*Previously unreleased
^ Previously unavailable extended version
+Featuring Stephen Stills
#Featuring Johnny Winter
++Featuring Lonnie Youngblood

01.Mannish Boy *
02. Lover Man *
03. Hear My Train A Comin’ *
04. Stepping Stone *
05. $20 Fine *+
06. Power Of Soul ^
07. Jungle *
08. Things I Used to Do #
09. Georgia Blues ++
10. Sweet Angel *
11. Woodstock *+
12. Send My Love To Linda *
13. Cherokee Mist *

 

9/11/2016

Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)

Heart, Joan Jett and  Cheap Trick at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
September 8, 2016


A recent evening at SPAC featured three Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees on the stage. For this music lover it was a first seeing all three bands. 

It was a humid and rainy evening that certainly made enjoying the show on the lawn more difficult. We felt fortunate to be under cover. We had good seats and I was grateful for that.

First up was Cheap Trick. Things started with an electrifying energy coming from the capacity audience as the band started with an appropriate “Hello There.” As it turned out the mix for this band was subpar and the music sounded distorted and it made hearing and understanding the vocals of Robin Zander difficult. It wasn’t until Tom Peterson stepped out and started his version of The Velvet Underground cover “I'm Waiting for the Man” with a little bit of Lou Reed’s “Heroin” sandwiched in between when things took a turn for the better. 

Zander was on again and off again for most of the night in the vocal department as well. I have always enjoyed the music of Cheap Trick but they really need to get their sound mix together to present a quality show. With some tweaking of that mix they could go from a grade C to a B in a heartbeat.


Set List:
    Hello There
    California Man (The Move cover)
    Lookout
    Baby Loves to Rock
    Tonight It's You
    Downed
    Stop This Game
    I'm Waiting for the Man (The Velvet Underground cover) (Tom Peterson on lead vocals) (with 'Heroin' snippet)
    The Flame
    I Want You to Want Me
    Dream Police
    Clock Strikes Ten
    Surrender
    Goodnight

I knew once Joan Jett got on stage the energy there was going to change and I was not disappointed. It reached another level once she arrived. She kicked it off with “Bad Reputation” and all I could think of was the punk rock of the 70s like The Ramones and how she got her start with the all-female band The Runaways.

Joan sounded fantastic…as good as she always has. She still has that high energy swagger and hint of toughness in her presentation and the crowd absolutely adored her. I thought she was an exciting and charismatic performer that has obviously kept her edge after all these years. It is great to see music icons like herself still touring and presenting music in an original and quality manner. She rocks it’s as simple as that!

As Joan and her band made their way through the set the energy level and excitement level just kept rising. The sound mix was perfect, you could hear her singing as clear as day and the music was spot on all night.

I was surprised that they did not save “I Love Rock & Roll” as their closer but it still made the crowd go wild once they started in with the classic rocker. My favorites of the evening were “I Love Rock & Roll,” “I Hate Myself or Loving You” and “Cherry Bomb.” The sweet memories of youth come rushing back to you with the help of great music, it works every time.

This was a killer performance by Joan and her band and I would love to see her again.

    Set List:
    Bad Reputation
    Cherry Bomb (The Runaways cover)
    Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) (Gary Glitter cover)
    TMI
    You Drive Me Wild (The Runaways cover)
    Light of Day (Bruce Springsteen cover)
    Soulmates to Strangers
    Love Is Pain
    Fake Friends
    Any Weather
    I Love Rock & Roll
    Crimson & Clover (Tommy James & the Shondells cover)
    I Hate Myself for Loving You
    Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Now for the headliner, Heart. This is a band I have had interest in seeing since their inception in the 70s but never did. Finally, I got my chance to watch the legendary Wilson sisters Ann and Nancy, do their thing in a live setting.

When Ann came out on stage I noticed how great she looked. She was full of energy and excitement and that translated to the crowd instantly. Nancy has always looked the same with her long blonde hair brushing over her shoulders and her guitar in hand ready to rock. 

Long time guitarist Craig Bartock was present as well and he was excellent all night long.

I thought the opening track was an interesting choice. The Romeo’s Daughter cover “Wild Child” kicked it all into high gear and it hit the bullseye, bringing everyone to their feet and setting the tone. The track reminded me of those crazy 70s I grew up in and some of things the Wilson’s experienced during that time as well. Read their biography if you are interested, it’s fascinating.

I am not only a longtime admirer of Heart but I respect Ann and Nancy for what they have accomplished on and off the stage throughout their lives. They serve as an example and inspiration to countless people across the globe.

Ann’s voice has held up amazingly over the years and she really has not taken a step back. After listening to all the new music they have recorded over the last few years and then seeing her belt out each song on stage reconfirmed that conviction. In a word, she is an amazing and electric performer that has total command of her vocals and the stage.

The musicianship was beyond reproach and it showed why they are drawing large crowds everywhere they go.

Every band has their own niche and style but Heart is special. All of these bands have been at it for over four decades. Heart sounds like they have their foot all the way to the floor when they perform. I happen to appreciate their strength and wherewithal to continue to present superb performances in and out of the studios. 

“Crazy on You” was phenomenal and “Alone” was proof positive that Ann still has what it takes to grab a performance and grasp the attention of an audience. She was so powerful; I was getting chills all the way through the performance.

I think what surprised some members of the audience was the encore of the Led Zeppelin covers. I knew that they would kill it and they did. They have always acknowledged their influences and then given a positive response to that by performing certain songs superbly. I was listening to people talk on the way out of the venue and some were saying how amazed they were with their rendition of “Stairway To Heaven.” It was great to hear that people realized what a special night they witnessed. I am sure they solidified their fan base and added some younger generation folks to their followers after last night.

I would highly recommend attending this show before the tour ends, I promise you will not regret it.




Set List:
Wild Child (Romeo's Daughter cover)
Magic Man
What About Love (Toronto cover)
Even It Up
These Dreams
Two (NeYo cover)
Straight On For You
Kick It Out
Beautiful Broken
Alone (I-Ten cover)
Crazy on You
Barracuda
Encore:
Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder Of:
September 11, 2016

Heart, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)

Heart, Joan Jett and  Cheap Trick at The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC)
September 8, 2016


A recent evening at SPAC featured three Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees on the stage. For this music lover it was a first seeing all three bands. 

It was a humid and rainy evening that certainly made enjoying the show on the lawn more difficult. We felt fortunate to be under cover. We had good seats and I was grateful for that.

First up was Cheap Trick. Things started with an electrifying energy coming from the capacity audience as the band started with an appropriate “Hello There.” As it turned out the mix for this band was subpar and the music sounded distorted and it made hearing and understanding the vocals of Robin Zander difficult. It wasn’t until Tom Peterson stepped out and started his version of The Velvet Underground cover “I'm Waiting for the Man” with a little bit of Lou Reed’s “Heroin” sandwiched in between when things took a turn for the better. 

Zander was on again and off again for most of the night in the vocal department as well. I have always enjoyed the music of Cheap Trick but they really need to get their sound mix together to present a quality show. With some tweaking of that mix they could go from a grade C to a B in a heartbeat.


Set List:
    Hello There
    California Man (The Move cover)
    Lookout
    Baby Loves to Rock
    Tonight It's You
    Downed
    Stop This Game
    I'm Waiting for the Man (The Velvet Underground cover) (Tom Peterson on lead vocals) (with 'Heroin' snippet)
    The Flame
    I Want You to Want Me
    Dream Police
    Clock Strikes Ten
    Surrender
    Goodnight

I knew once Joan Jett got on stage the energy there was going to change and I was not disappointed. It reached another level once she arrived. She kicked it off with “Bad Reputation” and all I could think of was the punk rock of the 70s like The Ramones and how she got her start with the all-female band The Runaways.

Joan sounded fantastic…as good as she always has. She still has that high energy swagger and hint of toughness in her presentation and the crowd absolutely adored her. I thought she was an exciting and charismatic performer that has obviously kept her edge after all these years. It is great to see music icons like herself still touring and presenting music in an original and quality manner. She rocks it’s as simple as that!

As Joan and her band made their way through the set the energy level and excitement level just kept rising. The sound mix was perfect, you could hear her singing as clear as day and the music was spot on all night.

I was surprised that they did not save “I Love Rock & Roll” as their closer but it still made the crowd go wild once they started in with the classic rocker. My favorites of the evening were “I Love Rock & Roll,” “I Hate Myself or Loving You” and “Cherry Bomb.” The sweet memories of youth come rushing back to you with the help of great music, it works every time.

This was a killer performance by Joan and her band and I would love to see her again.

    Set List:
    Bad Reputation
    Cherry Bomb (The Runaways cover)
    Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) (Gary Glitter cover)
    TMI
    You Drive Me Wild (The Runaways cover)
    Light of Day (Bruce Springsteen cover)
    Soulmates to Strangers
    Love Is Pain
    Fake Friends
    Any Weather
    I Love Rock & Roll
    Crimson & Clover (Tommy James & the Shondells cover)
    I Hate Myself for Loving You
    Everyday People (Sly & The Family Stone cover)
Now for the headliner, Heart. This is a band I have had interest in seeing since their inception in the 70s but never did. Finally, I got my chance to watch the legendary Wilson sisters Ann and Nancy, do their thing in a live setting.

When Ann came out on stage I noticed how great she looked. She was full of energy and excitement and that translated to the crowd instantly. Nancy has always looked the same with her long blonde hair brushing over her shoulders and her guitar in hand ready to rock. 

Long time guitarist Craig Bartock was present as well and he was excellent all night long.

I thought the opening track was an interesting choice. The Romeo’s Daughter cover “Wild Child” kicked it all into high gear and it hit the bullseye, bringing everyone to their feet and setting the tone. The track reminded me of those crazy 70s I grew up in and some of things the Wilson’s experienced during that time as well. Read their biography if you are interested, it’s fascinating.

I am not only a longtime admirer of Heart but I respect Ann and Nancy for what they have accomplished on and off the stage throughout their lives. They serve as an example and inspiration to countless people across the globe.

Ann’s voice has held up amazingly over the years and she really has not taken a step back. After listening to all the new music they have recorded over the last few years and then seeing her belt out each song on stage reconfirmed that conviction. In a word, she is an amazing and electric performer that has total command of her vocals and the stage.

The musicianship was beyond reproach and it showed why they are drawing large crowds everywhere they go.

Every band has their own niche and style but Heart is special. All of these bands have been at it for over four decades. Heart sounds like they have their foot all the way to the floor when they perform. I happen to appreciate their strength and wherewithal to continue to present superb performances in and out of the studios. 

“Crazy on You” was phenomenal and “Alone” was proof positive that Ann still has what it takes to grab a performance and grasp the attention of an audience. She was so powerful; I was getting chills all the way through the performance.

I think what surprised some members of the audience was the encore of the Led Zeppelin covers. I knew that they would kill it and they did. They have always acknowledged their influences and then given a positive response to that by performing certain songs superbly. I was listening to people talk on the way out of the venue and some were saying how amazed they were with their rendition of “Stairway To Heaven.” It was great to hear that people realized what a special night they witnessed. I am sure they solidified their fan base and added some younger generation folks to their followers after last night.

I would highly recommend attending this show before the tour ends, I promise you will not regret it.




Set List:
Wild Child (Romeo's Daughter cover)
Magic Man
What About Love (Toronto cover)
Even It Up
These Dreams
Two (NeYo cover)
Straight On For You
Kick It Out
Beautiful Broken
Alone (I-Ten cover)
Crazy on You
Barracuda
Encore:
Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)
Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin cover)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder Of:
September 11, 2016

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