Showing posts with label The Colonial Theater. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Colonial Theater. Show all posts

3/12/2017

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:
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE
MARECHIARE
TORNA A SURIENTO
LA DANZA 
NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU
HALLELUJAH 
LAND DOWN UNDER
WALTZING MATILDA
STILL CALL
JERSEY BOYS MEDLEY

ACT 2:
CANCION DEL MARIACHI
ARANJUEZ CON TUAMORE
AMIGOS PARA SIEMPRE
DIVA MEDLEY
THINKING OUT LOUD
UNCHAINED MELODY
THE BOXER
ANYTHING FOR LOVE
Encore:
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
BOHO NESSUN DORMA
HEROES

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

9/29/2016

Concert Review: Ace Frehley and SIMO

Ace Frehley Goes Space Truckin’ At The Colonial Theater
Opening Act SIMO Impresses Capacity Crowd
September 27, 2016
Pittsfield, MA.
                            
 
If you are Kiss fan you were at the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield Massachusetts on Tuesday night. To put it more succinctly, everyone there came to see Ace Frehley. He was the main talent in Kiss and everyone knows it, with the exception of some of his former band mates of course. This is my opinion and that of many others but as with anything else I am sure there are many people that would disagree.

Warm up bands can be a hit or miss proposition and in this case it was a shot that hit dead center for these ears and apparently the capacity audience. 
The band that came on to warm things up for Ace was SIMO, named after the lead guitar player and vocalist J.D. Simo.  This is a classic power trio that included the bass player Elad Shapiro and drummer Adam Abrashoff.  

Abrashoff had a minimal drum kit and what he accomplished with it was amazing. That is real talent when you take something small and make it sound so big. Shapiro is no slouch on the bass either, his fingers are a flash and he is the perfect companion to Abrashoff’s talents J.D. is a very innovative guitar player taking the nod from the blues and the psychedelic era of the 60s ala Hendrix. His voice is tremendously powerful as well.  I also heard plenty of Allman Brothers influence in their music. I could see they use vintage equipment as well to get their sound, obviously a very smart move on their behalf.


At the break I went out to meet J.D. and he confirmed the aforementioned
influences. The band hails from Nashville and they put on a great show. I also picked up their new release Let Love Show The Way on 180-gram vinyl, complete with a poster and download not to mention the retro artwork that acts as time machine (reflecting their influences).  It was priced right as well at $20.00.  I don’t think Ace could have asked for a better warm up band.


After the break the man of the hour arrived. This was going to be a great show; I could feel it in the air. Well, Ace did not disappoint.

I felt like that over energetic 17-year-old again going to see Kiss in the 70s at Springfield Civic Center. It was great to have those memories come rushing back. All you can do is smile inside when that happens. Ace has a great band to support his act and they made their way through 18 songs to rock the audience from start to finish.

Some of the highlights of the evening included the Thin Lizzy cover “Emerald,” “Parasite,” “Rock Soldiers” and an amazing version of the Kiss classic “Cold Gin,” which I thought was the best performance all night. The encore was superb as well capping off the night with “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce.” 

I grew out of Kiss many years ago but occasionally listen to the first album and Ace’s solo work. People change, get older and some tastes do change however…once a rocker always a rocker. Seeing Ace live and hearing those songs again was a great experience and reminded of why I liked the music in the first place.

Ace is an accomplished guitar man and all of those skills were on display. Even the smoking guitar was present, which I was hoping to see again. If you want a rockin’ good time the ace in the hole, no pun intended, is catching this show live. 

There is something to be said about how this man has been underrated over the years and not given his due by critics and music industry folks alike. Ace Frehley gets my stamp of approval with no hesitation.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 29, 2016

Set List:
01. Rip It Out
02. Toys
03. Emerald
04. Parasite
05. Love Gun
06. Snow Blind
07. Sister
08. Rocket Ride
09. Bring It On Home
10. Rock Soldiers
11. Bass Solo
12. Strange Ways
13. N.Y Groove
14. 2 Young 2 Die
15. Shock Me
16. Cold Gin
Encore:
17. Detroit Rock City
18. Deuce


3/28/2016

Concert Review: Kansas at The Colonial Theater

Kansas In Concert At The Colonial Theater
UCP Life Without Limits Benefit
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
March 26, 2016

Phil Ehart (drums), Richard Williams (guitar), Ronnie Platt (vocals, keyboards), Billy Greer (bass, vocals), David Manion (keyboards, vocals) and David Ragsdale (violin, guitar, vocals) are Kansas.  

The show benefited United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County. The “Life Without Limits” concert replaces UCP’s annual fundraising telethon, which ended last year after more than five decades.

Ms. Brittany Dorwin (pictured here) whom I have known since she was a baby was crowned the Massachusetts Jr. Miss Amazing 2016. She will move on to the Nationals in Chicago very soon. If you are interested in sponsoring her trip to Chicago on June 30TH make your donation here http://www.missamazing2016.com/sponsor-a-queen



Brittany certainly fits the description of amazing. I have never looked at her as someone with a disability; she is an intelligent, funny, warm, and a loving soul. Thanks to her wonderful parents Pam and Dan and the support of her sister Samantha, she was given every opportunity for a normal and healthy upbringing. The event was very special for her and everyone that knows her. Congratulations Brit we love you!

This was the third time I have seen Kansas and all with different line ups. I would have to say after watching them last night that they are as tight as ever and sounded fantastic! There are two original members left, founder and drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Richard Williams. Billy Greer has been with the band since 1985 and quickly became one of the foundations of their sound with his bass and strong vocals (He also has been in Seventh Key and Native Window). Ronnie Platt is the most recent addition holding down the lead vocals that I am aware of. He is voice is very strong and reminiscent of the great Steve Walsh the original voice of the band. 

Their set was very efficient with very little band to audience exchanges. Kansas is one of the true prog rock innovators and legends that are still performing today. The sound they present is mixture of rock, classical and pop and for the most part remains very complex. It is the kind of music built for improvisation and although they stay true to a planned set list they really stretch out musically much to the delight of their audiences. 

David Ragsdale is a multi-talented component offering his distinct violin sounds along with guitar and backing vocals. Phil Earhart is the rock of the band and always was. His drumming is extraordinary and he makes it look so effortless. Watching a superb progressive rock band is a real audio visual treat that you simply cannot forget.

Some of favorites of the night was the opener “Point of Know Return,” “Miracles Out of Nowhere,”  “Belexes,” which was a crazy transitioning number that required an enormous amount of talent to perform, and “Portrait (He Knew),” which was inspired by Albert Einstein.

This was a great night for many reasons and one I believe the packed house at The Colonial are going to remember for a long time. Witnessing the raucous applause, hand clapping and whistles from the audience for their encore was proof positive that they still are relevant force in music and their songs are unforgettable. To all of you people that decided your cellphones were more important than what you where there for, you missed a great show!

March 27, 2016

Set List:
Point of Know Return
What’s On My Mind
Play The Game
The Wall
Reason To Be
Dust In The Wind
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Icarus
Opus Insert
Closet Chronicles
Hold On
Belexes
Portrait (He Knew)
Sparks of the Tempest

Encore:
Fire
Wayward Son

Concert Review: Kansas at The Colonial Theater

Kansas In Concert At The Colonial Theater
UCP Life Without Limits Benefit
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
March 26, 2016

Phil Ehart (drums), Richard Williams (guitar), Ronnie Platt (vocals, keyboards), Billy Greer (bass, vocals), David Manion (keyboards, vocals) and David Ragsdale (violin, guitar, vocals) are Kansas.  

The show benefited United Cerebral Palsy of Berkshire County. The “Life Without Limits” concert replaces UCP’s annual fundraising telethon, which ended last year after more than five decades.

Ms. Brittany Dorwin (pictured here) whom I have known since she was a baby was crowned the Massachusetts Jr. Miss Amazing 2016. She will move on to the Nationals in Chicago very soon. If you are interested in sponsoring her trip to Chicago on June 30TH make your donation here http://www.missamazing2016.com/sponsor-a-queen



Brittany certainly fits the description of amazing. I have never looked at her as someone with a disability; she is an intelligent, funny, warm, and a loving soul. Thanks to her wonderful parents Pam and Dan and the support of her sister Samantha, she was given every opportunity for a normal and healthy upbringing. The event was very special for her and everyone that knows her. Congratulations Brit we love you!

This was the third time I have seen Kansas and all with different line ups. I would have to say after watching them last night that they are as tight as ever and sounded fantastic! There are two original members left, founder and drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Richard Williams. Billy Greer has been with the band since 1985 and quickly became one of the foundations of their sound with his bass and strong vocals (He also has been in Seventh Key and Native Window). Ronnie Platt is the most recent addition holding down the lead vocals that I am aware of. He is voice is very strong and reminiscent of the great Steve Walsh the original voice of the band. 

Their set was very efficient with very little band to audience exchanges. Kansas is one of the true prog rock innovators and legends that are still performing today. The sound they present is mixture of rock, classical and pop and for the most part remains very complex. It is the kind of music built for improvisation and although they stay true to a planned set list they really stretch out musically much to the delight of their audiences. 

David Ragsdale is a multi-talented component offering his distinct violin sounds along with guitar and backing vocals. Phil Earhart is the rock of the band and always was. His drumming is extraordinary and he makes it look so effortless. Watching a superb progressive rock band is a real audio visual treat that you simply cannot forget.

Some of favorites of the night was the opener “Point of Know Return,” “Miracles Out of Nowhere,”  “Belexes,” which was a crazy transitioning number that required an enormous amount of talent to perform, and “Portrait (He Knew),” which was inspired by Albert Einstein.

This was a great night for many reasons and one I believe the packed house at The Colonial are going to remember for a long time. Witnessing the raucous applause, hand clapping and whistles from the audience for their encore was proof positive that they still are relevant force in music and their songs are unforgettable. To all of you people that decided your cellphones were more important than what you where there for, you missed a great show!

March 27, 2016

Set List:
Point of Know Return
What’s On My Mind
Play The Game
The Wall
Reason To Be
Dust In The Wind
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Icarus
Opus Insert
Closet Chronicles
Hold On
Belexes
Portrait (He Knew)
Sparks of the Tempest

Encore:
Fire
Wayward Son

2/22/2016

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

12/06/2015

Concert Review: The Weight

The Weight Turn On The Colonial Theater
Pittsfield Massachusetts
December 3, 2015



With old man winter quickly approaching, the Colonial Theater in Pittsfield, Massachusetts was warmed up by the sounds of The Weight. Featuring former members of The Band, Levon Helm Band and Rick Danko Group, the legendary sounds of that fondly remembered band called “The Band” come shining through with this all-star cast of players. Their namesake is after one of their more famous tracks and they represent this classic music most appropriately.

I will give the abbreviated rundown of the lineup provided right from the band’s website.

Jim Weider is a former member of the legendary group, The Band. From 1985 to 2000, Jim replaced Robbie Robertson as their lead guitarist. 

Randy Ciarlante was a member of the second incarnation of The Band. Up until Levon's passing, he double-drummed in Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band.

Brian Mitchell is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band and is well-known within the circles of the music industry and beyond for his solo career and his high-profile collaborations.

Byron Isaacs is a current member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band, The Dirt Farmer Band and Ollabelle.

Marty Grebb played with The Rick Danko Band, The Garth Hudson Band, wrote songs with Richard Manuel, and also wrote for and recorded with Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Etta James, Marty also wrote songs, and played for The Band appearing on the Jericho CD.

Now you have to admit that each member of The Weight has an impressive resume. They would prove throughout the night their fine musical pedigree would be consistent. I would classify their music as eclectic at the very least, an enticing mixture of rock, blues, Americana, roots, honky tonk and ragtime. That is a literal musical stew to be sure. There are also hints of a New Orleans spicy flavor to their sound as well particularly when Brain Mitchell picked up the accordion (otherwise known as the organ from hell).

This is one talent laden band. Every member can sing and plays like the polished professionals I anticipated seeing. A highlight of the night was the multitude of instruments Marty Greeb played which included keyboards, guitar and saxophones. They are all very talented however it was not hard to recognize how many different things this man did.

The night started at 8pm sharp, as all shows do at the Colonial and there was no warm up band. As we found out very quickly we did not any other lineup to warm our souls. Some songs just speak for themselves and their history carries a heavy responsibility in presenting them as originally intended. I assure you this was accomplished…just like laying down a royal flush on the card table.

Some of the songs that really spoke to the audience in attendance were “Across The Great Divide” and Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” You knew instantly it was Springsteen’s song even though this music is quite different from the catalog of “The Boss.” “Cripple Creek” got some hoots and hollers of course as did “The Weight,” as both are signature tunes. For these ears the highlight of the entire evening was “Life’s A Carnival.” Everything about that song featured this band at their best and it bleeds and sweats The Band. They also mentioned former members of The Band during the course of the night paying respect to their legacy and importance to the music they were playing.

It does not get much better than this. Sometimes you have to go see a cover band to enjoy music you loved because the band has long since dissolved or members have passed away. You need not worry, every one of these members is connected with The Band and now they bring this original and unique blend of music to the stage. I am grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed it and would not hesitate to do it again. If you are looking for a great evening of music that will spice up your life and put a smile in your soul make sure you check out The Weight.


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

Set List:
1.     We Can Talk
2.     Stage Fright
3.     Across The Great Divide
4.     Atlantic City
5.     King Harvest
6.     Master Piece
7.     Look Out Cleveland
8.     Tears of Rage
9.     Cripple Creek
10.  Ophelia
11.  Caledonia Mission
12.  Down in the Flood
13.  Life’s A Carnival
14.  Makes No Difference
15.  Walcott Medicine
16.  The Weight
17.  Shape I’m In
18.  Chest Fever

Encore:
19. Remedy
20. Rock & Roll Shoes


5/31/2015

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

AMERICA WEBSITE