KISS – Tacoma Dome – Tacoma WA : February 2nd 2019

Well, this is supposed to be KISS‘ last (End of the Road) tour, but I think we have heard that before. Regardless, I couldn’t run the risk of not seeing the greatest live band of all time one last time. I also took advantage of an opportunity to meet the band back stage, and since this was “the last time they would ever tour”, I thought that I had better go big and participate in this as well.

As typical, the show was running late, where we were to meet for the Meet and Greet at 5:30, we really didn’t;t get in to meet them until closer to 8:00, which actually wasn’t so bad as the crowd was pumped and there were a Buch of die-hard fans to keep us all entertained. The guys were pretty cool back stage, messing around and teasing people as they came in for pictures. When it came to my turn for a photo, Eric Singer and Paul Stanley pulled the collar up on my jacket, called me Elvis and Paul gave the “Fonzie” thumbs up. A little silly, but the pictured turned out OK.

After the meet and greet, I went to find Toni and Nicki at our seats, which were awesome…just five rows from the floor with perfect view of stage left. The band came on (without opener) at between 8:30-9:00 and just tore it up. They started out with Detroit Rock City followed by Shout it out Loud and Deuce. They played throughout their nearly 50 year catalog including Heaven’s on Fire, Lick it Up, Psycho Circus, I Was Made for Lovin’ You and the encore was Beth, Do You Love Me and Rock and Roll All Night…what an incredible set of classics.

If this was the last time I will ever see KISS live, then I will be happy as it was one of the best, but if for some reason they keep touring or start up again in a few years…well that’s OK too.

REO Speed Wagon – Emerald Queen Casino – Tacoma WA : January 18th 2019

First show at the Casino in a while…seemed like they stopped having classic rock shows for a time as I used to see a lot of shows here was over a year ago.

REO Speed Wagon never fails to put on a great show. They sound as good as they did back in the day and have enough energy to keep the crowd going throughout the entire show.

Their catalog of hits is of course amazing and spans 45+ years going back all the way to the very early seventies. I loved hearing all the songs from their early eighties smash album Hi Infidelity but my favorites were the classic older tunes such as Time for me to Fly, Roll with the Changes, Back on the Road Again, Music Man, Keep Pushin’, and of course Ridin’ the Storm Out.

As long as these guys keep touring, I will continue to go see them live… absolutely great live band.

Metallica – Save Mart Center – Fresno CA: December 9th 2018

Another Epic Metallica show last night at the Save Mart Center on the campus of Fresno State University in beautiful downtown Fresno California.

Toni and I flew down from Seattle early Saturday morning and had a very relaxing time flaking out in the hotel in a town boarding Fresno called Clovis. We didn’t do much other than flake at the hotel and go out to eat up until showtime.

We did have VIP (Whiplash Experience) which we had done the last time we saw Metallica in Seattle, and would definitely recommend. You are able to get into a pre-function prior to the show where they serve some pretty good hors d’oeuvres. They also give some pretty decent merch such as a show specific concert poster and t-shirt. A great way to pre-function prior to the show.

Metallica came on pretty late (around 8:30-8:45) which gave way too much time for the pre-show with Jim Breuer who was funny for the first hour, but after two hours just got annoying. I came to see some metal after all, not a comedy show. The only thing the guy said that was worth while was when he warned “older” people not to participate in the mosh…if only the old guy who got knocked down and had to be carried out would have listed. This wasn’t the only incident that happened around us either…a guy down our row had to be physically removed from the arena due to his belligerency and some doped up loser assaulted a female security person, knocking her to the ground for not letting him do things he wasn’t;t supposed to…I just can’t understand why people just can’t come to a show to enjoy the music. Why they must be such a-holes.

When they did finally come out, they came out as powerful as ever, opening with Hardwired and Atlas, Rise!. They jammed out a great set coving their whole history from their latest album to their old stuff such as Hit the Lights. My favorites of the night were Fuel, Seek and Destroy, Sad But True and Ride the Lightning.

Metallica will always be a must see show, and I will continue to put up with the dorks in the crowd to hear and see them perform.

Blink 182 – Pearl Concert Theater – Las Vegas NV : November 10th 2018

Great show down n Vegas. Blink 182 always put on a great show and tonight was no different. I flew in from Seattle on a fairly late flight (as I was coming in from Shanghai and couldn’t;t get anything sooner), so I landed around 7:30 in the evening and had to rush to the hotel. Fortunately the venue was in the Palms Hotel which meant all I had to do was come downstairs. As I was later than hoped, I missed the all of the VIP early entry and buffet, but that was OK as I made it to the show before it started around 9:00.

The setlist was awesome for this residency at the Palms. They opened up with Feeling This, followed by What’s My Name Again. They played some older tunes such as Mutt, All The Small Things and Dumpweed, and also some of the music from their newest album such as Kings of the Weekend and Los Angeles.

I hope these guys keep playing and making music for many years to come.

Phil Collins – MGM Grand – Las Vegas NV : October 27th 2018

Definitely worth the wait to see Phil Collins. I have loved his work since the early days of Genesis and have wanted to see him in concert for a long time. Tonights show at the Garden Arena at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was absolutely awesome. Phil Collins’ voice was incredible and he sounded exactly like I remember form all those albums.

He play a great set of songs ranging from of course his Genesis material like Throwing It All Away and Follow You Follow Me. He opened with an interesting choice, that I didn’t think was that popular however it was one of my favorite songs when it came out…Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now), then went in to some great solo music Another Day in Paradise and I Missed Again. Of course one of the crowd favorites was In the Air Tonight which was very powerful with his very talented 17 year old son Nic slamming it on the drums. My favorite song of the night was one in which Nic played piano and Phil sang You Know What I Mean…very nice, mellow song for father and son to perform together.

It was a quick trip down to Vegas for the day, but very much worth it, and another great artist that I was finally able to see live in concert.

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