Scorpions/ Megadeth – The Forum – Los Angeles : October 7th 2017

 

 

Good show last night at the Forum in L.A. Toni and I flew down for the day for her birthday to celebrate with the Scorpions – one of her favorite bands.

We did the VIP package again for this show, but really regret it as the food was very sparse…just three items and one was a cup of tomato soup. The area set aside for the VIP group was just a little roped off area of the main concourse. The thing with the Forum is they let you enter the outer concourse early to have drinks and food, so there really is no reason to get the early entry VIP at this venue. The swag was also meager with only a small insulated (branded bag) with a couple of aluminum cups and a bottle opener.

We got to our seats just about a half an hour before show time. Great 3rd row aisle seats just off to the right of the main stage. Seeing how I forgot my camera at the hotel, I was fortunate that we were this close so that I could use my cell phone to take pic.

Megadeth opened up for the Scorpions, which seems a little odd. They are both metal bands, but seems like different types of metal fans between the two bands. The Megadeath fans are rough biker types and the Scorpions were they 50 something group that pretend to be bikers, and of course us.We had some good folks sitting around us, but invariably drunken losers with crappy cheap seats seem to always be able to find their way into the front sections and ruin things for the folks who pay a lot just to watch and enjoy the show. We of course had the most belligerent of the losers in front of us which made for a very tense show…just can’t watch the show and enjoy with these losers constantly spilling their beer on people, falling over the chairs, facing the audience pretending they are the stars of the show… i just don’t get these types of people and they are at almost every show.

Not being the biggest Megadeth fans, we left after just after a few of their songs going out into the lobby area to have a little food and something to drink and to let the losers do their thing. We hoped that they would be gone when we can back for the Scorpions…we were wrong and they were still there.

Regardless, we tried our hardest to enjoy the show. The Scorpions sounded great. Our seats were right in front of guitarist Matthias Jabs who was constantly smiling. He and the rest of the guys clearly enjoy playing for the audiences. They sounded great and put on one hell of a show. They hit all of our favorites including The Zoo, Black Out, Big City Nights, Wind of Change and a tribute to Lemmy and Motorhead playing their hit Overkill. There was a short bit midway through the show where they all came out to the center, extended stage and played an acoustic medley of Always Somewhere / Eye of the Storm / Send Me an Angel. It was real cool to be so close as when Mikkey Dee was playing his drums, I could only hear the actual drum play and not the amplified sound…it was like he was playing in my living room. Real cool! They ended their set with three great encore songs, No One Like You, Still Loving You and Rock You Like a Hurricane.

Even with the small problems, we did enjoy the show and Toni had a great early Birthday and she still loves the Scorpions.

Eric Clapton – The Forum – Los Angeles : September 18th 2017

The Eric Clapton show at the Forum in Los Angeles last night was absolutely epic!

The forum is a cool venue because they open up and let you come into the venue (not actually to your seats) and enjoy a few hours of food and drinks and first shot at merchandise shopping and not have to wait in any huge long line like at so many other shows/ venues. The door were scheduled to open at 6:30 and I was able to get in at 5:00, get all the Merch my wallet would bear and a couple humongous $13 beers before heading to my seat…also had a chance to meet and talk with other fans, telling stories and comparing concert memories…very nice arrangement.

The show opener was Jimmie Vaughan who was incredible and even did a rendition of his brothers hit Texas Flood. He and his band played for about 45 minutes before Gary Clarke Jr and his band came on and absolutely tore it up. I have never seen or heard of Gary Clark Jr before and wonder what rock I have been living under. Definitely one of the best Texas blues rock guitarists and performers I have seen or heard in a long time. He and his band played about an hour set ending just before 9:00pm.

Eric Clapton hit the stage a little after 9:00 and tore it up for a strong two hour set ending just before 11:00. His set covered the 50+ years of writing and performing from hits like White Room from the days of Cream to Layla from Derek and the Dominos to some classic blues songs like I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man (Willie Dixon), Cross Road Blues and Little Queen of Spades (Robert Johnson) and his opening song Somebody’s Knocking (J.J. Cale) and many more. A few of my favorites of the night were Tear in Heaven which has always been one of my favorites, but in the version he played last night, he gave it a little up-beat Jamaica sound making it unique without losing the feeling it has. I really enjoyed I Shot the Sherrif and Lay Down Sally and for some reason, the crowd just goes bonkers whenever he plays Cocaine. The show last night definitely had more electric and more vintage rock guitar and visuals to it than when I saw him a few years ago. This really came through with White Room and Cocaine which were just as much or maybe a little harder than the original versions heard so many years ago. The single encore was Before You Accuse Me with Jimmie Voughan and Gary Clark Jr. joining Eric and the band on stage for an incredible blues guitar extravaganza. A perfect song to end the night with.

I had about 3 hours of sleep after the show before I had to get up for a 6:00am flight back to Seattle, but the experience of seeing this legend again, for which many people are saying it might be his last tour, was very well worth the burn and drag I am feeling tonight.

Below is a little 5 minute compilation video I put together with segments of some of the songs from the show last night.

Pete Townshend (Classic Quadrophenia) : The Greek LA – September 16th 2017

An incredible show at an incredible venue. I have never been to the Greek Theater before and it is an amazing little venue. It is a small, 5,900 seat outdoor theater situated in the hills in Griffen Park. The weather was perfect last night with the early evening temps around 72 degrees and then cooling down to about 65 degrees or so. The sound was amazing even from the pit seats up close to the stage…I would imagine the sound would be better a little further back to get the full benefit of the speakers, but I don;t think there is a bad seat in the house. Definitely would come back to this venue again.

I was fortunate enough to buy the VIP package tickets which included a pre-show sound check, full open bar and very delicious heavy horse devours. The sound check was good, but as the sun was beaming right on the stage they could only open the curtains for the final song, the rest of the sound check was behind the big heavy red curtain, which was fine as it was just the orchestra, choir and a little bit of Alfie Boe singing. Pete did come out and apologize for having to keep the curtains closed due to the band not being able to read their sheet music with the bright sun. It was worth it though, as Pete Townshend and Billy Idol came out and performed The Real Me…that was a real treat!

The show started promptly at 8:00 and played the full Quadrophenia album from side to side with a short intermission between “sides”. This production was very powerful and unique. I have seen the Who perform Quadophenia before and that was more just a rock show (all be it an incredible rock show), but hearing the music of a full orchestra and choir along with the very powerful voice of Alfie Boe (a Tony award winning Broadway tenor) and the surprisingly good vocals and stage theatrics of Billy Idol. This was definitely a show to remember.

Foreigner & Cheap Trick – Auburn WA : September 9th 2017

 

Good line up for the show with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience opening up, then Cheap Trick and finally Foreigner.

So the above pictures were the only ones I got from this show, which in the long run didn’t matter much anyway as the show was kind of a flop. I guess every show can’t be amazingly fabulous and there has to be a dud at some point. This was certainly it.

It started out bad as I rushed out of the house (after waking up late from a nap) and had just a half an hour to get to the venue (White River Amphitheater), which is exactly a half an hour away from my house (without traffic)… I was a little concerned as I was doing a VIP meet and Greet with Foreigner and was told in an email confirmaiton to NOT BE LATE or else I would miss portions of the backstage tour and possibly the meet and greet, so naturally I was stressed and ran out of the house without my cell phone or my camera. No way to take any pictures of the show. If it was’t for the single meet and greet band shot and a nice lady taking the other two and sending to me, I would’t have gotten any at all.

The back stage tour and hours devours/ drinks were pretty good. The lead singer of Foreigner Kelly Hansen actually designed the food choices and it was prepared by the same caterer who supports the band on tour, so it was quite tasty…the only problem was it was raining that day (I think first day of rain in Seattle in over 70 straight days) and there wasn’t much cover.

The meet and greet was pretty good too except wouldn’t you think that a meet and greet with the BAND would mean the whole band? Apparently Mick Jones (the only actual, original band member) was above meeting the fans and busy doing something else…not cool!

From that point on, that was pretty much the end of the “pretty good” and start of the “not so cool”. The night went down hill from there. First off, my seat was about 4 and a half feet from the mammoth stage sub-woofer that was pounding every one of Jason Bonham’s bass kicks straight through my skin, bones and very soul. I felt the vibration of the speaker hit my jacket and blow my hair back with every beat. There was just no way I was going to be able to sit there, and me without ear plug I would have been deaf for sure. I took the opportunity to walk up to the back grass area and watch/ listen from the back. I returned to my seat for Cheap Trick, only to find out that Robin Zander (lead singer) was a no show…the excuse was something about having to go back to Florida due to hurricane Irma…strange that I would expect there’s no safer place from a Florida hurricane than the other side of the country, but oh well. They played a half baked show with numerous stand-in singers and couldn’t get off the stage fast enough as far as I was concerned. Foreigner came on pretty late and had a good stage show and sounded fine, but by then I was not in the concert mood any longer and only stayed for the first five or six songs.

Pretty much a bust, except I got to meet (some) of the members of Foreigner and have some pretty tasty hors devours.

The Doobie Brothers / ZZ Top – Woodinville WA : August 25th 2017

Great show last night at the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville. It was a great line-up with The Doobie Brothers and ZZ Top. I have seen ZZ Top a number of times and they never fail to put on a great show, but I have never seen The Doobie Brothers and was very much looking forward to hearing and seeing live performances of all those great old songs I grew up with in the 70’s.

The Doobie Brothers had a great set of songs and sounded great. Although there are only two original members of the band (Patrick Simmons and Tommy Johnston) they had a great group of backing musicians and were able to hit the sound I remember from all those years ago. Some of my favorites of the night were their opening song, Jesus is Just Alright and then Rocking’ Down the Highway. Of course Take me in Your Arms (Rock me A Little While), South City Midnight Lady, Takin’ it to the Streets and China Grove were awesome as well. They closed their set with two encore songs, Without You and Listen to the Music. My all time favorite Doobies song is of course Black Water, and they did an absolutely incredible job and I absolutely loved it!

ZZ Top came on the stage around 8:30 opening up with Got Me Under Pressure, Waiting’ for the Bus and Jesus Just Left Chicago… They sounded as good as even and put on a great show.

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