Metallica – Seattle WA : August 9th 2017

What an awesome show last night at Century Link Field in Seattle. Metallica put on an absolutely incredible show…huge stage, tons of pyrotechnics, lasers, lights and even two big inflatables 60 feet above either side of the stage. Such a difference between their show I saw in Hong Kong earlier this year. That was a much smaller venue and stage, probably about a quarter the size, so clearly they let out all the stops at Century Link.

Toni and I arrived around 4:00pm to check in to the Whiplash (VIP) experience being held in the WaMu theater area right next door to the stadium. This was probably one of the best VIP experiences we have ever been to. There were a ton of people, but they had more than enough (quality and variety) of food and tables and really the only waiting was at the merch line (maybe a little wait at the drink area, but not bad).

We made it to our seats just a little after 6:00 and the opening band Gojira, a metal band from France who were actually quite good. After them, Avenged Sevenfold hit the stage around 7:00 and played till just about 8:00 and put on a great show. I have never seen them before and it was good to finally see them live in concert, although I think it would have been better to see them on a smaller stage. It was hard to see them on that huge stage, although they clearly loved it running from side to side and front to back covering every inch of the stage..they really did put on a great show.

Metallica came on around 8:30 or so and opened up with the typical song Ecstasy of Gold from the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and then leading into the powerful title song from their new album Hardwired. Some of my favorites from the night were For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Memory Remains, The Unforgiven, Fade to Black, Sad but True and One. I think my favorite was Seek and Destroy. During this song they all came out to the end of the center protruding stage, Lars’ drum set rose up from underneath and they all four played in this very small stage. Even though we loved the huge stage and show, it was great to see them all play so close on the little end stage.

One of the years best shows for sure.

Steve Miller/ Peter Frampton – Seattle : August 5 2017

Great show last night at the White River Amphitheater in Auburn. It was a warm night and fortunately had cooled off of the 95 degree days we were having earlier in the week which made it very nice for an outside show.

I have seen both Peter Frampton and the Steve Miller Band before, but tonight I was able to get a meet and greet with Peter Frampton which made this special. I have always enjoyed his music, but was a little apprehensive in meeting him as I have had a bit of a negative opinion of him following the last time I saw him and he was real abrasive to the crowd about taking pictures and then after the issue with him walking off stage a couple weeks ago, I was concerned he would be stand-offish and not very friendly. I was pleasantly surprised that he was actually quite nice, humble and very friendly, asking my name, where I was from and thanking me very sincerely for coming to the show.

Both of these guys put on great shows and sounded great. You just can’t get enough of Peter Frampton’s “talk box” and Steve Miller’s absolutely incredible blues infused guitar. The highlights of the show for me was Peter Frampton’s tribute to Chris Cornell with Black Hole Sun…absolutely amazing guitar work and very tastefully done. Probably my favorite  part of the Steve Miller set was when he and Peter Frampton jammed out some very classic blues tunes by legends such as Otis Rush, Muddy Waters and Elmore James and then of course Mercury Blues a K.C. Douglas cover…absolutely stunning. Of course he played his classic hits such as Swing Town, Space Cowboy, Fly Like an dEagle and Jet Airliner.

Awesome show and great to see these guys together on tour.

Neil Diamond – Seattle WA : July 26th 2017

Very good show Wednesday night at Key Arena in Seattle. A bit of a bummer that Toni could’t make it as I had to do the VIP pre-show by myself, but I made sure I ate both our share of the food and free drinks, and actually it was nice (all be it expensive) to have a open seat next to me during the show for a little elbow room and to store my swag on, but do wish she could have made it.

I was seriously impressed with Neil Diamond’s voice, and he still had a little spring in his step as he engaged with the crowd moving constantly across the stage from one side to another – not bad for a 76 year old dude!

50 years of music is what he was celebrating during this tour…totally amazing that someone can continue to entertain and for 50 years these days. I was never really a huge Neil Diamond fan, but I do appreciate a good clean,honest love song once in a while and every song in his set I actually remember from throughout the years. Some of my favorites were, Song Sung Blue, Shilo, Forever in Blue Jeans, Cherry Cherry, Love on the Rocks, I Am I  Said and then an awesome three song encore with Sweet Caroline, Crackling’ Rosie and America.

Check out the short montage

Queen + Adam Lambert – Seattle WA : July 1 2017

Last night’s show at Key Arena in Seattle was incredible. I was a little apprehensive with Adam Lambert as front man for Queen as I did go on line and watch a few of the current live performance videos and to me Adam Lambert sounded stale and didn’t seem to have “life” to his vocals, sounding much as he did during his time on American Idol. How different things were live! He sounded great with an incredible range and exuding a enormous amount of personality and energy. We were very impressed with him as lead vocalist to one of Rock and Rolls most iconic, unique and all time great bands.

We arrived at the show around 5:00pm in time to check in for the early entry VIP lounge enjoyed a few drinks and a great variety of light snacks.

The show started just after 8:00pm with the band opening appropriately enough with a short version of We Will Rock You. Their setlist was a very good mix of their big hits and some of the more obscure songs not heard since their release. Some of our favorites were Fat Bottomed Girls, Killer Queen, Don’t Stop Me Now and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Adam Lambert sang one of his originals called Two Fux which was a song about being yourself and not really caring much about what other people think. I think my two favorite songs of the night were Who Wants to Live Forever and Somebody to Love (video link below).

Great show and definitely a must see.

Brian Wilson – Santa Barbara CA : May 28th 2017

Finally getting around to posting about the Brian Wilson show I went dow to Santa Barbara to see. Funny thing…I decided to go to this particular show as when it was being advertised, it was being advertised as the last of the Pet Sound shows, so I thought how cool it would be to go and see this iconic artist perform what many believe is one of the top albums of all time in souther California where it all started. Cool huh? Well, turns out that not only was this NOT the last show it was’t even the last show in the US as they added a later date in Hawaii and then planned a whole european tour…fished in again!

Well, didn’t take me long to get over that as soon as the first notes of the sound check started. This was by far one of the best sound checks I have ever seen as I really wasn’t expecting to see Brain Wilson, but not only did he host the entire set, but they must have played for a half an hour. What a treat to see them play for such a small group and in such a informal setting.

The main show was absolutely fabulous. I know beach boys songs are all relatively short, but he and the band played for what was around two an a half hours which turned out to be a total of 38 songs, with the entire Pet Sounds album sandwiched in between a ton of Beach Boys hits. A few of my favorites of the night were Shut Down, Little Deuce Coup, Don’t Worry Baby, Surfer Girl, Wouldn’t it be Nice, Sloop John B, and Sail on Sailor (sung by Blondie Chaplin – Who was a Beach Boy back in the 70’s).

One of the highlights of the day was getting to have a pre-show meet and greet where I was able to meet and have my photo taken Brian Wilson, Al Jardine and Blondie Chapin. Oh and I had a perfect view of him in his big huge leather easy chair off slightly behind the stage and I bought him looking at his watch probably wondering the same thing I was…”when’s the show supposed to start anyway?”

A very memorable trip and show and I hope Brian can continue to perform for years to come.

Surfer Girl shot at the sound check

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