Trans Siberian Orchestra – Seattle : November 25 2017

Exceptional night last night at the Key Arena in Seattle with the Trans Siberian Orchestra. This was the 5th year in a row of this being a holiday family event for us and this year we decided to go all out and enjoy the show with the whole family including Toni’s and my side..14 of us in all. We had an awesome suite and had it catered so we could all gather, visit and enjoy the show together. This is the way to attend a show for sure…not up close to the stage, but definitely a great view, comfortable seats, lots of food, drinks and your private bathroom.

The show was as good as always with the band putting on an absolutely stunning show of music lights and pyrotechnics to the similar holiday theme. This year was the same show as last year which I think is better than the previous show they had been putting on for a number of years…hopefully they will keep this show for another couple years at least.

We attended the early (3:30pm) show as we typically do. We like to come into the city and get a hotel for the night, take the monorail from Westlake Center to the Seattle Center, enjoy the show and then come back to the hotel for some evening festivities with family and friends. Besides me in the midst of a very nasty cold, we had a good, albeit an early ending post show party.

A Video of their “Nutcracker Suite

 

Three Dog Night – Emerald Queen Casino – Tacoma WA : November 11th 2017

One of my first favorite bands. Their album Joy to the World – Three Dog Night – Their Greatest Hits was the first album I ever bought. I remember taking it to school when I was in 5th grade and my teach was somewhat of a hippie who had a record player in the classroom and played music during class. His favorite artists at the time to play were Jim Croce and The Carpenters,  but he let us listen to my Three Dog Night album which was awesome.

They put on one hell of a show. Much better than I had anticipated as many times the older the band, the more challenging it is for them to sound “like they used to”, but these guys hit it spot on, song for song they played all of their hits and it brought me back to the playground of my 5th grade youth. I realize that their line-up has changed a bit, but between Danny Hutton (Vocals) and Michael Allsup (on guitar), they brought back all that vibe from so many years ago.

My favorite songs of the night were (my all time favorite) Never Been to Spain and of course One, Mama Told Me Not to Come, Play Something Sweet and of course Joy to the World which was their final encore song of the night.

In This Moment – The Moore – Seattle : October 31st 2017

Cool Halloween for us this year. We went to see some of Nicki’s favorites at The Moore Theatre in Seattle. It was cool to see a ton of people dressed up in their favorite costumes  at the show, including some of the band members.

In This Moment was headlining the Half God, Half Devil tour with Of Mice & Men and Avatar. We have see In This Moment and Of Mice & Men a few times, but never Avatar. They are one of Nicki’s favorite bands, so she was of course very excited to see them live in concert. When listening to their recorded music, I really didn’t care too much for them, but they sounded incredible and put on an absolutely great show. They are a heavy metal shock rock band from Sweden (actually classified as melodic death metal) and have sort of circus type persona. They have a very polished live sound and are very entertaining. Of Mice & Men sounded as good as ever and Maria Brink of In This Moment put on an awesome show as always.

We had a great time and I especially liked glancing over at Nicki watching her singing, smiling and having a great time…that was the best part of the night.

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.

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