Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
January and February usually aren’t very good months for concerts. 2012 is off to a good start and this was a better-than-average first quarter for concerts. This was a great January, very good February and pretty decent March. The next three months
Steel Panther played an awesome set at the Green Valley Ranch to what’s been referred to as a “dead crowd”- this video is pretty funny:
From there, next up was a trip straight to the SouthPoint (plus a couple of wrong turns to get there) to catch the end of The Spazmatics show. The crowd was almost gone at that point, but they still played at least 6 tunes. This version of the band (they alternate players between locations and the such) rocks.
The next day was a trip to see Confessions of a Rock Star with Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens- . The show is a residency at the Riviera where he tells stories and plays cool tunes. I was right against the stage for the show, so I didn’t get any pictures or footage, but it was a good one that I just might try to catch again this year.
A few days later and back in LA, Club Nokia hosted the Drum Off for Guitar Center. This was a six hour event. I stayed for all of it. Sometimes you have to pace yourself. If you ever get a chance for the usher to show you the schedule, ask to see it. Anyhow, here was a surprise performance by Tenacious D. They rocked with Brooks Wackerman on the drums.
After recovering from that marathon,Steel Panther played their normal Monday late night gig at the House of Blues Sunset to a much more lively crowd. It was like night and day.
Steve Morse Band played later that week. Steve Morse and Dave LaRue are an incredible guitar and bass duo. I’ve probably seen this band a dozen times. Not their best show ever, but it was still way better than most of the stuff out there…
Not being very familiar with their music, Nightwish played at the Gibson Amphitheatre in what ended up being one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. Wow. Best show of the year so far!!
Geoff Tate had a wine tasting event and solo acoustic show. What an incredible voice he has. Eyes of A Stranger had perfect vocals. I hope he comes back and does all all Queensryche set- that would be great.
I went back to The Canyon to see Lee Rocker . What a killer bass player. This show was excellent.
I stuck around for the Spazmatics late show. They rocked as usual…
I then went and saw Tommy Emmanuel at the Club Nokia. Going to Downtown LA during afternoon rush hour is never fun, never mind there being an NBA game the same day. It was completely worth the effort and he was absolutely incredible on guitar and very personable to boot. I see a lot of great guitar players, but left there completely astonished by what I saw. Tommy rules.
Zappa Plays Zappa played a remarkable show at The Canyon- here’s to an incredible band that does some totally overlooked music. Everyone in this line-up is a great musician. A true musical treat.
The following week, I went to a George Thorogood concert alone and stayed completely sober- not even one drop of beer- I didn’t even drink alone!! George still rocks at 62 years old!
The Industry Only event at On The Rox was excellent and ended up being one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen in a while. It was nice to see the antithesis of the current Rock Band and Guitar Hero crowd. 11 year old guitarist Nik Kai did a great job playing with 2 different acts (Steville and Fatal Error) and laying down some solos. How many 11 year olds are sponsored by Gibson, Marshall, Monster Energy and get nominated for international heavy metal awards?
Bad Suns, a current favorite on KROQ, also played a cool set of tunes. One of the members of Flametal/ Heavy Mellow, Luis Villegas, played with his quartet. This band of four highly skilled musicians play heavy metal songs in a flamenco context- a brilliant concept. I’ve seen video footage, but experiencing it live was incredible:
To round out my first concert quarter of the year, Michael Schenker played a killer show at The Canyon. The music crowd was definitely out in full force that night.
15 good shows in 3 months. If I see only 60 more shows this year, I’ll break my own record.