Friday, August 7, 2015
Robert Plant - Lullabies and the ceaseless roar. Real expectation defying material, reminding us that he is a genius.
Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltry - Going back home. Very pure, very immediate rock 'n roll. I can't begin to explain how much I enjoy this album.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
I had seen them before when they came to Centurion (between Johannesburg and Pretoria) for the Cokefest. That show was incredible, but marred by incredibly poor event management. This, coupled with the fact that being on a festival bill possibly restricted their stage set was enough motivation to want to see them again. This time as head-liners of their own show, I expected it to be quite different.
My experiences from the Centurion show helped me to better prepare for this show, and make some crucial decisions up-front. Particularly, deciding whether I would be head-banging or watching (I found the two actions mutually exclusive in Centurion when I head-banged my glasses two rows of seats below me).
The event this time was staged in the Soccer City stadium on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Getting there and back was a breeze, and the Stadium handles these types of events very well. I have been to a few now and have no complaints other than that of the in-stadium vendors charging absolutely crazy prices for everything.
Metallica started promptly at 21:30 - true professionals. We had the western clip of James living out his cowboy fantasies (I can totally relate) and then they ripped straight into an evening filled with monumental guitar shredding.
What was different from the last show I saw was that they had some new songs from their last album to choose from (Cyanide), they had some amazing fireworks displays throughout the later songs, and then most startling, the fact that James has become such a pleasant, engaging entertainer. Throughout, his between song conversation was genuine and engaging, this did not impact the ferociousness of their songs, so he has achieved a great balance. Everyone was inducted into the 'Metallica family', and, I was at least, convinced that the band was enjoying the show as much as the incredible crowd (apart from the idiot in front of me, wearing a t-shirt of one of those bands with an illegible name and screaming f-bombs each time Metallica invited crowd participation - I thought he might have been happier back in his bedroom in his Moms house with his head-phones turned on loud).
There was great atmosphere, the band played really well, Kirk had his iconic guitars there (Boris etc) and the weather was perfect. Two encores later, people started filing out - James, however, was still on the stage, chatting to anyone who would listen.
PS - You can purchase live Metallica concerts for download over here: http://www.livemetallica.com/
Thursday, December 22, 2011
It’s been far too long since we have had some fresh and exciting rock band visit us in
The Black Hotels
Die Heuwels Fantasties
This band put on a good show, but for me at least were over-shadowed by The Shadow Club (no pun intended). But I could see that conversely, for a lot of the audience, this was the best SA band on show tonight.
With all the media stories about a Caleb meltdown, I really did not know what to expect. What we got was a real rocker of a show!
The stage was quite simple, but really effective, with some split screens and lights set up that worked extremely well, never detracting from the music or the performance.
The bulk of the material came from ‘Only by the night’, but they threw in some earlier songs, the second song they played being ‘Taper Jean Girl’.
I can’t wait until they come again!
It’s been some time since my last update, but that just means that I now have more to blog about.
New Music (to me):
I got the new Feist Album – Metals. This is really good, a combination of rootsey, poppy songs that reel you in.
I also obtained Kate Bush’s - Directors Cut. This is a real bargain, three albums for roughly the price of one. It includes The Red Shoes, remastered, which I never owned before. I find it a great album with some high credibility guest artists. Then there is the Sensual World album. Including this is great for me since I only ever had it on vinyl. The third CD is re-workings of songs from these two albums that provides some fresh takes on songs.
Also recently acquired is the new Felice Brothers – Celebration,
Then of course there is the new Bon Iver album called Bon Iver- get it, it is truly awesome. He has also expanded his soundscape in very positive ways.
Check out www.justmusic.co.za this is another good website for reading about music news.
For some end of year lists, check these out:
One good for a laugh:
Friday, July 15, 2011
It's been too long since I have updated my blog.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Venue: Monte Casino
You may have noticed that I tend to moan about the sound at the Dome in Northgate. This was one reason why I passed up the opportunity to see The Parlotones there recently.
Monte Casino however, I approached with an open mind. The only other show that I had seen there had been Cats, and apart from everything else, the sound was actually quite good.
On Friday 10/09, parking was easy to find, there were no big queues, and arriving at the event was a pretty stress-free occasion.
Opening Act: The Black Hotels
What do The Black Hotels sound like? They came across as a non-intrusive band playing songs in the key of Joy Division, New order, Lightning Seeds, A Flock of Seagulls and Cat Stevens. They came out in a 1 4 formation..... sorry still struggling to come down from the soccer world cup. I know that it is September already, but the high from the South African Soccer World Cup 2010 is a very difficult thing to get over. The additional guitarist on the right wing seemed to me to be a little superfluous and the keyboard sound a little high in the mix.
Overall though, quite a nice band, good songs, good sound thanks to the venue, and lots of potential. A bit more work on their stage show and they could be great.
The Act: The Parlotones
The lights dimmed, a couple of guys came on stage strumming guitars and we heard singing. Looking around we spotted Kahn jitterbugging down the aisle with drummer Neil Pauw singing about building ladders to the moon looking like a this was an incredibly funny prank. They made their way to the stage, Neil slapping a tambourine to keep time, and the show got under-way. Their formation is 33 3 1, with the Kwa Zulu Natal Youth Orchestra also in attendance. The Parlotones are in their home strip, black skinny jeans, black shirts and red ties (OK I promise - last soccer reference) at the start of their world tour. Next stop USA.
In terms of the show, there was great on-stage banter, very witty quips flying with no condescension to the audience. Kahn's energy was infectious, with each song delivered perfectly accompanied by leaping and dancing in his worryingly tight jeans. He is a great entertainer!
If you have not seen them live yet, make the effort, these guys put on a fantastic show! They are up there with the likes of Foto Na Dans and Wonderboom. A great South African rock band that we should all be proud of!
The day after, I feel great, my ears are still ringing and I am annoying my better half by screaming out Push Me To the Floor at random intervals.